The Sunshine Award Rule:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 other fabulous bloggers.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

Thanks to my lovely sister Anne, at, who recently (it’s taken me awhile to respond with this post) nominated me for this wordpress honor–my first “Sunshine” award.

Me and my sister

Some would argue that my posts are generally not so sunny, but the sun is always there if one looks deep enough into the writing.  Of all people on earth, my sister alone would know of my sunny soul, however hidden it may sometimes seem.  It can be felt, really, in all of my posts.

If I had to choose one most positive and sunny post of mine, I would select Becoming What You Are, from January 13, 2012, my third day of blogging.  Then, I would add Geographies of the Mind, from January 19, 2012.  Finally, continuing to pick on January, I would have to include goodness breeds ~ goodness!, from January 25, 2012.  Please have a look.

So, here are 10 revelations about me that were not already revealed when I received the Versatile Blogger Award, also last January:

1.  I was recently diagnosed with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD).  Please see for a general description.  This places me in a high risk category for Parkinson’s Disease.  I have two uncles who passed away from Parkinson’s, so I am presently seeing a neurologist to shed light on “what condition my condition is in.”  RBD causes sleep deprivation which in turn causes spells of sleepiness during the day, as well as near nonexistent energy and motivation.


2. I was recently granted “full disability” in a Colorado court due to the details of my being diagnosed in recent years with “major depression.”  At least one of the prescriptions that I take, Effexor XR, may be a culprit for causing my bouts with RBD, which has initiated a complete evaluation and adjustment of my medicines.  Aside from Effexor XR, I have been prescribed Lamictal.  Otherwise, I take B-50 Complex and Krill Oil as healthy supplements. 

I visit the blogsite often for a very enlightening perspective on depression.  I’m very thankful for her site and for the honesty she brings to it.  I probably wouldn’t be admitting a lot of this stuff about me if not for having experiencing her “confessions.”  I highly recommend her blog.

3. I am legally separated from my wife of thirty years.  One of the elements of depression is alienation.  Especially in recent years, since my health concerns have become more realized to me, I’ve cut ties to as many as possible, withdrawing into isolation, almost, as if isolation were the only environment possible for me to survive in alongside my fears of deteriorating health.

me and Jean

4. I am a lifetime Roman Catholic born to an unbroken (as far as I know) maternal lineage of Italian Catholics.  My father (of German ancestry) was a convert to Catholicism.  I and an older brother are the only two Catholics left in our family.  I, however, have ceased attending Mass as I have become more-and-more alienated from social interaction.  I am at odds in many ways with the present Catholic Church, but I will always consider myself centered within this faith regardless of the spiritual wanderings that characterize my present walk.

me (in background) on Mt. Sinai summit

5. My most valued accomplishment in life was to graduate from college with a 4.0 GPA, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Linguistics.  It took me eight years, married and working at the same time, to complete the degree.  It’s mine.  I worked for it, and no one can take it away from me.

6. My most valued life experience was to adventure about with the Boy Scouts during the late 1960’s.  Those seemingly trivial merit badges I earned in Nature, Swimming, Archery, Reading, etc., contributed early on to a richer awareness of human beings as vessels of God’s presence in the world, as well as an awareness of how to better survive along life’s path.

7. Of all of the governing values in my life, I would always choose “health” as number one.  Without one’s health, everything else falls away–one’s ability to travel, to work, to commune with others, to practice one’s faith, to enjoy leisure–to be what God intended to be.  All depends first upon one’s health–the vessel created by God to hold our “sunny souls.”  A cracked vessel allows the sunshine to leak away.

I’ve been trying very hard lately, perhaps too hard, to preserve my health.  It’s led me to alienating, almost quarantining, myself from people so that I can try to understand and “fix” my depression.  I’m getting better, I’ll admit, at letting go of fixing the problem and instead learning to be mindful of each present moment–which is where one’s health breathes.  My forever gratitude to ksm for enlightenment in this area.

8. My favorite salad is cranberry salad with chopped pecans.

9. My favorite dessert is peach sorbet.

10. My favorite season is spring, which it happens to be right now.

wild lilies - spring 2010 --SB

I have to admit that I don’t blog-search for new blogs very much.  I have a core of blogsites that I visit as frequently as I can, and I consider these bloggers great friends, even if only through the blogosphere.

They’ve pretty much all received award-after-award-after-award already, and so 1.) because they’re really the only blogsites I know, and 2.) because they’ve already received so many awards, I’ll choose to honor their sites here.  If any of them choose to proceed formally as having received a Sunshine Award, that would be most beautiful.  If not, then please know that your sites have provided and continue to provide a blanket of sunshine over the darkest reaches of my life. 

Blanketflower - SB - July, 2004

I invite everyone reading this to commune with their “sunny souls” by adventuring into their sites (listed below in alphabetical order) often.