Monday 9th April 2012

by chel

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.” – Pema Chodron

some of my washi tape...

Some of the things I’m loving right now:

Trader Joe’s. For some amazing reason, Trader Joe’s decided to open their only Florida location about 45 minutes north of where we live. It’s a small store, and still sort of rotating stock to see what sells here, but we love to go there on most weekends, see what they have, and on stock up on fresh produce and goodies. The prices are great, the food even better. I’m absolutely in love with their kalamata hummus and their tiny persian cucumbers, which I am putting on sandwiches and salads.

My new chimes – Saturn by Woodstock. They are very subtle, but beautiful. Totally different from the other chimes we have, so you can hear them pretty distinctly when the wind’s blowing, but it’s not, like, CLANK CLANK CLANK.

– Bromeliads. I’ve always been interested in them, and now I’m getting a wee bit obsessed. Not only are they really easy to take care of and absolutely strange and beautiful to look at, but I love how they “reproduce”. Once a bromeliad blooms and matures, its stem grows tiny “pups” – two or three tiny, tiny bromeliad plants. Once the “pups” are large enough, they can be carefully peeled off the stem, stuck into their own pot, and will then bloom and shoot their own pups.

The new garden hose. Yesterday, Tom installed a new, compact, coiled hose on the lanai for me. I know it sounds silly, but it’s *awesome*. It no longer takes me half an hour to do the watering, and I’m no longer lugging the giant heavy hose all over the lanai, having to untangle it and having it decapitate my plants. Today my bonsai tree got its first real shower, courtesy of said new hose. Exciting times.

The smell of gardenias. They are in bloom, and it’s heavenly when you unexpectedly catch a hint of the scent on the breeze.

India.Arie. I’ve loved her music for a long time but every so often I find myself loading a ton of her songs on my iPod. Especially this song- this song would absolutely be on my “soundtrack to life” playlist, definitely in the top 5. Very meaningful for me.

Washi Tape. I know I’ve always loved it, and I’ve obsessed about it in so many of my posts, but it’s something that makes me very happy. On Friday, Gracie and I ran into Michael’s to pick up a few supplies for Mother’s Day gifts (she makes gifts for people for each big holiday) and I snagged a new role of tape- black with white dots. For some reason, finding it and buying it made me very happy. I like having something I enjoy and use often. I do use it constantly, from art journal layouts to taping Gracie’s art up on the walls, to sealing envelopes, to sticking little pieces of it on the calendar to mark important dates, so I don’t feel too guilty about buying rolls every so often.

Making Lists (and crossing things off them!) For a while I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the mental chatter going on in my head: things to do, projects I want to start, books I want to read, stuff I have to get done, etc. The other day I pulled out a beautiful journal I bought last summer but hadn’t found a use for and put it to work as my Book of Lists. All the sudden, I feel in control of my time again. And it’s sort of a cool record of what I have been up to in just minute-to-minute stuff.

This dress:

Image

Lily Collins in "Mirror Mirror"

We saw “Mirror Mirror” at the end of March and it was *really* a visually beautiful film. I can’t get the costumes and scenery out of my head. Snow White’s amazing blue dress just inspires me so much- it makes me want to paint and create and make art that is vibrant and alive.

- Sunsets. I have to admit, it was a struggle to make it outside for the sunsets during the winter. But now that they are back at 7:45pm (and getting late every evening), I’m out there all the time for them. I usually take a little bit of time to relax, take some deep breaths, read a few pages in whatever magazine is new (lately I have been catching up with many back issues of “Yoga Journal” that have been building), and just refresh. Now I remember why it became such a big ritual for me before the time change.

- Tea. Lately, I’m loving Coconut and “Bushel and a Peck”, both from Adagio. And for cold tea, Trader Joe’s “Arnold Palmer” blend.

- “The Killing” on AMC. Awesome TV show. Viewers were so upset when they didn’t wrap up Rosie’s mystery on season one they’ve boycotted the show, but I love how they are pacing it. I’m so excited the second season is underway. I look forward to watching it every Sunday night.

- Playing board games (on the Wii) with Gracie and Tom. *So* much fun. We have quite a rivalry going.

- Loving Hut restaurant. Again, out of all the cities in Florida, I feel incredibly lucky that we got a Loving Hut in a town fairly close to us. Loving Hut is a chain of vegan restaurants. We usually eat out once a week, and for a few weeks we’ve been eating out with my parents, and they don’t like vegetarian food (well, they won’t give it a chance…) so we’ve been eating somewhere where we’re all able to find something. But this past weekend, Tom, Gracie, and I went to Loving Hut and it was amazing, as usual. I love the food, love the new menu items, love how good it feels to eat a big, nourishing meal full of really healthy foods that taste amazing. It’s SUCH a treat to go to a restaurant and not have to ask “what two things off the menu don’t have meat?” Having an entire menu to choose from, and having it all be *delicious* and vegetarian will NEVER stop being a total thrill for us. Every time Tom and I go there, we marvel over it.

- New plants for the yard. We got some new plants for the little garden outside my studio window in the front yard… more on that this later this week over at Sprout. I’m starting to get into landscaping more- I’ve really just focused on my container garden but now that plants are “graduating” and going to the front yard, I’m becoming more interested in what’s already out there and wanting to change things up a bit.

- Alphabet Stickers. Another art supply I can’t get enough of… at least they are fairly inexpensive, and very useful…

- Spring Cleaning. I’ve been going through my studio a bit, and really purging the stuff I can’t and won’t be using. It always feels good to do that.

- “There is no map…”  (More on this tomorrow or Wednesday… just a big “a-ha!” moment for me.)

OH! Gracie’s been on Spring Break and I finished Soul Caller class last week, so I didn’t get to post the link to my weekly Sprout post. I have some photos of Bromeliad pups over there, in case the idea of tiny baby plants sounds as cute to you as it does to me (yes, total garden nerd, I admit it…)


Common Miracles is a project I started in May, 2011 to examine and discover how gratitude works in everyday life. To find out more about Common Miracles please visit the very first post about this project, located here.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    That is some collection of washi tape. I see lots of people using it in their art journals. I don’t have even one roll. Maybe it’s time to add that to my shopping list! I love your list. It’s such a great way to stop and relish the good in life. I need to do that. I get sidetracked with all the things I have going on that I don’t take the time to reflect on the good things. I’m just busy pushing through to get the next thing done. We’re moving in less than a month and I’m in packing he**.

  2. misti says:

    A Trader Joe’s in Florida? lucky!!

    Loved your list! Meant to comment last night but ended up going to bed early.

  3. Tracy says:

    LOVE, love, love your list, Chel… every item here would be on my list too. Great minds… ;o) Oh, but I miss Trader Joe’s so much…*sigh*… I would love to create something in the Snow White dress-blue… that is an amazing, clear blue… very cerulean blue…mmm… We had a lovely long Easter vacation, no back to “normal” today… slow going to say the least. haha… Happy Week, my friend ((HUGS))

  4. linda says:

    a lovely list of wonderful things :) I also love how you wrote _some_ of my washi tape…. just some! What a great collection!

  5. sherilee says:

    You are killing me with this list! It is awesome! Start to finish. (Also, audible intake of breath at your washi collection. I think my husband thought I saw a ghost on my computer screen, the OOOOH! Ha. So jealous!!)

    Thank you for this list. It is exactly what I needed to night. I had a Monday, wrapped in a Monday, tied up in a Monday bow. Did I mention, MONDAY? Thank goodness tomorrow’s Tuesday!

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hello!
I'm Chel (pronounced "shell", short for "Michele").

I'm a painter, writer, gardener, art historian, long-distance swimmer, crochet addict, movie watcher, animal lover, and avid reader.

Random facts: I grew up in New York (Long Island, to be specific), went to college and grad school in Atlanta, and now I live in Southwest Florida. I'm incredibly shy but I can be very chatty. I've been a vegetarian for 25 years. I swim five miles every day. I have an eight year old daughter and a 40-something year old husband. I'd rather eat kalamata olives than most anything, and I'm an AVID tea drinker. I exist with the steady background noise of meows (three cats), chirps and whistles (three parrots), and silence (an elderly gecko).

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