I have been doing a lot of baking recently, not just for the Baking Gals organization, but for my new website Gram’s Recipe Box. Here’s a rundown on what we have been baking.

Operation Baking Gals (Give A Little Support)

4 doz cinnamon sugar cookies

1 pound cake

1 doz cranberry orange scones

These were all shipped to Bruce MacRitchie in Afghanistan, along with a bag of Jolly Ranchers, jelly beans, gum and mints. This round I think I learned that I need to bake less. It need to be less about the quantity and more about the quality. Next round I think I’m going to make cookies OR brownies, but not both.

Gram’s Recipe Box

Coffee Cake

Applesauce Cake

Chocolate Syrup

Coffee Cake (again)

The fun of these recipes is sometiimes figuring out exactly what she was thinking or how things were supposed to go together. I made one coffee cake that didn’t bake right because I put it in the wrong kind of pan. You might never think that the type of pan is just as important as what goes into it! The cake tasted very good, but I wish I had thought about that a little bit more.

Round 18 is open on Baking Gals, and I encourage you to join up if you can. This is the time of year they need us most, because the holiday season is past us and people are not in the “spread the love” sort of feeling. With Independence Day coming up in a few months, this is a great time to heat up your patriotic cookie recipes. :-)


Gram’s Recipe Box

This past weekend, my mom gave me a tremendous gift, although at the time I didn’t know it. I thought she was asking if I wanted a little box. It was white, showed years of use, and was clearly a recipe box. I didn’t know what to think at first, then I looked inside. Where I assumed it would be empty, it was in fact full of recipe cards. They were my grandmother’s recipe cards.

Since Grandma Pat – or Gram as we called her in later years – passed away in 1982, I have fallen out of practice at recalling her memory quickly. She used to do this funny little story called The Crooked Mouth Family and I would laugh every time she told it. She also would softly say “purr, purr” when something was particularly tasty or special, something I have said myself from time to time. How I could have forgotten these special memories is really a testament to time wearing away at our minds. I was a tender 14 years old when she passed and she had been very ill for quite some time. It wasn’t an exact shock, but it’s never easy. It was the first death I was really cognizant of, being as my grandfather had passed away a few years earlier and didn’t make as much of an impression on me.

As I looked at those recipe cards in that old wooden box, so many of those wonderful memories came flooding back over me. I remembered the funny little rhymes and ditties she taught me, and I was especially good at remembering them. I remembered the red mittens she had made me which I treasured for years after they no longer fit, and hardly wore in the first place because it doesn’t really get all that cold here in California. I could remember her smell and her smile, her funny sense of humor and her playing Blockhead with me at the kitchen counter. Grandmothers are truly one of the most wonderful things in the world.

So, later that night after my mom gave me the box, I was thinking about it and what to do with it. I didn’t want to put it in a drawer or cabinet to be forgotten. It seemed like something I wanted to share somehow. Being the digital age – and having access to decent equipment and a husband who can help when pressed into service – I realized I could start a blog about the recipe cards. My first idea was simple: post a scan of the recipe cards with minimal commentary, as often as possible, daily preferred. As I sat in the chair at the hair salon waiting for my color to set and my friend to finish with her other customer, I set up a new blog via my iPhone. (My goodness I am getting pretty geeky, aren’t i?) 

Almost the most difficult part of this process has been settling on a color scheme and design! I wanted something that reflected Gram’s love of home, crafts, and family, while keeping it within the 21st century. Plus,, the host I use, has very few themes available that are not techie. I finally settled on one, posted the first few recipe cards, told a few friends, and hoped for the best!

I hope you will make some time to visit Gram’s Recipe Box. Since the site launched yesterday, I’ve gotten some great feedback from friends and family. Yes, I will be making as many of the recipes as possible and posting pictures and a blog post about my experience. My mother may be consulted often. My sister may be called into service. It’s a family treasure, after all. Hopefully, you will share the treasure with me!

Week in review

Last week was eventful and the upcoming week is shaping up to be busy as well. It’s the way life speeds by that gets me every time!

In the last week, we celebrated Auntie’s birthday, she and I went to a Victorian tea (as the Victorians), we found out our dog is fat, John and Melody finished watching all the back episodes of Kimba, we finalized the details for Melody’s birthday party, I cooked a delicious Cheddar Chicken Soup, Nano had 3 teeth pulled, Melody is increasingly stubborn about potty training, John worked about a million hours, we cleaned the spare room enough that it will soon be a guest room, and I baked for our latest soldier through Baking Gals.  Whew!


My company has announced a “get fit” program and a bunch of us at work have been walking during our lunch breaks. It’s great and I really felt it the days we didn’t walk due to rain. It’s also fortuitous for Nano because he needs to lose 2 pounds. He’s only 11 pounds but he should be 9. My little doggy is fat, lol. However, it’s more serious than that. He has heart disease and something called a collapsing trachea, which causes him to cough a lot. The doctor thinks that the extra fat around his neck is pressing on his trachea and causing breathing troubles. Nothing to joke about, the dog gets less food and more walks. On top of that, poor guy had to have three molars pulled. Ouchie!

Melody’s birthday is coming up next weekend, and pretty much every day, she asks “is it my birthday today!?” with such a look of excitement and eager joy that I almost want to tell her that it is her birthday, lol. I really can’t wait until Saturday to be able to tell her “yes, Melody, today is your birthday!” We are planning a bouce house (weather forecast is sunny), friends, food, and a Tinkerbell cake. Thursday I will be taking her and some of her daycare buddies to the Santa Ana Zoo, along with Rhonda our babysitter. I’m really looking forward to it!

This morning, she was tired and did not want to get out of bed. She lay there watching as I was gathering clothes for her. She then told me “Mommy, I have a headache. When someone has a headache they have to rest and stay in bed.” I am so not looking forward to her trying to get out of going to school! I can only conclude she got this idea of staying in bed from me, since a couple weekends ago I had a terrible migraine and stayed in bed half the day..

During some of our cleaning of our spare room, I was forced to deal with my old records. You remember those things…vinyl, big pictures on the jackets, lyrics on the inside sleeve? Yeah, so back in the late 80s and early 90s, I collected Depeche Mode records. Specifically I was addicted to British and West German imports. I’d play them once (maybe) to record the music onto a tape and then never play them again. The West German ones were all colored vinyl, beautiful royal blue, neon orange, lemon yellow. I carefully stored them in plastic sleeves to protect the jackets, and never stored them in a garage or attic. Well, this paid off – figuratively and hopefully literally! I was about to send them to Goodwill when I decided to Google “who buys Depeche Mode records” and found a dealer in England. They have made me an offer for some of these records, and that should help out a bit toward my trip to Tennessee in April.

Yowza, how could I have forgotten to mention that I booked our trip to Knoxville?? Melody and I will be visiting the Hall family at the end of April! It will be Melody’s first trip on an airplane; in fact, her first trip anywhere. John of course offered to pay to have Tara come here, but I really want to go there, ha ha. I will even get the chance to see a real Civil War battlefield, AND go to Dollywood! Melody tells me “Mommy, we are going to Hollywood with Cassidy!”

This past weekend we baked for our latest soldier, CPT Steven Wisniewski. CPT Wisniewski is an Army pilot flying Apache helicopters in northern Iraq. He’s young, having graduated from high school in 2001, where he participated in football, wrestling and track. He also loved the arts, participating in the school choir and drama group, National Honor Society, Latin and Spanish clubs. To balance that, he earned his Eagle Scout in Troop 101 in Ohio. CPT Wisniewski went on to Ohio State University where he earned his degree in Engineering with an emphasis on Industrial Design & Systems Engineering. Wow. For this very worthy soldier, we made Cinnabon cookies, merengues, and heart shaped oreos. I hope to get in one more batch of white chocolate chip cranberry cookies and ship this all before the weekend. It won’t reach him by Valentine’s Day, but I hope he will know we are thinking of him and wishing him and his buddies a safe and happy Valentine’s Day.

CPL Wisniewski reminds me a little bit of my cousin George. He has the same zest for life, a few of the same interests – choir, flying, sports – and was also from Ohio. Every part of my being asks that George watch out over this young soldier and keep him safe.

We have been doing a lot of cleaning, getting rid of, donating. One group that has gotten all of our gently used baby gear is a support group for the families of deployed Marines out of Camp Pendleton. I recently received a sweet thank you note from a young lady who took a bus from Corona to Irvine in order to collect my old Pack N Play and high chair. The families of our deployed military suffer so much, it makes my heart break. Having seen some of my friends go through the struggles of being wives of deployed military, I am happy to give up the things we don’t need to someone who needs them so much. The support group is like a Goodwill, but the family pays nothing. If you find it in your heart to make a donation to any organization that helps out like this, please consider it. It makes a big difference!

November wrap up

November passed quickly and there were a number of events I had intended to post about but never found the time. Here’s a brief wrap up of our month.

November 9th, John and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Our tradition is to return to PJ’s Abbey where we were married, and enjoy dinner. We did so again this year and I had nearly the same thing for dinner as we had on our wedding day. The atmosphere is gorgeous at PJ’s. The high ceilings, arching stained glass window, and the history of over 100 years all fill me with a deep sense of love and comfort. For many years, the building was the Antioch Baptist Church. You can imagine the many people who worshipped there, wedded there, and held their funerals there. To have joined our lives in a building filled with emotions only strengthens my convictions that we are truly blessed to be together. And that we had The. Best. Wedding. Ever.

We baked in honor of a departed soldier, Rob Sanchez. That was such an emotional experience that I don’t think I’ll bake in memorium again. This round we signed up to bake for Ray Acosta, stationed in Okinawa. Ray and his wife just had a baby and they miss the States very very much. We will bake some Christmas treats and include other fun things like candy canes and M&Ms. I would love to send some frosted chewies, and since he’s not in the desert, I might just do so!

Papa endured hip replacement surgery and Melody and I visited him in the hospital and in the rehab center. We actually went to see him on Halloween, and Melody was dressed as Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell is Melody’s new favorite movie. Her other new favorite movie is Up. And of course her old favorite movie is Cars. And Bolt. And Finding Nemo. Anyhow, Papa is doing a lot better now and we have visited him at home too.

I took Melody on my day off to a pizza party at my office. All I can say is that Melody demanded a piece of crust from my friend Laurie, and then looked like The Joker after she ate a cupcake with hot pink icing. My girl actually told me she wanted applesauce and not pizza. Somehow I think I might have done something right.

I’m in an ornament exchange with my girls from my pregnancy support group, and I found the most gorgeous glass butterfly and dragonfly to send. I liked them so much I got a set for myself. Just this past weekend, however, I found a much better gift. I wanted to send something that could only be gotten here, and while at Calico this past weekend, I found an ornament that looks like their school house, and it says Calico, of course. Perfect! Jackie I sure hope I didn’t just ruin the surprise, lol.

We had Thanksgiving at our place again this year. I worried very much about the turkey defrosting completely, as in some years in the past, that dang turkey has been icy on the inside right up until the moment I put it in the oven. This year it was completely defrosted. I premade so much food and it all turned out great! My favorite side dish was the stuffing because I put sage sausage in it. Yummmmm! I also made a brand new dessert this year called Pavlova. My boss made this dish for us at the office a while back, and John and I fell in love with it! It’s a meringue base, topped with whipped cream and fruit. I made meringues for the first time. I whipped cream for the first time, and I ate passion fruit for the first time. It was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again.

We also got Melody’s pictures for our Christmas cards. They turned out so cute, if I do say so myself. She was a little bit of a ham (surprise, right?) and played with everything she came in contact with, including props for Halloween, summer, sports, boys, etc. I decided that she would wear her great-grandmother’s gold ring (on a chain) and a little silver bracelet I can remember wearing as a child to Sunday School. I don’t know where it came from before that.

Finally, Calico this past weekend. Please check my other site Past Periods Press for the instructions on how to make a poppet. Between me, Pauline and Pauline’s friend Laurel, we made and gave away nearly 80 poppets to little girls who came into the Lane House Museum. It was very cold that day, down into the 40s due to rain, and Melody was such a trooper. She didn’t want to wear a shawl or even a hat, but I finally just tied a scarf over her head and she looked like a tiny babushka. Traffic was horrible coming home but in Dad’s nice car, it was manageable.

Tonight we hung our first Christmas decorations – little ornaments that Melody made at day care. They are super cute! December looks to be shaping up just as busy as November. I’ll try to post often, but if I miss a week it’s because I’m focusing on my family. Today I learned of two people I have worked with for 12 years who passed away over the weekend, both to tragic and unexpected accidents. It puts the fragility of human life into perspective.

Why am I writing a blog when I could be snuggling up to my honey? See ya!

Whatcha Making?

I might have been feeling heavily sentimental when I signed up for Round 14 at Baking Gals, because “my” soldier Heath had been injured during the time frame that we baked for him. So, as it turned out, I signed up to bake in memorium for Army Ranger Roberto Sanchez who had been killed during his fifth deployment to Afghanistan by a roadside bomb.

Rob was from Satellite Beach, near the Orlando area of Florida, and his best friend Ed Ward had been deployed with him. Rob had been an all-star wrestler in high school and a great guy who spread warmth and smiles to all he met. His friend Ed had the great responsibiltiy and sad task of accompanying his friend back to the states for his final mission.

Ed and Rob’s unit is still in Afghanistan for at least another six months if not longer. So, we packed our goodies with a huge amount of love and support for this unit that lost a great friend.

Here Melody and her grandma make pumpkin scones

I hope you will consider signing up for Round 15 of Baking Gals. Sign-ups will be open on Monday November 23rd with shipping in time for Christmas and New Years. This is a wonderful opportunity to help our brave men and women feel a little bit of our Christmas spirit even though they are so far from home and their families. Remember that when Great Uncle Fred starts talking about his galbladder at Christmas dinner, at least you are able to be in the same room with him.

Our Deepest Thanks

Today is Veteran’s Day. Days like today mean more than light traffic on the freeway, no school, mail or banking, although it seems some people only look at it that way. This is a tradition that started with a great relief that the War to End All Wars was over. That is certainly reason to celebrate! You might have heard of Armistice Day, or maybe not. Let’s learn a little bit about this holiday that we don’t really celebrate any more.

World War 1 was raging in Europe since 1914 and America had become involved in April 1917. At the time it was referred to as The Great War, and really, it was a great and terrible war with battle tactics that shock our senses still today. Trench warfare was bloody and almost certainly fatal to participants. Initially, America had adopted a policy of neutrality, both militarily and in terms of ongoing trade and finance. The President at the time, Woodrow Wilson, was seen as a peacemaker who sought treaties and peaceful resolution to the war on several occasions. Up until Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare in January 1917, he was seen to have given every effort to keep America safe while helping to broker peace in Europe. Within the first three months of 1917, seven American merchant ships had been sunk and Germany was caught trying to incite Mexico to join with them against America. Wilson and Congress had had enough, and in April 1917 war was declared.

In just over one year, the United States sent almost five million men to war in Europe. Of those, we lost 116,516 and over 200,000 were wounded but not mortally. When you factor in all military and civilian casualties during the course of the war there were 16 million deaths and 21 million injured. Just to put that into perspective, the total number of dead is equal to twice the modern population of New York City.

America’s entry into World War 1 is often seen as the catalyst to bringing the war to an end. The Allies and the Germans were tired. They had been fighting since 1914. Germany was fighting on multiple fronts and the surge of fresh troops from America overwhelmed them. In 1918, an Armistice was announced to take place at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – November 11 at 11 a.m.

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect – image from the US Department of Veterans Affairs

The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1918, bringing the Great War to an end.

In 1919 the first Armistice Day was proclaimed by Woodrow Wilson, and he stated To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” The day was intended to be a reflection on all that had been lost to restore peace in the world. Through the 1920s, these celebrations were carried out with great success and included the dedication of a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetary on November 11, 1921. By the end of the decade, Armistice Day had been proclaimed a state holiday in most states and was Federally recognized. By 1938, it was established as a holiday for Federal employees, and most states followed suit.

By 1954, the number of veterans in America had swelled to the hundreds of thousands due to World War II and the Korean War, and President Eisenhower passed legislation changing Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day so as to include all veterans of all wars.

There has been a little fiddling with the date of observance over the years, but tradition kept bringing it back to November 11th, regardless of what day of the week it fell.

The holiday is meant to be a time to recognize our great heros at home and work toward peace abroad. So, today, if you can find it in your heart, please thank a veteran for all they have done for our great country and the preservation of peace in the world.

Sources: US Department of Veterans Affairs, The History of Veteran’s Day

I’m so proud of my team!

By the time the last person had signed up on Team Melody Makers Bakers, we had 32 people on the site and several off site who were working their ovens to the bone turning out all kinds of delicious sounding goodies for our deserving soldier, Heath Kirk. As you may know, shortly after we had ‘adopted’ Heath as our soldier, his convoy in Afghanistan was attacked and he was seriously wounded. Heath survived but lost his right leg above the knee and suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his hands and arms. He was rushed to Germany to undergo emergency surgery, then transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Through this all, we were all committed to helping him along the way to recovery.

When I first posted about hosting a team, I figured I might get 10 or 12 people to sign up and call that a huge success. You can imagine how proud I am to have hosted this group. I don’t know if there has been a soldier sponsored by Baking Gals yet who was wounded during the sponsorship period. Let me tell you, I felt like Heath was a long lost family member and his dad Tim was, too. I wanted to take care of these fine men. Well as I have been getting in the shipment reports I must admit that my team members really surpassed every expectation I had and then some!! Tim tells me that they have been receiving the packages and appreciate every one of them. They would have taken pictures but the hospital would not allow it. Their gratitude is what powers us, because this young man deserves it all and more!

Here’s just a quick summary and a few photos of what has been sent. Please support our team members by visiting their sites and commenting, too. 

Kathi D of I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus ** made shortbread cookies. I looooove shortbread cookies, and her kitchen is really neato looking. Kathi said that when she was young her brother joined the Marines and she used to send him home made cookies, and she really enjoyed doing it 50-some years later. Thank you Kathi!

My friend Stacey made chocolate chip banana walnut bread. That sounds delicious and sinful and oh so good!

Peggy F sent cracker toffee, pillowcases, a gratitude rock, and jelly bellys, as well as a little bit about Fairfield where she lives and a picture of her family. It’s always nice to see who has been keeping you in their thoughts!

Elise at The Cupcake Activist sent pumpkin cupcakes…yummmmmm. She put them into little mason jars to keep them safe during shipping. Elise that is very clever and I hope it didn’t weigh too much!

The awesome Kim Onstott of Your Place Gourmet, who gave us Heath’s name to begin with, sent chewy chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips; big peanut butter cookies; oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (my favorite!!), plus magazines, action flick DVDs and a music CD/DVD set. Kim and Heath’s dad Tim know each other and this must have really hit close to home for her, too. Thanks for nominating Heath, Kim!

Carrie B sent what she called The Brown’s Fall Favorites, as it contained all of her fall favorite goodies: pumpkin bread, candy corn and Halloween M&Ms, plus a little bit about Oklahoma where she lives and a Bible, which I know Heath and his family will use.

Candi H in Illinois sent sugar cookies with Halloween sprinkles and brownie mini’s with mini Reeses pieces, plus a note from her and one from her two-year-old daughter. Candi’s daughter also wanted to include a popsicle and was disappointed when her Mommy wouldn’t let her. It’s so great that you are including your daughter in this Candi, as baking and sharing our love is something we need to learn at our mother’s knee.

Gramma A sent some of my favorites too: two small loaves of lemon bread with pecans, peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodles. It was 6 1/2 pounds of yummy goodness!

Michele sent a batch of Halloween cut outs and says she is so glad to hear that Heath is getting so much love from around the country!

Suzanne B at Alive In Wonderland **  says that baking isn’t her strong point but she enjoyed the project and I know she did it with her kids, which is all the more special. Suzanne’s husband is also a veteran and he sent a note in the box for Heath as well. There is nothing like the words of camaraderie that pass between one veteran and another. Thank you!

Julie C sent six dozen cookies, including peanut butter and I think I see some cranberry white chocolate chip in there!  The pictures speak for themselves :::mouth watering:::

Debbie Z is one of those who really blew me away with her thoughtful gift. Not only did she send monster cookies, puzzle books and a deck of playing cards, she made this wheelchair sized lap quilt for Heath to use during his recovery. It is gorgeous and so special. Debbie, you are wonderful!

Carrie at This Mama Makes Stuff ** could not resist making Heath bar cookies and her daughters helped her out. The girls also wrote letters and drawings, and pray for “the soldier with the hurt leg” at night. Carrie, I cannot say thank you enough for your efforts and again, for teaching your little ones these special skills!

Laurie G sent corn muffins and oatmeal scotchie cookies. I sure hope we will be getting the recipe for those!

Tina S sent out oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Halloween sugar cookies and corn muffins, plus the “dentist special” of gum, sunflower seeds, tootsie roll pops, trail mix and granola bars.

Stacey J sent another bunch that I hope we will get recipes for! Butterscotch pumpkin cookies, chocolate pumpkin cookies and cinnamon and chocolate chip cookies. They all sound insanely good!

I just got word from Dawn R that after 5″ of snow in North Dakota her package went out with 4 dozen sugar cookies, gum, almonds, peppermint lifesavers, Werthers candies and an Uno card game. She also included notes and cards of thanks and encouragement.

Jennifer R powered through family illness to bring together pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, some pictures of her family and notes of encouragement. Thanks for hanging in there Jennifer and so glad you are feeling better!

Auntie Kat was also under the weather but wanted to send a care package, so she decided to give Heath a break on the calories and sent out snacks, a knit cap she had made, writing paper and envelopes plus stamps, and a few other odds and ends. She also included notes of encouragement from herself and some of her friends.

As for myself, I sent cheese crackers and sugar cookies with mini peanut butter cups in them. My friend Laurie contributed a massive box of Mentos and individual packets of trail mix, and I also put in Altoids, chocolate candies, and chocolate covered mints from Trader Joe’s, plus a few pictures from the Marching Thru History event, just because they were fun. Wouldn’t you know I didn’t actually take pictures of my own goodies!?


For those who haven’t participated in a project like this in the past, it really is fulfilling and I encourage you to try it. Round 14 is getting ready to launch and I hope I’ll see some of you around on other teams. I don’t think I’ll host a team in Round 14, maybe Round 15. It’s a lot of work! I’m very happy I did it and proud of our fantastic results! Heath’s dad let me know that the boxes have been arriving safely – I was a little worried about the receiving department at the hospital – and that Heath is doing a little better every day. 

** These are all sites I read with some regularity. Like, every day. In case you wanted to know what I do with my time.

Ladies & gentlemen, start your ovens!

Well, I spoke to Heath’s dad tonight on the phone. What a nice guy! Heath is in Texas at one of the best burn units available for military. A family friend happened to be talking to my dad recently and shared that he had been at the same burn unit and they really saved him. I feel so good just having this referral!

For those who are signed up through BakingGALS, you should get the information in an email I sent out tonight. Heath said he doesn’t really believe that we exist and are pulling so strongly for him. I was delighted to tell him there are over 25 people eagerly preparing all sorts of cookie goodness just for him. For those of you who want to bake but haven’t signed up on the site, or who wish to just send him a get well card, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you his address.

I’m feeling so exuberant that our project is finally coming to fruition; in fact, a bit giddy, but that’s also because today I spent the day setting up our Parlour for the Marching Through History Exposition taking place at Prado Regional Park in Chino. Check out their site or Past Periods Press for more information. You could see Roman Legions, Colonial Minute Men, Pancho Villa, Doughboys, GIs and more, all in one place.

Second, Melody said the funniest thing last night, I just have to share it. My parents came over for dinner, and after dinner, as adults tend to do, we were all chatting at the table about this and that. Melody was feeling left out I suppose, and she came over to me and said very loudly “Mommy, I want these people to go home!”

We could not stop laughing!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Now more than ever UPDATED

Friends, I have just learned that Heath Kirk, our deserving soldier, has been injured in Afghanistan. Heath’s convoy was hit and Heath has been rushed into surgery. Both his legs are seriously injured and he is at risk of losing one to amputation. Now more than ever we must find ways to support these men and women who are so willing to risk themselves and sacrifice so much. Thank you to each and every one of you for reading and participating in any way! We are truly blessed!

I will update you as soon as I learn more and hopefully we will be able to mobilize lots of goodies to reach Heath while he is in his recovery.


UPDATE 9/25 Heath is out of surgery. He lost his right leg above the knee and the left is seriously injured but it is there! Please keep Heath and his family in your thoughts and prayers. I’m hoping to get his address where he will be in recovery and we will mobilize our group to ship to him there. For those who read this and would like to send a get well card to Heath, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to send you his address off line.

UPDATED 9/27 Heath has been moved to Germany and soon will be stateside at Walter Reed Hospital. I’m planning that we will bake and send our goodies there. There is a news clip about Heath with comments from his mother at this link to the article on Fox 8 in Ohio.

UPDATED 9/30 Heath is in the US of A!! His dad is on his way to see him in Texas where there is a great burn unit at the military hospital. I hope to speak to the hospital tomorrow and find out shipping information. 

I’m hosting a team of bakers!

I am honored, delighted and NERVOUS (<–triple emphasis!) to host a team of bakers in Round 13 of Operation Baking GALS! Our team will be called Melody Maker’s Bakers and I hope to see one or two of you signed up!!! To sign up, first visit and create an account. Once this has been done, visit the section of the site that says “Join A Team Here” and scroll down the list until you find mine. Click on the team name, and within that page, click on “Join This Team.” Once you have joined the team, you will receive an email from me with the shipping information, including the address and the dates to ship. I really need your help in making this a great turnout for our soldier! Teams will be open for sign-ups on Tuesday September 22nd.

Now, as to who this deserving fellow is, we will be baking for PVT 3rd Class Heath Kirk,stationed with the US Army in Afghanistan. Heath has been in the Army since October 2007, and this is his first tour in Afghanistan. Recently, he signed up for an additional 4 years, which means that he has 6 years left on his current enlistment, although Heath is planning on making the military his career. As the oldest of four, he has one brother and two sisters who look up to him and are very proud of him! Heath enjoys working with his hands, mostly on on cars. He will be home around Christmas time to see his family. He is single and just celebrated his 21st birthday in September, so I hope you will also wish him a happy birthday along with our gratitude for his sacrifices.  

Heath’s dad, Tim, sent me a note about Heath, and he had this to say to us bakers: “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this for Heath.” Tim must worry about and miss his son very much, so let’s make this an amazing experience for Heath. I like to think of each cookie I send as a “bite of love” coming from home. Let’s shower Heath with lots and lots of love. He is very deserving of our support!
During a recent video call, Heath’s dad snapped this picture
A fine looking American soldier!!
If you would like to bake but not sign up on the site, please let me know in the comments or email me off line.