Happiness is the Dog Day of Summer

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re in the tail end of summer: baking heat, sudden rains, shorter days, and the appearance of school supplies in the stores. It’s the calm before the back-to-school storm, and it’s NORMAL. Okay, back-to-school supplies now include masks and hand sanitizer and the end of summer rains I’m enjoying are probably the tail ends of the hurricanes pounding the coasts, but still, it’s close to normal so I’ll take it. at this point, anything close to normal makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

58 thoughts on “Happiness is the Dog Day of Summer

  1. I am happy because I decided to to share the information I’ve accumulated to help colleagues apply for promotions.

    Our process is very specific and I’ve done it so many times over the last few years that I know stuff that a lot of people don’t. I apply because it’s my way of measuring my development. If this year’s CV is exactly the same as the one from last year, then I haven’t developed.

    I like becoming more competent and capable. So it’s nice to know I’m growing.

  2. A lot of New Zealand has briefly turned into sniggering teens and I love it.

    A fair chunk of New Zealand tunes into the daily 1pm press conference during lockdowns. They’re a chance to hear the latest stats and see where we are at, they tend to be soothing.

    Today’s conference featured the minister for the covid response Chris Hipkins and the director general of public health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

    Mid conference Hipkins was advising on exercise and meant to suggest that people should “strech their legs” he…..did not say that though:


    Most of the internet based population has been having fun with this and it’s made me happy (along with Dr Bloomfield’s eyebrow waggle in response).

    Juvenile I know….

    1. Oh me too! And then Hipkins acknowledging that he’d get ribbing for it and Dr B cracking up. Twitter has been gloriously juvenile. The country that laughs together…

        1. No I hadn’t, but just went and found it. Omg that’s brilliant. I’m dying.

          For those inexplicably not following #nzpols Twitter, Clarke Gayford (PM Jacinda Ardern’s partner) has tweeted:
          Is it kaka mating season? They seem to be going full Chris Hipkins in the back yard at the moment…

          (Kaka is a type of bird). I think this mini lockdown is affecting our collective brain and I love it anyway.

  3. Loved the eyebrow waggling also noticed the sign language interpreter moved off the stage
    pretty quickly.

  4. This week has screamed for a lot of patience, and at times I’ve been quite angry too an so, so tired. I have too many frustrations stacking themselves up and I don’t know how to unstack them. I have always been better at suppressing anger than throw it at others, so there’s no release, just a horrible buildup of it all. Argh.
    But Pratchett is amazing as always, we’ll get the key to the new place coming Wednesday and my mum texted me a couple of days ago to tell me that Chili (my cat) is super-energetic and active again, so I’ll take that for happy this week.

    1. Hi Shads, good way. To release anger!! It helped me not seriously maim or kill my family.
      Get some old plates, saucers etc. and throw them on the walls, floors whatever then when cooler sweep up the mess OR depends leave someone else to sweep up.
      It will make you feel much better. I hope

  5. We are in the midst of our 3rd or 4th heat wave of the summer (hot with humidex ratings near 40 Celsius). This term, we’re outside working in the College gardens which was miserable this week. But one of our instructors stocks popsicles/freezies in the freezer, including juice-based ones that I can eat. Nice break from the heat.

    DH and I went to visit my nephew who lives in a different province about 2 hours away. I had a fantastic falafel sandwich and we drove through familiar streets and into some new areas (we lived in this city 25 years ago). We had a lovely meal at a restaurant my nephew suggested. The food was great but the service was very bumpy – my nephew reminded me that getting and keeping staff post-Covid is challenging. We spoke to the owner and she gifted us a piece of the best peach pie I’ve ever eaten.

  6. This morning I went out with seed and peanuts to feed the birds and was met by Pudgy, our friendliest squirrel who peered at me with tail waving from the highest log, so I gave her a walnut which she scampered up a tree with. Then I disturbed a young heron who was stalking slowly toward the pond, and caused it to fly up to the roof of the McMansion next door and eventually fly towards the park nearby. Could not see the relief on the face of the goldfish, but felt victorious.

    Deer had been by and eaten the flabby dregs of the grapes we’d spread on the picnic table; raccoons had moved some slates around to get at seed under them, but the clouds of birds kept following me around the yard as I put seed and peanuts on various timber & log structures we use for bird feeding. It was not light enough yet to hang the suet feeder, but the perching structure was waiting.

    Years ago I was a gardener. I had loads of hosta and daylilies (hemerocallis hybrids of many colors) and composted in three large bins at various points in the garden, but this morning there were no more cultivated plants (deer had taken care of that), just wild native ones, and trees, and paths, and the pond with fish and frogs, and I just suddenly felt that I’d succeeded in a different way. I’d welcomed nature, and it was pretty darn wonderful.

  7. In the middle of a week full of funeral plans and house-emptying woes, we went to a beach full of scaly shales with fossils in, and waded, and visited with local friends, and picnic-ed later in a sea breeze, out of the sun. It was so soothing and delicious, and such a wonderful respite.

  8. Here in Pennsylvania it is raining so I have an excuse (like I need one) to read a book.😊

  9. I am so very, very happy that the bulk of the hard work on all the big yard projects is finally done. The deck is together and useable, it just needs some skirting and stairs and it will be done. The best part is that I can stand on it to hang clothes! I’m sure I will think of other things but I am excited about that.

    This week I need to get the house in order, pull down more trim, and start pulling up the flooring.

    Nothing but good times ahead.


    1. I forgot to say that on my trip to Edmonton yesterday, I was pleased that more people than not were wearing masks which was nice because our case numbers are rising again (huge surprise to no one). I was stuck in air show traffic for an hour and was very glad I had a second audio book to listen to.

    2. I can hang clothes on my deck (which I didn’t built; it came with the house) and it’s such a pleasure! Especially when I have to dash out and save them from rain.

  10. Happy that the community college in Northern Virginia and Catholic Charities are sheltering 900-1200 Afghan refugees today. My church put out a call for personal items they need. Happy that I can do something for what these people are going through.

  11. Happy that the unpacking is going shockingly well, and that we’ve decided on some storage solutions that will help us get much of the remaining stuff organized.

    Happy that our new house cleaner turns out to be fabulous at her job, and a very nice person to boot.

    Happy that Portugal reached 70% fully vaxxed this week, and we have exited the State of Calamity for a State of Contingency. BTW, although State of Calamity sounds dire, it’s actually a level down from the State of Emergency. The more you know…

  12. I was going to wax on tuna steaks, but saved all that for a blog post on my own blog. Yes, they evoke happiness. So does the weather, which oscillates from the 70s to the 90s as rain comes and goes. I love to watch a good T-storm from the safety of my garage apartment, hoping all the while that the lightning causes no harm, no power failures. I sleep well with the patter of rain over the sound of my fan.

    I think shopping and dining this week will be for BTS supplies. The dotter should have been able to count the unused glue sticks and folders and hand sanitizers and so on from last year. I must be weird in that I love to buy that stuff.

    1. Nope, I think readers, as a class, tend to overlap heavily the class of people who love to buy office supplies.

      1. So true. Watched quite too many youtube videos on sustainable bts supplies. I already have far too many notebooks and I love foutain pens…

  13. I’m happy to have been spared any significant effects from Henri. And I’m happy that August is almost over. Looking forward to fall, even more than usual, after a brutally hot summer.

    1. Gin, did you have the procedure? How are you doing? Thoughts, vibes, and prayers still coming, hopefully for full recovery.

    2. Just ignore my last. I looked up the August 11 post. “… just got new date for angioplasty on Aug. 26.” So thoughts, vibes and prayers in the meantime. Be well. Be better. Be.

  14. I’ve been happy with two days in a row of gray, overcast, cool-ish weather including something resembling precipitation yesterday.

    Also happy with six episodes of “McCartney 3-2-1” on Hulu. DH and I are both hoping there will be more, fingers crossed that closing E6 with the song ‘The End’ was not a message. It’s been a good summer for music documentaries!

  15. Happy to take Pixie on her walk between showers. Happy to do some weeding between showers. Happy to just sit down and read.

  16. Stumbled on a good collage of nine photos I must have made five years ago while giving a friend a lesson in Lightroom – reminded me I can make good things with my photographs. Had a good film night (Romancing the Stone). Just heard from a friend who I’ve been worried I was losing. And today had a slow day in the garden clearing out the shed – so have now got space to sow my winter salads, etc.

  17. So many things!

    The weather, it’s going to be 19c here today, which is madness in August, I’ll enjoy it while also freaking about climate change.
    I’m getting my first vaccine shot today.
    My daughter can be a delight (she’s 13). Yesterday she started to teach herself harmonica from YouTube.
    My son has brought me tea in bed every morning this week.
    Susie Dent’s on point word of the day tweets
    The Gardiner Brothers dancing https://youtu.be/a1O5bJteeQ4
    And, possibly under it all, Estradot. Happy happy happy, I feel like myself again.

    1. You’re warmer than we are. August has turned grey and cold the past few weeks. Really hoping summer’ll come back for a final fling in September.

  18. Today I was invited to read a couple of my short stories at our local library together with another author who does poetry slams. I’m even getting paid for it, although being able to have this kind of event again (for the first time this year) is wonderful by itself. Also, I’m happy because I only have one more week of work before my vacation. And third, I got a marvelous compliment from the publishing house editor after delivering my manuscript. Very motivating!

  19. I’m happy right this minute eating tuna steaks with Maryland style crab cakes on the side. Ummm… what other style of crab cake is there? Whatsa difference?

    1. I looked it up and primarily the difference is to use Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in Maryland style crab cakes . Commercial ones use less crab and more filler. When I make crab cakes which I just call “crab cakes” I add minced onion and finely diced celery which I precook, adding a beaten egg, some mayonnaise and a very small amount of crushed crackers. Then I sprinkle both sides with crushed cracker, chill them for about an hour then sauté them on a moderately hot griddle in a lot of butter. They should be predominantly crab. I serve them with fake aioli (mayonnaise thinned with lemon juice with garlic grated in). I use the exact same recipe to make fish or salmon cakes.

      1. You inspired me to look it up, too. Sadly, I was using Bing as my search engine. “I Googled it on Bing.” Google has its own drawbacks, but Bing…

        Anyway, the first thing I found was the multiple names for the same thing: Chesapeake Style, Maryland Style, and Baltimore Style. Then there are New England Style and Louisiana/New Orleans/Southern Style. Let’s not look at Alaska Style or Cali Style or Japanese/Oriental Style.

        One source claims that Chesapeake/Maryland/Baltimore styles fall into two categories, restaurant and open market, which differ in how and when the bread crumbs are added and whether the crab is blue crab or another type. I don’t make my own. I buy from Gorton’s of Gloucester (Massachusetts.)

        The LA/NOLA/Southern style might use blue crab, but probably not. Substitute crushed crackers for bread crumbs. Add in flour while mixing. (No flour in Maryland Style.) Use Cajun spices instead of Old Bay.

        So now I know there are several styles. I like the sound of yours.

        1. Thank you. Mine is based on 1. How my Great Aunt Josie did it when we visited and 2. What I am likely to have on hand.

  20. I have started a new job in our local COVID surge workforce. I was expecting to be contact tracing but it’s turned out to be a bit more involved than that. Long days, with some very intense bits, but happiness right now is not having to worry about money any more. We’ll probably be stood down at the airport on and off for the next six months, and having a six month contract with a government department is wonderfully reassuring while not getting paid by my primary employer.

  21. I am happy that not only did my area not get flooded by Fred ( although nearby communities were not so fortunate), we are not supposed to get flooded by Henri either! Considering that we have had 3 major floods since I bought my house 9 years ago, this is great. Plus, I got a lot of errands done this weekend and managed to find time to get a pedicure.

  22. I may have mentioned last Sunday that the editor who volunteered to go over THE LARAN GAMBIT returned her comments last Sunday. We are officially delighted with them — thank you, Judy!!! — and we’re tentatively scheduling the book for release on a Tuesday in November, so as to attract the holiday customers. (My cousin asked today, “Why Tuesday?” and I was able to tell her that hard copy release dates are generally on Tuesdays so as to allow shipments to arrive and be unpacked on Mondays, a piece of trivia from my local bookseller many years ago. So now it’s Tradition, as they say in the Five Hundred Kingdoms.) We’re hoping that Judy will be willing to edit the next scheduled full-length book a couple of years from now.

    My cousin’s cataract surgery on her second eye is now scheduled for tomorrow morning, and she’s really looking forward to improved vision.

    This week’s Opening Arguments podcast for August 19, 518, Terpsichore Tries Her Hand at Frivolous Lawsuits, is priceless. Terpsichore is the nom de guerre of one of Sydney Powell’s “experts” who had to respond to Dominion Voting Machine’s complaint suing her so is suing them. Of course without showing any lack of merit in the Dominion suit.


  23. I’m on day 11 of a cold, which is Just Wrong, so my biggest happy this week was a negative covid test. And today I found out that a work problem I expected to take months and many hours of hard work to sort out has been sorted out super-quick instead. Very happy about that!

    We’re back in lockdown, as Allanah and Annamal said, and while covid in the community is not at all happy-making, working from home on nice sunny days is. And with everything I go to being cancelled, I’ve caught up on sleep, got a little more done around the house and garden, and spent more time with my partner. All those have made me happy, or at least happier.

  24. I am at my aunt’s house in North Myrtle Beach, SC, for the week, which is making me happy. My other surviving aunt is here as well, along with one of my cousins. The weather has been bad (hot, gray, rainy, HUMID), but it has been good to hang with the family. My aunts are in their 80s so I try not to miss opportunities to visit. I’m sort of half working and half vacationing, but I think I’m going to need to set aside a specific time for each. Luckily I don’t love the beach during the day (it’s hot and I burn), so a late-afternoon visit is satisfactory.

  25. Good day today! I unload the dishwasher as soon as I go downstairs and discovered that my husband emptied out the silverware drawer and washed all the silverware trays. It was a matter of seconds to put the drawer back together and it no longer has a bunch of crumbs and detritus floating around.

    Despite the fact that last week was sewer replacement week (job scheduled for 3 days) and the guys are in fact back today (5th day into the job – 4 attempts to drill uphill to arrive at the outflow from the house, 1 broken drill head, 1 day off to find replacement and 1 almost heart attack when it became clear the machine was trying to drill through the loggia foundation), it was a good week. We had friends for dinner for our review of the movie “Pig” part of which was filmed about a block away (the Barnes mansion – the only mansion in the neighborhood) so lots of neighborhood shots. And Sunday night was going out to dinner at a nice restaurant – only the second time this year. It was great. I did not have to cook.

    And I aced the movie discussion thanks to Jenny and Argh. Everyone was trying to figure out why they found the movie kind of boring even though the acting was excellent and the photography was amazing (the fight scene was so ridiculous as to be laughable). I pointed out that the entire first third of the movie was a prologue, the action did not start until the second third, which is where the movie should have started. And the character did not arc. How he started was how he finished. None of that I would have been aware of prior to reading about a dozen discussions of plot and book reviews here. So thank you. You made me look very astute.

    1. Aside from the crumbs the junk containers also hold binder clips for chip bags, corn holder thingys, oven and candy thermometers (fudge) the top of the ceramic Christmas tree (because that is where it goes every year) pencil sharpener, baby spoons (mine are in their fifties) lobster and nut crackers, again, because I know that is where they are in a pinch.

      In our neck of the woods there is an ad on TV for Dig Safe a service that can check underground for gas lines. When we had a tree taken down that’s is what the company used and painted on the street to pinpoint the gas lines.

      I put a hold in the library for the movie Pig and when I tried to explain to my family all I got was quizzical looks. I’ll just have to wait and see if it goes over.

      1. Our service for that is called USA, for Underground Service Alert. You call 811 when you know when and where you’ll be applying your jackhammers, and they notify the utilities, who send out crews to Mark and Locate (don’t know why it isn’t Locate and Mark, but it’s the other way around), by spray-painting the street to show where pipelines are, what size, and to whom they belong — the city (water and sewer) or the utilities (gas, possibly electricity, and communication if underground).

        1. The contractor had to first identify the gas lines and the water lines and send a camera through both our sewer line and our neighbor’s. They also had to do something to identify where the 100 year old original lateral connection that the city originally installed for our property, which the city required we connect to – unless of course it was unusable. City inspectors have been out 3 different times to consult. The street has been closed completely twice and has been closed for only local usage for over a week now. They don’t mess around when you are installing a sewer line on a reasonable steep hillside. Hopefully -Day 6 – will see the completion.

          Good thing I moved the plants I most wanted to keep because the search for the elusive connection has expanded from the original 5 foot square of my flower bed being totaled to a 10 foot square.

  26. I got a whole stripe done on my crochet sampler afghan on Sunday. It took me several hours, but to be able to have several hours just to focus on an activity that brings me joy? Bliss!

    But then I stayed up wayyyy too late yesterday and I am so tired today that I will give Agnes a run for “cranky.”

  27. I’m happy to be traveling! We’re in Colorado hunting up narrow gauge railroads, exploring abandoned mines, and failing gaily at our diets. The fun corollaries include finding new birds, bees, and wildflowers, as well as jaw-dropping scenery. (Gotta pic up our jaws in order to take lots of pics.)

    Thrilled that taking a plane was no big deal. While the rental car company was awful, we have a Toyota 4Runner with 54,000 miles on it which we are using on dirt roads. One guy set us up for a joke, asking what the difference is between a Jeep and a rental car. Answer: A rental car can go anywhere.

  28. I’m happy that our weather seems to be improving a bit – I am not ready for summer to be over yet!!

    I’m happy that I should be able to set up meetups with various different people this coming week (I’m still feeling the novelty of seeing people outside immediate family)

    Generally I’m feeling more positive than I have for a while 🙂

    1. San Francisco has had underground this-and-that since 1852, and what is no longer in use was mostly abandoned in place (not allowed to do this now, but not much can be done about something abandoned in 1895, really). I well remember the engineers complaints when they had to find their way under the older streets in the 1970’s, and the old drawings we had to pursue. Luckily the son of the man who’d been the gas engineer in 1906, the year of the big earthquake, died and his house was cleared out, and he asked if we’d be interested in his blueprints — which in those days were the engineer’s property, not the company’s. The engineer had also gone on to work for Honolulu Gas and we passed on those drawings to the current provider. Surprising how useful such things can be many decades later.

  29. My happy was that yesterday was 100% a no work day. It’s been several months since that happened and I needed it. I did absolutely nothing…read fiction and lazed around.

  30. Shopping & Dining w/Dotter struck on a Monday this week!

    I no sooner walked in the door from a minor grocery trip – I had tried to log in to the Food Lion site, but I’ve forgotten my password associated with my MVP card – and made several efforts to install shopping aps, so had a list fresh in my mind – than Dotter knocks and says, “Did you get my email? Wanna shop today instead of tomorrow?” So I said, “Of course!” I shoved the bag of refrigerated stuff in the refrigerator and joined her in the car.

    For the record, I only bought two days worth of perishables. The rest of my early trip was aluminium* foil, wax paper, crock pot liners**, cooking spray (butter flavor and olive oil) and paper towels. What the dotter and I went after was Back to School supplies. I managed to spend around USD180.00, and that was just for the two third-graders.

    Frustrating, but the county has not yet made lists for 8th and 11th graders available. There were “generic lists” on line, and we used them last year, but most of the generic crap never got used, and then new lists were sent home with the kinder after school started. So that will wait.

    Dinner came from Outback. Nothing new or different. Assume we had our usuals.

    * The brits discovered aluminium, and that’s how they spell it, so screw spell check.
    ** No, it’s not PC to re-use cloth shopping bags to carry home my disposable plastic crock-pot liners. Bite me. The slow cooker pot does not fit in my bathroom sink, and that’s where the dishes get done.

  31. Jenny, please tell Molly that it looks as if she has the little hearts working right again. They turn red when I click on them and bump the counter one number, and when I reload the page the next day, the ones I’ve clicked are still red.

    Good going!

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