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It’s amazing how much of life can be put on hold when the temperature gauge falls below double digits.  Groceries.  Gas.  Walking the dogs.  Aaaarffff….

Mix the cold with a dark night and it’s a safe bet you’ll find me snug under a blanket in my favorite living room chair.

The only thing that can break me loose from my comfortable shell is love for others.  And the shameful truth it that even then, love for the warm comforts of my everyday life sometimes wins out.

Not so today.  It was full speed ahead on the do-gooder ship lollipop — errands this morning, my niece’s concert this afternoon and a NBA basketball game this evening.

Had I been thinking of myself, I would have stayed home most of the day.  It had been a rugged week after all.   Had I been listening to my life, I would have known that the combination of fitful sleep, my dental surgery, my husband’s lasik eye surgery and then picking up the threads of everyday life were all telling me to slow down.

Rather than doing what needed to be done, I allowed love for others to carry the day.  And the irony is that the outings so worthy of my presence didn’t really receive it.  I wasn’t good company.  My loved ones deserved a better me; and so did I.

The truth caught up with me while I was sitting in my seat at the Thunderdome.  Watching a half-time show that wasn’t so entertaining, I realized I was ready to call it a night.  I wanted to go home.  I wanted to get my pajamas on.  I wanted to  write and unwind the day.  But when I suggested we  leave the game early, it was easy to see by one look at my husband’s sore eyes that he and I were not on the same wave-length.  This time he won.

So I checked out mentally.  I half-heartedly watched the game play out while unwinding my day amidst a screaming crowd and loud music and t-shirts flying all around me.  It was no problem to be contemplative in smack of a crowded and noisy arena full of basketball fans.  In the quiet space of mind and heart, I watched my day unfold to become happy for taking time to do two good somethings just for myself:  Flowers and Chocolate.

I hadn’t planned to buy myself flowers; but tulips are hard to resist under the best of circumstances.  It doesn”t matter whether they are cut tulips or potted tulips.  Any color will do.  And on this cold winter day, when I ran across a small pot for five dollars, I didn’t even try to resist — I’m glad there was no need to.

Chocolate wasn’t on today’s agenda either.  But driving back home from the concert, with hunger pangs beginning to hit, all I could think about was the taste of warm home-made chocolate pudding on my tongue.  So even though I was tight on time, I made a batch in the midst of pulling together our quick supper.  And twenty minutes later I had 7 small servings of chocolate pudding.

It was a lovely day, all in all.  Too much doing of course.  But the flowers and chocolate were all about being….as in, being kind to myself.

But let me be kind to you too by sharing the recipe.  Some day you might find yourself in need of a little kindness.  From my life to yours.

Chocolate Pudding

Preparation time – 20 minutes    7 small servings

2 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter

Mix eggs yolks and milk in a bowl and set aside.  Melt chocolate in microwave — medium setting for 90 plus seconds, until creamy when stirred.  In a large sauce pan, mix all dry ingredients with a whisk.   Stir in milk and eggs.  Mix well and heat on medium high heat, stirring constantly.   Mixture will thicken in 5 to 7 minutes.  When thickened, add vanilla, butter and chocolate, stirring constantly.  When completely mixed, pour into serving dishes.

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