Monthly Archives: July 2015

Imprisoned – part two

I guess I am still on the Paul and Silas idea – or God is – because I was led to the following scripture this morning:

Psalm 107:13-16 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.

I wonder sometimes, when God breaks the chains, if we stand there unbelieving. Instead of just shaking our arms and legs, and watching the chains fall away, we shake our heads, like this horse, and calmly chew our oats. Or trail mix, or whatever the case may be. God has freed us! We aren’t even tied loosely, and lookit us!

Speakin da which – I am considering a major move. I suppose it’s part geographical cure, and yes, I know, we take ourselves with us (wry grin). But is there always something wrong with that?

Seriously, I have my reasons, one of which is to escape these stupid Maine winters, I think 56 years of them is enough to know I don’t like them. I don’t need one more!

But I have other reasons …(quirks left eyebrow) (if it was capable of quirking).

Anyyyway… stay tuned …

(Thank you B is for Blessed for the scripture!)

Paul and Silas were imprisoned … are you?

I get so frustrated sometimes, don’t you, by the way mental illness affects your life? I think about the impact it has on my work and relationships. My future plans. My physical health. Even my housework is affected! But that doesn’t bother me as much. But those other things – I do feel imprisoned sometimes!

I was reading in the Bible today in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison. Verse 25 shows us, however, that Paul and Silas were anything but thrown by their imprisonment. If anything, they were joyful, for “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

As I read this I thought, what am I but in prison? My bipolar and depression and anxiety lock me up soundly sometimes! The last thing I ever do is sing praises when I feel that way. Oh I will sing praises in church, and when I am thankful about something good, but do I truly praise God in all of my circumstances? And that made me think of another verse that makes me cringe. Ephesisans 5:20 says to give “thanks always for all things.” That’s even harder to swallow! How can I give thanks, when I’m all balled up, and feeling anything but thankful?

My experience today speaks to the wisdom of reading the Bible over and over. Because I’ve read that verse about Paul and Silas probably a hundred times. But I’d never really connected the fact that I am indeed imprisoned by my mental illness and its symptoms. Essentially all I ever do is moan about it. It never occurred to me to sing praises. And it’s not just a verse for everyone else; it’s for me.

But it’s also important not to just do it for the reward. Paul and Silas didn’t know that God was going to free them. They sang because that was what was in their hearts. The reason I need to do it is because God says so! Because it will please Him! And because I truly am thankful, despite my illness!

I can picture the ways I can give praise while I am in my bonds. I can smile more. I can learn to be calm, more grateful. I can exercise discipline in thanking God every day, and show my gratitude. I can be softer and gentler, and “act as if” I was thankful, until it was true. This is a skill I was taught in AA; and I can certainly apply it here.

I know people in my church who are like the above. You know they have a happy heart, despite their many challenges. Maybe I ought to hang out with them more; I already know how to be miserable!

Of course, I know it can benefit others, to hear me praise, and pray, in the midst of my woe. I know it helps me to be around it. And again, this will please God.

This doesn’t mean faking how things really are. I’ve done enough faking. That’s not what this is. This means a heart change. And guess Who can change my heart?

Not I! The Bible calls for us to pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) This means to come to God and confess sin, and ask Him to change this heart. I love Ezekiel 36:26, where God promises: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

Hm, a stony heart. Sounds like a heart that can be stubborn.

But a heart of flesh?

That is what I want!

Number twelve is the loveliest …

Twelve is such a great number isn’t it? Twelve steps of AA, twelve months on the calendar, twelve in a dozen, and then there are the twelve quotes for writers.

We’ll get to that.

So, I’m done screaming now, which is good, and I guess I’m moving on (I had a good appointment with my therapist in other words, lol).

This month was supposed to be my Nano Camp (July) but I have allowed life (including a colonoscopy) to distract me. I hardly did my DBT homework either. So there is one month almost gone, never to be seen again  😦  I’m sure the time is not wasted, but it feels like it is!

So anyway – I guess reading these writing quotes is one way to be inspired to write. Of course, inspiration is NOT THE SAME AS ACTUALLY WRITING, Kathleen! But when I do write it is like my depression doesn’t exist. My low self-esteem doesn’t exist. I feel like a worthwhile person, and like all the time I waste (read: disabled) doesn’t matter; I write, therefore I am! I am a worthwhile person! My life is not a waste! And my mental illness doesn’t matter. I don’t know how or why that is, and I don’t know why that isn’t more of a motivation to actually write … but anyway… here are the quotes, by “The Literacy Site

“Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy–which many believe goes hand in hand with it–will be dead as well.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

-E.L. Doctorow

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

-Truman Capote

“Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For these two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.”

-Roald Dahl

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

-Isaac Asimov

“Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.”

-Amy Tan

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”

-A.B. Yehoshua

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.”

-Charles Kuralt

“Whether you’re keeping a journal or writing as a meditation, it’s the same thing. What’s important is that  you’re having a relationship with your mind.”

-Natalie Goldberg

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

Read more at http://blog.theliteracysite.com/quotes-about-writing/#mjgs3ajHYUEwYjDf.99

What to say when you feel like screaming

There are many people whom I have not told I have bipolar illness  It is hard to tell someone that you know cares about you and means well. Do you trust them? Will they reject you? Judge you? Will they say “So what? Buck up!” As many of you know, I have been writing about this issue in different ways throughout my blog [shrug]. Obviously I have not entirely resolved this.

These are people who know you and they don’t. They see a person who is “normal” who says they are struggling, but they think you are fine. And I’m responsible for that; I don’t say a word about what is really going on, I present myself well. It’s an automatic response that I learned growing up, and later, as a professional. .

Here is an example of such a relationship, in which the choice was to push them away, or to try to tell them. I wanted to tell them gently, but a part of me wanted to scream Can’t they just take my word for it that I can’t work right now, without my having to tell them why?

But on the other hand, how can I expect ANYone to understand whom I have not told? They can’t read my mind. But boy do I wish they could. It is so hard to explain to people, especially people I am not and will not be all that close to.

This is between a nice older couple, who has left our church in Maine to live in Florida, and myself. I am thinking of moving down and wanted to be in touch with them somewhat. Here’s their note (after we’d written back and forth a little) and my response.

Theirs:

“I think that the end of Aug. or in Sept. Son # 3 and the grand kids may come again … So when you know more (about your move or visit), let us know, and by then we may know more what they are going to do. But if they do come it will only be for A few days. We will help you in any way we can and you are welcome to stay here. I think you could find A job with your skill. looking forward to seeing you.”

Oo, it was the “I think you could find a job…” that got me. I’d told them multiple times that I was unable to work, but not exactly why. I’d mentioned the depression and anxiety; I’d done a lot of “implying;” but that was it. I thought, “Why do I have to explain! Why can’t they just accept what I said!” Sigh… But, I decided to be a little more direct, and see what happens.

So, here is my response. Will it work?

“I have bipolar illness along with some other things. There is a link below that explains what it is. I haven’t been able to work at all since a year ago May. Nursing wise I haven’t worked since 2010 I think it was. The last time as a nurse I did not know I was manic and I was dangerous to myself and others, even driving. My last job was as a cashier at a crafts store. Even that was too stressful for me. I have been working with Pastor and Mrs.X. on all of this since I started at [our church] in 06. Sometimes I do ok and sometimes not. It is easy to hide for short periods of time so you may not know that I am having symptoms. When it is bad I just don’t go to church at that time and I watch the service on the computer. I don’t talk about it because I feel embarrassed about not being able to do things. I tell very few people. It is also kind of hard to get into a conversation about it in the middle of church  🙂

What I do for work now is volunteer at church to the best of my ability at that particular time.  Sometimes I do a lot, sometimes a little. My resume looks like Swiss cheese right now.  😦 I can’t even keep my word anymore as far as work goes. As I said, it is very embarrassing! Anyway, as I mentioned, click here for information about bipolar disorder.

This Is It!

Yayyyy! We’re fast approaching an obscure little number: 190 posts!

And so, it’s time to make some very important decisions!

The first one is whether to sign up for a paid website, and take this writing gig more seriously.

The second decision: whether or not to take a nap.

I know, I know, we shouldn’t rush things, right? I’ll admit, the second seems a lot more important in the scheme of things.

After all, “paid” is not part of my vocabulary. Not when “Free” is also available.

But honestly, I’d rather plan ahead for what will be a very long, illustrious, and successful career, than plant my feet any deeper on this particular blog site and have to uproot. Seems more logical to start now with my author’s page. After all, I’m going to be rich and famoose before you know it.

*Coughs*

Ok, maybe that sentence was filled with a little more bravado than I feel.

I don’t care. After all, the sooner I finish this post, the quicker I can take that nap.

HELP My Unbelief! : When Doubt is a Disorder

Very good for those who suffer or who know someone who does.

The OCD Christian

Having lived with OCD for quite some time and experienced a lot of diverse obsessional themes, I can tell you that any persistent or long held obsession is most certainly going to create a painful and debilitating level of anxiety which is often accompanied by depression.

Therefore, in order to demonstrate a level of respect and empathy for others, it will be important for those of us with OCD to recognize that while our obsessional themes may differ, this doesn’t mean that our experience is more legitimate or painful than that of others.

Which, is what brings me to the point of this blog: Religious OCD or Scrupulosity may not seem like a big deal to a person with OCD who isn’t a Christian but to those of us who have struggled with it, it is a very big deal.  It might not even seem to be all that big…

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♪♫ Just a dream, just a dream…

I have a blogging friend who has a blog post entitled “Just a Dream,” and every time a comment appears and I see that title, I hear that song in my head. So I guess I ought to just post to that effect and let you hear the song. Possibly that will make it go away lol. Check in will follow below:

SO! A dream. I had Propofol when I had my colonoscopy (see my previous blog entry about it, which has a pretty funny video by Damon Wayans and Lou Rawls), and I don’t remember a durn thing. I’ve had I think Versed before but there was a question that it was what made me vomit during my endoscopy (could have been other factors of course).

So, anyway, it’s not the colonoscopy that’s the problem, it’s the durn prep. Everyone tells you that but I still want to say it, lol. So, I had to take a whole bottle of Miralax, which works excellently if you want to feel like you are um, urinating through your, um, bottom. How’s that for as unoffending as possible. 😉 It actually is better than the old “Go-Lytely” they used to make you drink. And “Go-Lytely” is a misnomer, in case you were wondering (shudder).

I also had to be on clear liquids for an extra day this time, because the last time I prepped, it did not, um, work thoroughly. Now why can’t I just come out and say what needs to be said? Because poop and poop jokes are “not done, my dear.” Ok, I’ll go along with that, this time.

ANYway, the only result I’ve received from the doctor regarding the colonoscopy, so far, is that they found a large polyp in my ascending colon.

It’s not uncommon to find polyps, but they remove them during the colonoscopy, as polyps can sometimes become cancerous.. They will biopsy the thing (something they do routinely) and get back to me in 7-10 days.

WELL. After 2 days of clear liquids, I had developed a couple of food cravings. One, an Italian sandwich from Amatos (There is nothing like it, anywhere!)

And another craving I had, you guessed it:

No no, NO to Starbucks! It’s the DUNK, all the way. And with creamer. Because I could have had coffee those two days, up til 11:30 am. But I can’t drink coffee without my creamer. Nuh uh.

SO. Anyway. My good friend and I munch munched, but I could only eat half the sandwich. Still had room for half a

whoopie pie, which I love love love – again from Amatos (they have the 2nd best whoopie pie I can buy around here. Wicked Whoopie is the best).

(Did I ever tell you I have a problem with food? Well, only when I think about it. Otherwise, it’s CHOWWW TIIIIME!)

Ok, what else.

So anyway. I caught up w/ my friends, the IRL ones, and on the computer, in the evening. I went to bed around 10, read for a while, then zz…

And woke up 4 hours later.

Oh well. Was able to eat my other half sandwich at 5 a.m. (why not?) and refrained from eating the other half a whoopie pie because BOY does that stuff eat up my calorie allowance! (WHAT calorie allowance!)

Well, so that is me so far today, did you like it? Let me know. I’m gonna get ready to go to Staples this morning with a friend, and torture myself with all the things I’d like to have. (Staples is almost better than Amatos!).

Ciao!

Unity

Christian unity – do you think about it much? Or do you argue with other Christians about whose denomination or lack thereof is better? Over what doctrine is correct? Check this out to see what really matters to God.

Christian INTP

How do Christians come together in unity? This is probably one of those questions that has vexed many over the ages. How is it possible to show Jesus to the rest of the world when we have a hard time loving other Christians (John 13:35)?
It seems there are at least 200 official, distinct, denominations in North America alone with worldwide estimates of various sects being around 33,000. Many of these seem to be in existence because of issues arising from how one group sees some passages versus the other. However, this isn’t just about the traditional congregations that we all know. As I’ve continued my journey, I see many Christians outside of the institutions are just as divided as those inside. I’m not speaking to being united within a congregation alone but with all Christians that profess love for Jesus.
Now, there are those that would seek to promote their view over…

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Living without societal constraints

Sounds great to me! I think I could live this way, being on disability, if I didn’t feel so guilty for being mentally ill. But feeling guilty does not change the fact that I can’t do a lot of things I used to. So why do I go there?

Sorry to distract you from this lovely poem 🙂 It just struck me as a marvelous way to live, and feel! Thank you JoJo!

no filter, no edit

I want to live simply.
I want to sit by the window
when it rains
and read books I’ll never be tested on.

I want to paint because I want to,
not because I’ve got something to prove.
I want to listen to my body,
fall asleep when the moon is high
and wake up slowly
with no place to rush off to.

I want not to be governed by money
or clocks
or any other artificial restraints
that humanity
imposes on itself.

I just want to be,
boundless
and infinite.

~ Anonymous

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Starlight Blogger Award

https://peggyricewi.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/starlight-blogger-award-5-30-20151.jpg

This Award is created to highlight and promote Inspiring Bloggers. The design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter. It is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way, just pass it to others that deserve this award. Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo

Wow! Nominated for an award. This was a nomination by Gray Clouds / Clear Skies,or should I just say it’s from a new friend named Peggy. She writes about her depression and the ways and means she is fighting, hard! to get through it! She is a light, even when she is feeling down! Love you Peggy and so thankful you are on this walk with Christ with me!

To receive this award, there are certain criteria I must follow. So let me post those first.

Award Rules:

•”Nominate your 6 favorite bloggers! In your nominees I would like for you to think of the light emanating from the stars – the ones that truly touch your soul with their work, the ones that are the light for you – a true STARLIGHT Blogger.

•Thank the giver and link their Blog to your post.

•Answer the 3 new questions from your nominator given to you.

•Please Pass the award on to 6 or more other Bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated by you.

  • Include the logo of the award in a post or on your Blog, please never alter the logo. Please don’t delete this note: the design for the STARLIGHT Bloggers Award has been created from YesterdayAfter is a Copyright image you cannot alter or change it in any way just pass it to others that deserve this award. Copyright 2015 © YesterdayAfter.com – Design by Carolina Russo”

The questions from Peggy and my answers:

1.  What impact do you hope to have through your blog?
When I started, my aim was to be to others what I was finding lacking myself: I believe that all of us who are saved are “The Church” and I want to be “The Church’s” response to mental illness. To be knowledgeable, not just supportive. And as a survivor of mental illness, I can be more empathetic than those who have not been there.

Of course, I also want to amuse and entertain, and inspire.

I hope I’m accomplishing these things!

2. What’s something about you that we don’t know from your blog or About Me page? Funny or serious, please share!

I suppose you don’t know that I am one of 10 kids! I have 2 sisters and 7 brothers!

3. Who is your hero/heroine and why? What specific impact did s/he have on you?

I have had many. Of course, Jesus is a hero to me, no one else has laid down their life for me nor will they.

Then I think of the heroes of my childhood – I loved reading their stories, like Helen Keller, Anne Frank, and Laura Ingalls. Their strong survivor spirit. I came to admire Corrie Ten Boom and Joni Eareckson Tada when I became a Christian. I admire my pastor for his genuine love for people. There are many others, some of which I will post below in my list of bloggers!

BONUS QUESTION from Peggy: (Is writing a book the dream of every blogger? I ask sincerely! Please post – anyone! – if this is true of you.  What is your book about?)

I have always wanted to write! From early on, I wrote stories in little books, and I planned to do the same when I grew up. Later, I wanted to write an autobiography. Then I decided I wasn’t that fascinating, but I did want to write novels, and maybe include details from my life. Now I am interested in writing the book that I can’t find – the resource book for Christians suffering from bipolar illness. Maybe I will write one for each of the major mental illnesses. Who knows!

My questions for my nominees:

1. When you were growing up, what was your favorite story you told about yourself or your family, and why?

2. What impact do you hope to have with your blog?

3. Have you dreamt of writing a book? If so, what is your book about? If not, what is your dream?

So – since I can’t nominate Peggy – and I can’t nominate Julie – here are 6 others bloggers whom I enjoy reading, am inspired by, and consider that the insights they share to be “a light for me:”

1. I’d first like to nominate Lilka, who writes a wonderful devotional at B is for blessed! She also advocates for autism and special needs and this ranks her high in my book! Thank you Lilka!

2. Then there’s Church4EveryChild This website helps churches pursue kids with mental illness, trauma or developmental disabilities and their families. Even if you don’t have children, you can appreciate how much this help would have helped you when you were younger. You never know if your knowledge might help someone else at some point in time.

3. You’ve got to check out The OCD Christian. You’d be amazed at how many of us there are! This blog gives so much help and peace to those who suffer!

4. Check out Matt the Bun, also known as Pastor Matty in his youth group circle. He has some great insight into love, loss, marriage, and working with youth. He’s a great soul as well!

5. Here’s one of my favorite new blogs, Truth in Palmyra! This is a no-nonsense Biblical guy with a great sense of humor. I know! Check him out, you won’t be sorry!

6. Finally, do you love Pinterest, but want a place that is clean and refreshing, God centered? Check out the GodInterest Blog!

Thanks in advance to those nominees who choose to participate! and thanks again Peggy! Please check out and support the blogs I’ve outlined above and give them a shout out! Tell em I sent ya!

Luscious

Walking After Midnight:

When you’re depressed, “Luscious” is probably very low on your list of vocabulary words. But that’s what happened to me today!

Lemme ‘splain.

I was able to find freedom from my depression “just for today” by following the urge to do something, instead of just thinking about the effort it would take to do it.

Last night I started thinking about making one of my specialty cakes, and this morning I decided to do it! But there was a lot more to it than baking. For one thing, I had to go out in public and buy the ingredients! But, I was motivated! Because on occasion I give in to some sage advice that I’ve heard along the way:
“Life is uncertain – eatdessertfirst!

Needless to say, that means that Yes! I like cake! Are you kidding??

As I said in my previous post today, I have…

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Luscious

 

When you’re depressed, “Luscious” is probably very low on your list of vocabulary words. But that’s what happened to me today!

Lemme ‘splain.

I was able to find freedom from my depression “just for today” by following the urge to do something, instead of just thinking about the effort it would take to do it.

Last night I started thinking about making one of my specialty cakes, and this morning I decided to do it! But there was a lot more to it than baking. For one thing, I had to go out in public and buy the ingredients! But, I was motivated! Because on occasion I give in to some sage advice that I’ve heard along the way:
“Life is uncertain – eat dessert first!

Needless to say, that means that Yes! I like cake! Are you kidding??

As I said in my previous post today, I have a habit of avoiding the holidays. But with the urge to bake something, I thought, it can’t hurt, and it might help! Not to mention, YUM!

A long time ago, one of our long-standing family recipes went missing, but lo and behold, apparently it was stolen by several cooks on the internet, and slightly varied so as to disguise it. But I am smart. Very smart to figure it out. And so, without further ado, I bring you — Hawaiian Dream Cake!

This recipe is almost guaranteed to earn you some ooh’s and ah’s! You will need:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 -20oz can of crushed pineapple, drained (Make sure that you reserve the juice and put it aside!)
  • 1 -8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 -3 oz package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup of cold milk
  • 1 -9 oz. container of whipped topping
  • nuts (optional)
  • coconut (optional)

Preparation (the basics)

  1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using the reserved pineapple juice. Add water, if necessary, to equal the amount of liquid called for in the directions. Bake as directed on the box (I use a 13×9 pan). Cool in pan (about 1.5 hours), set aside.
  2. Once it is cool, in a large bowl blend together softened cream cheese, pudding mix, and the milk until smooth. Fold in the well-drained pineapple, and spread the mixture over the top of the cake. Cover with whipped topping (unfrozen!), and sprinkle with nuts and coconut. Refrigerate.

Preparation (therapeutic style)

I noticed that while I was draining the pineapple I felt like a little kid “playing in the water.” There are several D.B.T. (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills that this involves. And so, “playing in the water” becomes a very adult thing to do. Well, let’s just say that it does. The neat thing about it is, no one is going to yell at you while you’re playing!

I know it sounds silly, but trust me, you can have fun while you bake! Just forget yourself and play!

So – cake all mixed up and poured into the pan, baking, and soon smelling dee-vine! Mm mm mm! Notice the sensations you are having – smell, sight, texture, and soooon – taste!

Once it’s cooled for 10 minutes, you have the option of taking the cake out of the pan to be frosted, or you can leave it in the pan, because it is quite messy to serve, and it also stands pretty high once it’s all dressed up.

One of the things I decided to do with the cake was divvy it up into portions for a couple of friends of mine. You know those plastic serving containers with lids you can buy at the supermarket? I bought some smaller square ones, and I used them upside down so that the lid became the platter, and the bottom became the cover.

But you can choose whatever size suits the occasion – individual sizes, or pot-luck-supper sizes. Don’t forget to write your name in permanent marker on both parts of your container if you don’t want to, ahem, “lose” them afterward.

O-tay! After the cake has cooled for about an hour, I’ve brought the cool whip and the cream cheese out of the fridge to defrost and soften. Once they have, and the cake has cooled enough, I mixed the “frosting,” which consists of the drained pineapple, cream cheese, milk, and pudding mix. Can you think of different DBT skills you can use while you are mixing the frosting? Me neither. I’m too busy salivating.

Supposedly there is a chocolate version of this cake that you can make. Now, I love chocolate. I can see using chocolate cake, and a frosting of cream cheese with chocolate pudding and milk. Maybe? You could use the whipped topping on top, or you could double how much of the chocolate frosting you make so you could … wait, I’m getting ahead of myself (wipes mouth on sleeve).

So, back to our original. After the frosting, add a generous layer of the whipped topping. Hopefully after mixing up the “frosting,” I’ll have made a gooey mess of the spoons and bowls and mixers so I can, um, take care of them (yum). Again, this is therapeutic only, using certain of the DBT skills you may have learned in class. If not, I’ve given you a free lesson in self-soothing, distraction, grounding, and whatever else skill you want to use. I think you could probably use all of the skills in the book, if you had enough frosting. Then again, you could remedy the not-enough situation quite easily if you wanted needed to.

Finally, we add the washed and dried berries and dress the top of the cake. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make it like an American flag (after all, that is the point of the whole thing), but by this point I’ve pretty much run out of steam, so I will randomly throw the berries on to the cake. I suppose you could also add a sparkler or two.

You can make this cake for many holidays and occasions, using colored sugar, candies, pretzels (yes, I used pretzels for Easter one year, making a cross on the cake), or whatever you like. You can color the coconut …

OH! I almost forgot the coconut!

And you can use nuts…just be careful if you are going to a group activity because many people seem to have developed allergies to nuts. Maybe you could put them on the side in a little container.

One year I used red and green colored sugar for Christmas, and added maraschino cherries (make sure you’ve dried them well!). In this photo you can’t see the red sugar very well, but it’s there. Sorry it’s kind of messy. I must have been in a hurry.

One Christmas, on one side of the cake I put nuts and coconut, and on the other side no nuts or coconut, so that my guests could choose their preference. Again, I used a pretzel – one of those big giant ones – to separate the two sides.

Pretzels actually taste GOOD with “frosting” etc. Sweet and salty. It’s not so odd. You take care of two cravings at once. One of my sister-in-laws serves cake and ice cream with chips. Now it is almost “normal” for me to have them all together.

Do you get the idea? This is what I mean by playing.  🙂 Use your imagination! You can even use food coloring in the whipped topping if you want!

Et Voilà! Ze cake, ze cake!


I kind of ran out of steam here, so the berries are scattered, and I messed up on portioning pieces of cake first. But – whatever. It

still

tasted

luscious!

*************

The bottom line here, friends, is this  … This is not just about baking, or eating, or my voracious appetite because of my stupid meds. If you get an urge to do something, there is a possibility it will get you out of that brown funk (never mind the blues!). When you’re depressed and you don’t want to do anything … do SOMEthing! It will make you feel better, and if you share the results, it will bless others! A win, win, win, and we aren’t talking Charlie Sheen!

Why did I say win 3 times? 1. You are less depressed, 2. You get to bless others, and 3. The best win? You get to eat cake! 🙂

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Hope you have a wonderful day today my friends! Independence Day whether far or near, freedom from lack and freedom from fear. Big hugs! I have had so much discouragement lately, and so hungry, and blowing up like a balloon! Time to take the doctor by the neck and say ok, my Friend, time to get me off this stuff and onto something that works! And preferably something that makes me LOSE weight! THAT would make me “happy,” lol…

As usual wanting to avoid holidays, partly habit, partly just so dog-gone depressed. Lord please help me! Here’s to a good rest-of-the-year, whattaya think? And no I am not toasting with alcohol. Been “independent” of that since December 1985, all glory to God!

For those who have freedom in Christ, a wonderful song today. God bless you! For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! 2 Timothy 1:7

One small step for man, one giant tube for mankind

Reblogging this heah blog because I had to have my colonoscopy rescheduled (they weren’t able to do it in April). For those of you who missed it, the video is hilarious!

Walking After Midnight:

Yes, if you remember the moon walk – no not the moonwalk – the moon walk, you know, Neil Armstrong, etc etc – yeah if you remember that? You’re over 50 and you’re way past due for a colonoscopy. It’s currently recommended that you have one every 10 years.

I’ve had 2 or 3 of them, I can’t remember. Haha, isn’t that funny, because the medication they give you is designed that way. And I’M GRATEFUL. Anyway I am having another one on WEDNESDAY. Yes I am yelling. (I had some symptoms which prompted the first one, and polyps which necessitated my having them more frequently).

The part that is memorable, unfortunately, is the prep. But I’m sure you’ve heard allll about that.

Ok, one more colonoscopy joke and I’ll get serious.

Now seriously. Let’s talk about colon cancer. From Cancer.org

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most…

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