Sunshine Blogger Award


A big part of my recovery has involved stepping back from my addiction to approval, people pleasing, and generally caring wayyyy too much what others think (see “Backsplash on the Sunshine Whore” ) . Some say that pleasing is simply a form of manipulation, and well THAT’S not flattering, now is it?

So all self-awareness, manipulation, and approval drooling aside, it’s beyond wonderful when someone unexpectedly dumps a bucket of sunshine my way. I was mucking through a difficult week and as always, the flow of comment notifications on my blog was providing a lifeline; taking me out of myself to connect with others who understand the journey. Each notification of a comment or new subscriber brightens my day, truly. A comment from Maggie at was literally full of sunshine: “Hi, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award!” (Thank you, Maggie – so kind of you.)

As it turns out, The Sunshine Award is all about spreading bloggity goodness – thanking those we appreciate while introducing readers to other great writers and sharing a bit about ourselves in the process. It works like this:

To accept the award, each awardee must do the following:

  • Display the award on your blog.
  • Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • List 10 interesting things about yourself.
  • Present 10 deserving bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.
  • Link to the awardees and let them know of the nomination.

So…without further adieu…..10 (Interesting?)Things About Me:

  1. I have an amputated finger on my right hand – the result of a childhood accident. I have always been very self-conscious of this and constantly try to keep it discretely out of view. In spite of this, I am right handed and play guitar.
  2. I am ridiculously photogenic but look utterly average in person. I assume people are disappointed to meet me in real life if they’ve seen me first in pictures. I was approached at the age of 12 by a modeling agent and spent a few years as a gangly self-conscious teen model. “You have a photogenic face,” she said and I thought that was a compliment but it’s not really. I hated being on display and never asked my opinion; hated the priority placed on looks over brains. I was called for a shoot with a major skiwear company in 1986 but then they noticed my “handicap” (their actual words), by which they meant my missing finger (see above) , and I was un-selected. That was it for modeling for me but I am grateful for the poise and polish I gained in the training…and the knowledge that I’d rather be heard than seen (but preferably both).
  3. I am going to become a grandmother this summer – I don’t know if that interests anyone but my husband and I are super excited for our son and his wife. We can’t wait to welcome a new little bebop to the family!
  4. My family skis almost every weekend in winter and I must say I am pretty good for an almost-grandma.  I love being healthy and active almost as much as I love eating pizza and ice cream.
  5. I have been on the cover of Profit magazine in Canada (not as a model but as myself), and have been featured in Chatelaine and Alberta Venture in stories about women in business. I’ve always thought this was pretty cool, but now those magazines are in a box in the closet and well, life carries on. (I was on a plane once and the woman next to me was reading a magazine. I looked at the page and saw my own picture looking back at me. “Excuse me,” I said, “what magazine is that?” She looked up and flashed the cover at me without even realizing that I was the SAME person she was reading about (see item 2 re: photogenic people who look different in real life).  I was twitching in my seat with excitement. I knew about the piece but not that they had a photo or were featuring me specifically – to see it in print was a surprise. But I was too shy to tell the woman reading it that she was reading about ME. I quietly bought 2 copies as soon as the plane landed.)
  6. One of my first jobs was working for a company called Scheme-A-Dream that sent out costumed actors to events. You could call them for singing telegrams, clowns, gorilla-grams, you name it. I didn’t last very long at that.
  7. Another one of my early jobs was cleaning rental units after the tenants moved out. This was really disgusting, dispiriting work because it made me so sad how people could live in filth and then leave it behind for a teenager (me) to clean up for $7 an hour. I keep my house quite spotless because I would hate to die suddenly and leave a mess for someone else.
  8. I peed my pants in sixth grade on a school camping trip because I was too scared of bears to pee in the woods. I thought I might get my first ever period at any moment (I’d just read “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” and I was obsessed with menstruation) and I knew that bears like the smell of blood. I have carried the shame of this incident with me for 35 years. Now you may have it for your reading enjoyment.
  9. I have a grey dog named Copper. This is confusing for people, especially because I also have a copper-coloured dog named Scout.
  10. I don’t have a single tattoo anywhere and I am holding out in the hopes that someday being pale, freckled, and completely un-tatooed will be in vogue.

There you have it. Now, more importantly, here are 10 fabulous bloggers upon whom I now bestow (…in my best Oprah shouty voice…) THE SUNSHINE AWARD:






  1. Today is my day 1……hubby took me to the doctors this morning and I got medication to help me and then later I had my first therapy session. I tried counselling a couple of years back, but I wasn’t ready to open up and so it didn’t work. Today told my counsellor everything, came home and apologised to my husband, kids, phoned my Mother, Sister & best friend ……who suspected my Mother and Sister knew, I am now finally owning up, I am an alcoholic and am ready to admit to my problem and get professional help, I cannot do this alone and so I am reaching out and taking all the help I can get. A few years back I managed 12 months, last time only 5 weeks, trouble is I always take on the role of martyr and then think I’m able to handle just one drink….trouble is I never stop at one and end up going on massive binges, I am still hungover as I type this but I didn’t drink today. I tried AA a couple of years back and couldn’t handle the fact of sitting there telling strangers my business(seems weird doing it on here, but is anonymous enough) I can see light with one on one counseling though…… feeling hopeful and optimistic that I have turned a corner.


  2. Hi.
    Love your blog and I will follow you from the other side of the Atlantic.
    One day at a time.
    Hugs from Stefan in Sweden.


  3. Thanks so much for the shout-out!
    I’d do the exercise but am one of those luddite bloggers….getting a blog-roll together is a big deal for me, posting is a big deal! LOL..
    I always want to add pics and fun stuff and just cannot figure it all out, so how do you even put the sunshine blogger pic on your own page….see?
    but i am honored, and so love your posts.
    and am happy to be your bday (almost) twin


  4. Congratulations!!! I love that you are so fabulous and clearly successful but not in a shouty way just a lovely low key way. The modeling, magazines, guitar playing, skiing, all adds up to a fabulous life but not a fabulous show-offy life just a lovely authentic, successful, full life. Wonderful to read all of this.. cheers xxx


  5. A grandmother?! YAY! Congrats, Jean!

    So wonderful to learn more about you. One of my cows is named “Brown Cow” even though she is dark as night. She was brown as a calf though. Same goes for one of the donkeys–she’s named Ginger bc she was reddish as a baby, but is now completely grey and silver.

    Congrats on the award and thank you for passing it along! -Christy


  6. Love this! Definitely interesting that you’re going to be a grandmother soon. How exciting! I don’t know that I’m photogenic, but I do always feel like I disappoint in person compared to how I look in posed photos – never heard anyone else say that before, and can’t believe it’s true for you, but funny to read. Loved this glimpse into who you are, and thank you so much for the mention!


  7. Hi, thanks so much for accepting the reward And sharing your 10 things with us. I love skiing too and we used to have a dog named pepper. Also I think I am one of those utterly photogenic people who look quite average on person- when people see pictures of me they usually ask twice- really, that’s you? Lol. And congrats on becoming a G-Ma, that’s awesome!


  8. Of course you were nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award….you certainly bring sunshine into my days Jean. Have you posted any of your music on this blog? I would love to hear a little background noise…maybe just a little snippet?


  9. OMG! You are as human as I am! I’m still pickled, but am contemplating how to become unpickled. Not sure if I have the willpower! Might ask the doctor for pharmalogical willpower. You are an inspiration!


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