Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

There Is a God and He Loves Me Very Much

Just in case there was still any doubt in your mind as to the existence of a very loving and benevolent being in charge of the universe, who knows what you want in your deepest, most secretive heart of hearts, and inspires others to help bring that to pass for you…


First let me say that sisters are awesome. I have been blessed with two, whom I dearly love and who enrich my life beyond the telling of it.

Second, the rest of this post will not make any sense if you do not know about THIS. So read the previous post first, then come back here and read this one.


***

I have been saving money for an iPod for 66 days. Every time I want something really bad and I don’t buy it, I put that money in my iPod Donation Bucket. I’ve put a lot of stuff back on the shelf for the sake this intended iPod (like this totally cool pair of navy leather boots I saw at D.I. for $7). But finally last week, with what I’ve saved plus what I expect in birthday and Christmas giftage over the next month, I determined that if someone had a Day-After-Thanksgiving sale on iPods, I would go stand in line at 4:00 a.m., regardless of the weather, and trample over anyone in my way to make my intended iPod a reality.


***

My sister called to see if I wanted her old Palm Pilot. I said yes, because mine is acting weird. It came in the mail today in a big box. But I know my sister and she always sends stuff in big boxes, and she frequently sticks in a package of my current favorite sugar free candies, or some fancy ink pens, or note pads or whatever. She’s very thoughtful that way.

So the package comes and I let it sit on the counter for several hours, because, like, I’ve got other stuff to do, right?

I just opened the box.

No candy. No ink pens. No alphabet stickers. But there on top of the Palm Pilot is the CUTEST iPod mini I’ve ever seen in my entire life!!!

It’s exactly like my daughter’s—the one that started this whole intended iPod fantasy—except green instead of pink. (And of all the colors that iPods come in, THIS green is the exact color I would have picked for myself!)

I was so flabbergasted that I came close to swearing in shock. I said, “Oh my crap!” (which is Utahn for “this is so overwhelmingly awesome that there are no words that I’m allowed to say to describe the complete and total excitement and amazement that I’m feeling right now!”).

I think it took a full 30 seconds for me to remember to breathe in again.

I called my sister as soon as I had a voice that would work and told her, among other things, that this was the best present I’ve ever gotten in my entire life, even better than the handicapped toilet (aka a toilet for people who are taller than 5’4”) my husband gave me for Christmas two years ago—which is sister-speak for “Thank you from the absolute depths of my heart and soul. I love you.”

Her response: “Merry Christmas. And don’t be thinking you’ll be getting anything else from me this year,” which is sister-speak for “You’re very welcome. I love you too.”


And this iPod is a double-blessing, the second being of infinite more importance and worth than the first:

1) the iPod itself which I will enjoy and treasure for many, many moons to come;

and

2) what the gift of this iPod represents—

a.) that God knows me on a deep and personal level. He knows the struggle I’ve been having lately and He brings blessings of peace and comfort and joy, both great and small, into my life through the actions of others.

b.) that I have a sister who gets me as a person. She knows all my dark secrets, my weaknesses and shortcomings, she sees me, warts and all, and she loves me anyway. She knows what speaks to my heart, my wants and desires, and she loves me enough to help bring those desires into reality.

Sisters are awesome—and I have a better one than she does.

Now Playing on My REAL iPod: You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor (lyrics)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dove Sugar Free Chocolates

I went to Wal-Mart today for some Nouggies. They were all sold out. I just about sat down in the aisle and cried—until my eye caught a new product. Dove’s Rich Dark Chocolate candies. They have three flavors: Chocolate Crème, Mint Crème and Raspberry Crème. Of course, I bought a package of each and sampled them during my drive home.

I can’t tell you how the sugar free versions of these candies match up against the regular Dove candies because Dove came on the market after I stopped eating sugar. But in comparison with other sugar free dark chocolates, the Dove dark chocolate outer covering is pretty good—not too bitter, not too sweet. They get an “A” for that.

The Mint Crème is a very mild, very light mint flavoring, similar to what you get in the higher end truffle candies, like Mrs. Cavanaughs or Sees. You can taste the mint, but it’s not strong enough for a good movie treat.* I prefer a stronger mint flavor or none at all. But if you like the mild mint flavoring, it’s not bad. I won’t throw it away, but I probably won’t buy them again. Russell Stover Mint Patties remain my unchallenged favorite.

The Raspberry Crème is very good. It has a stronger raspberry flavor than I would prefer, but I still liked it. If they’d make the mint flavor as strong as the raspberry and the raspberry as mild as the mint, I think I’d like them both a lot better. The raspberry truffle in the middle is nice and solid and chocolatey, unlike the Russell Stover’s variety which has a pink mushy raspberry middle. So Dove wins the Raspberry Crème category. I will definitely buy these again.

The Chocolate Crème was the best of the three flavors. It was really smooth and creamy. It’s a toss up as to which I prefer—the Dove brand or the Russell Stover brand. I think perhaps Russell Stover wins by ½ a point, but since it’s sooo hard to find, I’ll probably be eating a lot more of the Dove Chocolate Crème.

So in summary, if you like dark chocolate and you’re sugar free—give the Dove brand a try. I think you’ll be pleased.



*My favorite movie treat since I was about 10 years old was to mix chocolate, mint and movie popcorn. When I ate sugar, I used Junior Mints. Now, I use the Russell Stover Mint Patties. You take a bite of the mint, then a mouthful of the popcorn. Ummmm! But it has to be movie theater popcorn. Light or regular popcorn just doesn’t do it.