Happiness is Finding a Good Book

I’ve been reading a lot of romance lately, trying to keep up with the genre, but so much of it is banal, the same tropes used over and over, so when I find a good one, it makes me so happy. Same thing with film. Finding a story that can take you away for awhile is just bliss.

What makes you happy?

109 thoughts on “Happiness is Finding a Good Book

  1. I’m the first? Yay!
    Yup, happiness is good books, writing, my kids, my dogs, my husband, fresh snow, yummy food, genuine conversation, clean air, yoga, finishing a workout, and doing NOTHING.
    Happy lunar new year!

  2. I bought 10 pairs of velvet shoe laces in different colors. They are fabulous and it’s so fun to dress up my sneakers. This makes me happy.

  3. Uh, I got my days mixed up. This should have gone up tomorrow, but I thought today was Sunday.
    So this week, we’re happy on Saturday.

      1. The day of the week is immaterial. It’s what day it is in your head.

        Obviously it’s Sunday in mine. Argh.

        1. Mine, too. And for at least a week now. On the happy side, everything’s getting done quickly. Except the meeting minutes; they’re going really slowly.

  4. Jenny, what’s the name of the book you’re reading. I agree, so much commonality and bad writing in these books. I’ve noticed that someone in the couples will do a lot humming dure romance moments. Who does that? If I still drank, I’d create a drinking game of some hums in a romance novel, take a drink.

    I just read Stuck With You by Ali Hazelwood and Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

    1. Actually, the one I just read was not that great. I liked The Heart Principle by Helen Huang.

    2. Once you are retired and have no job or school year to anchor the week, you need a cell-phone or a newspaper to keep track of your days. And a paper newspaper is better than a cell phone because the date is blared on the front and the cell phone tends to be more obscure. And I am probably one of the last archaic newspaper readers who get a paper delivered

      And time also speeds up. We get our garbage picked up every other week and I swear sometimes they must come every week because the time between pick-ups is so short.

      1. Also I am happy that I can complain about this because I don’t have to work. … Well, if we forget about making meals several times a day and house projects and working on my garden.

        1. I have to drive (of course, I could walk) a mile down to town to pick up my paper from Baker’s Country Store, known as Helen’s because Helen Baker runs it. The post office is kitty corner across the street, so I can pick up my mail. In between Helen’s and home are Barb’s (the local bar) and the town hall and town offices, as well as the bank. On Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, I take my trash to the transfer station — through Pumpkin Hollow and up Old Cricket Hill Road.

          We moved here almost 8 years ago from a increasingly suburban town where we lived on a busy state road. Now we bask in privacy up a steep, winding dirt driveway.

          Thank you for reminding me of these things which make me happy.

  5. I’m happy to see the contractors making process on the new four-season porch. I’ll be even happier when it is finally done. I think they live here now… And I can definitely take them as dependents on my taxes.

    I’m happy that the massive precipitation we’ve had in the last week came down as rain instead of snow (although could have done without the ice). We’re supposed to get some snow tomorrow and Monday, but nothing like a usual winter. La Nina is my friend.

    1. I wish the same could be said here, Deborah, the usual hour + drive home from the 911 gig took over 2 on Thursday. We got more snow yesterday and are expecting more tomorrow. I don’t mind so much when it’s just the day job I’m driving to. It’s just down the road.

      But my happy is that I made it home, in my new to me car, without any need to be pulled back onto the road. That happened to many other people that night.

  6. I am with you. Happiness is a new book that takes me away-well, any book that takes me away. I’ve been reading old books. And that’s a Happiness too. I have a stack of at least three new book sitting next to my favorite chair that I have yet to start. And so many more on my Kindle app. Happiness is also trying to fix, a love scene. I realized that I had made a reference in a love scene to a Vulcan mind meld and that’s unacceptable because nobody knows what they are anymore. Next I’m inspired by my three-year-old grandson who will sit there and paint and sing at the same time, and then change the words in the song From row row row your boat to paint paint paint. They were so many good things out there and I am working on seeing as many of them as possible.

    1. I wouldn’t be so sure about younger readers not knowing about the Vulcan mind meld. Here in Chicago there is a local television station that is all Star Trek all the time. That means that every 4th show is from the original series and a whole new generation is being exposed to the endless camp of the original series.

    2. There’s a lot of Star Trek out there. There was a mind meld in Strange New Worlds.

      1. Also that one might be in the general culture. Like the shrieking sound and stabbing gesture from Psycho by people who’ve never heard of the movie.
        Writers came can get very obscure these days when most readers have the internet right there. Even if they are reading paper their phone is probably within reach

  7. I am happy because my sister called me to make a date for next week. It is almost always the other way around and the last 2 times I went out there I just sat around while she did things that I had no part in. I am really enjoying the role reversal (preferably without an hour and a half commute on either end.) Now I just have to think up something for us to do together.

  8. I am happy! The last Home Moanership Crisis resolved, the next hasn’t arrived yet, though it will. I’m even a step ahead – I installed low wattage LED lighting to illuminate the stairs to the basement. I wouldn’t want anyone to take a false step in the gloom.

    The dotter continues her adventures in home décor. When the paint dries and the milk glass is once again spread out, there will be another “Woman at Work” post to share it all. I’ll give her until Working Wednesday.

    On the farming front, I’ve managed to power two iDOO gardens, Lucy and Lupy. (Lupy was formerly named Ethyl, and while Lucy is still named after Lucille Ball, Lupy is named for Ida Lupino.)

    Anyway, Lucy has six lettuce pods, five of which have definitely sprouted. Lupy has a Golden Harvest Tomato pod and three Spinach pods. Today is Feed Me Seymour day, so both gardens got their share of plant food from Miracle Gro.

    My freezer is sown to two hamburger patties and a medical cold pack. The fridge has salad, condiments, shredded mozzarella cheese, cubed ham, pepperoni slices, and some Soules Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken (for the salad.) I make up for that sparsity with canned goods. I’m almost out of chocolate, though. That would put a crimp in my happy.

  9. I’m still happy about finishing my garden research project. I ‘published’ it yesterday, as a PDF for my iPad, an edited plant directory in ePub for my phone, a long shopping list (not that I’m going to buy them all, but it’s inspiring to have), a gardening calendar and an ‘Ideas for 2023’ file in Scrivener, so I can edit them on my iPad, and a nest of folders full of photographs and screenshots in Lightroom.

    I went to a Ramblers meeting today, and spoke out about my frustrations about how they’re tackling lost rights of way. Looks like I’m getting back into that, which feels good: it’s something I’m passionate about. (Never mind ‘No taxation without representation’; at the same time, we were being shut out of our countryside, and it’s got worse since.)

    And Pam’s due any minute for film night: either another episode of Borgen, or starting The West Wing. Happy in anticipation.

  10. My quilty friends and I had a spur of the moment outing this morning. We had planned to go to a shop, but then did an early stop at an estate sale where the person was lightening their fabric burden. Scored in both places, plus had a delightful lunch. Now on to the actual quilting portion of my day. 🙂

  11. I’ve been watching Korean Drama on Netflix, and decided they’ve got some really interesting romance-reading like immersive experiences. I’ve kind of dropped off the romance reading genre for a decade now, but have always been a big romance reader. The K-Dramas really caught me off guard, by how much it captures some of my favorite feelings about a well crafted romance. I watched the Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Start Up, My First First Love, She Would Never Know, The Proposal, Run-On, and about 12 others that I bounced through. Having to read the subtitles definitely threw me into that feeling of sinking into a story. So many closeup shots of truly swoonworthy moments. Some of the shows were difficult for me to finish for subject matter or otherwise. I’ve frequently found myself teary. Some of it was sometimes creepy (stalkerish behavior) but others were really interesting. The character development, the slow-burn, cultural differences, power dynamics, gender stereotypes, evolving cultural differences, pre-me-too storylines, post me-too, dealing with evolving cultural acceptance for new norms. The production values are really good. Strong cinemetography, sound, subtitling, editing. The respect for the genre is there. It’s a lot of what I’ve been missing in American romance lately. Note: the storylines are mostly still quite reflective of the very conservative culture there. Some of the scenes will be quite upsetting to some here. I had to look up a few things for context and why certain manners were what they were. You drink turned away. There is a lot of back patting, and “I Like You”s instead of “I love you’s.” The women don’t hug back when they are hugged, so arms hang down. I’m finding it’s like a visual puzzle trying to understand the non-verbal messaging, which is compelling and absorbing. (If only to muse about the differences between cultures and the challenges of love (all kinds) with those expectations and how it’s evolving every day in front of my eyes, now in mainstream media. One note: It’s mandatory that you know how to cry if you’re going to be cast in the production. There is a lot of crying, but in ways that work with the story. I love it all. It’s been making me very, very happy. Has anyone else been watching any of this? Thoughts?

    1. I’ve watched and enjoyed Extraordinary Attorney Woo and Because This Is My First Life. The latter had the pace of a snail going in circles, but it was worth sticking with. I gave up on Hometown Cha-cha-cha and Crash Landing on You, plus several others where I bailed out in the first episode. I do find the cultural differences fascinating, and I love how so many characters are arced, and that they’re unpredictable much of the time. Except in the series I didn’t like, which I found too comic-book and/or melodramatic. I just didn’t believe in the stories.

      I’ve got several more on my wish list, but have just started a Japanese series: The Makanai. Nothing much happened in the first episode, but the Guardian gave it a rave review, so I’m hoping it’ll pick up. It’s about two teenage girls, and isn’t a romance, but about them finding their path, I think.

      1. Yep Jane, I agree it’s a much slower pace of storytelling! I use my 10+ sec button a lot!

    2. We liked Attorney Woo, but the next one we tried put us off. Main character is horrible. Have a couple more in the queue, but haven’t wanted to try again, so would be grateful for your best recommendation.

      We watched two episodes of a Japanese one that is kind of interesting, but only 9 episodes, so more like a snack. oops – unintended pun, it is called Makanai: Cooking For The Maiko House

      1. I’d hesitate to recommend anything in particular. The Extraordinary Attorney Woo was my gateway, and from there I started to check what other productions the actors were in. It was a little bit like going through a writer’s backlist. I find the process is very similar to searching for a storyline in romance that appeals to you personally, but there is quite a lot of cross-over between novels and the K-drama tv series. They appear to be self-contained story lines without extended seasons. Either 12-18 episodes. The big misunderstanding, orphans, hidden baby, class distinctions, power plays, plus what I’d consider some really interesting contemporary issues such as women in leadership roles, evolving attitudes (or not) around LGBTQ and neurodivergent issues. Just like a good romance novel, you have to watch the first episode (I also watch the last episode next, but I’m likely to read the last chapter before I commit to a book – I’m weird that way) and see if it hooks you with the story that you want to be immersed in. Like I said, there were at least 12 that I skipped around in. YMMV. 😀 I found I wasn’t as interested in the historical stuff (The King’s Attraction), I enjoyed Start Up after watching Hometown Cha Cha Cha mostly because I really enjoyed the main actor in Hometown Cha in the middle episodes of Hometown Cha Cha Cha. I find the process of going through this media genre very applicable to my experiences finding romances that I wanted to read all the way through and finish, and wondering about the stories that I found compelling. Also, navigating this genre through my western lens has made it really interesting. I’ve really enjoyed thinking about what constitutes Good Girls vs Bad Girls, and what is considered Masculine vs. Feminine, what are good manners (honorifics versus casual) and even the food culture, fashion, and architecure of daily use (the bedding is so interesting to me – I make my bed so differently.) Wish I had a better recommendation for you, but it’s very much like finding out that you love Scottish Lairds, Pirates, or Cowboys. 😉 When you poke around long enough, you’ll find you ship poor students studying for the Civil Service exam, or that you will DNF the squealing college students.

  12. Reading about limewash or whitewash is aborbing me. The idea of painting the ugly grey concrete brick of my garden wall makes me happy. And I’ve learned you can paint drywall with it if you use the right primer. Depending on how the garden wall goes, that could make me very happy.
    New House needs paint on most walls but living with fresh paint may be hard given my general sensitivity. Limewash not only won’t poison me with VOC but there are suggestions that it can help with air quality.
    Main reasons to switch away, as far as I can tell, was more colour choice(earth tones only), needs redoing more often and fashion. Don’t care, better than headaches for weeks, and really don’t care. This could be really good.

    Better than the airbnb couple that planned to paint everything and then rent their place out for 8 weeks while they travelled.

    1. This is great. I had never heard of lime washing (we had chicken houses when I was growing up. I know all about whitewashing). I seriously considered it for my interior after reading about it then decided it might not be practical because it sounds as if you can’t wash it and maybe not do touch-ups once you are out of your original color. You just repaint everything and it is about twice as expensive as the next most expensive paint. Although you could mix your own it sounds like. Anyway, thank you. I loved reading about it and thinking about it.

  13. I’m happy we got groceries and I did greenhouse care before it started snowing again. I’m happy we made it through this week, it was one of those full of long days kind. I’m happy to have books to read, even if I’m having trouble settling on one thing.

    1. We have a generator that self tests on Wednesdays, noisily, and my husband and I say “it’s Wednesday!” That helps. Although how much it will help when we are completely retired I don’t know

  14. Whoops that was supposed to be much higher up.

    What makes me happy is being with my kids, my garden, cooking, eating good food, a few good friends, reading, our house (which I still need to finish moving us into), and when the good guys win in politics or the bad guys fall on their faces.

    This week I turned in all my office files and computer and said goodbye to the organization I led as the first ED whuch was a very emotional moment. My DH not only helped me pack up and drop off ; he ordered a surprise special dinner from our favorite restaurant. Saying goodbye was a mixed moment but having my DH help me through it made me very happy.

  15. My happies are:

    this week i discovered – i don’t need beautiful scenery as much as i need story. which should make it easier to move away from Florida & the beach. Florida is so expensive now. i read a report / list that said Miami is the most expensive city in the US to live in – more expensive than NYC or LA. and #5 on the list of 5 was another Florida city – Hialeah.

    i’m having lunch at a cool bakery on monday with a friend expat who is back visiting.

    i’m enjoying a new friendship with a writer from my critique group – he is in a different country so strictly cyber communications but fun – and he taught me a more effective way to do a certain kind of writing

    still enjoying the switch to mostly instagram very little facebook

    after rearranging the house so my office is out of my bedroom – i am working on a dreamcatcher to go over the recliner i sleep in

    happy to be part of the argh community!

  16. Happiness is a warm puppy and I got a new one. My house was empty without the pitter-patter of basset hound feet. He is sweet, adorable and a monster of massive destruction. Good thing he is cute and he has the best ears.

    1. And the new pony Daffodil is a sweetheart. Beautiful smaller pony for the girls. Royal is getting her confidence back. She should do well in competition, just the right size for her.

  17. We are getting our basement finished. I don’t really want to and then my husband won. So I we are meeting with contractors and planning and All of a sudden we both feel like crap and COVID. I thought I was immune. I have been working in a Covid ICU for years. Wow.
    I’ve rediscovered ETSY and eBay but forget my password. I am loopy as hell. Debating hiding a vent with a giant squid. This is almost entertaining in a very surreal way.

  18. I check Argh early Sunday mornings and thought I had mixed up my days when I saw all the comments this morning. Enjoyed reading comments while I drink my coffee. Everyone else is still asleep so it’s quiet and peaceful.

    I got Madonna tickets for a friend and me. Not a super fan but her music was the soundtrack of my 2os and 30s. Plus who knows if she’ll tour again.

    Had dinner at a favourite restaurant with my bosses. Confirmed I have a job on the flower farm again this summer. We had a great time, ate delicious food and talked about what we’re planting this spring. I worked full time for over 30 years and never felt the connection to my work and colleagues as I do to the flower farm and the owners.

    I walked over 10,000 steps every day this week and I’m sleeping better. Cutting back on alcohol helps too. I need to continue tweaking my diet to avoid migraines but overall, I’m feeling much better than I did in the fall.

    1. Susan reminds me of an inadvertent plus to my habits. Doctors have urged me to cut down on caffeine (I drink 2.5 cups of coffee in the AM). Two days ago I bought decaf coffee beans for my visiting sister-in-law. I goofed when I was moving caff beans out of the grinder and decaf beans in. The result is a mix.

      The new caff/decaf coffee tastes the same to my husband and me, and my stomach doesn’t hurt after I drink my morning coffee.

      We’re gonna be mixed beans from now on.

  19. Sometimes one picks a mantra for a new year, but this year one has apparently picked me. I am still finding “What if you have nothing to prove?” to be very releasing and inspiring. I would have said that I was not ever driven by what people think of me, but based on this, apparently I was wrong. Or perhaps it is some mythical approval panel I was striving to impress rather than people actually in my life.

    In an actually unrelated story, I have resolved to sing more. Not where anyone can hear me (I really do not sing well much of the time, except for occasional abilities to carry a tune for no known reason). This came our of person A asking about my hobbies and mentioning singing (I wish) and friend B telling me about a person whose life mission is getting people to sing because he thinks it improves the whole world if people sing. So I am reminding myself to sing in the car, and enjoying it.

    1. I sing in the end of the aerobridges at work while I’m waiting for planes to taxi in. Nobody can hear me because they’ve all got their hearing protection on, and the acoustics are amazing. Even better if I wait in the tarmac access stairwell. Your friend’s friend is right.

    2. When I got out of the psych ward, my former voice teacher sent me lots of articles about how singing increased the oxygen in your blood and stimulated the production of endorphins in your brain. I’m sure that he hoped it would make me practice and feel better at the same time.

      1. Aunt Snack, Yours is one of the most suggestive posts I’ve ever read. I hope you like singing or anything that makes you feel better.

  20. This week my husband replaced the fawcett in the kitchen and suddenly we have water pressure again. It’s an awesome sight.

    I’m also reading a book that is a departure for me from romance. It’s one of those ‘Mary you should read this’ from Amazon. Title, Ever After by M. Merin. The story is about a woman who was raised by parents who lived off the grid and how to survive in a world after an apocalypse. At work in Seattle is where it starts for Shelby. Electricity is off, no cell service and and there is enough activity outside to make up her mind to leave. Her boss wants her to come into the conference room where the team waits for the power to come back on. Nope. She grabs a go bag that is stashed under her desk and starts her trek home to get to her fifteen-year-old son and make the journey to her father. Well, I’m intrigued.

  21. I’ve been researching electric stoves so I can replace my gas stove (30 years old, so definitely due for replacement) as soon as the rebates program is in place, and debating whether to get a regular flat-top (full cost covered by rebate) or induction (probably spend about $400 in addition to the rebate), and it suddenly dawned on me that if I go induction, I can get a kettle/teapot that will work on the induction stove and produce fast boiling water, without having a separate appliance on the counter (I do love my electric kettle but it wars with my love of clutter-free counters). Plus I’ll have fast-boiling water for pasta and my morning oatmeal. All of which makes me happy. Or, I guess, at this point, anticipating the future clutter-free counter makes me happy.

    1. I recently got an induction/convection stove, and that fast heat really works. However, I had to toss several of my pans that I thought were stainless steel, but evidently weren’t, because they do not work on the induction stovetop. You can test them with a magnet. I don’t use the Convection oven, because it doesn’t make that much difference, and calculating the baking time is confusing. So, good luck on your new acquisition. Also, while you’re at it, buy some of that weird white cleaner for the stovetop. you’ll need it.

      1. Thanks! Good to know. It’s a little annoying to have to replace some pans that are fairly new (I did the magnet test, and they failed spectacularly, so absolutely no chance they’ll work), but I decided I only ever use 4-5 different pots/pans, and two of them are really beyond their useful lifetime, and the others weren’t particularly expensive, so I don’t mind donating the good ones and just tossing the ancient ones. I looked into whether there was an adapter (a disk that does work with the induction top, and gets hot, and then you put the old pan on top of that), and there is, but there’s apparently a risk of ruining the stove top, because some of the heat gets deflected down into the glass instead of up into the pan (for science reasons that are beyond me, but have to do with resistance to the transfer of heat, which is greater when there’s a second surface (the non-induction pan). Not worth the risk, I think.

        1. I like my induction hob. It’s almost too responsive: I have to turn things down from boiling in stages, or I lose the simmer. I just wipe the top with a damp cloth.

          I bought it mostly for the safety aspect – I had a bad habit of leaving a ring on low after taking the pan off, and discovering it several hours later. An induction ring, of course, is cold – it’s the pan that gets hot, and if there’s no magnetic pan there, it just switches itself off.

        2. I don’t see the point of a magnet test for stainless steel. There are two kinds of SS, Austenitic and Martensitic, and Austenitic is not magnetic. I learned this in the ’70s at Nuclear Power School because Naval Nuclear Reactors are built of 304 Stainless (Austenitic) or of Inconel which is 304 plus chromium and even less susceptible to chloride stress corrosion.

          Do induction ovens require Martensitic stainless pans and pots?

          Never mind. I Googled an answer (which was yes, the magnetic variety is required.) Given that I am to avoid strong magnetic fields lest my ICD/Pacemeaker falmunction, induction is not an option for me.

    2. If you get an induction stovetop, and are used to wearing cuff-style wide metal bracelets, you may need to take them off while cooking.

      After switching from gas to induction cooking, grandma got a burn on her arm from her bracelet, which heated up when she held her arm over the pot, stirring it.
      The induction heating of the metal bracelet was much hotter and faster than the cooking steam and rising heat ever had.

  22. The governor of NY wants to ban all gas appliances, including furnaces and make everyone switch to electric ones. First of all, I don’t think natural gas is as bad for our health as we are now being told it is; maybe I will change my mind down the road. Also ( and which is important to me) If there is a power outage, I can still cook on the top of my stove even if I can’t use the oven part. Furthermore, electric appliances cost more to use so if I switched all my gas appliances ( furnace, on demand hot water heater, stove, and dryer), my utility bill will skyrocket to way more than it already is, not to mention how much it would cost to replace said appliances. And…if everyone switches out their appliances to electric ones, how in the world will there be enough electricity available for all to use. The demand is going to be horrendous, and then add in the electricity needed for the electric cars they want us to replace our existing vehicles with. Plus, Electricity isn’t produced without effect on the environment either. Okay, I will get off my soap box now that I have vented my frustration.

    Now that I have that off my chest, am happy that I have managed to get 20,000+ steps in every day for at least the past 2 weeks. I don’t like working out, but I do like waking, so that is what I do to try to keep my weight down and my body healthy.

    1. My gas bill went way up recently, because of a charge that got added to make up for the lower price they charged during the 2021 storm Uri, which affected Kansas. The gas company had to pay more for gas, then. So we now have one more charge on our bills. It makes my gas bill close to the summer electric bill when the AC is on. It’s really disheartening not to have a break in utility costs in the winter.

      1. That is fascinating. In Seattle very few people have AC so we get our break in the summer since we are running the heat all winter.

    2. I do believe gas stoves are really bad for our health — a lot of the pushback in the press is just gas lobby talking points, much like cigarette companies pushed their lies and media bought it for a long time. Gas prices are going way up (I’m dreading the bill that will be generated for me on Monday), so the price differential won’t last. And generally, the idea is to phase out gas, rather than creating a sharp cliff, by incentivizing people to do it sooner than later. More a matter of “if you’re going to replace an appliance soon, might as well do it now and take advantage of financial incentives.” And more renewable energy will be coming online (generating the electricity) as the demand on electricity increases. Starting this summer (if not now), there will be huge financial incentives to switch to electric, depending on one’s income (upfront rebates for low income, which is actually a fair generous definition of low income, and refundable tax credits for those over a certain income level). I can essentially get a free regular electric stove or else an induction stove for less than what a regular stove would cost (before rebates). I do have the cost of removing the gas lines, but I was planning to do that eventually anyway, and all this does is encourage me to do it now, rather than investing in another gas stove, since it needs replacing, and locking in my dependence on gas. I’ll be replacing my dryer with a heat-pump dryer (I didn’t even know there was such a thing!) too, since the existing gas one is quite old, and as long as I’m paying the plumber to disconnect the gas line to my stove, I might as well do the one to the dryer at the same time. I considered replacing the hot water heater with a heat pump version, but I’ll probably wait until next year (incentives continue into at least 2024, I believe, if not longer). It too is getting old, but has a few years left in it, but if it dies in the meantime, I’ll go ahead and disconnect it from gas. If anyone’s interested in the rebates and wants to calculate what’s available, depending on location and income, there’s a nice calculator (with lots of explanations) here: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator (Note that the IRA in the URL isn’t a retirement account, but the Inflation Reduction Act, which created the financial incentives.)

      1. Good job! My granddog leaves the room when her mom turns on the gas stove, and she loves to hang around the kitchen, so that’s a bad sign. I love cooking with gas, but I did not get a gas stove to replace the ancient electric one last year. I was sad, but I’m even sadder over what is happening to the planet. I see fewer birds, bunnies, and other wildlife every year. It gets hotter every year. This has to stop.

      2. Except for the stove, which came with the house, my gas appliances are all relatively new, replaced after being flooded a number of times since I bought my house (3 times in the past 10 years if anyone is curious; nothing is older than 5 years) and much of my neighborhood is going through the process of a government buyout due to said flooding being an ongoing issue. I am not spending any funds to replace anything unless absolutely necessary. I guess I just resent the way they are hoping about it.

    3. We’re all going to have to stop using gas, since it’s a fossil fuel. We need to generate all our electricity from renewables, and they are starting to overtake fossil sources in various countries, including the UK. Domestic heating’s a challenge, since the majority of UK homes have gas boilers, and there’s no affordable alternative yet. I really didn’t want to buy another gas boiler when mine broke down at Christmas three years ago, but there just wasn’t a viable option. (Not only are ground- or air-source heat pumps hugely more expensive, they don’t work with existing central heating systems.)

      1. I’m comfortable cooking with gas but various dangerous fumes bleed off into the house (indoor air pollution: why gas appliances are really being pushed out). I would worry about it – my work-from-home desk etc is barely six feet from the stove – except that our house is so drafty I’m confident the fumes aren’t building up. 🙂

        1. I’ve always been nervous around gas cookers, though not because of pollution – it’s the naked flames and the whoosh when you don’t light them at the right moment. I used to go out of my way to avoid having to use a gas stove in Domestic Science at school, where there were alternate gas & electric stoves, and you were supposed to rotate each lesson. Then, of course, I ended up with them in various homes anyway – and only when I moved in with Mum ten years ago was there one with fully automatic ignition.

  23. Well, no warning about this early post, so I’m very late getting onboard. Seems hardly worth it. But, I’m happy that we got precipitation. It was snow that melted as soon as it hit the ground during the day, yesterday, but overnight, it froze and left a nice white blanket. We needed more moisture.

    1. I’m writing to apologize for grousing about no notification. After another post I subscribe to did not show up in my email, I ran through the junk file and found it, and also two Argh notifications! I marked them “not junk”, but it’s mystifying that they were tagged junk, after all this time. I will check the Junk file on days I should be getting a notification, from now on, until this is resolved.

  24. The next crisis of Home Moanership has arrived, or not. Okay, it isn’t a crisis so much as an act of forgetfulness on my part. For the past three weeks I have diligently changed my address with all of my accounts. My credit cards, my bank, MyPay military retirement, MyVRS state retirement, Medicare, Social Security, Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, yada-yada-yada. Who did I forget? The United States Postal Service. They do let one change one’s address online (for a $1.10 fee), so I just did. There is very little I do via snail-mail, but one thing is tax stuff. It’s possible some of my 1099s were sent to the wrong address, so when I click “Post Comment,” I’m going to dress, drive there, and check the mailbox.

    1. Even though you made a permanent address change it will only work for a year or two so make sure you renew it…

      1. I will, thank you.

        I checked the old mailbox and found tax papers and a science kit for the youngest grandkinder. Ex-SIL was home, says he gave all mail to the dotter. That house goes to closing Feb 21. The dotter should get half the proceeds. I will believe it when I see it.

        Now if I can just get an SSA1099 from Social Security, I can file.

  25. Happy 2023 everyone.
    Reposting here in case I didn’t clear the bot check earlier. It wouldn’t link me back to Argh.

    Update – I’ve been dealing with my difficult work situation, and teaching yoga after work once a week, and studying Tai Chi and languages.

    I’m still not reading fiction. But have started to get back into checking on the Romance readers bingo and considering what tropes I might want to read.

    As for Korean and Chinese shows, well I feel as if there’s a level of stability in them, a kind of groundedness.

    I highly recommend the show “Healer” with Ji Chang-Wook, Park Min-Young, and Yoo Ji-Tae.

    I will always recommend “Mad Dog” which also has Yoo Ji-Tae. The ensemble here is particularly good. Every end seems tied up nicely.

    Most non-formulaic show I’ve seen recently is on Rakuten Viki – “Wednesday 3pm”. No trip into a kiss, no wrist grab, no truck of doom etc. Well written and refreshing.

    For fantasy I like “Mystic Pop Up Bar”. And “The Uncanny Counter”.

    Chinese shows that I enjoyed – “The Rational Life” mainly for the secondary storylines, especially the married couple with no children. “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” has to be the most calming show ever. It’s so good, showing “conflict” in the least angsty way ever.

    I found Youku channel on YouTube and am watching “Destined To Meet You” Be careful tho’ it’s a big time sink. I like this one. The lady is the CEO, the guy is NOT.

    These series have made me make better friends with so many interesting people because of having someone to talk to about them and also trying to learn the languages.

    Young Royals is a teen-focused Swedish series and EVERY ONE looks like real teenagers!!! Also the story is not formulaic. There’s a prince and he’s figuring out his identity while being forced to attend a prestigious private co-ed boarding school.

    The English series Heartstopper is super cute and quite good too.

  26. Last week I was searching for the happy, but this week the sun shone, and I’m much better. Sometimes it’s a simple as that.
    Which is good because this was a week full of incidents with the parents, including an ER visit due to a fall and a smack on the forehead because of bad shoes because of gout…so trying to get well-fitting shoes is the step. Also gout medication and diet.
    My brother the nurse is visiting for a bit and we’ve met his new-to-me boyfriend, and I really like him, so that’s great.

  27. I’m happy that the Covid we caught on our way home from Antarctica is much better, though I still test positive.

    Also happy that we went to Antarctica at all. Despite being starkly beautiful, the difficulty getting there and back is not trivial. Two days to cross the Drake Passage was very hard on poor DH even with the patch. Luckily I only felt a bit queasy, and tried not to dwell on needing to cross again on the way back. We left our house on 12/26 and woke up on 1/1 to see the White Continent out the window for the first time. Boarding and exiting the Zodiacs (for all excursions away from the ship) was scary at first, but the crew was well trained and it became almost routine after a while. So many penguins! Also many sea birds, seals, sea lions, elephant seals, dolphins, orcas, humpbacks and fin whales. And icebergs, some bigger than a city block, are endlessly fascinating. The trip was totally worth it for me, DH says only kinda worth it for him.

    Another happy has been catching up with all the Argh people’s comments once I had reliable internet again.

    Finally, I was thrilled to see that Four Kings was out and zipped through it. I think it was Jenny who called it “fan service” and I don’t disagree. But then I settled down to read it more slowly a second time and appreciated some details I missed the first time. Did any other Miles Vorkosigan fans notice that Mika and the boys decided to see a movie about a prison break out called “Borders of Infinity”? If only such a movie existed in real life!

    1. I loved that touch. The only thing that might have made it even better would be if they caught episodes 1-13 of Santuary Moon.

    2. I did! The only issue would be that they are mostly naked in that prison dome if I remember well 🙂

  28. Many happy things lately. Like my library having a good digital collection. I still have to put books on hold, but people are much faster about returning those than they are hard copies, so I never have to wait long.

    And both Ben Aaronovitch and Martin Walker have long back lists, so I am happily pinging back and forth between the two.

  29. This week I had some proselytizing happiness. I’d told my old high school pal about “Lessons in Chemistry” and how much I liked it — promised to bring her my library copy so she wouldn’t have to wait for 450 other people to read it first. Took it to her this weekend, but she said she’d have to wait to start it, since she’d been interested in what I’d told her about “Thank you for Listening,” and ended up getting it out of the library herself, so she was halfway through and loving that one.

    It’s like Argh Ink is a pond with book reccos falling in like pebbles or raindrops, with each impact expanding into ring upon ring of influence, not just among those who read the blog, but untold others out in the world who are still probably the source of Murderbot and hockey romance recommendations to cosmonauts and antarctic explorers, and I don’t know who all else — all the result of this fine fine viral blog.

    Thanks, Jenny and all of you!

    1. And not only book reqs. When I saw Sure Thing’s post yesterday, I felt like I had rediscovered a long lost friend. And since I’ve finally lost touch with my friends who emigrated to NZ, I treasure this place that makes it easy to connect with interesting people around the world.

  30. Thanks for the wonderful welcoming messages, everyone.

    Last year was one of the most challenging in every area – own educational development, professional efficacy and regard, financial for many things including having to pay insurance excess on car repair after a big accident. I guess ‘Mericans call it co-pay?

    I suppose the two areas that were fine were family and romance, because I am childless and single!!! Hahaha!!! I jest, but it’s true.

    Trying NOT to let the sabotage get me down, especially since I realised that I have the moral high ground and facts on my side in a situation I was told TODAY, I was wrong in. It’s thrilling because it is vindicating!!! But I am seriously tempted to look into remote work online that pays $ or € because I am well skilled with a vast general knowledge. All of which is easily transferable – I’ve worked as a career counselor, industrial quality auditor (ISO), and educator.

    But due to an elder’s recent injury and surgery, I’m caretaking. So I don’t even have time to look. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I promise I am looking on the bright side as much as I can. I am still doing Duolingo with just over 200 day streak. A few freezes used due to the upheavals, but still significant. Yoga and Tai Chi brings me a LOT of joy. My friends that I can laugh with help. So am working on enjoying being with the people that I care for.

    1. I am so glad to hear your news. I think of you every time I see S.A. in the news–which is not usually in a cheerful context–and I’m glad you are surviving.

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