15 Random Things


I can’t stand talking about cancer at the moment. Still no report from the “alien baby” biopsy. Still no respite from the pain. So no cancer talk from me today. Instead, a day (week? fortnight?) late and a dollar (pound? euro?) short, here are 15 random things about me that some people know and others don’t.

Thing 1Here’s the loosely held secret that pretty much the whole world knows, made official. I’m a Catholic nun. I used to be in an enclosed monastery where we spent at least eight hours of the day praying and around eight hours in manual or intellectual work. It was a very good life for me, but I longed for more solitude and more time for non-liturgical prayer, which leads us to…

imagesI am what is called an “urban hermit”. These days, not all hermits live in mountain cabins or desert caves. Some are peripatetic, living on the road with no possessions and seeking to glorify their Creator with their lives and in the lives of those they meet. Others live in cities. For the Catholic scholars among us, the new Code of Canon Law in 1983 defines the hermit as someone who desires to “devote their life to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through a stricter withdrawal from the world, the silence of solitude, and assiduous prayer and penance.” (Canon 603)The mode is between the hermit and God with the help of their spiritual companions and superiors. (1)

il_570xN.320861252I am a hopeless pedant. If you didn’t know that before, you certainly do after reading Thing Two.



I like babies. Human babies, furry babies, scaly babies. Pretty much any babies. Baby pandas. Baby gorillas. Baby seahorses. Baby elephants. Baby turtles. Whatever. Babies turn me into a babbling pile of goo.


5. I get bored easily. (That’s why I’m not doing any more “thing” images.)

6. I love language and languages. I love grammar and punctuation. I once got into  a major argument with a friend who was editing an anthology of short stories that included one of mine. The argument went on for a few days and several phone calls. It left us frosty and it took time for us to get back on our old footing. The argument was about a Very Important Comma she wanted to remove from my story.

7. I was once bit by a baby donkey whose name was Salaam. He hadn’t grown into his name yet.

8. I once had a car that was such an unholy wreck that I had to make it new steering linkage out of wire coat hangers and when the gears got stuck I had to get underneath and bang on the linkage with a hammer.

9. I don’t like swimming, especially not getting my face wet.

10. And I cannot abide the taste of licorice. Blech!

11. I forgot to add in Number 6 that I have a theory that prepositions shape our worldview in very deep ways.

12. I believe that the best way to bring about peace and dialogue is by people from different groups working together for a common goal or playing together in a common joy. I don’t care for formal “dialogue” initiatives.

13. Someone needs to invent a cure for cancer that involves eating large quantities of pizza, pasta and meat and drinking good strong coffee and adding ice cream as required for desired results.

14. I used to sing and play folk music and blues and I have performed in some very strange venues, including singing for pizza and beer in a neighborhood tavern.

15. I really love people. This is my greatest joy and my biggest sorrow.


P.S. The “15 Things” image in this post comes from a post called “15 Things Dermatologists Think Hospitalists Need to Know”. I guess that’s my bonus Thing 16: I believe in giving credit wherever I can.

(1)Can. 603 — § 1. Praeter vitae consecratae instituta, Ecclesia agnoscit vitam eremiticam seu anachoreticam, qua christifideles arctiore a mundo secessu, solitudinis silentio, assidua prece et paenitentia, suam in laudem Dei et mundi salutem vitam devovent. (Or ask Auntie Wiki.)

30 Responses

  1. Uzma says:

    Loved it! I am in for the pizza-cancer regimen! SALAAM must speak a different language . Thank you for sharing. This is for you … ( , ) a comma when you need one !

    • Knot Telling says:

      Our sweet little Salaam was a frisky little guy, for sure. Thanks for the comma. I can use all I can get! 🙂

  2. Susan Love says:

    Okay, I get the hermit thing but did canon law differentiate between not talking and posting online? I am glad you are here in the world, it makes it a better place!

    • Knot Telling says:

      Hi, welcome to the blog!

      Being a hermit doesn’t mean not talking. It means a “stricter” or greater withdrawal from what is termed “the world”. A lot of my time online is considered apostolate, but it’s also true that since I’ve become sicker I’m less assiduous about following my Plan of Life. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. jenn says:

    Wow–who knew? So interesting. Thank you for sharing this. God bless you.

  4. Susan Zager says:

    I never knew about you being a nun. When Salaam bit you wonder if you were much younger or when it happened. Love your cure for cancer. With tons of pizza and iced e cream. I am always sad when people are so closed minded and won’t try to find common ground. It was so fun learning more about you. Salaam and xoxo,,,,

    • Knot Telling says:

      Not that much younger, Susan. I was in the monastery, it was maybe eight or nine years ago, maybe a little more.

  5. Kathi says:

    I’m very impressed with #8!! And #13 rocks. We can only hope…


    • Knot Telling says:

      That car was a rolling disaster. Sometimes I would show up to work at the hospital and I’d have to shower off the grime from pounding the darn thing into working condition before I could start my shift.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I was looking forward to reading your list, which by the way, is very interesting.

    #6 is pretty funny and I can relate. I am also a proof reader at my job and often find myself having the same disagreements with my clients. I love prepositions and they were the first thing I memorized when I took Spanish as a child (my primary language). I don’t know how to swim but when I go in the water, it takes me a while before getting my face wet. I loved your suggestion on how to bring peace into this world. And I agree. I enjoy babies too!

    Your idea about a cancer cure sounds very appealing and I would be the first one to try it out.

    P.S. Would love to read your short stories.

  7. Colleen says:

    Didn’t think it was possible, but now I love you even more! Can we PLEASE add copious quantities of white wine to Number 13??? And also spending as much time as is humanly possible at the ocean??? Those are my personal ways of battling stupid, freaking moose cock sucking late stage breast cancer!!!!!

  8. emma says:

    Extremely groovy you are.

  9. Yapcab says:

    Fifteen seems at odds with being a hermit.

    • Knot Telling says:

      It does seem counter-intuitive at first glance, I know. The thing is that seeking more solitude (I prefer to frame it that way, rather than as “stricter withdrawal”) doesn’t come from not loving people; it comes from loving God more. The solitude also means I have more time and space to spend in interceding for the needs of people and the rest of creation, which is a big part of what I do. The final thing is very religious-sounding, but no less true for all that: what kind of gift would I be giving to God if I gave him something I didn’t value? I value relationships with people dearly.

  10. Maxine D says:

    Arrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh -just typed a comment, knocked the mouse and lost it.
    I am stunned/aghast that you have yet to have the alien baby identified and dealt to in some way!!!!!
    Loved learning all the random facts you shared – your “# 8 wire approach” (a New Zealand expression for inventive solutions) to car mechanics had me giggling.
    I am sure God understands when you cannot or do not follow your life plan – thankfully He loves us regardless.
    I hope you don’t take as long to read this as it has taken me to type it (2x) with my left hand, my right one is resting after a carpel tunnel decompression.
    Love, gentle {{{{{hugs}}}}}., and prayers

  11. Gail Speers says:

    Thanks for sharing…what interesting lives we discover when we take the time to listen…

    • Knot Telling says:

      There’s at least one book in all of us, right?

      • Gail Speers says:

        So true! I wish I had time to write mine…but I’m occupied with some artistic endeavours, so it may not happen. You might have a best seller on your hands! 😉

  12. well i knew a couple…..my fave Nun with an ummmm donkey bite LOL….Inquiring minds might like to KNOW where the donkey bit the Nun though……ok maybe sicko minds like mine….

    You are one of the kindest people i have ever had the pleasure of “corresponding” with over the vast http://WWW………many hugs (((((((((((((((from Texas Sr. Knots))))))))))))))))))

  13. Elizabeth J. says:

    I had it figured out you are a nun. The hermit thing? I did not know there still were hermits even, but I’m Protestant, so what do I know about such things anyway?
    Thank you for sharing about yourself!
    I have a sweet tooth, so that cure for cancer needs to include angel food cake or pie (apple or banana cream).

    • Knot Telling says:

      Angel food cake – oh yes!
      Yep, there are still hermits. I used to know a female hermit who lived in a cave in the Judaean desert!

  14. Mandi says:

    Love it! Thanks for sharing. I am totally on board for this pizza and pasta cure you speak of. Now I am craving cheese… 😀

  15. So happy you joined in this Knot. It’s been really great getting to know you a little better x

    • Knot Telling says:

      It’s been great fun reading everyone’s posts, and I’m glad I finally joined in.

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