My Second Blog Award | Random | The Versatile Blogger

The incredibly talented Jenny of Jen-uinely Inspired gave me a Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank you, Jenny! I am very honored!

If you have not already visited Jenny's blog, I strongly urge you to go do so.  She is amazingly creative!  Between her crafting projects, the intricate cards she makes and the way she decorates her home, I am always inspired.  For those of you who aren't naturally crafty (like me!), she gives easy to understand instructions.  Just check out her stenciled wallpaper and you'll see what I'm talking about!  You're bound to find something you'll want to replicate immediately.

To accept this award, I am to tell you 7 things about myself that you do not already know.
So, here it goes...

1. Many years ago, my family went blueberry picking in the Berkshires.  For every one blueberry my brother and I put in our buckets, we ate five off the bush.  We had eaten so many blueberries by the end of the day, we both threw up.  Good times!  I still love blueberries and eat them daily.
Admit it.  You love my polo shirt buttoned all the way up.

2. My grandmother and I have always had a very special relationship.  To paint a picture of her, she's all of 4'10", doesn't speak a word of English, and is the cutest person around!  Once I learned to drive, I would visit my grandparents regularly.  But there was one special phone call I'd wait for all year long.  It was the call letting me know her beautiful gardenias were in bloom.  When I received the call, I would head out to visit that weekend.  My grandparents and I would eat lunch together and after lunch, we'd play "Uno" outside for hours, taking in the wonderful aroma of the gardenias.  At night, she'd snip me a few gardenias and send me on my way.  We did this every year, for at least 12 years.  It is such a cherished memory that gardenias are my favorite flower, the smell bringing me a rush of happiness.  When Mr. Stranded and I were married, I had the florist put gardenias in my bouquet to honor my grandmother and asked that her corsage be a huge gardenia.  

My bouquet.  See the big gardenia in the middle?
My grandmother's corsage.

 My grandmother had a stroke a couple years back and has good days and bad days.  I mentioned the gardenias to her not long ago and she couldn't remember what they looked like, much less our tradition.  It was a bit heart-breaking for me, but at least on her bad days, I can remember this wonderful memory for both of us.

3. Speaking of my grandmother, when I was in college, I wanted to buy a Vespa-like scooter.  My mom was not enamoured with the idea.  We were heading out to visit my grandparents, so we made a deal:  If I could get my grandmother on board, normally a very cautious person, I could buy the scooter.   I thought, "Great!  Nonna plays for my team.  I've got this in the bag!"  And sure enough, I received the nod and bought my little yellow Honda scooter.  We still have it, although it could use some new brakes.

My brother taking her for a spin.

4. I've been a classical pianist for almost 25 years.  One year, I performed at my high school's Talent Night.  I was wearing a floor length black skirt with a zipper in the back.  Turns out, I had forgotten to zip my zipper!  So for my 10 minute long performance, the entire student body and their parents had a nice view of my butt and electric blue undies!!  All night long I had people coming up to me saying, "Um, yeah, you were really good and all, but you need to pull up your zipper."  Mortifying!!  

My First Piano Recital
My aunt made that dress.

5. One of my greatest joys is being aunt to seven nieces.  I get to spoil and play with them, but have none of the responsibility of raising them!  It's so much fun being the "cool aunt."  One of our nieces has recently taken up asking on a regular basis when "Uncle Fuzz" and I are going to have kids (the Uncle Fuzz nickname is a really cute story for another day.)  Why the sudden fascination?  She's worried that when we have kids of our own, our attention will be split and we won't have as much time for her!  Not to worry, girls!  I will always be your fun aunt.  We just expect free baby-sitting in return ;)  The picture below was taken nine years ago after the birth of our first niece and it's truly been a joy and blessing since then. 

A and Me - 2002

6.  The very first Thanksgiving we hosted was a complete disaster.  Our oven was on the fritz and wouldn't hold a temperature.  Knowing how unreliable our oven was, I had bought one of those remote meat thermometers that would beep when the turkey was ready.  It was a piece of junk and didn't work.  My mom assured me she had a "fool-proof" way of determining when the turkey was done by wiggling the leg.  So after roasting the turkey for 2 hours longer than normally needed and my mom's "fool-proof" test, I called everyone to the table.  We cut into it was RAW!  We promptly got a new oven after that fiasco.

Mr. S, my parents and me posing behind the raw turkey.
Of course, we didn't know it at that point. 

7. I did my study abroad in Sydney, Australia and loved every second of it.  One weekend, my housemate and I went abseiling (aka repelling) down one of the Blue Mountains.  It was a blast.  There's the normal way of repelling where your feet bounce down the mountain and another way they called "walking the dog" - you hold the rope in your hand like a leash and glide down the mountain.  Towards the end of the day, my pony tail must have come loose.  I was "walking the dog," and when I looked down, my hair fell out of my safety helmet and got caught in my carabiner!  If I continued to repel, my hair would have been ripped out of my head.  So I had to hold myself in that awkward, unflattering position with my strapped-in butt sticking up in the air until someone could repel down and untangle my hair.  My study-abroad roommate and I are still friends (and were bridesmaids in each other's weddings) and as she tells the story, "We heard there was some girl with her hair stuck in the carabiner and I knew it had to be 'Mrs. S.'  Adventure follows her wherever she goes."   She STILL loves telling that story and took the picture below of me waiting for help.

I selected five blogs to pass the award along to. There is no pressure whatsoever to accept your award, but I think we all enjoy finding out little things about one another.


Nicole said... [Reply]

Thank you! I did mine too.

Sarah said... [Reply]

Congrats on the award! Love your blog!!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Sarah Thanks! I hope you stop by again.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Nicole Just read yours and got a chuckle. It was a nice lunchtime break.

Adrienne said... [Reply]

Love the seven things...esp your little yellow scooter and that you are an accomplished pianist. Do you have a piano in your home?

Poor you and your electric blue undies...I bet you've never left the house without checking your zippers since that day.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Adrienne Yup - we have a piano in the house. I'm not as good as a used to be and I certainly don't perform in public anymore, but I still enjoy playing.

Mr. S read my post last night and said, "You never told me that story about your underwear!" Hmmm...did I forget to tell you that one? I wonder why...Now I'm a complusive zipper-checker.

Kirsten said... [Reply]

So many cute stories! I went peach picking so I understand about eating to excess....

Congrats on your second award. You deserve it.


Jen-uinely Inspired said... [Reply]

That was a fun read! Love the recital story and the repelling one. I am terrified of heights, so you will never find me repel off a cliff!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Kirsten Thanks! I remember your peach experience - haha!!

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Jen-uinely Inspired Thanks, Jenny! And thanks for the reward. Repelling was a ton of fun and I would love to do it again. Although, next time, I'm repelling the regular way. No chance of my hair getting caught that way!

Honestly Good Food said... [Reply]

Fun old stories and photos! Raw turkey, not so tasty. It sure looks good though.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Honestly Good Food I had wanted to slice open a little bit of the turkey to check, but my mom insisted the turkey was fine. I was so mad when it was raw!!! My parents thought it was funny and said I'd laugh about it soon. Didn't take me long! We still had a great Thanksgiving.

Hines-Sight said... [Reply]

Oh my gosh, I"m just now seeing this. I"m so sorry that I'm delayed. We were just getting back from the beach, and some posts slipped through the cracks. Thank you. I need post this on the blog. Thank you! I was awarded this award by Adrienne, too. I think I'll do seven things again because they can be fun.

Mrs. Stranded said... [Reply]

@Hines-Sight Looking forward to seeing your post! I guess our little blogging commuity is pretty tight knit ;)