I like forests.  A lot.  So you can probably find me obsessing about the next time I can go hiking or snowshoeing.  Currently, I am planning a trip to Yellowstone for later this year.  Often one of the best therapies for my back pain is movement, and I prefer to move outside surrounded by trees, birds, and mountains when I’m lucky.

I like old things.  I majored in classics as an undergraduate, and I went on to earn my master’s in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Durham University.  I worked on my PhD in medieval literature and ancient epic for a time at the University of York.  Old buildings have character which is absent from modern construction, and each artifact in a museum would have been painstakingly carved, woven, painted, or written by hand.

I like cooking.  Partially out of necessity I learned to pair flavors and combine ingredients into satisfying meals while I was living in England.  I’d never really paid much attention to cooking, and these days everything is so convenient.  Why wouldn’t I buy a pre-made Asian sauce or spice blend?  In the recent years probably only 30% of my food has been pre-made in any way, and these days it’s down to around 10% (breads, protein mixes, nut butters, hummus).

I like films.  Good ones can make you laugh, cry, and think about the world in new ways.  Before I’d ever traveled outside the United States, movies took me to distant lands and showed me people whose lives I never would have imagined.

I like books.  Certain works have helped shape significant times in my life.  I was reading Wuthering Heights when I moved from Durham to York.  Matilda made me fall in love with reading as a young child, while James and the Giant Peach was the first chapter book I read to myself without assistance.  Harry Potter reinvigorated my love of literature, while The Lord of the Rings helped me cope with being far from home.

I adore wildlife and domestic animals.  I love tea and have far too many kinds.  I own far too many scarves.  I mark special trips with items of jewelry.  I incorporate green into my wardrobe and home as much as I can without driving my husband bananas.  (Though, it was our wedding color.  Sorry, honey.)  I would cover our house in art if I could.  I love good, clean smells like essential oils, incense, and flowers.

I fight against my pain each day as much as I can, and I do my best to find the little things that make me happy.