Happiness is Getting Stuff in the Mail

Krissie sent me a crochet kit to make the characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas, totally unexpected and therefore delightful. I’d been slogging away on stuff here for so long, and the gift came out of nowhere, like a ray of sunshine, wonderful to be remembered and so brilliantly. (Thank you, Krissie!)

What popped up in your life this week that brought you joy?

106 thoughts on “Happiness is Getting Stuff in the Mail

  1. I follow a decorator on Instagram and for the first time ever, I won a gift that I will be able to use in my Christmas decorations next year! I’m pretty excited!

  2. We got a teaching bonus that will cover the amount I got docked since I missed extra days when my kiddo got the flu. We only get five days off and then earn one a month for the rest of the year. It is usually just enough, but this year the kids have caught everything. Oof! I was joyfully surprised at the bonus.

  3. I discovered my greenhouse is back on; turned out to be a misunderstanding, due to the sellers feeling bad that they’re taking so long to move it. Now hoping to have it in time to start early crops in February.

    I bought a Christmas tree and am just finishing decorating it. It’s 6ft tall and wide, so like having a large person to share my Christmas.

    And my friend Yvonne is due tomorrow for a couple of nights, for a solstice celebration.

      1. Thanks, both of you. It’s really made me happy again, after a week of fretting. I’m back to dreaming of what I can grow in it.

  4. I just learned Tom Lehrer set up a website where you can download all of his songs for free: https://tomlehrersongs.com/albums/

    Also DS arrives Wednesday, DD and partner Friday, we have seven fish Saturday (and I’m only cooking 2 of them), and the three family latke party Sunday, and my high school best friend arrives with daughter a week from
    Wednesday to fit DD’s wedding dress.

      1. The friend who told me seems to think it won’t stay up forever so time to download. But the site says nothing about being temporary.
        He is the best.

          1. Any technical advice ? I have yet to try it on my laptop—can play but not download on my phone.

          2. The closest thing I can offer to technical advice is that if you can’t open RAR files, I could ZIP them and email them to you. Start a brand new (temporary) gmail account, give me the address, and I’ll send them. Or I could send them as-is, no compression, to the limits of email attachments. Lots of MP3 files. Once you have them all, delete the account.

        1. He added a note in capitals to the bottom of his disclaimer statement that it might be shut down in the near future, so enjoy while you can

  5. I’m going to a panettone festival today where they’re bringing in truly exceptional panettone to try to change the minds of people who have been buying the cheap, crappy grocery store stuff. I just had my first panettone a week or two ago, and it was delicious, so I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with!

    1. I love the candied fruits in panettone! I even love fruitcake and made a huge batch it every November, until a few years ago. I made it in November so that the brandy I put on it could soak in and permeate the loaves. 😝

    2. I grew up with gifted horrible dry cheapy panettone, then someone who actually went to Italy told us to toast it with butter. Much nicer, or we were told to dip it in thin custard, alcohol or chocolate apparently if that didn’t save it

  6. I’m in Sarnia (small city in Canada) this weekend where we had a bowling night with my extended family – an excellent Christmas tradition. This side of my family is fundamentalist Christian whereas I am a heathen so bowling is a good neutral ground activity.

    1. Heathen as in Norse religion, or heathen as in non-christian/non-religious? That used to be a really pejorative term!

        1. Yay Tammy! My family tree includes Mormon missionaries, lapsed Catholics, wan sort-of Presbyterians, a Baptist preacher and a Jewish stepmom. I am happy and relieved to be Pure Heathen and always happy to hear of others!

          1. I am an ordained minister (retired) of the Universal Life Church. From the church’s webpage,

            The Universal Life Church was founded on the basic belief that we are all children of the same universe and, derived from that basic belief, has established two core tenets by which it expects its ministers to conduct themselves:

            Do only that which is right.
            Every individual is free to practice their religion in the manner of their choosing, as mandated by the First Amendment, so long as that expression does not impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others and is in accordance with the government’s laws.

            You’re a heathen? Get ordained in the ULC. Heck, become an Ordained Athiest. Your beliefs are your own.

      1. They are different—heathens do believe in some gods.
        I consider myself apatheistic—don’t know and don’t care.

        1. (Went down a rabbit hole recently about this) There is the fun society that was set up due to apparent contact with extraterrestrial intelligences… they run a health food shop in London

      2. My grandmother was pretty hardcore Catholic. She used the word Heathen to mean anyone else. Including all protestant religions. So now I am proudly heathen, but it’s a joke/reclamation of the word for me.

          1. I think the closest thing to a Creed that I have as a heathen is more just a statement of skepticism: “Ha! As if.”

            But I have no problem with those whose religion persuades them that it is a Good Thing to be kind, to look out for those who are in need or down on their luck, and to cultivate humility and forgiveness. All those things seem worthwhile to me, whether dogma-induced or just coming from the heart. The aspects of religiosity that bother me are smugness and disdain of anyone who is a member of a different religious group, as well as that sort of theater of appearances that leads people to chide their children with “don’t do that — what will other people think of you if you don’t behave PROPERLY?”

            The world has enough sources of separation caused by nationalism, sexism, bizarre political or oddball outgroup belief systems, etc. etc. without adding a paranormal or theistic dimension to it all. Transcend the tribes is what I say. When I’m not snorting & thinking “as if….”

          2. Jinx, if you ever did want to religion, you should be a Jainist. That would be the closest match with what you’ve described above.

          3. I don’t know, Tammy. Jainists have rituals, hymns, icons, sacred texts and so on. I can’t really be having with that, I don’t think. Regular breakfast is about as ritualistic as I ever get. But thank you for the thought!

          4. Okay in that case, let’s just have a regular breakfast cult. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so I think I can get cultish about it.

    2. Sarnia? I asked myself who do I know in Sarnia, which is apparently nobody, but I knew it was in Ontario, and more or less where it is, so maybe my friends in Ann Arbor used to visit there? Who knows? The mind is a strange thing.

  7. My neighbor that I text with sent me a Povitica loaf. It was out of the blue, and very thoughtful. I had bought her a boxed Keto cookie mix, which I will get to her soon. I think this was the first non-family gift I’ve had since I moved to Kansas City 6 years ago. The Povitica is made in the next suburb over, which was a revelation to me. It’s a Croatian creation, and consists of pastry and, in this case, ground walnuts in a swirl design. Yum!

  8. Currently, unhappiness is watching Argentina score two goals against France but hopefully les bleus will be able to restore my happiness…

  9. The song She’s A Rainbow popped up on Meghan and Harry and sat around in my mind for a bit. Now it’s making me happy because my character, Anne, is creating a stripper routine to it. Fun!

    It has been a weird, discombobulating week but another happy is, I took Sat & Sun off so I have a five day stretch off work.

    Starting to feel sane again.

    1. I didn’t remember ever hearing that song, but it figures prominently in an episode of Ted Lasso constructed around film Rom-coms. It’s a great song.

  10. I shop online so this time of year I have a lot of packages delivered. UPS, USPS, FEDEX and I swear to the shopping gods the last package to be delivered will be from Amazon. A new dog bed for the granddog. The cover slips off so it can be washed. Had to have it. I also like following the tracking service so I can see where they are in their journey.

    But a package came for me this week. From ETSY the long wished for Pyrex green mixing bowl. Wrapped in miles of bubble wrap. Already washed and mated with its mixing bowl sisters and then put to work with cookie batter. The years missing it fell away. No more reaching for an alternative whether it was a pot or a serving bowl. I am giddy.

    1. A twin sized mattress protector over the filling of the dog bed, (and under the cover). Works really nicely to keep filling from absorbing dog’s excretions, secretions and smells. So worth it.

      1. Thank you for a great idea, Amyll. Somewhere, tucked away I have mattress pads that I used for one of the grands who was a bed wetter. If I can’t find them, I’ll look for crib pads, the measurements look like something that could be tucked between bed and cover. Thanks again.

  11. The mail is just a tiny bit depressing right now. If nothing else goes wrong, closing is still scheduled for Dec. 29. Getting stuff now means that much more stuff to move then. And I can’t switch to the new address yet, because closing could get delayed. Argh!

    At this point, I’m Very Annoyed about my gardens. I’ve taken the Ranches (all six Smart Garden-3s) out of service, emptied them, and washed them. They was filthy! Harvey, Harvey Too, and Teresa are down, cleaned, and packed. Sheba and Phredd are full of ripening tomatoes, so they have a stay of execution, as do the four mason jars. That leaves just Seble and Lucy in Limbo. They’re fruiting.

    The garage is being taken over by totes.

  12. Lots of packages and mail going out (gifts, Etsy sales, and holiday cards). A few packages coming in. Mostly my happiness was finishing up the outgoing stuff, so I can actually get some other things done.

    A friend who works at a thrift shop sent me a “Host a Murder Mystery Dinner Party” game from long ago that has a Star Trek Next Generation theme. Which would have been lovely, if it didn’t require EIGHT PEOPLE to play it. And a cassette recorder. LOL. I don’t know what he was thinking.

    Yule dinner party (my only celebration of the season) was canceled for the third year in a row, not a happy. Last 2 years it was because of Covid. This year, people had the flu. But happiness is not having that myself, at least not yet.

      1. Thanks! They amuse me. Two years ago (?) I made covid ornaments out of pompoms and mailed them to everyone. I’m starting to think that bizarre ornaments might be my thing…

    1. I think T.J. Maxx is part of the Marshall’s, Home Goods and T.J. Maxx chain. Could be in any of those stores.

  13. My happiness is finding out you are writing, I had forgotten about Arghink. I have been using a therapy light (Northern Light Technologies) SADelite since 1998. I was diagnosed by a specialist that was looking for SAD people for a genetic study and a friend gave me his research assistant’s number. I called, a bloody miracle in February before the light, and got an appointment in two days. His office lent me the light for a week. After three days I got my Father to let me use his Credit Card to order a light of my own, he handed it over gladly because I had my sense of humour back in February for the first time in my adult life. I got the light two days later, everything moved so fast after after feeling like I was either trudging through hip deep sludge or revving my engine like crazy without being able to get in gear, and have been using it for 34 years. I also take 5HTP as it shuts up the irritating inner voice that tries to tell me I’m worthless. Shuts that bitch up more consistently, but less tastily, than chocolate. Again glad to hear you and Bob are collaborating again. All sorts of good vibes in your specific direction. Tracey

  14. My unexpected thing was my stupid car battery dying. (Not 100% unexpected; it happens a lot, but I didn’t think it had been that long since I last drove it and forgot about some severe cold that drains the battery faster. Really gotta trade the hybrid in for an electric car as soon as feasible.)

    But the happiness that came from it was a reminder of just how wonderful my neighbors/friends are. They jump-started it for me, and didn’t even give me the usual lecture about how I need to make sure to take it for a drive once a week, especially in the winter.

    Also unexpected and happy (and please, please, please let me not jinx it), the cat who’d been bullying my oldest cat (who’s twice the bully’s size, but a real chicken) has realized how warm the big cat is, and has apparently decided that maybe it’s better to cuddle-puddle with him instead of bullying him, at least during the winter when the house is chilly. So they’re friends again, which is a big relief. And cute.

    1. I had the same battery problem, mechanic told us if we can’t drive it out, to start the car and leave the engine running for 15 mins once a week to avoid a dead battery

  15. Lots of good stuff. I’m finishing up minutes, doctor and meetings tomorrow. My sister and BIL came up yesterday to take me out for pizza for my birthday. I also purchased a washer and dryer to be delivered Wednesday.

    The best was my BIL changed my back porch light which had burned out. It’s been several weeks without that light. (I could do it by using some wood to even out the difference between the outside step and the kitchen floor so the step ladder wouldn’t tip. That wasn’t happening. With age comes wisdom and avoidance of broken hips.) It’s the little things.

    My other sister may come in from Virginia for a few days before Xmas, weather permitting. That’ll be nice.

  16. Yesterday, happiness was making some solid progress on the new novelette. Today, happiness was dealing with a pile of accumulated personal business + watching a couple episode of the new ‘National Treasure’ series + getting my native grapevines cleaned up for the winter. Also, my husband has decked the halls so the house looks festive and fun. 🙂

    1. Wait, we’re supposed to *clean* native grapevines for the winter? We’re enjoying the red leaves strung along the front wall across from our window. Seasonal, somehow, and cheery.

      1. Hahaha trust me, these were not attractive. Not sure if it’s the subspecies or our microclimate, but the dying leaves went to a depressing brownish yellow.

        I took the opportunity to yank out the one that didn’t put on fruit this year and now have only two to wrangle next year – they are intertwined in a pleasing way and both made a bit of fruit (it’s for the birds etc). 🙂

  17. Lovely cards in the mail. Filled the big garden pot/tub with birch, cedar, fir, spruce branches, holly, other decorative foliage, more assorted bare branches, acorns on sticks and one little white bird. It brings me joy. It’s snowing today, cozy and warm inside decorating for Christmas. Set up the White porcelain nativity figurines I bought in the ‘80s. Haven’t put it out for years. Started to laugh rediscovering the three camels and six sets of sheep and two cattle lowing. Ah well. Maybe time to pass it on.

    Gary buying a house for his dotter, the kinder and himself brought me joy. Cheers.

  18. My wife’s birthday was Tuesday and I took her out to what turned out to be an excellent birthday lunch at a restaurant we had never tried before, but will again. Then when we got home we discovered a crew from the city digging up the city water pipes under our driveway, which had been leaking for over a year while the city completely ignored all reports and complaints. It turned out they had to completely replace all the pipes under our driveway and leading to our house, but they did it at no charge to us! Although it took them until Friday to complete it.

    As is the wife’s tradition we brought the tree down from the attic on her birthday and she started decorating it and the rest of the house. And I think she’s finally done with it decorating. The old tradition was that we would go out on her birthday and cut down our own tree, at one of the local Christmas tree farms, but we gave up on that about a decade ago.

  19. I hate artificial green trees and my husband hates killing trees but we have a lovely collection of ornaments from our travels, including things like
    Mexican day of the dead skeletons. So a number of years ago we bought an ornament metal tree that looks something like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/TRIPAR-INTERNATIONAL-INC-22-in-Gold-Metal-Ornament-Tree-with-Hanging-Branches-34209/319376267

    We find it solves our dilemma and some ornaments seem to migrate to house plants …

    1. I love the idea of ornament migration! It is probably the most excitement and admiration the house plants get all year.

    2. We have a two-foot pre-lit fake tree that stands unobtrusively in a corner and makes for a pleasant glow during a dark winter evening. Otherwise, ornaments are deployed throughout the house – hanging from chandeliers, etc.

  20. I bought Protea, banksia, eucalyptus at our group’s Festival of Trees, book-ending full price on Opening Friday, heavily discounted price on Take-Down Sunday. Plus a friend brought in pine greenery from their place just outside Yosemite, and I nabbed a sturdy branch. So two arrangements: huge crystal vase on the table, old French florist bucket on the entry chest, both necessitating my dancing about with a water spray-bottle every day. Worth it, though, because, with collected ornaments on lower branches, that’s it for decorating. Holiday music playing and the scent of tamales steaming–Solstice time is here!

      1. Careful: don’t think the Kiwis would appreciate being mistaken for Brits – especially when you look at the disaster that’s our government at the moment.

      1. Yes, she agreed to the auction. T’was the right-wing arrogant prick who suggested it. Maybe the Kiwi version differs from the USA brand of right-wing arrogant prick?

  21. My happy for last week was finding out I’d got a raise. It’s about 6% of my current salary, which is about 3 times the usual increase. Thing is, no one told me about it, I was just looking at my salary for another reason and realised that it was higher than usual.
    It looks like my not boss forgot to tell me! It’s not the first time either 🤣

    (Not-boss is my boss two levels up. I haven’t had line manager for 12 months and my one up manager is nominally my boss, but really only approves my leave. So I call him not-boss.)

  22. We watched a really good movie: Carrie Philby showing on Netflix.

    Also, I haven’t seen it but apparently Hallmark made a xmas romcom where the couple is gay. YAY Hallmark.

    I haven’t seen it yet because in general I hate their soundtracks. But I’m just happy knowing it’s out there.

  23. I got a router in the mail today. Which may well mean I’ll have much better internet access again. That will be very good. And will encourage us to actually move to the new place. With no one living in it it is very cold and while it’s very cold it’s hard to motivate staying there much while we still have this cosy flat.
    Also, my intermittent sense of smell kicked in and now I can see obvious signs that the place held a long term smoker. That would have been a deal breaker if either of us had realised. Anyone ever cleaned such a place? Successfully?
    I’m sure it will be okay, after much work, but it is deflating my enthusiasm just now.

    1. I wish I could offer advice. My mother smoked. Just recently I went through some of her sewing things, not fabric but things like needles and plastic thimbles and scissors and metal hem measurers. I thought, “Wow, this sure smells like smoke” and she died in 1999.

      1. And now science is noticing that there is such a thing as third hand smoke. I remember as second hand smoke became a concern.
        Third hand, the poisons on surfaces can get you and even more the littlest ones. And they are hard to remove even after the scent goes. And they seep through paint if you skip the cleaning steps.
        I’m in for multiple cleaning of walls and carpets. Once, sure, and spread out over time. I had planned carpets now and walls eventually, when we decided to paint, in spring or summer. Or in a year or two depending on room, time and money.
        Multiple times as soon as possible is much more overwhelming. Argh.

        It will sure be clean after.

  24. Speaking of the mail, I didn’t get any this weekend, so I pulled the three bins out fromunda, that is, from under the bed. One of the bins is dedicated to a quilt. Are there any quilters in Argh Ink (he asked, biting his tongue)?

    The quilt was made by my grandmother, Dillie Mae Jordan, in Texas in 1958.

    Wow! That’s some link. Better to click on my name and see the blog post.

    Anyway, none of my descendants seems to want it. Maybe I should sell it? How much should I ask?

    1. Not sure, but more if you clean it, betcha. My theme apparently. It looks to me like the colours might come up brighter and maybe the filling might fluff up a bit. I just did pillows I thought needed replacing and they look and feel so much better that replacement fell right down the to-do list.

      I do know that cleaning old quilts can be tricky (from researching how to dye yarn). Old fabric may be less colour fast but there are cleaning methods to avoid colour runs and stitch damage.

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