10 Extremely Random Jenny Things

I’m just now getting my act together on some blog awards and there will be more on that in the coming weeks. I’m so excited about them but, before Gene Lempp’s post on 9/4, I wasn’t completely sure what to do with them. (Yeah, I know…I teach software but was clueless on blog awards. Go figure.)

Between Gene and Catie Rhodes’ post last Monday, it seemed it was time for a 10 Random Things About Me post.


1.    My favorite drink is coffee.

With cream and a Splenda (or sugar) if you’re ever making me a cup. 🙂 I could drink coffee all day long but I don’t because it would be extraordinarily bad for me (you’ll find out why a few points down). I struggle to drink enough water each day and I usually do it by disguising it as minty green tea or adding lemon. I really dislike the taste of most water.

2.    My favorite food is anything cool with potatoes.

I don’t get to eat nearly as many potatoes as I’d like to because I worry about my weight but if you fry or mash or shred up a potato, I’m so in. Y’all might argue with me, but I’m convinced that In N’ Out Burger has THE BEST fries in the history of fry-making and I love sweet-potato fries with a passion. I’ll rarely crave chocolate but I’ll always shove three people out of my way for some great potatoes.

3.    My guy says I’m more of a “dude” than he is.

I grew up with a big brother and am extremely comfortable with men. I also work the computer software field, which is predominantly male. There are times that my honey reminds me to be more patient and sensitive and, well, “girly.” It doesn’t mean I don’t love a good chat with my BFF’s…I do. But a lot of them are pretty cut and dried females as well. Though I like to dress up (once in a while), overall I’m more of a t-shirt and flip-flops kinda gal.


4.    My first job ever was at Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

My forearms killed me for the first three weeks of that job. You used to get two free scoops for every shift you worked and my family LOVED it. I trained in the Beverly Hills store and worked most of the time in the Beverlywood store. The most famous patrons I served were Melissa Gilbert (Laura on Little House on the Prairie), Mitch Gaylord (Olympic gymnast) and Linda Lavin (title character in Alice). Ah, to grow up in Los Angeles…

5.    My first teaching job was with autistic children.

I worked as an Autism Specialist with the Judevine Center for Autism out of St. Louis. I was part of the Autism Project in Columbia, MO (where I went to college) with a caseload of kids ages 3-19. It was the most interesting and creative job I ever had. Whenever I mention my work with autistic kids, people ask me if I ever use that knowledge. Without fail, my answer is “every day!


6.    I’ve had a near-death experience.

For those of you that read my post on Judgment Day Bucket Lists, you know that I was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder in my late 30’s. The big trouble with that was I discovered it by getting blood clots: DVT’s in each leg and the one in my right leg shattered and sent about 50 blood clots to my lungs. My doctor calls me his “one-percenter” (this is the number of people who survive my scenario) and I feel extremely lucky to be alive.

Blood clots SUCK. Drink lots of water and don’t dehydrate yourself drinking coffee all day long. (See, back to #1!) Get up, move around. Wear compression hose on planes and long car rides. If you really want the key elements to a healthy lifestyle, go read this post by Kristen Lamb.


7.    I was raised as a Youngest, Only and Middle child.

I have one “full” sibling, three “half” siblings and no step-siblings. While I don’t ever think of full vs. half, it was interesting to hold so many sibling roles as a kid. My big brother is two years older than me and we lived with separate parents from the time I was eight years old. At fifteen, I met my oldest half-sibling and welcomed my younger sister into the world. Surreal.

8.    My husband and I have large families.

His father was the youngest of 11 children. My mother was one of four siblings. Her mother was one of eight children. Family gatherings, at least on my husband’s side are usually a minimum of 50-60 people. We get at least 25-30 going on my mom’s side where everyone is a bit spread out. Though we’re up to 60+ for family reunions on my side, a reunion on my husband’s side is an all-out party of more than 100 people. Our family is a tremendous comfort to us because all of our connected parents are deceased.


9.    Like most writers, my favorite hobby is reading.

I also love to knit, garden and scuba dive. Though knitting has been a bit harder to do since the pregnancy carpal tunnel, I find knitting to be so creative and I wish I was better at it. The highlight of my garden this year was the blueberry bush and the zucchini plant. My cucumbers did zilch. Ditto on my blackberry bush. Last but not least, I haven’t been diving since my pulmonary emboli but it’s on my list of activities to get back into. My favorite dive was the reef in Cozumel – I saw two gorgeous sea horses when I swam through a cavern in the reef.

10.  There’s rarely less than 100 bottles of wine in my house.

I belong to four wine clubs whose wine I love – Gelfand Vineyards, Paraduxx (limited membership), Consilience Wines and Castoro Cellars. That supplies us with our reds and we buy the whites as we go along. Our favorite white is Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc. I love to be able to go to my wine rack and pick out the perfect wine for whatever meal I’ve made.

Before you start thinking I’m too saucy, we also give wine as gifts and take wine with us when we go to restaurants. I’d rather pay the corkage fee and KNOW I’m getting a great bottle of wine. Plus it saves us tons of money…restaurant wine mark-up is usually 400%.

In a nod to Catie, who encouraged me in this idea with her post, today you’re invited to post one (or more) random things about yourself. If you want to make a post out of this on your own blog, consider yourself tagged and get busy with it. I love hearing from you, and I can’t wait to read the comments!

Also, since this is a Life List Club Milestone week, I am giving a prize out to one new subscriber between now and the end of September. If you haven’t clicked on the subscribe button in the upper right sidebar yet, please do it. My prize for all you bloggers is a guest post. Who doesn’t want to have a free blog post in the bag?

Happy Monday!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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41 Responses to 10 Extremely Random Jenny Things

  1. Laura Drake says:

    And here I thought I knew everything about you! I did, however, know you’re the wine Godess.

    I lived in a log cabin in upper Michigan for a year with no stove, no washer and dryer, only wood burning stove for heat that WE had to cut wood for.

    One of my first jobs was at Cedar Point, a amusement park in Ohio. Back then they housed workers on the site in firetrap dorms. They had dances on Tuesday nights for the college-age workers. Some of the best fun I ever had – kind of a 50’s throwback summer.


  2. Glad you were in the one per cent.


  3. Gene Lempp says:

    I also am the only, oldest and youngest, missed on middle though. I’d go into it more but it is convuluted and would take awhile. But. Thanks, grandparents.

    Thanks for the link love. The awards piece seems to have helped a great many people 🙂


  4. Nice to learn so much about you Jenny!


  5. amyshojai says:

    Coffee AND wine–we’re Siamese twins separated at…oh never mind.


  6. amy kennedy says:

    I love your random things — and it has to be inspiring every day that you were his 1%.

    After my parent’s divorce I lived with my mom (and about 10 other people) in a paraschycology study center. It seemed fairly normal at the time — 11 year olds can adapt, I guess — I would go to regular school and then some of the evenings I would have other classes, like: handwriting analysis, or numerology. I blog about it sometimes — even wrote my first YA loosely based on the place (the heroine in the book had far greater adventures than I ever did).


  7. Hartford says:

    Loved your random facts and getting to know you better. Here, here to David’s comment about you being in the one percent – wow – what an experience. I can’t imagine…


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks, Natalie! You are a sweetie pie. And trust me, you deal with what you have to deal with when the time comes. I won’t deny that the whole experience scared the crap out of me. *lifting a glass to luck and God’s grace*


  8. So glad you were in that 1% Jenny! Love your randomness 🙂


  9. I’m so part dude and part girly. 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one. I also love the bit about the wine. I didn’t really know you could bring your own wine to a restaurant and pay a corking fee. Learned something new today.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL, NIcole. You can absolutely pay a corkage fee at most restaurants (at least most of them here in the States). It’s usually between $10-25 per bottle. We went to one restaurant that would just have you rent your glass. That was awesome because they didn’t care how many bottles you opened. Some places will have a two bottle max as well.

      And no, you aren’t remotely the only one here with a dude/girly combo. 🙂


  10. Jenny,
    I’m so glad I got to learn a bit more about you! You are an amazing gal and have created a terrific life. I’m an avid container gardener, and this year was a lot of fun (got raspberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, string beans, and tons of morning glories, but struck out on peppers for some reason). You live in a great growing area – around here, we’re starting to gear up for the annuals dying off.

    Enjoy that wine cellar, too!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I didn’t know you were a container gardener! I’m thinking of checking that out this year for my tomatoes since you have to change the soil out each year. I WISH I had a wine cellar, but alas, I just have three beautiful wine racks that we keep against the coolest wall in our house. 🙂


  11. Wow. A 1%er. My mom is a 4%er, dating to a brain aneurysm in 1972. As a result, survival stories have a place near and dear to my heart. Glad you’re an odds breaker!

    I’m with you on #3.

    And #10 makes me want to come over. For a weekend!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Leanne, that’s wonderful about your mom. God, a brain aneurysm is SO hard to rehabilitate on…I’m so happy for you (and your mama)!

      I absolutely pegged you for #3. That’s funny. 🙂 So, definitely you need to come on over and have some wine.


  12. How great it is to learn more about you! And thank goodness you are a 1%er. What a blessing. I’m with you on #1, but I do like water too. As for #10, when can we come over? 🙂


  13. Count me in with being thankful you’re in the 1%, Jenny!

    A random thing? When my mom was pregnant with me she used to watch the birds outside her window and fell in love with the little red ones. She thought they were so beautiful and decided to name me Robin after them. Except they weren’t Robins, they were Cardinals. So even though my middle name is Robin, I’m named for the Cardinals.


  14. Jess Witkins says:

    Love these 10 randoms posts cause I get to know more about everyone. Glad you were in that 1% and survived, that is a very scary health concern. But turning your water to green tea is an excellent idea, it’s so good for you. And that’s really interesting about your family, how big both sides are and how you grew up in multiple rows. I bet family reunions are really hard to schedule, but lots of fun when they roll around! Nice to get to know you more Jenny!

    Here’s my post on my 10 randoms: http://jesswords10.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/10-random-facts-about-me/


  15. Theresa Montana Sabo says:

    Hey Jen, I loved your post. Like having an long chat with an old friend.
    One random thing about me: My husband almost missed the birth of our second child because he was outside the hospital building having a “picnic” of tuna fish on the grounds, so he could not hear the frantic pages to come to the labor and delivery area. And yes he got an earful when he finally rambled into the birthing suite. To this day, Hannah will not eat fish or seafood.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I miss you so, Theresa. Thanks for stopping in and giving me a random thing. Oh, I’ll bet Larry got an INTENSE earful when he came back. Can’t imagine living in SoCal and eating no seafood! There’s the single bright spot on the move. (I’ve been searching for one to make me feel better *pouting*)


  16. 100 bottles of wine??? You’re my hero!


  17. Your life sounds pretty awesome, except that whole blood clot thing. That would suck big time. Super glad you’re a 1%er!

    Here’s something a little random – my very first job was at Baskin Robbins! I was 15, made $1.85 an hour and thought I was the grooviest chick on the planet. Until I turned 16 and got hired at the Gyros place where all the cool punk kids worked. Funny thing is, I still eat Gyros as often as I can, but rarely eat ice cream. I have nightmares involving scoopers and banana splits. *shudder*


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s so funny, Tameri! Do you remember making those cakes? My God, I spent hours learning to write with frosting. I’m still pretty good at it. 🙂 I have to confess I still LOVE Pistachio Almond and Nutty Coconut.

      I do like my life and I try to appreciate it every day.


  18. LOL. I’m not a big water fan either. I have to make myself drink it. I usually do some cold brew tea or at least a squeeze of lemon. A good water filter is a must for me. And I so dig sweet potato fries. Well, pretty much sweet potato anything. Love to make sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas.


  19. Lena Corazon says:

    This is a great list, Jenny, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re in that 1%. My ex used to joke that despite my girly-girl-ness, I could be more of a dude than him (a 12 year old boy, I think he called me, based on my tendency to gush about video games and comic books). :p

    Your love of potatoes totally reminds me of my mom, who will never, ever turn down a potato. She frequently requests that my dad add potatoes into his food when he cooks, but being Filipino, jasmine rice is his starch of choice. My sister and I take after him.

    Let’s see, a random thing… I once spent 3 nights in the barracks at West Point, where I was visiting for a national conference on ethics in higher education. As a civilian, it was a crazy experience being woken up by the bugle call, eating meals in the mess hall, and watching football in the “Firsties Club.”


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