My Week of Cake

ImageLast week was my birthday. This is the time of year when I spend the week socializing, shopping, dining and drinking. I like to give myself a full week of fun centered around me. In true Aries fashion, it is all about me.

At the beginning of my birthday week, I asked myself how I was going to handle not having cocktails and wine as this is normally a significant part of the celebration. I remember something that a teacher of mine, Deane Juhan, once said, “If you are going to give up one habit, you have to replace it with something equally pleasurable.” Juhan was talking about habits of movement and teaching the body new ways to move. Taking that principal, I applied it to my current circumstances.

I came up with the idea that I would focus the activities of birthday week around my second favorite indulgence, cake. I really love cake. Please don’t give me the ice cream kind, carrot cake or cake shaped mousse. I want good old-fashioned cake. I love all varieties. In fact, I can’t pick a favorite.

Day #1

My sister arrived on Monday. She had conspired with my husband to find my favorite purveyor of cake, Dolci and Biscotti. This bakery is near my workplace and it is absolutely the best for cake and cupcakes. The variety here is incredible.

When Sissy arrived, she parked her car and pulled out a big, boxed cake from the back of her car to present to me. That night we traveled with my sister and her dog, Henry, to dine at our favorite pizza joint in our hometown with some of our family members. This place has the biggest glass of wine I have ever seen. Usually, I go straight for the chardonnay–they literally bring a full (to the top) goblet. Luckily, my sister had brought along the cake and distracted me from my wine obsession. Upon presentation by the waitress, I discovered that it was a vanilla orange cream cake: vanilla cake, orange cream (éclair) filling and vanilla butter cream frosting. Holy mother of cakes!


Being quite full from the pizza, we each had a small piece of cake and wrapped up the rest to take with us. (Now this is where it gets kind of sad.) On the way home, we dropped off my niece at her house and visited for a while with my sister-in-law. Arriving back home after a brief visit, everything seemed fine until we opened the hatch to the Jeep and discovered… an EMPTY cake box! Henry, the canine, who was left on his own in the car, had devoured the entire thing—every crumb, every frosting flower, every ounce of orange cream filling.

Day #2

There was no actual cake for me as the dog had eaten every bite. This was disappointing because, I was looking forward to morning cake…a hair of the dog (no pun intended). I love having leftover cake for breakfast. I posted my “story” on Instagram (a particular obsession of mine). For the next three days, I was tagged in the following pictures from my friend Taylor (TM5000) who joined in the fun of cake week.


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Dear Hendrick


Dear Hendrick,

Hi. I know that it’s been a while since we split. Been thinking about you and thought I’d let you know what’s on my mind. (I hope you’ll listen.) When I told you I didn’t want to see you anymore, you were shocked. Although I tried to explain my reasons, I am sure it seemed abrupt.

You said, “There’s nothing wrong with wanting each other so much.” And I told you it was unhealthy. I was feeling trapped–every night, the same thing. I blamed you for everything that was wrong in my life: my weight gain, any physical ailment, my temper and lack of drive in the evening (you know what I mean).

Now that you’re gone, is my life really that different? (Maybe it was me and not you–your last parting words) Some things have improved in my life. I have a new job and will only be working part-time at the old one. That’s different, right? As for all of the other things that I blamed you for…well, they are pretty much the same.

So lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe this thing between us could work out. Maybe after my retreat, we might see each other again? Do you think it could be different? I don’t want it to be like it was. I don’t want to feel like we are a “habit.” I just want to enjoy each other and not feel as if I have to see you every day. But, I admit it! I really miss you sometimes…like Friday night hanging out with our friends Mark and David. It is not the same without you.

If we were to rekindle something, do you think we can find a happy balance in our relationship? I am confused and want to talk. I will be away until December but after that, could we try again…maybe? I’d understand if you are feeling rejected but I’ve learned a lot in the last 5 months and I hope that we can at least be friends.



PS. Please write back and tell me what you think.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Reynolds.

Removal, Replanting, Resurrection


Easter has come and gone and the promise of rebirth has once again come to fruition. The trees are budding, the crocuses and snowdrops are in bloom and in Connecticut where we spent our holiday, the daffodils opened with a nudge of the late March sun.

We awoke Sunday morning and attended Trinity Church in Hartford to celebrate the Christian’ s ultimate rebirth—Easter. It really did feel like a grand celebration this year! The sun was brightly shining and the church was filled with many generations and cultures of people. Donning purple, pink, yellow, white, blue frocks, the congregation joined in song and prayer. Children wriggled and parents carried the sleepy ones to the Alter for Communion. The feeling was friendly and welcoming yet the aesthetics—music and surroundings—were cultured and refined. The balance of these elements appeal to my sense of what is “right” with going to church.

The homily spoke to me clearly of the path that I am on during my pledge of abstinence from alcohol. The Rector preached about “removal, re-planting and Resurrection.” In a nutshell, the removal is the taking away of that which is not useful (my drinking habit). The replanting is the act of going to a place that is unfamiliar and of spreading the news (like writing in this blog). The first two processes describe that which I have done so far.

The Resurrection (or in my case—resurrection, lower case) is what concerns me most these days. Reaching the four-month mark at Easter, I just don’t know what my life, habits and relationship to alcohol will be at the end of the replanting stage. Will I be OK with Continue reading