Monday, July 31, 2017

Things I've Learned This Month

July 2017

-How a natural and simple gift of generosity operates
Volunteering to help in our church's Vacation Bible School is like stepping back into a memory of flannel graph board stories, games where I could show off my tom-boyishness, missionary tales and popsicles on Friday.  Adults, who I now know gave days of preparation in God's Word, were creatively tucking Bible stories into my senses.  By assisting my friend this year with craft activities for the preschoolers, I could pay the goodness forward.

The kids were cooperative some days and others not so much. One intense creator never quite finished her project and we pulled crayons from her hand more than once as she barely caught the end of her class line filing out the door. Whether it was an upside down sticker or a picture with a black out of scribbling, the kids seemed to have fun participating.  Overseeing children's activities wasn't new to me.

What I didn't expect was the way my friend, Julie, shared generosity. Not only had she given time to separate the pack of VBS materials into daily useful chunks, she had built gift-giving into her plans. Each day there was a fresh bouquet from her well-tended flower garden sitting on the work table, spreading beauty and sweet scents into our room. Each one was marked to go home with a certain staff member she had chosen to bless that day-the director, the pastor's wife, me, our  preteen helper...  One day, Julie called in the pastor to present him with the kid-crafted flower bouquet we had just made.  I heard about the slices of blackberry pie she had baked and left on the pastors' desks during that week.  Thank you, Julie, for showing me what it looks like to think of others in the midst of a busy week for you.

-That Hydrogen Peroxide can exorcise the demons of  carpet coffee stains

My son and family recently visited.  In the bustle of getting breakfast served, I accidentally shoved a cup of coffee off the counter and onto the dining room carpet. My heart sank as I envisioned yet another coffee stain I would have to hide somehow.   My daughter-in-law quickly began soaking up the mess. We needed to leave soon after that, so I figured I'd try some lame method I'd used before to make it better later.  My son was rattling off some formula that he had found successful for coffee stains in carpet.  I asked him to write it down so my befuddle brain of the moment could process it later.

His Instructions:
1. Spray peroxide on the stain (bought it in the drug story for less than a dollar)
2.Wet a towel
3. Lay a damp town on stain
4. Put a hot iron on top of the towel; let it sit there for 15-20 sec. (you will see a light cloth get yellowish brown and you will smell coffee!)
5. Repeat as necessary.

IT WORKS! After the fresh stain was steamed out, I proceeded to attack living room, basement and bedroom coffee stains; some that had been there for years. Here are before and after pictures to verify our method. It took maybe 9 applications for this stain, but definitely worth the effort.

-An Enchilada Funnel Cake is Not Worth Trying

The 4H Fair took place last week, just across the road from us. As usual, my husband and I visited the Fair Wednesday evening to reenact our first date. Though things have changed over the years there are always two activities we have managed to duplicate every year. 
A Ferris Wheel Ride

Pie and Coffee at the Pie Booth (our sober looks are only because it takes great concentration for us to capture a selfie)!!  Lol.

Based on a newspaper article about food at the Fair, I wanted to try the Enchilada Funnel Cake. If you like  funnel cake loaded with gobs of plastic cheese and a smidgen of sauce with a few particles of the chorizo it was advertised to have, it might have brought you pleasure.  We were disappointed; at least we had bought just one to split.

-That Overgrown Mint sprouts a fuzzy, lavender, caterpillary shaped flower at the top of its stem and makes a wonderful filler in a bouquet, plus smells good too

-That my grandaughters have turned into beautiful teens and are smart and fun

We visited Josh and family over the 4th and had lots of fun playing cards and hanging out.  Josh treated us to his famous grilled ribs and smoked pork.  Elle baked with me and we played tennis together.  Jill had her first job interview while we were there and a first date. She introduced the chap to all of us when he came to the door to pick her up.  Our spying eyes watched to see if he'd open the truck door for her; he did.  Later when I asked her how the time went she said she warned him that we'd all be watching so he'd better open the door for her. Smart girl! :)  He continued the courtesy through the rest of the evening so we think his chivalry was genuine.

-That Grand Rapids, our first stay in an airbnb, and a tour of Our Daily Bread Ministies was a great way to spend an anniversary celebration

Our anniversary number 21! The overnight stay in Grand Rapids was pleasant.  Though the house was older our room was clean and inviting and the host made us feel at home.  We found a breakfast cafe and ice cream stand within walking distance and a park where we sat and read for a couple of hours. Our Daily Bread has an interesting history, begun in 1931, and mails the little devotional booklets all over the world. They operate on a $40,000,000 yearly budget all by donations.  It is heart warming to see how God has blessed them and continues to use them.

Hello August! What lessons do you have in store for me?

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