Inspired by a post from Lisa a few weeks ago, I’ve been working on this for awhile, but waited to share it with you while we’re on a break from painting. I chose 33– one thing for each year.
1. I lived on a ship in West Africa for nearly four years. It was a hospital ship, but I served as a teacher. It is still one of the most significant things I’ve ever done with my life.
2. I like the taste of almost everything. Except beer with lots of hops. It tastes like soap to me. I also don’t like raisins, but that’s more of a texture thing.
3. I’m left-handed. In 2nd grade, my teacher tried to make me switch, so I wrote with my left hand when she wasn’t looking and my right hand when she was nearby. I’m still pretty good with both, and sometimes when I’m working on a painting, I’ll switch hands so that I can get a better angle.
4. I moved 10 times before I was 10. I was always the new kid in school, and I hated it. But now, I see that all that moving made me easily adaptable for things like living on a ship in West Africa, or moving from Seattle to Portland with 3 weeks notice.
5. I didn’t learn to tie my shoes until I was 30. It’s a long story, but let’s just say that I was really happy with slip-on shoes for a long time.
6. I love my bike. I bought her for 30 bucks on Craigslist. It’s the best $30 I’ve ever spent. She has a basket, and an orange bell, and I named her Eleanor. (I don’t normally name inanimate objects, but that’s how much I love her.)
7. I was named after a horse. When my mom was a little girl, she had a horse and named it Julie, but somehow there was a typo and the “u” turned into an “o”. My mom loved the name, and remembered it. Today when she tells that story, she always ends by saying, “I loved that horse.”
8. I made a list of 30 things to do while I was 30– and with a little help I managed to do all of them. Which still makes me ridiculously proud. And grateful.
9. The list included learning to tie my shoes, riding a roller coaster, seeing the Grand Canyon, a hot air balloon ride, and jumping rope 100 times without stopping.
10. My favorite color is orange. My raincoat is orange, my wallet is orange, my favorite scarf and pair of shoes are orange. I have to be careful to not wear them all at once, though.
11. I decided I wanted to be an artist when I was 7. My grandfather said, “Why don’t you go in to Real Estate instead? There’s more money in that.” I wonder if he’d say that today?
12. I also got myself a French-English Dictionary when I was 7, in an attempt to teach myself French, because all artists live in Paris, right?
13. I don’t like to sweat. And living in Africa for four years just confirmed that even more.
14. My most memorable meal is a Nutella filled crepe eaten as I walked along the Champs Elysee on New Years’ Eve 2006.
15. I love to cook. Though Chris and I had been married for nearly 10 years before I learned enough to make a decent meal.
16. I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird more than 19 times. It was my favorite thing about being a high school English teacher.
17. Another fun thing about teaching high school English was reading Julius Caesar and planning the reading so that we read the assassination on March 15. I planned the entire curriculum for the year around that date.
18. I wore braces for 5 years and 11 months (and 17 days, not that I counted).
19. Chris and I met for the first time two months after I got them off, and he was the first person to ever tell me I had a pretty smile.
20. Of course, I had to marry him.
21. If I had to live anywhere other than Portland, I might choose South Africa. It’s amazing.
22. Though my retirement plans include a chateau in Switzerland with a French easel under a tree where I can paint the same view over and over and over.
23. The shoes that never fail to make me happy are Converse All-Stars with sparkly stars all over them. (And I’m very proud of the fact that I tied them myself. See #5.)
24. I get irrationally angry over public cell phone conversations. I don’t care about your weekend plans, your family drama, or how drunk you were last Friday night. I’m on the bus and want you to hang up the phone. Now.
25. I don’t watch TV. Unless I’m at the gym, and then I’ll stay on the elliptical machine for more than an hour so I can watch the Food Network. Something about the Barefoot Contessa motivates me to keep going.
26. I knit. A lot. On the bus, waiting in line at the bank, even while reading. It keeps me sane.
27. So I never understand when people say, “I’m just not patient enough to knit.” Seriously. I knit because I’m impatient, people.
28. My cat is named Liberia, after our favorite country in Africa. Though we call her Libby.
29. I’ve been to 51 countries. Though in this family, that’s not really considered well-traveled.
30. I’m vegan-ish. For me, that means I don’t eat meat ever, and I avoid (though not strictly) dairy and eggs. But if I’m coming to your house for dinner, don’t stress. I’m flexible about the dairy and eggs, because I know that if you’re not used to cooking without them, it’s kind of hard.
31. Surprisingly, the hardest thing about being veganish is not giving up ice cream (because there are so many great substitutes), but cheese. There’s just no good substitute for Brie.
32. I’m a terrible Scrabble player, because I’d rather come up with a really great word, than get more points. Strategy isn’t really my strong suit.
33. My favorite season is Fall. I love the change and the colors. And getting a chance to wear all the sweaters I own. (See #26.)