Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Today, I'm taking a cue from Oprah and blogger "The Pioneer Woman" and sharing a list of the things I like. I love lists. I make them weekly, sometimes daily. They're usually brilliant and exciting, and look like this:

1. Write
2. Exercise
3. Wash clothes
4. Call Mom, Sister, Friend(s)
5. Take diapers to Daughter's preschool
6. Read for grad school
7. Grade papers
8. Drop off water bill

Wow. This is my life. I'm momentarily stunned. 

Moving on. Usually, about three of these get accomplished. Yes, I know it's sad that I have to add calling my mother, sister, and assorted friends (on the real list I give them names). You'd think a grown-up woman could do this without reminders. But for me, it's necessary. I have a hate-hate relationship with the phone. It hates me back because I accidently leave it in my car for days and it dies. And then my father calls my husband to make sure I'm still alive.

So (and I may make this a new Wednesday blog habit) here's my list:

10 Things That Make Me Happy (Man, I'm a titling wordsmith)

1. Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina -- I hike here several times a week, usually just me and my dog. The creek gurgles over moss-covered rocks, the winter light carves out far-off ridgelines in stark relief, and my dog does belly flops in the mud, then shakes on me. It's. Awesome.

2. My friend Liddell -- she came to visit yesterday, and we hiked and talked and then ate burritos and talked some more. Liddell is utterly authentic, pretty much automatic fun, and lives the sort of adventurous and wide-open life most people dream of but never follow through on.

3. DVR -- we just had the DISH guy come out to fix a problem on Sunday, and Lo, we have DVR! Oh, heaven sent. Oh, joy! So THIS is what the fuss is all about.

4. Parenthood, the TV show -- While we're on the subject of DVR, it sure is great for recording those 10 p.m. shows I've been trying to catch online the next day, because I'm usually writing or doing schoolwork or pooped out in bed at 10 p.m. "Parenthood" on NBC is one of them: charactered by some of my favorite actors (Craig T. Nelson, Lauren Graham, Peter Kraus) and produced by Ron Howard, the writing is some of the best I've seen on television. That writing combined with pitch-perfect performances makes the show pure, lovely and true. And in the world of the Desperate Housewives of [Insert city name here], it's hopeful.

5. Thin Mints -- God Bless the Girl Scouts of America! A sleeve of Thin Mints in my freezer means that all is right with the world. Recently I ordered 6 boxes from my former boss's daughter. I have to literally drive up a mountain to get them, but I don't care. I wonder if they're in yet? I hope she didn't forget me. Maybe I should call.

6. My Shorter Oxford English Dictionary -- My parents gave these two beautiful, wonderful tombs for Christmas a couple of years ago. Yes, I asked for them. I love them. They tell me things like the fact that "satin" is an Old French word, originally Arab; that it pertains to the town of Zaytun. So cool. I'm immediately picturing eighteenth-century, high-waisted gowns, pale blue. And where is Zaytun? It's a fabulous mystery.

7. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs -- They come out once a year, and they are just so daggum good. The perfect ratio of chocolate to peanut butter. So what if they're the same amount of points as a whole Weight Watcher's meal, they're worth it.

8. Manners -- Manners are underrated. Thank heavens I live in a place where people still use "ma'am," "sir," "excuse me," "please," and "thank you"... and mean it. It's civilized. It's nice. It separates us from the base and ordinary. (I swear I'm in my 30s, not my 80s. Still.)

9. Budding, but still winter-bare trees -- Right now I'm looking out the window beside my desk, and the still-gray hardwood in my front yard is budding, lace-like, into the lilac sky. In the mornings, as the sun rises, these trees emerge first from the dark, so friendly with the light behind them. They're a touchstone.

10. Coastal Living magazine -- My parents have given us a subscription for the past few years, and each issue--especially in winter--is a burst of color and warmth. The photos are spectacular, the writing tight, when I read it I still believe that I'll one day have a beach house.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.