The last week (6/22 through 6/26) of June I was with my stepdaughter (11) at church camp. Our church goes to Sagmount Baptist Camp just south of Joplin, MO, just a hair outside of a little town called the Village of Saginaw.
Now, if you are at all familiar with southern and southwest Missouri, you will know immediately that the land layout is not flat. Not flat as in cliffs, caves, drunk monkeys designed the winding hilly one lane roads, low lying valleys, and an occasional piece of level property. Driving in that area is not for the faint of heart or the lowest in car insurance. Make sure your parking brake works.
All that said, Sagmount is beautiful. The design was once laid out as a resort when it was started back in the 1920's, and had beautiful swimming pools fed by the stream that runs through the property, a hotel with new at the time "air conditioning" fed by fans that drew up cool air off the stream and brought it into the stone built buildings. The old buildings still sport their stone sheaths, and the inside of some of them still have the original stone works and carvings that were inlaid in the initial build. Some of the original fireplaces are still there, though not used for safety's sake. With over 400 people at a time, 100 year old fireplaces may not be the most ideal to be firing up. For what it's worth, there is now central air--and it felt great in the 90-100+ degree heat!
The majority of the buildings sit on the side of a hill. You park and use your parking brakes set as tight as you can get them. You walk hills to get to your room. You walk hills to get to your meals. you walk hills to get to bible studies. The tabernacle, concession, pool, trout pond, bass/perch pond, stream, bear cave, sports, etc are all at the bottom of the big hill. The housing and cafeteria are set on top of the cliff. The cliff is angled so steeply that the maintenance people use goats in certain areas rather than mow. I found this amusing to see goats resting in the shade under an overhang on the cliff side. To get from top to bottom or vice versa, there are 3 options. You can drive down a rather steep road that winds around the northwest side of the property. You can walk down wooden stairs at an even more steep angle. Or you can take the concrete stairs on the "suicide hill". There's a reason for that last one--it's angled extremely steep, and you think you're dying before you get to the top. Very few folks took it, and I avoided it figuring I'd just roll back down.
The "fun stuff" is at the bottom of the hill. Also the mandatory chapel services are at the bottom of the hill. So, I'd pack up my backpack with plenty of water bottles and my big ol' bible, keys, phone, and so on, and walk down the hill. I found it funny in my own little way, many people would pull up beside me and ask if I wanted a ride down. The looks I received when I politely declined, explaining my car was at the top of the hill and I was doing it for exercise--the folks understood but still seemed to think I was nuts. The same happened going back up the hill each time. I hoofed it a lot around the camp, only driving for evening services after I'd showered and put on nicer clothes and didn't want to bathe in bug spray again. Those trips up and down were worth it! The trips produced awesome muscles and a 7 pound weight loss in 5 days.
Get this--I ate like a horse. I did a Slim Fast and lots of coffee in the morning, followed by a granola bar (or two) for a snack, then hoofed it down and back up the hill from morning chapel and ate 2 heaping plates (main dish, veggies, fruits, monster salad with cheese and diced chicken no dressing) and iced tea, and later on back down the hill for activities, have a snack or two, lots of water, back up the hill and snack, shower, eat supper (similar thing with 2 plates heaping full), evening activities, chapel, back up the hill, snack, round up the girls I had with me, and then sleep. Repeat the entire week. The clothes I took that were getting snug from weight gain weren't snug anymore after the week. It was great!
The girls I took along had a blast as well, with music competitions, swimming, sports, hanging out with friends they knew, and so on. We had a good time!
The theme was Determined. Most of the sermons were on obedience, to authority and the Bible. I admit I picked up some from the preaching, even though it was levelled to 9-12 year olds. The music was hymns and fun camp songs, and my can those kids yell loud when told to! The speaker was a good one, and he kept the attention of the kids and adults, and he kept on target each day.
The last day of camp, on the way home, we heard the Supreme Court ruling on "homosexual marriage", and had to turn the radio off. It wasn't something I wanted to hear while returning home from Bible camp. While I won't debate it, our stance in our family is on the ol' King James 1611 and what it says on that issue and all other sin issues.
The week following camp, I was down with some respiratory thing that started creeping in the last couple days of camp. I felt like a freight train with a few hundred cars rolled over my chest, felt like I was breathing through a straw, and had a major sinus infection going on. I never did make it to the doctor, but did use what we had at home in over the counter items and started taking a women's multi vitamin. The first 3 or 4 days I barely remember, it is like a fog, and all I wanted to do was sleep and of course being home with all the family it wasn't possible. Almost 2 weeks out from camp now, I'm almost completely over it. I've got my energy back and getting caught up on work that has been needing done but didn't get done while I was at camp and the week home sick.
Hubby is now at camp over into southern Missouri, where it's flooding and much more mild in temperatures than we're used to for July. It's normally 90's to 100's, and we're barely breaking upper 60's to 70. We've had a lot of rain and flooding in the general region. Yesterday when hubby called from the camp, he said there's no getting to the highway at that time due to the red clay dirt roads being too slick to get up--the camp is at the bottom of the hollers and just on the edge of the Gasconade river, and to get out you do a lot of driving in 1st gear (or low in an automatic) to climb the hills. He is doing nursing at the camp, which he usually does yearly and keeps his Missouri nursing license mainly for that reason--we don't live in Missouri but keeps dual license. He has the oldest child with him there, while I have the youngest at home and the middle child is visiting his dad.
This week so far I have the windows open (odd for July) and have been cleaning the house down with Pine Sol and catching up on much needed work. It's been too wet to do much outside, so much water our yuccas are showing yellow instead of green (ever seen a drowning yucca???) and many of my flowers are stunted in growth. My sunflowers that were to grow (and normally do) 12 feet are barely 5, and the seed heads are to be easily a foot across are barely 4 inches. The 3 foot tall zinnias are about a foot and a half to 2 feet and much smaller heads than normal. The only things really taking off are the herbs and they've exploded and took over, and also the marigolds (which I didn't plant but reseeded themselves from last year) are doing awesome. So are weeds. This has been an odd spring and summer thus far, with so so much water and very mild temperatures. It feels like early to mid spring, not near the middle of July. It is nice to have the windows open and breezes coming in, it just is abnormal for this time of year.
I'm hoping after school starts in August, to get back on a regular posting schedule. I miss writing on a regular basis, but the family seems to need me all the more when everyone is home and needing 10 meals a day (or so it seems) and mountains of laundry and cleaning lessons (which they don't like but need to do to learn how to some day manage their own homes), and chauffeuring around town to various activities, and so on. Hopefully after we are back on our regular schedule the days will slow down a tad.
During down time in the evening I've been working on more hand piecing and cutting squares while the kids are doing things but needing supervision. I've learned how to do 4 patch/9 patch blocks and use a seam gauge to keep on target instead of drawing seam lines. I don't have the hang of the rotary cutter, it still isn't my friend, so I still hand cut and hand trace each piece, and am working through scraps and recycled clothing to cut down to serviceable squares and triangles. I've also been working on my hexagon quilt that has been in progress for nearing 2 years, and hope to have it done very soon and ready to hand quilt. I've been taking the hexie quilt pieces along to Dr appointments (family members, not my own--I haven't been in months) and other places where I'm expected to wait a long while, and making progress that way. I'm getting addicted to recycling fabrics instead of buying new--I find it a challenge to find out just how much I can get out of one shirt or pair of pants. :)
I hope you all are having a great summer (Northern Hemisphere) or winter (Southern Hemisphere). I hope to be back soon and get back to weight loss ideas and tips and so on, along with some more Christian based things.
Have a great day!! I've missed you!!!
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