Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Year is coming to an end

One more day to work before the Christmas holiday. By decree of GHW Bush I am not working Friday as our building will be closed. Somehow he did not decree that I would get paid for the day. Of course, the government people get a holiday every time someone sneezes. I am glad to have the time off anyway. I have not had a four day weekend in a while.

I hope to get some painting done if I can decide on the color. I got a new comforter set for my bedroom that does not rally go well with the yellow walls. They need to be more gold. So the plan is to make the change.

This is the car next in line. My old car needed to be replaced and when this one became available it was the answer to the need. It is a very sweet car with all the bells and whistles. It will last me a long time. It is part of an estate and will have to be probated but it should not take too long.

I should be able to finalize everything in a month or so then it will be all mine. I will keep the old car for a while to drive during bad weather.

This year has been rough in many ways but I am optimistic that the new year is going to have a lot of promise. My friend Chelle always picks a word to represent something to strive for. Mine for next year is Happiness. I am going to strive to find happiness next year. I have also discovered that I have not had a lot of JOY in my life for a while. I am going to dedicate time to looking for that also. Due to circumstances, mostly beyond my control, I have misplaced it. I know it is out there somewhere and I am conficent that I can find it.

I wish you all Peace, Happiness and Joy in your New Year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What I have been doing lately or Boy have I been busy

What a glorious sunset to a long and busy day. As many know, I love beautiful sky pictures. I have many. I am always fascinated by the color patterns and the light play on the clouds. This was taken from my friend Nancy's front yard just south of St. Louis. I was there to attend a family memorial service and this was a perfect ending to the day. It was almost like God smiling down and conveying that all is well with my soul.

There is always something clean and simple about a view like this. What more can I say...I think this says it all.

Last weekend was a very busy time for me. I flew to St. Louis Friday night to attend a memorial service on Saturday for a family member. Afterward I drove to Springfield, getting in at 10:00p to do Christmas with my family. My sister and her family came in early to do Christmas here so they could be at their own home this year Christmas morning. I must say that I liked it alot this way. We were all at my Mom's to open presents Sunday morning. Then because of the changing weather I left Springfield to get home before the storm front got here.

When I left Springfield it was 64 degrees and by the time I got to Carthage it was 48 degrees then when I got home to Lees Summit is was 34 degrees.

My wonderful friends Doug and Janet took me to the airport Friday night so of course my car was at their house. They were kind enough to bring my car home so I could have it for Monday morning.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also brought a car home with me from Springfield. As many know I have been anticipating getting a different car. Well, I am buying the car I brought home. It is a 2004 Toyota Solara with extremely low miles. It will be probably a month or so before it is mine but I do have it at my house.

This is one of my very favorite things I got from my sister. It is made in Africa by women as a cottage industry. It is woven from native grass and dyed with leather grip. They are imported flat then when they reach here they are soaked in water and shaped. I think this is one of the biggest ones I have seen. When I was in Portland last time we looked at the art market where they usually are but could not find them. My sister went to a shop to get this one. If you are interested this is the link for it www.topanien.com .

Also, as you can see I am thoroughly gamed up now. I got an Xbox 360 Live with games. I already had the Wii so my nephew brought me some of his games to play. I also got Wii Fit to go with it. All are very much fun. I have been pretty busy since I got back last weekend but have carved out a little time to play. Since I am going to be off for 4 lovely days next weekend, I plan on doing a lot of playing.

My Christmas wish for all of you is to relax, be happy, and enjoy being with friends and family as much as possible.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's New?

Ok...OK. I realize I have once again been a bad blogger. The way I see it is I get to it when I get to it. Things have really been busy lately and I just have not been in the mood to share.

Yes, I have been knitting all along but just not sharing. So here goes. This the the Abby from Knitty.com. I enjoyed this a lot. It basically is a lacey cowl that I am giving my mother for Christmas. She always likes to have her head covered in the winter so this will be easy for her. You really cannot see the laciness but it is there. I love the color of this wool silk blend I bought when I was in Portland.

The other night while talking with my sister she asked if I could make her a stocking cap. Having nothing new on th needles I just whipped this one up. It is nothing fancy but does have some cabling. I know she will like it.

It is cold here and she is coming next week so I am sure she will bet a chance to wear it while she is here. Her family is coming home early to do Christmas in Ozark then they will be in their own home for Christmas day. As this has rarely happened it will be a novelty.

A friend sent this poem and I want to share it with you. I was very touched by it.

A Different Christmas Poem
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
Sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... An American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many

People as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
Festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people
Stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq