50 Things About Dawn
Well, here are 50 things about me.

Right after Christmas someone emailed to ask me when I was going to do “the traditional 50 Things Blog”. I’m always on the lookout for blog topics, so I immediately emailed back to ask what is a “50 Things Blog”. Turns out, there is a “blogging tradition” (that’s an oxymoronic phrase if ever there was one considering that blogging is only a few years old) that on your 50th blog you are suppose to post 50 things about yourself. Who knew? I responded that 1) my blog was not really about me, so this tradition didn’t apply, and 2) I couldn’t think of 50 things of interest about me. (Hey, I’m not without an ego, I figure I’m good for a really strong 10 things blog). Then last week someone I was consulting with asked me when I was going to do the 100 Things Blog. Now, things are getting out of hand here, and we are certainly moving in the wrong direction, so I called a friend who has been blogging forever. (“Forever” means 3 years in blog-speak).

Blogging Queen: Actually, traditionally you post 100 things on your 100th blog.
Me: No way!
BQ: Yep, way.
Me: There are not 100 things to be said about me, much less 100 interesting things.
BQ: Well, truthfully, no one is very interesting after about 50, so hence the birth of the 50 thing tradition.
Me: My blog is not about me, so this tradition doesn’t apply.
BQ: If you use the pronoun “I”, it’s about you.
Me: There is something uncomfortably self-absorbed in thinking that someone other than your mother would want to read 50 things about you.
BQ: Oh, get over it. Blogging is inherently egotistical, and you’re no exception.
Me: Sigh.

1. I am married to my best friend, which is not to say that he doesn’t drive me crazy at least half the time.
2. I always wanted kids, and always wanted to adopt kids. I played with dolls until it was socially unacceptable.
3. I now have four kids by birth and adoption—three of which are currently teen-agers. (Sainthood is a distinct possibility.)
4. I like teen-agers—most of the time. This morning was not one of those times. Come to think of it, this week month has not been one of those times.
5. We moved from a huge city to a small town in the mountains 10 years ago because we wanted to raise our children in a different environment. I’ve never regretted that decision, although in retrospect, it wasn’t the best for my career.
6. We currently have one dog with gender identity issues, one cat with bulimia, and one cat with poodle envy–he licks his fur off to approximate a poodle cut. No way would we have ever “passed” an adoption home study if we had these animals back when we were adopting.
7. I have taught the high school youth at my church for the past 13 years. (Sainthood is looking more likely.)
8. I have lead groups to work at orphanages abroad for the past four years. I have visited or worked in orphanages in Mexico, Korea, and Guatemala.
9. It’s my dream to create a non-profit to connect groups and churches to orphanages for supplies, mission trips, and medical care.
10. I value kindness above all else.
11. PK (pre-kids), my husband and I traveled the perimeter of the US for six months in a VW camper named Gus.
12. Oh yea, my cars have names and genders.
13. I’m a runner—more steady than fast.
14. I love to garden both vegetables and perennials.
15. I live in a ladybug infested house. I don’t know why, but we have literally hundreds of ladybugs inside our house throughout the year, especially in the winter. The downside is ladybug landings while working, cooking, or reading; the upside is that my garden is aphid free. Heck, I doubt there is an aphid within 5 miles of my house.
16. I can’t believe I have 34 things to go.
17. We homeschooled one of our children full time for 3 years, and part time for 4 more years. I hope this is the last year!
18. Learning differences and ADD are a part of our lives; not always welcome, but always there.
19. I don’t love to fly. It’s not a phobia or anything that dramatic, but I consciously have to decide that I won’t let this fear affect what I do. There was a period of time after 9/11 that I insisted that my husband and I fly separately, unless we were traveling as a family. My reasoning was that I didn’t want to orphan any of our kids, but if we were all going to die we might as well do it together. OK, maybe I am a bit phobic about flying.
20. We play a board game, dominoes, or cards almost every night at dinner. I honestly think it helps the conversation, although trash talking doesn’t really count as communication does it?
21. I’ve lost the battle with potty humor at my house. I live in fear that my children will slip up in public.
22. I live in a beautiful valley in a house built in 1865.
23. I love to teach at the college level. I’ve taught undergraduates and law students. I also absolutely love consulting with people who are trying to find the best way to form their family. It’s a lot like teaching.
24. I was an elementary school teacher for one year right after college. I struggled mightily with classroom control. I wouldn’t struggle now.
25. I have a Masters of Science degree in environmental science and worked as an environmental scientist for a couple of years before law school.
26. I was an attorney in my previous life.
27. I am a trained mediator and mediated complex cases for a number of years.
28. Darn, why didn’t I do this list after my 25th post so I would be finished now?
29. I love sweets and can’t seem to give them up, even when I have really tried. Does this constitute an addiction? (There goes sainthood.)
30. Speaking of addictions, I’m addicted to podcasts—anything from Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me to Good Food to This American Life. I can’t imagine vacuuming or gardening without them. I love it when someone tells me they dust, run, or drive to work while listening to the Creating a Family show.
31. In the morning, I used to get up early to read parenting books, then I switched to self-help or personal growth books, then to spiritual development books, and now, I sleep in. I wonder what that means. Hey, this list is better than therapy. All psychological interpretations are welcome.
32. I love to cook. I don’t especially love to cook for an unappreciative crowd, meaning two out of my four kids.

Me: OK, I tried, but there aren’t 50 interesting things to be said about me. I think I should be a trailblazer and start the 32 Things Tradition.
BQ: Stop whining and dig deeper. And so help me, if you resort to something lame like your favorite color, I will publicly embarrass you.

33. My favorite season is late spring. Not early spring—no, early spring is a tease. I love it when the temperature has settled into a steady climb upward, the horizon is misted with various shades of clean green, the perennials are reborn, and the garden is full of baby lettuce and peas.
34. My favorite food is everything. I love it all, as long as it’s not too spicy hot.
35. My favorite book—well, that would be like picking your favorite child. My favorite of the last few books I’ve read are As Hot as It Was You Ought to Thank Me by Nanci Kincaid, The Lottery by Patricia Wood, and The Season of Lillian Dawes by Katherine Mosby.
36. My favorite type of music is also impossible to pick since it depends on what I’m doing. Bob Seger is hard to beat for running, but Jack Johnson and Panic at the Disco are close seconds. Ben Folds and Carbon Leaf are good for driving. Jimmy Buffet, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones’ Top 100 Songs Collection can’t be beat for cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. And “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World is the only song I can play well on Guitar Hero, and by “well” I mean not getting booed off the stage.
37. I used to scuba dive frequently, but kids have greatly complicated that.
38. I have to read every night before I go to sleep even if I’m really tired. Reading right before sleep limits what I can read since really sad, scary, or heavy books are not bedtime material. Neither is most non-fiction.
39. I play too much solitaire on the computer.
40. I make really good muffins and granola bars. (Man, I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Aren’t you glad I did this list before I reached 100 blog posts? But hey, my muffins and granola bars are really good. We had a granola bar bake-off in my house this Christmas to create the best somewhat healthy approximation of the Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Bars. If you share the link to my site or radio show with at least five other forums or blogs, I might just share my recipe with you.)
41. I hate cold weather. I really really hate to be cold. I should have thought about that before I moved to the mountains.
42. I was on the swim team in college even though I’m really slow. They were desperate for someone who could swim 1600 meters without drowning. Swim I can, fast I can’t. I was often still swimming while the others in the race had already showered and dressed. I suffered this humiliation because of a crush on a really cute guy on the men’s team.
43. I channel my cats—meaning that they speak through me. Don’t ask– I must be running very low on ideas to share that one.
44. I have extremely tight muscles. I am probably the least flexible person on earth, which might lead you to think that I set aside time every day to stretch. NOT.
45. My eldest daughter is living in Korea for this year (and maybe the following year), and I miss her terribly. We are reaching the point where we can be friends, rather than just mother and daughter.
46. My short term memory was never very good and seems to be getting worse. I have to make daily lists and use tricks like post-it notes on the door and writing on the palm of my hand. Strangely, I have very good long term memory. In the past I’ve attributed my lack of short term memory to the multitasking required with parenting and working, but now I’m not so sure.
47. Hallelujah, only 3 more to go. I imagine you are as thankful as I am.
48. I enjoy red wine in the winter and dry rose in the summer. I’m not very knowledgeable about wine. If it tastes good, I figure it is good. Unfortunately, my price range doesn’t allow for really good wine.
49. I was born and raised in south Louisiana, which is a totally different state than north Louisiana. My childhood home survived Katrina, but just barely.
50. I cook a mean pot of gumbo.

There, I did it. I promise there will be no 75 or 100 things post regardless what tradition exists. And for the record, my favoirte color is blue, yellow, green. Or maybe red.


Image credit: iwona_kellie