1. Before I was born, my father was sent to fight a large fire in Canada. We lived around Bella Coola at the time. My father was not given a choice. The authorities picked you and you and you. My father was one of the yous. My mother was worried that he would miss my birth, but he arrived about a day before I was born.
2. I was born on a small reservation hospital near Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada. I was the only white baby born there. My mother was in labor 23 hours. She was very upset that I was not born on her best friend’s birthday. I was born fifteen minutes after midnight.
3. When I came home from the hospital (more like a clinic), my mother wrapped me in a blanket, put me in a basket, and set my on the stereo. She would play opera and classical music when I cried. I still love these types of music.
4. I started to walk at the age of 8 months and talked at 12 months. My playmates thought that I was 3 years old, so they would push me down. I learned to get up and walk away, which has helped me time and time again.
5. I was writing before I could read. When we left San Francisco, I gave all my friends notes. The friends were paperboys that worked with my parents. They had to ask me to read them. I was so proud. I learned to read at six and I have never quit.
6. By the time I was six, I had lived in Canada, Idaho, California, and Utah. I still have itchy feet.
7. I hope this isn’t too boring. I saw my first television program at my grandparent’s house. My parents decided not to own a TV. They finally bought one after most of their children left home.
8. I did see the first steps on the moon. I remember that I was bored out of my mind because we had been watching for hours and hours. The first step on the moon, I was sitting in the bathroom reading. I came out when I heard my parents and grandparents yelling “you shouldn’t miss this.”
9. We always had music. My mother took care of children during the day. She spent the money on a baby grand piano. She still has it.
10. I wanted to learn to play the violin. The summer we left Salt Lake City, I signed up for classes without my parents’ permission. They were angry, but finally agreed because the lessons and violin would not cost them anything. I learned to pluck the violin. Those lessons were the last ones that I ever had.
11. I dreamed of being a ballerina. When I left home, my first class in college was a ballet class. Unfortunately I learned why girls start so young. I enjoyed the classes, but I would never be good enough.
12. I love to dance. It has been awhile. But in my prime, I learned ballroom, square dance, and folk dance. Folk dancing is a really good workout.
13. I went on a mission to South Africa. I met some great people. I wore some funny underwear. I found out that what I was teaching was not what I thought I was teaching. I had read the Bible three times before I went. I was not happy that we were taught to use partial scripture to support our positions. It didn’t feel right.
14. When I was at BYU in the early 80’s, I auditioned for a vocal teacher. It was about $300 extra dollars. I was very surprised when I was allowed to work with one of the professors who took very few students. Now I wish that I had continued. He wanted to get me into the Opera program. But I left because I was burned out. I was working two jobs and was trying to go to college.
15. I joined the U.S. Navy in 1988. My career in the Navy lasted six years. I was a CTM (electronics maintenance). It was my ability to understand electronics and other technical terms, etc that brought my self-confidence to a higher level. You see, my parents took me out of school after the seventh grade. I became housekeeper, babysitter, bottlewasher, and diaper changer until I left home.
16. I met my husband in the navy. Great things come from service to your Land.
17. I was told that I would never write anything good in an English class in the 1980’s.
18. I went back to college in 1998. (UMUC) University of Maryland University College European Extension (Germany).
19. My professors at UMUC were amazed at my writing ability. I want to thank in particular Dr. Atkins. She was my writing instructor and my English literature professor. I learned a lot about how literature is constructed.
20. While I was at UMUC, I sent my poetry to various poetry journals in England and the U.S. It was published. It was my first time and I was very excited.
21. I wrote essays for the Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper in Europe.
22. I passed my first element for an Amatuer Radio licence in 1986. I passed my last element (Extra) in 2006. Callsign: KB7BZE
23. I first worked in MARS (Military Afiliated Radio Systems) in Pensacola, Florida on Corry Station. At the time, I was going to “A” school for CTM (Cryptologic Technician Maintenance).
24. When we moved here, my husband persuaded me to go back into the MARS program. Call sign: NNN0KPW
25. I am the oldest of nine children.
26. My youngest sister is a Down Syndrome child.
27. When I was in the Navy, I lived in Florida, Japan, and Panama.
28. We loved the birds in Panama. We saw toucans, parrots, hummingbirds and crows. Hummingbirds are called “Picos flores” (I think I spelled that right.), which means flower pickers. Also, the Indians believe that hummingbirds are reincarnated souls of Aztec warriors. They are quite the little fighters.
29. The crows in Panama like to imitate the sounds around them. The crows in our neighborhood would sit on the powerlines and sound like cement drills. It would really irritate our cat.
30. Before I became ill, I attracted cats. I had one large black cat jump on my lap, put his arms around my neck, and softly bite my ear. The owners couldn’t get the cat off my lap.
31. Since I have become ill, dogs are now my best friends. I have told stories of Herky, a Jack Russel Terrier. He would guard my sleep. We would call him, my little terrierist.
32. The dogs in my area love to get petted. (Oh yes, I track ’em down too)
33. We have a two bird socks, one bird feeder, two suet feeders, and a table filled with thistles, suet, peanuts, cracked seed, and sunflower seeds. On the floor of our balcony is tons of shells.
34. The summer of 2005, our apartments were getting a stucco uplift on the outside. This cat would climb on the scaffolding into our apartment. I was still tired then, so the cat would climb into my bed with me. He came to visit all day and then he would disappear at night. I think he lived in an apartment next to us. At the end of the summer, he was gone.
35. I went into the hospital in January 2003. For two weeks, I vomitted every three to four hours. The ER doctors thought I had mental problems. At the time, I lost all mental capacity. My husband had to advocate. Finally, after a blood test I was put in ICU. The head nurse told me that I didn’t have long to live.
36. I was transferred to a German teaching hospital in Homburg with a kidney care unit. I was there 4 1/2 weeks. They saved my life with plasmapheriesis, dialysis, and finally cytoxan and prednisone.
37. My conversational German wasn’t good, but got me through the 4 1/2 weeks. Only my doctors and a physical therapist spoke English to me. I had to learn “where’s the toilet,” (zu toiletten), and other phrases to survive. I did OK. It was a good thing that I understood non-verbal communication. 😉
38. The first year of cytoxan and prednisone, I was terrified that I had lost my ability to write.
39. My Ennegram type is 5.
40. I have Wegener’s Granulomatosis with kidney involvement. When I started to have red-eyes and joint pain, I thought I had RA (Rhuematoid Arthritis). Unfortunately, I was wrong.
41. Luckily, my disease can be put in remission with chemo-therapy and prednisone. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured.
43. Wegeners.net has a lot of scared individuals learning about Wegeners for the first time. It has helped me to talk to them. I can truthfully say that I have been there. Hang on. It does get better. And, learn your limitations.
44. I am 5’8″. This has been the heaviest that I have ever been–all due to prednisone. This steroid causes fat to form on the belly, back, and face. It makes you hungry. Since I have been weaning off this drug, my hunger pains have vanished. I have lost some weight, but because of where the fat forms, I have a hard time getting rid of it. BUT, prednisone is a wonder drug for my condition. My doctor assured me that I would probably be on this drug for the rest of my life.
45. It is better to be fat, than to be a good looking corpse. (Thank you hubby) This is my new mantra.
46. Last year I had surgery for a breast tumor. Thankfully, it was NOT cancer.
47. Currently, I am writing a Hazard Mitigation Proposal. Technical writing makes me want to write creatively. 🙂
48. This life and death struggle has changed my priorities. I have learned to cook better. –no pre-prepared food. I have learned about supplements like Omega 3. Testimonial: it lowered my inflammation markers. And, I have learned to isolate myself from disease i.e. children and adults. I have eliminated much of the stress in my life. (Stress causes flares. Flares are reoccurances of the disease).
49. My husband is the jokester in the family. I am way too serious. He makes me laugh every day.
50. Joseph Campbell is my hero. I try to read one of his books every year. I have a fascination with Coyote, Odin, and other mythic creatures. I own a pair of tarot cards and rune stones.
So here are the fifty facts. I found that I just nibbled the surface of my younger life. I also skirted my spirituality issues. Sometimes certain things are too private to divulge.