Just for Fun

6 Reasons to Smile September 2018

22067113 - september
Photo courtesy of Nenilkime

Like many months, there’s been lots of ups and downs in September but this post is about smiling, dammit, so that’s what I’ll bring out–the sunny smiles.

My Process

Because I don’t usually remember particular days and when I specifically smiled, I have a process to jog my memory.  First I go to my calendar and look at all the listed activities on specific dates for the month I’m about to blog about.  Next, I look at my uploaded pictures on my computer (I upload faithfully to DropBox out of fear of losing them),  And, finally, I look at my phone to see if I have any pictures that have not yet been uploaded.

6 Reasons to Smile

One of the first things that made me smile was my middle daughter got her first job.  She apparently felt like she had missed out on something special.  I never forced my kids to get a job because I wanted them to focus on their schoolwork.  Their only job was to go to school and get good grades, and that was it.

I didn’t want them to have to work like I did.  I started working before I was legal to do so (I lied about my age) because my mom didn’t have a lot of money, we lived in a very wealthy area, and I was tired of sticking out like a sore thumb in my TJ Maxx rejects.

I wanted Strawbridge & Clothier clothes, Macy handbags, and garments plucked from hoidy toidy racks of from Lord & Taylor.  That’s what growing up in a wealthy suburb will do to ya, folks–it makes you materialistic.

But it’s not really only about that–I didn’t want to cause anyone to give me a second glance.  I wanted people to leave me alone and not make fun of me like these girls did.  Having some of the wealthiest girls laugh at me for the clothes I wore in 5th and 6th grade has scarred me for life.  Trust me, I am always the most overdressed person at every event I attend.  One of my neighbors commented, “Leave it to Catherine to come to a cul-de-sac BBQ in a skirt and heels.”  And that was a man!

Madison is so proud of going through all the hoops to get her first job.  She figured the process out all on her own.  She’s loving working at Kohl’s, especially because they have her unloading trucks and walking around selecting items people have ordered online and will pick up at the store later.  As an introvert like her old ma, she’d rather not deal with people.

Madison's First Job

September made me smile because I had back-to-back events with friends I’ve had for a long time.  One of the events was at a restaurant called Casa Sol y Mar in Del Mar.  I hadn’t been there in a long time, and although this is not a place for a proper review, my meal was very good.  I will definitely go back.  We live within 1/2 mile of excellent sit-down Mexican food restaurant so it might be a while before I venture 10 miles back to Casa Sol y Mar.  However, I do recommend it to anyone looking for Mexican food in the Del Mar/Carmel Valley Area.

Casa Sol y Mar September 2018
Where am I looking exactly?? Photo courtesy of Pam Nagata

I love decorating the outside of the house for holidays.  I try to go over the top and sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don’t.  When I don’t, it’s due to laziness.  I may get overwhelmed by all that I want to do and end up doing next to nothing.

My goal is always to make the neighbors stop and say, “WTH?” or have the little kids in the neighborhood stop in front of my house, overwhelmed and unwilling to move despite their caregiver’s pushing.

I never knew what my goals were until one lady, who I see walking her dogs every single day, stopped in front of my house when I was still adding more decorations in the dark to my yard and she asked, “Ya think you have enough lights?”  So much sarcasm dripping from her lips, I should have received a flash flood warning on my phone!  Even though I had seen her nearly every single day of the week for years, she had never said a single word to me until the comment about the lights.

What I love is when I figure out something more fun than usual.  This year, the addition to the Halloween decorations is the incorporation of a full-sized skeleton.  I’m going to put the skeleton in the Prius which is permanently parked in our driveway despite the fact that nobody drives it, and was supposed to be sold months ago.  Sigh.  But now it’s going to be a part of the decorations.

The skeleton will be placed in the driver’s seat with a wig on its head and the hair will be forced back with hairspray so that it looks like it’s being blown by the wind.  One arm is going to hang outside of the window like how one puts their arm on a long road trip.  Plus I’ll throw in some of the fake cobwebs which may or may not be necessary given the fact that the car has been parked for so long that the wheels have legitimate, spider-made webs.  Talk about authentic!

What I also liked about buying this skeleton is that it ended up being a family outing.  We left the house mainly for a quick lunch but it ended as a long trip to Michael’s.  Madison and I put the skeleton into the shopping cart like a mom would do with a little kid in tow and laughed our butts off so hard I know we embarrassed ourselves.  We pushed our new, seriously underweight friend around the store, waiting for reactions from other shoppers.  I still smile thinking of this.  I think one Michael’s trip should count for double in the smiles department.

Our Very Thin New Friend
Our very underweight new friend

Our family doesn’t usually attend yearly, local events with any frequency but there’s one that we go to far more consistently than most, and that’s the Carlsbad ArtWalk.  I go to support local artists, and to see the chalk art created in the street.  The chalk pieces are usually quite amazing.

I was disappointed in the changes at the Carlsbad ArtWalk this year–there were so many tents showing artists’ works rather than highlighting the chalk artists.  The chalk artists’ creations were shoved to the side and given a lot less room.

One thing that made me smile was the original art I saw was pretty good.  I didn’t buy anything this year, though–a first, because I seemed to only be attracted to pieces that were either $750 or $2500/$3000.  The last time I bought a painting at the Carlsbad ArtWalk was a few years ago and it was from a deaf artist with such incredible talent.  He sold me three pieces for $150, framed.  I have them in my office and can look at them anytime I want, and they always bring me joy.

Buying a $2500 bowl would probably only bring me a heart attack, rather than joy.  We play with our dogs in the house, and we’re rough.  Can you imagine breaking a one-of-a-kind $3000 piece with a thrown ball?!  No, I couldn’t either which is why I left empty handed.

carlsbad ArtWalk 2018
Carlsbad ArtWalk 2018

If you’ve read my blog for any time, you know how much I love my daughter’s dog, Brody.  He is such a little character and brings so much life to this house.  I know I should love my dogs equally, and I do, but Brody gets into your face and makes you pay attention to him.  Poor Pearl is so quiet and unobtrusive that she only makes her presence known when she’s expecting a cookie or a walk.  Sometimes I walk over to her and lie down to let her know that she is loved.

But this post is about my September smiles and Brody took the cake this month with his choice of toys.  One day I was sitting on the patio and Brody brought a tiny lime that must’ve fallen off the tree we have in the backyard.  He laid it at my feet and acted like he wanted me to throw it, so that’s what I did.  He took off after the lime and brought it back to me again and again.  As it got more and more damaged, I wondered when he would stop since it had to be rather tart in his mouth.

Brody kept this game going with the lime until the lime was broken in half.  I found another lime for him and he loved that one just as well.  Brody made me smile this month because he has a thousand toys and he chose a tiny lime–just like when a child chooses a free box over a brand-new $100 toy.

Egg and Lime
The boiled egg is there to show the size of the lime

A few months ago, I started writing on Medium.  My goal is to earn a few dollars for my writing.  I’ve been consistently inconsistent but that is all about to change since I hired an accountability coach.  I don’t know what magic Milli has but when she’s paying attention to me, I follow-through. And she doesn’t even have to yell to get me to do something!

I think many of us need accountability coaches for all kinds of reasons like achieving dieting goals, exercise goals, writing goals, etc.  I believe she even has a client who needed help following through on creating art!  I cannot imagine not wanting to paint every single day if I had the talent.

But I’m digressing a wee bit–the thing that made me smile is when I got a text saying that Medium was depositing money into my bank account.  Can I get a drum roll please for the amount?  No matter, I whooped and immediately showed all those in the area how much I made from Medium.

$1.89 payment

And with my giant deposit already safely in my bank account, I will end this post right here 🙂

What made you smile in September?  Leave me one thing you smiled about.

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