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#JoyRising – shutterfly

#JoyRising – shutterfly

In this digital age — I still L.O.V.E. sending and receiving real, paper and ink, Christmas cards.  Some years, they have photos, other years – a charming Christmas scene or an eco-friendly card supporting a charity or an animal in crisis. Right around now — a few weeks before Thanksgiving — I order my Christmas cards.  JOY!

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#JoyRising – apples

#JoyRising – apples

Last Christmas, I gave our family the Fruit of the Month Club as a gift that keeps on giving.  Today we received our final shipment – Heirloom Apples.


They are so beautiful.  Can’t wait to try them tomorrow.  Confession though – tomorrow I AM going to buy a small bag of caramels and chocolate chips.  I saw this recipe on FB where you slice the apples, spread melted caramel over the face of the slice, then drizzle chocolate on the top — let them set a bit and voila, you have Samoan cookie style apple slices.  Ohhh, it’s happening.  In a controllable portion size of course.

No need to point out the JOY today right??  #JoyRising

ciao for now…Diane

#JoyRising – sunshine

#JoyRising – sunshine

The definition of J.O.Y is the feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  It’s delight, elation, bliss.

Halloween is behind us, so that means the season of J.O.Y is now.  There are 59 days until New Year’s Day, so I’m going to use each as an opportunity to share some JOY with you.  I hope you will comment and share some of your joy as well!  Please join me.


Today – it was simply gorgeous in Baltimore.  Sunny, high 60s, maybe 70 even!  I warmed up my lunch in the cafe pantry microwave and took it outside to the outdoor tables.  I only had 10 minutes, but I decided the joy of eating my lunch outside in the sun for 10 minutes was worth more than an hour inside without the sun.  My entire day was brighter.  My lunch tasted better.  My spirit was lighter.  Soak it in.  Soak it in.


Ciao for now….Diane

365 Days of Happiness — THE 365TH DAY!

365 Days of Happiness — THE 365TH DAY!

Well – here we are.  One entire year later.  The 365th day of my yearlong search for happiness in my life.  Bit by bit.

So let’s remember.  Why did I start this?  A year ago — I lost my job.  It came just two months before my 50th birthday and as a complete surprise.  I felt very capable at work.  I was a BIG contributor.  I was Making A Difference.

But.  It happened anyway.  And it ripped the rug out from under me.  I felt without gravity, spinning and floating out of my earthly understanding…..and I needed grounding.  I needed…..Happiness.

Did I find it?  YES.  Where did I find it?   Everywhere…and nowhere.  I learned….to manufacture it, ….simply by letting go.


“Letting go?  What the heck does that mean??”

Well, I’ll tell you.  I learned through the sudden shock of losing my job — just how tight-fisted I was.  I held on tight to my identity at work.  I held on tight to the security and stability that it gave me.  It was as if my job nailed me to the planet.  I was here and ok because of it.

What a bunch of malarkey!

Once I learned how to let go….just let my reality be.…just be….I learned that my job didn’t make me who I am.  My home didn’t define my family.  Where I lived wasn’t where my love and warmth was.  It was all inside.  inside me,  inside Peter, inside our daughters, inside all the friends who picked up my spirits when I was feeling down about myself.

The house was sticks and bricks.  The job was projects and paperwork.  The happiness was in the connections.  All the little bitty links between me and all of you.  Every one of you…..gave me happiness this year.  And every kind word, every like, every smile and hug….allowed me to let my situation be and gave me time to learn how to see myself and my life.  To SEE IT.   And in that peaceful present place — I learned how to be okay.  The Happiness Machine was turned ON.

Things in our lives WILL come and go.  LMAO, of course the coming feels BETTER than the going (most times).  But the going…is just as important.  It’s in the going where the clean slate comes.  The new beginning.  Like the ocean pulling out the old sand castles you slaved for hours to build, taking it right out to sea…..only to bring in a beautiful seashell with the next wave and lay it at your feet.

Let life come and go.  Greet the moments with compassion….and patence.  Don’t let the going strip you of your identity.  Let it bathe you with the promise of what comes next.

Because…..something ALWAYS comes next.

Like tomorrow?  What comes after 365 Days of Happiness???  I.  Don’t. Have. The. Faintest. Idea.  But I know it’s going to be wonderful and happy.   <3

I send all my love to you from Baltimore….more happiness lies ahead.  Keep watching for it, everyday in your lives.  #ChooseHappiness365 (365/365)

Ciao for now….Diane

365 Days of Happiness (355/365)

365 Days of Happiness (355/365)

Up early today.  Rousted out of bed by my alarm.  Saturdays are best started by waking naturally as the morning light gently enters the room.  This morning would have been a deliciously slow awakening, as moody clouds filled the Baltimore sky.


BUT!  Gotta get up.  Went to Advanced Radiology Group in Ellicott City and got my mammogram.  #SaveLives

Happy Saturday.  A whole wonderful day awaits you.

#ChooseHappiness365 (355/365)

Ciao for now….Diane

365 Days of Happiness (351/365)

365 Days of Happiness (351/365)

Building a house is a lot like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle.  The choices and decisions can be overwhelming at times.  We met with a lovely woman named Nora, who took us through the design process so easily.    Nora, thank you. We are so grateful to you.


Well – that’s it.  All of our choices have been made.  Our home will soon be in the hands of our Project Manager, Ben. We meet him on Friday for our pre-construction meeting.  It’s getting so real.

#TheresNoPlaceLikeHome #ChooseHappiness365 (351/365)

Ciao for now…Diane