Money, Happiness, Humor

It is an amazingly beautiful Saturday morning. The temperature is just right; the sunshine is bright and the sky is a clear blue with cottony white clouds. The jasmine outside my window has wrapped around the thin bark of my young oak tree; the sweet scent of tiny, delicate jasmine flowers reminds me of just how perfectly God has balanced this life. In this moment, cool breezes scented with sweet jasmine, song of birds serenading from the high branches of oak and pine, my books lined up on my bookshelves next to my desk in my room, remind me of thankfulness; I remember darker days before now. I remember days I never thought I would find peace; but now, I have peace. I have happiness. It has taken decades to get to this peaceful space.

Throughout the ages, the question of what brings happiness has been hotly debated.

Is it money that brings happiness? Is it inner acceptance of God’s will in a person’s life? Is it environment? Is it the connection to family and friends? Is it. . .? Is it. . .?

Is a person’s level of happiness impacted by genetically-based tendencies towards biochemical changes in the brain that makes their moods fluctuate beyond their control?

Is personality quite simply the major factor?

Honestly, I think it is a combination of factors; I don’t think it is just one factor.

I can say for sure that I found peace in my soul when I became honest with myself, when I stopped looking over my shoulder in anticipation of whether I had made someone else happy. My happiness increased when I learned to say “no” and to set boundaries, when I learned that it is not selfish to defend my own personal space. I found happiness when I learned that I am valuable quite simply because I am God’s child and that I do not need anyone else’s approval.

Happiness means different things for different people, of course. We have all read about the massively rich who are miserably unhappy. Yet, we have all met people who live in poverty who radiate contentment.

I live near the ocean; while I don’t have a yacht, I do have the opportunity to rent a kayak. Well, I know it’s not the same thing, but. . .Happiness is joy of living; Happiness is laughter at the peculiarities of life.

I like brainyquotes and I often look for interesting quotes there. I would like to share some humorous quotes regarding happiness that I found on that website. I hope you get a few laughs from the quotes. Have a beautiful and joy-filled Saturday.

Here are the quotes:

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable-” Clare Boothe Luce

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it-” David Lee Roth

“Happiness is good health and a bad memory-” Ingrid Bergman

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city-” George Burns

Please leave a comment and share your definition of happiness.

Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2022

Not a Hallmark Holiday

NOTE: Hi everyone, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and that means that families will be gathering around the turkey, et cetera and so forth. . .but, the reality is that families are complex social systems and the reality is that oftentimes these gatherings are fraught with emotional baggage, such as abusive and bitter histories that make the holiday less than joyous. Out of obligation, some family members feel pressured to attend these Thanksgiving Day dinners. Those family members who opt out of the mind games and abuse and choose not to subject themselves to the family drama are often left to feel inadequate and ostracized from their family and society as a whole. We are supposed to all be the Hallmark movie family with the two sets of happy, smiling grandparents, wonderful parents, and loving siblings; of course, all our houses are two levels with spacious lawns and even more spacious dining rooms in which we gather with generations of family and dear, lifelong friends. Oh! Only if this were reality! Well, it isn’t true for everyone. If it is for you, then bravo for you and have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving. But, if your Thanksgiving Day feast is more like “I’m going to turn off my cellphone, put on dark sunshades, grab a novel and a notebook, and head to Starbucks for a holiday latte, and be totally incognito until January 5th,” then this short story is for you.

Short story: Not a Hallmark Holiday

Pollie Johnson polished the pink porcelain figurine. Carter Cumbee had been restive in his long, dramatic life. Never satisfied, he had changed jobs like most people changed their underwear. She laughed at her witty analogy regarding her mother’s third cousin, twice removed. Looking around at her family gathered for their Thanksgiving feast, she bit her bottom lip and felt the pit of her stomach churn and lurch a bit. But, they were her children and extended family. And, well, nobody’s perfect.

Ganymede jerked the tablecloth from beneath the Thanksgiving dinner plates. Aunt Sue and Uncle Hobart scooted their chairs back, their chair legs scraped against the hardwood floor. Plates shattered, teacups clattered, silverware hurled heavenward. Grandma Martha’s turkey toppled over and landed with a sickening thud at the white paws of Miss LeMeow, Pollie’s 14 year old Himalayan cat.

Mouths agape, Julius, Cyrus, Cyrene, Lydia, and Micheala, Ganymede’s siblings, jumped to their feet and stared at the hardwood floor strewn with stuffing, green beans, sweet potato pie, and the turkey.

“But, why?” Julius screeched, his hands shoved towards the culinary mess.

“Because he has to always be the center of attention. It’s always like this. Always,” Cyrus yelled in response, and slammed his white linen napkin against the white linen tablecloth.

“He just likes to ruin everything for everyone.” Micheala and Cyrene chimed in together.

Lydia clutched her sides and screamed. “I’m panicking. Panicking. Can’t stand this!”

“What the heck is your problem, Lydia. No wait, let me guess. Your ulcer is acting up. Always something with you. You, you hypochondriac.” Cyrus lowered his voice and spoke deliberately as if he were lecturing a small child; then, he sneered.

Ganymede knelt down and scooted Miss LeMeow up and scratched her behind the ears. He rested his nose against her warm, pink nose. “Miss LeMeow, it was an accident. My foot got caught in the tablecloth. It’s too long.”

She nuzzled his neck and purred.

Pollie blinked back tears and looked at each of her adult children as they yelled, criticized, and berated each other. Opening her arms, she asked Ganymede to give Miss LeMeow to her.

One hour later, Pollie and Miss LeMeow sat at a booth at Starbucks. Miss LeMeow’s pink tongue licked at the tiny styrofoam container of milk Pollie had placed on the floor. Jumping, Miss LeMeow landed in Pollie’s lap, snuggled up and fell asleep.

“Next Thanksgiving Day, Miss LeMeow, let’s make this our tradition.”

Miss LeMeow’s bright blue eyes opened. Pollie felt sure that she saw a smile cross the little cat’s face.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

Multiplicity of Memo Acquisitions: A Short, Short Story

Note: It has been almost 30 years ago since I worked in the legal department of a major mortgage company. This short, short story is actually based on some “corporate language” that our supervisors and management staff cooked up. I guess they thought all the verbal acrobatics made them sound smart or something, but it made me laugh. I hope you get a laugh out of it, too.


“What do you suppose it means?” Abigail stared at the pink Post It with the block letters. “Candace, are you listening to me?”

Candace gathered up the loan closing files and inserted them into the alphabetized cabinet slots. “Read it to me. I need to get this done.”

“Okay. Here goes. Legal review specialists and post closers will be reassigned to interface positions with primary goal intentions to achieve and acquire transferrable skills. Steve left this at my cubicle and wants to see me at two o’clock in his office.”

“Uh?” Candace suspended the last file half-way into the alphabetized slot. “I need to read that myself.”

Abigail handed over the pink Post It to Candace and said, “It makes no sense.”

“Steve sent it so naturally it makes no sense,” Candace said as she took the pink Post It. “Interface? Transferrable skills? Uh, why doesn’t he just come out and say what he means? He’s probably the single worst supervisor I have ever had at this mortgage company.”

Abigail eyed the natural scenery landscape posters with peppy little captions such as each step is a step towards greatness which lined the hallway to Steve’s office. She paused and cringed at the sharp pain behind her right eye. The mere thought of him made her migraine flare up.

“Steve, you wanted to see me?” Abigail stepped through the half-opened door.

“Yes, Abigail. Sit. I have been reviewing your work logs. You have slipped from ten complete reviewed files to nine from the usual ten. As a legal review specialist it is imperative that you exhibit team work, therefore, you are assigned a post-closer mentor so that interfacing with other team players will assist you in achieving and coordinating your goal acquisition.”

Abigail stared at Steve as he leaned back in his swivel chair. It sounded as if a drum was thumping inside her head. He swiveled in a half-circle creating a motion that made her nauseous.

“I’ll try to do better, Steve.” She rose to leave as visions of her unpaid medical bills, childcare bills, and late rent replayed inside her pounding head.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

Be Awesome! Go ahead, You Can Do It!

A few months ago, I was browsing in a bookstore and I saw this neat little journal with the title “Make Today So Awesome Yesterday Gets Jealous.” I have no idea who said this, so unfortunately I can’t give credit to that writer, but I really like what this says.

This past year and a half has taken a toll on all of us. It zapped me of my creativity for a while, to be honest.

As a consequence, I stopped writing. Writing is my passion and it really hurt not to write. It has taken me a bit of time to get back in the swing of things that resemble normalcy.

When I bought this little journal, I had hoped it would inspire me. Needless to say, I put it on my shelf and ignored it until one morning I saw it just laying there with sunlight trickling through my window. I picked it up and with the neat little pen that came with it I started to write the first thing that came to my mind.

Unfortunately, the word “nothing” came to my mind. “Absolutely nothing.” That was back in March.

This week, I decided to open up the little journal and think about the words in the title. Just for fun, I wrote the words “I am awesome.” I laughed because I felt a little embarrassed; after all, I was raised not to boast about myself.

But, I wondered what was so wrong about feeling good about myself by writing “I am awesome.” Why not?

I laughed and decided to title each page I wrote in with the words “I am awesome.” Then, I proceeded to write out a plan for my writing. For example, I wrote that I had started chapter fifteen of my new novel, then the next day I wrote that I had started chapter sixteen. I also wrote that I had watched the exercise youtube channel Bodyproject low impact. I also noted that I have written on my WordPress blog this week.

Just seeing my accomplishments, just seeing that I am trying to move forward with small steps, has helped me to look forward rather than backwards.

Just for fun, I wrote “My awesome self has accomplished a lot this week.”

Yes, I laughed. I laughed because it feels good to laugh and to feel good about myself.

After all the sadness, anxiety, and stress of this past year, it feels good to laugh.

It feels good to believe in my ability to try again. It feels good to not give into the sadness of this life.

Yes, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel.

Sometimes, that light comes in the form of sunlight shining through a curtain in the early morning.

I love this little journal and I intend to write in it everyday.

Thank you to whomever wrote those inspiring words on the cover.

So, everybody, go be awesome!! You can do it!!

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

Trust Us: It’s For Your Own Good

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Yep! I’m obviously not Van Gogh. (Maybe a bit Dali or Picasso, perhaps?)

It’s been a few months now since the mask mandate and the majority of folks are donning their masks.

After I got home from grocery shopping today, I sat down on my comfy sofa and drank my homemade cafe latte and thought about all the faces I half-way saw at the store.

They all appeared (from what I could see) in various stages of emotional alarm anytime anyone neared them.  All I have to go on is the memory of eyebrows arched upward, eyebrows knitted together, eyes round like saucers. Everybody six or more feet apart, and cringing anytime another person even appeared to be 5.75 feet near their space.

Occasionally eyes would meet mine and they would quickly step away as if I myself were a contagion ready to unleash my toxins upon them.

I don a mask when I am in public. I obey the law whether I want to or not. I’m not a donkey’s bottom so I do as the law mandates (within legal and moral reason, of course).

I have learned a lot in the past few months. The coronavirus lockdown has taught me that I can make my cafe lattes at home for a fraction of the price I used to spend in coffee shops. I have also learned that I don’t really need to go to clothing stores or libraries or bookstores because I can order on Amazon. I have also learned that I can bake my own bread and pastries and I don’t have to even go to the bakeries anymore. I have learned that I can work from home and don’t even have to go out to work. I have learned that I no longer have to waste my money buying flavorless vegetables from the supermarket because now I have my own beautiful vegetable garden. I have learned that I don’t even have to go to church. I can attend church online.I have learned that I can go days without even speaking to another human being other than family members or close friends on the phone. Yes, the coronavirus lockdown has taught me a lot. Mainly that I don’t need to interact with merchants as much as I did in the past. It has taught me that I don’t need to interact with others outside my immediate circle of family and friends.

I think back to the fear I see in the eyes positioned directly above  masks and I can’t help but wonder what the long-term impact this social distancing (aka social isolation) will have on our abilities to interact with others face-to-face when all this is over.

We are seeing that people are confronting each other over masks use. Usually this confrontation is fueled by fear. Some people have a fear of suffocating behind the mask. This could be psychological, physiological, or emotional. Who knows? But, isn’t that that person’s own business? I think so. Agree with me or disagree. It’s just my opinion and I have my right to it. Or the person could just be a donkey’s bottom. Who knows? Social courtesy dictates that we should mind our own business. It is the role of the authorities to intervene, not us. I fear that social courtesy has been damaged by this lockdown, this social distancing mandate. People are forgetting how to respectfully interact with each other in person. Fear of getting sick is a legitimate fear, that I do not doubt.  Nobody wants to get sick. This is where our own personal choices and behaviors come into play. I hate wearing the mask, as I do believe most people hate it, too.. I wear it because there is some evidence that it can protect me and others from this virus.  It is a reasonable mandate, however, the mandates do have exceptions for people with certain psychological or physiological issues.

In the grocery store, I have seen some people not wearing the mask. It is not my business whether the person wears it or not. I do keep my distance, as I have actually always done in a public setting.

So, I sit here on my comfy sofa, finish my cafe latte, type out my opinion on what I think could potentially be the long-term consequences of this coronavirus lockdown. It has felt like de facto house arrest, actually. I wonder what the psychological damage this entire experience will have upon those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Isolation is damning to the mind and spirit and has devastating repercussions for physical health.

Stay home, stay safe might not be really safe at all. In fact, it might be downright out dangerous. Only time will tell.

For me, I plan to go shopping this weekend (on line) because I just don’t feel like standing in line while ten other shoppers are counted out before entry into the stores.

Yep, the coronavirus lockdown has taught me a lot.

It’s yet to be seen whether what I have learned from it has  actually been  beneficial to my spirit in the long run.

Jenny W. Andrews, Copyright, 2020


A Few Quotes Just for Laughs

black and white cat
Photo by Guillaume Meurice on

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I have taken a complete break from the news media. I have no idea what is going on in the world right now and as a result  my anxiety has dialed down to negative zero. An added bonus is that I sleep much, much better!  I have spent my time gardening, editing my first novel, doing revisions on my previously published poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow,” learning to speak French via You Tube videos,  running mini-marathon laps in my backyard, and teaching English online. The reason I am sharing this slice of my life is to let you know that it isn’t necessary to be glued to the news 24/7 or social media. Just taking a break is refreshing mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

This afternoon I was thinking about how laughter can be emotionally uplifting. I googled a few quotes that made me laugh. I would like to share them with you. I hope that you enjoy these as as much as I do.

“My mind is like my internet browser. At least 19 open tabs, 3 of them frozen. And I have no clue where the music is coming from.”- Anonymous  (coolfunnyquotes. com)

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”- Oscar Wilde (Brainquotes. org)

“The biggest lie I tell myself is ‘I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it’.” (Snippy Chuckles Journal)

Thank you for reading.

Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorite funniest quote is.


Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020


Second Go ‘Round

dirty animal farm farmer
Photo by mali maeder on

Second Go’Round: A Tale of Two Marriages

I didn’t love you like I loved him.

(I loved you more).

I didn’t trust you like I had trusted him.

(I trusted you less).

You told me I had a wall around my heart.

(He told me I clung to him too much).

You referred to my first marriage as my first-go-’round, accused me of not loving you as much as I had loved him.

(He told me that he had never loved me).

Alone,  I lean against the rail at Knott’s Berry Farm and watch the painted pigs on the merry-go-round go round and round and I think of the both of you.


Copyright, Jenny W. Andrews 2019. All rights reserved.



Ode to Ex-Husband

adult adventure beautiful climb
Photo by Nina Uhlíková on

Ode to Ex-husband

Forgetting to remember you.

Going to places we never went,

just so I can try out this new life,

where your negativity does not exist.

This new life where I can remember how to laugh again.


Copyright 2019, Jenny W. Andrews


Please remember to check out my poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow.” It is published under my name Jenny Andrews. It is available in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon. I am interested in knowing what you think. Thanks!