Tuesday, February 20, 2018


It's a sleeting, slick and slothful day here in northeastern Wisconsin. Ice is dropping from the honey locust tree in our front yard, chipping off like intermittent hail. Everything got cancelled and that, friends, is AWESOME. (Except that I left all the papers I need to grade back at school. And it's midquarter this week with parent-teacher conferences scheduled tomorrow night. Whoops.)

A whole day stretches before me with only two actual chores: 1) bake cookies for Mr. B and Mr. D to bring to the State Wrestling Tournament Thursday and 2) write some pages of my next book. It's luxurious to get this chunk of free time after a total grind of a month has chopped me up and spit me out feeling wasted and wanting. Instead of writing about events that have devastated my heart, today I take the unusual turn of writing about STUFF that make me feel happy.

1. SmartWool socks If you don't own a pair, get some. They last and last and feel so good and never stink. They also never bunch, sag or get holes.
2. Lash Boost by Rodan + Fields I've used their skin products for a long time now and my consultant talked me into trying this magic eyelash growing elixir. It works. People have complemented my long lashes several times in the past two months. In case you are old like me and didn't get the memo, aging means you grow hair in strange places (hello, 3-inch-long eyebrow hair!) and lose it in more desirable locations, like your eyelashes become sparser and shorter. Fun fact: a tube of this product lasts almost 5 months before you require more.
3. The Winter Olympics I park my butt in the recliner every night to tune in. The skiing, the racing, the figure skating, the snowboarding--all of it enchants me. Bode Miller's commentary is riveting and I adore that people know so much about obscure sports and are able to share their knowledge with amateur fans like me in an intelligent way. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir make me feel like a skating expert because thanks to them I drop terms like "twizzle" and "axle" sounding soooo savvy. It's wonderful how by the end of one week the athletes become so familiar. I can't understand why anyone would waste their time watching anything else while there are Olympic Games to watch on TV.
Maé-Bérénice Méitér rules the ice.

4. Polka King Porter by Door County Brewing Co. My new favorite winter brew. Flavored microbrews have become a thing that I can't get behind, so I'm glad to have discovered a non-coffee/berry/chocolate tasting beverage.
5. Tessa Hadley is fan-freaking-tabulous. Go get her books. If you're a fan of Elizabeth Jane Howard or Rosamund Pilcher, writers who master the character-driven family drama, she's your new favorite author. I don't know how her work slid under my radar until now, but my friend Heidi Honeyman, AKA small town me, led me to her and I am grateful.
6. Target's Dark Chocolate Himalayan Salted Almonds I keep a bag in my desk at work and eat them every day. Addicting little buggers. Salty, crunchy, sweet and just a touch of bitter. Do try them.
7. UntitledTown Green Bay's annual book and author festival is coming in April and the anticipation has me babbling about it to everybody. Mary Roach will be there! Christopher Moore! It's going to be LIT!
8. Lit The slang definition is "exciting" or "excellent" and since we know it's awful when old people use the hip words, of course I have taken to saying it ALL THE TIME as an English teacher. We just started a sci fi unit in English 12 (literature units are rare in Room 212, I'm much more comfortable teaching writing). I greet my students every day lately by cheerfully declaring, "This class is LIT!" 

This past month has reminded me that life is short, the little pleasures matter because they make the hard parts more bearable. Spill it, reader. What indulgences can you recommend?


  1. After indulging in January (hello Northern California!) I'm back to the grindstone in February, dealing with things like broken back teeth and dying iphones. We are all Olympics all the time here - got the app on the roku so we can SEE IT ALL. I had no idea ice dancing would give me soooo many feels.
    It's been pointed out we have had a nonstop supply of freshly baked brownies at our house, so maybe that's our February indulgence. Best part is that I haven't had to make them either. Random teens show up and bake them for me.

  2. My recliner and I join you every night! I adore the Olympics! Bode kills me with his surfer dude sound and lingo - it's totally rad! For some reason snowboarding makes me tense, as in physically tensed up as they are tearin' up the halfpipe. Adam Rippon. Need I say more? I've even enjoyed watching curling. It's like a weird form of shuffleboard.

    My indulgences? Anything with pesto makes me ridiculously happy. New pink fleece mittens. Cross stitching every single unscheduled minute since Christmas.

  3. I join you on the couch every night, getting my fill of these incredibly talented and hardworking athletes! I'm taking some of my day today to watch curling. Tomorrow, weather permitting, is my online school's second annual virtual talent show!

  4. I love this list! I'm right there with you on the Olympics. I think my current fav is the snowboarder who won a gold in the super-G on borrowed skis. Her expression when she saw her time just killed me.

    Indulgences here? Umm ... we seem to have a non-stop supply of baked goods. Cake? Check. When that ran out, of course I had to make brownies. And then chocolate chip cookies. And then ... well, you get the picture.

  5. We're definitely into the Olympics at our house. My 17 y.o. keeps seeing 15, 16, and 17 year old athletes winning and jokes, "What am I doing with my life?!"

    Indulgences: vats of moisturizers and body oils for my skin, good quality dark chocolate, and my Blundstone boots.

  6. Tessa Hadley is a new author to me, but I just added one of her books to my reading list. Thanks😀

  7. Hey, glad you liked the book!
    I'm so jealous of your #7!

  8. Getting up an hour earlier in the morning during the weekday probably doesn't sound like an indulgence... but for the past month I've been trying this in order to get some much needed writing time in. It's been so nice to have the extra time before work to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee while getting lost in my words and watching the sunrise from my kitchen table, usually with my cat sitting next to my laptop.

    Also, I LOVE that you're using Lit.:)

  9. I will have to see if my library has any Tessa Hadley books!

    I'm indulging in fantasies about how to redo my house now that our kids are all moved out.

  10. Eastern Washington University has a "Get LIT!" festival each spring, so I love that my original home state and my current home state are both hip. I'm going to have to check out Tessa Hadley books. Thank you for the recommendation! Sitting up in the recliner after everyone has gone to bed and reading with a cat in my lap is an indulgence I'm trying to practice (instead of sitting up with the laptop). Tonight the cat is elsewhere and I'm catching up on blog reading.


Spill it, reader.