1. My wife is pregnant with our baby boy and we have given him the name after Sam's mother Jude who is a strong source of wisdom and peace. I am aware of the increasing size of my wife's belly as we are at the 6 month cusp and still I cannot fathom the reality of what is to come. I have used a string to mark Sam's tummy growth which is measured by way of knots for each week.
2. I met my wife in the most curious way, 10 years ago on a penpal site on the web before all those dating sites sprang up. I responded to her profile based on her wonderful brief summary description without knowing even what she looked like. It was at least a month of writing two page letters each day that I got her picture in a package she sent to me by mail. We moved in and out of writing for years, through various relationships and different stages in our lives and somehow I convinced her to visit me in Ca from Canada for a week with Isabella and convinced her to marry me. Bizzare world indeed.
3. I feel most alive when I am gardening vegetables. I once had a small plot in Polish Hill, Pittsburgh Pa, where I tended to corn, zucchini, several varieties of tomatoes (grape, plum, yellow boy), bell peppers, and oh yes, Cinderella Pumpkins at 50 pounds each. I fell in love with eating raw vegetables right from the stem, which is something I wouldn't care to do from store bought produce.
4. I am a rockhound at heart and did not discover this truly until I moved to California. I have always sought out treasures but now I know better about where to look. I have travelled to some remote places to find a variety of geological prizes. I even found large red mica schist garnets in the river that runs through Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, extinct oyster shells 80-130 million years old in Utah, dinosaur bone in Mojave Ca, Obsidian of all sheens from Davis Creek in Ca, Topaz crystals from the great Topaz mountain in Utah, Petrified Whale bone and the list goes on.
5. I am an avid reader though not a fast one. I love to read all sorts of books, including historical fiction, nonfiction (Simon Wincester for one) and of course classics. One of my favorites is the book, The Tin Drum, by Gunter Grass which has given me the name for my shop at Etsy.
6. I am proud to say that I don't have a television at all and haven't for 4 years now. I just don't want to subscribe to commercialism and I believe it has contributed to my daughters imagination and our family spends more time together play card games at night, writing, drawing and sometimes dancing. I read that the average person will have spent 14 years of their life watching TV (Eckert Tolle).
7. I have had some very special connections with nature in my life which I took to be significant signs and I will post pictures above of two particular moments. One dealing with a coyote on a trip up to Sequoia National Park and the other with a huge desert hare in the salt flats of Wendover Utah.
8. I used to teach art at Public School 173 in Washington Heights in Manhattan, New York for 2 years and then I was a lead art instructor working with middle school students for the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, PA.
9. Living in Rome, Italy for 10 months changed my life when I was 21. Before that wonderful plane ride abroad, I had never before ridden an airplane before. The Italians taught me that life is more to be enjoyed and when life gets to you, just sit down with a gelato in hand and enjoy the view.
10. I have a love for Christmas lights and believe that they should stay up all year round and so we have them draped around the ceiling in our home. Every other light is covered in an origami box (waterbomb it's called) to create a nice lantern effect.
I will stop here for now. I don't think I can reach my wife's list of 25 but I will hopefully come back to this another time.