Happiness is Warmth

My mailbox fell over because my mail carrier keeps abusing it by shoving packages in it, so now I have to put up a new one and our low is around three degrees tonight, so when the new one comes tomorrow, I’m going to be freezing out there with my sledge hammer, warmed only by my rage.

Actually, it’s freezing everywhere here, it’s cold inside, too, (old cottage) in spite of electric blankets and extra heaters. I wrote Krissie to bitch about the cold and found out that their high up in Vermont is six below. She said, “They build us tough up here.” I wrote back “Down here, they build us smart enough not to move someplace where six below is the high.”

Happiness is not being where six below is the high.

What made you warm with joy this week?

104 thoughts on “Happiness is Warmth

  1. It’s in the 20s here in degrees farfegnugen, which I suppose is great if you’re driving an old, air-cooled VW. I’ve owned four or five of those in my 70.904 years. 23°F is -5°Canadian. My indoor/outdoor clock-thermometer agrees and says it’s a mere 69°F in my garage mancave. My heater is working its little heart out. I have a second heater on the headboard rated at 200 Watts. It is the type you put under the desk, aimed at your sock-covered feet, but not so close that the fuzzy slippers get singed. I just turned it on.

    It’s supposed to snow here, turning into wintry mix and finally rain. They were talking a couple inches, but the rain will disappear it. The first snow this year came and went in a couple of days – this won’t last the night. As the outdoor temps rise – and they are forecast to do just that – my heater will become more effective. I’m not worried.

    I’ve lived in Connecticut and Massachusetts and been stationed in North Chicago. I’ve visited my eldest brudder in up-up-upstate New York (Watertown is way north of Syracuse and Buffalo). I am delighted by Virginia’s weather so far this year.

    I am less delighted that a grandchild has tested positive for covid. I am self-isolating in the mancave until the “all clear” is sounded.

  2. I am up early, for me anyway, here in Florida because we just experienced a storm. The kind that could have yielded tornadoes & water spouts. It’s passed so I hope I can go back to sleep.
    Re covid – I dispatch oxygen to hospital discharge patients. It’s still horrible in TX &bad in FL but the place where you don’t want to be right now is Las Vegas.
    I promise I will come back on with some happy later.

    1. My rescue kitty has finally discovered the joys of his godmother’s Christmas present, a heated cat bed. He’s now fully prepped for today’s snow/ice storm while I make lasagna and finish Susannah Allan’s lovely A Most Unusual Duke.

      Healing vibes to the grandson –


  3. The weather is Summery here because it’s … Summer! 29°C is probably somewhere in the 80s F so nice and scorchy. I gave both dogs a bath. This was a very good thing.

    We’re on the coast with a warm ocean current so humidity makes the temperature higher. I like it. I’ve started doing my separate colour washing before my shower in the evening and it goes in the garage line for drying. Not having to do laundry in the morning is awesome and frees up time for work outs.

    I started doing cardio and bodyweight exercises on 28 December and I haven’t stopped. I’m very pleased with myself because I can feel a difference in my body.

    I had a student friend come over and help me prepare for work. It took two days and I’m still not done. But there’s more done than not. So that’s a win.

    So those are my happies. A nice list.

    Sending extra good vibes to anyone who needs them.

  4. The spouting came loose at the bad corner of the house and we needed to fix it before the big storm tonight. So, after I got off work yesterday I pushed on the bottom of the spout with all my might while my partner was on a ladder with a screw gun… Hopefully it will hold.

    He did turn the heat up in the house as a consolation because I was frozen and we got sushi and clear soup and seaweed salad for dinner. Oh, and I don’t have to go to work on Monday, so that is good.

  5. Am cowering up north of Toronto at our cottage in horribly cold temperatures (as all here have pointed out), Waiting for a massive snowfall to hit us tomorrow and desperately avoiding all people in an attempt not to get Covid so that we can fly to Aruba this Saturday. Please cross your fingers everyone and pray to the pandemic goddess for us…

  6. It’s -24C (-11F) this morning – will be -13C (8F) later, followed by a snow storm tomorrow, with up to 14 inches of snow. We’ve had practically no snow in January so we’re due.

    I’m still recovering from Covid which has meant not getting too much done. Lovely FT chat with a dear friend yesterday. DH made a delicious chicken soup which I’ve been enjoying all week. My amaryllis decided to bloom this week – I am always delighted by their beauty.

  7. We had a light dusting of snow this morning, but it is currently sleeting, and freezing rain is next on the menu. My joy is that we are all safe and warm inside, the power is on, and no one has to travel any where for the foreseeable future. Looks like a sew day to me!

  8. Listen, Jenny. When the police come to pick you and your sledgehammer up, the first thing you ask is whether they have a warrant for the sledgehammer and/or you and the second thing you say is “I’m not saying anything without my lawyer.” Stick to this and you’ll be just fine. 🙂

  9. A while back someone on our town’s facebook page asked what are the doors leading to at the foot of the cemetery. Answer: In bygone days with winter weather, the ground was that frozen, so they could not dig a grave, the bodies were stored in the vault till spring. Jenny, you may need some help.

    For me it is a three shirt day (maybe 2 1/2) camisole, long sleeve jersey and tunic sweatshirt.

    My meal plan has been leading towards casseroles and easy this week. Meatball shepherd’s pie, a chicken and potato sheet pan dinner, Jambalaya, shrimp scampi and yesterday I made a calzone.

    My grandchildren are back in school after our grandson’s covid scare and my son was able to use vacation pay for his week out at work. I’m not sure if you can contact it again, but I’m guessing yes , teenagers are so unpredictable and will want to congregate. Have to believe they will use common sense.

    Also, yesterday, I received a copy of Kristen Ashley’s new book The Girl in the Mist, an e-book I was waiting for. Don’t know how I got to number one on the hold list from number 6, but I’ll take it.

  10. Cold here in Michigan too, but have an excellent furnace, and not afraid to turn up the heat.

    My stripey kitten just deposited a small stuffed mouse into my last 1/3 cup of coffee. I don’t know why he likes to do this – it’s obviously already dead and does not need to be drown, and he’s taken aback by the resulting coffee smell of said mouse, so…… I guess it’s just such a good fit that he can’t resist.

    For those who are not squeamish, I did a liver cleanse last week, and MANY stones came out of me, including at least 15 that were pea size or larger, as well as uncountable tiny ones. Since I knew they were in there, it was exciting to have them coming out, painlessly, I might add.

    And one of my constant happies, I have some fun things to eat -teriyaki boneless chicken wings from the grocery deli case and a few leftover cookies. I swear food is not the most important thing in my life, but it can be such an easy happy.

    1. I’ve been finger knitting chenille blankets that go in the washer & dryer; they’re very warm. I live outside of New Hope, PA & will happily meet your & hand one off ~ or leave in a drop spot if you’d prefer. I’m not sure where you live in NJ (& it’s none of my business). Either way, I’m happy to share.

      1. Thank you! You are way south of me and I have blankets and yarn to the max, but that was a lovely thought!

    2. I love your comment about the mouse. Really, nobody knows why cats do what they do. Dogs can be understood, but cats may well be the universe’s way of telling us that there are things beyond the ken of humans. When I die, I want to come back as a cat with a fluffy tail so I can wrap up in it and sleep in warm places. I moved to Las Vegas in large part because of the last few Connecticut winters, but it turns out that winter is still cold and unpleasant, and July still sucks. As Walter Cronkite would say, “that’s that way it is.”

  11. Happiness is approaching snow when you have a brand-new pair of winter boots. My old ones, which I loved, now give me heel blisters, so had to be retired. The new ones should last me the rest of my life, given that we don’t get much snow here anymore.

    It is 22F (feels 17F) outside and 71F in my condo, which is well-insulated and has excellent fairly new windows. Also, the halls are a bit overheated on my floor. I haven’t had to turn the heat on in years. (The AC is another story in the summer.)

    I’m have a head of cauliflower in the fridge. I think I’ll find a recipe that suits and cook it up. I love roasted cauliflower, but I want to try something different.

    It will be a good day!

  12. Just to clarify, the sledge was to install the new mailbox not to uninstall the mail carrier.
    But thanks for the helpful advice!

    1. Will they not deliver without an upright mailbox? My first thought was wait until spring. I’m impressed with the sledgehammer. XD

      If you have snow, you could make a snow-base for the old mailbox! Go Calvin (of & Hobbes fame) on it!

      1. Probably not. I had this happen when the town plow guys took out my mailbox (again). I had to stick it into a snowbank temporarily (there was a lot of snow that winter) and then when I could access the pole, jury-rig a way to attach the box to the post until things thawed in the spring.

          1. A brilliant acquisition, the Majestic Mailbox Post with Planter and No-Dig Steel Pipe Anchor. Well-thought-out. Hmmmm (rubs chin while eyeing the brilliant acquisition for herself).

          2. It’s more of a steel rod that you pound into the ground with a hammer and then slide the plastic post over. It went in really easily; I was surprised.

      2. Nope, they won’t deliver. I’m annoyed because it was them shoving packages in there that loosened the post.
        Most of my mail isn’t interesting anyway. No worries.

        1. I’ve gone paperless with everything I possibly can, so if it weren’t for the house flippers sending me spammy boilerplate offers to buy my house for cash in the hopes of getting rich quick and making housing unaffordable, I wouldn’t get any mail at all these days!

    2. I’ve been thinking about Jenny and that sledgehammer too. Have you thought about having a carpenter type build you two solid connected boxes (like a short bookcase lying on its side) with one box bigger than the other? And putting the open mailbox on top of them? If you face the open end of the boxes away from the street it can keep thieves from seeing/making off with them. And said carpenter type could presumably do a bit of simple roofing on the whole structure and get it into the ground on metal posts.

      That way you could keep your sledgehammer nice. 🙂

      1. The post office is getting really strict (but inconsistent, as far as I can tell) about box placement. About ten years ago, they insisted that everyone on my street put an official mailbox out by the street so the mail carrier wouldn’t have to go all the way up on our porches to the official boxes affixed to houses. It made sense, because I live on a busy road with lots of traffic, and the efficiency meant the mail carrier finished faster and didn’t have to spend as much time in traffic, which reduced the chances of an accident (quite a few carriers on the route had been rear-ended). Annoying, but okay, it makes sense.

        But what didn’t make any sense was this past summer when the sidewalks were replaced, and the post office decided that as long as the work was being done and the mailboxes would be moved in the process, it wasn’t enough to have mailboxes in the front yard if they were on the far side of the sidewalk from the road, but instead had to be installed in the sidewalk itself, just inches from the road where we’ve had three or maybe four cars jump the curb and land on a front porch in the time I’ve lived here, and traffic has only gotten worse since the last porch-parking incident. Sure, the mailbox siting made delivery easier, but having them so close to a busy road is just asking for trouble. And trouble has happened once already, with one mailbox (for the house where traffic has to turn left in front of it to get onto the more major road from a smaller one) being destroyed by an 18-wheeler that was a tight squeeze for making the turn, and the front end of the truck extended a few inches over the sidewalk, which was all the maneuvering room it had, and wiped out the mailbox. And to replace it, the fresh new asphalt had to be broken up to install a new post, since the old one had been sheared down to a couple inches from the ground.

        And don’t get me started on how the latest road work has basically erased the right-turn lane in front of my house, which they created fifteen-ish years ago by taking some of my front yard by eminent domain to widen the road enough for the lane, and then a few years later spent an additional huge amount of money to (badly) change the striping (more than they spent to acquire the land!). And now they’ve just eliminated the striping for the right-turn lane completely, so traffic backs up like crazy, the prevention of which (and all the ecological effects of cars unnecessarily idling at the intersection) was the whole point of adding the lane. Sigh.

        1. I just don’t see how mailboxes can be a secure way of receiving mail. Surely they’re easy to rob? I want my post to come through the letterbox. I really missed having my post land on the doormat when I lived in a flat.

          1. I think it is because of distance, houses in the US can have long driveways. So mailboxes make it easier for the postman to deliver. Also stealing mail in the US is more serious crime then the UK. It is a felony over there. Though in all the US fiction books I read the mail always seems to get stolen and read by the evil guys, so it does seem easier to access.

          2. I live in the middle of nowhere and we’re not a rich neighborhood. The crime rate here is zero (knock on wood) mostly because nobody can find us.
            And 95% of my mail is worthless. Realtors wanting to sell my house, sales inserts, flyers, that stuff. I do almost all of my business stuff online and I don’t get valuable packages. I think in cities, people have mailboxes that empty into their houses or lock boxes. It’s just us rural people who have to walk down the road to get to our boxes.

      2. The other side of my mailbox is a bush. I live on a one lane wooded road with no sidewalks, so we’re talking rustic. But I found a good solution, so I think I’m okay. Just not today, we got snow dumped on us last night.

  13. Not much happy here this week, alas. Things have blown up at my day job (50 artists in a cooperative, it’s amazing it hasn’t happened sooner or more often) and I will probably be resigning within a few days and leaving as of the beginning of March. It has been 22 years since my friend (a potter) and I (a jewelry maker) founded this not-for-profit cooperative shop featuring the work of up to 50 local artists and craftspeople, and we have both sunk our hearts and souls into it. But as executive director/manager, the brunt of the work–and the juggling of 50 artists–has mostly fallen on me. Up until 2 years ago, I would have told you that I mostly loved my job, but the last couple of years have been tough ones, and my work load has increased to the point where I have no time and energy to write. Plus sometimes people are mean, and I’ve simply run out of the physical or mental energy to cope. So that’s pretty sad, really. As is the fact that one of my best friends is a member and has apparently decided to give up on both the shop and our friendship in a snit. Snits are annoying.

    Happiness is the folks who have stepped up to be supportive, and the new cat actually getting brave enough to come up on the bed yesterday and snuggle, purring madly, for five minutes before freaking out and going back into hiding again. And I suppose there is happiness in the prospect of hopefully being able to go back to focusing on my writing again, once I get past the worst of the burnout and sad. I am WAY behind on everything. And happiness is knowing that I helped to create a wonderful thing and managed to run it for 22 years without ever taking a sledge to an artist, no matter how much they might have deserved it. So there’s that, I suppose.

    It was -6F here overnight, and yesterday’s high was 6 above. We’re supposed to get snow on Monday. Is it spring yet?

    1. That sounds tough, Deb. Hope it turns out to be a good turning point, once you’re out the other side. And, especially, that your friend comes good in the end.

    2. I’m sorry this lovely dream is ending and snittiness has been involved. Maybe you need some fallow time to match the weather outside. Not very comforting, I know. Peace.

    3. I’m so sorry. Leaving a nonprofit that I was really attached to (although I didn’t start it, which is a whole ‘nother level of attachment) was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Cried for weeks both before (while making the decision) and after. It absolutely had to be done though, and subsequent events have confirmed it was the right thing to do, that nothing would have changed if I’d stayed, so I’m at peace with it now. I hope you get to that point with a minimum of angst (although I’m sure there will still be substantial amounts of it).

    4. I’m so sorry the artist co-op blew up and that you had a bad two years and feel you need to resign.

      I hope it helps to know that for 22 years because of you 50 artists were able to sell their work and untold numbers found beauty. I have left several nonprofits I poured my heart into and it’s always helped to know that even when I left under difficult situations the work I did while I was there mattered and was real…no matter what happened when I left.

      1. It absolutely does. I know I helped to create and nurture something amazing. It is probably the biggest accomplishment of my life, even beyond my writing. That doesn’t mean it isn’t time to leave, unfortunately. But I did good and I know it.

      1. Deb, I really feel for you in your grief. Twenty-two years is a very full life for a business. And no one can begin to understand what it — as your child — has taken from and given to your life. Besides shaking your head over everything you have done for the artists’ collective over the decades, please take time — as inspiration comes your way — to gather notes and records of major and minor recollections of those years. Think of it as comparable to when a kid has graduated from college and heads off into the unknown.

        My husband sold his business in 2007 after 23 years. He’s doing pretty well now but the first couple of years after the sale weren’t very good.

    5. I’m so sorry to hear about that, Deb. It really hurts when something you’ve poured your heart into for so long goes sour. Lots of sympathy coming your way from me.

    6. People in my job are meaner, too, and stupider post Trump/ covid. Sorry about your co-op Deb.

    7. Deb, you have one advantage some of the rest of us don’t, your skill with a pen. A fictional story would be brilliant and also work it out of your system. My solution was par for the course, I stayed and that annoyed the hell out of them just by being there. At least I hope it did. No hijinks were involved. I think that is what happens when people work closely together. Imagine if that happened in government, we’d never get anywhere.

    8. I’m so sorry, Deb. I’ve had three times in my life where what I was doing blew up like that, and all three of them eventually put me in a better place, but it’s so hard to leave something you’ve spend years on because you’ve realized it’s not right any more. If it’s any consolation, they’re going to be very, very sorry they’ve lost you once they realize there’s nobody there to do the work and how much of it there is. As for the friend, she wasn’t much of a friend if she’s hiked off over a snit.

      You deserve so much better, and now maybe you’ll get it: time to write and a new cat to cuddle. Good luck.

      1. Thanks Jenny. Honestly, many of the artists are wonderful, and I feel bad about leaving them. But not as bad as the liquor store is going to feel when my alcohol consumption goes way down due to the reduced stress. LOL.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever seen The Tower card for the Everyday Witch Tarot deck I created for Llewellyn. In traditional decks, it shows two people falling off an exploding tower. In mine, the tower is in pieces on the ground, but the witch looking at it has a sparking wand held behind her back and a slightly mysterious look on her face. What I tell people who get that card (which is normally considered “bad” in conventional tarot readings) is that sometimes you have to blow things up to rebuild again.

        As a Taurus who likes stability and dislikes change, that can be pretty hard. But sometimes you just have to say, “BOOM.”

        And once I’ve actually gone, which won’t be until the beginning of March because I’m giving them time to find someone else if they can, and then train them, I might have time to write and give that poor cat some more attention.

    9. I’m sorry Deb, that’s a really hard place to be. Towering can feel awful but it’s usually better on the other side, after you come down from the stress. Best of luck going through it.

  14. I feel a little guilty that my happy for today is that tonight’s predicted heavy snow storm is likely to pass to the south and west of me, but I’m suffering along with everyone with the cold (low of about one degree F last night, and my furnace could not keep up, even set ridiculously low). I LIKE cold weather, but not once it hits single digits or less.

    Also looking forward to the Romancing the Vote auction the week of Valentine’s Day and digging up quilts I don’t remember making to donate to the auction, including a blue and white one with an amazing cherry ditzy print as the background (ditzy = tiny print on a light background, often geometric, sometimes tiny iterations of anchors or flags or flowers, or in this case, tiny blue cherries). I’ll post a pic on Working Wednesday (assuming the weather thaws enough for me to do the photography which has to be done outdoors because I don’t have a right-sized wall indoors).

  15. Unexpected coffee with an old friend, good phone call with another, and half a day’s exploring with a third. Also, sitting in my workroom upstairs on sunny days – it’s the only part of the house that catches any sun at this time of year.

  16. It’s been a good writing week, and that makes me happy. I’m working toward starting another blog–I ran out of things to say on the other ones I’ve done, but writing about books (as a retired librarian would) could last forever. Also getting back to baby-level yoga. Discovered I’m even less limber than I’d thought!

    1. I hear you. Clearing and cleaning has knocked me out some days. I need to stretch and build up strength. Although yesterday knocked me out, I felt stronger. Guess it lifting heavy boxes full of stored books.

  17. Crazy week of get the stuff outta here, buying groceries for son/dil who got omicron, and tackling the storage office. S/A have both recovered. Marlowe wants to go out for a good hike and run but has to settle for running around the condo looking for his toys. That makes me happy.

    Storage office is almost cleaned and cleared of some books and other stuff. It is very hard to let go of physical, hold in your hand books. Hospice society will be getting good stuff. That makes me happy.

  18. I had a dream about an old friend that featured the song,”The Eye of the Tiger” which I then couldn’t get out of my mind. Following a series of texts that morning, we reconnected by phone after over a year of no contact (not unusual for us). It was great to catch up, and our conversation inspired me to think about my current stuckness in new, more hopeful ways.

    Also, I impulsively decided to try dyeing a grayish-white wool shawl in my donate bag with cherry and cranberry juice. I followed some steps I found online to hopefully make the color last longer. It’s still soaking, but it will be fun to see how it turns out.

    Finally, I started monthly self-administered injections for chronic migraine. Fingers crossed that it helps and has minimal side effects.

  19. After having both my debit and credit cards rejected for payment of the shipping to return my ID from the Paris police, I finally was able to advance the process to the next step. My brother called them in Paris and determined that the problem was on my end and after much time on hold (why does it take 4.5 minutes to access a human being at Citibank?) I was able to get them to process my payment. The Paris police website says they will contact me in 2 days to give me the shipping information. I hope the fact that they might have the wrong zip code does not again derail the process. I appreciate the fact that my banks have security protocols, but refusing a transaction because it is from a different country without checking with the cardholder is ridiculous in light of their advertising about how their cards are accepted every where. They’ve never heard of online transactions?

    My niece called and told me that the pottery cups I ordered for her and her husband arrived on time and unscathed. She said that Tom was so excited that he had one unpacked and full of coffee before it occurred to him that he really should wash it before using it the first time. I’m very glad that the real thing lived up to what they saw online and that the Post Office delivered them in a timely fashion. That news also made me very excited because the whole reason I bought them as many as I did was to qualify for the free gift with purchase. Unfortunately, although their 8 cups arrived last week, mine did not. I went to Dave’s store to pick up my packages, but the mug was not one of them.

    The good part of the package pick up was that there were more books than I remembered ordering waiting . When I originally ordered for my friends 2 year old twins, I lost one of the books. After a lot of chasing around I finally decided to reorder the lost item and it was among the pile waiting at Dave’s store. They gift wrapped it and now all I have to do is deliver it to the Grandparents. This led me to call my sister, who lives in the same suburb, and arrange for a rendezvous.

    I hadn’t heard from her in so long that I was afraid that she was mad at me or was perhaps blaming me for their current bedbug infestation. When I called her today, she told me about all the upheaval in her life so I now understand why she never returned my calls. This made me very happy because between not being able to reach the Paris police and worrying that my closest sibling was mad at me, I was feeling very isolated.
    It was great to hear that Kitty missed me as much as I miss her and make plans to get together. She also told me that they have switched exterminators and that the the new one was much better equipped to solve their problem. And I now have an excuse to call Carol and Ben and arrange a time to drop off presents for their grandchildren.

    The worst of the weather missed us and although I miss the milder temperatures, the wind has died down so that they are not really out of line for January. We got an inch or less of snow and the next storm should pass to our south. Sitting in front of the windows is still drafty, but I hope that will inspire me to rearrange my lamps so that I will have enough light to read in my comfy new recliner. I think I’d use it more often if I could figure out a good way to get more light.

    My project for the week is to start writing to the people in Paris who helped me when I lost my passport. My brother said that the people he spoke with were really helpful and were laboring under as much pandemic stress as we are so telling them how much their efforts meant to me would be a good idea. I now have to chase down names and addresses for everyone, but yesterday I bought more Thank You cards for that use. Mike said that I shouldn’t worry about the language barrier, but I wonder if the combination of my handwriting and the need for translation will be a problem. I hope not, because I think a card that you physically open has a lot more impact than an email.

    1. Aunt Snack, I’m glad your Paris ID ordeal is slowly coming to and end and that you and your sister are communicating again. I think you should visit France again soon, just to prove that the theft during the last visit was a fluke. Maybe have a family reunion there with your sister as well as your brother.

      1. Thanks, but I can’t afford it and the sister in question lives on the other side of the same town as I do. And she is too busy saving for her grandson’s college tuition to even think about that big a trip. I also think I might want to travel with somebody next time. I think my sister’s middle daughter might be fun to travel with and, unlike me, she has a driver’s license, but she is unemployed and broke at the moment. So I will wait a year or 2 before I consider where to go next. I still have someone I want to visit in Denmark.

    2. It’s pretty standard for a bank to refuse a foreign transaction. They should however have tried to contact you to either confirm the purchase or take steps to halt the fraud. Where I work tries to do this asap, and if they can’t reach you they temporarily shut the card down until they get confirmation. Unfortunately this call usually happens through a third party security company and a lot of people assume it is spam… I know it is annoying and inconvenient, but fraud is really, really rampant right now. Every precaution is there for a reason.

  20. Trapped inside by my own choice, my biorhythms are further out of tune with the clock. When 9:00 AM rolled past, I figured I was up for the day, and just continued reading. Cooked my lunch, which I decided to promote to Recipe #9.

    I almost never, or not since I’ve lived in the mancave, bought nor cooked pork spare ribs. Boneless (and skinless, like the chicken I buy, but pork here never has the skin on). I don’t own a good BBQ sauce, and they all have too much sugar and sodium, so sauce was never an option. I just added the usual seasonings, which is mostly garlic pepper and a dash of habanero powder, arranged them on the little tray in the toaster oven (foil lined, of course), and baked them for 50 minutes. At 50 minutes, I pulled the tray out and rotated the ribs. At this point I added 100 grams (that was the package size, and labeled 3.53 oz for the metric system challenged) of “sprinkles” – teeny tiny tomatoes, again as labeled on the package – and covered them with one serving of pepperoni slices. Back into the toaster oven for another 25 minutes.

    The teeny tiny tomatoes squirt when you poke them with a fork, but a knife slides in, if you use a pointy one. The side dish was mac&cheese, and the pork was perfect, but the tomatoes more than made up for no sauce. I decided the pepperoni just added to the flavors. Now I wonder if beef ribs would make a similar feast. 🙂

    Around 10:30, I decided on a nap. Woke at 4:30 this afternoon. The snow was already gone, I missed it completely. It’s above freezing and should stay that way until the crack of Tuesday. Maybe I’m adjusting my sleep pattern by staying up longer and longer until bedtime is 10 PM? Who cares? I’m retired, and self-isolating, and it only makes a difference if I need to go out.

    Stay warm and safe, or if you’re down under, stay cool and safe. 🙂

    1. Freedom your hours are your own now, just make sure you get up during daylight hours, for the vitamin D

      1. There was no daylight today (it just stopped raining), but I take your meaning. I think I need to buy a sunlamp, or one of those lighting fixtures for people with seasonal affective disorder. Maybe I need a Growlite. Then I could get another plant to kill, slowly. (Black Thumb, I swear.)

        1. I have something called a “smart garden” sold by Click and Grow. The basic one sells for between $130 and $80 ( it goes on sale frequently) and comes with pods of basil for your first plants. Mine was a gift (you can buy a lot of basil for $80). But I grew the plants indoors and basil is really good in lots of soups and pasta dishes- it is a great substitute for cilantro. Then I moved it outside when it got warmer than 40 F at night. At the end of summer I realized that I grew enough basil to put up 16 meals of pesto – I freeze individual meals . Which meant I would break even on the cost if I had paid for it myself. So I gave a smart garden then to my sister in Alaska. and she loved it and has almost forgiven me for thinking Trump is scum. Currently I am growing basil again which I transplanted then moved on to wild strawberry plants and now I am starting winter savory. It has also been good for starting cuttings.

        2. Give yourself six full weeks to readjust physically to your retirement routine. It really does take at least that long.

  21. I got to do one more performance of The Producers on Friday before it got shut down for someone having covid. That person is pretty okay as far as I have heard. I have no idea if it’ll ever get brought back before the end of the month, I assume statistically speaking more people will get it and we won’t. But at least we got to do it four times, which is impressive these days, I suspect. I made sure I told my mom to go last weekend before it shut down.

    I don’t have covid as of Wednesday. I still feel fine halfway through January. Fingers crossed.

    I have Monday off. Pretty much spending this weekend vegging since I suddenly have more free time.

    I did get into the next show (Urinetown) despite having a bad audition.

    I got three free months of Apple TV, so I got to watch Come From Away, Coda (again), and am now watching Schmigadoon.

    My friend who got covid tested negative a week later.

    My mom (who got pandemic canned in 2020–receptionist) got her job back for 3 months, so there’s that.

    My N95’s finally came in the mail and other than this week, I theoretically don’t have to go back to work in person until January 31 (we’ll see there).

  22. Remember Dmitri, the sweet kitten I posted pictures of a year ago? He’s turned into a pretty, 14 pound grey fuzz ball. At a family gathering this weekend my SIL told her son -another cat person – that he really needed to meet Dmitri because he not only was beautiful and the softest furred cat she had ever encountered, but was truly adorable. That made me happy. Then this morning, Dmitri, while sneaking little side glances to make sure we were noticing, shoe-horned himself into a 4 x 8 inch box after several silly attempts. He looked like a muffin, oozing over the sides. Yep. Adorable.

  23. Happy 1: I bought a pair of shoes that fits.
    Happy 2: I drove my car for the first time since September.
    Happy 3: My foot hurts, but my new mantra is “Gin and ice,” because Gin reminded me that an ice pack is a great way to fight pain.
    Happy 4: I started physical therapy with a therapist who does amazing massages.

    None of my toes — the big one was part of the bunion and the other four were hammertoes, now all fixed — will curl again, so I’m not supposed to try to move the front end of my foot. The therapist can only help me with ankle, foot, and calf strengthening and with learning to walk properly again. While that confuses my therapist, it means she can spend lots of time massaging my foot. Ahhh, lovely.

    1. Ha! When people can’t figure out my name (Jen? Jane? Ginni?) I say “No, like gin & tonic.” So that was what I was thinking when I saw your list — gin on the rocks. (I’m not a drinker, so don’t even know if that’s a thing.)

      I refer to winter weather as my whole-body ice pack. The joint inflammation really does improve compared to hot weather. But it can be hard to make myself use ice in addition to keeping my house chilly.

      I hope the ice is helping you! Chronic pain is just so exhausting. As well as, yanno, painful.

  24. Not quite happy: I can’t use the clutch without pressing with the ball of my foot, so I won’t be driving a whole lot until there’s less pain/swelling has decreased. But I can deal with that.

  25. It was .3 above zero this morning. Pixie, “Go for walk?” It’s zero out. “Go for walk?” You’ll freeze your puppy butt off. “Go for walk?” So, of course we went for a walk. A very short walk. It seemed to satisfy her. She just went in and out all morning chasing the squirrels.

    I was having a really hard time motivating myself to transcribe some meeting minutes but I knocked-off 2 out of 3 1/2 pages today. It took me 3 days to do the first page. Half a page to go!

    And I made a big pot of chicken soup. Threw in some frozen peas and green beans that were in the freezer for long enough. That was a win.

    Here’s hoping this storm brings me more rain than snow and no ice.

  26. I am happy to have power after several hours. It is still chilly but most of the ice has gone away.

    I am ridiculously happy about the sun coming up at a reasonable hour. No sun until 10am just killed me while in Iceland.

  27. Pretty sunny day here, and warm enough that I didn’t need the car heating on full blast on the Bay Bridge.

    I’ve been having fun color-coding my cousin matches by great-grandparent and noodling around in GEDMatch and starting out painting my DNA in DNAPainter. I’ve found a cousin descended from g-g-g-grandma and the 70-year-old Revolutionary War veteran, her first husband.

    I’m happy to have discovered that blue cows are making a comeback! The world needs blue cows: https://T.CO/R6SX7TBAPR

    1. Happiness is also having one of my brother’s kittens (former kittens) peeking over the monitor screen to see what I’m up to.

  28. Feeling the need to share today’s Freefall:


    Sam: What a disorganized system. This station would never pass the Amazon test.
    Helix: Amazon test?
    Sam: It’s a measure of how much bureaucracy you have in your supply chain.
    Sam: If an employee can go on line, create a new account and order a part from Amazon easier than he can get a part out of your own warehouse, you have a problem.

    1. I think IBM or one of the big computer companies had that problem, when someone pointed out it was easier to get one of their programs from the shop then internally between departments

  29. Happy these days is a youtube channel called Country Life Vlog. It consists of vlogs that are 15 to 30 minutes long typically. Not much sound. A slice of life type thing with a couple in Azerbaijan cooking / farming outdoors in all kinds of weather.
    Very soothing. No stress. Amazing scenery. Food that is fresh and looks good.
    I have fallen in love with Aziza, her husband, their family, pets and farm.
    Jenny I am putting a link to the latest vlog. Remove it if it’s inappropriate.

  30. We are fairly warm – and it was above freezing all weekend which is only nice if it stays that way as icy ruts are not our friends – but we are under a winter storm advisory for today with lots of new snowfall, blowing snow, and rain in some places so none of that is very fun looking.

    Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and she had a nice day so that’s good.

    My sister is in isolation in a hotel room because she has COVID and even though she’s pretty much asymptomatic (I think headache and fatigue are her only symptoms which are pretty nebulous) and legally can go back to work after a 5-day provincially-mandated isolation period, her boss decided to err on the side of caution and ensure that everyone had a negative test before they went back to work. She’s in a hotel because she works away from home.

    We had a nice weekend with friends even though our breakfast out was disappointing. It was especially disappointing because we could have had breakfast in and gourmet doughnuts but we went out. We went to an escape room and had a blast. Of course, we picked the hardest one but we did not too bad at it for a bunch of old people who occasionally can’t see things clearly. At one point I had to get down on my hands and knees to figure out a clue and it took me forever to get back up again.

  31. Hey more happy! Jayne Ann krentz has a new book out tomorrow. Lightning In A Mirror. Can’t wait.

  32. Happiness is not having covid, and having two consecutive days off work to recover from whatever this is that I do have. Very grateful for snuggly cats, freezer soup, and friends who drive me to the testing clinic.

  33. Feeling the need to share today’s Sequential Art Webcomic.


    Art: Bad news, guys. The energy bill has gone up.
    Art: WAY up.
    Katty: What’s the price of gas now?
    Katty looks at bill, startled.
    Katty; This is a list of organs!
    Pip: We’re gonna have to work something out.
    Pip: I can’t give up another liver.

  34. Okay, it’s 4:30 PM Tuesday, and I’ve just gotten up. Another day slept away.

    Now, as I am about to become an herb farmer – my hydroponic farmland will arrive tomorrow some time (and yes, I bought two different ones) – I checked the National Day Calendar to confirm that World Naked Gardening Day is May the First each year. You know the expression, “Pics, or it didn’t happen”? Be assured, it didn’t happen last year, or ever. There are and will never be pics. Maybe pics of my gardens when in bloom. No pics of the Gary in bloom. [shudder]

    Anyway, that sent me down the National Day Rabbit Hole:
    January 18, 2022 –
    NATIONAL THESAURUS DAY – (is there another name for that?)
    NATIONAL PEKING DUCK DAY – (Why isn’t that Beijing Duck?)
    NATIONAL MICHIGAN DAY – (It seems such a dream to me, now.)

    That is all. Carry on.

    1. Lol I forgot that movie. Chevy Chase rules. Wonder if Jenny’s mailman laughed maniacally and chugged on a bottle as he shoved packages in her mailbox.

      1. Agreed. Although I’m about to move again. Self sadism? Probably. I’m looking for THE house that I will retire to.

    2. While we have you here, I just pre-ordered , href=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09LD993FJ?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_1&storeType=ebooks”>Phoebe and the Traitor. Thought others should know it’s available for that. 🙂

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