Jim's Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

By popular demand: Jim’s Dark Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Making the Fudge Put 4-5 candy canes into a plastic bag.  Bang with a hammer till in small pieces.  Set aside. In non-stick saucepan, mix the following over low/med heat: 1 lb bag confectioner’s sugar ½ cup powdered cocoa – Hershey’s Special Dark is wonderful.  If you can’t get Hershey’s try to …

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Happiness is Chocolate + Mint

While in Costa Rica, I picked up a package of Chiclets Fusion gum — a luscious blend of chocolate and mint.  After consuming the last piece of my stash today, I turned to the web to find out where I might find more.  Alas, it appears this gum flavor is only sold in Latin America.  However, I did stumble across …

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Happiness is Flying High!

Zip Lining over the Costa Rican Rain Forest I had a lot of adventures on my recent vacation in Costa Rica — I explored coral reefs, climbed a mountain on horseback, and allowed myself to be strapped to a steel cable and pushed out of tree — upside down.  Yikes! I took this video on one of my right side …

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Happiness is Watching Your Child Succeed, Part 3

My eldest child, Kelly (a regular reader of this blog), has been bugging me since I started it, asking, “when are you gonna write a column about ME?”  For a long time I put her off by pointing out that this is my professional blog, not personal.  Well, since I recently wrote about BOTH of her brothers, I clearly can’t …

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Happiness is Good Airplane Food – and Chocolate Dessert!

In two days I’ve spent a total of 23.75 hours on a plane, most of that on two Japan Airlines (JAL) flights from Chicago O’Hare to Narita International in Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Singapore.  I’ve been unconditionally delighted with the meals four meals I’ve had thus far. I’m a vegetarian, and so am careful to make note of …

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Happiness is a Warm Toilet Seat

One consequence of aging is that one gets up in the middle of the night more often.  I hate it when my butt hits that cold seat in the night.  So it’s 3AM in the middle of my first nite in Tokyo, and I gotta go.  I stumble into the hotel bathroom and… OH.  MY.  GOD!  This toilet seat is …

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Happiness is Watching Your Child Succeed, Part 2

I am so excited!  My oldest son got engaged last weekend to a wonderful young woman who makes him very happy. In the improbable manner of the world, Justin (from Cleveland) met Katie (from Pittsburgh) while they were attending a Second City Improv workshop (in Chicago) two summers ago.  Apparently it was love at first sight. Justin moved to Nashville to …

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Happiness is Making Do With What You Have

It is a gray, dreary day.  Neither of us wants to grocery shop in the rain.  Yet, we must eat something. On the counter we assemble all the fresh food remaining in the house: 1 lb of carrots 3 large yams 4 overripe tomatoes 1/2 pint of mushrooms 1/2 bag of frozen corn 2 apples a large handful of spinach …

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Happiness and Integrity

Reflection: it is difficult to experience true happiness when one does not live in integrity. You can experience pleasure, yes.  But true happiness, as it is related to meaning and engagement with life, is difficult to achieve and impossible to hold when one is out of integrity. The word Integrity comes from the Latin, “integritas” and “integra” meaning whole, complete, …

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