November 29, 2011

Parcel (almost) away!

The Last of the Adoptee's Christmas cheer parcel is all set to go - will take it to the Post Office tomorrow and pay eek-ful airmail prices so that it reaches Airman G in time.

I feel a bit bad - this one was supposed to be all done and gone almost a week ago (just after I agreed to adopt him), however health and other life interruptions happened unfortunately.

SO here are a few photos of the parcel.

Slightly different style for the wreath due to my running out of Gum leaves
(the flower is wattle if anyone is curious). And the Silver bells are really jangly.
(heh heh heh)
A small Santa sack of goodies!
Not made by me - got them from HERE
The rest of the box is full of tinsel garlands / decorations and
sugar candy canes - something to add sparkle to his bunk/work area.
I use the Tinsel as packing material to hold it all secure - my regular
Postal Office is highly amused at having to snip off the odd "sticking-out bit"

So that is the three Soldiers' Angels adoptees taken care of.  I'll be sending something more food related to the Marine group (there are 15 of them so it's a bit harder to send individual stockings and still be able to pay the mortgage.  What I wouldn't give to win the lottery right now!)

I guess I should also look at heading to bed.  It's past midnight here and I am guessing my work would find it a nice change not to have "Zombie-Mari" shuffling about the place till the first batch of caffeine kicks in.

Good Night to you all!

November 26, 2011

This too shall pass....

Taking a short break from the renovation works - mostly so I can sit down until the dizziness passes.

Seems my recent bout of earaches/dizzy fits were all related to a really severe infection in my left ear canal.  So severe that yesterday (Friday here) my G.P. (Doc) declared me a hands breadth away from being admitted to hospital for a week or more.

He then signed me off as "unfit for work for the rest of the day" (his appointment was at 11.30am - just across from my work - during my "early lunch break").  I then hurried off to the local hospitals' emergency ward so that proper tests could be done (my GP being unwilling to poke about too much in case he ruptured the ear drum).  3 hours of waiting later and the E.N.T (ears, nose & throat) specialist declared my infection to be both "fascinating" and "the worst she's seen in a long time".  And then proceeded to use the world's tiniest vacuum cleaner to suck out all the nasty greebles. After which I tottered home and slept for about 12 hours.

Today I am feeling better but still a bit unsteady in balance.  And I *am* taking it easy (sort of).

As for the renovation stuff - I am slowly pottering about - applying heat (from a hairdryer) to the nasty modern tile adhesive that is left on the wall - and then peeling/chipping it off with a chisel.  It's a bit physical and very VERY boring however I am a) not required to be up on a stepladder to do it and b) not having to rush to get it done [my levels of urgency are inversely related to how much my head spins if I try to hurry].

So I will keep chipping away at the nasty stuff until it's all clear.  At which point I will be at the point of 'painting walls' - which can occur tomorrow [since Cozzles will be here to do the bits requiring ladders]

November 23, 2011


Pax has been plotting (again)

[enjoys the fact that there is a core group of people who cringe whenever I mention the "P" word]

And in other news... I have now 3 adopted troopers and a small group of Marines to send goodies and letters of silliness too (newest adoptee acquired last night - hopefully he will be fine with the Goofy Australian's antics)

And sorry Coffeypot - still no Navy adoptees (I just can't seem to get "lucky" there). Maybe you should seek out one and send them my way?  Just don't mention my abiding fear of deep water and it will be bonza :)

So... just as a general question and not implicating myself at all... how DOES one ninja-proof an apartment?  Are Nightingale floors still all the rage?  How about a pressure-activated trap door / oubliette combination at the front door?

Mmmmm.... oubliette....

November 19, 2011

Destructo Pax

Today I have been excelling in the old "rip-em-out" methodology of renovation.  De-tiling the old kitchen splashback.

I originally thought it would be a relatively easy job - after all, 50 year old tiles - surely they'd be a bit loose by now?

Turns out not to be the case. So armed with my newest tool...
Rotary Hammer Drill with Chisel tip
I have been gamely trying to detach the tiles from the walls and window ledge.

Seems that the bonding mixture they used to attach the tiles to the wall is more powerful that superglue.  So I am having a few problems of:-

a) the tiles turning to powder as I try to remove but not detaching from the wall, and
b) the cement wall being less robust than the tile bonder. Resulting in lumps of the wall coming away with the tiles et al.

Definitely going to be doing a lot of plaster/concrete patching when it's all done!

Just a bit more to do
I have stopped for the night (it's just after 6pm here) and no doubt my neighbours are excited at the lack of drilling noise.  More to finish tomorrow (post parental visit since I can't make noise before 10am on a Sunday* and the P's will be here for lunch and a bit beyond that. Plus it's a bit too dangerous - with flying tile shards - to do with them in the place)

Once the walls are de-tiled; replastered and painted - my new kitchen cabinets can be put into place.
So far we (Cozzles and I) have put together only two of the seven cabinets - waiting on the rest till there is a spot to install them all.
Cozzles - Queen of the Flatpacks - showing me how it's done :)

And now I'm off to have a nap.  All this hefting of major tools; destruction and saving the universe - takes it out of a Lady! :)

*I could make noise before 10am on a Sunday but I won't.  Seems such a rude thing to do with people trying to either sleep in or just off to church.

November 15, 2011

Pax and Christmas parcel prep

Eek!!!  I am not sure where the time has gone but it is suddenly half way through November and I have not yet gotten any Christmas parcels off to my two Soldiers' Angels adoptees!

You may be thinking "Relax Pax - you've got ages!" but you would be incorrect.  You see - the USA Military Postal Powers that Be who control mail to those "Downrange" (and elsewhere deployed) have a very regimented schedule they adhere to.  Miss the Deadlines and the parcels may be held over till after December.

So I am feverishly getting my act together.  I have 99% gathered - just need to complete one more Australian themed Christmas wreath and everything can be boxed up and dispatched.

And since I have finally worked out how to run my photo download program on my laptop - you get PHOTOS!  (queue the Ooohing and Ahhhing...  NOW!)

A small Santa sack of Australian goodies each and some Christmas
decorations to add glitter to their barracks
Bits and pieces all ready for wreath construction
Bells and Koalas and foliage - Oh My!
Wreath number two will have to wait until tomorrow night to be created (since it's heading towards midnight here; I am tired; and the glue gun is being painful) and then Thursday I will attempt to fit everything into two Airmail boxes and pay exorbitant prices for overseas priority delivery.

The Parcels should make it to the USA by end of month and then on to Ernest and Mateo :).   With luck I can also co-ordinate a parcel of Aussie munchies (TimTams for the win!) from the Ohio based Simply Australian store (sending food stuffs direct from Australia can be both expensive and result in the parcels being held over by USA customs till checked - so I really prefer to get those shipped from "within-the-States" if I can)

Hopefully a bit of Christmas cheer can help them make it through the Yule Season feeling appreciated and loved.

November 14, 2011

Pax and Troop Treats

Did you know....

*... that receiving even ONE parcel or letter from home can make a deployed trooper grin from ear to ear ?

*... that reaching out and connecting with a deployed trooper can make the difference between them having a "day" and 'HAVING A GREAT DAY' ?

*... that your troops serve for LOVE OF COUNTRY.  Wouldn't it be nice if their country showed them love in return?

*..... you can do this from the comfort of your home?

*.... you can send these letters and parcels just by joining some established Troop support groups - Soldiers' Angels  and ?

*.... that even if you don't have time to write or send parcels - you can still send COFFEE vouchers? '

*.... Or if you can bake cookies - that The Strength Behind the Strong has a COOKIE quest ?

Did you realise that there is no time like NOW for giving the gift of support?

In the interest of full disclosure -

*I have been a member of Soldiers' Angels since April 2009.  And I think they are an amazing group!
Their motto is "May no Soldier go Unloved"

*I have been donating Coffee vouchers via Cup of Joe since 2010.  I have met some of the most amazing people via their "Cup of Joe penfriend" program.

* I have known the organiser of The Strength behind the Strong since 2010. She did amazing things for her group of deployed Military Police; and now that they are home - TSBS is organising a Cookie Quest for a deployed Marine.

*I have not really been involved with the program at all (a few R.A.K parcels of Aussie goodies have been shipped out over the last two years but I've never really "clicked" with sending items to a totally random soul.  I mean... what if they have an Aussie-phobia! or worse... detest Musk sticks!)   However two Marines (A1S and Major Pain ) that I respect greatly have recently made blog pleas to be involved with this group so I will give it a go.  Apologies in advance to my guinea pig  erm... new recipients.  I promise NO PINK THINGS (unless you really really want them)

November 11, 2011


from Brian Fray from the Guelph Tribune

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th Month

we pause in silence and give thanks to those that have kept us safe.
They shall not grow 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

November 6, 2011

November Paxing

Just a quick update from me, as I am drowning in a sea of renovation projects and am finding computer time scarce.

Two of my Soldiers' Angels adoptees - Mark and Mario - are due home very shortly. Prayers are being said that you have a fast and safe trip home guys.  I have enjoyed being your appointed Angel and hope that you had fun with the silly things sent to you.

In Cup of Joe news I would very much like to thank ExAFCrewDog who submitted some Cup of Joe Vouchers linked to my blog - very very kind of you Sir!  (and also reminded me that my regular bi-monthly voucher donation of coffee vouchers were due so that's been sorted out too :).
If any of my readers have some spare small change and would like to give to a worthy cause - please consider the Cup of Joe program.  For as little as $2 per voucher you are giving a deployed trooper the joy of receiving caffeinated beverages AND a note from you at home.

In AT HOME news.  Today, we (myself and my Dad), removed the last of the built in kitchen benches and sink.  Tomorrow (being my rostered day off from work) we will level the void where the cupboards used to be with concrete, and then after work during the week I will continue to strip out the old tiles (vinyl on the floor and ceramic on the walls).  Next weekend we will begin the kitchen floor re-tiling which should be fun.  New kitchen cupboards will go in once the floor work is completed so 2 to 3 weeks till it's all done.

I still have to do all the repainting of 75% of the apartment - however I am hoping I can wrangle a few extra days off work so I can "have at it" in one fell swoop (so to speak).

With luck I can complete all the work by the first week of December.  My Celebratory plans involve the purchase of a 6ft Christmas tree that I can set up in the corner of the room; and the displaying of my nativity set (my ex was very anti anything Christian so my most recent Christmas's have been very low key events.  This year I plan to rebel and CELEBRATE my inner-faith outwardly)

And that's all from me.   Stay safe all!