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July 30, 2009

Again, you have my apologies for the missing posts and general absence lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about how best to handle stress and worry when it comes in relentless waves for months on end. (My childhood friend’s mom died very soon after a cancer diagnosis. My mom fell again this week. My sis meets with the surgeon Friday.) This being a grown-up thing is often for the birds. So, should you find yourself mired in non-stop drama of any variety, here is my best coping advice.

** I started to write a whole thing about fitting in time to workout and trying hard to eat right, but you’ve heard all that before, I’m sure. Instead, here are the two things that REALLY keep me afloat in tough times. **

Mandatory Snuggle Time
Long ago in our love story (tomorrow is the 22nd anniversary of our first date), we instituted Mandatory Snuggle Time. Because Tom works harder than anyone I know, about the ONLY time he isn’t running around is in the morning when he first wakes up. So, if a girl needs to cuddle, that’s the time to do it.

(We like to pretend we still look this young, but … you know.)

Lilly, on the other hand, is often snuggliest in the evening. So, we head to bed long before the boys and get in at least an hour of one-on-one comfort each night.

{photo lost in major blog glitch}

Thankfully, Ginko is pretty much willing to snuggle any time I am. As I’ve said before, his answer to nearly any question is “Yes.”

{photo lost in major blog glitch}

So, that pretty much covers my whole day.
  • Tom – in the morning
  • Ginko – anytime I need a boost
  • Lilly – at night

When all else fails, snuggle with the ones you love most.

The Magic Chocolate Pie
I frequently use this pie to handle stress, to send Get Well wishes to friends and neighbors, and to celebrate any occasion (big or small). Essentially, it’s monster chocolate, topped with creamy chocolate, topped with chocolate mousse, topped with whipped cream. (Here’s a little secret about me: I believe dessert comes in one and only one form — chocolate.)

Magic Chocolate (Coping) Pie

3 squares baker’s semi-sweet chocolate (melted)

1/4 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
1 chocolate cookie pie crust (pre-made)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (whatever makes you happy)
2 cups of milk
2 packages (3.9 oz each) of chocolate instant pudding
1 tub (8 oz) of whipped topping (thawed & divided)

Mix the melted chocolate and condensed milk. Pour into crust, and sprinkle with nuts.

Beat milk and pudding mix (whisk or mixer) for 2 minutes, then spoon half of it into the pie shell.

Stir half of the whipped topping into the remaining pudding, then spoon it on top of the full-strength pudding.

Top with the remaining whipped topping and chocolate shavings for flair.

Refrigerate for 3 hours.

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. As someone who’s come through not only brain surgery but a car accident over a mere four months, I can confirm the stress-reducing properties of Mandatory Snuggle Time — or, as we say in our house and which Allie responds to as a cue — Love Time. That said, a glass of wine at the appropriate time helps, too.

  2. Oooh! I like the way you think! I’m going to have to try the chocolate pie. I wish I still had a man to snuggle. I’ll have to settle for the dog. She smells better anyway.

  3. Great stress-relieving ideas. I have a sign on my wall which reads: When all else fails, hug the dog! And, that’s exactly what I do!

  4. I’ll take that advice: snuggle and eat chocolate pie. Awesome!

    Hang in there. I agree that this grown up stuff stinks. So, I’ll add my trick – find time to act a like a kid every single day.

  5. Yum.



    It’s my turn to bring dessert to my book group this weekend–they will love this (and I will love not having to turn on the oven during this heat wave). Thanks for sharing!

  6. We just found you through Twitter and are so excited to be reading your BLOGGING.
    I hope you will come to visit me too.
    Mom says when we have a “break” we are going to go back and read our way thru your wonderful words. Happy Anniversary. Try to stay Sane.
    Blogging Bob
    World’s (only?) Blogging PitBull

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