What This Means to Others…

Hana Getachew (patient, Corle Bu Hospital/ Accra, Ghana)

I recently received an email from the ‘head nurse’ on the Ghana Project and felt that it would be nice to share this with you. As I mentioned in the previous post, the head nurse is a very busy woman with many, many duties. One of her chosen duties is to escourt some of the children who have received spinal surgeries to correct their spinal deformities, back to their home country. These children come from Ghana (where the hospital is located), as well as Sierra Leone and Ethiopia. While the children are at the hospital in Ghana they do not have family or toys or possessions with them for comfort. These are life-saving, MAJOR surgeries which are also life-threatening. The recovery time for this is usually 2-3 months in hospital. The idea for providing a comfort to them was totally the idea of the head nurse, Bettye Wright (not the nurse in the photo).

Bettye Wright, RN.

I am grateful to be able to offer a solution to this need for a ‘security blanket/afghan’ for these children through “The Ghana Project.”

Here, in her email, is a brief explanation of “What it means to others” and why I continue knitting and constructing the afghans:

“Thank you so much, you cannot know how much these afghans mean to these patients, especially the ones that come to Ghana from other countries, without parents or anything familiar, the language is different, the food is different and we are all strangers, and to have something to cuddle with, that is all theirs, is very special. When I took Hanna back to Ethiopia she traveled via Ethiopian airlines with hers, all of the flight attendants loved the story about you and your group. God will bless you richly for the service you are doing.”



Trying to Catch Up

Sorry I haven’t written more or sooner; it’s been a rather rushed week or more. The Ghana Project afghans are going out tomorrow (34 completed this trip!) and I’ve been hurriedly trying to get them all done and packaged. I made the drive (1/2 hour one way) to deliver them last Friday, only to find that the doctor’s office was closed (early for the holidays, I’m guessing), so now I will have to make another trip tomorrow. The ‘good’ thing about that is that the head nurse who takes these to Ghana will be stopping by at the office to collect them tomorrow, so perhaps I’ll get a chance to say Hi. She has retired from working at this doctor’s office and now devotes her time fully to the care, organization, implementation, etc. of all things having to do with the Orthofocos (see web site) trips to Ghana, so catching up with her is kind of a treat as she’s one BUSY lady! I spent part of last week trying to just FIND her! She was in Michigan, then back to New York, then in between…thank heavens for email!

Along with all the afghan organizing has been another of my ‘pet projects’: Campbell’s Soup “Labels for Education” program for my special needs group. For at least 8-9 years we have been saving labels in hopes of earning a 17 passenger minivan. Let me ‘fill in the blanks’ a little here: Campbell’s company has a wonderful program for groups to be able to earn items by sending in soup labels. The total label value for the minivan originally (back 8-9 years ago) was 1,400,000. It has since grown in required labels and also shrunk the mini van to a 7 passenger. Needed labels now? 1,600,000. Yes, you read that right: One Million, Six HUNDRED THOUSAND labels! Where is my group in relation to all that? Oh we’re somewhere around 36,000 labels saved. We are a small group and I’m (once again) the only one organizing the project. It was decided that, at this rate, we’re not going to be meeting our goal anytime in the near future (and, our need for this van has diminished, as well). Therefore, it was decided that this will be the LAST shipment of labels and we will view their on-line catalog to see what items we COULD use for the group, instead. I say all that to end up with: I’ve been knee-deep in label cutting for the past 2 days! I’m guessing we have, this time, somewhere around 800 labels to mail in. I don’t mind doing this, but recently Campbell’s has changed their policy on what is ‘needed’ to be sent in. In the past it was only the FRONT of the label, now they only want the UPCs. Do you know how hard it is to count little tiny UPCs? They’re light-weight and tend to either stick to each other or blow off the table! Frustrating….(could be why I’ve kind of dragged my heels on the counting part); I’ve reserved that for later today (oh, joy!). (grand total of count: 2,599)

Labels and afghans-both needed counting…is that telling me something? Who knows……

Well friends, it’s Memorial Day! That usually means cooking or grilling out for most people. In a few minutes I have to drive my middle son to his job then join lots of other folk who decided it’s a day to go GROCERY shopping! (another oh, joy!). IF I have the energy after that, I ‘might’ make potato salad to go along with the steak I’d planned on grilling…maybe…maybe not, we’ll see.

Enjoy your holiday today and remember to THANK A VET for what they’ve done for our country, our freedom and our liberty. That also counts for young men and women who are currently serving our country; thanks is a small price to pay for all they’ve done for us.




Published in: on May 26, 2008 at 10:11 am  Comments (2)  
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Sometimes You Just Have To…

There are times in our lives when we are confronted with a situation and forced to think and react quickly; this evening was one of those times. I was on my way to my knit group and realized that I’d forgotten the attendance sheet (I’m the coordinator) so I quickly turned around and went home. As I was about to drive down our driveway, a sight I’ve never seen before in all my almost 29 years of living here met my eyes: a momma Mallard duck and 9 tiny baby ducks, all walking in a row down our sidewalk! This might not seem to be an unusual sight until you realize that I live in the city, on a MAJOR road (4 lanes and a turn lane, 45 MPH speed limit, and this was during RUSH HOUR traffic!) I was totally surprised and mesmerized by the sight! The momma walked, the babies followed until suddenly the momma veered to the left and decided that they needed to cross our street! We’re talking RUSH HOUR here! I totally freaked, looking both ways and determining that there was no traffic directly in the lanes they were about to cross, so I used my car to block both West-bound lanes while she escourted them into the turn lane. There was traffic in the East bound lanes and she politely waited for them to go by before starting into those lanes. Meanwhile, I’m freaking again because I’m seeing traffic coming directly towards them! I
had stopped my car and began honking my horn and waiving my arms at the traffic, hoping they would look down and see them…with God’s direction (and my crazy waiving arms), they did…both lanes stopped and allowed the 10 ducks to complete their trek to the other side of the street (and the lake that lies about 50 feet ahead). By this time I was in tears, very grateful that they successfully ‘made it’ and that none were lost in the process.

Afterwards I was sharing my experience with my knit ladies and they were all saying: “Pam, do you realize YOU could have been seriously hurt in doing that?” I suppose I could have, but as my title says: “Sometimes you just HAVE to!”



Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 9:33 pm  Comments (1)  

I’m Confused…

Have you ever had something that sort of ‘tickled’ at your brain and made you curious/confused/or wondering? Lately I’ve noticed that this blog brings in a good number of readers every day (and that’s a good thing!) but when I check the ‘stats’, the number one post of all time is one that is causing my confusion: “A Quiet But Nice Celebration, Considering” is the title (August, 2007). It’s an OK blog post but for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out just WHY it would bring in, daily, great numbers of viewers! For example: so far today (it’s now 11:20 a.m.) there have been 48 people viewing THAT post, yesterday it was 61, and the other confusing thing is the ‘search engine term’ that brings in the most views per day is birthday cake! Maybe I’m ‘out of it’, but none of the above makes much sense to me…why Birthday Cake would be so popular, or a simple blog about our wedding anniversary celebration last year and how it was somewhat of a disaster! Oh well…guess I should just be grateful that people ARE reading my blog, eh? (brings to mind that old quote: “Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die”***…well, there’ll be no dying here, that I know of (God willing), so guess I’ll just close on this note:
FOR WHATEVER REASON, I’m glad you enjoy reading my blog daily.



*** from “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Enjoy Your Day!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I’ve already been showered with ‘love’ from two of my three boys. Youngest decided that he wanted to make me breakfast as his gift and, because it’s usually hectic at our house on Sunday mornings, he made it today. I enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast of orange juice, 1 slice of wheat toast, a fried egg and a very nice cup of coffee-it filled me up and was lovingly prepared. For lunch, middle son took me out to a nice Chinese/Japanese restaurant where we enjoyed Miso soup, a very interesting egg roll, and shared a Dragon sushi roll and a Godzilla sushi roll together. Since we are the only ones in our family that really like sushi, it was a relaxing and tasty enjoyment. To top off the day I chose a Mother’s Day gift for myself while shopping at the grocery store: a large hanging planter filled with royal purple petunias and several other flowers all in shades of purple, violet, etc. I’ve enjoyed my day (ahead of time); here’s hoping YOUR Mother’s Day will be equally enjoyable for you!



ps: Oldest son stopped over today to bring me a box of desserts he had made for his restaurant (he’s the Executive Chef) and a lovely card with a gift card to Panera Bread (he knows I’m there every two weeks with my knit group…I thought that was a very thoughtful gift!). All in all, this has been the nicest Mother’s Day I think I’ve ever experienced! Each one of my children thought of his own way to remember me, and that’s very valuable to me; I’m truly blessed to be their Mom.

Published in: on May 10, 2008 at 4:29 pm  Comments (1)  

I’m NOT Complaining! Honest!

Today it’s a bright, sunny ‘in the low 70’s’ day and I’m attempting to catch up with all the ‘knitting related’ things that go on around here. Just finished photographing 233 squares for the Ghana site (actually there were more than that-I forgot to count one batch…ooooops). I’m very grateful to all the people who have contributed knitted or crocheted squares to the project, I’m just not as fast at sewing them together as I wish I was! (quick math lesson here: it takes 30 squares to make 1 afghan…I have just received the above 233+ squares to add to the ‘already here’ squares which probably total around 200+…how long is that going to take me to sew them all into afghans?…my answer: WHO KNOWS!!!) I also played ‘catch-up’ and re-made the table signs for my knit group; somehow the folder which held the originals simply vanished! There’s been a few things lately that have up and disappeared; some I can replace, some I can’t. I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I seemed to have swept a very nice bracelet into the waste basket the other day. I didn’t notice it’s absence until the day AFTER the garbage went out…it’s a good thing that I CAN replace it (Kohl’s). It had been a Christmas gift from a friend (I picked it out using a gift card they gave me); but the very act of losing it bothered me. Needless to say, I will NOT be putting the new one in the same place as I had stored the old one (by my computer, under some papers…I knew where it was, but didn’t notice it sliding into the wastebasket which resides right next to my computer desk). I’m trying not to become frustrated at my blog server; have spent a good hour trying to enter photos of the above squares on the Ghana site, only to have the server not give me what I needed to do the job. I was totally amazed that I was able to enter the yarn basket clip art on this site! It worked! When I get off here, I’m going to give it another good try (sure hope it works). I feel bad when people donate squares and I’m unable to give them their “15 Minutes of Fame” by posting their name and donation.

That’s about it around here today; just wanted to stop by and say HI. Hope you are all enjoying the great Spring weather!