Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm Back

Hey all,

Well I'm back, safe and sound but with a broken finger where it attaches to my hand. Hence, I'm writing this with one hand, hunt and peck style. Slow!

It's funny: even with all our fabulous experiences in Zambia (see my zambia blog), I still missed home more than ever, especially dear hubby. And I really missed the canine kids. DH tells me they missed me, too.

BUT, I was able get a canine fix while there: the dear missionary couple we stayed with after the conference (the Moyers) had four dogs and at least two cats, my favorite of which is Rajah.

Just look at him:

That's me (before I broke my hand) with Rajah at the Moyers' home in Kabwe, Zambia: he's a leaner like Elsie and would love you to pet him all day.

He's a Boerboel (a cross between a mastiff and a bulldog, or a mastiff and a great dane depending on who you talk to), a recognized breed in South Africa, also known as the South African Mastiff. And they are a fabulous breed.

He're Rajah with his female companion (can't remember her name just now):

Isn't she beautiful?

This breed is marked by fierce loyalty, intelligence, affection, and obedience, and they make fabulous guard dogs. In fact, the local Zambians won't enter the Moyers' wall-fenced, gated yard (necessary for nearly all homes because of rampant theft) because they say the Moyers keep two "lions" there. ;o)

But they're gentle, affectionate lions as long as they know you're okay.

And they helped me miss home that much less. Especially Rajah.

'Til next time,
Joan (whose hand really hurts, but who's TREMENDOUSLY thankful to be back home on U.S. soil--we Americans don't have a clue how good we have it here...more on that to come).

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Down, but not out!

Well, this is me after I broke my finger falling at Vic Falls. I'm still numb here in this picture after they injected my hand and nerves so they could realign the bones, so I'm a smiling happy camper. :o)

The break is right up against the knuckle in my left hand (the pinky finger bone mms. from the joint). I have more discomfort now from the nerve irritation than from the bone, but it's all slowly getting better .

The docs here in the States will resplint my hand and finger on Friday to give the bones time to knit before they mess with redoing the splint.

I post this only to let you know I'm okay and that we see God's grace in countless details.

Thanks for praying! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Well, I think I've finally gotten blogger to work this morning! And my little camera is taking pictures just fine. It'll be a nice (small, lightweight, portable) addition to our Zambia trip.

So here's the exchange I captured this morning on my little digital:

Got anything to play with, Mom?

There it is! I see it! It's MINE!

HA HA, Ridge! I got it and you don't!

Ah, c'mon Ridge...I was only teasing. Give it back!

Ah...these kids...when will they learn!

When will we?

When it comes right down to it, who of us truly owns anything? It's all just entrusted to us for a time (as they say, hearses don't pull u-hauls). That's a great reminder for me as I jet across the Pond to another continent. Well, two actually -- first Europe (London), then Africa (Zambia).

There but for the grace of God go I.

'Til next time,
Joan (whose fingernails are now far shorter so she can key on this keyboard without hitting two keys at a time).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Testing My Camera - Depressed Doggies

Hey all,I'm just getting ready to leave for Zambia and am testing my little pocket camera to see if its photos will load well.

I didn't want to take my "good" digital camera (too big in size, too expensive to risk being stolen or confiscated), so I found a teeny-sized one on eBay that should do nicely (yup, good ol' eBay) .

So I'm trying out the camera, as well as testing the software necessary for dealing with downloading and uploading photos from the cameral to my laptop, especially since my laptop has become the team laptop for this trip. :o)

When we update our Zambia blog while we're over there, we'll do so from this computer (boy do I need to cut my fingernails; this keyboard is SO much smaller and flatter than my desktop's ergonomic split keyboard -- long nails makes it tough to key).

So here are some pics (the poor canine kids are SORELY depressed with Don gone again, and me not paying them much attention). Can you tell?

And I've discovered that I can upload pictures using Picasa. BUT I haven't been able to do a direct upload through Blogger's photo option yet (Blogger is giving me fits again!).

Oh well. I guess I'll have to try again later. TTFN (ta ta for now!)

Joan Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 08, 2006

Snuggle Withdrawel

Poor Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge. They're in serious snugggle withdrawel.

You see, Daddy Don traveled to Ireland and France for work last week, came home for the weekend, then flew to upstate New York where he'll be until Thursday morning.

I leave for Zambia the same Thursday afternoon a few hours after Don gets home.

AND with all my Zambia preparations AND my work deadlines AND having to deal with insurance companies after youngest son's accident (he was rear-ended; not his fault) AND doing airport runs for hubby AND moving oldest son home from college for the summer AND squeezing in pre-trip family time (visiting daughter at college and going to Mom's for a Zambia send-off dinner) AND the usual stuff (bills, laundry, meals, etc.) and, well...the poor canine kids aren't getting much attention or snuggle time--certainly not as much as they're used to. Ridge in particular has become quite a snuggler (even enjoys the puppy pile, meaning he snuggles with us even if we're already snuggling with Baxter or Elsie). :o)

So they're depressed. And it shows. Poor kids.

I've been trying to spend evenings with them, but time is tight with Zambia looming. At least firstborn son, Dan, is home now, so he can snuggle with them a bit. The LOVE Dan. Just like they love us.

So snuggling with Dan will have to do. Don and I just aren't available right now (he's away, and I'm prepping for Zambia).

I wonder how they'll be while I'm away (two full weeks)? Will they miss me? I know I'll miss them! It's funny how attached we become. :o)

'Til next time,

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Checking In

Sorry folks -- it's been six weeks. And I'll only be able to do a brief update now, since next week I leave on two-week short-term missions trip to Zambia, Africa.

I've been swamped: we're in the middle of house renovations, and I had a blecky reaction to a vaccine I needed for the Africa trip, and I got sick, and my youngest was in a car accident (he's okay, just really whiplashed), and hubby has been traveling again (in France and Ireland this wee), and...well you get the idea.

The "kids" are fine; enjoying spring. It's been a fabulous spring so far: high temps in the 60s and low 70s, lows in the 40s and 50s (MY kind of weather). None of this go-from-winter-directly-into-summer stuff this year. It's truly been spring, and it's been delightful.

We've had too little rain, though (we're already in a declared drought-watch here in PA).

But the last time it rained, we saw something we haven't seen in years: a rainbow (full-color, no less). Check this out (I even captured it on my digital camera!):

Way cool! Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge were oblivious, of course -- just wondering what all the hubbub was about as I ran around trying to find my camera.

They may have been oblivious, but I sure wasn't! In the midst of the last several week's challenges, what a terrific reminder it was of God's presence and provision!

'Til next time,