Happiness is Getting Things Done

This week, I did my taxes (there’s a day I’ll never get back), sorted my yarn (some of it), changed the sheets on my bed (that’s a big deal), put together a new litter box for Lionel (who was deeply suspicious but who coped), cleaned out my dresser and filled it with clothes, diagrammed the plot for Rocky Start on three new white boards (do not tell Bob I have three new white boards), had lunch with Pat, did a LOT of laundry, crocheted granny shell shawls for mental health (mine), made cupcakes (sugar-free), brownies (sugar-free), and pudding (sugar-free) because I was in a major chocolate jones and didn’t want to die, got the couch into the living room from the garage (which annoyed Lionel who liked sleeping on the couch cushions when they were on the floor), painted my work table and the mantel I put in the hall and an old side table, and watched a lot of Numbe3rs because it’s better than Xanax. There was some other stuff in there, but mostly, I just got things done because Bob told me to calm down and take a week off from Rocky Start, which I didn’t do because I wanted to work on it, but I stopped feeling guilty about not getting it back to him, so there was that.

The thing I like about all of this is that things are getting done, my home is less chaotic (just less, not done yet), and I’ve lost that sense of terror that I will never be finished. I’ll get there. That makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

80 thoughts on “Happiness is Getting Things Done

  1. Oh God, reading this long list of achievements, I feel exhausted! Maybe because I am exhausted … I have caught this flu thing that’s been making the rounds. I hesitate to call it freshers flu because it feels more vicious than that. I did two Covid tests but it’s not that apparently.
    Still, getting slowly on the mend… I am down to the nasty cough now.
    My happiness this week is that my eldest is coming to visit. My worry is that he will catch this as I caught it from his dad and brother…

  2. I am not having a good day. This time last year I was stepping on scales and seeing numbers in the 250s. Today? 280. I know all the methods and means to get back down. I should apply some of that knowledge. Right this minute I’m looking at all the lettuce waiting to be harvested and eaten. I make good salads.

    What did I do/accomplish? I have a 1.5 gallon Shop-Vac that hadn’t been cleaned or emptied in a time beyond memory, so I did that. I will not describe the contents. Then I transferred that little vac to the owner’s suite with attachments and accessories. I haven’t plugged it in because it is before dawn and it would be rude to my dotter and grandchildren. Also, I have a Shark vacuum cleaner arriving on Monday. I will be using both. The Shop-Vac will be good for spider webs. The Shark will be better for floors.

    1. My personal experience: Lettuce is very well (or was until the local weather started cooling off) but danger lurks in salad dressing and in starchy or oily things (like olives or croutons or cooked beans other than green) that one can add. I count most veg as free, but measure and calorie-count even low-cal salad dressing and anything halfway calorie-dense that goes into the bowl.

      1. My home-made salad dressing starts with one part chili-oil and three or four parts red wine vinegar and adds spices. To the lettuce I generally add onion and tomato and now chard and arugula. Very low calorie, until I add cheeses or bacon or hard boiled eggs.

    2. Jealousy. My 1 1/2 gallon shop vac died last summer. I am still waiting for its 4 gallon replacement (the smallest I could find that had wheels! who wants a shop vac with no wheels??) to arrive from back order.

      1. Counter-jealousy! The mini Shop-Vac is all well and good for what it is well or good for. When I worked in the power plant we had 15 and 30 gallon models (and one dual-motor 55-gallon model that attached to the boiler cleaning device for sucking soot out of fire tubes). Many’s the times I wished for a larger, wheeled model.

        The Shark model I bought (HV322) is an articulated stick model that permits detachment and use as a hand-held vac.

  3. I know that sense of terror. It haunts me too, especially this time of year. I love fall and Halloween but Christmas is just insane and I feel it looming. Maybe if I can get a job where I am not in customer service through the holidays I will be able to enjoy it again after a few years. But right now I come home and crash. I don’t clean, I don’t read, I don’t work on projects. Yesterday I crashed. I did nothing. I didn’t go buy groceries or do laundry. I didn’t list on Etsy or take new pictures. I just stared into the abyss and read headless horseman smut. And I feel better this morning. That creeping panic is still there around the edges, but I feel like a person again. And now I need to go get things done, starting with laundry. Hopefully I will feel better after that too.

    1. I feel for you, Lupe, and anyone who works retail. It’s worse than a jungle out there.

    2. Working retail during the holidays completely ruins any last feelings of HO HO HO I might have had. And to make it worse this year, the quirky bookstore where I work is closing on Christmas Eve at 3pm, and not opening again until we have moved to a new location. We used to joke about what a nightmare moving would be, and now we are facing it in real life. Cue scary music.

      1. I swore the next time my work place decided to move I would resign.
        And me, I almost like moving house. Not the actual week of, I don’t believe anyone likes that. I love looking for a new place, exploring a new neighbourhood, all the possibilities. I thought moving a business was all nightmare.

        But I wish you much luck, and great hope that I am entirely wrong in your case. and so many sympathies just in case.

    3. Reading headless horseman smut is not a bad way to go.

      OK, smart aleck remarks aside, I am sending you resilience vibes for the holidays. I hope they work.

  4. I’m enjoying that feeling, too: my energy came back after breakfast on Friday (felt like a switch had flipped), and I’ve since finished editing my notes on researching lost rights of way and sent them to the new volunteers; contacted the British Horse Society, who’ve been doing this kind of research for years, and been warmly welcomed with offers of help; mended my bedside clock radio, so it’ll show me the time again when I wake in the middle of the night; and also finally managed to reattach the lids to my cold frame.

    Also had good chats with friends. The one who’s buying a house round the corner is dealing with the usual insanity: seven weeks on, the vendor hasn’t yet allowed her surveyor to do the survey, because the vendor keeps changing her solicitor, and says it’s ‘not appropriate’ for him to come until she has a solicitor in place. This makes no sense whatsoever. But at least the sale’s still happening, which makes me happy.

    Today I’m cleaning out my greenhouse and getting it started with winter salad stuff, and enjoying the sunshine (it’s turned cold, so the sun’s extra welcome).

    1. A cold frame. Every summer I plan to make myself one, and it hasn’t happened yet.

      Surveyors. The only difficulty with the survey when I bought this house five years ago was that I ran into the seller in the hardware store and mentioned I was getting the survey done soon, after which we could close, and he asked me to remind my bank (not his bank) that he works second shift and please not to call to schedule the appointment before 10 a.m. Which I did. And I assume they did.

  5. DS and I made cookies for a bake sale to raise money for a college project. He wanted Halloween colours so we adapted a couple of Christmas cookie recipes, with food dye and black and sprinkles. It was fun to spend so much time with him – we made over 300 cookies – chatting about anything and everything. Apparently bake sales are popular with college kids as his group raised nearly $600 on a Friday afternoon.

    I helped a friend move her father’s peonies to her new house. He died several months ago and her mother’s moving in with her so I was happy to help. The peonies were well established in their old location so hopefully I got enough root ball so they come back.

    I got my taxes back and I’m getting a small refund. I was about 6 months late in filing so expected to be charged a late fee and interest on top of my taxes owing. I’m very happy that my very competent accountant is also a magician.

    I have many Jewish friends and the events of last weekend are mind-bogglingly horrific. Almost all of them have family and friends in Israel. Several have connections to people who were killed. I’m checking in with them and listening when they want to talk. My life is good but I worry for humanity.

  6. Finally gathered up all the stuff for a multi-family tag sale yesterday with my neighbors and it was the BEST day ever, which I was not expecting. Weather was fabulous, most of the stuff is GONE, there was lots of chatting and laughter, and we broke out the Bellinis at 10:30 am. Still basking in the afterglow.

  7. I did a lot of the usual chores, and weeded a LOT, which led to bursitis in one knee, and meant that Saturday was spent sitting in my chair, reading, with a heating pad. Aging is a bitch. I think I could take a short walk later today. It’s cold out there!

    When did revenge become the main motivating factor in politics? At least in the U. S., and Israel/Palestine, and other countries. It sickens me to hear of the lives lost, the opportunities for humane governing laid waste, and the possibility for actual public service smashed to bits. I despair. It’s childish and irresponsible. I feel another media boycott coming on in my life.

    1. +1 media boycott. I scan the NYT daily newsletter and then run away.

      The thing is, historically speaking, war is the default state of human society. The main reason it seems so inescapable now, and the future so hopeless, is because it IS inescapable – news (and, worse, commentary on news) is *everywhere* and worst-case-scenarios are constantly under discussion.

      Best case for happiness = look around for what we CAN affect, do what we can, cuddle a pet or a loved one, appreciate the many beauties of life, and breathe around the many, many things we cannot affect.

      1. I think a big part of the problem is that fear sells: the media get us hooked by telling us we’re under threat. And the more we focus on fear, the less we trust each other, and the more conflict there’s likely to be. I don’t thing war is our default setting: I think that’s a story we’re told more and more. We’d have never survived as a species if cooperation wasn’t our default, in fact.

        1. I agree Jane. I also think that polarization is a big, big thing that we as a society need to learn work arounds for. We used to know how to live in harmony with people who we disagreed with. Now the media profits from pinning us against each other. And the whole mess is used by politicians to keep things in a constant state of upheaval.

  8. Happiness is feeling energetic enough to host the Thanksgiving do-over last night (just to confuse my American friends further) with a collection of friends and family. They grimly posed for photo that I then posted on Facebook that has my contacts confused – “why are they so annoyed looking, Tammy? what did you do to them?” How can I explain that people in my life really don’t like having their photo taken. It makes me happy anyway.

  9. Well, we got our Anchor rebate early and that made me happy. Otherwise the week wasn’t so good. A favorite cousin passed away. My grand daughter was admitted to the hospital, again, for mental issues. And my youngest daughter, who has been going through many procedures leading up to this, is having a spinal fusion tomorrow. But it stopped raining and the sun is out. I plan to just relax and do some sewing today and pray that things turn out okay.

    1. I’m sending all my hopes and prayers that your granddaughter’s back surgery will be as life changing as my sister’s was. Pain free movement changes everything.

    2. Best wishes for a great outcome for the spinal fusion surgery your youngest daughter will have. I have read that such surgeries have improved quite a lot over the last few decades.
      My sympathies and virtual hugs for your other tribulations over a very rough week. Taf

  10. This week I finally finished taking down all my old blinds and putting up new ones. The old ones were a combination of cheap aluminum ones and less-cheap aluminum ones, and not-cheap-at-the-time cellular ones, all put up at different times by different people with varying levels of competence. Luckily they all left holes that I could reuse for the new blinds.

    Now I have all-cellular with blackouts in the bedrooms and light-filtering in the main living area. And since I live across the street from a hotel, the best thing is that they can open from the top, so I get sunlight and the hotel people can’t see into my very messy house.

    Jenny, you’re providing inspiration for my long-needed clean out/rearrange. I’m trying to do it in little pieces.

    But my beautiful new blinds are making me VERY happy.

    1. Ditto. How did I miss Lionel? Or did I read about him and forget? Old age really is not for the faint of heart.

  11. Thank you, Jean Marie! I thought it was just me (although admittedly my brain fog means my memory often has gaping holes in it). Who is Lionel? And when did he (or possibly she, since we’ve learned not to take animal gender for granted around here) join the household?

    I went to Nashville for my niece’s wedding (packed and prepped at the beginning of the week, flew out on Wednesday with my sister, other niece, brother in-law and 12 members of his huge Italian family, rehearsal dinner on Thursday night for SIXTY, most of them loud Italians from his side or the groom’s, plus the actual wedding party, then the wedding on Friday the 13th). Just got home last night, so that was pretty much all I accomplished all week.

    It was lovely, but a lot of travel and people and did I mention LOUD, so I’m glad to be home. Still, I got to see my parents, sister, niece and nephew from CA twice in one year, which never happens, and spend lots of time with family. We adore the guy my niece Bri married, and we had even more to celebrate because her father, my BIL, was finally declared cancer free after 20 months, 25 chemo sessions, and radiation treatments. So we were all really having a double celebration.

    Now I cross my fingers and hope that my booster worked and being around all those people doesn’t end up biting me in my substantial arse. (I masked on the planes, and around the hotel, but virtually no one else is taking any kind of precautions, so there you are.) And try to catch up with writing, garden, emails, and sucking up to cats.

      1. Yes. His owner died before I got here, and the next door neighbor was trying to take care of him but was allergic to him. My friend Pat knew I was upset about Emily William, so when her friend Bonnie, mentioned that her friend Evelyn was allergic and looking for somebody to adopt him, Pat said, “Jenny’s got all the cat stuff, let me introduce you,” and the next thing I knew, I was naming this hostile cat Lionel.

  12. Happiness today is the house and yard being in a state that I can safely ignore till next weekend, because yesterday I got flu + COVID vaccines and today I feel pretty rough. This is my first time having what I’d consider a reaction to the shots. Having breakfast early so I can take a Tylenol for the headache.

    Part of achieving ignorable state was moving the chairs for our long-unused dining set back up to the long-unused backyard deck and repackaging the whole pile with extra tarp etc. If it were entirely up to me, Habitat for Humanity would have been called to collect this furniture a year ago. DH is in a dream world about some things, such as ‘outdoor entertaining,’ especially now that we’re down to two friends who we exchange dinners with. Anyway, that furniture moving chore was accomplished Friday after work and resulted in a dust / mold allergy hangover which is likely half the cause for general malaise today. Also my hands are sore from hauling. Woe is me.

    Also happiness: those friends are coming over this afternoon to fossick in the garage where male friend stores 30+ years of tools and junk (this is why I moved the chairs, really, to make his access to the garage easier) and I will encourage female friend to watch a silly movie in the house with me instead of rummaging in the decades of dust.

    More happiness: they will not get bent out of shape when I send a text to say I’m not really up to dinner tonight. We hadn’t planned it, but they may be thinking ‘since we’ll be there’ so I need to get in early with that.

    1. I just got the booster + flu shot too, and had a sort of medium reaction. Headache and fatigue sore arm (can’t remember which shot it was), but not the fever/chills I got with some previous shots (booster alone and flu alone). So that was a relief!

  13. Wow – that is a long list of accomplishments!

    I’m feeling pretty good because I just spent the morning tracking down receipts for the taxes, and I pretty much found them all. My haphazard organization actually worked! The only one I don’t have is one I can ask for at my doctor’s office, so it’s all good.

    Getting ready to go sing. We’re having a concert to benefit a local charity that devotes time and energy to making children safe. I love singing with the choir, and this is a great cause.

  14. I had a storytelling event on Friday, which went very well. I went to Maker Faire yesterday, which was super fun. Then I went through a corn maze with theater people. Good times, good times.

  15. The mental exhaustion I’ve felt for the past six months, since quitting my job, abruptly lifted last week and I’m enjoying bookbinding and quilting projects again. I’m happy about that.

    Say, Jenny, what do you use as a sugar substitute when baking?

  16. I wrote three books. Wrestled a bear. Had a chat with Sasquatch (he believes in himself even if no one else does, poor fella) and worked on my time machine.

    1. Last week, there was a video online of what really did look like Sasquatch! A blonde one.

    2. Our own Davy Crockett in a coonskin cap. That came from visions of my childhood and boys wearing them via the Disney series.

      1. In kindergarten or thereabouts during the Crockett craze, probably for Easter, we were supposed to color and then cut out drawings of baby chicks. I remember doing that and then, I think on my own initiative, I drew a very crude coonskin cap, cut it out, and made a slit in it so that the chick could wear it.

    1. This is Florida so if I wrestled something it would have to be an alligator. No thanks. I do like the rest of your week, though, Bob.

      We had to move the table that was part of Cooper’s fort so now we are trying to envision a new fort for him. He has to have his privacy to chew on things he’s not supposed to have.

    2. Given doggie attitudes toward fencing, I don’t envy that degree of difficulty! While I was growing up (in the sixties) our highest dog population was 17 German Shepherds. Good thing we were out in the boonies (8 miles away from Corona-near Riverside, CA). We lived on a dirt road so when the puppies came to meet us after school there was a dust cloud to warn us of their approach…
      The first litter was 11 puppies so we had to supplement what their mom provided by bottle-feeding them doggie formula. We had a large fenced area in front of the garage that worked until a while after the pups were weaned, then look out, a pack of jumping, licking dogs on the loose! Taf

  17. I FINALLY finished the beta draft of my WIP so a friend can review it for horse-related issues, so I don’t make a complete fool of myself with it. (The murder happens on a horse farm during a big auction event.)

    And then I pretty much crashed. Got my covid & flu shots the next day, and haven’t done anything except watch tv (has anyone see Paris Murders? It’s Profilage in the original French), and now I’m talking to myself in (bad) French. Kinda’ fascinated by the differences between what I think is technically correct grammar in French and what is clearly how it is spoken.

    Anyway. I did a wee bit of quilting today, although you’d probably more accurately call it “ironing.” Got the recently purchased background fabric ironed for a baby quilt. Next up: pulling the contrast fabrics.

    Tomorrow I start a secret project. Love starting new projects. And this one’s small, so I hope to be able to finish it quickly instead of having it drag out forever, the way the one I just finished did.

  18. Arrived in Montreal and waiting for flight to Vancouver. Happy to be back home and in my own bed tonight. Didn’t sleep well last night so jet lag is definitely an issue. Hoping to sleep on plane. Nodding off. Set the alarm to walk up in case of deep sleep

    1. Happiness is our own bed, sleeping in till after 8 when the texts woke me up. Yes, slept on the plane, the rain, of course it was raining when we arrived, and breakfast at 3:30 am, bc we were awake and hungry.

  19. Went to a surprise retirement party yesterday where I caught up with my 92 year old cousin and got to meet her new great-grandson.

    Did cross a couple of meetings and things off my October list. No reaction to the Covid shot so yay.

    My dog has developed a heart murmur so lots of tests coming up tomorrow. We will be fasting from 6 PM on-her because pain meds and me in sympathy. Hoping it’s not too serious.

    I did remember you acquired a cat named Luigi(?). I know you were contemplating a name change. So, Luigi is now Lionel?

    1. I had a quiet peaceful week —DH was in Hong Kong then Kuala Lumpur then London so the big challenge was figuring out time zones for chats. And finding a time when he was not sleeping off the jet lag. What a difference free internet calls made in our lives… When I drove DH to the airport he mentioned he told his partners he is not going to keep traveling like this in 2024. I don’t know that I believe it. We have a history of announcing major job decisions in the car without any time to discuss them (the last one was me) and it’s worked out fine, so I imagine this will too.

      I look like I have the plague because my dermatologist gave me a cream to use to take care of precancerous spots (presumably due to childhood sunburns) for six weeks—just over half way done. You put it on and the problem spots turn red and peel. Weirdly the left side of my forehead has LOTS of spots but the right almost none. I don’t remember a lopsided bad sun burn but here we are. It’s itchy and tender but very satisfying to know they are going away.

      I’m not supposed to go in the sun with it so I will have to wait to to pull out the dead zinnias and plant the (mumble mumble quantity) of spring bulbs I ordered months ago. Presumably late November I can slather on suncream and a hat and garden in the late afternoon. If not DH will have a surprise ….

      I also tried out a wood stain marker on a door that for unclear reasons had developed lots of white cracks in its stained surface. It worked remarkably well so this week I will be inspecting all the high traffic wood areas and touching them up.

      So some productivity even if no where near Jenny level.

      1. I think we get more spots on the left side of our face because of sitting in the drivers seat in the car. We get more sunlight on that side of our faces. I think that’s why I have the same thing on my face.

    2. Nope, never was Luigi. His former owner called him Little Guy, but this cat is a yellow thug, so I changed it to Lion-el. He still refuses to come close to me, but he’s stopped running when he sees me and he’s prowls the entire house now instead of hiding under the bed. I found him the living room the other day, sprawled out on the couch cushions and he barely batted an eye at me.

      1. I adopted a very tense scaredy cat, but she would let you scratch her belly, if you would just reach down behind the sofa. Then she would sneak out in the dark and hop up on the bed with me. She never was an easy cat, but quite affectionate at certain times.

  20. huh, in case Jenny didn’t answer, I was going to say, having tried very many possibilities, that erythritol worked best (for me) in baking but use caution as some people (me) cant digest it. Only when I looked up how to spell it I tripped over an article at clevelandclinic.org about a study associating it with cardiovascular events so maybe not.
    Unbaked sweets I use stevia, stronger flavors work better as stevia leans towards liquorice. I also found that adding tiny amounts of sugar to stevia sweetened things (tsp in a recipe that calls for a cup) made a big difference in satisfaction with the finish product. Better “fool the brain”, but it really doesn’t take much.

    1. and again not repy to. I don’t see how I could be getting click reply under the comment I want to reply to wrong but there I am

      the above was in reply to Diane
      about sugar substitutes. oh well.

  21. I understand the sense of terror about things that need doing. Buying a house has been in the back of my head for a while now & is coming to the surface big time right now. It is maddening because I can’t decide – stay in Florida or find somewhere else. It gets more expensive here everyday but where do I go?

    I’m redoing inside my current home again. I replaced the office chair with 2 broken wheels (which had been on those things you use to make furniture slide so you can move it). The new one is uber comfortable which made me realize the desk is an issue I’ve been ignoring. So, I moved the dining room table, which was a catchall – not something we ate on – to replace the desk & now my workstation is the most comfortable it’s ever been – except – I need something with drawers to go beside it.

    And the table had Coopers dog bed under creating a fort that he spent time in so I want to remake a fort for him.

    Did a kintsugi thing (golden seams) with a ceramic teacup that broke. I am writing a blog post about that and a few other ancient Japanese concepts. They have a couple of concepts about beauty that are merged into one Navajo concept about beauty so lots to discuss there.

    Also – did anyone watch Beckham. If not I highly recommend it – streaming on Netflix. I was not a fan of him or his Spice Girl wife but their story is very dramatic and entertaining and has a happy ending.

    The conduct of people around him is deplorable. At 23 years young he made a mistake which is blamed for losing England the world cup (soccer) that year and the UK press crucified him. There is no excuse IMO for his mature adult male coach treating him badly up until that match and then hanging him out to dry afterwards. Disgusting. And his former fans – for months – hanging him in effigy, saying horrible things about him & his wife – the worst side of humanity brought out by a soccer tournament.

    It struck me as ENVY. There are societies that openly recognize envy as a strong, ever-present, destructive force. And because they recognize it they teach their children how to deal with or avoid envy directed towards you & your own envious feelings towards others.

    Western society does not address Envy or Anger very well, at all.

    Anywho – Beckham was good.

  22. We made the offer on this house in mid August and finally moved a week ago. Between a long escrow and the owners renting back for a couple of weeks, then Comcast taking their sweet time about installing Internet (we work from home), it felt like forever.

    And this weekend, there was a neighborhood garage sale in the old neighborhood so we unloaded the last appliances cheaply. And the owner of the old home had already torn out all the flooring and the bathrooms (why did he say we needed to clean???)

    Most of our stuff is put away, but will we ever find it again? And doing anything in the kitchen involves opening every cupboard.

    The younger cat (who has finally come out from under the bed) won’t let the ancient cat use the Kitty litter, (aggravating her uti) so I put another box in the hall bathroom where there really isn’t space for one.

    But I’m trying to get through an edit of my newest book before November so I can nanowrimo a novella I’ve been planning in my head for several months.

    And the new house has fruit trees! The pomegranates and persimmons are getting ripe! Oranges and lemons coming soon!

    1. Four out of five of my favorite fruits in the same yard! Wow! I hope you are able to get the good stuff before the birds do.

  23. Just submitted my taxes, on the deadline for the extension. An adventure getting that far, but too many chapters to go into here. No sense of accomplishment yet, since I may be told I made some mistake, and in any case I’m still waiting for an electronic response on accepting the state return.

    Also, many other chores still on the list. I’m not sure which if any get knocked off today. At least I can slack off a little now.

  24. My hope is that Jenny was so amazingly busy and productive on Sunday that she collapsed into bed for a much-needed rest.

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