1. Sunflowers. They are a sign that the summer is waning, but I love the little birds who come around in tiny flocks to feed off them this time of year.
2. New recipes to try. The above takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber from Smitten Kitchen with Japanese cucumbers from our garden would have been perfectly delicious if I just hadn’t undercooked the rice noodles, (it was the first time I’d made them, and I always forget that because of our altitude things take longer to cook). I got more noodles and as soon as we get a few more cucumbers, I’ll try again because everything else about this recipe was so yummy. Today I’m trying this tomato jam recipe, since we have more tomatoes than we can keep up with.
4. Knowing that every day I work at CSU is the last one like it. For example, today, September 14, is the last September 14 I will ever work there. Now that I know I’m quitting, all the reasons why are just so clear to me. I’m so grateful for the privilege to stop doing that and start doing something else. I think my new title, besides writer, will be Contemplative Practice Guide – what do you think?
5. Farmer’s market flowers. Even though it signals the end of the season, these delicate pinks are some of my favorite. Not in the bathroom this week, since the grocery store mums are still going strong, but rather on my writing desk.
6. My boys. The way Ringo asks to be put to bed at night – he won’t just put himself into bed when he gets too tired, he needs the routine of someone telling him “go out and go potty” and then the run back into his crate where there are cookies waiting. When he’s ready, he stares at the humans until someone figures out what he needs. Sam got a home visit from his favorite vet, some new meds and acupuncture, and is feeling better this week. We might get him figured out after all.
Bonus joy: watermelon, good sleep, cortisone shots that have made my knees feel so much better, clean sheets, naps, good TV (just finished the Netflix series Sisters and noticed there’s a new season of Call the Midwife), good books (Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward was rough, but still worth reading), good music (I can’t stop listening to The Wailin’ Jennys), finishing the laundry on Friday while working from home, ideas for new classes, meditating and writing in the morning, swimming, aqua aerobics, yoga, Pilates, the cooler and darker mornings, being able to maintain good boundaries.