Saturday, November 28, 2009

Home work ... and rest!

Rest time is a precious commodity in the Palmer home these days. Tim and Andrei are working full time -- plus drivng a forty-five minute commute each way. I'm racing from RSS classes to markets and back home to write a book that's due in January. We're dog-tired!After the bullet went through Andrei's apartment window, we moved him to our house. Our friend, Bob Cornett, and his wonderful crew have been converting our garage into a small apartment for Andrei. Chris has done a lot of the work, and we've enjoyed feeding him at our table now and then.TIME FOR THE REVEAL! "Driver, move that bus!" Well, we didn't have a bus, but Andrei enjoyed the big moment anyway. Ta-da!Awesome!
Andrei is particularly proud of the pedestal sink he chose.
Yep, definitely a cool bathroom!
The refrigerator came in . . .and then the stove . . . and Andrei is at last living in his little home sweet home! When he's not at work, he is usually making cars. Here's an MG, his latest creation.Take a look at that interior. Fur-lined floor and doors. Amazing dashboard. And a totally groovy steering wheel. Though pets require attention and care, our two dogs have been major stress-relievers. Sukari -- our little "brown sugar" -- arrived shivering and terrified after many days of roaming the streets dragging her leash. We put up posters, sent out emails and tried hard to find her owners. When nothing panned out, well . . . even Tessie voted to keep her new little friend.After a flea bath tonight, Tessie needed an extra dose of love.Suki was in the doldrums, too.
Misery loves company. Suki found the warmest place in the house and curled up next to Tessie, her best friend, protector, and playmate.
The coming month is completely full with events piled one upon another. We appreciate your prayers for strength, patience, kindness, and an overflowing measure of grace.

Busy, busy, busy!

Brrr! It's cold outside. But inside Clarkston Community Center, things are hot! Our women come bundled up from their long walks in the frigid air. They don't stay bundled for long.The Refugee Sewing Society's members have been blessed with a lot of contract work lately. We are using donated knit fabric to make nightgowns for dolls. These clothes are marketed through PureFUN, our business partner's daycare supply company. We're also sewing playclothes for two sizes of dolls. The women are learning a lot as they sew these detailed, tiny clothes. It's great preparation for their upcoming projects with full-sized clothing. In addition to that, we've been sewing mat sheets for daycares and drawstring-tied jewelry bags.The women love to sew market bags and refugee bags. We're making them by the bushel and hoping they'll sell well at all the markets we have in December.

A recent market was held at Emory University. We were invited to participate in a large event at which Valentino Deng, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, was the guest speaker. Representatives from refugee agencies filled the large room, and The Refugee Sewing Society was honored to present our products for sale.Thanksgiving week brought a break in our usual class schedule. But there was no rest for the volunteers of the RSS! On Tuesday, we had an organizing, sorting, and shelving day. Tiffany Woodcock from PureFUN helped so much. Lest anyone think that volunteering for the RSS is a piece of cake, I present this photo of Carol Harrison hefting one of our incredibly heavy metal sewing machines. Several people have donated these old gems, and we're eager to put them to use.
But for the time being, we needed to get them off the floor. It took two women just to hoist each machine from the floor to the top of a cabinet. Our room is ready now for the final run to Christmas. We'll be operating on a reduced schedule so I can finish a book that's due on January 15. In the new year -- look out, world! The Refugee Sewing Society is gearing up for a lot of excitement. Please keep us all in your prayers, and may God bless you for your love and support of our precious women.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


No, not those kinds of alterations! We're not hemming skirts or letting out pants' seams. But we are experiencing lots of changes, and they're wonderful!First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia, included us in their recent missions outreach. David Jackson constructed beautiful new shelves for The Refugee Sewing Society.
We are thrilled with the help this has brought to our room. We're now able to get organized and better manage donations, storage, and many other needs.
Aren't these awesome? David and others from the church took measurements and built the shelves to my exact specifications.
We now have shelves designated for fabric, supplies, and machines.My father, Harold Cummins, and my stepmother, Phyllis arrived for a short visit just after the shelves were completed. They joined in the fun of organizing and folding many boxes full of fabric.The new shelves led one of our students to sing out, "Happy sewing, teacher! Happy sewing!" Thanks FBC Woodstock and David!
The changing leaves on the tree in our yard reminds me that the Palmer family has another change afoot.
After the random gunshot incident, we moved Andrei home with us. We all agreed he would be happier with a place of his own. A great construction crew led by Amazin' Amy's husband, Bob, is transforming our garage into a one-bedroom abode. Andrei will soon have his own home sweet home right next to ours.

This has been a time of high tension for the Palmers, so we appreciate your prayers and support. I'm so happy that God has allowed me to work with women who quickly take all my stress away.

Yesterday as they were cleaning our sewing room, I realized I was watching refugee resourcefulness at work. Tulasa was down on her knees under the table using a wadded plastic bag to sweep up lint and fabric scraps. When I started taking photos, the women all got so tickled they were just about crying. These happy faces always bring a smile to my own.
Change can bring hardships and joy. Around here, it's all good!