Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cookie Day is coming again

Cookie day is Nov 22 this year. I have been convinced to cut back to 15 types of cookies...I think it might actually stick this time around--I just haven't had time to look up new recipes. Most everything we're doing is tried and true...only one new recipe--for Almond Snaps, which I gather are thin round cookies that we roll around a tube while they're warm. My mom picked up the tubes at a garage sale so we wanted to try them to see if they were worth keeping. I'll try to come back and post the recipe since I don't have it in front of me at the moment. Obviously I'm not much of a blogger though!
I have not baked for the soldiers since the spring. I really want to get back to it but things have been a bit crazy. Randy and I still live in two houses, Randy is still unemployed and furiously working at any free-lance work he can get. He has had an number of audio projects lately though--almost more than he can handle! Which is cool but it makes our time together even more scarce! I had a death in my family last month and spent four days in Georgia attending my grandma's funeral. It was really awful! Now I'm just concentrating on baking for Cookie day and holiday stuff like shopping for my four nieces.
Baking GALS is on facebook now, so if anyone wants to participate it might be a little easier. I think I will volunteer to bake for someone else's team for a while rather than head one up right now but I would love to get back into the organizing of the boxes of love. I know they need it! I don't know the details of this story, but on the news this morning as I was coming home from work, I heard that Obama had rejected ALL of the proposals that the top military gurus had given him about Afganistan. It breaks my heart and makes me sick to think about our hard working military not getting some aid that their top people think is needed! There's not much I can do about that, but I can send cookies and that's what I'm going to do! I hope everyone will take the time to send a care package this season, whether through or, or any way you like...they really do need our love and what better way to show it than a care package?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to baking

Hello to anyone who is still reading this blog since there has been no activity here in months! I have spent the year so far studying and being sick :(. The sick is just the usual flu and cold nonsense that always goes around and I'm feeling fine these days except I smashed a thumb at work really bad Easter Sunday (in the great economy we are currently experiencing, it has been decided that I no longer get the day as a "holiday"). Anyway, things have been busy, I was taking five classes at one time and trying to nurse myself, Randy, and various other family members...ah, what fun!
Now, spring is here and Randy and I want to get back to baking for the people who are really making sacrifices for the lives we all lead: Our soldiers!
Our soldier for this round is a cousin of Kathy, who has been baking on our team since last fall. Following is a letter that John's mother sent to Kathy after she asked for his address so he could be our soldier for this round.

Good Morning K,

Wow… is so good to hear from you and my throat has a huge lump in it with the emotions of the information pertaining to the “Cookie Ladies” and your wanting to include John as a recipient of your endeavors. What can I say other than I’m so appreciative and thankful for you and these caring women. As the mother of a deployed Marine, these acts of kindnesses are comforting and heartwarming to know that so many have not forgotten these young men and women in our armed forces.

John has shared that they are continuing to receive packages in abundance from the mainland. It is such a blessing. They are thrilled to know they are not forgotten. John, at 38 +, is one of the older ones now. He refers to his young Marines and all they do. They are so dedicated to the mission and it is obvious John has a great fondness for them and their wellbeing. He praises their work and their determination to get the job done. He is keenly aware of how he felt at as a young Marine when he was first deployed during Desert Storm in early 1991. John entered the Marines in 1990. He has had a total of 6 deployments during his career. As it stands now, he will have one more deployment before retiring??? This is always subject to change. His unit is currently in Iraq and they could transition to Afghanistan………again this is uncertain at this time. When they deployed in late January of this year, they were to have been in Iraq for about 6 weeks and then transition to Afghanistan. At this writing, they remain in Iraq.

As to the number of men and women that would benefit from these cookies, I am recalling that there are about 45 in his immediate unit. They are always eager to share with each other anything that comes from home especially if it is cookies. John became a Warrant Officer last year and will become a W2 in August. This will be a nice promotion for him and I’m so proud of him.

John has 3 little daughters; Jeny 7 1/2 , Amber 6 ½, and Skylar 3 ½. John’s wife, Amy, and the girls live at the New River Marine Corp Air Station in Jacksonville N.C. He is able to have email contact and also the webcam works for them at times so that they are able see each other. All of this is the direct results of the efforts of the past 5 years. The Iraqi people are able to have amenities they never knew under the previous regime. During John’s first 9 weeks of this current deployment, things have been smooth and rather quiet. I’m sure that you heard we lost 5 soldiers from Fort Carson last week near Mosul. Things kicked up and John assured us that they were very busy but also were safe. Perhaps you received his most recent email. I will check and if your name is not among the addressees I will forward that email to you.

As to John’s favorite flavor, he LOVES vanilla. I have a cookie recipe that he dearly loves…….I got it from Mother years ago. They are ‘edited.'

I took out the cookie recipe because Kathy is planning to make it and after learning that John has plenty of friends there to share with, we want to make sure he gets lots of variety. It looks like there are anywhere from 48 to 250 soldiers passing through there, so we can not send too much. Randy's friend Dan is stationed in a place where he can not currently receive baked goods, so we will probably send all of our boxes to John this round.

I hope everyone who wants to help will go to and sign up with our team, JustAddNuts, to bake for these very deserving men and women. Please show them that we love and support them!

Oh, and on a positive note, I have learned that both Alex and Dustin, our previous soldiers are home and healthy at the moment. I know Alex sent letters and pictures to every one of the bakers he had an address for, but I also talked to his uncle a few weeks ago and learned he was home (for now). I haven't seen Dustin's dad for a while but I did hear he is also home and I believe he is scheduled to be married in May! So, once again, I truly thank everyone who baked and sent care packages. I believe that getting a package from home is a great way to lift the spirits...and when it's full of home-baked goodies...well, what could be better than that???

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to blogging

I posted a note yesterday on the Baking GALS site telling all my bakers thanks for participating in the December round. If you are a baker and did not see it, THANK YOU!!! I will be communicating with Dustin's family in the near future and I'll pass on any news. I don't have information about the next round yet. I am betting Susan is as behind as the rest of us after the Christmas season. I'll pass on any info as soon as I get it.
I don't remember how much I posted previously about my personal life, so in case I didn't mention it, I'm a student as well as a full-time employee and family member and all that other fun stuff. I have been going to various schools and colleges off and on for the last ten years or so. To date there have been at least six. I don't have time to count, lol. I have always simply signed up for programs or classes that interested me. I've earned a number of certificates but never a degree. You would think that with all those credits and programs under my belt it would be a simple matter to just lump them all together and get a diploma but alas, that's not the case. So, at long last, I am working toward a degree. Last year, I was taking some economics classes (I know, but it's more interesting than it sounds!) but I rushed them from my end so I could finish all the work early and move on to my degree, which I began on Dec 29. Thank God I managed to get the other two done early because these classes are WORK! I am just now, almost two weeks later, beginning to feel like I have a handle on things. So that is my long excuse for not updating my blog regularly.
If you don't like that excuse, here's another: The snowplow took out my cable box! Yep, it's true. Last year on New Year's Day, he took out my mailbox...this year...well, technically I guess that was last year too...It was in the 20's of Dec '08, he plowed the snow from the road, up the end of my driveway, toward my neighbor's house, over the sidewalk and about 20 feet into the neighbor's yard. Unfortunately, the cable utility box was in the middle of that stretch between my house and the neighbors. So my entire neighborhood didn't have cable TV or internet for a couple of days. The cable company came out and got it going-sort of...they say they'll come back in the spring when they can dig to fix it right. Meanwhile, my internet is working once in a while but it's very unreliable. I don't know whether it's the hook-up or my computer. Randy has much better luck getting it working than I ever seem to but unfortunately, he is at his own house for a few days. So I'm mostly trying to get online from work but once in a while they want me to do what I'm paid for too, lol. This is really a drag since I'm taking online classes...even the reading material is online-no when I do get online, I'm always "in class".
Things should be getting better soon and in fact they are already a bit better. I'm getting caught up (which for me means ahead) in my classes and the stress level is going down a little. I have pictures that need to be posted on the blog. I'm going to see if Randy can do it from his house since I don't have access to them at work and home internet is so spotty but he's busy trying to get a job so it might take a while longer--sorry.
We had a nice holiday with both of our families and now we're back to normal til next year. I hope all my blog readers had a wonderful holiday season as well! I'll be in touch soon.