Friday, February 13, 2009

Appreciating...

How could I not miss these two precious boys?!

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions-- the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling." ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I'm still reading Living More With Less, and I'll definitely be posting more on that next week, but here's something quick and light for this evening. Some things I thought about, did, and appreciated today:

Simplicity...

This is something I've been thinking about since I was in college (a long time ago). And, as life has a stealthy way of complicating itself if we don't keep an eye on it, I'm recognizing (once again) a need to re-simplify, and to further simplify, my life. Doing this doesn't make me feel deprived; it makes me feel freer and lighter. Less entangled and encumbered. More coherent and at peace. More available and attentive. It's good.

Also, in honor of Heather, who, in her comments below about what number 10 might/should be on Alice's list of guidelines for eating wonderfully, made this suggestion: "Keep Cooking Appliances and Utensils to a Favorite Multi-Functional Few." Yes! I know what she means, and it sort of reminds me of something I posted once, and since most people don't see my sporadic kitchen blog, I thought I'd mention it here.

Simple Kitchen

Movement...

The walking in nature kind of movement, that is. And this time Mom and I didn't walk along a sandy beach or drive to town to walk the hills. We stepped out the front door and headed down the road, taking one of the dogs with us. The air this afternoon was breezy and invigoratingly chilly.

I walk down this road with the dogs every day, but I can't walk far before the busy, nearby highway runs interference. Today, though, Mom and I dodged traffic, crossed the highway, and headed up into the hills. The first thing I thought as we walked those forested roads was that, no matter where we seem to go, it's so pretty around here!

We stopped for a bit to talk to a new neighbor who has moved in just down the road from Mom. And, somewhere along the way, Mom and I both expressed gratitude to the Lord for health and strength and endurance. Mom is kind of like the Eveready Bunny. It just amazes me how she can go and go and go.

Mindstuff...

Or should I say "lifestyle stuff"? It's not like I'm reading anything intellectually intense, but it's what I'm thinking about.
Because it's on my mind, I went to the library today and checked out six books on the topic of simplicity. Some of the books are light and breezy in tone; others are intense, challenging, and even extreme; some are spiritual in nature; and some are very informative and practical. All of them, though, are interesting, and most should be inspirational or helpful.

I am also packing around a stack of books about eating "raw" or "living" foods. It probably seems that I'm obsessing about this, but that's sort of what I do when I'm interested in a topic or working at making changes in my life. I'll read and read and read and try to get hold of anything that might inform, challenge, or inspire me on the subject.

Amazon delivered a new book to our doorstep today-- ex-super model Carol Alt's book, Eating in the Raw (a fairly basic book, probably geared to inquiring minds or beginning raw foodists). I think I like her! Alt, like me, has no problem with the idea of eating raw dairy or meat or even a little bit of cooked food.

Hurrah for libraries and Amazon.com!

Nourishment...

What we're eating lately really does seem to be making both Mom and me feel better (even though I really wasn't eating poorly before). I feel stronger. Brighter. Clearer. Less tired. More eager and energetic. But I'll try not to be preachy.

This evening we had a cooked, but healthy, meal-- homemade Yumm! bowls-- for dinner. This consisted of a layer of brown rice, a layer of Yumm! sauce, and a layer of black beans. This is topped with avacado, cilantro, and tomatoes. Lots of people like a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on their Yumm! bowls and possibly some cheese and olives. I prefer to leave these off, but I do like some salsa on top of the beans before adding the other toppings.

And then I had Coconut Bliss ice cream with cacao nibs. And, later, we drank green lemonade.

I'm deeply thankful for good, healthy food to eat. Every day.

Sweetness...

What could be sweeter than a phone call from my three-year-old grandson, Roman, who repeatedly said to me, "I love you, Grandma Susy." And, "When are you going to be at your house? You should go there right now." "You can come to my house and eat pizza, if you want. Okay." And in the back ground, I could hear almost-two-year-old Jayden chanting in his sweet voice, "Grandma Susy. Grandma Susy. Grandma Susy..."

I'm so thankful for precious grandchildren who love me (and I love them), and for their Mom-- my daughter-- who lets them call me. And for the new baby that will join Roman and Jayden's family this September. Yay!

And you know what else always strikes me as sweet? Well, first let me tell you that I read the blogs of those of you who comment here, and I enjoy them all, but since I'm talking about "sweetness," and since when I read Beth's blog I'm always struck with a sense of sweetness, I'm going to single her out today! I really enjoy swinging by Beth's blog when I'm online, and if you haven't done so, you might enjoy it, too.

Bethgem

Going...

We're off to the valley tomorrow to visit my two youngest kids, to watch my nephew's soccer game, and to watch a viola performance by my niece and a violin performance by my nephew. And we might just visit an art museum, too. And, almost for sure, we'll take a nice long walk or hike.

To me, family, walking/hiking, and the arts sounds like an equation for a nice weekend. I hope your weekend will be lovely as well.

Happy Valentine's Day!