For Christmas my grandma gives everyone a few of those lotto scratch tickets that you can get in liquor stores and grocery markets. Usually the most someone wins is another ticket or $1. One year, when I was still fairly young, I won $50. It was kind of a big deal. We had to mail in for the money and everything because over a certain amount you can’t just ask the guy at the local gas station to give you your winnings. My grandma even made a photocopy of the ticket and highlighted my win for me. It was up on my bulletin board in my childhood room for years and years until I went away to college.

That was the first time I really ever remember winning something big. I can probably count on one hand the things I’ve really won that weren’t just “thanks for participating” things. Like in high school when I won “Best Female Sense of Humor.” Or in college when I won a contest to model the tshirt for a writing website (that no longer exists). Most recently I won a turkey for Thanksgiving which was pretty darn exciting.

All this to say, I really appreciate the nominations/awards for being one of the Versatile Bloggers. I will even give you a little “thank you” Photoshopping:

Alanna from 20 years ago
That’s me, above. But I’m not putting that VBA logo on my blog. It’s kinda meh. I was recently reading a post about Father Trek’s take on these blog “awards” and I have to say that I mostly agree. While I really, really like and respect my fellow bloggers who have nominated me, I don’t like the chain letter-ness of the award. I will gladly link to the folks who have become the reason I am now a devout WordPress user (Blogger just didn’t have the community I’ve found on WP) in my normal posts. I’ll even thank those who have gone out of their way to nominate me:

BillPeeler of Grazing in The City, thank you for your nomination. I once gained seven pounds in Chicago in a week thanks to tons of eating (despite walking all over the city). This makes me feel closer to you somehow. I love your recipes and am just counting the days until you start sharing some Southern classics.

MonicaDockery of Words & Music by Monica Dockery, you make me want to pick up my guitars again and get playin’! Keep it up, lady!

Tara of Sugar Spice and Bacon, I’m still dying to know when we get the recipe for sugar spiced bacon. There’s such a thing as candied bacon, ya know. Tara and I actually know each other in real life and she is as cool or cooler than she seems on her blog. That’s why we don’t actually hang out in real life, cause I’m clearly not that cool. 😉

In addition to these wonderful, thoughtful bloggers, I would recommend the following folks:

Sarah Owens from Sarah’s Place. Because she seems really nice. And if she ever invited me to dinner I would totally eat whatever she cooked.

Dear Optimists is a great blog. Thoughtful, funny and illustrated. It’s like a picture book with feelings.

The guy at Frugal Feeding writes a good blog about cheap eats at home. I like it when he uses funny British words like “jolly” in his writing. Or when he uses ingredients I’ve never heard of anywhere but in Harry Potter like “treacle.”

Did you seriously read down to this part of my post? Yeah, imagine if instead of six I had posted 15 blogs as required. Nope. There are six excellent blogs above so go check them out. And as a thank you for reading this far, something you didn’t know about me before: I recently lost my big toe nail because I walked a half-marathon in oldish running shoes (three months ago). You. Are. Welcome.