Okay, here are just a few of the things that made my life seem "wild and precious" today:
1. Stopping during my 6:30 am run to pick and eat handsful of wild raspberries -- that was half of breakfast! The dogs can't quite figure out why I fancy them, but they're quite patient. I was joined momentarily by the local paper-deliverers, a nice couple who drive a gray mini-van; we wave each morning as I'm running and they're delivering.
2. I've discovered the delights of panini -- small sandwiches (often made with meat left over from last night's dinner, or cheese I bought for the purpose). The bread (I've used whole wheat, black olive, and potato-rosemary) is often browned in a fry pan with olive oil; I brushed mine with oil and toasted it under the broiler. Yesterday I thawed the last cube of frozen pesto, mixed it with a good bit of olive oil, and used it up by lunch today. Yum. I can find so many creative ways to add calories to any meal. Need to find a high-cholesterol, high-calorie diet? I'm your gal! This morning the panini of choice was open-faced with tomato, topped with cheddar cheese melted under the broiler. Big YUM. For lunch I had whole wheat bread (gets a little too crumbly). a veggie burger, tomato, lettuce and mayo (yes, olive oil/pesto and mayo).
3. Within the last 36 hours I have turned on my central air for the first time this year (yep, here in the south we need it! How did Scarlett O'Hara exist without it?) and now turned it back off again, as it's in the 70s and due to cool off both during the day and nighttime hours tomorrow. With nights in the 50s, I can't justify air conditioning and closed windows, even if it's better for my allergies. I love fresh air and having the windows open.
4. Today I made the first batch of fresh pesto, with a combo of parsley and basil from my garden. I actually like the combination (the first time I've mixed them), because basil alone is sometimes just too intense for me. I'm thrilled to have fresh pesto, and the way my parsley and basil are growing, I'm looking forward to having plenty to freeze (in ice cube trays, then freezer bags) for winter. My mistake today was throwing in chunks of parmaggiano reggiano and grana padano without grating them first. I didn't want to grate them by hand, and didn't even think of grating them with the grater attachment on my food processor (duh). So I've got several chunks of pesto-covered hard cheese that I can't decide what to do with. I may set them atop tomato slices (which would be on bread) for breakfast tomorrow. Would they melt under the broiler? I'll let you know! There are often errors (many of them fortuitous) in my cooking, because I experiment a lot.
5. I started a book called "The Lost Art of Compassion" by Lorne Ladner. He's a psychologist who maintains that psychology has long been concerned with "illness" (I heartily agree!), while Buddhism has long studied the cultivation of positive traits such as happiness and compassion. He says we can learn the "techniques and technologies" of cultivating these positive traits for ourselves. I think this is a quest I've been on without realizing it (thus my desire to make each day extraordinary by identifying elements that make it extraordinary). My yoga teacher has added to this with her readings about some of the desirable characteristics we might cultivate -- especially compassion.
6. The neighbors, who feed several semi-feral, outdoor cats, have a new batch of kittens at their place. I know I should be appalled (I'm usually so politically correct, and do think animals should be spayed and given a modicum of veterinary care, and these folks are real hills-and-hollers folks who like the cats to reproduce to keep the vermin down) -- but seeing these 5 kittens tumbling and tossing on the neighbor's driveway charms me no end, and makes my dogs quite excited. Clementine, who has co-existed with cats before, really wants me to get her a kitten! I'm tempted.
7. I accomplished (with tech support help) the deletion and re-download of my Palm Desktop program, so that now I can access the photos I take with my camera (somewhere along the line I lost that part of the program). I struggle and struggle with tech stuff, but this one was actually fairly easy.
I can usually identify at least one thing each day that makes my life extraordinary. But I don't often have SEVEN of them. It's a very good day, to say the least.
Here's a little expression of thanks. I took this in Costa Rica last year. She's not a Black Madonna, but she could easily be. Watch tomorrow: it's my mom's birthday, and I plan to post a tribute to her.