Happiness is a Plan

I’ve been sitting in my living room trying to figure out where I want things. I did manage to switch the couch and the long table around so the couch is up against the window, and got everything cleared off of it so Veronica and I can sit there while I work, so that’s been a win. But I still have furniture in the wrong places, in particular two tables with shelves, a console, and TV cabinet and four walls they go on, and I’ve been switching them around in my head, trying to figure how they’d best work with the problems in the room, and then it came to me, exactly how to fix all of it, and I made a plan. Which is so much better than, “There’s a problem here, what am I going to do to solve it?” Same with Very Nice Funerals which is a damn good book, but it has problems–we’re on the truck draft now–and I’m trying to figure out how to fix my part of it–Bob has his part in shape already–but I have a white board and I am sure that by tomorrow night I will have a plan and that will make me happy

Happiness is a plan.

How did you find happiness this week, planned or unplanned?

121 thoughts on “Happiness is a Plan

  1. Happiness for me at the moment is starting to feel well again after a week of being sick. Not dreadfully sick, just a sore throat and no energy, but I just love it when the energy starts to come back and I feel like doing stuff again.

    Plus cold clear nights, which I love, and the southern aurora is painting Tasmanian and mainland skies at the moment, so I’m going to head down to the beach before I go to bed and do some aurora hunting.

    1. I love that first day, after I’ve been sick, when I feel healthy and energetic again. Welcome back to the world!

  2. Best thing this week was finally booking the ferry and nearly all the accommodation for Ireland – leaving on Thursday. Pam finally came over a couple of days ago so we could pin it down (she’s been very busy; but I was getting antsy). There was a stressful time when we’d booked non-refundable ferry tickets but then couldn’t find places to stay – but I spent the afternoon on it, and it did eventually fall into place. I’m excited.

    Then I treated myself to a good new rainjacket, which I’m really happy about. It should encourage me to go for walks even when the forecast is iffy. And yesterday evening was the opening of a group show of the artists’ network I belong to. I don’t have any work in it, but it’s always fun to hang out with everyone. And it’s warm and sunny again today, though due to break later. Another gardening day.

  3. Friday was my 65th birthday and I’ve had 3 days of celebrating. My book club met on Thursday night and I made vegan red velvet cake for dessert. I also bought tulips for each of my book club friends – combo party favour and Mother’s Day gift. Both the cake and the flowers were a hit and we enjoyed a lovely dinner prepared by the friend hosting the meeting.

    On Friday, DS and DH woke me up with a cup of coffee and lovely gifts. DH and I spent the morning and early afternoon at an outdoor spa. The weather forecast had predicted a cool, overcast day but it was sunny and very pleasant. On the way home, I got a last minute pedicure.

    Yesterday was my official BD dinner. DH had arranged for my nephew to come to town (he lives 2hrs away) and we had a lovely dinner at a local Italian restaurant. DS even wore jeans instead of his usual sport pants. Before dinner my nephew, DH and I took a walk to see the tulips, as part of the annual tulip festival. It’s a big deal in my city and there are huge beds in different locations around town. It’s a spectacular sight to see thousands of different varieties and colours of tulips in bloom
    at once.

    I was dreading turning 65 as I’m now officially a “senior”. But I realized that I’m surrounded by a loving family, wonderful friends and doing activities I enjoy. My mother died at 85 so I figure I will probably live for another 20 years or so. My plan is to enjoy every moment.

      1. Drove up to Lake Erie with my soon-to-turn-86 friend for a couple of days of “America’s Biggest Birding Week.”

        She used to go with her husband who passed away in 2020 (not from Covid) and has wanted to go again, and I wanted to check out what all the fuss is about.

        We took a 4-hour bus tour where the group identified 68 birds. I saw maybe 7 of them. It’s oddly fun to be at the beginning of a learning curve at 70.

        Here are a pair of Bald Eagles: https://www.instagram.com/p/C6yYi8lrnxE/?igsh=MXZiZ3pmMnlhdmpzcQ==

        1. Happy Birthday! I hope your extended celebrations continue to bring you joy.

          Isn’t it amazing to see a bird in real life that you’ve only read about in fiction? I went to a nature preserve in New Zealand where they foster albatrosses and it really blew my mind. I had no conception of the scale of the birds or the difference in their grace in air vs. on land before that.

    1. Happy Birthday! Those big milestones give us pause. It sounds like yours was just perfect.

    2. Belated happy birthday! It sounds like you’ve had some fantastic celebrating and been showered with love. <3

    3. Happy birthday, and may happiness be yours the other 364 days of the year. (Come leap year Feb 29, you’re on your own.)

    4. Happy Birthday! My 65th was fun, so I hope yours is at least that good, or preferably better! Keep exercising as I will be 70 shortly, and find that my strength is declining slightly…I can still lift 15 gallon pots with soil and plants (3″ to rim so I have room to water). I helped caretake part-time for a few different folks in their eighties, and they did make it clear that staying fit matters, some needed wheelchairs much of the time, and others managed really long hallways for different doctors appointments just fine…Taf

  4. We had breakfast with cousin’s wife yesterday. Planning around the Christmas market river cruise in December. Planning on Italy before hand and Switzerland after. We will dress warm. Then a meeting in afternoon with more lovely people. Fish and chips and a walk by the water with Juno in the evening . He barked to go outside and no accidents so far. I even got some research in between meetings and cut the grass. A good day and week.

    Found the pangrams within twenty words this am.

    Helping my cousin move cities end of June. Tacking on a trip to Edmonton area. We will see the new baby girl.

    1. I really want to do a Christmas market river cruise. Like really, really want to.

  5. Happiness was getting started on some hard-scaping in the yard yesterday.

    K1 helped me remove the rest of the cat-toilet soil from one raised bed, we (with Hubby’s help) moved the frame for another raised bed. It had been pushed over when our septic field was redone, and I’ve been dumping flower pots and baskets in it every fall. So now it’s in its spot. The soil that was in it is a brick, so I have to move the weedy top layer elsewhere, then put the bottom layer in the bed. Both beds need new soil but first I have to build a cat and dog barrier.

    I also removed half of the lawn in the garden that will ring the plum tree.

    Oh, and I made the space around the rhubarb bigger and more obvious so maybe it won’t get mowed over.

    1. Good luck with the plum tree, I had a mini Santa Rosa plum for about 15 years, and had many good treats from that tree! The plums would self harvest quite often, so I went out every morning to pick up, wash and eat the day’s crop. When many plums got ripe at the same time, I shared with my sisters (two sisters made great plum jam). They were way more skilled in the kitchen than I have ever been. The once every month or two plan for cooking does not make a good cook.
      I usually do best when I play “mad scientist” while cooking like when I adapted a pecan pie recipe to use macadamia nuts and stirred in a few crushed Dove dark chocolate candies…Yum! (Since those pies are really rich, I used tart pans instead of regular sized pie pans, portion control of a sort…) Taf

  6. I’m planning a trip out to San Diego for a week, leaving next Thursday. My father is turning 90 and throwing a party for himself (which is a bit ironic, since he is the origin of the “we don’t really celebrate birthdays in this family” tradition, but hey, 90). I’m not a great traveler, so I am a somewhat obsessive planner. I’ve already spent hours trying to figure out what I need to pack, organizing the cat sitters, the rides to and from the airport (an hour and a half from my house), and talking to the sister who also lives in San Diego about both plans for the party–where apparently she volunteered us to be the bartenders, thanks Becky–and her multiple sainted acts, including picking me up at the airport and taking me for a spectacular fancy Bloody Mary, and making sure I make it to the beach at least once.

    I’ve also been madly trying to get the garden in before I leave, at least as much as I can, and making plans for two major events right after I get back–on Friday meeting up with my tarot/oracle illustrator who will be nearby visiting friends, and a good friend’s wedding on the Saturday. I’m planning not to get sick or be too exhausted or stressed by the trip. We’ll see how that goes.

    1. Deborah, I’m sure Becky has told you we are experiencing our usual May Gray in the mornings. If we’re lucky, clouds lift for sunshine in the afternoon. Temps are temperate, maybe a jacket for evenings.

    2. Bring layers of clothing for the May Gray/June Gloom, but it beats the heck out of the heat and smog further north (Riverside etc,)! I moved down here a few decades ago and have been much better off in this climate…
      Good luck with the bartending, my father regarded me as the family disgrace, I could only drink one half glass of wine before getting semi-plastered (giggles non-stop). Taf

  7. Good luck. Planning really helps. The difference in climate between upper New York and San Diego is significant. I have managed to go from two carryons and at least one large checked bag, to just two carryons, and taking all the “what if” stuff is history, now. It’s so much easier to manage, and faster, without the checked bags. Have fun!

    1. I usually take a large piece of luggage, plus my purse and maybe a backpack. This time I am determined to pack light and only have a smaller bag (which I will still check), plus the other two that have the essentials just in case. We’ll see how that goes. Layers, and figuring that no one will notice or care if I wear the same things multiple days are the plan.

  8. Sometimes it helps to make little paper cut outs of your furniture and move them around a grid paper “room”.

    I’m happy today because it’s our anniversary trip and we are in Ithaca. Right now I am waiting in line for the friends of the library book sale to open. Ten more minutes. After that is the farmers market for street food! Korean food tonight and tibetan momos tomorrow. Life is good.

  9. Saw an old friend who was in town for a miniature craft fair (get thee behind me, temptation). She is the godmother of my doll house which would not have working lights had she not been involved. It was great to know she is doing well and I am definitely going back to that restaurant for more hash browns

    I discovered Ellis Peters wrote a series about a “modern day” (ie 1950s instead of 1130s of the Cadfaels) detective and got 6 of them used for a good price, since I liked the first one I tried. Good things to read – hooray!

    It’s a beautiful day, I already went for a walk, laundry is in the dryer, and I have no annoying tasks today, so life is good.

    1. I read Ellis Peters’ modern stories as a teenager and enjoyed them. I haven’t tried the Cadfael ones, nor the historicals she wrote as Edith Pargeter. She lived in Shropshire, and I enjoyed the local settings of some of them.r

      1. I liked the modern ones but the Cadfael series remains my favorite of her books.

        1. Taf here, just checked my bookcases and found the contemporary (1950’s and 1960’s) Ellis Peters works: Fallen Into the Pit, Death and the Joyful Woman, Flight of a Witch, A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs, The Piper on the Mountain, Black is the Color of My True Love’s Heart, The Grass-Widow’s Tale (my favorite), The House of Green Turf, Mourning Raga, The Knocker on Death’s Door, Death to the Landlords!, City of Gold and Shadows, and Rainbow’s End…Actually they are all good enough for multiple re-reads for me.

    2. I made some hard decisions this week. Sweet friends offered to let me move in with them if I wanted to move to their state and start teaching in their district. They would charge me extremely low rent. It was so tempting.

      However, I came to terms with three things:

      A.) I do not have the bandwidth to move right now. I cannot start a new school and have the kiddo change schools right now. Too much.

      B.) I need to get my writing going again, and to publish as a side hustle. I had to make all new curriculum (with no book, no tests, nada) this year. It was a surprise readjustment from our state, and that cost me time. I had planned on starting the writing last year, but now I will definitely start this year. I have most of what I need for work if I create a few more things in the next two weeks. Writing will mean that I am working on having another stream of income instead of relying on just one job.

      C.) My boss is truly a misogynist. I do not say that lightly. The writing on the wall is here for me. No matter how perfect my state test scores, my lessons, etc., he will never be in my corner, and he has let go over 10 qualified women over the age of 40 in the last 5 years. Yes, it could be a fight, but I don’t have that fight in me. Besides, he wants me to stay. He just will never ever like or support me, no matter what.

      I am a natural people pleaser, and most people do like me. (I swears it!) I am aware now that I have one more year with him to get wheels up on something else, so I can leave.

      I have my plans set for the next two weeks, and general plans for June. I know what stories I will complete next. A plan is good. ☺️

      1. Yikes that is an awful lot to deal with (use multiple meanings for awful lot)! I hope you get a lot of help from multiple sources to get through the year! Taf

        1. Thanks! I definitely have a good base for my curriculum started and some great collaborators across the district. I have some friends who are writing buddies, and friends who know my work environment. I truly think it will be a better year, no matter what, because I have more direction. Making the decision to go was the hardest part, but now I have something to work towards. Thanks for the kind hopes. ☺️

  10. My happy is finding a way to manage two dogs and two cats that do not all get along, with one dog big enough to go outside by herself, and one who has to be escorted because a Barred Owl is lurking in the neighborhood, even in the daytime! It took a lot of thinking and planning to pull this off. This is just a long weekend, thank goodness, because my eldest grandson will be graduated in Colorado Summa cum laude in a few hours, and his parents had to leave the big dog with me. I am very proud of him. There is a future long trip planned, though. Eek! Little dog and cats have to eat when the big dog is in “her room”, as she is very food-motivated. Sigh.

    Yesterday, I bought more native plants, and have put 7 of the 9 in the ground. The Bittersweet will go in today. Since we got so much rain, things are growing spectacularly. There are many flowers for the hummingbirds, and lots of golden currants that will ripen, soon, for the other birds. The Viburnum Japonicum variegata is covered with berries! I didn’t plant that, and it’s not native, but the berries are good for wildlife. The Red Osier Dogwood also had blooms and will have berries again. The passionflower vine died last winter. It’s not a great loss, since the Gulf Fritilary butterflies whose caterpillars eat it do not come this far north, and it left lots of seeds in my yard which created a lot of sprouts to mow. Things are growing well and the yard looks great. There are now three types of Milkweed for the Monarchs. Yay!

    Finally, I renewed my Pre-check TSA pass online, and it was approved within a few days. It saves so much time and aggravation.

  11. Twice last week I had to move pictures and a clock from walls in order for the workers to repair the roof. Any and all of it could have fallen and broken with the pounding. The second time it was the bedroom for pictures and knickknacks where the painter repaired the ceiling and painted it. The thought occurred to me that maybe I have so many knickknacks is not the quantity of memorabilia but the end tables, mantle, a flat surface bookcase and desk along with radiator covers that can hold all this stuff. That and living for over fifty years in a two-century old house with a serious lack of closet space. But the work is done and now I have to gather the invoices and submit them to the insurance company.

    But my good news is I had a follow up doctor’s appointment that was ten years in the making and I don’t have to go back. Now that is a happy!

  12. My post didn’t post, and I waited a few minutes to see if it would catch up. So, no. Anyway, I won’t rewrite it, but I will mention that I missed the Northern Lights the other night because I was watching the episode in Grey’s Anatomy of the plane crash where they lost a couple of main character doctors, and another is going through a serious challenge. I’m now up to season 9. Ten seasons to go and I’ll be caught up. Is it starting to go downhill for me? I don’t know. Usually by season three I’m kind of meh about shows but, I’m not there yet.

    My happy news this week is I’ve gone ten years without a recurrence of my challenge, so I do not have to make another appointment unless —–.

    1. Sympathies on the vanished post. Could it have gone to moderation for some reason? Too cloudy, too much light pollution, and probably too far south for the aurora borialis where I am.

      1. I always check Pending for posts, forgot to check spam, and that’s where you were, Mary. NO idea why.

    2. Very jealous of anyone who saw the aurora borialis. We had it in Edinburgh but my flat is a bit too surrounded by buildings and I didn’t see it (also I was oblivious and didn’t know to look this time). A friend was in Chesterfield (quite considerably south of here) and he got a great view and some photos – better view that some in Edinburgh.
      Plan to go to a Dark Sky Park at some point and hope to see them there, also never seen the milky way and that is on my bucket list too. That would make me very happy.

  13. I’m spending Mother’s Day alone, and gardening. And that will make me happy.

    My kids sent me a wonderful glass garden sculpture and wished me happy Mother’s Day and I talked at length with DS yesterday and had foster daughter for dinner and am planning my birthday dinner with DD for when I see her in London and DH gave me a Dutch tile with tulips on it which was hard to find apparently (wouldn’t you think they would make them in quantity?) so I feel connected and loved and will enjoy the time alone. And will probably go to a neighbor for a Mother’s Day barbecue.

    It’s the daughter’s side of Mother’s Day that is hard for me. I got my mom’s present to her in advance , and although it was sent from Alibris and there is no gift note option she recognized it was from me so I don’t have to deal with her complaining that I didn’t think of her. (She has a big bad thing about presents and I once spent Christmas Day walking with her in tears as she cried that my dad didn’t really know and love her because he hadn’t given her something she liked… dredging up from my memory all the presents he gave her other years that she had loved. Then there was the Christmas she spent first sniping at my sister and then yelling at her for lack of present because my sister had not done a replacement present after my dad insisted on paying for the wonderful day in NY that my sister had planned.
    That was the Christmas that 1) made us decide never to spend Christmas in my parents’ house again because she is worse on her home turf— we spent Christmas with them again but elsewhere 2) at my son’s request we changed who his guardians would be if we died 3) I took a second drink the first evening after we left and my kids remember it to this day as the only time I have taken a second drink .) I find present giving to my mom extremely stressful.

    If I find my mom in anyone’s book I will be delighted and she won’t recognize herself so if she is raw material go for it.

    I’m also in the depths of travel planning for a two week trip to London. Two weeks makes it more complicated —plant and turtle care here, laundry there—but DD really wanted me to arrive for my birthday and stay for hers. This may become a ritual and really, who can complain about two weeks in London every year?

    So I’m planning a night at the ballet and a night at the Globe and of course a night at Son in law’s show. Birthday meals. Not sure what else yet.

    Poor DH is already there, helping his friend with Alzheimer’s through the day of his divorce hearing. I’m amazed at his patience — and will need to coddle him when I get there.

    My garden is coming along nicely and I have 4 varieties of Dutch iris in bloom as well as lots of dianthus. I just hope my lilies don’t get eaten by deer while I’m gone—they are coming in nicely and I will spray (organically) like crazy the day I leave. And three of DHs amaryllis are in full bloom and look very dramatic on my kitchen island.

    So all in all it’s been a lovely quiet peaceful week with lots accomplished and many quiet pleasures. (So long as I ignore the news …)

    1. I’m happy for the all in all good of this week. Sending hugs for the tough stuff, but glad to read it’s mostly been positive. <3

    2. Enjoy London! I don’t think I ever managed two consecutive weeks there, and certainly not two weeks on my own time. It used to be an extremely expensive place to stay, although I gather that new hotel capacity has brought the price down somewhat. In the olden days, it seemed better value for money to see other parts of the UK after a quick look at all of the many things that London has to offer.

      1. Yeah, there are a couple of very affordable hotel chains now—Travelodge has maybe 80 in London and they seem to average about $160 a night. Not super cheap but definitely more affordable than it used to be.

    3. Huh. There was something very wrong with my grandmother. Some sort of personality disorder that went undiagnosed, although apparently she took some pills when I was small and they made her a lot better. She stopped taking them because she didn’t feel like herself.

      Anyway, she placed a huge emphasis on gifts. I wonder if that is common for people who can’t properly connect with those around them?

      1. When you are afraid that you are losing your place in the world, gifts are a more tangible way to remind yourself that you still matter. Also, I remember a woman from a support group I once attended who said that she had to do things in exactly the same way each time in order to have enough momentum to get herself out the door. So it could either a control issue or a way of marking her place in an increasingly challenging milieu.

      2. My mum threw a fit one year because I got her a generic Christmas card rather than one that said Merry Christmas Mum or similar, and she was the poster child for not connecting to people properly. I like your theory.

        1. I think it may be that my mom can’t really tell real emotional warmth from fake so she relies on “objective” measures, which would fit your theory. But it sure doesn’t help that as my mom remembers it her mother never said she liked anything thst my mom gave her. If she couldn’t find a fault with a present my grandmother would say “you shouldn’t have spent so much”.

          There are reasons why my mom has a personality disorder. But I have come to realize that you can understand and forgive but still set up boundaries and refuse to accept abuse.

          1. In the long run it matters less how they became abusive than how the rest of us can work around their behavior. We may not be able to undo whatever started the cycle, but we can do a lot to keep it from injuring the next generations. And we can support the ones who bear the brunt of the abuse.

    4. My mother used to give my father a “You made me what I am today” card on Mother’s day so I think planning ways to coddle your DH today is very appropriate. It is a blessing that the friend with Alzheimer’s does not have to struggle alone.

  14. This week I accomplished booking travel for our June trip (chose the expensive option; why else do I have the Day Job, right?) and booking Miss Kitters O’Scruffian’s stay at Wag Hotel likewise (not nearly as expensive). I was stressed out about these travel arrangements so getting them organized makes me happy.

    Weather conditions today are ideal for yardkeeping but I’m Not. Going. To. Do. Any, because I owe something to my publisher and once I get that done I’m gonna write another chapter of the Advent calendar novelette-in-progress, which will make me happy. Any week in which I write fewer than 2000 words gives me a mental itch, so logging over 4000 this week will feel like a satisfying scratch.

    Another happy: last week I got a v. positive triple review for the latest novel, LIBERTY, and yesterday I managed to post about it on the blog while doing some other writer bizness.

    By the end of today I will have a fresh new To Do List and a decluttered desk, which will also make me happy.

    I’ve noticed that many of us find Happy in the management of our personal environments. 🙂

    1. What an interesting point about our personal environments. It reminds me of an Anna Quindlen column in her first book about how having a room is everything —she was talking about homelessness. And the ability to pick your wall color.

      I wish she still wrote columns. Her books are ok but her columns really resonated.

  15. We opened Twelve Angry Jurors this weekend and people like it. I went to my favorite hippie festival and got great clothes. I got the final job offer for the DMV and a start date of the 20th. I will probably quit pretty much at the last minute because The State Budget came out and I’m afraid the job will be cut before I start…I hope not, I’m told the state doesn’t do that like my current work would. I turned down the prison, yay.

    I also got offered a reassignment job interview sometime next week, which I will go through, but I think they will reject me for not being perfect enough again, and I’m tired of being rejected by this organization anyway. Fuck ’em.

    1. I’ve been so impressed with your persistence and tenacity in the face of your current employer’s absolute shittery. Good for you!!

    2. Good news, all around! I’m so pleased for you. Definitely Frick those stinkers!

    3. Congrats on the job offer. I think you’re smart to keep options open until the job is nailed down.

    4. Hey, congrats you on all the positive things! You’ve had such a tough year so far, it’s great to see that some movement in a brighter direction is happening. So happy for you!

  16. I love plans. Plans are awesome. And goals. Plans on how to reach said goals are the best kinds. Yep. Plans make me happy, too.
    I’m happy I picked up some knitting again, even if I’m mostly frogging and knitting the same thing over and over because I keep messing up the decrease for Nano’s snout.
    I’m happy pancake-test has been done. Now, we wait. It’s a really good thing I’m so good at waiting.
    The yarn-shop where I last did some yarnshopping (last October) has what looks like a great deal on a cotton-acryl-mix, aran weight yarn that’s supposedly great for huggable things. 50 % discount on 10 balls, and you can either buy a one-colour set or make a mixed package. Why can’t I just go ahead and buy these kinds of things? Why does my brain have to step in and come up with all kinds of reasons why it’s unnecessary and a waste of money? Sigh. I need a practical plan for these kinds of situations.
    Hope you all have had a lovely weekend and have a great week ahead of you! <3

    1. How about a small “go to hell” item in your monthly budget that you can set aside until a sale like this comes around? If you don’t use it, it can roll over until something really tempting comes along. And if you do use it, you only have to worry about space issues instead of space and money at the same time.

      1. This sounds like something I could maybe work with. I think my biggest issue isn’t actually the cost, because I’m good at saving and also very good at not buying things, but rather that I have to convince myself of the necessity of the purchase: “Do I need this? Will I use this? Is it throwing money in the sea? Can I maybe better use the money for something else that is more practical or needed? Do I DESERVE to buy this?” And so on and so forth in circles.
        I think that, in the line of last months developments mentally, the last point should be scratched completely. It’s a stupid point. The rest, well. BUT that said, I did buy the yarn, *and* new scissors, and some safety eyes. 🙂 So hurrah for making decisions!

        1. Would it help to ask yourself if the item you have in mind to maybe purchase sparks joy? Has a “wow yeah” factor?

          The first comes from Mary Condo, the second from Stasia Savacuk who coined this idea for clothing – her business is to help one dress how we want to feel. But imho this can be copied for other stuff too. Even though I’m nowhere near really implementing this concept into my life, it sometimes makes it easier to judge whether I really want to have a certain thing or if it’s just because the price is low enough or it’s trending etc.
          Depriving oneself from sparks of joy in your life is not optimal.
          But if after one night you still crave it, maybe it has the wow factor?

  17. I am happy that we had a decent sibling reunion last weekend, even if the weather cut it a bit short. I got home safe and sound after a very long drive (about 11 hours, including gas/food breaks) and am trying to decide when to visit my former neighbors that moved away. They have invited me to visit anytime and I’d like to go soon, but am not looking forward to more driving (a much shorter drive, only 6-7 hours one way) so soon after this last trip.

  18. Happy Mothers Day wherever applicable!

    I’m still absorbing rather iffy medical news and waiting for callbacks (during office hours) to schedule more tests and such. Hopefully there will be progress on Monday. Also, I blew my Wordle streak today with a stupid mistake.

    On the other hand, the weather is pleasantly cool and I had a good book club meeting yesterday, with attendance up a bit for the previous few months. I couldn’t find my hat when I got home, but fortunately I remembered my earlier experience with the lost notebook, and I immediately checked the car’s back seat. There it was! I know that I didn’t put it there deliberately, and I suspect that when I tried to toss it into the front passenger seat it bounced off of the edge of the passenger seat’s back (or something similar happened).

    I felt very energetic yesterday. Not completely wiped out today, but decidedly unambitious. I have nothing must-do left for today, but if I recoup some drive, I may get some more optional things done.

    1. Man, I hate that when I do that, forget to put in a letter that’s already green or put a yellow letter in the same spot. This is not a difficult game, Jennifer. PAY ATTENTION. You have my sympathies, Patrick.

    2. I hope the medical stuff turns out to be nothing, Patrick. I’ve had a few things lately that looked like they might be something and weren’t. Passing my luck on to you.

    3. I feel you on the medical stuff. Medical business is such a draining thing. Very happy to read you felt energetic and found your hat! 🙂 The small happy things often count the most, especially when stacking themselves up in neat and happy little piles.

  19. I made a plan. It was a farming plan for the BornAgainIndoorFarmer. I bought TWO 24×36″ white boards – one was to be a spare. I planned to mount a board on the wall in the gardening room of the basement, then use permanent marker to partition it off to match the layout of the eleven units and their eleven water goddesses (reservoirs). Then I would track the dates something was planted, the date a reservoir needed to be refilled, the dates I added plant food and which kind, and so on.

    Plan Rev A: mount both boards, one atop the other, because one board isn’t big enough for the planned data. The top board will only track the top units, the bottom board the lower units.

    Plan Rev B: Move stuff around, buy two more boards to mount side by side with the first two.

    Plan Rev C: Make a batch of chili with diced beef instead of hamburger and contemplate the cost of the rest of the plan. Take a long nap. (6 AM to 3:30 PM). Contemplate some more while taking the chili out of the slow cooker and filling a couple of spinach tortilla wraps. Accompany the contemplation with a carbonated black raspberry drink.

    Plan Rev D: Postpone further action for a few days. Plan in haste: revise in leisure.

      1. At least, not while you have walls or stands to mount them on. There will eventually be pictures. Eventually.

      1. I didn’t finish my leftovers yet that were made with ground beef. This batch started with 800 grams of Carne Picada. It lacked the tomatoes and peppers of the ground batch, but got a higher dose of minced and powdered spices.

        Next batch of chili will be the Carne Picada plus onions and mushrooms and sour cream instead of the canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Chili Stroganoff.

        1. Gary, With the level of capsaicin that you seem to prefer, I’m surprised you can taste anything else in chili, much less mushrooms!

          I’ve been making my stroganoff with nonfat sour cream, which means I have to add it separately at the end for each individual serving because heat easily kills its body. Sometimes I’ve misjudged and had to heat the result in the microwave. That definitely makes it watery, but does not kill the sour-cream taste.

  20. No plans but lists. Which are kind of like plans. On the list are 2, possibly 3, meetings and planting and mowing and trimming.

    I bought most of my annuals and tomatoes and herbs. I still need peppers and probably a few more annuals. It’s still too early for my favorite farm to stock those. I’m looking forward to lots of color on my porch. Now it just has to stop raining for a few days.

    I plan also to read JAK’s latest and drink coffee. That will make me happy.

  21. I went to see the ENT doctor this week for another treatment to open up my nasal passages. I don’t think it will make a lot of difference, but it is paid for and the first 2 didn’t make anything worse. I told them about the negative allergy tests and the lack of options given by the last allergist and the Physician’s Assistant who was looking up my nose said, “Oh, you’ve got allergies, all right. ” They said that they often worked with the allergists in the office across the hall so I stopped in to make an appointment. After I filled out the insurance forms for my initial appointment, they said, “We don’t take Public Aid at this office.” Since it was the same doctor and the same billing services at both offices, this made absolutely no sense to me. but the second office is a block away from a train station that I use regularly, I didn’t really
    mind. And the first available appointment at the suburban office is a full month earlier than the one at the in city office. It is also a block away from my friend Claire’s apartment, which will be a good excuse for me to contact her. She called me 2 months ago and said that she’d call me back to choose a date to meet for lunch, but I haven’t heard from her since. If I can say, “Hey, I’m going to be a block away, are you free?” it will be a lot easier than trying to unravel whether she forgot about me or my phone dropped her call.

      1. It is too early to say, but at least nobody at the newest place is telling me that it must be my imagination. That alone is a great improvement.

      1. Mine was, too, but she is on medical leave and probably getting ready to retire (she is 71, I think.)

    1. Good luck with all things ENT-related! I had surgery a couple of years ago in an attempt to ease the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, so I’ve seen them too a lot. Hopefully they can help you feel better. <3 This side of the year must be a kind of hell for anybody with allergies of the pollen and/or grass and/or other things growing-kind.

  22. I love a plan, even if I very often enjoy them in theory but never become organised enough to put them into practice.

    Not this time! I have planned my North America trip for the next three-ish weeks. Tomorrow I leave my cousin’s house in Guelph for Toronto, stay in Toronto for two nights, then take The Canadian train to Vancouver. A week in Vancouver, then a week in Portland, followed by a week in Boston. I just need to sort the end out (probably NYC for a week before coming back to Guelph, then home at the very end of June) and book a couple of the travel options, then the plan is complete. I will admit I’ve been very lazy while staying with my cousin, so I will give myself a talking-to before setting out on the next stage of the trip, as I don’t want to miss out on anything I originally planned on doing!

    1. Take every opportunity to ride in the observation car on the Canadian, it’s the best.

      1. I certainly plan on doing that! I’ve packed lots of books (of course) and knitting, puzzle books etc to keep me occupied but I am equally sure that I’ll spend 95% of my waking hours staring out of the windows in absolute awe.

    2. I know it has changed dramatically since I was there 50 years ago, but I had such a wonderful time visiting Vancouver. I hope your visit will be equally enchanting.

      1. Thank you! I’m excited, I’ve always wanted to go and I’m looking forward to exploring the area.

        1. Take a water taxi to Granville island, the little artisan shops are fantastic.

  23. Not the easiest few days emotionally, but good weather, an hour in the garden and newly discovered music made me somewhat happy.
    The music definitely got me in a good mood while finally completing my entry in dd’s adios/go-away-Journal.

  24. Forgot to me tion the artists: Orville Peck and Trixie Mattel.
    Never would have guessed I’d come to love Country.

    1. I got all my annuals planted , about 120. And it looks like I estimated about right.
      So I will see what it looks like when I return at the end of May and decide if I have bare spots to fill in that can’t be covered with nasturtiums … I have a fine stock of nasturtium seeds

      1. Glad you have plenty of nasturtium seeds, in this part of San Diego (North Park and Hillcrest), nasturtiums are a volunteer plant that fills many former open spaces! Taf

  25. Todays happy includes the fact that I slept some – 5 hours maybe. Insomnia has been coming at me hard lately & it has won quite a few battles. I hate that foggy sleep deprivation feeling.

    I enjoyed a good Mother’s Day meal & still have dessert to look forward to.

    I have a good book locked & loaded for any downtime at work.

    This shift ends at 730am Monday (tomorrow) morning & then I don’t work again until Thursday night – woo hoo!

    I have been in denial – while also grieving – for the change / loss of my relationship with my brother/best friend – for reasons I can only guess at. I miss him. We still speak but it is not the best friend relationship we once had & it has taken me some time to accept the reality. He does not deny it or blame it on me but he is also unwilling to talk about it. And I have no idea how to fill that gap.

    Ending on the positive – the new Dr Who with Ncuti Gatwa has started finally. We watched a new episode today & there is another one already dropped that we can watch tomorrow. He is such a cutie – that smile :).

    1. Oh, sending you so many pocket-hugs for when needed. It’s tough to lose a friend. Even harder maybe when it’s family. <3

    2. Relationship problems where someone won’t talk about things sound worse than anything I ever experienced! (I will be 70 soon, and losing a loved one to early onset Alzheimer’s was my worst so far!) Sending hugs and pocket hugs… Taf

  26. This week, my happiness was quilting. Specifically, I completed the quilting on a customers quilt. It took me a little over 14 hours, including the nearly 5 hours of marking the borders with the pattern that she wanted in order to get it done. You can see it on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/C66J7Jcrvc0/?igsh=MWFsbjE2cXY1em1iMA==

    I am also at a quilting retreat this week until Thursday. I’m hoping I will have more things to show on working Wednesday. I am also happy that there were four people who chose to come on Monday instead of Sunday night because I left a part at home for my sewing machine table and one of them is bringing it for me so I don’t have to make a two hour round-trip to get it.

    1. Yikes — that looks like a LOT of work! I stick to meander quilting for all my quilts, but all that white space on your client’s quilt calls for osmething fancier.

  27. We have rain and snow coming this week and a few nights below zero but nothing too serious. It will necessitate shifting a few things around on the yard work plan but that’s okay, it’s early. Tonight we are planting the 2 cherry trees I bought yesterday.

    I’m making some ollas to put in some of my smaller planters, hoping to keep some of my more persnickety plants alive.

    We’ve got a list and we are working our way through it.

  28. Jennie, your explanations of art make me very very happy. Which is useful right now. So Thursday Jury Duty won the Peabody award.
    That night I was going to see the musical come from away, which I’ve already seen a couple of times, but I fell getting out of the Uber so Mother’s Day. I had them put my hip back together. It was broken in four places. The surgeon did a great job. But I’m not doing in much at the moment except for covering. I actually stood up today so that’s something. I mean, I had a lot of help but that’s something as soon as they get my levels back to normal they will transfer me to a rehabilitation place as I live alone. I don’t feel like I’m gonna get a lot done in the next month or so if that’s all right, I’ve got time. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who celebrated: fur baby mothers and human mothers.

    1. Good luck with your recovery! My SIL had both of her hips replaced and I hope your deliverance from pain is as dramatic as hers was.
      I am sending a huge supply of hugs.

    2. Wow. My sympathies.

      Let me say as the survivor of a number of surgeries you will indeed be doing hard work healing. It’s kind of like pregnancy —your brain and your voice are not necessarily involved but your body is hard at work. Also I think there is a lot of PT after hip replacement.

    3. I am so sorry to hear about your fall & breakages, Susan. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  29. Happiness this week was submitting my final application for Public Service Loan Forgiveness! I expected it to be three more years because of the way the requirements were worded before – you had to work at least 30 hours per week OR meet your employer’s definition of full time, whichever was greater, and I worked 39.5 hours per week for three years before becoming an official fulltime librarian – but they changed that language in the big student loan revamp they did last year. So I have now made my 120 qualifying payments, and am in forbearance while my application is processed! This has been a major part of my planning and financial decision making for the last decade, and I am so happy to have it all come to fruition. Well, almost – it will probably take the Department of Ed another six months to actually process the paperwork, but I’m counting it now!

    Also happy because I had two large segments of very unnecessary concrete removed from my yard, so I can start working on the courtyard garden I’ve been scheming about since I moved in two and half years ago.

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