Happiness is Cool Nights and Sunny Days

I have no life outside of writing and cleaning out the house, but I love the sunny days of summer and even more the cool nights. Well, sort of cool, I took the dogs out at midnight last night and it was 75F. I thought about sleeping in the front yard but the dogs weren’t for it, they’re old and they like their pillows, so we went back inside. And I watched more Bargain Block which is ridiculously addictive. And then I overslept so this post is horribly late. Really sorry about that.

What made you happy this week?

60 thoughts on “Happiness is Cool Nights and Sunny Days

  1. I’m feeling pretty lazy this weekend as I’ve done so little. But given all the home renovations the past few months, I think I’m due a lazy weekend. 😴

  2. Deconstructing the balcony. Yeah. Contractors turn on Tuesday. Wrote with friends on Friday, slow but very happy with my results. BIL had an OP and is healing nicely. So all good on the family front.

  3. I am feeling fairly productive this weekend, which is good because I am working the next two. That always wears me out.

    But this weekend I painted and worked with my ghosts some more. And we went yard saleing. And I cleaned some, sorted and discarded some. And I photographed some stuff to list on Etsy. Small progress on multiple fronts, but it feels good.

  4. Talking to friends: I’ve had two different ones to stay, plus a long chat with another I’m going to stay with next week.

  5. Cool nights, sunny days, and a working Air Conditioner. A recipe for happiness, for sure.

    And reading. Reading is a happy for sure. Raising Steam, Pratchett. The Grag-publicans trying to make everything like it was when they were in charge of the Dwarfs (Is Dwarfs and not Dwarves a Britishism?). And Network Effect, Wells. Great book. No spoilers. And Variations on a Theme, Grey Wolf. It is, as I’ve mentioned several times, a Do-Over novel/series. Last week’s chapters (118, 119, 120) were about (Houton, TX) Memorial High School’s Prom, 1983. The two Doing-over characters, Steve and Angie, discuss chaos theory and the butterfly effect because they realize that the wings they set to flapping over the last three years have resulted in two lesbians attending the prom, the story making local and national news, and Nobody Gets Hurt (yet). My attempts to find the first such instance said Fricke v. Lynch, Delaware, was first. The author says there were others but doesn’t cite them. The next one *I* found was in 2010, when a Mississippi school canceled prom rather than let two lesbians attend as dates. Steve and Angie are changing history without hardly trying. Hooked, I am.

  6. Happiness today was being pulled around a miniature railway track by a model steam train (and also a model diesel locomotive, which turned out to be DS’s favourite, to my surprise). Very happy 4 year old, and Mummy and Daddy had fun too.


    It’s right next to the Pant Yr Ochain pub, so we have big plans for a Sunday lunch there followed by more miniature-train-riding in our near future!!

    1. Oh, that looks like fun! I have wonderful memories of my grandfather taking me to the amusement park and letting me ride the miniature train many times each summer. I hope your family enjoys many years of happy memories there.

  7. It rained!! After weeks of no rain and (for here) very high temps, we finally got rain. It started to pour 10 minutes before I was done my yard work. Of course. But I’m not complaining. I’m done deep weeding the garden, all the plants I currently have are in the ground, and we are set in for a week or so of daily rain.

    We discovered that the gutter in the front was clogged and had to disassemble part of the downspout to clear it out. Not fun but at least we did it in July and not October.

    I’ve got the afternoon and evening “off” today, Paul has to work tonight, and I’m tired and sore from gardening. I’ve already had a nap and I’ve got a movie and popcorn on the docket for the evening.

  8. Visiting SIL and her husband at their trailer/cottage. Listening to and watching birds frolic while their dogs lie at my feet. Quiet and relaxing weekend.

    DS turned 21 this week and we had a family dinner at a favourite neighbourhood restaurant. Despite struggles in the earlier years, he’s finding his path to adulthood

  9. Frankly, my happiness this week was taking the last visitor of the month to the bus. 24 days of company this month. Dearly beloved, go home!

    Now I hope to spend quality time on my new hammock, even if it’s so low to the ground that I can’t get up off of it. I just roll off onto the ground and stand up. Eventually.

    1. I finished my third Demon book and I really like it–it’s funny, it has great character arcs and there’s a whole lot of Hell.

      And I LOVE Bargain Block.

  10. Happiness was a couple hours of yard work (half Friday night, half Saturday morning) and a productive writing Saturday. Productive in the sense of finishing a thing and organizing some other things.

    Today has also been productive, though in a ‘don’t know if this will ever happen’ way. I was talking to my sister about some stuff, and reading some non-fiction, and the result was an idea for a speculative-fiction novel i.e. something I haven’t ever done. I’ve been plagued by the brain (ooh! what about this? and then this? and you have to have this!) so I decided to take today to write all that shit down so it will shut up. 3500 words later … .

  11. Happiness is getting the ground floor clean and ready for visitors. Originally we were expecting company next week. But my friend and neighbor is having her daughter’s wedding next weekend and people are starting to arrive today. She has a large house with no air conditioning and in the past week the daily temperatures have ranged from 99 to 102. So since my house is air conditioned, I offered to lend my guest bedroom. Even if it cools off and no one needs to use the garden room bedroom, I am now a week ahead of schedule.

  12. Happiness was going to the theater for the first time in 3 years. Carl and Harriet had tickets to see Jesus Christ Superstar this afternoon, but are out at the river and so offered the tickets to my sister and BIL, but my BIL is not well this weekend. The review in the paper said that it was a really good production, so I decided to go. The national touring company was great and, once he warmed up, the man who played Judas was superb. I was also really impressed with the bass soloist(Caiaphas?), but I had to laugh. In opera, basses always end up playing the devil ( Samuel Raimi made a whole career out of it) and now that this guy with the gorgeous low voice gets a break from that casting he gets to be the one who announces the sentence of death. Somebody has to give these guys a break!
    Neither my sister or I particularly like Andrew Lloyd Webber, but it was so nice being in a real theatre and seeing talented people perform well, that we had a lovely time.

    1. That is ALW with Tim Rice though when together they were geniuses. I don’t like anything ALW as done on his own.

    2. I saw that show too, and the bass soloist was great – made your toes curl to hear him. I think that the issue with true bass parts is that they sound like they come from the depths (hence the devil roles) or they have pronouncements that all should hear (like the death sentence).

  13. After various housecleaning and grocery shopping chores, I caught up with my recorded television this weekend, which was a mixed blessing. PBS specials, a Biography or two (kind of boring), Trevor Noah (my favorite contributor Roy Wood Jr. doesn’t show up NEARLY enough these days), Alan Cummings & Miriam Margolyes lost in Scotland (excellent!), and to make me happy at the end of the weekend, an episode of Bargain Block, which made me hum with happiness.

      1. Here in the US it showed up as a three-episode series; I’m not sure what the original UK format would have been, but you can find much of it on YouTube, I think. There’s a very funny interview with Alan Cumming on YouTube also, in which he commented that Miriam can terrify people with her honesty sometimes — “she’s like an 8-year old girl showing her knickers”. The show had the two of them in a camper van, which Alan drove, and their conversations were recorded from a dash-mounted camera as they drove to locations alternately meaningful to one and then the other. Apart from the fact that they’re both so witty and so amusing, they were remarkably tender and….understanding? towards one another. I enjoyed it all very much.

        1. I found it by searching you tube for ‘Miriam and Alan Lost In Scotland’.
          Yay can’t wait to watch.
          Deb and Jinx – if you are an Alan Cummings fan you HAVE to watch season 2 episode 9 of Portrait Artist of the Year.
          The winner paints a portrait of Alan. Results in an AMAZING portrait and there is lots of screen time with Alan.

  14. Two of the grandchildren spent the night in a tent in our yard. They roughed it by dragging out the air bed, a foam mattress and my comforters. When I saw a cord snaking across the deck I asked my son about it and he said it was for his son’s laptop so they could watch movies. They’ll really be surprised if they ever go out onto one of the harbor islands.

  15. Happiness is writing. I just finished a poem that makes me so happy!! I hope I don’t tweak it to death.

    Not a lot of happiness otherwise. My daughter is having health episodes again. My work is handing me a little bit of unnecessary drama.

    I just keep seeking pleasure and laughter.

    Started watching something new on Brit Box – Shakespeare & Hathaway. Only watched 2 episodes but so far so good.

    During down time at work I have been reading funny quotes by comedians. I love this by Cecily Strong: I went to Hobby Lobby this morning and bought the cutest little wicker basket to hold all my morning-after pills.”

  16. The apartment, (local dialect, flat) I’m staying in. The main room is bookcases and plants. There’s a little table by the window with padded chairs to eat breafast in the sun. The bed is comfy and the stove is gas. I love this apartment. This apartment could be in a movie. Not really important but sticks in my mind: the man who usually lives here is gorgeous Romance novel gorgeous, really. And he has excellent taste making a home. And it was super clean when we moved in.

    One of the walls of books is travel guides. More guides than I’ve ever seen in one place. Some of countries I didn’t realise got guides written about them. And many for right here or near here, walking and swimming and cooking local guides

    I’m hoping he’s delayed getting back, for a fun thing, and writes to us that we can have it for the rest of the month.

    1. Clancy, I’m so glad that you survived the move and have landed somewhere lovely for the meantime. May the next place be just as pleasant!

    2. I was wondering how things were going for you. Glad you found someplace nice to pause and get your feet under you.

  17. My mum is knitting me an Aran jersey. Which makes me happy because there is love in every stitch and I get a beautiful jersey hooray, because the skill in it is that whole pleasure in competence thing, and lastly, it’s making me happy because it’s making her happy. She had an accident a few years ago that severed the nerves and tendons in her left wrist, and she doesn’t have fine motor skills or sensation in her left hand, so that she can do this thing still is cool.

    She was knitting Aran jerseys for her siblings by the time she was 10 or 11, she thinks, with unravelled and reknitted wool. Such an art.

  18. Happiness is slightly cooler weather (it isn’t going to last, alas), planning for a trip to see friends in Connecticut I haven’t seen since pre-Pandemic (does anyone else date everything pre and post covid?), and enjoying the first of the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden.

    The “new” cat, Lilibet, who moved into my guest bedroom upstairs on New Year’s Eve after spending 3 of her 4 years at the shelter, has finally joined the rest of the cats downstairs, and is sleeping on the bed at night with everyone else. It took seven months to slowly integrate her, in part because she was so terrified, and then so defensive, and in part because it turns out she is a bit of a bully, despite being the tiniest of them all. (My cat sitter calls her LiliBrat.) I wasn’t sure we were going to get there, so I’m very happy, even if there are still a few little power struggles going on.

    My four months of chronic brutal headaches and eye strain have improved, although not abated altogether, and my eye doctor and I are still working on dealing with the rest. But I am finally able to write again and catching up on my next Llewellyn book, which makes me happy indeed.

    1. I’m always saying, ‘A couple of years ago – no, it must be more, it was pre-pandemic’. Time’s telescoped more than usual.

    2. That was Emily. She hung out in the back bedroom for a couple of months. Then she’d come to the door of the front bedroom and bitch at us. Then she’d come to the side of the bed and yowl. And then finally, one day, she jumped up on the bed, curled up beside me, and went to sleep. She sticks with us all day now.

      1. The shelter I got her from was ecstatic that I took her, because I think they knew she needed a seriously patient and experienced cat person, who would let her take things at her own speed. (People kept telling me to just toss her in with the others and let them work it out. Not this cat.) There were lots of times when I thought I’d made a terrible mistake. She was so aggressive with my existing cats, although after the initial month she was pretty good with me. (She literally spent the first two weeks hiding between the guest bed and the wall, somehow balancing on a narrow ledge.) But then I’d pet her and she’d purr like a crazy thing, and I knew there was a loving cat in there somewhere.

        She still gets nasty with the other cats sometimes, but I’ve seen some nose touches and she has started playing with Harry Dresden, who is the most laid back of them all, so I think it may all turn out to be okay. It sure beats her spending the rest of her life in a cage at the (very nice) shelter. Tell Emily to send us all the vibes.

  19. Happiness is travelling out west in this heat wave ( I love the heat). Spent the weekend in Castlegar with my husband’s family who are all the most transparent, kind and joyful people you’d ever want to meet. Still tough living with that many people in one house even for three days. Tubing on the lake helped. Now into Panorama for friend’s birthday celebrations.

  20. Happiness is getting the eye and dental appointments out of the way for the next six months. Both went well, with no changes. Status quo is a good thing at my age. I suddenly realized that most of my trees have brown on their leaves. Is it the heat? I sprayed the heck out of everything. The water with dish soap in it wasn’t doing the trick. The Junipers look better than they have in a long time, after a spray dose of liquid copper. They were dropping twigs, and there were lots of brown patches on them. Yay!
    I watched Yesterday and got some lines to add to my book. I watched You’ve Got Mail, and teared up, as usual, at the array of expressions that pass over Meg Ryan’s face as she realizes that the man she really wants is the mystery man she is finally meeting. I so miss Nora Ephron!!! She was the Jennifer Crusie writer of Romcom movies. And Richard Curtis is a genius at character and plot, except for the one or two scenes in every movie where family absolutely ruin the life of one of the characters for the moment. That just irritates me! Just leave that scene out! I love this group! Thanks for the smiles and laughs, and I’m sorry for the things that are sad in your lives, right now. The heat is returning after some absolutely lovely cool mornings for walking. Well, it IS August. And tomorrow, in Kansas, the possibility of changing our constitution so that the legislature can outlaw abortion will be settled. Why this obsession with controlling women’s lives? It’s not about saving lives, because women will die if this passes. That is my rant for today. I am 77, and I can rant whenever I want to.

    1. I’m 77 also and I’m enjoying my daily rants. Today’s rant is I realized season six of Shetland was on BBC (with a cliffhanger no less) and on demand does not carry that show. It had been on PBS for years and moved over to the BBC network. Season seven is coming up and I wasn’t really upset because I figured it will be put on DVD and the library would pick it up. Not so fast, grasshopper. With all the +plus stations and money grubbing I would go broke just for one program – each (read senior citizen fixed income) and they (the infamous they) are not releasing them. Argh!

  21. I have to wait until I’m 77 to rant? OOPS! It is going to be a very long 12 years…………
    And Dennis Miller will have to return his entire post-SNL career.

    1. Go ahead and rant, now. I’ve been ranting for some time. I’m better at it, now, so practice is merited.

  22. Happiness is reading what each of your
    happiness’s is. More happy:
    I took Jen‘s maybe this time with me on the plane to read. I didn’t go to sleep after I got to Kalamazoo until I finished the book. Which was about one in the morning.
    Yesterday I played with my granddaughter visited with my son and his girlfriend and my co-grandmother Sharon. I really need to give Sharon Maybe This Time. Which means I need to get another copy. That happens a lot.
    The crowning happiness was last night at dusk I went for a walk and saw fire flies. Fire flies are one of the happiest things around. Wishing everybody a very happy week .

    1. Oh, wow, fireflies. The two things I miss most about summer: fireflies and a sky full of stars. I think we’re too close to NYC to ever get those magnificent skies here, but fireflies we should have. There used to be hundreds in my back yard. I think I’ve seen maybe two since I moved here.

      (And thanks for ready MTT, too.)

      1. My fireflies disappeared for years and finally made a return the last few years. (I suspect it is a climate change thing.) So don’t give up on them.

      2. I read this weekend fireflies spend their first two years underground, then emerge for their firefly best life. If, however, pesticides or other poisons enter the ground, no firefly emergence.

      3. I’ve read that fireflies need moisture for their larvae (rotten logs, damp leaf litter, marshland) and modern living doesn’t approve of that sort of messiness. This obsession with raking leaves and replacing them with mulch! It’s bad for butterflies and birds, too.

  23. Happiness is being retired and doing things on my own timeline (except for occasional Dr, dentist, and hairdresser appts). I have been enjoying going for hikes, taking photographs, walks around the village, sitting in my hammock swing in the backyard reading and drinking tea, and visiting here with all of you.
    The only thing that marred my happiness lately is getting a text from Expedia informing me that a section of my flight to Madrid later this year had been cancelled and to contact them. I immediately got hold of them, and after several anxious minutes, they rebooked my connecting flight, but now it has a stop in London and I will get into Madrid 3 hours later that previously scheduled. I am holding my breath that I will have time to get through customs in time to catch my other flight to Santiago de Compostela.
    Have any of you experienced going through customs and how long it might take?

    1. Going through customs coming into the US requires enough time to have a baby. A few times in Europe we had lines with about a 20 minute wait but usually we walked up within a few people of the customs officer and were through from getting our place in line and past customs in about 10 minutes. This was all pre-pandemic and may be totally irrelevant now.

      1. Global Entry…works great but they are running months behind on the required in-person interviews

    2. Depends on country. I have vowed never to transit through China ever again, for instance. Not keen on Dallas in the US either.
      But also on which airline. If it’s all one airline, especially if they’ve multiple people connecting, they will sometimes delay the connecting flight. I’ve never flown to, or from Spain so can’t help in specific. Wish you good luck and short lines
      It helps to have flashy luggage. The one I invited a party’s worth of people to draw pictures on was easy. The plain grey, I had to compare tags to find. Lots of tags. Maybe five, really, but it was lots.

    3. Rouan, I flew from Boston, USA, through Heathrow, London, UK, to Toulouse, France, this past April.

      We had to change terminals at Heathrow which involved landing at terminal 5, following signs (not difficult) down stairs and escalators, then waiting for and taking a bus to terminal 3, then climbing stairs and escalators to get to our gate.

      We didn’t have to go through Security again, but we had to go through Passport Control.

      It’s a lengthy process and we were lucky that there were comparatively few travelers then. One and a half hours is the minimum for avoiding worrying yourself to pieces. (It took maybe an hour, but I’m very anxious.)

      I can’t answer your specific question about the flight from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela. I suggest that you read everything the airline has posted, check the applicable Rick Steves forum, and check the TripAdvisor forum. I found Rick Steves far more up to date than TripAdvisor.

      1. A bit more advice: the airline app will show you the relation of the terminals/gates both where you are landing and where your next flight is taking off. Those gates may change as your first flight nears the airport. To get this information, you’ll need to buy the onflight wifi service. It’s worth it.

  24. Happiness was a day trip to the beach on Sunday with a couple of friends. Nice weather, easy (though long) drive. No sunburn. Ice cream on the way home.

    Now I am back to work, which is less happy, though we are on the downslope of our quarterly rush, so that is nice.

    1. Double dipping to say I just had a couple of hours of fun. I ran errands and while driving I listened to upbeat sing along music: Rusted Root.
      Easy free fun!

  25. Another happiness is cooking. I am not a good cook, but I was a Boy Scout. I learned to improvise. I have a dozen recipes, now, but I follow none of them by rote.

    I mentioned a marvelous vegetarian soup a day or six back. It was low in calories, carbs, and sodium – everything I appreciate about a Good Soup. And it was delicious! I served it over a baked pork chop. 🙂

    For lunch today, I broiled a New York Strip – my go-to beef meal – and a 90-second pouch of Ben’s Brown Rice on the side, plus some Vidalia onion slices. Ben used to be Uncle Ben, but I guess he divorced an aunt. The rice was still good.

    I just finished a batch of chili with 96% extra lean ground beef, red onions, mince garlic, diced tomatoes with diced chilis, and tomato paste (No Salt Added.) What brought the heat to this batch was not (just) the diced chilis, but three AeroGarden Red Fire Peppers which just ripened in Harvey*. I was warned that they would be “insanely hot.” They were, which is why I am glad I limited the addition to just three peppers.

    My chili plant has a single pepper left unharvested, not yet ripe. Those chilis are extremely hot. My piri-piri plant has at least a dozen peppers left in various stages of near-ripeness. Piri-piris are insanely hot. The red fire pepper plants are the most prodigious of all my pepper plants, and they are insanely hot. The only peppers I have that aren’t hot enough to scorch my mouth are the sweet peppers, and they might have been cross-pollinating with the chilis.

    I love cooking. It makes me happy when it’s edible. 🙂

  26. I heard of a You tube hint. Put a tile or other tracker in your luggage. If it’s in the same airport as you…should be able to find it. Seemed genius to me.

  27. Happiness is enjoying L’Art du Crime, though we’ve seen five seasons and when I searched, I learned that the show had been renewed for a sixth, but there’s no sign of it.

  28. Another happiness is cooking. I have a baker’s dozen standard recipes, if one can call it a recipe when it’s barely a rough guideline. The other night I made a vegetable soup. It was delicious when I poured it over a baked pork chop.

    Last night I made chili. I used three of the ripe AeroGarden Red Fire Peppers from Harvey, which I was warned might be insanely hot. I tasted the result – they are insanely hot. I have a rather nice crop ripening. I could have added Piri-Piri peppers, instead. I have some ripe ones ready to harvest in Ranch Two. They are insanely hot, too.

    Some time today I’m making stir fried chicken.

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