Back from Ghana

Thanks, everyone for your patience and support while I was gone. I was immeasurably blessed by my time in Ghana. I went expecting to enjoy my time there, but it was above and beyond anything I ever imagined. I loved it. I loved the people, loved the culture, and loved especially what God worked in my heart and life through being there.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that batiks are hand made in Ghana. One day I was driving through Elmina with Conrad and some other SALT to Ghana workers. Through my window I spotted a beautiful display of batik fabrics. I was immediately excited and told Conrad to remember this spot because one day I wanted to come back and see those fabrics. He said, “I’ll drop you off right now and be back in 15 minutes after I run my other errand.” Wow! What a deal. I was totally surprised to walk into that little shack and find a lady in the back of it stamping the batiks RIGHT THERE! I had so much fun visiting with her. When Conrad found out that I enjoyed it, he told me that one of the micro loans the mission gave out helped start a batik business. He was sure that Sister Martha (in Ghana they often refer to each other as “sister”, “brother”, “aunt”, or “uncle” regardless of relation) would be glad to show me the entire process start to finish. Indeed she was! Sister Martha and her crew were wonderful and gave me an excellent education.

They drew their water from a hand dug well.

What you see is NOT what you get…. I declared that they “dyed by faith”! Notice the color of the fabric when they first put it on the line to dry. Then notice the color of the fabric when it is finally almost dry. 🙂

“Tornadoes”, No Power, and Digital Quilting Patterns

Some of you ordered digital quilting patterns from me a couple of weeks ago while we were out of power. I used back up measures to send them out to you as soon as I possibly could. This post is to show a few pictures of the mess and clean up process….  And to thank you for your patience!

We had two storms come through here only days apart. The first storm hit us pretty hard. No tornadoes were spotted, but the winds had reported gusts of up to 80 mph.  Thankfully no one was hurt and we had no structural damage. However, a few trees got pretty badly torn up and our neighbor lost 3 trees in their front yard.  One tree was a huge old pine. As it fell to the ground it caught the power lines, ripping them out of the neighbor’s house and damaging the lines to our house and the pole. It also covered the road in its massiveness.

It is an incredible amount of work to clean up that many trees.  Our church sent over a few guys with chain saws and Michael came, too.  By the end of the day our entire property was clean except for a huge pile in the front yard from the neighbor’s pine.  It felt good when time finally allowed and the remains of the storm were completely burnt.  What an enormous fire!

The second storm brought 4 tornadoes with it, but they touched down just a couple of miles to the north of us.  We had more branches down, but not the major damage that others suffered.  One man had his entire barn picked up off its foundation and moved across the street!  The hay and equipment was still standing on the foundation.  Now, how does a tornado accomplish such a thing?!  But it did show me  that “gusts up to 80 mph” are definitely a different story than a real, true “tornado”.

When looking at the following pictures, bear in mind that we forgot to take pictures until clean up was well under way.  It was even worse….  🙂

The bse of the pine

Here you can see the size of the trunk on the pine. It is sad to loose such an old tree.

The guys at work

The guys at work. I'm not sure how we would have gotten this cleaned up without their help.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile.

Dad and Tammy unloading branches onto the fire pile. Thankfully, the store Dad is building wasn't damaged. That is not a barn in the background - it is a store in progress!

The view of the road

The view of the road after it had been cleared almost to the point of passing. I wish I would have had a picture before it was cleared at all.

Our front yard

The pile that was started in our front yard. It looks like a jungle!

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines

The power company cutting a branch out of the power lines. It was a big relief when they came out and repaired the lines. You don't realize how much you depend on electricity until it's gone.

I’m glad that’s over!  Hopefully there will be no more tornadoes for a long, long time…………..

A Neglected Blog and CAM Sewing

I’ve sadly neglected this blog as is so typical of “me”. Those of you who know me, know I’ve never claimed to be a writer. It is so much easier for me to chat with you than try to figure out how to get my thoughts down via letters and punctuation. But, I will try again. Hopefully May will contain more posts than April did. If I keep working at it I may yet become a faithful writer. 🙂

April was a very busy month for us. It seemed there was always plenty of work to be done! Between quilting, we also did do a lot of gardening, cleaning, sewing, and gobs of other miscellaneous spring-time work.

A highlight for us was the CAM sewing we had with the girls at church. Since we have a quilt shop and also do a lot of sewing, it seems we have a way of a accumulating a large amount of fabric due to our own remnants or donations of our customers.  We usually have to put our time into making quilts out of our current fabric, so that leaves us with totes of fabric that we have no time or need to make quilts out of. It is perfectly new fabric that is able to be turned into dresses or quilts for people more needy than we. Thus was the birth of a sewing day for Christian Aid Ministries. The other church families donated their extra fabric and we ended up with more fabric than we expected. We spent two full days sewing and made 52 dresses of all sizes.

It also happened that CAM had a slide show presentation the evening of our last sewing day. It was a perfect way to end our sewing days -with a very strong reminder of why we did what we did. It made us more keenly aware of the needs of people in other parts of the world. And more thankful for an opportunity to serve.

Piles of fabric

Piles of fabric being sorted through and matched to make dresses of all sizes

The cutting table

Some of the girls cutting out dresses

The sewing tables

The row of sewing machines and busy sewers