Friday, September 30, 2011

The clouds tuned dark and the wind picked up. Would we get some rain.? I sure hoped so. Earlier when I had watered the bushes and filled the hummingbird feeders I noticed the ground looked like fine dust and asked the Lord for some rain.

No sooner had the wind picked up when it began to rain and then the wind really went to town. I was watching out the window of the 5th wheel when the wind grabbed the outside screens we have to block heat and UV and ripped one side off, as it began flapping in the wind the front door few open. Wondering how on earth the door flew open on its own I turned just in time to see Hannah coming in the door. Oh, so it was her and not the wind that's good. I was glad she was here with me and not each of us by ourselves in two seperate campers.

About that time the wind crumpled our new canopy like a tiny stick toy. Trash cans blew over and even the wood stacked on a table outside flew off.
Thank you dear Lord for the rain. We need more but maybe a little bit gentler next time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Jeff and I are doing a workshop together.

He works and I shop.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


$5.37! That's what the kid behind the counter at Taco Bell said to me. I dug into my pocket and pulled out some lint and two dimes and something that used to be a Jolly Rancher. Having already handed the kid a five-spot, I started to head back out to the truck to grab some change when the kid with the Elmo hairdo said the hardest thing anyone has ever said to me. He said, "It's OK. I'll just give you the senior citizen discount."

I turned to see who he was talking to and then heard the sound of change hitting the counter in front of me. "Only $4.68" he said cheerfully.

I stood there stupefied. I am 56, not even 60 yet? A mere child! Senior citizen?

I took my burrito and walked out to the truck wondering what was wrong with Elmo. Was he blind? As I sat in the truck, my blood began to boil. Old? Me?

I'll show him, I thought. I opened the door and headed back inside. I strode to the counter, and there he was waiting with a smile.

Before I could say a word, he held up something and jingled it in front of me, like I could be that easily distracted! What am I now? A toddler?

"Dude! Can't get too far without your car keys, eh?" I stared with utter disdain at the keys. I began to rationalize in my mind.!

"Leaving keys behind hardly makes a man elderly! It could happen to anyone!"

I turned and headed back to the truck. I slipped the key into the ignition, but it wouldn't turn. What now? I checked my keys and tried another. Still nothing.

That's when I noticed the purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror. I had no purple beads hanging from my rear view mirror.

Then, a few other objects came into focus. The car seat in the back seat. Happy Meal toys spread all over the floorboard. A partially eaten doughnut on the dashboard.

Faster than you can say ginkgo biloba, I flew out of the alien vehicle.

Moments later I was speeding out of the parking lot, relieved to finally be leaving this nightmarish stop in my life. That is when I felt it, deep in the bowels of my stomach: hunger! My stomach growled and churned, and I reached to grab my burrito, only it was nowhere to be found.

I swung the truck around, gathered my courage, and strode back into the restaurant one final time. There Elmo stood, draped in youth and black nail polish. All I could think was, "What is the world coming to?"

All I could say was, "Did I leave my food and drink in here"? At this point I was ready to ask a Boy Scout to help me back to my vehicle, and then go straight home and apply for Social Security benefits.

Elmo had no clue. I walked back out to the truck, and suddenly a young lad came up and tugged on my jeans to get my attention.. He was holding up a drink and a bag. His mother explained, "I think you left this in my truck by mistake."

I took the food and drink from the little boy and sheepishly apologized.

She offered these kind words: "It's OK My grandfather does stuff like this all the time."

All of this is to explain how I got a ticket doing 85 in a 40. Yes, I was racing some punk kid in a Toyota Prius. And no, I told the officer, I'm not too old to be driving this fast.

As I walked in the front door, my wife met me halfway down the hall. I handed her a bag of cold food and a $300 speeding ticket. I promptly sat in my rocking chair and covered up my legs with a blankey.

The good news was I had successfully found my way home.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to shape a Kaiser roll

This video is from Tammy's recipes:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Needle case

This is a view of the needle case I made this morning in the closed position. I ended up sewing on large snaps because these plastic snaps were not made for this this thickness in fabric.

This view shows the needle case open with a few needles inserted. I have been needing a good place to keep my needles so I am happy to have this.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

missionary update

Message bodyFrom: "Brenda Lange"
Date: September 25, 2011 5:53:49 AM CDT
Subject: Blog Sept. 25th, 2011

Today at the Pequaria Church (sponsored by Coopersville Reformed Church, MI), 122 children J came to the Sunday School class to hear God’s Creation story for the first time. (only had 45 last week)

A 13 year old boy, who has attended every church service since we showed the Jesus Film 8 weeks ago, knelt in the dirt at our feet to pray the prayer of Salvation. He is the first person in this entire village to be this bold!

A 5 year old boy got up (without prompting) and led the singing at the Sunday School, followed by an 8 year old girl who led the singing in the adult service.

Children are super sensitive to God’s spirit, and even though these kids only just met Jesus, it is clear that they love Him.

At the closing today, we all lifted our hands and sang our Hallalujah song in worship to the Lord.
The CHILDREN were so precious, as they raised their hands, closed their eyes, and blended their voices in beautiful worship as their gift to Jesus!
God is gathering in those who truly love Him.

Several weeks ago, I told you of the man who came to church to bring his offering, stating he couldn’t stay cause he had to sell Nipa (corn whiskey) in order to buy grass to roof his mud hut. Our teaching sunk in, as he testified today that he prayed to God and God told him to weave grass mats and food baskets.

Today, I saw his work, and became his first customer, as they are well made.
Our kids always need grass mats for different activities, so now I have a constant source I can rely on and he has a better way to make a living.


Distributing your love gifts of food and clothing to 1000+ orphans in 3 remote locations in Balama county takes days of organization and lots of work!

Each distribution needs 6 to 9 TONS of food per location.
Simultaneously, Sylvia, our orphan manager in Meluco county (6 hour drive away) is distributing food to 515 orphans in his area.

It takes 18 loads of food moved by our 6 ton truck between July and November, just to supply Meluco with food for those orphans.

Tomorrow, Sam and Nate, our USA visitors will help our 6 man loading team to move another 9 tons to Kwe Kwe village for distribution on Tuesday.

Since our tractor is out of action (see story below), the truck must take 2 loads of food the day before in order for us to distribute on Tuesday.

Nilza, our new Social Service staff member, got her eyes full this week as she began working with our program.

She told me she was stunned by the amount of kids we are helping, and the amount of work it takes to make it happen.
Your “love gifts” are hard at work! J


Our 6 ton truck perilously crossed a bridge last Tuesday that actually “dances” when a truck goes over it.

One of the main support pillars under the bridge, as well as part of the bridge surface, are badly cracked, causing the whole bridge to “sway” back and forth when a truck crosses over it.
At our next month’s give out in Impire, we will have the kids walk to that bridge (not far from our normal distribution site), to receive their food.

I was not aware this bridge was so weak until our team reported back after our distribution this week.

Needless to say, we won’t be crossing it again until someone fixes it. (which probably won’t happen until it collapses)


We hope to see him drive in on Thursday this week.
Prayers for a smooth trip are much appreciated.
Yep, it takes 5 full days to make the drive from S. Africa to Balama. He’ll stop over one night in Nampula, 7 hours south of us, to buy new tires for our 6 ton truck and water well supplies so we can fix a few wells needing repairs.

Our TRACTOR with 2 ton trailer went out of service this week with a leaking seal on the left rear wheel. Eric bought the parts and hopes to have it working again ASAP upon his arrival. Trying to haul rock and sand for our construction jobs is no joy with just a pick-up.


After meeting with Nacacca leaders this week, our Pastors found out that the culprit who closed our church is the ancient village chief who is now blind (both physically and spiritually).
He is no longer an official village representative and has no legal power to do this, but that didn’t stop him.

The village leaders tried to tell him that it is against the law to do what he did, but he won’t listen and the villagers are afraid of him. This week, the Government is sending a representative with an official order so that the church can meet again starting Oct.2nd.

Nine of the church members walked 5 miles today in order to worship with us in Balama.
It’s very humbling to see how far these people will walk for the pleasure of worshipping the Lord Jesus.

Blessings, and thanks so much for keeping us in your prayers.
Bush Bunny Brenda and the Balama gang!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New shelves

This is the paper side of the storage room. It was not this messy, but Jeff was moving stuff so he could add a shelf for me and I didn't get a picture before he got started.

Now the paper side of the storage room is nice and neat.

This is the pan side of the room. It did look like this and was a mess. It was hard to get to the pans I wanted and I could not organize it, there just wasn't enough room.

Jeff added a shelf and now look how neat it is. I am so pleased. Thank you Jeff.

Shopping~hair cuts and such

This week is going to be very nice weather wise. The forecast calls for temps in the 90's all week. Its such a relief to have cooler weather.

Today I am going to color my hair and cut Jeff's hair. He is dumping the black tank right now. Later we will drive to Victoria where I will do some shopping and we will get the oil changed on the car. We are also going to buy some wood so Jeff can put up a couple of shelves for me in the back bedroom. I am using the bunk room as a storage room now that the girls have moved next door. I did leave the two bottom bunks and its nice for company or when we want to lay down for a few minutes. Hannah sometimes comes over after school and lays down on one of the bunks.

If and when we ever buy another camper I think we will go with a park model so we wont have to deal with gray and black tanks. The girls camper is a park model so they never have to go empty tanks. We thought of leaving the tanks open but with a black tank that is a big NO NO. IF the tank is left open then the solids stay at the bottom of the tank and the liquids wash on out and pretty soon you have a big nasty mess. NO thank you. Also I think the land lord needs to dig a bigger sewer or leech field because we can dump both the gray tanks and the black tank the same day or there is spillage. TMI I know. Also if we leave the gray tank open which is ok as far as things go we get a sewer smell which we of course don't want. I really think the sewer just gets too full of gray water and it cant handle it, if he put in more leech fields it would sure help a bunch.

Well now that you know way more than you ever wanted to know about our sewer situation I will go on to another subject.

I met a man who owns a company that makes wringers. They are used at car washes and on off grid homes. I have one. After I bought one and used it I sent him some feedback and asked a few questions. He then called me and we began talking and became friends of a sort where we bounce ideas off each other about his products and ways to improve them. All this to say that he called me a couple of days ago because he is working on a new product and knew I might have a use for it. He is working on a proto type for a stand to hold a wringer over the bath tub so that when you are washing clothes in the tub you can use the wringer to wring them out. He has also made his version of the James Washer but it is made of a plastic barrel and is a lot cheaper than a James Washer. I really want one of these and I need to be saving my money to get one. The girls about died when I showed it to them. They do not want to go from an electric wringer washer to a manual washer where you have to swing the arm back and forth to agitate the clothes and then run the wringer by hand. I pretty much just want it to have in case of hard times or if sometime down the line the electricity went out or we had to live somewhere where we didn't have electricity.

I actually posted a video of the washer on this blog once.

Well you all have a nice day and enjoy your first Saturday of fall.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today is.....

Today is the first day of fall. So, happy fall ya'll.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Make your own washing soda

You can easily make your own washing soda from baking soda.

1.Pour a pound of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, available commercially in grocery stores) onto a cookie sheet. Spread it out so it heats evenly.

2 Heat the baking soda for an hour at 300 degrees F.

3 Pour the washing soda into a jar and seal tightly. It becomes more alkaline when heated, so use gloves to handle it or transfer it with a spoon.

Read more: How to Make Washing Soda

This is a much cheaper way to get washing soda which is priced much more than baking soda.

Explanation of PUL fabric

Polyurethane laminated (PUL) fabric is a rather technical term for the thin, shiny, waterproof cloth that makes up the outer layer of many washable diapers. It was originally created for use in hospitals and other medical settings, but it's perfect for cloth diapers, especially since it continues to prevent leaks over the course of many wash-and-dry cycles (even at high heat). This is why many cloth diapering moms recommend it (they also say it works great for bibs). If you buy premade cloth diapers, keep an eye out for an outer layer made of PUL fabric. If you sew your own, there are a number of reliable online sources for purchasing PUL fabric (try or It costs around $9 a yard, and it comes in a multitude of colors and prints.

This is the first information that I have seen that says you can dry PUL and on high heat. Most information says to line dry it to keep it from getting ruined. FYI

Tuesday, September 20, 2011



When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.
Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.
My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Waterproof apron and new hair cut

This is an apron I made today with PUL fabric. When Hannah does the dishes she always gets her front wet and uses 3 aprons and still gets wet. Now she will stay dry.

Hannah got a hair cut today as well. This is the first time she has had her hair this short in a long time. It looks really cute.

Hawaiian bread for the bread machine

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter I used 2 T. coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
Place ingredients in bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select basic dough light.

My bread machine was one I bought at Goodwill and I never had a book with it so I don't know what order the manufacturer recommends. I just put them in in the order given and so far it looks like a nice bread. I found it interesting that the pineapple juice was used in place of sugar.
recipe source:

Edited to add: This is the best bread I have ever made in my bread machine. I love it. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

missionary update

From:Brenda Lange
Date: September 17, 2011
Subject: Blog, Sept. 17, 2011

MORE New Regulations for Orphan Homes sets off wave of mass construction. Praise the Lord that these new rules do not affect our 20 mud brick homes hosting widowed grandmothers who are raising their orphaned grandchildren.But the new rules specify that orphans living in “Foster Homes” (because they have no family at all), must be housed in CONCRETE BRICK homes.

It affects 5 of our homes hosting 15 orphans and 2 foster mothers (as well as our teenage boy’s dorm).The construction must be finished by Dec. 2012.Sounds like a long way off, but Dec. to April is the rainy season making construction very difficult. Currently, I’m supervising the construction of the new dorm for orphan boys ages 11 to 18.

Our construction teams consist of 3 brick laying teams, one roofing crew, an 11 man rock breaking crew, and 1 carpentry team making doors and windows.Out here if you need something, you make it yourself.

This is what it takes to build something in our area:Our carpenters contracted wood cutters to cut 4X4 beams and boards in the bush. We transport them to our warehouse, where the carpenters turn them into roofs, doors, windows, and tables for the kids.

The brick layers have to have certain size rocks for the foundations of the homes, so 11 men sit all day in a shaded area breaking rocks with hammers.The only thing we buy ready-made is nails, tin roofing sheets, and bags of cement. All that has to be hauled in from 30 miles away.In fact, our 6 ton truck took a load of food to Meluco’s orphans yesterday, and on their return will buy 5 tons of cement that must be unloaded this afternoon into our warehouse.

Nothing comes easy out here.Once the dorm is finished we will have to start building the 5 new foster homes.I’ll tell you more about that once the dorm construction is completed.

SECOND REGULATION: Each large orphan program must hire a graduate of the Social Service School in Maputo to help supervise the orphans. Nilza, our 21 year old new graduate will be arriving TONIGHT from Maputo.

Capena, my office manager, left at 4:30a.m. today to fetch her at the Pemba airport.We are currently organizing a house for her too. In the meantime, she will stay with Dominica, our Woman’s Pastor.Going from Maputo city to a mud hut will be a culture shock for her.We all hope she can make the adjustments.

CHURCH UPDATE:1. ROOF COMPLETED for Kopweeto Church (donated by Rebecca Harris’ and supporters from Rock Island, TX area).

THANK YOU to all who supported Rebecca and helped her make this roof possible. The church members are VERY excited to have a good roof to protect the new church they built.

2. DONOR of Kwe Kwe church walls, Bette Everett, of Cypress, TX. THANK YOU for making it possible for these new Christians to have “strong walls” for their church. Pastor Alberto went to Kwe Kwe today on his motorbike to teach God’s Word and organize a brick layer to finish the church walls this week. I just received the 4X4 roofing beams yesterday, so our carpenter team will be going out by the end of Sept. to put on the roof.

3. Pequaria, the little church I personally disciple, is hard at work making bricks so they can build a small church. The old building we meet in will not last through this rainy season as the roof is already “swayback”, and is being held up by one tree trunk. The walls are full of termites, as they ate the bamboo and fence posts used to hold up the mud plaster. I’ve convinced them that it is better to meet in the shade outside their present church for now.

4. Naccaca Church has hit persecution from the village chief who stopped a meeting last week claiming we are illegally there. Religious Affairs has been notified and this should be cleared up this week. The government recognizes us as a registered church and will send the police if necessary to inform the village leaders of this fact, as they are in the wrong trying to stop us from meeting in their village.

MIRACULOUS RECOVERY FROM MALARIA!Sam Lyles started with a high fever on Wed. evening followed by all the other symptoms of malaria.Prayer followed immediately by treatment was the course of action.Malaria is usually quite draining the first time someone has it, which was the case the first 24 hours with Sam.Sam’s words were, “I feel like I was hit by a truck.” (which is exactly what it feels like). You become weak as a new born kitten, no appetite, and have a severe headache if you sit up at all.Yet 24 hours after the onset, Sam is out of bed, walks the 100 yards to my house, and EATS with us.THAT, my friends is the power of Jesus’ healing power, cause it is NOT ORDINARY.We PTL for Sam’s quick recovery.

The Lord’s Blessings on all you put your hands too in the week ahead.

Love in Christ,
Bush Bunny Brenda and the Balama Team

Weekly Prayer Schedule

Pray for the pastor and his family
Pray for spiritual growth
Pray for the President and our nation

Pray for the children of our church
Pray for our schools, colleges and universities
Pray for children around the world

Pray for the Elders and their families
Pray for the improvement in your spiritual disciplines
Pray for Congress and our nation's law makers

Pray for the women of the church
Pray for physical healthPray for all media outlets

Pray for the Deacons and their families
Pray for your emotional well-being
Pray for the Supreme Court and our nation's law enforcers

Pray for the men of the church
Pray for all Christian outreach and missionaries
Pray for our church

Pray for your own family
Pray for your personal relationships to be healthy
Pray for your heart to be prepared for Sunday's worship


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Upcycled tote bag

This is a large tote bag I made this morning from an empty pedigree dog food bag. Any feed bag that is the woven plastic kind will work. I didnt use a pattern or instructions I just do it. I have had others ask for a tutorial so I went online and found one. Here it is:

Product review

I sent this lady some of my Pink Monkey Soap products to use and review. Click the link to read he review.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Almost a year

Last year at this time we were finishing up selling and giving away most of our belongings. I just realized it has been almost a year since we moved into our 5th wheel. I don't think I ever would have thought we would do it.

The girls lived in here with us for 8 months until we bought another camper and moved them right next to us. Now I wonder how we did it when they were in here with us.

I guess that goes to show how you do what you have to do and then later when you look back you wonder how you ever did it.

I think we should have some kind of celebration marking our breaking free of the mortgage chains. When we sold our home last year we were able to pay off the mortgage, some credit cards and our pickup. Now we have a bit of credit card debt and the 5th wheel left to pay for. We are socking it to those debts so that one day we can say we are debt free. We are so looking foreword to that day.

We took the Dave Ramsay financial freedom course and that is pretty much what started it all.
We are snowballing our credit card debt and then we will snow ball the camper debt.

We got into the credit card debt when Jeff was out of work for 6 months and we used it more than we should have.

We paid cash for our car and then for the second camper. Actually we borrowed some for the second camper from Mollie but we are paying her back as well as saving for ourselves. We are saving so that when we need another car we will have cash to pay for it.

Once we learned to save up before we bought things it has really changed the way we look at stuff. We don't need nearly as much stuff as we once did. Also living in the 5th wheel helps bring on the reality of not acquiring too much because there just is not room for too much stuff. I admit we still own more than we should but as I look around we use everything we have. Except for some of the decorations on the walls.

I do try to continually go through things and get rid of stuff we don't use. One thing I think I need to go through again is my clothes. I have far fewer clothes than ever before but I tend to wear the same things over and over.

Every now and then I go through my food cabinets and rearrange them and its time to do it again. I like to take stock of what I have on hand and what I think I need to get.

September 27th is the day we officially moved in to our 5th wheel, time sure has flown.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


As soon as the mist burns off I will wash clothes. I prefer to wait until the grass isn't wet so I don't have to walk through it while damp.

Yesterday I made 4 shoulder snugglers to sell. I am getting ready for the next craft market. Today I want to make 2 more and then get some kitchen bar rags ready to crochet around to make into bibs. If I still have time I will finish the training panties I am making for a friend and maybe get to sewing on a few diapers.

I have had to come up with some higher value items to sell at the craft fairs because I have to sell so much soap to pay the booth fee. I decided if I could make some things that are more expensive that will hopefully sell it will make it easier to pay the booth fee. With my soap being $3.50 a bar it take a whole lot of soap sold to pay it otherwise.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can you wash dishes with cold water?

Washing Dishes with Coldwater:

Can Cold Water Clean Dishes?
This is for all the germ
conscious folks that worry about using cold water to

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of
Saskatchewan. After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John's
grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate and questioned his
grandfather asking, 'Are these plates clean?'

His grandfather replied, 'They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!'

For lunch the old man made hamburgers. Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny
specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked,

'Are you sure these plates are clean?' Without looking up the old man said, 'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them.

Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!' Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearbytown and as he was

leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.

John yelled and said, 'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.

Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV,
the old man shouted! 'Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!'

Meet Coldwater !



James Crane worked on the 101st floor of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center .. He is blind so he has a golden retriever named Daisy.

After the plane hit 20 stories below, James knew that he was doomed, so he let Daisy go, out of an act of love. She darted away into the darkened hallway. Choking on the fumes of the jet fuel and the smoke James was just waiting to die. About 30 minutes later, Daisy comes back along with James' boss, who Daisy just happened to pick up on floor 112

On her first run of the building, she leads James, James' boss, and about 300 more people out of the doomed building.
But she wasn't through yet, she knew there were others who were trapped. So, highly against James' wishes she ran back in the building. On her second run, she saved 392 lives. Again she went back in. During this run, the building collapses.
James hears about this and falls on his knees into tears.

Against all known odds, Daisy makes it out alive, but this time she is carried by a firefighter. "She led us right to the people, before she got injured" the fireman explained. Her final run saved another 273 lives.

She suffered acute smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws, and a broken leg, but she saved 967 lives.

Daisy is the first civilian Canine to win the Medal of Honor of New York City.


I have a stalker

I have a STALKER named Bill! You know who you are! I absolutely dislike YOU! He keeps hanging around my house despite my best efforts to be rid of him. I think he likes me! And when I finally get rid of him, he keeps coming back. I think he loves me! He comes in many forms... cable Bill, electric Bill & telephone Bill, heating Bill, and so on... If u drive by my house n see him feel free to shoot him on site!

missionary update

From: "Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
Date: September 10, 2011 10:30:31 PM CDT
Subject: Blog Sept. 11, 2011
5 WATER WELLS COMPLETED (Thanks to your generosity!)

Balama County--2 wellsMeluco County--3 wells (includes the Elephant village) All 5 wells are now pumping 1000’s of liters of water/day to over 500 families in EACH of these 5 villages.A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who pooled your resources to make this happen! There is still one well to be dug in the area of our Meluco mission station and orphan houses.

With much persistence, a Christian geologist, knowing how desperate the water situation is for our orphans, finally located 2 areas that show good promise. A break down in the water well drilling truck has caused a delay in completing this well.The company expects to have it dug before the end of Sept.

On Sept. 3rd, I picked up Samuel Lyles of San Antonio, TX and Nathan Bell of Columbus, Ohio.Sam is a Junior an Accounting major at Texas A&M, and Nathan is a Youth Pastor with experience in African missions.Both have done a wonderful job of “jumping in” and helping this week with the many practical tasks as well as enforcing our new Youth Program for teenagers.These 2 young men instantly won the hearts of the people, as Nathan stepped in the first day of devotions for our workers and taught them a funny “kid’s camp” song.

He had everyone howling with laughter as they tried to imitate his hand motions.They will bless us with their assistance till late November.

Last year you read of our dilemma with the new paved highway condemning many of our orphan homes, forcing us to construct new homes for the children.Our present dorm is home to 11 teenage orphan boys in grades 6-10.The new highway did not condemn their home, but it will pass just 30 feet from their front door.

Social Services agree that the boys needed to move to a safer location, so one acre of land was organized just outside our mission fence.Construction of the new complex hopefully will be completed in December, and is being financed by the selling of the old dorm site.

GOAT BARNS ALMOST READY Finding a suitable location, and building a goat barn with corral took a bit longer than expected.Thanks to Youth Leader Carlitos Jorge of Rovuma, it is finally ready to go.
We are looking at breeding stock next week, and hope to get our first breeding herd started by the end of the month.FYI: Carlitos grew up in our program, as he is the son of our first foster mother Assia. Assia has been with us from 2003 and is still caring for 7 orphans in her home.She has fostered 10 other children to adulthood in her loving care.

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE BALAMA BUSH CHURCHES JPequaria’s church offering and offering basket were finally returned to us this week, after Pastor Gito had a long talk with the woman who took it.

The 3 brick layers of the Kwe Kwe church will remain in jail until December for poaching an elephant. We distributed food to the Kwe Kwe orphans on Friday, and visited the church’s construction site. The church members were working hard to build the brick walls and were doing a fairly good job too.The 2 long walls were leaning outward a bit, so we asked them to tear down the “leaning part” and do it over.

Pastor Alberto rode his motorbike out there yesterday for their discipleship class and promised to make sure the walls were standing straight. ERIC DRY, our Associate Director in Balama, is wrapping up the supply trip purchases this week in South Africa and hopes to leave for Balama by early next week. That’s all for now folks!

Blessings and Love,

Bush Bunny Brenda and the Balama gang.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I remember 10 years ago where I was when I heard the news about the world trade center.

I was sitting in a Bible study class at church, it was a weekday morning. A man came in and said he was late because he had been watching the news. He told us what happened and then we prayed. He then went and brought a TV into our room. The teacher was not happy about that but every one wanted to know what was going on.

Where were you 10 years ago today? Do you remember?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A new take on a spice rack

When I first saw this I thought that's no spice rack, but it sure is, and they are fresh herbs and spices. I think I would be sure to put some broken terra cotta pieces in the bottom or better yet use empty vegetable or soup cans.

Sammy gets baptized

A week ago Sunday Sammy gave his heart to Jesus and this past Sunday his dad the preacher got the pleasure of baptizing him. I thought for a minute there he was going to take off preaching. I do think he will get the call for that.

Guess who?

This is me and a friend. Who does she remind you of?

Upcycle tote bag

Yesterday in a group on facebook a lady posted a bag she had made using an empty sunflower seed bird seed bag. Bingo. I wanted to do that so I went to my landlords home and asked his wife if she had a bag and sure enough she did. I brought it home, washed it up and this morning I whipped up this wonderful tote bag. I will give it to her if she wants it and ask her to save some bags for me to make more. It is quite large and will work great for groceries. Her husband asked if empty deer feed bags would work and I said as long as they are the same kind of plastic stuff and not paper. I hope he saves some of those for me.

Do you have any neat upcycled projects?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

T-shirt yarn rag rug

I made some yarn with several old t-shirts. I didn't like the way it looked after I ended it and it also needed a couple more rows.

I asked a facebook friend who has made over 60 rag rugs how to end the rug and after I added a couple more rows to it I ended it as she suggested and it looks really nice. I am very happy with it now. I wanted to post both pictures so you could see how it looked before I learned to properly end the rug.

Washable sandwich and snack bags tutorial

Cut a piece of fabric about an inch wider than the size sandwich bag you wish to make.

Try to trim the fabric so its even.

Flip fabric inside out.

Sew along both sides on the long side.

You have made a sort of tube. Now turn the tube right side out.


Fold something like this.

Sew along both sides of the bag.

See the pocket you just made?

You are done, just put your sandwich into the bag and fold the flap down.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


2 Tblsp chopped onion
¼ C melted butter
2 Tblsp butter
2Tblsp flour
¾ c milk
Drain salmon, reserving liquid for sauce. Flake salmon and remove skin and bones. Add ¾ c milk, green pepper, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, ¼ c melted butter and mix well. Spoon into a well greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ loaf pan (bread pan) pack well. Bake 350 for 50 minutesMake sauce for the top. Melt 2 tblsp butter and add flour, blend well. Add ¾ cup milk and liquid from salmon. Stir constantly til thickened. Serve over the top of the salmon loaf.

Recipe from Ethel Mae Nelson

Harry and Bess

This is one you want your Children and Grandchildren to read.They won't believe this happened, but it DID.

Harry & Bess
Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding the history of the USA as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.
The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri . His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and, other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an 'allowance' and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, "You don't want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn't belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it's not for sale."

Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, "I don't consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise."

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois ).

Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, "My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!

Texas wild fires

We are not in danger at this time with the wild fires here in Texas, although we are in a strong area of smoke flow. Click on this link to see where the active fires are right now and the smoke areas.

We have not been smelling smoke so that means the winds are down right now. We did suffer some wind damage while we were gone this weekend. Some of our skirting blew off the 5th wheel but it was easily snapped back on. One canopy was tossed and smashed about beyond repair, so its back to washing clothes under the sun. Good thing for me that the weather has turned cooler and at 8:40 am its only 70 degrees. I think it will stay under 100 so that will be a blessing.

I have to go to the dentist this morning in Victoria. He is going to see if I can have or need a root canal. I do not like root canals. Then they want to do surgery on some of my back teeth and pull some out. I think I am going to opt out of the surgery. I cant see any reason to pull teeth that are not bothering me.

The girls took Joy's car to the repair shop and they said its a beautiful morning today. I plan to enjoy it. If its not too late when we get back from the dentist I will wash clothes.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday fun

This morning I have some banana pineapple bread baking in the toaster oven, one load of laundry washed and one in the washer and one more to go after that.
Its only 8:40 am and its already hot outside.

Yesterday I picked the okra and put it in the dehydrator whole. I washed the pods and poked a hole in each one. Usually I wash and slice the okra and lay it on the trays but I read somewhere that they dry them whole and sell them for lots of money. Hey I can give it a try. I have also been making some zucchini chips. Some I dipped in oil then salted and some lemon juice and salt. We like the lemon juice and salt ones. I think with a dip they would be really good.

On Saturday we are going to Alvin to see our friends. Sammy gave his heart to Jesus last Sunday and he is getting baptised this Sunday so of course we wanted to be there. We are close enough that it is possible so we don't want to miss it. They are having a church dinner after the morning service. I am bringing cheeey potatoes and a loaf of the banana pineapple bread if I can keep every one from eating it.

Next Saturday the Alvin church is having an appreciation day for the police, fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel. Outback steak house donates the food and they just serve and treat the folks with great love and serve them. Its their way of thanking the public servants for the job they do.

Last year I gave every one there a bar of soap so this year I want to give something different. I have not decided what yet, but I better get on the ball.

What are your plans for this long weekend?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Real Spreadable Butter

I like to use real butter because I think it is better for you than spreadable plastic but it doesnt last long and isnt cheap.

Here is how I make real spreadable, good for you butter.

Take 1 lb. of room temperature butter.Whip it with your mixer until fluffy.

Slowly add 1 c. light olive oil or better yet coconut oil, keep whipping.

Then slowly add 1 c. water, keep whipping unitl it is all incorporated.

It will turn white.Spoon your whipped butter into containers. I keep mine in the fridge but you dont have to. If you keep it in the fridge and take it out when you make toast it seems to soften up right away and spread nicely.It makes the butter go much farther and my family loves it.