D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

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D.L. Recommends Vol. 6 (The Summer of Crazy Edition)

at least THIS one won't be leaving me for kindergarten any time soon . . .

at least THIS one won't be leaving me for kindergarten any time soon . . .

 

Wow, I don't think I have done one of the recommendation posts in forever, but it's about September so I best get on it. Life has been difficult. To be honest, I am in the whole isolating stage of mild depression and anxiety. That doesn't mean that there aren't wonderful things going on in my life, but it does mean that my mental health is still a bit precarious and I have a lot of new things to adjust to (2 kids, husband working long hours, book edits due, new loud and exciting apartment complex). But it is raining outside and my daughter is at her kindergarten orientation, so I thought it would be good to look back at a few of the things I have been into in the past few months. 

 

Le Croix

Are you guys on the sparkling water band-wagon? You should be. These little cans are so addicting it is scary, and have helped me through some mighty-humid summer days and nights. I recommend the lime, coconut, or grapefruit flavors, but if you live in a fancy part of town you might be able to find pineapple/strawberry! 

 

Bear Carver

OK stop what you are doing right now and listen to Bear Carver. This has been my jam this summer. It is gorgeous, haunting, and all the work of a dude I went to Bible College with. I think he left our school and went back to his home in the south to hang out with his family and get married and make this beautiful music and I just really appreciate that. I am not selling this well, but trust me. Trust me. Go listen to it here or buy it on itunes!

 

The Grantchester Mystery novels

Ok so you all know that I love the Grantchester show, but the novels are just as good. Some of the storylines are similar and some are completely new, and it actually deals with a lot more theology/thoughts about God and suffering and all that stuff. Just a completely lovely read for those that might suffer from mild anxiety and depression. 

 

The New Yorker

For 12 glorious weeks I received the New Yorker (plus, I got a tote!). If you can get past the anxiety of not being able to read each issue before the next one comes, you should sign up for one of their many subscription deals and cancel right before you have to pay the big bucks! You can read like a king and queen about all of the hilarious foibles and problems of the artistic uppercrust. It really is illuminating stuff. And those weird little drawings!

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates

He has a new book out and it is super poetic and has some very hard truths and I think you should read it and then we can discuss it. 

 

Running Even Though You Are Overweight

Who cares if you are slow and bounce around a lot more than everyone around you? Running is a great way to explore new neighborhoods, soak in some vitamin D, work out writing conundrums, and is a form of exercise that is available for everyone! It's so great for mental health, conventional-beauty-standards-in-fitness be damned!

 

Matt Kearney

I got super into Matt Kearney at the tail-end of my bedrest, so now I will always equate his newest album with the birth of my son. So I heart it, a lot. I normally do not care for this kind of slow pop, but it really did me good this summer. So go listen!

 

Baby Straight-Jackets

I mean, swaddles. They are amazing. 

 

Record Collections

I bought some of those big boxed collections of records from a thrift store--one that was "old country" (think Johnny Cash) and one that was "The Fabulous 40s". I just pick one, turn it on, and go about my day. It's like a mixed tape from decades ago, just for me!

 

Re-thinking the Ministry of Funfetti (only for a few days)

All this baby-having and almost-dying and moving across the country and staying in 4 different houses in one week alone led to some poor eating habits and to a seriously unhappy stomach. So for the past few days I have been doing that horrible no-sugar, no-carbs thing that everyone on Pinterest is always yammering about and I have to say: I do feel better (although coming off of sugar makes me meaner than a wildcat, as it turns out). I expect to go back to my normal eating habits soon, just try not to be so heavy on the refined stuff (I will save that for special occasions). 

 

Hiking

Good gracious, Oregon is glorious. I know I have turned into my mom because all I want for a personal day would be to hike alone in the quiet woods. 

 

Succulents

This is super weird, but one of the things I fixated on as we were waiting on confirmation for housing was that I wanted to fill my new-to-me-apartment with green plants. Succulents are obviously super cute and hip right now, but I manage to kill even those. I am trying it out again, however, and we will see how this goes. Air quality issues are always present in urban areas (more kids have asthma, etc) and a single aloe vera plant in a room works better than an air purifier. Isn't that wild?

 

Apartment Therapy (Small Spaces)

Another coping mechanism I had in the midst of selling-everything-and-moving-across-the-country was thinking about how I wanted to set up and decorate an 800sq ft space. The website Apartment Therapy has all of these awesome small apartment hacks, and I just loved looking at the design ideas and storage hacks. I highly recommend it. 

 

Coloring Books for Adults

Yes, this is totally something I was into before it became a sensation. So calming! except when I have to share my markers with my daughter.

 

 

Aaaand, that's it. Not a lot of new content for me. Survival mode means I have been re-watching Parks and Rec and Doctor Who, re-reading Harry Potter and the book of Isaiah, and just trying to keep us all alive, fed and clothed. As always, I would love to hear what you recommend!

 

 

D.L. Recommends vol. 4

   

Stuff that I, D.L., humbly recommend.

 

 

 

 

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MidWest Leaves

Now that we live in a house with a yard and trees we get to play in the leaves that fall off. I was so confused that it was so awesome and crunchy and wonderful and then i remembered what leaves are like in Portland--wet, sodden, clumpy hidey-holes for slugs. Not so awesome. So yeah, MidWest, you win the fall game. You still super lose at the winter game, however.

 

 

The Longest Shortest Time

Have I talked about this yet? This is like the best podcast ever for parents. Short, poignant, interesting--I love everything they do. It makes you feel both understood as a crazy person (aka parent) and really validates what a horrible, wonderful time it is.

 

 

Quitting

I really recommend quitting something if you just aren't feeling it. This month I tried to watch Gilmore Girls but I just wanted to murder everyone so badly so I stopped. I also quit halfway through the first Outlander book (oh my word it was not my cup of tea) and I basically have quit watching television. There is no shame in giving up and moving on to greener pastures.

 

 

Awesome Essay Collections that just happen to be written by Women

Two books I have read over the past few months (The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jameson and On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss) were both so stunning and so thoughtful that I can't stop thinking about them. I am also excited to read books by Roxane Gay and Amy Poehler (the jury is still out on what I think about Lena Dunham). I would love to see Christian publishing catch up on this trend of amazing essay collections.

 

 

Coconut Chai Granola

It is not hyperbolic AT ALL to say that this stuff is saving my life right now. This is the third batch I have made and I eat it nearly every morning with plain yogurt. So. Good. I adapted it from this recipe here.

 

 

Watching this Sara Miles video

 

http://view.vzaar.com/1634328/flashplayer

"Jesus didn't come to cure. He came to heal. And the way he does that is by healing into community" The most fabulous reminder of what it really is that we are after--the hard, difficult, long-term resurrections.

 

 

Praying Drunk by Kyle Minor

Kyle Minor has been a revelation to discover. His writing is so pointed and sharp and terrible. He comes from a fundamentalist Christian background and is not shy about working through the complications therein. His short-fiction reads as real as anything (you MUST read the stories in Praying Drunk in order, just as the author orders you to) but it ain't for the faint of heart. Even though it is written from a place of doubt, it spurred on many conversations between me and God.

 

 

Serial

Another podcast recommendation. Serial is a spin-off of This American Life and it follows one story for an entire season. It is addicting, and fascinating, and I never knew I could be so interested in true-crime radio drama. Trust me on this. You will be itching for the next episode soon.

 

 

While You Were Sleeping

I just re-watched this and it was confirmed: best movie ever made. I also can't watch it without texting my younger sister random quotes (our favorites: "Mary mashed them" "these mashed potatoes are so creamy" and "Ice capades--I know a guy").

 

 

Being An Aunt

I know I have recommended this before, but I have to say it again: being an aunt is so awesome.

 

 

Mr. Rogers

Both my daughter and I are besotted with how gentle, calm, and loving Mr. Rogers is. What a gift of a show (plus, that emphasis on neighborliness/affirming the value of children is right up my alley). St. Fred indeed.

 

 

Ethiopian Food

The first time I had Ethiopian food I hated it (true story). That weird, gray, sour bread (injera), the different lumps of unidentifiable stew--I wasn't feeling it. Ever since being here in the exotic MidWest, however, I can't stop craving it. I wish you could all come and eat in my neighborhood because you would walk away obsessed with this food as well. So flavorful, delicious, and addictive (plus, relatively healthy). The restaurants are great, but the best food (naturally) is always found in the homes and apartments of your friends.

 

 

Nate Allen

My friends Nate and Tessa are undefinable, but when pressed I would describe them as charismatic anarchist Christian punks. The last time they stopped by our place they prayed over me and it was like the best thing ever. They make amazing, theatrical music together as Destroy Nate Allen, but currently Nate is striking out to record a solo album that is a bit quieter and is deeply introspective and vulnerable. I love anything these people do and I am a backer of their current kickstarter. Go check it out (those mason jars!) and think about supporting it yourself. Plus, my husband is on the mixtape compilation that Nate is putting out!

 

 

Listening to Christmas Music as Early As You Would Like

Haters gonna hate. I am a Christmas Unicorn, after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that's all I got for this volume of D.L. Recommends. What have y'all been into lately????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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