Happiness is Not Living in an Oven

Temps are going up again next week–but only briefly into the 90s, so there’s that–but for right now, it’s wonderful. Rainy but wonderful. The dogs have stopped panting, I’ve turned the fan off, and life is good.

Also, Americans, please stop setting off those damn firecrackers. Did the Founding Fathers have firecrackers on July 4? No, no they did not. The damn things are bad for animals, humans, insects, and life in general. If you must light something, try a sparkler, but for god’s sake don’t drop it. (In case you can’t tell, the American Fourth is not my favorite holiday. I like Halloween. And the Day of the Dead. The day after Valentine’s Day often makes me happy, too: candy sales. Otherwise, no.)

Bah humbug.

What made you happy this week?

89 thoughts on “Happiness is Not Living in an Oven

  1. Jenny, lots of veterans among others would be grateful for the absence of fireworks, as well as the absence of gun firing at historical sites (Near me, Sturbridge Village features gun salutes).

    However, I promised myself not to play gloomy gussie at you guys today. I am very happy. Since May 14th I’ve lost 22 pounds (that includes a week’s vacation when I didn’t diet). My body is getting stronger and straighter since last year’s knee replacement (golly gee, they were right that regrowing bone takes a long time). I have tickets to both a musical event and a Shakespeare play during the next 6 weeks. Also, I’m happy as a duck in water with the cooler temperatures and rain we’ve received in the past few days. And — fanfare, please — I discovered fabric softener! Who knew such a wonderful invention existed?!

  2. I’m kind of grumpy this morning because I wasn’t able to get to sleep. People in my neighborhood were setting off fireworks, a lot of them very loud ones, until 3 a.m. And now it’s dawn, and it will happen all over again tonight.

    The fireworks here will keep going nightly through the month, only beginning to taper off in August, if the past 15 years are any indicator. One year a nearby neighbor had his roof catch on fire from someone’s fireworks landing on it.


    1. It’s fireworks all year in our city of residence, too. Most of the surrounding cities in south L.A. don’t allow ‘backyard’ fireworks, so a lot of people bring them here, apparently. It’s very common to hear things exploding on our street, then the next street, then the next … I suspect a certain sub-group of people blowing things up are doing so itinerantly. They like going BLAM and setting off everyone’s car alarms in one block, then moving on to the next. The cycle generally repeats 2-3 times on the nights they’re exploding things.

      Yesterday things started exploding at one in the afternoon and didn’t stop until after two in the morning. Needless to say there was not much or very high-quality sleep here. TG it is a holiday.

    2. Not my favorite holiday either. A fireman I used to know reported responding to a 911 call on July 4. Got there to find the residents all partying around the pool and totally unaware that they had set their shed on fire. The neighbor called.

  3. I hate loud noises, and I also truly dislike displays of nationalism (I think they just serve to separate people from each other) so this is one of my least favorite holidays. When I lived in town, for many years before I bought the house I live in now, I was half a block away from the park where they set off the fireworks on the 4th. I hated it. Luckily, out here in the country all I can hear is a muted pop pop pop (yes, they’re so loud that even six and a half miles away I can hear something, and occasionally see a very tall firework from the end of my driveway). And the occasional idiot neighbor setting one off.

    But I spent last night texting with a friend whose dog was a quivering mess, and that was so sad. Bah indeed.

    The only holidays I like are the Pagan ones: summer and winter solstices, spring and fall equinoxes, Samhain (Halloween), and the rest. I don’t actually celebrate any of the others.

    Happiness is cooler weather here too, and some much needed rain. The migraines that came with the weather shift, not so much, but at least it isn’t 100.

    1. I think there’s an important difference between patriotism and nationalism. You’re absolutely right, nationalism separates. Whereas I think patriotism is about loving your country while also fighting to make it better/ knowing where it needs to be improved/holding it to a higher standard. My uncle used to say he complained about the U.S.’s failings 364 days a year. The 4th of July was for celebrating the few things we got right, which aren’t necessarily uniquely American, but which are worth celebrating anyway.

      Glad you’re getting cooler weather!

      1. I agree completely about Patriotism. Unfortunately, I’m not sure all Americans can tell the difference these days. Seeing people wave flags just doesn’t feel the same to me after the last years.

      2. I think we got a lot of things right. But wow, the last four years have been horrible, and while it’s better, it’s still not great.

        I like the colors of the fireworks, but the noise makes Mona creep up the bed to sit on my shoulder and try to put her head under the pillow. They’re actually making them louder? Jeez.

    2. Pagan holidays do not tend to be noisy. At least not bother-the-neighbors noisy.
      Here, in the country, I have had six hours of sleep a night since last Sunday because of fireworks, and there is supposedly a shortage of fireworks this year. I get up at four-thirty to go to work on weekends, so they aren’t doing fireworks terribly late, but it’s enough to keep me from going to sleep on time, and by now I am zombified.
      I have been fortunate enough never to have a dog who was scared of fireworks, or guns. (The opening of dove season here sounds like a war zone.) My one dog who was scared of thunder was not scared of other loud noises.

  4. Halloween has always been my favorite. And as an adult I like it even more because it’s the only day we open our homes to strangers and give them food. I worked with someone who grew up very poor and she loved Halloween because she could participate. All she needed was a plastic bag. And she spent a lot of time hungry.

    So far the fireworks haven’t been as bad as last year, but I still hate them. The animals are terrified.

    But my family is having our first get together since the pandemic began, so that is good.

  5. Well, from tank tops to sweatshirts it’s been quite a week. The transition to cooler but wet weather also brought a light show Wednesday evening but no thunder that I recall and that was awesome. Like Deborah mentioned I’m also about six miles away from the fireworks (by boat). Boston did have them last night but I didn’t hear them, maybe deafness is ramping up.

    If one of my sons is working in Boston or the north shore when he makes his way home he’ll stop by a seafood restaurant/take out place and bring home a quart of either fish or clam chowdah or lobster bisque on a Friday. We are getting spoiled. Another son came by yesterday, haven’t seen him since March and surprised him with his birthday gift. Birthday was in April.

    Cozied up on the sofa with a throw and a book, a real book, Unfinished Business by J.A. Jance. This one is about a man released from prison after sixteen years for a crime he did not commit. The real killer is out there and sneakily still at it. Pretty sure he is going to be tripped up by the souvenirs he saves. I’m trying to hurry but not hurry reading it because in the wings there is SEP’s When Stars Collide plus a mountain of beach reads.

  6. Apparently fireworks are among the things that are experiencing supply shortages in New England (which makes me happy), so while people usually start setting them off a week or two early and continue for another week or two after July 4th, I’ve only heard a smattering of them so far. It helps that it’s been cold & rainy, and I’ve had my windows closed. And I think it’s going to rain tonight, which puts a literal damper on fireworks. I suspect people will make up for it tomorrow, the only non-rainy day of the long weekend, but one night isn’t so bad.

  7. “rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”
    hence firecrackers as celebration
    fireworks color night sky with beautiful images and make me happy

    happy 4th!

  8. I think the extra-loud bangs they add to fireworks should be banned. They’re fun to look at, but I hate the noise – and it’s not actually intrinsic. Luckily Bonfire Night isn’t until 5 November, so only loud noise here is rumbles of thunder.

    My niece and her fiancé stayed here overnight on their way to Yorkshire and then Scotland for a holiday. It was lovely to see them. And last night my friend Pam and I had a film night (Indian takeaway + Guys and Dolls). Plus there are still strawberries, although they’ve slacked off a bit.

    1. There’s this tendency to add noise to things, which I don’t understand. Not just in fireworks (didn’t know the bang was enhanced), but there’s a community of motorcyclists who have intrinsically quiet bikes, but they insist on having aftermarket stuff put on that makes them as loud as Harleys or louder when the idle at the intersection outside my house, and now I’m seeing the same sort of noise added to cars too. I followed one little sports car on the highway to my exit, and it was gussied up to sound like a performance car that belongs on a race track, not on the street passing through residential neighborhoods. But now I frequently hear it on the road outside my house (I live on a main road), and it’s just so annoying. One time, it woke me up after I’d just fallen asleep and happened to have the windows open to enjoy the fresh air. Now I have to keep them closed at night.

  9. I am thankful for sister and B-i-l’s pool. Gathering there today for grilling and swimming with some people I haven’t seen in more than a year. I apparently like most of my holidays generic-ified rather than actually on topic. Well, except for halloween, of course.

  10. I’m with Jenny on the candy sales (at least four U.S. holidays have good ones) and with Deborah on the pagan holidays, at least the astronomical ones. It has been one of my cherished tasks to go and collect manure on every solstice. That was possible before the pandemic, but the park service horse facilities were locked down for the safety of the horses. My state has just lifted most of its lockdown rules, but it was after June 21st, so I will have to try one of these weekend early mornings. Hoping that the fences and repellent signs have come down and the piles are high and steaming.

  11. Limited happiness here. My puppy passed away this week. He was 15 and he was tired and it was time but I miss him and the house feels empty.. I keep listening for the pitter-patter of his feet.

    We celebrated a quite fourth a day early.
    We had a picnic and watched some sailboat races. Then we went to an outdoor concert of the local symphony. The weather was perfect. There were some fireworks with the 1812 overture, so I got my firework fix for the year.

    1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your puppy. Even when your head knows it’s time, your heart can’t let go. May only good memories be with you.

    2. I’m sorry about your pup. It’s never easy, despite a long life and love.

    3. Oh I’m sorry about your pup, Phred. I know what you mean about the house feeling empty. It can be the right time for them, but it’s never the right time for us.

    4. There is nothing more sad than looking for a friend who isn’t there. I was talking to my neighbor and turned to look at my (horribly overgrown) yard and just for second thought I saw Milton. He’s been gone for months, but it was so automatic. Then I realized it was a fox cub. It hurts so much.

      I’m sorry, Phred.

      1. When our first cat Moshe died, I kept having this very realistic dream that I was out for my morning walk and I would see him on someone’s front porch. And I would say “Moshe! Where have you been? We were so worried” and he would come running over to me. And I always woke up before he reached me.

  12. Feeling grateful in general is always a good happy for me, but this week I’m particularly grateful for my DVD collection.

    This weekend, hubby and I rewatched I Love You Again from our Myrna Loy & William Powell set. Such a fun movie and those two have some great banter. While many people like them in the Thin Man movies (also have), it’s really the romcoms they did together that I like best.

    And I really like having the movies on DVD. While I appreciate all the streaming services and find them particularly great for watching things I’d only watch once, I’m not as fond of all the pecking that’s needed to weed out things of interest. There’s something a bit stressful about it sometimes, whereas just slipping in a DVD feels so easy. And sometimes easy is just good:)

    1. And streaming services assume that your internet connection is stable. When it rains hard, my satellite gives up. (Also, grrr, things that want two-factor verification using your cell phone assume that you ALWAYS have cell service.)
      (Boy, I’m not doing very well at the happy, am I? Blame it on seven days of sleep deprivation.)

      1. Totally! Love having the extras. And as a writer, I particularly like when the screenwriters do commentaries of the whole story. So interesting to know about the evolution of the characters and story both before the production and during. Nancy Meyers is particularly generous in her sharing of that stuff as well as giving credit to anyone and everyone who added in along the way.

  13. July 4th here in Portugal is blessedly quiet, especially in comparison to the bastion of illegal fireworks that was our home in Los Angeles. I don’t miss them one bit, and I’m sure the cats, if they could read a calendar, would share the same sentiments.

    We’re going to a 4th of July party at the home of a new friend tonight, which should be fun. I’ve been hiking with a cool group of women, but tonight’s soiree includes spouses, so a new adventure.

    1. Woo-hoo! My second vaccination made me feel sick for about 24 hours, but it’s been such a relief to move through the world knowing I’m vaccinated.

      1. Whereas my second vaccination could barely be felt — about as much as the first one, which was a, “oh, yes, I DID have a puncture on that shoulder, didn’t I?” feeling. Hope yours is as trifling!

  14. Happiness is a job offer and an apartment lined up in NYC for August, so I can be housed and employed while I do the grad school thing.

    I’m also looking forward to our 4th of July bbq. I love fireworks. (I especially love looking at little kids’ awe-struck faces when they’re going off. We do the safer ones that only shoot off about five feet in the air, and aren’t quite as loud). Really, I just like pretty lights. Christmas lights, camp-fires, neon signs, fireworks, I’m there. But unfortunately we can’t set any off this year. There’s a city-wide ban because of the dry heat we’ve been having. So we’re making due with a barbecue, friends and family, and home-made pie.

  15. It’s vacation. End of term 2. I have a lot of preparation to do. But I am happy to be at home. My eyes are brighter because I’m actually getting more rested.

  16. Karaoke! I got to be at karaoke on Monday night the entire time (I’ve had rehearsal cutting my time lately) AND the bar extended it to 9 p.m. and it was glorious. And last night I went out with the DJ and his daughter to hit other karaoke bars in the area and god, it just felt so good to get to get drunk and bust loose and have a good time around other people. I’m so sick of being alone lately.

  17. I had a really good video chat with my closest niece this morning. She and her husband had their offer accepted on a house this week and will close on it by the end of the month. They are very happy that the offer was accepted, the house passed inspection and a loan is lined up. She says that although it isn’t in their old neighborhood, it is not that far away and the lot sizes are larger near the new house and it isn’t on a major flight path from the airport. Of course, a lot of what she told me made no sense because all the distances she quote were in driving times and I will be taking the bus, but now that I have an address I can go online and see how to get there on the bus. The reduced fare ID I got when I was visiting my parents is good for another year and a half so all I have to do is look up bus schedules online and load some money on my ID and I can get around.
    I spent all the time I lived in Milwaukee in almost complete ignorance of the South Side, but I think that that is about to change.

  18. I ruminated about the relationship betwixt fireworks and American Independence Day. When my cud reached the right texture (chewing the cud is what ruminants do), I approached several conclusions:
    1. As a Navy Brat, an active duty Navy Guy, and a retired Naval type, I have (almost) always lived in the near vicinity of large bodies of water. Fireworks launched from boats or barges on large bodies of water are much safer than the ones over dry, flammable or inflammable areas, like Arizona.
    2. I like the flashes and bangs and starbursts and sparkles. I’m practically Barrayaran that way. Having Aral Vorkosigan break out extra noisemakers after Miles’ and Ekaterin’s wedding always made me smile.
    3. I could live without annual celebrations including rockets and bombs. Confining the boomenstuff to important anniversaries would be appropriate. I lived on Fort Street in Groton, CT in 1981. They had one of the best displays I’ve ever witnessed to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Groton Heights, AKA the Fort Griswold Massacre. (Benedict Arnold leading the British to capture and massacre the defenders of the fort.) They should celebrate it again in 2181. They did it over the Thames River.

    1. It was John Adams’ idea to forever have fireworks. Thank you for your service.

    2. Large bodies of water are good. They have stopped having fireworks over the lake (large Corps of Engineers built lake) now because it got so expensive, but when I first moved back to Kentucky I was living where I could see them from my second floor windows, miles away. No noise at that distance. By the time I moved from that house the trees had gotten tall enough that I couldn’t watch sitting down any more, and it was only a few years later that the county gave up begging for sponsors.

    3. I live on San Francisco Bay, and we have a long tradition of fireworks over the water. My biggest disappointment was in 1976, when a spectacular display was planned — the BICENTENNIAL!!!!! — and on the night it was totally overcast and nothing could be seen, only a few bangs barely heard.

      My brother has the national concert on the television in the living room, and I’m not sure I’m a fan of ‘more up-to-date music’ since it took me about half the song to identify “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” in the Very Ornamented jazzed-up version.

      Will probably play “1776” before bedtime . . . .

      1. I remember the spectacular fireworks on the Golden Gate Bridge’s 50th anniversary. We had friends living in a Victorian on Stanyan Street, so climbed up onto the roof to watch.

  19. The Festival of Voices is on in Hobart at the moment, and a whole lot of acts have been cancelled because they were coming from the mainland, and bits of the mainland have been in lockdown because of a resurgence of you know what. But yesterday they had a hymn sing in the Town Hall, and I went along because although I’m not at all religious, hymns were the songs of my childhood and I do love singing them.

    The conductor was perfect, plus they had a pipe organ, which you really need for hymns, and the organist did that splendid thing on several last verses where they pull out all the stops and the sound goes up a notch in celebration.

    Plus we sang my favourite, ‘Abide with Me’, which I love because of the scene in Ethel Turner’s ‘Seven Little Australians’, where Judy is dying because a tree fell on her, and her sister Meg sings:
    ‘Abide with me; fast falls the eventide,
    The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide,
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee
    Help of the helpless, Lord abide with me.’

    We sang it at my mum’s funeral.

    1. ‘Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
      In life, in death, o Lord, abide with me.’

  20. Fireworks around here but not as many as previous years, I think there’s a shortage. They may ramp up this evening.

    Spent the morning doing a bit of gardening.

    Spent the afternoon on the front porch reading, finally, Martha Wells’ s “Fugitive Telemetry”.

    Will spend this evening looking at some fireworks from a distance and missing my Shelties. They all enjoyed fireworks, especially my first, Libby, who made a game out of them. For Shelties, any excuse to bark…

  21. Fireworks no longer make me happy. Last night they wouldn’t quit, giving me a headache, which I rarely get.
    But I am happy that I got to have coffee with a friend who now lives in another part of the state and was passing through. And today had an unexpected bonus of lunch with a new friend.
    Also, my tomato plants are finally beginning to bud, and my hibiscus has a bloom on it after the risk of being overwintered indoors this year.

  22. There are usually big fireworks displays in my city on July 1 but cancelled because of Covid. Much discussion this year about celebrating Canada Day as there have been numerous unmarked graves of Indigenous children discovered recently at former residential schools. Very difficult and unpleasant chapter in Canada’s history.

    We had a low key day with my PIL’s – have not seen them for over a year. My MIL helped me move plants out of a garden in advance of the deck re-build (starts tomorrow). Lovely chat with my nephew and coffee with a friend. Nearly everyone I know has had their 2nd vaccine so getting together is finally possible but in small groups.

    I got to spend a day working at finding a leak in a large pond. We finally found it after we emptied most of the water and cleared away adjacent trees and brush. We studied water features in class but it was helpful to see how a working pond functions. Plus I got to play in the mud for the day.

    1. We’ve been getting that news about the unmarked graves here in Tasmania. What a shocking and disturbing discovery that must be. And I suspect it could be duplicated in so many countries.

      1. I think we may be about to find out, since the new Secretary of the Interior is having the matter investigated in the US.

  23. My happy continued with a visit by Momma Bear with her 4 cubs. Momma put her front paws on the deck to sniff at the hummingbird feeder. After she turned away, Mr. Hummingbird showed up to drink gustily then menace the bear from the back to defend his favorite bar. Momma stretched up to stand on her back legs to test the suet feeder, but that has been empty for 2 months. So she wandered off while her cubs bounced around, eventually following her.

    Also, my daughter-in-law’s mother accepted our invitation to Christmas! I’m thrilled. Bozena has retired from teaching English in Poland. She has never been to the US, yet is a fan of the Colonial era in America. New England is a useful place to start.

  24. We’ve also had the 3 days from Hell, then 4 days of rain. We’re getting some kind of AC, that was unbearable. Or least, it killed productivity and concentration.
    I’ve got a recital with a friend in two weeks. I haven’t had the bandwidth to really concentrate, but now it’s a reality. It’s short, due to heat and not being in the (large summer Episcopalian) church for too long. Some French (old friends, which is why I can think about it now instead of six months ago) and some Leonard Bernstein. Pretty fun.
    Went and bought some flowers for pots yesterday, and it should be warm and dry enough tomorrow to plant them. That’s Maine for you.

  25. Not at all related to fireworks, I needed to share one of my webcomics Dumbing of Age, 2021-07-04.

    For those that don’t follow links, here’s a transcript:
    Sal: “Hey, Wonderbread. Nice bicycle.”
    WB: “Uh, yeah. Um. You want it?”
    Sal: “What?”
    WB: “You want it? It’s yours.”
    Sal: (looking at bicycle)
    Sal: “Y’accidentally bought a girl’s bike, dintcha?”
    WB: “No, but I am bike-curious.”
    Sal: “You will shut your goddamned dork mouth.”


  26. We had the annual block party after having to skip it last year. The block has had the tradition for fifty-odd years (I’ve lived on this block since 1955 with time out for college).

    I’m patriotically happy that not one but TWO copies of the Declaration of Independence have turned up in the last few weeks:

    “The archive of the American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743, has discovered that it possesses an exceedingly rare engraved copy of the Declaration of Independence ordered by John Quincy Adams two centuries ago, and given to the society in 1842 by Daniel Webster.”

    “A rare facsimile of the Declaration of Independence that was presented to signatory Charles Carroll in 1824 was rediscovered in the attic of a Scottish estate. ”

    Both were part of a set commissioned in 1820 by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams who wanted a full-size, exact copy — no extra ornament, nothing missing, everything the same including the signatures — on a copperplate so the State Department (then the custodian of the archives) could release replica prints on parchment without inflicting further damage on the original. Copies were presented to every surviving Signer — that’s Carroll’s copy. Congress ordered 201 copies of the engraving to distribute to luminaries and institutions. Just 52 of them are known to survive today.

    I’m also happy that this week an immigration attorney notified me that a calendar hearing has been set for November 1 for the case of one of my grandfather’s adopted sons. The courts were backed up BEFORE Covid and it’s worse now (and I expect the attorney wasn’t pushing the point during the Last Administration, which I consider prudent). We may be on the way to acquiring a new American citizen.

    Happy Fourth, everyone.

    1. Oh, and to add to the day, I have Toby, one of my brother’s kittens, sprawled just above my keyboard. Sammy is in the other room. Today is (best guess) their official first birthday.

  27. I still hear the theme to Love American Style in my head while watching fireworks. I love professional community display, but my poor dogs. Fireworks have been going off at night this whole damn week. My dogs won’t go outside between 6pm and 0030. Otherwise under desks. Poor babies.

  28. We’re getting a new public holiday from 2022 for Matariki – Maori New Year. It will always be on a Friday, so that makes me happy. It’s mid-winter here and it’s star-based, so it’s celebrated with light. In my city there are all kinds of light and projection displays right now. My favourite is a statue of Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott which they have lit with a moving projection so he looks alive and in a blizzard. It’s super cool.

    Matariki is the Maori name for the Pleiades star cluster. Its rising signals the start of Matariki. There are seven stars in the cluster and some stories say that are a mother and her six daughters. It’s a beautiful legend, link below. Matariki was celebrated up until the 1940s when it died out (go colonialism) but has had a revival over the last several decades. I’m pakeha (ie, not Maori) but this makes me happy.


    1. The moon and the Pleiades have set,
      it is midnight,
      and the time is passing . . . .

  29. I don’t understand the desire to make noise, I really don’t. If cities would set aside open areas and restrict individual use of fireworks to those areas (at certain times, with medics and fire control; feel free to bring in food trucks and music) I’d be fine with that. It’s not ‘patriot’ to set off bangers right outside peoples’ houses. It’s ‘asshole.’

    In fact, given so many people are afraid to leave their homes when things are exploding – or to go away and leave their homes unoccupied when the neighborhood is infested by people who are happy to stretch laws to the breaking point, and when there’s too much noise for anyone to hear a window breaking or a door being kicked in – I’d go so far as to call it ‘terrorism.’

    Obv I am in the sleep-deprived, tense, and angry state of mind today with some of the other Arghers. However, a friend I haven’t seen in two years alleges she will visit on my day off tomorrow, which makes me happy. Also, getting ready for an actual visitor means some more tiny housekeeping projects are getting done, which is at least satisfying. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad that’s roughly the direction we’re headed with fireworks here in Munich: Apart from New Year’s Eve and New Year it’s not allowed to have private fireworks. Still it’s not a pretty sight to have all the rubbish on the streets the following morning. The rubbish collection service always had to work overtime.
      The second year in a row, though, the fireworks were forbidden in the inner city – two years ago due to the high concentration of fine dust particles, last winter due to the need to prohibit large gatherings of people. I didn’t miss it at all.

      What I like though are the very few (1-2) fireworks organized by the city council in summer. Those I most often miss and then only hear the distant noise (we live rather far from the Olympia Park where they’re usually staged). Some years ago, however, we accidentally caught it – we were watching Spiderman Homecoming at the open air movie night when the film suddenly paused. Sitting comfortably in a beach chair and watching the spectacle above us was rather nice. Though it was noisy, they didn’t add the noise-thingies that only make noise but no nice effects.

      I’m happy that we have a very un-nationalistic event to celebrate on July 4th – my hubby’s birthday. His nephew was born on the same day and his older nephew on France’s big day, July 14th. Easy to remember…

      I’m also happy that older son got his first dose of the vaccine yesterday and has the next appointment lined up.
      Not so happy though that the daughter has no chance to get vaccinated. We tried and were sent home. The national Vaccination-council doesn’t recommend Biontech (and only that one is available for under 18) unless for medical reasons. The Delta variant is vividly on the rise here and the young ones are left out of the vaccination. It makes me fume.
      Especially since the politicians want to lift precautions, the kids don’t have to wear masks in class anymore and are back again to full class rooms. On top, hordes of soccer fans roam Europe and gather in full to the brim stadiums to watch games (the European Football championship) that will most likely cause a fourth or fifth wave. I’m rather glad Germany lost and isn’t in the competition anymore.
      Will step down from my soap box now and keep quiet…

  30. We are going away this weekend to spend time with friends in their house! The last time we stayed with them was October 17! We are all double vaccinated and still going to wear our masks when we are out and about but I’m so excited. We are going to go see Black Widow on Sunday and have brunch in a restaurant! I might to into a Michaels store just for fun.

    The town doesn’t do fireworks for July 1 here, way to much of a fire hazard and given that we are surrounded by timber and oil and not much else, a lot could burn before it was brought under control. We do fireworks in the winter. The noise bothers Charlie the dog but he has a ThunderShirt which is working a treat (and making me feel guilty for not getting him one before but I didn’t believe that they would actually work) but not the other dogs.

    I am also happy that I’m back to my old job today, even though it’s dead as a doornail right now.

    My dad had to do some work on Vancouver Island and he and his helper made it there safely. My dad has never really driven in big city traffic, especially a city like Vancouver, and they were pulling the tool trailer so that was added stress. But he is there safely and the drive home will at least be familiar.

    Paul’s dad is going to come stay with us for a while. He is not coping well and we are hoping that a change of scenery and a few days of being out and doing things not just sitting home alone might help him.

  31. It’s Tuesday AM, and I’m having trouble keeping my priorities straight. It’s already 81°F/27°C in my room. By now, the AC Unit should have been out of my trunk and in my window. But the desk hasn’t been cleared or moved, nor…

    Partially, I’m blaming Jenny. I’ve finished The Book of Firsts, and started a re-read already. Long weekends are a blessing that way. And between chapters, I did remove my trash, canned my recycling, caught up on the dishes and other preliminaries to desk moving.

    And then there are the questions. I’ll ask them here, first, before asking the author more directly.
    1. Where is Helios? (Google let me down. I wanted to guess Lithuania at one point. Or maybe Brittany in France. Everyone seems to be speaking English, except one of the kings is French, so…)
    2. Is Mika pronounced MY-ka or ME-ka or even MIH-ka? For that matter, what about Mikaela? (I was grateful nobody, in 73 chapters, found it necessary to call her “Mike,” or “Mikey,” or Mickey.”)

    Full stop. I have quibbles with saying “not erotica,” as though erotica was a dirty word, but to each, Charlize. (Theron, Bad pun. No cookie for me.) I’ve admitted to being a member of the writers who long ago populated the alt.sex.stories and subsidiary newsgroups, and many of the discussions there dealt with “What are we writing?” There were shades, like anything else. Porn, smut, erotica, sex stories, adult fiction. Ultimately, they’re all just labels. I’d label “Firsts” erotica and enjoy it, but I don’t get to label others’ stories.

    1. Update: The unit is in the window, blowing cold air in my face. I couldn’t deal with the accordion panels to either side, so I’m using the Styrofoam that it shipped in to close the gaps. I may switch to plywood. Either way, it’s up and running.

      1. Don’t switch to plywood, ADD the plywood. Styrofoam insulates!

      2. ‘nother update: Room temp is down to 77°F/25°C and still dropping. Time for weekly dinner/shopping. It’ll be freezing when I get home. 🙂

    2. Final AC update: My Amazon order came. It included two models of thermometers so I stuck them around the garage. The AC is set at 71°F, but the room is 69°F before the unit cycles off . What a change!

      And, I still don’t know for sure where Helios is, but Alexa is reading the book to me and I’m going with her pronunciations.

    3. I’d say it’s not erotica because the focus isn’t on the sex, it’s on the relationships. The sex gets less explicit as the story develops and becomes more of a way of showcasing the boys’ personalities and arcing their relationships with Mika. The Tuesday/Friday trysts are more for story structure than titillation.

  32. The fact that the Leverage sequel is starting on Friday!!!!! Jenny, are you going to watch?!

    1. Oh, I’d forgotten. It’s on Amazon Prime, so I can see it.
      Wonder how they’re going to explain Nate’s absence.

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