It’s Back — Five Things That Make Me Happy, and One Thing That Pisses Me Off

by Katy on March 18, 2011 · 29 comments

I have written past columns about five things that make me happy. I like these mini-posts because they’re very to the point and keep the long winded side of me in check. It’s good to remind myself of the happy things, as life can get a bit zooey around here at casa Wolk-Stanley.

But today’s five things that make me happy list doesn’t seem complete without a chaser of one thing that pisses me off. It somehow balances the too good to be true quality of the study of happiness. So, here goes . . .

Five Things That Make Me Happy, and One Thing That Pisses Me Off

  1. Making new friends outside of my normal circle. (My circle normally includes nurses, neighbors and soccer moms.)
  2. Discovering that my odd collection of mismatched foodstuffs can actually add up to a delicious meal. (Baked macaroni and cheese, made with bacon, peas, aged white cheddar, whole wheat rotini and bread crumbs from frozen crusts.)
  3. That Joanne one of my blog readers mailed me a “Mend and Make Do to Save Buying New” coaster all the way from England. So cute, and so utterly perfect on my $15 antique desk.
  4. Randomly pulling an audio book from the library shelves that ends up entertaining me through hours of dishwashing, laundry folding and gardening. (Thank you, The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte!)
  5. Opening my kitchen junk drawer to find it meticulously organized, thanks to the somehow lid-free Japanese lunch containers. (Thanks kids!)


  1. The brand new ring on the finish of my lovely antique desk.

Okay now, your turn. What makes you happy, and conversely, what pisses you off?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Jinger March 18, 2011 at 4:51 am

🙂 Seeing Spring unfold in the Nature Preserve behind my apartment as I walk the trail….trees leafing, meadow greening, wildflowers popping up, creek gurgling and birds singing.

🙁 The graffiti that some tagger painted on the limestone blocks by the creek.


ellen March 18, 2011 at 4:52 am

1) that the weekend is here again
2) finishing projects that have only been started ages ago, feeling completed.
3) My kids laughing
4) reading
5) that the weather seems like it has finally broke, and spring/summere is on the way!

1) People that act like they have no clue, but really they do….


Anita March 18, 2011 at 5:56 am

Honestly I could have written Ellen’s comment!
1. Love the weekend
2. My daughter had a great night in softball, batted 1000
3. I am starting my new grocery shopping plan, using more coupons and bogo free etc.
4. reading
5. writing letters

1. My 2 teen girls are blind and cannot see dirt or clutter!


Alison March 18, 2011 at 7:35 am

I think we need to see a photo blog with picture of the English coaster!


Jesse March 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

1. playing with my dog
2. going for a long walk/hike
3. reading
4. making something
5. meeting new and interesting people

1. the fact that I can’t seem to heal my back enough to start hiking seriously again (it’s a work in progress)

I noticed something interesting about these lists…nobody has mentioned their jobs yet. Are we all on this journey of figuring out how to love what we do? Or have we resigned ourselves to doing what we have to to live the rest of our lives the way we want? something for me to ponder as I work my way through 3 PCs that are all suffering various ailments…


Katy March 18, 2011 at 8:11 am

My job actually does make me happy, (labor and delivery nurse) but because of patient confidentiality I’m careful to never go into even the slightest bit of detail about it.



Maddie March 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Like Katy, I really like my job.


Mary Stubblefield March 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

1. watching my kids playing NICELY together
2. knowing I got my new washing machine (my other finally died on me) at a really good sale price and I get a rebate back from my Natural Gas company I wasn’t expecting – so more savings for me!!!
3. knowing we don’t have to BE ANYWHERE at ANY SPECIFIC time this weekend
4. joining a gym this am FINALLY so knowing I have NO excuse now not to exercise (got a good rate b/c it’s my husband’s work’s facility)
5. a sunny day that is leading to warmer weather!

1…buying grapes on Monday and finding fuzz on some of them on Friday ;(


Erin March 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

1-spending the day with my daughters collecting maple sap from our trees
2-playing in their tee pee with them
3-reading books
4-looking through old photo albums
5-playing non competitive soccer on 1/4 of a field

1-no dishwasher, it is starting to wear on my patience and I can’t stand the sight of them! I used to be able to hide the pots in the dishwasher till I felt like doing them!


Cindy March 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

1 – walking and talking with my BFF
2 – A good cup of coffee
3 – My family
4 – Looking forward to spending time in my kithen
5 – Friday!!!!!!

1- the mess (can’t see the floor, desk or bed) in my daughter’s room


Mamie March 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

1. It’s spring break and I am home for a week!
2. We also get Monday off – BONUS!
3. I’ve done lots of cooking and baking, and we have many delicious things stashed away to eat for weeks.
4. I’ve had more free time for blogging (reading and writing both) thanks to the break.
5. Spring is happening in my neck of the woods!

🙁 I haven’t done as much cleaning and organizing and I wanted/needed to.


Su Madre March 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

1. Feeling surrounded by love from family and friends (and 85-pound doggie!) over the past few weeks of recuperation from surgery.
2. Being able to read lots and lots of shallow paperback mysteries during #1.
3. Seeing daffies, plum blossoms and other blooms emerge with no effort on my part.
4. Watching my grandbabies grow up.
5. Having lots of stuff to look forward to in the months to come: an extended family reunion, grad school, managing our little guest cottages. more.

Pissing Me Off:
Observing the ravages of age, head to toe!


Tina (Tightwad Mom) March 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

1. Finally seeing some signs of spring.
2. Finding brand new clothing items 50% off at Goodwill today.
3. The smell of freshly baked bread.
4. Plotting out this year’s garden.
5. Free time to read.

Poop list….
1. Going to work leaving a clean house, coming home 8 hours later to a messy dirty house……….and nobody did it!!! 😛


Jackie March 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Going skiing one last time before spring!


Megan March 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

The look of my wild-childs bedhead when she waked up in the morning
Coffee delivered by my bff hubby in bed
Finding a new blog that I like
Anything that makes me laugh

finding clean clothes in the dirty laundry hamper. Oh, I should’ve written these in reverse. Now I’m pissed. 🙂


Christy March 19, 2011 at 5:59 am

Oh I so know what you mean about the laundry! My kids sometimes feel it is much easier to put laundry in the hamper than to place it in a drawer or closet. Drives me crazy!


Deborah March 18, 2011 at 8:35 pm

After a very busy day at work, a particular post from you can make me very happy as you are an amazing writer and you make me smile.

Thanks, Katy!


Cindy March 19, 2011 at 12:38 am

put some mayo on the desk ring and let it sit there for a while.


Dmarie March 19, 2011 at 3:04 am

Yea: getting a whole day to myself in my kitchen
Nay: driving behind and watching some doofus toss a cigarette butt out of their car/truck window


T D Hollis March 19, 2011 at 4:26 am

Your “mismatched foodstuff” mac & cheese sounds delicious! I have a feeling I will be mismatching those foodstuffs in my kitchen in the very near future!


Twyla March 19, 2011 at 6:04 am

I’ve joined in .. and got carried away ….


teri March 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

Happy things–
1 Spring weather is finally here!
2 Learning new skills–sprouting
3 Having all the bills paid up. Thank God for His Providence during this economic downturn.
4 New grandbaby on the way
5 Wonderful pets

Not happy–
1 My body’s aging and declining health along with that of my husband. It would be nice to be able to run, dig in the garden with a shovel, cut down trees, and do all the things I could do twenty years ago without gasping for air.


Tracy Balazy March 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

1. That my former foster dog, a Labrador retriever mix named Laverne, was apprehended by rescue drivers from an animal shelter in Detroit a week ago after being missing for 65 days when she fled her adoptive home after one day; and that her new owner, who’s a decent guy, conceded that she’s not the right dog for him, and is opting to choose another dog from the shelter where I volunteer, thereby paving the way for ME to adopt Laverne, which I did Tuesday. 🙂 (She was traced back to the Dearborn Animal Shelter by her microchip — amazing little devices!)
2. Knowing I provided moral support a few days ago for a friend who asked me to help him start sorting through his late mom’s belongings (she died six months ago, and he hadn’t had the heart to get started); I convinced him an estate sale is the way to go, as his parents had collected a lot of great wooden furniture, stained-glass-making supplies, tools, and all sorts of things someone could use.
3. Introducing a visitor to a certain dog or cat at the animal shelter where I volunteer, and seeing their eyes light up as they decide this is The One.
4. Trying out a new recipe that only requires about five ingredients, such as the vegan shepherd’s pie we made on St. Patrick’s Day, and having it turn out YUMMY!
5. Getting positive feedback on the pet-focused blog I write for a local website (in Dearborn, Michigan).

The p.o. list: People who don’t pick up after their dogs in the park across the street from my house, and along the sidewalks where I walk my dogs.

I know, all but one were pet-related. That’s where my head is. 🙂


miss blueberry March 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

1. Saturday afternoon nap with a purring kitty on my tummy.
2. Spring break (a week off from work — I am a first grade teacher)!
3. A pile of tempting magazines on spring cleaning/organizing (reading these allows me to put off actually DOING the cleaning/organizing!)
4. Fresh sheets on the bed today.
5. Being fully stocked up on toothpaste, t.p., tissues, and milk.

1. Someone didn’t put the cap back on my fizzy French limeade which isn’t so fizzy anymore.
2. (Am I allowed to have two??) The incredibly large stack of papers that need to be graded during my week of vacation.


homemade happiness March 20, 2011 at 11:30 am

1. That our housing situation is settling down and we’re in a beautiful place we feel comfortable calling “home for now”.

2. That I am in a position to help people who need it in my life. Family, friends, customers, especially after a couple years of being the one asking for help.

3. That our bank account balance is moving in the right direction.

4. That I have learned that certain things I thought about myself I was wrong about, and that is OK!

5. That someday soon we may start a family. 🙂

1. Not that it really makes me mad, but that I have realized that life isn’t going to be ‘perfect’, and my expecting it to be actually makes it harder for it to just be ‘good’.


Jo@simplybeingmum March 24, 2011 at 1:52 am

So glad you liked it. I saw it and thought of you! Only one slight concern – why do you have a ring on your desk? Nothing to do with the coaster I hope!
Thought I’d share 5 things that make me happy:
1. My family (especially my two children!!)
2. Milky Coffee (made at home – frugal!!)
3. Taking life slowly and savouring!!
4. Blogging and Blogs (Writing mine and Reading others – especially NCA!!)
5. Exclamation marks!!!!! and the excessive use of!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 Thing that pee’s me off
Selfish people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a lovely day – Spring has sprung in the UK Hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jo@simplybeingmum March 24, 2011 at 1:54 am

Missed off Ski-ing…. will skip the exclamation marks and include that instead 🙂


Katy March 24, 2011 at 9:31 am


The ring is from before the coaster! And I can’t be sure, but I have a strong suspicion that my husband ignored the previous coaster, (I am a big coaster enthusiast) and set his coffee directly onto the table.

The new coaster is too cute to ignore! 😉



Maggie April 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

1. Being Complimented
2. Writing stories
3. True love in my life
4. Good quotes from SpongeBob Squarepants (the show)
5. When my period is over
6. Oh, and the best: Greece
7. The one friend I like.

1. My horrible friends 😛


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