Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.
I usually like to think of myself as just a normal sort of girl, but I know I’m not. I’m not normal at all. I’m a bit strange. It’s true. Here’s why.
I’m a New Yorker living in the deep South and West of Texas. That, in and of itself, makes me a very odd person. My accent makes me odd. People are constantly asking me to say, “kawfee” or “tawk” or “dawg,” known better as “coffee,” “talk” and “dog.” People often say to me, “You’re not from here, are you?” and I haven’t even expressed my opinion about anything such as gun control. All I had to do was open my mouth and begin to speak. So I’m a stranger in a strange land.
I have two pet companions who are a little out of the ordinary. Ernie and Ralphy are two Japanese Chin dogs. There aren’t many of them around. They are an odd bred. They are toy dogs, not too small–about 14 pounds. Ernie is kind of squat and compact, black and white. Ralphy is long and lean with an under bite, tan and white. Both have long coats with feathery long tails. Both are terribly stubborn but sweet. Ralphy has a destructive streak, especially when it comes to yarn so I must be careful when it comes to my knitting. Much of my yarn has ended up in a large, tangled mess that he likes to sleep on on the futon sofa. I let him. I’m a push-over. Ernie has an eye problem that requires drops in his eyes. This requires that I chase him around the living room and pull him from under the sofa to administer the drops each day. It’s become a game. For him, not for me. It’s a pain for me.
Mosaics are a passion of mine. I discovered this several years ago when, on a whim, I took a class at The Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio on mosaics. I had no background in mosaics but went to a weekend class and found that I adored the medium. I bought supplies and used glass tiles and did mosaics on my own. Then I began to make my own polymer tiles with designs baked into them in an oven that you use for baking the polymer clay for jewelry. But I used it for making tiles with designs. I made tiles with my grandmother’s photo on them and tiles with drawings of saints from the Books of Lindsfarne and Kells on them for a piece about my grandmother with interwoven Irish rings in the color of roses from my grandmother’s garden. I used an Irish theme because she was Irish. It was a big piece and took a long time. I have a St. John’s eagle from the Book of Kells that I want to do in smalti tiles. That will be a big, expensive project. Smalti tiles aren’t cheap. I’ve not worked with them before. I have a small kit with flowers and smalti tiles that I’ll do first to get a feel for the tiles before i start the big project. For a really big project, I’d like to do a mosaic on my brother’s barn. I’d like to do the entire side of his barn in a mosaic theme of Southwestern and Mexican imports, which is what he sells wholesale from his barn. But that probably won’t happen. That would be a job for the spring and summer and require helpers. I don’t even know if he’d let me. We aren’t on that great terms. He calls me “an Obama zombie robot.”
Another odd thing about me is that I am a convert, or revert, to Islam, much to my family’s dismay. I wear hijab (traditional head covering and modest clothing) most of the time, but I am not allowed to wear my head covering around my daughter and her family because it upsets them. I want to see my granddaughters so I have capitulated. I don’t wear it around them. Do I feel bad about this? Yes. I also can’t talk about my religion around them. But I do wear my traditional clothing everywhere else. I wore it to jury duty and I wear it when I do my CASA work, when I go shopping, when I get my oil changed. It’s part of my life. It’s an important part of my life.
This isn’t exciting, but it is part of my life. It is my chronic depression and my anxiety. I am being treated by a psychiatrist and a therapist for it, and they have helped me so much. I take meds and we’ve finally come upon a “cocktail” of meds that seems to work well for my depression and some meds and supplements that are doing a fair job of dealing with my anxiety. It seems that I will never be completely rid of these demons but at the moment they are under control. My migraines are also somewhat under control and when they are out of control, my depression gets worse. They are what drove me to the psychiatrist in the first place. But I’ve had chronic depression nearly all my life and probably always will, to some degree or another. It’s just something I have to live with. But at least it’s manageable now.
The thing I’m most proud of is my work with CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates for children). I work in the Family Courts with abused and neglected children. I am a Peer Coordinator with CASA, which means, besides having my own case to deal with, I also supervise and mentor three other advocates and their cases. I love the work I do. I love my kids and my advocates. I know we are making a difference in kids’ lives. Their lives will be better for our having been in their lives. I really believe that with all my heart. That’s why I work so hard at what I do.
So there are my six unique or odd things about me. Odd would probably be the best word. Of course, the seventh is that I blog. But that would be everyone who reads this seventh odd thing. We’re all a bit odd that way. Our blogs are all a bit unique. And that’s good, too.