And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

It’s really interesting, sitting down to write my Moment, when the current day, today, makes the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day look like a romp with unicorns and rainbows. The blog was supposed to be posted by 3:00. It is now 7:47, and this is the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write this.

And this is my day off this week!

As a run-down:

I had my alarm set. But when I opened my eyes, my clock said it was 1:27 in the afternoon. I had a meeting set for 1:00 and another for 2:00, so I spent about twenty minutes running around, alternately screaming and swearing, sometimes both at the same time, until I happened to notice my cell phone’s clock. And then my computer’s clock. Which both said it was 11:25 in the morning.

Our power had gone out while I was sleeping. My alarm clock resets itself to midnight when the power goes out for more than a minute.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

I made my 1:00 meeting (on my day off) and my 2:00 meeting (on my day off) and then got Ursula, my dog, into the car for her 3:30 vet appointment (on my day off) to trim her toenails and recheck the toe she seemed to hurt last April. Had to wait in the car because they’re still not letting owners in the clinic because of COVID. Then the vet calls me. Turns out Ursula didn’t have an injured toe. She has some kind of autoimmune disease called Lupoid Onychodystrophy, which I can’t even pronounce. It makes her toenails grow in weird, become brittle, misshapen, possibly crack or fall off, and it makes the dog’s feet hurt. She came home with a regimen of pills she has to take for the rest of her life, and possibly a procedure in three weeks where she will be sedated and her nails that are about to fall off will be removed.


I took her immediately to Starbucks and got her her very first “pupcup”, a free little cup of puppy latte – whipped cream. It seemed to make her feel better. Not so much me.

So I am more than a little bit crabby. More than a little bit dismayed. More than a little bit full of shrieks that sound like, “My dog has WHAT?”

But…today is Thursday. And it’s when I write my Moment of Happiness. Which made me think back over my week and remember:

  • the amazing joy of Saturday when Michael and I ate INSIDE a McDonalds, went INSIDE a grocery store, picked up Olivia and went to a MALL (what the heck is a mall?), went out to dinner and ate INSIDE an Applebee’s (and had a vat of sangria), then went to a late movie INSIDE a movie theatre. In the mall, I even took my mask off (I’m vaccinated). Ohmygod, how normal.
  • reading Ramona The Brave to my granddaughter and getting to a point where Ramona is so angry, she announces to her family that she’s going to say a bad word, and then she yells, “GUTS! GUTS!” and hearing my granddaughter dissolve into giggles over a book I read when I was in elementary school. And I giggled with her.
  • seeing a student dissolve into happy tears when she realized she accomplished what she set out to do: write a book based on a family story, finish it, prepare it for submitting to publishers…and the only step left is to hit the “send” button.
  • hearing another student say, “You are exactly what I need.”
  • hearing an editor who accepted one of my short stories say, “I was going to send you the edited version for your approval, but your story didn’t require any edits. What the heck!”
  • And just a couple hours ago, seeing my dog, who sat in the front passenger seat of my car, looking (forgive me) hangdog, and then suddenly perk up when I offered her a simple pupcup. Ears up, tail wagging, tongue going slup-slup-slup, and then licking my cheek in a way that made me think she was repeating what my student said: “You are exactly what I need.”
  • And let’s not forget my hibiscus.

So my moment of happiness? That I write this blog, which forces me to look for happiness, even on the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad of days. And not only look for it, but find it. And that I have readers of this blog, because otherwise, I might be tempted on some days to just run screaming to my bed, pull the covers up and over, and not come out til the morning (on my day off).

Thank you.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.

Anything can be accomplished with a raggedly pink blankie.
This hibiscus bud went from this…
…to this!

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