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A little bit about myself. I'm an author & artist, and my nickname both online and off is Chatty Kathy...with good reason. I love reading and writing, spending time with family and friends, cooking, and watching disaster movies with my husband. I’m not overly fond of parties, unless they are casual dinners or barbeques with close friends and family.
I love animals both real and stuffed toy ones - much to my family and friends’ amusement, for they love to tease me about my penchant for purchasing stuffed animals, especially ones that are damaged and earmarked for the trash bin, to add to my ever growing collection of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. I cannot stand those creepy little Easter Marshmallow candy Chick Peeps. The only things creepier than peeps - in my opinion, are spiders and snakes.
Usually this is as much as people would like to know about me; however, I suspect you, my readers, would appreciate having a little bit more information than this about me…so here goes.
Growing up, my best friend and I loved to play make believe and let's pretend games. Upon reflection, I believe that this is where my imagination first began to take root and grow. Oh the fun we had making up all sorts of pretend scenarios…from opening our own restaurant, with a menu of Oak Leaf Soup, Mud Pie Ala-mode, and Acorn and Pine Needle Pudding; to pretending to be secret agents and detectives like Nancy Drew or Charlie’s Angels; to imagining a car’s radio buttons being everything from food and beverage dispensers, to secret launch levers which would magically turn an ordinary car into a spaceship bound for outer space.
As we grew up, our imaginary friends and pretend scenarios were replaced by boyfriends, parties, and teenaged fantasy. Then our teenaged dreams gave way to real life romances and experiences. After graduating from High School, I spent several semesters studying at a local community college, with no real desire to be there. Subsequently, the courses I took were eclectic and quite diverse. Ironically, it was only after I quit college, and took up various interests, such as Bible Study, Square Dancing, Painting, Sculpting, Skiing, and Culinary Cuisine, that I earned an actual diploma, besides my high school one.
Had I known at the time, that the square dance classes I was taking were actual certified classes through the state of Colorado, I might not have done so well. I’d signed up for these classes, because the singles square-dancing club I belonged to, offered them, and they were conducted at the club’s location. I wanted to learn all the ins and outs of square-dancing, so I could better enjoy the club’s dances.
However, I was oblivious to the fact that these classes were bona~fide real ones, and so I just had fun with them. I honestly think it’s because I had no idea these classes were affiliated with the local colleges, which allowed me to relax and just learn with no pressure. I graduated at the top of my class. It wasn’t until the night I graduated, that I learned that the classes I’d taken were actual college elective courses. In fact, even when I was given my diploma, I still had no clue that it was an authentic one.
I was simply impressed with how “real” it looked, for I mistakenly thought is was just a fun, commemorative memento, the kind which are given out to put in scrapbooks as a keepsake. Imagine my shock, when I learned that I had actually earned an honest-to-God REAL diploma, the kind you frame and hang on office walls. LOL You could have blown me over with a feather, so stunned I was by that intelligence!
While I enjoyed square dancing and other various pastimes, the other side of my life back then, was work.
From 1983 to 1989 I was a highly sought after nanny. I carved a unique niche out in this field, for instead of working for only one family, I actually worked for a number of families. By not focusing my time and dedication on just one family, I was able to work 60-70 hours a week, and had the freedom to take whatever time I needed off to follow my own pursuits. It was a wonderful situation for the families I worked for as well, because they did not always need full time childcare. This allowed them to have solid and caring childcare for their kids.
I actually had to turn down job requests, for there are only so many hours in a day. The families I worked for, knew their kids were not only safe and well cared for, but that I was strictly adhering to how they wanted their children cared for and raised. This was the one thing I insisted on. Parental involvement. It was important to me that the children were being given consistent care, by me and their parents.
Being what I laughingly termed a “Time-Share Nanny” provided a ton of perks and opportunities for me as well. Whenever one of my clients had to travel, and wanted to take their kids along, they took me right along with them. I traveled with them on business and vacation trips in and throughout the United States. They always made sure I had plenty of free time in which to do as I wished on those trips. This allowed me to enjoy and explore all the places I traveled to with them. To play tourist, and to make use of and enjoy any and all of the various perks and activities offered.
I was given the rare opportunity to travel to places, to do things, and to meet people I normally would never have had the chance to see, visit, meet, or do had I not been their nanny. From these travels and unique experiences, I gained a wealth of skills, memories, and useful information, which have not only enriched my life, but have provided a countless number of scenarios or story ideas I have interwoven into my manuscripts.
Those were good times, and I led a relatively carefree life back then. I was happily single, financially sound, and had a good social and work life. I was at a point in my life where I was simply content not only with my life, but with myself as well. I had no expectations of my life changing, nor did I have any desire to change anything.
Then one warm June night in 1989, I attended a Bible Study class, and met the love of my life there. It was the very last place I’d ever dreamed of finding love or romance, and in fact at that point in my life, I’d given up on romance altogether. Having watched various friends and family members suffering in troubled marriages or getting divorced, and having one failed relationship myself, I had no interest nor desire to fall in love, let alone get married. Then I met Mike.
Mike swept away all my doubts and fears, and within a year, we were married. The most mind-boggling aspect of our romance is the fact that he never proposed to me, nor did I propose to him. We just knew we were meant to be together. I had an inkling I was falling in love with him, when I gave up the opportunity to meet Prince Albert of Monaco, in order to go on a date with Mike. However, I think the true deciding moment for me was when after having dated for a few weeks; Mike invited me to go camping with him. This was not jus any kind of camping trip either - but his family’s reunion campout.
I’m not overly fond of camping or roughing it, and at the time Mike invited me to go with him, I didn’t like camping at all! He was going. His family were expecting him, and he’d invited me along to join him. I had to make a choice. Either go two weeks without seeing or being with Mike, or go on a camping trip and meeting his entire family, including some of his cousins, aunts, and uncles, in less than auspicious circumstance. I elected to go camping, and the rest is now happy history.
Mike and I have been happily married for almost twenty-three wonderful years now, and we have two sons, whom we adore. Our oldest son recently joined the United States Navy, and I am officially now a very proud NAVY MOM!! Our youngest son, is fifteen years old, and is interested in NASCAR, electric guitars, girls, and goofing around with his friends - not necessarily in that order!
My life is full of lots of blessings and lots of love…all thanks to my husband, who is MY very own hero, and the light and laughter of my life! He is not only the love of my life, but my very best friend. He has not only encouraged my writing, he’s now actively taking part in helping me to make my long time dream of becoming a successfully published author, come true. To know my family, is to know me. It’s as simple and as complex as that!