Sunday, December 9, 2012


Everyone who knows me, and knows how I feel about Operation Holiday Stockings is aware that I pursue this project on faith.  I pray for the troops, for their families, and for all of the volunteers of Operation Holiday Stockings.  I pray for all of the wonderful volunteers who are making stockings for us, those who are out collecting goodies for the stockings, and for the folks who help with our postage expenses.  All of this is done on faith, faith in other people, and faith that we all will be given the means to continue with Operation Holiday Stockings. 

Look at the picture above.  Look at the faces of the soldiers as they are picking out a stocking that we sent for their party.  That is why we do this each year.  That is why we will continue to do this.  These men and women are away from their families during the holidays and the least we can do is bring a little bit of cheer in the form of a stocking.  These stockings aren't full of everything they will need, they are full of love and support, and of course prayers for their safety.  The real gift is the stocking because it was made with them in mind.

The past few years we have struggled to get all of the stockings, supplies and postage that we needed to fill the requests from these troops and from their families.  We were to the point of putting units on a wait list until we received everything we needed.  Of course I was praying we would, and we did.  We sent out close to 3000 last year so we figured we might get requests for about 3500.

That didn't happen.  Requests started coming in early this year.  They were coming in from wives, daughter, aunts, sisters and friends.  The requests were coming directly from the troops themselves, asking if we could possibly put them on the list because the morale was so bad.  You all know what I said.  I said yes and the number of stockings needed started climbing up to 2000 by the middle of summer.  I prayed for a miracle, and several miracle happened. 

We were able to have a booth at the Open Aire Market in Sequim, Washington this year.  We had a good time meeting our neighbors and visitors to the Market.  We invited them to sign a little card to put into the stockings and they did.  They picked out the stocking for the note, and we hung it on a tree. 

The next miracle, and this was a big miracle, came through Debbie Colgrove's column at on Sewing.  At the end of August I started getting emails from people who wanted to sew stockings for OHS, a lot of them.  I was puzzled as to where this was coming from.  Finally one lady told me she read about OHS in Debbie's column.  A check of the hits for our website showed it went from 23 on August 26th to 179 afterwards.  We truly can't thank Debbie enough for telling people about us.  The rush was then on.

 We ended up on a newsletter for the machine embrodiery groups
 Knitters started sewing so they could get more to us.
 One nice lady did over 300 stockings for us.
 A group of retired folks got together one weekend and sewed and stuffed stockings for us as a community project.
 Knitters who had never heard of us found out about us through Debbie's column.
 Kids continued to decorate stockings for us.
 The crochet groups also got involved.
And the Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H Groups and Schools got involved. 

We had one school in Seattle collect their Halloweeen candy for the troops and donated 600 pounds.  It was a project sorting through all of this, but we are so grateful for the donation.

In additon to the stockings, we had groups send cases of product for the stockings, and we were blessed with donations for postage. 

Stockings were everywhere, some which had previously been stuffed earlier.  Some that needed to be stuffed. 

Over several weekends we logged in all of the wonderful stockings and supplies we received from everyone,
we stuffed them,
packed them up, and shipped them.
In total we have shipped out over 4100 stockings this year.  I just received another request for 400.  I am now praying for another miracle. 



Saturday, December 8, 2012


The Fall Harvest
This past summer has been an incredible journey for me.  I've seen a miracle happen.  I have been busy, that's true, but it's been a good busy.  I am going to try to bring all of you up to date in the next few days but I have pictures scattered everywhere so it's going to take a bit to find them.  As you know, we were part of a community garden this year and the harvest was amazing.  I primarily spend the summer with dear friends and family harvesting and processing food so we are going to be well fed this summer.
Susan and I ordered 50 pounds of Yakima peaches from the Boy Scouts this year and made Peach Salsa and put up a lot of peaches.

Rachel and I canned Blue Lake Green beans from the garden, and made dill pickles from beautiful cucumbers we purchased from Sunny Farms.  They are really, really good.

As Fall started moving in we were still canning green beans and harvesting the tomatoes (which are a Fall crop in the Maritime Northwest).  As you can see, while we were all taking care of harvesting and processing the harvest, stockings for Operation Holiday Stockings started coming in.

I was finding these stockings everywhere, even on the jars of sauerkraut fermenting in the kitchen.

These stockings even ended up in the green beans we were harvesting to take up to the food bank.  In fact, we were able to donate over 300 pounds of these beautiful beans this year. 


The socks showed up on the herbs I dried, like in the pan of parsley.

They started coming in by the boxes and I had to gather them together in baskets to keep them under control.

As you can see, until they were all stuffed, packed and mailed out this year, these stockings were everywhere.  Such a beautiful sight.  A Miracle happened, but more on that later.
In the meantime, the grill masters around here decided that we should have a Grilling Pavillion hooked up to the wood and outdoor storage shed. 

Fortunately, David's thumb was the worse injury.  He managed to mangel it up a bit with the table saw.

We spent a lot of time laughing and sharing this summer.  So many wonderful family members and friends came for visits and to help with the Pavillion.  Big thanks to Jim, Steve, Frank and John for all of the time and help you put into this project for us. 
 We also did the 3rd Annual Tomato Festival and of course will be doing it again next year. 
Well, this is a lot to digest for today so I'll sign off. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I have always hated gossip.  I also hate what gossip can do.  It can hurt, and it can destroy. 

In high school I wasn't one of the "cool" girls because I couldn't stand staying in the girl's bathroom participating in, or listening to gossip.  Consequently, I was a routine target of gossip, and some of it wasn't very nice. 

Gossip is cruel and very damaging.  It can hurt.  Most of the time the gossip consist of incorrect information, omitted information, or information that should instill some empathy or understanding for the victim of the gossip. 

I can't speak for men, but in my life experience the women who gossip are the ones who have insecurities that the "topic" of the gossip doesn't have.  Gossip is tied up with envy and jealousy.  It's a means to belittle the person being discussed.

The Urban Dictionary defines gossip as "exaggeration or fabrication of a story, regarding somebody other than the tale bearer, in the absence of this person who is being discussed - for the malicious purpose of demeaning, slandering or tarnishing this person's reputation."

It has been years since I've been a direct victim of gossip gone bad.  I would think that women in their 60's and 70's would be above that type of behavior, but I've learned that isn't the case. 

I've lost a friend due to her listening to this gossip and that makes me sad.  I was tried and sentenced without the benefit of a trial, and that makes me sad.  I've also learned that there are still those out there who possess to be a friend but will still cave in to peer pressure at the expense of friendship.

Oh well.  I am a fortunate and blessed woman.  I do have close friends I trust and know I will always be able to trust.  They are secure in themselves and aren't afraid to say "bullshit" when someone starts throwing around damaging comments about another person, especially someone they care about. 

It's too bad everyone can't try to find the goodness in others and focus on that. 

Lesson learned. 



Monday, July 23, 2012


I know I've been absent for a long while.  Life got complicated and out of sorts.  I don't have any thing witty to say tonight, or fun, just the plain facts of what's been going on. 

First of all, let me start out by saying everyone at Edgar's Acres is fine.  David is loving retirement and is staying out of trouble being a Master Gardener.  Edgar has retired along with David. 

Louie and Johnny are living a dog's life, and Abby the Alpha Cat is having a second childhood chasing dogs, watching birds and sleeping anywhere she wants. 

I continue to work in Seattle for three days each week.  I telecommute on Mondays so bright and early on Tuesday morning I head over to Bainbridge Island to catch the ferry to work.  After work I take the ferry back and head to the apartment I'm sharing with Susan.  Thursday after work I head back to Edgar's Acres and live the good life with David and the dogs and Abby. 

Yes, life overall is beautiful.  Except for Hidradenitis suppurativa.  HS is a hideous skin disease I have lived with for over 40 years.  In the last several years it has escalated to a level III, and has been hell.  For the past six months I have been very sick and in extreme pain so have stayed away from posting anything.  I didn't want to gross everyone out or turn my blog into a forum for self pity. 

I am more fortunate than many of those who suffer with this crap.  I have a dear and understanding husband, wonderful family and close friends, all of whom are very supportive.  All of these wonderful people have been here for me, making me laugh and helping to keep things in perspective.  It means so much to me.

I am sure you are wondering why I am now posting.  Well, many prayers have been answered and I have been able to find an amazing team of physicians who know what this disease is, and are prepared to help me deal with it.  I am now feeling better physically and emotionally, and feel like there is an end to this dark tunnel.  I am currently working with this team of physicians so I can have surgery to remove as much of the HS as possible.  It won't be immediately, and it will be a nightmare surgery to go through, but the other options aren't real favorable. 

Besides prayers, family and good friends, knitting has been a refuge for me.  I've knit 42 OHS stockings, two baby sweaters, three baby blankets, numerous doggy and kitty blankies, one scarf, one shawl, and two sweaters for American Dolls.  Knitting is something to focus on when the pain gets too bad.  Knitting is something to occupy myself when I just don't have the energy to be nice.  Knitting is also a creative outlet for me to express some beauty when I feel like I look like crap.  Knitting is dear friend. 

To all of my faithful readers, thank you for letting me share this with you.  It's good to be back.  I had forgotten how much I love to write and this feels right.



Thursday, June 21, 2012

Still Around

Dear Blog. 

I haven't forgotten you.  Trying to find time to visit seems to have gotten away from me.  I can't post alot right now, but soon, very soon.


Baby Boomer Sue

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thank You

All of the attached pictures and notes are priceless, and so is the sentiment behind the stockings we sent.  The thanks go to everyone who contributed and supported OHS 2011.  From all of us at Operation Holiday Stockings, thank you on behalf of our troops.


I work for a unit that was lucky enough to be a part of your organization's good will.  My Chaplain asked for Holiday Stockings and you came through with force.  We have put together a small token of our appreciation (I know it's a few months late) and wanted to mail it to you.  Would you please reply with your street address so we can send this thank you out properly.


Thank you for all the packages you all sent. We will be sure to get a nice group photo to show our appreciation. Again, thank you for the support!

 We just received your stockings today. Everyone loves them and we have all them hanging up in our office. I told them no peaking until Christmas day. Now everyone is anxious to see what's in the stockings. Thanks for all that you guys have done.



May God bless everyone of our troops and keep an angel on their shoulders.




Saturday, February 4, 2012


It's been a long while I know.  December was a busy month but also a wonderful month. 

January was a dark month, a long month, and a month of new routines and adjustments.   I was also in hibernation.

February ... well February is starting out to be a month of longer days and sunshine.  I'm finally coming out of hibernation.

I will be trying to get up to date on Operation Holiday Stockings, knitting, and anything else that might possibly be of interest to someone. 

To everyone who keeps checking in on the blog, thanks for your patience.

I need to tell everyone about the miracle we experienced in December.

We received requests for approximately 2900 stockings this year for Operation Holiday Stockings.  We had about 2000 and were going to have to say no to several unit commanders who requesting stockings for their troops to help with a very low morale over the holidays.  We prayed for and received a miracle.  I put out the word of our dilemma and we received stockings up to the last day we sent out boxes.  Below are pictures of stockings we got from school groups, businesses, and individuals who came to the rescue.  Yes, we were able to fill all of the requests and sent out 2970 stockings for 2011.  To everyone who participated in Operation Holiday Stockings 2011, THANK YOU!!! 

Susan B. of Bellevue, Washington
Barbara B. of Appleton, Wisconsin
Paula of Columbia, Missouri
Linda B. of Kirkland, Washington
Hyla of Los Altos, California
Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness of Seattle, Washington
Costco Wholesale of Kirkland, Washington
Eastside Knitting Guild of Bellevue, Washington
Elaine of Seattle, Washington
SalonCentric of Redmond, Washington
Dianna of Lyle, Washington
Laura of Port Angeles, Washington
Lisa of Bellevue, Washington
Jeri of Henderson, Nevada
Ladies of the Elks of Sequim, Washington
Diana of Marysville, Washington
Alan Nohr, DDS of Redmond, Washington
Mary of Green Bay, Wisconsin
Sheryl of Sandy, Utah
Susan M. of Bellevue, Washington
Mallary of Salt Lake City, Utah
Susan R. of Sequim, Washington
Pat R. of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
Lorainia of Ogilvie, Minnesota
Karen of Thousand Oaks, California
Judi of Portland, Oregon
Steve’s Repair of Sequim, Washington
Betty of Seattle, Washington
Linda T. of Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Pat T. of Beaverton, Oregon
Joe of San Francisco, California
Stephanie of Bellevue, Washington
Gillian of Edmonds, Washington
Leslie of Sequim, Washington
Sandra H. of Shoreline, Washington
John of Bellevue, Washington
Katie of Bellevue, Washington
Leanna of Bellevue, Washington
Ricardo’s Family Mexican Restaurant of Bellevue, Washington
Kari of Bellevue, Washington
David R. of Sequim, Washington
Lake Hills Orthodontics of Bellevue, Washington
Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, Washington
Aerowood Animal Hospital of Bellevue, Washington
Hotel Sierra of Bellevue, Washington
Northwest Insurance Center, Inc. of Mercer Island, Washington
Property Maintenance Service Co., Inc. of Maple Valley, Washington
Illinois Tool Works Foundation of Glenview, Illinois
Susan W. of Bothel, Washington
Linda K. of Seattle, Washington
Ellen Reh DDS of Bellevue, Washington
Donna of Snoqualmie, Washington
Gary T of Duvall, Washington
Amy of Seattle, Washington
Jean of Mukilteo, Washington
Karen of Thousand Oaks, California
Heidi of Seattle, Washington
Cheryl of Tukwila, Washington
Dave R of Bellevue, Washington
Rebecca of Louisville, Kentucky
Susan M. of Lakewood, Colorado
Georgia of Renton, Washington
Deb of Shoreline, Washington
Lil Jon’s Retired Military Coffee Guys of Bellevue, Washington
Susan L. of Stratham, New Hampshire
Gary K. of Seattle, Washington
Jeffrey Johnson DDS of Bellevue, Washington
Jeffrey H. of Seattle, Washington
Pam H. of Seattle, Washington
Cynthia of Seattle, Washington
Rita of Lauderhill, Florida
Morry of Everett, Washington
Employees of Cummins Bridgeway of Hubbard, Ohio
Cub Scouts Pack 517 of Covington,. Washington
Jim B. of Seattle, Washington
Marina of Bremerton, Washington
De of Sequim, WA
Joy of Eureka, Illinois
Susan V of Bellevue, Washington
David & Rachel of Portland, Oregon
The Employees of Russell Construction of Tualatin, Oregon
Joni of Erie, Colorado
Shanda of Seattle, Washington
Kim of Canon City, Colorado
Linda of Pendleton, Oregon
Jeri of Henderson, Nevada
Jim & Pat of Seattle, Washington
GA’s and Mission Friends of First Baptist Church of Granite Falls, North Carolina
Seven Cedars Casino of Blyn, Washington
Walmart of Sequim, Washington
Northwest Eye Surgeons of Sequim, Washington
Maggie of Sequim, Washington
Tasha of Denver, North Carolina
Gail of Seattle, Washington
Mary of Arlington, Maryland
Mike Z. of Bellevue, Washington
Jay & Gina of Bellevue, Washington
Cathy T. of Seattle, Washington
Bobbe of Seattle, Washington
Gail of Seattle, Washington
Dick & Nancy of Bellevue, Washington
Sue I. of Bellevue, Washigton
Girl Scout Troop 52107 of Shoreline, Washington
Alpha Delta Kappa of Seattle, Washington
Pat & Violet of Milwaukie, Oregon
Mike & Karen of Tigard, Oregon
Tiffanie of Portland, Oregon
Angelea of Tigard, Oregon
Michael of Wilsonville, Oregon
John & Shelly of West Linn, Oregon
Donn & Lisa of Sherwood, Oregon
Jim V. of Portland, Oregon
TAD PGS, Inc. of Garden Grove, California
Liberty Elementary of Azle, Texas
Louanne of The Dalles, Oregon
Edna of Sequim, Washington
Stephanie Marvin, DDS of Seattle, Washington
Marlys of Seattle, Washington
Lana of Seattle, Washington
Lisa M. of Seattle, Washington
Spaulding Elementary School of Midlothian, Illinois
Peg of Normandy Park, Washington
Napoleon High School of Jackson, Michigan
Karen B. of Edmonds, Washington
American Legion Post 161 of Redmond, Washington