Happiness is You All

I’ve been swamped but I finally took the time to read through all the GBT comments on Friday. You are all so great, so smart, so voracious about books, and so good to each other and me. My best read this week was all of you. Thank you.

What made you happy this week?

122 thoughts on “Happiness is You All

  1. I am not happy. We are on the highest alert for gale force winds and it is already bad and storm Isha has not hit land yet.

    You built this community Jenny and a wonderful site to visit, so thank you.

    1. Happiness is seeing Caitlin Clark play basketball against Ohio State live today. I’ve never been much of a sports fan, but it’s fascinating to watch someone do something they’re crazy talented at.

      1. If you are in the Netherlands Shass, stay safe because this has been the worst storm we have had since storm Dennis in 2020. The wind is awful. Lot of damage in Galway but thankfully we are okay so far. Still windy but not as bad as earlier.

  2. Happiness is traveling across the country to help my niece & her hubby with their 3 month old twins, a boy & girl. I so enjoy the baby snuggles.

  3. Heading to Miami today for the week with my BFF who has a speaking engagement there. His husband can’t make it so I am his plus one – yea! My BFF is a personal finances guru so he’ll provide everyone with his wisdom on how to manage money – while accompanied by his spendthrift friend. Minus 11 Celsius here in Toronto and going up to 27 this week in Miami – double yea.

    1. Oh good gosh, Tammy! minus 11 Celsius??? That sounds horrible! Wait, let me check…

      Oops — it’s going down to Minus 10 Celsius in the Washington DC area tonight. Which is shatteringly cold for us here. Man, can I relate!!! We’re not used to that level of cold here — it bites every uncovered piece of skin, and our outdoor clothing isn’t near warm enough to compensate for long. You Canadians are tough, woman!!

      1. NO. And I’m very unhappy about that. Especially being in Florida where I am wearing rainbow items as much as possible as a silent protest.🌈

  4. Happiness is having my close by kids over for dinner. It has been a while since I did this, and it went well. Just the idea of it overwhelmed me in December.

    Real happiness is some above freezing days coming soon! I miss walking outside, and it will be so good to finally get out again.

    More happiness is the new pair of RED framed glasses that are coming. They will make it easier for me to see out of my monovision implants properly. Why the optometrist gave me a prescription for reading glasses with up close correction for the far-seeing eye is beyond me. Monovision must be pretty rare, for that to happen.

  5. Got many tasks done, including one that should have been completed 2 years ago and one that has immediately lead to a potential new employee which we really need.

    Doing my annual period of eating virtue, and though it has only been 6 days, I am pleased that I am finding it easier than usual.

    My black kitty came and slept on me this morning. He doesn’t do this all that often, so I was particularly touched.

  6. I had a photography walk a few days ago, looking at trees in the golden winter light. And a couple of evenings with friends. And yesterday I found my all-time favourite tomato seeds (‘Nectar’ – early cherry, great flavour) which I’ve been looking for ever since I left my cottage garden ten years ago: the odd times someone offered them for sale, the postage made them absurdly expensive. But there they were, as a ‘new’ variety, in a big garden centre, even though the supplier’s website had insisted they weren’t selling them.

    1. Jane, I am thinking of starting some purple burkheya seeds. Have you ever grown any? People warn that it is very stickery even for a thistle but the pictures don’t look all that lethal. The pictures I have seen are one called Zulu Warrior and it is really tempting.

      1. I haven’t tried them, Jessie. First came across them some years ago when the RHS had a South African meadow area at Wisley. They were very striking, but definitely too prickly for me – I don’t like having anything in my garden that’s liable to attack me. Guess they might have bred a less thorny type? If you want tall and striking with sparser thorns, I have grown Cleome and Leonotus – both gorgeous (and easy from seed), but not for me due to having prickles, even if not that many.

        1. Thank you. I have never seen burkheya grown. I have done both cleome and leonotus and I don’t think either one is quite right for the area I have in mind. Unfortunately anything with thorns other than roses tends to be pulled from my garden as soon as I get a cluster big enough to have a presence and become a pain to weed around. I almost got rid of the roses for that reason but they are so resilient when the weather gets iffy and seem to tie the beds together.

          1. Roses are definitely the exception to my rule – although I do get attacked in my tiny front garden. Must be sterner with my pruning.

  7. Happiness was finally getting to see Madonna in concert! Show was postponed from August. I went with a friend and we had a great time. The show was amazing – not just Madonna but also the background visuals and the dancers. Madonna herself is impressive and inspiring. And her music is so fun.

    Before we left the next morning, my friend and I had breakfast at Arthur’s, one of my favourite Montreal restaurants – think hipster deli. My friend’s pancakes were 1-1/2 inches high and my steel cut oats were filled with nuts and fruit. Good ending to a great road trip.

    1. @Susan McClelland: I hear it was a wonderful concert. Lots of oldsters (like me), but young ones too. Did you find a good place to stay overnight that didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Yes, Arthur’s. Yum!

      1. We were very fortunate that my friend’s friend lent us her apt above the Bell Centre. We were outside for less than a minute. I was pleasantly surprised at the broad range of ages in the crowd.

  8. Happiness is this being the last day of a week of bitter cold. Next week is going to be above average instead of below, which is okay with me. 8 degrees F this morning when I woke up, with snow flurries. Bleh.

    Happiness is good friends in the midst of a mostly pretty rough couple of weeks. Last night my pal John came over for pizza and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and this afternoon bestie Ellie is coming for Scrabble, the last of the new Doctor Who specials, and to do her laundry (I have machines at my house and she doesn’t). I tend to be fairly antisocial in the winter, and usually stay at home most of the time. But this month has been some sort of appointment–either for me or the cats–almost every day, and plumbers on the rest of the days. So it is nice to have my friends come to me. I’m very grateful for the kind of old friends who don’t take much energy to hang out with.

    1. Do the Doctor Who specials include some kind of combination of Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi? I saw a brief reference to someone watching those two on some Dr. Who thing, and wondered what on earth he was talking about. If so, what TV channel/sponsor are these being broadcast on at the moment?

  9. Happiness is having spent the morning with my honey, soaking in the hot tub & jumping out to make snow angels. We’re in our 60’s and almost had heart attacks but it was worth it. Love living in Bucks County

  10. Saw “The Play That Goes Wrong” last night and it was brilliant. I’m seeing Seussical today, which I do not like, but there is a tailgate party (seriously) before the show. I hope we miss the rain on that one.

    We’re planning for a cousin of mine to come visit the first weekend of February.

    I’m on a four day weekend to burn vacation time, so that’s nice.

    This week’s work update:

    (a) I am STILL making tons of inexplicable mistakes at work and got caught yet again 🙁 I want to cry. I can’t stop fucking up. I literally don’t know how I’m doing things I don’t remember doing, except a computer can’t gaslight you.

    (b) I finally saw my new permanent psychiatrist and he’s a jerk. He refuses to diagnose me with ADHD or even EVER investigate it further–he says it was the evaluator’s job to decide, not him. I note the evaluator said it was his job to decide 😛 So that is utterly shut down, permanently. I want to switch doctors but it took literally months to get this one, so…probably not able to do that.
    He also said I’ll never get diagnosed with anything else, it’s just me being a square peg in a round hole.

    (c) That said, he did very grudgingly write the limitations letter and Disability Services accepted it, whew. I have the “what accommodations do you want?” meeting next week, though I’m not sure what to say since I generally already have stuff like a private office and headphones, I can’t think of anything to ask for that would LEGITIMATELY help me, like the memory thing. I say this postpones the firing because it would probably stall it for about three months and then when my performance continues to be utter fail, well….

    I can think of some things to ask for that would be refused with great force, like asking for a lot of proofreading or getting out of answering the phones. If I ask for things that will be refused, that may lead to a transfer or me being kicked out of the job if they can’t find me a transfer. Honestly, I’m not sure WHAT to do.

    (d) In other news, I am now certified as having a disability with the state when looking for state employment, which meant I pretty much bypassed the hard exams. I still have to do a typing test, which will be tomorrow. I applied for a few jobs, which I’m not particularly into but any port in a storm at this point.

      1. Don’t know there, everyone just refers me to the askjan website over and over again and that just lists a bunch of apps and “private office and headphones” stuff. Unfortunately not really anything I’m finding useful to my situation.

    1. I applaud you for making progress on the stage employment front. The Dr. had no explanation for your memory lapses? That sounds like more than ADHD.

      1. Nobody really seems to care about that one and it’s been “could be depression, could
        be sleep deprivation, could be vitamin B12 being low.” I’m on pills for all of that stuff now and well, I’m still fucking up.

        1. What kind of mistakes are you making? Maybe there’s a clue in that as to what kind of accommodation you need.

    2. Short term memory loss and difficulty concentrating are symptoms of depression. Perhaps that would be a more helpful diagnosis than AD/HD. Can you discuss this with a therapist outside of the State system before you have to deal with the State again? If the therapist has experience with the disability board, they can help you tailor your applications and responses.

      1. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, that’s what I used to get marked as having a disability with the state. Beyond that, I don’t know.

    3. You should see the recent British sensational TV series Mr Bates vs the Post Office for how computers can in fact sometimes gaslight you. Though in that case they were gaslighting a number of people with the same job.

  11. Being one of (est.) 250 thousand protesters against the heinous plans of the AFD party, leaked after their gathering that mimicked the NSDAP’s Wannsee Conference.
    DS and I couldn’t participate in the protest march because the planned route was COMPLETELY filled with protesters, including the adjoining streets.
    It was good to see so many people standimg up against the far right movement.
    Munich’ numbers exceeded the large crowds in Hamburg and other cities. That there’re protest marches almost everywhere for the right cause.

    1. Correction: we couldn’t MARCH because due to the latge number of people we protested while STANDING.
      The atmosphere was very good and positive

      1. I just saw a photo of that protest and it was amazing!!!!!!!I am so proud of all of you!!!!!

        I know my use of exclamation marks is out of control, but Damn, I am impressed.

        1. It was a great experience! Already on our way to the city centre the metro was packed, friends of ours had to wait for x trains to get into, that many people were on their way. We had planned to meet up – DS with his friends, me with our friends, but no chance to find anyone among the sea of people unless you already came togehter.
          To see how many came to make a statement gives hope.
          The atmosphere was very positive, too: kind and peaceful.
          And the signals from those demonstrations across the country are very needed: It’s frightening how successfully the very hateful ADF party rise, especially in the east of our country.

  12. Happiness and relief that I got an appointment for an new x-ray which will start the journey of my hip replacement (after almost two years of waiting for appointments and 19 months on the waiting list).

    The same storm that hit Galway Tes earlier is here in Edinburgh now, so happiness is being cosy in my flat with hot drinks and yarn projects and many books to read.

  13. Happiness is a good friend wanting to share their joy with me. Happiness is FINALLY being able to play and soak at the beach. Due to flood damage to infrastructure, our seawater is contaminated. So when a friend took a coastal weekend away almost 2 hours and 170km away by road, I leapt at her invitation to day visit. I took a looong drive alone, met her and her family there and got waterpark play time.

    The plan was to drive back yesterday but things were delayed so I ended up sleeping over. Since I’m Zombie-apocalypse-prepared with the gym bag, it wasn’t too troublesome. I even got beach time this morning! I don’t do open water swimming because I am a poor pool swimmer at best! So I got a natural spa soak thanks to the waves and wind. While things are still awful in other areas, I was home by 2pm today and I feel like I got a good saltwater soak!

    1. That sounds heavenly! And being prepared for beach time and a water park sounds much cheerier than a zombie apocalypse.

  14. I’m struggling today. My husband is trying to find work and most of what is available is third shift, which means that I would effectively never see him. We really like each other and that makes me sad. Objectively, I know that we would survive but…

    I started drawing again though, and that makes me happy.

      1. Thanks. I’m trying to tell myself that I can do it, that I would do work on the house and paint and do projects, etc. but I am stuck on grieving how lonely I will be.

    1. Good luck to both of you. My sister and her husband did it for the first 2-3 years of their relationship, but it is terribly exhausting. I hope a kinder, gentler option will arise.

      1. Thank you. He hasn’t done factory work. I have. It’s awful. I’m hoping we can find something else too.

  15. Happiness is finishing a project and getting to invoice. Also being home and inside during a miserable weather week.
    Grateful for central heat and cats that nap and sleep with me.

  16. Unhappy warning: my Dad passed away this week. I already had plane tickets and he died the day before I arrived there. It is sad but he was tired and had been in pain for the last few years. So there is some relief as well.
    On a side note, if the patient is 85+ and in pain, doctors should just give them the damn narcotics. Not lecture on possibilities of addictions.

    1. I’m sorry. I’d been staying with my brothers in Ohio when my father was on his final days, and then he sort of plateaued and everyone said I should go home (Massachusetts) , and I did, arriving home just in time to get a message that I needed to get on the next flight (none until the next morning) and come back, but by then it was too late. Just saying, I know how that feels. And totally agree with “drug people to the gills when they’re imminently terminal!” We really need better end-of-life medical care and options.

    2. @Susan McClelland: I hear it was a wonderful concert. Lots of oldsters (like me), but young ones too. Did you find a good place to stay overnight that didn’t cost an arm and a leg? Yes, Arthur’s. Yum!

    3. I’m very sorry you weren’t able to be there with your Dad. If your Mom is still alive, I would recommend contacting hospice well before you think it necessary. They are exempt from the stricter rules governing pain meds in the general population and a nurse comes around twice a week to see how the patient is doing. They will also rent medical equipment so that the patient can stay at home, which many patients and families prefer. Hospice also allowed my Dad to get the oxygen he needed without the arbitrary limits that Medicare had previously imposed.

      And the best part is that if the patient improves,you can always cancel it. The enrollment is good for 6 months and can be renewed if needed at that point. The doctor at the hospital did not enroll my Father because he was under the impression that hospice was only available when the patient had days left, which wasn’t true. We called for it much earlier with my Mother, which provided a great deal more comfort for her. And even though it was brought in later than it should have been for my Father, it still allowed him to die at home, upon which he was insistent.

      My French brother was not able to make it to my Mom’s bedside until the next day, but she knew from his almost daily calls that he loved her. Whenever he is tempted to pity himself because he couldn’t make it back in time, he plays back the memory of their last, most lucid phone call to remind himself that she knew he loved her.

      I am glad that you Dad is no longer in pain and am sending my warmest hugs to keep you company in your loss.

      1. I worked in Hospice care for years. The sooner, the better, when contacting them. They help with medical equipment, with an aide to bathe the patient, if needed, with a social worker and a chaplain to help the family and patient cope, and with medications for comfort and pain. Hospice does not do chemo or any other treatment toward recovery, but they are there with other medications to help it be as painless as possible. The worst doctor, ever, that we worked with would only refer his patients when there was absolutely no other treatment he could do, and they were at death’s door. It did not help the patient, the family, or the Hospice, as they frantically tried to get people, equipment, oxygen, medications, and whatever else was needed, to the patient and family. Most people can stay at home, if they have someone to stay with them. It’s a wonderful program, when allowed to come in during that last 6 months of life. And some people do graduate out of it, or end up staying on it for years, even.

    4. My condolences Phred. My father had Alzheimers for many years before he passed away, but it was still hard to say goodbye despite knowing he was no longer in pain.

    5. I am so sorry, Phred. I agree with you completely completely about the drugs, and I know how sad it is to miss somebody by a day.

    6. I’m so sorry Phred, no matter how ill they are or how much discomfort they are in, it still hurts to lose a loved one. Virtual hugs.

    7. All condolences on the loss of your dad. In like situation, I focus on the relief until I can cope with the loss and repercussions. So totally agree on the narcotics.

  17. Brownies. That’s what made me happy this week. With walnuts. Lots of walnuts, so they were sorta’ healthy. Right? I even used heart-healthy-ish oil instead of butter.

    Yeah, not a long-term solution to being in the winter doldrums, but it’ll do for now. And today is sunny (despite the severe cold), and I’m getting stuff done, so that’s all good. And I was able to help a friend with a project that is overwhelming her this week, and what’s particularly nice is that she acknowledged and was grateful for how impossible it would have been to do it alone. I mean, I don’t do it for the praise, and I really am happy to help her with things she finds difficult and I find easy, but it’s still nice to know that for sure the recipient of a lot of work understands that it is a lot of work and appreciates it, rather than taking it for granted or not understanding that it’s a lot of work.

  18. Last night in the early A.M. I woke to no lights and radiators cooling then looked outside to darkness all around me. 16* degrees. Woke my husband (why should I be alone) and we bumbled around finding candles and a lighter then thought of the light app on the phone. The lone flashlight was downstairs on the work bench, so I scrambled down for it. All the while thinking the town has generators that they lease for $100,000. a season November to March. Found out that if the outage is from outside town the generators will come on, if it is a town problem, we have to wait for the light plant to figure it out. Then went back to bed.

    I’m getting through the winter with 19 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. And am up to season three and am not sick of it yet. Last night it was the ferry boat incident and Merideth is in jeopardy after being tossed in the water in Seattle harbor. I’m sure she’ll make it with 17 seasons and more to go. I can’t say I’m invested in any of the characters, but the story line moves right along.

  19. Happy to feed the song birds and the hummingbirds. Neighbour had a hummingbird drinking nectar before he hung up the feeder. One buzzed me while I hung up mine. Watching the different birds was time well wasted.

    Very happy with the poem I finished on Friday. I will be speaking (as opposed to reading) the poem at a fund raiser. My Pulp Lit friends were very supportive, so…my first speaking one if my poems in public, next Saturday evening.

    Decided not to purchase new clothes this year. So far, thumbs up so far. A friend did it last year. An inspiration for me this year. Of course, my year will be eleven months bc we will be in Europe in December and I will royally fall off the no spending wagon. It will definitely not be a carry on only vacation. All the money I hope to save goes to Christmas presents for family.

    What a terrific group we are. Thursdays comments and conversations were kind and lovely.

  20. Argh Ink figures quite high in gauging my happiness on any given week. I could gush, but I won’t.

    This week, I’ve several times done a Bob/Vince thing that contributes to the happy. I’ve mentioned my new Keurig. Well, the Baker’s Rack has a half-shelf above the Keurig on which I store my K-cup supplies. The B/V thing is to use a K-cup of one of the hot chocolate types (6-oz setting) and then a coffee K-cup (8-oz setting). This afternoon was a Swiss Miss with a Folgers. Almost a happy by itself!

  21. Big happy is that yesterday was our 1 year cativersary as cat-parents to Triple and Matcha.
    https://twitter.com/shassmusic/status/1748828292407337188
    Matcha is on my lap right now, purring like a tractor. I think she loved Mary Anne’s idea of having her own cookbook, for she started purring when I read that comment. She’s one happy kitty right now.
    Argh is Always a happy. I know I say it very often but it’s also so true. Can’t be said enough.

  22. We had hours and hours of rain and are forecast more tomorrow. This makes me happy even though it will mean a weed explosion, because the good plants will also explode and also because it gave me the perfect excuse to be productively idle inside all weekend. Though I did get out to the neighborhood supermarket today for a few absolute necessities and a few luxuries.

    Also happy that DH and the cat don’t care how dusty the house is, so I can continue to be a productively idle slattern instead of spending my weekend on housework.

  23. I’ve been happy that Pixie has decided walking one house down the street is enough of a walk on frigid, snowy days. Although we did an almost normal walk today. She’s been spending quite a bit of time out in the yard because squirrels!

    I’ve mostly been vegetating. Next week back to meetings and appointments.

  24. Happy is that I’m going to London to visit DD for 10 days. Also DH seems to be over Covid and the rest of us didn’t get it (he just needs to test neg again tomorrow and he can return from sleeping and eating in the basement).

    Not so happy is that mom invited SDW to sleep in the house during the cold snap, is letting SDW drive the car and drive mom even though I’m pretty sure her AZ license is no longer valid now that she became a mass resident years ago, (which may mean insurance would refuse to cover any accident?)and that SDW seems to be persuading mom to let use mom’s house as a mailing address.

    I’m waiting to hear from police whether the necklace SDW gave mom is stolen, lovely neighbor is going to talk to victims minister and then share what she learns with mom (I haven’t yet figured out how to tell mom what I learned because she would be mad at my doing it behind her back but lovely neighbor sorta got moms permission) and I’m scheduling calls with a lawyer and a dementia specialist neurologist . And my sisters are flipping out and not being realistic about what we can do.

    1. That your head hasn’t exploded yet is a miracle. Hang in there. Sending hugs and empowering kitty-snuggles!

    2. What shocks me is that she sticks with your mother as a victim. Your mother has people who care about her. I am surprised she doesn’t look for someone with less backup as a victim.

      1. Unfortunately in my experience at the bank, it is very hard to detach someone like this. It’s true that they usually prey on more isolated people, but not exclusively. My training in elder abuse talks a lot about how the abuser preys on the victim’s fears. Fear of loosing agency is a big one. Older people are terrified of being seen as incompetent and losing control over their lives. I assume that this person is playing on that fear, making family the ‘bad guys’ and herself a confidant.

        1. It wouldn’t surprise me at all given that we got the police to take away her license.

          The bright spot is that the lawyer I am consulting tomorrow seems good. One sign of that is he already sent me the statement of fact in the charges against SDW.

          They are even worse than I thought. His injuries and his description of the abuse gave me chills. I’m afraid if I show it to mom she will show it to SDW who will then lose control and beat mom up.

  25. Happy is finally leaving the house: 10 days stuck inside because of solid ice outside and back to back ice storms, which has never happened here to me before. And I only ran out of fresh fruit, and vegetables yesterday! The trip outside was, of course, to the grocery store. Tonight I make shrimp risotto and tossed green salad and we will have the last of the chocolate almond cake I made three days ago. Nothing but good food ahead.

    1. I’m impressed that your produce has lasted this long. Our weather, although really extreme on the other side of the lake, hasn’t been bad enough to cut off the grocery runs. That means the only reason I have been eating such an unbalanced diet is inertia. And since the study I am in has me wearing a Fitbit and a glucose monitor for the week, there is no way I can pretend that I have been exhibiting better behavior.

  26. Happiness was the ease with which I finally got a set of blocks put together into a quilt. https://www.instagram.com/p/C2YrDi4rGnZ/?igsh=NzY4NzZlcW95aXd2

    I also finally was able to meet a friend for lunch at an amazing diner.

    I’m also very sad as my cousin was given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live as her breast cancer metastasized into cancer in her bones and it is nearly everywhere. She’s 49 and I’m so sad to be losing her.

    1. The quilt top is beautiful. Maybe you could hold off on the quilting and give it to your cousin so she has something beautiful to look at in the coming months.

    2. @Kelly S: I am so so sorry to hear your news about your cousin. My dearest cousin had that happen young too (forties), but lived much longer than expected (by the doctors). She refused to do any chemo but did the immuno (her words). I miss her every day.

  27. Happiness paired with a bit of concern — it was a full 80 degrees (F) warmer today than it was a week ago, when we hit -30. The concern sounds like, hey January, you’re supposed to be chilly. Can we settle on a nice even 20 for awhile?

    Big happiness is a lead on what’s been going on with my head for the last year or so. Turns out some hormone bouncing perimenopause may be bringing out previously unidentified ADHD — and you know what? Knowing both of those things made so many things snap into place. It’s gonna be an interesting road, but even having a small idea of what I’ve been dealing with has helped so much.

  28. Happiness is sitting home, doing a jigsaw puzzle, then finishing up by reading a book. What a wonderful day today I went to my grandson’s fourth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese, and then came home and took a nap. Another great happiness wishing all of you warmth and naps and whatever makes you happy.

  29. I’m home. We were in Hawaii for my son’s wedding. My uncontrollable stomach flu didn’t start until after the wedding and finished before the flight home. I had also put off shopping until the final leg of the journey so I spent less. And I lost weight. Rah?

  30. Happy that I have poems to read on Tuesday. (Unhappy that I continue to not work on my novel – ARGH)

    Had a nice day with my daughter out to get haircuts. Spent a minute at the beach. Got dinner to go & came home to watch Peter Capaldi as Dr Who.

  31. Happiness was this morning, walking out in a seaside town park, with a bunch of dogs. It’s pretty chilly, but I was well wrapped up, and the sun is bright, the sea sparkles, and the dogs are running all around. It starts the day perfectly.

  32. Happiness is I went for a follow up X-ray and the orthopedist says my wrist shows signs of healing. And…if it continues healing at this rate, when I go in for next week’s follow up X-ray, I might graduate to a removable cast so I can take a real shower instead of sink baths!

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