Argh Happy

I was just thinking about how happy the comments on Argh make me. You know the ones I mean: about working on the garden at the new house, about having lunch with the daughter, about watching the little one help his baby brother walk, about meetings with nieces and old friends, about powering through problems and keeping on going no matter what and being grateful for the family and significant others that are always there. I treasure the Argh people, all of you, but I also love the extended world connected to you, connections full of joy and comfort and laughter, good food and good gardens and good books and good times. I am so grateful to you all for sharing all of that here. Makes me all warm inside. Thank you.

What made you all warm inside this week?

78 thoughts on “Argh Happy

  1. I was thinking just yesterday how grateful I am that you host this community. There is so much caring, sharing, love and support here, that I’m grateful for. Thank you Jenny!

    At church we’ve been prepping for Good Friday services, where we’re singing Seven Last Words by Michael Trotta. It’s a beautiful piece of music, and when I’m singing in the midst of the choir, surrounded by the sound, it becomes a transcendent experience.

    If you’ve not heard it, and are interested, google Trotta seven last words, and you’ll see several options. Here’s a link to the 6th movement:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZCtZe_cbq0

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  2. It makes me warm inside that I’ve got a lovely place to come home to after five months abroad, and a large extended family to share Easter dinner with. And friends to reconnect with.

    Also, I was able to get free bags of mushroom compost to put on my gardens.

    And finally, we’ve been able to clean up after the flood in our sunroom. Still waiting on contractors and insurance, but that will come.

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  3. This week the moorings were put out in the bay. There must be some kind of nautical GPS system that directs the placement of them in the water. They seem to be in the same places as last year and the years before that. May should start bringing the boats, I’ve seen lobster boats going out to drop their pots. This morning there was a mist rising above the bay signaling warm air meeting cold ocean. The walkers have changed from heavy winter coats to lighter jackets. Definite signs of spring.

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  4. This made me go back and read the last two happiness Sundays. It really is good stuff!

    I saw FiveAndFour’s question about whether fee-based Yoga with Adrienne classes are different in difficulty and I can honestly answer, I don’t know. Between her and Yoga Vidya I’m covered with my skill level.

    On Friday evening, I went for a special music and dance event that included delicious dinner and it was WONDERFUL. Late finish for sleepy me but it was worth the effort to dress up and do full make-up.

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  5. At home it’s my garden. Lots of daffodils and narcissus and tulips and hyacinths and my bleeding heart is in bloom. Also my lilies of the valley and lilies have poked their heads above ground so more to come.

    At work I’ve spent much of the last year on an advocacy project that is intended to improve the 2020 Census in ways that will improve the count of kids—especially kids of color. Which means if we are successful that the communities they live in will have more political representation and more federal funding. And Friday I learned that three of the things we think will improve the count are definitely happening, including one that I had been told absolutely could not happen. Still lots to do, but this is the kind of thing where the more changes we get the better things are—it’s incremental not all or nothing —and the federal funding part doesn’t require any action by Congress or tbe President, it just is a matter of the formulas in the laws. So even little changes can make a difference and we think these three are big changes.

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    1. I think that’s where we’ve (Americans) have dropped the ball in past years. Change happens at the local level and moves up, the states can move the national government faster than the vote can. Good for you!

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      1. Unfortunately, preempting local governments at the state and local level has become a huge tactic to stall changes of many kinds.

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    2. Thank you for your work! Advocacy — the quiet, behind the scenes stuff — is so necessary and so hard and can be exhausting. I’m glad you’re seeing some progress!

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      1. Yep, mine are out, too. Actually, they belong to the lady who lived here before me, but they’re out. Every year I think, “I’m going to rip out that damn forsythia,” and then it blooms and I’m charmed all over again.

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        1. Never forsake the forsythia! Around here they are the earliest pop of color reminding us that spring will, eventually, come. Since it is snowing today with a VERY strong wind, I’d kill to see some forsythia about now.

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        2. Last year the forsythia didn’t bloom so I had my handy man chop it way, way back. This is a bush that grows to the second floor every summer. So I’m hoping I’ll actually get flowers this year.

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  6. My bf and I went to a show last night for a band I’ve loved since I was a teenager. Watching them have a good time up there after almost four decades of goofiness and cow references…so much fun!

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  7. Argh makes me happy too. It is one of the places I come when I need a lift (or a distraction).

    I went out into the garden yesterday for the first time this season. It is still too early to do much here in upstate NY, but I put spinach, lettuce, and pea seeds in the ground, and uncovered the strawberry plants (which sleep through the window under a plastic cover topped with straw) and discovered that unlike last winter, they seem to have mostly survived. My bestie Ellen came over to help me, along with her ancient pug Boo, who was happy to be outside after a long winter. We even pulled the patio table out of the barn and played a game of Scrabble. All in all, a lovely day.

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  8. I love Sundays at Argh Ink. It snowed this week in my city – over an inch on the ground for more than 24 hrs. However, it warmed up as the week went along and when I went outside yesterday, I had a few flowers. Snowdrops and crocus and best of all, bees, happily enjoying spring nectar. I had a lovely dinner with a friend at a favourite restaurant. DS had stomach flu (not nice for him) but asked me to lie with him and rub his back until he fell asleep. At 17, he rarely wants his mother for much, so these few moments with my darling boy gave me buckets of happiness.

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  9. The best part of this past week was yesterday. It was my Saturday off and the weather was wonderful, sunny and mild, and I got out of the house for a good part of it. I live in upstate NY too, and we have far too many gray, gloomy days. It’s supposed to rain today but I got out for a walk in a local park and found some sharp lobed hepatica getting ready to bloom.

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    1. We have Scilla all over the place. I love it, it’s so pretty, but then it dies and leaves bare patches and the stuff is invasive . . . sigh.

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      1. I got some Siberian squill bulbs and planted them in my yard a few years ago. I am hoping they will spread so I can have a carpet of blue when they flower. So far, they have not spread at all. That might be due to the squirrels and moles etc digging everything up.

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        1. Actually, Siberian Squill is supposed to be deer and rodent resistant, so it should have spread. The stuff is damn near unkillable and seeds itself. Maybe it takes a couple of years to establish? Everything I found on it when I researched it for my neighbor said, “Oh, for the love of god, don’t plant this, it’ll take over and kill your lawn,” but it’s so lovely when it blooms. Briefly. Argh.

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          1. My lawn is already mostly weeds and crabgrass, although the woodchucks and rabbits love it so much, they don’t bother my garden. (The fence helps.) Maybe I should plant it on purpose.

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          2. I keep planting Siberian Squill and it survives- barely- but it does not increase and it’s been almost 30 years now and I have planted it in several different locations. Maybe it doesn’t like acidic, clayey soil.

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          3. Huh. My friend Carl never planted it. It just showed up and spread. Slowly, though. Gorgeous stuff.

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          4. Hardy cyclamen does the same thing for me. It is about an inch tall with wonderful ivy like leaves in frosted silver and dark green which die back in early summer then in mid summer, miniature cyclamen flower pop up with no foliage. It would be great if the flowers came up through the lawn (they are only about an inch and a half high) but the bulbs keep increasing in size and they are barely under the surface so nothing grows on top of them. And while they are hardy, I don’t think they are hardy enough for Kate’s climate.

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  10. After a very social Saturday, we have the drawbridge up and are lounging with the cats, a fire, and the Masters on tv . Not that I am watching golf, but I am making sympathetic noises at appropriate points while reading my book, and it feels companionable. You can tell I am re-reading a Jayne Anne Krentz – someone in her books always lounges. And usually someone says “sounds like a plan”. Which this is.

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  11. Best day was Thursday: Tony the handyman knocked off early and I did battle with the clematis montana, wrestling a ten-foot square mattress of it off the shed roof and compressing it into a roll I could carry through the passage to the car. I managed to pull the rest of it over the wall and trellis from next door’s garden, and even disentangled the trunks and sawed through them. I took breaks and sat in the sun, and realized I haven’t actually had my own private garden for six years (living with Mum was good, but I missed having my own space).

    The garden is now at its maximum point of uglification, I hope. The new fencing arrives tomorrow morning, so it should begin to improve.

    Wandered into the health-food shop yesterday to buy a couple of different varieties of eating apples (I’m researching which I’d like to grow), and discovered a friend working there – fun to catch up, and she’s coming for coffee soon.

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    1. Clemetis is one of those things that is iffy for me. My current ones are less than 4 years old and if I keep them for another 2 years, it will be a record for me. My neighbor on the other hand had one growing over her pergola for 10 years and was this wonderful mass of pale pink flowers every spring – until the winter we had an ice storm and the combination ice and clematis brought her pergola down. When she had the pergola rebuilt she used a less vigorous vine.

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      1. For years I had a complex about clematis (apart from C. montana, which is pretty idiot-proof here). Then I moved to a garden where they liked the soil, and suddenly they were easy. What they didn’t like was dry conditions right next to a wall. I’m hoping they’ll like it here, as long as I put them in a foot away from the walls.

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        1. Our climate here is the same temperature range as the British Isles. It is misty and rainy with a coldish winter and plants need to tolerate moist conditions. But come July and August we have a drought. And if you don’t have a good sprinkler system (or forget to check that all the sprinklers are still working properly), you are going to loose plants or not have them grow properly. Last summer I did my spring flushing of the sprinkler then did not look at again until the first of August when I wonder why my daphne genkwa looked so bad and discovered it was getting no water and died. And I babied that sucker along for three years and it should have had deeper roots then that.

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          1. I can see that clematis wouldn’t like that, either. I guess adding lots of garden compost when you plant, and summer watering. Or, more sustainable but probably frustrating, sticking to plants adapted to summer drought. It was very dry here last summer and tricky for gardeners, I know.

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          2. PS. I’d expect a sprinkler system to encourage shallow rooting, even if (as I hope) you mean a drip hose. If possible, I’d go for a really generous watering once a week.

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        2. No drip hose. They get blocked and have to be replaced annually. Not to mention the times I have cut through them with a shovel. I do have little tiny spot sprinklers for areas where it is too difficult to reach. This house actually was built with an underground sprinkler system in 1927. Most of the piping is still the original galvanized. On the other hand I have an automated system which runs at night for 15 minutes, 4 times a week, which is how I missed that one sprinkler is blocked. When I say we have a summer drought, this is not an exaggeration. We typically have a 60 to 90 day period with less than 1/2 inch rain. And we are on clay soil over heavy cobbles – a left over from glaciation. I have been composting and liming for 35 years and the ground still cracks if there is no water for a week. But most succulents are not happy because of all the rain on clay soil the other 9 months of a year. On the other hand with a little water, and some sun light (I have light to heavy shade over most of my yard), I have lush plants.

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          1. I’m amazed at your antique system: sounds great! And those conditions sound a real challenge. I’m visualizing a jungle garden, only with hardy plants.

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      1. I was just telling my sister how involved I had become in the story of your housing travails and how happy I am to hear that the worst of it is over. What surprises me is that I, who will never buy a house and am a certified plant killer, got so involved. It must be the magic of Argh.

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      2. Thanks, both of you. And I really don’t know how I’d have managed without everyone here. When something awful happened there was at least the comfort of knowing how horrified you’d all be.

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  12. Happiness this week is getting some of my spring chores done. I’ve mostly replanted the planters on the mini-balcony. Most of my fuchsias lived over and some of the red geraniums and I added an orange leaved fuchsia called Autumnale to the mix and blue lobelia and blue petunias and black potato vines. And I found some more Autumnale ferns (ferns do really well for me with all my shade) at the nursery. Its new grown is a wonderful coral orange and for most of the summer it looks like I have bonfires in my garden. It is so ridiculous, I smile whenever I see it.

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  13. Three big happies this week (in addition to the usual virtual happies of being here on Happiness Sunday):

    1. The feral cat I caught and took in to be spayed on Thursday turned out to be both pregnant and full term (and she’s so feral and shy I hadn’t even been able to tell if she was pregnant!), so when I went to pick her up and asked how she was doing, they said, “She’s great, and so are her three kittens.” They’re being fostered by a person with a nursing momcat. You can see a few pix — they’re so little they barely look like kittens — at my Instagram, ginjonesmysteries

    2. I FINALLY finished the quilt I pieced during #dailyFeb2019 — got tired of its reproachful glances at my failure to give it a binding. https://www.instagram.com/p/BwPvdzUAnmQ/ (and you can link to my account there to see kittens)

    3. The daffodils and forsythia are in bloom, so it’s really spring!

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  14. It’s Sunday, and I will be taking the dotter to dinner and shopping. Before we leave, however, I need to splash a bucket of water on my car’s windshield to wash away some of the yellow pollen. The abundant, copious, omnipresent (break out a Scrabble dictionary for synonyms of ‘too d*amned much’) yellow pollen. And my windshield washer has suffered a ruptured hose. Dry rot.

    Argh Ink? Happiness. Shared joy is multiplied. Shared pain is halved. Somebody famous said that.

    Pollen? No happiness, but I shared that, so it’s not as bad. 🙂

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    1. My Dad used to park his car outside under the apple tree over the winter so that my Mom could park her car in the garage. Sometimes it would warm up before they traded back and Dad would drive around town to visit clients with apple blossoms stuck to his hood. So although I sympathize with the allergenic effects of pollen, the thought of your yellow festooned car fills me with warm fuzzies.

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      1. “This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.” – Francis Bacon, Essays

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  15. Thank you for providing the space. We promise not to spill coffee on the couch.

    I had a busy day yesterday. Helped daughter with selecting bathroom tile, faucets and matching stuff. Then we gardened. Tomorrow begins the demo on the main bathroom. It is going to be quite a week.

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  16. I confess, the thing that made me insanely happy this week was discovering a t-shirt. I. Need. Full disclosure: I’m a clotheshorse. I overdress for everything. I never get excited about t-shirts, even ones with cute graphics and sayings. But this one. This one shows a rearing dragon on a black background. The text is split into two lines above and below the image: That which doesn’t kill me…should run. It feels so…me. 😀

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  17. Thank you for encouraging us to share, Jenny.

    We had a rare glimpse of fine-to-the-point-of-funny dining, when friends hosted us at an upscale restaurant. You know, the kind where one server’s entire role is to describe who developed this variety of beet and where the greens were sourced and how the appetizer was prepared (“compressed cucumber marinated in its own juices, topped with lemon-infused cream sauce and a sprinkling of organic dill”).

    I was startled when, upon DH stepping briefly away from the table, someone jumped in to refold his napkin. I was interested to learn that “salsify” is not a verb. And by the arrival of the chocolate kumquat cake, I was relaxed and grateful to be included in this special occasion.

    Just don’t tell my friends that because I knew dinner would start late, I’d fortified myself that afternoon with a brown sugar cinnamon Pop-Tart.

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  18. Happy this week was getting a new fountain pen (Pilot Custom 91) I had ordered from Japan through Amazon. The nib is 14k and it’s a glorious writer even though the pen itself is not showy at all, being black and silver (rhodium). And especially great hearing a coworker’s gasp of delight at trying it. If you write without any pressure on your pen a gold nib is worth it.

    Am working to find my happy more often. Endurance and persistence I have, but when your head is down and you struggle to move forward and place one foot in front of the other, happiness seems illusive.

    Thank you for Argh.

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    1. Oh, my! I love a good pen! But I press very hard, and like a bold look (thick) when I write. I wonder what would be good for that? I love the cheap 0.5 mm pens I get.

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  19. Happy this week is cautious, but we accepted an offer on our house after being on the market for just 2 days–it was 3% over asking, so yay! The inspection was on Wednesday and Friday, we got the great news that all is well. Now just buyer’s financing and a couple of other hoops before we close on May 23. Mes amies, please send good energy for all of this… This has been more arduous than I expected and I’m ready to start the fun part of looking for a new house. We’ll stay with Son, DIL, and Grandboy (they have a huge house) while we’re looking. I’m sure the perfect retirement home is out there for us.

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  20. Friday night I didn’t want to go home so I stopped in at Nordstrom’s
    on the way. I had been getting little pop-up ads about a sale there so I thought I’d check it out. I started in lingerie because I need some and got really depressed by the poor selection in my size and how uncomfortable it all was. When I got down to sportswear, it was even worse because they had the sale rack divided by designer, not by size, and it was impossible to find anything. As I trudged from department to department I met 2 saleswomen of varying ages and colors who started helping me look for the odd and well hidden pieces of interest. It was such a relief that I spent at least an extra 30-45 minutes talking to the second of the 2. She was a delightful person who helped me figure out whether or not I would really wear the blouse I was trying on. At the end of the transaction she invited me back some evening just to chat. She didn’t give me a hard sell and she knew I wasn’t going to buy anything later, but she still was welcoming to me. In these days when we are told to buy everything online, it was a delightful change.

    Argh makes me happy every week. I love the fact that discussions can go almost anywhere. I love the fact that it doesn’t matter that I’m not a writer and that I prefer cats to dogs. I always feel welcome here and nobody judges me if my writing career peaked in fourth grade. This place is warm and varied and interesting. And if that isn’t worth my gratitude, I don’t know what is.

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  21. Like so many, I am happy that Spring is here and my daffodils are blooming. I went for Sunday lunch with my cousin. we both had really good burgers and got senior citizens discounts. Those discounts are still pretty new to me and I really get a kick out of using them. I also smelled my first skunk of the season last night, so I will be taking really deep breaths and good looks around before I let the dog out at night!

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  22. My happy today is that our lawn bowling season has started. Today was opening day Hooray.
    BUT when I got to the green it was covered in hail!! First time every. However, by the time we had our festivities the hail had melted and we were able to play. I am glad to have this place to share. My favourite is Thursday of course people get me out of my reading rut, the librarian ow makes me recommendations,!

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  23. So many Happies!! The snow, while not gone – probably won’t be 100% gone until June – is off my flower garden and little leaves with light stripes up the middles are popping up! Flowers soon!

    And Yesterday was so warm I was outside without my jacket. I moved my kitchen table into the window in the living room so I can write while looking out the window! Plus I bought a new tablecloth.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQRIYBAg1I/

    THEN (I know there’s more!!), last night my tutoree and her mother took me to dinner as a thank you for working with her. Lovely food, great conversation. Today, I went to breakfast with a writer friend who was in town – her daughter lives not far from me – and we had a lovely talk.

    AND THEN, I spent the day with my best bud, we drove across the state to pick up a dresser for her new den. We ate, and chatted and shopped and amazingly enough the man she bought the dresser from has the same name as her husband, AND is also obssessed with turntables. (the kind that plays vinyl records.) Plus, the dresser was in the town here her mother and father met at. So we went to see the residential school they both worked at when they fell in love. It’s now something different. But it was fun.

    I spend so much time alone now that it was delightful to get a weekend full of people and fun.

    Plus we found paint on sale 75% off and all the upstairs rooms need painting!

    Okay, I’m done now. So full of the happinesses.

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  24. I am so happy, and placid, knitting a series of creatures from this delightful designer: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/annita-wilschut — I finished the elephant and the hippo (they’re small, and delightful) and I’m working on the bear, all in indigo blue. They’re knit in the round, so it is all shaping and counting and increases and decreases; all kinds of paying attention, which means I can’t get too agitated about anything else.

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  25. My happiness this week has been in that my in-laws are in love with the retirement community they are moving into and over the weekend we have packed up/threw away/sorted/organized/gave away a bunch of their stuff stored in their attic, which is most of their junk and the stuff they don’t use all the time.

    My big worry is that they don’t seem to realize how much work is left for them to do. My SIL and BIL are coming back here next weekend to pack up more stuff but I have a sneaking suspicion that nothing more is going to be done by then. I’ve done what I can and that’s all I can do.

    I’m happy with what we accomplished.

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  26. It’s lovely reading about things that make you all happy.

    I had a great weekend. We flew up to Wellington to see an exhibition of terracotta warriors, who were awe-inspiring. I saw “who” deliberately. They had a real presence to them and looked like they were spending an eternity standing and waiting. I really wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d moved.

    Then we wandered round the waterfront, went to Weta Workshops and were fascinated by the passion and care they put into all their props, and spent an afternoon in a pest-proofed valley. The valley has several species that’re extinct except in places like it, where a high-tech fence keeps all the bird-eating pests out. We watched Takehe wander round, there’s only about 370 of them left and seeing a chick was amazing.

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  27. I am beginning to look forward again. Planted tomatoes and okra that I had started fr9m seeds and made notes about what I wanted to do next year. Big deal here in our household. We have been pretty much been living day-to-day the last year. We keep getting bad spring weather (just missed the latest storm that brought tornadoes to several Texas towns) but last night we sat out on the patio and watched our two whippets zoom around the yard and talked about VACATION (!) plans. Such fun.

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  28. My best friend flew in from Santa Fe to take care of me while my husband goes to work. Just had a knee replacement. The two people I love most in the world are here with me. 😘❤️

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  29. At work, I got a new student.
    Now, in my rural and economically depressed area, you do not get a new student in April because mom or dad got an awesome new job. You get a new student whose parents are fleeing a child protective services investigation or the prospect of a kid being held back a grade. So since i have the sweetest 23 kids ever this year I was not in a happy place finding out I had a new student coming that day. I may have thought that maybe they could give the kid to the hateful woman who teaches next door to me instead (which makes me hateful, i realize).
    First thing that happens is that a little girl in my class comes up to me and whispers, “Do you think I can be her friend?” I melted right then and there, because this seven year old had an open heart for a new kid and I didn’t.
    Seeing how my sweet kiddos embraced this child, and seeing how the student became gradually less shy and more silly was what gave me joy.

    7+
  30. I love Argh! I’ve been heads-down in one of the most physical and emotionally demanding bits of motherhood since my kids were weaned (moving to my baby to college, and helping her stock her apartment . . . lugging storage units through the train system and up to the third floor of her apartment). So, I’ve been out. Barely hanging on in the blog with the Eight Ladies, and missing out on even personal emails with my family for days at a time. But once the dust settles, Argh is the top of my list for re-connecting.

    I’m still feeling sad, and work has gotten busy these days, so I may be gone for days, or just not up to commenting, but I am so happy that Argh and you are here. It’s a bright spot in the world!

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