60 thoughts on “Happy Sunday!

  1. Did the first day of an Amazon warrior bootcamp yesterday – all theatrical sword dueling drills – and my quads want to secede from the union, but I am a happy camper. This afternoon is the second session then I have until next weekend to recover.

    18+
    1. Sadly, my first thought was ‘Amazon does boot camps now?’ Took a minute to click. So sad…. Also jealous!

      6+
      1. It was So. Much. Fun. Theatrical fencing, cutlass drills all weekend. I had no idea I could have that much fun without needing a first aid kit afterwards.

        5+
  2. Little glimmers of happiness, but overall, it’s proving to be a tough period – lots of admin and tension in school, intensive recruitment phase and I have to gird my loins for my least favourite responsibility – Timetable construction. I’m on a two-day course this week on that and hoping it will equip me to fire back responses when I’m challenged about the staffing allocations I’m making which will end up costing money rather than saving it….

    That said, gorgeous walk this morning, and a quiet weekend.

    10+
  3. Between procrastination weeks and daylight savings time, excuses for everything abound!

    We celebrated my sister’s birthday yesterday, so great food in abundance. After last week’s very sociable traveling, secretly happy to be home with the cats and DH and no extra chatting! Looks rainy so might light a fire and read all day – bliss.

    8+
  4. Happy to be editing and earning again; and the authors seem to be cooperative, which is a bonus. Also especially happy to have got most of my books shelved and organized. I’ve put the gardening and landscape mysteries ones right by where I sit; and my fiction’s in my bedroom – and at last all visible, rather than being in double rows to save space,

    The dining room’s sorted, apart from the curtains: I’m making one pair into two, because the windows are narrow, so need to get my machine out. I also unpacked my fabric stash this morning. I’ve got some beautiful pieces of silk tweed, etc. Makes me feel
    I should start dressmaking again, except I fear I’d mess them up: I stopped because my results were too hit-and-miss.

    My opposite neighbour introduced herself, and I checked out the local corner shop, which was also very friendly. Although since there are two supermarkets less than ten minutes’ walk away, which are open much longer hours, I fear I won’t be using the shop much.

    And I had an email, with photographs, from an Australian friend this morning. She’s great at keeping in touch: it’s thirty years since we hung out together there.

    24+
    1. It sounds like a great location for someone who does not want to be dependent on her car. Will you be able to walk into town?

      6+
      1. Oh, I do that all the time. It’s five or ten minutes’ walk to the centre. That was one of my priorities, so if I can’t keep running a car for any reason, I’m not stuck.

        9+
        1. In fact, my car’s lucky if it gets a run once a week. I do love to be able to drive out to explore different places, but if there were a viable car-share scheme I’d definitely go for it. They haven’t reached here yet, though.

          7+
    2. I really miss having a give within walking distance of local shops. I’m relying on grocery delivery services these days. I’m so glad your home is in such a great area!

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  5. I’ve been so tired and felt so powerless and annoyed and whatnot now and then through the week that I just wanted to either scream (not done), throw things (not done) and/or cry (also not done). But I found a movie-review Youtube channel Wednesday evening that made me laugh. For hours. So that was great. 🙂 Unfortunately it’s in Swedish, otherwise I’d definitely share it.

    Aaand I went to the first of the three Tea & Food Pairing course days yesterday! I was super early (thanks, mobility service), but this gave me the chance to get acquainted with the tea sommelier, and she showed me how she would prepare the teas during the day (let me do it, in fact) and gave me cookies, so all in all it was a good time. The course was absolutely wonderful – fun, informative, engaging. The people that came to sit at my table turned out to be very nice and kind ladies and we laughed/giggled a lot while tasting and pondering on what we tasted. I don’t like wine so I haven’t delved into the finer parts of wine-tasting and all flavours you might find there, but this is a bit like that I suppose. One of the teas we had to try with the lunch (2-courses with first course being marinated salmon (more or less raw), pickled cucumber and seaweed caviar, second course Japanese ramen with sous vidé-prepared pork belly and poached eggs) had, in my opinion, such a horrid smell I had to force myself to drink it (spoiler: I didn’t like it) and left it mostly unfinished. Luckily it tasted better than it smelled, for it smelled like the 1 week old leftover water in a flower vase. Uuurrrgh. At least the ladies laughed when I made faces at it, so that’s a win I guess. All in all, it was a fun and very very long day, and I’m so very very very happy I signed up for this course. Next time will be with a 3-course lunch and a lot of talks about the restaurant-connections to tea and how to best serve it there, and the last one will be dedicated to tea and chocolate. We’re a group of 18 ladies of all ages, from youngest (18) to oldest (probably around 60), some working in a restaurant or café, a couple having their own tea shops and a bunch, like me, doing it out of pure interest. I was so tired when I came home I almost didn’t know my own name, but it was a wonderful day and I can’t wait to go back again for the next two course days.

    Hope all of you will have a wonderful week! It’s storming like crazy here, so I, for one, hope for a bit nicer weather at least.

    18+
      1. Would you like me to look up my recipe for chili-etched salmon? I also have a recipe for a salmon soup made with fresh salmon and pickles (the pickles actually have the same effect as capers so it is not as weird as it sounds). If either of these sound interesting I will search them out. My husband finds the whole idea of salmon and chili just wrong. But the chili marinade is etched through cuts in the skin so it is not that strong.

        4+
      2. Grilled salmon for two. I make this almost every week that I can use my grill.

        1 salmon fillet (about 1 pound or less)
        1 clove garlic, minced or grated
        1 Tablespoon salt
        1 – 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (can use parsley or fresh tarragon)
        1 lime.

        Place salmon skin side down. Mix the salt and garlic into a pasted. Rub over salmon. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro on upper side of salmon. Squeeze the lime juice over the fish. Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Grill. Put a few pats of butter on top of the fish while it is hot, before serving. I do this when it is on the plate so the butter makes a sauce for the fish.

        3+
        1. I know cilantro is good for you, but I cannot abide the stuff. Turns out it’s a genetic thing and anywhere up to 14% of the population has it: it tastes like soap to me. And it’s in EVERYTHING.

          14+
          1. Me too, Jenny. Although it may be that I just don’t like the taste of cilantro rather than it tastes like cardboard. I just know I hate it and it’s in EVERYTHING as you say!

            5+
          2. My mother used to say it tasted like soap, but I think it tastes like dirt. So disappointing, when you have a dish that you have liked in the past, and someone had the bright idea to add cilantro. Boo! I was horrified when someone put cilantro in guacamole at a restaurant that I otherwise like.

            Asking the server sometimes helps.

            I love tarragon, though!

            2+
      3. You know what, I don’t really remember. I think he said he had only rubbed it in salt and pepper the evening before, and then rinced it with water before making it for us. I can ask him next time I see him. I think that if you don’t like sushi, you wouldn’t have eaten this, for I don’t think the salmon had even got as much as a glimpse of a pan. 😉 Fortunately for me, I like both sushi and salmon a lot, so it worked for me.

        It was also the first time I had poached eggs. Eggs poached still in their shells, even. I thought you always had to crack the eggs and drop the white and yolk in boiling water with some vinegar or something, but nope, not necessary it seems. Turns out poached eggs in shells are not the same thing as soft-boiled eggs, even if they are poached in their shells. You learn new things every day! The poached eggs were…fluffy. Worked surprisingly well with the ramen and pork. And with the tea. These people know what they’re doing!

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  6. Sunlight! It is still really cold for here but at least we are getting two days of sunlight and I can clean up my yard some more. My cat Aubrey is picking up with the large dose of cortisone he is now getting. It may not cure him but he is feeling so much better.

    14+
      1. Thank you. We know this may just be temporary and not a cure but it is such a pleasure to see him moving well again and being engaged with what’s happening around him. This morning he explained to me he could go out in the back yard and harass the squirrels. I explained – Not. I have occasionally seen a coyote in my yard and he is not up to dealing with a coyote. He can wait and go out when I go out.

        9+
  7. I walked to work one morning this week – it’s about 5 km, so it’s was a good workout. I went onto Google and figured out how to fix the usb ports on my computer so I could connect my e-reader and download library books. It turned out to be very easy (DH did it for me) and I can now load up my ereader again. I signed to send an Easter box to two elders in an Arctic community-it’s program run by a group of amazing volunteers in southern Canada and it’s lots of fun to put the boxes together (they organize birthday boxes for kids too).

    14+
  8. I’m happy because I finished grading and started to select the report comments for term 1 reports. A lot of paperwork is done. I dehoarded more of the classroom. There’s a lot more to go but it has to be slow because I can’t stay late to finish it.

    I was happy yesterday because I was thinking of walking a 20km race in May. Today I’m not so happy because I injured my foot scrimmaging for a soccer ball with the children and youth group. I just challenged for the ball because we were not supposed to be playing soccer with it. Argh. It’s been iced and will be wrapped before bed. But argh. I guess I’m grateful I have some mobility.

    6+
  9. I’m having a depressed day (in kind of a healthy way–grieving some toxic family relationship stuff that I didn’t acknowledge for years, will feel better soon).

    I had a wonderful moment at work this week. I was in a meeting with lots of advocates and funders working to improve the 2020 Census, which is in deep trouble even apart from the citizenship status question (the 2020 Census is the basis for legislative redistricting for the House and state legislatures and your local council or school board…and for allocating 800 billion dollars with a b in federal funding every year, so it kinds of matters). And in the middle of the meeting we learned about the California court saying the Census can’t include the citizenship status question, which would depress participation in the Census (and which they really don’t need since they get that info in other ways).

    There is something very special about sharing a big advocacy win with lots of other people who are working on the same issue with you–even though we know this too will almost certainly now go up to the Supreme Court.

    On a more domestic note, my crocuses are in bloom. My daffodils and tulips are up but nowhere near blooming. But spring is coming. Best of all, the local cherry trees look like they will bloom in the next few weeks. Cherry trees in bloom are just perfect while it lasts.

    11+
  10. Got myself all settled in to watch the last three episodes of Outlander Season Four on this snowy/rainy Sunday on what s/b the last day of a free Starz weekend. Found out that March 6 to 10 was really 6 to the 9th. Bummer! Will have to wait for the library to get a DVD, but it’s not like I don’t know the outcome. In the meantime watching Julia Child make Quiche Lorraine.

    6+
  11. I’m so happy because my mother told me about a garden club having a sale yesterday that ended at two. I figured I’d be there fifteen to close (I found out about it late, and was doing other things and needed to shower). Instead I got there at five after close, and they let me look anyways, and I got twelve little herb plants and four tomatoes! Wasn’t going to buy anything, but then saw those, and since I was going to be investing in herbs anyways in a couple weeks…. Best part? Spent FOUR BUCKS! Thassit! It was amazing? Thank goodness the succulents were already put away. ….

    Second happiness, despite a literal hour to get in to the Ostrich Festival, we made it, and I got to pet a baby llama! It was a festival, so standard fare, but I also rode a ferris wheel for the first time in years. I think these fares aren’t really my thing, but still nice to go to every once in a while. 🙂

    14+
  12. I’m finally getting over the Cold That Would Not Die, although still dealing with a horrid sore throat. (Not strep, I checked.) Happy to have a little more energy and be productive…or at least productive-adjacent…again. Even managed to do some house cleaning. So while I’m not happy to still have a sore throat and one stuffed-up ear, I’m a lot happier than I was.

    Happy to have warmer weather (low 40’s) after yet another brutal cold snap here in upstate NY. Last night was an inch of snow topped by ice, followed by melting (so, mud) and very windy. Still happy to have signs that spring might actually be on its way. Eventually.

    11+
    1. Sometimes sipping hot lemonade helps me with a sore throat. Here’s hoping it goes away with the warmer weather. (Although my mom always made us go out briefly when we had colds because she thought breathing cold air helped kill the cold germs. We did not die. I am not sure it did anything though – except get our whiny selves out of the house).

      7+
  13. I got serious about losing weight this weekend. It has been awful since my knee surgery. I thought I’d be improving my quality of life, exercising more, etc. instead, there was pain, then a lot of sitting around. Oh, and brain fog.
    When the pain became tolerable other joints started to act up. Especially hip joints. I guess everything changed with the new knee causing me to use other joints differently.
    So, I’m serious. No more excuses. This weight must come off.

    17+
  14. I’m getting weller. Got through last night with no coughing attacks. That’s a happy thing.

    Taking the dotter to dinner and at least some shopping. That’s a happy thing.

    I posted my semi-annual Daylight Saving Rant. That’s a happy thing (for me.) All my clocks agree to disagree. I know what time it is, give or take and hour, more or less. And that wasn’t even part of the rant.

    All y’all be well, Argh Inkers. ‘n be happy, too.

    12+
  15. I took Teddy the cat outside on a leash for the first time since Thanksgiving. It was so lovely, about 70 and cloudy and slightly breezy. He explored the entire front yard. Previously he’s hung out on the sidewalk and counted it good. Of course, now he wants to go out again! (The rescue I adopted him from specifically had in the contract that I couldn’t just let him out – they believe that indoor cats have better quality of life.)

    Meanwhile, the small domestic chores are done, so I’m working on binding quilts while watching previously recorded shows. It’s a small thing, but makes for a lovely day.

    7+
    1. I used to know a couple who had escaped from Czechoslovakia when it was Communist. They acknowledged that there were a lot of good things about the system as it operated in their homeland – everyone had health care, everyone had a job. But they likened it to a lion living out its life in a cage, perfectly healthy but never free. Life in Papua New Guinea (which is where I knew them) was more dangerous, they said, but also far more interesting.

      I know that people have very strong ideas about indoor and outdoor cats. It seems to me that if the cat had a choice it would always choose outdoors, despite the risks. I’m glad your cat is getting outside on leash.

      7+
      1. After we moved, we had to keep our cat inside for three weeks. On Saturday, we decided to show him the garden and the walk to our house. Now he wants to go outside regularly, and after mostly sleeping on the window sill for three weeks, he seems to be much happier – even after meeting the big red tomcat bloke who seems to rule the neighborhood.

        1+
    2. Also, indoor cats give birds a better quality of life. This is important when you live in a country with a lot of native birds. And not much in the way of native predators.

      1+
  16. I said no to something that I thought I should go to, even though my weekend was already overloaded. And as soon as I said no, I got that wonderful feeling of lightness that comes with making the right choice. Plus a sense of wickedness, as a bonus.

    19+
  17. Went to have a look at a country music festival hoping for authentic fried chicken wings and some new acts, but this year they even ticketed the area with the food stands!

    Still I got to hear a great singer at the free stage and since the venue is opening a luxury outlet, I got a sale jumper and a lot of posh chocolate at half price. So still a good day.

    7+
  18. It’s snowing. Again. Still, my happiness was having breakfast with both my daughters at the cafe I’ve been frequenting for 20 years. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve lived in one town for that long after a life of moving every few years. If I’m not careful I’ll wake up one day and find I’ve lived here half my life!

    Which is actually fine. I was commenting on how fun it was to be waiting on by someone who knew exactly what tea to bring me without even asking. Tiny, hole in the wall, cafe. Fewer than ten little tables and a short counter. People get up and get their own coffee and whatnot if they are regulars. I like belonging there.

    But I don’t think I’m finished with the UK yet, I’d like to live there again. And also Ireland. I think there is a house near Galway for me.

    9+
  19. My art room storage system and desk was installed Thursday morning and I’ve spent the subsequent evenings organizing it. I found a lot of supplies that I thought I’d run out of. I’d been holding off on buying more until the system was up, so I’m noting that at least I’ve saved money there. I’m happy with how it turned out. Loving creating in that room now. So much room to with and no more rummaging in boxes and an overstuffed closet for pens, paper, paints, etc. And more than a ten inch square flat space to work on! Luxurious!

    10+
  20. I’ve had a lovely day. I have taken this week off, so this was the first day of holiday for me. I’ll go to Salem, MA visit dear friends near Harford, CT, and then over to the Cape to meet a new great-niece. I enjoyed today, snow storm and all. I went to church, to brunch, to a festival of cat videos (and laughed for an hour), then to a wonderful solo piano recital of a friend, and then for amazing Indian food.
    More visits ahead, and a much needed change of scenery.

    8+
  21. Even with a whackamole work week, I found a few minutes for art every day.

    And we saw John Fogerty! A wonderful show, and four days of delightful earworms.

    7+
  22. It’s 6:45 pm and the sun is still up, so I’m a happy girl. I would take Daylight Saving Time year round if I could, so I’m now entering 8 months so of lighter-late-days-happiness. It was sunny today, so I gardened like a mad woman, pulling all the weeds our CA rains have fostered, and while it’s not done and perfect, it’s a whole lot closer, and my California poppies are starting to bloom, so garden-happy. Tartine Bakery has made it to LA, and we had dinner there last night prior to seeing Ruben Santiago-Hudson in Lackawanna Blues (fantastic) so I’m food-and-culture-happy. Really, just happy today.

    7+
    1. I was telling a friend about my CA-rain-enhanced weeds, and said I should just start referring to my yard as a California native plants garden. Which is flourishing. And it’s technically true, right? 🙂

      3+
      1. Not to rain on your parade, but most weeds are introduced European apecies (in the U.S.; I dunno what they are in Europe). Most native plants are kept in check by native herbivores and diseases, while exotics left their predators and diseases behind. Hence the flourishing.

        2+
        1. Exactly. Great summation. Plus crowding out of native species by introduced exotics limits environment and food supply for native bugs, butterflies, bees, birds and upward. When we lose native plants, we lose native everything.

          2+
      2. Honestly I doubt there have been any ‘native’ plants in my neighborhood since circa 1945. It’s a mostly-paved, former post-war housing tract in south Los Angeles. I am putting in natives when and where I can, but $$ and time are limited. So my bees & butterflies & hummingbirds will have to continue making do with the weeds. 🙂

        0
  23. This was a very happy week. My niece came to town for spring break, so I spent the week half touristing with her and half watching her explore the joys of solo adventuring. At the end of the week I took her to a day-long campaign advance camp full of young, diverse, energized prospective staffers. The 2018 midterm energy is still out there.

    7+
  24. I just got back from a great week away visiting friends and going to a dance retreat at a lovely coastal place. Not happy to be back at work tomorrow but the whole week was wonderful and I’m much more relaxed.

    6+
  25. I had a lot of happy last week despite next-to-no action on the job hunt.

    Monday: The Favourite, with DH and a BFF. Did not love the movie, did love the night out.
    Wednesday: Apollo 11, with DH, on IMAX. Total winner all around.
    Saturday: Dancing with the Stars tour with DH. Had to drive 35 miles (one way), but thoroughly enjoyed the show.
    Sunday: Sleeping Beauty streamed live from the Bolshoi, with another BFF, plus dinner. Every time I start to think ‘I hate L.A.’ I remind myself of days like this.

    Plus got a lot done on a couple of in-the-homestretch novels. Re-centering the primary story in the nearest-to-done let me develop one of my favorite series characters A LOT, which makes me really really happy.

    3+

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