1. Satellite Radio: I know I talk about this a lot, and I'm as surprised as anyone that I love it as much as I do. When the Captain first brought up the idea of getting it a few years ago, my response was that if I wasn't willing to get cable, why on earth would I pay for radio?! But when I heard it later for the first time at someone else's house, it took me no more than 15 minutes to be completely convinced. Whether I'm making bread in the kitchen or driving down the back roads of Manitoba, Sirius is my constant companion, and it never lets me down. If I want to listen to cheesy 70's pop, there's a station for that. Classic rock, contemporary country, 80's new wave, or kids stuff for Firstborn and Rosemary's Baby--Sirius has it all. I even once listened to the gay and lesbian station where a couple of guys discussed parenting in this busy, scary, stressful post-9/11 world. It was fascinating! And the best part? No commercials! That alone is worth the subscription!
2. Blossoms: When the trees out back start flowering, it never ceases to surprise me, and then fill me with happiness. I don't know why this is, because when those blossoms turn into apples that inevitably get blown all over the lawn during the first windstorm of the summer and I have to run out there with my laundry basket to grab them all before they rot, I always heave an exasperated sigh and wonder how much apple butter I can unload on my neighbours this fall. But when they're just pretty white (or pink, as is the case with our plum tree) flowers, it gives the yard a whole different feel, and I love being out there.
3. The Grow-Op: Yes, I moved it out of the bedroom, but it does still exist, just on a smaller scale. Now I have a couple of shelves with grow lights in an unobtrusive spot in the hallway so I can keep some potted herbs growing inside. At least I think they're herbs. The only things I can actually identify are the basil plants to the right. I've used none of the other stuff in my cooking for fear it may actually be poisonous. But the basil is coming in so handy. You can put it on just about anything, and it just grows so easily it makes me feel like I have a green thumb, which I don't actually think I do. I added some lettuce for salads and sandwiches, yesterday. Growing your own stuff is work, but it's so satisfying!
4. My Mug: Everyone has a favourite coffee mug, right? This one is mine. I needed to replace my "I Love Teaching" mug, which mysteriously exploded in my hand as I was contemplating whether or not I ever wanted to return to teaching...odd. Anyway, I had to make do with what I had in my cupboard until this one caught my eye during a pit stop at the Canex. The sentiment amused me, and the mug is a good size. I like the decadence of a nice, big cup of coffee in the morning, since the rest of my day is usually decadence-free. Unless actually getting a shower and three meals is considered decadence.
5. Magazines: My subscriptions to a few fashion and craft magazines are a guaranteed monthly treat. Finding them in the mailbox, when I've just started to forget about them, is thrilling. But last week, it got even better! In our teeny-tiny town, we have a thrift store. I went in for a browse and discovered a huge rack of used magazines. On closer inspection, I found several older issues of my favourite cardmaking magazine. So, for the low, low cost of 25 cents each, I got 4 "new" magazines to browse over a cup of decaf after the kids are in bed. What could be better than that?!
6. Re-purposing: Sometimes I also call this "recycling". I take useless things and turn them into something. Today, I went through my jewellery box and yanked out a whole bunch of things I have never worn: a cameo pendant I found at Value Village (I am mad for cameos and can never pass them up when I find them in thrift stores), a big blue blingy pendant I got during my trip around the Maritimes, a single shoe clip which found its way into my late great aunt's collection of costume jewellery, one of those cheesy portrait charms you get with your package of pictures at places like Sears, and a flimsy silver-coloured (not to be confused with sterling!) bangle bracelet from who knows where. The bracelet, I wired up with beads and turned into a wreath. The rest I left as-is and strung with ribbon to be hung on the tree come December. If they're out and on display for one month of the year, that's one month more of usage than they've seen in the last decade, and they'll make my Christmas tree unique. I'm tired of perpetually re-buying those glass balls that are always crushed in the bottom of the ornament box by the end of the year. It's time to use up what I've already got!
I think what I liked best about this prompt was that it recognized that little things can bring us great happiness, and it attempted to make me think about those things instead of all the big things I think about all day long which, incidentally, also often come with big monthly payments. It's important to stop and look around from time to time. If you don't, you could miss all those little pleasures that make life what it is.