Monday Blog Delayed

You know the term “Life Happens”. Well it did. The air conditioning went out on our car this afternoon on the hottest day of the year, so I have been dealing with that this afternoon and evening. I do have my blog started, but it needs more work. I would rather delay it than have it be less than what it should be. Tune in tomorrow and read about my friend Karen Ash.

Zeta Davidson

When that difficult child walks into your Sunday School class or cub scout troop, think about how you can impact their lives. I was that little 8-year-old girl who walked into a Wednesday night GA program (Southern Baptist missions organization). I wasn’t difficult in the traditional sense. I obeyed, but I didn’t get along with other children. Until I started school, I was rarely around kids. I didn’t know how to relate. I was also a tattle tale. My mother had taught me to always do what was right, and to me that meant making sure other kids did what was right too. Obviously, I wasn’t popular. When I walked into that class, Zeta Davidson came to my rescue.

She couldn’t make the other kids like me, but she could make sure they didn’t bully me. She made sure that they were nice to me. She made sure I was included in everything. It was so much better for me than school. She even enlisted the help of the other girls to be nice to me in Sunday School. Church was my safe place. I loved going there because I always felt accepted. Zeta made sure I got hugged on.

During my last two years of GA’s, we had moved. Zeta helped make sure I could ride the bus on Sunday Mornings, and someone picked me up for GA’s on Wednesday nights. GA’s and Zeta were my lifeline during those two years. Things were incredibly bad at school. I was bullied, physically abused and then sexually harassed almost every day. I never told anyone because I had learned at a previous school that telling meant that the person would hurt you more. Although, I didn’t tell Zeta, she was always there for me being the encouraging voice in my life, speaking God’s love into my life.

I was just one little kid in a big church, but Zeta made me feel like somebody and let me know that God loved me. Although I moved away in sixth grade, I always remembered her. When I went to a writer’s conference years later and found out that she was involved in leadership with the group that put it on, I couldn’t wait to see her again. Today Zeta is till one of those encouraging people always telling others (including me) that they can do it and that God will bless their writing.

Zeta Davidson you did and continue to live the love of Jesus in my life.

Blog Restart

I’m sorry that I have been off of here. I was in the hospital and then got really busy at work. I am going to start being consistent about blogging. I will post at least two blogs a week. One on Monday (an essay type post) and one on Thursday, which will be a question of the week. My theme for the next few weeks will be special people – those people who are there for us, sometimes even without realizing it.  I hope it inspires you to think about those people in your life. I will be posting a blog in just a little while.

Happy Monday almost Tuesday.

Getting your pigs in a row!

I’m not really a food blogger, but this looks so good that I had to share. My son and I are going to have to work on this cake for my husband’s birthday in August. My husband went to school to become a farmer and worked on a farm where he worked with pigs.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Country Life

Update: A Halloween version of this cake can be found HERE!

Update: The Easter cake mentioned at the end of this post can be found HERE.

In case you’ve missed the talk of the “cake community” on Facebook, here ya go!

Photo courtesy of Taartjes on Facebook. Photo courtesy of Taartjes on Facebook.

The recipe was given at the Taartjes Facebook page, but in Dutch. Thankfully, some kind soul translated it. Using gram language. Thankfully, there are converter charts in cyberspace. I’ve copied in the recipe exactly as given and my notes are in bold.


– anglecake of 8 inches high (I “think” she means 2-8″ layers of cake..however tall a Kit Kat is. Don’t have one around to measure. Just as long as the Kit Kats are taller than the cake re: the photo.)
– 200 grams of milk chocolate (chips) 7 ozs.
– 250 ml whipping cream

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To My Mother – Doris Carlson

You couldn’t find two more different people than me and my mother. Pretty much through our whole lives if I said something was white, she said it was black. If I said we should go east, she said no west. We didn’t agree on much of anything, except the fact that we were both stubborn. (Did I actually admit to being stubborn?) There is a saying that someday you will have a child who is just like you. My mom didn’t get that. She got a child who was just like her own mother. I looked like my grandma, I acted like her, I was stubborn like her.

My mom set high standards. She wanted things done correctly (her way). That especially came to housework. The problem is that my mom expected me to know how to do it automatically. It didn’t come naturally to me, and it still doesn’t. I finally figured out a way to make it work, but I still didn’t live up to her standards.

While my mom wasn’t perfect, and we had our share of fights, we always forgave each other as soon as the fight was over. When I got married, my husband couldn’t believe that we could be arguing loudly, and five minutes later we were best friends again. If I didn’t know how to do something, I asked my mom. If I couldn’t remember something, I would ask my mom. That’s one of the things I miss most since she’s been gone. I could start to ask her a question, and she would know what I was asking and have the answer out before I even finished the question. I was the only person who could get her out of a mood. I would tease her because it’s hard to be upset when your laughing. Sometimes, I would agree with her and repeat back what she said. When it was coming from my mouth, she would realize that it came across as pretty negative.

My mom always looked younger than she was. When she was 70 people thought that maybe she was 60. I wish I had that problem. My mom made me tired. She could get more done in 15 minutes than I could get done in an hour.She never seemed to tire out.

A few years before she died, she climbed in the space under our house to thaw out our water pipes. The temperature was probably about 15 degrees and it was snowing. Three months before she was diagnosed with ALS, she climbed up on the roof of her RV to patch a spot. She was a better driver than my dad. She won numerous driving contests with their RV. She was a better wood worker than my dad. She taught my son as much as she could about home maintenance. She knew someone in the family should know it.She taught both me and my children to have a strong work ethic.

I miss my mom every day, but I know this Mother’s Day (like the last 7) she is spending it with her mother. I miss you Mom!

Do you make time for hobbies?

I love this post. It’s so important make time for things that matter too you.


Does any of this sound familiar:

I don’t have time for hobbies. I work full time and commute for hours. My friends/kids/pets/work/laziness come first (delete as applicable).

If we repeat things often enough we can begin to believe the hype. That we can’t do X because of Y. And well don’t even get me started on Y. And so on.

Doing a hobby doesn’t have to mean acres of free time or free cash. But I can find myself caught up in the hype. Not realising that hobbies can help create space for us to think clearly. Like… doh!

I got a current craft project out at work during lunchtime and was inundated with people asking ooh what’s that? I swear it got more attention than if I was flashing around a new smartphone. Interesting stuff don’t you think? I didn’t do it to get attention (honest) and even did…

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New Adventures in San Antonio

I was kind of down tonight. I have been in San Antonio since Sunday for a class. Tonight there was no one to do anything with. I went downstairs to find out about taxis because there aren’t any restaurants within my walking distance. There was a lady named Betty there who asked if I was the person who wanted a ride. It turns out she has a driving service for several of the local hotels. She had come to pick up two of the ladies that were staying at my hotel to give them a ride to dinner. We decided to share a ride, and Betty decided to come to dinner with us. We went to a wonderful Mexican Restaurant called Mi Tierra Cafe. We were serenaded, and had our picture taken with Mexican Elvis. Then Betty took us down to the Riverwalk. We saw a beautiful relaxing section of it that isn’t well known. Then we all a boat tour together on the river.

I went down stairs before 5:00 not looking forward to my night, and I didn’t get back until 9:00. I had a lot of fun, and the best was that I met three new friends tonight. Virginia is from Killeen, TX and Sue is from Des Moines, IA. After all the times I have been in Des Moines, I found out it is pronounced without the S in Moines. It is French. Virginia and Sue have been friends since 1971. We all had so much fun. I may never see any of them again, but they made this night special.

survivor guilt in cancer

This really hit a nerve. I understand Survivor’s Guilt, or whatever you want to call it, when it comes to cancer. As I sat in my car reading this blog, tears streamed down my face. I am a 3 year survivor of renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, and there are several reasons that the survivor’s guilt kicks in with me. First, renal cell carcinoma is very difficult to detect early. It doesn’t give any symptoms until it’s very advanced. Mine was Stage 1 and was only discovered because I had a CT scan for something else. Second, renal cell carcinoma, if caught early has a very high survival rate. Third, I am missing a third of my kidney, but this type of cancer doesn’t usually require a lot of extra treatment. They only try things like chemo and radiation in the more advanced stages. Fourth, is the personal connection I feel to so many of my friends who have passed away or endured so much in their fight for cancer. Why did my friends Pamela and Jeff have such battles with colon cancer, and why did Pamela ultimately lose hers? Why did my friend Betty die recently just a few months after her leukemia diagnosis and why did my friends Debbie and Judy suffer with their cancer and lose their battles. The one that hits the hardest is why am I still alive and doing well, when Karen, who was the flower girl at our wedding pass away from recurrent breast cancer this January at 38?

It may not be true survivor’s guilt, but I definitely feel it.

Life as I interpret it

I have been reading a blog here (which blog unfortunately I cannot remember now) where the blogger was feeling a “survivor guilt” because s/he had early stage cancer, was now doing well, but was nevertheless feeling guilty of surviving while many others did not.

I have been hearing survivor guilt in cancer patients for some time. I wonder whether it is used to cover overlapping but distinct concepts?

The wikipedia entry for survivor guilt, although not specific for cancer, explains it; notice how different it is; i.e. those feeling survivor guilts blaming themselves for the death of others.

In cancer, I do not think any of the cancer survivors blame themselves for the death of others. But I know from many survivors that they will not feel good about their own survival (at least time to time) when they see others who are lost to this disease. It may be one of…

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