1. Ringo. Eric went back to work officially this week so it’s back to me and Ringo during the day. For being a dog that I can honestly and easily say is the hardest, most stubborn, most entitled dog we’ve ever had, he also has the biggest personality, makes me laugh more often than he frustrates me — and he frustrates me A LOT. Cattle dogs are super loyal and very picky about who they like, let alone trust and love, and I feel very very lucky to be trusted and loved by him, even when he’s being a jerk. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s so darn handsome.

2. Morning walks. Fall is on its way and everything is turning golden. I was thinking the other day as Ringo and I strung together yet another unique route around the various trails, ponds, natural areas, parks, and the river how lucky we are to live here, not just in Colorado or even Fort Collins but this particular part of town. We saw lots of herons and deer this week, whereas because Eric and Ringo leave just a bit earlier when it’s still dark, they saw FIVE different skunks and a bunch of racoons. There have been bears in town this week too, as they come down from the mountains to fatten up for hibernation, filling up on people’s gardens and garbage. Even though the spots we walk are more “wild” and we have seen them in our neighborhood, the bears are happier where the people live and eat so we usually don’t have to worry about them on the trail — that’s not to say we don’t keep our eyes open!

3. The gym, all the people and all the things. Last week I was in sort of a funk and hadn’t gone for three days, so when Eric asked me on Sunday “do you want to go to the gym with me?”, at first I said “no.” Then I thought, “okay so I’ve been in a funk and nothing I’m currently doing is breaking me out of it, so why not do something different today and go to the gym?” I did, and right when I walked in the front door, one of the nicest of the front desk staff (that’s saying a lot because they are all genuinely friendly and helpful and kind), was so excited to see me, so happy and friendly, that I immediately felt better, AND I made sure to tell him before I left what a difference he’d made to me. The hydromassage chair, pool, and sauna helped too. I felt SO much better having gone.

4. Summer produce. Palisade peaches, zucchini, tomatoes, corn, watermelon — yum.

5. My tiny family, tiny house, tiny life. Every once in a while, I stop for a moment and realize that everything I wanted as a younger person has happened, along with some things I never imagined. I am so lucky, so grateful, so in love with all of it.

Bonus joy: student loan forgiveness, paying off our electric car, cooking with Eric, Red Sage Vets, good TV and movies, listening to podcasts, texting with Chloe’ and Mom and Chris, fingernail clippers, ice, clean laundry, a warm shower, a big glass of cold clean water, grapefruit seltzer water, clean sheets, training with Shelby and “the gang,” good bread, being able to get test results online instead of having to wait to see my doctor, weekends, honeybees, butterflies, dragonflies, baby animals, other people’s dogs, naps, reading in bed while Eric and Ringo sleep.

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

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