54 thoughts on “Happiness is Lainey Molnar’s Instagram

  1. Happiness is the super teeny tiny small things when the big things kinda suck.

    It’s chocolate cake with fresh cream that didn’t send my sinuses in to over drive, after recovering from gastro. It’s watching Men on a Mission and laughing till my face aches even though I can’t go to yoga or Tai chi because they found another problem with the car, so it is still in for repair.
    It’s getting shortlisted for an interview even though I know that there’s an incumbent who will step in.

    It’s lying in the blazing winter sun after after a briskly cold dawn. It’s small things.

    1. The incumbent will be a witch to work with but I still hope you get the job (if you decide you want it).

      1. I’ve heard nothing but good about them. So I am going through the motions and hoping for the best. Because they have indicated to someone that them not getting it means “it’s not meant to be.”

  2. Happiness is seeing my eldest niece get married, seeing how in love she and the groom were, how supportive and loving their brothers and sisters were, meeting again with old friends I hadn’t seen for a long time and spending lots of time with my brother and sisters.

  3. Happiness is casually writing a poem that pleases me so much that even quotes from an Atticus poem doesn’t dim my love for my own words.
    Although this quote comes close:
    “She was afraid of heights but she was much more afraid of never flying.”

  4. Editing the garden (being ruthless with the aquilegias I’ve grown from seed); chatting to fellow gardeners & artists. First strawberries starting to ripen, and the roses and irises filling my garden with colour.

  5. Happiness is working outside and watching plants grow. I planted several containers with flowers for a friend who broke her ankle. She’s having a hard time getting around but she can sit at her patio door and enjoy the view.

    I found out this week that an article I wrote for our community garden newsletter is also going to be published in the community newspaper. It’s about native plants and the pollinator garden we’re putting in at the community garden. My first time being published!

  6. I don’t think this counts as happiness this week but it’s been an interesting week. I have a friend who has a not entirely diagnosed brain issue; he has a form of aphasia and I have power of care for him. Not sure if that’s a thing in the US so I’ll briefly say it’s an equivalent to a power of attorney except it’s only for healthcare decisions. And he is still perfectly capable of making his own healthcare decisions but I am involved in them. Anyway, he has become convinced that his girlfriend-ish has been poisoning him and that’s why he has brain issues and wants a full toxicology work-up. I have spent a great deal of time trying to tell him that poisoning someone is not as easy as he thinks. Then realized of course that mostly I’ve learned that from reading mystery novels and Argh blog posts.

    1. We have a medical power of attorney. It sounds about the same, you can make decisions if needed for someone’s health, but you don’t have the authority to handle their money or property.

      I hope you are taking care of yourself too, friend. Providing care for another can be a huge task.

      On a lighter note, when I worked at the library we used to receive calls all the time from a gentleman housed in the psych ward of the local hospital. He was convinced that his nurses were poisoning him and we would spend a lot of time going over ingredient labels for food and meds …

    2. That’s a tough position to be in 🙁 My husband has a client who can be quite paranoid and will claim this that or the other person is trying to kill him. Emotional distance is necessary, and not easy with someone who’s a personal friend. Take care of you, too.

      1. Thank you both for telling me to take care of me. I seem to cycle between sadness/despair and annoyance/eye rolling. Which I’m sure is inappropriate but somehow manages to keep me on an even keel.

        1. Whatever you need to do. No judgement here. I make dead parent jokes to my partner all the time. Inappropriate, but since I lost my mother early and he is adopted, it suits us. People tiptoe around the sadness to much sometimes.

  7. Happiness is waking up and realizing that I have one more day to sleep in and do what I want ( I don’t sleep past 8 usually, but at least I don’t have to be up at 6).

    And Stranger Things is back. So far it’s pretty dark for me, but I am enjoying revisiting the characters.

  8. Happiness just IS. Have I mentioned that my routing has somehow regularized? Up around eightish, in bed around (or before) midnight. No more early morning bedtimes unless I’m doing something dreadfully important, like reading that last chapeter of a Crusie or Bujold. The garden lights all come on at 4:00 AM, so that isn’t a factor. The last of them goes dark at 8:00 PM, so also not a factor, except to remind me to wrap things up. I’m happy with that. 🙂

    Have I any projects, now that the major ones are done? Yes.
    – The Macrame Lampshade Project. I have 108 length of cord attached by Larks Head knots to a 14″ steel ring. Next step: tie 432 square knots in four rows an inch apart, then see where we are. I can’t work on this more than twenty minutes at a time or my fingers make rude gestures at me.
    – The Music Project. Stage one is to get all my music and audiobook files into the Music subdirectory of my Ai1 Computer, and from there to alternate memory devices. All my portable music players use micro SD cards, so that’s one. Last night, I finished downloading all of my Bujold Books as MP3 files from Downpour. Only two of my Crusies were in MP3 format (Bet Me and Faking It).
    – The DVD Box Project. At some point, I bought empty DVD boxes to house CDs and DVDs that came in paper sleeves instead of something sturdier. There are 14 left, and a stack of CDs in jewel cases. If I get all the music uploaded, the CDs go to Goodwill. This project dovetails with the Music Project.
    – The Hard Drive Recovery Project. I still have one hard drive from one of my old, dead computers. I have a recovery device that includes power supplies and cables. It’s a matter of hooking it all up and seeing what’s there. I don’t know why I haven’t, yet.

    All those little projects keep me from being too bored. That makes me happy.

    1. The Music Project. Stage one getting all my online music and audiobook files into the Music subdirectory of my Ai1 Computer, is complete. I must note that any Tom Clancy audiobooks are abridged, which I find very, very annoying.

      Next I switch to my laptop, which can read from my portable DVD drive, and start uploading from music CDs, if I can.

  9. That picture? cartoon? meme? makes me happy. Not having an Instagram account is becoming increasingly annoying, but not as annoying as having Yet Another thing-with-username-and-password to keep track of. I miss seeing all your all’s pictures now that Instagram insists I must log in to see them.

    It is a beautiful sunny warm day, and I am off on a Sunday because I’m going to work till I drop tomorrow and Monday. I’ve been averaging five hours of overtime a week, so I have no life.

    1. InstaGram insists I provide birthday and cell phone number. I insist it go to hell. I’ve shared my birthday too liberally, but not with Instagram nor facebook nor any other such service. I don’t share my phone number with anyone.

      1. I just lied to it about my birthday. And firmly told myself not to feel bad about that.

        1. I lie about it all the time. Don’t feel bad. Honestly, it’s the most responsible option.

          1. Thank you, Reb. Thank you, Lupe. I tried telling it 07/04/1776, but it didn’t seem to believe me. The problem is remembering the lie, because it will come back to bite, probably as a confirmation code. Telling the truth is easier, but They Can’t (mayn’t) Handle The Truth. It’s Need To Know, and they don’t.

            I own a cell phone. I use it as a camera and to give me the option of calling 911. I know how to look up the number, but I do not know it. I never call that number. Ever. I have a landline – I don’t take incoming cell phone calls nor texts.

          2. I lied about my last name in order to get into the town’s Facebook page only to find out that 15 other people also have also used it. Apparently I’m not alone. What galls me is that it is a public group but I had to join in order to view what’s going on.

            My cell phone is used as a backup when my kindle needs charging or waiting in the car or doctor’s office.

          3. Mary, I forgot about the Kindle App. I’ve used it, but I’d rather carry one of my Kindles to the doctor’s office. The little one is perfect for that. 🙂

          4. I used a friend’s birthday, then noted that in my little address book of passwords, just in case they insist I re-enter it someday.

          5. I use 1 Jan of the year I was born. Easy to remember but no use for identity theft.

      2. you can use a fake birthday – they will never know .. not sure about phone number and I recommend people use fake birthdays on social media sites like facebook.. birthday is usually considered NPI data ( not public information) and is something hackers like to obtain

  10. I just don’t feel like doing much, but the good news is that I don’t HAVE to do much until Tuesday. Yes, there are productive things I could accomplish, and if I feel moved to do so, that will be lovely. If I am only moved to grill an indulgent hamburger on a nice squashy bun with lots of mayo, and read an old Patricia Wentworth murder mystery, that’s all good too.

  11. Two big happies: First, we got the acceptance letter for a patient-written article (sort of an op-ed about a better way of viewing and interacting with patients) about my rare disorder, which will be in the medical journal for the society of the specialty that treats the disorder. It’s a really huge deal to get a patient-written article published in a medical journal. It’s not uncommon for a patient to be one of many authors, along with doctors, but VERY uncommon for patients to be the majority of the named authors. Plus, it quotes material from something I ghost-wrote years ago (a report that came out of a patient-focused event with lots of patient testimony) which hadn’t gotten much visibility before now, and maybe will be seen by more clinicians now.

    And in a more personal happy — today a friend delivered the totally upgraded vintage sewing machine that I bought from an online seller last year, which turned out to have been in terrible mechanical shape, with additional damage accruing while in transit, and now it works perfectly! She got to have her own happy in the process, tinkering with a make of machine she’d never worked with before (she got into collecting & fixing vintage sewing machines a few years ago), and I got a working machine. She’ll get it back eventually, since she’s named in my will as having first dibs on all my sewing/quilting stuff, but for now I can sew on knit material (the one thing my beloved Juki can’t do). So there’s some future happy for me too — I got the machine to rework some old t-shirts that I never wear (crew necks look silly on me) into racerback tank tops that I much prefer and can’t find for a reasonable price in 100% cotton.

    1. I had a moment of mental whiplash at “vintage machine” and “sew on knit material.” It’s similar to how I felt when I saw an antique car license plate on a model one of my friends drove in high school. (Mind you, I have sewn on knit material with my great-great-grandmother’s treadle machine, but only very very carefully.)

      1. Also, can you find _anything_ in 100% cotton at a reasonable price? (My polyester allergy is how I got into sewing in the 70s.)

        1. Hardly any 100% cotton anywhere anymore. I finally ordered a bunch of long-sleeve t-shirts from Hanes.com a couple years ago for wearing in the winter, since I couldn’t find them in stores.

          There was an interview on NPR yesterday (“How I Built This”) where the founder of an all-plant-based apparel/shoes company was talking about how hard it was to find sustainable clothes in stores, and he was trying to fix that. And some of it seemed a bit precious — I mean, you CAN still get t-shirts and jeans in all-cotton fairly easily — but he had a legit point about the odds & ends still being plastic (size tags, although they’re often being directly printed on t-shirts now, and zippers and so on).

          1. Luckily for me, most of the size tags seem to be nylon instead of polyester. Apparently they want to tag to outlast the garment.

      2. Vintage is less old than we realize! This one’s maybe 50 years old, and I wanted a zigzag stitch (which my designed-for-quilting Juki doesn’t have), so I didn’t need to go all the way back to treadle!

        What freaks me out in when people in publishing talk about settings in the 1980s (NOT a typo, not 1890s) as being historical!

        1. That Do-Over novel series I’m reading (read chapter 93 of Book 3 less than an hour ago) is set entirely in the early ’80s. Los Protagonistas are attendees of Houston Memorial High School and contemporaries of Michael Dell whom they are hoping to invest with. They all belong to HAAUG (Houston Area Apple Users Group). 1982 was 50 (FIFTY) years ago. I’d been in the Navy for 12 years by that point.

          Let’s face it Gin, we are vintage.

          1. Gary, either your math is wrong or I am considerably older than I thought. (Which is already old enough.)

          2. My math is wrong. Nothing unexpected about that. 1982 was 40 (FORTY) years ago. I’m still vintage, but only 1 (ONE) Day Older Than Dirt, not 2.

  12. Yesterday a planned one-hour morning tidy-up in the front yard turned into a 3.5 hour Major Project. Conditions were perfect for it (mildly cool and overcast), and once you get to a certain point of being dirty, might as well get dirtier. Today it’s brightly sunny and I wouldn’t want to be outside hauling rocks, so am feeling smug about getting that MP done yesterday.

    Also, the morning glories have begun to bloom.

  13. Spent Saturday planting flowers and mowing the lawn (seated mower), after going to the town’s garden club’s plant sale and getting mature perennials for cheap. Including a couple of coneflowers, which I love, and have not been able to grow from seed.
    And then made roast chicken with rhubarb and honey and red onions. Amazingly delicious.
    It’s a gorgeous New England spring day, and the mosquitos haven’t arrived yet!

  14. Had a long phone conversation with my youngest sister who I don’t hear from very often (FB is good for something; my BIL posts a lot). They are updating their wills and I will not be executor (Yay!).

    Still adjudicating ballots for tour primary. Spent six hours yesterday and will pick it up on Tuesday at 8 AM. We are making progress and will finish in time to get the recount done (assuming the Republican senate candidates stop filing court petitions).

    Two full days off to finally catch up on all of Argh. And there’s lots to enjoy. Lots of happy!

  15. My happies are that Thursday was our 19th wedding anniversary.

    Saturday my old cat had blood work done and she’s basically healthy, just needs more thyroid medication.

    Today a plan I thought was going to fall apart came back together better than before. I love it when that happens.

  16. Happiness is food. Specifically, deep fried eggplant in garlic sauce and pan fried dumplings with black vinegar, but also pumpkin soup. It’s like a hug from the inside out, and with the weather turning frosty I need that this week.

  17. Happiness was dropping in on a friend who I’ve recently reconnected with, and then going for a walk in the end-of-autumn sun. We found a reserve I haven’t been to before, and it turned out to have a series of ponds cascading down as stormwater catchment. For a few minutes I felt like an intrepid explorer, which was a very nice feeling.

  18. Wrote with friends on Friday, committed to Friday sessions. Making progress. They liked what I wrote. Me too. Met up with friends I haven’t seen in over 2 years. So good to see them. Saw my brother twice last week. He is on new meds and eating properly again. Clearer thinking. Hugged me a lot and said he sure loved me every time. Bitter sweet. Saw both granddaughters ride. They are so gorgeous.

  19. Spent probably 10 hours over the last two days trying to get my summer flowers in the ground. I have probably an hour left to go… went to the ball game with cousins we hadn’t seen in a long time and while it felt very crowded and we wore masks it was lovely to catch up. Our team lost but that was to be expected.
    Tomorrow we have about 8 people coming over for German strawberry wine punch. I meant to keep the accompanying food simple with three items . Then DH decided to make focaccia. Then two neighbors decided to something. Then I realized I need a non alcoholic version….
    Meanwhile somewhere in there I need to write a blog about kids and the need for gun control being foe much more than school shootings ….

    1. I’ve been rereading Dick Francis books, prompted of course by Thursdays blog. That makes me happy. It also makes me realize that he may be the best plotter and creator of wholly different situations in his books. While there is always a horse, the variety of work settings and plots is stunning . Admittedly his heros are all the same type …but hey they are all competent .

  20. It’s Memorial Day Monday and today our town had its first parade since 2019. Granted there wasn’t much to it just the usual police, fire, coast guard, town officials and various scouts led by a lone piper. But it was the beginning of coming back to a semblance of normal. They marched from the high school past my house with people sitting on the seawall and joining with them all the way down to the town cemetery where a wreath is tossed into the bay.

    1. That’s cool, Mary. The Memorial Day parade used to march past our little house when our kids were tiny. The Governor’s Horseguards participated; the kids loved the street sweeper who came last.

      When I was a child, I used to go with my great aunt Stell to decorate all the family graves back to the dawn of time (family in a broad sense that included folks who worked for any family member). The back of Aunt Stella’s station wagon was filled with snapdragons and carnations. We were stopped at every small town in eastern CT because we hit each one just when the parade was taking place.

  21. Happiness is being on vacation. My vacation for a week and work remotely for a week turned into mostly vacation for two weeks. I’m in Chichester in the UK at the moment. It is a nice little town with quite a bit to see. The highlight of my trip so far was visiting the Repair Shop barn at the Weald & Downland Living Museum. It is tiny! I honestly don’t know how they manage to make it look so big.

    I have 2 days during which I have to work this week, but then it is back to traipsing around England. So far the weather has been quite good, but that can always change. No matter—I will not melt.

    1. Dad and I enjoy watching the show on tv and I know he’d love to see the entire “village” as well as the barn itself.

    2. There are some good gardens not far from Chichester – my favourite being Parham House. The house looks really interesting too, although I love the garden so much I’ve not yet managed to make it inside.

      Welcome to England!

  22. Happiness is finishing Evita and I *think* everyone survived it? It was very dicey as to whether or not we were going to make it back for the last performance (day 11 for the ill)–one of the leads tested positive five days after everyone else, so he couldn’t do a 10 day wait and had to test negative on day 5 or the show was over. Which he did, apparently he was asymptomatic. Another one of the guys apparently did get it and didn’t announce it publicly like the rest and was still too sick to come back on the last day. And the crush, well…he felt well enough but was still testing positive on days 10-11, though he tested multiple times on the day of the show and it was getting fainter and fainter, and if he didn’t go the show would have been canceled again, so he said he presumed by 8 p.m. he should be fine. (I note two other people didn’t bother to see if they were testing negative at all, everyone else checked.)

    I was ah, very nervous about that last bit and said I was going to perform with a mask on, and I actually doubled up with a fresh N95 and surgical (more for looks on that last one) during the show. So HOPEFULLY I will be all right. HOPEFULLY the sick people will be all right? They were in varying states of recovery. One cast member tested negative but felt too long-covid sick to perform, but at least felt well enough to watch the show/be in the cast photo.

    I think the total of infectees from this has been nine people involved in the show, plus one friend and five family members of people that I heard about. What a shitshow.

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