Happiness is a Guest for a Week

So yesterday I went to an airport I’d never been to before to pick up Krissie (aka Anne Stuart) so she can check out my new place and let me take care of her. Yes, it’s Friend Spa Week, and we are going to have many meals out, some with Pat Gaffney since they go way back, too, and we’re going to talk about writing and life and watch movies and write books and generally just wallow in being Very Long Time Friends Who Write And Like To Eat and Watch Movies. Today I am happy because I put up with the hassle of an airport (and getting lost on the way home) to collect a week of joy.

What made you happy this week?

74 thoughts on “Happiness is a Guest for a Week

  1. I am happy to say that my diet is back on track. Losing weight. Controlling the blood sugar.

    I am unhappy to admit to a tiny fly infestation. I have two hanging bug zappers and two hand-holdable zappers. I have hanging fly paper strips (they look like they’re covered with raisins) and little bowls of apple cider vinegar. I even did the trick where you cut off the top of a soda bottle, stick it into the bottle’s carcass like a funnel, and add colored sugar water.

    The grossest thing about the flies was that I stored two in-use tooth brushes in an eight-ounce Deer Park water bottle in several ounces of mouthwash. The flies treated it like they would the funnel/sugar water trap. Now I store the brushes in a sealed container (after submerging them in 70% alcohol.)

    The SNAP! of a bug zapper makes me happy.

    1. Good job on eating right, Gary. How did all the flies get into your basement? Did a mouse die in the vicinity? Ick! I hope you get rid of them, soon.

      1. Last winter I taped around my outside door and went in and out through the kitchen (upstairs.) This summer, I needed to use my door, which doesn’t seal well. One of the hanging zappers was outside that door all summer and killed a zillion bugs of all kinds. I suspect the bugs came in under that door.

        My grandson tells me the bugs only live a day… but reproduce every three hours.

    2. If it makes you feel at all better, I’ve had the worst problem with flies this summer. I’ve done everything I can think of to seal off the door to the foyer (where I think they come in) and squash them and be rigorous about cleaning (not my forte) and use fly paper (which one of the cats liked to play with until a strip got stuck on her nose and chased her around the house). They were almost gone, and then we had like a week of 80 degree weather right before Halloween (not normal for Massachusetts), and they’re back in force.

      1. That makes me not at all happy. The signature line on my emails reads, “This communicating of a man’s self to his friend works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefs in half.” – Francis Bacon, Essays

        Hopefully, the grief of our shared fly problems is cut in half.

        I mentioned putting my toothbrushes in a sealed container? It was a Ziploc style bag that came with something I bought this past week. A closer examination revealed it had a couple of air holes. The flies found them before I did.

  2. I am happy for friends of all sorts. There are friends I’ve met online, rather than in person, but who I nonetheless feel a kinship to. There are friends with whom I have a long time connection. And there are friends whom I’ve known a relatively short time but who make a large impact in my life.

    This week DH and I supported a friend by attending her concert. It was a lively evening that I very much enjoyed. Yesterday, I accompanied two other friends on a shopping trip. Apparently our checkbooks are in danger when we’re together. Today, I’ll be supported by my church friends as we have a service of remembrance for those who’ve passed on this past year – including my dad.

    So I’m very thankful for all my friends – including you all here.

    1. I consider you to be one of my online friends! One who I’m sure I’d be sewing with if we lived nearer each other.

  3. My oldest friend came to visit this week with her two adorable teens. We met forty years ago and while it took a few years for us to become best friends, we have stayed close through the years despite the distance.
    She is the kind of friend with whom you pick up the conversation wherever you left off.
    A great happy week for me.

  4. Jenny, you have my sympathy on the airport encounter. The airport in KC, Missouri, is brand new, and much better than the old one, as far as getting lost goes. But the old one was a nightmare. People are in a hurry, and don’t want to wait while a newbie figures out the layout. It can be frustrating and scary.

    I’m happy because Daylight Savings Time is over, but not because I had to change all my clocks, AGAIN. Several months ago, I wrote to all my national congresspeople to ask them to support any bill that comes up to demolish DST forever. No response. There is a bill languishing in the pit of despair in D.C. to make DST permanent, but that is not friendly to our biorhythms, while it is friendly to business, since more daylight at the end of the day means people will shop after work. I just hate this twice a year readjustment and clock-resetting .”It ain’t natural!!”

    I’m also happy that we will have three nice days, starting tomorrow, for getting outdoor things done.

  5. That sounds wonderful, Jenny.
    I’m just finishing up a girls weekend with sisters by birth and marriage/ partnerships. It’s the second one we’ve done and the overall group has changed since last time thanks to new relationships. So two i don’t know as well. Two that I’m closest two couldn’t make it this time so I was a little nervous.
    But it’s been wonderful/ fun. Lots of talking about light and serious things, laughter, junk food and eating out, holding my new niece because we planned the timing around her birth, sightseeing even in the rain, silly selfies and getting to know each other better.
    I have a long drive ahead of me to get home, some to drop my sister off and longer to get myself home but my heart is full. And I feel gratitude that they traveled to be here too and made this a priority.

  6. I had coffee with a friend and we also went to a yoga class with our favourite teacher. I went to yoga another day – first classes since last spring. My posture has never been great but a triceps injury and forward bending in the garden have made it worse. Lots of focus on posture in yoga so I’m hoping regular classes will help strength my muscles.

    We finally had a hard frost this week so I “chopped and dropped” the rest of the plants in my veg garden. They’ll get covered with snow and hopefully decompose over the winter. Cheap compost. I also planted over 100 garlic cloves. More than I can likely use but apparently 3 pounds of Music garlic is a lot.

    Our kitchen reno is progressing. We’ve organized a makeshift kitchen in our dining room and I made stuffed delicata squash with Swiss chard and couscous. Squash and chard from my garden.

  7. Getting in and out of the Albany Airport (the one closest to me, although still an hour and a half away) is a nightmare. All the folks who drive me there get lost getting in, or out or both. And it’s under construction, so right now it is even worse.

    I’m glad you get to spend time with Krissy. Hanging out with friends is the best.

    I’ve had a lot of not-so-happy this week (nothing earth-shaking, just life and house frustrations) so I’m trying to focus on the little happiness stuff. Got all the outside furniture put away and did the last few prep for winter tasks. All I have left to do is my yearly protection ritual for the house and property, which I plan to do today, and set up the bird feeders.

    (Okay, I really need to wash the windows, but we’ll see if it warms up enough for that.)

    A friend came over with take out last night and we watched a couple of episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which he has seen, but I haven’t. It was nice to have the company. And not have to cook.

    I got the “new” Trisha Ashley book, finally. It was released in the UK in March, but since the Book Depository closed, there is no way to get British books except through Amazon (the ones that are even available through them) and for some reason, it took them this long to have it. But now I have a shiny new book by a favorite author to read, so yay.

    And I’ve slowly gotten back to my own writing, so that’s happy too.

    1. I’m pretty sure Deborah lives in the US, and that wasn’t the airport in Albany, Western Australia. If so:

      There are ways to order UK print books besides Amazon. I presume you mean The Wedding Dress Repair Shop, listed on her site as her latest. The top several offers on abe.com are still from British sellers, at shipping costs less outrageous than (last I looked) Amazon.uk charges for the US. You can specify only new copies on the site if you like. (Since the book is now out in the US, with the same ISBN, presumably meaning still printed in UK, I don’t know for sure that it was on offer from Britain earlier, but I don’t see why not.)

      My somewhat older experience was that Canada got UK editions of those authors who published first in the UK (although US editions of authors first published in the US). If that’s still true, one might also be able to order UK editions through Chapters or whoever.

      1. Yes, that’s the one. I don’t think I’ve ever used Abe.com — I’ll have to look into it (and yes, Albany NY in the US). Thanks, I’ll look into it.

  8. This isn’t exactly what made me happy this week, counts more in the category of Look On The Bright Side. We came up to the cottage on Thursday to discover three inches of water in the (thankfully unfinished) basement. One new sump pump, backup sump pump and battery later our handyman has pumped out the water and put up five fans running non stop for the weekend to dry the place out. Also told us we have mold on one wall which has to be dealt with. So the bright side is that mostly what was down there were boxes that haven’t been opened in five years and will have to be thrown out but if we didn’t need anything from them in five years that can’t be too bad a thing.

    1. Oh, argh!
      The bright side: letting a basement flood declared Stored Junk Bankruptcy for you. (Well done finding a bright side.)
      Hope the mold is readily dealt with and that you will get to actually enjoy your cottage after all this trauma.

    2. My sympathies. Perhaps unintentionally, you make it sound as if three inches of water was enough to total the contents of all the boxes. I can think of some contents where that would be true and a whole lot where it wouldn’t. Perhaps nothing totally escaped staining and water damage, but my own experience with water damage in storage was that I had to pitch a lot out, but that many items were usable for myself, even if not good enough to sell or even donate. It would not be prudent management to wastefully toss stuff just out of initial disgust.

  9. I am happy that I started gradually taking down Halloween decorations a few days ago. I thought I could easily get all but the ones I replace with Christmas ones done this morning, but I ran out of motivation to get it put away. I think it is all in the house, but not yet in the basement, let alone in the closet. I am happy that I had the one TorTer I did get.

    I am happy that my dear sister read GBT and bought some fun sounding things to her kindle account, to which I have access.

    And left over candy of course. I did prepare generously for 20 kids and my adult guests of yesterday did not make serious inroads into the pile, so still lots for me to indulge in.

  10. Last night We had a wonderful dinner with the best next door neighbours at the home of best neighbours who moved away. Very grateful for a lifetime of friendship.

  11. I bought a much needed hand vac.
    this is noteworthy mostly because I went to Amazon, and just bought the first one under £50 with good reviews. My usual buying of equipment involves consumer reports, or similar, and hours of research. By the way, not even the very best brands I’ve ever looked at on Amazon have less than 2% 1star reviews.

    I bought unshelled walnuts. I throw one or two into the yard every couple of days. First my lonely cat plays with it. Walnuts turn out to be better than ping pong balls, slightly erratic rolling being much more interesting. Then later she can be utterly fascinated when the local squirrel comes for it. Not to mention all the time she’s spending outside waiting for it to show. I am happy she’s engaged and not wailing. Don’t worry about the squirrel. It is very aware and quick, and she is a terrible hunter.

  12. Another week of quiet contentment. I went through my closet and have four giant bags of closets (black plastic garbage bag size) to give away and can now find all the clothes I want to wear. I need to do this with the mudroom but I feel so productive. Also I’m giving away a lot of work clothes to a local charity that dresses people for work since I now work part time from home so I feel good about where they are going.

    I can’t garden yet due to face medicine so I announced on my local list serve that I had narcissus bulbs I dug up last summer to give away. I had 20 takers and now over 200 bulbs are waiting for pick up. (I do still need to get about 150 tulips in the ground once the doc clears me for suntan lotion and hats. )

    My son, who used to get super stressed at presentations, was happy with how his presentation went this week at a physics conference.

    Also, I got a lot of giggles from this: apparently the last day of the conference is when they give the quack –excuse me, unconventional–talks.
    One of which was from a start up company that plans to make energy from plasma using Helium 3 that they will get from the moon. Complete with a drawing of the planned moon factory.
    Somehow they got people to invest a half billion in this idea, and committed another 2 billion upon completion of key stages which my son assured me will never happen. Just more evidence that the rich tech bros have too much money and too little sense of reality. I checked and the international space station took 30 years and 13 countries and 100 billion euros (at current exchange rates about 107 billion dollars) to build; NASA’s share of annual costs alone is $3 billion. And that is orbiting earth not going to the moon.

    Also, while I didn’t have a lot invested emotionally I was happy the Rangers won despite all their injuries. And since they lost 94 games in 2022 it gives me hope for the Nationals in 2024 since they only lost 91 games this year.

    1. Now I am sad that I have never been to a physics conference. Helium from the moon. Complete with factory.

      1. Another presentation involved starships but my son thinks that was a joke. Unlike the moon factory.

    2. You have to admit, a Moon factory is a really cool new way to sell people a “bridge”. Also Science project is the best way to get people to reinvest. Like in BBT they told Sheldon to low ball the amount needed for research. So when he asks for more next time, they are already invested in the original project.

  13. Oklahoma has launched. Some bugs in the system, but nothing too bad so far. Next week, mostly gonna collapse.

    As for All My Problems, the new PCP is much nicer than the old one, prescribed me Wellbutrin in about 15 minutes, and even though she said my HMO doesn’t believe in months-long mental health leave for anything, did give me 2 weeks off from work in case side effects fuck me up at work and get me into more trouble. So there’s that. As for the ADHD evaluation, that got canceled and rescheduled, so I’m still waiting around on that till next week, have been told it will take weeks and “a battery of tests,” and they will drug test me (note: despite three people, including a lawyer who said they won’t care about pot in CA, and my therapist, who was all “I have never heard of that in 30 years,” telling me they will not) so I have to give up pot gummies. Therefore, I am no longer sleeping *at all,* so that’s awesome. Gonna be fun at the 2 week checkup with no sleep for weeks.

    I am not happy about having to take psychiatric medication. I’ve been deeply scared of the side effects my entire life. Also I can’t swallow pills (and these absolutely have to be) because of my gag reflex from hell, so it is taking 25 minutes of agony, drinkdrinkdrinkdrinking water (not helping), trying to hide it in food (I can still tell it’s there), accidentally trying to chew them every time they float near my teeth and knocking chunks out, which may give me a seizure, etc. and this just sucks. I have to do this for the rest of my life?!?!

    So, yeah. Happy with the show and time off, otherwise not so much.

    1. Have you tried swallowing with a straw? It put your throat in perfect position to take the pill. I have a friend who is a nurse who taught me that for my kids. I hope it will help you.

        1. We just found out that oldest daughter has a tongue tie which explains why she can’t swallow pills. She is recieving OT and then will have the tie cut later. That may not be your issue but thought I’d mention it.

    2. The lots of tests part sounds thorough and like they will look for a range of LDs which is important. Believe it or not, tired is good for this. You want the test to capture what goes wrong when things are bad and not be able to compensate by overperforming.
      But exhausted is miserable and I hope the Wellbutrin helps you sleep

        1. Really hoping things work out for you. You are definitely due a bunch of good things.

          As a side note, if you need to stay off gummies for any further tests, Nyquil (store brand 😁) frequently helps me sleep. Not Zzzquil! It’s not got the same ingredients.

    3. Maybe try the needle in a haystack approach and put it in something like bubble tea, you have to swallow those tapioca pearls anyway

  14. Happiness is traveling to Vancouver BC for a job. My plane takes off in a few minutes. I get to spend at least four days in Vancouver one of my favorite cities. And I also get to be in a hotel which is great happiness. The name of the hotel is the opus Vancouver And they advertise heated floors and bathrobes so it should be fun. For me working is super fun. I am so glad to hear that you and Chrissy are together. I know you will have a wonderful week.

  15. Happy this week was being able to switch my birthday holiday from Friday to Monday so that I could handle last-minute filings instead of dumping them on a teammate and also getting said last-minute filings done inside normal working hours instead of having to do overtime. I attribute timeliness entirely to my own merciless nagging of attorney involved.

    Happy was DH making delicious paella for birthday dinner, enough for two meals’ worth of leftovers. We had some for breakfast today (reheated paella with fried eggs = yum).

    Happy was returning edits yesterday for my holiday novelette to come from JMS after doing more improvements in the backyard.

    So far today, happy is finishing chapter 13 of the novella-in-progress. One to go. It feels like forever since I finished something!

    1. Merciless nagging is a powerful skill. It sounds like you fully deserved your birthday paella.

  16. Had a lovely lazy day yesterday rereading The Hands of the Emperor, not getting dressed till 5, and being phoned by two friends (it was dark overcast & pouring with rain). Had a couple of good ideas re my fiction project, including a back-up plan to make use of some of my ideas even if plan A doesn’t work.

  17. My friend-related happy this week was spending a huge chunk of time yesterday helping a friend organizing some tax and accounting type stuff, and actually getting answers from entities that have been extremely uncooperative until now, which is why it’s become such a huge project.

    In other happies, I’m still having fun writing my secret project (wrote almost 2K words today), although I keep thinking, “Surely tomorrow I’ll run into a block.” And tomorrow comes, and the words flow, and I think, “Surely tomorrow I’ll run into a block.” And of course, right now, I’m thinking that the next scene is when the sleuth figures out whodunnit, and I have no idea what the clue is that makes it click. Which could be a huge block. Except, maybe …. Yeah, I’m going to be optimistic for a change. I will figure it out tomorrow!

        1. Thank you! I had so much fun with the cats in the story — they’re all named after bourbon brands. The one on the cover is Pappy, for Pappy Van Winkle. And I’m working on a flash fiction for Dru’s Book Musing featuring Beam, a marmalade cat who lives in the kitchen and pantry.

          1. What fun! I recently toured Sazerac House. Sazerac Rye is tasty but they are the parent company of many brands including Southern Comfort, Peychard’s bitters, Cane Rum, and more.

  18. I complained on Thursday about how bad our book club selection was, then only two of us were able to come. So we ate the book club snacks and watch Two Weeks Notice. So fun.

    I’m cutting hundreds of pink cosmos, while they are still waving in the wind. We’ll have a hard frost one of these days, also will mow the back 40, ( okay, back 2) so they’re coming down either way.

    Realized I’ve come out of my late summer funk, which is good. I’m really not very good at summer, aside from the flowers.

  19. Today it was the grandchildren to the rescue. Two of them showed up to take care of the yard. One manned the lawnmower and one womanned the leaf blower. She also used the bagger to put the leaves into the paper bags that the trash company will take one a week till infinity. Not all have been collected but it’s a start. We appreciated them so much. They had it done in about an hour and a half.

  20. A friend unexpectedly spent a night here (the other day) after having to put down her sweet Boston Terrier. Friend’s husband died several months ago, so the loss is particularly hard.

    We had a busy evening. This friend facilitates the memoir writing group I’ve joined, so we zoomed from different rooms. While most pieces I’ve heard so far are focused on family, friends are active in the backgrounds. I kind of think that a little girl starts with her nuclear family and then, when she has more questions/needs than they can fulfill, reaches out to the larger family (like grandmothers) and friends. Probably all children do the same.

    I been thinking a lot about my bounty of friends.

  21. Went out to luch with my cousin and a friend. We used to go just about every Sunday but covid broke the habit. Hoping we can pick it up again but maybe twice a month.

    Election season begins tomorrow with meetings, training and swearing-in. Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly. The weather is looking decent so there’s that.

  22. I’m doing NaNoWriMo and so far keeping up! I’m only planning on writing a novella, so might or might not write some other short things to make it to 50k. Probably not, though, since I have lots of editing work to do.

    And we’ve been in our new house for almost a month and it’s starting to feel like home. Almost everything is unpacked, but we keep losing things. I spent an hour searching for some books that I was afraid got donated, but were behind another row of books on a deep bookshelf. My husband can’t find his skin medication, which he apparently hasn’t used since we moved (?!?).

    And one of my best friends, who lives nearby, but who has been very busy and having health problems, came by today so got to see our new house and we got to talk for a couple of hours, so that made me happy, too.

  23. Friends were the saving grace this week along with vets who make house calls. Everyone, including Arghers & folks on Instagram, my co-workers, family, and folks at church have been so sweet as we’ve been grieving the loss of our ancient kitty. I feel blessed that we were able to give her a peaceful passing on Thursday at home. She was 21 years and 7 months old. We’d had her since she was 8 weeks old. Friday was the first time I was ever alone in our current house, where we’ve lived for over 17 years. As we’ve looked back at photos and videos, the memories have been lovely, but I’m feeling old! I am happy that I was able to take time off work to grieve with my boss’s blessing and sympathy, but I do wish institutions would give bereavement time for pets. They are so much a part of the family, it is like losing a child and should be honored as such. I’m also happy that work was slow this week, so I didn’t worry about missing a deadline.

    I’m also happy because I had good friends come over on Saturday and we sewed. It was a great distraction and I made really good progress on a fleece project for church. I’m also working on finishing up a customer’s quilt. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share that on Wed. I want to get both of these done before my surgery on the Nov 13th.

    Another happy is a night out on Saturday with my sweet hubby. Together we’ve been comforting each other. Saturday we celebrated Sophie’s life at our favorite restaurant. We know the staff and stayed with them until closing. It was lovely to be surrounded by friends. Then on Sunday morning, lots of hugs, cards, and sympathy from friends at church.

    Each day is getting a little easier. It’s the expectations, routines, and habits that still trip us up. We miss her but are so happy that we were able to have her in our lives for so long! I know we gave her a wonderful life and I’m happy we were able to provide her with a peaceful ending.

      1. I used to teach in a boarding school. It was so hard for a kid when she heard from her faraway home that a beloved cat or dog had died.

    1. Wow. I’m not usually a shoe person, but I LOVE these. Hugely tempted to get a fully custom pair (or two) b/c I love clogs, but have impossibly short and wide feet with mile-high arches, making it hard to get standard-sized clogs.

  24. Food and gardening.

    In the past week, I have harvested, cleaned, and eaten over forty jalapeño peppers. Stuffed them with cream cheese, a piece of bacon, and broiled them. Low calorie, low carbohydrate, low sodium except the bacon. I still have some growing, not quite ready for harvest.

    If I use Walmart+ to deliver groceries, I’m going to put jalapeños, poblanos and other peppers on the list with more spreadable cream cheese and more bacon. Bacon is my favorite vegetable. Although, if I harvested any more peppers right now, I would have to wrap them in Black Forest ham and stuff them with mozzarella.

    Dieting is not all bad. Stuffed peppers make me happy.

      1. 🙂

        I forgot to include bacon in my W+ order. 🙁 Also, they were out of poblano peppers so they substituted cubanelle peppers, which I have never eaten. Big suckers! I have one (1) in the toaster oven, stuffed with mozzarella and wrapped in Black Forest ham. 285 calories, 20 grams of carbs, 737 mg of sodium (mostly due to the ham.)

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