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Greetings from Seattle, Washington, USA

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Liebster Award from Bethany

Many thanks to Bethany of Liberty or Death for nominating me for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is a way of learning more about fellow bloggers by asking them questions. Read all about the Award and its rules here. My answers to Bethany's questions are below.

Why did you begin blogging, and how long do you think you’ll continue?

Many, many years ago I started collecting old postcards and memorabilia. Most of it relates to historical railroads, the Pacific Northwest and the National Parks, especially Yellowstone. In 2010, I asked myself, “How could I share this collection with others who might find it interesting?” The answer was a blog and the beginning of John’s Island. I also found it to be a good place to share other hobbies like photography. As to the second half of your question … I really don’t know.

Part of my collection and one of my first digital camera photos.
That was back when camera makers thought it cool to put
the date on photos.
Yes, the collection has grown since 1999.


What is your go-to meal for when you need to cook something quickly?

How quick is quick?  5 minutes is a bowl of oatmeal.  If I've got a bit longer ... Beef stew … takes 30 minutes. Brown the beef and place into the electric pressure cooker. Add a cup of lower sodium beef broth. Dice up 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, a russet potato, ½ medium onion and add all to the pot. Cook on high pressure 20 minutes. Quick release pressure and, if necessary, add about a tablespoon of corn starch to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Delicious.

You’re shipwrecked on an island; what one thing would you have with you?

A radio … Not just any radio, but a ham radio with a well charged battery. Since I’m a licensed operator I’d use the radio to contact a buddy and ask for rescue.

If you could choose any profession, what would it be? 

After working through the ranks, I’d like to end up Captain of an ocean going ship, preferably one that delivers mail to small ports in sparsely settled parts of the world.

If you could meet any of your long-distance blogging friends, which ones would you most like to meet?

Three Canadian bloggers:  Joyful of Snap That, Red of Hiawatha House, and Ruth of Ruth’s Photo Blog. Also, of course, I would like to meet Bethany, who nominated me for this award. Really, there are many others.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Spumoni -  It’s an Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts.

Describe a perfect day.

After having open heart surgery a few years ago, almost every day is perfect … at least it is a blessing and a bonus. I guess the best days are when I don’t need to spend a lot of time in Seattle traffic!

If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?

I would love to turn the clock back to May 10, 1869, and be in Promontory, Utah, standing in the front row of observers watching the golden spike being driven at the celebration for the completion of America’s first transcontinental railroad.

The Last Spike (1881) by Thomas Hill
(Painting is in Public Domain and via Wikipedia
at their "Golden Spike" page.)


Have you ever been in a choir or singing group, or played an instrument?

Yes, believe it or not, when just a youngster I was in the Texas Boys Choir.

What is the most encouraging thing anyone has ever told you/or that you’ve ever read?

This is the toughest question for me. I’ve read so many encouraging things and have had so many people say encouraging things to me that I really can’t pick out just one. But here’s a recent one … I’ve been volunteering in the Neonatal Intermediate Care Unit in one of Seattle’s big hospitals. My job is to hold newborn babies when the nurses and/or parents are too busy or not available. A couple of weeks ago a baby boy about 10 days old was very fussy. He had been born addicted to drugs … his mother had been using them before his birth and the hospital was trying to wean him off his addiction. When I arrived in the Unit early in the morning his nurse was just coming on shift and needed to catch up with the nurse who had been on duty overnight. The little boy was crying loudly and quite a disturbance. The nurse asked me to hold him and rock him for a while. As soon as I had him in my arms he quieted down and was soon sound asleep. The nurse came over to me and said, “You are a godsend.” That felt pretty good and made my day!

Would you share a favorite quote or Bible verse?

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”  --  U. S. President Calvin Coolidge



Part of the Liebster Award is to pay it forward by nominating other bloggers to participate. Participation is, of course, entirely voluntary, and I suggest you read about the Award at the link above before deciding to join in or not. My nominees (if they'd like to participate):

Joyful at Snap That
Red at Hiawatha House
Ruth at Ruth's Photo Blog
Linda at Linda's Peaceful Place
DJan at Eye on the Edge
Karen at Life is Good
Ariëlla at Begrijp je wat je leest?
And anyone else who'd like to answer my questions.

(I'd love to read answers either on your blog or in comments on this post.)

1.  Would you share a favorite quote and/or a favorite Bible verse?
2.  How did you get interested in blogging?
3.  Which one of the four seasons is your favorite and why?
4.  How do you follow global news ... TV, radio, internet, or other? Or no news for you?
5.  Do you have a favorite bird or flower?
6.  Do you have a pet(s) and, if so, what kind(s)?
7.  What is your go-to meal for when you need to cook something quickly ... 30 minutes or less?
8.  If you could travel anywhere in the world and stay for up to one month where would you go?
9.  Do you have hobbies other than blogging? What are they?
10. If I were to visit you in your hometown, what would be the first place you'd want me to see?

I owe a note of thanks to several Liebster participants as I have used some of their questions above. And, thank YOU for stopping by John's Island.

45 comments:

  1. Hello John, it is nice to learn some new things about you! Your beef stew sounds delicious. Have a happy day!

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    1. Hi Eileen, Thank you for the kind words. I usually don't reply to comments on my blog posts, but I think I will on this post. The beef stew is so easy ... I hope you'll give it a try. It reminds me of my grandmother's stew which she would spend all afternoon cooking. Have a happy day!

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    2. Hi John, thanks for the reply. I will have to copy this recipe down so I can try it soon.

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  2. What a great post for the day, John, as always and great to learn more about you!! Thank you for sharing!! Hope your week is going well!!

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    1. Hi Sylvia, Thank you for the kind words. Always nice to see your comments and keep an eye on your blog with the Pacific Northwest flavor. Have a fine day!

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  3. beef stew - yum! godsend - so very sweet.

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    1. Hi Tex, Thanks for the kind words. You're a long-timer on the blog here so probably not much new to you. Always appreciate your comments. Have a fine day!

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  4. Great read.Thanks for nominating me,but I have made a choice to not participate in any of these things,although I could come up with a few quick answers to some of your questions.Have a great day.

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    1. Hi Ruth, No worries ... I nominated you because you are one of my favorite photo bloggers not to mention working in the world of education like I did for so many years. I completely understand not participating ... I have often been the end of chain letters and email forwarding things. I was a bit on the fence on doing this one but Bethany is such a kind young lady ... you'll understand I'm sure. Anyway, feel free to answer any or none of the questions in a follow-up comment. Take care and have a great day!

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  5. Dear John, this is such a great post! Thank you so much for nominating me, but I, like Ruth Hiebert, have made a choice to not participate in awards. I enjoyed reading your answers, and thank you so much for your comment on my blog post today. I am so glad you enjoyed the video of the plane landing here in Montreal. :)

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    1. Hi Linda, Thank you for the kind words and absolutely no worries about passing on the Award questions. I'm glad you corrected me on that plane landing ... it was definitely Montreal and even in big print too ... where did I get Toronto? Anyway, thanks again and have a great day!

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  6. Hi John, it was nice to see your replies to Bethany's questions and learn a bit more about youl Somehow I just knew you would like to go back into the past if you could.Thank you too for nominating me. Now I have to figure out how to put the answers to your questions and Bethany's questions in one post, lol.

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    1. Hi Joyful, That was a good guess that I would want to go back to something in the past ... I think you know my fascination with history. Sometimes I hear something or read something about history being a waste of time. What's done is done, etc. However, someone wiser than I am once said, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it." ... or words to that effect. It seems to me to be true. It was a pleasure to nominate you and, yes, I do hope you can combine my questions with Bethany's. Feel free to answer her questions instead of mine if you wish. Regardless of what you may answer or not, I will still be looking forward to the next post on Snap That. :-) Have a fine day!

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    2. Hi John, just thought I'd let you know that I've answered both Bethany's an your questions on my blog. I hope there aren't too many typos as the answers all combined make for a long post, lol. Have a wonderful Thursday.

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    3. Good Morning Joyful, I just went over to Snap That and left you a comment. It was quite amazing to find two full sets of answers! And I didn't find even one typo! :-) I do hope that bloggers who see this will go over to Snap That and read your answers to my questions. Some of my nominees have indicated that they don't participate in these Awards and I respect their decision. However, it is sure neat to see the answers from one who will share a little bit about themselves that we might not know otherwise. Thanks again and have a great day.

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    4. Thanks to Joyful for answering all the questions! Here is a link to her post ...
      http://snapthatpenny.blogspot.com/2015/06/liebster-award-times-two.html

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  7. Hi John, nice learning a bit about you. I thought you would
    want to go back into the steamy old railroad times :)
    And I just love the story with the baby, it's wonderful! :)

    Have a great day
    Tinna ✐

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    1. Hi Tinna, Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. Always great to see a comment from you. You are the second one to say you knew I'd want to go back into the steamy old railroad times. I love that ... Ha ha! :-) I do hope all is well with you ... missed seeing your comments ... hope to see you again soon. Have a great day!

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    2. Here I am. Soon enough? ;) :P
      You have a great day too, John :)
      I forgot to ask - who dusts all your treasures? ;) :D

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    3. Forgot another thing.. tsss, I'm getting old :)
      Here's a link to a blog from Finland, also
      collecting old postcards. It's in Finnish but
      they have a translate button:

      http://suloensio-kotilaakso.blogspot.com/

      Tinna ✐

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    4. That was pretty amazingly fast! :-) Unfortunately there is only one person willing to dust the collection and you can guess who he is. :-) Now, Wow!, thanks for the link to the blog in Finland ... it is super cool. The old postcards, the art, the stamps and more can be enjoyed without any language at all. If I get in a bind I will use Google Translator. Thanks again Tinna!

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  8. Your answers tell a lot about you as a person that we wouldn't other wise share.

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    1. Hi Red, You are exactly right. I interpreted that to mean that we all have a certain style of blogging and there are many things that will never fit into that style easily. The questions from the Liebster Award are an opportunity to go beyond IF one chooses to do so. And I do understand those who would rather pass. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.

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  9. There were many things I didn't know about you, but I was especially intrigued by your volunteer work at the neonatal center. How wonderful that you and the infant bonded so quickly. I'll have to think about this for awhile. I used to do these things but haven't participated in one for ages. :-)

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    1. Hi DJan, Thank you for the kind words and for considering answering the questions. There is no pressure to do so and I surely understand those who don't want to answer. (Pls see my comment to Red, just above.) Regarding the NICU, it is quite an amazing opportunity that I did not even know existed until last fall when the person in charge of the program asked me to consider being a volunteer. As you might imagine, they have more volunteers than they know what to do with, but they are nearly all women. As the Director told me, half of the babies are boys and we need more men volunteers! Thanks again DJan!

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  10. So glad to know Interesting things about you in this wonderful post.
    Happy Thursday!

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    1. Hi Pietro and Cynthia, I hope you noticed the question about encouragement ... Your comments are always encouraging and I appreciate them so much. I hope anyone reading this will check out your blog to see what they are missing! It is wonderful! Have a great day and thanks again.

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  11. Wow, a blogging award! Congrats, John. This is well deserved!

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    1. Hi Lux, Thank you for the kind words. I must say that I really did think about you as I was answering a couple of the questions. Some of them were getting into that area that you cover so well with in your blog. Your blog is certainly one of the most thoughtful and interesting I've found in the last year or so. I do hope other bloggers will check it out at http://www.aboutlifeandlove.com/ Thanks again Lux and have a wonderful day.

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  12. O thank you so much John. I am glad with the liebster award. I love all your answers but that of the little baby touches me. God bless you. Yes, I agree with you: almost every day is perfect … at least it is a blessing and a bonus.

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    1. Hi Ariëlla, Thank you for answering my questions! Let me post a link to your excellent blog ...
      http://shininglikestarsdutch.blogspot.com/2015/06/liebster-award-from-john.html

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  13. Nice to know more about you. What a blessing you are to those little babies.
    Thank you for nominating me : ) but I too have chosen not to participate in blog awards.

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    1. Hi Karen, Thanks for the kind words and no worries about the Award!

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  14. A very nice post and you are definitely a man of interest. I enjoy all blogs,no matter who they are. Keep up the good work.

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    1. What a kind comment. Thank you LV. Hope you will come back to John's Island often!

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  15. Thanks for sharing John- what a wonderful job to have- rocking babies! Have a super weekend

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    1. Thank you Terri. You have a super weekend as well!

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  16. Very\interesting! thanks for sharing John...:)

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    1. Thanks, troutbirder, for the kind words. Much appreciated!

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  17. Thank you so much for answering my questions, John! I really enjoyed reading your answers!

    Neat to see part of your collection. I actually like looking through my family's albums from the 90s and seeing the dates on photos...I think it was a good idea considering we couldn't just click on properties and see the date the photo was taken back then!

    The beef stew sounds delicious! And a good ham radio would be a life-saver out on that deserted island. Your idea of being captain of a boat that delivers mail to remote places sounds like a fun way to travel. I bet a person would get a lot of good blogging material from that job!

    The spumoni sounds like it would be interesting to try...I don't recall ever tasting it.

    I like your answer about a perfect day. My grand-uncle just went through an open heart surgery not long ago, and he has had an excellent recovery! A surgery like that though is enough to get any friend/family member concerned!

    You have an awesome job as a volunteer holding the newborns...it's wonderful you can be such a blessing to the newborns, and you're helping the next generation get a good start in life!

    Great quote by Coolidge! As you may have noticed, one of my favorite quotes is "In war, as in peace, the last word goes to those who never give up." Persistence is pretty good at paying off.

    In answer to your question #4 (just because I think it's an interesting one), I get my news from off the internet and from listening to friends and relatives talk. I quit watching the tv network news quite a few years back. Not long ago, I was at a friend's house when the news came on and listened to a little; to me it was amazing how biased the news was! For a while I read my news online at Yahoo News, but that was so full of trash/non-news items that I started boycotting it. Now I just see the most important things around...though I'd probably be happier without any news at all!

    Thanks again!

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    1. *it's wonderful you can be such a blessing to the nurses, and you're helping...

      Ooh, my comment is long!

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    2. Hi Bethany, Wow, Thank you for the comments and reflections! You did write a LONG comment and it is wonderful. Regarding #4 ... It is so interesting to me that almost all the people I know from younger generations have given up on TV news. I guess I'm still watching it just because it is a habit ... I stay up to date with Google News throughout the day. I do agree with you about the TV news being biased. Thank you again for the Liebster Award challenge and your comments on my answers.

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  18. Very nice to read and know more about you sir...
    And, congrats for the award :)

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