Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

A friend of mine posted a list of random thoughts the other day. I had seen it before, you probably have too. It included things such as expressing the need for a sarcasm font, questioning why we had to learn to write in cursive (I don't think they teach it in George County, by the way), and a suggestion to Mapquest to eliminate the first 3 or 4 steps in their driving instructions since we should know how to get out of our own neighborhoods.

One item struck a chord with me, though. #5 on the list was this:

How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
Well, that happens to be something I have an answer for! My eldest daughter's best friend taught her how and she taught me and now I'm going to teach you. (I suspect the best friend learned it from her mother, who is a wise woman and whose counsel is worth paying heed.)

I thought about how to explain it using only words, but some things just need a picture.

Here's your sheet, just out of the drier or laundry basket,
probably with someone's sock or underwear
jammed damply in one of the corner pockets.

1. The first step is to untangle it and remove anything hiding in the corners.

2. Next, you're going to take your fist...
...and put it in one of those corners.
I find that it helps if I start with a corner on the left on the long side of the sheet.
(think 'landscape' rather than 'portrait' orientation)
Open your hand and get your fingertips up to the end of that seam.
3. Now do the same thing with your right hand on the right end of that same long side.
The part of the sheet that covers the side of the mattress will be hanging over your hands.

4. Now, bring your palms together, like this:

With your left hand, pinch through both layers of sheet to hold them together.
With your right hand, flip the right corner over the left,
so that both corners are now hooked over your left hand.

5. With your free right hand, follow the edge of the bottom layer,
(the one touching your left hand) until you find another corner.
Put your hand in that corner.

At this point, your left hand is under 2 corners
and you've just put your right hand in a 3rd corner.
There should be one last corner floating free out there.

6. With your right hand that is covered with corner #3,
ring corner #4.
It might be turned the wrong way. If so, pinch it through corner #3
and flip it over your right hand.

You should now have 2 corners over each hand
and the sheet will be folded in half.

7. At this point, essentially repeat step 4.
Bring both palms together, pinch through all the layers with your left hand
and flip so that all 4 corners are on your left hand.

8. With your right hand, smooth out the flap of sheet
that makes folding fitted sheets so difficult in the first place.
All the corner seams are in one spot.
(top right in the picture below)
The pesky sides are as smooth as they are going to get.

Keeping the fitted part to the inside,
the rest is just like folding any other sheet.

Looking at that, you'd never know it was fitted.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you've done it a few times, it moves right along.

And it wasn't nearly as tricky as trying to take pictures of the process without assistance! (I'd like to thank my Swiffer mop for standing in as one of my hands and the box of Kleenix for providing support for my camera.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lunch Hour Walk

Today at lunch I went for a walk. I was actually quail hunting! Not with a gun, though. I was just wondering if the little bird we saw last night was still hanging around.

The white building below is where the birds belong.

I didn't see any quail but I did see a trio of little chicks out for a stroll.

In front of this group of plants is where I saw the quail last night. I looked around the edges, but there is no way I'm foraging a path into this: sago palms bite. (Not to mention the legendary snake Beelzebub has been seen in this hedgerow!)

I guess I've never really looked inside a Sago palm before. Very interesting. Looks like new potatoes.
And there was a lizard hiding in there.
Look just above the "potato" in the bottom center of the picture. He is hiding in a crease with just his head sticking out. He is brown with a white jaw and his nose is pointing to the left.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Great Quail Roundup

Things happen at rural churches that just aren't covered in any seminary class. Take today, for instance: a herd (or flock) of quail over-ran the church property. Probably 200 of the little birds running around. They escaped from an enclosure 2 doors down from the church. Mr. Davis raises them. I found out about the escape after I noticed several odd episodes.

I was sitting in my office when I heard a muffled crunch coming from outside. It was immediately followed by a disappointed-sounding exclamation. I looked out and saw Bro. D carrying a very large box. I assumed (in error) that he had been carrying it and the bottom fell out. That scenario seemed to fit the noises I had heard.

I didn't think too much more about it until a bit later when Mark came into my office. He stood in front of my desk to tell me something and then looked out the window behind me and started laughing. Our maintenance guru was outside and had made an odd noise. Mark showed me the action that went with the sound and it reminded me of something the 3 Stooges would do! Nick came down the hall and someone mentioned the escaped quail. I decided I needed to see this first hand.

The maintenance guru had already rounded up and returned most of the herd, but a few stragglers remained. He and Dusty had tried to trap several by placing a large box over them together. (Judging by the sound I heard earlier, I don't think they had much luck!) The 3 Stooges act outside my window was a result of him thinking he had a bird cornered and it flying up in his face. At that point it had run into the hedges lining the driveway. Well, there were 5 of us and only one little bird. We started beating the hedge, trying to drive it out. Nick spotted the bird at the base of one bush. We surrounded it and the guru grabbed it, proving that a bird in the hand really IS better than 2 in the bush!

Apparently, we missed at least one. This evening when I got to the church at 5:30 for a rehearsal, I saw one about 5 yards in front of where I parked. When I pointed it out to the girls, they immediately jumped out of the car and ran up to the bird. I disappeared into the hedges!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Good, Good Day

Today was the day.

The day I took the bike on the road.

I have to hand it to Mr. H. He has endless patience, yet sets a plan of action and goes for it. I was planning on a few trips up and down our lane before venturing farther. Not him. "Here's what we're gonna do: down to Howell's Grocery, straight at the intersection all the way to Tanner Williams, then left over to Wilmer Road, then left on Howells Ferry and back to the house."

That is a 20 mile trip.

And I did it!

I learned that once you get going, the going is easy. The difficult part is stopping. Well, not exactly difficult, but there is a lot more to remember and keep track of. The first several times, I stopped well short of the intersections. I think I was afraid of running out into oncoming traffic (which wasn't even there.) I turned from stopping at a stop sign and even turned left while traveling (I held my breath, but didn't lay the bike down so that was excellent.)

Made it all the way back to the intersection of Howell Tanner Chapel and 612. I'm not sure what was going on in my head, but I managed to have the bike go over. I wasn't moving (or at least was barely moving) and wasn't turning, but it started over and I couldn't pull it back up. Mr. H helped me pull it back up. We rode the last 2 miles back to the house to have lunch and talk it over.

After gumbo leftover from last night and the end of the MSU-Bama game (we won't discuss that one), it was time to go back out. This time we went right at Howell's Grocery to CF Ward. In the car, I take the Will Howell Road shortcut, but the point where Will Howell ends at 612 is in a curve and the visibility stinks. Until I get more experience I'll take the long way (and so will Em when she gets her driver's license!) We crossed the bridge and I slowed enough to make the right turn onto CF Ward. The map below is of the center section of CF Ward Rd. (You may have to click on the X right above Sat to close the address box and be able to see the map.) There are 2 pretty sharp curves: the first to the right, then a 90 degree turn to the left.

View Larger Map

I was doing okay around the first curve, but didn't slow down enough for the 2nd one. About where the C in the vertical text of CF Ward is, I went wide into the grass. Amazingly enough, I kept my head, didn't brake, and headed back onto the road. AMAZING! I didn't stop and just kept going up to the stop sign. Mr. H was very proud of me for not freaking out! He suggested that we head to the church parking lot for some slow practice. Which I did, but very carefully because that parking lot is full of sand and fine gravel.

Coming home, I crossed over the R/R tracks with no problem. In fact, on that leg of the trip I felt very comfortable. Mr. H says that for the first 6 months or so, everytime I get on the bike, it'll feel like I'm starting over, but that's normal.

Over all, I am incredibly pleased with my first day of riding. I can't wait to make it a part of who I am.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Sound of Ministry

The annual GA Mother/Daughter sleepover is this weekend. The leaders are in a frenzy of decorating, transforming our fellowship hall into a beach side retreat. The room is ALIVE with activity. It is literally buzzing in there. Girls from our church look forward to this event every year. Even after they are too old to be GA's, they still volunteer to come work at this event with the younger girls. Em and El will be there, helping and having a ton of fun. Last year my 20 year old and her best friend came down from Starkville to take part. There is something about Girls in Action at ABC that draws them back long after the 6th grade.

I can't help but think it's the love they feel from their leaders, especially Ms. Connie. The woman is simply AMAZING!!

**Note: 1/29/10 - I just discovered that I had never posted this after I created the draft last Thursday. I think I was intending to add photographs, but apparently never took any. Better late than never.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The good news is: they filled in the pot holes on the road leading to our house.

The bad news is: they did it today...and it's raining...a lot.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What a Choir!!

Today I was reading Nehemiah 12. There is an entire list of Levites who were in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. Verse 29 says that "the singers had built their own settlements around Jerusalem." It talks about how they divided into 2 choirs and walked around the top of the wall. Then they sang in response to each other and there were trumpet players and other musicians, as well.

Verse 43 says "and the joy of the people of Jerusalem could be heard far away."

I can just imagine what it sounded like.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old Friends

Yesterday was a great day.

It had nothing to do with the rain or the lack of phone service and intermittent internet service. Not even with the Saints winning!

It was all about re-establishing connections the old fashioned way: face to face.

The last time we saw Harvey and Tina, our eldest was about 2 months old. She turned 21 in November. That's 2 decades! We have exchanged Christmas cards, but not much more than that.

Yesterday, they were at our house, eating at our table. (Well actually, eating in our living room, because we were watching the Saints win!!) And it was like we had never been apart. Some friendships are like that.

In this case, even though the Lord saw fit to separate us for a while, He was drawing us closer to Him. So when we came back together, we were closer to each other than we could have imagined.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Mr. H is suiting up to ride his bike in to work today. It's been over a week and he is not one to let the cold daunt him for long. Since it's been sitting on the front porch for a week, he's got some things to check: tires, oil, that kind of stuff. He is such a thorough guy.

He checks the weather EVERY day. This morning, he told me that there is a cold front coming through. How will we be able to tell?

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The past 2 days have been an incredible experience. Before Saturday morning, I had never been on a motorcycle (other than as a passenger). Today, I was able to drive a Buell Blast in a figure 8 inside a 4o x 60 rectangle, then swerve around an obstacle and come to a controlled stop without dropping the bike. (I learned a very valuable lesson about that yesterday!) I can weave through cones spaced at 30 feet and at 20 feet. I can do something with some proficiency today that I would never have dreamed of doing last week.

And I'm not alone in this. There were 5 others in my class: 3 gentlemen and 2 other ladies. Our ages range from 20-something to 50-something (unless someone is older than I imagine!) Two Coast Guard guys, 2 realtors, a doctor and a church lady! (FYI: Did you know that the Coast Guard does LOTS more than rescue boaters in coastal waters? The USCG deploys to the Middle East - and other locations - along with the other branches of our military.)

The men were way ahead of the ladies in experience coming into the class, but the ladies all feel the pride of having mastered absolutely NEW skills this weekend. And the guys are better riders now than they were before. A great deal of the credit for our success goes to Larry Cooper, the instructor. What an encourager!

And along with my new skills, I have a new appreciation for the abilities of my husband. Now that I can (just barely) manage myself on a bike, I am even more impressed with his ability to manage a bike with me and a ton of baggage added to the mix. He's AWESOME!

What's next? Practice!
If only I had 8 hours everyday to work on these skills......

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Something New

Today was the day that I rode a motorcycle for the first time. All those other times I've been on a bike, I was a passenger.

Today, I was in control...
Well, control is probably an optimistic term for what was really happening, but I was the only one on my bike. And it isn't really my bike: it belongs to Eastern Shore Harley Davidson, where the Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a class called Rider's Edge. Mr. H signed me up as a Christmas present. It's aimed at new riders (like me and the other 2 ladies) but one guy is there to brush up on his skills while his wife learns to ride her Christmas present, and a couple of Coast Guard guys who are required to take it so they can ride their bikes on base.

We are riding Buell Blasts, like the picture. The one I'm riding is blue. Mine is the only blue one, but I could tell mine from the other 5 just by the seat position: LOW!

I'm amazed at the progress I've made. I can actually DO the things we're supposed to be doing: starting, changing gears, turning, weaving through cones. (Being able to weave through the cones on my first try really surprised me.) Okay, so I did dump the bike.... Okay, so I dumped it twice.... I didn't know why it happened the first time. After the second time, I understood the physics of what was going on: NEVER TRY TO STOP THE BIKE UNTIL THE HANDLEBARS ARE AIMED STRAIGHT AHEAD. EVER! If you do, the bike will want to lay down on you. The second time I caught it so that it was just leaning against my left leg, but I couldn't get it back upright. I really did try, but I didn't have enough leverage. It wasn't coming up, so there was no place to go but down.

Tomorrow, we have to finish up the classroom portion from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. Then we'll be back out on the bikes from about 9:30. until 5 p.m. As cold as it has been this week, I was really worried about freezing. Actually, after the first bike session this morning, I was sweating. I had to peel off one layer of shirt. And my feet didn't get cold, either. All in all, it was an amazing day for me. I have sore muscles in hands and legs, but those are nothing compared to the sense of accomplishment I feel. This is truly the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Your Place

This morning, Dr. T made a brief appearance at church. This is the first time that many in our church have seen him since his bypass surgery on December 22. He came up on the platform and stood behind the pulpit.

I have heard him say that he considers that spot behind the pulpit to be "home." I don't believe I understood what that meant until this morning. It was comforting to me to see him in "his place" this morning. If seeing him there did that for me, I can imagine what being there did for him. It was an "all is right with the world" moment. I'm glad I was there to experience it.