Happiness is Autumn

Or at least a big pile of leaves.

How did you plunge into happiness this week?

(Also, if you’re in the US in a place that observes Daylight Savings Time, it’s time to fall back (at 2AM this Sunday morning, the time reset to 1AM.)

(Also, Judith is a GREAT name for a dog.)

33 thoughts on “Happiness is Autumn

  1. Halloween definitely added to my happiness. Like Christmas, I enjoy seeing it through my kids’ eyes.
    Other happiness of the week, I’m almost done with my #52filmsbywomen challenge. 52 movies directed by 52 different female directors in one year. I’ve seen some bad movies, good movies, so-so movies. I’ve discovered some stories I never would have seen otherwise. And of course, the romantic comedies were my favorite, but I’ve enjoyed the exposure to other ideas as well.
    When I started (late November last year), I didn’t have much confidence that I’d actually get it done at all and definitely not under a year. But now it’s almost here and even though it’s just movie watching (hardly high on a list of challenging activities), I’m still getting a sense of accomplishment from being close to the end of a goal.

    Thank goodness for the internet, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. The challenge is only a couple of years old (I think?) but I don’t think it would have been possible in a pre-streaming, pre-internet era.

    12+
  2. It’s very very very windy here. Spring has been weird, I blame climate change.

    Happiness is my older friend’s grandbaby who came ten days early. I’m so excited for her, especially as it’s her first grandchild. I’m happy because I’m thinking of the future with optimism, and the present with joy. I’d been anhedonic without realising it.

    11+
  3. I celebrated Halloween on a tiny island off the coast of Maine, with a winter population of about 40, with four kids in a one room school (and another four too small for school yet) – there was trick-or-treating, and a haunted house in the Library, and it was glorious.

    In other news, spending time before an American election in Canada is remarkably soothing. I had been, well, fretting. And watching Canadian friends watching the proceedings gives a nice layer of distance to something that feels all to urgent when I am closer to home.

    13+
    1. We are leaving on vacation out of state today and are promising ourselves not to listen to any news until Wednesday morning. Last election we were also on vacation but unfortunately watched the news and it pretty much kept us up all night and on tenterhooks. Now we will check in when it all over and just go on with our day. Who knows we may even be able to celebrate.

      4+
  4. Only had 11 trick or treaters, but mu decorations were wonderful. I was working on taking them down yesterday, and a neighbor with her dog stopped to take pictures of the stuff that was still up. We had a nice conversation, and it reminded me that you never know who you are bringing joy to from a slight distance.

    11+
  5. One of my east coast friends is on my side of the country for a friend’s wedding, so I get her for two days! She gets in today at 11 am, and then we have a busy itinerary of all the stuff I want to show her now, and all the stuff I talked about when I was in college so now it’s on her list. I can’t wait to see her! Real hugs are better than Skype hugs.

    7+
  6. I finally got the garlic planted (79 cloves and somewhere between 100 and a thousand scattered bulbils that will turn into heads in two or three years), which didn’t make me happy exactly, but was more a matter of investing in a future happiness, because I do love seeing them sprout in the spring and then grow and make curlicues out of the stems and then eating them.

    11+
  7. We had about 110 trick-or-treaters, which is fun. I don’t decorate much except to put out my animal scull collection: Cow, wolf, coyote, marmot, and fox – all found years ago. I had a really nice bird scull but years ago while I had them out and was cleaning the cupboard, I heard a crunch, and there was my black-and-white angora cat Harley with the most blissful expression on his face, crunching it down. I think of Harley every Halloween. He was such a joy.

    12+
    1. Skulls are such beautiful objects, aren’t they. I have a cat skull that I found on the beach years ago, and a bird skull with a long beak. I still struggle with the knowledge that something like this sits inside me. But I appreciate the work it does.

      6+
    2. Apparently Ursula Vernon (children’s author/illustrator and also known as T. Kingfisher for books for grownups) has an extensive collection of skulls (presumably useful for her illustrations), and it’s what her husband gets her at any gift-giving opportunity instead of more traditional gifts. I think it’s so sweet.

      7+
  8. Oh. And an Aubrey health update. Happiness. Despite the dire predictions for the last year and a half, his liver function seems to be improving, he is eating like a teenager and his cortisone is down to once every third day with a chance he will be off of it in a few more weeks. Whatever the problem was, he seems to be doing pretty good. He sleeps a lot. Well, cat. And sometimes he walks like he now may have arthritis but also he is 14 and he has been really sick. But we are so pleased. Periodically, my husband will say, you need to come upstairs and sit down for a while. And I will say I am kind of busy. And he says really you need to come sit down. Aubrey wants a lap and a comb.

    17+
  9. One of the many reasons I love Sundays at Argh Ink is that it gives me the opportunity to reflect on the positives things that happened during the week. Work was tougher than usual this week as I’m tired and stressed. However, I had a lovely mid-week dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. My husband and I did some Christmas shopping at a couple of local craft fairs. After a week of rain, the sun is finally out and I’m finishing up getting my garden ready for winter. Looking forward to a out-of-town visit with my BFF later this week.

    8+
  10. Lessee… I worked Halloween Night, and nobody knocked on the roll-up doors of the power plant requesting candy. They’d have been out of luck if they had – all I had was a dozen Russell Stover Sugar Free Miniatures, and I am way too possessive of my chocolate to share.

    Since then I finally decided to have that “diet? we don’ need no steenking diet” day, and ate a pound and a half of fried chicken from the grocery store deli, with a pound of seasoned potato wedges on the side. I gained six pounds, because I had ice cream for dessert and three or four liters of fluids.

    So, the happiness was both profound and fleeting. Truly fleeting when I tallied up not the calories, nor the carbs, but the sodium I’d consumed. Over four times the adult recommended dose and six times MY restriction.

    Meh. For that level of diet-busting, I could have had a large kitchen-sink pizza with chicken wings on the side, and dipped the crust in bleu cheese dressing. Next time, maybe.

    An excellent start to November! After I take my daughter to dinner tonight (because it’s Sunday and that’s the tradition), we’ll shop, and I will buy all the ingredients to “French Canadian Pork Dresssing” which you should all Google for and for Beef Stroganoff. I’ll be making many, many pounds of both of those and freezing large quantities for later i.e. Thanksgiving. The pork dressing is a family Dankefest staple, passed down (and ruthlessly modified) from my French Canadian forebears. Turns out it’s also a meat pie filling.

    Food makes me happy. (Sigh) I probably need some misery in my diet about now.

    8+
    1. That must be a very old recipe — modern recipes tend not to use cinnamon to season beef. But it’s delicious, and, as one medievalist said, if you use just a tiny amount, people tell you it’s delicious but have to ask what it is.

      1+
      1. Hi, Ann! I was introduced to the recipe in the fifties, and it was old then. Cinnamon is one of the ingredients none of the family uses. Pork, potatoes, onions, garlic, salt (no salt for me), pepper and loads of poultry seasoning. The potatoes absorb the excess fat. No crackers. (It’s good on saltines, or as a sandwich meat, though). This year I’m substituting Oreida hash browns for mashed potatoes, mostly. At least for the first five pounds. I got that from here. 😉

        The leftovers are marvelous.

        0
  11. I pounded broccoli stems and silver beet stems with a hammer so they’d break down more quickly when I tuck them under the hay in my garden beds. It was deeply satisfying.

    I also realised, with some surprise, that I’d rather like to be part of a writers group again. I was in one years ago, but it’s been a solitary thing for more than a decade now. I don’t want to read out or discuss what I’m working on, which is what we did in the old group. I want challenges that will bounce me out of my usual way of doing things. I want playful writing, which I don’t do nearly enough of these days. So I started to make a list of people who might be interested in meeting up occasionally and having fun for an hour or so.

    8+
  12. I killed the grape vines they are killing the trees in our creek. Very satisfying to both kill something and save trees.
    I also planted another 50 or so bulbs. So that’s 135 in the backyard and about 220 still to go in the front yard—where this year’s annuals are mostly still in bloom so I have a clean conscience about not planting the bulbs yet.

    7+
  13. When we lived at a place with lots of oak trees, the day after i raked my bassett hound would explore the leaf piles for hours and all i could see were his tail sticking out and the lower part of his ears floating along the top of the piles.

    10+
  14. I spent the weekend in Nashville, Indiana with a writer friend, happily visiting kitchsy little tourist shops and writing. It was around 60 degrees and sunny on Saturday.

    One of those “smoke ’em while you got ’em, girls” kind of days.

    6+
  15. My best friend came over and helped me clear out clutter and debris. Win.

    I sent a comforting message to Gus, Bob Mayer’s dog, on Twitter, because they lost Becca, the older dog, and got a nice message back. (But it made me remember my lost babies, which was sad.)

    Today it actually didn’t rain and the sun came out. First day in ages, and many days of rain ahead, so it made me happy.

    7+
  16. My main happiness this week was seeing Joan Baez on her farewell tour – my mom was a huge fan and she was the soundtrack to my childhood. I’d seen her twice before (and met her once ::swoon::) but this being the last time brought up all the feels, and I recalled my mom in 1964, getting ready to go see her with my dad, and how excited she was.

    And then celebrated a childhood friend’s 60th – we’ve known one another since 5th grade and several other long-time friends were there, so basically, this week was a visit to the happier parts of my childhood.

    5+
    1. My husband and I saw Joan this summer on her farewell here in Germany. They’d set the stage up in the shadow of the cathedral in Cologne, it was hot and the sinking sun lit up the stage before it went down. Great atmosphere, and she pleased the crowd by doing a few songs (including “Where have all the flowers gone”) in German. Was a great evening!

      2+
      1. The second time I saw her was at a concert on the Santa Monica Pier. It was during the Iran Green Revolution, and she sang “We Shall Overcome” in Farsi. Not a dry eye. She is a national treasure.

        2+
  17. I decided to apply for an allotment, and the thought of being able to grow an abundance of food, have space for gardening experiments, and chat to other gardeners – as I did when I had an allotment in Shrewsbury years ago – has made me happy for days. Although it’ll probably take years to get one.

    Went exploring up in the hills again on Thursday, and discovered a ruin, a forrester’s hut, and a great path that wasn’t on the map. Also got lost in the flow a couple of times, taking close-ups of rust and drowned leaves.

    7+
  18. Had dinner with friends last night – and met two new people. That was fun and made me happy. I am more happy than not right now. It’s amazing what a change away from constant stress will do.

    2+
  19. I had a disjointed week last week. I am looking forward to another disjointed week this week. Sunday was a break in all that. Met my grown kids and teen aged grand kids for a burger. They went pokemoning.
    Then we all went to see Bohemian Rhapsody.
    So very good. I will definitely pay again to watch it again. I never do that for movies.
    And – this disjointed week will be accompanied by a Queen soundtrack.

    0
  20. Off topic; Jenny I have a book consumer question. In what form does one buy a book to be sure the author is getting paid. Does new from amazon work?
    I will buy used at times for sure but mostly I want to be sure that authors are being compensated for their work and sometimes it can be confusing.
    This applies generally but specifically right now I am in one of those – send someone on the list your favorite book and someone will send you their favorite book.
    I want to send either Maybe This Time or Agnes and the Hitman.
    I already received my book and it is a new hardback of Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher.
    If I purchase a new hardback copy of either of those 2 books – do you get paid?

    0
    1. Any time you buy a new book from a professional outlet, I get a cut, but don’t worry about it, truly. If a book is used, that just means I was already paid for it. And frankly, I’m just happy somebody’s still reading me.

      1+

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