10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Get to Know Anna, the Person Behind Orchid Bliss

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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 author 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 awesome 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 outdoors, 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.

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.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I like to say thank you for the beautiful things you do in life. God bless you every day for who you are and what you do. That is amazing. Thank you.

    1. Anna says:

      Awe! Thank you! ~ Anna

  6. Irene says:

    Hi Anna you are an amazing and wonderful woman that is so nice all these things you can do. Gob bless you every day. My husband cook pancakes for my granddaughter and me every Saturday morning too. I really love for you to post some little pics of your Roses to see how to take care of them. Please and thank you.

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you for your kind words! Saturday morning pancakes are a delicious tradition – especially when we aren’t the cook 😉 This summer when my roses are looking their best I’ll include a few pictures.
      Kindest regards,

  7. Anyimar says:

    Dear Anna;
    Thank you for sharing parts of you, specially about how to enjoy the journey (which is life). Two or 3 years ago, I decided to live a life filled with simplicity, good sense and clear directions (where am I headed/purpose of life). It can take time to learn/apply it, but like you mentioned, this isn’t about winning or being the best. This modern world is always rushing people to “do something” and oftentimes, we fail to pause, reflect and think, primarily.
    I live in Central Florida but born and raised in Puerto Rico, 40 yrs old. My husband has gifted me some beautiful Phals which is why this led me to you. Two of them began their second and third flowering since having them (spikes began in Dec. 2019), and they are placed outside. Like you wrote, it is never late to learn something new and taking care of them is joyful. Thank you, again!

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you for your kind comment. I wholeheartedly agree with you – let’s enjoy the journey! I am so glad your husband gives to Phals so that you could find me! 😉 Congratulations on repeated blooms!
      Have a lovely day,

  8. Barbara says:

    Hi, Anna, was a pleasure to learn more about you. You have had a very full life thus far & I wish you many, many, many more years. I am 71 & live in upstate NY with many nights in the minus & days with single digit temperatures. I live in a lovely one bedroom apartment where my orchids brighten up the winters. I grow them under grow lights. I have some phals, an oncidium, a dendrobium, & a Paphiopedilum in bloom right now & a Sharry Baby oncidium in spike. I hate that I am so limited on space as I am so addicted to orchids! I do have a question, my orchids are on trays of wet pebbles which is causing a slight problem with fungus gnats. I have read that certain carnivorous plants will help with this issue. What’s your take on that? I appreciate your knowledge & advice. Thank-you & God bless you. Barb

    1. Anna says:

      I am so impressed with all the orchids (number and variety) you are able to grow in limited space. The good news is that fungus gnats are usually harmless. Here are a few things you can try:
      First, make sure that the gnats are coming from the pebble trays and not your orchids’ potting mix.
      Second, if the gnats are coming from the potting mix, it may be time to re-pot, or allow the potting mix to dry out a bit more before watering.
      Third, you could set out some strips of that sticky, yellow fly tape. If your problem isn’t too bad, the tape will do its work.
      Fourth, I haven’t heard of using carnivorous plants, but it is worth a try. I’d love to hear how it works. Another option is to use predatory mites. They are harmless and will take care of the gnats and other pests.
      I wish you all the best in your orchid care!
      Kindest regards,

  9. Lesley says:

    Hi Anna:
    Thank you for sharing some of your life, and your orchid knowledge. I’m very new to orchids and not giving up. I’m grateful that you share your knowledge.

    1. Anna says:

      That’s what I love to hear – you’ve got grit!
      I’m here to help you grow orchids, every step of the way.
      All my best,

  10. Richard Lebsock says:

    It is interesting just how many things about you that I share. The one that really grabbed me was that you had been a missionary. We have not been on the field like you but we have birthed a church, filled the pulpit many time, teach bible studies, minister to the men at some transition homes, and am a pastor (ret). It would be interesting to know more about your ministry in Chile. The church we birthed was for the Filipino population around our area.

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your remarkable ministry. Chile was a very special time in my life, and I would dearly love to go back, at least for a visit. Right now I am enjoying teaching a Sunday school class for children and leading a weekday activity for elementary-age girls based around spiritual, physical, social and intellectual growth all centered on bringing us closer to our Savior.
      Have a lovely day,

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