Tag Archives: Sower Project

The List

A fellow blogger once said to me that Lists are a great tool to use in blogging. You know – the 10 best ways to scramble eggs or 10 things I’ve learned while mowing the grass. Since I am sufficiently behind on my blogging, this seemed like a good time to employ that List Technique. Here goes – 10 Not Terribly Related Things.

  1. Our work here at Gulf Shores is going well.  We started out sorting clothes (mostly leftover from the massive amounts of clothing that was donated just after the hurricane hit) and boxing it to be sent to Puerto Rico (or other areas of need).Untitled
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    We’ve also done some post-shelter clean-up and organizing of stuff left behind, and of course, we’ve done some painting.
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  2. The guys have been busy too – though totally in a different area than we are, so I have some very limited pictures.
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    Mostly he and Jeff have been working over at the parsonage, hanging drywall, repairing plumbing and basically getting it closer to being able to be lived in! Meanwhile, the pastor and his wife are in a fifth wheel in the driveway.
  3. Remember those nine guys who drove down from Montana to help out? They were amazing – and even though we didn’t actually work with them, we were able to share devotions with them and some meals. IMG_5854
    They helped out in many different areas, and did excellent work where ever they went!  This is a new floor they put in the rec hall.
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    These men were just an small (and wonderful) example of the folks that have responded to the great need that remains here in the Houston-Galveston area.
  4. The disaster here is almost invisible. Unlike most hurricane damaged areas, there are no (or few) blue tarps on roofs, no trees down, and hardly any visible damage at all. Once the piles of trash are picked up from the street, the houses here look like they’re in pretty good shape. What you can’t see is that there are no walls inside those houses – or at least none for the first 4 feet or so. Foundations are cracked, mold is growing, and all kinds of other interior damage needs to be repaired so these homes are once again livable.The need is still great in this area.KenLongHitchcock
    (Photo by last month’s SOWER worker, Ken Long)
  5. I finally got my “Year 13” photobook finished! Since the year officially ended on July 31st, it’s about time, right? Let’s face it – having the coupon about to expire is the motivation needed to sort through the 7436 photos I took over that 13th year, choose the ones that represent our different stops and then organize them into a photobook!
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    If you’d like to take a look at the inside of  book, you can check it out HERE!
  6. Oh – we checked out Galveston Island over the weekend, and took advantage of the free ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula.
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    We just walked on, rode to the peninsula, rode back and then went out for lunch, but it was a fun little excursion. We spotted some porpoises, saw lots of birds, and a fair variety of boats and ships!
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    A little windswept, but having a grand time!
  7. Back in the day (a couple of lifetimes ago when I was in high school) one of my best friends was Janet Cruise. We were ‘church friends’ (and in fact she went to a rival high school), but she and her brother Dave (a good buddy of Gary’s) were a big part of those high school years. We always thought her folks were pretty cool (and very accommodating to our youth group antics), but I didn’t realize until years later how inspirational her dad actually was. This video is a short documentary about Les Cruise – one of the last living paratroopers who jumped on D-Day. Thank you to ALL our veterans!
    All American from 7 Wonders Cinema on Vimeo.
  8. Since this has taken me two days to put this all together, I thought you’d like to see the progress on our painting project –
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    I think a final coat tomorrow should wrap up this painting job. =)
  9. Since we’re all about The List on this blog post – have you ever read the book “The List” by C.D. Baker? It’s an historical novel about a family in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.  I really enjoyed it – perhaps because I’m familiar with the area and perhaps because I know the author, but I have to say it made me see the Revolutionary War in a whole new light. Check it out!
  10. On a final note – the Birthday month is going quite well! I’ve had some nice long conversations with the kids and my sisters, some mushy cards, and enough meals out to call the entire month celebratory.  Here’s a nice fuzzy photo of the Marysville Seven singing Happy Birthday to me –
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    I love my crazy family

Continue reading The List

Home again, home again, jiggedity jig

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The last 8 weeks have been about as fabulous as possible, filled with family, friends, and frivolity, but right now nothing is feeling quite as lovely as being home.
My own bed.
My own shower. (yes, it’s small, but it’s mine (ours!))
My own clutter.
My own stuff.

It’s past time to get my life back into some sort of routine, back into taking care of life business, and back into SOWER work. While I’m working on making all of that happen, I’ll just share a time-lapse of Gary and I building some ductwork for the project here at Montrose. You’ll just have to imagine the racket that was involved!
Building duct work

And now I’m off to do some Cruisin’ Musin’

Saturday wrap-up

Happy weekend, everyone!!! This promises to be a Very Busy Weekend for us (the SOWER TX Round-up starts tomorrow here at Trinity Pines and guess who’s in charge. Yep. Us.) so I figured I’d better get a quick Project Wrap-up done before life totally carries me away…..

We had another great month. Although we started with 10 couples, by the time the project had ended we were up to 23 official SOWERS and a couple of SOWER of soon-to-be SOWERS! Just so you can see how great a ‘cloud of servants’ we were, here’s our group picture.
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Now isn’t that a fine looking group of folk?
And, oh my – what we accomplished!! Except for two hardy souls who were cleaning in the dining room, we ladies were painting mavens. Along with lots of touch-up painting in several of the lodges, we also:

  • painted the entire interior of a staff house to get it ready for new occupants,
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  • painted 2 sets of outdoor stairs and railings,
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  • painted 4 BBQ pits
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  • painted ALL the fire hydrants
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  • painted a bell tower and the bell and then an additional bell (God Bless those girls on the high ladders!!!)
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  • And since we still had two days to go, they had us paint 4 bathrooms in one of the lodges.
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The men were equally as busy – I just don’t have the pictures to show you because I was -you know – busy painting! They were sent out in twos to accomplish plumbing, light-swapping, earth moving, air conditioning, door hanging…you get the drift. They had a long punch list and did a great job punching it all out. Here are just a couple of pictures that I managed to take of the guys working – mostly because I was working (or happened to be walking by) where they were!
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Gary fixing a leak in the A/C that was dripping on the walkway to the dining hall. (Taken while walking to lunch. =) )
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Jay and John digging a hole for something or other. (Across the way from the house where we were painting.)
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Gary showing me the man-lift he got to use to fix the do-hickey that was causing problems. (Near a BBQ I was working on.) You can tell I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to what the guys were doing. All I know is that they got a lot done!!!!
But as always, it wasn’t all about the work. We had some great evenings of fellowship – like the homemade waffles and ice cream night…..
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Special thanks to the waffle masters, Charlie and Deanna!
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We shared many meals and game nights and the ladies had a very fun afternoon enjoying a lovely lunch and a bit of shopping.
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In the short three weeks that we have been here, in the true sense of spring, friendships have been birthed, renewed, and refreshed. Even the trees have gone from barren to that first crisp green of new leaves.
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I do not think we could have asked for a more beautiful month!
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P.S. If you’d like to see more pictures of our time at Trinity Pines – feel free to check them out HERE!

Twin Oaks Ranch – a bit of a walk about

One of the best parts of being in the SOWER Ministry is the diversity of locations each month. Although last month we were also in the Austin (TX) area, we were pretty remote and had a 15 minute drive to even hit a main road. And then it was another 15-20 minutes (either way) to the grocery store or the beloved Lowes. Here at Twin Oaks we are just 10 minutes from the Interstate and all kinds of civilization. But the really sweet part of this camp is that it still feels like you’re out in sticks.
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It’s a relatively small campus and is geared more towards retreats than full-blown wild and crazy summer camp. But that doesn’t mean it’s not packed full of good things to do. Pool, zip lines, GaGa Ball courts, archery, obstacle course, massive fire pit –
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You know, all that good stuff. And they also have a lovely waterfront along the Onion Creek.
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Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rope swing – and did you see the hammock!! Like I said, all the good stuff.
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There’s a beautiful chapel
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overlooking the waterfront –
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Isn’t it lovely?
You can see in this Google map screen shot that there is a neighborhood on north side of the campus. (The blue dot is actually where we are parked, and yes – we do look out the front to a housing development.
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But the neighbors on the other side (down by the creek) are pretty interesting –
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Yep, it’s an emu. Go figure!

So this is a very sweet camp. One of its distinctive is that it a “perfect space for you and your group to spend time together with God and each other.” And it’s less than 30 minutes from Austin! Pretty much a win-win!
And did I mention the sunsets?
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A very sweet camp, indeed!!