I had an entirely different blog topic in mind for this time but last week I read posts by two of the bloggers I follow and decided to join in their topic. Blogger Mocadeaux started it all by writing of her Everyday 20 , and soon after my friend, another blogger, ivyandironstone, wrote about her Everyday 10. In its original form, this is supposed to be something that we buy and use everyday. In the second iteration it was put forth as something that we appreciate everyday. I’ve kind of morphed the two and I am writing of things that I use and value on a daily basis, and that add fun, joy or flavor to my everyday life. And I realize that “Everyday 13” doesn’t quite have the same ring to is as “10” or “20” but it’s what I’ve come up with so far! So in no particular order, here is my “everyday” list:
- MY ITALIAN LESSONS – as I noted in one of my early blog posts, a major goal of mine when I retired was to study Italian seriously (LEARNING ITALIAN). I am now three years in, and I love it. And I’m far from fluent, but making steady progress. When we went to Italy last year on our tri-annual visit to our family in southern Italy, I was gratified to be able to comminicate reasonably well. But I can hear what you’re saying out there: “After three years, you SHOULD BE fluent, or close to it. ” Would that it were so! Italian has more rules and exceptions to rules that are daunting than I ever anticipated. Anyone who has studied Italian as a second language knows what I mean. But I continue to love the challenge.
- OLIVE OIL – I am a fan of the Mediterranean Diet and believe that olive oil can have major health benefits, aside from just tasting so darn good. Good olive oil, that is. That dark green kind that you find in southern Italy and Greece and several other regions in that general area. In fact, the best olive oil I have ever tasted has been in southern Italy. But lately I’ve been using very good olive oils that come from California and give the Italian variety a run for its money. When buying, I try to determine from where and when an olive oil product was generated. And I try not to let any olive oil linger on the shelf for very long – no problem in my house! Although they both come from fruits of the vine, unlike wine, olive oil does not grow better with age. I buy it and use it within a few weeks at most.
- MY MOISTURIZERS – I’ve been using moisturizers for many years on my face and body. I never go out into the elements or go to bed without it. Most of it includes SPF except for the nighttime version. My current favorites are from FRESH, BOBBI BROWN, and my perenniel body favorite from ORIGINS (White Tea). I also sometimes use drugstore brands for facial moisturizers such as Aveeno, Lumine, Olay or L’Oreal which I find to be very good. Coming off of Chicago winters makes moisturizers a daily necessity.
- MY APPLE PRODUCTS – I carry my life around in my Apple products. My MacBook Air and my Apple Iphone are synced, carrying all the same information. I realize it is duplicative but I sync and back up because can’t do without them. The calendar on my phone is my official appointment keeper so if I lose my phone and my MAC at the same time, I’m in deep trouble! I do have a written back up to my Contacts section. I have thousands of pictures on my phone – almost all of them of our grandkids and our travels. I just keep increasing my Cloud space (whatever that is) so I can continue to store pictures. I do worry about system crashes and losing what I have so my goal is to remove the older pictures and put them on thumb drives. One other feature of my Apple products that I can’t do without is the fabulous assistance I can get from those geniuses out in Petaluma or wherever they are who have patiently helped me out of one cyber crisis after another.
- MY FITBIT – Two and a half years ago, I bought my own Fitbit HR which helped me get on the ball with daily tracking of my steps, flights of stairs, my heart rate, calories burned and sends me my weekly report (which I get on my Apple products). Fun fact: I just recently won my Great Barrier Reef badge signifying that I have walked 1600 miles (which is the length of the Great Barrier Reef!) since I’ve been using my Fitbit. I also recently won my “Cloud” badge having climbed a total of 8,000 flights of steps in the time I’ve been using Fitbit ( the name of this badge has to do with being on Cloud 9 for achieving this milestone)! Kind of goofy, I know, but it is a way to chart progress toward my fitness and weight goals. This past Christmas my son and daughter-in-law upgraded me to a Fitbit Ionic which does everything the HR version did but also plays music, alerts me to phone calls and texts (again because it’s linked to my iPhone), can coach me through a 10 or 15 minute workout and breathing or meditation sessions.
- MY POT FILLER – when we redid our kitchen eight years ago, I had a potfiller installed above my stove. Originally I thought it would look cool but secretly questioned how much I would use it. Turns out I use it every day: to fill the pasta pot, or to increase liquid to a recipe. A very handy little gadget.
- MY WHITE CHINA – I’m a big believer in white china. I think no kitchen is complete without it. I have two sets, a little redundant, I know, but it’s come in handy many times. I love it for its simplicity and versatility and use it for everyday, for informal dinners and sometimes when I want to show off the food or the other tableware.
- MANHANDLES – when I redid our powder room several years ago, I wanted something different to catch the eye, add a little entertainment, while guests partake of the facilities. I was shopping at a bathroom supply store and across the room, displayed on a far wall, were bronze fixtures portraying men in different poses which made me smile. They are part of the Manhandles Collection made by the Soko Studio. I said to the friend with whom I was shopping, “I don’t care what they cost, I have to have them.” So I bought a Manhandle towel hanger and a Manhandle door pull. That was about 10 years go, and every day when I go in the powder room, they still make me smile. They will make me smile even more in a few weeks when the climbing bronze man door pull is showcased on a WHITE door instead of the stained door to which it is now attached (see my last post The Elephant Gives Birth!).
- THE TODAY SHOW – The Today Show is part of my morning routine. It’s an iconic show that has stood the test of time – 65 years and counting is not a bad run! It think it’s fun, topical, and for me a great way to start the day. It allows me to lollygag with my coffee and yogurt and have the Today Show crew entertain and inform me as I get ready for my day.
- POPCORN – have to have my daily blast of Sea Salt and Pepper Skinny Pop
- MY LEXUS IS250 HARDTOP CONVERTIBLE – This was my retirement gift from my husband. I obviously use it every day. Hateful in snow or ice in our Chicago weather, but it’s a gem from April through October (in most years) and those lovely rare January or February days when we are given an infrequent gift of beautiful weather. So, yes, my car is now hitting its prime time. There will be no more icy roads (I hope) but soon when hot weather comes (I hope), the top goes down, Sixties on 6 starts blasting on Sirius and I joyfully tool around! Besides my grandkids love it which makes me I love it all the more!
- OUR SCREENED BACK PORCH: I’m either on our screened back porch – writing, daydreaming, playing with grandkids, meditating, entertaining – or I’m longing to be on our screened porch. It’s not a four-season room, but even in the winter when I’m not sitting out there, it’s just off my kitchen so I find myself thinking about how many more months until we will be enjoying it! The best investment in our home we’ve ever made!
- MY OWL PLATE FROM SICILY. Last summer during our trip to Italy, my husband and I took a side trip to Sicily (see my post SICILY) and specifically to the town of Santo Stefano di Camastra, birthplace of my paternal grandmother. Santo Stefano di Camastra is known for its pottery and ceramics and I bought this large plate from a local artisan and it now hangs on a wall in our dining room. I find the detail in this piece extraordinary. And every day it evokes a flood of memories of my grandmother.
Would love to hear about your favorite things so we can keep this party going! See you soon…