Simple Pleasures

My Mug Reminder

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ~ John Burroughs

Quail Couple

Every morning I look forward to my cup of hot chocolate. Some people prefer coffee, tea, or maybe juice as their morning comfort drink. I prefer hot chocolate. I guess I should actually call it hot cocoa since I don’t use heated milk with ground unsweetened chocolate in it. At least according to an article I read recently, but who really cares what I call it. 

My hot cocoa is special though. I don’t buy the packaged stuff. Oh no! I use Cadbury Drinking Chocolate mixed with dutch unsweetened cocoa powder. I put a dash of cayenne pepper, pumpkin pie spice, and a bit of almond milk in the cup with the mix. Then I put two tablespoons of coconut oil in the bottom of the blender. When the water is hot I pour it into the cup and dissolve the powders. I pour that into the blender and mix it all together. When it’s finished it has a nice foam on the top. That’s the part I love the most. Some people can’t speak until they’ve had their morning coffee. The Brits drink tea as their preferred morning, late afternoon, and comfort drink. My morning isn’t complete until I’ve had my large cup of hot cocoa. (See above photo)

I must say that I postpone the pleasure of drinking my hot cocoa until after Barry and I have had our green smoothies and he’s driven off to work. Once he’s gone, I do my morning meditation, MindValley class, and sometimes journaling. So, my hot cocoa fix is a mid-morning delight. I take it with me into my office as I begin my work for the day. It has an honored place on the device to keep it hot. I savor it as long as I can. 

As I was thinking about writing this essay about my love of hot cocoa, and the ritual I’ve created around it, I was reminded of a Star Trek: Next Generation episode where Troy describes to Ryker the ritual she’s created to eat her chocolate dessert. Ryker was amazed as Troy described each step she created so she could gain comfort from eating the tasty sweet dish. 

Maybe that’s what I love about my hot cocoa. I’ve made a ritual out of making and drinking it. Part of the ritual is watching the birds eating the bird seed Barry has left for them in the yard as he goes out for his morning walk. 

My favorite birds are quail. We have lots of them and this year we have two or three families. I love watching the baby quail scurrying around the yard after their parents. I know there are other baby birds in nests nearby, but the quail are the only ones who bring out their babies for us to see as they feast on the bird seed. It’s fun to watch them grow into young adults.

The other morning one family came out to feed and the babies were all hunkered down in a depression by the water trough scratching and pecking. Barry and I were trying to figure out why they were doing that. I said, “Maybe we should write down our observations and make a study of quail behavior.” We’d been watching The Essex Serpent. The main character, Cora, is an amateur archeologist. We thought it might be fun to be amateur quail experts.

There are other joys of living in a place with very little night light. The sight of the rising moon and stars is one of the reasons we moved out so far from town. The other night was a super full moon. We went out to see it rise over the San Jose Mountains in Mexico. It was so big and beautiful. Barry took pictures of it with his new iPhone. We are also blessed with gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. 

Today I’m filled with awe at how much beauty there is all around us. When things out in the world seem so hopeless, I remember that there is also beauty and maybe taking time to focus on that will actually help change the world.

What are the simple things you take pleasure in? I’d love to read what you have to share.

Thanks for reading, liking and occasionally commenting. I appreciate it.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2022

Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published 

If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a Story-Power chat.

I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story. You may have seen my Story-Power posts here. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about your favorite stories, come join me at either, or

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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