10 of my Favorite Things

So here’s the deal, my friends, I can’t lift more than a coffee cup, I haven’t showered in a week, and I’m still kind of high on painkillers.

So. I’m going to cheat just a bit and make this List Wednesday about some of my recent favorite things. I hope you’ll understand, and possibly even find a new favorite things

1. Chocolate Bundt Cake: It can be hard sometimes to find a recipe that converts well to gluten-free, but you’d never guess that this cake wasn’t written that way. We use Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend, and it comes out moist and fluffy and everything you’d ever want in a Bundt cake!

2. Shel the Unicorn: I’ve had a few surgeries over the years, and they all have two things in common: afterward I get pancakes and a stuffed animal. Shel the Unicorn (and her relative Dax the Sloth) come from the Manhattan Toy Company and are about the softest stuffies I’ve ever had. There is nothing better than having a new friend to snuggle after you have an operation.

3. 3DS Kingdom Hearts: The original Kingdom Hearts for ps2 was my first RPG, and it holds a very special place in my heard. About 15 years after Kingdoms Hearts came out, we’re finally going to get Kingdom Hearts 3. It’s been one hell of a wait. But while we’re waiting, Nintendo put out a new 3DS version that I’m having so much fun with. New worlds and old favorite characters are making the wait much more bearable.

4. Overdrive App: I have been a library addict since I could read, and the only thing that makes free books and other media better is not having to go to the library at all! The Overdrive App lets you check out eBooks and audiobooks out from your local library without ever leaving the house. Plus they sync with kindles, tablets, and smartphones so you can read and listen wherever you want!

5. The Golden Compass Audiobook: The His Dark Materials trilogy has been one of my favorites since childhood, and oftentimes the problems with loving a book so much is that the audiobook is never as good as it is in your head. This one is an exception. The author, Phillip Pullman is the narrator, and it has a full cast that sounds very close to what I expected. We listened to this on the way to and from Kansas City and it was perfect road trip material!

6. Simple Gel Cream: I thought when I made it to adulthood without acne, I was in the clear. That was a lie. Here I am at 30, with my face bleeding every time I touch it. Washing my face is sensory hell, as is lotion, but I’ve been trying to find things that I can tolerate, and this moisturizer is it. It isn’t a weird texture, it sinks in quickly, and there’s minimal smell. If only all skin care was this easy.

7. Queer Eye on Netflix: Whenever I watch an episode of Queer Eye, by the end I’ll¬†inevitably end up with dust in my eye because I’m definitely not crying. I’m old enough that I watched the original Queer Eye in high school, but this reboot is miles ahead of it. Yes, there’s still a wardrobe change and new recipes and a big reveal, but the reboot takes more of a holistic approach, helping the Guy live as his best self. The original focused on Straight Guys, but the new seasons so far have has a woman, a gay guy, and even a trans guy!

8. Hardback Game App: I think I may have mentioned my love of board games here before, and the only thing better than board games are board games on the go. A lot of board game producers are starting to make app versions, which is great, because they’re way cheaper and much more portable, and let you play online or against someone sitting next to you. Hardback is like Scrabble on steroids, and for less than 5 bucks, it’s my favorite new game.

9. Speed cube: I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube almost 10 years ago, and since then have been using it as me “fun facts about me” fact. It also makes a great stim toy. I used to buy Rubik’s brand cubes and take them apart and sand them down, and then lube them up with silicone, in order to make them faster and smoother. But no more! Paying the extra couple of bucks for a speed cube makes so much difference, I can’t stop playing with it, and it glides like butter.

10. Angel: My cats have had to live in the office while I’ve been recovering, but Angel is gentle enough that he’s been allowed supervised visits. It’s lifted my spirits to have him snuggle up against me and purr like a motor.

So. These are a few of my favorite things. As always, I’d love to hear about yours- it’ll give me something to check out while I’m couch-bound!

7 Pictures on My Phone

So there are more than 7 Pictures on my phone. More like a thousand, actually. I have trouble deleting them, even if they are backed up. Even more so, I’m showing my age by being baffled by “the cloud”. Like, I know that Cloud means information is stored digitally somewhere, but I just not quite there when it comes to using it. Eh, I’ve never been much of an early adapter anyway.

So what I did for this list was go through all 1000+ and picked out the 7 that I loved most. The number is 7 because I got tired of emailing myself images. That’s a great reason, right?

Jess and Spike.jpeg

This is my wife! Doesn’t she have a great smile? As you can see, Spike the Cat doesn’t care about looking good for the camera. In fact, he seems to resent the fact that neither of us are petting him. This is kind of an old picture, but believe me, he still makes that face.

Meesh Tattoo
Wow, my arm looks very large, but I guess it’s worth it so I can show you my tattoo! I got it this spring, and I love it! My best friend loved elephants more than I’ve ever seen anyone love an animal, so when she died, I knew exactly what sort of memorial tattoo I was going to get. The pain wasn’t nearly as bad I had worried about, but oh boy the pressure was a lot!
Cinnamon Roll Turkey.jpeg

Can you tell that it’s supposed to be a turkey? No worries, it’s a bit abstract, but they’re delicious, so it’s ok! This is the first time we’ve successfully made Gluten Free cinnamon rolls for my wife, and these turned out so well! Now we’ve got delicious pastries AND a new Thanksgiving breakfast tradition!

Baby Michi Judges You.jpeg

Would you believe this tiny judgey baby is in fact Me? Oh, well maybe you would. I’m about one here, and my sister found the photo when she was going through some old boxes. Somehow Baby Michi turned into a sort family meme, and let’s just say it gets sent back and forth a lot.¬†

Balloon Glow.jpeg

As you may know, I live in St. Louis, and every summer there’s a huge balloon race! The night before, they blow up all the balloons as the sun sets, and people bring picnics and blankets and just sit and watch. It’s a magical experience, one that I remember experiences during childhood, and now I get to share it with Jess (who loved it!)

Wedding Soot Sprites.jpeg

Weddings can be very stressful. Lots of people you don’t know, food you can’t predict, the music is usually loud and you have to make small talk with strangers. Not this wedding though! No DJ, no dancing, no small talk. Just Facepainters and Magicians and Sword Swallowers. They basically hired the Renaissance Faire to play the wedding. Those things on my arm are Soot Sprites, from the movie Spirited Away! I also had them on my tie, and the Facepainter suggested she give me some to match. I was so sad when they washed off!

Birthday Spike.jpeg

We started with Spike, so we’re going to end with Spike. This was taken on my wife’s birthday a few years ago. He had never seen flames before, and he was obsessed with getting close to the candle. After shooing him away a few times, we let him investigate, figuring that he’d stop when it got hot. Well, long story short, he didn’t, and this picture was taken moments before he ended up with some singed whiskers. Not the smartest cat, but he sure is cute!

Well, I hope you enjoyed talking a walk through my photo albums. In doing this I realized that while artistic value played a part in the photos that I picked, having a story behind the photo was actually more important to me. Are you a photo hoarder like me? Do you have pictures with stories? Tell me about them!