Happiness is Being Snug Inside with a Book While a Storm Rages Outside

Welp, that climate crisis that some people still think isn’t a problem is pounding most of the US right now in one way or another, and I am wrapped up warm in my bed with a dog beside me, eating chocolate and reading the book I’m writing, although I’m going to take a break fairly soon and read somebody else’s book. I do miss my fireplace, but otherwise, this is pretty much the good life.

What kept you warm and happy this week? (Or just happy. Whatever.)

111 thoughts on “Happiness is Being Snug Inside with a Book While a Storm Rages Outside

  1. If you miss your fireplace, I recommend an “electric fireplace heater”. You can move it wherever you like in the house, and it’ll make heat and flames, or just flames, and it’s awesome. I have mine on right now. It may be my favorite purchase of 2023!

  2. I’m feeling a little cranky this morning. The deep sink is clogged again. But I’m warm enough, and that’s with only my 200 Watt heater running.

    I looked at an “electric fireplace heater” and wonder where I’d put it. It doesn’t really fit the Owner’s Suite.

  3. Happiness is arriving back from London after a lovely week, with a trip to the Chanel exhibit – I wanted to steal every apparel item displayed – and then to stare at Wellington at the National Portrait Gallery (ps – I did try to make it to the Apsley House as recommended here but it’s closed during the week – sad!) capped off with a revival of Guys and Dolls that was the best version I’ve ever seen – dynamic risers kept the staging lively and the inclusion of an audience ‘pit’ meant an unusual degree of participation – the whole play devolved into a dance party between cast and audience at the finale. And I ate well all week, even at the vegan restaurants my husband chose. I realized I prefer London to Paris; I know that’s heresy but there you have it.

      1. I figured. But I’ve never been all “ooohhh Paris”. My favourite European cities are London, Rome and St. Petersburg.

          1. The thing I dislike about London is that it isn’t walkable the way Paris is. Too many tourists in both though :). I never go to the big museums anymore, the queues are too big. I just go to the small out of the way ones where you can just turn up and are not 3 deep in front of exhibits.

    1. Oh, that production of Guys and Dolls sounds great. The National Theatre did it in the 1980s, and I saw it twice there (with different casts) and then again when it transferred to the West End. It’s my favourite musical. But from what my brother tells me, I think theatre prices are beyond me now (by which I mean, I’ll stick to watching the film).

      1. There are tickets for 20 pounds. The standing ones are 40 pounds. I’m too lazy to stand for an entire show but everyone had drinks in their hands and looked like they were having a super amount of fun so I almost regret it.

        1. Really? My brother was telling me their tickets for a show the other week were £75, and they were (he said) the cheaper ones. You fill me with hope! I used to go to the theatre – mostly the National and the RSC – quite often when I lived in London in the eighties, despite my minuscule publishing salary.

          1. Maybe when he was looking, they were the last tickets available for a particular night? Because there certainly are tiered ticket prices but you can look on the site and there are ones for 20 pounds.

    2. Tammy, have you read The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin. It is a fictional take on the last collections of Schiaparelli and Chanel before Germany invaded Paris. The MC is an English artist and widow who gets a job with Schiaparelli. There is some romance. It is one of my rereads.

      1. No, I haven’t! It looks great. It’s tough to read anything about Chanel, especially in that era, just before she started sleeping with a German officer… She was nothing, if not opportunistic about her career.

    3. Tammy, I’ve just realised that Chanel exhibition is the same one I went to see in Melbourne last year. It was excellent.

      1. The clothes went on and on and on. Unlike some exhibits where you see…five things and then here’s the door.

  4. Sometimes happiness is just surviving the week. And having a kind friend to hang out with for take-out and watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which he has seen and I haven’t.
    I’m grateful for warmth (although our storm yesterday was rain, with the bitter cold settling in for the rest of next week, along with some snow), and a roof over my head, good food, chocolate, and alcohol.
    Also, that for one reason and another (very delayed delivery from England, then a bunch of library books to finish), I still haven’t gotten around to reading the new Trisha Ashley book. So I get to start it today, just when I need it most. Happiness indeed.

  5. Happiness is writing a poem I really like after spending time forest bathing under oak trees draped with Spanish moss which I love. Although Tammy experienced it as sad which wasn’t the vibe I was going for so I may have to tweak it some.

    Happiness is connecting with online friends. Phone calls with 2 that I’ve known for years but never met in person. An ongoing (off and on for days)
    messenger conversation with someone stimulating, intelligent and funny. Hearing about another friends efforts to step into a new business that suits her.

    Happiness was a beach visit when it was overcast and foggy but still beautiful.

    Happiness is arghink and knowing Jenny is happy. And Bob posting their zany collaboration on Facebook.

    Happiness is here and now.

  6. My happy was waking up to -9º (wind chill -27º) and finding my water pipes were OK, and some birds made it through the night and came to the feeder. There was frost in a ring around the edge of the bird water heater dish. There is NO traffic on the roads this morning, so far. I was not awakened last night by the booms of fireworks when the Chiefs won, because it was too darn cold for even rabid Chiefs fans to stand outside and set them off. On the sad side, there has not been any evidence of Opossums or bunnies coming out for the little pile of birdseed I put out at night under the feeder, for days. I hope they are OK and keeping warm somewhere. The cute little Juncos eat the seed in the morning. Sweet!

  7. Happiness this week was everything working in the cold (-25°C highs and -40°C lows): the furnace, the car, the water lines, and even the doors (we have to hip check one to operate the deadbolt).

    Happiness was a massage & chiro appointment Friday, sleeping in yesterday, K2 cooking breakfast and lunch, napping for no reason, and getting a thumbs-up from K1 that Firefly is our new show to watch together.

    1. You win the temperature challenge! Oy vey! Siri tells me that range is -13º to -40º F. It’s interesting that -40º is the same for each system.

    2. I really can’t imagine what it’s like when it’s that cold, Natasha. Minimums here on the coast in Tasmania are about -2°C. It gets colder inland, but nowhere near what you’re getting!

      1. After a certain point it doesn’t really matter: Dangerous cold is dangerous cold. It just damages your skin faster. The trouble is that because the cold deadens your skin, you can’t feel the damage until after you get inside. It is as the skin tries to reawaken that you really feel it. And that skin will be more susceptible to damage in the future. However, I am happy to report that after a number of years of new skin development the previously damaged area is no longer any different than the rest of your skin (if the frostbite was not too bad to begin with.)

        Every fall my Mother would call and ask me if I had enough “woolies” to protect myself throughout the winter. Now that she’s gone I have to remember by myself.

  8. Reading a new-to-me PD James, which I am enjoying. I am afraid the murder is going to be one of the two people I like, but at least she hasn’t killed off the person I like the best.

    Still concentrating on finding satisfaction in my life, and making plans to ease out of things that are not so satisfying. Though board minutes are going to stay mine for a few years yet.

    My locally owned small grocery is currently selling a creamy salmon and vegetable soup which is outstanding.

    DH and I shoveled the drive (1.5 hours with both of us working on it) AND the plows came through in a timely fashion so we were not discommoded by the storm. I do like to see snow in winter, and none more predicted so all good.

  9. I went to IKEA to buy a closet for my sewing room and they had all the parts except the main cabinet in stock, so there goes my plan of spending the long weekend putting it all together.
    My husband pointed out it will take me most of the weekend to move the stuff out so I can build the thing anyway. I may have to take down the quilt frame to make temporary space.

    In the happy, my mother-in-law is more coherent now she is settled in hospice. My brother passed away at that facility so I know the people there are kind and good at what they do. Being a hospice nurse takes a special thing.

  10. Most of my happies this week are things I’m anticipating, rather than what I’m experiencing in the moment. And they’re all related to a weekend in February.

    I got my RSV vax (and if you haven’t, and you’re eligible, highly encourage it), so I’m looking forward to NOT getting RSV from a conference I’m going to in February. (I was already covid-boosted and flu-vaxed.) And the conference itself — Boskone, with guest of honor, Ben Aaronovitch — is the next anticipatory happy. And finally, the post cards I ordered from Vistaprint (to bring to the conference to see if I can find some new readers for my post-apocalyptic, slightly paranormal, cozy mystery series, since it’s primarily attended by sf/f readers) have arrived and were not stolen from my front porch like the last package left there (most delivery service drivers know not to leave stuff out there when there are better, safer locations, but one new person hasn’t figured it out yet).

    1. In my younger days I’ve been to Worldcons in Boston, but I’ve never made a Boskone, since February never seemed a good time to make a long-distance trip to New England for risk of weather problems. Good luck!

  11. Earlier here I noted I found I didn’t like the flavor of store-bought pesto gnocchi that I’d tried and lamented that I still had a box left. When I used that box, I inadvertently doubled the water (somehow not noticing that I was holding a 4-cu measuring cup, not a 2-cu one, I measured out 3 cu, not 1.5). Most of the pesto turned out to be in the sauce, so I only got a half dose in the gnocchi consumed. It needed a little doctoring, but the result was a lot better than the first box. I saved and refrigerated the cheesy excess cooking water, and later used it to boil macaroni from store-bought macaroni and cheese. (Fortunately, the leftover cheesy water was about the right amount to be completely absorbed by the macaroni without draining it.) I then added the cheese sauce from the mac and cheese box. The result was a better flavor than from the usual sauce alone. So a double win, although I’m still not buying that gnocchi again!

  12. I finished a flannel quilt for my son and daughter-in-law and celebrated his 45th birthday. Though I can’t believe I have solidly middle-aged children–which shouldn’t be so hard to believe since given all the various aches, pains, and creaks, I have no trouble believing my own age.

  13. Happiness is the two pairs of socks my DH gave me. One says Shhh I’m overthinking. The other says Go Away I’m Introverting. He gets me. They come from Blue Q for those who need them. My kids and I tested neg for Covid. (Foreshadowing…) There is more than a quarter of a chocolate cake in the fridge that is mine, all mine, as well as excess frosting. I’m watching light snow that won’t stick and for the next couple hours it’s a balmy 43 F. I’m making chicken soup today.

    That’s pretty much it for happiness. DH DD DS and I drove 8 hours to see mom for two days and she did talk to us at meals and had made a letter about my grandfather to give DS along with my grandfathers phi beta kappa key. The rest of the time she pretty much ignored DD and DS and DH and used me to run chores some of which had to be me (banking—straightening out three mistakes mom had made that admittedly are things anyone not a lawyer might have done ) but most of which she could have done with a friend or Uber. Mom had two hours alone with DD and ignored her almost all of the time , although at one point she did tell DD I didn’t like SDW because I am prejudiced against homeless people. (Not only did I serve them during my career as a legal services lawyer but our adult foster daughter was homeless almost all her childhood and was failing as an adult until she came to live with us for 2.5 years so… really?) (FD is now fully launched and has a career kind of in my field which means we are on the same work calls which does delight me.)
    This did not make me want to plan another trip with DD and DS (who both tied their schedules into pretzels to see her, only to be ignored).
    It was a productive trip in that I met up with one of her lovely neighbors and we exchanged info about SDW and agreed to collaborate on protecting mom; also mom showed me a piece of jewelry SDW gave her ( I suspect because SDW stole it and can’t pawn it safely) and I snuck a pic and will ask the police to check if it’s been reported stolen .
    In a fascinating aspect of this, DD and I are strategizing how to apply what DD learned about cognitive dissonance when she wrote her PhD to change mom’s mind .
    Then we drove another 2 hours to Boston, dropped DS at home and checked into a hotel. We planned to take DD to the airport the next day, see a good friend of mine, and then meander home seeing on the way my brother, DHs cousin, and DHs brother. Instead DH tested positive for Covid that morning and I dropped DD at the airport and DH and I drove home for 8 hours with masks and cracked windows and now I am hoping the kids and I don’t get it.

    I guess the other happy is that we had time with just the four of us and laughed a lot, especially at mom.
    It doesn’t make us bad people.

    1. Laughing at difficult family members is sometimes the best we can do. And healthier than some alternatives.

      1. No, it was just submitted. But she has a book contract for a very similar but much more accessible topic that is scheduled to come out in 2025 and you can be sure I will proudly announce it here

  14. This week I had two appointments related to inner ear. On Wednesday it was a session with a vestibular therapist (tall blond named Bjorn) who took me through 4 repetitions of the Epley maneuver. Aftermath was some dizziness and slight nausea, but that passed within an hour. And it seems to have resolved a case of mild intermittent vertigo I’ve had since the last week of November. Happy!

    Then on Friday I was meant to have a hearing assessment & follow-up, but the doctor couldn’t get to the facility, so we rescheduled. Instead of signing on for work before my scheduled time (having secured a short day), I took advantage of the hours off to brutally prune my wisteria. This year I plan to brutally check its growth to maximize flowers. Happy!

    Yesterday, conditions favored getting outside to slaughter the native grapevines, which I duly did. Scratched in some forget-me-not seeds that we were given at the memorial for a cousin who died, far too young, last year. No idea if they will germinate, but if they do, we’ll have a nice patch of blue right in front of the house. In the meantime, the Love & Wishes salvia have more space to sprawl. Happy!

    Submitted and received a contract for my Regency novella. Happy! 🙂

    Finally, it’s a holiday weekend for me, so I have two full days to work on a new writing project, have lunch with my BFF, and otherwise loaf.

    1. Congratulations on getting the contract for the novella – woot woot!

      And I want to know if the dizziness and nausea were worth the encounter with the tall blonde Bjorn?

      1. to be completely honest, blonds are not my thing, but I’ve enjoyed telling everyone about doing trust falls with a tall blond named Bjorn, because that sounds like a setup for a rom-com if there ever was one!

  15. Debbie, your mother is a piece or work, and you are an angel for putting up with her. I’m glad the rest of you didn’t get COVID.

    1. Fortunately that’s pretty much my kids’ take on her too.

      I just hope we all stay Covid free—we all spent 2 hours in a car with him just as DH was becoming contagious and I not only shared a bed after that but also 8 hours (both masked ) in a car. So I don’t feel out of the woods yet. I’m being very rigid about his staying in the basement but the horse may be out of the barn.

  16. I enjoyed watching figure skating this week (European Nationals); I used to prefer the ladies singles but have come to prefer the ice dance most of all.

    Luckily I got my errands run early today because the rest of the day we’re supposed to have snow squalls, although, thank goodness, nothing like is supposed to hit Buffalo and Watertown today and tonight.

    Pippin is ensconced in the side window watching the birds at the bird feeder. He’s making those chatter noises as he watches them which I am finding amusing.

  17. What kept me warm is 31°C temperatures. But I keep cool by wearing dresses. Dresses make me happy.
    I saw a friend yesterday and then saw another today for her birthday tea party. They overcame my dismay about going to work tomorrow so they made me feel very happy.

  18. I’m very happy because I went out for my first country ski of the season. I’m very fortunate to live near a groomed urban trail that runs along the river and through various small woods. A local artist decorates the trail with snow bears. I took the wrong poles and I’m still not back to pre-Covid energy levels but it was so great to be outside on my skis. Hoping for more snow this week so conditions will be even better.

    I hosted my book club this week and it went well. Good discussion of the book – Great Circle (Maggie Shipstead) – and everyone enjoyed dinner. I rarely entertain any more so I was very nervous and stressed about feeding 5 other people. I served a large charcuterie tray and soup and salad with Christmas cookies for dessert. The soup was Roasted Sweet Potato and Garlic with Chile oil from NYT recipes. It was delicious and easy to make – received rave reviews from all the ladies.

    I found a blouse on sale at a consignment store to complete my outfit for the Madonna concert this week. Goes perfectly with my black and pink tulle skirt. The concert was delayed from the summer and I’m looking forward to it.

  19. Happiness is a 3-day weekend after a busy week. I had lunch yesterday with a group of friends from high school—some of us hadn’t seen each other in a decade and aren’t all over social media, so there was a lot to catch up on. One imminent grandchild (!), a couple of divorces, happy healthy kids—it seemed like everyone was doing okay and weathering life well.

    Today my introverted self slept in and is going to talk to nobody. Lots of cooking for the week, reading a book I haven’t chosen yet, maybe a walk since it doesn’t seem too cold, and probably bingeing some Ghosts UK, which apparently added a season while I wasn’t looking. And continuing my rewatch of the modern Doctor Who.


  20. It’s been mostly dry and occasionally sunny, so I’ve done various bits of gardening, gradually clearing the allotment and garden for the new year. I’m also doing a big update/edit of my (book-length) gardening info as I work on my plans for this next year. Should get my notes into more useful shape for me right now, which will be great.

  21. I’m kinda happy I saved nearly $50 in groceries this week. Even though it came with a bit of a hassle. It’s the new and improved version of coupons. You have regular coupons and then on top of that you get extra off by going digital. I’m sure it works great if you have that phone access but my phone doesn’t work that way. So, I have to go the machine that is located at the front of the store and put in info and they will spill out a piece of paper to take to the cashier. Now it would seem to me I could get the same discount by the cashier scanning my store card. There you go – new and improved!

  22. My happy involved a trip for my husband to Emergency. He has had weird symptoms (dizziness, dry mouth, mind fog, periods of extreme fatigue and assorted other) for about two years. When he first reported this to his PP, he was sent to Emergency to test for stroke. No stroke but extensive bouts of physical therapy to see if they couldn’t improve his health since it was apparent they had no idea what was going on.

    He is basically very healthy (no meds of any kind, bicycles 10 to 25 miles a week). Well recently I commented that one side of his face looked more relaxed (read droopy – I was being tactful for once) then the other and he noticed that one of the fingers on his right hand was not behaving properly and his speech has become badly slurred. And he was so frustrated that he was not getting better despite all the tests, and the exercises he does daily. So he called his PP again to discuss this and once again they sent him to Emergency. Best thing that could have happened. Two CAT scans and one MRI and about 12 different blood tests later, a visit by a speech therapist and a ZOOM call to the neurologist plus a visit from another neurologist and they are hopefully that they have figured out the problem and it is treatable. If further tests verify the tentative diagnosis, he will finally have a course of action and hopefully will be able to get better. Not cured but better. So…..happy he spent a miserable night in Emergency (although he got a gurney in a cubicle, there were people on gurneys in the halls), he finally feels like the medical system is coming through for him.

    1. So happy the medical people are doing their job for once! Hope hubby will get better soon and that the tentative diagnosis is indeed this treatable thing. Hurrah for medical progress!

      1. Thanks Shass. Where I live in the US it is frequently difficult to get MRI’s or CAT scans unless the insurance has pre-approved it. However if you are sent to the Emergency Room for suspected stroke or brain tumors or aneurysm, the medical staff can pile on every test they can think of all at once without the usual interminable wait for approval from your insurance company between each step. One major problem with US health care isn’t that the doctors are not doing their work, it is that insurance companies are involved in a lot of decisions and have the ability to veto certain protocols until the doctor can show that it is necessary. So you have the money men involved in health decisions.

    2. Having a plan is such a relief after being in limbo for so long, isn’t it? Best wishes that the plan works out.

  23. I don’t usually post on Happiness Sundays because there’s usually not much that I’m happy about — I have a new assignment at work that is complicated and confusing, with a trainer/supervisor who’s been doing it for something like 16 years and who trains very VERY fast….

    And I know it’s not Thursday, but I read a wonderful book last night. It is SOOO CUTE!! I’d read three books by Ali Hazelwood before, but “Check & Mate” was right up my alley, with protagonists I found really likable, who were drawn to one another for all the right (for me, anyway) reasons. I was about 1/3 through the book when I looked at the time and realized it was 1:57 and ALSO realized that I couldn’t stop. Fell asleep with my thumb at the place I apparently last read, and woke thinking ‘omigosh, what’s happening next?’ and tore back into it. Finding a wonderful new book with wonderful characters really cheers me no end, so that’s why I’m GBT-ing on an HS. 🙂

    1. I might have to read this book asap. Everyone here who’s read it seems to love it and I could use that kind of sparkle right now. <3

  24. Happiness is a day off. The bank is closed tomorrow and I don’t have to go out if I don’t want to. Today was chores, which make me feel more settled.

    Tuesday is going to be rough. They are replacing our 30 year old teller line this weekend and I get to go in early Tuesday morning and try to put it back together again well enough to wait on customers at the normal time, but that is for Tuesday. Today I am making biscuits. Who know what tomorrow may bring?

      1. You know, I was thinking that I would make chili and corn bread for supper. It’s good cold weather food.

    1. Lupe, it figures they are doing it over a holiday weekend! Where I worked, the day after a holiday weekend is almost always busy as members had an extra day that they were not able to come in and do whatever they needed, so we all knew we would pay for having the extra day off. Good luck!

      1. Thanks! It makes sense to do it over the holiday, if you aren’t familiar with the customer flow… really it would be fine if they would have let us budget two hours to get ready, and then opened at 10 instead of 8. But business must not be impeded. We will survive. I just won’t be happy about it.

  25. My happy discovery this week is that the small grocery store near me carries La Brea bread, which I love, although at a higher price than the store in the suburbs where I used to buy it. But the big discovery is that they mark it down mid afternoon when it is no older than it would have been had I bought it at full price. So I have been feasting on roasted garlic toast with my morning tea and feeling very pampered.

    I also ran a test on my little travel alarm clock and discovered that it was my error that had caused the old one to malfunction last week and not the death of the clock. Of course, I had already ordered 2 replacements online and I will have to go out to the suburbs tomorrow to pick them up. The high tomorrow will again be below zero degrees F, but since I have to leave the house any way for a doctor’s appointment, I hope it won’t be too bad. I dug out my silk long johns in preparation.

    1. Aunt Snack, someone wearing silk long johns to travel to the suburbs to pick up TWO alarm clock replacements sounds like the beginning of a story. And I want to read it!

      1. Lian, for those of us who live in a cold climate and do not drive, wearing silk long johns is not a rare occurrence in winter, it is what enables some of us to leave the house.
        The reason I went to pick up the travel alarms is because I am cheap. I have a neat little travel alarm that has fallen off the windowsill once too often. The place where I bought the original clock no longer carries them so I looked online to see where else I could buy one. Walmart had 2 different models that they sold online for about 5USD apiece but did not have any in stock. Because they are so cheap, I bought one of each so that I could compare them. By picking them up I avoided shipping fees. Another consideration was that I can’t have anything shipped to my home address because if the Post Office leaves it on the sidewalk, it will be stolen. So I usually have anything I order shipped to my friend’s store, which is open (most of the year) 7 days a week. But I figured that if I was going to take public transportation to get to Dave’s store, I might as well go out to Walmart and pick up some stuff they do not stock in the smaller stores in my neighbor hood. It made sense when I ordered the stuff, but then the temperature dropped and revealed the stupidity of my thinking.

  26. Happiness is going to MPTF’s with my son Christopher and meeting almost the entire cast of TedLasso and several other people whose work I adore. https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2GMsobyxfr/?igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==
    tomorrow the Jury Duty cast is going to the Emmys! And then we will have a party after.
    Then on Tuesday, Time And forever is supposed to be featured in the girlfriend, which is an AARP thing as listed as a steamy read. And it’s free. I think Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. Yes I am losing it. There is so much happening and today I’m just tired so tired. I’m gonna rest up for tomorrow
    Oh, I forgot I have an audition on Tuesday morning for a pilot and I have to read two scripts before that so that’s tonight
    Happy week everybody and I hope everybody stays warm and has good naps

  27. Small happies.
    Happiness is seeing (hearing, feeling, whatever) Matcha starting to get the hang of playing with the fishing rod. The cord normally attached to it kept curling itself up into impossible knots, so instead of a 70cm long one, it would end up 5 cm long after approx 3 seconds, so I cut it off and braided a new one out of acrylic yarn. It’s much thicker, so it doesn’t curl, AND it has the added positive that Matcha seems to be able to see it much better than a thin string. She’s as enthusiastically chasing it and its entizing feathers now as Triple. Happy.
    And happy that again she came to stand beside me on her hind legs to be picked up for snuggles yesterday while I cleaned the mosaics on the dragon-egg. She keeps knocking me over with cute and unexpected lovethrowing.
    Happy that the freaking egg is NOW FINISHED. Well, the glueing part. Craft store didn’t have the grout I wanted in-store, so have to order it.
    Happy for MIL gifting me a small bag of salted caramel toffee today saying: “I was in the sweets shop yesterday and saw these and thought of you”. Best. MIL. Ever. And not because toffees, even though they were excellent, but for the love wrapped around them.
    HAPPY for all you lovely Arghers. Thanks for your cheers, encouragement and comforting words Wednesday. I was knocked out by too much brain-noise and headache over the last days, so I read it all just before reading today’s post. I still have lots of pocket sads, but kitten pocket hugs and timed pocket hugs and all other hugs and cheers sure do help. I never feel like the odd one out here, which is a relief too huge to put words to. Especially considering much of what takes up space in the pocket sads. Thank you all. <3

    1. It’s difficult to be the odd one out here. We’re all odds and nobody’s out.
      Good for the MIL, too. Mine was also a darling.

  28. Happiness is being able to breathe lying down again. I brought back a terrible cold from my holiday but have recovered to the point that I can lie flat and not suffocate. Also, the latest heatwave broke after a thunderstorm so last night’s temperature was below 20C. Bliss.

  29. Watched children skating on a pond. Walk in the sunshine in the park. ER visit which turned up nothing after CT scan. Dr follow up tomorrow. Will investigate further. Front row seat to emergencies of every kind. Everyone was working so hard especially when a patient arrived in full throes of a heart attack. She lived.

  30. Happiness is that (so far anyway) the power hasn’t konked out during this polar vortex, so we’ve got heat.

    My son is in a different city where huge winds have taken the power and many large trees down. He’s very cold.

  31. Happiness is walking Pixie before the snow squalls and high winds. (We both stayed in for those.) And hot coffee for the rest of the day.

    I’ll be making chicken soup, closely supervised by Pixie, tomorrow.

  32. 1. Made it through the work week (I had to go back) without getting In Trouble. Also signed up for some work classes.
    2. Met with someone who works for state HR as to get tips for applying there.
    3. Did a successful play reading online.
    4. Spent all day hanging out with friends and went to a yarn swap.
    5. Used some of my Christmas money to buy some random things I wanted.

    I have also been really getting into St. Anthony, of the Jenny’s Missing Purse Incident. I am not into Catholicism, but St. Anthony really does seem to Do Things. So far in the last few weeks I’ve prayed for other people’s missing stuff and it’s all turned up, including a package that was lost in mail for like a month. Upon reading more on the fellow, HE GETS SHIT DONE, and I don’t just mean lost things, either. (https://stanthonyprayforus.org/look-at-the-testimonials)

    To that end, I am planning to make more requests, such as ones involving my job situation that I did last night. I also asked on behalf of a friend to have someone from the disability services place (her caseworker is shitty, did nothing, and seems to have quit/disappeared) call her and that she get someone who does things this time. We’ll see how that goes this week once people go back to work.

  33. Happiness on the coast of Maine has been a house well back and up from the shore. Also, an automatic generator, one of the great inventions. And also a tuxedo cat who is unusually attached to my lap. I mean, he’s just curled up on it in the usual manner, but he’s there more often. He’s even curled up on the desk right now, which almost never happens.
    Tomorrow my community chorus starts up, with our new director. I was on the search committee and I am very ready to make some music with a wonderful director!

  34. Surprisingly, since we now have a triple-pain front window and no fireplace, I did not need to haul out my electric fireplace heater to help ride out this cold spell, which should be abating a bit tomorrow. We canceled our trip to Edmonton for the weekend and are enjoying a semi productive weekend. We are going tomorrow though because we need dog food and a Costco run.
    Currently we are -35C/-31F.

    Thanks to battery blankets, all the vehicles started like a charm. Paul went out to help out neighbour boost their vehicle and had to get our good booster cables. The person across the street couldn’t get their truck started reliably for 3 days, every morning they had to get a boost.
    he is researching a better set of jumper cables for my car since the set that came with it are really short and not meant for our weather.

    1. No block heaters in their vehicles? I think I will get a battery heater for the cold snaps even if my car starts. Less warm up time. Glad you are warm with triple glazed windows.

      1. Not plugged in. The neighbours Paul helped drive that vehicle a lot and I think they thought that would help them.

        Guy across the street had a bad battery I think. Either that or he didn’t learn his lesson the first time.

        Debbie, the coldest I’ve personally seen was colder than -50C (C and F meet at -40 and then -C is colder). -50 was the lowest temperature the thermometer went to. That was in the 90s. My dad worked in —60 up by the Yukon border in the early 70s when I was as a baby. He took a job closer to home where it was in the -40s and said he could feel that it was 15-20 degrees warmer.

        1. Back in the 90s I visited a friend in West Virginia during (I think) its coldest weather of the 20th century. I parked my car on the street and left it for four days (my friend drove everywhere we went, with her car in the garage) during which the high was -4F and the low was -24F. (Getting up to check my closest thermometer, that’s about -20C and -31C.) The day I was leaving I turned the key and the car started right up. I was amazed.

  35. I worked on final revisions for the dissertation today and made chili and vegetable soup in case the Texas grid fails again. In that case, I can at least get the grill going and heat up a pot of soup.

    First day of the semester is Tuesday and I don’t wish poor weather conditions on the city but it would be nice to have another day off when it is so cold. I don’t imagine the students want to get out of bed either!

  36. Happy is realising that my niece and I are growing a really lovely relationship, and that she likes spending time with me as much as I like spending time with her.
    Happiness is also morning swims, when the sea is like silk and little crabs wave their claws at me from the sea floor, shouting, ‘Go away, I’m big and scary and you don’t really want to eat me.’ (Happiness for the crabs is presumably when I keep swimming.)

    1. Lian, I love that you can swim in the ocean. I do it on holiday where the ocean is calm, but I grew up in QLD and was always too afraid to really swim there. Too many rips, too many rocks, too many jellyfish. No thank you.

      1. Oh yes, Queensland waters are terrifying. We get jellyfish, but nothing lethal. And definitely no saltwater crocs! The water here in Tassie is lovely at this time of year, and ocean swimming is just the best thing possible. Makes me feel alive for the rest of the day.

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