Liebster Award

A non-hiking post!? How exciting.


First, a shout out to Stephanie over at To Stand Alone, who very graciously nominated me for a Liebster Award! She’s been very welcoming as I’ve begun blogging and I really like her site as well, so check it out! [I also borrowed her graphic for this post.]

From what I can gather, these are the rules:

  1. Thank and link back to your nominator.
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with 200 or fewer followers and link to them.
  4. Draft 11 new questions for your nominees.
  5. Notify your nominees via their blogs or social media.

I must admit that, being as new to blogging as I am, I follow very few other blogs. But I am going to give this a shot and see where we get!

First, to answer Stephanie’s questions:

1) What is one charity you donate to, and why do you give them your money (or time)?
I donate each year to The Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck, which, yes, is a real nonprofit. Founded by the Vlogbrothers (John and Hank Green), the Foundation does various projects throughout the year – most of the fundraising happens during the annual Project for Awesome, which raises money for other charities selected by the community. It’s a strong and wonderful community of nerds and I’m proud to be a part of it.

2) What is your favorite outdoor location?
Oh, this is a tough one. I love this Pacific Northwest wilderness that I’ve moved to and explored, but the woods of upstate/western New York, where I grew up, hold a very special place in my heart. My parents and my grandmother’s property combine to cover about 70 acres, and I used to spend hours wandering and exploring on my own. I remember them as a place of solace and beauty and filled with natural landmarks, and I miss them, especially in the autumn, which is simply not as impressive in a landscape without sugar maples.

3) It’s time to wind down in the evening – what is your relaxing song of choice?
If I decide to listen to music to relax, to truly get into my comfort zone, it will most often involve me belting out some of my favorite tunes from musicals – Wicked, Les Miserables, Into the Woods, and Children of Eden are at the top of that list. (Also, let’s be honest, Frozen has been making appearances more often than not…)

4) What is one way in which you try to protect or preserve the environment for future generations?
Lately I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my water usage. We have a rain barrel at our current place and I’ve really been enjoying utilizing it. I’ve also been trying to focus on glass food containers for lunch, and general re-usables (which slightly contrasts with the above point, as I end up doing more dishes and laundry. Oops.) – but I’m still struggling with plastic sandwich bag usage. If any one has recommendations for good reusable and seal-able bags, let me know!

5) What is the most bizarre food you’ve ever tried? Did you end up liking it?
When I studied abroad in Italy, a boy in our program bought some horse meat from the grocery store and brought it to my roommate to cook. I have to admit it was really not terrible, although it was extremely lean and slightly metallic.

6) If someone asks you for a reading recommendation, what is the one book you say almost every time?
It sortof depends on the person, but generally I have three recommendations: Thanks to My Mother, a Holocaust memoir by Schoschana Rabinovici; Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea; and The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. Three very different books that are some of my favorites.

7) What is something new you’ve learned in the past month?
I am lucky to work in a museum in a collection of cultural objects, and so I spend much of each day learning exciting things. My favorite new things in the past month include the Baining fire dance masks, and drums from the Asmat of Papua New Guinea.

8) How much sleep do you need to function properly?
Probably at least 7 hours. I try not to get any fewer than that, so I’m not sure what the limits are. Best not to test it.

9) When was the last time you pushed yourself to do something difficult?
I’m trying to push myself right now to get back into my thesis work and remaster a deaccessioning toolkit that small museums can use. It’s not that difficult, exactly, but I am finding it a challenge to devote myself again to something I spent so much time and effort on in the past.

10) What is your favorite post on your blog? (and provide a link!)
Road Trip is a very short one but reminds me of the unexpected joys of photography. Childhood is probably my most thoughtful and in-depth post – you’ve been warned.

11) And finally, why did you start your blog?
I started this blog as I commenced studying abroad in Florence, Italy in 2011. I posted only twice and it was a disaster (as a blog, anyway – Florence was the best experience ever). I revived it this year for a 2015 resolution.

Now, for nominations!

1. All intelligent thoughts have already been thought. (Also found here.)
2. Meandering
3. Hannah Homemaker
4. Sun and Snow
5. 2015 – A Year in Photos
6. Seahaven Coastal Garden
7. Dispersal Range
8. Vermont Farmhouse Project
9. Sociopalate
10. Blackbird in Blue

And, finally, my questions. I cheated a little bit and copied two of Stephanie’s questions because I liked them so much!

1) Where would your dream adventure take you?
2) Do you have a favorite tree? What/where is it?
3) What is a hobby you’d like to make more time for?
4) What is your favorite vegetable recipe?
5) What time do you wake up in the morning?
6) Describe the landscape you see on your commute to work or school.
7) What is your favorite holiday tradition? (Any holiday, take your pick!)
8) Tell me about your favorite museum.
9) Which National Park would you most like to visit?
10) What is your favorite post on your blog? (and provide a link!)
11) And finally, why did you start your blog?

3 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. Wonderful! I love the name of that charity. That’s the best. And you work at the Burke?!? I love that place! That’s got to be one of the best jobs ever 🙂

    Well thanks for participating! I’m looking forward to reading the books and blogs you’ve recommended.

    • Also, two hiking suggestions for you: and

      The Oyster Dome is a great sunny day hike. It’s about 2ish hours north of Seattle, and the view of the San Juans from the top is amazing. Winchester Mountain/Twin Lakes is up in the Mount Baker Wilderness and would be good if you want to camp a bit as well. It’s a bit of a drive, and it’s best if you have a car that has a higher clearance from the ground, but the views are amazing and you can either camp by the lakes or snag the old fire lookout if you’re lucky! It can be snowy up there late in the season though, so it’s best in Aug or Sept. The blueberries will be plentiful then, too!

      • Thanks! I did Oyster Dome in January – it was indeed fantastic, even on a slightly foggy day. I’ll definitely check out Twin Lakes as well.

        Isn’t the WTA site the greatest? I love it!

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