Shopping for Happiness

Sometimes when I’ve been holed up in the cottage too long, I do some shopping therapy.  Also, any time Krissie comes to visit from the wilds of Vermont, we do shopping therapy (she calls visiting the backwater where I live “visiting civilization,” which gives you some idea of the backwater where SHE lives).  The point is not to buy anything, although we sometimes do, it’s to go and find out what’s there. (Basically, we’re Rikki Tikki Tavi.)  Since we’re hitting places like Home Goods, Staples, Walmart, and Target, we are not spending big bucks, but we are satisfying our ancient roles as gatherers.  We were bred for this.  You know, like this guy:

How did you go and get happiness this week?

70 thoughts on “Shopping for Happiness

  1. I finally bestirred myself to start turning the four yards of hideously expensive fabric I bought online last month (not fancy fabric – just organic cotton poplin – but the print is a design by one of my favorite artists, Charley Harper) into a new shower curtain to tie together the colors of our newly-repainted bathroom. It felt good to sew again after WAY too long between projects, and especially to use my serger for only the second time ever. It reminded me how cool it is to be able to make such tidy seams.

    I’m almost done – all that remains is to acquire and put in the grommets to hang the thing. (Grommets won out over buttonholes after I pondered the prospect of wrestling this six-foot by almost eight-foot monster around on the regular sewing machine twelve times.) I realize this would fit better on “Working Wednesday,” but it’s what’s making me happy today, so I’ll just call it “Working Weekend.”

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      1. I just barely use Instagram, and so far only to follow others, but if you (or anyone else) could post a link to the appropriate spot to post WW pics and/or the appropriate hashtag to use, I’ll see what I can do!

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  2. Spent last night at a women and fem-only party with space for everything from crafting to group sex.

    Well, that was interesting.

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      1. That’s not what I’m there for but it’s a pretty amazing energy, all those women with all these different-sized bodies just being happy and unjudged.

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  3. My happy this week also came from a Working Wednesday type of thing — FINALLY finished a tote bag I only started so I could use up a scrap of too-pretty-to-toss-but-not-right-for-quilts fabric after making a pillow. (Pix on IG this coming Wed.)

    Also happy that it’s raining, and we’re due to have rain off and on all week (although not so happy about the ensuing humidity), since we’ve had an incredibly dry summer, and my garden is parched.

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  4. Have they painted that dog’s nails pale pink? I suspect they have, as they have also given him a pink collar. It’s gilding the lily, but as long as he doesn’t mind…

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    1. In my experience with dogs (which is vast), they don’t give a damn as long as it doesn’t hurt, it happens at home, and there is food somewhere in the offing. You can bribe a dog to do damn near anything.

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      1. Unlike cats. My cats refuse to eat dinner unless it comes out of the GREEN can. And one morning my husband was a little confused because he was going to give them a treat for breakfast and he gave them food from (oh, Horrors!) the GREEN can and for breakfast they are fed foods from the GOLD can which is the only civilized food for breakfast. And I cannot even begin to describe the revulsion and disgust on their little whiskery faces if their brand of crunches is changed.

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    2. No, it’s nails are clear, the pink you are seeing is the quick aka the living part of the nail.

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    3. White dogs often have pale nails like that so maybe not.

      I will say I think the pink collar means it’s a she not a he. ; )

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  5. I’m also happy for the few sprinkles of rain we’ve gotten. It’s parched over here.

    I’m happy I was able to do the run/walk exercise yesterday as it was twice as long as normal.

    I’m happy half of our new carpet is being installed tomorrow. The other half on the 30th. I’m also happy we have a week in between to move the furniture & get the old carpet & padding up & install the new trim & … and happy for the money we’re saving doing it ourselves. 😅

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  6. Accomplished a lot this week, which felt good. Also spent w-a-y too much time watching Graham Norton clips on you tube. Man, almost everyone has been on that show!

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  7. I shopped at a thrift store and got 2 more Crusies. Also some adorable dressy flats for me and some cute things for nephews. My biggest find was a black and white abstract pen drawing. I love finding inexpensive art!

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    1. Thrift shops are the best; it’s like archeology. We don’t have any good ones around here, which is a shame but also a good thing because I’m not bringing stuff home.

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  8. I’m happy we had lunch with our eldest son whom we do not see as much as the youngest son. Also saw their (son & dil’s) beautiful And very smart Aussie shepherd who loves me and couldn’t get enough hugs and love. And two soccer games he played in The Nations Cup. He scored a goal sadly we didn’t see it. But lots of happiness. Love me my kiddos.

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  9. It’s been a tricky week, but I’m just finishing a double weekend (I missed the last one, and suffered for it) and feeling more human. Went to friends for supper on Friday – in their conservatory, so it felt like we were in the middle of their garden. (We’d have really been in the garden, but it turned unexpectedly cool for a day or two.)

    On impulse, went to visit a garden open for charity yesterday, which wasn’t much cop but I found a couple of plants that were fun to photograph. Then I went further up the valley to scout locations for a landscape project, and found a couple of wonderful things. I think I’ve now got clear on what I want to do with my blog, so I may share one of them there, once I’ve edited the shoot.

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  10. I took my two granddaughters browsing in Home Goods recently and the oldest I could clearly see mentally redoing her bedroom her younger sister on the other hand looked at me perplexed and said when we left “Nana aren’t you going to buy anything”?

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  11. I am happy we got a little rain overnight and that, although it’s supposed to rain most of today and the next several days (and we desperately need it too), we got a break from it and I was able to pick 9 lbs of blueberries to enjoy over the winter. If my luck holds, I might be able to pick some more next weekend. Plus, they were only $1.99/lb vs the $3 or $4/pint in the stores!

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  12. I turned off work email – I’m working because I’m prepping for teaching The Iliad and the Aeneid this year, but that doesn’t feel like it counts because I’m listening to Derek Jacobi reading Fagles’ translation of Iliad, making notes and thinking about how to integrate ideas from this into current WIP. Which is now at 37,000 words. So #amwriting, #amreading #amchilling. After a great but gruelling 6 months in new job, am taking a three week break. Feels great.

    Other happy – it is beginning to sink in that after 2 years, from now on, I get to live full-time with the DH, enjoying being close to friends and family after four+ years of feeling totally in exile, Minion 2 had taken charge of his room and made it tidy so we can see the floor, and we’re enjoying living in a gorgeous area and discovering beautiful woodland walks.

    Downside – we still haven’t quite worked out finances, but that will come.

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  13. Happiness for me has been enjoying one last week of summer vacation (every time I get jealous of teachers on a traditional schedule, who gets 10 weeks off for the summer, I remind myself that even my short summer of six weeks is a pretty good deal). Working Wednesday will be work indeed, because Thursday I need the new teaching staff and create the returning teachers,and I’ll be full-time back to work. My wonderful husband will also be full-time, but full-time with two kids.

    Luckily both of our moms live nearby and love to help; unfortunately both of our moms are currently out of town. So I have offered to deputize one of my favorite former students to come babysit.

    This is all happiness – – a growing family, friends and loved ones nearby, and fulfilling work for me to do.

    But it is rather exhausting happiness at times!

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      1. Somewhat. But I look at it as a challenge in figuring out which word you really said. It improves my Boogle game no end to look a word and try to figure out a similar word that actually makes sense in the sentence.

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  14. Woowie! all the fun of teaching the new bar guy at Prado restaurant how to construct a Champagne cocktail. He was going to use vodka!?!

    After all that fun, The Tempest at Old Globe’s outdoor stage, Kate Burton as Prospera. THE clearest narrative of the play I’ve seen, AND the most theatrical. Music, dance, dazzling bright costumes, stage dressed as ruined theater being overtaken by wild greenery.

    And now, for late breakfast, just-baked nectarine polenta upside-down cake and strong coffee.

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    1. I wish we could have gone to see that. Loved the movie with Helen Mirren as Prospera, but my experience of Shakespeare live on stage is sadly deficient and I haz woe.

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  15. This was an especially rough week (friends lost their 10 year old son to either suicide or a very bad experiment gone wrong, they will never know which).

    But the bright spot was getting an email from Tamora Pierce (who is a friend, as well as one of my other favorite authors) telling me she was going to be able to come to Robercon, our “local” (about an hour from me) sf/fantasy con at the end of September. A much needed piece of happy news.

    Also, made more inroads cleaning the barn/garage and bought new metal garbage cans to replace the old beat-up plastic ones. Take that, mice!

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    1. I saw that, my sympathies to you and the family.

      My friend gave me an old small cupboard because she’s moving house. In three-and-a-half hours, I got it looking beee-yooo-ti-ful. It was my first true reconditioning experience. Pics on Wed.

      This makes me SO happy. The rule now is that this is all the storage I need. If any item can’t fit, then it goes or something else must be given away to make space for it. JOY.

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  16. I took my mother shopping g for a grandmother-of-the-groom outfit and my shoes gave out halfway through, and I found a great pair of sneakers with puppies in them. I can’t seem to get a link to work but you can Google Bob’s sneakers dog house party. They are adorable.

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    1. I have those!!! I have gotten more compliments on those than any other pair I have ever owned. They have pink ones with cats too – and as a bonus they are really comfortable.

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  17. After months of promising myself I would, I finally dropped everything to go to an Alice in Wonderland film exhibition. It was awesome, and I treated myself to a little plastic wind-up flamingo, which makes me smile every time I look at it.

    Better yet, when my youngest son (9) found out about the exhibit, he got excited, because they’re reading Alice in class at the moment. So my husband and I took our boys to see it, had a wonderful family outing, and introduced the boys to the concept of a sushi train for lunch, which blew their minds. It was a good day.

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  18. I’ve been on a slow roadtrippin vacation by myself through several states and have visited my children, grandchildren, my auntie who had to go into assisted living, grand dogs and visiting many of my dear friends made in life including my best friend from third grade, a college housemate I reconnected with on fb. And Several couple friends I kept after breakups, my best mom friends at our old parish, my writer friends, and I’m now back with one of my kids and plan to meet up with couple more friends. I’ve been gone for three weeks and haven’t missed home yet. I even got an inadvertent tan! Are great food. Met their new puppies. Read books on their lakefront porches. Watched the sun rise and set. I also went to a couple of Home Goods and hit some summer sales. It’s like one of those trips where, if I died, no one would be sad because we got in such great visits. Today there was a bit of rain so I enjoyed a guilt free day watching Netflix (Peaky blinders) and reading. I kind of feel like those impoverished Jane Austen relatives that go from country house to country house enjoying their largess. La tee da and all that!

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      1. You guys are delusional. Driving down an interstate day-after-day with semi’s passing you on either side and all those aggressive Prius drivers refusing to let anyone merge and you are driving an RV large enough to hold your household, which doesn’t seem like a lot but if you are used to driving a compact, it is an insane amount of vehicle to deal with. For the same price as an RV you could stay in a motel or hotel each night and have a bathroom with hot – or at least warm- water. You might have to make sure they had kitchen facilities but there are still some of those old route 66 hotels around and you can always get food these days at supermarkets. And with your laptop along or your iPhone you can stay at airbnb.

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        1. Ah, but it’s the idea of being a gypsy and dreaming of the freedom of hitting the road whenever, with no need for pesky packing and unpacking of the car.

          I thought about renting a campervan for a long weekend trip in a couple of weeks time, till I worked out an AirBnB would cost about the same and be a whole lot more comfortable. There goes my dream. Of course, other realities get in the way of the dream anyway, like work, but pffft to reality.

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          1. The dogs are a big factor for me. And the food. Once I started looking at sodium counts, I realized that most fast food is not an option, and there’s only so many days I can eat Chicken Caesar Salad before I start to look green.

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        2. No, no, small RV. Van sized. 17 ft. tops. Used. And no, I can’t stay in a motel with three dogs. Also, I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels and motels and trust me, you pays your money and you takes your chances, plus hauling your crap in and out every night and morning. And not interstates, state routes (although I will defend Rt. 80 as a good way to get from NJ to Ohio). And nobody’s passing me on the right because I’m on the right because I’m in no hurry. Having the dogs, my food (low salt, low sugar, kill me now), my laptop and notes, and a bed I trust would be heaven. The gas costs would astronomical, but it would be worth it not dealing with hotels and restaurants constantly. And when I got where I was going–Ohio, Vermont, wherever–I’d have brought my guest room with me.

          However, it’s a pipe dream at this point. Sigh.

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          1. My sister and I once rented an RV to take my parents from Virginia to Florida to see her brother one last time. It was essentially a rolling bathroom, and for that purpose worked out pretty well. I found, that while I was driving it, the entire back end of the thing could be on fire and I wouldn’t ever know (or care!)

            I did get the joy of driving through Atlanta (both times). Of course, there were fun memories too, like yelling “bump!” and flying over some railroad tracks while my folks bounced in the back. Or stopping for gas and finding some great peach ice cream right next door.

            I’m glad we made the trip, but a smaller RV would probably have been better (as long as the facilities were still there.)

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          2. My parents criss-crossed the country numerous times in their RV (although mind you, my dad loves to drive) going from San Diego to upstate NY and back. They took different routes every time and went through almost every state and visited tons of national parks. They liked being able to eat out at restaurants and then be able to take the leftovers back to their fridge. Also, Walmarts will let RVs park in their lots for free.

            I couldn’t do it, but it is possible.

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        3. Red Roof usually lets pets stay free although some of the franchisees put limitations by either weight or number.

          But this conversation did have me look at RV prices – which means I’ll stick to car camping for awhile.

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    1. My inlaws bought an RV when my BIL retired and they travelled the lower 48 and east and west of southern Canada. The best feature I found to be was the bump out sides for extra living space and they also towed a small car for local trips.

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  19. My reward for a long, tough work week was a fabulous haircut. I’ve been going to her for 20 years and it’s always a couple hours of happy. I went to the local market and bought fresh local raspberries and the first corn of the season and then invited a friend for supper – a great meal of corn, burgers, and yellow beans with fresh herbs. Today I picked up my SIL (she flew on the red eye) and drove she and her sister to her parents, about an hour out of town. Some card-making and gardening raised my happiness quotient for the week.

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  20. Dropped the kid off at a Girl Scout leadership/outdoor skills/backpacking camp. It’s pretty equipment intensive, so a lot of my happiness is that I’m done worrying about the damn list. Last year, at 10, she went for the first time, and her first time away for a week. So when she started feeling bad, they thought she was homesick. When her throat started hurting, she thought it was from the campfire smoke and the singing and chants. She wasn’t eating, so that’s why she threw up. By the time I got called to pick her up, she had full blown scarlet fever ( oh, that? I thought those were bug bites!) and a fever of 104. So I’m glad she decided to go back.
    And a good friend of mine is moving away, and my other two bridesmaids Me to her going away party, too, so for an early anniversary present I got a repeat of one of my favorite wedding pictures, 13 years later.

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  21. I got home from the RWA conference in Denver. It was fun and informative and well-filling (I blew off a couple of afternoons to go to the Denver Art Museum and the Botanic Garden), but it’s great to be back in southwest Ohio, where the air is loaded with oxygen and enough moisture that my eyelids don’t stick to my eyeballs when I blink.

    Did you see/hear about Suzanne Brockman’s acceptance speech for the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award? If not, here’s the link: https://t.co/urMokzvyom

    It’s a wowser.

    RWA is supposed to post a link to the recording of the live feed, but I won’t be surprised if technical difficulties somehow make Suzanne’s speech unavailable.

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  22. Yesterday, I managed to take Stanley the stray to the vet. No new scars were given to me! and no lasting damage to the house. I sneaked a little kitty soother into some food and kept him inside for a couple of hours, waiting for the vet to open. He was very well behaved, and now I know he’s vaccinated for rabies (and feline distemper). His bloodtests came back negative for the other bad diseases, so now we can start on his interaction with the indoor kitties.

    Sadly, he was chipped, but the chip was never registered. The fact that I’ve been feeding him for a year and a half and it’s taken this long to get his trust tells me that whoever chipped him has not kept up with him. So, I’m claiming him.

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  23. Went out with friends to an improv performance Saturday night which was a lot of fun. Then we went to an Italian restaurant that one of them picked out. Turns out it serves family style. We told the waiter we had to find three main courses that had no garlic no tomato (allergies) and no pork or shellfish (kosher). His face was a study. DH and I said that as the only two people who would eat anything we would stay out of the food selection.

    We found stuff to eat but it is not an experience I want to repeat. It’s funny because we have all gone out for Chinese and shared food for two decades, but when you order 5 or 6 dishes it’s a lot easier to accommodate everyone. Plus I can’t imagine why my friend picked Italian—nearly every dish had at least two of the forbidden foods.

    Meanwhile DS is having the best time of his life in his summer internship and DD is coming home for five days for a friends wedding.

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  24. I shopped for new shoes this weekend (was down three pair for the year due to aging/attrition, and have been trying to find one new pair online but FAIL FAIL FAIL, so Macy’s), successfully. Found a couple new work-appropriate tops as well.

    In other happiness, saw two goldfinches in my yard for the first time; and had a lovely afternoon/evening with good friends yesterday, which included gossip, a dinner out, and “Galaxy Quest.”

    And in the writing zone, finished revision of novella #4, one more pass and I can republish.

    4+
  25. Since my knee surgery I often take a walk in the mall. No uneven pavements, no traffic, except for people, and it feels safe to walk slowly, carefully. Most times I buy nothing, except maybe lunch or a coffee. So I get that. Yes to browsing!

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  26. When I first went on disability, I used to go “sport shopping” to get myself out of the house. I ran up a LOT of debt and bought stuff I didn’t really need. But now I shop at a thrift store that’s only open 3 or 4 days a month and has much better merchandise. Since I like what I find there a lot more, I don’t buy as many also- rans.
    But browsing is still what I do to stay happy . The employees at my friend Dave’s store now greet me by name and ask if I need help finding a birthday gift for my nieces.

    A month ago I bought a new mattress which should show up any day now. I can’t wait to wake up without a back ache!

    What really made me happy this weekend was hanging out with my favorite niece. She was in town to attend a conference for work and spent the weekend with her parents. She has been travelling so much that it has been hard to stay in touch with her, so this was an especially nice treat. Then I helped my sister prepare for her grandson’s birthday party, which was also fun. Those boys are pretty funny.

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  27. Shopping Therapy keeps me sane. Seriously.

    Every Sunday I take my daughter out for dinner and shopping. It lets me reconnect (disclaimer: I live in her garage, a father-in-law apartment with its own bathroom, so we are never totally disconnected) and lets he get away from hubby and the four adorable (shudder) grandchildren. The oldest is a teen.

    Jenny, you mentioned sodium. That and sugar/carbs are my nemeses, so I have a very short list of acceptable restaurants, whose downloaded nutrition guides say I can eat a meal without going off the diet. These include Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday, Longhorn Steakhouse and (to my surprise) Five Guys Burgers and Fries. My research says places like Logan’s Roadhouse or Applebees are trying to kill me with salt, and none of the fast food burger places are worth mentioning. So every shopping trip starts with good food.

    The list of stores varies from trip to trip, usually selected from Target, Walmart, Michaels, Lowes, Home Depot and Goodwill. Some trips will include Publix or Food Lion. There’s a lot of window shopping involved but most of my groceries come home from those trips – another reason to eat first.

    At 67, I sprout hobbies – collecting something or other. Once it was flashlights. I had three big maglites, a bunch of small led flashes, and about 100 vari-colored flashlights from Ozark Mountain Co., a buck apiece. Also laser pointers and roadside flashers. Then it was rubbermaid products, and most recently, waterfalls. I have four of those, and I’m over it.

    I suppose the thumb drive collection counts – there are fifteen of those. But that’s a working collection.

    Shopping keeps me sane.

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    1. I’m aces at downloading restaurant nutrition pdfs now. Panera’s bummed me out, but there is stuff I can eat there. Applebee’s I just have to plan for no sodium for the rest of the day. Frittatas work for that.

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