First of all, I want to say thank you to Charmine for giving me this "Makes My Heart Smile" award. She tells me that I need to name my top ten favorite blogs, which I will do now. I will also tell you a little bit about why they are my favorites, listed in no particular order.
(1) My Favorites. Charmine I think was born with an attraction to beautiful things, and when she decided to write a blog, it seems she learned how to share all those favorite things with her followers. I think she's shown me a side of India that I would never ever have imagined before. Thank you for broadening my horizons.
(2) Caramel Macchiato. AL (whose name I don't even know, really) lives on an island somewhere and travels extensively. I was initially attracted by the name, which evokes a warm creamy and exciting drink. Even though I see from her picture that she is really young in body, I think she has an old soul, and she is continuing to expand and grow and share. Whenever I see that she has a new post, I visit to see what she has come up with this time.
(3) Star-Crossed. I have known Linda for two decades. She and her husband were my skydiving instructors when I was learning. She was my role model then, and when she moved away from skydiving, she wrote a wonderful book for teens, called Star-Crossed. You know you are reading a good book when you forget you're reading at all. She is a poet, artist, all kinds of talents I didn't even know about until I started following her blog.
(4) Star. Star lives in London and Tennessee, dividing her time in some way between the two places. Her grown kids live in the UK, so I can see why she would miss them. I love her sense of humor and how much of herself she lets us know about her. She's very special and I just cannot imagine my life without her in it. And although we will probably never meet in person, I will know her when our spirits meet. How could it be otherwise?
(5) A Brit in Tennessee. Along the same lines, I think I came across this blog through Star's links. Jo lives in Tennessee and loves beauty. She shares that love through her blog, and she seems to spend a good deal of her time finding ways to delight me. Her pictures on the right-hand side of her blog are worth just sitting and spending some time looking through.
(6) Life in the Second Half. Nancy has the most followers of any of the blogs I follow. Sometimes I am intimidated by the number of comments people leave her, but she continues to post really thought-provoking and heartfelt blogs. I can see why I have joined the hordes of her followers, and I look forward to seeing what she has to say with each new entry.
(7) blawg! is written by Lily, who has shown me what it would be like to live on a farm. I've been fascinated by farm life ever since I read The Omnivore's Dilemma last winter. Through her eyes, I get to see what daily life can be, and she writes with a sense of humor and is very witty.
(8) Recollections of a Vagabonde. Written by VB, as I know her anyway, this transplanted French woman shows in her blog what my country looks like through her eyes. She is a world traveler, and that comes through clearly in her posts. She now lives in Georgia, and she has an extensive collection of postcards from around the world that she shares with us regularly.
(9) The Retirement Chronicles. You can probably see why I was drawn to this blog, since we are both recently retired women. She has the most incredible eye for photography, and I have been enchanted almost daily by the wonderful pictures she puts up. I see things that give me a new appreciation for life.
(10) Uh-oh. Last one! It has to be The Road to Here by Judy. She and I both live in Washington, but she's over there on the other side of the Cascades. She is very prolific, and I really enjoy seeing what she's up to each day. She has gotten me more involved in the blogosphere through encouragement and challenges.
Now there are plenty more I had to leave out, ones that really shouldn't be left out... but I'm getting tired from all this choosing. I could easily choose another ten, but for now, I'll leave it at that.