Why Fibromyalgia is a Real Pain?


Dear Friend OF A fIBRO wARRIOR;

Unimaginable to me, but there are people who can’t relate to dealing with pain. There are folks out there that have never had as much as a headache in their life. This is unimaginable to me.

I’m NOT one of them.

I have dealt with pain from a very early age. In the 5th grade, I started having chest pains, severe pains, like having a heart attack pains. But by the time I got to a doctor or the ER, the pain was gone or they couldn’t find the source of it. They said it was “growing pains“. Funny, I never got taller than 5’2”. Sure had a lot of pain to end up so short. Continue reading

Never Despise Small Beginnings

Have you Chosen your One Word for 2019?

So, everyone is talking resolutions or #ONEWORD365 so I may as well join in the “fun”. Honestly, it’s getting a bit frustrating to meet any kind of goal these days. I’m coming up on 8 years of chronic pain. As you may have noticed just by looking at my one words I started out with a good attitude but to tell the truth, I’m getting frustrated about it all.

Before Chronic Pain, I tried to set goals that never seemed to accomplish much. Then I learned about ONEWORD365. This challenge is where you choose a word that you apply to your life throughout the year. Whenever you have a decision to make or an issue to deal with, you apply the word and let it make you a better person. I liked the idea so decided to try it out. Continue reading

comfort able

Does God Comfort Us to Make us Comfortable?


Spiritually, when we think of comfort, we probably think of consoling someone in their grief or loss. And this would be something that we naturally do. We also think of how God comforts us through our sorrows. But let’s think for a moment about how much comfort we should expect to receive. As Christians, should we be “comfortable” all the time?

In today’s society, we are told that we all should be able to live in the lap of luxury, be comfortable. If we are living right then God will bless us. But I wonder how much this is what God really wants for us. I’m thinking that when we are comfortable we tend to forget God. So maybe we need to just be more content wherever we are in life.

God’s Word says

“In this world, you will have trouble.” John 16

And in James …

2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1
If we are always comfortable, we usually tend to stay put and not really grow. It’s like the birds with their babies. The nest is made soft and comfortable when the baby birds are born, but when it is time for them to leave the nest, the mother will stir things up, make it uneasy so that the baby bird will decide they want to leave. In doing so they learn to fly, learn to hunt for their own food and fend for themselves.

In her book, Unashamed, Christine Caine says that

God gives us comfort to make us comfort-able, not necessarily comfortable.

So What Do You Think?

How is it for us?

  • Do we want to stay in the nest, nice and cozy?
  • Do we complain when things get uncomfortable in our life and ask God, “Why is this happening?” and beg Him to remove us from the trial?
  • Maybe it’s time for us to grow up and learn from the trials and then pass the blessing on to others.


What do you think? Share your comments below.


Mandy Farmer

Kitchen Catastrophe Number Two


That darn cat!  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  If you read my articles faithfully, you would have read about my  “Kitchen Catastrophe” with brownies.  Well, as luck would have it, the cats have struck again.  This time they upped the game.  But before I can tell you the rest of the story, I have to take you on a short “rabbit trail” of storytelling sorts.

This is how it all began

I signed up late last year to take an online baking class( more on this later).  As part of the class, our instructor Tessa Arias from Handle the Heat has been sharing with her students baking products that she recommends.   One of her recommendations was to get a Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.  I really like ice cream, so I jotted it down on my list of products to watch for on sale.


ice cream

Photo Credit Roy Buri

One day while shopping at Kohl’s, I happened to go through the clearance shelves in the cookware department.  As I was skimming over the boxed items I ran into a mint green Cuisinart 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.   Screech!  Did I just see what I think I saw? Yes indeed.  There it was in mint green color.  I grabbed the box and checked it over.   Looking inside everything seemed to be present.  I suspected someone got it, opened the box and decided the product or the color just wasn’t for them.  Therefore, I, Michele, now get a crack at it.  Oh boy!  And I happen to have a 30% off coupon. Silently, I do a little happy dance.  Well, as they say, “Waste not, want not.”  So I packaged up the ice cream maker, set it in my cart and proudly walked it to the checkout.

We now resume our regularly scheduled story

Now, back to the part about the cats.  In order to make ice cream, the ice cream maker has a container that must be frozen.  Depending on the fullness of your freezer, you could set it inside your freezer and have it frozen in about 6-8 hours.  The company recommends 24 hours, but I like to test the limits, so I decided to set it outside on the patio and let the outdoors give it a good freeze since it was in the single digits.  I had set the container out at about 12 noon.  I returned at 6 pm, to find my container frozen but freshly peed on and IN! BLAST IT ALL YOU CATS! They have tested the limits of my feline love.

Completely annoyed I yanked the container off of the floor of the patio, whipped open the patio door and stomped into the house.  Brad had been sitting in the kitchen around the island and looked up to see my disgusted face.

“Oh Boy!” said Brad, “What happened?”

So in true Michele fashion, I regaled the ill deed done to my container, to which he just bust out laughing, shaking his head.  With paper towels, I quickly sopped up the pee in the container as well as the dribbles outside or the container.  Taking the dish soap and hot water I took a dishcloth and washed the container, rinsing several times with very hot water.  Unfortunately, my frozen container now is making a sloshing sound so I dry it and stick it into the upstairs refrigerator-freezer.  Now we will have to wait another hour. UG!

You scream I scream, we all scream for ice cream

ice cream maker

Photo Credit Michele Bruxvoort

The hour passed.  I check the container to see if it was completely frozen and it was.  Having previously mixed the ice cream ingredients together, I had set this mixing bowl outside also to chill.  Stepping back outside on the patio I glanced at the ice cream mix bowl.  No cat pee on that bowl.  Phew!

Note to self: keep everything on the table or bench.

Back into the house, I dump the ice cream mix into the frozen container and lock everything into place and hit the “on”  button.  Ice cream deliciousness is just twenty minutes away!  After hundreds of dizzying numbers of frozen container turns, we were able to sample the chocolate ice cream.

YUM!  Tastes just like Culver’s custard!

Just for fun, give it a try with the freeze and stir method or the plastic storage bag method.  Honestly, you don’t need a machine.  Check out Tessa’s recipe.

last licks

In our family, when you are enjoying your bowl of ice cream and begin to scrape the bowl madly.  We call that “Last Licks”.  So as I close out this post, here is my “Last Licks” for you.  This is the recipe for the ice cream I made in my Cuisinart. All recipe credit due to the Cuisinart ice cream recipe book:

Simple Chocolate Ice Cream

¾          C. cocoa powder sifted

½         C. granulated sugar

1/3       C. packed dark brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1            C. whole milk

2            C. heavy cream

½           TBSP pure vanilla extract (I used imitation vanilla and it was just fine)

In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, sugars, and salt.  Add the milk, and using a hand mixer at low speed or a whisk (the whisk worked just fine), beat to combine till the cocoa, sugars, and salt are dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate for two hours, or overnight.  Then you would place this mix in the frozen freezer bowl, placed on the machine, insert paddle, lock in place and turn on.  The average time for mixing is 15-20 minutes.  I am quite confident you can use this recipe as a freeze and stir or plastic bag method.

This makes 5 cups of delicious ice cream.  Very creamy and smooth and oh so chocolatey! Very definitely reminded me of Culvers Custard.   I sure hope you give this a try.  It would be fun to make on any day with your kids,  grandchildren, or fellow grown-ups.  Winter, summer, spring or fall, ice cream is still the best of all!





Susannah Spurgeon Legacy

7 Ways Susannah Spurgeon Left a Legacy of Faith

I was given this book by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

The Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon

Susannah SpurgeonYou have likely heard the saying, “Behind every great man is an even greater woman.”  Susannah Spurgeon is just such a woman. Wife of the infamous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, she was an integral part of his life and ministry.  She was behind him in prayer support but also beside him in ministry.

Even after reading only the introduction and first chapter I wished that this book had been available to me 30 years ago as I was becoming a pastor’s wife. If I had the time all in one sitting, I would have read this book to completion in a day. What a beautiful example of a Christian wife, pastor’s wife or not.

Continue reading

baking cookies with fibro

Baking Cookies with Fibromyalgia .. or Not

Dear Sis,

Can you believe I only baked one batch of Christmas cookies this year? I Cut-out cookiesused to make double batches of 5 or 6 different kinds of cookies. Remember how we used to gather with our cousins and bake cookies all day after Thanksgiving? We must have made a thousand cookies back then. But it is nearly impossible for me anymore. First of all, it’s only me around here now. My husband, bless his heart, is trying to convince me that I should just quit baking cookies but it really breaks my heart to stop. 🙁  He’s probably right ’cause he usually is. Continue reading


The Fruitcake


I love fruitcake! But I am betting you don’t.  Well, today is the day dear reader.  I am going to change your mind about fruitcake.  Before you exit out of this blog article, just give me a chance to win you over.


Photo Credit Michele Bruxvoort

We all have our stories to share about the dreaded fruitcake.  You know the kind, it comes in a decorative tin or wrapped neatly in some holiday plastic wrap.  The cover of the tin has some idyllic Christmas scene of a horse and sleigh with happy riders decked out in winter garb.  They are probably “happy” because they threw their fruitcake out of the sleigh two miles back or like Hansel and Gretel, chiseled pieces out and threw them out along their route to make their return easier.  Perhaps they used it to defend themselves from would-be sleigh robbers.  One good hit to the head and your down for the count! Continue reading

Christmas Movies

8 Christmas Movies You May Have Missed

Have you Had Your Fill of Christmas Movies?

I’ve been feverishly watching Christmas movies this month. And yet, I didn’t watch a single new Christmas movie. Unless you count watching Die Hard with Bruce Willis a Christmas movie. I did sit down and watch that with my son this year. And you’re right; it has nothing to do with Christmas other than it happens at a Christmas party.

We have over 40 Christmas movies in our possession and I was content to watch the ones we had.  I didn’t even check out Hallmark Movie Channel and see the line-up of new movies they had. Not a single one. I really wasn’t much into a romance kind of mood this year. When I look at my list here, I see that I was more in a military mood. Though some did have a romance in the story.

Anyway,  I watched the oldies (like Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and thought maybe you are looking for something different to watch yourself. Everyone else has offered to traditional and popular ones, so here are a few to choose from that are still around to rent and purchase. Continue reading


What is Man That You Should Think of Us?

Why Does He?

“When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers–the moon and the stars You have set in place–what are mortals that You should think of us, mere humans that You care for us?
You made us only a little lower than the angels, … You put us in charge of everything You made, … the sheep and the cattle and all the wild animals… O Lord, our Lord, the majesty of Your name fills the earth!” – Psalm 8:3-9

As I read this passage, I think of the shepherds in that field near Bethlehem so long ago. They probably had an amazing view of God’s creation day and night. They may have even taken it for granted, perhaps complaining when nature didn’t cooperate with what they planned.

Yet God, in all His wisdom and majesty, chose these mere humans to share the good news of great joy. The lowly shepherds were the first to tell everyone about the Savior, baby Jesus, born to save us.

What are mere humans, that God should think of us?

He loved us enough to send Jesus!


If you would like to know more about following Jesus, click here