Great gerbils, love, awards!


If you look closely at my hands, you’ll see I have time all over them. In order to get it off, I sit in the recliner, rocking and making anagrams of Versatile Blogger. The post title is an anagrammatically correct version of Versatile Blogger. Although it works as a statement, I couldn’t find any evidence on Google that gerbils love awards, so I added the commas, and rather like the expression, “Great gerbils!” I hope you don’t mind me calling you “love.”


Three kind, talented, and versatile bloggers nominated me this month for Versatile Blogger: Detrimentally Disgruntled, Chicken Nuggets and Elmo, and Riatarded. That anyone reads my blog, much less enjoys it, continually surprises and delights me.


Since I received this award once before, I am only going to highlight those who nominated me. Detrimentally Disgruntled draws delightfully for her droll stories, Chicken Nuggets and Elmo provides parenting pointers in prose, and Riatarded writes and rants well about reality and things she reads. You will enjoy each one. None of them are compulsive alliterators, in case you were wondering.



Detrimentally Disgruntled also included me for a Liebster award. I’m thinking of adopting her. And, although “A weird blaster” is anagrammatically correct for Liebster Award, I wasn’t happy with it. I can imagine someone saying, “Web raids later,” to mean they will Google something when they have time, but I will leave it up to you to come up with something more interesting. From Liebster Blog, I came up with “Le Big Lobster,” which would make a nice name for a French seafood restaurant or a blog.


This last award has rules:

  • Thank the blogger (see above) who bestowed the award.
  • Pass it on to five other bloggers, who must have fewer than 200 followers.
  • Notify the nominees.
  • Display the award on your blog.

The hardest part is picking only five bloggers. The second hardest part is figuring out who has fewer than 200 followers.


  • Bluebird Blvd. – an eclectic collection of words, music, poetry, drawings, and good writing (she also owns a small mint for coining new words and phrases)
  • Just Add Attitude – a lovely Irish woman who introduces you to her world through words and pictures while keeping both feet on the ground in her lovely ballet flats
  • Words from my Soul – a writer in Papua New Guinea who writes with a broken heart about violence against women and children (bring tissue)
  • The Painter Lady – an artist who writes about life, books, spirituality, and history


There are plenty more, and I have plans to share them with you in the coming year.





Great gerbils, would you look at the time!  I’m off now on some web raids, looking for love and lobster. Just kidding about the love. I’ve got plenty of that from you.

Bloggers Anonymous


This is where I stand up and say, “Hi, my name’s yearstricken and I blog. It started in October of this year. The blog, not the writing and the drawing. That’s been going on for years. A lot of it (most?) done in secret. For years I’d make late night walks to the curb to put “stuff” in the recycling container. I didn’t want anyone to see the amount of paper I’d written or drawn on or question me about the amount of time I’d spent scribbling.


I have used up more paper than I care to admit. I’m saddened to think of all the trees that had to give their lives to satisfy my needs. As restitution, I have put most of my writing on my computer. The drawings require paper, but I erase a lot, which is a form of recycling. It’s been a while since my husband has innocently picked up a piece of paper thinking it was a harmless grocery list only to find he was face to face with a poem in free verse. That was awkward and unsettling for both of us.


My poor family has had to endure a number of painful and uncomfortable moments when I have either thrust a piece of paper into one of their hands or cornered one of them by saying, ‘Would you like to hear what I wrote?’ It’s the equivalent of being accosted by a dirt-encrusted wino who puts his arm around you and asks for some spare change. Except the wino lives with you and is called mother or wife. That’s me, folks.


But that’s not the end of my ability to unsettle. Earlier this year, I started sending out my words to a select group of strangers, called editors. You have no idea the amount of sorrow and regret I caused them. Response after response came in saying, ‘We’re sorry…we regret to inform…’ Talk about guilt.


So I started blogging. My family is visibly relieved. Editors throughout the United States are sleeping better. And I discovered that blogging is an acceptable form of begging for spare change, or in blogese, asking if someone would like to hear what I wrote.”




The world of blog is full of creative, kind, funny, brilliant, and generous people. And kind, I mentioned that, right? One of these shiny beings who creates ten beautiful things before breakfast every day (or so it seems) nominated me for an award. Her name is kathryningrid. She lives over on kiwsparks street. She has regular parties there, and if you go, she will encourage you to dance, sing, paint, make pictures, and build castles out of words. Thank you, kathryningrid.


I am supposed to share seven things about myself you don’t know.

  • I have never owned a house.
  • I deliberately shoplifted once when I was a teenager: a tube of Coppertone. This year I had to have cryosurgery on two small patches on my face because of too much sun exposure when I was young. See, crime never pays. Back then, Coppertone didn’t protect your skin.
  • A few years later, I accidentally shoplifted a tube of lipstick. I was at a drugstore looking at makeup sets and was wearing a wraparound skirt with large pockets. When I got home, I found the lipstick in one of the pockets. It must have fallen in when I was picking up the sets. It was bright red, not my color. I didn’t know how to explain it to the store clerk, so I threw it away.
  • I love music from the likes of the Carter Family and their album Gold Watch And Chain: Their Complete Victor Recordings 1933-1934. My children prefer toothpicks in the eyeballs to this kind of music. Oddly “toothpicks in the eyeballs” is not the name of an actual band.
  • I am not particularly musical but during a very difficult time in my life, I wrote two blues songs.
  • I find it difficult to talk about myself. Writing is different. It’s more like what you do in a confessional: talk about yourself with the hopes that whoever is eavesdropping will forgive you and love you anyway.
  • The first time I took a blood test, I passed with an A-. Not bad, huh?

One of the rules of the award is to nominate others. Three of these websites I was going to pick had just been nominated, so I didn’t include them. Once I have time to work more on my website, I will make a blog roll like I see on the real bloggers’ sites.

  • k8edid – funny and nobody makes buttons like this woman
  • corpora – an applied linguistics researcher who plays with words
  • Boomerrantz – funny boomer ranter who now goes by her real name
  • kvenna ráð – bring oxygen, she may take your breath away