wimmhtw* 6.17

1. Out running errands and doing generic weekend stuff this weekend, we got excellent parking spots. Bookstore, movie theater, cat store (someone needed more food), restaurant, grocery store. It's like the universe smiled upon us, and opened up parking spots wherever we went. Also, today there was excellent music playing everywhere we went. I am hoping this amazing luck extends to the lottery tickets we bought today . . . 

2. World. Cup. Soccer. I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy the World Cup this year, as the U.S. isn't in it and just because it's such a big tournament, I was worried that the noise of it would be painful for how sensitive I can be. But it's been fun and amazing, and I'm really disappointed that I have to go to work tomorrow instead of getting to stay home and watch more matches. Go sports! Also, I'm really enjoying the Volkswagen commercials about the Cup. This one is my favorite (scroll down to see). 

3. I made a very important discovery this week. Rold Gold makes a tiny pretzel, which is adorable and much fun to eat. But when you pop a couple of them and then a Caramel M&M, it is absolutely divine! Give it a try. Seriously.

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 6.10

1. My word for this summer is: balance. I am working on finding a work-life balance that makes me happy. I am trying to enjoy my book blog again and not treat it like a second job. I'm trying to find shortcuts with housework, like actually letting the dishwasher do the dishes some of the time, to make life easier. And I'm trying to remember what I like about myself and about my life instead of feeling like I'm always running behind, making lists of things I absolutely have to do and don't end up doing. I'm working on remembering that I am enough. Life is good. I am very lucky. I am just trying to remember that. 

2. Sleeping in on weekends, or getting up to feed the loudly meowing cat and then laying back down to read or finally start watching Killing Eve, which had been piling up in the dvr. Which is fantastic, if you're wondering. I'd heard everyone going on and on about Sandra Oh, and why wouldn't they?, but I didn't realize until I started watching that the series also stars the amazing Fiona Shaw and David Haig. I am loving everything about this show, and I can't wait to keep watching! 

3. I finally got healthy again, the bf finally got healthy again, and I was looking forward to a lazy, slow summer with lots of reading, lots of good movies, and some really good food. And now the activities are getting added to our schedule. A special dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Family coming to town. Going out of town to visit family. A soccer game. So far it's not too much, and it should be lots of fun. I think this will be the best summer we've had in years. Now if we could just do something about those 90 degree temperatures that are only going to go up from here . . . 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 6.3

1. My boyfriend finally bought himself a new car. It's a one-owner previous rental that is still in excellent shape. It has lots of bells and whistles, but even more importantly, it has air conditioning. He's been driving in the summer heat, every day, back and forth to work, in a black car with no air conditioning for years. Every summer I beg him to get a new car, and this year, he was finally able to pay down enough debt to take on a car loan. I'm so happy for him, and I'm so relieved that he has a cool, safe car to use. 

2. Last weekend, my laptop went down. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but Windows stopped working. A local friend was able to fix the Windows problem, and I've got just about everything else working again. It makes my life easier to have this lovely machine working again, so I am exceptionally grateful for Steve for making that happen, and I'm thankful for the technology that makes it possible for me to accomplish so much each week. 

3. Last week was a rough one at work--just a lot of stuff needing to be done and no extra help. But I got through it, and I think the coming weeks will be a little better. There is still a lot to be done--I'm behind from being so sick for so long, but I think I can start finding some time to get caught up. That is a good thing. It's officially June, and I want to enjoy a slower pace to life this summer.

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 5.27

1. Need I say it? Three! Day! Weekend!

2. Air conditioning. We had friends who went camping this weekend, and what made me happy was not going camping and instead staying inside where it was cool and watching soccer on tv and going to see Solo at the Dolby theater (it’s really good, if you’re wondering). So grateful for air conditioning!

3. Feeling good enough to make homemade chocolate chip cookies. It feels like it’s been months since I felt good enough to do that, until last night. I’m so glad to be feeling so much better! I only wish the rest of the household felt that much better too! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 5.20

1. I found out Friday that I have bronchitis, so this will be quick. First, antibiotics. I am grateful for antibiotics. 

2. The DVR. I've spent a lot of time this weekend on the sofa, and I am grateful for the DVR. Especially for the recent PBS series Unforgiven. I first discovered Nicola Walker in MI-5 (Spooks for anyone in the U.K.), and she is just as fantastic in this. And there were so many great supporting actors, including half the cast of Waking the Dead. Loved it! 

3. My fantastic boyfriend and his very supportive workplace, since I had to call him to come pick me up from work when I felt too light-headed to get myself home. He then drove me to urgent care, to the ER, and to the pharmacy. He was so amazing for me, and his boss was so amazing to let him take care of me like that. I am so grateful for him and to him and to the company he works for. 

3b. Ryan Reynolds. Why? Because: Deadpool 2. That is all. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 5.13

1. My mother is home from the hospital. She went to urgent care on Friday, and they sent her to the ER. It turned out that she had a skin infection in her legs, and they wanted to admit her and start IV antibiotics immediately. She stayed overnight, getting several doses of the antibiotic, and then they let her go home yesterday evening. I was glad that they admitted her to the hospital and started care quickly, and I'm equally glad that she got to go back home, where she is far more comfortable. And I'm very grateful that her sister has moved back to town and lives just down the hall from my mother. It's good to know that they can take care of each other. 

2. Late last year and earlier this year, things were crazy busy at work. Being in that kind of chaos every day, it was hard to pay attention to anything else. So all my podcasts and audio books were put on hold. Now things are less chaotic. I can breathe at work again, and I can listen. So I am trying to get caught up on podcasts and I am falling back in love with audio books. I love my iPod, and I am so grateful for the space to listen to stories again during the day. It helps me deal with the boredom that sometimes comes with a job like mine, and it helps me deal with the stress of deadlines. 

3. Cupcakes. Some people (ahem) say that they are passe, but they are actually delicious. I knew it was going to be a stressful week last week, so I bought some and ate them, and they were fantastic. Cake is the food of the gods, and whether it's a large sheet cake or a layer cake or cupcakes or mini cupcakes, I am grateful for them all. 

Except cake pops. They're just weird. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 5.6

1. Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, so of course, we went out with friends to get German food. We ate pretzels and sausages (which were amazing!). I had beef stroganoff over egg noodles, and they were delicious. We ate so much food, and then they offered us desserts that were gigantic. We had lots of fun and got caught up, and then we went back to their place to hang out with their dog and many cats and play Crabs. It was great to get out and to hang out with friends and try a new (to us) restaurant and play a new game. Much fun! 

2. This has been a nice, slower moving weekend, so I feel like I got some things taken care of. I got some old emails cleaned out, and I paid bills, and we went to our favorite independent bookstore and picked up the books I ordered last week (and maybe one or two others). We went to free comic book day. The weather was beautiful, with crystal blue skies. And there was soccer and baseball. It was a good, refreshing spring weekend, and that is something I needed badly and genuinely appreciate. 

3. This morning I got caught up on my Grey's Anatomy. I hadn't realized, but I had 4 episodes in the dvr, so I watched them all this morning. There was an epic episode where Arizona accidentally fed a bunch of the doctors weed cookies, which I heartily recommend. But I also noticed that this season's writers understand the history. When a television show has been on as long as Grey's has, sometimes writers get hired who don't necessarily know or respect the history. But in these few episodes, there were references to the early seasons where Alex gave a nurse syphilis, how when Arizona started she was on roller skates all the time, there were references to Dr. Yang. I didn't watch the show from the beginning. It was in its third season when I found a copy of season one on DVD, but once I watched that, I was instantly hooked. I've seen those early episodes many times. I think I stopped watching them over and over when the plane went down--that would be too painful to watch again, so I stopped. But I still watch. And I'm glad that they're respecting the history. That's what keeps me tuning in. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 4.29

1. We went to see Avengers: Infinity War this weekend, which was nice for many reasons. For one, we don't have to worry about friends dropping spoilers (and none here either, I promise). And I also really enjoyed it. There was a lot of humor, and it was fun to see so many of the characters in one place. I highly recommend this one, if you're a Marvel movie person. And we also got to see a lot of amazing trailers, so the next month or two will bring Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, and the Han Solo movie. Very excited! 

2. We got a new hot water heater. The one we had was on borrowed time, so we knew the replacement was inevitable. We didn't necessarily plan on doing it this weekend, but the water heater decided it wanted to retire. Now we have a new one, and I can wash things again. 

3. I finally sat in front of my dvr and powered my way through the first 5 episodes of Instinct. I was in as soon as I heard that Alan Cumming was starring. Love that guy! So I've been recording, and I finally got some time to sit and watch. And I really like the show! It's less realistic than I imagined (those offices they have at the police department? I don't think so!), but it's charming. And finally getting to watch it made me realize it's based on a book, and I always love to learn about more books I should read. (For the record, it's Murder Games by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, but they've retitled it Instinct, so you can search for it that way too). I look forward to seeing what else this season has in store! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 4.22

1. I was inspired by last week's bread class to give it a try. I made the dough this morning before we left to run errands, and when we got back it was more than double in size. It's a very simple sourdough, and since I didn't know for sure what we were having for dinner tonight, I thought that if we had meat and potatoes, I could make read, and if my boyfriend made something Italian, I could try breadsticks. I ended up making a pan-roasted chicken with lemon-rosemary sauce, so I baked the bread in our Staub cast iron pot. It turned out fantastic! And I only used about half the dough, so the other half is hanging out in the fridge until I figure out what else I want to try. 

2. A weekend without snow! We may make it to spring and summer this year after all. 

3. Worst Cooks, Celebrity Edition is back. And while it's heartbreaking to watch them go home, it's so fun to watch Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence and these celebrities make craziness in the kitchen. Love it! 

 

*what is making me happy this week

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wimmhtw* 4.15

1. I got to go to a class/demo on sourdough bread yesterday, and I had a lot of fun. I got some great ideas on bread making and bought some fun bread dipping spices. I also got some samples of olive oil and herbs and even a mix for making a couple of chocolate orange mug cakes that I can't wait to try. I can't wait to take some more classes at The Olive Tree, especially once they move into their new location in a  couple of weeks. And to get more herbs and spices (and mug cake mixes) from Savory Spice. Kansas City peeps, be sure to get on the mailing lists of these two companies and spend your bucks there. They're good people. And they can teach you to make your own bread!

2. It's cold again, and snowing. It's been snowing all day again. I wasn't expecting that in mid-April. But I will say this--the colder weather makes for good sleeping. That makes me happy. 

3. I got a piece of peach pie today. I can tell they used fresh peaches, because one of them wasn't quite ripe yet. But it's okay. It still made me feel like spring is coming, the read spring, where it finally stops snowing. I am looking forward to that. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 4.8

1. I finally remembered to buy pudding. Sometimes, life just feels better when you know you have pudding in the refrigerator. 

2. It's that time of year again. Soccer weekends! After watching the Manchester City v. Manchester United game Saturday, we got to watch some Bundesliga this morning, and tonight my Sporting KC is taking on LA Galaxy in MLS. And baseball season is starting up too, so while I'm not as crazy about the baseball as I am about the soccer, it's nice to spend an evening watching the Royals while working on my blog. 

3. After the last few weeks, I am most grateful for over-the-counter allergy meds. I'm not really sure where I'd be these days without Clartin D, Mucinex, and Flonase. Breathing makes me very happy. Now, I have to go. The pudding is calling me. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 4.1

1. Today is Easter, and we got to celebrate with a quiet, small family lunch. The food was delicious (and super easy, thanks to the delicious Honey Baked Ham!). The company was fun and relaxed, and everyone had a good meal and a good time. I'm always grateful for a warm family meal. And I'm also grateful for lots of leftovers. Lunch all week is done! 

2. Today is also April 1, aka April's Fools Day. And Kansas City brought it. Our weather generally tends to be unpredictable, but today we had a freak snowish storm. It wasn't quite snow, it wasn't quite ice or sleet. It looked like the tiny Styrofoam balls that sometimes come as packing material. And I was very happy that we didn't have to go out to eat or travel far to be with family. There was a short trip to my mom's apartment, but we made the trip safely and quickly. Very grateful for that!

3. A quiet, lazy weekend. While I love the weekends where we have a lot to do and get to have dinner with the mayor and all, I also love a quiet, home-bound weekend where time slows down to let me enjoy every moment. Today has been perfect, or as close to perfect as a day can be without any doughnuts. Happy Easter!

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 3.25

1. Had such a great day yesterday! We made it to the Nelson-Atkins Museum, where we got to see their special exhibit Through the Eyes of Picasso. It was an exhibit full of pieces that Picasso created, that he had in his studio to inspire him, and ones that were similar to what inspired him. I'll be the first to admit I struggle to understand cubism, but to see the pieces that inspired Picasso, particularly masks from Africa and island nations he'd not had the chance to travel to, I could see the progression. I finally understood cubism in a way I couldn't before. That was fascinating. And we (my boyfriend, really) became a member of the museum, so we get to support the art in Kansas City, which makes me feel good. And we got a pin of the shuttlecock, a small token homage to one of the museum's most well-known and loved (by me, for sure) sculptures (see photo, below). 

2. After the museum, we went to one of our favorite restaurants in town, Potpie. The place is tiny, so you always want to make a reservation. The daily menu is written on a chalkboard, although I don't think it changes much day by day. Along with a selection of typical entrees (pork chops, a pan-roasted chicken that is amazing, etc), they have 2 potpies. Last time I got the chicken and vegetable, which is good, of course. This time I went beef and mushrooms. It was absolutely delectable! I started with a house salad and ended with the chocolate chip bread pudding, and everything was perfect and delicious. And if that wasn't enough, I looked up from my salad and saw Kansas City's mayor getting out of a car and heading for the door. He was seated at the table next to us. Yes, we had dinner right next to Mayor Sly James, because apparently we're that special. 

3. While we were driving around Kansas City, we saw a vape and smoke shop with a big sign in the window: temporarily closed due to fire. We all started laughing right away, because irony is awesome. Life is good. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

shuttlecocks.png

wimmhtw* 3.18

1. Easter is coming, so you know what that means. Bunnies! Chocolate bunnies. Personally, I go for the ears first. And not only that, there are also Cadbury eggs. I love the caramel ones, but every year I also have to get at least one of the original. My grandmother, who is no longer with us, loved those original Cadbury eggs and would have them every single year. It's a lovely memory, and a delicious treat in one. That makes me happy. 

2. I am still trying to stay mindful. I haven't done as much crocheting this week as I'd hoped, but I am trying to keep a calm mindset and remember how little panic and worry helps me. I'm reading a book on meditation and trying to focus on things that help me--putting attention on my breath or counting or closing my eyes for a few seconds. I am calmer these days, the anxiety easing. But it was a rough week. I may still have some work to do on the depression. Time will tell. 

3. I've been pretty down lately. I've been sick, and I haven't been sleeping well, and I'm uncertain if I want to stay in my job or find something else, and I've been looking at how difficult things are. In other words, I've been feeling sorry for myself. But compared to others, I am doing really well. I do have a job that I like most days and that pays my bills. I have a good home and love and plenty of food, warm clothes and soft blankets and more books than I can read in a lifetime. I am fortunate, and I need to remember that. I am so very lucky, especially for the love. I am lucky. And I am grateful. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 3.11

1. Amoxicillin. Sinus infection is much better. I'm not back to 100% yet, but I'm able to put words together in ways that make sense again. And I feel like I can stay up past 8 at night. That's good. Many thanks to the urgent care nurse with her prescription pad, the nearby pharmacy, and the drug companies behind these medical miracles. And extra special thanks to my awesome boyfriend, who stuck with me through the sinus infection and the anxiety meltdowns that always seem to accompany my getting sick and needing help. 

2. Muffins. I bought a 4-pack of random muffins from the grocery store last week. I should do this more often. They were wonderful. 

3. Yarn. With my anxiety at a mind-bending rate lately, I've been trying to think of ways to relax. When I was in elementary school, my grandmother taught me some basic crochet skills, and I find myself turning back to the yarn when I need a way to relax my mind while keeping my fingers busy. So I went to a local craft store and bought some of my favorite yarn, Lily's Sugar 'n' Cream balls, that are perfect for kitchen squares. I use them to wash dishes. My aunt uses them as potholders. And they are quick and easy to stitch together, which helps my brain and my fingers find some relief from my anxiety. I bought six balls of yarn yesterday, and I'm almost halfway through them, but don't worry. One of my favorite mail-order craft suppliers is working on a box of 14 more balls to come to my front door. 20 balls of yarn will put a big dent in my anxiety, and help me replace the dishcloths I use all the time that are looking pretty sad. It's a win-win for me and my anxiety. Yarn does make me happy. 

 

*what is making me happy this week 

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wimmhtw* 3.4

What is making me happy this week? Not much. I have a sinus infection, I'm tired, I'm burned out, and my anxiety is out of control. I am trying to deal with my fears, but it's a struggle, moment by moment. Sometimes life is painful and hard to deal with, and I wish I had better coping skills. Normally I would come up with 3 things making me happy anyway, as an attempt to focus on happier things and count my blessings even when I don't necessarily feel like it. But tonight I have none. I am scared and hurting and searching myself for better coping strategies. 

So that is what is not making me happy this week. Here's hoping your week has been better and that this next week brings healing and peace. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 2.25

1. My amazing boyfriend, who took care of all the things while I was sick all weekend, even though he wasn't feeling so well himself. Love you!

2. West Cork, the Audible podcast. It's not my favorite true crime pod, mostly because of the resolution (spoiler: the murder is still unsolved), but listening to Jennifer Forde and Sam Bungey tell the story in their gorgeous voices with those amazing Irish accents was pure heaven. I would listen to a podcast where they read the phone book (if you can still find such a thing). 

3. Weather-wise, it was a rough week here. We had some ice storms. Not huge ice storms, where the ice is so heavy on the trees that age-old trees lose heavy branches or entire trees, taking out electrical wires whenever they fall. But twice we got enough ice to close schools. make the roads dangerous, and make you have to clean crap off your car windows. It was no fun. But no one I know had any power outage or car accidents or slips on icy sidewalks, so I am very happy about that. We are safe, and warmer temperatures are here. Very grateful for our safety and that many companies and schools are being so much smarter about encouraging people to stay off the roads when its dangerous. That is always a good thing. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 2.18

1. 3 day weekend! Technically, where I work we do not have tomorrow off, so I took it off as a vacation day--hang on, let me rephrase that--I took is off as a MUCH-NEEDED vacation day. And I am so happy that I have a whole day tomorrow to do whatever I want. Or nothing at all. Woot! We can all use more vacation days. 

2. Celebrity Big Brother. It's fluffy and saccharine and a little stupid, but I'm very much enjoying watching these people survive the Big Brother house, or not. I wouldn't want to watch a long season of it, but for a few weeks, as a palette cleanser, it's fun. Go, Marisa!

3. Ummm, everything? I've been sitting here trying to think of a third thing that is making me happy, and I can't really think of anything that's making me unhappy right now. Life is good. We're pretty healthy (sniffles and sneezes aside, just par for the course this time of year). We're making enough money to pay our bills (I haven't always been able to say that). We have good food and a home that we love and decent jobs. Is life perfect? Of course not. We both need new cars. We have debt. We should make some healthier lifestyle choices. But there are always things that could be improved. For the most part, I'm really happy right now, sitting here, thinking of things that make me happy. And as I look around, it's all the things. As I said, life is good. I am very grateful for that, and especially for the man and the cat who found me and invited me into their lives and offered me a home filled with love and laughter and purrs. I am very lucky indeed. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 2.11

1. Not the flu! Last Monday, I went down. I went down hard. Respiratory issues, fever, so worn out. I stayed home Tuesday and stayed in bed all day. It helped. Not 100%, but I was able to go back to work Wednesday and stick it out until Friday. I took it easy, but I made it through. I was worried when I felt so bad Monday that it was the awful flu that's been everywhere lately, but it was just a bad cold. I am feeling much better and will try to keep up my immune system until the flu season is over. 

2. The threat of a bad snowstorm. There were rumors we might get a lot of snow Saturday night, so we did all of our erranding on Saturday. Woke up this morning to slightly more snow than I would call a dusting. A whole Sunday with nowhere to go and nothing to do? Count me in! This has been a fantastic day. And next week, three day weekend! Woots! 

3. After spending all week doing as little as possible, having today to go through emails and get caught up on laundry and dishes and trash and everything has been so wonderful. I am starting the week in a good place, and that always makes me happy. I am anticipating a good week, where lots of things get done and we are happy and healthy, eating good food and getting lots of sleep. That is my plan, and having a plan makes me happy. 

 

*what is making me happy this week

wimmhtw* 2.4

1. Italian food. Today, my boyfriend made his should-be-famous lasagna, and it was phenomenal as usual. And even better--we have plenty of leftovers for the week. And yesterday for brunch, we went to Lidia's Kansas City restaurant--that's Lidia Bastianich, who you see on PBS cooking amazing classic Italian food. Since it was brunch (it was our first time there for brunch), there was unlimited antipasti (salads, mostly, but also a bruscetta and soup), an entree, and unlimited dolci. The salads were wonderful. My entree was cannelloni, which was delectable. And then there was the dolci. That would be the desserts, and they just left them there on the table like I wasn't going to come along and snatch everything I could fit in my mouth (or my purse). Most were bite-sized, all but the tiramisu which you could scoop up as much as you wanted, and they were all delicious. Every bite I tasted was perfect. A weekend full of really, really, really good Italian food. And plenty of leftovers for the coming week. 

2. The big sportsball game on tonight. First, because they make some funny commercials for this thing. Second, I don't care much about this year's halftime show, but we are still talking about last year's Left Shark (year before last? Whenever). And third, it means that the sportsball season is over for awhile, and I can enjoy my weekends without football for awhile. 

3. Family. We got to spend the weekend with my boyfriend's sister and her family, and we had a fantastic time. The kids wore us out, but it so good to see them all and just hang out and have fun. I hope they had a good time as well, and I hope they get to come back again soon! Much love!

 

*what is making me happy this week