Happiness is Good Work

Sorry this is late, I’m still off schedule from no-electricity week. What is on schedule: Working on the first Liz book which is clipping right along since Bob Mayer joined in. We could actually finish this. That makes me so happy.

How did you work happiness into your week?

84 thoughts on “Happiness is Good Work

  1. I had two old friends to stay, and also reconnected with my anti-vaxxer friend, which was a relief. Plus spring is here and the garden’s starting to kick off.

  2. The 10 minute play festival rehearsals are going well, yay there. Also, THEORETICALLY my ill coworker returns on Monday so maybe I won’t be 100% alone any more for more weeks.

    Oh, and I got my hair done! Love it!

  3. Going to hear the St. Matthew Passion this afternoon at the Portland Symphony.
    Seeing a cardinal out the window. Getting through a long week of commitments. Being sure some of those commitments are things I love.

  4. I just got home from my clearing out my office, as my official last day of work is a week from Wednesday (retiring). It’s so weird — in February 2020 hubby and I flew to Tenerife (Canary Islands). The first hints of covid were swimming around when we left home — but on the day we flew home from Tenerife, the Spanish authorities closed the borders (we were afraid we weren’t going to get out, but luckily we made it home). While we were there on the island, my research institute had sent everybody an email saying, if you have been in a designated risk area (whether vacations or business travel) call your boss before coming in. Which I did and was told, no, stay home. Later that same day, everybody was sent home and work from home is still more or less the rule.

    So, I literally went on vacation, never went back to the office and retired. So weird. I am totally discombobulated. Actually have been working the last 8 months on a part-time basis (official retirement was July of last year, but since I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything I wanted, I decided to stay on for a few months and plump up my bank account).

    Just not how I envisioned it. But then I look at those poor folks in Ukraine, especially the old people, and think, well, not how they envisioned their golden years either, and I should just shut my mouth because I truly have nothing at all to complain about.

    But, I did finish a crocheted scarf, which is going to a girlfriend tomorrow for her birthday, so that was good.

    1. You have my sympathy. When I left my job (which was more than a job, since it was an artists’ cooperative shop I founded with a friend 23 years ago, and the center of my life ever since) it was…unsettling. I missed it a lot more than I expected to. I’m not retired, since I’m now working on the writing full time, but it isn’t the same. It has been about a month, and I’m hoping I’ll adjust soon.

    2. I retired just over a month ago and I still can’t believe it’s real. Congratulations on your retirement!

    3. Congratulations on your retirement, and welcome to the club! The first part of our retirement was taken up with the plague, then getting rid of many of our possessions, then moving. Now that we’ve been here in Portugal a year (!), I feel like we’ve kind of got a groove. But it does take a while.

  5. I spent a day working on the flower farm where I did my school coop. Planted seedlings in the hoop house and ‘bumped up’ lots of other seedlings (planted them in bigger containers). I loved being there, despite the early morning snow. Continued to work on finishing my card making workshop from a couple of weeks ago – everything is recorded and easy to find on FB. Made a glass craft mat out of a piece of glass from a broken picture frame and duck tape. No more glue marks on my table!

  6. Had a lovely birthday with lots of gifts of chocolate, and books. My dear employer is making us crab cakes for lunch tomorrow with my birthday as an excuse. I had a commitment for a zoom call that got cancelled, so I took a small walk with DH instead. Zoom call for fun purposes not cancelled, and was fun. I can see a sleeping cat. I had cake for breakfast. Really, what more can I ask for?

    1. Maybe a sudden debilitating stroke for Vladimir Putin? Sorry! Just wishful thinking there. Happy happy!

  7. Not happy, but thoughtful. Some Etsy sellers are staging a strike for the coming week. I am considering joining. Not sure. I’m not thrilled with the recent changes Etsy had made, but at the same time they haven’t really affected me much. And it feels a little petty to be striking over a 6.9 percent paid to them when most percentages on other selling sites are higher… Argh.

  8. In my retirement, all my work is indoor gardening, and while hydroponics may well be my happy place, my black thumb for plants in dirt may have spread to plants in water.


    I have no doubt that among the causes of death to my plants in dirt, “too much watering” was up there. I didn’t think it possible with plants growing in water. There may even be another reason, but overwatering is obvious. The Smart Garden 3 has a float that sinks into the casing to let you know when to add water. One of my floats stuck – as a result, when I stopped adding water and it hadn’t risen, I jiggled it – and it didn’t stop rising at the level of the casing, but a full two inches above. Now the Piri-Piri Pepper plants planted in that unit are all but dead. (As an example of the redundancy prevalent in translation, “PIRI” is Swahili for “PEPPER,” making these “Pepper-Pepper Pepper plants.” Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department.)

    But I digress. I gave up entirely on the last tomato plant in one of my QYO units, tossed it, emptied the unit and cleaned it with bleach and water. I don’t have enough distilled water to place it back in commission, so it’s sitting idle. Of the two remaining Rosie Finch tomato plants, one is on probation. It flowered but has shown no other interest in making tomatoes. The other has four little green balls and might be getting with the program.

    Then there is the sole tomato plant in the Smart Gardens. I’ve counted ten little green balls and promises of many more. All the pepper plants not over-watered have been flowering, and the birds&bees marital aid has BEEn Bzzzzy.

    Seventeen lettuce plants in seven varieties, all planted in the iDOO units, and all germinating except the so-stubborn Rouge d’Hiver Red Romaine lettuce. Two successive pods have failed, from two different kits, so it’s something I do (see black thumb) and not the fault of the supplier. I think. I have a third R d’H also not germinating, so maybe it is AeroGarden’s fault. They have a guarantee on their pods, provided you grow them in AeroGarden units. I have no AeroGarden units. An AeroGarden unit is on the way.

    Speaking of redundant redundancy, hydroponic enthusiasts know that an open pod hole in a unit is not among the good things and should be covered. AeroGarden and iDOO sell pod covers. I have more than enough of both. QYO sells no covers. Their pods have a square design, rather than round like the others. I tried using AG covers, but unless placed just right, the covers fall into the square hole. I had three solutions. 1) Carefully position a cover over the square hole. 2) Put tape over the square empty pod. 3) Use a square pod and specific iDOO covers together. Some of the helpful videos on YouTube show others putting tin foil over the tops of the square pods, and that was solution 4. I was going to try for a solution 2 with better tape, so I ordered two rolls of shiny silver duct tape. The tape has arrived, but solution 4 is more attractive so that’s what I’m doing, subject to change without notice. The shiny tape is shiny. 🙂

    1. I have had some iffy situations with my Smart Garden. As soon as the plants appear to have a problem with over watering, I move them into regular small pots that will fit into the Smart Garden. If you notice the indent around the top of the Smart Garden, that is a removable top. I empty the water and remove the top. I place my replanted plants in the Smart Garden container. I have a stake my husband made for me that fits into the container hole where the light wand would fit if I had the top on, but since I don’t have the top on, I need to jerry-rig a connection for the light. Then I hook the lights back up and just water the plants thereafter by keeping an eye on the soil and not letting it get too dry. I do not let the replanted pots sit in water.

      1. So… you turned your hydroponics into dirt farming? I already know how to kill everything in dirt.

        When I declare the two pepper plants dead (I already have), I will bail out enough water to return the level to normal. It isn’t like I don’t have twenty pods waiting for an empty space. I even have more piri-piri pepper-pepper pod-pods. Those have alternate names, BTW. “African Red Devil” and “African bird’s eye chili.” Click&Grow markets them as Piri-Piri, so that’s what I labeled them.

        Heat. Up to 100,000 SHU*. I wanted that. While I wait, I’m making do with store-bought serrano peppers and jalapeno peppers and habanero powder.

        * Scoville Heat Units

      2. The follow-up is that I have discarded the dead plants, returned the level to normal, and I’m starting a Piri-Piri and a mini-tomato pod. It’s the first of three mini-tomatoes, so I think the tomato plant showing all the success is from seeds in an “experimental pod,” which is to say, it’s just like the others, but it came seedless and you add your own. The mini-tomato comes from Click&Grow. A comparison will be useful, eventually.

  9. I met a friend who lives a couple hours away for lunch. I’m happy that after 20 years and very different lives, we still have things to talk about. Friday was my every-other-week Zoom meeting with a writing friend several states away. She liked what I’d sent for editing, so that made me very happy. And I was able to freeze my credit reports before my stolen identity became a problem. “I” applied for unemployment benefits, which I learned by letters about it from the state’s bureau. So, 3 phone calls later, I’m now protected in a way hadn’t known about.

  10. I love Lavender Blue– When Jenny sent me the partial, I read all 64,000 words straight through. Great voice and the characters are a lot of fun. Of course, for some reason she nixed my idea for using the old teddy bears for target practice.

      1. Wasn’t there a talking cow plushy that got blown away in Hot Toy? They pulled the string and threw it (as a distraction) and it screamed “Eat More Chicken!” until the bad guys shot it a lot.

    1. Lol I loved the things she shared when she first started. Now with you in the mix – double love. And 3 possible books! Yay!

    2. That was actually a step up from Don’t Look Down. In that one, he wanted to shoot a cat.

    3. But wait, Wild Ride was just filled with teddy bears and dolls and so on getting blasted to smithereens. Wouldn’t want Jenny to get boring and repetitive!

  11. Getting work done makes me happy, and I hadn’t been getting work done, but then yesterday I added almost 2K words to my WIP (and found a second comp title — not sure I mentioned how happy I was to stumble across a first comp title for last week’s happy) and today I made some progress in preparing the quilted pieces for cutting out the “muslin” (practice & fitting version) of the Great Quilted Coat experiment, getting about half of them quilted. Pictures here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CcLtdwnv_mW/

  12. Happy this week has been realizing I really don’t have anything to worry about. At the moment anyway. And the early daffodils are starting to bloom.

  13. I took yesterday off and went to a sewing guild meeting in the morning, had lunch with a friend and the two of us went to a quilt show in the afternoon. So much talent on display. After that I had tea with a second friend, ran an errand and finally went home where my dogs’ eyeballs were floating. Bless ’em, there was no cleanup!
    Then today, an email from my boss asking me to prepare training materials so I can offload two recurring jobs I’ve been looking to get rid of for some time. If successful, I’ll be back to a 5-day week. Yes!

  14. Continuing to be happy working overnights. Slept 7 hours today. Amazing for me. And I really only woke up because I have somehow accidentally set a daily alarm on my white noise machine. Need to get the book out and figure out what to do to stop it.
    One of my patients wished me a happy Easter. I thought it was Easter and started saying that to all my callers. When I was signing off of my shift my supervisor laughed while telling me Easter is next Sunday ☺.
    I stopped procrastinating and ordered a new bathing suit. I’ve been in the pool twice since then.
    I am enjoying reading the first in the series of books by Kathy Fawcett that Jenny talked about in the last blogpost.
    Happy Sunday y’all.

  15. My dear friend had a successful surgery on Wednesday. Another friend just happened to be golfing with a man who had the surgery five years ago. We all found relief and happiness J should have a good life.

    Wrote with friends on Friday morning and added a very significant object which will be key in the story. Just dropped into my head. And, yesterday, I volunteered at a poetry festival, the 1st annual, for the Pulp Literature info table. The Magpie poetry contest closes on the 15th. I wrote five poems just for fun. Took in a word play poetry workshop in which I wrote three of the five poems. Walked 9027 steps so far today to make up sitting so much yesterday.

    Knowing Bob loves Blue Lavender makes me so happy too.

  16. I quit. We had this deal where I did all house stuff and they paid the rent.
    I finally realised that if this were a regular housekeeping gig I’d have quit after the second mould patch started (landlord not interested in leaking roof) And then there was La Nina Sydney summer = wettest season I’ve ever seen including winter in a redwood Forest. Where there was also mould, in the winter, but not black and nowhere near this bad.
    We’ve been “moving” for two years! And in Limbo, aka job hunt for what, six months? He has two offers and is holding out for the third which was supposed to be announced late March, which it wasn’t.
    I quit, two weeks notice, to be spent packing, minimal maintenance. Then I rent a travel van and do some touring until they are ready to leave too.

    I am so relieved to have finally drawn the line. And to know that I will save myself even if they won’t leave with me.

    1. Enjoy travelling and adventures, just do your research first, so you end up places with access to gas, laundry , free wifi and electric for a comfortable trip, double check since lockdown some places have closed down. Other then that freedom and open roads here you come.

      1. Thank you for reminders. Wifi in particular since I may reaseach as I go. I did a short car camping run up the us north west coast so I’m not a complete newbie. I know enough to know I don’t know very much 🙂

        I plan to start local and slowly.

    2. If you need a place to park in Canberra I have a space I don’t use behind my building. It’s not a big lot but some of my neighbours have vans, so they do fit.

      1. This is lovely of you. Canberra is definitely one of the places I want to spend time. Selena Clancy at Gmail to contact.

  17. A fantail made me happy yesterday. It’s a noisy little NZ native bird and we don’t have many of them round our place but I grow trees to encourage them. We cleared out a heap of wisteria and convolvulus in the back yard – which made me happy too – and the fantail had opinions about this. It fluttered right up beside us and told us all about it. I’m not sure whether it had positive things to say because we were stirring up insects for it to eat, but I’d like to think so.

    1. Boy oh boy is the NZ fantail cute!! I google-imaged them, and they look exactly like the opinionated little busybody you told us about. Is it possible they make use of the curly climbing vines you mentioned for nesting? In which case, you might save some of the cut-up trimmings from your cleanup and make a small pile of them near its headquarters (if it HAS anything as small as a headquarters, I mean). Anything for more NZ fantails in this world.

  18. When I walked into church yesterday, one of the pastors recognized me and that I had sung the solo last week. She said she hadn’t heard me do a solo before, and hoped I’d do more in the future. That made me happy.

    And tomorrow, my quilting friends are coming by for a chat / gathering / general bs session. It should be fun!

    1. Well you did accomplish the dream… you were asked last minute to step in unprepared for a solo and did amazing congrats

  19. I went to a baseball game yesterday and my team won, plus my favorite player pitched a good inning, plus though chilly it wasn’t raining… all happy making.

    On Thursday I get on a plane to fly to my aunt’s for Easter. I don’t care about the holiday, but I will enjoy seeing various relatives (my dad, as many as 2 cousins, and my two surviving aunts). And we will decorate eggs and probably my aunt will make Easter baskets for her friends, which I will help her deliver.

    The flowers are really starting to get going here. I walked past a truly beautiful display of tulips yesterday, including the kind with fringed edges. Lots of less common colors as well. Plus my first azalea.

  20. I’m happy to hear we might get another Jenny book.

    And after mixed sleet, light snow, and hail on and off yesterday, today is sunny and the next few days are supposed to hit 60. That definitely makes me happy.

    Spending most of my time and energy promoting the upcoming 3rd cozy (I suppose I should send you the info on that, Jenny, since it is *theoretically* out May 3rd, supply chain issues allowing). That doesn’t actually make me happy, but if it pays off in increased sales numbers, that will. Fingers crossed.

  21. I am happy because my 2nd (1st one was 6 months ago)6 month mammogram came out clean. It was a year ago that I had the lumpectomy and everything is still good.

    I am also happy because after yesterday’s lousy weather (see Deb’s post above; we have the same weather systems), the sun is out and it’s supposed to be near 60 today as well as the next couple of days. I am heading out for a long walk on one trail or another, as long as it’s not too muddy.

  22. I spent the weekend at a moccasin making class and made a half decent pair. It was a good time, even if I was stuck at the conspiracy theorist and survivalist prepper table. Sigh. It was painful at times but I kept my mouth shut. Very, very shut.

    Hannah is providing lots of laughs and entertainment. I’d be happier if she was sleeping through the night but she is just a puppy and we knew what we were signing up for. She is in the middle of second teething and everything will be better when that’s done.

  23. I’m thrilled with a thought that lavender‘s blue is on track. I can’t wait to eat another one of your books.
    This series I’ve been working on has occupied my life. Well, that and Taxes. But it looks like the series may end today or tomorrow and Tax season is over on Monday.
    I did get a lot of crocheting done during the series. I had some really beautiful multicolored yarn. I’ve done two hats and three scarves.
    Also I realized yesterday that all three of my books are on sale -the audiobooks that is. On Chirp, on iTunes, and on Google books..
    Since the series filming is coming to an end I could maybe promote the books. I wish everyone a great week. And I hope everyone focuses on the best possible outcome of every situation they are handling.

  24. We live in a house built in the 40s. We are down to 3 rooms w that nasty popcorn ceiling… and now down to 2 as we had it removed from 1 this week and will have it removed from another next week. Happiness is no more popcorn ceilings!

  25. ARRRGGGGH. We had 3 inches of snow overnight! Everything was leafed out. My cherries had FINISHED blooming. We never get snow this late. And it was heavy and clung and SPLIT my maple to the ground while ripping off a branch. The weight of the snow on the branches was too much for it. I have babied that tree through its verticillium wilt infection and had reached a nice, lush medium size (about 12 feet x 12 feet). A beautiful spreading Japanese type maple. My ceanothus Dark Star was about to bloom and one of its branches is history. Yes. I am having a major tantrum.

    I blame Trump

    1. Oh no! That was a good-sized tree to lose. I will always vote to blame Trump. Tree death, toenail fungus, popcorn ceilings, whatever, it’s all his fault.

  26. Thank you for the reference. The article did not give me much hope. Mine has the branch almost disconnected with split continuing through the middle of the trunk to the ground. It is literally split in two with splinters missing. The cambium layer is almost surely too severely damaged to recover. We have lived in this house for 38 years and lost every tree we planted in that parking strip. It’s companion tree, which survived the storm just fine, has verticillium wilt that is so far along that we have been advised to remove it. We have had 9 different trees in that area that we have lost either to disease or storm damage. I had such high hopes for these last two.

    1. Wow. That sounds to me like a soil problem as much as just continued bad luck. If I lose one plant in an area, that’s a problem with that plant, but if I lose many, it’s got to be something bigger.

      When you say “parking strip,” is that an area between two driveways? A strip of soil/lawn or whatever between a street and a sidewalk? Or something else? Do you know what use it was put to before you moved into the house?

      Regardless, you might be able to take cuttings from younger, healthier parts of the tree so that if you lose it entirely, you will have its descendants to give some life to. I hope something works out with it for you. That sounds like such a series of disappointments. I have deer that wander in and eat most anything beautiful I’ve grown, but I think I might have my revenge on them by growing several small Poncirus Trifoliata trees, which have wickedly long sharp thorns. These protect the tree from unwanted nibbling of the fruits or the flowers, and I feel more than a bit of schadenfreude at the thought of deer discovering them on a dark winter’s night.

      Anyway, all I can say is that I feel for your plight a lot. Good luck!

    2. Might it work to grow shrubs there instead? Or trees that you coppice every few years? But like Jinx, I’d want to get the soil problem diagnosed first, because surely there must be one – something’s stressed all those trees. If it’s a wind tunnel – which can happen between buildings – maybe coppice/shrubs would be sturdier; especially if you chose wind-resistant species – the kinds of trees that survive on windy hillsides (here it would be things like rowan and hawthorn).

      1. My husband loathes coppiced trees so that one is out.

        The city has requirements that if a tree is removed from the parking strip, it must be replaced by another tree with a trunk having a minimum diameter of one and a half inches. Also the City arborist must issue a permit to remove the tree and approve the species of tree you are going to plant. It’s a guarantee that I can’t plant another maple (they feel that there are too many and it increases the likelihood of disease) or a birch because Portland is currently having an epidemic of birch borer beetles.

        I am reviewing lists of trees resistant to verticillium wilt. I am viewing this as a learning experience.

  27. to;dr
    In residential areas in many parts of the US a house is located on a plot of land facing a street. The land between the street and the sidewalk, a strip generally between 3 feet and 12 feet wide, is the parking strip. Cars generally park next to it. The area between the sidewalk and the front of the house is the front yard. Generally a piece of lawn extends to the front planting border which is next to the house.

    In some cities, people will pave the parking strip and actually park cars on it. But generally, it is a strip of lawn with a line of street trees. Sometimes people use it for gardening. My house was constructed in 1926 and has always had lawn with a few trees in the parking strip.

    The first sets of trees were polished off by ice storms. When we get ice storms they are sometimes proceeded or followed by a chinook wind which gives you two fairly lethal scenarios. One: the warm wind is followed by snow and or ice while the soil is still saturated and when a hard wind comes up, and they usually do, the wind pushes the tree over and either pulls it out of the ground or breaks it off.

    2: there is a lot of snow and ice and a wind storm comes up and snaps the branches off.

    Portland is in a convergent zone. The Pacific Ocean is about 90 miles to the West, the Coast Range is up against the Ocean, with the Willamette River Valley next rolled by the Cascade Mtns. The Columbia River starts in Canada and sweeps down and out to the Ocean. Portland sits where the Willamette meets the Columbia. And where the warm air off the Ocean meets the cold air down from Canada. I am convinced it particularly meets at my place.

    Weather can be a difficult call. The weatherman said last night, we might get snow. It was dry when I went to bed. At 3 am we had 3 inches of snow already. All of my trees and shrubs were leafed out so there was a lot of surface for the snow to cling to. For a change it was not particularly windy or it would have worse.

  28. After 5 months of waiting for a new mattress to get delivered, happiness was definitely cancelling that and buying another one that got delivered a couple of days later! And to make things even happier I have a got a great haircut. Good hair and good sleep, that’s a recipe for happiness right there.

  29. He got the Scotland gig. I was utterly speechless for several minutes.

    Now we have to actually decide whether to change continents. Decide between cool temperate or subtropical. Did you know that Edinburgh has 1042 fewer hours of sunlight per year? I didn’t. That’s not gonna be a plus for anyone else.

    Not yet sure if this is a happy but I had to tell someone with no vested interest. Oh, and Rob has covid so I’m in isolation, no ranting at random strangers for me. Just as well, so freaked just now I might actually rant.

    1. Here’s hoping that your forced isolation helps with the shock. Edinburgh would be really interesting, I imagine, even if chilly.

      1. Plus – don’t know where you are, but Scotland has really long summer days: it won’t get dark before 10 in midsummer. So lots of light even when it’s cloudy.

        1. I lived in Edinburgh for about six months. I loved the weather, the age of it, the huge park in centre of it all. But they are sun lovers and it will be harder for them.
          I am very sympathetic, Sydney summers, well not this one, but the 10 or 15 before this, can be miserable for me. I’ve raised my temp tolerance enough that spring and autumn are delightful but summers to 30-45C will always be too hot.

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