Aging Gracefully

“I’m young at heart.  I’m just old in my back and knees” was a recent Facebook post by my niece-in-law.   I identify!  After my father came to live with us, I recall multiple times his looking in the mirror in wonder, saying “I still feel the same inside but I hardly recognize the person in the mirror.”

            Imagine my surprise when I googled Aging Gracefully and found a site by that name established by a woman who lives in my hometown! She posts many quotes about aging, about life. Two I especially liked:

            “I have resolved to live, not just endure, every season of my life.”

            “I want to be so distracted by loving life that I never realize I’m growing older.”

            My mother-in-law, by that time in her eighties, used to say she taught “the old people’s” Sunday School class, implying they were the old people and she was not.  In my forties at that time, I found her statement so amusing.  Only now do I discover “old people” are Other People, certainly not me!

          My husband said I should consider titling this “Aging Awkwardly.” (I almost re-titled it “Aging Gracefully (Or Not).”  Truly, that is likely a better description for what really goes on.  Aging can feel like dodging landmines and sometimes actually encountering them.

          A dose of healthy denial can improve outlook in one’s later years, suggests Susan Whitbourne, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division on Aging.  “The people who do the best with aging aren’t thinking that much about getting older.  They’re not really focusing on what’s not working anymore.  If you sit around mulling over the meaning of existence and how time is running is running out, you’re building a scenario where you’re not going to age as successfully,” she said.

Author Louise Hay, who died at age 90 after surviving 40 years past a diagnosis of “incurable” cervical cancer, wrote:  “Know that you are the perfect age.  Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once.  Be comfortable with growing older.”  Seems right to me!

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Cafe Bonus: Overnight Quinoa Pudding, a “healthy aging recipe” as printed in Eating Well Magazine, September 2020. This recipe uses kefir instead of milk for a probiotic boost and maple syrup instead of refined sugar. Prep time is minimal—just leave the mixture in the refrigerator overnight to firm up: 1 c. cooked and cooled quinoa; 3/4 c. plain kefir; 1 T. chia seeds, plus more for serving; 2 t. pure maple syrup; 1/4 t. vanilla extract; dash of ground cinnamon; fresh berries for serving. Combine quinoa, kefir, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl or jar. Refrigerate overnight. To serve, top with berries and more chia, if desired.


From the time we began to shelter in place, practice social distancing, and otherwise to adapt to a covid world, I developed difficulty focusing.  And that was BEFORE I came to Maryland and began to help with my five year old grandson who has focus problems of his own and the 18 month old who is, well, an 18 month old!

            So, what to do?  Writing in my journal used to be helpful, and still is sometimes when I actually sit down to do it.  Meditation and prayer have been  important to me for both focus and my spiritual life.  But space and time for that is very hard to come by at the moment. 

          In search of other means to add to my “arsenal,” I turned to: what else? Google!  In an article on, I came across some suggestions that are less frequently recommended.  One was to make a “distraction list.”  Paul David Lozano is quoted as writing, “Sometimes you will get distracted by a thought that disrupts your focus. When this happens, create a distraction list. Just create a new text file. Now, rename it to ‘Distraction list’. After doing so, place it in your desktop,” he explains. “Whenever a stray thought intrudes and breaks your concentration, add it to your list. Usually it won’t come back.” I will have to test that out for myself. (For tech disabled people like me, a text file simply doesn’t have all the formatting and ends with .txt instead of .doc or .docx.  I suspect I would just use whatever I found simplest for me).

PsyBlog is quoted as recommending a short breathing exercise that simply involves counting groups of nine breaths:  nine inhales and nine exhales which reportedly boosted participants’ scores on a test of attention. The blog also suggests that brightly colored rooms can boost concentration because people perform at their best when somewhat stimulated, red or yellow being preferred.  However, too much or too little stimulation tends to make people’s performance worse.

         A suggestion that especially appealed to me was to learn a foreign language.  Apparently even a minimal amount of time spent on such a task can increase your capacity to focus on tasks of all types. The site reports that after only a week of study, students show improved attention skills and were better able to switch their attention and filter out irrelevant details. Rosetta Stone French is on my computer and I will endeavor to spend some time there.  

But my most favorite of all was to eat dark chocolate! “Chocolate is indeed a stimulant and it activates the brain in a really special way. It can increase brain characteristics of attention,” commented Larry Stevens, who conducted research into the focus-boosting effects of this tasty snack.

         Blessings on your efforts…and see bonus recipe below.

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

Shalom, Kate

P.S.  Hope’s Café Bonus: 

Terri’s Crockpot Hot Fudge Cake

1 pkg (dark) chocolate cake mix

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding

4 eggs

1 c. water

1 pint sour cream

¾ c. oil

6 oz  (dark)chocolate chips

In a large bowl stir together the cake mix and the pudding mix.  In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the water, then add the sour cream and oil and stir until smooth.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and beat well.  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spray the inside of the crockpot with a nonstick spray.  Pour batter into crockpot.  Place a paper towel over the top of the crockpot and then cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Check after four hours to see if cake is firm.  Th paper towel absorbs the moisture and keeps it from dripping back into the pot.  Change it once or twice or as it gets wet.  Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.


When I recently packed to travel to help care for my grandsons, I packed my journals.  I have kept journals off and on for years. Before she was even born, I started one journal to my daughter. I continued to her 17th birthday, when I gave it to her as a present.  She told me years later in the midst of an emotional crisis she turned to the journal, reading through it to ground herself. I never thought about it serving that purpose for her.  However, I know at times I read back through my own, reminded of difficult things I came through and of pleasant memories I can briefly relive.

            As a therapist, I often encouraged clients to journal for the therapeutic value of it.  One woman would journal at my office and would leave her writing with me as she did not want her thoughts discovered at home, while she sought to unravel her tangled feelings and seek her path forward. 

            Last summer at my pastorate in Florida, by some circuitous route, one of my husband Terry’s long-ago clients found a number for me.  For safekeeping, she had secured at her grandmother’s  house  a copy of her record of treatment as a teenager.   Her grandmother had recently died and she was closing down her grandmother’s home.  There she discovered the chart, a journal of sorts, that carried the story of her treatment.    Now an adult with children of her own, she wanted to let Terry know how well her life had turned out and how much she valued his help at a critical time.

            My husband, a combat veteran of two tours in Vietnam, is now writing his memoir of those years. George Orwell said “Good writing is like a windowpane.” I see the windowpane my husband is creating, the relief as he unburdens himself.  He often spoke of Vietnam in years past but usually in a more detached way.  Now some deeper part of him is open to live more fully.

            I now keep journals for my grandsons. I don’t know if they will be meaningful to them someday.  But as I wrote in their journals yesterday while Jenna and Gabriel napped and Sebastian played, Sebastian wanted to “write” in his.  I let him scribble on some blank pages.  He interpreted his markings: “I love you from my happy birthday.”  (We hear a lot about his birthday which occurred a month ago. He insists he will have another one soon!)  So maybe someday it will mean something to him that his Nana kept a journal for him.  Maybe he will even keep his own. 

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.   Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  If you need a little snack while you write, here is a 3 ingredient cookie recipe from my daughter:  2 c. rolled oats; 3 overripe bananas; ½ c. nut butter; ¼ c. chocolate chips, optional.  Drop by spoonsful on parchment paper on baking sheet at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Best hot out of the oven.  Once cooled, best warmed just a bit.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apples

I don’t recall the first time I ate a caramel apple.  I remember the first time I tried to make my own.  A college girlfriend and I unwrapped all the caramels in the package, put them in the saucepan to heat, and initially followed the recipe on the bag.  But the recipe barely calls for any water and we were sure that couldn’t be right.  We added water till we considered it sufficient.  We then discovered we had a lovely sauce but the mixture was way too runny to cover the apples—a life lesson you might say.  (Maybe several life lessons:  consider following the directions before embarking on a project; when you make a mistake, use it to some advantage!  The sauce was lovely for dipping apples.  It did not go to waste!)

            I have made many such apple treats successfully since then and probably purchased about as many as I have made.  There is just something about the crispness of the apple and the sweetness of the caramel that gives me such pleasure.  My mother had a similar delight.  I recall so many times my mother declaring, “Oh, I just love a tarty apple!”  We always smiled when she said it.  She truly took such pleasure in that small act and so predictably responded with the same comment every single time. 

            In the midst of all that we deal with in our daily lives and in the world around us, we surely need to identify those little comforts which bring us miniature bursts of something akin to joy.  Last year I spent a lot of time in airports, going through the frequent hassles air travel entails.   I often found caramel apples available for sale and took the opportunity to indulge.  I would sit at my gate to await my flight, eat my caramel apple and count my blessings. 

            Chadwick Boseman, who concealed his cancer for several years before dying, tweeted: “Inhale and exhale this moment, and thank God for the unique beauties and wonders of this day.”  What a great reminder!

So I urge you to take care of yourselves.  Seek small pleasures.  Inhale and exhale this moment……And, if you are so inclined, eat an apple!

 May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Shalom, Kate

P.S. Hope’s Café Bonus:  melt an 11 oz. bag of caramels with 3/4t. vanilla extract, and 1 T. water over low heat, stirring constantly.  When melted, insert wooden craft sticks in four washed and dried Granny Smith (or other tart—“tarty” 😊) apples. Dip in the mixture and set them on buttered waxed paper.  You may sprinkle nut pieces, mini chocolate chips or other add-ons as your taste and creativity allow. Then set in refrigerator for caramel to harden a bit.   Enjoy…and count your blessings!                                                          


Random Acts

This week I was in Ace Hardware getting some keys made.  While the employee made the keys, I wandered around their gift section looking for a housewarming gift.  My back was hurting and I had my hand on my back.  When I went to pay for my purchases, the young woman at checkout, who looked all of nineteen, asked in a very concerned voice, “Is your back hurting?”  I responded in the affirmative and said I’d had back surgery. The back is much better, I said, but still hurts sometimes.  “Do you get treatment for it?” she continued.  I told her that yes, I do some massage and some chiropractic.  She said, “Oh, that’s the best.”  As I exited the store, she called after me, “I hope you get to feeling better.”  That cost her nothing but I felt the comforting glow of her sweet gesture. 

            I know I often miss opportunities to do this very same sort of random act of kindness.  For whatever reason, I don’t notice or I don’t take time to offer it. But this brought to mind another kind of random act, which I would term “random acts of responsibility.”  This is actually a painful disclosure and is perhaps directed more towards myself than anyone else.  But I offer it on the off chance that someone else out there might benefit from the reminder.

            Some years ago, while I was still in practice as a therapist, I was in the grocery store and encountered a woman who looked like she had been battered.  One eyeball was partially out of the socket and she looked like she had some bruises.  But she had this goofy smile on her face and was going down the aisle selecting groceries.  I simply couldn’t process that this person was functioning as though everything was normal when it clearly wasn’t.  She didn’t make any effort to convey she was in any pain or in search of any help and I didn’t offer any.  I suspect she was experiencing shock. But her face has haunted me through the years, as has my lack of response. 

Why didn’t I say, “Do you need some help?”  Maybe because I thought I might be called on to get involved?  Even young children put me to shame these days:  a seven year old in Texas began a nonprofit called Mac and Cheese and Pancakes to get kid-favorite foods donated to food pantries; a 10 year old in Massachusetts sold over $13,000 worth of baseball card to help with expenses for two friends with cancer;  due to a kindergarten student with cerebral palsy, a fifth grade class in Michigan approached their principal about making a handicap accessible playground and began a fundraiser to make it happen.

So much of life is limited only by our creativity, imagination, and willingness to respond to those needs we encounter.

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.  Shalom, Kate

P.S. Hope’s Café Bonus:  In honor of Kaden Newton, view his Facebook site for Mac and Cheese and Pancakes.  If you google Mac and Cheese and Pancakes, you will see recipes for Mac and Cheese Pancakes; one recipe includes a side of hotdogs; and I even saw a recipe for Mac and Cheesecake.  Who knew?? 😊


            August 15 I noticed my calendar was still on July.  For me, perhaps for you as well, there has been a sense of timelessness during this period of Covid 19.  Usually, there have been markers over the course of the year such that even when time seems to be “flying,” I still have a perception of “in February we took a trip to (fill in the blank); “in May we had a big celebration for (fill in the blank); and so on.  When one day is often much like the one before it and the one after it, time seems to lose its meaning.

            Steven R. Covey says that you can spend time on useful things or useless things.  However, if you consider the term “investing” instead of “spending,” he suggests you will invest it in something that has meaning and value for you.  I have wondered how we will look back on this period; will it seem to have been “lost time,” nothing gained, or “valuable time,” well “invested”?

            Given that at this point it appears that we could be restricted from our normal activities for some time to come, this would seem to be an excellent time to take stock. Imagine yourself a year from now.  What would you like to look back on?

            Covey wrote about making a personal mission statement, stating that “Whatever is at the center of our life will be the source of our security, guidance, wisdom and power.”

             Just before New Year’s 2019, I came across a similar idea in a post from inward/outward where the writer suggested making a “roadmap” for the year ahead.  The writer began her roadmap with the words: “To keep my equilibrium, I have to remember the way I have come and who brought me here, which helps keep me grounded.” She then enumerated the things she would rely on to stay grounded and centered.  She concluded with these words: “This is just my road map– always being updated in the moment, as the spirit directs.”

            What will keep you grounded and centered through this period?  What will it take to look back a year from now to say “I grew through this time and I take satisfaction in how I managed this opportunity”?

            Blessings as you continue the “covid journey.”

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

                                                             Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  I share a poem that helped center and ground me:


                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth cracks open:

                                                Lava spills out

                                                Across the landscape of my life,

                                                Warming me/burning me.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth cradles me,

                                                Even as it shifts,

                                                Moving me in some direction

                                                I strain to perceive.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul.

                                                The earth propels me:

                                                Whether I stumble or find sure footing,

                                                I am sustained.

                                                There are rumblings in my soul:

                                                Prophets of the earth,

                                                Foretelling change to come,

                                                Change erupting even now,

                                                Gift of the universe.

                                                            —-Kate Stulce

                                                            Written October 2002

                                                            Sante Fe, New Mexico*

                                    * Descriptive of the spiritual journey I have experienced,

                                    which was only beginning to evolve when I wrote this poem.


When did I stop humming?  I had always hummed and sung to myself as I went about household chores until…..until what?  How can something so natural, so integral to who I am, just disappear?  I honestly can’t recall when humming/singing gradually receded or why.  But somewhere along the way I lost touch with the spontaneity which inspired that.  I do know that I began to notice this loss in the midst of the pandemic—in the slowing down of the speed of my life, in the noticeable quiet. 

So now I seek to remind myself to engage in humming.  There are certainly benefits.  Did you know athletes are trained to hum prior to and during events to minimize any negative thoughts?    Perhaps you remember little Jessica trapped in a deep well in Texas years ago, humming to herself, comforting herself and making her desperate situation more bearable. 

Making “a desperate situation more bearable” seems like a reasonable quest these days.  Music generally, can help ease chronic pain, anxiety and depression.  It contributes to relaxation and health, even improving pre-surgery stress and post-surgery outcomes and enhancing the quality of sleep.  Researchers in Finland concluded that when stroke patients listened to music for two hours a day, their verbal memory and attention improved and they had a more positive mood compared to patients who didn’t listen to music or who listened to audio books.

So I challenge you to hum in the coming week or select some music that you find uplifting.  You might pay attention to other sounds and actions that have soothing effect…..the gentle purring of your cat as you pet her; listening to the rhythmic hum of cicadas as the evening fades; noticing even the soft “swoosh” of the dishwasher as it runs.  Be creative how you respond to this challenge.  Any positive effort you make contributes to improving the emotional atmosphere and making “a desperate situation more bearable.”

 May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Cafe Bonus:

The Quilt

This peacefulness…..this gratitude…..when did it overtake me?  Perhaps when we received an unexpected FaceTime after our five year old grandson said to his mother “Aren’t you going to call Nana and Papa?”  

              Perhaps as I watched the blazing crimson sunset filter through a latticework of trees?  Or as we cued up a movie and broke out the popcorn? 

              Or maybe it was when I searched out an unfinished quilt I had tucked away in the closet and renewed my efforts to complete it?

              Maybe it was all of these combined.  I know these events followed one another over the course of the evening.  However, the quilt has a story that likely makes it the centerpiece of this contentment. 

              When my mother was in her 70s, she took up quilting.  She had intended when she retired to take up gardening.  But, sadly, she developed some kind of allergy that made it impossible for her to work in plants.  She made some beautiful quilts and I am blessed to have some of her efforts.  But she started one quilt top that for some reason didn’t suit her.  I’m not sure why.  When I look at the turquoise and rose colors they remind me so of her.  Nothing about it seemed lacking to me.  But she stopped working on it, stitched an edging around it and gave it to me, saying maybe I could use it as a tablecloth. 

For a long time after she died I pondered the possibilities for that “tablecloth.”  I am neither a great seamstress nor a quilter, although I used to sew a lot and enjoyed making a pattern for “magic quilts,” which fold up into a pocket on the quilt to make a pillow.  But I inquired of my friend and expert quilter Mary what she thought I might do.  She helped me to choose a backing and to begin a way to quilt it.  I have worked on it periodically.   Frequently I have forgotten about it altogether.  But I follow Mary’s quilting blog and something in the reading of her last post triggered my memory of that neglected project.  Having retrieved it from its closet “hideaway,” I renewed my quilting activity while we watched the movie.    

Threading the needle, pulling it through the fabric, fabric that my mother’s hands had touched,  soothed me to the core, peace and gratitude in every stitch.  I could imagine her selecting that fabric, cutting it, piecing it together.  I could even see her examining her work and finding it unsatisfactory. (Like mother, like daughter.  I recognize the pattern).  The sewing of this quilt reminds me of how much of her I carry within me….and how very much I am sustained by that embodiment.

And so I invite you to seek those things that soothe you, bring you comfort, connect you to a sense of serenity and gratefulness.  As we carry on through Covid 19, these will be our sustenance. 

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

                                                             Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  😊 My quilter friend Mary’s website: And photos as an added bonus! ♥ My mother and her “disappointing” quilt♥ 

Breaking Bread Together

Some weeks ago I purchased pretzel bread at Aldi’s.  I had never seen it for sale—-and I have never seen it since—not at Aldi’s, not at Publix, not at Food City.  So I googled pretzel bread recipes and decided I would make some myself.  There is something so satisfying about mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, seeing it rise, smelling the incomparable aroma of baking bread. 

                             I spent a lovely afternoon baking.  Yet I also had a sense of melancholy. In the (not too distant) past, that is, pre-Covid 19, baking often meant “company coming!”    I so miss the camaraderie of sharing food with friends.  We occasionally do social distance picnic with friends, each bringing their own food.  That has helped us not to feel totally isolated.  I am not sure what we will do when the weather no longer permits even that bit of interaction, comfort, pleasure.  It is not the same experience, though, as sharing a meal, lovingly prepared, consumed together in leisurely fashion. 

                            That kind of meal resonates as the ideal to me.  But there are other opportunities to share food that are meaningful if we pay attention.  Four gang members once came to our church’s food pantry and were served without fanfare.  No one was excluded.  Everyone was welcome.  I have observed a homeless man divide his meager rations with his faithful companion, dog and owner clearly devoted to one another.    

One of the most powerful stories I have ever heard of sharing food, though, occurred in World War II.  An infantryman in the British army had ended up in a prisoner of war camp in Poland.  The conditions were dreadful.  There was no heat, and prisoners were given a single bowl of thin soup and a small crust of bread daily.  Men were starving, sick, filthy and desperate.  Suicide was a very real option.  All one had to do was run toward the perimeter of the camp and leap against the barbed wire fence.  Guards would immediately shoot and kill anyone trying to escape.  

                            In the middle of the night the soldier walked to the perimeter and sat down beside the fence to think about going through with it.  He heard movement in the darkness from the from the other side of the fence.  It was a Polish farmer.  The farmer thrust his hand through the barbed wire and handed the soldier half of a potato.  In a heavily accented English the farmer, in his effort to offer nourishment as well as to encourage faith in desperate circumstances, said “The Body of Christ.”  (as reported in October 2, 2013 Christian Century)

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter.

                               Shalom, Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus: for Making bread, Baking bread, Breaking bread together, try Pizza Monkey Bread.  Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 cans (16.3 oz each) refrigerated biscuits, quartered; 6 oz pepperoni, quartered; 2 c. shredded mozzarella; ½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated; ¼ c. butter, melted and slightly cooled; 2 T. olive oil; 2 t. Italian seasonings; 2 t. minced garlic (or ½ t. garlic powder). Mix well to coat.  Pour into a greased bundt pan or 9×13 baking dish.  Bake 35-45 minutes, covering with foil after the first 20 minutes.  Then check every 5 minutes thereafter for doneness.  After removing from oven, loosen with knife.  Invert bundt man onto plate.  Warm some marinara for dipping & enjoy.  😊

Earth Angels

In 2010 Terry and I made a trip to Costa Rica to attend Costa Rica Spanish Institute.  However, this trip had a few hitches.  When we arrived at the Atlanta airport to check in we discovered Terry had picked up our old passports by mistake.  We had to rebook for the next day, drive home to retrieve the current passports and return the following day. This created another problem.  COSI was an immersion language program and we were due to stay with a family.  The message of our delay was relayed to a family member but not passed on to the parent who was hosting us.  She showed up on the appropriate day and time, bewildered that we didn’t arrive. 

When we did at last arrive, after a plane and then a bus trip, we were delivered to a bus station at dark in what was clearly not a safe part of town.   We didn’t know the language; didn’t have a phone with us; didn’t know how to contact anyone; didn’t know where we were in relation to anything else.  We were LOST!  A taxi driver who only spoke Spanish stopped and we showed him the little card with the name and address of the person with whom we were to stay.  He looked at it briefly and drove off.  We assumed he didn’t know how to read.  We just stood there on the sidewalk wondering what in the world to do when another vehicle drove up.  The driver, who turned out to be an American living in Costa Rica, rolled down the window and said, “Do you need some help?”  We told him the situation, he called the person we were to stay with, got directions to her home and delivered us safe and sound to our destination.  Even now looking back, I marvel at that miracle.

I have encountered others I would call earth angels.  Once about 11 months after Terry donated his kidney to his sister, we were at a conference.  Terry mentioned in the context of the discussion about the physiology of the brain, that he’d never had headaches until he donated his kidney.  After the lecture, one of the participants came up to him and said he thought he could help Terry.  We went to his room with him, he put a little device on Terry’s hand, took some kind of measurement, and said Terry was low in a particular mineral.  He put some drops under Terry’s tongue and—another miracle!—Terry’s headaches completely stopped and never recurred. 

We all have opportunities to be earth angels.  My friend Kathy was one this week for some folks whose son died while in custody awaiting transfer to a psychiatric hospital after a mental health crisis.  If you review your last few weeks, perhaps you recognize instances when you either were the benefactor or recipient of these kind of interactions. 

I am reminded of Hebrews 13:2  “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

May we be bearers of hope, the “wait staff” of Hope’s Café for each other and all those we encounter. Kate

Hope’s Café Bonus:  Earth Angel Treat:  3-2-1 Magic Mug Cake:  Mix angel food cake mix with a second cake mix of any flavor.  Mix 3 T. of cake mix with 2 T.       water and place in mug; microwave for one minute and enjoy.  😊