Practical pleasures

A Piazza Navona café, Rome 2008

“He has gained every point who has mixed practicality with pleasure…” Horace

Treat yourself today to some wholesome indulgence.  Whether it’s a cup of tea, a piece of fruit or an afternoon nap, savor the enjoyment of things that are delightful as well as beneficial.  If the weather is gloomy, browse in a bookstore or library; if it’s sunny, take an afternoon walk.  A small break in the normal routine can brighten up a winter’s day.  What are some of your favorite practical pleasures?


  1. You have a way of posting the very things I need in my life!!!! Thank you, Sis.

    • You are most welcome! It must be that family radar in action. Love you!

  2. Thanks for your encouragement. My favorite thing to do is to work in the garden. The camellias are in full bloom here in the lowcountry of south Carolina and just beautiful.

    • Marjorie, aren’t camellias wonderful? We have several and it’s so nice to enjoy their flowers when so little else is in bloom. I find working in the garden very therapeutic and wish I had more time for it. Thanks for being here and joining in the comments.

  3. Sheila

    Julia,I agree that you have the most beautiful way of expression through your words. I know these are trying days you and your precious family are living. I care and I’m sure so many others care,too! I so love that I can enjoy First Light over the ocean everyday and Sunset everyday over the Inlet from my home! I made a promise to myself many years ago that I would never take that for granted. God gives so much if we take time to look! Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, thanks for your kind words – it does help tremendously to know that others care. Where do you live? It sounds beautiful. I wasn’t sure what Inlet you were referring to but it must be wonderful to have a “front row seat” for sunrise and sunset! Thanks for your encouraging comment.

  4. “Wholesome indulgence” – I like that phrase. Let’s see, I’ve been pretty busy all day at the computer, but I would count poetry as one of my “wholesome indulgences” and I just read “The Owl and the Pussycat”. What a beautiful, romantic indulgence. I highly recommend it.

    • I agree that poetry is a wonderfully wholesome indulgence – and Jan Brett’s beautiful illustrations are PERFECT for her edition of “The Owl and the Pussycat.” As a former children’s librarian, I hope you have had the chance to enjoy that version. After years of reading about the runcible spoon, I eventually learned what one was. Hint for those who are still wondering: you can get them at Taco Bell. Thanks for being here and for sharing the recommendation!

  5. Mike Bertoglio

    Like to visit Rome at some point. Piazza Navone is a street name?
    Bookstores in the winter is a definite destination.
    You started your blog throug Word Press?

    • The Piazza Navona is a beautiful square in Rome. You can read a bit about it here. Yes, this is a WordPress blog. I’m still learning about WordPress and blogging in general, as I’m a relative “newbie” to that particular segment of the internet. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I took your message to heart and walked 5 km to my favourite bookstore and back, while there I enjoyed a Starbucks. My gosh, I really enjoyed it, even in the snow. PS. I was also in Rome in 2008, to Piazza Navona, wouldn’t it be funny if we were there at the same time?

    • According to the photo details, I took that photo on May 27, 2008; maybe we were there the same day? Check the crowd in the photo for your face :-). I’m glad you were able to enjoy a walk in the snow – a bookstore and Starbucks sounds wonderful. It was a rainy, messy day here today. My own walk was shorter than usual. Thanks for visiting here and for your comment!

      • Oh shoot hey? Sorry your walk got rained on, we may get rain later in the week as it warms up to above 0 C or 32 F which is weird for January. I guess we traveled in September…missed you by a tad. 🙂

        • Well, the temperature was near 70 here today so I guess I shouldn’t complain about the rain. Unseasonably warm everywhere, I guess.

  7. Sheila

    Good morning,Julia. Bill and I live in Garden City,South Carolina and the little fishing village that is located behind us geographically is Murrells Inlet. We have called this little sliver of sun and sand home since 1985. Some people are lucky enough to visit for a week.We came and we sent for our things! Have you ever visited the Myrtle Beach area? We are ten miles south. My prayers travel the distance this morning. Sheila

    • Hi Sheila, we visited Myrtle Beach many years ago (decades ago I should say) and spent our honeymoon in Charleston, SC and surrounding areas. We love that state and hope to take a vacation there eventually. My nephew and his family live in SC. I grew up in Atlanta and always thought of SC as our next-door neighbor that was similar in many ways. I do think you’re lucky to live there! Thanks so much for the prayers.

  8. Well, where should I start, LOL. I’m afraid I’m all about indulging. My favourite indulgence is to stop at Chapters (our big book store) look thru all the craft and home magazines and usually buy one. Then grab my Skinny Latte and head to the Antique Mall for an hour of mindless treasure hunting. Again, I almost always buy something. Even if it’s a little vintage postcard for $1.00. For me it’s not so much about buying something, it’s more about the hunting. When I find something I’m gaga for, it’s usually under $20. My little collections may never be Auctioned at Sotheby’s, but they make me smile.

    • This entire comment is so appealing to me! I too can get the biggest kick out of buying small things, but especially the fun of hunting them down. Eric once told me “you are the only person I know who can meddle in a store” and I loved that because I knew exactly why he was saying that – I shop with curiosity more than anything else, just poking around and checking things out, having a blast without the slightest intention of buying anything! I do like tiny little vintage things such as postcards. I wish there was some way you could send magazines by media rate to the US – I love those craft mags (especially the Somerset) but they are too pricey for me!


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