Ten Sunshine Things About Me

Sandra aka RayaHere is the wind-up to the conditions outlined Paula Tohline Calhoun’s Monday Joy post in Reflections from a Cloudy Mirror…ten happy things about me that you might not have known.  This post is the sequel to Yikes, Another Award!

1.  Most people don’t know that I am the mother of two incredibly talented children, not kids anymore, although they always will be kids to me.  My daughter Laurie is working on her Master’s in biology and is already a P.Biol. with her own consulting business, servicing a lot of the oil industry (making sure they leave their oil well sites as clean and with as little impact on the ecology as possible).  In Canada, that is government-enforced.  My son Tom is an oilfield accountant.

2.  I am meeting Tom’s girlfriend for the first time in two weeks.  I am very excited, because she and I have corresponded online and I like her very much.

3.  I have been married three times and not one of them was a Canadian!  The first was a Scotsman.  Being married to him was like watching a Brit movie…I didn’t understand a word the man said for the first 10 months 😛

4.  The second husband was a sweet young New Zealander with another lovely accent.  It was more understandable though.  He couldn’t handle the age difference and my disabilities, but I didn’t blame him.  We had fun while it lasted, played like kids and relaxed.

5.  The third husband is a little closer to home, although he still has an accent.  Wertaf (his role-playing game name) is an American…naturally he insists that I’m the one who has an accent, and this even while we are living in the heartland of Canada lol  He’s a keeper.  We’ve been married almost five years now.  He is considerably younger than me but doesn’t seem it 🙂

6.  At the age of five, while my dad was away on a fishing trip with the other game wardens to get enough food for the sled dogs for the winter, my mom and I ran out of food.  We were living 52 miles from the nearest habitations and our two-way radio was broken.  I scouted out coveys of partridge sitting on tree branches, ran back to Mom to guide her to them.

7.  Mom shot a rifle that she had never shot before, and I cleaned and dressed the birds that she accidentally killed (she wasn’t a very good shot, but I was too small to hold the gun).  We feasted on roast partridge, baked partridge, fried partridge, broiled partridge, partridge stew, etc.  for a couple of weeks until our winter supply of food arrived. 

Flag of Calgary

Flag of Calgary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

8.  I was the all-night DJ on a large middle-of-the-road music station for a few years in Calgary, Alberta, Canada back in the ’70s and ’80s.  I had a party every night.  When the kids were staying with me (they were quite small then), I bedded them down on the plush carpet in the client music room.  It had a radio monitor and they could listen to me on air while they fell asleep.  They loved doing that and were quite proud of me for being a DJ.  Apparently that is quite cool.

9.  My mom managed to stay awake until midnight every night that I was on air.  I would play one of her favorite songs right after the news (she loved “Music Box Dancer” by Frank Mills, so it got more airplay than it actually should have 😛 ).  Then she would feel peaceful and drift off to sleep.

10.  I used to be an amateur long distance swimmer.  The longest distance I ever swam was five miles.  I was pretty tired at the end of that, but I loved doing it.  One of my girlhood heroes was Marilyn Bell, who was a Canadian Olympic swimmer and the first women to swim across Lake Ontario.  Imagine!  I didn’t have dreams as big as that.  I was just glad I could swim my five miles.

There ya have it, folks.  Ten little known facts outside my family and close friends.   Remember, you read it here first!

And with that, I have fulfilled all three of the Sunshine Award requirements.  Thank you all for your support and encouragement.


25 responses to “Ten Sunshine Things About Me

  1. You are a most interesting person! Thanks for sharing. I’m happy to be following your blog. 🙂


  2. An all night DJ…how cool is that! I’ll bet you have lots of stories to tell about those days!


    • Oh, yeah, I do. One quick one is the night an “admirer” broke through the downstairs plate glass window to get at me. Fortunately, the station door itself was made of solid oak and impossible to break through. It was also somewhat soundproof, plus I was in the broadcast booth, which is totally soundproof, so I didn’t hear a thing.

      After that, the station’s engineer installed a button on the control panel which lit up whenever anyone entered the station.


  3. I love all about you. You re a great mom, I like the sweet moment in your kids story ( number 8 ) and quite interesring to know you was a good swimmer.
    All the best to you with Sunshine award


    • Oh, Tram, hi. I forgot you were a member of Fantasyfic on WordPress. Good thing I said nice things about you, eh? I’ve got tons of stories about Tom, but I’ll tell you those when you come to visit 😉

      Thanks for your kind words. *hug*


  4. I am really glad now that I passed the award on – otherwise I would never have known such neat and interestiung things about you and your life! I am impressed with the notion that you trained three husbands. Must be hard to let them go once you have them broken in! 😆

    So good to know you are Canadian – I don’t know how I have missed that through all these months! Anyway, if you have any friends in P.E.I., would you ask them to please log on to my blog so I can get their “flag” crossed off my “Flag-Counter” list? 😆 One other province-flag in Canada I have yet to collect is Labrador. Know anyone there with internet connections? I even got someone from Nunavut! Seems to me like PEI and Labrador would be a piece of cake!

    Where did you live in Canada as a child that you needed radio communications, and had to wait for food supplies? What did your Dad do? I salute anyone with that sort of hardiness. While I fancy myself quite hardy, I have a feeling I would crumble under such conditions – even during my best years of health! I am very spoiled. Also, I love to swim, but these days just getting across one length of a pool wears me out! 😦 And even during those same best years, I could not have swum for 1 mile – let alone 5! Good on you!

    Thanks so much for participating, Sandra! It was so worth it for me!


    • Sorry, Paula, I don’t know anyone in PEI or Labrador (which is actually a part of the province of Newfoundland – the correct name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador). However, if I come across one in my travels, I will ask them to visit your site.

      As for husbands, I’m not sure who trained whom! It was actually very neat knowing all three of them: they were interesting people. However, a fair amount of heartbreak was involved in the final analysis, but you’re right, it was hard in some ways to let the first two go. When you love someone, IMO it’s forever.

      However, I’m very happy to have my third husband. Third time is the winner, and he takes all 🙂 He is handsome, kind, gentle, fierce, organized, a leader, loves me deeply, and treats me like a queen. I love him to pieces.

      The place we lived in the episode I’m talking about was Wood Buffalo Park in the Northwest Territories, 52 miles north of Fort Smith. My dad was the federal game warden for this huge game preserve, and we lived at the warden’s outpost at the entrance to the park. In the winter, quite often the road to Fort Smith was impassable, so it was necessary to have a year’s supply of food, as well as a two-way radio (they didn’t have phone lines to this remote area back then). One interesting thing of note is that winter temperatures were extremely cold. We considered 50 below F to be usual. But every so often we got temps as low as 75 below F. That’s when you didn’t go out unless you had to and especially not if you had a cold. If you breathed through your mouth you would freeze your lungs.

      As for swimming, I was 18 at the time and in very good physical shape, so I didn’t get tired very easily. Now, I would be tired out just climbing down the ladder into the pool (no way would I dive in these days :P).

      I’m glad you are enjoying this, Paula. Me too 😀


  5. Saw your comment on NRHatch’s blog and had to see for myself how quickly your site loaded for me. It was very quick–not a problem. Of course you don’t really have all that many graphics and animated things on your site.
    All night DJ. Sounds like a fantasy job that I could dig.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out


    • Holy Toledo, you follow a LOT of blogs! Surely you don’t get time to read them all, do you? Fascinating names, some of them. I’ll have to have a peek when I have time.

      The all-night DJ gig was great fun. I got to meet some very interesting people, including Jersey Joe Walcott and Sugar Ray Leonard. Jersey Joe was especially endearing.

      However, there was a price to pay…having to sleep during the day, whole body cycle turned around, eating routines disrupted (steak at 7am lol). I was willing to pay the price though and thoroughly enjoyed my job as long as it lasted.

      Thanks so much for your kindness in taking the time to test my loading speed and leaving a comment.


  6. Wonderful factoids about your personal history, Sandra.

    I’m impressed that you and your mom survived being without food by popping partridges from the “pear tree.”

    BTW: Your blog loads FINE . . . no worries, mate. G’day!


    • Looking back on it, I am impressed too. At the time, it just seemed natural. Dad taught me a lot of woodsy things, including how to gut and clean a partridge (also other game birds and fish).

      Mom was pretty spunky, and even though she had shot rifles before, they had been smaller ones. Dad’s rifle knocked her on her butt a couple of times until she got the hang of it. Surprisingly enough, the partridges would fly up a little bit when the gun went off, then settle back down on the tree limb in the same spot. That’s probably what saved our bacon, if you’ll pardon the expression 🙂

      Glad my site loads easily. I’d hate to have people shun me because of slow loading. Thanks for checking it out.


  7. Wonderful to read. I wish I had such interesting stories, but alas, I don’t.


  8. Wow, your life reads like Rudyard Kipling. I’m impressed. Oddly, I just learned about Marilyn Bell myself recently, quite by accident. Both of you are quite fascinating! 🙂


    • Thanks, Anna. I don’t know about Rudyard Kipling, but I have led quite an interesting life. The lessons I have learned are big, even the ones that hurt during the learning. I have to say you’re pretty fascinating yourself, with your great sense of humor and your tales of your very unusual boyfriend. Glad you will be writing about Dani soon again 🙂


  9. I especially love 8 and 9. Thanks for sharing so much of the rich life you live.


    • I didn’t know that it was cool to have a DJ mom at the time…found that out later. But I knew that the kids loved coming to the station and falling asleep listening to me. Also, my friends enjoyed telling their friends to turn the radio on so they listen to me. “Oh, guest on a show?” the other friends would enquire. “No, she’s the DJ,” they would say and grin. It was quite common to for people to come up to me and tell me that they had slept with me the preceding night. It was just a lot of fun all the way around.

      I am glad to be sharing parts of my life, but I am surprised that people are enjoying it so much…pleased, though 🙂 You should write about your life, Janet. From journalist and author back to animal lover and equestrian. There’s a story, I’d like to hear. Oh wait, I can, just by reading your blog 😛


  10. From the moment we first virtually met in Dan’s Blog class, I knew you were special. These ten fasinating facts about you prove it! Wow…a night shift DJ…makes me wonder if on those late nights back then if my radio picked up your station as the old AM stations used to travel pretty far. Hugs and Honey Cheers to you! HQ


    • It could be, HQ. I was on-air from about 1979 to 1982 as the all-night DJ. However, as I recall, our signal was sent north at night and south during the day. I got fan mail from as far away as Denmark. On a clear night, the signal would skip right over the North Pole. That was pretty exciting.




  11. Your life has been very interesting thus far!


    • Yup, it has. Sometimes I could wish that it wasn’t quite so “interesting,” but for the most part it has been pretty enjoyable. People like you (well, dogs like you) and my other followers make this part of my life really fun 😀


  12. Hey girl! Where you been? Start writing already! 😆

    BTW, you got a mention in my post for today – 4/29/2012. Here’s the link:



    • I’ve been busy trying to redistribute parts of my physical body. Doesn’t work. I think I’m the only person on the world who can choke on their own spit and trip over nothing and fall on the garage floor. It makes me feel somewhat…inadequate.

      Anyhow, I’m recovering nicely, except for a hole in my knee and various scrapes, bruises and stretched muscles and tendons. See? Just for a trip to cement. Good thing it wasn’t ice, which is just as unforgiving and you can slide longer.

      Loved your poem. You should publish your work as Gilbert & Sullivan updated lol.


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