5 Things We’re Loving Right Now: Spring Edition

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Dear Frances,

It’s been a few months since we talked about the things that are delighting us. (I loved reading all the wonderful comments on that post, where people shared what they were loving!) Now that it’s starting to feel like spring, I thought it would be fun to spend a few minutes dwelling on the positive.

  1. Fresh Flowers. Even before the flowers in my yard come into bloom, I can always count on Trader Joe’s to have a huge assortment of seasonal flowers! I recently purchased two bundles of daffodils for $4! They were all buds, so we got to enjoy the full bloom cycle. Soon they will have peonies, and I can’t wait! Such an affordable indulgence. To my way of thinking, nothing says spring like fresh flowers on the kitchen table. 
  1. Jojoba oil. I recently purchased this oil to rub into my cuticles while I’m sitting at my desk. I’ve been trying take better care of my nails, and once I ran out of my Olive & June cuticle serum, I looked for a more economical solution. I find it quite enjoyable to reach for the oil (I keep it on a bookshelf near my desk) and put drop on each cuticle and rub it in, several times a day. I’ve even started rubbing a drop or two on my face while I’m at it. It makes a big difference in how my nails look–and my research says that it’s great for skin too! It’s a little self-care moment a few times a day.
  1. Spring light. Are you loving the change in the light? I am! I know you have a complicated relationship with the time change, but I am loving the longer days and the different kind of light that we get as we move from winter to spring. Just walking outside with my face to the sun is an instant mood lifter! I’m especially appreciating it due to all the rain we’ve had in California this year (I’m not complaining, I swear!).
  1. My Apple watch. I received an Apple watch for Christmas (the gift I didn’t even know I wanted), and I am loving the data I get from it. On the activity side—I’ve picked up the pace of my walks after I found out how slow I was walking. I used to walk so fast that no one wanted to walk with me! I have gradually gotten slower and slower–and it’s time to get back to a brisk walk! It encourages me to stand up every hour, and I really make an effort to close “my rings” each day. I love this subtle form of accountability. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m enjoying the sleep tracking feature and getting a glimpse into my sleep cycle–something else I didn’t know I wanted.
  1. Sewing after dinner. Due to my recent cross stitch obsession, I stopped sewing in the evenings. And then if I didn’t feel like cross stitching, I just watched TV and started falling asleep on the sofa. Not good. Finding a couple of fun, easy quilting projects to work on has gotten me back into my sewing space in the evenings. I feel so much better when I’m busy doing something I love (like quilting) instead of camped out on the sofa watching TV. And I’m always amazed at how fast projects come together when you actually work on them!

I’m sure I could go on, but I’m so interested in what you are loving. I keep meaning to try that low-carb Breyer’s ice cream you mentioned last time.

Dear Kristin,

I’ve been in a rut lately. Here in central North Carolina the weather is not cooperating with my idea of what the weather should be this time of year, which is to say sunny and soft, all of winter’s hard edges melted away and summer’s heat and humidity somewhere off in the distance. Instead, it’s overcast and sort of chilly, and I’m stuck inside a house I’m very tired of being stuck inside of. 

So this is a good exercise for me, to look for delight when I’m not feeling particularly delighted (or delightful, for that matter). Here’s my list of what I’m loving right now:

  1. Central heating! As you know from my daily reports from my cold, cold house, we were without heat for ten days, during 2023’s coldest snap so far. Amazingly, I was a trooper for nine of those ten days, but that 10th day, the very day the new furnace was being installed, I snapped like the little icicle that I had become. Finally, around 5:15 PM, the new furnace began heating things up, and I swore I would never take having a functioning heater for granted again. I have since taken it for granted on an almost daily basis, but every now and again I remember how nice it is to be warm without having to put on three layers of sweaters and two hats.
  1. Spending time with neighbors. The one good thing about Covid lockdown is that I saw my Spencer Street neighbors on a near-daily basis (except for Joe, who moved two houses down from us in 2019 and never comes out–we’ve exchanged friendly emails, but I still haven’t met the man in person). Once life returned to normal, I felt lucky if I saw a handful of neighbors over the course of a week. But things have shifted a little as of late. First, my neighbors Rick and Marie had us over for dinner a couple of weeks ago, one of those delightfully casual affairs that I can never quite pull off. Then last week, our neighbor Ryan invited us for lunch, and the following day I went to see neighbors Sonya and Kit’s new cafe/outdoor shop downtown. Now I have hopes for a neighborly summer. I’ll report back in July!
  1. The Merlin Bird ID app from Cornell University. Spring may not feel fully sprung yet, but the birds are back in the neighborhood–and in the backyard. I’ve decided that this is the year I’m going to learn not just the names of the birds (some of which I already know), I’m also going to learn to identify their songs. I asked my birder friend Suzanne for an app rec, and she suggested this one. I took it out for a test drive this morning and had the time of my life. Carolina Chickadees! Eastern Bluebirds! Tufted Titmouses! Dark-eyed Juncos! They were all out and about and chattering away. Utterly delightful! (Want to know more about the app? Follow this link!)
  1. In spite of the weather not conforming to my expectations, spring is slowly springing. February was on the warm side, and we’re already seeing lots of things beginning to bloom. I’ve ordered my Sungold tomato and herb seeds and am still toying with the notion of putting in a strawberry bed. Our last frost date is April 15, and while that’s starting to shift closer to April 1st, more than one gardener around here has regretted jumping the gun. Still, if the weather’s nice this weekend, I might do a little digging.
  1.  Watching baseball while learning to stitch with my right hand. I haven’t paid attention to baseball for a while now, but this summer I’m going to get back to it. We subscribe to the MLB channel, and watching games is a fun way for me an Clifton to hang out together. But since I can never just sit in front of the TV and do nothing, I’ve decided to practice right-handed hand piecing. I’m a lefty, and I’ve found lately that if I do a lot of writing or rotary cutting with my left hand, it starts to get achey. As an ambidextrous lefthander, I’ve got options, and one of them is to use my right hand whenever possible. I just started with the right handed piecing on Sunday in order to get ready for Opening Day, which was yesterday (Clifton and I are going to the Durham Bulls’ first game tonight!), and I’ve made ten very slow half square triangles. Maybe I’ll have enough for a quilt by the end of the summer!

If I could add frequent Trader Joe’s trips to this list, I most certainly would. Those inexpensive bouquets! I love them, but our Trader Joe’s in Chapel Hill, and the parking lot is scary. I guess I’ll just stay home and listen to the birds.


P.S. Readers, tell us what you’re loving right now! We’re always looking for inspiration!

  • Robin Leftwich

    I’m in California near Kristin, so I’ve also been experiencing cold rainy days. But I love the cool air, and today I am loving the sun! Adjusting to daylight savings time was unexpectedly hard, but I am now loving the longer sunlight days, although we are shifting to going to bed later and getting up later. It’s a lot easier to hand sew in the light of the longer evenings! I also love the fresh veggies in spring, not that I grow them, but asparagus! Sugar snap peas! Green beans!

  • Audrey

    Well, spring hasn’t sprung here in northeast Wisconsin as we’re having snow today. Good news is that with the spring snows they also promptly melt away. However, there are signs that spring is on the way, the chicks at Tractor Supply are always a welcome sight and so cute; the daffodils are just poking their heads out of the ground at our local library which always seems to get them first and we no longer can support the ice shanties out on the Bay (for ice fishing). All great signs that before we know it, our area will grow from 28k off season population on the Door County peninsula to more than double with the tourists that come to visit. Oh, and this is the time that I usually say, “let’s take a road trip.”

  • Tracie

    I mentioned in an earlier comment that we have been visiting churches for the last two years. We’re finally settled and we have new couple friends! When you’re in your 60s, this is a big deal. All of us moved into this small community less than five years ago to retire and have felt the pangs of loneliness. So when we gathered for coffee and pastries, we didn’t want our visit to end. Friends close by who share your values and idea of fun are the best!

  • patty

    My five: (1) peach flavored tea (herbal and green), (2) pickleball with friends (3) reading in the afternoon sun (4) thrift store drop off to get rid of stuff (5) daylight after dinner

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