It’s the first weekend of June, a bright and sunny day here in the SC, and I’m listing some of my favorite things. Or at least my recent favorites. And it’s “Part 1” because I’m always finding new stuff to love. So here are 5 things that I’m enjoying right now.
1. Cinnamon glazed pecans from Target. I’ve never been a fan of nuts – if you look in the encyclopedia (anybody else remember those? Yes, I’m older than dirt) under “picky eater” you’ll find a picture of me – but a few years ago I realized that you could coat nuts with a cinnamon-y, sugar-y coating and suddenly they tasted more like candy than nuts. I’m still pretty picky about what nuts I’ll eat, but I’m good with pecans (except in pecan pie – don’t ask) and the occasional almond or walnut if you put enough sugar on them. So a week or so ago I was craving praline pecans while I was walking around Target and out of curiousity I decided to see if they had any. Lo and behold, there they were! At $5.99 a bag they’re not cheap, so I’ve had to keep them hidden from my husband, who eats every snack he sees at a rate that should be reserved for generic potato chips, which is to say quickly and mindlessly. He doesn’t share my policy of hoarding the expensive stuff and eating a little bit at a time to make it last. But if you like candied nuts they’re definitely worth a shot. Just the right amount of crunch and sweetness with a touch of salty. I have to ration them to myself to keep from eating the whole bag at a sitting!
2. My snow cone machine. I have a (well deserved) reputation among my friends for collecting kitchen gadgets. Some have proved to be less useful than expected (combination deep fryer/slow cooker, I’m looking at you) and others get regular use, like my KitchenAid mixer (which deserves a place on my next favorites list). I bought this snow cone machine at Costco because it was a good price and I do love me some shaved ice, which as you may know is a little different than a snow cone. So while it doesn’t make ice shaved really fine like snowflakes like the really good shaved ice places (in my area, that’s Aloha shaved ice), it does shred it up well enough to keep me at home and not using gasoline by driving to said shaved ice places. I found recipes online for making syrups from powdered drink mixes and now I have a nice variety of flavors for when I or my girls get a craving for sweetened ice. Sometimes nothing will do but a big cup (as big as I want!) of shaved ice with strawberry syrup. Yum! And my daughters’ friends love to come over to our house. 🙂
3. Earth 103.3 FM. I realize that if you don’t live in my area, this might not mean much to you but bear with me. I’ve lived in this town for almost 7 years and it’s taken me this long to find a good oldies station. And yes, I know I could play my own CD’s and hear whatever oldies’ songs I want to hear, but there’s something about the surprise factor in a radio station. You never know what’s coming next! This one plays the music that takes me back in time to my teenage years and even younger. Honestly, just the other day I heard them play Shaun Cassidy’s “Da Doo Ron Ron” which probably hasn’t seen airplay in over 30 years. What’s next? “Seasons in the Sun”? Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family’s “Heartbeat It’s a Lovebeat”? If you know that song, please tell me. I think I may be the only one left of my kind.
4. Ponytails. I don’t know why it feels like such a cop-out to put my hair in a ponytail, but I’m refusing to give in to the feeling. My hair hasn’t been this long since high school (which isn’t saying much because I’ve worn my hair in some variation of the pixie cut for most of the time since then and it’s never really been very long). I noticed recently that if I held my bangs back with a bobby pin, I could capture the rest of it in a passable (but still stubby) ponytail. You would have thought I had won the lottery! I’ve been putting it low on my neck and telling myself that makes it look more elegant and less sloppy, but the truth is I really don’t care if it looks sloppy. It’s summertime and I probably won’t wear my hair down but 5 or 6 times in the next three months! And when it gets long enough to French braid, you’ll never see it down. At which time I will decide that I once again love the pixie. 🙂
5. Watching my middle daughter begin to form her own opinions on things that matter. She’s 12, which as anyone knows can be a hard age. Body changes, hormone imbalances, peer pressures, girl drama, school work – all of these can combine to form a cranky and confused girl and make home life a war zone. But I was the car a few days ago with K and her little sister Q and we were talking about who we think is pretty and how we define pretty. I’ve been trying to drill into them “Pretty is as pretty does” and how I’m much more concerned with their spirits and how they treat others than how they look on the outside. You know, man looks at the outside but God looks at the inside. So we were batting back and forth our ideas about what makes a person pretty. This one came from 12 year old K:
“Pretty means you know you’re a princess but you don’t take advantage of being one.”
See what she did there? She combined self-confidence and humility in one descriptive sentence. I don’t know what I did to deserve that child but she is a gift, just like her sisters. She’s creative, and thoughtful, and loving, and observant, and gorgeous, but she doesn’t seem to know it.
And that makes her all the more beautiful, in my eyes.