Friday, December 30, 2016

Favorite Things of 2016

I love making my favorite things of the year list. This year's list leans heavily toward media and family. Books are usually my very favorite things of the year, but I do have an interests beyond books--as my husband will occasionally remind me.

1. Dinner out with the kids
When I thought of favorite moments of the year, I immediately thought of the day we took my (step)son, daughter-in-law, and grandson out to eat to celebrate my son's employee of the month award at work. We tried a Mexican seafood place, loved the food and time together, and took lots of goofy pictures. (That's me in the cable-knit sweater and pearls....)

2. Quando, Quando, Quando video
I absolutely adore this video that I ran unto this year. It's so charming. And now, it's available as an MP3 on Amazon, and he's working on a CD. Watch it. You'll be charmed.

3. Kevin Can Wait
I've been decrying the lack of good family sitcoms that last few years. Too many reality TV and crime dramas later, the pendulum is finally swinging back toward family shows. At our house, we're especially excited about Kevin Can Wait, staring Kevin James, the actor of our favorite sitcom of all time, King of Queens.

4. Last Man Standing
I also tried a few episodes of Tim Allen's Last Man Standing this year and was instantly hooked. I love this show, and not only for Allen's conservative politics (though that is a lot of it).

5. Modern Mrs. Darcy podcast
Until this year, I assumed you had to have some sort of device in order to listen to podcasts. I've never been happier to be wrong. I've loved the Modern Mrs. Darcy podcast this year where guests tell Anne Bogel three books they love, one book they hate, and what they're reading now, and she returns book recommendations.

6. Photo collection additions
I collect a number of things (dog figurines, dog show ribbons, Christmas ornaments, etc.), but my favorite collection is my collection of antique photographs. I spent a couple months early this year bidding on some stunning pieces on eBay, including this pair of portraits from the 1930s of Margaret Rolfe and her parrots Flossie and Laura. Suffice it to say, finding portraits of birds is very rare.

7. Note from my dad
On the first anniversary of my father's passing, I was climbing the stairs at the library (where I work), thinking about Dad, when I saw a post-it on one of the doors that read: "You are here for something." I just knew this was a message from him. On my way back down the stairs at the end of the day, the note was still up, so I snatched it before custodial could. It now sits in a frame on my bedside table to remind me that even though I don't know what yet, I'm here for something.

8. Blog interviews
I enjoyed conducting two interviews on my blog this year, the first with Brady Carlson author of Dead Presidents, the second with Anne Byrn author of American Cake. Both came about because the authors read my review of their book and contacted me, and I didn't let a good opportunity pass.

9. Poetry, especially the poem “I Am Really Just a Tambourine”
This year I read 1,431 poems, and I loved every minute of it. It was like going home. A number of them were poems I already knew and loved, but more were new to me. One poem that particularly stands out is Hafiz's "I Am Really Just a Tambourine."

10. X-Files
Back in the mid-90s, my college boyfriend introduced me to X-Files with all its grisly, spine-tingling, paranoid fun. I'd forgotten what a fabulously-done show this was until my husband took to DVR-ing the series, and we started watching them from the beginning. The weird thing is, I remember episodes though I've only seen them once twenty years ago. Now that's lasting TV!

What were some of your favorite things of the year?

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