Things I’m Thankful For Today

Photo by Michael Francis McCarthy

1. Baking soda. I don’t know how entire industries have gotten entrenched around cleaning products and deodorants, because as far as I’m concerned baking soda works better on both fronts. (With vinegar, in the case of cleaning.) Seriously, try it.

2. Greek yogurt. I’ve been so-so about this but we had it over Labor Day weekend and now I’m trying to find the right brand to give me the cream without the chalk, and a flavor I like (because I’m not a fan of strawberry, blueberry and banana. Not that I’m picky.) At the moment I’m thinking it may be the Aldi brand. Speaking of which:

3. Aldi. Because I have four kids, and three of them are boys, and anyway, if you haven’t been to Aldi in a while, you should really go see how good the selection and quality is, not to mention price!

Photo by brandon king, via Flickr

4. Steel-cut oats for my oatmeal. Not sure I’m ever going back to rolled.

5. Taking Michael to school on my bike and the Burley. Beautiful mornings, bonus exercise, and less driving. That last half-mile slow rise at the end is a bear with 40 pounds on the back, though!

6. Having a laptop. Because I can write just about anywhere: at piano lessons, at horseback lessons, on the deck, on the couch, in my writing corner…I just have to impose self-discipline.

Flute-laugh7. My flute. I am preparing for a recital on October 11 and so I’ve been practicing regularly, although certainly not at any level worth bragging about, and it feels good to play, even with that annoying, sometimes-debilitating B-flat air leak. (Hope to get that dealt with today!) I can’t believe my flute is almost twenty years old. Side note: I was thinking back on how I paid for that flute when I was an undergrad. I know I paid for it all myself, and I also know I didn’t have the money, so I must have maxed out two credit cards in order to buy it. So there’s another thing to be thankful for: not carrying a balance on a credit card.

8. Music friends. On that recital I’m playing a trio with my undergraduate flute teacher and a really good friend who was also a student of his. And I’m also playing with my kids’ piano teacher, who I also was friends with in college. We’re getting together every week, at this point, and it’s just so lovely to work with really good musicians and friends.

9. Cooking over an open fire. We have a lot of untreated wood in the back yard, remnants of tearing down a playhouse for the kids that went afoul of the neighborhood covenant police. So we’re trying to burn it all up in the fire pit. I’m experimenting with cooking more than just burgers and hot dogs, and I’m really finding it empowering to have another way to cook outside, both when it’s too hot to cook inside and when it’s beautiful outside.

10. Novel writing. It’s so enlivening.

What are you thankful for today?