Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mindy's List of Top 10 Favorite Things for 2013

Happy New Year's Eve!

Here's my list of the top ten things I loved in 2013 ... (in random order)

* Learning to can from Zach's mom!

* We had very little waste in our bountiful garden this year! We had to work hard to can, freeze, and dehydrate much of what we didn't manage to eat ...

* In addition to our garden, we "raised" and released two very beautiful butterflies!

* Work/school is starting to seem fun and manageable again. In October, I met Dr. Cornel West!

I rode with my professor to pick up Dr. West from the Indianapolis airport. He was on the last flight out of NYC and it was way past midnight when we arrived back in Lafayette. I have never met Dr. West before, but I've read some of his books and watched him rap on C-SPAN (more than a decade ago!). I knew a little bit about Dr. West the scholar, but it's a whole different experience to meet Dr. West, the person. Here's what I learned from spending an hour in the car with him: Dr. West greets everyone as a "brother" or a "sister," in an effort to acknowledge their humanity. Dr. West snacks on Frito-Lays corn chips and animal crackers. Dr. West sustains on no more than 3 hours of sleep everyday. Dr. West knows Katy Perry songs (he sang Roar for us on the ride back!). Dr. West identifies himself firstly as his mother's child and his daddy's kid, secondly as a Christian, and thirdly as a revolutionary. Dr. West always asks to know where someone is from and where they went to school. Dr. West dresses in what he calls "funeral clothes."

* We took a road trip this summer and visited NYC, Providence, Portland (ME), and saw the sun rise from Acadia (Cadillac Mountain)! In Maine, we ate a boat load of lobsters, which left me really, really happy. I want to live in Maine.

* I started learning bits and pieces about traditional Chinese medicine and herbs,

and making nourishing soups to share with my friend Corrinne! Chinese herbs are a good and gentle way to strengthen and provide the body with what it needs. Drinking certain soups have also helped (occasionally) with my ongoing battle with insomnia ...

* I made a last minute trip back to Singapore in late September and for the first time in over a decade, got to celebrate my mom and dad's birthdays!

* I also got to meet my nephew, Asher, for the very first time! He is the happiest and friendliest baby I know!

* Zach and I collaborated on some really awesome print and sew projects! I love it when we get to work together!

* Talking on the phone with my dad while he's on his way to work.

Okay, so this might not be entirely safe, but he assures me that he only calls when he is sitting in heavy traffic (which is every single morning in Singapore!). I like having this daily connection with him. We balance each other out: whenever I am having a tough day, my dad listens to me and makes me laugh, and when my dad is about to start a stressful day at the office, I try my best to distract him with all sorts of silliness. My dad is a first-class problem solver too so whenever I'm stuck, talking to him untangles my mind. It comforts me to know he is my protector even from thousands of miles away.

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