Story for Thought!

Holiday posts are in the works but in the mean time…



When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. Th…

ey agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.



Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding

As they say, “when one door closes, another one opens” and as I’ve discovered when one vice runs its course…another tends to wack-a-mole its way to the surface.  As is the case with myself and frozen yogurt.  This lacto-sucrose delight had been an almost daily staple in my life for longer than I’d care to admit but I seemed to have kicked the habit via gradual decrease of consumption (definitely no cold turkey on this one)! However (there always seems to be a “however”), I’ve discorvered a new recipe that is my self-proclaimed-after-dinner-rx for the sweet tooth that seems to take over after 5 PM: Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding! 

Ideally I should probably not have sweets after breakfast but I think that might be stretching it…but considering the alternative and the fact that I put only a couple of tablespoons of this on my bowl of strawberries and puffed wheat, I’d say I’m moving in the right direction.

Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Pudding


  • 1/2  cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups almond milk
  • 4.5 oz dark chocolate chocolate (I used Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Lovers 85% but I think that might’ve been a little extreme)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 t cinnamon


Combine cocoa, corn starch and sugar in a large sauce pan

While whisking, slowly add .5 cup of milk and continue to whisk together until it forms a smooth paste

Add the remaining milk and cook over med high heat, stirring constantly and bring to a simmer

Remove from heat immediately and continue to stir for 2 more minutes to allow to cool slightly

Whisk in chocolate, vanill and cinnamon and combine until chocolate is melted and mixed well

 Pour into a tubberware that is placed in an icebath an apply plastic wrap directly to entire surface of pudding to precent a film from forming.  Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Blame it on the Kindle…

People who know me know that I love 2 things: quotes and books.  And what I love even more are quotes from books.  It occurred to me the other day, while I was reading and “electronically highlighting” phrases in my kindle that it had been a while since I updated my quotebook (paper and blog version).  I’m usually really good about updating these things but because of my ever increasing speed with which I’m going through books these days (not sure if that’s a good sign-spending my downtime more wisely…or a bad sign-replacing my people-interactiong with book-interaction) I’ve made the swap to the kindle (for environmental, spacial and dust-accumulating reasons).

Anyways, the tangible pencil marks and dog-earring I’d pervious done in paper books would sit and stare at me until I archived them is now replaced by button-pushing, pixel creating highlighting that gets lost in the vast digital oblivion that is my “kindle cloud.”  So here’s is my attempt to make up for that lost time.

Why are doors so much harder to open than they are to close?-Brand New Human Being (good book but a little frustrating as the main character spirals into a pattern of exponentially mindless, easily preventable and “told ya so” mistakes)

From The World to Come (awesome book…ends in a totally different place than it starts but really good!)

    • Time is created through deeds of true kindness.  Days and hours and years are not time, but merely vessels for it and too often they are empty.  The world stands still, timeless and empty, until an act of generosity changes it in an instant and sends it soaring through arcs of rich season, moments after spinning moments of racing beauty.  And then, with a single unkind deed, a single withheld hand, time ceases to exist
    • It is a great injustice that those who die are often people we know, while those who are born are people we don’t know at all.  We name children after the dead in the dim hope that they will resemble them, pretending to blunt the loss of the person we knew while struggling to make the person we don’t know into less of a stranger.  It’s compelling, this idea that the new person is so tightly bound to the old, but most of us are afraid to believe.  But what if we are right?  Not that the new person is reincarnation of the old, but rather, more subtly, that they know each other, that the already-were’s and the not-yet’s of our world, the mortals and the natals, are bound together somewhere just past where we can see, in a knot of eternal life?
    • When something matters, don’t wait
    • “Everybody around here likes to pave their roads with good intentions,” the already-was daniel muttered, “but those roads never seemed to get me anywhere.  So I built this one out of stupid mistakes instead.”
    • “Mistakes are a very durable building material,” the mortal daniel was saying.  “Most people just throw them away as soon as possible and never realize that you can learn from them.  But if you do, they can actually hold you up pretty well.”

From The Fault in Our Stars (also really really good book! Originally I wasn’t detered by the opening sentence of the book description (as I told my bookclub not to be) because despite the “terminal teenage cancer thing” it was pretty witty and humorous.  But as I found out while sitting on the plane, stopping myself every other paragraph or so to prevent myself from crying and embarressing myself…it lives up to it’s descriptions first-impression.  (still a great great book…but I should probably inform my bookclub members)

    • Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note “the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”  Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare) but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.
    • You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are
    • As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once
    • We stared at the house for a while.  The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives.  I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.

Now I guess it’s time to add these to my bedside quotebook.

Some other books on my to read list:

  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home-Caol Rifka Brunt (which I’m about 10 pages into)
  • The Red House-mark Haddon
  • The Age of Miracles-Karen Thompson Walker
  • The People of Paper-Salvador Plascencia
  • The Light Between Oceans-M.L. Stedman
  • The Ministry of Special Cases-Nathan Englander
  • Giving up the Ghost-Eric Nuzum
  • Hunting and Gathering-Anna Gavalda