Fourteen for ’14

Well, hello.

I’ve been thinking of you all for some time now. I’ve scripted topics and sentences and ideas and questions in my head, while wondering how to explain my absence.

Here’s what I’ve been doing: Recovering, reading, walking the dogs; gaining weight, folding laundry, parenting a teenager; learning how to be married (not as easy as it looks, friends); surviving my parents’ move down the Eastern coast, thinking, walking the dogs, feeding the chickens; petitioning Matt for a cow and/or a goat and/or a puppy, taking fertility drugs and turning into Attila the Hun, et cetera.

Today, though, I have a list.

Fourteen (favorites) for 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.18.03 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.15.07 PM1. Eleanor and Park and Landline by Rainbow Rowell – Immensely readable, thought-provoking, and empathetic, both of these books present fully human characters (with some not-quite-realistic situations). Eleanor and Park skews young-adult, but I recommend it unreservedly so that we can remember that young people have stories beyond our imagining. Landline is decidedly adult fiction with an adult, harried-mom/career-woman protagonist, but the juxtaposition of cultural norms and artifacts presented in the time traveling plot are entertaining to youngish or oldish adults.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.19.16 PM2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – Cue aging skin. This is the only thing that has not instigated allergic reaction on top of existing allergic reaction. Easily absorbed, doesn’t give me hives or acne, and quells the flaking skin exodus that is now my face.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.20.18 PM3. Yeah. Those are my abs. Sure . . . The pants ARE Athleta’s Bettona pants. Stretch pants that look like fancy pants. Need I say more?

kale4. Don’t kill me – kale. never enough kale. I can’t help myself. We, having soccer-season-brain all around, stupidly forgot to move the cold frame ONE. FOOT. OVER. to cover the kale. As soon as we took the electric fence down the deer feasted. So no freezer crop of kale for us. While I’m happy they had a snack, kale from the store tastes like, you know . . . not the same.

5. Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler – It’s been a long year and Clomid is not my friend. I’ve found myself among many, many friends dealing with similar issues, and though we are still not pregnant, we’re okay. This book, though, is something I wish I had at thirteen and twenty-two and thirty-two. While some of it is a little woo woo, the science is there. All things fertility related (how TO get pregnant, how NOT to get pregnant, how to survive menopause) are covered, exhaustively. Lots of helpful charts and resources. This is much easier to read than the four million websites and message boards available online.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.23.42 PM6. Coffee By Design’s Frosty’s Favorite coffee (known to be found at Giacomo’s in Bangor, ME). – The best. That is all.

7. Boyhood a Richard Linklater film with Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette – One of two movies I’ve been able to convince Matt to go see with me. A friend and I did argue, though, that this should have been titled Adulthood. Beautiful, intellectual, and entertaining.

8. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia – Because I’m convinced a little bit of color will help me pull it all off.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.26.03 PM9. Boi-ing concealer by Benefit – The patron saint of parent-teacher conference week. “Who’s excited and well-rested?! You’ll think it’s me!”

10. Mark Bittmann’s Spanish Tortilla recipe from How to Cook Everything – We’ve needed a way to get rid of eggs and feed everyone something other than straight up eggs (boiled . . . fried . . . scrambled . . . poached . . .). We could eat this every single day.

barred-rock-chicken11. Chickens – So what if we spent the first snow storm insulating the coop (see above kale incident to register our general unpreparedness for winter)?! When I pull in the driveway all the chickens go to the coop window. When I say “where are mama’s pretty girls!?” they all start talking. They will do nearly anything for a handful of cracked corn or some meal works (except for that Steve French – she’s a little bastard).

12. Hand-me-down perennials – Our neighbor was cleaning out her perennial beds and had the foresight to ask if I wanted any. Boy, did I! I spent a handful of afternoons happily digging and splitting and planting. Hopefully the farm stand will have baby perennials for sale early spring, and our perennial beds will have a little more love.

13. Verilux Happy Light Liberty – I don’t winter well. This September I prepared and purchased a light-therapy box. Two sessions daily, and I’m doing alright. Check again in February.

14. Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Bangor, ME – Retail therapy for the perennially broke. This place is a bargain hunter’s dream (especially if said bargain hunter owns a rental property and a broken old farm house)!

That’s it for this list of favorite things (Cue Oprah: “And a chicken for YOU and YOU and YOU”). I’ve had lots of favorite moments, but I thought a list of things would be shorter and less reveling.

How about you? What were your favorite things this year?

Here’s hoping you all usher in the new year happy, warm, and safe.




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