Happiness is Something Good Around the Corner

I get to see my family right after Christmas, which is wonderful.

Krissie is coming to visit in April, which is amazing.

I’m almost done with Nita for the last time, which is such a relief and will be such a rush.

I’d almost forgotten, with the virus and staying hunkered down, how much happiness there is in the idea that there something just around the corner, heading your way, that’s not an oncoming train. It changes “What now?” from “What fresh hell is this?” to “OMG, it’s a rainbow,” and makes me ludicrously happy. Nothing but good times ahead, once we get around this corner.

What came around your corner to make you happy this week?

56 thoughts on “Happiness is Something Good Around the Corner

  1. We’ve been working on choruses from Handel’s Messiah. The corner is this morning, as we sing in three services. Being part of a large choir really does make me happy. (The arrangement of chairs had me in front of some of the men, who were thinking on how to make use of a coffee table sized piece of the organ they were sitting next to. I’m intrigued to see if they’ll be bringing the charcuterie board they promised!)

    Just an FYI – Martha Wells won two Hugos last night. One for best novel, for Network Effect, and the other for best series, for the Murderbot Diaries.

    1. Yes! I’m so, so happy for Martha Wells. I remember years ago, finding her Ile Rien series and reading everything I could find by her and wondering why she didn’t have a larger readership. I love that she’s finally getting the recognition that she deserves.

      Also, Ursula Vernon won two (I believe — YA and short story) Hugos, and I’m pleased for her too.

      Also, also, gotta love John Scalzi for his support of Martha Wells’ wins, since he was a finalist in the same categories (or at least one of them).

    2. I’m glad you can sing! Our concerts have been cancelled because of the pandemic. This is the 2nd year without Messiah, and it’s no fun.

    3. Singing the Messiah is such an experience. I’ve only done it once, and bits of it were hugely challenging, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

  2. We got to spend time in North Carolina with our kids AND with Asheville restaurants and the mountains, a triple win. Also, it was a good writing week, something I’m always grateful for.

  3. My daughter, who lives in London and learned she had been exposed to Covid just after landing in Germany for a business trip, has remained Covid negative and was able to get on a plane to see us.

    So with any luck all three kids will be here Friday.

    (Less happy -the foster daughter who lives near us had to come yesterday because a departing roommate had all the utilities turned off on a Saturday instead of transfered and now they have no heat power or internet until Wednesday . She tested negative, we all ate together unmasked, and she promptly got a text from a friend that she had been exposed last Sunday. So now she is quarantining in her room until we can figure out when it’s safe. She’s vaxxed and boosted but also has an autoimmune disorder.)

    Christmas shopping is done. Wrapping and decorating not so much.

    1. Foster daughter got a negative PCR so all
      Is well. And went home for two days because utilities back on.

  4. The biggest rainbow for us is we’re not hosting a big family Christmas, but just having our kids and their kids here. I’m so excited. The stress is gone and the fun about to begin. Also, there’s visible progress in the building of the house that never ends.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

  5. Talking to a long-lost friend about our efforts to write fiction – reconnecting with her, and with my desire to get back to writing. Then our amazing election result the next morning. Both things are making the new year look promising.

    I’m also making myself happy with cleaning: finished spring-cleaning the kitchen yesterday, did all the windows inside & out this morning (with difficulty; they’re an assortment of modern replacements, mostly not designed to be cleaned). Now need to deep-clean the bathroom then tidy, dust & vacuum the rest of the house before I’m allowed to bring the tree in, which I’d really like to do tomorrow. After that, it’s Christmas.

    1. Oh – and went to a lovely Christmas gathering last Monday. Half a dozen people from the artists’ network I belong to. Great conversation and food. It’s my only social event for the Christmas period; I’m really glad I made it.

  6. Classes are done for 3 weeks. I have a ton of homework to do but I can work at my own pace. DH found a clinic doing walkin boosters so we got ours this week. Covid rates are going up quickly in my province so I’m glad to have that out of the way. I baked Christmas cookies and listened to Christmas music yesterday afternoon and i think this afternoon will be a repeat.

  7. I reconnected with a fellow crafter who makes the most beautiful felted wool hats. I drove over an hour one way to see her, bought three and took the scenic way home stopping in a used bookstore. There I found the cutest earthworm and bat and other dark stuff jewelry and refrigerator magnets and spent too much. But it was fun. I haven’t had such an outing in forever. I also used that trip to deliver all my Christmas gifts to my family, which felt good to be done. We have decided against a group thing because covid numbers here are super high, with the hospital at 130 percent capacity. Working on figuring out what Christmas day will be.

    Also, I have been unsubscribing to emails and took it a step farther to unfollow a lot of accounts on Instagram. There was a lot of stuff I never saw and didn’t remember following, a lot of junk, and people I barely know who mostly posted their private lives leaving me feeling like a voyeur. Instagram stops you after so many unfollows, but I will probably keep chipping away at it. It makes me feel lighter.

  8. DH and I got our booster shots on Wednesday so that makes me happy, sort of, because I’m just coming around from being knocked down completely by this third shot. My head is still spinning and my blood pressure is over the top. Which could be caused by other things as well (work is incredibly busy, kids are drowning in school work, dh is similarly swamped) and my love-hate relationship with xmas does nothing to lighten the pressure.

    At least, laying low with fever and all sorts of aches, I decided to quit my proof-reading stint early.
    Back story: I used to copy edit a certain calendar for the last 25+ years and already announced to quit at the end of this year. Usually I work on 2 calendars before Christmas, with the bulk following in January. Obviously they don’t have a follow-up proof-reader lined up (I told them in Spring) as without asking for it I even got a pay-rise. I expected a max of 3-4 manuscripts (so I was told). Instead the manuscripts just kept pouring in (it feels like they rushed everything, but of course calendars get published earlier and earlier anyway). When the day job is crazy busy, with overtime piling up when you ought to melt it off, this side job made the last weeks hell.
    So on Friday I told my editor that the manuscripts I already have on my desk. She agreed, by then another one already waited in my post box, argh. Well, now I only have to finish two proof reads by tomorrow and one more by the day after tomorrow. While at the office, I’ll have to finish off a weeks tasks in one day by tomorrow. Not happening.

    But the prospect of never ever having to proof read these d… calendars ever again is making me happy.

    And now no procratinating anymore. Back to work on those d… suckers…

  9. I’m on vacation for two weeks. I probably won’t do much besides go to rehearsals at nights, but at least I won’t have the work stress. Rehearsals are going well, it’s a really fun show. Am kind of horrified that we’ve only rehearsed almost every number about once apiece and then they go into finishing up–I’m used to drilling things for months for shows, so that’s weird. And most of the Christmas gifts are done.

  10. We have all had our boosters, including my two adult kids still living at home, which is great.
    Not so great, we were waiting for these jabs before going to Paris to spend Christmas with my family for the first time since 2019 but with the way things are going I am not sure we will be able to travel on Tuesday as planned.
    My eldest who is joining us from Prague is already there but my brother who was meant to fly from Canada with his family has decided to cancel his trip.
    Fingers crossed we can go…

  11. Took a hard fall yesterday on my left knee (in front of a business around a bunch of people, so there goes my pride) and limped home with some significant swelling and pain.

    Woke up this morning to minimal pain and swelling. Counting my blessings that it wasn’t worse and will get to host the annual Grinch night with the Littles (great nephew and niece) tonight.

  12. I got asked to lunch on Tuesday and I’m actually…free! It was a surprise invite but I was pleased with an opportunity to get away. Also, the other day I was at a council luncheon holiday party where we had to bring presents then everyone draws by numbers. And you can steal a gift 3x or choose another. The gift I brought was the only one stolen 3x and it was good to get a feel for what folks want. That said – I think I got a regift so there ya go. No one would steal it, darn it! My big relief is that I got all my gifts shipped for my kids and grands. Such a relief and they’ve arrived already. I’m amazed how many gifts I can squeeze into the odd box. So my son called bewildered and asked if I sent him a bath chair. No, Sonny. It’s just stuffed with toys lol. I still do cards and I have about ten to go. Joy is getting those heavy, hard stop things crossed off your list. Have a pleasant, low stress week, all.

  13. My 95-year-old grandma came home from the hospital. She had hip surgery right before Thanksgiving, but she healed beautifully. I’m with her now and it’s so lovely to see her.

  14. Had weekly work zoom meeting, last in the year for a few of my team going on holiday so a couple of the team dug out the santa hats. We all did a double take, in keeping with the holiday spirit, the new girl was wearing a santa hat, with a grinch mask. It was great.

  15. I’m looking forward to taking the week off from writing between Christmas and New Year’s to play with fabric and deal with year-end stuff that will weigh me down otherwise, and I’m ALSO looking forward to getting back to writing in January, since I’m having so much fun with my WIP.

    In the shorter term, I’m looking forward to a little bit of Christmas baking today, as I’m reworking recipes to avoid the things I can’t eat on a heart-healthy diet (even on holidays, like butter, sigh), and finding that, contrary to what I originally feared, there are quite a few things I CAN still have on special occasions (although I’ll always mourn the ginger crinkles, shortbread, and blondies that there’s just no way to make worthwhile facsimiles of without butter or shortening).

    1. I’m in no way a nutritionist and am new to the concept myself, but would vegan butter be any use as a substitute at all? A very quick Google seems to indicate that the calories are comparable to dairy-butter, but the types of fat are better for you (or even beneficial?!)

      This may well be a ridiculous suggestion, and I know from previous posts that you do a lot of cooking experimentation so have probably already thought of it, but I’m putting it out there anyway! 🙂

      1. I haven’t really looked into vegan butter deeply after initially seeing that it tends to include coconut oil, and I’m allergic to coconut. I should check it out more thoroughly though.

  16. The Tragedy of Macbeth opens on Christmas Day. And I’ve had two joyous surprises: My name has been sent to Amazon for approval to be a regular for a new series. I booked a movie that will shoot in Canada at Niagara Falls in June.
    I wish you all happy endings and good stuff for the rest of this year and for 2022.
    I’m not ready for Christmas. And I don’t care. I’m just enjoying life.My kids are both here right now. My sister is here. And I have a new jigsaw puzzle coming. And someday like in January I have to finish my second draft of the witches garden. If only I knew what the ending was.

    1. Let us know when your shows are available.
      In fact, we should do an Argh Actor for you. And Jennifer. And any other actors on here I’ve missed (SORRY).
      Let us know.

      1. The tragedy of McBeth opens in theaters on December 25 and then moves two Apple plus TV on January 14. Of course I don’t have any idea of the others. And I did do a hunters last year but I don’t know when that second season is releasing. My son and I both did it, different episodes. Chris my son Christopher Corbin is on Hawkeye next week. Blessings.

  17. Things are ticking along. My happy is the sun has shone more days than rain or slushy snow this week on the wet coast. Gone for several long walks. The sun is shining, blue sky, again!

    Kelly, did you arrive in Canada last week, to see your daughters?

    Tuesday taking G & R to the outdoor Christmas Market, suppose to be clear. Happy days.

  18. I was finally allowed back into my home state this week and my family all came together for an early Christmas lunch. It was wonderful to have everyone in the same room at the same time, especially since I hadn’t seen any of them in person in a year. Such a good day.

  19. Our electricity went out but was restored in 14 hours–sooner than we expected, since the summertime outage lasted nearly 3 days. Rah for lights, heat and internet!

  20. Both DH and I got our Covid boosters about a month earlier than anticipated, with minimal after effects, so that’s a definite yay.

    Christmas is sort of sorted, DH’s birthday (end of Dec) also mainly sorted. Still got things to do, but hopefully under control… I plan to enjoy both (we’re hosting both, and that has actually really improved my mindset re Christmas), but I’ll also be quite pleased when it’s January – win-win? lol

  21. I did finally call my friend and we’ll be going out after New Year’s when she’ll be able to get her booster (csae of Covid and has to wait 90 days after the monoclonal antibody treatment). Cases are up around here (surprise) so I’m glad I got my booster when I did.

    Started some cookies. I have to make a few for Xmas Eve supper and Xmas Day at the relatives. That’s really all I have to do for the holiday.

    So glad I’m retired and no longer have to commute home in the dark. That is something I’m really grateful for. IMy time is filled but with things I really want to do. The shortest day is just around the corner!

  22. When I read what other folks are going through and surviving , I got nothin’! I have had no reaction with all 3 vaccines- weird but feel blessed. No Christmas stress – not cooking, no gift buying. Work has been a fabulous social shield 😊

  23. Vegan butter would make very little difference in terms of heart health, because it is the total fat content that is really important. After 1T per day, it makes no difference what kind of fat you use because your body manufactures cholesterol. I still wouldn’t recommend using lard for baking(although I hear it makes great piecrust), but choose the kind of fat you like. Butter makes a crisper cookie and shortening a softer one, so choose whatever suits the variety of cookies you are making.

  24. I had two retirement events this week–one for me at a “ladies who lunch” cutesy country place and one for a colleague. Biggest joy was seeing a friend who moved about 3 hours away, having supper with her and catching up. Much about Christmas isn’t done, but I don’t care, since it’s going to be very, very quiet here. And that’s a good thing. Peace to all!

  25. I did a bunch of cleaning and rearranging and neatening around my house this weekend. A) because it is December and it always gets away from me, and usually I am forced to do it by the time of our Yule dinner party (which would normally be this weekend but was postponed because a couple of people were going to be unavailable) and B) because I feel as though the world is overwhelming and completely out of my control, and cleaning and reorganizing things gives me the illusion that I have some control over something. I’m aware that it is an illusion, but it still makes me feel better, and hey, my house isn’t quite such a mess. So there you go. It still made me happy.

    As for good things that are around the corner…well, they seem few and far between, but at least soon the busy holiday season will be over at my shop and hopefully I’ll feel less overwhelmed (and in a perfect world we’ll do really well and all 50 of the artists will be happy, although really, they are never ALL happy). In January I’ll be able to get back to writing. I have one of my closest friends coming for a brief visit the week after Christmas. Because of Covid, we haven’t seen each other in about 3 years, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that her bosses don’t find yet another reason that they must have her work during her vacation. It will just be Tuesday afternoon until Thursday morning, but it still feels like a gift. And on New Year’s eve, I’m doing a crazy thing. And no, it’s not a date. Ha. Hopefully it will create happiness too.

  26. I sang in a lovely Lessons & Carols service this afternoon, we had our first snow, and I’ve got tomorrow off. I was going to meet some friends in Boston, but I realized that what I really need is an actual day off to do my own thing, such as Christmas shop a bit for the people I live with ( the people I don’t live with are all taken care of) and sort my laundry and feel just a bit caught up. I know we are never really caught up, and we did actually catch up, we would die. So it’s best that we don’t.

  27. I’ve done all the shopping and have the week to wrap. I need to work out how to smuggle my brother’s big gift and get it wrapped without him suspecting a thing. May also need to find a few more stocking stuffers, though I am very pleased with the Bubble Genius soap — they make a Naughty! Christmas Coal Soap, cranberry fragrance, for naughty boys and girls, as as well as lots of other charming trifles. https://www.bubblegenius.com/

    Maggie is feeling At Home and In Control. Did I mention that she likes to spend time on my brother’s knees as he watches TV? Now any time he gets up for a minute, she waits, gives him A Look, and meows pointedly until he returns. He wants an electric heating pad for Christmas so he can sideline her long enough to get to the kitchen for a drink. (Don’t worry, I got him one; I just don’t know whether to wrap it for the 25th or give it to him early.) And my cousin was so surprised when she opened the copy of EQMM today that I had to tell her to read the Whole Cover — that’s when she spotted the new Amelia Peabody story.

    I’ve just had a message that the Family History Library will be open for some limited hours instead of being closed until after New Year’s, and a message that ARCE is planning Big Doings to celebrate 2022, the centennial of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, and a message to say that a medical test came out negative.

    Looking forward to a week of mostly music and giftwrapping, probably both together, and a small Christmas.

    1. And was directed to a tweet that David Cay Johnston says that Tяump will soon be indicted for racketeering, which he thinks “is corroborated by the Trump rant about DA’s, AG’s and “Dem Law Enforcement.” And by the AG’s office subpoenaing Trump for testimony in the civil case — something they would likely only do if the rest of their case was effectively complet”e.

  28. Our Christmas street party was yesterday afternoon – I made a pizza and was just about to stick it in the oven when the element blew. So I took it raw, and cooked it there, and when I told people what had happened, one of my very handy neighbours said, ‘I’ll come over in the morning and take the element out for you.’ So tomorrow I’m buying a new element and he’s coming Wednesday to install it.

    I usually dislike parties. But this one was lovely. Reminded me how nice my neighbours are, and what a good street this is. Only 12 houses in the whole street, so very quiet and we all know each other. Plus I took my knitting.

  29. This should go on Working Wednesday but I won’t remember then that I did anything. DRUMROLL. I cleaned my freezer. I believe hell just froze over.

    1. Well done. I’m celebrating the fact that my windows are actually clean: I couldn’t be sure yesterday, since it was misty. This cleaning lark is a winner.

  30. I am celebrating the scheduled arrival of my new washer this afternoon, after a week’s delay, (Best! Solstice! Present!) and trying to stop drinking coffee and wandering the internet in time to go to town and back before the delivery window. It’s a sunny cold day, and instead of making me want to go out and do things, it makes me want to sit indoors in the sunshine with a warm cup in my hands.

  31. This is not a happiness Sunday question, I just keep forgetting to ask it on a writing post.

    Jenny, what’s (roughly) the word-count for one of your chapters? I know chapter lengths are arbitrary/ not inherently tied to story structure. But I’m trying to figure out pacing stuff for the new thing I’m working on, and I like how yours feel long enough to feel substantial/like I’m settling in for a good story, while also being short enough that it’s comfortable to read them in one sitting.

    My belated happiness Sunday thing is finally being home with my family for the holidays!

  32. I just came back from a cat-sitting gig in the suburb where my sister lives and being home makes me happy. The cats behaved and the amenities at this house are far better than at my place, but I am enjoying not having to hunt for everything because I can’t remember where they are kept. My only screw up is that I forgot to take a bag clip off of some frozen veggies before I took them home, but I imagine they can live without it until I go back there next month.

    Since I’ve been unable to do laundry at my own building, my sister gave me and a month’s worth of dirty laundry a ride out to her friends’ house on Thursday. I am proud to report that by dividing the clean clothes into smaller piles, I was able to take them home by myself on public transportation. My sister baked either 4 or 5 different batches of cookies yesterday and will have quite enough driving around delivering them without getting stuck in rush hour traffic on her way home from delivering me. It also makes it easier for me to resist sampling said cookies if I only hear about them over the phone and do not actually see or smell them at her house. This way, by the time I get back there, most of the temptation will be gone.

    When I got back I found the report from the biopsy on the polyps that were removed during my colonoscopy. They told me at the time that they were pretty sure they were benign, but I couldn’t remember any details because of the anesthetic. There were no surprises in the pathology report and they said that I don’t need another test for seven years! That is a definite improvement over the five years they told me last time! The prep for the test may be half as bad as it once was, but I’m still not in any hurry to repeat the process.

  33. Little things make me happy. For instance today I fixed the keyboard on my kindle from flashing. A simple thing like restart solved the problem.

    1. Rule of thumb for electronic gadgets:

      1) is it plugged in, if appropriate
      2) turn it off, count to one hundred, then turn it on again (cold reboot)
      3) then begin to check individual components.

  34. Happy over the past week was gradually decorating the house. We do little things around the edges because it’s a very small house. 🙂

    I put up three strings of LED lights on my wisteria arbor, and somehow I got the exact right thing because apparently once you have turned these things on, they automagically turn themselves off again about 6 hours later AND then on again at the same time you first switched them on! Here I was expecting to have to go out every night and morning to switch on and off! The product description said something about self-timer but there were no instructions or details in the packaging so I shrugged it off. But, ha! it was true!

    Haven’t tracked down booster shots for us yet. Have made no plans for Christmas Day itself beyond watching ‘Die Hard.’ But Monday is over which means there are only three more workdays this week.

  35. The thing that has made me happy over the past few days has been The Saga of Jorts the Cat (as it has come to be called). I have laughed to tears and I keep cracking up when I read it (or even think “buttered Jorts”). If you haven’t yet met the latest thing to break the interwebz, check out the two reddit posts that started it, then check out the Jorts the Cat twitter feed (there’s art and poetry and a sea shanty! all made with love for Jorts).

    First reddit post:

    Second (updated) reddit post:

    Twitter feed: @JortstheCat

    I laughed to tears for about two days straight. Now it’s just a giggle or snort at a time.

    Regarding holidays, with family all gone and few close friends and no one actually within touching distance/inclination, I don’t really pay attention to them anymore. Someone suggested taking a vacation, which I would love to do if I had the money. Which is not right now. Because unemployment. Again.

    But I am alive, healthy, and I know about Jorts.

  36. The dotter didn’t feel like shopping and dining out. No worries. I mentioned to her that I would be visiting the FNFL and did she need anything? One happy-maker from the pandemic is that most stores have curbside service, like big chain restaurants. Place your order, park and text or call that you’re waiting and whatever details they need to find you, and they bring your stuff to your car. Anyway, she’ll be picking up her groceries tomorrow – they are already ordered.

    I still needed to shop. For one thing, that’s my exercise, briskly pushing a cart up and down every aisle in the store, many of them twice. For another, I often don’t have the week’s meals planned until I see the ingredients. In this case, the dotter had tried to borrow spaghetti sauce, none of which I keep. What she got instead, was cans of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce (no salt added – I told her to add all the salt she wanted) and a can of Rotel brand diced tomato and chili peppers. Also NSA. Later she told me she added salt and stevia, because puh-sketty sauce needs to be sweeter.

    So the other thing was that I developed a serious hankerin’ for chili, Gary style. I replaced everything she “borrowed,” threefold or more, plus I bought steaks and a big package of lean ground beef. I already had onions and minced garlic, so I caramelized the onions and cooked the burger and added Rotel and sauce and beans. Green beans, French cut. Much preferred to Pinto or Kiddley beans.

    The other thing I wanted was Mac & Cheese. They make individual serving microwave-in-cup types that are edible. I like them. I especially like that there is no big cleanup of pots and pans. Tonight was “Annie’s White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese”, which I will be buying again. Then I took a big helping of chili and mixed it with the mac & cheese, and it was… mahvelous!

    That was my Something good, around my corner.

    1. Follow-up: I took one of the pounds of chili to work with the Food Lion Shells & Cheese. The cheese in that one was like a foil squeeze pouch of Velvita-like substance. It was okay, but I’ll stick to the name brands and their powdered cheese product in the future. Alice and Carter would back me up.

  37. I just got back from seeing my “family you make” out west. We had a really lovely Solstice thanksgiving celebration in place of the Thanksgiving celebration we usually have. The food was great and the company better. Then I got upgraded on both legs home.

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