Nicole’s Favourite Things – June Edition

Happy Summer Solstice! Can you even believe it? I only just got used to it being May, and now here we are, the longest day of the year. I know I’ve mentioned this, but it is June, JUNE PEOPLE, and I am not at all feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. I have no end-of-the-year commitments to attend, I am not doing anything at a frantic pace, and even the last two weeks of school, which are mostly half days or no school at all, are giving me a feeling of relaxation, rather than stress. It is a miracle. Yesterday was one of those half days and I had a house full of starving boys all afternoon, and I am going to tell you that I love, love, love this age. I love my kids’ friends who all feel at home here, and who are thrilled every minute with homemade waffles and muffins, and who roam our basement and jump on our trampoline and talk about ridiculous video games I don’t understand, with gratitude for food. These are the best waffles ever! So easy to please. I think of what *I* was like at that age and I shudder. Thank god for these happy boys and their fantastic friends.

Every day I look at my garden and marvel at everything – there are buds on the roses! – and every morning I get into the car at 4:50 and I notice how bright the sky is. When I finish my yoga practice, I have to put on sunglasses to drive home, and every night I fall asleep way before the sun even thinks of setting. June! It’s a really great month! Funny how when we get so wrapped up in the craziness of life, we can forget that.

So two weeks (or “weeks”) left of school, six weeks left of my no-shopping challenge (whomp whomp). SIX MORE WEEKS YOU GUYS. I kind of cannot believe I’ve made it this far and I think I might just make it after all, not unlike Mary Tyler Moore, if Mary Tyler Moore decided to do something as stupid as a one-year no-shopping challenge. Yes, right now it feels like the most ridiculous thing but I can’t give up now, even though I want a new bikini and summer pajamas in the most desperate way. Six more weeks.

Anyway, back to the Joys of June. It is time for…

Nicole’s Favourite Things – The June Edition

Siberian Irises

Look at these babies! This is one of the few things in my garden that I didn’t plant. The original owner was apparently quite the gardener, and this beautiful plant just thrives in its sunny spot by the downspout. It spreads in a funny way – little clumps of Siberian iris come up in unexpected places, like behind the garage. They bloom every June. I also have a lovely memory of my boys, when little, playing with the seed pods, which dry out and become rattly, late in the fall.

Strawberries

Strawberry season is upon us! I admit I buy out-of-season strawberries frequently, but this time of year they are truly Nature’s Candy. Fruit is Nature’s Candy! I’ll say to my kids in a Marge Simpson voice, which I’m sure they love. We eat a lot of fruit in this house, but it really ramps up during strawberry season. We can easily eat six pounds of strawberries in less than a week, in addition to all the other fruit we eat, and did I mention I’m practically living at the grocery store now? I am. But oh, they are so good just by themselves, or on waffles, or dipped in chocolate for Sunday night desserts.

Did you know that if you wash strawberries in a sinkful of cold water with lemon juice, they will last longer and be even more delicious? It’s true. I usually squirt a bit of lemon on the berries and then spray them down with cold water; sliced, they keep in an airtight container for up to five days. Of course, they don’t really last five days in this house, but I’ve been doing this for years; I also think the lemon also helps clean off some of the farming ickiness.

My Pillow Dot Com

I wanted to mention this in my last post but a) technically it was something I heard about on the radio, not through the internet, and b) I forgot. Last summer I found my neck and shoulder would be in pain every single morning; I’d be fine throughout the day but sleeping was causing me agony. SLEEPING should not cause a person physical agony, but here I was, getting up in the morning to rub A535 on my neck like an old man. I would wake up in the middle of the night and wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep because of the pain. Well. I had been hearing about My Pillow on the radio for the longest time, and I guess their method of long, repetitive advertising worked (“Betty Jo Kaiser here, and I just had ANOTHER great sleep all because of MY PILLOW.”). I went online and ordered the two-for-one deal, and…I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally the pillows showed up, after calling to complain and receiving a very big discount, and I have to tell you, it was worth the wait.

The pillows themselves are filled with, apparently, pieces of foam, and they arrived all bundled up in a tiny roll. What is this. I’m not kidding, the pillow was the size of one of those giant ballpark hotdogs. I was a little bemused when they arrived, until I, as per directions, put them in the dryer. They fluffed out and LET ME TELL YOU THEY ARE AMAZING. No more neck or shoulder pain, and I feel like I could be on one of those commercials. Nicole MacPherson here, and I woke up refreshed and ready to start my day because I had another great sleep on MY PILLOW. I can never go back to a regular pillow again. It’s even fun to order them, the company sends you a pillow based on your size and sleeping preference (I am a side-sleeper).

What does this have to do with June? Well, technically nothing, except that I’ve had the pillow for exactly six months now, so I can report with accuracy that yes, it really has improved my life. Let me tell you, if you are working as a yoga teacher, you really do not want a non-functional shoulder.

Solo

I was so upset to hear that Solo bombed at the box office. It is, in my humble opinion, the best Star Wars movie ever made. I really loved the character development, I loved the story, and I loved the intimacy of the plot – one of the things I don’t love about Star Wars is the pinging around the galaxy, from one planet to another. I find that confusing and uninteresting, and I’m constantly whispering to my kids where are they, who’s that guy, which I’m sure they enjoy greatly. I loved all the characters, and the richness of the development. Han Solo has always been one of my favourite characters, and I loved the peek into his early years. Now, to find a Han Solo costume for my husband to wear for my personal benefit next year’s Halloween festivities.

Wild Crocus

My friend Amy has an Etsy shop, called Wild Crocus. I think I’ve mentioned this before – she makes malas and bracelets, and I purchased one for my sister-in-law last Christmas. She is so talented and makes many beautiful, one-of-a-kind items. Well, she has a Goddess Collection of malas, and when I saw the “Star” one I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon*. I kept looking at it and admiring it and reading the description…and one thing led to another and now it’s mine, all mine.

“Fire Agate lights the fire within, energizing and encouraging one to blossom and shine into their brightest self.” I mean, come ON. This was made for me!

There are even rose-shaped silver beads involved. Roses! I love it so much, and I encourage you all to check out her beautiful Etsy shop. Who knows, you may just find a piece that speaks to you as this did for me.

Shine on, people, blossom into your best selves. Enjoy this, the longest day of the year; look around you at all the beauty still to be had in this world. xo

 

* random reference from my favourite movie ever, big prize to whoever guesses it**

** the prize is not physical, it is the glory of guessing correctly

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