Happiness is Not Bears

I was stressed this week, so on an impulse I ordered a sleep shirt and a box of candy from Amazon. It arrived after dark, and a bear ripped open the box and took the candy. It did leave the sleep shirt, so that was something. So for me, happiness would have been a box of candy a bear didn’t get. I know, I didn’t need a box of candy. One damn thing after another.

What didn’t the bears get at your place this week that made you happy?

102 thoughts on “Happiness is Not Bears

  1. Er, now I’m happy that I live in a country without bears. I mean, BEARS! What the hell.

    Went on a day hike yesterday (with no bears). 1100m vertical scramble, the views from the summit (1833m) and time away with my family totally worth today’s sore legs. Also staying at a cool old cottage, board games, a fire (wood and what my kids now call ‘climate change rocks’ aka coal), some history, just what we needed. Also, no bears. And much chocolate. (Is chocolate candy?)

    1. I remember going to New Zealand after several months in Australia and relaxing – no fatal wildlife lurking; felt like home. (Not that I didn’t love Australia, but the range of things that can attack you is absurd.)

    2. Chocolate is not candy. Chocolate is chocolate, and eating chocolate a much more complex act than eating candy. Which is also good, but not chocolate. I just experimented with that this morning, when I had a yellow jelly bean within reach, but did not eat it. Then I had chocolate within my reach, and I did eat it. I ate of the fruit of the cocoa bean, and it was good.

    3. What stunning views! I’ve been wanting to visit New Zealand ever since I read a book set there, back when I was a teen. It’s way up on my bucket list.

      1. Everything you have read is true! 😉

        (If what you have read is that it’s far away, beautiful, mostly welcoming, full of adventure, has a unique indigenous culture, good food if you know where to look, and is disappointingly expensive).

        If you ever do plan it, let me know ☺️

        1. We are thinking October 2024 (Canada is also expensive so that won’t be a surprise) so once I have people’s questions I’ll DM you on Instagram.

        2. Allanah, everything I have read matches what you described, and then some. Besides all that, I am also a Tolkien fan and would like to visit sites where the movies were filmed. If I can ever figure out a way to visit NZ, I will definitely let you know. 😊

  2. I am going to start deer proofing my yard so I have some hope for a garden this year. I live in town, like the center of town with 20 to 30,000 other people, but we have city deer. No bears yet though.

    1. Lupe, Hanging bars of soap beside your most precious plants will help deter the deer, as will whirligigs. Unfortunately, deer are destroying woods and gardens near me. They’re hungry.

      1. We have had a lot of success with deer resistant varieties of plants and by using Liquid fence spray every week —it’s organic.
        I know it works because if I miss a few weeks the flowers are missing and the deer footprints are everywhere.

    2. Okay, so Lupe last posted on Sunday 4/9. Yesterday 4/10 was the day a shooter opened fire in a bank in Kentucky. I don’t recall what town Lupe is in, but it’s somewhere in that general vicinity, and she works/has worked in a bank. Has anyone heard from her since Tuesday morning?

      I hope she posts here!

  3. I don’t know what the bears got, but I got Covid. And I am NOT HAPPY. It kind of feels like a loud growly bear has taken up residence in my chest.

    We’re pretty sure I had it in February 2020, before anyone was looking for it, but I’ve been super careful and managed to avoid it since then. Still masking almost everywhere, but the bear got me anyway. I’m medium sick, I guess. Definitely not one of the “It’s just like a cold” people, but I have friends who have been sicker than this. Still feeling pretty crummy.

    First symptoms were Sunday a week ago and I was hoping it was just spring allergies. Wednesday I went to Convenient Care (2 negative home tests on the Sunday and Tuesday) and Thursday I was notified I was positive. It’s mostly in my lungs, although I had some charming digestive stuff the first few days, intermittent fever, and as of yesterday, the fatigue and headache hit. Not sleeping well because of the constant coughing. [I was right on the cusp of being too late for Paxlovid and opted not to try it because antivirals have made me seriously nauseous before, but now I wonder if I should have tried it. Oh, well.]

    So what am I happy about? I’m VERY happy that the friend who was over for dinner and a movie on Sunday night didn’t catch this from me. (Let’s hear it for serious air purifiers and sitting on different couches. By the way, we watched GAME NIGHT, which was hysterical.)

    I’m happy my cats seem to be okay, since they can catch it. Harry Dresden didn’t eat for a few days, but that isn’t unusual when he’s working on a hairball and he seemed otherwise, so I don’t think he was sick.

    I’m happy that spring is finally here, even if I feel too lousy to go out and enjoy it. It is nice to have the sunshine and not be looking at snow.

    I’m VERY happy that I am double-vaccinated and double-boosted, including the last Omicron-specific booster. I hate to think of how sick I would be if I hadn’t had that added protection. I’m guessing I’d be in the hospital. And happy that even though the cough sounds and feels awful, the PA at the clinic said my lungs sounded clear. After a lifetime of asthma, and permanent damage from my first dance with this bear, they are a major weak spot, and one of the reasons I’ve been so paranoid. So I’m mostly trying to count my blessings. Plus three years is pretty good, all things considered. I know a lot of people who avoided it until this year, and finally caught it.

    And I’m grateful that a number of friends have volunteered to bring me things if I needed them (all I really needed was two thermometers that would actually read the same thing…which turned out to be harder to find than you’d think) and one friend who has called to check on me every day.

    I’m sorry about your candy, Jenny. That’s just rude. It will give you some idea of how sick I am that I don’t even want chocolate. But I’m happy that I can go back to drinking my mocha after four days only being able to drink tea. Nothing but good times ahead.

    1. Aargh! I’m so sorry. I learned this week that a relative in Arizona got Covid, and he is double shots, too. So am I, and I still wear a mask in public. It is just not fair that it attacked you, despite all your careful behavior. Get well, soon.

    2. Sending all the best Deborah. Hope the covid symptoms pass soon. It’s a horrible dose.

    3. Sorry to hear about your Covid. We had it for the first time in March. It was like a bad flu for both of us. A week in bed and a week laying around. We both still have the fatigue after over a month but it seems to be getting better. Sending you healing thoughts.

    4. I’m sorry to hear you’ve got Covid. I got it before the vaccines were generally available and got the gastro-intestinal version. Nothing but good times. I’ve had all the available shots since, but am now super careful when I actually go out. I wish you a speedier and complete recovery.

    5. I was sick with that earlier this year and had it stuck in my lungs. What helped me the most with that was breathing in steam, starting with a pot of boiled water and later upgrading to a nasal steamer. I’ve also heard hyperbaric chambers help with the lung recuperation should you have one available to you. Feel better soon.

        1. Chicken soup may also help—apparently it has been shown to provide sone mucus control.
          I hope you have an oximeter

    6. Hope you feel better soon, Deborah, and can get some better rest. Seems odd that at least your Tuesday home test didn’t pick it up since it seems to have been detectable by the Wednesday. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

        1. My home test only detected COVID once I did a cheek swab and the nostril swab.

    7. Really sorry about the Covid. Sending all the vibes for a speedy recovery.

      Also, if you’re ever in the market for a movies podcast I recommend The Avid Indoorsmen – they do old releases as well as new ones, and they did ‘Game Night’ recently.

      1. Get well soon, Deborah! I had a mild version last May (2x vaccinated, 1x booster), but the lasting effect on my lungs (nasty coughing) took ages to get better. A friend told me about recent studies that suggest it can take up to 12-18 months for such side effects to subside bit subside they will.
        Wearing a mask is such a reasonable thing to do. I don’t know about the US, but here in the south of Germany it feels like Covid is over and in London (we’re back home already) almost nobody wore them. We dud, at least in the pscked public transport. Apart from Covid, other nasty stuff can be transmitted easily, too. The mask felt great!

  4. That bear didn’t realize how cute she’d look in that sleep shirt.

    I’m happy that it’s a long weekend up here in Canada and we’ve had sunny weather for it. Am taking my mother out for Chinese food today to so that should be lovely also.

    Happy Easter and Happy Passover if you are observant; if you’re a heathen like me then simply happy long weekend if you get it, and happy weekend all the same.

  5. I know you are disappointed about your candy, but I have to confess that when I read about the bear with the sweet tooth absconding with your treat, I laughed out loud.

    (Sorry, but I just had this cartoon bear in my head going, “oh, wow, happy Easter to me!!”)

  6. Sorry to hear that Deborah – I had pneumonia three times in 2019; not enough to send me to hospital, but bad enough that my lungs haven’t felt the same. I’m paranoid too.

    When you say ‘serious air purifier’, what did you get? I’ve fallen down the air purifier rabbit hole, and I’m still confused. I welcome all suggestions. I’m in Australia, but most brands seem to be available here.

    From what I’ve read, lots of rest seems to be important, and get yourself one of those finger test Co2 monitors in case you go downhill. I did, as I live alone.

      1. I gave those to all my kids when the pandemic hit. (Our HVAC system uses MERV 13 filters which reduces viruses as well as pollen—we chose it because our daughter has asthma and I’m so grateful we did. )

      2. Thanks – I’ve seen that one before! I’m now regretting not buying it when it was on sale last week. Maybe payday…

        It’s Autumn here in Australia, and contrary to popular opinion, plenty of us live in cold areas. I’ve just moved to an area that occasionally gets snow (Olinda, outer eastern Melbourne), so there will be a lot more inside socialising for the next six months.

      1. Glad your Co2 levels are still good.

        Thanks for the recommendation of the purifier – unfortunately, it’s way out of my price range, as it’s over $700AUD, but I will keep it in mind. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  7. Happiness, for me, is going out in the morning to fill the bird feeder and seeing three bushes covered with yellow blooms that smell like cloves, and my resident bunny sitting in the sun. I’m sure I mentioned the Golden Currant bushes before, and it looks like there will be abundant berries for the birds, this year. It’s fun watching the birds fly around with twigs, grass, and stray feathers in their beaks for nest building.

    Happiness is also getting my yellow truck back from the shop after its second very expensive repair session in a year. I don’t want to trade for a newer vehicle, because interest rates on a loan would be bad, and there are very few yellow vehicles available.

    Happiness is feeling better, after a long, dreary winter. We have had sun nearly every day, lately, and it really helps. There are no storms in the forecast for at least a week, so my arthritis should calm down a bit, too. It is warming up, finally! Spring really is here, and the trees are blooming, and that is lovely. Maybe I can put away the humidifier, now.

  8. No real bear encounters this week but several metaphorical. A close friend’s father died which brought up lots of feelings about my mother’s death. My niece’s wedding next week also brought up lots of emotions about losing my family. I wasn’t invited which is fine but I had hoped they would live stream or video so I could see the ceremony. She’s also required no cell phones during the ceremony. It’s her wedding but I feel hurt and sad.

    An X-ray of my spine revealed that I did not break or fracture my tailbone when I fell in March. However, it showed problems with a couple of vertebrae in my neck – serious enough to require a follow up appt.

    However, there were some moments of happy. Saw my first crocus in the garden. Went back to yoga after several week’s absence. We’re finally getting sunshine and warmer temps so I’m walking more which always helps me mood. And I bought myself a lovely bouquet of spring flowers.

    1. There might be a video afterwards. But I’m sorry – it sounds really disappointing. Alas, the fashion seems to be for a show-off party, excluding children and extended family. Plus they go on for hours.

      1. Family can indeed be so disappointing!
        My cousin had a lavish wedding last summer, delayed by Covid by 2 years. My parents were invited for the 2020 attempt, never invited bak for the actual one. That stung.
        What stung too, was that kuds were asked to be picked up after coffee and cakes round 5 pm. And by kids she meant everyone below 18, actively excluding her 14 yo goddaughter (my very mature and grown up teen, whom she sort of forgot about when she got her own kid) and my 17 yo son who would have been old enough to drink beer and drive a car, but not deemed adult enough for her grand ceremony.
        I accept the decision (it’s nice for parents of little ones to party thanks to planning ahead) but to exclude young adults felt harsh.
        Needless to say all 4 of us left then. Without much sadness as it was
        honestly the most boring wedding I’ve ever been to. The guests seemed to be regarded more like audience to their grand spectacle than friends to celebrate with. Oh well.

  9. Happiest moment this week was seeing my damson tree in flower for the first time – so that’s plums and damsons to look forward to for the first time. The blueberries are also covered in flowers, and the strawberry plants look good.

    I’m enjoying a three-day gardening break as my Easter holiday. Yesterday it was warm and sunny enough to sit in the garden and read – first time this year. I’m seeing a lot of my allotment neighbours – so lots of chatting as well as gardening. Also my friend Pam – we had a collaging morning, a walk in the hills in the sun, a plant fair + exploring a nearby castle as well as our usual film night.

    I love spring.

  10. I’m listening to a podcast called Hot and Bothered. They’re currently analysing Pride and prejudice. They did Jane Eyre previously. And they have discussed tropes within romance novels.

  11. As it is every week, happiness for me is finding what has made me increasingly sick for thirty years and having most of my symptoms go away. Also, seeing most of my grandkids yesterday. Such fun young men.
    So sorry about the candy, Jenny. That bear is toast!!!

  12. Tony n’ Tina rehearsals started, so that’s a happy. I had a nice day yesterday hanging out at a powwow and seeing an author presentation.

  13. It’s Spring in Maine, so it’s actually 50 degrees Fahrenheit* today! I’m getting ready to sow my wild flower field, I decided to get a strong young person to do the rototilling.
    It’s a quiet Easter for us, no guests or invites, the Masters is on (golf) and the Red Sox, and it’s a sunny day.

    And I’ve learned that “Fahrenheit” is spelled with an ‘h’ I hadn’t noticed was there. Something new everyday…

  14. My bulbs are in bloom. Very few are tulips even though last year I had large clumps of them everywhere. I’m pretty sure moles and voles got to them but I can’t figure out why a few varieties seem animal resistant. I will try new varieties this fall and see if any more manage to last more than one season. The daffodils and narcissus do fine but I want more color than just white and yellow.

    However I planted lots of unusual daffodils and narcissus and am really enjoying those.

    We did an online seder with my son whuch was nice. And I caught up with an old colleague which was good. (Less good was a 50th birthday for a colleague of my husband —a crowded cocktail party in a very noisy restaurant where I couldn’t hear what people were saying. I hung out in an empty corner with an open window and hope my husband and I don’t get Covid. I would never have gone if I knew what it would be like.)

    1. Apparently not all varieties of tulip are reliably perennial, so I should research which are best that are available for you. I think the viridiflora ones are mostly perennial, but I’m not sure. So it may not all be down to the local wildlife.

    2. Botanical tulips are much smaller than larger varieties and very long-lasting. I have some yellow ones in my yard that are 20+ years old. They also spread nicely. Sometimes harder to find at garden centres but likely available on line.

      1. I have a few of those but most have disappeared after a year or two. So that’s probably animals.

    3. My Apeldoorn tulips have been reliably hardy for over 30 years. This year I have very few due to the fact that when redoing an area, if I dig some up, I toss them because “Hey, I have a lot of these guys”. So now I don’t. But I am leaving the ones that are still there alone now so that I can build a good supply back up. For a long time I also had Apricot Beauty but it seems to have disappeared on me (That may be due to the behavior described above). The early Emperor tulips also did well for me but as the shade in my flower bed increased from trees maturing, they have gradually disappeared. Now that my 35′ x 35′ star magnolia bit the dust (literally), my back yard will have a huge amount of sunlight and I am planning on planting more tulips this fall. – OT my neighbor mentioned to me yesterday that a spot in her yard that seemed to get no sunlight at all now has filtered light part of the day since the magnolia is gone.

  15. No bears here. Lots of chocolate. As I have cleaned and rearranged things, I keep finding chocolate stashes. I did consolidate into one large stash.
    My big happy was I spent time with a friend helping her to groom her horses. It was nice to chat and brush.

  16. Happy was a very nice Easter brunch buffet with friends. It was very pricey, but nice venue, good food, and excellent friendly service people. Many young ladies in cute Easter dresses.

    My daffodils are starting to bloom. The sun is shining. I have some treats, if I ever recover from what I ate at brunch!

  17. So sorry about the bear!

    I follow a lovely designer online who loves in a place with alligators that roam freely. She had a photo of her new fence designed to keep out alligators.

    I can’t decide which would be worse to live near, although I doubt an alligator would go after a box of candy.

    I hope Southern Pennsylvania will be bear-free.

      1. And we have them in Maryland where they occasionally climb the trees outside NIH in Bethesda — a very suburban setting.

        1. Really? On the NIH campus itself? That is horrifying, since I live only a mile or so from it. Should start being thankful for the deer that eat my flowers. They are my shield against scarier invaders!

  18. My husband went to the grocery store yesterday for a few things and came back with a tub of Brigham’s Irish Coffee ice cream. O.K. he was one holiday off, but I’m not complaining. I made some chocolate frosted brownies to go with it. Not quite Easter goodies but I shook some pastel colored sprinkles over the top.

  19. No bears here, but they’ve been sighted about twenty miles from where I live.

    I finally decided how to celebrate some recent productivity and ordered an induction single burner (weird to use that term for induction) unit and a pot that would work with it, so I can be absolutely sure I want an induction stove when the rebates kick in this fall. And OMG, it’s amazing. All I did was boil water, because it arrived too late for my main daily cooking project, which is making the morning oatmeal. I’ll do that tomorrow, but I’m already about 99% sold on induction (and was about 95% sold before getting this trial version). So I get to de-gas my kitchen now, and then I’ll pass the unit along to someone else once I get the full-sized induction stove.

    Maybe by the fall, I’ll remember it’s induction, not convection. Had to fix the above before posting, because I kept calling the process convection!

    1. Happiness for me us that a landscape guy is scheduled to come out on Tuesday to give me an estimate on removing the grossly overgrown taxus bushes in the front yard, which will give me a spot to plant some flowers. AND he’s going to take down the nasty Callery pear tree so I can put in a cherry tree. 🙂

    2. FWIW: Love, love, love my induction cooktop, now 9 years old. Would never have anything else — gas feels sluggish now plus the ability to fine tune cooking temps (rather than the by-guess-and-by-gosh of turning the gas knob) is wonderful.

      1. I am so glad to hear of people trying and loving induction cooktops in lieu of gas ones. I’ve always been leery of gas stoves because when I’ve stayed or visited in places with them, I could always smell a faint smell of gas all the time around them. Which is apparently exactly what happens. I’d love to know why nearly every program on HGTV features expensive shiny-looking gas stoves in their ‘Wow! that is gorgeously gorgeous!’ re-done kitchens. I want the induction addiction to spread rapidly and widely.

        1. Years ago I bought the single induction burner plus appropriate pot when we were remodeling. Just to see how it would do. I have gas which I got because everyone said serious cooks used gas. Previously I used electric.

          Induction did not work for my style of cooking at all. I can see going back to electric and I can see continuing to use gas (plus, full heat instantly; negative, it takes twice as long to bring water to a boil as electric) but I never want to try to deal with cooking on induction again.

  20. Happiness is my 3 kids being here with us for Easter. I got them each some nice chocolate eggs in the hope they’d share with me but so far one has only given me one tiny egg. Also they are at the age where they really should be getting me chocolate really :).

  21. I’m wearing my gardening hat today – the one with the floppy ears – because I spent a pleasant hour or two pruning and shaking and pollinating in the room named (only by me and only for this post) Gary’s Very Secret Garden. Yes, I’m re-reading Four Kings again, why do you ask?

    The post could have stopped there, but I am wordier than that. I dealt with the six tomato plants (each in an amber mason jar) by selecting the hardiest single stem and ruthlessly cropping its rivals. Then I compassionately consigned the culls to the garbage can. Too lazy to then employ “the bee,’ the battery powered plant vibrator, I manually stimulated my six hot pepper bushes, all in bloom together. I hope it was better for them than it was for me.

    The herb Harvest (Harvey?) has the dill and both basil plants germinated and shooting up. I know the thyme and others take longer. I need to conjure more of that lack of ruth and trim the lettuce plants wa-a-a-ay back, then eat the trimmings. The green ones, at least. Lettuce is that which I have the most of. In fact, I have a craving for a hamburger with swiss on whole wheat, which lettuce would nicely accent.

    Happy. Happy gardening!

      1. I never know why I plant herbs. Okay, they are some of the easiest plants to grow. The dill was first and fastest. I never use dill. My go-tos are garlic and onion and their families. Red pepper. Black pepper. The basils are next fastest and so easy to grow that they satisfy urges. I’ll love the mint in tea. Thyme goes well in a song. Parsley is decorative. It can has a flavor?

        1. Parsley in larger amounts is good in tabouleh or a similar salad that I eat as a main dish when it’s hot in summer.
          Here’s a recipe from a French chef on YouTube:

          I simplify it a bit, and make mine with couscous instead of bulgur, and add feta cheese – it’s pretty easy to adjust to what you have in the house.

  22. We’ve had a good Easter break so far. Went to Erddig (National Trust place) yesterday in lovely weather and enjoyed roaming the gardens. DS did the Easter Trail, which involved activities like building towers, balancing on logs, and a wheelbarrow race. The prize for completion was, naturally, a chocolate Easter egg, which made him very happy. Thus far he’s done that Trail and 2 separate Easter egg hunts (both family ones), and he’s apparently doing another Easter egg hunt at dance camp on Tuesday. So he’s been having the time of his life – he’s been asking to do an Easter egg hunt since about last May, after doing his first last Easter – and has more chocolate eggs than he knows what to do with. He told me today that Easter is his favourite holiday, gee I wonder why…

    The sunnier weather is doing fabulous things for my mood.

    And the seeds we planted have started to come up with much more enthusiasm than I anticipated (the seeds were pretty old), so that’s very satisfying.

    Spring. I’m a big fan.

  23. Lots of small happy’s. I’m working my way thru my birthday teas, which should take me two years (LOTS of tea), but loving all the different flavors. Had a chocolate tea this morning, yum! The curve to the spout of my electric kettle is so elegant, it makes me smile each time I use the kettle. The fresh English muffin with my dad’s Apple quince homemade jam delights me; I remember The Old Grumpy with every bite. I love Sunday afternoons, sitting in my electric recliner with my favorite afghan, enjoying a fire and reading the Sunday paper.

    I’ll have to get busy tomorrow, cleaning out closets and doing taxes, but today I choose to sit and be happy.

  24. Mostly sitting and being happy. But I had a nice walk with Pixie this morning. And spent a couple of hours with my cousin for Easter lunch.

    Haven’t had a bear in the neighborhood for three or four years but have spotted, fairly recently, deer within a mile of my house. So happy it’s lighter later. Less chance of driving into them.

    The morning temperatures will be in the high 30’s and up after tomorrow morning. I really enjoy walking the dog more when it’s a bit warmer.

  25. I enjoy all the comments and will go back through for them but if I don’t do my comment right away – I forget what I was going to say.

    My bears come in the form of patients on the phone who are calling me to say their oxygen isn’t working. Naturally they are scared and having trouble breathing and generally angry.

    For some reason, this holiday, they were all in pleasant mode. I was spared the yelling and cursing and threatening. (Threatening to report me to various agencies not threatening bodily harm.)

    A few were even funny. The funniest invited me to Easter dinner of hasenpfeffer and then laughed diabolically. (Hasenpfeffer is rabbit stew.)

    Hopefully my telling you this has not jinxed my last night – tonight.

  26. I knew I was happy there are no bears here (and hope they will remain in eastern Kentucky and not work their way west towards central Kentucky) but I did not know how lucky I am not to be a delivery driver in bear country.

  27. Happiness is that a bear only ate Jenny’s candy and not Jenny or any resident pets.

    Also, a very good writing weekend; finished the short story to be submitted, and did 99% of the work on big revision of a self-published title. It has taken me four tries at this particular story!!

    Additional happiness from the garden, which is so colorful. It only took five years to get to this point. -.- Accidentally pulled up a blue flax with some weeds yesterday, popped it into a bottle of water, and it is blooming in my kitchen.

  28. I imagine Jenny’s bear knowing that candy is GOOD, but, having thought about it, deciding that the apron just wasn’t her style.

    Deb, so sorry about your bout with COVID.

    Susan, Ouch! Your loss being triggered and now your exclusion from a wedding must have you at a standstill. Take care!

    Yesterday we drove down to Brooklyn, NY, to see Zadie Smith’s modern retelling of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale. It’s called the Wife of Willesden. Absolutely awesome! Very true to Chaucer, but equally right now in your face London neighborhood. So worth the looong drive.

  29. One of my best friends was in the hospital with her mom. Many trips between rehab and the hospital this year. Hesitated on sending a lengthy text, but pressed send. She found it helpful and I was so grateful I sent it. Her mom passed peacefully.

  30. I am happy because I went to a colleague/friend’s traditional wedding celebration on Saturday. I couldn’t go for the wedding ceremony on Sunday due to my family visiting, but I made it to be present for some parts and made connections with people. Got driven 88km into deep rolling hills of KZN province. I learned am NOT a personality for a navigator given a location sharing source. I realised that I am better if I map things out on paper beforehand, and write it down in detail. Also, the pride I felt may be excessive, KZN is ridiculously beautiful.

    As for bears, I love that ranger-quote-turned-meme about the bear-proof trash cans in US parks “There’s an overlap between the smartest bears and the not so smart humans.” 🤭😂🤣😂🤣😆

    Our peSts are monkeys and rodents. Alack, alas, lions do not roam our streets! Though sometimes people who keep exotics like Tigers don’t secure them and they get away, causing much consternation, but none near me, so far!

    Deborah – so sorry about Covid. Hope it’s and easy recovery. Best healing vibes to anyone dealing with health concerns. I’ve been using the free content from the Workout Witch on IG for body trauma release exercises which is having a positive impact on my sinus/bronchial infection. Guess I really do need to read The Body Keeps The Score!

    Debbie and Jane B – I was just searching for information on growing tulips. I want to put in hibiscus and tulips and it’s autumn here, so a good time to get them.

    Stephanie B, I checked out your site. So cool. May I ask, what in the Rodeo/ranching books you’d read annoyed you most because of being unrealistic? I’m interested. If you’d prefer to reply directly, I’m on IG sarahv_yoga.

    Good vibes to everyone!

  31. Our bears are still asleep. They will be up soon if this warm streak continues but not just yet.

    Fred’s leg wound is healing and he’s pretty content to wear the Hat of Healing, I think he likes wearing it and playing “whack the human in the bum” with it. Today the girls go to the vet to get their shots.

    The biggest happy today is, providing nothing changes and the world doesn’t explode or anything, that we are going to the bank and paying off our mortgage. Or, if for some stupid reason we can’t do that, making a payment on the principal (our mortgage terms allow up to 10% of the total to be paid as a principal-only payment once a year without penalty) so that our final payment will be on Friday! It’s been a lot of work and a lot of saving and managing of priorities but it will be such a weight off to have it paid.

    Then, once we get home, we have to clean up the yard from a long winter of dog you-know-what. Nothing to knock you down from the glow of brand-new “home ownership” than that!

  32. Speaking of bears, a couple of years ago, during my birthday week celebration, I visited a place with a house you can tour and grounds with hiking trails. There were signs up in several places along the trails warning visitors to be careful as there were bears in the vicinity. I hiked very cautiously, looking around frequently to make sure I wasn’t taken by surprise, but never saw any sign of them. When I got back to the visitor center area, I encountered a man who worked there, and mentioned that I had not seen any bears and he casually informed me that the signs were there mainly for the Spring season (I was there in October) when the bears came out of hibernation. So I was being careful for nothing!

  33. My happy this week is that although I have (get to) to do three 90 minute workshops for students on this Saturday, I have acquired a partner for one of them. She is 30 years younger than me and lightyears cooler, and got all excited when I asked if I could show some of her artwork to the kids.

    I have worked with her in entomology, but before that she trained in graphic art and non-human character creation, the subject of this workshop, is her passion. So she is going to bring the funky while I bring the cutesy, and the kids will win out!

    Her name is Kirra Kent and she is a cool artist-arachnologist.


  34. I remembered that I, too, have a bear story. It dates back to the summer of 1971, when I was at Naval Nuclear Power School in Mare Island, Vallejo, CA. One of our instructors, Ensign Carnes, regaled us with stories of Yosemite National Park, and in particular, climbing Mount Half Dome and the view from the top. So, most of Section 11 (my section) decided to go the very next weekend, one week after July 4th weekend.

    It was a very long drive and we arrived just at dark. I overcooked pork chops because I couldn’t judge their doneness. Most of them went in the trash, as a result. Whereupon bears visited that night, rooting through the trash. We pretty much all played dead and nobody was harmed.

    Next day, we hiked up a combination of trails. Rainbow trail was beside Vernal Falls which meant rainbows ou the wazoo. Also followed the John Muir trail and found ourselves by Nevada Falls, which fed Vernal Falls. Three of us climbed an outcropping a bit back from the falls that stuck out over the river. Great view of the falls, like an infinity pool.

    When we turned to leave, we found a bear at the foot of the outcrop looking up at us. We looked at the water, contemplating jumping. We looked at the bear, who might have been contemplating lunch. If we jumped, it was a sure bet we’d be swept over the falls to our doom. We looked at the bear, calculating the odds that one of us might be the sacrifice while the others escaped. The falls. The bear. The falls…

    Yogi got tired of contemplation and wandered away. So we finished the climb to the top of Half Dome, took some pictures, and came back down as far as the saddle to sleep. Walking downhill is a lot easier than up, so we were at the cars in just a few hours, and back at the base and school that evening, where there were no bears. The end.

  35. My most memorable text from my daughter was when she was on a two week performance tour for her theater camp—they camped out and did great theater in the great outdoors (it’s a great camp for anyone with a theater minded teen). I think it was in Virginia or West Virginia.

    The text was “Hiking to waterfall. Saw two bears and a rattlesnake.”

    That is a text you remember.

    1. By great theater I mean Shakespeare —their performances varied in quality .
      But the experience was amazing.

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