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Welcome to Day 1 of the 20 Days of Me Series!

I thought you might like a peek at the wizard behind the curtain… I googled around for some fun “about me” questions and settled on these 20 from a variety of sources.  I can’t just take someone else’s list and follow it exactly – much too hard.  Much better to pick and choose what sounds like the most fun to write about!  Here’s the whole list-

20 Days of Me questions
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20 Days of Me
All the questions!

Today’s topic… Post a recent photo of yourself and tell us 5 interesting facts.

(The original list I found said 15 interesting facts.  Nope.  Way too hard.  You can have 5.)

(I really hope I can think of 5 interesting facts.)

(Is it too late to change the question?!

Okay, I can do this.  Here we go… (drumroll please)…

5 Interesting Facts About Me

But first, a recent photo of me. (No, I’m not stalling.  I totally have 5 facts to share.  I’m simply following the rules.  You saw it yourselves – a recent photo is required!)

queen of curiosity wearing a tiara
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There are very few pictures of me alone and not being a goof. Here’s one I took with my tiara on last May, celebrating the Royal Wedding. I’m a queen too- the Queen of Curiosity!

At this point I think I should warn you.  There are a lot of pictures in this post. A lot.  I’m sorry – I just couldn’t help myself.  And after all, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  So really I’m helping you by adding so many pictures…

I am a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts

I have been a Girl Scout for almost my entire life.  My current involvement consists only of being the Cookie Mom for my daughter’s troop but I have had a variety of experiences through the years.  Particularly noteworthy is that I earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. (For those of you who don’t know it is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. And completely ridiculous that I have to explain it that way. We need better PR people I think.)

girl scout gold award recipients with Vice President Dan Quayle and girl scout executive
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The year that I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, Vice President Dan Quayle stopped for a photo opportunity with us. I thought it was pretty cool.

Other memorable experiences from my years of scouting include girl scout camp every summer (I became a camp counselor at age 18), Wider Opportunities that included multiple trips to National Center West in Wyoming (a place that sadly no longer exists), selling thousands of boxes of cookies (no joke – one year I sold over 1,100 boxes because my troop over-ordered and as the leader’s daughter I ended up manning most of the  booths.  Seriously, hawking my wares at the local supermarket  every day after school for a month!), and a month-long trip to Europe with stops at two International Girl Scout centers. In summary, a most excellent experience!

girl scout patch jacket with cookie sales patches and national center west patch and silver award patch
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The proof is in the patches! Check out those rockers for cookie sales in 1988. That’s what daily cookie booths for a month will get you…

As an adult I have been a troop leader several times, even branching out to be a Cub Scout Den Leader and a Boy Scout miscellaneous adult leader (that means registered but doing behind the scenes work mostly).  I even had pies thrown in my face as a popcorn selling incentive. Whatever it takes, right?

semi truck delivering girl scout cookies
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Here’s a vintage cookie delivery day photo for you. See, even in the 80s they came by semi truck!
girl scout cookies filling the back of a minivan
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Picking up cookies for the troop is quite an amazing system actually. They put a sign on the side of your car then you just drive from semi-truck to semi-truck and people fill you up with the correct number of cases of each variety! In and out in about 15 minutes total.
girl scout cookies by the case in the living room
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Here’s my Girl Scout eating a cookie after helping me unload and sort the troop cookies. Looks like we have a lot of work ahead of us to get all these cookies back out of my living room! They may come in by the case, but they leave by the box.

I am a Navy veteran

I served almost 6 years of active duty as a Naval Supply Corps Officer.  I started as a Sales and Services officer on my first ship then became the Disbursing Officer on my next ship.  Those jobs were a lot like the job I currently hold in my home. I was in charge of food, bills, and laundry.  The main differences are that I had way more money as a Disbursing Officer and actual sailors who were doing the laundry and cooking.  Now I have less money and I’m doing all the work myself!

USS Cape Cod (AD-43) in port with dressed rails
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USS Cape Cod (AD-43) in port with dressed rails. This was my first active duty ship assignment. I was the Ship Sales and Services Officer.
young naval lieutenant junior grade in dress blues
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So young… hard to believe the responsibility we had at such a young age.
junior officer stateroom aboard USS Cape Cod AD-43
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My luxurious accomodations aboard the USS Cape Cod (AD-43). I’m not complaining… enlisted berthing is much more cramped and crowded.
disburing officer holds money outside open safe onboard uss coronado AGF-11
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Show me the money! Here I am hard at work counting the cash to make sure everything balances and nothing has been lost or miscounted.
navy officer holding large pile of bills
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So what do you do when you’ve been out at sea for several weeks and the safe has extra deployment supply cash? You take turns taking pictures with the piles of money, of course!
at the conn uss coronado AGF-11
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While I did have to take a turn conning the ship (one of my absolute least favorite parts of being in the Navy), in this picture I’m just pretending.
sun setting behind rain cloud at sea
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The quality of this scanned photo isn’t great but it is one of my favorite memories of being out at sea… taking time to go outside and enjoy fresh air and sometimes capturing a cool sunset behind the rain cloud in the distance.

I am fascinated by the American pioneers

In elementary school I used to pretend to run away from home (there was a large empty field across the street where I would go) and while I was out there I would pretend that I was a pioneer crossing the prairie. I grew up reading and watching Little House on the Prairie.  We pretended to travel the Oregon Trail in history class (seriously my favorite educational activity of my entire school career!).   My pioneer costume was my favorite of all time (it was actually a hand-me-down from my mom).  Now that I’m an adult, I have bought my own adult-sized pioneer costume that I can wear every Halloween.  I loved the Frontier House mini-series on PBS and (would absolutely apply to be on a future episode – call me, PBS!).  I dream of being able to participate in a modern-day wagon train re-enactment.  Even Grandma Gatewood walked the Oregon Trail one summer. The reality of it all would probably be quite a rude awakening but until that moment comes I will continue to dream and fantasize.  And do my own pretend wagon train summer road trips from the comfort of my air-conditioned, gasoline-powered minivan.

girl wearing pioneer dress costume
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I couldn’t find a picture of myself wearing this dress so here’s the 3rd generation pioneer girl instead.
wearing my pioneer costume
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I always wanted to be Laura Ingalls but it turns out I’m Ma Ingalls instead.
sod house in gothenburg, ne
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I was so excited to see a real-life sod house! This sod house is in Gothenburg, NE and free for anyone to stop by and look around.
The dining and food prep area inside the sod house.
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The dining and food prep area inside the sod house.
bed inside sod house in gothenburg, NE
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Here’s the other side of the room inside the sod house. This is the “bedroom”.
closer view outside of sod house gothenburg, NE
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A closer view of the outside of the sod house. I never really understod how the pioneers would make a house out of sod. Seeing it with my own eyes was so interesting.

I have been to almost every US state

About 10 years ago I decided that I would officially make it my goal to visit all 50 states.  At that point I had already been to at least half so I felt pretty confident that I would make it.

Growing up as an Air Force brat then joining the Navy made it pretty easy to get those first states checked off.  Then one crazy night when my kids were 1, 3, and 5 years old, I decided that it would be a good idea to drive around the country visiting all the grandparents in one summer.  The first trip was mostly a success and definitely more fun than spending the summer here at home so our Big Trips became a tradition.  Last summer was Big Trip Lucky 13.

Gathering for a photo before we head off on our adventure. One month, three kids, one minivan... no problem!
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Gathering for a photo before we head off on our Big Trip adventure. One month, three kids, one minivan… no problem!

At this point I am only missing the top middle section – Minnesota and North Dakota.  I’ll get there eventually!  And because I’m so close to reaching my 50 states goal, I have made a follow-on goal.  My new goal?  To visit all of the more than 400 National Park Service sites.  This goal is pretty massive and I might not make it (which is okay) but it’s a good stretch because I have already visited several sites that I wouldn’t have without this goal.  Heck, I visited 7 park properties on last year’s road trip alone!  In my mind, I’m already winning.

A few favorite photos from our many Big Trips surround the US map in our living room
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A few favorite photos from our many Big Trips surround the US map in our living room.

I am fascinated by miniatures

I’m not sure why though.  Is it because everything is cuter when it’s tiny?  Is it because I can’t imagine having the talent and fine-motor control to actually make something so small?  While I may never know what makes them so fascinating to me, I will never stop admiring them.  I click on photos and articles all over the internet whenever I see something new.  I admire them in musuems. I just love miniatures with an unreasonable passion.

I didn’t have a doll house growing up.  I can’t even remember if I really wanted one or not.  I do remember really liking the Barbie Dream House that a friend had but everybody likes Barbie’s Dream House, right?  That’s not too unusual.

I currently have a large Christmas Village collection that I started a few years ago.  Every year I would admire the display at Michaels until finally I decided to buy some of my own.  A few years in I went a little crazy on Ebay buying way too many pieces and had to put myself on a buying freeze.  If I can find a house that looks like the one we rented in California or our current house though I’m totally buying them.  Buying freeze be darned.

It takes me several hours (and mulitple tables) to set the whole village up.  Unfortunately I haven’t had as much village assembly time the past couple of years.  Felisa helped me last year and the year before but this past Christmas we just never got to it.  I really missed having my village up.  Guess that means I’ll have to move it higher up the priority list next year.

My Christmas village is my own miniature collection and I love it.

Lemax Christmas village by night
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Christmas village by night
Lemax Christmas village by night
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Perspective from the table top
Lemax Christmas village by night
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It may be dark, but things are still happening in this winter village…
Lemax Christmas village by night
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My village has a lot of buildings but not as many other small details. You just have to use your imagination for that.

Your turn…

Tell me a fun fact about yourself in the comments below.  I can’t wait to find out more about you!

One last thing before you go…

Did you know that I sometimes send out emails too?  I’d sure hate for you to miss out so click the photo below to sign up for my list.  I mean, who doesn’t want more of me?!?!

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Don’t miss a minute! Click the photo to subscribe to Behind Every Day’s fun newsletter!
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  1. You amaze me, Sheila. I love your curiosity and your wonder. Love reading your blog! Hugs, Margo

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