176 – 183 Some Delights, Some Gratitude

I feel as if I am not looking hard enough for daily delights. Days and weeks are just the same old, same old.

Let’s see —

New computer

I bought a new-to-me (refurbished) desktop for the attic study mostly because my laptop (which is still great) is very low on storage space. I could have moved things off the laptop to external drives, but this deal came up ($150 for a decent refurbished Lenovo ThinkCentre) and I pressed “buy” without out much thought. It arrived and works very well. So what if I cannot use video backgrounds with Zoom.

Vacation planned

Dean’s been wanting to get away so I researched and booked an Airbnb in Savanah. The weather should be nice and maybe I will see Painted Buntings!


Dean and I had Last Word cocktails on Friday (yum but strong!) and less potent champagne (cava actually) cocktails on Saturday.

The Secret History

I started reading The Secret History, Donna Tartt’s first novel since my last post. It was a book group read early on in the history of the book group (pre-1999) and probably before I joined in 1995 (the book group was founded a few years before I joined). Anyway, I wasn’t sure I liked it when I started reading it. The first couple of chapters were a slog, but I am having a hard time putting it down now. I might have given up in the middle of chapter two, but Clare said she loved the book. I assumed she would with the ancient Greek and all. Interestingly it takes place at a fictional college in Vermont that is based on Tartt’s alma mater, Bennington — a school I really wanted Clare to visit on her college tour because it is where Shirley Jackson wrote most of her works.

Letting go

I threw away a 17 year-old can of Bird’s custard yesterday. I kept the 9 year-old one though.

In the more grateful than delightful category:

Electricity, water, heat

As I hear about the power outages in Texas, I should be grateful (if not delighted) I live where a winter storm might cause power outages, but we’d still have water and the power company is prepared for winter weather.

Life and health

As the numbers of people dead from Covid-19 in the United States near half a million, I should be grateful that I am healthy and wealthy enough to be able to stay away from people who might be exposed. I am able to have groceries delivered instead of going to the store. I don’t have to go to a job where I might be exposed.

Day 164: Full-night’s Sleep and Another Book

While my sleep score was not as good as a few nights ago, I did sleep through the night last night and woke up refreshed. That’s a delight.

Trying to read my extant books as well as past book group reads that I didn’t read when they were chosen, I started reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog again. I think I prefer the audio version to the e-book, but whatever gets the job done is fine with me. I’m finding bits of it delightful.

Day 140: Progressive Lens Glasses

I’ve fought and fought with eye care professionals about getting progressive lenses stating that I knew I would hate them and knew they would make me nauseous. I finally gave in to an optometrist last week who promised I would love them and that they would make my life easier.

I picked up the glasses yesterday afternoon. The optician who handed me the glasses and ensured they were adjusted told me that I should probably not drive in them at first, but wear them around the house this weekend. She also laughed when I looked at my phone while wearing them and exclaimed my delight that I COULD READ MY PHONE! She said, jokingly, that had little faith in their services.

I did as I was told and put them on first thing this morning. All I can say is WOW! I can delightfully do everything (read the clock across the room, use my computer, read a book and use my phone) without changing glasses or taking my glasses off.

I do feel slightly nauseous while wearing them (and no, I don’t think it’s last night’s cocktails) but apparently that’s supposed to go away.

Day 138: Clean Teeth

About a year ago I cancelled an appointment with my delightful* dentist, Neal Hoyson, because I was so busy at work and his office is 30 minutes away with no traffic.

Then covid happened and they closed down for more than two months and I wasn’t ready to even leave the house, much less open my mouth to even my beloved dentist. Then I retired and Dean didn’t pick up the dental insurance so I had to wait until January for an appointment. (all the while covid is worse than this summer).

He and his dental hygienist were decked out in full-on hazmat gear which could have been weird, but it wasn’t weird. Now my teeth are clean.

*Back when we first moved to Bethesda, I’d not gone to the dentist in at least four years. I’d always been a little lax about going to the dentist once I was no longer living with my parents. I did find a dentist when we lived in Alexandria, but had a car accident on the way to see him and never rescheduled. Once in Bethesda, I remember getting an advertisement in the mail about a gentle dentist and decided to try him out (kids in tow because I had no babysitter). I fell in love with him and his practice — he was from Pittsburgh (yay!) and very kind and gentle. I liked Dr. Hoyson and his practice so much that I baked them muffins and dropped them off when I went for a follow-up appointment for a night guard.

Photo stolen from Dr. Hoyson’s website.

Day 135: Another Walk and Sharing Sourdough Starter

I took another walk today — not quite as delightful as the sunny walk on Sunday, but I got out of the house. The delightful part of it might not sound delightful to you, but hear me out…

On today’s walk I wore some shoes I’d bought for walking a few years ago but rarely wore. They hurt my feet about a block into my walk which told me that these shoes were not for me. Either something had happened to my feet from when I bought them, or the shoes became stiff with disuse. The delightful part of the story? I can now put these barely used shoes in the giveaway box.

Another delight of the day was preparing a jar of sourdough starter for the daughter of a friend. My friend messaged me on facebook, asking if I had any extra starter. Her daughter had been given a sourdough cookbook for Christmas and was looking for an established starter. This gave me an incentive to feed my somewhat neglected starter so the daughter would have 4 ounces of ripe sourdough starter right off the bat. I also wrote her a note explaining its origins and some tips on what I’d learned along the way.

Day 132: Delightfully 2021

The first day of the year is always full of promise. This year more than ever. Hopefully we’ll be able to travel again (at least domestically) after we receive our covid-19 vaccinations. The US will have sane, if not perfect, leadership that, if we are lucky, will be able to at least begin to fix the many setbacks that happened during the trumpet administration.

On a personal level, I am more than ever determined to get out of my inactive, bordering on suicidal reclusiveness. My kids are worried about me. I guess I should be too.

Other delights of the day were reading blog posts by Lali, Mali and Helen. Talking to Clare for over an hour while we did our own things. Finally seeing the film, Moonlight. Beginning Braiding Sweetgrass. I think I am going to love that book.