Five Marvelous Things That Made My 2016 Bearable!
2016 sure was challenging, and as things spiraled and more people passed away and the world seemed crazier and more dangerous than ever, I took a breath. The past year wasn't all bad, some really great things happened in my life and around the world.
Here are a few examples:
- Populations of tigers, manatees and pandas are growing.
- Child mortality is going down worldwide.
- California is now powering a record number of 6 million homes with solar power.
- Thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge the gene for ALS has been found and we are closer to finding a treatment for a terrible disease.
- Massive strides were taken in Alzheimer's prevention.
- Precision treatments for cancer are hitting clinical trials and WORKING!
- Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.
- Love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton clinched the presidential nomination. No other woman has made it as far toward becoming president.
- Giving up Aqua Net hairspray worked! The ozone is repairing itself!
In my personal life I'm grateful for so many things: our kids are healthy and have great teachers, Mark and I both love our jobs, I discovered Samantha Bee and her humor got me through the election, new neighbors moved onto our street full of wonderful people and they've become great friends. When I looked back at some of my blog posts from the past year I was reminded of what a great time I had!
Here are 5 posts that prove that 2016 wasn't a total fail!
1. I found a time capsule!
Before fancy thermal lunch bags made from organic fabric, we had metal lunchboxes. Most came with a matching thermos and they always had a very distinctive smell. That smell is more than a memory, it’s actually still in my head. Not only did lunchboxes hold our lunches, they were also a sort of treasure chest. My lunchbox was my first purse, it held Super Balls, Lip Slickers, toy rings, folded up posters from Tiger Beat magazine, and anything else that I might want to share with friends at lunch. I was excited to find this one while cleaning out the cellar. What treasures did it hold?…
Where did you keep your cassettes? Did you make mix tapes of BLM from the radio? Share your memories on our Fan Page or tweet #cassettecollection
2. My 50th birthday dinner at David's Opus Ten was amazing!
For my birthday, Mark took me to my favorite Portland restaurant, David’s Opus Ten on Monument Square for a 7 course tasting menu. Above is Vegetarian Chef De Cuisine Rocky Hunter, showcasing Mark’s dessert; buttermilk and poppy seed ice cream, blueberry compote, skillet cornbread and BBQ macerated cherries with candied lemon peel.
Earlier in the meal we enjoyed chili-lime marinated flank steak, farmer’s cucumber salad, mint yogurt, red chimichurri and fried plantains. The plantains were deliciously crunchy and the steak was perfect! I LOVED this course!
Thanks David Turin, for another fabulous restaurant.
3. I spent a lot of quality time crafting with my girls and their friends in our dining room. Here is one of our projects together:
I’m always looking for craft ideas to keep the kids busy, especially on rainy days. This inexpensive dining room table project was a hit. I went to Michael’s Crafts and got the female styrofoam heads on sale for a few bucks each. I picked up some Modge Podge while I was there for 6 dollars, and the kids hit up our neighbors for their old magazines.
Between People Magazine, Rolling Stone and quilting magazines from Miss Maxine, the girls had plenty of images to choose from. After cutting out their pictures, they brushed on a generous coat of Modge Podge onto the head where the pic was going to go, laid the image over it and topped it with another generous coat of Modge Podge.
I love the choker made out of chocolate chip cookies!
4. I found a postcard of my childhood home that was built by my Pepere and is now an R.V. dealership. So many memories came back to me and it was a feeling that I can't describe to see Vacationland again.
Back in the day when you went on vacation it was your responsibility to mail out postcards to friends and family. They often wouldn’t receive them until after you returned, but it was the thought that counted.
My Pepere, Alcide Cote, built Vacationland Motor Court on Rt.1 in Saco. It’s been gone for years, but I always look when I drive by where it used to be, almost expecting to see it’s ghost. The office was attached to our house and it was a magical place to me. There were huge linen closets with sliding doors, rows of old fashioned room keys and posters on the wall advertising what movies were being shown at The Saco Drive-In. I remember my dad hanging the promo poster for Jaws!
I’m not cool enough to be retro, but I am old enough to be nostalgic.
I found these two identical postcards of my childhood home at an eBay shop online that sells vintage postcards. It was made after my parents had sold Vacationland, but it’s just as I remember it. I almost cried when it came in the mail. I got choked up with memories.
This postcard was produced by the family that bought the motor court from us many years ago.
I still miss that swimming pool.
5. We had some spectacular family parties!
After a cook-out last week, the grown ups got creative and presented the kids with this gorgeous tart that we decorated with various edible insects from a company called Thailand Unique! Yummy! There was a Giant Water Bug, Canned Edible Tarantula, Mixed Edible Insects, Edible Silkworm Pupae, Edible Scorpions, Chocolate Covered Superworms and whipped cream to dip them in. At first there were no takers. After some discussion, the the kids broke the ice with the chocolate covered worms, my dad had a cricket, I had a couple fried silkworm pupae and a tarantula leg, Mark ate a beetle, scorpion and a dragonfly, and then things got interesting. Sabelle cleaned off daddy’s nightstand to put up some bet money and see if she could get some action going. She laid out some Japanese yen and a fiver and then chose the biggest, most revolting bug on the pie-the Giant Water Bug. My enterprising offspring then double dog dared the room to chew and swallow a big bite of the gargantuan bug!
What is the grossest thing that you have eaten on a bet? Would you try eating edible bugs? Comment on our fan Page or tweet #wingsinmyteeth
This exotic tasting was a riot, but I’ll stick to my salt and vinegar chips.
I am truly grateful for having another year with family and friends and it's my vow, (not resolution, I never keep those) to be more aware of the good things.
Happy, happy New Year!