What’s Making Me Happy This Week 1/9/13

Joy! NYC New York City

Joy Joy Joy!

I hope that I will remember to post about the Things Making Me Happy at least every other week… it’s been a few weeks (busy weeks) since I last wrote about this, but it’s such a good thing to focus on that I hope I will make it a habit!

  • Days off!  I had a great Christmas and New Year‘s with family and although I worked last weekend, it has been bracketed by wonderful days off!  I’ve been productive and relaxed; reading, entertaining, singing, watching movies, with just a little cleaning and organizing.  Good stuff.  
  • My Blu-Ray player for Christmas is so exciting… so easy and smart to use.  Just a breeze.
  • Reading Jane Austen is always so relaxing. I’m reading “Persuasion” as a readalong and although it isn’t living up to “Pride and Prejudice” level of love from me, it is still enjoyable to read.  I’m wondering if Jane Austen is NOT meant to be read on an electronic device, though. That has been a struggle.  
  • I spilled a big old glass of water on my stove top a few weeks ago, which prompted a deep clean under the stove.  Felt kinda good!
  • Taco Soup – Wow!  Mom made this and it was so delicious, and then I whipped it up at Dana and Koni’s last night and it was so easy!  The best flavor  and a fast feast!  Ingredients: 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto beans (both drained and rinsed), 1 can petite diced tomatoes, 1 can sweet corn (both drained), 1 can white chicken breast, drained, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 can green enchilada sauce, 1 can chicken broth, 1 packet taco seasoning. Mix, heat, serve.  Excellent with tortilla chips!  Yummy!
  • The game Telestrations brought us many laughs on New Year’s Eve – what a fun family group game!
  • A mild sunshiny day today is certainly making me happy!
  • Looking forward to the weekend off – with nothing planned feels pretty great!
  • I love having my Christmas tree up – to think I almost didn’t do it this year! – but it does feel good to put it away.  I really don’t have many seasonal decorations aside from Christmas – maybe I need to add that to one of my lists… Mix it up a little.
  • Reflecting on 2012 has been such a Joy (see above pic!).  I continue to feel grateful for the people in my life and the adventures that they bring. 

I feel like I could go on and on, which is a good thing, but I’d better move on and get some more stuff done!  Enjoying the day!

What’s making you happy this week??

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First Monday in 2013!

2013

2013 Here We Come!

The New Year feel has settled in.  I think I’ve already gotten used to typing 2013 at work!  

So now it’s time to think about my 2nd quarter of 11 fun things to do and look forward to!
(I think it needs a new name! It’s so cumbersome! 44 Things Quarter 2?)
 

My FALL list was not completed: I did NOT shop early for Christmas or play accordion weekly.  
But I don’t feel regrets or guilt about not accomplishing things…
it just means that other things popped up and pushed them out of the way!  

So my WINTER list of things to do or look forward to starts here: 

English: Persusasion (Jane Austen Novel). For ...

English: Persusasion (Jane Austen Novel). For Sir Elliot, baronnet, the hints of Mrs Sheppard, his agent, was very unwelcome. Français : Persuasion, dernier roman de Jane Austen. Sir Elliot n’apprécie pas les conseils d’économie de Mr Sheppard, son notaire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

44 Things – Quarter 2 (Jan-Feb-Mar)

  1. A January mini-vacation at Deadra’s, including many movies and much wine!
  2. Read “Persuasion” by Jane Austen with Wallace’s readalong in January 
  3. START reading “Gone With the Wind” in February – it’s so large I’m not sure I can finish it in two months!  But it’s after “Persuasion”!
  4. “The Book of Mormon” with Deadra and John in February!
  5. Host a baby shower for a work colleague at my house on February 13!
  6. Gaelic Storm in March with Kristine!
  7. Social-ICE in February!
  8. Walk at least twice weekly and do yoga once weekly.
  9.  Spray Tan!  Get the look of a summer glow!
  10.  Pick a closet and clean it out OR
    watch all of the Oscar nominated movies (which would you rather do??)
  11.  Invigorate book club and plan ahead for the year

Well, that wasn’t what I thought it would be, but there you have it!  I am maybe forgetting some of the things that I know that I will be looking forward to!  Yikes… I started writing this down somewhere.  And I’m still kicking around a list of THINGS for 2013, sort of like last year’s list.  It may be an over-arching list, or maybe a theme word or statement for the year… still thinking about it on paper.  

How about you?  How do you feel about resolutions?  Would you rather pick a theme WORD or STATEMENT (ala Let ‘er Rip) than set goals?  Do you avoid these altogether?  

12/21/12: What’s Making Me Happy This Week

A Christmas tradition in New York City is WPIX...

A Christmas tradition in New York City is WPIX’s yearly yule log program (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12/21 is the date of the Winter Solstice this year.  I love to find a reason to celebrate daily, so I will find some way to honor the shortest day of the year – a short walk in the early dark? lighting a candle when I get home? searching for sunshiney foods in the cafeteria (think citrus)?  Who knows.  One year I had a party for the start of each of the four seasons.  During my Winter Solstice party we had a bonfire on my deck and I’m sure we had good food and drink.  🙂

The lists for my 44th year are still a work in progress; part 1 of 4 is nearing deadline.  Here’s the list from Fall:

11 Things to Do or Look Forward to in the Fall (October November December)

  1. Celebrate my birthday in NYC – check! October 1
  2. Go to 4 Daughters Winery – October 13
  3. Go to Door County to celebrate birthdays and trivia wins! October 19-21
  4. Go to Bruce Springsteen concert – November 12!
  5. Choir gigs and holiday concerts – November 30-December 2
  6. Read … something classic or new?: just try to read! I read a few books!  
  7. Write … poetry or themed blogs? Blogs!  22 in these three months – so far!  
  8. Plan … a dinner party or ??: I planned a Christmas Open House!  
  9. Shop early for Christmas gifts: Fail!  Waiting for packages to arrive! I’m thinking tomorrow will be a big delivery day here!
  10. Play accordion weekly and give piano lessons as regularly as possible: FAIL!  Never home!
  11. and something else that I’ll think of eventually!: Thinking a “Pay it Forward” or volunteer thing… – We did a Random Acts of Kindness Night for Cosmo Girls and it was so fun!  And I’ve done a few things at work to help make someone’s Christmas “merry and bright.”  

Not too bad.  I look forward to writing about my list for WINTER (Jan Feb March).  Much to look forward to in those months!

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo

Happy Christmas, painted by Johansen Viggo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For now, what’s making me happy this week:

  • Jimmy Fallon – Tuesday was a great example of a perfect show – Tom Cruise and Water Wars, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Judd Apatow, Christmas sweater giveaway… Always good stuff!
  • Making it to Gracie’s play last week, going for ice cream after, and then a Christmas open house at Dana’s office
  • Having a 3 day weekend without work!  Cleaning for my Open House, playing games and eating good no-fuss food with good friends and family, Christmas program at church and then the Lessons & Carols, shopping… a great weekend!
  • Learning that we will get a raise this year at Mayo, even though they are making drastic changes in how they will operate.  They really value their employees and aren’t afraid to say so!
  • A “snow day” today on my day off – hunkering down to wrap presents, bake cookies and make some soup concoction (not very tasty).  And then ringing the bells with Dana and family (per Rees’s request) in the blizzard-like wind!
  • I’m actually sort of looking forward to working this weekend.  I know that no one wants to be in the hospital, especially at Christmas time, so I will attempt to be a blessing to everyone that I meet this weekend and work hard to help them get home to be with family.
  • And then I’m looking forward to having 3 days off to be with family in Rushford.  Movies, games and togetherness!  Love the holidays!

What’s making you happy this week??

I hope that the darkest day of the year (daylight-wise) fills you up with brightness and light, in anticipation of longer days, soon-arriving Christmas Day and a New Year!  

Happy Newyear

and it’s 2012!

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Image via Wikipedia

Well I set my Goodreads goal for the number of books to read in 2012 (70) and that’s the only goal or thought I’ve put into goals so far.  It doesn’t mean I won’t “resolve” to do other things, I guess it means that I’m just working on each day as it comes and not doing much planning for 2012 – yet.  I’ll get to it, maybe even next week after the busy-ness of life settles down.  I’m sure I’ll keep you posted.

One more reflection on 2011 came from WordPress in the form of “Your Year in Blogging – 2011”.

  • I wrote 130 new posts in 2011!  Wow.
  • The blog had 1900 views!  Wow.
  • People found the blog by searching for “accordion naked” (among other things)!  Wow.
  • Most visitors were from the US but Germany and the UK weren’t too far behind!  Wow.
  • The blog had visitors from Africa, Asia and Australia as well!  Wow.

I like blogging but I don’t know how important it is to me to have my blog seen around the world.  It’s kind of fun.  I do check stats.  And today, for some reason, I’m getting a lot of hits because of a Hungarian site which linked to my post about movies!  Crazy… It’s turning into a high traffic day.  If you’re a blogger who reads this, how did you decide you wanted to go BIG with your blog rather than keeping it personal?

One thing that I woke up thinking about this morning (and will probably turn into a plan for 2012) is that I read way too many blogs and twitter feeds.  It’s becoming cumbersome, so I will do something about that.  I love technology but when it feels cumbersome, it’s time to pare it down.

Many of the blogs that I read are aspiring to many book-related challenges and it just wears me out!  Non-Fiction challenge; Fiction challenge; Bookshelf challenge; European challenge; Classics challenge; etc. etc. etc.  I participated in a few challenges/read-alongs in 2011 and I probably will participate in a few in 2012, but I’m certainly not joining any right now.  A year long challenge sounds like a little much right now.  I liked the seasonal or book-specific challenges and I think that’s where I’ll stick.

Well, off to read (something besides tweets and blogs!)!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Well, December was a very slow blogging month, to be sure.  And I’m not really sure what 2012 will bring, on the blogging front or in life!

2011 was an interesting year on many fronts and I’m looking forward to 2012 and the adventures and excitement that it will bring.

I hope that 2012 brings you happiness and love and all the books you can read!

40 Things (24)

Cover of "The Firm"

Cover of The Firm

Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, the next topic is –

24) An “unputdownable” book

I am a pretty slow reader, as a rule.  I think a big reason why it takes time for me to get through a book is that I am a) distracted by other things to read, and b) enjoying every word in a book.  I can’t skim or speed read.  I immerse myself in words.

I remember reading “The Firm” by Grisham in my early 20s.  I had just started my first job out of college and still loved to stay up late and dreaded early mornings.  I read that book in one weekend day, staying up until 4:30 am to finish it, because I knew that if I didn’t devour it it would leak into my week and cause sleeplessness.

I always look forward to reading but it isn’t every book that I read that causes that feeling of happy anticipation at the thought of crawling into bed and reading THAT BOOK.  If you look at my Goodreads list, I believe that every book I rated five stars gave me that feeling.  It stuck with me all day, making chores easier to bear, bringing a smile.  Recently, “Attachments” made me feel that way.  Last summer I devoured “The Girl Who…” books.

It’s such a great feeling…

#24 on my list of 40 things was: Have a memorable New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is one of those “coupley” holidays that I sometimes dread.  There’s also that great expectation that it’s going to be a spectacular and memorable evening!  I’ve hosted some NYE parties that were a blast and some that were ok.  I’ve gone to movies alone, returning home just in time for the Rockin’ New Year’s Eve shows.  I’ve rented movies and stayed home.  I’ve gone to parties and had a good time.  I’ve gone to see “Dueling Pianos” and drank Jaegermeister from the bottle.

So I’ve had memorable New Year’s Eves before and I will again.  This challenge was to create the intention to make every NYE intentionally memorable.  On the last NYE before my 40th birthday, I realized I’d better do something, so I invited my friends Beth and Doug over (to my mom and dad’s, since that is where I was living at the time) and we ate good food and played Guitar Hero and singing games all night long.  We created a funny band name and had big laughs.  Again, the intention was there so the evening will be remembered.  It would be fun to have some kind of traditional NYE celebration in our family, but every year is different and usually planned at the last minute.  A good thing to look forward to. 🙂

Off to read!