Happiness is a New Story

We cover how happy-making it is to find a great book on Thursdays, but it’s also pretty joyful to find a brand new TV series (well, new to me) that makes us want to binge the whole thing. For me, the newest is The Art of Crime, a French series (with subtitles) about a detective and an art historian working on art-related mysteries. They’re both a little bit nuts, although in different ways, and, by the end of the second season, co-dependent on each other as they chase down bad guys in gorgeous French settings–she works in the Louvre so there’s that eye candy plus the roofs of Paris and twisty little streets–set against beautiful works of art. There are two seasons on Amazon (you need a subscription to MHz) and a third season I can’t find anywhere, and it was just renewed for a fourth, so there’s more happy in store for the future. (Where the hell is the third season? It dropping in 2019, it should be on Amazon by now. Grrrrr.)

So what made you happy this week?

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64 thoughts on “Happiness is a New Story

  1. I’ve been getting excited about finding new (to me) music. I’d never really heard much of Halestorm before, and there are a few other bands that have crossed my path this week that I’m really getting into. Also, Evanescence released a new video a few weeks ago called Use My Voice which I’ve been playing on back to back repeat. Amy Lee packs a punch, and it’s up there with the Chicks’ March March, in a different style, for political songs.

  2. It’s taken nearly ten years but you’ve finally got payback for me putting you onto the series Zen with Rufus Sewell.

    Hmmm. What made me happy?
    Last year I started using the 1-2-3 Magic Discipline after our management sent a teacher on the course who cascaded it to 3 others with the DVDs. Us 4 then presented to the whole staff. During my presentation, the head and deputy head were not present.

    I was sold on it. I used it and saw results and sang it’s praises in staff meeting. Without SMT support nobody besides original 4 took it up.

    This year, upon return after a 5 month pandemic break my class is SELF-RELIANT and self-correcting and LISTENING, so much so that it’s been noticed. And head came to ask me to facilitate it to the staff. I responded that I did it last year and nobody took it up, “It would be better coming from the top, considering how our staff are.”

    It’s like an instant karma thing. Now that the proof is in the pudding, they want me to cook for them! Har. They can support it openly first, then it’s worth it.

    I found this satisfying. I hope if anyone is having a tough time and being dismissed even though you’re on the right track, you read it and feel some hope for yourself.

    What else made me happy? I bought jasmine and repotted it with the aim of turning it into a bonsai. Very excited. Must exercise patience. Lol. The last time I tried with a flowering plant I over enthusiastically trimmed the roots. Aloha floral bonsai.

    The anticipation is positive. It’s I’ve to look forward to something different.

  3. My new Italian class starts next week and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve had about a month off, but I think I still have been doing a good job maintaining most of my language skills. It’s my first intermediate class and I feel fairly ready, which is nice. I’m also really enjoying The Fluent Show, a podcast about language learning.

    I also had a very long involved dream last night that I was in high school. It wasn’t one of those dreams where you find out you failed a class years later and you had to retake it, I was just. . . enrolling in high school for the first time. I spent a lot of time wandering around and trying to figure out everything, my schedule, how I was going to get to school each day, how I could make some friends. In the dream, I kept having this nagging sense that something wasn’t quite right, but I couldn’t place it. I was extremely happy to wake up and realize I was not in high school.

    Sometimes it’s the little things.

  4. Made some progress on getting decisions from my boss about an ongoing project. It was a little fraught, but PROGRESS! Which is good because this thing is supposed to go up the beginning of October.

    Saturday weather was beautiful, I did productive things, made terrific cookies and watched an episode of “Inspector Lewis” with a few close friends in my large living room. Once I get through the zoom board meeting today, I expect to have a nice relaxing afternoon, with three (count ’em three out of 40) small left over cookies!

    1. Wow! Your friends not only loved your cookies, they are also helping you stay on your diet! How thoughtful of them!,,,,,,,At least you know they share your taste.

  5. Finished a quilt, wrapped it and it is on it’s way to my great niece. Put a label on another quilt – I’ll be delivering that later today. Both of these make me happy. Spent time yesterday on a friends screened porch, sewing and chatting in our outdoor social distance. That was fun.

    Currently trying to cope with the loss of my taste buds. It’s one of the side effects of the radiation treatment (I still have sense of smell – no COVID), but it makes eating a chore, rather than a comfort. Trying to spin this as a positive – I’m less inclined to snack inappropriately when I can’t taste the salt, so maybe I’ll be on a weight loss program. Hoping those little guys on my tongue get back to work soon.

    1. Loss of taste happened to me too, but due to the chemo I was then on, not radiation. It was pretty horrible having to force myself to eat. I found out later it’s considered a form of nausea. Maybe there’s a nausea treatment that can alleviate it?

      Good news is that the sense of taste DID come back. Oh frabjous meals!

      1. If it happens again, I suggest Really Bland Food of the broiled chicken, mashed potatoes type. Worked for my grandfather.

  6. I got a massage! A nearby cancer center hired my massage therapist a few years ago, got a grant, and offers subsidized massages. They are back in the hospital, which believes in alternative therapies, so my therapist (who isn’t working out of her home right now) was able to book a massage for me–first in about six months. Ahhh.

  7. First week of my horticulture program! Primarily an introduction to the instructors and the curriculum. Since it’s all on-line, we’re doing all the theory courses this term. I’m a little intimidated by the idea of memorizing 25-30 plant/trees every week. However, it’s fun to be with a group of people who love plants and while I’m probably the oldest person in the class, there are many others who have had other careers before returning to school.

    DS also started his first week of college. He’s in a different program and it’s been interesting to talk to him about his courses and discuss the merits of SnapChat vs. Discord as the class communication platform (Discord for the win).

    Despite the cool fall weather, my tomatoes are ripening quickly. One of 2 surviving dahlias has bloomed – a perfect purple orb. I was never a big fan of dahlias but having been gifted some bulbs this spring, they’ll be in my garden next year. Hopefully, I can get a couple more to bloom:)

  8. This was a tough few days for happy. I *had* been very happy about taking a much-needed retreat vacation with my friend Karen to a rental house in the Catskills. With her dog Kady. I had books, including SEP’s new one, a jigsaw puzzle, steaks for the grill, and an extra fancy s’mores kit. We were going to sit by the river in the backyard and relax for the first time all year.

    Nope.

    The house was…not great. Ignoring the horrible decor (deer head on the wall, anyone?) and the uncomfortable couch that belonged in a frat house, the DVD player was broken, the BBQ grill was broken, and there were MICE. On morning one we woke up to find something unseen had munched on a tomato we’d left on the counter. We put all our non-refrigerated food in our coolers, threw out the open bowl of dog food we found inside one of the cabinets, and hoped for the best. While we were in our respective beds on night two reading our Kindles, Karen let out a shriek because a mouse jumped out of the plastic potted plant by her bed and ran out of the room. On morning three, we went down to discover mice poop all over the kitchen counter and floor, and on the couch pillows.

    We started packing. Still fighting to get our money back, but at least we’re not there.

    There were some happy moments. Being together was great, even if we didn’t get the relaxation we were hoping for. We hacked back a bunch of bamboo from the nearly inaccessible river so we could sit on flat rocks by the water for a while. We ate some good food, although we never did get to the steaks. Kady the dog was an absolute sweetheart, and she made all the unpleasantness more bearable. Watched Mulan (fabulous) and The Princess Bride (always wonderful). Got a few days away from home and came back with a new appreciation for at least being trapped in someplace fairly nice. But man… 2020 is a bitch.

    1. What a major disappointment. Not only were the accommodations not what you expected but you had to fight off rodents for living space. Yuck. I hope you have pictures to back up your experiences. You could always post them to whatever site led you to book the place. Thank goodness for human and canine companionship to provide some happy in an otherwise unpleasant situation.

  9. I had a road trip of about 4 hours, up to Millinocket, Maine, to pick up my brother. He’s hiked the northern half of the Appalachian trail. He’s a big (not fat) guy who’s lost about 35 pounds, so we fed him up. He’s home for now, planning when to get to the southern half. It was nice to be in a place I’d never been.
    I’ve been working away at the shed, another session or two will do it.
    Just overwhelmed by the emergencies and environmental tragedies going on. Still finding my joy in the zinnias.

  10. I finally got sick of being such a bad housekeeper (there has been a lot of ‘nobody is going to see it indefinitely so who cares’) and Decluttered, Dusted, Swiffered, and Vacuumed. The house will be dusty again immediately because I leave the doors/windows open all the time, but at the moment it is … a lot nicer.

    Also, the hummingbirds are screaming at each other outside, which always makes me smile. My sparkly little rage rockets.

    1. I am on the same mission. I hate cleaning, but the condo is a disaster. Working my way through the process. Today’s goal is to get the floor ready for the Roomba. It’s too much if I try to set larger goals.

  11. I’m happily sitting in my new electric recliner, wrapped up in my favorite cat blanket, watching the Seahawks beat the Falcons! Yay, football (American) is back!

    1. This past week we’ve checked recliners on the internet to get one for my husband, only to find out we would have to wait for up to eight weeks. There were not any to be bought off the floor. Till we remembered a large furniture store that has a clearance section. So we drove over and found one with the power buttons. So comfortable he has slept on it. It’s the papa chair of recliners.

  12. Day Five of staying in the house to avoid wildfire smoke. The rating for our neighborhood for air quality is hazardous. We are trying to convince Lindy (siamese) that REALLY he prefers to stay in. He is trying to convince us that if we don’t let him out he will make our lives a TOTAL misery and we will get nothing done. He is winning but he is still not going out. The particulate rate has been close to 500 in our neighborhood. He has little kitty lungs. He should not be breathing that junk.

    OTOH we have completed one 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I am up-to-date on the laundry. I am thinking of making bread today. If I put it on the balcony to cool, it will even acquire that desirable woodsmoke flavor.

    1. The particulate count here is close to 200 and we’re staying inside. We can see only about a block away. Everything else is clouded. Can’t imagine how bad it is there. Stay safe.

  13. A very happy circumstance is when you unbox the new laser printer, remove all the blue tape and orange plastic, and successfully print on the first attempt. I hope to achieve that, someday. Alas, not today.

    Hope springs eternal in the human borscht.

  14. I’m happy because I feel relaxed. I don’t know why I wasn’t relaxed earlier or why I have relaxed now. But I’ll take.

    Baked cheese treats for the dog. That will make Tantaka happier (because she’s always happy).

  15. Well, this is a happy. Haven’t seen Art of Crime yet. Checking today to see if it’s on here, too.

    Although the missing seasons has me concerned. Not fab at waiting for those to magically appear. Have been waiting for the next season of Dix Pour Cent (Call my Agent, English title I think) to come to Netflix and seems to be taking forever:)

  16. It hasn’t been a particularly good week here. I am literally The Worst at my work, we’ll leave it there. But there’s a few notes I can make:

    (a) Our old director was collecting money for the crush after the house burned down, and apparently he got a list from her as to who donated and he thanked me for it. I was rather embarrassed to have been found out, as it were (I dunno, doesn’t it kind of seem like …paying for his affections or something….?), but I guess that’s better than him finding out I didn’t donate.

    (b) Per the Jenny’s purse story and last week’s St. Francis story…. Well, a few days after his house burned down, I ordered him a set of books and had them sent to his grandparents’ house, which he had gone to and I had the address of when I went there after his family funeral. They shipped a few days later and then got lost in the Bay Area, according to the tracking notifications. Were gone for weeks. Well, while I was trying the St. Francis thing, I also threw in a prayer to St. Anthony to look into the lost package. I had gotten fed up and reported the package lost to the PO, and heard back finally this Wednesday that the package was lost.

    And then on Friday, I got notifications that the package turned up in his grandparents’ town, and it got delivered Saturday night! Only 3 weeks late and he’s moved out by then, but hey, at least it wasn’t lost! No idea if they bothered to check the mail as of Saturday night though.

    I did send them anonymously–I didn’t know what the hell to say on the gift tag, “Sorry your house burned down?”–and again, felt weird having him know I did anything at the time. I assume if/when he ever gets them he’ll easily figure out whodunit and he likes mysteries anyway, so what the hell.

    Anyway: GO ST. ANTHONY! I am thinking that even though I am not Catholic/don’t like Catholicism/am pagan, looking into these patron saints is definitely having results these days.

  17. My English Conversation Class started on Wednesday and there’s a bunch of new people taking part that are actually on the same level the class is meant to be. Our teacher sent us homework for our topic on Motivation which was cool because I not only can use this for myself but for the whole family (school started…).
    Also the whole family watched “Eurovision” by and with Will Ferrell yesterday evening. It was much better than anticipated (though VERY goofy) and WF really got the essence of the ESC. Plus wow has Dan Stevens evolved since Downton Abbey (from a sort of pudgy nice guy to eye candy). It was great also that he seemed to be the baddy but was quite nice.
    Plus hubby really loves the Derry Girls on Netflix. Wants to binge watch it again to just listen. This accent is quite a challenge for us non-native speakers…

    1. I love Derry Girls! I am a native English speaker and I watched the first episode with subtitles until I got the flow of their accent ;-).

    2. LOL! I was discombobulated by your comments. At first I thought you were the TEACHER of the English Conversation class but then you made it clear you weren’t. You have such a good command of the language and idiom! Now I’m wondering why you’re in the class at all. 🙂

  18. My daughter is getting married next month and I won’t be able to be there, but I found a beautiful necklace for her to wear with the outfit she’s putting together, which she loves, so that was a happy-ish moment.

      1. Thanks! I keep reminding myself that in the greater scheme of things, this doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in 2020.

  19. The cooler weather is making me happy and a little bit productive, tackling some yard work and house work. Plus, to celebrate the nice weather, I made pumpkin bread. Yum.

  20. Well, on Thursday we got almost five inches of rain in an hour’s torrential downpour, and leaks started appearing at several windows and on the floor in one bedroom. Hours of finding towels, placing, repositioning, washing, and drying said towels. On Friday first our pond pump refused to start until we did some Macgyvering with extension cords and hairdryers. Later that evening I leared that my sister died at 5pm in another state after five years of battling pancreatic cancer and having it go into remission. A month ago the scans started looking bad, and after a depressing hospital stay, and then a frustrating hospice ward stay, she came home with the help of in-home hospice nurses for a week, ate her favorite things, took seated showers with assistance, watched Beatles movies with her family, ate foods previously forbidden, and then just dwindled into long sleeps and passed away peacefully. Then yesterday as I was trying to do an email to my brother-in-law expressing my sorrow about it, my computer died.

    Happy thing was that after a full day of futzing with every possible cause and fix, my husband was able to pin the problem down to something wrong with the cordless keyboard, probably after the latest Windows update made something incompatible.

    I’m typing this on a strange little keyboard that feels like it’s some kind of child’s toy, but I’m happy to be able to do so.

    1. Wow Jinx, I hope you are up on a hill! If we got 5 inches of rain here, houses would be surrounded by water and would start floating away. Our Halloween flood was really bad and we had 4 inches of rain then. I am glad you are safe.

    2. I am so sorry for your loss. I’m also happy that your sister was able to come home and reconnect with what (and who) she loved at the end. Home hospice care is a huge blessing.

  21. Evidently the reason my eyes are itchy and my nose is running is because of SMOKE in the air. I suppose the sight of new ash joining the old ash on pavement and porch should be a clue. Silly me, I believed reports the fire was mostly contained. And we’re not even into prime season down here.

    Happiness is that the Julia Reed tribute dinner from her NY Times recipes went swell. Milk punch, Roman steak with subtle rosemary flavor, and the surprise highlight component of yellow summer squash casserole. Each day, leftovers tasted even better. Oh, strawberries in creme fraiche for dessert. No leftovers for that.

    Sometime during the week, in full downward dog stretch, I pulled away an outfacing book on the bottom shelf to see what lay behind. Third from the bottom in the stack, 2016’s “Julia Reed’s South, Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long.”
    Eureka! In an unthinking moment (I believe), my husband committed to making dishes from “A Jeffersonian Evening” served in honor of the historian John Meacham’s “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.” We both admire Meacham. The menu sounds formidable. Crab Norfolk (from whence came Jefferson’s crab); Lamb Bourguignon; Gratin de Macaroni; Salad of Butter Lettuce, Peas and Herbs; and Profiteroles with Ice Cream and Warm Chocolate Sauce. When broken down into components, perhaps not so formidable? And certainly antidote against pandemic crazy. I hope.

      1. I don’t believe any dish in our Jeffersonian tribute dinner are THAT complex. My! Thanks for the site notation.

  22. DH and I celebrated our 38th anniversary with the perfect at-home meal for a cold, rainy day: grilled cheese sandwiches, and tomato soup sprinkled with potato chips.

    We got a section of basement cleared so we can set up a treadmill & bike. No college gym this year!

    And it turns out my daily walks helped delay some hip issues which now need attention. The physical therapist peered at me over her mask and said, “That was a gift.” So here’s a word of encouragement to give yourself the gift of moving.

    1. I started wearing my fitbit again last week and the daily totals were embarrassingly low since I now work from home and there is no reason to leave the house on a daily basis. Anyway, I started low with a 5,000 step target and that was easy enough once it was measurable. So I’ve upped the target this week and should be back to 10,000 pretty soon 🙂

  23. My Zoom meeting of my ladies’ group went reasonably well — I couldn’t see or hear everyone, but we managed and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

    The kittens have learned how to get past the barrier to the kitchen! Of course, it was just a matter of time.

  24. I’m knitting a Venation shawl and my Color 9 is just sublime. It’s Koigu #859, and it’s pretty enough in the skein, but as it knits up it’s glorious – handpainted yarn in all different shades of berry from a strawberry to a deep blackberry. I love the rest of the colors in this particular kit, but #9 is the best. Please don’t tell the others.

    Here’s Lex kitty helping me take a progress picture. https://www.instagram.com/p/CFDdA0Sgu7I/

        1. Carol, I only started about 18 months ago! I’d crocheted for several years, and there were some patterns that I wanted to try in knitting, so I learned!

  25. Busy Sunday with granddaughters and parents over for a delicious vegan dinner. So good. We are 50% vegetarian or vegan meals.

    Girls love their playhouse “ of many colours” which I am painting. One paint session and they realized how much work it takes to paint neatly. I am find it very relaxing. It has been lovely sunny weather, was able to paint until 8 at night, it is under the balcony. The smoke and ash from the Washington, Oregon, California fires added with a huge fire burning at New Westminster pier is keeping me indoors. Smoke is to move today.

  26. When mowing “season” started here in early April, I was going through some physical pain and limitations and could barely mow a portion of my yard (it’s a couple of acres). I mowed the areas right around the house and another path for me & the dogs and let the rest go. Well, once that starts, you’re just stuck. Other than mental apologies to my neighbors, I was fine with it.
    My family had not seen the “hayfield” because…covid-19. Last month, I stored some things for a nephew while he and his family went on vacation and so he saw the yard when he dropped off and picked up. Surprise! He showed up yesterday with his “mega” mower and mowed it for me! I still don’t know how he got through some parts of it but picture heart emojis from me to him ALL over the place.

    1. Additional note: Season 3 seems to have only two episodes (“The Curse of Osiris”!!! “Phantom of the Opera”!) Not sure whether this is normal or not.

      And I don’t see information about whether these particular DVDs will play in our Region. But the price is reasonable. I’ve purchased from Amazon in Canada, the UK, France, and Germany without any difficulty.

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