ABC Post 4: 10 Things About Me

This is my first post for the April Blogging Challenge (ABC) with Dorcas and Emily. Since many of their readers have heard of me, but don’t know me, here are a few details in my own words.

I have 1 brother and 3 sisters

I am the middle child in my family. I have a sister and brother older than me, and two sisters younger than me. We pretty much all live in different states now, but appreciate opportunities to get together when we can.

I grew up near Junction City, OR and attended Junction City public schools

My family sometimes had chickens, ducks, bummer lambs, dogs, and cats. Sometimes people assume I was homeschooled, but that didn’t happen. I am aware of some homeschool-y things through friends and former homeschoolers I follow online.

I danced at the Junction City Scandinavian Festival

I danced with the children’s groups starting when I was 3 or 4, and continued through high school. I also cooked aebleskivers in the Lutheran Church booth, answered questions in the windmill (information booth), and dressed up in the troll costumes.

I play piano and flute (but not like I used to)

I took piano lessons throughout childhood and played flute in school band and the Eugene/Springfield Youth Orchestra. I considered majoring in music in college. When I didn’t, I ended up not having time and energy to continue with it as I anticipated. I remember being in high school and pitying (but not understanding) the sad-sounding adults who wished they had kept up with their music practice. “How could they just stop like that?” I thought.

I have a Bachelor of Science in General Science from the University of Oregon

Neuroscience was my focus area, and my main reason for selecting the General Science major instead of Biology. While I was in college I worked in a lab that used mice to study how how brains receive, process, and make decisions based on sounds. My parents remember me being very young and thinking of things to observe and keep track of: the water level in the swale behind our house, the phases of the moon, mushrooms, etc.

Phoebe holding a lab mouse while wearing gloves
Holding a mouse in the lab

Matt and I met in Washington, D.C. 

People often want to know if Matt and I were aware of each other while we were growing up. That would have been weird (or, more likely, inconsequential) because he is eight years older than me. While our childhood homes were only 15 minutes apart, we lived in different towns, attended different schools, churches, and were generally in entirely different circles.

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C.

I first went to Washington D.C. for an internship

At the end of college, I took a class about autobiography through Inside-Out (a program which brings together college students and incarcerated people.) It was an impactful experience, and rekindled an interest in the legal field.

I started looking for ways to explore that further, and found a criminal defense investigation internship at Georgetown Law School. It was a memorable and growing experience, and gave me an opportunity to become part of a community in Washington D.C. By the end of the internship, I wanted to stay there. I couldn’t find a way at first, but eventually went back for a job. That’s when I met Matt.

I sew

And sometimes knit and crochet. I tend to learn the basics of a skill, and then move on to something different. Eventually I circle around and expand on the basics. I learned the bulk of my sewing skills through a 4-H sewing group I attended as a middle schooler. Recently I’ve been expanding my sewing horizons to include quilting. 

We have a cat

His name is Gandalf. He is a ferocious hunter and an avid tree-climber. He is somewhat leash-trained, but not to the extent that he will walk briskly alongside us. I don’t picture that happening. Gandalf has been on some Airstream adventures, but prefers to be in a place where he is allowed outside at will. Currently he is staying with my parents. 

I get a lot of headaches

I also don’t have much energy. And other stuff comes and goes. My health is vaguely suspect, and it’s been that way for most of my life. Maybe since I had a parasite when I was in elementary school, or maybe genetics. Probably all of it.

Lately, I’ve been working on my health a lot. I found a health care provider who thinks it’s possible to figure out what is causing (and fix!) all my random vague symptoms. We’re figuring it out a little at a time.

Dorcas will be doing post #5 tomorrow, Emily will be posting again on Friday, and I will be posting each Wednesday.



  1. Hi, Phoebe!

    You and the Smucker ladies don’t know me, but I enjoy reading y’all blogs. (I read The Rebelution’s blog and found Emily’s blog through one of her posts there a couple of years ago.) I’m excited that you’re participating in the April Blogging Challenge and look forward to reading more of your posts. I have chronic illness too, so I can relate to the problems you and Emily face. And I also grew up in 4-H and do a lot of crafts like crocheting. It’s nice to “meet” you!




  2. Nice to meet you Phoebe!! I wish you well on your health journey, maybe someday I’ll meet you in person!! 😍



  3. I loved reading this, Phoebe! I liked all the pictures, especially the one of Gandalf labeled, “head of gopher control.” Very funny!



  4. Thanks for the intro! We knew the Smucker family when they worked in NW Ontario! While living in Iowa, before I left for colIege in 1966, I saw Dorcas maybe once a year at church when their family visited relatives in Kalona, IA!



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