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January 12, 2017

#52 Things You May Not Know About Me ~ #52essays2017

 #52 Things You May Not Know About Me for #52essays2017

1.  I have jumped out of a plane, once, on my eighteenth birthday.
2.  I have been certified as an EMT basic.
3.  I have held a green card to fight forest fires for the forest service.
4.  I have visited Russia.  It's really the only time I've been out of the country, except for Tijuana.
5.  I served a year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer working in homeless services in Los Angeles in the middle of college.
6.  I volunteered for Literacy Volunteers of America and taught two seniors how to read.  
7.  I have never liked the taste or idea of meat, even as a toddler.  I couldn't fathom eating flesh.  I came up with lots of ways to get out of it, except for the summer I first learned to "cook" using a microwave to heat up hot dogs while my mom was at work.  8.  I love to cook and especially bake.  I can't stand most spicy/hot food.
9.  I was a lifelong 4-Her, and then 4-H leader.  I have participated in many county fairs and summer camps.
10.  My family relocated four times when I was between 9-18 years old, nearly every two years throughout middle and high school.   This made me great at being the "new kid" in a crowd.  I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, but Southern California has felt most like home.
11.  I was raised Catholic, and went to a Catholic high school, where I learned too much about religion to be a proponent of any one.
12.  My brother and sister are seven and nine years older than me.
13.  My grandpa owned a Pepsi plant in Southern Illinois.  I was raised on soda pop, but I don't keep any soda in my house now.  In the 1930s-50s my family had our own soda line and family label.  The plant was sold when my grandfather got sick with cancer in the mid-eighties. 
14.  My favorite color is brown, and I like sunset-y shades like gold, orange, and scarlet.
15.  I played piano as a kid and wish I still had one.
16.  I have been a bunny mama, which inspired my love of pets.  I have re-homed my bunnies, for their own good, when I moved into a new house which had no air  conditioning in the heat of summer and couldn't take care of them as they deserved.
17.  I became a dog mom, when I was gifted a puppy as part of a location payoff for a film shoot.
18.  I rescued a dog from a shelter, who was turned into the shelter when her owner went to jail.
19.  I was certified with that dog as an animal-handler therapy dog team to visit nursing homes and hospitals with my pup.
20.  I learned so much about veterinary medicine from my pups, who have dealt with back issues, kidney disease, bladder stones, worms, and other mysterious maladies necessitating both western and holistic treatments. Most of all I have learned to be their advocate.
21.  I've fostered about five dogs for a dog rescue.  Only one has been a "foster failure."
22.  I put on monthly fundraiser events for the rescue from whom I got my puppy.
23.  Though the internet has changed my means of consumption, I will always be a bookworm.  My favorite book of all time is "Watership Down." 
24.  I once owned a condo for several years, and even hung onto it as a rental when I left the state.  Due to the high cost of housing in CA, I haven't owned since. I've lived alone most of my adult life.
25.  I have landscaped a yard myself from scratch, including the building of a patio, the design, and the installation of plants and pathways.
26.  I collect Amaryllis bulbs.   I also love Dahlias and other bulbs.  If I plant seeds, I tend to think they're weeds and dig them up when they sprout.  But I do well with tubers.
27.  I have a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Utah.  "Film Studies" is watching a film and being a critic, as opposed to "film production," which is how to load a camera and make a movie. 
28.  I work as an assistant director in film and television.  I applied for the training program five times before I got in, including once where I made alternate.  I did 400 days in my apprenticeship to get into the union but was already a first AD in the third area before I got into the training program.  I got my start on the television show Touched by an Angel in the nineties.  I worked as a grip and as craft service before I was a set p.a.  I love the predictability of the process of filmmaking - blocking, lighting, rehearsal, shooting - but the freshness of each day's work, along with the camaraderie of cast and crew.  I've worked with a lot of different stars but I don't tend to talk about them.
29.  I am fairly good with navigation and usually know where I'm going.  Filming in different parts of the city has helped me to know my way around. 
30.  I have asthma and allergies, which lead to frequent sinus infections and bronchitis.  I take about five pills daily but I am not defined my illness or condition.  I like to hula hoop and walk but I'm bad at gyms and indoor exercise. 
31.  I have my certification as a Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  When I retire from the film business I would love to be a nutritionist.
32.  I maintain an ETSY shop, with vintage pyrex and craft items.
33.  I did a lot of leaded and copper foil stained glass in college, and wish I had time to do more.
34.  I've decorated several floats for Tournament of Roses parades.
35.  I've served as an election clerk.
36.  I love to do pet photography with my dogs, and would love to make it a side business with other people's small pets.
37.  I've been published as a freelance writer for a magazine. 
38.  I've been to Antiques Roadshow several times.  I love garage sales and thrift shops.
39.  Cross stitching is one of my most relaxing hobbies.  I take needlepoint projects wherever I go.
40.  I love kids, but I don't have any of my own.  I babysit for friends fairly regularly.
41.  I love road trips, and traveling in general, though pets and finances sometimes make that difficult.  I love to play host too whenever friends or family come into my city.
42.  I'm active on facebook.  It lets me keep in touch with work contacts, family and friends in other states from so many moves and activities.  I have lots of friends from blogging and pet pages that I haven't met in person, and some that I have met only after becoming friends online.  These are joyful reunions!
43.  I can't drive a stick shift.  I had my brother's old car as my first car and I burnt the clutch out within six months.
44.  I'm Mac-proficient and love that my devices can talk to one another.  Everything I know about computers, websites, blogging, photo editing has been self-taught.
45.  "Law and Order" reruns are still the best thing on television. 
46.  I'd like to build a "Tiny House," a la Tiny House Nation.  I have lots of design ideas but don't want to shell out the time or money until laws make it legal to own and park such a dwelling.  Right now they're outlawed in most jurisdictions.
47.  I'd like to retire in Italy, even though I've never been there.  First, I'll have to learn the language. 
48.  I tend to be straightforward in my speech, interactions, and writings.  But I do see shades of gray in life and thoughts.  Sometimes my bluntness is a benefit, sometimes it is a negative. 
49.  The most difficult thing I have ever done is to let go of my first dog, Chance, when he was ten years old, with the help of a vet, this last October.
50.  I am giving my tenth speech in Toastmasters next week, which will qualify me for my first CC award, "Competent Communicator."  After three CC's one becomes a DTM, "Distinguished Toastmaster."
51.  I have had a blog for eight years, but I don't consider myself a writer.  There are now 140 blog posts with the tag "recipe" on my blog.  I also talk about crafts, events, frugality, and will start including some essays.
52.  I am pushing my boundaries by joining #52essays2017.


  1. Enjoy reading all about you and the many things you have accomplished. I believe at least part of Ital speaks English asa second language. Love that you continue to work on your health and others. We are doing the same.

  2. I loved getting to know more of you. I have a suggestion - have you considered going dairy free for 2 months to see if you get relief from ashtma and sinus issues? My daughter is allergic to dairy and with my naturopath's help, I was educated on this condition and how it manifests differently in a lot of people. Dairyfree might be worth giving a try..


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