An award and 10 Things

Well, believe it or not, both Laurie (Frozen Woman: Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis) and Carla (Carla’s Corner) have selected me to be one of their five recipients of the Sugar Doll Blogger Award, which originated, in the RA blogosphere, with Lana (Living It, Loving It), who in turn got it from one of her readers.

The award is a sweet way to acknowledge bloggers who go out of their way spread warmth and joy to others through their writing. I’m truly honored and humbled that you chose me as one of them; thank you Laurie and Carla! What a treat!

Along with posting about the award, the recipient must reveal 10 Things about themselves that others don’t know, and then must send the joy along by choosing five more bloggers they read who also offer inspiration, information and smiles through their writing.

Easy, right? Hmmm. It’s funny how having to come up with ten, hopefully interesting, things about oneself is such a challenge! I don’t really think of myself or my past as particularly interesting to anyone but me, but here goes nothing:

Wren’s 10 Things

  1. I came into the world half-baked and rear-end first, weighing just 3 pounds and 4 ounces. I spent seven weeks in a San Francisco hospital incubator before being allowed to come home, and my Dad said I was like a baby doll, barely as long as his hand. You’d never know it now, since I eventually grew to be of average size (and then some). But the evidence shows on my left ear. If you look closely, you can see it’s “not quite done,” flattened along the outer edge and with a little point at the top. I like to think it’s a holdover from my longago elfin ancestors.
  2. I spent several grade-school years learning to ride horses in the Western style, but tended to fall off when I rode with a saddle. Using stirrups threw my balance off. So when we got Barney, the big buckskin Quarterhorse my sister and I shared, I rode everywhere bareback instead. Loved it and stuck like glue. Years later, I took English-style riding lessons in Germany – with RA – and still tended to fall off a saddled horse. Unfortunately, those ultra-tall Hanoverian steeds, RA stiffness and pain, and becoming suddenly airborne didn’t mix well, so I had to give up that lovely sport. But I still love horses and miss riding and working with them to this day.
  3. I volunteered with a wild-animal rescue and rehab organization for a while when I lived in Washington state. I’ve drawn a bath for an American eagle; been attacked by an elderly squirrel named, appropriately, “Killer;” got knocked over and snuffled by a humongous but friendly Roosevelt elk; and once held the legs of a dying giant blue heron (which had been cruelly shot by a fisherman who felt it was stealing his fish, the jerk) while the vet tried in vain to save its life. The experience changed me.
  4. I’ve been inexplicably afraid of heights, and of flying, all my life. But as research for a novel I was trying to write, I once took a flying lesson in a single-engine Cessna. With the handsome instructor ready to take the controls if I froze or seriously messed up, I took off from the airport, flew around for about an hour learning how the plane went up and down, did figure-8s, glided with the engine off for a minute or two, was greatly relieved when it started right back up, and then landed the plane again at the airport and taxied back to the barn. The instructor never had to do anything but talk. It was both exhilarating and terrifying, an experience I’ll never forget. The instructor told me I’d make a great pilot. I said, “thanks, but um … no, thanks.”
  5. More research, this time about guns. I went with a group of shooting enthusiasts to a shooting range. I fired a .22; hit a 1000-yard-out, 3-inch target with a sniping rifle fixed with a scope; and fired a .357 Magnum. My friend, who was teaching me, caught my forearms and kept me from knocking myself out when that giant gun did it’s giant kick-back. It was good experience to add to my brief practice with an M-16 in Air Force basic training, where I somehow managed to hit the target enough times to earn a marksman’s medal, even though I’d never fired any sort of gun in my life. I was rather surprised.
  6. I once lived with a 4-foot boa constrictor hiding somewhere in my house for six weeks. The beloved pet of my husband and daughter’s, he’d somehow gotten out of his enclosure. We finally found him curled up inside the back of the sofa, none the worse for his long fast. Whew.
  7. While working for Army public affairs in Germany, I once chased a small herd of circus elephants around a shipping harbor, where they were to be loaded onto a ship for a voyage to the U.S. It was surreal and hilarious.
  8. I was the managing editor of a newspaper in a small Sierra foothill community. Once, while covering a summer wildfire, I walked across a burned-black field to interview some firefighters, only to discover that my rubber-soled shoes were melting. Lesson learned. Another time, I managed to be right in the way when a helicopter dropped its load of fire-retardant and ended up knocked flat on my stomach, soaked in purple chemical. I landed with my camera protected underneath me, so I got my photos!
  9. While I was in the Air Force, I once helped to control, by radar and radio, a flight of 26 live interceptor aircraft during a region-wide exercise, sending them out to the exercise area, controlling their intercepts of “enemy” aircraft for two hours, and then brought them all back home safely. When the exercise was over, I calmly walked back to the ladies’ room and threw up.
  10. Also while living in Germany, with RA and even though I was still terrified of heights, I went snow skiing in the Austrian Alps. I discovered that I could ski without fear as long as I fortified myself with cups of Jaegertee – hot black tea laced with a massive dollop of Jaegermeister liqueur.  It made looking over the edge of the steep runs through the tips of my skis much less frightening and, when I inevitably went arse-over-teakettle, I laughed instead of cried. Jaegermeister =no fear. (I wouldn’t recommend this, though.)

And that’s it, gang. Now I’m passing the Sugar Doll Blogger Award on to SB, who writes Confessions of an RA Super Bitch, Polly of Pollyanna Penguin’s RA Blog, Remicade Dream, Terry of Dual Sports Life, and Andrew of Living Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I hope this finds everyone feeling decent and enjoying their Friday. The sun is back out here in the Sierras, I’m feeling great today, and I’m just about to tackle the garden again, Finny in tow. Have a great day!

7 thoughts on “An award and 10 Things

  1. Wren, you have had such an interesting life! I’m incredibly impressed that, despite your fears, you go out and tackle some pretty amazing things! I would love to go to the wild-animal rescue/rehab and work with those animals 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend! Snowing up my way 🙂


  2. What a life!! How exciting to live and how exciting to read about it! I’m having such fun reading all these lists of 10!! Can’t wait to read those of the bloggers you’ve passed the award on to…!!

    🙂 L


  3. Wow…loved your top ten list. You have done some interesting things, for sure. I like the ending best though…the sun is out and you are feeling well. Great for you, Wren. Thanks for the post, and congrats on the well-deserved award.


  4. Wren, you have had one interesting life!!! I keep promising myself that my life will get interesting when my kids are older. Hopefully, I don’t find some excuse later. 🙂


  5. I loved this! What a fascinating and brave person you are. And as someone who is also very afraid of heights, I’m amazed by all of those high-up things you’ve done!

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s incredible and inspiring to read about the wonderful things you’ve done in your life.


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