Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Happy Joyous

First, since this will be my last post of the year, I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays!

Next, you may have noticed an absence of postings lately. (Well, at least I hope you noticed — lol!) All I can say is I just haven't been in the mood. For anything. Hahaha!

My Marine son's visit during his leave was wonderful. We spent a lot of time together and, of course, it went far too quickly. On December 7, he started combat training in North Carolina, where he's been sleeping nearly outside without heat. It's been in the 20s there at night. So, in other words, my Florida boy has been freezing his you-know-what off. ;-)

There's very little communication while they're training, not even the snail mail letters like from boot camp. But they do have their cellphones and sometimes get to make a quick call as a reward or if given a little free time. I was thrilled to get a 5-minute call last Thursday. I was even more thrilled to learn that his group is being given on-base liberty for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — a rarity for this stage of training. So, you know where I'll be heading on 12/23. Yep, an 11-hour drive to Camp Geiger, North Carolina. We got another, longer, call from him on Saturday and although he's still freezing, he's having a pretty good time shooting and blowing things up every day, just for fun … er, I mean, TRAINING. ;-)

My younger son is going with me on the Road Trip. My husband is staying behind to care for the dogs. So I will actually have both sons for Christmas. This will probably be the last time for a few years, if not forever. They do grow up and leave the nest, and the military life ahead for my older son will be unpredictable at best. Excuse me while I grab my tissues. Again. ;-)

I've spent all weekend making hundreds of Christmas cookies, which I'll be bagging up to take with me, and then handing out to Marines without family visiting them. That's helped to put me more in the Christmas spirit. Knowing I'll have both of my boys for the holiday has helped a lot too. ;-)

The sewing mojo has been conspicuously absent, until today. I don't spend much time on Pattern Review anymore, but I happened to catch this thread this morning, where Vibek is looking for a pattern for this jacket she saw at Nordstrom's:

A suggestion for Kwik Sew 3764 was given, and I'm going to shamelessly copy Vibek and Nordstrom's, when I get back from North Carolina. I've already ordered the pattern (and one more!) and I have the perfect fabric in the stash.

This also ties into the Gigi/Carolyn inspired A Jacket a Month sew-along going on at Stitcher's Guild. I know I won't sew 12 jackets, but 4 or 5 would not hurt my wardrobe at all. Plus, I really liked having a head start on my winter wardrobe from all the sewing ahead of time I did for my trip to Parris Island. There's a lot to be said for planning ahead. Especially during a cold snap last week here in Florida.

So, Vibek, if you're reading, thank you. I owe the return of the mojo to you. But I'm not going to hurry it — I still have lots to do before I leave on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Home on Leave

We're home with our new Marine! Our trip was good, and Family Day and Graduation were fun. After the Private was dismissed, we drove up to my mom's in Virginia for Thanksgiving. We left Virginia Saturday and arrived back in Florida in the wee hours of Sunday morning. The Marine passed out in the car at 9 PM, being used to getting up at 0400 and to bed at 2100.

I was *very* sick the week before we left and had a relapse in SC the day before Family Day, but I made it. I never did have any pie on Thanksgiving — that's how sick I was. lol But my son made up for me. I've never seen him eat SO much and SO fast. And he hasn't stopped yet.

Apart from being an eating machine, he is exactly the same young man who left for Parris Island 3 months ago. Which is good. Many teenagers do change at boot camp, but Tyler is older and already had the Marine persona and values, so I wasn't really expecting major changes.

He did great and says boot camp was easier than he thought it would be, even fun sometimes. He earned the highest rating of Expert on the rifle range (you can see his badge above), and excelled at all physical and written tests. We're very proud of him!

I'll be scarce for the next week as I catch up with both my son and work. Being down for the count for two weeks has left me with a big pile. The sewing room will gather dust for a while longer.

The Marine will be off again on December 7 for his combat training in North Carolina for a month, then he'll be off to his first school in Pensacola and somewhere else for the next school, the location of which he'll find out after he's through the first school. We won't be seeing much of him for the next few years, but at least he will have his cell phone and laptop back.

I'll leave you with this photo taken at my mom's. He's not entirely pressed out or wearing his ribbon and badge, but we *had* to see him in his Dress Blues. ;-)