Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bloomingdale's Tank and Shirt

I was searching the internet for a more simple pattern for the jacket/shirt I had planned for my JCC when I stumbled upon this picture of a dupioni tank and big shirt. I love it and have been searching for some type of pattern that would give me a similar look. Tomorrow I will be off to JoAnn's or Hancocks to see what there might be.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I can hardly believe it myself, but I have finished my dress for the JCC. It has a total of 8 darts that I've discovered are worth the pain (I'm not thrilled to do darts) because they have a slimming effect. It is a very easy pattern and shouldn't take very long to do. Because the poly I used was so light I had to line it with some batiste. Even that wasn't bad. My challenge always ends up making all of the adjustments I need to and then making everything match up. I can't complain because it is way better than it used to be when I tried to make adjustments and make sure that I had changed everything that that adjustment affected...but I have quite a bit of room for improvement. Good...I look forward to it.

Three days and three garments...hmmmmmmm.....

Here is the dress with my accessory scarf.

Guess I should have used a clothes pin on the back to give it more shape and have it look like a smaller size. ;-]

Next up are the pants -

and the top
This top is similar to the one with the pants, the only difference is that I have made this one before, with adjustments, and it halfway fit so why at this late date should I start with a new one.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

JCC - Some Progress?

Well, well...after having to take care of some unexpected store business I was able to spend some time sewing today. I had wanted to finish the dress but my daughter says that everything I sew after 10 p.m. I end up ripping out the next morning so I will wait until tomorrow morning to sew the lining to the back zipper and hem. At least that only leaves 3 more garments to finish by Monday. Fun times. Will get a picture of the dress tomorrow.

The above mentioned daughter went to a noon Dodger game today (in the crazy heat) with her teacher friends. Before the game started I received this phone picture from her
Larry King was nice enough to take a picture with her even though it was his day off.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Human Resource Development Projects

From James:

Training of Nurses:

Samedi Deying Michel has been working the Bere Adventist Hospital since 1979 and started out as a janitor working his way up to nurse, surgical assistant and finally performing operations himself. Two years ago, we decided to send him off to nursing school to add some theoretical knowledge to his already vast experience.
Mbayambo Patchanne Andre is our administrator who we are sending to Kenya one month out of the year for 4 years to get his master's in International Development. This year will be his third session. He finishes is 2009.
Iaknone Hortence is a nurse's aide who we have sent off to become a midwife. The hospital currently has no midwives. She finishes in October 2008.
Djekourboa Anatole is one of our long term workers of almost 30 years service at the hospital as head of the laboratory. We are sending him to Valley View University in Ghana 2 months every year to be trained in medical equipment repair and maintenance. The program is put on by International Aid and last for three years. Anatole will finish this August, 2008.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It Was to Be a Simple Scarf!

The electric company promised to turn on the electricity to one of the temporarily vacant rentals so we could keep the lawn watered in this 100+ heat but they couldn't give an exact time, just some time between 8 a.m and 5 p.m. Sounds like a fun day of just waiting?!?!?! but I wasn't realy bothered because I thought that I would just whip out my scarf accessory for the JCC over at SG. Well, that was yesterday and it is now 11:15 p.m. the next day and I am just now finishing the hand rolled hem on a 36 x 36+ scarf.

I love hand work for some insane reason and was looking forward to a relaxing time. By noon yesterday I was kicking myself for not signing up for Susan Khalje's hand stitches class at PR. It was always something that I was "gonna" do.

After completing one side and was started on the next I decided to look on the internet once again to see if there were any more instructions that would make this process go faster. I think it was seeing a tutorial with pictures at Pins and Needles on hand stitches that showed me that I was most likely trying to sew these tiny little stiches backwards and upside down. So.....

I stopped mid stream and turned it all around and started going the other way and would you believe that it started to actually work. Being a silk fabric it was still slippery to work with and the process took longer. It is hard to see in these pics but the fabric has something like burnout areas in the fabric where you can see right through and when that part is turned under to hem there are fuzzy edges to that burnout area that were hard to make sure they were caught in the hemming.

So I'm happy that I learned another skill and thrilled that I now have completed one piece of my capsule!

This is a rather washed out picture of a sample of wonderful silk that I got on my trek to LA on Tuesday from ISW. It looks great with the scarf but I'm really not a great brown person.

Think I will start the dress for the capsule tomorrow. Only four more garments. ;-]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Well, yesterday I needed a fabric field trip and so I headed into LA to finally visit at least one of the fabric stores that I keep reading about, F & S on W. Pico. I don't know if it is the gas prices or just what, but I made it to LA in just over an hour and with no traffic, well, except minor slowing on the 10 to Santa Monica. Unheard of.

I have a piece of silk dupioni that I have been trying to find a coordinating fabric for for the June Capsule Contest and thought I would have no problem in LA. The dear little lady at F & S was so helpful and we scoured the store looking for just the right piece of fabric. They all seemed too pink or too yellow with nothing seeming "just right". She suggested that I go over to International Silk and Woolens to see if they might have a fabric that would work.

It had been over a year ago that I was at this store and even then was just there to buy a notion and not fabric. I did remember looking at some beautiful shirt fabric and thinking I would get back to get some. That didn't happen though. Anyway, upon entering the store there was a sales lady with a headscarf who asked if she could help me. I pulled my fabric out of the bag and told her what I was attempting to do and what I thought I needed. She went right over to some linen/silk blend and pulled out this gorgeous piece of fabric that matched perfectly. I was so impressed and loved it. After looking at a few more pieces of fabric I was at the point of making the decision to purchase when I thought I should see what this fabric looked like on me...good thing I looked absolutely horrible on me! even the sales lady agreed so you know it was bad.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The thunder rolls. A cool breeze bursts through the window ruffling the papers on the table. I'm sitting, staring out my window at life in Bere as the sun goes down behind the house. The red sunset reflects off the mango tree leaves poking up like heads of broccoli above the pale tan of the mud brick walls of my neighbors lots. The thatch roofs of the huts add no color but rather texture and ruggedness. A gentle rain sprinkles down. The sky is a steel grey.

People pass by on the path that runs 20 feet from where I sit behind mosquito screen and iron bars. Finally, a little rest from a long 24 hours of hospital work.

It started yesterday evening after the lights came on with a simple testicular abscess that we drained in the OR by removing his testicle. Afterwards, I was reminded how often unusual things come in pairs.

The nurse calls me to see an old man with urinary retention who had gone to a health center where they tried to insert a catheter into his bladder but came up with blood instead and couldn't get it in. They referred him to us. I see him now with a huge round mass in his lower abdomen: a distended bladder holding a liter or two of pee. I try half-heartedly for a few minutes knowing that a false track has probably been created leaving me with no option except to drain his bladder through his abdominal wall.

Then, I remember an instrument I saw among the bag of weird, mostly useless instruments brought by one of our volunteers. I hurry home and come back with an instrument looking like a torture device from the dark ages. It's a metal tube with a tee at the end and perpindicular to the tee a spout curving out. on top is a round top on a piston connected to a four-sided razor sharp spearhead poking out the opposite end.

I inject some local anesthetic above the pubic bone of the old gentleman, make a small skin incision and then poke and twist the torture device straight in until I feel a "pop". I pull back the piston and bloody, foul-smelling urine jets out the spout all over the bed and partly in the basin we'd arranged for it to go in. I then slide a rubber tube down the spout into the bladder and pull the torture device out. I tie the tube in place and attach it to a drain bag and send him to the ward after examining his prostate with a gloved (duh) finger and confirming that it's monstrously enlarged.

Outside my window, a fat lady mosey's on by pushing a push cart. Chickens peck the ground looking for insects while trying to escape the amorous advances of a strutting, cocky rooster.

Last night at 11pm, the twin of old man with the large prostate and urinary retention comes in. Same story, went to health center, tried to put in catheter, got blood, sent to the hospital. This time I'm ready and quickly repeat the same suprapubic insertion of the drainage tube under local anesthetic with the severe-looking trocar.

The rain continues to fall outside as a woman walks her friend out the gate of her courtyard half way down her path to the main path. As the saying goes here in Tchad, if I accompany you out then my blessing goes with you. She stops and shakes hands and her tall lanky friend saunters away down the path glancing casually around and greeting the two boys bringing the cows back in from grazing. A sharp smack with a long stick ensures that the cows keep up a healthy trot and stay in line.

The morning brings a pair of hernias. Not too unusual except that both have associated hydroceles. We do them with the generator running, but since it's kind of a mutant, handicapped generator, it can only do a few things at a time so we operate without lights (except for sunlight through the opaque glass brick "windows") so we can run the a/c and keep from dying from heat stroke and falling into an open groin wound.

In between cases, a 10 year old boy comes in after being attacked by a bull on the outside of his upper arm. A superficial 10cm U-shaped wound looks like it was cut with a knife or razor blade. How he avoided massive injury with those big horns I'll never know. I suture him up under general anesthesia and then do the second hernia/hydrocele combo.

A few hours later, another 10 year old boy comes in with a wound to his armpit from another bull's horn. This one is also superficial having missed his blood vessels and lungs. Those bulls need to practice their goring, they're attempts are pathetic. I let Simeon suture this one up while I grab a bite to eat.

A large woman waddles by outside my house as I sit and take in the calm evening scene around my house. On her head are carefully balance an enormous pile of bound reeds. I'll never cease to be amazed...where this path joins the main road in front of the hospital a group of about six kids hops, skips and talks animatedly to each other as they head away from me. A tiny girl in a tattered pink dress does semi-cartwheels, her bare feet flailing in the air before tumbling over on her back.

As I'm about to go home a little after 3pm, one of the nurses comes to see me to say that one of the kids on pediatrics is pooping blood. I go over to see one of the kids we'd treated for meningitis and malaria as well as giving a blood transfusion for anemia. She was doing better this morning according to the family and had finished the treatment. She always looked a little drowsy to me, but I guess I just chocked it up to being worn out from all that's happened. For some reason, it did strike me, though, especially looking back.

She is 4 months old, very cute, and with devoted parents.

She is resting face down on her moms lap, her butt cheeks in the air, her legs hanging down and dark red, partially coagulated blood coming out of her anus. I've never seen what I'd learned about in medical school as red currant jelly stool but this looks like it. I refresh my mind with a quick look up in my ER book and am convinced it's what's called intusseception (when the small intestine gets swallowed up by the large instestine creating obstruction).

We take her to the OR. She looks so tiny on that large table. She only weighs a little over 10 lbs (5 kg). Abel finds an IV, Simeon administers the anesthetic and after prayer I open up the thin skin of her belly with much trepidation.

Some red inflammatory fluid bubbles out along with most of her small instestines. I search for where her small intestine joins her large bowel and don't find what I expect. Instead, I find a deep red, almost black gangrenous appendix that fortunately hasn't ruptured. I perform an appendectomy and close her tummy up.

As I hand her back to her parents, tubes coming out from all over, I can't help but hope that one day soon, she too will be attempting cartwheels down the streets of Bere...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Capsule Find

The fires are under control and things are getting back to normal, now maybe I can get some sewing done on my June Capsule.

While looking for a sewing book I ran across these pamphlets that I remember ordering from Anne Klein probably sometime in the 80's, thought it was a great idea and then promptly forgot about them. Anyway thought the info was interesting.

Second muslin for my pants are just about complete. I tried them on and took another picture and was horrified at how my fit really pronounced a round tummy so I am working on camouflaging that unwelcome sight!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I find myself bumping along the supposedly paved streets of N'Djamena in a Hilux pickup so thrashed that you wouldn't believe it could still be running unless you've lived in Chad and seen the miraculously still running majority of Chadian vehicules limping along the highways and byways of the African plain. Sitting next to me is Enock, a squat, heavily muscled slowly turning to fat nursing student flashing a toothy grin complete with gold glint.

Whatever the case, he has been reminded of an unbelievable story that he now shares with me.

Several years ago, his son became deathly ill with severe abdominal pain. He was rushed to the health center who appropriately referred him to the National Reference Hospital in the capital, N'Djamena. They were fortunately living there at the time and were able to get him there quickly.

It was the middle of the night.

Trying to manoeuvre through the crazy ER with people piled all over the place already cost him some "tea" and "soap" money but finally he was seen by a doctor who confirmed the diagnosis: acute appendicitis.

He was scheduled for surgery that very night.

As Enock and his wife huddled together praying, the surgery team wheeled their son away through the swinging doors on a gurney. All they could do was sit and wait...

Until a half hour later, when all the lights went out.

Of course, there was instant confusion and they heard an orderly fumbling through the halls and bursting through the doors of the operating room. In a frantic rush he bumped into Enock.

"Are you the father of the boy with appendicitis?" He demanded.

"Yes, what's going on?"

"We're in the middle of the case, your son's belly is open and we have no light."

"Yeah, I noticed...what..."

"Hurry out to the market and buy some flashlights...HURRY!"

Enock rushed out, down the stairs, out the door of the hospital, hailed a motorcycle taxi, raced to the market, luckily found someone open, bought two flashlights and hurried back.

The surgeons then continued their life saving procedure and a week later Enock's son was home safe and sound.

Only in Chad.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Smoke looming over Neal Rd

Not much sewing going on for me these last couple of days. Our beloved town of Paradise, CA where we lived for 25+ years and raised our kids has been under severe fire attack since Wednesday night. As of Saturday afternoon 70+ homes have been destroyed and 20 more damaged. These include the homes of dear friends, families of our kids friends, physicians, and coworkers.

While living in Paradise, it was always a concern that something like this might happen, but whenever there was a threat to the town it was always avoided. There have been several 5:00 a.m. wake-up door knocks from the sheriff telling up to pack up the vehicles for evacuation but our homes were always saved. I had hoped that that would be the case this time too, but sadly, that wasn't going to happen.

The first time we packed up was the hardest because I didn't have a clue, other than pictures and important papers, of what to take. I finally was able to narrow my valuables down to, as already stated, pictures, and important papers, some clothes for the interim, computer, sewing machine and serger (in case I had to either provide clothes for the family or make an interim living). The final thing I always put in the car was my recipe box. My reasoning was that if everything that said to my kids "home" was lost, if when they walked in the door to unfamiliar sights and furniture at the least the familiar "smells" of their favorite foods would tell them that they were indeed home.

The wonderful thing about Paradise is that the community family will rally around those with losses great and small and help them rebuild, both materially and emotionally, and hold them close as they heal.

My heart is so sad tonight.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


It has been a sad week in the Loma Linda community and the young adults lost one of their own. Shaun was an acquaintance of my daughter's and had dated her roommate briefly several years ago. The article below is informative but you have to go to his blog and look at his amazing pictures. You will not believe them and you will not be disappointed for sure. Our prayers are with his family, father Norm, mother Marge and sister Shelly as they grieve this horrible loss. How comforting to know that he had a heart for God.

His blog is at:

California pilot dies in crash

Sat, June 7, 2008
Posted in Alaska News, Top Stories

Shaun Lunt in Alaska, 2007. More photos at

Friday night at approximately 7:30 p.m. (ADT), Alaska State Troopers in Bethel were notified a Piper Super Cub aircraft had crashed approximately 17.3 miles south of the village of Quinhagak, near Jack Smiths Bay.

View Larger Map

The victim of the crash was identified as Shaun Lunt, 33, of Loma Linda, California. Lunt was flying one of two Piper Super Cubs traveling together at the time of the crash. The pilot of the other Super Cub, identified as Lon “Loni” Habersetzer of Washington, had successfully landed in the area at the time the crash was reported, but then disappeared.

Photo of crash site on Friday evening, June 6, 2008. Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers arrived on the scene around 10:00 p.m. and confirmed the pilot of the downed aircraft had died. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FAA were scheduled to arrive in Bethel Saturday afternoon before traveling to the crash site to investigate its cause.

The two did not file a flight plan, but bought fuel in Dillingham before flying north to where the crash occurred. Their intended destination was unclear Saturday afternoon.

Photo of crash site on Friday evening, June 6, 2008. Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

UPDATE: 06/07/2008: Habersetzer, the second pilot, spoke briefly with Alaska State Troopers in Bethel via satellite phone on Saturday evening. According to a press release from the Troopers, he will be cooperating with the NTSB investigation.

Photo of pilot and Super Cub trainer Loni Habersetzer, from

UPDATE: 06/08/2008: Shaun Lunt, the deceased pilot, had a blog featuring photography from his flying exploits in Alaska. He also has another blog with more photos. You can also see a video testimonial Lunt gave for the bush pilot training he received from Loni Habersetzer’s training business, CUBDRIVER 749ER, LLC. Habersetzer’s company also has a collection of 9 more videos related to the Super Cub training program.

Additionally, Lunt was quoted and in a lengthy Habersetzer profile in the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Magazine. The article was published last m

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I spent part of my day today trying to get these pants to fit. I didn't think that they were too bad until I took a picture of the behind and then thought that maybe I had fitted them tooooo much. Here are a couple of pics that tell the fitting story...what do you think?

Flat Seat Adjustment

Okay, just a quick note to say that my goal of ending today with a wearable muslin pant did not materialize. I was just a bit discouraged when, after taking much time to adjust the pant pattern, I tried on the muslin and they did not fit anywhere!

I remembered reading about a flat seat adjustment on SC by Ann Rowley so I scurried to find the instructions that she so graciously shared. What a save for me - at least for the one leg that I have completed and tried on it surely fit differently. Since I had already cut the pants out I just cut the fabric in the manner she described for paper pattern and sewed where I had cut back up again after making the adjustments.

So we'll see what tomorrow brings when I do the other leg and put them together...I'm crossing my fingers...

Ann's flat seat adjustment can be found here,2106.0.html and her great photos of making the adjustment here

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kids - Africa

This is an update that we get from a friend of our kids that is a physician in Bere, Chad, Africa. Three years ago we took a group to this village with no running water or electricity to help build for them a new church so the old one could be used for an outpatient clinic for the hospital. Wonderful people, severe third world poverty. We spent time just teaching them to wash their hands.

The dust kicks up a small puff of powder with each tread of my foot. The clear blue, cloudless sky leaves no hint
of the massive showers soon to hit. Travis, Justin and I are hoofin' it to the river while Sarah and Chelsey ride on Bob and Pepper, our two horses. It has been exceptionally hot this year reaching into the 130's Fahrenheit and even higher in the A/C-less furnace we used to call our operating room. As the sun bakes my brain I try to desperately keep it alive with frequent sips from my camelback. After about 45 minutes we are in a groove but suddenly feel a cool gust. I look up and notice that out of nowhere behind us is now this gray, hazy area in the sky blotting out the trees and dusty terrain to the northeast.

Plip-plop. The first drops plump into the parched soil of the path. Soon we are almost shivering as a cold rain pelts us just as we arrive at the river with the pack of local boys we've picked up like groupies at a rock concert. We are famous. After all, we are "Nasara" the most interesting thing to happen in these parts in a long while for sure.

The river actually feels warm after the cold rain. The clean sandy bottom is just a couple feet under the surface and I have to lie down completely to get covered. I drift along with the surprisingly fast current till I hit a slightly deeper section. I grab a breath and dive. As all other sounds mute instantly I am made keenly aware of the gnashing of teeth sound of fish feeding and the soothing melody of raindrops on water. I wish I could stay under forever.

As I come up, I spot our groupies who have stripped down to their birthday suits and are splashing around in the shallow end. I decide to have some fun. I jump up and crash through the water chasing them as they flee in all directions, terrified of the white beast from the deep. For me it's just a game so I'm shocked when I actually catch one and he's crying and screaming his brains out with a petrified look on his deer in the headlights stare.

I grab him, throw him over my shoulder and run back to the river where I toss him in. He comes up unsure and when he realizes I'm not going to torture or eat him he hesitantly starts to smile as his comrades in arms hoot and holler from the shore.

Several minutes later, I repeat the same thing, sure this time they'll realize it's all just a game. I chase down the chaplain's son, a boy well known to me who seems to like me and has never been afraid of me before...until now. As I pound my barefeet up the bank and through the ruts leading down to the river I find myself gaining on him easily. Just as I'm about to catch him, he rounds a small bush and does a face plant as his feet slip on the wet clay. Before I can laugh I follow him in a crash landing slide into home reaching out at the last minute to tag the plate by grabbing his leg.

As I stand up I am shocked to hear him shrieking in terror. "Je ne veux pas!!! Je ne veus pas!!! I don't want to..." I'm shocked. I try to calm him down. I definitely let go of him and try to tell him I'm not going to do anything and to stop screaming. He completely ignores me. Anyone within a mile must be sure that someone is torturing and killing something as he squeals like a stuck pig.

He is clutching desperately to a clump of grass as I back away. He won't let go even as I return to the river to wash off.

It's another brutal reminder of the differences in culture as I can only reason that here boys aren't used to rough-housing or playing with adults. In fact, about the only contact they have with an adult is if he is going to beat them or punish them in some way. So even though I've never given him a reason not to trust me and he just saw that I was just playing with his friend, he was sure something horrible was about to happen to him.

I weep for the kids of this country who are so often abandoned and neglected and left to fend for themselves even for the food they eat and grow up learning not to trust and that fear is the only way to interact with others.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I am still struggling with how to bring my ideas, patterns and reality together to make a decent capsule for the SC JCC. As of right now, this is what the storyboard looks like

What do you think?

I Have Not Been Tagged

....but what the heck, thought I would just answer the questions anyway since it keeps me from actually cutting into the dupioni silk that I bought for the June Capsule Contest. It looks pretty all folded and neat hanging there from my bookshelf and I hate to disturb it. Excuses, excuses.

So for that diversion:

What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had negotiated purchasing a house for our daughter that needed major fixing up. She had just graduated from college and was in her first year of teaching and we thought it would be a good idea to buy something rather than just rent. The main house had a little 500 sq ft cottage behind it that we would use when we came to visit so as to not intrude on daughter and her roommates. I did all of the painting and sub-contractor duties for what needed to be fixed and remodeled. It has been a great investment but I am sooooooooooo glad to have all of the hard completed.

What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
1. Schedule a health talk for our store.
2. Mail the bill to the insurance company of the truck driver who rear-ended me going 70 mph.
3. Check references for potential renter.
4. Have Michael explain why we should use Joomla to create a website for missionary doctors in Bere, Chad, Africa.
5. Call Sarah to let her know that the house is already rented.
6. Cut out pants pattern for the JCC

Snacks I enjoy.
popcorn with brewers yeast - you should try it
just about any kind of cookie

Things I would do if I were a billionaire.
1. Buy a house in the country with its own water source.
2. Expand the store.
3. Expand health care, clean water sources, and agriculture for Chad, Africa.
4. Fund physicians for relief duty in these 3rd world countries.
5. Create a drop-in center for the homeless youth on the streets of LA where they would learn skills to work for their handouts and to provide for themselves.

Places I have lived.
How much time do you have....
Lincoln, NB
Jacksonville, FL
St. Petersburg, FL
Belle Glade, FL
Louisville, KY
Kansas City, MO
Centralia, MO
Memphis, TN
Orlando, FL
Takoma Park, MD
Loma Linda, CA
Berrien Springs, MI
Paradise, CA
Dallas, TX
Arlington, TX
Grand Prairie, TX
Baker, OR
Camarillo, CA
Suisun, CA

and I am only 39 years old.

What types of work have I done.
Secretary - Heart Team Cardiologist
Radiology Transcriptionist
Radiology Receptionist
Music Teacher
Sold Bernina and Passap
Office Mgr Chiropractic Office
Human Resources Asst. Mgr.
Store Owner
Rental Homes Mgr.

If you happen to read this and haven't answered these questions, please add your answers and let me know so I can know you better.