Monday, October 21, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 42/52

Joining in with Jen, here are four happy photos from the past week.

This week, I popped into Hobby Lobby for a few things and I treated myself to seven skeins of pearl cotton. I have been wanting to try crocheting with it for awhile now, and recently saw a really pretty crocheted bookmark made from it on Chrissie's blog, Chrissie Crafts, which was very inspiring. I'm planning to use my pearl cotton for some tiny crocheted items which will go toward the GB's main Christmas present - more on that soon. I'm so excited to use the pearl cotton; the colors are really bright and I like the silky feel of it.

My workspace is really taking shape. I asked the Bear to build me a shelf just like the the one he built to hang above our bed this summer. It's the same in every way, actually. I really liked the size and style of it and thought it would be nice to have one over my desk too. Candy the Little Cotton Rabbit is right at home up there, among other treasures on the board - some of which came from other blogging friends. My style seems a little predictable, doesn't it? Matryoshkas and owls really float my boat. The little jar of buttons was sitting in one of my craft bins and I thought it would be a cheerful, colorful touch on the shelf. I just love having my own little space.

I had a morning alone this week, finally. Due to altered school schedules, the small Bears hadn't been in school at the same time in two full weeks. I was starting to feel desperate for some time to myself and I was happy to return to the normal schedule this past week. I spent some time in a local Goodwill store, mostly looking for an old chair I could refinish to use at my desk. I didn't find a chair but I did find this book, part of a Better Homes and Gardens how-to book series. They were all priced at $2.99. This was the only one that really called out to me and it's wonderful. It was published in 1974, so the styles are mostly very outdated (in some cases hilariously so), but the sewing techniques themselves haven't changed and it's very informative.

My favorite tree here at home is changing and I always enjoy this. It's a small olive tree planted in a rock bed in the corner of the front yard, very close to the living room's bay window. I absolutely adore this tree. It has birch-like bark, pale grayish-white, and it's short and compact. When the leaves change in fall, the living room is bathed in golden light. The leaves are already beginning to drop, so I'm savoring this little tree's beauty for now.

Sometimes it's difficult to choose happies for the week. Other times I wish I had photos of everything which has made me happy in the week. Some of them can't be photographed. I had a good week for driving. I do a lot of driving because the small Bears' schools don't have bus service and it's too far to walk. The Bear's parents are moving to a new house (they maintain a home in our city for part of the year, spending the rest of their time in New Zealand). They needed my mom-mobile SUV to transport some of their things, so they loaned me their luxury sedan for the week. What a treat. Driving can get stressful even in a fancy car but I had a run of great music on the radio on one of my trips: Gin Blossoms, Weezer, and REM all in the space of twenty minutes. I felt like I was back in high school! On Friday morning ("private Friday" - we're finally having them again after a heavy workload prevented him from having his days off), the Bear and I discovered a new thrift shop called ThriftTown and it was terrific. On Saturday night, for our at-home date, we ate antipasti and cookie ice cream sandwiches while we had our annual viewing of Ghostbusters on DVD. Oh, and he won't be furloughed! The government shutdown is over, thankfully. That's a huge relief, although I did enjoy making up lyrics about the shutdown to the tune of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Breakdown" while it lasted.

I also want to thank you. Over the past couple of weeks, as I've experienced some difficulties, people have reached out to offer support in comments and private messages containing the kindest words. I'm doing better. It was the collision of a few things - the shutdown, a big change for the LB at school (a good one, which will challenge his brilliant mind more, but it took some getting used to), and another personal situation which is largely negative and not within my control, but which makes me determined to counteract it by fostering the good and the positive. Sometimes a bunch of hard things happen at the same time, coalescing and dragging you under. It happened to me over the past couple of weeks. I felt depressed and anxious. I've battled with anxiety for most of my life (deep, dark secret time?). It's never far from me. But you should know that you helped a lot. And I appreciate it very much.


  1. Firstly your happies, they are lovely as always Jennifer and we will look forward to seeing what the pearl cotton turns into - I notice you have chosen some lovely CK colours!.

    I don't know you, or your situation, but having been reading your blog for sometime now, I know that you are a good person who looks for the good in life and in others and all that is around her. That is obvious from all that you write and do, and the lovely comments that you leave on others blogs.

    You know that I posted about what what to post or not recently, and I expect that you can deduce from that that I have turmoil and am not sure what to say or not, and I expect that some of our deep dark secrets are similar, but I hope for you that they are not!

    Anyway, we are here or not as you need, and here we will stay to support you.

    Keep the smile going, it confuses people! Love Amy xoxoxoxoxo

  2. Jennifer, as always lovely photos. I love your new shelf. :) And your tree is beautiful. I've always enjoyed the beautiful colors that Fall brings. I'm happy to hear that you are doing better. I hope you continue to, and that you can find peace in the end. Hugs, to you my friend. I hope you have a wonderful week.

  3. You always pack so much into one post Jennifer, it's hard for me to keep a comment short & sweet! I'm so glad that your husband's work is to continue uninterrupted. Big relief I'm sure! Love your little wall space & new shelf. My "me" corner is spread all over the house for everyone to enjoy!! (ha ha) I have trouble keeping my crafting contained.

    My mother used to always say "It doesn't rain, but what it pours" ... which ok, isn't great English, and always rather confused me, but you get the gist. Bad things come in threes (or fours). I've found this over & over. And my mother, being a very strong Christian, took all of these "bad" things as really just lessons in perseverance ... "tests". Whether or not you have these beliefs, I still feel that when a few bad things happen at once, it's time to just take a deep breath, sit down and decide really what needs to be done. Write it down if you need to. Facing your struggles rather than pushing them away helps stop the worrying about it. I'm a huge worrier. I always need to keep things straight in my head, and find a list always beneficial. It forces me to get a certain unpleasant task done and I love to cross it off when I've dealt with it.

    We're now faced with moving my father ... again ... as he was caught leaving his retirement home at 2:00 a.m. He's confused about night & day. I really dread this moving thing as he's settled comfortably where he is, but there's no security at this place to keep residents inside, so I have to spend time with my sisters now searching out a new home. I'm going to write it on my list, because I can't wait to cross it off.

    I hope things stay bright for you Jennifer. No one has a rosy time of it all the time, I'm sure. I fall into depression easily over the silliest of things (even a misinterpreted comment can send me down some days). You seem to find the happy things in life quite easily, and I hope your talent for that will keep you afloat. Take care, and these things may pass quickly. Wendy xo

  4. Sorry to hear you've been struggling, but good that you're coming out the other side, anxiety is such an awful awful thing.
    Love the shelf Bear made for you, I adore owls too. Looking forward to seeing what you crochet with the cotton, I have a small box full and keep meaning to have a go, so will wait to be inspired by you :) xx

  5. Good to know you are doing better.
    It is an interesting world this blogesphere.. where strangers become friends.. a support system to help us when we are down.

  6. It sounds as though things are on the up. Struggling with anxiety is a terrible thing, but I'm glad that you're feeling positive about things again. This weeks happies will have helped as they're such lovely things. Your own workspace is so important, it gives you your own identity and importance within the family, and I love the shelf. I can't wait to see what you do wtih the pearl cotton, it's so delicate, and you've chosen some beautiful colours.

  7. You have lots of happies, and you obviously are grateful for those and make the most of them. This will make the tough times easier to bear, because you know you'll get through it and keep on having the happy moments! And my my isn't it funny how a few bunches of colourful thread can make the heart sing? I can't wait to see how you get on with your Christmas makes, and please don't hesitate to email if you need help with the bookmark! Hugs, Chrissie x

  8. Gosh, Jennifer.. how did I miss that you were having some difficulties? I'm sorry I missed my opportunity to give you my own variety of positive energy! But consider yourself on the receiving end of my good thoughts. I'm also glad the shut-down is over and hope it never happens again. You don't want to know what I think of those horrible people that made that happen. OK, let's be happy.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  9. Hi Jennifer,

    The colours in your post today signify that you are feeling better and things are looking up. I can't agree with you more; sometimes, it seems that not so great things all happen at the same time and that is why dealing with them all at once, can take its toll on our bodies and our soul. I sense that you are a very strong person who can take on anything life gives her, with hope, positive thinking and and active determinism. And, a cute little bunny to cozy up to and smile back at to feel warm in your heart.


  10. Can't wait to see the cotton crochet!
    I tried the "ripple' can do!
    So...I am making my son a bug granny square afghan...'cause...after all...I am a Granny!
    Glad you are feeling better...cleansing feels good, eh?
    Happy for your husband...stupid Politicians!! hahaha!
    Enjoy your week, my friend...

    Linda :o)

  11. Glad the shut down is over, it caused a lot of problems.Sounds like you had a lovely time looking at bargains, it is nice to have some time to yourself to refect on life.I think we have to have the down days to recharge and set ourselves back on course of happy xx

  12. I'm so glad the shutdown is over. I'm sorry you've been feeling anxious - it something that touches many people, me included, and I know how horrible it can feel. But you're so good at finding the happy things in life and, should you feel you want to share more, I don't think you'll find a more welcoming and accepting bunch of people than bloggers. There is so much support and love out there. Take care friend. :-) xx

  13. I have problems with anxiety at times too - especially where my kids are concerned. Glad you are doing better.
    Thanks again for your happy photos - I always enjoy them!

  14. Your workspace looks great and I love the bright colours of those cottons. So sorry you have been feeling down and anxious recently, but glad you have had lots of support. Also glad the shutdown is over.
    Marianne xx

  15. As usual it's a nice and full post. I like to read your blog, but I am sorry to hear that you have been struggling. Take a nice and deep breath and let go all the anxiety, everything is gonna be ok :)

    Big hug!


  16. A lovely post Jennifer. I'm sorry you've had a rough couple of weeks. I suffer from anxiety as well, I know how hard it can be to constantly live with a cloud of it hovering over you. I do hope things are resolved for you happily soon.

  17. Jennifer, I too am sorry that you have been struggling with anxiety. I have had seasons in my life when difficulties clumped together and weighed heavy in my thinking...yuck. I have had many times when I have asked God, "Really?" but kept turning to Him believing as best as I could in Him as I cycled out of those times one day at a time. Looking back on the struggles I realize I more intensely appreciate all that is good in and around me because of them, but I still don't welcome them. [I have been reading through the book of Job in the Bible this week and I am thankful I don't have the challenges he faced! :]

    I love the colors of thread you purchased, and am glad you found a book with interesting projects, and am glad your tree has such pretty leaves, and am so glad the government shutdown is over!

    Thanks for posting!
    Gracie xx

  18. Sorry to hear you've been having a tough time Jennifer. I know the feeling and anxiety can be very cruel it creeps up on me when I least expect it.
    A lovely heart felt post and it looks as if a lot of people including me know how your feeling. I always try to be positive when I'm feeling stressed but it's hard. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a good calming week xx

  19. Lovely to still be able to see the lovely moments from your week when your not feeling in the greatest frame of mind.

  20. You hang in there friend. You have the right attitude and you know will get better. I have dealt with anxiety since the birth of my first bean so I know how that feels. Keep up your happy like you did in this post because there is so much beauty that surrounds you. I am sending prayers your way tonight. All the best....Nicole

  21. I'm new to your blog *waves* I suffer with anxiety too. I think it will always be part of who I am. Its hard I know. But things come in cycles and things always get better xxx

  22. Sorry to read that you've been experience a rough time of things lately. I hope you've begun to turn a corner to a happier place. Blogging can bring friendship and support from folks you'd never normally have met - It's a brilliant community to be apart of.
    Sending you good wishes. xx

  23. To find Happies when you're feeling down is such a positive thing- well done for keeping yourself afloat. Sorry to hear that things have been a struggle for you. Hopefully with support and best wishes you can see the light at the end of the tunnel- best wishes, Amanda

  24. I hate when my routine gets changed up due to school schedules also. I'm glad that your schedule is a little more normal now :)

    Sorry that things have been stressful for you. It seems that bad things seem to come in groups. Keep your head up, you probably have a number of great things to come you just have to get through the series of challenges first. Most great things for me come after a period of pain/stress. Have strength knowing things will get better and you will be stronger from the journey :) I hope you have a much better week!

  25. Hey there, Jennifer. Thanks for stopping by my corner of the world. New Mexico is where we are thinking to possibly by a house one day. We were in Las Vegas NM over the summer as we took our son to college in Colorado. It is a lovely area. I .like all your happy things. Crochet and cross-stitch are my hobbies, though sewing is not my thing -- I will attempt handsewing simple little projects. There are times when we all have crap to deal with. Sometimes a lot at one time. Just take a deep breath, let go of what you can and keep moving forward. Hugs and blessings, Tammy

  26. Im glad you're feeling better, as ever lovely happy pictures

  27. Hello - I've found you via Diane's 'Heart-Shaped' blog and have become your latest follower. What a lovely blog! Jx

  28. Thank you so much for finding me! Now I have found you and I know I love your blog already!
    I am all for happy pics as there is so much negativity around and it helps me stay positive!

  29. Happy things can be found (sometimes) in the most unlikely of places - just lovely.

    Nina x

  30. Hi Jennifer, this post makes me feel happy, the beautiful tree is like sunshine on sticks! Lovely new cotton, great choice of colours. I'm not fond of driving, i do what I have to. Too many silly people rushing about and taking risks.
    Sorry things have been hard for you, hope things improve and your happy times multiply.
    Carol. xx
    P.s. do you know what has happened to Jen from Softies Place? She was my swap partner. I didn't get a reply to my last email and she hasn't done a blog post for months. A bit worried about her.

  31. Sorry to hear you've been having a tough time, I hope things are improving now, enjoy your lovely new cottons and your fab crafting space.
    Clare xxx

  32. Hello lovely Jennifer. I felt so sad to read that life has been difficult for you at late. I am sending you a big hug. Its good to hear that you are sounding positive through it all and I hope that somehow things continue to look up for you all. Anxiety is a really difficult thing to live with and I had a year of intense anxiety before I was diagnosed, so I really feel for you. I am pleased to hear that the government issue has been ended and also that your son is moving on to better things at school. I hope you enjoy making that pretty bookmark, I am sure you will and all that pretty floss is enough to chear anyone up. Take care of yourself xoxo

  33. Oh, honey...I feel for you with the anxiety. I "suffer" with it, too. Definitely not fun to deal with. It does help to find some of the little happy moments in our days and weeks, so thanks for sharing your posts with us. I didn't realize you had a thing for the Russian nesting dolls...I recently found a pretty set at Goodwill. Did you see them on my blog? So thankful to hear your husband is back at work. {{hugs}}

  34. Very sorry to read about your anxieties. Hoping they will subside soon and you'll be able to enjoy crocheting those bookmarks.

  35. Sorry to hear about your anxiety. I have dealt with issues myself. Pregnancy and postpartum were especially rough for me. Walking seems to really help me, and just doing things that me happy and feel calm. It looks like you had a happy week, though! I love your pretty shelf. I could uses several of those in my house. And how lucky are you to have an olive tree!


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