What Movie Makes You Happy

There are a lot of movies that make me smile, and some that make me laugh. But there is one movie I was watching where I stopped and realized… I Feel Happy!!

It was during the movie Scrooge with Albert Finney and the song “Thank You Very Much”… and I felt chills of happiness. It rarely happens, so I really noticed it when it did.

Even now watching it again, I get those same chills.

Simple Indulgences for Summertime


Nurture your mind, body and soul with these warm-weather treats.

* Sit back in a lawn chair with fresh iced tea.

* Take the kids on a bike ride.

* Visit your local farmer’s market.

* Take the rocking chair onto the front porch.

* Make a great big salad for dinner. Grill chicken, cut in strips, place on a bed of lettuce, and top with your favorite veggies.

* Float down a river.

* Run through the sprinkler with your kids.

* Make strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream.

* Go fishing.

* Escape with your spouse and rent a canoe.

* Take the kids horseback riding.

* Borrow a convertible.

* Take a historic walking tour of your town or city. Visit your local library for information about self-guided tours, or call your Chamber of Commerce to see if your town offers organized tours. Build your sense of community by learning about your city’s heritage.

* Take the kids to the zoo.

* Hike through your nearest wildlife area or state park.

* Take the kids for miniature golf, or head to a nearby driving range.

* Sit outside and paint your toenails. (A number of brands dry in 90 seconds). Now, put on a pair of sandals or go barefoot. Enjoy an instant energy lift each time you look down at your feet.

* Eat raspberries.

* Play disc golf. Many communities now feature courses for “Frisbee Golf,” but you can create your own in any park. Just designate a few trees as your “holes” and toss away.

* Host an outdoor tea party with your daughter and her friends.

* Find a petting zoo.

* Fly a kite.

* Head to the beach.

* Blow bubbles.

* Go inline skating.

* Dine al fresco. Set a table on the deck, front porch, or in the middle of your backyard. Outdoor dining doesn’t have to mean paper plates. Use the good stuff, light a few candles, and enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t forget the centerpiece of fresh-cut flowers.

* Indulge in a glamorous pair of sunglasses.

* Take the kids out for an ice cream cone. Take a walk while you enjoy this warm weather treat.

* Make sun tea.

* Enjoy the feminine flair of a sundress, sandals, and a straw hat.

* Sit on a park bench. Just sit there and do absolutely nothing.

* Take off your shoes and run through freshly mown grass with the kids.

* Refrigerate your favorite body spray, or make your own by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a spritzer of water. Spray the cool mist on your face, the back of your neck, and the soles of your feet.

* Pack a picnic and go the prettiest place you can think of.

* Visit a botanical garden.

* Treat yourself to a homemade fruit smoothie. Blend low-fat yogurt with your favorite fruits. Serve in an elegant wine glass or goblet.

* Enjoy the summer air while providing some creature comforts. Many animal shelters need volunteers to walk their dogs. These dogs greatly benefit from the exercise and the companionship, and so do we.

* Take your camera along on a walk today. Be on the lookout for peaceful moments you can capture with a photo. Once the photos are developed, place them where you will see them whenever you need a quick escape.

* Round up the kids this evening, bundle up, and head outside to watch the sunset. Focus on all of your senses. What do you see? How does the evening air feel against your skin?

* Curl up with your favorite dog or cat for 10 minutes. If your dog loves fetch, head outside to throw a few Frisbees.

* Walk for 15 minutes with no destination. Whether you go alone or with someone, just make sure you’re outside (no treadmills). As you walk, be on the lookout for signs of summer. The smell of fresh grass clippings. Your neighbor’s daffodils.

* Nap on a porch swing.

* Take the kids to the library or browse an online bookstore. Select a “beach book”: an absorbing story you can enjoy without a whole lot of thought. While it may not be great literature, it will allow you to escape into a new world every time you pick it up. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to read the book. It just matter that it’s there.

* Sit in the middle of your yard and practice some deep breathing exercises. Consciously relax each part of your body, and let the tension melt away with each breath.

* Become aware of the present moment. Try not to think about what’s going to happen Monday, or this afternoon, or even five minutes from now. Instead, turn your attention to the details of your life…the way the sun feels on your face, the way your scalp feels when your hair blows in the wind, the way your children talk, the joy of spending time with your family.

* Appreciate nature. Whether you focus on the stars above, a distant mountain range, or the cottonwood tree in your backyard, try to notice the details.

* Write down your own favorite simple summertime indulgences.

Jan 1 Simple Abundance: Transformative Year


Every year I look forward to the new year as being a year to transform into something better, something stronger, something wiser. If that is happening, I’m not seeing it.

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer. Zora Neale Hurston.

And are there years when nothing happens? Sometimes I feel like this is what 2019 was like for me. But I now realize that I spent the entire year of asking questions.. what, why? Will 2020 finally answer those questions and find solutions.

“New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in the life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self discovery.”

I’m not sure I would see my health issues as delightful, although they might be a vehicle of self discovery. But maybe if I change my attitude a bit, I can see moving to a new home as both a delightful self discovery.

“Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change. What are you hopes for the future as you reflect on the years that have passed?”

Right now, my hopes are for more comfort. Comfort in less pain physically, a more accessible and comfortable home, comfort in finding some accomplishment and success.

“Gradually as you become curator of your own contentment, you will learn to embrace the gentle yearnings of your heart. But this year, instead of resolutions, write down your most private aspirations. Those longings you have kept tucked away until the time seems right. Trust that now is the time.”

Trust. Time. Can I?

“Ask the questions. The Simple Abundance path brings confidence that the answers will come and we will discover, day by day, how to live them.

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself.” 

Joyful Simplicities for January: Simple Abundance Book

I love lists. I love the book “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach; I’ve had this book for at least 30 years. And I especially love the lists she adds at the end of each month’s chapters.

These are some of my favorite ideas from January.

Go through your personal papers at home and organize your desk to get a fresh start on the new year. Discard as much as you can. Hang your new calendar. Try to make your personal space at home where you do paperwork (or computer work) as inviting as possible.

Visit a good stationery store or a very large bookstore and search for a beautiful blank book to use as your gratitude journal. At the stationery store, you also might want to look at different colored inks and pens.

Visit an art supply shop and look around. Take in all of the different ways that you can begin to express yourself: in vivid color, on paper, canvas, in clay. Sound like fun? While you’re there, pick up a couple black-bound artist’s sketchbooks to use for the illustrated discovery journal you’re going to create (information about doing this is on the book). My favorite size is eight-and-a-half inches by eleven inches lengthwise.

Put up some acrylic magnetic picture frames to create a gratitude college on your refrigerator. Place in it photographs of those you love and are grateful for, such as family, friends and pets. Also place in it reminders of little things you’re thankful for, like, the car repair bill that was less than you had feared. If there is something particularly want to come into your life, place a pictures of it here and give thanks for it ahead of time.

Prepare for a winter’s idyll. Stock the pantry with real cocoa, tiny marshmallows and a bar of good chocolate (for a shaved chocolate topping). Get some whipped cream and keep it in the refrigerator. When snow comes and school is canceled, stay at home with the kids. Lounge about in your pajamas. If you have a fireplace, have a fire all day. Build a snowman together, go sledding and then have tomato soup in mugs and toasted cheese sandwiches for lunch. Take a nap. Luxuriate in an unexpected day off. (Watch movies too)

Bake a pan of dark moist gingerbread for after school tea with the children. (Top with homemade lemon sauce or lemon curd and whipped cream).


January Jumpstart Jan 1 Goals for the Year

I don’t do resolutions as I see them as things people feel they MUST do based on other people’s opinions… I MUST lose weight. I MUST stop smoking. I MUST declutter this messy house. They tend to be vague and difficult to follow through on and the fear and guilt attached is overwhelming.

So, instead I choose to identify goals. The plus with this is that goals can be changed and updated throughout the year to keep them relevant and do able.

So my goals, for now, include the following:

*Finish at least one of the books that I’ve started writing.

*Publish at least one of the books I’ve finished writing.

*Write at least one blog post a day, more if possible.

*Get back to working on the various craft and needlework projects that I’ve started.

*Become more organized for the year so that birthday gifts and Christmas gets done on time.

*Work on a foreign language class daily… this year it is Dutch.

*Concentrate hard on being able to heal better now that I also have better doctors helping me.

*Find a new house to move into and get moved into it.

*Read 25 books for Goodreads Challenge

TMI Tuesday – December 31, 2019

What’s new?

Feel free to elaborate.

In 2019 did you
1. Get a new job? No… one of the perks of being retired. No alarms, no bosses, but unfortunately, no paycheck either.

2. Get a new haircut? YES! After years of having very long hair, down to my butt and longer, I finally got fed up and cut it all off. My hairdresser gives me a punked up look and I love it.

3. Get a new car? No, although I do dream of having a new car all the time.

4. Move? Not this year, but I’m hoping to have a new place in 2020.

5. Get a new romantic partner? Only in my fantasies.

6. Have a kid? Cough, gag, OMG, I sure hope not!!! There is a reason why women can’t get pregnant when they are almost 70!!

7. Take up a new hobby? Not this year… maybe next year.

In 2020, will you?
1. Get a new job? No
2. Get a new car? No
3. Take a risk? No

Bonus: What will be important to you in 2020, that wasn’t important in 2019? Hmmm… this is a damn good question and I’m not sure what the answer is. Because I spent ALL 2019 trying to solve all of my health problems, maybe I can spend all of 2020 assuming they will be solved so I can focus on things like getting organized, getting back to hobbies, finishing and publishing all of the books I’ve been writing for the past 20 years.

Your fantasy New Year’s Eve Party

Who would be on your guest list?

What would you serve as refreshments?

What would your decorations look like?

My guest list would include everyone I’ve ever met, both alive and dead (the dead would come back for this one occasion), as well as some I’ve never met like Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Cybill Shepard, Stevie Nicks, Jim Carrey, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Patrick Stewart, Tom Hanks, Alan Rickman, Goldie Hawn, George Clooney…

What would I serve (of course, completely catered)? Ham and scalloped potatoes, broccoli salad, pasta salad with three kinds of pasta and a vinaigrette dressing, my own special macaroni salad, and lots of hors d’oeuvres such as a cheese board, cheese stuffed baked mushrooms, deviled eggs, cream cheese/green olive/pecan mixture stuffed in raw mushroom caps, sausage cheese balls, cheese fondue, cheese ball rolled in chopped nuts, mixed nuts, roasted olives, crudite with assorted dips, water chestnut rumaki, cranberry BBQ meatballs….

Music would include
1999 by Prince
Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve by Ella Fitzgerald
Just Another New Year’s Eve by Barry Manilow
Funky New Year by Eagles
Let’s Start the New Year Right by Bing Crosby
Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg

Decorations and activities? Not sure yet.. but lots of noise makers. Champagne. Party hats. Balloons, streamers and confetti. Several Christmas trees decorated in black, white, gold and silver. A small jazz band. Open bar. A photo booth might be fun complete with props. Sparklers.

And this is what I’d love to wear…

Stressful Christmas

After spending nearly an entire year fighting a leg ulcer, I really did believe that it would be healed by now. But nothing that we’ve tried has worked and now I have a very painful infection in the open wound. I’m on antibiotics that have finally helped with the pain, but not much else.

I’ve been awake all night, which is pretty normal for me, but what isn’t normal is that I can’t go to bed right now, which is also normal for me. It’s nearly 6am and I have to stay up to go to a doctor appointment in three hours. Who schedules a doctor’s appointment on Christmas Eve Day? Well, me, apparently. This is a new doctor and I’ve waited 6 weeks to get into see her and I need to refill some medications and hope that she will agree to two new ones for me.

I thought I would have energy to decorate the Christmas tree, but didn’t and don’t. All it has on it is white lights, which I guess is better than nothing.

I had hoped to have the energy to make a broccoli salad, but that idea went out the window too.

As it is I will be spending the rest of the day after seeing the doctor sleeping. And probably all day tomorrow, too.

Not a very Merry Christmas and it makes me sad.