Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


"I'd like to thank the members of the Academy, my mother, and my 7th grade English Teacher, Ms. Conway.  I would not be where I am today without your generous love and support.  I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that the Bananas are all dying and if people don't do their part right now to...."(Cue rising music strains to drown out rest of predictable protest portion of acceptance speech, and....scene!).

OK OK, so not an Oscar exactly, but this blog was recently awarded an "Angel".I am of two minds about this.I am ordinarily wary of the authenticity of inter-community self-generated awards. This bit of back patting where bloggers receive a jpg file with a label on it, classified as an award (!!) and bestowed for various reasons, well, I want to believe it is mostly a genuine gesture whereby people recognize each other for the positive impact of their blogging. 

I don't want to cave to my inner critic who is convinced that the motivation behind circulating these awards is 95 percent a fishing exercise for people who need constant reassurance of being liked and admired.   As in, you give me an award and I will give you one right back.  

Anybody with a computer and certain skills can create an award. At some point they begin to take on the slightly tarnished quality of those "participation" ribbons and trophies popular when my kids were younger, handed out to school aged children for just being there at some event.
I Get a KICK Out of Your Blog Award

In their heyday, these ribbons or teensy trophy cups did not signify winning or placing, they were bestowed based upon "participation".   If you were breathing and present, you got one. The idea was that a majority of kids played sports and didn't win anything, ever, so they should be rewarded for their efforts, encouraged to keep trying.The kids were smarter than that. Although the grown ups who came up with this "everybody is a winner just for showing up" approach were well intentioned, the kids knew the truth. If everybody is "special", then really, special is just the new ordinary. The kids knew who had won the tournament no matter what their ribbons stated.

Learn your history folks. Some countries already tried that "everybody is a winner" approach. I think they called it "Communism". It didn't work out much better long run than the "Participant" ribbons did. 

Human nature will never be rewired by anything as easy as a pre-printed ribbon.

However, skepticism aside, I want to reassess my stance on the Blog Award Situation for a couple of reasons.

First, this award came to me, which certainly must prove its validity and genuinity (yeah I know I made that word up, work with me here). Truly, I am one of those people who never wins anything. Full Disclosure: I did win a cake one time years (and years!) ago at a church cake walk but if I recall correctly, I cheated and knocked another little kid out of a chair to win. The cake, predictably enough, did not taste all that great.  

I am resigned to not winning things.  It is not that I don't try, or don't do my best, it is not that I lack all talent, it is not that I am not competitive. (I bet I am more competitive than you!)  I just am not typically the very best, the most talented, or the most driven. I get by just fine, but I don't typically win awards.

So if I won this award, that must mean there is something different about it.

What is different, and here I am being slightly more serious for a moment, is that the blogger who sent along this particular award truly is an angel in her own way. Folks, if the gracious Bee of the blogging duo dubbed Jugalbandi believes I deserve this award, then I will not argue with her. I will suspend my normally snarkily sarcastic attitude long enough to be awkwardly, sincerely, flattered. And grateful.

For any of you not eagerly checking your inboxes to see if new content has been posted to Jugalbandi, do check it out. This amazing joint venture of Bee and Jai is filled withtop notch photography, inspiring fusion recipes,intelligent in-depth assessment of current food issues, and a close up look at their remarkable garden. Jugalbandi offers an array of entertaining and informative posts, and most importantly, a chance to get to know two very remarkable bloggers.

Sincere thanks for passing along the Angel award, Ms. Bee. I am honestly touched. If anybody out there is a blogging angel, that would certainly be you.

A bit about the Angel Award.  According to the rules you do not have to be awarded an Angel yourself to award one to somebody else. Here is the rest of what you would need to know to pass this along:
1. The rules of this award are not to be taken lightly–which means you can’t give it to someone just because they did something really sweet for you.
2. This award is to be given to bloggers that have shown they are angels by doing something humanitarian and heavenly to help others.
3. You don’t have to receive the award in order to give it. Feel free to copy it and bestow it on someone who is worthy of it. If you think they’re an angel, they probably are.
4. The award must be linked to a post about an organization or good cause you would like more people to be aware of.
5. The rules for this award are to be shown when giving the award.

I am not going to pass along this award today "just because". I"ll know where to get one when I want to. If you have an internet angel in your life however and wish to bestow an angel? 'Tis the season! Please abide by the rules but feel free to share the love.

Now, the more quotidian laundry, actual cooking, and hopefully some Christmas crafting await me.  To be posted soon, my experience making Veselka's Cabbage Soup.


bee said...

you didn't thank bill o'reilly? and sean hannity? and rush windbag?

you wanna know why people circulate awards? can't say it here. i am in enough trouble already.

PassivePastry said...

i won third place in an all school hula-hooping contest in elementary.
i still have my ribbon.

TexasDeb said...

I will bet nickels to dimes that ribbon says "Third Place" and not "Participant", right? You remind me - I won 2nd Place in a 4th Grade Sit-Up contest. I didn't get a ribbon but I felt good about that for years.

I still have my kids UIL ribbon/medals in a drawer. They don't currently want them but they don't want me to get rid of them either.

Wonder what would happen if you wandered around handing people ribbons randomly that said "Participant" on them? Aside from the potential arrest for being a public nuisance that is....

Flapjacks said...

i beat the girl that would later become our valedictorian, in my 7th grade geography bee. ha.