Happiness is Good People in the Time of Snow

Before the storm, Mollie called me and made sure I had plenty of everything I needed. That made me feel loved.

After the storm, my neighbor-across-the-street Allan came over with his snowblower and made a path from the street to my front walk because he is a good man. That made me feel grateful.

During the storm, Bob e-mailed me and we had this exchange . . .

BOB: Do you know how to trap for food?

JENNY: No, I don’t know how to trap for food.  I know how to shop for food and put it in the fridge.

BOB: Trapping is much more efficient than hunting. If you haven’t bought any snares– I recommend Redneck Snares on Amazon–you can always rip some ligaments out of your non-primary arm and use those.

JENNY: Good tip about the non-primary arm.

BOB: And then you can eat the arm but only after stopping the bleeding.

JENNY: I am not eating my left arm.

BOB: After you use the ligaments to make snares, you use the larger bones as clubs and the ones from the hands as fishing lures.
No waste.

JENNY: No.

BOB: Wimp.

. . . which made me laugh.

And then Krissie’s box of Christmas presents arrived which made me feel like a little kid again, presents and snow and something to look forward to on Christmas.

What I’m saying is, the people in my life make me happy (and grateful). What made you happy this week?

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65 thoughts on “Happiness is Good People in the Time of Snow

  1. Having everyone on holiday now has meant that my darling husband and I have had time to kick back and watch music videos on YouTube together. We’ve been swapping music that caught our attention recently, and it’s been fun.

  2. I signed up to be a last minute pinch hitter in fanfic exchange. Small word count plus quick deadline has turned out to be very inspiring. I was going to use something that somewhat fit the prompt, but when I laid down to take a nap, a whole new idea popped up that fit much better.
    So I’m very happy we have no big commitments this holiday. Even the cookies are going to have to wait for a little bit.

  3. Surely whatever you snare will be stolen by the bears?! Lol. And then you wasted your non-dominant limb. 😀

    I’ve been phoning and actually speaking to friends. Today I need a silent day to make up for it.

    Happiness was getting the naan right without yeast. It felt like I was in India again! https://youtu.be/zogvMiPpQrs The flour I used comes premixed with some of the salts for focaccia but I didn’t use the yeast sachet. It’s from Eureka Mills in South Africa.

    I’ve also found white bread flour to be better than all-purpose flour for flatbreads, cupcakes and biscuits aka cookies because the higher protein content seems to make things rise better.

    Happiness is being on vacation and actually doing the things I said I’d do.
    – I’ve been reading from the TBR pile.

    – I’ve been doing work for school. New school year starts late in January 2020 since we have a calendar year. I’m translating the difficult text book instructions words using my IsiZulu dictionary!

    -I started simple yoga practice again after weeks of struggling with pain and kidney infection.

    -I am on day 3 of doing a 40 day Kundalini yoga kriya.

    All in all, slowly doing better.

  4. I had a surprise two-day visit from an old friend, which was just wonderful. Feel I’ve had my Christmas dose of socializing, and can now settle into full hermit mode. We just got in under the wire with our temporary bubble: her part of the country went into Tier 3 the day she arrived and Tier 4 – where you’re seriously not meant to travel at all – as she drove back home. (She and her partner have been being ultra-cautious, and I’m pretty careful, so we felt it wasn’t too much of a risk to get together. And my previous bubble had ended two weeks ago, since that friend’s gone to stay with her family.)

    Yvonne also helped me decorate the tree – the biggest I’ve ever had, at over 6 ft. Just got to add three bead garlands and some ribbons. My tree always makes me happy, and is a real companion at Christmas.

        1. A WalMart pre-lit tree is a starting point, from which you can demonstrate your creativity in choices of ornaments and garlands. The dotter has such a tree. The dotter is mondo creative. More, she changes every year. This year, she left out all the red ones and doubled down on silver and black. I still remember the teal and blue year, fondly.

      1. How lovely!!

        I wanted to put up a real tree this year since we’ve moved and have room, but my tree stand is being stored at my BIL’s since we didn’t have room for it in our apartment. So I’ll put up my mini fake one in a Santa boot–once I unpack it!

        Happiness is having heat again now that the furnace has been repaired. We’re very fortunate and loving our new house!

    1. The other week I joked that if Kent was going to change tiers it would only to be to go up to a hypothetical “tier 4″…and here we are. What with that, the lorries queueing to the continent and the miserable weather it’s a bit like being snowed in, which I quite like.

  5. With a foot and a half of snow to (hopefully) cover the bears for the winter, I filled and hung the bird feeder and also piled birdfeed on a rock (for squirrels and deer). That meant shoveling out a path.

    When finished, I looked at the woods and considered pushing through the snow to get to the trail and follow it.

    Only then did I realize that I felt refreshed and wonderful. After years of constant pain and low stamina, I could do all this stuff and even contemplate going further. The knee replacement this past June and the stationary bike riding and exercises I’ve been doing since January have really paid off. This is wonderful.

  6. I finished first term – 6 exams and 1 essay in 5 days. I was hanging on by my fingernails by the last day, but I have 3 weeks to recover and relax.

    Long face time chat this week with a dear friend who lives in another province. Everyone’s in various stages of lockdown so FT is great. I sent daily texts with silly gifs to a couple of friends during my exams – helped me feel connected and gave us both a giggle.

    After my last exam, DH and I took our dog for a long walk along the river near our house. It was cold but the sun was out, so great walking weather. Still waiting for snow so I can ski – maybe this week.

  7. The sun shining brightly makes me happy. One positive effect of lockdown nr. 2: better quality of air in the city.
    Having a (virtual) small xmas Party at work on Friday was fun. Many of my colleagues are goofy, i.e. really nice.

    Being on the home stretch regarding presents is making me less stressed.
    Just one more day at work, yeah.
    Having a great goofball as our son makes me happy.
    Sadly, no snow.
    But sitting in front of the heating and having the sun shining througv the window down on me makes everything so much nicer.

  8. A dear friend who I have not seen since February drove an hour to bring cookies and presents to exchange in my driveway with masks on. It has given me the biggest burst of holiday feeling so far this year.

    My sister and I put together a box to send my niece, who won’t be home for christmas for the first time in her 38 years. Mostly cookies and dog treats from sister, my special jam cookies and socks (I always give her socks) from me. It wasn’t supposed to get there until Monday, but she got it yesterday and was excited about all the things we sent. We theoretically don’t do presents within the family any more (socks don’t count) but I am also going to surprise her with an Amazon gift card on the 24th.

    I discovered that one can purchase Sandra Boynton items through Zazzle. I now own a fabulous mug with one of her scruffy little cats on it, holding a candle. The other side says “Offer whatever light you can”. I have adopted this as my guiding principle for 2021 – starting now. I am thankful to be in a position to send gifts, make people laugh by wearing my decorated antlers, cheer up my neighbor with my christmas lights. Every bit of light helps. Also thankful for this community – you are all bits of light for me.

  9. A friend is going through a particularly tough time (on top of generalized “2020 is terrible” stuff), and I was able to do something to cheer up her mother, which in turn cheered up my friend, and that all made me happy. Sort of happiness by proxy.

    In more direct happy, I’m taking some (intentional) time off to play with textiles. Making and finishing quilts and knitting chemo caps.

  10. I thought I had posted on here earlier today but I don’t see it so will try again. Mine isn’t exactly a happiness post; I received a phone call from my boss last night informing me that one of my coworkers has COVID-19 and we all had to go tested today. Unfortunately my test came back positive. I don’t feel sick, but do feel a bit congested. So, I have to stay in quarantine for a while. I won’t know for how long until the health department contacts me, probably tomorrow, and gives me more information.

    On the brighter side, I think I have enough groceries to tide me over enough that I won’t have to try Bob’s trapping idea!

    1. I hope you feel better soon! Please, keep us updated, Argh People have to stick together.

      1. I will, Office Wench. Right now I am feeling a bit of cabin fever and today’s only the first day! I am used to going out for walks and/or hikes every day and now I have to stay inside for probably 2 weeks. I’ll get through it; just grit my teeth and find books to read.

    2. Hope you’re one of the ones who has an extremely mild case. Keep us posted, please, while we sent good vibes.

  11. Bob is so helpful, glad I don’t need his advice 😏. Now I am going to start my Christmas 🎄 reading, I will look for my Cinderella Deal and Toy Story and settle down with a nice cup of tea and biscuits oops cookies,

  12. I found the pink Swatch I bought for GD 2 for her birthday. On sale and tucked away in a safe place but could I find it when her birthday came around…nooo. One birthday present done for 2021.

    Changed up the decorations, assembled little scenes with ceramic trees, gold wax candle trees, (never ever lit), glittery lighted white trees, etc. Mostly trees.

    Brought back our annual Christmas concert we attended for years. Sadly Stuart McLean passed from cancer. His stories were so engaging and heart warming. His story; Dave lighting the neighbours wax candle Christmas scene display was classic Stuart McLean. He had Christmas concerts across the border in Seattle and other American cities.

  13. I’m getting ready for a bonfire out in the fire pit tonight, so I could use Bob’s advice on how to build a fire over snow.

    Had a long walk with a friend on a sunny day, we usually walk just around 4 so mostly in the dark, but Saturday we realized, hey, let’s just go while the sun is out! So great this time of year. Was able to talk it through and figure out my free-floating anxiety that often gets me at Christmas, even without the tough parts of 2020. Just to talk it through was a relief and a joy. So the happiness was a good friend, we’ve only been friends for about a year. It’s important to remember that new relationships and circumstances are always coming (for better and worse.) But, there are plenty of good times ahead.

    Just saw a robin on the holly bush, wait just saw seven robins on the holly bush, I think I’m living in a Christmas carol!

    1. Eh, it started to rain, so we’ve moved it to tomorrow night, the actual Solstice. I put a tarp on the firewood, but I’m drinking the spiced wine I prepared. It should not go to waste.

  14. I got a negative breast biopsy and I got it in only two days instead of the week to ten I anticipated. The reduction in anxiety is stunning. It had kind of crept up on me since this has been a thing since September (mammogram followed by sonogram followed by a biopsy that was negative but still required an excisional biopsy because the particular kind of lesion means a negative biopsy can still have a cancer 9% of time). So I hasn’t realized how anxious I was until it went away. Now I just need to heal (3 inch incision).

    I’m also happy that the courts keep rejecting Trump election lawsuits, that the Trump lawyers keep making really dumb typos, (https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1340318806397263876?s=21), (should be penalty not plenty),
    And that Courtney Milan wrote an amicus brief on behalf of her dog (which I assume she did not submit but who knows.)
    https://twitter.com/courtneymilan/status/1337461736950001664?s=21

    1. Such lightening news for you!

      Thank you for sharing the entertainment via the Milan absolutely adorable dog.

  15. I’m watching The Repair Shop on Netflix. It is such a sweet program. People bring in broken possessions that they love and the experts fix them–broken clocks, a dilapidated teddy bear, rundown furniture, etc. Sometimes I cry because of the emotional reaction when items are repaired. My favorite work is the painting restoration done by Lucia. Her profession fascinates me.

  16. I’m happy that I am mostly prepped for Christmas – cards/presents pretty much done, even if some won’t be delivered until next year, decorations up, some cookie-baking been done (and been eaten – need to do more, lol). I do keep forgetting to douse the Christmas cake, must fix that.

    I’m *really* happy that I had a big Asda (supermarket) order delivered last night, just hours before Wales went into lockdown. This was luck rather than anything else – we weren’t supposed to lockdown until Dec 28th, but it got brought forwards with only a few hours warning due to rising stats. Our area isn’t too bad, comparatively speaking, but I’d much rather it *stayed* at the lower end!

    I am continuing to explore and enjoy various podcasts (I’m late to the party in discovering these) and trying to do as much quilting as other demands will allow. Both of these make me happy. 🙂

    1. I’ve just discovered ‘You’re Dead to Me’ (Radio 4, but I don’t listen to radio because of the hourly news). Also enjoy ‘Fortunately’. I’ve recently unsubscribed from anything political; I’ve had enough this year.

  17. My sister-in-law who is a front line health worker got her COVID vaccination last week, she will get the second on Jan 5. That’s very good news.

    I shoveled snow for half an hour this morning, came inside soaked with sweat because it’s only about -1C and my coat is very, very warm. I remembered that I had a clean-ish shirt in the laundry pile and then discovered that I had an actually clean shirt in the laundry basket. I might need a shower but at least my shirt is clean and there’s a spot for Paul to park in front of the garage now. I did not shovel the front path and sidewalk because of the Category 17 hurricane force winds that burst up out of nowhere and try to kill my by stealing my breath.

    Now I’m off to start some sourdough bread. Maybe. If I can find a recipe that doesn’t take 3 days to make.

    1. That IS good news! This winter will be the time I actually attempt the Sour Dough Challenge. My sister sent me some of her hard-won starter, so I have no excuse.

  18. I haven’t been feeling very Christmas-y – the ornaments are packed for the move so we haven’t decorated, but yesterday I picked up a fancy box of cookies made by a bunch of chefs here in LA to raise funds for the Georgia Senate races, and that cheered me on two levels.

    Then my bff got some excellent news regarding the paperwork for *her* upcoming move to Portugal, so we’re now both in the “oh, sh*t, so much to do!” frame of mind, and it’s good to have company.

  19. I wasn’t expecting to be christmassy at all this year, with covid and being in a house with roommates. But no one is going anywhere and Lin decorates a little: we even have a giant teddy bear in the living room! I stream holiday music from my laptop to a bluetooth speaker in the living room. So that’s nice.

    The best thing came yesterday: my oldest friend sent me a box of my favorite candy bars! They are Uno bars and they sell in stores on on the West Coast (US), but now you can get them from Amazon. I’m a nice person, so I gave one bar to each of my four roommates. I ate two yesterday. The remaining 18 are residing in the freezer portion of my personal fridge and I intend them to last, so I’ll have one or two a week. I have missed these.

  20. That Bob. Such a card – a Christmas card, almost. But he is wrong. You don’t go for arms, you go for the non-dominant leg. For one thing, more meat. Given the season, your leg will yield up a ham. You need both arms to make building snares easier.

    I vetoed extensive shopping for today. Crowds, y’know. But groceries are a must, and there’s a not-overcrowded store 1.2 miles from home. We might use a delivery service for a steak dinner, though.

  21. Nice easy day today. That makes me happy.

    Reading ‘The Left-Handed Booksellers of London’. And drinking coffee. I’ll have to switch to cider soon so I’ll be able to sleep. So it’s good.

  22. I do the Christmas tree today. It will be different this year because you know- kitten. No glass ornaments, nothing dangling in the first 18 inches above the floor, nothing that can be chewed on having toxic paint. Good thing I have tons of ornaments.

  23. Happy at work: delegated what will be a months-long project involving thousands of emails to one of our group assistants, who took off running with it in a way that is going to be good for her (experience for advancement), good for me (all I have to do is keep an eye on it), and good for the attorney team.

    Happy at home: the plants that I relocated last week are still alive.

    Happy in general: my sister organized an Acapella project which we finished today. She and her wife and I, and their church pianist, doing ‘We Three Kings’ to send to our parents. I have not sung anything for anyone else’s hearing for YEARS. It was scary but fun and now I want to sing more.

  24. Getting all the packages in the mail this week made me happy; there’s a chance they will reach recipients on time.
    Also, was able to be inside a nearby church for about an hour with a friend who was the priest there–wonderful to be in such a space, when our churches have closed. I came into the world, another friend once told me, hard-wired for religion, so these nine months outside the building have been hard.
    Happy that the vaccine is beginning to be delivered.

  25. Starting tomorrow, I will be off work for two straight weeks — the longest I’ve ever taken off my current project assignment. And it begins on the Solstice — a holiday I’ve never been able to take during my ten plus years with my current employer.

    I’m also quite excited by the fact that my area is going into the return year of the 17-year cicada Brood X, which I loved in 1970 and 84, and particularly in 2004.

    So I’m kind of all “Nothing but Good Times Ahead” at the moment. 🙂

  26. I have been having trouble baking this year and have been feeling like I let my friends down by dropping the tradition. I almost had a heart attack when I saw what Trader Joe wanted for pine nuts, but they sell them pre-toasted and they are the prime ingredient in Maria’s favorite cookie, so I splurged. I met Maria when I was looking for my first apartment and we have been friends ever since. I managed to bake the cookies without screwing anything up, which was a real relief, considering my recent erratic concentration. Dave has been telling me that they don’t need the bakery to know that I appreciate them, but these people have been my support system for so many difficult years that I really need to do this. Baking is my only socially acceptable skill, so when I started screwing up my most reliable recipes, it really shook me.
    The only challenge was that for the first time since Dave’s store reopened, there was a line waiting to get in. I am delighted that his business is finally picking up, but I wish I could get in to use their bathroom in under half an hour. I considered skipping the line while waving the bag of cookies, but it just seemed too mean.
    I will bake and frost a pan of brownies tomorrow and deliver them on Tuesday and that should finish the season with some small semblance of normality.

    Tomorrow I am going to attend my first Zoom birthday party. The birthday girl has said that she will have her guitar and we can try to sing together. Since her choir was unable to rehearse over Zoom, I’m not too confident about the results, but if nothing else, it should be amusing. And if her sister and BIL are part of the Zoom, I can reconnect with them, too. It will be nice to see them someplace other than a funeral.

  27. I’ve had a happy couple of days. The company Christmas party was reimagined as an online cooking lesson on Paella – very entertaining, lots of connecting with seldom seen colleagues and all safe. I was able to do a “drive by pickup” of saffron and made shrimp, chorizo and chicken paella for dinner. I’m not sure how authentic it turned out, but there’s none left, so the family approved!

  28. We made a little book tree this year because we didn’t have the usual crew to help us build it. It’s all-Crusie books this year!

  29. My son and I get our Covid vaccine on Tuesday. My Father in law still has hopes for him becoming a doctor. Don’t know if encouraging him to become a nurse too was a gift of a punishment.

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