Saturday, January 27, 2018

Im asking for prayer for my husband

Thursday, my husband had a wreck on his way to work.  He has had a cough for a few weeks and went to the doctor and it still hasn't gone away.  He was coughing and coming up to a T in the road and missed the stop sign.  He slammed on the brakes and held the steering wheel so tight that as he slammed into the ditch it bent the steering wheel and he stomped on the brakes so hard the light wouldn't go off once this was over.  Anyway, in the course of this slamming and banging through the ditch he managed to receive a compound fracture of  his L5 vertebrae.  This is an unusual vertebrae to break apparently.  Anyway, he went to the emergency room where they discovered the extent of his injury.  The next day we went to a spinal surgeon who will be doing a kyphoplasty surgery this coming Wednesday. He is in tremendous pain and can barely walk.  A friend loaned us a real nice walker without which I don't know how we would of made it to the doctors office.  Thank God for pain pills as he is in so much pain when they begin to wear off that it makes him cry.  Its very hard to see a big strong man cry from pain.

  1. the surgical filling of an injured or collapsed vertebra. This procedure restores original shape and configuration and relieves pain from spinal compression.

The procedure is very interesting and is supposed to relieve pain almost immediately.  He should be able to walk with out pain right away.  The healing time will be from the incisions which may be a little larger due to the fact that he is a large man.  We asked if there was a chance of the body rejecting the stuff they inject and were told that it will make that bone the strongest one in his body and he would not reject the composite stuff they inject.  That is good news.
When something like this happens it really makes you thankful for good health and a body that works.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Missionary update

Bush Beat BlogF
DATE:  JANUARY 20, 2018


Upon my return last Friday it was raining. By the time the sun appeared TODAY, 9+ inches of heavy rains had fallen in Balama in the last 7 days. Needless to say only essential work was done this week, and even that had to be done when the rains decreased to a light drizzle.
TODAY, the sun dawned bright for the first time since my return, and I am a VERY HOPPY BUNNY!

Using the days drizzling rain to water their newly made bricks

Being too muddy to even make bricks (our normal rainy season project), our team of brick layers made short work of getting the destroyed home’s “Pao-Peeky” (pow-peeky) walls built  in a matter of 2 days  (see photo).  The roofing has been delayed since Wednesday due to the cyclone-induced rains.

Pastor Joaquim, gray shirt, directs builders of his new home

Roof construction should begin this Monday if the weather man is correct for it is “supposed” to be dry until Thursday.  Only God knows, for the weather is very unpredictable.  But the Bush Bunny Construction Team arrives every morning, rain or not, ready for action.

Morning devotions in the rain

Pastor Fred is the member of the BBC Motorbike Team whose bike was hit by another motorbike on their way to give a Christmas Program in a nearby village on Christmas Eve.  Until he heals, Fred is staying in Balama with staff member, Pastor Armando, whose house has a concrete floor.  (Fred lives in a typical mud hut in the village of Rovuma which is deep in mud right now.)

Pastor Fred enjoying a few rain free moments outside

Trying to walk on crutches in deep mud is not the best environment for anyone with a plaster leg cast. The cast will “melt” if it gets wet. With this week’s horrendous rains, Fred slipped while hobbling to the outdoor bathroom on his crutches. Forced to put his casted foot into the mud to keep from falling, I found him last Saturday afternoon with a damp, muddy cast that had begun to melt on the bottom of the foot area.

If you look closely at the photo you will see that WHITE GORILLA TAPE now covers the foot of the cast, making it more water resistant. (Texas Aggies know how to make repairs with what is available, and this seemed like the easiest solution.) My thanks to Dave Deboer of Michigan, who brought us several rolls of that tape from the USA. 

Proves you can fix almost anything with DUCT TAPE!

NOTE:  THE BBC MOTORBIKE TEAM will venture out tomorrow for the first time in 2018, provided it doesn’t rain tonight. Time to get God’s Word flowing through the villages once again.


My favorite scripture

Romans 8:38-39King James Version (KJV)

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2018 Goals

In this new year of 2018 some things I want to accomplish are as follows...
  • Sew a bunch of doll clothes, both for an 18 inch doll and a baby doll
  • Sew aprons.  Pretty and sweet aprons.  I also want to get a non tie or Mobius apron pattern and make some of them.
  • Help my niece sew her diaper stash for her coming little blessing
  • Try to remember to send a card for everyone's birthday.
  • Exercise more.
  • Continue to down size my stuff.
  • Decide on a floor plan for my retirement home.  Specifically the kitchen, dinning and living-room areas.
  • Hire someone to paint the walls and ceilings in my house.
  • Hire someone to lay new flooring in my house.
  • Sell a lot of my crafts on Etsy (this will also help me downsize that area)
  • Make twiddle mats for elderly nursing home patients.
I'll have to come back and add to this list and see how I am doing on it.

Do you make goals for yourself for the next year?  If so, what kinds of goals do you strive for?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

No Christmas Party for us this year

Last year we decided not to attend the company Christmas Party for who knows what ever reason.  This year we decided to attend.  For the party you get to go to a town a couple hours away and check into a nice hotel, then go to a fancy steak house.  I don't understand it exactly but something about they bring the meats around and you choose what you want.  There is also a salad and vegetable bar the way I understand it.  Last year it was in San Antonio Texas and after the meal they all went and rode the river boat which I heard was a lot of fun.

So, we decided to go this year and made our reservations according to company directions.  Then work happened.  The party is supposed to be today in San Antonio.  Yesterday at 4:30 am, my husband got a call and had to get up and work on his computer until it was time to go to work.  Then he went to work and came home at the regular time.  About an hour later he got another call and had to work until 11:00pm.  So he basically worked from 4:30am to 11:00pm with a couple hours off in that time span.  Then he gets another call at 6:00am this morning and is still working 6-1/2 hours later.  It looks like we will not be going to the party.  Oh well, he is making extra money for over time which we cant complain about.

I used the extra time to sew and clean a bit in my craft corner so it wasn't a total bust for me.  I am a little disappointed but I also feel like there is a reason we were not supposed to go.  In my life I always feel God has his hand on me and my family and protects us from things even when we think things are not going our way.  I keep getting the feeling that today is just such a day and there is another reason besides the work that is keeping us from attending the party.  It could be that we might have had a car accident or something like that.  In any case I am grateful to God for always watching out for us and that he cares about our lives.  Even though we were made to serve Him doesn't mean he doesn't care about us and our lives.  

A good thing that came from this is I got to buy a new blouse for the party and now I will still have a new blouse.  Its red.  I always go to holiday parties and a lot of the ladies are wearing red blouses or sweaters.  Now I have owned red sweaters in my life but for me a sweater mean (Debbie is going to sweat)  I don't care what the temperature is.  I have always been hot blooded my whole life and require much less heat than most people.  And now that I am at the lovely stage of life where the heat is turned up a sweater is not a good idea for me.  So, I found a pretty red blouse in a stretchy fabric with 3/4 sleeves and long hemline which I like.  Now to have an occasion to wear it.  : )

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bowl cozies or bowl hot pads

A nice lady called me and asked if I would make her 20 bowl cozies for gifts for Christmas.  I said yes and began making them.  I had so much fun that I made several extras to give as gifts of my own.  Tomorrow I take these to her and she can choose the 20 that she wants and I will have the rest for my own gift stash.

These work well with cold food like ice cream just as good as they do with hot food like soup.  They are washable and reversible.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Preparing for Thanksgiving Dinner

Today is pie baking day here.  I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving for several weeks.  I love turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy and all the rest of the great foods we get to eat.  We will only have four at our table this year but we will cook the traditional meal just the same.  Just not as much.

Today Hannah and her friend Flor are coming and I think they may want to bake the pies.  I'm also trying to decide if we should bake the turkey today and slice it and just warm it up tomorrow.  The advantage to that would be we wouldn't have to get up so early tomorrow and I can make broth from the carcass to use in the dressing and gravy tomorrow.  If I am careful and cook and cut it properly it should retain the moisture.  I'll talk to Hannah and Flor and see what they think.

My big task for today is to clean off the dinning room table.  Its a mess because its where I cut up my old jeans for squares and use the computer and just about every thing else.  At the other end of the table are some cotton snowflakes I crochet drying and starching.  You can see where I am going here I'm sure.   It's a mess.

Here is a turkey cooking chart in case any of my dear friends need it.

I remember years ago cooking my first turkey and how scary it was.  It turned out fine and in the last few of years I have learned to save the carcass to make broth.  I used to take the turkey carcasses home when we had thanksgiving at our old church.  I think some of the ladies thought I had a screw loose.  But I just added a few carrots and onions and cooked those carcasses in a big ole pot for several hours and then I had the best turkey broth I could want and it is basically free.  So many people throw away their chicken bones and beef bones and turkey bones.  If I don't have time to make the broth right then I just put the bones into a bag and keep it in the freezer.  I also save carrot scraps, onion scraps, celery scraps and so on the same way.  Then when I'm ready to make some broth I just roast my bones in the oven, then either put them in a big pot filled with water on the stove along with the vegetables and a splash of apple cider vinegar or I just put them in my crock pot and let them cook for several hours.  I then strain the broth and cool it.  Its keeps for a few weeks in the fridge if you leave the fat on top.  If you want to remove the fat and are not going to use it right away its best to freeze it or can it.  Remember its dangerous to freeze items in glass so use plastic containers or even zip lock freezer bags.

OK, back to the pies.  This year we are just making one or two pumpkin pies and one pecan pie.  But while I was at the chiropractor I was talking to the ladies up front and they mentioned German chocolate pie.  Oh my that sure sounds good.  I will ask for their recipe next time I go in and maybe I can make that at Christmas time.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving and what are you thankful for?  I am especially thankful for family.  Even though I don't get to spend the holiday with them, I know they are well and safe so that is the most important thing I have to be thankful for.

               Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Spiced tea and Chai tea mixes

     I love the smells and taste of winter teas.  Spiced tea and Chai tea to name two.  There is something about cinnamon simmering that makes me think of winter and warm mugs of tea.

     This weekend I plan to make a small batch of spiced tea and a small batch of Chai tea.  I'm learning to make smaller batches of things as I get older.  With a mostly empty nest its not necessary to make huge batches of whatever I'm making any more.  That has been a hard lesson to learn.

     The is the recipe I am going to use for the spiced tea.
1-1/2 c. Tang ( I will use my orange juice mix from the cannery)
3/4 c. instant tea
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ginger
I will divide this up between Hannah and I so we neither one have too large a batch.  To make this just add 1 tbsp. to a cup of hot water and stir.
Image result for spiced tea pictures
For the Chai tea I will have to look on Pinterest to get a recipe.

Etsy Store

     I used to have an Etsy store a few years ago and never really tried to make it work.  I am thinking about trying it again.  Do any of my readers have an Etsy store and what are your thoughts on it?  Is it a good way to go to sell my handmade items?  Leave a comment please.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Machine embroidery again

I have had my embroidery machine for many years.  I have enjoyed it very much throughout those years.  Its not a fancy one where you can transfer directly from your computer but instead you must pick your designs and put them on a card which is then inserted into your embroidery machine.  I have managed to learn this skill many times and forget it as quick as I learn it, it seems.  Anyway I have gotten back into doing machine embroidery and so I wanted to show you what I made this morning.
This design takes 32 minutes and 9 color changes.  That 32 minutes is just sewing time, it doesn't include changing thread time and replacing the bobbin time.

The designs I use give suggestions for colors to use in the design but you can change them up to your liking.

Here is the paisley design I am making today nearly finished.

Trimmed and off the hoop.  What a pretty tea towel it made.  Down here in south Texas they call tea towels (cup towels), I had never heard them called that until I moved here.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

My latest crochet projects

I have made several hot pads but I thought these two were cute because one looks like a watermelon and the other looks like candy corn.
I saw this on Facebook when I was still on there and recognized both the stitch and the yarn.  I copied the picture and I love how it turned out.
This baby afghan is done in white I love this yarn from Hobby Lobby.  The pattern is called, Call the midwife.

This pattern is the virus pattern and is a pink and gray baby afghan.

This is a C2C or corner afghan.  The completed afghan is below.

The completed C2C afghan.  I made this for my daughter Brooke on the occasion of her marriage. 

I also made this afghan for Brooke and Alex on for their wedding.  They get married one week from today.

This is another C2C afghan.
I have also been crocheting hats for children who are less fortunate than us.  I will try to take a few pictures of the hats one of these days.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Missing in action

     I know that I have been MIA for a while here on the blog and I apologize.  I have closed my facebook account and all other media accounts.  I found I was spending far too much time on them.  I could check my phone for the amount of time I was spending on them and it was out of line.  Plus the controversy was getting to me.

      I have found I am getting a lot more done around the house now that I don't spend so much time reading about other peoples lives.

     As always I have been enjoying my crochet and when I last went to Dodge I brought along 35 hats I had made and donated them to a friend who teaches at one of the poorest schools in that town.  I hope they warm many children's heads this winter.  I am working on many more hats to take along with me to my daughters in Missouri for them to distribute to needy children.  It saddens me that so many children don't have the basics like a warm hat for the winter here in our own country.

     I have also been crocheting baby blankets.  I now have several made up and need to figure out what to do with them.  I have a niece who is expecting but one will be sufficient for her I am sure.

     Jeff and I have been working on writing our Wills.  Do you and your husband have Wills?  We are making Holographic Wills.  Do a search to see if they are valid in your state and how to prepare one.  Then it would be a good idea to get it done.  We are not promised tomorrow.

     For my extension club I am putting together a program about hurricane preparedness.  I think it is a good time since we just went through hurricane Harvey.  There is so much devastation in our area its unbelievable.  Fortunately we just had high winds and not floods like Houston and that area.  High winds are bad enough but at least there isn't the MOLD to contend with.  Our house only suffered a few trees down and singles blown off the roof.  We do get a new roof but really we were fortunate.

     Bill and Christina Derixson our friends and former pastors church was flooded and they had to quickly rip out the carpet from the sanctuary and that was a lot of work to unbolt all the pews and then remove them and then the carpet.  Then the water wicks up the sheet rock so that had to be removed as well.  They are having service in the fellowship hall and are working on redoing the sanctuary.  

     Hannah worked with a turtle capture and then they took scientific measurements and released the turtles.  That is right up her alley.  She is studying range and wildlife management at Texas A&M Kingsville.  She worked for the state park for 3 summers and last summer worked for a graduate student doing controlled burns and plant collection, identification and measurements.  She would really like to work on a cattle ranch this summer so if any of my friends who read this blog know of a place she can work this coming summer please let us know.  She is interested in range management but also wants to learn cattle and other stuff like that.  she has always been an outdoors girl.

     I will try not to be such a stranger and post more often.  Y'all take care.

Missionary News

Bush Beat BlogF



At 2 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, thieves broke into Manuel’s home.  Manuel is our long distance truck driver, and he was in Meluco District on an overnight run to deliver food to the 520 orphans in that area.  Manuel’s wife totally depends on that motorbike for her job as she teaches school in a village 15 km from Balama.
We are very thankful that the thieves did not harm anyone during the robbery, but the loss of the bike was a horrible blow to this family.
  With Manuel gone, the YOUTH GROUP from his church, some of them members of our BBC team, met at his home to pray.
They specifically asked the Lord to show them “where the bike was hidden”.  Most times, stolen bikes are taken to another town and immediately sold, making them very difficult to recover.
GOD ANSWERED QUICKLY for out of nowhere, a man they didn’t know showed up at Manuel’s gate.  He told the Youth group that he saw a man PUSHING a motorbike past his home at 2:15 a.m.  The man showed them where he saw the man going, so the men started talking to everyone on that road.
When they got near our construction site for Orphan House #3, the night guard came forward to say that HE SAW A MAN PUSHING A BIKE into a fenced yard not far from where we are building orphan house #3!  The Youth members and police went to that house and recovered the bike!  Folks, I can tell you that this is a GOD THING for sure!  It just doesn’t happen that a stolen bike is recovered so easily and in only 6 hours!
TALK ABOUT A FAITH LESSON!  All of us were super encouraged, and it showed our many “doubting Thomas” staff members that God truly answers prayer.  It was the talk of the whole community that day, making both the saved and unsaved “take notice” of God’s power to answer prayer!



Senhora Directora Anastancia Lidimba toured the Balama health facilities on Friday.  She requested to personally meet with me for she wanted to know who this “Brenda” is who helps the Balama hospital.  We assist in many little ways, and will be providing a Land Cruiser and driver this next week to help distribute deworming medicine to all the children in Balama District.  For the hospital staff to accomplish this massive feat in 30+ villages in 5 days (over 50,000 children in the target group), the Balama Hospital Director calls on everyone with transport who lives or works in the District to help transport the medical teams to the villages.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting this joyful and very powerful woman, who has the responsibility of overseeing every  medical facility in Cabo Delgado’s 17 districts.



1.       Capena, office manager and my very versatile “right hand man” along with the Balama food distribution team spent the week gifting over 25 tons of corn and beans to 577 orphans in 15 remote villages.


2.       Manuel made 2 trips to Meluco District (9 hour drive each way) to provide the corn and beans needed to support these children through the fast approaching rainy season (Nov.)  He will make another 3 loads this coming week, to complete the amount of food needed until May, 2018.

 WHY THE RUSH?  A main bridge is out on the only road leading to our Meluco mission station.  To get there, Manuel drives through a  deep river bed on a temporary road of large rocks that provides trucks a dry season crossing.  Once the rains begin, that option will literally be under water.
This large bridge has been repaired twice after the last 2 rainy seasons, but each rainy season this river receives even larger amounts of fast moving water that damages it again.
To say the least, it has been a hectic but rewarding week. Keep your prayers coming.
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
And the Balama staff


562 S. HWY 123, BYPASS, #301
SEGUIN, TX 78155

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Learning to grow microgreens

A microgreen is a green that is between a sprout and a full grown green or plant.  The tiny stalks are tender and full of nutrients.  Some say between 5 and 40 % more nutrients than a full grown plant or salad green.  With a sprout you eat the seed pod and the sprout.  With a microgreen you eat the stem and leaves.

I decided I wanted to learn to grow microgreens because where I live the season for growing greens is very short or they must be grown in the winter.  I like salads more in the summer than winter so I needed a way to get them without buying salad greens all summer.  I get plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers and so on but I needed a way to grow the greens.  I watched several you tube videos and read about growing microgreens online.  I decided the best approach was to start small, so I bought a few of these clear containers that go under potted plants at the Dollar Tree @ 4/$1.00.  I poked holes in the bottom and filled with organic potting soil.  I then  spread alfalfa seeds thickly over the soil and wet it down real good.  I then covered it with a damp cloth and kept it damp by misting it twice a day.  On day two when it looked like most of the seeds had sprouted I removed the cover which by this time I had been using a plate.  I put the greens in the window sill so they could get their chlorophyll or what ever it is called. 

This is day four.  I have a feeling that the alfalfa greens are going to be a smaller green.  They have the cotyledon leaves right now.  As soon as they get the first set of true leaves it will be ready to harvest.  I have ordered more seeds to try this with.  I have beet, pea dun, sunflower and kale seeds coming.  I will eventually try to have a variety of microgreens growing to make a more colorful salad. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tasty squash dish

Yesterday I made a really good squash dish.  I used zucchini and yellow squash and tomatoes.  I sliced the squash and quartered the tomatoes and spread them on a parchment paper lined pan.  I sprinkled minced garlic over and sprinkled seasoned salt and Italian seasoning over them.  I then squirted olive oil around on them.  I baked these at 350 for 15 minutes.  Then I sprinkled parmesan cheese over top and baked for another 15 minutes.  It sure was good.