Saturday, March 31, 2012

#275: The Scent of Rosemary

Reason to Be Happy #275:
The Scent of Rosemary

Second only to basil on my herb scent list. Ahh...

Friday, March 30, 2012

#274: Caramel

Reason to Be Happy #274:

Caramel lattes. Caramel and chocolate. Salted caramel. Caramel apples. Turtles. Turtle sundaes. The list is endless. Lovely flavor, lovely scent. Easy to make at home—and people are always so impressed!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

#273: Really Sharp Pencils

Reason to Be Happy #273:
Really Sharp Pencils

I love to edit with pencil. Really sharp pencils. There's something so satisfying about writing tiny notes with a dark, chiseled #2 pencil. I also love the scent of pencil shavings—takes me back to elementary school. Dull pencils, however, frustrate me to no end.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

#272: Redbud Branches Pink & Fuzzy With Buds

Reason to Be Happy #272:
Redbud Branches Pink & Fuzzy with Buds

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

#271: Splashing in Puddles

Reason to Be Happy #271:

A particular springtime joy. Especially barefoot. Get that mud squishing between your toes!

Monday, March 26, 2012

#270: Digging Your Bare Feet into the Sand at the Beach

Reason to Be Happy #270:
Digging Your Bare Feet into the Sand at the Beach

My feet, freshly pedicured, Venice Beach, CA

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#269: Kissing

Reason to Be Happy #269:

Kissing can sometimes be undervalued and underrated on the list of amorous activities, but a really good kiss is a thing of beauty.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

#268: Magnolia Trees in Bloom

Reason to Be Happy #268:
Magnolia Trees in Bloom

I love their big waxy petals, and how they carpet the lawn underneath the trees. They're all open so early this year in Ohio, the petals floating down like confetti.

Friday, March 23, 2012

#267: Movie Versions of Books You Love

Reason to Be Happy #267:
Movie Versions of Books You Love

Some people are surprised that I love movie versions of books, but I do. I adore the movies, I adore books—I adore stories. A novel and a film are two very different art forms. Some book fans will get all up in arms about "but they changed X!" or "they cut out Y!" or "Z is supposed to be blond!" I don't get it. They are different art forms, so of course they will be different. I go, eager to see what is changed, what is kept, how the book is adapted to the screen. Keep in mind the credits will say "Based on the novel by..." I do not go expecting to see the novel. What a novel does best, a film can't do at all, and what a film does best a novel can't do at all. The film has to make everything internal become visual. I love to see that happen. And…the bottom line is, even if the film version stinks, a movie version of a book always always means more book sales for the author—and that's a really big reason to be happy in my humble opinion! (Because it means the author of that book you adore will be better able to keep writing).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

#266: Using a shedding blade on a horse's winter coat

Reason to Be Happy #266:
Using a shedding blade on a horse's winter coat

There is no good way to capture this in a photo, but trust me: it's soooo therapeutic (for the horse and the human) to shed that winter coat! Do you like having your back scratched? Imagine that magnified times 100! At least that's how the horses I have known have reacted to the shedding blade. There's usually drool involved, it feels so good! Spring cleaning, indeed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

#265: Otters

Reason to Be Happy #265:

Particularly, the way they float on their backs. There's something so jaunty about it, you have to grin. Or is that just me? Oh, and there's their whiskers. Those make me grin, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#264: The Scent of an Orange Being Peeled

Reason to Be Happy #264:
The Scent of an Orange Being Peeled

You know how you can smell it a whole room away? I love that... Such a bright, clean scent.

Monday, March 19, 2012

#263: That first warm spring day when you open your windows

Reason to Be Happy #263:
That First Warm Spring Day You Open All Your Windows

Ahh...something about the fresh air, the spring scents, and the birdsong is so cathartic, so cleansing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

#262: Staying up way too late with your favorite people on the planet

Reason to Be Happy #262:

Nothing like an impromptu party that ends up welcoming the wee hours. Especially when you get to introduce some of your favorite people to each other, and they love each other as much as you love them! Ah, life...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

#261: 50th Wedding Anniversaries

Reason to Be Happy #261:

Today marks such a milestone for my crazy, wonderful, generous parents.
A celebration of compromise, communication, forgiveness, and a sense of humor.

"The more I live, the more I think two people together is a miracle."
—Adrienne Rich

Friday, March 16, 2012

#260: Four Leaf Clovers

Reason to Be Happy #261:
Four Leaf Clovers

Can you believe I haven't missed a day since July 1? For those of you just now tuning in, I vowed on July 1, 2011 that I'd list a reason to be happy every single day for a year. So far it's been easy. I'm in no danger of "running out." 105 days left!

Happy St. Patrick's Day in advance, everyone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

#259: Cinnamon-Sugar Toast

Reason to Be Happy #259:
Cinnamon-Sugar Toast

A childhood treat, I still occasionally indulge in. The trick is to have slightly butter-soggy toast, but for it to crunch with sugar. Oh, and double-check that label on your cinnamon before you sprinkle it—I once took a big bite, only to realize I was eating cumin-sugar toast. NOT the same thing. At all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#258: Plunging your hands into a feed bin of corn

Reason to Be Happy #258:
Plunging Your Hands Into a Feed Bin of Corn

This is a lovely, tactile pleasure. Like playing with sand, you can just sit and chat, and run corn through your fingers for a long time. Is that weird? I used to love to stick my arm into the feed bin up to my shoulder. It was cool, and had that silky corn dust…

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#257: Ducklings

Reason to Be Happy #257:

I mean, really, how can you be blue in the presence of ducklings?

Mallard ducklings, with their black and yellow fuzziness, remind me of bumblebees, especially since they're oh so busy all the time—waggling their little butts, waddling around, peeping up a storm, moving in a swarm.

It's their season. Go find some. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, March 12, 2012

#256: The Aroma of Brownies Baking in the Oven

Reason to Be Happy #256:
The Aroma of Brownies Baking in the Oven

Seriously. Is there a more comforting scent? It envelopes the whole house, it drapes over you. If an aroma had texture, baking brownies would be velvet.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#255: Feeling Better After You've Been Sick

Reason to Be Happy #255:

I don't want to jinx myself… So suffice it to say I remember this feeling well. You know when you've just been miserably, awful sick and you can't imagine ever feeling normal again, then suddenly you realize you feel back among the living? And then there's the day that you realize, "I feel good." That's a reason to be happy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

#254: Getting a whole car to yourself on the subway

Reason to Be Happy #254:
Getting a Whole Car to Yourself on the Subway

I love trains. I love the subway. They are prime people-watching bonanzas, even if sometimes the people can be crazy… But there's something delightful about scoring a whole car to yourself. You can do all the things you normally wouldn't: like dance.

Friday, March 9, 2012

#253: Snowdrops (the flower)

Reason to Be Happy #253:

A true harbinger of spring, these hardy little beauties are some of the first flowers you'll see each season...sometimes even blooming in the snow.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

#252: Coloring in coloring books

Reason to Be Happy #252:
Coloring in Coloring Books

One of the greastest, cheapest stress-relievers out there.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#251: Old-fashioned diaries with locks

Reason to Be Happy #251:
Those Old Fashioned Diaries with Locks

Oh, I used to love those! Cracks me up I had them long before I had anything I needed to hide from anyone. :-)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

#250: tiramisu

Reason to Be Happy #250:

Continuing my lovefest for espresso (#249), I must list one of my top 3 favorite desserts. C'mon, any recipe that includes espresso-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa is way up there in my book! This dessert is divine. It translates in Italian to mean, "Pick me up" or "Lift me up"—and that's exactly what that sugar/espresso/chocolate combo rush will do to you!

Monday, March 5, 2012

#249: Espresso

Reason to Be Happy #249:

And I mean the real deal, done right, in a tiny espresso cup, with a twist of lemon peel…and if you're really doing it up, a little shot of sambuca to give that lovely licorice bite. Mmm. Perfect after a big Italian meal…

I have a fridge magnet that says:
"Espresso! Euphoria without the unsightly track marks!"


Sunday, March 4, 2012

#248: the word "hijinks"

Reason to be Happy #248:
The word "hijinks"

I especially love the phrase "hijinks ensue..."

Use it today. Or cause some.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

#247: Dr. Seuss

Reason to Be Happy #247:
Dr. Seuss

Yesterday was his birthday. Happy Belated Birthday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

#246: Bacon

Reason to Be Happy #246:

With sincerest apologies to my vegetarian friends: I find everything about bacon to be a reason to be happy—its taste, the sound of it sizzling, and…oh my, it's aroma.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

#245: Newborn Foal Season

Reason to Be Happy #245:
Newborn Foal Season

It's that time of year. Start watching the fields and pastures as you drive by.

I just love their spindly long legs, their gangly clumsiness, those stumpy tails...