Fancy Coffee Friday: What Makes You Happy

The Amusing Muse : What Makes You Happy blog title post image of egg in panThe other week I noticed that there are a lot of people online who seem to poo-poo everything and anything anyone else happens to like. You like pepperoni? NO! Sausage is better. You like the color blue? NO! Red is better! So, I started to think: How often do I slide over to the “hater” side of things?

Reflecting upon that notion, I admitted that there have been occasions where I’ve lapsed on my “live and let live” attitude. Thankfully, I have kept a good deal of my judgements to myself, but moments have occurred when I turned to a friend and pulled what amounts to the opening of Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”.

OMG Becky, look at her butt!

Older, wiser, growing less Judgey McJudgerson, I still catch myself making a cutting remark to myself about what someone is wearing or how they carry themselves. Perhaps we are all guilty of that behavior. Perhaps a good many people are unaware of their trip down the Hater Slip ‘n Slide.

And then, there are those who appear to be hell-bent on hating anything and everything, even to the point of contradicting their own likes. These contrarians are a sad affair.
2020 has enough sadness going on, does it not? So I decided to highlight a few things that make me happy, and why they make me happy.


All-encompassing from my backyard and gardens to being out on hikes to sitting on a beach. I love seeing what’s growing. I love seeing the wildlife, from bugs and spiders to snakes and frogs to large mammals. I’ve reached a point where I no longer begrudge the moles tunneling in the yard or the dogwood sawfly larvae eating all the leaves on the dogwoods. Moles gotta do mole things and dogwood sawfly larvae gotta do dogwood sawfly larvae things. Nature is fascinating.


I have a dining table full of sewing paraphernalia at the moment, a standing frame loaded with an embroidery project, art supplies with which to draw and color, and a kitchen full of baking and cooking equipment. I love making things with my hands, useful or otherwise. The act of doing is joyful. Baking and cooking bring me delight and it’s not unusual for me to dance around my kitchen, humming nonsense to myself as I have every burner on the stove going, something in the oven, and the counters crowded. Even if the end result is a flop (it does happen), simply the process of trying that recipe makes me happy.

Music and Books

When it comes to music and books, I will listen to, or read, just about anything. Music was always part of the background growing up and I had great fortune to have a band teacher in middle and high school who encouraged us to listen to a wide variety of music styles. When it comes to books, I used to stick with fiction, but since becoming acquainted with audiobooks, I’ve taken to listening to a lot of non-fiction and I have learned so much! Finding a song I love, listening to or reading a book which teaches me something new, that makes me happy.


Wait, what? Yes, strategy is something in which I find a lot of pleasure. I loved trying to play chess when I was younger, and as I got older, I switched to other strategy games. I love playing simulation computer games and trying to win the games in the various ways one can win them. I enjoy being given a task at my job that has bewildered others because of its complicated nature and to discover the best procedure to complete that task. The “Ah ha!” or “Eureka!” moments are thrilling.


As someone who needs a great deal of alone time, I realize that my enjoying conversation may seem misplaced. Introvert though I am and needing to recharge on my own, a conversation with someone who is good at conversation and who is capable of enjoyable back-and-forth brings me joy. The more engaged and livelier someone is, the better the conversation, the more I will remember it and want to talk to that person again. And yet…
One of the best conversations I’ve had was with my friend’s father who is originally from Slovenia, but also speaks Swedish. When we had the privilege of spending two weeks at their summer home in Croatia, I was up early with Joze, watching the Slovenian news, both of us coffees in hand, and I watched, listening, and not completely understanding what was going on while he glanced over towards me, laughing. I laughed and said, “I don’t know any Slovenian at all.” We clinked coffee cups, had our moment, and continued to watch the Slovenian news as the sun came up to the east over Russia.

While that’s only five things that bring me happiness and joy among so many others, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on that which brings YOU joy and happiness. The moment you feel on the verge of “shitting in someone’s Cheerios”… please stop and ask yourself WHY you need to do so.

And I will leave you with this, one of my favorite images from modeling. The time in 2011 when I got to ride bare-ass naked in a classic Trans-Am.

Photo is courtesy of: Demetrius Gonzalez.

The Amusing Muse is a writer, blogger, and gardener living in Southern Wisconsin. She has been a architectural drafter, a landscape designer, former model, and a floral designer. She also likes to just watch the bees in the yard.

Blog Title clipart image courtesy of Pixabay.
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Fancy Coffee Friday: Community Building

The Amusing Muse : Community Building blog title post image of house constructionWe’re over halfway through 2020 The Year of the Pandemic, and I’m more than halfway through my goal of reading 80 books by the end of the year. Many of these books, no matter the genre, mention the importance of community, of belonging, when it comes to being a healthy human. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Miscellany

The Amusing Muse : Challenged blog title post image of miscellaneous emoticonsIt’s not 5 AM on a Friday when this post is hitting your inbox.

I realized today, after sending Mr. Muse yet another email with the subject of “Miscellany”, that I often feel like the Queen of Catch All. The Miscellany Drawer in the house – always the kitchen. The stack of miscellaneous towels in the bathroom, acquired over the last few decades. The bucket of nails and screws that might come in handy one day (and they DO!).

I think that’s a way of saying: DAMN there has been a helluva lot going on, hasn’t there?

I’ve pondered all the things I don’t know and all the things I’ve learned often these last several weeks. There is so much in both sectors of that Venn Diagram. I have friends and relatives in the military and police. I have friends and family who are people of color.

I have been laid-off due to Covid. Mr. Muse has taken a pay cut and is facing potential lay-offs in the coming months.

This could be my way of saying “I’m just like you,” but really this is just an outline of my admission that I have no idea what the future will bring but… we’ll make it through. One way or another.

Maybe it’s been a good thing that I’ve been reading about The Stoics: Plato, Socrates, etc., in that much of what is happening is completely out of my control and so I just do what I can.

What can I do? I’ve been walking. I’ve been rescuing reptiles and amphibians from the roadways, spotting Bobcats, and spending a lot of time in the garden. I’ve been researching insects, rusts, and other pests on the fruits. I’ve been spending time reading and working on embroidery.  I’ve a To Do List that is a mile long and for every item crossed off, another takes its place.

I’ve been earning Google product certificates for work, doing freelance writing and website maintenance, picking up refuse on the roadsides, and reading. So much reading.

I’ve been playing music and singing along and remembering just how much I have missed singing.

And, to refrain from starting yet another paragraph with the letter “I”, a snippet from the book I’ve finished “Driftless Reader”:

“To me it’s all about relationships. If you keep those old stories coming down, then you understand how we are related, not only to each other but to God, to the earth, to all that we know about. You know we have to be related. That’s what’s missing today, everywhere. We’ve forgotten how we’re connected.” ~Pete Fee from “Oneota Flow: The Upper Iowa River and Its People”

Cherish your relationships: friendly, familial, romantic.

The future is unknown.

The Amusing Muse, MusingsoftheAmusingMuse, Amusing Muse dot com, blog, blogging, personal, philosophy, armchair philosophy,

The Amusing Muse livings in Southern Wisconsin, is not a fan of hot and humid weather, but still makes herself go out for a walk on her days away from the office. Sarah is a student, observer of life, and aspiring phenologist. Avid reader and awesome at trivia games, please don’t ask her about sports or pop-culture post 1999.

Blog Post cover image courtesy of
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Fancy Coffee Friday: Challenged

The Amusing Muse : Challenged blog title post image of a man jumping a hurdleBeing challenged is a good thing. If everything is easy and requires no real effort on our part, we aren’t challenged and we aren’t really learning anything and that means we aren’t growing. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Breathing Creatively

The Amusing Muse : Breathing Creatively blog title post image of a face mask wearing humanThe other week there was a new comic published by The Oatmeal that discussed creativity. I love the way Matthew Inman illustrates and explains various concepts, from philosophic to red velvet mites, and his thoughts on creativity were like a cool breeze on a hot, sticky day: refreshing. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Strange Days

The Amusing Muse : Strange Days blog title post image woman meditatingStrange days, these.

We are fine here, and thus far none of our household has shown any signs of infection from Covid-19. However, we are all resigned that at some point, we will likely be infected. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Practice

“Have you been practicing?” I dreaded that question. Much like confession when I was in grade school where I didn’t have anything to confess, I knew full well that responding, “No,” was not the correct answer. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: What Serves You?

he Amusing Muse : What Serves You blog title post image questioning smiley face emoticonAs the hours passed on New Year’s Eve, I contemplated what I should post here for the first words of 2020. Resolutions haven’t really been my cup-of-tea. Continue reading

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Fancy Coffee Friday: Thanks, Yoga.

he Amusing Muse : Thanks Yoga blog title post image of a yogi in tree pose

I was on my mat, squatted down in Mālāsana, when the instructor invited everyone to attempt Crow pose, or Bakasana, if we felt up to it. I’d been feeling stronger in recent weeks when it came to yoga class so I thought I’d go for the challenge.

Continue reading

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And now for something completely different…

After years of being friends with Matt Sandbrook online (and in person – we’ve explored castles, had fish ‘n chips, and pints together!) we’ve worked on a project!

Please enjoy: All In My Head #1


Happy Halloween!!

The Amusing Muse is a writer, gardener, cook, and apparently comic script writer, living in Southern Wisconsin. This comic is based on a story from her childhood. She doesn’t leave socks on the floor and stores too many items under her bed for a monster to also be there. She also like fish ‘n chips and pints… as long as they are gluten free.

Matt Sandbrook is cop who’s done playing by the rules! Cuff ’em, ‘n stuff ’em! He is eager to find the Viking Hoard! Except that he’s gotta keep drawing comics to make the rent.

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