7 06 2017

Generally speaking, I am a love-the-status-quo kind of girl. I find myself in a lather over a simple half-hour change in a scheduled appointment. A computer update will send me either into a blind rage or the fetal position. You get the gist – I am not particularly adaptable. I don’t like change.

Having admitted that, I AM trying to, well, to adapt. I know that I can get better at coping with the little (and big) changes that happen in my life. It is not easy, but I know that everyone faces changes that they don’t (think they) want and when they do, most folks don’t turn into a hungry, sleepy two-year-old.

A long time ago, when he was about six, my brother responded to another kid’s jab at the “weird color” shirt John was wearing (it was burgundy – a very new color for boy’s clothes at that time) by saying, “You have to be different to be better.”

I think that I’ll try out substituting the word “improvement” for that dreaded c-word – change. Let’s face it, most of the changes we face are not catastrophic. There is always some uneasiness, of course, but there is always some opportunity for things to be “different, but better,” if we look for it.

If you need some evidence, I present this before and after:

“Big Hair, Shoulder Pads and Angst” Early 1980’s


“Wrinkles, Comfort, and Relaxation” Early 2010’s

A Deliberate Act

23 07 2014

Several weeks ago, I read this interesting little snippet of language: a beautiful and clever woman named Danielle Duffy said she was going to “create deliberate joy.”  Isn’t that a lovely idea?

Create Deliberate Joy.

I am a happy person. I wake up each morning with the feeling that the day is going to be a great one.  Of course, some days, that feeling is slapped out of me by some unexpected unpleasantness, but that does not stop me from arising with the same positive feeling the next day.

Create Deliberate Joy.

Something turned over in my mind, the moment I read those words.

Yes, I am a happy person, but the idea of creating joy – consciously – actively – is different and exciting.  It’s wonderful to be happy, but how thrilling it is to go from being happy to “doing” happy, to look for ways to grow more of it and to share it with others.

Danielle’s declaration, Create deliberate joy, has set me on a path that has improved my already damn fine life.  I am taking every opportunity to engage with my happiness. I am not taking it for granted. I am noticing the goodness, paying attention to all the wonderful things around me.  I am also – and this is not easy for me, for, even though I wear an extrovert’s clothing, I am truly an introvert at heart – reaching out to others to create deliberate joy for them, too.

If this sounds a little bit too intangible, are you ever mistaken!  One of the surest ways for me to create deliberate joy is not only tangible, it’s smell-able and taste-able – Orange Creamsicle Cookies, a recipe I’ve, in my opinion, perfected and share with you, here, so you can create some deliberate joy of your very own. I can tell you, it created some deliberate joy at the neighbor’s house, yesterday!


Orange Creamsicle Cookies  – PKL

2 ½  c  flour

¾  t      baking soda

1/2  t    salt

1 c       unsalted butter, softened

¾ c      sugar

¼ c      firmly packed brown sugar

2          medium eggs

1 t        vanilla extract

The zest – outer orange part, only – of 2 large oranges

2        Ghirardelli white chocolate bars, hacked into approximately quarter- to half-inch chunks (Yes, the chips are cheaper,

           but do NOT substitute. The bar is much better quality!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and sugars until light. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth. Blend in orange zest. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Stir in white chocolate chunks.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 8 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Do not overcook! Cool for a minute on cookie sheets before transferring to rack to cool completely.

Store in airtight container – who am I kidding – eat them all, immediately!