I am very honored, and thank her very much.
There have long been a variety of blogger "awards" making the rounds, and I received my first in 2009, and 2nd in 2010, and it is always cool to get one, and to find others to pass them on to.
This award is bestowed upon those bloggers the giver believes inspire through their writing.
All of the various social media awards making the rounds have rules, and some have variations for the same award. I'm sticking with the version of the rules for this award that Amanda chose.
1. Pay it forward. Award the Very Inspiring Blogger award to 4-7 fellow bloggers along with a specific reason why you are inspired by their blog.
2. Promote. Thank the blogger who gave you this award and the bloggers who inspire you by linking back to their sites. Bonus if you include specific URLs of special blog posts that inspired you.
3. Add it. Add the Very Inspiring Blogger award badge to your site.
4. Talk about yourself. Last but not least, list a few things about yourself that others may find interesting or surprising. Make sure the number of things about you equals the number of nominees (step 1).
So, let's get this show on the road!
Since I have chosen 4 nominees, here are 4 things about me:
1. I have been a creative sort since elementary school, and while I wrote my first short story then, I was creative in many other ways: I loved doing book reports, I did a cool science project involving rocks that won a ribbon, I began to play the violin in 4th grade, and I performed MLK's I Have a Dream speech on stage during Black History Month.
2. I began the habit of reading a book while walking down the street to where ever I was going, when I was 10 years old.
3. I have spoken/perfomed in public, in my adult life, many times, and hope to do so again: I have had 2 speaking engagements, giving presentations on bike commuting at REI in Huntington Beach, and before the Riverside Bicycling club, in Riverside Ca., and have performed at Open Mics in LA and Orange counties, in Ca.
4. I have solved the mystery of the final fate of the sister of my maternal grandmother, "Aunt Goldie", who had disappeared out of the lives of the family sometime in the 1950's. I discovered where she lived, when she died, and where she is buried, in an unmarked grave in a catholic cemetery. Someday I'd like to give her a marker.
MY 4 NOMINEES:
1. Sue writes A Kitchen in Brabant, a wonderful blog about life in the Netherlands, and her thoughts on everything from bicycling to politics, family to world events, and so much more.
She has long been an inspirational voice in the blogosphere, and was one of my first friends, and fans, if not THE FIRST…I don’t remember after all this time.
We first connected about 2 months after I began blogging, in the summer of 2002.
Every time I have stopped by, over the years, I have found the visit well worthwhile, and am honored to still be on her blog roll, and to have her on one of mine.
After Casa Kitchen burned down on December 28th, of 2011, life became rather difficult for her and her family, but what blog posts I could read (Many have been password protected for quite some time), have shown me how she has continued to cope, and has the strength and courage to continue sharing her story on her blog.
THAT is very inspirational in my book.
2. Hanan Levin is a man I first encountered in 2003, when I became aware of his unusual website, called Grow-A-Brain, and he listed my first blog, and The Cycling Dude, in a collection of Orange County links.
The man was like a sponge, gathering up, and soaking up, articles, and links, related to just about everything imaginable.
The original version of the site is no more, but the one that still exists is in blog form, where he eventually listed all the old links, and just kept on going from there.
What makes my old friend very inspirational is what he did after closing that site in 2010. The last post on the above site gave a teaser of what was to come.
He began a new, personal site, Grow-a-baby, dedicated to Adora his, then, newborn.
It is the "temporary holding place for the original art that 1,000 extraordinary artists are creating based of my cutie face".
It is an awesome, and awe-inspiring undertaking, with beautiful, thought provoking images everywhere you look (520 so far!), and includes adorable photos of young "NyuNyu" as well.
Grow -a-Brain! (2003 to 2010) = http://growabrain.typepad.com/
Adorable (aka Grow-a-Baby!) = http://growabrain.tumblr.com/
3. Steve Dennis is a cyclist and artist, one of a pair that I discovered and blogged about on Cycling Dude, many years ago, and still link to in my cycling resources on this blog.
He calls his website and related, 5 year old blog, Velopaint.
He describes the meaning of the word this way: "Painting that captures the spirit of cycle sport, and the portraits of those who ride."
What makes him very inspirational in my book? His artwork has long been an inspiration, but it is a discovery he has made, and shared, on his blog, last Monday, that inspires me, and should inspire anyone involved in the business side of cycling, or who just loves learning history.
As readers of Cycling Dude remember I was building a list of still active bike shops, pre-1940, in America, and around the world, ones that have websites, and give some indication, in small ways, or large, prideful ways, of their history.
I would write blog posts about each, and the oldest one in America was founded in 1891, and the oldest I had been able to locate elsewhere was founded in 1895.
So what does Steve do? He stumbles across the oldest continuously active bike shop in the world!
A family run shop (5th generation), in Britain, that first opened in 1860.
I can finally add a new shop to my list, and have an excuse to write a new blog post as the Cycling Dude.
Velopaint & its Gallery = http://www.velopaint.com/
Velopaint Blog = http://www.velopaint.blogspot.com/
Pearson - the World's oldest Bike Shop =
4. George "GM" Roper is a longtime friend, first encountered in my blogging in the summer of 2006. He has been a much appreciated supporter and encourager of my efforts as a writer and blogger.
A semi-retired Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, a survivor of lung cancer and a brain tumor and currently fighting non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, he's a self-described "stubborn old goat".
GM's Corner and GM's Place, much varied in their content, were well respected blogs for many years, and will be missed, but what makes him very inspirational, in my book, is that he has decided to re-enter the fray, this year, despite his medical issues, with a new blog called The Constitutionalist's Place.
A favorite quote he shares on his Facebook page, really struck a chord with me:
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain."
The poem that accompanies the photo of me "prancin' in the rain"...
My cats, Nikita and Elvira, bestow the award on their blog = http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2013/01/feline-news-network-special-us-inspiring-awww-shucks.html