Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple things...

When it comes down to it, it's really the simple things that bring the most pleasure in Everyday Life. There is a quote that I think of so often when I am grateful for simple things.  "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."  ~Robert Brault in National Enquirer. 

Country Eggs.  Look at these splendid eggs!  They are pullet eggs from my new, young hens.  They've only just started laying the past few weeks and I'm pleased as punch to be on the receiving end of their maturity and hard work.  Notice the brown eggs are smaller than the whites.  The very first eggs laid by a pullet hen are quite small, but in a few weeks, the eggs get bigger and when the hens are fully mature in a year or more, the eggs can be Jumbo in size.  I wonder if this phenomenon applies to humans?  My first baby was 6 lb. 15 oz. and  every baby was a little larger up to my fifth-born who was 10 lbs.

Embroidered Tea Towels.  I know how much time and effort goes into a nicely embroidered tea towel.  The towel that the eggs are drying on was made by my daughter as a birthday gift to me.  Each time I use it, I think of her.  All the kids learned to "sew" by embroidering tea towels and I cherished each one.

Lavender Essential Oil.  A simple thing that makes my household chores more pleasurable.  I add a few drops to my homemade all-purpose cleaner which is just water mixed with a small squirt of dish soap in a spray bottle.  Add a few drops of lavender oil to the rinse cycle of your laundry for heavenly scent on bath towels and wash cloths.  Lavender mist for ironing is also nice.  Just add a few drops to a quart bottle of water and mist clothes as you iron.  Add  5 drops of lavender along with some baking soda to your kitchen sink and pour a kettle of boiling water over it to freshen and clear drains.  Add a few drops to your vacuum cleaner bag the next time you change it and you'll have a nice scent when you clean.  At the end of the day, add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath water for a scent-sational, relaxing soak.

Line-dried bath towels.   You either love them or you hate them.  I like the fresh-air scent that comes with a line-dried towel, but I also appreciate the absorbent, roughness that happens when you dry towels outdoors.  There's nothing like a towel that dries and gives a good back-scratching at the same time.

Real Homemade Vanilla.  If you don't think you can afford REAL vanilla extract, think again.  Just add 2 or 3 or 4 nice vanilla beans, split lengthwise, to a large bottle of cheap vodka.  Let it sit in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks and you've got THE best vanilla ever.  You can re-use your vanilla beans over and over.  I buy mine on Ebay here.  It's so much cheaper to buy vanilla beans this way than individually and the FREE shipping is great!  Real vanilla makes nice gifts too.

Whole Nutmegs.  My friend, Clarice, from Storybook Woods got me hooked on whole nutmegs when she sent me some as a gift a long time ago.  What a simple thing.  And what a Big Thing freshly grated nutmeg is to me now.  I have found that nutmegs can be bought at my local health food store (along with lots of other nice spices) for a very good price.  And the quality is usually much better than grocery store spices. I use my micro-plane zester to grate nutmegs over apple crisp, chai tea, yogurt with fruit, whipped cream and a number of other things.

Making do with what you have.  While I was out walking today, I went through this gate and I thought of how many times I've unhooked this horseshoe latch and how ingenious it was of my husband to weld it for the swinging gate. Making do with what you have is a simple thing that I appreciate.

Cupcakes that I didn't bake.  Last night I came home from shopping and a supper date with Hubs and what did I find on the kitchen table?  A plate of chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese centers.  My DIL baked them and brought them over while we were out.  What a sweet, simple pleasure they were along with a cuppa hot, black coffee. Here's her blog:  Lady on the Ranch.

Braun Electric Kettle.  I love, love, love this thing!  I saw my first electric kettle while visiting a friend in England 4 years ago.  I was impressed then and so I searched for just the right one.  Electric kettles were not common in the USA but I  finally found the Braun  on Amazon several years back.  (it wasn't this pricey then) I use it every single day.  When you need hot boiled water fast, this is the ticket.  I used to have a tea kettle that I heated on the stove, but often I would set it to boil and then get distracted elsewhere and forget all about it.  This one shuts off after it's done boiling.  It's also cordless so when it's done, you carry the pot wherever you want without a cord going along with it.  Just the other night I ran out of hot water (too many showers in a row) so I put the kettle on and had steaming hot water for my dishes.  I use it to start my pasta water boiling and of course, it is perfect for my afternoon one-cup of coffee or for the occasional cup of tea or cocoa.

Candles.  In fall and winter, the candles come out.  I love to light them in cold mornings before breakfast or  on cloudy afternoons while I take my coffee.  I also enjoy the glowing light and fragrance in the long, dark evenings. 

Going to bed in a frigid chilly bedroom.  Hubs and I are fresh-air freaks.  We like our bedroom on the cool side when it's time to go to sleep.  When winter comes on, it's hard to keep the windows cracked open all night so my solution is to open a window and shut the door to our bedroom an hour or so before we retire.  That way the bedroom is chilled without the entire house being cold.  We shut the window before going to sleep and the room temperature stays just right, and I don't have to wake up with frostbite on my nose.

Phone calls from my grown kids.  I've heard from all of them today.

Walks in the woods.  Living on the prairie doesn't really allow for a woodsy walk, but the established shelter belts that were planted around the ranch are what I call My Woods.  There are five or six rows of trees in each shelter belt, and they make the nicest places to walk, especially when it's windy and cold.  This is where I walked today.  I was reminded how quiet it gets this time of year.  There is practically no noise now except for my own footfall on the dried grass and leaves.  Most of the birds have migrated and the insects are hibernating.  I always think of this quote when November rolls around.

No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
~Thomas Hood

The Lord preserves the simple.  ~Psalm 116:6 

What simple things are you thankful for?


  1. Cute about the eggs/and your babies! I love lavender..what is it..I can't have enough of it around me! I mix lavender oil in with baby oil and i love to put it on my legs first thing after shaving...makes it so my legs don't itch! I love too many little things to even get started here! Come say hi :D

  2. What a lovely post! Your simple things list is fantastic -- and now you have me dreaming of that Braun Electric Kettle.

    I guess my simplest thankful thing is needle and thread -- where, oh where, would we be without them?

  3. I loved this post. Made me think of so many things that are simple and that I love..lavender oil, I love it!

    I had forgotten about homemade vanilla. I did that and it is great!.

    Simple things...

    So many I don't even know where to start.

    Have a wonderful day.


  4. Wonderful thankful list. :0)
    I really appreciate that quote and will have to copy it. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  5. Julie,
    I didn't used to think I liked lavender, but now that I've been using it for a few years, I really can't imagine life without it.

    I hope you choose the Braun Kettle. Perhaps there are other good ones out there now, but I love mine. Needle and thread---absolutely thankful for that!


    I'm glad I reminded you of homemade vanilla. I can't go back to the other kinds.

    Ellen B.,
    I'm glad you like the quotes.


  6. I loved all of your simple pleasures... especially the tea towels! I'm thankful for your visits today:) I'm also appreciating some sweet time I had with both kids home with colds.

  7. I loved reading this post.
    Thank you.

  8. Your loving thoughts are a balm to my soul. I really appreciate your loving and peaceful spirit.

  9. Great list, I will add chocolate. Hey let me know when you need more nutmegs and smoked paprika xoxoxo Clarice

  10. just found your blog! love it! and this post is so similar to one that i had already written this morning. how cool is that?!
    thanks for the inspiration, lora


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