A blog by Lori Lyons

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I saw this on another blog and thought it was pretty clever. But she was 50. I can't wait that long. I might forget.

So, in honor of my 49th birthday (March 8), here are 49 things you may or may not know -- or may not even care to know -- about me:

1. I am the 20th cousin twice removed from Queen Elizabeth II thanks to my relation to the late Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The Lyon/Lyons family has been traced back to 1040. We connect through Robert the Bruce.

2. I am the 15th great-granddaughter (say "great" 15 times) of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, through my paternal grandmother and grandfather. Yes, both of them. We connect to a bastard child of the Duke of Savoy.

3. I also am a little Cajun girl. My paternal grandparents' people were Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia.

4. I became interested in genealogy after my grandmother died. She spent much of her life trying to track down her ancestral lines. Unfortunately, no one ever stopped to ask what she was doing. We never took an interest. When she died, my mom gave me her boxes of notes and asked me to go through it. It did. And I was hooked. I didn't even have to do much work because she had done it for me. I now have more than 9,000 names in my family tree database. I don't know exactly what to do with it all, however.

5. I can play the piano. Not exceptionally well, but OK. But I can't play anything by ear. I must have the music in front of me, but if I do I can play pretty much anything given enough time to figure it out. One of my favorite songs to play is "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." I really get into it, too. And "Three Times A Lady." And "I Swear."

6. When I was about 12, I wrote a couple of my own songs. I came up with a poem, then ran next door to my grandparents' house and knocked out a tune. Then I wrote the music on blank music sheets. They're actually pretty good. I still play them sometimes. I wish Lora Leigh would learn them -- or write new words. Could be her first hit!

7. I think I have been a writer my whole life. I wrote in journals, but my writing assignments for school were always pretty good. One of the first stories I remember writing was about my Grandmother's cookie jar in about the fourth grade. My mother laughed hysterically when she read it. That's when I first knew I had some kind of talent. I also have written about four volumes of poetry, but most of it is pretty sappy teenage junk.

8. I have written a book. "The Diary of a Mom in Waiting" is actually an adaptation of the journal I kept while we were trying to adopt our child. It tells the whole story of our six year odyssey through infertility, the mother who promised us her child then changed her mind 19 days before her due date and, finally, meeting Lora Leigh's birthmother. I have an agent, but so far she has not managed to find a publisher for it.

9. I have written two children's books as well. Unable to think quickly enough when my daughter said, "Tell me a story, Mommy," I sat down and imagined two. Then I got two little scrapbooks and illustrated them with clipart off the Internet and stickers. I think they're pretty good.

10. I am very disappointed that none of the above has managed to find a publisher. That is my current goal in life, to hold MY BOOK in my hands.

11. My favorite places on earth are Pensacola Beach, Florida; the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama; Disney World, and my backyard. I absolutely love being in and/or near my pool. Sometimes I stand in my kitchen and just look at it. I have always wanted a pool

12. I do calligraphy. Actually, it's just my handwriting. I have perfect, textbook handwriting. Now I have nice pens. I'll address your wedding invitations. Cheap.

13. I think it would be cool to turn my house into a bed and breakfast when I get old. I have a pool, a suite upstairs. All I need to add is a shower up there. It would have to be called The Almerico House though, because they built it and that's what everybody in town calls it.

14. I have recurring dreams about my old apartment on Prytania Street in New Orleans. It was one-third of a big pink and white Victorian mansion. I absolutely loved that place and it could have been featured in a magazine spread it was so cool. I dream that I have forgotten something there and I've gone to get it, or I have mail in the mailbox that I must get. I think my psyche misses it too.

15. My favorite color is the color of the ocean in Florida. That is evident by my bedroom and bathroom upstairs.

16. When I retire, I would love to move to the beach. Or at least have a house at the beach. I'd love to go to Hawaii. I can sit and stare at the ocean for hours.

17. It took me seven years to get out of college. I did great for the first two. Then I moved out of the dorm and into an apartment and got a job... and got mono... and quit going to class... and joined a sorority... and discovered beer...and changed my major a couple of times. Then the oil business busted and it got hard to pay Loyola's tuition. I was a junior for four years. But my last year in college was my proudest time. I was 25 years old and moved back into the dorm. But I worked hard and finished.

18. I am a news junkie. Always have been. When big events happen I glue myself to the TV (and now the Internet) trying to find out more details. If there is nothing good on TV, I will turn to CNN.

19. I probably could have been a pretty good athlete if I tried, I just didn't stick it out. I played recreation softball as a kid. Played catcher. Hit at least one home run (that I recall) and I enjoyed playing basketball. I wish I would have played volleyball. But I was a homebody.

20. I rarely made it through the night at sleepovers. My mom had to come get me. I still have trouble sleeping anywhere but my own bed in my own house.

21. I used to get major panic attacks in high school. My heart would race and I wouldn't be able to breathe. My teachers kept paper bags in their desk drawers. I think it all stemmed from this irregular heartbeat I have. Every once in a while my heart skips. It used to freak me out. I take medication now.

22. The greatest disappointment in my life is the fact that I was never able to get pregnant. I still have no idea why. None of the six doctors ever found a definitive answer. It's a subject God and I are doing to discuss but good if I get there.

23. But the greatest joy in my life is my daughter. I absolutely believe that she was the child I was destined to have. And she could not be more my child if she had my DNA.

24. I fully intended to name my child "Elle." Everyone expected me to name my child something with an "L" so I planned to name my daughter Elle Evelyn. But when Kim, the first birthmother, went back to her boyfriend, Marty and I decided we had to let "Elle" go. I wanted to name Lora Leigh "Loralei," but Marty didn't like that. We kind of compromised with Lora Leigh. I figured she can pronounce it and spell it any way she wants.

25. My greatest fear is going into the Airline Canal, the big, deep, scary pit near my house -- or any other body of water -- in my car. I have nightmares about it. And I had them long before my brother died by running his car off the road into a swamp. I have nightmares about that too.

26. When I was about 10 or so -- back when there were only THREE TV stations and ALL of them were showing the political conventions -- I got hooked. I watched one night, then the next. And I was captivated by the roll call. Loved it! I did watch both parties' shows. And I learned that I was a Democrat.

27. I never was particularly religious. Raised an irregular Catholic, I didn't make a formal First Communion and I didn't confirm until was 19 and at Loyola. I don't know what I am now. The Catholic Church severely disappointed me and has rejected me because of my marriage to a divorced man. I do miss the tradition and the sense of community that church gives you. I guess I would be an Episcopalian if there was a church near me.

28. I really did consider being an English teacher -- both when I was in college and, more recently, when the newspaper business began to stumble. I have romantic ideas of teaching grammar and language to high school kids. But I'd have to be at work by 7 a.m., and that ain't happening.

29. I used to work the front desk at the Fairmont Hotel (formerly and presently the Roosevelt Hotel) in downtown New Orleans. I used to check guests in and out and polish and stack the brass keys. I also used to give messages to guests and met Buddy Rich, Joel McCrae and Jerry Cooney. I enjoyed it, but quit to concentrate on school. (ha!)

30. I also worked front desk at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. I hated it. I knew it was time to quit when I used to hope I'd get into an accident on the way to work.

31. I love to clean my house. No, really. I told my husband when we met that he had to get out of my way on Saturdays. It is my therapy. Some people work out or run. I power clean. I do it all in one day, from top to bottom, with 80s music blaring. Sometimes I can't walk the next day. It is as cathartic to me as a run is to some.

32. I do love to walk and I think the iPod is the greatest invention of the 21st Century. One of the things I miss the most with this new job is not being able to walk in the mornings with my poodles. I am learning to like walking in the evenings.

33. The hair straightener is the second greatest invention of the 21st Century.

34. I have become quite obsessed with writing on this blog. Since my unfortunate job change, it has become my only creative outlet, and it has kept me sane. I enjoy it very much and am overjoyed at the audience it is gathering. I would love to be a professional blogger, but that sounds like a lot of work. I am happy to have a place to write what I want and use my brain since my employer no longer seems to require it. And I'm happy if somebody stops by to read it.

35. I was bullied -- no, tortured -- as a kid. Because I hit puberty long before my peers, girls hated me. I feared going to the bathroom at recess. Mean girls stalked me. Followed me. Wanted to beat me up. Wrote my name on bathroom walls. I actually did get into two fights at school -- both only to defend myself. I lived in terror for many years. Wonder if that had anything to do with those panic attacks.

36. One of the worst ones worked at the hospital when my daughter was born. She was one of the nicest nurses on the floor.

37. Because of the above, I have very few girlfriends. My best friend since eighth grade (we were each other's maids of honor at our weddings), lives in Houston now and we barely see each other. And I have such trouble getting close to women that I really don't have any girlfriends to do girl things with like shopping or going to lunch or drinking. I will accept applications for drinking companions.

38. It was sometime in college that I decided I wanted to be "the girl who knows about sports." There was some character on TV and I always thought she was cool. But I have little for basketball. Never liked to watch it, although I enjoyed participating in the annual office March Madness pool. I love to watch college football on TV and even bought the extra package on cable. I LOVE going to baseball games. But I can live without the rest.

39. March the 9th is like Friday the 13th in my family. People have died on this date. My great-grandmother and HER mother both. Accidents have happened. Heart attacks. Bad things. We all try to be very careful on this day. No long trips. No elective surgery. No operating heavy machinery.

40. I love my birthday!!! I admit it. I believe birthdays are special days. They are days when it's all about you. Not only do you get presents from the people who love you and, usually, a special meal or an outing to your favorite restaurant, but people think of you and remember you and wish you well on that day. Even if you aren't in touch any more, people will stop and say, "Wow. Today is so-and-so's birthday." I do that all the time. I remember people's birthdays from years ago. And thanks to the invention of Facebook, everybody knows it. My parents always made a huge deal about birthdays. We'd have cake and punch and fried chicken. My mom used to give me fabulous parties. And it was about the only day of the year my father would call me. So, forgive me if I get excited about my birthday. I don't even mind getting older.

41. I like to cook, but I love to eat. I'm a carnivore. I love a good ribeye, medium rare, with A1. And I LOVE the filet mignon at Crazy Johnnies. Prime Rib.. Mmmm. But I also love boiled crabs. I am not a fish eater. Maybe fried catfish.

42. I truly believe that I can do anything. I rarely, if ever, say "I can't." I believe I could frame a house if someone would just show me how or give me the instructions and the tools. My only limitation is my physical strength. And it annoys the hell out of me when people refuse to try because they believe they can't.

43. I cry. I cry at movies. I cry at commercials. I cry at any kind of tender moment whether it's happy or sad. I cried so hard at the movie "E.T." that the guy I went with never called me again. I cried throughout dinner after. Then I cried every time I heard the "Heartlight" song for weeks after. The movie "Beaches" left me on the floor, sobbing. I am a wimp.

44. I have a great appreciation for Facebook. OK. I am an addict. I am thrilled that I am able to connect with far-off friends and family members, including the two younger sisters I did not grow up with. But not only that, I love to be on Facebook during big events like the Super Bowl. Many of my friends are in sports media and we make comments through the game. I love that. I am loving Twitter for the same reason.

45. My Twitter value was I think $7.45 last time I checked.

46. I wish I would win the lottery.

47. I would adopt another child in a heartbeat if I could. I would love to raise a baby with Lora Leigh as a big sister. We would have a blast. Actually, I probably would have had a lot of kids if I could have. I used to dream of having my own football team, "The Lori Lions." Perhaps someday I will become a foster mom.

48. I am absolutely terrible in math. I can't add, subtract or multiply double digits in my head at all. I have to write them down. I failed Algebra twice in high school. I scored a 13 in math on the ACT. But I got a 34 in English. I could not care less what X is.

49. I have a blessed life. I am very lucky. And I hope this wasn't too boring.

1 comment:

  1. First off, I'd gladly apply to be your drinking companion. Secondly, we sure do have a lot in common! I should've stuck with sports instead of quitting after my freshman year of high school. I used to try to write poetry all the time, and I always had a diary growing up. And I have an irregular heart beat! I had surgery when I was in first grade and it still acts up from time to time. Also, I'm stealing this, even though it's not my birthday.