A lot has happened in these last few weeks. Boy, is it ever easy to go on an angry tirade (maybe mixed with a little despair) about everything that is going wrong and how it has gotten this way. I think, however, that the right thing to do is usually harder to do, and that means acknowledging the things in life that actually make one happy.
I say this for a number of reasons, but for two most of all. The first is the fact that lots of little things make me happy every day, but they get swallowed up by the big picture, disappearing behind a cloud of news headlines, to do lists and less-than-remarkable moments. The second is that I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday last week, so I had a solid reminder of all the things that I love, simple, extravagant or otherwise. So I'll tell you some of mine if you tell me some of yours.
1. Thought-provoking and entertaining reads, especially the newest addition to my library: Secret Ingredients, The New Yorker Book Of Food And Drink
2. Slatkin & Company "Black Tea and Berries" soy candles
3. Fresh flowers
4. Beautiful desserts, like this elegant peach cheesecake that Mary made last week. Each slice of fruit was perfectly placed atop a creamy mound of cheesecake filling and graham cracker-crumble crust, proving that detail work is the key to a perfect presentation.
5. Chocolate Souffle. It could be considered a beautiful dessert, but I believe that a good chocolate specimen is deserving of a category all its own.
6. A French restaurant that offers an exquisite dining aesthetic, namely Frenchy's Bistro and Wine Bar. Don't be discouraged by this restaurant's humble exterior. Walk through Frenchy's front door and you would never know that you are on Anaheim Street in Long Beach.
7. Cupcakes from Frosted Cupcakery, because they are just such a treat! (Do you see a trend, here?)
8. Pedicures--this is especially significant because last week was my first pedicure since an unhappy 1,200 pound horse pivoted on my right foot seven months ago.
9. While we're on the subject, I might as well admit that I love my new Ariat Performer III riding boots. I treated myself only recently. I don't know why I waited so long, but my toes are much happier (and safer) now, thank you.
10. Fall. It's finally here! I've been waiting since July to see fall come and now we are waking up to overcast mornings and enjoying cooler afternoons. The sun is lower in the sky and I don't have to feel so odd about lighting warmly-scented candles and brewing a pot of tea. I'll try to get in as much autumn love as I can before the Santa Ana winds hit Southern California and set everything ablaze. Take what you can get, I always say!
Perhaps there was more wisdom in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things" than we give them credit for. I feel better already!
Now it's your turn. What are some of your favorite things?