Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I
Gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
my daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you ........as you mattered to us.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
4oz unsweetened chocolate
2/3 c. honey
2 c instant mashed potatoes
½ c. brandy, rum, or orange juice
2 Tbs Vanilla
2 Tbs orange zest
2 ¼ c all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Grease and line a 9x5 pan. Preheat oven to 325(. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs until thick and light colored, fold in honey, mashed potatoes, brandy, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir in chocolate mix.
In a separate bowl, mix dry goods and stir 2c into chocolate mix. Mix should be thick, if not, add the rest of the flour mix. Pour into prepared pans. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and bake 60 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes. Turn pan on sides and pull out paper.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Apple Spice Bread
3 small apples, unpeeled, shredded
¾ cup boiling water
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cloves
1 Tbs and 1 tsp vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup packed brown sugar
Place apples in a small bowl, add boiling water. Cover and let stand until completely cool. Preheat oven to 350(F. Oil a 4x8 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices; mix well.
In another bowl, combine oil, milk, egg whites, vanilla, and brown sugar. Beat with fork or wire whisk until blended. Add to dry ingredients along with apple mix. Mix until all ingrediendts are moist. Place batter in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until done. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn on to rack to finish cooling.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
As you can see, I love to post pics of my beautiful Hagrid. I call this one, "NO! You Can't See MY Duckie!" He really seems to love his Duckie. And it is funny to watch NCIS with him. Ever since we got the duck, we've been calling it Duckie when we play with him, well there is a character on NCIS with the nickname Duckie. Ever time someone on the show says Duckie, he looks at the TV and then goes and gets his Duckie, well, unless he is asleep, or not paying attention. And a little tip, don't threaten to "get his Duckie", he doesn't seem to like it too well.
Well, I almost got to talk to my husband today... but then his work interfered and he didn't get to call. I think I will write my congressman, and everyone else's, to give more to the budget so my husband a direct line that I can call anytime, so that I can talk to him whenever I want. Cause if I can't have him home, I want to talk to him whenever I can. :D
I am almost done with the Yuletide shopping, my roommate managed to convince me to go into ToysRUs today to find a present for his three year old nephew. Not just any store, a toy store, and not just any toy store, but ToysRUs! During the Yuletide Seasons! A toy store!! OMG!!! I meant to have all of my Yuletide shopping done before the season started. I have one last gift to pick up, well technically two, but one I can't buy until I go up to my family's house, and the other I have on layaway, I just have to go pick it up. I am going to wait until like 3am, on a Tuesday night, when there is almost no one in the store and definitely NO screaming kids. I HATE screaming kids. And in Wal-Mart, they ALWAYS find me and follow me around the store. Oh well, I think that is a sign that I am not ready to have kids yet, or maybe it's a sign that I am not ready to have badly behaving children. :)
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
The 10 Dog Commandments for Responsible Owners
- My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you get me.
- Give me time to understand what you want from me.
- Place your trust in me. It is crucial to my well-being.
- Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, entertainment and friends. I only have you.
- Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice.
- Be aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
- Please don't hit me. I can't hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don't want to do that. You always win that fight.
- Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. I don't speak your language. Perhaps I'm not getting the right foods, or I've been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
- Take care of me when I get old. You will grow old, too. You'll hope someone cares.
- Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't bear to watch," or "let it happen in my absence". Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.
There is a reason dogs are called man's best friend, may we all take care of our friends and love them dearly.