Thanks for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award, Sarah @ Forever Aspiring Writer! The award is a way to say HEY to all the great bloggers out there…so thanks!❤
write a post to show your award -+- give a brief story of how your blog started -+- give two pieces of advice for new bloggers -+- thank whoever nominated you and link their blog -+- select other blogs to recognize as awesome bloggers!
how a bookworm’s majestic adventures began:
In September of 2013 when I clicked the Create Website button on WordPress, my blog was going to be solely a review blog. Books, movies, random stuff like EOS lip balm and lotion. As the posts went on I found that instead of reviews, I really enjoyed writing about random stuff…like the baking flops of my life and the time I ate corn nuts with braces. Although the occasional review does make an appearance here or there.😉
Sarah said this and I’m sure that everyone’s heard it before but it’s mucho important!
H a v e f u n w i t h y o u r b l o g ! ! !
Having fun with your blog comes in many ways, shapes and forms. This would include but is not limited to:
+Writing what you’re interested in. Even if it means you change your mind a couple times.
+If blog schedules stress you out…why schedule? This is me. I don’t like blog schedules. Because if Life happens and I can’t post, then what? Besides, I enjoy being sporadic. Every time I press the Publish button and release my “New Post” emails to my followers it’s like Surprise!
+Don’t try to please the crowd. It doesn’t work to try and please everyone. And unless you’re pizza, you can’t anyways, so there’s no point in trying.
Back in February I showed a friend of mine a bouquet of tissue paper chrysanthemums that I made for my grandma. “You should make a blog tutorial so I can learn how to do that!” she told me. I made a mental note to do that sometime. And after eight months, ha, today is sometime. So sorry it took so long, but better late than never, right?🙂
My dad taught me how to make these a few years ago, and now here I am to pass along the knowledge. They’re very easy to make and quick.
What You’ll Need…
Tissue Paper ~ Whatever color you prefer. You can even mix colors to create variegated chrysanthemums!
Floral Wire or Pipe Cleaners
What To Do…
Cut your tissue paper into squares. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways) that the bigger your squares, the bigger your flower will be, so it’s really personal preference here. I made my squares roughly 4×4 inches and came out with a flower that was 2-1/2 inches in diameter. I eyeball the measurements.
For a flower this size (4×4″ squares) you’ll only need eight squares. Stack them on top of each other and fold “accordion style”. The bigger the flower, the more sheets you’ll need. You want to have a full flower! Mix up the color squares if you want a multi-colored flower. After this, wrap some floral wire/pipe cleaner around your tissue paper and twist it together to hold it in place.
Pull the two ends of the tissue paper out so it resembles a bow tie. On one side find the first layer of tissue paper and gently pull it up to the middle. Do this on the opposite side and keep repeating until all the layers have been pulled to the center.
That’s it! Use your scissors to trim the flower to make all the petals even and round them out if you desire. Now that your flower is done you can make more to create a bouquet or you can attach some ribbon to it and tie it around a present, or whatever else you’d care to do with it!
Do you think you’ll try to make some flowers? Do you know how to make any other flowers or cool things out of tissue paper? What’s your favorite flower?
I know how to make a fire from watching Survivorman and Bear Grylls and Man Woman Wild with my brother. The experts always say that it’s harder than it looks–but c’mon, how hard can it really be if you got matches, right? Hahahahahaha.
Rewind! I’m getting ahead of myself here.
I believe I’ve mentioned before…I’m not a big camper, peoples. So when I was asked last-minute to be a camp counselor at a Christian girl’s camp, I didn’t really…want to. Camping! Camping isn’t my thing! But as much as I’ve been doing it lately (three times this year) it might become my thing, hahahaha. Anyways, I felt like the Lord was telling me that being a camp counselor for one week was a good way to serve Him this summer. So, I went.
Between the other counselor and I, we had fourteen girls with us and they kept us busy. In spite of the busyness however, things were actually going just dandy! Every night everyone would participate in what the camp calls a “Great Special”–some form of game that’s great and special.😉 Every night the Great Special changes. One night it was kickball. Instead of bases, you had to stand in piles of rotten sauerkraut and green beans. Yuk!
Tuesday night, however, was different. Instead of the whole camp doing the Great Special together, each counselor took their girls and built a campfire, had s’mores, and the girls put together and performed their own little skit. It was rather…intimidating. I never went to summer camp as a kid and it was my first year being a counselor at one. I felt thrown into it, but the other counselor with me had had camp experience which made me feel better. Still, I desperately wanted to do a good job.
We set the girls to work gathering small sticks and things to use for kindling. The sticks were placed into piles according to size, but much to my dismay, nearly everything around us was either damp or still green. Not very, but enough that I wondered how well this was going to work. Once we had a pretty good amount of sticks to start with, the girls left and began practicing their skit leaving us to get the campfire started.
“I know how to make a fire,” I told the other counselor.
“You do? Perfect! I will leave you to it then.”
I began to build the fire. Smallest things first, the tiniest twigs and other dry stuff that’s good for starting a fire. Then build a teepee around it with a little bit bigger, bigger, bigger, sticks. Making sure to leave a way to get the match down to the small kindling.
Meanwhile the camp director was making his way around to see how us counselors were doing with our campfires. When he checked mine, he said that it looked like a really good fire, though I had yet to light it. I felt proud. A little too proud, perhaps.
After he left, the girls performed their skit for us. It was hilarious, and very long. We lost track of time, and before we knew it an hour had passed. It was time for me to light the fire. I pulled out the tiny book of matches and stuck one, holding the flame to the twigs. As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs so I didn’t panic when it didn’t light on the first match. But as the second, third, fourth–twentieth match was lit and extinguished, I became overwhelmed and frustrated. It was nearly dark. I had forgotten my flashlight back at the cabin. I had a headache. The girls were all asking when they could have marshmallows.
Last match. I whispered a prayer before I struck it and held it to the kindling. I got a small flame! I blew gently to try and grow it. When the embers fizzled away, I wanted to cry.
“That was the last match,” I told the other counselor with me. “What do we do now?”
We used the walkies and asked the camp director to come down. I was extremely embarrassed; the feed went through to everyone else and I learned that the other group had a fire going. When the camp director came, he brought along a blow-torch of sorts. He said the same thing I thought–the kindling was bit too green, but we also needed a little more of it. I borrowed a camper’s flashlight because by now it was seriously dark, and helped gather. And finally–at long last–we had fire.
“Thank you so much,” I told the camp director as he stood. “The girls are so glad to have marshmallows!”
Maybe he knew I was still embarrassed. “You did a good job. The other group used dryer lint,” he told me.
We had a fire, everyone got a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers, and everyone was happy. In the end, I learned a couple important lessons to help me if there’s a next time…
1. Building a fire? Definitely harder than it looks
…especially on your first try. No matter how much you know about building one, it’s still a tricky business if everything’s not just so. There’s no shame in asking for help.
2. Don’t count your chickens before their hatched
especially if said chickens are a small book of matches. You go through them quicker than you think.
3. Have fun
because camp is about having fun. We still had a blast with the skit and spending time outside together and worst case scenario is eating a raw marshmallow and chocolate. Plus it’s making a memory.
4. Dryer lint
apparently really helps. Or a blow torch, but dryer lint is probably more accessible, especially at summer camp.
I don’t recall how old I was exactly when I read my first Nancy Drew book. I do remember that I was young, because there were several words that I didn’t know the meaning to. For example, who at eight years old knew the meaning of quandary? Like what? I’d sit next to Mom while I read so she could be my human dictionary.
The first book I read, which was actually the second book in the series, was The Hidden Staircase. Reading about the way Nancy used her wits and detective skills to solve the mystery of a “haunted” mansion was exciting! It made me want to solve mysteries of my own. But due to the lack of suspicious activity around our neighborhood (which, in hindsight, is a good thing) I settled for reading about them instead. Plus, it’s been proven to be less dangerous to read about crooks than meet up with them in real life. Ever since I found that book tucked away in a box (along with my mom’s complete Trixie Belden series) I have loved Nancy Drew.
The next obvious step, after reading about Nancy, would be to watch a show, right? Mom introduced me to the 1978 Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries that she used to watch. I’ve watched every episode (at least those available on Netflix at the time) multiple times over. I was thrilled when I recognized a couple of the episode plots as plots in a ND book. When the 2007 Nancy Drew movie starring Emma Roberts came out? Mom and I saw it. Twice.
Then I thought, I love Nancy Drew and I love books–I’m always looking to expand my library. Why not collect the entire series??? So that’s what I set out to do. It became my mission to find the yellow hardcover Nancy Drew books in either version, matte or glossy. No garage, library, or used book sale was safe as I searched high and low for all sixty-four books.
At times it was frustrating. Once I got past book 56 they became harder for me to find. Some days it felt like I’d never get them all! I didn’t want to pay twenty dollars (or more) for one book….
Family, friends, wonderful people who follow my blog that I haven’t even met–I am pleased to announce that after years and years of casually searching and three months of aggressive eBay searching, I have done it. Last month book 58, The Flying Saucer Mystery, arrived in my mailbox in all its glossy hardcover, new book glory. It was a very happy day as I slid it in between books 57 and 59 and was able to bask in the fact that
MY COLLECTION WAS COMPLETE!
As you can see, I have several matte books sandwiched between the glossy. A couple library books, and I’m debating whether or not to try and remove those stickers. (Probably won’t because it would be a horrifying experience, trying to remove them without damaging the cover) But the books–the stories–they are all there, and it makes me so excited to see the bright yellow when I look at my bookcase.
Quick Fun Fact:
A lot of people say that the original Nancy Drew collection spans only from books 1-56–not 1-64. Why? Upon Googling, I found this interesting tidbit: Originally Nancy Drew mysteries were published by the Grosset & Dunlap company. For a reason that presently eludes me, books 57 onward were published by Simon & Schuster. Because they switched publishers, a lot of folks regard books 57-64 as an entirely different series. I, however, don’t really care about who published it as long as it’s hardcover and yellow. Regardless, it’s interesting!
Something I Find Kinda Cool:
As years progress and a book gets older, publishers will update the covers of books and release them again. The same is true for Nancy Drew. In 1930 when the books were first released, they had a blue cover with the title in orange font. It was later changed to add a silhouette of Nancy Drew holding a magnifying glass. In 1962, they were yellow matte with a full-color picture on the front and in ’86 the glossy version was released. For example:
I also found two sites here and here that show all the different covers on the series. If you’re like me, maybe you’ll find it neat on how they change the pictures. These pictures look similar for the most part, but some of them are pretty different!
One More Thing I Find Interesting:
Did you know that the first 34 Nancy Drew’s were revised? Because they were! Beginning in 1959, they began to revise the books to update the way they talked and to eliminate racial stereotypes. If you want to see the differences between the original synopsis’ and the revised version (also kinda cool) you can check out this link! So the Nancy Drew books your great-grandma read back in 1935 don’t necessarily have the same text….
You know, one thing that I find as particularly impressive is that when a crook jumps into a vehicle and burns rubber down the road, Nancy Drew instantly memorizes the license plate. But I’m pretty jealous that she can dash after criminals in pumps! Just sayin’.😉 Haha, I will say though that a few incidents are a little far-fetched. I particularly remember one book when Nancy, George and Bess were investigating a room belonging to a potential criminal. It was filled with picture and portrait frames, some filled with pictures and some empty. They heard the crook approaching and..wait for it…they decided to hide by posing as pictures behind the empty frames! Man oh man, that made me pause for a second…then laugh! But hey, this is Nancy Drew we’re talking about. Crooks stand no chance against the pretty and quick-witted girl detective!
As I said above, I used to want to solve mysteries, just like Nancy Drew. Even though mysteries were scarce, I had a clue book at one point and made the paper clip, string and pencil gadget that she had in the movie. That way, if I were ever balancing precariously ten feet above my needed object, I could send my paper clip attached to the string and pencil down to hook it like I was fishing.
Another great girl detective is Trixie Belden. And as much as I enjoy a good Nancy Drew…I might even like Trixie Belden…just a little bit better.😀 Okay, okay, let me explain myself here. I’ve been saying how much I love Nancy Drew–so how can I say that I like Trixie even better???? I wasn’t lying when I said that I love ND. The reason I enjoy Trixie so much though, is that she seemed more real. She argued with her brothers and friends at times, rode her bike places (as opposed to a blue convertible), and she made mistakes. It’s easier for me to relate to her than Nancy, who sometimes seems a little too perfect.
Both are marvelous mystery books and I’m sure people have their own reasons for loving (or not loving) them. And now that I’ve told you all about what I think, I’d hate for this to be a one-sided conversation. While the post was more about Nancy Drew than Trixie Belden, if you’d rather talk Trix, I’m all ears!
Does anyone have any cool fun facts about either girl detective? Do you collect? Favorite book? For Nancy Drew mysteries, loved The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk and The Password to Larkspur Lane (which I always read, and still think of, as Lakespur). My favorite Trixie book…I think it’s the first one, The Secret of the Mansion.
♫♪Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights…♪♫
Yesterday afternoon I was humming this Mary Poppins song as my brother and I took our kites to the nearest place we could fly them. It’s been in my experience that our backyard isn’t the best place. It may or may not have to do with my tendency of letting the kite take as much string as it wants, even with a pine tree looming nearby.
Upon arrival, I was having a semi-hard time getting my kite to stay in the air. The wind was changing directions on us and coming in sporadic gusts. My brother’s kite, which in the sky I thought resembled a blue, green and pink striped flying stingray, caught the wind easily and had little-to-no trouble staying in the sky. His kite was soaring with the birds and mine was mingling with the worms.
“Want to fly mine so I can get yours in the air?” I had been trying for a good twenty minutes with no fruits to my labor, so I agreed. He handed me the little red handle to his kite and set to work.
Something about seeing the kite so high in the sky…. The field is open except along the fence line, where there are big tall maple trees, which is the direction my brother’s kite was flying. But it would be fine, I’m sure, so I let the string go, go, go, and the kite went higher, higher, higher. Soon I had all the string out.
The horror of horrors–the kite started to dip down, right towards the trees. The kite had been a gift from our grandpa and I knew my brother would be none too thrilled to have his kite stuck 50 feet in a tree. I turned tail and ran, pulling the string in at the same time.
When I turned back around, my brother exclaimed, “You were ten feet away from those trees! You’ve gotta be careful.”
I began to give the kite more string so that I could eventually hang onto the little red handle. I’d dropped it while pulling the string in to save the flying stingray. A strong wind took the kite and pulled the string through my fingers and gave me string burn, the younger sibling of rope burn. It still hurts the same though.
Somehow in my attempt to regain my control, I got string burn on my forearm and where my elbow bends. More string burn to the fingers and I was done–it hurt and I let go of the kite.
The little red handle dragged along the ground as the kite gained more freedom, unrestricted from the string. “Oh no!” It began to lift off the ground, and it all happened so quickly that I didn’t do anything except stand and watch. It was five feet in the air when my brother turned around, jumped after his kite and heroically snagged it.
Now it was coming down. “It’s my kite and I love it!” He saved his kite from nose-diving into the trees by running as quick as he could.
As everything returned to normal, he told me that I should be more careful. He had that look like he thought it was halfway funny, but yet, not. I basically told him I hadn’t meant to let go, but fleeing from something that hurts is my natural reaction to pain. He told me he didn’t really trust my flying judgement anymore and I thought that I might agree with him. I really did–and do–need to be more careful.
In the end, my brother does still trust me. He proved that by actually letting me fly it again, since we never could get my kite in the air. I managed to safely maneuver it without any more close calls. And I say all’s well that ends well.
For the past few summer nights, I’ve had the urge to go outside and catch fireflies. Instead, I stayed inside and watched them light up, all the while thinking, “It would be fun to go out there and catch some.” I felt like I was too old.
Rewind a little bit to the past winter. It hadn’t even snowed yet but I was already dreading it. Then a very timely thing happened. I read a blog post where the author said something to the effect of, “I never want to stop anticipating the beauty of the first snowfall.” Something clicked.
When I was little, I couldn’t wait for it to snow. What had happened to that eager anticipation for the glittery snowfall? As I got older I’d decided that snow was too bothersome. I realized that I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be excited again. The rest of the winter I remembered those words, and my attitude changed. In the morning, I woke up to a sparkling winter wonderland and smiled.
I doubt you expected to read a post about snow in July, but as I was sitting on our deck watching these fireflies, I was thinking, it’s kind of the same thing. At least in my mind it was. I’ll try and connect the dots for you, but if it still doesn’t form the picture, then it apparently is one of those things that only makes sense in my head.
Last night we had homemade elephant ears for supper and sat on our deck to enjoy the evening, which was beautiful. As expected, the fireflies soon made their appearance. I watched them and thought I should go out and catch some, but I didn’t. In a way I think I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as much fun anymore.
And then, pfft, I realized something: I’d gotten the same way about snow. My attitude had changed. But once I put the right perspective on it, I remembered that snow could be pretty amazing sometimes. (I say sometimes because I’m not a personal fan of shoveling 2-1/2 feet of the stuff every other afternoon.😉 )
So last night I thought I’d try the same thing with the fireflies. I’d stop thinking I was too old for something I wanted to do and I’d just do it. I went inside, got a jar, chased them around the yard, and put them in my Ball mason jar. I didn’t care that I wasn’t the typical lightning-bug-catcher age. I just went with it. I didn’t go in thinking, too old, no fun, blah blech blug. And when I went in with the right attitude, I discovered that yeah, catching lightning bugs is still fun to me.
Your attitude towards the situation does make a difference. The snow can be good or bad–it depends on how you want to view it. You can be too old to catch fireflies in your backyard on a summer’s night–but only if you say so. You could absolutely fail your math test because you’re not an A+ math student, or you could go in trying your best.
And sure, there are some things that I’ll grow out of. But I don’t grow out of them because I feel like I have to; because I feel like I’m too old for them. If I’m going to grow out of something, I want it to be because I’m moving on with my life and going on to even more exciting things. My dolls might not go on outdoor adventures anymore, but I do. I go exploring all the time, something that I couldn’t do when I was little. I’ve told you guys about some of my adventures even: meeting that muskrat in the woods, for instance. Adding outrageous amounts of baking soda to a single batch of snickerdoodles.
The rest of this summer, I’m going to go on happy and joyful adventures. I’m going to wonder why my lightning bugs won’t light up while they’re prisoner in my glass jar but never stop blinking when they’re free. I’m going to pick a gallon of wild black raspberries at the sacrifice of my arms and legs being full of scratches. I’m going to get sort-of lost on a bike ride and call my parents to figure out “Just where exactly am I and how far away is the nearest cross-road?”
And I’m going to go into every situation with a good attitude about it. Well, try to. Jesus is still working with me on the “every situation = good attitude” part. But we’ll get there.
Happy summer, guys. Go on adventures, and have fun with it.
Early yesterday morning my mom and I went to a lovely little coffee shop to celebrate the birthday of one special lady in our lives. A small group of women gathered in a private back room with our drinks of choice. For me, that was a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate with whipped cream. And there were muffins. Yummy!
Twenty minutes after my muffin was gone, and in the midst of our chatter, the roof of my mouth started to feel tingly…and I ignored it, as I tend to do, thinking to myself, Nah, it’ll just go away. Except it didn’t, and soon the tingly feeling spread across my cheek. I’m not allergic to any foods that I know of; but I’ve had the same thing happen a couple of times before (though not to the same extent). Figured since it was a little worse than the couple other times, I should probably tell my Mama.
She furrowed her brow at me and said, “Well we should leave so that you can get some meds. It must be from the muffin since you drink hot chocolate at home.”
The lady next to us heard us say something, and soon everyone around the table knew about the tingles in my mouth and face. And instantly, the woman across the table from us said, as casually as you please, “Well then, let’s pray.”
Everyone bowed their heads and we talked to God about what was going on with my face. She thanked Jesus that He knew exactly what was going on, and she prayed that it would go away and not come back. As soon as she began praying, the tingling in the roof of my mouth was gone. By the time she’d said Amen my cheek wasn’t tingling anymore. After twenty minutes of having some kind of a reaction slowly get worse, I felt completely fine.
“Thank you Lord!” I couldn’t resist it–I knew that God had healed me! And I had a kind of Duh! moment after that. Our first reaction had been How can we fix this ourselves? Instead of Let’s take it to the Healer. I can remember to take the big things that I know I can’t fix to Jesus, but the little things? That’s a little harder.
I continued to marvel and thank Jesus for the fact that my face was back to its original non-tingling form. The woman who’d prayed for me said that we need to pray for the little things before they become big things. It’d be easy to think, “A little allergic reaction isn’t that big a deal. Meds will probably help. No need to worry God about it.”
He cares about the little things in your life that bug you because He cares about you. Just as there’s no problem too big for God, there’s no problem too small. If He can take care of the huge and impossible, He can take care of those small issues as well. Good grief, Jesus can make blind men see and the lame walk again! And yet He still cares for the sparrows in the sky.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7
God used the morning in the coffee shop, not only as a good time to fellowship, but to show me that He’s the God of all–the big, the small, and everything in between. That He is the Ultimate Healer, healing even a tingly cheek. And last of all, He taught me just how powerful prayer really is. All in a period of two hours!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope that you’ve been reminded how much God cares about you and all the little things in your life! As Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato from VeggieTales would say, God made you special, and He loves you very much. Goodbye!
Alas, tis time for another Music Monday! Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite hymns with you. I love hymns. They are so beautiful; the words and the message. And I do love praise & worship music as well, but sometimes I just gotta take a break from that and listen to a hymn that my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents grew up singing! There’s nothing like an old hymn to sing to Jesus!❤
Victory in Jesus – performed by Guy Penrod
I really like Guy Penrod, and I love his rendition of Victory in Jesus, particularly because of it’s upbeat-ness! We have victory with Jesus because of what He did for us on the cross, and we need to claim that victory and live fearlessly because of that!
The Old Rugged Cross – performed by The Gaither Vocal Band
I love this song. A friend of mine asked what my favorite hymn was, and I said this was it. What Jesus did on the that old rugged cross for me just awes and amazes and makes me love Him even more. I read this saying in a book once, and I won’t get it 100% right but I really liked it. It was something like, “Jesus took the cross, which had been a symbol of cruelty and fear and turned it into a symbol of hope.” Something like that at least; I can’t remember it for sure!
Because He Lives – Bill Gaither
I don’t know who sings this song in the video, but the man who wrote the song was Bill Gaither! (Which I did not know until I wrote this blog post! ha!) For years now this song has been a great reminder for me that I can live without fear because He lives! I can live without fear, without worry, without any of that negative stuff because Jesus now lives and he defeated all that when He died on the cross and was resurrected.
So there you have it, a few of my favorite hymns–oldies but goldies. Or goodies. (I’ve heard it both ways.) Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed listening to the songs! What are your favorite hymns?
A while ago I posted Me and the Muskrat, in which I tell you about the time my brother and I went on a walk through the woods and a ferocious brown furry animal attempted to eat me (or so I thought at the time, in my panic-stricken state). This past Memorial Day weekend while I was camping with friends, I was reminded of my harrowing ordeal years ago, in which I met the masked creature of the night–the raccoon.
It all started one Sunday when my church announced that there would be a three-day tent camping trip in July. Awesome! I’d never been tent camping before–or camping in general as it’s not really my “thing”–so I was ready and even excited for the trip. It was going to be a lot of fun; we were going to be in the woods, eat s’more upon s’more, learn about God, and get eaten up by bugs.
When the day of departure arrived, 33-ish people met at the church to divvy into car pools and begin the three-hour drive to the campground. In order to save time, everyone had agreed to pack their own lunch so that we didn’t have to stop at a McDonald’s or Burger King on the way up. My lunch was mostly left uneaten in my bag, because not too long into the car ride, I began to feel a little car sick. Iiiggh.
So, understandably so, I was exceptionally happy to finally make it to the campground. Once there I began to feel better, and helped the others set up the large tents and carry the supplies to the little patch of dirt we’d call home for the next three days.
To make our trip go as smoothly as possible, the leader spelled out a few rules. One of those rules was “no food in the tents”. The reason for this, of course, was so that no wild animals would smell it and try to get it. Somehow that rule went in one ear and out the other, because along with the bag that contained my swimsuit and sleeping clothes, was the bag that also contained the uneaten PB&J and potato chips. Both went into the tent. I never even remembered.
The first day of camping went awesomely. We hiked through extremely hot sand and swam in extremely cold and clear water. We had s’mores around a campfire and when midnight came around and it was time to go to bed, I was exhausted.
I should’ve been all ready for bed–and I was, decked out in my pajamas with my teeth freshly brushed–except for one little, itsy bitsy, teeny tiny thing. I had to go to the bathroom.
This, my friends, is why camping isn’t my first choice of vacation. You have to walk a half mile to use the campground-shared bathroom.
I remembered and followed the buddy-system rule and asked my mother to accompany me, since she was like the only one who hadn’t fallen asleep in our tent yet. She agreed, only after telling me “You should’ve already!” Yeah…sorry!
We joined hands and set off down the trail, the only light coming from our flashlights. I played my flashlight along the edge of the trail, keeping it just ahead of my feet.
Everything happened so quickly. My light shone on something oblong-ish and furry. Before my mind could tell my feet to stop, I kicked it! Oblong and Furry squealed when it got kicked and I screamed. I yanked my hand free of Mom’s and darted down the path, not stopping until I heard my name being called. “Emma!”
I was gasping for breath after having ran most the trail, and I shook while I waited for my mother to catch up, whom I’d left in the dust.
“I heard a shriek and a squeal and then you were gone!” she gasped. “What happened?”
At the time, I swore that what I had kicked into was a skunk. But I wasn’t sprayed (thank goodness!) and Mom remembered some of the guys in our group spotting a raccoon earlier that day. It must have been a raccoon!
We made it to the bathroom and back without further incident, but we huddled together and swung our flashlights around at every little noise, in case we should quite literally “run into” the Masked Mammal again. But that one 3.734 second encounter was enough for me, so I didn’t feel too badly. I doubt the coon did either.
Two awesome and fun days later I still hadn’t seen, heard, or kicked the lil creature again, and now it was time to go. While I was stuffing my things back into one of my bags, I found my lunch. The barely touched peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the mostly-filled baggy of potato chips. My eyes bugged when I found it, and I showed it to Mom.
“I forgot I had this in here!”
Her mouth dropped into an O. “Emma! At least no bears came to get that!”
While there hadn’t been any bears, looking back now, perhaps, just perhaps, that raccoon smelled the peanut butter through the plastic baggy, through the fabric bag, through the tent, through the woods, through its little nostrils and thought to himself, Mmmm, that smells like a nice supper. I think he probably stalked me out.
He probably was following his nose at the time I kicked him, intent on breaking into the tent and stealing my sandwich. Bandits do wear masks, after all! He is probably a relative to this guy:
If that were the case, maybe, just maybe, it was a blessing-in-disguise that I kicked the little guy by mistake. Dealing with a tent full of screaming and if my reaction was any indication, kicking girls, a sandwich (half eaten at that) just wasn’t worth it and he decided to scamper on home. I may have single-footedly saved my tent from a raccoon encounter by my midnight trip to the facilities.
Although, if I had remembered the rule in the first place, there would be no lunch in the tent and none of it would’ve happened in the first place…
Well, it’s May now! I wanted to share some pictures that I took and something that Jesus has been whispering to my heart lately. I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed rest of your week. Jesus loves you! xoxo Emma
Don’t focus on the bad…
…and miss out on the beauty.
Keep your eyes focused on Me…
…and I will show you My beauty, despite the ashes around you.
My child, listen to Me when I say…
…I lifted the sun to rise in the sky.
I woke the flowers from their slumber…
…and painted the evening sky with color.
And if I take care of My smallest creations…
then let the little things in life serve as a reminder…