The Washington Post just did an article on some research that showed people are happier if they go somewhere that’s green, which Ellen Green already knew. I couldn’t agree more: Whenever I start to freak, I look out at the trees and feel better. Go sit in a park, Argh People, or your back yard if you have one. Green is good.
Also, it September first. Happy New Year! Oh, and also if you’re American, Happy Labor Day!
So how were you green with happiness this week?
48 thoughts on “Happiness is Green”
The 10 seconds from the the 2’30” mark.
Nature as metaphor for the human condition (and zebra condition, apparently). No matter how hopeless it looks (or how idiotic you are) sometimes it’s best just to expect that everything is going to be fine.
First week of school was very good for my happiness although I have a lot that was supposed to get organized that I didn’t quite get to. . .
We have had some mornings nice enough to have coffee on the front porch and evenings where it’s actually pleasant to be out with my sons while they rollerblade. I sit out with them even when it’s godawful soupy and muggy, but it’s nicer when it’s pleasant.
September 1st is always the day I set aside to do some long term financial planning for the the family. And while that doesn’t exactly make me happy (I’m neither a math nor financial whiz) it does make me profoundly grateful that we have enough money for everything we absolutely need and some for what we want.
We are having rain, so staying green, instead of the crunchy look we often have in August.
Three new books to read, a purring cat and good excuse not to do anything outside, so it is a perfect Sunday. Games with friends tomorrow, so an excellent Labor Day expected as well.
My “foster” garden in my neighbour’s yard is bringing me buckets of happiness. I’ve got bunny visitors, endless weeds, multiple ant hills and some strange fungus on the bottom of my tomatoes but these are minor irritants. My herbs (2 kinds of basil, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme) are super-sized and I love being able to go out and clip a handful to add to a salad.or soup. My cucumbers are on steroids and the white zucchini are so pretty (a bunny favourite). I get a handful of yellow beans every couple of days and eat them raw. Today, we’re making cucumber relish. I’m already planning for next year.
Being about to go outside my back door and clip fresh herbs is one of my favorite parts of summer.
Happiness is those little moments you don’t expect
Went grocery shopping and sat on a park bench on my way home for a rest.
It was nice and shady and I realised I had the components of a picnic (sale sandwich, multi-pack of crisps, a pint of milk)
Sat there happily eating, while admiring the greenery and the quiet, bliss
I got nekkid and watered my plants, doing my part for greenery (and a touch of brownness, I must admit.)
My state uniform for the past twenty-five years has been green shirts and usually green pants, and occasionally a green ball cap. There’s a saying attributed to Petronius the Arbiter to the effect that Reorganizing is a Wonderful Method for Creating the Illusion of Progress while Actually Producing Confusion, Inefficiency, and Demoralization. Since 1997, I have worked for Sussex I State Prison, Sussex II State Prison, the Environmental Services Unit and now the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Unit – all without leaving the Power Plant where I do my job. A year or two after becoming ESU, we received new uniforms – green shirt, khaki pants, green cap, all with the ESU logo. A week after the new uniform issue, we became IEMU, and all the logos were defunct.
I didn’t mind. The shirts never fit me, the khakis were too tight, too. I wear either the old green polo shirt with green pants, or one of my eight green pocket tees. I like green, you see.
Your sentence sounds rather more like C. Northcote Parkinson than Petronius, though I certainly can’t identify an exact source.
That’s why the attribution is a “saying to the effect” rather than a quote. Honestly, it’s attributed to half a dozen people including Anonymous. The point I was making is that the Power Plant has had its “chain of command” reorganized at least three times without improving the budget, the pay, or the senior supervision, all of which show a general downward trend.
Labour day here in Canada too so we are cleaning the little boat and maybe go for one more ride.
Nothing like sitting in a hammock reading or napping in nature.
Last night my great nephew made his arrival. He’s a little early, but all involved are healthy and happy – which makes me happy as well. I did make him a green and white quilt for his crib, so he’ll see green every day.
Congratulations, Aunt Nancy!
Congrats to all involved!
A new baby. How great is that! Felicitations.
I’ve put in 2 orders for physical-copy photos over the past 2 days (separate to make use of different discount codes, lol). I haven’t ordered ‘proper’ photos since last year, so it’ll be good to have some up to date ones of our toddler to share with relatives and also to display around our house. So much nicer than just being on the phone/computer. Although we also have the real thing living with us, who is obviously even more adorable in real life. 😀
Did a fab walk/hike in nearby woods today as our family of 3, topped off with coffee and a slab of luscious chocolate cake in the café afterwards. Walked in bright sunshine, despite the fact it was supposed to be torrential rain.
A very good couple of days!
Oh, now I want a slice of chocolate cake too! 😃
Just finished up a large family visit, my sister rented a house nearby and we had all the siblings here, and some of the kids. We did pretty well, with plenty of corners to go to as needed. We had one vegan, one no dairy no soy no gluten, one no red meat, so dinners were complicated. But we like to cook, so we did OK. We’ve always gathered at the dinner table, we don’t do activities together, we get to together afterwards and tell each other about them. Or we all sit in the same room reading and watching baseball and ignoring each other.
I also realized today that I also took tomorrow off from my part-time retail job. Heaven. I’m sure I will get totally caught up on my whole life.
I’m happy for being married to a wonderful man for 18 years as of tomorrow.
I’m also happy as he is working on the last major bit of our kitchen renovation – putting up the backsplash. It’s a bit of a pain, but looking good. I keep offering to help, but haven’t been of much use yet, except for finding us a used wet saw that is working well to cut the 1” x 3” meshed together to be 14” x 13” blocks. It’s been very fiddly. I’ll be even happier when it’s all done. 😉
Green is my favorite color, which is good, since I work for a university who’s colors are green & white. The rallying cry is “Go Green” which also works for environmentalists.
Happy Anniversary and happy new kitchen.
Thank you all!
I spent yesterday being very productive; trimming the 8 foot tall hedge, the rose bush, and other shrubs that went a little crazy this summer. I cleaned and re-filled the litter boxes, and the fish tank, and went grocery shopping. Then I spent a little time in my hammock swing reading a book. Today I did laundry and donated blood, then went for a hike along the canal. Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy and thunderstormy all day so I plan to take the day off from housework, yard work, and anything else that involves the word “work” and enjoy my “Labor free” Day!
I went to the grocery store today and even though I went online to add all the coupons and specials to my card, everything rang up at the regular price. This happens quite a bit at that particular store, so I wasn’t expecting much help. But this time I got a young man who was both sympathetic and helpful. Not only did he quickly fix everything that I had complained about, he also discovered that the on sale Magnum ice cream bars were 20 cents cheaper than I remembered. It was so nice to have somebody actually check things out and not assume that the computer must be right that I almost fainted from the shock.
On my way home I called my sister and found out that her husband, who has been in total denial about his diabetes for over 3 years, has started eating a very slightly healthier diet and got his meds adjusted. As a result, his blood sugar has finally started to come down. That made me very happy. I was tempted to call him and say, “I told you so”, but I didn’t think it would be intelligible around a mouthful of ice cream bar.
Actually, today part of my happiness is orange. My brother sent me a you tube video called Cheetos Christ Stupid Czar by Randy Rainbow. I loved it so much that I played another video and an interview with the creator before I could tear myself away. It was funny, politically astute and the guy can sing. What’s not to like?
Love Randy Rainbow; he’s got some clever stuff.
As for green, I spent some tme out in the jungle (back yard) moving some rocks around, creating a temporary path where my ground was uneven. I’ll do a permanent fix next year. The yard may be wild but the pollinators are happy.
A friend recently introduced me to Randy Rainbow. I think we watched ten different Youtube videos that night. He’s hysterical.
I sent that one to my kids.
Yesterday and today we got to visit dear friends in their back yards (sorry, AP stylebook, I cannot bring myself to use “backyard” as a noun).
One yard is the kind people come to tour. The other is arranged for dogs and kids to romp. Both were filled with happiness.
My automatic visual for ‘back yard’ is a stretch of bare concrete, since that’s what it means in English.
So what do the English call the space behind a house that is grass covered earth possibly with other plants such as trees & bushes?
I should have been out in the garden harvesting things and weeding, but most of the last few days has been spent dealing with sick foster kittens and helping a friend clean and clear another section of her small but crammed with crap house. Both very worthwhile activities, but not the green therapy I’d been hoping for on this long weekend.
Hopefully I’ll get outside tomorrow before it rains.
That being said, my garden is definitely one of my happy places. There is a small pond and waterfall in the center filled with goldfish and frogs, and when I’ve had a tough day I sometimes take a few minutes to go out and sit by it and just be. And talk to the frogs, of course.
How are the kittens doing?
Getting better, thankfully. The three boys (now called Thor, Wolverine, and Wizard–for Doctor Strange, because he should be average looking and yet is somehow uncannily cute) are clearly on the mend. They all started nursing again overnight and mama no longer looks like she is going to burst. The little girl (now named Diana, for Diana Prince–Wonder Woman–because she looks like your average little stripy kitten but is such a fighter) got it first and worst, and I’m having to hand feed her a slurry of wet food/water with a syringe, and her eyes still look awful. But her fever is down and she was the first to greet me at the door instead of the last, so I think we’re past the worst of it.
Of course, I had to give them names for their charts, so now I’m doomed. And exhausted.
Hey Jenny, it’s Monday, blessed Ganesh Chathurthi. I know he’s your fave. Watch some live celebration videos, it’ll be fun. Enjoy the day.
On a selfish note, may He remove all the obstacles to Nita, Stealing Nadine, Finding Alice, Monday Street, and Fairytale series.
Good wishes to all who’ll accept them.
I accept! Ganesh is my guy – we can all use having our obstacles removed!
Thank you – I’ve been feeling stuck with my photography, and with my solitary holiday, so could do with some help from Ganesh.
I accept with gratitude!
Oooh, how’d I miss that? He is my fave. Thank you!
I accept. Thank you! And I hope you will accept them in return.
It’s been a productive weekend so far – I took an SUV-load of boxes to Goodwill today, and started amassing my next trip by unpacking boxes in our back house. The people who repacked our belongings after they were cleaned post-fire must have been paid by the amount of packing material they used – I’m tossing masses of the stuff. But I found my big roasting pan and some other things that I’d missed, so happiness.
I attended two parties on Saturday. One was a book launch for my critique partner’s first picture book, This Is A Seacow. I love Cassandra’s work.
Then my visiting friends and I went to another house to play Chickenfoot. And came home and gossiped. Today I enjoyed the green. I sat in my backyard and worked on a puzzle. Then my grandson came over and he and I frolicked in the Jacuzzi, followed by monsters Inc. and bedtime. now I get to read. I’m not getting much done but I’m really happy.
Late to the party, but some happy happened!
D-Fiancé and I were invited to his sister with family yesterday a bit out of the blue. They would spend the day (mixed sunny and clouds) at their allotment-garden (or something in that direction) and asked if we wanted to come too. I’ve lived here for 7 years now but NEVER visited them with only Fiancé, there were always other people around. Yesterday there were only the 7 of us: We, Fiancé’s sister and her man and their three kids. So yesterday I:
– Played one gazillion rounds of dominos with a 5-year-old while watching Fiancé play chess with the oldest kid of 11.
– Made 7939540439476543 sand cakes in the sandbox with the youngest, a girl of almost-3. Her favourite moment was to smash the cakes and then ask me to make some more. Endlessly. It was grand.
– Watched Fiancé play football with the boys.
– Played on the slide with boy 5 and the girl together with Fiancé.
– Got my feet run over by Fiancé pushing Girl on a toy motorbike.
– Ate enough barbecued stuff to last me a lifetime. Couldn’t even remember when I last ate something that’d sizzled on a barbecue. It was sooooooo good!
– Made play-doh dinosaurs while the kids made play-doh cookies, cakes and cupcakes. Managed to prevent them from mixing all the colours.
– Got to cuddle with a tiny Russian hamster.
– The girl has been kind of reserved towards us before, probably because we can’t see things she points to and such, but after all the playing yesterday she demanded to crawl onto my lap and I had to “read” several picture books to her. Best thing with kids that age is that they point and squee the names of the things they see n the pages, so I don’t really have to worry about not being able to tell them what they actually see. Just play along and it goes fine. It was the cosiest moment ever!
– When the 5-year-old went to bed, he wouldn’t go until I promised to come back in 2 weeks and make more clay dinosaurs with them the whoooooole day.
– Before we left, the little girl reached out to hug me and then kissed me on the chin. <3
So much looooove. And Happiness! So great to see Fiancé this relaxed again, playing with kids. Haven't seen that since my little brother and sister were around 10, which is…quite some years now. Best kind of day. And! Fiancé started discussing the costs of getting an allotment-garden patch with his sister in a tone that sounded like he was really considering it as a possibility for us to have somewhere to go to hang around outside. So maybe…MAYBE…! 🙂
It sounds like a lovely day!
I’m crossing my fingers for your allotment-garden. It’s so wonderful to have your own bit of nature to retreat to.
Hi Jenny i am totally happy to have found your blog! I discovered your books a number of years ago. Love them, pretty sure i own them all except possibly your newer ones. I am not seeing anything on kindle i haven’t already read. Do you ever write under an alias?
As for green i live in Washington state. Evergreen trees, deep blue skies, ocean and mountains. What the soul needs! I love the desert, have lived in Arizona, but always need to come home again😊
Nope. I’m such a slow writer, I always write fiction as Jennifer Crusie.
I do have one book of literary criticism on Anne Rice, written as Jennifer Smith a million years ago, but it’s not all that interesting.
I live in a postwar housing tract in South Los Angeles; my view on all sides is apartment buildings. So I have put arbors in front of my biggest window on the street side; one for wisteria and one for California native grapevines. They are nicely green.
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