Happiness is the Last Snowstorm of Winter

We’re getting slammed with snow this weekend (okay, not slammed, four inches is not slammed) and it’s beautiful. This is, in part, because it’s the middle of March and next week it’s going to be in the fifties all week so we just have to shovel out the weekend, and in part because it’s probably, I hope, the last snow of the season, but mostly because it’s just beautiful watching it fall. And then melt on Monday. Also I bought a giant Lemon Gnome to encourage me to keep going. Happiness is also a Lemon Gnome.

How did happiness fall into your life this week, lemony or otherwise?

56 thoughts on “Happiness is the Last Snowstorm of Winter

  1. Happiness for me came when my job of 10 years offered me overnights. I am a night owl so that works for me. Also fewer phone calls and deadtime which is unheard of during the day or evening shifts.
    I’m ready for fewer calls because people have changed since trump / covid and they are harder to please and generally unpleasant.
    A happy side thing because of the overnights. I had to shift the house around because where I was sleeping before would have been too loud to sleep during the day. I like the new sleep space. Wish I had made this move earlier.
    I don’t like snow. Your good friend Bob put a pic on Facebook of his dogs playing in the snow they got. Pretty but I’m freezing at 55 degrees in Florida right now.
    I hope it’s the last snow of winter for you!

    1. I was wrong it’s 41 here. No wonder I’m so cold. My poor spaceheater…

  2. I love the lemon gnome. I’m very taken generally with the current gnome trend, so am in favour of gnomes pretty much anywhere/everywhere 🙂

    Happiness this week was finally having a more ‘normal’ week than we’ve had for a while – no illness, family drama, extreme (for here) weather, or other disruption. So that was lovely (and I hope I haven’t jinxed it for the week to come, lol). Some things were progressed, others dealt with altogether, and I feel a bit less overwhelmed. Which sounds rather like damning with faint praise, but I am genuinely feeling thankful for it.

    Today we’ve been out for a walk – not quite sunshine, but definitely bright out – and now I get to spend a few hours at my sewing machine working on a quilt (UFO dating from 2011, a gazillion little pieces, but so satisfying to see progress).

    Wishing you all a week with weather you like and happiness wherever you find it.

  3. Sunshine and fairy penguins. Not at the same time. The penguins leave the water after sunset and will walk right past a whole herd of people as long as the people are quiet and don’t cast shadows. I never thought I’d see penguins in the wild until this month. Little blue and white penguins in groups crossing the beach together. collective noun: a huddle. Charmed. And happy

  4. I love your lemon gnome! DH gave me an inflatable gnome for Christmas and he sat outside my back window for my last month of school. I smiled every time I looked out the window.

    We returned home from our trip to the Rockies. Stayed with a dear friend and her family. Snowshoeing at the top of a mountain, dogsledding, cross country skiing and amazing meals. But the best part was spending time with my friend – we met when we were 18 and fell out of close contact for about 25 years. But we re-connected several years ago and it has been a joy having her back in my life. DH likes her and her husband which is a bonus.

    I joined a virtual mental health challenge for March and have been consciously practicing deep breathing everyday. Being in the mountains was great nature therapy. Planning a cross-country ski today on fresh snow.

  5. Went for a walk round the nearest fields and bumped into a woman who introduced me to a buzzard named Harry, who she’s been feeding most days for eight years. He did amazing acrobatics. Pretty sure I’ve seen him before, from the nearby hillfort, but didn’t know which species he was, not being a birder.

    Hung my washing out for the first time yesterday. Spring is gearing up, and I’m hoping for much more gardening time once I get this edit to the author on Wednesday.

    Oh, and it’s just started to rain, so I’m going to have a hot bath before a Zoom with two friends then film night with another (Lost in Austen: it’s such fun).

    1. I first read that as a hot bath with two friends before a Zoom meeting. It does sound like it might be fun!

        1. Lost in Austen is lovely!! Dd loved it even though she hasn’t read a single page of Austen yet.

  6. I got seven inches here in upstate NY, and the roads and visibility were terrible. But I didn’t have to be anywhere, and I made the (possibly final) executive decision to close the shop so the two folks who were working yesterday didn’t have to go in.

    Happiness is light snow, instead of the heavy wet stuff we got last week, a plow guy who showed up this morning and dealt with the large swaths of driveway, (so I only had to shovel the entrance to the house, a path to the bird feeders, and a few other incidentals), and the weather report for the coming week that says 40’s and 50’s. It is definitely easier to take the snow in March when it is hopefully the last (or nearly the last) and will vanish quickly. It is beautiful.

    Happiness is the return of the red-winged blackbirds and grackles, which are my first signs of spring. (I don’t see robins until early April, usually, weeks after those guys show up.)

    Exchanging a few in depth chatty emails with my parents, who (like the rest of my family) don’t always communicate much. Anticipating my thrice-delayed trip out to San Diego to see them, at the end of April. It has been over three years (damn you, Covid) and they are in their very healthy mid-80’s, so I’m not waiting any longer. Also, looking forward to OCEAN with an unholy passion.

    But my biggest happiness is counting down the days to the end of my day job running The Artisans Guild. Today. Monday (final training for my replacement, financial handover at the bank). Tuesday (last day for me, first day for her). I don’t have an illusions that I will be completely “done” for a bit…I expect a few phone calls and maybe the occasional rescue mission as she gets up to speed. But I will no longer be responsible for All the Things, and that makes me incredibly happy. It has been over 22 years, and it was a great run. Most of the time I actually loved my job, which is a blessing I never took for granted. My friend Ellie and I together created an amazing thing which will hopefully live on long after I am no longer in charge. But my goddess, I’m tired.

    Now, I will get to say that I am a full-time author. And that makes me happy too. (Probably. Hopefully. Aw, man….)

    1. Remember when you started writing fiction, so from there to now. Yes, you are a full-time author, and I’m about to read your latest. Looking forward to many more.

      If you need a long walk on the beach and lunch, Coronado will always welcome you.

  7. I got a note yesterday that my expiring Covid-era plane ticket has been extended until the end of the year. Of course the ticket I am planning to use it for has increased in price, so I will still have to pay, but at least I’m not losing money I had already spent.

    I’m also making progress on getting my house in order. I have a friend coming to stay, and while she knows I’m messy, there are limits…

  8. We got snow, too. But then we’re in eastern Canada–we always get snow;)

    Although happy is bit tough these days with all the things going on in the world, I can say I’m happily anticipating the upcoming replacement this week of my defunct water softener. We’ve been living with hard water for a while and it’s no treat on the skin and hair. Also tough on sinks and such and don’t get me started on the spots on dishes. We could do a commercial for spots on glassware, lol.

    Also, gnome in pic is cute but my focus immediately went to the rabbits–nice! As is, of course, the pup:)

  9. Love the gnome! Herein the frozen north (Alberta Canada), we have had record snowfalls, then a few days of warm weather, then another deep freeze with more snow, making the perfect storm of ice freaking everywhere! We risk our lives just taking the garbage out or hauling groceries in! My Great Danes are like Bambi on ice. So sick of winter!

  10. No Covid at my theater so far, fingers crossed there. I nearly freaked when we were gathered for an announcement, and it turned out to be “an orchestra member had a pet emergency.”

    I had three possible shows after this one this week (recapping again if you didn’t see the midweek commentary):

    (a) Evita at my current “home” theater, starting oh, today. I feel “eh” about Evita and I figured after two shows, I needed a break. I did not plan to audition for it.
    (b) Bye Bye Birdie at a theater I don’t know much about, starting late April. Love the show. Not loving this theater so much–Covid protocols pretty well out the window, they seem somewhat scatty in organization, they’re in another town and gas prices are going sky high, they have MUCH longer rehearsals than home theater (3.5-4 hours a night…we only do that during tech week), they literally take weeks to decide who is in the show. Auditioned here and well, see above.
    (c) My old “home” theater (which hasn’t done much during pandemic) is returning with a 10 minute play festival, which my friends and I auditioned for. A friend of hers got her play into the show and I originated the role, and thankfully I did end up getting it IRL as well. This one is about the same time as Evita (performed right before its tech week).

    My PLAN was to do BBB and 10 minute since 10 minute rehearsed before BBB.

    But then: (a) the crush (yeah, yeah, I know) wanted to do Evita and 10 minute and didn’t audition for BBB, and (b) I got asked to do Evita when they didn’t get enough people auditioning and they will work around my doing 10 minute. So now, that’s what’s happening. I feel weird doing a show I’m not into, but at least I don’t hate it, and there’s other incentives besides him to do it (i.e. performing at a safe theater near me where I like everybody).

    I saw him at the 10 minute auditions and gave him his birthday gift–a crochet replica “little old lady” from The Producers in the outfit we all wore, complete with walker. He nearly bent backwards laughing and declared it “magnificent” and showed off the Han Solo birthday card and bragged about it, so sounds like he liked it, at least.

    I know. He said no. But….well, seems like he still likey-likes me on some level anyway, and nobody else has come along, and so this continues. Maybe someday he gets over his own shit, I dunno. But for now, I’ll be around and we’ll see. Fingers crossed.

    1. As a level 1 hoarder, I’ve learned that letting something (s) go has opened up wonderful newness that was actually meant for me. Jus’ sayin’. 💚 😉

  11. tl;dr

    Happiness is a good cup of coffee. I am, even now, sitting down to my first cup of coffee for the day. Is it a “good cup of coffee?” The honest answer is, “No.” What it is, is a good enough cup of coffee. It’s Folgers Crystals Decaf. Instant coffee.

    I was once a bit of a coffee snob. I could break out the old eloquent polish and wax on about Aribica versus Robusta beans, the joke about “Mountain Grown – It’s The Reechest Kind.” (Coffee beans do not thrive in the plains.) The five grades of brewed coffee, ending in “mud.” I only bought coffee by the bean, and never more than a half pound at a time. I had my own grinder, my own drip system and filters. (Yes, yes, everyone drinks drip coffee now, but back then most coffee was “percolated.” Remember the Maxwell House commercial, a musical percolator?)

    I loved the subtle differences between Kona and High Andes and Jamaica Blue Mountain (reputed to be the best coffee on the planet). Making coffee was a ritual.

    Then came the heart attack. In the hospital, I was told to limit my caffeine intake to one cup per day, because it’s a heart irritant. And I tried. Not as hard as I should have. Until the day, a Tuesday, when sitting in a deadly dull and boring annual In Service Refresher Training, I consumed too many cups of coffee to stay awake. And that evening, my irritated heart woke up my Internal Cardio Defibrillator to deliver a life-saving shock. Five times. In hospital, the doctor allowed as how it might have been set a little low, but the caffeine was causal, and I should “Stop Doing That.”

    Since that day, all my coffee and tea has been decaffeinated. There are plenty of decaf teas, but decaf coffee generally falls under the category, “Sucks Rocks.” Of course, with time and distance from the gourmet coffees of yore, I have become more tolerant of what I would once have spit out. Also, I don’t want to pull the Mr. Coffee drip coffee machine out of its hidey-hole just to make two cups of coffee, one of which would be cold and bitter before I was ready for seconds. Then I’d need to clean it and restow it, and boils some distilled white vinegar through it from time to time.

    There are other instant coffees. Tasters Choice comes to mind – I loved their TV Commercials, and that it had another name in England. Sanka? No sank you. Folgers got me through individual packets, suitable for a single cup. Now I have the big jar in my cupboard.

    I doctor it up. I’ve always added sweetening. Sugar gave way to saccharin gave way to aspartame gave way to stevia. The particular stevia these days is chocolate flavored liquid stevia. I got that from Argh Ink. I almost always added a little dairy to my coffee (but never my tea). Milk. 2% milk. Chocolate 2% milk. Half&Half. Heavy whipping cream. And finally, Land-o-Lakes Half&Half Mini-Moos. The mini-moos are those little cups they serve in a bowl next to your coffee at restaurants, and don’t require refrigeration.

    So, the good enough coffee I’m enjoying just now started as twelve ounces of spring water heated for three minutes in the (700 watt) microwave, plus two rounded teaspoons of Folgers decaf, plus three squeezes of chocolate flavored stevia, plus two mini-moos. Stir and serve.

    It’s the only thing keeping me from launching into my twice-a-year Daylight Savings Rant. 🙂

    1. Have you ever considered a cup-top drip system? You put it on top of your mug, add a Melitta filter and ground decaf and pour the water over it. It has the same amount of caffeine as the instant and it tastes infinitely better. And you can grind the coffee while the water heats.

      1. Yes. That was my original drip system way back when. The four-to-five cup Mr. Coffee was a compromise between my laziness and expediency. I’ve owned several drip machines. Besides the Mr. C in its hidey hole (literally beside it) is a Walmart knock-off five-cup machine. They should both go to Goodwill, next trip. Along with a hundred or so filters, but since the filters are no longer in original packaging…

        The filters, at least, get repurposed to hold dry snacks or for weighing relatively dry ingredients when I cook.

        All my ground decaf is way beyond its best-by, or even its still-tolerable-by date.

        Pictures here: https://www.somethingsmustbeendured.com/post/the-perfect-cup-of-coffee

        (Being highly suggestable, you may have talked me back into a cup-top system.)

        1. I’m not the coffee snob I once was, either. I now make a large manual drip pot (Melitta) and reheat it as I need it. I’m sure that this makes my brothers cringe, but it allows me to use better quality coffee without using piles of filters.

    1. I love Matthew Goode, I was so annoyed they didn’t make him the love interest in Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society instead of Michiel Huisman

  12. I love Summer. I don’t want it to go.

    I went in to work for over 3 hours yesterday and cleaned two parts of the teacher’s hoard. There’s a LOT more to do. But it’s a good energetic start. The air feels like it moved more freely by the time I left.

    I met friends today. I’m boosted, so felt safe. Only unmasked to eat. Otherwise talked with it. I’m blessed with my found family.

  13. I have to say, I love DST. Mostly because there’s more daylight driving in the evenings. Actually I think the entire world should spring ahead half an hour and then stop fiddling with the clocks.

    Finally got some new jeans. They were on backorder and then delayed and now have been washed so I can wear them.

    My dog loves the snow. I love watching Pixie doing zoomies in it first thing in the morning. One more day and then it’s gone.

    1. I disagree. We should all spring ahead 2 hours.

      Why yes, I am a night owl. How did you guess?

      1. I am not wedded to the thirty minute thing. Pick times and stick to them – stop futzing with the clocks twice each year. (I need another cup of coffee.)

  14. On Saturday morning, instead of getting up and being productive, I spent an hour in bed WhatsApping a good friend who lives in London (her Friday night) and we laughed for ages and all weekend I dropped back into WhatsApp to reread bits and laugh all over again. My people make me happy.

    Now, I’m not calling into question the lemon gnome, lemon gnomes for the win, and obvs full marks for doing what it takes to get through, but argh I’m sorry 2022 has thus far sucked for you. Anything we can do to help? Get out a pair of scissors and snip that shark string? Bye bye sharky, safe swimming all around?

    (PS you have a book on cleaning? That’s enough to make me feel inadequate and miserable every time I looked at it right there).

    1. I own a book on cleaning. I never said I read it.

      And thank you for the offer but I’m fine. Spring is coming and there’s nothing but good times after that. Well, better times.

      1. I once folded a drawer full of clothes Marie Kondo style, my sister got excited until I pointed out I never decluttered anything, the youtube video came up when I was putting away laundry

  15. Felt relieved after weekly skype with son & daughter-in-law who live in Warsaw, Poland.

    Son has found that driving to the Ukraine border after work, picking up refugees, then driving back to Warsaw gets him home at 1 am. That just doesn’t work for having energy at his regular job. So he and his wife pack up donations for Ukraine after work during the week, then he gives the rides on weekends.

    Today he picked up a 70-year-old woman from the town of Sumy (spelling?) in eastern Ukraine. One day (in the past 17) she put her meds in a plastic bag, put on her coat, and left her town for the first time ever to head east. She is now with family in Poland. Just a little old lady with a cane and a plastic bag.

  16. Happy today is: the parents are proceeding with the new house build in the same town with my sister. With any luck the build will be finished, their current home will be sold, and they will be moved by the end of the year. Even if it’s next year, that’s a damn sight better than ‘never’ which was what they kept saying for a long time.

    Also, I don’t have to report to the court for jury duty tomorrow, which may not mean my odds of not having to report at all are improved, but does mean if I have to report it’ll be a day off work and a chance to see what downtown L.A. looks like now (haven’t been there since we all got remoted March 13, 2020). And which means my scheduled Monday off is actually OFF.

    Also, I did another three hours of yard work today (mostly weed management and watering) and actually got all the edges cleaned up in that time, which means my long-term goal of eventually being able to maintain with less than 2 hours a week is achievable. Plus I was congratulated by a neighbor on how much better it looks this year. 🙂 Plus so many butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and irritated hummingbirds. A blooming garden is a happy thing.

  17. Last Sunday was our very belated family Christmas present opening with drinks, spaghetti dinner with roasted veg and lots of laughter. COVID interrupted the celebration. Maybe I said that already in a previous comment. Saw G ride Nugget, her fourth lesson. Petted many horses. So calming. Almost done the taxes. Sun came out almost every day and I walked. Evaluating some things. Changes coming. Garden is planned, more vegetables will be planted. All is well. Relatively speaking.

  18. Happiness is having the house to myself for a month. For the first 33 year of our marriage DH traveled for work a quarter of the year. For 24 of those years I had kids in the house but from 2015 until the pandemic I had time to myself.

    I’m happy to say that DH and I were able to spend 2 full years together and still liked as well as loved eachother, but he’s back on the road for his first business trip in two years and I’m going to eat all the foods I like that he doesn’t, catch up on New Yorkers by reading during meals, de clutter some things he will never miss, and spend a lot of time on phone calls with friends. ( also help the kids get their taxes done, but oh well. We got ours to the accountant before DH left.)

    1. I saw that one, too, when I did a search last night for museum replica and poesy rings. It would make a good McGuffin for the right plot, too.

        1. But so clever! I liked the ring where the opal is protected with an open petal design over its top — opals can be fragile and no opal could have survived the workout my hands have had over the years — and also the one where the center stone is held in place by a Sonic Screwdriver.

  19. Oh, my. Excepting Sachi’s pale blue eyes and pale pink nose, our white doggies are look-alikes. And (mostly) utterly adorable, I’m sure.

    And, oh! we have the same placid-looking ceramic bunny. I do wonder why the rabbits in a row manage to look so bare-naked nude while dancing. Or maybe prancing.

  20. Pretty day here.

    My day made interesting by the news that Alex Konanykhim, Russian oligarch, has put a million-dollar bounty on Putin, dead or alive. Chump change for oligarchs, but who knows?

    My former co-worker managed to upload a short video of the action at Lubycza Królewska, Poland, where he’s “running” refugees.

    Also, though this isn’t quite my preferred style of music, “Circadian Rhythm”:


    What is a preferred style of music is now playing on the TV, which my brother and our tenant are watching, cats on knees, Celtic Women in concert, now singing “Wild Mountain Thyme.”

    1. Wonder if we could somehow arrange a matching funds drive for the bounty…

      1. GoFundMe, et al., can’t process funds for this particular goal, I fear. I saw a message on another group suggesting someone sink Putin’s yacht . . . .

        1. I just read that the protester that stood behind the news presenter in Russia holding an anti war sign was fined 30,000 rubles for hooliganism. The equivalent of $280 here in the US. Are rubles in single denomination? If only she could pay singly – one ruble, two rubles etc. I still think she should be very careful, knowing who she is up against.

          1. From Emptywheel, after an account of the event:

            Update: Ovsyannikova has surfaced and is thus far facing only administrative crimes, so days, not years, in jail.

            Update: Ovsyannikova was fined 30,000 rubles and released, but that apparently only covers the social media video, not the protest on TV.

  21. March. The month that wants you to slip and break your neck.

    Last Sunday was my birthday and this Saturday when we went to the dinner theatre Paul had them put a happy birthday message on their in-theatre announcement screen. The girls thought I was going to be mad but I thought it was sweet. He kept looking at the screen and I couldn’t figure out why. They also advertise their show-specific cocktails and I thought he was looking at those until I glanced up and saw a (blurry because it’s at the far edge of my reading vision) Happy Birthday Angie! Love, Paul. It took me a few extra seconds to realize it was actually for me.

    The show was good. The actor/musicians were really talented but this time they had a professional singer, someone who has made a living as a touring and recording artist, playing/singing the part of Waylon Jennings as opposed to someone who is principally an actor who happens to also be able to sing. The difference in the energy in the theatre was palpable. It was interesting to compare the differences in his stage presence versus the actors. Also, he can really play guitar as opposed to the actors who sometimes just pretend while the house band guitarist plays.

    Paul’s appointment with his cardiologist went really well and he doesn’t have to go back for 2 years. Dr. Taylor was really happy with him. Paul gave him a turned bowl and he said the one of his favourite things to do to relax in the evenings is watch woodturning videos on YouTube.

    We had a really nice weekend with lots of good visiting and we saw the new Tom Holland movie which was exactly what I needed it to be.

    1. The birthday message was so sweet and congratulations on the good news from the cardiologist. It sounds like you really have reason to celebrate!

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