A week ago Friday — the last day of Skippy’s spring break— we drove down to Sandy Hook with her and two pals. But life’s seas were churning, as they will, and I fell the next night on my recovery path. I picked myself up; the sun came back out. Here is the latest in the story series I started 1/31/21.

For an overeater and sugar addict, is splurging on pink jewelry much different from picking up a pink cupcake? Hilma earrings with glass and gold-plated beads, made by artisans in Guatamela. Mine are a lighter pink pattern. They have gold-plated posts (not wire loops, which can pull down earlobes) and, well, I love them.

I haven’t written a story in this sugar/overeating addiction recovery series since April 7 — that’s 11 days.

I wanted to, I meant to, it pressed on me, because I ran into a roadblock or two during that time…


I walked with grace through the Easter candy season, free and clear, no longing for kiddie candy and magic chocolate rabbits. Under my snug control top L’eggs pantyhose and pink Lilly Pulitzer dress, my belly was full after our Sunday holiday meal— a normal entree, with a big salad and steamed fresh asparagus. So what happened at 1:30 a.m. in the kitchen, three mornings later? I promised to write about my sugar/overeating addiction recovery journey in real time, as I rise and as I stumble, so here goes.

“Cloud Hugging” — a photograph of Pink Magnolias by Jerry LoFaro, from Fine Art America, an online art forum. (Hint: You can buy a print there.)

Years ago, I pitched a magazine story and my editors especially loved…


My bedtime reading last night was the April InStyle Melissa McCarthy cover story. I slowly turned glossy pages — no scrolling on my iPhone or MacBook. I looked forward to the rare, delicious treat all day. Melissa’s beautiful hair, lipstick, blanket jacket and pastel, puff-sleeve dress — plus her personality as an actress, and her real size— drew me in. When did you last buy a magazine?

Magazines are thinner and flimsy these days, and you can find so much for free on the web, from pie recipes to essays, pink couches to tea towels. Truly, IDK how much longer…


All my life, Easter has signified rebirth and new hope. This is #26 in my flower-titled series about sugar/overeating addiction, started 1/31/21. I pledged to capture my struggles in real time and real stories, as they emerge in the garden of life.

The true champs among spring flowers. A band of Buttercup-yellow, ruffled trumpets to announce the season. They bring to mind little girls’ straw hats and color-dipped dresses—handpicked outfits for Easter Mass. The baby blooms emerge head to head, Tête-à-Tête, on fresh green stems. Even their French name is fashionable. They are resilient.

I’m writing this on Good Friday, and though I’m less devout now than I was as a Saint Mary’s School girl, I remember when the darkness and mourning of this day on the Catholic calendar really hit me.

I was a Rutgers student, returning home for Easter weekend via two buses — the first from New Brunswick to…


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

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…


Layer, Bundt, crumb, Costco sheet, upside-down, funnel, angel, pricey restaurant slice— I’ll pass. I’ve had my fill. I was a different woman on vacation this week. Here is #25 in the flower-titled sugar/overeating addiction series I started 1/31/21.

Behold The Blue Pig Tavern, one of my favorite restaurants, as much for the crackling fire as for the Caesar salad and ingredients sourced from Beach Plum Farm. This week, the salad featured dried strawberries; the gift shop sells tall jars of farm jam.

I’m changing on this recovery journey, begun in earnest last summer.

Dan and I got away this week for four days/three nights. We stayed at a small hotel from Monday to Thursday in Cape May, the historic seaside town at the Southern tip of our state. (We are both double vaccinated; the hotel has careful Covid cleaning practices; and masks were required…


I’m lightening my footprint here on Earth, not just by skirting sugar but also by letting go of past mistakes that weigh down my heart and soul. This is #24 in my flower-titled story series about sugar/overeating addiction started January 31, 2121.

Dan bought a pack of Gladiolus bulbs last week at Home Depot. I can’t wait for them to bloom. But first we have to clear a patch in the soil, plant them, have faith and be patient. Link here.

To be honest, I have consciously avoided the Gladiola for our garden. Tall and topped with multiple ruffled blooms, it reminds me of death.

I’m not sure why, other than that it is unusual to my eye, and I have mainly seen it in arrangements at funeral homes. It’s that unforgettable line of fluttering white handkerchiefs on a…


Five signs that our Jersey suburb is still under your thumb, Covid — but not for long.

Has the pandemic squashed the wonder years for our children? Characters Winnie Cooper and Kevin Arnold in ABC’s “The Wonder Years” (set in 1968–1973), a TV hit from 1988 to 1993. Link from here.

Driving back from downtown Montclair, I see you, lingering Covid. Fridays once buzzed with latte meetups and weekend plans but now our lives are changed, flattened. The vaccine (at Kmart in West Orange) brings promise, but we continue to ride out:

  1. Fully closed public schools. The high school has been empty since March 2020. No kids crossing Park Street with instrument cases, iPhones, lacrosse sticks. No food trucks on Chestnut Street, or lunch clutches at Watchung Plaza (two landmark delis shut down). The…


I’m popping up again, reporting from the green couch (eight-pound white puff dog, Sug, snoozing by my side now) to write in real time about my efforts to recover from compulsive overeating/sugar addiction. I pledged on January 31, 2121 to record what came up when I put down the food. It is March 15. Miss Sugar Addiction really and truly digs in her sharp designer heels and does not step off easily.

Tiny , mighty — and lovable — Snowdrops. Image source HERE.

The dolly-sized snowdrop, a perennial, has a single small, drooping bell-shaped flower with petals.

Known by various names, in 1753, it was labeled Galanthus (from Ancient Greek gála


I’m turning the tables and asking you, readers, for some help. Do you stop eating after dinner — manage to hang on until breakfast the next day? I would love your feedback. This is #22 in my series of flower-titled stories about toppling sugar and overeating addiction.

My good Dad got up in the middle of the night to eat, at least after Mom died, when I was old enough to notice.

When we started father/daughter/granddaughter visits to Cape Cod with baby Figgy — in the family ranch house, beginning with a short trip near the end of my maternity…

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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