Friday, August 13, 2010

A great big thank you!

Another award has come my way from my dear friend in Syndney, Charlotta Ward.
Charlotta and I met a few months ago as I became a more involved blogger. I can't remember how I found her, but it has been a blessing. Sometimes you get to know people very quickly from the things they write, not just as posts, but as comments to your posts. Charlotta has left some of the most insightful comments on things I have written about. I feel she is an old soul, and she and I go way back. Her blog,

Space for Inspiration, is an amalgam of good design, blending her love of swedish, organic, and contemporary styles in a fresh way. Charlotta is a super-woman in my book-- wife, mother, artist, writer, designer, friend. Please stop by her little corner of the blogosphere (click HERE to check her out), and tell her hello.

A condition of this award is to answer the following questions about myself.

1. Why do you blog?
2. What are your 3 best memories?
3. What are the 4 best fiction books you have ever read?
4. What are the 5 best movies ever made?
5. Name 5 things you can't live without.
6. If you could change your name, what would it be?
7. Tell us a unique and interesting fact about yourself.
8. What do you love best about yourself?
9. If you could have a "Freaky Friday" expreience, who would you change places with?
10. What is the best thing about being a woman?

So here goes:

1. I began blogging early this year as a creative and beautiful way to help me in my grief over losing my son Ryan to suicide at age 18, almost 2 1/2 years ago. Creativity heals my soul, and blogging seemed to be a way to practice my love of photography, express my love of writing, and explore my love of interior decorating, in one neat little package. The reason I keep going is YOU, dear readers. Your comments mean the world to me. You support my habit, and I am most appreciative.

Pictures of Ryan from his self-portrait series taken when he was 16.

2. My 3 best memories from adulthood (excluding the birth of my children) have been spread out. The first one occurred when I was 18 and in love. The man I was dating and I went out to a lovely Italian restaurant in Chicago and meandered back to our north suburban town through the opulent suburbs on Chicago's north shore. We stopped at the Chicago Botanical Garden while it was raining. No one was around, so we had the place to ourselves. We wandered about as if it were our very own big back yard. It was one of the most romantic experiences of my life.

English walled garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois.

My second memory occurred at Cheekwood Museum and Garden in Nashville about 8 years ago. It was in the fall, and once again I was in a botanical garden in the rain. My husband and I stolled around the grounds of ths 1930's estate, whilc are an incredible sight any time of the year. Then we went inside to the newly renovated gallery space in the main house of the former estate. This was another incredibly romantic day.

Cheekwood, Belle Meade, Tennessee

My third memory was in 2004 when my husband and I departed from Gatlinburg, Tennessee leaving behind my parents and my children to finish their vacation together. We headed into North Carolina, traveling backroads through the Smoky Mountains seeking out waterfalls. There are a huge number of waterfalls in and around the Smokies. Some are easy to access , but others are deep in the woods. We hiked to and photographed 6 of them, from little streams tumbling over rocks, to Fall Creek Falls, the largest waterfall in the eastern U.S. He and I travel well together, especially when armed with a camera, iced tea, and some good music to sing along with.

Fall Creek Falls, Pikeville, Tennessee

Since that trip, we still seek out waterfalls. Luckily there are some closer to home.

Burden Falls, rural Pope County Illinois

3. The 4 best books I have ever read:

4. My 5 favorite movies:

5. Five things I cannot live without:

Being able to express creative urges, whether visual, written, or musical.

"The Ties That Bind" 16" x 20" mixed media.

Living with beauty around me--light, flowers, softness.

Spring centerpiece, peony buds ready to burst.

Cats to share my home with.

Max, my male tabby.

Access to the natural world and the sense of wonder it inspires in me.

Bell Smith Springs, rural Pope County Illinois

Moments of solitude.

Bell Smith Springs, rural Pope County Illinois.

6. If I could change my name it would be:

Annick Beaudelaire is the best I can come up with right now. I love how French words feel in my mouth as they roll off the tongue, so it would have to be something French.

7. A unique and interesting fact about me is:

I am fascinated by dreams. For a long time I wrote down the symbols that appeared in my dreams and analyzed them to see what I should be learning from them. In my work as a therapist, I help others to do the same thing. We can learn a ton about ourselves, from our deepest desires to our current anxieties, by examinimg our dreams. The themes in my dreams give rise to my short stories, poetry, and works of art.

8. The thing I love best about myself is:

My compassion for other human beings.

9. If I could have a "Freaky Friday" experience, I would swap places with:

Author, poet, professor, presenter, Diane Ackerman.

10. The best thing about being a woman is:

All the options we have-- for hair styles, shoes, clothing, for presenting different aspects of ourselves. I can go from being a work-boot-and-flannel shirt-wearing, tool-wielding, carpenter-ess to being a red-silk-dress-wearing, jewelry-donning, sweet-smelling belle of the ball. Guys just don't have as many options for expressing themselves. Their hair, pant, and shirt styles are limited.

And now I wish to honor a few of the many fellow bloggers out there who consistently inspire me. You ladies are the best! Your comments over the past several months have made bloggging one of the most fulfilling endeavors of my life. Thank you so much for your generous support and encouragement. If you don't accept blog awards, please the recognition I am giving you for making a difference in my life.

1. Sarah at My Yellow House:

2. Janet at The Gardener's Cottage:

3. Kerrie at Sea Cottage:

4. Pamela at French Buttons:

5. Kristin at My Uncommon slice of Suburbia:

6. Anne at Fiona and Twig:

8. Chania at Razmataz:

9. Suzanne at Privet and Holly:

10. Lara at Air Kiss:
11. Carrie at The Vintage Wren:
Please stop by and check out these wonderful blogs. You will be pleased you did!

Until next time...


Images 1, 5, 6, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20: decor naturel. All others via google.


  1. Hi Anne

    I just wrote you a long comment and then blogger went wacko on me! I will try and start over .

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly touched by your kindness. This is what i love about blogging ...making so many new wonderful friends. Having just moved 3,000 miles from home i struggle with homesickness and culture shock! You all make it so much better for me. It gives me such a connection and heals me when i feel sad about being so uprooted.

    Visiting your blog...seeing your pets photos warms my heart every day.

    I also wanted to say how deeply sorry i am over the tragic loss of your boy. My heart goes out to you. But i do believe he has achieved harmony and balance something he couldn't find in the physical. My blessings to you and your husband. I hope time softens your grief. You are very brave to be able to go on and talk about it. I know i could not.

    Thank you so much Anne and thanks for being a great blogging friend
    Pamela xo

  2. Hi Anne!
    Out all day,
    today and what
    a surprise to
    fire up my pc
    now and find your
    sweet comment!
    Thank you for
    this award ~ it
    is really kind
    of you to include
    me with these
    other wonderful
    bloggers! I've
    been working on
    a post with a
    similar theme
    about what I hold
    dear and hope
    to have it ready,
    soon. I enjoyed
    learning more
    about you and
    things that you
    value : ) and I'm
    happy that your
    blog experience
    continues to be
    such a lovely one!
    xx Suzanne

  3. Hi Anne,
    I can't tell you how humbled I am that you thought of and included me in your list. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you through your posts...I really appreciate your honesty, what you find beautiful, your thoughtfulness is everything you write about and especially, the words you put to your pictures. I love that I can come to your blog and leave with something to think about ~
    Thank you again for thinking of me with this award. Gals like you have made my blogging experience such a wonderful one.
    I only hope the post with my answers is even half as insightful and lovely as yours! :)
    Hope you are enjoying your summer ~

  4. Hi Anne
    Congratulations on your award... I too was lucky to be on the receiving end of Charlotta's kindness... she's such a sweetheart.

    I love all your have written here. and fear my own post will not be as interesting as yours of Charlotta's... I think we have similar in taste in movies.. Those movie poster shots are just fantastic..

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss.. I can't imagine how difficult that is but glad you have found a way to move through it.. blogging certainly allows us a certain freedom.. through expression.. or even simply diversion...

    Thanks for popping over .. I would have been here sooner but my internet is giving me angst... Take care and have a fabulous week xxx Julie

  5. dear anne,

    thank you so much for you thoughtful, inspiring answers.

    like the others above me, i come here to read your soothing words. you have such a gentle approach to life that touches my heart on each visit. i always learn something here.

    and thank you for including me in your list of inspirational blogs. i can hardly believe i inspire anyone. but from the bottom of my heart i thank you dear friend.


  6. Hi Anne~
    Thank you so much for the award! That was sweet of you! :) I have my next post planned (hehee!), but I will add my answers after that one. I absolutely adore the Chicago Botantical Gardens; we go there about 1x a year!
    Hugs, Lara

  7. Hi Ann with an "e"! I am new to your blog and was drawn to it by a referral in Sarah's "My Yellow House" blog. It was especially wonderful to read your open and honest responses to the questions that go along with this well-deserved award. As a book and movie person, I look forward to tasting your favorite books, which I have not read and sampling your favorite movies, I have only seen "Amelie". You have a special gift with words and description and I look forward to reading more of your posts. Ann without the "e"

  8. Hi Anne!
    Awww, thank you so very much for including me in this incredible group of ladies!

    How lovely to learn more about you. I love all your answers, but I so agree that a house isn't a home without a cat. :-)


  9. Big hug and thank you for your sweet words about me. You know I think the world of you and that your journey is the most inspirational. Yes, we are old souls you and I and I am certain we go way back. How wonderful if we lived closer now, though friendship sees no boundaries. I am so glad to have found you (again) and loved reading your award answers!

    Have a lovely new week.

    xx Charlotta

  10. i have just found you through the gorgeous suzanne at privet & holly...and am very happy to have done so, particularly on a post where i have been privy to the sharing you have done here..
    melissa x


Your thoughts are always greatly appreciated. Thank you for visiting!


Related Posts with Thumbnails