57 thoughts on “Moment of Joy

  1. I went to philosophy class and smiled and laughed so hard that my face hurt. It kinda makes me sad that I’m not smiling enough daily that my face aches when I have cause to smile for an hour!

    One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to attempt is the quotes from HH The Dalai Lama and Swami Chinmayananda respectively “Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important. Self-discipline with awareness of consequence” and “Learn to bring your mind to where your hands are working.” Yeah, I still suck at that.

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  2. Watching my two geek boys watching Shazam! at the movies. Life is never dull around those two.

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  3. The baby saw his big brother sleeping in the carseat and burst out into joyful baby laughter. Then I got to watch big kid help little kid learn to walk. 👣 Those two are going to be trouble. The cutest kind of trouble!

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  4. I’m having a gardening weekend, which is deeply satisfying. Planted potatoes and weeded the strawberry bed, which has twenty very small runners dotted around – what’s left after the main plants were taken by the previous owner. Yesterday afternoon and today
    I’ve been cutting down and digging out shrubs, climbers and a small tree so the garden wall can be repointed and the rotten fences replaced. Going to load the car for a tip run, and then have a hot bath.

    15+
    1. That sounds so hopeful! I’m in a US suburb where all topsoil is removed when they build houses, so that it takes twenty-plus years to build up enough soil good enough to support something like strawberry runners. The work you’re doing is all investing in the land’s future — something I wish everyone in the world would or could spend more time doing.

      Also, it’s so great to read about you weeding a garden bed after so many many months of wishing you could weed out all the real estate problems. That’s my bit of joy for today!

      11+
      1. Thanks, Jinx. That’s terrible, about the topsoil. Mind you, new builds are pretty grim here: usually compacted subsoil with a thin layer of imported topsoil plonked on top. I’m really looking forward to having my own compost again. But the allotment plot has been well looked after, and it shouldn’t take much for it to thrive. Same at home, once I’ve ruthlessly got rid of the over-mature, boring plants!

        7+
        1. Yes, and that’s why I’ve been composting since 1973. I’m near a park, though, so now my challenges are the deer, raccoons, possums and expanding shade that means it makes more sense to support a wilder and wilder environment on my tiny quarter acre. Which is rewarding also!

          8+
    2. The previous gardener taking the main plants is a good sign that you inherited a good variety of strawberries. We had an acre of strawberries when I was a child on the farm. My Mom spaced the rows so every other row was empty. Then when the runners formed it was my job to encourage them to root in the empty row. In the spring my Mom would then have a new row in between the old berries. At the end of the season the old berry plants would be removed so that she never had plants older than two years. And the next year I would be planting new runners again. She thought she had bigger and more berries that way.

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      1. That’s an interesting method. I find I need to start again every four years, but I’ll move the bed to a new site at that point.

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      2. I like to grow the Alpine strawberries, just because I don’t have to fuss with runners and restarting beds and the risk of viruses. They’re tiny, so I never have enough of them, but the flavor is so much better than the big commercial varieties.

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  5. The other day I put a pic up on my FB page of a “stop-and-smell-the-roses” kind of moment–lots of lovely blue sky and water as the snow & ice starts to melt in these parts. Just a joy to witness, a stop and notice thing in a busy day.

    And I got my new book up for pre-order. While I love writing, I’m not so fab with the business stuff so gave myself a high five on that one:)

    Happy Sunday, all.

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  6. The other night I put the dogs out so they could go see Tall Boy when he got home. Fred and Charlie were too busy playing with each other to go say hi so that left the way clear for Jasmine to go get pets. She ran to him as fast as her stumpy little legs would carry her, the adoration flowing off of her in waves. She loves him with all her heart, all the rest of us humans can go hang for all she cares as long as she gets her man. The boys always push her out of the way so it was very heartwarming to see her get in there for pets and attention. She was so happy.

    For the record, they are all abused and neglected dogs who never get any attention or playing or cookies. At least, that’s what they’d like you to believe. The boys are snoozing on the love seat and Jas is on the dog bed on the floor. But they have to sit to get their cookies and that’s cruel and unusual punishment. Someone please help these poor creatures!

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  7. I got to catch up with family in person this week. We gathered in Texas and had barbeque and chatted. It was lovely. After that, I went to my sister’s new place and played with the litter of 7 puppies. It’s amazing how they just pass out on each other.

    But best of all was coming home yesterday. All four cats missed us, and have been vying for attention since we got back, even Stanley the former stray. Today will be devoted to laundry and addressing their affection deficit.

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    1. Coming home is one of the great joys of life, isn’t it. It never gets old – the delight of walking in your own front door and having your own familiar space (and your own very fat cat so pleased to have you back).

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  8. I had a migraine all day on Thursday and left work early. I popped into a vegan bakery on my home and got a no-sugar/no-dairy date square. It was so delicious and as a bonus, helped settle my stomach. DH and I did a road trip to pick up our new sofa cushions and slip cover. The gentleman who made the slipcovers told DH the he made our original sofa more than 20 years ago. Rare to find a company in business for that long, let alone retain their staff. I found 2 pillows in the sofa store and they look great with the new slipcovers. New-to-us sofa looks great and is so comfortable. Plus, I saved all the plastic the store wrapped the cushions in to use on my neighbour’s garden to sterilize the soil so I can plant veggies. Little things = big joy.

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  9. I got coffee with a new writing friend and we ended up talking for four hours. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to talk about something you’re passionate about with someone who’s passionate about the same thing. Also he’s beautiful, and the coffee shop was an old house filled with books, so kind of a perfect Saturday.

    10+
  10. Wonderful day yesterday. We decided since the winery whose wine club we belong to was having a food event, we would take the day off and pick up our wine. We changed last year from a Willamette Valley winery to a Hood River winery so it is an area we have not explored a lot. Lunch out. Then good food at the winery and lots of wine to taste.

    I wish the event had been scheduled for a week or two later. Hood River is surrounded by orchards and they are just shy of coming into bloom. We may have to come back in a few weeks. There are must be twenty or thirty miles of orchards tucked into the hillsides. You never see the full extent of them as you cruise by on the freeway down by the Columbia River.

    9+
  11. Got some stuff done around the house I was putting off and had made me a bit depressed. (But it was also reflective of my stress, so THAT’s fun.) Bf came back from a week away so it was good to see him although…who does not message when their plane lands?? Ugh, new relationships and me being used to dating worriers/overplanners like me.

    9+
    1. Some people don’t bond with their cell phone. Amusingly at the restaurant in Hood River on Saturday the maitre’d asked for my phone number and I gave it to her than said “but it’s in Portland” and she said “I’ll text you when your table is ready”. And I said “It won’t do much good. My phone is at home in Portland”. And she said “Ohhh. You don’t carry it with you?! But where will you be waiting?” And I said. “Right here in the waiting area”. She said “I can handle that”. LOL

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      1. People are always asking for my mobile number and I always refuse to give it to them because I never turn it on. If someone phones me or leaves a message I often don’t get it for six months or so. Really takes the urgency out of things!

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        1. I’m the same way. I let my battery run down all the time, too. Basically, anybody who knows me who wants to talk directly to me knows to e-mail me and say, “Jenny, answer your damn phone.”

          8+
        2. I don’t get cell service at my house here in the boonies, so my cell phone only gets used when I’m traveling, or in an emergency. So I don’t give out the number either, and if someone asks me, I usually say, “I don’t have one,” which always results in a comically amusing double take.

          Recently I got a new (off market, for Tracphone) cell phone which will work with WiFi. And I thought, “Hey, I can tell everyone I can text now!” Then I thought about it, and about all the time I spent already keeping up with Facebook and Twitter and email and I thought, “Or not.”

          And reader, I didn’t. Shhhh.

          9+
      2. Dude is attached to his phone. He legit figured I’d just show up because I had the plane info. No one else I know would do this. I live fifteen minutes from the airport, so it’s like: someone tells me when they are getting off the plane, and I leave my house.

        Once I got stuck in the cell phone/waiting lot for almost 1.5 hours due to all the planes coming in at once at the tail end of a snowstorm so…yeah. I wait, because that was hellish. But he didn’t know that! Still, 100% of family and friends with cell phones say they text their ride when the plane touches down, or when the fasten seatbelt sign goes off.

        1+
        1. Nobody ever texted me when I was picking them up at the airport. I had the arrival time and the airline app to tell me if it was on time.

          Of course everybody knows I’m phone-phobic, too, but I don’t think it’s surprising he didn’t text. Lots of people don’t.

          1+
  12. Today it was warm enough to have lunch outside on our patio: the first asparagus of the year. After a nap 0n said patio we took out the convertible and went to a little café where we had latte macchiato in the sun. And now I have the whole evening for myself to read while my husband prepares pictures for his photo club. That’s what I call a great Sunday. (Plus, I made reservations for our vacation in the South of France. Life is good.)

    9+
    1. First asparagus of the year! So tender, so flavorful. We were in Bruge one year for the opening of White Asparagus celebration, and dined at a resto where all courses used white asparagus, even the tiddly in our cocktail and in the desserts. Wowser, even now I’m getting memory hits. You and husband
      enjoyed a rare, sublime moment. Jealous.

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  13. Walking my dog always gives me great joy. And when it’s a beautiful day it’s that much better.

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  14. Somebody asked over on Good Book Thursday about the authors mentioned in the Guardian article. Since they bring me joy I can say that I wholeheartedly recommend Alyssa Cole and Alisha Rai. It’s been a while since I read Beverly Jenkins but I remember liking her work.

    Alisha Rai puts her characters in difficult situations but writes it sympathetically so it DOESN’T make me cringe and shut the book and walk away for a breathers the way Susan Elizabeth Phillips does. I swear I don’t know how she does it but it is different! They also make me laugh a lot.

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    1. Cool! I ordered Alyssa Cole’s Extraordinary Union, Sandra Kitt’s Close Encounters, Kianna Alexander’s This Tender Melody, and Beverly Jenkins’ Indigo. I’m looking forward to trying them out.

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  15. It was so grey here this morning that I drove over to the local garden center and looked at flowers for a while. It was helpful and I bought pansies. They are such cheerful flowers. I told the ladies working there that I was tempted to bring my computer and write in the greenhouses. I feel like I haven’t been warm in forever.

    The sun did come out this afternoon though and that was cheering too.

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  16. Monday evening my husband came downstairs and said, “That Nick Mason concert we have tickets for? It started one minute ago.”

    Which is how in less than 30 minutes I went from reading the comics in the kitchen to sitting in a theater listening to early Pink Floyd.

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  17. It’s 70 degrees and sunny here today. Friday it was hailing and snowing and 30. So I’m happy to open windows and start cleaning up the yard (although not so happy about the 4-day migraine).

    I got the final cover for my new Baba Yaga novel from the cover artist and I love it with all the love. It was a bit of a struggle, since I’m self-publishing this one and using a character who already had a cover–so we had to match the look and feel of the first cover (and the rest of the series) while using a different model and a different white pit bull. It was actually harder to match the dog, believe it or not. But the end result was great, and the artist (who I used for my other self-published novel and novella) was easy to work with. Lots of joy there, despite the usual trepidation that comes with self-publishing when you’re used to having a publisher put things out for you.

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  18. I joined a gym today. That made me oddly quite joyous. On Tuesday I’ll get a session with a personal trainer and figure out if I want to do that. It’s more money, but after knee surgery last year it might be wise for a couple of months.

    11+
    1. Robena, I did that in preparation for a trip that included a lot of hiking and snorkeling. I spent 3 solid months with a 3 times/week personal trainer and I wish I had continued with him after my trip. I was able to participate in a lot of activities without slowing down the group. It was fantastic.

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  19. I stood in the sun on a jetty and talked to ducks for half an hour, while they paddled around below me, murmuring to each other. It was very soothing, and set the morning up beautifully. Later I went to the tip shop and bought a secondhand copy of The Book of Heroic Failures, which is full of stories that made me laugh out loud.

    e.g. This one about the computer installed in 1975 by Avon county council to pay staff wages.

    “The computer’s spree started off in a small way, paying a school caretaker £75 an hour instead of 75p. Then it got ambitious and did not pay a canteen worker at all for seven weeks. Before long it got positively confident and paid a janitor £2600 for a week’s work. He sent the cheque back and received another for the same amount by return of post.

    There was now no stopping it. A deputy headmistress received her year’s annual salary once a month; heads of department earned less than their assistants, and some people had more tax deducted in a week than they earned all year.

    In February 1975 280 employees on the council payroll attended a protest meeting. Of these, only eight had been paid the correct salary. They all went on strike.”

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  20. I’m just back from Sunday Dinner With Jen. Always a joy, and for a change, we didn’t do the “I don’t know, where do YOU want to eat” dance. We planned the next three Sunday dinner locations, while we were at it.

    Shopping started at Lowes, then Publix, Michael’s, Target and Walmart. There’s a lot of window shopping involved for the exercise. At Target, Jen said, “Dad, don’t hate me, but the Small jeggings are too large.” She’s down around 120 pounds on her keto diet, she looks younger and fantastic. Why would I hate her? I’m plateaued at around 265 +/- 5 pounds, and have been for many months. Watching her drop 50 pounds is ergo not an “unalloyed” joy – but it is a joy.

    8+
      1. I crammed in a lot of joy today. First I went to a kid’s matinee that was an adaptation of 2 stories by one of my many favorite authors. I don’t think my companion enjoyed it as much as I did, but having read every book in the series, I thought it was a hoot.
        But the best part of the afternoon was talking at great length with 2 of my favorite nieces (1 official and one unofficial). I adore both of them and had been playing telephone tag with both for most of the week so it felt like a real achievement to talk to them in the same day. Becky said that her kids had never heard 3 of the books I bought them at the thrift store last week. I really love turning a new batch of kids to my favorite picture books. I also gave her a list of authors to check out next time she goes to the library since her boys (sons and husband) seem to enjoy a lot of the same books I do. If I can’t get out to see them on the farm, this is the next best thing.

        6+
  21. Can I also say that I get so much joy from this place? When I get frazzled by life or bummed out by the news, knowing I can come to Argh and check in with my people and Jenny…it just makes me happy.

    Blessings upon you all.

    15+
  22. I am late to the happies, because I was avoiding a computer related task, but I had many eating related happies in the last few days, it was actually warm yesterday, and I finished my above mentioned computer related task a few minutes ago and am now FREE!
    well, at least until work tomorrow.

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  23. Coming home after five months in South East Asia, and seeing my family and friends. Bliss.

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  24. Yesterday was native plant garden touring, with a stop for a glass of Albarino and a pan con tomate at a recently opened Spanish restaurant we’ve been wanting to try (it was near one of the tour houses). Bliss.

    Then today we drove to Chula Vista (~2.5 hours each way) for a 65th birthday party for a college friend of my husband’s. It was wonderful seeing his old friends, and even more wonderful to see him in that element, with other men he’s known for so long. Worth the drive, although I’m tired now. On the road down, we got to see the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, which are ranunculus planted in rows of vivid colors on a hillside. I’m old enough to remember when the hillsides along that stretch of Interstate 5 were all flowers (commercial growers) instead of housing developments. Happy memory there.

    OH! And while we were in Chula Vista, we drove by the house my grandparents owned in the early to mid-60s (thank you, Interwebs). It looks very much the same, and brought back some of the happiest of memories from my childhood, hanging with my very cool grandfather.

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  25. I had a weekend completely to myself (DH is away for work for 2 weeks). Much as I love him I’m truly an introvert and he’s truly an extrovert and time alone is precious.
    I may go nuts when he quits his job in June and starts following me everywhere. Fortunately he is not retiring, just taking a well-deserved break.
    Also, my son came back from his top choice grad school and found no flaws. He is still anxious but I think that is just his offering to the heavens.

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  26. I had a really nice weekend. My sister, 10 year old DD and I went shoe shopping for my daughter on Sat. I had to bail to get my 9 year old son to a sleepover but they kept on shopping. They did find a pair of shoes, after a total of 9 stores.

    We rented Ralph Breaks the Internet and Thor: Ragnarok. Watching Thor kick ass to Zep’s Immigrant Song is always a good time.

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  27. I started seeds for tomatoes and okra – we like the red alabama okra but have to start from seeds. Been trying for weeks to set them out but we have had really weird cold weather here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Thought we would get to put them out yesterday, but no, we had, we think, either a small tornado or just really hard straight line winds. We had limbs down and it broke our big wrought iron gate (!) but nothing more. Neighbors not so lucky – a couple lost their sheds and some had trees down but no one seemed to have damage to their houses. So TODAY we planted – as I patted the seedlings in I told each one good luck :).

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