1. Peony season. The ones in my garden haven’t bloomed yet (but there are going to be a lot), so I had to get some from the grocery store. It’s one of my favorite times of year.
2. Cooking. On Cook’s Country, (which we’ve been watching on Amazon Prime and we also get the magazine), they said that what you need to be a good home cook is 25 recipes, at least 25 things you know how to cook. This has given me life goals because while I consider myself a good cook, most of my recipes fall into the dessert category. We made a Chinese Chicken Salad from Cook’s Country the other night and it was delicious — although we’ve realized that for most recipes, unless we can freeze some leftovers or are okay with eating nothing but that lunch and dinner for the next three days, we should probably half everything. I cut open one of the red peppers for the salad and found the above flower hiding inside. Last night I made Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler and it was also yummy, (and doesn’t count towards my 25). Chopping in particular is almost a meditation practice to me (I’d make a great prep cook), I love to be able to tweak a recipe to my particular tastes, I appreciate food that is fresh, and I love getting to listen to a podcast while cooking. And bonus — I love to eat.
3. Hiking with my boys. We went on a six mile hike at Mount Margaret last week, and plan to go on a few more before we leave for Oregon. It really is one of my favorite things.
4. My tiny family. We took the dogs to the vet yesterday for their annual exam, and they did so good. I was surprised how shy Ringo was, how timid, but it also made me realize in contrast how much he trusts me, how comfortable he is with me. And Sam complained so much about one thing the vet did, she’s now convinced he maybe is having trouble with his hips, but it’s really just that he was trying to tell her, “I don’t like that” — such a sensitive beast. And Eric has been making us such a nice garden, almost as big as any other year even though we’ll be gone and our poor friend left in charge as it grows.
5. The full shift to summer vacation. This morning was my last Wild Writing class until fall, and Tuesday morning is the last 7 am yoga class I’ll teach, (and I haven’t decided what my schedule will be like for fall, might even decide to not teach at all). A few times I forgot and checked my work email, but that will go away in no time. And the biggest decision I need to make today is if I want to work in my garden or read or take a nap or watch another episode of Hinterland (loving this dreamy show, with each episode 1.5 hours and like a mini movie but with the same characters, each one a mystery that slowly unfolds in a beautiful but dreary landscape), and I have enough time that if I wanted to, I could do all four.
Bonus joy: meals with good friends, rhubarb, a wall of white and purple irises in my front yard, sleeping in, clean sheets, cooler weather, so much green, long walks with Eric and the dogs, clean laundry, grocery shopping, reward points that mean .40 cents off gas, meditating, reading, knowing I’m loved, making people laugh.