Happiness is Mouthy Penguins and Misplaced Levers

Tonight was cold and dreary so I turned to children’s cartoons to perk myself up, starting with Madagascar because I hadn’t seen it since it first came out (still very funny), and then on a whim, I went on to the Penguins of Madagascar movie, not in the least because it has Benedict Cumberbatch as a dashing wolf agent (German Shepherd?) and John Malkovich as an evil squid named Dave. Worked like a charm, plus I now have a new movie quote: “You’re hideously disfigured and will probably be hunted for sport.” Every time I look in the mirror and wince now, I’m going to say that. It’s too damn funny. And of course there’s also “You are the most meaningful and valued member of this team.” I’m going to say that in the mirror, too. Out of earshot of the dogs, of course.

There’s also The Emperor’s New Groove which is just plain marvelous and has one of my all time favorite quotes: “Why do we even HAVE that lever?” So useful in so many situations.

And then there’s . . .

Never mind. It’s the simple things in life that make me happy.

What made you happy this week?

67 thoughts on “Happiness is Mouthy Penguins and Misplaced Levers

  1. My big happy this week was sparked by a radio call-in about who was the favourite offspring in the family (that wasn’t the happy). This started a conversation between my two sons (14 and 10) that moved on rapidly from trying to get me to say which one is my favourite son to a convoluted and detailed theory, involving time travel, that my eldest son is actually the clone of my youngest son. They were both very excited by this idea, and I spent the rest of the day grinning about it.

    1. I always told my kids that the one physically nearest was the one I loved best at this moment. This generally ended up in a hug attack and lots of laughing.

  2. All those movies are very quotable!

    I had the happiness of having an overnight visit to a friend’s house. She technically lives “not that far away” but it is far enough away that visiting each other requires some effort. And when one of us visits the other with kids in tow, there’s not a lot of actual “friend time” b/c we’re managing children. This time I visited my myself and we really got to talk and then we did a fun run in the morning. Just the right amount of exercise and it was a pretty fall morning. I definitely felt recharged and we committed to getting together and celebrating our milestone birthday year in 2020 with a girls only getaway.

  3. I love that the Wolf’s name is “Classified”. I think I’ll have to watch this one again. And I’ve not see the Emperor’s New Groove, so I’ll need to make up for that.

    Happy is being more and more self sufficient during the recovery period. I still need help getting in and out of the house, but I have gotten better about the actual mechanics of that. And inside, I’m doing pretty well. And the doc said I’m healing well. One week down, three more to go before I get the cast off.

  4. I put the new Addams Family movie on hold at the library for the grandchildren of course. This morning there was a list of favorite Thanksgiving movies a few I’ve never seen Fantastic Mr. Fox described as quirky, Turkey Hollow and others. But my favorite is Dutch with Ed O’Neil that one stands the test of time.

    Also the grandchildren stayed over and my husband is making Biscuits with sausage gravy, we’ve never tried it because it doesn’t look very pretty. Our son loves it and there will be pancakes and bacon for the regular people.

    1. Verdict on the biscuits and sausage gravy is that it’s an acquired taste. Two had seconds, two were kind of ok as a side, one was “meh” and the last was definite no. But it didn’t really matter because with all the breakfast fixings everything was a side.

        1. I love Cook’s country and America’s Test Kitchen. But I miss subtle little things like; refrigerate for 24 hours and it seems incredibly optimistic on the amount of time required. The food is delicious but that may because we are eating at 10:30.

    2. I love biscuits and gravy. For me, the trick to biscuits and gravy, because milk gravy is so bland, is pepper. Lots and lots of pepper. Many years ago, we went on a driving trip to Tennessee and many of the hotel breakfast buffets had biscuits and gravy. It was heaven.

      1. Gravy obviously means something different in American, but it still doesn’t sound alluring for breakfast. I shall stick to porridge as my special breakfast, with honey and sliced banana.

        1. Gravy is basically béchamel sauce made with pan drippings, in this case from sausage (american breakfast sausage is usually a country style, i.e., not in casings). It varies from a milk gravy which is white to one where the flour is browned in fat drippings until it is a dark mahogany color. In the dark one meat stock might be used as the liquid instead of milk.

          I had biscuits and gravy once with the dark-style gravy and it was very good. The milk gravy on biscuits I am not wild about but I do like it on waffles.

          1. Thanks, Gin. It does sound variable! English gravy is made with pan drippings mixed to a paste with a little seasoned flour and then thinned with water, preferably from cooking veg. Although I daresay most people just use an Oxo cube nowadays.

          2. I’ve never had biscuits and gravy with brown gravy, like I would put on potatoes, before, only milk gravy with sausage in it.

          3. The milk gravy is typical. Except I have heard of red-eye gravy on biscuits. Redeye gravy is made with pan drippings and black coffee apparently and is more common in the South.

          4. Whenever biscuits are baked right in the restaurant, I order them. Best I ever had were huge, light delicacies in a tiny diner maybe near Green River, Utah. When we travel in North America, I search for the most delicious biscuit. (The second best were in Bemidji, Minnesota.)

            I don’t like gravy.

            I had a friend who always checked out the the root beer floats when she traveled. Her favorite was at Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.

  5. Happiness was cleaning out the closet I was avoiding earlier in the week (muttering and grumbling the whole time, but – DONE!)

    I am declaring that Thanksgiving will be nice. There are factors that could go another way, but I am determined to vanquish them. I am already on record that no one has to be thankful for anything, and everyone can say how they really feel, as long as they speak considerately and in pleasant tone of voice. And we have lots of candy, just in case we need additional help.

    May you all have lovely things to be thankful for this week, whether it’s your formal holiday or not.

  6. Happiness is sitting at my computer with a warm puppy in my lap. More neck scratching (hers) than typing but it’s a win-win. Long FaceTime chat my BFF. She lives in another province and talking via computer means that she can give me a tour of her new kitchen and I can show her how much cuddly puppy has grown. Found a lovely evergreen swag at the local grocery store yesterday and even though I don’t usually decorate until after December 1, I put a big colourful bow on it and hung it on the door.

  7. I used to have a collection of all, or at least many of the animated flicks. Bug’s Life, Antz, Mulan, four Toy Story movies, et cetera and yada yada yada. I passed them all to the dotter so the grandkinder could watch them in the People’s SUV. My remaining movie is a digital file, an MP4 of a movie titled either Leap or Ballarina!. Not made by Disney nor Pixar.

    I have some DVDs that are just like the books on my To Be Read list – To Be Watched. Farscape and Babylon 5 are at the top. Star Trek the Animated Series. I’m more likely to binge the eight Nora Roberts movies in my library. Or maybe I’ll finally get through season one of Angel and watch the rest (which will trigger a Buffy marathon).

    Better I should clean out my freezer and make some room. The chances of my eating that salmon are slim. Not my favorite fish. Also, flounder is delicious, but what goes with it that isn’t fried?

    1. Herbed rice and salad (Ceasar is my preference with fish, with a little extra cheese on the salad).

    2. You’ve got to watch Farscape! I love Babylon 5, too, but Farscape is just so pretty! When I was renting the DVDs I would watch each episode a second time just so I could focus on the sets and costumes.

  8. Happiness is more days with sunshine than not.

    Totally for me, a new pair of Fancy Nancy sandals. And watching granddaughters at the Circus Lab. Eldest wants to be in Cirque du Soleil.

  9. It’s been cool but sunny so that is good. It is supposed to freeze later in the week which I am not thrilled with but I am traveling no where so that is good.

    My Victorian bookcase had to be moved so I could repair the paint on the wall behind it. Once I had it unloaded I decided to clean it using a wipe of tung oil. When it dried not only did it look clean and refreshed and most of the million scratches and stains had disappeared. It is probably good for my lifetime now. That is my happiness this week. Also the color match the paint store did for my 30 year old damaged paint job was perfect so I don’t have to repaint the whole living room (14 x 24 ft with 9.5 ft ceiling). A paint store that can do that good of match is beyond competent.

  10. I won the raffle at the garden club on Thursday – a lovely Christmas wreath which I’d just watched being made. I’ve stashed it in the shed until December, but it’ll be lovely to have one; I never have before.

    I’m starting to plan Christmas, and spoke to a close friend yesterday who invited herself for a couple of nights over the solstice. So it’s looking like friends to stay then and for New Year, local friends round for drinks on other days, and a solitary Christmas Day, which I’d really rather than feeling like an outsider at someone else’s feast. I’m planning great food and entertainment for myself. Plus, as always, my magical Christmas tree.

    Yesterday evening found myself, at short notice, at a buffet and live music evening, which turned out to be in aid of Extinction Rebellion. The (local) musicians were great, with dramatic songs on half a dozen different languages.

  11. I went out to watch a dance production. I used the outing as an incentive to get my last bit of work done. Lo! It worked. I was four-fifths done by the time I needed to leave and it was so easy to finish when I got back.

    I spent time with some of my favourite people and it just made me feel such joy.

    Please send vibes. I have a BIG week up ahead (job interview) and am battling a kidney infection. Help!

    1. I’m sending double because of the kidney infection. Job interviews are scary enough at the best of times, let alone when you aren’t well.

  12. My happiness highlight this week was getting a promotion at work. It’s an opportunity to do some really meaningful work, which is great, and a fancy new title, which is just fun.

    A close second on the happiness list is the fact that I have a whole long week off of work. I plan to do lots of nothing and some fun things just for me. There will also, of course, be turkey and family in there somewhere.

    But first. . . I’ll be cleaning out the rain-gutters ahead of the rain that is “supposed” to arrive early in the week. I suppose that counts as meaningful work as well.

  13. My happiness this week is FINALLY settling down to work on a quilt I wanted done by the first week of December, and while it won’t be done by then, I made a big chunk of progress. Pix on Wednesday.

  14. My happiness is that my indomitable friend Harriet found a ride home from Thanksgiving dinner for my brother Peter and I. This means that Peter does not have to cart his luggage across town twice and neither of us have to take more than hostess gifts and a cherry pie out to the boonies. Getting out to the pickup spot on a holiday will be challenge enough.
    Thank God for generous friends and Uber.

    Being back in my own home is another pleasure. My great nephew got on the plane to join his grandparents for the holiday and a little sightseeing and I get to move back to an area with good public transportation. I still have to clean this place before Peter gets here on Tuesday, but he is not expecting more than my usual standards of cleanliness.

  15. I got up this morning and discovered that my toilet had developed a huge leak. Massive puddle on the floor. Mind you, at first I thought, “Oh my gods, what cat did THAT?” So it was actually a relief to figure out it was the toilet. My guess is the gasket, which is beyond my basic plumbing skills. I have replaced the innards of toilets and various sink faucets, but this is going to require a plumber.

    Happiness was the (slightly delayed) realization that since I had finally put in a toilet upstairs earlier this year, I actually had a back-up option for the first time since I bought the house 18 years ago. I felt fairly brilliant for having done it just in time, and very happy to have it, even it does mean a lot of climbing up and down my steep farmhouse stairs.

    Now if the plumbers can come fix it tomorrow, I’ll be REALLY happy.

    Penguins mean something special to the Betties among us. They were Bethany’s symbol, and we always smile when we see them. So thanks for that too.

    And to cheer you up even further Jenny, here is a clip of Benedict Cumberbatch on the Graham Norton show, admitting he can’t say the word penguin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GHPNKUMf70

    1. I love that clip. But especially that he defends himself by saying that there were producers and sound people etc who heard all this and didn’t stop him!!! I think it goes to show how we can get inured to something we’re seeing or hearing frequently.

  16. The penguins (or as their arch enemy Dr Blowhole calls them the pengooins) also have a television series. Currently rerererunning here in Australia most nights. They always deliver! Successfully growing things makes me happy and as we are just lurching into summer (lots of fires and no rain) I have raspberries and apricots looking very yum.

      1. You can grow them in a pot? I’m in! My husband planted a persimmon tree, and without consulting me put it in the woods where the deer go. It hasn’t actually died yet but it sure hasn’t produced fruit. A potted apricot that we can leave in the sun sounds perfect.

        1. There are modern dwarf cultivars that have been bred for this, I think. The problem in the UK, as for a lot of plants, is our wet winters. But pots are more vulnerable to frost – I lost the first apricot I tried to grow, years ago, in its first winter. So I think you need to bring them in when it gets really cold. Despite the fact they come from areas with colder (though drier) winters than ours.

          1. We already bring in something like 20 plants. What is one more? We actually have benches for plants that in summer get cushions for seating.

  17. All the happies of rain just fallen and rain forecast. World looking clean. Friday we attended a down-the-street open house and came away with a giant rum cake, which we know from experience is memorably good. Saturday was abuzz with activity: Holiday used book sale at the library, morning terrace talk on early local women architects and what they built, lunch with a dear friend, then a run to a hugely popular bakery where the crowd flows quickly and all offerings are the best. No time for the native plant sale, but we did make it out to Dog Park. Then home to read until bedtime. I love those kind of days.

  18. My happiness this week was rather shallow. I went to a Nordstrom’s Rack and bought 3 pair of work shoes, I didn’t really have any good ones left. And some dashing cubic zirconia diamond studs, nice and large.
    Today, 2 friends and I had Mexican restaurant brunch, with blood orange magnolias…mimosas. I can never remember with flower that is.
    Then we went to see the new Charlie’s Angels, because. It was a lot of fun. Very energetic.
    I love those Disney animated films, and lots of the Pixar ones as well. I watch them when I’m falling asleep.

  19. My happiness this week was time spent with our fairy goddaughter – my husband has been giving her the occasional cooking lesson, so we gather, I knit and drink wine with Mom while DK and FG cook for us.

    And in true happiness fashion, for the first time in weeks, I have an unspoken-for afternoon. I have a little Sunday tidying to do, but otherwise it’s being lazy.

  20. My happiness this week was going to see Shout, Sister, Shout at the Seattle Rep. It is a new musical about the life of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The whole cast was good but the woman who played Rosetta could belt it out in a truly impressive way.

  21. Happiness for me was getting most of the housework done before Thanksgiving. I still have to dust and vacuum the upstairs but the downstairs is mostly done. I also went to an arts and craft show with a friend and picked up a couple Christmas gifts (and a couple of things for me). I purchased a large jar of honey from a local beekeeper and infused white pine needles in it for the winter. I use it in my tea. (White pine is supposed to help keep one healthy.)

  22. I really enjoyed _Madagascar 3_ for animals being reasonably animal-shaped even when they’re doing human things — the female bear and hippo who are athletic and sexy without having narrow waists were especially comforting. (Did not like hourglassy penguin in _Happy Feet_. I think that would be starvation leading to poor hydrodynamics.) And the tigers of both sexes were narrow-waisted, because of being tigers. Very fun to watch the animation working with more bauplans than one.

  23. I got some holiday shopping done and made some more in advance items for the four day weekend party marathon. The first family show up Thursday letting me focus on cooking and work without interruptions and then I can enjoy them. My son seems to be getting a better handle on the graduate class that he was afraid he would flunk.
    The impeachment hearings have been endlessly entertaining and while I don’t think Trump will be convicted and removed from office I do think it will hurt him in swing states.
    And I think he is increasingly likely to go to jail when he is out of office. Not sure how the secret service will manage that….

    On a much smaller note, while I am still overwhelmed at woek I did check off lots of boxes.

  24. I’ve been running build-your-own-fantasy-world workshops for Years 3/4 and 5/6 primary school. The workshop includes a section where I ask them to brainstorm the things they love and definitely want in their fantasy worlds, and also the things they hate/fear and definitely DON’T want. I get them to circle the one they love most, and the one they hate/fear most. Then I tell them that the thing they love most IS in their world, but is in great peril. And the thing they hate/fear most is also in their world and is VERY powerful.

    At this point they are outraged – and they protest loudly. But what fills me with delight is that, after that first moment of horror, they totally get why I’ve done it. And they launch back into their maps with new energy and excitement. They are very story literate, these kids.

  25. I saw live penguins! I went on a guided walk to a local little blue penguin colony with a scientist who’s been looking after the colony since 1976. He took a couple of chicks out of their nesting boxes and showed them to us. Seriously cute, though also seriously stinky.

  26. Off topic. Jenny, i am rereading Strange Bedpersons and came across Tess’s problem with Nick
    “she never knew when he was going to be Alan Alda and when he was going to be Donald Trump …”. Lol.

  27. I keep reading the headline as “Misplaced Lovers.”

    Happily, mine is not misplaced, but instead at the grocery store, buying ingredients for pumpkin pie.

  28. Have you seen the sequel, Kronk’s New Groove? It’s one of the rare Disney sequels that actually stands up to the original, and it had one amazing joke with a loooong set-up that left me slack-jawed in awe.

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