Monday, November 18, 2013

*53: It's Just a Number

November 18, 2013.  Happy 53rd Birthday to Me!  In honor of this "momentous" day, I am going to tell you 53 things about me, whether you want to know them or not.

1.  I hate the number 53 because it's odd.  I do not love odd numbers.  I love even numbers.  I love repetitive numbers.  Just ask my old fifth graders.  We celebrated this year at the exact moment of 9:10 11/12/13.  I love these kids more than any strange numerical pattern.
Yes, the retired elementary teacher hunted down her kids at the middle school to celebrate this moment.
2.  My dream destination? Anywhere tropical, but I would love to go to Hawaii sometime. Vacationing at Myrtle Beach several summers in a row as a teen, and then as a mom of teens, ruined me.  Every year that I haven't been there feels like something is missing.

3.  Sleeping is not my favorite thing.  I wake up even before the sun hits my window. It's always a blessed miracle if I can go back to sleep, but I love mornings so I don't mind.  When I was teaching, it was common to be awake by three.  Since I retired, thankfully, I "sleep in" until about five.  Whee!

4.  My heart melts over big dogs. My dream dog is a Mastiff.

5.  My favorite meal in the world is DESSERT. When I go to buffets, my favorite way to end the meal is with apple cobbler a la mode.

6.  My weight hit an all-time high of 224. That was a very hard thing for me, emotionally and physically.  Notice how number 5 segued my thoughts to number 6. Yeah, I really have to watch myself.  It's easy for me to numb myself with food.

7.  I was born without hearing in my left ear. "HUH?" was my most commonly-used word growing up...but I wasn't trying to be rude. I tend to read lips to even things out.

8.  Chicago, Illinois is the place of my birth. Only lived there four months before we moved.

9.  I earned a Master's of Education degree from Utah State University. I'm very proud of that fact.

10.  If I had to choose a favorite flavor, I would have say peanut butter, caramel, lemon, ginger, and coffee in that order. If you had told me when I was a child that chocolate would not even be in the top five, I would never have believed you.

11.  I jiggle my leg when I am when we were in an interminable meeting at school and I wasn't sure we were ever going to get out, my leg started bouncing up and down when I began to tap my heel up and down.

12.  Stevia is the best sweetener in the world!  Love that all-natural stuff. I will NOT use Sweet 'N' Low.  If that's all that's available at a restaurant, I'll just drink water, thank you.  Remember Tab?  Worst cola drink on the planet because of the saccharine, in my opinion.

13.  I love coffee-flavored ANYTHING: ice cream, hard candy, frozen yogurt...  Favorite drinking memory growing up? Getting iced coffee after dinner at grandma's house. YUM!
14.  My maiden name is BEIDLER. I was told that when our ancestors hit Ellis Island after leaving Germany, they dropped the VON from VON BEIDLER. I could have sounded like a Baroness if they would have left that alone! Baroness Denise von Beidler!

15.  Diet Dr. Pepper is the best soft drink ever.  Add coconut syrup to it to make it a Dirty Dr. Pepper, and I feel like I'm on vacation.

16.  I brush my teeth. OFTEN. Upon waking, after every meal and most snacks. One of my favorite gifts was my electric toothbrush my husband gave me a couple of years ago.

17.  My stepdad said people can read me like a book. When I'm happy, everyone knows it...and when I'm not, well, everyone knows it. I don't fake emotions well, and I can't lie. Whenever mom wanted to know who took the cookies, I'd admit it. I don't even know why she asked. It was always me.

18.  Writing and reading are two of my favorite hobbies. I'm a lister. I make grocery lists, things to do lists, things I've done lists...I just like lists. I even write things on the list of things to DO that I've already DONE, so I have a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small.  I would rather write or read than watch TV.

19.  My goal is to move to Saint George, Utah, one day.

20.  Now that there is less of it REQUIRED of me, I find that I kind of like to cook. And I love altering favorite recipes so they are healthier: lower fat, higher fiber, more protein, hidden veggies or fruits. It's a THING with me.  If I can find an excuse to toss cilantro and cumin in a recipe, I will!

21.  I used to bake a mean batch of rolls and my homemade bread wasn't bad. But I find the more I bake, the more I weigh. So it's a rare treat these days to have something fresh out of the oven from my kitchen.

22.  Appliances I'd rather not be without? My cell phone, my computer, my microwave, my coffee maker and my hair straightener.  If I could only choose one, I guess it would be my cell phone, but holy cow, I hope it never comes to that!!!

23.  I hate to pee outdoors. I have HORRIBLE memories of soaking my clothes as a child, and I'd just rather use a restroom. I'm just saying...

24.  Babies are a great way to start people and I can't wait to have grandchildren of my very own. I can't imagine how it will feel to love the children of my children.

25.  I cannot sleep well without my contoured pillow.

26.  The scent of a memory can send me reeling back in time.  Chlorine?  Teaching swimming at the country club.  Sautéing onions?  Knowing mom was starting dinner.  Dreft laundry detergent? Snuggling with my babies and folding their tiny clothes.

27.  It takes me five minutes to apply my makeup.  The one day I had my makeup done, for my sister's wedding, the beautician worked on my face for over a half an hour.  I received many compliments.  Here's a picture. You will never see me look like this again.  Who has 30 minutes a day to devote to makeup? Well, I have the time, so I can't use that excuse.  I can just think of other things I'd rather do. Like watch paint dry.
28.  November is my favorite birthday, which, you are welcome to celebrate all month long...and Thanksmas...I love to celebrate!  

29.  I have eight siblings, having grown up in two families of his, hers, and theirs.  I have four sisters and four brothers.

30.  Hiking is my favorite activity, followed by biking.

31. I am NOT a competitive person, but when I was in high school, I played volleyball, and was on the track team.  Notice I did not say I "ran track." I did field events, the shot put and discus, and I sucked at both.  I "lettered" in track because Coach Nimmo felt sorry for me.  When I finally got the letter, I hid it in a box in my closet, knowing I had not really earned it.

32.  I never had a boyfriend in high school or college.

33.  Which may explain why I married my first serious boyfriend five weeks after meeting him. I knew one week later, I had made a very big mistake.  22 years later, I corrected the mistake.

34.  Dressing up is fun to do, rarely.  My uniform consists of yoga pants or jeans.

35.  Silly socks are fun to wear.  White socks make me nervous.

36.  I have never owned a pair of Crocs, but I have a pair of baker's clogs which are just as ugly, so I will not judge you for wearing either.  I totally get wanting to be comfortable.

37.  I had always bragged I'd never had a broken bone, until I fractured my elbow falling UP a step when I was about 35, but x-rays later in life revealed that I have healed fractures in my feet and back.  I'm not surprised, living the life of a klutz has been pretty painful.

38.  Downhill skiing is my "adrenaline rush," but I stick to the intermediate runs.  I started when I was 47.  In 2013, I skied ONE day, New Year's Day, and I tore my MCL in an ugly tumble down the Wolverine Run at Eagle Point. (P.S. I skied ONE day in 2014, 2/2/14, and I tore the MCL in my other leg. Hmmm...1/1/13, then 2/2/14. Guess what I WON'T be doing on 3/3/15...)  I didn't say I was good; I just like to ski.

39.  Sjogren's syndrome is the condition I have that sent me to a rheumatologist seeking answers. Basically, my body is as dry as a desert, leaving my joints and mucus membranes dry and un-lubricated.  Which is why...

40.  I drink about a gallon of water a day.

41.  Teaching was my passion.  I just finished a 30 year professional career in elementary education. I've taught every elementary grade, except kindergarten, and I made sure I did NOT have an early childhood endorsement.  Make no mistake, I love little children, I just did not want to tackle teaching the concepts of lining up, sitting down, and using scissors.

42.  My favorite grade to teach was...the one I was currently teaching.  Honestly.  I loved every grade I taught, and cried every time I was told I had to change grades.

43.  I have ugly hands that I cherish.  My fingers are chubby, my nails are wavy and brittle, and I have chronic hang nails.  I cannot bear to have my nails done; it's too boring to sit still that long, and the smell is something I abhor.  I clip my nails short with nail clippers, no filing necessary. I am so grateful for my hands, though.  Touching things brings me so much pleasure, and holding hands is something I still like to do.  As my hands have weakened with time, I appreciate the strength I do have left.
44.  Coffee is my morning beverage of choice, sweetened with cream.

44.   My favorite book to read was The Once and Future King by T. H. White.  I hated to read when I was younger, and up through junior high, I selected books solely on their spine width.  Nothing over an inch for me, please!  Now I juggle a couple of books at a time, and I go for New Age (Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra), comedic memoir (Jen Lancaster), and Arthurian legend.

45.  Weather is something I love.  I believe there are all sorts of good weather: sun, snow, rain, hail, sleet...I love the weather.

46.  Once I made peace with the snow, I released my distaste for winter.  I love all of the seasons, but autumn is my very most favorite of all.

47.  I have a horrible memory, and tend to repeat myself.  This is such a long list, you've probably read a couple of "facts" twice.  Sorry about that.  When Bridger came to visit once, I offered to try to only tell him things we had not already discussed, and he said, "It's okay, Mom, I'm used to it." Sad.

48.  Shoes must be my weakness.  Over the last year, I think I've given about a dozen pairs away, and I still have two closets with shoe-cluttered floors.  Shoes must be comfortable, and I don't wear heels.  Minimal hiking shoes and sandals are my favorites.  I wear a women's 11, or a men's 9 1/2.

49.  I love to try on hats.  Until last year, I never was brave enough to wear them, but now that I'm OLDER, I frankly don't care what people think about me, so I wear them, but not boldly because I still wonder what people think.

50.  When I am angry, I am passive aggressive.  It is very ugly, and I'm working on being forthright with my feelings, and making peace with my faults, instead of trying to hide them.

51.  When I was younger, I had ONE best friend.  I never managed the drama of female relationships well.  Now I treasure my girlfriends, and have many.  I find the more encompassing my circle grows, the better I feel.  I've surrounded myself with wise and witty women, and I learn as much as I can from each of them.

52.  My children are my greatest blessing.  Being a mother has brought me unfathomable joy.

53.  Just this week, I have discovered my passion has become my writing.  Starting this blog is the best thing I ever did for myself.  If you are reading it, you are making me happier than you could ever know.  Making connections with the friends who take the time to read Randomocity brings me so much pleasure.  It is so rewarding to have the time to follow my passion.


  1. What an interesting, entertaining, and beautiful friend you are!

    1. Thanks for checking in, Susan. I always find your blog a refreshing treat on any given day!

  2. Replies
    1. (((RHONDA))) Thanks. You, my friend, are one of my heroes.

  3. Happy birthday!!!!!! Have an amazing day!! You just made me smile so big! You are the sweetest woman EVER! XO shine on!

  4. I just love reading your blog!!! Fun facts about you. Happy birthday, again:)

    1. Thank you, Jaquel. That means so much.

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  6. Hello sweet birthday girl! I loved this blog today. (As always!) You are such an amazing woman. I am feeling like I know you so well, though we have never met. Your writing is so powerful. And inspiring! Good you have discovered your passion. And thank you for writing this blog.

    1. Carol, you are a bright spot in each and every day. Between your posts on Happier, and your notes to me, I feel so blessed!


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