Monday, October 17, 2011

A Few "Happy-Happy" Things. . .

“When my one-year-old grandson Jayden enjoys something,
however mundane and ordinary,
he does a little dance and chants in sing-song,
"Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy..."
His cheerful enjoyment of the simplest things is an admirable trait,
so I will follow suit and make a point to notice and exude
"happy, happy, happiness" about simple, daily, easily overlooked things.”
~taken from my High Desert Home blog

Happy-happy me today. . .

~Friends who travel the world and bring me the best jasmine green tea from Asia (the highest quality, they say—for diplomats. . . and for me, too, apparently). It’s delicious. And when I run out, ultra-cool J-Tea from Eugene sells a mighty fine jasmine green tea themselves. Morning coffee~after dinner tea. Nice.

~A beautiful, warm, sunshiny afternoon on such a lovely campus. Leaves are turning, the sky is vibrant blue, and the air feels crisp-but-just-warm-enough. I sat outside on a bench between classes, and my nephew (a student at the honors college, like his sister) came by, sat down beside me, and we visited. Love my nephew!

~Fun at the football game with mom and gang. It got loud (and I got almost hoarse because I do my part as a fan!), and Oregon won even though our best player was out for the entire game and our quarterback went out with an injury just after half-time (and we were playing against a ranked team). No problem. We are rife with great backups! It’s super-fun to be in Autzen stadium—one of the most intimidating stadiums in the U.S., they say.

~Feeling immensely grateful to God for being able to afford to eat tasty, healthy food. And for what seems like a miraculous stretching of the grocery budget! Today: two pieces of sprouted grain toast with almond butter-miso spread; a loaded green smoothie (romaine, kale, cucumber, apple, lemon juice, banana); a falafel pita sandwich with lots-o-veggies; some dark chocolate; a healthy “raw” bar to get me through the afternoon; green tea; a giant dinner salad with romaine, pineapple, avocado, red bell pepper, and Asian vinaigrette, with curry-cashews on top; a bit more dark chocolate (see why this is so happy-happy?). You know, I just feel so great when I eat well.

And, finally, because I have five little quizzes to take online by midnight (and I need to do the homework first) and I have lots of reading and some short-answer questions to fill out. . . and still want to get to bed at a decent hour. . . The final happy-happy?

~Hijole! I got an A+ on my Spanish test. How did that happen? If you had told me a month ago that, after being in Spanish class for less than ten days, I’d be writing a two-page essay in Spanish on a test, I would have laughed. But, along with a page of questions we had to answer, that’s what we were asked to do, and I’m just so thankful that it went well. I don’t ever feel in total command of what we’re doing for class (in fact, sometimes I feel half-panicked about it), but maybe that’s just the nature of the process of this language-learning thing. (And maybe it’s also the nature of too-perfectionistic me—something I’m truly trying to overcome!)

But, at any rate, God is good! And I’m thankful my life is full of “happy, happy”! I hope yours is, too! (And for a lot of us, it’s all about the way we choose to look at it, isn't it?)


  1. Oh, a happy post indeed! And congratulazioni! (Is it congratulaciones in Spanish? I don't know!) You are absolutely right that speaking a new language can make you feel half-panicked, and it's a great place to get over perfectionism. I am having to do total survival method with my Italian. I just learn whatever I need for the week! (This week, appliances.)

    Your word picture transported me to autumn in the US, though it has been nice here in northern Italy, too. It has been so unseasonably warm that the leaves haven't even started turning yet.

    Heh, heh. I know about you and live sporting events. Surprising you have any voice left at all!

    And who did the still life? Is it by Jacob Collins? I really like it!

  2. How invigorating and happy this post is. I must try to find a recipe for these nut butters I keep seeing on US blogs. They sound delicious. We only have peanut butter. Is it the same principle?

  3. What a pleasant post to read! I've been thinking about how healthy eating is perhaps not as expensive as people say; maybe it just takes some ingenuity to pull it together inexpensively. But it's completely worth it.
    Congratulations on your A+! Wow!

  4. Well, I'm just so glad you three liked it! :-)

    Laura, guess what? I took the photo in the post. I smiled when I read what you said because I love Jacob Collins, and even though I'm sure you didn't closely examine the picture to be able to truly see it for what it is, I liked being linked with Collins even remotely. :-) I was drinking tea in my living room while I studied one Sunday afternoon, and when I walked in from another room and saw the sight on the tea table, I liked it. So I shifted things around just the tiniest bit, got down low where I liked the light, and snapped a photo. I never really planned to use it here (I just take pictures when they strike me as something I want to capture, however poorly), but it worked for the post, and I didn't have a photo, so I added it.

    Now I'm off to my last class! Nos vemos. No, wait--Chao! (The Spanish is related to the Italian, Laura, so we've got a Spanish-Italian language connection now! :-)

  5. Oh, and Lucille, I mean to say that, yes, almond butter is the same principle as peanut butter. It's delicious! I'm surprised you don't have it available there (maybe in a natural foods store--or whatever it would be called in the UK?). It is, though, possible to make your own nut butters. I think it takes a long time in a food processor (I've seen recipes on the web). I'm sure if you "Google" it, you'll find worthy instructions (in case you want to try it).

  6. Susan, this post made me happy, happy, happy! too, so thank you! :D I love your teacup with the pretty blue forget-me-nots on it. I love your story about one year old Jayden. And I love that life is good and you are reveling in its goodness; or more rightly translated, that GOD is good, and you are reveling in His goodness! Thank you for your encouragement to all of us to do the same!


    P.S. I got the book you recommended, Homeschooling with Gentleness, by Susie Andres and finished it, and have started on her second book, A Little Way of Homeschooling. I am enjoying them immensely and am so thankful for your recommendation. I also enjoyed Homeschooling, by Gregory And Martine Millman which I read about a year ago. Don't know if you've read it or not, but it's also very good.

  7. What?! No, honestly, I looked at it and thought it was a painting. You know how some people's highest compliment is to say that a painting looks "just like a photo"? Well, for me it's the other way around: That photo looks just like a painting!

  8. Hey Susan,

    Did you know Kara has left the Oregon Project and is now training with Shalane? I was shocked and know no one who follows track and remembered you did, so I thought I'd send this along:


  9. I've found almond butter, you were right a health food shop nearby had it - I just didn't know to look for it. Delish! Less successful with my green smoothie. Too much kale I think, it was pretty disgusting.

  10. Your are appreciated!

  11. you cannot believe how happy i am right now. i CRIED when you ended your blog. every once in awhile i've been checking to see if you'd start back up again. and you have!!!!! oh happy day! i haven't even read this post yet-i'm still shocked lol but i had to let you know how i've waited (and even prayed a few times) for this day. my heart is truly full of joy!!
    anonymous for now cuz of embarrassment of my gushing lol :)

  12. Judi, I haven't even read those books yet! Thanks for the recommendation! :-) I really do want to read them.

    Laura, I am honored by your compliment! :-) So funny!

    Tara, I knew Kara had left Alberto, but I didn't know where she'd gone until you commented! Cool. I hated to see her change, but I do think it will be a good move for her and workouts will be more inspiring, challenging, and beneficial, I think, if Kara trains with Lisa and Shalane (ha! we're on a first name basis with the, aren't we?!) I'm so glad you commented. Another track fan!

    Lucille, I'm so glad you found the almond butter and enjoyed it! Too bad about the smoothie. I'll have to post a really great green drink recipe my sister makes. Delicious! I'll ask her for the recipe.

    To the two who are called "Anonymous." Thank you! (Anonymous #2, I'm glad you found your way here!)