Tag Archives: mold survivor

Catch-UP Mondays: Cookie Baking and True Friendship – revisited

While Christmas has past and so has my Easter cookie baking, I wanted to share this with all of you.  There is nothing like true friendship and a friend who will do “whatever it takes” to be in my house and participate in normal activities.  Thank you Victoria for being such a dear and faithful friend throughout all of my ups and downs.

Hello Everyone

I have talked many times about friendships and what it takes to be my friend or the friend of an environmentally ill person.  I have also talked about Tyvek being this mold survivor’s best friend because it allows others to come into my home without risk of bringing mold in on their clothing or fragrances from their laundry products.

Today my dear friend Victoria came over for a yearly ritual of Christmas cookie baking.  We bake all day and then give away most of the cookies.  It is the friendship and the tradition of baking cookies that we love.  We talk and chat over the roar of the mixer and the oven timer going off.  It is the one day we have no other agenda than to visit and create something to give away.

Several years ago Victoria gave up her daily routine of putting on her favorite perfume before heading off to teach her classes.  She wanted to be free to stop by and visit me anytime she wanted and wearing her favorite perfume restricted her visits.  I am so thankful for this kind of friendship.

I digress a little to tell a story about going to her home for an outdoor party during the summer.  Everyone was told not to wear perfumes to avoid getting me sick.  One friend of hers forgot.  I thought I had sat far enough away from her when the coughing began.  The horrible gut wrenching coughing that does not stop.  We had to get me the heck away from her.  I was moved far out into the yard and had to take both my inhaler and a histamine injection.  Of course Victoria’s friend felt horrible.  What did Victoria do?  She sent her friend upstairs to shower and then gave her clothes to put on that didn’t have perfume on them.  This friend of hers always brings that story up when someone asks if I am really that sensitive and tells them about the day she almost killed me.  And she has never forgotten about the perfume since then.

Ok, back to my baking story.  Victoria and I baked 12 dozen cookies today (brown sugar shortbread, sugar cookies with sprinkles, angel crisps and butter cookies).  We had attempted another butter cookie that was supposed to go into a cookie press (it came out in a mess).  The recipe also suggested a pastry bag, it wouldn’t go through the decorating tip.  We decided to just make balls and bake them.  That didn’t work very well either not to mention that we had the bright idea of adding food coloring to them to make them pretty which for some strange reason the red dye turned the dough this ugly orange.  As much as I hate to waste food, the dough was tossed and chalked up to an experiment.

My half of the cookies are all boxed up and will be given out or frozen for company if we should have any.  Below are pictures.  Note that I can be seen in my jeans, shirt and Christmas apron and Victoria is wearing the latest in Tyvek fashion.  How many of you have friends that will go this far to be able to bake with you in your kitchen?

Victoria and I baking in my kitchen.

Victoria and I baking in my kitchen.

Our strange colored dough.

Our strange colored dough.



Readership Award

Readership Award

Last week I received an additional award.  This award came from doilooksick.  I love the logo for this award.  After all who doesn’t like fireworks?

This is an award for good readership – in other words, a THANK YOU to your loyal readers! While I am grateful for each and every person who chances upon this blog, there a few that I would like to mention in this award.

Rule 1: Display the pretty firework picture. (check!)

Rule 2: A great reader is someone who… leaves insightful comments, shares your work with others, and truly has an IMPACT on the blogs they read!

Rule 3: Nominate 14 readers who fit your description! And here they are! I am turning into quite the rule breaker lately because I am going to break or bend the rules slightly here.  I have a few followers who have left wonderful comments and supported others who have commented on my blog.  These particular followers are not bloggers but have been faithful followers and readers of this blog since the beginning.  Because this is a “Readership Award”, in my nominations you will find both bloggers and non-bloggers alike.  To all my followers here and those not mentioned, thank you for following along with me on this journey and for your support.  I hope that I am all caught up on my award acceptances.

  1. Patricia Lush (Patricia has been a follower since the very beginning of this blog.  She is a fellow mold survivor that I met through another support group quite some time ago.  Not only does Patricia comment on my posts, she offers support and shares her story with others who are asking for help and support.)
  2. Melissa (Melissa is a new follower.  I am including Melissa because she is where I was in the beginning – searching for help and answers.  I am happy that she has found my blog and hope she continues to comment and share her story.
  3. http://sondasmcschatter.wordpress.com/ (Since following my blog, Sonda has not only supported and encouraged me, she has shared many of my posts with her fellow MCS sisters via her blog.)
  4. http://quirkywritingcorner.wordpress.com/ (Has been a follower of this blog for some time and comments often.)
  5. http://doilooksick.wordpress.com/ (Rachel has been a very active follower of my site and has been a great support here.)
  6. http://sensitivetochemicals.com/ (MCS Gal has been a wonderful supporter and offers good comments for myself and my followers.)
  7. http://ellenmgregg.com/blog/ (Ellen is well versed in energy and has offered great insights to my posts.)
  8. http://boredsick.wordpress.com/ (Christine is a regular follower who frequently comments.  I know Christine is going through a health crisis and may not be able to fully accept this and I wish her the best.)
  9. http://jenniesherwin.com/ (I first met Jennie during my nearly year-long stay in Dallas.  Jennie is very intuitive and offers wonderful words of comments and advice.)
  10. Loretta (Loretta is someone I have known for many years and knows of my struggles first hand.  You will read about her in my book.  I am happy that Loretta continues to follow me and comment.)
  11. http://the-labyrinth.com/ (Miche is also a fellow mold survivor and chemical sensitivity sufferer.  She recently interviewed me about my book and my life struggles.  I hope to be able to share the interview soon.  Miche shares her struggles and what she finds has helped her with my readers.)
  12. Roxie (Roxie is a high school classmate who recently reconnected with me and follows this blog religiously.  Despite our having not seen each other in years, she immediately embraced me and my new differences.  She is very supportive of me and this blog.
  13. Princessandthepea1 (Has been a follower for over half the lifetime of this blog.  Princess is a frequent commenter and has offered support to me.)
  14. http://theallergista.com/ (The Allergista’s list of allergies and sensitivities looks as long as my own.  I appreciate her comments on this blog.)


“I pray to God for answers. I ask for His support and encouragement. If I have to live in this pain, in this bubble, in this life of isolation and loneliness the rest of my life, I don’t know what I will do.

Recently I was in contact with a friend who is also a mold survivor.  We talked about this blog and topics that should be covered other than excerpts from my book.  She asked if I was going to talk about Isolation.  I said that I had considered it as one of my topics.  In fact isolation seems to be a general topic and matter of woe among fellow mold sufferers and those suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

I soon began to realize that once my life had changed and I was no longer able to attend indoor functions, be among large crowds, go shopping or out to lunch, I also wasn’t being called or visited.  A majority of my treatment took me far away from home to Dallas, TX.  The longer I was there, the less I heard from others.  It was hard going through all that I went through by myself.  I thought when I finally came home, I would be totally well and everything would be the same as it always was.  I soon began to realize what it must feel like for a soldier to return after many months away at battle.  In my book I write:

I also began realizing what soldiers must feel like after returning from an extended tour of duty. How do you assimilate back into your life? Things keep going on and moving forward but you aren’t there to participate in the moving forward. People carry on conversations but you feel like you were dropped in the middle of a story without access to the beginning. So you just sit there, and you listen but don’t speak.

Things were different when I returned home.  I was still sick and still not able to visit in the homes of friends or go out.  So much had happened after being gone for almost a year (2003) that I felt lost in conversations.  Someone would talk about something that had happened and I wouldn’t have the faintest idea what they were talking about because I hadn’t been there, hadn’t been involved in life at home and hadn’t witnessed changes that took place.  In this depressed state I wrote:

Life Passes Her By

She sits and stares out the window and she doesn’t recognize anything

Life has passed her by and nothing is the same

Where was she when all this happened?  She was here but

Life passed her by

Buildings were built and buildings were torn down

People arrived and left;

People were born and others died

Life passed her by

People divorced and others married;

People found new jobs and new hobbies

Where was she—she was there but she did not participate in life

It passed her by

She reaches out but touches nothing;

 Life is just past her grasp

She stretches and bends and tries again

But life passes her by

She talks to people but it is a jumble to understand what they say

The life she missed is just out of her reach

Life passed her by

I learned through a lot of therapy that there were things I could do to try to lift myself up from the loneliness and desperation.  In another post I will talk about things I and others have done.