Happiness is Being a Cheap Beer Sign

My friends and family and therapist have all noticed that occasionally I sign off on them, staring into space with no apparent cognitive connection whatsoever. I have explained that it’s because I’m a writer and when people start talking in your head, it’s rude to ignore them, at which point my daughter says, “There are people talking in front of you, and it’s rude to ignore them, too.” My therapist says, “Okay, where did you go?” like I know where I went (out of the here into the nowhere, I just went). So I have to work on that, but I have come to realize that my ability to just drop out of reality has not only been a career move, it makes me happy. Reality is all well and good, but fantasy lifts the spirit.

And then I saw this Agnes cartoon:

Somebody else will have to get the Cheetos, Agnes and I are not thinking at the moment.

How did you grasp happiness in the moment (there or not there) this week?

40 thoughts on “Happiness is Being a Cheap Beer Sign

  1. I have actual space on two different book shelves. My clothes hang straight or are folded neatly on drawers. It is magnificent.

    I still have to do the document dehoard but, by Goddess, this is empowering. I am making space for the future I want instead of holding on to a safe past.

    Also, I got to use a photo of a page from Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary to shut down a someone who naysayed an author who said that teachers ask students to contact authors and get responses as part of assessments. The shutdown was petty of me, but satisfying.

    Finding the book wouldn’t have been possible two years ago. But, it sparks joy, so it lives on my shelf, and hasn’t been donated or sold.

    Really happy at having achieved visually measurable results.

      1. I think I might be pistachio with envy, being something of a nut, me.

        It is approaching time to commit Spring Housecleaning. “How hard can it be?” you might be asking yourself. “He claims he lives in a one room garage apartment.” Well, it won’t be hard once I get some new knee pads. I only have one, half a pair, at this time, and it’s very, very difficult to return my tray table… I mean to get upright once I’ve been on my knees.

    1. Gwarsh, you guys! 😆

      Today I tackle the documents. It is the area that defined me as a hoarder, because it is where I am impaired in functioning. Many things have gone undone and caused serious problems because of delayed payments, lost documents and more. To anyone else dealing with clutter/hoarding – persist in cleaning, reducing, recycling.

      Jenny – I’d totally love to visit you and help with a massive cleanout. 😀

  2. My happiness came from a few things. I had my annual physical and the Dr. said I was in good shape (I knew that but it’s nice to get validation); my kitchen sink had been plugged up for several days and I finally got a plumber to come in and fix it. I had tried the usual solutions and none worked. It turned out there was a bow in the pipe in the basement and everything for the past several years had accumulated there and had finally fully blocked. He ran the snake through it, got the block cleared, fixed the bow in the pipe, and now I have a working sink again! I didn’t realize just how much I used that sink until it was out of commission.

    Besides the above mentioned, it’s a sunny (for now) day and the temps are going up into the 40’s. I am doing laundry and soon will head out to do a couple of errands and it’s not even 10:00 AM yet. And this afternoon I intend to go for a long walk, perhaps along the canal.

  3. I stayed at work late on Thursday which doesn’t always make me happy, but I finished up everything that was due for the next few days. Spent a stress-free, phone-less Friday at a gorgeous nature spa with a friend. It was chilly and rainy but we have a lovely day, in the various saunas and floating in the salt water pool. Met a friend who’s having a tough time for coffee – felt good to give her a big hug and listen. Sun’s out today, which means snow will continue to melt. We’re inching towards spring and gardening. Hurray!

  4. I went to a child’s birthday party for a (is there such a thing) step-great-nephew. Screw the naming, he’s family. While I just sat in one place, my great-nieces and -nephews kept coming over and settling on my lap for hugs and cuddles. It was lovely and I smile every time I think about it.

  5. I helped a friend find the right technology. Went in prepared to battle, didn’t have to. Just ‘this is best, but not what you’d use. This would be better for you. This other one is also good. Buy this one.’ And she decided not to go the cheap route but the best route (i.e. ‘better’). Going to her place today to help her learn how to use it. Helping others makes me happy!

  6. I have nearly 300 hours of annual leave on the books, that’s 37 days. Another day of compensatory leave (from working on a holiday without overtime) and a week of family/personal leave. At my age, I prefer time off to overtime. This week, I used 2.5 days leave. It made me somewhat happy.

    What topped my list this week was turning off the part of my brain that said “I’m from your diet; come with me if you want to live.” I stopped at Arby’s* and got a loaded Italian and curly fries. Twice.

    * I NEVER ate at Arby’s, even before the heart attack.

  7. Really enjoyed yesterday’s comments about introverts, though didn’t read them until today, because Saturday is my day to pretend to be more extroverted than I am. Followed by blessed Sunday with books and cats and DH. and this week oatmeal cookies which I made myself and which are excellent.

    I’m sure I’ve posted this New Yorker cartoon before, but such a great lead in, I can’t resist doing it again. My life philosophy:


  8. Got stuff done, inside and out. Happiness!

    I’ve been checking out for years. First time my dh noticed, (we were on a long drive), he was a little bit afraid. But, I had a great scene playing out in my head.

  9. Discovering there was already a washing line in the garden that just needed to be attached to a hook on the shed made me really happy. I now have line-dried sheets and towels for the first time since 2016.

    Signed the petition calling for Brexit to be revoked when it was at 600,000 on Thursday morning; it’s now over 5 million. And yesterday’s march of a million people in London was amazing.

    Managed to do some more unpacking today, and the kitchen is nearly sorted. With geraniums and herbs on the windowsill.

  10. Major happy week. For our anniversary we went to a new to us restaurant and they made this pasta with homemade tagliatelle that was so, so tasty then lamb chops. And when we came in they gave us each a glass of prosecco then on the dessert plate they wrote “Happy 49th Anniversary” in chocolate. The dessert was exquisite and I scrapped up the chocolate because it was really good too. The chef/owner came out to congratulate us when we were leaving. Then I received grapefruit spoons as a gift, which sounds blah but they matched our Art Nouveau sterling and have not been made for over a 100 years.

    For breakfast today, we used the sterling and the grapefruit spoons and they worked perfectly (I had my doubts since grapefruit wasn’t that big as a breakfast food back then – I can’t remember ever going around saying “I would just love obsolete silver grapefruit spoons. But I was pleased and even better, my husband was entranced with them). And since it is not my job to hand wash those suckers, it felt very decadent. We are living the life.

    On Friday we attended a showing of Coraline with the Oregon Symphony playing the live musical accompaniment. Tons of cute little girls and not so little girls dressed as a quasi-Coraline and one who nailed it with a blue wig, dragonfly barretts, yellow rain slicker and yellow galoshes, plus freckles drawn on her face.

    On Saturday we saw silent films: Buster Keaton’s “3 ages” and “The Blacksmith” accompanied by an original movie palace organ with all the special sound effects. Again scads of kids, mostly brought by grandparents. It was a sea of white hair in front of me.

    Aubrey, my cat, climbed out the bedroom window just now and down the dogwood tree, which is a little scary but the first time he has tried that in two years.

    The sun is shinning and I think I will clean up the garden some more.

    Nothing but good times ahead.

      1. Thanks Deborah. The problem turned out to be that Aubrey decided to climb back up the tree (good), jump to the cloth awning (good) then jump to the tile roof and climb up it to the window (not good). He isn’t agile enough to deal with ceramic tiles since he can’t use his claws and he slid back down to the roof and fell back onto the awning. At this point he decided that jumping into the tree was too scary. My husband got the ladder and a handful of treats and lured him back to the edge of the awning, and carried him down to the ground and into the house. Aubrey was of course extremely offended; he could have got down by himself in his opinion.

        I am hoping this will convince Aubrey that this route in and out of the house is no longer available to him. And that my husband will not open the window so he is tempted to try (But, Jessie, he LIKES sitting in the window).

        1. I have three now elderly dogs who like going down the stairs to the back yard, but who are not thrilled about climbing back up. So they sit at the bottom and look at me, and eventually I go down and carry them up, one by one. I am a slave to my animals.

          1. At least all your dogs are small. I have to heft 100 lb Fred onto the bed because he’s not built for jumping straight up. He puts his front paws on the bed and I lift the rest of him.

          2. Aren’t we all? The lovers and lovelies. Lifting – me on the way back from bathroom run – an injured terrier sweetie onto the puffy bed at 5 am, that’s the test.

  11. This week was a little rough: a fair amount of drama and anxiety provoking things. And I didn’t sleep much, which helps nothing. I have decided that this week is going to be better, and that makes me happy.

    Oh, and I may have found a dress for my aunt to wear to her son’s wedding. It has been a long search, that may not be over yet, but it feels like we are making progress.

  12. I’m technically on spring break, I got a fabulous haircut, I got dressed up and put on makeup and went to a fundraiser gala for a worthy cause (and lost all my silent auction bids, which is much cheaper than winning but still feels helpful), and I got to have seven wonderful hours of adult conversation. Also we had family gardening time on a beautiful sunny Saturday, filling our new raised bed in the backyard.

    (We’re ignoring the awful cold I have, the grading yet to do, and that I missed a friend’s 40th to go to the gala because my mother’s on the gala board. Also that today is soggy and rainy and the baby’s sick too and the preschooler has just recently taken a hard line on refusing to nap.)

    Tomorrow I’m getting to do a short stories workshop all day and maybe that will inspire me to write more/teach better/grade those dang papers… 😂 🌞 🍃

  13. I had four meetings, one workshop, and a rally this week. All were worthwhile. Looking forward to next week-no meetings, rallies, and/or vet appointments scheduled. Nothing but good times ahead, indeed.

  14. My week was good on a couple of fronts. Tall Boy had a functional upper eyelid lift/lower eyelid tuck on the 18th. The surgeon decided at the last minute to do a more extensive procedure but it was still over in about 30 minutes and we went home that same day. It’s healing well and so far he’s happy with it. He didn’t have any sedation and his vision was good so he was able to drive home which was good because he is a terrible, horrible, no-good passenger.

    My cold is getting better and I read 2 good books so that helped with the happiness.

  15. On today’s walk I saw only one patch of sidewalk ice!

    DH and I ushered at a play neither of us liked, but we’ve spent a lot of time discussing how we’d fix it.

    I entered the family NCAA pool using Mom’s method: pick the Catholic schools to win. Right now I’m in 27th place…out of 29.

  16. I put together my raised garden beds and started filling them with dirt. I hope to get it all done before my surgery in April. The bulbs are still blooming. I also located the nest of the hawk that has moved into the neighborhood.
    My dad is doing much better. He is having long strings of coherence and got moved off thickened liquids, so he can have his diet Coke. Which has helped his mood enormously.

  17. I went overnight to Albany, about an hour and a half from my house, for a great multi-author signing at a fab Indy bookstore that specializes in fantasy, SF, and such, and whose owner for some unknown reason really likes me. (To the point where she added me to a line-up of three much bigger names than I am, just because I mentioned the event sounded great.)

    My pal Ellen–aka “the entourage”–did the driving and I figured out how to get my tablet to speak Google maps to me like a GPS, which made the trip much easier. It was great to see Anne Bishop again, and Julie Czerneda and Kristen Britain were both sweet and funny. Between the four of us, we had the audience cracking up all night. Big turnout, lots of book sales (old readers and new) and a shop cat. All happy, even if it did go later than expected and we didn’t get fed until 9:30 at night. Small price to pay.

    Then this morning, miracle of miracles, my middle sister (who lives in Schenectady, and whom I only see when I happen to be going through town for some reason, and not always then) met us for breakfast before we headed home.

    My group was supposed to have a belated spring equinox ritual after we got back, and we ended up having to cancel it because someone got called out of town unexpectedly, which was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it would have been nice to have it, and I’d done all the prep work. On the other hand, I hadn’t slept well, and I find events exhausting, so I was kind of happy to have the afternoon to catch up, nap, and work on revisions.

    Oh, and I got the finalized book cover for the next (self-published) Baba Yaga book, and I love it.

  18. Crazy busy week at work, so I gave myself the gift of downtime yesterday – reading and knitting, mostly, although I did go to AAA and knock off one problem that’s been hanging over my head with my brother’s estate (had to get duplicate titles for his motorcycles ordered, and AAA is much easier than the DMV!). Today included a 5 mile walk and lots of gardening, and the messy backyard is looking much finer.

    Fun thing: I posted a picture of my front yard to the SoCal Native Gardeners page on FB and I’m up over 200 likes already. I’ve worked really hard on this (taking out the lawn, building a flagstone raised bed, planting and not killing the new plants) and it’s nice to have some people who know what they’re doing like it!

  19. My happies started with a visit to the podiatrist for the first time in 6 months. My nails were so long they practically needed their own shoe. But not only did she tame the feral nails, she also put a pad in my shoe that restored my ability to walk (at least for most of the day). I thought I was going to be in pain until it was warm enough for sandals, so I am especially grateful for the short term fix.

    Today we went to a friend’s house for a local version of shiva. It was a real comfort to hang out with friends and hear about their grandchildren and remember how much my parents enjoyed doing the same thing with the same people. Then the cantor came and led a short service. My sister belongs to the same congregation that my grandparents belonged to when they lived in that suburb. I enjoyed the feeling of belonging, even if it was(yet again) borrowed from my sister’s life.

  20. My happiness is coming home after a long (and perfectly wonderful) trip. I missed my home and my bed, but most of all, I missed our dogs. Understanding this, our marvelous dog-sitter arranges to meet us on the way from the airport, so I do not need to be separated from my ridiculous dogs for a minute longer than necessary. And so we all came home together.

    The puppy was in total hysterics, and ran through the house shrieking. Thankfully, the noise was muffled by the thick mouthful of her favorite toys that she gathered along the way. But the joy that accompanied her reunion with all her favorite spots was unmistakable. “OMG! The couch! I LOVE THE COUCH!!!!” [performs headstand of happiness on the couch). “OMG!!! BIG BLUE CHAIR!!!!! I love napping on blue chair!!!” [performs headstand of happiness on blue chair] Etc. etc. At one point I opened the back door and she was reminded that the back yard exists, and just ran in circles screaming with wonder.

    The big dog was just deeply, desperately glad to see me again, so spent her first twenty minutes home lying directly on top of me, groaning softly as she pressed herself against my heart. It’s inconvenient, sure. But sixty pounds of loving hound dog is precisely what I needed. Then the puppy remembered about me too, and came over to do her headstand of happiness on top of both of us.


  21. Sunday is over, and Arby’s was still my Happy Place for the week. I wouldn’t have bet on that at any odds.

    Being Sunday, it was Take my Daughter to Dinner and Shopping Day. As part of her Keto Diet, she does a weekly fast. This week it was Friday and Saturday, so she was starving and wanted to a) go early and b) eat at the closest Ruby Tuesday, a couple of miles from home. So we did. She broke fast with their Garden Bar and a sirloin and some veggie or another. I ordered a Hickory Bourbon Glazed Pork Chop, spuds and the Garden Bar.

    Worst Meal Ever. The Garden Bar was, as usual, fabulous, except that the sneeze guard was installed at a height which required everyone to crouch to reach anything. Very annoying. That glaze? I had to scrape it off my chop. Too so very sweet. The mashed potatoes were satisfactory, the entire third cup of them.

    Shopping was okay. We went to Publix. I got veggies and snacks and so forth, the healthy kind. Lowes had knee pads, so I can get down and clean at floor level.

    1. Your mentioning Publix reminds me that I still have my MIL’s Winn-Dixie card. I inherited it on her passing quite a few years ago. When we went to Florida to clear up her estate I used it to get groceries and often wondered what personal info was on it besides tracking what was bought. And then I got to thinking what if her age was on it in the system and the clerks were looking at me and saying to themselves, she has aged great. And then I also thought southerners are so polite that one of there favorite sayings is “Bless Your Heart” or (gulp) maybe I do look her age. Way to much thinking on my part.

  22. Had breakfast with my daughters and my ex on Saturday in Burlington. (Youngest daughter and sons are at school there.) Then we went to see the son who is in town (the other is in the Netherlands at the moment). I got to see the pictures of the boys in Athens from a couple of weeks ago.

    Took a nap when I got home. Pretty happy day. Also – sunshine.

  23. I made banana bread on Sunday. Also got to Camp 1 of the Everest of laundry in the house. Hoping to make it to the summit by Wednesday.

    My 9 year old son has been requesting sushi, when asked “what do you want for dinner?” so we took him to the faux Hawaiian place for poke and ribs. He did not like poke but loved the ribs and crack fries. The place that serves sushi near us does not have a kids menu and we didn’t feel like trying to walk him through a Thai-sushi menu. His sister was on an overnight with friends so he got lots of parental time.

  24. I had a quiet Saturday morning followed by grocery-shopping and then a trip to Home Depot for more yard-remediation supplies. Spent 2.5 hours slowly and methodically carving out the epic crop of weeds from the front yard, leaving the grass. That is almost done but will not get done until April 6/7 because we are unexpectedly going out of town next weekend.

    Sunday I *could* have assembled the raised bed thingy for my grapevines but we had a dance to go to and I did not want to get even more beat up than I was from Saturday, so I wrote all day (happy). Then we went dancing (happy happy). Then we came home and I had a cup of decaf chai tea with a skosh of whisky (hic) while writing just a bit more.

  25. I’ve had people demand to know what I was staring at, when I wasn’t seeing anything at all except the thoughts inside my head. One of them thought I was staring at them, but no, I was in Istanbul wondering if I should follow the small fluffy white cat (reliving a story I’d read years ago).


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