Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Beautiful Things (151-200)

And we continue …

“151. I gotta list baby smell. I don’t have any kids, but baby smell is awesome, especially their little feets. 152. Snow. Everything about snow is great. 153. It’s amazing that you can go to this web site and follow along with two little human-made robot cars as they explore the surface of Mars. MARS. http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/traverse_maps.html 154. Friends who tell great stories. What a blessing! 155. Having friends, period. 156. I love river rocks. They are a combination of the earth and water elements, and they speak of a softness of the experience. 157. Frank Gore, epic running back for the San Francisco 49ers. He is the epitome of stick-to-it-iveness, gumption, and leaving it all on the field. He speaks to me of Ogun, the Orisha of Iron. 158. Photographs from my childhood matter so much to me, and I’m grateful for the development (pardon the pun) of technology that allows photos to be taken and shared so much more easily than they used to. 159. Facebook. I’m grateful for Facebook, not for its time-suck qualities (which are legion), but because it’s helped me reconnect with so many friends from my past. 160. Rock and roll bands, especially ones with great songwriters (I’m looking at you U2, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Train; also great pop and rock songwriters/bands of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s). 161. Amnesty International. I’m grateful as hell that an organization like Amnesty International exists. They’ve never once in forty years of existence sacrificed the moral high ground. NOT ONCE. ❤ 162. I’m so so grateful for J.R.R. Tolkien. I wish he’d been better at writing women, though, but I think he probably did the best he could and I’m ok with that. Eowyn is pretty awesome. 163. While we’re in the “great authors” vicinity, let’s give a shout out to Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Connie Willis, Frank Herbert, George R.R. Martin, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Maya Angelou, and whoever writes “Saga” (which I haven’t started yet but which I absolutely must). 164. Let me express gratitude here for the immense talent on display in hip-hop and rap. I’m not a fan of all of it, but there is some of the best poetry going on in there in the last thirty years. 165. I love that even though I don’t understand Buddhism, I have loads of friends who are Buddhist (or Buddhist-hyphenates) who are amazing people and from whom I want to learn. 166. My nephew. I can’t imagine the world without him. He’s 15, sweet, fiery, a great defensive back on his high-school football team, and he’s got the golden-est heart I’ve ever been blessed to be around. 167. While I’m at it, I’m grateful to be an Auntie. I don’t have any children of my own, but being an Auntie to my sister’s and step-sister’s kids is close enough. 168. Twitter. Come on, admit it: you love it and you know it. #awesome 169. The burgeoning comic book/graphic novel renaissance. How awesome is this?? It’s great to have ready availability so so many great new (and new-old) stories! 170. Naps. Seriously, if you like me are older than 21, you’ll know what I mean about this. 171. Books on tape. Trust me on this, especially if you have a monster commute. 172. Erasers shaped like fanciful creatures. They’re neat, silly, occasionally functional, and a good reminder to lighten up, Francis. 173. Having citrine near your cash register. This is a great idea if you’re a merchant. 🙂 It’s called “The Merchant Stone” for a reason. 174. Soy sauce is a beautiful, tasty miracle. 175. Binge-watching shows on Netflix DVDs is like reading a novel but with a different part of your brain. 176. Air-conditioning is a great blessing, and is awesome to have on in the car on a hot day when you’ve got all the windows down. 177. People who garden amaze me. I never liked getting my hands dirty and I always hated insects, so doing yard work was an awful chore. But I’m trying to turn that around. 178. Trying to turn things around–trying new things, changing attitudes, being open to new experiences and new ways of looking at old experiences. 178. That feeling you get when you realize that you were wrong about something that you thought was terrible, but which is in fact great (like wasabi). 179. Stained glass is a miracle of creativity and invention. 180. Oh, who are we kidding? GLASS is a miracle of creativity and invention. Did you know that in the middle ages they used to have windows made out of waxed animal skin? Ew. Glass is so much better. 181. Holidays rule. 182. Going shopping for nothing in particular, but then finding that one thing you couldn’t possibly live without and wearing it every day for the next month. 183 and 184. Candles and candlelight. Not for reading of course because you’ll go blind just like your mother said you would, but for everything else. Candles are so evocative and candlelight is the kind of light that witnesses every possible sin and promises forgiveness. 185. Historians make my day. 186. Diabetes testing strips are pretty cool when you think about it: you put this tiny drop of blood on this little plastic strippy thing, and an electronic device reads it and tells you what your blood sugar is. And the strips basically suck the blood droplet into themselves so you don’t have to jam your finger into it to get the blood in–you just let the testing strip do all the work like the awesome little plasticky vampire it is. 187. Can I just give a shout out here to dogs? Dogs are great. I’m usually a cat and bird person myself, but I really love dogs too. They’re the most empathic creatures I’ve ever encountered that also fart like old men. 188. Scrapbooking. Seriously. It’s insane and amazing, what people come up with. 189. Did you know that artists (or are they “artisans” now? I’m never sure) can make wonderful figurines out of felt? Full three-dimensional little puffs of awesomeness! I have one looking at me right now, as a matter of fact; she’s a little purple witch-grandma, and I love her profoundly because of everything she’s come to represent for me (I use her in lots of ancestor rituals, and she holds not only my father’s mother’s lineage but also a representation of all the female witchy magic women in my lines). 190. My iPhone is a little silicone anchor that binds me to the flow of the world. 191. Seeds hold the potential for everything in the smallest possible container. 192. I love postcards. Somebody I love somewhere else in the world sends me a picture of where they are with a few words about how they wish I was with them. What’s not to love? 193. Lip balm is great because it keeps me from smearing butter on my lips, and that’s always a great plus. Right now I’m using “Bad Wolf” from GeekFireLabs (https://www.etsy.com/shop/GeekFireLabs), the makers of my favorite Loki lip balm, which rules. 194. I have a friend who is a silversmith, and friends who are jewelers. SCORE. 195. Speaking of jewelry, earrings–specifically dangly earrings. I love dangly earrings. 196. Having ears to put dangly earrings on is a blessing, and it’s also kind of wonderful to me that one of my ears is higher up on my head than the other. I’m convinced it makes me interesting. 197. Folders, both online and IRL. I love having access to tools that help me sort and organize things, and folders are great for that. 198. Indoor plumbing. Come on, who doesn’t love indoor plumbing? And seriously, I’m kind of ashamed of myself that it took me until number 198 to mention it. 199. Speaking of amenities, let’s take a minute and offer profound thanks for electricity. I don’t know where we’d be without it. 200. Calendars help organize things and help me to never be late (or too terribly late, anyway), and for that I offer thanks.

Felted Grandma

 

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