TAG O’RAMA: Past Due Gratitude – Part 1 of 5

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Life has just gotten away from me in the last few months… between the 365 Daily Challenge, publishing two novels, reading ~100 books, and earning a living, I haven’t been able to keep up with all the wonderful tags and awards that I’ve been blessed with. I’m so grateful to the blogging community for the love and support you’ve shown me and feel awful that I’ve gotten behind on about ~40 nominations or ping-backs. I’ve been trying to catch up, but it’s not working! So… I’ve decided for the next week, I am going to highlight several bloggers each day who have been generous enough to tag me…


These bloggers deserve the kudos and a celebrated mention so that more people can find out about them and/or connect with amazing people around the world. Below please find 7 blogs you should be checking out and following. I’ve included the original post they tagged me on as well as a response to a few questions or items from their tag. If I stay on schedule, I’ll be caught up and current on my tags within a week, and then I promise to try to stay on top of them going forward. Thank you to everyone for understanding. Much gratitude for sharing your blogs with me and in turn with the rest of the blogosphere!


10 Random Facts About Me

  • BrizzleLass Books
  • My random fact is that I can’t stand the taste of mushrooms. They ruin the flavor of anything I’ve ever eaten. And it’s a fungus… why o’ why would someone eat it? 🙂

New Disney Princess

Burn, Rewrite, ReRead

  • She Reads at Past Midnight
  • Books randomly chosen from Goodreads ‘read’ list – this was tough!
    • Burn
      • John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’
    • Rewrite
      • William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
    • ReRead
      • E. B. White’s ‘Charlotte’s Web’


  • Ice Breaker 694
  • I truly have the world’s worst handwriting because I’m always rushing, so if I wrote anything, you wouldn’t be able to read it!

School Subject Book

  • Ann the Book Master
    • Beartown by Fredrik Backman (it was translated from Swedish)
    • beartown


  • Growing Self
  • I don’t have a car anymore since I live in NYC, but my last car when I lived in the suburbs was a Volkswagen Tiguan (the year they came out) because it had a moon roof that was the entire ceiling of the car!

Emperor’s New Clothes

  • The Orangutan Librarian
    1. I only picked this because I expected it to be so much better, but the story wasn’t very strong for me. The language and imagery was great, but I was disappointed in how it felt too metaphorical and fluffy.
    2. The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by




365 Challenge: Day 18 – Pale

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Pale: light in color or having little color, feeble and unimpressive

What an interesting word… do I mean my skin color is pale, as in light? Do I mean my personality is pale, as in boring? Or do I mean I am pale, as in comparison to others? Perhaps a little of everything… a bit vanilla and plain. But I’m good with that.

Waking up this morning, I realized I drank a bit more than usual last night and felt a little sleepy and lazy. I still pushed myself out of bed and began my day by 7:15. I thought to myself… “40 has hit you! You’re a bit of a lightweight now, eh?” [said with a thick Scottish brogue].

I remember I had 1 mixed drink and 5 or 6 glasses of wine over a 4-hour period. More than normal, more than one should, but not all that significant compared to many others. So, I suppose I do pale in comparison, in those respects.

I got out of bed, threw on some clothes and went to wash my face. When I looked in the mirror, I appeared washed-out… even more pale than usual. Almost like a ghost! Was that really me?

Yes, it was… you see… my skin is really, really light. Not translucent where you can see inside, but often you see the blueish colors of the veins (or is it arteries? wish I remembered high school science stuff) shining right on thru!

I’ve always wanted to have a bit darker skin… to actually have a sun tan; however, if I go anywhere near the sun, I burn within minutes. Probably that English, Irish and Scottish heritage deep within. Did my people just hide away in caves????

But while Stewie is in pain, he at least has a consistent color all about him. When I get caught in the sun, or if I purposely try to hang out on the beach to get a tan from time to time, it is never even. I look like the messiest splotch around. I don’t spread the suntan lotion properly. I’ve had a few cases of farmer’s tan. I’ve even burned just half my face. My skin is not meant to get near the sun. I must have vampire blood in me somehow. And that’s why I say I’m pale. There are some good things about being pale. Dark colors look extra good on me! Umm… can’t think of anything else tho, so maybe it’s not such a good thing.

As noted, pale can also mean bland, boring, vanilla, plain… leaning towards unimpressive and feeble. I’m not sure I agree pale could mean “feeble” but the dictionary says so, which means it must be true. I’m far from feeble… and that’s not thinking of the word in relation to age.

Pale implies ordinary, common. I find that to be a good thing. It means you don’t stand out, whether it’s to get attention or due to some unusual physical characteristic or behavior. I do think of myself (in about 80% of cases) as a bit vanilla and plain. I’m not showy. I’m not extravagant. I like to keep things in the “average zone” so as not to call attention to myself.

But there’s that 20% of me that’s not pale, not average, not ordinary. Most of it is behavioral. Some of it physical. Some you can see. Some you cannot. Some is temporary. Some is permanent. It’s always in flux. But it’s there. And those who know me well, know how and when it comes out.

Those who don’t know me, or meet me in a corporate setting, wouldn’t really notice it. Perhaps if they were intuitive, it might be a bit more obvious to them. I’m certainly not average in lots of areas, but when I am, I am comfortable with it, even if it means I pale in comparison to others. Knowing and accepting who and what you are, faults and all, strengths and all, is a sign of… well, intelligence!

Would I change any of it?

  • Yes to being able to get a bit of sun tan. Not too much as it could lead to cancer and other diseases, but I think having a bit of color is a more healthy look and feel.
  • No to being average. Life’s a balance of so many things, and I don’t want to stand out above others. It doesn’t mean I’m not competitive (that’s very different, and I am very competitive). It just means I’m comfortable with who I am.
  • Yes/No to being boring all the time. A few surprises are a good thing in life, and I have a good balance here most days.

What about you…

  • Do you agree with my self-assessment, those of you who know me?
  • Are you pale?