April 26, 2010

ANZAC Memories


My Great Grandad - Henry Wheeler - survived Gallipoli yet fell on the Western front 2 years later.

One of his friends - Lieut. Wally Thom - survived the war.
I don't have any of Great Grandad's momentos to remember him by however Great Uncle Wally left a few treasured items.

The menu booklet - if you can read the details - is for the FIRST annual Anzac Dinner - held in Serapeum (near the Suez Canel) on the 25th of April 1916.  Australian Imperial Force - 50th Infantry Battalion & 13th Infantry Brigade.

[edited to omit personal family information my mum wasn't happy to see included]

April 25, 2010

Lest we forget - ANZAC Day 2010


In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 3rd May 1915

ANZAC Day 2010

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

April 22, 2010

Mil-Support - can you spare the time to help?

blogged at - http://marionsmeepings.blogspot.com/2010/04/mil-support-can-you-spare-time-to-help.html

You will all know by now that I'm a wee bit involved in sending munchies & treats to the USA troops in the Middle East.  If you've ever wondered how it feels to reach out and touch someone, but aren't sure you want to commit to an organised group such as Soldier's Angels then here is your chance.

Two of the Blogs I follow have requested assistance for troop support -

Care parcels required for Afghanistan troops - see the information at http://usmc81.blogspot.com/2010/04/in-country-contacts-for-care-packages.html
[some of these people are due to return home this year - one group is there until 2011 - casual parcel sending would no doubt be welcomed. Email the contacts to find out what they most need]

And Adoption of some MP's required - see the information at http://www.thestrengthbehindthestrong.com/home/airborne-help-us-adopt-50-single-soldiers-who-are-heading-to.html (about 20 or so left to be adopted)
[this is a new deployment - you will be assigned one person and will be encouraged to send letters & parcels regularly over the next year. Contact Christine via email and offer your help]

April 19, 2010

Warm fuzzy photo...


I just had to share this (it's okay - he said I could)

This is N - he is one of my online buddies who usually manages to make me smile even on my really bad days. 

See his totally Leet soccer skills! :)

April 18, 2010

Sunday Pax update

I'm not quite sure how it got to be half-way through April already - definitely had a blink-and-missed-it time of it so far. 

Health wise - just enduring the lasting effects of Whooping cough here. B's into his 6th or 7th week and his coughing attacks are still going strong. He's not had any further blackouts (so far) which is a good thing since it looks to be my turn for the 'aving-funny-turns drama [Friday early morning saw me kissing the carpet - I decided at that point that staying home immobilised in bed would reduce my chances of a spectacularly lurid public turn*].  B just kind of patted me on the shoulder and departed off to work - really great how we have that mutual worry/love/support thing going on :(.

*I have found peace with the concept that my life is an unwitting sit-com for the universe. Just wish I could reap the advertising revenue...

Career wise - our main library is still under-going the refit after the water damage in February. The Powers that be have decided (in their infinite wisdom and nurturing kindness) to take the opportunity to not only downsize our collection and services, but also the staffing levels. We've lost one position already; another staff member is off on secondment to the Health Department and more are set to be released as and when they can justify the culling. Once the main library is reopened they are scuttling the branch one (where we are currently huddled - attempting to continue supplying the information needs of a state wide organisation). So far I'm not in the line of fire (technical staff do a wider range of tasks at a higher level of applied learning so they can't really function without us) however I'm now taking on even more work (equivilant of 2.5 positions) and I'm not winning any friends with my being stupidly ill. 

Milsupport wise - actually this keeps me sane and happy. Reaching out to a stranger in a far land might seem a weird hobby to have but I find myself happier after writing (hopefully) amusing letters & cards to the guys (after all - can't bore them with the mundanity of work & family dramas - so you find yourself seeking the silver-lining and funny events in the day to recount).  I worry about J - he's the first adoptee I've had that I haven't heard from. At least I comfort myself with the knowledge that so long as none of my mail gets returned that he's going okay over there.  Adoptee #2 - R - seems to be going okay, we share a couple of interests (monty python for one) so it's much easier to send him really silly things to keep him smiling [I've just exposed his team to Top Gear much to the delight of a few of his guys that have seen it before. Possibly not as much fun to an American as NASCAR but easier for me to work out which to send].  And I should be receiving word in a few weeks if I'm still okay to adopt an MP - and yes.. exposing poor unsuspecting Americans to weird Aussie cuisine and items *is* lots of fun (Bwhahaha!).

April 9, 2010

Can you help?

Todd Nicely is a wounded American Marine - his wounds are quite servere and his family are hoping that receiving cards from well wishes will give him a little joy.

So if you can spare the time and a postage stamp - would you please send a card or a postcard to him? (his mailing information is in the link above)


Blogged at http://marionsmeepings.blogspot.com/2010/04/can-you-help.html

April 7, 2010

Pax's medical adventure

Disclaimer! - Possibly a more apt title would be "Pax watches the medical drama unfold" but that got a bit too wordy.

We've had much drama over here at the moment. If you have been following the recent posts you will know that both my partner (Mr B) and I have had the Whooping Cough for a few weeks.  Part of the illness are the coughing attacks that can leave you gasping for an incoming breath - too much coughing can lead to no oxygen getting into the lungs or the brain and can result in passing out.

Well B blacked out in the bathroom last night just after midnight - cracked his head open when he hit the tiles (he just toppled backwards like he'd been pole-axed and hit the floor so hard it vibrated). I was still up (we keep odd hours here when we game online) and saw it all unfold but couldn't get to him in time to break his fall.  So he's unconscious on the floor and I'm about to apply my (admittedly limited) knowledge of CPR when he takes that one required breath and starts his way back to breathing normally.  This is actually blackout #4 and I finally managed to convince him that we should call for the professionals to help (he said no right up to the point where I held an icepack to his head and he realised how big the lump was, how painful it was & that it was still bleeding. Stubborn bugger.  Of course now he's all "I'm glad I made that decision" and I'm all "Grrrr... I've been asking you to do that since blackout #1".

So ambulance* called - medics arrived - and we ended up at the local hospital just before 1am. B was kept in for overnight observation and I got a cab home about 3am (sleep didn't happen I was so stressed out and worried, so I was zombie girl when I contacted work this morning - luckily they have a heart so I got the okay to have the rest of the day off. about 3 hours of sleep acquired so far - more soon I hope).

Decision made today to admit him to a ward bed as the C.A.T scan has shown there are blood spots on his brain - neurosurgeon is to see him tomorrow (they don't know if it's been there for a while or if its from his fall last night - can't do a MRI due to him having a steel clip holding one tooth to his jaw [I did suggest a quick yank and back to the dentist later but B's sense of humour not that great atm]. They know about his having whooping cough but seem (at this point) less inclined to do anything about easing that than worrying about the cracked skull - I guess I can see why but if they don't control the WC then it's just as likely to happen again.

I've been in to visit - dropped off clothes - sat with him for a bit. However he doesn't like to drop off to sleep if I'm there so my stay was limited. I'll be back in tomorrow after work - or earlier if there's either more complications or the neurosurgeon has bad news. Playing it all by ear at the moment
As you can guess I am pretty stressed out at the moment so any prayers you can shift our way would be appreciated.

*For my girl pals that like "guys in uniform" a report: Yes! - both the ambos were buff guys - only one was cute. Unfortunately both of them were giving me the whole "he's got a wound to the back of his head - wonder if she did it" look right up till they realised that the lacerations on his head matched the tile patterns in the bathroom.. criss-cross wounds for the jury to acquit!. My very first ride in an ambulance too - pity I was so stressed out with worry to actually take any of it in. B suggests that next time I can be strapped to the bed and he'll be the ride-along - I've declined the offer

Blogged at: http://marionsmeepings.blogspot.com/2010/04/paxs-medical-adventure.html

April 3, 2010

Pax update

Happy Easter to all those that celebrate it.

I am still en-zombied - looks like it will be a few weeks until the main coughing passes (my darling workmates will no doubt be ecstatic about that - perhaps if I am lucky they will find me a tiny windowless cubicle I can hide within till it passes)

With all the enforced bedrest I've been having, a Zen moment came upon me - I realised that I have been allowing Life to Happen to me - when I should really be happening to Life. Haven't quite worked out how to turn things around but I'll keep you posted if it involves me running away to join the circus (okay.. not that likely - clowns scare me) or dying my hair purple and calling myself "enigma" (hmm.. would I need super powers to carry off that look I wonder?)

On the upside of things - I've had a few emails from Airforce adoptee. Really lovely guy who is mentoring some of his troops that receive no/little mail from home [I'd like to say he's playing "Team Dad" but he'd probably gibber and point out he's not that old :) ].  I'll have to tweak my "goodies for troops" budget for April a bit and make sure he gets a few extra things.  No word received from other current adoptee however I've been receiving some excellent advice from Sherpa on what Fobbits* can use - not quite sure about the hula dashboard ornament idea (dignity.. always dignity... :D) but the NASCAR ideas are running hard & fast (Hey...! Trivia!! Did you know that Harlequin books have their very own NASCAR romance line?!  Well now you do!  Any of you want to volunteer to read one and report back?... Hello??  Hello??... sigh.. guess not)

*FOBBITS - Snorfle! - Everytime I hear the name I imagine them as "Short & cute with hairy feet" :D

Blogged - http://marionsmeepings.blogspot.com/2010/04/pax-update.html