The World Needs More Betty and Bob Crockers

My recovery from last week’s fall that sent me to the ER was interrupted when I was diagnosed with skin cancer– for the second time in four years–and when, my last living grandparent, my God-loving grandmother passed away. She was 96 years young, had 6 fine children, 12 finer grandchildren and 12 of the finest great-grandchildren to ever footprint the earth.

It was during this time that I became really interested in making desserts.

My first dessert I made was a Crockpot Peach Cobbler.

Next, my daughter Haley and I made Cinnamon Apple Muffins.

And the other day I made Banana Graham Pie.

Please understand I can wallow with the best wallowers. It is so easy to curse God and brood over the “unfairness” and the “bad news” life so often diagnoses us with. I mean it’s really hard to make a decent dessert when life hands you a shopping cart full of spoiled ingredients.

Some 15 years ago, I had a 12th grade student write a college application essay about “stress baking” with her mom. In the student’s 11th grade year, mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and to relieve the stress and sadness mom and daughter turned to baking.

The student often brought cookies and pies and cakes to class. She told me how cathartic baking was. Like a prayer. Being in control. Making progress. Anticipating goodness. Baking offered them peace and prayer, stability and sanity, and was a sugary reminder this world still does produce good things.

I remember how the student applied to Stanford University and Georgetown University. She was accepted to both. Ultimately she chose Georgetown and said the reason why was so she could come home on weekends and bake with her mom. 

During the pandemic of 2020, I read an article that there was a rise (pun intended) in global yeast sales. In fact, like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, yeast was scarce. The reason: people took comfort in baking. Throughout the pandemic The American Psychological Association promoted stress baking as a way to remain positive, active and offered a sense of control as an uncontrollable disease raged on.

Like everyone, I have felt the urge to give up. Especially when life has pulled out the rug from under me while simultaneously pissing in my Cheerios. A feat of both great dedication and dexterity. A feat that you and I know all too well. 

Acclaimed writer Neil Gaiman said, the key to writing is to, “finish writing,” The same could be said about making a dessert. If you commit to making the dessert, make the damn dessert. The world desperately needs more Betty and Bob Crockers.  

In troubled times, I have found there’s just something comforting and empowering about simply finishing a challenging task. A blog post. A workout. A dessert.

When life breaks and bashes your body, minces and mashes your mind, slices and shreds your soul– I now realize faith, hope, love and a little earthly grace can be restored by tying-on the apron, seizing the spoon and spatula and taking a heroic stand against life’s heresies in the tabernacle of your kitchen.

Be well,


Father’s Day Sale Purchase Link


One Line, One Love Episode 22: Writer’s Toolbox– The Magic of Rereading

Have you ever reread a book? Reread books is a vital practice for everyday writers. In this episode, Gail and Jay have a lively conversation why rereading books is a great way to learn and grow as a writer. G and J reflect on their rereading experiences and discuss how rereading taught them about the intricacies of the craft. If you’re an everyday writer who wants to learn how and why rereading books is essential work then this 20 minute episode is a must listen!

OLOL is a unique listening and reading experience that will inspire everyday writers, who dream of writing, to pick up their pens and write one line at a time.

This podblog format (a hybrid of a podcast and blog) is for everyday writers who–like me–often need a creative boost, a scrap of encouragement, and practical advice to unleash the writer within. Each episode consists of five wide-ranging, writer-focused questions and a weekly writing prompt.

Please check it out! And please share with any writer friends or anyone in your life who has ever considered picking up the pen.


Warm greetings to everyone who found me on the University of Pennsylvania’s Ataxia Clinic’s website! Thanks for stopping by. I have ataxia and though I’m not a doctor, I hope my words comfort, encourage, empower, and serve as good company on your journey.


Jay Armstrong is a speaker and an award-winning author. Despite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. The leader of the Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group, he hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life.

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