Saturday, September 16, 2023

Alas…

 Not going to lie, I dread making my last visits so much that I haven’t serviced my stores yet. 

Will I be picking up the machines, giving them to their existing spaces, maybe 1-2 more visits, hoping for the best? 

The pandemic hurt many stores and reduced my route by over half with remaining stores staying strong. It was the heatwave of July/August that did me in, already forgotten and busy moving. 

There was a wonderful cooling rain during the week that’s lasting so far. I’ve already been back on the road but am having a heck of a time closing off the route, will stay posting here…

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Hot Rain

 

Raindrops! Real live wonderful rain..! 

Alas, it was hot rain  :-/  didn’t last long and evaporated right away. 




 


It’s only supposed to be 86 degrees Monday and for a second I thought I could venture out to visit the route, but I don’t believe it yet.  

Gd bless my awesome customers/clients! It was a blast visiting stores, traveling, being productive and making money, the best memories ever, Thanku..! 

                                                    

                                                                   ~

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Have a Good Labor Day Weekend!

 


Have a safe Labor Day Weekend ! 

 

  



                          

                                                                               ~

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Heatwave variant 2.0 after pause

 The heatwave is back. I guess it never left, it took a 2-day or so break then resumed.

It’s not as fierce as before but that’s because I’ve gotten used to it I guess. 

Thermostats are saying it’s 109 degrees in direct sun. Digital thermostats say it’s 109 degrees but ‘feels like’ 119º

I’m not looking forward to closing a business that had so much potential but never got off the ground. I’ll try to keep as many clients as I can if any. 

The heatwave should conclude sometime in September. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Heatwave is over, sort of…

 The thermostats still say 100+ degrees, but the air is a bit cooler. 

Yesterday was supposed to be the hottest day of the year and it wasn’t too bad, so it can only get better I say! 

Since there was a promise of rain this week, I thought I could make it back to work this coming up Monday, but it looks like neither will happen just yet. 

September is a given, tho! 



Saturday, August 12, 2023

Wave after wave after wave

  Heatwave continues unabated with no end in sight. 

It’s annoying, dangerous, and useless. 

If there’s a reason for it, please feel free to share. 


                        ~

   


Saturday, August 5, 2023

I found a blessing

 I found a blessing! 


During extremes, blessings are hard to find, but I found one. 

This gives me great hope because there may even be others. 


After micro-managing an oppressive heatwave and focusing on all necessary survival details, it occurred to me that one micro-annoyance I don’t have to deal with, during these extreme temps, there are no bugs! 

That is a mega-blessing to me! 


And during extreme winters, too! 

Ever the optimist, I found a blessing and I’m keeping it. 




                                                   ~


Saturday, July 29, 2023

The heatwave melted my solar-backed phone..!

HEAT WAVE by someone named Tanka


gods, exhort the sun

punish the unbelievers

and so it was done

the greeks believed in many

but we now pray to just one


oh Lord please spare us

frying eggs on the sidewalk

hasn’t been much fun

we know we hated winter

but summer is a bummer 



          ~

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Summer delay

    

   To my brave candy box customers; 

I don’t know how u do it in this heatwave, it’s massive, and I’m hoping I don’t lose too many of u during these summer months. 

   I was able to service a few machines before succumbing to the heat. 

Going in to beautiful businesses hot, sweaty, and dizzy was no way to conduct business so I’m suspending service thru July, prolly August. 

  It wasn’t the cloudless days of unrelenting heat, it wasn’t even the excessive heat alerts I kept receiving, it was the quality of results that was diminishing. 

    Unless it’s flooding, should a cool rainy day appear, I’ll be on the road 1st thing.  

   Thanku for your patience.  



                                          ~

           

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Dog Days of Summer

 

When Sirius would appear in the sky just before the sun, near the end of July, that marked the very hottest days of the year. 

The Romans referred to this period as ‘dies caniculares’ or ‘days of the dog star’, which was eventually translated as ‘dog days’. 


Saturday, July 8, 2023

World Chocolate Weekend

 

WORLD CHOCOLATE DAY

Every year on July 7th, World Chocolate Day allows chocolate lovers around the world to indulge in their favorite treat without any guilt. The day also celebrates all kinds of goodies made from chocolate, including chocolate milk, hot chocolate, chocolate candy bar, chocolate cake, brownies, or anything covered in chocolate. 


#WORLDCHOCOLATEDAY

Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia and grows in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.  


Since cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste, they must ferment to develop the flavor. Once fermented, processors dry, clean and roast the beans. After roasting, the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then put through a grinding process creating cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. The cocoa mass is usually liquefied through a process creating chocolate liquor. During this process the chocolate liquor is made into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. 


4 Common Types of Chocolate

  1. Unsweetened baking chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
  2. Sweet chocolate – cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
  3. Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
  4. White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

Most people love chocolate. In fact, nine out of ten people love chocolate. About 1 billion people eat chocolate every day. Besides the fact it tastes so good, there are some health benefits of chocolate. Chocolate increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which helps to boost the mood. Dark chocolate can also be especially good for you. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, plus it helps to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.  


HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldChocolateDay

Celebrate by eating chocolate! Other ways to participate include:

  • Visit your favorite restaurant and indulge in a delicious chocolate dessert.
  • Host a chocolate tasting party and invite friends to bring their best chocolate recipes to share.
  • Learn about chocolates from around the world.
  • Read your kids a book about chocolate, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Candy’s Chocolate Kingdom, or The Chocolate Touch.
  • Be sure to post photos of your favorite chocolate treat on social media tagging #WorldChocolateDay. 


WORLD CHOCOLATE DAY HISTORY

It’s unclear who came up with this yummy food day. However, we did find out that the day is celebrated on July 7 because the first World Chocolate Day was celebrated in 2009. 






                                                              ~






Saturday, July 1, 2023

Happy 4th..!

 Except for parties, your critters will try to flee during fireworks 🎆, keep pets close, safe, and hydrated! 

And have an awesome Independence Week! 

  

    



  

                                                                                   ~

Rain & heat

 It stormed for a week, then sleeted, then baked a cloudless sky over 100 degrees for a week, now it’s supposed to rain all next week. 

The heatwave was especially brutal and caused so many delays. 

Should be back on track this Monday. 

       Have a safe weekend!  



           



                               

                                                     ~

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Summer sleet?

 It sleeted the other day..!?! 

It was a hot day under 100 degrees and it decided to sleet. 

All different shapes and sizes of ice and even tho they weren’t big, it was loud! 

No damage, was interesting, and glad I could capture it for u here. 




 



 



    
  ~



Saturday, June 17, 2023

Have an awesome weekend!


  1. I spent a lot of time, money, and effort childproofing my house… but the kids still get in.  
  2. Why is it a bad idea to iron your four-leaf clover? ‘Cause you shouldn't press your luck. 
  3. What do you call a beehive without an exit? Unbelievable. 
  4. Why do vampires seem sick? They're always coffin. 
  5. How does a penguin build its house? Igloos it together! 
  6. Which days are the strongest? Saturday and Sunday. The rest are weekdays. 
  7. What do you call a fake noodle? An Impasta! 
  8. What happens when it rains cats and dogs? You have to be careful not to step in a poodle. 
  9. What’s the difference between a poorly dressed man on a tricycle and a well-dressed man on a bicycle? Attire.
  10. We all know about Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But have you heard of Cole’s Law? It’s thinly sliced cabbage.  

                                        Happy Fathers’ Days..!  
     
    
                      
                                                       ~

Saturday, June 10, 2023

I admit, I’d sign up…

 I don’t make enuf from my tiny route, but if I could, I admit, I’d sign up. 


Gourmet Chocolates


For $50 a month, it sounds quite luscious. I still have fond memories of my book-of-the-month club as a kid, the revolutionary makeup box subscriptions as a teenager, and QVC to this day. 

World Chocolate Day is coming up in July, not so great for the deep summer of the Northern Hemisphere, just fine for the cool summers of the Southern Hemisphere. I don’t know how economies are fairing there, but I do hope and pray the chocolate vending route makes it thru another hot summer! 

   

                  ~

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Summer is here!

 Summer is officially here, and remember that candies can ‘sweat’ in the heat. 

When they cool down, the cocoa butter solidifies outside M&M shells and although it alters the appearance, it doesn’t affect taste or freshness. 

Feel free to keep me updated here so re-placement can be planned in time, thanks..! 


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Likes? Loves?


? The homepage used to have several Likes but seems to have re-set :-/ 

Ever since I updated the Contact form, which updated beautifully, the Likes button reset and doesn’t accept new Likes :-/ 

I’ll try to fix or change it. In the meantime, feel free to Likes this blog and always eager to read comments! 


                                                      

                                                                ~ 


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Toys Galore!

 There are candy vending machines that are solid metal, heavy, and colorful. 

They can either vend gumballs, candies or toys, which vend in capsules so they can move easily thru the machines. 

There’s no mistaking they are toys, mostly because the capsules will have bracelets, fuzzy toys, small spinners, or bouncy balls in them and are never mixed with candy so there’s no confusion. 

Since I’ve moved away from vending machines over to honor boxes, I have a backlog of toys which virtually last forever, and although vending candies usually have an incredible shelf-life, they aren’t imperishable like toys are, so I’ll either be donating my remaining toys stock, tossing previous favorites, or will specify on the honor boxes that the items are either toys or candies. 

Thanku for your patience. 




 




    ~


Saturday, May 13, 2023

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

 

For my dear mother in heaven, I wish you’d stuck around a little longer, okay, a lot longer. 

Until I see u again, my thoughts are specifically with u this weekend. 

I went bluebonnet hunting and was told they could be found at a nearby park. 

I didn’t see them and will have to find out when and where they might be. 

Although I didn’t find bluebonnets, I found some fun critters on a lovely walk. 

For my Mama on Mother’s Day; 




These tiny white flowers were everywhere on bushes over 12 feet tall! Very lush place!  



 

A friendly squirrel 🐿 going about his business. 




 

A tiny, tiny bunny waiting for his mom to return… 




 

A beautiful family of ducks :-)  
The drake immediately swam over to his hen, who was eyeballing me with caution. 
They both watched over their brood who were happily oblivious during their meal. I guess they feed on algae and seed…



 

Random patches of these light pink flowers can be found just about anywhere there’s greenery.  

 
Happy Mother’s Day  


 ~





  

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Coco beans, sugar, vanilla

That’s it!  

After that, it’s a matter of preferred flavoring, oils or lecithin for viscosity. 

Of course, my beloved M&Ms will have their candy shells, peanuts, crisps, marshmallows, etc. 

Chocolate is one of the many foods that has plant-protein only, and except for milk chocolate, it contains no animal proteins. Even pollination of the cacao plants can be done by birds, winds, or manual touch. 

Don’t be fooled by imitators anywhere! The reliable original is best. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Train tracks

 

It was oddly satisfying to see this train go by. 

There is a 20-minute video of this looooong train on a beautiful evening. 

The video wouldn’t upload so I’ll try later. 

It helped that I wasn’t in a hurry to be anywhere and it was so amazing because I realized I hadn’t seen a live train in years (?!)  

Maybe it’s bringing those sweet-tarts that’s been so hard to find, or the red hots that were so popular…




 




May 8, 2023, here's the video of the supply train going by I promised.  
It doesn't seem to want to show up yet, tho...








 
~

 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

What an odd month

 Happy Everything Day; 

To Passover, 

Good Friday, 

Easter, 

Tax Day, 

and Earth Day. 


      🪺

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Happy Easter! Spring has sprung

 

Spring is here and u can see it when wildflowers started to bloom by roadways and in fields. 

I’m not putting out my own flowers just yet because there is always one last gasp freeze right before summer when it’s least expected, never fails, every year, it’s just a matter of when. 

Can last 3-5 days, then that’s it for the year.  

In the meantime, the worst of the storms is over for the year, and a few places were hit hard, please feel free to support Becky’s Hope; 

  Becky’s Hope Rescue  


Happy Easter  🐣 


  

    

 





~

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Whew! Got thru April 1st! Not so fast…

 Happy April Fool’s Day (?!?) 

     I made it thru April Fool’s Day, and hope all is okay with u! 

I enjoy celebrating any and every holiday that I can, preferably with chocolate, except that April Fool’s Day isn’t technically a formal holiday, it’s on every calendar, but like many modern holidays, it’s a day for fun. 


                  

 




                              ~

    


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Pennsylvania Chocolate

 There’s plenty of chocolate in Pennsylvania. 

   There’s the Bradford Factory, the Wilbur store, the Rocky Mountain Factory in Pennsylvania and many other states. 

  


   


       



                                                                             ~

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Should I..?

Do u see them..? 



 





Should I? Says the cat… 






Should I ? Says me… 






What would he say?  





~



Saturday, March 11, 2023

5 Fun Facts About Hershey’s

 

          



 Everyone knows what their favorite Hershey’s product is, but there are a few things that you might not know about Milton Hershey’s company—a.k.a., the company behind beloved candies like Almond Joy, Heath, Reese’s, Kit Kat, and more.


1. The Hershey Empire is build on a fourth-grade education.


The Hershey family moved around a lot when Milton was a kid, which meant that he frequently changed schools. After Hershey finished the fourth grade, his parents decided that it was time for the young man to learn a trade. He began an apprenticeship with a printer but hated it, and in 1872 he began working for a confectioner in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


2. Milton Hershey’s first love was caramel.


In 1876, Milton Hershey went to Philadelphia and used what he learned as a confectioner’s apprentice to start his 1st business, Crystal A. Caramels. When this venture failed, Hershey found another apprenticeship in Denver. After regrouping out West, he started a second company in New York City, which also failed. Hershey then returned home and turned his third venture, the Lancaster Caramel Company, into a global juggernaut with over 1400 employees.


3. Milton Hershey became interested in chocolate after the 1893 World’s Fair.


It wasn’t until 17 years after he opened his first failed caramel company that Hershey became interested in chocolate making. While attending the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Hershey was so taken with the display of German chocolate production that he bought the exhibit’s machinery after the exposition closed. The next year, he opened the Hershey Chocolate Company back in Lancaster. The new venture was such a success that in 1900 Hershey sold his caramel company for $1 million to devote himself to chocolate. 


4. Hershey’s once made gum. 


Milton Hershey wasn’t afraid to go toe-to-toe with rival companies. 

When he believed that Beech Nut Gum was going to start making chocolate to put him out of business, he put his cousin Clayton Snavely in charge of buying the equipment and gathering the know-how to get his company’s gum off the ground.

Hershey’s “Easy Chew” was introduced in 1915, but Hershey had trouble getting sugar and chicle (a natural gum) due to import restrictions placed on non-essential products. Easy Chew last appeared on store shelves in 1924. 


5. No one knows how Hershey’s KISSES got their name—not even the company. 


Hershey’s KISSES hit the market in 1907, and the Hershey Food Corporation holds the trademark for the word, but don’t ask what the name means—Milton Hershey took that secret to his grave. 

According to one timeline, “A popular theory is that the candy was named for the sound or motion of the chocolate being deposited during manufacturing.” 



                                         ~

Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Good Ole Days…

 The Good Ole Days 


In the good old days around the late 1990’s, there were warehouses full of bulk boxes of candies. 

   They all had different names and shapes, but were actually the same candy! 

   There were dozens of shapes of basic SweetTarts!  And yet, some shapes were more popular than others even tho they were the same candy. 

    Some of the shapes I remember most were tiny baby pacifiers. They measured about 1/2” each and were true sweet-tart powdery types of candy. 

There were also shapes of dogs, cats, chairs, even 🍋 lemons, cherries and various fruits. 

     A less popular sweet-tart-type candy was in the shape of couches. They were coated, a bit harder, and vended thru their machines beautifully. Bow-ties, all sorts of shapes and small sizes. 

    None of these can be found any more. 

I miss the beer-peanuts, they were real peanuts heavily coated in a rough red candy shell. They were good, too! 

    There are still Hot Tamales around, but those tiny Red Hots candies that were popular are so hard to find, they are priced like gold. 

    I do the best I can with what we’ve got left. My machines don’t take bitcoins and never will, so I’ve got gumballs, M&Ms, Skittles, or gumballs. 

    I used to vend peanuts that did fantastic in bars and next to soda machines, but they messed up the machines so much that it was impractical to keep at it. 

    So it’s basically down to good old-fashioned gumballs, which put the gum in Gumball machines. The good news is that the gums come in various flavors and colors. They are fun to vend, easy to work with, look great and taste good. 

   Any new discoveries are always appreciated..!



   


   

     

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Another Amazing Company!


Of course, I always prefer to see products manufactured/produced, sold, and enjoyed here at home, and I can balance that with the satisfaction of hearing about anywhere in the world who bans animal testing. Since I can’t personally verify any of it, until I see otherwise, I can trust it to be true. 


 Animal Welfare Policy

The Avon Company (“Avon”), with operations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and through affiliation in Canada, has deep respect for animal welfare and does not conduct animal testing. Avon is a strong advocate of both the ethical and humane treatment of animals and the protection of human health and safety. 

Our products are developed utilizing alternative testing methods such as extrapolations from existing data, computational modeling, in vitro (test tube/cell culture) testing and clinical tests with human volunteers, to ensure both their efficacy and safety.


As a member of the LG Household and Healthcare (LG H&H) family, Avon sells products developed for North America and global markets. At present, authorities in China require animal-based safety testing for cosmetic products in a few specific categories sold in China.


LG H&H is committed to global adoption of non-animal safety substantiation methods. We appreciate that authorities in China now accept alternative methods for an increasing number of cosmetic categories, including shampoo, body washes and color cosmetics.


 In addition, alternative safety substantiation is accepted in China for products manufactured locally, and we are in the process of transferring production of several cosmetic categories to our subsidiaries there. 

As a member of our industry association, the Personal Care Products Council, we are working with Chinese authorities to eliminate animal testing requirements for all cosmetics, and we look forward to a timely resolution to this issue.  



                     ❤️🐾 


                       

                                                  

                                                                ~

                        

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Happy Valentine’s Day, Chocolate!

 Happy Valentine’s Day, Chocolate! 

Chocolate has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Yet it’s only been in the last 100 or so years that it’s become a powerhouse, with companies launching new types of chocolate every few years.

From chocolate consumption by country, gender, and even time of year, the amount of data to wade through can be overwhelming. So here are some of favorite facts about chocolate; from its origins to its characteristics, and chocolate trivia that will entertain and inform.


Interesting Chocolate Facts


Switzerland is the biggest consumer of chocolate in the world.

Switzerland ranked first per capita with 8.8 kilos of chocolate consumption per person that year.

The top 10 was all comprised of Eurocentric countries, while the United States came in at the number 19th spot with 4.4 kilograms consumed per person.


Chocolate’s name has ancient origins.

The word chocolate is thought to be derived from xocóatl

This is a Spanish name that combines the word ‘chocol’ from the Maya (meaning hot), and ‘atl’ from the Aztec (meaning water or liquid).

It is thought that the Spanish avoided both these names because ‘caca’ means poop in their language.


Cocoa was domesticated roughly 5000 years ago.

An article published by The University of British Columbia covers a study that uncovered evidence of cocoa’s domestication between 5,300 and 2,100 years ago. This is thousands of miles and roughly 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.


Chocolate was initially consumed as a bitter drink.

Unlike the solid bars we consume these days, early civilizations consumed cocoa in the form of drinks. These cacao beverages consisted of ground cocoa paste mixed with water and spices. The fermented, cured, and roasted beans gave the drink a rather a bitter taste.


However it’s believed that the more special the occasion, the more botanicals were added. Drinks made from the crushed cocoa nibs were flavored with varying amounts of maize, vanilla, flowers, chili peppers, medicinal herbs, and/or fermented agave sap.


Cacao was literal money growing on trees.

In the book ‘The True History of Chocolate’, the authors discussed the Maya’s use of cocoa beans as a currency to pay for goods and services. This was also true in the ancient Aztec culture, who regarded cocoa beans as more valuable than gold.

Accounts from adventurers and envoys of the time often cite the use of cacao as a form of money. 


The Spanish brought cocoa to Europe.

Italian-born Christopher Columbus encountered cocoa on his 4th voyage in 1502 when he and his crew used a canoe that contained various goods that they took back to Spain.

One story goes that the introduction of hot cocoa to Europe started with the conquistadors’ encounter with the Aztecs in 1519. Others claim that friars in 1544 brought Philip II gifts in the form of Mayan slaves and cocoa beans.


Milk chocolate originated in Jamaica.

The formal discovery of the modern chocolate milk drink is credited to Hans Sloan, who set sail for the then British-controlled colony of Jamaica in 1687. He was an Anglo-Irish physician and collector who observed locals consuming the drink during his 15-month stay.

According to the historian James Delbourgo, Jamaicans have been brewing hot chocolate with milk as early as 1494, albeit not always with cow’s milk.


The first chocolate bar was molded in 1847.

J.S. Fry & Sons was one of the big three British confectionery companies founded by Quakers, and was the largest producer of chocolate in the UK in the early 1800s.

In 1847 they molded the first portable chocolate bar that was suitable for commercial production, made from sugar, chocolate liquor, and added cocoa butter. This original served as the template for chocolate bars as we know them today.


The milk chocolate bar was invented thanks to Nestlé powdered milk in 1875.

Daniel Peter initially came up with a process to mix milk into a chocolate bar I n 1857, but ran into problems removing water from the milk. The moisture level remained too high, and that caused mildew to form.

Luckily he was neighbors with Henri Nestlé, who had developed a milk condensation process that produced dry powdered milk. It would take another seven years for Peter to fine-tune his formula before launching his ‘Gala Peter’ milk chocolate brand in 1887. 


Hershey’s earned their first million producing caramel candies.

In 1886, after many years of drifting jobs and opening an unsuccessful confectioner’s business, Milton S. Hershey was penniless. His luck turned when he secured a loan with Lancaster National Bank to fund a large order for his “Hershey’s Crystal A” caramel candy to supply an English candy importer.

In late 1893 he decided to pivot to chocolate production after attending a world fair in Chicago, which would lead him to sell his successful caramel business for $1 million in 1900.

  

              ~