Happiness is Cooler Days, Cosier Nights

As much as I love those amazing late summer days when the temperature is no temperature at all, there’s something about early fall when you need maybe a sweater in the day and a good blanket at night. Those times when you close the curtains against the chill, turn on a lamp, pull a fuzzy throw across your lap, and pick up a good book. Cosy reading. Outside, the owls hoot and the raccoons yell, and inside you’ve got a book and a lamp and a blanket and–if you’re a hedonist–a cup of hot chocolate and a flickering fireplace. A cup of tea is also good. It’s Goodnight, Moon for grownups, basically. That makes me incredibly happy.

How were you warmed by happiness this week?

68 thoughts on “Happiness is Cooler Days, Cosier Nights

  1. I took a PTO (paid time off) day on Thursday. My normal days off are Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. So I got off Monday morning at 8AM & did not have to return to work until Friday night at 9PM.
    I got through the rewrite of my contemporary gothic romance novel, Hungry Ghosts. It is done in the sense of ready to go to an editor. Now to find and editor!
    It appears Ian will become a hurricane but he will not hit land here and he is likely to be a cat1 or 2. That could change but for now it makes me happy.
    As a by product of Ian – I am happy that I went out and filled my gas tank and got water.
    Much happy and, of course, warm is not an issue here in Florida. I am enjoying my Scottish Breakfast Tea despite the heat.

  2. What made me happy is that dd is back at her old school of her own wish (had decided to change schools but realized early on that she missed her old surroundings too much and thanks to a great headmistress was able to return swiftly) and to the joy of her friends.
    Hapoy: DS has come back savely from his school trip to Vienna which he enjoyed. Brought back a runny nose but nothing worse.
    It’s the time of year when we easily catch the flu though I hope our masks help against it a bit.

    Your picture of a cosy autumny afternoon is so seducing. Now, a cup of hot chocolate is calling to me…

    Sadly, there’s no space on the couch to get comfy – all the stuff dd needs for the outdoor week (first school trip in 3 years thanx to bl…dy Covid) accumulates there while she’s too tired to finish packing (spent most of yesterday at the Oktoberfest).

    Warm jackets have been dug out already – temps had dropped dramatically a couple of days ago. That’s one thing I didn’t like about autumn – it comes too suddenly and always before I’m ready to let go of the warmth of summer. Reminds me that the cold and school is an inevitable mix, sigh.

  3. My happy this week was kicking some ideas for a new novel back and forth (via multiple emails) with my agent, and FINALLY coming up with something she liked.

    We’ve been discussing what I’d write next for months, since we learned that Berkley wasn’t going to continue the cozy mystery series, and none of the (very few) ideas I’d come up with sparked with her. Or she liked them, but didn’t think they were saleable. [Yay! Romcoms are back! That’s what I’ve always wanted to write! Boo! The market is already flooded. I love publishing.]

    She finally said, “Something like this,” and I took the idea and ran with it and sent it back to her, and said, “You mean, like this?” and her response was, “Literally jumping up and down. Yes yes yes!”

    So I guess I have a novel to write. Thank all the gods.

    Also, my sad was that our fall equinox ritual get-together was canceled due to illness in two houses (one definitely Covid, the other maybe), but the happy was that my bestie came over anyway and we pulled out most of the rest of the garden and put it to bed for the year. Seemed like a fitting way to celebrate the start of fall.

    1. Today’s happy was the guy who came to patch my chimney being willing to help me take out the three air conditioners (including the one upstairs that has to be carried down the scary steep, narrow farmhouse stairs) and put them away in the barn. I paid him an extra $20 but it was well worth it not to have to chase my handyman or beg one of my friends’ husbands to do it.

      1. I store my air conditioners on the same floor they’re used. Once I get them out they go on a carpet and I drag them where they need to be.
        Also have chimney problems. Just a couple of missing bricks in the attic. The guy comes on Friday to tell me what needs to be done. Don’t need any squirrels treating my attic as a warm winter resort.
        It never ends, does it?
        Already looking forward to the new book.

  4. Had a lovely week in Derbyshire with my two friends. Who survived my unintentionally adventurous walks (I was the route planner; a scenic diversion the first day nearly ended in a slide down a steep hill). Had an especially happy interlude at Chatsworth, taking flower close-ups while they explored the maze – it surprised me how instantly happy and peaceful I felt, exploring with my camera.

    I’m now having an extremely lazy few days before my next trip, to the south coast for my niece’s wedding. Don’t need the heating yet, but I’m changing to my winter duvet.

  5. Temps have dropped dramatically this week and I’ve been wearing g lots of layers. Working at a flower farm gives me a ground level perspective on the shift to shorter and cooler weather. Still lots of flowers in bloom and deadheading cosmos, zinnias and marigolds this week made me happy – they’ll bloom until frost.

    Took DS out for A&W one night this week. The destination was less important than spending time with him. We talked about the upcoming municipal election – he’s very conscientious about voting. As a parent and a political science grad, this makes me happy.

    My MIL sent me a tulip called ‘Ice Cream’ which looks like an ice cream cone – pink and green at the bottom with a stack of ruffly white petals on top. Happiness now and next spring when they bloom.

  6. My husband sent me a picture of a T-shirt he said I should buy: “The only thing I like better than reading books is f**king.” I said… um no, I don’t think I’ll be buying that T-shirt. I’m not sure that warms me with happiness but his sense of humour is certainly entertaining.

  7. I decided to travel to Florida and experience my first hurricane. Mostly because I came to get my mother to bring her home from a visit to my brother…. and now here because gas has gone so I’d rather stick it out than try driving 12.5 hours home and get stuck without gas.

    We are close to Naples and I think it will hit further north… so we’re gonna stick it out

    But before leaving home I stripped the last of the 1970s wallpaper from my home. It took 2 weeks because there were two layers of wallpaper and the top layer had been painted over.

    THAT was a happy day!!

  8. One week to the surprise party for my husband’s 75th birthday.

    He saw a call on my cellphone to one of his out-of-state friends and wondered about it.

    Despite my remarking that it’s rude to look at other people’s mail, he checked a box left for our neighbor. It was addressed to me, c/o the neighbor. He didn’t say anything about it.

    Yesterday I bought 2 cases of wine and umpteen 6-packs of beer, brought them home, and moved them by 2s and 3s into the back of the coat closet. (I recently had hernia surgery and am not supposed to lift heavy things.) Half an hour before my husband was due home, I opened the door to that closet and the door itself fell off its hinges onto me. I switched out the cases and 6-packs in record time — carrying them fully loaded — to the back of the linen closet. I was finishing re-screwing in the closet door hinges when my husband arrived home.

    I feel like I’ve fallen into an episode of I Love Lucy. Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself.

    1. Gosh, Elizabeth! My fingers have all been crossed for you in terms of success with the tent and the porta-potty, but I never crossed any for the burden of refreshments and all the 1000s of other details that are part of entertaining large masses of people. NOT TO MENTION THE SECRET part!

      Enlist more minions to help you with things? That’s all I can think of to really make things a bit easier on you. Good luck! You have people in many distant places rooting for you!

      1. jinx, I’m really lucky and have great helpers. My daughter is co-hosting and dealing with the rsvps and questions from guests. My gardener/outdoor maintenance guy and his wife — in their roles as friends — are making signs, setting up the tents, tables, and chairs, and outdoor lighting, buying all the ICE, and coming up with a lot of solutions to my problems. There’s the neighbor whose front foyer is filled with my boxes of serving spoons, aluminum baking pans (with lids), and more stuff. Several guests are calling invitees who haven’t responded yet to encourage them to come. This is a terrific group activity. Thank you here at arghink for all your hearts and comments! They keep me going.

        1. Oh wonderful! Those are very good minions indeed! Now you need a small silent one to heft all the wine crates and six-packs for you when the doors break down, though. I’ll send good thoughts in hopes one appears for you.

  9. I love all these comments! I especially enjoyed Jenny’s mind-picture of Fall. I could do without the screaming raccoons, but everything else sounded lovely. Everyone has that Fall spurt of energy, and I’m getting it, too. It’s supposed to get into the 40s at the end of next week, and that means the chiggers will definitely go dormant and I can clear brush, and mow, and cut down dead plants without fear of those dang biting bugs. I haven’t seen a Hummingbird for several days, but I have seen Monarchs. It has been wonderful to walk in the cool mornings, and my pace has picked up, nicely.

    The real happy has been my son and his family visiting from Arizona for a long weekend. The grandkids are getting old enough not to have a meltdown every few hours, or when they get tired, which is a relief. My son installed some new wooden blinds for me. He said, “What’s on your list for me?” I usually have a list, but this time I didn’t, except that the son who lives here hadn’t had time to help with the blinds. I installed the old plastic ones which the cats destroyed, myself, but it was complicated, then, and I was intimidated by these heavier ones.

    Sleeping in the cool weather is the best. All the windows are cracked open, the AC is off, and it’s not cold enough for the heat to be on. WOOHOO!

      1. Todd (my son) said Bob Dylan is OK with him because he likes “lazy hippy singing” sometimes. That probably because I indoctrinated both my kids from the womb.

      1. I’m the opposite. I like Dylan sung by Dylan. Discovered his music in college and was blown away. Have you ever heard “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts?” It’s a cowboy mystery rom-com in nine minutes.

  10. I got my trip to the Ren faire in yesterday and that makes me happy. It was a pretty day, and today is not, so I get to stay home and be cozy. I would be lazy too, but my brain is bursting with ideas from all of the adorable little shops and fun outfits yesterday. There is just nothing like being around people who go all out unapologetically.

    1. I went to the Ren Faire yesterday too!

      Beauty and the Beast is going well, we only had a few flubs yesterday but otherwise has been going smooth like buttah (and no covid, knocking on wood).

      The next one is Christmas Carol: The Musical (by Alan Menken!). I have a very slight solo and a few lines and a part with a name in it, which is the first/last time that’s happening in this theater. Gonna enjoy that while I can…

  11. It’s in the low to mid 90s here in southern California and you guys are killing me with your images of cozy sweaters and fall days. I really need to just move already.

    1. Sunday and Monday we had horrendous rains and flash floods out of nowhere. By Saturday we were at 95 degrees and boiling again. Global warming is EFFED up.

  12. This morning I saw a cookie recipe on Food Network I wanted to try. One thing led to another, and I then found others. Plus, I look for simple and easy. Italian butter cookies dipped in chocolate with jimmies/sprinkles, sandwich cookies and a new one to me Christmas Crack. This all leads to stopping what I’m doing and replacing the ink in the printer. Luckily, I have the color on hand. Plus, the thing with my family is whenever there is a bridal shower, they tend to ask to include a recipe, so I’ll put in an old-time easy dinner of mine and a dessert.

    Yesterday it was taking the ACs out of the windows. I had gone to the library and when I came back, I caught my husband red handed taking them out himself. He was supposed to wait for our son. So stubborn. Our son finished and put them away. Next it will be the screens.

    So now it is more sweatshirt weather than t-shirt weather. I just love seeing porches decorated with pumpkins and colorful mums. Little by little we are changing over.

  13. Even though it won’t be October for a week, I got out my Halloween shirts, and was please to discover the new ones I bought at the end of last season and forgot about. Wore a relatively simple jack-o-lantern one to visit my MIL today, which entertained her. Witch and skeleton have made it outside, but I think I have too much to do today to get any more outside things up – maybe a few more things during the week before I go on vacation next Saturday!!!!!!! So happy!

  14. Football. U of W Hurries doing well, Seahawks are playing, I’m in my recliner reading the Sunday paper – I love Fall!

  15. Autumn in Seattle is my favorite season! That crisp morning air makes sleeping late all curled up under a multitude of blankets absolutely heaven. If I’m ambitious, I’ll make a cup of coffee and slip back under the covers and cozy up with a book.

  16. “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” – probably not Mark Twain

    I spent a summer in Mare Island, Vallejo, CA, across the Bay from San Francisco. The weather was interesting. I’ve spent winters in Great Lakes, IL, north of Chicago and parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. I’ve spent summers in San Diego, CA, and in Florida, and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I refuse to let the extremes rule my life, providing only that the heating or air conditioning works and there’s power to run it. That all Ah got to say about that.

    I’m fresh from the shower. I like showers. I could take one twice daily, but I’ve been asked to be a little more sparing of the water. I can’t blame it on gardening – I use cases of distilled water for most of that.

    I am happy. There is no single reason. I have books, gardens, working air conditioning, a refrigerator full of food and leftovers and caffeine-free Diet Coke. Just now I’m looking at a very thick New York Strip steak and a side of French beans and ‘fixin’s’.

    Happy! 😀

  17. I’m happy that a friend (and her husband) and my brother — all, coincidentally or maybe not, living in FL — are recovering rapidly from mild cases of covid (thanks to being vaxed to the max).

    And happy (without any undercurrent of past worry) to be working on a pair of purple quilts. I usually make scrappy quilts, and they can be really slow, because each block’s fabric needs to be chosen and cut individually. It dawned on me that I’d have enough left over from the initial cut for the first quilt to make a whole ‘nother quilt using the same fabrics but different design that has some dimensions in common with the first one, so I’m cutting both together. Twice the quilts, half the cutting! You can see the dark print pieces here, although I still need to cut the pale, solid-color background pieces: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ci8Jl9quaJ2/

  18. birthdays, family, out-of-town guests, and getting to play games. I happen to love rummy cube and nobody ever wants to play. But this week we got to play twice. Tuesday I’m leaving for Oregon visit a friend I haven’t seen in five years. And then we’re going to drive up to Port Angeles to see my sister. And I get to also see autumn.
    Also my son Chris and I invested in a subscription to Broadway in Hollywood. So On October 6 we’re taking Walter to see cats at the pantages

    1. When I was in college I signed up for a NYC museum tour (nearly all the other travelers were middle-aged women from our little South Georgia town) and more than 50% of the reason was so that I could see Cats on Broadway. 🙂 I love it.

    2. I went to see Cats just before the shut down of everything due to Covid. I had seen it before a few times and was puzzled when scenes I remembered clearly weren’t there. When I got home I looked it up and discovered that part of it had been re-worked as it was thought to have been dated.

    3. We just saw Cats yesterday in San Jose. It had been many years since our last viewing, and I was surprised at how physical the parts were — so much dancing with amazing choreography. And of course, most of the actor/dancers have to be excellent singers as well. This was a touring production that just closed, so maybe they’re the same group you’ll see on October 6.

  19. I am in John O’Groats on a tour of the North Coast 500. For some reason I thought John O’Groats was a small town. It is not, it is actually a windswept scattering of cottages and said wind is howling outside my hotel r. Fortunately I have my husband with me and he is always warm – it’s like having a portable Aga.

  20. The monitor on our business computer died so I replaced it with the monitor from my computer. Then I went out and bought a brand new, much larger, curved screen monitor for myself. It’s great! And, as an unexpected bonus, it is so much easier to read print that my posture has improved. I can sit back with my back straight instead of hunching forward like a gargoyle. I love it when things work better than I planned!

  21. Had to break out a sweatshirt to sleep in one night. And the heat kicked on. Took that as a sign to remove and store the air conditioners.

    Got the spare room ready for some large plants that I overwinter. It’s still warm enough for them to stay outside overnight but cool enough for me to sleep comfortably.

    It’s a great time of the year.

    1. I had to bring all the plants indoors on Friday afternoon, since the low temp Saturday was forecast for the 40’s. I figure 50 is about as low as I dare let them get!

  22. I find this idea of removing and storing air conditioners very strange. Here we have them permanently installed on walls and use them as winter heaters much much more than for cooling. But our summers aren’t anything like as hot as yours all are.

    I had surgery at the end of last week. That wasn’t happy but I’m recovering better than I expected and that’s definitely a happy. And being looked after by my lovely partner was happy too. And the surgery was to fix a source of long term pain, so having that sorted will be great.

    1. Best of luck to you, Reb, in your recovery! Once you get past the initial pain from the surgery itself, you will probably be amazed at the lack of the daily pain you’ve been suffering.

  23. It’s my birthday. My mum is knitting me a jersey and sent me an update (it’s nearly done), I went for cocktails with old school friends and my cocktail came with a quiff of candy floss, my 13yo cleaned my car, my daughter baked me cake, it’s a bonus public holiday today to acknowledge the queen dying, there are daffodils and blossom everywhere; I am showered with blessings. It’s a good day to be 45.

  24. I was happy to meet the next door neighbour of a house I’m considering. She was helpful and enthusiastic. It was nice to talk to someone in general, I’ve been isolating. I like the area, peaceful, heading toward gentrification, nice walking paths. Only it’s 30 years old and by her description, not much maintained. I could see myself the window frames needed work. And there may be flooding risk, one of those walking paths is between the back gate and a river. It’s only a little river. . .

      1. found that, it also shows where streets flood when it rains. I found several places where I got my ankles wet last time I was out in a downpoor, useful

        SEPA Flood Maps

    1. Seriously check the flood zone; I’ve been flooded 3 times since I bought my house and am potentially going to be bought out as it keeps happening ( and gets worse each time!). My whole neighborhood (app 200 homes) were offered a chance at the buy out but because so many of the houses got sold during the recent house market boom that right now, only 130 of us are still going for it. I love my house and neighborhood but am tired of replacing the furnace (3 times), hot water heater (twice), washer and dryer, (3 times), lawn mower (it was in the shed at the back of my yard, when it also got flooded), and a central a/c unit which also was flooded the flood before last. Check that neighborhood and see if there are signs like many people having hoses for pumping out their basements etc.

      1. map suggests mild flooding with small, .05%, chance of flooding into the house. And under water by 2080. This buying out thing -who/what is doing that?

        1. It’s a government program for seriously repeat flood areas. It’s not FEMA ( who basically told us to suck it up and stop whining; the $ amt of the damage didn’t meet their criteria for assistance) but another program. This is the same agency helped NYC after Hurricane Sandy went through. The idea is that they will buy us out, the houses will be torn down, the town will take over the land and convert it to wetlands; no new building will be allowed. I love my cute little house and the neighborhood, but I don’t want to go through another flood and my flood insurance goes up every year, even though I’ve only made one small claim in the past 10 years.

    2. Make sure you ask if the garden area floods as well as the house and also enquire about insurance premiums

  25. Here in Oz, we’re actually sick of cold wet days and electric blankets and looking forward to welcoming sun and butterflies. Unfortunately
    , Spring is still hibernating, but, hey, Mother Nature is currently prodding it out from under the quilt, which means warm days are just around the corner 🙂

  26. Our days remain hot, but not immune to cozy. L.A. Times this morning had an interview with a bookshop owner and artist who collects community cookbooks–you know the sort, the organization charity kind–and has made an art piece of Los Angeles history through community cookbooks. Woohoo! A kindred spirit. I’ve collected because the books reflect period and place. I need to get out there again to thrift shops and vintage book stores on the quest. communitycookbookarchive.org. So much happy!

  27. The sunset was gorgeous tonight while driving home. Could see Vancouver Island. Totally dark by 7:10. Will miss the long days of sunlight. Definitely cooler evenings. Still cosy under the summer duvet and the fan in the evenings. Planning a trip to England next year before a cruise with cousins. Very happy about that. It’s been a long time coming.

  28. I have been texting with my dd that lives in London. She’s turned into an exceptional adult – but the best part is she wished I lived closer. That makes me insanely happy.

  29. Happiness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Yesterday, I switched the AC to fan only – it was in the 60s outside – and turned it off before bed (at 06:00 this morning.) Now it’s in the 80s outside and 78 inside and the AC just got turned back on, full blast.

    I took two steps back and looked at my gardening habit with a tiny hint of objectivity. I love fresh peppers, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce. I really, really do. But I don’t need to bankrupt myself growing what I can buy at mt FNFL. I just retired 10 of 12 Amber Mason Jars and 7 of 12 clear Mason Jars with neoprene cozies. I offered the dotter some of my plant lights – she’s the family arborealist, there are plants everywhere in the house proper. She doesn’t like the purple tints, she says, so she turned them down.

    I may add Mason Jars back in from time to time, but I’ve spent more than enough for 2022. When everything planted germinates and grows, I’ll have lettuce for the rest of the year, and peppers. Tomatoes again, someday, but I made enough salsa to last a while.

    So. Still content with the past, happy in the present, and hopeful for the future.

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