Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spiderweb Cupcakes

I hate spiders. I hate them so much, in fact, that I won’t even put fake ones on the spiderweb cupcakes I made for a Halloween party. I know, it’s a little much, right?

It all began when I was about four years old. My family decided to go to our local mall, and that day happened to be during the grand opening of Petland. I remember being excited to see the puppies, the kittens, and the hamsters. My Dad picked me up and carried me on his hip, and we walked toward the back of the store to look at the reptiles and fish. Little did I know what we’d find back there, and how it would affect my life!

I remember being so content, amazed by the animals all in one place, safe by my Dad’s side. I then saw something out of the corner of my eye, and turned my head. I came eye to, er, eyes with a tarantula that was on the shoulder of a worker. I screamed, jumped from my father’s grasp, and ran into the middle of the mall, crying like I had been attacked. Thus began my fear, ultimate distrust, and (sometimes) hatred of spiders.


Things have gotten better, and most spiders I see I try to avoid. The spiders and I have reached an agreement-as long as they stay hidden, I’ll pretend they aren’t there. If I see one outside, it can live…as long as it leaves me alone. Then again, if my cats happen to find and eat one, they get an additional treat from me afterward.

And, uh…I still won’t put them on my cupcakes.

If you’d like to make the design on these cupcakes for a party of your own, it’s very simple.

Spiderweb Cupcakes

What You’ll Need:

Cake Mix (any kind, although I like to get the white mix & dye it with food coloring)

White frosting

Food coloring (red and yellow)

Black icing (I buy the gel in a tube-saves time and is less messy)


Bake your cupcakes by following the directions on the box. Let them cool, and then frost with icing that has been dyed orange by using a mixture of a few drops of the red and the yellow food coloring.

To make the spiderweb design, make three circles with the gel frosting. Start with the largest circle on the outside and move inward. Use the tip of a toothpick by placing it in the center of the cupcake, and pull it outward. Do this all the way around the cupcake, and you’ll begin to see the spiderweb design.

Whether or not you decide to use spiders on top is up to you. 🙂

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Awake My Soul

Lola and I took a walk today.

We’re lucky to live on a road that isn’t too curvy, where the twists and turns aren’t dangerous, and we have plenty of space on each side of the road to walk without worrying about being hit. The stretch of road in front of our house is a straight one, with no hills. That’s rare in West Virginia, and we don’t take advantage of it nearly enough.

Tonight, I needed to walk. I needed to breathe the cool fall air in my lungs, I needed to feel the wind blow across my face. One would think I needed the peace of the outdoors to go along with these feelings, but tonight all I wanted was music. Music in my headphones, too loud to be appropriate. I needed to reflect and relax. I needed to walk to the beat of songs and feel the passion in the lyrics, the intensity of the music. I needed to be alone with myself and that music in order to find my center.

Mumford and Sons accompanied me on my journey tonight. Nothing too fast, mostly White Blank Page and I Gave You All on repeat. Over and over again I listened to Marcus sing his haunting lyrics about love and loss, about wanting but not being able to obtain. About trying and failing, about love that is so great that nothing compares to it. The twists and turns we all experience in relationships, good and bad. I lost myself in the music tonight, and it’s exactly what I needed.

Lead me to the truth and I, will follow you with my whole life…”

-Mumford and Sons, White Blank Page

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In Too Deep

“You know the feeling…when you’re in too deep…and then you make it out, the taste, so sweet.”

-Dave Matthews Band

Most of you that read my blog know that I’m a therapist in the mental health field. While my passion lies in working with children & teenagers, I also see adults. I work in a small office, so I see all sorts of clients…people who have depression, kids with ADHD, those that are drug seekers, etc. It’s safe to say that I see a little bit of everything.

I love what I do, and while it can be draining, most days aren’t too bad. I hear several stories, about day-to-day life, about relationship problems, life at school, and life at home. I look for facial expressions and hand motions, noting the sound of my client’s voices as they explain their story. I help them process their feelings and try to make things better. Not every story is bad, not every story is one that rips my heart out and leaves me hollow. Some stories, however, stay with me. Those stories…they come home with me. They stay in my head, make me pray for those clients that are living with the experiences, the demons inside. Today hit me hard, especially after hearing a particular set of experiences.

I know I’m being awfully vague, but it’s my job to protect my clients and to keep their secrets confidential. All I can say about today is that I had someone call me after wanting to commit suicide. This person is one that I have established rapport with, have laughed with, have brought out deep, deep secrets that they forgot about and never thought they would express. The therapist-client relationship is a tricky one, and we had made such progress. Hearing the tone in the voice scared me-I knew this person was serious, and had a plan. That is what so many people don’t understand about suicide-the person that expresses intent, the person with the plan, that’s who you have to watch and believe. That is what puts me in crisis mode, ready to do what I need to in order to ensure that they are safe.

Luckily, my client came in. They are safe now. My thoughts, however, are still with this person. All the what-ifs are floating around my head. What if I hadn’t been there to answer the phone? What if I hadn’t heard the intent in this person’s voice? I know if something had happened, that it wouldn’t have been my fault, but it scares me.

I suppose days like today that begin with a simple play therapy session remind me that life is precious, and can change at any moment. I can get a phone call at any time, with someone who needs to vent, to talk, to know that someone cares. As corny as it sounds, that’s who I want to be for them. It’s more than just a job.

I think about suicide and those that have attempted, and those that have succeeded. I think about what their thoughts were like, and at what point their decision was made. I wonder how they decided on the plan…how they determined the way they were going to die. I think about what they were thinking when they bought the supplies, when they wrote their final good-byes. I wonder if they had anyone to write to.

I believe we’ve all been to the point where we’ve thought about suicide. Sure, we’ve never attempted, never went through with anything, but the thoughts might have been there and then left as quickly as they came.

I suppose this is a universal letter that I needed to write to my clients, my friends and family, to anyone that stumbles across this blog and needs to read these words. I needed to let you know that I never want suicide to be your option. There are people who do care for you, who want you to be ok. It’s ok to be depressed, and it’s ok to wonder how you’ll pull yourself out of a bad situation. There is hope, there is help.

If the thoughts are there, with or without a plan, tell someone. If you’d prefer, call someone anonymously, like the Hopeline.

You are important, you are worth something. I just needed you to know that.

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