A Smile Every Day

I did this back in January and it turned out pretty well. This time I have fewer pictures, but I’ve been short on things to write about, so this seemed like a good topic.

It’s been a hard couple of weeks. I couldn’t say exactly why, except for the fluctuating weather. Granted, there have been some deaths in the church, too, and I was kind of close to the families that were affected. So, like in January, I decided to keep my eyes open this past week for little things to smile about.

Sunday: Easter. I’m one of those people who tends to see most days as being equal, rather than certain days being special, but I love Easter mornings around our house. Dad always seems to be singing under his breath a broad version of “He Arose” as he shuffles about his morning routine. There’s yummy food prepped for lunch. We all look fancy.

And it had rained overnight, so I stepped outside to everything still dripping wet with the sun just coming through the clouds. Of course this translated to humidity and warmth later, but that moment was perfect.

For the first time in my memory, choir had two specials in the morning. I’m still (STILL) recovering from my cough, so I wasn’t able to sing as well as normal, but we sounded great all the same.

Mom decided on a Mediterranean theme for lunch. I think Mediterranean may be my favorite cuisine. Everything had garlic or lemon in it, and we used at least 2 dozen eggs. There were roasted veggies, roasted potatoes, salad, ciabatta, and chicken, and then this amazing lemon and olive oil cake.

I was practically comatose by the evening service. There’s a gentleman in the church who plays the guitar and has a steady, calming sort of voice. Whenever he sings, Pastor inevitably asks him to sing a second song. That night he ended up singing five and no one was complaining. Then we did the Lord’s Supper and were out early, which is a feat at our church.


File Apr 19, 9 52 50 AM

Monday: The day didn’t start off as well as Sunday. Tip likes to roam the halls screaming
in the night, so I caught her around 2:00 AM and threw her in the bathroom. Naturally, the beast has figured out how to work the door open. Add to that the fact that I decided to leave my window open and my fan going, even though it was a little too cold for that, and I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep.

I’ve been working on walking every day with Moxie and had hoped to get that done Monday morning, but that wasn’t happening. I barely got up and ate breakfast, and I should have showered.

But I had started a good book, and there was still pizza in the work fridge that I forgot to bring home at the end of the previous week, so it wasn’t all bad. Also, the humidity had gone down a little and our trees are starting to bloom. There’s a flowering tree outside the office that looks gorgeous right now.


Tuesday: Because the weather was nice and I felt like a change of scene, I took Moxie to our local city forest for our walk. Aside from all of the dogs wanting to make friends (“Oh, look! Another dog! Let’s go barreling toward them asking for nose-boops!”) it went well. She only barked at one dog, and that one was a fluffy monster of a thing that caught sight of her and went jackal, so he deserved it. The humans were eye-balled but tolerated, so long as there was a steady stream of treats. File Apr 19, 9 52 11 AMThe other dogs got raised hackles and warning growls from Moxie while their owners scrambled to drag them to safety after I issued my warning: “Yeah, they may be friendly, but she isn’t! Sorry, thank you, have a good day.”

You’d think Moxie was a werewolf the way other humans reacted to the notion of an unfriendly dog. (She was the only one that wasn’t off-leash, too.) I know. I don’t quite understand it, either.

We will definitely be repeating this exercise over the summer.


Wednesday: I had to run to the grocery store before work because I’m out of breakfast food. As I was heading down an aisle, a worker came around the corner with a cart of boxes, so I stepped out of the way. She said something along the lines of “Don’t worry, madame, I won’t hit you,” and complimented my hair.

I have never been called “madame” before (except by Jo, and that doesn’t count). It put a smile on my face that lasted until I remembered what day it was.

One of my purchases was a bag of pears. We have a pear tree at home and I like to eat the fruit when it’s still crisp and pretend it’s an apple. Store-bought pears made me a little leery, but I wasn’t in the mood for oranges, so I decided to give it a try.

I washed it first, but even with a cut lip I didn’t get an itchy lip plump or a sore throat. Yay for crunchy fruit I can eat!


Thursday: I woke up around 5:00 to thunder and lightning; soft, but steady. The rain came and went all day. By the time I was trying to convince myself to get out of bed, it had slowed to a drizzle and the birds were singing. Moxie likes to sit at the foot of my bed and stare out of the window in the mornings, and she started to snore about the time I seriously needed to get moving.

While I like gray rainy days at home, when I can curl up under a heavy blanket with a good book and some tea, I don’t really like them at work. We get precious little natural light as it is and rainy days mean the only light I get is fluorescent. Thankfully the mood in the office was as mellow as the weather and I was pretty well caught up with my work.


Friday: This was a hard day to smile about. Fridays tend to be our quietest day in the office, and this one was really quiet. I could have used the time to get the week’s filing out of the way, but I had no energy, and the weather was gloomy.

I was not feeling up to a walk with Moxie when I got home but forced myself out anyway. By the time our 15 minutes were done and we were back inside, my jaw was numb from a brisk wind. The smile was brought about as I was walking, head bent and feet cramping, through that wind, and a passage from The Secret Garden came to mind:

(…) and so she went out. She did not know that this was the best thing she could have done, and she did not know that, when she began to walk quickly or even run along the paths and down the avenue, she was stirring her slow blood and making herself stronger by fighting with the wind which swept down from the moor. She ran only to make herself warm, and she hated the wind which rushed at her face and roared and held her back as if it were some giant she could not see.

Even though Friday itself wasn’t the best of days, we’ve had a series of beautiful days this week, with rain during the night and birdsong in the morning and sunshine and fresh air and the tulips coming up, despite how determined the hens are to destroy them.


Saturday: There have been movie trailers on Facebook for Chris Evans’s new movie Gifted, which Calli and I both wanted to see. However, it isn’t showing at our theater; the nearest showing is 45 minutes away. In an uncharacteristic stroke of planning, Calli and I agreed several days in advance to go see this movie on Saturday.

This movie wasn’t grand or particularly clever or explosive, but it was still sweet, and certainly a change from what I’m used to seeing Chris Evans play in. It isn’t getting the best reviews, but I think some of that is people expecting more than the movie is offering. It felt a little understated and was definitely doing its best to be sentimental, which I normally don’t go in for. (There was a trailer for another movie about a military dog and his handler which I know I won’t see because I know I’ll cry.) Still, Gifted was well above Hallmark level, so I count it worth the ticket.

There were only about a dozen people for the showing. A couple a few rows in front of us also stayed until the end of the credits (Marvel has trained us well) and the husband remarked about how much he liked it.

I’ve got plenty to look forward to this week. I’m slowly working my way into a food challenge Jo has been at for 2 weeks called Whole30. I can’t jump right into it because I still have some yogurt and chicken casserole to eat up, but I got a few supplies and have some recipes on hand, including tahini (that was a splurge), so by May I’ll be set to go. Now that I have 2 weeks of pretty regular walks with Moxie under my belt, I’ll work on taking those walks in the mornings instead of the afternoons, so I’m not dying when summer comes around.

I’m getting better at waking up before my alarm, but I’m still not very productive in the mornings. The sunshine is certainly helping with that. I’ve been doing better with budgeting, too, so in May I’ll be able to start saving in earnest (and I may even be looking at a raise!).

Finally getting life back in order after the chaos of October through the holidays is my biggest reason to smile lately; which only makes sense with me being something of a control freak. I have just over a month before I visit Eli, I have a budget in place for the rest of the year, Missions Conference is coming up, and the trees are green again. May is looking to be a good month.



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