The Adventures of Manny

Hi Mom,

I’ve had a great time with Ute and Ralph.  This is where we are staying.

Map of SpainIt is hot here, and we lay out on the patio every day.

13b Ralph's Apartment

Today I got kind of mad at Ralph because he made us pose with our blankets.  Mom, it was HOT!  I felt like I was sick or something.  All those pillows.  Danny is really nice, and he wanted to kick the blanket out the window.   I threw a pillow on the floor.

1a Fanny, Manny, Danny and new baby bear with Marsha's quilts

Fanny liked it because she had a new baby bear, I call him Lanny.  Lanny liked cuddling under the blanket.  Fanny kept KISSING him on the ears.  Blaaaah

Ute, Ralph & Bears

Ute is cute.  I still love Ute best.  I think Danny should stay with Ralph, and I’ll go home with Ute.  See how nice she holds me so I won’t fall.  I LOVE Ute, Mom.  She was tickling me under the chin.  I didn’t even kick her.

Bye, Mom.  I love you.

Manny

Dear Manny,

You haven’t told me anything about the trips you are taking.  That is a lovely picture of you and Danny with Ute and Ralph.  But, where were you?  It is so beautiful!

Manny Goes To Spain

Remember when you were making those blankets?  You were so sleepy you could hardly sew the line straight.

Manny Goes to Spain031

You stayed up almost all night.  Mama is glad that Ralph took a picture of you three with your blankets.  I hope you picked up the pillow.  Those are Ralph’s new pillows.

Have you been to Ronda?  Everyone talks about how beautiful and historic it is.  You know how much Mom loves history.

20130824_0102

Kalev misses you and wishes she had come along with you.  Chloe says hi, too.

Write soon,  Love Mom

Dear Mom and Dad,

OK I’m going to send you some pictures, and you have to guess where they are.

Manny & Danny  traveling

I was a little scared here because it was a long way down to the bottom of this wall, and Danny sometimes likes to wrestle and pulls me backwards.  We were both on our good behavior.

Manny & Danny traveling 2

We wanted our picture taken with this arch.  It’s really old.  Like maybe Roman times!  I bet Roman soldiers built it!  Do you think they did, Mom?  Ralph let us sit on the table so we could look at it better.

8 Ralph in BP

Ralph had to wear sunglasses here because the buildings are so sparkly.  Do you love them, Mom?  Did you guess yet?  Go ask Dad.  He doesn’t get lost like you do.

I gotta go.  We’re busy, Mom.  Sorry!

Love, Manny

Ralph’s Latest News About Manny

Manny told me this morning that he wanted a Californian breakfast just like his Mom makes for him every morning. Donuts and strong coffee. He said that his Mom ALWAYS gives him 10 donuts to start his day and he was fed up with the local Spanish breakfast of sliced cheese, sliced smoked ham and sliced bread. So I made him breakfast just like his Mom does as a treat for him.   (I’m not sure what Ralph has been eating for breakfast – something gullible, I’m sure!)  🙂

1
Manny looks pretty calm, so Ralph? Are you just about to press delete? Or could it be that you would like to press the send or return button?

 I only had 8 donuts in the cupboard, which upset him, as his Mom gives him 10 every day. Oh he really does go on sometimes. He ate and ate and ate while drinking his strong hot coffee. His stomach grew larger and larger.

2

He ate 9 donuts and fell asleep. (Hmmm where did Ralph get the 9th donut? – the garbage can across the street, maybe?)  He’s still asleep now.

3And Ralph believed him when he said his mom gave him 10 EVERY day! Manny will sleep for a week after THAT breakfast!  🙂

4

I hope he doesn’t want Eskimo food tomorrow !! (I think all Ralph has is gato food.)   A whale perhaps !!  (I don’t think cats eat whales, do they?) 

5

Ralph, in a week when Manny wakes up – Don’t be fooled by his open eyes.  He always sleeps with his eyes open. – like I was saying, when he wakes up, you can fool Manny about the whale, and when he’s not looking open a can of tuna.  Don’t let him talk you into mixing up a gallon of “whale”  He will only eat a little can full.  You might even get by with canned cat food if you have that.  You just have to eat it too, so he thinks it’s people food.  🙂

6

Poor Ralph, now he’s got a heavy teddy bear snoring on his table for a week.  When he wakes up, he will be extremely grumpy, and worse, will have to go to the bathroom.  He’s not litter box trained.  I’m not sure how that will work with the balcony and everything.  Here in California we live out in the country, and there are lots of trees.  I have to admit that I never considered all these personal problems when we agreed to let Manny visit Ralph.  

Do you all think Ralph is going to survive until Ute arrives?

Thursday: News From Manny

According to Ralph, Manny is learning new customs and ways of life in Spain.  I’m not sure the man next to Manny knew about those customs.  He seemed quite interested at what Manny was learning.  I am not sure that Ralph’s female friend here was quite expecting Manny’s finesse, either, but when in Spain…

4

Manny would not tell me about the vacuum cleaner incident, so I asked Ralph. According to Manny the incident went something like this.

Dear Mom,

Can’t we talk about something else?  I’m having fun with Fanny today.  Here, you talk to Ralph.

Love, Manny

4Hi RVBFM,

I’ll write captions as you look at the pictures.  Will that do?  I’m still busy getting my house ready for Ute to come visit.  As you know, I ordered a vacuum cleaner.  I had no idea how much more inquisitive boy teddies are than girl teddies.  Fanny played in her room with the cats, but NOT Manny!  Maybe he thought it would be another teddy bear.  After all, that’s how he came to Spain.  Anyway Manny’s words are in blue.

“What’s in here? Let’s open it”

1“Lots of paper !! I’m having fun with this.”

2

“Ooooh more boxes !! Can I open them?  Home kit, will that take me back to California, Ralph.  I hope not.  I’m having fun here.”  

Sorry, Marsha, you know how kids are when they are having fun.  It’s always too soon to go home!

3

“Lots of tubes. Just like home when I help Daddy.  He lets me get in the tubes.  Look Ralph, my hand fits.  I wonder if I could get my head inside. …”

I really thought he would talk when you sent him this picture.  He LOVED the tubes.  Does he play with snakes at home or something?  Does he help Vince with the sprinkler system.  He even tried to stick his head in the tubes!  I had to stop taking pictures, and hand the camera to Fanny when she came out to see what all the racket was, so that I could pull his head out of the tube.

4

“Here, Ralph let me help you.  Dad doesn’t use these dumb books.  I’ll show you how to put the Dyson cleaner together. You just start sticking stuff together, and it’s like magic.  Watch me.”

5

BTW, nice knees, Ralph.  Are you wearing pants?  Is that one of the customs in Spain?  hmmm  Maybe I’d better warn Ute!  – M 🙂

6

“See, I told you it was easy.  Now plug it in, Ralph!!”

I plugged it in and the Dyson began to make it’s noise.  It sounded just right.

8

“What’s this bit for?  It looks like Mom’s roller skates.  Can I put them on and ride around?”

Vacuum hose w bear

I turned around away from the vacuum for just a second to make sure Fanny and the cats were out of the way.  Then I heard this awful sound.  Slurp !! “OOOOH !!  AAAARGH !!”  From INSIDE the tube came this muffled voice!  “Help !!”

10

 

I turned around quickly, but I was a little late!

11

He’s already gone for a spin!  He does look a little dizzy in the picture that Fanny caught from her floor side perspective.  “Get me out of here!!  RALPH!  OUT OF HERE!!!!!  FANNY HELP!!!  R  – – A – – A – – – L – – PH”

12

I suddenly realised what happened to Manny.  I was more worried that you would kill me than I was about Manny at this point.  He looked a little sick, but he was still breathing.  I checked for broken skin and pouching out stuffing, but he was fine!

Well trained with getting boo boos, I guess, Manny said weakly, “I need a cuddle Ralph.”

13

“And Mom always gives me a big kiss.”

Geez, kiss a teddy bear.  What have you done to this bear, Marsha?

14

Before I could even give him a kiss, he backed away, and started wiggling in my arms asking, “Can I do it again pleeeeeease !!”

What could I do, but give him a tap on his little back tag, and say sternly, “No, Manny!  You and Fanny go play in her room with the kitties.  I have to vacuum now!”  I had to hide my smile.

So now you know the whole sordid tale.  Hope you’re not mad at me.

Ralph xox

How could anyone be mad at either Ralph or Manny.  I had to hide a smile, too.  I have a feeling Manny is going to need another bath when he gets home!  🙂

Manny, “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Manny has never been away from home without us, and it feels so weird to think of him being in someone else’s house – without us!  He’s never gone anywhere without us.  I got a short email from Ralph telling us what’s going on over there in Spain.

Dad, what's in this box.  It smells good!  Can I open it?
Dad, what’s in this box. It smells good! Can I open it?

Hi Marsha,

Manny arrived safely here in Spain. I think Fanny smelled the honey in Manny’s suitcase right away.  This is sort of how the conversation went when I brought in Manny’s box.  She wanted to open the box herself, and you can imagine how that went.

“Fanny, I think this box is for you!”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Really Dad!  Really, REALLY!  REALLY!  I’m so excited!  I can’t get this tape off!  Ooooh, it’s getting stuck in my fur.  Help, por favor.  Don’t cut my fur, Dad!  I want to look pretty!”  Fanny is picking up a few Spanish words.  Don’t be surprised if Manny comes home speaking Spanish.

“Ouch, Fanny.  That IS sticky stuff.  Hold on.  I’ll try not to mess your fur, Fanny.  Ok, let me cut the tape, and open the box for you.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Oh boy!  Is this a toy, Dad?  Look how cute he is.  How silly, too.  It wasn’t sunny in there.  He’s got on his glasses!  Is he dead?”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“I am NOT silly.  AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT DEAD!  It was sunny when I left California.  Where am I?  Can you help me get out of here?  I feel stiff.  Thanks, By the way, I’m Manny.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Hi, I’m Fanny, and this is my Dad, Ralph.”

“Hi Fanny!  You’re soft.  Can I sit on your lap?  You look pretty, and you smell good, too! Hi Ralph, You look just like the Ralph that didn’t want me playing teddy bear music at Renee’s birthday party.  Fanny, do you want to see my teddy bear video?  Ralph, do you have a computer?  Mommy lets me use her computer A LOT!”

“Sure Manny, right here.  This is my new office.  How do you like it.”

Ralph's remodel003

“It’s beary nice, Ralph.  Can you help me reach the computer.  Mom lets me sit on the keys.”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Wait a minute!  There’s my mom.  Mom!  What are you doing here in Spain?  I thought you were in California!  Talk to me Mommy!  MOMMY!  I see you Mommy!  Can you hear me?  Can you hear me, Mommy?  Turn this volume up, Ralph.  I don’t think Mommy can hear me.  Can you hear me now?”

Manny's Trip to Spain

“Manny, Manny!”

“Fanny don’t tease Manny.  He misses his mommy.  Go get your teddy bear video.  I’ll put it in for Manny.”

 

Oh no, what have I gotten myself into?  Maaaaaaarrrshaaaaaaa…!!!

Lots of love,

Ralph xox

So now what’s in store for Manny next?  Ralph sounded a little franticized.  Did Fanny like her present that Manny worked so hard to make?  Has Manny met any Spanish people yet?  Has he really been a good boy?  Will he get in trouble at Ralph’s house?  hmmm?  What do you think?  I guess we will know more next week!

Manny’s text just said,

“Hi Mom,  LOL havng fun.  Fany is cut.  Ralf is nise to.  Luv Manny”

Adventures of Manny: Priority-First Class Travel to Spain

Manny’s Guest Blogger IS Manny.  Apologies to spammers who don’t like my spelling mistakes.  I didn’t correct Manny’s spelling.

I was published on Marsha Lee's Blog.
I was published on Marsha Lee’s Blog.

Hi Mom,

Brrr, but I have blankt and pillo.  I thot a plane ride was ‘posed 2 b FUN!   Aftr u left me at the PO, I flew up in the air, and then …CRASH!  Then HAIL!  All over my box… A BIG hail storm.  Good thing I have my cell phone in my box! (otherwise how could I txt u? LOL)  Sumthings poked a hole in my box.  It was woodpeckrs.  Then I flew up, then… CRASH!.

Manny Goes To Spain
I can c a little.

Finally – engines.  NO flying – just BUMPY.  Like hwy 99.  More hail.  FLYING.  CRASH!   HAIL. … FLYING. … HAIL. … CRASH!  It’s drk ‘cept the holes in my box.

Manny Goes To Spain
Can u c me in here?

Now it’s quiet, cold and REALLY drk.  I can’t C anything! I CAN’T BREETH  Good thing I went Priority-First Class, not Coach like u fly, Mom.  I hop I’ll b at Ralph’s hous soon.  I want 2 play! I miss u!

Manny Goes To Spain
Am I dreamin’, Mom?

Luv, Manny  xox

Just a note from Marsha.  This is the only picture I got from Manny this week.  It is all the same picture!  🙂  Thanks Photoshop!  🙂

Manny Is Enroute to Spain

Happy July Fourth!  I hope everyone is celebrating our freedom with family and friends.  Manny is one his way out of the country to visit Ralph and Ute, two of my favorite blogging friends.  He is carrying his American flag with him to remember and celebrate the holiday with his British friends.  haha

Don't wake me until I get there.  Whew!  It's hot under these covers!  :)
Don’t wake me until I get there. Whew! It’s hot under these covers! 🙂

It’s 106 and he’s bundled for his flight!  He knows it gets cold in the baggage department!  🙂

Happy Fourth of July!  Bye bye, Mom and Dad.
Happy Fourth of July! Bye bye, Mom and Dad.

From our house to yours, we wish you the best Fourth ever.

Manny Goes to Spain – An Interview with Manny

Many of our readers know Manny as my lovable little bear who travels wherever I go.  Manny has been begging to go see Ute and her teddy bears in England for six months.   Vince and I both agree that Manny is old enough now to travel on his own.  Let’s see how he’s doing.

Mom:  Manny, you are getting to be such a big boy now, we’re going to do an interview for all the readers about your trip.   How are you feeling about flying out on your own to go see Ralph’s bear, Fanny, and Ute’s bear, Danny?

Manny:  Mom, you know I’m sooooooo excited.  I can’t EVEN sleep at night.

Mom:  What have you done to get ready?

Many goes shoppint
Many goes shopping.

Manny:   I had to get my Pawsport, and a suitcase at the Build-A-Bear Store.

Everything is so big
Everything is so big.

Mom:  Is that all you got there?  What was it like at the store?

Manny:  Oh, Mom, I just LOVED the Build-A Bear store!  It was soooooo big!  I got some cool sun glasses.  I’m ready to go to the beach.  Tell Ralph I want to go to the beach in Spain.  I have a new beach ball and a beach bag, too.  Mom, there were so many clothes in the store.  How come I don’t have clothes?

Many picks out a suitcase.
Many picks out a suitcase.

Mom:  They didn’t have any your size, Manny.  Those clothes are for big bears.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

Manny uses Mom's American Express card for the first time.  Yikes!
Manny uses Mom’s American Express card for the first time. Yikes!

Manny:  Oh yeah, I got some of that, too.  I love my red suitcase, Mom.  And I love my sunglasses.  Have you seen what’s in my suitcase?

Mom:  Tell me.

Manny:  I got a BIG jar of honey!  I have my travel guide, and my Spanish English dictionary.  And dad got me aspirin.  What’s that for, Mom?

Mom:  You may get a little nervous on the plane, so if you do, just ask the flight attendant for some water, and take one aspirin.  I notice you packed your favorite doggie blanket.   Sometimes it gets cold on the plane even though where you are going is nice and warm.  Be careful not to lose it, though, Manny.

Manny:  I’ll be careful with it.  I’ll take it to the beach to sit on.

Mom:  Hmmmm  Hope Ralph has a big washing machine.  What about presents for Fanny and Danny?

Manny:  Silly Mom.  You know I got them presents.  You helped me make them presents.  They are going to love them.

Mom:  Are you going to tell everybody what you made?

Manny:  Nope.  They’ll just have to wait till I show them to Fanny and Danny!

Mom:  Ok then, Manny.  It’s time to get you to bed, so you’ll be ready to go.  Tell everybody good-bye.

Manny:  Bye everyone.  See you in Spain.

All packed ready to go.
All packed ready to go.

Branding

In my neck of the woods, cattle get branded, but I’ve been DOING Twitter, and reading about branding.  Apparently, if I want to my blog to take off and really go  places I need to be branded.  My blog is doing relatively well, nothing viral, but then until a few days ago I was not branded.  Judging from the lack of number of visitors and likes on my Facebook page, branding must be an essential step I’m missing.

Still only 56 Likes
Still only 56 Likes

So, here we go again, I need your opinion.  I put a brand on my WP site.  Do you like it?  No, Manny is not the Brand.  Manny’s my top salesperson!  So I featured him in my header.

Simple, unchanging, eye catching, unique, unafraid to be who they are, bold
Simple, unchanging, eye-catching, unique, unafraid to be who they are, bold

So is a brand something like our gravitars?   Is it the header?  In my mind a good brand is Leanne Cole’s black and white box with her name in it.  I also like Ralph’s gravitar partly because he did a whole post on it, and asked people why they followed him.  The hat came out as the biggest plus.

Susan Hunter I like EasyBreezy books, too – even though the picture is not the author, and she doesn’t use her name.  I just want to look like that!  I like my gravitar because a good picture of myself is hard to find, AND in this one the chairs behind me sort of add dimension to my hair, making it almost look like I have more hair.  I like that!  But I don’t think that is what I need for my brand – as shown by my lack of FB LIKES.

Simple, my favorite color de jour, my brand name because I loved my job as the TC History Consultant
Simple, my favorite color de jour, my brand name because I loved my job as the TC History Consultant

I tried designing a brand myself, but my handwriting is horrible, even using my new table in Adobe Illustrator.  My drawing is worse, and I don’t even know what I would draw to describe my brand?  In this blog are the loves of my life, Y’ALL, my readers, first of all, book reviews, travel stories, lectures on how education should always include history/social studies, my family (which is pretty much history!), assorted friends, retirement advice, poetry, pets, Manny, the adventures of the History Ladies, history of Tulare County, and what I’m learning about photography, blogging, graphic designing, and quilting for starters.

Simple, another of my favorite colors, clean - at least in a smaller size
Simple, another of my favorite colors, clean – at least in a smaller size

Even though I am basing my overall image on my former job as an Instructional Consultant in History/Social Science, and my love of it, I have moved on in who I am and what I produce.  Maybe moved backwards to what I liked before I chose a career.  I’m not trying to market history, but I am working to inform and entertain you (the rest of the world) as photographer and writer.  The product line I am marketing is somewhat sketchy in my mind, but I am driven to produce SOMETHING, therein is the Productions part of the brand.  I have tried to market some of my pictures, but I’m not totally there yet.  I’ve written at least one children’s book, but it’s not ready for production after at least 18 years.  But surely there’s something I can produce that someone will want!  🙂  Yes??????

Still my name, streaming Kaweah River into Bravo Lake.  Hard to read, but...
Still my Brand on top of the Kaweah River streaming into Bravo Lake.   Keep in mind that even though corrected, this is how I see EVERYTHING.  I’m assuming this brand is a bit blurry to you, too!

Since I am already marketing photography through Fine Arts America, I considered bringing in a little photography into my brand.  Maybe I need to bring in a little of my “Streaming Thoughts,” which is what I actually do on this blog.  Granted all these trial “brands” are rough, and very poor quality.  But if I am trying to market myself, and I feel that I must after reading these blogging gurus, to justify the amount of time and energy that I spend blogging, I’ve got to SELL SOMETHING!  am I going to sell my random thoughts?  Who does that and gets by with it other than Paul Harvey?  But then he had a GREAT brand – The Rest of the Story.  Remember him?

Is branding the signature line, the rest of the story?
Is branding the signature line, “the rest of the story”?

Interestingly the story that I hyperlinked there talks about the fact that he was like the forerunner of a current day blogger.  YES!  Maybe there is hope for a market for what I do…  chat.

Garrison Keillor

I also thought about Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion.  I can totally identify with this picture.  I’m your Tulare County Home Companion.  Why, it even looks like me in my office!  I’m a little smaller, and my legs are slightly tanner, and I don’t wear shoes to blog!   🙂

Click and Clack

Of course, you’ve heard of these guys, Click and Clack.  If not, you are missing one of my favorite radio shows, and I hate cars.  I’d never fix a car if you paid me millions of dollars, and yet, I love their show.  I want to be just like them.  Funny and informative.

Ernestine01

When I was in my 20s friends and strangers even would say I looked and acted like Lily Tomlin.  That was an insult to me then because all I could picture was her brand, and it was not what I was trying to portray at the time.  Now I realize the people were not far off the mark.  There are similarities that even I can see.

Erma Bombeck

Finally there’s the lady to whom my writing has been most likened to, Erma Bombeck.  I love her brand line in this picture, “The family that plays together…  gets on each other’s nerves.  How true is that?

I tried to press publish real quickly this morning before Sally and I took our walk, but I couldn’t be rude and let her wait long enough to get it done.  So we talked about branding on our walk.  We laughed about the thought of everything streaming out from Tulare County (TC), but for me, it does.

California_map_showing_Tulare_County

Tulare County is the bread basket for the country, the center of agriculture (not that I’m a farmer, but that is the primary industry here, and you all enjoy the benefits of it.)  Sally suggested that I had to have a map, and I found the perfect map of Tulare County in 1850 when Tulare County was huge!

Sally-inspired brand
Sally-inspired brand

This is my final brand for today.  I need your opinions now to move to the next step.

So what do you think?

Awards Made Easy

If you’ve been blogging regularly and faithfully for more than two or three weeks, you’ve probably received your first award.  This post is primarily for NEW bloggers.  Experienced bloggers don’t always stick by the letter of the Award Laws, but they have developed their own ways to responding to awards.  This is my way.

In my opinion, Awards are fun.  Someone took the time to develop them.  They are an invitation from someone who is reaching out and saying, “I like you.  What you are saying is resonating with me.”  They may also be a newbie and be saying to themselves, “I got this award, and I have to pass it on, or the whole blogosphere is going to blow up in my face.”

Cyberspace – if you don’t pass on your award.

Panic-stricken they continue their muse, “Who can I give it to? I”ve only read three people’s blogs.  How was I supposed to know I have to read OTHER people’s blogs?  I thought I would just write, and people would come read it.  And soon an online magazine would pick up my stuff and start publishing it.  Hmmm  OK, I know, I’ll give it to another new kid on the block.”

Like this!
One of my first posts. An obvious sign of a newbie blogger who desperately NEEDED an award!!!!

Whatever reason an award comes your way, there it is and now you have to make a decision.  Are you going to respond, blow it off and pretend you didn’t get it, or hang up a “Do Not Disturb – No Blogs Allowed” sign on your blog?  I think most people respond, which perpetuates the award giving, but there is always the temptation to move on and ignore the award.  I’m going to err on the side of acceptance for lots of reasons.  First I’m going to tell you why I don’t want to hang up a “go away award givers” sign.

Very few newbies write well enough to tell people to go away and expect them to come back and visit their site.  The only one I know who gets by with that is Ralph, and Ralph is just special.  He doesn’t even have to write a post and people come and leave 80-100 comments in his box.  You need to visit Ralph just to know it’s true, but beware, you will be hooked.  Ralph just has enough “Je ne sais crois,” as one of his friend’s puts it, to pull it off.  The rest of us starter bloggers, well ….  Only you can make that decision.  Most people who don’t respond eventually have few people visiting their site even caring what they write.  If that’s really what you want – and some people do – then, by all means, hang up the sign.  And people will leave you alone by the droves.

So let’s say you get an award or two, what do you do to keep up?  I don’t want to mislead you – it does take some effort on your part to participate.  Here are my steps.

  1. Thank your award giver right away – even if you are not going to respond and pick the blogs you want to pass the award yet.  If you don’t do this and forget who gave you awards, you can search your comments to find who has given you awards.
  2. First of all you don’t HAVE to follow all the instructions exactly as written if YOU don’t want to do so.  There are no award police.  This is not a grant application that will be rejected if you don’t answer one of the questions.   It’s not a chain letter that will break and bring you bad luck to you and your descendants for hundreds of years.  So if the award doesn’t work exactly for you, be creative.  It’s the thought that counts.
  3. Open a word document to copy and paste the instructions for your blog award(s) as well as the url of the person awarding you.  I usually open a new document when I have a couple of awards, rather than just one because I’m not really THAT organized.   Answer the questions, and create a blanket invitation that you will cut and past in your awardee’s comment boxes later.   I always try to let them know that they don’t have to feel obligated by my nomination.  
  4. Open your reader.  Copy and paste some or all of the blogs you follow into the document you created.
  5. Clean it up so that all you have are the links to the websites.  This is important.  You are going to use these links several times.
  6. We tend to pay attention to the first blogs we follow, and the most recent ones as well, so some blogs always get ignored.  Highlight a group of blogs you follow from your reader tab on your stats page, copy and paste them into a new place on the page.  Pick more than you need for the award.  I included a sample of my document in pink.

My cleaned up list

  1. A year of reading the world 
  2. ruleofstupid  
  3. benzeknees  
  4. 1earthnow 
  5. a recipe sharing and bento blog 
  6. The numpty novice with a compact camera and a laptop 
  7. The Adventures of Justin Beaver 
  8. rarasaur 
  9. Roxie’s Blog 
  10. An electric journal of a castaway 
  11. Views From My World 
  12. Anna Scott Graham, Indie Novelist 
  13. Erin Daniel Photography 
  14. Coming East 
  15. MY RIGHT TO BITCH
  16. Guapola 
  17. The Bottom of a Bottle
  18. GLORIOUS METTLE 

My award choices and blanket invitation/congratulations statement to paste into their comment box

Wonderful Team Member Readership

  1. ruleofstupid
  2. An electric journal of a castaway
  3. MY RIGHT TO BITCH
  4. Guapola
  5. The Bottom of a Bottle
  6. GLORIOUS METTLE

As I meet new bloggers, I am always impressed by, not only creative blogs, but those blogs that can create readership, and participate as engaged readers in others’ blogs.  That is the reason I have nominated you for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Enjoy it as a compliment.  http://wp.me/p2jC53-13f

  1. Let’s assume that you have more than enough sights that you follow to choose from.  If you don’t I’ll address that in a minute.  Start down your list (on the Word document) and click on the sites.  This is time consuming because you want to “camp out” on each site for a bit to get to know them if you are not reading them regularly.  I prefer working from the offline page rather than trying to keep track of them in my reader.  I have to watch my internet usage, and it saves time.  Don’t give awards to sites you really don’t know AT ALL!   
  2. Write your post.  You can cut and paste from your Word document including all the names.  Paste the links into the tags of your post as well, so that your awardees get better coverage on Google.  Remember award giving will help them build readership.
  3. Insert a picture of the award by copying the url from your friend who gave you the award.  Save and close it.  Insert it into the post near the top and use the url for  that also.  Publish your post, and copy the short link.  Open the your sidebar image and fill in the blanks with the title of the award, url for the picture, and paste the short link for YOUR POST in the space that says link to an url, near the bottom of the insertion.  I also write the name of the award giver in the caption line.  (see sample )
  4. Widget for awardUsing your Word document, click on each website again, go to a comment section and paste in your blanket response.  I always personalize it to respond to what Ive read on their site as well.  That should take care of it.

Follow-up

  1. As you regularly visit sites, check out the awards, write congratulation notes.  Awards are a tool for making connections with others.  
  2. Respond to people as they thank you choosing them for the award.  Be positive and always congratulate them because you had a reason for picking them.  If you can elaborate on their return comment, it never hurts to tell them a few more details about why you chose them.

What to do if you don’t have enough followers?

  1. If you haven’t been blogging for very long and don’t have enough, then you can just put the award away for a while, or you can visit your favorite pages, and look at the comment sections and see who else you might like to have as a friend.
  2. Click on the links of the comments you like and check them out, looking at the about pages and a few posts.  Don’t give awards to people you find out that you don’t really like.  This makes them meaningless!!!!

What happens after you’re nominated for an award?

 Nothing happens.  No WordPress person is going to come and say, “You were nominated, and out of the 600,000,000 bloggers world-wide, your new blog is the best we’ve ever seen.”  I say that because at first I was so shocked to receive an award.   I was so naive vain, that I wondered when someone was going to tell me that I’d actually WON!  The experience is the nomination.  The fact that another blogger likes you is the prize.

My Rant

I wish we did something like this with students so that they were not looking at the teacher to give all the praise.  Students need learn to do a good job just to do a good job, and to appreciate EACH OTHER because they evaluate each other’s work and deem it valuable in some way.  Everybody can be the BEST something.

I have many blogging awards in my sidebar, and I’m proud of all of them.  My non-blogger friends think I’m really a master blogger when they see all those award seals!!! hahaha  And to some of you lovely bloggers I AM!!!

Award giving builds community and caring between bloggers.  No one can monitor all of this.  We wouldn’t want them to!!  We monitor each other.  We visit bloggers because we want to read what they have to say.  I started blogging in April, 2012.  A few of my blogger friends and I have started emailing so we don’t blog up the blog.  I have given and received items from my friends in the snail mailbox.  We have exchanged pictures.   We have become Facebook friends or fans.  We are really becoming more than just Cyber friends.

As a word of caution to all of this personal sharing we all want to be safe.  My husband wanted me to take off my location on my Facebook page, which I did.  It is also not a great idea to include your birthday on FB.

Do you think I love blogging?  Come join the fun.  I hope this has made your award receiving and giving a little easier.  🙂

Featured Blog

Featured Blog

Featured Blogs are my alternative to awards.  You can see my criteria on my Featured Blogs page.  Patricia Drury is my pick for today.  She is  retired and relatively new to blogging, a newbie photographer with a Canon Camera with talent just bursting to be shared.  She open and full of life.  I think I’d like to BE in some of her photographs they are in such beautiful places!!  See what I mean?

Anybody want to join me???

Blog of the Year 2012

Thanks for nominating me!!!

Thank you so much Rommel and Adinparadise for nominating me for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.  Of all the blogs you both visit – and I see you everywhere – I am so honored to be chosen by you for this award.  You both have wonderful blogs, beautiful pictures, interesting content, and it is well-organized.  Best of all you connect with people.  You leave feedback for people letting them know that you care.  

Blog of the Year Award banner 600

I have many blogs that I read and go back to all the time.  So many that I don’t get back to them as often as I want to.  These are my picks for the Blog of the Year 2012, and are mostly old-time (up to 7 month) friends.  These are the top ones with whom I carry on conversations, listed in no particular order, with no remarks.  II adore them all, I’d love it if you visited all of them!  I may have even missed a few, and for you I beg your forgiveness.

Featured Blog

  Bluefish Way is a recent blog for me.  Ralph wrote a great post on why he follows people and asks why people follow him.  I guess we all wonder that, but no one I know can get the responses this blogger gets from his fans.  It’s hard to describe his appeal, but he has captivated my interest as a blogging phenomena, and, whether or not you are interested in him, he will write to you if you leave him a comment.

Others of you that I listed may not be blog award people either, and I didn’t notice, and for you, just consider yourself thanked for what you have added to my life.

HERE’S HOW TO NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR  ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/

THIS IS MY BLOG AWARD STATUS AS OF 12-25 -12.  Thanks Adayinparadise and Ivon, Renee, Eunice and Carol, for awarding stars the rest of the 6 stars to me!!!  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR READING MY BLOG!!!