1. Snow. We got another ten inches this week. That along with extra cold negative temperatures inspired a midweek snow day for Eric — yay! I had made a funeral casserole the night before because I knew the cold and snow were coming, that something warm and delicious would be just the ticket. Eric stuck our Christmas tree in the snow burm of our side flower bed and the first morning I walked out and saw it there, I thought someone had planted a tree, like some sort of weird prank.

2. Working on my book. I haven’t said too much about it recently because a lot of other stuff came up and I sort of lost my way with it. I still write every day, no matter what, but I was in the weeds with the book project. It’s like making a collage, pulling pieces together not really knowing how it will all come together, where it will land. I’ve written so many pieces of it already and stored it away — on this blog, in files on multiple computers, in writing I’ve done with Laurie Wagner and my Friday morning writing sangha, and in the many many notebooks I’ve filled, even some of the recent conversations I’ve had with my therapist have led directly to writing. It can feel overwhelming and super confusing how to put it all together. This week I’ve been more actively working on it and it feels really really good.

3. Cooking, in particular trying something new. Eric and I have a favorite restaurant, Mount Everest Cafe, run by a Tibetan family. Their food is SO good. Eric and I made a few curry recipes this week to see if we could replicate some of our favorites. My eggplant curry turned out pretty good (not as good as Mount Everest) and Eric’s was weirdly bland for all the spices in it. It wasn’t a total fail, but we are ordering take out from Mount Everest this weekend to cleanse our palates.

4. Ringo being a jerk. Weird thing to be grateful for, yes? And yet, this past week he wasn’t feeling great, his arthritis was acting up and causing his front legs especially to ache. The way I knew it was beyond what he normally lives with is when things he always does that are super annoying — digging up the couch, humping the pillows, wanting to play, nudging me in the butt or nipping at my clothes to get me to pay attention, getting on our bed when I’m getting dressed for a walk to bark and sing and dig — weren’t happening. His physical therapy vet had some good ideas for how to help him and he’s feeling so much better … and being a total jerk. (Only the first of these pictures is from this week, the rest are simply examples of said behavior).

5. Morning walks. The one we took the day before the storm came supports my theory that the prettiest skies happen as a storm is rolling in.

6. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. How many times or ways can I say they and this are everything I ever wanted?

Bonus joy: Vaccines and pain meds and gummy supplements, snow tires and plows and shovels, ice scrapers, down and wool, a crunchy gala apple, apple pie filling as an oatmeal topper, dark chocolate covered caramel, house plants, sunshine, a big glass of cold water, a warm shower, clean sheets, pay day, the hydromassage chair, the pool, the sauna, the sound of our furnace, birds in the feeder, texting with Chloe’ and Mom and Chris, naps, good TV, listening to podcasts, finishing a book, starting another books, good music, that tiny little computer we call a smartphone that I can easily carry with me and use to access just about anything I need, a new dog treat pouch (I felt bad for needing another one until I realized it was at least six years old), blank notebooks and good pens, drinking a hot cup of coffee in front of my HappyLight while I write in the morning, raspberries, reading on my Kindle at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

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