10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Get to Know Anna, the Person Behind Orchid Bliss

the ONE email you'll open every week

Saturday mornings I send out an exclusive email sharing my best tips on how to grow healthy orchids.


These 10 things that I am about to share with you have nothing to do with orchids. I just wanted you to get to know me a bit better. I also wanted to say thank you for letting me help you care for your orchids.

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

10 things you might not know about me - orchid bliss

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1. I’m Learning to Play the Piano

A few years ago, as I approached 40 years, I thought, it won’t be long before my kids will all have flown the nest and we will still have the giant piano with no one to play it.

So, I started taking lessons. It has been 4 years since then. And, I love it! No, that does not mean that I’m an amazing pianist. But, I still love it. I’ve decided if the only person I’m ever good enough to play for is myself (and family because they can’t escape me) that’s okay. I love practicing and I love my sweet 89 year-old-teacher. Playing the piano has made my life is richer.

I’ve learned you’re never too old to try something new. Life is not about winning or being the best. It’s time to enjoy the journey.

2. I Once Ran a Marathon

As a freshman in college, my roommate approached me with the idea of running a marathon. We had both packed on those freshman 15 pounds and were desperate to shed the extra weight.

We met with a trainer and planned our training schedule. We trained all summer and by fall we were ready. I felt like I was in top physical condition. It was hard and it was amazing. And, I got my butt kicked by people twice my age (my age now).

As a 40+-year-old, I love it that those people passed my 20-year-old self!

3. I Love Period/Costume Dramas

Some people geek out over SciFi, I geek out over the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Anthony Trollope. First, read the book, then watch the movie is my motto.

One summer my sister and I read The Count of Monte Cristo, then watched every version we could get a hold of – there are lots. It’s fun because every version has a different ending. For whatever reason, the book is great, but the ending is terrible and every movie director does their best to right that wrong.

Another fun one is Elizabeth’s Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters because she died before she finished the book, so watching the movie provides closure.

4. Kayaking in the Summer

Every summer I love taking my kids’ kayaking. There is a lake near my house, so it’s super convenient. Kayaking is good, clean fun – no licensing or gas – just a State Park Pass. I hitch the trailer up to the back of my trusty minivan and away we go.

5. I’m a Desert Rat

I love trees and green, but in my heart of hearts, nothing is more beautiful than sandstone and mesas. If I had grown up around trees or near the beach, that is how I would feel about forests and the ocean. There is just something nostalgic about where we experienced our childhoods that tie us to those places.

6. Did Anyone Say, Knitting?

My grandma taught me to knit, so every piece I knit is a tribute to her. I love choosing patterns and yarn. Knitting is why I don’t mind waiting at doctor appointments, layovers at the airport or traveling in the car. Give me my needles and my yarn, oh and an audiobook, and I’m set.

7. I Lived in Chile

For over a year I lived in southern Chile as a missionary. It is a beautiful country with even more wonderful people.

In southern Chile, you can see penguins, and glaciers, waterfalls and, if you’re lucky, flamingos. I crossed the Strait of Magellan and saw the rise of Tierra de Fuego from the shoreline of Punta Arenas and fell in love with Puerto Natales.

8. Favorite Books

When I was a kid, my favorite book was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It’s just a special book.

Here are some of my recent favorites: Helene Wecker’s debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni,  Dodie Smith’s little-known gem I Capture the Castle(she’s also the other of 101 Dalmations), and, I love anything by Kate Morton. If you prefer listening to books, she has an amazing reader.

9. Weekend Pancakes

Every weekend I eat either pancakes or waffles for breakfast made for me by my loving husband. Saturday mornings I’m so grateful he worked his way through college as a short-order cook. That job has blessed our marriage. His other specialties are poached eggs and the best omelets EVER!

10. …By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

And, finally!

Indoors I grow orchids, but it is too dry and hot in the summer and too cold in the winter to grow them outside. Instead, I grow roses in my backyard. I’m a huge fan of David Austen and Canadian roses.

Thank You!

That’s a little about me.

Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with growing orchids with me! Your emails and comments are highlights in my life and keep me connected to you. I love sharing everything I learn about orchids with you, so thanks for letting me do what I love!

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  1. Nancy Tuttle, a dedicated fan says:

    I loved reading all about you, and I love the way you enthusiastically embrace all that life has to offer. By the way, you don’t happen to collect milk glass, do you?

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Why yes, I do have a milk glass collection! Do you have one of your own?
      Have a lovely day,

  2. Van der Stee says:

    Well my name is Berthy and I am 78. I am not very well because I suffer from arthrose ferm head to toe. but my husband who will be 81 this month cares a lot for me.
    We live now in a service flat amidst the green with quick rabbits and lazy milk cows.
    We are Flemish people who live in Belgium but I was a secretary steno typiste during nearly 35 years and all I read are English books of Jane Austen, Elisabeth Gaskell and others but of course there are many new writers who I don’t like very much.
    Before we moved we had a house and a large garden where my husband made a fish pond with many flowers etc.
    Now I must tell you that where I live now there is not much place for plants and with the heat of last summer days, my 2 phaleanopolis???
    lost all their flowers. So I began yesterday to make a vase with water for one and I love the sight of the “green things” who are now in the water and of course I hope to see any nez life coming but this will not be too quick I think.

    So now I must end because I am tired but still hope to receive your reply.
    With warm regards.

    1. Anna says:

      It was great to hear from you! I am sorry about your arthritis, but am glad that you find joy in caring for orchids. It sounds like you live in a lovely area, though I am sure you miss your home and garden. Tell you husband, hello.
      Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you have caring for your orchids.
      Here is a link you may find helpful:


      Have a wonderful day,

  3. Pam says:

    Hi. If you love Jane Austen books, you should try Georgette Heyer. She died in the 60’s (I think) but her books are still in bookstores, even the unfinished one that ends mid-sentence. Fabulous and funny, too.
    I have grown orchids for 30+ years, but I still pick up tips that are helpful. I find all of you advice very useful. Thanks for passing it on.-Pam, near Detroit.

    1. Anna says:

      Yes! I am familiar with Georgette Heyer. In fact, I’ve just downloaded Lady of Quality. Love those regency romances!
      It’s so great to hear from you!

  4. Karuna.G. says:

    Thanks for your brief.
    I am 76 year young,knew very little about growing plants. Only now, learning about plants, orchids and flowers.

    You have been instrumental in my pursuit for my new found hobby.

    Many thanks.

    1. Anna says:

      Hello Karuna,
      I’m wishing your the very best in caring for your orchids! However old we are, now is always the best time to learn something new.

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the ONE email you'll open every week

Saturday mornings I send out an exclusive email sharing my best tips on how to grow healthy orchids.