In high school, there was this song we all knew the words to. It wasn't by Paula Abdul or U2, although we knew those too, this was by a guy named Scott Wesley Brown and it was called Please Don't Send Me to Africa. We all knew this song because it was catchy and clever and we were all pretty terrified that God would send us to Africa. We knew about missionaries going all sorts of places. We didn't have blogs then (can you imagine?) or cell phones really or email. But we had slide shows set to music and missionaries in town for Sunday night service and they asked for us to help out with their ministry.

Gladly, I thought, gladly, just don't send me.

I haven't thought about that song in probably 10 years. I haven't heard it for at least 15. But when I clicked on this blog, the lyrics rushed into my head.

"Please don't send me to Africa, I don't think I've got what it takes."

This is a blog by a girl who went to Africa, and not kicking and screaming or biting her nails, or escaping a problem. She just wanted to go, and she adopted a bunch of children, and she cares for hundreds more. When I read the first entry, I thought she went maybe ten years ago. She talks about her children the same way I talk about mine. She has a mother's heart. I thought she was at least my age or older and had done this for a while. She has 13 kids, after all, and the oldest is a teenager.

And maybe that's why I connected so much with her at first. That pull of a mother's heart is universal.

Then I read on. She wasn't 35. She wasn't 25. She was 22 - is 22. And she went to Uganda first at 17, then she came back to the States for a semester of college, and it just wasn't for her. She went back to Uganda at 18 years old, and started caring for the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the sick.

And then it was really her mother I was feeling for. Because, the only thing that I think would be harder than being sent to Africa, would be my daughter being sent to Africa.

She's just finished writing a book, and I hope it comes out soon, but for now her blog's the best "book" I've read in a long time. I just wanted to pass it on to you, and encourage you to read about the day she said goodbye to her beautiful boyfriend, or the day she she cut jiggers out of a little boy's foot, or dewormed a 10 pound girl that was 9 months old who eventually became her youngest daughter.

Most of the time I can see a little to the left and a little to the right of my own path, maybe I nod at some side roads that I don't intend to take. And then sometimes I get to see a path so different it feels like another planet, and I just wanted to share her story. I hope you love it as much as I do.

PS Thanks to my friend that just returned from Egypt for sharing this blog with me. :)


Some things make me stop what I'm doing and blog immediately! Or Facebook, tweet, what have you. This is one of those things.

First, a pop quiz. What is my favorite book? I think I already gave you a hint.

Yes, Gatsby. Gatsby and the green light and the doomed love and the flappers and all that.

Now, click here, if you love him, too. :)

Vintage Dresses and Naked Bakers

I just wanted to alert you all to one of my new favorite blogs, Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing. She's working her way through Vogue's Book for Better Sewing (hence the name of her blog) and she has all kinds of beautiful photos of dresses like this
and this.

It's enough to make me want to sew. And I haven't sewn anything but a button since 8th grade when I made a gym bag that fell apart and a mallard that bore questionable resemblance to water fowl. But somehow Gertie makes me think I can do it. We'll see. ;)

So, while I'm querying my steampunk book, I'm working on a new one, and I think I mentioned that it's snowy. It also involves baking... many hundreds of years ago, and I thought I'd leave you with this little factoid from my research.

In Paris of 1521, as punishment for some baking related faux pax, the authorities made three men run the streets of Paris naked and with shaved heads. They had to carry lit candles and cry out "Mercy from God, the Virgin Mary, and the King for the wrong we have done in baking." A mob applauded the whole way.

Fortunately, it makes my own little baking issues pale in comparison. ;)

Steampunk games

For the last year or so, whenever I go to the app store on my ipod, I check for "steampunk". At first, there was just an app here and there, maybe a story collection or something, but lately there have been more and more. The same goes for knitting patterns on Ravelry, but that's for another post. ;) I thought I'd share a few of my favorite games:

1. Cogs
How beautiful is this picture? Cogs has lots of fun puzzle games - interlocking gears and pipes full of steam - stuff like that.

2. Atlantis Sky Patrol by Big Fish
I've always loved Big Fish and their Diner Dashing and such. This is a beautiful art deco kind of steampunk in a marble shooter. But they've added lots of fun elements like bonus rounds and upgrading your ship and doomsday devices. Who doesn't love a good doomsday device? (And kinda off topic, but are you all noticing how steampunky Fringe is becoming? Love!)

3. Grimm -
This one is a little, well, grim. I've talked about the different flavors of steampunk before, my favorite is the very Victorian optimistic sort of steampunk - the "Hey, we all have jet packs, and of course the automaton does the laundry" kind of thing. :) There's also the art deco industrial type, this borders on diesel punk, as often things aren't purely steam powered. And I do love deco, but I like to keep my steampunk pure. And then there's the kind of goth steampunk, with lots of skulls and an emphasis on the dark side of the moon. That would be this game. Really not my favorite form of the genre, but I like physics based games where you get to tilt the ipod all around and work out that acceleromater. ;)

Enjoy your gaming!!