Real Neat Blog Award


Many thanks to Kristin, for nominating The Swirling Dervish for this award.  She has a pretty neat blog herself, Maisie the Newfie and Company, in which she shares her daily adventures with Maisie and Annie, her two Newfoundland dogs.  Each post is humorous and heart-warming, especially if you’re a dog lover, but even if you’re not.  Kristin’s blog is special to me because my first dog, Brutus (photos below) was a Newfie.  Reading her posts is like traveling back in time to my years with him.


Here are the rules for the Real Neat Blog Award:

  1. Post the Award logo on your blog.
  2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  3. Thank the people who nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like and link to their blog.
  5. Let them know you nominated them by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the questions, with my resposnes:

  1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?
    Most are from the United States, Canada, the UK, and Belgium, but there are visitors from such far-flung places as Brazil and India.
  2. What is your favourite sport or exercise?
    Until a few years ago I was an avid cyclist, but losing sight in one eye has made that more challenging.  Nowadays, I take a lot of pleasure in walking the beach, wondering how Nature will surprise me today.  As a spectator, I love events like the Tour de France, as well as most other sports.  I really love hockey!
  3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2016?
    A few weeks ago, I received phone calls from two of my best friends in the same day.  I don’t see either of them often because we live far apart, but hearing from both of them in one day was a fantastic surprise.  A great gift, actually.
  4. What is your favourite quote?
    It might sound silly but, about 20 years ago I opened a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant, and the message really resonated with me:  “To affect the quality of the day is no small success.”  I loved that.  And Wayne Gretzky, the Great One, famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  True enough.
  5. What was your favourite class when still at school?
    I was always in love with French, and enjoy learning languages to this day.
  6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?
  7. What musical instrument have you tried to play?
    As a kid, I took flute lessons and played in the school band.  When my sister wasn’t around, I’d steal her clarinet and try to learn that, too!

I, in turn, would like to nominate the following bloggers for the Real Neat Blog Award:

Libby from (My) Rabbit Trails.  She writes about “life, family, fitness, and random thoughts in between,” and her posts will strike a note with anyone who is figuring out life while moving at 100 miles per hour.  A recent post of hers, though, really got to me:  it was about something Libby calls a Verbal High Five.  Read it for yourself and let’s start a trend!

Gabriela Lupu from Cooking Without Limits.  This blog is about much more than cooking – she is a professional photographer who seems to have a philosopher’s soul.  In a recent guest post called Oranges and Christmas on Mirror and Soul, Gabi told the story of a girlhood Christmas in Romania.  You will never look at oranges the same way again.

John and Irene Ingersoll keep wine aficionados up to speed on all that’s happening in Napa and Sonoma wine country.  They’ve done what we all wish we could – pack up everything and move to California to enjoy everything it has to offer.  Check out their blog Topochines Vino if you’re in need of a vicarious trip!

If you love Italy and would like to imagine yourself there, you’ll enjoy Ishita’s blog Italophilia.  Beautiful photos, stories, and inspirations will get you planning your next trip.  Or at least getting into the kitchen to whip up a tasty Italian dish.

If for whatever reason you would prefer not to accept the nomination for Real Neat Blog Award, no worries.  I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your work, and I think other folks would too.  I look forward to reading your next posts!






  1. Lauren, congratulations on this well deserved award. Thank you for your kind words and sharing photos of Brutus, he was a beauty. Dogs have this amazing ability to stay in our hearts forever! I look forward to checking out your nominees, it’s such a fun way to discover new blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

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