Kim tagged me the other day for this meme, where I tell you seven things I love. This was unexpectedly hard, because despite a penchant for anxiety and stress I am a generally happy person and don’t always sort the individual things that make me happy. But I definitely love these seven things:

1. Raven
My husband and I have been married for sixteen years. There have been rough times. There have been times when friends have wondered if we were both (if we ought both, I suspect) to come out alive. We did, and I am still deep down as mushy about him as I ever was. I’m not good at being with people a lot, especially if I don’t have a ‘role’ to play. I told Raven early on that being with him was for me like being alone. When he was speaking to me again, I explained that I meant I didn’t have to be anybody but myself, or think about that, I could just be comfortable with him, which was rare. It’s still true. (Which is good, because we’re both home almost all the time now, and would probably be tooth and nail otherwise!)
2. My house
I really do love this place and the home we’ve made of it. Frustrating as the work sometimes is, I love that we are bringing it back from its neglected condition and making it pretty and comfortable. For me, decorating and renovating is “claiming space” and we are making here something that is totally our own and that truly feels like “home”, which is something neither of us had had for a really, horribly long time. We feel safe here, which is something everyone needs, and there are so many tiny moments of happiness when we look at or feel something we have done that has made this place better and more our own.
3. The sound sleeping chickens make
Happy comfortable chickens make a wonderful purring snorry sound when they are settling in for the night or falling asleep on your lap. I like a lot of the noises my birds make, but that is the best one. It makes me feel warm and cosy and happy for them.
4. Making stuff
I love to make things, I love the feeling that I get when I have made something and it works or is pretty. I need to do this. CK says she feels kind of guilty sometimes when she makes things because they are things, and the world doesn’t exactly need to have more “stuff” in it, but a lot of what I (and she as well) do is transforming things that are already there into other things that are pretty and more useful, so I don’t get too bothered by that. Especially since so many of the materials are natural and/or found objects. Besides that, I have felt this need and love since very early childhood, it is obviously integral to who or what I am, and I have enough guilt without worrying about feeling bad for what I love and do best.
5. Rainy days
Rainy days are great. I remember one rainy Saturday when I went with my dad to the bookstore. Um – that’s it, not a particularly remarkable story. But, I felt good that day, and I feel the same kind of good every rainy day. I like walking in the rain, I like being snug in my house looking out at the rain, I like the sound and the smell of it, and the shade of green everything is as it soaks up the water. Storms are good too, but different. Exciting and scary. But with a storm I need to watch it, to be out in it if possible. Plain old rain I can enjoy wherever and however.
6. Hugging sheep

Hugs generally are good, of course, and hugging animals is the best. But hugging sheep, which is of course something I have only discovered in the past year, is truly special. Sheep understand hugs. They even hug each other – like humans, some more than others, but they ‘get’ it. Also like humans, you can’t just wander up and hug every sheep you see – there has to be a level of trust, of closeness and usually it takes time to form that kind of bond. But if you have that trust, or if you come across a naturally affectionate sheep, boy do they give great hugs. They’ll lean their neck into you, and rest their chin on your shoulder or lap, and you can wrap your arms around their big solid bodies and bury your face in their warm lanolin-smelling wool… it’s wonderful. And sheep aren’t stinky animals either. Even a dirty sheep, as long as it is healthy and happy smells healthy and warm and comforting. Hugging a sheep makes a bad day significantly better.
7. Words
I love words. Probably you would not guess that from this blog, where I sometimes feel like I’ve got a sixteen-word vocabulary and no grammar background, but in fact I can be quite well-spoken and even better written, if I choose. I simply don’t bother. I am sufficiently pleased that I manage not to swear like a sailor here – it’s good practice, because I swear a lot and recently some close friends and family members have been showing a tendency to produce children. It is probably best if those children don’t pick up from me the Anglo Saxon cuss words they will eventually learn somewhere else. I like the history of words, the flavor and meaning of them, and the way phrases and quotes acquire extra meaning from context and usage. I am an omniverous reader, and am delighted by a well-crafted novel but can be almost as amused by a badly-crafted shampoo bottle.

Em, Lee, Katie, Jessie, Bev – want to share seven things you love best?