Saturday, August 14, 2010

Odd stuff, and 10 things that make me happy

 A nice noodle bowl
Rose was kind enough to give me a Happy 101 award recently.  I enjoyed reading her response very much (and all the sweet things she said about the bloggers she passed it on to).  Counting things that make me happy isn't something I would normally do but once I started thinking about it, it wasn't hard at all to come up with ten things, and it was fun doing the exercise.  Actually I got a little intense and teary over it so had to revise the list to be a little less embarrassingly self-relevatory.  Plus, since I haven't been able to complete an entire dish that was blogworthy since the poached egg, to give this post some visual interest I'll intersperse my list with random pictures of pieces of dishes and other stuff from my life lately.

What makes me happy?  In no particular order:

1.  White noise.  On my personal happiness scale, white noise is currently right up there with a raise, realizing with a start that the weekend coming up is a long weekend that I'd totally forgotten about, a sweet juicy peach, etc.  I have a little old iPod Shuffle and the only thing on it is white noise that I downloaded from iTunes for $2.49, set to play in a continuous stream.  If you take the bus, you're probably familiar with bus rage, that murderous anger seething behind the placid expressionless faces of the riders while some bridezilla screeches into her cell phone that the flowers are the wrong colour, or two co-workers carry on a listless conversation behind you about the tedious trivia of their jobs, or someone at the front is yakking loudly to the driver, or a toddler is babbling and whining, or a group of teenagers at the back are laughing inanely about how drunk they all were the night before, or the person beside you sniffles every three seconds...all the way downtown, while the guy two seats away has a chronic cough.  Irritating fellow passengers, since I got my white noise, I am impervious to you all!  I am listening to the heavy rain of sound on all frequencies and I can see your jaws moving but can't hear a word you're saying!  Ha ha!  Ha ha ha!  I am calm, I am tranquil, the sound itself is relaxing, I am deep in my book and you cannot disturb me, except possibly with heavy perfume or the reek of cigarettes.  If this sounds misanthropic to you, I bet you don't ride the bus every day.

My camera makes me happy - look what it can do!

2.  Kitties.  'Nuf said.

Cheeta, kitty of my heart

3.  Discovering items in grocery stores I've read about but never tried, like black salt.

Long beans Katee bought for me after seeing them on Andrea's blog

4.  The view from my front door:

5.  Ordering books online and having them delivered to my work.

A mix of grains and rice - intriguing!

6.  My family.  Even during those times when I haven't been the sweet and pleasant and accommodating individual I generally am now, back in my non-mellow pre-middle-aged days, they stuck to me like Superglue.  Now as adults we're all, like, BFF, and we hang out, and not because none of us has any other friends, either. 

Three cheers for veganic, no-dig gardening!

7.  Discovering a new trail while walking in an area I thought I knew.  This happens to me more often than one might think since I'm horribly absent-minded and tend not to notice things until suddenly--bam!--whoa, this wasn't there before, was it?  [Trembling with joy and excitement] I wonder where it goes...

8.  Changing seasons.  We have real seasons in northern Canada where I live, and spring and fall are by far my favorites.  Mid-winter and mid-summer are tediously same-y, but now fall is coming, the leaves are turning, it's (sometimes) cool at night, there could be a thunderstorm or rain, not even the weatherman knows!  I'm ready for fall now, July is like, way too hot, and I'm sick of breaking into a sweat just contemplating making a soup or stew.  Generally I'm a cool weather gal anyway, so bring on the snow!

This, however, is not snow

9.  Grocery stores.  Next to bookstores, these are my favorites.  I can browse for hours, and the joy of discovering a new ethnic store makes me come over all faint.  I'm lazy about traveling, and thus am very lucky to live in kind of a small Bermuda Triangle of grocery stores, with Superstore, Safeway and Save-On pinning down the angles, and Indian, Oriental, and Arab markets inside...with of course more within lunchtime walking distance of my place of work.

The wrong kind of noodles for a hot pot, alas

10.  The Internet.  It's a part of me now.  I wouldn't be blogging, or be acquainted with most of you, or know half of what I know about all kinds of things, without it.  Google and Blogger and iTunes and Flickr, even though you are large corporations I feel love for you.  Good work!

Now for passing on the award.  Gah, I'm just way too shy, as usual, sorry, but if the following have read this far and would care to participate, they should consider this a kiss of appreciation blown at their blogs and an interest from me in learning more about you:

Tiffany at Bread Without Butter
Mark and/or Amy at Irreverent Vegan
Tami at Vegan Appetite
Renae at i eat food
La Fourmi at Vegecarib
Gerda at Veggie Prairie Girl
Claryn at Hellyeahitsvegan


  1. Super intense list. Like Rose, you have the gift of creating art on the internet and totally transporting readers away from themselves. I need to study this post and determine why your photo of Nasturtiums looks like an underwater scene scape. (Additionally, you can deny it all you want, but methinks you enjoy riding the bus;-)).

  2. Aw, thanks for the blog love. :) I really enjoyed reading your happy list. It's a treat to learn a bit about the people whose blogs I read regularly beyond the writing itself, and also to discover that we share some of those "likes." It makes the vast blogosphere a little less technical and that much more human.

    And those Nasturtiums DO have the look of a lovely seascape! I did a double take before realizing that it wasn't actually underwater. Very cool.

  3. You always tempt me with those noodle bowls. I could eat like that every night. And I very much enjoyed reading your list. You shared a lot, but I understand just what you mean about over-sharing. Did you like the kala namak?

  4. Zoa, your photos are beautiful...and I don't think I've seen the full view of your garden until now...that is a view that would make anyone happy to look at in any season. (I'm with you: spring and fall are the best...I can feel a little autumn in the air down here too).

    I can't even describe what your noodle bowls do to me...I could just look at them all day...not to mention would love to tuck into one!

    Riding the bus...yes, in my experience it is all those things. Around here, we get some very eccentric sorts on the bus. My favorite is a guy who gets on and starts barking at people...yes barking like a dog. He barks at everyone as he walks down the bus isle and then when he finds a seat, barks loudly at sporadic's a bit weird, but it always makes me want to laugh. Of course, I try to stifle it, which makes me want to laugh even more.

    I loved reading your list! And again, your photos are very cool...and Cheeta, adorable.

  5. Shenandoah, I really do like riding the bus, which is why it makes me so mad that ignorant behaviours spoil what could be a pleasant experience--but is almost always a necessary one; we're not there for our health--for those who just want a peaceful quiet ride and can't get away. In the words of one of my favorite movies of all time, Brazil, "We're all in it together." Yes, my passions about bus etiquette run high!

    Tiffany, the "underwater" effect is really easy to achieve and I'd guess that most digital cameras would do it--there's a setting in the camera somewhere that will make it process one colour as another, in this case green as to play with.

    Andrea, I made a big batch of broth and basically *have* been eating noodle bowls every night this week, trying to develop a procedure to make them (1) neater to prepare, as in so your kitchen doesn't end up looking like a sea of used bowls and pots; while (2) ensuring that everything gets hot all at once. If I were making more than one bowl, I could do it, but with just the one...well, I could always make the thing all in a single pot like a regular vegetable soup, but where's the fun in that?

    Rose, thanks, I love my garden, even though it takes almost no work except weeding. Ah, the barking guy...I had one who would always sit at the front in his "cone of silence"--we knew this since he would chuckle to himself, "I'm in my cone of silence, yes, my cone of silence," and look around at the other passengers and laugh because they didn't know how to activate their cones. I can relate.

  6. Oh, yes, the kala namak! All I've done with it so far is eggs, but for that purpose alone it is a 100% success. Andrea, you had mentioned you put it in baking, but does anyone have other uses for it?

  7. I like your list a lot! Great pics! And I like all your likes....except the cold weather/snow!

  8. So how did you like the long green beans? I was at that market today and they didn't have them. I guess it's hit and miss.

  9. Katee, the long beans are good, but they're tougher than what I'd call "regular" green beans, which means both that they tend to shrivel rather than fall to pieces when cooked, and also that they stand up better to hard cooking (see today's hot pot, for instance, which would have made mush of regular green or yellow beans). And they last forever. Seriously, one bean is practically a serving in itself. The real kewlness of these beans is in their length, so I'm trying to find uses for them where I don't have to cut them up.

  10. Ho thank-you ! Now it's my turn to think about 10 things. I'll try to make a list as great as yours... not easy...

  11. La fourmi, thank you for playing! I look forward with great pleasure to reading your list ;-)

  12. Why, thank you for the award! I think I might be able to just copy most of yours (books, kitties, grocery's like reading my own list), but I'll see what I can come up with. Your garden is breathtaking.

  13. Renae, I'm sure your list will be just great and I can hardly wait to read it.