And I definitely do — in the mirror. This is #1, Buttercup, in my flower-titled series on sugar addiction.

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The Evil Queen with mirror. Illustrations from the 1913 play “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Jessie Braham White, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Edmond W Rickett and Charles Buckles Falls.

Here’s how I know I am an addict. I cannot turn away from my substance once I start — primarily if it’s sugary but also floury, baked buttery, chocolate, salty or sweet chippy, fried or doughy (or fried and doughy).

I might return to its lure, chase its hit, five minutes later, that night, the next day. For a string of days. A dead daisy crown of months. A tarnished silver necklace of years. And when I indulge in my substance…


I am 60 now. It’s finally time to bid farewell — with a tip of Sis’s old green felt beret — to the annual Thin Mints. I’m not a girl anymore. Here is #17 in my flower-titled story series about sugar and overeating addiction.

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Iconic Girl Scout uniforms through the years. I went as far as Cadettte (the third level) with my friends Maureen and Debbie, but we did not get official green skirts and white blouses. (I like that skirt even now.) Image from HERE.

I don’t like saying goodbye. Not to Dumont High School when it was time to move onto college, not to my mother when she died, not to Douglass College/Rutgers when it was time for real life.

I stood on the green Ravine Bridge near Voorhees Chapel, feeling its sway, knowing I’d miss it, miss the energy…


Yesterday, rather than face up to and work/pray through unease and unhappiness, I tried to fill the void with popcorn for dinner. It did not help. Here is #16, Sweet Pea, in my flower-titled series about sugar and overeating addiction.

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Rosie O’Donnell and Meg Ryan (Becky and Annie) in “Sleepless in Seattle,” 1993. Note the popcorn bowl. Image from here.

At about 5:20 p.m. on Monday, I decided I would not/could not make do with the baked salmon and boil-in-bag white rice Dan and I had half-planned for dinner.

It was a snowing, sleeting, icy day — a day to long for a fire in the hearth and candles on the mantel — and part of me wished to have…


As I navigate life’s road without sweets — a heavy sack I‘ve carried and a journey I’ve postponed for decades —I’m recording my struggles in real time. Here’s what came up when I put down the Beer Nuts; #15 in my flower-titled story series about sugar addiction.

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Limoges berry bowl, 5 1/2" wide, from about 1907. I don’t have this sweet pea and fern pattern, but own a few mismatched dainties from a Montclair yard sale at a nearby historic dream house. Link from this shop on Etsy.

I don’t know if I have ever eaten a Beer Nut in my life before this week.

But when my husband, Dan, went to the liquor store the other night during this dark, dreary pandemic, he came home with what he went for, plus a 12-ounce can of Beer Nuts Original Peanuts (“The…


I turned to the chicken potpie in the fridge this afternoon and then, after a one-inch slice, I stopped. Here is #14 in my series — writing in real time about putting down the food and toppling sugar addiction.

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Isn’t the Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart a beauty? We have some we ignore, back by the driveway, but in spite of that, the plants deliver blooms every year. Image from Gardens Alive!.

If the car overheats or a tire goes flat, I might be tempted to raid the nearest vending machine while waiting for roadside service.

If the nine-hour ride home from Maine is stressful — four of us in our four-door Toyota — I might look longingly at the Fritos at the rest stop.

It’s hard to ride out stressful, uncertain, uncomfortable…


I’m writing about my road in real time, right now using the Medium app on my iPhone 12 Mini. I had to dispose of the cookie villains.

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Our sweet doggy, Sugar (named by Figgy nearly 17 years ago), in the faux fur hat my grandma bought me in the 1980s. Sug is the only kind of white sugar that’s good for me.

I’m such a sugar addict that I can’t co-exist with the Oreos.

No can do.

And I want to report on this addiction recovery journey in.the.moment, so here I am writing hard again for the third time in 24 hours.

Skippy is visiting her Mimi and Poppy this week, but Dan came back from ShopRite with Lady Gaga Oreos (Golden Oreos tinted pink, with yellow “creme” filling) for her and/or Figgy.

Oreos of…


Starting this piece at 7:33 a.m. but Dan and I have to join a Zoom call at 8:30, so it has to be down and dirty. Here is #12 in my flower-titled story series about sugar addiction. I pledged to write about recovery in real time, so I am.

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Glendarragh Lavender Farm in old-fashioned Appleton, Maine. I went there with my sister-in-law, Sheila, a few summers ago. Again this morning, I recognize that my evenings and bedtime should be lavender-laced and soothing, not stressful and messy. I plan to stop writing late into the night.

I thought I would make it last night. Around 11, I shampooed with a scoop from the Playa jar — the blend is made with sea salt harvested on the California coastline. I ordered the salt shampoo online, and only use it occasionally. …


Last night (Monday, February 15, 2021) around midnight, I slipped and ate 12 Oreos. I stopped, and gave the half-full cookie package away to my husband, to put it where I won’t see it. This is #11 in my series of flower-titled stories about sugar addiction.

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Image from interactive children’s book here.

I’ve shared the tale of sneaking Oreos from my mother’s closet while she was doing laundry in the basement.

I was a kid — no shame there, not now. Can’t carry it, and shouldn’t.

Happy Mom+Oreos memories exist, too.

  1. Dad is driving us up to the Catskills to spend Labor Day Weekend with family…


As I sidestep the sweets, being truthful with myself and others is key. Hiding or denying my own limitations won’t help anyone. But as with the mysterious Before the Storm Iris, with its menacing name and brooding color, the truth is not always the bloom we would pick first. This is the 10th story in my flower-titled series about sugar addiction.

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The Before the Storm Bearded Iris. Image from Breck’s mail-order gardening company in Guilford, Indiana.

Now it’s getting harder to show up here and write. But I said I would, so I will.

I chose this flower title three days ago, on Friday. …


Rough and rocky road today. Doing my best to show up, stay calm and be an adult, not a sugar-craving baby girl wishing for a big, swirly lollipop and her own bakery butter cookies in a white box with red and white twine tied in a bow. Sweets don’t sweeten life. A road paved with white crystal bricks will crumble, not support us. This is #9 in my flower-titled story series about sugar addiction.

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The Milky Way in the Catskill Mountains, in live time lapse on YouTube by Michael DiFiore* via unsplash.com.

When it’s my turn to do the dishes and scrub the skillets, I listen to Mother Maybelle and The Carter Sisters belt out tunes. …

Alice Garbarini Hurley

Magazine maven, craft coffee lover, legal guardian. Passionate about fashion and lipstick — though it may not look that way when I dash to the supermarket.

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