Five Things That Make Me Happy & One Thing That’s Pissing Me Off

by Katy on July 29, 2014 · 18 comments

Happiness is Found in Little Things

Five Things That Make Me Happy:

  1. My 14-year-old nephew is visiting us from New York for the next two weeks. Not only does he have two sets of Portland grandparents, but he’s one of my younger son’s best friends. I anticipate much fun and many shenanigans.
  2. My house sits on a city street paved with large bumpy stones inset in the cement (concrete?) and it’s on an official bike route. This means that all day I hear children yelling “Ahhh . . . ” in order to make their voices shake. Every child does it and it’s a wonderful sound.
  3. I spent a few hours helping my mother and step-father rearrange a room in their house which involved moving of insanely heavy furniture and a foray out to buy a twin sized mattress. As payment, I told my mother I would be usurping a throw pillow that I’d been eyeing over the past few years. Luckily, she approved my plan and I now own a vintage needlepointed pillow that reads, “Happiness is Found in Little Things.”
  4. Whenever my DVR randomly catches an episode of a program that I hadn’t realized was starting up or in reruns. Recent examples? “Till Debt Do Us Part” and “Project Runway.”
  5. The health and wellness of my family. I see enough in my job as an RN to appreciate how very lucky we are.

One thing that’s pissing me off:

  1. I soaked my brass campaign dresser drawer pulls in a ketchup water solution to help shine them up. I first tested the brass with a magnet to make sure they weren’t brass plated and thought I was safe. Unfortunately, I discovered that although the back pieces are solid brass, the handles pieces were plated, which meant some of the plating came off with my too-frugal-for-my-own-good trickery. Crap.

Now your turn. What’s making you happy, and conversely what’s pissing you off?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna Besst July 29, 2014 at 11:34 am

Happiness is…
1. Excellent results from husband’s blood test…
2. Fresh peaches from my own tree, and the resulting peach jam..yum!
3. A lovely pool to swim in and a respectable bathing suit.
4. Enjoying time alone to just be …during my summer off from school.
5. Dancing to music I love…

Something that I don’t like…
1. House cleaning…ugh!

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Sharon H. July 29, 2014 at 11:49 am

I love that you love the sound of children playing in the street. I met some old ladies who lived at a retirement community who said ‘We deserve to be able to live where we can’t hear children making noise.’ Um, yeah. And thank you for doing all children everywhere a favor by not living near them to yell “Get off my lawn, you darn kids!” :-)

1. A strong community of attachment parents to share life stories with here in my town.
2. Healing my own health with improved nutrition. I was able to eat ravioli (made from wheat flour pasta) a couple of days ago with no inflammation response.
3. A fun day in the kitchen making saurkraut, crispy almonds, kombucha, chopped liver, and granola & granola bars. Superfood City!
4. Cool weather for several days is giving me tons of energy that summer usually saps away.
5. Plans to take Son #1 on several trips to visit colleges this week. Family togetherness during this exciting time in my son’s life.

My “other” one is: Son #1 is a very picky eater. Lots of wonderful food in the house, but because we’re out of frozen pizza, he has nothing to eat and has to resort to fast food. Boo.

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JD July 30, 2014 at 6:54 am

Sharon — “Nourishing Traditions”, by any chance? I use that book a lot.

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kris July 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

5 Happy Things
1. So grateful that my daughters long time (4 years) boyfriend survived a car accident Sunday morning. He fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tree. All that is left of his car is the drivers compartment. He has had to have 2 surgeries on his foot already but we’re praying for a full recovery. I shutter to think what might have been had my daughter would have been in the car, the front drivers tire ended up in the seat. Going to visit him in the hospital tonight.
2. My youngest son is at summer camp this week (where I work) and is having a total blast so that makes my heart happy.
3. Still loving my new(ish) job at the camp & conference center. Trying to get my mind out of ‘summer camp’ mode and into booking groups for fall.
4. Spending the evening with my husband. After our trip to the hospital we’re getting a bite to eat and shopping with someone else’s money! lol I’m heading up the food committee for a women’s conference at my church we are having this weekend & I’m buying the appetizers and paper goods, etc. this weekend.
5. Above mentioned women’s conference at church is just a few days away…looking forward to it!

1 Unhappy Thing
…Not looking forward to back to school shopping. Luckily I only have 2 to buy for this year, it wasn’t too long ago I had to buy for 4!

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Jamie DeAngelis July 29, 2014 at 12:15 pm

1. My puppy Wally that I adopted 2 weeks ago, he’s doing really well and is such a good boy!

2. I finally got around to changing my relationship status on Facebook and now I’m not having random dudes message me.

3. My family and friends are being extremely supportive with my new puppy. I’d be totally lost, stressed, and suicidal without them righ tnow.

4. I have a fulltime job that pays more than $20k per year. I was briefly perusing a job bank (not for me but for a friend I swear) and noticed how my field wants people to do the work of 4 staff members, on part time hours, for crap pay.

5. My landlady finally got off her ass and sent someone to clog up the holes that we think mice are getting in through.

What Pisses Me Off:
$1,200 in vet bills for my sick puppy and even though I have TWO insurance policies on him currently….neither will help me with the cost. One has a 15 day waiting period and the other would cover kennel cough, but not pneumonia….even though the pneumonia was most likely caused by untreated kennel cough in the shelter.

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Susan Jenkins July 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

5 happy things:
1. Mother Nature. Seriously. It is late July and it was so nice last night, I could comfortably sleep with the windows open, without a fan running. Overnight temps of 60 is a rarety for the middle of summer. Supposed to stay for the next 5-6 days. Ahhhhh!

2. My recently painted kitchen and hallway has now been put back to normal. The apple butter stain on the ceiling is gone. Covers are back on the light switches, art is back on the walls. My key holder is where it should be again. I’m no longer tripping over paint cans and rollers. Ahhhh!

3. Because of the unusually mild weather we had last night, I went on a really long bike ride. I felt it this morning, but it was so nice last night, I had to go out and play. Ahhhh!

4. Final payment on my big credit card was sent in this morning. Seriously, that should have been #1, 2 and 3 on my list. Its something I’ve been putting serious effort into for the last 9-10 months. I currently feel both broke, and rich at the same time. Ahhhh!

5. I got my sewing machine back from the repair shop. I bring it in once a year for repairs and a tune up. So nice to have her back again so I can get working on a few projects. Ahhhh!

And my gripe
The seemingly unending road construction that is happening outside my office is driving me nuts. They are digging up the road and replacing all sorts of piping and connections. Water lines, gas lines, burying electrical, phone and cable lines. Replacing curbing and storm drains. Name the utility, I’ve seen their trucks. And the trucks!! Blocking the driving lane while delivering loads of supplies and equipment, or getting filled with dirt, trucks filled with workers. Its trucks, trucks everywhere! Some days we have water in the building, some days we don’t. Sometimes its clear, other times its not. There is only 1 way in and out of our building, so they are not supposed to fully block the street. But they do- and then yell and scream because we’re not supposed to be driving through their work zone. If there were a different route to take- I would. I used to leave my office for lunch and go to a nearby park- but its such a pain to try and leave our parking lot, its just not worth the hassle anymore.

This project is long overdue- and I know big projects like this have to happen at some point. I just wish the workers were more pleasant to deal with.. they aren’t the only ones that have a job to do. If I could avoid driving through the area, I would. Its going on 3 weeks now. Fingers crossed they are on schedule and it will only be another 2 more weeks of this. Grrrrr!

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Julia July 29, 2014 at 4:16 pm

5 Happy Things:
1) the wonderful books on gardening, remodeling, home decor, flea market finds, etc, that I’m getting from the library. One of them I like so well that I found it used online and ordered it — about $8 total. I will do many of the projects in it, so I think it was worth getting for my shelf.

2)Ditto, shelter/home dec/garden magazines: I drop off my old magazines at the library’s mag exchange. I have gotten some good ones. I love this free service.

3) Fresh homemade tomato sauce from heirloom tomatoes given to me from mom and brother. I added one faded eggplant to the sauce and it melted right in.

4) The Boy (16) has learned he likes to make smoothies — good for him, and good to use up the fruit around here.

5) A box of free pears, given to us by a neighbor. Crunchy, green and hard!

And what makes me mad?
Not so much, but sad: That I am speaking at my late brother-in-law’s memorial on Friday. The fact that I have to do this. The fact that he is gone so quickly. It just plain sucks. But the army is sending an honor guard for the flag ceremony and to play Taps. They don’t charge for that. It will be very poignant, I know.

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Diane C July 29, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hi Julia,
So sorry for your loss. When my favorite uncle passed away he had an honor guard. It was very moving, and all the participants are volunteers who do this on their on own time. Unbelievably kind and touching.

I once spoke at a friend’s memorial at his daughter’s request. I practiced and practiced, but still lost it more than once. My advice to you is simple. Go as slowly as you need to and stop to breathe more often than you think you need to. Everyone will wait as you take deep breaths to steady yourself. Make sure you have a kleenex or two in your hand because you will need it. This sounds strange, but try to look just over people’s heads. Looking at people crying makes it really hard not to do the same yourself.

I am hosting a memorial on Sunday for a long time friend who died this week. It would have been his 80th birthday. What’s pissing me off is that his greedy sister-in-law somehow copied me on an email to her friends in which she totally goes off on her BIL (my friend), the size and condition of his estate, and what a bitch she thinks I am. Wow! I met her for less than five minutes when she practically threw the cat at me.

The good thing is I got his sweet kitty cat and am giving her a loving home. My friend always told me that his brother wanted the kitty. When I met the brother, he told me that they didn’t really want the kitty, they just told him that so he wouldn’t worry. OMG!

Sorry that this doesn’t fit the format, Katie, but I appreciate having a place to vent so that I don’t email something I’ll regret to the SIL. Karma. Karma. Karma. Breathe.

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Julia July 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Thank you, Diane. I plan to have a bottle of water in one hand to sip from if I need a moment. I might also take a hip-flask: Family crazy coming out full-force these days… Good for you for taking the kitty, and shame on the rest of them. What a bunch of lunkheads. Karma, karma, karma… xx

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Diane C August 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

Hi Julia, I hope you made it through the memorial service.

Funny how families can become so weird when a relative dies, especially when there’s money involved. Sad. I have a totally untested theory that frugally balanced folks are possibly much less susceptible to this kind of behavior.

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Julia August 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

Diane — so thoughtful of you to ask! Thank you! It is over, and I survived, and I’m glad it is over — but there was a certain (de rigeur?) amount of crazy. (deep sigh). I think you’re right. I think as non-consumers we’ve already gone a certain way thinking about ourselves and our place in the world/universe, and so many people have not thought that deeply. So they get upset over why there aren’t matching paper napkins on the dessert table, when the day is really about remembering my BIL. (deep sigh again).

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Julia August 4, 2014 at 10:37 am

ps — I used your trick of looking above people’s heads instead of at crying faces, and I got through my speech. Thanks for that!

K D July 30, 2014 at 3:06 am

Five Things That Make Me Happy:

1. Cooler weather making it nice to open the windows and work in the yard.

2. My daughter is feeling better today after a rough day yesterday.

3. Even though we have faced more medical issues than usual this summer we have been able to be seen by good professionals and we have the means to pay for these unexpected expenses.

4. I discovered that a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin added to a smoothie is undetectable, taste-wise. It not only uses up extra pumpkin but it boosts the nutrition value of the smoothie.

5. My tomato plants look like they will bear fruit after all this summer, “better late than never”.

One thing that’s pissing me off:

I am uninspired in the dinner planning department this summer. I feel like are meals are more hodge-podge than ever. Even though we sit down as a family to eat dinner I feel as though something is missing.

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JD July 30, 2014 at 7:06 am

Five things making me happy:

1. Happy to have helped my daughter and son-in-law get moved into their rental house, getting them out of their too-small apartment.
2. Happy to have had time, while helping them, to hold my precious granddaughter and feed her while her mother took some much needed time to eat as well.
3. Happy to see 69 degrees this morning here in Florida in the end of July. It feels like air conditioning compared to the usual muggy, hot mornings.
4. Happy to get a free lunch at work today.
5. Happy to make a friend happy by giving her an unwanted yard ornament from my daughter’s house.

Making me mad:

Being gone from the house yesterday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:20 p.m., and finding my husband left all of his dirty dishes in the sink. He often washes dishes, but of all the days to leave them….

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Kim July 30, 2014 at 7:11 am

1. Enjoying a day off where I don’t have to be anywhere and I don’t have to take anyone anywhere!
2. Loving the weather right now in the Mid -Atlantic! Moderate temps and low humidity!
3. Thrilled that blackberries are ripe for the picking and that my little backyard arbor is producing fruit this year. Only enough for a handful each day but next year should be great!
4. Happy that I have time to make pickles tonight with a bag of free cucumbers that were given to me.
5. That I have a job I enjoy and that challenges me, with people who I really like and who appreciate my abilities, and that it is flexible to my family’s schedule. I’m truly blessed!

The thing I don’t like:
The poison ivy I caught from washing my son’s clothes when he got back from his mission trip to Chattanooga. They were clearing brush from abandoned properties. The week before I’m in Nicaragua working in a barrio and come back without a scratch or bug bite! Third world country I get nothing, inner city US he’s one of the few on his team that didn’t get poison ivy but I end up getting it from his work gloves! 😭

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jill July 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

Happy
1. A successful vacation where spending wasn’t out of control.
2. Time off to do vacation laundry and get organized after being gone for 2 weeks.
3. It’s still summer! Yay!
4. Fresh drippy peaches for snacks – my favorite
5. So glad I have dental insurance to cover some of my dental appt tomorrow.

Unhappy
1. My daughter is changing apartments for the school year . The new landlord just let us know that she can’t move in this weekend as scheduled. Now she has to move twice – once in with us and then into her new apt. Ugh!!

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Amanda July 30, 2014 at 10:53 am

I thank the good Lord everyday for my family’s health. I don’t see sickness everyday, but as a student of history, I am always reading about people dying of stuff that we are fortunate enough not to worry about now. It is a sobering reminder to be thankful and do what the doctor says. Here are my five things:

1. The gorgeous weather in Richmond this week. I will take low humidity and low 80s any day.
2. The time I had as a stay at home mom, which ends this week. It was the hardest job I have ever had, but I treasure the time with my babies.
3. The wicker set I found on freecycle. A coat of paint and it is front porch ready.
4. Our new car. It is used, but still pretty baller. I don’t even have to put the key in the ignition to start it. It’s ruined me–seems like an imposition that the house requires I pull out my keys to open it. My husband calls this “white girl problems.”
5. My son and I just bought my husband’s birthday present. He’s always had his hair cut at the beauty shop, but he’s been talking about trying a real barbershop. We got him a gift certificate to the barbershop down the street for a shave and a haircut. I’m so excited to give it to him!

Absolutely nothing is pissing me off. High on life! Turn down for what!

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Tonya July 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

1) A road trip to a family reunion.
2) Library books already picked up for said trip.
3) A great chance to read out loud to my son (he has required reading for 7th grade and we’re reading it together).
4) My hubby is almost done with his residency and 2 hour commute!
5)My job working with teens. Love it!

1) My disgusting house. Teens and a long-haired cat at home all summer while we’re at work=grossness.

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