The One With the Simple Pleasures

After last week’s post, I realized the best way to end the cycle of complaining is to focus on small, everyday things that make me smile. Inspired by Caitlin Kelly’s list, here are a few things that I’m enjoying right now.


The smell of fresh toast. The nutty aroma always feels comforting.


Someone in the building across the courtyard plays the horn. He or she practices every evening at about 7 p.m. I don’t recognize the song (if it is indeed a song) because it’s so flat and disjointed. It could be simply a collection of notes. This horn player is no Kermit Ruffins. Despite the practice, there is never any improvement. Not even a little bit. Instead of being annoyed by this tuneless repetition, I admire the perseverance. It inspires me to be as dedicated to my pursuits.


Macarons from this place

Colorful macarons


Getting a seat on the subway during my commute


My favorite Saturday morning excursion is the farmers market. I live only a few blocks away, but the growers come from New Jersey, upstate New York, and the east end of Long Island. I can get the standard fruits and veggies of course, but I love to browse the stands of cut flowers and honey and mushrooms and breads. In autumn, there are bushels upon bushels of apples. Why go to the grocery store where they truck apples from Washington state (3,000 miles away) when I live in the Big Apple?


That reminds me: fresh blueberries


Being swept away by a wonderfully written novel is, for me, the simplest of simple pleasures. There’s nothing more enjoyable than landing on the perfect book at the perfect time. I just finished Everything I Never Told You, which was terrific. I’m still marveling at how Celeste Ng took a decidedly straight-forward plot and wove such an incredible tale. I’m  already looking forward to her next book. Here are the opening lines:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. 1977, May 3, six thirty in the morning, no one knows anything by this innocuous fact: Lydia is late for breakfast.



Walking Reggie early on a Sunday morning while most people are still asleep.

Sometimes Little Kitty joins us on our walk.

Sometimes Little Kitty joins us on our walk.


A perfectly made Pimm’s Cup. Even better if you can enjoy one at The Columns Hotel in New Orleans.


Following the Pluto flyby. How amazing!


One morning I spotted this little guy perched on my neighbor’s roof. It’s an American kestrel. I’d never seen one in person before. This bird has the unique ability to hover over its prey in mid-air, like a helicopter, without flapping its wings.

American Kestrel. Image via Wikipedia. I was too enamored to get a clear pic.

American Kestrel. Image via Wikipedia. I was too enamored to get a clear pic myself.


What are some of your simple pleasures? 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 



  1. This is wonderful! I love kestrels, one of my favorite birds. And early morning walks are the best. It’s so nice to be up before anyone else (except cats, you, and Reggie, of course). Fresh blueberries: we have three blueberry bushes that last year had a ton of berries, this year very few, every one very much appreciated! Love your list, Jackie, and (if it’s ok) I will probably take a page from your book and do something similar today… haven’t blogged in a month!


  2. What a great idea! I call them little gifts, and I keep having to remind myself to notice and enjoy them. I also need to keep reminding myself to finish my half-written blog post on the topic.

    Have a great weekend.


  3. One of my favorite simple pleasures is when birds roost on the sill outside my window at work. Recently, I noticed a pair of mourning doves chilling out. I am also a big fan of frozen banana. Trader Joe’s has frozen banana slices dipped in chocolate that are superb. I also love any shot of Reggie in one of your posts! Hey, did I see that cat when I visited you guys?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Little Kitty stays well hidden during the day. We usually see her on early morning or late night walks. She loves Reggie and will come galloping across the street to say hello.

      I’ve never had the frozen bananas from Trader Joe’s. I’ll be on the lookout for them next time I’m there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great idea, Jackie. You’ve inspired me to create my own list! Makes me wonder if Reggie has a list too. 🙂 That horn player is a lesson in persistence. But it makes me sad at the same time. I wonder if it matters in the end though if he/she has talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the sound of a French horn. Maybe not this one, huh? 🙂 I hope you’re going to spend a happy Saturday sniffing round the Farmer’s Market and eating blueberries 🙂


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