This list is in response to a meme asking for a list of ten things that would help people know me better. I’m an over-achiever, :o) so after some soul searching, here are fourteen facts unique to me.

When I was born, the doctors told my parents I had only a fifty percent chance to survive. Obviously I beat the odds!

I was once badly bitten by a large black dog in a mall parking lot. The doctor reported the incident, and because the dog just suddenly appeared and viciously attacked me, and then couldn’t be found afterwards, the police thought the dog might be rabid. I was required to undergo a series of preventative shots.

When I read a book, I always read the first chapter and then read the last chapter before I read the book through. I enjoy the book more if I know how it ends and can watch events develop throughout the story. I do this with non-fiction, too.

I very much dislike background music, like in stores or on the telephone. It interferes with my thoughts.

One of the old stone walls surrounding our property

I am definitely a morning person. I like to get up around five in the morning, especially in the summer when I can go outside to work in the garden.

I have never won anything except a box of chocolates when I was five years old, and I wasn’t allowed to keep it. Because I was the smallest child at the gathering, I was asked to pick the winning name from the hat. When I picked out my own name, my mother was so embarrassed, she insisted that another name be chosen.

I have a serious back problem. Living with chronic pain affects every part of my life.

Honesty is extremely important to me. I cannot stand pretension or injustice. I like things to be fair.

I once fell to the floor unconscious in a freak accident when the metal tape measure I was holding somehow made contact with an exposed live electrical connection.

Something I absolutely love to do is hand-feed baby birds… birds like parrots that are hatched without feathers and are completely helpless. The smallest bird I have ever raised was a parakeet that was rejected by its mother because it was so tiny. I had to use a magnifying glass to see his beak to feed him. The vet told me that this parakeet baby was too small to survive, but he did survive and he lived a very long life.

I used to love heavy snowstorms. They made me feel happy and excited. I think it’s because when I was a little girl, a really heavy snowstorm would usually mean no school.

Wearing black shoes make me feel like I’m going to stumble. I know… I can’t explain it either!

I often don’t remember faces, especially if I see the person in an unfamiliar setting. This can be, and has been, very embarrassing. I do, however, ALWAYS remember a voice.

I once walked straight into a bear in the dark when I was walking around outside our house without a flashlight. I had my hands outstretched in front of me so I wouldn’t walk into some trees that are there. Suddenly my hands went into thick, coarse fur. There was a startled grunt, then tremendous crashing sounds of bushes breaking. I suspect the bear had been quietly standing upright waiting for me to pass by. It would be a toss-up which of us was more surprised!

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Kelly C.

Hi… I love heavy snow, too, even though now it means I have to get out the snow thrower and move the stuff. At least now, there’s hot chocolate with whipped cream waiting for me afterward. :-)

Your list may have a lot in common with other people, at least until #14!


I absolutely loved your list! You sound like a great person to get to know better!
oh and I love snowstorms too!!!! (but am stuck in Texas at the moment)


Very interesting. So glad you did make it!


thanks for letting us get to know you..Interesting way to read a book!


I would have been scared out of my mind if either of the animal encounters that you mentioned happened to me. Your comments about reading the last chapter of a book before reading it all the way through reminds me of Harry Burns (Billy Crystal) in the movie “When Harry Met Sally”. He said almost the exact same thing.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

That’s interesting… I didn’t know that. I’ve had people tell me that knowing the ending would spoil the story for them, but it works just the opposite for me.


I love the snow. I just don’t like the mess for days after the storm.
I don’t always recognize people from work when I see them around town. When they put on sunglasses, baseball caps, jeans, and flipflops, they are virtually unrecognizable to me.

Penelope Anne

#13 Yikes, freak me out.
Snowstorms are something I love too, that and a good thunderstorm.
Not sure I could read a book your way though, but I love to read.


I read my books the exact same way most of my friends think I am weird for doing this lol oh well.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Laura… finally! Someone else who knows the best way to read a book! :o)


Very interesting!


Great list. I almost died when I was born too. I’m glad we both made it! Love your blog.


You’re not alone in hating background music. I work in an office where they pipe in classical music all day long. It just about drives me crazy! But I need to work so I never say anything. Great site!

thomas dotson

Loved your list. Whenever I think of myself as having a different experience of reality than what the media, television and society seems to dictate (and sometimes those thoughts make me feel weirdly different) I stumble upon something like your list which makes me feel whole again. My friend and I were canoeing and discussing the nature of reality when he said we should try to manifest something. We had seen no wildlife in an hour. I said okay let’s manifest a river otter right beside us. In seconds one surfaced beside the canoe. We were speechless! Than we be laughed till we cried.


Hi Shirley from another Shirley in Australia,
I have been reading your articles and enjoying them enormously. I then found the 14 things unique about you…..OMG ….we have so many things in common. Unfortunately I live on the usual suburban block..but I am treating it as if I am living on an urban farm. I have only been doing this for 10 months but I am getting there. I have to …have to…read the first and the last chapters of a book, didn’t expect to live as a newborn, dont like background music for the same reason, I have spent my entire life getting up very early in the morning, I won some towels once, I have scoliosis in the lower back and have always had back pain that is often severe, I can’t bear dishonesty or unfairness, I raised a tiny crippled cocatiel and love birds, dont remember names or faces but always voices, wearing black shoes always makes me feel like I am going to stumble as well. I have never walked into a bear or seen snow. lol

Tbis was such a surprise for me. Now back to reading your articles.
Wonderful stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

To the other Shirley in Australia… This was a surprise to me too! I didn’t know I had a twin…. :o)

Diana in BGKY

If your mother is still with us, she owes you a box of chocolates! If not, the Universe does!


You’ve used up some of your extra supply of lives! Actually, most of us also have, if we just stop to think about it.

I also find background music annoying at times. Often it just adds to the noise level.

Faces of people out of their familiar place or clothing, yes, a problem for me as well. I often find myself fishing for clues…., trying to get a name with the face.

Morning person here, too.

I try to take people at face value. Honesty is important, dishonest people can’t be trusted for anything. You are my friend until you prove otherwise.