(The no cheating thing was hard, people. I sat eating the Wrong Kind Of Peas at dinner thinking, "Ooh, the right kind of peas make me happy! But I don't get the right kind of peas...." Ditto a puppy: my estimated time of doglet is mid-September now. Because if I don't have time to pick one out, I sure don't have
time to train one.)
1. Books. I know I'm a crank about books sometimes, but I've read some good ones lately, and I have some I'm really looking forward to on my piles, and also I like books conceptually. I like being surrounded by books.
The first time pameladean was here, I took them directly from the front door to the kitchen, through the music room. It was 7:00 on a winter night, so the library was a shadowed leftward presence. When we adjourned to the library after dessert and I flipped the lights on, Pamela exclaimed, "Oh, now I know why I had a comfortable feeling about this room!" In the dim light, she could subconsciously register the books without consciously being able to see them.
2. My family, by choice, blood, and law. Yep, they drive me nuts sometimes, but that's because the people you know best and love best are best at driving you up a wall. And I would trade some of the extended relations in for various books in a femtosecond and not even wonder if I'd made the right decision. But the ones who are good are very very good.
3. My friends, some of whom are verging on family. Self-explanatory.
4. Cherry tomatoes. And the fact that I can grow them now. Also Hungarian peppers and various herbs. Rah, herbs.
5. Fresh berries. Blueberries in particular are #2 (to cherry tomatoes) on my favorite foods list. Pluots and pears and...fruit in general, I guess. I'm a sucker for produce.
6. Baking. I love the act of baking. It makes me hum happily.
7. My work. Another in the grind-my-teeth-but-love category. And this is not just "finishing books," although I love that, too. It's being in the middle of a book and tearing my hair out, too. If I didn't love that, it wouldn't be worth it, because there are months and months (weeks and weeks at least) of the middle of the book and there's only one day of being done.
8. The softness of the fur on the wee stuffed dog Kev gave me, sitting by my monitor just now.
9. Ice cream. We have all sorts of categories of good ice cream here. Mrissas Really Like Ice Cream.
10. Living here. Homehomehomehomehome. Those of you who read my real journal know how I longed to be here. It is everything it was supposed to be. It is more than that. I didn't "need" new friends here. I had old friends here. I don't see enough of some of my old friends here. But the new friends I'm finding fit into my heart so well I wonder at how I didn't see they were missing before. You know who you are, dears, because at least four of you read this quasi-regularly. I know you were included in #3, but that was just as friends, not as part of what makes this city home for me now.
Heathah and I were driving up to Turtle Bread one night this spring, and we went over the Mendota Bridge. Which I adore. And there was the skyline in front of us. And H., who is generally as poetical-romantical as yours truly, was quiet a minute, and then she said, "You know, we really do have a pretty city. I always thought we did, and now I've traveled and I know it." The Bridge, the city lights, H., the anticipation of Turtle Bread: all part of being home.
11. Bubble duck. Robbie's Auntie Missa always has a bubble duk in her purse now. Because who knows when you might need bubbles?
(Heh. I made a comment about peas at dinner, and C.J. did the sign for more and said "peese?" He thought that was the sign for please, since Roo has combined the two so often. I am amused.)
12. Having a blue office. I never said the happy things had to be deep, and I really love my blue office and the cherry furniture in it and the green or browns or white outside the window, depending on the season.
14. Having my head kissed. (markgritter just wandered through and did, so I thought of it.)
17. Living in a time and culture and subculture where I can get and give hugs and snugs at mutual will without scandalizing my social circle.
18. Having decent Coffee within walking distance.
19. Seasons. The fact that it's hot in the office in the afternoons means it's summer, and I missed summer. When it's cold in the living room in the mornings and evenings, it will be winter, and I missed winter. When it smells crisp and clean and I get to wear my own clothes again and not this summer girl's clothes, it will be autumn, and I missed autumn. When it smells green and grow-y and rains and rains and rains, it will be spring, and I missed spring. Some people are not meant for seasons. I am.
20. Good hiking boots and SmartWool socks. I know this may sound silly, but damn if they don't make all the difference in the world in my enjoyment of a hike or even a walk. And this also sounds silly, but in my boots I kick ass. It's awfully femmey to have empowerment shoes, but I don't really so much care, as long as it works. The first pair of such shoes I had were cushioned-sole chunk-heeled brown sandals. I could run comfortably in about three inches of heel in these shoes. They were dangerous, dangerous things. Now my hiking boots are.
I'm tired and want to get a few hundred more words down on Sampo before admitting defeat and adjourning to the couch, futon, or bed with The Tin Princess. So I think 20 happy things is enough for tonight. The thing about living in here is that even when I'm sick and cranky, once I get going, I can just keep going, pretty much. I like a lot of stuff.