The stories of our lives

(Image at story end)  Each and everyone one of us goes about our moments, days, tasks, and events every day. These small and large journeys make up the stories of our lives.  These stories have definitive beginnings (our births) as well as the obvious definitive end. One of the amazing things is that “end” is partly a fuzzy ending to those of us that march on after the passing of a person. The stories obviously continue in memories but also happen in new events. What? How? Is she out her mind? No, I am not.

I recently attended a wonderful life event. A Wedding. All  the hopeful and expected trimmings were present, the guest from near and far, happiness was everywhere, and love was clearly in the air! Two people, each with their own stories, now are lucky enough to start a marvelous new joint story.  One of the really cool things is that the two independent stories continue, and now we have three stories. This is a case were the math is a little askew and 1+1=3!  I believe a good union means each person is still their single story, but the joined/couple story is equally important, and so becomes a shared third story. The journeys, the paths, and the stories will unfold as the years roll by, and we all wish them only the best and the happiest of stories!   My personal journeys, and so my stories, are unique to myself, as is every one of us. So back to the fuzzy part… I was “sans one” instead of “plus one” at this life event – but my “one” knew, and loved, the wedding family of the groom, it’s the grooms mum who is our original connection to this wonderful wedding. My “one” had heard all the stories, he knew the characters, and we would often, in the more recent years, spend holidays and special times together. I am sure that he too was wishing the new bride and groom only the best and all the love. So, although he was not part of the physical wedding story, he will never not be part of my story, past, present and even future. For me, he too, was indeed at the wedding, clearly not in the usual way, he didn’t have to worry about what to wear and we didn’t get to dance together, but he was positively there in my heart and in the love that was in the air. He is part of the reason I am who I am today. The people who come into our lives, and make imprints on us, are all part of our stories.

The fabric of the story continues to get woven each day, each path, each journey, each awareness, you get the idea… It’s a good thing. The woven fabric may get tattered at times, may even get a few holes, but other times it seems to have gold threads woven into it, sometimes it just grows calmly, slowly and steadily – all are part of the story. As hard at times as it seems to understand “the story,” all the threads, the weaving, the tatters, the gold, are what they are supposed to be. They are our individual stories.

Wedding pair, groom in his Kilt
Yes, the groom, all the groomsmen, and many of the other “Scotts” at this wedding donned their finest and wore the Scottish Heritage proud with their  kilts. It was SPECTACULAR!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate, 2 takes. Fun Food Friday!

Julia and 2 mugs of Hot Chocolate
One for you and one for me! Yummy.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate seems to be all the rage this year, from DD and McDonals to gourmet coffee shops! Julia jumps in and offers 2 varieties.

#1 Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

Prep Time: 8 mins  Cook Time: 8 mins  Total Time: 16 mins


  • 4 cup(s) milk, lowfat (1%)
  • 7 piece(s) peppermint candies
  • 1/2 cup(s) chocolate chips, white (We image dark would be fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 piece(s) peppermint candies
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup, light-colored (or Agave syrup?)
  • 6 tablespoon whipped dessert topping, fat-free (or not)


1. Cook milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until warm (do not boil). Add 7 crushed peppermint candies, stirring until candies dissolve. Add white chocolate, stirring with a whisk until chocolate melts. Cook until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan (do not boil), stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in extract.

2. Coarsely crush 2 peppermint candies; set aside. Finely crush remaining 2 peppermint candies. Coat rims of 6 mugs with corn syrup. Place 2 finely crushed peppermint candies in a saucer; dip rim of each mug in candies to coat. 3. Pour 2/3 cup hot chocolate into each mug; top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Sprinkle 2 coarsely crushed candies evenly over topping.

Yield: 6 servings.Nutritional Info (Per serving):  Calories: 199, Saturated Fat: 4g, Sodium: 105mg, Dietary Fiber: 0g, Total Fat: 6.5g, Carbs: 29.5g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Protein: 6g   Carb Choices: 2   Thanks to EveryDay Health for that one.

Now we’re talking holiday Cheer!

#2 Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps 
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello @
Prep Time: 5 min    Cook Time:5 mi     Serves: 6 servings

1 quart milk (skim, 2 percent or whole) or half-and-half
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (recommended: Scharffenberger)
9 ounces peppermint schnapps
Whipped cream, for serving
6 peppermint sticks, for serving

  • Directions
  • Heat 1 cup of the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate, stirring constantly, until melted. When the chocolate has melted, increase heat to medium and add the remainder of the milk while whisking rapidly. Do not allow to boil.
  • Serve in small cups fortified with a jigger (1 1/2 ounces) of peppermint schnapps and a dollop of whipped cream. Add a peppermint stick to stir.  If transporting in a thermos, heat thermos up with hot water to get it warm for 1 minute. Pour water out and fill with hot chocolate.


OH – We almost forgot….WEDDING BELLS!  A Huge Congratulations to Mark and Margaret today! The whole gang wishes you guys ALL the best and all the beauties possible! ♥♥♥♥♥♥ (FYI, Mark,the orange is for you!)

Congratulations to Emily and Daniel!