Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Warm Fall days


A schedule that works out


As Seen on TV products that always seem too good to be true

Leaves falling from trees


Seeing someone else rejoice

Time without hearing or seeing my cell phone


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Lazy Sundays, even when I should be doing other things

Finding objects I have been looking for. I recently found a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner, a bottle of spray gel, and a stick of deodorant. They were new, and I had been looking for them for months.

A good camera shot

Making up hours at work and then relaxing afterward

Using a coffee pot that we had previously laid to rest and thought would be buried

Funny commercials

The changing landscape with the changing of seasons

Finding more checks when I thought I was on my last book

Hearing that someone I know found a job

The moment a muscle cramp ends

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Wide open spaces

Weeping Willows

Celebrating life

Diet, caffeine free pop

Clean water

A warm bed, waiting for me at home after taking a long trip

Well behaved children



Corn stalks at harvest

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Cardinals post-season baseball

Sizzling food being cooked

85 degree weather in mid October


Seeing the fall colors on my afternoon walk

Looking forward to a motivational conference that I'll be able to attend tomorrow

Finding the error in my checkbook register

Having a bad hair day and getting to blame it on the breezy day

Playing with my new camera

The glistening off of water

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile



Post-season baseball when the Cardinals are playing

Quiet time

Low stress days

When meds kick in

A good workout


Autumn breezes before it gets too too chilly

Chocolate mouse pie

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile





The right dose of medication and my body responding accordingly

Good doctors

Figuring out how to do something new

Opening a new container of butter/margarine and putting the knife into it for the first time



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Sleeping in

Half and half

Disco music

My mother's cookies and looking forward to them a few times per year

Songbirds in the morning

The humor of close friends

Staying awake through a whole movie

Social safety nets, even though they are flawed

That no one died in the 5.8 mag. quake yesterday in VA

A good set of lungs in a musician

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Flannel pants

The moment when I am in bed and I know I'll have a good night's sleep and won't toss and turn

The prospect of getting home before the traffic rush

Envelopes with pull strips so I don't have to lick them closed

Fun postage stamps


Seeing other people succeed

Colorful skies

4 day weekends

Nicely ripe bananas

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Lazy days

Productive days

Uninterrupted days

Days interrupted by people who care and want to talk with me

Fast days (Mondays in particular)

Slow days (Saturday and Sunday)

Boring days (Nothing is going wrong on a boring day)

Fun days (Gotta have a little fun now and then)

Work days (Yay for having a job!)

Non-work days (Yay for working in a place that gives me time off!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Air conditioning when it is 109 degrees outside

Blank greeting cards with great pictures on the front


The moment the temperature is correct when adjusting the hot/cold to take a shower

My co-worker coming back from a leave of absence

Realizing I'm losing a touch of my Midwestern accent. Just a touch


Cookies from my sister-in-law and her family

Cleaning out car, somewhat

A reliable car

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Sweetcorn (on the cob)

Toothpicks/floss after sweetcorn on the cob



Realizing the deadline is one day later than I had originally thought

Making plans and then fulfilling them

Wild rice

Sleeping all the way through the night

Remembering to breathe

Looking forward to tomorrow

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Simplicity for simplicity's sake

Birthday dinners (yesterday was my husband's birthday)


Veggie Tales

Non-lick envelopes

Relief after a heavy sneezing session

People asking if you're ok

Masking Tape for garage sales

Grapefruit juice and how it makes me pucker

Finding that one, special book in a bookstore that you were meant to take home with you

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Birthdays (my hubby's)

Little accordions

Finding a sunset and watching the whole thing

Stealing a hug, a kiss, and a nose rub

Friendship, even when it hurts

Got MRI reports


Pictures of joys


The moment the AC blows cool air on a hot day after getting into my hot car.

And an image that makes me smile:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile


Rosary beads when they click

Tortilla chips

Bills paid on time

Fuzzy socks

A good book mark

Typing after trimming my fingernails. Feeling the keyboard is a good thing :-)

Kind words

The Hairbrush song from VeggieTales

Carved canes and walking sticks

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hands: A Preview

I am of the earth but I do not remember being a part of it, for I awoke one day as a block of clay, as I am now. I am happy to be a block of clay. I am whole. I am solid. I am firm. I know what I am, and I am content with my lot. I have been dug out of the earth to breathe the air and exist in the dark, quiet room.

Light floods my eyes. It is the first time I have seen. His hands are on me, taking me to a place do not know, and I am afraid. I cannot keep my eyes open, for there is too much light at first. At first.

At first, I panic.

"Where are you taking me, Hands?"

His hands do not speak. Instead, they hold me.

We travel together to a different place. It is another one I do not know. It is dimmer here. It is fresh here. It is clean here, but it smells of me. Of clay.

I am afraid.

"Hands, what is this place?"

His hands do not speak.

I am being violated now. His hands touch me. Everywhere. Water bathes me, and I am slimy, filthy, and not myself. I am being handled, smoothed, and cut.

"Hands, please don't do this."

His hands do not speak.

"Oh, no. No. Not the wire. Do not cut me with the wire. I will do whatever you ask, Hands, but please do not cut me again with that horrible wire."

His hands do not speak.

I am cut into pieces with the wire until I am but a fraction of what I once was. I hate the Hands for hurting me.


His hands take me to the center of the room. I am again violated. I am spun until I am so dizzy that I cannot focus on anything.

"Hands, why are you doing this to me?"

Rather than being solid and firm, I am now hollowed out. His hands have touched every part of me, and I am sure the Hands are finished abusing me.

"Hands, what is that metal thing?"

His hands do not speak.

Unlike the wire, this metal does not slice through me completely, but it might as well. His Hands dig the metal into the outside of me, the entire outside of me, until I can stand it no longer.

"Hands, please don't do this any longer. This metal..."

I pause because he is hurting me so badly with the metal that I have a difficult time speaking.

"This metal that you dig into my sides is unbearable. I do not bleed, for I am Clay, but if I could bleed from this, I would surely have no blood left from all that you are doing to me. Why are you digging these hurtful scars into my sides? Don't you care that you're hurting me?"

His Hands speak. "Patience. I am almost finished with this part."

I cry out, unable to take anymore. His hands have a voice, yet he has been silent as I have begged him to stop hurting me? How could the Hands listen to me and say nothing all this time?

"With this part? Hands, tell me. Please tell me that you don't mean to hurt me any longer." There cannot be another part. I cannot bear there to be another part. I don't understand how the Hands can willfully continue to hurt me. I hate his Hands for hurting me.


His Hands finish with the metal scarring tool. They now paint me from top to bottom and then also on the inside where I have been hollowed. The brush tickles while it is inside my hollowed part. When it is on the outside and painting many colors onto my sides, I do not feel the brush. When the paint seeps into where I have fresh scars, I cry out. The paint burns me.

"Hands, please stop painting. Don't you realize how badly I am hurting? If you understood, surely you wouldn't continue to do these things to me."

His hands do not speak.

"Why aren't you answering me, Hands? I'm speaking to you. I know you can hear me and that you can answer me."
I hate the Hands for hurting me, but I hate them more for staying silent when I know they can speak and at least explain why they are hurting me.

His hands dip a new brush into another color and continue painting me. One of the Hands holds onto and caresses me lightly inside, where I am hollowed. Where the Hand holds me, the paint smudges a little. The other one of the Hands holds the brush and paints the new color on my outside.

His Hands are finished with the brush and paint. Finally, I am finished.

But I am wrong. I am far from finished.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Not having to dip feathers into ink in order to be able to write

Remembering that there are things I can do that one day I may not be able to do

The scent of gunpowder after fireworks explode


Severing ties to people who behave routinely in negative ways

Playing favorites. My hubby is my favorite for sure :-)

The shiver after eating unsweetened grapefruit

Wondering what a handwriting expert would say about my script

Hot air balloons

Finger puppets

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Baby pictures

Pulpy orange juice

Properly fitting socks

New batteries

The moment sleep arrives

Devoted friends

Wooden blocks


Polka dots

Seeing goodness where I didn't expect it

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Finally getting sleep

Knowing I can relax soon, that things are about to fall into place

Huge sunsets in the American West

Hilly, vast sets of trees in TN

Tender loving care

A 3 day weekend

Knowing a family member is ok after surgery

Accepting the fact that I can do my best and not an ounce more


A quiet walk

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Knowing my friends have had safe travels

Good jelly beans around Easter

Lazy Sundays

Fantasizing that all my laundry for the weekend is already done

The red stapler in the movie Office Space

The $3 car wash

Paper airplanes

Animal Planet

Fire fighters

An efficient mail system. I know the word efficient is a relative term, but compared to other countries, we have a great mail system in the US.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Working out with the trainer at the gym

Gingerbread men

Drawing my own cartoons

The first gulp of water when I'm really thirsty

Skeleton keys

Colored paper

Mannequins with goofy expressions

Origami (I don't make it, but just to look at it that other people have done)

Pepper jack cheese

Remembering Jolt pop/soda

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Heart to heart talks and knowing the person on the other end will just accept what I've said rather than walking away or blanching at me


Goofy people

The moment feedback near speakers ends

Finding out yesterday my neighbors had a fire and that it wasn't a bad fire (and didn't spread to our place--I live in a townhouse)

Helping others learn how to do things

Creativity in all forms, even if it's just for my own amusement


Curly haired people. Gotta have solidarity somehow.

Sand dollars

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Learning that I had totally and in every way misjudged why somebody was doing something that annoyed the crap out of me today. Totally my bad.

The moment right before I use up a brand new ball point pen because I've been writing letters for the past week with the same pen.

Raisin Nut Bran cereal

The singer in a group who is completely tone deaf

Cross stitches that it seems like half the US populate has or their mother has hanging somewhere in the house.

Gift giving over the Internet

A good set of tweezers

My very understanding boss

Not falling asleep behind the wheel today

My asthma inhaler

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Having a clipboard when I need one

Suitcases with wheels. Watching old movies in which everyone has to carry theirs.

Having a decent passport picture this time around

That my co-worker is antagonizing our Indian colleagues over the upcoming India/Pakistan cricket match. Methinks they'll give him his due sometime in an unexpected way during an unexpected time.

Finding excuses to buy new stationary

Hearing my dad had a successful auction and sold the antiques/collectibles he wanted to sell that he's been accumulating for years in his den.

Having my cell phone charger when I need it.

Unsweetened grapefruit juice. Sometimes I like to taste the sour in order to appreciate the sweet.

The fancy spare tire holders on the outside of expensive RVs. I always wonder how old the tires are inside and hope the owners check them periodically for rot.

Elf ears

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Making it to the post office before they closed for the day

Finding the lid to my coffee mug so I could drink coffee while heading to the post office 10 minutes before it closed.

The whole wheat waffles I'm going to make tonight for supper and 100% real maple syrup I'm going to have with them.

Time for reflection on things I didn't want to have to think about but have been forced to. Self honesty is such a hard thing sometimes, but necessary.

Wearing sandals and forgoing socks for many warm months to come

Holding that special someone close all night. Gotta love my hubby :)

Feeling my feelings rather than pushing them away when I don't want to feel them

Victoria's Secret sales

Dogwoods blooming and birds chirping in their branches

A good night's sleep in fuzzy PJs

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Newly sharpened pencils

When the storm ends and a rainbow decides to show up

Purses big enough for a the stuff I always carry around. Almost to the point of having two computers with me at all times.

Yard sales when I'm not looking for yard sales, especially when I have spare change in my cup holder.

Cheese pizza on Friday's of Lent

Looking forward to sleeping in a little tomorrow

Writing a long letter to a friend

Animated mice

Remembering the first time I went roller skating and how bruised I was afterward

Listening to cassette tapes of myself as a little kid. I apparently broke into song at random times all the time as I child, much more so than my husband admits to doing as a child. I'm taking this comparison with a grain of salt.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Blue potato chips

Nice smelling shampoo

Gummy bears

Cashing checks I wasn't expecting

Receiving a card or letter in the mail when I wasn't expecting one

Cadbury Eggs

Reference books with logs of pictures

Remembering those old copies that were purple and had to be cranked out by hand

Watching someone nod off at work and then jerk awake when the phone rings

Bib overalls.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Words on Happiness Volume I

Barnes and Noble


This short book explores tips for happiness. Happiness here is not defined as enjoyment, pleasure, or warm fuzzies. Instead, happiness is the realization that life provides times of laughter, joy, and solace. But, it also provides times of neutrality, pain, and battle. Sometimes the battle scars are so deep that we should rightfully not have survived to tell our stories. Happiness is the acceptance of all these times and the courage to live through them.


Walk in the other guy's shoes. Before you do, sanitize them so you don't get foot fungus. After you've walked a mile in them, give them back, and respect that he might not be willing to walk in yours yet.

Give of yourself. When you die, what you've held back will be forgotten, but what you've given will be remembered by all those whose lives you've touched.

Most people act out of a desire to have their wants and needs met. They do not act out of vengeance or specifically to hurt you. If you are hurt in the process, realize that it's probably easier for the them to ignore the pain you're feeling than to deal with their own issues.

When you speak softly and carry a big stick, try not to do so in the house of someone who keeps a loaded pistol near his/her bedside.

When upset, make sure to tell the people you're talking with afterward whether or not you're looking to vent your frustration or for them to help you fix your problem. Your friends need guidance for when to listen and when to speak.

Deliver the goods you've promised. If you can't, chocolate always helps to smooth things over.

Keep your sense of awe and wonderment.

Spend time near flowering trees.

Root for the underdog, but don't necessarily place a bet on them with anything other than Monopoly money.

Hold your friends close, your enemies closer, and your family closest.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile


--Caramel apples

--Patient people

--Reliable wireless Internet

--Remembering penny candy

--Peppermint Patties


--New clothes

--Old clothes (I love garage sales, Goodwill, etc.)

--The look on someone else's face when biting into something sour

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

Babies blowing bubbles

Sparkles/glitter on clothing


100% real maple syrup

Duct tape


The first robin of Spring

Fun underwear

Watching a little girl catch the bouquet at a wedding

80s sitcoms

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

--Coffee shops that stay open til midnight (Wired in Hendersonville)

--Finishing a big project

--Being able to just joke around and be goofy

--Freshly squeezed orange juice

--50% off day at Goodwill

--When my allergies are manageable


--Washing my hands after they're sticky like after putting jam on toast


--Day Dreaming

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

--coco covered almonds

--having a productive weekend

--GIMP software

--having a headache-free day for the first time in three weeks

--remembering to plug my cell phone in at night


--cleaning out the lint trap (I have no idea why this makes me smile, but it does)

--the carbonation in pop/soda

--Pebbles and Bam Bam

--four leafed clovers

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

--Having a phone w/ email and Internet access

--The moment a headache has gone away

--The Biggest Loser whem I'm on the treadmill

--Finding focus


--Finding a pair of pants that fit without having to be altered

--Seeing newlyweds

--Kids playing in the snow

--When the next book in a series comes out that I've dying to read


Monday, January 10, 2011

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

--Fuzzy PJs

--Potato hash

--Snow days when I can work from home

--Hazelnut coffee on a blistery day

--Pop Rocks

--Homemade caramels

--Care packages

--Cheap ebooks by good authors


--Belugas (The Atlanta aquarium has some)