Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award

Almost two weeks ago, Laloofah, who writes one of the blogs I visit on almost a daily basis, Mehitable Days, wrote a blog and described how she was given a One Lovely Blog Award.  I read the blog entry, and had actually been back to that blog entry many times so I could visit each blog she listed.  After visiting that entry at least a half dozen times, I discovered that she had mentioned my blog.  I have to say, I was shocked and 100% delighted.  I still find it hard to believe that people read my blog and actually return to read it again, so this was just very unexpected and still puts a very goofy smile on my face.  Thank you so much, Laloofa.  :::big goofy grin:::

There are responsibilities that I inherited with this award, which are to profusely thank the giver of the award and link back to the award giving blog (Mehitable Days, Mehitable Days, Mehitable Days).  Did I say that I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Laloofa at Mehitable Days?!?!?!  :::chuckle:::

OK, what I didn't tell you is what I love about her blog.  I don't remember how I found it.  I think it was from someone else's blog that linked to her blog.  Once there, I was hooked.  Laloofah gives some food reviews and provides recipes, which I love.  But what I love more is her love for life, including the animal life around her.  This one blog entry, Josie's Tale & Townie Deer was the first entry I read and it was a big one for me.  It's Josie's story, including a picture of her leg, permanently damaged from being shot, and another one of the gash above her eye from a dog fight.  Laloofah's and her hubby's enormous hearts touched me and still do.  I have rescue dogs as well, and it's something I'm as passionate about as I am about my sons.  After reading that story, I read many other stories and watched videos of the dogs with the deer, and have loved all of Willow's expressions.  So, if you have never visited Mehitable Days or just haven't visited it in a while, I strongly encourage you to go visit it because it is definitely One Lovely Blog and more.

One of my responsibilities is to tell you seven things about myself. This would mean seven interesting things about me, not just that I'm female, right?!?!  Hmmm ... OK, I'll take a stab at it, but I'm not saying these things will be interesting.  :::smile:::

The NCAA tournament has a special meaning for me every year.  It's not because I absolutely love college basketball and can't live without it.  In fact, I watch very little college basketball until the NCAA tournament.  Nope, it's because 20 years ago, my youngest son was born on the first day of the NCAA tournament in 1991.  I was in labor all day long, and from 11 AM on, my (then) husband (I'm single now) turned on the NCAA tournament and I watched it all afternoon until Derek was born at 5 PM.  After he was born, I started watching it again and actually, it was on until 11 PM that night when I finally went to sleep.  So, the first day of the NCAA tournament reminds me of one of the most joyous days of my life. :)

I make stained glass items. The above stained glass window panel is the second thing I made.  It's about 2½ to 3 feet tall by 1½ to 2 feet wide.  It's been hanging in my front window for a LONG time.  I've made marblescopes (like kaleidoscopes), MANY sun catchers, including Barney (the purple dinosaur).  Making stained glass items is surprisingly easy to do.  I make baby afghans for the pregnant women at work.  I've even given the girl at the local pizza joint one the first time she was pregnant. I like to crochet, and like my stained glass career, I like to give my handiwork away.  I like how it makes me feel to give to others.  Plus, I figure that between the stained glass and the crocheting, I may have a back-up plan if I ever need one.  HA!  I don't think either one would support me.

I cook food for my dogs all of the time.  This week, I made them brown rice with carrots, sweet potatoes, and some buffalo meat I had in my freezer from my omnivore days (nearly a year ago now).  I throw the ingredients in my rice cooker, press cook, and VOILA!  I have an entire rice cooker full of dog food.  A lot of times, I don't put any meat in it, but put garbanzo beans in it.  The dogs LOVE garbanzo beans in food and as a snack tossed to them.  Actually, they love the food I make more than they like commercial dog food.  They hate the vegetarian dog food I've bought, so if they eat vegetarian, it is because I've made it.  My homemade food is the only food that I know they will not pass up.  Most people I know have never made dog food for their dogs and quite frankly, have never even considered it (and I'm betting they would think I am nuts :). 

I kidnapped my son.  My oldest son, David, was afraid to learn to ride his bike.  David would use a scooter (looked like a skateboard with a tall handle), but that was woefully inadequate to use to go "riding" with his friends.  When David was 12, his father and I conspired to "kidnap" him and take him and his bike to the parking lot of his father's job on Saturday.  His dad took him presumably to go get fast food for lunch.  After they left, I threw David's bike in my trunk and went to the parking lot.  His father brought him a few minutes later.  When David saw the bike in my trunk, he said, "OH NO!!!" and started backing away.  We told him he wasn't leaving until he knew how to ride it.  David got on the bike and with the first push, he was a pro.  He just needed a place away from all of his friends to find out that he already knew how to balance (I'm guessing because of riding his scooter).

I am totally afraid of roller coasters and refuse to ride them.  The only roller coaster I can remember riding was a kiddie roller coaster with my sons at a traveling carnival in the strip mall parking lot up the street.  I did it for my sons, but I hated riding it.  UGH!  NO ROLLER COASTERS!
I was in the 1972 flood in Rapid City.  The picture above is of me and my dad's mother on our way out to Rapid City.  We were on vacation, camping in a trailer (we pulled behind our car), and the flood took out the bridge and we were stranded for a few days.  We had to evacuate our trailer in the middle of the night and go to higher ground.  We stayed in a church basement with a lot of other people.  It was a scary night.  The National Guard flew in supplies and vaccinated us against typhoid.  Of all of the places to go to for vacation, we were at the one where a natural disaster occurred.

I report people for animal abuse.  I'm sure a lot of people do this, but I'm equally sure that a lot of people do not do this.  I think people see animals being abused and hate it, but don't take the next step.  There is a house I drive by on my way to work and on my way home from work every day.  I can see the back of this house and its backyard.  These people have 4 dogs and a huge fenced yard.  Yet, they chain the dogs just far enough apart so they most the dogs can do is pass each other when they walk around in a circle.  There are 4 distinct circles worn into the yard.  There is no shelter for the dogs outside of a couple of plastic dog carriers thrown into the yard.  Those provide absolutely no protection when it's below 0º or in a blizzard or when it's 95º in the scorching sun.  There are no trees for shade in the yard.  Sometimes, I see a blue, hard plastic kiddie pool in between two of the dogs (which provides a solid block of ice in the winter), but I don't see what's provided (for water) for the other two dogs.  I never see food bowls, although I do think they feed the dogs.  I've reported this home 3 times now.  Always after I report them, the dogs aren't "chained" up, but can run free in the yard and they let the dogs out.  So far, after the third time I've reported them (for leaving the chained dogs out in the worst snow storm and blizzard Chicago has had in decades with no shelter), they have been treating the dogs better.  I absolutely HATE driving past that house because I know these people will eventually return to chaining the dogs up for countless days, but I am compelled to watch over the dogs.  I never used to take the "next step" and actually report people, but I'm tired of people abusing animals.  It makes me sad and tired.

OK, ENOUGH about me.  That was incredibly hard.  Here are 15 blogs to whom I'm giving the One Lovely Blog Award.  These blogs have provided me with many hours of enjoyable reading, tips, and cooking ideas.  These are in absolutely no particular order.

This blogger hasn't had a new entry in nearly a year, BUT, I have made a couple of fantastic dishes from this blog.  While there are no new posts to read, I still haven't gone through all of the older posts, and I still have more recipes to try.  I got the recipe for Vegan Filet Mignon (excellent) and for Seitan Turkey with Stuffing (the meal that prompted my sister-in-law to tell me I should be a vegan chef) from this blog.  

This is NOT a vegan blog.  This IS one of the loveliest blogs I look at.  This blog gives me all of the down home goodness of baking and cooking of days gone by.  I have adapted some of the recipes listed by Sue and Myrna by using vegan ingredients instead of the non-vegan ingredients listed.  I can spend hours looking through the stories, tips, and recipes listed on this blog.  Just know if you go there that it is not a vegan blog, but it is a very lovely blog.

Thank you, again, Laloofah for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award.  It's been a challenging, but fun, task of sharing things about myself and choosing 15 blogs that I discovered and recommend.  At the top of my list is your blog.  I'm sure anyone who reads it will enjoy it as much as I do.


  1. Hi, Lori! Wow, what fun to see this post on my google reader! I've been away from the blogosphere for a few days except for sneaking in a reply or two to comments on my blog while I have my morning Teeccino (I am so behind!). Between trying to keep up with my spring cleaning, get a ton of stuff ready for a yard sale, and deal with this tenacious flu bug, I've had no chance to do any blogging or visit my favorite blogs. But I was taking a wee break just now when I saw your post title and decided this one couldn't wait. :-)

    First of all, thank you so much for all your kind words about my blog (and BW and me!) You are so generous, and I deeply appreciate it! And I'm so gratified that you enjoy my blog so much. It may be another week or so before I'll have a chance to do a new post, but I promise to return as soon as possible to my blogging "duties." ;-) I miss it! And I'm really happy that you're so tickled with the award (I still just love how you discovered you were one of my recipients! LOL!)

    You did a great job on your seven facts! So tell me, does Derek play college basketball?! It would seem destined! :-)

    Your stained glass is amazing!! I took a stained glass class in my early twenties and I didn't find it easy at ALL! It gave me a real appreciation for people who are good at that craft, and you clearly have an awesome talent. I can't believe that gorgeous stained glass window panel was only your second project! Phenomenal!

    I think it's great you cook food for your dogs (ours are wild about chickpeas too!) My girls love their vegan dogfoods (V-Dog and Natural Balance), but I like to cook up a big vat of veggies to add to it and they really love that.

    It's great how your technique worked to get David to effortlessly learn to ride his bike. Be careful he doesn't use that same trick to help you overcome your fear of roller coasters! LOL

    That Rapid City flood ordeal sounded frightening, I'm glad you and your family made it through unscathed!

    Kudos to you for reporting animal abusers! That situation with the four chained dogs makes me ill. How can people behave like that, and why oh WHY do they have dogs in the first place when obviously they don't care about them?! I'm glad your reports get a response from the authorities (who by now should have taken the dogs away, IMO, and forbidden those people from ever getting any more), and that the dogs at least get a temporary reprieve as a result, but can understand your dread at seeing them chained up again without water or shelter. I've always thought empathy training would be a good idea for people like that - make them experience the same miserable conditions they force their dogs to endure until they see the light. I'm so grateful that those dogs have you as their angel of mercy, and hope the day comes that they no longer require your compassionate services, either because their people finally found their own source of compassion or the dogs found new and loving homes!

    I look forward to exploring some of the blogs on your list when I have time again (and loved seeing Cadry's blog up there!) :-)

    Thank you for a wonderful and interesting post, for a fun glimpse into your life, and for making my day much cheerier! It was a great way to spend my break! :-)

  2. What an unexpected treat to find myself on your One Lovely Blog Award list! Thank you! Several of the blogs you chose are new to me. I look forward to visiting them. I also enjoy Mehitable Days. It's one that I read regularly.

    I think it's great that you report animal abusers. The animals can't speak up for themselves, and so without your help, they would continue to suffer.

  3. Laloofah, you are welcome. I hold both you and your hubby in high regard. :) I hope you have left the flu bug behind and are back to full health. The flu is the worst!

    No, Derek did not go onto play basketball in college. :::smile::: He doesn't even play on the church team (my older son does). He focused more on baseball in high school, but has declined to try out for the college teams.

    Thank you for the names of the vegan dog food you get. I'll have to try those brands. I've bought a few different kinds and the dogs have not taken to them. I'll try adding veggies to them as well. They do enjoy the veggies I cook.

    You are right about watching for my sons to trick me into roller coasters. LOL BUT, in my defense, David did beautifully on his bike and was a natural on it thereafter. :)

    People who abuse their pets and animals in general sicken me. These people cannot be happy with their own lives because they feel the need to exert superiority over helpless animals. :::sigh::: In the case of the dogs I watch over, I wonder if the family didn't think what they were doing was a form of abuse. I have thought if these people were chained to one spot where they could pass by other people, but not really interact with them and were without shelter, that they would have a totally new perspective. After reporting them 3 times, I can only come to the conclusion that they really don't care since they have returned to the same behavior at least twice. bah!

    The one thing I've enjoyed about the One Lovely Blog award is finding new blogs to read. It's been fun. Thank YOU, Laloofah!

    Cadry, you are welcome! Your blog is one of the blogs I read regularly. Your story about Tiny and Mario were very touching. I loved the pictures of both of them. Of course, I love reading the recipes in your blog and what you think of recipes you have tried.

    You are right about the dogs, and I'm sure it does help them live more comfortably, even if for a short time each time I report the owners. Hopefully, they will permanently change how they treat their dogs.