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Those who know me know I often speak about having a dream, or “bucket” list items, to live fully and with intention. A hot air balloon ride, a swim with the dolphins, traveling to see tulips bloom in Holland in the spring, seeing the pyramids in Egypt, seeing the Aurora Borealis….the list is so long for many of us. But what if thinking of our “bucket list” isn’t quite the way to do it? What if there is another way to enjoy those breathtaking and precious moments our lives?

I am reading a book right now called “Driving Miss Norma” by Ramie Liddle and Tim Bauerschmidt. This book is about a 90 something year old woman finding out she has cancer after having just lost her husband. Instead of going through palliative treatments designed to extend her life just a little bit, she and her family decided to take an RV trip throughout the United States and to “live” while she was dying, creating memories of new experiences and moments of joy. I thought the book would be about fulfilling those life-long dreams, or “bucket list” items before “Miss Norma” passes away, but I was wrong. Totally and completely wrong.

The book passages say, “Norma could not find the words to create a bucket list, although at first that is what we were hoping for. If, for no other reason, it would have helped with planning. “Oh, I don’t know,” she would say over and over again, and it became clear very early in our preparations that we were not going to get a list out of her. Sometimes I felt frustrated that she would not participate much in the planning. Was it her age? I wondered. Was her brain unable to retrieve language easily? Was she simply not used to dreaming or being asked her opinion about things? But I soon grew to appreciate the opportunities her reticence to make a list gave us. With out one, we could really go with the flow. There was so much to see and do, and more than anything Norma just wanted to enjoy life. A bucket list would be much too limiting. This trip was not about checking off predetermined items. As we had quickly learned from those first delayed plans at the Mackinac Bridge and our experiences at roadside attractions, this trip was about living in the present moment, embracing whatever came our way. There would be no regrets and no need to race against time.”

Such beautiful words. Such wisdom. After contemplating two opposite approaches to living fully (the “bucket list” vs. “going with the flow”), I have decided that either approach works, depending on our own individual personalities. Neither is wrong. Neither is right. I guess it all comes down to HOW one can live one’s life fully and how one can embrace whatever comes our way. For some it comes down to the bucket list, and for others it is living in the present moment, wherever the wind blows us with spontaneity.

Life is good; find a way to embrace whatever comes your way any way you can. No regrets. Carpe diem, friends…


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Stuck inside from self-isolation or stay at home orders? Wondering when you might return to a normal life again? Why not try some diversionary Dole Whip, or “Food of the Gods”?

Several years ago when I was in Hawaii, I went to the Dole plantation in Oahu, Hawaii. Dole Plantation in Oahu is a wonderful place to visit, as they have a twenty-minute train ride around the plantation with several different gardens to meander through as well as a pineapple maze to walk through, too. It was there that I first ate the “Food of the Gods” and thought it was a little bit of heaven in the first bite. The plantation is normally open daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (except Christmas Day), although it is currently closed temporarily because of the pandemic.

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When I arrived back home to the northeast United states immediately after my trip to Hawaii, I searched high and low for Dole Whip, which wasn’t at that time readily available. When I flew to Walt Disney World a few years later, I was delighted to see the delicious Dole Whip available at the Magic Kingdom. Pineapple Dole Whip is a creamy blend of pineapple in a soft-serve ice cream base. It is refreshing and as close to perfection that I’ve ever experienced.

Now that we live in Florida we go to Walt Disney World as often as we can, and one of the first things we do in the Magic Kingdom is to head straight for the Dole Whip, which can be ordered with a slice of fresh pineapple and pineapple juice to make a “float.” I prefer my pineapple Dole Whip pure and simple, without any pineapple or pineapple juice, though.

There have been many “copycat” recipes on the net in the years that followed but NONE are as satisfyingly sapid as the original pineapple Dole Whip. This week, however, the Disney app released the coveted compound, and I swear I heard angels sing the moment I heard the good news! Maybe I even heard a horn play. The recipe is so easy that it lends itself to a spontaneous splurge for something sweet.

Disney Dole Whip Recipe (individual portion): Combine one scoop of vanilla ice cream, four ounces of pineapple juice, and two cups of frozen pineapple in a blender until you can’t wait any longer……

While you are at it, or another day you decide on a delicious diversion, you might try the recipe for pineapple Dole Whip that Dole has released:

Pineapple Dole Whip Recipe from Dole: Combine 1 cup of pineapple (frozen), one banana (peeled and frozen), 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of powdered sugar, and 1/4 to 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk, one teaspoon lime juice in a blender until you can’t wait any longer……….(then put into your ice cream maker as you normally would).

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While coping with the pandemic, why not try a little recipe for one for pineapple Dole Whip? It might just give you the daily diversion you need right now for a little sweet spontaneity.

Life is good; carpe diem, friends………….which recipe is YOUR favorite? Let me know if you try them and consider visiting Hawaii when the pandemic is over if you can. Life is short.

Click here for more information about visiting the Dole Plantation in Hawaii:

Note: 5/18/20….after trying both recipes for Dole Whip, I just couldn’t make the Dole one work. It tasted too much like banana to me. We LOVED the Disney recipe for DIY Dole Whip, although it didn’t taste EXACTLY like Dole Whip in the park. It was very close, though. Plan on eating it right after you make it, however, as it does NOT freeze well at all. Also the taste somehow changes after freezing as well and isn’t nearly as good.