Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'd like to thank everyone who came to my blog with such thoughtful comments and prayers so shortly after I heard the news from my father. I am so appreciative. A year ago, I don't think I would have known where to turn except for my immediate family. While I was not shouting out this news to the world, I did send it directly to a community of lady friends that I hold so close to my heart and cherish. So thank you again...

My father is of a very quiet and private nature, therefore I will not publish too many details as I think that would be unfair to him. But since the situation is one on which I will dwell, I do want your support and prayers so I will give you updates as I see fit. I hope you understand.

As of now I am doing well. My thoughts are consumed with what lies ahead and maybe selfishly, I keep reverting back to the memories of my loved ones who succumbed to this hateful disease. I feel powerless. But I will give it my all and I will continue to support Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center , because it is not only an organization that researches the cures for cancer, but also the causes and prevention. You can click on for more information.

Now for Outdoor Wednesday, I thought I would do a post about nuts. The ones running around my yard and the ones falling from my trees! Please join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor posts!

I apologize for the quality of my pictures. I just got a new camera (Whoo Hoo!) and I haven't quite figured out all the settings. But this is one of the thousands of squirrels running around my yard. It's that time of year for everyone, but for me, it's worse. My joy and my curse is that we have Black Walnut trees!

At this time of year they start to fall off the trees as they are starting to over ripen. If they were to be used for commercial purposes, they would be removed from the tree earlier. So, the squirrel's have a feast and they have stockpile hidden for the winter. I just wish they would stop trying to hide them in my potted plants. I have window boxes and I can be sitting here at my kitchen table, right next to the window and there I'll have a squirrel, staring at me smugly while his wee little paws are sending soil and flowers flying. Little varmints.

And here is one now. Just gnawing away at one of my walnuts. Not a care in the world...

These are walnuts I picked up off the ground. They are a bit larger than a golf ball, and have a little of texture to them. They smell a bit fruity and spicy. These outer coverings will leave a yellowish stain on your fingers, so wear gloves if you are handling them.

You can see the stem on this one to the right. Now I googled some information on Black Walnut trees and found some interesting facts through the University of Minnesota Extension Program. Hulling the walnuts is difficult and messy, as I found out because I wanted to show you the walnut inside. I used a chainsaw...er, a regular old hammer and pounded like all get out until I managed to make a small crack. Then I used the other side of the hammer (the side with the two pieces you use to remove nails from the wall after an overzealous and frenzied hanging of pictures that I have been known to do. I pried away this tough skin as you can see below...

According to the U.M. Extension program (and I think this article may have been written by a freshman with an ACT score 0f -11), "Take care when hulling walnuts. The practice of driving over nuts with an automobile can be a dangerous one. Nuts and shells can be thrown into the air by the tires, possibly causing bodily injury or property damage." I think he/she should be an insurance adjuster when they grow up. I just used my good old hammer which had never been used for anything so dangerous in it's life, although it does lie under my bed at night, waiting to do serous damage to the head of an intruder...

So here you have the walnut. It's sort of like finding the Tootsie Roll inside the Tootsie Roll Pop! But I withheld tasting it. It grosses me out. Plus, I was busy trying to wash my stained hands.
If you have not had your fill of nuts by this time, check out Sherri's blog. She did a post on harvesting almonds last week that was quite interesting.
I hope everyone is enjoying the weather we are having. It has been in the 70's here in the Midwest, going down to the 60's at night. I am getting ready to go for a bike ride, and when our trees start to change, I'll take some pictures. I know so many of you are putting up some very cool fall decorations, but I am holding out until at least October 1. My flower pots still look great and although the air has that sort of hazy quality, it still seems like summer. And...if I set out pumpkins now, my little outdoor pets will fore go the walnuts and start on another feast!
Wishing all of you a perfect week in every way! ;-)


Rebecca said...

Hi Blondie
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.
Sorry about your dad, just catching up on my reading as I have been in MN visiting my mom and going through some of my dad's stuff. I lost my dad to cancer this past year. He had other health problems also but it is the cancer of the throat that we fought his last year. He was not a smoker but had heart problems.
I will hold him in my prayers.
OK...the black walnut trees are a pain in the butt! I have had them when I lived in MN and they are dirty. Hated the mess they made on the sidewalks. I have some here too but not in my yard, but I have found them hidden in my fabric in my studio. I have a habit of leaving the studio door open :)
Hope you have a great week

Debra@CommonGround said...

I so know what you mean with the walnuts. I've slid on these before while mowing. Dangerous! And oh yes, the squirrels adore them. Nothing like looking at your lovely geraniums and having a tree growing up out of them. Glad your feeling better. Your family is in my prayers.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Blondie!
I wanted to stop by again, and tell you how sorry I am to hear about your Dad. Take everything in baby steps. Details, treatments, drugs, everything one step at a time. My niece has had cancer 23 of her 33 years that she has been alive. She is very ill with cancer now, Hospice was brought in 2 weeks ago, and now we just keep her comfortable. Cancer is stinky, mean, and I hate it. It has robbed us of so many family members and of Amy's childhood and life. She has never known what it is really like to live without cancer. She can tell you all the treatments, knows all about radiation, all the cancer drug names and what they can do to you. I know exactly where you are at right now. You can check my profile and get my email if you want to talk. I am always here my friend. Country hugs, Sherry

Julie Marie said...

Hello Jane, first off, please know my prayers are with you, always.... as for "Blondie Goes Nutty"... too cute! As you know, I LOVE squirrels! You captured some precious ones, they are sooo smart knowing how to get those walnuts out! Wish I had MORE squirrels here (now you will say I am nuts!) Bisous... Julie Marie

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Dear Jane, I'm so happy that we blogging friends could be of help to you, at such a worrisome time. And of course, you share only what you think is best.

We all do our blogging, as is best for us. Which is as it should be. I'm just so glad that our comments, were of comfort to you.

Black Walnut trees! If they are bothersome to you, because of all the squirrels... Or to 'Rebecca,' because she says they're messy... My husband the woodworker will be "glad" to come over and "cut them down" for you! ,-) According to him, Black Walnut wood is super-dooper!!!!

Now see? Bet you didn't know that woodworkers are envious of you. ,-)

Anonymous said...

Janie I set up a platform outside our bedroom window for the cardinals, and this morning a squirrel was hanging upside down on it eating the expensive black oil sunflower seeds. At first I thought, "drats" but he was so darn cute to wake up to that we decided to just let the squirrels take it over. They are just a sweet smile from the earth. I know that you have peace about your Dad. I just feel that. Whatever song you are singing today is perfect, but from me to you I wish you this by James Taylor:

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name,
And you know wherever I am
Ill come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And Ill be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
You've got a friend.

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name and you know where ever I am
Ill come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And Ill be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, aint it good to know that you've got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They'll hurt you and desert you.
Well they'll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don't you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am
Ill come running to see you again.
Oh babe, don't you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you've got to do is call.
Lord, Ill be there, yes I will.
You've got a friend.
You've got a friend.
Aint it good to know you've got a friend.
Aint it good to know you've got a friend.
You've got a friend.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane. Again I'm sorry to hear about your Dad and will be praying for wisdom and strength as y'all go through this.
I've never had a walnut tree but we used to have a huge pecan tree and the squirrels got every single nut. Those little boogers are such stinkers.
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Barb said...

Hi dear one,

Beautiful photo's. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer center is one of the best out there. A company I worked with for years has been a huge backer of Sloan. They have made so much progress over the years. I am asking for a miracle for your dad.
I believe in miracles and have seen them with my eyes.

You take care of yourself.

love ya,

Blog Stalker said...

Great post and it is great to have a network of support, if for no other reason than to vent to. I love the walnut and squirelly problem. Not that you have one but sort of reminds me of a saturday morning cartoon. (remember when cartoons were only on sat. mornings?)

Have a great day!

Brenda Pruitt said...

Well hon, you know we're all here for ya, don't you? Sure we are. The Land Of Blog is the best support system in the world. It is akin to the old fashioned quilting bee. The squirrels here are driving Charlie Ross (male Yorkie) round the bend. He makes such horrid shrieking noises when he sees one it sounds like someone is beating him. They taunt him on purpose. I'm sure of it.

Beth at Aunties said...

I am praying for you, your family and dad. I didn't tell you I lost my sister just 6 years ago at the age of 54 to brain cancer. She was my oldest sister. It has hit our family pretty hard. We say it is not IF but WHEN. We do need to support cancer research! I am pleased with all they have found to help cure it though!:-)

Sweet blessings to all of you~♥

We don't have the nuts in our yard just nosiy and busy magpies! I am so glad I buy my nuts at the store and do not have to harvest them!

Amy said...

I never new what inside of a walnut looked like. Isn't blog land wonderful the things we learn? Thank you!

Lori E said...

Oh dear, this is for you and Florida Sue. Squirrels although cute will eat wiring out of a house. They are just like rats. Better get rid of them if you can.
My friend grows walnuts and we can always see when he has been harvesting.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Hello Jane...it's been a bit since I came by. I've been trying to update and replace my blog list, that disappeared. I realized I didn't have you on the list. I came by to get your link.

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers and you too!

We had large walnut trees on the farm. A couple of them were at the entrance to the road. The walnuts would fall from the trees onto the road. As cars passed over them, the outer shell would break open. I don't think anyone ever suffered bodily harm, with the car method, but I do remember a smashed finger or two, when we brought the walnuts up to the house to further shell and pick.:-). No permanent damage. I love the taste of black walnuts. The tree grows all around Missouri. There were several walnuts on the ground, around our picnic table at Bennett Spring, the other day. We kicked them out of the path and sort of cleared the area, because it's pretty easy to roll a foot over them and lose your balance.

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

That's what friends are for sweetie...I walked with my dad through his last days.. being the nurse in the family, I'm the care giver and always the one that gets called...I see it as a privilage...at this point. share your heart... there are sooo many people who have walked down this road before you and can smother you in love and support...Just take it when you need it, God Bless... xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Vicki said...

Hi, Jane,
I have been thinking about you! Glad you are doing okay. Those squirrels can be kind of pesky, can't they? I have one in my backyard who likes to eat the seeds I put out for the birds. I am holding off until October 1 for fall decorations, too. I love autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Sending blessings your way. Vicki

2 Dogs said...

Okay Blondie! We have black walnut trees and I have tried to crack open a black walnut. I have NEVER been able to crack one yet. I've beat them with a hammer and I've even run over them. So herein lies the mystery. How in the world can a little squirrel get in there???

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Janie,
I'm thinking of you and your Dad. Thanks for the little update. Your walnut's are amazing, I would love to have a Walnut tree. We hit 85 here today! OMG, but we have trees a changing like crazy so come by and see my pics when you can~ Thinking of you, Cindy

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Hello Miss Blondie~I've just strolled into your blog for my first visit...I've enjoyed taking a peek, especially at the squirrels. I'm one of those who encourage visits, by placing a selection of nuts in a feeder in our back yard.
I can see how a black walnut tree would be a treat for the squirrely friends, minus the mess.

I've bookmarked you in my favs.
I look forward to coming by your charming blog again.
Come by for a visit. The company would be nice.

Sweet wishes,

Barb said...

Jane, I am so glad you are hanging in there...you sound good. Please know I am keeping you in prayer and of course, your dear family.

The little squirrels are so interesting. We have them taking the nuts out of our cypress trees and then dropping them everywhere. The inside of the nuts are soooo sticky!!!!

So excited to hear about your new sewing machine....can't wait to hear all about it.

XOXO, Barb

CJ said...

Glad to know you are fine dear. Will keep you in prayers, you dont have to ask us to do it :)

This post is quite interesting. I didn't know that walnut fruits looked like that! Interesting!

I loved the squirrels too.

♥ Chaitra

Unknown said...

I love your Outdoor Wednesday post, and I know how hard it is to keep going when you are worried about your Dad. Creating is a wonderful way of coping when things are difficult.

Just know that you and your father are in my prayers tonight.


Regina said...

Hi. These are great and cute photos!.

Regina said...

and thoughts of prayer for you and your dad.

Tammy518 said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

I just love squirrels, although they can be a pain sometimes, digging in my flower pots. It looks like they have a feast in your yard with all the black walnuts.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my darling norther sister--we have pecans, and of course, squirrels. Until recently we had them in the attic. Love your description of the trees: 'a joy and a curse'. LOL! The photos are quite fabulous.

My prayers and hugs for you, your father and family. Been there. How we all grew. It is also a curse, and a joy.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my darling norther sister--we have pecans, and of course, squirrels. Until recently we had them in the attic. Love your description of the trees: 'a joy and a curse'. LOL! The photos are quite fabulous.

My prayers and hugs for you, your father and family. Been there. How we all grew. It is also a curse, and a joy.

Sue said...

Those darn black walnuts make a MESS on the driveway! The neighbor took down MY tree, citing that HER tree was causing her grief... Wanting to keep the peace, I said nothing, but I kinda liked that tree. The walnuts were falling on her side, BTW! Love to watch the squirrels cart them across the yard. It think the same industrious one leaves a nut on our kitchen windowsill every year. Thinking of you, Sue

Decor To Adore said...

Oh my sweet friend! The picture in your last post just about broke my heart. Your emotions must be all over the map. It sounds like he is getting treatment in a very good place. Please keep me posted. I am praying for you all.

Mary Bergfeld said...

While I love black walnuts and knew they were hard to hull, I never had any idea how hard until I read your post. That's a lot of work! I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

I'm behind on my blog reading. I'm so sorry about your dad. I am adding him to my prayer list as soon as I leave here, and will include you in those prayers, because I know you will need God's strength too.
We have a walnut tree at our office, and we beg people to come get the when they start falling. If I'm in the office alone, I can hear them hitting the roof. Those things could be dangerous, and I always worry about what would happen if one fell just as someone was walking under the tree (oops, maybe I should be an insurance adjuster too). laurie

Lorrie said...

Hi Jane, please do keep us updated on your dad as you see fit. There are no need for details that would make him uncomfortable. Just take it bit by bit, it's too big otherwise.

I have never seen a walnut as it comes off the tree--this was very interesting to me--thanks for showing me something new.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Blondie

Thanks so much for visiting me on Outdoor Wednesday. I'm sorry about your Dad, and I hope he will win the fight against his cancer. I will keep your family in my prayers.

I am such a city girl that I didn't know walnuts have coverings! I only buy them already shelled at Costco..lol It looks like a lot of work to open them up but the squirrels look happy ti do it. Squirrels hide acorns in my flower pots and next spring I'll have oak tress growing everywhere ..lol

You8 have a lovely blog ... I enjoyed visiting you!

Barbara Jean said...

Oh I just love your squirrel pictures!!

Aren't hey the cutest?
Always bring a smile to my face.


barbara jean

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

Hi Blondie,
The squirrel & nut pics are great.
I have lots of squirrels also.They get mad & chatter & throw down nut shells from the trees . I think my cats annoy them or they want us out of their woods.lol Thanks for stopping by and leaving the sweet comment.;-)
ps.Your Dad,You & Your family are in my prayers

xinex said...

Hi Jne, such an interesting post, I leatned something new about walnuts and your squirrel is so cute. Nice shot on the fence. I just discovered we have a pecan tree. My friend who took care of my plants while I was in FL. showed it to me...Christine

teresa said...

My squirrels are crazy here too. I think maybe the winter will be hard because they seem busier than normal. We cut down a black walnut that was diseased last year, but let me tell you the oaks keep them very busy just the same. Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck with your dad. He is lucky to have you.

Charlene said...

Loved your post on the walnuts. We have the SAME ISSUES with our pecan trees & the bushy tailed wonders. And yes, pecan hulls stain your hands too.