October 29, 2009 – Mercy Hall: Ghosties and Goblins and Treat Bags, OH MY!

party table

This close to Halloween we just had to have a party!

Entertainment was provided by Mr. Owl bouncing on the pumpkin and flapping his wings while singing “ting-tang-walla-walla bing-bang…”, and Mummy Cat howling “Who let the dogs out, WHO who who? Who let the dogs out….” while the Very Scary Monsters (crafted by Miss Kathie’s K-2 kindergarten class from St. Peter and Paul’s Elementary School) guarded the trick or treat bags.

The table was chock full of food.

October 2009 buffet






Grace served up the soup and the barbecue,

Grace serving the BBQ








MMB sign and Wendy


and Wendy the Witch made sure everyone took some veggies before they could have dessert.






It amazes me that Jess can set up in the middle of the room and do her massages as if there is nothing else going on around her. Before she had her chair set up there were people waiting for a massage.
OH, that reminds me!

treats and massages

There is a piece written about her in the November issue of “Allure” magazine! One of their reporters went around to different spas in major cities to sample massages and Jess was one of the ones sampled. Congratulations Jess! Way to Go!

Last time when we were at Mercy Hall we learned that the guys like to take the leftovers back to their rooms for their “stash”, so this time instead of disposable cameras and things like that, we took snack food – nuts, microwaveable soups, chips, popcorn and … Peeps. Who doesn’t like Peeps?

skulls and spiders glasses

Susan quickly learned how to operate the Vitamix and NO one was allowed to say no to a smoothie!  And I mean NO one. I saw her with my own eyes chasing Marines down with them.  We had special goblets for them, too. Very cool. Found them in the Dollar Store.

weve got your back  Elizabeth handed out the trick or treat bags, the support notes, and the beaded campaign ribbons that Cathy made for the guys. Can you tell she’s a Marine Mom?

Love the t-shirt!

After the luncheon she and I went up to 5 East and visited with a wounded Warrior from her son’s former unit.
One of the Marines we met who had served in Afghanistan gave me the scoop on care packages. I asked him what they really, REALLY liked in them.

At first he said, “Anything!” I said, “Aw c’mon… there must be some things that you like more than others.”  He thought for a minute and then he said, “Well, for Marines – canned food, any kind of canned food. Chunky soups, Chef Boyardee… We can take the tops off and set them on the truck and heat them up. OH! And tobacco, any kind of tobacco. Even if the guys don’t use it they can barter with it.”

Then I asked him what not to send. He told me that chips arrived all crunched up, even the ones in the cans. He also said everything is iPods and MP3’s now, so often, there is no way to play music CDs.

I guess it just depends where they are based. Some of the guys in Afghanistan are in very remote, primitive places.

It’s a busy, busy place on the weekdays there. We met the Chaplain who lives in the barracks. This is new, having him living right there with the guys.

One of the Marines we had met on October 18th in the hospital has moved over to the barracks, so that was good to know. Nice seeing him again, too! We recognized many of the guys who were there from past luncheons. It was all good.

When we were walking out the door to come home I saw Mummy Cat and Mr. Owl being adopted by two Marines. I knooooooooow they are going to good homes.

Wonder what they did for Halloween…?
Many, MANY “Thanks!” to everyone who helped make the luncheon be the success it was!
We will be back on the hospital ward on November 8th for a luncheon, and then again at Mercy Hall on December 3rd.

On Dec. 3rd, we are doing “Holiday Cheer at Bethesda”. If you would like to send handwritten holiday and Christmas cards to all of the combat wounded in-patients and out-patients at Bethesda, there is more information here. Hurry, though!!! Time is running out! The new postmark date is Nov. 10th and we will be screening the cards on Nov. 15th.

There are guidelines for sending cards on the “Holiday Cheer at Bethesda” webpage. Please read them before sending cards. And please, NO GLITTER. One little eensy-weensy glitter piece can get into an open wound and cause secondary infections. We’re not taking any chances of that happening with our Heroes.
If you would like to send a note of encouragement and support for the wounded, injured, and ill combat troops on the hospital ward or in the out-patients barracks you can email them to (email address no longer active) (Remove spaces around the @ sign. I leave the spaces to keep those robot spammer thingies from picking up the address.)

We will print them out and hand-deliver them for you.
A quick FYI about the notes – For security reasons, we do not pass on offers of care packages or pen pal requests. We do not promote other organizations in these notes. We cannot deliver to specific people and everyone that day gets a packet with all the same notes. However, if you know someone who is a patient at Bethesda, we can do our best to say “Hello” to them for you.

The sole purpose of the encouragement notes is to say:

“Thank you! We appreciate your service to our country!”

And we do!

Until next time, continued prayers for our military and their families.
Love and Hugs,




October 2009 Crew