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Showing posts from September, 2013


Several Many home assignments ago we did a slide show (yeah, it was real slides and not power point!) on carrying burdens.  In the Songhai language, there is more than one word for "carry".  To carry on your back, to carry on your head,to carry in your arms or by hand, and to carry on some form of transportation are all separate words.  Here in Niger we see things being carried in ways that leaves us pretty amazed at both the strength, the dexterity, and the ingenuity of the carriers.

Recently I've been reading through Isaiah and came across two different kinds of "carry" as well.  Now, I'm no Hebrew scholar so I can't tell you if two different words are actually used or not.  But certainly the two pictures Isaiah paints are different!

In the first picture, Isaiah pokes some fun at those who worship idols.  First off, they have to make their own idols and then they have to carry the idol around from place to place.  Not only do they make the idol, they al…

Gardening and Composting

When we lived in the village there were few fresh fruits and vegetables available.  Every four to six weeks we'd shop in the big city and take back as much fresh stuff as we could.  But our fridge wasn't very big (gas fridge) so we were lucky if we could bring back two weeks worth of fresh food.  During that time John had a pretty good garden going so that at least for a couple months a year we'd have fresh stuff right at hand.  He had especially good luck with carrots and tomatoes.

Now that we live in the city and the vegetable stand is literally right around the corner, we don't need to garden.  But John, especially, enjoys doing it.  So we've got some tomatoes going and our Sunday night guard is a great gardener and we noticed he's put in some lettuce.  Me?  I'm the one who can't get anything to grow!  That is not an exaggeration, either!  I recently planted cilantro, parsley, and basil.  I'm proud to say the basil is going great guns.  One out of…

Remaking a Lampshade

We've had a little table lamp for a long time.  The shade that came with it broke once and we had somebody sew it together again.  When it broke a second time I figured it was beyond repair, but hoped to figure out a way to remake it, so I tossed it in the store room where it's been gathering dust for over a year. I just used it with the bare light bulb.

Then I saw this lampshade on Pinterest and thought, "I could do that!". (the website is here) My shade only had a ring at the top and one at the bottom without the supporting wires in between.  So I just tied the torn strips of cloth between the top and bottom rings.

 The only thing is, is that the bottom ring has a larger circumference than the bottom ring, so it's not as filled in as I would have liked.

It softens the glare from the naked bulb and goes with my new quilt, so I'm happy with it.  Best of all, it took about 20 minutes to make.

Creative Kids' Play

We live on a shared compound.  There is a family house, then behind that a duplex and we live on one side of the duplex.  There is a wall between the duplex and the family house, but no gate....or at least not one that we keep shut.  And I like it that way.  So, that means that the neighbor kids play in our yard as well as theirs (neither of which is very big!).  And I like it that way.

This week, I've been watching the construction of a building of some sort on the corner near where we park our car.  The neighbor boy has turned a broken clay pot on its side and put some dirt inside.  It has a little fence in front of it and a tree planted to the side (not visible in this picture, but look for it in subsequent ones).  What do you think it is?

A day or two later I went out and more had been added.  Now there was some serious security going on!  There was a steep ramp up to the building, thorns at the bottom of the ramp as well as two thorny bars on a pulley system that can be lifted …