Ok. I know I’m not Oprah, and I’m sorry to say that raindrops on roses are not one of my favorite things (although who can resist whiskers on kittens?). Yet if I had the resources, every person I know and love would get this:
First, the bag. I love string backpacks. I know lots of adults do not like them because they feel flimsy. But I love how light they are and although they can’t hold much, it’s still better than having a purse on your shoulder or holding a wallet you may forget. It’s great when taking walks with your family (not hikes, just walks) or when going to the beach. The one pictured just happens to be one I purchased at the Becoming an Outdoor Woman weekend. It’s extra special to me.
Parchment paper!!! My friend, Aymie, has often raved about this handy dandy tool, and I only half listened to her and probably nodded and agreed. But now I really get it. I used it for nearly every cookie and candy concoction I made this holiday season, and I can’t believe how much it cut down on the amount of pans I had to wash. I even reused the same paper a few times and *nothing* caught on fire. Fantastic!
My favorite book of the year (and probably the decade), All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I know most of my Facebook friends are probably sick as hell of hearing me rave about this book, but I just can’t help it. I haven’t read a book like this in a very long time, if ever. I not only enjoyed each of the 531 pages, but savored them. It’s historical fiction with a bit of mystery. The book has characters you want to see die and others you want to protect, and still others you hope really exist. It’s magical. Not magical as in fantastical, but magical as in beautiful–a beautiful story beautifully written.
A Reny’s dark chocolate bar with sea salt. This is no ordinary chocolate bar. I’m sure you’ve seen this craze in the past few year with chocolate and sea salt. But *this* bar is from Reny’s! Reny’s is a Maine department store and is truly a Maine institution. They have bargains galore, but it’s not a dirty or trashy place. It has some name brand items (like Carhartt and SmartWool), but also has Reny’s brand items–like this chocolate bar! There is a store just a block from the library where I work and I frequent the place, looking for gluten-free items (they carry lots of gf flours) and the occasional gift. When I tried this chocolate bar, each and every square just made my taste buds tingle. Delicious and exhilarating!
Lastly, Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cookies. Oh, man, do I love these. There is no flour of any kind in them, mostly just peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and candy. Easy to make, and if you love peanut butter, you just can’t go wrong with these mouth-watering yummies.
The one image not shown that was probably my favorite “thing” this year, was the amount of love and friendship I received. I know, majorly corny, right? But after having such a tough year, physically and emotionally, my friends (old ones and new ones) and my family not only helped get me through it, but they showed me that life can be pretty damn great, if only I can get out from beneath that dark cloud.
There will always be hard times and I know there are so many more tough days and months ahead, but I also know that feeling as loved as I do will help me plow through the muck to find the other side. I’m hoping for sunny days on that other side, but even just partly cloudy will do just fine. 🙂
Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, no matter what you celebrate–Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, Empire Day, Endor Day, Pon Farr, or just life itself.
Enjoy yourselves and each other.