A Mom Needs to Brag and Congratulate her Son...

                                                         March 1992

20 years ago I remember putting my Son on a flight to Juneau, Alaska.
He was 19 and a new graduate from the United States Coast Guard Boot Camp.
Although I knew it was the best decision he could make, I had no idea
he was in for the duration.
I remember standing at the airport crying like a baby as I watched the airplane carry him away from me. It was bitter sweet to say the least.
But as a mom, I'll always remember Tom as a sweet 9yr old full of questions  with a never ending love for life and adventure.

Today Tom is an Officer. They call him 
"Lieutenant Tom Pauser"
He works for Homeland Security and inspects the incoming ships that carry goods from  foreign lands as they come into the ports of America.

During his  early years with the Coast Guard he was one of the guys who jumped out of the Choppers to rescue people from the water and  ice packed mountains of the Alaskan wilderness.

He was so good at his job, the Coast Guard gave him the cover shot of their magazine.
It said, "If your in need of saving, this is the man to call"


Later in his career he chose to attend OCS and did a second stint in boot camp to become an officer.  The graduating class took the "USCG Eagle" from it's home port in Connecticut, to Spain.  Here he is climbing one of the masts during his final exercise.  I remember his telling me "That sailing, was a thrill of a lifetime".

USCG Baroque Eagle

Here is Tom  sitting at his desk,  in the Command Center. As a mom I can see in his eyes that he is happy with his decision to make the Coat Guard his career.

Although Tom can retire now at the age of 39 he chose to sign up for another 5 years. He, along with his wife and daughter,  now live in the icy, snowy, windy city of Juneau, Alaska.  They could not be happier!

He told me "Mom if I retire now, what will I do with my life"

My heart is filled with pride and joy for my boy and I would like to say,

Congratulations to you Tom for a job well done!

"Bravo Zulu"



Photography Action Shots

Action shots always amaze me. This one is of my grandson. The photo was taken by my Niece with his dad happily tossing him into the air.  
Makes me smile every time I see it.

The photo was taken in Cozumel Mexico this past month.

Gogo is just 18 months old and is as active as his dad. This young man is really my  sisters grandson and I guess in the family line I can also call him grandson.
For being just 18 months old this little guy has been around the world 5 times. 
He has been on 4 cruises and to numerous American Historical and State Park sites. Not to mention world tourist spots.
He has traveled more in his young life, than most do in an entire lifetime.

Gogo's parents have been living in Ohio while his dad finished his MBA and will be flying back to the Middle East this weekend. I'll sure miss him and his parents being close,  but hope to see them once a year when they return for vacations.
It makes me sad that my entire family lives so far from me,  but I'm happy to say we are closer than most families and see each other often.
One great thing will happen in a a few months, my daughter #2 will be coming back to the states with her military husband and their three small boys, from their 3 year jaunt to Guam.  I have made sure the boys know grandma. Every two months I sent a care package with items they could not buy and numerous gifts in those boxes.  It was turning into, "Did grandma send the box yet"?   Their new duty station will be in Oklahoma and is only a 3-4 hr flight for me to go visit them. They also will come see me often I'm sure.

My entire life, I've always wondered what it would be like to have  family living down the street from me.. not in other countries or states?
Would it be a pleasure or a hindrance?

So is life!

"Have a great weekend"


Imagine and you can make it! Garage Sale Chair into Something Special....

If you can "Imagine It", it will happen.

Turning a thrift store find into something special is so rewarding.
I wanted a spot in my bedroom,  to sit and do my needle work for quite some time, so I hit the garage sales and thrift stores.
Found it!!  $5.00 is a good price!

The paint on this chair was so old and sticky so I had to do a bit of prep work before painting. Also I had to remove the side panels of rattan or what ever it was?

After removing the existing cover and the side panel I used the hand sander to take off as much of the paint and rough edges as possible.
Primer and spray paint turned it into something special.

New stuffing,  batting and fabric.

After sitting in my new chair I realized a foot stool was needed.   After searching through garage sales with no luck,  I took a few floor boards, cut them to size, added unfinished legs that I also primed and spray painted.

Took an old pillow, cut it in half, covered the new stool with batting and fabric.


My new needle work station.
Now that I see the photo I'm thinking a new floor lamp is in order.  I might even just spray paint the old one and cover the shade?  That will be a future project.

Thank God for Spray Paint!  I imagine a lot of DIY'ers are saying to whoever invented it, 
Bless You!

Imagine this...
 Now I can sit and knit in comfort.

* * * * *

 I'm linking up to


The Sponge Docks


Welcome to the "Sponge Docks" in beautiful
Tarpon Springs, Florida

My sister and I took a walk down the main street of the sponge docks for an arts and craft show and what a cold morning it was.  Dozens of tents were set up with crafters and artisans selling their wares.
The one craft that got my attention were every day bottles with the bottoms cut out and then they were turned into lights to hang in the yard, or in your homes.  You could use tea lights or the little LED lights.
The crafter decorated some of the bottles with stones or etchings. Each hung by simple chains.  I wish you could see them in person.

The Sponges

 Greek immigrants  expanded and refined sponging in
Tarpon Springs. The individual who is responsible for the Greek involvement
is John Corcoris, who arrived in Tarpon in 1896 as a sponge buyer for a New York firm. He went to work for John Cheyney, who financed Corcoris' early efforts to make the industry more efficient. In 1905 Corcoris introduced the first mechanized sponge fishing boat to Tarpon Springs and brought in 500 Greek divers from Kalymnos, Halki, Symi, Hydra, Spetse, Aegena and other islands. Other Greeks soon followed and businesses were established to serve the Greek community, including restaurants, candy shops, coffee houses, and grocery stores. Sponge merchants and brokers then came to Tarpon, and their presence helped to create a well-integrated industry. They built boats, loaned money to boat owners, and supplied tools and equipment to the entire sponge fleet. In 1906 the Sponge Exchange Bank was established, and in 1908 the Sponge Exchange was founded. Profits from sponging also financed other businesses, such as the Sponge Exchange Cigar Company.
The area is rich in history.

Dozens of shops sell the sponges that come in from the Gulf each day. 
  The sponges have so many uses.

This sponge is still attached to the rock it was found on.

Once they come in off the boats they are washed and hung 
in the sun to dry.

Shop after shop sell the sponges, in so many shapes and sizes.

These sponges were made into the fragrant soaps.
I have been using the sponges from the docks, to exfoliate my skin for the 6 years I've lived in the area.

Some were used in the shops to display other wares.

The shop owners also had a bit of fun with the sponges.

If your ever able to visit "Tarpon Springs" don't forget to take a stroll down the "Sponge Docks". It's really interesting and there are many  authentic Greek Restaurants and pastry shops.

We rushed into this little restaurant to warm up from the very chilly weather and had the most wonderful lunch.
Greek food is "good"!

I hope your weekend is going as well as mine!