I was thinking in the shower again today (Sometimes I think I ought to just live in there!) and among other things I was pondering Oprah's "Favorite Things" lists each year around the holiday time, and I thought I'd put together a list of my own, and ask you all to share as well...so here goes! Cindy's Favorite Things include the following:
1) SAS Shoes - Having feet and back problems, these shoes have saved me and I simply have found I can't wear anything else for any length of time without finding myself in pain. Although some of their styles admittedly look a bit...umm...dated and decidedly uncool, they have a new sneaker line out that still has the support and immediate comfort I need. I have developed plantar fasciitis, have had arthritis developing in my low back and other joints for quite awhile, and while I am typically a Wally World kind of babe, I am not when it comes to shoes as the others just kill me. These are the best shoes on the planet, period.
2) Comfortaire Bed - Generic "sleep number" bed, not any more expensive than a standard mattress and it doesn't come with a number setting. If we had a fire in our house, both Dominick and I have joked that we'd have to find a way to shove our mattress out the window. While it took about a week to find the proper setting, once we did I found for the first time in years and years that I slept all the way through the night and barely moved. I woke up and COULD move, and that too was an improvement! Even our kids adore our bed, sprawling across it and Angela even asked if she could have one for a high school graduation gift someday :-)
3) Swivel Sweeper - My mom gave me one about 3 or 4 years ago, and it is the single best housecleaning tool I have ever had. I know it is one of those advertised on TV products, this one is a gem and helps me keep the house in much cleaner shape than if I had to sweep with a broom and dustpan all the time. It is lightweight, maneuvers easily around every single thing, and we can't imagine living without it these days.
4) Stone Mountain Purses - So I can't afford them anymore, but I loved them years ago! The leather is buttery soft, and their styles were always practical and had the pockets where I liked them, both inside and out.
5) Copernicus Royal Inspiration Station - Ohhh....myyyyyy...every homeschoolers dream cart. We just got this a couple of weeks ago, and it is the penultimate storage/whiteboard solution. It is expensive, stinking expensive, and I'd never buy it on my own but with our public school funds we were able to get it to replace the already broken cart we bought less than a year ago at Office Depot...I justified the expense with backup data and cost analysis for the next several years, and the cart remains property of the school when we are done with it, but MAN does it ROCK!!!! One cart to hold every single teachers manual for 5 kids curricula, a printer, 3 different white boards, poster and chart display, art supplies...you name it. It is like the Swiss Army Knife of school organization, and I drooled when I first saw it,m never dared to dream we might be able to have one ourselves. Glad I tried for it and succeeded, as it will make our lives so much easier!
6) Swing Away Hand Can Opener - Until you have lived in Kazakhstan 2 1/2 months without access to a decent can opener, you can not understand the joy of owning a decent one.
7) Chrysler Minivans...any year - I know, I am boring, but my minivan is the most practical, perfect car I have ever owned. The gas mileage is not bad at all, the cargo area is spacious and well designed, I love where I sit in terms of height and feeling like I am more in a chair rather than sitting low in a floor level seat, the visibility is great, and the ride is actually surprisingly comfortable. While it would be nice to have one with all the bells and whistles and perhaps a lot fewer miles than 220,000 and 135,000, I love that both our old and "new" vans (135,000 IS newer, right?) are running as strong as the day we bought them and have been incredibly low cost in terms of maintenance. It was hard making the switch into one and giving up my sporty little Subaru, but now I can't imagine driving anything else. And yea, I know that makes me a freak of nature and a total soccer-type mom. Oh well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
8) IBC Root Beer - The LaJoy family special treat. I know, we are incredibly low brow over here, no sparkling fruit juices, no aged vintage. Sorry folks, we are who we are and there is no pretense otherwise here at Casa LaJoy...our kids will have to learn about the finer things in life from someone else or live a life of cultural mediocrity right alongside us.
9) Usborne Books - I have gushed enough about them in previous posts, so won't bother here, other than to say they are lush, handsomely illustrated eye candy which engage the brain better than anything else. My only wish? That Usborne would come out with an adult line!
10) Stave Puzzles - Never had one, will never be able to own one as they are out of this world expensive and beyond even the upper middle class tastes...but WOW, THESE are Puzzles!!! I am not even a puzzle fanatic but these beauties can be customized in many ways and are hand crafted here in the US. Expensive? Makes my Inspiration Station look...well uninspired :-)
Now, the things that are REALLY my favorites? The ones I could never live without? Not in any particular order:
1) Dominick's sense of humor
2) The sense of unexpected comfort of having Angela side by side with me in the kitchen as we work
3) Joshie's sweetness and innocence
4) The depth that comes with Kenny
5) Olesya's nurturing spirit
6) The logic and smile of Matthew
7) Colorado sunsets
8) Woodstove heat
9) The written word
10) The laughter of my family
11) The scent of Old Spice or English Leather
12) The long and enveloping hug of a caring friend
13) Driving with the stereo blasting a favorite song
14) The intellectual connection of those few in life you stumble upon who can say volumes with a glance
15) Holy Spirit moments
Go ahead now, post YOUR favorite things!