Gifts, Gratitude and Grubby Fingers

It's Thanksgiving Weekend, here in the Great White North.  And thank God, it isn't particularly white around here, yet.  We're having a gorgeous fall day, perfect for a light sweater, a little yard work.  And sitting around watching autumn put on her final blazing show before things start to freeze in earnest and winter enters stage right.

My kids have been out in the yard playing with cornstalks and big plastic tubs for hours.  My husband has been clearing space in the garage for our summer toys.  I've been digging in the dirt.  We stood in the sunshine for a few minutes to talk about winter composting plans, spring planting plans, and neither of those things seemed far away or terrible.

I've got fresh tomatoes roasting in olive oil so that I can skin them and freeze them for sauce.  I've got a box of green tomatoes set to ripen under the stairs.  All of these things smell so good.  I want fresh bread with slices of tomato and fresh basil leaves with just a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Oh, GAWD! I want to eat EVERYTHING, right NOW!

(Ahem.)

Two lovely bloggers have sent me awards over the last week or so.  Kathryn of kiwisparks (and writing so lush you can taste it) sent me a mini-mission wherein I am to share 7 of my more obscure posts with you all and charge 7 others with the same task.  Lush does not begin to adequately describe her work in language and in art.  Get yourself something warm to drink and commit some time to reading through her blog.  It is lovely.

And Neeks of The Short and the Long of It sent me The Versatile Blogger Award - an award that I actually gave to her a few weeks ago and of which I totally forgot to notify her because I'm just that awesome.  (I'm so sorry, sweet lady!)  Her pieces of short fiction are captivating, touching, often humourous, always skilled and each based only on three words submitted to her by friends and readers.  Yes, people, she is that good.  Go read her stuff.  If only so that when she is picked up by a major publishing house, you can say you knew her when.  I'm not joking.

So, because I failed so heartily in the Versatile Blogger tasks, I will limit today's fumblings to Kathryn's mini-mission.  Here are seven bloggers you should discover, if you haven't already done:

  • Pandora 89 for photos, inspiration and pretty vignettes that make me smile.
  • KarenLynn who writes at BlogHer with wisdom, grace and joy.
  • AlienBody at This n That n This (another great writer to whom I awarded The Versatile Blogger without letting her know - I suck!).
  • Mrs. Pavlov of Botut, who gives snapshots of life with kids and pets and words that make you smile and nod.
  • Robyn of The Edmonton Tourist, who is funny and smart and all kinds of awesome.
  • Kay from Pure Complex.  Her blog is candy for the eyes.
  • Edwin from Awkward List.  You will laugh until you pee.  And then you will still be laughing so hard you won't care that you peed.

Pay it forward, people!  If you see your link here, please share the love with seven of your best reads.  How else can we find each other in the great wide web?  Please write a post both sharing the goodness and linking to seven of your own posts, per the descriptions below:

  1. Most beautiful post: Five (I cringe a bit at the writing, but it makes me cry.  Every time.)
  2. Most popular post: That Parent
  3. Most controversial post: Bad Parenting  By email flaming alone, this one incited more fury than anything I had ever written.  Wowzers.
  4. Most helpful or "How To" post: Bokashi on the Cheap  The only way to compost through the winter in frozen places!
  5. Most surprisingly popular post: When Your Mommy Runs a Dayhome  I wrote this in ten minutes while my daughter was recovering from a Class-Five tantrum.  It remains my second most popular post of all time.  Wow!
  6. The post that didn't get the attention it merited.  And So On  I'm not sure if this post deserved more merit, but I would like to share it with you anyway.  When I reread it, it reminds me of everything that is good.
  7. The Magnum Opus or Best Post Ever:  Like Kathryn, I don't have one of those, yet.  I've written some pieces that I really liked, that seemed to write themselves and left me feeling that warm this-is-good kinda feeling.  But not my best stuff.  Not yet.  Maybe tomorrow ;)

I've got dirt under my fingernails from transplanting herbs back into stoneware pots and poking basil seeds into our little window box.  My kids have been in the sunshine all afternoon and are gloriously messy and reeking of fresh soil.  The two of them are sitting on the mat now, shaking mud onto the floor.  Pulling off their shoes and crumpling their sweaters.  We'll have hot chocolate soon.  And cuddles on the couch with blankets.  And maybe a backyard campfire later, since the stars come out so early now...

I have so much to be thankful for.  Thank you!

www.thevalentine4.com

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