First, tell us a little about yourself? Today is my 61st birthday, but I feel 40 inside. Where did the time go? Oh yeah, being married to my childhood sweetheart for 43 years, raising 7 children and enjoying 5 grandchildren. I was a senior shorthand stenographer, secretary, and then legal and medical transcriptionist (where I met Kate). My hubby is a PE teacher. I love singing, playing guitar, partial to contemporary Christian music, hymns and 60s rock. Love to dance ballroom and to 60s rock. Enjoy needlework crafts and cooking. Collect teapots, table linens and chenille bedspreads. Love 1940’s hair, makeup and fashions. Love gardening, antiquing, fleamarketing, watch HGTV food, fix-it and collectible shows. I love looking for a bargain and sharing my supershopper tips. Raising 7 kids has humbled me to appreciate other people’s struggles. God is good.
Do you consider yourself an average reader or a voracious reader, or somewhere in between? Somewhere in between. It’s hard to read when you have so many other interests keeping you busy, but I read in the car, on trips, when things are quiet.
What kinds of books do you like to read? Sweet romance, pioneer brides, wilderness survival, inspirational stories, history, biographies, how-to books, cookbooks, Jane Austen etc.
Why do you like to read? Diversion, learning, inspiration, peace.
Do you have any preference for eBooks or print books? I prefer the weight of ebooks because you can take as many as you want, but I like the history, look and feel of a real book too.
Do you read fiction, nonfiction, a mix of both? Mixture.
Do you like reading multiple genres or do you stick to only romance, mystery, inspirational, etc.? Multiple.
Do you read a book over again? Yes.
What makes a book “special” in your opinion? Warms my heart, teaches me, inspires me, entertains me, challenges me, humbles me.
As children, did you have a favorite book? The Secret Garden. My mom picked it out in our neighborhood library one day, telling me that her mom had given it to her when she was a girl and how much she liked it. I loved the story and have now shared it with all 5 of my girls, and plan to do the same with the granddaughters.
What books are on your summer reading list for those lazy days at the beach or relaxing in a hammock? I have not given it a thought, but just got a pre-loaded E-reader with quite a few to choose from and am totally open to suggestions!
Are there any other avid readers in your family? Most of my children are voracious readers and a couple even write.
Do you like to browse books in the bookstore or do you like to shop online? Both.
What draws you to a book if you are unfamiliar with the author and/or you don’t have any recommendations? Title, author page, cover art, description of story if it includes the things I mentioned above.
Do you have an all-time favorite book? The Holy Bible. Childhood: Secret Garden and My Side of the Mountain. Adult: Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke (light reading, but it really warmed my heart). Sorry, couldn’t do just one aside from the Bible.
Do you think characters’ names are important? Not really, only to a small degree. It’s the character description and fleshing out that really makes it come alive.
What about characters’ physical descriptions? Do you like specifics or would you rather leave most of it up to your imagination? I like a general description.
Happy endings or endings true to life, which do you prefer? Does one automatically preclude the other? Who’s to say what is a happy ending? Sometimes bittersweet is a wonderful place to be in life because you learn and grow. I read for pleasure, so I don’t want violent sad conclusions to a story. I can see that on the news.
Have you ever read a book and thought it would make a great movie? Yes, two. Love Comes Softly and Lord of the Rings — then they were made into movies!
On the other hand, have you seen any movies based on books and thought the book was better? The book is always better.
Have you ever read a book and “seen” specific actors/actresses playing certain roles while you read? Only occasionally.
Have you ever thought about writing a book? YES.
Please tell us about your children and some of their endeavors. I hear creativity runs in your family.
- Michael: Artist of drawings, wood carvings and paintings. Scholar. Quietly sensitive introvert, thoughtful, sensitive and deep. Athlete, gentle family man, sole proprieter of his own game and comic store (Toy Soldier, Amesbury Mass), intelligent creative businessman.
- Jeremy: Amazing. Can create or repair anything with little instruction. Can draw and design, plan meticulous details in orderly fashion. Devoted spiritual family man. Plays drums, trumpet, guitar, banjo, harmonica. Juggles. Construction site supervisor turned computer geek. WITTY and funny.
- Mandy: Independent, intelligent, insightful, hard-working/responsible, fashionable, caring, devoted to friends and family, giving. Regional trainer for Modell’s Sporting Goods managers and employees. Good eye for design.
- Jen: Artistic/photographer (J.L.Gould.com), sensitive, dedicated, loyal, nonconformist, intelligent, vegetarian. Loves animals. Has done some writing. Enjoys crafts.
- Heidi: Sweet, humbly beautiful, domestic, loving, giving, caring. Good eye for decorating and display. Listmaker. Capable but timid to upset status quo. Green thumb. Great organizer with eye for detail.
- Jodilynn: Fantastic writer, hard worker, determined, ambitious, sweet, kind, responsible, goal-oriented, loyal. Manages two Starbucks stores while being a full-time college student. Fantastic time manager. Impresses me!
- Jonna: FUNNY and many times inappropriately witty. Responsible worker, Funny. Loyal to family and friends. Funny. Resourceful. Funny. Capable. Funny. Smart. Funny. Stubborn. Risk taker. Is maturing into a responsible adult. Oh, and did I say funny?
In Sue’s Words:
I just had a near-perfect day because family surrounded me on my birthday. “Near-“perfect because our oldest son lives several states away and could not make it. My family is my life and I am so thankful for them.
Over 40 years ago my husband decided to go to college when we had no money and 3 children. We moved away on faith and God provided. Another child was born while at college. Necessity became the mother of invention, and I learned to make inexpensive healthy meals and sew my children’s clothing. I became a coupon queen and not only saved lots of money through couponing and refunding, but also taught college classes on the subject, wrote and sold a manual and had 3 news crews in NY, Boston and Richmond follow me through grocery stores filming my savings for the news. This was long before Extreme Couponing or home computers. We now have 7 children who have grown and left the nest. I still like to pinch pennies so I can stretch our money and splurge on a cruise from time to time. I have a facebook page about Frugal Living where members can share ideas. Examples: I make my own laundry detergent for pennies and it works very well. I save seeds from store veggies and plant them. I make sock monkeys as gifts or to sell. I have learned how to make wonderful mittens from old woolen sweaters and sell them at craft fairs for more money than I would ever pay for them! Vinegar kills ants, cleans toilets and kitchens, and is a great cheap substitute for dishwasher rinsing agent. Add a little essential oil to a 50:50 vinegar and water mix to make the scent pleasant.
It was difficult to find time to read while raising a large family, but we made a decision to give away our television set, and that made a huge difference in our family. We did more things together and the kids used their imaginations to play. Each night my husband would read from The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, or Chronicles of Narnia series. The children would sit and listen intently and draw pictures about what they imagined the story was saying. Maybe that is why so many of them love to read and draw now. I started reading a lot of Christian inspirational stories from authors like Janette Oke. Love Comes Softly was the first story that found a special place in my heart. I am a sucker for Mail-Order Bride stories where the bride faces hardships but overcomes with a pioneering spirit. I guess I am an optimist and romantic at heart.
Another childhood favorite of mine was My Side of the Mountain, which was about a young boy who left home to find his old family homestead in the Catskills Mountains of NY. He decided to live on his own in the woods, catching fish, making a home inside a huge tree, training a hawk to do his hunting, foraging wild edibles, digging up clay in the river to make pots and a stove. I was fascinated by his ingenuity and resourcefulness. It inspired me at age 12 to rise very early in the morning, take my fishing pole and walk to a nearby river surrounded by woods. I would build a small fire, catch a fish, cook it and imagine I was living off the land. I even found wild lemon grass and onions to put in the pan. It made me very happy.
Thanks for visiting. I’ve had a great time getting to know you even more. Oh, and hope you had a happy birthday, Sue!