with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: simple pleasures

What a dog taught me about gratitude, or “Yay! Grass!”

by SweetMidlife
Stop and smell the grass. Or rub in it like a sweet crazy dog.

Leslie here! I don’t have a dog, but I have become close to two of them, Kira and Doubleday, the canine children of my friends Libby and Adam. My husband and I had the pleasure of sitting for them while their human parents went to Key West for New Year’s weekend. The time with them clued me on not only on the world of doggie drama – brief squabbles over who gets the best floor pillow and Kira clocking Doubleday’s extra food – but how it’s possible to stop, drop and literally roll into life’s simple pleasures without the world stopping in its tracks. In other words, nobody’s gonna die if you take a minute and smell some flowers.

Or some grass.

Enter Doubleday.

Libby and I took a walk with the doggies on the Intracoastal Waterway yesterday, on one of those delicious Florida winter mornings that feels like a temperate spring that make people want to move here. Kira, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, was on my arm, and is a pretty chill walker. Pit bull mix Doubleday, on the other hand, always runs outside as if she has never seen outside before – she glances every which way, smelling the air, feeling the ground under her and getting so overwhelmed by all the exotic wonder that she sees every single day that she can barely stop her little doggie head from exploding.

It’s hilarious. And it was especially awesome yesterday, when, mid-walk, Doubleday just dropped to her back and started rubbing herself from side to side in the grass, like a little gray fur-covered pendulum, her tongue hanging out dramatically and her ecstatic panting seeming to say “OH MY GOSH! IT’S GRASS! DO YOU KNOW GRASS? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THIS BEFORE? WHERE DO THEY MAKE THIS STUFF?”

This dog gets walked every day, in the same place. Nothing here is completely new to her. But Libby says that at least once a walk, her sheer puppy joy at the simple pleasure of rubbing in the grass takes over and she just cannot help herself.

I’m about to sound like an Afterschool Special here, but don’t you think we can learn something from this goofy lovely dog, who doesn’t care what’s happening as long as she can lose herself in the wonderfulness of a moment? Of course we can. I’m going to start posting Doubledays of the Day, small ways in which we can shut down our day for a few minutes, without hurting anybody, and let life in.

Today, I took five minutes between writing stories to make a cup of tea. Tea is underrated. And it’s the most chill time of my day, even if I have to get up to make it.

Do you guys have suggestions? Bring them on! And go smell some grass!


Enjoyable: Canned Tuna

by SweetMidlife

Hi! Lynne here.

 

So, we haven’t written in a little bit. Family health issues. And I had a baby a few weeks back, something that I will be writing a bit about in the future. But today, I wanted to write another entry in the series we started on the little pleasures in life, and actually today’s is something I had laid off of during my pregnancy.  When you get pregnant, you get whole lists, both from your doctor, and then from everyone that you know, about what you should and shouldn’t be eating, and depending on who you talk to, many things show up on both the good and bad list. Like I know people who completely shun caffeine, while others say a cup a day is good.  The same with alcohol: some completely abstain, while some say a glass here and there is fine (I drank a cup of coffee/caffeine, and I stayed away from the wine. Looking forward to our reunion).  One thing I DID give up during my pregnancy was canned tuna. Actually, I gave up pretty much canned anything because of possible bad effects, and tuna was on some people’s lists of fish to avoid. Now,  I have a dear friend who ate it every day of her pregnancy and had no issues, but I decided to abstain.

So,  I was a week post-baby birth, and I was looking for something quick to eat, and I remembered that tuna and I are no longer broken up! I opened a can, added some Miracle Whip, pickles and Old Bay seasoning, and had a yummy time. Yep, it’s simple, but sometimes the simplest things bring the most joy.  You don’t know what you got until it’s gone, they say, and I had missed me some tuna.  Good. Easy. Enjoyable.

We want to hear more about what you see as YOUR simple pleasures! Do share.


Enjoyable: Kid’s Cereals

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

So in the second installment of “Enjoyable”, our tribute to the simple pleasures in life, I submit sugared cereals.

 

Yes.

Leslie and I grew up in the 1970’s, and somewhere around our 5th birthday, our parents decided to turn over a new leaf, health-wise, and changed our family’s diet dramatically.  We stopped eating red meat and pork, and stuck to poultry, seafood, and vegetarian meat substitutes (my dad cut the poultry, too).  Thus, Leslie and I became young recruits in the lard police: we could scan an ingredient list on a cookie label and find animal fat in record time, much to the chagrin of our Southern-raised family who didn’t see the threat in a simple Oreo cookie. Sigh. At least we were kinda cute.

The other way that this healthy thing affected us DRAMATICALLY as kids (and every thing is more dramatic then) was at breakfast time.  My parents rarely bought the cereal we saw on commercials during Saturday morning cartoons. No, what you found in the Streeter pantry was wheat germ, Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat. For us, the fun cereals were Honey Nut Cheerios and Chex (Rice Shout-out!!).  This is why, whenever my parents bought those variety packs of single serve cereals, we fought over the sugary ones.  And my grandparents Streeter, who never understood this whole food change in the first place, happily accommodated our sugar-deprived selves by always having a giant, fresh box of Apple Jacks waiting for us when we came to visit for the weekend. Ahh, Apple Jacks.

As an adult, I have had my own ups and downs with healthy, but for the most part, try not to buy a lot of junky stuff, grocery-wise. I LOVE junky stuff, but not as a diet foundation, and I definitely don’t need to have it around my house all of the time, because, well, that helps no one. But I have found pleasure, every so often, and sometimes more than that, having a box of kid-targeted cereal in the pantry. I usually have a box of more grown-up cereal in there, too, but there is something comforting and maybe, in the mind of 7-year old Lynne (who is a little like 41-year old Lynne), a little naughty about being able to dive into a box of Reese’s Puffs whenever I want. It seriously makes me giggle.  It’s also a cool dessert. So, whatever your exposure to sweet cereal was a kid, I say that you should roll your cart to the cereal aisle, and buy your own box of whatever treat floats your boat. It’s calming and exhilarating at the same time.


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