Nearly two months ago, my friend Bridget passed the Liebster Award on to me and four other bloggers. I hadn't heard of this award before, but now that I'm familiar with it, I love the concept. "Liebster" is a German word that translates loosely to "beloved" or "dearest," and the Liebster Award showcases blogs that have a following of no more than 200 subscribers. Recipients who accept the award then pass it on to five of their favorite blogs with small readerships.
It was hard to pick! If I had my druthers, I'd re-award the Liebster to Bridget, whose blog, "The Nickel and Dime Ranch," inspires me to pieces. Often, literally, to quilt pieces!
Bridget is a very talented writer and quilter, and she and her husband have "retired" from teaching to a ranch in northern New Mexico. Bridget also ran a college placement business in California, and she's incredibly smart about how to get kids into great higher ed opportunities, among other things. Many other things.
I think Bridget and Tom are probably busier than they have ever been in their lives, what with the cattle getting into the growing dome and all the new projects that need to be started ato make their ranch begin to pay for itself. Bridget writes about a multitude of aspects of her life, including projects, travels, and recipes. Occasionally she writes a feature that she calls "Quilty Pleasures." I love it!
I met Bridget several years ago online through a weight loss social network called SparkPeople. Last fall, I got to meet her in person on a short visit up to Taos. Up close and in person, she's even more wonderful than her blog. Thank you, Bridget, for your friendship and for the Liebster Award.
And now for the winners that I got to choose:
1. "How to Love Where You Are and Eat Where the Locals Eat!! Bob & Jo's Full-Time RV'ng Travel Adventures" always entertains me.
Although I haven't met Bob and Jo in person, I love them and look forward to the day when our paths cross. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that happens soon, because they are pretty fast travelers and they cover a lot of territory. They have been full-timing, or at least blogging about their full-time RV travels, since 2008, and they've been pretty much all over the West, the Southwest, and the Midwest, several times.
Bob and Jo record not only their travels, but also where they've found the best barbecue, best burgers, best pancakes, and so on. They seem to be always up for an adventure, gastronomic or otherwise, and they take great photos of their site-seeing trips. Jo has interesting takes on the restaurants and foods they try, and Bob isn't afraid to add new widgets to the blog, so there are always new maps and other features. I learn a lot from them! Congrats and bon appetit, Bob and Jo!
2. "Life in a Volkswagen Bus: The Good Life in a Small Home on Wheels" is written by my friend John Rogers, whom I first met online through the VanDwellers group on yahoo.
Even if we hadn't met and become friends in person last year here in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, I would have picked John's blog. It's good reading because it's such good writing.
John has the advantage of being a real journalist who retired from a lifetime of work for newspapers. As such, he's not afraid to take on real issues. His most recent blog post about which spa owners have rights to the local mineral water flow got him into hot water (I'm sorry, it had to be said), and he decided to pull the piece.
It's not the first time John has written about things that are so sensitive, either from a personal or political standpoint, that he's later decided to pull a blog posting. I like that about John. He thinks hard and writes about hard stuff, and he's not afraid to change his mind about whether to put his work out there. When John puts his work online for us to read, it's always thought-provoking and interesting, and his photography is outstanding.
John has also been sharing the books he is writing, as he writes them. That's another brave thing to do. Congrats, John, and keep up the good work!
3. "Maria Gets Real: Living Authentically as I Prepare to Travel North America" is written by Maria Meiners, whom I know only online (so far!) from her comments on my blog. Maria is an intuitive who gives psychic readings and does life coaching. Her insightful and understanding comments on my own blog led me to begin reading hers, which I love.
Maria writes about anything and everything--personal growth, places she's been, books she's read, things she sees, her work, her ideas, her feelings, her opinions. Nothing is off-limits, and it's all very real. When I read Maria's blog, I am happy that she is finding out how to live authentically at a much younger age than I did and that she finds such joy in openly sharing her journey and her insights with others.
I can't WAIT to see what happens when Maria hits the road! Congratulations, Maria, and bon voyage when the time is right!
4. GypsyCzech is Dix's blog. I can't remember whether I started reading it because Dix is a fellow woman traveler or because she's a multi-media artist like me or what. But we obviously have a lot in common. She's always writing about something that resonates with me, whether it's a trip to some fabulous junk-pickin' venue, her latest artwork, or some delicious meal she's prepared.
Two especially great features of Dix's blog are her outstanding photography and the reviews she does of other people's blogs and websites. Reading GypsyCzech has often led me to other wonderful resources.
I also love the overall "artsy" feel of Dix's blog. It's always nice to look at and listen to, as well.
I noticed that Dix has already received a Liebster recently. Congrats, Dix! You deserve to get this award more than once.
5. Cruzin2Some is one of my favorite blogs because I've been able to follow Dawn and Denise's travels from the very beginning. They started full-timing just a little while after I did last year. They started slow, sticking to their home turf in Texas for quite a while, but now they've hit 15 states. It's been fun to share the adventure, from the earliest days of figuring out how to get rid of their stuff so they could hit the road to now, when they've become old pros. I like the down-home, accessible style of this blog. These gals talk about all of the little unexpected things that can come up when you're traveling, and they also take great photos and know where to find a great meal. Congrats, Dawn and Denise, and safe travels!
Phew! That was a lot of work, picking my favorite blogs and telling you all why you should love them, too. If you want to find more excellent blogs with small readership, just google "Liebster award." You won't be disappointed.