Happiness is a Almost Instant Gratification

I haven’t had time to bake for months, so in desperation I spent two bucks on a paper cup that said “Kodiak Brownie.” Add some water, stir, stick in the microwave for a minute, and voila, hot brownie. Not quite as good homemade, but almost instant. Made me so happy.

What almost instantly made you happy this week?

68 thoughts on “Happiness is a Almost Instant Gratification

  1. Look up mug recipes, microwave done. You have to measure them, but if you pre-measure jar of it, you’re all set for the future

  2. DH and I finished our 12 day road trip with a visit to a wonderful garden on the edge of the St. Lawrence river. Despite the rain, it was amazing – stunning flower beds with unusual plants and installations in the woods. The woman who originally built the garden took full advantage of the unique microclimate (the fact that she was very wealthy didn’t hurt). We had two lovely meals with local seafood and watched a glorious sunset.

    Returned home to find my garden in reasonably good shape. My tomatoes aren’t too happy – too cool in the beginning of the season and warm/damp while we were gone. But I’ve got eggplant! First time growing it. Lots of peppers and zucchini. I’ve used the zucchini in a stir fry, double chocolate bread and a dairy/sugar free blueberry loaf. I’ve spent the last few days puddling around my garden tidying it up which is one of my favourite ways to spend my time. Fresh corn for supper and I’m a happy camper.

  3. My baby brother has been in town staying with my dad, and we were able to get everyone together four times this week. Saturday was at my house: my DH barbecued ribs and portobello mushrooms, I made onion soup and two different salads, and the weather was perfect for eating outside.

  4. I’m making good progress on the next Llewellyn book and actually enjoying writing again (the last few years were brutal, and when I even managed to write it felt like a slog–quitting the day job, no matter how much I loved it, has made all the difference).

    Harvested corn, potatoes, and tomatoes from the garden. All undersized and not the best quality because of the unusual heat and ongoing lack of water, but eating meals based on my own produce is very happy-making. And fresh basil, parsley, and chives make everything better.

    1. I am so happy to see you being rewarded for doing what you needed to do, even when it was scary. You deserve all the health and happiness you can get.

  5. Oh, and getting a copy of my Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft book that was printed in Portuguese was very cool! It just showed up in the mail from Llewellyn, who sometimes passes along foreign printings, if they get them. (We just sold another of my witchcraft books to a different Brazilian publisher, although it will be a year or two until it is out.) I’m world famous! With a very limited group, but still.

  6. We had such a spectacular thunderstorm the other day that the granddog followed me around the house while I closed all the windows and doors. Made sure to grip the railing coming down the stairs. When I sat on the sofa she jumped up and crowded into my side shaking like a leaf. It was then I remembered a dog we once had that loved the closet. It was his haven. So, I took the vacuum out and led her to it. She went in reluctantly, settled and only stayed a minute or so but she got the idea.

    The one benefit of the rain is all the bits of green poking through the straw of the yard. The town still gets random calls from the water company not to water.

    Speaking about brownies my oldest son brought over a Snickers brownie bar and put it in the candy jar. Never heard of that one before. Peanuts, milk chocolate, caramel and brownie. He’s the one that brings donuts to the mailbox at 5 A.M. I can tell when he makes a delivery now, the dog will bark. This week he gave us two donuts and a huge honey bun that could have served six.

  7. I woke up to a thunderstorm this morning! I thought my neighbor was revving his motorcycle, but it was thunder. This rain is so needed! I am very grateful. Other happiness-making things are Monarchs, a baby bunny and baby opossums still hanging around my yard, fresh cherry tomatoes every day, and being able to walk every morning without dripping sweat at the end. That weird noise my truck has been making since they “repaired” it will be resolved next week. It may end up being the shop owner’s nickel or it may be mine, but at least I won’t have to listen to it and worry about what it means.

  8. After thirty + years of being shuffled from doctor to doctor with no answers as to what is making me ill, I finally found one that thinks he knows what I’ve got and has a treatment program that’s based on science. Now to see if it works. I’m cautiously excited.

    1. That’s an amazing feeling. Congratulations. It took me seven years to get a diagnosis and a doctor who would even consider that there might be hope. It turned out that conventional medicine didn’t really have anything to help, and nontraditional medicine could only give me a boost, but still, it was great not to have a lot of doctors telling me I was imagining things.

    2. Do you know about the Undiagnosed Network? https://rarediseases.org/for-patients-and-families/information-resources/patient-and-caregiver-resource-center/undiagnosed-rare-disease-patients/

      I’m hoping you’re NOT undiagnosed any longer, but if you need some emotional support, that group would certainly know how you’re feeling. Well, that link is to a registry (registries are excellent things), but I think if you dig around, you’ll find that there’s a patient support group as well, and my google-fu is just failing me this morning.

      There’s an ultra-rare version of my condition, where it’s caused by a tumor instead of a gene mutation, so it happens later in life, and the tumor is extremely hard to find, so those patients often go a long time before diagnosis. The relief they experience at finally getting a diagnosis (and learning that there is actually a good treatment now) is intense.

      Fingers crossed that your diagnosis is correct and that treatment helps!

    3. My daughter got satisfaction at the Mayo Clinic. Not in the form of a diagnosis. Her doctor there was the first who reassured her she could live a long, happy life. They consider her a ‘zebra’ meaning her symptoms could lead them to ‘horse’ but she’s not. There isn’t a label for what she has yet but the Mayo Clinic is very used to treating ‘zebra’s’ as they often end up there.

  9. It’s really rare to get instant gratification with gardening, but these black raspberries happened yesterday: https://www.instagram.com/p/ChxkC1puQ9p/

    The berries set and ripened almost two months after they usually do, and they’re volunteer plants (weeds, technically, since they’re growing where they don’t belong), and I didn’t even know they were happening, so the first time I noticed them they were already ripe. Instant gratification!

  10. Yesterday was a set back day. I went to the local tea shop that I was scheduled to do a window display for and also expecting to hang work inside, gallery style. I was looking to set up a load in date only to find that they had forgotten about me.

    They are still having me do the window, only a month later, but they are booked up inside, so the paintings I have been working on probably won’t get shown. I am bummed. I have one other local place that shows my work but it feels like the pool keeps shrinking.

    But I am trying to look on the bright side. If one small local show going belly up is enough to wreck my plans, then it means I am not reaching enough. Time to grow. So I am trying to work on that, although I am not sure what to try. I have worked with most of the local organizations at one time or another… Covid disrupted a lot of those relationships.

    Ideas or suggestions welcome!

    1. Are there any local artists you could network with? I’m in a local group that’s a great resource – full of ideas and practical experience (and mutual support) – as well as putting on group exhibitions. I know about many venues beyond my immediate area because members have shows in them.

      1. There are two distinct groups in my area, one more traditional with an older crowd of mostly retired people and the other trying to be edgy, working out of studio spaces in a converted old factory. I have belonged to both and showed with both over the years, but the specific times for drop offs were prohibitive and the only people who came to the shows were the other people showing. It really started to feel like a dead end and a waste of money.

        I had better luck showing at local restaurants, with more flexibility about when to hang and take down, no membership dues and a wider audience, but the pandemic was unkind to small businesses and I have lost several venues.

        1. That does sound pretty hopeless. Our group’s more helpful, I think – there’s always someone you can deliver your work to in advance, for instance, if you can’t make the official drop-off. I’m only a member for the networking – I found it wasn’t worth the expense of printing and framing, although I keep meaning to put a work into the group shows, and then not finding the time. There’s quite a good gallery in town, which we show in a couple of times a year, besides doing our annual open studios. And we have a space in the library, with one or two of us showing work for a month at a time, for free.

          The photography group I was in tended to have rather pointless shows – in my opinion: like yours, it seemed that the main viewers were the exhibitors.

          1. Gah. Framing is so expensive. My latest series is 12 canvases 8 inches square. They are going to be a pain in the butt that frame.

            Otherwise, I am trying to reach farther with social media, an Etsy shop and a Society 6 shop, but it doesn’t seem to be moving the needle.

        2. The hospital near where I live displayed art from five different local/regional artists each month (amateurs or semi-professional), hanging paintings or photographs and such along the largest central corridors, and showing pottery and other objects in two sets of glass display cases in tge central hall and along the main access route.

          Artists can ask to be included, a hospital commitee decides if the art is suitable (i.e. there is no room for very large installations, very vulnerable stuff, or very costly jewellery would not be safe with so many visitors and no dedicated museum guards) and draws up a roster with a good variety of art and artists each year.

          I’ve seen something similar done in some smaller town halls, or they sometimes facilitate a (four-)yearly art tour through the town, where local artists show off their art in many different places, sometimes in their own home or garden, but also in schools and other public buildings, during one week or weekend. The town publishes a route to follow to visit all the participating art showings, with short descriptions of what can be seen where in the local newspaper, with the times the exhibitions will be open; and they also hand out printouts of the route at the starting point in the town hall, where artists who don’t have a suitable place to display their work can do so during the art tour.

    2. If you were near London I’d suggest the Libraries, Barbican Library has a section which showcases artists work for sale. Library users literally have to walk through it to use the library. I’ve always loved it as it is a mixture, sometimes they only feature one artist and sometimes a mix of different artists as not all of them have enough work for a whole exhibition. Willesden Green Library also has an entire room for art exhibitions.

      1. Though if you were near London, you could just try to tout your art to all the teeny tinny edgy/hipster independent art galleries in Shoreditch

        1. Sounds like fun. I am definitely feeling constrained by my geographic location. It’s fairly depressed, economically and spiritually.

          1. Which begs the question – is there something keeping you there? family or job? Not problem-solving, just asking.

          2. Oh, definitely family.

            My dad had a health crisis a year and a half ago and my partner’s father passed this spring. Neither of our siblings are reliable and we feel the need to be close. We plan to move in the future, maybe taking early retirement, when our remaining parents have passed.

    3. One of my co-workers retired and is devoting herself to painting. She uses Facebook to show them to us and let us know she can do houses, pets, vacation spots, etc. She loves to paint the flowers in her garden. I don’t know how much work she’s generating, but I thought it was a clever way to get the word out. My grandmother used to do water colors of seasonal flowers and the local coffee shop would use them as covers for their menus. My doctor’s office had some paintings I was interested in but the artist group has a terrible website and I haven’t been able to track any of them down.

      1. Don’t you hate it when people shoot themselves in the foot? I tried to join a local show this summer and the website said the sign up was under the events tab. Went there, got an empty page. I emailed the group a month before. Heard nothing back ever. Sometimes I want to run through the streets waving money, yelling, “take this, please! I want to give it to you.”

        I know that artists are notoriously flighty, but it’s silly and frustrating.

    4. It’d be great if you could turn your name here into a hyperlink to your website or Etsy shop. Otherwise, what’s your Society 6 link?

  11. I felt happy when I not only did my tax return and brought my accounts up to date, but filed everything away, so the job was truly complete. I also connected with a couple of second cousins as I started my family history project; and came across a wonderful sketch map that a relative had made showing the village outside Nottingham where my grandfather’s family lived at the turn of the twentieth century, including which branch of the family lived in which cottage, plus brief, colourful descriptions of my great- and great-great-grandmothers.

    And I’ve decided I’d really like to add a greenhouse or small polytunnel to my allotment, and am looking into how I could do it.

      1. It’d be an opportunity for lots of experiments. But the main benefit would be to extend the growing season. Last year I had wonderful winter salads & early potatoes in the bed I’m using in my friend’s greenhouse.

  12. My instant gratification was more like three-hours-to-gratification, but a long-pending inventory-control project is embarked upon. We had this CD/DVD jukebox (holds 400 discs. We’ve had it for over 15 years and barely used it for the past ten) that had ceased to be even marginally useful. Basically a big, black electronic paperweight. We have watched things via streaming that we own the discs for because the disc player was too much trouble.

    DH has long contended he would ‘fix’ it. I finally convinced him that, in view of the history of non-use and the fact that new discs are coming on BluRay which this machine doesn’t play (and yes we already have a BluRay player; it is small and inoffensive), it wasn’t worth his time. I could empty it out, reorganize the movies, store them in some easily-accessible and easily-added-to manner, because odds favor buying the occasional disc in future – there are still things you can only see on disc – and get rid of the paperweight.

    He unplugged the machine; I’ve made big strides on the rest. The jukebox is empty, outside for later transport to e-waste collection. The discs are spread out on my yoga rug with the beginnings of an organization plan. I’ve chucked one stinker into the trash and sorted out a few good ones to take on vacation. Thanks to hoarding, I had some empty cases into which the Kurosawa movies that we will never watch again have been inserted; they can now go to Goodwill, along with AquaMan (Jason Momoa good; movie bad) and season 2 of The Muppet Show.

    Next up (though probably not today) empty out the boxes of discs we recorded from DVR while religiously watching So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, back before all those routines ended up on YouTube; get rid of the discs; and use those boxes/sleeves to re-home the movies.

    It’s good to have a plan. 🙂

  13. Instant Gratification would make a good name for a band. The closest I came to it this week is a box of Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Collection (7 Delicious Varieties). My brownies are all ATKINS Snack nutty fudge brownie bars, out of which I am. I was so often instantly gratified by them that out of them I ran.

    For swift gratification, I offer this: I bought a new light “bulb.” I tried to replace the bare overhead bulb the garage was furnished with. [Damangling participle!] It interfered with the pull chain, so instead of putting the old bulb back in, I acquired a remote screw-in adapter via Amazon. I was looking at the exterior cameras (Blink Ap) and caught the Amazon Guy in the act of delivery. Within minutes, everything was installed. Then I blogged about it, another form of self-gratification.

    The BornAgainIndoorFarmer notes that the peppers on another pepper plant are ripening to yellow, just like the ones Arghers rescued last week (which I’ve since eaten in a salad.) There is a third sweet pepper plant with fruit, but they are still green. I have more to plant, and vacant pods in which to plant them. They fall into the extremely slow gratification category.

  14. Martha Wells finished the first draft of a new Murderbot novella! And her new novel Witch King releases May 2023. And Jenny and Bob have almost finished the 3 Liz books! Upcoming books make me so happy!!

  15. My basil is doing very well so I made another batch of pesto to freeze. Close to instant gratification since all I had to do is put a bunch of stuff into the food processor and push a button.

    Walking the dog is always good for a quick happy.

  16. Instant gratification is watching the first episodes of this season’s Making the Cut. Don’t love Heidi Klum but sure love Tim Gunn.

  17. Our figs are ripe. Neighbors who grow pumpkin vines on their lawn are in Greece for two weeks and we are harvesting the male blossoms so squash blossoms soup is in our future.
    My daughter was here for three days and is going to return on Wednesday with her partner for almost a week. We have lined up a trip to check out a public garden as a non wedding venue, we are taste testing a cake maker, and she tried on my wedding dress. It fit perfectly. She decided to wear it for the brunch. She went off to NY to meet up with my HS best friend to whom she is close and they went to the garment district to shop fabric so my friend can make her a wedding dress. She said she wanted something rainbow colored.
    Well, she apparently had her heart set on peachy pink and that’s all they looked at. She never wears pale pink. She wears greens and blacks and strong colors. She apparently had a Pintarest board with hundreds of wedding dresses. I had no idea. They bought a pale pink silk for the dress and an embroidered pink lace for a jacket and I don’t know this kid at all. But so long as she is happy …

    ( she has an olive complexion so I have my doubts about the color but I’m keeping my mouth very shut .)

    1. It will be a non wedding dress , sorry. I’m still figuring out the nuances of this event. It’s getting more and more weeding all the time but clearly not legally binding. There will however be elements of a Jewish wedding service….

      1. Sounds like it will be lots of fun, if you’re worried that the colour won’t photo well, I know it is not a wedding, but they do Studio Bridal Sessions, huge in HK, where they do a whole load of wedding photos in different costumes (My cousin’s wedding album had historical uniforms for fun) I digress, but you can send your daughter to get photoed in her outfit before and she can see if she likes how it will look before the wedding, with the lighting and everything

        1. Oh, I’m not worried about the pictures. So long as she feels beautiful I’m happy. And she plans to wear a white suit in the London wedding . At least that’s what she says now. Those pics should be gorgeous

          1. Fortunately for our bank accounts she doesn’t want a lot of what seems to becoming traditional wedding frills like flowers and wedding favors and limos. Still we are hosting two large parties ….

  18. We visited my MIL and a friend who had surgery last week – muffins were delivered.
    My sister is out of town, so BIL coming tonight to watch a program with us. Sunday is usually our quiet day, not our socialize day, but enjoying feeling generous and kind. And of course, there were some muffins for us too. White flour, whole milk, cherries dried with sugar, not my healthy muffin recipe but SO good!

  19. I saw an exhibit of the Dresden Tapestries, 6 huge works based on designs by Raphael, which Charles I purchased and had woven in England. Then all six, which featured the stories of Peter and Paul, were sold to Dresden. Lots of surrounding materials to give context and show interrelationships/influences. I have no idea how this happened, but Columbus Museum of Art is the only N. American venue for the exhibit! Ohio–the heart of it all.

  20. I was sick in bed for four days this week, but it turned out *not* to be Covid so I’m happy about that. I’m fine again although still recovering my stamina.

    My mother, who *does* have Covid, and is 82, is recovering well after 3 weeks, and complaining vigorously about how slowly she is recovering. So we’re happy about that.

    I was able to drag myself to a local high school gym and watch a couple of my students fence their first open tournament. They did quite well, meaning slightly exceeding expectations, so that was pleasing.

  21. Sunday nights are always instant gratification for me because my work week is overnights Thur, Fri, Sat & Sun. On Sundays I always know – when I get through this shift I don’t have to work again until Thur @ 6pm!

    Definitely not instant gratification is wordpress.com. I am trying to build an author page / website with a blog. It is not user friendly AT ALL! I will probably end up paying someone if I find someone affordable.

    Instant gratification is cleaning the sliding glass door and looking out clear glass – for a few minutes anyway. We like to call that glass Cooper’s canvas. Cooper is an Italian (mini) Greyhound mix and he paints with slobber – lol.

  22. Not quite instant gratification tonight was cooking an omelette for dinner to use up silverbeet and blue cheese that were both desperate to be eaten. Quick, very easy and it turns out that old blue cheese makes a tasty omelette.

    Another happy is that my fridge went off. Well, that’s not the happy. The happy is that the problem was a circuit breaker, not the fridge itself or the house’s wiring. Circuit breakers are very easy to replace. Anything else, not so much.

  23. There is a run of Bargain Block repeats on the HGTV channel this morning. I love those boys, and even moreso on a Monday morning.

  24. A brownie sounds terrific! I’m getting ready for our trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 25th anniversary and am trying to cut down on portion sizes, sweets, and takeout while increasing the exercise. I’m down 5 pounds and want to lose 3 more. But I really can go for a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie right about now.

      1. So sorry for your roses. Squirrels are so cute, but it takes too many to make a decent stew.

        I have looked closer – only one of 25 tomatoes is yellow so far. But I have harvested a yellow sweet pepper from the pod in Ranch Three, and the second Sweet Pepper plant in Ranch Three has begun ripening (also yellow). I would have sworn I’d planted red peppers (and as of yesterday, I have), but they are all yellow, 146 grams of which were in the salad I just ate.

  25. Instant gratification: Picking up bits and bobs on my walk–today, a bent safety pin in the dry cleaner’s parking lot, and a coin so weathered I can barely tell it’s a dime.

    Almost-instant gratification: Turning said bits into collaged cards.

    Delayed gratification: Waiting to hear from card recipients. I mean, yeah, I make the card for their pleasure–but who doesn’t love a text saying “Cool card”?

  26. You know, those are VERY good things to put into art collages. Tangible, with age & a history of use, in classic shapes. Well done you!

    1. Thank you! I also have an alarming number of rusted bottle caps and washers. But I refuse to pick up those floss tools.

  27. It is the OPPOSITE of INSTANT gratification because it is taking forever to learn wordpress.com aka the most un user friendly site I have ever encountered.

    Nonetheless my future author page / blog is launched. Hit the link below or go to judithannjennings.com

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