Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Freeman Art Gallery

Last Christmas, Joe and Amy gave me this gadget from Ikea...and it's brilliant! Gary hung it on the wall near our dining table, and so we get to look at it while we eat. Which is great, because it holds everything from cards, grandkid pictures, balloons and a handwritten Bible verse from Bryn to a Circus Program! I'm lovin my Art Gallery!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Quilting In My Blood

My maternal grandmother, famous seamstress on Miami Beach for ladies such as Mrs. Kellogs, and women from the Montgomery Ward family. They would send their limousines to pick her up and bring her to their homes for custom made dresses and other clothing. But my grandmother also made beautiful quilts, and her love for sewing and quilting in particular, was passed on to me. She taught me to sew and in the process, she passed on a love for it, whether it was in making clothes (which I did for my children) or in making quilts (which I'm doing for my grandchildren). Thus, it is not surprising that the yearning comes often and I dust off my old, but sturdy, sewing machine and warm up my hands and put on my glasses, to begin quilting again in earnest.

Having completed Michael's quilt (below), I still have other quilts to make for 3 of my grandchildren and another baby on the way. So I've been looking for ideas, trying out a few patterns, looking at material. Each quilt needs to be different, so that each child has one that is unique. I even hope to keep adding to their quilts over the years to come...either to enlarge them or to add embroidery or other personal touches. It's like leaving some of myself with each of my precious grandchildren.

Nursing Student # 3

From time to time I have the pleasure of hosting a Nursing Student, who part-way through their studies, will come to Niger to do an internship. This past week we had the pleasure of hosting Cecile, who is from Paris, France. She has been here for 6 weeks, but spent 5 of those weeks at our Mission Hospital out east getting some experience there. She did want to see the different opportunities for nurses serving in Niger, so she spent a day and a half with me out in my clinic. I think it was totally different from the nursing she did at our hospital, but she enjoyed the small clinic because of its' relational aspect with the patients. She has one more year of nurse's training and then she would like to look at possible places that she can be used overseas...and where God would like her to serve.
I really enjoyed having her with me and her adaptability. I'm gonna put in a request to my Heavenly Father that she join me in our growing medical ministry...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trombidium Grandissimum*

*Red Velvet BugOne small thing I like about our rainy season is that it brings out many of our beautiful bugs which are not seen too much during the dry. Last weekend, when 3 of our adopted “grandkids” were out visiting us in Makalondi, one activity we did was to take them on a hike of our “mountain” (which is really a higher elevation of ground…a tall hill) and begin a scavenger hunt. One of the items to find on the list, was a Red Velvet bug which is usually found in softer soil…like in a freshly planted field. I prepared the kids for the fact that they probably wouldn’t find a Red Velvet bug on the mountain, but that didn’t deter them from looking for one anyway.

What did happen was that in looking for the Red Velvet bug, they found all sorts of other interesting and beautiful bugs....2 of which were also another type of red bug!

They also turned up an iridescent blue green beetle and two other beetles which blended into the surrounding lava rock landscape

The next day, we picnicked under a tree beside a large field of young millet plants. After eating we took off to see if we could track down a Red Velvet bug and lo and behold, we immediately found one. Since one of the kids claimed that one, it meant that we needed to find two more. After searching for awhile, some nearby Gourma children joined in the hunt and we came up with two more bugs.

There are now Red Velvet bugs living in a jar of moist, sandy earth in the Rideout home in the city…

When I googled these bugs, I found out that they also can be commonly found in India and I even found one pictured in North Carolina! They live in the earth, but come out when the soil is moist.

They also seem indestructible: when my niece was visiting us one summer she kept one in a lidded jar in her room at our home. She had to leave it behind when she left and so it remained behind something on our desk. It was forgotten. One day nearly 6 or 7 mos. Later, I saw the jar and realized what it was. I took it outside to empty it out, expecting a bad smell. When I emptied the contents on the ground, you can imagine my surprise when Mr. Red Velvet started walking away! What had he been breathing in that jar? What had he eaten?

Though I haven’t read anything about these bugs hibernating, I wonder if that was what he was doing! Amazing!