Hello and welcome!

Since childhood, my mother has referred to me as an enigma. From writing handwritten letters to boarding schools (before the days of email) to request their catalogs at the age of eight (begging my parents to send me to one) and becoming a vegetarian at 14 (decades before it was considered cool and trendy), I have always been a weirdo and deep thinker, questioning the status quo. I have always pondered conventional advice and wisdom, on everything from health and wellness to career, money, and retirement.

I was born the quintessential maverick. As such, I never really fit in to any specific group, yet I wasn’t quite a misfit (I don’t think). I’m a loner, but I love to gather around ideas. I spend a lot of time thinking and love a good cup of tea. In a nutshell, I’m quirky and quizzical. Do you know many other 12-year-olds who formally studied Esperanto, just for kicks? That’s certainly not something on my 13-year-old son’s radar! (Nevertheless, his futuristic thinking and exploration of time travel is not on mine!)

A true Renaissance soul, I have more interests than I could ever reasonably explore in-depth: natural health, minimalism, reading, budget traveling, entrepreneurship, nutrition, aging gracefully, natural hair and skin care, herbalism, retirement, government corruption, and many more. I was once an avid knitter, but haven’t picked up my knitting needles for several years. Since then, I have been particularly enjoying making soap, candles, and herbal remedies.

This blog existed in my head for many years before I decided to just, once and for all, buckle down and Do The Work, Steven Pressfield style. After squandering a lot of time overthinking and questioning whether room existed for yet another blog in the seemingly cluttered blogosphere, I now realize that there’s always room for another voice, including yours and mine. This About Me page was first written while traveling in Bangkok, Thailand, in October 2016. For an extra push, serendipitously, I had received an email from LiveYour Legend.net several days earlier and decided to join their twice annual Start-A-Blog challenge!

Although Wendy is the first name on my birth certificate, I write as Gwendolyn Stridiron. Stridiron would have been my last name if my paternal grandfather hadn’t been adopted. Wendy is the diminutive form of Gwendolyn, just like Cathy is the diminutive form of Catherine and Mike is a diminutive form of Michael. (For the editors and English majors out there, I don’t like quotation marks because I find them messy. So, I sometimes intentionally break some punctuation rules. I’m sure I do so unintentionally too.) For what it’s worth, Gwendolyn comes from the Old English and means fair lady, so Wendy means little fair lady. Writing as Gwendolyn Stridiron makes me feel more connected to my roots.

I am a licensed registered nurse with hospice, geriatrics, and dementia experience. I also hold a master’s degree in therapeutic herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health. In all my various jobs and careers over the years, one pattern rings true: People have often sought me out for information. One of my past nicknames was “The 411” because I was considered a source of information and am also 4 feet, 11 inches in height. Over the years, many people have suggested that I start a blog.

I enjoy research and when I do it, I consult dozens of resources, of varying types, in a variety of languages, from a variety of countries. When searching for the truth, I’ll delve into every angle I am able to identify. Decades ago, I stopped considering the government- and corporate-controlled, corrupt mainstream media as a source of information or truth.

My goal here is to share information, with an emphasis on health and wellness, to help others live better lives. Although I am an extremely private person (I don’t even use Facebook), I hope to encourage others to become better versions of themselves by opening up and exposing myself, as I grow into a better version of me. This site is about you, whether you means one reader or 100,000. At times, I will cover highly combustible topics such as scientific fraud and government corruption, and I will share the truth as best I know it, even if that truth is unpopular or politically incorrect.

Again, welcome to Quirky + Quizzical, where, at least twice a month, I’ll be digitally thinking out loud and sharing quirky and quizzical thoughts on health, wellness, and a variety of topics: money, retirement, budget travel, aging gracefully, government corruption, and whatever else strikes my fancy or yours. I think a lot … and I like to make others think and consider new possibilities as well. The possibilities are endless.

Thank you so much for stopping by!