No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet ;). I've just been extremely busy and not had much time to sit down and update my blog. I am way behind in reading other blogs, so I might be playing catch up for a long while once I return home.
Let's see ... first off, I have received my squares from Melissa and Jayne. I love both sets. I will try to get some pictures loaded at some point. I also have my partner for the Thanksgiving round, which will be Nancy K. Now I just need to sit down and stitch the squares (which I can now that I received the fabric I ordered from Mary Kathryn). I apologize for the lack of links, but I don't have the time to add them in.
First, to answer Laurie's question a few posts ago ... no I am not part of a carrier strike group. I am on an LHD, which is a large deck amphib. It is the flag ship of an expeditionary strike group. So the ship I'm on is very similar to an aircraft carrier. The majority of the aircraft we carry are helos, though we do have a handful of Harriers. We don't have a catapult, but that's alright since the Harriers are VSTOL aircraft. VSTOL is Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing. All but two of our aircraft are Marine aircraft (we have two MH-60s which are the SAR (search and rescue) detatchment, flown by Navy pilots). In addition to the Marine ACE (aviation combat element, I think) we also have a few other elements of the MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit). There are about 1400 Marines embarked on my ship (there are about 1000 Sailors on board). We also carry LCACs (landing craft air cushion), which help to land the Marines and all of their gear if they get sent ashore.
There are two other amphibious ships in company, an LPD and an LSD. We also have two destroyers and a cruiser that make up the rest of our strike group. We stayed together during our Atlantic transit, but have been given separate taskings a lot of the time. So sometimes we see each other and sometimes we don't.
My ship had the opportunity to pull into Haifa, Israel. It was a great port visit and an excellent chance to visit Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. I don't know that I would ever have a chance to visit Israel otherwise. I look forward to sharing pictures with you all. It was very interesting to visit the Holy Land and actually see the places that the Bible talks about. It made a lot of it much more real.
I have to wrap this up since I need to go to bed. A quick stitching update ... I've actually had a chance to work a bit on DH's stocking. I'm currently working on that, the violin piece I had started (I'm on to the back stitching so almost done with that) and I need to start Nancy's squares. I have a few other projects that I hope to start, but trying to finish others before I start them. Have a great day!