"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Not Julie Andrews List

With our recent four-day loss of internet connectivity, we came to realize just how important — vital — the internet has become in our daily lives. That “digital detox” provided me with unexpected time to enjoy a few of my favorite things and brought to mind a conversation my friend Kathryn McCullough and I had last fall on her blog, Reinventing the Event Horizon, where I shared with her (cue the music for My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music)

“As you know, I have very few material possessions. My favorites include a sarape/cape I bought in San Miguel de Allende Mexico, a wide-brimmed garden hat my husband bought me in Colorado, and what I lovingly call my Buddha Butt — a small hand-crafted meditation bench. I have a pair of mahogany chopsticks that Len got me in Yokosuka Japan that I use daily, and I have a pair of black pants — high waisted like Katharine Hepburn wore — that have served me well for many years.”

Laurie in Cape 11-2012
What are a few of
your favorite things?

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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Comments on: "Not Julie Andrews List" (78)

  1. This light-hearted post is just what I needed today. Your modeling of the serape/cape from Mexico reminded me of a similar style I treasure: a rust & navy cape I bought in Windsor, England but made in Scotland. Last week when we had a cold snap, I wore it one morning. Not much chance to wear my “blanket” in Florida! Thanks for the reminder, Laurie.

    • Marian – Does the cape you got in England, with Scottish origins, have a hood? I can well imagine that hooded, or not, the “blanket” would be waaaaay to much for Florida :)

  2. Oh how lovely to read a few of your favorite things. You know the only thing I can think of right now? We have a small book that we record everything memorable that happens during a year. It goes back to 1982. It’s filled to the brim with happenings that we would otherwise forget. Barry just said recently–grab this if there’s ever a fire. What would we do without it? (I should blog about this someday, thank you kindly, Laurie.)

  3. Laurie, I love a good techno detox once in awhile to reflect… I have a beautiful scarf that I purchased in the UP while on vacation with my sissies. I wear it frequently and it is my coat of many colors that matches everything.

  4. How funny you should bring up this topic today! Only this morning I was thanking the Lord that I had toned down my desire to possess “things” and to look to gain good qualities instead. I believe it went something like this, ” Thank you, Lord, for helping me to pare down my possessions, I just don’t want to have to take care of them any more!” I wouldn’t like to live a monastic life looking at bare walls and floors, but I find the less I have to do maintenance on, the more time I have for myself and others. As to the things I really do care most about, gosh, that should be easy. My books, my laptop, my truck, my flowers in season, also the lack of them in season. Oh and my thinking machine…the lawn mower. I can ride and mow all day without interruption, using my brain alone as entertainment, calculator and communicator to the Universe.

    • Sandi – I enjoyed reading about the conversation you had with the Lord this morning. Further, me thinks, that your “thinking machine” would make an extraordinary blog post! :)

  5. Cherry Harris said:

    Well Laurie you could almost be Julie Andrews with your lovely haircut and cape there lol.
    I hate to say it but I do love my laptop it’s part of my life. Other than that, my beautiful books, my garden of daffodils that will come out soon, my cow egg cup that holds a mean dunking egg and my pens …I adore pens in all colours shapes and sizes .
    I do love Julie Andrews there is something very special about her isn’t there . At the moment I am watching and reading Mary Poppins . My mum died nine years ago and her favorite film was The Sound Of Music and I still haven’t been able to watch it …it makes me so sad .
    Cherry

  6. I like this photo of you Laurie. The smile is contagious! :-)

  7. I think Kathy is on to a good indicator of what possessions are most important. What would I take with me in an emergency? I would take my laptop in large part because of my family history program and files. Additionally, family photos including some touch point photos from my life. These are ever more poignant and important as cancer keeps stealing away dearly loved family members. And … I don’t think I’d have the energy to redo all that research.
    If I had additional time I’d take a wood carved bird my sister gave me; carved by a elderly man and friend of hers in Pennsylvania.
    The only object I couldn’t carry myself is a Amish double “pie chest.” When I moved a few years ago I told my brothers it was my most precious piece of furniture and please take care of it; of course they proceeded to tease me mercilessly.

    • Audrey – Kathy Drue is, indeed, a great barometer. I’ve known her for several years and she’s got a reliable inner compass.

      I enjoyed reading your list of favorite things; the story of the pie chest and your brothers made me laugh :)

  8. Your question got me thinking, Laurie, and after a few minutes of introspection, no material thing jumped out at me as being a favorite. I have “sentimental” favorites: items like family photos or photos I took while traveling that remind me of a certain trip, books that I particularly enjoyed reading, memorable bottles of wine that I’ve drunk, but nothing like a souvenir or clothing item I wear to get that sense of comfort and familiarity and that I’ve owned for years. Hmm.

    But you rock it big time in that serape, girl! :-)

    Chris

  9. Good morning, Laurie! Hmmm..well, besides my wonderful family and pets, my favorite material things are: books, a Haight-Ashbury coffee mug I use with wild colors, my leopard wedge heels, and purses. All of them! I can’t get enough purses. They always make me feel good and I’m always carrying around my life and notebooks and pens. :)

  10. Thanks for the shout-out, Laurie. I remember that exchange. And you know what, you even look like Julie Andrews in this photo! Your blog is one of my favorite things, especially this lovely morning here in Cuenca.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Kathy – In the photos you share over on your blog, one of the things I admire most about you and Sara is your generous use of vivid color. Your posts never fail to brighten my day :)

  11. Cherry Harris said:

    How could I possibly leave out Oscar my King Charles Cav …so precious . He is looking at me in disgust .
    Cherry again

  12. What are a few of my favorite things? Tuesdays with Laurie, of course!

  13. What a neat post, Laurie. And I love the photo–you look so happy.

    A few of my favourite things. Well, beyond my library of books, computer, pens and journals…
    My maternal grandfather’s Alden Lamp
    A 1934 calendar–a promotional for my paternal grandfather’s store.
    A brownie camera (circa 1950) originally owned by my mom
    A Queen Victoria tin mug–the first cup that my dad drank from.
    ‘The Open Window’ painting (circa 1920) originally owned by my paternal grandma
    A sweater knit for me by my maternal grandma

    • Leanne – What a terrific list of favorite things! And to know their dates of origin is especially cool. Clearly you enjoy items with an antique nature. Do you ever use the brownie camera? It would probably be hard to find film and processing for it, but oh how cool! :)

  14. patricia60 said:

    Favorite is the difficult word for me. I have very few things also. The first thing that popped into my mind was a pair of shoes which I am so fond of I am extremely selective about wearing them
    Since Christmas my favorite thing is my Kindle Fire. Amazing tool! This brings me to the tools section of my life or my kitchen. I have spent so many hours there of my life. Healing with food, that the space is full of light and tools that I find great partners in preparation. It is a space where I get into the zone.
    Right now I am burned out about cooking and food prep. I wish I could go out to eat and someone else fix and clean up. I think I need to feel cared for.

    • Patricia – I’ve heard that the new Kindle Fire is really amazing; it would probably be on my list too. And who doesn’t enjoy a pair of beyond phenomenal shoes that are comfortable, to boot (pun intended)…

      Gosh, if you lived 1,200 miles closer, I’d be able to share some of my “Suzy Homemaker” results with you.

  15. My list of favourite things is maybe slightly longer. They include my red coffee cup from two years ago that brightened a dreary winter day and continues to bring a spark to each morning every since. There is my grandfather’s Morris chair that I rescued before it was taken to the dump and brought it back to its former fine shape. There is my French box easel that I use weekly and sometimes even daily. Then there are my paint brushes and palette knives – treasures in that many of them were given to me by my parents for various birthdays. There is the red enamel topped table with wood rolling casters that is my studio table. I bargained for it from the laundry room of a place we rented whenI was in university. The owner of the house apartments could not imagine what I would do with that old red thing with its chipped paint. Fifteen dollars he said. I handed him the money and got the kids to help me take it up stairs and shortly there after I stripped off all the old paint and oiled the natural wood. Beautiful! We still call it the red table. There are a few other favourite things like my black baby alpaca wrap that David got for me in Peru. The thing with favourites for me is that they are most often useful, frequently reclaimed, are items of quality and have a story.

  16. My Toshiba laptop, my Swiss army knife, my Toyota Hilux 4WD, our house, my collection of tools.
    I’m not at all minimalist, as you know. At boy scouts they taught us to “be prepared”. That sort of took root across all logical domains in my mind, which then spilled out into reality and the collections of stuff that may be useful if some of those low probability high impact events actually happen.

    • Ted – I’m absolutely confident that if I were to look up the word “Prepared” in the dictionary, you’re face would be smiling off the pages! You, my friend, are the epitome of preparedness! :)

  17. Laurie, my list would start with my husband, children and grandchildren. Then I would add cherished mementos from my childhood and from my parents, favorite works of art and books that Jordan and I enjoy, our gardens and our porch, and our motor cycle that Jordan and I love riding together! My Blue Brain is a collector of special moments in my life that I can treasure in my memory, carry in my heart, and hold in my hands.:-)

  18. A hot cup of tea, two cuddly dogs, a good book, delicious healthy food, my sweet husband, and a fire on the hearth.

  19. My most favorite things are not things at all, but special, quality times with special people in my life…like lunch today with a friend; phone calls with my brother who lives far away. One of my favorite things is a little pillow I had made for me out of a special sweatshirt my brother had given to me years ago which I had worn and washed so many times the arms were about to disappear. It had a rope and anchor motif on the front and that was still in good condition. So that is the front of the pillow, with a plain section of the sweatshirt used as the back. I sometimes hold it close to my heart.

  20. Laurie, I share Ann’s (above) acknowledgement of quality time with the family, which I know would top many lists. This is a house of books, CDs and DVDs too, so it would be safe to say that we get quite a bit of mileage out of them. The picture of you is fabulous! And your possessions are unique and marfvelous!

  21. I think it’s wonderful that you live your life simply and without a lot of material things. I don’t see myself as excessively materialistic, but I don’t live overly simply either. What are my favorite things – hmmm…. Well, I’d have to include my Vitamix blender on that list since I can’t imagine life without the smoothies, hot drinks and sauces I make in it every day. That’s really the only thing that’s coming to mind right now. Have a lovely week! Celeste :)

  22. Laurie, I probably need to become more zen-like since I am still a person who likes to collect memorabilia of the past. One of my favorite possessions is an antique book case that is a bit of a family heirloom. It’s made of black walnut and has a beautiful Art Deco leaded glass door with an old-fashioned key to open it. It feels sacred to me. It reminds me of the love of books of my ancestors, my family and myself. I don’t know if I have any clothes that have special meaning to me because I tend to recycle clothes and buy “new” ones from thrift shops quite often. I do have a few older purses that I love though. Thanks for the contemplation!

    • Karen – From the description, I can fully understand why you cherish the bookcase. Like you, I buy “new” clothes at resale shops as well. I love the “hunt” of finding a high quality piece for usually less than $5. I own one purse – a “Baggallini.” Designed by flight attendants, it has a place for everything, and keeps everything in it’s place :)

  23. I’m always trying to “lighten the load” and simplify, so I really relate to your post! I was always very good about traveling lightly, until my grandmother passed and I inherited all of her things. She was an awesome person all around, but she enjoyed keeping everything. It has been a challenge to pare down her treasured things, but I have tried to honor her as I have done it. Loved this post and your beautiful pic!

    • Dyan – What I’m about to share certainly wouldn’t work for everyone, but it’s how I was able to let go of my mother’s things after she died. I simply took photographs of each items, created an album, and then donated her things to people who could put them to better use than me. I can “visit” her things any time I’d like, in the manageable space of a single photo album. (She died before digital photography, or that album would now be online).

  24. My Jesus sandals! A few years ago Clarks (the shoemaker) revived my favourite style from the 70s, so I now wear the same sandals that I used to skip about in as a little girl. The only difference is my knees are now more flabby than scabby. :)

    • WarmGinger – You just put a face-splitting grin on my face with your response!

      I own two pairs of “Clarks” brand shoes: winter boots, and summer runners. They fit like old friends right from the get-go!

  25. I like few and simple things too. Right now I’m wearing my favourite hand knitted Icelandic jumper that my husband bought for me 3 Christmases ago. In the summer, like you, is my 1930s style straw hat, which I’m wearing in my avatar picture. I also have a crocheted blanket on our bed, which I made myself 2 years ago. I love home-made, it always has a sentimental meaning and it’s always harder to part with items that people have made especially for you.

  26. My favorites include a doll given to me by a dear friend who was a grandmother figure to me growing up. It was her doll when she was a child. I also have a dress made by my maternal grandmother that my mom wore when she graduated from high school and I wore for my first wedding. I treasure these things because they remind me of people who were very important to me and are now gone.

  27. Ah, how refreshing, your blog and this question. My answer is helped with the quote you wrote in Kathy’s latest post: “A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ― Madeleine L’Engle
    Books are my favorite things – whether in hard back, paperback, e-reader form. A book lights a fire in my soul with each turn of the page. Blessings to you!

    • Roughwighting — Isn’t that a wonderful quote? Surely we are kindred spirits. I’m sitting here right now reading “Sweet Salt Air” by Barbara Delinsky. I’m at the library at minimum once per week — they know me by name :)

  28. I love the collection of Mexican tin heart decorations we have. Something about red hearts with silver wings makes me so joyful!

  29. This takes a lot of thought because I am far from minimalist, but I think my 2 favourite things in the world are a bath, and my Kindle. If i had nothing else, I would have comfort with those.
    I love your blog title, must be named after Tuesdays with Morrie is it? I had never heard of Mitch Alborn until his book Five People you meet in Heaven literally threw itself at me 3 times in a bookstore :)

    • Dynamo Di – Welcome to Tuesdays with Laurie. And you’re right, the title is a play on “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a book I thoroughly enjoyed. A bath and Kindle are terrific items to have on a favorites list!

  30. A meditation bench, very well done (love the name too!).

  31. Becky Povich said:

    Hi Laurie! I’m a recent follower after reading your comments on Shirley Showalter’s blog. I’ve read everyone’s favorite things here and your responses back to them, and they’re all wonderful. I think I need more time to think about your question, so I will be back later! Just a couple of comments, first, though: I, too, love the picture of you in your sarape. I don’t know if the sun shining on you is partly the reason for your genuine smile, or vice versa! I was so hoping there would also be a picture of you modeling your Katherine Hepburn pants!!

  32. Ajaytao2010 said:

    You look so graceful and beautiful as the eternal light of simplicity shines through you my sister. Thank you for sharing this :) :)

  33. What a lovely picture of you, Laurie! (Me thinks you must be solar-powered!)

    Because I am such a sentimental person I think I have far too many favorite things. My latest treasure is my father’s cane, which was hand carved by his father.

  34. Awesome post, Laurie – and a great pic! :)

  35. Love your JOY …your simplicity of living….it cheers me! Thank you for your many visits to my blog…your presence is a gift!

  36. J’ai adoré votre photo, Laurie.

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