Wednesday gratitudes 

Person:

I have two amazing women in my life who are great friends and inspirations to me, and I’m pretty lucky because they’re my Unbook Club pals, too– I can pretty reliably count on the pleasure of at least one of them accepting an invitation to Unbook Club, so I don’t feel like all alone. Of course, the beauty of Unbook Club is that you’re never really alone among fellow book-lovers– I have to say, I’m glad I found Unbook Club, and met the lovely regulars.

Place:

Keeping with the bookish theme, I do like the wine bar Unbook Club is held at. It’s got a nice, casual vibe to it– laid back and welcoming. The food is good, the menu is affordable, and the few wine flights I’ve tried are pretty nice.

Thing:

Going three for three, I am glad for books and publishing. I’m glad to live in this era, when literacy is common, it’s acceptable for women to read, and books are both plentiful and affordable. These are all things that make me happy.

Glad game (x2)

I forgot to do this yesterday, so I’m going to do two for each entry.

A person I’m glad to know:

  1. My son. He’s a pretty cool kid, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to have him in my life and watch his personality develop. He’s intelligent and compassionate, sometimes a little impatient and possessed of a firefly attention span … but he is always a joy in my life, and sunshine to my heart.
  2. My sister in law. The road we’ve traveled hasn’t always been smooth, but it’s been worth the journey. Having a friend who is also family– a sister, even– is a truly valuable and precious thing, and our friendship is definitely a source of gladness in my life.

    A place that makes me glad:

    1. Hmmmm. Pioneer farms in Ohop. Yup. I fuckin’ loved that place as a kid, and as an adult I’ve had the opportunity to return a few times with my own son, my niblings, and with visiting friends who want to entertain their kids. I still love it. Grown-up me is just as enchanted by the tour as child-me was (albeit slightly disappointed I can no longer dress up in the far-too-small pioneer costumes available). I love that place, and every part of the tour. It makes me happy.
    2. Ocean shores. Icy cold the water may be, with waves like a kicking shock to your skin, but this is the coast I grew up on. These damp, firm-packed beaches are what comes to my mind when I hear, “sand”. I love the chill of the Pacific Northwest, the bracing bite of the wind off the waves. I love how even on the hottest, sunniest day of a Washington summer, the waves numb so cold that you can’t stay in more than 20 minutes at a time. It’s great– I can’t help grinning like a fool whenever we head out there, because nothing beats it.

    A thing that brings me gladness.

    1. My Nook Reader. Look, I love physical/ traditional books. Always have, always will, as the books accruing on every surface of my house can attest. But I also love being able to fit all my books on a slim device that fits into my tank bag or purse or backpack. I love not having to pick and choose which books to pack when traveling (because what will I be in the mood to read when we arrive in our destination? It’s a completely different place!). And it makes me really fuckin happy to not be supporting Amazon. 
    2. My KitchenAid mixer. It’s KitchenAid red, because my mom’s favorite color was red and after she died I sort of adopted it as a theme color in my life. My husband bought it for me as a gift a few years back. Apparently some of his coworkers tried to warn him I’d be mightily offended by a gift like this– thank the gods he ignored them! I grew up learning to cook with a KitchenAid mixer, and for years felt half-crippled in the kitchen without one. I use it damn near every day; definitely every week. It’s my primary kitchen tool, and one my favorite therapy aids. Stressed out? Bake a cake!

    glad game

    There’s a bit much negativity in my world lately, and I want to practice noticing the positive. So I’m gonna Pollyanna it up in here and play a bit of the glad game for a bit (I’m shooting for a month), with my own spin:

    1. A person I’m glad to know,
    2. A place that makes me glad,
    3. A thing that brings me gladness.

    Today … hmmmm.

    Person: My kid sister. I’m very glad we’ve grown up to be friends. She’s a really cool person, and conversations with her often light up my day.

    Place: I love the town I grew up in, honestly. I love the familiar curve of the freeway around the lake, the tall evergreen trees spiking up along the hills, the marshy lowland estuaries. I love the pale, washed-out blue of the sky in spring, half-covered in fluffs of white, and the heavy slate grey skies of winter. I love the brighter sunny blue of summertime, stretching over honey-scented air and green hills, with the purply-blue of snow-capped mountains jagged on the horizon. I love the familiar shape of the houses and neighborhoods, the businesses I’ve grown up shopping at, the streets I learned to drive on, the parks I used to play in, the lake I used to swim in. I love this town. Every corner has a memory.

    Thing: I have a TWSBI fountain pen, and I fuckin love that thing. I mean, I love a nice smooth inky glide on a pen regardless–huge fan of gel-tip ballpoint pens–but holy Zeus and Loki, fountain pens are amazing. I can write by hand for hours, and my hand doesn’t get all clenched and cramped from pressing down to get the ink (or pencil) on the paper. Love it!

    Out of step

    I have this post I’m working on about corporate responsibility and ethical consumerism that I meant to post last week, and then this week, but so much shit has been going on it just got away from me.

    But hey! I learned something new! Who wants to know about shingles now? Shingles– which I’ve decided to call zombie chickenpox, because why not– is this incredibly, viciously painful skin rash that (apparently) feels a little bit like when your foot tingles really bad after you’ve been sitting on it for a while, and a little bit like dipping ones’ nerve endings in hot oil before continuing about the days business with every raw, burnt fiber exposed and trembling in agony. 

    It’s caused by a prior chickenpox infection: basically, if you’ve ever had chickenpox, then shingles (aka zombie chickenpox) lurks within you, a time bomb of misery and pain waiting to explode. 

    However, if you were lucky enough to get the varicella vaccine, then congrats! That shit protects against both chickenpox and it’s zombified return from the dead.

    Soooo, yeah. It’s also been spring break, so busy on that front, too.