Happiness is No Electricity for an Hour

My electricity went out last week.  Aside from my knee-jerk “Did I pay. the bill?” panic (I was a broke single mother for a long time), I knew I’d be fine. It’s plenty warm here and I have battery powered lanterns stashed all over the house.  My main regrets were not having the laptop and the iPad fully charged and not being able to make quesadillas which I’d prepped all the stuff for.  

Then the power came back on, and for hours after that, every time I thought about electricity, I wriggled all over with happiness because I had some.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded how happy we are.

What made you happy this week?

44 thoughts on “Happiness is No Electricity for an Hour

  1. Mine was the opposite. Two transformers at the local substation failed and we didn’t have electricity for 4 hours on Thursday.

    AND NO POWER WAS A BLESSING!!! It was dark and silent and the silence was healing. I’m bombarded by noise at work and I often don’t wind down properly. No power meant I was in bed as soon as the supper dishes were washed.

    I guess it helps that we were eating while it happened and not cooking. I had work I had to do but it was doable on the mobile. Than I read more Innkeeper and fell asleep. Bliss.

    1. I’m always amazed and pleased by how quiet it is when the electricity goes down. All those tiny ambient sounds like the hum of the fridge – you don’t even know they’re there until they’re gone.

      1. Similarly I’m always surprised when I take my noise cancelling headphones off a work – the aircon is louder than I realise.

      2. My favourite experience of my whole life was going into the London Eye. We did it during day so we could actually see land marks. It was fun, but I was most enamoured of the silence inside the capsule.

  2. We had a storm roll through Friday afternoon that left the power, but took the cable, so no TV or Internet. I had been in the middle of wasting time, rewatching a moving I’d seen many times, so no big loss there. After dinner, my DH and I decided we could watch a movie from a DVD we had – and he picked out Big Trouble in Little China. That was made me happy.

    1. I’ve never seen Big Trouble. I’ve watched two dozen You Tube videos about it, including what movies came out about the same time and captured the market (Star Wars), and how the Chinese actor(s) were supposed to be the stars but the studio was afraid. I forget what that’s called… whitewashing? Something like that. Anyway, some videos were spoilerific, but I still haven’t seen it. I have Amazon Prime, the dotter has Netflix and Hulu – it has to be there somewhere.

      1. I don’t think that’s quite right. The movie is a satire of adventure movies; Kurt Russell was always the star. The conceit is that he’s the sidekick and doesn’t know it, which is why he’s the comic relief and Dennis Dun gets all the great action fights. But it was always Russell’s movie.

  3. My ginger lily, which has lived in a pot for three years now, is just starting to flower. And I ate my first home-grown tomato, a cherry ‘Sungold’ from the allotment, last night. I’m happy about my new idea for the front garden, inspired by a wild hedgerow: a winter-flowering honeysuckle, a callicarpa (with neon purple berries), the David Austin rose ‘The Lark Ascending’ and a bush-form summer honeysuckle. They should screen me from the street and make a welcoming frontage. I’m thinking of Trachelospermum (a jasmine-like evergreen) and another rose, ‘Lady of Shalott’ against the house. I’m hoping to focus on the back garden now, but need to finish typing my plant research up – once I’ve sent my freelance job off to its author.

    Work’s been difficult, but a silver lining was having a phone conversation with the senior editor I work for at Penguin for the first time in ten years. I really miss the days before email took over and they stopped answering the phone: I used to talk to editors and authors all the time.

    Off to visit a garden in town this afternoon: there should be friends and cake, and I’m going to take my camera.

        1. As a person who has lived in apartments for over 40 years, I’d love to have that problem.

          1. Also as the person who has been babying that first tomato along in a pot on the deck and went out two days ago to discover either a squirrel or a rat (second story deck/limited access) had eaten half of that almost ripe tomato – I too would like that problem. There were only two tomatoes that look like they will even come close to ripening before the cold weather hits, darn it.

        2. Home made Napolitana or marinara sauce, frozen in ziplocks. Great for anything that requires a tomato base. Even curries.

  4. I went to a local flower market and revealed in all the gorgeous local flowers. Had a nice chat with one of the growers I met the first month and learned about dahlias and a gardening club near me. After watching one of the growers give a demo on making an arrangement using different types of plant materials, I raided my own garden for greenery. A couple of hors later, I had 6 beautiful arrangements of varying sizes. I gave one to my neighbour’s daughter who came home this week after several years away at school. My vegetable garden is in full production mode – cucumbers, white zucchini, peppers and pretty pink tomatoes. Makes me happy to share the bounty with neighbours and friends.

  5. Though still not gaining weight yet, my newly diagnosed diabetic kitty is acting much bouncier, and hopefully the increased insulin dose will complete the process. Many thanks to all the Arghers who told me you’ve been there, it was very helpful.

    We had some beautiful summer weather this week – the kind of warm with a breeze day I think of when I wish it were summer! Really enjoying that.

    Had a sudden desire to re-read a children’s book, and so far it is as delightful as I remember it: The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt by Patricia MacLachlan I will have to see what else she has written.

    In a pleasantly relaxed good mood, and wish I could send this feeling to all of you!

    1. I had to go through the dose adjustment with my diabetic cat too. It was a little stressful, but once we hit the right dose, Baby Bella regained weight, acted perfectly normal and seemed quite happy.

    2. She has written so many wonderful books for children. Reading the Sarah, Plain and Tall and the rest of the series to girls this coming week.

  6. I got cat-kisses from a normally quite drawn-back gentleman cat last Tuesday. It was MIL’s best friend’s birthday, so I went with MIL to celebrate her and get some cake. Usually their cats are keeping to themselves somewhere else in the house, but that day I had one kitten (they just got two young ladies a couple of weeks ago) playing with my shoe laces, and then suddenly their oldest cat jumped up onto the back of the sofa I was sitting on and started licking my face and hands. He’s very reserved normally, I don’t think I’ve touched him even once the 7 years I’ve known MIL’s friend and her husband, and now I got all the attention. Twice, even. That made my entire week. <3

  7. A long-time friend now from Boston was in town to see family (and me), and I got the benefit of a meal at a trendy new restaurant. Butter mixed with molasses and garlic–fantastic, though it sounds weird. Also discovered a new kitten; I’d thought the mama cat had lost this litter, as she had the last, but she’s kept one alive. Kittens make me happy, even though our neighborhood is overrun with cats, despite the efforts some of us make to spay/neuter. Also, Eloisa James has a new romance out!

  8. I insist on uninterrupted power. (Do I sound like a supervillain? Heh-heh-heh-heh.)

    I have devices that depend on current events – no current, no events. Now, the laptop is continuously charged, both Kindles and My New Cell Phone are routinely connected to chargers, so I can survive short outages without departing from sanity. I also keep my rechargeable batteries up so lighting and clocks and so forth are unaffected. (50 flashlights!)

    But the refrigerator, microwave, hot plate, toaster, toaster oven and Mr. Coffee have no backups. Nor the router, so no net. Do I own food supplies that don’t require heating for eating? Yes, a few. Better, I own a car and I know all the all-night food joints within driving distance. That includes four Denny’s – I can get Ultimate Omelets any time of day. One of them is bound to be open.

    I do not like being powerless.

    1. I have a hand coffee grinder for emergencies, as well as four different ways to boil water without electricity. I will not do without coffee

      1. At one time, Mr. Coleman Provided heat and light for those needs, but alas! No longer. Maybe I should pick up a few camping supplies before winter.

  9. I’m in Sydney visiting schools for Book Week, and I was very worried about the travelling because my hip is so dodgy. But the airline yesterday lent me a wheelchair and a young man to push it for me, so once I got to the airport I hardly had to walk at all. I also got to go on the hoist, instead of climbing the stairs to the plane, so that was fun.

    1. Hope you have fun at the schools 🙂 My youngest just spent the weekend getting his Book Week costume organised – he’s going as Skullduggery Pleasant, so I spent the weekend trying to track down a skull mask about a month too early for all the Halloween stock.

  10. This week’s Crush Update, because this continues….

    Only saw him once this week (he bailed on karaoke, wah), yesterday when we all went to the cast reunion party from our previous show. The party was a blast. The house is decorated in Disney to a spectacular degree and we all loved it. We played “Cards Against Humanity,” which is fun with theater people. There was karaoke. There was gaming. There was some delicious alcoholic punch. There was ah, sitting next to each other and intense eye gazing. I’m watching this bunch and wondering about the potential couples going on here that seem to be budding. I hope the others have it go better than I am having it :p

    I am really hoping we get into the next play we’re auditioning for together this week, but we’ll see. On the one hand, he’s too young for the listings of the ages, on the other hand he might be able to play older (tall, bearded, early graying a bit). Who knows. Fingers crossed.

    Mostly the notable thing about this week is that I finally got to talk to a friend of mine who’s been gone for weeks on end. She finally got back and when I told her what happened, she said, “Oh, I did that to my husband.” They were starting to get close and she freaked the hell out and said they should stop and she basically ran away and moved, even. He found out where she went and visited anyway. (In a polite way, I’m sure, He is so not the forceful type.) She said it took 5 years, but they got together and have been married for 45 years now.

    Not that I am shooting for marriage, or 5 years of waiting around, or what the fuck ever here. I just like him. Maybe more than that but I’m not admitting to such. We’ll see. Like I said, if I meet anyone better I won’t reject them and I’ll date them instead, but in the meantime while I’m just diddling about in life, what the heck. It’s still fun to hang out.

  11. Happiness for me is the mama cat I’m fostering slowly recovering from the mastitis that almost killed her. (I honestly believe that if I hadn’t hit the panic button on Friday night and literally raced the 20 minutes to the shelter before it closed, she might have been too far gone by the next morning. Her fever was SO high.) So I’m grateful for listening to my gut (part of me said, “Oh, you’re just overreacting because you lost three cats in two years” and that was pretty much the reaction of the woman at the shelter until she took Freya’s temp), and for antibiotics that kicked in right away, and for the fact that she can apparently still safely nurse while on said antibiotics. Because bottle feeding four kittens was NOT what I signed up for. I’m also thankful that she is such a sweet and trusting cat, and lets me pill her without fighting me. Whew. So I’m happy every time I go upstairs to the room they’re in and see everyone looking okay. Completely paranoid now, but happy.

    It also made me happy that my best friend, who is something of a hoarder and lives in a very small house, let me come help her dig out her back room yesterday. It was…challenging (many cats over many years plus mice that had somehow avoided the cats all resulted in some pretty disgusting spots). But she let me convince her to throw out the old guest bed, which she could never use for anyone she actually liked, and a bunch of other old stuff. She needed the space for a feral cat she adopted, but was overwhelmed by doing the job, so it made me happy to be able to help out. She does a lot of nice things for me, especially jobs that are too big for one person, so I was happy to be able to return the favor. It always makes me happy to be able to help.

  12. This week was awash in friends. First a old-timey friend who lives Other Side of the island – yeah, almost two whole miles away – and I occupied our usual seats at the usual resto and gabbed away all afternoon aided by a bottle of bubbly rose which the barkeep helpfully informed us was half-price on Wednesday. Then Thursday out-of-the-blue a friend called and updated on those still around buddies from our “all girls” Catholic high school. On Friday unexpected meet-up of all of our book committee. Verified schedule, publicity availability and devised protocol for proofing Latin plant names. An unlooked-for planning opportunity of the kind that renders me happy. We’re all friends, so there was Chat. Now if next week rolls out just as well …

  13. I bought new sheets. Right now they’re on the line, it’s only 8° out, but sunny and windy, so they should dry. Then tonight I’ll go to bed in brand new, crisp cotton sheets that smell like sunshine and clean air.

    Last week I realised I can fit a short skirt I’ve kept in the bottom of the drawer for years – wore it yesterday and rocked it.

    My 9yr old son never hops out of the car without saying ‘bye, mum, love you’. It’s such a habit that on Friday he went to say bye to his school mates and called out “bye Sean, lo…uh…bye”. I know he won’t stay my gorgeous boy forever, but remembering to enjoy it while it lasts.

    Small things.

      1. You know, I was focused on the fun of Xander catching himself before telling his friend he loved him (and the horror on his face as he told me the story) but yeah, the kids’ easy affection is gold.

  14. My happy this week just happened half an hour ago. There’s a restaurant on the other side of town that was running a Groupon for brunch and a Bloody Mary. I really wanted to go there, but going that far on a Sunday morning when the transit is terrible didn’t seem worth the effort. Then it went on sale today. So I called my friends who moved farther out of town a few months ago to see if they wanted to help me use it. They said that they weren’t available for a month, but if the deal didn’t expire before then, they would love to go. And since they love to eat in the outside garden at this place, I’m sure that they will choose a date that is not too far in the future.

    Although their new house is not totally inaccessible without a car, any face to face contact has been dependent upon an invitation from my sister, who lives between me and our mutual friends. I was beginning to think that this couple only existed over the phone or that I would only see them on religious holidays. I am really looking forward to seeing them in a more casual and carefree environment with tasty food.

  15. Finished updating my yarn stash, a project that has been hanging over me for years, so that feels really good. And I have some really gorgeous yarn!

    There may be more – yarn that survived the fire in our back house that happened last December. But that would be in a box someplace out there in the rebuilt space, and there are many boxes to go through, and all the ones in front seem to be books, so I have my work cut out for me. Hopefully sooner rather than later I’ll be reporting on the happiness of getting through all those boxes. 🙂

  16. My first grandchild was born yesterday. She came 3 weeks early but is perfect. I’m so excited for my daughter and son-in-law for their addition and bundle of joy.

  17. Hurray for the cat happies as well as appreciation for modern conveniences!

    Watched “Bathtubs Over Broadway” (nice recommendation, Susan) – a surprisingly sweet redemption story.

    Took my Goodwill boxes to Goodwill. Did not bring anything home.

    Played with paint.

    When my BIL was unexpectedly hospitalized, my sister asked me to write daily updates for the family. As Deb said above, it’s happy-making to be helpful. Even better, he’s getting better.

  18. So AO3 won a Hugo. There were a whole bunch of articles before this talking about how its tagging/filter systems are the biggest envy of librarians everywhere. And I thought about how hit-or-miss Encore’s book recommendation systems have been. For both AO3 and fanfiction dot net, my best way of finding my next fic is to see what/who authors themselves have bookmarked.

    Wouldn’t that be interesting to have for original fiction, as well? Not all authors have a Goodreads, but, like, a database of author reviews that end up on book covers would be cool.

  19. When I moved into this house 15 years ago, we put a bookcase in the front hall to house some things temporarily until they found homes. Yesterday I went through everything on those shelves. I found some treasures, threw out a bunch of stuff, recycled more and took the bookcase to the garage. The front hall is now spacious and full of light.

    Why did it take me 15 years to do that? God knows, but now I’ve rented two of my upstairs rooms to a young couple I’m doing more and more getting rid of things. It’s tiring but I can’t wait to see what the house is like without all this junk.

  20. So many happiness things lately.

    1. Mom is out of the boot, down to a big bandaid on her ankle, can drive, and can function on her own. I still have to go over and do laundry (it is downstairs and she does not need to be carrying a basket down any stairs), but it’s good to see her getting back to normal.
    2. Consequently, I got back from my last business trip and got to sleep in my own bed(!!!!!!!) for a few days before heading back to NYC for a night. And I will likely be home until Sunday morning.
    3. I spent this Sunday and last Sunday exploring Central Park, which I have been in, but never really spent much time in.
    4. My new job is FINALLY starting in September.
    5. I’m going to be able to finish out the last project I was hired for even though the new gig starts in September.
    6. I’m heading to England for a week before the job starts.

    That’s two weeks worth of happy, as last week I was on a last-minute business trip.

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