Monday, September 10, 2007

Saying Thank You and Stuff

If Geoff comes home to show me (again) how to make award badges, then I can post the one bestowed on Chickenblog by Tami of Lemon Tree Tales. She declares me worthy of a Nice Matters Award and she said very nice things about me and Chickenblog. This is what a "nice Matters Award is about:

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Tami put me in very good company, as she also nominated Pink Purl and Calamity Kim, two very nice women, I am proud to call friends.

Tami, thank you for saying I am Nice and because I think you are nice, I should just turn around and second your nomination for Nice Matters. Can I do that? Why not.

I would also have to second the nomination of Tracy at Pink Purl. She is the essence of good cheer and encouragement. It's a nice treat finding a comment from her, because she has so much kindness to share. Have you ever visited her Etsy shop? I loved her handbags, from a distance, and when they went on sale this summer I was unable to resist making an order. Now I have a charming strawberry book tote and a pink one that's going to surprise a friend! Her work, the details and quality are even more impressive in person, and I have to thank her for making the package extra special with some unexpected extras... very nice I tell ya!

My sidebar is full of people who are nice and who matter, and who know that nice matters, but usually these awards are limited to 5 nominations... not easy. I would like to make special mention of the woman who taught me how to make an apron. Louise of "Lululollylegs" made a very nice and complete tutorial of apron making. You may recall that I made my very first apron with her help, and then the apron made it to a fundraising auction... double niceness!

More inspirational niceness came from "Happy Things," where, again, I have been inspired to venture out into new creative avenues. She made a scrap quilt that I found irresistable. Initially I thought I would make it very scrappy, because I love the bold randomness of hers, but apparently I am a little bit conservative or anally retentive about colors and patterns (Is anally retentive hyphenated?) "Happy Things" is a nice blog, where I can find happy reflections on everyday moments.

Somedays, seeing all the talented people who are making, writing, creating and sharing, I am stunned. Seriously, there are some super gifted people and some of them are doing all of this extra work + blogging + keeping a beautiful home beautiful + looking beautiful themselves + raising 5 children (Who are very likely beautifu!l) And they do this while being Nice. They know that Nice Matters. It's true, just check-out Anna Maria's blog. She is nice. She shares tips and tutorials, and she shares happy moments, as well as sad, and she even makes time to respond to comments, which considering the number of visitors coming by her place is quite remarkable.

Is that 4 or 5?

Well, one more, for someone who is nice and has been especially nice to me for quite some time. Working and studying, reading a lot and singing the praises of fellow bloggers, Tarie is in the Philippines and you can find her when you go "Into The Wardrobe." I count myself as extra fortunate to know her, because she has been crossing the road to the Chickenblog for a long time, and when I wasn't sure anyone was paying attention, Tarie was saying all kinds of nice things to me.

Now For The Stuff

1. We are not moving to Wisconsin. Not soon anyway. A few people have been under the impression that my enthusiasm and love for the state of Wisconsin is a sign that we have at long last settled on a place to call home. Sigh. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I was just being exuberant.

As for where we will live, we are as confused as ever.

2. School has begun and Alex and Max are a bit too despondent. A little whining, some reluctance, feet dragging, periodic groaning: All expected and accepted. But these guys have been down, moody, sad, indifferent, morose, angry, cranky and firm in their conviction that school is loathsome and miserable. My kind and tender response? As long as you're going to be miserable, let's send you to free school. This approach has had very little effect. I may have to consult the Big Book of Parenting Charms and Solutions... where did I leave it...?

3. William is beginning a new independent study program in the city where we live, and it looks dry and uninspired manageable and like a path to better opportunities. William reads so much and is in constant dialogue with Geoff about his graphic and computer interests, that I think he is going to thrive in spite of busy work and details.

4. I am not sure there is a 4th Stuff, except all the stuff that I have been trying to get done, like cleaning the house and unpacking. If you ever feel like I have neglected you or I have made some terrible oversight, like failing to acknowledge a gesture of kindness or to remember your cat's birthday, you are in good company. I am foremost on my list of neglected people and the list grows from there. But I keep trying, and trying. Some day the house won't shame me, and I will have you over for a simple yet fabulous dinner. We will talk about timely and intelligent topics. I will know where all the immunization cards are at once, and we will have 6 passports in a safety deposit box, ready for world travel, just in case. My hair will be clean, dry and brushed. I will have chickens pecking around my garden, and canned tomatoes in my pantry. People at church, some church, somewhere, will know me, and I will sew presents for Christmas.

Maybe I need to be a bit like flowers growing in an alley. Just a little space, a little hope. Even among bad smells and unsightly things, something good can grow. Keep trying. Keep trying.


tea time and roses said...

Hi Natalie...

A big congratulations on your "Nice Matters Award", and you know...nice does matter. I love your bag from Pink Purl, Tracy is the greatest! Not only is she sweet, she is very talented too... Natalie you and your family enjoy a wonderful week..


Beverly :o)

Anna Banana said...

The Style Guide where I work advises you NOT to hyphenate "anally retentive" if you say, "The principal at our school is anally retentive." BUT you should hyphenate it if you say, "The principal at our school is an anally-retentive son-of-a-gun." PS I wrote the Style Guide based on the style of medical textbooks and journals. Naah, I made it just like the last place I worked so I won't forget when to hyphenate. You are VERY nice, why do you hang around with me???

Tracy said...

*Blushing* So glad you're so happy with your strawberry totebag, dear Natalie! Your kindness and gratitude here warms my heart more than I can say--thank you, my friend! This is such a SUPER NICE post. Great to hear all that's happening. Back-to-school is always tough...hopefully by Christmas the boys will be sulking less ;o) And yes, you mustn't forget yourself in all this. I love your analogy with alley way flowers. Think sunflower, think butterfly even...think love... :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Don't you hate when you're feeling a little down in the dumps after returning home from vacation? I think that's normal, especially when you've just had the most amazing time. Cheer up soon because those sunflowers are some gorgeous beauties. And I betcha that Alex and Max will come home from school soon bursting with excitement from something -- maybe a new friend, a new project, or maybe just because the school burned down and has to close for a week or two? :-) Just kidding, but hopefully they'll get used to the back to school routine quickly and this will all be a vague memory.

Thanks for the kind words, as always it's such a treat to come over here and visit.

Amy said...

Oh look at you! Those color coordinated x blocks are wonderful!

Tarie said...

Natalie!!! Thank you so much for the Nice Matters Award. You have put a GRIN on my face. :D *hug*