oprah’s favorite things. or, my thankful list. and a wreath!

Actually, I’ll do the wreath first.

Not-a-harvest Wreath

Like a barren landscape, no?

I like door wreaths. They are warm and inviting, especially when they aren’t old and dusty. I have a wreath for nearly every season, and this is my second that looks, well, dried up. I really like it, and it was super cheap and easy to make, but it does kind of lack a certain bountiful-ness that a harvest-time wreath might imply (you know, no cornucopias or little plastic pumpkins…not even any colorful leaves!). Still, I like it, bare twigs and all. I had a hard time deciding where to put that stupid bow. The more I look at it the more I wish I chose the top! Alas, it is hot-glued in place. It’s fine.

Materials:

-one twiggy wreath from Joanne Fabrics (but you might even be able to make your own out of twigs you find in the forest!)

-three yards of wired burlap ribbon, also from Joanne’s

Like magic, the bow is perfect thanks to wires.

Instructions:

-Wrap the ribbon around a twig in the back of the wreath to anchor it in place.

-Twirl the ribbon around the entire wreath, until you are pleased with the results. I did this probably three times before I liked the spacing between ribbon twirls.

-Cut and tuck the ribbon into the back of the wreath. Wired ribbon is the bomb!

-Make a bow. Hot glue it on in the desired location.

-Hang that wreath and commence harvest merrymaking!

And, because everyone is doing “what I’m thankful for” November posts on facebook, I’m going to list 30 things I’m thankful for right here (in no particular order except numbers one and two):

1. Obviously, the best family. If you’re in it, you know it’s true (friends, too!).

2. Clean tap water, and an overabundant supply of all the “needs”: warmth, shelter, food.

3. A car that gets me places and doesn’t cause much trouble.

4. Public education.

5. Free will.

6. Laundry in my building, in my own washer and dryer.

7. People who give freely of their time and other resources to help make the world better for those around them. I don’t do it often enough, so I’m thankful there are people out there who do.

8. Disney movies, but not the obsession with Disney Princesses.

9. Multiple opinions! And the understanding that comes from surrounding yourself with people who are not just like you.

10. Spices for your food.

11. The person who invented baking, and all the people who have perfected it throughout the ages. Thank you.

12. Extra cash. Also, forgotten cash found in winter coat pockets.

13. Everyone at the library. It’s so nice to love what you do, and love the people you work with, and have the feeling of having some greater purpose to work for.

14. thehairpin.com

15. Instagram. Sad but true.

16. Stuff that is yellow!

17. Stuff that is orange!

18. Stuff in general. We tend to hold on to an awful lot of it, don’t we? Blessing and a curse.

19. Everything involved with personal hygiene: showers, toothpaste, maxi pads and tampons (although, a red tent doesn’t sound like the worst thing).

20. All the blessings bestowed on me that I can’t even begin to understand or realize (occasional bouts of foresight, for example, or the capability for introspection…concepts more than anything).

21. Reading. Love of books. Love of learning.

22. Joy! Happiness! Smiling, shaking hands, singing, dancing, hugging, loving. All the things that make life grand. Laughing.

23. Teachable moments. The times when you learn something, and not from a book. Sometimes it’s sad, or frustrating. It’s still good.

24. Creativity, and I think we all have it. There’s creativity in everything from essay writing to researching to solving quadratic equations. Keep on thinking, people!

25. Babies. They make me happy.

26. Rainbows, sunshine, puffy clouds, crisp autumn winds and biting winter gusts. “Weather,” really, and all its wonderful unpredictability. Terrifying, awesome, and uncontrollable. We live on a planet! What?!

27. Science, medicine, technology. Even though I fear about 99% of it, and I think we’re super over-diagnosed for lots of things in the interest of big pharma, you can’t deny that new-fangled artificial limbs are amazing, and that lots of people would die if it weren’t for antibiotics. (But also, EASY ON THE ANTIBIOTICS, PEOPLE. Because now we have drug-resistant gonorrhea).

28. My body! Legs for walking, arms for reaching, brain for thinking, and heart, lungs, nervous system and other systems that do all kinds of things without me even knowing about it.

29. My work schedule!

30. People, near and far, who behave in much the same way that our bodies do (that is, doing vital things that we don’t even think about): sanitation workers, toll booth operators, plumbers and electricians, construction workers, the people who work in the factories that sew our clothes and build our stuff, school secretaries and crossing guards, the people who operate dams and drawbridges, train conductors, ticket collectors, cashiers, chemists, the guy who invented child-proof medicine bottles…the list goes on of all the people we blissfully take for granted. I don’t think we can help it (monkeyspheres!), but it’s nice to remind ourselves that we are not the center of the universe.

Happy Thursday!

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