Happiness is Cocoa Weather

Okay, I’m not a fan of the cold and it’s November tomorrow, so the cold has arrived. Not horrible cold, I can still go outside in shirt sleeves, but I shiver. The good thing about autumn cold? It’s not awful, it’s invigorating and it makes me appreciate cocoa again, chocolate that warms me from the inside. Lovely stuff. So cocoa weather makes me happy.

What made you happy this week?

73 thoughts on “Happiness is Cocoa Weather

  1. One of the contractors we have asked for a bid on working on the new sewer line (yes, that is STILL unfinished. The contractor who ripped up the street and the back yard appears to be in the wind) actually set up an appointment to come and estimate the job. About 75 percent do not even return my call (I just tell them I need a sewer line replaced. No sense scaring them off before they even come over). So, yes, happy. We may have the potential of getting the job done.

  2. Visiting an old friend still makes me happy. She moved to a city 3 hrs by speedy train away and this has been my first visit since then. A öot of culture (history, art and good cooking) has filled those past three days. Great!!

  3. I finished a small commission, have my larger projects ready to go and met my soft goal in both my Etsy shops. It feels good, but also slightly emptying. I need to figure out what to do next.

    Question for people who make money doing crafty/artsy things… What do you do to grow? Business and artistically? I’m not sure where to go from here.

    But I have pumpkin spice hot chocolate, so I think I will go make some. Happy Halloween!

  4. My daughter is moving back to my city today!

    And for s a few days I’m going to be cat sitting for her. I love her cat, a super affectionate Siamese.

    I’m still missing my late kitty like crazy, so I hope watching Rose for the days will be a happy thing, and not something that makes me miss Mauzer even more.

    1. This just in: Rose is being even more loving than I remember and it’s really just a joy to have her here. She meeps, chirps, and wants near constant cuddling. I’d forgotten that she likes to sleep on people’s faces, which is startling in night, but very affectionate. 🤣

  5. Just had a Zoom with a couple of old friends, and am due to see a couple more this week, who I haven’t seen for a while. Lots of connections making me happy. I’ve been brainstorming the planting in my garden: design always makes me happy. Weather’s due to be dry this week, so I’m looking forward to gardening time.

    Did a quick sort and initial process of my holiday pix, and put a few on Instagram today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CVs7xOsMHmL/

    1. Great photos, Jane. The photo of the rocks – we have those kinds of rocks here in Canada. Funny how sometimes we think there are different rocks in others countries. Well, Italy had some rocks I had not seen here. I was on the chapter where I was to find five rocks for The Artist’s Way workbook. I also happened to be in Spain and Italy for two weeks. I found five very smooth stones in Italy, also five stones in Spain, I guess I was an overachiever finding ten, haha.

  6. Cocoa with Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream.

    I’m on vacation in Hawaii and got the stomach flu. My mantra was thank God this wasn’t on the plane.

  7. Judo tomorrow, finally. Happy.
    Was forced to go shop for some new clothes with MIL earlier this week, because I literally only had 1 pair of pants for everyday use and all my t-shirts were old and worn out. I didn’t wanna go because I was sure I’d have to buy clothes 3 sizes bigger than last time I bought new clothes (looooong time ago, probably before the pandemic and then some). Turned out I didn’t have to buy larger sizes after all. Relieved/happy. Found 2 pairs of jeans, one t-shirt, a nice soft blue longsleeved shirt and a new winter jacket. The latter was actually much more expensive than I normally spend on a jacket, but since I’ve worn the same one since 2013, I figured spending money on a good quality new one was warranted. It’s probably gonna tag along for approximately 8-10 years as well.
    Oh, and I also bought some tea, and chili-cocoa powder for hot chocolate as well. 🙂 Warmthhappy.
    We’ve also finally bought (read: ordered) a couch and some really, really nice armchairs, but due to COVID and things and stuff, we won’t get them until halfway or end of January.
    When I moved to The Netherlands, Sven said a firm no-nope-never to having pets. Now, since we moved here, he’s talking about us getting a cat almost every day. Hopeful one might move in here soon! Just gotta find one we like and that likes us back.
    Happy to find all these happies.

    1. Good luck with the furniture, but don’t count on the delivery date. I ordered a couch and a chair in May. The chair is here, but I am still waiting for the couch. The last date they told me was yesterday, but it is not here nor have I heard from them. Time to call, again.

  8. So per last week, during which I found out that no, the crush did not suddenly start hating my guts and in fact still likes me…I spent the week getting up the nerve to talk to him about how he ignored me in public and how it made me feel like I’d been suddenly friend-dumped. Talked to my therapist. Talked to our mutual friend about it and confessed the whole saga, and he said that that’s been his experience of him too-sometimes he just disappears, doesn’t really initiate, but it doesn’t seem to be anything personal. Said he thought the crush would be very surprised by all of this.

    (I note that he and our other mutual friend who I told are both like “ask him out if you want to.” I’m not sure on this, specifically if he’d be up for it or not. I’m kind of considering it now though? See below.)

    Anyway, I finally got up the nerve to ask if I could talk to him privately, so I went over to his work at the end of the day on Friday and did it. He didn’t seem particularly upset/shocked, said he didn’t remember much about the day but he probably just got busy/distracted at work and it was nothing personal and he didn’t mean to do that and that wasn’t any reflection on me. Said he’s not good at keeping in touch because he can disappear at times and then feels weird about coming back after he’s done that. He said he was glad I brought it up and apologized for freaking me out.

    I also felt very bad about giving him uh…stuffed hugging robots for his birthday because I thought he’d gone all Blue Screen Of Death, “this is too much” about them. He said he still has those, so I guess me giving him a too-affectionate present wasn’t a problem.

    “It is not a reflection on you, sweetheart. Not at all. No way.”
    “I was happy to see you the other night. Because I hadn’t seen you in forever.”

    It was very affectionate, I must say. Holding my hands, lots of hugging, getting very close while looking at my jewelry, and at one point we had a straight up rom-com sorta pratfall in which I fell into him into his chair while hugging and then that went long and he was patting my back…I said “We need to do this more often,” and he said, “Yeah, agreed, I know.”

    So, that’s where we are now. I don’t know where it goes from here.

    In other news not related to him, I went to “Scary-oke” (theater karaoke) last night, followed by hitting the karaoke bar in my town. It went great and was a lot of fun.

    1. My sister is like this. She doesn’t realize that she ghosts people and hurts them. And then they tell her about it and she is surprised. She just doesn’t think about them. Personally, I am not sure that this is better. Being forgotten kinda feels just as bad as being actively ignored, but it is what it is.

    2. On the disappearing thing, I do that. It’s not deliberate and it’s usually not because of the people I care about, it’s because sometimes I just need to be very alone. The thing is, it’s not something that’s going to go away; if he does it now he’ll always do it so you’ll have to deal with it. I think most of the people I’m close to know it’s not about them and just give me my space.

      1. Yeah….I don’t know if I can deal with it or not because the whole man cave thing was an issue with one ex. Honestly, it bugged me because I didn’t think he’d come back (and guess what, eventually he didn’t, so I guess my suspicions were right there). But there’s some female friends I’m not that bothered with because they come back, so…

        I don’t know, still pondering on this.

  9. “I got a code in my node.” I swear I’ve heard that sung on TV. Probably a Betty Boop cartoon. But yes, I have gone through an entire box of “white unscented facial tissue” since Friday, which means it’s time to shop for more.

    November means wearing my hooded windbreaker, an unlined nylon jacket with hood. It has to be at least 15 years old. As the temps drop, I break out the fleece hoodie(s). Both were carefully folded up into their hoods, hiding on a shelf. The reason for the second fleece hoodie is that the first had an encounter with bleach, and looks… mottled. But I still wear it, when nobody will see me. Like McDonnie’s drive-thru, or Walmart.

    It is hard to be my usual happy self while my nose runs and my feet smell (heh-heh-heh). Weighing in at 252 and small change helps. I’d eat chicken soup, but have you read the sodium content on soup can labels?!

    If I must sit around, at least I bought Rachel Vincent’s entire Soul Screamers series and her Wildcats series, which is the follow-on to the Shifter series. Halloween is a good time for reading the former.

    1. I didn’t break fast until after 9 PM, by which time my weight had further dropped to 251.8 pounds. Several ounces of that had to have been from nosebleeds. I hate colds. I think I’m going to thaw a chicken breast, slice up an onion, and mix them in a crockpot with no-sodium-added chicken broth. I might nuke them, first.

  10. I’ve found that there is such a thing as chocolate flavored sweetener. It’s in a liquid form. So, a heaping spoon of actual cocoa powder, some hot water, and a couple of squeezes of chocolate sweetener and I have guilt free and sugar free hot cocoa. That’s a happy thought. And this coming weekend I’ll be headed to a quilting retreat with my friends. I think I’ll be bringing cocoa ingredients with me, because it will be damp and chilly then.

    Meanwhile, it’s Halloween. I’ve kept the cats indoors since noon today. No sense in having them get into trouble. I’ve bought only chocolate to give away. I’ve previously supplemented with Smarties because I like them – but I have no need to eat 3/4 of the purchased candy this year, so I just didn’t buy it.

    1. I must know the name of this miracle! Okay, I’m binging for it (Using Bing instead of Google, I mean) and there are many results. Sweetleaf Sweetdrops, in a dropper bottle or in a squeeze dispenser seems to be the most prevalent.

      1. That’s the stuff. I was skeptical at first, but bought a supply after I used up my first bottle.

        1. I wasn’t willing to shop Publix or Walmart, or anywhere farther than my neighborhood Food Lion, so I didn’t find it. Amazon will deliver it between November 10 and Christmas.

          So meanwhile, I’m slurping chicken soup broth. If you start with unsalted chicken broth, add a medium onion and a chicken breast, the result is very, very low in sodium. (Yay!) It’s taste reminds me of that notice to boil the water before drinking. (Boo! Hiss!)

          While I was at Food Lion looking for chocolate sweetener, I bought some Healthy Choice chicken soup-like cans. I added the chicken noodle one to my mista… experiment, and it’s not awful. But it’s not chocolate.

          1. “Amy’s soups” have some good low-sodium and healthy choices in canned soup.
            They are a favorite of the legally blind friend in Houston to whom I am sending Amazon groceries, as he has been without a working phone and electricity for two months now.

            He has no local friends or family (is a bit Aspergers as well as blind), and can’t cross the busy wide road to the appartment management office as there is no signalised crossing, so he can’t go pick up the new key to his mailbox (which is why he missed paying his electricity bill and got cut off), or get help with calling a cab to take him to the phone shop (for re-installing the phone which froze after an update), to the bank and to the electricity company to get reinstated.
            He has a few online friends, and we’ve been sending him groceries and trying to connect him with local help, but the Texas organisations that should provide help for people with disabilities, get them on SSI and such, are proving very very hard to reach, and very unhelpful, always pointing to some other organisation if someone does manage to reach anyone.
            And “of course no-one can do a home visit”, not even to a blind man who cannot get anywhere without help and has no way to contact anyone. Once a month or so the postman comes to his door with the mail, when his mailbox starts to overflow, and he’s been handing off outgoing letters in the hope they’ll get posted (which they do, give or take an extra week).
            The police did a wellness check once, but didn’t have the time to help him get his phone working again, nor could they send a volunteer to do so, so that was no help to him.

            Sorry for the rant, but this US system of NOT taking care of anyone who genuinely needs help has been frustrating me enormously these last weeks.

            Keeping the groceries to single-serving shelf-stable stuff that doesn’t need cooking (heating it over a tea-light is the most he can do), available from Amazon, gives a very limited palette of options.

            Anyway, even with all those difficulties, the Amy’s soups are apparently quite tasty.
            Wishing you the best recovery from your cold.

    2. For Hanneke ~ that is just wrong. Have you considered going public? This could also bring some “other” unwanted attention, etc. Some kind of an anonymous, hide his face etc. Scary for him and the situation is just unbelievable for 2021.

      1. I have been trying to figure out who I know who is in Houston Texas, but I don’t think I know anyone. Do others who read this block maybe know someone with a social justice bent living in Houston who might be willing to help from the location itself? Sometimes a member of Congress, for example, can be influenced by a local constituent to take some useful steps when others will simply not know how or not want to help.

  11. I am happy over my boss placing the last straw on my back this week. I am retiring, earlier than planned, but I can’t take any more incompetence and rudeness. My Christmas present to me, in just eight weeks! I will keep my freelance work and hope for more to make up for lost income, but I’m not worried.

    1. Ooh, I really want to heart this, but the comment came pre-hearted, so if I heart it, I’ll un-heart it. And I’m not sure it really counts in the first place if it’s pre-hearted. So, consider this an extra heart for the count. Early retirement and consequences for incompetence/rudeness (consequences for the boss, I mean). Makes me happy.

      1. I was seeing the heart already clicked when I read things on my phone. Using my laptop, I’m able to add my likes since they are not already clicked.

  12. Just the few kids in the neighborhood come by for trick or treat. It’s a long kind of back road and most of the kids are still quite small, so the parents stick them in to a trailer with some bales of hay and haul them along with a seated mower. The participating neighbors sit out on their driveways and hand out candy, and we get to chat a lot while we wait. It’s really fun and social.
    Ate a few Mounds mini-bars.
    Happy Halloween!

  13. Maine-Betty, that sounds like so much fun for the kids (and parents, too!). It’s been raining most of the afternoon and evening but I had around 60 kids come through for trick or treats.

    My siblings and I had a family Zoom chat earlier today; it’s a good way to keep up with one another

  14. It’s also apple crisp weather, and I figured out how to make it without butter (verboten due to my coronary artery disease), which isn’t as good, but far better than a life without apple crisp. Plus, I just ordered some walnut oil to use in place of the mediocre vegetable oil next time, and I’m hoping that will make it not just “better than no apple crisp” but good in its own right.

    1. I’ve gotten good results adding a quarter to half a cup of almond or hazel nut flour. My supermarket sells it but chopping nuts up in a food processor has worked too. Except that once when I turned my back and got almond butter. Still tasty, just not for the purpose.

        1. I have an apple brownie recipe (comes out more like apple cake squares) that was always a hit (no one knew I used canola oil).

          You probably already know that muffins are good with canola oil substituted for butter.

          I kind of made up a canola oil pie crust recipe. Nope, doesn’t have the taste or texture of butter, but it works. If there’s a crust holding together tons of delicious filling, most people don’t care.

          In all my recipes I use more spices like cinnamon and ginger than the recipes call for. I stick to pinches of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and mace; I try to use a bit less salt than called for.

          I can always share recipes.

  15. Happy was spending most of Saturday on very productive writer business and then, so far today, writing 6000+ words on a new novella. Meanwhile it’s cool and gray weather, my favorite, and the husband brought home steaks for dinner.

  16. My husband and I and our two dogs are at our cottage for the week. Rainy but not too cool. Made African Coconut Curry soup. Had a long nap today. All this made me very happy.

  17. New doctor, one that might listen.
    Not exactly happy. Hopeful though and that is making me happy.

    And I have a date with my sweetheart after, that works for certain happy.

  18. DH and I took a mini-vacation to Quebec City – about 4-1/2 hrs away. Stayed in a restored monastery stated by Augustinian nuns in 1639. We walked and climbed stairs (many, many stairs) around the old, walled city. Had an amazing supper at a small restaurant frequented by locals – best warm goat cheese salad I have ever eaten.

    Spent 2 days on the flower farm, planting spring bulbs and digging up dahlia tubers. Last day of this year tomorrow. I will miss my weekly visits to the farm.

    Planted garlic for the first time. Looking forward to spring to see how many of my 25 cloves come up.

    Started Christmas shopping this weekend at a local craft fair. My goal is to shop local as much as possible and finish up before the end of Nov.

    I made up Halloween gift bags for the 6 girls across the street, 5-13 years (2 households). I was then ‘ghosted’ by one set of girls – candy, tomato seeds and a little drawing.

    1. @Susan I’d love to know the name of the monastery and restaurant (if you don’t mind sharing) for my next trip to Québec. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

  19. My cousin liked my idea for a logic puzzle, so that’s good. She and I reviewed a proposed contract with a publicist (in Saskatchewan, so paying him is going to be interesting) and everything looks satisfactory, so THE LARAN GAMBIT is moving right along. We came up with a list of stuff he needs to know, some of it probably not what he might be expecting, but science fiction is a genre of the truly unexpected. She then had a sudden realization that tomorrow is the beginning of NaNoWriMo. The Metropolitan Museum of Art emailed me that they have a new series of tableware, including one Egyptian inspired, one Asian inspired, and one Cloisters inspired. I need more tables . . . . I have been drooling over the pictures. What I DON’T need is more dishes, sigh.

    My cousin also thanked me for giving her the Jacquie Lawson Advent calendar (we alternate, whichever of us sees it first buys two) and told me that last year’s, which was Nordic based, had a special treat where the fjord shows a steamer crossing and recrossing, and after the second steamer trip . . . a dragon ship crosses. I came home and checked it out, and sure enough, there’s the dragon ship!

    Last happy — tomorrow is the court calendaring schedule session for my young relative’s immigration hearing. This will have all the thrill of six people trying to find a mutually convenient time for an appointment, but any progress. The last installment was March 2019, so I’m secretly sure the plan is that everyone involved will die of old age, bankrupt from legal fees, before accomplishing anything.

    1. Ooh, that’s some lovely stuff in the Met. If the international shipping wasn’t so expensive I’d be seriously tempted. Heck, I’m seriously tempted anyway.

    2. “the plan is that everyone involved will die of old age, bankrupt from legal fees, before accomplishing anything.”
      But isn’t that always the plan?

      1. Dead from old age/bankrupt from legal fees/before accomplishing anything: Charles Dickens all the way. My favorite for this theme is Bleak House, but he used it often.

  20. Why are most of the hearts already pre-hearted?

    I’m happy that I turned in my next Llewellyn book Friday afternoon. It was due November 8th (after a 2 month extension) so it was good to get it off my plate. Especially since I’m moving into the busy season at my artists’ cooperative shop and have the 2nd cozy mystery coming out on November 16th.

    It was an unusually warm October and finally turned cold here. Not that happy about that, but it isn’t exactly unexpected. I have hot chocolate almost every morning in my mocha (I make high end drinking chocolate in a hot chocolate machine and add a cup of brewed coffee). Always a happy.

    1. It’s a mystery.

      I’m also a cocoa addict: I mix a paste of cocoa, sugar and milk, then add boiling water, to make a really dark chocolate breakfast drink.

      1. I’m also mainly pre-hearted – pretty, but not quite as intended, unless the website has gone all AI on us… 🙂

        I really enjoy a good cocoa/hot choc – although I do the opposite to Jane, as I like mine milky. Costa do a Black Forest hot chocolate at Christmastime that I really like – I’m not usually a fan of the variations, but make an exception for that one!!

    2. I will ask Mollie about the hearts. I was hoping they’d fix themselves.
      On my laptop, the hearts are black unless I click on them, then they turn red. Does anybody else still have the plain hearts that turn red when you click them?

      1. I have plain hearts that turn red when I click on them. Someone else said that the hearts were preselected when she was on her cell phone, but not the computer. I’m on my computer.

      2. It was:

        Nancy H
        NOVEMBER 1, 2021 AT 8:36 AM
        I was seeing the heart already clicked when I read things on my phone. Using my laptop, I’m able to add my likes since they are not already clicked.


          1. I’m using a Windows laptop and sometimes I get all the hearts selected, Ans sometimes I don’t.

            Weird, there’s no pattern to it either.

    1. That’s the way I was when I began writing full time. I wouldn’t go out on weekends because that’s when everybody else shopped or went places. Then Monday would come around and I’d just hug myself and go back to sleep til noon. Of course I was working until two in the morning, but at HOME. I’m still thrilled about that and it’s been years. The closest thing I’ve ever come to it was snow days back when I was a teacher. The phone would ring cat 6M and I could Mollie upstairs in her bedroom saying, “YES!”

  21. I’ve been in northern Arizona this past week, doing research for a series of romcoms about a family who run a Jeep tour business in Sedona.

    Red rocks make me happy. 🙂

  22. Finished the lace Mother of the Groom jacket. In time. Yeah. I celebrated after finishing it yesterday by watching British TV with my roommate for hours. It was a rainy day so it didn’t feel like a waste of a day for a change!

    Today is sunny and it’s bulb planting after work and then dinner with a friend.

    Happy days.

  23. I did my second-ever trip to a pumpkin patch with DS, and it was a big hit for both of us. The weather was due to be dodgy, but we drove there in rain, the sun came out while we selected and purchased our pumpkin, and it then bucketed down while we were inside the adjacent cafe for a drink and (very nice) treat. The rain stopped as we came out of the cafe and walked to the car in the car park. Then started again on the way home. Talk about charmed!!

    We got a massive orange pumpkin. But DS painted it as I’m not too keen on carving, and he’s not yet old enough to argue, lol.

    DS was rather disappointed that ‘no-one came to visit’ trick or treating on Halloween, but it was raining cats and dogs (and we live at the top of a cul de sac rarely visited by treaters anyway). I am wondering about maybe doing some reverse trick or treating of the neighbours later in the week when the weather is due to be nicer… (we have chocolate bought for Halloween to give away).

  24. Sorry but did I miss that the Agnes and Hitman follow up is being published on the 16? Or are we not talking about that

    1. We can talk about it, no problem.
      I told Bob we’d do an Argh Author for it and he said yes and then went on a bike ride and somehow slashed his leg open and then rode home, bleeding merrily all the way, and he hasn’t said anything about it since. He did check in to see if I was still breathing and to tell me about his leg so I could tell him he was an idiot for riding his bike home with a leg that turned out to need eight stitches, so we’re still in normal communication, but he hasn’t mentioned Shane.

      1. I was wrong. He got eighteen stitches. I’d say I was speechless, but I yelled at him so I wasn’t.

        1. Aww, thank you for the update! Hope he’s feeling better!
          Honestly, it came up in my Kindle recommendations and I think I was in shock that the first Crusie book release in so long doesn’t have Crusie lol if that makes sense. Have you read it?


    It’s part of being in a representative democracy, the right to choose your leaders. Or judges. Or dog catchers. Depends on how they do it where you live. The polls are closed where I live. I seen my duty and I done it. Good practice for next year.

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