Another way to be grateful. These are some things I've noticed in the past couple of days.
In praise of:
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. Oh. My. Gosh. If only I'd had these when my darlings were little. I use them EVERYWHERE. They are the only thing that cleans our particular brand of soap scum, they clean up the stove, the walls, the outdoor furniture, etc... If I thought they would be well received, I would give these as baby shower gifts and birthday presents.
Candles. I love the light they give. I am grateful for my electric lights, and would not like having to read and work by candlelight, but I love that I can add coziness and color to a room just by lighting a candle. Scent is nice, but only certain ones. Mostly, I love the glow.
Reclamation. As I've been puttering about in my garden, I've rescued a tub that is perfectly fine for collecting garden debris (yay, duct tape!) and stopped leaks in two watering cans, thus avoiding having to buy new ones. I also got brave and fiddled around with my film camera and got it working again (at least for now) so I can experiment with black and white film again.
Linen. My favorite clothes, the ones I hang onto for years and years and years, are all made of linen. I don't worry about the wrinkles, and working in the fiber industry has taught me that instead of being fragile and preppy and oh-so-precious, linen is the hardworking yet noble fiber of peasants and bedouins. Its fibers are hollow, so it actually has a lower temperature than the surrounding air. Thus, it literally keeps you cool. It is nearly indestructable, gets softer every time you wash it and looks splendid when it is draping and fluttering around one's sandaled toes. My favorite piece of clothing in the entire world is a 14-year old linen jumper from Eddie Bauer that is finally starting to look worn. I now wear it for gardening and feel quite romantic in my clogs and hat and linen shift.
Cozy spots. A chair, a table and something pretty or calming to look at can do more for me in 15 minutes than a lot of other stuff. I have a lovely spot in process out on our new deck. It is just a wee corner, but it is enough for a rejuvenating break whenever I need it.
The Cartoons in The New Yorker. The main reason I subscribed. They get to me the way The Far Side, or Dave Barry gets to me. Smart AND funny. You can check them out here.
Here are two of my favorites: Baby and Sheep
Purses and Bags. I've decided to stop euphemizing my collection of bags by saying "I'm searching for the perfect bag," and just admit that I like them all. I like switching bags depending on my mood and outfit. I tend toward big bags, because whenever I try to pack light, that will be the day someone needs an advil, one of my business cards or a tissue, and I won't have it. I use little stuffer bags to hold all my things, so I just move the little bags from one big bag to the next. They aren't fancy, most are old or from thrift stores and outlets, and some are homemade. No matter. My bags make me happy.
Handmade Soap. I tried making it once, and am now happy to honor other people's talent and patience by buying it whenever I get the chance. It smells great and feels great. For me, using something handmade always elevates the mundane tasks of every day life a little closer to art.