Happiness is a Another Birthday

Thank you all for the birthday wishes, especially since I wasn’t expecting it since I didn’t yell, “Hey, it’s Constitution Day, I’m a year older!” Very nice surprise. I had a lovely quiet day during which I did anything I wanted to. One of the many great things about old age is that you reset to toddler wisdom and live your life according to “Fuck it, I can do anything I want.” Which this year included buying a curtain of stars to go on my bedroom window, counting my blessings, and once again not dying. All in all, a full and very happy day.

What made you happy this week?

64 thoughts on “Happiness is a Another Birthday

  1. Being happy is not one of my strengths, sadly. But the sun coming back after another couple of rainy days lifts my spirit. The prospect of getting out today, possibly to a nearby lake, makes me happy. What is it with water that has such a great effect on me? Be it the sea or lakes – just stretches of water to expand the view.
    Works for stretches of green as well: having to watch football (i.e. soccer) games bc the son has joined a team is a soothing “duty”, especially on sunny days.

  2. I read yesterday an article about the joy of little things. That made me think about the little things that give me happiness.

    So, this week, my happiness is hot chocolate served in a tall thick glass on a café terrace after a walk along the river.

  3. I had a very happy making day. I spent the morning puttering round cleaning things which made me feel better about the house and also about my ability to actually get on top of life. Then partner and I went for a 7km walk along the coast through regenerating native forest, then visited a couple of friends. Lots of laughter and some deep conversation too. Then we went to an excellent restaurant on the way home. I’m very ready for bed but happy.

  4. I have a mini vacation. Yesterday we drove down to Lancaster pa and thrifted. We stumbled across the most ridiculous place that buys, sells and rents taxidermy.

    Today we are going to the Renaissance fair. It’s fantasy weekend. I have a costume, but expect to be horribly out classed. It’s our only adventure for this year, I think, so I am going to wallow in food and themed stuff.

  5. I am happy that even though my work situation is bad and hasn’t changed, *I HAVE* and that means I’m less reactive and more proactive.

    Oh yeah, stillI procrastinate… A LOT, I still get angry and complain, I still have an emotional fetter to clutter BUT, I am using ideas and strategies to help more people so that they don’t feel as demoralised and burned out as I was. And that’s helping me. I’ve proven my own competence to myself.

    I’m happy to get things done. Even if it means some things are still undone.

    I’m happy you’re here, Jenny. And I’m grateful for the Arghers too.

  6. Happy birthday! Mine is coming up, and I’m SO happy!
    First of all, I finished my ER shifts for a bit, and the last one ended on a good note of teamwork.
    Secondly, I went to Toronto for a fascinating immersive theatre workshop, and I’ve been eating a ton and meeting friends safely outdoors while masked and double-vaccinated (dumplings! Green curry! Sesame noodles last night in Ottawa!). I reconnected with a wonderful friend I hadn’t spoken to in YEARS, and met new friends last night. At least two more parties to come.
    Thirdly—this is huge—I think I may have almost tamed my most recent novel.
    Life is good. I’m full of love.

  7. Happy birthday Jenny! We were exposed so we’re quarantining & it was going to be our first trip into Philly since March 2020 (we live 45 minutes north of the city & used to go into town at least twice a month). So we “happily” ate take out sushi & sat by the pool with the dogs, thankful for a beautiful & peaceful home. And yes, fk it ~ 1 life, enjoy it 🌌

  8. I usually don’t get around to reading “good book Thursday” until Sunday, so that was a good start to my morning and now have fun samples to read.

    Kittens continue to be amazing and amusing: Sasha dropped his current favorite toy off the side of the bed and into the trash basket. Despite a rather tight fit between the bed and bureau, he managed to pry the basket onto it’s side, and retrieved his prize to his obvious satisfaction (current favorite toy is sparkly hair scrunchy donated by his aunt).

    Beautiful weather and Halloween is coming. Might get the witch and skeleton out this week, just to get to mood going.

  9. What made me happy this week was that Ikea *finally* got in both Billy bookcases we want/need to put our apartment into order (one is wider/deeper than a normal Billy, and is kitchen adjacent to hold overflow from our lack of cupboards). As a result of acquiring the Billys, I’ve been able to go from 15 tubs awaiting unpacking to 6. We’re still awaiting our 2nd shipment, which has yet another bookcase on it, and most of what’s in the tubs will go onto that bookcase when it arrives, which should be in the next couple of weeks.

    Having the kitchen stuff in order really makes this place feel like home. Happy-making indeed!

      1. Ikea gives all its furniture strange Swedish names. They’ve been selling Billy bookcases for decades. (I like Gorm, myself: very sturdy pine workshop shelving units.)

        1. They say it was because Ingvar Kamprad was somewhat dyslexic, and had trouble remembering article numbers for different products when his business was new. He found specific names more workable. They all have those numbers as well, but that’s primarily for computer functions.

          1. We’ve had what we call our “Diana” for years. The Ikea name is “Rigg.” It’s a coatstand which we use for towels and such.

            Guests look confused when I tell my husband and get something off Diana.

      2. More than 110 million Billy bookcases have been sold since it was introduced 40 years ago. There is supposedly one sold every 5 seconds. I myself have 12 of them in my house – all jammed with books – and I had to get rid of another 8 when I moved from Germany to the UK. I dream of replacing them with beautiful hand-crafted bookcases some day, but am not holding my breath.

  10. Feliz cumpleanos to Jenny and happy Sunday to everyone. I had a delightful day out with my friend yesterday. We toured her garden, talked about my writing, ate brunch at a lakeview cafe (outdoors, under a tree, attended by grackles), went back to her house and talked some more, and then she dyed my hair a fabulous ombre blue. <3 And this was for *her* birthday!

  11. Got a new job, without months and months of no job, for once. In fact, I gave notice and am leaving early for a better wage (as a contract tech writer). I liked my present job/company/manager, but couldn’t resist making 40% more per hour. It’s not client facing work, so it will be more technical and I’ll have to learn a lot. Which is good, since I’m not at the stage where I can only learn new thing that I want to learn.

    Drove my Mom down to Concord, MA to visit an old friend, had lunch at the famous Colonial Inn, and then drove to Walden Pond and waded a bit. A pleasant sunny day in a beautiful part of New England. Saving today for what chores I need to do as long as I want to do them.

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  12. My very delayed new Llewellyn books FINALLY showed up at their warehouse last Wednesday (a month after they were due and a week after what was supposed to be release day). They haven’t gotten to me or any of those who preordered yet, but soon, hopefully. This is apparently an industry-wide supply chain issue, so I managed not to angst over it too much, and my readers are being pretty patient. So that made me happy. What REALLY made me happy is that my editor told me there was so many preorders, Llewellyn has already ordered another print run, this time from a printer in the US (instead of China), so hopefully it won’t take as long to get those books in stock. I’ve got a bottle of champagne in the fridge which had been for release day, and is now for “Box of books actually shows up at my house” day.

    Also fresh tomatoes and basil out of the garden, which means Caprese salad. Yum.

    Happy birthday Jenny. Glad to have you around for another year.

  13. Sounds like your B’day was lovely. Congrats on both the day and your awesome approach to celebrating the day:)

    After taking a bit of a “TV watching cleanse” over the past few months, I spent part of my week peeking at some shows and tried out the new Steve Martin mystery show.

    I found his original premise intriguing — about some aging folks in a NY apartment building wanting to solve crimes but being too lazy to leave the building so they mined their neighbours for mysteries. As the show was developed, apparently the original idea evolved and the cast of characters grew to include a wider group and they do leave the building. I’m only a few episodes in so still forming my thoughts about it, but I was happy to have something new to try that’s a bit different in its approach to the genre.

    Other than that, it’s a pretty day outside and that’s always cheering:)

  14. In the process of cleaning the garage, I opened a box labeled “craft” that I packed 7 years ago and found a plethora of quilting supplies that I never knew I didn’t have. It was like Christmas morning, and I immediately swooped them up and into my sewing room. One box no longer needed!

    I love the change of seasons from Summer to Fall, and looking at the forecast, it seems that true Fall weather will come in a little this next week, which makes me happy. I’m going to start bringing in the houseplants who won’t enjoy that weather as much as I do.

  15. Our new son-in-law, whom we barely know, has moved to our town as an advance guard.

    We walked around a lovely park with him this morning, chatting, which was great. And our daughter will be completing the move in two months.

    I’m glad your birthday was a good one, Jenny!

    And this video was beautiful and soothing to watch, so contributed to an overall happy day so far for me:


  16. I’m 70.58 years old. Every day is another day, and that makes me happy. No choice in the matter. What doesn’t kill me makes me happier. But that’s me.

    Life is like a box of chocolates. Russell Stover sugar-free chocolates, or Atkins snacks chocolates these days, but that’s a choice, the choice to live to be 70.59 or better. I’m still a card-carrying chocoholic – I have the card and the t-shirt (and waistline) to prove it. On the back of the t-shirt it says, “Chocoholic 12-step plan: Never be more than 12 steps from chocolate.”

    That’s going to be a blog post. Sometime tonight, I’m going to don the t-shirt and take pictures, and repeat this post on my own blog. Because I’m happy. 🙂

    The dotter is less happy. Thursday she had an ultrasound and they told her she had to keep the stent in another two weeks. She is not fond of the stent, though she prefers it to the kidney stones… a little.

  17. My birthday was earlier this month and today my DH is finally giving me my present: five nights at a lovely hotel on the beach. While he promises day trips to see coastal redwood forests and sea lions, I’ll be thrilled if he manages not to work for a few days. Oh well, if he ends up working, I’ll be perfectly happy staring at the ocean or my Kindle.

    From one Virgo to another, happy birthday, Jenny!

  18. Belated happy birthday! <3 Thanks for being here with us. Glad to hear you had a good day. Cheers and hugs and many wishes of good health and happiness!

  19. Happy Birthday Jenny!

    It has been such a beautiful day here today; the sun is out, the sky is brilliantly blue with only a few white clouds, and the humidity has subsided. I took advantage of it and went for a hike in the Rome SandPlains wildlife management area.

    I took a number of photos, including one of a small, wooden grave marker with the inscription R.I.P. Max P. & Ruby P. I am guessing it is the grave of two very loved pets, who loved going to this place.

  20. Happy birthday Jenny. It was my partner’s birthday over the weekend too. We’re living in a state of suspended good and bad possibilities at the moment — there’s every sign delta may be creeping quietly past the best efforts our country’s been able to make to contain it, vaccination rates are soaring in response, but from a very low base and not yet in our most vulnerable communities, and basically we’re waiting to see which of several very different medium-term futures we get. Alison Bechdel’s latest book has a passage where she tells the story of Coleridge going for a wander in the mountains and getting lost, and managing to trap himself on a ledge, too steep to climb back up and no safe way to get down… and he lies there and looks at the sky a while until he feels calm, and then he’s able to see a tricky but possible way down. As hokey as it sounds I’m trying to live in the moment and trust that we’ll find a way down.

    So for T’s birthday we had nice food, and went to a Surrealists exhibition (lots of Magrittes, and I love Magritte!) and watched the last five episodes of Legend of Korra, which we’d been saving up. The very last scene of Korra made me exceptionally happy.

  21. Happy to walk around the park this morning, getting my steps in. Happy more stuff was donated to the Delta hospice society. Two double size bins of clean clothing and other stuff and container of Christmas decorations. I’m still gobsmacked about people donating dirty clothes. Labeled the donations for the volunteers. Bit OCD or as I prefer; organizational skills.

  22. Happy your birthday went precisely as wished. I’m Virgo too, and I’ve found quiet celebration my favorite ever since the lust for gifts disappeared.

    Turned in the garden article today, two days before due date, the article which vanished just as Version One neared completion. Not even tech dudes could retrieve it. Now Version Two is in and it’s better.

    Arrived home from the desert to find our floors not yet done as promised (!), so we’re here at Loew’s Coronado down the strand. They take dogs, and the dogs can go to their home Cays dog park tonight. Then we’ll hit the bar for a martini and cheeseburgers. And perhaps Buffalo wings. Plus, just received a call the floors are done, we move in again tomorrow if the movers are available. I’m happy!

  23. We have a neighborhood group that celebrates about 8 holidays a year together (well, 3 core households do all 8 and for some others join us.) this week we had the traditional Yom Kippur break – fast for 14 people albeit held on a porch and in a carport while it poured rain. Happiness is keeping those traditions going.

    Had a lovely outside dinner with two other couples last night.

    We seem to have successfully escaped catching Covid on our trip to England to see DD. Unfortunately our adult sort of foster daughter was exposed while we were gone and is in quarantine now . She is vaccinated but has an immune disease so not clear how well it worked.

    Another not so happy; I need to tell my moms eye doctor that she is still driving. She suddenly lost vision in tbe top half hour of one eye about a month ago and when my brother talked to him (as a doctor my brother gets this task) the eye doc said she shouldn’t drive . Mom keeps insisting she is safe to drive. Now that all the tests are done and we don’t think she will lose more eyesight I need to let the doc know she is still driving because my brother is chickening out on this. She may in fact have regained some vision and be ok to drive but we need to confirm that —my brother doesn’t think she would have. This is gonna be ugly. I am happy to let her take lots of risks to be independent if it’s only her but we can’t let her hurt other people. And she can afford to take cabs any time she wants. Apparently I am the only kid of 4 who will stand up to her…

    1. Good luck. We had to have this conversation with my mother – she had dementia and the doctor decided she was not safe to drive. She was very unhappy. It was a big blow to her independence but better than causing an accident.

        1. Thanks everyone. We will see what happens….
          If she lived in NY she would take cabs and public transit and not drive and think nothing of it. I keep telling her this… there are cabs and buses in ber town although less reliable due to Covid.

    2. Thank you, thank you for taking this stand, however hard it is. I lost a friend in the Santa Monica Farmers Market crash, all because no one in that old man’s family had the courage to do what they all knew had to be done. Every time I hear that someone like you is doing this very hard thing, I’m grateful, because someone else won’t lose their Lynne.

  24. Happy birthday, Jenny! We celebrated my MIL’s bday with a family Zoom, and spent a lot of time laughing at each other using virtual filters. Turns out DH looks adorable in mouse ears and a little pink nose.

  25. Happy birthday, Jenny!
    Just keep on having them!

    My happy this week was a blood draw for a cancer tumor marker that came back within normal range.
    Also an unexpected call from a friend who moved away this summer.

  26. I did not have a migraine this week which made me happy (I had 3 last week). We drove 5 hrs each way to celebrate my FIL’s 75th BD. He was happy to have his whole family with him and my MIL gave me some hosta cuttings for my new garden. DS posed for pictures with his grandparents – I will print one and put it in a frame as a Christmas gift for them.

    Lovely sunny weather this week for our outdoor horticulture classes. We were pruning trees and bushes, which I like. I discovered that I enjoy fiddling with climbing vines to tidy them up and re-train them on their trellises. One of my instructors told me that they looked better than they had in years.

  27. Daughter and grand-cat are visiting. Despite daughter’s chronic pain and fatigue, we went to a Red Sox game one day and an excellent chamber music performance the next. The musical trio is headed by our sister-in-law, and she and her husband came over for dinner after the concert along with their rescued American dingo.

    All was lots of fun.

    Happy Birthday, Jenny!

  28. And a Big Happy! The Biden Administration is going to allow folks from 33 countries to visit the US starting in November.

    So my daughter-in-law’s mother will be able to join us for Christmas after all!

    1. Yes, we may get our daughters partner this holiday season! Assuming of course that it’s safe to travel…

  29. I am late to the party because my computer would not turn on all the way for the last few days, but it is working well today which makes me VERY HAPPY.

    Happy Birthday, Jenny! I am so happy that you are here and relatively healthy!

    I was given a huge gift this week because I left a zipper case that contained all my ID, my charge card and my debit card at a transit station. I went back to ask if it had been turned in, only to find that there was nobody was working at the station that day. Two days after frantically calling my bank, my credit card company and the passport agency, there was a knock on my apartment door. A lovely couple was there with my stuff in their hands because one of my neighbors was kind enough to let them in. My greatest regret is that I was too flustered to take their names and contact information so that I can send them a Thank You note and/or gift. Due to the negligence of the Transit Authority and my landlord(regarding the telephone system at the gate) it was much harder to contact me than it should have been.

    I decided to start my vacation from my diet a week early and called my friend to ask if she wanted to go out for fried chicken for dinner last night, but caught her after she had started her dinner prep. However,we are going to get together on Tuesday. This is especially sweet because I had been dragging my feet about calling her for weeks.

  30. Happy Birthday! Mine is next Sunday and my folks are coming to visit for it.

    I’m happy because I’m taking a staycation this week. I intend to get some quilting done. I’m also checking things off a fairly lengthy to do list which is making me quite joyful.

    I’m also going to bake a cake possibly two. The first is going to be an old-fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting and the second is a Caribbean rum cake. Both recipes are from King Arthur baking website.

  31. Happy belated birthday!

    My big happy was seeing a blue jay this week; I haven’t seen one in a long time. Also there are crows.

  32. A very belated happy birthday, Jenny! My happy this week is that I’m taking a day off. I spent yesterday talking to three groups of school kids (Yrs 5 & 6), and they were just lovely, but I came out the other end exhausted. So I’m not even going to try to work today. Toddler wisdom. Yep.

  33. My happies involve my brother beginning to pull out the Halloween decorations; he produced Crazy Bones, the eyes-light-up skeleton of an octopus. I’m sure it must be a real skeleton and appreciate the sacrifice of the octopus!

    Also had a delightful appointment at the comprehensive cancer center where they determined that my blood tests look good with the ferritin level in a good place, and ordered the annual mammogram. The doctor was favorably impressed with my top, which (weather prediction was for unusually hot weather today) was a light cotton and he recognized the embroidery pattern as Indian. Since it’s a typical floral design in satin stitch, I think he’s quite right.

    And then I got to do some grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. The Autumn Stuff is in, which means A LOT of stuff is Pumpkin, including a liqueur, “Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur,” “Howling Gourds Pumpkin Ale,” “Apple Cider Foaming Hand Soap,” “Pumpkin Maple Bacon Dog Treats,” “Pumpkin Spice Coffee,” “Pumpkin Spice Hummus,” and “Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce.” Woof!!

    1. And today I can add that serious happy is the announcement “FamilySearch International announced the completion of a massive project to digitize its collection of millions of rolls of microfilm containing billions of family history records from around the world. The archive containing information on more than 11.5 billion individuals is now freely available to the public on FamilySearch.org.”

      Actually this doesn’t quite mean that every single individual record can be accessed from home at 3 am in your jammies, because the record collection is a patchwork and different jurisdictions permitted records to be microfilmed with different conditions; some are freely available and others may only be accessed by someone who’s physically present in the Salt Lake building, and others can only be accessed by the staff, not by any old patron. (For instance, a good many records were microfilmed in the years right after WWII in countries where the Nazis had used them to decide which groups they were going to exterminate, and no one wanted that to be possible again.) And there’s a general tendency in jurisdictions to restrict some records until a reasonable period has passed — traditionally seventy-two years, which is when US Census records go public. But this is a terrific milestone which will make family history research easier and more accessible.

  34. Happy Birthday. Mine was today. I know you are younger than I am. I am 78 and very happy about that.
    I did what you did. – what I wanted to do.
    Ate a jelly donut. Bought myself some pink turtle decals for my white Honda CRV so I could find it in parking lots, and opened my presents. Well, my grandsons opened them. I got a book and two jigsaws. Then we played Rummycube. I rarely get anyone to play board games with me so that was a big treat. Then tonight? Ta da! A birthday full moon. Life is fabulous. I wish you a year full of expected and unexpected blessings. And I wish all of us a new published book from your brilliantly funny and talented brain.

  35. Happy belated birthday and congrats on another trip around the sun! May the present one be even better for you.

    Lots of happy right now; the greenhouse is nearly complete, just needs a door and some finishing touches, fall is beautiful and the fall corn maze season has arrived, school year is off to a good start, and my mom is visiting after nobody seeing anybody since Covid started. Also I have high hopes our 10 yr old can get a shot soon now that Pfizer’s trial results are off to FDA approval.

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