I was given a Blue Ribbon.

15 Dec

I was given an award today, (well actually on 12/14/13) and I am just getting around to acknowledging that beautiful blue ribbon.Blue-Ribbon-small I am terrible about accepting phrase, I squirm, I do a great ah shucks, as I wring my hands and look at my feet, shift the credit to someone else,  my cheeks get a bright red (which at this time of the year with my quite nice white beard) isn’t a bad thing.  But the one thing’s I noticed is that Huntmode of “” fame, passed it along, that really is a great idea.  By the way, that is a blog that you need to take a look at, well written, well researched, thoughtful, topical and current.  I don’t know how many I can share, but I think I will pass out a few.


The first will go to my wife Stephanie,  Blue-Ribbon-smallbecause without her brow beating me constantly for months to write about COPD and the effect it was having on me, my love ones, my life, and the lives of my friends, not to mention the millions of others in this country who suffer from this terrible disease, there would be no    Without that initial push all of the thoughts (good and bad) I have about COPD would still be jammed in my head.


The next blue ribbon would go to Wanda who is extremely talented.   Blue-Ribbon-smallShe can and does write about anything under the sun, and her Blog is aptly titled, because her skills are so diverse.  She is a photographer as well, and features many of her own photos in her Blog.  Wanda sat right next to me many a day, as I struggled to get my Blog off the ground.  Sometimes she actually used her own fingers to ensure it was done correctly.  She has been a constant source of encouragement throughout my Blogging experience, but also as a close friend she has had to witness what COPD will do to a person.

The next blue ribbon would go to Paulette Blue-Ribbon-small who is a world-class author, and has published one of the most amazing books I have had the opportunity to read.  Paulette is also an animal activist, using all of the proceeds from her novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, to support the first and only no kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA.  Paulette stumbled across one of my rants about COPD, and its’ impact on me as a human.  Being a nurse, it kinda caught her attention, and she commented on my post.  Which started a wonderful dialog and has blossomed into a wonderful friendship, Paulette has been a major supporter of me and my blog, and has used her soap box to give me more than one shout out.  She can be found at


The next blue ribbon would go to Colleen who’s blog,Blue-Ribbon-small is a daily narrative of simple truths that we all have forgotten of have stopped paying attention, or never thought of.  Colleen uses stick people to make her point, and can say more in 50 words than I can in 2000.  Since I encountered her, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that she didn’t make me smile.  Colleen has also been a constant source of encouragement, her witty replies to my comments. Her suggestions for things to write about, and her willingness to play along have been wonderful. I think sometimes Colleen blames me for stealing so many words when I write a post, leaving none for her post, that’s why they are so short, yet so so very large at heart.  Give her a look, you will not regret it.


Next I would like to recognize Julie in Australia, Blue-Ribbon-small with a blue ribbon.  Julie writes Wings and Things where I was introduced to Gutsy 9. A peacock with a foot problem that Julie nursed when Gutsy 9 was kinda left hanging by the rest of the peahens.  Julie writes about her beloved Ants (husband) and Ming (son).  Ants, who has PDD (Parkinson’s disease dementia), is a constant source of joy and frustration, but the love they shared is un-paralleled.  Julie commented on one of my posts about the terminal nature of COPD, and how it robs a person in a slow ugly manner. We became fast friends thru the sharing of stories, blogs, and comments has been a tremendous supporter and person of constant encouragement.  There are times when we feed off each other, taking strength and encouragement as needed.  Julie writes a very personal account of living with and dealing with a loved one who suffers from PDD.


The last blue ribbon I would like to share, goes back to Huntmode. Blue-Ribbon-smallShe has is becoming a great great friend.  And one of the single smartest people I know.  She also suffers from COPD, but she is in a much earlier stage than myself, and we have bonded because of this shared common ground.  Teasingly I told her I would read each of her posts, well I am now thru the 1st four months of her blog and that is only about 45 or so posts. Each post is in part insightful, challenging, no non-sense, and some she took a cue from me and wrote thousands of words, but many others are short.  She has the ability to write on a diverse list of subjects because she reads and researches her topic of choice.  Her Blog is truly worth a look and again can be found at


I am so glad I didn’t have to write an acceptance speech to receive this award, had I, it would have still been on the drawing board.  Sharing it with those I think truly deserving has been a great pleasure.  I have been writing my Blog for just shy of 18 months.  I have been extremely fortunate to have met so many truly wonderful people, truly talented people, in such a short period of time.  I have even been more fortunate to have developed the friendships I have.  The internet is truly a wonderful meeting ground and Blogging is much more rewarding than I ever thought possible. When I started my Blog it was to be a Blog about COPD and other terminal diseases.  Folks were supposed to flock to my blog and be tied to each word I typed.  In my heart that is exactly what has happened and I am the lucky one.  Blue-Ribbon-smallThe reality is that I should list each blogger or commenter that has reached out and touched me, because it is who they are that makes a difference in my life and the lives of so many others.   Since I started my blog has changed just as I have.  It is still about COPD but has grown, and now I also write stories about my life which I write for my granddaughter.

Thank you for letting me share these blue ribbons with you.  Take care Bill


Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Humor, Observations, Ramblings


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

24 responses to “I was given a Blue Ribbon.

  1. huntmode

    December 15, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    So, I freely admit that tears sprang to my eyes and my hands flew to my chest, and that I find I can read even with tears. Thank you, Bill. Thank you, also, for this list of solid blue ribbon winners that I can follow up. Blessings upon you, my friend. HuntMode

  2. jmgoyder

    December 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Well deserved and thanks for the beautiful words Bill!

  3. kate1975

    December 16, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Congratulations. 🙂 I’m glad that you are blogging and getting out there and letting yourself, your life, and your words speak for you. Good for you.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • FlaHam

      December 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Kate, Thank you. You are very sweet and very encouraging. I have found my niche when I started writing my blog, and with each post I feel a little more comfortable. I hope you find many a reason to visit, and enjoy my work. Take care, Bill

      • kate1975

        December 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        Thanks Bill. And thank you for making me feel so comfortable and wanted here and for being you. Perhaps you don’t know what I mean when I write, “for being you” or if you get the gist of what I am referring to, you will quietly decline to believe you are anything very much exceptional, but I feel pretty confident that the people who know you and your friends online and on your blog know exactly what I mean.

        Good and healing thoughts to you.


        • FlaHam

          December 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

          Kate, your most welcome, and to be honest no I really don’t know what you mean when you write “for being you.” Laughing, heck this is the only way to I know how to be. And for all the people who like me this way, I could probably find dozens that would wish for me to change LOL. But I do know is, I am surrounded by exceptional people. Like you, Colleen, Julie, Paulette, Hunt, Laurel, Brenda to name a few, and the list could go on and on. Your all thoughtful, exceptional writers, and have very important agenda’s. I am not down playing what I do, but I could do it better. Thank you for joining us, you are most welcome to be here. Please take care, Bill

          • kate1975

            December 17, 2013 at 12:00 am

            Hi Bill,

            One of my favorite quotes that I put on my blog paraphrased is you can be the sweetest juiciest peach and if someone doesn’t like peaches they won’t like you.

            So I can understand how others might not find someone else to their taste. That is what all of us deal with. I always say I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I try to be okay with that.

            There are lots of great writers out there, some are bloggers, some write in other venues. I have found that the act of writing always makes me a better writer. How good of a writer a blogger is can make reading their blog smoother, but writing ability is not the most important part of a blog. To me it is “heart” and you have that in spades.

            You are exceptional too. I know that there are many bloggers who only hang out with other bloggers just like them, and for comfort sake and perhaps a lot of other reasons, sometimes that is a great way to blog. I’ve done it myself. And then there are others who cross over into new worlds and new lands. It seems you do that with ease, and that I think, is a part of who you are, that you are accepting and loving and generous and have something to offer others and I think those who are your readers and friends on the blogs could list many things. I have been doing the cross-over blogging for a few years now and am always shocked and surprised that someone that I find wonderful wants to interact with me, who is not a survivor of abuse blogger. It is truly a wonderful gift.

            Good and healing thoughts to you.


            • FlaHam

              December 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm

              Kate, It is a lesson I am learning, and it’s threw help like yours that I continue to learn. Thank you for your kind words, the thoughts you share, and the constant encouragement. Please take care, Bill

  4. Chatter Master

    December 16, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Aw Bill!!!!!!!!!!! You are so deserving. You educate, entertain and share in the most joyous moments, and touch, share and spread hope in the most difficult of moments. You are a blue ribbon. Thanks for the shout out. 🙂 I truly appreciate you.

    • FlaHam

      December 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Colleen, Thank you so very much for your kind words. I really find it hard to see such phrase and feel deserving. Sometimes I feel like such a hack. But other times, I know I am not. I will get a single isolated comment from someone with COPD or another terminal disease, and realized immediately that I am doing something worthwhile. Or someone relates to my Grandpa tales and comments and that makes me smile, and again I realize I am doing something worthwhile. But it is so so hard, to just accept the phrase. But I am so so joyful to have you as a friend, to be able to share wit, and barbs, to be able to relate to your words, and have you relate to mine. You are truly deserving of such a blue ribbon. Thank you for accepting more gracefully than I did. Please take care, Bill

      • Chatter Master

        December 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

        Bill, I can’t imagine you being ungraceful. And I am just as pleased with us connecting. It is wonderful to have a friend like you in my corner. And as such a friend, I will tell you if you sound like a hack. And, you do not. So there, that’s it. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          December 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

          Colleen, thank you. Bill

    • FlaHam

      December 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      Colleen, Thank you so very much for your kind words. I really find it hard to see such phrase and feel deserving. Sometimes I feel like such a hack. But other times, I know I am not. I will get a single isolated comment from someone with COPD or another terminal disease, and realized immediately that I am doing something worthwhile. Or someone relates to my Grandpa tales and comments and that makes me smile, and again I realize I am doing something worthwhile. But it is so so hard, to just accept the phrase. But I am so so joyful to have you as a friend, to be able to share wit, and barbs, to be able to relate to your words, and have you relate to mine. You are truly deserving of such a blue ribbon. Thank you for accepting more gracefully than I did. Please take care, Bill

  5. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    December 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I love you, Bill. You have the biggest heart that flies off the page, especially with this one. You’re an inspiration and gem in my life and I bless the day we hooked up. Thank you my friend for all your courage, words of wisdom, great storytelling, letting us in to your health situation, and making us laugh till we pee our pants, and thank you for being my friend, a real friend, and this acknowledgment. Paulette

    • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

      December 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

      P.S. you deserve that blue ribbon. RIGHT ON!!!

    • FlaHam

      December 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Paulette, I love you to, just don’t tell Terry I said so. As I was saying to Colleen, I have such a difficult time accepting the phrase that has been bestowed upon me. I will admit I write purely from the heart, and I do let my emotions guide me when I share a COPD related post. With each word and each post I truly hope to reach out to someone afflicted with this damn disease, and give them hope. No not that they will be cured but, hope that they will find a way to deal with it, and make their lives better until the end. Paulette, you are so richly deserving of the acknowledgement, and you have given me so so much to be thankful for since we were thrown together. I have cherished each comment and phone call. Please take care, and a very Merry Christmas to you and Terry. — Bill

      • The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

        December 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        Aww, bless your sweet everloving heart. Happy Holidays are wished back to you, Steph, and the whole family. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          December 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm

          Paulette, BAG which equals Big Ass Grin. Take care, Bill

  6. huntmode

    December 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Dear Bill, came back to see how your post made out comment-wise – yahoo! Tweaking your beard just a bit, I love the truth that you have a hard time with praise – truly, you type it consistently as “phrase.” LOL. Best ~ HuntMode

    • FlaHam

      December 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Sweet Peg, Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time with it, I can’t even type it correctly why in the world would I deserve it LOL. I didn’t start my blog for praise, like you didn’t start yours for it. You have a passion that you need an outlet for just like me. And just like you I have a passion that flows thru my blog. But I wish could lie, and say the p r a i s e doesn’t have an impact, it does, it truly does, it gets me deep inside. That so many folks are taken by my words, and works. I makes me feel real good. Thank you for not publicly calling me out on phrase. LOL Take care, Bill

  7. huntmode

    December 18, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Dear Bill, MGBernardy, who has clicked Like above on this post, may not tell you, but she posted today on her Facebook page THIS post and wrote the following:

    “Do yourself a favor and read this post. I will open a door for you into a real world of talents bloggers, and real life awesome people who can change your world perspective on life, health, the blessings of sharing via writing. Good stuff!”

    Thought this might speed up your healing as you wrote of on 12/18/2012.

    • FlaHam

      December 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Hunt, Thank You, that is very nice, and I take it to heart. The inspiration I get continues to come from these kind of words. Take care, Bill a message dated 12/18/2013 1:22:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,

  8. Wanda

    December 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    “She can and does write about anything under the sun…” Are you saying I’m unfocused?? If so, you’re probably right. I am hoping to do better in 2014 than I did this year, both in subject matter and in regularity.

    As for the Blue Ribbon Award, Bill, you do definitely deserve it. You know I enjoy your stories and that I don’t always know how to deal with your COPD-related posts. I think the thing that impresses me most about your blog is how well it mirrors your real life. One of my favorite phrases (probably because I’m NOT like this) is “he never met a stranger,” meaning of course that the person makes easy, authentic connections with other people. I’ve witnessed that behavior in real life and observe the same thing here on your blog. You truly do have a gift of friendship, and I’m proud that you consider me one of your many friends.

    • FlaHam

      December 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Wanda, Smiling and kinda laughing, I would never say you were unfocused! I said you could and do write about anything under the sun, as the biggest compliment I could think to give you. I have so enjoyed your posts and you do write about anything, you pick words out of a dictionary and can write a 1000 words, that my dear is real talent. In my follow up post about the blue ribbon, I did own up to the fact I might have deserved it. It took everything I had to publicly admit it LOL, but I did and I apologized for kinda blowing it off. Wanda, you always find the nicest things to say about me, and your right I have never really met a stranger. It just takes longer for me to grow on some folks than others. You are one of the very very special friends I have, you get to see my antics all the time, and you still love me. For that I will forever be thankful. Take care, Merry Christmas, see you soon. Bill xoxo


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