1. Mom. I am so grateful to have a mom who loves me and is still here. One who was so involved with our education, and in particular taught me to love reading and music. One who came from a big farming family and kept them close so that I learned the values of hard work, good food, and good company. I have so many people in my corner simply because they love her and I’m hers.

2. Good food. I tried a new recipe last night and it was SO good. And even though his favorite thing is anything meat, Ringo has a soft spot for baked goods too, particularly pancakes — with butter, please.

3. Everything is getting so green. Since we’ll be in Oregon for a few weeks towards the start of the season, we haven’t quite figured out how many new things are happening in our garden. We may do something simple this year, just a few of our favorite veggies. I’ve said it before but I sure hope I don’t miss peony season.

Peonies from our garden

4. Eric ran a marathon and didn’t get hurt. Just to be clear, there’s no rational reason I should worry about him doing a race, but I do, and I’m always so relieved when it’s over. This year, Ringo and I were on our morning walk when they started the 5&10k runs that were part of the same race and on part of our walking route, so we saw some mile markers and some runners. When Ringo saw the 25 mile flag, he knew it wasn’t supposed to be there, was something new, and he growled at it.

5. Morning walks. It’s spring, so that means we had some rain this week, had to stay close to home and even cut a few walks short because of it. The few times we got to walk by the river and ponds, there were things in bloom and five pelicans in a spot we’d never seen them before along with a few cormorants high up in some trees drying off their wings, (cormorants lack the waterproofing oils that other water birds produce so when they get out of the water, they need to dry off in a way other water birds don’t).

6. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. The ease and joy and comfort of being together.

Bonus joy: the smell of lilacs, bird song in the morning, birds at the feeder, yard time, good books and TV, listening to podcasts, sitting in the sauna with Eric, the pool, the hydromassage chair, small group training with Shelby, making art with Calyx, hanging out in Chloe’s backyard with her and Hendrix and Franny and the chickens, texting with Chris and my mom, clean sheets, a warm shower, our whole house fan (I would have never thought to put one in, but it was already here and we use it SO much), trying new recipes that turn out delicious, berries, writing in the morning, my HappyLight, a hot cup of coffee with cocoa and tiny marshmallows, my Ooofos (super comfortable flip flops and slides), my weighted blanket, down pillows and blankets, healthcare (vaccines, hospitals, medicine, doctors and nurses, etc.), good neighbors, groceries, pay day, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

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

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