Tuesday, February 7, 2017

January Joys & Favorites | you spun gold out of this hard life

| Joys |
| New to the Garden | When Grandma asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told her I am obsessed with plants and she could buy me a bag of dirt, put a bow on it, and I would be beyond thrilled. She did buy me a bag of dirt. Also: a few pots, a Mother Jones homesteading omnibus, and this Norfolk Island Pine. I already have a Norfolk Pine I rescued from the clearance shelf at a hardware store in January of last year. Despite looking like they were plucked from the North Pole, they're actually tropical plants and love a lot of humidity and sunlight. Keeping them misted is not a problem for me, but the sunlight is not so abundant in my home. But, I've set this one up on my dining room table next to my fish bowl, to gaze upon every time I sit down to eat a meal. (More garden updates here.)
| Baby Shower | My pal-since-forever, Selena, is having a baby boy. This month I was lucky enough to help her celebrate with a baby shower in her childhood home. Selena has been so dear to me for so long, and I couldn't be more happy for her.
| Forest School | The kids and I have been spending a lot of time outside on Thursdays. They are particularly keen on leaving treats for birds and critters. We've left stale toast hanging from trees and these mushy apples, on which we spread peanut butter then dipped in bird seed and skewered in the thicket beyond the back fence. (Unfortunately, these mostly attracted rats, which our cat, Thorn, then massacred.)
| Snow Days | We might not get another snow this winter. So, I'll savor this (and this).
| Favorites |
| Teas | Trader Joe's Organic/Fairtrade Rooibos & Honeybush! I swear by red tea and drink at least one mug of the stuff a day. The honeybush is a nice touch, mild but pleasant and sweetish, much like the rooibos itself. | Paromi Tea's Chamomile Lavender! a gift from my grandmother because she knows lavender is a special herb/flower for me, carrying special meaning, which I like to wear as a perfume and consume in teas and coffees and candies (I'm also keen on the color lavender). Also, Paromi teas come in a nice frosted glass jar, protecting against UV light, moisture, and other potentially tea-ruining elements (also: pretty enough to give as a gift).
| Restaurant | Dame's Chicken & WafflesMy foodie pal at work, Vincent, had been talking up this restaurant for weeks before Wolfman and I finally got the opportunity to go. Our waiter was a sweetheart, the food was rich and satisfying, and, luckily for us, the night we chose to go was a quiet one (so we hermit Wolfpeople were as comfortable as we could be in a public eating establishment). I ordered the Frizzled Fowl ("a panko-crusted chicken cutlet, a classic waffle, blueberry shmear, drizzled with plum sauce and almonds") with a side of collards (pictured below). Wolfman ordered the Buff Brahmas ("two cutlets drizzled with whiskey creme sauce, a classic waffle, and peach and apricot shmear") with grits.
| Stationery | With a Secret Santa gift card to Barnes & Noble, I bought some paper lantern notecards by Papyrus. I crave stationary but have such a hard time choosing prints and papers that I feel truly represent me. I'm attracted to everything at once, which makes me question all of it.
| Hooch | Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey: Though I'd love to pretend that drinking whiskey without grimacing is a talent of mine, because I've watched and read so many Westerns, it's not the truth at all. I am not schooled or graceful at whiskey. But, this Black Barrel is the closest I've ever come to drinking whiskey straight-faced--smooth, spicy, and utterly indulgent.
| Product | Herbabless Goat's Milk Patchouli Lotion: I don't use lotion, or at least I didn't up until Santa dropped this in my stocking. Previously, I used coconut oil exclusively for all my moisturizing needs. But, I like the smell of this and I like the ingredient list, and I like even more that it's locally made, so I leave it on the kitchen counter for post-dish washing dry hands.
| Books | Flotsam by David Weisner, Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain, and The Strange History of Bonnie & Clyde by John Treherne. These books all captured my imagination in different ways this month.

| Movie | In December, I watched my first Studio Ghibli film, Kiki's Delivery Service, with Mads. Naturally, I chose a movie about a witch as my first encounter with Hayao Miyazaki, but neither Mads nor I were really that impressed. In fact, I may not have even tried another Studio Ghibli film, except I'd forgotten Howl's Moving Castle was in my Netflix DVD queue. I must have a Netflix angel watching over me, because I absolutely adored this movie. It was just so strange and beautiful, the music so sweeping, everything just trippy and weird and magical. Mads loved it, too. We turned this one back in reluctantly. There are many more Hayao Miyazaki movies in the Wolfpeople future. | Other movies I loved this month: Paddington and Gross Pointe Blank.
| Music | I'd like to be able to say that some obscure 90's pagan metal band or a new stoner band that plays only songs about Satan was my favorite this month. The truth, however, is so much more basic than that. I finally got around to listening to Beyonce's Lemonade and it blew my freaking mind. I've listened to "All Night" so many times, I feel like it's been inscribed into my DNA at this point and is part of my emotional make-up forever. | Other music I loved this month: Solange's A Seat at the Table and Delicate Steve's This is Steve,

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