Happiness is Candy on Sale

I love those fat, juicy red candy jujube hearts that show up every February. (Valentine’s Day, not so much, but the candy hearts, yes.) And starting today or tomorrow, they will be on sale, along with all the rest of the heart-shaped sugar in the world. February is the Month of the Dead (as far as I’m concerned) and then there’s the snow problem, and it’s cold as hell here, too (except isn’t Hell hot?) but at least the candy is on sale. And delicious.

Also Happy Valentine’s Day. Or Happy Lupercalia, which had priests slapping women with bloody strips of goatskin, which is still marginally better than getting generic red roses and a sappy card with bad chocolates, not that I have bitter memories or anything. Why yes, I do write romance; why do you ask?

What made you happy this week?

56 thoughts on “Happiness is Candy on Sale

  1. Lupercalia … I learn something new every day. Even when I don’t want to.

    The thing that made me happiest this week was a walk last night with my partner. We found a path we hadn’t seen before that wove among gardens by a little stream, with ponds and ducks. It was lovely and peaceful.

  2. The sun is shining. It’s rather cold outside, but it’s uplifting to see a wonderful blue sky and a bright sun.

  3. I feel a justified Scroogeness to Valentine’s Day, so “Bah! Humbug.” However, I shall look out for half price chocolate next week, since you mention candy.

    Happiness is finally feeling well after 8 days of meh, ugh, or OW! It was fatigue, pain, nausea all at different times throughout the week.

    Happiness is a massage on Thursday by a really good therapist who has become a friend. She really helped a lot of the pain.

    Happiness is sleeping through the night without being woken up to cough because it feels like drowning.

    Happiness is good weather – rain at night or early morning and sunny days.

  4. I’m happy the fruitcake cookies came out well. Adorably cute and roundly chubby and not too sweet. I’m happy that even though we had an ice storm yesterday and were all stuck in the house, it felt cozy and nice for most of the day and not oppressive. Which is saying something considering will be rounding on a year in semi-quarantine come March.

    My husband and I will continue our fine tradition of doling absolutely nothing for Valentine’s Day. It started when we were young and broke b/c we both have February birthdays and we have continued on just b/c we agreed it wasn’t our thing. We don’t celebrate our anniversary either. We’re lucky if we even remember our anniversary. We do nice things for each other when we can. I feel like that’s most important. And we do Christmas and birthdays.

  5. February is my birth month, yes, the whole month. I decided a few years ago to take the whole month if only in my head. And look at the bonus points. Valentine’s Day! Candy and flowers. And the bonus of bonuses 1/2 price starting the next day on candy. We have an hour earlier of daylight. Ok, so there is snow, but look on the bright side we’re getting closer and closer to March the almost official start of spring.

    We got our Covid shot this week. The whole process went well, it was a drive through. Maybe because of our age everyone had to wait 15 minutes after the shot in case of complications. People like my husband with heart problems (congestive) had to wait thirty minutes.

    1. Don’t think it’s age; we all had to wait too, and that was ages 50-64. They had us four to a room, so a brief chat with strangers.

      1. It’s to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Those with histories of anaphalectic shock wait longer

      2. I envy you… here the vaccination program doesn’t seem to go anywhere. My 80+ year old parents don’t even know when they will get an appointment, not to speak of the rest of the population.
        Though there have been plenty of cases where folks way below in the priority list have sneaked ahead in line.
        Supposedly my country is known for efficiency… we just prove this to be a myth. Argh.

  6. One funny thing that’s making me happy is that I went to the ophthalmologist and found out I have a cataract in one eye. It could have been something much worse, and the cataract surgery is very common. And while I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of the procedure, once it’s done I should have really good vision in that eye, which will be a new experience.

    Beyond that, taken some beautiful walks, found the steel comb that the cats likes to be combed with, thus avoiding more hairballs, made some French Onion Soup(e), and been chatted up by a recruiter. Nothing but good times ahead, or I hope for the next six months.

    Also, woodpecker up top of a bare tree against a blue sky.

    1. Cataract surgery was transformational for me; and they’re very good at it nowadays. Because I was naturally extremely short-sighted, and couldn’t tolerate contact lenses, they did the other eye too, a short time later, so I’ve now got pretty good vision without glasses, for the first time since I was six.

      Just don’t think too hard about how they do it (it’s not painful at all); focus on the wonderful consequences!

    2. Good luck!

      Also, I know there are a bazillion causes that need support, but one of my favourite charities to give to is

      A NZD25 (~USD17.50, GBP13.50) donation covers the cost of consumables for a cataract operation to restore sight for one person in the Pacific Islands. An almost immediate impact that allows people to continue their work, be independent, support their families etc.

      Here endeth the promo (I have nothing to do with this organisation, but lots of my friends and family have had donations made in their name for Christmas presents).

  7. I had a surprise phone call from my GP’s surgery yesterday, inviting me to have a Covid vaccination this morning – I really wasn’t expecting this before well into April: I thought the early groups needing their second jab would delay my cohort (priority group 7; they’ve just finished 1-4). There are a lot of surprised Oswestrians – since it was the Pfizer one, I wonder whether they needed to use up a batch. Anyway, I’m delighted. And I loved the makeshift set-up and all the volunteers, and bumping into handyman Tony and his wife as I was leaving.

    It’s been a good week altogether: enjoyable book to edit, hope of working on gardening books again, an exploring walk the other day which included encounters with several chatty people, and several good phone calls.

  8. Oooh, that reminds me. Red Cinnamon Hearts. Love them. I forgot to do anything Valentiny this year, but if I take a look on a high up shelf in my kitchen, I just might find some to have with my granola today.

  9. I’m happy that rereading Andrea K. Höst’s Touchstone books, and the new Sphere of the Winds book by Rachel Neumeier (the sequel to The Floating Islands), got me out of the reading doldrums and back to reading with pleasure.
    Rereading/relistening to Andrea Höst’s books has done so twice now during this Covid year; for me she fullfils the same comfort reading function that Murderbot does for many here. She helps me get back on an even keel emotionally when I don’t feel like reading or enjoying anything.

    I’m also happy that for 4 days now we’ve had sun with our cold temperatures, so for the first time in a couple of years the kids have had snow to play with (we hadn’t had any last winter) *and* everybody could get out on the ice to enjoy skating (and sledding, sliding, playing at hockey, etcetera). Taking a careful small walk (with buckled-on cleats under my shoes) through the park in the sunshine, enjoying the joyous sounds of playing kids on every frozen ditch and pond is a good morale booster.

    There won’t be any Elfstedentocht this year (both because of Covid restrictions and the thaw being expected too soon), though the BBC correspondent talks up the chance; but even so the long-distance skaters are enjoying themselves as much the kids are.

    We don’t get skateable natural ice every year, and never for very long at a time – but when we do, it lifts everybody’s spirits!

    Here’s a final very iconic picture of Dutch winter, the way we all like to remember it:

  10. A very happy this morning was realizing that I was three posts behind on arghink (schedule weirdnesses threw me off) so I have had a lovely morning with my coffee and you all being witty and informative. I often wonder if Amazon tracks the sudden increase in sales in certain titles on Thursday (or in this case, Sunday).

    Also done with my ‘beginning of the year diet’. I ate paczkis yesterday – had to order them in advance, they were a bit pricey, and …. pleasant. NOT a squashy jelly donut pretending to be a paczki, it had a good texture, not too sweet, the custard was good, but….. not the out of body experience I used to have when a coworker would bring them from the Polish bakery. Still, it was fun, and my darling sister and I ate them in the car in parking lot of the coffee shop, so it felt like a naughty adventure.

    When we were first together, I made DH (or DBF as he was then) a Valentine. He was thrilled. He has never cared about gifts for any holiday, but his handmade Valentine is absolutely required. And he SAVES them, which means I need to come up with a new design/idea every year. After 42 years, this is a challenge, but I am still so charmed that it means that much to him! So we like Valentines day, and half price chocolate the next day is good too. And later today there will be carryout chicken Marsala, so life is GOOD!

    1. I just discovered paczkis! Usually I’m a Krispy Kreme girl, but these are awesome!

      DH sounds like a sweetheart. 🙂

  11. We have successfully completed week two of our new exercise program. Which is very simple, we swim two days a week and do yoga/stretching once a week.
    Cheap chocolate is not helping though.

  12. I met a friend for lunch in a historic restaurant (which makes good French onion soup ans exquisite peanut butter pie! in a nearby quaint town. It’s more fun in pleasant weather, but I didn’t fall on the ice, always a happy thing, especially since my leg went gimpy on Thursday. And I finished the next draft of the nonfiction piece I’m writing.
    And I rearranged the furniture and then put it back the way it was.

    1. We went to look at Southlands, a community being built over about ten years, close to Point Robert’s, WA. Feel so badly for the little Pt Robert’s community as many Canadians have summer cabins and we all go for cheap gas and the US address so we can get free postage when buying a stuff, etc. The border closed for almost a year (March 2020), it has been a hard year financially. Hoping after the vaccinations the border will open. It is a hardship for many border communities.

      Anyway, all that to say we had French onion soup at a great restaurant, Mario’s. So delicious. That made me happy.

  13. I am taking a Reading genre course as an elective this term. This week included Romance. In the presentation prepared by the instructor, I was delighted to see Jennifer Cruisie listed as one of the “Famous Romance Fiction Authors”. Time to re-read!

    I had a lovely FaceTime chat with a friend in another province. We’ve known each other since we were 19 and lost touch with each other for many years until 3 years ago. She’s a lovely person and I’m happy we re-connected.

    Cold this week but lots of sunny days. DH and I try to take the dog out at lunch during the week. Nice way to pass the time and get fresh air/exercise.

  14. I am happy first because the wonderful Jane restored (or helped ME to restore, which was even more empowering!) my screen name. Thank you again, Jane!!

    And yesterday Fatso the winter robin showed up FIVE different times for cherry bits. So chirpy and life-affirming 🙂 even though I can’t help but think this weather is not the best for him. It makes me think I should get all bundled up and go out to break the ice layer off the top of the compost heap and excavate down into it to sacrifice some worms to our robin, although the excavation might disturb him. Still musing on that possibility.

    And finally, Mitch McConnell’s scathing denunciation of Trump, coming right after his failure to vote to convict him at the culmination of the impeachment yesterday. My jaw was dropping as I realized what he was saying. The last person I would have expected to make such a takedown, although it did give a supportable reason for saying that impeachment was not the best tool to punish the ghastly man with.

    Anyway, a very good day yesterday!

    1. I think that summed up Mitch McConnell beautifully. He doesn’t like what Trump has done, doesn’t take any responsibility for being Enabler in Chief, but hopes someone else will do the dirty work of holding Trump responsible. Maybe impeachment wasn’t the best way to punish Trump, but it is what was available at the time. If we wait for the best possible option to arrive, we may have to wait forever. As the person who was responsible for many bills never making it to the floor of the Senate, I’m sure he knows what that is like.

        1. NYC and Fulton County, Georgia. I was especially amused that the DA for Fulton County took it on because every other legal entity which might reasonably have had jurisdiction had conflict-of-interest issues because their officials were witnesses, however involuntarily. She’s given them the warning to save all documents.

  15. Last year we had a fun Thing to go to for Valentine’s Day, this year there is still no Going To anything. We are being extremely cautious. DH goes out to see clients, but is basically Sequestering The Wife because two people going out more than doubles the risk. Since I can work at home, he takes my car out once a week or so (so it doesn’t stop running out of pique) and does all the hunting & gathering.

    Anyway, long story short he brought home some fabulous flowers (which I love even though I think I’m allergic to something in the arrangement) and an evil chocolate-mousse tart and a bottle of champagne, which we drank all of last night (I got more than my fair share).

    Have a hangover, but the sun is shining, the space heater is humming quietly, the birds are chirping around the feeders, and I’m pretty happy. 🙂

  16. Over the past few years I have managed to lose several earrings, but only one per pair. Yesterday I went to the local Macy’s which is going out of business, and treated myself to two pairs of small gold hoops. Not only were they marked down, but they were an additional percentage off so I got both pairs for basically half of the price of one pair!

    It was an expensive (for me) weekend. Besides the earrings, I got 2 pairs of jeans, a new nightgown (impulse buy at the going out of business sale at Macy’s), and a weighted blanket. Now I have to balance my checkbook and see what my actual monetary damage is. lol

    Now I am curled up with a throw around my shoulders, drinking a chai latte, and watching figure skating on tv while doing laundry and waiting for my chicken chili to cook in the crockpot.

  17. Our household has labelled February as the Apex of Apathy and the way we acknowledge it is to eat more ice cream, watch more tv, buy more yarn, and stock up on half price chocolate, as well as any other sugar that is pink and heart shaped, on the Ides of the Apex of Apathy.

    1. I love this. Perhaps I can use it to justify the many skeins of embroidery floss I just purchased!

  18. I’m happy Tantaka’s Cushings disease medication came. So, I’m slowly starting her on that.

    It’s cold but no snow for a couple of days. We’re supposed to get more , but maybe not too much. If we get a really bad day maybe I’ll get my taxes started. Getting them out of the way makes me happy.

    My printer/scanner wasn’t working in its asigned port. After some fiddling, it is working. No idea what, if anything I did to fix it. Yay, me.

    Made more deed cakes for the birds. The female cardinal was at the feeder today which is comforting.

  19. Valentine’s Day is all about the food at our house. I made heart shaped biscuits for breakfast. There will be crab cakes for dinner with chocolate mousse to follow. No presents, just delicious and indulgent food.

    One year I had a terrible cold at Valentine’s Day. My husband went to the drugstore for me and brought back a ridiculous box of chocolates that played Elvis Presley when you lifted the lid. We rescued the music player after we finished the candy and installed it on a seldom opened cupboard door until the battery ran out. Every year I remember that and smile.

    We are still having virtual preschool and the last two weeks packets of art projects have been heavily into pink and red. A parent sent me a photo of her daughter’s raspberry pink hands after she painted them as well as the paper. Valentine’s Day isn’t ALL bad.

  20. Because I did not want to go shopping, I suggested two weeks ago that we give V-Day a miss this year. I was over-ruled because Mr. Type-A had already figured out what he was giving me. Fortunately this was before a Good Book Thursday and Jill Q recommended WORD BY WORD: THE SECRET LIFE OF DICTIONARIES by Kory Stamper and I thought this sounds like something he would like. Thank you, Jill Q. He just told me that he thought it was a really good. (I said he was type A, he started reading it as soon as I left the breakfast table. I have yet to play my new CD but I have started on the chocolates. See. I can be a type-A person too).

  21. I went out yesterday. Our library was having a small romance novel booksale yesterday and I filled a bag for $10. Very low key, clean and safe. It made me so happy. I haven’t been shopping for anything but groceries in I don’t know how long. I don’t know if I will read the books, pickings were kinda slim, but buying them made me so happy.

  22. Happy Lupercalia everyone.
    I bought myself 3 books for Valentines Day because I am worth it. I already finished two because I didn’t wait for Valentine’s Day. My Beverly Jenkins hasn’t arrived yet. Ibought it locally. Ialso bought myself some delicious milk chocolate hearts. I hope you did wonderfully loving things for yourself.

  23. I was made happy yesterday (still happy today and going forward on this one) because of a Missing Will. Debbie and Lian gave me some ideas for further research on g-g-g-grandmother and when I ended up in the Commonwealth of Virginia chancery data base, I hit Pay Dirt.

    The Missing Will was one that was presumably made by g-g-g-g-grandfather, who died in 1859. He Intended to leave everything to his four children — three living, and my g-g-g-grandmother, who had predeceased him in 1850 but left three children of her own. However, his nephew was claiming the estate as
    1) the will was missing and
    2) the children weren’t legitimate, as he hadn’t married their mother, who lived with him As Man and Wife for many years, up until she died very shortly before he did.

    I’m working my way through the surviving daughter’s deposition (she refers to herself throughout as “your oratrix”), because she Spilled the Beans with a vengeance. She names everyone and their relationship to her father. She describes father’s relationship with them, especially exactly what he said about the ones he wouldn’t have in the house. She tells where the ones who moved away were last known to have lived. She says her mother’s name was Polly, though the 1850 census says Nancy. She

    And my g-g-grandmother and her sister and half-brother, all under age, were represented by men called “Next Friend.” I’m sure this means “relative who takes a caring interest in you,” because the half-brother’s Next Friend is first his guardian, with that name scratched out and replaced with his uncle’s, and the girls’ Next Friend has the same surname as they, is the local Justice of the Peace so he’s identifiable, and is presumably related to their father.

    I only wish the typewriter had been in use in the 1850’s — I struggled with the handwriting, the ink, and the scan quality subsequently exported to PDF until my eyes were gritty — but this afternoon I am planning to create a small family tree based on the deposition and see how many of these people I can find in public records.

    Should add that there are at least two other cases in the chancery involving claims made in this small group of people — they seem to have been VERY litigious — but that’s solid gold to a genealogist. Probably nothing is as good as a bare-knuckled eye-gouging estate dispute, because everyone is testifying under oath and describing relationships with Names and Dates and Places, but I might be able to sort out whether Ferdinand Huff died in the Civil War or lived to sue again.

    I’ll probably end by adding several more Revolutionary War patriots to my pedigree, too, which is nice and besides, who knows Where They Might Lead? More black sheep?

    Valentine Day involved nose kisses from cats and, if I remember it at a good moment, a raspberry macaron cake in the freezer. But I’m on such good terms with the Universe at the moment that’s quite enough.

      1. You caused me to think of a little program called GenSmarts, which looks at your family history data and suggests places to search for information. I normally don’t use it heavily, because my straight downloaded file has about thirty-five thousand individuals in it, so the suggestion file is just unwieldy. But I extracted a short file with just under a thousand people in it and let ‘er rip. One of the suggestions was the Commonwealth of Virginia Chancery records, which is where I’m still rooting around like a pig in theraputic mud.

      1. I’d have to check. I originally wondered whether the children’s mother was a woman of color, because then there could be no question of marriage, but there’s no evidence for that (also nothing in my own DNA that shows anything at all but very western European in the last twelve thousand years). One thing the deposition did say was that her father’s brother had lived (relatively) nearby who had a large family with a woman whom he married only after all the children came along.

        If you want to read Sarah’s account, the case is found at this page; there are 111 pages in the file and Sarah’s deposition begins on page 39.


        In a different case, it seems that my 3rd great-grandfather owed money to his father at the time of the father’s death, and the executors took legal steps to get it back. They couldn’t actually FIND my 3rd great-grandfather, who had gone west in the 1840’s, but they stated under oath that he was the son of the decedent, who had acted as the Next Friend of my g-g-grandmother and her sister — they were his granddaughters.

  24. Last week I sent an email to my niece, Emily, to tell her that she now had the honor of sharing a name with a rescue cat who was being wooed with great determination and generosity. Today she replied, “Aww! Very honored to be welcomed into your online community, even second hand.” Which means Argh made 2 of us happy this week.

    Instead scurrying off to try and buy as much of the marked down good chocolate as I can find, I will try to stay out of the candy sections for the next few days. I still suspect that the drop in my blood sugar is a fluke, but I don’t want to give back any of the progress I’ve made in the name of fiscal responsibility. It will be very hard. I managed to control myself after Halloween, but it is considerably colder and darker now and the thought of curling up with some chocolate and a cup of coffee sounds very tempting.

    The other thing that made me happy is that my earmuffs finally arrived. Although I ordered them at the New Year, I also sent back a pair that were broken and they were waiting for a back ordered part before they sent all 3 pairs at once. I can understand wanting to save on postage, but it cost me a full month of cold ears. Now if having my preferred form of ear coverings can just scare off the bad wind chills, the whole city can be happy.

  25. I have been eating so much chocolate in the last year (really good, high end, mostly dark chocolate, so I’m saying it is health food–fight me) that one holiday day doesn’t make much of an impression.

    Had a lovely family Zoom chat today, the 10th anniversary of the death of my beloved maternal grandmother. We all reminisced, but I win, because I had a dream a couple of days ago in which she called me on the phone. I knew at the time (in the dream) that she was dead, and yet it was still really great when she told me that she was so proud of me, and all I’d accomplished. Since that’s the kind of thing she would actually have said, I’m choosing to believe she actually “called.” And that makes me happy.

    Happy VD, Arghers. I’m happy to be the Valentine of anyone who needs one.

  26. Yesterday my husband proposed a drive and we went up to Walpole, New Hampshire, to the Burkick’s chocolate shop. It was heavenly. We chose a cake for Valentine’s Day as well as individual chocolates. We ate chocolate penguins on the way home.

    Since COVID isolating started, we just haven’t gone out on many drives — maybe two or three since April 2020. It was so nice just to take a drive and end up at a lovely candy shop. Sweet times.

  27. My dh and I picked up a lovely dinner and ate it in candlelight with the good dishes. It was really nice. We passed our third of a century married point recently and apparently we can thrive even in a pandemic.

    My poor DH lost a work colleague to COVID (83 but healthy) and another of his work colleagues lost a sister in law to suicide —probably due to increasing pain from some neurological problem the doctors couldn’t figure out. So it was a hard week and that quiet peaceful dinner was a good way to end it.

    On a brighter note, when he is upset he fidgets with gadgets and house chores. So now he has washed the filter of our stove hood in the dishwasher and 2 or 3 at a time he is putting little bags of white vinegar over all the faucets and shower heads to soak off the mineral build up and gunk. He is cleaning things I didn’t even know you could clean.

    And the senate trial made me very happy. The house managers did an amazing job of telling what happened and the historical record is clear; while they should have gotten a conviction that was never going to happen and getting 7 votes was a massive achievement .

    And I think those house managers are a great set of up and coming leaders for our country.

    My son has been tutoring his cousin on physics via text and since I connected them originally and neither seems to notice I’m still on the chat group I get to see all the texts. I have absolutely no idea what they are doing but it’s so nice to see them connecting. (They grew up hundreds of miles apart so tbey don’t know eachother well.)

    I’m also giggling over some of the Twitter verse reactions to the senate trial particularly this

    1. Our filters went into the dishwasher this morning. I also had a thought about cleaning the hood over the stove after years of going at it while it was cold. I’ve decided to try let the tea kettle do it’s magic and loosen up the accumulated grime, sort of like putting a bowl of water into the microwave and run it for a minute or three. Reminds me of Hints from Heloise, I miss that column. She was a staple like Peg Bracken of I hate to cook fame.

      1. She was indeed. I still have my kitchen organized Heloise’s way, with color-coded this and alphabetical that (spices).

  28. It is -15 Fahrenheit now should be 20 below by morning. I worked tonight but got off at 7pm because too many nurses and not enough patients. Much better then the opposite. It was only 10 below when I left so I was comparatively warm on the drive home. I usually work Valentine’s day. Usually we go out a different day, (it’s cheaper)., But Covid. I gave my husband a Dueling Dragon’s T shirt circa 1990 from ebay. Yes, a used T shirt. If it gets wet the runs dye runs into a red puddle at your feet. So romantic. He loved it.

  29. I have been doing a short Spanish lesson every day in February and that is making me happy. Especially because it seems I haven’t forgotten everything I learned in three years of college Spanish.

    I was going to play Ukelele every day in Feb but Spanish was calling to me so…

    I do want to get back to the Uke again though.

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