Happiness is No More Snow

My pal Krissie lives up in Vermont, and it’s still snowing up there. I’d be nuts by now if I were her, I almost didn’t make it to April down here. It’s balmy every day now, often with rain, and the bulbs are up and the trees are in bloom–there are trees on the way to our shopping center that are absolutely loaded with white blossoms and they’re gorgeous–and the breeze is soft, and of course I’m inside trying to write a book, but I know the world is warming up out there, and that makes me happy.

What warmed you with happiness this week?

81 thoughts on “Happiness is No More Snow

  1. What warmed me with happiness? As much as I do not miss c-c-cold weather, I was not eager to cut through the plastic bag barrier over my window and the air conditioner therein. I was desperate for that cooling last summer, when the heat tried to kill me. It will be hot again, soon enough, and now I’m forced to alternate between heating and cooling. That is a Bah! Humbug! situation.

    In the meantime, watching the hydroponic life around me blossom and flourish… wait. Are those green Romaine plants turning brown? Why aren’t my red Romaines germinating? Why are there only twelve tomatoes on my Rosie Finches? Is my mini jalapeno supposed to get that tall?

    You have cats and dogs. My children are purple chilis and tomatoes and lettuce, and they are trying to drive me to drink. And that warms my old heart. 🙂

    1. Another happy thing (and thank you very much to whoever turned me on to SweetLeaf) is flavored tea. Although I am not averse to other teas, what I keep on hand is decaf Earl Grey and decaf English Breakfast tea. I sweeten them with SweetLeaf liquid Stevia. Because Earl Grey has bergamot (orange), I use the SweetLeaf with Valencia Orange flavor. With the Black Tea I experiment with their Lemon, Orange, Peppermint and Raspberry flavors. The only one not an unqualified success is raspberry, and that’s only because I really, really like the others.

      The chocolate flavor I reserve for coffee. All my coffee is now either chocolate flavoured or chocolate flavored. I haven’t tried the toffee yet. Is toffee better in tea or coffee?

  2. My happy thing is that my Mother in law has decided to make lasagna for Easter dinner. I like it a lot more that traditional fare and I feel like it’s a good sign that she wanted to fiddle in the kitchen and make something.

    1. Besides hard-boiled colored eggs and chocolate bunnies, what is traditional for Easter? I’m having chili hot enough to raise the dead.

      1. My Gran did a ham with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries skewered to it. Every year.
        I’d much rather eat lasagna. Or dry toast. Not huge fan of ham even before adding pet hate of savoury cooked pineapple.

      2. I don’t know if it is traditional or not but in my family Easter was the day my mother made strawberry shortcake for dessert. A double layer sponge cake with tons of juicy strawberries and real whipped cream on the first layer topped with the same but added mounds of whipped cream on the top. That’s what I remember. My version is the little rounds cakes with berries and cream. Not the same but nostalgia gives me warm memories.

        1. I think possibly the embedded colonial British memories in the U.S. have boiled that down into Easter Twinkies (pseudo-spongecake logs with artificial strawberry-flavo(u)red pink artificial cream filling). Two bites per log. Sold in boxes in the supermarkets. Discounted after Easter.

          I can’t recall what my mother would make for Easter dinner. Before that we had to go to church. *sigh*

          That being said in a sad voice, I was happy yesterday that my best friend of 60-some years visited yesterday with volunteer plant seedlings from her garden and favorable comments on our bird paradise in the back yard. And a family of crows cawing in to enjoy a chicken-bone feast on the stump tower. In sunny spring weather. I was the one who years ago infected her with a taste for gardening & birds, and she showed me a photo of a pair of pileated woodpeckers enjoying nutmeats tucked into a knot on the side of a failing tree in her backyard. I had told her about our notch/knot nut habits, and she now credits me as the author of this. I felt sort of like an Earth mom of some kind. 🙂

      3. Ham, mostly, which I really do not like. My mother’s side of the family were German and Italian immigrant farmers with my German grandmother preparing the food. Ham, mashed potatoes, corn, salad, apples sauce and gravy. We switched out Ham, turkey and beef for various holidays.

        My father’s side were blue color Irish/polish which meant cold ham and/or turkey and a lot of mayonnaise salads, creamed corn and green bean casserole. All of which I dislike. But I just really don’t like ham at all. So lasagna is a big step up.

      4. Roast lamb (I had chops), and simnel cake for tea (not doing that just for me). It’s a fruit cake with added marzipan, and mini eggs on top for decoration. Not my favourite, since I’m not keen on marzipan.

        1. Mary Berry made that cake in a PBS special I saw this evening. Not a fan of fruitcake and I don’t know much about marzipan but she explained the symbolism of the eggs as a decoration on top. They represent the twelve Apostles but there only eleven showing because of Judas being a traitor.

      5. In France, it’s lamb. And we hide chocolate eggs in the garden. You try and discourage the older kids from taking the obvious ones or as my grandmother would do, you get all the kids to brings the eggs to her and then you distribute them fairly among the cousins.
        But then, my grandmother was great at distributing chocolate. When we stayed at her house during the holidays, she’d encourage us to come and see her in her bedroom in the morning by giving us chocolate and telling us stories from her youth. My mum really didn’t like us having chocolate before breakfast.

          1. She was amazing. A self made chainsmoking chanel wearing businesswoman. Every summer, she’d take all her grand children to a patisserie in the small town near her house. We’d spend the entire afternoon there as she’d allow us to eat as many cakes as we wanted. I think the record held my one of my older male cousins was 15 cakes but I think I only managed 6 or 7 at the most. I remember though that delicious feeling of being able to look at the cakes and be able to point at anything I wanted. Pure indulgence.

        1. We used to color code the eggs by age. So pink would be only for the youngest blue for the middle and purple for the old ones.

          Mind you we had 4 fully Jewish kids and our two were half Jewish half Catholic by heritage so we called it a pagan egg hunt and convinced the other parents that really hunting eggs were in no way connected with the religious holiday.

          1. Well, in all honesty, I think that is probably true. I assume that egg hunts are left over from Ostara or other pagan traditions and have been adopted by Christianity.

      6. I used to joke that my traditional Easter dinner was an egg salad sandwich with a chocolate bunny.

        1. I recognize that meal. Do you/did you bite the bunny ears off first?

          I think my mom was in the ham group. I’m not. At all.

      7. Hot cross buns and chocolate. That’s my traditional Easter food and I’ve eaten a heap of it this weekend.

  3. Moving to Scotland, not an unalloyed happy. You know, Moving, internationally, over an ocean, and I’ve done this before so there’s no rosy cloud of ignorance.

    In the other hand: The idea of moving from autumn to spring and skipping this year’s winter altogether is making me very happy. Especially given this last, extremely wet summer. Internet suggests Sydney has gotten more rain in the first 3 months than it usually gets all year. I have totally been dreading actual winter rain and now I get to skip straight to spring and a not too hot at all summer. Just gotta keep my focus on that.

      1. Yes, and get gardening suggestions!
        Or maybe suggestions of where to look for suggestions. If we find a garden to play in. That might be awhile even after we get there

    1. Moving internationally does have its challenges, but I’m glad that it has sorted out the stand-off situation in the household for you.

  4. This has been a happy weekend. I am down in South Carolina at my aunt’s house. We have my two remaining aunts, my dad, a couple of cousins, and one of the cousins’ family. Yesterday we decorated eggs. Today it will be an Easter dinner with the gang. The older generation is solidly in their 80s, so at this point being able to get together is a gift.

    Right now my aunt, one of my cousins, and I are out delivering Easter baskets to her friends.

  5. We used to almost always do brunch on Easter, but our preferred restaurant isn’t doing it, and we procrastinated about what to do until it became clear we were not going out. Instead I said “Come here, I will do eggs and bacon” and other people chimed in with what they will bring, so we will have a relaxed, cozy time. Two can’t come due to not feeling well enough, so we will only be 8, but it is feeling like a real celebration.

    Happy whatever-spring-event you celebrate(d).

  6. I have 12 new plants sitting in my sunroom, waiting for the time when there will not be any more frost. The weather people say May 1. I picked up 9 of the plants at the outdoor plant sale yesterday, and I can’t get out of my mind the picture of an elderly woman tripping off a curb and falling on the pavement a few feet in front of me. People immediately came to help, but her glasses were broken and she was bleeding from the bump on her forehead. It was in a driveway that was blocked off for the plant sale, so that was good, but she looked so frail, lying there. Did she drive there by herself? Did she have a friend or family member who eventually came? I left, since my hands were full, and I’m not a medical person, so that those who could help would have room to do so. In the dark of the night I thought, “Will that be me in 10 or 15 years?” I’m so lucky to be healthy, and able to walk my two miles a day, right now. I sometimes stumble on a crack in the sidewalk, but catch myself. She just folded. I hope she’s OK.

  7. Hitting another car while changing lanes in the rain did not fill me with happiness. Fortunately, No injuries and minor damage.

    Snow’s gone but weather is cool and damp. Slow progress in the garden but excited to see the garlic I planted last fall coming up, as well as mini irises and crocus. The Hellebores I planted last fall survived the winter which makes me really happy.

    Morning road trip to a farmer’s market with a friend, including great consignment store finds and delicious lattes. We had a very deep conversation about our childhoods – we both grew up with abusive fathers. We’ve been friends for over 30 years but I gained new insights into one of my dearest friends.

  8. It snowed here yesterday (in upstate NY). I am not amused. But I am happy it had all melted by the time I woke up, and while it is still only 36 degrees F out, at least the grass is turning green.

    My big happy this week was getting my box of author copies of Claws for Suspicion, my 3rd cozy. First, because this meant that that the books are actually in the warehouse, and not being held up by supply chain issues like my last two books. So release day is actually going to be release day. Huzzah! Also, because it is just wonderful to hold the book in my hands, even knowing that it will probably be the last in the series if I can’t pull off a miracle with the numbers on this one.

    I did an unboxing video (just a minute, but it did have a cameo by cat Diana) which shows real joy for the first time in many months. So that was nice too. https://www.instagram.com/p/CcYAuuvjCqd/

  9. Alack, alas, it be Autumn here. And since we’re a warm place, not much of a “fall” of leaves. The rains have come in terrible fury and for those of you with the Beeb, you might’ve seen the flood effects on the news. Idk if it made CNN. We’re ok for now but the routes out were blocked. And one bridge is yet to be repaired. So I’ll be adding much more time to my commute. Argh.

    I’m happy that I went for an event yesterday, that I never ordinarily would go to. I did it to support a friend and it was a very good experience.

    Full moon, Passover, Easter, Kavady, and Ambedkar Jayanthi greetings.

  10. I live next door to a Methodist church so Easter sunrise service kicks off my Sunday morning each year outside my bedroom window.

  11. We got sun here for Easter. Nice.

    And yesterday I stumbled on Art du Crime on TV. Happy surprise to see it there on basic TV. Was the Moulin Rouge episode for those who’ve seen the show wherein it ends with Antoine’s reading and the look on the face of Florence is so good for the moment.

    Happy Easter, all. And happy Passover, too:)

  12. My happy: poor doggo needed surgery to remove kidney stones. We knew they were a thing and trying to deal with them without surgery, but they moved back down the urethra, so surgery it was. Emergency vet surgery, to boot. The emergency part, the waiting your turn part, and the keeping him overnight part were all necessary evils.

    He’s doing great! And even ate this morning! I get to pick him up here in like an hour or two, and then expectations are he’ll be feeling loads better in a few days, two weeks or so for full recovery.

    So, so happy the damn stones are finally out! Here’s to a calmer medical year!

  13. Happiness was spending hours at the hospital with my friend. Happy to see her healing. I changed her bedding etc. All RNs on the surgery wing. No LPNs. No personal care. Shocking to find that out. Took everything I could think she may need to wash while hooked up to IV. We managed it. J went home to daughter’s house yesterday. She was in her own cozy pyjamas watching soccer and drinking tea with honey by the afternoon.

    I learned something while there, did you know veins can roll? J needed another round of antibiotics, it was difficult to find a good vein in her hands. Several times the veins would roll. A nurse specializing in finding viable veins finally found one. The surgery was very invasive with many incisions front and back. She is a trouper. J said our visit was heart/soul filling. Yes, it was.

    Soil is arriving later today. Sun is shining. An afternoon in the garden. Happy Easter.

    1. The specialist phlebotomists are amazing! When I was in the ICU, I had an IV in one arm, but to be discharged to a regular room, I needed a spare in the other room in case the first one stopped working (or at least that’s what I remember being told, although some of my memories from the ICU are kinda’ fuzzy). I have easy veins usually, but the nurse tried like five times and couldn’t get it done, so she called in the specialist who got it on the first try, no problem at all.

      Of course, as it turned out, it was never used, because the original one continued to work just fine. But it was impressive how good the specialist was.

        1. When I took a certain medicine in the past I had to go in for blood tests every few weeks. There was one guy at the lab who was so much better than all the other phlebotomists that it was an huge revelation. The other people had three times the difficulty finding veins and caused much more discomfort than this guy did. I wonder if it is natural talent or if “the touch” can be taught?

          1. Exactly. When my tonsils were removed, a nurse came in to take blood. Right arm – several pokes looking for the vein. Left arm – several more pokes, still no vein. At 12, I turned over, pulled my arms under me and refused to cooperate. She went away.

            It’s an art to gently find the vein.

    2. She’s lucky to have you.
      One of my aunts spent hours/days on personal care for my grandmother when she was in hospital. She was a nurse herself, so she also knew how to advocate for best care and still there were things that the other nurses just couldn’t get to. And that was years ago, can’t say before nursing shortage but before this terribly severe nursing shortage.

  14. Had about 65 people in church! All masked. And some little kids. We sang and saw people we haven’t seen for the last two years. Now brunch, then friends over for lamb and stuffed squash, and lemon meringue pie.
    I’m leaving my snow shoes on the porch until May 1st, I don’t want to tempt Fate. Or Mother Nature.

  15. It’s stunning here just now. That vibrant green you only see when the trees start leafing out. Redbud, dogwood, azaleas, tulips, pear and apple trees–all in bloom.

    We do have frost advisories for three of the next four nights and next Sunday, when my family will get together for our Easter dinner, it’s supposed to be 87. ahhh Spring.

    Our family seems to have the same meal for every holiday. The food assignments went out a couple weeks ago and yep, it could be Thanksgiving. When the text arrived, I read the list off to a friend and she blanched. She’s not QUITE a member of the food police but it’s a close thing and our holiday meals are carb fests. With huggable children and this year we have two new babies to love on. Good times.

  16. We’re supposed to get 1-2 inches of snow tomorrow in Southern Michigan, and then by the weekend it’s supposed to be 80*. I’ll be a lot happier when the 80* gets here.

  17. My warm-and-happy this week was meeting three former colleagues for lunch; we ate outside, despite the wind. Also, yesterday a local church sponsored a benefit concert for Ukraine, with four young musicians from the Cincy Conservatory of Music. I saw/heard a bandura, of which I knew nothing, and heard music composed by Ukrainians, ditto. And the church is one of those grand stone heaps that nobody could afford to build anymore, with soaring ceiling and major pipe organ.
    This morning my own stone church had a brass quartet and extra choir members, plus visitors and people who’ve been MIA b/c of covid. I made quiche with ham and asparagus for lunch–traditional, but not as big as my mother’s baked ham, and my sweet potato did not have marshmallows on/in it!

  18. Yesterday our granddaughter and her boyfriend drove down from NH for the weekend and stopped by our house before heading to her mother’s. We watch the dog on alternate weeks (with teenagers, school, work and after school activities) there’s not much chance for her to get any exercise. Well, when the car pulled into the driveway the barking started and the princess was on guard duty. I didn’t shush her but waited to see her reaction when she saw who it was. I wish I had taken my phone out for a video of the greeting. It was awesome. Tail was a whirling dervish. She just couldn’t contain her joy. They haven’t seen each other in a month. My granddaughter took the dog to her mom’s house because this is school vacation week.

  19. Inhaling the scent of bluebells on the hillfort this morning – it’s very calming. I’m really enjoying the current heatwave (not that hot – about 17C – but warm enough to sit out in). Loving my garden, and bought some intriguing plants for it at a local specialist plant fair on Friday. Caught up with a friend – we went for a walk – the other day. Just generally loving spring and long evenings.

  20. We did not get any snow, but it is only 37F here. I went to my sister’s house for the Passover seder on Friday and for the first time in decades I barely cooked anything. I did several hours of slicing, dicing and side dish preparation, but nothing where I really felt that I could take pride in my efforts. I also polished the silver serving dishes because my sister had done the flatware earlier in the week and nobody should have to do all of it by themselves. It would have been more fun if we could have done it together, but we live too far apart for that to work.

    My BIL is in charge of cleaning the apartment before the guests arrive and for the first time he did it 2 days ahead. It made such a huge difference in time management and relaxation that I didn’t recognize it as a pre-holiday countdown. He seems to have finally come to terms with the fact that he really is retired with definite physical limitations and has started to make his time management choices on that basis. Now that he is no longer chasing after jobs that aren’t there he has time to spread his responsibilities out and there were no emergency trips to the grocery store with a car that was already committed to picking up one of the guests. Both he and my sister looked much healthier and less stressed than they have in years. It was a joy to see.

    And my bipolar niece behaved! Her new job is in the next county and so we started before she and her father got there. She usually takes the bus to work, but that would have meant that we sat down way too late, so my BIL drove out to pick her up. Since she wasn’t there during the food prep there were no turf wars about the menu and the other guests were already there when she arrived. So we talked about the holiday and old family memories from previous holidays, people we missed and her new job. My brother and my niece from Milwaukee got rooms in a hotel and so the fact that my sister and BIL no longer have a guest bed didn’t matter. Which also meant that when the Milwaukee niece said “I’m tired, we have to leave now,” there was little fuss about how her older sister could stay later.

    And the food was fabulous! The chicken soup was perfect, the matzah balls like clouds, and the lamb was luscious. And the mashed potatoes were so good I wanted to take a bath in them. I cooked the potatoes, my sister mashed them with sour cream and my brother seasoned them and added chives. If diplomats ever worked as well together, we’d see an end to war.

    I’m also grateful that I am doing better about parking my cooking ego at the door about this meal. The lemon souffle really does work better at the end of a big meal so the fact that logistics make it impossible for me to make it at my house and transport it across town are now only common sense and no longer feels like a rejection.

  21. Happy that I planned ahead to request Monday off work, so I have a three-day weekend, which so far is going very well. Have put in 2 hours of yard work and nine hours of face-to-face communing with my Gardening BFF.

    I recently decided to affirmatively kill the two aging and unhappy braided ficus trees I’ve had in galvanized stock tanks for four years. My friend had a use for the tanks (plus a half-size one I’d gotten for another purpose but it didn’t serve), so we arranged for her to bring her Toyota RAV to my house; we toured my garden, loaded the big tanks into her car (I’d already loaded the small one into mine), gossiped; I made a very good omelet for our lunch, and then we caravanned down to Orange County so all the metal could be unloaded at its new home. Then I toured *her* garden, we gossiped some more, and eventually I came home. It was a good day. 🙂

    This morning I planted a Canary Island sage plant she gifted me (offspring of one of hers), plus moved six nasturtiums that had come up in my yard in a place I didn’t want them. Then I had an excellent breakfast with DH, we watched a couple episodes of Agents of SHIELD, and now I’m going to see what’s in my email.

    Happy Sunday!

  22. I trekked my Easter dinner down to my MILs, and prepped it there. Different kitchen, different stove – managed to turn on the wrong burner, and then shatter a pyrex casserole dish by heating it on the burner I didn’t mean to turn on. Glass exploded everywhere, but while I did get startled, I didn’t get sliced by anything flying by. So, yea, happy for me. (I also restarted the two dishes that had any kind of possibility of being glass-infused.) All good in the end.

    I think I should have stuck with my egg salad sandwich!

  23. I woke up to snow flurries this morning, which turned into snowfall. We ended up with about an inch sticking to the ground before the temperature went above freezing and melted the snow away a couple of hours later.
    I had an early dinner (ham slice, roasted potatoes and onions, broccoli, and salad) after which my siblings and I met on Zoom for our monthly sibling chat.

    My big happy is that I have been able to get a lot of walking in and the scales are finally showing a difference!

  24. My happies included a Seder with a work colleague whose grandchildren came—I can’t think when I last saw children so that was lovely. A seder with all three kids (foster daughter in person, bio kids on zoom) today.
    My tulips and daffodils and narcissus and giant snowdrops are all in full bloom as are our Korean cherry trees.
    My neighbors daughter was in town and we caught up with her.
    Jo Bourne’s Twitter feed. She follows fascinating stuff. I’m now following a classical archaeology site and a strange architecture site.

  25. *Watches the snow falling.* Sigh. We’ve got over 4” forecast between now and Tuesday. It’s not the storm that ate Manitoba, but, geez, enough already!

    1. I’m travelling to the Arctic first week May. The weather is usually so much warmer by now not looking forward to the deep freeze cold. I look at the 14 day forecast almost daily. Still no sign of spring. I have to pack warm underwear and wool socks and two pairs of boots.

        1. You might check the actual temperature there. I’ve heard it’s been way warmer than usual —like 45 degrees

          1. Not where I am going in the Canadian north. Checking everyday. Today it is 16 degrees F, feels like 5 or -9 C with the wind chill -15C.

  26. Happy, happy.

    It was a cold day and there’s a possibility of some snow Monday into Tuesday. After that it’ll get warm again.

    I went to my cousin’s house for dinner. We had the traditional ham and cidek (egg cheese; it’s basically pressed scrambled eggs) and bread. But, no kielbasa or nut and poppy seed rolls.

    Orthodox Easter is next week so maybe I’ll get some kielbasa for that. I’mm too lazy and time-pressed to make nut roll.

  27. Happiness was going to bed last night after a lovely day with friends and not having to set an alarm for work. This whole two days off in a row thing is genius, I tell you. Genius.

  28. I had a lovely day. I worked overnight and I got off at 8 this morning and then I was able to go to sleep pretty quickly. And I ws woken up about 4:30 by doordash delivering a Bob Evans ham Easter dinner for me and my daughter. That was delicious and no clean up to do. And then we started watching a TV show called Hacks with Jean Smart that turns out to be really good on HBO Max. And now I’m back at work and it is a calm night. I really do I like working overnight. Hopefully I can get in some writing on my w i p. And read some more of Tom Robbins Tibetan Peach Pie which I’m very much enjoying.

  29. We had a not-exactly-traditional menu — rare beef, scalloped potatoes, P. F. Chang green beans in batter — everyone was madly snacking on them! — Mexican corn, very interesting, and orange cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. My stepcousin made the cake, and said she has now learned that when the recipe says you can substitute yogurt for sour cream, it either means GREEK yogurt or that you should drain the regular yogurt; the batter was pretty runny and there was an uncooked bit in the middle. Tasted great, however. A great time was had by all, including the cats.

    A beautiful sunny day, the garden looked lovely . . . .

    1. Should have added that I was happy and interested to learn that Ēostre seems really to have been a goddess, and not just a figment of the Venerable Bede’s imagination; a trove of Romano-Germanic votive inscriptions to the matronae Austriahenae, a triad of goddesses, were discovered near Morken-Harff, Germany, in 1958; many are reasonably legible.

      1. Most things were a figment of Bede’s imagination. When I was doing my BA thesis paper, I went on a rant about his descriptions of slavery amongst the Celtic peoples. I had to cut it, but my professor got a kick out of it.

  30. They are now calling for a winter storm starting tonight (Monday) and going into tomorrow late morning, with accumulations of 5-8 inches of heavy snow and possible power outages.

    NOT happy.

  31. I was doing a little pruning, and looking for new blossoms to use the bee vibe on. I saw a bulge on my chili plant on a flower and said “All right! A pepper at last!” Then I moved a leaf and found a pepper over an inch long, hiding. The tomato plant in the Smart Garden is popping up little (and not so little) green balls all over, and now peppers. I am so stoked.

    It’s cold and blustery outside in the rain. In here, the plants are sharing the warm. Two of my lettuce plants finally germinated, too. I had to transplant some stuff from the Smart Garden to the QYO. They haven’t died yet. 🙂

    1. Gary, when I went to my sister’s house for Passover I saw my BIL’s hydroponic garden still in the box it came in several moths earlier. I wish I could send him to you for some inspiration. He, too, could have a tasty new hobby.

  32. Happiness is making it to the end of the school term during New Zealand’s first real covid wave with no illness in the house. It’s coming up with a whole lot of rhyming clues for the Easter egg hunt and watching my daughter’s enthusiasm as she solved them. And it’s buying bulbs to plant out for flowering next spring.

  33. Another happiness…It’s snowing out, the heavy wet snow that sticks and makes great snowballs, forts, and nasty driving conditions AND, I am retired so I don’t have to go out in it.

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