Friday, May 30, 2014

Lefton Heritage-Green & More on Happiness

I've shared these before, but decided to re-post just a few photos. There appears to be quite a bit of the Heritage-Green pieces available through Replacements Ltd. The bud vase and bone dishes I have belonged to my grandmother and mother, respectively. I do love the color combination. 

Do you paint china or know someone who does/did? I've always been in awe of women who can paint the delicate, pretty flowers on china. I know nothing about the technique or process involved. Guess I will add that to my list of things to Google ... but not today!

On another note: I'm reading Living a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran. It's a series of essays, as are many of her books. I've owned quite a few of hers, then donated them to the library a year or two ago (books in, books out is a must around here). But I had missed reading this one, ordered it with my Mother's Day Amazon GC, and will keep it around awhile. (Even though I don't believe in the same vein as authors like Moran, Alexandra Stoddard, and Sarah Ban Breathnach as to spiritual matters, I do like to read them for their take on living a positive and happy-as-possible life.) 

So far my favorite essay has been the one entitled "Keep your sunny side up" (sic). In it she says that positive people can be annoying, but yet "it's those positive-thinking bright-side-lookers with the changed attitudes who are routinely called to the front of the line. ...The way I see it at this point is that I have two choices: I can either be negative, sophisticated, and miserable, or I can keep my sunny side up, seem to some people a bit of a lightweight, and be happy." I so agree with her, and I guess that was what I was trying to say in my post "Happy Intellectuals." 

I've been speculating that with regard to happiness/positivity, perhaps there are, among others, these three types of people somewhere on the happiness continuum: those blessed persons who come with the "happy gene," meaning happiness comes easily for them; those who argue for their right to avoid happiness, considering choosing happiness as being beneath their intelligence; and those who (forgive me for my bluntness) are bright or logical enough (or blessed with lots of plain old common sense) to comprehend that thinking/acting/being happy makes one happy (aka Think Happy Be Happy). I'm not there 24/7 yet, but I'm there much more than I used to be.* As with any diet, cutting out negativity takes determination and practice. And singing to myself. :O)

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
Civilla Martin 1905

(Click here to read how this wonderful song came to be. It's short!)

Just thinking on this Friday evening, and praying that all is well with you and yours,
* As I've said in previous posts, I'm not saying appropriate periods of grief or mourning should be supplanted by attempts to choose happiness. Everyone needs and deserves to grieve a loss. But eventually there comes a time ...


  1. Since I made the decision to always look outward, instead of inward, every day of my life, I have seen a huge change in my emotional state. I choose to be happy. To think on things that bring me comfort and fill me with joy. I also enjoy reading the authors you mentioned. I don't agree with their take on matters of the soul, but I have learned quite a bit from their writings.

    Thank you for sharing this is one of my all time favorites! :+) mari

  2. hi. i just found your blog tonight! i love these beautiful rose pieces! the pink and green together is gorgeous! the touch of gold quite nice too! love this song!!!!! Gonna read back through your blog here a little while! can't sleep, so will hang out a while!!!

  3. Hi Bess,

    What a wonderfully inspiring post! As I've mentioned before, it has been harder in recent years to feel happy, considering Greece's economical crisis, which has translated into a drop in work both for myself and my husband, among other things. People have lost their homes, children are being taken to orphanages by their own parents as they cannot provide for them, and the list goes on. Our only daughter is now living and working in Canada, since there is an unemployment rate of 68% for people under 25, and this has been the hardest thing to deal with, being so far away from her. But, I thank God that she is well and living with my sister and her family, and prospering. I wonder: is it harder to deal with unhappiness if it stems from a chemical imbalance, or when it is due to environmental effects? I assume the former is more challenging, since the latter is in constant flux.

    I read somewhere recently that beautiful objects, whether they be flowers, pieces of art, or pretty china, like yours here, today, have the ability to make us feel happiness. Sounds like pretty good therapy to me.

    Happy weekend!


  4. Thank you for commenting Ladies, and welcome to my blog, Julie! Poppy, I'm no expert, but I do agree that chemical imbalance is a whole different ballgame from other circumstances life hands us. If one needs medical help for depression, I think he/she should get it. That's the case within my family: some need medicine to even level the playing field, then they can work to look on the bright side from there.

    I am sorry to hear about the extreme conditions in Greece. Hard times seem to bring more burdens than we think we can bear. Yet, it's our lives we're talking about, too. Is there a way to live during and through hard times, yet still have a sense of peace and happiness? I think of Corrie Ten Boom in answer to that question. It's been years since I've read one or two of her books, so I need to put them on my list. Helen Keller, along with so many others (Joseph, King David, Paul- in the Bible ... ), would be more inspiration for living in spite of hardship and disappointment. So I don't think we want to "throw out the baby with the bath water" (how many cliches can I use in one comment?!): Let's not give up our happiness to hard times. Life is a time of testing: Let's pass the tests one by one. "Out there" is life; but in our souls can be LIFE! That way, If things get even worse "out there," we'll have exercised our happiness muscles and will be better able to meet challenges. From what I understand, Mari is also an example of looking for joy and beauty in the midst of challenge that would be beyond what most of us would ever want to face.

    I stay as close as I possibly can to God for strength, to Jesus for companionship, and to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Then I pamper myself with small joys and simple pleasures (because I am also financially-challenged as are so many), and take one day at a time as much as possible. One sees it over and over again: "choose happiness." But the key word there is choose, not happiness.

    OK, I'm almost done. I just want to say that I also have had many hard times and disappointments in my life. I have wallowed in negativity and even sadness for long periods. For me anyway, walking down the path to happiness is so much better, even if I don't get it 100% right, and I probably won't, until the other side of the veil. Love to all of you, Bess

  5. Oh Bess...I have had to learn to look towards My Lord for everything. As you know, my daughter is quite special, and her condition has no cure. Yet, I feel quite content...quite happy actually, because I choose to look outward towards Him that guides me through it all. What a wonderful post indeed! :) mari

  6. Hi Bess,

    I so appreciate the time you took to reply to our comments on this subject of happiness, which for many, is quite intricate, while for others, the most natural feeling in the world, despite personal complications, professional challenges, or serious health issues.

    I consider myself a pretty positive person, although I do have bouts of anxiety, which sometimes, seem to sabotage my fundamentally glass-is-half-full nature. This little invader seems to have taken over more of me in recent years, but was initiated, originally, by certain life choices I had made, which led to subsequent others. In any case, my Greek Orthodox faith has been my source of peace and hope, and I am blessed to have many friends and family members around the globe, with whom I chat with on a regular basis, as well as new friends I've made via blogging. In fact, I've become quite close with a few, even though we've never actually met in person; isn't that amazing? Connecting with people has always been easy for me, and it is through these bonds that I also find great strength.

    Wishing you a very peaceful Sunday.


    1. I think you are doing great! You and I and countless others are choosing happiness over choosing unhappiness, even though we aren't successful 100% of the time. I also have been amazed at how easy it seems to connect to kindred spirits in blogland. I suppose it's easier because we gravitate toward topics we like and therefore hold in common, whereas meeting someone offline who likes what we like is more unlikely and difficult. It's about personalities, too, but then there's more opportunity to come across our kindred spirits via blogland (what with the millions of blogs we have access to!). Have a great week Poppy! Bess


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