Friday, October 23, 2015

It's the Little Things

I was listening to a podcast recently (maybe This American Life?), and they were talking about how many studies have shown that the older you get, the happier you are. 100% true for me, so far. And I think that at least part of why I'm so happy is that I have more time to look around me and enjoy the little things.

So here's what's making me happy this week.

1. This book review.

"The free-living dolphins of the Bahamas had come to know researcher Denise Herzing and her team very well. For decades, at the start of each four-month-long field season, the dolphins would give the returning humans a joyous reception: 'a reunion of friends,' as Herzing described it. But one year the creatures behaved differently. They would not approach the research vessel, refusing even invitations to bow-ride. When the boat’s captain slipped into the water to size up the situation, the dolphins remained aloof. Meanwhile on board it was discovered that an expeditioner had died while napping in his bunk. As the vessel headed to port, Herzing said, 'the dolphins came to the side of our boat, not riding the bow as usual but instead flanking us fifty feet away in an aquatic escort' that paralleled the boat in an organized manner.

The remarkable incident raises questions that lie at the heart of Carl Safina’s astonishing new book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel. Can dolphin sonar penetrate the steel hull of a boat—and pinpoint a stilled heart? Can dolphins empathize with human bereavement? Is dolphin society organized enough to permit the formation of a funeral cavalcade? If the answer to these questions is yes, then Beyond Words has profound implications for humans and our worldview."

2. Fall decorations. 

Minimal, as usual, but the little that I have done is making me disproportionately happy.

(You can see why I don't pretend to be a lifestyle blogger.)

3. Gluttony.

The Halloween candy has been purchased. Unfortunately, it has also been opened. This happened in the parking lot at Target.

4. Magazines.

Does anyone else have the Recycle Bank program in their town? All of our curbside recycling is weighed and each household is awarded points for each pound. These points can be redeemed for various rewards.

It was off my radar for years. So I checked our account a few weeks ago and we had 17,000 points accumulated! We looked and looked through the available awards and were having a hard time finding anything we really wanted, until we discovered that we could get free magazine subscriptions. So we ordered four: This Old House, Cycling, Cooking Light, and Afar. It's fun to get something in the mail other than bills.

Only 16,800 points to use up now!

5. Fall weather.

I don't have to get up at dawn to go for a run! (I can loll in my PJs until noon.)

6. Next on my reading list.

Loved, loved, loved the Little House books. I can't wait to get the real story.

Predictions: (a) Almanzo = not actually Laura's first choice (clearly it was that cutie Cap Garland); (b) Mary = not quite so saintly; (c)  Pa = closet drinker?  (Okay, maybe not that last one.)

7. Tea tree oil.

Bought some of this because Dr. Google has diagnosed me with rosacea, and it's supposed to help. I think it's working!

Now it's like My Big Fat Greek Wedding around here with the Windex. I'm using it on everything.

8. Fan belt.

For months my car has been screeching when I start it. You know how you just ignore these kinds of problems? The car is totally driveable, and fixing was not a priority. Well, we got to the point where people were jerking in horror when the car started. The whole neighborhood could hear it.

Now, sweet purring of the engine is all I hear when I start up. And the neighbors can finally relax.

9. Email string.

I've been emailing back and forth with my college roommate for months and it's so much fun! (We don't live in the same city anymore, and she's not really a texter.) The title of the string is "Joined at the hip" and every time I see it come up I smile. We've been commiserating on, ahem, aging issues—I'll spare you the details—but it's uncanny how we are having very similar experiences.

(I was going to do ten things, but maybe I'm not really THAT happy.)

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  1. Okay I just saw your profile picture, almost turning 50, no way! I thought before I read this you were a lot younger. I get the minimal in house decorating. me too. My motto, "less is best." I see you are a new blogger. Inviting you to link up at our Tuesday Talk link up party beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesdays. Great way to meet new bloggers and share your posts. I also get the Target parking lot raid - I do it al the time.

    1. You are too nice! Guess the grays are camouflaged well in the picture. ;) Thanks for the heads-up on your link party!

  2. Hi,
    HA! Still laughing about the Halloween candy. :-)
    We use Tea Tree oil at our house too.

  3. Who doesn't love Halloween candy. :-)

    Try a small area of skin to test to tea tree oil out on. I've heard some people can react to it and others it works wonders for.

    Thanks for linking up lady. ;-)