1. Are you as goofy and enthusiastic in person as you are in your blog?
Yes, although I can also be very quiet and contemplative at times. My need to think things through is balanced by a tendency towards absolute spontaneity. I even surprise myself, sometimes. I tend to be fairly open and transparent emotionally. People always know where they stand with me. I'm a big believer in second chances. Last I checked, no one was perfect.
2. If you weren't a teacher, what career would you choose?
I love teaching so much I can't really imagine being anything else, but I like to dream about being a dancer. I dance in the hallways at work sometimes and recently called an emergency team meeting on a difficult day so we could all shake our booties to Weird Al Yankovic's White and Nerdy. It was a wonderful stress buster. But the idea of being a travel writer is also appealing as is working with landscape designers to help create gardens geared towards children. There would be a lot of funky plants that are fun to touch, smell good, or have unusual flowers.
3. If you could make one major change to your garden, what would it be?
I'd make the garden several acres larger (impossible!) and add a large pond and more shrubs. I'd also have a large vegetable patch. I like to day dream about having my smarty pants gardening friends over to help me design the new space. I'd repay their kindness with dinner, wine, and the knowledge that if they ever needed my help in their garden, they could guarantee I'd be there. I'd probably hug them when they left. I can be a bit lovey.
This picture is from Google images. I wish my garden looked like this!
4. Why did it take you 10 years to graduate from college?
Because life kept intervening. My first college major was Partying and I was a model student, maintaining straight A's for two years. My second major was I Don't Know What I Want to Be When I Grow Up So I'll Just Take Random Courses. My third major was education and I finally graduated with high grades from the University of North Dakota. By the time I received my diploma, 10 years after starting college, I was married, had two kids, and had attended one community college and three universities. My husband had deployed to war and we'd moved five times. I just refused to give up on earning my degree.
5. Is it true you don't like the popular book 50 Shades of Grey?
Absolutely! I found 50 Shades of Grey so poorly written and ridiculous I told my book club I was going to compost it. I thought all the creative sex in the book might actually motivate my worms to make more baby worms. The plot was contrived and the characters unbelievable. I thought the male character, Christian, was really creepy. I have no plans to see the movie.
6. What do I do in my spare time besides garden?
I love to bake, read, travel, and spend time with my friends. My family is quite small and very scattered so my friends, even those in the blogosphere, are tremendously important to me. I've had some of the same friends for 15 years.
I bake cookies on a weekly basis but also love to make home made pies, cakes, etc. My neighbors and coworkers are frequent recipients of baked goods. I've even given cookies to very surprised but happy delivery drivers at the holidays.
I am currently reading Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. As for travel, I have trips to England and, if I'm really lucky, Austria and Spain, in the future. I'm hoping to attend the Italian garden tour trip with Beth from Plant Postings next summer.
7. Tell us something about you that might be surprising.
Hmm... I love fashion and have a lot of shoes! But I also love spending the weekend in my pajamas.
I don't normally wear boots with my pajamas, but I thought I would just for you!
8. Why do you have so many dogs?
Because they're awesome! I am fascinated by the emphathic nature of dogs. They absorb our emotions and reflect them back to us. I love working with timid or fearful dogs. In order to change the way they respond to me, I had to change the way I responded to them. I was forced to set my own perceptions aside to see the situation as they saw it, even if it meant seeing myself in a negative light. The same approach can be applied to working with children, especially young children.
Lucy is a beagle/basset/Labrador mix who spent her first year living as a stray. She was scheduled to be euthanized at a high-kill rural shelter before being rescued by the no-kill shelter Friends of Homeless Animals, where I volunteered as a dog walker. She's still a bit shy at first but is tremendously happy and confident. She's one of the silliest, most affectionate dogs I've ever had.
9. What frustrates you about gardening?
I am always frustrated at how quickly people give up and declare themselves inept at gardening. Gardening teaches patience and perseverance but the payoff is enormous. I also wish plants, pots, etc weren't so expensive. I'm frustrated at how few people in my area garden as seriously as I do. I also can't stand it when plant tags give misleading or vague information.
I don't know who created this Google Images garden. But if they can do it, I can do it.
10. Ok - last one: What impossible thing do you wish you could do?
I wish I could figure out a way to convince God and gravity that after a mammogram, a woman's breasts should bounce back perkier than they were before being smashed flat by a giant machine. We'd all be lined up for our daily mammograms and no cancer would go undetected.
My grandmother and mom both died of breast cancer. My mom was only 58.