Ingredients for happiness

1. Sing out loud

I have a voice made for silent movies, but I sing when I’m driving. I’m quieter when the children are in the car, but I still sing. I don’t stop singing at red lights. It makes no difference to me what I look like to other drivers. If I’m singing, I’m happy. The only thing better than singing out loud is when the family joins in on the song. Those moments are golden.

2. Dance a little or a lot

Dancing in the car is a head bop or shoulder wiggle, but my happiest dancing is when I’m washing dishes. Standing at the sink is the best time to dance like nobody’s watching, even if they are.

3. Cats and dogs

Never miss a chance to pet a dog. Laugh at dog noses poking out car windows. Accept the forced relaxation of a cat in your lap. Cats and dogs are pure happiness.

Find the things that make you happy. Seek them. Embrace them.

annual Thanksgiving prep convo

He: “I have one day available before Thanksgiving company arrives. What would you like me to focus on getting done?”
She: “The bathroom and kitchen need scrubbing. I’d like a driver for the grocery shopping so I don’t have to deal with the chaos of the grocery store parking lot.”
He: “I was thinking of painting the ceilings.”
She: < - Imagines the ceiling covered in putty, plastic drapes on the furniture, temporary walls and paint supplies piled in every corner for the entire holiday season. -> “No painting.”
He: “You’re going to whine that the *ceiling needs painting all year.”

*He’s right. I will.

TV ramblings

While I hope everyone involved in the dumpster fire that is Inhumans is sitting on a time-out bench, thinking about what they did, I am loving The Gifted. The world they’re building and the characters inhabiting it are deliciously absent the sad trope of good and evil. Still, there are some directions they seem to be heading that parallel the Professor X vs Xavier survival philosophies. While I normally steer clear of anything that involves harm to children or animals, I am not rooting for Polaris to keep her child. Every time that child cries, she’ll stab it with a diaper pin. In the same vein, when they kill off characters in the season finale, they should ditch the mom trying to have domestic bliss and school in a war zone. Her behavior is silly and dangerous. It’s easy to suspend belief when the characters are using superpowers, but the MacGyver surgery she does should have every patient dying of sepsis and her own son should have bled out. She needs to go.

Last Man on Earth adding babies has steered them into traditional sitcom territory and away from the Oregon Trail comedic death march that made it unique. Give Kristen Schaal her own show. She is a comedic genius.

The first season of Riverdale was an evil fun, teen soap. The characters should have been college students instead of high schoolers, but it was still fascinating to see the dark twist on the comic characters. This season, the adults are completely horrible and the unparented teens are endlessly stupid.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place need to stay on the air forever.

I suffered through Iron Fist and regret that it was white privilege drivel because it could have made great gifs for our current political climate, but I’m not watching The Punisher. Yuck.

conceptual nap

I think I like the idea of naps better than actual naps. Because I am perpetually exhausted, I always claim to be looking for the free time to nap. I never met a nap meme that I didn’t like and/or share. Naps sound luxurious and refreshing.

If I actually take a nap in the late afternoon, I wake with a dull headache and have a terrible night’s sleep. If I take a nap in the early afternoon, I wake feeling like I’ve wasted half the day.

The best thing for me to relax and refresh is a book nap. One chapter to de-stress and two chapters to feel pampered. Two chapters in the bathtub? Heaven.

youth basketball

I’ve sat on the sidelines of hundreds of Color Guard and Winter Guard practices and performances. I’ve stood beside the husband while he juggles fire. I have never feared for my safety as much as I do at the middle school child’s basketball practices. There are hordes of balls being thrown in every direction on the court, the sidelines, the bleachers, the halls and everywhere in between.

Adults sit on the sidelines of the court and assume a hunched shoulder, slightly sideways posture in the hope that stray basketballs will harmlessly thunk heads and shoulders instead of smashing eyeglasses or sending paperwork flying. Paperwork and paperbacks are the multitasker’s safest option at basketball practices. Since you’re basically trying to work while sitting in the middle of a dodgeball game, it can’t be anything that requires actual concentration or uses fragile electronics.

I think it’s time to make plexiglass ice hockey partitions a requirement for youth basketball. Until then, can they practice on an ice hockey rink?

mom’s car

A year and a half ago, I got a new car. During the annoyingly lengthy shopping process, the husband asked me what I would choose to drive if I could have any car in the world and I told him a classic red Mustang. We bought a Nissan Rogue. The husband chose to include every safety feature offered. I drive a playpen. No, that’s not accurate. I drive a purse. The hand lotion is in the driver’s door pocket. The chargers are in the center console, but the bottle opener is in the top tray. There’s a barf bag and emergency potty in the glove box behind the mountain of fast food napkins, straws and spoons. Tissues and clorox wipes are in the middle section. The emergency blanket, first aid kit, trash bags, paper towels, jumper cables and stadium seats are in the rear section.

It’s not the car I asked for, but it’s the car I need… with everything I hope to never need.

Today, I rolled my window down and a spider dropped into the car. Before I could scoop it up and toss it back out, it escaped to the middle of the car where a spider lifetime of crumbs are hidden in the seat cushions. That spider has probably invited all his friends to live in my car and they’re definitely all brown recluses.

Obviously I’m going to need a new car now.

maybe if I added nutmeg

After Halloween, I put our pumpkins on the wildlife viewing area known as our back porch. I’ve seen all the adorable pictures of zoo animals happily eating leftover pumpkins. Our raccoons, possums, skunk, owl, hawks, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits and deer aren’t traditional zoo animals, but I thought it was worth a try. Neither the carved nor the uncarved pumpkin have a single nibble mark on them. The experiment wasn’t a complete failure. The candle that was accidentally left in one of them has been chewed up like wax lips chewing gum.