Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Valour IT - Fundraising (II)

Valour IT is having its annual fundraiser. Due to problems with Blogger and the widget, I cannot post their cool link and spot to join on my side bar, as I did last year. So - I'll just put it Here.

and Here is where you join the Army Team... Well, you ARE, right?.

and Here is where you donate.

For those of you who don't know Valour IT - it's a charity that was started when a wounded man who blogged, the famous ChuckZ (then Capt, now Maj. Chuck Ziegenfuss) was trying to stay in contact with his readers. After driving his wife Carren to distraction trying to tell her what to write, erase, write (her story about this will make any wife laugh in sympathy) he said he wished he had Dragon Naturally speaking or something like it on his computer. Someone read that on his blog, and sent it to him. This programme allows the user to speak into a mike and the words appear on the screen. To this old milspouse - it's just magic! (my Dr. uses it... kinda cool) Anyway, everyone realized this was a fantastic thing for the wounded! they could stay in touch with their friends, they could be amused, informed, and have some independence as well. No need to dictate to someone, no need to wait until someone can help with it...

So dig deep, please. If you can give in Team Army to bring our count up, great. If you want to give to any of the other teams, great. But give.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Knit One, Purl One - to keep a soldier warm

X posted at Left Face and ParentsZone.

Operation Gratitude has a great site, and does some superb work. Right now, there is a push to send hats, scarves and helmet liners to Afghanistan. It's getting cold there already, Kabul tonight is in the 30s. In the mountains, it's going to be colder, and it's only October. The link here will give you patterns and information. There are some more patterns on Ravelry and other sites, I'll put them below.

There are some rules you need to follow, and these are not suggestions, these are mandatory. First - NO acrylic or rayon or other artificial yarns. It must be 100% wool. Acrylic melts when it burns. When it gets wet, it gets cold and nasty. Wool, even when wet, keeps the body warmth in. I'm told that the Cascade 220 superwash is warm, soft and washable. There are other washable wools too. Second - muted colours. tans, browns, Army green, black, deep maroon if you must, dark blue if you want to send to airforce.

Other sites - patterns

USMC helmet liner

Helmet liner

troop hat

Scarves - any pattern you want, plainer the better and long enough to go around the neck once and get tucked in. A Gaiter is great too. You know how miserable it is when your neck gets cold!

Get the needles smoking - let's get these guys something warm, something made with care and gratitude. The address to send to by December 5 is
Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, California 91406

If you want to, you can put in your name and email address, enclose a card, or anything else you think they'd like - the list is on the Operation Gratitude page, but those of us in the milspouse community know what to send, right?

See you at the Yarn Store (if you live in the DC area and want to get together, comment and we'll knit together.)


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

accepted - an offer on the house

********** UPDATE:

The sale has collapsed, and we are happy about it. Getting jerked around the way we were - going that far in the hole. paying their closing costs. now another thing, oh and then this... and maybe that.... NO. Basta! Enough! they kept telling us what good Christians they were... huh. sure. taking advantage of a family that had to move because the service member had to PCS.. that's just Such a Good Christian Value? huh??? not the last time I looked!

OK. so we accepted an offer on the house - a very very very very low offer - because there isn't anything else out there. So now the insanity begins. Tenants move out, we take care of the encroachment on the way over there part of the property (neighbour, please sign the ground lease already!) get the rest of the stuff out of the basement that belongs to us, change locks... so much to do, and do it long distance too. Fill out HAP paperwork and hope.

sigh. years of building, working on the house for years - poof! gone. and while I'm glad it is sold, I'm mourning that future we had envisioned a dozen years ago, living on 10 acres in the country, chickens scratching, wood stove fire simmering, canning and drying the fruits of our garden - poof. gone. sad.