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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Sushi Grade Blogs

You know how sometimes you just click with someone and the connection is easy and makes sense?  Jan from Jan’s Sushi Bar is one of those bloggers. We’ve been hanging out together in Cyber Town for more than a year now, and not only does she post fantastic recipes, she fills her pages with humorous slice-of-life stories about herself, her wonderful kids and husband (who often weigh in with their own, funny comments), and her thoughts on a variety of topics. She’s smart, contemplative, compassionate and incredibly supportive. Jan’s the kind of friend who could show up at your house in the middle of the afternoon and she wouldn’t give a hoot if your house was a mess and your child was still in his pajamas, she’d just pull up a chair, ignore the mess and enjoy a cup of coffee…or wine, depending on the time of day.

Jan decided to mix up her own little blog recipe and created a new award to send out into the nethersphere.

sushi_award1

A Sushi Grade Blog is a cut above other blogs that are canned and turned into salad or casseroles.  A Sushi Grade Blog is fresh, lively and of superior quality.  It is rare, has character and is of good taste.

Oh, and it’s packed full of heart healthy Omega 3 oils.

The award is supposed to be passed on to five bloggers, but Jan being Jan, kicked things off by declaring 15 blogs to be of Sushi Grade. Many on her list are my all-time favorites and some I’m not familiar with, but I’m looking forward to getting to know them. If any are new to you, go ahead and stop by. I love the diversity of reasons Jan has included to describe why she loves each Sushi Grade blog, so I’m quite sure they’ll become part of my stomping ground as well.

The Original Sushi Grade Blog List

1.  It’s a Dog’s Life – I’ve just begun reading Michele’s blog, but as a fellow foodie I love it already.  Want to learn something truly relevant and helpful about cooking?  Visit her for Friday Foodie. Then visit her any other day of the week, because boy – does she know how to tell a story.

2.  Midlife Slices – Janie was one of the very first blogs I ever read, and I’ve been hooked from the word “go”.  Never afraid to tell it like it is, she is beautiful, funny, talented and just a wonderful person.  You never know what you’re going to find on her blog – literally.  In fact, it’s very likely she’ll make you guess.

3.  My Life Interrupted – if you look up “compassionate” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find Lori’s picture there.  She is the kindest, biggest-hearted blogger I’ve ever met, and that is no joke.  She never ceases to amaze me.  In fact, go over there and give her kudos and encouragement – she’s quit smoking and it’s been very, very hard for her, but she’s sticking with it.  Because sticking with it is what Lori does.

4.  Nanny Goats in Panties – Margaret was another “first” when I entered the world of blogging, not only in terms of blogs I read, but she also gave me my very first blog award.  She is absolutely hysterical and her readership has just boomed, so while I read each and every post, I don’t always comment.  But that’s okay, because she doesn’t always comment on my blog either, but I know she reads it, so we’re even.

5.  Nothing Fancy – don’t let the name fool you, she IS something fancy, even if she is a Redskins fan and won’t tell us what her real name is.  Did I mention she’s gorgeous?  Well, she’s gorgeous.  And if you ever want to read something that will just choke you ALL up, visit her blog and find her posts about the adoption of H.  Bring a box of Kleenex with you.

6.  Pseudonymous High School Teacher – despite the fact that I’m envious of her Oahu address, Pseudo has overcome my jealousy and earned my respect…something that is easier said than done.  She teaches high school and loves it, and anyone who willingly spends 6 – 8 hours a day surrounded by teenagers, teaching, helping and guiding them, has definitely earned that respect.  She is also a very courageous breast cancer survivor – I don’t know that I could hold myself together the way she has, after what she’s been through.

7.  Smart Mouth Broad – I know SMB’s real name, so I am really very honored.  I don’t think she’s actually published it on her blog, so I won’t here.  But I have to tell you – this woman is FUNNY.  And SMART.  And BEAUTIFUL.  And SWEET.  And WITH IT.  And she can COOK.  I could stand around all day singing SMB’s praises, but why don’t you just go over to her blog and see what all the fuss is about?  You will NOT be disappointed – there’s a money-back guarantee with this one.

8.  Of Thistles and Maple Leaves – Ahhhh, Thistle.  I know her real name, too, but again, since she hasn’t published it on her blog, I won’t either.  One of our neighbors to the Great White North, Thistle is another sweet, compassionate blogger.  A tender yet tough woman with a wonderfully wry, dry wit, Thistle has made a career out of helping people while caring for animals in her spare time.

9.  Twenty Four At Heart - I’m not sure what to say about Suzanne.  If I told you she tells the funniest stories about the rich and depraved in Orange County California, it would be true.  If I told you she tells the funniest stories about her  faults and foibles as human being, it would be true.  If I told you she tells the funniest stories about being a middle aged woman with a husband who travels for business while she raises three wonderful kids, it would be true.  If I told you she tells the most heart-wrenching stories about what it’s like to survive a horrific automobile accident while learning to live gracefully with a permanent disability, it would be true.  I triple-pink-puffy-glitter heart Suzanne.

10.  What I Should Have Said – Beth is the principal of an elementary school.  In most cases, I’d say “‘Nuff said” but you can never say enough about Beth.  I could never ever in a million years have the patience and fortitude of this woman.  If she weren’t Jewish, I’d nominate her for canonization.

11.  Irish Gumbo – Irish Gumbo is, without a doubt, one of the most talented writers I’ve ever encountered, and I’m honored to call him “friend”.   He is probably frustrated to call me “friend” because I owe him an email; I just hope he realizes that I’m working on it – I’m just busy. Go to his blog – NOW – and start reading.  Everything.  You’ll be amazed, I can guarantee it.

12.  Lipstick Daily – this is a collaboration blog by two very successful career women who happen to be best friends.  They are smart, savvy and intelligent and I’ve learned more in two weeks reading their blog than I have in nearly two years reading other blogs.  Here’s to you, Elaine and Kate.

13.  Mo “Mad Dog” Stoneskin – being something of an Anglophile, the fact Mad Dog is British was my excuse for reading him at first.  The fact he is an amazingly talented writer is the reason I keep going back.  The man can make a commuter train ride funny, endearing and suspenseful.  All in one post.

14.  Shout – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  if you want a smart, sophisticated, witty and compassionate Mommy Blogger…well, they broke the mold when they made Tricia.  She sets the standard.  I love her, I love her blog, I love her husband, son and parents.  Do yourself a favor and visit her blog.  You won’t be sorry.

15.  Sprite’s Keeper – if Tricia from Shout is my the standard for Mommy Bloggers, Jen of Sprite’s Keeper is the heir apparent.  The creator of Blogland’s weekly Spin Cycle, Jen is funny, intelligent, entertaining and profound – often all in the same post.  And she’s a damn fine wife and mother, to boot.

Now, I get to add five to the list! Without further adieu, I’d like to tell you about five more Sushi Grade Blogs

  1. Life and Times of a WickedStepMom - WSM was one of the first people to start reading and consistently commenting here at Shout. Because I’m also a WSM, I smile every time I see her name pop up. She’s mom to three girls and I have a great deal of respect for the way she’s working to develop a healthy and loving step family environment. She’s also the creator of the Beautiful Like Me project, and I adore people who put themselves out there to contemplate issues, build awareness and who make my brain hurt. Yes, that’s right…if you make my brain hurt, I’ll follow you forever.
  2. My A Cup Runneth OverSam has an ability to turn even what would seem like the most mundane into roll-on-the-floor funny. With three little boys in the house, she’s never lacking for material and her attitude and ability to laugh at herself make me smile every time I stop by.
  3. Potter’s Blog - Gary is my favorite potter. There’s really no rhyme or reason to his blog, and as he says—it’s like making spaghetti—he just throws stuff up to see what sticks, and sometimes he throws stuff up several times a day. Gary is funny and he has adorable cats and dogs, PLUS he creates some awesome pottery pieces. In fact I have several in my house and for my birthday this year, my mother called Gary and they put together a little care package for me that still makes me smile. You’re sure to have some random fun at the Potter’s Blog and if you’re looking for a great gift idea, he’s your guy. He’s also hosting a joke fest and is accepting entries until Noon Monday, so head on over and enter to win. He’s giving away one of his own little creations.
  4. The Smitten Image – Hillary peppers her posts with photography she’s taken of life as it surrounds her and that illustrates the varied changes in the seasons. She often includes an accompanying photo essay and she has one of the funniest little dogs ever. Hillary is incredibly compassionate and one of those people you could sit and have a cup of coffee with and talk for hours.
  5. Use  Your Wisdom - Lisa most often posts short, powerful contemplations about life’s quandaries. She’s smart, articulate and thoughtful–three of my favorite people qualities. Lisa has had several posts over the months I’ve been visiting her blog that have stayed with me, and in blog world where everyone jumps and clicks rapidly, the ability to make an impression and stay in someone’s mind is huge.

For more wonderful and varied reading materials, check out my blog roll. There are several people who deserve recognition and who are doing some great work out there. One in particular that I’d like to draw your attention to, but where a blog award isn’t going to work, is Maggie from Okay, Fine Dammit. Her project, Violence UnSilenced is a must and deserves all of our support. This matters. This is important. This is close to my heart. Jump over, take the pledge.

And since it seems there must be rules for awards, here they are:

sushi_award1

1.  Grab this nifty little graphic and display it proudly on your site

2.  Choose 5 blogs of superior quality and list them, along with why they are A Sushi Grade Blog

3.  Link to them, announcing their award

4.  Leave them a comment letting them know they’ve been given an award

5.  Link back to the blog that awarded you

Oh, and somewhere in all of this, list these rules (which, if I must say, are pretty standard).

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