Our Irritating & Endearing Friends

I'm watching two dachshunds sleeping sweetly and peacefully on the loveseat. Of course, they barked right through the end of Fringe tonight, they demanded a pillow and blanket (one each), which basically left no room for a person anymore, and fought over prime position. Sigh.

I probably have the orneriest (is that a word?) dachshund ever, and yet I'm ridiculously nuts about her. I named her Nixie, which I found in a German name book, and it meant "water sprite". Cute, I thought. Then I saw an article that explained the history of nixies, which are EVIL water sprites. I cursed my dog.
Of course my mom's dog, Hayley, is no better behaved, and she has a normal (albeit too human) name. Her name is irritating, because my husband's name is Lee, and "Hayley" sounds too much like "Hey, Lee." Oh, the hilarity and confusion that ensues.

A friend of mine also has a dachshund, named Gatsby. This clip is for her today. Her dog doesn't like his new apartment, and has taken to barking. Well, maybe Gatsby can get some training from this dachshund.

But since today's theme is pets, I have a few more pet antics that I wanted to pass along...

catapulting cat: this one starts slow, but trust me, it's worth the wait.

slinky: short but sweet.

chick pals: i wish I had this dog's energy.

letter opener: your mail will never be the same.

ninja cat: another slow starter, but pretty great.


You're As Young As You Feel

For some reason today, it struck me how few years I have until I reach 40. It didn't just surprise me--it felt like an out-of-body experience. When did the passing of time become a speeding bullet?

I would like time to be my friend, but sometimes it feels more like a drill sergeant.

Well, if you think getting older means slowing down, just check this out.


The Day After

Well, it's the day after surgery day, and my husband's at home, recovering. We're so happy and grateful to have this part behind him. Now he needs to heal and recover (with quite a bit of physical therapy for his arm thrown in).

This has taken time away from the blog the last few days...but I'll jump back in this week!

Thanks for everyone's support--we appreciate it!

In the meantime, here's a few little bits for you...

For an extreme wedding...click here.

A fun tidbit for Harry Potter fans...click here.


Perchance to Dream

I'm reading a retelling of Persuasion (Jane Austen) right now, written from Captain Wentworth's point of view. There's a lovely quote in it that I want to share. Captain Wentworth had just woken up from a dream about Anne:

"In life one could suspect that a certain thing was true. In dreams, you knew to the core of your being that something was true, even without the slightest bit of support....Out of the blissful nothing, he sensed her presence."

Have you ever woken up from a dream like that? Something that in reality is quite fantastic, but in your dream, seems perfectly logical, and beyond that, feels deeply, profoundly true. More true than we feel things even in real life. I think there's something about those kinds of dreams that let us experience things with our whole heart and soul, without our mind getting in the way. No reason or doubts or fears are allowed to interfere with those simple, true feelings. In those dreams, feeling IS truth. Nothing else is needed. We're in perfect harmony with emotion.

We know moments of joy in real life, but dreams give us a tantalizing glimpse of perfection, a clarity of feeling and purpose, that's really unequaled. It's not that it's better than reality--but it's more pure, more focused--it makes feeling something tangible, that you breathe like oxygen, or moves along your skin like a cool breeze.

Mmmmmm. Here's wishing you all sweet dreams tonight...


Let the Sun Shine In

I'm not at my best today. I need to take my own advice. Today it's like a wall has gone up around my heart, and no happiness can quite penetrate it. It's a wall of worry and stress and hurt and exhaustion. It separates me from my surroundings, closing me off from everyone around me.

Maybe sometimes we almost don't want to let the happy in. We pull the hurt up around us like a blanket, holding on to the pain, as if embracing it can make it part of us, and somehow that will make it more bearable.

I've found the best remedy for nights like this is to curl up with a real cozy blanket and go to sleep. So that's where I'm headed.

But here's something that did made me smile today...it reminded me of my first cheerful house. This is the color we want to paint our new house in, someday...

If happiness has a color, it would be... click here to find out.


Holding Fast

Life is tenuous. Our world can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. While some days and weeks meander slowly, with little changes, and thrust you rapidly off a cliff. Every day I am surprised (though I don't know why) to hear of some new tragedy around the world, or far too close to home. Who knew we'd live in an age of pirates and tea parties. I wouldn't have believed it, a few years ago. Not that I don't appreciate the frustrations. Job loss has become a creeping, foggy disease that every family prays will pass over their house. And by the way, our houses are worth less, but we're stretched even farther. And somehow ideals like honor and honesty have fallen out of fashion. And beyond all these worries hanging over us, there are the things we long for that we don't have. In my family, we're anxious to start a family...and the adoption wait seems endless. Somehow, these burdens seem even heavier today.

But within this uncertain life, we still have our little pleasures and lovely moments. And because they are fleeting, they're all the more precious. I've said that before, I know. But today I'm holding fast to it, like a lifeline. There's a reason we're born and we die and we suffer pain some days in between. If we didn't know grief, laughter would lose it's power. If we didn't know loneliness, the spark of true connection would lose it's meaning.

This has been a maudlin blog, forgive me. But here's a song that I think sums up my thoughts tonight...and always lifts my spirits. Hopefully it will cheer yours, as well.


Tonight, my happy is the simple joy of having family close, and safe. And for tonight, that can be enough.
Though to be honest, a bit of leftover Easter candy doesn't hurt, either.


Movies, Etc.

Just a quick happy tonight (apologies for being silent for a few days). We hosted Easter for both sides of the family...so that took up the weekend! It was equally enjoyable and exhausting. But suddenly it's Monday, and the routine starts again.

Tonight we watched the first hour of Cranford. You may not be familiar with it. It's based on a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. Still not ringing a bell? She was a nineteenth century author, and her books are really quite hilarious. We love period movies, and there are always a shortage of quality pieces. This one looks really promising. I do NOT recommend Anthony Trolloppe's "He Knew He Was Right." We watched that a few weeks ago--four hours of watching a jealous husband go slowly mad. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn't. But I'm definitely enjoying Cranford so far. One funny thing, though...for any of you that love BBC/Austenesque movies like I do...have you noticed the shortage of actors? The same twenty or so people keep showing up in all my favorite period movies. It's become a game for us to pause the movie when a new character comes on and remember what movie we last saw her or him in. There are at least four actors in Cranford that were also in Wives and Daughters, Gaskell's other book (movie). It's funny to see people who might be siblings in one movie suddenly be romantically involved in another. But it's also comforting to curl up and watch the same old friends in another lovely period piece. A nice treat for a gloomy Monday!

Here's a trailer for Cranford...if you liked Pride and Prejudice and Emma, you should enjoy this...

Sorry, I know this was boring for anyone not into these types of movies. So here's a little Easter laugh for everyone else...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoyeQD9ztAE


Almost Friday Funnies

Today I'll just pass along a few funnies...

Easter warning! If you plan to have an egg hunt, beware of the notorious Easter egg snatcher...he may be in your neighborhood...

I love my job. I feel lucky to be able to say that. But I've gotta admit, this place looks pretty fun, too! ;)

And finally...watch this trailer for the next 007...


Happiness, Come Find Me

Today was a good day and a bad day. It's my hubby's birthday, but he also found today out he has to have a pretty serious surgery in a few weeks. So that shadow is hanging over right now. But we're prayin' that it all goes well. And we're keepin' it positive. And keepin' it real. And keepin' laughin'. We're just keepin' it. And apparently we're usin' an excessive amount of apostrophes while we're keepin' it.

A few bits and pieces...

I was bummed driving home today to notice that most of the spring trees I love so much are starting to fade. I just love those dramatic blooms. There are some right by our parking lot at work I especially love.
Check out these gorgeous trees still blooming in Washington State, at this lovely little blog.

We had Chinese takeout tonight, and I had to laugh when I saw my fortune. It said "Happiness will find you today." I immediately thought of this blog. This little time every day really is my own personal happy.

For all you readers out there, these photos and excerpts from The Secret Garden are simply perfect.

If you're still up reading this tonight, step outside and drink in the full moon before you go to bed. It's lovely. If there's not a full moon where you are, you can always take in the stars. If it's cloudy tonight, I'm sorry. But there's always tomorrow!


Happy for Me, Happy for You

My happy moment for the day: buying our first trees for our yard! We bought two serviceberry trees on sale at the nursery. I also fell in love with a bush. (Sometimes I develop an unreasonable attachment to a plant when I go to the nursery. When I do, it's usually not just a type of plant, but one particular one, and I feel very protective of the little thing, and have to take it home.) This one was a viburnum bush that has blooms that turn from pink to white as they open. This particular one was covered in buds, none quite open yet, small and sweetly shaped. It was perfect. And of course, I took it home.

If you haven't had a happy yet today, here's one for you. (And no, it's not a plant. But it is silly, I warn you.) Pick your clip based on your snack preference:

If you like raisins, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPP_sGuqNhI&feature=PlayList&p=E725B29ECCA1C8A7&index=4&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL

If you like popcorn, click here:


Silly Bits & Pieces

Here are a few funnies...

Life: The Musical. I used to have dreams that people would just break out into song or dance around me...too bad I missed out on this one...


For Pet Lovers...
(and don't miss the great "good news photos" on this page. My favorites in there are the woman who walks on water, the 9,000 egg easter tree, and the where's waldo moment.)


2008 in Review (Dave Barry): I'm warning you: whatever political side you're on, this article mocks it. But it's an equal mockery on all sides. It's long, but even skimming it will make you laugh.


Mission NICE

I've got to share a bit more about Operation NICE. This is a great blog for lifting your mood. They frequently share stories about people reaching out and doing something, well, nice. There's also a nice link with tips on interesting ways you can spread the NICE:


And a seasonal NICE tip...help out the Easter Bunny!

I'll occasionally share interesting stories from NICE. :)


Spreading the Happy

Two posts in one day...I'm making up for missing most of the weekend. ;)

You know, there are really no shortage of blogs like this on the web. Every few days I run across another one. Each has their own little spin. Operation NICE is an especially great blog, for example. Seeing these various blogs remind me of a couple of things. First, that we're all truly hungry for some hope, especially right now. We're bombarded every day with what's wrong with the world. But also, I think it shows how rewarding it is to do this, as a blogger. To spread the happy. It's not just some kind of public service--it's personally fulfilling. It uplifts my spirit to find these little tidbits of silliness or hope, and it's just icing on the cake to get to pass them on.

Here's a story (which I first saw on Operation Nice), that is another inspiring example what an impact we can have, just by trying to do some small gesture for someone else.


Really, I should be thanking all of you who read this blog...it gives me a reason to focus on these happy little things every day. You all are making my day better, too. :)

Lovely Little Things

This weekend was all about enjoying the little things. I didn't get far from home, but it was one of those weekends that felt long, because it was a series of simple, enjoyable moments. People ask us on Mondays what we did over the weekend, and we usually just list the one or two "big" things we did. (It's just a hallway conversation, after all.) But this weekend what I want to remember are the little things. Here are a few of my favorites:

--Watching a favorite movie that I've seen with people who haven't. (This time is was Twilight, big surprise.)
--The intense look of concentration on the face of my little 16 month old niece as she pushed an empty laundry basket up and down the hall (over and over again).
--The crunch of crisp bread-and-butter pickles on my turkey sandwich. (This was an all-time-top-10 sandwich, people.)
--Finding out that a pair of hawks are building a nest in our treeline. (Though I don't think it will make the bluebirds incredibly happy.)
--Sitting on the floor with my niece, playing with her fisher price farm set.
--The satisfaction of hitting "print" on the tax program once all the fields have finally been filled in. (Yes, major procrastination here.)

Hope your weekend was just as full of lovely little things, too!


Do You Believe in Magic

I love a good fantasy or fairy tale. Any story with a dusting of magic and suspended reality. I remember the moment when I became especially fascinated with magic. It was watching the movie Labyrinth for the first time when I was a little girl. It had it all--magic, a maze, muppets, David Bowie, but most of all it was a "through the looking glass" story where an ordinary girl can feel like a princess, even if just for a time. It was just one of many fantasy stories I became passionate about through the years, but it was one of the first. And I must admit, that fascination may have softened, but I find myself wandering to the young adult fantasy section of the bookstore more often than I'd want to admit.

Whenever a fantasy is on TV I have to stop and watch, even if just for a minute or two. Tonight it was Harry Potter--the scene where he's teaching his friends how to conjure their own Patronus charms. Have you ever wished you had your own magical charm? Something so strong that it can blow away the darkness? Something that's personal to you...representing your own special power. (Or, you're one of the three people on the planet who's not read or seen Harry Potter, and you have no idea what I'm talking about.)

I think my Patronus would be a dachshund. Or maybe a woodpecker. It's probably scary what that says about me.

Sleepy now...maybe I'll dream up a good fantasy tonight.

Fool's Day Funnies

So, I couldn't even fool my mom this year. I came limping into the house, saying I fell and hurt my leg getting out of the car (given my track record, this is believable for me). But my mom didn't buy it for a minute. She did get me pretty good, though, earlier in the day. She had a meeting with the gas company seeing if they had made a mistake on her bill, and she called me to say they had made a mistake, but it was in their favor, and they were going to back-bill her for a year. She had me going for a while, anyway.

But since these stories were rather lame, and it didn't seem like my friends were into pranking today, I've got to share my personal 2009 favorite prank. The J. Peterman company launched six very unique products on their site today, including bottle unfiltered water and baseball glove pants. You've got to look at the descriptions for each of these...it's all great. The prices are funny, too.


I also enjoyed the April Fool's show on tonight, "I Get That A Lot." This link talks about the show--and lists some other great celebrity pranks. George Clooney and Mel Gibson were my faves.