1. I was an Air Force kiddo, born on Westover Air Force base on July 20, 1969 - the day the men landed on the moon. After Westover, my Dad was transferred to Hawaii, where I celebrated my first birthday. While my mom was a southern girl from Memphis, TN, my dad grew up here in the Capital Region so we made it our home when I was around four years old. A few weeks every summer of my childhood was spent in Tennessee and to this day, regardless of where I travel, I am always happy to return home to New York.
2. My husband, John, and I have been together over 30 years (married for 27 of them). We have three awesome children: Alexander - 26, Lauren - 23, and Colleen - 22. Thanks to Alexander I am a proud Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) mom. Both Lauren and Colleen are artists (SUNY New Paltz 2019 and RIT 2021, respectively), making the world a more beautiful place for all.
3. I am a proud non-traditional Siena alumna. It took me ten years, but I proudly achieved my degree in 2016 at age 46. When I began my higher-education journey, it was at HVCC with the intention of earning my Bachelor's in accounting. However, this intention was lost on my HVCC advisor as I proudly accomplished my accounting classes there. I joined the Siena workforce the same time I was wrapping up my Associate's degree and was stunned to learn if I wished to continue as an accounting major I would need to retake my accounting classes as they would not transfer! Needless to say, I like accounting but I don't love accounting, so I became an English major who tremendously enjoyed every English class and Siena professor (not to mention my transferred credits!).
4. My cousin, Alan, is Elton John's Sound Manager. We have enjoyed many great shows alongside the stage! Before he became Elton's sound manager, he traveled with Kenny Loggins, who we saw at the old Starlight; Bob Dylan at the Palace; and opened the very first concert at the Knickerbocker Arena (now the Times Union Center) with Frank Sinatra. One of my favorite shows was when Elton John toured with Billy Joel – my brother and I were right at the sound board and could see the entire line-up of hits for the evening! We have been blessed to be a part of these moments and I am very grateful to Alan for his hospitality.
5. Speaking of cousins, Pygmalion author George Bernard Shaw was my great-grandmother's cousin and therefore a distant cousin of mine. Coincidentally, like my cousin I am also a writer and our daughter, Colleen, was nominated for a Schenectady Light Opera Company award for her portrayal of Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady, which is based on Pygmalion.
6. I am a tremendous Francophile and adore everything French. Christmas 2016 was spent in Paris with a return in July 2019 to turn 50 in the Gardens of Versailles. Once we are back to some semblance of normal I look forward to exploring the French countryside.
7. My paternal grandfather was a World War II 101st Airborne prisoner of war, captured in Bastogne. As a writer, I wrote a short story about him that won the 2009 Promethean Award. After I visit Bastogne during our next trip to France, I will write a sequel.
8. Our home is in South Bethlehem, just outside of Delmar. My great-grandfather built our home nearly 100 years ago but my grandparents sold it out of the family in 1983. John and I bought it back into the family in 1995 and I love everything about it. My best childhood memories are in this house and I am so grateful it is the only home our children have ever known.
9. Gardening is a tremendous passion of mine. We have over 15 floral gardens and several vegetable gardens - my Zen space is among the plants with my hands in the dirt. I greatly enjoy time in my greenhouse coaxing plants into life and am already scheming layouts for next year’s gardens.
10. When I am not in the gardens or cooking in my kitchen - another passion of mine - I love to travel and enjoy new experiences. During the pandemic this has meant many miles on our Harley Davidson, especially touring the vineyards of New York (did I mention wine is another passion?).