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25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

25 Things You Don't Know About Me | Jest Kept Secret

It has been a surprisingly busy week this week, and the post I had planned for today required a video that hasn’t been finished yet. Soooo, since I’ve been seeing some new readers on the blog lately, I thought I might switch things up a bit and help y’all get to know me a little. To that end, here are 25 random things that you probably don’t know about me unless you’re my family or a close friend. (And even then, you may be surprised!)

1. I was the last baby born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada the year the city celebrated its centennial. If I live to the bicentennial, I’ll be Lethbridge’s honorary chairwoman. Only 68 years to go…

2. I have moved almost 30 times. Some moves were just to a different house, but at last count, I have lived in 2 Canadian provinces, 11 states, and England.

3. I play the oboe, and I played with an international, semi-professional orchestra when I was in high school.

International Symphony Orchestra 2002-2003
Photo Credit: Allan Munsie, I believe. That’s my head just to the left of the conductor.

4. I have never broken any bones, but I have had emergency surgery to remove a splinter the size of my pinky from my face. I came within a quarter of an inch of losing my left eyeball.

5. I love working at summer camp. My first summer after starting college, I worked at a horse camp in upstate New York (where the accident in #4 happened). Then I worked at Philmont Scout Ranch for eight seasons and Bear Lake Aquatics Base for one.

6. While at Philmont, part of my job was to defend participants from black bears. I spent the coldest night of my life protecting 40 teenage boys and their leaders from a mother and her three cubs.

Bear sticking his tongue out
I won a photo contest with this picture.

7. I went to grad school in England .

8. I met my husband on Tinder, and he proposed at scout camp.

9. Besides photography and filmmaking, my other creative pursuits include writing, linocut print making, and embroidery. (I actually want to feature more of my artwork on the blog, so stay tuned for that!)

10. I have written a novel, and I’m working on getting it published.

11. My biggest phobia is talking on the phone—even to people that I know well. It actually causes some pretty serious anxiety for me.

12. I have an embarassingly large collection of cheesy horse movies. I’m actually pretty serious about it.

13. I also collect postcards. I have hundreds of them, and they’re my go-to souvenir when I travel.

Postcards | Jest Kept Secret

14. I rarely cook the same thing twice. I have a few favorites that get repeated, but other than that, pretty much everything I cook is a new experience for me.

15. I once told Josh Brolin where to find the bathroom.

16. I went to prom in a duct tape dress.

Duct Tape Prom Dress | Jest Kept Secret

17. My favorite food is zucchini.

18. I once had to sort 5,000 dead rats. They were frozen when we started, but we were in Savannah, GA, so they didn’t stay frozen for long.

19. I have canoed with 14-foot alligators. (My canoe was 10 feet long…)

20. I have a horse named after me—which, for a horse crazy girl like me, is pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Jessie De Bois | Jest Kept Secret
I found this gal out in the pasture when she was born a few weeks early. Her breeders name every horse born in a year with the same first letter, and that year happened to be the J year. I was tickled pink when they told me they had decided to name her after me!

21. I spent my entire childhood convinced I was going to be a veterinarian. After changing my mind, I actually got a job at a vet’s office and only lasted a week, so I’m really glad I didn’t go to vet school.

22. I started out at BYU as a film major, but ultimately decided my dreams of being an involved and present wife and mother were more important than my dreams of directing Oscar winners.

23. I quit school for a year to join the circus serve with the AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps program. I spent ten months building houses with Habitat for Humanity, tutoring at-risk youth, clearing invasive species, tending gardens at a Catholic monastery, maintaining enclosures and feeding animals at a non-profit zoo, and working with organizations like the Salvation Army, Easter Seals, and the Methodist church.

24. My Bachelor’s degree is in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership and my Master’s is in Organic Farming and Food Production Systems. There’s a method to my madness, though, because…

25. My biggest dream is to run an agricultural education center where kids can learn about livestock and crop production through hands-on learning experiences.

That’s it for me!

What are some fun facts that most people don’t know about you?

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Jess Friedman
Jess is a Canadian-American who’s always ready for the next adventure. She loves all things living, always has a million creative projects in progress, and polishes her nerd badge daily. She is passionate about helping families make and preserve treasured memories that strengthen bonds across generations. You can read more posts by Jess here.

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2 Responses

  1. I love your list of 25 things, Jess! You have such an adventurous life! I knew some of these things, but many others I did not know and I really want to hear your stories about them in more detail. I think I will have to call you to have you tell me more. What is your phone number, please? 🙂

    1. Haha, thanks! Anything in particular that you want to hear about? I’ve been thinking about making posts about some of these, so let me know which ones you’re curious about and I’ll write them up. As for the phone number, please see #11. 😉 I’m happy to email about it, though! <3

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