These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Something that makes each of us unique are the interests we cultivate and the “things” with which we identify. The “things” that, if asked, we’d easily answer as “our favorites.” I thought that I would share some of my favorite things.


I don’t know when the love affair with writing implements began, but I do recall asking my parents for a Calligraphy set in 8th grade. I remember sitting with the set for hours at a time, carefully practicing until my script matched the one in the book. I eventually began to experiment with different nibs and inks,  and designed a few of my own swashes and flourishes (those squiggly, decorative marks).

Pens! Fancy writing! What could be any better???

Pens! Fancy writing! What could be any better???

My love of pens still renews annually during back-to-school shopping time, and every so often, I fall in love with a new writing implement. The new commercial for Papermate Inkjoy pens made me want to go right out and buy them.

I asked Ken to pick me up some pens and he came home with a set of colors and a package of black ink. He knows me so well!

He knows me so well!

A few days later, Ken was at the store picking up a few things and I had written the name of the pens on the shopping list. I would have been happy with one package, but he came home with a pack of 8 different color inks, and a pack of black pens. Cue: Angels singing…Laaaaaaa!! I found myself looking for reasons to write.


Of course, I love cats. All of them. I love cartoon cats, LOLCATS, real-live furry, purring cats.

The cats snacking on some "salad" on a warm Indian-summer day.

The cats snacking on some “salad” on a warm Indian-summer day.

They are the royalty of the animal kingdom, and our two are some pretty amazing specimens. They are clever, smart, affectionate, playful and mysterious. I sometimes think that the term “nine lives” refers to their varied personalities – cuddly, playful, talkative, needy, independent, rowdy, mellow – which can change from one moment to the next.


No, not the “pick a card, any card” type of magic (though I tried magic when I was kid), but the sense of magic that we imagined as children. Searching for four-leaf clovers in the grass. Looking for the fairies who I believed lived under the mushrooms. Finding a tree in the woods where other woodland creatures live and play. Belief in Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

Reminds me of a babbling brook.

Reminds me of a babbling brook.

Recently, I was weeding in the front yard. There’s an area of our front flower bed that Ken arranged with rocks, more to collect some of the rain run-off than decoration, but for some reason, it actually resembles a river or stream among the red mulch. I was pulling weeds last week, bringing my face close to the ground. It reminded me of a time when I was a child and believed in Fairies and mythical creatures.


It’s easy to read into meaning behind them, but I have many dreams that feature water of some sort – swimming in enormous and oddly shaped swimming pools, living in a home that overlooks or borders the Ocean, or visiting beaches that I’ve never seen in “real life” yet in my dream feel as familiar as anything could feel.

An awesome day a few years ago with some of my favorite people having a magical time together!

A magical day with some of my favorite people! Can’t believe this is three years ago!

My husband put a pool in our backyard a few years ago, and every time I step into it, it physically feels like magic or like Heaven, if Heaven had a feeling. Ever have a dream about flying? That’s what I imagine flying to feel like – like floating in water. And every summer, I get to fly. My biggest “dream” or wish is to own a home right on the Atlantic Ocean (the Pacific is too cold). I’ve vacationed several times at Cape Cod, in a house just a five-minute walk to the beach, and it was the closest I’ve come to living that dream.


When I was around 2 years old, my Grandfather, who lived next door to us, had a duck. Apparently, I used to follow that duck around the yard. As a little girl, my dad and my favorite uncle called me “Ducky,” and to this day, I love, love, love ducks!

I met this duck at a local park, years ago, while visiting with my sister and her kids.

I met this duck at a local park, years ago, while visiting with my sister and her kids.

I love Ducks so much that my hubby stops what he’s doing to share his “duck” experiences.

I saw this guy floating in a little stream along a local walking path. I make sure to look for him every time we go!

This duck frequents the stream that runs along a local walking trail.

He always stops and rewinds the DVR when an Aflac Duck commercial is on television, pulls the car over so that I can look at ducks on the side of the road, and if he is alone, will take pictures of ducks he encounters in his day.

So much fun!

So much fun!

He even took me to a Rubber Ducky Race!


Considered a weed to many, I find Daisies the most perfect flower. It’s the first type of flower we draw as children. It’s the flower we use to play “he loves me, he loves me not.” It’s middle looks like the sun. I actually had daisies in my wedding bouquet and on my wedding cake.

Simple yet lovely!

Simple yet lovely!

They can grow almost anywhere. Every year, I toss a few daisy seeds somewhere in the yard to see if they’ll grow. Without fail, I always have a spot of tall, happy daisies to photograph. No two are ever the same!


If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love to cook. My hubby says it’s obvious that I cook well because, you know, his belly shows it. I grew up in a big Italian family, and there were always people around. There were six of us just in my immediate family, and there were often relatives and friends joining us.

There was always room for "one more" at Grandma's table!

There was always room for “one more” at Grandma’s table!

Every Sunday, my Grandmother cooked dinner (Sunday “dinner” was around 12-1pm) every week until about a year before her death at 93. It was typical for her to feed 20-30 people on any given Sunday, whether everyone squished together at the dining table plus several folding tables, or they sat in shifts. Nobody was ever refused, and she never ran out of food.

My homemade sauce - a blend of both my Mother and my Grandmother's recipes!

My homemade sauce – a blend of both my Mother and my Grandmother’s recipes!

As a result, I don’t know how to cook for just two…

My hearty "Chickeny Soup"!

My hearty “Chickeny Soup,” based on my Mom’s, plus my own accents.

…and I have learned to make some really yummy food. I remember the first time I made my own (tomato) sauce and I asked my Mom if it upset her that I played around with some of the ingredients. To my surprise (my Mom was THE cook – even at our most vulnerable times – cooked hot meals every night), she told me that it made her happy that I went on to “make it my own”. Now, my sisters and I each have our “specialties” and we get to share at holidays.

Being an Auntie

Okay, so it’s not a “thing,” but it’s an identity. These are five of my favorite people in the whole world – the children of my two older sisters (they are twins, so you might see a strong resemblance among them).

This is from 2005, I think.

Christmas, 2005.

Oh, I love each one of them in a different way. In the earlier days, I was the Auntie with the “spicy gum” (cinnamon) in her purse and fun phone apps, the source of “Cinderella Blue” nail polish, the one who got on the floor to play dolls or color, the one who has watched “Barney,” dozens of Nickelodeon and Disney shows, and almost every Pixar/Blue Sky/Dreamworks animated film made since 1995.

Now I get to exchange text messages and pictures on Facebook, share secrets about crushes, have deeper conversations, and celebrate milestones.

Hanging out in (my) Grandpa & Grandma's backyard (their Great Gpa & Gma).

Hanging out in (my) Grandpa & Grandma’s backyard (their Great Gpa & Gma).

Honestly, they make us feel like Rock Stars every time we see them, so I hope that we continue to share such amazing relationships. The kids now range in age from 9 to 18, and it’s exciting to both witness and participate in their lives as they move step forward.

I think that one of the keys to a happy life is about recognizing the joy in everyday moments. Nothing will ever be perfect, but if we seek out that which stirs our hearts, the world is a much better place when you control how you see the world.

I’d love to hear about your favorite “things”! Share by clicking the COMMENT link below.


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