Discussion Post: Mental Health Homework, List 3 Things That Make You Happy Today

UPDATE: This post has been up for 3 hours, and no one has commented. I feel this is a bad sign for our collective ability to be happy. I’m having a moderately hard day today. We didn’t watch Midsomer last night, and I think it has become a vital part of maintaining the careful mental health balance of the household, so now all 3 of us are feeling rumpled. Plus there’s thunderstorms, so the dog is unhappy. I’d go for a walk to get out of the stressful atmosphere, but of course I CAN’T GET OUT OF BED. Anyway, time to count our blessings in a simple effective technique for happiness!

Three things that make me happy right now:

My super comfortable loose soft knit dress that still looks good after lying in bed all day

Geometric Maxi Dress | Lane Bryant
It’s not this, but it’s like this. Only grey so spills don’t show, and with a little bit of sleeve.

Albie Dog’s soft ears

The flowers on my wireless mouse

Front Zoom. Logitech - Design Collection Wireless Optical Mouse with Nano Receiver - Works with Chromebook - Spring Meadow.

Okay, you’re it! List three things! Even if you are super happy today, it won’t hurt. And if you are having a hard day, it should help.

36 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Mental Health Homework, List 3 Things That Make You Happy Today

  1. #2 The fact that my children will play happily with the girls I used to watch after school ALL DAY LONG in the yard even though the girls aren’t allowed in the house. Friendships are beautiful.

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    • Friendships are beautiful! When my foot is good again, I gotta set up some yard play dates for myself.

      Also, what do you do about bathroom breaks? And snacks?

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 11:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • They come in to use the kitchen bathroom, but for handwashing before eating they use the hose and soap I bring out. We eat outside, everyone has their own plate. It isn’t isolation, but hopefully it is a safe bubble. If I get sick and cough on food everyone is doomed.

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        • Oh, I want to wash my hands with a hose and soap! Why didn’t I get to do fun things like that as a kid? We just had to do the boring wait in line for the kitchen sink before eating thing. Hose and soap is so much better!

          On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 12:03 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Thank you! That makes me feel good. Especially lately sometimes it is hard to make myself come up with a post and put something up 3 times a day. Although I am grateful for all of you as well, my little windows to the world.

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 11:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. #1 I went for my workout class today…yay! Feel happy that I did it
    #2 Nearing the end of one research project that I have been working on for a year. Yay! So glad its wrapping up
    #3 its warm, sunny, and just lovely in my town

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    • Exercise! I want to exercise again! I wasn’t working out officially before, but walking the dog meant running up and down stairs 4-5 times a day, on top of the actual walks. Now that I don’t even have that, I am dreaming of elipticals and treadmills and so on.

      Yay! I love that wrap up time. You don’t have to do the scary starting something new yet, but you are kind of rushing downhill towards completion. It’s like the last ten pages of a murder mystery.

      Weather makes such a difference! Especially now, but really always, we just don’t notice as much normally.

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 11:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. 1. My parents are back home! – They went on a small trip (with very good reasons that I won’t go into) and brought gifts with them and Grandmother stayed here in the house while they were gone. Good things all around!
    2. Peter “literally made of sunshine” Johansson – His covers of Queen songs have made me love listening to Queen again after a period that made me not want to listen to them for a long, long while, though watching the movie again or any actual Queen music videos are not something I am up to yet. Still, progress!
    3. Musicals (mostly European) being available on YouTube for free – Currently watching the original Berlin cast of Tanz Der Vampire with English subs and I love that I can just do that! It’s a bootleg, but damn if it isn’t a good sound quality one!

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    • 1. That does sound good all around! Your parents got something different, you got to hang with your Grandmother, and you all had new stories to tell each other when they got back.

      2. “Queen” the band or “Queen” the Hindi movie?

      3. I was about to ask if it was bootleg or real! I know a lot of live theater groups are making recordings available that normally they would not offer

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 12:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Queen the Hindi movie is really great, but now that I know Kangana is nuts and the director is a rapist, I’m not sure I can ever enjoy it again.

          On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 12:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yea…truly the ‘had to be there at the start to enjoy it’ movie if there ever was one, at least one can still listen to the songs, they aren’t at least ruined completely for me like the rest is

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    • Birthdays are such fun! I just put together an elaborate group of presents for my aunt for her birthday.

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 12:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Perfect time to report my number one thing that is making me happy: Amazon Prime Japan now has English subtitles available for Hindi movies! Yay! So, of course, I need to watch Made in Heaven again and I’ll probably give Mirzapur a go.
    2. There is a Jack Russell terrier in my neighborhood and if I time my evening walk just right I can meet him.
    3. I’ve read 12% of A Suitable Boy, and I love it and I’m looking forward to the series.

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    • I am so happy for you! YAAAAAAY!!!!! SUBTITLES!!!!

      And yaaaay for dogs! I say, you throw caution to the wind and get your own dog. We are in a lawless time! Landlords and schools have no power over you! Just do it!

      I am so happy for you about this too! And for all of us, since you are the designated reporter on A Suitable Boy

      On Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 9:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. 1) I got to blast Hindi music while sitting in a tiny inflatable pool while my mom sat off to the side and she didn’t question it.
    2) There’s just enough birthday cake left that my family has graciously decided to leave the rest of it to me.
    3) Slow reverb mixes of songs! Here’s an example of what I’m talking about

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    • Oooo, birthday cake. I am birthday cake deprived, my family had a whole splash of them in the summer, and now we are bereft until late fall.

      On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 7:53 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. 1. As of this month, the last 2 of my 6 kids are out of the house to college. And as a bonus, not one of my 5 girls got knocked up before they turned 18 🤗 (I told my husband that bad moms can create serial killers, but bad dads create daddy issues, so the outcome of 5 of the kids rested on his shoulders. Clearly, he’s an awesome dad. My son still wants to be a priest who teaches English. He says he’s, “Open to dating, but really just wants to grade papers and talk about Jesus. I suggested he not lead with that should he ever actually try to date. Obviously I’ve screwed up somewhere.)

    2. I have been busy sewing masks for all the kids to take to college, and while it’s not the most fun item to make, I do get to make lots of things with lots of pretty fabric. I. Love. Fabric. I am also repairing #3’s childhood bappie and making a small one for my first

    3. Grandson who is 9 months old now! He loves his GranCat and he makes me VERY happy. Although he lives 3.5 hours away, I am trading off nanny duty with his Nana for 2 weeks at a time. I had forgotten that A) I can put a baby to sleep; anyone, anywhere, anytime. And B) I can still cook! My husband loves to grocery shop and make dinner, so I never get to. I make a damn fine butter chicken with homemade naan and spiced rice. My bb Calvin will even eat it, though it makes his eyes water and he needs water, he still asks for more.

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    • These are all such great happiness things!

      1. Congrats! Now, the reverse was my grandmother’s worry. Obviously she didn’t want grandbabies too soon, but by the time her youngest turned 30 and her oldest 36 with no babies in sight, she was beginning to go a little insane. And thus, the total and absolute spoiling of my and my sister The Promised Perfect Grandchildren. Worked great for us. Also, the world needs more people who love Jesus and want to teach English! You have done an excellent job. He could go to India and do good work and also send you DVDs.

      2. I am up to 125 masks in total. Which either seems like too many or too few depending on how I think of them. Anyway, I agree, it is a super fun project. I have been raiding my Mom’s 30 years worth of fabric scraps, so many different colors and patterns and I’m not even close to using them up yet.

      3. Your baby sounds much happier than my baby (my nephew). He just screams and screams and hits things, and then briefly laughs, and then falls asleep. Isn’t remembering you can cook wonderful? I made dinner for my parents a couple nights ago and it felt so good. Since I’ve been quarantining with them off and on, and now with my foot limiting movement, I haven’t really cooked in months. Another reason to look forward to when I can move back to my own apartment, cooking!

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      • My son was the one who got me into Bollywood. He read the description for Om Shanti and made me watch it!

        Have you ever made butter? I discovered it’s really easy and so … satisfying to make! We ran out at my daughters’s house, and none of us likes to go to the store, so I used my leftover heavy whipping cream and in FIVE minutes, I had butter!! We also make our own yogurt now. Both taste so much better than the store bought stuff and it makes me feel very pioneer-y, Little House on the Prairie! Cooking without cooking, if you will.

        Your poor nephew. Why is he unhappy? I’m a baby mind reader, so let me know if you want me to tell you what he wants!

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        • Yes! I used to make butter as a little girl with my Grandma, she had a butter jar thing with a little paddle, it was super easy. She also made homemade bread and had these funky antique toasters. So the big treat was buttered toast at her house. In my current combined-with-my-parents household, somehow we always have too much butter and not enough cream. So if you have a way to turn butter back into cream, that would be helpful!

          Personally, I think he is unhappy because he is tired of being a baby. He wants his independence and he wants to be walking and he wants to feed himself and he wants to stay awake on his own schedule and go to sleep on his own schedule. I’ve had to live a little like a baby the past three weeks while my foot was recovering, and it is horrible! I would be crying all the time too. His parents set up a whole little baby ranch area in the living room where he has total freedom and power (all dangerous items removed, all his toys in there with him), but it isn’t enough for him.

          On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:22 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh, yeah – Calvin has that problem, too. I used to look at babies sleeping in strollers at the grocery store and wonder why none of mine ever did that. Smart babies get FOMO hard. I remember being a disenchanted toddler. I taught myself to read when I turned 3 because I *had* to know what was in those books.
            I used to let my kids finger paint the white dog. We made GIANT messes all the time; bubbles, chalk, throwing things. Happiness is messy. Sit that baby outside with butcher paper and finger paint. Let him make an atrocious noise in the kitchen with pots and pans, and let him feed himself grilled cheese and cobbler with whipped cream for dessert. Hose everything down afterwards. Get some tunnels like these https://www.amazon.com/slp/play-tunnels-for-kids/a3hdtm5t9v724w3
            and rearrange them frequently. Let him play by himself more. Grownups play boring games, play *his* way instead. Or just let him be. Too much child-proofing is great, but my philosophy was that if it hurt, they’d only do it once. Apparently I am considered a “Free Range Parent”, because helicopter parents are the norm these days. I bounce balls off CJ’s head and he thinks it’s funny that I throw things, too.
            Oh, and my grandson adores Bollywood songs and will either sleep or dance to them, depending on the time of day.
            First baby frustration is generally user error on our part. Too much trying to be perfect. Maybe we should popularize cave-man parenting, like eating paleo: What would Krug do?

            Liked by 1 person

          • My nephew also adores Indian film music. All that strong rhythm!

            On Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • This entire interaction made me smile so much. Perfect friday reading! Now I want homemade butter, butter chicken (I have never been able to make this dish well), and Catherine to be my future children’s grandmother!

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          • Ok, so I always double the recipe, and I don’t generally measure super accurately, but this is what I *start* with:
            4 lb chicken thighs
            8 Tablespoons butter
            2 medium onions
            ~2 Tablespoons grated ginger
            (I usually us the squeezy kind found in the Indian section, and I kind of eyeball it. Fresh ginger tastes … gingery-er? – and since some of my peeps aren’t wild about ginger, the squeezy kind is perfect.)
            ~2 Tablespoons garlic (I generally use the squeezy kind here as well.)
            ~3 Tablespoons Southern Coconut Curry (I buy this from the bulk spice section at H-E-B here in TX. I usually clean them out and it only runs me about $5. I don’t know if it’s unique to them, but that stuff is way spicier and tastes better than regular curry. Let me know if you want me to send you some!)
            ~3 Tablespoons Garam Masala (This is more for flavor than heat.)
            ~2 Tablespoons smoked paprika (this will add heat.)
            ~1-2 Tablespoons salt (My oldest daughter is a salt monster. I have low sodium levels, so I salt to taste. Salt is life. I use both regular table salt, and then later adjust with sea or Kosher.)
            *I sauté the onions for about 10 mins, then add the spices and sauté for another 10 or so.
            *I add 2 cups of water or chicken broth if I have an open container of it & scrub the bottom really well. (My Breville pressure cooker and my daughter’s Power Cooker XL have no issues with burn warnings. The Instant Pot *always* gives me one. I open it up, scrape the bottom, maybe add more liquid, and start it again.)
            *Add the chicken. I do this prior to the tomato sauce because otherwise things get splattery from the sauce. (In case you’re interested: https://slate.com/culture/2012/12/why-does-tomato-sauce-splatter-when-it-cooks.html)
            *Add the 30 oz tomato sauce
            *Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. I usually allow a natural release ‘cause I’m making naan and rice at this point. (In any case, I’ve not found quick release to seize up the chicken.)
            *Open the cooker, add 2 cups heavy cream. Then I switch back to sauté for 10 mins while it thickens. Once it starts to get splattery, I switch to Keep Warm.
            *After everything is in and it’s all cooked, I start portioning it out and continue upping the spice levels for those of us who like it scorching. I *used* to use the original recipe and then adjust at the end. I still do this if I’m making it for weenies.
            **Then I add more of
            the smoked paprika
            the coconut curry
            cayenne powder for sheer spiciness – usually start off with 1 or 2 teaspoons

            I strongly feel that the rice is just as important as the butter chicken!
            To make rice:
            *I generally use Basmati, but any will work in a pinch
            *Put 2-3 cups rice in a big bowl of water – enough to cover.
            *Let soak 15 mins or longer. (It won’t hurt the rice if you leave it longer. Like accidentally overnight. 🙃) After soaking, drain the water and add fresh water. Stir the rice around to get the starch off. Drain again. Rinse once more. (Or use the sprayer thingy on the sink. That works, too.)
            *In a big pan, add some sort of fat; butter, ghee, olive oil and heat
            *Add in:
            ~ couple of cinnamon sticks/pieces
            ~ 4 whole cloves (I like more)
            ~ 5 cardamom pods, cracked open (I get a giant bag of these in the Indian food section. It’s a ripoff in the spice aisle. Also, I actually open my cardamom and dump the seeds in. I hate having to fish out the husks later.
            ~ a couple of bay leaves
            *After they’re all nice and hot, add your rice and let it start to get toasty. The rice absorbs the oil, and this is how you get super fluffy independent rice grains.
            *Once the rice is nice and hot and starting to get golden, add twice the cups of water as you have rice. (Be careful of splatter if you used oil rather than butter! Hot oil + water can go awry!)
            *Bring to a boil, then throw a lid on, and simmer until the water is gone.
            *Throw some saffron on there for the pretty factor. Doesn’t do much taste-wise, but it sure looks good!

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          • Thank you so much for taking the time to write this out. I have a southern curry paste in my pantry from the local Asian supermarket so I can use that.

            I just saved your chicken and rice recipe to my phone so I have it when I am ready to cook. I will try to make it over the next week or so and let you know how it comes out. Thank you again! I am so excited to make this!

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello! I’m really commenting on a whim- I’ve been a silent lurker on your blog for approximately 3 years and I just wanted to say that your blog makes me happy when I’m having a particularly bad day 🙂 Thank you for your writing (it makes for an effortless reading experience), and for your insights – I’ve been watching Indian movies all my life, and there were so many things that I was looking at, but not really seeing!
    Hope you have a nice day!

    Liked by 2 people

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