Tonight’s post will be fairly brief.  It is supposed to be a Friend of the Day post but it seems that a lot of you friends are a little shy and don’t want to spontaneously share.  I do hope some of you will reconsider and contact Naomi  be****@we*****.au so she can get back to you with the list of questions.  Aussie Heroes has developed into a lovely online community but it is nice to be able to know a little more about each other than just a name on the blog, usually at the top of a picture of a quilt on the Quilts of the Week posts.

I am flat out today working on a quilt top that I want to get pieced ASAP so that it can go off for quilting so I only have time for a short post and most of it will be business items of one sort or another.

First up 

Some of our first quilts have arrived on board HMAS TOOWOOMBA!

This morning I received this message from the chaplain

Hi Jan-Maree,
just a quick email.  We are at sea half way through our second patrol.  We received some mail yesterday and a few people have received quilts and laundry bags – the sailors have been quite overwhelmed.  Please pass on our appreciation and thanks.

Tomorrow night you will see a couple of thank you messages from two recipients plus photos but I am just delighted to know that some have made it aboard already.    I am an optimist but I know enough to know that the mail is not likely to be as speedy for the rest of their deployment but if we can work hard to get their quilts in the mail by the end of the month then the chances of them arriving aboard whilst they are away are much increased.

In addition the chaplain has again forwarded the ship’s newsletter to me and I will email that around on Wednesday.  I have been asked the wait a couple of days to make sure that all the crews loved ones see it first.   If you want to see it you need to be on the Aussie Heroes Volunteer Email list so let me know if you want me to add you. 

Over the weekend I received a delightful email from the mother of one of our recently returned HMAS ANZAC sailors

Hello there,

My son has recently returned from six months deployment to the Middle East and he was thrilled to be the recipient of both a quilt and laundry bag. They were received with great pleasure and the quilt now has pride of place across the bottom of his bed, he just wants to display it, it meant so much to him to receive it.

I know I can manage to make the laundry bags and will take myself off to my local store to get some suitable material.

I found you list of things to send very comprehensive, however with one proviso, if the parcel is going to the Middle East do not send chocolate or jellies, they melt in transit. Parcels often sit in non air conditioned storage with temps in the high 30s before going out to a ship.

This made me realise that the list of Extras to Include on the blog is aimed at those on the ground and not those at sea.  The following is a list of what the previous chaplain suggested we send along if desired but I have also emailed one of my correspondents on the ship to ask for any additions or deletions.  I will keep you posted.  The following list has now been added to the Extras page on the blog.

Basically send anything (food wise) that won’t melt.  People seem to like biscuits (like pizza shapes), bags of lollies (like snakes, mixed lollies, mentoes, fruit tingles, life savers, chewy gum), small tin food (some like salmon, tuna), some types of cheeses in tins or fully wrapped and in cardboard (like cheddar triangles), cup-a-soup, – assorted nuts with or without fruit are very popular, potato chips in tins – (like pringles).  Non-food = magazines, puzzle books, mini-puzzles, socks (people are always loosing a sock in the wash).

I checked with the above Mum to make sure that she didn’t mind if I published the comments regarding her son and here is her response – 

XXXXX is more than happy that you pass on the comments regarding his quilt. He was saying that all on board Anzac felt very happy and humble to think that people who don’t know them would take the time to make something that they can use.

As some of you know I have had loads of computer issues over recent months.  Some of them before Christmas were Bigpond’s problem (Grrr) then I changed laptops as the old one was starting to play up and went from Outlook 2003 on Windows 7 to Outlook 2010 on Windows 8.  If you don’t know what that means then you would probably be as confused as me with with all the changes that have happened over time that I was not aware of, PLUS all the changes that have happened with Windows 8 that no-one seems to know much about as it is so new.  

Then my new laptop ended up crashing due to sofaware faults (not operator error thankfully!)   and I had to “make do” with the old one.  Fortunately I managed to save everything I needed for AHQ to an external drive or USB stick before it crashed finally.  Of course all my stuff is backed up to an external drive but I need my husband to be around to take the back up and install it on something I can use so the USB stick and external drive did the job.  

Now the “new” laptop is back and hopefully fixed.   Unfortunately gmail won’t work on Outlook so I have my wonderful computer fellow coming at lunchtime to hopefully remedy that as using my gmail through google is not what I am used to and I can’t work out how to do some things I want to do.  Another frustration.  

So, why am I telling you this?  Basically so that you will understand why I have, and may for some things, continue to check with you rather than check over old emails.  I am not sure how many emails I have lost in the process (by that I don’t mean have not received but have received but no longer have on my laptop).    Also it takes a while to get used to the new processes so if my admin skills seem a little sloppy or whatever you know what I am dealing with.  I am still working half on the USB and half back on the computer as I haven’t had to time to transfer all the pictures and so on that came in while the laptop was away back to the laptop files.  Hopefully I will catch up soon.

Actually if there are any computer boffins in Sydney who would be prepared to be available for advice and guidance from time to time I would really appreciate it.

My next goal is to work out how to save documents, like the AHQ List of Requests, online somewhere ( you know in a cloud or whatever they call it!  Yes, I really am clueless!).  Stay tuned for that one!

Don’t forget the sewing day in Penrith at Penrith Patchwork this weekend.  10am til 2pm.  BYO lunch, snacks, coffee mug and sewing machine.  Look forward to see you all there.  

Now I am off to do some serious applique work before my computer guy comes and takes over my desk to sort this laptop out.

Till next time………………..keep spreading the word and happy stitching!