This week definitely requires a double dose of happiness. I am, unsurprisingly, pretty horrified by what’s happening at home right now. But I can’t talk or write about it coherently yet, so I’ll spare you! For now, I’m going to focus on the positive. So without further ado, here are 10 things I’m happy about right now.
I spent 2 hours Skyping with a friend at home last night. I Skype my mom for about an hour every week. My sister & I regularly message back and forth on it, too. And it’s free! I mean, you have to pay to call a phone, which I occasionally do, but that’s pretty reasonably priced. It is a lifeline when I am feeling homesick and desperately need to talk to my overseas family and friends, and when the world is an overwhelming place. Do you love Skype as much as me? I don’t know what I’d do without it, really. I really admire my mom for spending over 30 years in a different country from her mum without it.
- Good news for colleagues
One of my colleagues has an American husband. About 4 months ago, his visitor’s visa expired and he was sent back to the U.S. This week, he came back. Even better, he was finally given a spouse visa, after 2 1/2 years. Such an appalling length of time to have to wait! I can’t imagine. I am so lucky to have dual citizenship. Anyway, I am just so happy for them. It is wonderful that someone is having such fantastic news right now.
- A new vase
One of my purchases at Made By Hand Cardiff was this vase by Louise Hall. It’s much more contemporary than my usual style, and the chartreuse glazed inside is a very different color for me. But I love it! If I’m going to buy something new, I do like it to be something that is a bit different from what I can find in charity shops.
At the moment I have these dried wheat stalks in it, so the color really pops. It’ll be interesting to see what a flower with green stalks looks like.
- Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap
Janet has kindly organised the Thrifty Gift Swap again this year. I participated last year and delighted in picking out presents for Janet (who happened to be my recipient). Of course, I also loved getting a parcel. One of my gifts was a vintage loaf tin, which is now on my kitchen windowsill. 🙂 I’ve now got my recipient for this year, so I’ve been thinking about what I can make/look for. It’s great fun.
- A new laptop
Unfortunately this one has left me poor, but I am very happy to have a new laptop. My previous MacBook lasted 8 years, but now the battery is totally dead. I am also unable to download some programs, and while I can upgrade one more operating system, I would start running into the same problem again very soon. I bought last year’s MacBook Pro, which is the last Mac ever to have an integrated CD drive. It does make it heavier than, for example, the MacBook Air, but we have a massive CD collection and I do like being able to play them in different rooms with my laptop without downloading them.
- Creeping Dread
On Wednesday, I happened across a tin labelled Creeping Dread in TK Maxx. It made me laugh so much in light of the election that I bought it straightaway. As it happens, Creeping Dread is in fact sherbets, and also contains a short story by Charlie Higson. They’re part of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies range, created to support the Ministry of Stories. I heard about them ages ago, but had never actually seen any in person. They’re now sitting on my desk & will probably remain there for the next 4 years.
- Mint Oreos!
I love mint Oreos! This is the first time I’ve seen them in the UK, though. They’re currently on offer at Tesco, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking of going back and stockpiling. Hmmm…
- Thanksgiving planning
I know I’ve said it before, but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Because it’s our first Thanksgiving in our new home, we’re planning an extra big one this year. There will be around 15 people, including a few kids, and I’m simultaneously excited and very nervous. I usually do a wide array of foods, but for practical reasons I’ll have to do fewer dishes this year. I’ve also got a vegan and 3 vegetarians to cater for, so that’s an added challenge. I hope they don’t mind that they’ll all be eating vegan! Anyway, slimming down the menu is easier said than done, as I love looking at cookbooks and online recipes. Thanksgiving planning is something I look forward to all year, so I am really loving it.
- More home improvements
The house is still in a bit of a state, if I’m honest. I don’t know how the year has gotten the best of us to such a dramatic extent. We’re having friends to stay for Thanksgiving, though, so that’s been a great incentive to finally get stuff done. Today a friend came over and we painted our spare bedroom/library. I had this custom color matched to a Victorian fruit bowl that was a housewarming present. I was nervous because it’s so bold, but I absolutely love it! We wanted something that would make the room cozy, and this is perfect for that. I can’t wait to get our bookshelves mounted.
It’s funny that I sometimes feel self conscious about being so picky about decorating our home…and then I remember that for a good 5 years when I was a teenager I wanted to be an interior designer. Sadly I was foiled by geometry. It’s nice to finally have my own space to be creative in.
- Going viral
I’m not really sure if this is a happy thing, but it is certainly a novel thing. My friend shared the cutest GIF ever on Facebook, of a knitted gnome knitting hearts which then float up. I didn’t know who made it, but I did think others would enjoy it, so I tweeted it. I generally think of Twitter as my own personal echo chamber and totally forget that people can see my tweets. But as of writing this post, this tweet has been retweeted over 1,200 times and had over 1,800 likes. It is just bizarre!
Fortunately/unfortunately, I then found out that the creator of the GIF had also tweeted it. I feel so guilty for not having attributed it! I did send out a followup tweet so who made , but I know that most people won’t have bothered actually looking at my account to see that. I’ve done my best to direct people to the creator, though, so I really hope she’s not too upset about it.
My tweet w/ this GIF is v. popular but as a librarian I feel guilty for not realizing the creator had tweeted it, too. Here’s the original. https://t.co/k7fJ2uVFDW
— Jennifer Dumbelton (@bibliojenni) November 12, 2016