Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement to keep getting better, no matter how young or old you are.

Thanks, Alan Alda, we agree.  And a megamonstrous shout out to Carol Chepper, blogger at Time for my thoughts, for nominating our blog.



WWWW is doing handsprings.



7 Facts about Patty (there’s more on Patty’s page)

1. As a child I had tons of sugar on my grapefruit. Now I never eat grapefruit. But I DO eat sugar.

2. I used to see a bird and say oh that’s just a little brown bird and not wonder.  Now I see a bird and say oh that’s a little bird bird and I wonder.

3. I’ve never gotten over being left behind with little Jimmy and little Linda (there was not yet a little Susie) while my big sisters Ruthie and Barbara and my big (a few months bigger, for heavens sakes Mum and Dad!!) brother Bobby got to go to Lake Winnipesaukee with my mother and father. Mrs. Jones who I remember as being a termagant of the first order took care of us. She put us out in the yard after  breakfast and kept us out there till lunch, made us take naps, even tho’ we were too old for naps I told her, and fed us scrambled eggs All the Time. I hate eggs now. And I never split up my children on vacations. (I may have almost left one at a Howard Johnson’s once, which may have been what my parents feared would happen if they DID take all 6 kids with them, but, and I’m just realizing this, my mother and father weren’t used to 1. having vacations and 2. going places with each other. Perhaps they didn’t know how one does such things.)

4. I’ve written a book. It’s called Isabel Scheherazade, Storyteller. It was accepted by the editor-in-chief of a reputable publishing house and then the house went under for a while; when it emerged the editor was gone. That is to say, however, the book is pretty good. I love reading it aloud to 4th graders and have revised it piece by piece as a blog that Isabel is supposedly writing. I’m in the process of getting an actual paper and digital copy; right now it exists only on the blog–how avant garde and foolish is that. http://www.isabeltellsherstories.com gets you a good read. Suggestions as to my next step?

5. I taught school for 40 years. Have been married to the same gorgeous man for 46 years. Have 4 children (1 girl and 3 boys) and  wonderful daughters and son-in-law and one fiancee of the last son, as we speak. 6 grandchildren delight me constantly. They are SO smart and SO beautiful and make my heart sing.

6. The day I retired I discovered that Harmon Steiner came over the mountain ever week to teach cello. Now my 1850’s era cello and I take lessons for the first time since I was 17 and it was, well, younger too. I have a cello group to die for. We just had our first gig for the public. Wild. One of our recent pieces was a 4-part harmony of “Game of Thrones.” How good is that.

7. Every week I go birding with Ray, Marie, Ronnie, and Doreen. So much fun! See #2 above.

 7 Facts about Toni ( there’s more on Toni’s Page)

1. As a child, I had a raw yolk in milk and a Hostess Twinkie for breakfast every day.  These days, there’s oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and berries.  Mom needed 13 whites to make an angel food cake. She tinted it pink (with a entire bottle of food coloring) and, on the 14th day, we devoured it.

2. When I was little, I used to see a skunk and think oh it’s such a cute cat and try to catch it.  Now I know better.

3. Unlike Patty and her carload of sibs, I was an only child who was rarely out of the spotlight and never under the eye of any person who wasn’t my mother. Vacations always included a drive to upstate NY, antique stores, stone quarries, and – Are we there yet?!?!? – a room with a cot at Howard Johnson’s motel.

4. I live with my sweetheart in a Connecticut hill town, far from my humble Italian roots. I went to school every year of my life. As both student and teacher, I was equally challenged, terrified, and humbled. Of late, however, I coax blooms from flowers, tinker with kitchen gadgets, and socialize in sweaty gyms. Currently I’m working on my next author bio.

5. I taught school for 30-something years and loved every day of it. Lucky me, being part of all those astonishing young lives, well, it’s flat-out unbelievable.

6. The day I retired I started the search for The Perfect Piano.  I met a besiegingly lovely Young Chang.  When Patty and her cello come to visit, they get me jazzed. It’s a dopamine storm. Ask the man in my house.

7.  A post called Starting Over was selected for Freshly Pressed. Made me swoon ~ THX, WordPress. And then another, Do Try This At Home. I’ve written for journals, magazines, newspapers, and websites, and visited a lot of libraries. Once, they let me be on NPR. Kind of. (Patty actually went to WNPR and recorded a story for a Colin McEnroe show!) If anything amazing like that ever happens again, or I have deep thoughts about umami or tomatoes, I’ll probably tell you. (I also have a blog, MentalCrumbs, where I stash my poetry.) BTW, Patty’s book is on the Isabel Tells Her Stories Blog. Next step, she asks? I say, self publish.  Don’t you all agree?


Our nominees for the VBA are:

Suzie81 Speaks


Thin spiral notebook

Grace Notes

Coruscatingly Cool Writing Blog 

Color the books blog

Paula’s Garden Patch

Tea and Cookies

White On Rice Couple 

Not Quite Old

Mod Meals on Mendenhall 

The Back 40 

Hoskings’s Blog

Silver Birch Press

Rachel and Maya

Only Child Writes Blog

Through a New Lens

Tim Panogos (Millard Fillmore’s Bathbub)


10000 BIRDS: birding, nature, conservation, and the wide,wide world

Birding Ninja


 VBA suggestions for the fave bloggers we nominated ~

Nominate 15 blogs.
Link your nominees’ blogs.

Show the award on your blog.

Thank the person who nominated you.
Share seven facts about yourself.

How cool is that?

tea-party-vintageToni and Patty 2/11/15