Happy at Home.

Re-Snap: 10 Little Pleasures.

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A Re-Issue from The SnapDragon Archives: Originally Posted in March of 2019.

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In Bloom, 2018.
Oregon, USA.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

I read somewhere that making lists can be therapeutic, especially in this ridiculous age of multitasking.

It’s quick. It’s easy. It feels like a tiny yet victorious accomplishment.

So for my first post in this Like It or Love It section, I’ve decided to compile a list of ten simple things that have recently brought me joy.

(clears throat)

10 Little Pleasures  (in no particular order)

#10. Freshly Ground Coffee

Ahh, yes. This extra step in our morning grind (sorry, couldn’t resist) has been well worth the loss of counter space. It elevates a humdrum routine into a ritual. I enjoy the scent, feel the freshness on my tongue, and it reminds me that I deserve The Coffeehouse Experience here in my very own kitchen.

#9. An Empty Calendar

While I love having family and friends, there’s something satisfying about having absolutely no plans. There’s a certain freedom in not knowing where the day may go. And sometimes that quest is to the couch, curled under a blanket, watching reruns of Frasier. You know you want to.

#8. Seasonal Weather

Being a Pennsylvania native, I’ve come to depend on the predictable changing of the seasons. Sure, I commiserate with the neighbors over yet another snowfall, but the truth is that I love it all: the snow that transitions to the budding trees, to flip flop outings and the first crisp autumn day. It means that Mother Earth is alive; she’s made it through yet another year.

#7. Driving

I’ve done more than my fair share of driving over the years. Our family and friends live all over the state (as well as all over the country) and we really don’t think twice about packing up the car and hitting the highway. Yes, gas prices suck, but the open road has always called to me. I like to settle in, listen to my favorite CDs, and treat myself to a $7 rest-stop iced coffee. And gummy worms.

#6. Funky Jewelry

Who says you’re too old for elephant earrings? Not me! I love finding one-of-a-kind necklaces, pins, earrings, and bracelets. Because I say life’s too damn short to choose formal over funky.

#5. Chipped Plates

I like actually using my things. I don’t believe in packing away The Good China (is that still even a thing?) or preserving items for Special Occasions. Fuck that. Everyday is an occasion to be celebrated. So even if the wine glass cracks or your tea kettle rusts, it means you’re making memories, Dear Reader. So party on.

#4. Candlelight

Similar to the freshly ground coffee, lighting a candle can work wonders. Take the 20 seconds to trim the wick, wipe the glass, and see it transform your space. Because those little things add up, and you deserve some ambience after a long day.

#3. A Hot Shower

I promise I’m not a weirdo. I included it on this list because I believe it truly can be healing. Bathing’s a necessity, sure, but it’s also a small moment we can take for ourselves each day. I remind myself to slow down, and focus on the warmth of the water. It’s my time: to clear my head, take care of my body, and face the day feeling fresh.

#2. Will Ferrel Movies

We watch a lot of television. As I’ve mentioned, there are a ton of high-quality shows, and we take full advantage. That said, many are heady sci-fi stories or full-out dramas. So sometimes I just need a laugh, you know? So I’m vowing to watch more Will Ferrel movies. They seem to get better with every watch. There’s always a bit of dialogue I didn’t catch before, one that makes me laugh like a drunken walrus. And who doesn’t want more of that in life?

#1. Being Me

So I know I said this list was in no particular order, but after all this I felt the need to make this last one really count.

I have never met anyone quite like me before. Yes, I have common traits with family members and with my dear, sweet friends, but I’ve always felt like the outsider. This can be alienating sometimes (why don’t people get it?) but now I’m choosing to embrace this fact.

Because I’ve never wanted to be like anyone else. I love my curly hair. I love my short stature, even though I sometimes get mistaken for a high schooler, which is annoying as fuck. I love how I obsess over Paul McCartney, Willy Wonka, and my own handwriting.

I’m a bizarre creature, yo. And I’m here to stay.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and dreamer of vivid dreams.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for Two-Bit Musings and more.

Happy at Home.

A Year in The Life.

Have a Laugh, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Top of the mornin’ to ya, lovelies! I hope this day finds you well.

Today is an exciting day for yours truly.

Because I’ve decided it’s Day One of. . .

A Year in The Life of SnapDragon!

(crickets)

It’s cool. You don’t need to mark your calendars or anything. It’s just a little goal I have for myself.

I’m pretty old-school when it comes to social media. (See my previous comments about paranoia.) You won’t find photos of my wedding or baby on the internet for all to see. I think some things are better left undocumented. (This is in no way a slight against those who do. I realize that I am in the minority here. Again, see previous comments about me being an odd bird.)

Anyway, I’ve decided to capture one entire year’s worth of photos, one for each and every day.

The little things. The daily treats and treasures.

The–ahemsnippets of my everyday.

For instance, like this delicious glass of coldbrew I just poured, in my favorite Ass Clown glass. (Ass Clown is a craft brewery in North Carolina. They are as fun as the name suggests.)

Because perhaps T. S. Elliot was onto something with the thought of our lives being measured out with coffee spoons.

Here. we. go.

. . .

SnapDragon is a woman who enjoys watching the butter melt into the nooks and crannies of an English Muffin.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Find her Year in The Life photos @snippetsofsnapdragon.

Happy at Home.

No, Thanks.

Snap takes a moment to tell you what she’s so over.

Distinction, 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. Original Painting by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Three Things I’m Over, Yo:

1. Fake Bread.

I know, I know. #firstworldproblems. But, let’s be serious. Why is the rye “bread” I purchased two weeks ago still spongy and without a speck of mold? Same with the bagels! That shit ain’t right. When I can safely go grocery shopping again, I’ll be buying straight from the bakery, thanks. I’m pretty sure my intestines approve.

2. Reading on an iPad.

Both my eyes and my concentration can’t take it. Kindles are great with their newspaper-like look, but the iPad? No matter how much maneuvering I do with the backlight and nighttime mode and whatever else, I’d much rather have the paperback. A real book also makes it easier to resist playing SimCity BuildIt for three hours straight.

3. Bath & Body Works.

Why do I continue to buy these products? (Because they send you coupons, Snap.) Every “new” shower gel I try smells like the same, overly sharp cranberry that hurts my brain. There are too many high-quality products out there that are much more worthy of my money, and of being on my precious epidermis.

. . .

So what am I going to do with all this stuff? Maybe I’ll snack on an overly-processed bagel while reading H.G. Wells in the bathtub.

Or you know, not.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and lover of mac n’ cheese.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

Mama Earth.

Celebrate & Unite, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.
Calendar by Stephanie McMillan:
365 Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants, 2015.

Happy Earth Day, friends!

And given that almost the entirety of our populated planet is taking a break–albeit a forced break–my guess is Mama Earth is breathing just a bit easier as of late.

I promise you this isn’t a post to make you feel like a self-centered slob. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some guru of sustainability.

I am not.

We all can improve.

All of us!

So in the spirit of Earth Day, I’ve made a little list for myself.

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SnapDragon’s List of Things She Can Do to Maybe Help The Planet a Little Bit:

1. Reduce.

Nobody needs all those plastic bags. Cat or dog parent? You can find biodegradable poop-scoop bags on Amazon. Yep.

Skip the straw. It seems like this is catching on! How many sad sea turtle pics do we need to see? (starts crying)

Buy a Brita. Some people may think it’s a nuisance to fill, but really. . . it’s just turning on the faucet. And you’ll reduce a shit-ton of plastic in the process.

2. Reuse.

You don’t smell. I’m an advocate for good hygiene, but do we really need to wash our clothes so much? Is your blouse really that dirty from you sitting in front of the computer all day? Think of the water, soap, energy (and time!) you’ll save.

Dishcloths are cute. Paper towels are handy. I won’t lie and say we don’t use them. But a washable, reusable dishcloth works just as well. And in the meantime it’ll save a tree, and space in our ridiculously-expanding landfills.

3. Recycle.

Just do it. There were times in my adult life when recycling either wasn’t an option or was inconvenient. I’m not proud of this. But I’m going to make more of an effort. We’ll set out our bin each week, and when we stop at Dunkin? We’ll take those iced coffee cups home to ensure their destiny into recycling center heaven.

. . .

. . .And there we have it!

Not the most prolific of lists, but an important reminder that Earth is our home. It’s also home to millions of other organisms. They want to live in beauty, too!

So on this day–and all of our days–let us respect this incredible planet.

She’s the only one we’ve got.

. . .

SnapDragon is a curly-haired reader of fiction.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

The Wisdom of House Plants.

Three Ways You Can Bloom & Grow, Dear Reader.

Aloe I Love You, 2020. Pennsylvania. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Oh! It is springtime here in Pennsylvania, friends.

I saw a cardinal flittering about the yard yesterday, and I thought my heart would burst with happiness.

And this morning? I gazed outside and despite the current state of our world, I saw a bounty of buds and blossoms. I felt . . . hope.

For there is wisdom among the vines.

So during these socially-distant, self-isolating-and-quarantining times, I thought I’d look to the wisdom of house plants.

Because what keeps them healthy and strong can also work wonders for the likes of us.

It’s simple, really.

. . .

Give ‘Em Water.

Ground-breaking, right? But without it we will shrivel up and ultimately cease to exist. Are you feeling a little less-than? A little gross? Pour yourself a glass of icy goodness and drink it right down. Feel your roots come back to life. Your body and mind will thank you.

Give ‘Em Sunlight.

We live in a townhouse, so abundant rays of sunshine are to be relished, as a rule. So you’d better believe our blinds are pulled, and our front door open. Bonus points for opening the windows for a little springtime breeze. Let that sunshine in, yo. It might just save your soul.

Give ‘Em Room.

Nobody likes to feel confined, whether in life or in skinny jeans. Keep a plant in a too-small container and it’s bound to give up. So allow yourself some wiggle room. You’re growing too, you know! Every single one of us needs time. Time to learn. Time to grieve. Time to embrace the journey.

May you bloom and grow, Dear Reader.

May you thrive.

. . .

SnapDragon an artist, homemaker, and advocate of second helpings.

Find more ideas on how to be Happy at Home on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

Spoonfuls.

SnapDragon decides to embrace the mess. (For now.)

I have a phobia of turning into a hoarder.

Years ago I remember catching five minutes of that TV show, and having to turn it off because my heart started racing. I immediately began organizing my closet, convinced that the disease would somehow seep into my apartment and leave me in a suffocating maze of old newspapers.

It was ridiculous.

While I think it’s safe to say I will never be a hoarder, I do have a tendency to collect things. In fact, my husband and I are definitely Collect-‘Em-All type of people. It’s fun. The hunt is almost as rewarding as the items themselves.

Comic books; coffee syrups; candles with cool-looking labels.

Anyway, my obsessive nature sometimes gets the best of me.

I yearn for an empty dining room table. I dream of a vacant closet shelf. I balk at the clutter of my painting supplies, multi-colored yarn, and crafting kits purchased for a rainy day.

In the words of Sarah Lynn, it’s tooooo much, man!

But you know what?

No matter how often I clean, the mess inevitably finds its way back.

Dust. Dirt. The Dreaded Clutter.

(gasp!)

Because it means I’m living life, damn it.

I’m having a drink. I’m having a laugh.

I’m playing; reading; watching; singing; experimenting.

I’m growing.

So Dear Reader?

Let’s agree to take a collective breath.

Let’s give ourselves a break.

Let’s raise a glass, toast our health, and set those wine-stained beauties in the sink for later.

Let’s have fun.

. . .

SnapDragon is a mom who is working on her first novel.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.