Saturday, June 30, 2012

#366: A Feeling of Accomplishment

Reason to Be Happy #366:
A Feeling of Accomplishment

A year ago today, I set a goal. I said I'd list a reason to be happy every day for a full year in celebration of my novel, Reasons to Be Happy. I never missed a day, even on days like this final day, when I am without internet connection at home because of yesterday's near-tornado storm (thanks, Panera, for the free wi-fi!). What I love most is that I never once came close to running out of reasons. I could go I will. Not daily. But the reasons will keep coming.

Thanks to everyone who commented and "liked" along the way. That makes all the difference. Otherwise, it's like talking into a phone with no one on the other end.

My biggest reason to be happy? Looking at my life from July 1, 2011 to this day. Lots has changed. July 1, 2012 finds me cancer free and having a much nicer summer than last year!

Be happy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

#365: Paella and a marabella sundae at El Meson

 Reason to Be Happy #365:
Paella and a marabella sundae at El Meson
 A perfect meal in my favorite restaurant on the planet.
I adore this place. Toss in a blackberry mojito and it's heaven. Perfect treat on a hot summer night.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

#364: Henna Tattooes

 Reason to Be Happy #364:
Henna Tattooes

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#363: Extra Stuff After the Credits at the Movies

Reason to Be Happy #363:
Extra Stuff After the Credits at the Movies

So, so much fun. And more and more movies are including such rewards. Even Brave has one that made me laugh out loud! But Marvel has mastered this in all the lead-up-to-The Avengers movies. I shook my head in disbelief as people left the theatre as the credits rolled. Didn't they know? You don't leave 'til the screen goes black! 

Here's some fun behind the scenes info on that Shawarma scene

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#362: The Sound & Smell of Summer Grilling

 Reason to Be Happy #362:
The Sound & Smell of Summer Grilling
 I love the prep, the ritual, the sizzle, the aroma...
 I love grilling veggies. Especially zucchini and corn. Oh, and grilling peaches is a lovely dessert!

Monday, June 25, 2012

#361: Hilariously Translated Signs

 Reason To Be Happy #361:
Hilariously Translated Signs
 You know it's with the best of intentions, but really? Grilled chicken with herpes? Ah, the nuances of language...
 Some of these make me laugh out loud.
 Be sure to check out the Lonely Planet Collection of crazy signs. It'll make you pee yourself with laughter!
 If you do check out the Lonely Planet collection, know that the salon one is my very favorite.
Happy traveling!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

#360: Being Who You're Supposed to Be

Reason to Be Happy #360:
Being Who You're Supposed to Be

No apologies. No trying to impress others. 
Being authentic.

Reason #360? That means there are only 6 left! (it was a Leap Year, remember?) I'm nowhere close to running out of reasons. I'm sure I'll keep posting, just not daily.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

#359: Cicada Song

Reason to Be Happy #359:
Cicada Song

For me, it is the soundtrack to summer. Like someone shaking a maraca, the sound rising and falling. The first time I'm aware of the song—that's when it feels like it's truly summer. The sound conjures hot balmy air, the sun on my skin, the scent of butterfly bushes, and the taste of lemonade.

Thanks to Tracy Hartwick for this lovely suggestion on my Facebook author page.

Friday, June 22, 2012

#358: Chubby Baby Legs

Reason to Be Happy #358:
Chubby Baby Legs

I mean, come on. What is it about them? Those Michelin Man rolls of pudge. Those dimpled knee caps. Those impossibly cute feet. They're irresistible!

I must admit to "stealing" this reason from lovely Lillian Hergott's blog post. I was thrilled to meet Lillian recently when she took my two day writing workshop in Gaylord, MI. Lillian was kind enough to read Reasons to Be Happy and create a list of her own top 25 reasons. Check it out! It's pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#357: Live Theatre

 Reason to Be Happy #357:
Live Theatre
 One of my greatest, greatest loves. I love stories in all forms, but the electricity, the focus, the transporting power of good live theatre is way up at the top of the list!

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
—Thornton Wilder
"I think theater ought to be theatrical ... you know, shuffling the pack in different ways so that it's -- there's always some kind of ambush involved in the experience. You're being ambushed by an unexpected word, or by an elephant falling out of the cupboard, whatever it is."
       —Tom Stoppard
 "If you really want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience." —Tallulah Bankhead
 "When you come into the theater, you have to be willing to say, "We're all here to undergo a communion, to find out what the hell is going on in this world." If you're not willing to say that, what you get is entertainment instead of art, and poor entertainment at that." —David Mamet

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#356: Eating peanuts at a baseball game

 Reason to Be Happy #356:
Eating Peanuts at a Baseball Game
 I like to eat 'em 'til my thumbs are raw! There's something so decadent about tossing the shells at your feet. Ahh, summer...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#355: Dim Sum

 Reason to Be Happy #355:
 Such a lovely way to dine: the cart comes around in the restaurant and you can choose fully cooked and ready to eat tiny portions of whatever you like. Instant gratification! Interesting grazing. A lovely way to spend hours with friends.

Monday, June 18, 2012

#354: Homemade ice cream

 Reason to Be Happy #354:
Homemade Ice Cream
 Something about doing all the work of cranking it actually makes it taste better, I swear. And you can throw in early summer berries and peaches...heaven.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

#353: Fathers

Reason to Be Happy #353:

If you have a good one, you know how lucky you are.
And, boy oh boy, am I lucky.

He gave me my sense of humor and my way of looking at stories. He gave me my love of books, and my treatment of reading as an almost competitive sport. He gave me To Kill a Mockingbird, which I would have gotten through school without ever having been required to read (criminal on the school's part, in my opinion!). In my dark times, he's supported me with the perfect blend of sympathy and pragmatism, without ever getting sappy. He never complains, so he reminds me through example—why should I?

We call him Atticus. Creep. Carlsbad the Kidnapper. Grumblehead. Dandy.
Happy Father's Day to the King of Mallard Ducks!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

#352: Eating a Perfectly Ripe Peach

 Reason to Be Happy #352:
Eating a Perfectly Ripe Peach
 It's so rare to get a really good one, so when you do, it's important to savor it.
Let the juice drip down your chin! Their season is so brief, which keeps them all the more special.

Friday, June 15, 2012

#351: Tree Houses

 Reason to Be Happy #351:
Tree Houses
 There's something so magical about them, to kids and adults.
 Spending the night in a treehouse is a special treat (or another reason to be happy).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

#350: PIE

 Reason to Be Happy #350:
 Life is simply better because pie exists.
My mother's cherry pie is among the Queen of All Pies.
 I make a mean key lime pie. My friend Dave makes a lemon chess pie that makes you close your eyes and moan. My friend Bill makes a peach-and-blueberry pie (called A Perfect Marriage Pie) that is about as close to culinary ecstasy as is possible. The pies make life divine.
 The secret to all pie is the crust. If the crust isn't good, the pie isn't good.
Yay! Pie!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

#349: When My Cat Covers His Face While He's Sleeping

Reason to Be Happy #349:
When My Cat Covers His Face While He's Sleeping

Cutest. Thing. In. The. World.
Gets me every time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#348: Red Doors

 Reason to Be Happy #348:
 Don't really know how to explain it.
 I just like 'em is all.