Rainy day musings, plus nine reasons why Cake Boss is my new life coach

Connecting and announcing.  Announcing and connecting.  Seems like I've been doing a whole lot of that lately.  That's been because there's been a whole lot to connect about and a whole lot to announce!  There's Wild and White Blazing, WIGS and WIGS, a wordless walk tomorrow and I just returned from hosting a beautiful retreat.  There are loose ends to wrap up and new projects beginning. But somewhere in there I need to keep living my wild and precious life.  And I am, interspersed with a lot of emailing!  Today I sat on the porch with the cats in the rain.  Here's a little wordless rain once it was raining a bit harder and we'd come in.


At one point when the rain had let up and the sun was peeking through, I looked out the window at just the right moment and saw a hummingbird visiting the purple Mexican petunias.  And I felt that little catch in my heart - that little infusion of pure joy- knowing that being present and being alive is enough.

I have a new indulgence. Cake Boss. I try to limit it to one episode (22 minutes) per day, but sometimes I need one more dose.  We don't have cable so until we got Netflix streaming a few weeks ago, I could only watch shows like Cake Boss if I happened to be staying at a hotel.  I actually discovered Buddy Valastro and his wacky but lovable family all working together at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, NJ while I was hiking the AT.  When I'd stop in town to resupply, I would purchase large quantities of food to eat on my day off, climb into bed, pop open a pint of Ben and Jerry's and watch TV shows about cake.  Perfect.

The shows are all so similar - why do I love them so much? I think a lot of it has to do with the charisma of Buddy, the main character.

I love his outlook on life, and while I know I'm watching a heavily edited television show, not unadulterated real life, I think if we all lived a little more like Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, the world would be a better place.  Here's why.

1. He works hard. He doesn't expect that cakes are just going to appear.  Every episode there's tons of mixing, icing, sculpting - actual doing.  And he does it every day.  He doesn't create something one day and then take two days off. 2. He loves what he does.  You can see it in his eyes whether he's consulting with a new customer or presenting a cake to an adoring audience. 3. He has a positive outlook on life, but when he's upset, he expresses his feelings.  Almost every episode there's at least one point where Buddy gets frustrated about something and yells a little.  But then it passes and all goes back to normal.  He doesn't stuff his emotions down  - he lets them fly - and within reason, that's pretty healthy! 4. He doesn't think he has to do everything himself.  He's assembled a talented team around him to make his creative visions manifest themselves. 5. He's willing to try something new and go out on a limb creatively, while also hanging on to what's worked in the past.  It seems that almost every episode includes Buddy and his team trying to construct a cake in a way they've never done before. But there's also a heavy dose of tradition, from recipes that date back generations like those incredible cannoli!  Gosh, I love cannoli. 6. He's not afraid to look silly.  I love the episode where he and his buddies go out and play golf for the first time - it doesn't matter to him that he doesn't know what he's doing - he just laughs a lot and tries it. 7. He embraces fun.  While everyone at that bakery works hard all day, there are always a couple of pranks where someone gets a cake in the face or flour dumped on their head or contests where the loser has to dress up in a bunny suit or a grass skirt  and hand out cupcakes. 8. He values relationships. I love the scenes with Buddy and his giant Italian family - they work together and they celebrate together. There's plenty of food, laughter, hugs, and toasts.  Salud! 9. He dreams big.  People don't end up with their bakeries on successful TV shows just like that - someone has to picture the possibilities.  And I have a hunch that Buddy doesn't let negative thinking get in his way when he dreams.  He has a vision, then he makes it happen, and that's pretty cool.

What do you think? Are you a fan of Cake Boss?  Are there any of Buddy's personality traits you'd like to emulate more?