1) You talk about this obsession you have with books. What would you say is the one book (or five if you must) that you find yourself reading over and over?
Hmmm, I'd have to say that the books that have had the most impact on me are the ones I loved as a kid. These include Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle's A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and to a lesser degree- Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. I reread these constantly growing up and into adulthood.
It would be weird if I didn't mention the Bible here, since my faith is definitely something that defines me, but unsurprisingly, I thought it was the most boring book in the world when I was a kid and resented being forced to read & study it all the time (Christian school). Except for the exciting stories (Noah!), and the occasional turn of phrase that made my head spin (..the whole creation groans...in childbirth...together until now..), I generally related much more closely to the mystery* I found in places like Narnia and Cooper's Wales. It wasn't until years later that I recovered from my high school education that I was able to find all of that mystery in the Bible, although I had always equated it with God.
p.s. I still think some parts are boring but I'm convinced it's just me.
*Mystery's the best label I have, though it falls short of describing what I'm talking about. This gets close: "The German language has a word for this joyward longing that Lewis describes: sehnsucht. This is the haunting longing that touched Lewis throughout his life, that full, heavy, enveloping nostalgia for a fulfillment that awaited him—in something, somewhere."
2) You and your family seem very close, which is a trait that I love! Please state and elaborate briefly on one thing that you admire in your immediate family members.
Crap, do you realize how big my family is?? That's a whole post in itself! Okay, here we go:
My Mom is incredibly creative. She'd be designing costumes or sets on Broadway if she hadn't spent so many years of her life gestating whiny ungrateful children like me. She used to make us the best playthings. One classic was the dress-up trunk- an old steamer trunk that she filled with thrift shop finds- from ball gowns and sparkly high-heeled shoes to feather boas and elaborate hats.
When she's not making Halloween costumes for the grandchildren, she enjoys running the blender while the rest of the family is trying to watch a movie.
My Dad is Grumpy. No really, all of his grandchildren know him as "Grumpy." That's no accident either. ;) He is the hardest worker I've ever known. He never went to college, instead he taught himself engineering and raised a family of seven on one income. How many people can say that? He's a perfect example of a burnt marshmallow -crusty on the outside but soft in the middle (but don't tell anyone, it might ruin his reputation).
My sister Lib is a great mom and a pretty cool chick. She is one of my closest friends. Also, she's performed the dainty dingo* at least twice. I'm so proud.
*A kind of interpretive dance known only to my family
My sister Julie is adventurous and committed to forming her own opinion instead of following the party line (that would be The Republican Party, in my family of origin). I respect her for that. Also? She could totally have gone to medical school.
My brother Daniel is a great dad and husband and he's matured impressively under circumstances that might have defeated a weaker man. He's only slightly less pesky that he was as a child (that's not an insult, Dan prides himself greatly on his ability to annoy).
My brother Zach already possesses wisdom and courage in spades, and he's only 22. Zach is my California sibling, he lives so close to me that I can walk to his house, which makes me very happy.
My brother Sean is the only redhead in the family. He is creative and funny. He might be the next sibling to migrate westward.
My sister Katie is a lovely smart
As a whole, my family is pretty hilarious and a blast to hang out with.
3) Why did you start blogging? Do you find it harder to keep up with your blog, the longer you have been doing it?
I started blogging almost as soon as I found out about this whole "blogging" thing. I've always been compelled to write and this seemed like the perfect outlet for me. I can be as goofy as I want to be and if people don't like it, they just go away!
I do get discouraged frequently. I'd like to have a more focused space but I'm usually shooting off in 5 different directions at ones and-Oh look! A chicken! Yeah, ADD* much? Someday I want to have my own website and have different pages for different topics. I have a domain name, but I haven't gotten as far as learning web design yet and I keep telling myself that I won't pay for a site if I'm going to go on long nada streaks like I do here. Myself always replies: "But I was just about to write that post on-Oh Look! A Chicken!!!!!!
*This may be the reason that I hardly ever find myself reading one book at a time. I've almost always got between two and five going at once. It helps if they're different genres, otherwise I do occasionally get confused.
4) You write occasionally about being depressed. How has this affected your ability to cope with day to day things? Do you feel writing about it helps?
I feel like I should be a better (or more willing, or more able to "use" the sadness or something) writer when I'm depressed but honestly, my creative side is the first to go when depression hits. I'm at my most creative when I'm at the other end of the spectrum.
It's hard to say exactly how depression affects me on a day to day basis because it's frequently so wrapped up with physical exhaustion. Without knowing exactly what causes either, and knowing full well that each can lead to the other, I can't always tell whether I'm tired because I'm depressed or depressed because I have no energy and can't do all the things I want to do.
At my lowest points it definitely affected my ability to cope. I'm still dealing with the aftermath of some of that un-cope-ability. It's all a learning experience though, so no regrets.
5) If you could have any job and pay was no concern (as in you could make up to and including no dollars), what would you do and why?
Ah, if making money was not an issue, I don't think I would want a "job" doing the same thing all the time. There are so many things that interest me that I would be perfectly happy spending my life going from one to another and learning new stuff all the time. Some things I would definitely do: Write, of course. Make art and give it to people. I love making things with my hands- cards, books, paper; and I'd love to really learn how to draw and sculpt- but the idea of making a living off of it just depresses me when I start thinking about the money-making details. I don't want to figure out how much I can charge someone for something I've made. I'd rather just make purty things and give them to people who need some happy. I'd also love to learn to sew well and I could happily spend years gardening and learning more about growing things.
6) What have you enjoyed the most about your experiences as a nanny?
I have all of these amazing experiences and memories from the years I've spent being a caregiver to kids I've loved as my own. Even if I never have children myself I've still had more joy through "my kids" than many people ever know. I also love the relationships I have with the families I've worked for.
Also, it's fun (well, not all of the time, but frequently). And I hear some pretty funny stuff, for example: Will at age 3, "..Grownups like bedtime. But little boys don't.... an they fight at their moms. But their moms like bedtime!"
7) If you were to enter a talent show and you could do anything you wanted (play the flute, pluck a chicken, whatever) what would you do?
Hmm, tough choice. As my talent, I think I'd like to be able to scowl so menacingly that the audience would shriek, wet their pants, and run away in terror. Or jump on a trampoline in a velcro suit and stick to the velcro-covered ceiling.