The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you, Annika Perry (, for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This  is a peer appreciation award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.  What a lovely honor!  I am humbled.

The questions sent me to answer are the same to those I have nominated. Good luck to all.

What was the driving force behind the creation of your blog?

My blog was created after the publication of my book, a poetic memoir, A Past Worth Telling. My weekly blog covers similar topics as in my book about my life and places I have lived in and visited.

What was your vision for your future in blogging/writing when you first started this blog? How has that vision evolved?

 A storyteller at heart, I have always loved poetry and topics of peoples, places and life. As my life changed after retirement, I had more time to devote to my art forms and love to talk about family, ideas, music, languages and travel.

What age were you when you realized you loved writing?

 My recollection of the exact moment can’t be pinpointed but as a high school and college student, I delved into more writing and found great satisfaction and enjoyment from this form of communication.

How has your life changed as a result of the electronic age? Is it better/worse/the same?

YES. It is better/worse/the same. With new eras such as the electronic age, certain activities became easier and more enjoyable.  I recall typing my Ph.D. dissertation on a typewriter as well as editing the manuscript.  Everything had to be so precise and on 100% cotton rag content paper.  Imagine my dismay at the local copy shop when they refused to clean the glass top to the printer.  My manuscript was rife with stray black marks.  Refused by my university professors, I resorted going directly to the source at IBM and, after explaining my dilemma, the understanding employee said the local copy shop employee had been too lazy.  He had several large copiers at his disposal and after approving a sample page, he then copied my entire manuscript plus required copies at no charge.  At that point I decided that while technology can sometimes make our lives easier, it can also be the bane of existence.  When computers work, they are wonderful companions.  When systems are down, they are sore spots of contention.  I prefer never to rely solely on technology.  I still  love the good old-fashioned cursive writing or typing a manuscript and manually editing.  Great source of eye hand coordination and connecting with the brain.  I also have been known to write my poetry in cursive in various journals to later type into the computer.

What was the very last website you visited today?

 My niece Sally Rose Dolak lives in Costa Rica and blogs mainly her beautiful photography so I normally am eager to see what surprises she has in store.

If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

 Probably I would have liked to travel more and perhaps get those degrees in Music and in Art. My childhood was a very happy one.

How would your life be different today if that one thing from your past were to change?

 Good question. I would have more food for thought and more stories to tell with photos to accompany them.

If you have children, tell me…how did your parenting change from the time you had your first child until the time you had your last?

 As an older mother and both children born 3.5 years apart, I would say my parenting changed with the second child. I personally didn’t care what experts or books said about the sleeping child.  We tried a crib with our son until he kept getting out by himself.  With our daughter, we had a family bed so I don’t recall that she ever slept in a crib.  I/we were more patient parents because we were older when they were born.

Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had in the past month.

 Funny tasting coffee when I accidently added salt. Now I drink it black. ( Don’t ask how that happened.)

 What do you have planned for the upcoming holiday season?

 Travel to Florida to visit our son and his wife. And travel to Prague, Vienna and Helsinki this August with my talented husband and tenor.  We will be singing with the Berkshire Choral International at the castle in Prague (Dvorak’s Stabat Mater) which has been on our bucket list for some time.  (Happy Anniversary to Annika and husband!)

My nominees include the following who share inspiration in their blogs:

Sally at

Clare at

Andrea at

Bette A. Stevens at

Edward Roads at

Anne Mehrling at

Peter Klopp at

Mabel Kwong at

Walt Page at

Mary Clark at

Libby at

Note: Some of you may have award-free sites which is just fine.  Receive a smile and compliment from me.  Thank you to the blogging community in general!  What wonderful and interesting writers you are!

Note: Beach scene photo is courtesy of stellar photographer Emily Nemecek.

This entry was posted in blogging, favorite bloggers, The Sunshine Blogger Award and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Sunshine Blogger Award

  1. Darlene says:

    I love how you answered these questions and added photos. Perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Annika Perry says:

    Mary Ann, as someone who always brings sunshine into our lives through your posts this award award was made for you! ❤️ It’s an absolute delight to read your answers … I hadn’t realised you started your blog after the publication of your book. It’s interesting how ones initial thoughts about the blog evolve to cover so much more! Oh, poor you and your dissertation—phew, good it was all sorted but definitely an early lesson about the advantages and disadvantages of modern technology. When problems it can be incredibly tiring and time-consuming, otherwise a huge help! Yet, there is nothing like holding a pen and scribbling in a notebook! As for the salt in the coffee … I feel for you but can’t help giggling a bit! Unsweetened seems much safer! 😀 I love the photos … all beautiful and the sea/sand one looks like a magazine picture. Stunning and how I long for just such a beach. Happy Travels & Singing, my friend … you’ll have an amazing time here in Europe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Annika – you amaze me with your lovely comments. Am I late to the blogging world? It has been an interesting ride too. Water over the dam with the dissertation which was defended and published successfully. We all have to suffer sometimes with our writing/art/blogging, etc. My niece Sally’s photos are the water droplet ones and others you can recognize from her blog. I credited Emily but not myself with the one photo of sun and clouds – much like life. Sunny days and cloudy ones too. I had fun with this blog and thank you once more. The planning and preparation for such a musical endeavor in Europe has already been months long. When we finally get there and sing, I know it will be worth all the work. Thank you one thousand times over. Enjoy your weekend! oxox

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I suppose I am now the “Sunshine Lady Blogger?” Have a grand weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading your answers to the questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you very much for nominating me. Like you, I am humbled by it. I wish I would rise to the challenge, but we are traveling. I will be behind with everything for ages and feel like I’ll never catch up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ernst-Arno Bode, Cologne,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    wie schon mehrfach angesprochen bin ich ein großer Bewunderer deiner Veröffenlichungen.Die Art wie Du deine schritfstellerische Arbeit präsentierst fasziniert nicht nur mich,sondern Du erhälst auch uneingeschränkten Zuspruch deiner Leser.Man kann Dich nur beglückwünschen ,wenn Du neben dem Zuspruch deiner Leser auch die Anerkennung und Ehrung von offiziellen Institutionen für deine schriftstellerische Arbeit erhälst.
    Die Art und Weise ,wie Du deine Familiengeschichte und die Historie verbal darstellst begeistert.
    In besonderer Verbundenheit wünsche ich Dir viel Erfolg und große Freude und große Schaffenskraft für noch viele interessante Veröffentlichungen. Dir,liebe Mary Ann, Russell und deinen Kindern möge eine unbeschwerte Zukunft wiederfahren, so daß noch viele Erlebnisse und Ereignisse sich in deinen Berichten wiederspiegeln.
    Dir liebe Mary Ann und deiner Familie eine schöne Vorosterzeit.
    Mit ganz herzlichen Grüßen und vielen Gedanken an Dich
    grüßen aus ” Old Gemany”
    Deine Lilly und Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Arno, ein großer Bewunderer,

      Once again I am humbled by your insightful comment and kind words to my about my writing. Most likely I found some success and readers because of my style i.e. I speak as if in conversation with my readers. That comes quite naturally too. A carefree future is something we all strive for I think. Life’s journey takes us to many places. It winds and bends and climbs and sometimes it a bumpy road. But, I would not exchange it for anything else. Why not enjoy and participate in life! To the fullest measure! May you have abundant blessings and best wishes to you and to Lilly for such wonderful words to me/us.
      All the best,
      Mary Ann

      Wieder einmal bin ich gedemütigt von Deinem aufschlussreichen Kommentar und freundlichen Worten zu meinem Schreiben. Am wahrscheinlichsten fand ich Erfolg und Leser aufgrund meines Stils, d.h.ich spreche wie im Gespräch mit meinen Lesern. Das kommt auch ganz natürlich vor. Eine unbeschwerte Zukunft streben wir alle an, denke ich. Die Reise des Lebens führt uns zu vielen Orten. Es windet und biegt und klettert und manchmal ist es eine holprige Straße. Aber ich würde es nicht gegen etwas anderes eintauschen. Warum nicht genießen und am Leben teilnehmen! Im vollen Maße! Mögest Du viel Segen und die besten Wünsche für Dich und Lilly für so wunderbare Worte an mich / uns haben.

      Mit den besten Wünschen und viele Grüße

      Mary Ann


  5. Mabel Kwong says:

    Congrats on the nomination and award, Mary. I really enjoy reading your responses. It was great IBM helped you print your manuscript. Could not understand why the local copy store gave you a manuscript that was not clear – and one that you worked so hard on. I also remember the days of the type writer – I was in Malaysia helping out with admin work in my uncle’s office, and we typed letters on a type writer. When I made a mistake, I used some white out to white out the error, and retype over it, and sometimes that was the best I could do to correct the mistake.

    Sounds like very exciting travels coming up. Hope you’ve been practicing Dvorak’s Stabat Mater. I have yet to hear that one live. Also thank you for the nomination 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mabel – thank you for the lovely comment to my blog award. I too recall using white-out to make corrections with the typewriter. My typewriter also did not have the Umlaut so I had to trick it into making one. I practiced putting an index card precisely where I wanted the Umlaut so only half of the quotation mark key showed on the paper when I typed. In those days, it was the best way possible. In Germany for my degrees, I typed on a German typewriter. Whew but that was difficult to do because of extra keys, and the Y and Z were reversed on the German keyboard. Talk about mistakes and white-out! Haha. It is done and over with now. We have been practicing Dvorak already. First I have a concert on May 5 of Palmeri’s Misatango, a tango Mass. He is an Argentinian composer and the piece if lots of fun to sing. But learning the rhythms has been challenging! Back to my typing remarks: it is easier today to type the Umlaut and other diacritical marks using the Alt-codes. When I think of the hours I spent typing my “perfect” manuscript only to have the print shop provide me with an inferior copy – I was annoyed to say the least. You are welcome for the nomination. Bringing sunshine and happiness to others is a positive activity. Enjoy the weekend! oxox


      • Mabel Kwong says:

        I wonder how long white out existed. Before white out coming out of a squeezy pen tube, I remember it came in a bottle – and you the cap of the bottle had a brush attached to it so you can dip it in and get the white out. It was always a good thing to test typewriters with a dummy card or sheet so you know how the words would appear, and a good way to check if it still had ink. Making up the Umalaut sounded like a bit of play around for you 🙂

        Have fun with your practising. Sounds like you are well into it already. Lots of practice, no need to worry about nerves on the day 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • My Ph.D. was completed long ago. I am glad for it. I also vaguely recall a sort of white-out paper which one simply inserted in front of the error and then typed it. After than supposedly one could simply correct the error. Thanks for all the tips Mabel. I no longer have any white-out in the house, and if I did, it is probably all dried up. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    I enjoyed your answers, and getting to know you a bit Mary Ann. And gosh, those typewriting days seem so faraway with invention of a computer. YAY, to your Helsinki visit in August. Hope you have a wonderful time, summer is the best season to visit here. And I hope you’ll have time afterwards to write about your visit and experience. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the great comment. I guess many of my readers can relate to those days of a typewriter. My mother absolutely hated the electric ones too. She was forever holding down a finger too long and getting an entire line of the same letter. Have you been to Helsinki? It will be my/our first time and I am so looking forward to exploring there and listening to the language. Ever since I met a couple from Helsinki in New Orleans and listening to them speak, I have wanted to go there. We will also explore Vienna with different eyes this time and follow Mozart there. Preparations for this or any trip are at times complicated. Of course I will be blogging about this trip after we return home. Thank you once again and have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Khaya Ronkainen says:

        Your trip sounds really exciting; lovely times ahead. I’ve never been to Vienna, it’s one of the places I’d love to visit.

        As for Helsinki, I live a mere 2-hrs drive from the capital, in Tampere. This means, I’m a local. 😀 All the best with your travel preparations.

        A lovely weekend to you too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tell me what to do in Helsinki, please. We will do the usual tours for tourists. I want a good restaurant and advice on museums. 24 hrs. of sunlight intrigues me. As a local, I would love some tips. And thanks again for reading. Have you ever taken the ferryboat ride to Estonia and Tallinn? I wonder if it is worth exploring during our short visit.


      • Khaya Ronkainen says:

        Hi Mary Ann! Here’s a link of a Helsinki blogger, Suvi, It’s a very informative blog and she writes from a local’s point of view (as she lives there) to help answer your questions.

        Never mind that her last post dates to 2018 (probably busy to blog at this point) but the information is current as it can be. You’ll find quite a lot, e.g. things to do in Helsinki, places to eat, sauna etiquette, etc.

        And if you have a day to spare, please visit Tallinn. That’s all it takes, it’s so near. You’ll also find info. about a visit to & day in Tallinn, if you peruse Suvi’s blog.

        All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your kindness in sending me to Suvi’s Blog. Knowing all this information now helps me plan how much time in each city. Enjoy the weekend. Thanks once again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Khaya Ronkainen says:

        It’s a pleasure. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Peace and blessings.


  7. It was good to be introduced to you via Annika, Mary Ann, and I enjoyed finding out a little more about you through these questions. And thank you for the smile and compliment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Clare Pooley says:

    Thank you so much for nominating me, Mary Ann. As you may have realised, I am an award free site but and I accept the smile and compliment with pleasure.

    It was fascinating reading the answers you gave to Annika’s questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sally dolak says:

    Congratulations on the nomination and award Mary Ann. Also, thanks for the mention of my blog and sharing my photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sally and much appreciated. You, your photos and blog are also deserving of the award. It is always a pleasure to mention you and to share your photography. Have a great week full of photos.


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