Survival by Cake….

Why a single mother started a cake business.

What could I possibly do? Discouraged, distraught, depressed, terrified! The need to start my life over was not only a thought but had become my new reality. Now a single mother of three small children, no child support, no income, only on my feet again because of the generosity of a community of people. But I knew I had to make my own way! To be courageous, independent, strong for my children. I have never been one to give up, always hopeful, believing, persevering even in the most hopeless of storms!

I could not find a job in our little town that would pay enough to cover the cost ($2,400 per month) of 3 children in day care full time, plus the bills and daily needs. I started a home day care in my small apartment. Potty training toddlers, changing diapers, bottle feeding, nap times, all the while being sure my own children did not feel neglected because of the constant demand of 5 extra children in our home at times. This was just enough money to get by. But how was I ever going to get ahead in life?

It was time to put my love of art to the test. I began creating edible works of art, putting my precious pennies into ingredients and supplies to bake cakes. I baked cakes for family, church events, friends, parties…all for free. Hoping to practice and become known for the laborious efforts I put into my cakes. Long after the children I cared for had gone home and I had at last fed, bathed, read stories to, and tucked my three babies in with a prayer. I would bake and create, decorate and design cakes working through the night into the early morning hours. Believing!

At last, collapsing into my bed for a lucky few hours of sleep. Satisfied that I was safe, free from abuse, from domestic violence, manipulation, and lies. I would sleep deeply but spend those three hours of sleep reliving the ten years of abuse through nightmares, waking up crying, in a cold sweat, heart racing, petrified to set my feet on the floor. Then, the early morning cries of my baby girl that needed to be breastfed, my two boys, toddlers, needing breakfast. And mothers at the door dropping of their children for the day! I never missed a beat! I was strong willed, determined, brave!

My love for creating cakes started out when I was a young girl. I loved to watch and assist my mother as she would create spectacular cakes from her Better Homes and Gardens, Creative Cake Decorating book. It must have been her goal to make every cake in that book. She has since passed that cake book on to me. The cake below, “Pigs At The Spa”. I made this cake with Kit Kat bars, brownie fudge cake, dark chocolate ganache, and my creation of the cutest little pink fondant piggies!!

I hope you can be inspired as you continue to read about the paths I have journeyed……

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