Three of these wild ones (all my friends seem to be a little bit crazy - and that's the way I like 'em! If someone isn't a little off center, then they are just too boring.) sent me Christmas presents. There were all out of the blue, completely unexpected, and totally wonderful.
The first one is from my buddy Don Johnson (no, not Miami Vice although Don does ride a mean motorcycle). Don sends me the most hilarious e-mails EVER and is a totally cool guy. Way cooler than the Miami Vice Don Johnson. He sent me this:
Now this is not a giant chocolate bar (although it is designed to look like one). It's a great book!
Loaded with gorgeous pictures like this and information on tasting chocolate, chocolate holidays, how chocolate is made, and 40 recipes - it's fantastic. I wish I just had someone to make all these for me. Looking at the pictures alone makes my mouth water. Don - you're the best!!!
Another friend, Diane Fain Worthen, sent me these:
Diane MADE the cool red scarf surrounding the chocolates. It's a really unusual scarf - the picture doesn't do it justice. How thoughtful is she - she was thinking about me keeping my crazy, messed up neck warm in the winter, and she knows red is THE FireStar color. It just doesn't get any more thoughtful than that! Diane is one of those super women who can tame children, horses and men with one hand and make great things like this with the other!
The chocolates are from Van's Chocolates in Hendersonville, North Carolina. And Diane picked a great assortment and took the time to enclose a guide for me!! No guessing necessary! YAY!
The top row has a caramel (which was good and chewy, I like 'em that way!), a pecan turtle (these were the freshest pecans ever - delish!), a chocolate cream and a vanilla cream (the chocolate cream was wonderful, but VERY rich and the vanilla was a little too sweet for me). The next row had an almond toffee (very good), a peanut butter meltaway, a raspberry meltaway, a peanut cluster (I'm telling you these nuts were so fresh - it was like they were just grown!) and a coconut haystack. Van's were very good - MUCH better than Russell Stover's assortment and the pieces featuring nuts were excellent. I will make sure I stop in next time I'm out in the western part of the state. Thanks, Diane!!! And thanks for the scarf - it's always really nice to get a gift someone went to the trouble to make.
And that brings us to the wild and crazy, Jay Rowe. Jay is hard to describe - here's a guy who went to clown college (so you know he's hilarious) but also teaches etiquette classes. To give you an idea of the many faces of Jay, he sent me this lovely ornament:
Look at her! Isn't she sweet? She's Hallmark's Angel of Chocolate! Russell Stover makes a chocolate Pope, Hallmark makes a chocolate angel. God is smiling. Although I notice the Angel of Chocolate is EATING the chocolate. Shouldn't she be extending it to us, like mercy? Or maybe she is saving us from ourselves. Either way - what a great gift!!
But Jay also sent me this button:
And if you knew him, you would think, "That is SO Jay Rowe!" He is too funny and a terrific friend. The Chocolate Angel and the Chocolate Slut - you saw it here first, Ladies and Gentlemen! Under the big top! Thanks to our Ringmaster - JAY!!!
So - take a few minutes to be grateful for all YOUR crazy friends and all the laughter and joy they bring into your life. And never doubt that taking the time to send someone something means the world to them. I got so much joy out of these gifts! And I knew that all the senders were thinking of me. These gifts all came from the heart and I cherish them as well as the givers.
Don, Diane and Jay - thank you so much!!!! (And no, readers, I am NOT giving up my Chocolate Slut pin! So don't even ask.)