Life is short. Each day that rolls by rolls by faster than the day before. I’ve learned to not dwell on the negative. I would much rather be happy than anything else. People will always disappoint you at some point, the lesson is not to take it personally. Life is full of good things, very good things. They don’t have to be big things. They only have to be things that make you smile.
30 Things That Make Me Happy
- A text from my husband
- My mother’s smile
- Hearing someone say “Hello Aunt Kathy!”
- A hug (from most anyone)
- Making eye contact
- Listening to someone’s life story
- A telephone call for no particular reason
- Snail mail
- My donkeys braying (this makes me laugh out loud)
- Sitting on the floor with a toddler
- My dog running to the gate to greet me
- An afternoon spin with my husband in our Bad Boy along the trails he’s made.
- Sharing Arbonne
- Meeting new people
- Seeing someone using a crochet project that I made for them
- Mailing a gift
- Movies with talking animals
- Discussing family with my sister
- Thank you cards
- A big Sunday Breakfast
- Family get togethers
- A new recipe
- Learning that a baby is coming
- A manicure
- New shoes
- Healthy eating
- Loud music
- Licking my fingers
I have a long laundry list of things that I NEED to do. I’ve got closets, cabinets, drawers, pantrys, and whole rooms that need to be organized and cleaned. My junk cup runneth over. Now take the general junkiness of my home and mix in some hobbies. Cooking, crocheting, blogging, and reading. Those are my hobbies.
Usually the things that need to be done are shoved aside and replaced with my hobbies. Lately my main time eater has been crochet. Some much so that my other hobbies have suffered neglect. I have a notebook filled with blog thoughts. I’ve got a husband that has taken over my kitchen and thinks he’s the Galloping Gourmet. I’ve got recipes stored on websites, pinned to boards on Pinterest, and I actually pay (for some reason that I’ve forgotten) for an account on Allrecipes.com, which is a pretty good free program. I think I may have paid for that site, because they have a kitchen view or some such thing that I wanted to use, when I pulled up a recipe on the site. It was something stupid.
Just like the Cozi.com I paid for (I don’t pay until January 17th). I’ll probably keep it, mainly because the paid version has a birthday list. I like the layout of the birthday list. Sure I could put this information on my free Google calendar or my free Yahoo calendar, but I’ve gone to the trouble to enter them. So I’ll just keep it.
But I’m getting off track. This morning while going through my personal emails I found one from Pinterest. For those of you that don’t know Pinterest is, it’s for all those things you are going to do. You’re going to cook this. When you host a party you’re going to serve this and decorate like that. I’ve got 20 different recipes boards, 11 different crochet boards, and cornucopia of other boards including one titled “I Want Chickens” and one titled “Pretty Pretty Matthew.”
The email from Pinterest was
Cross stitch your grandma would never do
Hi Anna!! Cross stitch is making a comeback, but in a non-doily sort of way. Chairs, charms, sweatshirts, and shoes are just a few of the new-fashioned projects you can do in a day or two.
Cross stitch on pegboard!! Cute! I could do flowers and …
modern cross stitch
Now all of these pictures had links in the email that took me back to cross stitch Pinterest boards. For just a minute, I thought to myself “That looks like fun.” Then I remembered all the other stuff that I have piling up in my house and the very little time I have to do the things I already want to do. If Pinterest was a person I would pick up the phone and tell her to leave me alone. There aren’t enough hours in the day already. STOP!!!
The navel (clinically known as the umbilicus, colloquially known as the belly button, umbilical dip or tummy button) is a scar on the abdomen at the attachment site of the umbilical cord. All placental mammals have a navel, and it is quite conspicuous in humans. Other animals’ navels tend to be smoother and flatter, often nothing more than a thin line, and are often obscured by fur.
I’ve seen new born puppies, kittens, and other animals. I’ve seen their umbilical cords attached. So I know that theoretically they have belly buttons. But the human belly button is quite noticeable. Young girls with their youthful flat tummies, pierce them and adorn them. I don’t judge. If I was 20 again, I’d go for a belly button piercing. You see the grotesque belly button outline in too small t-shirts stretched over the plump. During the summer everywhere you turn, there is a belly button staring back at you.
As we age, we cover up our belly buttons. At least I do. Maybe it’s a matronly thing, because it doesn’t seem to bother the large portion of men. They either let it all hang out, cover it up with one of those too tight t-shirts, or it peeks out at your from under a shirt that is just a tad too short. At my age, belly buttons have gone from something slightly sexy to something rather horrendous.
Thanks to my mother, I have a nice belly button. I remember being young and an aunt would have a baby. I watched as the umbilical cord fell off and then all the attention was put on taking care of the belly button. Making sure that the belly button was pretty. Making sure it was acceptable.
Over the last several months belly button hygiene has occasionally crossed my mind. I don’t remember being given any instruction on this sort of cleaning. Most of the time I jump in the shower and don’t give much thought to the ol’ navel. I’ve checked it out from time to time and thought, “You need to wash that out.”
Too much information? Maybe so. But it’s a legitimate concern. Something that has been on my mind. Almost to the point of being obsessive. But I’m glad to say that my belly button is clean.
I did some checking and the good news is that the belly button doesn’t seem to really require a lot of attention. Then I came across an article on “What Lives in Your Belly Button”
It’s an interesting and disgusting article. It says that “Belly buttons are a lot like rain forests.” From 60 belly buttons, the team found 2,368 bacterial species, 1,458 of which may be new to science.
So the next time you jump in the shower, show your belly button a little love.
Charity: 1. Generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless; 2. something given to a person in need; 3. benevolent feeling, especially towards those in need; 4. a charitable act or work.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral. If you don’t believe me, just log onto Facebook and look at the feed over the last month. I was a little confused about the whole thing at first. I thought “Why are these people pouring ice water over their heads?” It appeared at first glance that this was a way to not donate money.
Once I figured out how it work, I was a little insulted. But I let it go, after all, it was all done in good fun. It isn’t any worse or any better than the events done in the name of Komen Race for a Cure, Relay for Life, National Heart Health Awareness, Easter Seals, and Unicef.
Unicef started sending children door to door on Halloween to collect money. We haven’t done that in years. But occasionally someone will participate in some sort of race, walk, swim, bike ride, bowl-a-thon, that raises money for their charity of choice and also to raise awareness. No one comes to your door, no one calls you. They just post a link on a social media site or send an email. You either donate or not. No one knows, no one “calls you out”.
This is what bothered me about this ice bucket challenge. I mean, what right does someone have to publicly browbeat me into giving to a charity. Luckily, I learned a while back to think for myself and make my own choices. There isn’t anything wrong with donating using the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge template. I just choose not to participate.
Everyone thinks their charity is important and it is. But we all have to make choices. I choose to try to keep my giving local. It doesn’t matter if you know how or when I do anything charitable. It only matters that I do.
I have an old chum, friend, associate, antagonist, foe (you know a former friend) who has apparently taken to social media to educate (brow beat) her connections into giving to her charity of choice – the homeless. Her rants on other subjects and her attack on me personally (because of a difference of opinion) is one reason I am not associated with her any more. But we have friends in common who share the crazier parts of her rants and now its the homeless. It’s as if she just discovered the homeless and thinks they have been ignored because she has not been involved.
There is a presumption on her part and on the part of many others that because a person is wealthy it is the wealthy person’s responsibility to take an interest in her charity of choice. She has no idea what percentage of someone’s income goes towards charity. She has no idea what others have already done for her charity. Her assumption is that her charity is so very much more important than anything you decide to give to.
So I will just mind my own business, give to the organizations that I think can best use my money. The main thing I think we need to remember when it comes to giving is to give. Whether it be to an organization or to an individual.
I awoke with a start this morning, thinking I had overslept. There was no alarm bleep, bleep, bleeping. No time for shower, makeup, or coffee, I hurried out the door. The sun was just rising; there was fog in the air. As I closed the door behind me, I heard the tinkle from the deer feeder as it spread the corn upon the ground. I stopped just a moment to inhale the freshness of the day.
The rooster crowing
The cooing of the doves
The tap, tap, tap of the woodpecker
The gobble of the turkeys out near the pond
“You’re late!” echoed in my head and I hurried on my way. My thoughts turned from the beauty around me and to the busyness of the day ahead. I hurried down the sidewalk, when out of the corner of my eye; I saw a flutter of color rise. It rose quickly from the moist, green grass to the safety of the tree.
A bird, I thought and stopped to see. But much to my surprise it was not. From the corner of my I could see, not a brightly colored bird, but a fairy! When my eyes shifted directly to the tree, she faded away. Yet when I did not look directly, there she was again.
No bigger than a wren, she perched upon the limb.
Golden hair spilling down her shoulders
A mimosa bloom skirt
A yellow rose petal bodice
And tiny bare feet
Astonished, I could not move.
I whispered, “I see you.”
She replied, “I know.”
“Enjoy your day.”
And I went on my way.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Denise had been working at the “Watchamadoodle” for years. She was a dependable and reliable employee. She also considered herself a team player. She liked her job and the people she worked with well enough. She had been a member of the workforce long enough to know that you can have trouble at any job. So for the most part she was quite satisfied with where she was at.
Denise had been a shy, quiet girl growing up. But as Denise aged, she discovered that there was a sort of rage bubbling just beneath the surface. At times it seemed to erupt and she had no power to contain it. It wasn’t something that started over night. At a former place of employment her dissatisfaction and unhappiness had erupted into a very loud “F#$% you!!!” early one morning. Then she had grabbed her purse and left for the day. She knew that the response was inappropriate and over the top. She later returned to her place of employment and apologized for her outburst. She had hung on there for several months and finally found a new place at the “Watchamadoodle.”
She rarely had these bursts of rage at home. Not to say that they hadn’t happened, but they were very rare. It seemed her antagonism grew as she neared the “Watchamadoodle” each day. She woke each morning happy, for the most part. The short drive didn’t bother her. She sometimes wished it was longer. Denise pulled into the parking lot each morning anticipating that it was going to be a good day. She willed it to be a good day.
Days went by, weeks, and months. Oh there were test upon her frame of mind. But she had learned to shrug off the shortcomings of her co-workers. After all, Denise knew that she was not perfect either. It just seemed everyone was happier at the “Watchamadoodle” if Denise didn’t rock the boat. If she ignored the mistakes. She would laugh when she brought something to someone’s attention. No need to get yours or someone else’s panties in a wad. Just a friendly “Hey look what you did. Try not to do it again.”
For a couple of years Denise had been taking a tiny little pill that helped her keep her rage in check. But Denise was only human and so the tiny little pill only helped to a certain extent. Things always seemed to start to smolder a couple of months before the Watchamadoodle’s busy season. Denise had actually believed for a couple of years that certain people went out of their way this time of year to blow her off and disregard her direction. Denise did not like to be blown off.
She tried to let the little things go. She would correct them herself, if she could. If not she would just enter things the way they were done. It was hard for Denise. She did not understand why people couldn’t follow simple rules. Why could they do things correctly and then suddenly one day just the complete opposite.
They weren’t doing things wrong because Denise said they were doing it wrong. Some things they were doing wrong because Big Brother said they were doing it wrong. Other things were done the way they were done hundred years ago. Not the way they were done in the 21st century. So one day Denise was blamed for not knowing that something was done with chicken scratch on a piece of paper, stapled behind other pieces of paper. Denise could not understand why Watchamadoodle would spend so much money on software and hardware if they were not going to utilize it. Nor did she understand how anyone else was suppose to know about the chicken scratch if the chicken scratcher wasn’t available.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back was the out right lies. An error was made on the sale of a watchamadoodle. When Denise asked about it and why it was done that way she was given a bunch of hooey. A lot of excuses. “I thought this and I thought that.” But the part that really ticked her off was “Oh Well!”
The captain of the Watchamadoodle store was aware of this exchange. He sat less than 10 feet away. But he ignored it. So Denise went back to her office and was distraught. No one in the whole wide Watchamadoodle world cared if things were done correctly. So she emailed the captain a copy of the tax law pertaining to that transaction along with a copy of the invoice. But Denise wishes she had left it alone, because what happened next sent her absolutely over the edge.
She found the captain and the clerk discussing the tax law as if they had just heard of it that day. Now Denise knew for a fact that both of these persons had been presented with this law in the past. No only did Denise know it, she also knew that the same sort of transaction had been done recently and had been done correctly. She could overlook the captain’s forgetfulness, after all he did have a lot on his plate. But the clerk was just misleading the captain and covering her own ass. She for sure was very well aware of the regulation and chose to lie rather than admit to her mistake.
So Denise went back through days of transactions and found the exact same kind of watchamadoodle sale two week prior. This transaction was done correctly by the clerk. Yet the clerk had purported not to know. Denise detested a liar.
Early one morning Denise presented the captain with the correctly processed transaction from two weeks prior. He looked at it with wonder. Denise was not sure if he knew what he was looking at, so she explained it to him. She told the captain that she did not care if he said anything to the clerk or not. She just wanted the captain to know that the clerk did know the law.
And then the captain began to speak and it was not good. Suddenly he was on Denise’s side. This did not make Denise happy, for she knew this was his way of trying to just stop the boat from rocking. He asked questions. Silly, silly questions. Which made Denise’s blood boil. She had her own questions she wanted to ask the captain, but she didn’t. For she knew the answers would be skewed and nothing would be solved. So why put forth the effort.
But Denise did make a statement. She told the captain that she must remind herself that she is here to do a job. She is not here to make friends. She told the captain that her partner has to remind her from time to time that these people she works with are not her friends. That was when the captain became angry. Of all the things that were said, this was the one that needled him. “You are not my friend.”
So he made a snarky comment about Denise’s partner and then asked Denise, “How can you say we aren’t your friends after all we’ve done for you!!” This statement made Denise want to throw back her head and laugh, laugh as loudly as she could. But the worse thing that the captain said was “I only have trouble with you women bitching. I don’t have any problems out of the men.” This made Denise see red. She had worked for the captain for a while. She knew about the personality conflicts among the men. So she knew it was time to go. As Denise walked back to her office she told the captain that maybe he needed to hire a man to do her job.
Denise sits in her office now. She trudges through the paperwork. She no longer cares if the transactions are done correctly. At least now Denise knows where she stands with the captain. She should not share personal things with her coworkers. They just take the stories Denise tells of her home life and twist them around into something loathsome. She is not a valued employee. She is thought of less because she is female.
Denise’s rage has subsided, but it still simmers below the surface.
We all dream. Some people are better at remembering dreams than other. I’ve read different theories and suggestions on things you can do that will enable you to remember you dreams. But none of them have ever worked for me. It would be interesting to be able to instantly recall what you’ve dreamed when you wake up. Sometimes this does happen. I might remember a snippet of a dream upon waking. Normally if this happens the dream will return to me within an hour or so.
I don’t know what the science is behind dreams. But I don’t think the brain shuts down completely when we sleep. It would be interesting to know what goes on in your brain while you sleep. Is it just a hodge podge of recollections? Is it you subconscious trying to bring some idea or reassurance to the forefront of your understanding? Or is it your true self running amok for seven to eight hours while you sleep?
I’ve also been known to talk in my sleep and even get up and walk around. This hasn’t happened in a while. (At least not that I’m aware of.) But when this has happened in the past it scares the bejeezus out of Doug. I have sat upright in bed and babbled. I have gotten up out of bed and walked around to the end of the bed and cussed someone out while pointing my finger in the air. Doug says he would never go to sleep if I was mad at him. He’s afraid I would walk in my sleep to the kitchen and come back to the bedroom and scoop his heart out with a spoon.
Without getting to mushy or personal, Doug and I are snugglers. He is either snuggling me up or I’m snuggling him up. One night several months ago he was asleep on his side and I was snuggled up against his back with my arm around him. Now if you’ve read any of my past blogs, you know I have a thing for skin care. I am often on a quest to find the very best eye creams. That is my obsession. I currently have three different bottles of eye cream, none of them I care for. I guess this particular night my obsession was on my brain. While snuggled up against him with my arm around his chest, I was apparently dreaming that I had found the perfect bottle of eye cream. But sadly there was only a little left in the small glass jar. So in my dream I was digging down into the bottle to get the last little bit out with my finger nail. I was in deep sleep and my brain had taken over.
I was suddenly thrust from a deep sleep to being fully awake. Doug had jumped up out of bed, rubbing his chest, and shouting at me “What the hell are you doing?! I started laughing. I immediately remembered my dream and realized that while we were both slumbering soundly, I had been digging my index finger into the middle of his chest, trying to get that last little bit of cream out.
He didn’t see much of the humor in it when I tried to explain why it happened. I think in the middle of the night he took it as a personal physical attack. After returning to bed, I continued to chuckle at the funniness of the whole thing. Doug however was still a bit touchy and didn’t want me anywhere near him.
I was sitting on a stool at the Benefit Bar at Ulta waiting to get my eyebrows waxed, when I observed an elderly woman asking about a particular moisturizer. When I say elderly, I mean late 70’s or maybe early 80’s. She seemed to be on a mission. She knew exactly what she was looking for. It seemed she was hoping it was some sort of miracle cure or maybe a fountain of youth.
My own mother is 72. In the last year, I have taken over paying her bills. Sometimes she would overlook a bill and some bills she accidentally paid twice. So with the ability to pay most things over the internet, it’s simple for me to just pick up her bills and take care of them for her. I was surprised when I looked at her account online one day and saw a debit for $98.46 for a “beauty” company. I asked her what it was for. Moisturizer she said. It was a 30-day supply and it was “really good.”
I have been on an endless search for an eye cream and some thing to reduce my pores. I think these dark circles are here to stay. At least until I am at a point where I can get at least 9 or 10 hours of sleep on a regular basis. I guess what I am trying to say is, that as women we are always looking for ways to stop the process of time.
My indoctrination began at an early age. I remember riding the bus downtown to Monning’s Department Store. There my mother would purchase her pretty little jars of creams and pots of colors. Years later I would stand next to her at Sanger Harris, Foley’s, Macy’s or Neiman’s. So I blame her for my obsession.
But where did her obsession come from? She was the fourth of thirteen children. Her own mother certainly never rode the bus to purchase pretty little pots of creams. Well, while having lunch with her one day I think I discovered the root of her obsession.
She mentioned to me that she wished we had videoed my Dad telling stories about his childhood, his stint in Berlin, and those types of things. I told her, “So do I.” But she has stories to tell too. I reminded her of a story she told me about her Grandpa Nelson. At the time she told me it was her earliest memory. She was about four years old when he passed away. She remembers her mother holding her hand and they were running down the road to her grandparents.
When I reminded her of this story, she told me another story. She had three older brothers and she was the first granddaughter. She said her grandmother and her aunts did not like her mother. That they seemed to delight in making her mother feel inferior. Her grandfather however, made her feel special. He gave her a little tin container with a lid. He would wait until his wife was out of the house and he would take my mother into the bedroom and fill her little container with face powder. It was a secret just between the two of them.
AHA!!!! Immediately I realized that this was the answer to a question that has been in the back of my mind forever. Now I know that my own great-grandfather is responsible for my mother’s fascination with “beauty” products and therefore my own obsession with cosmetics.
- Sometimes everyone feels a little left out.
- Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield is actually a fact.
- Prices are not falling at Walmart.
- Its good to be quiet sometimes and make people wonder if there’s something going on with you.
- Be careful in what you say and what you do. Someone is always watching and they don’t always have your best interests in mind.
- Don’t always have the answers. Sometimes its good to say “I don’t know” even when you do.
- Read labels
- Drink wine
- Read a book
- Create something
- Make a new friend
- Hug freely
- Recycle when you can
- Tell your grandchildren about your grandparents.
- Its okay to be a little weird
- Enjoy time by yourself
- Have breakfast for supper
- Carry your camera everywhere you go (now your cell phone)
- Engage in a random act of kindness. ie: pay for the person behind you in the drive thru lane.
- Make a To-Do List and mark it off as you finish items. It will give you a sense of accomplishments
- Set goals
- Spend a day in your pajamas
- Avoid the drama when at all possible
- Sit down and have a serious conversation with a child
- Bring breakfast to work for everyone
- Listen to that little voice inside your head
- Call you mother/father
- Keep a journal
- Pay attention
- Don’t listen to gossip, don’t even pretend to be listening. Nip it, nip it in the bud
- Give up all forms of soda as a daily drink. Save it as an occasional treat
- Save for a rainy day
- Make your bed every morning.
- Get a massage and a facial
- Strive to be healthy and not skinny or perfect
- Go to the zoo
- Bake something and take it to your neighbor
- Plant flowers
- Speak the truth if asked
- Try to be more tolerant
- Change your radio station occasionally
- Don’t follow the crowd
But mainly, don’t worry, be happy. The things you are concerned with today will be forgotten in a year.
- The Dark – Yes, I am a grown woman, but I’m just a little bit afraid of the dark. When I get home late and its dark outside I’m always just a little afraid when I have to get out of the car and close the gate. I hear rustling in the trees and I imagine a wild pig or a bobcat just waiting for the moment it can pounce on me. I also do not care for walking from one end of the house to the other in the dark. I imagine vampires and other crazy things just waiting for me. When I step out on the deck at night I can feel something watching me in the darkness.
- Flat tires – This is a new fear. New cars do not come with a spare. They did this to reduce the weight and to get better gas mileage. So instead of even a donut, they come with some kind of canister that you are suppose to use to inflate your tire until you get somewhere to get it fixed. What happens if you have a blow out? You call a tow truck. I guess I should get Doug to show me where this canister is so that I can find it if I ever need it.
- Stuff in the water – I don’t care if its fish, turtles, snakes, sharks, sting rays or whatever. I don’t like getting in the water and knowing that there just may be something lurking under the surface. I don’t like fish nibbling on my toenail polish or turtles swimming towards me in the middle of the lake. I won’t even go into what is lurking in the ocean. But in the future I will stay on the beach or at the pool (where I can see what’s in there).
- Worms – I’m not afraid of many bugs. I’ll swat them, spray them, or let them be, depending upon what they are. But show me a worm and I’ll run off screaming. I feel the same way about caterpillars and such, but I’m able to keep my terror on the inside. But let me dig in the garden or come across a worm and all hell breaks loose. I can’t tell you why. I know they aren’t going to chase me down. But when I come across when I go back into the house out of harms way.
- Hypocrites & Gossips – These people scare me because sometimes you don’t know who they are until you have unburdened yourself to them or been sucked in by them. Then “WHAM”, before you know it they have knocked you in the head and are running around in circles shouting from the mountain tops what they feel are your iniquities and misdeeds. Taking anything you have said and twisting it to fit their own absurd points of view.
- Radicals – Doesn’t matter if its religious, political or whatever. They are like a dog with a bone. There is no reasoning or discussion of any kind. Its their way every time, all the time. Radicals are like members of a brainwashed cult. I’m willing to listen and have even changed my mind on subjects. But people who are blindly following anything scare the baloney out of me for sure. They make for a scary world, all the way around.