Lately I've been really warming to a blog called Rubies Place. It's the online home of a woman, Tina, who lives in Australia with her husband and three girls. She's got skills I can only ever hope to have in the realm of embroidery, knitting and sewing, and she's got a great eye for secondhand treasures that can be made new. And shortly, she's promised to post a tutorial for the fire-fearing (moi) on how to make over an inexpensive lampshade. She also gets a bit of the credit for the fact that my ancient Bernina is in the shop, getting a tune-up. I used to be really good at sewing... In home ec in middle school... We'll see how much I remember.
At any rate, she recently blogged the Happy 101 meme, and instead of tagging specific friends to follow her, she challenged all her readers to do it. It's simple - 10 things that make you grateful or happy. I've been in such a relatively rotten place for so long, I could certainly use an excuse to focus on the positive. So I'll give it a shot. I think this is my first meme!
1. My future husband, Cam. We're having such a ball planning our wedding together, and as the pieces fall into place, it really is emerging as a celebration that will look like us. And I cannot stress enough how amazing he's been through these 2+ (and ongoing) months with the mono. No matter how grouchy I get, no matter how much I complain, he meets my short temper with kindness and grace. Sometimes it makes me madder when he diffuses a situation - we both know I'm being ugly to provoke a fight and make everyone miserable, instead of just me - but he's right, of course, and he sets such a good example for me. And have I mentioned what an incredible cook he is? I am indeed a lucky girl.
2. and 3. Our monsters, Winston and Sweeney. I can hardly imagine two more entertaining pets. He's the most demanding creature I've ever met, and he'll do anything for a fix - a mash&bash session on someone's belly, preferably mine. He taught me to play fetch, and he can jump at least six feet in the air. She's the quieter soul, and she's a bit more discerning with her affection. But once you win Sweeney over, she's yours, winding around your legs and bringing her fishing pole to you for playtime. My favorite time with Sweeney is first thing in the morning, when she props her front paws up on our bed frame and stretches up to peek her head over the top of the mattress to say good morning.
Photo by Shannon Hibberd
3. My sister and brother in law. I'm beyond grateful for all my amazing friends and family, but I'll let these two represent the group. My sister, Enna, is one of the most sweet, considerate people I know, and she can talk to anyone anywhere, and they come away completely taken with her. She's thoughtful and determined, and wont to surprising her nearest and dearest with unexpected gifts. Her husband is one of the few people I know who can go toe-to-toe with her in terms of thoughtfulness, and I can hardly remember what my family was like before he joined it. He's essential, and I'm so grateful for them both.
4. The Atlantic ocean. Proximity to the ocean, and the fact it's always nearby. I know the Pacific's more beautiful, with its brilliant greens and blues, but I'll take the Atlantic any day. I'm grateful I grew up so near to it, I'm grateful my parents bought a beach house by it so we could visit again and again, and I'm grateful I now live just a few hours from it. I can't imagine ever living more than a half-day's drive from the Atlantic coast. In the game of "where would you rather live, the mountains or the beach?" I come up beach, every single time.
5. My job. My job, first and foremost, is the job I dreamed about when I left my university town after undergrad, 10 years ago. I came to DC with one goal in mind, and it hasn't disappointed. Sure, some days are terrible, and plenty of them are just OK, but some are absolutely unforgettable, like the one in the above picture. I took that picture, while I was working. Plus, my job makes so much possible, from the delicious food we love to cook to the incredible meals out, from the quick trips to the beach to our longer trips to California and Europe. Money can't buy you happiness, true, but it can make life a lot more fun.
...And for the last 5, some smaller-picture stuff.
6. The Internet. Sounds corny, but it's true! Keeping in touch with my friends, a billion recipes at a moment's notice, music and movies and news and entertainment galore. C'mon... You know you love it!
7. The 2010 Winter Olympics. The men's figure skating smackdown! Hockey! Shani Davis! Shaun White! I haven't paid such close attention to the Olympics in a while, and boy, was this a good one. Thanks, athletes!
8. New clothes. I don't shop a ton, but there are few things I enjoy quite so much as a small treasure trove of new clothes.
9. Dishwasher soap with phosphates. We use mostly Mrs. Meyers products in our home, and Trader Joe's laundry detergent, and try to tread fairly lightly. We tried some green dishwasher detergent, though, and boy does it suck! We're going back on the bad stuff as soon as we're through with it. Now I understand the cross-border smuggling out West.
10. Spring. Please, please get here soon!!!