264 days have passed since this whole assignment started. That is alot of time. With about 42 days left until leave, it actually seems to be getting more difficult to not focus on how much I miss Shawn. But the excitement we all feel is growing as the days pass. Over the years as Shawn has had to leave us to fulfill military assignments, I have thought alot about single parents and those who gracefully live with lonliness daily. I am grateful to the many bright examples there are of people who 'forget themselves and get to work'. I am so completely grateful as well for the vein of peace that connects each day to the next. Just grateful-that's all.
Yesterday at Wal-Mart I had a lovely encounter with a cute old lady. As I was grabbing a bag of celery, she stopped me and said, "Now do you know how to pick good celery?" I thought for a mintue. I know how to pick out good produce in just about every category-but not celery! And though celery is not usually the determining ingredient in many receipes, I thought it might be a good time to learn. So she told me that good celery is found purely by weight. After watching her give me SEVERAL examples (and a pop quiz) of right and wrong celeries, she marched me over to the freezers. She said, "This world is getting crazier and crazier! The price of peppers is 10 cents higher than it was last year!" I did realize the price of peppers had gone up but not enough to avoid them completely. So she showed me a frozen bag of cut, mixed peppers for a dollar 37. She had me smell the bag (which smelled really good), and guarunteed that what the picture diplayed on the bag was exactly what I would get inside. None of this marketing hanky panky that runs wildly out of control on some packaging. I was actually grateful because I am picky over what I buy frozen vs. fresh. Anyway, the peppers are great and it eliminates any waste. As we walked out of the aisle, she yelled over to the freezer re-stocking lady, "Just converted another one." I wondered how many women she had shared this tid-bit with. I thanked her and as I went on my way, with a wink she said, " We women have to stick together." What a darling woman she is! One day I hope to be that little old lady in Wal-Mart. And I think my focus will be something like eggplant...
You may be wondering why all of a sudden is Shawn posting all these pictures...well a helpful young specialist, with the look of 'this guy is so old' helped me learn how to use Potoshop. So here are the pictures I always wanted to show but didn't know how.
In the last picture Jill posted for me, I'm standing on a portion of roof where the second bomb hit. This palace was built in response to his declared victory over the US when he was forced out of Kuwait. He saw it as a victory! So what do you do when your people are starving to death? Spend millions on yet another palace. The room I'm standing in is bigger than a regulation sized football field. The palace has 180 rooms and has a duplicate on the opposite side. There is marble everywhere and extremely poor workmanship. I'm surprised they are still standing. Keep in mind this is one of 80 such palaces that he had built during a 20 year rule. In the adjacent palace, he was hoarding all the food for oil supplies and medical supplies the world health org. was sending. They never made it to the people. Over 500 thousand people died (mostly women and children) within a ten mile radius from where I am standing. Hussein also brought on a drought when he diverted Baghdads entire water supply for a month while he filled his private lakes in the compound I now work in.
This is Shawn in the Victory over America Palace. It was never finished and was bombed twice at the beginning of the war. I wonder if its given name came with a touch of overzealousness. Shawn is doing well, though it is the hottest part of the year now. Rockin' the camo babe!