Wish list

I love giving presents. I especially love giving presents that will be wanted, enjoyed, and found useful, but that can be hard to do. These days, most of the people I love are in a place in their lives where they don’t really need things and where if they really want something they can just get it for themselves. It’s awfully hard knowing what to get that people will like but they haven’t already gotten.

I also love getting presents, but I know that I’m hard to shop for for all the same reasons. When my birthday and Christmas roll around, I’m always scrambling to come up with suggestions for the people who care about me and want to do something nice for me. So, that’s what this page is for: to try to collect in one place things that I like, things that I want, and things that would make me happy to find under the Christmas tree or popping up on my doorstep.

To be clear, this is not a list of demands. No puppies will be harmed if none of these things finds it way to me. I am always happy just to be thought of, but in case anyone wants to know what will really make my day, here are a few suggestions for things I’m currently in need of or always in the mood for.

Things I’m currently wanting

Oversize felt slippers–big enough to accommodate my size 10-wide feet and a couple think layers of winter socks.

A copy of Kalevala (the Finnish folk epic) in Finnish.

A bottle for salad dressing. I’ve taken to mixing my own salad dressing lately but I don’t have a good bottle for keeping it. Ideally it should be something that’s both easy to pour ingredients into and will pour out cleanly without dribbling.

Cold-weather clothing. I seem to be feeling the cold more as I get older, so I would be happy to get new clothes for the cold time of year (for indoor living; I’m well equipped for being outdoors). Things like mock turtlenecks, sweaters (I prefer ones that open all the way up the front), and wool socks. I’m particularly in need of new long johns.

A good, sturdy garden fork

A new digital camera. Something small, lightweight, and not too complicated. I will mostly use it for taking pictures around the house, on vacation, and occasionally of artifacts for my research, so I don’t need anything fancy, just a replacement for the old one that’s giving up the ghost.

Silicone cooking spoons and other dishwasher-safe cooking tools. (I will never stop loving wooden cooking implements, but I have come to appreciate the utility of dishwasher-safe silicone.)

Something made of amber. The ancient amber trade is an important aspect of my scholarly research and I’ve often wished I had something made of amber, but I don’t really know what. Just a little trinket would be nice.

My Amazon wishlist is here


Things I like in general

These are things I enjoy. I may not particularly need anything related to them, but these are things that are important in my life.

Green. My favorite color is a dark, pine-needle green. I also like darker blues, brown, and gray. The colors of the Maine woods are my colors.

Natural materials: wood, stone, leather, wool, cotton, linen. (Though I do appreciate the practicality of things like silicone cooking tools.)

Cooking. I love to cook. I’m pretty well stocked with kitchen gadgets (barring a few exceptions) and cookbooks, but I’m always delighted to try out interesting new ingredients like spices, sauces, preserves, etc. and artisinal products like fresh pasta, condiments, sodas, and the like. Which overlaps with…

Food. As much as I like cooking good food, I also like eating it. A few particular favorites:

  • Black licorice, especially good Finnish licorice, most especially filled licorice pieces or Kouvolan lakritsi.
  • Root beer, especially small-batch, microbrewed root beer.
  • Non-root beer, especially dark, malty stouts and porters or light, low-hops Belgian-style ales.
  • Tea, especially Darjeeling, licorice, or any kind of mint teas.
  • Black olives (surprising no one who knows me).
  • Almost any kind of seafood, but especially lobster, mussels, and scallops. (Oysters and octopus are both things I’ll eat, but I get my fill of them very quickly.)

Brewing. To go with my love of cooking, I also enjoy homebrewing. I’m pretty well set up with gear, but I enjoy trying out interesting ingredients like varieties of malt and yeast I haven’t tried before. I’d like to try brewing with spruce tips, an old New England ingredient, but I haven’t been able to find a source for food-grade spruce.

Swimming. It’s my favorite form of exercise and I do it several days a week. Again, I’m pretty well set with gear, but it’s on the list of things I enjoy and spend a lot of time doing.


Euro coins

I’m not an active coin collector any more, but I enjoy collecting Euro coins for the wonderful variety of art that they carry. If anyone living or traveling in Euro-using countries picks up something interesting, I’d love to receive it. Here’s a list of the coins I have not yet collected and would be interested in adding to my collection. (Will be updated as I collect things.)

Austria: .01, .02, .05, .10

Belgium: .02, .05, 1

Finland: complete

France: complete

Germany: complete

Greece: .01, .02, .05, .20, 1

Ireland: .01, .02

Italy: .01, .02

Luxembourg: .01, .02, .10, .50, 1

Netherlands: complete

Portugal: .01, .02, .05, .10, .20

Spain: complete







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