Being thankful, the Liebster Award

liebster_awardA couple of weeks ago, my phone buzzed I looked down to see I had a comment posted to my about page and it was from the Undeaddad. He had nominated me for the Liebster award an award given to Bloggers by Bloggers and I am honored. I’ve been at this blogging thing for almost three years and I’ve been mentioned on other blogs a couple of times and given a previous award, but never followed up on it. That’s on my list of to dos or wishes, and I can change them to I wills. More on that later.

I stumbled across the Undeaddad after he had been Freshly Pressed for writing about shoveling snow. It was a great post that encapsulated my feelings about work and pride. He has written several more posts that resonated with me, most recently about ‘date nights’ and children who are picky eaters. If you have time, please give him a whirl.

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers who typically have a small following, usually less than 200 followers to encourage them to continue blogging and writing. Liebster is a German word or term meaning term for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. I am grateful, and as with all things in life there are rules, here they are:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator
  • Pass the award on to 11 new recipients
  • Pose 11 new questions to your bloggers

I have been dragging my feet with my response, largely due to the end of quarter workload, a high level of procrastination, and getting ready for Spring Break. So, here are 11 facts about me and my answers to the 11 questions posed to me:


  1. I am married and have two kids. I have been married for twenty plus years. My kids make me laugh and make me proud and frustrate the heck out of me some days, and some days all at the same time. Welcome to parenthood.
  2. I love to cook (and eat) and lately my cooking has been inspired by wanting to travel.
  3. I dream of retiring and being able to do anything I want. That was my dad’s dream when he retired at 65 and moved home from France. Once he retired, he stopped living, if you know what I mean. He died in 2009, but I think he stopped living at 65. I look at folks who are in their seventies and eighties who are still ‘alive.’ I’d like to travel and explore, maybe even write a book or two.
  4. I have long hair, maybe not so weird but weird for me. For more than thirty years, I have had ‘conservative hair’ more like ‘conformity hair’ and I started to grow it out during my first year of blogging. My hair is longer than it was during my teens in the seventies, when it was cool to have long hair and against our dress code. My dad would flip if he saw my hair today or maybe not.
  5. I want to back to France and explore. Growing up our family travelled. Dad worked in the oil business and we went were he did until my parents split when I was 13. Dad still traveled and I got to tag along on summer vacations and winter breaks until after college. I grew up in Sugar Land, Texas believing it was my ‘legacy’ to travel and moved to California, then back Texas, and then Illinois. I stopped moving when I landed in Illinois and have lived in the same house for over twenty years. I call Texas home, but live in Illinois. There are many places I’d like to see and explore.
  6. I love dogs. Cats make me ill. Seriously, I get asthma attacks when I get around cats. I have visited the American Hospital in Paris on two occasions due to my interactions with a cat.
  7. Life as it happens is the inspiration for many of my posts, sometimes it is a conversation in my classroom that spurs me to think and explore and other times it is what is happening around me that is inspiration. I also draw inspiration from fellow bloggers and books I read or have read.
  8. I love coffee, one summer I read A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage it was a great read.
  9. My biggest pet peeve is people who assume you are holding the door from them and don’t thank you. Arrrggghhh.
  10. I watch television and I am addicted to sports, especially when it’s football season. But, I love racing – IndyCar or NASCAR. I used to love West Wing or Homicide, but they are gone. I don’t watch much television other than sports.
  11. I am incredibly proud of my son who is at that age when he doesn’t get his parents or have much time for them unless of course it is to his advantage. I was there once and survived and my parents did, too. I have taken to apologizing to my mom for my behavior as an adolescent. 

My 11 nominees include:

Ray’s Blog
Adventures of a Dog Mom
My Spiral-bound Notebook
 Wilderness of Words
Live Laugh RV
Julia B. Whitmore’s Blog
The Regular Guy NYC
Coleen Patrick
The Wish Factor
Laughing at Alzheimers
Inspired to Ignite

Undeaddad’s questions for me, and my answers….

  1. Which of your blog posts is your personal favorite? I have many ‘favorites,’ depending on my mood, but if I have to select only one it would be about taking my dad’s cremains to France. It can be found here: Day 19: Father’s Day comes early
  2. Name one other blog post from another writer that really inspired you. I got an e-mail from a parent a couple of years ago that directed me to Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson’s Blog and a post about The Giver
  3. Unicorns or zombies? Unicorns, for no other reason that zombies are scary.
  4. Favorite children’s/YA book? I teach seventh grade so it has to be The Giver by Lois Lowry. We read it in the spring and it is a life changing book for kids who read it. I remember reading and re-reading Winds of War by Herman Wouk and its sequel War and Remembrance, both life changing books for a kid about to go off to college at a military school in 1980.
  5. Why did you start blogging? I had just finished teaching and was on summer vacation, it had been an incredibly stressful year teaching new subject – writing and reading. I knew I could write and read, but I struggled teaching it to seventh graders who moaned I don’t have anything to write about. So, I figured I would start a blog. I chose the theme Making the Days Count because it is my mantra at the end of the year when my students are counting the days until the last one. I try to make them count.
  6. On average, how many times a day do you check your blog and/or its notifications? Do I really have to answer this question, it is embarrassing, too many.
  7. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from blogging so far? Pacing. I tried to write daily my first (summer) year and had no idea what to do at the end of my first summer when school started. I have learned to write when I can and write about things that matter to me.
  8. Do you have kids and, if so, do you hope that they’ll read your blog one day, or stay the hell away? My kids know I blog, but they don’t read it. They occasionally have it read to them, especially when it’s a post about them or loosely about them.
  9. You’re on death row: last meal? I hope this never happens. Steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and crusty French bread with butter, lots of butter.
  10. When does the writing bug tend to strike? I want to write when I can’t write – when I am driving, or teaching, or sitting in a meeting.
  11. Real name or pen name? Real, though I rarely out myself.

My 11 questions for nominees (some stolen or borrowed from my nominators) are:

  1. Why did you begin to blog?
  2. How did you choose your blog’s name?
  3. If you could have a person, dead or alive, write a guest post on your blog, who would it be and why?
  4.  If you could travel back in time, to any time and place in history, where and when you go and why?
  5. What is your favorite meal or food or both?
  6. It has been an incredibly frustrating day and everyone has gone to bed. You are still up, awake. What are you eating or drinking?
  7. What is your favorite vacation spot?
  8. Where do you go to write?
  9. Who is your favorite author and why?
  10. What would you say to your favorite teacher, if you could meet them?
  11. What is your favorite season and why?

I think that is it. I have been thinking about this post for over two weeks and now it is complete. I am on vacation and B, my wife, just threatened to take a picture of me on vacation, blogging. I can hear the Atlantic Ocean lapping along the beach below and I am called to enjoy the sunshine of the middle Keys. I am thankful for the recognition and I am glad that I can write and think about teaching, learning, growing, and blogging.

Today is gonna be a great day, actually it already is a great day. The sun is shining and it is at least 30 degrees warmer than it is at home. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, even when thinking of 11 facts about myself, answering 11 questions, and posing 11 questions for 11 bloggers.

 11 Thanks! And more.  



12 thoughts on “Being thankful, the Liebster Award

  1. I’m flabbergasted, Clay! I somehow missed entirely, the comment you posted on the ‘About Me’ page at my blog nominating me. I only just found out because I’m trying to catch up on my blog reading and came here looking for news of your Florida trip. Bless your heart for thinking of me!

    I so enjoyed reading the facts about you, as well as your answers to the questions posed to you. And for the record, I think your hair looks very nice long. It’s beautiful. My husband would be envious – he has been pretty bald since his late 20s. 😀

    1. I hear you! I am so behind (on things that I want to do). I enjoy reading your adventures and you have great stories to share and tell. Keep it up! Thanks for the compliment on the ‘locks’ they are fun, except on a windy day when a pin would be helpful! Take care and enjoy Spring, it comes only once a year.

  2. Hi Clay,

    Thanks for the mention. It’s appreciated. My reaction to receiving awards like this one is surprise closely followed by angst. I’ve been — as you’ve described yourself in the beginning of this post — remiss in following-up. Answering a list of questions just doesn’t fit my blog, so I hope that it’s not upsetting that I don’t write a post to pass on the award. I always worry about that.

    But I will thank you again for including me. It was nice of you to do. Enjoy the rest of your vacation. It sounds like you’re off to a good start.

    1. Ray – I completely understand. I enjoy reading your work, especially your post about Hiroshima and your children. I read it when you posted it I didn’t have time to comment and told myself I would go back and comment when I had time…. and as it stands I never went back to comment. It was a good post – keep up the good work. I hope you come back for more.. Make YOUR Days Count.

    1. Renee – I was busy this morning and THOUGHT I had replied to your comment. I guess I didn’t…. we start teaching and reading The Giver when we get back from break. Your post on chapter 19 was great…I am gald our paths have crossed as well as the paths of the parent who sent me the e-mail. we still keep in touch. take care.

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