Go Gators! myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics 2007 National Champs x 2

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Online Comments on my Letter to the Editor:

You have my support--I echo your sentiments as I fear my husband's upcoming deployment.

Rachael Sullivan
Mc Lean, VA

Thanks Ms Drylie and Thanks to your Daughter. We all wish her home, safe and soon.
Pacific, MO

Farmington, MI

My prayers are with you daughter and they rest of your family. My son just returned from Afghanistan, and I am holding my breath, waiting to see if he goes back. Whatever the future holds, we deal as it comes.

Rachael, the very same to you. We are all in this together.

Please, someone make this stop.
Orlando, FL

I agree with Mrs. Kerri Drylie. My son, my only child, is scheduled to go to Afghanistan this spring just in time for the Taliban spring offensive. He is proud to do his duty and serve but is he a 39 year old National Guardsmen, father of two teenagers with a new wife. He was a 19 year old Marine who served in Desert Storm. I cannot bear the fact so many young and middle aged men and women are rotating over and over through the Middle East. So few are doing the work for our country. If we are going to fight these wars, then there should be a draft. I dare the Congress and Senate to have the guts to declare a draft. Either we fight these wars with ALL our resources or we get out now!
Alexandra King
Placitas, NM

I as an Afghan really appreciate your daughter's service in my homeland. God may bless all of you. Thanks alot for serving of your daughter in my homeland. I really appreciate it.
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

I just love it how the family member always speaks for the service member. Let them speak for themselves and stop being selfish.

A service member in Afghanistan whose has also been here a year.
Kabul, Afghanistan

"servicemember wrote: I just love it how the family member always speak for the service member. Let them speak for themselves and stop being selfish.... "

So speak--How do you feel about the way things are going over there? You ready to redeploy to Iraq when your current tour is up in Afghanistan? What's your take on the overall attitude and morale of our troops? Do you have some insight into how the 2-war front is affecting them? Has your opinion of war itself changed since you landed in the middle of one? Speak to US--And perhaps you can persuade some of your fellow-troopers to do the same. Assuming that you actually are who you are and where you are: We want to hear what you have to say. We're plumb tired of all the horse manure shoveled up by the Pols and the Press...From an old Jarhead who cares about you all...


Thanks, Buck!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dear Editor:

Sunday, January 28, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of six other congressional Democrats, showed up in Afghanistan today to speak with President Karzai about future plans for his country. This plan includes lots of money and more troops.

My daughter is among the 3,200 soldiers with the 10th Mountain, 3rd Brigade being kept an additional four months in Afghanistan. It was time for my daughter to come home. Her year was up. She is tired, physically and mentally. She misses her family. As she was stationed in S. Korea her previous tour, by the time she does get home (safely, we pray) she would not have seen her younger brother and sister in almost two years.

Ms. Pelosi, I hope you and the rest of the Congress and Senate, yes even all of the citizens of this great country, appreciate the sacrifice my daughter and our family is making. I know my daughter is very proud of her country and is willing to serve, even if that meant being sent to Iraq. If my daughter needs to stay four more months to help reach our goals in Afghanistan, so be it. I have many, many pictures of the people, especially children, of Afghanistan, she has sent me over the past year. She says the country is beautiful, as are the people.

But after these four months, I want her to come back to the US. I do not want her to go to Iraq. Please, Ms. Pelosi, do what you can do to keep any more troops from going there. Especially those who have already served in Afghanistan.

My daughter is the bravest person I know, bar none. She has a very dangerous job I can't discuss. She has often stated she would stay 'as long as needed in the Middle East in order for her younger brother and his friends NOT to have to sign up or be drafted'.

Please bring my daughter and all of her fellow soldiers home soon.

Most sincerely,

Kerri Drylie

(This letter to the editor was printed in the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday, January 30th, My Word. A copy was also sent to Ms. Pelosi and President Bush)

Monday, January 29, 2007

"I'd love to kiss you, but I just washed my hair" ~ Cabin in the Cotton, 1932.

I am not shocked to hear mermaids are making a long overdue comeback. What took so long? What does flabbergast me is that terrorists would be concerned about mermaids.

If I failed to take you to see the mermaids when you were a child, please forgive me. An oversight on my part, I am sure it will come up one day when you are in therapy.

About an hour north of Tampa is a one of a kind tourist trap; excuse me, tourist destination and one of Florida’s oldest and most unique roadside attractions. The Seminole Indians named the spring “Weeki Wachee,” which means “little spring” or “winding river.” The spring is so deep the bottom has never been found. Each day, more than 170 million gallons of clear, fresh 72-degree water bubbles up out of subterranean caverns. Deep in the spring, the surge of the current is so strong that it can knock a scuba diver’s mask off. The basin of the spring is 100 feet wide with limestone sides and there, where the mermaids swim, 16 to 20 feet below the surface, the current runs a strong five miles an hour.

In 1946, Newton Perry, a former U.S. Navy frogman who trained SEALS to swim underwater in World War II, scouted out Weeki Wachee as a good site for a new business. More alligators and black bears lived in the area than humans. The spring was full of old rusted refrigerators and abandoned cars. After clearing out the junk, 'Newt' experimented with underwater breathing hoses and invented a method of breathing underwater from a free-flowing air hose supplying oxygen from an air compressor, rather than from a tank strapped onto the back. With the air hose, humans could give the appearance of thriving twenty feet underwater with no breathing apparatus. Presto, Weeki Wachee was born.

An 18-seat theater was built into the limestone, submerged six feet below the surface of the spring, so viewers could look right into the natural beauty of the ancient spring. Newt scouted out pretty girls and trained them to swim with air hoses and smile at the same time. He taught them to drink Grapette, a non-carbonated beverage no longer made, eat bananas underwater and do aquatic ballets.

In those days, cars were few. When the 'mermaids' heard a car coming, they ran to the road in their bathing suits to beckon drivers into the parking lot, just like sirens of ancient lore lured sailors to their sides. Then they jumped into the spring to perform.

In the 1950s, Weeki Wachee was one of the nation’s most popular tourist stops. The attraction received worldwide acclaim. Movies were filmed at the spring, like “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid.” (Mr. Peabody finds a mermaid while on a fishing trip, brings her home to live in his pond, much to the consternation of his long-suffering wife). Sights at the park included the mermaid shows, orchid gardens, jungle cruises, an Indian encampment and a new beach. The mermaids took etiquette and ballet lessons and all sorts of people stopped to see the mermaids, even Elvis.

Tragically, it appears Weeki Wachee mermaids are now in the terrorists’ cross hairs.

What? Yes, Weeki Wachee Springs is seeking federal funds after being named a top terrorism target, or a TTT, to those of you in the know. See the entire story here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Please check out the update on JR Salzman and remember him in your prayers.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"We'll always have Paris" - Casablanca, 1942.

Present-day northern Afghanistan was the former kingdom of Bactria, which was conquered by Alexander the Great in 327 BC.

What is remarkable about the Afghan treasures currently on display at the Musée Guimet in Paris is that they exist at all. For 27 years of war, this treasure trove known as the Bactrian Gold, has been squirreled away in a bank vault under a royal palace in Kabul.

“The heroes of this story include Muhammad Najibullah, Afghanistan’s last Communist president, who in 1989 ordered that the treasures be hidden. Curators and employees of the Kabul Museum who shared the secret also later resisted threats and torture by Taliban militants demanding entry into the safes containing the treasures. Thanks to this foresight and courage, then, Afghans can still boast a record of their ancient civilizations back to the Bronze Age, “ says Alan Riding of the New York Times.

“The highlight of the exhibition is a selection of 100 objects from among the 21,618 pieces of Bactrian gold discovered in 1978 by a Russian-Greek archaeologist, Viktor Sarianidi, at a site called Tillia-Tepe in northern Afghanistan. In six tombs from the 1st century A.D., gold objects that once decorated the bodies and robes of five women and one man lay untouched. Yet because relatively little is known about the Kushan dynasty which ruled the area at the time, the objects are in effect called upon to speak for themselves.”

Please read the rest of Mr. Riding’s excellent article here.

The national museum in Kabul was first looted by mujahadeen, then vandalised by the Taliban. As the chaos intensified in the late 1990s, tribal factions and then the Taliban attacked the vault trying to find the treasure they suspected was inside, but the inner doors stood firm. Bank employees "were beaten almost senseless ... but resisted." Ultimately local locksmiths opened the doors. Just a handful of people knew what was there - and finally, in 2003, the gold was uncovered, hidden in modest crates under piles of old currency. On a day in August, Afghan President Hamid Karzai provided a guided tour of the presidential palace's secret vault to show Afghans it had not been plundered.

Afghanistan's golden cache has never been shown in public to the Afghan people for security reasons. They have never seen it, which reminded me of a discussion you and I had about the wonderful treasures of the Vatican Museum.

‘Afghanistan, Rediscovered Treasures: Collections of the National Museum of Kabul’ runs through April 30, 2007. Guess what? After it's visit to France, the Bactrian Gold comes to the United States!

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world" ~ Casablanca, 1942.

It's been a week since my last post and I would like to say I was just 'hung over' from celebrating our second National Championship, but in all honesty, some days it's just hard to get up or get excited about anything. When I heard your 'travel arrangements' have been changed, it took all the wind out of my sails. However, I know how much you hate it when people feel sorry for themselves and you don't like whiners either.

So check this out first and please pray for Salzman.

Marsh and Daron spent a lovely evening with friends from school to celebrate Shanti's fifteenth birthday. A good time was had by all. We found Daron a beautiful dress at BCBG and Aunt Tami let her borrow her pearls as I still have not found mine. Marsh was fitted with a new tuxedo he plans on wearing a lot in the next few years (from his mouth to God's ear). Both looked smashing!

Daron is NOT taller than Marsh

The Quinceañera or Quince Años is, in some Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas, a young woman's celebration of her fifteenth birthday, which is celebrated in a unique and different way from her other birthdays. The closest equivalents to the Quinceañera in the English-speaking world are the sweet sixteen or, in more affluent communities, a debutante ball at the age of eighteen. In some cases, the birthday girl has a choice of a quinceañera, a trip, or a car. Shanti chose the party.

The traditional color of a quinceañera's dress is white but now in modern cultures they are letting the girl pick the color (most girls want to wear a pink dress and save the white dress for their wedding) and they wear a tiara because she is a princess in God's eyes that night. Shanti wore a beautiful white dress and the other girls wore either white or cream. Daron wore cream. Traditionally, the birthday girl holds a court with 14 girls (damas) and 15 boys (chambelanes) which including herself would equal 30 people, or, 15 couples (to represent each year). At the party the court does a waltz and a surprise dance.

Shanti in her tiara

The birthday girl dances with her father, but first changes from flats to heels to represent the first time she can wear them. I think I have seen Shanti in heels before, but that's okay. The Honoree might also receive a doll with the exact same dress she has on to signify this will be the last doll she ever will receive. In the past, the party signifies the girl is ready to be married, but in today's culture it is so the girl can date. Shanti didn't get a doll, but we gave her a white bear that played the tune "When You Wish Upon a Star". Oh, and money. I don't think her parents want her getting married any time soon.

Marsh escorted his little sister and danced the first dance with her. Evidently volleyball has not given Daron any dancing skills as Marsh claims 'dancing with Daron is like dancing with a chair'. We may have to work on this before next year's Homecoming dance.

Some other traditions observed in the celebration may include the giving and throwing of a quince doll. The display doll signifies the young lady's last doll as a child and the throwing doll, usually a Barbie type, is thrown by the young lady to the other female children in attendance much as the garter is thrown in a wedding. No Barbies were harmed during Shanti's party. The celebrant is wearing flats, or flat shoes for the celebration but after the inaugural dance the father of the young lady, who is sitting in a chair in the center of the dance floor, removes her flats and puts her high heels on signifying her becoming a young lady. Shanti DID change her shoes, but has always been a young lady.

Marsh had a great time and used the evening to pick out a date for prom. More on that much later.

Call me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Way to go Gators!

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