12 Qualities of Happiness

The Delightful Dozen: The 12 Qualities Of Happiness

In “What Happy People Know”, author Dan Baker outlines what he calls “The 12 Qualities of Happiness.” Not all have to be present, he writes,” and they don't all have to be there in equal amounts.”

Still, most must be abundant for someone “to experience the kind of lasting, rock-solid happiness that endures even when life gets tough to take-as it always does.”

Love. Even better than being loved is loving somebody, he writes.

Optimism. Realizing “the more painful the event, the more profound the lesson.”

Courage. This quality “allows us to thrive,” he writes.

A sense of freedom. “Everyone has the power to make choices, but unhappy people don't know they have it.”

Proactivity. Happy people “don't wait for the events or other people to make them happy.”

Security. Happy people know nothing lasts over time. They're neither slaves to popularity, nor longevity, nor financial status.

Health. It's hard being happy if you don't feel healthy; “it's hard to be healthy if you're not happy,” he writes.

Spirituality. Happy people “aren't afraid to go beyond the boundaries of their own lives…they're not concerned about dying-they're concerned about not living.

Altruism. Happy people know how being altruistic helps you see outside yourself.

Perspective. Happy people see shades of gray instead of just black and white.

Humor. This “shift of perception” gives people the wherewithal to go on, even when life looks its worst.

Purpose. If happy people were to die today, “they would be satisfied with their lives.”

The phone isn't ringing!!! Yippee!!!

After learning that someone named “Beverly Martin” had her phone forwarded to my home number – and getting non-stop calls beginning around 8 AM and not ending until 10 PM for the last 3 months – I decided I had had enough. I called AT&T and explained the situation and they said that because she was apparently with MCI before she changed the number – there wasn't anything they could do. They did offer to change my number for free – so I did that as of today.

And I've been home all evening after my ride and the phone hasn't rang once!!!! YIPPEE!!!!

If I haven't given you my new home number, and you had my old number – drop me a note.


I've had my 2005 Honda Rebel for exactly 96 hours (picked it up last Thursday and got it home around 8 PM – didn't ride it then – just put it in the garage) and I've put exactly 138 miles on it already.

I love riding!! I'm getting better and better every time I take it out. Tonight I rode up to the new National Cemetery (Tahoma) and rode around there. Got out, walked around and read some of the head stones. I want to honor my Dad with a marker there – I requested all of his military discharge information and by my assessment – he qualifies. Now I'll have to figure out how to get them to do it without a body as he was cremated by his wife at the time. I'll have to give this some thought.

After that peaceful visit, I rode to the gas station and put $4.17 worth of premium gas in and then rode to the school parking lot and practiced. Riding on the road is pretty easy – it's practicing the stuff on the exam that makes you a skilled rider.

Peter gave me some great advise – “Always pretend that you're invisible, always assume someone will blast through an intersection or cut out in front of you, always look ahead and have an escape route planned if an emergency develops, make sure your mirrors are adjusted correctly with no blind spots. Glance through the Biker Code book again.”

THANK YOU, PETER! He's right – I assume no one can see me and all are out to kill me. It's made me a much more aware driver too! Also – I love the 'sign' most riders give each other – makes me feel like I'm part of the 'family'! It's done with the left hand held down at your side with an open palm kind of thing. Or – as happened to me tonight – if I'm stopped at a light with the clutch held in – a nod will work too! I love it!

I have to admit I'm a little scared of riding the Road King. It weighs over twice as much ad the Rebel and I'll need to be very, very careful with respect to how I handle her. I'm going to give myself lots and lots of time. I may have to hire someone to ride her home after the new rear tire and 10,000 mile service are done when she arrives. I'll figure that out too when the time comes.

I do wish I had done this when I was a lot younger. But my motto is “It's never too late” so here I am at 51 learning how to ride a motorcycle and not just ANY motorcycle – a full size Harley.

Beginner's Bike – Honda Rebel

Picked up the “beginner's bike” I will use to practice on, and Ryan can use to learn on last night. It is a 2005 Honda Rebel with 40 miles on it – yes – 40 miles. So even though it is technically 'used', it is brand new.

The guy who I bought it from fell and had a head injury at work that makes his balance off so he rode it home from the dealer and his wife following him realized he couldn't balance it so…….. it's now mine!

It was all I could do not to put on my helmet and go out practicing last night but I'm going to be smart about this. I'm going to take it to the Jr. High parking lot down the street and practice Saturday for my test Sunday. I'm not going to just go out on the road and risk being killed because of my lack of skill.

I also am making arrangements to ship the Road King home. The Rebel barely fit in my trailer so I know the Road King won't. The seller found a terrific shipping deal that I'm going to finalize today.

Wish I were in Sturgis – the webcam looks like a blast.

Puppies are so cute – weaning them is loads of fun! They walk in the food and everything!

Have a great day!


My leg that took the hit when I fell during my motorcycle training looks like it's been battered. It's purple and black all the way down to my foot. I was reading about bruising and when you get older and bruise your legs, gravity can make the bruise go all the way down your leg!!!

ugh………….. I wish I were 20 years younger and know what I know now (and make as much $ as I do now too!).

The weather here has been so beautiful!! Perfect for riding but I don't have my motorcycle (or my motocycle license yet!).

Ryan left for Texas for a couple of weeks today and my nephew went home to California yesterday. Just Matt and I right now and we've been fighting a lot lately.

It's hard – sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the responsibility I have – this house, my job, etc. etc. and both 'boys' still at home. There are times I feel like just running away but I know that won't help as “wherever you go – there you are!” Not to mention that I'd never be able to live with myself if I shirked my responsibilities like that.

Oh well………… I'm exhausted so am going to bed. Monday morning is coming way too quickly!

Ryan's driver's license saga

After 3 years of NOT wanting to drive, Ryan decided this summer that he “needed” his driver's license. Well………. the idea of having a driver's permit is to get practice and of course, he didn't want to practice very much during this 3 year saga.

Needless to say this “experience” has been one of the most challenging for Ryan and I!! The good news is that yesterday he finally passed the actual driving test so he's legal now.

NOW the real worrying begins! I hope he demonstrates good judgment with respect to his choices!!! He is distracted easily so I'm worried that when he has friends in the car, he won't concentrate on driving. We'll see…… I'll have to keep a candle lit constantly and send a battalion of GA's to watch over him!!

On another note – I wish I could win Lotto so I could quit working. I like my work – but my boss is a challenge. He's nice enough but tends to be a micro-manager. That's never worked real well for me. Oh well….. must be my Karma in life to work all the time. I would just like to find one job that fits well in all areas for me at some point. But I'm getting to an age where the chances of that happening are slim and none.

Lastly – I met a very nice guy who rides and lives in Colorado. We've been talking frequently and he's helping me with my “Biker Chick Transformation”. 🙂

Got a great little Biker Code book, fingerless gloves, T-Shirt etc from him which is terrific!! I hope to meet him and share a nice ride someday soon!!!

I also scheduled my re-test for my motorcycle endorsement – August 14th. I could have taken it this coming Sunday (Aug 7th) but Ryan leaves for Dallas on that day so I didn't want to feel pressure to get laundry done and him to the airport while I'm suppose to be focusing on my test so I'll take it on the 14th.

That's all for now….. gotta get going to work!

Motorcycle Lessons Learned

Ok – after 2 full days of motorcycle lessons, here's what I learned:

I LOVE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE!!!! Such a sense of freedom! I really LOVED IT!!!


1. A motorcycle is A LOT harder to ride than it looks.

2. I need a smaller bike to learn on than the one I bought so am buying a starter bike in addition to my beautiful Road King. I already found a nice Suzuki GZ 250 (which is what I used in class) with less than 800 miles and for a pretty good price. Since Ryan wants to learn too – having a small bike to learn on will be a nice fit for our family.

3. I have to practice NOT using my front brake as much. When I used it to stop while turning, I lost it and the bike ended up on my leg (ouch!). Using the front brake while turning is a big NO NO. Some people just need to learn things from experience – which describes me to a “T”.

4. When I did what I described in #3 above, I was pretty shook up. As a result, during the actual test about 1.5 hours later, AND because of my normal test anxiety, I lost balance at the end of the first test and it went down again – not on me this time but that's an automatic “F” on the test. The instructors were both very supportive and told me that even though they had to give me an “F” on the test – I can retake it for free. They told me I should retake the test ASAP as I'm very good on the bike. Obviously it's hard to believe that when you've messed up so badly but as I look back on this weekend, I can see that I really am qualified and that I just have to get back up on this “horse” ASAP and move on.

5. One of my co-students also came up and told me I was one of the best riders in the class so it was sad to see me lay the bike down on the actual test. He was very nice and I can't say how much I appreciated his positive comments and support.

6. Once I get a few years under my belt – I think I'd like to be an instructor. It was such a good experience for me – even with all of the challenges described above – and I know that for those who do want to learn to ride – the experience of going through the class and getting the support and words of encouragement from the instructors is making a difference for those folks. I want to make a difference.

Stay tuned…… I'll be riding fully legal very, very soon!

Pug Puppy Application

Our AKC Pug puppies (4 boys and a girl) – all fawn – will be available for adoption mid-September sometime. The males are $550 and the female is $650.

I'm accepting applications now. Once your application has been approved, $50 will hold your puppy! All puppies will have their first shots and be vet checked.

I have both MOM and DAD onsite and you're welcome to visit!

Email me for an application:

shawnna141 @ comcast dot net

Puppy saga continues

Xena apparently has an infection going. Last night she was shivering, vomiting and lethargic with no appetite so I took her to the emergency vet. They kept her overnight and put her on fluids and did lots of blood work. Now she's on an antibiotic for the infection. Bill – over $500.

But today's she's much better!

HOWEVER, no nursing for her until our regular vet gives the OK. Matt's going to take her to Dr. Norquist tomorrow to get the OK. So until then, I'm tube feeding all of them.

Wow….. as soon as possible, both Xena and Joey are getting fixed.

I'm also preparing to advertise the puppies for sale. Got all the AKC paperwork last week so we're ready!