Kim Being Tom … Being Tom

I know! The title is confusing. My friend Tom (at Tom being Tom) has bestowed upon me the name of one of Santa’s eight reindeer! I am now known in some circles as Donner. Is Donner cool? I hope Donner is cool.

And I received an award! The Blogger Recognition Award! It really is an honor! The Rules… we are to ‘tell a tale’ of how we began blogging and give new bloggers a piece of advice! Then nominate UP TO 15 bloggers.

Thank you, Tom! If you haven’t, check out this gifted writer’s site! Tom Being Tom. I will accept this award and do my best! First here is a little example of Tom’s work;

“My advice? Copy everything you see here, post it somewhere else, and give me all due credit. You can call your blog, “Me Being Tom Being Tom.” Really, there will be no blog like it in the world, unless, of course, 12 of you do it, then there would be only 12 of them like it in the world.” -Tom at Tom Being Tom


Here we go, I’ll begin with a little tale…

I was in a complete mental shut down. I had undergone seven surgeries in quick succession. My brain was mush! I could not put a sentence together. I could not think clearly. Could I write complete sentences? Could I think clearly enough to put down words on paper and have them make sense? I began to color… then journal… and then, BLOG. (The jury may still be out on the making sense part!)

It was a painstaking process. I had to re-learn how to think clearly. I had to process my thinking and put those thoughts into a format that would ultimately be a blog post. I found one mentor, then another! (Both will be nominated.) Then I began following a few blogs. I will never forget the feeling of communicating with people. I was writing! I was communicating! I was absolutely passionate about this ‘thing’ called a blog! From then on, I was hooked.

A piece of advice for new bloggers.

I’m a chronic illness blogger, so for those with personal blogs, I may have some advice! First and always, write for yourself. If no one else reads a post you’ve written, it doesn’t matter. Your blog will become a piece of your history. This will be a record of your life! Don’t worry about likes, follows, comments, or becoming a ‘brand.’ (A brand… really?) You may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s OK! Your tribe is out there, and they will find you! So write your story!

(And probably don’t post every day because you become VERY difficult to follow…)

My nominees.

My mentors, who I’ve followed through thick and thin for years, are Wendy and Mer! These two women have always had my back! They have been encouraging my writing from the very start. I have learned much from these two women. I hope you will both accept this recognition award!

Wendy at Picnic With Ants

Mer at MerBear’s World

I would also like to nominate some of the very first bloggers I ever followed and continue to follow! I am still amazed by the quality blogs you four women put out! I thank each and every one of you! Please accept this recognition award.

Terri at Reclaiming Hope

Gwen at Beauty of Imperfection: The Kintsukuroi Life

Caz at Invisibly Me

Bella at Thoughts ‘n Life

My life is better because of these bloggers! There are many more bloggers I am proud to call ‘friend.’ Some of you do not ‘do’ awards; others will simply smile and nod… you are all my tribe!



Oops, I Did it Again!

First, I must begin with apologies! I am very late in responding to these two awards. I am very honored to receive The Disability Award from Stacey at Fighting with Fibro. I also was awarded The Blogger Recognition Award from Sadje at Keep it Alive. Both these ladies are fantastic bloggers. (Stacy and Sadje, I am very sorry for my tardy response!) Please check out these outstanding bloggers, you will not be sorry!

First, The Blogger disAbility Award! I always have to put a bit of spin on the word disAbility! Sorry, Stace! (It stems from a childhood birth trauma.)

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Stacey would like the following questions answered, then choose nominees to receive the award, and develop new questions for them. Also, the award picture displayed!

OK. I got this. Here we go…

Nominee questions:

  1. What was the first sign of your illness? I was a passenger in a car accident in 1998. I developed acute pain that turned chronic and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2001.
  2. What is your worst symptom, and how do you cope with it? Boy, it depends on the day! I think the thing that annoys me the most is the back pain. I can deal with the fatigue, the overall pain, and all the other little pain pals that come with fibro, but the back pain really can become overwhelming.
  3. What one thing about you has changed as a result of your struggles? Well, let’s see… I lost my career, my home, and my fiance. My bank account went to zero and I … oh! One thing!?!? I am a kinder person. I know myself. That is the most significant change. I have taken the time to get to know who I am and what I stand for. 
  4. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone else suffering? Never, ever, ever give up.
  5. Name one good thing that has come out of having a chronic illness? I believe I can connect with others who may be having difficulties with their illness. 
  6. What one thing do you disagree with that is widely accepted as true about your condition? Exercise makes it better! It does NOT. I believe we all benefit from getting some exercise, but it is not a treatment plan for fibromyalgia!
  7. If you could change only one aspect of your illness, what would it be? Other than not having it, the “invisible” part of it. It really is a son of a gun to have and to not be able to point anywhere on your body and say, “See, there it is, right there.”
  8. Name the one thing that works best for you for symptom relief. Truth be told; pain pills. When I have a flare, if I am allowed to treat the pain with an opioid, (yes the “O” word) I am still able to function like a ‘normal’ person, and the flare time decreases with pain management.
  9. Based on your experience, what is one thing that you would tell someone newly diagnosed with chronic illness? The first few years are undoubtedly the hardest. It does get easier. You must grieve for the person you were and welcome the person that you have become because of this illness. Take your time, grieve fully, and embrace this new person. You may even find out that you like this new you!
  10. Why did you start blogging? See answer below.

I will ask my questions and nominate a few bloggers for both awards at the end of this post. Thank you again, Stacey, at Fighting with Fibro, for nominating me for this new award! Very exciting!

I must also say thank you again to Sadje at Keep it Alive! I am very late in response, but I am so appreciative of this Blogger Recognition Award. In fact, it’s one of my favorites!

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Sadje’s Award Rules are as follows:

  • Thank the nominator, and publish a post on your blog about receiving the Blogger Recognition Award. Make sure to provide a link to the nominator’s blog in your post.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Nominate 10-15 other bloggers for this award, and inform them of their nomination.

How it all started;

As most of you know, I started blogging to regain my ability to write a complete sentence. (Look at me now, you can’t shut me up!) I had gone through a succession of surgeries to remove a blockage in my pancreas caused by a biliary issue. I had seven surgeries in two years. The surgeon told me I would pay for having that much anesthesia in such a short amount of time. I did. Memory loss and an inability to write complete sentences. I got the writing back, (no smart talk, I know my writing leaves many of you in a perpetual state of awe) but I did not regain much of my memory from those two years. (Thank you brain, I really do not want to remember that hellish time.) Then I wrote a book! It is an interactive journal and is sold on Amazon.

Take a peek!

The Shadow Boxers, Fighting Fibromyalgia, Your Personal Journal

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My two pieces of advice for new bloggers;

This is the fun part! I do take this very seriously.

#1. Just blog! Write and write and write. Don’t worry about stats, followers, or opinions. Write from your own experience because that is what makes you a unique blogger. Tell us about your journey!

#2. If you want others to read your blog, read other blogs!!! Don’t forget to comment. I’ve met some incredible bloggers just by following the comments and responding. That is the best part of blogging; the community! You’ll find your tribe. They will be on your side through thick and thin. I love my tribe!

img_1080 ~this much!!!

In response to these two awards, I will nominate eight bloggers who live with chronic conditions to receive both awards! But first, I need to put a little spin on one of these awards. Now you have choices. (The meme police may be nearby if anyone has bail money…?)

Pick the two award pictures you want to be displayed on your blog, and I have ten questions for the following eight nominees.

*Please remember, there is no pressure, no time limit, the awards are yours whether you post or not!


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These eight are incredible individuals who blog and have to deal with chronic illness on a daily basis. I am honored to be a part of their tribe.

I have 10 questions for you! I am borrowing a few questions from Stace because I loved them! (I really want to read YOUR answers!)

  1. What were the first symptoms you experienced?
  2. Name one good thing that has come out of your chronic illness?
  3. What is one thing that is believed to be accurate about your condition that isn’t?
  4. What is the worst symptom you deal with?
  5. What advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed?
  6. What is one thing you miss doing before you were diagnosed?
  7. What is the one thing that you do that helps the most with your symptoms?
  8. Do you find the word, “disability,” offensive?
  9. Since your illness, what is the most important lesson you have learned about yourself?
  10. Do you celebrate the 4th of July?

Remember to answer the questions for the Blogger Recognition Award! How did you start blogging and two pieces of advice for new bloggers?

Have fun! Again, thanks to Stace and Sadje! SO incredibly kind of each of you to nominate me for these awards!




My Awards … Deuce!

Sierra from All My Woes has nominated me for two blogger awards. The Blogger Recognition Award and the Sunshine Blogger Award. It is with pleasure that I accept both awards from this outstanding blogger. This is a lady who believes she is not a writer. Well, I have news, Sierra, you are definitely a writer! Check out her blog!

I will let the Blogger recognition questions stand as is, and I will ask 11 new questions for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I will nominate 11 bloggers to receive BOTH of these awards. 

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  • Thank the nominator, and publish a post on your blog about receiving the Blogger Recognition Award. Make sure to provide a link to the nominator’s blog in your post.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started. 
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Nominate 10-15 other bloggers for this award, and inform them of their nomination.

I. How I got started

Well… let’s see how many of you remember this story! I will not be offended if you skip ahead! I ended up in the hospital in September of 2012. I was diagnosed with idiopathic pancreatitis. I spent seven days in the hospital. I spent the following two years being hospitalized and having seven surgeries. To make a long story short, I lost my ability to write complete sentences. I also lost most of my memory from that time. 

I began blogging to learn to write again! Slowly and carefully, my writing skills returned.  I even published a book! If you want a good read with space to record your thoughts pick up a copy! 😉

The Shadow Boxers, Fighting Fibromyalgia, Your Personal Journal 

II. Two pieces of advice for new bloggers

Two pieces of advice… let’s see.

  1. You do YOU but don’t forget to read other blogs. Comment or at least give a ‘like’ so the blogger realizes you visited their site. We all work hard on our posts, and once it’s published, we want to hear what other’s think.
  2. Write from the heart. This is a personal blog. If you want to organize, promote, or sell a bunch of products that mean nothing to you, you can still blog. You’ll get followers that do the same. But. You won’t experience the true meaning of blogging, and more importantly, understand what it’s like to be part of a tribe of bloggers who support each other no matter what. That is truly a genuine experience personal bloggers get to be a part of.


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Award Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so that others can find them.
  • Add the award logo to your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers for the award and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.


1. What was your reaction when you found out you had been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award?

I received the sweetest message from Sierra. She had nominated me for this award and the Blogger Recognition Award. I had received the Sunshine Blogger Award a few times in the past, but her kind words moved me to accept again. Thank you, Sierra.

2. What motivated you to start your blog?

(See above, Blogger Recognition Award!)

3. Who inspires you, and why?

Dana Skully. Seriously. She could handle Fox Mulder and the X-Files while maintaining her composure, professionalism, and looked stunning at the same time!

4. What is your best advice for a new blogger?

(See above, Blogger Recognition Award!)

5. How has blogging changed your life?

Oh my!!! Well… I never got the whole ‘my internet friend’ thing. I get it now. I understand it! I have found my tribe. (Maybe they found me?)

6. Would you rather hike a mountain or lay on the beach?

Beach! Beach! Beach! Mexico! Mexico! Mexico! “That drink better have an umbrella in it barkeep!”

7. Are you a cat person or dog person?

I like cats, but I LOVE dogs. Guess that’d be my answer…dogs.

8. Tea or coffee?

I’m Norse, coffee that you can chew, please.

9. Pepsi or Coke?


10. If you were in a band, what instrument would you play?

Rock Band? The bass guitar. High School Band and Marching Band? I played the drums, all types in the percussion section. (Small school, you do what you gotta do!)

11. What is your favorite time of year?

I’m a sucker for rain! Love rain, storms, lightning, thunder … summer I guess. And I do live for flip flops, yep, definitely summer.

Kim’s Questions:

  1. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  2. What is your personal favorite post on your own blog that you’ve published up until today? (Link it!)
  3. What time of day do you dread?
  4. Have you been on the vacation of your dreams or still planning it?
  5. Name your dream car!
  6. If you see a penny on the ground, do you pick it up?
  7. If you could pick a book title (actual or fabricated) to describe your life over the past 10 years, what would it be?
  8. What is the song title that best describes your life over the last 10 years?
  9. Ever thought of going vegan?
  10. I have to know, do you still have a landline???

& Don’t forget to answer the Blogger Recognition Award questions!

My nominees for both awards…

  1. Wendi @ Simply Chronically Ill.
  2. Jo @ Storms Can Be Beautiful
  3. Gwen @ Kintsukuroi Life
  4. Karen @ Graceful…Not
  5. Caz @ Invisibly Me
  6. Steve @ MSich Chronicles
  7. Tom @ Tom Being Tom
  8. Billy @ Superman Can’t Find a Phone Booth
  9. Nikki @ Brainless Blogger
  10. Marie @ Create Space
  11. Bojana (are you accepting, Bo?)

There are four others, but I know they are not able to accept awards right now… wishing the four of you peace, comfort, and clarity! 

I look forward to reading your answers!



Versatile Blogger Award

Sadje from Keep it Alive has very kindly nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you don’t follow Sadje’s blog, please check it out. She is an incredible blogger. Sadje is a wordsmith! Thank you for the award, it means much coming from you, a very versatile blogger!

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The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

  1. If you are nominated, Congratulations you have been awarded the Versatile blogger award!
  2. Thank the person who gave you the award and include a link to their blog.
  3. Select 10 -15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  4. Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  5. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Seven things about me:

  1. I have an invisible chronic illness, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, along with a few of its friends (coexisting conditions).
  2. I love to blog! I like to blog about different things; craft projects, poetry, life in general, but my main focus is Fibromyalgia Awareness. (I guess I am versatile!)
  3. I have a book published on Amazon. The ShadowBoxer’s, Fighting Fibromyalgia, Your Personal Journal. It happens to be the first interactive journal about fibromyalgia ever published on Amazon! (I am really proud of that!)
  4. I am married to a man that I have known since birth. (He was 6 years old.) Our families were and still are close. We didn’t start dating until I was 38 and we married about ten months later.
  5. I have a second blog many people do not know about called Stone in the Road. This blog is also chronic illness focused, but it is a collection of posts from many bloggers on all different topics.
  6. One of my brothers, I have three, was adopted from Seoul Korea.
  7. I can (and did through college) drive a 92 passenger school bus. I was licensed, air breaks certified, and passenger endorsed!


Here are my incredible nominees!


I wish I could nominate even more bloggers! This award is for those of you who would like to participate. I believe all of you are extremely valuable versatile bloggers! I know I enjoy following your blogs!




The Liebster Award (x2)

Steve at MSich Chronicles and Tom at Tom Being Tom have nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I have been trying to keep up with these guys ever since! Check out their superb blogs! They write about everything you need to know and even things you didn’t think you needed to know, you do!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Share eleven facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions the blogger gave you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers who deserve the award.
  5. Create eleven original questions for the nominees to answer.
  6. Let them know they have been nominated.

Due to the length of this blog, eleven facts about me will be quick!

I am female, 5’2″. I am married, and I live with my husband, Jeff in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We have 2 dogs; Dora and Dezzie. I have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years. I wrote a book! (You should get it!) I admin a support group. I blog here, and I blog there.

Here are Steve’s eleven questions:

Do you prefer boxers, briefs or going commando? And for the ladies, what is your preference for the men in your life? Boxers, the knit kind with tight legs, please. (No one wants to see your junk!)

If you could sit down to talk with one non-religious person, dead or alive, who would that be and why? Marilyn Monroe. (My husband is obsessed with her, I want advice.)

What is your biggest fear? Snakes. (Big or little, venom or not!)

What is the most important quality you need in a friend? Humor.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? My health.

Who is your favorite author? Isabel Allende.

Small Town or Big City? Small Town on an Island!

Salt or sugar? Salt!!!

What is your favorite thing to do when you have some alone time? Watch paranormal TV shows. (They make me laugh when the characters get scared, I know its wrong to delight in others fear!)

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Well, Woodstock or the Moon Landing? I’ll take Moon landing and the Rolling Stones for $600. Bob!

What is the one thing you would like to see happen before you die? Peace between the political parties in America.

Here are Tom’s eleven questions:

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To be able to make money at a moments notice.

Would you use it for others, primarily, or for yourself? Myself. (I would share!)

Twenty years from today, someone hands you a potion and a piece of paper. They say you can drink the potion and live forever or open the paper and see when you will die. Which would you choose? I’m drinking the potion!

Would you be in favor of universal healthcare in America? I don’t believe it would work, many of us wouldn’t get the healthcare we need for chronic illness care but what the hell? Sure! Maybe if we all had adequate health care from birth we wouldn’t need all the specialists we end up with?

How about universal background checks on gun purchases in America? Absolutely.

What about universal domination of the cosmos by America? That’s a bit self-serving, no one should have that! Tom.

Do you wish, at this point, that there were only 7 questions? Yep!

Are alien species visiting the Earth? Yes, notice they keep taking us but sending us back? (Huge hint people!)

Was JFK killed as part of a conspiracy plot? Nope. Not everyone likes you no matter what your official title is. (Don’t ride in an open vehicle even the Pope learned this.)

Should a person do what they do best, as a means of personal income, or what they love most if the two are not the same? It depends, who depends on you? Make smart choices!

When you were 11 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? I think a nurse... I was very indecisive at 11.

The end! That was fun guys! Thanks!!!

For my eleven nominees… Remember to list eleven facts about yourself.

Now for your challenge should you choose to accept…

Take eleven photographs that will help us understand what you blog about and post them! There is no right or wrong way to do this. You can write explanations or not. It is all up to you! Help us learn about your purpose!

Click away at will!

My nominees:

If you read this post and are willing to take on the challenge, please do! You are my nominee for the Liebster Award! Please, don’t be shy… I can’t wait to see who will embrace this challenge!

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IMG_0313 2~Kim!


Ok, the Quote Challenge is getting a little make-over. I was nominated by the incredible Susan at floweringink.

Three quotes, and nominate three people all in one post! The Q.3!

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I have thought about all of the great quotes I’ve heard. Some I have written down and want to remember forever. The funny thing is, the quotes that I have rattling around in my brain came from three people that I love dearly, so here we go. These are my favorite quotes, from memory, that I will never have to look up.

“You can’t hold what you don’t have in your hand.” ~Mabel S. (My Grandma)

“Don’t borrow worry.” ~Ethel B. (My Grandma)

“It is time to do something, even if its wrong.” ~Carole S. (My Mom)


My Nominees:

Feel free to share some quotes that are your favorites from a book or some from memory! It is all up to you. Have fun!


I’m counting on you!


The Sunshine Blogger Award

I would like to thank the Last Days OF Pompeii, the Fibro Butterfly herself for nominating I Tripped Over a Stone for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I was lucky enough to stumble across this fantastic blog on Twitter. She is insightful and witty. A great blog to check out!

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So the rule of eleven comes along with this award. I will answer eleven questions that were asked of me. I will ask eleven new questions and nominate eleven blogs. Here we go! (And I think you’ll have fun answering my questions!!!)



My Eleven Questions to Answer

  1. Why did you start your blog? I honestly was just re-learning sentence structure. I had always been a writing/journaling kind of person. Then I ended up going through seven surgeries over a period of two years, and I lost a lot of brain power! I needed to learn to write again!
  2. What motivates you to write a post? Motivates me…? There are times when I have these ‘word snowstorms’ and I have to write! I feel all these things I need to say swirling around in my brain. I may write five or six posts and a few power poems in a day and then not write for a week. It is entirely hit or miss with my ability to put down thought on paper.
  3. What is your favorite all-time blog and why? I plead the 5th! I love blogs that are quick-witted and to the point. I love blogs that are truthful and heartbreaking. I love stumbling upon a brand new blogger and reading as they grow. I love variety!
  4. What are your blogging short-term goals and long-term goals? I wanted to blog about Fibromyalgia Syndrome Awareness. That was my short-term goal; awareness. My long-term goal is to be a resource for individuals traveling with (and without) a chronic illness as my husband, and I are preparing to spend a few years RVing full time. 
  5. What do you hope people take away from your blog posts? That you can live a good life WITH your disease.
  6. What is your favorite post that you have written on your blog and why? I would have to say, Hello God? It’s Me, Kim. I think we all look for something to believe in or not to believe in. We wonder what we did wrong to deserve whatever has happened to us or someone we love? I try to explain to persons, with and without faith, why I think bad things happen.
  7. What is your favorite activity? Oh, my! Well, it used to be bar hopping to see live bands! When I lived in Seattle, you paid one cover charge, and you could go from bar to bar and see these amazing bands! Now, I love writing, the solitude of it while being able to express my ideas at that very moment while still connecting to people.
  8. How do you promote creativity on your blog? That is a tough one, being a chronic illness blogger doesn’t really leave much room for creativity. It is what it is! I have started a series called Before I Tripped over a Stone, Fridays I talk about my life before fibro. Once in a while, I’ll write a ‘power poem’ post. (That’s my attempt at poetry!) I did start a second blog called A Stone in the Road where I feature and promote other bloggers, focusing mostly on chronic illnesses but from all niche’s.
  9. Are all readers welcome on your blog or are you a dedicated niche writer? All are welcome! Stop by for a visit I’m open 24/7!
  10. What motivates you to keep on keeping on? It struck me that even though I have been dealing with my disease for over 20 years and have been promoting awareness, many have not received the information! It’s a stubborn thing. I will continue to answer, inform, and encourage awareness until there is no need for it. 
  11. Which blogger inspires you? This entire blogging community inspires me! I have never been a part of such a welcoming, all-inclusive community! I think bloggers are some of the most aspiring, creative, and empathetic people I have ever come across! It is my honor to be a part of this inspiring community.


Eleven Questions For My Nominees

  1. Ice cream or french fries?
  2. Do you consider yourself a writer?
  3. What would you do if you could not blog?
  4. Have you already had your dream vacation or are you still planning it?
  5. Sports car or muscle car?
  6. What do you believe are the pros and cons of using cuss words on a blog?
  7. What is your favorite social media outlet?
  8. Defend your position as a cat person or a dog person?
  9. Favorite guilty pleasure?
  10. What was the last book you read?
  11. Who was the last person you said, “I love you” to?

And the Nominees are:

These are eleven blogs I’d like to bring attention to. There are so many more I would nominate, but I know they have already received the award or choose not to participate in such awards. So it’s up to these amazing eleven if they’d like to accept The Sunshine Blogger Award!

Live your best life!