Friday, August 28, 2009

I Will Never Forget This Day.

When you see your son for the first time as a United States Marine it is the most overwhelming feeling in the world. Standing before us were 350 dedicated young men that wanted to be Marines. They were not drafted or forced but there is something inside them that drove them to serve our country. Some wanted to get out of the house, maybe away from a bad situation and start a new life, but most where there to serve and protect. You don't become a Marine to work an office job!
At our graduation there were young Marines representing 15 different countries. Wow! That amazed me. They had immigrated to the U.S., become Americans and now where going to fight for her. There was one young man from Nairobi and when asked what he did their in Nairobi he replied "just tried to survive." Then I really understood what America is all about. It's our freedom that others want. Some have risked it all to come to America. The dream to be free and pursue a life of prosperity, to raise their family in safety and practice their religion freely. Most who come here want to be American and their sons and daughters were raised to also love this country and be willing to fight for it. Too bad you don't see that on the news.
Then the Sargent said that 99% of the new Marines had graduated high school and 2 were college graduates, one of those being my son. That made me cry and give thanks. I am so proud (and short about $70 grand) but it was worth it.

Then there are what I will call the spoiled Americans. I saw a lot of them at graduation. Not in the Marines but in their family members, the rude and disrespectful who where born here. Some where even second generation Americans and how quickly they forgot what their grandparents had sacrificed. That made me cry also.

I saw 3 young Hispanic men acting tough and stepping on the parade ground which is sacred. The Marines keep that ground sacred in respect for all the men and women that have lost their lives serving our country and walked on that ground. They are our grandfathers, fathers, sons and neighbors. So you don't step on it, especially if you are a civilian. But these punks were playing a game of Look, I can do anything I want including disrespecting the parade grounds and breaking rules on a very important day. It made me mad. So in typical Melinda fashion, which drives my husband crazy but he wasn't there, I said to them, "Hey, I thought the parade ground was sacred!" to which this lowlife replied "Hey, I did my time," showing me his tattoo that appeared to be done in crayon. So I said. "Then why don't you show it?" At each corner of the parade ground a Marine was stationed and as we walked past the young man I said "Watch these guys - they are disrespecting the parade grounds" to which he said, politely "Ma'am, there are a lot of them here today." My heart sank and again I wanted to cry.
Not every one there had the same emotions I was feeling about their son, husband or brother. But I still saw the best of America standing before us on that sacred parade ground. We are the land of the free and the brave because Americans from many countries have given the lives for her throughout our 233 year history. It's just more precious to some than others.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Starting A New Project.........

I am starting a new quilt in honor of my son, the soon to be Marine. I have been going through pictures on the web studying what a Marine is, and stands for, to get design inspiration for the quilt. Getting some background will help. Plus, I wanted to use my new hand dyes. I had no idea how awesome the Marines are. I have been avoiding the subject because i was afraid I would lose it.
I first had to get over the shock of my only child wanting to give his life for our country (and all the assholes that are running it). Sorry, did I say that?
But I am so proud of theses Marines.
When I was 10 or 12 the Viet Nam war was going strong. I knew nothing of war or politics, only what I heard on TV. If it wasn't about Barbie, the Flintstones or the Beatles, I had no idea.
I thought all Marines were jar heads and I still don't know why. We lived close to the El Toro Marine base. It's closed now. My Uncle Donny was a Drill Sargent at Camp Pendelton after his time in Nam. I had no idea as a kid what my uncle did. I just knew he was a jar head and that wasn't as cool as the Flintstones. I was a deep and thoughtful kid.
I have a whole new respect for Uncle Don. I think of him a lot now that my son will soon be a jar head. Its funny how life turns. Let's just say God is Good!

Today, I have trouble watching the news because its either all fluff or all lies. Have you noticed that they never talk about what is really going on in the middle east in any detail? It's like it doesn't exist any more. Denial is a wonderful thing! America has a lot of it right now.
I want it all over more than anyone. August 21st would be great!
OK, if you have made it this far in my rambling, bless you.
Here is my baby. You put your son or daughter here in the pictures.
Take the time and read up on the History of the Unites States Marines and voice your opinion! That is what they are fighting for: freedom. It will make you so proud to be American.
And thank you, Uncle Donny for what you did for our country. OohRah!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

To Dye or Not To Dye

I have try with all my power not to go there. I have always known it would be trouble. "Stay Away", I would say to myself. "You might get addicted. That's the last thing you need,"would go through my head.
Well, it happened 2 days ago while I was cooking dinner at the same time. ( I like to multi task) We where having pasta of course. It started with, I will just tack this fabric over the stretcher bars and see what happens.
I let my guard down only for a minute and the next thing I know, I was up to my elbow in the most beautiful color you have ever seen. Paint and dye were flying. I was in true artist heaven. Yes i said it. I am now painting fabric. OK, fine. I truly can't stop. Then I hear Joe say, "is dinner ready yet?" which brought me back to reality.
The feel of the paint brush in my hand, watching the color flow across the fabric was the best. Even the washing and ironing, was all a thrill. That's when you know you are in big trouble.
Now what do I do? I have been the queen of commercial fabrics. All my art quilts have been made with store bought fabric or I have bought from other hand dyers.
But I haven't been able to find just the right colors for my color palate. So the only way to get just the right colors is to do it myself. Which has been dangerous in the passed. That is how I started a wallpaper and fabric design business 15 years ago.
So now I can't wait until my next bolt of white fabric comes in. How fast you go through 12 yards of fabric while making pasta, is amazing.
Last night Joe asked me if i saw the patio chairs on the deck? That is where I was painting.
Can you believe that somebody got green paint on them. Oops!

Today I will be cleaning up my mess with bleach. But after that, I am going to the studio to make my coneflower and sunflowers with my NEW hand dyed and painted fabrics.
My motto has always been, "If you can't find it. make IT!"