Friday, April 13, 2012

10 Simple Spring Pleasures

Have you ever stopped to think about the simple everyday things you can enjoy that make for a "Beautiful Life"? It's not money that makes us feel rich, but rather stopping to appreciate the pleasures we already have! And each one is basically free (or close to it) and available almost every single day.

Here's my current top 10 Simple Pleasures for springtime (with a little Pinterest thrown in for good measure!):

Fennel & Fern

1. Watching my chickens scratch in the dirt. Seriously, who could ever tire of watching the "girls"? It's so calming and such a pastoral scene. (I like to throw some extra wheat or barley out in their yard as a treat to scratch at.) Somehow I feel connected to generations of women who have raised a flock of hens for eggs. Did you know that Jane Austen's family raised chickens? We're in good company ladies!

2. Hanging laundry on the line. I have no explanation for this one. It should be a chore, but it's not. And from the moment my own clothesline went up, I could not figure out WHY I had waited so long to have one! Even though we're still having an occasional cold, rainy day or two, we've also had plenty of warm, sunny opportunities to start hanging on the line again. Don't forget, if your lines are nylon or plastic coated cables, wipe them down good beforehand and replace your cotton lines if necessary because winter dirt always finds it's way to places like... the laundry line!

3. Drinking my morning coffee out in the garden. As soon as the weather is warm enough, I often sneak out to the garden in my pjs and muck boots with coffee in hand, letting out the chickens for the day, checking on the vegetable plants. Nothing is more serene than being out at dawn... except maybe bees flying in and out of the hive on their morning pollen runs. {Sigh...} I miss my honey friends... but new ones are on the way next week and I can hardly wait. (This time I'll feed them every day!) 

4. Spring cleaning. Nothing says spring like a good house cleaning with the windows open! And it gets even better with homemade products that are not only safe, but aromatically pleasing. My favorite springtime scents are just about anything citrus and this recipe from Morgan Moore of One More Moore ought to make the house smell terrific!

Oh Happy Day
5. Dining al fresco! Long dinners at sundown, great friends, soft music, candlelight, good food, stimulating conversation... somehow I think this is a foretaste of heaven! Just use any table and chairs you can find or whatever you have around the house and throw on a pretty tablecloth and you're good to go! I've even been known to take the regular dining table outside on occasion. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!

Sew Liberated
6. Wearing an apron. I know... it's very old fashioned and I think I may actually look as OLD as I really am when I wear one, but I still feel wonderful when I wear one... so I do! I have the pattern for one similar to this lovely design, which is a bit more modern than some of my other aprons. Perhaps I should whip it up in this weekend... it's suppose to rain til Sunday.

7. Afternoon tea. Perhaps I'm English or something, but I feel totally extravagant when I stop to have a cup of Earl Grey or an herb tea in the afternoon. I try to keep a small basket of tea bags in seasonal flavors. My new favorite... Yumberry Blackcurrant Herbal by Stash Teas (which is my favorite tea company)!

8. Flowers in the window sill. It's like having a cheerful greeting each time I do the dishes! Little treasures from the garden, even flowering weeds, can be beautiful. I keep several tiny vases just for these little gifts from my youngest daughter. If you don't have a small vase, just use an old salt or pepper shaker with the lid off.

9. Taking a little time to read something fun! Remember when you were a kid and you could read for hours on end and travel to all sorts of imaginary destinations? Why don't we do this more as adults? I know most days can be crazy busy, but I've started trying to stop around 9 o'clock each evening and dedicate an hour of time to just relaxing with a good book. I don't do it every night, but when I do, I notice I sleep a lot better and I feel like I treated myself to something special.

10. My "One Thousand Gifts" journal. Writing down a few things I'm grateful for each day puts more of my simple pleasures into focus. And with it... the heart is transformed.

What's in your top 10 simple pleasures for spring?


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