Happiness is Finishing Something

We’ve finished One in Vermillion. We have a full draft of Rocky Start finished, ready for copy editing. I have two bathrooms and a kitchen in which everything is put away and clean, finished moving in. (And two bedrooms, a garage, and a living room/office that aren’t, but we’re celebrating here.). I have finished stroganoff, stir fry, and pasta in the freezer. I have finished the laundry that was blocking the hallway.

The happy word for today is “finished.” “Object achieved.” “That work is done.” “One more thing off that damn to-do list.” Okay, just “finished” is enough.

How did you finish finding happiness this week?

81 thoughts on “Happiness is Finishing Something

  1. Happiness for me is reading your exciting news about Vermillion and Rocky Start. Congratulations to you both. And well done for finishing two bathrooms and a kitchen.

  2. Is it soup yet? Obviously, Vermillion is soup and Rocky is on the stove.

    Meanwhile, back at my ranch, I have declared Home Moanership XIV, the necessity for some foundation work. The wall that holds back earth and creates the entrance to the basement, and also supports the porch for the kitchen door (a concrete slab), is bowing inward. Cracks have appeared. Something Must Be Done. I am letting the dotter deal with it.

    1. Good grief Gary! That is an extreme example of home moanership, I hope the dotter has lots of good construction and repair contacts… I will have to tend to foundation work after I raise a whole bunch of money. The house is not bolted to the foundation, and since the house was built in 1925, my bet is that more problems exist than I am aware of having. I hope all goes well with your daughter lining up good workers and that expenses and deadlines stay away from horrible financial territory.

      You will at least have good distractions soon with Vermillion’s release coming soon and Rocky Start being next in line.

      Jenny and Bob-if you would like me to proofread Rocky Start, I have experience and getting to read it ahead of most of your fans would be a great reward. I can be reached at taffyfreese@cox.net if you are willing to let me do a couple of editing passes. Thanks Taf

      1. Dotter has cleverly turned the tables on me. She reminded me that it has been less than a year since purchase and we may be under some kind of buyer’s insurance. And that as the Home Moaner, it is my job to contact the company. I’ve been meaning to get her a power of attorney… procrastination bites my butt again.

  3. We had a hot week (for Maine) and I was very draggy and uncomfortable and sick of everyone in the uncooled house. So I finally got myself to the library and read Rest in Pink in the AC, then got a taco in the AC, then there was a gushing downpour and a noisy thunderstorm, and the weather broke. While I haven’t managed much brain work, I did get some puttering in the garden done. I went to see Oppenheimer, which is remarkable, so glad I did go see it in a theater.
    Here’s to a productive week coming up, several of my usual activities (choirs, church council) are kicking in and I hope to enjoy them and not be a cranky pain in the butt.

  4. Happiness is that I kicked off my vacation at the Toronto Film Festival with five movies so far. Last night I saw Mr. Dress-up: The Magic of Make Believe – a documentary about a Canadian icon who was actually American, came up from the US in the ’60’s to start a children’s program on our public broadcasting station with Mr. Rogers for two years and then stepped into his shoes when Mr. Rogers went to his Neighbourhood back in the US. Ernie Coombs played Mr. Dress-up for 30 years and 4,000+ episodes, had the first non-binary puppet called Casey and his silent dog sidekick Finnegan. Anyone who grew up here during that time watched that show. That man was actually beyond icon status here – more like a kind god. The audience, including me, was in tears by the end of it and gave the movie a somewhat sniffly standing ovation.

    1. Mr. Dress Up and the tickle trunk in black and white or maybe it was a black and white TV before colour. And The Friendly Giant. It made you believe he was a giant. He arranged toy chairs for you to sit in, beside his big black boot then to look up, way up and he would tell a story. Canadian classics, early childhood learning television. I must see the documentary.

      1. Yes I loved the Friendly Giant too! And I watched Chez Helene although I never learned any French from it. We were so lucky to have smart children’s programming.

        1. For many years , we only got CBC on our TV so these 3 shows were the mainstays of my childhood. Thanks to Chez Helene, I learned my first and only French song, Sur le pont D’Avignon. I hope the Mr. Dress film comes to bc a theatre near me.

      2. Too funny, Carol. To this day, I still refer to lots of chairs clustered together as a Friendly Giant thing:)

        We had Mr. Dressup, too, and Magic Tom. Also Bobino, Les Oraliens, and the 100 Tours de Centour (some in reruns I think).

        But I always found a lot of the old kids shows we had (both Canadian and from U.S. like Captain Kangaroo etc), seemed to be helmed by men with only a few like Romper Room headed by women, so for me sometimes it was tough to relate. Probably that’s why I gravitated more to shows with more female roles as a kid like That Girl or Mary Tyler Moore and stuff like Sonny and Cher where Cher was clearly strong in her own right. To me, those are just as much shows of my childhood as the others.

    2. The Friendly Giant was my show, my sister lived Mr.Dress-up.

      In the vein of childrens’ shows, does anyone remember Professor Kitzel? It was an animated history show with the eccentric professor and his time machine.

      And House of Frightenstein?

      Waterville Gang?

  5. Finished moving everything from my sister’s apartment a week ago. My niece and I found treasures. I sorted most of the recipes, looking for mama’s molasses cookie recipe. Once found, finished. And almost done photographing all the good stuff for her family.

    The tomato plants are finished. Picking the last of the crop today. Warm ripe sweet tomatoes off the vine, sadly, done for the year.

  6. The hell hot weather here in middle Tennessee finally broke and we had a lovely day here yesterday. A part for my lawnmower arrived so I will be You Tubing after church to see if I can fix it… all while secretly decorating and making a charcuterie board for my sister in love’s 50 birthday party… which will also involve You Tube!

    Am very excited for Vermillion!!

  7. Happiness this week has simply been finishing the week itself!

    Routines are slightly more challenging this year: back to school routines have slightly different protocols this year and we leave 20 minutes earlier, so on gym days I have 20 fewer minutes to shower and get out the door.
    Amd I’m back to working 9-6 (vs 8-5 over summer and i already miss that extra hour in the evenings), BUT, because we get to the last school drop off early, I have the potential to get to work 30 mins early every day, so I could leave work early every day, or “save up” and leave early on Fridays. I just have to stay in the car and not get delayed by talking to other parents.

  8. Had a lovely week, and then felt sick Friday evening, and tested positive for Covid again!!!! Not that sick, just normal cold level, but was planning to work all weekend and had social things next week that now I can’t do. Mostly concerned about the possibility of having infected boss/coworkers/customers. As long as they are all fine, I will count the blessings of extra time to read.
    It is nice to have “Rocky Start” off in the future to look forward to. I like to have my future studded with known good things.

  9. The other night I dreamt of a recipe and when I woke, I realized I had all the ingredients, so I went ahead and started it. It was a summertime dream of multicolored peppers stuffed with rice and vegetables, zucchini, summer squash, chopped roasted red peppers, mushrooms, onion, garlic, pepperjack cheese, parmesan, herbs. The whole thing roasted in a bed of cherry tomatoes drizzled with olive oil. I stopped myself from going to the freezer to put in a handful of peas, as it was, I had two plus cups of leftover filling at the end. That will go to a meal when my husband and I have doctor’s appointment the same day just a couple of hours apart. That’s what happens when you go from two cars down to one.

    I just read Tammy’s post about the Toronto Film Festival. Because it is the tail end of summer and TV watching is all repeats I discovered a cable network The CW. That seems to be chuck full of Canadien programs. My favorite so far is Family Law. About an attorney who loses her job with her law firm and has to go back to her family’s firm. She lost her job due to her alcoholism and also lost her marriage and is in a custody battle with her ex. That’s the serious part. There are some rather quirky characters on the show. All with their own story. Her father is played by Victor Gaber and mother by Lauren Holly. And I’m just catching up it’s already in season two.

      1. My husband stuck meatballs in mushroom caps and added them to the roasting pan with the tomatoes. It all worked out.

  10. I’m finishing the final edits on the current Llewellyn book. I will be very happy when I can hand it in and get it off my desk.

    The guys who installed my mini-split heat pump ACs a couple of months ago finally made it back to put on the trip kits, which cover the ugly outside wires and tubing (which are huge–like the size of a leg, and stretch up and over the front and sides of the house). Sadly, they only had part of what they needed, so now they have to track down the rest of the pieces and come back…eventually. Sigh. One section is going to be impossible to fit a trim kit over because of the configuration, and I’m seriously considering just winding fake vines around it so it will look…finished.


    I think the lettuce in my Aerogarden is finished. It had a good run, and was a welcome fresh food. The tomatoes are also in the running for finished. They are getting smaller and fewer. The sinus problem is also in the running for finished, at last.

    I want to call attention to an article on the NPR website about LONG COVID, entitled Unraveling Long COVID… (long title) They have discovered some interesting things. The one that stuck out to me is that Trans men with long COVID feel better when they are taking testosterone. There is a hormonal link for both sexes! There are many other revelations, too.

    Summer is nearing the finish line, here in the Kansas City area, thank goodness! It is cooler, the air quality is much better, and it feels Fallish.

    1. Interesting. Long Covid has been kicking my ass since February 2020 (I like to get in ahead of the crowd) and they know next to nothing about it. Mind you, I’ve had fibromyalgia since 1984 and they have literally learned NOTHING since then, so I’m not feeling hopeful.

      1. I’m sorry to hear that, Deborah. I have an email friend with FM, and a lot of naps and pacing herself seems to help, some. But that is not really a good solution. They are evidently learning some things, but applying that information is the hard part.

    2. I have a lot of AeroGarden lettuce. Romaine and Salad Greens. My Parris Island hasn’t germinated, but I’ll get over it. I’ve been mixing in arugula and green chard. I suspect my cherry tomato crop is still six weeks from harvest. I’ve been taking poblano and jalapeño peppers (and the very occasional green bell pepper) for soups and salads. When I finish harvesting the red fire peppers, I’ll replace them with an Anaheim Pepper seed pod. I think they’re the mildest of the “hot” peppers.

      1. I ordered some flowers, and some heirloom salad greens. I guess I’l see how that works out. No bell peppers for me, we don’t agree with each other. I do use dried Anaheims in Mexican dishes. Otherwise, no “hot” ones.

    3. The bok choy in my aerogarden got aphids–yuck! I think it’s time to empty the whole thing and clean it. Hoping I can successfully transfer some of the pods I just started.

  12. I finished the first of two quilt tops for soon to arrive twins.

    I also moved most of my craft/fabric stuff from my old house to my current home. We are looking to rent my old house so it needs to be cleaned and packed. We have been using it as a large, expensive storage unit for the last few years.

  13. I canned 8 jars of peach salsa. The peaches are very tasty this year so looking forward to opening a jar in a few weeks, when the weather is cooler and my garden is done.

    I cleaned and sorted 2 large groups of tulip bulbs I was gifted in the spring and have been drying in my basement. They are ready to be planted later in the fall. With DH’s help, I took down the mini green house in our dining room and organized all the plant paraphernalia into a plastic bin so it’s easy to access next winter when I start my seeds. I’ve started collecting seeds from vegetable and flowers so still some plant-related bits in the kitchen.

    DH and I went to see Peter Gabriel last night. It was an amazing show, both musically and visually. He introduced the other musicians at the beginning of the show and credited the various visual artists throughout. It was clear from the performance that he appreciates the work of others and is still pushing himself musically.

  14. I drafted my first piece for the writing critique group I joined. It’s really long and needs lots of work, but I’m feeling really good. I’m scheduled to present it in 2 weeks.

  15. As usual, a short workweek felt every bit as long as a regular one. Packing five days’ work into three = ugh. Made it out without overtime, though, thanks to my Systems.

    Finished: all but the submission package for the marriage-of-convenience novel. Will give it one last read-through-edit before I do all that.

    Finished: gamma draft of the last self-pub new-cover relaunch text. The book has grown.

    Text revisions finished: another novel and three novellas to launch wide. (I’m using Draft2Digital for this, which has a different upload interface, which means the ebook text I prepped for AMZ needs tweaking. As usual when a motivation / opportunity presents itself, I’m making other small changes too.)

    Yesterday was too hot and today promises the same. I have a headache and a bad attitude. Am literally about to chop a few inches off my overly-long hair because my braid is too heavy. Stay cool, y’all.

  16. Apparently, it’s a week of final edits for several of us, including me, with my first venture into self-publishing (but a book designer to hold my hand). A dear friend was here this week, and we finished cleaning out/up the fridge. She also fixed things, and we managed a few meals out and some walks. All very happy.

  17. The last time I went to see the knee doctor I was very unhappy about the only opening they had to get my final shot so I was overjoyed when they called to say that the doctor needed to reschedule. I no longer have to leave the house at 6:30am and hobble around all day on the day I should be helping my sister prepare the holiday dinner. And we rescheduled on a day that was previously empty so that if the doctor is once again 2 hours late, I will not be screwing up any other person’s day.

    I am also happy that I figured out what to do with the 2 challahs I got today in a New Year’s food box. My sister bakes much better bread than this charity buys and I am supposed to be on a reduced carb diet, so having that much bread around was often a problem. I used to give it to my friends Norman and Nourene, but now that they are gone it is a problem. Fortunately, while I was waiting for my food box I remembered that my sister (the one who bakes the bread) has a recipe for what she calls “Holy Grail Bread Pudding”. This will be the perfect way to use up all the already stale challah as well as providing a treat I can share with a variety of people. Maybe I can even bring it for dessert on Friday.

    I just called my sister and found out that the bread pudding is an even better idea than I first thought because she is taking her husband to the emergency room because he is short of breath. Perhaps I can find something else in my food box that will help them out. That would make me doubly happy.

  18. Thrilled for you to finish your projects and for us to have these lovely books to look forward to.

    I’m finishing my last two transcripts today, and then can start the qual analysis for my dissertation. I was hoping for December graduation, but looks like it will be May instead. Oh, well-Just keep writing…

  19. Congratulations! And of course you can’t finish setting up the rest of the house if the rest of the big furniture hasn’t come!

    I feel that I was very productive but almost nothing was finished.

    A lot of what I did was cleaning, which is not that satisfying. Finding drycleaners for my daughter’s party dress and my wedding dress which she wore at the Sunday brunch. The two dresses are similar in style and fabric and handmade but because the first one was pink and not identifiable as a wedding dress the first drycleaner is charging me for that dress less than a tenth of what they would have charged for my white wedding dress. I found another dry cleaner who is charging me an insane amount for the white dress but still less than half what the first dry cleaner would have charged. Now I just need to pick them up.
    Getting a stain out of a skirt for DD-it’s almost gone but need another application of baking soda.
    Getting wax out of a pot and a towel because DH made fig jam. (But now he plans another batch because our fig tree is producing about 20 figs a day and there are only so many we and the turtle A’tuin can eat. )

    I also have been productively cooking with our home grown tomatoes, squash blossoms, figs, and various herbs, but that’s far from over because we are harvesting lots every day. And I made sorrel soup with sorrel from the farmers market. In fact since DH is leaving for a two week trip my harvesting duties will grow. (The tops of the tomatoes and the fig trees require ladders to reach so it’s a project. )

    I finally made appointments for my gum surgery and a new retainer but now I have to go.

    We met with our accountant (for taxes) and financial planner but now I have to dig up information and send it to them. And help DD finalize her taxes.

    DH and I successfully got the right provisions in the divorce agreement of his friend with early onset Alzheimer’s to protect his adult disabled daughter, which is a major relief (the poor kid is 26, bed bound for the last 2 years and maybe for life, and on a feeding tube for life. We think she basically only sees her mom and her doctors.) We planned what DH needs to do next with his friend and conferred with his sister, and now DH will spend a week with him in London trying to execute those plans and I will try to support him long distance. Our next goal is to get him to update his will and advance directive and power of attorney while he is still competent enough to say who he trusts, and to find out how badly he needs surgery he is refusing and whether his other doctors know he is being treated for dementia. Our long term goal is to get him moved back to the US near his sister where she is willing to manage his care. But getting him to agree to move is probably for the next trip (October). DH and I are both struggling with a difficult mix of sorrow for his health and much shortened life and not much to look forward to (his kids won’t talk to him) and fury over his terrible values and choices —he wants to set up a new company (which he is completely incapable of setting up or running but his denial is strong) rather than trying to mend fences with his kids and spend time with the rest of his family while he still can.

    I almost finished cleaning up after the summer guests and parties (still putting stuff away) and got the equipment to hang two Navajo rugs my mom passed down to me, but now I need to actually hang them. And fold the last sheets.

    I started doing my PT and walking again but that will never be over.

    And I’m starting a bunch of day job projects that reflect some successes but still require a lot more work.

    One small but real happiness are the big bouquets of zinnias I cut from my garden in shades of pink and purple and orange and yellow and white. And watching hummingbirds in my back yard. Another is that in preparing for the brunch I put away a lot of knickknacks and kitchen equipment like trivets and I am enjoying the lack of clutter. I recommend it. I won’t put them back any time soon.

  20. Finished. I read as much of Bratva Baby: A Surprise Pregnancy Mafia Romance as I could stand. That was ten chapters and part of an Epilog. First the good part: similarities between this book and romances I have enjoyed by authors I like. This story used words. It organized the words into sentences, the sentences into paragraphs. There were chapter markers. Typically, each chapter contained just one glaring pothole. “Fore” example,

    The only excuse I can make fore Eric’s surprising stamina is that he’s secretly a professional athlete, or that he’s a machine in bed.

    Note: Our hero-whine, Vera, has never and will never get Eric into bed. He’s just one of the gaggle of over-privileged bitches she has surrounded herself with. “And” this:

    I’m reminded of the first few years I spent here in the States, arriving in my late teens. I was invited out to and endless variety of haunted houses and other intentionally horrifying experiences for the sake of a cheap thrill.

    The anti-hero is an idiot.

    She’s the type of girl you see once and fall in love with, but I’m too deep in the mafia to ever consider such a thing.

    This was obviously a thought similar to, “What could go wrong? Also, how many of the Russian Mob say they are in the Mafia? It’s in the title, too.

    I see I haven’t metaphorically rolled my eyes over Mr. Bratva’s name. Rusian. He’s a Russian named Rusian.

    Copied from Popular-BabyNames:
    Information about the first name Rusian
    The first name Rusian has been assigned to: 100.00% to boys 0.00% to girls
    The country where the first name Rusian is the most common is: Italy

    Mr. Russian Rusian wears bespoke suits.

    Given my time in prep school and now in an elite college, I’ve gotten used to the look of expensive designer brand clothing. It’s a habit I thought I’d never absorb from my friends, but I’ve learned how to detect when someone’s clothes are genuine or fake. Whatever this man is wearing isn’t something that he purchased off the rack. It was tailor-made for him, potentially designed for him.

    That means money. So not only do we have a rich Mafioso (Bratvioso?) who will get around to knocking up Vera, he’s potentially a billionaire criminal. Possibly a Bratva Prince. He probably plays hockey, too.

    The final straw in this reluctant reading approaches. Back at the turn of the century, when I participated in writing stories in a group all of whom published in newsgroups, in particular Alt.Sex.Stories.Moderated, one of my contempraries used the nym Homer Vargas. He specialized in stories of impregnation. I would suspect that he had changed his nym to publish this, but even he wouldn’t get eleven chapters in before consummating the premise.

    The familiar sensation of his hard dick twitching against me makes my cheeks flush bright red. I hadn’t been able to get a good look at his bulge before, but now I can feel that he’s at least two inches around and somewhere between eight and ten inches long.

    That is way more description than I needed. Worse, “two inches around?” Circumference divided by pi equals diameter. 2″/3.14159=0.62″. My little finger is thicker.

    Enough was enough. I can’t recommend this book. I’m going to delete it from my library.

    Deleting it will make me happy.

          1. Nah. That’s what Vera was measuring through his bespoke suit. She was just lousy at estimating size. Her guess reminded me of a pretzel stick, and I didn’t read far enough to see if she licked the salt off.

      1. Incidentally, the story I kept turning to as a palate cleanser between chapters was Wickedly Wonderful, which I also finished in its entirety. So much better than Barfy Baby. Now I have book 3 open, Wickedly Powerful.

      2. I hate it when people write about other countries/cultures and don’t bother to even scan a wikipedia page on the the subject at the bare minimum. Wikipedia is not the most reliable source of info, but it is fast, when you can’t be bothered sigh. Also the lead character must be a Vory (made man) at least and they have a code, including not having a family though as they’re criminals, it is sort of understood they’ll probably bend it. Person of Interest fans will remember this, I was curious enough to wikipedia back in the day. Given that Gary tried to read it, thank you for falling on that sword for us

  21. Can’t say I’ve finished anything but there are a couple of things that have reached a natural pause.

    Lots of meetings this week. I hope 2 zoning issues are settled. One was a continuation and the other has come back to us. And there’s a new hearing. It’s going to be a long night. The other meetings will probably just be long.

    Tomato and pepper plants are just about finished. I need to week the side flower bed and trim some hedges. I really have to get to the hedges as it’s getting close to that first frost date.

    And Pixie is blowing her summer coat. There is fuzz everywhere. That won’t be fnished for awhile either.

  22. We opened Miracle Worker on Friday, and the weekend’s shows went well, even though one of the main characters – Captain Keller – was ill and had to leave after Act 2 today. The actor who played the bit part of the doctor in the beginning completed the show, reading the part, and he was actually quite good, so happy with all that. AND I got over 7 hours of sleep last night, AND my cousin filed her final divorce papers today, so yeah, happy, and enough finishing to make the week worth it.

  23. I am happy today. Not sure why. Maybe content is a better word.

    Swam some this week – or rather walked/ran in the deep end of the pool.

    Finished a collage & I love it. Next I will show it & read the accompanying poem. Adjust poem if need be & put poem and collage together.

    Wrote some every day except Tuesday.

    Love the latest Only Murders In the Building.

    Tried to start the new season of Virgin River & wanted to throw something at the tv before the first episode ended. I just can’t. Sorry Annette O’toole and Tim Matheson – I loved your characters.

    Just decided to make low sodium peach salsa after reading about peach salsa above & googling a recipe. Yay!

    Trying to stick with my new budget that is a precursor to me buying a house next year. Wish we could decide where we want to live.

    Looking forward to One In Vermillion!!!

    1. PS – I rewrote the lyrics to a popular catchy song so I can sing when it comes on. The original lyrics are about gangster murdering thieves. My lyrics are about bees. I have had fun times learning my lyrics. If you’re interested the lyrics are part of my latest blogpost. Click on my name.

    2. I don’t get Virgin River either. I watched the first episode a few years ago and quit. Fast forward to now due to lack of anything that catches my interest I started again. I’m up to season 2. How could whoever take a marvelous series and turn it upside down and inside out. I don’t know how long I’m going to stick around but so far it has been longer that Steel Magnolias.

  24. On Gary’s heroic Bratva reading: Not that I’d touch the book and anyhow I’m not sure that a Russian gangster would self-identify with the term, but Russians do use the word mafia (uncapitalized) for any organized crime group, including their own Russian ones.

    I happily finished Rest in Pink, but unhappily am far behind on chores I probably should have worked on instead of reading it. Every silver lining has its cloud.

    1. I’m sure you’re not sensing any pressure from Arghers, but when is the hard copy going to be ready to order? 😁

  25. Something Rotten went VERY well this weekend. I didn’t screw up anything! Had a good time.

    Auditioned for Oklahoma. I was hoping for a small part, but I think that’s shot now, oh well.

  26. I grew something. I usually kill green stuff. But the onions I left of the shelf grew nice long sprouts. Now I read on the www that you can propagate hydrangeas . Maybe if I do not breathe on then. Sent in 62 t-shirt fronts to be made into quilts. I could make a Cherry quilt. Now working on a signature quilt-40+ blocks.
    Reading Lavender’s Blue was like going home. The story and characters are new and fabulous but Jenny and Bob are in there.

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