Happiness is Comfort Food

You know what made me happy this week? Scalloped potatoes from the grocery fridge case. I’m not allowed anything grainy or crunchy or chewy, but I can have these suckers and if I scare up a protein I can fool myself I’m eating well. (I know, I need better veggies, but did you miss the part about no crunchy or grainy?). I don’t even have to make them, I just rip off the plastic, stick ’em in the microwave for four minutes and find a large spoon.

Oh, and my oldest grandchild turns twelve today. Remember when Callie was born and I put up her baby pictures? Yeah, that was twelve years ago. And she’s amazing.

So what made you happy this week?

59 thoughts on “Happiness is Comfort Food

  1. Well, speaking of comfort food, peanut butter blondies with chocolate chips.

    It is warm, but not hot or humid yet most days (a miracle).

    Listening to a Rosalyn Landor audiobook on a early morning walk.

    “Never Have I Ever” a charming, goofy teen romantic comedy series made by Mindy Kaling.

  2. The hefty roll of “Pacific Blue” high-capacity toilet paper standing proudly on its side on the bathroom shelf. It’s about the diameter of a small dinner plate, with a cardboard roll about the diameter of a softball. It’s two-ply and without perforations. And you can lift and unroll it easily and quickly, without wasting. And — here’s the greatest thing — it lasts the two of us, in quarantine, almost one month. DURING THE DREAD TOILET PAPER SHORTAGE! Happiness. 🙂

  3. Happiness came from digging up a huge vicious bush from the flower bed we usually sit beside (i.e., the one we can actually see the most often). It was a mighty battle, but in only 3 days, I was victorious. Yesterday was the day to add top soil (Maine=rocks), rearrange the survivors, add some new plants, including many zinnia seedlings, and then add seaweedy mulch. Taking a look this morning, all have survived the transplant, and will prosper.

    Also, a mocking bird couple have set up in the yard, and the lupines are at their height. The cat was gone all night and didn’t come back in the morning, or all day, but did come back at 8 p.m, ate, and wanted out again. It’s like having a teenage boy. Except getting anyone pregnant is not in the picture.

  4. Homemade oatmeal cookies with a little almond in there. Though potatoes sound really good too and may be featured at dinner.

    Even though I am feeling very round through the middle, my non-stretchy jeans seem to fit. I don’t know how this is possible, but it makes me happy.

    Feeling that I was actually helpful to people this week, which has not always been the case recently.

    He Wrote, She Wrote again! I am saving it for my after-walk treat!

  5. Grandchildren! Sometimes it seems there are hordes of them that descend on us over the weekend but in reality there are only three. Feels like during the week we spend the time contemplating our navels till they show up. Not complaining. Grandson is of the age he can now mow the lawn and that takes a lot of pressure off of Granpa. This weekend they decided to pitch a tent and sleep outside along with most of my quilts as bedding. This morning when I woke up (5 A.M.) and went around shutting off lights, closing the back door (thanking the gods no critters got in) coverlets, quilt and pillow on the living room floor (they travelled) – dog sleeping on sofa, I checked their whereabouts. Two in the tent, one upstairs. But this is where Granpa does his thing and makes a grand breakfast and we all sit around the breakfast table and listen to what is going on in their lives – good, bad or ugly.

  6. Some of my school supplies have arrived, although while I love office supplies (the weakness of the never-organized), I’m also slightly terrified. I just keep telling myself I don’t have to keep going after this summer if I don’t like it.

    I am almost through a new checkpoint on Duolingo after getting very stalled in German awhile back.

    My peonies not only came back but the bloomed! Any most of my tomotos are thriving.

    And best of all, we got to get together with family in 3-D yesterday. 🙂

  7. Ordered a vegan dinner from one of my favourite restaurants – orange coucous salad, pasta in a mushroom coconut milk sauce and chocolate olive oil cake filled with pistachio cream. Delicious and there was enough for a second meal. We’ve been getting fiddleheads through a small shop that’s selling local products – they’re so tasty when steamed and sauteed with garlic.

    My garden is coming along slowly – planted more raspberries canes from a neighbour. My rhubarb plant is huge and I can’t wait for strawberry season so I can make strawberry-rhubarb crisp.

  8. Comfort food is entirely too easy to come by. Bob Evans has Mac-n-Cheese and Mashed Potatoes in both single serving and family containers. So do at least a dozen other brands, refrigerated or frozen. Pick any of those and add a protein. I have two six-packs of Johnsonville Brats (Jalapeno and Cheddar) I could nuke and slice (or slice and nuke), just as a f’rinstance. Or Jimmy Dean sausage. Crumbles are good, blended into mashed potatoes.

    Or take the brats and stick them in a brioche roll. Used to be I couldn’t even spell brioche, now it’s part of my diet. I wonder where I picked that up?

  9. Suddenly finding myself groovin’ to The Pointer Sisters’ Jump on the radio this morning.

    Yes! I’ve discovered the kind of exercise I REALLY need In These Times.

    1. Exercise for the body and soul at the same time! That sounds wonderful.

      The sun has come out and it is not supposed to rain until Thursday. I’m hoping that it will inspire me to get out and walk more.

      Dave’s stores opened again on Friday and it was a great pleasure to spend my stimulus money to help keep my friends in business. I almost screwed up the whole deal when Dave heard me tell Mario to ring up my purchases without the discount they usually give me. I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get into an argument about it. I just went back to looking at cards until Dave went into the office and then had Mario ring the sale up at full price. It feels great to have co-conspiritors. Mario and Marissa (the store managers) feel like part of my extended family.

      The only embarrassing part is that I spent $20 more on cards and cocktail napkins than I did than I did on the dress that is the main part of Annie’s birthday present.
      I have been very frustrated with women’s clothing this year because it is all in fabrics that I hate to wear. They look pretty, but they don’t breathe and they don’t feel good against your skin. But there was one dress that was cool, cute, affordable and the perfect color to go with Annie’s eyes in the right size. And it is very appropriate to wear to her new job. In this case the fact that they have been closed meant that it didn’t sell out before I got there. I can’t wait until she gets it.

      1. Try J. Jill. They have mostly natural fabrics that feel fantastic and most of them are washable and dryable. They look good too, but in general don’t have fancy pieces, except for the holidays. I worked for them for six years (nice coworkers, nice customers) and our customers were very loyal to the brand. As for price, it depends on what you consider expensive. I don’t have much money but still bought occasionally — well, 40% helped. A basic pair of pants costs $79-89. Tops range from $39-79. They last. They are super comfy. Just a suggestion.

        1. I’m loyal to J. Jill, so your comments are nice to read. Love not having to edit choices from a number of sources. They stock appealing merch. Some pieces *do* have rayon or spandex, but I’m not adverse. Bonus: way cheaper than my previous go-to and much cheerier.

          1. J. Jill is a little pricey for me, but I did notice while finishing The Great Sweater Wash that my favorite sweater from last year’s haul at the thrift store is a J Jill. So maybe the person who donated that sweater will donate more stuff once the store opens up again. Of course, this is the time they usually close down for the summer because the building is not air conditioned. We’ll see what they have in September.

  10. Happiness is no more mud bog in the back yard like we had for a couple of days because of rain. Dogs are also happy because it means no more peeing in the front yard which was weird beyond words.


    I am pleased to note that I’m not actually doing much of the work. We rented a small excavator to dig the trench, Paul ran that, and have hired a local guy who does concrete work to do the rest. I helped with hauling away some of the dirt from the trench but that’s it. Some things are DIY, some things are meant to be outsourced.

    We have to dig some post holes for a new fence to the side yard so they can be cemented in when we pour the sidewalk

    We are going to edge the path in gravel and put in solar stake lights, but first we will clean up! Then it will be reseeding some of the dog-killed places and finishing up planting.

    We are also going to edge the garden with bricks. Unfortunately, I waited too long and lost out on the whole bricks so we had to make do with half bricks, they are antique from a century house that was torn down and then rebuilt and clad with bricks from the tear down. The guy rebuilt the new house exactly like the old house, just using new building methods and only needed 1 layer of brick.

    The half bricks were a lot cheaper and we got enough to (hopefully) edge the main garden and an island bed in the front yard that is very hard to mow around. That work I will be doing since Paul can’t get down on his knees (artificial knee, no kneeling) but he will help with the grass/dirt removal and lugging of bricks.

    We also made plans to go away for a weekend to Banff/Canmore with friends and our Calgary friends are coming for 1 night which will be great. We will be staying at an AirBnB and mostly either hiking or napping so the risks aren’t that huge. We were doing a steam train excursion but the opening has been pushed back another month so we have to change that and might even postpone it until next year.

    We had lunch with friends (take out at their house) yesterday and finally met their cats, Sam and Dean Meowchester, who are very much like their fictional counterparts. We haven’t been to their house since before Christmas. it was nice to have a visit.

    1. It’s going to look great when you’re done. I’m very jealous of your rain! Any time I see anyone here (rare) it’s the largest talking point, the vet has never seen it so dry, someone else has sold half their livestock, etc. It’s very disheartening.

  11. Man, teeth issues. Just bide your time as best as you can.

    Happiness was cooking too much yesterday and having leftovers today which meant no need to cook for lunch. Yayness.

    I’ve also discovered that the prepacked butter naan has 5 but the prepacked garlic naan has 4. So I bought the former and just smeared garlic on it at home before heating. Saving money and getting fresher garlic is a huge happy.

  12. Oh, the happies around here! Teeth inspected, blood lab results in, and I seem to be healthy and holding up. Except for the part where I worry overly much.

    Working in the garden again, renewing for both the garden and me.

    Finished final proof read of July/August issue of the garden magazine. Word is ours is the sole remaining one in print form in Southern California. Still standing after 111 years.

    Solace is listening to early Ella, and recently I’ve learned of a Chick Webb boxed CD set with that gorgeous Ella voice all through it. The hunt is afoot.

    We’ve adopted from the local Humane Society a new doggie friend. On Day 3, Sachi has shown himself to be biddable and of sweet temperament. He came to us needy and terrified, and now he understands he’s Family Dog. Petey the Dog, after two days of mild stay-away growls, now understands that he remains Family Dog, just with a new pal. We all miss Shredder, the Maltese, still do, and are fortunate to have Sachi around to chase away the ghost.

  13. Happiness is having the small batch concrete contractor who had not returned our call just stop by to bid on repairing the sidewalk in front. Two spots, after 95 years installed, had cracked and the sidewalk had raised enough that people, particularly little kids on scooters and bikes, seem to be tripping there all the time. The street in front of our house is being designated a bike/pedestrian way and it would be nice if our walk was safe. The contractor said he is so busy it is crazy and he was working on a job near-by and decided it was just easier to stop by to bid the job rather than call. He will be back in a week and a half to do the work.

  14. I’m not sure if it’s the suddenly imnproved weather (sunshine but not too hot) or that plus finally getting my meds working (four days late and then it takes 4-5 days to get my metabolism back to normal levels, so more than a week of extreme fatigue), but I finally have some energy again! I was able to do some yard work and make my final batch of masks for MakeMasks.org

    Plus, like Aunt Snack, I don’t like much of what’s showing up in clothing lines in terms of fiber content, and I’d been looking EVERYWHERE for some basic cotton tank tops (mine are old and falling apart, and I live in them pretty much around the clock in the summer), and everywhere had mixes with polyester, spandex, or rayon, which I either dislike the feel of or dislike the durability of. Finally found cotton ones at Land’s End online, and they were on sale, so I got enough for free shipping, so I can throw out the ones that are all full of runs and don’t need to go clothing shopping again for a good long while.

  15. My life is too minimalist: my housemates aren’t social, I’m unemployed, and I haven’t left the house in weeks (I have my groceries delivered). My pleasures are ridiculously small and there aren’t many of them. But, this week I wore my new Life is Good tee shirts (mmmm). I read some old favorites that I bought in ebook. And chocolate milk. Chocolate milk is a pleasure.

    I could be writing or drawing or crocheting. It’s just that there seems to be a high speed bump between me and doing things I really love to do. I could also be walking. Stay-at-home feeds my hermit and agoraphobic tendencies, unfortunately. I need a walking buddy. Or an everything buddy. 🙂

        1. A bit too far from Chicago for me, alas. Good luck making it through the heat.

  16. I found a new to me park in my neighborhood. Walked twice around the walking path then sat on a seat under a shady tree and watched folks play with their kids. Everyone wore a mask. Lots of dogs having fun. Lovely to be around people yet at a distance.

    1. Isn’t it amazing what turns up in your neighbourhood? I found a secret park too, near the railway tracks. And I’ve lived here 35 years (!!) Walks are good.

  17. House clean. Yard Mowed. Laundry done. Brownies baked. I also have time to bake the cookie dough I made the other day. They will go in the freezer so I am now good for a small sweet at the end of the day for a few weeks.

    And the weather has been beautiful.

  18. I discovered two rather nice shirts when looking through a bag of remnants – a lime silk and a green pattern with magenta touches. I think I got rid of them during an extra-rigorous sort-out, but am happy to have them again. Also managed to make the second handset for my landline work, so I now have a phone in my bedroom, just in case.

    I’ve finished planting my garden; just hope I don’t lose all the new stuff to slugs or birds. First flowers on the passionflower and the star jasmine, and a surprisingly orange one opening on Rose Lady of Shalott (I think it’ll be more apricot once it’s open). Will try and post some pix soon. The sweet peas are out in the front, and it’s looking really colourful.

    I’ve got an idea of what I want to do next now my writing course has finished. I had a mad idea yesterday, which I think will be fun to play with this next week. Sparked by the seemingly rather dim neighbour who tends to talk and talk, usually having got the wrong end of the stick. So I’m enjoying the fact that he’s coming in useful, in a tangential way.

    1. JaneB, be assured, the Lady should become more orange-ish, maybe with opening or age or weather conditions. I’ve seen lovely examples of the rose — great choice.

      John and I are so pleased you shared information on the program (or programme) Gardener’s World. We view the presentation every Sunday evening and emerge from the watch all zen. Helps to be calm in current conditions.

      1. That’s great, Thea – it’s becoming obvious it’s available in quite a few countries. (This week a Swiss viewer had sent in a film of an amazing green wall he’s built in his flat, since he doesn’t have a garden.) Monty Don’s garden is about sixty miles south of me, so very similar in climate.

        1. PS. On the subject of TV, two shows that made me happy this week were Dinnerladies, which I’ve been eking out and finally got to the HEA; and The Young Montalbano, which they’re repeating, and which I love. I’m fond of Montalbano, too, but The Young Montalbano has him beat.

        2. The highlight of my Friday evening is streaming GW (through Britbox in the US). I’m glad they’ve been able to figure out how to keep broadcasting. The viewer videos are a fantastic idea that I hope they keep showing even after things go back to normal–or whatever comes after this. I even like the repeated segments.

  19. Sourdough bread continues to be my happy this week (that and this morning’s thought that maybe the toothache is a bit less). I’m even happier knowing that if I pop across the garden my father and brother will help me get rid of the bread so I can keep practising!
    I’m wasting a lot of time online hunting for a suitable Dutch oven or covered casserole to bake bread in shapes other than rounds

  20. Got the old fridge out of the pantry! Got the wall in the porch taken down! Now I just have to get all the crap out of the porch and I’ll be able to set up the high table and chairs that my friend urged me to buy (read made me buy) so I can sit outside in the porch to eat and write.

    Going to put the freezer in the pantry where the fridge was. (The new fridge will not fit in there.)

  21. Happiness this week was the new (and old) HWSW.

    Also, AquaPaw Slow Treater is MAGIC for bathing dogs! Smeared it with peanut butter, stuck it to the side of the tub and the dogs were so busy licking up every last bit that they didn’t shake soapy water all over me once. They didn’t shake at all until I had dried them off and taken them out of the tub! It’s the first time I didn’t end up wetter than the dogs by the end of bath day. MAGIC, I tell you.

  22. Did two plays this week–the Shakespeare one I do weekly and the one I got in via auditioning and rehearsed for weeks, my first dramatic role. EVEN MY MOM liked it, which is a shocker. So it went very well, got to meet the playwright, who asked if I I want to read another script of hers. Yes, please!

    I also got to hang out online with a new friend for hours, and heard from another friend who has mostly disappeared during the pandemic, who thought I had disappeared because I didn’t respond to texts (that I didn’t get, sigh). So those are very yay things for today.

  23. I had bacon for breakfast. Definitely comfort food. I had salad for dinner, but luckily I love salad. And the wine I had with it might have been comforting too.

    Not a lot of comfort here this week otherwise, but I’m happy that two of the three other members of my circle will be able to come on Saturday for the summer solstice. We’ll be outside, with distancing (and no shared chalice, of course), but it will be SO wonderful to be together again after all this time.

  24. SEP’s new book Dance Away With Me. Binge watched season 16 of Grey’s Anatomy. Word Crush. Zoom meeting of Pinellas Writers.
    Foodwise: white cheddar cheese on toasted sourdough with mayo and tomato.

  25. Wow, Callie’s 12? Happy birthday to her!

    I’m on holiday, going down New Zealand’s west coast with my best friend. We’re 3 days into a 9 day trip and so far we’ve had hot pools, rocky beaches at sunset, walks through wild forest, sunshine and pelting rain. It’s early winter so not the warmest but I packed 10 layers of warm clothes and I’m loving being away.

    And businesses here are really struggling because covid means no international tourists so spending money makes me feel good, which is a nice feeling too.

  26. My happiness this week is coming back to Argh after several [hard and painful] years away to catch up on what my favorite author has been up to. 🙂

  27. I’ve been getting lots of photos of my new grandson surrounded by his little big sisters. Their smiles radiate joy that their brother has finally arrived. My son’s little family just glows with happiness. Even though I’m not taking any chances visiting now, I’m just so very happy.

  28. My husband (whose job is the source of our health insurance) made it through the first round of layoffs. And I took Friday off and spent most of it resting and not hyperventilating, so all on the plus side?

    Also had some funny texts with my kids. And harvested my first batch of “microgreens.” Mmmm. Ha! Just kidding! They tasted like eating weeds, but it was satisfying to watch them growing.

  29. I made potato salad. It’s one of those foods that I don’t often make when it’s “just me” and it was this lovely caloric gift to myself. Also, leftovers so more gifts for me-yay.

  30. Really deeply happy news from SCOTUS this morning. Made me cry a little, but in a good way. So many people fought so hard for this, and so many people are going to be safer because of it.

    Spent the morning being quite productive. I am cleaning out the garage, because I am going to set up an impromptu ceramics studio in one corner. I am not actually certain this is a good idea — the space lacks certain essential items like running water, insulation, and fresh air, and is completely overrun with spiders. But the pandemic has made my shared pottery studio less accessible and more stressful (especially when others decide to flout the mask rules). So it seems worth it to try to create a little space that is all my own…well, mine and the spiders’, anyway.

    But like every time I do any home improvement project, the initial task has quickly ballooned into a huge list of additional projects. We have way too much junk so there is a stack of items that needs to go (donations, dump, etc.). The stuff we are keeping needs to be stored better, so I need to build a new massive shelving unit. And I need to hang some lights, so that I do not go blind trying to throw by the light of a single 40 watt ceiling bulb. Plus there’s figuring out how to un-stick the window, and agonizing over whether to keep my collection of rusty screws, and so forth.

    Luckily for me, I am procrastinating on something else. Really, I think this might be the only way I ever get anything done — frantically Cleaning/Building All The Things to avoid dealing with Real Life Responsibilities.

    1. Yes, DH came dashing downstairs with the news, and we both cried.

      We’ll take the ray of hope!

  31. What made me happy is that I just discovered you and your books. I love cute romantic comedies with fantastic dialogue so now I have to read them ALL.

    Thank you.

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