Friday, May 16, 2014

Because I'm happy

Because I'm happy, and because it's Friday and that always makes me feel good, I'm sharing some recent happy things today. I loved the habit of sharing weekly happies last year. I've said this before, but I have enjoyed continuing to pay deliberate, mindful attention to the happy things around me. I really do feel happier when I'm taking notice of all the happy in my life! It has made a big difference for me.


I've been working on end-of-year teacher gifts. Both small Bears' teachers will be given chevron scarves next week. They're the fourth and fifth chevron scarves I've made. I adore this pattern. You could say I'm hooked (groan).


Bet you didn't see this one coming. The GB went fishing for the first time and caught this very big trout in the foreground! The Bear chaperoned her preschool class's trip to a stocked fishing pond. He caught the smaller fish. Then he cooked them for lunch, with butter, lemon and dill inside. They were delicious and she was so proud of herself!


Did you know Scotch brand is making washi tape now? I didn't know. I came across it at Target, while schmoozing around in the stationery department. These pretties came home with me.


This week, I stripped all the beds down to the mattresses and washed every last bit of bedding. I love having all the beds freshly changed. For that brief moment, I feel very accomplished. I put my new-to-me vintage pillowcases on our pillows. They're bright and cheerful and so soft.


This book finally came in on hold for me at the library. It's excellent. I've loved Anna Quindlen's writing since I was a teenager with a school-rate subscription to Newsweek. I took this book with me to lunch last Friday, my last Friday alone for this school year, and ate a BLT on rye toast. I read even more voraciously than I ate.


I brought in my first bouquet of roses from the backyard. They're fairly wild and only minimally tended, and they don't have much scent at all, but I bring them in all summer because I grew them myself, and because they're so simple and undemanding, perfectly at home in an old jam jar.


Nigella Lawson's Pasta Risotto with Peas and Pancetta has become a go-to recipe in my kitchen. I blogged about it almost a year ago, after making it for the first time. I've made it many times since. I think we have it every six weeks or so! Everyone loves it. It's quick and easy and it feels a little fancy for a weeknight dinner.


We made a candle from Babybel cheese wax. Really. One of the small Bears wanted to know if we could use it to make a candle and we thought it sounded like an interesting experiment. We saved a few waxes and molded it around some kitchen twine as a wick, then put the whole thing inside an empty tin can. It burned for about five minutes. Yes, you can make a candle with Babybel cheese wax.


Our courtyard-gate renovation is complete. We still have to finish work on the two other metal grill pieces which surround our courtyard, but the gate is all done. It has a new coat of black paint and a new doorknob and deadbolt. The Bear even installed a wireless doorbell. This is mostly for peace of mind when I'm home alone, but also to spruce things up. Working on the house can be exhausting but improvements are always a good thing.

That's just some of the happy in my life lately. There have been others too: the bittersweet experience of attending my last-ever preschool musical performance, helping the Bear choose a gift to celebrate fifteen years with his employer (the ice cream maker is looking pretty good to me), watching my son's star turn as a farmer in his class production of Jack and the Beanstalk, hearing that my father, a heart attack survivor, received a clean bill of health at his latest checkup. How about you? What's happy in your life right now? Please join in if you'd like to share some happy moments you've been having. Leave a link for me, I'd love to see!

38 comments:

  1. I love happy posts too Jennifer ... it is so lovely to take a moment to record and appreciate the good things in life ... you have lots of goodness around you ... hope you have a happy weekend ... Bee xx

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  2. You know I love your happy posts! That pattern for the scarves is really pretty. Great idea of using babybel wax for candle. :)

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  3. Hello Jennifer,

    It is very important to give thanks for those simple pleasures in our lives that we can all too easily overlook or take for granted. Indeed, it is too easy to complain or to find fault and, yet, there are countless small instances that one can be thankful for. Your happy list is delightful. Nothing elaborate or extraordinary in itself and, yet, these are the things that make life so precious.

    We know only too well how a certain event can turn one's life upside down. Thereafter one really does make every day special. Life is for living. Happy weekend!

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  4. What a nice post to read early this morning, Jennifer! You have such a nice list of happy things, and I feel I must now go buy some Baybel cheese to make my own candle. Never mind that I love the stuff and would use any excuse to get some in the house. :-)

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  5. Lots of happy things there, I love reading about them. I love how children's minds work, I'd have never though of making a candle from babybel wax.

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  6. Oh, those roses look lovely (and I like that table they're sitting on too!) I'd love to know what you think of the book - it's on my reading list.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Sarah x

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  7. Your happiness makes me happy! :) I know I always comment this, but you take the most beautiful pictures. It could be a picture of nothing, and you capture beauty in it! :) Thanks for making me smile.

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  8. I'm just about to read Gretchan Rubens " happiness at home book" and I think she has the same outlook about noting happy things making her happy AND the book in your pictures is also on my todays library book photo, so i'm looking forward to reading it.

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  9. :) a lovely happy post. Have a great weekend too. x

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  10. I am happy that you are happy!
    You have a great outlook on life Jennifer....very infectious!
    Have a great weekend...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  11. What outstanding happies lady! Love that bouquet of flowers from the garden! Just so rich and bright! And can I just say that those teachers are the luckiest ever! Those scarves rock! And thank you for the recipe!!! I am always on the hunt for new ones and this one fits the bill! But most importantly I am so happy to hear that your dad is doing good! All the best this weekend you!!! Nicole xoxo

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  12. Some lovely happries I just love you can make a candle from baby belle cheese wax, pretty Roses to
    Clare xx

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  13. Ahh a lovely post of happiness! Love the scarves & posy & I always have that pasta in stock. I find it makes a fabulous cheat risotto! Hope your weekend is just as happy.

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  14. Lovely happy things! That nigella recipe is very popular in our house too, wee love it. How cool that you can make a candle with baby bel wax?! I love that!
    Marianne x

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  15. Jennifer, your happy post makes me happy! So much to be happy about. :) Your vintage-pillowcases are absolutely lovely! I hope you and your family have a beautiful weekend.

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  16. Lovely happy things! I am amazed about the baby bel candle, that really is a great experiment to do with your children. Your roses are so pretty, what a lovely posy to have indoors. GB must have been so excited to go fishing and then to catch one, I can imagine that any child would be very excited about that, cooking them with Dad must have been great! Hope that you have a good weekend. xx

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  17. Those are some great happies. My (most selfish) happy is that it's my birthday this coming Sunday. I'm like a child because I cannot wait! :oD

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  18. happy friday! love your friday happies x

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  19. I love fresh trout , it is delicious !
    Happy Friday to you :)

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  20. I love these happy posts. Getting into freshly washed sheets to sleep is one of life's greatest pleasures, especially with such beautiful pillowcases. I made your orzo pasta meal tonight with ham stirred in rather than bacon (my eldest isn't keen on it...one of the few things she doesn't like!) and extra sweetcorn (not very Italian!)...delicious!!!

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  21. Lovely happy things Jennifer, the roses are beautiful. I remember my littlest boy's last days at pre-school, I clung to every single sweet memory. I hope you're able to get an ice-cream maker. I've got one and it's fantastic. I hope you guys have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  22. I loved reading about your happy things Jennifer, I love chevron scarves too and I'm going to try that pasta risotto. have a great weekend. :) xx

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  23. I love your variety of happy things! The Anna Quindlen book (I love her) is on my reading list. My library doesn't have the book, but I'm waiting to see if they get it in. If not, I'll wait until I find it cheap on half.com or maybe a library book sale. So glad to hear of your dad's clean bill of health, too. Today, the things that are making me happy: I spent the day with my mom and we had fun browsing at the local antique mall. I got a couple of pretty things. And now, me and my hubby are getting ready to go out and run errands. No biggie, but I do love just being with him sometimes. :-)

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  24. Happy Happies!! Everything looks like it's humming along nicely there. Great looking gate! The cooked trout looks delicious ... well done GB!! Great idea with the cheese was candle. We used to split the halves and put them on our noses (a Christmas thing). I know what you mean about the roses :) I'm still not sure if our roses made it through the winter. My mini yellow rose looks dead, but I hope not because it was my favourite. My sons' climbing rose is only a notch above that. Glad to hear your father is fit as a fiddle. My father had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery about 6 years ago, and still going strong at 90. Have a great weekend Jennifer! Wendy x

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  25. I'm glad that your dad's health is better. My father in law had triple by-pass a few years back and is doing great now. Love the roses, fresh flowers are such a mood lifter in the house. I love having a big vase of fresh flowers in the summer :)

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  26. I love the positiveness of this post. I also try to impart happy thoughts in my blog. I got a kick out of those fish with their heads and tails flipped up. LOL! What a fun experience for your daughter. Fishing is fun, except for putting a worm on the hook and cleaning the fish. Have a great weekend! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  27. So many happies from the past week... I love it! I am really glad to hear your father is in good health. Your bouquet of roses is so lovely. And I bet they smell wonderful. I really love your new courtyard-gate. Have a great weekend, Jennifer!

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  28. I adore your happies in this post. I think it's a wonderful thing to stop and make a conscious effort to recognize the happy things in your life.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  29. Thanks for your happy post, Jennifer. I am smiling at you in appreciation. I think you and yours are positively clever in creating your candle...now I want to try to make one! [I just have to get my family to eat cheese so that I can save the wax :)] I will try to post some happys soon xx

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  30. Your post made me think of that happy song from Despicable Me. It was playing along in my head while ready your post. I think being happy is a little contagious. Loving that little vintage pillow case. ♥
    xx Beca

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  31. I loved hearing about the baby bel candle! Who knew you could do that?!

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  32. Lovely things to be happy abut. By the way I am reading the same book, I like it very much so far. It is not one of those books you can't put down, it is slow and meandering but you still want to see it through to the end.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  33. Jennifer, I am so happy you have started your happies again! Your photos are delightful. I am really glad your dad got a clean bill of health at his checkup, that must be a huge weight lifted! I haven't tried that Nigella recipe, but i do have her books and it is something I would love to try. I am happy for all of the things around me Jennifer, I feel blessed in so many ways. :) I hope you are having a lovely weekend! :)

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  34. Great happy things - how red are those roses! Gorgeous. And the fish looks good too, and the risotto. You eat so well! Fresh bed linen is one of the best things EVER, and your pillow cases are looking fabulous. x

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  35. Hi Jennifer,

    So many wonderful things in your life to be happy about and I enjoyed reading and seeing all your gorgeous photos. So glad to hear that your Dad has a clean bill of health and the teacher are going to be very lucky getting one of the gorgeous scarves.
    The fish look delicious and the red roses so very pretty from your garden. As for the pillow cases, I had some very similar on my bed when I was growing up.
    Happy weekend
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  36. So many lovely things to happy about, I bet those fish tasted great.

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  37. Happiness breeds happiness and your pictures say it all Jennifer. Beautiful.
    Patricia x

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  38. I can't believe how late I am reading about your lovely happies, Jannifer. I'm glad you've started counting your blessings in words and images again like this.

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