Thursday, January 09, 2014

For Mrs. Smith ... Liebster Award Fun

Postcard from my collection
My good friend Mrs. Smith, over at Sweet Tea and Simplicity, nominated me for the Liebster Award back in December.  Nominees are supposed to share eleven interesting facts about themselves, answer eleven questions posed by the blogger who nominated them, and then nominate eleven bloggers of their choice.  Mrs, Smith offered to absolve me from the requirements, knowing how busy I was right then.  I'm opting out of the eleven nominations part; I just don't have time to think about that right now.  But I thought I might be able to manage the other two parts, and chose to post this here on my Christmas blog, since some of the questions have a Christmasy flavor to them.  So here goes:

Eleven interesting facts about me:
I find it hard to think of even one!  But I'll try.
1.  I was born with a very unusual birthmark -- a dimple, right in the middle of my collarbone area.  I've never seen anyone else with a mark like this.  I always found it so amusing that in my baby book, my mother had drawn this little ink circle  on the sketch where one marks anything unusual about the baby.
2.  I learned to use scissors at a very young age, but for some mysterious reason (call it a lack of coordination -- I do!), I couldn't use them in the normal way with finger and thumb in the handles.  Somehow I controlled the blades by holding the handles in my hands and working the blades that way.  I'm not sure, but I seem to remember quite a battle teaching me to use them in the correct way before starting school.  Previous to that, my unique method of using scissors had been a parlor trick of sorts.  Suddenly it was something to be overcome. 
3.  I taught myself to read at the age of four by way of the comics in the newspaper.  Having learned my ABCs previously, I would spell out words and ask adults what they were, then apparently filed the information away for next time.  Not learning to read phonetically meant I got quite a few pronunciations wrong, but in time that got corrected.  Since I could read well by the time I started school at six, my teacher let me skip reading group and sent me to the library.
4.  When I was a young child, we didn't have television so we listened to the radio a lot.  I used to lie on the floor listening to a large radio we had (which was also on the floor).  I could see a little light inside the radio and firmly believed that there were little people inside, recording a broadcast in a little lighted studio.
5. As a youngster of 8 or 9, one of my favorite places to play was my grandmother's barn.  I would go in on a summer day when all of the cows were outside and play "hotel".  I pretended that the stalls were rooms and I would sweep each on out and add a bouquet of flowers to each water receptacle.  Not sure what the cows thought about that later...
6.  As a young teen, I had a little home bakery business in the summers.  It was my mother's idea, but it was a good one and I sold lots of pies, cakes, coffeecakes, brownies and so on to the "summer people" who had seasonal homes on nearby lakes.
7.  One job I had in my twenties was as a part-time cook at a country inn.  We weren't allowed to copy the recipes, but I memorized them and wrote them down when I got home.  They were some of my best recipes for years!
8.  One of my favorite things to do as a young girl was to make paper dolls.  I had a Betsy McCall fashion designer set with a light box and oodles of options for all kinds of outfits.  I would trace and color them and make wonderful clothes for the dolls.  I also liked regular paper dolls and would make outfits for them by tracing onto magazine pages to get the various colors.  I could do this sort of thing by the hour.
9.  I love nearly any kind of needlework now, but unlike what you might assume, I didn't learn it at my mother's knee.  I was in my twenties when I first tackled needlepoint, embroidery, and crocheting.  In fact, it was my hubby who taught me to crochet.
10.  I have written a novel for teens and a whole bunch of children's devotional books.
11.  I have a mole on my right wrist and for many years (and still, occasionally) I had to glance at my wrist to differentiate between right and left.

And now to answer the eleven questions posed by Mrs. Smith:

1.  Do you live where it is common to have winter snow and do you like snow?  Oh, yes, we do live where it is common to have snow in winter.  We usually get several feet of snow or more between the months of November and March.  Sometimes we may see snow in October, and it may last until April.  I like snow in many ways, especially while it is falling and looks so beautiful.  I like how the fresh snowfall blankets the landscape, so symbolic of how God's cleansing power washes us as white as snow.  I also like snow for its insulating qualities, keeping houses somewhat warmer and muffling sound outdoors.  But I don't like snow when it gets all dirty and ugly, and I hate driving in snow or on snow-covered roads.
2.  Do you decorate your Christmas tree with a theme, or do you decorate it with an eclectic collection of sentimental decorations?  Eclectic, for sure!  We have everything from childhood ornaments made by the kids to glass and plastic vintage items from the 1940s, to handcrafted ornaments I've made myself or received from friends, to more elegant glass ornaments found at after-Christmas sales.  At this point not all of our items will fit on the tree, so I'm going to be doing some serious winnowing of our ornaments when we take the tree down.  Some years I have put up a small tree in our bedroom which I have called the Victorian tree, and that one does have a Victorian/romantic type theme.
3.  What are some fun things that you plan to do this Christmas Season?  Well, of course we have done them now for this year.  We took 3 of our grandkids on a fun outing to a Christmas shop with an ice cream buffet (after lunch at McDonalds) and also to a dollar store to find gifts for their parents.  We had so much fun!  Another fun thing we did was to go to a Christmas parade in our town, and to a performance of a musical version of A Christmas carol by a Christian high school. 
4.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Probably right here in New England because we just like it here.  We've traveled in the South and West quite a bit, as well as several Canadian provinces, but we really do like it here.  We've talked about moving out west someday, and we also like the idea of living in the Great North Woods area of our own state.  (But the snow stays for way too long up there!) Another thought we've had is to move somewhere in say, the mountains of North Carolina so we can still have seasons, but where the winters aren't quite as severe as here.
5.  What was a favorite childhood toy that you had?  How did you acquire it and do you still have it?   Probably one of my favorites was the Barbie Dream House.  It was one of the early models, assembled from heavy corrugated cardboard.  The furniture was assembled the same way.  It was a very "modern" looking home, but I loved it and added all sorts of other things to it over time.  I got it for Christmas one year.  And I think it's still in the attic somewhere.
6.  Do you like to watch old movies, and if you do, what are some that you especially like? I enjoy watching them at times.  Although these aren't super old, I love the Anne of Green Gables movies -- everything about them, the music, costumes, scenery, the wonderful acting, and just the great story that they tell.
7.  If you could live in any time period, when would that be and why? I would say the 1950s -- well, I did live the first ten years of my life in that era.  I would choose that time because life was simpler in many ways, and I think people in general were a lot happier than they are now.  A lot wiser, too, and more responsible and capable.  And in that era, modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and efficient appliances were the norm, unlike earlier times when everyday life was much harder.
9.  Would you describe your decorating style as being  fun & cutesy, charming & rustic, elegant & ornate, or classic and sophisticated?  It's probably more eclectic, like my Christmas tree!  But if I had to choose one of these descriptions, I would say charming and rustic.
10.  Green acres is the place for me; how about you – if you had your druthers, would you prefer city or rural living?   Rural living, for sure.  Cities are just not my cup of tea.
11.  If you could open up a door and climb inside the world of a fiction book, what book would it be and why?  That is a tough question!  Probably one of the Anne books -- maybe Anne of Windy Poplars or Anne of Ingleside.

So, there you have it, for what  it's worth!  To read Mrs. Smith's original post about this -- which is fun and interesting -- go here:Liebster Award Fun!


  1. Reading your post was so enjoyable! I sure could relate with a lot of your answers!

    Were you able to overcome the scissors thing? :) Cute! My youngest, til this day holds her pencil in a most unusual way...I've tried for years to get her to hold it correctly, but it just doesn't work out. :)

    I never did outgrow paper dolls... ;)

    Living in an Anne book would be perfectly awesome, especially at Green Gables!

    Thank you, Mrs. T! That was a lot of fun!

  2. I loved getting to know you better this way, Mrs. T!!! I'd love to live in those NC mountains you mentioned - closer to my family, for sure. The seasons there are very defined and the winters are definitely milder than in New England.

    I liked your answer to what book you would like to step into, also. I'd love to live in any of the Anne books!

  3. Ladies, thank you for the sweet comments! I wasn't sure anyone would want to wade through this long, wordy, picture-less post. Thanks for taking the time!

    Mrs. Smith -- yes, I did overcome the scissors thing and even became somewhat adept with scissors. And I hear you about the paper dolls ... as you may have noticed, I have a paper doll board on Pinterest. I don't pin a lot because I just can't take the time to go to Pinterest, unfortunately. Just too many other places where I need to put my time and energy!

    Susan -- thanks for the info about the NC mountains. We will probably never move, but we do think and dream about it occasionally.

    Have you been to PEI? We took a camping vacation there yearly for awhile -- think we have been 5 or 6 times and have visited Green Gables every time, as well as many other "Anne" sites. The provincial park campground we stayed at was where "Emily of New Moon" was filmed. It's a beautiful spot and the pace of life much slower than it is here.


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