Happiness is Making Progress

I’m behind on everything, but I am slowly making progress and things are working out well. So I’ve decided to not feel bad about being behind. Everything will get done when it gets done. One day at a time. Getting out from under the pressure I putting on myself is damn near orgasmic.

Happiness is lowered expectations, people. What made you happy this week?

90 thoughts on “Happiness is Making Progress

  1. I’m in a similar space; and some of the things that need doing have multiplied themselves, like the coal layer that turned up when I was making the new flowerbed, and then the new easy route into my garden that removing the old compost bin created. Cats using my garden as a toilet really upsets me. But I have a plan to fox them, which I’m going to try today.

    Had a good few days with my friend, who wanted to visit gardens. This was fun, but also rather a surprise: when we met as students, she was frightened of plants, and would insist on taking the long way round by road rather than walking through the park to our faculty building.

    Holiday possibilities are coming thick and fast: yesterday evening I was invited to a wedding anniversary in Kent in September, where there are several gardens and other places I’d like to explore; and I’ve just had an email urging me to visit an old family friend in Dorset. This is all great, but I’m a bit concerned about the expense, on top of the Irish trip. Still, will probably go for it.

    1. I finally put large, flat rocks in all the areas a cat was using in my yard. It made the difference. Why was your friend frightened of plants? How strange.

      1. Frightened of plants, I wondered, or of Things that Lurk in them. Ticks, for example.

        1. Ticks are a perfectly rational fear (I don’t know if Lyme disease has reached the UK, but it’s extant here), but only if the garden is overgrown enough that one brushes up against the vegetation. Flying insects could make it onto someone just walking down a tended walkway. Someone could avoid them for rational reasons such as an allergy or just for a phobia. But a phobia about plants? New to me. Could it have just been pollen allergy?

          1. Many years ago, a friend of the late wife was walking up her sidewalk and felt what she thought were the points of a Spanish Bayonet plant poke her ankle. A few days later, she died from the rattlesnake bite.

        2. About 7-8,000 people are bitten by rattlers per year in the US, and around 5 of those die. Gary, I wonder if she stepped right on the snake? Did she ignore the bite until necropsy took over? That is pretty scary. Most rattlers will rattle or hiss if they feel threatened. I got too close to a Western Diamondback in a nature park in Arizona, and it hissed. I moved immediately away. Some other species of rattlers in the U.S. are much more aggressive, however. I had to put this under Mary Anne’s post because there was no reply button under Gary’s.

          1. I have a photo of a girl in turn-of-the-19th-to-20th century dress, sitting on a rock with tall pines in the background. She looks dazed and happy. She is my grandmother on her honeymoon in the Three Sisters area of Oregon. My grandfather scrawled across the bottom: Gussie after shooting her first rattlesnake.

          2. During his retirement, my step-dad lived in Green Cove Springs, FL. He kept a pistol loaded with rat-shot by the front door. Before he would open that door, he would stick his head out the adjacent window and shoot any snakes sunning themselves on the porch. It was a frequent occurrence. (I would have moved.)

            Living in Virginia since 1985, I’ve killed two dozen or so copperheads, but have yet to see a rattlesnake.

          3. My Dad, my son and I have always been fascinated by venomous snakes. A trip to Reptile Garden’s in South Dakota, we all loved it. The rest of the family thought we were nuts.
            My son’s career plan was to remove venomous snakes, milk them and charge farmers to release them in their fields. “Well mom. They’ll kill mice and rats that eat crops.”. Fortunately he went into physics

        3. I was hiking in New Mexico & I heard a rattle snake. I froze & looked around but I never saw it. I assume it rattled at me & went on it’s way. I waited a bit & went very watchfully on my way.

          1. Many years ago on a road trip we stayed at a KOA campground in the Badlands. My husband took the boys on short hike around the area when our oldest came upon a rattlesnake. Dad told him to not move while our youngest son ran back to the main building and brought back the owner’s son who came armed with a shovel and quickly took care of the snake.

      2. She just thought them weird and threatening, I think – I could never understand it. I put it down to her having watched Day of the Triffids as a young child; and/or the time she lived in Hong Kong – maybe her parents were nervous of the tropical vegetation? She still thinks certain plants are unpleasant – she didn’t like the unfurling fern fronds we saw, for example.

        Ticks have only become a concern here quite recently, and our only venomous snake is rarely seen.

    2. The only turnaround from aversion to enthusiasm that I can recall in myself did not involve fear but disgust. For years as a child I disliked chili con carne because of the mushiness of the beans. Then suddenly one day for no obvious reason I perceived instead that it was delicious. (If my mother had added the amount of chili pepper that some would have insisted on, that would have stopped me dead, but she made it very mild and I haven’t moved much upward from that.)

  2. I am cruising on a high of literary joy this weekend. A friend and I attended the Persephone Festival in Bath (Persephone is a publisher of 19th-mid 20th century works that had gone out of print) and saw two talks yesterday. One was on My Favourite Persephone Books where Tracy Chevalier was a panelist, and the other on Single Women in Persephone Fiction with Gill Hornby on the panel.

    I happened to notice yesterday that tickets were still available for a taping of ‘You’re Booked’ podcast at the festival today, so went to that today and had a fantastic time. My bank balance is going to suffer, as there were so many discussed that I hadn’t read and which sound amazing! Of the four books chosen however, I’d read three and would class them as among my favourite books of all time, and I got a lot out of the discussion. I’m looking forward to the podcast episode coming out and reliving the experience!

    (If anyone’s curious, the books that were discussed as favourites on the podcast were Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson, The Fortnight in September by RC Sherriff, Miss Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson and High Wages by Dorothy Whipple. I haven’t read High Wages, but the other three are sublime).

    1. I have not read High Wages, either. If it lives up to the other three it should be great.

      1. (I should know better than to read Argh without a tab open to the library catalog, not just on Thursdays. The library only has one Dorothy Whipple, Someone at a Distance, published by Persephone. I might try that one.)

  3. We went to the Salvador Dali Museum this week. They had an exhibit that included 22 visiting paintings from impressionists along with the Dali work that is always there. There were Monet’s & Matisse’s & Renoir’s & some plein air from Dali that I had not seen. It was beautiful & inspiring. (If you click on my name I wrote a blogpost that includes pictures.)

    We bought a whimsical postcard at the museum gift shop for my Uncle’s 80th birthday & gave it to him when we all went to breakfast. He was pleased. Throughout the meal, several times he randomly picked it up & looked at it, smiling.

    I was happy to please him because he is an introvert who has early stage alzheimers. What I remember about him as a kid is – when we visited my grandmother, things would always be broken, swings, wagons, toys and he would quietly fix them without being asked.

    We watched the Bob Marley documentary – One Love – and it was excellent.

    I’ve been working on gaining strength & endurance to walk with the goal of eventually being able to walk longer times & distances. I noticed that even a little effort results in my having more energy. And someone remarked that I am walking better.

    Incidentally – Olga – I hope you saw on GBT that Sarah Wynde commented & set things straight about her books, etc.

    1. @Judy: do you have a particular regimen for increasing your walks each day and if so, how do you measure it. Asking for a friend.

  4. I spent yesterday sewing with friends. It was lovely to get together. Today will be a long day with a family funeral, so I was thankful for the opportunity for joy yesterday.

  5. Happiness is rummage sales. I hit two yesterday, my first ones of the year and I loaded up my car. With the rising prices at thrift stores, it felt like a steal. Then I got home and unloaded and maybe panicked a little bit because of all the work I just made for myself. Ah well. I will try to lower my expectations and do a little at a time. The trick is not to get overwhelmed and just stop.

    I’m not happy with my latest painting in progress but I did finish this one this week and I do like it.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/C58NUXpOMcp/?igsh=MWt2MW11cDUxcTFqdA==

    1. This one is delightful. I love the way the purplish part pulls the eye away from the sun.

      1. Thanks! I am trying to experiment with loosening up the grid pattern and adding more motion and organic shapes.

  6. Great conversations with friends made me happy this week. The conversations were with other writers on Zoom. Some live in other US states, some live in other countries. I love that modern technology makes the world so small.

  7. How does one lower expectations to a near orgasmic level? Expectations are my productivity kryptonite, and I long to be able to set them aside and get work done. Ideally I could let go of them and perhaps enjoy the process of creating?

    1. I think you have to stay in the moment, follow where the story goes, forget about readers and the outside and stay in the world of the story. Then you can go back and revise to your expectations.

  8. I am also behind on All the Things. Hoping to get a little bit done in the garden today, although the day is a bit more blustery and gray than I’d expected. The rest of the week is supposed to be nicer, except Wednesday, so I am laboring under the (probably delusional) hope that my workmen with finally finish up the current project, which has stretched on much longer than expected. I will definitely be happy when it is done.

    I had a rare productive day on Friday, which made me happy, although I was then so exhausted on Saturday I hardly got anything done. Not a surprise. I do best when I keep things slow and steady. Still, it was great to have a day where I got to the end and looked back to see I’d accomplished quite a bit. Sorted through two more drawers of shirts and weeded out probably a third, most of them very nice and hardly worn, but since I’m not working the day job anymore, I will probably never use them.

    My forsythia bushes are having a banner year, after a number of years of hardly blooming at all, and looking at all that bright yellow makes me happy.

  9. Our new stove finally arrived! It was ordered last October but was delayed by supply chain issues, etc. Final piece of our kitchen reno.

    Spent a day at the flower farm doing various early season tasks. Ranunculus (indoors), tulips and daffodils are all in bloom. I love spring flowers.

    Participated in a fantastic virtual presentation on planting native gardens in challenging places. My backyard has a large Norway maple and a cedar hedge so finding the right combo of native plants for the space is a bit challenging (but not impossible). The woman who gave the presentation was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject. Not only did I learn a great deal but enjoyed seeing a really competent woman at work.

  10. Happy that my cold is almost over. Now I’m just blowing my nose nonstop which has given me cold sores underneath my nose, always a lovely look. But at least I don’t feel crappy.

    The strike is over at the university here so my nephew can kinda sorta get credit for his classes. We are going to celebrate with Thai food tonight with my mother and stepdaughter.

  11. I’m only slowly getting anything done, especially out of my long-term to-do list, and I halfway feel that it would be better if, in contrast to Jenny, I put *more* pressure on myself to make progress. On the other hand there are reasons, some and perhaps all valid, why things are not getting done faster. Feh.

  12. I’m happy that I got the lawn mowed. It really grew fast after the rain. I have lots of outdoor woodwork to paint, more stalks to clear, and the whole basement to sort out. I will take Jenny’s advice, and lower my expectations. It’s not worth the stress and worry.

    Kali is settling into a routine, and I am figuring out how to handle her. She’s a very sweet companion. If the black cat would just come around to detente with her, all would be well.

  13. On the baby-steps level, a lot of progress has been made toward straightening out the kitchen, although I’m not quite there yet.

    I made post roast in the slow cooker yesterday and included a lot of carrots and onions. Many slow-cooker recipes include potatoes, but I can’t abide boiled potatoes and I don’t know of any replacement starchy vegetable that would benefit from slow cooking. (I used separately cooked macaroni as a side.) (Would oatmeal work with the roast, I now wonder. It gets slow cooked in haggis.)

    These days I substitute eye of round for conventional pot roast meat because of the much lower fat content and calories. It works pretty well, though it needs more doctoring since fat is very flavorful and I’m using less of it.

    1. Try turnips as a potato substitute. They cook well in a slow cooker. The only other one I can think of is parsnips, which I’ve never cooked myself but have eaten in other people’s houses.

        1. Come to think of it, I have used barley in the past. I should lay more in. I also belatedly recall that I fairly recently bought some farro and have been trying it find a use for it that I like. I should have tried that. Or maybe bulgar wheat. I did recently look for that, but the store I was in didn’t have it.

      1. I cook parsnips as often as I can manage. Avoided them for years and years because the name makes them sound like they taste sharp & unpleasant but, when cooked at least, they have a very soft, very almost-sweet undertaste. (Not sweet as in sugar — sweet as in pleasant).
        If you find cooked carrots tasty, you’ll probably like parsnips.

          1. I think roast parsnips are heavenly! I would cook them all fall and winter if they weren’t so much more expensive than carrots.

    2. If you like parsnips, have you tried rutabaga? (I’m not a fan of either. My folks loved them.)

  14. I’ve experimented a bit with slow-cooker bags to help with clean-up. (I have the old one-piece cooker that can’t be immersed.) The only kind readily available in local stores is labeled as working for 2 to 6 quarts, which means the bag is twice as large as I need, and I’m paying for that. I wondered how it would work if I cut one in half. Obviously a half bag would not be watertight, but my main object was to prevent food from getting baked onto the sides, especially next to the heating coils. I tried it and found I could angle the half bag so that no opening touched the coils. When the roast was done, a little liquid had leaked behind the half bag, but almost all the mess was in the bag and cleaning the cooker was easy. Of course, some other dishes lend themselves more to residue baked onto the sides, so I still have to see if a half bag works for them.

    1. I had two crock pots. Donated one to goodwill. Mine is a 2-quart pot, removable and immersible, but I still use liners because there is no kitchen sink in the basement “owner’s suite.” I don’t cut them in half.

        1. I fill a bucket with hot water and another with rinse water. If I have large items, I haul it all upstairs to the kitchen. Beyond that, I use tinfoil and paper plates and paper cups and disposable stuff.

          The buckets get emptied into the kitchen sink or the new sump.

          1. This Rev G thing is irresistibly reminding me of Rev Bem from the old TV show Andromeda.

  15. Modern medicine makes me happy. My cataract surgery intraocular lenses just keep getting better. In probably another two weeks I can get a new prescription and really see what my new vision will be like.

    I am suffering from Jane B.’s problem. Every “thing” I get done sprouts at least three heads.

    1. Glad to hear the cataract surgery recovery is going so well. I’m scheduled for late June, and it’s making me anxious, so knowing the results should be worth the hassle is reassuring.

      1. I’m still delighted every day by the result of the cataract surgeries I had eight years ago. It’s so brilliant to be able to see clearly without glasses, having worn them since I was six. (I only need them for reading now, and to correct the half-diopter one eye is short by, but that’s really optional.)

  16. I drove a lot.
    Wednesday: 4 hours back and forth to New Haven
    Thursday: 6 hours from MA to PA
    Friday: 5 hours from PA to New Haven, then 2 hours from New Haven to home.
    The PA trip was for the funeral of a friend of my daughter. Fine funeral for a much-loved man.
    Now we’re finally getting stuff together for a trip to Sicily then on to Warsaw, Poland (and new granddaughter). I planned everything in January & February. Just now my husband came up with a better first night hotel just now. He does that. I don’t mind if I don’t have to do the last minute searching. Looking forward to leaving home on Saturday.

  17. I had a huge day writing on Thursday—10k words on the delightful YA novel. I was on my max dose of antihistamines (4 Allegra, 2 Pepcid), so maybe that had something to do with it. A couple of nice visits with friends on Friday. Today I have to bake/cook a bunch of stuff, since my low-histamine freezer is getting empty. Not really looking forward to that, but it will be nice to have a supply of food available. I came up with a recipe for stuffed zucchini last week that is yummy and holds up to freezing and reheating—exciting stuff!

  18. My garden and my kids and my husband have all made me happy this week.

    The Korean cherries were in bloom; now the lilac and dogwoods are. The irises are just starting as are the bluebells and azaleas. (When I typed irises I got an eye image which was slightly creepy.) I got the first round of inpatiens and torenia in the ground and will go to the garden store today for more of both and salvia and Angelonia. I have reluctantly decided that the bed I used to put lots of sun loving annuals in is now so shady that it can only take impatiens. Oh well.

    It makes me very happy that even though my son is an 8 hour drive away and my daughter an 8 hour flight, we are in touch every day, usually by text, just because we want to share bits of our lives.

    DH and I have been working for a year to get the needs of an adult severely and probably permanently disabled child adequately met in the divorce settlement between DHs friend with (so far mild) early on set dementia. Last week his barrister said that even though our goal is clearly more financially wise, her reading of the judge is that he will defer to the mom as the carer. And the mom is clearly determined to be in control of everything even when it doesn’t make sense ( wants to be trustee of a trust that will only be funded when a parent dies, for example) which is infuriating. But also is focused on what she thinks will help the young woman recover which is highly unlikely—but understandable. Except that I don’t actually think whether the funds to support her are in her direct control or in a trust will make an ounce of difference . And the refusal to set up a trust could mean this young woman ends up in a group home.

    DH and I are deeply depressed by this but it does make me appreciate how wonderful a father he has been to our kids (the friend prioritized making money over being with his kids) and what a great friend he is being to the guy with dementia. And we make bad black humor jokes.

    Last night we went out to dinner with a former colleague of DHs who has 13 year old boy twins and the first thing she said was how much she appreciated my advice about reading to them even when they were new born and limiting TV and how they are great readers and have now read all the books on a list DS gave them when the boys were 9 ish. So that made me really happy too.

    1. Fwiw I remember her asking for the advice — I try very hard not to give unsolicited advice !

      1. I am such a fan of picture books that I don’t think talking about reading to kids is ever unsolicited advice. I think it is a wonderful bonding experience and the love of reading it fosters is a gift that keeps giving for the rest of your (or their) life.

    2. The other thing that made me realize again what a great person and partner DH is was my mom asking me to confirm that she had been taking care of my kids while I was in the hospital in June 2004–apparently as part of a fight with my sister about why it was totally reasonable that she had refused to go up to my sister’s apartment to see her newborn grandchild and made my post C-section sister bring the baby down.

      In fact, I have had five major surgeries where either my kids needed care or I did and I never asked her to come ( and she pointedly told me she would not come for one because she had to take my brother to the hospital for his knee surgery and then she called him to offer that when he absolutely didn’t want her). And the reason I didn’t want her was because the one time I did really need her and asked, she said she had to teach a class and couldn’t come. “Need her”= DH racing back from Brazil but couldn’t get home in time + doctor telling me I should not be alone in case I hemorrhaged before the surgery + no one in town to care for my 4 year old during surgery since we had just moved.

      Fortunately my best friend just packed up her six month old and drove 3 hours to be with me and care for DD. But as you can see, the wound is still raw 30 years later.

      Anyway,…mom’s question (repeated 8 times over two days even though I kept telling her no) made me remember all over again what great care DH took of me during those surgeries despite things like a new job or having to wake up every few hours all night. I feel very lucky to have Dh. And best friend. And my kids who also helped with some (ds did lots of laundry). And found family who also helped.

    3. I hope that the legalities are handled well and fast, early onset Alzheimer’s moves quickly and is brutal in taking away the person’s verbal skills and other important coping mechanisms (also takes a toll that way on loved ones, caregivers, friends…). Taf

      1. We are working on it. His neurologist says so far he is stable and still legally capable of making a will, power of attorney, medical directive….

        And if we give him the big picture he seems able to make divorce decisions although technically he has a “friend” or sort of guardian just for the divorce process who makes the final call.

        None of this would be happening without my husband . Who also got his business accountants back in to clean up three years of unprocessed papers and taxes and close down the business . And found him a personal assistant who helps him understand his email and responds for him. And got him back on track with his medical providers and wearing his hearing aids. And helped him start the process of applying for social security. And got his family involved —in theory they will handle the finances and medical care once we get the legal messes sorted out. Dh has spent I think a month in the last year living in friends apartment and sorting out his life and that’s on top of the hours and hours each week we spend talking to him and reading his legal documents and figuring out what to do next. And that’s on top of traveling around the world for 16 weeks of the year for work .

        DH has truly been heroic.

  19. The prison job stuff is progressing. Had to sign a lot of paperwork and schedule fingerprinting and a TB test for next week. Start date has been pushed back a bit, which is fine by me. I still feel anxious and scared as hell about it, but I really do have to get out of here in any way I can, at bare minimum before I get canned and so I can finally get out of having to tell every single interviewer my current supervisor’s contact information. Had two interviews this week, one of which I blew instantly and was rejected for, but that’s fine because it sounds like my current job anyway. They kept asking me what their office does and frankly, it’s not clear online and even they admitted it’s not clear to other people. The other went fine, can’t say anyone seemed psyched about that job, but at least it’s not phones and they said they’d warn me before calling my supervisor on me. (So far no word, so I’m probably not the top candidate anyway.)

    I’m having fantasies of saying something to my supervisor when I have to turn in my computer equipment, mostly because at that point, welp, they want to fire me and I’m not even going to bother with two weeks notice and how much worse can I make it on the way out? I know, you should never, ever do it, but I kind of wish I could say, “Please don’t ever make one of your employees suicidal again because she can never, ever do enough to please you” on the way out. Har. I know, no.

    Play is going well, I did get some time off to relax a bit, and I’m doing a storytelling event later today. I went to a Corgi-Con event yesterday, which was adorable. I got one more interview for next week, I’m hoping it pays off. I wish I’d gotten more while I’m still not working to do them (prison job doesn’t let you have a phone or any contact with the outside world while there, apparently), but what can you do. My birthday is next week and I almost had to do the interview that day, but luckily there was a Friday slot so I could avoid that.

    1. Good work! I can understand the temptation to vent on your last day, but it could come back to bite you. Why not write them a nasty letter, and don’t mail it, then burn it in a banishing ceremony when you get past that bad feeling?

    2. A Corgi-Con sounds like fun. A friend had a corgi who would flop on his back as soon as he saw me, since I liked giving the dog belly rubs. He became known as the belly rub slut, since he would solicit those belly rubs every time I walked by! Taf

        1. The Dead Dog trick was such fun…The Dandy Dog doing a flop to mooch belly rubs was also quite a bit of fun. He was a great dog, sorry he is gone…

          Now that my knees, hips and ankles are approaching 70, I am glad that I can pet most dogs just by bending at the waist. I live on a corner that seems to be a part of Dog Walk Central, and I usually ask the humans present if petting is OK for that particular pet. Sometimes the dogs are shy, sometimes intimidated, and I want to behave well for the owner’s sake, my sake, and the dog’s sake. Taf

    3. However tempted you are never torch the bridge on the way out. As it is, this is just a standard firing, do not give cause to people to remember you for a negative reason or hold a grudge against you. You may need to contact them later about something else however small and they are more like to carry it out, if their last impression of you was polite and businesslike

    4. I’m going to disagree with the general philosophy here. If light isn’t shown on dark places they don’t change. It’s not necessarily your job to change them, though.

      My company has an exit interview they ask people to do. And I think it’s because they do want to know. Someone I know really had somethings to say when they left their job in a certain department. I advised them to write out that exit interview until there was nothing personal or angry there – just facts. They did that with good result. Some necessary changed happened.

      These people treated you badly.

      On the other hand – if your job doesn’t solicit exit interviews – it’s probably because they don’t want to know or change & nothing you do will help so you would be burning a bridge for no good reason.

      1. I agree with this, but if you are going to do it you don’t say it to the problem person. You say it to the person or people who have the power to fire them or make them behave .

        I did once when I left a job fill in 4 board members. Eight months later the CEO was gone. But 1) I already had a new job and 2) I could afford to take the risk because DH had a good job.

      2. I second that calm, controlled and professional is the only way to do it, if it must be done. Anything else can be written off as someone being emotional or having a personal grudge. Disgruntled employee stuff.

        Otherwise, I am soured to the exit interview process. When things started to go bad at the library a lot of us left. Some of us did the interview, some of us didn’t. I listened to admin badmouth a really lovely lady who was sweet and professional. They didn’t want to change. They didn’t want to accept any responsibility. It was a waste of her breath and energy.

  20. Lowered Expectations. I ate 3500 calories yesterday. That counts.

    Today I’ve made a large bowl of tuna salad. I’ve already eaten half on three spinach tortillas, with leftovers for dinner. The idea is to make the rest of the week average out to 1800 calories per day. So, if I expect to eat 1800 calories, I need to lower that expectation. 😉

  21. It has been sunny this weekend, with blue sky. That’s enough to make me very happy.

    I have failed to do any of the planned jobs and just enjoyed the weather. No regrets. Things will get done eventually, if important enough.

  22. Happiness was giving myself a long weekend, getting a ton of deadlines met in my remaining three work days, and being able to do all that from home because I caught a cold at Jiffy Lube (that’s where I’m placing the blame) and by Friday was feeling pretty crap but yay, remote work.

    Happiness is having a wild-style garden so I don’t have to be stressed out by how ungroomed it looks or force myself to go outside for yardkeeping when I feel like crap. It is also looking out the windows at all my blooming things that thrive on being left alone.

    Happiness is having the money to buy all the books I want so I can read all weekend when I feel like crap. And having no obligations today so I can now go check my wishlist to see if anything is on sale.

    Happy Sunday, y’all.

    1. My yard is what I call an urban jungle: pots hanging from trees or each other, loads of volunteer nasturtiums, the occasional poppy, and a fake stream lined with layers of weed cloth, bordered by large stones, and filled with marbles. There are also some roses in the ground, some roses in pots, sweet peas sprawling and twining around, weeds scattered in spots…Many people walking by say they like it, much to my surprise, but I just say thanks. Sometimes when it feels too crowded I put a few pots with plants at the corner with a sign “FREE PLANTS” and it only takes 1-5 hours for the excess to clear out. Taf

  23. I simply can’t wait ’til Thursday to write this: I’m happy I picked up “The Body Keeps the Score” again and I’m happy I finished it. I’m grateful to the author for writing it with so much compassion, empathy and hope, making me understand things about myself I couldn’t before. It was a tough and emotional read, which has made me both incredibly angry and incredibly sad, but it’s done me so much good. It’s brought me places therapy didn’t manage to, and given me insights I didn’t have until now about hows, whys, why nots and a lot of other things. I’ve realized thanks to this book how much forgiveness, apologies, kindness, love, care, attention and respect I owe myself, both little me and me of today. Now, I can really feel it and want to give it. I see myself differently now. Not even therapy tailored to achieve that kind of thing managed to do what this book has done for me. I feel inspired and motivated and have a lot of things I want to get going, want to change or want to improve. Now I just gotta have the sense to take it slow. And to round this all off I also want to say thanks to Jenny, because it was her reading this book a whole bunch of years ago that made me look it up, request the library to produce it and start reading it. Even if it, because of reasons, took me 4.5 years to finish it, I’m so happy and grateful I found it and had the chance to read it. So thank you, Jenny. <3 (This is yet another reason why Good Book Thursday is such a goldmine.)
    I told my mother about the book, a bit of my revelations and thoughts about it, and that I'd found out it was available in Swedish on the audiobook-app she uses, so she's reading it now too. 🙂 She wants to understand, she says. I love my mum.

    Yesterday I got a surprise-package in the mail from my dad and his girlfriend. I texted and asked if I should wait until Sunday next week when it's my birthday to open it, but dad wrote back that it could be an April 20th-gift instead, and then he facetimed. We hadn't been talking at all for weeks so that was nice. They'd sent me a bag of loose-leaf tea, a bag of Swedish sweets and a tote with the picture of a wand shooting out sparkles and the text: "SARCASM BECAUSE AVADA KEDAVRA IS ILLEGAL". Happy! I posted it on Twitter with a lot of love in my message, on which the girlfriend replied: "We wish we could do magical things for you every day, because you're so easy-loveable." She's such a sweetheart. <3

    About a month or so ago, it suddenly struck me that since I carry my book-reader with me pretty much all the time, clipped to my pants or in a pocket, and it has a record-option, I could and SHOULD record the cats more. So I've been making little sound-pictures of them where I feed them or we have little conversations (mostly featuring a very grumpy Triple) and such. In this way, Sven and I also have "pictures" of them to "look" back to and smile about. I wish I'd thought about it earlier, but better late than never! Happy.

      1. Yes, I keep smiling everytime I think about it. I need more totes and t-shirts with great prints in my life! And mugs. Not to forget.

        1. This site has been great for finding out about great t-shirts, totes, and mugs. Good thing I am retired, although many shirts would be fine in workplaces (except for the ones that require formality). Yes, I did buy quite a few funny shirts… Taf

  24. I made myself happy this week in two ways. First, it dawned on me that I could work on manuscripts a lot more easily if I changed the font to something bold (and then change it back to publishing standard when it’s done). I waited way too long to consider cataract surgery, and then when I was ready I had to wait some more due to medical stuff (thyroid issues), so now the print on my screen is VERY pale gray due to the cataracts, and making the font larger doesn’t help, but making it bold does. It worked. No more squinting while I’m doing the final draft of the third Bourbon B&B mystery.

    And second, I reminded myself (once again) that taking a day off every week to play is really good for me. I always forget that lesson, and skip the day off, because I’m stressed and have deadlines and can’t spare the time or whatever, but it’s counter-productive in the long run. So today I did absolutely no work. Instead, I played with fabric while the plumber worked on assorted small projects that had piled up until there were enough to justify hiring a plumber (and getting them done also made me happy). And now I feel happy and refreshed and ready to tackle work again tomorrow!

  25. This week was a wonderful week for birding. The migrants are back in town and the return of warblers makes me so happy! Then seeing a Prothonotary Warbler this morning was icing on the cake. Amazing how a couple of hours of birding to start the day totally improves my outlook. The next few weeks are peak birding weeks around here and just the anticipation is a wonderful de-stresser.

    1. This week we heard a noise that we thought was either a squirrel screaming or a duck so I checked my Merlin app and hoppy it’s a common crow sound. Who knew ? That app and the plant identifier one make me happy.

      Of course the plant identifier app would have REALLY made me and my sibs happy when we were kids and our botanist parents took us on walks. We kids would more or less go a steady pace and our parents would walk faster, get ahead of us , stop when they spotted a plant they didn’t know, debate it at length while we passed them, maybe take a sample leaf, and then catch up and pass us. Sometimes we had to wait for them…

  26. The woodpeckers here have been very busy. I enjoy listening to then when I walk Pixie.

    Happiness is slowly getting things done or arranging to get things done. Another full or fool week coming up with politics, meetings, appointments and yard/house work. And then I’ll be able to slow down for a couple of weeks. Things seem to go in waves.

  27. I emptied out a big cabinet in preparation for our move later this year. I was able to shift the empty cabinet out from the wall slightly, just enough to get a Swiffer behind it to remove a dust rhino of twenty years growth.

    Happiness is the satisfaction of getting a space clean so quickly.

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