Thursday, October 7, 2010

Beauty is Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Howdy y'all! This past weekend, my cousin Summer and I went to the wonderful BOW (Becoming an Outdoors Woman). It was my 3rd time and her 2nd. So much fun!! It's a 3-day, 4-class workshop that focuses on getting ladies outdoors to enjoy God's beauty and splendor. Classes range from outdoor photography to pistol shooting to bird watching and everything in between. There's something for everyone!

Summer and I took the same classes, so we had lots of good girl time. First class was "Frontier Skills." Our teacher was a 6'7" frontier man who goes by the name Hugging Bear. Such a sweetie! The class was great too. The first thing we did was learn to start a fire with a flint stone and some hay-like stuff I can't remember the name of. You scratched some shards off the flint stone onto the hay and charcoal-soaked cotton balls, then rolled that into a ball and blew on it until it burst into flame. And since Alabama is under a fire-warning from lack of rain, we then chunked our fire into a bucket of water. : )

Using a pocketknife to put some flint shavings on my hay stuff and charcoal cotton

Me trying to ignite my fire. Can you see the smoke?

My fire being thrown into the water bucket
Next we moved on to hatchet and knife throwing. I wasn't too shabby... but I am 1/16th Cherokee ; )  Ha, ha. Here's a little video of me throwing a knife. Sorry it's sideways. I didn't realize you had to hold my phone a certain way for it to come out straight.

Next we learned to load and shoot a musket rifle. We didn't use a full load of powder, so the kick wasn't too bad. Here's another little sideways video.

The 2nd day held two classes. First was Get Your Bearings. We learned how to correctly read a compass with a map. I suck with directions, so I was excited about this class. After learning about the maps and compasses, we split into two teams and were given a direction and approximate distance to find our first flag. That flag held the needed info for the next flag. There were around 5 flags in all. Then at the final flag, we were supposed to set up an emergency camp using items we were given. We had a hammock and a plastic tarp to set up shelter. Then we had to start a fire with a flint stone and some cotton balls. Already utilizing our Frontier Skills!! : )  Our team finished the fastest, so we celebrated by eating some "emergency" tootsie pops from our supplies.

Our 2nd Saturday class was Geocaching. Loved it!! I had no idea how big Geocaching is. For those who haven't heard of it, it's basically a huge web-based scavenger hunt. You can sign up free at Members hide "caches" in random places, then give you coordinates and/or clues to find them. And they're all over the world! When you find a cache, you sign an enclosed log, then keep track of it on the website. Some of them have little prizes included, with a "take something, leave something" policy. I've already signed up but had to order the handheld GPS I wanted, so I haven't started yet. I'm very excited about it though! It's such a neat idea. You can look some up to do on your way out of town... it's a great way to see places while on vacation that you wouldn't normally see.

 In our class, after learning about Geocaching, we split up into two teams again and set out to find a few caches the instructors had set up for us. Here's a picture of our team.

Our last class was Nature's Creative Decor. It was a nice break from all the walking we had done Friday and Saturday. We just sat inside and made different nature-y crafts. I painted a gord bowl, made a sunflower pen, and made a goofy-looking dreamcatcher. We finished early and played cards until lunch time. : )

All-in-all, another great BOW trip. They are held twice a year... usually the 1st weekends in March and October at the 4-H Center in Shelby County, Alabama. Here's a link if you're interested in signing up for the next one. I highly encourage it, but know that they fill up super fast, so you'll need to be on your toes!

Oh, and P.S. for those of you sweethearts that actually read all of that, I'm so excited to have 6 followers now! : ) I know that's chump-change for most of you, but I'm still happy. So happy in fact, that I plan on doing a give-away when I hit 10! Keep an eye out... hopefully it'll happen soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beauty is Lemon Pudding

I got another beauty devotional today, so I thought I'd share. I plan on doing another post tonight about BOW, so hopefully that'll get done and not put off another week! ; )

As a new bride cooking for Paul’s and my one-month anniversary, I wanted everything to be perfect. For dessert, I’d made a lemon cake from scratch, carefully following the cookbook’s directions. Fifteen minutes later, I eagerly peeked in the oven to see how it was doing and groaned. I’d forgotten to turn the oven on! So I made a snap decision to cook it at 450 degrees for the remaining half hour, instead of the 350 stated in the cookbook. Disaster struck again as the edges became hard and the middle, soggy. I mushed it up in the pan and set it on the counter so it could cool before I dumped it in the trash.

Five minutes later, I heard Paul in the kitchen. “What are you doing in there?” From his voice, I could tell he was smiling. “Caught me! I was just sampling that great lemon pudding you made.” “Pudding! That was supposed to be a cake—and it’s ruined!” “It may be ruined as a cake, but it’s perfect as a pudding.” And it was.

And it got me thinking. That dress I was planning to sew but cut the pattern wrong—well, rather than scrap the whole thing, why not use the fabric to make a skirt? And more important, that friendship I’d been wondering if I should end because Nina and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on certain issues—well, why not enjoy the things we did before and forget about the rest?

Dear God, don’t let me throw away a perfectly good pudding because it’s not a cake! Help me find the beauty and value in imperfect situations.

—linda neuKruG