Friday, December 12, 2014

Seven Things About Me

It’s difficult to strike a balance between private and public life when posting a personal blog. Some writers share everything about their lives and others share almost nothing. I recently realized that finding out more about my favorite bloggers actually makes me want to visit them more. If the page views of my "About Me" page tell me anything, it’s that my readers also like to find out more about me. I’m not very exciting, but here’s a glimpse at a few bits of my life.

Packers Football

There simply is no sport quite like American football. I grew up a Green Bay Packers fan (that’s what happens when you’re born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and no matter where my father dragged the family, we dragged our Packer fandom with us. This makes me a bona fide Cheesehead, something even Eagles fans here in Philadelphia respect because, you see, Packer fans are the real deal. Every week Packer fans turn a frigid stadium in a small American city into a fortress of fandom. No one else pulls it off with quite the same verve. Packer fans freeze their nuts off for their team and do it while wearing wedges of cheese on their heads. Though I don't wear a cheesehead at home, I have a fantasy football team in a very competitive league (go Gekkos!) and watch football every weekend while surrounded by rabid Eagles fans.


When I was a girl, I would wake up when my father left the house and run to the kitchen to pour a little coffee into a cup before my mother could toss it. She didn’t drink coffee, but I loved it. Though it’s possible to start a day without coffee, my days just seem to feel happier and filled with good things when I do. These days I favor dark rich coffee that I load up with cream and sip from a pretty ceramic mug. I own a small collection of the latter that I switch around according to the season.


I was born there and didn’t live there again until I was ready to graduate high school, but I rather love this great city on a Great Lake. Most people know Milwaukee from shows like Happy Days or commercials about beer. There’s so much more to the city, though. Its German heritage is still strong in companies like Usingers, home of wonderful sausages. I send boxes of sausages to family and friends every Christmas. My mother and siblings still live in Milwaukee and I visit often. On every visit we have to dine at Hector’s on State Street in Wauwatosa. Believe me when I say Milwaukee has some of the best Mexican restaurants around! In fact, the city is a great town for restaurants and is a heck of a lot cheaper than Philadelphia, where I currently dine out.


Like many and probably most authors, I write while wearing casual clothes. But I like looking nice and my casual clothes generally mean black straight leg jeans with boots and a simple but stylish sweater. Lots of writers aim to be bohemian but I lean more toward casual chic. I have fun with my “look” but I learned a long time ago the value of buying quality classic clothes, so I troll sales and pick up a few pieces each year to add a little “hip” to my wardrobe.

Sock Dreams

This is related to style but kind of different because, well, I really love socks! I mean I have three drawers bursting with socks in every color, fabric, and style. Why so much sock love? Because I think socks are an underrated accessory. The right pair of socks can put the finishing touch on a look, or add a bit of fun. They also keep my feet warm, a considerable advantage when living in places with cold winters. When socks get worn out, just slip them over the hand and use them to dust before tossing. Here is one of my recent purchases from my favorite socks website, Sock Dreams.


There’s only one exercise that’s kind to my knees and also great fun. If I lived somewhere warm and could afford a pool guy, I would have my own pool. The pool guy is not optional. Someone would have to take care of the pool. But if I had one I would swim every day, not just twice a week. I can swim for hours, for miles, and the best thing is I can also plot out dialogue, battles, meets, and other fictional stuff while doing it.


My mother raised collies when I was a girl and I grew up around large, sensible dogs. I’m not a graceful person and small dogs make me worry about stumbling over them, not to mention I despise yapping little menaces. So when my husband and I talked about bringing a dog into our happy coupledom my one requirement was that the dog have size and good manners. That’s when I found he had his heart set on a poodle. My vision of a poodle was a small, yappy nuisance that wore ridiculous haircuts, did tricks, and sat on pillows. But not all poodles are small, and so we compromised on a Standard Poodle—bigger than what he wanted but big enough to persuade me to buy into the idea of a poodle. We’re so happy we did!

My poodle Cate is a sensible, smart girl. In fact, I think she’s smarter than a great many people I know. She barks only at deliveries, her doggie friends next door when frolicking outside together, and when strangers walk up to the house. Mostly she shares my preference for a sedate, peaceful life and has ingratiated herself with area businesses we visit, like the bank, where she gets the most treats and has her picture on the wall. We’re going to be getting another poodle soon to give her a sister.

And, just because it’s fun... more socks!