Happiness is Lots of Color

{This was set to publish on Sunday and didn’t. That does not make me happy.]

When my kitchen stove went up in flame, the plastic things on both sides of it melted. I ended up with a lot of plastic blobs and no kitchen tools. (Okay, the stainless steel stuff made it, but that was all hanging on racks out of the direct flame zone.) So when it came time to replace them, I did something I’d never done: I bought a set. In turquoise. Because you know what looks good in a blackened kitchen? Color. It feels like those pictures of burnt forests when the wildflowers start to grow again. Then there’s my bathroom which I had done all in white tile figuring I’d add the color later and it would be easy to change. Now I have a bright orange plastic fish that holds my tooth stuff and bright green canvas fish hanging under my window to hold washcloths and a turquoise squeegee next to the mirror . . .

Color makes me happy. What made you happy this week?

+13

67 thoughts on “Happiness is Lots of Color

  1. A friend is working for me Thursday and I’m going to a the Mini Minesota state fair. (Not the actual name but should have been). There are corndogs and sweet Marthas cookies in my future.

    +12
  2. Colour always makes me happy, and this week I got three hits of deepest indigo bluebells, when I feared I’d missed them for this year. Also had an excellent three-day birthday, including a day at Powis Castle gardens and introducing a friend to ‘High Society’ (her film education seems sadly lacking; looks like it’s been all Deeply Significant art films; it’s great fun to share my favourites).

    Then there was the big happy of editing a book on roses for the next six months. This has got a bit lost in the stress of choosing a new computer, but I’m hoping to make a final decision on that today, and get it set up this week. Felt a lot happier yesterday after talking it through with a fellow photographer.

    +24
    1. Even happier: I’ve bought my new Mac and it’s coming tomorrow. So I can stop trying to get my head around arcane tech specs (the various compatible/incompatible versions of Thunderbolt, USB and FireWire completely do my head in). Fingers crossed it all works together.

      +18
      1. That makes me happy too. I’d been reading about chip shortages for appliances and wasn’t sure if it affected computers too. Worried you wouldn’t get yours timely but didn’t want you to worry if I mentioned it.

        +10
  3. When I was setting up what I call my kitchen, I bought some stick-on vinyl stuff and installed some magnet strips. My kitchen knives and scissors and some screwdrivers and a few utensils are in plain sight hanging on the magnetic strips. The dotter insisted I have colorful plastic utensils also on display – spatulas, whisks, stirring spoons, ladles, yada, yada, yada. There’s only so much space – two cabinets width – and it has to be shared with either a toaster oven or a frying pan and a toaster and a coffee pot…

    I was thinking of retiring the toaster until the diet is over or bread is allowed again. And I never make coffee, only tea, so that can hide as well. That will make the color more visible.

    +14
  4. I love periwinkle, colbalt, lime and grass green, violet, phlox purple, mandarin and magenta. The colour of a paua shell is just a delight and makes me very happy.

    +17
    1. Paua shells are the best. I’ve got a couple of polished ones, a couple more I found on beaches, and some favourite earrings that are little sticks of paua.

      +7
    2. Unless you are in a tourist shop where the whole shop is consumed with cheap paua everything. I could only really appreciate it when it was against a solid color for contrast. I think that’s why I like the whole (half) shells best. The unpolished grey outside really makes the lining of the shell stand out.

      +8
  5. I was happy to find that Tell Me Lies, Getting Rid of Bradley and Welcome to Temptation helped my ouchie brain wind down a little. Now letting Agnes take care of things with her frying pan. Thanks, Jenny, for writing the best kind of comfort reads.

    I was also delighted when my dad sent me a video of my big brother singing for his 13-months-old son, and the little one tried to sing a long. Well, fill in “Mama!” on the right place, but you gotta start somewhere. My brother is the cutest, sweetest dad I’ve seen in a long, long time. He and his little boy called me last Monday to wave and blow raspberries via Facetime video, which made me happy, too.

    I was less happy to find out that I’d been using the wrong colour for a mosaic piece I was working on. It’s already more or less finished, so can’t change it now, but it was…supposed to be another colour. My own fault for not checking the label on the jar, just assuming it was the right one, which annoys me even more. Fortunately the colours still work, so I’ll probably be the only one that thinks it’s a problem.

    When I get a new kitchen someday in the future, I’ll have more colour in it.

    Hope you’ll all have a splended week!

    +14
    1. You are very welcome. And your brother sounds as wonderful as your nephew.

      +11
  6. I mentioned we got a puppy? I promised pictures:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CPQNk6LtmQj/

    Did I tell you I’m studying science communication? I have to write a narrative essay on a possible backstory to this John Doe: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/24umal.html

    If the deadline wasn’t tomorrow (I know, I suck) it might be fun. I think he was killed by lightning. But what was he doing there in the first place?! What path had ‘killed by lightning’ as its inevitable conclusion? Crap. Maybe I’ll start over.

    +14
  7. Dear son has turned 16 today and he’s still the lovely hugs-loving charming guy (not a teenage changeling at all), so that makes me happy.

    And it doesn’t rain, so that makes me happy.

    Also, last night I spent 4+ hours watching One Direction videos on YouTube yesterday with dear daughter (who gave me praise for being a good mom/sharing her musical tastes), so that made me happy (and not too tired in spite of us going to bed after 2 am).

    Plus the conference on Friday going well enough (some technical problems, not all of my doing) – but the participants were really nice, so that makes me happy combined with now having 10 days off.

    What doesn’t make me happy is that we had to cancel our 7-day-holiday in a nearby region because the Covid-numbers in that region is not low enough for museums or indoor catering to open and our hotel was with breakfast only. With the uncertainty of weather, no activity variety (only walking and biking possible) and no proper eating options, spending 2000+ Euro didn’t quite sound appeal.
    It would be soooo lovely if I could at least get an appointment for the pieks (= vaccination), but it doesn’t seem likely. The vaccination roll out is going soooooo slow.

    +18
    1. Sorry, I nevertheless seem to be tired, because my grasp of English is just abominable today…

      +10
      1. Dear Dodo,

        I have been having trouble with English lately myself and I’m a native speaker. At least you have other languages to fall back on. Sigh.

        +20
      2. I am always SO impressed with how good your command of English idiom is. A tiny error here or there is almost nothing, considering that all of us native speakers make at least that many every time we fail to notice a spelling error or an autocorrect gone mad. You deserve high praise — no need for apologies!

        +11
        1. You make me blush, Jinx 🙂
          Thanks so much.
          If only my spoken English were of the same level. Far less chance to practice…

          +5
  8. Color makes me happy too. My annuals are slowly starting to fill in and in a few more weeks should be nothing but color. Unfortunately the plant supply has been erratic due to pandemic so I bought slightly different colors of some plants than I prefer (and then the ones I wanted came in). We will have to see how it works.

    Indoors we picked up two wooden foot stools with foldaway stairs one for the kitchen and one for the study. They make me happy.

    +9
  9. Ever since the pandemic started I’ve put aside my neutral knitting and crocheting projects and have been working only in vivid colors.

    I’ve been designing a tiny house for fun, and the outside of it should be black burned (sho sugi ban) wood, with carved and painted wood vines and flowers attached on top of the siding, vivid spring greens and bright wildflowers. In my imagination, they just pop off the charcoal black.

    I laughed when I read Jenny’s sentence “It feels like those pictures of burnt forests when the wildflowers start to grow again,” because it was a seeing photo of a red wildflower growing out of ashes that put the idea into my mind.

    +15
    1. Very interesting blog post. Writing a novel sounds exhausting. I guess hardly any author on this blog will disagree. Yet, I’m very thankful that you all persevere!!

      +7
    2. Every novel you read is a Choose Your Own Adventure book that someone else has played.” Might be everything I take from the blog post.

      +8
    3. This was fascinating, JaneB! thanks for the link. I cannot conceive of how anyone ever finishes a book, working this way. I admit that (with a STEM and Project Management background), I am a plotter. I also am not a published author!

      +2
      1. But surely the most important thing is to write the way that works for you – that’s the most fun and productive.

        +3
    4. Oooh, fun to read. And illuminating about process. Thank you. Sounds like she’s looking in on me writing my current piece.

      +1
  10. Well, I think one green onion shall survive in my mini garden, which makes me happy! It’s indoors, but I think I had infected dirt, as rolly polly bugs have been sighted (and smooshed) and anything that sprouted was gone the next day. 🙁

    We’ll see if anything persists, and if not, I might dump the dirt on some outdoors plants as fertilizer (sturdy, alive ones, anyways) and buy new dirt for attempt two.

    +5
    1. Couldn’t be vine weevils, could it? In which case the LAST thing you want to do is introduce them into your garden.

      +7
      1. I agree with Jane. There’s a LOT of stuff you really don’t want to spread around. Maybe try to sterilize the dirt before you introduce it to your yard?

        +7
        1. Thanks! I’m pretty sure (ok… 60% sure) they are pill bugs. They definitely don’t match the picture of vine weevils (thank god)!

          And by dump outside, I meant throw on adult plants in the apartment complex. I don’t actually have a yard! And my garden is already infected bc this is it (sob). T.T Def. Won’t add to my patio plants.

          I feel bad wasting the dirt. I know they spray pesticides around here, but I think the pill bugs would only be a bother to baby plants??

          Should I just throw it away? It’s quite a bit of dirt. And most of it new from the bag. 🙁

          +5
          1. If you can’t return it, then I’d say just throw it away. You could be introducing real nasties into the apartment complex yard – and the fact that plants are adult does not, unfortunately, make them bombproof.

            Not worth the risk, although I understand you may feel wasteful. But the potential consequences are just not worth it IMHO.

            +7
          2. You don’t have a green waste collection? I put anything I’m dubious about in there, because the council heaps will get really hot, unlike mine, which should kill any nasties. It I were seriously worried about toxins or disease, I’d put it in the normal dustbin, for landfill.

            +5
          3. Thanks all!

            It is a mix of old dirt and new. I’m fairly certain it was the old dirt that came with the planter that had the bugs. It was previously outdoor.

            So I can’t return the dirt, which is fine, and I haven’t seen them crop up in anything else lately, although I haven’t been looking either.

            We don’t really have a lot of composting or anything here, Jane. I feel like the US as a whole is behind the curve there in terms of publicly available options. All the ones I’m aware of happen more in farm country, or are personal compost heaps. I’m pretty lucky to have regular recycling in my apartment complex.

            So trash bin or sprinkle outside somewhere. Sounds like trash is the way to go, sucky as it is. T.T

            Thanks all!

            +3
          4. I’m in the US,and I think there’s a lot of composting here. I do, and Mollie does, although one of her degrees is in horticulture, so she would.

            +3
          5. So I don’t know how much dirt you have but my google suggests you could sterilize the dirt a couple of pounds at a time in the microwave or in a pressure cooker. Never tried this myself but it might be worth checking out this idea. If you do it, I’d be interested to hear how it goes!

            +4
  11. It has been a cooler than usual spring here which had the advantages that the slugs and snails were sluggish (*snort*) and my hostas were not chomped to oblivion before they got too big to be of interest to those pests. (I normally have to replenish the slug bait on an almost daily basis to make sure they don’t get mowed down.) As a a result, they are bigger and fuller and more glorious than they have been in years (yay!) and I am looking forward to them being big enough to split by mid to late summer.

    On the downside, lots of strong winds and a fair amount of rain with some hail meant that my absolutely splendid wisteria, in full bloom over two stories was denuded at its full glory. Last year I had great luck in that I fertilized it in the summer because we were training it to go up to the second floor, and lo and behold got a second crop of blossoms which was not quite so wonderful as the initial one but not bad. I even got a third round of blossoms in late summer!

    My roses are fuller and packed with buds, I have a couple of David Austin ramblers over the pergola and they are already double the size they were last year. I just hope that I can keep the black spot that I had problems with last year under control. So far things look fairly good, but since my roses don’t drop their leaves over the winter, I have some spots which I am not entirely certain are active or scars from last year. Time to do a prophylactic spray before the weather turns warmer and muggy.

    When all my roses are in bloom, the garden is a feast for the eyes. Lilies are way up already now too, and the lavender I planted a couple of years ago is now in the “leap” stage and looking splendid. The garden will be very fragrant in a few weeks and the pergola will be our favorite “hangout”. Can’t wait!

    +14
  12. I really enjoyed all the word things from Saturday’s post. It reminded me of my dear uncle saying “Sounds aerodynamically unsound” I won’t tell you how old I was when the penny dropped and I realized he was saying “it won’t fly”. Remembering this also made me happy.

    +13
    1. He would have fit in well with my family. We appreciate extra effort in phrasing.

      +6
  13. Our two hundred year old home has seen many renovations, but the one constant we kept is to keep the walls neutral. Like off white. I change the curtains with the seasons. Now I’m getting a bit leary of standing on a step ladder. Years ago we stripped the wallpaper off, I’ve forgotten how long ago that was, probably in the eighties. Changing the prints and a few paintings gives the rooms added color, plus faux flower arrangements to dust and change those with the seasons as well.

    +9
  14. I have lilacs blooming in my yard in various shades of dark purple, lavender, and white. Plus I bought more flowers than I usually do (I’m mostly a veggie gardener) just for the burst of color.

    +9
  15. I got my first dose of vaccine on Saturday, with minimal side-effects. Yay!

    Earlier in the week I took DS (aged 3) to the zoo – one of his absolutely most favourite places in the world. His first visit since December. He was ecstatic. We both had a marvellous time, and he is still, days later and apropos of nothing, turning to me at random points during the day to say: “I was at the *zoo*!” with sparkling eyes. I’m hoping to take him again later this week (we’re members), which may well finish him off…

    +16
  16. Walking around the fabric shop today. Granddaughters painting ceramics with bright colours on Friday.

    +6
  17. On my pandemic agoraphobia bingo card, I went clothes shopping in person for the first time on Friday. I bought four pairs of comfy fancy pants because fuck jeans, and two pairs of tops, for $75 at the fancy thrift store. Spree time! I also saw a friend for free Krispy Kremes and indoor dinner on Sunday–we hadn’t gone to that restaurant since February 2020.

    I also went to a drive-through Burning Man event on Saturday, which was a hoot. Art cars, things on fire, dancers, interesting costumes, and people handing out free stickers, hearts and buttons. We yarn-bombed my friend’s car with temporary/removable blankets with yarn things sewn on to them and people LOVED that. I don’t have pics uploaded yet though.

    I have finished filming for Shrek and am off for a month. On a related note…
    Karaoke is returning today (Monday). It is also the DJ’s daughter’s 21st birthday. I hope she’s there–I’m not sure since she has heart problems and if that’s a thing that interferes with vaccines or anything–but I’m assuming she will be. I did get a text from a karaoke buddy, so hopefully she’s there to duet with again. I don’t know if any of my friends will be there, but a few expressed interest, I’ll put it that way. I would like to hope they don’t flake, but I’m lowering my expectations. It will be interesting to see if the old friend group CAN reunite after over a year of very little to no contact from anyone.

    (And I don’t have to care any more if crush doesn’t show up, I no longer want him to, and the odds are very high he’ll never go again, since he no longer works down the street from the bar and the hours are now 5-8 and he’s working in another town for at least half of that. Good. I just don’t want to deal with figuring out My Feelings on whether or not to be friends or “friends” with him. Let’s postpone that until/unless plays start running again and I might have to be around him more. Until then, I assume he’s gone forever and that’s probably all for the best.)

    +13
    1. Karaoke was AMAZING. Probably gonna do more of that Sunday though.

      I was told that someone else texted crush and he said he was going to come around 7, but of course he never showed up. It’s nice to be HAPPY with that and not disappointed/mad that he flaked again.

      +3
  18. Happy was the latest down-cycle easing off. I’m sufficiently self-aware to recognize the mild depression and anhedonia, and to give myself a break instead of making myself feel worse going ‘what’s wrong with me,’ but it’s still crap going through it. Thanking my lucky stars that my perimenopause cycle is irregular, i.e. I don’t have to do this every month. Stupid hormones.

    Happy is release dates (and thus pre-orders) for new books from Jay Hogan and KJ Charles. That’s my June reading handled because now I have an excuse to re-read both series – to get ready for the new titles. 🙂

    Happy is also – very strangely – a liberating letting-go. I’ve culled 163 books and contacted The Last Bookstore to come and get them. They are all collectible and have been dear for many years, but after saying ‘you can pry my Dick Francis firsts from my cold dead hands’ for a long time I realized that’s not actually what I want. I’d rather release them into the wild now and have a couple decades of imagining these books are moving on to new owners who will enjoy them.

    Related happy: ordering two DF e-books and finding these editions have introductions by the author, describing how and why he came to write them.

    +12
    1. I found weird liberation in letting go of my books, too! Mostly mine were unread, so I finally abandoned the subtle expectation of “why aren’t you reading these like you’re supposed to” that was eating at me. Absolutely lovely!

      +7
  19. Color makes me happy, too. Unfortunately, as a renter in an apartment with an incredibly restrictive lease, there isn’t a lot I can do about the floors and walls. But my new chair (details in last Working Wednesday) will do a lot to help. The color is called Paloma Crystal and it ties in with the throw pillows I have on my off white couch.

    I took a closer look at my sales order to write this and discovered that the projected delivery date is 2 months later than I had remembered. Although I will need the color more than ever in November, I really don’t want to wait that long. Perhaps if I replace the extremely faded poster in my dining room, it will help.

    What made me even happier was having dinner with my niece and nephew-in-law on the way home. Not only are they 2 of my favorite people in the whole world, but being able to hug them again was so freaking wonderful.

    +10
    1. There are some fun hacks to add color! There are a lot of stickons that don’t harm the wall, and I think washi tape? That can be used to add like stripes or borders to things. Definitely some fun lists out there with options!

      +5
  20. Although I was confused yesterday when this didn’t post, it gave me an opportunity to read a lot of “word” posts I would otherwise have missed. They were delightful and continued my happiness with the wacky words into a second day.

    +4
  21. Dirt in the microwave or pressure cooker-what could go wrong with that?

    Brown is a color!

    +6
  22. I beat my husband at chess tonight. I only beat him once in 20 or so games so this made me very happy. 🙂 Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring such joy.

    +8
  23. Second vaccination Saturday morning, and very little reaction — barely detectably more sore and ache-y than the first one, but no worse than the annual flu shot. My brother had his second vaccination Sunday morning and he doesn’t have much of a reaction to it, either — he said he felt a little chilled. I noticed that, too, but just put on winter nightclothes (and, of course, I have two cats to keep me warm in bed, and he has the kittens).

    I bought some Blueberry pans from Great Jones — large and small sheet pans — and have always been a sucker for multicolored sets of stuff. That has always made me happy!

    +5
  24. Yay for color. I’ve been playing with my 12-color Koi portable watercolors; they are bright and fun and just right with a quick Sharpie sketch.

    +4

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