Sunday, February 17, 2008

it just is

As promised, I put together my February 10 post ala Amanda Soule. The lovely Sarah of Birch Handmade did one too...check it out.

As I mentioned before, Amanda created a list of things that made her happy this week to remind her of the good things in life amidst the winter blahs we all seem to be suffering through. I need spring so badly right now it's unreal. I don't dislike winter. Winter is welcome here, usually. I generally love the holidays, and the cold weather, while it does horrendous things to my skin, makes me feel alive in weird ways. But the predictable need for warmer weather starts tugging at my heartstrings right around the mid-February mark, and now that it's here I'm eager for things like daffodils and snowdrops and the first sighting of a robin tearing worms from the mud.

So, that's that and these are the things that made me smile, kept me sane, and made me insanely grateful this week:

1. My husband. Ben is my rock. I would be a worthless pile of mush if it weren't for him. He's saved me in so many ways in the past and he continues to save me on a day to day basis. He laughs when I tell him this, but it's 100% true. I owe him my life. This week he's been supportive, strong, helpful and of course, amusing. Anyone who has ever been around Ben knows that you can't go an hour without fits of laughter. I've scored the perfect man, ladies.

2. Longer daylight. I pointed out to Mike on Monday that it was past five o'clock and there was still a bit of daylight left. He wasn't impressed, but I take pleasure in the fact that the sun is taking its time to call it a day more and more each and every day. It's lovely and it assures me that warmer days are on their way.

3. Olive. This little girl makes me smile every second of every day. She's bad sometimes, of course, but she has made my life complete. I never knew it was possible to love a pet this much. Psssst, don't tell the cat I said that. Olive sat with me a few times when I was feeling really low this week and just put her head on my shoulder and snuggled into my neck. It's that kind of support that I needed, even if it was of the canine variety.

4. Friends. New and old, they're all amazing. Everyone checked in on me this week to make sure everything was cool and that I hadn't taken a flying leap. I appreciate that more than words can say, you know. You guys are amazing and I don't know what I'd do without you.

5. The mail! My goodness, the loads of beautiful and unique treasures that show up on my doorstep every day is overwhelming! So many sellers agreed to take a chance on my little store and it's wonderful. You're all artists, you know. Each and every one of you possess such enormous talent and I'm loving working with all of you.

6. Michael Hickok. This goes along with #4, I guess. Mr. Hickok moved home from Florida last summer after five long years of being away and I didn't realize how much I'd missed him until he started hanging out with us again. This guy is the most inventive and creative individual on the planet. He'll make you laugh harder than you've ever laughed before. He's one of the greatest friends I've ever had.

7. Caramel brownie cake. Guys, do you have any idea what it's like to taste pure heaven? Mike and I have taken to watching Paula Deen's cooking show on the Food Network mostly to have a laugh (she's a riot), but also to get some good tips. A few weeks ago she made brownies for a Superbowl party and we were inspired. It's so simple. Take a box of brownie mix (we used Ghirardelli) and prepare it using the instructions on the box. I'm sure you could make your own brownies from scratch, but if you saw the meal we ate last night, you'd understand that brownies from scratch just weren't on the cooking agenda. Anyway, pour half of the batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan and then lay candy bars of your liking on top of the batter. It was Mike's birthday yesterday, so he chose Caramello's to put in the cake. Once you've evenly distributed the candy bars over the batter, pour the rest of the batter on top and bake them according to the box directions. Once they're done, take 'em out, let 'em cool and frost them. You have no idea how amazing these things were.

8. Art (namely, Kiki Smith). It's a pretty wide open topic, I know, but it's my go-to thing when I'm feeling like shit. I've loved art for as long as I can remember. Going to art school was one of the best periods of my life. For me, going to a gallery or a museum, or even opening a book turns my mood around quickly. Kiki Smith is my all time favorite artist. I had the chance to meet her twice and she's such an amazing person. A bit wacky, yes, but I think every artist needs a touch of insanity in them, don't you? I sat down, mid week and took out my Kiki Smith books and just felt so much better. I think seeing creativity in all forms makes me feel better. I'm lucky to be surrounded by so many creative people.

9. Post Secret. Gary brought over the newest edition to the Post Secret collection because I hadn't read it yet. What an incredible concept. It makes me realize that no matter how messed up things might get, or how awful I might feel, there's always something worse out there and I'm grateful for what I have. I'm a lucky girl. I really, really am.

10. Lola. I was on babysitting duty this week and that little girl brings so much light into my life...I feel better just being around her. She's amazing and incredibly smart already. And yes, even though she barfed all over me, I still love her dearly. I'm glad Carly had her. I never knew she could make this family feel so complete.

So, that's it. There are lots of things that remind me of how good life is. I'm leaving out loads of things, but for this particular week, these are the things that got me through and made me happy. What's your February 10? If you've taken Amanda Soule's challenge, send me a link to your blog so I can check it out!


Banana-head Pancake said...

awesome - I love this.
I totally agree with you on Kiki Smith. And lately after seeing her work, I love all things Kara Walker, I feel like you might too.

And I followed that Caramello link to CandyDirect. HELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOO Chick-o-sticks!!!! We can't find them above the mason-dixie that easily!

xo lauren

Kate said...

Thanks, Lauren! I'll check out Kara Walker tonight. And I don't think I've ever had a Chick-o-stick. What are they like?

Banana-head Pancake said...

ummm. they are great! Alex introduced me to them since he's a southerner and I'm a yankee I'd never come across them before. It's basically a butterfinger with no chocolate, a little more peanut butter taste, and some of the larger ones have coconut on the outside. the little ones are best b/c they are without the coconut(not a huge fan). BUT before I decided to go vegan, Caramellow was most definitely my favorite candybar. Ah...sweet memories! :)

sewserious said...

What a great list of things that make you happy. I'm totally feeling the winter "blahs" this time of year and thinking about the best things really helps. :)

And Chick-o-Sticks sound amazing. There must be some type of chocolate or sweet in my house....

Kate said...

Thanks ladies!

Oh and Lauren, now I'm going to have to find some of those Chick-o-Sticks. Think I can get them in Florida? That's my only connection to the south.

Banana-head Pancake said...

yes, florida is a possibility. If I come across some in my neck of the woods, somehow, I will send you a not -so-surprise surprise!

Kate said...

Sweet! Thanks!

Persimmons Gal said...

What a beautiful life.