About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

10 Things You May Not Know About Me

This is an idea borrowed from Allison at Rambling Follower (a great blog, by the way, check her out here), who swindled (her word) it from Granola Catholic (another great blog, check HER out here).  I am going to do this Letterman style, starting with #10.  To those of you who know me well, some of these things are old news, but here goes:

The Top Ten Things You May Not Know About Paula (Assuming You Give A Rat's A**)

I wanted to be a nurse, but was so nervous about taking college algebra, I chickened out.  Too bad, I would have made a great nurse.  A lot of people think I am a nurse anyway, since I worked at the State Public Health Clinic (as a public health nurse aide) for 15 years.  When Charles was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, his doctor told him that if he had any questions, "Paula can answer them, because she's a nurse."  WRONG.

Charles and I fell in love within two weeks of meeting.  Two months later, I went to visit him in San Francisco and by the middle of the second week, we were engaged.  We got married seven months later.  When we decided to get engaged, we had only been in each other's physical presence for three weeks.  It was fast, but it stuck, as we are still married almost 30 years later.  However, if one of my kids did the same thing, I would be hysterical.

I am 4'9 1/2'' tall.  I used to be 4'10 3/4", but I shrunk.  It is a cruel thing to shrink when you are under 5  feet tall.  I tell people that I am vertically challenged but horizontally gifted.  For some reason, people think it is important to remark on my height when they meet me.  For example, "It is so NICE to meet someone who is shorter than me!"  to which I want to reply, but don't (because my mama raised me to be polite): "I am so glad that I could bring some joy into your otherwise empty and meaningless life".  I wish I am able to respond as my sister Rita did once (she is also short), when a guest at a party stood up and offered her his chair, saying that the chair was reserved for midgets.  She pulled herself up to her dignified 4'9" and said: "Just mental midgets.  Be my guest."  Ah to have a rapier-like rejoinder like that.  Maybe someday I will be so quick.  In the meantime, I just get annoyed.

The most amazing, affirming, and healing thing I have ever done in my life was to address the U.S. Bishops at their meeting in Dallas, Texas in June 2002.  I will not go into detail about why I was there, as my statement says it all.  It changed my life.  Here is the link:  Statement of Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher to the Bishops of the United States.

To the amusement of a number of preschoolers, I can wiggle my ears, cross my eyes and curl my tongue at the same time.  Unfortunately, I was never able to sell tickets for this.

I lived in North Portland until I was 4 years old.  Because I had a lisp, I used to amuse my family by stating that my address was "Thixteen Oh Thixth North Thimpthon Threet".

I am a clergyman's wife.  Charles is a permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church.  While he is a tremendous, holy and pious man, I am a miserable lowly worm and have much too big a mouth to make a good deacon's wife.  Plus, I swear an awful lot.  But I try to be worthy.

I have the kindest, most wonderful children that God ever placed on this earth.  They are funny, smart, beautiful, quick, loving, gracious, faithful, loyal, and good to their mother.  They are a credit to me, and I mean it!

I am married to the best person in the world.  No lie.  He is the BEST husband and father around.  He is a wonderful artist - here is a link to see more of his work: New Jerusalem Workshop.  He is also very holy (see #4).  He is very funny, which surprises people who don't know him well.    One time, he was in the kitchen and listening to a CD while he was cooking.  A beautiful song came on and we heard him say to Gwinnie, our dog: "You know, Gwinnie, if we could sing like that, we would never have to work again."  He said it to the dog.  That's just one of the reasons I love him.  To list them all would take up far too much space.

And the Top Thing That You May Not Know About Me:

I am allergic to dust mites.  Which is hilarious, because, have you ever SEEN my house?  Every once in a while, I go on a rant (like I did the other day, but deleted because it was so snarky) about how messy the house is.  I had dreams of the house being pristine, like a picture in a magazine, after I retired, because, after all, what else would I have to DO, but clean the house, and organize, etc.  Well, that was a wash (or not wash, as the case may be).  I am no more organized or tidy than I was before I retired.  I now sit among the clutter and disorder, eating bon bons and looking at blogs.  Not really - I don't even like bon bons.  (What ARE bon bons anyway?).  The point is, I have to get in gear.  I have made a good start with organizing the closet in our bedroom.  Having a new puppy makes things a bit more problematic.  (Note to self: DO NOT GET A NEW PUPPY IN THE WINTER EVER AGAIN!)  I should post BEFORE pictures, but I worry that there won't ever be an AFTER, and the pictures of my disgusting hovel will just be out there, waiting to be resolved like a minor chord.  

And there you have it folks:  Useless facts about me.  Tell your friends, because after all, who DOESN'T want to know ten things about someone you never met?


  1. I loved these! I read #8 out loud to Tommy and we both laughed and laughed.... :)

    1. Thanks Dwija! Your list made coffee come out of my nose!

  2. LOVED your list. I am at work so this is brief!!! Love your blog too, dear Paula.

  3. Love it! Now I can't wait for the kids to go to bed so I can read your statement to the Bishops.
    Oh hell, I ALWAYS can't wait for the kids to go to bed, but you know what I mean....

  4. Love this post...you are soooo funny!!

  5. Paula
    I've never met you, but none of this comes as a surprise to me!
    You are just as I would've imagined you to be-really.
    It would thrill me if we would get a chance to meet someday funny lady.
    I'm off to read your statement to the Big Wigs!

  6. You are hysterical! Some of this, I kinda guessed for some reason but it was all funny and yes, interesting. Even the part about the dust mites (I am allergic to dust, too, which must be why I hate dusting!)

  7. Paula Paula Paula. I have read your statement to the Bishops. You are brave and honest and I thank you for that gift. May the healing continue sister.

  8. Wow, that statement to the bishops, there are not enough words to express my feelings here.

    As for being the wife of a deacon, who said that we have to be quiet? Though I am an introvert I can be quite blunt, direct and vocal when I see a problem, even at church and I have had clashes with the Director or RE or the Parish Life Coordinator. I know shocking, but when they plan the liturgy and not the ordained ministers it is often not liturically correct.

    Okay off my soap box for now.

  9. You are one funny Chic! We got a puppy in the Fall and it too was a mistake as far as timing and I have the holes in the drywall to prove it! Great post.

  10. I do like reading posts like this, it gives a lovely insight, thankyou for sharing.


  11. Hi Paula,

    Thank you for (my) postcard re: my book--clever! I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful --let me know. Best.

    Kathryn Bechen, Author, Small Space Organizing

  12. Thanks for visiting my blog. I have been reading yours and cannot stop chuckling. We may live miles apart but have lots in common. - Lana from Life At Wildberry Cottage


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