Showing posts with label Soldiers' Angels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soldiers' Angels. Show all posts

August 11, 2013

News Flash! USA Soldiers spied at Medieval event

well... okay so it's Flat Soldiers (a modern-day Troop Support version of the Flat Stanley).  The Goal is for volunteers to print off the Flat Soldier picture and photograph them on adventures around your home town.  Since I'm one of the SA Downunders' - my photos will be just a wee bit "Exotic" to the average American eye (I hope! :D).  The Photos are then whizzed back to the Soldier's individual Angels for sending on (or in the case of one really clever Angel - added to a photo album titled "What I really did on my last Tour!")

So this last weekend - my FS's joined me on an adventure. My Medieval friends (Society of Creative Anachronism) and I had agreed to travel up the Queensland hinterlands to Nanango to help one of our newer households hold their first event at the local Art Gallery's "Medieval Fair Day"

There were Tourneys and Vikings and Tempting Fudge sellers (who had cunningly added their wares to a pull along cart so they could entice us all with movable goodies)

End of Bout 1 - the defeated on the ground and Miss FS cheering on the victor!)

Beginning of Bout 2
 
The Author.... attempting to look demure!
All five FS's honing in on the static photo display

Tomorrow or Tuesday the Flat Troopers and I will be off to the local State Fair (known locally as the Queensland Royal Exhibition - and by the locals as the "EKKA").  I am hoping for some good shots with fairy floss; and prize winning sheep etc.  [Stand by for the News reports of "Strange woman stampeded by Sheep at Local Faire" :D

Later in the week they will also accompany me to my Museum job.  The Museum has a "life on the reef" exhibit at the moment - swimming with Nemo would be a good photo I think!
 

May 2, 2013

May Post

May has arrived - and the lovely Autumn weather of Brisbane is glorious to behold.  Cool but sunny and no rain - wonderful.

"Received" an early birthday "gift" today (my birthday is the 4th) - trip to the dentist for what I had hoped was simply a lost filling.  Turned out to be a crack through the tooth and so I now have one less tooth for the brushing (recovery will take a few days and I am currently very propped up by the pharmacy-grade pain meds). It was my upper right back tooth so it's loss won't interfere too much with my life.

In other actually GOOD news - I have a job interview on Monday for a Library Assistant's position.  So if you can spare some good thoughts - please wing them my way.

Oh and I have heard from my new Soldier's Angel adoptee.  Mike is a clever, articulate and dedicated member of the USA Army.  He's has a wonderfully good sense of humour and we have been exchanging emails since I adopted him.  So very glad I have 'met' him [so far a batch of goodies have been sent off to him - he's received the small batch of Aussie cookies & candy (no no musk stick - I am being nice!) and a plush kangaroo toy he has named "Jack"; and I sent him a copy of the movie "Finding Nemo" (we have been joking about that since my introductory email explaining that I live "half way between the Reef and Wallaby Way Syd-e-ney").  Girl Scout cookies are also on their way to him].  He is very much a ray of sunshine in my life - making all the uncertainties of lack-of-job fade away whenever I chat with him. So very glad I found Soldiers Angels five years ago (almost to the day actually - it was my "Pay it forward" Birthday gift to myself five years ago and never once regretted.)

Now to get over the extraction and be all smiles come Saturday.  I am having lunch with my Parents and haven't wanted to worry them,  Wish me a speedy recovery! :)

edited to add - lol someone just asked me if I have a "wish list' for my birthday.  I do but I don't expect any gifts - your all-abiding love and support are all I need [but if that's just tooo freaky to contemplate - here's my amazon link - http://amzn.com/w/1EUHNLL1YFLO ]

January 24, 2013

Pax and plants

At home news...

In the hopes that I can establish a small herb garden on my balcony (and break the "Curse of the Black Thumb" that I seem to have for plants) I have begun a small "Green Project"

Day 3 after planting.
Nasturtium's in the top pot; basil and mint in the bottom

Oh and in case you marvel at how fast those two plants on the bottom are growing - sorry to admit that I got those two from the local market - already slightly grown.  The top pot - now that one is my gardening foo at work (from small seeds great things will come... and possibly be named "Audrey" )

Day 15 of the experiment and so far so good... even the current summer heat wave hitting our area hasn't (yet) caused any problems...



Milsupporting update.  My Official adoptee - lovely Sgt of the Marines - received the parcel of jerky that I sent earlier in the month.  He writes that he shared it with his team :).

There is a Valentine's Day parcel yet to reach him - a box of Old-fashioned V day sweets (according to the Amazon.com sales blurb at least).  Not sure if any of those small candy message hearts are enclosed but if they are - hope he's careful! :D

No word lately from the Unofficial Soldier adoptee in A'stan - Message received just after New Years that he loved the Christmas stuff.  No word since. I really hope he's okay!

Wish I could adopt another to virtual "hug, and pat and call him George" but have told myself that I must remain at one official only until I have a new job.  At least at one I can afford to keep up the level of monthly troop treats and not worry (too much) about my bank balance.  Sgt A is deployed until June so I still have some fun things on the list left to send him :)

*Pax is Plotting*

January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

And welcome to 2013!


Things I am grateful for...

  • My Mum is still with us - fighting the good fight against the dreaded Cancer.  She has her good and bad days but accepts every day as a Blessing.

  • My Family - both the near and far.  Love and Pride for them all

  • My Friends - both near and far (up close and electronic).  Could not get through the days without your support! (and snarky comments - you KNOW who I mean :D)

  • My Faith.  Although I am not a Church goer I believe in God, and his Angels, and his son Jesus Christ (I also believe that there are many paths to Heaven and so long as YOUR faith believes in Kindness and Care of it's young, old & vulnerable - you're okay with me!)

  • My Life.  I have my ups and downs - my good and bad days BUT I am alive, mostly healthy, have my wits and mobility; and in a 1000 little ways am so much better off than many.  I certainly can not complain!
Things I would like to achieve in 2013

  • A New Job.  One where I am valued for my ethics, work ability and determination to Get It Done.  Surely there is one out there somewhere for me?

  • Slightly less health issues

  • A cure for Cancer  (got to hope!)

  • Love.   I haven't given up on the idea that I do deserve someone who loves and respects me.  (an ability to overlook or adore my quirky nature would help ;D).  Applications accepted at the sign of the Dexter-pawed Fox

  • That I rock my University classes!  (I am confident I can do this!)

  • That my Adopted Soldiers - both official, Unofficial and those I acquire via the Cup of Joe Coffee penfriend program or Letter writing team - stay safe, stay well and return home quickly to their families.  Prayers for them all!

December 16, 2012

Happy Pax

The Christmas goodies parcels have reached my two adoptee's and I am officially a HAPPY PAX

My Army adoptee P writes...
We just got the package here and already decorated our post office with it. The Australian theme is very badass and I think that we have the best decorations on base to be honest. Thank you so much!
 
 and Marine Adoptee D writes...


"Thank you so much! I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how excited I was to receive some mail. I didn’t look in the stocking, waiting till Christmas morning to check it out"
 


November 12, 2012

Operation Santa Stockings 2012

I have been working on the Troop Treat Christmas parcels that I am about to send off to my two Soldiers' Angels troopers. [one is my "Official" adoptee - a Marine. The other I meet via the letter team and is my "Unofficial-but-I-Like-to-send-him-emails" friend]

Still a work in progress so final photos yet to come (I need to find shipping boxes big enough to take all the goodies yet not too big that it will cost me $ to ship from Australia. That is part of tomorrow's quest).

All the goodies laid out and ready. (sorry for the blurriness!)
 
Stockings stuffed with all manner of fun things :)
I have included a marsupial toy with each - just because I can!
 
And I have just hand made two Aussie Christmas
wreaths (they are a bit "fluffy" but will hopefully make the
Lads smile)
 
 
Rest of the parcels include Christmassy balloons, and garlands, a mini pop-up tree; and decorations Oh My!  Also some mini candy-canes - and if I can remember to obtain tomorrow - a packet of Musk Sticks each (mwhahaha... my equivalent of "Coal" it the boys have been naughty :D)
 
You may have guessed by now that I adore sending Troop Treats - it really makes me feel like I am able to give back to those that need the Love and Care.


November 11, 2012

Poppy Coin Contest

Closing date for entries now 25th of November


The Australian Mint has issued the first ever Legal Tender coloured coin - to commemorate Remembrance Day.

Last week I acquired a few - and one will be given away as the Prize to the below competition


This is the coin up close -

In order to enter you MUST write a short paragraph on WHY you would like the Poppy Coin (what it means to you etc). And then submit it - along with your name/blogging name - as a comment to this post.


The Rules:-

Must be PG-13! (if you feel that using a rude word is required then bleep it out - let's think of the potential that one day my Mum might read this)

You do NOT need to be a regular reader of this blog to enter (sniffle... but you COULD stick around and read more - just saying)

You can be from anywhere in the world.

If you win - you will need to supply me with a mailing address. I promise to hold the information safely and never share it beyond my Post Office.

If you leave your entry under the "Anonymous" tag - please be sure to add your name or nickname at the bottom so I can track you down later should you win.

If you find that Blogger won't let you post a message or worse - it disappears into the ether - then email me directly (you can find my email address under my profile)

The Winner will need to contact me by last day of November 2012 at the latest with their mailing address or there will be a redraw.

The Winning comment will be judged on or about the 20th of November 25th of November

***just in case the whole idea of writing something is wigging you out, I have included some examples on how you could frame your entry***

"I would love to win the Poppy Coin because it reminds me of the service my *insert name/relative/friend* here"
"Would be a cool thing to have in my memorabilia cabinet - along with my other Remembrance Day badges"

November 9, 2012

Show your pride!

I love buying things from the Military Shop - mostly so that I can either send to my overseas Vetern friends; or to my Adopted Soldiers from Soldiers' Angels.

This month they have a really nice fridge magnet that I must acquire at least one of for myself


you can buy them HERE
I am sure I will find a few other bits & pieces in their online catalogue too.

Oh! and I have acquired an extra Poppy Coin.  Legal Australian two dollar coin with a red poppy on it's reverse.  On the 11th of the 11th I will be putting up a blog competition for it so please stay tuned for that

 
 
 
Updated to add....
Gosh I would love to own one of the below special Poppy medallions.  They have them in Silver (which I can *almost* afford but not really justify) and Gold (which is too $$ unfortunately).  Maybe I will bookmark the page and when I am back in employment I can celebrate by purchasing one.
 
Available from HERE but I don't know for how long...
 
 

September 9, 2012

September Paxing

Very quick update since it's late here and I need to sleep before I nod off over the keybozzzzzzz.....

Ah-hem... lets try that again shall we?

Milsupporting is going well - I have met some really lovely troopers this time around and am very much enjoying sending out cards and occasional useful package.  Girl Scout cookies (and a parcel with a toy) went off to a Airforce 1stLt recently.  I suspect (since it was a "once off" parcel request) that I should have sent really useful things but meh... I'm sure everyone else in his group got those.  After all - when you really need something to hug when the hit sits the fan - isn't a fuzzy Platypus toy the first thing YOU think of?

In "not quite Milsupport but gosh I'm having fun" - tshirt sent out to Old NFO; Coin & pin sent off to Coffeypot; oh and virtual hugs sent out to the rest of you (just so you don't feel left out)

In "At Home" news. 
  • Mum seems to be responding better to the medication she is currently on. Less pain, more Getup&go. She is currently talking about maybe "One last trip out Bush" with Dad in the coming months. I thank God for every day she is with us and hope she gets her wish to go camping once more [they have a small caravan so there are comfy beds and other civilised amenities to make things easier for her]

  • With my work... I will find out this coming Tuesday if I am still employed or not (yes... they plan to announce 14000 forced redundancies on 9/11 - what a charming way to try to divert attention from your Allies day of Remembrance:(. This New State Government has no empathy or shame).  I will let you all know later this week what the situation is... I think, even if I am made unemployed, that I can still manage my current Troop Adoption commitments - which will keep me sane and feeling useful at least.
Okay - must go sleep (I tried that earlier and my brain refused to shut down... warm milk might help. And no Coffeypot - I have no whiskey in the house to "Fortify" the milk with. Pity that!

August 8, 2012

Even better than Musk Sticks!

Yum Yum Yum- Vegemite toast is planned for breakfast here (the faster version of breakfast when you just don't have time to cook and savour some bacon)

Since Vegemite is an acquired taste (more so than the sugary pink stuff aka musk sticks aka "Argh! she's trying to poison me!"*) it's best to give all my overseas readers a bit of a primer on how to best eat it.


Disclaimer - I could not track down the legal owner of this photo.
If *you* are that owner please contact me so I can attribute

If you are one of my current Adopted Warriors (via the Soldiers' Angels group) and would like to try this culinary delight please drop me a note and I will cheerfully send you some


*allegedly 9 out of 10 US Forces test subjects had this response

And in news to hand - Baconnaise : the new taste sensation?

July 27, 2012

And you thought YOUR native animals were weird!

Just sharing for those of my readers that keep thinking that Australian animals are cute & cuddly

Photo found via Facebook and I can not find the owner to attribute. If *you* are the
copyright holder please let me know so I can attribute OR take down if requested
More information on our exciting Aussie aquatic mascot can be found HERE

I recently sent a toy one of these to my newest Soldiers' Angels adoptee - I'm sure he is going to be opening the box and going "Wuh....?" 
[and since long time readers will surely ask - no musk sticks in this parcel. He needs to *ASK* before I will supply those.  And just to make sure he knows what he might be getting in to I sent him off a printed copy of the BEST musk stick review I have ever read. Bwhahahah!]

July 8, 2012

Pax'ing the Past 2012

Yesterday I stepped back in time and attended the Abbey Medieval Festival

It was a bit of an adventure to reach the event site - 2 hours of travel to get there (bus to the city - train to Caboolture - Event bus to the Abbey area.  However it was worth it to catch up with a number of my Medieval Reenactor friends; to watch some of the tournaments; to eat rather delicious but-bad-for-me food; and to do a small amount of shopping at the market booths.

Here are a few of the snapshots I managed to take. Sadly, I failed to remember that I had a camera with me for some of the time, so these are just random photos. [and Very Sorry Guys - I missed a shot of the Comely Lass in the Mini-mini-mini Red Stretch-Velour dress and knee high leather boots. Her outfit can be termed "meji-e-val" since it had a Double-headed crest over her most salient features. You will just have to visualise it instead!]

Citadel Free Company

Cozzles wielding a Mighty Sword!

The Big Bad Wolf (aka Horn'd Beast) was there too.
Obligatory "Furry" shout-out to NavyOne! :)

Obleix et Asterix Domesticus
(the attendees are encouraged to dress-up - this one was a crowd pleaser!)



  
I did a very little bit of shopping (there were so many nice things but sadly I have to save my dollars until I know if I'm going to be retrenched from my job) however I did find and buy two of the above small "Knightly" charms (they are about an inch long and so shiny that the camera didn't manage to capture any details).  I will be sending one each to my two current adopted soldiers :).  [Adoptee the third goes "Mail Stop" on the 15th of July so sadly no more cards or letters or silly gifts can be sent to him from here]

All in all an enjoyable day - my spirits weren't even "dampened" by the icy drizzle that was happening on and off all day.

June 17, 2012

Caffeinated Pax

Wow - that was a quick week. Seemed to fly by, what with the 10 hour working days and then home to go "Flub" in front of the computer.  Very few interesting things on the free-to-air channels either so I have finally organised to get Cable TV installed as of tomorrow.  I am justifying the expense on wanting to watch the Olympics in all it's 8-channel glory. I have even taken some leave from work end of July into August so I can happily watch hours upon hours of really fit people do amazing things.

And then a few weeks after that I will very happily watch the Para Olympics and cheer on all the Aussies and USAian teams. Oh and *this* amazing Japanese sprinter - if she manages to fund her way to attend [Maya Nakanishi - she has released a tastefully done partial-nekked calender to help raise travel costs. ***WARNING - PROBABLY NOT SAFE TO VIEW AT WORK - SOME PARTIAL NUDITY***  The Calender seems to be available only via Amazon.JA (Japan) - HERE]

I had wondered how many of the USA team may be wounded warriors and did a bit of a Google search.  Lovely to see that the U.S. Paralympics website has a whole area dedicated to the Military

And in Caffienation... :D -  I like to send off "Cup of Joe" donations via the Green Bean Coffee group.  With every donation I send (be it $30 for 15 vouchers or $60 for 30) I get to write a short letter - usually thanking the unknown recipient for their service and telling them a little about myself and my country (..."It is Winter here in Australia - which means that up here in Queensland we are all wrapping up in our woolens and moaning how cold it is (which means it is less than 20 degrees Celsius with a wind chill:D - we're a bit thin skinned up here in the sub-tropics [you would probably love it!....")  It isn't the wittiest of writing but sometimes I get the nicest of replies back from those that get my coffee donations. 

If you are looking for something to do for your deployed service people, but aren't sure about how to contact them or what to send - *this* is a wonderful way to start.

And sometimes you make a connection with the Trooper* on the other end.  I have made some of the Best of Friends from ticking the "Yes I am happy to be a penfriend" box whenever I donate more coffee vouchers.

In other troop treating news - Soldiers' Angel store has packs of Girl Scout COOKIES for sale! 9 packets of biscuits (cookies) per parcel.  I have ordered a parcel each for my three adoptees and I hope they will really enjoy them when received.

Later this month I need to arrange a water balloon launcher for Cpl TT (ooh the inner Pax-Joy of sending a watery ballistic "toy" to a Marine to play with - Bwhahahaha!) and possibly more snack or hygiene packs to the other two adoptees.  I try to vary the items so it's always a surprise and occasionally useful :)

Oh and you recall I was Medievally Dreaming last weekend?  Sadly that trip failed to occur.  We had really heavy rain throughout last Saturday night and by Sunday morning things were super soggy and not optimum for travelling.  So next year for sure....  Actually I may even be there as one of the re-en actors by then [need to get a tent first - oh and a bed that is off the ground since my very awful knee problems mean that the less strain on them the better. (yes yes... one day I may bore you with the Ice Skating accident I had when I was 20.... or not... maybe just take it as "Pax was a klutz and caused life long damage to herself) :D]


*I tend to use the word "TROOPER" as a generic military tag since calling Marines Soldiers or Soldiers Marines or Air Force/Navy anything else gets confusing. Plus some of them get a wee bit upset if I get it wrong

June 10, 2012

Medieval dreaming...

Just a very quick post to wave and say hello (and disprove the "abducted by aliens" rumour that seems to be going about :D)

The last few weeks have been super busy at work - clocking up 9 & 10 hour days - and trying to prove to the new boss that I am one of the essential cogs that make our Departmental Library work.  Not quite sure how successful I have been so far but willing to keep plugging away at the concept till it (hopefully) sticks.

And the downside of my working such long days that are filled with stress?!? - I am sleeping only a few hours a night and my health is going wacko again (unexpected vertigo attacks mean that the world really does move for me - no partner required!)

My weekends seem to turn in to a marathon of "catching up on the lost sleep / staving off major dizzy fits (so many little tricks I have learnt to try to keep them at bay) and generally being Mushroom like in my inability to face the world and have a social life (I keep telling myself - "I'll be sociable *next* week").

Luckily this weekend is a long one - Monday being the locally designated "official" Queen's birthday holiday - so I know I can expend just that bit extra energy tomorrow and have Monday to recover.

And what am I doing tomorrow you ask?

Of course you wouldn't guess from this flyer that the event has groups that reenact from the Dark Ages up to the 1900's (there is even a group of American Civil War reenactors - super funny when the Aussies in their group try to sound 'Merican (heh)

My BFF belongs to a 14th Century group - and she will be there with her Oh-so-beautiful-tent

During the day Coz is all in armour - and fighting in the tournament (Foot battles only)

During the rest periods and at night - she dons her lovely gowns and dazzles the gents

At some point (my hectic work life and stress factors not withstanding) I hope to make my own 14th Century clothes and tag along to some of their fun events [and then re-make my 16th Century Elizabethan clothes [the current set being over 10 years old and not quite fitting anymore] and actually attend my local S.C.A meetings].  So my future will have much Medieval Dreaming once I am again on top of things.

As for all other things - I have half a blog post written about one of my very first Soldiers' Angels adoptees (whoops... it will get finished - just as soon as I find where I have stored the rest of the photos of him in Iraq); and I have plotted the next parcels for my three adoptees (Airforce R went home so I acquired another adoptee... this one is a Cpl in the Marines and I hope has a good sense of humour) - waiting on payday to order those.  Oh and I was frivolous and bought myself some socks :D

http://www.sockdreams.com/products/sock-collections/novelty-socks/sitm-unicorns
http://www.sockdreams.com/products/sock-it-to-me-starry-night?back=search

Should see these arrive from the USA in a few weeks and they will give me something to smile about in the long work meetings.

May 26, 2012

Troop Treating

Hello everyone! I am woefully behind on posting reports - sorry about that!  I do have two other posts partially written but just need to sort out my photograph issues before those can "go live" (one of those posts includes photos of the wonderful box of gifts that Coffeypot has sent me)

In the mean time - let's talk about the Perils of receiving Troop Treat parcels from the Mad Australian Lady :D

Adoptee R (airforce - soon to head home again) received a parcel of Aussie sweets (candy) and biscuits (cookies) recently.  I included the infamous Musk Sticks. 

R wrote to me (and has given permission to repost)

The goodie parcel arrived...along with the musk sticks. The guys that I am here with were not part of the 2010 musk life saver experience, so they were very unassuming as I offered them candy from Australia. Many took a bite, stared at me and then asked..."what the Hell is this"? Others took a bite, frowned and disappeared...one guy actually liked them and asked for more...

The best story came from a guy...he is really nice and was very thankful as I offered him a stick in passing. He immediately shoved the entire stick into his mouth and walked into the tent. Well, missing this is totally unacceptable, so I follow, to find him sticking out his tongue and shaking his head. He asked what was that, so I told him. He then said..." I just shoved it in my mouth, I am beginning to regret that". The cookies went pretty fast, but for some reason people don't trust me as much as before. People even went so.far as to sniff the cookies first...AWESOME!!!

Bwhahahahaha!  I adore R and his sense of humour (his awesome wife and he are both Monty Python fans too!)

And G (Army) - who recently received a water balloon launcher and 300 odd water balloons writes about his own adventure....

The water balloon launcher was a hit. It was after I launched one at one of my soldiers (at near point blank range), that I read that the balloons could be launched at up to 80mph. oops

 Hopefully the young soldier is okay - "Opps" indeed :D

So far no communication received from newest adoptee.  Hopefully his shipment of "Summer Sausage" reached him in an edible condition.  His June parcel will have a water balloon launcher of his very own! and with luck he will read the instructions first :D

April 29, 2012

April Milsupport round up

Well it's been an interesting month of Milsupport.

The Easter parcel reached SSgt G in time and he said he enjoyed sharing it with his team (no mention, however, about whether he tried on the bunny ears)

Late parcel went out to my Airforce double-adoptee (So nice I asked to adopt him for a second deployment). Luckily he's been zipping about the countryside (note... not sure *which* country or which side) and wasn't back for his mail for a few weeks so the lateness wasn't a factor - whew!

Postcards have been winging their way across to a Wounded Warrior based in Texas. I am hoping they make him smile just a bit.

Oh and I acquired a new adoptee via Soldiers Angels too - so far just an introductory letter, an Aussie postcard and a box of goodies (from the Soldiers' Angels store) have headed his way but I am working on his May Parcel as I type (more below)

May goodie parcels...

There is (as I type) a Water Balloon Launcher and 300 water balloons winging their way to SSgt G.  Hopefully it will be a great team toy and fun in the Hot Hot Hot of where-ever he is.

Available at Amazon.com


I did attempt to send a WBL to Airforce Adoptee however for some reason (a weird twist in the time/space continuum?) Amazon's supplier will ship to one AE/APO address but not the other AE/APO address..  Never mind - it's the last parcel for him so I can easily substitute an Aussie Sweets and Munchies pack instead and I am sure he won't mind.

For my Newest adoptee I am trying to order some "Summer Sausage" for him (okay so first I had to ask my "Go To Guys" exactly what the heck that was since we call it something different Downunder).  Hickory Farms have Military gift packs which is lovely - however I am once again having problems with "postcode does not exist for that area" error messages.  I have emailed them and will hopefully hear from them shortly.

Oh and in a RAK [Random act of Kindness(?)] I have shipped some Timtams, Caromello Koalas and Musk Sticks off to a new friend in the USA.  He advised that he's received them but nothing so far on taste tests (I am figuring 2 out of 3 will meet approval).  And being a Sweet and Lovely Pax I did not send any Vegemite to befuddle him further - Go Me! :D

**********
Also a reminder that the ANZAC pin & keychain competition ends on the 1st of May.  There are FIVE entries so far but I'd love to see a few more (just remember to reply at that post to enter).

April 23, 2012

ANZAC DAY 2012

Each 25th of April it is ANZAC day here in Australia - where the citizens of Australia and New Zealand stop and remember those that have fought for us in the wars; and those that will never return.

The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzac's [wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day]

And each year I like to give my Blog readers a chance to win one of the limited edition ANZAC pins/memorabilia that are issued each year.

This year it will be a double prize (pin AND Key chain)
The key-chain shows Simpson and his Donkey* (1915 - WWI) and the lapel pin commemorates the Bomber crew of the downed Lancaster Bomber "Stella Bowen" - lost 28th April 1944 (WWII)

The Reverse of the key-chain:-
Close up of the Lapel pin (sorry... a bit blurry)


Contest rules - you need to make a comment in this blog saying you would like to be in the draw.  On  the 1st of May I will write every one's names on a strip of paper and have a friend draw one from a hat.

Entrants can be ANYWHERE in the world (Downrange, Australia, New Zealand, USA etc) - the winner will be announced on my Blog and they will be required to supply me with their mail address. They will have 1 week to contact me (by the 7th of May) or a redraw will occur.


So Please! SHARE THE LINK with all your friends that might want a bit of Australian ANZAC history of their very own
********
Simpson and his donkey* The story of the soldier who rescued wounded men on Gallipoli (World War 1) with a donkey has been told to successive generations of schoolchildren. Simpson's actions are regarded as the highest expression of mateship, and he remains one of Australia's best known historical figures. 
Private Simpson found himself at ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915, and was killed less than four weeks later.
*********

And for my Adopted Soldiers downrange - I have one each of the below Slouch hat pin that I will post off to them this week.  Hopefully it will bring them luck

March 15, 2012

Trying to do that bit extra....

Lately I have been feeling like I am not giving quite enough of my time and energy to supporting the troops (both USA & Australian).

Currently I have 3 adoptees via Soldiers' Angels (deployed either Downrange or Overseas) however one went "No Mail" at the beginning of March and will be home (God Willing) safe and sound by the beginning of April.  My Other two adoptees are the super busy sorts so I hear only intermittently from them (I have no problem with this - rather that they concentrate on work AND contacting family than me - so just the occasional out-of-the-blue "I am still alive and well" email is all I need).

The Batch of Marines I adopted via AnyMarine.com have been silent for the last two months.  I am not sure if they have moved base etc (Prayers are being said for their continuing safety) so am mostly sending the odd postcard to stay (hopefully) in touch. Last silly item sent to them was my very favourite craft book "Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes".  Tried and tested across Iraq by many many adoptees (the book includes paper for plane construction so the guys don't need to worry about finding any resources).  [I am aware that some of you will be judging this as a 'frivilous' thing to supply however when given the choice - via emails months ago - their contact person requested "silly versus practical" to keep them smiling]


One area that I haven't really gotten involved with (so far) was helping send support and written "Hello's" to veterans and wounded warriors.  So tonight I have gone seeking for more involvement via Soldiers' Angels (they have some of the most amazingly organised support groups for all manner of groups - however I can't join the "Sewing team" - I sew but not in the quantity of items required nor do I think I can afford the regular shipping costs across the pond; Ditto for "Operation Top Knot" - which is hand made or donated Baby items for support of expectant military wives;  And I don't think my joining the "Baking team" would be a brilliant idea as my cookies would probably be brick hard after a few weeks in transit to the USA and then on to Downrange)

So I have searched through the available teams and believe I have found the very team that I want to give time and energy to -

The Wounded TLC Team
(extract from the SA information page on this group...)
The Wounded TLC Team is comprised of registered Soldiers’ Angels who want to make a big difference and lend support during the difficult time when a hero is ill or wounded. Knowing they continue to be remembered when no longer deployed can be a huge boost to wounded warriors who face months and years of recovery.
This team is the core of the Wounded Warrior Support efforts of Soldiers' Angels, and a vital part of helping the wounded recover both physically and emotionally for their challenges. Team members send cards and letters of support to service members who are sometimes suffering catastrophic injuries and need to know they are not forgotten. The only commitment is to send a card/letter a week. Individual packages are not sent, but sometimes there are requests for supplies for hospitals or a particular soldier's need.

If you know somebody who would appreciate support from the Wounded TLC Team, please email us. If you would like to join the WTLC Team and help make a difference in the life of a recovering wounded warrior, join Soldiers' Angels. Click here to get started! After you become an Angel, go to ApprovedAngels.com to sign up for the team.
And as of tomorrow I will begin to send letters and Australian postcards to a brave recovering trooper.  Hopefully he will get a kick out of receiving mail from "Downunder"

And this makes me a Happy Pax...

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.

July 31, 2011

July roundup

Wow - not quite sure where the month of July went but it's gone gone gone (well.. in just under 3 hours here in Australia it will be)

So just a bit of a recap of the July Pax zone

*Water Balloon launchers dispatched to all my adoptee's - no International incidents reported (so far)

* Birthday present organised for Adoptee #3

*Item of solar protection ordered for a friend - should be amusing when that one turns up

*The usual cards, postcards and letters sent off weekly - hopefully NOT boring their socks off

*Some friendship badges sent off to Mr Coffeypot - he has a reunion coming up shortly and said they would be treasured by his fellow shipmates



* Oh.. and some Musk sticks went off to the winner of the caption contest. I believe he is *thrilled* (or was it terrified?  Definitely one of those "T" words I'm sure)

I have also begun the gathering of items for the handmade Christmas wreaths and Koala Santa stockings that I will be making shortly.  All three of my current adoptee's will be home by December so it's forward planning for the next batch of bewildered American Troops (aka the lucky lucky souls - Bwhahaha :D)

In "at home" news - I have committed to almost $4K of new doors for the veranda - installation in about 5 weeks, which will segue nicely into my planned two weeks of recreation leave [which will be now spent painting the new doors/framework etc. Sadly finishing wasn't included in the price ;( ]

And my parents may return home from their extended bush holiday shortly.  I have received the occasional text message advising me of their continuing wellness, but no word on whether they have found fabulous gems or Lasseter's Reef  (gold & gem fossicking grey nomads can be cagey about that sort of information :D)