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Friday, January 24, 2020


I apologize for the blog silence! I've been busy with writing assignments, we're working on an enormous wholesale tankard order, and we're hosting the neighborhood potluck tonight.

So, as a placeholder, let me modify an older blog post and present some trivia:

• I’m left-handed but use scissors with my right hand (they didn’t have left-handed scissors when I was in kindergarten). My husband is also left-handed (including scissors), yet somehow between us we managed to hatch two right-handed kids. Go figure.

• I played the flute for many many years. Was quite good at it too.

• I used to dance ballet semi-professionally. That was many years and many pounds ago.

• When I was ten years old, my parents moved from New York State to California. Oh my goodness, I hated it there. I never did adapt to California. But living in California did give me one wonderful thing: my husband.

• I hate to cook but love to bake.

• I hate to sew but love to can.

• I hate coffee but love tea (except Earl Gray).

• I hate anything to do with crafts. No patience, I guess.

• I honestly don’t mind mucking out manure.

• I can’t set a mousetrap to save my life. I’m good at emptying them, though.

• I get seasick at the drop of a hat.

• When I was 16, I had an honest-to-goodness (and real freaky) out-of-body experience. I hope I never have one of those again.

• My favorite fruit is peaches. I like to joke that I’d sell my birthright for peaches.

• I adore broccoli in any size, shape, or form.

• I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 20.

• I weigh too much. Working on it.

• Without my glasses, I am blind as a bat – my vision is about 20/450.

• I adore writing (obviously) but I’m absolutely dismal at grammar. Any grasp of grammar is purely instinctive.

• I have a phobia of zero gravity. You know, the sensation you get on roller coasters and other horrors. My idea of the entertainment from hell would be to go bungee jumping or skydiving.

• When I was 16 I decided I wanted to become a field biologist after reading (about 250 times) Jane Goodall’s “In the Shadow of Man.” I still passionately admire Dr. Goodall. My dad took me to hear one of her lectures back in 1980 (a kindness I've never forgotten) and she signed my copy of her book. I majored in Zoology in college and Environment Education in grad school and worked as a field biologist for many years.

• One summer, while working as a field biologist, I stepped on two yellow jacket nests a week apart and was stung a total of 15 times. It gave me a terrible phobia of wasps that lasted about 20 years.

• I loathe tuna more than almost any other foodstuff on the planet. Even the smell makes me sick. I don’t care for celery either, largely because of its association with tuna.

• I have never touched drugs in any size, shape, or form (except prescription). I’ve never smoked. I drink one glass of wine (never red) about five times a week. I got drunk twice in my life (the first
time on red wine, hence the aversion) and decided never again.

• My ancestry is half Polish, half French. My paternal grandparents immigrated to this country around the turn of the (last) century. My mother’s people are Cajun French, descendants of the Acadians who were kicked out of Canada and eventually found their way to the bayous of Louisiana. My mother didn’t speak English until she was five and went to school.

• My husband and I tend to be obsessed with books. At one point we owned well over 5000 of them, though we’ve thinned our collection down to about 4000 or so.

• I love Baroque music and usually have it playing on my computer, quietly, all day long.

• Green is my favorite color.

• Don and I are coming up on our 30th anniversary. Where do the years go? He is my greatest blessing in life. Our kids are our next greatest blessings.

• I’m something of a jigsaw puzzle junkie. Doing puzzles relaxes me. I usually have one in the works at all times.

• I don’t like hot weather. I don’t mind cold weather. Hot summers are one of the factors that sent us fleeing from California.

• I’m an introvert and can go days without leaving home. Love our weekly potlucks, though.

So there you have it. Trivia.


  1. When I was young and foolish I decided to climb a rock wall. This was built from field stones during the great depression by workers similar to the CCC. It was about 30 feet high and straight up. Since all the stones were rounded and well mortared in place it was really too slick to climb. About halfway up there was a hole in the mortar that some wasps had taken advantage of to build a nest. As soon as I came to eye level they came out and began stinging me. But I was about 20 feet in the air on a slippery wall. So with nothing more than will I endured the stings, resisted the urge to swat kept my eyes open and climbed down as carefully as I could. I lost count of the number of stings, many of them on my face and near my eyes.

    1. And you lived to tell the tale. I'm impressed. Really really impressed.

      - Patrice

  2. I am an English teacher, but you would never know it some days. When I taught grammar or corrected a student's grammar, there was always a student who told me they thought what they said sounded correct because that was the way they had always heard it. Of course, they heard this at home. You had parents who spoke correct grammar. Those were interesting trivia facts.

  3. You and I have very similar tastes in most things. I love tea, but hate Earl Grey. Tried it twice just to see what all the fuss was about, disliked it both times. Where we differ is on sky diving. I'm a former airborne troop with the army back in he late 60's to mid 70's and had over 100 jumps on my ticket. As a teen my desire was to be an oceanographer, that lasted until I found out that jobs didn't pay well enough, so I switched to manufacturing engineering. And I agree that my long suffering wife is the absolute best thing that ever happened to me. We have almost 50 years together and we're still on our honeymoon. Our two kids are an almost equal delight as are my 4 grand daughters. Except for those few discrepencies, we match up pretty well.

  4. I meant to say, there is what is called a Hierarchy of Adjectives.

  5. You spelled “broke” wrong...don’t know what broke music is though. (J/k)

  6. Speaking of the Acadians who were kicked out of Canada. My ancestors of 7 generations ago came from England (but they were Scots) to take over the lands of those people. I have read the history of that event and it was sad to be sure but the new settlers were innocent of any part of that. My ancestors were removed from Scotland in the 16th century because they had participated in a attempt against the crown. So the King put them where he could keep an eye on them. My fathers middle name is the Scottish surname and when I was young and question the rather "odd" middle name he told me the history of it. I can remember growing up hearing Scottish phrases and accented words even after almost two centuries of my family living in the new world.

  7. If you don't like the hot summers of CA , never come to the gulf coast. I did boot camp in the summer in San Diego. With the low humidity I found the heat reasonably tolerable. Of course, the drill instructors had plenty of other ways to make my life miserable.

  8. I hate a Earl Grey tea as well, but recently found the Lady Grey tea is my all time favorite. It has a delicate, beautiful flavor...unlike that horrid Earl Grey:)

  9. What? You and Don are Lefties from California? Ma'am, that was not disclosed on your request for asylum.
    Now about your anchor babies...
    Montana Guy

  10. I was born when my folks worked a farm in Iowa. They scrambled to get off the farm and move to the city. For the most part I grew up in Kansas City and my goal was sex drugs and rock'n roll. I got married, moved to Colorado where pot is legal and I went country.

  11. I find mucking out a barn enjoyable. I don't know what there is about it, but I like it. I thought I was the only one who felt that way. :)

  12. While not a huge Starbuck's fan, I must recommend that you try a London Fog - half Earl Grey tea, half frothed milk and vanilla syrup. It's actually very yummy! I've had it at one independently owned coffee shop, and it wasn't done right, so go with Starbucks when you can.

  13. My vision was 20/400 with astigmatism. If you can EVER afford to have lasik (or whatever they call the eye surgery now) you will NEVER regret it. The best thing I've ever done for myself. It is miraculous.

  14. Amazing!! I only wish you had disclosed this years ago. It puts you in a new prospective.

  15. Love this post
    Love from NC

  16. I love the smell of manure and hay. It reminds me of working on my aunt's dairy farm when I was a young boy. It was especially nice in the winter to walk into the barn while it was still dark outside. I remember feeling the warmth from the cows as I shoveled the muck into the trailer.
    My father moved us to Lewiston, Idaho where I grew up. After finishing college and doing a stint in the Marine Corps I ended up in Southern California. Instead of leaving, I stayed on, found a job, and eventually got married. Then I was stuck. Even after thirty-one years I never got used to California. Finally I decided that I could either make the leap into the unknown or spend the rest of my life in regret. I got a divorce, sold my business and moved back to Wisconsin. It was the best decision that I have ever made. I married an Irish farm girl and have never been happier.
    My weakness is antique mechanical clocks. I have them all over the house and work on them in my workshop. My favorite is an English mantle clock made in 1885. It proudly sits over the fireplace. To me it's a living thing. When it was made Queen Victoria sat on the English throne and Grover Cleveland was president. How many generations has this special clock served over the years as it's watched births, marriages, and deaths?
    Keep going Patrice. I love your blog.