Monday, August 24, 2015

Today's Top Ten List: Some Simple Things Which Make Me Happy

by Sally Dean

Sometimes, when dear Lester Holt is keeping me informed from The Nightly Newsdesk, I get a little overwhelmed. "Stop, Lester. Please stop already," I beg him from my chair. The world is a complex and Profoundly Irritating place. It would seem that not everyone has adopted my New Year's Resolutions of Choose To Be Gracious and Choose To Be Grateful. Or my personal mantra of Make Kindness Your Default.

It is times like these that I must Reach Within for my Personal Joy. Here are

10 Random And Simple Things Which Make Me Happy

1. Getting That Bug
2. Putting On My Jammies
3. Time With Zydrunas
4. Going For A Ride
5. Surprising Someone
6. Catching A Fish
7. A Really Good Tomato
8. Date TV On Netflix
9. Fleece Blankets
10. Yahoo! Comments

Oh, I know. You thought some of these would be so much more Zen and Meaningful. Or perhaps that they would be more Intellectual and Artsy, like The Complete Works Of Shakespeare and Champagne and my fake Vermeer and stuff like that. Those make me happy, but not in the Same Way. And not Simply. Let me explain.

1. Isn't it a great feeling when you finally find that mosquito that kept buzzing in your ear? Or you shoo that huge fly out the back door? Or you smack that hideous spider before it finds a hiding spot? That little burst of happy that.

2. Sometimes, I need to Give Up On The Day. Getting out of my outfit and into my jammies is The Best Feeling Ever. It says, "Okay! We're all done here. You've put in Your Day. Nothing more is required of you. You are Off Duty." Instant Happiness.

3. Zydrunas, my sons' dog, is a big, exuberant Boxer/Bull mix. He smiles all the time. He is a Dog Full Of Joy. He is always thrilled to see me, period. So what if I am covered with bruises for weeks later? Totally worth it.

4. I will go for a ride, and it doesn't matter what the conveyance. I love car rides, boat rides, bike rides, you name it. Zydrunas and I both love long pontoon boat rides at the lake. Pack me up and take me on a ride; there is no need for a destination. I like to be driven around to look at stuff.

5. I hate surprises myself, but I love surprising other people, whether it be by my unexpected presence, a Just Because gift, or a terrific piece of news. My mother is spectacularly fun to surprise. Her entire face lights up and she keeps repeating, "Oh REA-lly?" until you cannot stop laughing long enough to assure her, yes REA-lly.

6. For the most part, fishing is a great way to Do Nothing, but look like you are actually Doing Something, especially if you just use a bobber. It is possible to go hours, even DAYS without catching a fish, but when I do, it's still a thrill. It makes me very happy to feel that little tug, the pull, and if it's a bass and it jumps above the water, even better.

7. If you dislike tomatoes, this means nothing to you. If you like/love tomatoes, then no explanation is necessary.

8. How I love The Netflix, and how I love Jared, who pays for it and lets Rick and me use it. We look forward to setting aside nights for binge watching House of Cards and Mad Men and other series. When a show has run its course, we are legitimately sad. But before then, so happy!

9. Even in summer, I have nights when I need to cuddle up under a blanket for comfort. It might be because air conditioning is chilling me, or I've eaten ice cream, or there has been a cool front, or I've had a migraine. And in cooler/colder seasons, they are a necessity. Yes, they grab and retain cat hair like Velcro, but nothing comforts me like fleece blankets.

10. Man, I don't even bother reading the "articles" over at Yahoo! anymore. I skip straight to the Comments and start there because that is The Best Place On The Interwebs to laugh your head off. Oh, sure, there are a few serious, relatively cogent comments, but the majority are 9's and 10's on the Unintentional Comedy Scale, and then there are the people who are either trying to be funny or are trying to provoke controversy and outrage. The other day, one commenter merely replied "Shut Up." to an article about Donald Trump's candidacy. Wouldn't that make YOU happy?

How about a quick list of Your Little Happies? It's always fun to stop and acknowledge a few Simple Joys.



  1. Your mom reminds me of my Grandpa, who, when opening ANY gift, would exclaim, "how delightful!" Could be a brick of gold, could be a box of chocolates, could be a single sock without a mate. "How delightful!"

    Oh, Tomatoes. There are those on the RA forum I joined that say the cure (or at least, way to avoid symptoms) is to give up nightshades. Nightshades = tomatoes! potatoes! eggplant! peppers! I could give up eggplant and peppers if I had to, though I wouldn't be happy about it. But tomatoes and potatoes? Hell no. Hanging on to the hope that the solution is elsewhere, let me tell you! A good tomatoe in Auguest or September (early Oct around here) is a gorgeous thing. Last night, Ted made chicken bruschetta, which is diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and a bit of red onion, served on grilled chicken. SO good, so summery.

    1. J@jj--Oh, my Sister From Another Mother (and Father)! I am so with you on giving up eggplant and peppers, which I love but could live without relatively easily, even jalapenos. But a life without tomatoes and potatoes, the latter being my Desert Island Food is not a life worth living.

      Ted's recipe sounds lovely. I would add a bit of balsamic vinegar only. If I were there or you were here, we would sub in my pesto for the basil and garlic. You would love it. Ah! If only I were there or you were here...!

    2. Nance, indeed, there may have been some balsamic in there. So yummy. A few days before, I made a chicken dish wihere I browned the chicken, then put it in the oven basted with pesto. So good.

  2. Please ignore the e on tomato, above. I blame Dan Quayle.

    1. LOL! Truly. Poor Dan Quayle. Imagine being remembered for all of Posterity due to Poor Spelling. What a valuable lesson for any teacher to point to, except that we are the last generation to remember Dan Quayle because we are the last generation to give two hoots about The Politics.

    2. Ted and I are both crummy spellers. Grammar I like, because I have an ear for it, but spelling often seems arbitrary. Maya somehow is an excellent speller. Who knows how that happened.

  3. Our tomatoes have been fabulous this year. On Sunday I cut up four of them, added some chopped cucumber & onion, a little cilantro, apple cider vinegar & olive oil - delicious!

    I love to go for rides too. I'm sad because we don't take as many road trips since we moved to Xenia - the last thing Mike wants to do after driving 35 miles to school every day is drive some more. And he's not an especially happy passenger (I wouldn't say I'm a BAD driver, but nerves of steel might be necessary when being a passenger in my car).

    Here are some simple things that make me happy:

    1. A Saturday with Nothing to Do
    2. Pizza
    3. Jigsaw puzzles
    4. Rereading Harry Potter books (it might be time to start again...)
    5. A new handbag (which reminds me, I need to get rid of some old ones!)

    1. Bug--I haven't done a puzzle in ages! I'm overdue. It sounds like a fun idea. On the other hand, I haven't gotten a new purse in aeons. Now, THAT makes me happy. I got so burnt out on purse shopping that I'm sick of it. I hate carrying one anymore. I wish I could stop.

      Your fresh salad/salsa sounds good, but try subbing in balsamic or red wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. You'd be surprised at how much more harmonious it will taste.

      I think I'm ready for some rereading, too. No new books are spiking my interest.


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