Saturday, October 12

Thanks for the Liebster Award!


Mulling Spices received a Liebster Award.  Thank you, Simply Organized!
About the award:  Liebster is German for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing & welcome.This award is passed from Blogger to Blogger. It’s an award for bloggers with under 200 subscribers & is to encourage each other that they are doing a great job & to keep it up!  Sweet, right?

Along with the award, there are 11 questions that were asked to help your readers get to know you better. Here are my answers below:

1.    Why did you start blogging?

"Mulling Spices" says it all. When I write "out loud" by blogging, I am able to sort through my thoughts more concisely and efficiently. When I just journal to myself... Oh!!! The yammering!

2. What is your favorite book?

The fact of that question being asked in singular form bruises my brain and hurts my soul a little bit. Simply Organized posted about six books; so I will limit myself to that. Here they are by genre:

Memoir: The Sacred Journey by Frederick Buechner. His idea is that God speaks (sometimes mutteringly) into and out of our days. He weaves this idea through delightful storytelling. This is a book I return to almost every time when I feel I have lost my way... and even during times when I know right where I am. 

Short Story: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. This edition has particularly delightful illustrations. This is a story about a couple getting Christmas presents for each other. I would like to be married like this sometime; but more than that, I would just like to be this kind of giver to those I love most. (I'm sure they'd like that, too.)

Both of these books were given to me by one of my former roommates who is a particularly luminous soul. With all the books I read, it is a spectacular accomplishment for one person to have introduced me to two of my favorites. I am so blessed to know her.

Humor: My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber. He lived from 1894 – 1961, and was "an author, a cartoonist, and a celebrated wit," according to Wikipedia. And he was! He worked for the New Yorker for years and could spin a tale about the simplest things hysterically. I never thought I would think of Columbus, Ohio as a place of strange and wonderful happenings, but he made it so.

Children's: The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. There are so many elements that make this book amazing: bizarre family members, treachery, magic, betrayal, Creation, humor, redemption... but the truth is that when I read it, it just sings to me. 

Photo Essay:  With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen. This is the book that touched a chord and first caused me to think of prayer as something much more than a laundry list. It put me on the path back to my own heart before God. 

A book that is just so very good for my soul?  For the Life of the World by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. It was this book more than any other thing that made me hungry for Eucharist, for Christ Himself. (Did you know that the word eucharist literally means "thanksgiving?") He gave Himself for the life of the world, and I am so grateful to dance in that healing. 


You should get these books at a local library. Or you should give some love to your community by getting them at a local independent bookstore, like Eighth Day Books or Watermark. Actually, just go to Eighth Day. They will have most of these books right on the shelf; Watermark will have to order them. But go to Watermark for chai.

3. What makes you laugh out loud?

 My sister. People. Misprints like this: 


 5. Who would play you in a movie?

Do you remember that girl who is in Napoleon Dynamite? I look like that. But I don't act like that. But she is an actress. So she could figure out how to act appropriately Nyleen. That girl. And her acting abilities.

6. How long have you been blogging?

I don't know. Years and years ago, I had a blog called "The Asparagus Evening," (I thought it sounded relaxing), but I killed it. Mulling Spices is my second blog and has been around since 2010.

7. What time of the day do you write?

I just throw down and write whenever. It has only been in the last month that I have tried to make a regular practice of writing. Up until then, I ascribed to the "writing is like pooping" theory of writing; a feeling just overtakes you and it has to happen. (It's only my own theory, nobody else says that. Plus, I am probably wrong.) 

But in the last month, I've been writing more regularly; and you can see my work over at Elephant Journal. I'm thankful for the opportunity to develop my craft.

8. What is the most annoying song in the universe?

"Tainted Love" by Soft Cell. It was the favorite song of a roomie I once had. Although I love her dearly, I'll never understand her. (Not the book giver. The Chick Flick Extravaganza roomie.)

9. What part of your home is your favorite?

The back deck. Plants, a patio table with slightly rocking chairs, sun tea, a Black Lab... what's not to love? It's great for sitting during a thunderstorm; to feel the power and not get soaked. And I especially love writing there.


10. What is your favorite recipe?

I don't discriminate when it comes to foods. I am an equal opportunity eater. But this cake is the fix for a bad day, when you need something chocolate, but you want to stay home in your pajamas. Also, much of my relationship with my mother consists of me calling her and asking for this recipe after I've lost it. Again. 

Wacky Cocoa Cake 

preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1 1/2 c flour
3 T cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt 
1 c sugar

mix the dry things together thoroughly. you can even do this in your square glass baking pan. then:

6 T oil 
(The cake is good. And it is super moist. But it is not Health Cake. You don't care. You're depressed.)
1 T vinegar
1 t vanilla
1 c water

mix it up.

the original recipe said you should bake it for 25 minutes, but I usually go 30. definitely check the middle before you pull it out. 

you don't want to let it cool for 10 minutes, but you should. and you should eat it with some milk. 


11. What is your favorite season?

Autumn. And spring. Really, just April and October. All the other months can take a hike! Oh... except June. A teacher loves June. For practical reasons.
Today I am passing this Liebster Award onto ...
I honestly don't read a lot of blogs.  And those I do frequent have a big readership.  The Liebster is for us little guys.  

So hop on over to All Manner of Inspiration for some thoughtful words on life. Sarah is much better at the bloggeriness than I am. But I still bet I could take her in a nonsense word rhyme-off.


  1. Thanks Nyleen - so sweet! (And I love your answers here). You're right - I'm learning more about the in's and out's of blogging...but you could SO take me in a rhyme off! ;) Love you!

  2. blogging is like're right!


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