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Appetite for Happiness

(Photo courtesy of

Have a crappy day at work? Get insulted by family members? Burn your dinner in the oven? Have a fight with your significant other? Feel bored and lonely?

For however many slices of toast you burned yesterday or will burn today (metaphorically speaking), I'm sorry.

I do feel your pain. I woke up at 6:30 this morning to the sound of neighborhood dogs barking as if Purina Pet Chow had been permanently pulled from the shelves, my one-year-old nephew whining and banging on my door as if I'd hidden his teething ring in my underwear drawer, my mother fumbling around the kitchen looking for God knows what, and my sister swearing and stamping her feet because she slept in and was going to be late for work. My head was just about to explode.

I opened my closet to look for my journal so I could write about how much I already loathed this day. But when I stuck my hand in my bookbag to look for writing materials, I pulled out a small, fat book I'd nearly forgotten about: 14,000 things to be happy about by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

Perfect timing.

I bought it a few months ago in a bookstore filled with inspirational literature, but had never really given it a thorough read.

In the sixth grade, Kipfer started writing a list of all the thoughts, words, images, people, places, sounds, foods and events that make her smile. Through the years it became a stream-of-consciousness catalog that now spans 612 pages.

Kipfer finds splendor in everything from Dutch butter cookies to isosceles trapezoids. The descriptions and observations for which she praises life are picturesque (i.e. "turquoise umbrellas shading white ironwork tables and chairs"), random (i.e. "buttermilk soap," "actress Hayley Mills," "ankh rings"), uplifting ("learning to like yourself better"), humorously understandable ("the bottom of the sundae glass that you can't quite reach with your spoon," "the place where one sock in every laundry load disappears to"), and curiously delicious ("chicken sautéed in butter with brandy and apricots").

Whether you come across thoughts that spark up childhood memories (i.e. smiling in the mirror after eating Oreo cookies), painful or unpleasant experiences that may have led to your funniest moments with friends (i.e. "getting sunburned on a sailboat," "bad dining hall meals"), kitchen mishaps (lumpy gravy, caved-in cake), lucky circumstances we often fail to appreciate ("meeting someone at the airport," "finding the new People magazine at the hairdresser's"), or supper ideas ("real mashed potatoes, peeled on the premises and veined with melted butter"), this long list will give you whatever it is you're hungry for; it'll serve you a heap of happiness.

Look for it in your local bookstore ($7.95, ISBN: 0-89480-370-0). Instead of complaining about today, let's celebrate it! After all, it's only temporary.

You can take that whichever way you want.

Yum's the Word!

;) Holly


Barbara Ann said…
Sweet! Thank you for mentioning my book! Sincerely yours, Barbara Ann Kipfer (
Holly Pinafore said…
Hi Barbara,

My pleasure. Your book is something to be happy about in itself!

;) Holly

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