Friday, December 08, 2006

Odds and Ends

I had a nice visit with my sister Carla. We talked about the mosaic for her kitchen and re-decorating her house. Then we went to lunch. Sorry Mark, I didn't take one picture.

I had a dream the other night. All these soldiers in fatigues where coming in a line. Like 3 in a row just walking towards me. I was waiting for Michael. I finally notice a young boy amongst them and thought "look at that little boy in w/all the soldiers". The boy looks at me and of course it is my Michael. A pretty obvious dream for a mother I think. Right?

I still have not heard from him since right after Thanksgiving. I spoke today w/a woman whose son is also in Baghdad and she hasn't heard from her son in that long either. It is my understanding that sometimes they are on a type of lock down where they cannot use a computer or phone.

I made up another package for him and included a whole bunch of homemade cookies that are our families tradition at Christmas.

I devised a packing system where they will not move around at all I swear. I am almost positive they will arrive in one piece.

If so that should go a long way in giving him a bit of home. I included a Christmas gift for him. TUA can you guess what it is? One of your favorites.

In other house is covered in bird shit. I think I will spare you (and me)that photo. It is oh so attractive. John says he can't power wash until Sunday when it will be warmer. He says it is too cold and it would just freeze. It is very difficult to just let it be there. We have a HUGE old pecan tree right on the corner of the property and as we are surrounded by fields that the farmers till it's the only tree around the immediate vicinity. I guess a whole humongous flock sat in that tree for minute. Jesus! Our friends have called John to comment on the bird doo covered house which I guess they think is funny. It's not the first time. It happens a few times a year. Actually this is nothing. When you get a flock that had berries for lunch then its pink! He would love to cut this big old tree down (and his neighborhood buddies tell him that's what they would do) but I will not let him. We used to have 3 black walnut trees. They drop bushels and bushels of these green hull covered nuts. This hull leaves a stain on your hands or clothes that is impossible to get off. One day I left and when I came home he had already gotten to two of them. The third is still standing thank you. I saved it and continue to. It's not that he doesn't like trees. He just doesn't like the ones that make a nuisance of themselves.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

TUA can you guess what it is? One of your favorites.

If'n that kid doesn't eat every crumb of that cake, I swear I'll go over there and whup him long side the haid!:)

We have to park right under those criminal oak trees. Bird shit covers our cars something awful. I have to wash those damn things twice a week or sometimes more! You and John have my sympathy.

12/08/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary, you've got a great way with words!
One second you're talking about cookies and the next about bird shit!!!
I had a great laugh! Ta!
Is that bubble wrap you used to pack the cakes?

12/09/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

When my son was over there, I had a dream too that awakened me suddenly. We, too sent cookies - cost a fortune to mail, but it was worth it. The bubble wrap is a great idea. I used popcorn and that didn't work out too well. Seems like the birds have their own mosaic system. Also, we used to crack the black walnuts arranging them in the driveway (wearing gloves) and then drive the car over them.

12/09/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

TUA- Sarcasm is a hallmark of mine. The gift is your "favorite". An ipod!

Cream (Santa)- Well I did call the post odds and ends... Glad it caused you to laugh.
Yes I used bubble wrap in between layers of cookies that were absolutely flat and the flat layers were in ziplock bags. When I put the lid on and shook the box they didn't move at all.

Peacechick- I had someone tell me to use popcorn the same day I was packing them. I considered it but I had already devised my system in my head and was sure it would work.
The farmer across the way used to tell also to drive over the walnuts (the same one who said shoot your rifle down a dry well) so as this is coming from you I will try it.

12/09/2006 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger No said...

I hope you hear from you son soon. You'd hope that he would be allowed to call home for Christmas.

My parents had big black walnut tree in their backyard..I think that is one of the reasons they bought the house!

12/09/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Mary, that is a genius way to ship cookies, bubblewrap! what an invention. I have no doubt that your son's senses will transport him back home if only for those savory moments. Taste or smell can truly accomplish that when you're reminded of something precious (speaking from experience)
As for the birds, that is too funny. You should post a picture of that sometimes, and then side by side, white and pink!
have a good weekend Mary, I hope you hear something from your son soon,

12/09/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...


I know when I was in, I spent time not contacting the family. It was not from wanting to avoid them, but from the reminder that I was not home with them. Sometimes the places you go will have a lot to do with it. Other times, it's just is easier to try and get your mind on other things. The schedule that the soldiers have over there right now, may not allow the time to always have contact either.

The life is one that we choose, but one of the hardest things to do and try to get others to understand. Mail call is one thing that is a boost. Adjustment to the new environment may sometimes be a lot to deal with and you just have to take it one day at a time.

Just make sure that when he comes back home, you tell him that he can talk to me anytime! He will need others that have been to the other side and people that understand. So make sure to remember that. He can talk to me any time at all! Actually, tell him I will be expecting him to tell me hi and all when he comes back. Or I might have to go and pay him a visit. ;)

12/09/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

No- Always good to hear from you. Did you eat the Black Walnuts?

Ingrid- I seriously should post a picture because you wouldn't believe it.
Thanks for the hug. Can't have too many.

Donnie- Thanks for all you just said. Means alot.

12/09/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First time here. Hope your son stays safe and I know he will love the package. Looking back, I wish I had sent my son a package everyday. Blessings to you and yours.

12/09/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger No said...

Nope..didn't eat the black least I hope not!

Do you?

12/09/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Just me- Thanks for coming by. I try to email almost everyday but I don't know if he's not able to get on line or like Donnie said just not keeping in touch as often. Either way I am gonna keep packing those packages up for him because what else can I do? I hope your son is home safe and sound.

No- So far I haven't but I am willing. Now that Peacechick has given me a clue I think I will try it. Of course I have to wait for the next season.

12/09/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Mary,
i certainly love those cookies
it is blogger cookies get to me

Wishing you a great weekend too!

12/09/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

Hope all is well for your son!!!!
My girlfriends brother is on his 3rd tour in Afghanistan and haven't heard from him in in over 3 months ; (
We can only hope someone will have the common sense to get all these people out ASAP, although we know GW
will leave it for someone else.
He's good at that and consistent anyway ; (

12/09/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger spadoman said...

Mary.... Sounds like a good dream, to see your son as a young boy, protected by his Mother because he is young. And protected still, because you are still the Mother. It never goes away, that mothering thing. You have to have faith and love. You need not be afraid to pray and ask others for prayers. We are all with you.

I used black walnut hulls to make a natural dye to dye drum heads. I would twist the wet rawhide into knots and dip them into walnut hull water and take them out and se amazing results. This was taught to me by the same man that taught me how to make the drums. Other things make great dye as well. Chile peppers, red ones. Beets. Dirt of different colors, crushed and mixed with linseed oil. Tree bark, roots. All kinds of stuff.

Bird shit, cool!! If you look close, you'll see a pattern. Maybe an idea for a mosaic. Thank about it.
Coffe next week sometime, fresh batch. I'll e-mail.

12/09/2006 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Hi Quasar! Blogger cookies get to me too.

Coffee Messiah- 3 months! I hope I don't have to go that long. Well my thoughts and prayers are with your soldier too.
I'm not counting on George to do anything but I am hoping someone will get us freaking out of there.
Thanks for coming by.

Speaking of a coffee messiah...Spadoman. I am lucky to have so many friends with such kind thoughts and words of support.

I knew you'd come back with a myriad of uses for the black walnut. As for the bird shit I don't see it inspiring me to do anything but scrub the house. I found a cap gun in Johnny's room and I'm gonna have my eye on those birds...

12/09/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Hey by the way Spado, who did the drawing of you. I love it!

12/09/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A mother's dream throughout the ages...I'm sure you'll hear from Michael soon.

We had swallows build mud nests on the wall of our house just outside the front door. I left them because they were so interesting (and beautiful). Once the little ones were big enough, they stuck their little birdy asses over the edge of the next and shat down the cedar shingle siding. I had to wait till they flew, then tried to clean it.


12/10/2006 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

Well Mary, I'm no messiah, more like "The Pusher" Get you hooked, then deal from the trunk of my car:-)

The picture was drawn by a story board artist on the movie sets I worked on when I was a working man. Her name is Carol Anderson. She lives in an old creamery in Duluth, Minnesota on the Lester River. I haven't seen her in a long time. She is a wonderful artist. This was done around 1998 or so. I was the transportation captain on the shoot we were on, so, Cap'n Joe. I was so honored to get this picture. Thanks so much for asking.

Great looking cookies by the way.

12/10/2006 06:55:00 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Tea cakes and date-nut pinwheels?
Do use walnuts or pecans for the tea cakes? I use either or depending.. Russian one way; Mexican the other according to various cookbooks I've read. Although in some of the older books they simply called them Tea cakes.

Maybe thumb prints... not sure about the fingerling cookies though. I've seen something like them. What are they called? They all look great! I like baking myself. I'm making my pinwheels today. I started a blog earlier this month to organize my recipes..I post a recipe a day on my blog called ( what else ? ) Eat Dessert First!

I used a lot of natural dyes when I was in MT. Jazz won a science fair project when She tested all sorts of things. Onion skins, beats, dandelions, coffee grounds..

Now I'm hungry... for some cookies ;)

12/10/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Gary- I laughed when you said "Nature!" Right! I need to deal w/it.

Spado- I am always honored when someone shares their talent w/me. Lucky you.

Katie- We call them Pecan puffs. Yummy. Isn't that the Mexican version?

Nope not date-nut, those are called peanutbutter swirls. The swirl is chocolate. These are highly coveted by the cookie eaters around here.
My favorite and 2nd most coveted are the Finnish almond sticks.
The little ones are called bachelor buttons. Buttery. I used to love pressing the cherry in the center as a kid.
I will check out your dessert blog.
Last Easter we used natural dyes to dye eggs. They came out pretty nice. Lot more work than the Paas though.

I would like some cookies too. I am trying to hold off on making them as I will eat them.

12/10/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

ah...wonderful dream about Michael! I hope you hear from him soon.

Nice transition from delicious cookies to bird shit! I don't think I have ever seen it in pink, though.

I used to live in a house with a huge olive tree that would make a purple mess. One day a couple of friends and I decided to cut it down. One friend was mad at the male species that day, so she needed an outlet. To make a long story short, nobody would listen to me about which way to cut the tree so it wouldn't fall into the house and...yep, it fell into the house. Fortunately the three of us got out of the way first.

12/10/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi mary - just read about your son for the first time. that must be very difficult. the cookies look delicious...i'm sure he will be delighted, and to get them in one piece!

I remember one year i sent miranges to my sister for christmas. not sure exactly what i was thinking, but she opened a box of granulated sugar crumbs! Your method looks fool proof!

take care :)

12/10/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary, I know when my son was over there, there were times he couldn't call because they were in a hot zone, meaning they couldn't risk their location being detected. One thing I do know is that the guys he is with are closer than brothers, and watch each others backs. My son was in Lima Company. He was a naval corpsman. I used to bug the crap out of the red cross when he was over there. I pray your son will come home soon.

12/10/2006 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Bluegrrrrl- What a great story. Hope the house wasn't too beat up.

Me- Well that's my fear, that he would get a box of crumbs. Here's hoping it works.

Just me- So what's the deal w/the Red Cross? Do they let you know about your soldier? Thank you so much for the prayers.

12/10/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Katie McKenna said...

Yes, the Mexican version has the pecans.

12/11/2006 07:57:00 AM  

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