March 29, 2013

An Inspiring Suprise

A couple of weeks ago, before we left home for some warmth, I came across a pleasant surprise.
I was reading Nina's beautiful blog, when I happened to find that she had passed along an inspiring blogger award to me..  I had to re-read, to make sure I was correct that she was talking about me!

I've been sharing photos & writing here on this humble blog of mine for over seven years now. 
My reasons for blogging have evolved over the years, but this quote has always been true fo
r me:
 "The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises." 
(Leo Buscaglia)
It puts a spring in my step to know that I may inspire someone in some way.    
Thank you, Nina! 

There are two requisites for accepting the Inspiring Blog Award:
1. Post 7 random facts about yourself.
2. Pass the award along to two blogs that inspire you.
Here goes!

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1.  I have two older sisters and one younger brother.  We grew up on the Mississippi River, at it's northern beginnings.  We used to fish from the banks of the river for suckers, often catching snags.  There was a rocky bend where we could walk on the rocks when the river was low, finding crawdads & clams in the mud between them.  I remember being in awe of the rainbow iridescent inner side of muddy clams shells.

2.  I love encyclopedias & atlases.  If I come across something I don't know about, you can bet I'll try to find out.  I love to learn.

3.  I've loved art all my life. My elementary art teacher once made the class give me a "round of applause" for my work, I believe it was tempera painting. I was very shy as a child, and embarrassed at the attention, but still remember it today. She always made me feel so special!   Later on, in senior high art, our class had pieces displayed at a local gallery.  Someone contacted the teacher in interest of purchasing mine. It was an assigned clay piece, not something I was that fond of.  I was 15-16 years old at the time, and that was my first art sale.  Photography has been the main art medium of my adulthood.

4.  I don't mind handling dirt, mud, fish or worms, or helping cut up venison.  But I'm a total germaphobe when it comes to shopping carts & public germs.  I may as well admit that I also hold my breath if I have to walk down a rubbermaid / plastic storage tote aisle in a store.  I can't bear the smell or the thought of all the off-gasing.  The same goes for the chemical lawn fertilizer aisle.

5.  I never wear earrings and always have my toes painted.

6.  I prefer undeveloped, quiet places. 
Kayaking Trout Lake
7.  We built our home as we were turning 19 and 20.  It was the first house Mitch built.  Since then he's built hundreds of dwellings & structures.  I have learned a good deal more about architecture, design, and my own style over the years.  We would love to build another house now that we could put all of our knowledge & life experience to use.  But we love our home that has grown & changed with us over the years, too.   I alternate between drawing up future house plans and sketching out improvements for our existing home.  It's a conundrum!

Now, to name two blogs that inspire me.. 
I without a doubt would have chosen Nina's blog, Thoughts & Images Along the Way. 
I appreciate her photography style, her beautiful images & thoughts.  Through them, she seems to me a kindred spirit, AND she lives in Scandinavia, which is awesome.  (I'm of 100% Finnish ancestry on my dad's side, I didn't list that in my facts.)  I would love to make it to Scandinavia some day. 
Since Nina has already completed the exercise, though, I'll choose two new people.. and I'll admit this is tough!  I'm inspired by many, for different reasons.

1.  DJan at DJan-ity.
I only came upon her blog just recently, but I was instantly inspired.  D-Jan writes with a forthright honesty that I admire.  She has known tremendous loss, yet she continues to exhibit a life-loving spirit.  She's a doer:  An experienced skydiver, and hiker of the Pacific Northwest.  
At 70 years, DJan calls herself an Active Senior.  She's what I would call an adventurer, and "inspiring" is the exact word I feel describes her and her blog.

2.  Nancy at A Rural Journal.
Nancy blogs about rural living, which is all I've ever cared to know as "Home" in life.  She takes beautiful photos of animals, landscapes, and simple things, and shares gorgeous photo textures.  I've been aware of photo textures for years, but Nancy has inspired me to finally try them out.  She's funny and real.  Plus, she shares about checking trap lines with her husband -  coming from a hunter / gatherer household, I appreciate this.  
To inspire, and be inspired..  I am grateful!
I'm sharing with Nancy's  Five Facts Friday, because I normally do.  You can skip the two extra or see them as a bonus today!


  1. I am truly inspired by your photography & your sweet, simple style of writing.
    Beautiful blog.

  2. Lovely images ... in photos and words. Love the little frog. It was nice learning more about you. Happy Spring!

    1. Much thanks! We get a good variety of frogs in our yard, but those tree frogs are my very favorite. So sticky, they cling right to you & hang out. I just love them.
      Looking forward to hearing the frogs sing again.. winter is long & quiet. Happy spring to you, too!

  3. Hi Amanda, It's nice to learn a little more about you. Congratulations on your blog award.
    I've missed a few of your posts so have been busy catching up. You have some wonderful pictures of the Texas Hill Country.

  4. congrats on the inspiring blogger award. You have some beautiful photos and thoughts so i see why you were chosen.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for visiting, Latane!

  5. I am so happy that you are inspired by me, Amanda! I humbly accept the award and will blog about seven things about me that people might not know and will spend some time looking for someone I might pass the award along to. Not everybody likes to receive these awards, because they have a bit of a sense of a chain letter... but you have definitely made me feel very pleased by your awards, and I take it in the sense you offered it: as an honor. Thank you. :-)

    1. Thanks for being gracious, DJan!
      It took me a couple of weeks or so to get around to tackling this.. but I feel the same, I was very honored. At the same time, I didn't want to be an inconvenience to anyone by pressuring them to participate.
      I decided either way, I'm happy to share sources of inspiration. No pressure at all beyond that.
      You truly are an inspiration!

  6. Congratulations on your Inspiring Blog Award, Amanda.

    I agree with you on the love of life long learning! I love to read and soak up knowledge.

    I enjoyed #4. I have no problems working with my hands outside, but Wal-Mart in the winter is just about as much as I can handle. When we come home from the Big City ALL clothes and coats get washed!

    #5 made me laugh! I usually wear earrings b/c I don't want my holes to close and never paint my toe nails. After seeing all the dirt under my finger nails I purchased some polish. But, have not made the time to apply it yet.

    Your photography is beautiful. Happy Easter!


    1. Robyn, I didn't know if I should admit it, but after I shop the big stores, I even clean my steering wheel. ;)
      Much thanks for stopping by!

  7. Congratulations on your award. I enjoyed learning more about you.

  8. I very much enjoyed reading about you! It was fascinating! Love that you won the award! Your photography is delightful!

  9. Awww, thanks so much for the award, Amanda. So very sweet of you! I'm running out of Internet data for this month and am using what I have sparingly, so I may have to wait on the 7 things post until April. But it is very appreciated.

    Happy Easter to you and your lovely family. xo

  10. Lovely blog. Will look forward to more of your photos. Visiting via 5 Random Facts.

  11. Hi Amanda, I enjoyed reading you 7 facts! I smiled at #4, washing my hands is also miine first thing to do when I come home after doing groceries / shopping :)
    That you heart quiet, undeveloped places is for me a part of making Wildly Simple an oase of peace and serenity ... My eyes are resting on the beautiful images you capture of the World around you!

  12. Dear Amanda,

    I am glad you were given this award because you are fascinating. Do you dislike earrings? I need to paint my toes. I have three polishes I am deciding between and they have been sitting on my dresser for approximately 17zillion days...or since December. Either/ Or.

    How interesting about your home building. And you used the word conundrum. You made my day.

    Happy Easter.

    Love, Becky

  13. Congratulatons! And you've picked two of my favorite bloggers for pretty much the same reasons I like them.... spunky come to mind also. :)

  14. Hey Amanda! You recently followed my blog and left some sweet comments and I would have replied but you were a no-reply.. Anyway, if I knew you had a blog before today I would have stopped by much sooner! I am already loving my time looking around. I clicked on your link to kayaking trout lake and oh my, you're photos are gorgeous!! I can't wait to see your future posts...

  15. Such a lovely post, and it was great to get to know you a bit better! You were chosen to be the featured blog this week at inspired tuesday. Hope you have a lovely week