On November the 20th, I received a very thoughtful nomination for the 7×7 Link Award by one very talented young man whose blog many of you may have had the pleasure of reading.  So I thank you Arindam Mohapatra most sincerely, and apologize for my tardiness in response.  We can blame  thank NaNoWriMo and its challenge of writing a novel during the month of November.  Now that the challenge has been accepted and awards given there as well, I can catch up on everything; sleep, phone calls, blog awards, decorating and exercise cooking.  (I’ll save the ‘e’ word for New Year’s so that I can have one resolution anyway.  At least that’s my excuse theory.)

According to the directions of the 7×7 Award, the recipient should review all of the posts he/she has written and then list the top posts under seven different catagories.  Then it should be passed on to seven other bloggers.

My 7 top posts under each category are as follows:

1.  Most Beautiful – This past summer’s road trip to the Great American West took us through Billings, Montana and along the Beartooth Scenic Highway all the way to Yellowstone.  Although I had to choose between that post, the one on South Dakota’s Badlands, and Wyonming’s Tetons, which was a horrible choice to have to make, I went with this one because of its unexpected heights, snow still hanging on in August, and the unbelievably gorgeous scenery. 

2.  Most Helpful – How to Throw a Party in less than 24 Hours, complete with simple yet decadent cake recipe and the rules for delegating.  Plus it’s timely.  Use it for Christmas!

3.  Most Popular  – I’m listing two here.  The first is by sheer numbers getting nearly a thousand hits:  Kentucky Derby Lineup.  But most of these were by people seeking info only and not reading for the skill of my writing – or lack of. 

     The second – and the one friends and family still comment on is:                                           Tonka Trucks and Memories.  This one still breaks my heart and touches the places that parents understand the power of. 

4.  Most Controversial – Hunting Wild Mushrooms!  So many people think that I have fallen down and bumped my little head when I say that I love hunting mushrooms.  But this is a no fail morel in which there isn’t another mushroom that looks the same.  There is something called the false morel, but it is round in shape and solid in form; unlike the true morel which is cone shaped and hollow.  You can see pictures of our great finds at this post.  And I understand that in France, you can take your mushrooms to the local pharmacist and they will tell you whether or not your bag of beauties is truly edible – another reason to love France!

5.  Most Surprisingly Successful – Champagne from Grape to Glass!  This one even ended up on an online travel magazine’s website for travel blogs.  It was one that I spent some real time on and if you haven’t taken the tour with me through this post, please do.  It still amazes me as to what can be done with a tiny grape!

6.  Most Underrated – What to Do With Inheritance.  This is another of those posts that pulls my heart strings, connects me with my family through generations who didn’t even get the chance to know each other – like my father and my son.  I still tear up at this one.

7.  Most Pride Worthy – For use of quotes and placement of photos there was no other choice to be made.  The Year That Changed My Life wins hands down!  But the pride of this one isn’t just in the blog post itself, but the action that inspired the topic. 

Perhaps these seven – or in my case eight – posts say something about who we are and what inspires us.  And it has been great fun returning to earlier posts and seeing the evolution of my own blog as it has grown and matured over the past year.  And my blog’s anniversary date is November 21, 2010 when I first signed on.  So Arindam’s award on November 20 hit it at the full one year mark – something he probably didn’t even know. 

Over this course of a year I have gotten and given awards.  I didn’t add them to my website because it seemed a little self-congratulatory and I thought I like the clean lines of the simple blog.  But as I was preparing to dole out my own nominations, I found that it was very helpful to see who had received this award before.  So I am changing my mind and adding them to the blog. 

Here are my seven picks for bloggers whose sites I enjoy and for whom this would be a new award.  I also am looking forward to seeing what they will reveal about themselves through their own choices of the seven categories.

1.  Dianna #1

2.  Dianna #2

3.  MJ

4.  Linda

5.  Darla

6.  Sheila

7.  John

Please check out their websites and read a few of their blogs.  They inspire me and I believe they will inspire you as well. 

And if I have failed a link or misspelled a name, please correct me.  I love writing and reading, but sometimes fall short of the desired mark in working with computer language.