Tag Archive | chocolate

Snow Days and Hot Chocolate

We are having a snow day today, if you can call it that. It started to warm up during the midst of the storm and started to melt nearly as quickly as it laid. We did get enough (maybe about 6-8 inches) of the white stuff that Katie was able to go outside, sled for a while, and build a snow fort.

It was nearly lunch time and so I started heating a pot of water to make instant cocoa to warm her up when she came inside. I started hearing a scraping noise outside and realized that she was cleaning off the back porch! Wow! Without being asked? Unbelievable! (Sorry for the poor quality picture, but if she would have seen me taking this, she would have stopped shoveling!)

Katie clears snow from our back porch.

Katie clears snow from our back porch.

I realized that her coat was absolutely soaked as well as her snow pants. I waited until she was done cleaning the porch to call her inside. She stripped out of her wet things and it brought back memories of snow days gone by. I guess I had one of those “far away” looks, because she asked, “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing,” I replied. “I’m just remembering when I was your age what it was like to be out in the snow.”

“Tell me about it,” she said.

So, while we made turkey sandwiches for lunch and stirred our hot chocolate, I recalled memories of snow days gone by.

When I was her age, it seemed like we got so much more snow than we do now. I remember large drifts in my backyard that would get as high as me. There was one year, and I can’t remember what year it was, we had an abundance of snow. There was a large drift that formed in our side yard and it packed down quite tightly. I had recently seen a movie or TV show that had a St. Bernard on it rescuing people and found it fascinating! I decided there “had” to be some sort of lost victim in that snow pile. I found an old broom handle and went to work searching for victims by poking the stick down into the snow bank.  The giant drift was deep enough that it nearly covered the entire handle! The neighbor boy happened to see me doing this and wondered what I was doing. I soon explained that there were “victims” trapped under the snow and I was poking the stick down to find them. He quickly produces some sort of stick and began to search with me. Needless to say, we didn’t actually discover anyone, but our efforts were good!

Sledding at my house was awesome!! There was a field beside us that was hilly (we lived at the top of a big hill….one of the highest points of Peters Township, PA!) If you got the sled going just right, you could fly down the hill about 250 feet. If there was some ice involved, you went even further and could sometimes land in the stream at the bottom of the hill. The neighbor boy and me and my mom and dad would spend hours out there sledding and sledding until we couldn’t feel our hands, feet or faces. Then we’d decide we had enough and go inside for hot chocolate. We’d warm up long enough to thaw out and get dry clothes on and then we’d go out again. We’d sled until it was dark.


We lived in a quiet area. There was one point on our property where our land met with the farmer’s field that had two huge cedar trees . I loved to go back there at night in the snow and sit in a spot I’d create between the two trees, and look out over the snowy countryside and gaze at the stars. I felt very close to God in those moments. I’d often sing as I sat there with nothing but the moon and starlight to illuminate the night. It made me feel like I was the only person in the whole world. I haven’t felt that type of solitude in years. It was wonderful.

Katie and I finished our sandwiches and cocoa and she went off to play.  I sat looking out the window at the birds in the back yard pecking at the suet in the feeders and thought how lucky they were. They could fly off and find that solitude I once experienced any time they wanted to.  Suddenly, I felt very warm and fuzzy inside. I think it was a combination of hot cocoa and good memories.

I was happy as well to be home in my nice warm house. I didn’t have to go out and drive in the bad weather with all those crazy people who don’t know how to drive in snow. I felt blessed to have a job that I could do from home and yet enjoy a little quiet time with Katie. God had kept us safe in this “biggest storm of 2013” (so they said) and we were having a great day.

I remembered a scripture that would often come to mind when I would have those moments of solitude in the snow. It’s always been one of my favorite passages and has been a passage I’ve turned to many times in times of distress or fear. Psalm 121 says – “I lift up my eyes to the mountains–where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you–the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm–he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”

Cardinal in our backyard.

Cardinal in our backyard.


How to Handle Stress

I recently got this as an email from my aunt and uncle. I thought it was worth sharing! Enjoy! 🙂



A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’… She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.

She replied , “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced.

So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night… Pick them up tomorrow.

1 * Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

5 * If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can’t push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull.
Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in
the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery
on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought
about you today.


20 *Save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate!*

(I just noticed that there is no #15. Isn’t it interesting that #16 is about making mistakes? 🙂 ) ♥Miriam

The Power of Suggestion

Do you remember when we were kids. The first thing we were told not to do was the first thing we wanted to do. Ever notice whenever you have no electricity, the first thing you want to do is turn on a light? Or how about when you have no water? The first thing you need to do is go to the bathroom, but then you can’t flush! Have no heat? Suddenly, you’re just about frozen with no hope of ever getting warm again. It’s the power of suggestion.

Advertisers know this.  All they have to do is show you a picture of a big juicy cheeseburger, and “poof”, you’re hungry and feel the sudden urge to run to Wendy’s. (Or maybe, you think you need a cheeseburger now because you just read that!) It’s weird how our minds work!

Tonight, I went to see the Chambersburg Area Middle School’s (CAMS South) production of Willy Wonka Jr. My nephew Cory played Grandpa George in the play.

Willy-Wonka-JRIt was a good production! The only bad thing was the continuous theme of candy and chocolate. I leaned over to Dave several times to “hint”….”I think we need to make a stop on the way home,” I’d say.

“You do, do you?” he’d reply.  He knew what I was wanting!

I’m a confirmed chocoholic! If there is no chocolate in the house, I’ve been known to eat from the stash of semi sweet chocolate chips I keep in the freezer, or take a “dose” of chocolate syrup from a tablespoon!

I always thought Willy Wonka (the movie) was rather disturbing. I cannot stand the psychedelic boat ride scene. I didn’t even like it tonight….the flashing lights they used to simulate the swirling lights from the movie, made me about nauseous. Despite my dislike for Willy Wonka (or maybe it’s just a dislike for Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp….depending which version you’re watching), I sat and watched the production. However, the constant reference to chocolate and worse yet, seeing a chocolate waterfall throughout most of the 2nd half, starting stirring that craving even more.

I leaned over to Dave again. “We need to stop for gas on the way home.”

No response.

“Did you hear me? We need to get gas on the way home.”

“Yes, I heard you,” he answered. “Are you sure there’s nothing else we need to stop for?” he asked. (He knows me so well!)

“Well, maybe….” I reply. “Maybe, just maybe I might need a chocolate bar about this big,” I say as I hold up my hands about 2 feet apart.

Dave says, “I don’t think Sheetz sells candy bars that big.”

“Then I’ll get two of their biggest ones to make a bigger bar,” I decided.

He just rolled his eyes and smiled. But on the way home, he did stop for gas (we really did need gas!) and he brought me out two of these:

Hershey Bar with AlmondsAaaaaaaaaaah, chocolate heaven!

Now, did I really “need” the chocolate? No. But did I enjoy it? Oh, yes!!!! Drat that power of suggestion!