Happiness is Summer with Friends

When I ended up in the hospital, I explained to my doctors that I had to go home and get my dogs and board them at the vet.  Just as they were prepared to taze me to keep me from leaving, Krissie drove down, collected the dogs (who adore her), schlepped them to the vet, and washed my dishes.  She also came to the hospital twice a day and made me laugh.   And when I got out four days later, we went to the diner and assessed the situation which, as far as I was concerned, came down to one thing: I am extremely lucky in my best friend and my daughter, who did everything while I was flat on my back getting holes punched in me.  Krissie’s coming down again at the end of July, preferably without another heart failure on my part, and we will laugh again because she is my best friend, and because laughing in the summer (or winter) with friends is the best recipe for joy I know.

How did you kick up your heels this week?

58 thoughts on “Happiness is Summer with Friends

  1. I was explaining to a friend who doesn’t drink coffee that a perfect cup of coffee was like craving good Chinese food, and then getting it. This made me crave Chinese food. I told this story to my sister and she said “Let’s!!!” So yesterday she and b-i-l and I went out for lunch and it was nice.

    My darling husband went to visit a friend we haven’t seen in years (I didn’t go for a variety of reasons mostly golf, golf and golf) and he is have a delightful time. Usually I am the one who travels without him because of work, so it seems kind of fun to have him being the one on the phone saying “this is such a cute town and they do this and that”. Also enjoyed making chocolate chip cookies without feeling guilty for filling the house with wonderful aroma of cookies he can’t eat.

    And I have good cookies, which is always a big plus in my life.

  2. I had a slumber party last night.

    I do not suggest a dinner of sangria, jello shots, Shirley Temple Blacks, and cake after wayyy too much Thai. But I DO suggest a 1am fashion show/clothing swap.

  3. A break in the super hot weather today. I’ve spent the last several days mostly in my house to avoid the heat, and feeling icky when I did go out, so it’s great to get out twice already today for cooler walks. My husband is flying back home today, which is wonderful, and my daughter’s coming for a week visit tomorrow!

  4. I cleaned out the hellish mess that was my barn/garage with the help of one of the artists from my shop who sometimes acts as a handyman and does things around my house. It took us 3 1/2 hours in the brutal heat to pack up All the Crap (including some things that had been left by the woman I bought the house from 16 years ago, because in previous pogroms I never had the energy to tackle that stuff too), load it into his truck and the large trailer, then bring it to my dump to unload it.

    The space still needs to be cleaned and some storage racks built to hold scrap lumber and tools, but it turns out that about 85% of the crap in there was really crap, so the wide open space makes me really happy. It would have been an impossible job to do on my own, so I am very grateful for helpful friends who work reasonably cheap.

    1. Your clean up joy is mine. I’m SO happy for you. It’s one of the best feelings ever.

      1. It is. When we got back from the dump, my friend Glen said, “You did really well.” I thought he meant the hard work, since I have some health issues and tire fast, especially in the heat. But when I said that, he responded, “No, I meant being able to let go of things and throw them out.”

        Ha! Honestly, the hardest part was not just throwing it all away, even the useful stuff. I LOVE getting rid of crap.

    2. Way to go, Deborah.

      We cleaned out a lot when we remodeled the ground floor 3 years ago and I thought we had done an excellent job. Then yesterday I was looking around and thought what do we need all this crap for? We have had some of those wood pieces for decades “in case we need them” or “they are too good to take to the rebuilding center” but I have a 6″ x 1 “x 8′ koa wood board that I have had at least, at least, 35 years and never used it (it was a good deal). At this point I am willing to get rid of it and buy another one if I ever need it.

      It is good to know someone who has her act together.

  5. Happiness is having a magic Jennifer Crusie moment in a tiny town far from my home. During our marathon drive home from the West Coast, we stayed in the tiny town of Burlington, Colorado. After dinner we came across the county fairgrounds and a building marked “carousel” which was still lit. Inside were marvels on an ancient merry-go-round: stags, a mer-horse, a lion. Monkeys and figures of tiny men held peeped from the sides of the horses’ saddles. While it was in a different spirit from Wild Ride, I had come moments of being completely apart from the real world. Here is the mer-horse: http://carousels.org/psp/BurlingtonCO/scan0237.html

    1. I love carousels and researched them like crazy for Wild Ride, way beyond what I needed to know. That mer-horse is gorgeous.

  6. I’m looking forward to kicking up my heels tomorrow, when I’ll head off solo to the “Extending Teacher Creativity Workshop,” aka Teachers Goofing Off Camp– leaving my husband and the two little ones behind. I’m sure I will miss them fiercely by the end of the conference on Wednesday… But I suspect some solo time will be pretty nice too. (And I’m hoping to get some writing done in my downtime, which is probably a pipe dream, but one must have goals! maybe I’ll start off easy and attempt to revive my blog for the fifth or sixth time.)

    This week, my joy has come from savoring the last little bit of my summer vacation at home with my boys, and helping my mom settle into her apartment a few blocks away. I feel extremely lucky to have wonderful family close by.

  7. I’m focused on next week–RWA National conference in Denver. Only one other person from our class is attending, but I’ll get to see all my Golden Heart friends.

    Now to make sure I have enough clean underwear.

  8. I haven’t done a lot to kick up my heels (although I didn’t get picked for jury duty and did make a good dent in my paperback ;-)).
    Ironically, what I did do on Friday was binge watch “Friends” reruns on Netflix. It’s not something I really regularly watch anymore, but I was crampy and grumpy and it was comfort TV at it’s finest. When it was on the air, I was much younger (weren’t we all) and I was all about that Ross and Rachel drama. Now I enjoy Monica and Chandler’s romance arc so much more. Interesting how we change.

      1. Yeah, Ross & Rachel always felt a bit like cilantro to me. A little goes a long way, even if you’re one who likes the stuff. Together, well imagine a cilantro and cilantro salad.

      2. The Monica/Chandler bit I always remember is when she’s having a meltdown because the crazy-in-lust part of their relationship is evolving into mature love, and he tells her that’s good, something like “I’m in love with my best friend, what could be better?” It’s such an adult moment and so intensely sweet. They were a great couple. Ross and Rachel, not so much, although maybe they grew up and it was okay.

  9. Friday night we had a couple of friends over who taught us how to play Loteria, which was fun and more relaxing than it’s supposed to be, even when only playing for pennies.

    Yesterday the two of us got in the pool and just enjoyed hanging out together (despite not being able to inflate and use our awesome new giant shark head pool toy), and today we’ll be seeing other friends who are taking a portable A/C unit off our hands (crossing fingers and toes any rehab they need to do to make it work is minimal). So a weekend of low-key relaxation with minimal deadlines and zero strategizing about our next steps – Stephen got laid off from work a few weeks ago so we’ve been in hardcore planning mode and our brains REALLY needed a break from it all.

    1. Sending good job vibes. He’s so talented that someone best snap him up right quick!

  10. Had a long chat with a friend on Friday, and lots of photography talk yesterday when our group met at our exhibition in Shrewsbury – which looks good. And this afternoon a slow walk in the woods got my head straight.

    Enjoyed photographing dead flowers at Powis on Tuesday. Oh, and I was happy to recover my lost 1990s Word files.

  11. Have had a super-busy week, not much heel-kicking unless walking a lot counts as kicking up heels… A friend has been here since Friday however, and it’s been wonderful(as always when she is here). We’ve been walking a looot (approx 30km between Friday and today), had nice food, a whole bunch of ice cream and a lot of laughs. Today we went to the beach boulevard for a nice walk and discovered Lipton Green Tea icecream. Then we walked some more only to later plop down our butts at a beach café and had a drink (Frozen Raspberry Mojito for me and Frozen Strawberry Marguerita for her). Walking back to the tram stop, we bumped into a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop shop and just HAD TO have some Cherry Garcia ice cream, since that one’s not available in stores anymore. We ended the day with taking the tram into the city centre and having dinner (and drinks) at a tapas bar. Imagine our suffering… 😉

    On the downside: They discovered cancer in MIL’s stomach earlier this week. Could be that her lymphoma is spreading, or be something new, or… we just don’t know yet, we only know it’s there. Time will tell what, how, when… something. The waiting and not knowing is nagging at all of us.

    So summer weather and a friend was good to have around this weekend. <3

      1. The power of ice cream is underrated. (And we’ve been eating ice cream every day except today…so I bought some at the grocery store, in case Fiancé and I need some to cheer us up.)
        Thanks for the hugs, very very much appreciated! <3 *hugs back*

  12. I am glad you had a good weekend with friends, Shass, to balance the uncertainty and angst about your MIL. It is important to be good to yourself, particularly when life is fraught.

    1. Thank you, Jessie! <3 I don't have many friends (and unfortunately none of them live close, not even in the same country), but those I have I can rely on when the going is hard. This lady is all for stuffing me with ice cream, chocolate, cookies, good food and tea and drag me out on looong walks to cheer me up. It works every time.

  13. I didn’t kill the hibiscus.

    I was given 2 gorgeous hibiscus plants about a month ago. They are experimental hybrids, and have fabulous colors. One is a deep burgundy, and the other is blue.

    I can’t figure out how to share the pictures. 🙁 And my instagram is dead.

    1. Instagram keeps making me log back in, don’t know why. (I’m accessing via Safari on my iPad rather than using the phone app.)

      1. It makes me log in Every. Single. Time. if I’m not logging in from the phone app. Hate it. But like IG otherwise, far more than I’d expected.

    2. Oh wow, that sounds beautiful, can’t wait to see pics when you can show them. I almost bought red hibiscus from the animal shelter charity shop. I will, when I go back.

  14. I went to a lavender festival with a friend yesterday and bought some lotions, soaps etc. We had lunch from a lunch truck that was there and each enjoyed a dish of lavender ice cream.

    I had mentioned that I intended going blueberry picking this morning and my friend asked if she could go along as she likes blueberries too. So today, we went early (to beat the heat) and got a respectable amount before we gave up from the heat. Being a glutton for punishment where blueberries are concerned, I went to a different place (the first place closed at 12:30) a little later in the afternoon and picked about 5 lbs more. All blueberries are now in the freezer for use later this year.

  15. On Saturday I finally caught up with a friend whose ship and mine kept passing in the night all summer. We attended the whacked out Bastille Day celebration in Philly. Music, dancing, food trucks, and great cameraderie. Marie Antoinette is spared the guillotine and encourages all to eat Tastykakes. Thoroughly weird and thoroughly fun.

  16. Happiness is watching the two littlest and youngest dogs play. they’ve become such good friends.

    Also, my friends are wonderful.

    My youngest is in California visiting her sister (my oldest). I’m getting a dry run on what’s it’s going to be like living here by myself. So far, so good. I’ve got my fingers crossed that my plan for the financial stuff works out.

  17. You are fortunate in your friendships, Jennifer Crusie.

    In library resale shop, found a copy of a 1969 California restaurant cookbook. Ate at (a few) of the restos, cooked a share of the food. Lovely memories. BUT! the sugar! the cream! the butter! Clearly in another category than the bowls I eat today.

    And, food, old-style market still sells ham salad. I loves me my ham salad, and, yes, I had some.

    French Garden Shop finally closed its warehouse with a discount sale, and now my garden looks like it exists in Provence.

  18. I’m literally putting my feet up thanks to a new bed which has a motorized frame and allows my feet to be raised as well as raising the head of the bed making it easier to read in bed. We splurged when we bought the motorized frame, but I’m happy we did so. I think I will use it a lot more than I originally thought I will.

  19. I saw Ant-Man and the Wasp, a play called “The Thanksgiving Play,” and went to “Bricks by the Bay,” a Lego exhibition/con where you see freaking amazing Legos. I also bought four Princess Leia and four Han Solo minifigs, which I made most of myself. I’m such a fan of them.

    This helped me to recover from the end of the workweek, in which I got yet another shitty review at work again.

    1. I’m sorry about the work review. I know how it can suck away all motivation and you end up feeling bad. Try to remember, this is only one other person’s opinion and you are more than your job. You have value beyond what you do to earn money. I hope things turn around for you at work, however that may look.

      1. When I get a bad review, I think, “Would I have lunch with this person?” Answer’s usually “no.” Why let somebody you wouldn’t have lunch with shape your future. The review was wrong. Moving on . . .

  20. Happiness: germinating seeds for an herb garden, sitting on the front porch glider, watching the crescent moon with Venus tonight after sunset. Sometimes quiet moments are just golden moments.

  21. At 60 years old, for the first time since high school, I have a friend that I just hang out with. I spent a couple of hours at her house tonight sipping margaritas in the pool. And today I realized that I’m ready to let go of a lot of stuff I’ve been carting around (much yarn -Jenny, you want some?) Overall, life is pretty good.

    Oh, and currently rereading Wild Ride for the umpteenth time. “So,” he said, looking at the empty cups in exasperation. “This isn’t good.” “I am drowning my sorrows,” Mab said, enunciating clearly. “How’s that going?” “Not too well.” She gazed at the empty cups sadly. “The little suckers are buoyant as all hell.” Thank you so much for your books.

  22. On holiday – although there is work to be done, as we have students who need help with university applications and applying for remarks of their work, I don’t have to do this in school. Last week was so busy I stopped writing, but am now back at my 500 words a day, which always makes me happy. Catching up with family and friends at the moment, and that feels good. Am thoroughly loving our British heatwave – it feels like we are living in France, long toasty days, and this morning, DH and I watched as Minion 1 and 2 both left by 8:30am to go to work. Minion 1 has held down a job for 3 months and although it is very Glengarry Glen Ross, he is more Al Pacino than Jack Lemmon, and seems to be succeeding. Minion 2 has his first summer gig, cleaning, making beds, carrying and fetching for 4 hours a day. Nothing but good times ahead.

  23. The family went to see The Incredibles 2.
    The kids got bored and left with a very tired hubby, and since I have been looking forward to this movie for a loooong time, I stayed.
    It was nice to watch a kids movie without constantly having to tell K2 to get off the floor sit down sit still shhh.

  24. Happiness was tearing apart a planter and replanting the still alive plants with a few new ones. Will need to get a few more to fill in the blank spots. Heat is killing everything. Moved sunny plants to shade for a few days. Poor things.

    Cleaned and sorted and got dirty and glad the process of getting rid of the crap is moving on. Bags for the Hospital Auxiliary from the house and bags for the dump from the shop.

  25. I took the kids to my parents travel trailer in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. My parents went up a couple days before us. It was hot and humid. But good. The kids reveled in having grandparent time. I enjoyed it too.

    My husband admits he enjoyed being home alone.

    We’re heading back up there this weekend, with my husband and our travel trailer for a family gathering. 3 of my 4 siblings will be there and I think we’re at 4 nieces, plus my parents. It will be fun. I need to finish up a pinata.

    1. When I was a kid, maybe 55 years ago, we’d rent a log cabin with a sleeping loft in Sister Bay. It was a lovely place to chill out and get away from the city (there were humming birds in the woods behind the cabin!) and I still remember the tree we named in Peninsula State Park. I hope it is still lovely and not too built up.

  26. You are going to have a great summer. (-: I mean, compared with what went on in early summer, anything that doesn’t involve hospitalization is going to be great.

    I’m in a northern land, and summer isn’t quite here, but it’s trying. It’s supposed to get very hot up here by Thursday, so I’m practicing. Getting the shades up, making peach sorbet, getting my ice bottle routine down . . . . My MIL’s garden has just kicked into high gear, so we’ve got eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers (oh, boy, have we got cucumbers!), peppers and all the other things that make summer dining a lot of fun.

  27. We have 50% humidity and my friends from Florida said “it’s so dry here.” LOL to us Angelenos it feels like being in a steam bath.

    That’s my summer happiness with friends – short-notice rendezvous with one of my very favorite humans, high-school friend (so we have known each other *cough*38*cough* years); + his husband and mine. Just a quick lunchtime get-together, but lovely since I only get to see them every 5-6 years.

  28. On Sunday we sponsored an ice cream social at my Mom’s retirement building in honor of her 95th birthday. We could only get 3 of her 5 kids there at the same time, but I think she enjoyed herself. Later that evening we took her to her favorite restaurant for dinner so that some of her “adopted” family could join the celebration.

  29. My son and I have been playing Neko Atsume, a cat collecting game. Every day when I get home we compare how many cats we have attracted to our yards. And every day he renames some of my cats to things like Round Boi and Shower Sweat.


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