106 thoughts on “Happiness is a Warm Puppy. Or Two. And a Cat.

  1. My sister continues to improve. I am Covid free. My brother and other family are coming to visit today. I’m going to make our mother’s crumb cake recipe for my brother. Hoping he will remember.

    I painted the kitchen ceiling yesterday. Happiness is never painting it again.

    1. Brother loved cake. Took a big piece home. He didn’t remember our eldest son but rallied when I told him. They had a good conversation together. Son was very glad he came. Bitter sweet.

      Brother loved seeing our great nephew. What a delightful little boy. Luke bonded with Uncle B. Brother said it was the best day in a long time. I gave Luke a lot of books. New books for bedtime. Good day indeed.

  2. The grandkinder are hogging the dogs. No cats, yet. The basement is in the mid 60s(F). I have a tote with five or seven throws in it – I can be as warm as I like, My latest blog post has pics of the car, post-accident. When the insurance companies have settled, I might take the dotter car shopping for a vehicle in both our names.

      1. I feel… tenderized. I am surprised at the improvement from pulverized. I woke up this morning (afternoon), having slid down the wedge on my bed, almost flat. I took 10 minutes just to decide to get up. I did, and it only took a few minutes to catch my breath.

        1. Oh gosh, Gary! Ribs are kind of necessary, and to have one broken must hurt a lot. And then to multiply that by six? Yipes!!!!

          Do the doctors do things to get them into the right positions again? Can you even travel to the doctor’s office for checkups on them?

          So sad that this happened to you!!!!!

          1. Doctors do nothing with ribs unless they are very splintered and a hazard to lungs and heart. I have what they call “non-displaced fractures,” no jagged edges or anything, so they do not splint, wrap, and especially don’t do surgery to install plates and screws. The main concern is to ensure they heal in a way that allows deep breathing and coughing. I have a gadget – inspirometer or maybe just spirometer – with which to exercise the lungs and ribs to permit a minimum of 2 Liters of air inhaled.

      1. Wow. Congratulations on being out of the hospital with no permanent damage —that’s scary! I hope the pain level is down.

        1. Getting there. Ran out of Tramadol HCL right on time. I have some Naproxen left. The battle will be not doing too much, because the pain is less.

    1. Oh my goodness, shocked to read this. Having been abscent for a while again, I had no idea. Hope you’ll get well soon and feel neither crushed or tenderized. Sending healing thoughts and vibes your way.

        1. Thank you! I miss this place a lot when I’m not here, but my energy-levels have been on a terrible low for about a year now and I can’t seem to find a way to fix it. Will try, and hope, to manage to pop in more frequently though. Jenny has created the best kind of safe space here.

  3. I’m happy to be connected to the world again. My internet went out Friday night and didn’t come back until about 10pm Saturday night. Because I live in the boonies, that means no TV, internet, phone, OR cell phone. It felt very isolating, and when a new tarot client was coming to my house, she couldn’t call to say she was lost. I also missed a 3pm podcast taping. Thankfully, the DVD player still worked… But it made me realize how much I depend on this one cable coming into the house. There’s no good way around it, but I’m seriously happy to have it back.

    I’m also happy the cold snap is over. It got down to -17 F overnight Friday night, and most of Friday and Saturday were in the low single digits. My fibromyalgia is NOT happy. But I’m happy that next week we’re mostly supposed to be in the high 30’s and low 40’s. Upstate NY doesn’t kid around when it comes to winter, and I find I tolerate it less well every year.

    But my biggest happy (if nothing happens to screw it up) is my witchy gang finally making it over this afternoon to celebrate together. This is a slightly belated Imbolc ritual and feast (that’s where they got Groundhog Day from, in case you’re wondering), which is not a big deal, except that we had to skip Samhain (Halloween) and Yule dinner party due to illness–first Covid, then flu–and haven’t seen each other in way too long. Fingers crossed I get to come back later and report a big happy.

    1. You’ve had a really bad weekend. I sympathize.I hope the celebration happens, and you can all feel that vibe of togetherness, again. That’s COLD!

      1. That’s not even counting the dead and desiccated mouse I found under one of the cat food containers in the kitchen, or the fact that someone decided to pee in a cardboard box I’d left out in the same room. It was definitely a day.

        1. Better a dead mouse than a live one. And once they get to the desiccated they are easier to clean up.

  4. Happiness is getting a clean bill of health for the cat. He’d been limping and favoring one of his front paws for several weeks, and multiple vet visits. It looks like the antibiotic shot he got did the trick. He’s much happier being indoor/outdoor than being kept cooped up indoors.

    I’m binding a couple of quilts, and I’m still getting the feel-good vibes watching them slowly get completed. Plus it’s almost time to start a new project – and that is always thrilling!

  5. Admittedly this is not a happy, but I’ve got house guests, one of whom could win a prize for mansplaining. I am mansplained up the wazoo.

    1. I usually play dumb and dumber. One of the perks of being blondish and looking a lot younger than I am. I make big eyes and wear them out until they leave at work. There was this one salesman… My coworkers were amused.

      But that probably doesn’t work so well with someone in your house.

  6. I had a great day on Friday: monthly artists’ get-together in the morning, when a conversation with someone new to me rekindled a photography project that’s been on the back burner – so I’ve been marking up maps with locations I want to explore for it. Then a solid afternoon at the allotment, making a new comfrey bed, followed by binging Young Royals on Netflix.

    I’ve sown my first seeds (rocket, Greek cress, polyanthus & larkspur), started doing morning pages (which feels good), and discovered just now that the crocuses I planted at the sunniest end of the lawn are coming up after all, now the sun’s actually reaching that bit for an hour or two a day. Back to the allotment this afternoon, followed by more Netflix this evening. And the sun’s out all day, and hopefully tomorrow, when I’m off to explore a garden/estate and meet up with friends.

  7. I’m happy that the really cold mornings have gone to just cold mornings. I was able to get in a full walk yesterday afternoon, and reacquaint myself with the neighborhood. All the Yule decorations are gone, now.

    I sorted and dusted my living room bookshelves, and put in a bin some books I will read again, but not soon. I made a pile of books to sell at Half Price. I have two full bins of those, now. The shelves look so much better, and less crowded. There were double layers of books on several shelves, and books piled on top of the layers.

    I have seen all three Opossums, one each night, lately, and they look fine and healthy. I guess they are smart enough to just stay in when it’s way below freezing, and that’s why they didn’t appear again until recently. I was relieved and happy to see them.

  8. My biggest happy is that we had an excruciatingly cold couple of days but didn’t lose power. Yay!

    Just as great — I’m planning a trip to East Anglia, UK, for medieval/renaissance church pew-end sculptures and angels in the rafters; western France for sites of Wm the Conqueror, Henry I of England, and ancestral areas for Geoffrey of Monmouth; and, Warsaw, Poland, to visit our son and daughter-in-law.

    Any ideas from Arghers are welcome!

    1. Elizabeth, my mother’s great-grandfather emigrated to the US from East Anglia, where he’d lived mostly in Norwich. I visited Norwich once for a few days, and found it a lovely walkable city. But you might also enjoy a trip into the Norfolk Broads, towards the east coastline. Especially if you’ve ever read “Coot Club” in the Swallows & Amazon series.

      I also found it very amazing what the builders managed to do with flint as a building materials, since each piece is relatively small and irregular — about the size of a baseball, or golfball sometimes. Many churches, both small and large, have walls or buttresses made using flint — something I’ve never seen done in the US.

  9. Happiness is something to look forward to. After years of doing nothing, I signed myself up for two consignment booths and two art shows. Still waiting to hear back from all of them, but thinking about it makes me excited. I am tired of all the work it takes to list stuff online. Plus I have a bunch of stuff that is too big or too cheap to sell that way.

    Hopefully I get at least one ‘yes’. And soon.

  10. I was happy that I managed to trek over to the Meijer store for a number of things. Oddly, they don’t let you try things on any more, but there was a pair of jeans marked down to $5.40 so I just bought them. They did not fit, but I know a family with a lot of females – they’ll fit someone. The black top at a similar price does suit me.
    No wallets near the purses, but found one in the men’s department. When I put my stuff in the new wallet, it bulged – I decided I didn’t need to keep some things there but it still bulged. Put the reduced things back in the old wallet, and it is now easier to get things in and out, so now happy with the old one, and have an inexpensive back up.
    The sunscreen I bought turned out not to be the kind my dermatologist wants me to use, but it’s a good quality and someone can use it.
    They did not have three things I expected to find there, but I did get a cute Valentine dish towels (one for me, one for sister) and some unusual Hershey’s kisses in red foil to hand out to people (Jazzercise, coffee shop, grocery, FedEx etc.) during Valentine week, which is one of my odder hobbies.
    And they had prune juice DH wanted, which neither of my regular grocery stores had, so I ended up VERY pleased, despite the rather uneven success rate.

    Today I head over to Kroger, who claims to carry my sunscreen, and may also have canned mackerel (cats) and the air freshener I like. Life is an adventure when I can view it that way!

  11. Today is a crisp sunny day so happiness is going to be going to the seaside.
    My husband is a geography teacher so he needs to check out a local beach to see if it’s suitable for a field trip with a bunch of 15 years old.
    Me, I am just going for the view and to snap pics. Taking pictures of nature is one of my big happies.

  12. Happiness is the Covid fairy retreating from our household. My husband who has been very sick is getting better, and I only had mild symptoms for two days. Our houseguest finally listened to our entreaties about potentially infecting her since she is high risk and went home.

    In two hours, my book circle is gathering for our bimonthly meeting. On zoom still but I’m wondering if we should be moving back to in-person meetings. Yes, it would be inconvenient given that we are spread out across the GTA but I’ve noticed that engagement has been gradually going down, with more people multitasking.

      1. Thank you! I’m 100% but husband is slowly recovering. He’s up and about now though so I don’t have to wait on him anymore.

  13. Yesterday I woke to -6* outside. On opening the blinds I looked out on sea-smoke (new phrase to me) along the bay. Haven’t seen it in years it was so awesome. From one end of the bay to the other. Until I had to go to the grocery store, that’s when I missed an automatic car starter. I heard one of the cashiers tell a customer that she was wearing four jerseys under a sweatshirt along with a knit hat. She was stationed nearest the door. All I needed was a loaf of bread but $27 dollars later I found things I just couldn’t do without.

    I’ve been reading the comments on Lessons on Chemistry and out of curiosity put it on hold not by one library but eight library networks along the east coast of MA. On e-books the range of holds is 17 to 54 copies on one library to the elusive 2,062 of 163 copies, but that is in Boston. Let’s see 2,062 divided by 163 = 12 or 13 I just might have a chance of getting it this year. But 54 by 17 = 3. Much better.

    The grand dog is frustrated at not going out for walks as often as she is used to. Last night I walked by the dining room table and just underneath my son’s chair was a pile of stuffing from one of her toys. I told my son he better watch his back.

    On Netflix I’m catching up with New Amsterdam. As from season one onward.

    According to my computer the temp is now 36*. Above freezing. Yeh!

  14. I have big happiness this week. Finding out what I’ve reacted to for over twenty years, microcrystalline cellulose, that has made me sicker and sicker. I’m starting to recover. Then discovering that my landlady’s laser treatments are helping my nerve damage.
    It’s so good to feel better and to know what the problem has been.
    Also, we’re in Arizona for the winter, and it finally warmed up. It wasn’t anywhere near the temps Deborah Blake described but it’s been the coldest winter on record around here. 🙂 It got clear down to 30 one night.

      1. I’ve always over-reacted to meds. I’ve been diagnosed with Fibro and ME/CFS. I was tested for mold (no I don’t have that) and put on all kinds of anti-depressants, supplements, etc but I just got worse. I noticed this last summer that when I went off all my pills, I felt better. Several doctors told me I had to take blood pressure pills and cholesterol. I had joined several chronic fatigue pages on FB and one man made an off-hand remark that he felt worse when he used Microcrystalline Cellulose. I hadn’t heard of that, but it is in everything. Prescriptions, otc, supplements, food. I’ve been more careful, checking everything, and so much better. My anxiety is almost gone, my pain levels better and my fatigue is better. It’s been a life-saver for me. No more suicidal thoughts or panic attacks.

        1. Wow. I know I was warned about magnesium stearate, which is in most pills, and which is a preservative, not actually magnesium. But I’ve never seen anything about cellulose. I am only on one prescription (ironically, because I react badly to almost everything else…) but now I’m wondering about my supplements. I know I see it in foods. (It’s basically paper or wood pulp, I think. Ugh.)

      1. It is in almost everything as a filler(meds) and powdered drinks, frozen, breaded foods, and even in my toothpaste. I watch for anything that says cellulose. It’s difficult, but I was so bad and now I feel like me again. I’m pretty vocal about it, because if I hadn’t seen another person mention it, I’d have never known. I discovered it because I felt so much better when I didn’t take any pills. If you know of anyone who has bad reactions to most of the pills they take, they might check into this.

  15. I’m reading my own book and finding I like the story which is a great relief. Found lots of places that need fixing but I am happy.
    Also Facebook showed me the pop-up cake site. My nice got the one with butterflies and roses for her birthday and loved it.
    Happy week all.

    1. I did that for my Mom one year. She still has the butterflies. The cake was even decent, which surprised me.

  16. Happiness is having survived the 90th birthday party of my mother last week only to get a call from one of the guests that he tested positive for Covid the next day and the only people he came into close contact was myself and my mother. We are now 8 days from it with no symptoms and I’m no longer worried I created a super spreader event.

    1. Phew! Half a dozen people went down with it after a memorial I attended last summer. My poor sis-in-law spent our holiday to the Rocky Mountains quarantined in her b&b room, feverish and coughing and miserable.
      I am happy that the kids and I got our bivalent booster yesterday so I should be pretty resistant for my trip to Europe in three weeks. I want to take photos of the festival in Basel and am wondering if I should borrow or buy a little camera or just use my ipad.

      1. Have you got a shock-proof case for your iPad? I’d be worried about holding it, and also that it’s rather cumbersome. But a friend of mine made it work on a touring holiday a few years ago. I should take it out for a day, to check you’re happy with it.

        (I love a viewfinder, myself: looking through a magic black rectangle. But of course nowadays most inexpensive cameras just have screens – which I often can’t see properly in bright light.)

  17. We had a great week in Mexico – swam with dolphins, visited Mayan ruins and played in the ocean everyday. Plus lots of walking along the beach and resort. Food was good and mango margaritas were delicious. There was a family of monkeys in the trees on the resort and they weee fun to watch. We missed the freezing cold in Eastern Canada, but it caused our flight to be cancelled. Airline has a bad rep for customer service so we were happy to get into another hotel for last night.

    Just before I left, a close friend found out her father has aggressive leukaemia. To my delight, my phone has endless numbers of gifs of tiny animated knitted figures. Every morning this week, I picked a new one and sent it to her. They made us both smile.

  18. It’s been a quiet week here but we did go to dinner last night at my son’s violin teacher’s house and that was lovely. We hadn’t seen them in years.

    And I am slowly catching up on long delayed house chores.

    My garden bulbs have started coming up. They won’t be in bloom for a couple of months but they give me something to look forward to.

    For those who were curious about the plagiarist the comment I posted on the Thursday blog with links is now out of moderation. It makes me giggle. And it’s nice to see the good guys outsmart the bad guys.

  19. I also notice that people keep coming back and rereading the comments and posting more. Even posts at the bottom of the blog get many likes. That —this community Jennie has created—makes me happy.

    1. I am just hoping for anotherLupe/Tammy/Gary underwear myself. That’s why I keep checking the comments :).

          1. Speaking of entertaining:

            Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went straight to her grandparent’s house to visit her 95-year-old grandmother and comfort her. When she asked how her grandfather had died, her grandmother replied,

            “He had a heart attack while we were making love on Sunday morning.”

            Horrified, Katie told her grandmother that 2 people nearly 100 years old having sex would surely be asking for trouble.

            “Oh no, my dear;’ replied granny. “Many years ago, realizing our advanced age, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would start to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous, simply in on the Ding and out on the Dong.”

            She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued, “He’d still be alive if the ice cream truck hadn’t come along.”

      1. That was all Lupe’s fault. I tried to change the subject but finally gave in to peer pressure.

    2. I check the blog at work, when I can. It helps keep me sane. I was alternating between this one and Alexis Hall’s, but he took most of his old stuff down. It’s a shame, because it was very funny.

  20. My puppy has doubled in size.he went from 10 lbs to 19.6lbs.

    I finally got to see Come From Away. It was wonderful. I laughed, I cried. I highly reccomend.
    This week we are seeing Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer in concert. Before the show, we are splurging in a Belgian reaturant as an early Valentine’s dinner.
    Later this week we are seeing our local University’s orchestra performing Copeland’s Appalachian Spring. It is one of my favorite pieces of music and was the recessional at wedding. We had non-traditional music. The processional was Blackberry Winter by Marion McPartland

  21. Like a lot of others, my happy is the cold snap calming down. Not so much for me as for my pup. The -40s℃ with windchill is not fun for small dogs. And neither is trying to wrangle booties onto her sweet little feet.

    She’s much happier inside in snuggle mode as seen here on my Insta page:)


  22. Happy to get through the cold snap when it hit the Northeast(ern US.) Thankful for a generator, and happy that it never needed to go on, despite the winds. I sleep in an unheated, uninsulated room, so I’m thankful for my eiderdown!

  23. For the last 2 weeks, these two have been my new every day happy.
    The joy of furry friends. <3
    I'm so happy we finally kicked our own butts and put some real effort into getting cats. And not just one, but two. It took me 10 years to convince Sven we needed pets in our lives, and also he now agrees we should've done it years ago and not waited this long. Although, if we had taken the step earlier, we would never have met these two beauties.
    Feeling blessed and humbled by the healing power of purring kittens.

    1. Thanks, everyone! I’m so happy we took the step, and that they both turned out to be very social and snuggly.

  24. Myself and a very good friend spent the day together in support of one of our younger friends. It was difficult but wonderful. And being able to talk with no interruptions from work or family was a blessing.

    We made new young friends too. My friend was puzzled by the younger ones eagerness to keep connected with us. I explained that it is because we treat them as individuals worthy of respect and we listen to them. Most elder people around them are instructing, advising, or scolding them.

    I’m happy to be trusted.

  25. Temps came in at zero yesterday morning. Pixie insisted on a walk. I insisted on cutting it short. This morning at 8 it was 22 and at noon it was 42. I’ll take the short cold snaps any day.

    I got all my last year’s paper stuff organized for my taxes. I still need some forms but if I don’t get them soon I’ll go online. So happy to be motivated, finally, to get this done.

    Our special election went well. A couple of minor glitches happened now and will not occur during our primary. I’m sure the gods will think of something to trip us up.

    Spoke at our state speaker’s listening tour regarding improving the state house rules for doing business. I think I did a pretty good job. I never felt comfortable speaking publicly but I seem to be getting past that. And that is my big happy!

  26. I spent the weekend chilling at home and/or rehearsing to audition for Avenue Q next week. It’s a new/small theater, which may be better for my chances, or they could have 60+ people show up and never the hell mind. I’m doing well at character voices in the songs, at least.

    I went to a craft fair and hung out with a friend, which was also nice.

  27. One of my happy-s this week is I got my car refinanced. I have been dreading it and it turned out to be online & no problem. Big sigh!

    I sent packages that included the anthology that published my work & a copy of a poem from another anthology that published my poem to several people & it got good reception.

    I fixed a story that had gone off track. A writer from my critique group made a suggestion of a new area for me to explore writing wise and I think I may meander in that direction and see if I like it.

    I’m getting no work done on my novel.

    I was super happy to see Bob put a -possible- cover for Lavendar’s Blue on facebook. I can’t wait.

    I finished my dreamcatcher & made a blogpost recounting it’s creation. Don’t have it hung yet but soon…

    I am continuing to enjoy Instagram!

  28. I’m back! We’ve been back a week, and we were away long enough that coming home to work and the start of the school year felt new and fun. Also summer is in full swing – we’ve been hovering above and below 30 all week too which is a glorious shock after the European winter.

    My daughter turns 15 tomorrow, and I’m happy that 15 is no longer the legal age to get your driver’s licence. Ha!

  29. I spent the weekend at a friend’s holiday home in a secluded bay with 15 people. The views were stunning and most of the company was great. It let me relax and catch up on sleep, which I was really grateful for, seeing as last week was so exhausting.

  30. I’m happy that so many people have Good Things to report, and especially that Gary is recovering. Don’t do too much, Gary.

    With regard to Day Job, I’m happy that last Friday’s three-application-filing-day went smoothly (didn’t even have to stay late!) and that the attorney team has at least sent a draft to the client for the application due *this* Friday. Also that I got some more weeds pulled before a) rain b) blustery wind.

    And: since January 25 I’ve written 24,000 words of the novel-in-progress and 4,000 words of a book I shouldn’t be working on yet. 🙂

  31. Is anybody on this blog from the Buffalo area — or elsewhere in Erie County? Just read there’d been an earthquake there this morning. Hope all are safe.

  32. My siblings and I had our sibling zoom chat yesterday. It was great to have all 6 of us on together at the same time. Now, I am sitting in my favorite chair with a purring kitty on my lap.

  33. Being without capacity*, I decided to declare The Diet of 2021 at an end. The final Official Weigh-In Day was #94, 2023-02-02, 253.0 pounds/114.8 kilograms. As such, I ate as I felt the need, whatever I wanted, until yesterday. Believe me, I needed the comfort. But, as the Albionese would remind us, “The Queen is dead. Long live the King.” The Diet of 2023 officially started Monday, 2023-02-06, with an initial weight of 262 pounds/118.8 kilograms. Mondays will be official Weigh-In Days going forward.

    My records are also changing. For the Diet of 21, I used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track everything. Dof23 is using a Microsoft Access database. Specifically, I began by downloading the nutritional database template, which I will gradually modify to best suit my needs. Access allows me to save daily menus, tracking everything I consume and even which meal it was consumed at.

    The database also features exercise records. I could log each episode of using my Spirometer. I won’t. It only burns a few calories, and I haven’t yet managed to inhale more than about 1700 mL of air in one breath. 2000 is the goal for minimum. Other than up and down the stairs (there being no bathroom in the basement), my ribs forbid much in the way of exercise. But they’re getting better.
    * Lacking capacity is what you get from being incapacitated.

    1. Gary — Definitely, Do Not Overexercise while you’re recovering!!!

      I did that (following the PA’s recommendation) and nearly had to have a skin graft when the surgical wound reopened. My recovery was slowed down, too.

      Besides, every time you overdo your body is going to tell you loud and clear that you were muddle-headed to make the attempt.

  34. And my guess is that the easiest thing to forget when you are recovering from an injury to multiple spots of the body is to stretch the muscles you’ve neglected while recovering. Maybe by looking up something like “gentle yoga stretches” it will suggest ways to do stretching during recovery from surgery or something similar.

    I know that right after I’ve been sitting at a computer for a longish stretch, it’s very hard to unbend myself from a sitting position. Dogs and cats are excellent at stretches — why on earth are we so sketchy at it?

    Good luck, Gary!

    1. I have ten sessions of Chair Yoga that I will watch and attempt. They’re better than nothing, and the stretching and breathing are what I need. Nothing but good times ahead. 🙂

  35. So today it’s also making me happy that the Swiss canton in which the Receptio academy is located (see prior posts on plagiarism and academic fraud) has now made a new law limiting institutions that offer tertiary degree studies without certification of quality and compliance with international standards —to protect students.
    This may have been prompted by a completely different scandal, but it’s going to step up pressure on the plagiarist.
    It’s truly a soap opera.

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