Last revised August 22, 2010
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Check back once in a while to see what other interesting facts and strange talents I’ve remembered or discovered.
My Interests, Hobbies, and Mental Preoccupations
- I love Christmas music – and I don’t mean “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. (See ‘Tis the Christmas music season for more about that.)
- I love Roanoke history. I have a book, purchased in 1913 by my great-grandfather, called The History of the Roanoke City Police Department. I’ve never seen another copy of it, although I expect that the Virginia Room of the Roanoke City Library has a copy – probably without the chocolate stains from when I was reading it when I was 12.
- I love word games and spend odd moments on my computer, cell phone, and iPad playing Lexulous and Words with Friends with other folks. I also enjoy playing Sudoku, but only on the computer. It drives me crazy to do it on paper.
- I love purses, and I have a fair number of them. I like them because you don’t have to get undressed to try them on, and they still fit if you gain of lose weight.
- Apparently, I like to write. At least, I seem to be spending a fair amount of time doing it lately!
My Greatest Accomplishments
- Finding more and more things for which to be grateful.
- Making new and different mistakes instead of making the same ones over and over.
- Helping my parents pass from this life as closely as possible to the way they wanted to go. See “On caring for elderly parents” for more about that.
Drinking Diet Coke.
Things I Find It Ridiculously Difficult to Do
- Avoid buying and reading fashion and gossip magazines. I am tremendously embarrassed by this…but not enough to quit.
- Refrain from checking my e-mail while driving.
- Leave any Jif Extra Crunchy in the jar.
- Have fewer than two cans of soda open at a time.
Odd Physical Attributes & Talents
- I can count to 31 on one hand. (Thanks to my beloved spouse, who taught me binary. The pinkie is the least significant digit.)
- Related fact: Most of my fingers are double-jointed.
- I’ve worn glasses since I was 18 months old.
- Related fact: I can’t wear contacts because I need prisms in my glasses to make my eyes point in the same direction. One or the other of them will cross. It looks strange.
More General Oddities
- My mother named me after a girl with whom she went to Jefferson High School in Roanoke who was murdered at the end of their junior year. I didn’t find that out until I was 51 and my mother had been dead for two years. (See Today I found out that my mother named me after a murdered girl.) I changed my name to Janeson Tyrol Keeley when I was 37. (Fodder for another blog post.)
- I have a thing for adverbs and adjectives and tend to use them in both speech and writing whether they are add anything to the content or not. “Actually” is my current favorite.
- I have named every car I have ever owned.
- My cats have Twitter accounts and have more followers than I do.
On my father’s side:
- My great-great-grandfather, Albert N. Jett, was a quartermaster in the Union Army during the Civil War.
- My great-grandfather David Holden Jett was a riverboat captain, licensed to pilot riverboats on the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers.
On my mother’s side:
- My many-times great-grandfather Adam Spach came to the United States from Germany in the 1700s and founded Friedberg Moravian Church in Friedberg, North Carolina (just south of Winston-Salem).
- My great-grandparents, Charles Jefferson Shoaf, Minnie Spaugh Shoaf, and my great aunt Adelaide Shoaf are buried in Home Moravian Cemetery in Winston-Salem.
- Related fact: Moravians make the most awesome comfort food ever.
- My many-times great-grandfather Andrew Hill was a general in the Revolutionary War.
- Related facts: My grandmother was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. My mother was a member of the Children of the American Revolution. I never joined up.
- My grandmother’s great uncle, James T. Wilder, was a Confederate general in the War of Northern Aggression.
More immediate family stuff
My father was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, but his family moved to Jericho, Kentucky, when he was five, and he grew up on a dairy farm. They didn’t have electricity until he was 12. He went to UK and majored in agriculture, and then went to Auburn, where he got his DVM. When he opened his own veterinary hospital in 1969, I used to help him perform surgery. I never wanted to be a veterinarian, but my half-sister (his daughter by his second marriage) is attending Ross Veterinary School. He also had a son by his second marriage, but my half-brother died at the age of 25 of a grand mal seizure. I like to think that he and my father are together again, as they were very close.
My mother was born and raised in Roanoke. A talented pianist, equestrian, singer, and bookkeeper, she and my father met at a horse show in which she was riding. He was in Roanoke doing his internship and was the show veterinarian. They married three months later.
Soon after my parents married, my father got a job working for the FDA. He was transferred often, so by the time I was five I had lived in Dayton, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and, Yardley, Pennsylvania. We moved to Roanoke when I was seven so he could renew his veterinary license and open his hospital here.
I have a brother who is two years younger than I am. He is a wonderful father to two daughters who are two of the most wonderful people I have ever known.