10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

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It has been so much fun watching the number of readers to my blog grow.  I suddenly realized that many of you may not really know a whole lot about me.  Now is just as good a time as any to let you in on some of my secrets.  So here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about me.

1 – I Have Lived Abroad

I lived in Tokyo, Japan as an Exchange Student when I was 15 years old (a Sophomore in High School).  I attended Meiji Gakuin Higashimuriyama, a private, all-boy High School (Check out their website HERE). It is now co-ed, but at the time, I was only one of two female students in the building.  The other female was also an exchange student.  I learned to speak Japanese, but it has been many years and I have not used it enough to retain it well into my adulthood.

I am currently learning Spanish, and that has been bringing a lot of Japanese back to me.  It seems once you’ve learned a language, it’s a bit like riding a bike and your brain remembers it deep down.  I’m not an expert at language learning, but I do love it.  Here’s a great article from someone who is an expert that gives you 12 Reasons Everyone Should Learn Another Language.  Check it out HERE!  I have used DuoLingo online and as an app on my phone as a FREE study aid while learning Spanish. It’s totally worth checking it out if you’re thinking about learning a language!

2 – I WAS a picky eater

When I was a child, I was ridiculously picky about what I would eat.  Some textures simply did not agree with me, and I really didn’t like foods that required a lot of chewing.  I was a skinny little kid that refused to eat meat.  I distinctly remember choosing fish sticks over meat anytime I had the option.

When I had no choice but to eat meat, I would sometimes chew it for hours on end without swallowing.  I just didn’t like the whole meat ordeal.  I was always reluctant to eat at mealtime and was always the last one finished.  My parents used to set the timer on the stove and clean up around me while I sat there knowing I had to stuff down what was on my plate before that timer went off.  Sounds terrible, doesn’t it!?  At one point my hair began falling out of my head.  A quick trip to the doctor informed us that I was anemic.  I remember my parents allowing me to eat the meat out of my sandwiches as a compromise (I didn’t like bread, either). Anything to get that protein and iron into my system.

Got a picky eater of your own? Science and Child Development experts now recognize this as an actual “thing”. Here’s a great book to help you learn how to deal with it!

3 – I Want to See the World

I LOVE to travel and I’m pretty much willing to go just about anywhere!  Flying?  Love it!  Packing?  Love it!  Exploring?  Love it!  My bucket list of places to visit is ridiculously long, but here are some of the top locales on my list:  Boston and the surrounding areas, Africa for a wildlife safari, a return trip to Japan, and a mission trip to Mexico to try out my new Spanish skills.  Of course, I’d go just about anywhere, so feel free to share with me your favorite location in a comment! Maybe I’ll add it to my list!

I love every book National Geographic has produced.  This one is especially cool for planning that epic trip (or two). I would love to see every one of these places in my lifetime!

4 – I Have a Bald Cat

Dr. Evil has nothing on me!  I have my own version of Mr. Bigglesworth.  Except my bald kitty, Scarlett No’Hara, is much cuter, if I do say so myself.  She is going to be one year old this summer (2019) and has the most fascinating personality to go with her unusual look.  She came all the way from Pennsylvania, where my grown daughter and I road-tripped from Michigan to pick her up early last fall.  What you may not know is that a bald cat feels like a hot, feverish peach.  Some say the feeling reminds them of a horse’s muzzle.  Who doesn’t love that!?  She is an outstanding jumper, behaves like a dog and perches on my shoulder whenever she can.  We say she is part spider monkey and part parrot.

Author riding her Bald Cat

Sphynx Cat on Author's Shoulder

Considering adding one of these beauties to your home?  Click HERE for some info to check out before you jump in. But trust me when I tell you that my experience has been top of the line. And if you’re REALLY interested, get in touch with me and I can share my breeder info with you! She’s excellent!

5 – I Acted My Way Through High School

Yup.  You heard that right.  I acted my way through High School, although maybe not in the way you might first think. Since I started out as a bashful kid, as I grew, I figured out it was fun to put on a different character and be someone else through our small school’s theater program.  It was so much fun being in one of the leading roles on stage from grades 8 through 12 and I loved every minute!  In the five years I enjoyed theater, I played parts such as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker and Florence Unger (female version of Felix) in The Odd Couple.  My favorite parts of being in theater were having the camaraderie with my fellow cast and the thrill of stepping on stage.

Photo of author as Florence Unger

To this day, I love the theater and am happy to see just about anything on stage!  Some favorite shows I’ve seen in the last few years are Wicked, Les Misérables, and the Lion King.  If you haven’t been to a Broadway show, you should definitely treat yourself!

If you sign up for emails from Ticketmaster (click HERE), you will have access to presale ticket information for shows in your area.  I recently scored first rate tickets to the traveling production of the Book of Mormon on an early presale event for under $70 each.

6 – I Have a High (or is it Low?) Creep Factor!

Wondering what a Creep Factor is?  It’s a term I personally coined to indicate when I’m feeling entirely creeped out by something.  Most fantasy-type movies do it for me, starting with the Wizard of Oz.  High creep factor there. Or maybe low, since the movie is highly creepy for me, and I have a low tolerance for it. By low tolerance, I mean I. don’t. like. it.  It scares me.  I know it’s harmless, but watching it gives me the heebie-jeebies and I prefer to avoid it at all costs.  Imagine my sadness when I found out that our town’s local park (where my husband and I were married) is going to be re-decorated in the theme of the Wizard of Oz.  Sigh.  Perhaps it will be lower on my creep factor scale since there won’t be any actual flying monkeys…  At least there better not be!

Here’s a LINK to the article that tells a bit more about our local park and the plans.  This article also includes an interesting side note about Frank L. Baum, The author of The Wizard of Oz. 

7 – I Dream of Imagineering

If I could wave a magic wand and have any career I could imagine, I would be a Disney Imagineer – specifically an animator or somehow consult in building the parks.  I love all things Disney and have been to Disney World in Orlando four times and Tokyo Disneyland multiple times.  Not only do I love the parks and the movies, but I just think those Imagineers have the coolest job ever, making movies and entertainment that brings so much joy to so many people. Let me in, Disney!!!! I’m creative, I promise!

Take a peek into the life of a Disney Imagineer HERE.

8 – I am a Proud Mom and Grandma

I have 5 kiddos.  Two are grown and married, two are grown and living life, and one is still at home for a few more years.  He came along ten years after the other four.  My oldest grown son and his lovely wife have recently promoted me to Grandma of one beautiful little boy.  I think the craziest, bumpiest, scariest, most-rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life has been parenting these 5 kids.  Every single minute of being a grandma agrees with me. Is there anything better than the privilege of enjoying this sweet little boy?  He represents all the love of having another kid, with almost none of the work (besides a few nasty diapers here and there, but after five kids, I’m pretty much a pro at that).

Author's son and grandson together

9 – I Was a Runner

I am no athlete.  Far from it.  That’s probably why I take such pride in this one fun accomplishment.  Shortly before I turned 40, I decided it would be a good idea to run a 5k.  You know, just so I could say I did it. So I did it. I trained using the Couch to 5K program, bought some fancy running shoes and a really cute pink and black jogging outfit, and went for it!

Photo of author as a runner

After all the fun of that little run, I found myself motivated to push past the 5k and right on into a half marathon…  That’s right…  You heard me correctly.  Half Marathon.  13.1 glorious miles!  So, I set out to accomplish that goal.  And I just about made it.  Sadly, Mother Nature had other plans.

The stage was set, the training done, the water bottle full, and I was ready to go.  Unfortunately, after about 5 miles, a storm blew in.  The lightening began, the thunder cracked, and the event was cancelled.  Before I could even perform my after-run stretch (midway through the route), the cop car pulled up to pick me up and delivered me safely across the finish line.  Sigh.  I know I could and would’ve finished that race, so I hung up my running shoes and called it a success.  I haven’t run since and it’s been close to ten years.

Author in Police Car

10 – I Am a Work in Progress

So, this one is a bit tough for me to share, but in the interest of honesty, I think it’s really the only way to roll right now.  I am on a journey with my photography and blogging that is scary.  I am anxious and fearful that I am not cut out for this adventure.  But more than anxiety or fear, I have confidence that God has steered me along a path in my life that puts me exactly where I need to be right now.  He has given me the tools and the ability to do just about anything I set my mind to, as long as I seek His will and His guidance, no matter how scary it all is.

After all, I have made it through more than one viewing of the Wizard of Oz, I have run (almost) a half marathon, and I have raised a whole bunch of really cool people into adults.  I am absolutely certain that I would not be where I am today if not for my Father’s loving touch on my life. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me (graphic)

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  1. Grandmom! Wow! I think in all honesty, everyone is a work in progress. I mean if we say or claim we are not ”work in progress”, it means we are perfect and no one is perfect! I am a work in progress too and I am proud of how far I have come and excited about what the future holds for me!

    • You’re gonna do great things, Jennifer! I’m sure of it! And yep – grandmom! My favorite title so far…. 😉

      • I can see why grandmom would be your favorite title! I am still single but would love to be a grandmom too! We have two things in common though. I so want to travel the world! It is an itch that I need to scratch deeply and real soon lol. I talked about it with a friend two days ago! And that creep factor? I’m sure mine is way higher (lower) lol. I just don’t like seeing strange creatures in movies and God forbid in real life! You don’t even want to know the half of it! Great post and great reveal. I hope your wish to travel the world, comes true for you! You should definitely visit Africa!

        • Africa is on the TOP of my bucket list! I hear Ethiopia is beautiful, but Africa is such a large continent, I have no idea where to begin! I’m open to suggestion!

          As for being single – enjoy it! Every phase of life has pros and cons. Sometimes the single life looks fantastic from this ole married mom of 5, but then I sure wouldn’t give up my family for anything ever!

    • You’re not alone with the cat situation! She is definitely unique. But most of all, she is wonderful and has the most delightful personality. As for my crazy life, I intend to cross my finish line having done everything I love at least once!!! Some things twice. Whatever I miss here on earth, I am sure I’ll get to do when I arrive in heaven! 🙂

  2. Great Blog….SharonSparkle’s daughter! You look SO much like your Mom!
    And no worries about your Mom setting the timer for you to finish eating~~~ My Mom made me sit for hours to eat my peas! And weirdly enough I love them now as much as I hated them back then!
    And your Tucker is a sweetheart!
    And so is your Mom xoxoxo

    • Thank you, Heather! I am indeed one lucky woman to have a great mom and a great kiddo – actually 5 great kiddos. 🙂 That’s funny about the peas – I used to hide my bread crusts under the edge of my plate, cuz’ I just couldn’t stand the texture. Nowadays I love bread so much, especially with real butter. Funny what happens as a kid and how it changes as an adult. I think if I was a child born now I would be diagnosed with a texture eating disorder, but that type of thing was unheard of in my day. I did get over it for the most part, and that’s a good thing! Thanks for reading my post!

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