Friday, 11 April 2014

Natalia Brings Sunshine and Awards

It can be a bit unpredictable when the sunshine will show up and that's just how Spring works here on the island.  Sunshine pours out though, the moment you  click on the blog In The Writer's Closet.  Among the first to read my blog and encourage me, bestowing upon me compliments, support and encouragement, Natalia has carved herself a little niche in my heart.  But in case you think that is only because of what she feeds my ego, I must hasten to add that she is one spectacular lady of talent, beauty, kindness and intelligence, so she inspires me constantly.

Natalia has very kindly put me on her nomination list for two blogger awards and now my task is to think up seventeen tidbits about myself to share with you.  I'm sure the actual challenge is narrowing it down to seventeen.  So the rest of this post comes in two parts.  Part one is all the stuff about me, and the second part is the explanation of the awards and my nominee list.  Okay, here I go....

 Part One

1. I have a passion for the field of nutrition science and wanted to be a dietician but could not master science as an academic discipline so reading the latest information on nutrition is essentially a hobby and I seek the scientific sources not the blurbs in magazines.

2. I have a mild version of Tourette's Syndrome (you would probably not really notice it)  but for most of my life just thought I was a bit weird and my tics irritated my ex husband.

3.  If I am comfortable with you, eventually you will find out that I have a raunchy sense of humour and can also be very silly.

4.  I am  never happy with my hair and am always growing it out or chopping it off, have done so many many times in my life, and do not hesitate to cut it myself.  This is the only photo I have on my computer that shows me with longish hair.  It's probably about 15 years old.

5. I have the sweetest most wonderful and adorable son in the world who is now 19 years old.

6.  I trained as an aerobics instructor and taught classes for a very short while. Thankfully there are no photos of that.

7.  I struggle to accept my physical appearance but I very much like the person who I am.

8.  I read a lot of non-fiction on a wide range of topics which interest me because it is my fantasy to be a permanent university student though I don't want to have to write any exams.

9.  I am an atheist with anti-theist leanings, 'politically incorrect' in that I will say so if anyone brings up the subject of religion (or if called upon to write 17 things about myself) and greatly admire Christopher Hitchens for both his thoughts and his writing skills.

10.  I spent roughly two years reading everything I could get my hands on about Buddhism.

11.  I love animals but can't really warm up to reptiles and am irrationally terrified of snakes.

12.  I seem to attract people who hurt me.

13.  I have recently developed a passion for orchids after having once written them off as pretentious. 

14.  I love both coffee and tea and am quite unpredictable about which and how much of each I drink each day.

14.  I qualify for British citizenship but keep procrastinating about officially applying for it.

15.  I would love to travel to Turkey and in fact many other places but suspect travel is not in my future.

16.  I have never smoked anything ever in my whole life.  Not even an oyster.

17.  I worry that I might be neurotic so I looked it up and apparently I'm not but I still think I am.


Part Two

 Rules of the Shine On Award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Show appreciation by acknowledging the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  • Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers you admire and happily pass on this award, making sure to link their blog into your post.
  • Contact your chosen bloggers and let them know.

Rules of the Sunshine Award:
  • Use the logo in the post.
  • Link to whoever nominated you.
  • Write ten pieces of information about yourself.
  • Nominate ten fellow bloggers “Who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”
Nominees: I am carrying on with the concept of combining these two awards but may be breaking a few rules here.  These people below inspire me with their own passion and creativity, their generosity and many of them with their frequent encouragement and support of my fledgling blog and my nutty self.  I am discovering new blogs all the time, and spending more time on some I've recently discovered.  You are all amazing, wonderful people whom I am thrilled to have made some form of contact with and to benefit from your own unique way of inspiring me.  Sincere apologies to anyone whose real name I do not know, most especially if I should know it.

Beate of  Bahnwaerterhaeuschen

Jo of Angles Have Red Hair

Keit of Beauty In Insanity

Aya of Couturgatory

Jane of Flight-Platform Living

Jan of Fort Smith Stylista

Kelly of Grunge Queen

Anna of Melodic Thrifty Chic

Sarah of Sideburns and Bangs

Curtise of So Past Caring

Natural Medley

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo Style Files

Vix of Vintage Vixen

Natalia of In The Writer's Closet

Megan Mae of Megan Mae Daily

Val of Muse Fondue

Sandra of Peaches McGinty

Northern Mum Down South of Thrifty Crafty Things


  1. Oh Shawna! You slay me! My heart is beating so fast seeing my name on your list. I am honoured.

    1. I slay you? Dear me, I do try not to kill off my friends even when I don't know their name. ;-) I do enjoy your creativity and positive outlook.

  2. I do enjoy reading posts like these, getting to know little snippets about each other.
    I better warn you when I post photos of Jacob, my beloved tortoise.
    Love the photo of you and your son and your lovely description of him.
    Get your British Citizenship sorted! xxx

    1. I think that turtles and tortoises might be a slight exception. While I do not want to cuddle one I do think they are cute. Not as cute as my son though. ;-) Yes, I should get that British citizenship thing sorted as well as a Canadian passport. Then I can sit in my armchair and travel.

  3. It is always so much fun to read these type of posts. We get to know little things about the writers we didn't expect. The last one, being neurotic made me laugh. We all are in our own ways I think : )

    Thanks for nominating me. I quite enjoy racking my brain trying to figure out what to write.


    1. I think those of us who are much inside our own heads, might qualify as mildly neurotic but the medical definition of it seems quite beyond my own little peccadillos so I can now officially pretend I am not.

      I'm looking forward to seeing your own list!

  4. So much fun! Love the photo of you with your son - he is adorably cute here, and I am sure he's a handsome dude at his 19! :) Some things are surprising to learn about you, like your passion for nutrition science and aerobics, and that's what makes this sort of games interesting. (It was also interesting to look into myself and dig out a few things. I forget what I've done quite often. :)

    You look beautiful with long hair and with short hair! Buddhism - yep, I can see that. :)

    I too love both coffee and tea. And I love learning. And I don't want any exams as well, in any form. :) As to people who hurt us... they are simply fearful... Let's pick people who are less afraid and more loving and happy with themselves! :)

    Enjoy the sunshine, my friend! And thank you for such a beautiful introduction - I would never expect it, it was such a wonderful beginning of the day!! :)

    1. You have done an amazing number of things, so it was quite interesting to learn that. I am envious of your energy, though I also realise that you are someone who will give 110% and that is very tiring.

      You are quite right about the hurtful people. It took me a long time to realise I think I may be attracted to slightly damaged people, thinking I can help and while sometimes I can, sometimes I get burned as the saying goes.

      I hope your day is wonderful. I have slept until noon and woken to a nice sunny day.

  5. I LOVE reading facts about people! This was a cool post! I am like you with the hair, and the physical appearance. Mostly because I feel like there are so many options out there, and I just want to be able to try them all and am therefore never %100 happy.

    Anyway, that pic of you and your son is adorable! Thanks for nominating me :)

    1. I think I am often attracted to things (clothes or hairstyles) that just don't work on me and yet I am always trying to make them work. That is either the definition of insanity or stupidity, or perhaps both!

      I look forward to reading your list if you take up the challenge!

  6. Hi Shawna, two nominations in one day, from Natalia and yourself - i'm overwhelmed, thank you. I appreciate them both.
    I love your blog and the way you write, you are so insightful and express yourself so well. Its nice to find out a bit more about you.
    That photo of you and your son is lovely - there is something special about the relationship with boys and their mum.
    Just to let you know I will try to put a post together following the guidelines of the award but it may take me a while and my nominee list would include quite a few of your nominees too but I guess the spirit of these awards is to get to know other bloggers better, encourage new bloggers and show your appreciation of other bloggers from whom you have gained inspiration. Im sure i can manage that. Jayne xx

  7. Hi Jayne, I like your new name. LOL new to me at least. I had a similar situation, as Natalia nominated people I did too and I think you have summed up the purpose of the activity quite accurately. It's perhaps a little bit of in-clique back patting but one of the pleasures of belonging with a group of bloggers can be that feeling of support and encouragement. I am sure that it has value.

    I do have a very close and special relationship with my son. We are very much alike which helps that, I think. I went out for dinner with him last night and we had a lovely time.

    Thank you for loving my blog and for regularly visiting and commenting. I look forward to seeing you, both here, on others' blogs and of course on your own blog where you look smashing in a backwards dress!

  8. Thank you for thinking of me Shawna :0)
    I'm notoriously bad at getting these kinds of posts done ... but I love reading them.
    I like your hair long ... and I'm terrified of snakes too ... especially when my neighbour spots them in his garden ... too close for comfort. Is that red hair I spy on your son?? All the very best boys have red hair ;0)

    1. Yes, he is indeed a red head. I was born one but it turned brown and his dad always had a red beard. All his cousins in England are redheads too so lots of it in the family. Of course the best boys have red hair!

  9. Thank you Shawna, what a compliment! like Jo, I am also bad at getting them done but nonetheless I have loved reading all about you! your son is such a cutie and I love coffee and tea equally too - and snakes! I can't go near one, and I have tried, I just can't bring myself to touch one, what's that all about?! have a great weekend Shawna x x x

    1. We only have one variety of snake where I live and it is not at all poisonous but I still find them creepy. I think it's the non-blinking eyelids and that silent slithering not to mention the overall lack of cuddliness!

  10. Shawna, we have so many similarities, it's blows my mind! I have always had compulsive tics, and my sister (a speech therapist who knows a thing or two) said it might be Tourette's. I've never seen a doctor about it. I also have a raunchy sense of humor, I have dual US-UK citizenship (my husband is British and I used to live there), I'm sort of anti-theist - I think people can believe what they want, but they should be educated about the history of their religion and understand that it's based on ancient superstitions. I drink coffee or tea. My husband is the one who was interested in Buddhism, but I've heard a lot about it from him. I cut my own hair, and I can't stand snakes. I hadn't seen a snake in decades, then we moved to Eugene, which has lots of garter snakes. Yuck!

    Thank you for the shout-out and the nomination! I love talking about myself, but I'm going to pass on the award because my nominations would be a lot of the same people you just nominated! We'd just keep going around and around and around.

    I'm glad you're blogging - it's always fun to read what you have to say!

    1. Val we must be twins separated at birth-lol. I've been to Eugene twice. It's nice there, though a bit further from the ocean than I like to be. It's a university town and those are often appealing to me, having plenty of book stores, particularly second hand ones which offer more than the latest Barbara Taylor Bradford or whomever the contemporary version of that is.

      I promise my family I would stop cutting my own hair and went to a very nice hairdresser back in January who came highly recommended by a friend. He was very nice and very good and I wanted a pixie cut, which he did quite well. However, now I am growing it out so of course that means not going back to a salon and yet taking the scissors to it myself in order to improve the shape as it grows. I can't bring myself to pay full salon prices if I only want one small section trimmed.

      The diagnosis of Tourette's seems to require a long lasting set of tics which include at least one vocal tic. My son is the one who was officially diagnosed but it is hereditary and another doctor told me it looks like it came from me. LOL I now realise I do have several tics and a minor vocal one that pops up now and again. My son's tics settled down in adolescence and if he has any vocal ones now they too are pretty subtle.

      I try to keep my anti-theism to a more general perspective and not make any personal attacks on people. Nobody wants to be personally attacked, though I will certainly debate anyone who instigates it. In my view of a perfect world there would be no religion at all because everyone would be too well educated for that, but I realise that isn't going to happen. Mainly it is fundamentalism that would drive me to actively campaign against religion because it is fundamentalists who want to impose their views on the governing of a country. I am not intending to get political on this blog but neither do I wish to deliberately hide my views. :-)

      Yuck to garter snakes indeed. We have them here too. I would never harm one, but I do not wish to interact with them.

      Clearly you and I need to have a nice pub lunch and chat for hours!

    2. I can see us closing that pub down in the dark of night! I've read a little about Tourette's, and I'm not sure if I fit or not. I don't have any vocal tics. Mine started with excessive blinking when I was little, but it would calm down after an eye exam. I tend to fidget, and feel the need to stretch fingers or facial muscles sometimes, or my neck. Exercise helps relax that urge.

      Now to read your new post - I hope you're enjoying your date night!

    3. You've just described tics my son has. Feeling the need to stretch or readjust frequently is often part of it, and when a person lacks awareness of how tourettes works can lead young people to believe their eyeballs are out of place and they just need to blink to put them back. My son used to believe his mouth/lips got regularly out of place. With tourettes, talking about or thinking about the tics usually brings them on more strongly.

  11. My sons have both had various (maybe) tics. Which die away after a few months, and then another pops up. Things like stretching jaw muscles, twiddling with their ears, making certain noises etc. some are more weird than others, and I don't try and stop them. It is interesting.

  12. Tics can and do change. Sometimes it is diagnosed as transitory tics, usually as a preliminary to a tourette's diagnosis. I'm glad you don't try to stop them. It's not possible for people to stop tics and only distressing for them if they are made to feel badly about them. I once had a student with some significant tics who was eventually diagnosed as having tourettes and his very high strung mother had a difficult time with this. The tics drove her crazy. She kept asking me, mother to mother, how did I deal with this and all I could say to her was that I love my son exactly as he is and I don't try to 'fix' him. He doesn't irritate me because I love him.

  13. i know i´m late but weekend was busy - so THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the nomination!
    have the post posted in this moment, you know that natalia nominated me already.

    very cute picture of your son and you! never expected that you taught aerobic. hoped that you´r atheist/anti-theist. #12 i had too - fought against, with success, luckily!

    1. I'm looking forward to reading your list! I hope your weekend was pleasant as well as busy!

  14. Gyah, I think blogger ate my first comment.

    Thank you so much for the nomination! I suspected, but did not know we have a number of things in common. :D The exception being the reptiles thing --my favorite place at the local zoo growing up was the reptile house.

    1. Blogger is known for that. So periodically I make offerings of soup to help appease the hungry blogger gods. I feel rather ashamed of finding reptiles kind of creepy. I would never hurt one and some of the little lizards are cute but snakes just make me nearly hysterical with fear. I am quite fond of rodents though.
      I have been enjoying your blog for longer than I've been commenting on it. I enjoy your style and always feel you are someone I would love to hang out in a cafe with.


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