Thursday, May 13, 2010

A sweet award

Thank you Charlotta!

My dear friend, Charlotta, at Space for Inspiration has passed on an award to me. Charlotta has infinitely good taste, a discerning eye, and a way with words. She comes to blogland from Sydney but has a variety of influences, which comes from having lived in so many parts of the world. She draws upon her Swedish heritage for design inspiration but mixes things up in a way that is always fresh. Charlotta is also a talented artist who creates whimsical works for children. She runs a blog for her art as well: . She is one of those people with whom I felt an immediate connection. It always mystifies me when this happens, whether in person or in this virtual world. I try not to over-analyze it, but take it for what it is and just enjoy the relationship. Please stop by her blog: . You will be so glad you did!

One of the rules with these awards is that the recipient has to share 10 things about herself so that others may get to know her better. Last night in the middle of the night, I kept being reminded that I had to come up with these things to tell you about me. It's not that it caused any anxiety, it's just that I want to make them good ones. So, here goes:

image: google images

1. Right now I am on a moratorium from spending money on non-essentials. This means no trips to Pier 1, Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, Goodwill or yard sales (my favorite local sources for household stuff). I get my fix for vintage goods via other bloggers who post about their great finds and also by using what I have already collected. This is partly due to a tight budget, but mostly due to a desire to simplify my life. More stuff means needing more space to put it, more cleaning to keep things in order, and more time involved with both of those tasks. At this stage in my life, simple is better, less is more.

image: Britt, on right, and a close friend.

2. I have a daughter, Britt, who just completed high school. She will be heading off to art school in Boston to study at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (smfa) She is a talented photographer, working in black and white film, who has labored hard to master her craft. The cost of higher education is insane, but as she is our only child, we are sacrificing to launch her on the path of her dreams.

images of Ryan from his self-portrait series

3. As many of you read in my post a couple of weeks ago, I lost my son, Ryan, in 2008 to suicide at age 18. He was a beautiful soul, who lost his way and found life too much for him to bear. I miss him everyday, but am not angry at what he did. He is at peace now, and I am finding peace without his physical presence in my daily life.


4. I am a mental health therapist who has been in practice for 10 years. I work part time at a group psychiatry practice and deeply love my job. As much as I adore design, and consider a career change, I am doing professionally what I was put here on Earth to do. Being a therapist is in my blood.

image: google images

5. I come from a family of tall, strong, beautiful women, thanks to our German-Dutch heritage. I celebrate the sacred feminine in all women and find the connections I have to other women to be the most meaningful in my life. I believe we all have so much to offer one another and I try to do my part in this.

image: Steve on a bright fall day

6. My husband, Steve, is a daily source of joy. He is energetic (sometimes too much) and funny. He never fails to make me laugh. We have been married 18 years and it has been a wild ride! We have learned a lot from one another, though of course there have been challenges.

image: google images

7. I read books only by women authors. My husband teases me about this, but women writers were unacknowledged for so long, I feel they deserve recognition. My favorite author is the British writer, Jeanette Winterson. Her words and stories resonate in my soul.

image: my male tabby cat, Max

8. Cats are my favorite animals. I don't care if I become the "crazy cat lady" when I am old. So be it. I share my home with 4 sweet felines, and I love them to death. We have 2 dogs also, but in my eyes, the cats are supreme.

image: google images

9. I have some on-going health issues, which is why, at the young age of 40, I only work part-time. For the past 4 years I have struggled with auto-immune disease. I have been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome and Lupus. They are still unsure, however if it is Lupus or something similar. The diagnmostic process alone is taxing and frustrating. That doesn't include the actual living with the disease. This has prevented me from getting out as much as I would like and from traveling. There are some good days and some not-so-good days. I am finding a way to live peacefully within these limitaions.

image: google images

10. I have undertaken many sorts of creative endeavors (poetry, short stories, essays, painting, mixed media art, photography, sewing, gardening, decorating). The need to create is fundamental to my survival. When I am inspired, there is nothing better to me. It surpasses all other emotions and experiences (better even than food or imtimacy).

Wow, I have really shared myself here. For someone who is the quiet type, I sure have a lot to say!!

Now I must pass on this award to other beautiful blog friends. These women have made my life richer through their posts and their thoughtful comments on my posts. They are now a part of my daily routine, and I find myself looking for them each time I sign on. Please visit them and say that I sent you. In no particular order, I present this award to the following:

1. Janet at the Gardener's Cottage :

2. A Perfect Gray:

3. Janice at Canadian Cottage:

4. Suzanne at Privet and Holly:

5. Kerrie (aka fairmaiden) at Sea Cottage:

6. Karen at Strictly Simple Style:

7. Lara at Fresh + Simple:

8. Kelley at the Polished Pebble:

9. Jackie at Home:

10. Kathy at Kate's Place:

11. Carrie at the Vintage Wren:

Thanks to all you who have brightened my days and made my life more full and complete. I appreciate you all more than you know.

Until next time...



  1. I think we are definately kindred spirits Anne, even the cat thing. You are very brave sharing all that stuff about yourself. I suspect that you discovered blogging after you lost your son? Or I hope that's the case, because I think it's what saved me from a spiral of grief and loss. It lead to me buying a new camera, and spending so many lovely hours making and photgraphing and just playing around with pretty stuff, then writing about it to kindred spirits!It helped enormously.
    I love that you love your job. I made the decision to stop nursing, I just retired again yesterday! Compassion fatigue I fear was part of it.Blogging for bliss has completely changed the way I feel about the world, at just the right time. Thanks for being part of that!

  2. hi anne,

    i humbly accept this award. i love the 10 things you listed. i feel i know you a bit better now.


  3. Anne~ You are beautiful through and through...I liked learning more about you. Sorry I have not been by to comment lately, I have been thinking about you! I just have needed to spend less time on the blog...I'm needed elsewhere...specifically my family needs me. I have done one of these type of awards a long long time ago...not sure if I will have the time to participate because like you, I put alot of thought into what I will share. Thank you so much for your friendship...when I come to visit your blog I feel like I am sitting with you in Naturel Cottage or in your gardens. Isn't it funny how deeply friendship can grow in this cyber world. You have made my life richer, fuller, and better. Each and everyone of your visits to Sea Cottage matters to me...all that you write to me in your comments makes my life better. I really am doing well, with Holly gone...she is trying to find her way and thankfully I am not worried. I have hope and strength within that she will return and leave the young man that has so entangled her. I understand you having peace with is as it should be...he is at peace and you are with him. And Britt is lovely...I am so excited she is going to Art School! love to you dear one. ox~ Fairmaiden

  4. Anne, what a wonderful and honest list of ten you gave us. Thank you!

    I am so glad to see a picture of your daughter and to hear about her future. Pass on my good luck wishes in her new adventures.

    Ryan. I FEEL it when ever you write about him. I know he lives in your heart and that he is still very much part of the world we feel but can't see. You are incredibly brave to share him with us and I know your grief was one of the reasons you started this blog. I am so glad you did and hope you feel our love and appreciation.

    Cats. Yes they are great. I have only one and she is a wonderful quirky little creature. Very loyal and animated - a bit more like a dog than a 'typical feline'. Love her to death and she is purring on my right foot as I am typing this. :)

    I am sorry to hear about your health issues. I don't know much about the conditions you mentioned but it seems they are challenging. I hope you are surrounded by loving and supportive people, and can now even better understand your affinity with nature and its healing powers.

    I could go on, but I worry about space.. :) I pretty much agree with everything on your list and am so glad I passed the award onto you so that I could learn more.

    Thank you again for sharing Anne. It was so nice to read this.

    Have a nice and relaxing weekend, and tell your husband he is lucky to have you!

    xx Charlotta

  5. Hi Anne,
    I'm so glad you visited...thanks to Canadian Cottage...and thanks for your nice compliments! Thanks for the input. I thought so, too. Another blogger friend suggested I change out the rosemary for lavender, so I think I'll try that.:)
    I've enjoyed browsing through your blog. You've created a lovely home! I will look forward to visiting often.:) ~ Jo

  6. Hi Anne
    Thank you for being honest and sharing so much. I know it is hard to do. I feel like I learned so much about you reading this post!
    Again, I'm so sorry about your son Ryan. The photographs of his self-portrait are amazing, so artistic.
    It is wonderful what you are doing so your daughter can follow her dream. I am only starting to realize how much my own parents sacrificed for me.
    I hope you and your husband have a nice weekend and thank you so much for passing on the award to me, I really appreciate it!
    Janice @ Canadian Cottage

  7. Anne, what a wonderful glimpse into yourself you have us....Charlotta is wonderful, isn't she? what a neat time we are in to be able to 'meet' such inspiring and beautiful people all over the world...

    that you would honor my blog is such a treat. you are a most thoughtful and insightful person (and blogger) and I am truly touched...

    thank you again for thinking of me, Anne

  8. Thank you, Anne for passing that award to me. I enjoyed reading more about you.. I'm a crazy cat lady to.. I can't tell you how much I love my cat.. he is my 3rd child.. and shares the bed with me every night.. I don't know what I'd do with out him. Your kitty is really cute! One of my fave things to do is go into PetSmart to look at the kitties & talk to them.. I would love to adopt more but can't right now. Good for you with sticking to your budget. Did you know that I worked 5 years at Pier One Imports? Kinda miss working there.. it was a lot of fun! :)

  9. Hi Anne! Not sure how I missed this latest post! I actually strolled over to copy your blog address and then got drawn into this new story. Like Kerrie, I have had to push back from the blog "table" a bit lately to attend to other duties. Thank you for sharing all of these things about YOU. My daughter is also looking at art schools, a few years out. BMFA is an awesome school ~ congrats to you and to Britt! My little sparrow might apply for a pre-college seminar there, next summer. She is going trying a different college program this summer and is SO excited about it. I hope that you continue to feel well despite your Lupus diagnosis. You seem to have such a positive attitude and I'm sure that this helps greatly!{As does your hubby, who sounds great.} You know how much I have enjoyed coming to visit you and I am so touched that you would pass along this award to me. Since we are swapping confidences, I want to suggest something: I would like to see your blog picture with you SMILING, as I think it would better reflect the beautiful person that you are. So get that artistic photographer daughter on this, okay? Hugs ~ Suzanne

  10. Hi Anne, thanks so much for the award, and thinking of me!! Your the best anne.I'm still trying to figure out things on my blog. I'm sorry to say but i still don't know how to do the link thing!!I can't pick 10 people to pass it on. Any suggestions??? ....Kathy

  11. Anne, you are such a sweetheart. Thanks so much for thinking of me for this award. I can't wait to do a post on it as soon as I can come up with something good to share about myself. : )

  12. I have just read a book you may like by Canadian author Lori Lansens. It is called The Wife's Tale. I too love female authors and this was a great read.

  13. Anne,

    I just found your blog while on the blog, "home." What a beautiful, poignant sharing of self. I almost lost a daughter to suicide and can only imagine the pain of the loss of your wonderful son.

    Surprisingly, I have had your tentative diagnoses but, for me, it turned out to be a rare, genetic disorder porphyria. Google the disorder and see if the symptoms "fit" symptoms you have and/or family members have. Good luck. And thanks for your beautiful blog.



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