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    Five Good Things

    September 15, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    I took a moment at my desk this morning before beginning school, and found myself thinking about some Good Things which have come my way lately. After a traumatic summer, it is nice to feel like we are back in the groove of life {except for the driver’s license issue, but life can’t be perfect, right?}. Here are five Good Things I’m thankful for today:

    1. CiRCE Institute CDs, being one of many reasons that I always save my Christmas money to spend throughout the year. Si thinks it is so weird to hear me say in mid-July that I want to use my Christmas money on something. Some women buy clothes. I buy books. And, apparently, now I buy CDs.
      2009 CiRCE Conference CD Set:
      A Contemplation of Nature
    2. Wendell Berry. Right now, I am reading The Gift of Good Land. I love the way he connects culture with agriculture. This is something, I think, which is often overlooked when folks discuss farming or gardening, regardless of the scale.
    3. PaperBackSwap. And why not? PBS is so good to me, I can hardly contain myself sometimes, though admittedly I’ve been known to wait patiently for a book for a year or more. When I returned home from our trip, The Twilight of American Culture was in my mailbox. My heart did a little dance.
    4. Book clubs with Cindy. I have attempted book clubs, and none has been successful. The only reason I attempted them is because I have had wonderful experiences in this vein courtesy of Cindy. And now, she’s about to host another one, or actually two, covering first Leisure: The Basis of Culture and then the aforementioned The Twilight of American Culture, or in reverse order, depending on her voter turnout. Join us; it’ll be inspiring!
    5. Sunsets in Avila Beach.

      I know I’m home, but I’m enjoying the photos we took. Avila is a south-facing beach, which is why it is usually the warmest of the central beaches, and this gives the sunsets a different quality. Instead of watching the sun set over the water {or into the water, from a child’s perspective}, the sun is nowhere to be seen, and the setting itself is more subtle, seen mostly in reflections on the water or nearby cliffs. Just lovely.

    What are Good Things are you thankful for today?

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  • Reply Rachel R. September 17, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Oooh, PBS definitely makes my list, too! My wish-listed books seem to come up in cycles – nothing for a while, then three or four in a matter of days or weeks – so those times when wish list books are suddenly flying into my account (and mailbox) are always so exciting! 🙂

  • Reply Brandy September 16, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    KM, Your comment about your roosters reminded me of a chapter in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral where the author talks about her tom turkeys as if they were musicians. Love it! Our duckies are all ladies, but they are loud enough; not sure I’d call them musical, but it is always pleasant to have something or someone happy to see you.

    You make me want to get my berry patch in, by the way. Mmmm…

    GJ, Either Hawaii…or Tiajuana! That is the place to drive to these days, it seems.

    Rahime, I like your list and wish I had such a bookstore. Not that I leave my house, but if I did I’d like to go to a bookstore like that. 😉

  • Reply Rahime September 16, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I’m right there with you on PBS, I’m always astounded that I can get such great books–that I really want–for “junk” ones.

    My “Friends of the Library” bookstore, where I almost always find treasures. And, I guess I should add to the list reading good books in general (though I’m currently plodding through The Catcher in the Rye…and begrudging every minute of it).

    My puppy. Oh, I love snuggling with her, and I’m thrilled with the well-mannered dog she’s becoming.

    A warm (and cool at appropriate times) home, a loving family, and a job. These are too easy to take for granted.

  • Reply Gretchen Joanna September 16, 2009 at 5:09 am

    My high school’s senior class always went to Avila Beach as the Big Event of senior year. That is, for decades they/we did that. Probably now they go to Hawaii or such like.

  • Reply Kansas Mom September 16, 2009 at 4:33 am

    I love PaperBackSwap, too. I cannot believe the amazing books people just give away! Nearly my entire homeschooling library (and I mean my books as well as those of the kids) came from PBS.

    I also love being a Friend at my library with unlimited free requests and an online catalog that makes me feel like I’m shopping.

    Our chickens – they’re just so beautiful. And I still love hearing the roosters crow. I’ll miss that in the mornings if we decide to butcher all of them. Still have some time before we have any eggs, though.

    I love that my son spotted and watched a “stick insect” as he called it today. I think it’s cute, too, how all animals are classified as “bad” (they eat our garden) or “good” (they eat something that eats our garden).

    Home-grown strawberries. We had so many more than we anticipated for the first year and have enjoyed them so much…they are to store-bought strawberries what luxury chocolates are to chocobites. Heavenly. The girls eat them like candy, too, right off the vine. (Yes, that includes the baby. She’ll also empty your pail if you don’t keep a close eye on her.)

    I feel like I need one more since I was just agreeing with you on the PBS, but I’m too tired.

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