Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Six Things I Can't Live Without

This post is about 'things' I can't live without. If it were about 'people' these five would top the list. 

This is such a "first-world problems" post, but I figure if it's good enough for Reese Witherspoon, it's good enough for me, so here goes. (These are not necessarily in order of priority.)

This does work when air conditioning is not available, but it means that I only have one hand left to work with.
1. Air conditioning 

Now, this is definitely a privileged 'need.' In fact, I periodically reflect that I would be incapacitated if I lived in a tropical climate. Can you imagine going through menopause in Malawi? Seriously, I'd spend so much time fanning myself that I probably wouldn't get anything done.

The coffee was a gift from Stephen; he knows how I hate mornings.
Only now does it occur to me that he was trying to say something. 
2. Coffee

I suppose I could adapt to life without caffeine, but it probably would involve some ritual sacrifices, at least in the early days. Or naps, lots and lots of naps.

Tulips are among my favourite cut flowers.
3. Flowers

My parents (and siblings) lived in a mining town for many years and, having seen pictures, I am amazed that my mother endured the moonscape of chemically desertified gardens. (My mother's claim to fame was that she managed to get sweet peas to grow in this harsh earth.) It was very depressing for her, and I can relate.

In the summer, I love to look out my kitchen window at my lush garden; in winter, I buy cut flowers at the produce store. Their beauty is a kind of antidepressant to me.

4. Pure vanilla extract

I made some tapioca pudding last night and, until I added the vanilla, it was just . . . lumpy milk. But add that aromatic essence and the dish was transformed. The artificial stuff just dissipates wanly and tastes like disappointment. And, while other spices like cinnamon, basil, or garlic, are lovely and pique my appetite, none of them compares with vanilla for inspiring that "ahhhhh."

Custom orthotics for my sandals.
5. Comfortable shoes

In my youth, 'comfort' and 'shoes' were words that seldom appeared together. As I've aged (and my feet have aged along with me) and especially since I've stopped working, my feet have been dictators in deciding what to wear. I could probably count the number of times I've worn heels since December 2013.

My preferred flavour of ice cream is vanilla, but Rocky Road will do nicely in a pinch.
6. Ice cream

This is sort of a corollary to the vanilla extract, but I have been known to make a trip out to the grocery store solely to acquire a tub of cold, creamy, sweet vanilla ice cream. (Truth be told, I have a bizarre sense of comfort just knowing there is ice cream in the freezer.)

Bonus: Pharmaceuticals

From antibiotics to antidepressants and my diabetes medications, I am grateful that I live in a time where I am not doomed to physical or mental pain or a curtailed life.

That's my list. What six things could you not live without?


  1. I'm with you on a few of these, especially ice cream and coffee. Sometimes together :) And I couldn't bake without pure vanilla extract.

    1. Sounds like we would make good kaffeeklatsch neighbours. :)

  2. Great "things" specially the first one - what a great family photo! That coffee bag made me chuckle and YES to comfortable shoes (and lot's of them)!

    1. The biggest challenge with that family picture was getting all the kids together at the same time. Now that our youngest has joined the military and lives in a different province, it's even harder!

      And I just bought another pair of super-comfy shoes this week. Can never have too many.

  3. coffee would definitely be on my list. and it's so funny, but I just added some vanilla to my own cup tonight because I didn't like the kind my husband purchased. Transformed indeed!!
    flowers - or at least Nature in general, too. music, books, certainly family and friends. Having a little bit of all that, is about a perfect day I guess.

    1. All good things. I think I read a study that said an hour a day in nature is good for your heart . . . or depression? Can't remember, but I know it's good.


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