Happiness is a Little Sun

I’m calling it: It’s summer in PA. I’m sitting on my ridiculously small patio with an umbrella shielding the laptop and most of me, and it’s perfect weather–84 with a breeze–and I’m thinking that parts of the rest of the world are on fire–CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL, PEOPLE–so I should temper my enjoyment of weather this warm in May, but right now, in this moment, I am warmed by the sun and happy.

What made you happy this week?

105 thoughts on “Happiness is a Little Sun

  1. We’re having cold autumn nights and beautifully clear autumn days which are perfect for gardening and walking in the bush, so that makes me happy.

    Plus my kids’ novel Spellhound, with the big goofy pup’s nose on the cover, just won the Aurealis Award for Best Children’s Fiction (Australian fantasy or sci-fi), so that made me wildly happy!

    1. Congratulations, dear Liam!! Bein recognized for one’s work is always great, but prizes are extra <3

    2. Lian,

      Many of your congrats are in last Sunday’s posts, when the news first reached us.

      1. Thanks everyone for your kind words. And thanks for the congrats from last Sunday which I have only just seen. I was probably too busy dancing around the house to check it last week!

  2. I’m visiting my daughter and at the moment sitting outside the Globe theater waiting for our last attendee to arrive. The weather is beautiful and I expect to have a great time pretending to be an Elizabethan. Or Jacobean. I’m not actually sure when the original theater was built.

    1. The show was Much Ado About Nothing;
      Amalia Vitale’s Beatrice and Ekow Quartey’s Benedick were excellent and they had amazing masks in the dance scene. And lots of oranges. Very happy making.

  3. I’m happy to be home from my travels. And that I had the energy to get through them all, and don’t seem to have come home sick. It’s finally hitting me, but not as hard as usual, and I’ve been really busy since I got back, so I’d probably be tired anyway.

    I’ve had a nice couple of days weather-wise too. A friend’s outside wedding yesterday had 80 degrees and sunny, so I was very happy for her (although the 90 degrees on Wednesday evening when I got off the plane was a little much). It’s supposed to rain here on Monday, Memorial Day, when a different friend is supposed to come over for a BBQ, but I’m just as happy to cook inside and let nature water my garden, which really needs it.

  4. As usual we were not prepared for the heat during the mid-week. The AC’s were not in yet but we turned the ceiling fans on. Yesterday I brought up the window screens from the cellar and not to be held back by the water not being turned on for the garden hose I cleaned them in the shower, put them outside to dry and then shoved them in the windows. Kitchen and front room. Today I’m starting the morning off by wearing a sweatshirt.

    1. I almost forgot, in the lesson learned category of my life, I ordered a couple of screen-printed t-shirts for my son and got carried away with the sizes. One was a DD-214 and the other was a t-shirt with the name of his ship and ship’s number. I went up in size not realizing he has been on a diet, not putting two and two together, he thanked me for the circus tents.

  5. Happiness is a long weekend. I won’t be thrilled about it on Tuesday, but right now? It’s a lovely thing to have another day.

    1. I’m taking your holiday with you since I didn’t get the Canadian one last weekend so happy Memorial Day to us!

  6. School is out in a few days and I have the long weekend to catch up. Everything is due in a few days – grades, my final assignments for a class I am taking, end-of-the-year paperwork, and all of my paperwork to move to the new apartment we found (bigger and cheaper – yay!). It’s definitely crunch time, but that also means sky summer is officially only days away. So so happy!

    It also means that I can focus on writing. I cannot wait to find a good schedule and to get going on my latest WIP.

    1. Lol, “my” – not “sky” summer, although… I might just start calling it sky summer from now on. 🤣

  7. I watched Frozen the Musical, the matinee, so many happy children, lots of them dressed up and excited, I felt underdressed and tall 🙂 It was great, Olaf and Sven alone were worth it. I had to look up how they made Sven, his design was amazing. The effects were really good and the main musical number was magical, I knew what to expect and I still didn’t see it coming. The children were wonderfully behaved, only one crying child during the performance and they shushed very quickly.

  8. Finally a day with the sun out. I absolutely agree, Jenny, it’s great to sit outside (our terrace is also rather small) in the sun with mild but summer like temperatures.

    I’m happy that I finally finished my most urgent to-do list one ween into my two-weeks holiday.
    So without feeling guilty, have started reading/listening to The DEAL and loving it.
    I don’t like the female narrator but the male one very much.
    I’ve also got The Graham Effect in my tpr pile which I might read next – great prospect.
    I don’t seem to be able to wean myself off this sports in the near future but dh is happy as I finally am crazy about something he shares wholeheartedly.

    Apart from that the family will watch the last day of this year’s hockey world championship: it’s been crazy to listen to Canada get eliminated by Switzerland (only Bedard kept his cool in the shootout) yesterday. I keep my fingers crossed for third place.

    Will enjoy this afternoon of mild temperatures and sun – the weather forecast for next week predicts a lot of rain again, according to ds.

    Yes, climate change is real. This spring has brought a lot of rain, more so in the past which is partly good for the water reserves that had suffered a lot, but some regions have devastating flooding due to the very, very heavy rain.

      1. Dodo, I see only one grammatical error, and even that may be a typo or autocorrect error (this sports). Several more typos, several places where I would have added commas (but placement of commas is much argued over by stylists), and some word choices slightly odd to the ear of a native speaker, but I think you’ve got English grammar down cold. (Very unlike me with any of my foreign languages. )

        1. Thanks for your kind words, Patrick! Rules for punctuation are different in every language, the ones for English I will likely never master as we don’t learn these in school here. Most students don’t master them for our own language.

  9. Oof! I almost forgot. I decided to do a little art project this summer based on ex-votos. They are little paintings of gratitude for blessings and miracles, and I decided to make some as a sort of auto-biography of my life.

    I made my first one yesterday, and it was fun and also a good reminder of happy things. I plan to put them up in my new place as a way to reframe life in a more positive way.

    1. I love this idea! I’ve been taking the “notice-shift-rewire” approach to managing negative thoughts, and art inspired by ex-votos sound like a perfect complement.

      1. Yes! It’s been fun, and having the images is nice, too. I think it will help me remember it more than just writing it down in a journal.

  10. Weird to read all of you with hot weather when I’m on the north end of Vancouver Island where it is cold and rainy. Came to surprise my dad for his birthday and he cried when he saw me, which was very sweet.

    The other thing that made me happy this week was attending a tribute concert for the late great Gordon Lightfoot. For those of you who aren’t Canadian you might know him for Sundown and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Although he was a little on the country/folksy side for me, I saw him multiple times at Massey Hall where he played over 170 times. A who’s who of Canadian musical legends turned up to honour him and cover his songs – including Sylvia Tyson, Tom Cochrane, Murray MacLaughlin, Burton Cummings and the remaining members of Rush. Was an incredibly moving, bittersweet evening.

    1. And the Canadian Railroad Trilogy – great song, great performer. I had the wonderful experience of hearing him in a small coffee house in Ann Arbor when he was relatively unknown. Come to think of it, the boyfriend I had at that time also took me to another small venue to hear Fleetwood Mac in their very early days. Great memories.

    2. I love Gordon Lightfoot. I have his biography/autobiography?? but have not started it yet. I did get to see him in concert about 15 years ago. (I can’t believe it has been that long). He was a little difficult to understand at times, but it was wonderful. “If You Could Read My Mind”, “Rainy Day People”, and “Sundown” are some of my absolute favorite songs.

      1. And I forgot to mention Black Day in July about the Detroit riots, a song banned in many US radio stations.

    3. Very sweet. Enjoy your visit.

      We need the rain. Past few years, it has been depressing to drive through skeletal remains of burnt forests. Tuesday is suppose to be quite windy and wet. Ah well. The new soon to be finished outdoor living/reading space under the balcony will be dry.

    4. I first heard Gordon Lightfoot’s songs when my brother brought his Ian and Sylvia records home from college. Even though it was the longer songs that made him famous, the one that stays in my memory is “(That’s what you get ) for loving me”. It expresses sentiments I don’t love, but does it in such an insouciant way that it always makes me smile. Or maybe I just loved the arrangement.

      1. Clearly written by a man who’d been married three times, with children from two of those relationships plus two others.

    5. I’m so jealous that you were able to surprise your Dad! I was brainstorming with my sister about what we could do to mark our brother’s 80th birthday and she said I should fly to France and surprise him. That plan didn’t last long once I explained that he and his wife live a 40 minute drive from the train station and our SIL hasn’t driven since she moved to France. I’m regretting the fact that I do not drive, but it is too late to do anything about it now.

  11. Preach it, Jenny!! Our spring temperatures have mostly been at least 5º above “average”, whatever that is, now.

    I am happy that my youngest son and family are visiting for the holiday and the big double graduation party for my other son’s boys. The weather was perfect for the party, and it was pleasant to sit outdoors and talk. There were a lot of tall men there! Both my grandsons being honored, and their friends, my sons, and the uncle of the grandsons. It made it easier for us to find them in the sea of caps and gowns at the ceremonies. My Phoenix granddaughter is also nearly as tall as her dad, already, and she is only 14.

    1. Monday morning saw my first Eggs Benedict. English muffins, Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce. The eggs were perfect. I used a stopwatch to cook them. I don’t think the sauce is my cup of… sauce. And that’s the rest of the story.

  12. We attended my husband’s youngest PhD graduation. He has had such a tough year, it was good to see him happy and relaxed. It was a lovely weekend in Philadelphia for the occasion.

    I shipped off the finished baby quilts a few weeks ago and got to move on to other projects. Yay!

    The sad news came that my summer vacation is canceled. We were taking a sailing cruise above the artic circle during summer solstice. We got word that the ship needs new masts and so all its trips are canceled. I can’t imagine the difficulty and cost of finding large wooden masts in this day and age. So we are looking for alternatives.

    1. Oh, that’s a huge disappointment! We have a credit for a sailing tour around some islands in Northern Brittany that we weren’t able to go on because we got Covid on the flight over. It sounds like a one-man operation and now it’s been several years, so I doubt we’ll be using up that credit somehow…

  13. Happy to have gotten some tasks done, so that I can read and eat and join you all in happies with a clear conscience.
    We will be honoring our deceased veterans tomorrow by eating good food and playing games. My dear father, for one, would approve.

  14. Jenny, I’m thinking about a book – Pretty sure it was The Strawberry Statement, about students sitting in at Columbia to protest the Vietnam war. the guy who wrote it said with all the bad and serious stuff going on that he felt a bit weird about enjoying a baseball game. He concluded in the end that enjoying fun and happy things is what we are all wanting. All who are protesting, resisting, trying like mad to make the world a better place – or even a live-able place at this point with the climate disaster upon us – are working for this: the freedom to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and allow other people to do so.

    We need to take the time for these pleasures and notice them when they come along or else the forces of darkness have won. Thanks for reminding me of that.

  15. This is shaping up to be my Summer of the Walking Boot, due to a stress fracture. Still, I had a great time at last week’s big family wedding. I settled into a comfy chair and everyone took turns sitting with me like I was the queen. Or a mob boss.

    1. After our collective experience here in the US with a mob boss wearing diapers and swearing that everything bad is SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT!! I’m going to vote for the Queen option, MJ.

      Hope it feels better & ditches the boot as soon as possible….

  16. Yes, Jenny!
    I just watched the newish global flora and fauna documentary narrated by Cate Blanchet it is so scary and disheartening.
    There is a bit of what we can do about it.
    Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
    The real hard one for me is to go vegetarian, I am going to start with meatless Monday or reducing meat consumption because of the deforestation, methane production and amounts of food required to produce 1lb of meat.
    Wish me luck.

    1. There’s only so much we can do as individuals. Perhaps the most important thing is to vote in the right (or at least the less wrong) politicians.

      I haven’t gone completely vegetarian, but years ago I started reducing meat consumption, particularly of red meat and fatty poultry, for health reasons. I would guesstimate that by now well over half of my protein consumption comes from veg sources and some of the rest from non-meat animal sources such as dairy and eggs. I didn’t really find it all that hard, but perhaps the trick was to ease into it gradually. (I do eat some of Beyond Meat and the like, but it’s high enough in sat fat to be worrisome, so I’ve largely avoided that too.)

      1. Good point Patrick!
        Voting pro earth is important, but I live in Ohio…
        I love Cincinnati and the city has candidates that are not climate deniers.
        So I do a lot of research behind
        candidates, so many surprises.

      2. Patrick, we as individuals can make small feats but they add up.
        Same as with bad decisions.
        But thinking back to when I started being vegetarian at the age of 16, there were hardly any organic shops or products in supermarkets. Now, the situation is completely different. Organic stuff is big.
        But yes, the mantra should be Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
        Which is hard enough with beig imprinted by about 80 years of consumer culture.

    2. I think we all can do our bit in our own lives. I try to reduce, recycle, and reuse, plus I also compost most of my food waste, because I live in the country and have a garden. I drive a car that gets good gas mileage, and try to combine errands so I drive less. I buy locally produced food when I can. I contribute to environmental groups. I get my electricity from a local solar “farm” (my roof is too small to do it at my house). It is a huge problem, but we aren’t helpless. Every little thing, when taken together, counts.

  17. We had a nice hike yesterday—perfect weather in the high 60s and the pollens weren’t as bad as the last couple of times we went out.

    I asked my local grocery store to order some rice pasta lasagna noodles for me and they came in yesterday, so I think I’ll make lasagna today. I’m thinking I’ll make a bell pepper “nomato” sauce for it this time. Still not sure how to use the vast quantities of beet sauce I froze from last week. Just can’t get excited about trying it again after one or two meals.

    Both kids are done with college for the summer. Kid 1 now just has work until she goes to UCR in September (plus some preparation for moving into her apartment down there). Kid 2 is waitlisted for a summer math course, so he’ll probably need to find a job or something else productive to do with himself. He can’t sit in his room gaming for three months… (I mean, he’d be happy to, but it wouldn’t be good for him.) I miss summer vacation as it was when they were little—we’d hit the bookstore for a pile of books the first day and then the beach days would start, plus swim lessons around the corner from our house. The swim place sold ice creams. Those were good times! Although I do remember feeling panicked at the idea of keeping the kids entertained for the whole summer.

  18. The really hot weather retreated and the last few days have been enjoyable, both for working outside and sleeping. I happily transplanted the last of my basil seedlings into larger containers. Last year, they all failed at the germination stage, so I’m happy to be more successful this year.

    My eldest niece just bought a house and called me for gardening advice. She lives in Colorado and the growing zone is pretty similar to Eastern Ontario so I’m familiar with most of the plants she wants to grow. Her brother is in town this weekend to run a marathon and introduced us to his new puppy. DH and I rode our bikes to see him on the course this am.

    DH and DS put up the gazebo on our back deck and I’ve been spending lots of time out there when I’m not in the garden. It’s a great place to hang out. DH installed an outdoor overhead fan so it will be a bit cooler on really hot days. May also help keep mosquitos away.

  19. Enjoy the sunshine and great weather while you have it Jenny. You can never tell what the actual summer will be like (or at least that the way the weather is where I live).

    I’m now on holiday in Scotland, staying with a friend I’ve known for 30 years, and will go and visit my son further north for a few days tomorrow and then go cycling or walking. Work was very busy the last few weeks so I’m enjoying having no plans and sitting around catching up and reading.

  20. Happiness was booking the ferries for the weekend trip to Vancouver Island. Visiting niece/husband and nephew/partner in July. We are going to do the lazy river float at Cowichan Lake. About our speed, no rapids for us. Knees. Spent time at the barn yesterday. Best riding lesson ever for granddaughter. Grampy spent time at the fair with everyone. I continue purging everything in sight. And, joined a once a month painting group. SO looking forward it. Lovely, lovely women. Lucky me.

    Booted up the Kobo reader. Found all the Heyer novels and the Rocky Start pre-order. And…e books of paper books. More books to pass on.

    Our son said I must have a lot of empty space in the bookcases. My husband just laughed. Ah, no. Still layers and double rows. 🤦🏻‍♀️

    1. SUPER happy right now. I finally found my mama’s recipes for syrup cookies, molasses cookies, shortbread, and her gingerbread cake. I will make the cookies for the annual trip to my brother and family. The nephews and the greats can have great grandmama’s go to cookies she made when she came here. Found the note book in a basket of books by my bedside. So close.

  21. All my plans for a productive and fun long weekend went to hell when 1) my diabetic cat went hypoglycemic, which is life-threatening, on Friday night, and 2) my extra activity on Friday, the start of the weekend plans, caused me to wake up on Saturday morning with repetitive-stress injury to both hands/wrists, so I literally couldn’t do so much as pick up up a pair of scissors, let alone an iron or rotary cutter, all necessary for the quilt-binding marathon I’d planned.

    Not happy-making of course, but today I’m happy because 1) Todd is back to normal for him, hyperglycemic instead of hypoglycemic, which I can control with insulin injections, and 2) ice and NSAIDS are working on the hands/wrists, so I may be able to do a little bit of the weekend’s plans tomorrow. If not, I’m thinking of declaring next weekend to be my Memorial Day long weekend instead of this one. It really feels too early for Memorial Day anyway, with almost a full week of May left after this weekend?

    1. I’m all for moving holiday celebrations when life interferes. I’ve fairly often done it with my birthday and sometimes with civil holidays. I think you have here a justifable reason to shift.

  22. I’m ok. Coming out of the reading slump by re-reading Innkeeper Chronicles by Illona Andrews.

    It’s Autumn here and we have high winds because of climate change. In unrelated but kinda news – Gentle reminder that a cyclone, hurricane, and typhoon are the same thing so when we hear about it on the news we can empathize over the scale of impact.

    That didn’t sound depressing at all. Lol. I got the fatigue episodic one going on at the moment. But I am still smiley and happy and patient in shops and markets and with friends.

    Request FGBVs for a lifelong friend, please. He is awaiting a compatible kidney for transplant but had a stroke. Sigh.

    I am watching The Untamed and I got a website that did explanations so I understand the beginning a lot more.

    I ordered new curtains. I bought speciality cocoa and peppermint tea (don’t drink it if you want children). And light and dark Chinese-origin soy sauce which is waaay smokier than I thought.

    I desperately need a different working environment. Mine is hostile at worst and difficult at best.

    I got Mary Berry’s fork biscuit recipe out again. Gonna try those and post it on IG.

    The doggos are fine. So most is right in my world.

    1. Actually, to get technical, a hurricane and a typhoon are the same thing in different parts of the world. But the definition of cyclone seems to be messier. I gather that in the general sense, it’s pretty much any mass of whirling air. In this sense, hurricanes/typhoons are subsets of cyclones. It’s also an obsolete word for tornado (used in the Oz books, if memory serves), and nowadays also seems to be used for tropical storms less powerful than hurricanes, and for some other kinds of powerful but non-hurricaine-grade storms.


      1. At least the above is what the Wikipedia and many other online sources say. But the Wictionary entry for typhoon does list cyclone as an equivalent in some regions. The Wictionary entry for cyclone does not! Very confusing.

        typhoon (plural typhoons)

        A weather phenomenon in the northwestern Pacific that is precisely equivalent to a hurricane, which results in wind speeds of 64 knots (118 km/h) or above. Equivalent to a cyclone in the Indian Ocean and Indonesia/Australia.

      2. In Florida, sometimes we hear it called a tropical cyclone instead of hurricane, but that is fairly new (according to my memories).

    2. Sympathies on your work environment and on your friend. I hope things work out!

    3. I am happy that you are able to get out and interact with people and that the dogs are fine. I am sending healing vibes for your friend and hope for a better job for you. The fact that Jennifer got out of her toxic job is proof that miracles can happen and I hope that some are on their way to you and to your friend.

    4. Best wishes for a better work environment. That is hard, so I hope you can find something much happier soon.

  23. Oh yes, we vote this week! It’ll be a public holiday. I’m so grateful for this right that was denied to so many people for so long.

  24. I am 1.5 days into my 4-day weekend and, as usual, am happy about productivity. Yesterday I finished the first draft of new novelette and did some digital housekeeping as well as knocked off a couple small but annoying chores.

    And then Scruffian wanted safari, so we went out to the backyard, and she moseyed around pretending to be wild while I groomed around the edges. Trimmed bougainvillea, pulled up weeds. Successfully restored navigability from deck to driveway.

    This morning, had breakfast with DH and watched ‘Father Figure,’ a road-trip comedy starring Ed Helms & Owen Wilson about adult brothers becoming friends while trying to find their progenitor, having discovered that their mother told them a lot of lies. It *is* funny, with a lot of great cameos from good actors, and some really good emotional moments between the brothers.

  25. Late happy of today: saw the Czech team win the hockey worl championship on home ice in Praha.
    Dostal was fantastic between the pipes, Pastrnak with the decisive first goal against a very strong Swiss team. Empty net goal completed the win. Sigh.

  26. Happy with the weather-sunny and warm with a couple of showers. The rain didn’t interfere with anything I needed to do outside but did make Pixie anxious because her walk was delayed on one day.

    And the basement stairs have been rebuilt. All is sturdy now. The bad news is I have 12 steps instead of 10 and narrower treads and lower risers. That means I really have to be careful going up and down until I adjust.

    The bathroom exhaust should be done on Wednesday. After that, well, I can think of a couple of things to work on.

    And I put my window air conditioner in today. Just in time for cooler night temperatures later in the week.

    Really looking forward to getting out of the house. I have lunch with a friend on Tuesday and a political breakfast on Sunday. Nothing but good times ahead.

  27. Today is our 21st wedding anniversary so yay us!

    I planted the pear tree and some tomatoes in the greenhouse and peas in the garden and then we had a thunderstorm so I came back inside and let my plants enjoy the rain.

  28. Started my new job and it is AWESOME 🙂 I love being respected here.

    I got into Romeo and Juliet as Lady Capulet, which I wasn’t expecting.

    Spent half the weekend at bars celebrating a friend’s birthday, spending the rest of it seeing shows.

    1. Congratulations!! I’m so glad the new job is so far so good. And yay for Lady Capulet.

    2. Great news. Glad that your work situation is vastly improved. Good luck with the play.

    3. Yay! Nothing but good times ahead. I am so glad you have a job you can like going to. 😊

  29. I’m happy that there is someone else who thinks 84F and sunny is perfect weather! Most folks around me complain that it’s too hot and go into a fridgidly air conditioned building.

  30. Amazon had the status of my Hollandaise sauce as “delivered,” so I checked the mailbox and lo! there it was. Now I have eggs, a poacher, English muffins, Canadian bacon, and Hollandaise sauce. Guess what I’m having for Monday breakfast. It’ll be a Memorial Day to remember, assuming I don’t screw the poach. (heeheehee)

  31. I’m happy that my dog—who suffered a “fetch” incident that required an emergency vet visit while I was off on a business trip (she jabbed herself on the roof of the mouth with a stick)—seems to be recovering well, though not yet back to her high energy self. She’s been good about taking the medicine from the vet, except for the germ-killer-drops that go in her water.

    I’m happy to be home from the aforementioned business trip. It was a full week and I had to present at a session. I much prefer being home, where I can look out at my blooming garden while I work.

  32. Weirdly I was happy that we had biblical amounts of torrential rain over the weekend as I am exhausted and it was a good excuse to laze about and not even get dressed (as I knew no visitors would be coming).

    Did manage to stir myself to make “bottom of the fridge” soup – all the veggies that were going soft or on the edge of going off made a lovely soup with lentils and some curry powder.

    Gave myself space to stare out of the window and think or not think. Feel a lot better for it.

    Worried about my sick-line from the hospital coming to an end on Wednesday and having to persuade my GP that I need more time off – hoping it will not be a hard sell! Given that I was two years on a waiting list I am not just recovering from the operation but years of constant pain and immobility. Wish me luck. Trying to remember to stay in the moment and not project (never something I have really mastered though).

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