Happiness for $16.99

My oven timer was thwarting me, so I ordered this from Amazon:

You bop the panda on the head to turn the timer off. It’s pretty; it’s easy to use; if I want to go someplace in the house where I can’t hear the oven, I can take the panda with me; it never lets me down; I like bopping the panda; but the best part is that I smile whenever I see it. Happiness for $16.99.

How did you buy/find/rent happiness this week?

79 thoughts on “Happiness for $16.99

  1. Yay for small things that make your day, Jenny!

    I found happiness at the airport Friday night, where my Arizona son flew in to surprise his brother who soon celebrates the tenth anniversary of his business. The surprise worked, and we’re all having a great weekend together. Tonight is the celebration/Chiefs game watch party at Made in KC, a place that offers all kinds of great stuff that is made by people in Kansas City. My son’s business benefits from a percentage of things that are sold tonight, and the Made in KC folks benefit from the publicity and the sales. I am also celebrating that I drove to the new airport all by myself in the dark, and did not get lost!! No road constriction helped a lot. Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

  2. On our last day in California, DH and I went to Point Lobos State Reserve Park. It was a warm, sunny day and we hiked along the edge of the ocean. It’s very rocky and scrubby – reminded me of hiking in Cape Breton last summer – absolutely stunning. Took my brother out for amazing Mexican food at a tiny restaurant in a strip mall. Wonderful end to our vacation.

    A friend and I did our annual Craftapalooza yesterday. We went to 3 craft shows and picked up some gifts made by local artisans. I’m almost done my Christmas shopping which makes me happy.

    Our kitchen reno is more than half done which also makes me happy.

  3. We embarked on Phase 2 of the great Raccoon Eviction Project, with extremely mixed results. First phase happened last month, with the 3-day process of replacing the old roof with a new one. Costly but worth it, and the many strange men clomping around and using power tools apparently convinced the raccoon pair to scoot out of the hole that had formed at the edge of the roof over the grape arbor, and leave the place to the noisy invaders. They had been hanging out in the attic, which was alarming, but at the end of the roof project, they had clearly left for good.

    However, we discovered this past week that they had discovered that they could squeeze through one of the old ventilation holes that could still be accessed in the attached woodshed’s ceiling, and much to our dismay, we heard attic sounds again on Thursday night. We found the enlarged vent hole after scouring the area carefully, and decided to try unboxing the two critter cages we’d bought hopefully a couple of years ago, setting them up with bait inside, to try to capture the invaders and take them to a distant park area a few miles upstream from the one near our house.

    Which worked, sort of, but the wily raccoon who got into one of the cages and nabbed the bait was also smart enough and strong enough to force its way out of the cage and escape. So we’re back at square one and now ready to call professionals to try again, hopefully with stronger cages.

    It’s frustrating but also sad — we are big fans of wildlife — just not inside our house. Cross your fingers for us!

    1. Jinx I think you live near me and Adcocks is the firm everyone seems to use, if that’s helpful. Good luck!

    2. I tried to trap a raccoon when I first moved here, and it ended up dragging the cage all over my yard, and finally bending it up enough to get out. They are intelligent, strong, and hard to get rid of. Good luck. I keep one of those metal fan rakes leaning against the patio wall to chase them away from the bird feeder after dark!

      1. Thanks for the support, Debbie, Jan! We had better luck with the second raccoon, who came to the second trap inside the shed, presumably from the same access hole. We were able to put it in the back of the car and drive it five miles up roads next to Rock Creek Park, where we were able to release it in a very wild area further from suburban houses.

        We’re going to try again to catch Raccoon #1 sometime this week. Hopefully our luck will be better this time….

        1. They carry roundworms, fleas, ticks, and rabies, so be careful! I prefer my Opossums, any day.

          1. UPDATE: This morning at 4am my husband woke me up to inform me that there was another raccoon in one of the two traps we set last night. This time I’d baited each trap with a combination of Twinkies, peanut butter crackers, and vanilla pudding cups, in hopes that this would take them longer to eat through, so we’d get out to the patio in time after hearing the sound of a trap slamming shut. I groggily climbed out of bed, staggered to grab a coat and some car keys, and was fumbling with the key and the car lock in the dark as my husband hurried out the front door with the trap saying urgently “open the hatch! open the hatch!”

            We drove through deserted night time streets past lots of Xmas light displays and successfully dropped this raccoon off in the same deserted park area where we’d deposited the earlier one, drove home, and as I was locking up the car my husband reappeared, saying “hurry! open the hatch again! There’s a second raccoon in the OTHER trap!!”

            So, rinse and repeat. I was getting a little less groggy by the last one, but I’d driven without any crashes or screeching brakes or anything, and it was a real relief. Unfortunately, we don’t know how many more distant relatives might show up tomorrow night, or the night after….

            So, Mother Nature brings holiday gifts….

          2. Jinx, you are clearly now a feature in the raccoon holiday guidebook for your area. ‘Great snacks, free transport to rural area. Five stars.’

  4. Happiness: another lunch date w/ BFF followed by brief shopping followed by sharing a package of cookies with DH. He’s so easy; his love language is food. 🙂

    Also, happiness is The Olds having largely bested their lung-related troubles and feeling much better, thank you. I’m still going for Xmas but it now seems likely I will *not* need to take anybody to the ER while there.

  5. My one holiday craft show is done. I made less money than last year, which is disappointing but expected, considering the overall vibes of stress and uncertainty that are floating around.

    Dress rehearsal for the local production of the Nutcracker went well, also the first performance last night. One more to go today and then I am home free.

    I’m tired, and feeling a little at loose ends now that all my deadlines have been met. I’m going to try to take it t easy today, although chores need to be done… but I am happy that it is all over but the clean up.

  6. Last busy day of a very intense couple of weeks. Concerts, church Christmas Fair ($16K raised! We’re good at this.) painful church budgets, parents, side jobs, keeping the house up. Yikes.

    So I have a simpler week comping up. That thought makes me happy.

  7. I’ glad we made it home: dd and friend got tickets for a concert in Berlin, I tagged along, otherwise they wouldn’t have been allowed to go (16 and 15 yo).
    Then we got a huge amount of snow for the first time in years: On Friday, the trip up to Berlin took us 7+ hours by train instead of 5. Arrived at 2 am. Gah!
    The South was shut down completely due to the weather for the whole of Saturday. No trains, no busses, no flights!
    Today, Sunday, we woke to the news that one part of our train trip was cancelled. As were plenty of trains and thd others overbooked.
    But instead of having to stay longer in a city that I don’t like much (also tomorrow: school for the kids, work for me!), we got on the right train that made it back!! And it took only 1 hour longer!!
    I’m beat.
    And glad.
    I don’t know if it counts as happiness, though.
    Also I realized standing among hundreds of people that I really do not like this situation. Not good.

  8. Ah, and I’m glad for concert earbuds: the music was clear, the noise at least less loud. Why, oh why must it be so loud that it’s painful?
    Btw this was no metal concert!

    1. Did you get a specific type you can recommend? I’m hoping to go to concerts with BF next year and I don’t want it to hurt or muffle the sound too much.

  9. I bought a [temporary] Netflix subscription so I could watch “American Symphony.” The music and the story of those two brave souls, Jon Batiste and Suleika Jaouad, makes me very happy, as do the additional projects they are continuing to work on. I spent four days inside this week, because I could, going out only to feed cats, and I suspect I’m better for doing so.

  10. So the surgery went really well. I kinda/sorta regret not getting close vision in one eye and distance in the other (I was afraid to because I have a lot of sensory processing issues and was worried I wouldn’t be able to adjust) but it’s too late to change it now and I’m okay with wearing reading glasses and glasses for working on the computer. My screen is only about a foot or so away and I can see well enough to type this but not well enough to do any transcription work where I need absolute precision.

    I really shouldn’t jump to any conclusions just yet because on the afternoon of my surgery I couldn’t see my phone screen and Paul had to dial my parents so I could update them. I need to let my eyes fully heal before I make any decisions about buying prescription glasses; my reading glasses work well enough for now.

    I’m just astonished at the stuff I was missing out on seeing. I told Paul that it was almost as cool as the day I got my first pair of glasses. Lights are so bright! Everything is in HD now. Headlights don’t look like starbursts/discoballs in the dark. I was able to take a shower today and I could see to shave my legs!

    My one-day check up on Friday was pretty good. My right eye is 20/20 and my left is almost there, it’s closer to what optometrist was expecting to see in that time frame, but my intraocular pressure was a bit high so I have drops for that and a follow-up appointment on Monday for a pressure test. I wasn’t really high and she chalked it up to the trauma of surgery but better safe than sorry.

    Now I’m going to go try reading a book! An actual paper book. I’m so excited.

    1. That sounds really good. I went for a distance correction, too, and am happy with it. I have varifocals that I wear for driving (they give me a slight edge, though I can drive without them) and also for shopping, so I can read lists of ingredients, etc – though again, not essential. Plus dedicated reading glasses and computer glasses. But of course my prescription doesn’t change now, so I’ve had them all ever since my operations.

    2. Congratulations! From what they told me, it takes at least weeks, if not more, for the correction to set in and they eyes to heal enough to see well. You could buy some cheapie readers, in the meantime. The dollar stores have them.

    3. I had my eye pressure follow up yesterday and everything was great. The tech said I needed to see the doctor and that had me worried because she said that she could call me if the pressure was down but the tech just forgot about Dr. Watson saying that. We did a quick vision test while I was there and the right eye is 20/15 and the left was 20/20+ so just not quite there yet. I’m still giddy.

      When I go to see her for my 6-week check up (which is actually 8 weeks because of scheduling conflicts) she will fill out the form to lift the conditions on my license and we will talk about prescription computer/reading glasses.

      Thanks for all the well wishes and congratulations, everyone. I really appreciated hearing everyone’s success stories, they made me braver going into this.

  11. I had a couple of big successes at work. And then told my funder who is very happy with them.

    The big relief is that a giant soap opera with my mom is trending somewhat better. My mom agreed today to take her passwords with her to my sister’s over Christmas when the very sketchy dog sitter/ dog walker will be staying in the house. And the sketchy dog sitter’s cat is out of mom’s basement so the dog sitter is no longer letting herself into the basement twice a day to feed it.

    For context:

    The sketchy dog sitter currently has (we think —all info following comes from my mom who got most of it from the sketchy dog sitter) a restraining order against her for possibly abusing the older man she was living with, resulting in two black eyes, cracked knee cap, separated shoulder, cracked ribs. He was hospitalized under an alias so she couldn’t find him. He told my mom SDS did it but mom convinced he has dementia and that someone persuaded him SDS did it (SDS says it was two falls). He’s now in rehab. Possible criminal case pending. Mom absolutely convinced this woman didn’t do it. Police came to mom’s house looking for SDS and we don’t know why they had mom’s address.

    We found one news report of this woman being arrested for mooning kids at a town event. We have an older article that may or may not be her about someone with the same first and last name (different middle initial and slightly different age) pleading guilty to stealing $60,000 from a Humane Society of which she was Board President. And then defrauding an elderly housemate by using her credit card.

    These are only the highlights. I’m hoping to sleep better tonight —last night anxiety largely kept me up.

    In other news I’m making progress on planting tulips.

    1. Also went to a lovely craft fair yesterday and bought presents for about a third of my list including for DH three charming wooden mice who can hold cards identifying the cheese on a cheese tray.

      1. Thanks. We put locks on all three major credit companies for her a few years ago when she got taken by a scam for a minor amount. But I recently learned there are a couple others I should also put locks on for her including one that pay day loan companies use. Sigh.

          1. I think we put freezes not locks and I just confirmed they are indefinite. Mom tried to open a store credit card a while ago and couldn’t.
            We could have unfrozen and refrozen but I told her not worth it for a small discount.
            Locks seem to be something separate that you buy as part of a bigger service and I’m sure she didn’t do that.

      1. No kidding. I have only given you guys the barest description . I filled in a friend yesterday and it took an hour. And it does not help that my sisters are VERY anxious and coming up with lots of ideas and they and my brother are all trying to persuade my mom she is wrong to defend the SDS and so she is digging in her heels.

        But I did sleep last night ! Knowing the SDS has a place to live and isn’t going to be pressuring my mom to let her move in was a huge relief.

    2. Sweet goodness, what a mess! Good thing there’s tulips and crafting shows/fairs to tip the scales a little to the other side. Timed pocket-hugs coming your way!

  12. I was able to find a copy of the Three Bags Full book in paperback in very good condition from an Amazon.ca seller to give to a friend for Christmas. The prices on Amazon.com for that book were outrageous. I also went to look to the library online for it to read for myself…and discovered that the Toronto Public Library was hacked into a month ago and employee info files stolen. They did not pay a ransom so they are having to rebuild their system and will not be back on line until starting in January. Absolutely outrageous that a public organization like this would be targeted.

    1. The city of Baltimore was hacked back in 2019, days after my daughter and her husband completed all the paperwork for the house they bought in the city. One week later and their closing would have been delayed for months. It was such a mess. Sadly, I’m sure it’s happened many other places as well.

      1. Dreadful. And of course if hospitals or other emergencies services are hacked, I can only imagine the chaos. There isn’t a fire in hell hot enough….

    2. Libraries are easy targets, sadly. They have a lot of personal information available and usually outdated or nonexistent security. They also usually offer free wifi which is another way in.

  13. Best bits this week were catching up with old friends on four successive days, then a Zoom & a long phone call with others today. Plus a photography walk round my gardens and nearby fields yesterday morning, enjoying the sun and the hard frost.

    If it could, happiness would be listed on Amazon and eBay. In bulk quantities.

    SPENDING money is what buys happiness. It’s a process, not a product. This past week I bought yet another baker’s rack (I’m up to 4, contemplating a 5th), plus shelf liners so small stuff on the racks doesn’t fall between the wires. I’ve bought another 8-outlet power strip for the newest rack.

    The baker’s racks are replacing two pantry units that I decided were not meeting my needs.

    I bought food. Just routine groceries and soft drinks and more K-cups for my Keurig. And now my subscriptions for repetitive stuff like toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, et cetera are arriving. The double chocolate chip cookies won’t be here until Tuesday, with the other cookies and znacks.

    Yes, it all makes me happy. 😀

  15. Haven’t bought anything lately except books (which automatically equal happy) but I did attend my progressive groups holiday brunch. It was great to see a lot of people I don’t usually get to spend fun time with.

    Next two weeks are going to be very busy with mostly not fun stuff. The big break is no jury duty. I’ll do my civic duty but this is just a bad month for it.

    On to the doctors appointments, meetings, dog grooming appointment, and a bunch of other stuff (I have a list this month.)

  16. A friend persuaded me to use a voucher I was given, for going above and beyond at work, to buy myself a Gin Advent Calendar as a treat (the friend and I meet for a G&T once a month or so). It has a range of plain and flavoured gins from a variety of distillers and each one costs less than I could by the miniatures in the shops or bars. This means I get to try lots of different gins the thought of which makes me happy. I wish to point out that I am not a big drinker, and usually only drink occasionally and socially. These 24 miniatures could last for a year or two easily.

    So far have only tried one (Violet Gin) which was nicer than I thought it would be given that I really do not like Palma Violets ( hard candy we get here). The rest are going to have to wait because I was prescribed antibiotics today for the lurgy I was off sick with last week and has not moved on. That also means I get to spend more time in bed reading though 🙂

    I bought my BFF a coffee Advent Calendar which got delivered in time for Advent and she is making a ritual of having a “special” cup of coffee each morning. I did point out that by Christmas Day she will have no present left. She is delighted with her gift.

  17. I love the panda timer, but as Amazon Australia wants to charge me $199.73 for it (!!!!), I think I’ll just set a timer on my phone.

    While we do get stuck with the ‘Australian Tax’ (which is vendors charging us more because they’re convinced we are really wealthy), that’s Just Plain Ridiculous.

    1. That doesn’t become much less ridiculous even if those are Australian dollars, 66 US cents. (I remember that when Australia went off sterling, a dollar was US$1.20. We Americans think we have bad inflation!) I mostly see Oz prices in book reviews in an Australian sf fanzine. Those look bad enough, but come down a bit once I consider the currency. This doesn’t by much!

  18. Happiness is taking to dogs to the beach for a walk -their favourite place. It’s only a 40 min drive but we try to go for closer walks (well I do, the dogs don’t get to choose). I brought the ball thrower too so they were very happy. Cold for us (2 C) but dry, also unusual.

    Also, on going happiness, delighted to find I can bury myself in a book for hours, like I used to. Thought I maybe didn’t have the focus anymore (phones etc) and since having kids I was always thinking there is something more productive (domestically) I could be doing. Kids grown up and I’m getting over that, so the floor is still not washed though it was my number 1 job to do for the weekend.

    I did make plum pudding and christmas cakes though…

  19. I spent a lot of time at church this weekend, both rehearsing for and performing in our choral music program. It makes me happy to be surrounded by that sound – and even happier that one of the people I was sitting next to me said I made her Christmas. She loved hearing me on the descants. (I was singing with the altos, but when possible I jumped up to the soprano descant lines because I love being able to soar that high.) I feel asleep last night reliving that concert.

  20. Happiness was buying new lights to string around my living room (I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I do fairly minimal decorations, but if no one gets sick my group will be here for Yule dinner party on the 16th, so I do a bit for that). I have older ones, but happened to stumble across some that could either be white, or multicolored, or alternating, and I’m really liking them. Also got a countertop Yule tree for the counter between my living room and my dining room. We’ll see if it survives the cats until the 16th. So far it just has a string of lights and no ornaments, so they’re mostly ignoring it.

    Happiness was also going to our local Indie bookstore and finding lots of small gifts (some books, some not) for almost everyone on my list.

    1. I put lights up in my living room, too, just to combat the dark afternoons and gloomy days we’ve been having so many of lately. It’s nice the led lights are so efficient and so cool I can run them all the time.

  21. This morning I bought a multifunctional can and jar opening kit for seniors that I saw advertised on a Facebook page Vintage Boston. It’s for unscrewing caps, lifting pull tabs and lids, etc.

    The Vintage Boston (not the actual name) page carries old timey pictures and memories from the people that lived the times and brings up the past of the way we were as youngsters. If my parents were alive, I’m sure they would get a big kick out of it.

  22. I found cooking happiness today in that it worked very well to marinate thawing flank steak in the fridge in low-cal salad dressing that had been sitting in the fridge unused for a while. I also discovered that whole mushrooms stored in a paper bag seem to last longer than ones bought sliced and similarly stored. In retrospect, this makes sense since less surface is exposed to air.

    Today’s successes help balance out discovering the day before that I don’t especially like the sort of pesto sauce used in some boil-and-serve gnocchi I tried. Oh well, only one box of that left. I also recently lost my Wordle streak by intending to come back to an unfinished game and then forgetting until too late. I’m now back up to a whole 2 games. (Not that the streak was that huge before.)

  23. I gave two gingerbread parties this week. One for the church and one for the family I put the family one up on TikTok.
    Another happiness is the Jury duty cast is going to the Emmys. We won’t be on the red carpet and we won’t be on the first floor but we will be on the mezzanine as a group. (except for James Marsden who is nominated for best supporting actor and Mekki Leeper who plays Noah. He is nominated as a writer.) Amazon hiring a bus to take us. It should be an excellent adventure. I must find a gown that will go well with my glitzed-up crocs.

    1. Congratulations and have a wonderful time at the Emmys! Good luck shopping for a great gown. (I think you must have checked your closet for suitable celebratory garb ahead of time.) Taf

  24. Free Glynn Stewart space opera, his Space Carrier Avalon, on Kindle through Friday (date presumably as defined by US Amazon). I’m not sure how many folks will be interested, much less see it here in an oldish topic, but in view of the deadline I decided to mention it now. This is the first book of a military space opera series, but is fairly complete in itself, even if you don’t go on to buy others, as Stewart undoubtedly hopes you will. Stewart is another Canadian author, like that of Beware of Chicken. A lot of Stewart’s stuff is also available on Kindle Unlimited, if one happens to subscribe to that. I do, but would not have found it cost effective before I retired and had more reading time. (This book, however is free to anyone, not connected to KU.)

  25. It’s sometimes the small things that make a person happy. I was able to fasten my pants by myself! My arm needed to be out of the sling to do it, but I did it!

    I was also happy to spend an evening with friends at a great restaurant.

    Finally, I’m happy to work at a job that is understanding about illnesses and recovery times and isn’t currently a high pressure job.

  26. Happiness this week was picking my niece up from the airport and discovering that she has the same intolerance for people who talk non-stop as I do. We discussed strategies for dealing with it on the way back to my place.

    1. Happiness is also being nearly on holiday. Two school workshops tomorrow, one online talk next week, one mentorship meeting, and I’m done for the year.

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