(From author Cheryl Nielsen’s book, Meritage Divorce)

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself – Mark Twain.

get busy living

Too bad divorce can’t be a piece of paper you sign one day and then wake up the next in a happy new wine-life sporting your wine-colored glasses.  It would be oversimplified to think of divorce the way the legal system defines it.  We know all too well that a marriage blend has other physical and emotional contracts that bind and can be more difficult to sever.  Long after the divorce is final, these other contracts could still be in force, however unenforceable, and know matter how hard you try to sever them, it takes time to heal and move on.

Over time, these contracts become void.  One thing is for sure: you have to work for a new wine-life.  The postmaster doesn’t deliver it to you with your divorce decree.

Loneliness can creep into your bottle and try to make a home inside you during your divorce journey.  Try not to let it in; tell it you are enjoying drinking your own wine.  There are a few good ways I found to run solo out and feel comfortable.  Running solo, by the way, is a decadent lavish lifestyle that is all about YOU-you can get intoxicated drinking your own wine.  Trust me; there is no excuse to stay at home alone when you have the opportunity and time to venture out.  Activity will give you a break from your thoughts -a hall pass out of the barrel. After your break, the barrel will be waiting for you and might even feel good again, safe and warm.

Here are a few examples of ways to run solo:

  • Sign up for a cooking class
  • Go wine tasting
  • Join a club or spiritual small group
  • Volunteer at a charity
  • Help out at an animal shelter
  • Take a book to Starbucks

Your emotional contract can be kept alive by not forgiving yourself or your ex.  I learned forgiveness was on the other side of blame or anger, and forgiveness did not mean I forgot.  It meant I let it go so it didn’t have a stranglehold on me.  Forgiveness was the gatekeeper that permanently rendered the emotional contract null and void.  You are not really divorced until all contracts are no longer in force.


This time of year is often about comfort food we embrace as a tradition around the holidays.  Here is a healthy alternative to pumpkin pie packed with flavor and nutrition! Courtesy of thisrawsomeveganlife.com:  Raw harvest pumpkin pie: makes one pie.


1 cup cashews

1 cup almonds

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup dates

1/8 teaspoon salt

pumpkin filling:

1 sugar pumpkin (about 7 cups), peeled, gutted and cut into cubes

1 cup dates

4-5 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1-4 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves)

To make the crust, process the nuts in your food processor until they are like a rough flour. add the dates, raisins and salt. pulse until it all sticks together in a lump. press into the bottom of a pie dish and refrigerate.

To make the pie filling, process the pumpkin cubes until they can’t get any smaller in your food processor. add in the other ingredients and process until it can’t get any smoother. transfer the filling to your high speed blender and blend on the highest setting to get it super smooth like the cooked version. add whatever you think it needs. spread the filling onto your pie crust and let it set in the fridge for a few hours.

Serve with raw ice cream or cashew cream in celebration of thanksgiving, the colourful fall season, or for the simple reason that life is beautiful!

How do I pair this deliciousness with wine, you ask?


Enjoy a nice MULLED WINE with it for an aromatic warming experience!

The dried flower buds of a tropical evergreen tree, cloves impart their deep, almost hot flavor to a variety of holiday dishes, both sweet and savory. Used whole, they’re a favorite for studding hams, while the ground spice is used to flavor seasonal cakes and cookies. The name of these little nail-shaped spices comes from the Latin word clavus, for “nail.” Here, cloves and nutmeg are combined in a square of cheesecloth or tea ball for steeping in the wine mixture.


  1. 12 whole cloves
  2. 2 nutmegs, cracked into pieces with a hammer
  3. 2 bottles (each 750ml) dry red wine
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. Stripped zest from 2 oranges and 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish
  6. 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  7. 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  8. 2 cinnamon sticks


Tie the cloves and nutmeg pieces in a small square of cheesecloth, or put them in a large metal tea ball.

In a large nonaluminum pot, combine the wine, sugar, orange and lemon zests, orange and lemon juices, and cinnamon sticks. Add the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Heat over medium-low heat until steam begins to rise from the pot and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes; do not let it boil. Remove the clove-and-nutmeg bundle. Keep the wine warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

Ladle the wine into cups or heatproof glasses, garnish with the citrus zest and serve warm. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Christmas Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2005).



Divorce is more than a piece of paper
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