chocolate with cranberries from Frankfurt, Germany

last year we did some fundraising for a homeless shelter that accepts men and women, couples, and dogs.

When my step-father was sick (he’s the one i call Mr. Cinnamon Toast in podcasts), he asked that his clothes be donated to a few charities, and this special homeless shelter was one.

he also had a lot of hand-wrapped stones, which i brought back to france so that we could do the stone fundraiser. there are more of those stones available, too, and some new ones this year from my most recent trip (my mom keeps finding more hidden in the house).

and this year i want to ADD to the stones, and introduce …
a blind auction. 

what’s that?

I show you some cool treats, you EMAIL me with your highest bid that you’d be willing to pay to sponsor the homeless shelter and receive the specific treat being auctioned.

The email with the highest donation after 24 hrs wins the treat.

It’s called a ‘blind’ auction because you don’t know what the high bid is, you just have to submit an email with what you’d like to donate.

Here’s the first treat, this is bittersweet artisanal chocolate + cranberries that i got when i was in Frankfurt, Germany.

Would you like to ‘win’ this chocolate bar and make a donation to the homeless shelter at the same time?

send me an email with “chocolate from germany” in the subject line, and tell me your bid. You can use any currency you like (then i’ll convert to USD to compare to the other bids). Maybe the high bid will be $8 or maybe it’ll be $18. or higher. i literally have no idea! that’s the fun of it 😉

 

send me an email with “chocolate from germany” in the subject line, and tell me your bid.

hugs from me
belle xo

… Deadline is Wednesday September 20th @ 4 pm Eastern …

sober lunch treats (thank you)

   

sober lunch, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.

 

 

top: smoked fish and pickled fish from the nice Danish restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. with fancy bottled water (also danish imported) and a baby coffee. divine. did not share.

 

bottom: desserts were from Karamel, new place only open a year, and the dessert on the right is a baby lemon meringue pie. very sweet (literally and figuratively). shared with husband. did not eat all desserts myself.

books for research (treats, thank you)

books to help with new fiction-writing research, thanks to the Tiny Gift Button.

i wanted to see two books in a series (keyes), and i like the lightness + advancing plot of fallon. the nicci french book is a style i can aspire to. bernadette is fun, i want to look at how she uses humour. and the top right corner is embarrassingly one of the books on Goodreads that people rave about, in a predictable romancey-kind of way, and the book (so far) is not great (at all) BUT this writer has a huge following, AND she does something very clever in that she writes a book and then releases short-story updates … like parts of the continuing story. so i want to have a look at what she’s doing, too. so i can take all the best ideas from all these books, and then add my own ideas, to create something ‘new’ whatever that mean. maybe it just means create something ‘me’.

french anti-wolfie mints

email from Dr. Anon (Day 313):

“I have been thinking about the power of what you do. In many ways it’s the opposite paradigm of AA (no disrespect to AA, whatever model works for the person and I know it’s an organization that has saved millions in terms of mortality and morbidity). Having said that, most modern mainstream hospitals aren’t big fans.

The crux is in the loss of power idea. This flies in the face of everything we learn in medicine and psychological thinking. Personally, the idea of having no power is repellent to me. I never ever want to surrender and I am always in the driver’s seat.

Well, just imagine in your little shop of treats along with the jewelry and mugs, you sold a little box of French mints (fancy ones) but you had a word like “lupine” (is that the French word for wolf?). They would be totally placebo and totally legal. They would work, you know. Fuck, people spend gazillions on sugar tabs or vitamins. These anti-wolfie-mints could be kept in your handbag for when you need “strength to fight the wolf.”

I’d buy these.

Every time I put one of your fancy French anti-wolf white tablets under my tongue I’d be pissing myself laughing so hard I would feel so happy and ridiculous that I’d be in total control if my life and out of any destructive thinking spiral. Seriously, Belle. Can you think a bit outside the box in your sober store? I’d buy a carton of these mints. They sell these French mints in a tin box with a beautiful painting on the box, don’t they?

It just gave me the idea of taking more power, and how no matter what we do, we are doing an action that helps us. That’s the key. Doesn’t really matter what the action is. If our mind thinks it’s anti-wolfie, that’s enough. It can be a sugar mint with special Belle powers (you can bless them or sprinkle Belle holy water like the pope!).

I am not nuts. Go on Belle star! It was the photo of the French market that gave me this idea for some reason.

~ love, Dr. Anon”


French Anti-Wolfie Mints.

Dissolve one pill under your tongue as required. There’s something really special and medicinal about getting a tin from France. It’s exotic. You love stuff with “made in France” written on it. There’s some weird snob factor and caché… it’s extra-special because it’s from France. Anti-lupine tablets (French mints). One tin for the car, one for your bedside table.

here’s what my worktable looks like this morning

update from me

so last night i had to get out of bed at 11 pm and go online and order more mints.

you see, i thought 19 packages of mints would be plenty. i had 20 to start, then gave one to a client in canada. so ok, starting with 19.

i send out the email to you about the new anti-wolfie mints at 8:45 pm my time and by 11 pm i was up and at my desk. emailing the fancy mint store’s customer service, “i know the site says you’re sold-out but can you get me more by saturday” and they said yes.

phew.

so here’s what my worktable looks like this morning.
look at all of your stuff 🙂

on the left, the big white envelopes are books for doctors
the skinny brown ones on top are orchid necklaces
and the lumpy packages on the right are tins of anti-wolfie mints
all going into the mail this morning…

treats don’t work for me

recently sent this out as a daily micro-email; i’m going to post it here on the blog and add in some of the many emails i’ve received in response. 

email from good:

“i’m totally in the ‘treats don’t work for me’ camp. I eat what I want, when I want, within of course healthy parameters that – if i break them (TWO pieces of cheesecake!) – it doesn’t feel like a treat, it induces shame.

I buy what i want, when I want. Sometimes i have tried to convince myself that an expensive piece of jewelry or pair of jeans I’ve been eyeing or something similar will be a reminder piece to stay sober. But I never can “wait 30 days” to put it on.

I don’t have time for a lot of physical treats. I am craving a good 5-mile hike in the woods right now and it’s been a couple weeks and it hasn’t happened. I have two young kids and my husband and I are to the brim with shared responsibilities.

I cringe when I hear people say “make the time” and “get your partner to help!” – my husband cannot magically get his meetings cancelled to get home early so I can take off. I cannot walk out on my kids who are sitting at the table waiting for dinner. I cannot forget to get the straws or pictures or clothes together for school for the next day or my kid will feel left out and it will be my fault, something I can’t live with. When I’m getting dinner together, husband is busy giving them a bath and has to call his cousin in the hospital.  Later I have to clean or shop for guests or a party we’re having. This is the kind of every day stuff that has to get done. Now. Make time my A%$.  I’m lucky to get a shower in every other day (don’t worry I work from home) and I prioritize exercise, even if it’s whatever I can do quickly and not my favorite kind) over things like bubble baths. If I get a chance to go out for a couple hours and hike, or happen by a cute coffee shop and have a chance to stop, or even get an hour to read at the end of a long day between 10 and 11pm, I will take it, whether I ‘deserve’ it, have X days sober, just got through a tough craving, or not. And honestly, if I feel good enough about however many days of sobriety to deserve a treat, just feeling deserving, that’s treat enough.”


from me: do you agree with Good about the treats thing? i’ve done a lot of writing about this and recorded audios, and talked about retraining your brain … but i wonder if you agree with Good that, no matter what i suggest, it’s all ‘airy-fairy’ wishful thinking …

and if you disagree with Good (or you used to think how she did and now you don’t), you can tell me about that too. I’ll share some ideas in a future email.

fancy food treats (thank you )

returned to the expensive catering take-out places, for more food research …

my ideas: it’s very expensive, which works for that one neighbourhood, but it is still on the very top end of acceptable in terms of expense (and might even be OVER that threshold), the food is homemade and fresh, it is very very good food, better than most of the restaurant food.

the downsides of this particular place (things i would improve): the food is the same day-to-day, week-to-week and in the same location in the chiller. no variety. it could be: this week mustard meatballs, next week it’s chinese meatballs. even the pastries are identical week to week. it’s dull for the cook and perhaps too much the same for clients. i would also have some food in the window. it makes people want to come in if they can see the food from the outside… even better if you can see someone PREPARING the food from the outside …

fancy sparkling water, 3 meatballs with veggies, beet and walnut salad, chicken and artichoke salad with tomatoes, two desserts: chocolate mousse with fruit and creme-anglais, and blackberries and cream on top of chocolate tart on shortbread crust

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Thanks to the Tiny Gift Button