Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1 -- "Happies"

Thank you to Zenmomma for turning me on to the Thursday Thirteen tradition.

This is my first installment, and already I'm afraid of commitment (no surprise!), but I've decided that blogging is something I want to explore more fully, so might as well amp it up with something that resembles structure, huh?

For my first episode, I would like to just highlight 13 things, in no particular order, that float my boat these days, or, what I've alluded to in the title: Happies.

Here goes!

1. Discovering HAPPIES !

Couldn't have the list without the discovery, now could I? (And it just wouldn't be my blog if I didn't have a lengthy intro, am I right???)

This is a word I learned in Mississippi, and I would have to say that learning it not only made me "happy," but discovering a land where people had a name for small tokens of pleasure, most often bestowed on someone else unexpectedly (and, hence, intensifying the happy effect), made me feel like I'd finally found an oasis of light in what felt like a interminably dark life. Ok, so that's a bit overdramatic (a bit!), but it was such a ray of sunshine.

I wish I could remember what the first happie, labeled as such, was, but now I forget. It seems to me though, that it had something to do with goodie bag items at a birthday party. Like, "Don't forget the 'happies' for the party!" And it's so true, isn't it? I love to walk down the happies aisle at party city and bounce a few balls, tousle the fringe on those little fringy thingies (happies, by their very nature are better observed than described!), slap the little clapper hands a time or two, eye the jacks, roll some oversized dice, and imagine the smell of the playdoh in the little, party sized cups! Whew. Are ya happy yet? I'm smilin'!

And lo and behold, when googled, there's even a BLOG dedicated to recounting some of the things that fall into the category of "happies."

2. Valentine's cards still on display in my room. I mean, aren't these the cutest? Are we not thinking the same way?? Awwwwwww!


3. Raw food diet testimonials like THIS and THIS and THIS.

My oldest daughter and I are researching how to eat to take better care of ourselves and save us from our food-related health issues. Nothing too major, but not the optimal health we both crave. My younger daughter is cautiously interested, but is still in public school, so she's leaving it up to us for right now.

4. Raw Food: Is this not some GORGEOUS food? Oh, I'm so hungry! =D (Thanks to Raw Glow for the pics AND the recipes! Can't wait to try them all!)

5. The idea of moving to the capital W, West, capital C, Coast. Preferably Oregon. Perhaps a good ole University town like Corvallis, in fact. (We'll see.)

This is news to many, and will probably start haunting future blogs, but I'm going public now. Suffice to say, I'm ready for a change in scenery AND lifestyle, and I'd prefer to live the second half of my life, well, WHERE I choose. More later, I promise, but for now, just say, Ahhhhhhh! (Thanks to for the pics!)

6. Hangin' out and home "schooling" with my 16 year old daughter!

Getting to know your "quiet" teenager is a wonderful thing. Most days I believe that she finds getting to know her kooky, quirky, "quiet" mother is pretty kewl too! I won't reveal any of her secrets, but I've watched her relax and get started on becoming who she REALLY wants to be now that she's free of the public school system that taxed her to the point of despair. YAY for following her own inner guiding star!

7. Watching my younger daughter blossom into a wonderful young lady, earn her letter jacket (ouch! thank goodness she lettered as a freshman so it will get some wear--although, this is the tropics, so, who knows!) in swimming, and celebrate her "six month anniversary" with her sweet boyfriend.


Even though I looked at how many movies I had rented in the last year and realized that I'm still spending major chain prices per film. But you know what? Sitting at home, sifting through a bajillion titles, and renting independent films is AWESOME and is not part of the chain store experience (ok, so I know that one of them does this, but still.....). Not having a deadline to turn in the movie (commitment phobe that I am???)?!!! PRICELESS!

This arrived today:

9. Dancing.

Just can't get enough of the stuff. I'm so ready to take private lessons and try my hand, and, er, feet, at some beginner level competition. Woohoo! Just need to come up with a creative way to FUNd said fun. Ah, the challenge!

10. Friends.

Old ones, new ones, easy ones, tough ones, virtual ones, real-life ones. It's just so great to have you all (they tell me they read this thing!!! My goal is to become even better at BEING a better friend and not just HAVING friends.

11. Painting.

Just thinking about painting (which is all I've done for a while, but that's ok for now...) makes me smile. I love, love, love having a hobby that lets me regard the results. I don't watch myself dance (and don't know that I would want to just yet), but to walk in the front door every day and see my paintings, well, it just makes the day feel brighter, and gives me a case of the warm fuzzies.

I hear a lot of painters (ha...well, the ones I've met in class etc.) or should I say artists (know more of those in total) criticize their work. Like really dog it. Mercilessly. And that makes me very sad. I can definitely look at my paintings and see lots of places to improve, but I honestly just love to stare at them. I guess I still just can't believe that I've actually done it, but more than that, it's like looking at my kids. I created them and added a few brush strokes, but there they are, with a life all their own, beautiful for just having existence in the first place.

Is it ok to love your own paintings? Perhaps it just means that I'm not a "true" artist? Or maybe I'm just an extremely forgiving one.

I love the energy of creation. I don't need to judge the form to be happy. Looking at art , to me, is like looking at a landscape: WOW! Amazing! Look at that.
(Ok, so I PREFER some over others, but still, in general, I'm a live and let live kinda gal!)

12. Vincent van Gogh.

Speaking of painters. Standing in front of this man's work has never failed to bring me to tears. The joy and the pain in those paintings is palpable to me. I love his work, not because it's acceptable so to do, but because it freakin' MOVES me, man.

And looking at the prints around my monitor, well, that always makes me smile.

I wrote in a guest book at an exhibit that included some of his paintings (at the Houston Museum of Fine Art), "I don't think I ever knew color before I saw a painting by van Gogh." Amen.

13. BLOGS!

I just LOVE blogs! There are SO MANY cool, cool women (and men, but truth be told, there's only one or two that I read, and they don't post all that often) out there. They are so amazing and creative and they blog so REGULARLY! Oh, I want to be like them when I grow up! Here are a few new ones that I've been reading lately (If you knew how many blogs I've read in the last month...oh boy...well, all in the name of research, right???):

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman
Derfwad Manor
Zenmomma's Garden

Sorry so few, but I'm late for dinner and I'm sure you must be late for SOMETHING by now!

And hey, please have a great week! If I can at the very least post once a week, then I'll be one step closer to taking my second and third and fourth steps in a row and making a go at having a "real" blog. I REALLY want to learn to write some SHORT posts, too! (heehee)

Thanks for stopping by, and if you have ANY time left after this monster, please say hi in the comments section!

Muah! =D

© Nicole J. Williams, 2008, all rights reserved.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the whole idea of the happies! Great post!

And if you haven't printed off the open letter and given it to her yet, she needs you to.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

This is a really great list ~ it made me feel happy just reading it! I got to see a Van Gogh exhibit once, too, and I completely agree with you. It was amazing.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Nicole: It turns out we have much in common. Maybe that's the lesson, here. That we are all more alike than different and that, because of that we can find common ground and change ourselves and then the world. That's the theme of lots of my writing, too. You hit a nerve and soft spot!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the award-winning This Is the Place, Harkening and Tracings, a chapbook of poetry.

Mrs. Brownstone @ XBOX Wife said...

Hi, again! Thanks for stopping by my blog! To answer your question...I tried to figure out Mr. Linky, too. I finally gave up and paid Mr. Linky to do it for me! It's pretty inexpensive for a whole year. I also host a weekly carnival of my own, so it was beneficial to me in that sense. Hope this helps!

Camellia said...

I love your discovery process.

Cindy Swanson said...

Welcome to Thursday Thirteen, Nicole! Your post was really interesting...your daughters are lovely. My daughter and I are also exploring healthier eating since I found out several months ago that I'm diabetic. And moving to Oregon---wow, what a gorgeous place!

Great job on your first TT. Stop by mine when you get a moment!

Kristen's Raw said...

So many great pictures!

And...I LOVE Raw food, it's changed so many people's lives.

Even if someone doesn't eat all Raw, it certainly helps to simply add more fresh fruits and veggies. With Raw as its own cuisine these days, it's easy to that with so many amazing recipes :)


Allyn Evans said...

Loved your post and the intro to Thursday Thirteen. I am most interested in the home schooling you are doing with your daughter. I have always said I would do what you have done if my daughter experienced social difficulties. And I'm not talking about running away from a situation...because minor ups and downs will and do occur. I'm sure you also did not make a drastic move for "minor" reasons.

Anyway, will stash this nuggest of information away incase I am faced with a similar decision.

And Oregon. I LOVE moving adventures.

janet said...

Your daughters are beautiful! I home-school too, and my TT post is "13 Things That Make Me Smile."


P.S. Beautiful paintings also!

Zenmomma said...

Great first TT Nicole! Thanks so much for the mention of my little blog. :o)

Mrs. G. said...

What a wonderful post. You so many happies in your life. I must say that raw food does look pretty good. And Corvalis is a great place.