Sunday, May 30, 2010

New website and blog

Hey there, all you wonderful people!

Thank you so much for reading our these past two years. We may update it occasionally, but we have a brand new website with its own blog. We'll be using that blog from now on.

Our new website address is

Please take a look!

Thank you for your prayers and support.

Much love --

Cathy and Tim Palmer

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A snood by any other name . . .

What's a snood and why do I need one? Bhagirathi and Dil (below) from Bhutan -- along with others in our yarn group --made some really pretty snoods this week.I thought it would be fun for the ladies to model the works of art they'd made. Snoods were first popular in the Victorian age -- and now they're haute couture again.

Man Maya's lovely gray snood catches her long hair and sets off her pretty earrings.A snood fits over your hair differently than a hat does. Harka shows us how it sits slightly back on the head.A large snood can hold a lot of long hair.
Fancy a spot of tea with Sharon?Why, thank you kindly. I believe I shall!

While wearing a snood, one cannot hold back a smile . . . as Saraswati demonstrates. Godeliva, from Congo, made a snood that fits more like a cap. Pretty snood on a pretty lady!If you think you need a snood, you're right! We sell them for $10 each. This coming Friday, we'll be having a big market at Clarkston Community Center. Come on over and snood up!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Devi's Day

This afternoon, I went to a puja -- or pooja -- on behalf of one of my students. Devi's birthday is today, so everyone gathered in her home to worship and celebrate. She's on the left with two of her friends.A puja involves the worship of one or more Hindu gods. One corner of the dining room in Devi's apartment had been set aside and decorated with a string of lights and various plants and food. A priest sat in another corner of the room. Each person present knelt before him while he sprinkled flower petals on their head and wound a red string around their right wrist. The small round glowing picture on the floor was the object of worship today. I heard several different names of who it was -- Vishnu, Durga, and Devi were all mentioned -- so I'm not sure who was being honored.
Though the puja was given in celebration of Devi, she and the other women were working very hard in the kitchen! Here, Durga and Jasoda were helping prepare food for guests.Naina went around with more helpings of the delicious curry.
This was my plate. On the upper left is a dish made of rice, coconut, milk, sugar, and butter. Beside it on the left is "pickle." I've learned that Bhutanese people have all kinds of things they call "pickle." Some are like what we call salsa. This was more of a cilantro flavored cabbage slaw.
On the lower part of the plate we had a collection of fruit -- papaya, apple, sugar cane, and grape. Next is roti, a fried bread that is yummy. Beside it, on the right, is vegetable curry.

I sat beside my friends, Netra and Radhika. These men welcomed me at the table. They enjoyed practicing their English with me. They're getting very good!
I'm a lefty, and it's hard to eat right-handed. In most cultures, it is very rude to eat with your left hand. I'm able to handle a spoon pretty well, and I'm learning to pick up food with my fingers, too.
Maybe the best part was bringing home bowls of delicious food to share with Tim and Andrei.Dhanibad! "Thank you" to my wonderful Bhutanese friends for sharing this special meal with me. And happy birthday, Devi!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The usual silliness!

It's been a long time since I wrote -- as so many of you have reminded me. Well, we're back! While I've been away from this blog, life has continued in its usual crazy way at The Refugee Sewing Society as well as in the world of the Palmer family.

Tim turned 60! And how amazing that Dunkin' Donuts all over the nation celebrated his birthday, too!
Dear friends of ours from Missouri made a surprise visit for Tim's big day. Sharon and Rich McClure showed up at our door. They took us to a Braves game -- the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies history.
Geoffrey couldn't be with us, but he sent a gorgeous azalea to his father. We planted it in the front yard. Tessie had a bit of a shock -- as did we all -- when snow began to fall just at the start of spring. She kept staring out our bay window as if trying to figure out what that white stuff was that kept falling out of the sky.
But spring arrived at last. As I drove the women home from sewing class each day, we practiced the names of the flowers -- dogwood, redbud, forsythia, azalea, wisteria.
PureFUN! donated lunch boxes, ice-packs, and food storage containers as an Easter gift for all the women in the advanced sewing class. When a church team came to visit, the women ate in the auditorium. Jasoda got a kick out of bringing all the lunchboxes at the same time. This wonderful team turned their spring break into a mission trip. They did an amazing job organizing, sorting, folding, and storing the vast amount of fabric, sewing supplies, and yarn that The Refugee Sewing Society has been given in the past months. I think there was some momentary shock when they first saw the size of their project!But that quickly passed as they dived into their mission.
I enjoyed watching adults and youngsters working together as a team. These girls did a great job on the sewing notions.The guys got in on the action, too!The entire auditorium became one big folding and sorting arena!
By the end of the day, they had stored everything in its place. Thanks, Darby and crew! Lest you imagine that the fabric is just sitting around, let me introduce you to our newest product line. Cute little dresses!The women are enjoying funneling their creativity into this project!
These dresses are selling like hotcakes. At every market, women are snapping up one or more to take home to daughters and granddaughters. Thanks for supporting our women!
Some of the dresses have little bonnets. The women got a kick out of trying them on!Speaking of projects, Andrei and Tim brought home a large load of decking scraps from PureFUN! They led to our first backyard flower garden.We built the raised bed at the edge of what used to be a very nasty swimming pool!
More guests arrived -- a favorite couple from Missouri who had been serving in a Florida ministry for a month. We love Dale and Janice Webb! We took them to see the big Hindu temple in Metro Atlanta. It's hard to believe this building is actually in the USA!
Dale and Janice are helpers. They helped us pack up to move to Georgia. And when they came this time, they kept on working. Dale decided the floor in the kitchen dining area needed a good mopping!But we let him rest afterward!Back at the RSS, Hinde was giving us her opinion on various matters. She keeps us all laughing. She's studying for her GED. At 28 and the mother of six, she is determined to go to college. I admire her so much! One day she came in asking the meaning of "hold your horses" and "TV dinner." She said, "I know what a TV is, and I know what a dinner is. But what is a TV dinner?"Rabha and Hinde have become good friends even though they don't speak the same native language. Hinde is from Somalia and Rabha is from Sudan. Here's Rabha looking lovely.The RSS volunteers are very excited about our newest marketing idea -- Missions in a Box! Todd came up with the concept one day. If you order a box for $20, we'll send you enough materials for a single WMU, Sunday School, or other meeting. You'll get a booklet about our women and the ministry of the RSS. You'll also get a fun quiz, door-prize, DVD, bookmarks, and other printed matter. The rest of the box will be filled with RSS products for you to offer for sale to your group. Cool idea!

Almost immediately, we got orders for 10 boxes! It took Amy, Sharon (below), and me a while to assemble all the components, but we finally mailed off our first one!Today is mother's day, and I was delighted with Andrei's latest cake -- a gigantic chocolate candle! We enjoyed our teatime on the deck this afternoon.I'm so grateful to be a mother to my two wonderful sons -- Geoffrey and Andrei. And I'm honored that God has allowed me to love and mentor such beautiful refugee women. As I watched this mama goose hurry along a parking lot along busy Memorial Drive, I thought of all the dangers and obstacles that come our way as mothers.
May God watch over and protect all mothers -- including the feathered kind!