117 thoughts on “Snacking on Happiness

  1. I went to a calligraphy workshop yesterday and spent five yours learning to write in roundhand.
    There was someone there who kept getting frustrated because she felt she couldn’t do it.
    The tutor asked her if she was always so hard on yourself.
    That really resonated with me. Objectively, my roundhand wasn’t really good but I didn’t care, I just thoroughly enjoying doing it. A pocketful of Joy.

  2. I got to spend a lovely evening with my quilting friends. We had planned to go out to dinner as our reward for our UFO challenge – so there we were. I don’t go out that much, so this was a real treat.

  3. I had to drive to Long Island on Thursday, which happened to be a glorious day after a rainy Wednesday, so I took the scenic route 7 through Connecticut, instead of the highway, and stopped at a yarn store I’d never visited, and petted the yarn, and bought some gorgeous green cashgora, which came with a picture of the woman who’d spun and dyed it. I reveled in being by myself for a while, after a month of being almost constantly with, and caring for, other people.

  4. Don’t mention “snacks” to me. Saturday was an unintentional Go-To-Hell day and I ate roughly 5000 calories. Good healthy foods in unhealthy quantities. Unhealthy foods in unhealthy quantities. There is no joy in the mancave this morning. I feel fat AND guilty.

    1. It’s eleven hours after my last post. I abstained and fasted until an hour after sunset, then ate boneless pork chops and Jasmine rice. That’s it for the day, except for beverages. I’ll fast and abstain again tomorrow, until at least an hour after sunset again, then eat one meal. That’ll work until the Atkins double chocolate chip cookies arrive from Amazon, then I’m back to snacking.

      I need to pick up carrot sticks.

  5. I spent several days climbing around my property with a forester. She will write up a 10 year plan for making the woods healthier, to prepare it for climate change, and to create bird habitat.

    Discovering what’s in the woods is like visiting the forest primeaval. This is a hollowed out tree where porcupines live. Here the trees are strangled by cobra-like bittersweet vines. Look, this patch of ground where a spring seeps water is a deer bedroom: you can tell by the flattened leaves and the fact that while plenty of plants grow, they are all bitten off at 6 inches. (Deer necks don’t comfortably stretch all the way to the ground.) My woods have an appalling number of dead trees from storms, disease, bugs, and invasive vines. But we can clear out several areas which will open the canopy for birds. (Birds like living on the edges of woods rather than in woods.)

    I like to make trails. The forester uses a compass and plunges ahead towards her goal, regardless of piles of brush or soggy stretches. I avoid the steep ridge: she attacks it head on. She knows every tree, bush, and plant; needless to say, I don’t.

    Happiness? Absolutely.

    1. That was lyrical, thank you. We just had our “forest plan” enacted, and the woods are a mess, but I comfort myself that they will look better next year, although I’ll have to keep a sharp eye out for inadvertently introduced invasive plants. This year I discovered a patch of Japanese stilt grass, and my heart clutched.

          1. Judy, My forester is about to “retire” after many decades. (“Retire” means that she’s still taking on new clients.) She had to convince a lot of guys to accept her on the way up. Hers is a great story.

    2. That’s so cool. I don’t have a forest, just a bunch of trees in the yard, mostly pines. But I do love them. When I was house hunting recently (before I decided it was a lost cause and to just add on to the house I have now) I kept seeing houses with wide open yards and one tree. Not even a shrubbery!

      1. Deb, I’m not big on grass. I prefer to have patches of native plants with small grass areas around them which, when mowed, make the whole vista look neat. I’m like you — shrubs are great hideaways for birds and small animals. Trees both provide animal habitats and they also provide perspective for making the view interesting.

      1. Thanks, Lian. Aren’t woods wonderful? And incredibly individual in areas with different humidity/heat/topography/plants & animals, not to mention in different parts of the world.

  6. I am happy to have things over with. We got through dress rehearsal and the first showing of the nutcracker and my first craft show. I have mixed emotions about the market. It was well attended and I sold things, enough to cover my table fee and a couple of hundred dollars extra, but not really enough to call it a good day. I feel sort of deflated. I’m not sure if I am just tired or if I don’t really want to be doing these kinds of things anymore…

    Anyway, one more matinee for the Nutcracker this afternoon and then it is time to put everything away for another year. It’s going to be almost home free.

    1. I did craft shows and farmer’s markets for years with my jewelry. It was lovely on the days when I came home with a pocket full of cash…but so much work. When I started spending more time writing and had to reassess, I realized that with the days to prep, the set-up, and putting everything away, plus the fact that both the shows and the materials cost a lot, even a good day usually came out to a very small amount of money per hour. I was amazed by how relieved I was to give them up.

      1. Same. Before covid, I was doing something almost every weekend, and hustling to get into small shops, etc. I was hoping this would clarify my steps forward, but I’m not sure.

        And I like being able to do things as a civilian. There was a Krampus festival a few hours away that I wanted to try… I wish my Etsy shop was doing better so I didn’t feel conflicted.

    2. I’m sorry to hear you’re deflated. It’s tough doing something you love and not being able to make a bucket of money doing it.

      1. Thanks. It’s really ok. I am not a very social person at all and selling online slots in a lot better around the day job… It’s just not consistent enough yet.

  7. Last week of my California trip. Visited my niece in San Diego and we walked along different beaches, ate great food and chatted. I met her finance and her very cute dog.

    My brother took me hiking in Big Sur. We were the only ones on the trail and the scenery was stunning. There was a big fire in the area several years ago and we could see the burn marks on the redwoods, amid the new growth. My legs were sore the next day but it was worth it.

    I arrived back home very late but both DH and DS came to pick me up. Several big hugs from DS – his way of telling me he missed me. Spent the morning with a friend visiting craft shows. It’s our annual tradition and I enjoy spending time with her. In the afternoon, DH and I drove out to the farm where I work in the summer for their winter market. It truly is my happy place, even in the pouring rain. I was gifted the last of the flowers harvested from the greenhouse and I filled up my favourite vase. Lots of joy in my life this week.

    1. I must ask, since this has puzzled me since I joined this site, what does DH, and DS stand for? Dear Husband and son? Dedicated husband and son? Designated Husband, and sister? Dratted… Damn… ? I”m sure it’s something simple and I’m just dumb.

        1. I’ve seen it used as such in the replies to several writer’s blogs I follow, over the years.
          The one that tends to confuse me is SiL, which might be either sister-in-law or son-in-law. If the SiL is accompanied by DD (dear daughter) it is easier to guess 🙂

    1. I have a glassed in front porch. It’s a delight and a big part of what I love about our house. I hope yours is also a joy.

  8. My happiness today was fixing a new pair of pants I ordered on line that turned out to have a WAY too tight waistband. I hate wearing anything tight around the waist. They’re the right size, but not the right waistband for a post menopause waist. I solved this by cutting through the waistband on either side. I never tuck, always wear things over the waist band anyway, so no one will ever tell. New pants feel comfortable and I feel ridiculously smug about my (small) solution.

  9. I was thinking last night about how much illness and how many health problems some of my friends are dealing with. The neighbor across the street that I text with has lung weakness and heart problems from smoking and working in a bad environment, plus deafness from being half Ashkenazi Jew, which was not on her radar until she started researching her DNA. Her husband is severely OCD, has a wastrel son in another state who keeps calling him for money, and has some kind of male problems. Many of the people in my pagan community have health concerns. My favorite, most friendly, person has MS. Her husband has Celiac disease. There are two women who are morbidly obese, and the one I am friends with on FB has revealed some of her childhood troubles that probably contribute to that. There are nonbinary, gay, lesbian, trans, pan-sexual, asexual, and all manor of other orientations in that group. That is not bad, but those kinds of things can be a challenge when navigating the world as it is here in Kansas and Missouri.

    Then there’s my email friend from college, with multiple health challenges, and a sister with serious mental health problems. It makes me realize how fortunate I am in my well-being, and with a healthy family. I’m actually better now than I was as a younger person, since I had horrible PMDD, and I had to have my gall bladder removed in my mid-forties. I do have arthritis and the beginnings of osteoporosis, but so far, I am managing.

    So, I am happy to be hale, and able to do many things, and to keep up my yard and plants, and travel now and then, and enjoy my family and grandchildren. After all, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.” (The Princess Bride)

    1. Wastrel is an excellent word that I had forgotten about. It perfectly describes my brother in law as well.

        1. Jan, I had the same feeling today about illness, suffering, and death close to home. A friend’s husband is going into hospice care. She says that he is “going forward,” in that his new inability to move his body and need to sleep constantly are the best natural steps towards his death. No apparent pain or distress. She cried as she told me.

          I was really touched that she shared her grief with me.

  10. An unexpected phone call from a loved one. Especially as my ringer was off, I only happened to notice because my phone was in my hand

    And the call itself went well and ended well. Sometimes when we talk the conversation falters in uncomfortable ways. This was good all the way through

  11. The idea of happiness snacks is great!
    Only when reading the article, I remembered that this was one detail in the Harvard Science of Well being course I completed while in lockdown. It’s incredible how fast one forgets and slips into not seeing the good things around.
    Which in my case are/were going to see a musical comedy show by Ass-Dur with the family and seeing dd (= dear daughter) laugh openly (she’s been far too earnest for the last almost 3 years) makes me happy even now.
    The show was not as refined as it used to be when we last saw the duo Ass-Dur. But since then one of the duo dropped out and had to be replaced. It’s now a two-bother-duo, which makes for a totally different dynamic. It was the first time they showed the xmas program, too, so it didn’t go as smooth as it will be at the end of the tour I’m sure. But both guys are lovely and great musicians, so it was a very enjoyable evening.

    The other thing making me happy that my dh (dear husband) found some homeopathic spray to help fighting off viral infects and coughing. I know how much homeopathy is being belittled (at least in our medi), but this night was the first one not being woken up by severe coughing since I got the booster vaccine mid-October.
    I’m quite sure it’s a reaction to the vaccine as it’s similar to the reaction I had to the illness itself. Plus dh’s Covid-related asthma (he never had asthma before getting Covid in May) flared up alarmingly.
    It’s very stressful not to get air or a good night’s sleep for weeks in a row, so I’m very happy dh found this remedy.

    1. I’ve found homoeopathy helpful in the past – not always, but sometimes it’s really effective. My thought is that it could be triggering my self-healing – but as long as it works, I don’t care!

      1. It’s a mixture made by one of the oldest homeopathic apothecaries in Munich (Schützenapotheke), called Antiinfekt Vorbeugung/phylak spagyrik spray.
        I doubt that it’s available easily in the States.
        I could send you info on what it contains, but the label on the bottle doesn’t give how much of each element . Sadly.

    2. If it is getting colder there it might be affecting your husband’s asthma. Cold air makes it harder for your lungs to expand, and so might aggravate the asthma. One doctor had me increase my controller medication only in cold weather and it worked beautifully. Perhaps you might like to discuss this with your husband’s doctor.

      1. Thanks, aunt snack. I told my husband immediately, his appointment is not far away. I’ll make sure he remembers!

    3. I have had some homeopathic remedies that worked really well, although I’ve never found anything that worked on my headaches or allergies. There is one particular asthma formulation that was literally a miracle in a bottle, made in Germany and discontinued years ago. I have been hoarding my last few remaining pills for emergencies. And I use Calmes Forte all the time.

      Interestingly, in Germany homeopathic medicine is respected and actually prescribed by doctors.

      1. Deborah, in Germsny theses days, homeopathy is quite under siege by the “Schulmedizin” who claim it’s all humbug because one cannot run double blind test trials.
        I very much hope that holistic medicine will persist. My experiences are quite good so far, our pediatrician is using both, homeopathy and regular medicine, depending how serious the illness is and how much the immune system is judged able to do. I prefer it that way: not being militantly pro either direction but focused on what brings the best results in whichever situation.
        Ir’s great that homeopathy works for your athma.
        Even thougv it was discontinued, could you send me more info about the formulation?

    4. I’m glad you have found some happiness. Thanks for explaining the DH and DD’s! We live in an age of acronyms.

    5. Thank you, Dodo, for mentioning the post-vaccination cough symptom of your husband. I had a cough for about 2 weeks after my bivalent vax, without any other cold symptoms, and couldn’t figure out what it was/where it came from.

  12. I spoke up about something that bothered me at work. Nothing was accomplished by this, except I felt better not giving tacit approval of this behavior by remaining silent, which was result enough.

    January is going to require instituting some serious changes to my eating habits, but for now, I am greatly enjoying eating all the things.

    Had a good time this morning, reading the Thursday book post. Have a bunch of new samples to read, so thank you all for that. And this lovely community that always brightens my Sunday.

  13. I am ecstatic. The entry way window which we have removed, rebuilt, stripped, reinstalled and finally varnished is done. Well, it needs to be washed but – Done. I will paint the wall today. This has been in progress for 6 months, 8 if you count finding a contractor who would remove the window, replace the damaged wood, rebuild the casing, and reinstall it. My husband did most of the work to improve the weatherstripping and seal the area around it because he wanted a nonstandard method (engineer- he knows how he wants things built).

    Also, I have finished with all my vaccines and that is done. Nothing but good times ahead.

  14. Joy in watching The Wonderlettes in a matinee yesterday. Finally caught the Christmas spirit. Spending time with friends. Finally read a new novel, Nora Finds Her Muse in one day. It was not sad. Starting Dickson Francis’ The Edge tonight while I’m waiting for MRI on my knee at 00:40 am. Must be there at midnight. Two new books in two days.

  15. My employer’s mental-health contractor periodically sends reminders about finding daily moments to relax, connect, enjoy. A large benefit accruing from my almost-30-yr yoga practice: mindfulness. Being aware when I truly need a break, giving myself permission to stop and watch the birds for five minutes and appreciate all the subtext of having a window to look out of, a yard to plant things in, and wildlife (even if the scrappy not-entirely-native urban kind) to observe. And then being able to get down on the rug to do a few minutes of stretching before returning to the ever-present email. Even when the day job is an aggravating bastard, it’s still so much the best work situation I’ve had that all dissatisfactions are tempered.

    Small snacks of happiness this week (from TV): the Hip-Hop Nutcracker (on Disney+) and the truly excellent Vienna Philharmonic summer concert (on PBS). From life in general: rain; spotting the neighborhood hawk perched on my wisteria arbor; an hour exploring Michael’s craft store for the first time in 3 years as I assembled components for the departmental gift exchange.

    I decided on craft because even if the immediate recipient doesn’t want to do these projects (very low-demand: small painting and pastel kits), they are nearly certain to know someone who does, or to have an imminent family gathering at which some shareable activity could be profitably deployed.

    1. There is something magical about seeing a raptor, especially in your own neighborhood. So free and wild.

  16. Yesterday was a great day for my town even though it was miserable weather wise. Rain, wind, wind so bad the grandog would not go out but stayed in her dog bed. All day! Our high school football team got to play at Gillette Stadium. I watched from the sofa in the living room as the school buses left town with an escort of two police cruises with lights flashing. The game was a super bowl for their division, and it was televised. The announcers were great, starting by introducing the players by their number and as the game progressed using their names. Of course, they won and returned home later to police and fire department parade through town, horns and sirens blasting, with parents and well-wishers following behind. This will be something those kids will remember for a lifetime (they lost last year). Especially the fourteen members that are graduating.

  17. Got home Monday after driving to Arkansas, from Michigan, to see my parents for Thanksgiving. Hadn’t seen them for a year and half, since a previously planned trip had to be cancelled when my mom got Covid. Happy that they seem to be doing well.

  18. Three walks in the sun in the hills this week, the last one a photography walk. Then a big meeting of the artists’ network I’m part of on Friday, so opportunities to catch up with people I haven’t seen for a while; and more of the same at local open studios yesterday afternoon. I love talking to fellow creatives and getting inspired.

  19. My happy for the week was getting out on the water for the first time in a while. We had some great weather (finally!) in Melbourne over the weekend, but I was sure that the bay would still be cold water, so had my my iSUP in kayak mode. Stand up paddle boarding tends to be more fall off paddle boarding for me, and kayaking means I’m on the water, but not in it so much. 😀 I took a thermos of coffee with me, and had a lovely time paddling around in the sunshine, with breaks for coffee.
    I don’t have room to store a hard board in my house, so bought an inflatable one that fits in the boot of my car when folded. It does mean that I need to blow it up, which is a decent workout even before getting on the water! I’m still pretty new to it as well so each time is an adventure in learning – this time I forgot to put the fins in. Turns out fins help with tracking in a straight line on the water. Who knew! 🤣🤦‍♀️.

    1. I think you can get portable air compressors if inflating your board is cutting into your boarding time. Also it’s freezing in these parts, so envy envy

      1. I’ve got one, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve found that the time is around about the same to inflate it, and there is much less noise when I do it manually. Although I’ll certainly be using it on lazy days! 😀

    2. Thanks for that description of something entirely foreign to a land-locked Kansan. It sounds like lots of fun.

  20. My happiness this week is a whole meal. DD (dear daughter) got a book contract with Bloomsbury press for a book based on her PhD thesis. Book to come out in 2025; DD to read the audiobook; tour of American indie bookstores. She says she and editor are very much on same page.
    Editor said:

    “We are all absolutely sold on Sarah’s vision and her track record as a young public communicator. So we want to take this on and really build Sarah into a star, but we’d want to work on the book a little – the title especially. We feel that with the right book, and the right support, we can work to shape her into a key commentator in the space where politics, communication and behavioural science meet. That’s where we see her longer term…..It goes back to the roots of what we all read in her chapter outline. What she’s actually doing is, I feel, a more ambitious and wider project than a simple politics or current affairs lens can get at.

    We’d be giving this our full sales and marketing and publicity support and we have a great record with non-fiction debuts over the last few years …We do love to nurture and build authors!”

    That pretty much drowns out negative things like a new medical problem

    1. Wow, yes! It always thrills me when someone gets a thesis turned into a “real” book. See?.?? Research has value!

    2. Wow, that’s amazing! Congratulations to her and good on the publisher. Good science communicators absolutely change the world too, and that area of research sounds fascinating.

  21. Finished a commissioned essay on Star Wars in Afghanistan for an overseas magazine that landed on my desk out of the blue. It isn’t fiction, but given the CF that was November, finishing something–anything!–creative feels like a major achievement. Getting to trash the Campbellian monomyth was just a bonus.
    Who am I kidding? I REALLY enjoyed that. 🙂

  22. My joy was discovering the work ‘angertainment’ and also that ‘gaslighting’ is the Merriam-Webster word of the year.

    Also hearing one of the local political gadflies call the election board chair ‘witchy=poo’ and ‘hocus-pocus’ hoped she’d turn into a frog. Well, I can laugh or I can cry. Imma gonna laugh.

    Always choose laughter.

  23. I’ve been all over the place this week, happiness wise. I started out in full blown ‘crush’ mentality over a man which hasn’t happened in years and I definitely did not miss it. Not to worry because some inner work told me it was a means of not being present & it dissipated quickly after that.
    Next up why was I not present? I am putting a load of stress on myself about a lot of things. And it is unnecessary. And who can add any stress to the baseline of stress daily life requires now? So I’m working on that.
    On the other hand, there was one day at the beach spent writing and it was so good.
    As far as snacks – amazon delivered a new batch of Scottish Breakfast Tea and I have Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes.
    I’m all set.

    1. I forgot; Amazon delivered the raisin/currant biscuits I’ve been craving since noticing they’re no longer on store shelves. I think that’s what started the craving because they are no longer in stores. Saving them to enjoy at Christmas.

  24. After two days of a migraine and another day to recover, I finally felt well enough to play with my houseplants this weekend. When it’s cold enough outside I don’t even want to open the door, much less go out, my indoor jungle is a joy. Also, my new library, downstairs by the fireplace. Ahhh.

  25. I went to a Billy Joel concert! It was great. There was a particularly lovely moment when he sang Piano Man and thousands of people’s cell phones lit the stadium like stars. Magic.

  26. My happiness this week was spending the weekend in Milwaukee. After my Mother died I had planned to go visit some friends there and then found I wasn’t ready to go back to the places where I had spent so much time when my parents were dying. After that the pandemic hit and so this is the first time I’ve gone off on my own in over 3 years. Although I mostly just ate and didn’t even try to contact 2 of my friends, I consider the trip a great success. The one friend I did see has recently lost her mother and needed someone to be with who didn’t have to have all the conflicting emotions that come with that explained. I introduced her to the place where I used to go for a drink, dinner and /or pie when acting as a caretaker and she absolutely loved it. She said, “This place is home!” and I was very glad I could share it with her. The menu, with the exception of the prices, was exactly the same, which felt rather strange, but it was still an experience that couldn’t have happened any where else.

    The other part of the weekend that I really enjoyed was staying with my niece Emmy and her husband, Tom. They just celebrated their tenth anniversary as well as 6 years together before the wedding and in that time I’ve become very close to them.They are very cute and extremely sweet and we had a chance to both go gadding about (Emmy took me to a new (to me) used book store) and just hang out together. We couldn’t get a reservation at the restaurant their friends own so we decided that they would tell me when they could get a reservation and I would buy a train ticket for the next visit based on that. Maybe I can remember how to have a social life after all.

  27. Jack Smith makes me happy.

    Also finding some interesting gifts for the family (though the best I’ve been able to come up with for my brother is an electric mattress pad — it’s gone rather cold at night, so I gave it to him early). There’s a remote control page turner for your Kindle so you don’t even have to put a hand outside the covers to read in bed at night! And I have a copy of MURDER AT WILLIAMSTOWN.

  28. Had a good, packed weekend with my church’s Christmas Fair, where we raise money from crafts, foods, cheese, etc. that our Fellowship donates to the community throughout the year. Also a couple of rehearsals and then concerts, then a rehearsal. They were all good things that I signed up for, and I am totally beat today. Tomorrow I’m taking a bus to NYC (5 hours) to meet a friend and to the opera. Another good thing I signed up for. I’ll enjoy it when I get there, and rest on the bus.

  29. My happy is that I got all my gifts wrapped, packaged, and mailed, as well as my Christmas cards. This is the first time in my life that I have actually gotten everything done before the 22nd or 23rd of December. I even put up my little artificial tree (I live in a small house; there is no room for a real tree) and decorated it.
    Gary, I hear you about not liking what I see when I step on the scales. When I got back from walking the Camino in Spain, I had lost nearly 4 lbs. I am sorry to say, that with snacking on dark chocolate covered almonds, as well as other delectables, the scales and I are not on speaking terms any more!

    1. I feel your pain. My scale was not p,eased by my weekend in Milwaukee! I hope you had fun alienating your scale .

  30. The last weekend of Christmas Carol was exhausting because (a) the Ghost of Christmas Present got covid on Friday afternoon and another cast member had to learn the part a few hours before the show went on, with script in hand–and did I mention this was his first show ever, but his part in the show was easily filled in by someone else? So three parts were reshuffled. And then (b) it poured rain on Saturday and there’s a leak over the stage that the shitty landlord refuses to fix, so it literally rained in London and we had to avoid 1/4 of the stage and reconfigure the entire show before we went on.

    But hey, we survived and didn’t have to cancel, so there’s that. I am going to collapse.

    1. I’m remembering a friend’s college production of Joe Egg that was staged not in the college’s theatre but in an old store-front, where all the electricity for the building went off just before curtain up, except for one weird little work light at the front of the stage. Fortunately the audience was all seated, so they went ahead with the act, each actor coming forward to stand in the dim pool of light for their lines. All the while the crew worked frantically to figure out what was wrong, and the second act was actually visible. Theatre! Always something!

      1. My son was in a youth theater troupe that performed Commedia del arte (which meant people had roles and a plot but improvised many of their lines ) and it rehearsed and performed out doors. The last show was in a public park which closed halfway through and the diligent park staff turned off the lights leaving the kids with one spot . So they moved up. Then we got them to turn the lights on. Kids moved to usual positions. Another diligent staff turned them off again …this happened several times and finally one actor threw herself on the ground where the spot was and started declaiming her thanks for the light . I’m fairly sure all those kids know how to cope with the unexpected .

        The director also gave them one new imperative at each show to keep them improvising. The last show had three, one of which was that at some point everyone had to dance the Time Warp….

        I loved that camp. It’s still going if anyone is looking for a great theater camp for kids.

  31. Happy Monday! Or “Sorry it’s Monday, wage slaves.” OFIM (Oh Fudge, It’s Monday!) Ummm… Have A Nice Day 🙂

    I just came to share a picture from the December Farm Report. The central focus is Sheba, an iDOO bucket-like hydroponic unit. I’ve grown to like it for tomato plants (but do not at all recommend buying one!) I use it in conjunction with a lampshade hanging from a bracket, and I even installed a halo lamp in the lampshade because Mr. Tomato has grown beyond the reach of the bucket’s integral light and fan. Sheba is surrounded by four amber jars with their halo lights. Mason jars with Kratky adapters. There’s another jar off to the left with a different style of halo lamp.

    Also in the picture is my newest toy, an Amazon Echo Show. It lets me order Alexa around. I’ve watched videos, listened to audio books, viewed recipes, all without tying down my All-in-1 computer. Neat toy. Merry Christmas to me!

    Anyway, I managed to end Sunday on a Joy-snack. 🙂

      1. That plant looks like it will start saying, “Feed me, Gary” any second now. It also looks like you are about to farm yourself out of house and home very soon.
        Congratulations on your good work.

        1. Sheba gets fed on the same fortnightly schedule as all the other gardens. No, what Sheba wants is water. Sheba has an Heirloom Cherry Tomato plant, by far the thirstiest plant I grow, although part of that is that the bucket only holds 1.5 liters of water. Phredd has a Golden Harvest Tomato plant and it’s probably just as thirsty, but Phredd holds 4.0 liters of water so only needs a drink every other day, half as often as Sheba

          Part of that is the 39% relative humidity indoors. Alexa just told me 45 – 50% would be better for plants. 30 – 50% is good for people.

      1. Well, consider that Alexa has only been around since the twenty-teens. As a teenager, Alexa has to be told to turn lights off and so on. Teens are like that.

        1. I haven’t researched the development team, but I’m sure you’re right. Alexa is full of Dad Jokes. That screen just displayed, “Try, ‘Alexa, why did the squirrel cross the road?’ ” The answer had something to do with a ballet performing the nutcracker.

          Q “Alexa, why did the turtle cross the road?”
          A “We don’t know yet – he’s still crossing.”

          Q “Alexa, why did the monkey cross the road?”
          A “That’s really only the chicken’s business.”

          Q “Alexa, why did the cat cross the road?”
          A “Because the chicken had a laser pointer.”

          Horrible, horrible Dad Jokes.

  32. I had a really nice time on the girls’ weekend, even though by the time it actually rolled around I was not in the mood for it anymore. I don’t get to see Sheryl often enough so I went.

    We all had a good visit; we talked about gardening and her books (her cookbook is on its second printing and one of the top 10 bestselling non-fiction books in Edmonton and has been for much of the year. It’s a limited market but Michelle Obama’s new book is in 10th place so it’s sold more than 1 copy). Her publisher has contracted for 2 new gardening books for 2023 and possibly/probably 2 more in 2024. She’s also really excited about a super-secret project for her publisher which is most likely a second cook book, which will probably be larger and overflowing with pictures. I’m very excited for her.

  33. I had lunch with my niece, which is always a delight. And we made plans to spend Christmas day walking on the mountain and picnicking on Sphinx Rock. We’ve done it for the last three years, and it is low-key and lovely. We both take our knitting and sit there for hours, just talking quietly.

    1. Old-fashioned? They still make them, and install them in new construction, to the delight of children and pets everywhere.

  34. I am over-dosing on joy today as the children’s book I illustrated last spring finally arrived at my door today. It looks glowingly colourful and it feels like a firstborn child! Yipee!

    1. Congratulations! Introducing kids to my favorite picture books is one of my favorite hobbies. What book did you illustrate and who publishes it?

  35. I scanned the title quickly and thought snacking on Almond Joys. That sounded good.

    I am not sure what emotion I am feeling. We are going out on a strike 12/11, (assuming their is not a new contract), for 3 weeks in Minnesota in December. The staffing is bad and I would guess we have lost probably close to 1/2 of the staff in the last couple of years. I am so tired. Take care of yourselves.

    1. Hope it works. It’s so stupid (and greedy) when employers overload people like this and create a vicious circle of understaffing.

  36. The is a tentative contract as of 053o tho am. There still need to be a vote. The strike is on hold. Negotiations have been going on for the better part of a year. Management were given big bonuses because COVID is hard. And they haven’t set foot in a Covid room, let alone wrapped a body.
    I kind of feel like I’m on a Jumbotron and just been proposed to. I’m meh.

    1. I actually was at a baseball game where that happened. We never learned if she said yes ….

  37. Came back to say – if anyone remembers automats there is a documentary called “The Automat” that is really good.
    Don’t remember where it streams cause I didn’t have whatever app it was. Paid 1.99 to watch it which would have bought 2 meals with dessert and coffee at the automat.

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