Around the time we were leaving Mauritania, when we’d already left our house and were staying at a house without internet, I was given 3 different awards by some of my favorite bloggers. I never had a chance to acknowledge them, because of travel and continuing to live without internet. Ironically, one of them is an award for schmoozing—for being someone that responds to comments and chats with her readers. Yeah. Well I do have a good excuse.

I am also a Rockin’ Girl Blogger and I have a pink button to prove it! Yippee! I always wanted to be rockin’, and I think people tend to think of me as softer and gentler. It’s not my fault—I’m short, plump, and have curly blonde hair—when you look like this, people stereotype you. Admit it; the picture of a preschool teacher in a fuzzy pink sweatshirt with kittens is forming in your head, isn’t it? I NEVER wear pink sweatshirts OR kittens!! In fact, I dress mostly in black. And I hate children. (Ok, I’ll qualify that. Large groups of them scare me. Is that better?)

I always wanted flashing dark eyes and long thin legs; I think people take you more seriously. Have you ever noticed that in literature, all the heroines tend to be dark (Jo March, Harriet Vane, Laura Ingalls, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, Catherine Linton to name a few), and their insipid rivals, those soul-less girls who look down on our interesting and intellectual heros, are blonde? Really the only literary blonde I can think of offhand is Alice in Wonderland, who is hardly a good role model. (Also a male author; coincidence?) No wonder Ilsa keeps asking me if she can dye her hair either black or copper-penny red. Also, as many of my fav bloggers post self-pictures, I’m noticing that once again, all the interesting people are dark. Except Tina!! Tina, please come to Oregon soon and we’ll go out and toast the power of blondes to rock.

But I digress. (One more digression: did you picture Jane Austen looking like Anne Hathaway? Me neither. Sigh…) I wanted to tell you all that I have received the following awards:

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Wackymommy (she and I used to work together at our college newspaper) said that, to her, I’m a Rockin’ Girl Blogger. Woo-hoo! WM, I think you rock too! And I pass on the award to several people who probably already have one (but I don’t know! I haven’t read blogs regularly in over a month). Meredith, for making me want to move to France all over again (oh wait; I didn’t need her blog to experience that emotion…); Kristi, who always makes me laugh; Veronica, for managing to write thoughtful and thought-provoking posts while nursing a tiny one and dealing with 2 preschoolers (that totally rocks!); Denise, even though she tagged me with an impossible meme, for being the kind of mom my own daughter would love to have (i.e. someone who does not fear fabric stores/sewing needles/etc); Kit, whose blog about life and food in South Africa always makes me hungry. Ladies, you rock.

Karen, at AuthorMomwithDogs (which basically sums it up), awarded me both the Thoughtful Blogger and the Schmoozing Blogger awards. She herself is someone who excels at both these things; she very kindly answered all my many many questions when we got landed with a puppy who was far too young to leave his mother. (She rocks, too, but I happen to know she already got that award)

I feel I don’t deserve these awards; I’m terrible at commenting because my connection is often so bad, and I’m terrible at answering questions from readers because I forget to, even though I always mean to. But I’ll accept them because I’m shameless, but also because I hope to do better with a better connection.

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It’s an award for “those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others’ feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping other bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.”

The Power of Schmooze.

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It’s an award for those who have the natural ability “to effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello – all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

Hmmm…I really do feel a bit guilty accepting these and maybe you are choking a bit on your iced coffee and thinking how I really don’t deserve them. But what can you do? Nothing. And it’s funny; for me, the word “schmooze” has always had a sort of negative connotation; it has the idea of someone insincere in their friendliness, someone looking for what they can gain from you. But this is a very nice award.

I need to pass this on to Shannon, at Rocks in my Dryer, because when I first discovered blogs she was very kind and encouraging. Also WM herself, for the same reason. Without these two women, I wouldn’t be blogging today. I also tag Beck because she always comments, which encourages me that it did actually post and that someone out there actually read it, and Robin, for the same reason. Last but not least, WhyMommy deserves this and so much more; she is battling a very aggressive form of breast cancer, had to wean her baby to begin treatment, and yet in the middle of this she manages to leave me comments. She’s a courageous woman; if you don’t already read her, stop by her site to learn more about this disease and to be moved and inspired by her battle. Pray for her and encourage her if you can.

I’m feeling very smug right now, like such a responsible blogger, because I’m terrible at this part of blogging; passing on awards (I always feel worried about the people I’m leaving out; I have a terrible time choosing), doing memes, etc. Ok technically I haven’t done my memes yet but I’m planning to; that counts, right?

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