Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your 20 Questions - Answered!!

My experiences in blogging have opened up a world of opportunity for me to meet so many interesting and wonderful people from all over the world. Through email conversations I have shared experiences, had some great "girl talk", and enjoyed learning more about the folks who visit me here at my blog.  Over the past several months, I have kept a journal of the many varied questions that I have  been asked.  So finally- I am taking the time and this opportunity to answer those questions.  My way of helping you all  get to know me a little better~~   

Waiting for the water taxi in Venice, Italy
(sitting beside my 2 bags Full!)

Throughout this post, as I answer your questions, I'll also share with you some photos from our travels over the past few years. Are you ready - here we go~~

  Bridge of Sighs, Venice Italy 

1. What is the Gardener's real name?
If I had a nickel for every time someone has asked that question - I would be so rich!!  His real name is Danny - but I call him "Babe."  My husband is a retired civil engineer.  He is one of those guys who can fix anything - but the best thing that he ever fixed -- is me! 

   Dover, England 
2. How did you meet the Gardener?
This is such a funny story~~ we were both newly divorced and I had taken my son on a ski trip to Snowshoe Resort.  It was a rainy weekend, I did not want to go, but my son was 8 years old and I had promised - so-- we went.  I had taken him to the resort pool to go swimming and while I was there, I went to sit in the hot tub while my son was playing with some children in the pool.  As it turned out, it was my husbands children, and he came over to sit in the hot tub and talk to me.  The rest, as they say is history,  but my husband likes to jokingly say that "you should be careful when you sit in a hot tub because you just might catch something!"

 On the cruise ship- just leaving Ushuaia, Argentina

3. You always seem to love challenges - are you afraid of anything?
My biggest fear in the world is elevators.  Not heights, really, just elevators.  I work on the 5th floor of the hospital - so every morning, and at least 2 or 3 other times during the day - I climb 5 flights of stairs.  I've done it so much now that I can pretty much do the whole 5 flights without stopping.  I do of course, have to ride elevators, but I won't ride one alone.  (but heaven help the person who would get stuck on an elevator with me- because I will no doubt go totally crazy!) There - I said it!!

  St. John's, New Brunswick

4.  What is your biggest challenge?
Honestly, my biggest challenge is my weight.  I did Weight Watchers about 8 years ago, lost a LOT of weight, and then over the past several years, I got lax and well, - you know what happened.  I started a serious exercise regimen this past March, as well as returning to the Weight Watcher's diet - and I have knocked off over 35 pounds.  So, my biggest challenge is just staying true to the plan.  I religiously count my points every day - it is truly now just how I live my life.  I don't feel that I have to give  up anything - I just make a plan for it and work it into my daily points if I want it bad enough.  You know what they say~~ "it's a life style, not a diet".  For me that is totally true.  After losing and gaining and now finally LOSING again, I am not going to stop counting ever again.  This is the one true thing that I have learned - the older you get, the HARDER it is to lose weight - I am staying true to myself this time and keeping diet and exercise as a regular part of my daily plan.   

 VilleFranche, France

5. If you could make one wish and have it come true~~
I would give almost anything to be sitting at the kitchen table talking to my Dad again.  This is a perfect example of how it is truly the little things that mean so much in life.  My parents have been gone almost 10 years now, and my heart still hurts~

 Mannarola, (Cinque Terre), Italy

6. If you could choose just one place amongst all of your travels as your most favorite - what would it be?  Several years ago - I tore a page out of a travel magazine.  The photo was similar to the one just above here.  I thought it was the most magnificent sight and I told myself that someday- I wanted to be able to visit this very place.  I kept that page - for years it seems, folded it - lost it half a dozen times - but always found it and finally put it on the wall in my Sacred Yarn room - where I would see it everyday.  On a recent trip to Europe - a Mediterranean cruise - one of our cruise ports was Liverno Italy.  Knowing that this would be my best chance to visit Cinque Terre, we arranged ahead of time for a guide to drive us to this incredible place - a World Heritage site - a community of 5 cities nestled into the cliffs along the coast of Italy.  THIS was my dream come true.  Being here was everything I could have hoped for and more.  On the famous Via Amore path - we stopped and my husband took this photo.  When I turned around and looked back at Mannarola - I realized that this - THIS was the photo that I had kept close to my heart for so many years.  I had a major melt down right there and had to compose myself after a bit so that my husband could take this photo.  Now - I have that photo for my own - and the only difference is that I am in it!  This is proof that you should never give up on your dreams - they really can come true.  I will be doing a travel photo essay on this incredible place later this spring.  I will also be doing a photo essay on Venice  - another place that I hold dear to my heart~

 On a cruise ship - sailing around Cape Horn.
(that's it in the background - just a great big rock!) 

7.  What is most important to you in your life?
You know - I am actually so happy to be 54 years old and answer this question.  I think that a few years ago my answer would have maybe not been the same.  Honestly, I really don't "sweat the small stuff anymore."  So the house burns down~~ well, I'd hate that of course, but as long as we could be OK and the the kitties would be OK, - after that it's really just STUFF.  I have too much anyway~~  
I have dear friends who are battling the cancer demon and their struggles are all consuming.  I pray for them everyday.  Knowing that - helps to put things in perspective. Really nothing else matters - just life and love and family~~

 Quebec City, Canada
(with the Chateau Frontenac in the background)
8. Have you always worked as a nurse in the Neonatal ICU? I'd love to hear about your career~
The Nursing profession really has blessed me with a career that I dearly love. I was 19 years old when I went for my first nursing interview and was lucky enough to land a job in a "brand new" intensive care unit for babies. I jokingly tell my peers that I "came with the walls."  Most nurses do switch around between the different nursing areas, but I have not - my career in the NICU now spans 35 years.  I am immensely proud of my career - taking care of babies - sick babies- has been the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done.   This is not a job that you can leave behind at the end of the day - I still, after all this time, bring the worries home with me.  You can't help but feel attached to a baby that you have taken care of for 3 months - day in and day out.  I've shed LOTS of tears, both happy and sad.  Miracles really do happen - I see them every day~~

  Barcelona, Spain
Montserrat, Monastery
(my ice cream is dripping!)

9.  What are your favorite addictions?
OK - this is kind of crazy - but I am addicted to McDonald's ice tea - well, actually, it is an obsession.  I drink 2 of them every day.  (the good thing is that I rarely drink soda anymore- usually just one glass in the morning)-- but I walk into work every morning with a cup of coffee in one hand, a glass of tea in the other, and another tea packed away in my tote bag.  (Did you know when you put those styrofoam cups in the refrigerator that you can keep them all day and the ice does not even melt!!)  and then of course - my crazy other addiction is ~~ YARN!  It could be worse - right?

 Ephesus, Turkey
(the great ruins of Ephesus)
10.  Do you have sisters or brothers?  Do you come from a large family?
I am the eldest of three sisters- there is not even a year between our ages- (my Mother was pregnant every time she went back for her 6 weeks check up!)  My sister Belinda is the middle sister and she is a bank branch manager in our hometown here.  My sister Denise (Maddy's grandmother) is the youngest - she is a CPA and works out of her home - also here in our home town.  And then there is me - a nurse who can not even balance a checkbook.  When it comes to math things - my sisters got all the brains!  My sisters are both beautiful and smart - I love them so much~~

 Monteriggioni, Italy

11.  Is there anyone in history that you greatly admire?  If you could meet one person - who would that be?  Eleanor  Roosevelt.  I have read just about every book written about her.  She was an incredibly strong woman- she stayed in a bad marriage for the sake of her children and to protect the Presidency.  She was an advocate for human rights and an advocate for women.  She was remarkable in that she genuinely cared about people.  I admire her greatly~

 Rome, Italy
(the famous Trevi Fountain)
12.  If you could be anywhere right now - where would it be? 
On a beach in St. Martin.  The Gardener and I love it there - we find the island to be so calming, we feel so at ease there - we love the people - and that beautiful blue water~~.  It is our favorite Caribbean destination and although we travel there by way of cruises frequently - we also usually go there once a year to stay on the island.   

 Canterbury, England
(Canterbury Cathedral)
13. Salty or sweet?
This one made me laugh out loud!!   SALTY!!  I could eat the whole bag of potato chips - I don't - but I could.  And after that - SWEET - and after that - SALTY ~~~ you get the picture!

  San Michelle, Venice, Italy
the Venetians refer to this sacred place as
"Cemetery Island"
14. The photos on your blog are amazing!  What kind of camera do you use?
I get so many wonderful compliments on my travel photos.  If I had a quarter for every time someone asks what kind of camera that I use~~  Here is the answer - (but you aren't going to like it!)-  Kodak Easy share.  Really - I swear.  I do not own a fancy camera.    Honest - cross my heart and hope to die.  The Gardener told me that someone once told him that the best camera to use - is the one you have with you - and I tend to agree.  I'm not smart enough to operate anything more sophisticated than this!  (I told you that you wouldn't believe me!!) 

 St. Petersburg, Russia
(a canal ride through the city)
15.  How do you start your day? 
I get up at 4 am on workdays to be at the hospital a little after 6.  I live about 30 minutes away from my workplace.  My day starts with a cup of coffee and a glass of diet Pepsi.  Actually - I go for the Pepsi as soon as my feet hit the floor.  I am a serious coffee snob.  I am spoiled by great coffee addictions.  When the Gardener worked in Nicaragua for a while, he brought me the most wonderful Selva Negra coffee from a little plantation there.  I also love 3 Generations coffee that I order directly from Costa Rica.  Lately, however, I have come to love the World Market Breakfast blend. (you get double coffee points if you order on Wednesdays - I'm just sayin~~)   The smell of GREAT coffee makes me go ahhhhh~

 Dubrovnik, Croatia
(sitting on the ancient wall that surrounds the city)
16.  What is your favorite movie?
Out of Africa - I'm such a sap. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched this movie.   I know almost every line and I start crying the minute she says, "I had a farm in Africa~~"

Venice, Italy
(St. Marks Square)

17.  What are some favorite books that you have read? 
I recently had a major clean out of my books and gave almost all of them to our new local library.  I saved only a few - my very favorites.  My all time favorite book is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It is an incredible story of a family who goes to Africa to live among the locals there and work as missionaries.  I have read and re-read this book a dozen times - and I was actually just thinking the other day that I am ready to read it again.  My other favorite book is Corelli's Mandolin  by Louis de Bernieres.  A love story set in the Greek Islands, during World War 2 - it is a story of love, perseverance - and the meaning of a promise.   I have also watched the movie that is by the same title - but it does not at all do this book justice.  I mostly read on my Kindle or IPAD now - and I have read many great books - I usually list on the sidebar of my blog what I am reading at the time.  Right now - Rules of Civility is a definite favorite.   But these two books - are ones that I truly treasure.  Have you read them?

Amalfi Coast, Italy

18. Seriously do you really mow grass for 5 or 6 hours at a time?  Are you crazy!!!
Yes - and probably yes!!  I really do love to mow grass more than anything in the summer.  It is a serious part of my exercise routine in the summer and I get majorly bent out of shape if the Gardener mows it before I get to it!   We have a little over 3 acres here at our home - and I mow at least half of it by push mower.  The Gardener helps by mowing the rest on the tractor - but he knows that if he mows all of the grass - I will declare WAR!!  It makes me happy - I swear it does - and when I am finished - I can have a small Dairy Queen blizzard and not feel the least bit guilty!!

 Mannarola, Italy
Cinque Terre
19.  Why did you start blogging? 
Hmmmm- I love to write - I always wanted to write a book - I even took a writing class several years ago - and I failed miserably!  Seriously, I was THE worst person in the class.  Here is what learned about that~~  I don't write well on demand.  If I am instructed to write a story about "a field of purple flowers" for example, I can't.  So, I challenged my self to start this blog as an outlet that would allow me to write about the things that I wanted.  Honestly - I have loved every minute of the time that I spend writing for my blog.  In turn, and because of this blog - I have been blessed with new opportunities that I never ever expected - like writing travel features for an online magazine.  Not bad for a small town girl that miserably failed a writing class~~

 Sydney, Nova Scotia
20.  I get the sweetest emails from blogging friends  and often I am asked what suggestions I might have for developing a successful blog.  Honestly - I am probably the least qualified person to be answering this question- but since I AM asked this so often - I will share some of my thoughts~

Define successful.  To me- successful is NOT based on the number of followers that a blog has - really it is not.  I have seen lots of blogs that have 1000 followers  - and for the life of me, I can't figure out WHY!  To me having a successful blog is having a circle of blogging friends that you communicate with- they visit you and you visit them- you all support each other in your blogging endeavors.  This could be a handful of folks - or more.  

Having said that - I do know and  understand that new bloggers - all bloggers - want to see their numbers and followers grow.  My advice --- participate in activities that will broaden your exposure.  The One World One Heart event is the best event that I know of that did that for me - this event was huge for my exposure.  The rules have changed and now this event is more for those of us that make crafts - but if you have a craft - you should definitely consider participating in this event - (the info is on my sidebar.) 

Participate in LINKY parties - share a recipe, a favorite post, whatever the subject matter is - you can't help but expose your blog to new readers when you participate in these activities.  

Don't be a blog snob.  Be gracious and appreciative when someone visits your blog.  It is not always possible for me to visit every blog or every person that visits here or leaves a comment.  I want to, I grieve over the fact that I cannot, but the bottom line is that there often just aren't enough hours in the day.  BUT - If someone asks a question - or leaves a comment that desires a response - I answer that person every single time. I want my readers and followers to know that I am here for them - that I am a real person, and that if they need me, or have a question, or if I can help them in any way - they need only ask.  I read ever single comment - every single day---your comments mean the world to me and I love you all - I could get gushy at a moment's notice~~

And lastly, I want to say that these things take time.  And - that you simply must devote some serious time to developing your blog - ie-visiting other blogs and leaving reciprocal comments.  Some weeks I spend HOURS and HOURS  on my blog - some weeks, I don't - but overall- I devote a serious bit of time to making this a blog that my readers hopefully will enjoy.  It is a challenge sometimes though, remember, I am the girl who failed the writing class~~

There are people out there who are EXPERTS in this field of blogging.  My friend Karen Valentine is an incredible resource person for me.  She has written blogging books and is available to help anyone who desires to improve their blogging communication skills.  You can find Karen at her blog My Desert Cottage.   She is one of the nicest most genuine people you will ever meet and she CAN answer all of your questions. 

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Peggy's Cove

 21.  (OKAY - 21 questions!!)
The nests~~ those NESTS - people always want to know how I came to be the knitter of nests!
I'd like to know the answer to that one too and believe me - no one is more surprised than me that I am the maker of nests!!But - here is my official answer~~

I love yarn, am obsessed with yarn - and even worse than that - I am crazy obsessed with the tangles, and knots, and the way the yarns mesh together.  Seriously, if there was a 12 step program for this - I'd have to be there.  I never throw my yarn scraps away - I save every knot and mess that I have.  To me a tangled knot is an absolute treasure - and I have 2 huge bowls full of such treasures here in my Sacred Yarn Room. 
(I know- its totally crazy!!)

For the longest time, I searched for something, a craft, a creation that would full fill my desire to use a variety of yarns of all colors, use the knots and tangles, and just give me something to do with the ever growing supply of yarn that was filling this Sacred Yarn room to the max!  I never had an Ahh hah moment - it did not happen like that~~

Somewhere along my path, I saw a little nest that someone had crafted from felt. And, like we all do- I thought - I can do that~~~ maybe even do it better.  So I played around - knitted a nest - and started experimenting around with my different yarns.  Then it just happened.  I made 1 nest - then I made 4 nests- then I made 10 and so on and so on.  As is the normal progress of things - the nests that I make now - really do not resemble the early nests - these nests now have such a variety of yarns and different textures.  When I say there are over 200 yarns in my nests - rest assured - there are probably, actually - more.  The rest, as they say, is history - and my nests have gone on to enable me to donate charitably to a great many needy and worthwhile organizations.   To say that they have changed my life - is an understatement.  

I could say so much more - there is way more to tell  - but I will save that for another post.  It is going to be a very busy year for the nests - trust me~~

 Cruise ship knitting

Not a question - just my chance to say what is truly on my heart.  My blogging friends are so very precious to me.  I had no idea that I could ever be in a position to develop such loving friendships with people from all over the world.  These friendships are true - only distance separates our ability to meet.  To each of you who visit me here and support me in my blogging endeavors - my heartfelt thanks.  I hope you can tell that these words are from the depths of my heart. 

I am going to take a little blogging break for about a month.  GASP!!  I want to finish the last of the winter nest makings -I am currently about 2/3 finished with those.  Also- I have a new design that I have been working on for the OWOA (One World Our Art) event - and I want to finish that design also.  There are other projects that are still a bit of a secret that are also requiring some time - so I feel that I need to take a little break and tie up all my lose ends.  Somewhere in there - is also a little trip to warm places for the Gardener and me.  
I will post the winner of the contest on the 18th, and I will continue to visit those of you who stop by here to leave your precious comments.  If you are on my nesting list and have not heard from me by March 1 - please email me!!  I am not gone - I am here - I check my emails every day.  If you need me - don't hesitate to write to me.  When I come back - I am crossing my fingers that there will be little signs of spring~~


ps - sorry for such a LONG post!! Next time we will call it-- 10 Questions!!


Acorn to Oak said...

Such a wonderful post! I enjoyed getting to know you more and seeing more of your beautiful photos. How exciting that you're making more nests. They're always so pretty. I imagine your nests go very fast. Do you take reservations for them or ?? How much do they cost? Have fun creating and enjoy your month off. :-)

audrey said...

Wow!!! I already knew you were a special lady, Vicki, but now that I've read your 21 answers, I'm even more impressed.
You are a beautiful woman ~ you glow in every photograph. And the only way to cover all your wonderful good qualities is to say that you have a beautiful soul.
I would love to say more, but this is not the place ~ not enough space. lol. Thank you for taking the time to answer all the questions asked of you. Your answers brought big smiles to my face.
It really doesn't matter what kind of camera you use ~ you take stunning photos and I enjoy them immensely.
Enjoy your time away from blogging. I hope you find a little time to relax while working on all you have planned.
♥ audrey

Neesie said...

I had such a lovely time today travelling around the globe and getting to know you better. It was such a priviledge and so special. Thank you for sharing so much and being so open.
I have become addicted to blogging and visiting your blog amongst others, but now you tell me your having a will I manage? I'll just have to keep busy until you return...enjoy and come back soon :D xoxo

Maggie said...

It wasn't a long post at all, I felt that I could keep reading and learning more about you & your life philosophies for hours! Love, love, love your photo's and I was thrilled to see you in Amalfi. We're headed to Positano in April and I am so looking forward to the trip.
It has been a real pleasure to get to know you over the past few months and to acquire one of your beautiful nests.
Take care.

PoetessWug said...

How nice to find out so much about you! And I loved the photos of all of the places you've visited...You and I have a similar love of yarn! :-) And my coffee love is growing! UGH! *Teehee* I also was in nursing many years an Aide though. I didn't become an R.N. because in my state it would have taken me away from hands on care of patients, and instead made me a 'pill pusher'. I loved giving back rubs, braiding hair, making beds comfy, holding hands, and being a shoulder to lean on to family members of my patients. :-] I wonder if being a care-giver and being a lover of yarn go hand in hand?! ^_^ Thanks for all the info, Vicki. Nice to meet you...even more!

Joyful said...

I enjoyed reading this post and learning more about you. Happy and safe travels to you and the gardener :-)

Deb said...

Oooh, Vicki ~ I LOVED this 20 Questions post! You are amazing! You've traveled to more beautiful places than I knew about! You certainly live a very busy and interesting life - thank you for sharing it with us! Hope you have a good month's blog break and get a lot accomplished!

Tanna said...

Oh, man! I so enjoyed this post, Vicki!! Another nurse, knitter, weight-struggler, adventurer! Sisterhood of the Yarn Women. Gotta love it. I am so envious of all your travels! Beautiful photo journal of your trips! Enjoy your nest building time and see you when you're done!! blessings ~ tanna

Julie Marie said...

Hi Vicki... oooh, I just loved this post!... your photos are all gorgeous, and so are you!... I loved hearing about all your travels, and how you met your husband... I too am terribly frightened of elevators... that is the only thing I can think of that scares me... before I retired, I too worked on the 5th floor of the police department and walked those stairs every single day... if you and I got trapped in one together, it would be a nightmare I am sure because of how frightened we both are!... sissy nests say hello, as does shorebird nest, and I can hardly wait for my Harvest nest, although I do not want to wish the time away... enjoy your blog break, and hopefully Spring will be here soon, xoxo Julie Marie

Sandies' Patch said...

What a wonderful post, we are so nosey wanting to know all about you LOL

I've just enjoyed a trip around the world and it hasn't cost me anything but, a bit of electricity and time!
Thank you for being YOU, there is definately not anyone like you and I mean that in the best possible way LOL!

Keep on doing what you do, the world is a better place because of you.
My turn to gush !

Have a great week, Valentines' day and have fun with the nesting!

Sandie xx

Sue said...

Really enjoyed this post, actually I enjoy all your posts, but this was extra special just like you. So many lovely places in the photos too, some I have been too and some I shall definitely have to add to my 'one day' list.

Hope you have a good break.

Silke Powers said...

OMG, Vicki, I read every single word of this post and stared at every wonderful photo! You are so beautiful in every one of them! Some of those places, Daniel and I have been to as well, but some of them are high on my list of places to visit! I want to travel like you do!!!

Daniel and I both love Barbara Kingsolver, but I connected more with Prodigal Summer. And Corelli's Mandolin was one of our very favorite books.

And then there is Out of Africa - don't know how often we've watched that movie... It came out when we were first dating. :)

I could go on and on. Instead, I'm just going to say (as I look at one of your nests on the living room table) that I am beyond grateful for your friendship!!

Much love, Silke

P.S. I've sent you a few e-mails, but have a feeling they aren't reaching you... Hmmm...

Oh, and St. Martin is on our next cruise itinerary - I'll have to find out more from you!!

LISA said...

Your blog gives people the insight to the person you really are! I have privilege of knowing you in person! You are a terrific person, nurse and incredibly generous friend! I enjoy hearing and seeing your travel experiences as well!
Take care and God bless!

Unknown said...

I loved your post and enjoyed learning more about you. And boy are we alike! Except maybe about the coffee LOL Love the smell but hate the taste. Hope you have a great warm getaway. Hugs!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Vicki! Wow! For someone who "failed miserably" you just did a mighty fine job of writing. :) So nice to learn so much more about you. You've traveled to so many wonderful, beautiful places. Your life is definitely very, very full! Blessings to you as you tie up all those loose ends. Best wishes, Tammy

Dorthe said...

Sweet friend, I loved reading this "interview" with you- seing all the beautiful photoes of you and the many places you visited with your Gardener--I loved reading about you meeting him :-)
and all your other sweet answers, dearest Vicki-I for sure know what a beautiful woman you are ,outside and in- -take care the next month till you are back again- I will miss you.
Hugs and love,Dorthe

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Vicki'
What a delightful post! I enjoyed reading every word and I think you are an amazing writer. Your sweet spirit just shines though.
Happy Valentines day to you and your sweetie..
I look forward to seeing your new nest creations, I love the one I have I look at every day and smile.
big hugs, Elizabeth

Lili said...

Loved this Vicki! Every single bit of it reflects the beautiful person you are and it was so satisfying to get to know a little more about you. I love the story of the photo in Italy that you carried for so long and could really understand the deep emotions that it brought to you in that image. Also, the wish of being able to sit and talk with your Dad again had me nodding my head too. On a lighter note, it was fun to realize that you and Henri both share an elevator phobia. Consequently we are stair takers too... The story of how you and the Gardener met was really cool. Have a wonderful time away you two and Happy Valentine's Day to you both! You are such a treasure. Sending much love and hugs to you sweet Vicki! xoxo ~Lili

mary said...

Yep! This is exactly who you are. A blessing to all of us! A great post!

Susan McClaskey said...

I've probably said it before, but once again I'm convinced we're somewhat kindred souls. I "get" so much of what you said (challenge of weight, books you've read, places visited, passion for yarn, etc, etc, etc.) Beautiful post, thank you for sharing.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Dear Vickie,

Your values are so on target. You found the secret of having the best life you can. It is always the people first,
being loved and giving love, and always, always, having dreams.

I enjoy your posts so much!

yaya said...

Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. Your photos are really great and it's fun to see you don't have a super fancy camera! Enjoy your break and have a fun trip. I too hope that Spring will be here when you return!

RodPrjónar said...

Hey Vicki!
Wow! How lucky I am! I come to visit your blog for the first time and I find this super detailed post about yourself!

My experience blogging has been similar to yours. I have gotten the chance to get in touch (and not only through the net) with some wonderful, loving and caring people!

This space has shown me over and over again that the world IS actually full of good people!

I really enjoyed your pictures! Wow you have travelled a lot!

I will be your new follower, starting RIGHT NOW!

All the best for you!!

Erica said...

You have visited so many of the places we have, or would like to. We will be in St Petersburg in Sept. I have to say, I am more nervous about going to Russia than any place I've been. Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing so much personal info with us.

Angela Rueb said...

Wow!!! Such an interesting post....I absolutely LOVED getting to know more about you, and I find we have a lot in common.....wear the same Vera Bradley bags, love photography and traveling and knitting and yarn and reading. I, also almost never take an elevator because I'd die (I think) if trapped in one in case of earthquake, etc. Also....I could really relate to your "one wish" sit and talk with your Dad too! Only my Daddy died when I was 17 and a senior in high school. I still miss him sooooo much. Anyway, checking your blog always makes me see the beautiful pictures of your travels and the things you make... I appreciate you!!!! Angie

Mosaic Magpie said...

This was one wonderful post. Although when I got to the photo of St. Petersburg, Russia I had to keep scrolling back and looking again. I absolutly love those builings. I must have lived there in another life because I am so drawn to photos of that place. So very interesting learning all those things about you.
I have to think of the parents of your patients, how much it must put them at ease to know a nurse with that much experience is caring for their child. Again I have throughly enjoyed my visit here today!

fromsophiesview said...

Peggy's Cove is so dear to my heart and the picture of Sydney is remarkable....from my is everywhere and you are adept at capturing it. In 2007, we were planning a trip to Cinque Terre with friends. Circumstances prevented the trip but when you mentioned your story it all came back to me. I must say I chuckled at Danny's comment about the hot very true...wink wink! Have agreat time on the ocean blue and pictures please...Kodak pics ie!

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...


A wonderful, honest and lovely post.
I feel so lucky to have met you in this blogging world. I love the way you talk about your husband, your sisters, your challenges and dreams.
You have the BEST attitude~

Kim Stevens said...

I enjoyed this post so much, and getting to know you! I too love McDonalds ice tea, ha!

This didn't seem long at all, I just kept wanting to read more, and I love that you are just so authentic. Thanks for taking the time to let us peek in to your life. I can't wait to get my nest! Any chance you will be doing a beached theme one soon?

Thee Alley Kat said...

Wow!! I enjoyed reading that immensly. Already knew you were a very special and intriguing lady. But, I see why you are loved by so many. One day I so hope to seek traveling advice from you. The pictures made me want to get on a plane right now and even a cruise ship (which I'm deathly afraid of.) If I could sum up how I feel about the blog post....inspiring. Thank you for sharing of yourself!


Mila said...

Ciao Vicki!
Love this post! Every smile of yours brings with it all the naivety of a child...
Mila, your Italian blog-friend :)

b said...

I loved the question, "....are you afraid of anything?" We use the phrase "You can't scare me. I've...." The rest of the phrase has been filled in with "...been to Morocco" and "...crossed the street in Saigon" and "...ridden in a taxi in Manilla" or "...descended the steps to Cat Cat Village near Sapa, Vietnam". There are so many more I can't begin to list them. Travel is nothing without just a little adventure.

Loved the blog...I would love to see more of Europe!


Completely Coastal said...

That was a great read, Vicki!! And you have seen so many amazing places! I love that you're in all the pictures. One can see that you enjoy life!!

suziqu's thread works said...

Dear Vicki
Such a beautiful post and such wonderful photography of the most exciting places that you have been shown just as it is!
A beautiful woman with a beautiful heart. The gardener is just one very lucky man and vice versa!
Come visit to enter my giveaway Vicki and you may like to post it on your sidebar also.
Love and big hugs,

Tanya said...

This post has started out my day in the most wonderful way...a writer you wanted to be, and a writer you ARE!!! Have a productive and relaxing break...see you on the other side of the creativity! XOXO Tanya

sjmcdowell said...

I knew I loved you Vicki!!!

My favorite movie of all time is "Out of Africa" too!!
I have to have my Out of Africa fix every so often and put the DVD in...get my popcorn and watch...I also have memorized the lines and just sit there saying the lines right along with them!!

Seriously...You and I will have to watch it together one day!! What a hoot that will be... you and I saying the lines at the same time, our husbands will be rolling on the floor in laughter..haha!:)

Love this post and getting to know you better. Your a gem!

Love and Blessings Always,


Esme said...

VIckie this was a great post. You look amazing in the photo from Canterbury-it is scary how many of the same places we have been. Love Peggy's Cove and Italy ...This was truly lots of fun. I am glad to see you are enjoying Day After Night-I just put a box in the mail for you.

xoxxoxo Your kitty friend. Give the kitties a big hug.

marda said...

I just read your latest post and the one previous to that. I loved the 20 questions and especially your answers. The pictures are beautiful. I'm not and never will be a traveler, but I can certainly appreciate all those wonderful places and how well you captured them by camera. I too, LOVE barns... and I thought it was just me!!! I grew up in Iowa farm country, we had two wonderful barns on our farm and they've just always "spoken" to me no matter where were lived.. the mid-west, New England and now the northwest. The poor old delapidated ones make beautiful pictures, but sad knowing they're on their way to totally collapsing. Enjoy your break from the blog, but sounds like you'll not be sitting around twiddling your thumbs...unless you twiddle and knit...during this break. Take care and hugs. Marjorie

elvira pajarola said...

DOLCE sympaticissima your lovely list of questions & your charming responds of all these .....!

....& how I had to smile about your funny encounter with your sweet Gardener..... I LOOOOOVED IT.....THAT is the most romantic & cutest love story...; so supersweet you shared it, carissima Vicki!!!!!!!!

You are truly UNIQUE; with a natural charme & energy which touches deeply....!!!!

( ......p.s. : never ever come back to sweet Italy without calling me first....carissima Vicki!!!!)

ciao ciao ed un abbraccione forte elvira

(..yes, the cast came off....I am soooooo happy about that!)

bacio elvira

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

WOW! I visited your blog on Arleen's recommendation, and all I can say is WOW! (But of course, I'll "force" myself to say more ...) Loved your pictures, and all the things you shared about yourself. Just my luck. I show up, and you're leaving. Ah well. Count me in as your newest follower. Enjoy your respite.

Carole said...

You are a special star in blogland. To take the time to write all this when you are so busy!
Enjoy your blog break sweet thing.


SuZeQ said...

Beautiful post, Vicki. I loved traveling with you and Danny. Actually, I wish I could have been right there with y'all. I learned the answers to a few of your questions/answers from our phone conversations ... but there was a lot I didn't know. Oh how I would love to sit and visit with you in person. Come to Dallas!

Createology said...

Oh my gosh I almost missed this post. How wonderful to learn more about you and your passions of knitting and travel and nursing. You are as special as your beautiful smile. Your zest for life is always present in your photos and blogging. I feel so fortunate to be able to follow you and your adventures. Thank you for sharing. Blissful my dear...

myriamkreativ said...

Hi my sweet friend,
thank you for answering all this questions. It really makes me understand you even better. And - during the next Europe trip YOU HAVE TO ADD Kirchheim you know? It cannot compare with Cinque Terre of course - but it has the one special thing that all the other places dont have - me waiting for you... with a special prepared latte for a lovely friend. So keep in mind. And also if you dont blog now... come over and join a soul sweet with me every now and then.
Hugs & kisses

PS: You say the "very first" nests are not the same than the wonderful creations that you are doing now... but .... my tiny sweet little green one is resting right behind me on the window shelf and I do love it

Rustique Gal said...

Wow, Vicki! What a great post. I feel that we are friends! One of my life goals is to travel often, and your travels inspire me so much. I just "did" Capitol Reef with you. I have never been to Europe, and your pictures blow me away! Thanks for sharing so much with us!
Have a wonderful time "off" and we'll be here when you get back!

Lululiz said...

It was a real pleasure and an honour to get to know so much more about you. I love seeing your photographs, because your smile always lights up my day. Nobody can look at your beautiful smile and not smile themselves.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Vicki, what a wonderful post and totally beautiful photos. Traveling with Dave was one of my greatest joys; we had such great times when we traveled. Always had each other's back; it looks as if you and Danny do likewise.

Lesli @ Beautifully Coastal Design Blog said...

I don't remember how I came upon your blog yesterday, but I signed up for your RSS feed and this was in my Reader this morning. I rarely read a long blog post -- seriously -- rarely, but yours captivated me and took me from one question to the next. I'm so glad I took the time to read every word and I feel better for doing it.

I hope you're enjoying your break and I'll look forward to reading more of your posts when you return!

Lesli @

Chris said...

Hi Vicki, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Lynette Killam said...

I've been out of touch for a while, but am so glad I stopped by to read this great well done and enjoybale. I admit to admiring your ease in front of a camera...although content in many other ways, that one still unsettles me!

Enjoy your time off...:)

Suzan said...

Absolutly lovely pictures!
What shoe(s) do you wear that give you the needed support on all those cobble stones, bricks and walk ways!

Cheryl said...

I missed this post Vicki with my crazy life happening around me! I love it, what a lovely interesting post, you sure are well travelled and you are so pretty as well as being such a good soul. I loved reading the entire thing!

Mr Paul said...

Just discovered your blog, great photography Vicki.

A Scattering said...

Oh sweetie, I've just been catching up and this is a super post! Love the photos but your running bio even better.

FYI: Gray is, at this moment, running from the front door to the living room window because he can hear doves cooing close by. As I've said before, he allows us to live here.

Angi in hana said...

hi vicki, i just discovered your blog recently looking for help figuring out the blog way, thrilled to sign up fpr your january blog celebration! loved your bio and esp the travels, the nova scotia photo got me! i am a 30 year hospice RN, had to take early retirement d/t back problems, now focusing full time on my crafts, hence the wanting the blog connection so badly, kinda lonely and miss all the nsg connections! big mahalo to you vicki, i feel so inspired and you are awesome to try and follow! aloha, angi in hana