Friday, April 3, 2009


When I woke this morning, I was thinking about my next few posts. Before I was halfway through my first cup of coffee, I learned that I'd been tagged by Ria ( to come up with 25 facts about me. That part is easy; editing out what I don't care to share proved a bit more troublesome. So here, in no particular order, are 25 facts about me that are rated G
1. I wanted to be a teacher almost from the time I could talk. I subjected my sisters and cousins to school--with homework--and I brooked no argument from anyone. It was easier to rein my class in since I'm the oldest in the family. When it came time to go to college, I decided the LAST thing on earth I wanted to be was a teacher. Old habits die hard, though, and I taught for 14 years before becoming a school principal.

2. I remember my Easy Bake oven and the gourmet food I prepared in it. Even before I was old enough for an Easy Bake, I would prepare food using Play-do. Food was destined to be a big part of my life.

3. We grew up poor, but happy, in a family that loved to eat, sing, and talk. People who don't know my family or me well don't get that we can follow more than one conversation at a time.

4. I am a perpetual student. A "child of the sixties," I decided in senior year of high school that I did not want to go to college. I wanted to study to become a bi-lingual secretary, then a translator. P.S. I ended up getting my B.A., M.A., M.S., and Ed. D. If Columbia were closer to home, I'd still be auditing courses.

5. I love cats. I currently have 2 fur babies, Molly Bloom and Pittypat. They are spoiled rotten and have the run of the house.

6. I love to learn new quilting techniques and so I have a big collection of books; I take lessons, online and at my guild; and, I've returned to a lot of handwork recently, though I still love using the machine to piece.

7. I began teaching when I was just 19 years old. I was still working toward my B.A., but Catholic schools were in dire need of teachers, so I was hired. Over the years, I taught second grade, seventh grade, fifth through eighth grade reading, and high school English. I've also taught as an adjunct professor.

8. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to lose a few pounds. I've always had an hourglass figure, though, as my friend Geri would say, the time has redistributed itself. I haven't been thin enough in about 10 years and am always looking to take off 15-20 pounds.

9. It saddens me that young people don't read as much as they should or value education for education's sake.

10. I am appalled by misuse of the past participle. I cringe when I hear things like: I should have WENT; I SEEN my friend; I should have DRANK.

11. I am curious why men pick their noses so much and women don't.

12. I'm at the point in my life when I don't want to eat bad food and I've become incredibly picky about the restaurants we frequent. As a result, lunch is my favorite meal. You have a better shot at getting a good wrap or burger or pizza than you do a good dinner.

13. It is true that you can tell a great deal about a person's social status by looking at his or her shoes--not the style so much as the condition. Are they polished? Are the heels scuffed? Are they made of leather? (OK, maybe that makes me a little bit of a snob.)

14. I'm a Cancer, a moonchild, and very loyal to my friends and loved ones.

15. Like Elizabeth Taylor, I used to marry the men I loved (instead of just living with them) . Currently, I'm in a 12 year relationship that is stable. I've outgrown the need to marry to conform.

16. I always dreamed of living in a log home and my dream came true 5 years ago. While we didn't build our home, it is nearly perfect for us. We live on 4.5 acres in the woods. The rooms that need to be large--the living areas--are. The bedrooms, while smaller, are just right for us. I have my own sewing/computer room. I love looking out the front windows at the wild turkey, hawks, deer, and the occasional red fox.

17. I believe in volunteering to share what talents one has. I'm about to begin a new commitment in my hometown which strives to help the disabled and elderly with some basic needs--companionship, rides to doctors' appointments and to shop, and some around-the-house assistance. My role will be to coordinate the efforts of other volunteers and to do most of the paperwork involved.

18. I love to read. I used to read mostly murder/mystery, but have branched out to truly trashy romance novels and the occasional nonfiction book. Periodically, I reread the classics, but after teaching English for 10 years, I could recite many of them.

19. I love blogging and wish I'd had the time to do it while I was working. I always said I had enough stories after a 35 year career to write a book. I even have an outline of one, but so far have just written a few recollections.

20. While I don't do as much of it now as I'd like, I've traveled extensively. A few of the places I've visited are: Morocco, China, Vietnam, Bangkok, France, England, Ireland, Spain, Israel, Egypt, Italy (of course), Alaska, Hawaii (been there over a dozen times), and lots of mainland states.

21. Longboat Key, Florida is my second home. Every time I ride over the Ringling Bridge I'm amazed at how lucky I am to have a place there.

22. I'm spiritual, but not religious in the sense of being a weekly churchgoer. I despise the fact that religion has been at the root of so much conflict and war throughout the ages. I believe in the power of prayer.

23. When sabbaticals were still being granted, I had made the decision to apply for a sabbatical so that I could attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. I reasoned that after a year, I could decide to continue, or return to teaching. That year, I was offered my first administrative position and the culinary arts became the "road not taken."

24. I love music. A dream as a child was to become an opera singer. While I had a good first soprano and the chest for it, I certainly wasn't good enough for that vocation.

25. I've been retired 5 years and am "antsy" at this point. My resume has been sitting on my desk for a few months as I ponder if I want to do consulting or teaching or......? Like the man says at the end of Pretty Woman: ya gotta have a dream!

WOW! That was hard work. Part of me doesn't want to "burden" others with this task; yet, it was eye-opening to see what I've written. So.....instead of going to my "usual suspects," I'm tagging these foodie friends whose blogs I've been lurking around for this 25 things about me "me-me": Mike, a new father, spans the globe with his recipes. Lisa, the eponymous Homesick Texan, has a fabulous site with great recipes. It makes me want to hop on a plane so I can be there for dinner. Gabi, with a history of good cooks in her background, has been blogging for a while and has a wonderful "recipe box."

Please visit their blogs; you'll be glad you did.


  1. Sounds like you have had an interesting life! We moved from SoCal to Montana last year and I've loved watching the wildlife up here as you do there.

  2. 10. I am appalled by misuse of the past participle. I cringe when I hear things like: I should have WENT; I SEEN my friend; I should have DRANK.
    I use to work at a mall near the bad part of Oakland. Even the "smart" kids use the most appalling grammar. I'm not very well educated in that area, but even I was constantly cringing.
    Amen to #22

  3. Arlene,

    Thank you so much for taking up the tag and posting it up so super fast!It was so refreshing! Got some insights about your life! :D

    I agree to your point 13.The first thing I notice in anyone especially men is their footwear! :D

    And your point 16. Hey we have similar dreams! I always wanted a wooden house plus a small stream next to it with a boat. I used to paint this so many times when I was a kid! I really want to come over to you place! wow! A house in the woods with deer around!! wow!!

    So when are u inviting me?? :D


  4. Fabulously done!! (is fabulously a word?) I admire you for giving us such a beautiful insight, it really was fun to read!

  5. Yes, the Easy Bake Oven! I had one too! LOL

  6. Wow- we have much in common- even moonchild status. :)
    Thank you for sharing your lovely self with us.
    I'll try to find 25 things to share. I'm honored that you thought of me.

  7. So nice to learn more about you Arlene, and I can see that you put a lot of thought into your answers. It sounds like you've had a very interesting life so far, and I'm sure there will be much more you'll accomplish in the future.

    The volunteer work you plan to do is so needed and will be so appreciated. Too many elderly are home bound and helpless.


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