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There are many wonderful feelings: the first cold beer on a hot day, walking barefoot in freshly mown grass, unpacking your summer (or winter) clothes and discovering money in the pockets, falling asleep in a hammock . . . oh, the list could go on and on. And, speaking of lists, one of my favorite feelings is that quiet sense of accomplishment that accompanies checking things off my “to-do” list. I love knowing that I’ve resisted my urge to procrastinate and actually gotten things done – yes!

This Monday, it was all about cleaning out the guest room. It has morphed into an oversized closet where my roommate and I toss everything we don’t want in the main rooms of the apartment. So while our porch has slowly come together with a screen door (accomplished two years ago), white lights strung on the ceiling (last year’s project) and newly painted furniture (completed this year) and we’ve repainted the dining room-kitchen and hung artwork, the guest room has been sorely neglected, hidden behind a firmly shut door.

Although far from finished, I cleaned out the dresser my sister will eventually take, put away all my winter gear and packed up five boxes of clothes to take to the Adirondack Community Outreach Center (an amazing volunteer run organization that has a community garden, a clothing center, a food pantry and offers GED classes). The floor is now clear and it feels like a project that can actually be accomplished – a guest room where I’m not ashamed to have guests stay. Seriously, the last three people who came to visit stayed next door at my parents’ because I didn’t want them to see my guest room.

So, freshly showered and feeling the good vibe of having been productive, I fixed myself a cocktail that I swear tastes best when drunk in the sun on a warm day: pastis. This anise flavored liquor fills the glass with a clear golden-ish liquid and then, with the addition of water, turns milky and opaque. I like a mine over ice with plenty of water (otherwise my tongue puckers up). And on Monday, I served it with a side of bright yellow tomatoes and a herbed sea salt (a stocking stuffer from a gourmet minded Santa Claus). Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, nothing time consuming. But sitting on my porch, the sun shining on my legs, a new book begging to read, it was was the perfect little pleasure to end my day.

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  1. What a great way to reward yourself after tackling your catch all guest room! And nothing is sweeter than checking off items on the To Do list!

  2. Maybe I should have a little reward system for myself so that I’ll keep up my current level of motivation for home repairs and decoration throughout the summer!

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