“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck.” Emma Goldman
My sentiments exactly Mrs. Goldman, I am not a diamond kind of gal, but flowers do bring up a sense of enjoyment and beauty.
I am learning to enjoy life, not with the big luxury items such as houses, cars, expensive vacations, but with the small things that sometimes we do not think about because we take them for granted.

The things that bring me absolute joy:
1) Nicholas my cat: He is soft, purrs, and makes me laugh. He accepts and loves me no matter what I sound, look, or what mood I am in. How can you not be joyful around a furry friend that loves you no matter what?
2) Breathing: Yep, I enjoy breathing. Every breathe that I am able to take I am joyful. I am thankful that I can take oxygen in and I can let it out so that my body can function so that I can do the things that I enjoy and my assignment.

3) Books: I enjoy reading all kinds of books from novels, biographies, journals, and self-help. I love to learn. Often you will see me with a book and my high lighter marking up what I am find.
4) Journals: I enjoy getting a new journal and start writing in it my deepest thoughts. Writing out my thoughts helps me to focus on things and dive deeper into my brain so that I can get rid of the negative monsters that have taken root in there. I have uprooted several of the monsters and I feel free. How can you not enjoy life if you are not chained to monsters that have invaded your head?

5) Color pens: In March of this year I bought myself a pack of different color pens that I use to write in my journal with. I enjoy seeing the colors. There were green, pink, purple, different shades of blue, orange, and brown. Because I have used them a lot several of them ran out of ink and it is time to buy me some more. The colors I have left are orange, brown, and light green.

6) Cooking: I especially enjoy the act of chopping up things with a knife. If you have ever seen The Muppets the Swedish chef is one of my favorites along with Animal. I love it when he is chopping up his vegetables and he takes out a chainsaw. I would totally do that and I want a chainsaw for my kitchen. I also enjoy making soups, casseroles, salads, sandwiches, and breads. Slowly, thanks to the crock pot I have been able to make soups. I saw a recipe and pinned it to my recipe section of Penhurst of bacon, leek, and potato soup. I have potato soup in my crock pot and instead of leeks I used onions. Smells so yummy!
7) Connecting with family and friends: I enjoy one on one time with different family members and friends that I have in my life. I enjoy talking and learning from them and sharing what I am learning with them.
8) The beach: The first time I went to the beach was when I was 13 years old. I went with my guardian parents and their best friends Gene and Betty. The smell of the ocean and the feel of the gritty, wet sand on my feet is intoxicating to me. I feel so much at peace. I feel renewed. I feel joy surrounding me. The beach is one of my special places.
9) Taking pictures: I still do this in one aspect, but not like I once did. In the summer of 2005 one of my best friends Amber and I drove from Washington state all the way to Tennessee and we both took about a 1,000 photos a piece. Also that summer I rented a helicopter and went one mile to the perimeter of Mt. St. Helens while it was erupting. I still have those photos. I still have those memories. I still remember the joy I experienced communing with nature, my friend, and take fabulous photographs with my brand new digital camera.
10) Planting: I enjoy the dirt. Not exactly making mud pies, but digging in the dirt to plant flowers, herbs, and house plants. I do not have any houseplants anymore. When I move to my new apartment I will be changing that.

11) Riding a bicycle: I used to ride my bicycle all over my hometown of Longview Washington.

12) Smelling: For six months I lost my ability to smell anything. I was miserable. I couldn’t smell lavender, rosemary, peppermint, fruit, yummy meals being cooked or even roses. I couldn’t taste either. Smell and taste go together. When you breathe in deep you smell and you taste. Your nose and throat have censors that allow you to smell and taste your food. When you hold your nose and do not allow airflow in through your nostrils you don’t smell or taste it. I am so glad that I can smell and taste again.

13) Rainy days: I enjoy rainy days when I can put on my fuzzy socks, my pajamas, and have Nicholas with a good book or even just writing.

14) Collage making: Ever since I went to Lani Kent’s seminar to learn how to do this. I have made three collages that have opened up my eyes to how I view things.

15) Helping and encouraging others: I am a natural born encouragers. I need to be careful because I sometimes give all my encouragement and energy to others and do not have any for me.

16) Watching movies: I watch movies to inspire me. Julie and Julia, Shawshank Redemption, The Nun Story, Under The Tuscan Sun, My Life In Ruins, and Angels and Demons are some of those that inspire me.

17) Music: Tori Amos, Florence and The Machine, Tenth Avenue North, Annie Lennox, Heart, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Pat Benetar, Sugarland, Cher are such a few artists that I enjoy. I just enjoyed seeing Tenth Avenue North on Sunday along with some new bands that I enjoy, Audrey Assad and Rend Collective Experiment.

18) Lotion/essential oils: Who doesn’t love the luxurious feel of creamy lotion and good smelling oil?

19) Butterflies: Butterflies mean transitioning, transformation. I have been transformed several times in my life. Watching a butterfly come out of their cocoon is amazing. It is not easy for them to bust out, they end up bleeding, but when they are done they have gorgeous wings full of color and they fly freely and joyously.

20) Writing: Writing use to be a chore for me, but since I started writing my blog ideas have been pouring out of my heart and soul. I still do not enjoy the writing process, especially the editing. I am getting better at it and I have been enjoying getting out my thoughts on my keyboard and sharing them.

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