December 28, 2010

Pax is a Winner!!!

So excited - I usually never win anything so this is such a happy surprise.

A wonderful author who's books I adore had a "12 Days of Giving" competition.  One of the prizes was an offer of a donation of $100 to your favourite charity/non-profit group.

So I nominated Soldiers' Angels and I WON!!!

Definitely a gift that will keep on giving :)

December 24, 2010

Twas the day before Christmas....

and all through the house....

Actually there's a wee bit of chaos in my house today and once I manage to wake up a bit more (reaches for the caffeine.... gulp... ahhhh.. that's better - brain cells beginning to come online) I will reach for my To-Do list and get cracking.

First on the list:- work out where I have hidden all the gifts for giving (for family & friends) and begin the wrapping process.  I have the niggly feeling I've missed something on the "go buy this" list - I have the rest of the day at least to make it back to the shops [today is the first day of my 12 day break from work - which is lovely!]

Should I confess here that I love this time of year?  Celebrating the Birth of the Saviour and as an extension of that - celebrating love and appreciation of my family and friends.  Not so big on Santa as an icon but willing to accept that he's part of the Myth of the Season (but *not* the Reason for the Season).

I was raised by my Grandmother Marion to believe that Christmas is the time to give love and appreciation - and yes, gifts - to your friends and family.  She taught me that it's not enough to just spend lavish amounts of money on things (not that we have $$$ to lavish - working class bods here) but that you need to take the effort and care to find something that will make the recipient smile, and let them know that you care enough to understand their interests and hobbies.

She also taught me (and this was a hard hard lesson for a child to learn) that receiving gifts yourself shouldn't be the main focus.  And that regardless of the gift, you should smile and say Thank You (a good lesson in  manners for all).  I miss my Nanna Marion - she taught me to laugh at the universe and not to mind too much when the universe laughs back at you.

Second on the List:- write up a Grocery shopping list.  Our local shops will be closed for the next few days so we need to think ahead and have enough food to tide us over.  Of course this means I will need to brave the insanity of the day-before-Christmas shoppers (prayers should be said, thanks!).  I think I'll wander about with a smile on my face and let people cut in front of me in the check outs - should be good karma points in that (not to mention the look of befuddlement that crosses their faces)

Third on the list:- put up the Christmas tree.  It's small and glittery and probably should have been set up ages ago (I spent the last 5 days cleaning and reorganising furniture whilst the boyfriend was away visiting inter-state. Apartment is now sparkly clean but lacking in holiday cheer).  Boyfriend has now returned but not in any mood to celebrate Christmas with me (he's not into that "stuff" so he reminds me).  Good thing I didn't make him that elf costume isn't it?!

After all that I will probably collapse with a drinkie and watch some sappy Muppet Christmas movies.

So Merry Christmas to all my friends. May you stay safe, be warm (or cool and dry if you are in Australia) and know that you are loved (even if it's just by a goofy Aussie you have never met)

December 21, 2010

Pre-Christmas Paxing

Just a quick all around update.

*Justin is (according to Soldiers' Angels) now home and safe.  Glad he made it back safe & sound, sad that I never made a "connection" with him.

SA has over 1300 military persons waiting to adopt too.  I'll need to have a good look at my finances to see if I can afford to go back to having four adoptees at one time before I say yes or no to a new one (SA will allow you to have up to three at a time, and my fourth is my MP adopted via a friend). The cost of weekly letters and a monthly parcel does start to mount up when added to the mortgage and other bills I have.  But... then I think "there is someone out there putting their life on the line whilst I dither about at home, safe & sound"... definitely conflicted about it and feeling that I should do more.

*The Pink Pony of Pinkness arrived downrange and JJ's planning on an epic photo shoot with his buddies.  Very happy it reached him so quickly :).  He also received the Aussie Christmas wreath and tells me it is hanging in his work area.

*Must catch up with C & K and make sure they received their Santa stockings, and hopefully their Christmas wreaths.  Must also check if they need extra warm things.

*I joined a new Soldiers' Angels group recently too.  It's called "ePal" - it's a new program where you are assigned one person to exchange emails and chat with - no major expenditure is expected other than the time to make contact.  My person is (I think) Airforce. Sadly I've not heard anything back from him yet so I'm hoping he's safe & well (and hopefully not too disappointed/weirded out that he's acquired an Australian Angel and not a home grown one). 

*I have received three "please write back" notes from service members in the Cup Of Joe (Green Beans Coffee) program.  Initial contact emails sent and hopefully I'll get the chance to make a few new friends from this.

In at home news - I visited with my mum & dad yesterday. Mum is battling against constant fatigue so we keep the visits short and full of the happy.  Thursday she will hopefully find out the results of the last batch of tests she had - as to whether the cancer has entered her bone structure or not.  She's remaining up-beat yet quietly organising things for a worst-case scenario.
Family Christmas this year will be packed with as much family love and time as possible - just in case.

And I had better run - need to be at work in an hour (no rest for the Pax - at least not for the next 3 days!)

December 13, 2010

Oooh Santa Baby!

Dear Santa,

..this year I have been a very good Pax and a fair-to-middling decent Human Being.

I would really like "Peace on Earth" but if you can't manage that then please add a prayer to mine that all those serving come home safely...


oh.. and maybe chocolates... a cowboy... the video game Red Dead Redemption... and a PS3 to play it on... did I mention a cowboy? yeah.. one of them :D

Kylie Minogue - Santa Baby (Top of the Pops)
Uploaded by capriclaude. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

December 9, 2010

Pink Pony by Pax

Santa stockings have begun to reach "the guys" - JJ got his yesterday and advises that he's already devoured the accompanying Timtams...

But what's that you ask? How did I manage to get some Australian themed Santa Stockings to the boys downrange??

Well firstly I took outrageous advantage of the lovely guys at Simply Australian who advised that if I could find some Aussie Santa bags, then they could fill them with a selection of goodies and post out (they are based in the USA so there would be no picky Customs officers checking on the contents and delaying delivery by weeks).

Hmm... Aussie themed Santa bags... that was a bit tricky. But luckily the Australian Koala Foundation had just the very thing I needed AND they came in a handy 3-pack too!
They are actually wine bottle bags so they won't hold very much however they WILL look excellently Aussie to the average American eye (got to work to our audience you know :D)

Bags purchased, received via mail and then posted off International Airmail to Simply OZ in Ohio.  They arrived a few weeks later and then began the fun and games of "so what will actually fit into these"

Luckily Dave from SimplyOz has a great sense of Humour, a tape measure and a mobile phone...

rather tight!

Well that one won't fit!
Dave gave suggestions and offered advice, and eventually we found enough things to make it a proper Santa Stocking (i.e lots of sweets and a toy in the bottom!)

After sending them payment, they boxed up each stocking (along with a packet of Timtams each) and shipped them off Downrange for me.

One packed - two to go!
I didn't have the heart to have a note attached to them reading
as I figured that K, C & JJ might need a sugar hit before the 25th.

So Merry Christmas guys - from your Aussie Angel. I hope that you stay safe and well and come home soon to your families.

Oh and the Pink Pony???  Well JJ asked me if I could possibly send him a replacement for his workshop mascot (it's apparently had a wee bit of an accident).

So my shopping foo was great and I found him "the very thing".  I have to say it's not quite what I imagine when I think "Big Tough Army Guys" but I'm sure it will give them a giggle.

And before any of you go "Bad Evil Pax" - it's *exactly* what he requested (well.. he did say I could choose the colour :D)

December 3, 2010

Warmed by Pax

Hey Look! It's post number 100!  Does this mean I waffle too much? :D

It's no surprise to anyone that knows me what a delicate petal I am - being born & raised in the sub-tropics means that cold (and this is anything under 16 degrees Celsius.. erm... about 60 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you on the Imperial spectrum) causes me to whimper and hide under blankets.

So you can guess just how much sympathy I have when I hear that one of my adopted soldiers is not coping well with the change in temperature from home (TX) to "over there".

Fuzzy fleece sheets (we call them Flannelet over here in Australia) found, ordered and now on their way to him.

Mmm... Fuzzy!
I did ask him first if he'd be okay with having red ones sent (I was worried about the "laundry oppsies" since pink knickers aren't very manly).  He's assured me that he'll remember to wash them separately if they look like the colour might run.

Must remember to start signing off on my letters to him as "Stay safe - Stay Warm" :)

Edited to add.... I lamented to a friend (V) that I really wished I could afford to send JJ a Texas flag blanket to keep him extra warm & toasty.  V's google-foo is legendary and she managed to track down just the very thing at an affordable cost.  So now there's even more warmth heading my soldier's way