58 thoughts on “Happiness is a Rainy Fall Afternoon

  1. The Halloween mugs and plates I’d ordered made it through before shipping went hinky, and I got them yesterday, so I’m happy about that. And my youngest son ran his first ever role playing campaign for us the other night, and I’m so proud. It’s lovely to see him so excited about something that isn’t online.

  2. (Sorry, been gone from here a while, a *lot* going on and I also managed to somehow delete my feeds; it’s fixed now)
    What a week. I tend to focus on the down sides of the mood swings (my anti-rejection meds jack with my hormone levels so we adjusted them and things are a lot more mood swingy since then) like many people do, but it was a good week. In not so short: Sunday was the photo shoot, my first one ever. The better shots trickled in throughout the week. With all that’s been going on since I last posted here about things musical and how they related to things authorial, it was amazing to be the center of all attention. And it was the full process – wardrobe, brows and my first ever facial, hair and makeup for two different looks, then the time in front of the camera and the positive responses as I spread the best of the shots around. I’ve heard positive words used for me I’ve never considered before, and that was incredible to get framed in those terms. (I don’t know if I can post links to pictures here, but if I can and y’all want to see them let me know)
    I hit a brief creative lull with my massive modern fantasy novel, so I switched into technical brain and did an umpteenth pass through my first multi-dimension multi-life novel, including proofing and a full spell check, and it’s now in the hands of my editor. It’s sitting at 560 pages, though of course that’ll change in editing. This one has been sitting in the wings because I wanted to be able to change anything in it that contradicted the sequel I was never going to write for it until my main character kept popping me in the head with a large bat. All this from a phrase everyone I know past the age of about 25 says, “If I knew in high school what I know now…”, taken to logical outcomes. The joys of situational writing.
    I’ve gotten some more fleshing out for the spy/espionage competence porn concept that blows through genres like onion fumes through tear ducts. And I’m a lot closer to the writing and composing stage for the massive orchestral/choral oratorio. I’ve got my main characters figured out, including their names in ancient Egyptian, and a lot of structural elements are outlined now. This is going to involve a lot of muscle flexing of the compositional and lyrical writing skills I’ve worked for going back to the moment when I first heard a song on the radio and decided I needed to figure out how it managed to suck me in so I wanted to hear it over and over again.
    So all in all, a productive week with a lot of positives to offset some of the frustrations. And they say we might get rain as early as tonight and it’ll pop up during the week. Tonight might be a bit noisy, but I love thunderstorms, they’re great sleeping weather.

  3. I wish heartily that I could have a rainy afternoon again. Bone dry for almost 3 weeks now, with every green thing looking weak and sad.

  4. Home after my lovely vacation. It was the perfect time go be gone, long enough to be rested, but ready to come home to my bed, my shower, my CATS! I am missing the sound of waves on the beach and the peace of a large expanse of water, but the three loads of laundry are done, and the cats have been extra cuddly, so all is well.

  5. I got a jury summons for November 8th. Let’s see if I can get off because I’ll be adjudicating the election.

    I have an easy week next week, although I have to schedule a couple of things.

    Pixie is doing well. She wants her walk first thing in the morning and after that it’s just squirrels, squirrels, squirrels.

  6. I had a friend visiting, a wonder woman of organization, so my house looks better. Papers have been separated into manageable stacks for further subdividing and filing. My brother called this week, and tonight I talked with another friend I haven’t seen for two years.

  7. What made me happy? Finding out that the second half of leverage redemption has dropped

    Also home made potato soup.

  8. Finished Mary Poppins and got a card. People were very nice. I also got to watch Mary fly from backstage after the show, which was really cool beans to see how it operates. And got to go to the cast party after the show last night–a cast party! Heck, an actual party!

    This is a silly one, but there are certain foods I haven’t been able to find for months to years and suddenly THEY ALL TURNED UP AT THE DOLLAR STORE. I STOCKED UP.

    In other news, I had to use a day off this week and I used it to get my third vaccine + flu and then go shopping and out to lunch with a friend. And working on my Halloween costume (butterfly) is about done.

  9. What made me happy? The dotter has completed her shingles regimen, had the surgery to have her kidney stones crushed and out, had the post-op stent removed, and is feeling well enough to visit her BF.

    What undercuts all that happy? Two of the four grandkinder have tested positive for the covid. The dotter and the other two test negative. No on has symptoms. Oldest GS’s test was 9/25, long enough ago that he can return to school.

    In the meantime, I had to laugh. Dotter did one of her teenage tricks. Woke me up for permission (in this case, to use my car). If I’ve told her once, I’ve told her too many times that I am not awake unless I have at least one foot on the floor, and anything I allow when I’m still asleep does not count! So I went back to sleep and didn’t get out of bed until after 4PM.

    My diurnal rhythms are suffering an arrhythmia in the wake of the dotter’s hospital visit last Thursday. It’s endurable.

      1. See, Gary? What you sleep through never actually happened. As long as the world is just the same when you wake up, the dotter wins this particular play in the permission game. I’m really pleased that she has so much energy after everything she has been through. How is the other COVID positive grandkinder? Sick or just on the list of testing positive?

        1. She pulled it again today. Good thing I filled the tank last night. Really, I should have gotten up, but this time I stayed abed until 2PM. I also shopped last night (10PM!) and cooked another ribeye today, with French beans on the side. Blogged about it, too.

  10. I was referred to an oral surgeon by my regular dentist and had the referral appointment this week. After an all-round special x-ray, they determined that they don’t need to treat me for anything! Pleasantly surprised!

    The Christian Science Monitor has printed a nice article about the DAR.


    It had only one slight error — that the society requires that a lineage be traced through married couples. It doesn’t, though some lineage societies do, but if you need to trace a descent through a couple who WEREN’T married, like my Missing Will ancestor and his live-in partner, you have to prove the descent independent of the marriage (whereas if it’s a child of a married couple, the assumption is that it’s that couple’s biological child unless proven otherwise). It’s obviously more difficult to document that.

    I’ve seen applications more than a hundred years old and they have no place on the form to even record the marriages of the various ancestors. I don’t know whether this means that they didn’t care, or that a charming naïveté meant that they blithely assumed that no prospective member could possibly be descended from unmarried persons . . . .

    Also happy to have had a successful Zoom meeting on Friday and to be finding online sources to illustrate next month’s when I have to do the program — I’m in the throes of turning a written account of the interment of the Unknown Soldier (11 November 1921) into a PowerPoint presentation with whatever illustrations I can find.

    And have been wishing my Canadian friends a happy Thanksgiving (Monday is the big day). I hope any Canadian Arghers have the happiest day, too.

    1. Sometimes the degree of importance people assume because of their credentials for entering certain societies or for claiming high places in the social hierarchy amuses me.

      My mother was very proud that she (through her father’s line) was eligible for membership in the Daughters of the Cincinnati. Why did my mom feel that she needed recognized social status? Because she came from a chicken farmer’s family before she married into a family with a wellknown name. Being a Daughter of the Cincinnati made mom feel like the equal of her husband’s female relatives.

      I won’t go on (I have more and better stories on this subject), but I love to hear about ways in which people feel special. I mean, I love being “literary” — I’ve been known as a snob since childhood. Not quite as bad as Mary out of Pride & Prejudice but definitely from the same fitting room.

      1. At this point the DAR is not especially exclusive (has not been for a very long time) for a strictly mathematical reason — you can join on any ancestor who was on the American side during the Revolution whose service can be proved. So while I have my ancestors to hunt through for possible patriots, my children, if I had them, would have my ancestors plus their father’s — double the opportunities — and grandchildren would have double those opportunities. In my case, it’s fourth great-grandparents in that generation, so that’s 64 possible people, 128 possible people for my children, and 256 for their children.

        And while lots of us are fascinated by genealogy, someone commented at the last Zoom meeting when the subject came up that they were surprised at how much illegitimacy they were finding. I agree!

        1. Ann, Thank you for taking my previous post as it was intended. After clicking “Post Comment” I felt that I’d been pretty rude unintentionally.

          As for inclusivity — it makes sense. George Washington was very concerned about inclusion. The Society of the Cincinnati, a men’s organization started by . . . umm? Washington? His staff? . . . included Revolutionary soldiers (officers?) of all backgrounds. The organization at one point opened its memberships to any man who could show his credentials as a descendent. There is no membership fee.

          Ann, Your historical knowledge and research amazes me.

          1. I love history. And genealogy as a hobby means that you’re usually delving into all aspects of history. What was the law? Where did the local roads go? What was the climate like? What local churches were there? What were these people LIKELY to have done? What was the pool of marriage prospects? What names were they given? It makes me critical of historical fiction, for sure.

            My theory is that whatever your ancestry, there is a lineage society for you, if you’re interested. Or there’s a linked sort of group, like the state or county historical society, or former parish members, or benevolent society members (Masons, etc., or my friend’s g-g-grandfather who was a stalwart member of the Orangemen’s society in Toronto.) Failing all else, there’s the International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists and, right in season, Associated Daughters of American Witches . . . . I haven’t heard of one being snobbish in years, though my late mother once asked a genealogy-buff cousin which society of Colonial Dames his mother was a member of — there are five or six separate ones — and Richard said, “The snootiest!” Mother laughed about that one for years. She was a WWII veteran and interested in veterans’ organizations.

            There are a couple of members of the Society of the Cincinnati who live locally that I’ve met, mostly VERY elderly gentlemen. I hadn’t realized that there was a Daughters group associated with them until you mentioned it, when I looked it up. Go, ladies!

        2. I think people have this weird vision of the “morally upright” past where no one had sex outside of marriage and if they did there was a quick shotgun wedding and that was the end of it. Let’s just insert the hysterical laughter here. Also, there was a lot, I think, of what happened with my great-grandmother Annie. She got pregnant, the baby daddy skipped town and when my great aunt was born she was registered as the child of her grandparents. Everyone knew but played along. When they got married my GG Jerry would not let her bring my great aunt because he didn’t want to raise someone else’s child, something my grandma, his DIL, never forgave him for even though he was long dead by the time she knew anything about it. GG Annie only told her kids that Aunt Cy was Biggest Sister Cy on her deathbed.

          1. Happened to a neighbor — the father was drafted and didn’t come back. The baby was raised by her grandparents.

            My family attorney came over to discuss some of mother’s estate details, and before he left, was asking me how he could find his grandmother’s birth certificate/record. Her official parents lived in Tulare County in the 1880’s — very rural indeed at the time, and very sparsely populated — the child was the much-the-youngest, and the mother came down to the SF Bay Area to have the baby. He suspects that the child was likely the illegitimate child of their oldest son, who was in his late teens, but a search of the county records hasn’t turned up her birth record in this county, where she was supposedly born, or in Tulare County, where she might also have been born. State-wide duplicate records aren’t kept until 1905, so that’s no help. And if the baby was born in San Francisco, we’re just out of luck, because in 1906 San Francisco had a local earthquake and fire that destroyed the vital records. AND we don’t know whether the baby’s birth was reported at all, or whether, if it was, Lies Were Told.

  11. Finished a majot project on Tuesday, got a thumbs up from the boss, had it sent off to the ministry on Thursday and only noticed afterwards what measure of weight lifted from the shoulders.

  12. I am happy I cleaned the very dirty oven in time to cook thanksgiving dinner and a pumpkin pie. BIL left after a very laugh filled and much wine drunk by others and heart felt talks in the evenings. He was happy. Will be back next month. He has been missed. Future ex will not. And…cleaned out another closet and dresser today. Making progress. Had a minor procedure Friday. All is well. Happy thanksgiving to Canadian arghers. I feel like baking again. Just in time. That makes me happy.

  13. Happy to be out of the hospital, happy for a physical therapist who went above and beyond to understand implications of my rare disorder on cardiac rehab, happy to have the most amazing friends who are taking care of me while I recuperate.

  14. We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with my nephew. He lives about 2 hrs away in another province. We had ham (not traditional but it was in the freezer) and lots of veggies. Sugar-free wild blueberry pie fur dessert. Earlier in the day, we visited a flea market and DH found a set of 8 turquoise vintage Christmas ornaments for my silver tree. They were a reasonable price and will look wonderful on my tree. We also did some early Christmas shopping.

    The brouhaha over next semester’s timetable was resolved in the students’ favour. In the past, the majority of my classmates have preferred to complain rather than act when we’ve had issues with the program. This time they sent emails outlining their concerns to the administration.

    We are having unusually warm October. I still have basil in the garden and my dahlias are starting to bloom. Spent a lovely day on the flower farm, tidying up the beds and dividing irises. A lovely walk with a friend today through my neighborhood admiring all the gardens still in bloom.

  15. It’s 3 am and my birthday. I spent the weekend at work in a Covid ICU. I saw happy and thought happy, no just no. Then I thought about Ted Lasso.

  16. My handyman helped me put a garage organizer up on the back wall of my barn/garage. All the rakes and shovels and such fit up there, including the little battery-powered weedwhacker and most of the lawn chairs. Organization created out of mess makes me ridiculously happy. (Now I just have to tackle the rest of the barn. Oy.)

    Although I had been really sad not to go visit my parents this week, I should have been flying home today (Monday) via Southwest Airlines. Through Baltimore. I have never been so happy to have cancelled a trip…

      1. Oh it’s beautiful! And to have one’s shed so organized. I can barely make it beyond the threshold.

        1. Instagram is back to telling me to sign in to my non-existent account. It has these moods.

  17. I have mostly been working to the point of doing absolutely nothing else, but this week I finally had my cats freighted down from my parents’ place and the snuggles have made everything happier. Other happies include both cats figuring out the new litter box without accidents, and my sisters sending me a surprise grocery delivery one night because they know I haven’t bought real food in weeks. (In my defence, it’s tricky when all my shifts are 11-12.5 hours long and include overnights.) It was very sweet.

    1. I have been exposed to the virus at work, again, so I will go back into precautionary quarantine, again. Fourteen days. At least I have two furry hot water bottles for company this time.

  18. Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and last night, for the first time in FOREVER, I was with a group of friends for a meal, a Thanksgiving dinner that can’t be beat. We had a joyous evening of fun and talk and wine and my specialty–pumpkin pie. It all made me very very happy.

  19. I had such a productive weekend after months of not being able to get things done. Rearranged the living room to incorporate my roommate’s lovely huge bookcase and made two batches of meals to freeze for later consumption. Mini sausage pies and Terriaki Chicken Bowls.

    Very happy and proud of myself.

    1. That’s impressive, Kate. There is no feeling as good as knowing that you have food in the freezer that only needs to be heated.

  20. Last week after a couple days of cool and damp weather we decided to put the heat on to take the chill off the house. No heat. My husband checked everything he could before calling the plumber. Plumber came and said it was the electricity. Again husband checked the panels. Next came the electrician only to tell him one of the switches was in the off position. The switch is now painted red. Must have happened when moving things around in the basement. $125. for the service call for the electrician haven’t received bill for the plumber yet. Not exactly a happy but could have been worse.

  21. Our garage door opener stuck in the down position and the cable broke and came off the rails. It cost $180 for the service call and parts. After the party sewer replacement ($20K so far and continuing), I felt like that was cheap.

  22. The pub I’ve booked for my holiday next week finally confirmed. And I’ve got this Thursday off to drive to Snowdonia, shopping for a waterproof jacket, since the holiday forecast is for wind, rain and some sunny intervals.

    Had a good evening with my friend Pam (I was too tired for a film), and we gardened together on her allotment the next morning – me in the greenhouse, clearing my tomatoes and sowing salad stuff, and her outside. Spent the afternoon in my garden, sowing, potting on, taking cuttings, & reading in the sun.

    Weeding the garden and starting the big clearance of the allotment both made me really happy this week.

    1. “waterproof jacket” has me thinking I need to do some similar shopping. I was thinking this afternoon (because my co-worker was wondering if her sister’s field hockey game would be cancelled for weather) of the only time I ever saw weather affect three-day eventing. It had been pouring rain all day, and suddenly the announcer said the competition would be paused for a tornado warning, and that if we spectators saw a funnel cloud we should lie down on the ground and cover our heads with our arms. (We did not see one.) About half an hour later the warning ended and competition resumed. The point of this story being that I had been out in sideways blowing rain for six hours and except for my hands and the lower part of my face I was completely dry. I want that quality of rain gear again!

        1. Considering where I live, I’ve always been very calm about tornados. Most tornado warnings do not involve touchdowns, only funnel clouds spotted. Also, I have the perhaps inaccurate impression that most people who die in tornados die because things fall on them–buildings, trees–and there was nothing but open ground all around us. Of course, I could have had a horse fall on me, I suppose.

  23. I am happy because my 6 month follow up mammogram was good. And I am on my birthday week celebration vacation. I got my car undercoated, inspected, and the tires rotated. On top of that I made myself dust mop and mop the floors. The rest of today is for fun stuff.

  24. Most of my happy this past week is because my older dog is still alive. She’s approaching 15. Over the course of 10 days, it was like something stomped on the accelerator of the aging process. When we headed off to the vet, I’d steeled myself that the blue fluid was coming. Multiple tests and x-rays etc. No “masses”- whew. A number of kidney and pancreas values were off, white blood cells elevated. No specific diagnosis and a “she is not out of the woods yet warning” and we went home with Ringers solution, various medications and a diet plan. No idea what component(s) of the regimen is working but it is working.
    Other happy is that baby quilt is coming along…when I’m not working or hand wringing over the dog. Playing with bright, cheerful fabric has been therapeutic.

  25. I travelled for the first time since before Covid!!!!!! I flew to Helsinki to teach a workshop. It was on Friday, so my husband flew with me and we stayed for the weekend. We had a great time- ate lovely food, and walked all over the city. Even went to a yarn shop and bought some local yarn.

  26. happy to be less than 2 weeks from our trip East to see the aged parents and (if all goes well with this Thursday’s heart catheterization (my SIL)) my sister and her wife.

    also happy that I actually flung myself out of the house this weekend and not only watered all the things, but did a sizable and significant clean-up job involving disposing of the corpses of four large dead plants. The result is a backyard area that I’ve decided to happily ignore for the next year, at least.

  27. My mammogram was negative and so was my breast sonogram despite a few weeks of tenderness in my armpit. Apparently this is a side effect of the Covid shot even months later (i am nearly at 6 months) and also of other vaccines like flu and not a sign of any health problems. My radiologist says it’s a lot more common with Covid vaccine —she has spent the last year scanning armpits. And everyone is perfectly fine—just tender lymph nodes . Whew!

  28. I am happy that the Red Sox have made it into the next stage of the post season! The last two nights of two terrific teams playing amazing baseball has been a treat. And last night I went on to finish rereading The Grand Sophy!

    (Grumble. Grumble. Not happy about foot hurting. About the fact that when I hobble to the kitchen to make coffee in the am my foot swells and hurts (that’s the longest stretch of time I leave the guest room bed). About the fact that my husband is being so god-damned nice about serving me homemade meals and being constantly supportive. About the fact that I’m incredibly lucky and should be joyful about how well things are going. Grumble. Grumble.)

  29. Mary Anne in Kentucky, do you do three day eventing? I love watching it and will be at LR3DE this year (had tickets for 2020 and so glad to finally be going). I’ve gone a couple times with a group of friends, one of which has been going for over thirty years. As a rider, I just do a little dressage and am a crap rider (I’ve always wanted to ride and finally started taking lessons in my late fifties) but there is nothing like watching cross country day!

    1. I do not do horses, thanks to my allergies. I tried two years of lessons in my teens, where I would take off everything I wore as soon as I got home and put it straight into the washer, and go shower and wash my hair immediately, and still not be able to breathe through my nose the next day, and gave up.
      When I lived in Lexington the Rolex 3 day event was at the Horse Park and I usually went, but now that I live more than an hour away and work peculiar hours, I haven’t been to one in a long time. Also nowadays I never feel I get to stay home enough! (See: work peculiar hours.)

      1. I love the Horse Park. I visited in 2008 when Paul and I were on a big road trip. That was one of my few solo outings, Paul does not do anything horse-y so he stayed at the hotel and napped.

  30. I’m happy that I got my irises separated and transplanted before it got too late in the year and that my tomatoes are still producing like crazy. And fall farm festivals make me happy; we got to go tromp through a cornfield maze and ride a wagon through sunflower fields and it was like a Hallmark movie perfect day.

  31. I couldn’t read all the comments at this time. So this may be old news. But I’m very happy that Bob Mayer is coming out with a book called Shane and the Hit Woman. Mid-November. The excerpt made me so happy!

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