Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Getting my Boutique ready to open

The sign is made for out front.

This is a display I did for a trunk show at a neighboring town boutique.
This is a glimpse of my boutique.  Some things have changed because I got new displays.  I hope my name gets out there and folks start coming here to shop for fun and reasonable gifts and jewelry.

Monday, March 3, 2014

White lie cake


Have you ever told a white lie?

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the
Baptist Church Ladies' Group in Tuscaloosa , but forgot to do it until the last minute.
She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after
rummaging through cabinets, found an angel
food cake mix &
quickly made it while drying her hair, dressing, and helping her son pack for scout camp.
When she took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat
And the cake was horribly disfigured and she exclaimed,
"Oh dear, there is not time to bake another cake!"
So, being inventive, she looked around the house
for something to build up the center of the cake.
She found it in the bathroom - a roll of toilet Paper.
She plunked it in and then covered it with icing.
Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect.
And, before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work,
Alice woke her daughter and gave her some
money and specific
instructions to be at the bake sale the moment it
opened at 9:30 and to buy
the cake and bring it home.
When the daughter arrived at the sale, she found the attractive,
perfect cake had already been sold.
Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.

Alice was horrified-she was beside herself! Everyone would know!
What would they think? She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed!
All night, Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing fingers at her
And talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself she would try not to think about the cake
And would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a fellow church member
and try to have a good time. She did not really want to attend
because the hostess was a snob who more than
once had looked down her
nose at the fact that Alice was a single
parent and not from the
founding families of Tuscaloosa , but having
already RSVP'd , she
couldn't think of a believable excuse to stay
The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old south and to Alice 's
horror, the cake in question was presented for desert!
Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake!
She started out of her chair to tell the hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet,
the Mayor's wife said, "what a beautiful
Alice , still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess
(who was a prominent church member) say,
"Thank you, I baked it myself."
Alice smiled and thought
to herself,
"God is good."


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Getting ready for a face book Paparazzi online $5.00 jewelry party

When I do a face book online Paparazzi $5.00 party there is quite a bit of preparation.  I must get photos of each piece I am going to list and I also separate the listed pieces so that I know I have them when the party starts.  This is what my next party board looks like.
This is going to be my sister Roberta's party on March 11 at 7:00 pm.  Feel free to join the party.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another new dispaly

I can hang twenty necklaces on each twirl a tie.  I then slip the top through the lid of a number ten can and lower the necklaces into the can for transport.  I needed a way to hang the necklaces for display.  I just need to buy the end caps for the display and paint it.  Normally when I hang the twirl a ties filled with necklaces I take the lid part off, I didn't this time because I was just seeing if my display would work.  I glued the bottom pieces of the PVC but the rest I did not glue.  I am hoping I can take the riser part apart for transport if I need to.
I also need to find paint made specifically for plastic because the regular spray paint I've been using chips and doesn't stay nice looking.

Missionary update Feb 2, 2014


  Was a 4 day marathon of dentist visits, x-rays, cone scan, and then finally the extraction on Thursday.   The normal X-rays didn’t show a problem with the painful tooth, but the Cone Scan (sort of an MRI for teeth), showed a hidden abscess that had granulated.  A small part of the outer jaw bone next to the molar had also been destroyed, so no choice but to pull it.  Then back to the dentist on Friday for infection prevention so that I could return on Saturday to Mozambique.  Ate my fill of ice cream, and made several new friends while in RSA.  Am glad to be back, as there is no place like home.


At 1:30a.m. Saturday, Eric received a call saying a large python (7 ft. or 2.2 meters) had broken into the goat corral and squeezed to death the best baby goat twins in the nursery.  There are 3 night guards in the corral each night, and they immediately spotted the snake when the goats sounded the alarm.
Sadly, the babies were already wrapped in its death squeeze in the few seconds it took them to grab their bamboos and get inside the pen. 
The snake made a hasty escape, taking the men on a 45 minute “flashlight chase” before they could kill it.  They tell me it was quite a scary fight in the dark against such a large snake with vicious teeth.  Pythons are not venomous, but they are quick and very agile, packing a bite that can rip tissue and leave a deep wound with a severe infection.

In prevention, we will be sealing the area under the 2 gates with concrete bricks, since that is how it entered the corral.   The snake’s tracks showed it tried to get though the tightly woven bamboo fence in several places, but couldn’t.  However, the space under each gate gets worn away by the many hoofs tracking through that small area, thus making an easy entry way for snakes and small animals.  It upsets me greatly that these 2 little ones lost their life because none of us ever thought to block this off.

The saying goes: “Africa shows no mercy.”  When attacked by a snake or wild animal, rarely does anyone get a second chance at life.

The Momma goat is a large meat goat who produces an abundance of milk.  If held gently, she willingly donates her large bag of milk to 2 of our baby goats, whose mothers have been dry since their birth.  The “real thing” is much better than the milk substitute, so I’m grateful these 2 little ones will benefit.


  Every mother knows how “fun” it can be getting multiple children ready for the first day of school.  We get to do it with 80 CHILDREN!
The next 48 hours will be packed with distributing uniforms made right on our base (3 months work), plus shoes, school materials, back packs, and books.  Mozambique’s schools are in session from Feb. 4th to end of October.
  Our pre-school for our 4 and 5 year olds will also begin classes this week.
An exciting time for everyone, especially when our 3 year old orphans decide they are old enough to attend.  They are always welcome at our “Little Disciples” pre-school even though they may only last until cookie break time.

Blessings to all of you as you brave the bitter cold in the USA.
We are just “wet, hot, and muddy” over here, as the rainy season is in full swing.

Bush Bunny Brenda
Eric Dry
The Balama Staff

Are you on facebook?

If you are on facebook come on over and like my new page.
Its where I will be selling my Paparazzi Accessories online.  I have named my online and at home store, Blanches Boutique.
My mothers name is Vera and her mom, my grandmas name was Vera Blanche.  Grandma always went by the name of Blanche.  So in honor of both my grandma and my mother I named my little store Blanches Boutique.
Visit me on facebook and like my page please.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A glimpse of some of my Paparazzi jewelry and accessories

I'm getting things ready for a big show at the fair..

Head band display

After making yesterdays post about making your own bracelet display someone asked if I had one for the headbands.  I didn't have one so I made one this morning.
The cuts of PVC needed for the headband display are as follows:
4 ~ 2 inch
2 ~ 3 inch
8 ~ 7 inch
1 ~ 9 inch
1 ~ 11 inch
1 ~ 13 inch
The assembly is the same except the upright are longer to allow for the headbands being longer.  Here is a picture of the two displays side by side.  The bracelet display is partially painted.  When it warms up today I will finish my spray painting.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY bracelet display

I am now selling Paparazzi jewelry and accessories.  Where everything is $5.00 plus tax.
I have been having fun making displays.  I have had people ask how I make a certain display so I decided to take pictures of the process the next time I made a display.
Today I made a jewelry display.
This is the finished display.  I just need to paint it and it will be ready to use.
I will start with a list of materials needed.
You will need:
8- 3/4 inch PVC T's
10- 3/4 inch PVC end caps
85 inches of 3/4 inch PVC pipe.  This is about 13 inches more than one 8 foot long piece of pvc pipe.  You can adjust the lengths if you don't want to buy an extra piece of pipe.  I just used pip I had laying around from other projects so this wasn't important to me. Use schedule 40 because its easier to cut with the pipe cutter.  The thinner stuff might be easier to cut if you just have a hack saw.  The reason the thicker stuff is easier to cut with the pipe cutter is because it cuts and the thin stuff bends instead of cutting.  Choose the one right for you.
pipe cutter or hack saw
 rubber mallet
spray paint
PVC glue if desired (I don't use it)

Cut 4 ~ 2inch pieces of the PVC
Cut 3 ~ 3 inch pieces of the PVC
Cut 1 ~ 5 inch piece of the PVC
Cut 9 ~ 7 inch pieces of the PVC
 This is a picture of the things you need.
 This photo shows measuring the 2 inch pieces to cut.
 Actually cutting the PVC with the pipe cutter.
 All the pieces are cut.  I used the pencil to mark the pieces.  Example on the 2 inch pieces I wrote 2.
 Using two 3 inch pieces and a T form the front or left part of this picture.  Then using the 2 inch pieces begin the backward progress.  You don't need very much space between the T's that's why they are only two inches.  They could even be just one inch if you want your T's butted up against each other. When you get to the back part use two of the 7 inch pieces to for the back cross piece.  The upright pieces are a 3 inch piece, the only 5 inch piece you cut and a 7 inch piece.
 Add a T to each of the three upright pieces.
 Use the rubber mallet to pound and tighten all the pieces together.  I do this as I assemble each piece.
 Now put the end caps on and using the rubber mallet pound them on.
 This picture should be before the one before it but I don't know how to change it.  It just shows how it looks before you add the end caps.
This picture shows me demonstrating how to pound each piece of pipe together.  You can still adjust them if some are crooked.
There you go.  Almost finished.  Now just take it outside and spray paint it what ever color you want.  I'm going to paint mine black glossy.
I hope this was a little bit of help.  I know I don't explain things well but hopefully it will help someone.  I will post other pictures as I make more displays and as I put together my little shop.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Missionary update December 14, 2013

From: Brenda Lange," Bush Bunny Brenda"
Date: DECEMBER 14, 2013
First, let me say that I’ve just returned from an overnight Christmas season “break” thanks to a Texas friend who gave me a personal gift of a massage and a special meal (to be redeemed in Pemba).   My special meal was a HUGE Cheese Burger with fries and salad.  You may think that isn’t special, but in a country where BEEF is not an easy to get meat, believe me, it is special!  Next time you buy a burger, remember that here it costs $14 for a real beef burger with cheese.  I enjoyed it immensely!

Eric is leaving on Monday for his holiday break with his grandkids, so this last Friday/Saturday was my only chance to “get away” before we gear up for the Orphan’s Christmas Party on Wed.
Thursday we distribute food that will last over 300 orphans and widows for 2 weeks. (so all staff can take a Christmas break).
Friday, we will pay December salaries so that all our workers can organize Christmas with their families.

I had a relaxing 36 hours and am now back in Balama, ready to party with my children!

Tuesday this week found my staff, 12 of our primary school orphans, and 5 of our Bush Pastors at our AWANA court and classroom.

I thought it totally appropriate that our children teach the 7 basic AWANA games to the Bush Pastors, for who knows them better than they do?  In 2014, we plan to help all 19 of our pastors learn how to use the AWANA curriculum so their village children can learn the Bible from Genesis to Revelations.  These games are a fantastic magnet that draws children of all ages to Jesus.
These 5 churches were the first to comply with the need for a dirt “games court”.  None of them can afford a fancy concrete court on which to play the AWANA games, but they “made a plan”.
They cleared a level piece of land and will use ASH from their fire pits to mark the court on AWANA club days.
  After the games training was completed, we met in our classroom, giving the Pastors their first month’s lessons in Portuguese and teaching them how to run a club.  They will begin in January.
Afterwards, they were given their AWANA game materials ( a tug-o-war rope, 4 colored bean bags, and 4 colored batons).
It will be interesting to see how they handle the 100’s of children who will show up once they hear about the games.

We look forward to the awesome reports, for each of these churches have 80-140 children each week in Sunday school.
To handle the large numbers, I recommended they break it up into proper age groups and hold club meetings 3 days a week.

Until next week, my friends.
Keep those prayers coming!
All is “quiet” in our area at the moment, and we pray it stays that way.  There is still some fighting going on south of us.
Rains are rolling in as I am hearing a constant grumbling of rolling thunder coming my way.
Need to get off the computer, as lightening likes solar panels.
More next week!

Bush Bunny Brenda
Eric Dry
Balama Staff

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Missionary update November 23, 2013

From: Brenda Lange," Bush Bunny Brenda"
Date: November 23, 2013

Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from Balama Social Services saying a blind man had walked 27 miles (45 km) to come ask us for food.
My staff and I went to hear his story and ended up bringing him home with us as it was now late afternoon, and the man had been without food all day. Nilza opened our children’s store house and found him some clothes, as he was wearing filthy rags. We immediately fed him and then everyone gathered around to hear his story.
Simon said:
His mother was his caretaker. She died last year, so he’s been begging for food since in his town of Namuno. Someone told him about us helping people, so he packed his rice sack with his few belongings, found the only road that come to Balama from Namuno, and started walking with only his walking stick to direct him. Seems people all along the road walked with him, giving him guidance during his travels.
We are giving him refuge for a week as there were elections on Wed. and much unrest in the area. It was not safe to travel anywhere and the track to Namuno is TOTAL BUSH.
Simon will have to return to Namuno, but we will make sure that he has food when he leaves us, and Social Services in Namuno has been notified and will help get him “settled” somewhere in that area.

Desperation drives people to do what seems impossible.
Simon did not cross our path by mistake.
We are making sure he doesn’t leave here without knowing who Jesus is.
That is the greatest gift we can give anyone who crosses our threshold.


Our 50 females are hard at work making 50 NEW babies with some looking big enough to have twins!!!!
We’ve had 3 single births this week with only 47 to go.
ALL the Momma Goats are due by end of December, so realize that Bush Bunny is going to be hopping down the bush trail to Rovuma quite often these next 5 weeks. I’m sincerely hoping that the “girls” will get it together and have birthing parties!
I’m all for conservation of fuel and time, so that I don’t have to go out so often.

I managed a photo of “Spotty” a little female, who looks like she was splattered with black paint. Her Mom is totally white, but our male goat is black and white. She got the mix and is as cute and cuddly as can be.

This photo tells it all as these happy shoppers head home after a day at the local market.
We’ve shown you photos of up to 8 PEOPLE on a motorbike, so here’s the “shopper’s special”.

That’s all for this week. Keep us in your prayers, as we are taking 1 day at a time, not knowing what will cross our path next.

Bush Bunny Brenda
Eric Dry

Guest post by Darren Cole Butcher

A construction crew is hard after it on a large hotel project. The plumbers are inside doing there thing and the brick layers are doing theirs on the outside. Let’s say I am a brick layer, I’m mixing my mortar and climbing the scaffolding, doing my thing. I then see some plumbers carrying in some pipe into the building. My dad used to do a little plumbing and I do a little at my own house, so I go to check it out. While watching them I notice that it all looks strange to me and the complexity of it all looks wrong. So I say to them that this and that could be done this way and that. I also suggest that they could use this tool and that tool as I do myself at home and have seen others do. The plumbers, with their extensive plans and orders laid out if front of them, stop working and gather around me. They ask “ are you a job boss?” “do you work for the foreman?” “have the plans and orders changed?” - I say, I was just noticing this and that could be done this and that way and…The Job foreman walks up right then. “what is going on here, why are you guys not working and what are you doing over here, don’t you work outside on the brick.” So I say, well i know a little about plumbing and wanted to help these guys out, it all looks strange to me, so I suggested this and that be done like such and such. They all look at each other and back at me, then they scan over the plans and discuss this and that and such and such. The foreman then dismisses the plumbers and asks them to get back to work according to the plans and orders they had originally discussed. He then turns to me and says “thank you for your wisdom and concern, we have duly noted all of it and they will now go back to work. Now let’s get you back out there laying brick, where you are suppose to be. If there are any other “suggestions” that you might have please inform your “boss” he will tell me and we can build a better project here, we might even switch you to that job if indeed we find you to be helpful in it, more so than your current position. But we do not need any more distraction and we really need both the plumbing and the bricks to be finished by such and such dates. So I return to my bricks and finish out the wall and the plumbers get back to work and finished their plumbing.

The whole time I was not laying brick and talking with the plumbers, nothing was getting done according to plan. They had to stop their job to engage with me, now they wanted to do right and were concerned about this so they did “respect” what I said, but when all was said and done I did not help them I hindered them. The job of this scope went well beyond my “home” knowledge. The fact that I had been laying bricks and not being involved from the beginning caused my judgment to be skewed anyway. Since the purpose for all of us to be there was to build a motel and brick laying and plumbing were both part of that goal, I was helping with neither by leaving the one to instruct the other. Now the “foreman” was polite and responded correctly to me and escorted me back to my place, everything was back to where it was suppose to be.

This is the main reason the “kingdom” is not being built on schedule and in order. The wall was not getting built (my job) and the plumbing was not being done (your job). We all need to be and do what the foreman has set out for us to do. We all have a place that Christ has appointed us and equipped us for. We must all do our part to complete the whole. When one leaves their job and “becomes the expert” at another’s, they do not lend themselves to the overall productivity of the project.

So now that this has been said, I must excuse myself and go back to work also

Oh and - I hope what I suggested in your plumbing operation was or will helpful - good day.

Thank you “foreman” for setting me straight. Whether you are the plumber or the brick layer we need to get back to work now.

(This was in prayerful response to “others” and “myself” “occasionally” bouncing off each other on my page and in my ministry, I got the above picture in my head and decided to share)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kastyns Birthday gift

I think I overdid it with the adorable.  My daughters showed me a picture of an outfit like this and I went to town on it.
I made her an outfit to wear to the party and a bib to wear when she eats cake.  Then a hat to wear because its cold.
Her momma said she already has a pair of black tights and black shoes.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Missionary update November 16, 2013

From: Brenda Lange," Bush Bunny Brenda"
Date: November 16, 2013

TONS OF FOOD FEEDING THE HUNGRY (Thanks to your Love Gifts)
SEVEN major food distributions were carried out this week in Balama and Meluco Districts.
Our 7 ton Nissan truck left at 4:30a.m. Monday morning, loaded with 6 tons of corn, soap, and salt as part of a 2 day major food give out that covered the 46 orphans in the far West side of Meluco (Revia Village near the game reserve), and the 115 orphans in the Elephant Village (East side) of Meluco District. During these 3 days of give outs, 10 TONS of corn and 2 tons of beans were distributed for food and planting purposes.

On the same days, our 6 tons Nissan delivered seed and food corn to the 477 orphans and 240 widows in the Impire and Mango Church give outs in Balama District.

The 3 man crew on our 7 ton truck who were giving out food in Meluco this week are also the WATER WELL FIX IT TEAM.
Manuel and his 2 truck assistants, do all the water well repairs under normal circumstances. Super “all around FIX IT MAN”, Eric Dry, pitched in and trained up our Youth Pastors, Carlitos Jorge and Nelson (16 year old orphan) as water well assistants this week as both are very mechanically minded. Together, this 3 man team repaired two water wells this week in villages that had no other source of water. Fast action is needed to prevent disease and suffering, for life is tough in a village of 5,000 people when there is no water and the temperatures are 95 degree F (35 C) by 10 a.m. daily.

Jorgina is doing well after 8 days in the hospital with a respiratory problem.
She’s smiling and playing again with her new found “family”, as Fatima, her foster mother, has 5 children.
Nice to have our family all “home” again. Thank you for your prayers for a fast healing for our fragile little girl.
Now to get her eating again, so she can regain the weight she lost last week.

Please keep us and our orphans in prayer, as there were 4 more clashes between both sides last night taking several lives.
These incidents are 500-700 miles south of Balama, so we are in no immediate danger.
However, the first incident in Pemba occurred Wed. when the 18 year old daughter of a wealthy restaurant owner was kidnapped. She managed to escape the kidnappers get-away car thanks to a slow moving truck that slowed them to a crawl in highway traffic. This intelligent young lady realized her captor’s guns were fakes, so she jumped from the slow moving car as it tried to pass the truck on an uphill grade.
That took courage and probably saved her life.

The BIBLE says that in these End Times, there will be wars and rumors of wars. Standing on God’s Word is the ONLY REFUGE that is totally safe for any of us, no matter where we live.
Eric and I, as well as our staff, are taking all precautions and using much wisdom in coordinating our travel programs.
We are not moved by FEAR, but ONLY BY THE WORD OF GOD.
Thanks for being there for us in this time of need.

Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
Eric Dry

Monday, November 11, 2013

Food for thought

Things are to be used.
People are to be loved.
Do not confuse this.