And The Winner Is……….

WOW…what can I say, but you my dear fellow bloggers continue to AMAZE me.  When I ran the post “My Return to the Berry Patch“, a post about identifying that frightening mystery item in the berry patch, I was not sure what kind of response I was going to get.  My prize of 20 visits to your blog, 20 comments on various posts over the next month, could really give you the feeling of me being a “blog creeper”.  Now that IS frightening…hahaha!  πŸ™‚

Your response and participation was incredible.  With such GREAT answers.  In what was only 4 or 5 minutes of me clicking “Publish”, long time follower Barbara had guessed a mouse, and then a few minutes later, one of my most recent followers, Sarah, was the first person who guessed what ended up being the correct answer…..POISON IVY!!!!  YEAH, SARAH!!  CONGRATULATIONS!!  πŸ˜€

Grand Prize Winner....SARAH!!! :D

Grand Prize Winner….SARAH!!! πŸ˜€

Sarah is the blog host and writer for the blog Seetomalrun.  What has fascinated me the most about Sarah, is how we connected.  I had JUST finished publishing my post about running in the Creemore Vertical Challenge race.  Within 5 minutes, I had what I like to call “a triple crown” show up in my notifications. A “like”, a “comment” AND a “follow”, all from Sarah.  I was so curious, and I HAD to ask Sarah.  How on earth did you find me?  She mentioned, she was searching, and looking up some running blogs, and mine was one of them that came up in her search.

Sarah’s blog is a brand new blog.  It was just a few days old when she first started following me, and currently, it is still less than a month old.  With my “prize” I was offering, for the newer bloggers with less than 20 posts, I promised that “I would stick by, as you would build your following”.

Sarah currently has FOUR followers, and I am extremely honoured to be one of them.  What has blown me away is how much effort, passion and enthusiasm Sarah puts into this blog of hers.  The effort she puts into her posts, you would think she had four hundred followers.  She is friendly and outgoing, taking the time to visit blogs like mine and leave a kind and respectful comment. This is just the kind of person she is.

A few days ago, I sent Sarah an e-mail to say “congratulations, you are the winner”, but still a bit nervous of what kind of response I would get with such an “unorthodox prize”.  Sarah was SOOOO excited and happy.  Her response made me a bit misty eyed.  I gave Sarah an option of me going through her posts and introducing her to you in a blog post, OR I could do an interview.  Sarah chose the interview.  I should not have been surprised, but I once again was blown away with how much time and effort she put into this interview.  And through this interview I see an incredible human being, one with a beautiful heart, who reaches out, and touches the lives of others.


Question:  Sarah, welcome to this here interview.  Could you share a little bit about yourself?  Are you in school? Are you working?

Thanks Carl, happy to be here!  Well let’s see, where to start…  I was born and raised in Southern California, and I’m currently living in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa.  I live with my husband, my dog, and my cat.  I work at the hospital here in La Mesa as an RN.  My hospital is the largest in eastern San Diego County, so we’re always busy.  I also work night shift, which definitely adds a twist and its fair share of challenges!  I graduated nursing school in December and started working as an RN in February, so I’m still learning the ropes.  I also am taking an online bachelor’s program for my BSN.  I’ve only been running since 2012, when a friend roped me into a 5k.  I’ve been hooked ever since!

WOW!!  Just reading this made my head spin!  And I can also add to your list Sarah, you are also a blogger!  πŸ™‚

Question:  How hard is it to balance to balance nursing, school, running, blogging, friends and family?  How do you do it?  Any secrets? 

Haha, well, it can get a little hairy at times, especially with my husband working normal people hours Monday through Friday!  I think that all of our lives are balancing acts, and we all learn to adapt to what we’ve been handed.  I’m still learning to adapt with my (essentially) new job and new hours, and it’s been a challenge.  I find that keeping a big picture perspective helps to keep everything in check.  I also find it helpful to be kind to myself.  By that, I mean that if the dishes don’t get done before I go to bed, I’m not a failure.  You get the idea.  I think many of us would run ourselves into the ground and a nervous breakdown if we didn’t give ourselves a little bit of grace.  That’s what I try to mindful of-the balance between grace and discipline.

 Thanks for sharing this.  Sounds like you have a great perspective. I love the way you describe it, along with your example, “a big picture perspective that helps to keep everything in check.”  Self care, and being kind to yourself is so extremely important!

Question:  What you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?

Becoming a nurse is what I consider my biggest accomplishment.  It was a wild ride, filled with career changes, lots of moving house around the county, life changes, etc.  But after 4 years of getting my first bachelor’s, taking a year off, switching it up, and a cumulative 4 years of getting my RN license and then getting hired in a highly competitive market, I can look back and be proud to be caring for those in some of the most difficult parts of their lives.  It’s an honor to be a nurse.

This is HUGE.  It shows so much determination, grit, passion and even courage to not give up following your dream of becoming a nurse.  And you did it, you made it!!!!  Your passion also has compassion, as you now care for those in their difficult situations. I LOVE your last sentence Sarah, “It’s an honor to be a nurse”. 

Question:  Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in those that have overcome adversity.  Oftentimes, it’s my patients.  My unit specializes in oncology (care of people with cancer) and I have witnessed such resilience born out of turmoil.  I see it in the patients, in their families, in their friends.  I keep these people in my mind when I face my own challenges.  Also, there are members of my family who, in one way or another, have hit rock bottom and climbed back up.  I look at them and think, β€œIf they can make it through, so can I.”

This is very precious.  Your patients and their supports in family and friends are genuine people, fellow human beings.  And every one of those human beings (including your family members) would have their own personal story of resilience and strength to keep going!  WOW!!

Question:  You are a brand new blogger Sarah!  What got you into blogging?    What do hope to achieve through your blog?

I am!  When I was in college, I had a blog that was just to record thoughts, ideas, and musings that I had, and I’ve always been one that enjoys writing and recording my thoughts.  This current blog was started to chronicle my journey through training for the Big Sur Marathon, which is next April.  I’m also running in the marathon as a charity runner for the National Parkinson Foundation.  This is my first time running for a charity, so I thought I’d blog about it to raise awareness and make my fundraising attempts more personal.  If anyone would like to learn about my fundraising attempts or would like to donate to my cause, the link is the National Parkinson Foundation. I also see myself as sort of an “everyman runner,” and I’d like to use my blog to encourage those who maybe think that running is too hard, or impossible, because that’s what I used to think.  I thought I was too slow, not “built” for running, or would never make it across the finish line. But here I am!  

Sarah, you have determination, you show so much compassion, but you also have a heart for charity work.  Thank you for adding the link.  And in just the three weeks we have been following each other’s blog, I can tell you are an AMAZING encourager.  Never about yourself, but always about helping others on their journey.

Question:  What is the most wild and crazy thing you have ever done?

Some would say running a marathon!  But there was this one time I climbed down a sea cliff in the middle of the night with no flashlight and no moon to get to the beach.  I wouldn’t really recommend it…not something I would try again!

Haha, I’ve seen those sea cliffs on the west coast several decades ago, and can picture them in my mind.  My heart is racing just thinking about it…haha!  πŸ™‚

Question:  Do you have any dreams or passions which you hope to accomplish through your life?

I really want to make a positive impact in the lives of those around me, whether it’s through my job or my everyday interactions with others, whether it’s in the lives of those that are close to me or the lives of complete strangers.  If I can do that, I’ll be content.  I also am driven to be very self-aware.  I want to know who I am-understand my motivations, thoughts, fears, in order to improve myself.  Also, both my husband and I love to travel, so as things settle down with my job and schedule, we’d love to travel more.  It’s a great way to get out of your comfort zone, learn new cultures, languages, and people, and explore new territory. 

Such an amazing response Sarah.  Your self awareness, and desire to leave a positive impact to those around you, I have picked up on, in the mere three weeks I have known you as a fellow blogger.  And the two really go hand in hand.   A person really needs to know themselves, before they can make a positive impact in the lives of others.  You are doing just that Sarah, and that outreach circle is going to get bigger and bigger.  There is so many great learning experiences through travel, especially when it involves other cultures, languages, and stepping out of our comfort zones.  The “world” takes on a whole new meaning!

Question:  I’m curious about this picture you sent me.  Can feel the sea breeze.  Where is this?  Do you enjoy travelling?

Well, as mentioned, I love to travel!  This picture was actually taken last weekend.  I’m on a boat headed back to Coronado Island from San Diego Bay. The bridge in the background is the Coronado Bridge, and that’s part of the San Diego skyline.  My husband and I participated in a benefit regatta held for my healthcare company’s hospice program.  All of the proceeds are going to the building of a new hospice home.  Because my unit specializes in end of life care, I know how important it is for families to have a place of peace where they can spend time with their loved ones and every family member is cared for.

 Beautiful Sarah, absolutely beautiful!  One thing about compassionate people, is that they NEVER talk of themselves as being compassionate.  You are such a person.  It is others who will bring this up.  Sarah, you have such a heart of gold to help others, so compassionate, and even through your charity work, to help people living out the last days of their lives become more bearable.  THANK YOU!

Question:  Where do you hope to see yourself 20 years down the road?

In 20 years, I’d love to still be in San Diego (it’s awesome here), working as a nurse in critical care, still running, and traveling a heck of a lot more!  I want to be in a place where I can better myself and the lives of those around me.

Your heart is in the right place.  I know you will accomplish all this, and SO much more!

Question:  How would you relate your running to life?

Oh man, I think running can teach you so many things about life.  Anything from striking a balance between running one mile at a time and visualizing the finish to sometimes having to push through “walls,” running is a great teacher.  It’s taught me discipline, mental fortitude, and humility.  I think that’s really the appeal of running to a lot of people.  Sure, it’s about fitness and being in shape, but really, it may just be about who you are when it’s just you and the road (or the trail).

I know every runner has their individual story to tell.  Running IS such a great teacher.  Thank you for sharing this.

Question:  Where is your next marathon?  How are you feeling in these weeks coming up to it?

Well, my next half marathon will be at the end of October in Hood River, Oregon.  It’s one of my mom’s favorite full marathons, but it’ll be my husband’s first half, so I’m running it with him.  I’m planning on running the Carlsbad Marathon here in San Diego County in January.  That’ll be my next marathon.  I’ve run the Carlsbad Half twice, so I’m ready to take it on before I run Big Sur in April.  So far, everything is going well with training, but I definitely have days that are tougher to get out and run than others.  Luckily I have plenty of time.  I’ll definitely be ready for the half next month!

Wow, these are ambitious months ahead Sarah.  And it really sounds like running is in your family.  So very cool, you will be joining your husband on his first half marathon.   I have actually looked up the Big Sur Marathon.  It is a very tough course.  But when I see your discipline, and what you have overcome and accomplished to become a Registered Nurse, I know you WILL be a strong finisher at Big Sur!


Having known Sarah as a fellow blogger for only three weeks, I have learned so much about her through this interview.  In everything she does, she is disciplined, and works extremely hard.  What jumps out at me is her beautiful heart.  She is a very caring and compassionate person, always putting others ahead of herself.  She gives dignity to those dear people facing the final days of their lives.  She has set her priorities straight to avoid burnout, being very mindful of her own self care and self awareness.  It has been my absolute honour and privilege to interview Sarah, the winner of my little contest!  πŸ™‚

Thank you to everyone for being a part of this interview.  If I can ask just one more thing of each of you, please take a moment to drop by Sarah’s blog, and if are able to, give her a “follow”, and introduce yourself to her.  I know she would REALLY appreciate this!  For a person who gives so much to others, let’s see if we can give back to Sarah, and change that “4 follower” number to something much, much higher.

The link to Sarah’s blog is seetomalrun.

The fundraising link to her charity is National Parkinson Foundation.

Thank you SO much, and God bless!  πŸ™‚


Categories: UncategorizedTags: , , ,


  1. Congratulations to Sarah and what a great interview! Sarah is certainly a person with passion and works to achieve what she has believed in and passionate on..Well done Carl, I enjoyed the interview very much, she is an inspiring person!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Indah. I really appreciate your kind words. This is the 1st ever blog interview I have conducted, and it really was a lot of fun. I can learn much from Sarah’s example…self awareness, and keeping my life in balance to avoid burnout.
      She is indeed a very inspiring human being!
      Thank you Indah for your very touching comment! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Indah! Thanks for reading the interview! It’s been a long road, but I do think that if you’re passionate about something, you can find a road to get there. It’s just not always the easiest route πŸ˜‰


  2. Thank you very much Carl for introducing Sarah!!! I agree with Indah….very inspiring!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a wonderfully creative way to link your posts and introduce us to a new blogger Carl. Hello Sarah and congratulations! We both live in the San Diego area and I agree, it’s awesome here! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m a bad loser…..😳😳😳😳😳

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post – but after reading it, rereading it and then again I still cannot find what it was that Sarah spotted??????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for dropping by, my friend from Tasmania. I am so very sorry you ended up reading this 3 times. Now THAT is perseverance. I will make sure I will edit in, what Sarah’s winning answer was.

      Sarah’s answer was poison ivy. In my research, it is not found in Australia or Tasmania. Contact with the plant, a person gets a nasty allergic rash. In the picture on my previous post, they are the plants with more “shiny” leaves, that you had actually commented on. That was the “thing” I was terrified of.

      In my next post, I will share a bit on how to positively identify poison ivy.

      Thank you SO much for taking the time to read (3 times), and for sharing! πŸ™‚



      • Ah ha. So that’s what it was. Great idea. The English planted ivy in Tasmania when they came in the 19th century and now birds seed it in my garden occasionally and I rigorously uproot it. I realise all parts of it are poisonous but it is obviously different from your poisonous ivy. Mostly I think of poisonous ivy from the pop song:

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, this is hilarious. Thank you for sharing the audio/video. I have never heard this song before, and I LOVE it. And yes, poison ivy really does leave you “scratching like a hound”. πŸ™‚
        Wow, I did not realize that the old English ivy has poisonous tendencies as well. I don’t think I have any English ivy on my property that I am aware of.
        Thank you for sharing this song by the Coasters! πŸ™‚


  6. Ah, so it was the poison ivy after all. Well, I hope you don’t come across any snake skins in the future either!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yeah Celia, I really hope so too. Snake skins are certainly spooky looking. I really want to thank you for being a WONDERFUL participant in the contest. So many great guesses, ANY of them could have been the correct answer. Poison ivy was indeed the frightening “thing” in that berry patch.

      Wishing you an absolutely fantastic rest of the week ahead! πŸ™‚



  7. Carl,
    You’re a such a generous person. It’s heartening to see what you do to support fellow bloggers. She’s definitely worth a visit a d a follow. Thanks for the introduction.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I live by Big Sur!! What an event!!! You should join her, Carl, but you have to let us host you for carb-load lunch the day before, if you do!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Many Congratulations to Sarah! I can differentiate between a rose and a lotus – is that enough to get me a nice Nutella based prize? πŸ˜€
    It was great reading about her and her journey as a nurse and a runner. Inspiring!

    P.S. Somehow, your posts don’t come up on my Reader 😦 Waiting for your next one now!


    • Now that is something I could not do. Even had to google a “lotus”, was not sure what it looked like. They do have similarities to a rose though. And very beautiful. And very interesting that the lotus flower is known mostly in India. What our countries do have in common is Nutella. I LOVE the stuff, and have to be very careful I do not eat the whole jar in one sitting…haha! πŸ™‚

      It was really cool to come across Sarah. The interview really blew me away how inspiring she is.

      Thank you for sharing about the reader. Don’t know if it is a WP glitch that will remedy itself, or is something I need to fix myself from my end, but I will look into it.

      Thank you for stopping by to read, and for your kind comment. Always appreciate you so much Prajakta. Hope all is well with you! πŸ™‚



  10. Ohhhhh, lovely interview. I must stop by Sarah’s blog after I return from Rio.

    Liked by 1 person

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