Sunday, December 10, 2017

What Makes Us Happy

I don't watch TV.  I do watch news programs, movies and read stories, blogs, etc. on my computer.  Nearly everything I see has ads telling me how much happier my life would be if only I bought their product.

That got me to thinking about what, exactly, does it take to make me happy, and I found it has little to do with the purchase of goods.  Oh, I do like my kitchen gadgets as much as anyone else and I could do some serious damage to my budget in a fabric store or a yarn shop, but for the most part my happiness has nothing to do with spending money.

Some of the things that make me happy are:

The words "I love you, Mom."

The phone call from a grand that starts out with, "Guess what, Grandma!"

The first cup of coffee each morning.

A cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter evening, especially if it is made using my homemade mix with malt powder in it.

Cornbread fresh from the oven.

Watching the snow fall from the window in my cozy apartment.

Reading a good murder mystery book that keeps me up all night so I can find out 'who done it.'

Working on an afghan I know my long, tall grandson will like.

Sewing quilts that one day will keep my family warm.

Looking at the hundreds of jars full of food that insures my family will not go hungry in a crisis.

Going through the old family photos that sometimes make me smile and sometimes make me cry, missing those who are no longer here, but always make me remember the good times.

Reading and answering the comments from friends who stop by here now and then.

I don't need that new car or that ocean cruise or that expensive whatever to make me happy.  My heart is full with what I already have.


  1. Vicki, I just love this post, and your list.

    1. Thank you, Kristina...Sometimes in the middle of all the hullabaloo, we just need to stop, take a deep breath and think about what is really important. :)

  2. Nice.
    For me - right now - nestled on my two seat recliner, under a cozy fleece blanket with the dog sound asleep and snoring by my side.
    Cheers, SJ

    1. Oh, SJ...That sounds lovely. I hope there is a nap or a good book or both involved. Give the snoring pooch a nice pat on the head for me.

  3. All those are wonderful things Vicki! There should be more of these kinds of values and less things like Black Friday.

    1. get it, don't you. I can not imagine anything happy about going to Walmart on Black Friday to get into a fist fight over a big screen TV. I keep saying that we need to get back to the old time values. The world would be a happier place if we did. Your son is a lucky boy to have a Mom who understands those values.

  4. You are blessed, Vicki. Most of us are, I guess, but some folks don't seem to see it. (But I still enjoy grumping! - lol)

    1. Gorges...I read what you write and although I don't comment as often as I should, I know you understand what is important and what isn't. And if you ever stop grumping I will be seriously worried about you, my friend :)

  5. What Gorges said: you're a rare person, being satisfied from what the Apostle Paul described as "enough". Bravo!

    1. Rev. Paul...I am nothing special - just an old lady who has more years behind me than ahead. It took me way too many of those years to realize that being happy is what we decide to do. That and forgiving those we feel have harmed us, whether they want our forgiveness or not. Both bring peace.

  6. "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly ; what is essential is invisible to the eye. "

    The Little Prince

    1. Goatldi...What a wonderful quote - and oh, so true.

  7. Would you please give me your hot chocolate ingredients? I just don't like the ready made packets you can buy at the store.

    1. There are two recipes I have used. The first tastes more like the store bought cocoa mix and the second more like the cocoa Mom used to make. Both are good, but I am using the second one more now because I always have the ingredients on hand and don't always have the instant chocolate milk mix (Nestle's Quick) on hand. The malted milk powder can be added or not, according to personal taste. Enjoy!

      Malted Hot Cocoa Mix

      1 (25.6 ounce) box nonfat dry milk powder
      1 (16 ounce) container instant chocolate milk mix
      1 (13 ounce) jar malted milk powder
      1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
      1 (6 ounce) jar powdered nondairy creamer
      1/2 teaspoon salt

      In large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until well blended. Store in an airtight container. Keep in a cool place.

      To serve: In mug, pour 6 ounces of hot water over 1/3 cup cocoa mix, and stir until well blended.


      5 cups nonfat dry powdered milk
      3 cups powdered sugar (more or less according to your taste)
      1 1/2 cups dry cocoa
      1 cup nondairy coffee creamer
      pinch of salt

      Mix powdered milk, creamer, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sift in cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix well. Store in a airtight container.

      When ready to use, add approximately 1/3 cup to a mug of boiling water. Stir until cool enough to drink.

      You might want to try some of these variations. The recipe is very flexible.

      * crushed peppermint sticks
      * cinnamon
      * malted milk powder

  8. I would be happy with a new car. However, having a new car is not a requirement for me to be happy. I was without a tv for two weeks, and sorely missed the news. But a 32" TV works for me. I am amazed at the things presented in ads that should make us happier! However, if I had chickens, I would be deliriously happy. I will get more chickens this spring. Right now, I would be happy if I could be well for more than two days! Of course, I feel horrible for only two

    1. Linda...When it comes right down to it, it seems that for many of us, it is the simple things that give us pleasure. I'm with you on the chickens. Reminded me of a time many years ago when I kept chickens. But I think one of the most important things is our health. I don't think we realize how it affects our happiness until we become ill.