- GOOD HEALTH. As a former nurse and health educator, top of my list is health, which most of us can achieve by seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner regularly, maintaining a good diet and getting plenty of exercise. (You all could have written that sentence.) THIS WEEK, May 6th through the 12, is National Nurses Week, a good reminder to make sure your children are up to date on their immunizations (MMR, DPT etc check the list here) and that you have had your annual physical to protect yourself from disease and thus be able to continue your life’s work (whatever that may be) and care for your family. I’m a big proponent of HERD IMMUNITY as members of my family are immunocompromised.
- MEDICAL SHOWS. I love them, the serious ones like ER, CHICAGO HOPE, SAINT ELSEWHERE, CHICAGO MED, THE RESIDENT, CODE BLACK, and CALL THE MIDWIFE. (If I missed a good one, let me know.) When I worked in Labor and Delivery, my shift was 3-11. Stimulated and sometimes still mentally reviewing my charting, I often would sit memorized watching a recorded show until I could calm down and go to sleep. Know of a book that involves medicine, nonfiction? Dr. Atul Gawande is one of my favorite authors. Fiction? If reading the back-cover blurb, medicine is mentioned, I’m there.
- QUEEN ELIZABETH II. I’ve written about this before, but my fascination also led me to English history, and that’s been beneficial in many ways. On May 19th, Prince Harry will marry an American, Meghan Markle, and I will enjoy watching whatever is on television or on the web, and reading articles about the wedding. A true gift in the last year has been THE CROWN, much of the material taken from books written by English historian Robert Lacey, and yet conceived and written by Peter Morgan for Netflix. So far the series has covered Elizabeth’s life from birth to 1955.
- WRITING. Now that my husband and I are living in California, my dedication to my writing has increased. Yes, I wrote three novels (unpublished), when we lived in Iowa and I was running a household and raising our son as well as having a part time job: one doing copy editing and proofreading, the other working for the Des Moines Health Department. But now my afternoons are here, at my computer, writing. My memberships with The Women of Midlife, my blogger friends, and the other with Women Fiction Writers Association have made the writing better and provided me with great friendships. Who wouldn’t count that as a FAVORITE THING?
- GARDENING. (photo above) As a child I was in charge of a small patch under the dining room windows. After I was married, gardening wherever we lived became an important part of my life. The Midwest, of course, provides one with a break. Autumn is the time your beds look great, weeds stop growing and you celebrate with colorful mums and ornamental kale. I’ve had my struggles with growing roses in the Midwest, but here in California, they grow like weeds. One of my favorite spring gardens in Des Moines contained wild bluebells and cornflowers. Spring in the Midwest is a RUSH. You don’t get that here, as something is always blooming. I do miss the RUSH.
- SHOPPING AT TARGET AND FAMOUS FOOTWEAR. I’m a hands-on kind of person. I like to examine things myself, have never enjoyed bothering a salesperson. Buying my shoes at FF allows me to sit with as many pairs as I want, take my time, not wait for a salesperson to find my size. Target can often be a one-stop experience — oh and sometimes TJ Max is like that too. Online shopping is good for some things, but I have to try on shoes and when I order clothing online, it rarely works.
- READING NEWSPAPERS AND NEWS MAGAZINES. Please note, we do recycle. But I love sitting with paper. I do read on the computer, get quick updates for political news on Twitter, but prefer print forms for all of my reading. Kindle or a book? THE BOOK.
- CRAFTS. Today I’ve been painting a small table with milk paint from Michaels Craft Store. I am using Americana Decor Chalky Finish in a grey, called Artifact. I have painted picture frames, a mirror, a book shelf and numerous tables and chairs in my time. If I can, I do the work on my patio, listen to birdsong and enjoy the transformation.
*** Of course being with my husband and my family TOPS all of the above. I treasure the walks I take with my husband almost every day, the films we watch together, spending time with friends on Friday nights, any phone call with our far-away daughter (Boston) and far-away son (Chicago) as well as being with my close daughter and her family, our grandchildren, our son-in-law and my brother and his wife here in the LA area. Family is everything.
What are your favorite things? No more “warm woolen mittens” for me.