Ava’s Happiness List

I have no idea if Ava Gardner actually said that, but if she did, she was my kind of woman.  In the end, that’s what happiness comes down to, I think: beauty around you in sight and sound, people you love close to you, work and play that fulfills you, and really great food.  Everything else is noise.

What was on your list for happiness this week?

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31 thoughts on “Ava’s Happiness List

  1. My sweet boy celebrated his 17 BD. this week He’s had more than a few challenges along the way but he’s a good person with a kind heart (largely hidden behind the scruffy, funky exterior of a teenage boy)., which makes me happy and proud. We ate home-made pizza and watched “Blockers” (his choice). My youngest brother arrived from the US for his annual summer visit and we strolled through the local farmer’s market, admiring all the local produce. Today we’re going to my brother’s PIL’s for a BBQ – good food and good company.

    10+
  2. Listening to the rain pour down after an unusually dry summer. (Bonus: without a thunderstorm, which we often get and which make me twitch.)

    Harvesting the last of the peas and the first of the tomatoes out of the garden, and eating red raspberries off my bushes.

    Eating barbecued salmon, onions, and fancy orange and red peppers off my grill. (The peppers didn’t taste any different, but they looked beauuuuuutiful.)

    10+
  3. Not on a list but by Friday I was surfing the channels getting away from the news and came up to the Lifetime Channel and noticed they had a marathon of The Closer with Kyra Sedgwick. Apparently Lifetime Network bought the series and maybe we’ll be able to see it from time to time. Could be on a schedule. My favorites are of anytime Flynn and Provenza go off the grid and screw up. I think that after the first season they stopped filming with shaky camera syndrome, it was very distracting but still a really good show.

    5+
    1. I love that show. My favorite might be when Flynn (?) who was put on the team to bring her down realizes that she’s a better boss than the one he’s got and switches sides. And the pilot is wonderful. I just love that series. Is your fave the one where they find a body and then decide not to report it until they get back from the game?

      3+
      1. Yes, but there are so many, I went through the list for the day and the one you are talking about was on that night, made sure to watch it. Just as much fun. Then there was the one with Flynn and Provenza at a restaurant with a suspect, they’re facing away from the window and thieves steal the car with evidence in the trunk and the suspect is watching gleefully. They became more serious when Major Crimes began, too bad.

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        1. Yep, I did not connect with Major Crimes. Brenda was the fuel for The Closer.
          Of course, I also didn’t believe she’d leave her team, so I consider her last episode non-canon.

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  4. A writing friend (mostly long-distance, met through RWA) who’d sort of dropped off the radar for probably more than five years suddenly popped up again this week and we reconnected and chatted as if it had only been a few weeks’ separation. It happened on an otherwise annoying day, but I still spent the day smiling.

    13+
  5. In the midst of the trauma that is our family’s life right now, the greatest things are: we are all still alive; getting to go for a walk at sunrise and seeing how beautiful the morning is; and having this loop to read and enjoy. Yay! And thank you.

    13+
  6. Happy
    – reading the Iliad and researching into Homer and his life in preparation for teaching it this coming year.
    – Going to see the Watts Gallery and Chapel with a dear friend https://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/about-us/artists-village/watts-chapel/ – check out the video. The Chapel is the work of Mary Watts, the wife of the Victorian artist. It is the most feminine celebration of spirituality I’ve ever seen turned into bricks and mortar.
    – Catching up with my godson, his wife and their absolutely delicious 7-month old baby daughter
    – Coming home and opening the door 2 hours later to dear dear friends who I’d totally forgotten were visiting for the night!! It could have been awkward and embarrassing, but we are such old friends and it was so good to catch up that we fell into our familiar conversations and my total organisational mess was forgiven…

    A lovely week.

    10+
    1. I liked the chapel – and how she involved the locals in making it. Not so keen on his work, especially en masse.

      1+
  7. Happiness for me would be doing things with good friends, sitting outside on the deck looking at the stars, well, the airplanes flying over, sipping a nice scotch or a martini, maybe getting a game and playing that. And my kitties would be sitting on the edge on the deck, watching the yard below and purring.

    4+
  8. A full fridge. While I don’t suffer from an empty one, or even Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, the stuff inside made me happy. I felt a swell of gratitude for it all.

    I’d been to the local market on Saturday morning and bought a variety of good veggies. There were leftovers from what was cooked yesterday. AND today I cooked chicken for supper and simultaneously cooked my vegetarian meal for tomorrow. I haven’t done meatless Monday in years, because I tend to prefer eating vegetables and regularly go three times a week without any fish or chicken.

    I also managed to get my hands on more carbs, today it was crusty rolls like a mini baguette and some chapattis.

    I also started working out properly again. So I’m feeling emotionally stronger.

    8+
  9. I felt the lack of good friends close by reading this, but have compensated with long chats this afternoon with two more distant friends – which included plans to meet up with one of them. I’m hoping once I find my new home to be able to have friends over for meals, or to hang out, much more than I have here. To go back to my usual lifestyle, in fact. Ava had got her priorities right.

    I’m also enjoying seeing what colours my Dahlia ‘Bishop’s Children’ seedlings are as they open: so far, all shades of orange, from neon to rusty red. Hoping for some deep pinks for variety (four out of a dozen have flowered so far).

    4+
  10. This summer-we’ve has a young Polish farmer for a month, which we loved, and we’ve been able to spend the last week in the mountains, where it’s cool.

    This week, it’s back to our regularly scheduled program. But at least we’re able to do what we do.

    2+
  11. On my list for happiness this week was lots and lots of time outside. We were visiting my in-laws in Northeast Ohio for a baby shower and Ohio weather actually cooperated and gave us beautiful mild sunny summer days. We took both our boys on a couple of hikes/walks, showed them the park where we got married, and I just spent a lot of time hanging out on my mother-in-law’s back deck by myself with a book or painting my nails (which I do about 3 times a year). She has a beautiful view overlooking a ravine with lots of oak trees.

    I mean, I also enjoyed seeing my in-laws (we all get along pretty well), but my absolute favorite was time by myself on the beautiful deck. (shh ;-))

    5+
  12. I’m happy to be working a cool theater festival (literally cool – it’s air conditioned). It’s the perfect intersection of cool art that’s free to the public, and it makes me proud of what we’re doing. Also now I have a new band to look up – Five Letter Word, which is currently making gorgeous music in the lobby.

    2+
  13. Finally got into the water today, just up to my neck I admit, I’m just a dunker. The beach I go to is long and shallow so the water stays shall for a long time. Went after 5 so the dogs were there running around, it’s often such a beautiful sight to see them race into the water. Or just entertaining, to see a Corgi trot around, or a Chihuahua try and take over the beach. One Aussie shepherd was catching the ball on the fly in the air, quite the athlete. Also so excellent Dachshunds keeping things under control.

    4+
  14. I went to the state fair yesterday and had a good time. I saw two shows that were featuring The Greatest Showman (one of them being a horse show) and now I kind of want to see that. I bought pretty stuff too.

    In other news and speaking of corgis, I have been watching the YouTube channel “Vlog After College,” which features a guy and his corgi and it is so damn cheerful with all the corgi fun (he even makes dog friendly human meals for the dog) that it makes me feel better after another draining day.

    1+
  15. Bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner – DH must have mentioned 4 times how much he enjoyed them, so extra bonus of indulged spouse.

    Went to Meijer to buy some cheap summer tops and bought cheap dresses instead. Well, actually as well, but I ended up with three dresses and two tops, so…….

    Tried to buy yarn at store and failed. The whole point of going in person was to match two colors I thought I had enough of, and didn’t….. and the store didn’t have either color AT ALL! Came home and ordered on line. May not match, but if so, I will do something else with it. Yarn always makes me happy.

    6+
    1. Don’t know if it will help, and I’ve never tried it, but I read somewhere that if the new ones are really close, but not quite perfect, that if you alternate rows with it — original color in row A, then new color in row B — it will blend and not be noticeable the way it would be if you just switched to the new color.

      2+
  16. I had the weekend off (I work every other Sat.) and the weather cooperated both days. I went out for breakfast for the first time in a couple of years, then went for a hike in a lovely out of the way area before heading home to let the cats out in the back yard. Later, I went for a bike ride along the canal. I sat in my hammock swing until the rope broke and I ended up on the ground with only my dignity injured. It turned out that a critter (probably a squirrel) had chewed the rope near the bar until it was nearly frayed through and when I sat in it, it broke! I ran errands and did laundry too, but the rest of the weekend was good.

    8+
  17. I don’t have an actual list. What I have are a few standard responses when someone, often a checker at the grocery store, says “Hi. How are you today?” I know that they don’t want to hear about my knees or hips or heart, they’re just being polite. So I say:

    “Fair to partly cloudy.” A riff on “Fair to middlin’.”

    “I was wonderful, earlier.” They inevitably ask, “Oh? What happened?” or something similar. I follow up with, “Oh, I got better.” and grin.

    “I didn’t die again today.” Often taken aback, they mumble “That’s good” or the equivalent. “I sure think so!”

    I hope my responses make them a little happier, too.

    7+
  18. I spent the whole weekend at a dance and art workshop. Felt energised and creative. It was great!

    3+
  19. Happiness was going to see “Mamma Mia HWGA” with my girlfriend last week;
    finishing novella #5 rewrite and republishing that this weekend;
    getting the disastrous front yard marginally less disastrous;
    going out for pancakes with DH and then
    spending an egregious amount of money at Whole Foods on booze and food that I don’t have to actually cook, i.e. we are fed and beveraged for the week and I can feel free to ignore meal prep and continue writing in the evenings while the house cools down.

    3+
  20. We went to Germanfest on Saturday. My kids are in the local German Immersion School and my daughter’s school choir was singing. My parents and a sister and her husband came. I was happy. I even polka’d with my husband and a friend got it on film.

    We booked a camping site for next year’s camping with friends. 🙂

    Sunday we took the kids to see Incredibles 2. We all enjoyed it.

    And we have a cat now. I’m happy about. A coworker of my husband needed to rehome his sister in law’s cat, after she passed away. So we now have a 7 year old cat. The kids are just over the moon about a pet. My daughter (age 10)is being awesome about morning feeding of the cat. My son (age 8) is probably going to be good with the evening feeding of the cat (we haven’t started with him yet) Their dad and I are probably on litter box duty.

    Lastly, I was trying to set up an overnight with my daughter’s best friend, to watch the Perseids later this month. It’s fallen through and I’m really happy about that. Short version is that it’s taken like 6-8 weeks for the parents to confirm that it’s not going to work out this time. I’ve got several other people wanting to know what’s going on because they want to join us and we needed to know if the friend was a yes or no so we have beds.

    3+
  21. I guess I recharged a bit this weekend. I binge-watched Nailed It!, a baking competition show that is very entertaining, with my 15yo daughter. We both enjoy baking, so it was fun to speculate on how well we might do.

    And I read The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang yesterday. I couldn’t put it down! I’d been hearing lovely things about it, all of them true. I’d gotten it from the library, so I discovered that my arthritic thumb much prefers ebooks to hard copy, so when I buy my own copy of this, it will be electronic.

    Not a bad way to spend a couple of days. I’d gladly do it again.

    1+
  22. I got to hold kittens.

    I also was far enough ahead of schedule that I was able to paint our bedroom before the carpet was installed on Monday.

    I was very happy we were ready for the carpet install on Monday. It was also really nice to work from home on Monday. I was able to sit outside with my cat in beautiful weather and catch up on all my email from the week before when I was on vacation prepping my house for the carpet install.

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