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Mold-A-Matic

After we came down from the Space Needle I spotted this little gem.

I was instantly transported back to my childhood. I remember these little machines from the St. Louis Zoo and they would make animals. I vaguely remember an orange giraffe. So I texted the girls and told them where I was at as they had to see this. Masks were required inside the space needle so it’s hard to see how thrilled they were at my insanity.

So I put in my five dollars and fired up the machine while reading this was available at the Worlds Fair in 1962. The machine did its magic.

Hot plastic shooting into the mold.
Mold finished.
Our very own Space Needle

The girls were amazed how hot the plastic was when it came out. It took about five minutes to cool down. Emily immediately claimed it to sit on her desk. Her dad tells her that he had a lot of these as a kid and they break easy. He followed that statement up with well I use to throw them and hit stuff with them.

Mole moral ~ Never doubt your mother when she says she has something cool to show you.

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Waldo Park

My obsession with Roadside America continues. As soon as I read about Waldo park, I knew we had to stop and see it. Fortunately Emily had already planned to take us to Silver State Park to do a ten waterfall hike so it was nearby.

Waldo Park is one of the smallest parks in America measuring 12×20 feet. It consists of one giant sequoia tree planted on his property by Marion Waldo in 1872. It was a sapling when he planted it. When he sold his land to the city of Salem a condition was that the tree must be preserved. The tree became a city park in 1936. The tree is currently 85 feet tall.

After our anniversary trip in 2015 to Sequoia National Park Brian brought home sequoia cones determined to grow his own tree and plant it on our property. So old Mr. Waldo fulfilled Brian’s dream but he used a sapling. Brian did in fact get one to grow to about two inches high and he named it the Great Mobowsky (the biggest tree in Sequoia National Park is named General Sherman). Sadly, Brian’s tree got too hot and died. Yes, he was spying cones at this site to try again but none were closed. So no Mobowsky at the property any time soon.

Mole Moral ~ If at first you don’t succeed move to a cooler zone and try try again.

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The Doughnut Adventure

Voodoo doughnuts started in Portland Oregon. Two friends got together and realized there wasn’t a single doughnut shop in Portland so in 2003 they rented a hole-in-the-wall storefront scrunched between two Old Town nightclubs, joked to friends and family about being bent on “world doughnut domination,” and opened Voodoo Doughnut. Their initial pastry offerings were a mix of the classic and the unconventional. (This is from their website). They opened a second location in 2008 and to date have twenty stores in five states.

It was Emily’s idea to go there and since they have a huge wait all day long every day we were smart and ordered for pick up. Or so we thought. First I conned Kayla in to posing for this picture.

Then Emily and I proceed in the door while some kid yells at us and says end of line back there. Emily informs him we ordered online. So we walk in and promptly get yelled at for being inside. This girl asks our name and tells us we are at the wrong store. She even looked at the address and said nope wrong place. So this runs off the rest of our group while Emily calls the number. Are you ready for it….

We were indeed at the correct store. Emily tells the guy on the phone the girl was very rude. He says come back and I’ll bring donuts out. As soon as we walk by another guy in line said they called your name as soon as you left. So the guy comes out super nice. He said they have had a mass exodus so short staffed and everyone tense. I said I totally understand I’m a nurse. Anyway he said no excuse to snap at paying costumers so he’d chat with her.

Michael does research and apparently a bunch left with the heatwave. They do not have AC out here because it normally doesn’t run in the hundreds. The staff wanted the doughnut shop to close during heat wave and they were told no. I get working in heat. Our one GI doc is from Puerto Rico and always has the room at 76. He normally has two shirts and PPE and will still say he’s cold. Sometimes he has long Johns on as well. The dude is crazy.

Mole Moral ~ Never doubt your location when you checked it three times before ordering. Doubt the employees who do not know the address of where they work!!

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Grandma Carty’s Quilt

It’s been a month since my dad died. It’s not been easy most days but I remind myself he is in heaven with his parents. My Grandma and Grandpa Carty were 45 and 50 when he was born. His two brothers were twenty years older than he so he was quite the surprise. I was always worried I’d end up pregnant like my grandma but luckily that did not happen.

My grandma always said she didn’t have long to live. She was convinced she would die before my dad ever graduated from high school. That certainly did not happen. The very first time my mom met her she was barely out of the car before she said I’m John’s mom and I don’t have long to live. I am not sure why she thought this because she ended up living until the age of ninety one. She lived to me see graduate from nursing school and my sister graduate from high school. Maybe if she didn’t think she was going to die all of her life she would have lived past one hundred.

My parents divorced when I was five so my dad would take my sister and I to see our grandparents for the weekend every few months. They lived in Salem and we enjoyed going. There was no better nap than when the grown ups were talking. After my grandpa died, my grandma moved to like a senior citizen apartment and my aunt and uncle built a house in Salem close by to keep an eye on her. Her apartment was one bedroom so we would sleep on the pull out couch. We always slept under this pink quilt she had made. I loved it but had totally forgotten all about it.

After my dads service Brenda gave my sister and I a bunch of his stuff she thought we would enjoy. I cannot begin to describe the joy that overcame me when I opened a box and there was the quilt. I had no idea my dad had even had it. It was like finding a long lost treasure chest worth more than all the money in the world. My sister said she will never forget the look on my face and she immediately told me it was mine. I swear it still smells like my grandma.

Brenda told my sister a couple weeks later my dad slept under it until a couple months ago. His legs had gotten so weak (he had polio as a child which is another blog) that he couldn’t move his legs because of the weight. I slept under it for the first week but then put it on the side of my bed. It has to be at least eighty years old and I’m not sure how many more times it can be washed. Brenda said she was getting nervous to wash it because she didn’t want it to fall apart.

I knew that some of my sewing ability came from my moms grandma. She quilted and made things all her life. I had totally forgotten about Grandm Carty. She made my parents a wedding ring quilt by hand that was fantastic. Sadly we used it too much and it fell apart from rough housing with our dog. It would be worth major bucks in this day and age. It certainly is a lost art. There is no way I would have the patience to make one of those so if my girls ever get married I will have to come up with something else.

Mole moral ~ Brightest joy will come from out of darkest night. (Betsy Bircher)

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Training

Finding Jesus is easy, following Jesus is hard. Surely you do not grow in your comfort zone but when thrown out of it you either grow or die. I’ve worked with several people that were miserable in their job but so comfortable with the routine they have been stuck for years. Inertia is a mortal disaster. To succeed you must keep moving forward.

Godly training is good for all life to come. It’s rather simple in design but often times difficult to carry out. John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. I can only speak for myself but there are many people I know that are almost near impossible to love. They are so annoying or time demanding, or difficult that I often forget this simple commandment.

I’m trying to write this on the bus and it’s just not working. The kids are playing bingo and our new bus driver is horning people waiting till the last minute to get over in this traffic jam. The bus is egging her on to park the bus and kick butt. She’s quite the hoot and a good reminder of why the bus ride is one of my favorite parts of camp. I’ll leave you with the most profound statement from last night.

People do not abandon people they love. They abandon people they are using.

Mole Moral~ Love is hard, hate is harder. A week vacation is little to give up to show love to teenagers.

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Worry

If you worry about things you cannot control then worry actually controls you. This word worry always remind me of my Grandma Carty. She was forty-five when my father was born and was convinced she would not live to see him graduate from high school. The first thing she told my mom when she met her was that she didn’t have long to live. I remember going to see her on the weekends and she was always worried she was going to die. Not only did she live to see her son graduate high school, she lived to see me graduate nursing school and my sister high school. I thought she lived to ninety-three but when I was looking at her death announcement a couple of weeks ago I believe she was ninety-one. So she lived over half her life worried that she was going to die soon.

Today’s talk was mostly about anxiety and depression which is a huge issue these days with a lot of people. The lockdown was not kind as we were created for community and not isolation. It is impossible to fake anxiety depression or worry but it’s easy to fake being ok. My own father faked being ok to me but it was easier for him because the last time I saw him was Christmas 2019. The real fear of covid for Brenda was a great excuse.

Currently one in six teenagers have considered suicide. This is a mental health issue not a sin. Self harm has also risen whether it be cutting, eating disorders, drug addiction etc. Anxiety is like rocking in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere. Stuart offered four things to help with anxiety.

1. Get control over the things you can control such as integrity, love and humility.

2. Get clear on whose opinion of you actually matters and no not all one thousand Instagram followers opinions matter. He suggested taking a small piece of paper such as a post it note and writing the names of these people on it. He called it the square squad and to let them know they are on you square squad and to help you.

3. Get honest about the things that really matter. Does it really matter if not everyone likes you?

4. Get help for the things you can’t control. He was referring to professionals such as counselors. I’m not sure why this country has such a stigma about asking for help. It’s almost as if you admit that you are weak and broken you are viewed as a loser and yet it takes a pretty strong person to admit they need help and go down the road to find themselves. Almost everyone is afraid they will find an ugly person when generally the beautifulness finally emerges through the process. It’s been a long time since I graduated counseling but it was by far the best thing I ever did. I almost left my husband during this time and if not for the love dare I’m not sure we’d be together. I daily blogged that on Facebook and the posts are on this blog if anyone wants to read.

This was my favorite service so far even though it started out a bit shaky. We were singing and I had my left foot resting on the chair. When I went to put it down, I got it all tangled up, lost my balance and almost fell. This would have been fine if I wasn’t sitting by Tom, Kathy and Herc. Tom leaned over and said I about gave him a heart attack. I said it’s ok this is kind of normal for me. This camp has been very low key for the nurse duties which has given me the quiet time I needed more than I realized.

Mole Moral ~ Emily’s life verse. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

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Death

Session five is always what I refer to as the altar call in the baptist church. Every single year Stuart does it differently and beautifully and this year did not disappoint. The bottom line ~ dead things don’t breath and religion leaves you breathless. We don’t need religion as our way to Jesus because Jesus has come to us.

His visual was amazing this year. He put these words on the steps.

God

Sacrifice

Priest

Temple

Laws

People

So we attempt to follow the laws which we constantly mess up thanks to sin. Back in Jesus day people would go to the temple to meet with a priest who would make a sacrifice to get right with God. This process is repeated over and over again. Stuart had a seventh grader running up and down the stairs while he was talking until the kid was near out of breath. He then had him stop and whipped out a slide. He told the kid to go to the top and he is now God. Then said don’t get a big head cause you aren’t really God. He had him slide down to represent Jesus coming to us.

Stuart addressed the only way to God is through Jesus issue. He said one solution is not exclusive if that solution is offered to everyone without exception. Stuart was diagnosed with covid at the end of March last year when it was brand new. He was on a ventilator and ended up having a heart attack as well. He was near death on more than one occasion. His kidney doctor called his wife and said I’d like to try a plasma exchange. I’m not sure if it will help. She did not say no I want to wait for other options she said if you think it might help do it. After all what other option do I have.

The final day of camp starts in about an hour and it’s going to be awesome.

Mole moral ~ The greatest commandment is love your God with all your heart soul and spirit and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.

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Adversity

Adversity-difficulties, misfortune.

I had to look the word up so I knew exactly what it means. Look I hated English growing up, I thought it was stupid and a waste of time. I kind of still do. Please give me math any day, any time.

Stuart Hall had the audience totally engaged. At some points it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I consider this really amazing considering I’m talking about teenagers. However the repeat campers love Stuart and for kid reason. He’s real and authentic.

It seems as if the goal of life is to avoid pain at whatever the cost. Parents try to spare their children the experience of pain but this is impossible. Jesus did not say follow me and you will live pain free. No he said in this world you will have trouble (aka pain) but take heart for I have overcome the world. Perhaps if he said suck it up buttercup no one would have taken him seriously. Most certainly that expression would be crazy sounding over two thousand years ago.

My notes are terrible even though the talk was good. Today marks three weeks since my father died. Talk about pain, that’s a huge pain that could easily leave a big gaping hole in my heart. However I know my father believed Jesus was who he said he was and rose from the dead so my father is in heaven. I also know his earthly crippled polio body has been replaced with heaven perfection however that may look. So although I’m sad because there are no more Saturday nine am chats I do have some sense of peace.

Mole Moral ~ Adversity is a part of life and since neither avoiding or fixing it work, embrace it with the help of Jesus.

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Toxicity

If I’m real honest here I had a hard time paying attention to this message. I have doodles all over my paper. Maybe it’s because over the years I’ve already cut out a lot of the toxic stuff in my life. Also God chopped a huge one out of my life a couple years back when I changed jobs.

I am guilty of toxic thinking about myself. According to the speaker we have between thirty and sixty thousand thoughts a day and seventy five percent are negative. They are so automatic we don’t even notice them. So true. I was out this morning doing a coffee walk and I passed a few runners. I immediately thought they were thinking look at that idiot walking she should be running. Yet when I pass walkers I think good for them, they are off the couch. I currently can’t run unless I want to flare up my plantar plate tear that I swear is never going to heal.

Toxic relationships are another. Sometimes those are hard to get out of and get over. The friend that I first started walking and then running with turned so toxic that we had to end the friendship. It was hard as we worked together but I’ll be honest and when she left for a different job I threw a party in my head. Watch out for toxic people, no where does Jesus say you have to be friends with everyone.

Finally there is toxic behavior such as lying or being manipulative. I think one could also add drinking, drug abuse, smoking, cussing, pornography, bullying, gossiping and a host of others. Often we think we can manage this behavior and assume it’s harmless but neither is true. It’s best to kill it, before it kills you.

Mole Moral ~ Pastor Herc’s life verse. John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

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The Comparison Game

Session two did not disappoint. They dove right in to a big topic that tied into my blog earlier this morning. Comparing ourselves to others is instinctual. No one even needs to be taught this. Can you imagine a class called comparison 101 identifying your perceived short comings by focusing on others. This little game can ruin friendship, marriages and lives and social media has poured gas on this behavior and set it on fire.

How many times do we compare our real life to someone’s filtered life posts on social media. How many times do you look at something and think I could never be that great. This is a direct result of real versus reel. Your real life compared to someone’s highlight reel. They post only the best parts of their life and leave the crappy stuff off. Think about this the next time you are scrolling social media.

The comparison game is as meaningless as chasing wind and trying to catch it. It leads to a lose lose situation. Either you feel inferior to others or superior to others. I’ve experienced both but I will share a superior story that came to mind. It actually started as inferior and later turned to superior. My parents divorced when I was five in 1972. My parents were told my sister and I were ruined because they chose not to stay married. I spent my early years proving these people wrong. I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in nursing, the first in my family. I got married and am still married thirty one years later. I have a job I enjoy ninety-five percent of the time. I have three girls who are doing well regardless of the fact their parents stayed married while everyone else was getting divorced. I have to watch myself not to look at those whose parents stayed together and start comparing how they turned out compared to me. In the grand scheme of things it’s irrelevant.

Their is only one of me (thank goodness for everyone’s sake) and only I can do me and no one else. If only I could remember and live this out all the time, I wouldn’t have time for comparisons.

Mole Moral ~ If I could have one wish it would be this, that every single teenager could experience Big Stuf camp at least once in their life!