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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Ladybug Picnic

Posted for no other reason than it makes me smile.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Heidi is coming home!

Friday, June 29th, 2007
Jet Blue flight #661, arriving at 7:02 p.m.,
Orlando International Airport

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Nancy did not like to be told that she was pretty. She preferred to be called interesting." ~ The Secret of Red Gate Farm, 1941.

High on a bookcase in the study, resides one of my most prized possessions ~ my Nancy Drew books. My mother gave me her volumes and over the years I spent my allowance and baby sitting money adding to my collection. When Heidi came along, she and I added more and among the three of us, countless hours of our childhoods were spent reading about Nancy’s exploits.

Capable, level-headed, poised, independent, gentle, well-mannered, tough yet feminine, socially active, athletic and interested in the arts, Nancy - a tall, blonde - spent her life looking for trouble wherever trouble might be. Though her mother died when she was a small child, Nancy had the backing and respect of her father, Carson Drew, a famous Mid-West lawyer, and with his help and the help of her ‘chums’ George, Bess and Ned, Nancy solved over 350 mysteries during her seventy five year career. Remarkably, Miss Drew never worked for a living, but the job skills she acquired and the wisdom she obtained would come in handy for any woman trying to make her way in this world.

Everything I ever really needed to know I learned from Nancy Drew.

Be independent. However, when you can’t do it by yourself, at least be in charge.

Keep fresh batteries in the torch (flashlight) and a magnifying glass in the glove compartment. Since no one wears gloves anymore, there should be plenty of room.

Traveling at high speeds on gravel roads, breaking and entering, trespassing into abandoned bungalows and musty attics, sneaking around ivy-covered mansions and castle dungeons, opening locked doors, chests and drawers ~ all are acceptable when trying to solve a mystery.

When helping the underprivileged (or friends for that matter), be undaunted by the money or time spent.

Take a date to prom capable of moving fallen trees.

Fulfill social obligations and attend scheduled community functions before heading out to do your sleuthing.

Good relations with the house keeper are very important, though they are often laid up with an injury or out of town when you really need them.

Keep the phone number for the orthopedist close to the phone, or if you have a cell phone, put him/her on speed dial.

A flower garden keeps you busy between cases.

At all times be prepared to ride a horse, drive a boat, pilot a plane, fix your own car (or find someone capable enough to do it), break out of a closet, scuba dive or tap dance in Morse code.

Beware of shady characters.

Even though you might have perhaps had a volatile relationship with law enforcement in your early years, the police can come in handy should you ever be threatened by villains later in life.

An attractive swim suit and a change of eye-catching clothing should be kept close at hand for emergencies.

Being a ‘daddy’s girl’ has its perks.

Should you find your friend in a predicament, move heaven and earth to get her out.

Having an attorney in the family may come in handy should you need assistance with titles, stocks, bonds, wills and securities fraud.

Store the family jewels in a safety deposit box.

Roadside tearooms and quaint inns are better than Burger King and a La Quinta.

There may come at least one time in your life where you will be forced to obstruct justice by harboring ‘wanted’ but seemingly innocent fugitives in your home.

Never accept land won in a contest.

Even the most mundane of towns can be home to burglars, jewel thieves, smugglers, kidnappers and organized crime syndicates.

Grateful friends give lovely gifts as thank yous.

Being proficient with a gun/revolver is important during times you need to threaten or kill dangerous wildlife.

Always have at least one friend who is forever on a diet and one friend who is a tomboy. You will be able to compliment them both and keep them grounded.

Spend time with a man who understands what your priorities are, yet remains patient. He should allow you to control the relationship even if it means last minute changes in plans. He should be a college graduate and play a sport, preferable football.

Having a convertible is never frivolous as long as it is a Mustang. Trade it in often for newer models making sure to get a variety of colors.

Eavesdropping is appropriate and often necessary.

Fashionable frocks, pearls and high heels are a staple in any woman’s wardrobe. Tasteful suits should be accompanied by a matching hat and shoes should always coordinate with your handbag.


"If worry were an effective weight-loss program, women would be invisible." Nancy Drew

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

David 'D.J.' Emery Jr., of Bellefonte Receives his Purple Heart

Back in April, I told you about DJ Emery and his wife Leslie.

Marine Corporal David Emery Jr. of the Battalion Landing Team of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit was serving in Iraq. David, aka "DJ", graduated high school in 2003. DJ's unit was extended past their rotation date of January 1st and he was hoping to make it home in time for his child's birth.

On February 7th, 2007, DJ was at a checkpoint near a crowded place when a terrorist walked up to the Marines. DJ's Battalion Sergeant Major, Joseph Ellis (a recon Marine of 23 years), suspected that a bomber was approaching and put himself between the bomber and his Marines.

The bomber quickly detonated himself, instantly killing Sergeant Major Ellis. The Sergeant Major's sacrifice absorbed enough of the blast to barely keep DJ from being killed. DJ was hit hard in his abdomen - an artery was cut causing kidney failure - both legs and one arm were shattered, and, in fact, his wounds were so severe that doctors didn't think that he'd make it. On the 18th, DJ was strong enough to make the trip from Germany to the US (Bethesda). DJ is still fighting for his life.

CarePages sends me daily updates on DJ and his progress. Honestly, I don't know how he has done it. There were points in time I thought every update might bring bad news, but by DJ's will power and that of his mother, Connie and wife, Leslie, and the prayers of those who love him, DJ is making slow, very slow, progress.

DJ finally gets to hold his new baby girl, Carlee.

President Bush presents Marine Sgt. David D.J. Emery Jr., of Bellefonte with a Purple Heart Friday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. I think the President invited DJ to visit him at the White House when he is able.

DJ is moving this week to Walter Reed and will probably sometime in the near future be at Fisher House or a facility like it.

Go back and pledge. You need to and you know you want to.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Next October, When I Run the Boston Marathon....

Okay, so I am not running in a marathon, Steven Kane is. Steven is a member of the Nebraska National Guard and he is running the Chicago Marathon on October 7th. All 26.2 Miles, yikes! You know my opinion on running....

Oh yes, and he is training while serving in Iraq. Go here to see his training program.

Go here to pledge.

All proceeds go to the Fisher House, which provides "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to their soldier during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.This is the most worthy cause I have found in a long, long time.

Remember JR Salzman? He and his family spent time at the Fisher House.

What are you doing just sitting there? Go pledge.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Last Days of Chez JBAD

It's taken me a few weeks as you can see to come down out of the clouds. Heidi is finally back in the US of A, but not really home. That momentous event won't happen until later this month and then we only get her for a few weeks. I refuse to be anything but content and grateful, especially when soldiers continue to die every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, when there are soldiers still missing, soldiers fighting for their lives in military hospitals and other military families are still separated from their loved ones. So as you can see, it's a 'mixed bag' of emotions ~ extreme delight at our good fortune and guilt that we are the fortunate ones.

This doesn't mean I am not so happy I just about can't stand it. Heidi looks fabulous and I don't think I have seen her in such high spirits in ten years. Honestly. It's a combination of a lot of factors I am sure, some I won’t even begin to try to understand or explain, but there it is.

Last Saturday evening, I flew into Syracuse and spent the night in one of the worst hotels I have ever had the bad luck of finding. Only by reminding myself that this room would seem like a palace to most of our soldiers serving around the world did I keep from having a pity party for myself. Sunday morning, I traveled up to Watertown and the Ft. Drum area only getting lost once which if you know the way from the airport to the fort will seem like quite the feat.

Heidi’s dear friend, Sherry, met me for lunch, gave me the grand tour of Watertown and graciously took me to the base where I produced my birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, Social Security card, Sam’s Club membership and library card for a pass. Finally, Sherry and I sited McGrath Gym where the welcome home festivities would be held later that night. I would have difficulties finding this gym and the way off the base for the rest of the weekend.

I arrived at McGrath Gym two hours before the 10:00 p.m. scheduled arrival. Just my luck I figured, if I didn’t, for once the Army would be early and I would miss the entire thing. Imagine that - sixteen months, thousands of miles, hundreds of tears, terrifying days, weeks and I would miss it? I think not.

They at last marched in, four rows, hundreds of soldiers, all dressed alike, all looking ahead, caps down over their eyes. I couldn’t find Heidi anywhere. The short, ten minute ‘ceremony’ and I don’t recollect anything that was said. In conclusion, the commander said, “and so they are dismissed.....” The rest of us knew there would be music, the national anthem, a prayer and then the rush, but not one little girl, a daughter maybe two years old, who ran out from the crowd of anxiously waiting family members and friends. She ran straight to her dad and hugged him around the knees, not letting go. It was what we all wanted to do, but couldn’t. I envied her. The national anthem, lots of tears, and finally the rush to find each other.

It was a magnificent few days. Like a dream. I cannot believe Heidi is really home. She kept my camera to use for a few days (weeks), so I don’t yet have the pictures I took of her and the short, sweet welcome home ceremony. Nevertheless, she has sent me some pictures I will share with you and when she finally comes home, maybe I can spare a few moments of her time with you.

Thank you for being there with me all of this long, difficult, proud time, dear friends. I will never forget.

Heidi’s Mom

Heidi found this beautiful spot in JBAD, someone's cherished garden. She says she came here often and dreamed of home.

Our soldier, we are very proud of you, Heidi.

Most of the crew, all are safe and home at last.

The Colonel and Heidi at her re-enlistment ceremony. Colonel says it was appropriate to have it on the volleyball court, Heidi's second home.

Heidi and Rob