10 things to know about me

I’m a Colorado native – who was accidentally born and raised in Northern New York.

Although northern New York is beautiful (my small town was located between Syracuse and Watertown), it never really felt like home to me.  Some of that might have been the small town — I’m more of a city gal —  but moving to Colorado was magical.  Three weeks after my move, I was standing in a grocery store line when it hit me:  I was home.  Although I love to travel (and I would even consider living somewhere else), Colorado is home.  Most of my family now lives in Colorado.  I resonate to John Denver’s famous line, “He was born in the summer of his 27thyear, coming home to a place he’d never been before…”

I’m an elementary music teacher by day.

I’ve been teaching for almost twenty years, and it’s challenging and rewarding job.  Working has a teacher has afforded me some of my travel time, and I’ve been very grateful for that opportunity!  For the past eleven years I’ve taught in Jefferson County, Colorado, the county just west of Denver.  However, I am taking a sabbatical for the 2019-2020 school year, in the hopes of pursuing writing and composing as a full-time job!

I’m a big film buff.

I absolutely love movies, especially old ones (I’m a dedicated Turner Classic Movies watcher) and independent films.  I’ve even tried my hand at screenwriting, and, if I can ever find the time, would like to get back to it.  I’ve always got ideas that I’m musing on.

I’ve flown ultra-light airplanes.

In one of my more adventurous phases of life, I got interested in ultra-lights, specifically trikes.  For the uninitiated – basically it’s a hang glider wing with a single or double seater chassis attached (on wheels of course).  A small motor keeps you alight.  Very fun – it’s the closest thing I’ll ever feel to flying like a bird.  It’s an expensive hobby, which is why I quit (that, and some weight gain).

I’ve had a slew of unusual jobs.  

Although most of these were just part time, I really have gotten paid to do some fun things!  I was a “featured extra” in the film Skills Like This, 2007 (if you really have nothing better to do, watch it on Prime Video.  I’m about 2/3rds of the way through the movie, as a worker in a fast food restaurant. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss me). I’ve also been a “standardized patient” (a fake patient for med students), play piano for churches and plays, and drive for Lyft and Uber (see my tips on taking rideshares here).

I’m cat owned.

As anyone who has cats knows, cats own you, not the other way around.  For a number of years now, I’ve shared my home with Remington Steele Cat (he’s the tuxedo) and Laura Holt Cat (she’s gray and white).  I’m lucky that they are sweet, loving cats who get along with each other.  Remi loves EVERYONE who comes to the house (Hi! Are you the plumber?  I’m going to sit on your lap).  Enjoy the pictures of Laura – she’s very shy of strangers.  She’s very comfortable with me.  I should have probably named her Diesel – she purrs like a truck motor. J  I do like dogs as well, but living alone, working a lot and liking travel really doesn’t work with a dog.

I’ve been inside a Belgian prison.

My first trip to Europe was spent studying the life of a WWI British nurse.  This trip really took me off the beaten track, and into two prisons in Brussels as part of my research.  The prison officials were kind enough to let me go all the way inside the prison, and into a cell – one that paralleled the one my subject had been in.  It was an amazing experience, and shows that with some persistence, and lots of emails, anything is possible!  Side note:  my one day in London that was not research based was primarily spent at the Tower of London – another prison.  It was great – but I was really “prisoned out” by then!

I have ulcerative colitis.

I was diagnosed at age 9, after finding blood in my stool (I also got a very early introduction to the birds and the bees, since my mother didn’t know where the blood had come from initially).  Just before my 11thbirthday I had major surgery to remove polyps from my colon, and because I was so young they cut me open to do it (instead of just removing them via a colonoscopy).  I’m lucky that as I’ve aged, and learned my disease, I am almost symptom free these days, and can eat what I want (I’m munching on popcorn as I write this – usually a big no-no).  However, the state of my disease kept me from travelling overseas when I was younger – something I’d like to make-up for now!

I’m an introvert/extrovert.

I fall right on the line when I take tests like the Myers Briggs.  Although I am definitely a people person – I also need a lot of alone time to reflect, write and think.  I think that’s one of the reasons why solo travel is so important to me – I spend my days driving, then find people to talk to over dinner and beyond.

Yes, I saw Hamilton: An American Musical on Broadway, with (most) of the original cast.

Mostly I just said that to make you jealous.  The statement that tickets are hard to get is completely false. You can totally buy tickets – they are just outrageously expensive!  But who needs two kidneys, anyway?  In the end –it was totally worth it.