We’re a Blog on Fire Award Recipient!

Posted on: January 1st, 2012by John 22 Comments

Several weeks ago, Maureen Bower of Eclectic Revisited recognized us with the Blog on Fire Award. Sally and I were stunned, thrilled and honored – especially considering the company we were in.

The recipient has two responsibilites.  We’re supposed to tell 5 things about ourselves and pass the award along to 5 other bloggers. Sally has politely declined to speak, leaving it up to me to talk a little about myself. So here goes…

1. I love all things Italian and am a confessed motorhead. Of all the cars I have owned, my all time favorite was my 1979 Ferrari 308GTB, built as a street legal track car. (Yes, I used to race a Ferrari!) My favorite motorcycle? My old 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. Dream car? The list goes on and on, but I’d settle for a Cisitalia convertible. I know the coupe is in the Museum of Modern Arts’ collection, but I happen to like the feel of the sun on my face and wind in my hair.



2. I tie my own flies for trout and stripped bass fishing. In each fly I tie, I try to impart the illusion of life by how I tie the fly and how I blend the colors and materials I use. It took me years to learn that the secret ingredient is the water itself. A well tied fly comes to life as it moves and breathes in the water’s current. (It is on the water that I recharge my soul.) Some day, I’ll catch an Atlantic Salmon on a fly I’ve tied.

3. I’d love to learn the art of fine furniture making. To be able to use those beautiful hand tools and to bring a piece of wood to life would be heaven. (I’m sure those tools cost a fortune!!!) These days, I satisfy my yearnings by carving or turning fishing plugs on a lathe I have set up in the basement. Over the holiday break I completed my first small decorative turnings on the lathe.


4.  I’m still a country boy at heart, growing up in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. If I could, I’d live on 40 acres of land with a house in the middle. Not sure where – maybe the rocky Maine coast, maybe somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.


5. Living in Europe is another dream I would love to fulfill – for a year, maybe two or three. The challenge is deciding where. I remember trying to get lost in the old town area of Verona and the breath taking beauty of Lake Como. (There’s that Italian thing again.) Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Paris, so France would be cool. (I can’t imagine being able to resist the Flea Markets…) But then, there’s the enchantment of the work of Axel Vervoordt and I could easily see myself settling in Belgium.


So there I am. I guess it turned into sort of a bucket/dream list. But you know, for me, it’s the dreams that keep us all going and I hope they never stop.

 On to the second requirement of the Blog on Fire Award – passing the award along to 5 other deserving bloggers. The recipients are:

1. Belgian Pearls: Greet’s blog is an inspiration to me. It was her blog that  made Sally and me rethink the format and content of our blog. Thank you, Greet!

2. Surroundings: Linda Merrill is a Boston interior designer who is one of interior design’s blogging pioneers. What she gives back to the local design community is quite remarkable. We are the better for it.

 3. Jennings and Gates: I came across Nina’ blog only recently, but was immediately captivated by her class, style and at times very thought provoking posts. He recent post about entertaining and today’s culture was superb!

 4. Streets of Salem: Donna is a fellow Salem resident who teaches history at Salem State College. She writes about the fascinating little things that make up the fabric of our daily lives, culture and history – things that I might otherwise never know or learn about. For that I am grateful.

 5. Providence Design Ltd.: I love how Mona concludes each post, “It’s your turn. Let’s talk.” Her charm, warmth, enthusiasm and “candoitiveness” come through as clear as a bell. She helps me stay young at heart and to think anything is possible.

 May everyone have a healthy, prosperous, memory and laughter filled 2012!


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22 Responses

  1. Kathleen says:

    What a fun post to read. I really
    enjoy learning about the folks
    of the blogs I read.
    I’m also from the finger lakes region
    of New York , beautiful area!
    I hope Sally changes her mind
    and decides to blog about herself
    Happy New Year to you and Sally,


    • John says:


      Where did you grow up? My roots are near Ithaca. Graduated from Cornell.
      I’ll work on Sally. She has a very vivid imagination…


      • Kathleen says:

        I grew up in Lansing. My sister is a Cornell grad. My Mom worked at the Cornell ILR school. I grew up swimming in cayuga lake. I have two brothers who still live there.
        My father had a dairy farm in King Ferry.
        What small town near Ithaca are you from?

        • John says:

          I grew up in Dryden. My Mom still lives there. I remember swimming in Cayuga Lake while at Scout Camp on the other side of the lake. Even in August, it could be very cold!!!


  2. Congratulations John & Sally – well deserved! How fun to learn more about you… I can only imagine how your design preferences would be expanded and enhanced by living abroad for a while (not to mention it being a lot of fun!). I hope you get to do that someday…Happy New Year!

  3. Greet says:

    John and Sally,
    First of all I want to give you my best wishes for this New Year! I do hope that it may be a year full of love, happiness, good health and a lot of success in business!
    And thank you so much for passing this award to me!! I so appreciate it!

    • John says:

      Thank you, Greet.
      May this year be your year!

      Passing the Award along to your was an easy decision.
      You are so unselfish in sharing of yourself, your ideas, and your work.


  4. You have such a fine blog and an even finer eye for design of all natures as evidenced here in your list of 5 things about yourself…interestingly enough, I too like vintage cars (European models of course)…and enjoy fly fishing but don’t tie…
    nice learning a few more things about you..

    • John says:


      Thank you for the support you have extended to me this past year. There are several other Italian cars I would love to have the opportunity to own and drive. The Ferrai Lusso and 330GT are both glorious Grand Touring cars, as is the Lamborghini Espada. Then there’s the older Maserati 3500GT. I’d better stop…

      Don’t tell me there are steelhead runs near you. I will be soooo jealous!!!


  5. Congratulations John on your award it’s well deserved. Fun getting to know more about our blog friends, my husband ties his own flies and does woodworking too.

    As for that truck you asked about from my post it’s a google image, I drive a toyota truck but love it all the same.

    Happy New Year to you and Sally and the rest of your family.


  6. Donna Seger says:

    Thanks so much John & Sally for including me in this lovely post and this great company! Happy New Year from you fellow Salemite.

    • John says:

      You’re welcome Donna. I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. Always new, interesting and engaging. Loved your New Year’s Stepping Over post.


  7. Thank you John and Sally for including me! It’s always interesting to get to know more about the people we know! We actually have an upstate NY connection – I was born in Syracuse and we lived outside Buffalo for a while. Happy New Year!

  8. I’m lucky that I had a sneak preview of some facts about you and Sally from when we profiled Wilson-Kelsey on our blog, and it is especially nice to read even more, and see the great pictures on this post. You and Sally certainly have a Blog on Fire! I look forward to visiting every morning with my coffee, and reading about your newest adventures, great and useful tips and wise insights. Thanks very much for tagging us too! Congratulations on your award!

    • John says:

      It’s our pleasure, Nina. We have a former co-worker who lives and works near Washington. Next time we visit her, we’ll be sure to let you know. We’d love to have a cup of coffee or glass of wine with you and Jennings.


  9. First I love learning more about you guys… would love to sit and visit with both of you over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. You are both so talented and I love that you share the same career as your life’s passion. And oh my…I am so honored to be the recipient of the award from the two of you… and included in such a talented group. Wow. Thanks so much! I wish the very best for you guys in 2012. Happy New Year! XO, MOna

    • John says:


      As I said when I passed along the award. Your drive and never quit spirit is a real inspiration for Sally and me. The next time we’re in Memphis visiting Sally’s Mom, we’ll let you know. Little Rock isn’t such a long drive.


  10. diane says:

    Found your blog via Linda at Surroundings and boy am I glad I did. Noticed one of the five things you would like to do it learn fine furniture making and you and Martin have that in common. You might enjoy taking a look at some of our posts on furniture making, carving etc. And, yes, the tools are expensive! I look forward to enjoying your blog in the future.

    • John says:

      Linda’s blog is terrific, isn’t it? And we’re delighted you took time to drop in here! I’ve poked around your blog and website. It’s very impressive. I’ll be reaching out to you for a catalogue.


      PS: I’m adding you to my favorites list.

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