What you didn't know about me
Hi! My name is Cat
Ok. So my name is Catherine, but you can call me Cat (or Othercat). And this is a lens all about me! It's sort of like a mini lensography and a biography all rolled into one. So let's get started, shall we?
A really really really long time ago (about 30'some years, lol) I was born in an abandoned church somewhere outside of Cambridge, England. At least that's the story I've been told. It was probably just an old barn somewhere, but I'm going to maintain that it was a church because it's always made me feel special. My birth is actually a funny story that includes a clueless ambulance driver, a blind nurse, and my Dad having to play doctor. But I don't want to bore you.....
Within a couple years, we moved to the states. Rapid City, SD to be exact. And that's where I stayed for the next 20-odd years. During this time I gained 2 step-parents, 7 siblings, 1 lifelong best friend, 17 dogs (blame my dad), 6 cats (blame my step-mom), 2 ex-husbands, 1 mental condition, 4 beautiful children and around 809,222,400 memories.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast, I moved to Mississippi to help with the rebuild. During the three years I stayed, I gained 7 dogs (ok. You can blame those on me.), bunches and bunches of money, a bad gambling habit (bye bye money), and another husband (this one's a keeper) .
And for the last 4 years I've been living with my husband in his tiny little hometown of Jefferson, NC. Don't bother trying to find it on a map. You'll just hurt your eyes.
When I grow up
As a child I always wanted to be a veterinarian. Then at a school sponsored go-to-work-day, I got to tag along with a real veterinarian. I was fine until he started to SKIPPING THE GORY DETAILS! When I got done throwing up, I decided I just wanted to be a wife and a mother.
My favorite activities
I'm interested in a lot of things.
I scrap booked my recipes!
Cooking is a passion of mine. I love creating new recipes and tweaking old ones. I love watching someones face the first time they bite into one of my new creations. My cooking skills are a source of pride for me. (Of course, that doesn't mean I never mess up. 2 years ago I made banana bread and, forgetting that bread rises, I put the whole mix into one pan. You should've seen that mess! And a month ago I made a gazpacho that even the dog -who eats his own poop- wouldn't eat.)
- Reading Ever since I was a child I've loved to read. By the time I was 14 my personal library had grown to include over 2000 books.
Arts and Crafts I think I just love to create. I usually learn something new and do it for a couple months. Then I move on to something else. So far I've tried knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting, scrap booking, wood working, sewing, beading, making jewelry, making scale models of ordinary items, building model rockets (from scratch), building model cars and planes (from kits), glass blowing, etching on tin foil, and probably some more that I just can't think of right now.
Hiking and Camping I grew up camping all over western South Dakota. I just love it. When we can't camp, we hike instead. North Carolina is filled with beautiful trails and we make good use of them.
Playing/Working on the Computer In February 2008, I didn't even know how to turn a computer on. Within a year, I was a complete junkie, staying on 12-16 hours a day, skipping meals, & forgetting to do the laundry. Within 2 years, I was earning enough that I could keep a straight face when I said I worked online. Within 3 years, I was writing my own code and helping others who were just getting started with writing online. Within 4 years, I was supporting my family with my online earnings. And now 5 years later, I've written over 250 articles, I'm published in a book, I've been asked on 2 tv shows and I have my own website.
Gardening Before I came to North Carolina, the biggest garden I'd ever tended grew just enough veggies to make one pot of soup. But that was there, and this is here. Here, we only eat the veggies we grow. So I'm now the proud owner of two very large gardens (one is the size of a football field!).
- Chocolate Doritos Just wanted to see if you're still reading. I know it's a long list but wouldn't a short one make me a very boring person? And I actually do like ranch doritos dipped in chocolate frosting. Okay, now. Before you wrinkle your nose and say "Eww", go get yourself a Ranch Dorito and dip just the corner into some chocolate frosting. Now close your eyes and take a bite.
See? I told you it was delicious!
- Spoiling my Dog My chihuahua Lexie is a huge part of my life. She spends every minute by my side. She had a bad puppyhood. So I try to shower her with attention and love. I've made so many lenses about her, she has her own Lexie Lensography.
- Paperwork You think I'm a total geek now, right? I can't help it. I love doing paperwork. Any kind of paperwork. As a child I used to ask my teachers for their extra worksheets so I'd have something to do during the summer. As an adult, all my friends and family come to me when they have any sort of forms to fill out. Nothing makes me smile like a stack of paperwork. Except maybe.....
- List-making I'm a total list-maker. I even make lists about the lists I want to make. And lists about the lists I need to make. And lists about the lists I'm actually going to make. And......well, you get the picture.
- Organizing My husband says he's with me for my organizing skills. That's ok. I'm with him for his looks. Just kidding! But, seriously, I believe everything should have it's own space. And if things are organized, it just makes things easier.
- Shopping Actually, it's the pre-shopping I like more. I love clipping coupons and searching the internet for the best deals. I'm also quite addicted to online shopping.
John, me and Lexie hiking at Cascade Falls
Butter Yuck! I don't like anything about it. The look, the feel, the smell and especially the taste. If I didn't need it for baking, I would ban it from the house.
Olives I don't even like thinking about them. In fact, I might just put the word inside a spoiler box because just looking at it reminds me of the time my Dad gave me $5 to eat an olive and I SKIPPING THE GORY DETAILS So, after I washed off the $5 bill, I decided that was the last olive I would ever eat.
Milk I can't stand the taste of plain milk. I buy a half gallon every two weeks just to use for baking and cooking and when it expires, I usually have 1/2 the jug left. Sometimes I can drink it if I add chocolate, but plain milk.....yuck!
Liars I hate being lied to. I don't lie. I expect the same from everyone else.
Being Tickled When I was 8, my sister was tickling me and I told her to stop because I was going to pee my pants. But she wouldn't stop and so I peed my pants. And now I hate being tickled.
Dead Things I have no problem killing mice, bugs, snakes or anything like that. But don't expect me to pick them up afterward.
My Worst Fears
The dark makes me scream
Germs. I'm terrified of germs. Especially germs found in dairy products.
Fish. I won't swim in lakes because I'm scared the fish are going to nibble on my toes.
My Role Models
There were two people who made a lasting impression and really made me want to do something with my life.
The first was my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Bay-Borelli. That year was one of the worst in my life. My Mom moved away and took my little brother and sister with her. And less than a month later my closest sister was sent to Iowa to live with an uncle. Mrs. Bay-Borelli saw me acting out and instead of just ignoring the problem, she took me under her wing. She gave me a journal and told me to write all my feelings in it. A couple times a week I would give her the journal to read and she would comment in it. When I wanted to start a recycling club at school, she encouraged me and gave me the confidence I needed to see it through. She made me want to always do my best. To this day, every time I think about her, I get the urge to better my life. So, if you're reading this Mrs. Bay-Borelli, just know that you touched my life so deeply I can still feel it.
The second person who made a deep impact on my life is a guy I called Big Joe. I met him when I was 14. By that time my home life had gotten so bad that I started running away. After running away too many times, I (thankfully) got sent to a girls home. But first I had to wait in the Juvenile Detention Center for 4 months. And that's where I met Big Joe. He was a recovering alcoholic who used to come around and talk to all the kids. And he would really talk to us. He didn't treat us like kids. That's what I loved about him. So, Big Joe would talk to me and, because he never lied, I believed him when he told me I was a good person.
When I got out of the girls home a couple years later, part of my probation was to attend a youth group. What a great surprise it was when I found out Big Joe was the leader! So I would come to the youth group and talk to everyone about my problems. And then I would stay late so me and Big Joe could talk. I kept going for three years after I got off probation. And when the group ended, Big Joe said to come to his house any time. Since then, whenever things aren't going so good, I go talk to Big Joe. And every single time, he helps me find a solution. I really don't know what I would have done without him.
My kiddos - My pride and joy
These two are the loves of my life. I fully believe the sole reason I was put on this earth was to create these wonderful kids.
The last 3 things I bought at Amazon - How else was I supposed to feature Amazon on a lens about me?
I bet you thought I was kidding about the big K'Nex fly hanging from the ceiling staring at me.
Why do I Squidoo?
When I first got started on Squidoo, I just wanted to write. Because I had no focus, my first few lenses (now deleted) were truly awful (sorry about that!). So after a long break, I came back and started writing about things that mattered to me, like animals, herbs, and the many things I buy. Then I realized I could actually help people through my writing, so I started writing more personal stories.
Can you believe the difference?Click thumbnail to view full-size
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I hope you enjoyed getting to know me. If you would like to learn more about other lensmasters (and let us learn more about you!), please visit Getting to Know Your Fellow Lensmasters.