Happiness is a Fancy Tea Kettle

You know that old “what’s the one thing you’d save in a fire” question? After the dogs and cat, it would be my laptop, let’s be practical, but that whole “one thing” misses the important stuff by piling all this doom and smoke on the question (I know about smoke, I’m going to be cleaning up soot forever). A better question is, “What do you have that makes you happy when you look at it?”

I have a retro teakettle that I’m bananas about. A bag with a typewriter on it. Another bag with a typewriter on it. The extremely ancient peonies in my front yard. It’s that whole sparks joy thing.

What made you happy this week?

81 thoughts on “Happiness is a Fancy Tea Kettle

  1. So you have enticed the cat to become part of your household, have you? Have you named her? Do she and the dogs get on?

    What makes me happy this time of year is birdsong. The weather is nice, so I sleep with the windows open, and it’s lovely to wake up to birdsong. There are blackbirds in the neighbourhood again. Many of them were killed of late years by some virus, but their numbers seem to be gaining strength again. I understand you don’t have blackbirds in America, but they’re beautiful singers.

    1. I have a post coming up on that. Stay tuned.
      Short answer: Yes. Her name is Emily. She and the dogs stare at each other across open spaces.

    2. We have lots of black birds: crows, ravens, red-winged black birds, yellow-headed black-birds, starlings (introduced and a bad idea) and anis (but these are really southern) . This ignores water and sea birds like cormorants and anhingas and coots.

      1. Yes, but not actual blackbirds: a kind of songthrush, where the males are black with a yellow beak and yellow eyeliner.

        1. We don’t have the Eurasian blackbird. But we do have many other birds that are black.

      2. I was referring to the Turdus merula, if you want to be technical about it. It’s commonly called a blackbird in English, as referenced in the Beatles song ‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night’.

  2. Happiness is the lovely roses from our garden finally blossoming after a very cold wintery spring.
    We are selling our house and the constant cleaning and keeping the house tidy in between viewings is starting to get to me.
    However, I do like cutting a few roses and putting them in my favourite vase as a final touch after all the cleaning.

    1. Are real estate agents in your part of the world as insane as the ones in the Pacific NW? I know people whose agents had them put almost all their stuff into storage, repaint the interior white and get rid of anything personal on display. The worst one I know had them paint all their natural cherrywood cabinets white, paint white over the very expensive faux finished interior walls. One even suggested that they replace their glass-block surround on their walk-in shower with clear glass walls because glass-blocks are passé.

      1. No, I don’t think estate agents in the UK do that kind of things or at least not the ones I have dealt with.
        It helps that our house is pretty sparse as I am a declutter at heart and I don’t like knick-knacks. I go through cupboards and drawers periodically and I donate or sell what I don’t use regularly. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing that. It always makes me feel lighter.
        My kids and husband are not as keen to declutter as I am but I do manage to get them to edit their stuff fairly regularly.

        1. When we sold our house 6 years ago, the real estate agent included 1 hour with a designer when he checked the house. The designer gave us a detailed list of things to do along with sources. She chose really inexpensive fixtures and such from Home Depot. The list was incredibly useful. Nothing was unreasonable for a 145-year-old house that needed a quick facelift before being put on the market. Besides, if something had been unreasonable, we wouldn’t have done it. The first folks to tour the house bought it.

          The owner of the house we bought, following real estate agents’ advice, had painted the house (it was cedar shingled) and had replaced the stove with one that has no venting. On the other hand, the owner didn’t deal with several simple, cosmetic issues (for example, the built-in cherry TV/stereo cabinet was nailed shut). The house was on and off the market for 9 years.

          I agree with Deborah about changing agents. One caveat is that in the US real estate agents’ reponsibilities vary enormously. In some states they only market the house; in other states they arrange financing and offer (what I would call) legal advice.

        2. I’ve been involved with the selling a decent number of houses over about 20 years in the UK, both personally (3) and with work (numerous, although not the main focus of my job) and never received any unprompted advice relating to staging/decor/fixing from any estate agent.

          I have sometimes asked about various aspects, but the usual response was some version of ‘don’t bother, if the buyer wants to do that they’ll do it themselves’.

          It always amazes me when on (UK based) how-to-sell-your-house TV programmes they recommend complete replacements of the kitchen & bathroom – there is no way to predict the eventual buyer’s taste, so they are quite likely to rip it out and re-do it anyway. Clean and working, yes absolutely; entire new (cheap because selling it) replacements, no.

          YVMV in other countries, naturally. 🙂

          1. Yes, that’s my experience too. My husband has basically repainted the whole house and when he told the estate agent, he wanted to finish a couple of things before the first viewing, including repainting the front door (which looked very tired), she said don’t bother, people like to choose their own paint colours.
            When we sold our last house, the first thing the new owners did was to change the kitchen and main bathroom.

  3. It was very hot this week – we desperately need a few days of rain. Installed drip irrigation in the vegetable garden so it’s doing well. Thanks to the heat, the Easter Egg radishes I planted on May 17 are ready. I pulled 22 one night and there are more ready. Time to re-seed.

    My boss’s mother is very ill so I worked on my own a fair amount this week. It’s nice that she trusts me enough to assign tasks without always being there to supervise. I found out that I made the Dean’s Honour List for the first 2 terms. Not a huge deal but didn’t achieve this during my undergrad of grad degrees.

    We are finally out of lockdown. Retail stores are open with 15% capacity, as well as restaurant patios. A friend came over for a socially distanced cocktail. I have not seen her in person since last fall so it was lovely to see her. Gave me a reason to put on a skirt for the first time in months.

  4. Remember when I was telling you all about the burning fruit pot on the stove earlier this week? Well another incident occurred. In the same week my husband dropped a set of car keys into a bucket of water. Another not on purpose thing. The same car keys that have that magical component that starts the car with a push of a button. I recall my MIL telling me early in our marriage that he was notorious for milk spilling at the dinner table as a youngster. He has though brought me flowers just about every time he goes grocery shopping and he did this week too. Kind of like a get out jail free card. That’s my happy.

  5. I have been busy, so I had three Argh posts waiting for me this morning. Lots of samples downloaded from the Thursday post, so that’s a nice fresh happy.

    I have clothes that make me happy (when I am the right size for them), I am still very happy about my new sheets, and I like having my grandmother’s pretty plates, but I don’t think any of these make me as happy as Jenny’s tea kettle makes her. I can get anticipatory pleasure about buying/ordering something, but overall objects are more of a pleasant glow than a thrill. I may be all about the books and the food, based on how many of my stated happies seem to be food related. Of course, right now all of my happies seem to be kitten related, but that’s only to be expected.

  6. I got stung by a bee last week and my foot reacted very poorly to this. It’s almost all better now, presumably I can go back to walking around again soon.

    Rehearsals for both plays are going well. FOUR online cons are going on this weekend (two book ones, yarn, and steampunk) and I am skipping around trying to watch things for all of them.

    I am making a ginormous shawl for one of the plays. I don’t love it, but it’s finally about done, unless I decide to finish it off with a fancy hem. I might just frog it after the play is over because I don’t love how huge and saggy it is. I’m not a shawl person, really, but it’s for a quick costume change anyway and the largeness is to cover up that I’m normally dressed as someone in 1970 but I have about 15 seconds to turn into someone from 1918. But anyway, now I can presumably move on to making things I like.

    I finally bought a fancy expensive knitting design program I’ve been pondering buying for two months, so there’s that too.

    It’s been three months since I last tried to talk to the crush. I’m still unfortunately dwelling on this since I wanted it to become more and now my only hope for romance is a 73-year-old (30 years older? *winces* no no no please no why do I ONLY attract old men?! I’m not that kind of girl who is into that AT ALL!), but I’m getting used to the idea of never having him in my life how I wanted him to be, and feeling better about myself for not reaching out to him when I want to. So I’m celebrating that I’m no longer trying to connect with someone who doesn’t want to connect with me, and that so far I haven’t had to run into him again and probably won’t have to again, really. Good for me for keeping my self respect and keeping myself to myself. Maybe in another three months I’ll finally stop caring altogether. I hope so.

    1. Jennifer, I had a five year romance as a teen that I still think of occasionally and it’s been decades and I’m celebrating my 34th wedding anniversary in August. Very happily.
      I know a couple who have been married for over 20 years where she will tell you she was still in love with her first husband when they married. Also very happily married.

      You can find someone else and build a life with them even while you are overcoming the crush.

      Pandemics do suck for meeting new people. I hope your social circle will expand as we get out of this….

      1. Yeah…. I tried to go to another karaoke bar last night but felt too weirded out to be the only one in it alone. I’m all for moving on to someone who wants me, but…well, my option is not good.

        I presume at some point I’ll stop caring about the crush. I did eventually stop caring about my exes, thank goodness. It should be even easier since I never got anywhere with him, right?

        1. I think people tend to dwell on relationships that didn’t get that far more than the ones that did, because they can still dream about the possibilities of what might have happened if things had worked out. But it’s just a dream. May as well get on with enjoying your life, even if you’re not feeling it 100% yet.

  7. I met Harry today.

    I know someone from walking my dog, an older gentleman who also takes walks. I don’t know his name (LOL) but he had said he lost his chihauhau awhile ago. Well, I could tell he was thinking it was time for another dog.

    The other day he said he had gone to the shelter and found Harry. Harry is older and has some health issues. The shelter people tried to steer him away, but he wanted Harry.

    I was taking my solitary walk today and someone blew their horn. It was my neighbor. He had Harry with him for a ride. I think Harry’s a pug and something with loosely curly hair mix. They both were really happy.

    And that made me happy, too.

    1. I walk my dog Carter with friends and their dogs. We met through our dogs, and have other dogwalking friends. We laugh because we know all the dogs’ names – but very few of the humans’ names.

      1. This all reminds me of Helene Hanff and her LETTER TO NEW YORK with its account of all her dog-walking friends!

  8. Save in a fire is one thing; makes me happy totally another.

    In a fire, I’d throw both of my laptops in the laundry basket of clean, unfolded clothes, add in my meds, and dash to the door. Five steps. Snatch keys and stuff from the key racks, and exit. Maybe reach back in for all those shoes by the door. That stuff doesn’t necessarily make me happy, it’s just convenient to be able to dress and unlock the car to live in. (Note that I didn’t mention my cell or Kindles – they’re docked by the steps leading deeper into the burning building.)

    What makes me happy isn’t things – it’s people. They’d best get the hell out, too! I’m stupid enough to soak a t-shirt to put over my head when I run back in to look for them, if they don’t.

  9. It’s exactly three weeks since my thyroid going berserk sent me to the hospital for three days (ugh), and the meds have finally gotten my thyroid levels down to the upper limits of normal (thyroid hormones take a LONG time to get out of the system), so all the lingering miserable symptoms are under control for the most part. It was like a flip switched suddenly between Thursday morning and Friday morning. Feeling like a functional human being again makes me happy. Plus, I’ve been able to write again without it feeling like a total slog, and that makes me even more happy.

    And now I’m happily looking forward to hearing about Emily the cat.

    1. You have my sympathy, Gin. I’m having the opposite problem. I was diagnosed with low thyroid (which certainly explained my symptoms of extreme exhaustion, depression, weight gain, and brain fog) a couple of months ago. Usually the meds take 3-4 weeks to kick in. At week 5, I finally had about 4 days when I felt noticeably better…then it just stopped, and I went right back to feeling like crap. The blood retest said my numbers have improved, so my doc doesn’t want to increase my dose, but apparently no one told my body. Writing definitely feels like a slog, as does everything else. I’m at 7 1/2 weeks. Seeing the doc, but I’m not sure what our options are. Plus now I’m getting side effects from the meds. Oy. SO glad to hear that you are feeling better.

      1. Is your doc a GP or an endocrinologist? I would push for higher meds, sometime when thyroid numbers are okay it’s still not enough (obviously in your case) as the numbers don’t tell the whole story and some people don’t react at the “normal” range or so said my endocrinologist. I’d push for an increase in the dose.

        1. Yes, I would push, too. (54 years of thyroid treatment. Even when you get the right dose, it doesn’t necessarily STAY right.)

          1. Really, push for endocrinologist for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The test numbers are a range for normal. Even if you are in the range you may not. E. Finally after getting T3, T4 and TSH all together and a dr who practices restorative medicine did I finally feel normal. She has been terrific. I take cytomel and synthroid. I finally was able to feel good and loose weight and pretty clear mind too.

        2. He’s actually a cardiologist (I’ve been seeing him for 35 years for various minor heart things) but now he’s doing general medicine for the most part. He’s fabulous–knows a lot about a lot after many years of practice–but I do think it is probably time for an endocrinologist.

      2. I was where you are, Deb, fifteen years ago! I went from low to high in the last 18 months. Very weird.

        I don’t remember struggling with the dose. Of course, I’d probably been low-thyroid for years (a decades) before it was diagnosed (routine testing, not me noticing symptoms) and attributed the fatigue to other things (e.g., beta blockers, the fatigue of my metabolic bone disorder), so I didn’t remember ever being “normal” for energy.

        What I noticed first after starting Levoxyl wasn’t having more energy but losing about fifteen pounds over about a year without changing my eating habits, because I finally had a functioning metabolism again. And, perhaps understandably, that’s also how I know my thyroid levels have lowered to a normal range now (along with blood tests that were trending in the right direction) — I’d been losing weight rapidly even while eating many thousands of calories, and that stopped suddenly, and I also stopped being absolutely ravenous all the time. Kinda’ nice to lose weight so easily, but it’s not safe for a short person like me to be losing 1/2 pound or more a day! And it goes to show you that diets aren’t simple, that making sure calories in equal calories out only works if your metabolism is set right. This experience really reinforced that for me.

      3. Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Gin:)

        My understanding, Deb, is that it can take up to six months for the thyroid to completely regulate. But also the key issue is what type of med you got because some docs only give T4 and expect the body to convert it to the usable T3 form. Problem is, lots of bodies don’t do that so many need a combo T3/T4 med. Plus, many folks with thyroid issues have gluten issues as well because there’s a direct link between the two, so if you’re still consuming gluten, that can also interfere with your body’s ability to fully absorb and/or convert. Then there are the fussy rules about not taking close to caffeine intake or some vitamins/minerals that also interfere with absorption.

        I’m no expert on the topic, but just offering a few thoughts in case they help:) My own experience is that I can’t take any synthetic form so I have to get a compounded version made at the pharmacy. Which I’ve also learned is really common because lots get side effects on the synthetic meds.

        Hope you’re feeling better soon:)

        1. Yeah, I’ve tried both the generic and the name brand Synthroid and got unbearable gastrointestinal side effects. And I suspect the balance is the issue. I’ll be pursing it a different approach of some kind.

    2. I’ve been (diagnosed) hypothyroid since 1996, so I feel your pain (and exhaustion). It’s still early days for you, but as you continue, please remind your doc that the range is exactly that: a range. Trial and error have shown me that I feel best at the lower end of the TSH range, and you may wind up there as well.

      This one is a marathon, not a sprint. Hugs.

  10. The big things-taking a road trip up the east coast to see my son who we haven’t seen since August, and several family members we haven’t seen since the pandemic started. My daughter in London got her first jab at last with the second scheduled for September.
    We have at least some hope of seeing jer in August.
    The medium things —a thorny work problem is en route to a solution.
    The small things. Cicadas just make me smile with their drunken flight paths. And there is something about the 17 year cycle and the force of biology that is very soothing.

    Jenny, how is the smoke damage and fire clean up coming? I remember dealing with my grandmothers apartment after she nearly killed her self in a fire (and then lived 20 years more). We had to repaint everything to get rid of the smoke. And have her paintings professionally curated (she was poor but had a lot of artist friends from NYC in the 30s who had given her prints and drawings. )

  11. In a fire I would grab the books I wrote about my kids in when they were babies. They are all together on one shelf easy to grab—I have actually planned for this. Not sure what it says about me. Fortunately all our important papers and photos are either online, in a fireproof box in the basement, or have been shared with so many family (photos) that we can get most of them back.

  12. I would grab the two cats and yell for my husband to MOVE IT. Everything else I would have no chance for. The house is too big to get to anything but these 3 essentials. Although this did remind me that I have a lot of stuff, mostly replaceable that I need to somehow document so the insurance will pay up.

    This was a week for cooking new things. Some made me happy, some did not. The lamb kofka was wonderful but the hummus from scratch, using my own tahini was only so-so. It is better with commercial tahini. Also I did a pasta dish with morels in creme that was very good. And yesterday I did the first of the season’s fresh corn fritters with maple syrup. It was so good. It made me happy.

    And I have been replanting a strip of shaded flower bed with plants that bloom in the shade as opposed to plants that I would like to bloom in the shade but really need sunshine. And it is done except for spreading the top dressing. That makes me happy.

    1. Take photos of everything in the house that you need to document — smart phones make that so easy! — and store the photos in the cloud or somewhere off the premises.

      1. And be sure to get insurance riders for any valuable items that aren’t covered automatically, like jewelry, silver, and computers. For the insurance riders you’ll need written appraisals by appraisers.

  13. I have 4 cats. In a fire, I’d be running in multiple directions trying to catch them and I’d be lucky to get out myself. But the laptop is pretty high on the list after that. My purse, not because it makes me happy, but because I’d hate to have to replace everything in it. (Although it is a very pretty purse–a second-hand Anushka, hand-painted leather. With lots of pockets.)

    To be honest, health issues and work stresses are overwhelming me at the moment, so not much is making me happy (although the cats always do). But I am happy about a couple of upcoming trips to SEE PEOPLE. Remember those? Including a trip across country to visit my parents in San Diego. By October, when I’m going, it will have been 2 1/2 years since I’ve seen them, which is way too long when they are in their mid-80’s…although when I called to talk to my dad when he turned 87 in May, my mom told me he was out climbing a mountain, so there’s that.

    My big happy last week was paying off my mortgage on Tuesday. I bought my house almost 20 years ago, when I was 41. Had a 30 year mortgage, but I really didn’t want to still be paying on it when I was 70, so I’ve been chipping away at it with every extra penny I could find. Thank goodness for the Everyday Witch Tarot from Llewellyn…the royalties from that really helped. (Apparently during the shut-down, everyone decided to finally get around to learning how to read the tarot. And bought mine. Bless ’em.) It was such a joy and a relief to walk in and make that final payment. Although I don’t think it is really going to hit me until next month, when I go to write the check and realize I don’t have to.

    1. I should add that it is a small (1,200 square feet), old (130 years, give or take), slightly quirky little farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. But now it is my small, old, quirky farmhouse, and that’s all that matters.

      1. In 1999, just as we were about to pay off the mortgage, the company decided to downsize, with much suspense about who would keep jobs and who wouldn’t. My anxious mother finally asked me if we could manage the mortgage payments if I lost mine, and when I thought about it, I was able to tell her that we were so close to paying it off that I could finish the payments with the severance pay if it came to that. Happily, someone in another section was assigned to Y2K compliance decided he wanted me if I was free, so all I ended up doing was charging my time to a special project instead of the department.

        1. I remember the huge relief when we paid off our mortgage. It had been sold to a bank hundreds of miles from us. And my husband’s pay varied from $0 on up, depending on how his business was doing. Money was my nightmare. Paying off the mortgage made me decide never to borrow again. But then I had to get a crown and had to pay the dentist in monthly installments.

  14. Happiness is seeing that our cat is better. Three weks ago, the vet diagnosed him with a severe thyroid condition which requires constant medication. Everybody who ever owned a cat probably knows what I was thinking: How am I ever going to feed him that? Twice a day, too? And then it turns out that he loves the stuff, even licking the last drop from the applicator. It’s like a miracle.

    But still he didn’t eat much. And that’s bad. So the vet gave me something to whet his appetite, a kind of gel that you smear into the cat’s ear (really, that’s how it works). On Thursday, I thought it was too late, he wasn’t even able to properly jump on his favorite chair anymore. But on Friday, he wasn’t only still alive, he also started to eat again. On Saturday, he climbed a tree in our back yard, and today, he even started a fight with the neighbor’s cat.

    He’s almost seventeen, so I was ready to say good-bye. But it looks like he hasn’t used up his nine lives yet.

    1. My cat was 11, so we went for the radiation treatment. It was hard for him to be in isolation at the specialist’s. And he really did not understand why he could only be on our laps for small periods of time (1 hour daily limit) and could not sleep on the bed with us or the kitten. But after that first month or so, that was the limit of things we had to do. It was expensive in the short run but in terms of on-going medication, vet visits and blood tests, this will actually be less costly (I have explained to Lindy that he needs to last at least 3 more years)

  15. Huge happy this week was the new job. Found myself having to jump in the deep end, but suddenly working with other people again, and having the chance to offer some creative input – which was appreciated. Felt brilliant.

    I’m now staying with an old friend in Oxford for a few days, which is also brilliant: first trip since September 2019. And her garden is full of beautiful, perfumed roses. And it’s summer. And my strawberries have started.

  16. I’m hot-linking to a pic on my LiveJournal page, so I don’t know if this will work:


    If it does, that’s a graph of my diet, weight on Thursday/Official Weigh-in Days. Making that graph made me happy. 🙂

    The peak is when the diet started. The plummet is the diet. The horizontal plateau is future Thursdays under a formula making them equal to my last recorded weight. Today was 269, down 29.4 pounds since mid-April’s 298.4.

  17. The awful part is over and the hard part has begun. My mother-in-law passed on Wednesday at age 76. It was peaceful and easy on her and Paul, his dad, sister, and niece were in the room with her when she went. It was so calm that they actually didn’t notice for a minute which I think is a blessing.

    I was downstairs in the hospital cafeteria because my BIL and I weren’t allowed in, 6 was a step too far as she was only supposed to have 2 visitors.

    I think my FIL thought she was going to pull through just like she has all the other times she’s been sick but she was too frail and the pneumonia was just too bad this time.

    I’m so glad Paul was able to be there with her before she passed.

    1. I’m so sorry for you and your family. How devastating for your FIL when he wasn’t prepared. Yes, being there can matter deeply. My sympathy and hope that you get through this hard part as well as can be expected.

    2. I am so sorry. It was good your family could be with her. Down the road, there will be less regrets.

    3. Please accept my deepest sympathies. I’m very glad you were able to get there in time and that her whole family can help support each other.

  18. I’ve had a rough week in top of a somewhat difficult pandemic, but one thing that makes me happy every day is a mug that was specially picked out and given to me by my then-seven-year-old nephew. It has a picture of a happy-looking corgi with his tongue hanging out with flowers behind, and on the inside lip of the mug, it says “Hey Corgeous.”

    He’s kind of a gift genius. The year before, age six, he picked out a tea kettle for me and insisted on red even though his mother tried to steer him towards chrome. Unbeknownst to them, my kettle had just broken, and I definitely preferred a red one.

    1. My aunt was like that. Her presents were always exactly what you wanted and needed. One Christmas we were going to my mother’s hometown, and my purse strap broke on the way. Under the tree was a purse from Louise, wrapped much earlier, not a hurried purchase, a purse with lots of delightful little pockets that I would have loved even if my purse hadn’t broken. Gift genius!

      1. I had an aunt who was a bargain hunting genius. She could even find shoes that fit my mother (AAAA) on sale.

  19. My sympathies to you, Paul and the family.

    Finally have everything back in the shed. My nephew gave me a strong shelving unit for free, closing a business. All the garden tools, pots, etc have a place. Glad I painted ed the inside white. Lots of natural light too.

    Sadly our son has taken his Aussie shepherd to the animal hospital. Hoping he will be okay. He has been such a great family dog. Please pull through, Marlowe.

  20. My sympathies to you all. Agreed, this was a fairly peaceful way to go and it was a good thing that she wasn’t required to be alone or with just one or two loving people.

    I’m happy because my two-week post-vaccine isolation is completed (still being sensible, though).

    I’m happy because my brother had a good birthday on Friday — six volumes of Zorro original pulp short stories, two volumes of Rootitoot cookbooks so we can improve on making rare roasts in the Instant Pot, and a new computer, a last-minute item because, of course, the old one has done its best to die. It’s now installed and he’s fine-tuning it.

    I’m happy because we had a good pod party for him on Friday, with two kinds of cake.

    I’m happy because a cousin and I are meeting, first time since the lockdown, for lunch at a favorite Chinese restaurant.

    I’m absolutely delighted that the Family History Library is reopening — the main one in Salt Lake City on July 6, and our local one this coming week though requesting that researchers make appointments. I have emailed asking what times are available. Some stuff on the Missing Will family with the Dodgy Nephew and the Unmarried Parents requires library access.

    And I’m naughtily smug that the Big Name Publisher which has decided that it wants to return manuscripts to me is having a little problem itself: its Conservative Politics imprint usually publishes exposés about Democratic Presidents when one’s in office — it made a lot of money publishing sex scandal about Bill Clinton, and Hillary-Clinton-is-a-terrible-person, and Barack-Obama-is Exotic- and- have-you-heard-what-Trump-said-about-his-birth-certificate? For some reason, no only do Prospective Conservative Politics Writers NOT want to do any exposés about Joe Biden, the editor doesn’t think there’s any market for them even it someone wrote them. My heart bleeds . . . . especially as I think the Liberal Politics imprint editors have a long way to go before running out of exposés of Trump, though if he’d just Shut Up, the market might shrink.

    1. My sister-in-law recites the presidents names instead of counting sheep to get to sleep. She does not include the most recent past president.

      1. Interesting! If you think she’d be interested, there’s a website I discovered of someone who was a collector of White House china and lots of other memorabilia. It has great pictures and lots of interesting information. This gentleman has now died, so I think I’m lucky the site is still up.

        If she reaches #46 and still hasn’t fallen asleep, she could mentally set tables.


  21. Last week was full on get togethers and I saw and hugged friends I hadn’t see for a long time. After a few days in the 90s it’s back to a perfect 70-80 for a while. I puttered around and planted my successful seedlings – sunflowers, echinacea, basil, peppers. We’ll see if they thrived. I was sitting on the grass with my hands in the dirt, with the sun shining and the breeze breezing, when I was overwhelmed with joy. Just for a few moments, but that’s all that you need to keep going for a long time.

  22. Today’s happy is a mostly-empty work inbox. By the end of last week I was really tired, so a slow day is good. This week will be weird because I have a vacation day Wednesday and then we have a holiday Friday – three days to get work done means I am hoping for more slow days!

    Stayed offline yesterday, got a good night’s sleep, happy Monday.

    Re: what to grab in a fire: I’ll have to think about that! Most of my sentimental ephemera is digitized, and I have Backblaze, so if I had to buy a new computer I could download all my crap again. This summer I should finish scanning in the rest of my old photos. I guess the ‘must-have’ items are phone, keys, and the folder with my list of accounts, passwords, etc. Plus if a fire happened at night I’d need to get dressed. 🙂 The husband sleeps in his man-cave. Both structures are not likely to go up simultaneously, so we’d still have shelter, a tiny fridge, and a functional bathroom even if the house goes.

    The question reminded me to get our kitchen fire extinguisher out of the cabinet over the cooktop, which had to have been the worst possible place to stash it.

  23. Happiness is watching Leverage – again – knowing Leverage: Redemption begins July 9th!!! Jenny, thanks for sharing Leverage with us, and all your fabulous posts about it. I know you have some of them back on the blog, but will the rest show up someday? (That’s me being greedy, you do what you need.)

    You make me watch tv and read with a more educated eye. I pay more attention to things I never did before. Story structure, characterization, plot-they all matter. Thanks for being a great teacher as well as a great writer.

    1. Excellent reminder to get those back up. I also had new ones planned, so I’ll have to take some time when Krissie goes home Saturday. Thanks for reminding me. And thank you for the compliment, too (g).

      You know, Krissie and I are going to watch the first two episodes of Loki. She says the first one was terrific. That might be a fun watch for Argh.

  24. I worked out the fire sequence a long time ago, though in relation to our notorious California wildfire of 1989:

    rescue the elderly relatives (now not with us),

    the pets (now five cats),

    the photo album (with the irreplaceable pictures, though I know I need to scan them),

    the antique silver (also irreplaceable) and

    oh, yes, a change of clothes if possible.

  25. Sorry, I accidentally double-posted this when I added the line about searching for images of Grafton Pottery. No need to let this one through the moderation fikter, if you could allow the next one?

  26. Sorry, my comment with the link got stuck in moderation, so I’m saying it again, coming back to your initial fancy teakettle.

    For really fanciful, fantastic pottery teapots, search for images of Grafton Pottery!
    They are lovely, wildly strange and great!
    I really like some of the cats, like the cat with a mouse on its head, and the Alice in Wonderland teapot.

    I think some of the visitors here might like these, too.  IIRC one or two people here may be potters?

    1. Oh my gosh those are so GREAT!! It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. Like you, I like the various cat teapots, but everything is so humorously done, with an edge!

      Thanks so much for the heads up!!

  27. I have a favorite tea pot. It’s clear glass with a strainer insert so you can pour lovely clear tea without bits. Only it’s a pain to wash so I don’t use it much.

    The real reason I’m writing is to tell you to stop absolutely everything else in your life and write the Alice and Nadine book(s) right away! I can’t live without them and I’m already 68, so hurry please.

    More seriously, your books have been a pure source of joy in my life, and I re-read several every few months. In no particular order, Maybe This Time, Bet Me, Cinderella Deal and Faking It are my favorites, plus whichever one I just finished. Thank you for being such a brilliant and funny writer.

    1. Thank you for being such a brilliant reader (you have such good taste).
      And welcome to Argh!

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