Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our Own Private Redwall

Yesterday the long awaited 'Paint the Castle' day arrived.

As usual, I tried to cram too much into the day. But it was very fun! Alan brought his kids, Loren, Jonathan and Bryan to help. Kerri came. And Orrin. And John and Jerilee came and got started on my sad looking patio furniture. I spent more time checking on the different groups and bringing out treats and drinks than actually painting. But hey, it's a good tradeoff... get the neighbors to come do the work and I feed them.

At the end of the evening, we barbequed Cambodian Chicken and had corn on the cob, green salad and a big Texas Cake (currently my favorite!) and had dinner with the 3 missionaries currently serving in our stake. One of them is brand new, Elder Cammie, and came from Thailand. He told me I had the spices right on the chicken. And for their spiritual message, he told us his conversion story. Wow!!

His family is Buddhist and traditionally the children in the family get no say in their future. The parents decide their occupation, spouse, religion, etc. He first came in contact with the Church wanting to learn to speak English and later became interested in the teachings. Het met with missionaries there for several months and gained a testimony. But his parents refused and told him if he choose to get baptised that they would disown him. He was very sad but followed their instructions, finished his schooling and got a job. Still the desire to join the Church persisted and he approached his parents again. They finally agreed, with a big caveat... First he had to become a Buddhist monk. He did but said he felt hollow and sad the whole time. When he'd completed that requirement, he walked away from the monestary and was baptised. Then he felt the desire to serve a mission and was finally called to serve in Salt Lake City.

Just before noon, Kerri came to make the cake. She has been asking to learn how to cook and her mom won't teach her. I don't know why... So anyway, I kind of had a chocolate dipped kitchen but her first cake was a roaring success! We ate every last crumb.

A short time later the painters showed up and got started. Jon had so much paint on him, he looked like a dummy for a disaster drill! But he was so thrilled. He told me over and over that it was the "best day ever!"

Like I said it's not quite done yet. There's some edging and fussy stuff to finish up. I think I'll work on that evenings this week. And then, because Loren and Jon always call it Redwall Castle and make up games with the characters from those stories, we are going to put some Redwall features on the castle. There is a 12 point compass I agreed to paint onto the front wall. And Loren and Kerri want to help make a flag that looks like the crest on Mathias' shield which I think we can accomplish with a little time and fabric. And since a big part of the Redwall charm lies in solving riddles, I'm going to letter a few riddles around different parts of the castle walls. Here's a before picture. I'll post completed pics in the next couple of weeks.

I discovered looking for some information on a few days ago that the yellow slide is visible in the satellite image of my house. How wild is that?

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