Short Bio: I was born in Plymouth, WI and lived nearby until attending college in Saint Paul. I returned to Wisconsin after graduation and the concurrent death of my first husband, Martin (who lost his battle with gastric cancer at age 24). Back in Wisconsin, I reconnected with a childhood family friend, Matt, who became my second husband (this delighted my family members, who– much to the chagrin of them both– had been trying to set him up with my eldest cousin for years); we have one son, Rowan. We live on a farm outside of West Bend, where we have an aquaponics business, several chickens, two goats, two ducks, and one fuzzy wildebeest of a dog.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree (Summa Cum Laude) at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN; majored in Spanish and Communications, with an almost-minor in Religious Studies.
Favorite Books: Literally everything by C.S. Lewis (but most of all: the Narnia series, Mere Christianity, and The Screwtape Letters), most Jane Austen novels, the Harry Potter series, Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), The Lord of the Rings series, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver), The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver), The Good Life (Helen and Scott Nearing), Kisses from Katie (Katie Davis), Simple Prosperity (David Wann), The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (Louise Erdrich), Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture, Living More With Less (Doris Janzen Longacre), Walden (Thoreau), and pretty much anything by Jen Hatmaker.
Favorite Movies: All of the Harry Potter movies (except #6- I HATE that one), The Lord of the Rings, Easy A, Lucky Number Slevin, Secondhand Lions, Charlie Wilson’s War, The Count of Monte Cristo, August Rush, The Illusionist, Australia, and Ever After.
Favorite TV Shows: Downton Abbey (we don’t actually have a TV, but I still find a way to watch this one!) and Gilmore Girls.
Favorite Activities: Reading, hiking, camping, list-making, and playing with my son.
Favorite Musicians: NeedToBreathe, Mumford and Sons, Mat Kearney, EastMountainSouth, The Piano Guys, The Eagles, Queen, Joshua Radin, and Simon and Garfunkle.
Favorite Albums: The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack and the Aida soundtrack.
Favorite Sports: Pole vaulting (I held my high school’s record until a year or so ago) and swimming.
Favorite Foods: Creamy chicken and wild rice soup, curried chicken and pineapple sandwiches, enchiladas, mushroom stroganoff, patatas fritas (fried potato slices with an egg, topped with tomato sauce and mopped up with fresh bread), gelato, and anything chocolate. And wine.
Hobbies: I like to pretend I can knit.
Personality Type: INFJ
Influences: Jesus (obviously!), most of the authors listed above, my wonderful husband,and the Landowski clan.
James Lipton’s Ten Questions:
1. What is your favorite word? I love languages too much to pick just one.
2. What is your least favorite word? Any political term that denigrates the “other.” We’d get a lot further in this world if we focused on working together!
3. What turns you on? A love of nature, a kind sense of humor, and a desire for wisdom as well as knowledge.
4. What turns you off? Cruelty (even in its simplest forms), intolerance, and willful ignorance. Also, anytime someone says “I’m going to die of something anyways” in order to justify doing something they know is bad for them.
5. What is your favorite curse word? I very rarely curse, but when it slips out, the synonyms for excrement, copulation, and eternal hellfire have about equal standing in my vocabulary.
6. What sound or noise do you love? “Mama!” and anything my toddler is currently learning to say, wind blowing through the trees, burbling water, and the crackle of a fire (as a campfire or in a wood stove).
7. What sound or noise do you hate? Motorcycles, snowmobiles, and the noise windshield wipers make when they’re still turned on and there’s not enough moisture on the glass.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Author, translator, social worker, or missionary medical worker.
9. What profession would you not like to attempt? Anything that requires me to spend my days in a cubicle, bathed in artificial lighting.
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Welcome and well done! Here’s your map of those places you didn’t get a chance to see in human form but can still visit from Heaven; now, let’s get those questions answered!”