Thursday, March 10, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me

Maybe that may seem strange to some, wishing yourself a Happy Birthday, but at 73 it is indeed a celebration....a celebration of life and all the blessings and goodness that has entered my life in these 73 years.  As I continue to share 73 things that make me happy, I realize that life and it's happiness is a decision that I consciously make each and every day.  I can wallow in the (shit) that happens or I can magnify those everyday beams of light and happiness that rise to the top.  I chose the light.

68.  The trees that flower in the spring.

69.  Any color, size or shape of a blooming flower. It's impossible to chose a favorite among all the bountiful beauties.

And especially flowers with water droplets...

70.  A quail sitting on a fence makes me happy.

71.  Unique doors in Tucson make me happy...

72.  Peach Sangria at Carrabas is a happy drink!

73.  It is almost impossible to list all who make me happy....

  • My children (Lisa and Lane)
  • My son-in-law and my daughter-in-law (Sam and Nelly)
  • My grandchildren (Brandon, Bailey, Brie)
  • My grand daughter-in-law (Hilary)
  • My great grandchild (Matilda Mae)
  • My brother, my brothers-in-law, my sisters-in-law
  • My friends (too many to list, I am blessed)
  • My kids (Cinder & Toby)
  • And all who lead me in spiritual direction
I truly loved writing this exercise in happiness.  I encourage all of you to mark the happy things in your life, you will be surprised at how many there are.

Until next time.....

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

An Easy Countdown When You Are In Arizona....

It's countdown, only 2 days until my birthday and I have quite a list to complete. My last blog post brought me to the count of 50 which means I still have 23 more "happy" things to list.

I am writing this from sunny Arizona where the temps have been from the 90's to the 40's. Last week when I arrived, Arizona was in the middle of an early heat wave and temps were way up.  Sunday brought much cooler weather and yesterday as I wandered around the zoo for 4 1/2 hours it was a comfortable 68 degrees. Perfect.

51. Zoos make me very happy, especially giraffes.

52.  Pink Flamingos make me can you not love a pink flamingo?  Even their color is happy.

Since I have been here I have been out to eat about a gazillion times, saw 2 movies, The Lady in the Van being one which I totally enjoyed, shopped, went to a concert where the Tokens were you say "who in the heck are the Tokens?'  They had 2 hits in their entire career (PS they are now in my age category so you know how old they are, (think 1950's do wop music). Their greatest hit was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from the ever popular Lion King.  Click on the link and you can enjoy hearing the Tokens.

I've been to the Desert Botanical Garden and Butterfly Wonderland with my sweet friend, Terri, had a pedicure (ahhh), sat on the patio and snoozed in the sunshine, a wonderful time away from the not quite spring Midwest.

53. The desert makes me happy....there is great beauty to be found among the palm trees, the cactus, the birds,  And it especially makes me happy after a winter in Chicago.

54. Birds make me happy...their colors, their sweet sounds.

55. Happiness is living in the USA and proudly displaying our flag.

56.  Happiness is butterflies...

OK now on to more practical happy...

57.  Garbage disposals make me happy. I can remember the days when getting rid of kitchen garbage was nasty business.

58.  Campfires make me happy, sitting around, enjoying the flames, roasting a marshmellow or two.

59.  Daffodils in springtime.....

60.  Pasta of any size shape or form.

61.  Pedicures - having my toes. feet, and legs messaged, fresh polish on the toenails, and softened feet and legs is darn close to heaven.

62.  A car wash and a full tank of gas.

63.  Big Band Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing "Sing, Sing, Sing"

64.  Baby Christenings

65.  Checking 2 bags free with Southwest Airlines makes me happy.

66.  Walt Disney and his talents - where would we be without Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmations, etc etc

67.  Berries of any size, shape or color (but red is my absolute favorite)

Only 6 more to do. How completely satisfied this exercise has been.  Not only am I happy about so many wonders in my life, I feel I am totally blessed with all. It certainly helps erase any negativity in my life, when you count your happy's and your blessings. As good ole Louis Armstrong would say...."it's a wonderful life!"

Until next time.....

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Downton Abbey and 18 More From the Happiness List

Falling behind again.....little tiny excuse, caught a nasty cold that seemed to take up permanent residence in my head for the better part of last week thru the weekend. Feeling better now, thank you.  
But before all that happened, I had a chance to drool over this wonderful display of Downton Abbey finery at a small museum in Chicago. The Driehaus Museum is a spectacular home built during the gilded age of the 19th century and owned by a banker of great wealth.  In 2003 Richard Driehaus (another man of obvious great wealth) decided to restore this grand home to it's original opulence and open it for public displays.  Let me just say, there couldn't have been a better venue to show off the fashions that our favorite family wore during the past 6 years.  So sad that Sunday is the last of the Downton delights. It has been one of my favs since it's first season. It will definitely go on my "happy" list.

This was probably the only time in the past several years that I have not lugged my big-girl camera along while traveling into the city.  I was joining 4 friends, riding the train, walking to and fro and just decided no extra baggage was needed. So my I-Phone was the camera of choice for the day.

A couple of street scenes...loved the green shoes with those tights and NO that is definitely not an advertisement for Trump, I just love this view of the city from the bridge.

After our trip to the museum, a quite tasty lunch with $3.00 Mimosas, and a walk to the Art Museum for a viewing of works by Vincent Van Gogh, we walked by one of my favorite areas of the city. Millenium Park and the Bean.  In the summertime this area is filled with out-door diners, but in the winter the city converts it into an ice rink. As you can see it was a gorgeous day, probably in the 50's, sun shining, breezes blowing (which later took a definite turn from breezy to knock you off your feet windy).  We had quite a trip from the Art Museum to the train station. Let's just say I never want to be in winds that strong EVER again.

The only reason I am writing this post today is that the plane scheduled to take me to my late winter migration to Phoenix was cancelled due to snow and ice conditions. Altho as I am typing this I do hear a plane in the air. Oh well, better safe than sorry. Somehow sitting in the seat of a plane and watching a team de-icing the wings tends to make me a might uncomfortable. Re-scheduled for tomorrow when Mother Nature calms herself....after all it is March 1st. Isn't the saying "In like a lion..." well predicted.

More Happy.... Don't be surprised if I repeat myself, forgetfulness is my middle name these days.

33.  Downton Abbey - loved watching this show, will miss all the characters, the costumes, the story-lines, the love, the ups and downs. I'm sure tears will be rolling down my cheeks on Sunday night, but they will be "happy" tears.

34.  Movies - I've loved movies since I was a kid too little to cross the busy street by myself.  I have written a piece about my love for the movies for my collaborative blog Focusing On Life tomorrow (Wednesday).

35.  My Kindle - I was one of those that said "I'll never give up books", well guess what, I have become a total fan of the Kindle e-reader. I have bookshelves of books on that little device. I splurged last week and purchased the new Kindle Fire 10.  Lightweight, big it.

36.  The aroma of anything by Crabtree & Evelyn.  I just love all of their fragrances.

37.  A window seat on an airplane. I love watching the clouds, seeing glimpses of the land below, and taking an Instagram shot of the wings of the plane.

38.  Google - It makes me so happy to have an answer to a question or directions in an instant.

39.  Having my hair washed at the hair salon. I want that gentle rubbing on my head to go on forever.

40.  Warmed peanut butter on toast

41.  A nap on the screen porch in the summertime

42.  Crab Apple tree blossoms in the spring

43.  When people drive me home and wait until I unlock the door before they drive away.

44.  Band concerts in the park

45.  Strolling along the Riverwalk

46.  Right out of the oven chocolate chip cookies

47.  Flea Markets

48.  Remembering when phone exchanges all had names....mine was DAVIS 7 1095.

49.  Lily of the Valley in spring

50.  French Toast with apple butter.

So the remains of my list will be written from Phoenix since I will be there for my birthday. I am sure that my surroundings will influence my list.

Until next time.....