Happiness Is Having a New Idea To Chase

So I’m back to working on Nita, but the whole Alice in Wonderland thing is getting to me. It doesn’t really fit with Haunting Alice because that’s ghosts and butterflies and magicians (slight of hand, not supernatural) and questions about what is real, and oh, wait, it does kind of fit. But not easily, not the way fairy tales slotted into Bet Me, so now I’m having to think, which means pictures and collage and music and how it all works together and I LOVE DOING THIS. So I have a bunch of collage stuff that won’t arrive until the end of the week, and I’m back to Nita now, but every now and then I get an Alice nudge from the Girls and make another note. Happiness is having a new project that challenges and excites me.’

How did happiness excite you this week?

81 thoughts on “Happiness Is Having a New Idea To Chase

  1. I fixed my son’s cell phone a little while ago. He went from charging point to charging point trying to get a connection. The screen was frozen. There were teeny tiny words barely able to be read that said hold the low volume control and the power button together for a time and it should start and it did. Zero aptitude for electronics. He gave me a fist bump.

  2. I am on the mend from a major sinus event. That is making me very happy. This month has been hard for me. Only 8 days left. Happy!

  3. Spent some quality time first with my oarents and the one whole quality time day with dh (the kids being away with friends/family). Just strolling through IKEA, having fun, with my bff who happens to be married to me, chatting and laughing without anyone barging in complaining about football results/similarly important stuff made me happy. Plus: the sun was shining. And I’m looking forward to more of such quality time now restrictions are about to be lifted (in spite of our C-19 numbers).

  4. I have a new knitting project that is really exciting me. It is a piece of fan art. I’ll show it off when I’m done. We’ve had some very stormy weather here, which means more knitting for me.

  5. Dh and I have been watching the Olympics and trying new recipes. Especially from the NYT which has dramatically improved its recipes. I gather Gourmet magazine abused it’s editors and they all got scooped up by the NYT. Tonight I’m going to try my first sheet pan recipe. I had assumed the point was to have one pan to clean and wasn’t interested because why limit dinner to one flavor but saw an article explaining why it cooks things differently. So tonight chicken with scallions and bok choy , miso, ginger, garlic, mustard…

    Also my first snow drops are up.

    Also Donald Trump lost his accountants and three major court decisions this week. His business is in serious trouble. The accountants said that no one could rely on his financial statements of the last 10 years which means his lenders could foreclose on his loans (about half of which he guaranteed personally), no one in their right minds would make him new loans, Congressional Democrats are asking the OMB to void the lease on his DC hotel so he can’t sell it (stands to make $100 mil from sale) and he has something like a half billion in loans coming due.

    The three court decisions are 1) he can be sued in civil court for inciting insurrection 2) the NYS AG can take depositions from him and his kids 3) his business can be sued in a lawsuit about how the inaugural committee spent money to enrich him and his CFO has to testify.

    These are all devastating to his business because if he takes the 5th it can be held against him in a civil suit (as opposed to criminal). And if he testifies … no one thinks he is capable of telling the truth so he opens himself to a perjury charge. Of course if he told the truth he would probably incriminate himself on fraud and insurrection charges but I don’t see that happening.

    He also is potentially criminally liable for taking documents including classified documents that belonged to the national archives although that’s a hard case to win since he had tbe legal authority to declassify and he did eventually turn them over. Now if someone would just testify about his document destruction…

    Still, I think his economic empire is seriously at risk . 🙂

    We have also had Covid rates drop a lot so are cautiously expanding our activities to include having friends for dinner. And going into stores more. And I got a haircut.

    Also, I’m gonna boast, sorry. I spent three years working (along with others of course) to get the 2020 Census to improve its count of young kids and one of the big things we did was research showing why families left kids off even when they responded and what messages make then more likely to include them.
    This week I was reading the Bureau’s responses to an advisory committee recommendation (my glamorous work life , I know) and they accepted the recommendation that they measure success on the census and other surveys on whether the responses are complete as well as whether households respond at all. Given that what gets measured is what gets attention that’s a huge win. Imagine me dancing…

    1. Also no decent accountants will take him as a client. He has had trouble for years getting competent lawyers because he doesn’t pay and won’t take advice. He is going to keep digging worse holes if he also doesn’t have competent accountants . 🙂

      1. Debbie, I have now made NYT sheet pan recipe for chicken, shallots and cauliflower 3 times. My husband is normally luke-warm about cauliflower but loves it in this. And I have to triple the amount of shallots because they are so tasty. The only problem is the recipe greatly underestimates how much of the spice/olive oil mixture you need. I double it. But easy, easy recipe and so tasty. (Disclosure, I never have plain yoghurt on hand so I used sour cream).

      2. Also, I don’t think Trump would really know how to look for decent accountants. More likely famous accountants would be the only kind he would consider. And you can see where that got him with his famous attorney Rudy Giuliani. 🙂

        1. He’s supposed to have found some accounting firm, but it isn’t a big name one — from the sound of it, it’s very small and brand new. I hope the owners know what they’re taking on.

          We had a neighbor who slid into dementia and her niece’s widower (small family getting smaller by the year) discovered when he was settling her estate that she hadn’t paid taxes in years, and just figuring them out was a nightmare. My mother found a guy with a shiny new degree looking for a challenge. (I just kept pointing out that the widower hadn’t caused the problem; he was trying to fix it, so the IRS weren’t likely to hassle him, even if it was a headache.)

  6. My happiness this week is that after 7 months, two contractors and hiring a lawyer to help out, finally, FINALLY, the sewer project is completed (well, the lawyer and the first contractor is probably going to be lurking around until we get the financials settled). We could have remodeled the bathroom for what this is going to eventually cost. And the bottom line (so to speak) is that the toilets work just the same as they did before the city said we had to have a separate sewer line from the party sewer. I guess you could say we flushed 30 K down the toilet.

  7. Deb and I (and Jenny) helped to raise a bunch of money for Fair Fight (although, to be fair, the Romancing the Vote organizers/volunteers did the hard work).

    Beyond that, I fell off the #DailyFeb2022 bandwagon for a few days, but unlike in prior years, I got back on! I’ve gotten 3 of 4 lap quilts (that were just tops and backs basted together as of the end of last month) quilted and trimmed. One more to quilt/trim, then it’s time to add the binding to all four! I expect to have them all done by the end of this month! This clears the decks for starting a new quilt, which, like starting a new story, is So. Much. Fun.

    I’m also getting antsy to return to fiction writing, and I’ve only been away from it for two weeks, not the full month I planned.

  8. I got to see my daughter in person, outside on a gloriously balmy day. Sub zero weather is coming again tomorrow, but the break in February made me very happy.

  9. “How did happiness excite you this week?”

    I don’t think happiness excited me this week. Was I happy? Yes. Just generally happy. I spent my tax returns on hydroponic gardening equipment and supplies, which made me happier. There’s a fifth Click & Grow on its way. I didn’t need five, but they kept sending me discounts… “I can resist anything but temptation.”

    “By Grabthar’s Hammer, we live to tell the tale.” 70.000 years old, today. What’s not to be happy about?

    1. Happy Bday. Bet you never thought you would make it this long and still enjoy life. And be learning new things.

      1. Oh, I retired years ago. I just kept showing up and they kept paying me, until the end of December. Now they pay me not to show up. 🙂

    2. Apparently, the second thing to go is the memory. I can’t remember what the first thing is. And third is math skills. 2022 – 1951 = 71, not 70. This is why I have a spreadsheet tab just for age, to three decimal places. I should have looked at it before posting.

  10. Pouring over seed catalogs. Heaven. All those wonderful possibilities. Naturally my fantasy gardens do not feature rabbits, deer, fusarium wilt, powdery mildew or weeds.

    Part of my dreaming is of warm sunshine and in denial of the humidity that arrives here to stay one day in late May/early June and doesn’t go away until mid-October.

    My own personal delusion and I do it every year.

    1. My personal delusion is that I can grow plants that require full sun in a yard that is ninety percent shade or part shade. And the last ten percent is rock walls and pathways.

      1. I can usually avoid going overboard with catalogs but I really should take a chaperone with me any time I go to a garden store between March and June…I go way overboard with annuals.

        This post made me realize that the David Austin rose I ordered should show up soon. That’s exciting.

  11. Hmm, this week’s happiness … in writing, I finished a F/M novelette; in the garden, I did three hours of housekeeping which only I would really notice; the wisteria is setting flower buds and I’ve already seen several different butterflies in the yard.

    In entertainment, we watched The King’s Man (which I found thoroughly entertaining with a very serious theme (it centers on WWI) and is a real showcase for Ralph Fiennes) and have begun Mrs. Maisel Season 4. Will confess I’m hoping the Shy Baldwin storyline isn’t completely abandoned because I loved those musical numbers. Plus I’m well into Drag Race Season 6.

    Also happy, I get two four-day workweeks in a row.

  12. I’ve been happy to be able to get on with my big sort-out. I dealt with my slides of flower arrangements today, and am feeling inspired to do more of them this summer – I was thinking of it anyway, but the photos are definitely giving the whole idea a boost. Enjoyed chatting about garden photography with my ex-pro friend. And I’m enjoying Daily February, which is also keeping me focused on photography. Oh, and I went to my first garden club meeting for two years: it’s amazing how happy just chatting to people in person makes me.

  13. Happy is a state of mind. It’s easier to be happy when things are going your way, and it’s nearly impossible to be happy when things are really not going your way at all, but for the great majority of people in the middle, with nothing too great and nothing too awful to contend with, happiness is a choice.—Steve Marshall, a character in Variations on a Theme Book 3 by Grey Wolf

    Steve chooses happiness. So do I. I think that’s why I am still reading after 255 chapters.

  14. I realized this week that I don’t banned to justify my time to anyone including the part of myself that is task-oriented. So I enjoyed reading in bed after 9 am and napping in the afternoon. But I also went for a mid-day walk with a friend and our dogs. I participated in an online horticulture symposium one day and learned some new ideas. Now reading some great books on gardening and conservation mentioned during several sessions.

    I’ve been doing lots of cooking, which DH appreciates. We had gotten into a bit of a supper rut so it’s fun experimenting with new recipes. I started putting together a puzzle a friend gave me for Christmas. I’ve never been a puzzle person but I’m taking my time and enjoying it. I went for my first x-county ski today – hardly anyone out and the conditions were perfect.

    The protests that have paralyzed Ottawa, Canada are starting to wind down. It hasn’t affected us directly but DS is doing a coop in the conflict zone and no busses has meant driving him back and forth. But it has been discouraging watching the police do nothing to manage the situation. While DS has not been harassed, female friends have been. It’s been very disheartening. Hopefully, it will be over soon.

  15. I’m happy I finally finished the revisions for my latest Llewellyn book, which I wasn’t sure I’d manage while also juggling all the things that I have to deal with because I’m leaving my 22+ year job. I wasn’t sure I’d manage it, and it was a lot of pressure, so it felt great to send it off to my editor.

    I’m also happy that I’m getting closer to my “last day” date, although I suspect I might have to add a couple of days to that to get my replacement adequately trained.

    A couple of weeks ago, I finally made “really, this time I’m going” plane ticket reservations to go out to San Diego (from Albany, which is the airport closest to me) to see my parents, youngest sister, stepdaughter and fiance (who have to come in from San Jose), and one of my best friends/critique partners (who has to come in from Sacramento) for the first time in three years. Which Southwest promptly screwed up. So today I made different reservations, and I’m really hoping that this time they’ll stick. I’m using airline credits that have been rolling over since the trip I canceled over two years ago. Covid, grrrr. My parents are in their (robust) mid-80’s, and I’m not waiting any longer. So hopefully I’m happy about the new flights. We’ll see.

    I might have to take some Jenny books with me on the flights for comfort, because honestly, the idea of flying freaks me out even more now than it did pre-Covid.

    Also, for some reason this post didn’t show up in an email like it usually does. Boo.

  16. Set construction/decoration for Urinetown is a hoot. Trash, graffiti, in-jokes and Easter eggs are everywhere and it cracks me up.

    I got to see friends this weekend I don’t usually get to see, both online and in person. We did a Christmas gift exchange in February level of “don’t get to see.” I did see the crush at that one and he did (finally) give me Christmas presents, so there is that, finally. We’re both pondering going to the same auditions, so we’ll see there.

    (…yeah, yeah, I know. Until such time as I meet someone else I might actually like who wants to be with me, etc.)

    1. The trouble with that is that while you are fixated on your crush it is almost impossible to see anyone else who might appear. Maybe you need to do something really boring. One of my sisters got to know her husband in a class taught by a somewhat inept teacher and the other one got to know hers while waiting hours for a press conference to start. In the absence of other options, they really listened to each other.

  17. The greatest happiness was that a dear young woman from my church and her hubby had their first baby, a son, yesterday.

    Also, I went to a jazz concert, the first live performance I’ve been to since before covid, where a good friend was playing.

    Also had lunch with 2 more friends, one of whom let me go on and on about the 4th century Council of Nicea–ultimate geekdom, but I do have a seminary degree without a professional job to go with it, so I don’t get to talk often about this kind of thing.

    And have a new idea for structuring the putative memoir, which makes me very happy. I can generate, I just couldn’t see how anything fit together. A very good week indeed!

  18. I went back to my favorite thrift shop yesterday and found a cashmere sweater in my size. I wasn’t sure if I should buy it because it was rather lightweight and the color nearest my face was not the best. I finally decided to buy it and when I went to pay they told me it was on sale for 6 dollars. Today I was even happier because it was sunny and warm and that lighter sweater allowed me to wear my jean jacket instead of the full winter regalia. The warm spell will only last one more day, but I am really enjoying it for now.

    I’m also doing better about remembering to do my PT lately, which pleases me. I opened my calendar to double check my appointment time only to find that I don’t have any appointments scheduled this week or the week after. I hope they have someone answering the phone tomorrow morning.

  19. Today is not being a good day, but the weekend treated me well. Friday night I went to see The Empire Strips Back, which is exactly what it sounds like, a Star Wars themed burlesque parody. It was amazing. Saturday night was a leaving party for two people at work and it was a lot of fun until the next morning when I had to get up for my shift. I am officially too old for tequila shots.

  20. Happiness for me this week was that my 91-year-old dad had a pacemaker put in, and he’s doing well. He had been feeling poorly for more than a year, and they finally figured out it’s because his heart wasn’t always beating, eek!! Cardiologist claims he’ll have more energy now, so fingers crossed!

    1. Pacemakers are great, and the best thing is that you start feeling better almost immediately (which makes sense when you think about it). I was just thinking about pacemakers this week, because one of my grandfathers was first an engineer and later went to medical school and ended as a cardiovascular surgeon, and the operating room staff loved him because if something went wrong with the pacemaker, he usually could fix it on the fly. I suppose nowadays one just pulls a new one from the shelf, but in those days they weren’t so common.

  21. Though I have plenty of projects, my Girls are planning this winter’s picnic table photo shoot and telling me I need to make myself a mermaid tail with a sneaky twist. Such a fun idea to chase!

  22. First day of the semester which always makes me buzzy happy. I went looking for a new intro case study. I know, I thought, I’ll look at last year’s market research awards. The Supreme Award winner? A project on youth experiences re porn. So yeah, I spoke to 60 twenty ish year olds about porn research. Ha. On the other hand, I’m not the researcher doing a content analysis of 200 porn videos (they also surveyed 2000 14-17 yos and interviewed/focus grouped another 50 – it really was a good case study).

    And one of the many outcomes following the study was this ad (not R rated) which is worth sharing.


    1. I’m 75 so I thought the PSA was hilarious. Well done, Kiwis! I retired in 2009 after teaching secondary English for 40 years, and watching teens change from reading Playboy on the sly to cruising the internet has been disheartening. I had students show me how to defeat the filters on the school computers when those filters inconvenienced them as they were doing research, so unless their parents were savvy, no one is controlling kids’ access to any part of the internet.

  23. Jenny, have you watched the newish Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland? I love it, though it’s not for everyone, and it focuses around the loss of a loved one. As part of that theme, Absolom the blue caterpiller, transforms into a blue morpho butterfly when he comes to the end of one part of his life. So butterflies fit with Alice in wonderland in my mind…

    1. I haven’t, but it’s up next to watch. First I have to get the mailbox up and find the title to Agnes (car) and . . .

  24. Happiness excited me this week, when all our plans were cancelled. 🤣 It’s not that I didn’t want to see the old friends we’d planned to see, but my introvert heart just needed a break. I must also thank each of you for your comments, which have delighted me to no end. I’ve been a Crusie fan for years, and I have no idea why it took me so long to find this site and sign up, but I have, and it’s wonderful. Now if I could only finish the three writing projects I started a long while ago…

  25. What makes me happy is that it is a holiday which means I get to lie around on a Monday in my pyjamas with the dogs, reading. Sheer bliss.

  26. My tallest basil plant decided it was named Icarus. Grew high enough to touch the lights, overnight. I did a hasty harvest, and I’ll need to cut the other plant, too. Lost three blackened/burned leaves, but the rest are in my slow cooker with beef and veggies and stuff.

    I have no idea if I even like fresh basil. And the dotter said she is taking me to lunch, so I won’t find out until tomorrow at the earliest. The stew contains beef boneless stew meat, onion, minced garlic, carrots, yellow pepper, red pepper, fresh chopped BASIL from my hydroponic garden, Oriental Veg: Ty Ling Stir-fry Mixed Vegetables (drained), Jalapeno pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Food Lion Liquid Vegetable Broth Concentrate in 1 cup of spring water.

    1. Try biting a leaf of basil to see if you like it. I think fresh basil is best uncooked or added at the end rather than stewed for ab hour. I cut it in ribbons and sprinkle over menus.

      1. Agree about using it fresh, or adding at the last minute. It’s a classic with tomatoes – in salads or sauces. Plus pesto, of course.

      2. Too late for the first two large leaves. They’re in there, stewing for hours. 🙁

        But I harvested the second plant, and I’ll chop those leaves up and sprinkle as suggested. Two leaves were 1.6 grams (2.5 grams per serving, according to nutritionvalue.org/Basil%2C_fresh_nutritional_value.html) and I’ll weigh the other before sprinkling. 🙂

  27. I loved reading all of your comments. My joy is today is a holiday. There’s nothing I particularly need to do.
    The grandkids will be over, but I’m hoping to get an a little puzzle time. I have a yoga class this morning. First one in three weeks because my calls are so early to set.
    Tomorrow I have to be there at 6:30 which means I have to leave at 5:15 to be sure to get there on time. But it is such a joy to be working on a project.

  28. It’s a Monday holiday, so that makes me happy. Going to see a movie tonight, ditto. Had a tater tot waffle for breakfast… it’s all good.

    Also, there might be another Crusie for me to read in a while… definitely happy making. I need to know how Nita plays out!

  29. Last week was tough. We ran tech rehearsals for a new musical I’m running sound for, which opened Friday. The directors kept changing things, and it took me until the Sat night show to get a sense of the flow of the show. Also, I had more equipment failures than I’ve had in the entire 4 years I’ve been doing this. Then to cap it off, the Sat audience was worse than lukewarm, which made it really hard on the actors. But Sunday made up for it. The tech all worked, I was in the flow, and the audience was absolutely shiny.

    Also happy every day because although I loved my old car – a Toyota Matrix I bought new in August of 2003 and had 275,000 miles on it – I traded it in a month ago for a Kia Niro, which I love even more. The Kia is a plug-in hybrid, and I just filled the tank (only at 3/4) Saturday after 1100 miles. It’s just wonderful. Comfortable, too, and I’ve even managed to keep it clean.

    Many other things to be happy about, but those are top of my list for now.

  30. The warmer weather and the slightly longer days have inspired Pixie to be more energized. I’m out with her 3-4 times a day to throw her frisbee. It’s great to get outside for even a few minutes at a time.

  31. What Debbie said! Wish I were eating a sheet dinner at her table!

    And add to that that TFG’s trigger is whenever anyone suggests that he isn’t as wealthy as he claims he is, so when on Monday the NYAG published the letter from Mazars, TFG’s attorneys were telling the court that there was no point in him or the children testifying as they just took at face value what the assessors and the accountants said and signed off on the documents. On Tuesday, TFG published A Rant explaining in detail the worth of his properties and the values as of various dates and, in fact, everything his attorneys just said he didn’t know! To top it off, he included a previous letter from Mazars explaining that they had made up the accounts based on his numbers, for which they weren’t responsible. I think this is why the NYAG has been pushing Mazars — not so much for his tax returns, which she already has, but for linked documents like Disclaimers, so he can’t say that he hadn’t been told that his numbers were funny. So, of course, the NYAG filed the Rant with the court, accompanied by a comment that while clients and attorneys often differ about facts, it’s rare for a client to contradict facts his attorneys have submitted under signature to the court . . . THE NEXT DAY.

    Also happy that I volunteered to participate in a Brick Wall project my organization’s State Registrar (the state genealogy person) put together. She thinks that looking at someone else’s brick wall while they look at yours may well produce progress. My partner lives near Sacramento and her problem is Irish immigrants, sigh. I presented her with all three of my current brick walls, and it will be interesting if she can come up with anything.

    And happy that GEDMatch is just launching a new tool called “AutoKinship.” It’s possible that it might be able to link some matches to my brick walls, because Ancestry has provided me with several groups of people who match me and each other but without identifiable mutual relatives and certainly no common ancestor. Hope springs eternal.

    1. Ann having you for dinner would be great!

      Yes Trump spelling out what he thinks his net worth is will not help his civil or criminal case at all. One more example of why he has trouble getting attorneys.

      I don’t think it’s just that he goes for famous. Some of his impeachment attorneys were not well known at all. The lawyer representing him in the NY civil case is Alina Habba who I had never heard of and whose legal resume is not particularly strong. Five of his impeachment team apparently quit because of a disagreement over fees.

      In a small addendum to my Trump update the Supreme Court refused to hear his claim that he could assert executive privilege to prevent Congress from getting the Jan 6 records .

      1. I think he goes for obsequious! Some of the Kraken crew certainly weren’t specialists in election law. As Andrew Torrez commented, most ex-Presidents have access to the very best attorneys at the most highly respected firms — though usually, one must admit, not for criminal defense; this must be the first one to be scrambling.

        If you get into serious sheet pan cooking, Prepdeck has Cheat Sheets, which you might find useful:


        I love kitchen gadgets!

    2. Additionally happy today as I just left a Zoom meeting where the other ladies all had VERY interesting backgrounds. They told me all I had to do was access the Settings and upload a picture — did not need a high-expense subscription — so now my Zoom background is a nice Craftsman library/bookroom. I do love Craftsman!

  32. My SciFi/Fantasy book group met in person last nightI Some of us had dinner together before the meeting. Socializing on Zoom is unsatisfying, and I had just realized how much I missed my dinner partners, and contemplated emailing a few people to suggest a meal together, when we were notified that we’d be meeting in-person instead of on Zoom, due to NM covid numbers going down (though still high). Yay for in-person meeting!

  33. I finished knitting my very first pair of socks. You can admire them here! https://www.instagram.com/p/CaLKmichcF3/ And started knitting the next pair. After these ones I think I might knit caps for some young grand nieces. The thought of the lovely yarn I can use made me happy.

    I also stopped reading the news and twitter, both of which absences have vastly improved my life.

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