Friday, September 27, 2019

Honoring the Past Helps with Living in the Present

Early morning sky.  Just like life's journey, after the darkness there will be light
It’s weird how the body remembers trauma.  Our mind may forget or our memory may slightly become blurry in time, but the body remembers.  This week has been more mentally and physically fatiguing than normal.  I was wondering why as the workday chaos wasn’t really anything out of the norm.  I was tired, but weirdly I wasn’t sleeping as well as I could.  My house was quiet and there were no distractions of grand-angels hanging out. 
Rod was working in Spokane and we hadn’t communicated much except for a few texts.  And then…. a  Face Book memory popped up…. And there it was.  The  memory that my body was remembering. It was 7 years ago this week that my then 24 yoa daughter Kaitlyn went from being a newlywed to a widow in the span of 10 weeks.  I went from being a content farm-wife to finding myself single 9 days later.  Both were sudden and unexpected events. I wondered how I could have forgotten to take a moment to quietly remember those events.   Perhaps it is because both Kaitlyn and I have fully recovered, and she is happily and busily getting ready for her wedding next month to the most wonderful man.  And I have been in a happy relationship with Rod for over 2 years and we are making plans for our future as well. So last night as the memory hovered from the past, I poured myself a glass of wine and baked a red wine chocolate birthday cake for Rod’s daughter Chelsea, who is coming for a quick visit this week-end. (recipe at the end of the blogpost)

So when I awoke at 4:39am this morning and it dawned on me that our body remembers trauma even when the mind has it in the dark recesses.  And what I realized was that my body was saying I remember the hurt and was taking life down a notch to take a moment of silence, to remember the past and honor it.  Lessons learned from the past are good beginnings to move forward with the promise of beautiful new beginnings. So at 4:40am, I made myself a glorious cup of coffee flavored with pumpkin, put on some Brently Gilbert as his music is written from some very soul riveting experiences that just speaks to me and I knew I had to write.

Taking stock of life now, it is different, I am different and I am more in tune with me and focusing on living an authentic life. A life that matters and is lived on my terms. While blending my life with another, I still am staying on my course and my heart and soul whisper that the journey was what it was needed to be, lessons learned and new beginnings are ripe with so much promise.  Kaitlyn has found this out too.  And now my other daughter Jen is at the beginning of her journey of reconciling her past from an emotionally abusive relationship and that she is now on her solo journey and is the captain of her own ship. She is navigating towards living an authentic life on her terms.  She knows and sees how Kaitlyn and I have arrived safely in our harbors and that she will find her own safe harbor as well.  We are there to help her on her journey, but ultimately it is a course that only that person can chart.

And with that, I hope you have found your own safe harbor.  If you are still in the journey of finding your way, I wish you well and please know that those gray stormy days won’t last forever, and that just like our weather, the sun will once again shine.  As always, I’d love to hear your comments, thoughts and stories, so either post a comment or email me at  All my best, Gayle
I have tweaked my Red Wine Chocolate Cake recipe and will repost it on the Cake page… but for now, here you go…. Bake away and enjoy!

Red Wine Chocolate Cake 
3 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cup buttermilk or half & half (either works fine)
1 cup red wine (I like a merlot or cabernet ) use a really good wine
2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ teas kosher salt
2 ¼ teas baking soda
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour a 12 cup tube pan or 12 cup bundt pan. ( I use Baker’s Joy spray and it replaces the need to grease/flour the pan).
In a large mixing bowl, add sugar, eggs, kosher salt and canola oil.  Mix well.  Add in buttermilk ( or half&half) and the wine. Mix well.  Next sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and mix well.  Then add in the ½ cup boiling water and mix well -   The batter will be runny. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake 60-75 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let sit for 13-15 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate.  Let cool.

Red Wine Ganache

 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, evenly chopped (or 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips)
 1/4 cup red wine
 2 tablespoons heavy cream
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Make the glaze: Place the chocolate, wine and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for one minute at 100% power until the mixture can be whisked smooth. Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated. If the glaze is too runny, let the mixture stand until thickened, about 10 minutes . Drizzle over the cake.

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