Across the Big Pond – Saturday June 26, 2010

Right now I’m sitting in a really neat coffee shop on St. Simons Island and the walls have neat canvas wraps from people around the world. So I decided to post these pics that I found recently on a CD from a trip to Ghana in 2005.

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This was back in my film days. It’s amazing how much fewer (grammar?) pictures I took before I was digital.

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Anyway, this was the first time I was in Africa and it was quite a different experience from the South American trip I took some years ago. We were in a coastal area and it was quite humbling to see the generosity of people who have next to nothing (from our point of view).

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There is an extreme between the beauty

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and the poverty.

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Then there was the touring we did that saw some of the worst of man’s depravity when they are willing to sell their fellow man into slavery. And other men were willing to buy their fellow man and make them servants.

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The slave castle we toured (the pic below is looking out the window of one) was chilling to say the least. There was a heaviness as we toured the dungeons where thousands lived, died and were shipped off to other worlds.

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And then there was more beauty in the little bit of rainforest. There a series of suspended bridges that did funny things to my heart. I think I crossed them in record time. I don’t like heights. And these bridges were very high in the trees.

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Buying goods in the market was very interesting.

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So was traffic in the city.

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Although “interesting” is probably an understatement in both cases. We have an interesting world and recently when someone told me they have no desire to leave the country (we were talking about getting passports) I could hardly imagine. There are many places I would love to visit, although some draw more than others.

If you know anything about Chris you’ll know this is typical.

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 We usually split up for Sunday services and the second Sunday we were there Chris and I were in the same service. This particular church used several kinds of drums, including the standard drum sets you find here in the US. They really hammered down, if you know what I mean, and by the time there were done, my brain was numb. Chris left saying how much he enjoyed it and was drawn into worship. Interesting how God created us with different tastes!

There were other experiences that were thrilling in a different way. This big, wicked-looking scorpion was found very near the orphanage. In fact, while we were there, one of the nannies was stung by one and rushed to the hospital for treatment.

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We mostly stayed on the coastal area, where fishing is a big part of their survival. Here they are mending fishing nets.

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And no matter that is 100* plus terrible humdity, and that they will go home to homes that don’t have air conditioning, and many other things we take for granted, there are many ways to celebrate life.

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Hope you enjoyed this tour. If you would like to experience God in another country, Living Hope is one (of many) ministry that can help you with this.


Of Travels, Troubles and Laughter – Thursday June 17, 2010

We went to VA last weekend for the wedding of a cousin but it was adventure getting there. First of all who was going and how we were going changed about 7 times before we actually left on Thursday. So it ended up being my parents, who are going to stay in VA for 2 weeks, and Lois and I, and our 3 nieces who drove over the night before.

When we got to the next decent sized town (all of 30 miles) the van Lois was driving developed a flat tire from a bolt it took on somewhere and went from thump, thump, thumping from the bolt to throwing the bolt and going flat tire in a minute or two. While we waited on AAA’s contact to help us out, I took my car up to the Jiffy Lube and got the oil change and car wash that I didn’t get down before our last minute change of plans. After that was done, the van tire still wasn’t taken care of. So we shopped a bit then came back just as the road service man showed up. Long story somewhat shorter, it was cheaper to come back to the tire place where Daddy got the tire since it was under warranty so the rest of us went on to Savannah and shopped a little and ate lunch at the mall.

Instead of taking 8 hours or so, it was nearly 12 until we arrived safe, sound and tired. The rest of the weekend was less dramatic but no less funny. There were many quotes I should’ve written down but I was having too much fun to take the time.

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I didn’t take any pictures other than at the wedding. Having too much fun, as I said.

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There was one quote I will mention that some young man made. We were talking about people who aren’t related look each other and that everyone has a twin somewhere. Anonymous piped up and said he knows who his twin is: Schwarzenegger.

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Carolyn and Keith had their reception outside at her brother James’ place. Very beautiful setting! When we first got there the evening sun was quite bright and warm but not uncomfortably so due to a nice breeze.

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After the sun went behind the trees it got nearly cool. What a blessing because the previous day and the following day were quite a bit warmer.

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Marji and Tommy are back from Kenya for a month or two so it was great to see them again. And no, Marji, isn’t looking past Lois for no reason. I’m back there but since I looked like I was meditating on some unseen thing in the sky I cropped me out.

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Carolyn’s family sang several songs and then the little nephews who are learning to sing as well came up and sang several songs. Definitely an *awww* moment.

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Jon, the emcee-ing brother, enjoying open mike.

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Oh, and there was cheesecake to wrap things up. This was a delicously rich mocha confection.

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And we traveled back home on Sunday, stopping for supper at IHOP halfway home, where we encountered more interesting experiences and watched a thunderstorm thunder it’s way through the town, kablamming and rumbling as it went.

The next day Lois took the nieces and my car out to learn how to drive stick shift while I was at work. I heard there was much hilarity and a little high blood pressure.

Tipsy Pots – Friday June 4, 2010

Since the photos finally seem to be showing up I will try this. Earlier today in my photo blog only 1 out of every 3 pictures was visible.

Last summer when I was in Ohio I was delighted to see a tipsy pot at my friend Velma’s house. So I took a picture to replicate it since. Marlin was kind enough to do some welding for me to make it work.

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He welded a 5 foot piece of rebar to a flat metal piece, then mitered the edges so it would fit inside a large pot. When I purchased the large  clay pot, I discovered it had 4 holes instead of 1 large one. This works well since I could thread the rebar through one of the holes instead of placing the plate in the bottom of the pot and then weighing it down with a rock or something heavy to keep it from getting too tippy.

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I bought 4 – 10″ clay pots for the top. It ends up being very heavy so it can’t be moved much.

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I learned several things with this one. The location isn’t the greatest due to it not getting any direct sunlight. For our harsh sunlight I wanted it to get several hours of sun a day. But with the earth shifting the sunlight that was hitting this area in the early spring is gone. The plants weren’t doing very well so I shifted it around and the weight broke the saucer beneath the big pot. So it is a bit more tipsy than it should be.

This is Velma’s from late last summer:

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You can also drive a piece of rebar into the ground and then thread the pots over it if you are not placing it on a hard surface.

Meanwhile, in the garden the brussel sprouts are still ssslllooowwwlllyyy growing.

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The three cucmber plants below were planted at the same time but the one in the foreground is barely reaching the panel.

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Meanwhile, the other two plants are producing already. 

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The first tomato is ripening:

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The yellow squash is threatening to take over the garden.

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I picked 14 jalapenos so we had some of Pioneer Woman’s cream cheese & bacon peppers the other night at our VBS committee meeting.

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Some pretties in Lois’ butterfly garden:

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And a baby visitor in the grass last evening:

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