Small pleasures

I want to share a small pleasure, so I’m starting this thread.

We have lived in this house for 14 years. We have a nice view out the back, even though the hill on the other side of the ravine is Daly City. The view is nice except on the one side, where the neighbor (not directly) in back has a huge ugly fir tree, that often breaks off branches in wind storms, and probably houses more than one family of raccoons.

Today they had it cut down.

I am so happy with the new view. It’s a small pleasure, but one I’m going to enjoy for a long time.

Any recent change in your life that has led to a small pleasure?

I found a $50.bill in an old wallet of Mr.Wrekkers. Finders/keepers and all. See, all you nay-sayers it’s not always a good idea to throw old stuff away. Now I want to go through every old bag or billfold around here. Maybe tomorrow.

Just got hired for a new, part time job to bring in some extra income. Doesn’t pay great but it has extremely flexible hours and they seem to be pretty good people. There’s also plenty of room for advancement if I want to go full time.

My most recent was discovering Charlaine Harris had a new non-vampire book out (“An Easy Death”). I like a nice quick read this time of year.

I was walking down the street early Thursday morning and a woman inside a bank vestibule was knocking on the glass door, tring to get someone’s attention. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she had locked herself in and needed to get her husband to unlock the door. Cold I go to the red van parked on the street and ask him to come to the door.

I went over to the van, knocked on the window, delivered the message and walked on.

Friday morning at the same time, the couple was waiting outside the bank and thanked me for helping them out! It was such a nice, thoughtful thing to do.

After nursing a bum knee for more than a week, I finally got out of my neighborhood yesterday. Took the bus to a pizza place, had a couple of slices, then read a newspaper at Starbuck’s. Not a lot of exercise but it was nice to have a change of scene for a bit.

I’ve had my kitchen redone; previously I had an entranceway which was kind of big but not enough to put a closet or somesuch in, and a kitchen where you couldn’t fit two people unless they really liked each other. The entryway’s features included my electrical meter and the fuses box in plain view, the large tube with the cables… the kitchen itself wasn’t ugly or anything like that (so long as it’s not painted fluorescent pink, if a kitchen works I’ll use it), but I hated the granite countertops (it’s like a camo background, damnit; I’m not blind, I don’t want a countertop I need to touch to tell if I’ve really cleaned it correctly) and the lack of space was Not Good. The stovetop was gas, as was the heater that was older than any heater is expected to be and which died last winter. My mother didn’t dare use the stovetop; she’d had several instances of leaving the gas on low when she thought she’d switched it off or vice versa, and a few of having the fire go off with the gas still on. And I didn’t like having to get it checked every year (I travel a lot for work), or the things it does to the bottoms of pots and pans (what? I’m a chemist, I’m allowed to hate dirty pot-bottoms!).

Now you enter directly through the kitchen (which after all is Traditional for northern Spain), it’s got more storage space (including a cabinet which hides the meter and box), a table I can eat at (foldable wings, usually with one wing open but I can fold it down and move it out of the way if needed) and - actual space in the middle! Woohoo!

I’ve also and after much thought Gone Weird. I mean, with the kitchen, not me. There’s a lot of things we do in homes that are done simply because “that’s how everybody does it”. I haven’t actually used a smoke extractor for years and the kitchen has good ventilation, so no extractor. Oven and microwave? Nope: for about the same money I got one that does both, and since it’s a tabletop model I’ve gained three large drawers. Got a half-size dishwasher too and no more gas: the stovetop is now induction. I’m not intending to sell the place for at least 20 years; whomever buys it can tear it all down if they dislike it, same as I did!

I’ve got another one, also related to our house. One of the houses next door has been a rental for several years, with a succession of several young people renting out rooms (acting illegally like a boarding house). Some of them liked to party, although those have been gone for a while. The most recent ones were quiet, although unfriendly.

Last month the owners apparently decided that renting it out was too much trouble or something, and moved in themselves. They are a family with at least two well-behaved children; the mother barely speaks English and mostly won’t try. They are gradually fixing up the field of weeds that passed for the yard, and so on. And they do nice things like take in packages delivered when we’re not home.

This is another one that could be a long-term improvement, that just makes me a little happier to be living here.

The house on the other side just sold and is waiting for its first batch of renters; the house across the street, formerly occupied by a somewhat annoying family, is up for sale. I’m hoping for good outcomes on both of those.

My favorite ice cream flavor is Peppermint Candy from Mitchell’s Ice Cream. Sadly it is only available during the winter months. Today I decided to take a walk down there to see if it was back on the menu. Yes! Nothing like a waffle cone sundae with Peppermint Candy ice cream to make me irrationally happy. Probably my favorite treat ever.

I just went into my backyard and picked up some pears the wind knocked off my trees today. Crisp, juicy, fully ripened on the tree, and fresh as they could possibly be–as different from store-bought pears as chalk from cheese. In a little while, I’ll go pick a few leaves of basil to garnish some soup.

So, the small pleasure: fresh-picked fruit and herbs from my backyard.

Since I was a kid I’ve liked railroads and railroady stuff. My place is directly adjacent to a defunct rail line. Just today (the 3rd) I was out at cocktail hour, standing on the main line. I said out loud: “I love it here.” Cocktail hour in a place you want to be in. Yeah.

BTW: I do not consider myself a “railroad nut.”

I love Japanese food, but my small town has no good Japanese restaurants. So I’ve learned to cook some dishes myself.** The Cooking With Dog lady on youtube has been an immense help with this.

youtube is a pleasure. It has become invaluable to help teach me (and my husband) do many things ourselves we would otherwise not be able to.

**Some pork kakuni (pork belly braised in soy and ginger) is on the stove even as I type.

Okay. I had to look up “Cooking with Dog” to make sure… you know, it wasn’t… (it isn’t).

The leaves are in glorious peak color here. I got to take a walk to see a small forest stand yesterday.

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We finally got a cold front through SW FLA last week and it was awesome. Saturday morning my friend and I were at Home Depot and as we passed by the open loading doors in the back of the store a fresh breeze came through and we both stopped talking and just enjoyed the feeling of the cool, dry(ish) air.

We had a huge cherry tree fall over during a recent rainstorm, damaging the fence. After making certain the horses were contained, I began work chopping up the part of the tree that was on the fence. Over an hour of work with the chainsaw and I was able to repair the fence, leaving many more hours of cutting to get all that wood to a burn pile.

The wood was actually pretty, so on a whim I texted pics to a friend who is into woodworking. The next day he showed up with a crew of friends, each toting a chainsaw. They also brought along two cases of good beer. I got to act as foreman; opening gates, relocating horses, bringing over wheelbarrows, ordering pizzas, etc.

Many hands, light work, yeah!

That is so great! I hope you get first pick of whatever crafty thing one of these people makes out of your cherry wood. :slight_smile:

Grilled cheese on fresh made sour dough bread with tomato soup on the side.

I know what you mean. I’m further north than you but summer heat & humidity kept a death grip on us until mid-October. When we finally got cool dry weather I couldn’t believe how refreshing it was. I felt so energetic! I had near forgotten what it was like to be outdoors and NOT feel like I was coated in hot molasses.

Shiner Holiday Cheer recently made its way onto the local grocery store shelves.