Wow, there is a lot of messed-up stuff going on in the world right now. Another school shooting, disappointments among friends and family, loss of loved ones, bad news. Oh, and my teeth still hurt… a lot. I was about to heap s’more sadness onto the pile with a weepy blog post, but now I’ll publish it later. (You can look forward to that! …?) For now, I wanna share some things that make me happy! Yes, this is a totally indulgent post, but I think the world needs it right now.

More to come on my 4-year anniversary vacation over Thanksgiving (which was amazing! No sadness there!) and my sad post soon. But for now:

Fifteen Good Things

These cats. Left to right: Unix (oldest), Perl (in the back, middle child), Lua (youngest, baby, kitten)

These cuddles

Best friends…

…usually.

Wolf spiders in my wolf spider book. I have not yet met a wolf spider, but I adore them in theory. That said, if you find one in your garage or attic, can I meet it? Will you call me? Can I come over? (Atlanta-area.) Whatever you do, please don’t kill it! I know it might be scary, but do what you can to usher it outside. The wolf spider wishes you no ill whatsoever, and only wants to eat the fat evil flies that pester.

Wolf spiders are the coolest, especially the ladies. They can live two or three years and are no danger to humans. They eat the pesky things we dislike. Wolf spider mamas carry their babies around until they’re ready, at which point they emerge from the egg sac and ride around on her back for a week or so!

Our little three dollar Christmas tree, with Christmas dragon, Goomba Claus, and Goomba Claus’ Helper in kuribo shoe. Presents underneath from Elisabeth (CzechVegan) and from me to sweet Nate.

Ornaments!

Ornaments!

Ornaments!

Good bagged tea for this week of healing. Nate loves the peppermint chocolate, and it’s definitely the best. The red velvet is weak! I have to use two bags and steep 7 minutes to make it yummy. I won’t buy it again, but it’s a good desserty tea in a pinch.

A giant fridge stuffed with yummy vegan goodness. When we stop being thankful for food, we’re done for.

A couple of things I’m looking forward to eating once my teeth heal a bit more! I’m still not quite on solid foods, sadly. I tried some vegan buttery capellini tonight and it was a no-go. The vodka sauce by Victoria Vegan is off the chain – a little sweet, but not too sweet, with lots of luscious tomato-ey flavor. Haven’t tried the alfredo yet. When we were teenagers, fettuccine alfredo was my and Jessica’s most favorite favorite favorite. We’d eat it covered in even more parmesan at a family-owned restaurant in downtown Cartersville called Antonino’s. That reminds me: I need to go get some primo fettuccine noodles while they’re still on sale at my favorite local co-op, Sevananda.

A view of just a FEW of the Christmas presents Nate and I made over the weekend. I can show them here, right, because you don’t know what they are or what you’re getting! We made so many good things from…

…this book! Vegan Food Gifts by Joni Marie Newman. With recipes for homemade soup, brownie, and even Kahlua mixes, it’s great for everyone! I especially love how accessible it was to me and Nate as non-crafters. We’re not really crafty, but we found this so easy. We even used it to learn how to can for the first time. Can you believe it? I only just learned how to can for realsies! (Reading about it in theory doesn’t count.)

Good mail and a clean, cozy, good-smelling place to read it. I have the best penpal in all of New York. I also received a super special (rare!) letter from my incredibly busy best-friend-of-twenty-years, the oft-mentioned Jessica. We used to trade the longest letters in high school and college… sixteen or twenty pages was not unusual. Getting one on her pretty purple fleur-de-lis stationery took me back.

This picture of me and my dad, circa 1984.

The fact that 1984 and 2012 have the same dates.

Nate’s bookshelf. It is in our bedroom, so I get to see it all the time, and it is groaning under the weight of his varied interests. I adore how widely he reads. I’ve never been much of a science fiction, weird fiction, or old-fashioned horror person, but he’s getting me into it.

 I appreciate this account of the Zoogs and their beverage in Lovecraft’s The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.

“The Council of Sages, recognizing the visitor, offered a gourd of fermented sap from a haunted tree unlike the others, which had grown from a seed dropt down by someone on the moon; and as Carter drank it ceremoniously a very strange colloquy began.”

Vacation pictures of Nate, the one I adore more than anyone or anything else in the whole wide world, the one I’d do anything for, go anywhere with, who I trust and love completely.

BEST. This will be framed and hung in the house at some point.

Sans sunglasses. Innit he pretty? I know. I’m so lucky. (That Beard!)

This afternoon, my sweet friend Christin came over bearing a get-well gift. She also played with Unix, who is not usually all that playful, but Christin Is Magic

…and so she played!

Christin gave me a present that is so amazing I got weepy. She worked on it most of this week. It’s a RuPaul’s Drag Race Season Five First Look Book and Viewing Companion!

I’m pretty sure I said, through tears: “This is the kind of present I always want to get, you know? Something handmade with so much thoughtfulness and such attention to detail and just so wonderful? But… these are the kinds of presents we never get! But I’ve got one now! And it’s so amazing! I love it so much!”

Each page covered one of the fourteen queens on next season’s Drag Race. It’s packed with insider info, family tidbits, hometowns, and Christin’s odds-of-winning. If you know Christin, you know she’s usually on the money about these things. Jinkx Monsoon is her favorite, although I am digging Detox!

I am so looking forward to hosting viewing parties with Christin next spring, and to reading her amazing recaps of each of the episodes. Christin is one of the funniest people alive and an amazing writer. I’m betting she’ll rival the likes of Richard Lawson’s gut-busting 2010 Gawker recaps.

If you need a laugh, go read some of ‘em: Wigs In The Wind (episode 1), Miss Tyra If You Nasty (episode 2), Tastes Like Chicken (episode 3) , Britney & B & Gaga, Oh My! (episode 4, Snatch Game), Their Rocks and Their Rolls (episode 6), Always Judge A Book By Its Cover (episode 7), Old Man Drag Is the Most Dangerous Kind (episode 8), It’s a Dishonor Just to be Nominated (episode 9).

Ok – hope at least some of that brought you a smile! It was certainly a good way for me to end a weird day. More soon…