Saturday, August 13, 2011

Simple Pleasures

by Joanie

Lately, I've been feeling really bummed about all the angst and bad news floating out in the world today. It can really get to be too much and I've gotten to the point where I don't even watch the news much. I think I've sprained my cringe muscle!

I was contemplating this during Mass a couple of weeks ago when I saw something that, brief as it was, lifted me up. A simple pleasure, something that is positive, evocative of the good things in life, something that buoyed me up. And so this blog was born. Here are some Simple Pleasures I enjoyed this past week.

First, of course was the one at church. It was a young father bringing his two year old daughter BY HIMSELF to services. She was a cutie patootie and he had the diaper bag thing going and he was so capable and self assured. Suffice to say, being a Daddy's girl, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for watching guys with their little ones.

Next stop, the Humane Society kitten display. I know, I know ya'll are probably sick to death of me taking about my baby cats but this one little thing made me feel good. It was a tiny little black kitten who reached its paw out from the cage, caught the tip of my finger. My heart tripped and it took everything to walk away.

The Waltons. Ok, so this is kind of odd but Hallmark Channel has been showing reruns of this series set in simple times. Drastic times, yes with the depression and all, but the setting of the rural mountains, the bits of wisdom from Mama and Daddy and especially Grandpa (Will Geer perfect for that role) reminds me of the base values many of us were raised with and reassures me the world will survive tumult. Even if Mary Ellen gets on my nerves.

Last, but not least a trip to the grocery store capped my week of simple pleasures. As I approached the entry there was a Little League cheerleading group holding a bake sale. Four 10 year old girls standing in line cheering "C. A. TS Cats Woooooo". Their enthusiasm was contangious and I found myself joining in on the woooooo (Silently of course). It also got them a $5 donation sans cupcakes.

So what simple pleasures have you enjoyed this week? B. A. NDITAS, BANDITAS...WOOOOO!


Landra said...

Is he coming to see me??

Landra said...

Woot! I have some chocolate fondue! Now that's a simple a pleasure, with a few pretzels and some butter cookies to dip with. Add some fresh fruit... oh, heaven!
My other simple pleasures include listening to my 7 yo tell me about how his muscles are getting huge! Getting a chance to talk with a couple of close friends for more than 5 minutes.
And finally, a chance to sleep in over the weekend.

Great post Joanie. You're absolutely right! It's the little things you should be thankful for.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

G'Night, John-Boy!

LOL, Joanie! I haven't seen The Walton's in YEARS! Maybe decades... But just the mention of it made me smile. Simple but meaningful pleasure!

Congrats on the GR, Landra. I'm sure his simple pleasures include liquor and chocolate... Hmmm, come to think of it, so do MINE! ;-)


Joan said...

A quick good morning ya'll as I JUST got a call from work to put me on call! Can I have a Woooooo!

And a prayer they don't HAVE to call me..:D

Landra congratulations on the SIMPLY high maintaince chook!

And LOL on your 7 yo and his muscles....

I had another simple pleasure yesterday at the zoo. Went with 3 little girls 3-8 yo and a 4 yo boy. New perspective on the animals and they loved the fancy built in water park.

But for all the spouting water, slides etc. I spied a little one MAYBE 18 mo. just sitting in a puddle splashing.

Simple. Pleasure.

Joan said...

Hey AC,

I've actually been paying attention to John Boy's trials and tribulations in his WRITING...and goals for publication.

I am inspired by his persistance.

PJ said...

Congrats, Landra!

Joanie, I love this blog and it's perfect for the craziness that has been my life of late. Reminds me to slow down and appreciate those simple pleasures, like...

Early morning walks with the dogs and enjoying the serenity of sunrise over the lake.

Witnessing a random act of kindness at work.

Little girl giggles as my 5-yr-old grandniece snuggled next to my big, cuddly dog during her "first ever!" (her words - with appropriate exclamation) sleepover at my house.

Christie Kelley said...

Great post, Joanie. My simple pleasures this week...getting several pictures of my kittens from the breeder. When work was getting me down, I'd pull out my phone and look at those sweet little faces. I pick them up next Saturday!!!

Also, meeting with my old neighbors for book club. I don't think we talked about the book for more than 30 minutes but we talked about everything else. Wonderful conversations with my friends.

And like Landra...sleeping in until 8:30 this morning...priceless!

Joan said...


While me and the baby cats do not go for walks, I do enjoy when Grayson climbs in my lap, settles his head on my chest and reaches out ONE paw to my arm..saying "Mine".

And how cool that your little grandneice got to spend the night. These 3 little girls got to come to Joan Darling's house last week then out to lunch with me where the 3 yo kept asking the server "Do you have cats like Jooooan?"

Joan said...


You haven't gotten your little fellows yet? The anticipation....

Cricket is at this moment stationed on the perch by the window of my office just WATCHING the outside. No birds right now, no people or dogs running around by by golly, she'll be on it if there are!

jo robertson said...

What a pleasant surprise to see your lovely post on a Saturday morning. Thanks, Joanie!

I watched my youngest son offer to help my next door neighbor wrestle a heavy-looking appliance from a truck and thought, "Maybe I did raise him right!"

jo robertson said...

Whooo hooo, Landra. Maybe the chook can show you some of the simple pleasures in life. I wouldn't share the chocolate fondue (yummmmmy!) with him, however. He's quite the glutton.

Your description is making my mouth water!

LOL at your seven year old's "muscles." I'm sure they're ginormous !

jo robertson said...

Ah, PJ, those sleepovers with the grandkids are so precious, aren't they?

Cybercliper said...

DH is out of town so I’m watching his plants. They’re on a watering timer but I noticed some in the back row was looking a little burnt so I dragged the hose out to spray them down. Standing there with the sprayer going a HUGE Copperhead slithered out from among the pots and swayed in the water spray like I wasn’t even there.

At that moment, the stock market didn’t exist, couldn’t tell you who’s currently president, nor could I spell Republican or Democrat. From that experience you get nothing but “perspective” so after dropping the sprayer, a feet flat on the ground jump of 20 feet, I turned off the water crawled up on the couch with a pint of Vanilla Blue Bell ice cream and a Kleypas book – simple pleasures indeed!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OMG Cyberclipper!
What a SCARY experience!!! Amazing how we can do such physical feats when the situation demands it. ;-)

Besides the liquor and choccie, my simple pleasure this past week was going with 3 friends to see a live performance of Annie Get Your Gun. I'd forgotten all the great songs in that musical and have been humming them all ever since... "...doin' what comes naturally..."


Joan said...

Yup, JO I believe you did raise him right.

A random act of simple, so important, so RIGHT!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Can't wait to see piccies of your new baby kitties!


Joan said...


Aside from a swaying poisonous snake being an IDEAL metaphor for the world angst you alluded too,


And glad you're enjoying a good book and ice cream but seems more a recovery move...simply put...

Pat Cochran said...

I'm with you, Jo, on the young dads
who are so active in caring for their
youngsters. I see this more and more
in daily life. (Honey was an anomaly
in this area 49 years ago when he
helped care for our first-born.)

Pat Cochran

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Landra! He's headed your way!

And oh....I love your simple chocolate fondue pleasure. Grins.

Love that your 7 y/o is so hepped up on his muscles. My 6 y/o hasn't gotten to that yet, but my 11 y/o? Ohhhh yeah. "Girls like muscles, right mom?"

Uh, yeah...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC, I'm with you in not having seen the Waltons in years, but I'll never forget them.

My favorite was the two little old ladies and "The Recipe" - Snork. "Oh, I'll just have a bit of Granpa's Recipe and I'll be just fine. Right as *hic* rain!"

(speaking of liquor and!)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: But for all the spouting water, slides etc. I spied a little one MAYBE 18 mo. just sitting in a puddle splashing.

Simple. Pleasure.

Yep. My sons' preschool had a "water table" which is basically a big plastic dishpan filled with water for the kids to play in w/o getting sopping wet or experience full imersion. Snork.

HOURS of fun. Hours.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oooh, Christie! New kittehs??? Cool!

We must have pics when you bring them home!

Had to LOL about the book club too...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: I watched my youngest son offer to help my next door neighbor wrestle a heavy-looking appliance from a truck and thought, "Maybe I did raise him right!"

Awww, of course you did, Jo. And it gives me hope for my two. Grins. Maybe all these "Manners" I'm trying to beat into them will actually STICK! Hahaha! (so to speak)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

*muffled snork* Um, Cyberclipper, I'm thinkin' both you AND the Copperhead had some simple pleasures.

S/he got a lovely summer shower, courtesy of your thoughtfullness in watering the DH's flowers. You got a Lisa Kleypas fix and some ice cream.

Win-win, right?


Cybercliper said...

I imagine the snake is happier than I am. I don't know if s/he was doing a happy dance showering or just double checking for that perfect place to test out on my knee high rubber boots!

Tomorrow's watering day again and I'm scared to death to go out there! Even the thoughts of the extra pint of Blue Bell in the freezer can't dull the panic :-O

Joan said...


Yes, Daddys are fun to watch with their little ones. Especially if they are girls.

One second so protective, the next completely befuddled. And you sigh and say "Yes, we females ARE born with the skill" :D

Joan said...

Ah yes Jeanne,

The Baldwin sisters. Saw a particularly poignant one the other day when John Boy said he BASED a story on theirs (the one sister whose beau Ashley had never come back for) and he was urged NOT to write it. The sisters, thinking it just a story about them were thrilled.

All self righteous, JB reads it to him and as he is (word for word pratcially) telling Miss Emily's heartbreak he sees how it is devastating her and changes it at the end to a more positive viewpoint.

Bad. Bad John Boy

Joan said...

I meant, he should have known not to write it so true to form in the first place

Joan said...


Let the plants go for one day.....I'm just sayin'

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joan said: All self righteous, JB reads it to him and as he is (word for word pratcially) telling Miss Emily's heartbreak he sees how it is devastating her and changes it at the end to a more positive viewpoint.

Bad. Bad John Boy

Oprah's book club would have liked the heartbreak version better, but I like the HEA better, of course. Grins.

Love me some Baldwin Sisters. Grins.

Nancy said...

Landra, congrats on the rooster! But you might want to keep him away from the fondue. Chocolate gets him a little, er, wired.

OTOH, I love it!

Nancy said...

Joanie, a fun post! My simple pleasures this week included watching the sunlight come through the clouds as we drove home the other evening, listening to the boy practice his guitar, going with the dh to browse at the bookstore.

Oh, and the chocolate chip cookie I ate half an hour ago. :-)

Nancy said...

There's a great song, kinda sad, that includes simple pleasures the singer wishes he had shared with his deceased father. It's Mike and the Mechanics, "In the Living Years."

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

OOO, Nancy, I LOVED that song by Mike & the Mechanics! So POIGNANT!

But right now, I still have all the Annie Get Your Gun song lyrics stuck in my brain. :-P

"...I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night."

Now THOSE are simple pleasures. ;-)


Joan said...


I agree, there is nothing more majestic and comforting then to see the light of the sun streaming through clouds. Classic spiritual representation. can a chocolate chip cookie be inspiring.

Donna MacMeans said...

Joanie - My simple pleasure happened about 5 PM yesterday when I got the Rhapsody book club monthly brochure and so my cover on the cover of their brochure. Woo-hoo! They should warn an author when they're going to do this. I've been celebrating ever since.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Donna, that's OUTSTANDING!!! WOOT!!! Go you!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

AC - my fav from Annie is "Anything you can do, I can do better..."

Joan said...

Yeah, Donna!

Extraordinary and fantastic pleasure I be thinkin'

That's Irish for woohoo

Louisa Cornell said...

Yes, he's coming to see you, Landra! Don't know if that is a simple pleasure or ... well, you decide!

Great post, Joan! And very important these days.

One of my simple pleasures is taking a nap with my dogs. If I turn out the lights and turn up the AC, my crew piles into the bed because they know a two hour nap is in the offing. Everyone finds their spot next to Mama and we snooze!

Having a customer tear up at the sight of their cake. A wedding cake, a baby shower cake for a baby born prematurely for whom they are finally having the baby shower, a cake for a mother's son who is joining the Navy. Makes up for those times the customers can be a pain!

The ducks on my neighbor's pond crossing the road to another pond and holding up traffic at 6 in morning. They always make everyone smile in spite of the fact they sometimes make us late for work!

Joan said...

Ah Louisa...I hear you about the napping with out baby pets.

I SWEAR...I've had the BEST naps since having my kitties. Grayson loves to snuggle and stretch out with me on the couch. Try NOT to feel sleepy when looking at a sleepy eyed feline!

Now, off to another simple comfy bed. Night everyone!

LilMissMolly said...

I visited my 90-year old Grandmother in WV. She's a hoot!