Coffeegirl63's Blog

I Love To Laugh August 15, 2015

Laughter thrills me. And it fascinates me. How many laughs do you know? I’m going to hazard a guess that most of you have seen the movie Mary Poppins. Do you remember the song, I Love to Laugh? The laughs that were heartfelt, sincere, and based in freedom were clearly the favorites. This is true for me as well. My favorite memory of a laugh is my kids’ tickle laugh when they were little… especially my now-24-year-old son’s because he liked to be tickled more than the others. My favorite laugh to elicit from anyone is the laugh that comes from an unexpected turn in the conversation.

I don’t remember how much I laughed as a child, but my parents have told me I was a very happy child. If my mother reads this, she will (hopefully) comment a response. I went for several years not laughing much at all… because I thought that was the way I was supposed to be–sober and grown-up. In the self-discovery stages I’ve gone through in the last several years, I’ve realized that I truly do love to laugh. I started by just smiling more, then quietly chuckling… now I just laugh right out loud if something tickles me.

There are some things that can make me laugh every time till the tears flow and my tummy hurts. Almost every episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? is laugh-out-loud funny. Clean, clever improv is one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I like stand-up comedy, too, but improv fascinates me with its cleverness, quick-thinking creativeness, and intelligence. It’s exciting that it can go any direction at the slightest twist.

By sister and best friend Jeannie can always make me laugh. She and I can have entire conversations without uttering a word, or with only talking in movie lines. She gets me like no one else, and I’m grateful for how she’s held the pain and laughter of my soul in her hands for 52 years. Our conversations are not complete until there has been real laughter. My favorite is when she makes me laugh so hard my face gets all dorky looking.

My favorite friendships are the ones in which we are fully comfortable with laughter and tears—sometimes tears from the laughter, sometimes laughter from the tears!

I pray your days may be filled with heartfelt, healing laughter. Choose it, make it happen, and embrace it!

And now, I leave you with some beautiful thoughts about laughter:

“When the first baby laughed for the very first time, the laugh broke up into a thousand pieces of light, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. So now every time a new baby is born, its first laugh becomes a fairy.” – Sir James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain

“A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all around.” – Carolyn Birmingham

“I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.” – Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor)

“Laughter is the corrective force which prevents us from becoming cranks.” – Henri Bergson

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.” – Agnes Repplier

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

No Such Thing As Too Many Books… January 18, 2013

Filed under: Books,Relaxing — coffeegirl63 @ 7:06 pm
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I live alone. One of the upsides of this is that there is no one to be disgruntled by the fact that I currently have 6 books on the other half of my bed; 5 books, 2 journals, and a Kindle on my nightstand; quite a stack on my bedroom floor (close enough to reach, not so close as to be tripped over); a couple on my dining room table; and one on my coffee table. And one in my purse. Those are just the books I currently access. I also have overflowing bookshelves.

Not very long ago, I rarely made time to read. This was mainly because I worked a lot. I grew up reading, though. I would stay home from school “sick” sometimes so I could read. I got away from it for a while, but it seems I’m back with a vengeance… it’s wonderful!

A text from my son recently: “So apparently Charlotte’s Web turns 60 today. N&N (his housemates) have never read that or Stuart Little, and I was just thinking about how cool it is that you used to read us all those awesome books. Thanks for raising us to love reading! :-)” Reading to kids goes back as many generations as I’ve heard stories of in my family. I still almost always have a kids’ book in my stack of current reads. A couple favorites are The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Once in a while, I will read a book and wish I could read it to my kids because I think they’d enjoy it. We often recommend books to each other.

Recently, someone asked me how I could read so many books at once and how I kept the characters straight. At the time, I was reading Dracula, The Fellowship of the Ring, the Bible, and The Audacity of Hope. I can honestly say that I never confused (in any combination) Romanian vampires with Elves or Hobbits from Middle Earth, Senators and Presidents in Chicago and the White House, or God and the Middle East. Ok, some people made comments about there being vampires in public office, but I contend they are not Romanian so they don’t count as characters who can be confused with each other.

Some of my current reads:
~The Case For Faith–Lee Strobel
~Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation–Lynne Truss
~One Word That Will Change Your Life–Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, Jon Gordon
~The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness In Life and Work–Jon Gordon
~Boundaries In Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships–Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend
~Doing Life Differently: The Art of Living With Imagination–Luci Swindoll
~Don’t Know Much About Mythology–Kenneth C. Davis
~Don’t Know Much About Geography–Kenneth C. Davis
~The One Year Chronological Bible NIV–God
~168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think–Laura Vanderkam
~The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–Barak Obama (no really, it says he wrote the whole 2000-page document)
~The Chotchky Challenge: Clear the Clutter from Your Home, Heart, and Mind… and Discover the True Treasure of Your Soul–Barry Dennis
~100 Years of Cocktails: Recipes and History–H. L. Holbrough

That seems like a lot, but I just read what I currently am in the mood for and have access to. Some of those books are paperback, some hardback, and some electronic (Kindle and phone apps). Sometimes, I’ll read 3 or 4 books in a weekend. Some books take me a long time to get through.

Here’s an example of how I take advantage of any spare reading moment. A couple nights ago, I was getting together with a friend for drinks. I got to the (hotel) bar before she did, so I told her I’d wait inside. This is what she found: Me, sitting alone at the bar, drinking a glass of Australian Shiraz, reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and chuckling audibly. It really is a very funny book. Since it’s my current “purse book,” I’m usually reading it in public and laughing. This makes people ask what I’m reading… They either get it or they don’t.

What are you reading these days? What are your favorite kinds of books (genres, formats)? How have the books you’ve read influenced you? Can people see into your personality by looking at the book you are reading at any given time? by the stack of books you consider your current-reads and next-reads? Do you, will you, have you read to your kids? Do you write in your books–if so, what do you write?

By the way, Thank you, Jerry (http://authorisinthehouse.wordpress.com/) for reminding me to write again!

 

Gratitude July 10, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living,Relaxing,Times with My Family,Writing — coffeegirl63 @ 11:50 am

Recently, I have been thinking about some things I’m very grateful for. I’d like to share with you just a few of them, as well as the events that prompted the realizations…

Today, while checking my work email so that tomorrow (my second day at work since June 24–the first being June 28 when I went in for half a day to process payroll) won’t be completely overwhelming, I saw an email notifying me that my fish order will be delivered tomorrow and that I need to be prepared to take it home as soon as possible. Grateful for: having internet access at home so I can check email at my convenience. Not having to be completely surprised and unprepared for upcoming events (one necessary preparation today: defrosting, cleaning, and organizing my freezer). Working for a company that sells fish (which I love) and that is generous enough to allow me to buy some of the best fish I’ve ever had at a price I can afford. Living in a home big enough to allow me to have a full-sized freezer. Having a freezer large enough to store a year’s worth of fish, a year’s worth of beef, and a year’s worth of green chiles at once, in addition to foods I can purchase in quantity because they are on sale. Having money to buy the aforementioned foods.

As I sit on my front porch enjoying the weather, the view, and a cup of coffee, I’m grateful for: having a home with a front porch and a view. Rocking chairs and a table so heavy it won’t be blown to Kansas or Wyoming by the high winds we get here in Peyton. Coffee. Owning a laptop so I can sit on my front porch and still use my computer. Cell phones so I don’t have to miss the call or text of someone I love (you know who you are).

I miss my kids. I’m grateful for: having amazing kids I enjoy and who love and get along with each other–enough to spend their vacation times on adventures together. Having kids I am so proud of! Kids who aren’t afraid to follow their dreams… even when those dreams don’t look like they originally thought they would and being willing to take the risks and to follow those new paths. Having kids who love God with all their hearts and seek Him first in their life plans. That each of my kids is my absolute favorite.

As I sit here on my front porch writing my thoughts, I’m grateful for: living in a country that encourages, even requires, that all children–including females–be educated, an education that is offered at no cost to families of any socioeconomic status. The ability to read and write. A natural giftedness for communicating in the English language. A love of the beauty, the fun, and the essential limitlessness of words. Living in a country that encourages its citizens to express their thoughts, even providing for that freedom of expression in one of its most important documents.

Thinking over my life–the things I’ve done well and mistakes I’ve made–I’m grateful for: the natural consequences that help me learn lessons quickly… most of the time. Grace and forgiveness so that I’m not paying the painful price of my errors in a way that destroys me or those I love. Friendships and honesty so I can be encouraged in the successes, so I can continue along right paths, as well as be shown the errors in a loving way, correcting some before they become tragedies. Growth that allows me to learn from my successes and failures.

Also, as I sit here on porch and look at the view, I’m grateful for: my lawn and my lawn mower. I am going to go now and avail myself of said lawn mower so I can cut the grass that is now long enough to wave in the aforementioned Peyton winds.

I’m grateful for you who find my writing worthy of your time. Thank you.

 

Lazy Days, Birthdays, and Contests April 7, 2010

Filed under: Relaxing,Times with My Family — coffeegirl63 @ 10:25 pm
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Today was a very lazy day. I stayed inside and watched old episodes of Bones. I didn’t walk today, which I wanted to, so I sorta wasted a pretty nice day. But I’m catching up on sleep—important as I head into a very busy time at work.

I went to my grand-niece’s birthday party tonight—she turned 5 today. It’s an interesting thing to go to a child’s birthday party when one’s own children are past the little-kid-party stage. There’s a completely different perspective regarding what’s adorable. The kids were running around, but not like doped-up-on-sugar maniacs. These kids tonight were pretty well-behaved, which was nice. Jeanice is a kid magnet. They love her and follow her and talk to her… I think because she listens to them and has conversations with them like they’re real people.  I’m not sure who first decided that piñatas should be indestructible, but it was a bad idea. These poor kids are hitting and hitting and hitting (they each got three tries), all to no avail. In the end, they brought one of the dads in because otherwise the festivities would go on forever. The final ritual at any kid party is to pass out cake and ice cream. It has to be the final ritual because the kids are too loopy or cranky to be reasonable after that much sugar.

Speaking of not making kids crazy with artificial foods… (nice segue, huh?) I’d like to mention my friend, Julie, and her blog. If any of you are into really healthy eating, she’s to go-to girl for that. She and her family have committed to a raw vegan lifestyle. Any time I need to know anything about healing the body through natural means or just feeling better or any of that, I ask her. She usually has an answer back for me within a day—what she doesn’t know, she can find out through her amazing network. For example, I have a very good friend who is deathly allergic to peanuts and all tree nuts. I love quinoa, but every package I’ve ever seen has a warning label: processed in a factory that also processes tree nuts. So she’s never been able to taste quinoa. I asked Julie, and that day she had the name of a manufacturer that would be safe for my friend, Allyson.

Julie’s daughter, Misha, is a wonderful photographer; so any food they blog about will have a beautifully photographed presentation for the readers. She regularly has contests offering free goodies—some of the products that she has tested and found to be wonderful. If you would like to check out the blog and/or enter the current giveaway (the most amazing glass straws, seriously, you’ll be hooked forever!), visit her blogsite.

Tomorrow we’ll plant flowers and do some more baking.

On a final note… why does everyone laugh when you mention the planet Uranus by name? No one laughs when you talk about any other planet…

Blessings, Joni

 

All About Town and In the Kitchen April 6, 2010

Filed under: Relaxing,Times with My Family — coffeegirl63 @ 7:23 pm
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Jeanice and I have been hanging out today. We walked all about town this morning–I really like Livermore. I’d forgotten how pretty it is in the spring. The hills are lush and vibrantly verdant.

When we finished our walk, we went and had Sushi for lunch. The sushi was pretty good. There are two places in town. We went to the one that DIDN’T have the sign that read, “We are closed every second week of Sunday!” What does that even mean? Anyway, that wasn’t what dissuaded us from eating there, we’d just heard the other one was better. As I said, it was pretty good, but not quite up to Jun’s standards.

Then we came home this afternoon and started working in the kitchen. It’s tradition when I’m in Livermore to make granola and biscotti for T. And J asked me to make bread. The granola is my favorite recipe, and I think what makes it special is the Rice Krispies. The biscotti is a Pampered Chef recipe, so I can’t legally share it here, but I like it b/c it’s not the regular tooth-breaking cookie we’re all used to. Those of you who know me at all know that I would think dunking a cookie into coffee would be disgusting–wet cookies and floaties in my coffee? I don’t think so!

Here are two of my projects (the biscotti will be made after dinner):

Here is the bread just before putting it into the oven–whole wheat, hearty, yumminess!

And here is the bread after I baked it:

And here is the granola after baking, before adding dried fruit:

This recipe is from a book for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia. Don’t remember much about the book, but I’ve been making this granola for 25 years.

The only downside to the day was not being here, as T asked, to sign for the new netbook. 😦

Thank you for joining me again today.

In Him, Joni