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!
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.
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).
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.
Reason to Be Happy #262: STAYING UP WAY TOO LATE WITH SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET
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...
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!
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.
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…
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.
Reason to Be Happy #255: FEELING BETTER AFTER YOU'VE BEEN SICK
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!
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.
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!
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!"