Sunday, July 15, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 15!

A world record for me...15 continuous days of blogging! Here's a suggestion for Sar for next year's challenge. As the last prompt, ask bloggers to come up with questions or topics for the next challenge. That way you have a wider audience to draw from, and a bank of ideas on hand to choose from. I'll give you a head start by including some here. And the prompt for today:

[15] What's the best compliment you've ever received?

I LOVE when people tell me I look like my mother...I think that's my all time favorite compliment. I also love to receive compliments regarding my children. You know, proud mama moments! And I absolutely love it when my husband tells me I'm a good mother, because that means more to me than anything.

Unfortunately, I've received a number of back-handed compliments in my time, and one has always stuck with me. When my first child was born, I took six months of maternity leave which I then extended to five wonderful years before going back to work when my youngest was two. On my first day back at work, a male co-worker commented "So you quit work to become a mom, and you came back to work to be a bad mom?" Ouch. Would have been hurtful if it had come from someone I respected, but since it didn't, it was simply annoying.

But the best compliment I've ever received was non-verbal. Shortly after we were married, my husband presented me with this business-sized membership card. It states he is a Lifetime Member, as well as President, of the Elizabeth Lake Fan Club. I imagine the roller coaster symbolizes the ups and downs of our relationship, and the dice means we are lucky (or that love is a crapshoot). I was tickled to receive the card, and have kept it in my jewelry box for the last 30 years.

Isn't this the cutest thing you have ever seen?

As promised, here are a couple of ideas for the next challenge:

  • What was your very first job, and how long did you hold it?
  • When/where/how old were you the first time you were kissed in a romantic fashion?
  • You're all alone on a Saturday night. What is your drink of choice, what are you snacking on, and what are you watching on the TV?
  • Who was your first celebrity crush?
  • You just won $10,000 in the lottery. What are you going to do with it?
  • If you could, what would you tell your 16-year old self?
  • What was the first song (record, CD, download) you ever purchased? How old were you?

Hope you had as much fun with the 15-Day Challenge as I did. Happy blogging!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 14 Fav Movies

Sar's 15-Day Challenge is winding down...woo hoo! While I've really enjoyed having someone else pick the blog topics, and it's been lots of fun to read everyone's answers to the prompts, I'm ready for the challenge to end. But what will I blog about now?

[14] If you were only allowed to watch one movie for the rest of your life,what movie would it be and why?

Today's prompt asks for one movie, but I have to say that I can't pick just I won't. But I can pick a particular type of movie, and I choose heartwarming, feel-good, make-you-smile movies. Particularly if that's all I can watch! I'm always looking for that happy ending that tugs at my heartstrings. I choose upbeat stories that make me smile, because that's how I want to face life! Here are a few of my favorites.

White Christmas (1954)
starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney & Vera-Ellen
A successful song-and-dance team becomes involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn owned of their former commanding general.

This movie contains one of my favorite songs "Sisters". And I still get emotional every time the ex-servicemen put on their uniforms and "follow the old man wherever he wants to go." Bing Crosby was the bigger star, but Danny Kaye steals every scene he's in. Great singing and wonderful dancing. Definitely a feel-good movie.

Pollyanna (1960)
starring Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden & Richard Egan
A cheerful orphan changes the outlook of a small town.

Hayley Mills (Miss Bliss on Saved By The Bell) won a Juvenile Academy Award for her role as the orphan, Pollyanna, who is determined to see the best in life. Pollyanna teaches others to play a game her father taught her, and uses "The Glad Game" to find the silver lining in any situation. Upbeat and heartwarming.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
starring Maureen O'hara, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood & John Payne
An old man claiming to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane. A young lawyer attempts to get him released by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

I love watching gorgeous Natalie Wood as the little girl who starts out cynical, but comes to believe in Santa Claus. This movie has some great scenes: the psychologist who tries to determine if the old man is sane; the owners of Macy's and Gimbels as they try to outdo each other during the Christmas season; the judge who wants to say Santa is not real, but feels the pressure of his own children in the courtroom. Fun to watch.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 13 My Favs

Only two more days to go! Still linking up with Sar for her 15-Day blogging Challenge. Today's prompt:

List your favorites: song, quote, food, vacation spot, photo

Favorite song:

The Beatles "I Will." Listen here. Beautiful, simple lyrics that say it all.

Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will, I will

Favorite quote:

I'm not sure where I first heard my favorite quote, but it must have been quite some time ago, since I've quoted it to my kids in one form another for almost 30 years. I didn't know the source of the quote until much later. Charles R. Swindoll's statement on the impact of attitude on life is quite long; you can read it here. But the part I think is most important is this:

"I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge if our Attitudes."

I'm throwing in two extra quotes for good measure.

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou

Favorite food:

This one is tough. My all-time favorite comfort food is macaroni & cheese. But I love, love, love fresh, ripe avocado, and I could eat bread all day, every day. My mom loved mashed avocado on toast, and that's one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods. Mmmmmm!

Favorite vacation spot:
My very favorite spot in the entire world is the coast of the Pacific ocean. I am particularly drawn to the beaches in Oregon and Washington. I love any area of those coastlines with huge, crashing waves and a sandy, walkable beach. My dream home would either be on the coast or close enough to the coast so I could walk on the hard-packed sand every day. It doesn't matter that the weather is not always the best, because the ocean itself is the draw. The sound of the crashing waves and the smell of salt in the air both mean I am at the most gorgeous place on earth.

Face Rock at Bandon, Oregon
Long Beach peninsula, Washington
Favorite photo:

This requires a little explanation. Daughter Sarah is well-known for her goofy tongue-to-the-side pictures. Even better when she can convince others to join her for the silly shot. At her grandmother's (& her identical twin sister's!) 80th birthday party, Sarah convinced grandma to pose for such a picture. Afterward, grandma asked "Now why did we do that?" It was precious. Wish I had that photo, but I don't.

Last fall, we had a wonderful family vacation on the Oregon coast (see Favorite vacation spot above). My siblings and I and our significant others were joined by all our relatives from my mother's side; my aunt, her two children and their significant others. We had a wonderful week full of laughter, great food and good wine. We took tons of pictures, and they were gracious enough to pose for a picture to send to Sarah in Texas. They were wonderful sports, and it was great fun!

Anxious to read your favorites, too!

15-Day Challenge: Day 12 Looking Ahead

I have really enjoyed Sar's blogging challenge, but don't expect me to be so prolific when the challenge is over! I have a tough time coming up with interesting topics, so it's been fun to have someone else tell me what to blog about. Let's face it, my life is just not that interesting to blog too frequently. Unless, of course, I start blogging about my siblings. I'd bet I could come up with a whole series on one sister alone...and you know who you are! Until then, the topic for the day is:

[12] What are you most looking forward to in the next six months?

We have lots of events planned for the next six months: at least two concerts to attend (Chicago and Train); we're headed to Loon Lake (N. of Spokane) for a long weekend of fun in the sun with good friends; and our annual family trip to the ocean is coming up soon. I'm also looking forward to the completion of our home projects. We have been very busy for the last few months, and it would be really nice to sit back and enjoy the fruit of our efforts.

But I'm most looking forward to December. It might sound corny, but I can't wait for my daughter to come home from grad school for a long Christmas vacation. Seeing her twice a year is just not enough, so I find myself anticipating the next visit almost as soon as she heads back to school. She is my best friend, my sounding board and the one person who will tell me the brutal truth, even when I'm not quite ready to hear it! I am the happiest when my family is all together. I absolutely love seeing my kids interact, and appreciate the fact that they are close now, even though it wasn't always that way. Life is good!

Me & Sar


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 11 I'll Keep 'Em

Day 11 of Sar's 15-Day Challenge, and the topic is...

What's one thing that you would never change about yourself?

I would like to be taller, thinner and generally look younger. But I wouldn't change a thing about my life because where I'm at is a very wonderful place. That's not to say that I won't keep trying for that perfect hairstyle, or try to maintain a healthy weight. Those are things I can change, or not, as I choose. But there is one thing I would never change.

I love the color of my with flecks of brown. I think I got the lazy eye from my daughter, but I'll keep 'em anyway!





Monday, July 9, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 10 Color Me Red

Day 10 of Sar's 15-Day Challenge. Only five more to go!

[10] What's your most embarrassing moment?

Easy. There are almost too many embarrassing stories to choose from. I could recount the time I flew 4-5 stairs in the air and landed in a heap at the bottom of a two-story staircase at work. I hit with a thud that echoed quite nicely, but jumped up so quickly that the people who gathered to check out the noice didn't realize I was the culprit. Or I could recount the time I made a disparaging comment about a co-worker on the other end of a phone conversation, only to discover he hadn't set the phone down like I thought. Better yet, I could relate how I bared my soul to our unit manager, who then he threw me under the bus and told the offending person exactly what I said in excrutiating detail. She confronted me later; it was not fun.

Here's a moment from high school that stuck with me for a long time.

I was either a freshman or a sophomore in high school. You know, back when pretty much everyone and everything was embarrassing. As I walked into school after a baseball game, a popular (and very nice) girl from my P.E. class came towards me, accompanied by a good-looking upperclassman. As they approach, the girl asks "Do you know who this is?"

Uh, who is this guy with her and why does she care if I know him?

"Noooooo....," I reply.

I seriously can not keep my eyes off of this guy. Where is this conversation she going to introduce me?

A half-second (or a lifetime) later, the harsh light of reality sets it as she comments, "I found it underneath the bleachers and thought the owner would want it back."

Say what???

Only then do I notice the girl has a ballpoint pen in her hand, and I realize I misunderstood her question. She actually had asked "Do you know whose this is?"

Oh. Awkward. Well, that does make more sense.

I attempt to sink into the pavement in embarrassment, but neither of them seem to notice. The girl thanks me and they stroll away.

So what embarrassing moment sticks in your mind?


15-Day Challenge: Day 9 Best Day Ever

Still blogging with Sar's 15-Day Challenge. Why haven't you joined? Today's challenge:

[9] Describe the best day of your life to date.

It's hard for me to pin down the best day of my life. The day I got married was pretty darn special, but it pales in comparison to either of the days I gave birth. And I can't choose just one birth day, because each was special in its own way. I thought nothing could compare to the moment I gave birth to my first child, our son. It's a magical moment when a woman first becomes a mother. But on the night I gave birth to my daughter, I felt this inexplicable strong maternal connection between me, my daughter and my mom. It was so powerful it brought me to tears, and I still feel it! Since I couldn't pick just one of these three special days, I went another way.

The best day of my life was October 5, 1982, when the doctor told me I was pregnant.

When I met my husband-to-be, we absolutely knew we were right for each other. Both in our late 20's, we each had a good-paying job and each owned a home. We saw no need to wait, and married only seven months after we met. (We've been married thirty years, so our instincts were correct.) But we were not satisfied. We both came from large families, and hoped to start a family of our own soon. Nine months after we married, we got the news we hoped for.
Those indistinct visions of a family somewhere in the future became an instant reality. We envisioned our new child with a sibling or two down the line, and began the fun part of planning for our new family. That was the day we transitioned from a couple to a family, and was the best day of my life.

P.S. I'm thinking I was fairly euphoric somewhere around August 15, 1985, too.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 8 Introspective

Linking up with Sar for her 15-Day blogging Challenge. We're over half-way there!
[8] Describe "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" of yourself
Maybe this to way too much information, but here goes:

The Good - Life is grand! I got a new hip five months ago, and that resolved my only major health concern. I like to think I have an optimistic view of life, a healthy (sometimes too healthy) sense of humor, and a fairly realistic view of self. I love my husband and children beyond measure, and definitely receive that back in return.

The Bad - I tend to procrastinate too much. Since I retired 1 1/2 years ago, I have definitely enjoyed myself, but some days I'm not particularly motivated to accomplish much. I know I would benefit from more of a structured routine, whether it's volunteer work or simply exercise. We've had some home projects that have taken up quite a bit of our time, but I feel like both the husband and I need to get involved in the community somehow. I also need to get busy on my "list of things to do when I retire", since the list just keeps getting longer and longer. Find a chore and attack it!

The Ugly - I have a temper (surprise!). One of my teenagers was particularly adept at pushing my buttons, but once I learned how to de-escalate that situation, I think I've gotten better at keeping my own temper under control. I have a tendency to get upset, many times over-reacting, when stupid things happen. When we mistakenly took a wrong step in a home remodeling project, I was upset for days when the result was simply annoying and harmless. I should have been able to accept what happened and move on towards either ignoring or correcting the "issue". My husband rarely reacts, much less over-reacts, to these types of situations, and sometimes that's all the impetus I need to go over the top. I'm working on it, though, both for my peace of mind and for my blood pressure.

Just for fun, thought I'd provide a Readers' Digest condensed version also:

The Good - I'm smart

The Bad - I'm short

The Ugly - I'm overweight

Can't wait to see if other bloggers get introspective and provide extensive detail, or just superficial and keep it light. Either way, keep on blogging!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 7 Book

Still plugging along with Sar's 15-Day Challenge. I'm having a great time reading posts from other bloggers. Hope you are taking the time to see what your fellow bloggers are up to! So here's the challenge for today:

[7] Recommend a book for us to read. Why do you think it's important?

This task was a little harder than I imagined. I enjoy reading, but I mostly read fiction just for fun. I have a few favorite authors (Elizabeth George, Reginald Hill, Tony Hillerman, Jonathan Kellerman, Faye Kellerman), but would have a hard time selecting just one of their books. I was tempted to recommend Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed, because it's one of those books that stuck with me long after I finished it. But I know that book did not strike a chord with everyone, including some critics, so I went with plan B.

I highly recommend Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This non-fiction book accounts the year the Kingsolver family attempted to eat food either grown on their farm or obtained from neighbors or local farmers. We would now call them locavores, those who eats foods grown locally, but that term was not well-used in 2005 when this book was written.

The book begins as the Kingsolver family relocates from Arizona to rural Appalachia. Their adaptation to farm living, and all the livestock that entails, is warmly and hilariously described in detail. It is a funny, witty read that provides wonderful information on the history of food and how it gets to your table. Seriously, you will never look at food quite the same after reading this book. It really is an eye-opener to learn how the foods we routinely buy at the grocery store are processed and manipulated, all supposedly to benefit the consumer. A few recipes are thrown in for fun.

Read it and let me know what you think!


Friday, July 6, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 6 Why Not?

Linking up with Sar for another day of her 15-Day blogging challenge. I have really enjoyed the challenge so far, and if you haven't linked up yet, there is still plenty of blogging fun ahead. Why not join, too?

[6] What's something you've always wanted to do but haven't? Why not?

I would say "Go to Europe", but I crossed that off my bucket list last year (woo hoo!). So I will have to go with...

I wish I had graduated college. When I graduated high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, so I thought attending our local community college made sense. Wrong! It was much too similar to high school, with all the distractions it provided. I thought I was wasting my dad's money to attend school when I had no idea of the end goal. At 17, I thought everyone who attended a four-year school had their life already planned out. Little did I know that many students change majors and don't make any grand decisions for several years. Regardless, I don't know if I wasn't open to guidance, or if I didn't receive any. I don't recall anyone sitting down with me and giving me the push I needed to move out of town and take a chance on myself. After a quarter or two at the local college, I accepted a government job and never looked back.

During the course of my career I earned a two-year Associate degree, but I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had taken the opportunity to pursue that four-year degree. Then again, I have no fault with how my life turned out, so maybe the path I chose really was the best for me.

I was recently encouraged to go back to school to get that four-year degree. Not sure what I would do with a degree if I had it, and it seems pointless to get one just to say I did. Hmmm...


Thursday, July 5, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 5 Dinner Party

We're already 1/3 of the way through Sar's 15-Day Challenge, and I'm still blogging. Who knew? Here's the prompt for today:

[5] If you could have dinner with any five people, who would they be?

Since this is all imaginary, I'm going to assume my dinner companions could be living or dead. I'd choose these five people: My husband, Wally; my son, Scott; my daughter, Sarah; my Dad; and my Mom. I think it would be wonderful for my kids and husband to get the opportunity to meet my parents (who are long gone), and understand a little bit more about how I got the way I am. This nut did not fall far from those trees! I would also love for my parents to know that I turned out OK (just OK) and that the examples they set for me really did take. It would be wonderful to hear more about my parents' childhoods and the events that shaped their worlds.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 4 Childhood Memory

Linking up with Sar for Day 4 of the 15-Day Challenge.

[4] What's your favorite childhood memory?

I had an absolutely wonderful childhood, so it's hard to pick out my favorite memory. Instead, I'll describe my favorite childhood day. It's the middle of summer, and I'm 11 or 12 years old.

I attended a parochial school across town from my home, and consequently knew only a few of the kids on my side of town. During the summer, that changed just a little. Our city Parks department ran summer youth programs staffed by college students at a few locations across town. The young students organized sport, art and team activities for the neighborhood kids, and the playfields were a fun, safe place to hang out at during the summer.

Each summer morning, I would eat breakfast, try to avoid my chores and then head off for the day on my bicycle. The nearest playfield was about a mile from my home, and conveniently close to two of my other favorite places...the library and a Dairy Queen! Hopefully, I had enough of my allowance in my pocket to buy a Dilly Bar or a Mister Misty Kiss once in awhile, but the library was really my favorite place...all those books. But I digress.

The understanding with my Mom was that I had to be home in time for dinner. I could play all day and wander with my friends and spy on the boys, as long as I made it home by 4:30. My Dad got off the bus from the Shipyard about 4:45 every weeknight, and dinner was promptly at 5:00. I was supposed to be home early to help set the table, but more likely I tried to avoid that chore, too.

So this memory is no more specific than that. It's really a feeling. It's the feeling of being a carefree child without worry or concern, who could safely wander the surrounding neighborhoods for hours on end. It's the absolute comfort of knowing my Mom is waiting for me in my warm, loving home. It's the security of my Dad coming home from work at the same time every day. It's the assurance of knowing that my five siblings and I are loved beyond measure, and that we will never want for anything. It's the best feeling in the world, and is my favorite childhood memory.

On a side note, we lost our mother when I was 14 and then our father nine years later. Maybe that's why those preteen years seem so innocent and precious. But I'll say it again: I had an absolutely wonderful childhood!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

15-Day Challenge: Day 3 Article of Clothing

Linking up with Sar for Day 3 of the 15-Day Challenge!

[3] Tell about an article of clothing that you're deeply attached to

I'm not really attached to any particular article of clothing, but I am deeply attached to the memories of a couple of different items. One of my all-time favorite memories is based on a set of T-shirts, and involved a huge party with a great group of family and friends.

Back in 1990, Seattle hosted the Goodwill Games, and we decided to use that as the theme for our summer party. My family hosted the Port Orchard Goodwill Games, or POGG, for three years in the early 90s. We invited family and friends to come join us for a fun day of "athletic" events. This is the invitation we sent out:

We greeted friends dressed in our "official" T-shirts. My husband was the Official Host, I was the Organizing Committee, son Scott was the Rules Committee and daughter Sarah was the Official Scorekeeper. We even updated the shirts each year we had the party; note the shirt sleeves: 1990, 1992 & 1993.


As friends arrived, each family member drew a card to determine their team placement. Yes, we encouraged family members to compete against each other, and it worked very well! That first year we had teams representing four countries: Madagascar, Sierra-Leone, Andorra and Gambia. I don't recall how we initially chose those countries, but I imagine it had something to do with how easily we could replicate their flag. All team members wore the flag of the country they represented. Team members and team standings were listed on large posters stapled to the neighbor's fence.

POGG offered volleyball as the only team event, but there were a number of individual events, too, including: basketball (shooting for points from spots marked on the court), ping-pong, egg toss, catching a water balloon shot from a sling shot, water spoon relay race, shooting helium-filled balloons with a Nerf bow and arrow (with a pin on arrow), watermelon seed-spitting contest and others. (We used Nickelodeon's "Wild & Crazy Kids" game show for inspiration) Prizes were awarded for both individual events and for the overall teams. First place winners were awarded chocolate gold-foiled coins, second place winners received silver-foiled York peppermint patties, and third place winners received bronze-looking Reese's peanut butter cups. We must have had a fourth place team prize, but I don't recall what it was.

One year we relocated the volleyball game from our yard to an adjoining neighbor's yard. Our great neighbor specifically cut the grass on the volleyball court shorter to define the court area! That year it rained badly during the POGG, which did not deter us in the least! A neighbor provided a parachute to keep the ping pong table dry. My clothes dryer ran almost constantly that day as athletes sought relief from the torrential downpour and dried their soaked clothes before heading back outside to continue the competition.

I don't know if I've described these games very well. Just know that our family had a wonderful time planning the games, and hopefully our family and friends enjoyed themselves as well. I keep the POGG T-shirts in my closet; I don't have the heart to get rid of them. Every time I see them, it warms my heart and reminds me of the great times we had (and still have!) together as a family.

My wonderful sister, Heide, and her family created the Goodwill Gazette after that first party. She wrote some excellent copy, her kids contributed a cartoon or two and her husband, Ed, took some great pictures. Here's the cover page of that publication:

I'll probably keep those T-shirts forever!

What article of clothing warms your heart?


Monday, July 2, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 2 Six-word Memoir

Linking up with Sar for the 15 Day Challenge. Here goes!

[Day 2] Write a (few) six-word memoir(s)

I wrote a few different memoirs, trying to come up with the perfect one. Not sure I was successful, but here is my favorite one:

Chose happiness. Shared well with others.

I think this pretty well sums up my life. Just like most of us, I've had my share of heartaches and disappointments. But I honestly think that you can choose how to to approach life, and I chose, and continue to choose, to be optimistic and happy. I strove to become that competent, even-tempered coworker that others wanted to work with rather than avoid. I tried to instill a good sense of self, and humor, in both my children, and am very happy with the adults they have become. They both have a wicked sense of humor! My marriage, like many others, has its ups and downs, but we chose to stay happy and stay together for the long haul. It's been 30 years, so I think we are successful on that front, too.

When others see the glass half empty, I'm ecstatic that I have a glass at all, and that's there's even something in it! Woo Hoo! I can't imagine living life any other way.


Be sure to link up with Sarah to share your memoir!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 Day Challenge: Day 1- 15 Fun Facts

Linking up with Sar for the 15 Day Challenge. Here goes!

[Day 1] List 15 fun facts about yourself

[1] I need coffee to function properly. Nothing fancy, though, I just need two cups a day of Starbucks Breakfast Blend from my drip coffeemaker. And the occasional latte!

[2] I love to read mystery and suspense novels. Current favorite authors include Elizabeth George, Lee Child and John Sanford.

[3] I'm not very tall. I used to be 5' 1 1/2" tall, but over time have shrunk to less than 5' 1''. Here's hoping that trend does NOT continue! I've always wanted to be a statuesque 5' 4".

[4] I love words! I love the origin of words, word usage, play on words, quotes, and puns. I am definitely not a good writer, but I enjoy good writing when I find it.

[5] I am a chocoholic. Dark chocolate is my favorite, but I really don't discriminate.

[6] Don't tell them, but my kids are the center of my universe. However, I don't think it's healthy for children to think that, so hopefully my kids are not aware of how important they are in my world. Then again, they are both adults now so I could probably let them in on my secret!

[7] I love music, and can be found singing along to songs in my car. I've always regretted not joining the choir in high school.

[8] I used to be a championship tennis player! Well, county champion, anyway. I won a couple of titles in my age division over the course of a few years before I turned 14 (and everyone got taller than me).

[9] I'm a cat person, not a dog person. Our family had one cat for 15 years, and when she left us we swore we would never have another. No surprise, we now have two cats and can't imagine life without them. What were we thinking?

[10] I enjoy camping. Well, maybe not the wet-tent-in-the-rain kind of camping! I do love traveling in our little motor home, visiting new places, and sitting around the campfire enjoying a nice glass of wine. But I do like sleeping in a warm, dry bed at night.

[11] I read two newspapers every day, front to back. I read our local paper, despite the poor editing and occasional lack of "real" news. I also read the Seattle Times for a more thorough look at what's happening in the world.

[12] I am obsessed with my iPhone. When I worked for the government (32 years!), we were not allowed to bring a camera to work, even on a phone. Consequently, I suffered for many years with a very basic cell phone, i.e., no internet, no camera, no apps. I bought my iPhone almost immediately after I retired and can't imagine life without it! Current favorite app is On The Fly, a travel app for finding cheap flights. Check it out!

[13] I love to make chocolate chip cookies, but more for the dough than for the cookies!

[14] I need to be surrounded by greenery. I have 20 or so house plants, but definitely nothing exotic or hard to care for. I'm not that big on gardening, but I like potted plants outside, too. I have quite a few perennials in pots, and plant some annuals each year. I scatter the pots across my deck and around my patio.

[15] I have always lived within fifteen miles of the place I was born. That's a little depressing, isn't it? Maybe it's time to change that.

Looking forward to reading your fun facts, too. Feel free to link up with Sar and participate!