This is a post from a few years back that I always like to repost on the first of the year to give my new readers a chance to get to know me. I hope you enjoy it! …….
I’m a private person. I’m not one to talk a lot about myself or what I do. I think that’s my Canadian upbringing, but since many of you have asked to know more about who I am and my background, I thought I would write a little post. So here goes. Ten things you never knew about me.
1. I Was on TV for Over 20 Years
Before Fabulous After 40, I was the Host and Executive Producer of the HGTV series, Backyard Pleasures – a popular outdoor design series that ran for five years. Before that, I was a talk show host, news anchor, entertainment reporter, and TV fashion expert, you name it, I did it. Back in the ’80s/early 90’s I also was a producer on a national talk show in the same genre as Sally Jesse Raphael and Geraldo, etc. – remember those? My specialty was tracking down fascinating and often wacky people, with the most unusual lives. Vampires, shipwreck survivors, a lesbian who artificially inseminated herself with a turkey baster- It took real detective work as this was all pre-internet. I met all kinds!
2. I Can’t Start My Day without a Cup of Tea
I am and have always been a huge tea drinker. In fact, I drink several cups a day, and I’m very picky about what kind I like. Don’t give me any new-age type herbal teas that smell like hay. I love a good strong cup of old-fashioned black tea with 1% milk (or 2% as a treat), and no sugar. Give me Tetley or Red Rose. Tea is more than a drink to me; it is my ritual. It warms and comforts my soul and is a way to connect to myself and others. I love to put the kettle on and take a cup up to my son when he is doing his homework. It’s a lovely bonding thing that I think only another tea drinker might understand.
3. I’m Crazy about Tulips
I have several paintings of tulips, and I often have tulips in vases around my home. Yellow is my favorite. To me, tulips symbolize true beauty. They’re simple, elegant, and understated, but they are also bursting with energy and life. Colorful spring tulips thrill me. I don’t know what I love more, the stunning pink, yellow, and red tulip heads or the gorgeous green stems. Just thinking about tulips makes me feel happy and optimistic.
4. I Live on the Lake
They say once you live on the water, you get addicted to it, and that is certainly the case for me. I have lived in Burlington Ontario, on the lake, for 19 years. I’ve had people ask if it sometimes gets boring staring out at the water, especially in winter. But it’s far from that. We built our home with big picture windows, and many times, I feel like I’m on a cruise ship watching the world go by. The lake is a hugely calming force in my life. It’s awesome to watch the power of the water and all the wildlife that surrounds it. The lake makes me so happy to feel one with nature.
5. I Get a Big Kick Out of Feeding Squirrels
Speaking of nature, did you know I have a fun little game going on with the squirrels? We have a lot of trees in our backyard, so we get squirrels. When a couple of squirrels started jumping up on my office windowsill, I began tapping on the window and motioning them to the kitchen door. Now they know the drill, and I get a big kick out of feeding them our old bread. The most fun part is, that I give them a whole slice at a time. It makes my heart melt when I see them balancing this huge piece of bread between their tiny paws and nibbling away.
6. I’m a bit of a Risk Taker
Ok, maybe more than a bit. I bungee jumped in Australia (twice, from 15 stories high) when I was hosting a TV show called Sports down Under. In my early 30s, I took flying lessons and learned to fly solo. I also got into a cage with a 500-pound tiger and patted it while I interviewed its trainer, again for a TV show. (Looking back, that was nuts!)
7. I Once had a Sewing Needle in my Foot
I know that sounds crazy, but everyone loves this story. I was about 12 and heavily into gymnastics when I did the splits on my mom’s shag carpet and oops, stepped onto a long, thin sewing needle that entered up into the bottom of my foot. The doctor didn’t want to operate right away for fear of messing up my muscles, so I walked around with a sewing needle in my foot for six months. The needle made its way upwards and finally started to poke out the top of my foot. They did a 10-minute operation, and it was out. The doctor let me keep the rusty needle, and I have it to this day. Tah dah!
8. I’m Married to Dr. D.
We met on a blind date 23 years ago and got married one year later. My sweet husband is the love of my life, such an incredible person, and my greatest supporter. He’s also my TV buddy. We love watching Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Homeland, and all the rest together. It’s our thing. We have three gorgeous, amazing children- two boys and a girl (21, 19, and 16). They are our greatest joy, and we feel so blessed to be their parents.
9. I’m a Travel Junkie
I come from a traveling family. As kids, we would jokingly say, “When you get in dad’s car, you are a prisoner”, that is how much my dad liked to travel. I recall one summer day my parents loaded us up in the car for a trip from Toronto to Thunder Bay. (approx 800 miles). We ended up in Vancouver a week later, 2,000 miles away! (We bought clothes along the way.) That sense of adventure has stayed with me my whole life and I have been all over the world. There’s nothing I love more than traveling, and I’ve had so many unique experiences. My favorite? In Egypt. ..Getting to climb a dark, narrow passageway that let led me inside a pyramid. It was a lifelong dream. I felt like an archeologist.
10. I Have Never Gone to Bed, in my entire life, with my Make-up on
Maybe this sounds silly to you, but since I have been blessed with good skin, I’ve always made a point, even if I can barely stand up because I’m so tired, to always wash and moisturize my face before I get into bed. I’ve also avoided the sun since I was 16 after a horrible sunburn and a warning from a dermatologist that I was going to get skin cancer if I didn’t cut it out. I’m still aging like everyone else, but I do believe these two things have helped me keep my fair skin from too much damage and look pretty darn good.
I hope you enjoyed my little stories. Thanks to Annette from Lady of Style, who inspired this post after a fun chat, we had about sharing our stories.