Friday, September 12, 2008

On the Newsstands September 11, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "The Art of Giftwrap"

by Gaynell Parker on Musings from an LDS Writing Mom

I attended a wedding shower over the weekend, and it was full of women, friendly chatter, yummy food and opening presents. I guess the whole games thing has gone by the way, which is okay by me -- we had enough fun just chatting. But what was fun were the presents! One of them, made up by my sister, was a large wok full of fun kitchen utensils. Only, instead of wrapping the whole thing up in paper, she took two different colors of tissue and stuck them in between the different things so it looked like a crazy pot of color. It was great.

Many people I know feel that gifts are a waste of time. Or at least gift wrapping is -- but I love the look of a wrapped present. There's nothing more delightful to me than to see a stack of gorgeous wrapping and the creativity that people come up with. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Glenn Close"

by Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart on I Knew I Could Fly

My last entry spoke of good-hearted, wholesome dramas including "Sarah Plain and Tall" starring Glenn Close. Today I would like to look at the actress a little closer and share some of her diverse talents.

Though born in the states, most of Glenn's education was received overseas. "As a high school student at Greenwich's Rosemary Hall, the actress organized a touring rep-theater group and performed a number of folk-singing gigs." (Source)

Her career was jump-started when George Roy Hill spotted her performing on stage and asked her to audition for Garp's mother in the movie "The World According to Garp", which premiered in 1982. -- Read More

Books: "Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom"
by Alison Palmer on Tangled Words and Dreams

I just made a new friend. Well, okay, I’ve never really met him, nor will I be able to anytime soon. I value his friendship just the same. Morrie is the kind of best friend everyone should have. Yep. I finally got around to spending my Tuesdays with Morrie.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom was a national best-seller several years ago, but like most things popular in the national market, I eyed it with suspicion and stuck to my already lengthy list of books to read. I’m sure if I would have paid closer attention to what the “critics” were saying about Tuesdays with Morrie, I might have actually read it then; but, I’ve tried a few of those so called inspiring titles and found many of their messages significantly lacking in inspiration or even good writing in some cases. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "Necessary Accessories"

by Nichole Giles on Nichole's Fairy Squeaks

Whether or not you are a jewelry wearer, you probably wear accessories daily—without more than a split-second thought. If you’ve been reading my blogs from the beginning, you already know that the jewelry umbrella covers a lot more than rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

For instance, the wallet or purse you carry is an accessory. As is your cell phone. Yes, I did say cell phone. Haven’t you noticed they come in a countless array of colors and styles—and can be accessorized according to personal taste? Hats—even when doing yard work—qualify, as do nail polish and glasses.

Whether you choose these things for their color or style, or simply for the practical functions they offer, owning one or several of these types of things is a regular part of living in modern society. Face it, we become dependent on…stuff. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Blogger in Arizona Needs Help"

by Candace E. Salima on Dream a little dream...

In lieu of my usual Health & Food column this week, I am posting this about the Nielson family of Arizona instead. Please, read through and find it in your hearts to keep them in your prayers and, if possible, help them with their medical bills.

I first learned of Stephanie Nielson's plight when I read a New York Times article, which I have included in its entirety here:

After Blogger's Plane Crash, Virtual Becomes Personal
Published: September 6, 2008

WHEN a small private plane carrying Stephanie Nielson, a young mother who lives in Mesa, Ariz., crashed in eastern Arizona three weeks ago, Katja Muggli, a graphic designer in Munich, said she felt as if there had been a tragedy in her own family — and in a virtual way, there had been.

Her husband, Christian, was also injured.

Ms. Muggli, 34, has never met Ms. Nielson. But as a blogger and single mother, she was an avid follower of Ms. Nielson’s blog, the NieNie Dialogues. The site, a diary of home life that she started in 2005 for close friends and family, had attracted a small but ardent following, thanks to its upbeat dispatches about marriage, home d├ęcor, entertaining and the art of raising four children ages 6 and younger. To her admirers, she was Supermom. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Make it from Scratch"
by Keith Fisher on The Camp Cook in the Backyard

Everywhere I go, people ask me where I get my recipes. I always give them a blank stare and tell them, "In my head." Judging by the looks I get, some of them think I’m being curt and don’t wish to give out my secrets.

It’s true, I’m planning to publish a cookbook, but it’s also true that I cook by feel, it does come from my head. I once had a person watching me, writing down what I do and what I add to a recipe, and when I finished, I couldn’t believe I’d done what the instructions said I did.

I call it, by the seat of your pants cooking, and everyone does it. Many cooks tweak a recipe, they add something they think will make the recipe better. It usually works, because as eaters we know what we like, and we trust our taste buds. -- Read More

Home & Family:

Home & Family/Preparedness: "What Will Your Stash Be?"
by Barbara Salsbury on Three P's in a Pod

In today’s blog I want to present a practical part of preparedness. Having been through many different kinds of disasters, including being without employment or a paycheck for over eighteen months,I have a different perspective than many on what is needed to really be prepared. But prepared for what?

For hard times and down times it is extremely important that you are able to have comforting things, and that includes comforting things to eat. (This is above and beyond – or perhaps before - the requisite “preparedness supplies.”) -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscape: "Drawing Butterflies to your Yard"
by Heather Justesen on Heather Justesen

I have several more blogs to write on the ins and outs of pond building, but decided to take a break today to discuss another favorite plant from my yard. The butterfly bush puts out a great show of blooms with some blooming from early spring to mid summer and others from mid summer to mid fall. The blooms are anywhere from white, to pink, blue to purple and there is even a variety that produces white, pink and purple all on the same bush. The flower spikes draw butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your yard as well. Also known as summer lilac, this plant is a native of China, but was first brought to England in the 1700s.

Hardy from zones 5 to 10, this plant is suitable for xeriscape, and does well in full sun to part shade. No parts of the plant are known to be poisonous. The flowers are fragrant and add great color to a corner or back of a border. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Metafores and Asimiles"
by C.L. Beck on Write Up My Alley

I’m sure I’ve never met a fore or a simile that I didn’t like. That is, if I could remember what a metaphor or a simile is. There’s a composition and grammar book sitting on my desk that I refer to constantly, but when I went to look those terms up, my glasses had gone into hiding and the words looked like little ants. However, my less than 20-20 vision did tell me I could learn about meta-sores and similax in the book. (This might also explain why my biscuits are as heavy as bricks and just as tasty when I follow a recipe without wearing my glasses,)

Eventually the glasses turned up in the laundry basket and after putting them on, I immediately started on matters of high priority. I opened my email and found the joke of the day from the "Good, Clean Funnies List." That's when I discovered I'm not the only one who can't tell a metaphor from a semaphore from Connect Four. -- Read More

Music: "Jennifer Griffiths, Inspiring Others with a Song and a Prayer"
by Julie Keyser on yourMusicNotes

Just the other day I received this invitation from my good friend Jen Griffiths via e-mail:
"I share my music with people online again, but with a little different approach than I did last time. So, Jen Griffiths Music is officially online! My site has a free weekly 5-10 minute podcast called "A Song and A Prayer." Each podcast has an inspirational message followed by an original song. Let me know what you think!"
So...I checked it out, like any good friend would, not realizing what a difference it would make in my life by just listening for a few minutes. But before I go into what a difference it made for me that day let me get you caught up on Jen Griffiths the person, the singer/songwriter extraordinaire...the friend. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "September Morn"
by Cheri Crane on Crane-ium

My husband is a huge Neil Diamond fan. One year for his birthday, I managed to procure tickets to a Neil Diamond concert in Salt Lake City. He loved it and it was a lot of fun. That said, for some reason, the music to September Morn is going around in my head this morning. Here is my version of the lyrics:

September morn what is it that you truly do intend?
Pretending to be nice you are no friend
You arrive and summer's at an end,
September morn, you came and froze my garden yet again.

Don't get me wrong, I do look forward to fall, it's just that this summer has sped by so fast, I'm not ready for cooler temps, and I'm a bit miffed about the sorry state of my garden affairs. We work hard to grow gardens here in the heart of Bear Lake County. Spring usually arrives about the middle of June. We can expect a frost or two just about the time our gardens come up. -- Read More

Religious: "Free to Worship"
by Rebecca Talley on Rebecca Talley Writes

“We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (11th Article of Faith).

We believe that the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as instituted by the Savior himself during his mortal lifetime, has been restored to the world. We believe that Joseph Smith did, in fact, see God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ in answer to his sincere prayer to find God’s Church on earth. We further believe that Joseph Smith translated gold plates into the Book of Mormon. We believe that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, and that a man will become closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book, including the Bible. We do believe in and support the Bible, but also believe some portions have been mistranslated. The Book of Mormon serves as another testament of Jesus Christ. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Back-to-Basics"
by Kim Thompson on Scribbled Scraps

I thought occasionally I'd blog about some scrapbooking basics. Lots of you are experienced scrappers, but I know there are a few beginners out there as well. Hopefully even the experienced scrappers can glean something from the information I share. And as always, I'm open to any suggestions, tips, or techniques you've picked up and would like to share.

Trimming your photographs is one of the first things that most scrapbookers are taught. At first, it seems difficult to do. Cut my pictures? You've got to be kidding. But, we do this for several reasons. The first of which is that allows you to fit more pictures on the page. It can also create a focal point for your page and removes distracting or unnecessary background images. -- Read More

Services: "Hospitality at the Olympics, Part 2"
by Liz Adair on Liz Sez

This is the second of three articles written by Whitney, who worked in the hospitality sector at the Beijing Olympics. Click here to read her first report.

The photo is of one of the amenities at the Ritz Carlton: little tartlets with chocolate coins on top with the symbols for some of the Olympic sports

Whitney writes about her job:

A typical day for me started out around 7a.m. when I would walk around the hospitality suites at The Ritz-Carlton Financial Street and check to make sure that the food was hot, the staff prepared, and there weren’t any fires to put out from the night before. I would then meet with the Front Desk to go over arrivals for the following day to ensure that their system matched my company’s system, so each guest arriving had a room prepared and ready for them. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "My Favorite Form of Recreation"
by Rachelle Christensen on Rachelle's Writing Spot

I love reading! I know that reading might not be the first thought to pop in your head when you think about recreation, but it truly is one of my favorite things to do. I love to curl up with a book and devour it from cover to cover.

I have always loved reading and I think it’ because my mom read to me so much growing up. She also paid for a library card since we weren’t in the city limits and drove us into town to check out books. We filled an old blue milk crate with hundreds of books over the years and I never grew tired of reading. She let us participate in the summer reading program at the library and was always involved in the reading programs at school too. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

On the Newsstands September 4, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "The Art of Minerva Teichert"

by Gaynell Parker on Musings from an LDS Writing Mom

In going through my Ensign for last month, I came across a section with paintings about the Book of Mormon done by Minerva Teichert. I have seen her artwork before, but for some reason it stood out to me and I thought it worth mentioning today.

Her work has a certain look that makes it stand out from others. It makes me think of a more ancient design...almost as if this is a work that has been uncovered in an archeological site in the moods that she brings across.'s rich and unique in it's own way. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Osmonds"

Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart on I Knew I Could Fly

Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy Osmond make up the group known as "The Osmonds". They have performed for over 50 years. They recently finished a 50 year, sold out, world wide tour. Many people know of their accomplishments as musicians, but other than die hard Osmond fans, many people may not know of their many screen appearances, whether on their own show or on talk shows. They Osmonds have movie credits under their belts too.

Donny Osmond is currently known for his role in "College Road Trip". The Osmonds however are versatile in their talents. They have appeared not only on screen but on Broadway. Recently, Merrill starred in the "Civil War" musical production in Salt Lake (Spring of 2008). I was lucky enough to get tickets. The production was fabulous. It was made more special because Merrill was in a lead role. -- Read More

Books: "Teen Books That I Love"

by Alison Palmer on Tangled Words and Dreams

I am an avid children and YA reader when it comes to the national market. I will very rarely venture into the adult fiction section because I know that I can’t trust 95% of what’s over there not to cause my eyeballs to burn right out of their sockets. In contrast, I can trust about 50% of the stuff I pull from the kid and teen sections of the library. It used to be a lot higher than that but the teen stuff has really gone downhill in recent years.

For me, walking into the childrens and teen sections of a library or bookstore is a truly drool worthy exercise in euphoria. Some day I’m going to devise the ultimate scheme which will let me park myself in front of those shelves and never move again.

Ok, I could figure out a way to buy them or check them out, but then I’d have to lug them home. I’m running out of room for books as it is. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "Sapphires for September"

by Nichole Giles on Fairy Squeaks

Besides being the September birthstone, the sapphire is also the gem designated for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversary, and a star sapphire is typically given on the 65th wedding anniversary.

In July, I mentioned that rubies and sapphires are both made from the mineral corundum. Red stones created from corundum are considered rubies. All other colors of stone created from this mineral—including pink, orange, white, black, golden, and especially blue—is considered a sapphire. You lucky September babies have lots of color choices, though the traditional September stone is a deep, ocean blue.

The name sapphire comes from either the ancient Persian word “safir”, meaning “beloved of Saturn,” or from the Greek word “sapphirus,” meaning blue. (No one can ever agree where the names for these things come from apparently.) An interesting sidenote: these stones are especially popular in England. Lots of sapphires can be found among the British Crown Jewels, including in the engagement ring given to the late Princess Dianna when she agreed to marry Prince Charles. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Millie's Yellow Cake"

by Candace E. Salima on Dream a little dream...

One of the greatest things about growing up in my childhood home was my mother's Millie's Yellow Cake.

From my earliest memory, Mom used to mix together the ingredients for Millie's Yellow Cake and cook 90% of it. The rest, she'd put on the table, give each of us a spoon and we'd dig in. I picked up some valuable, as far as cooking, from that lifetime of digging into that amazing batter. If the batter tastes good the cake will taste good. It's always worked for me. Millie's Yellow Cake IS THE BEST!

So I'm so happy to share with you today the recipe for my mother's (who is not Millie, and I have no idea who Millie actually is) yellow cake. Best served and eaten sans frosting. Frosting can be put on it, but the taste alone, eaten just as shown above, is the most wonderful thing! -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Update"

by Keith Fisher on The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

Well, its time for the big announcement, how many Jelly beans were there anyway? You will remember two weeks ago when I started a guess how many, contest? I am pleased by the number of responses it received, so pleased, in fact, that I think I’m sold on the idea. Check back often to see the new contests and send me an email if you have any ideas.

I discovered to my shame, however, that I had my comments feature limited to Blogger members only, so some of you weren’t able to participate. For this oversight I am sorry. I have reset my settings and it won’t happen again. You can always reach me at bloghole57(at)yahoo(dot)com please feel free to send me an email but please don’t send spam.

Now, I know you are waiting with baited breath, so to speak, but I want to talk about something else and drag out your apprehension. -- Read More

Home & Family: What Price Freedom?

by Muriel Sluyter on Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

When our ancestors came to this continent from the old world, whether from one country or another, most of them came seeking freedom. There were those who came for riches, but most of the hard-working, laboring class came for freedom of one sort or another.

In all the countries of the old world, the class system was firmly entrenched. You didn’t move from class to class. Even if you were a lazy slug, your countrymen treated you according to your class, meaning men of honor and good character bowed down to the most worthless of the upperclass.

When our ancestors came here, they brought that system with them. But in this land there was a difference: the continent was huge, and a courageous, hard-worker could go elsewhere if he wanted. He didn’t have to submit to servitude. Even if he had come as a bond servant, meaning he would serve the man who paid his passage to this country, that was for a finite period of time. When he had paid for his passage with a period of servitude, he became a free man. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "Have You Ever Seen a Spiritual Zuchinni

by Barbara Salsbury on Three P's in a Pod

It’s that time of year when people start to realize that some might consider zucchini a weed. Or else reality sinks in and you have forgotten that last year you made a solemn oath that you would not plant a row of six squash plants this year. But you did it again because they are so cute when they are small. I’ve mentioned before that some of you may have heard that there are people who put zucchini on porches in the middle of the night and run. But of course that is only rumor.

Today I would like to change your thinking about abundant zucchini and its willingness to provide so much for so little.

And of course you know by now that this blog will eventually get around to discussing preparedness. Today’s firm, solid rule for hard times, tight budget times, economically correct times – in other words being prepared times – says that you eat what you have on hand, whether you happen to like it or not. It is a rule to live by. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Adding Oxygen to Your Pond"

by Heather Justesen on Heather Justesen

So now you've decided how big and how deep you want your pond, you've decided if you want fish or not, and what kind--you need to decide how you want to add oxygen to your water. If you are raising fish--or even just plants, you definitely need to make sure they have access to oxygen in the water, which will be used up or eventually escape if it isn't added regularly. Another reason to make sure you are adding air to the water is because decaying debri in your pond can steal all of the air from the water, and add toxic gases that can kill plants and fish. The type of aeration needed depends on the size of your pond, but for something small like the one I have, not much is needed. For a larger pond, especially one deep enough for koi, you may need to take more drastic measures.

A pond bubbler is a small device that shoots a stream of water into the air. When the water falls back down, it brings oxygen with it, and mixes into the water below. This can be something as simple as the one pictured to the right, which is made by Pondmaster and run around $30, or something more incognito, like the rock bubbler pictured. These run upwards of $100 and come in various types of rock to fit your landscaping. A bubbler is also an option for keeping a portion of the water ice free in winter to allow an air exchange for any plants or fish you may overwinter there and will work in all but the coldest weather. -- Read More

LDS Outlets: "Technically Impaired"

by C.L. Beck on Write Up My Alley

Technology befuddles me. I think that's a gal thing—meaning women are genetically predisposed to never understand technological instructions. Case in point, how long did it take before we had a woman astronaut? It took centuries. And when we finally did get one, she went off her rocker, drove across the country and tried to kill someone. Was she really crazy, or just befuddled by technology?

Most gals instinctively grasp the important things in life—like how to shave their underarms with a dull, albeit pink-colored razor and not end up wearing Band-Aids on their armpits for the next month. We understand how much fuzz we can let build up in the dryer’s lint trap before it sets the house on fire. We even know how to lick chocolate frosting off a sharp steak knife. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "New Orleans' French Quarter"

by Cheri Crane on Crane-ium

A couple of weeks ago I promised to post more tidbits from New Orleans. As you may recall, I fell in love with this area during a trip my husband and I embarked upon in October of 2006. It was a business trip for Kennon---I got invited to tag along and we spent two weeks in New Orleans.

I've cringed the past few days, praying for the brave souls in the New Orleans area. Hurricane season brings back sharpened remembrances of the havoc Hurricane Katrina wreaked in this beautiful Gulf state. New Orleans is surrounded by water. The Mississippi River cuts along the southern and western boundaries. To the north lies Lake Pontchartrain, the second largest salt water lake in the United States. (Salt Lake in Utah is the largest.) Two bridges known as the Causeway lie across this huge lake (the longest bridge stretches across the middle---approximately 23 miles). To the east of New Orleans lies Lake Borgne & the Mississippi Sound, entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. -- Read More

Religious: "Revelation"

by Rebecca Talley on Rebecca Talley Writes

Revelation is a vital part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (9th Article of Faith).

What sets the LDS Church apart from other churches is our belief in latter-day revelation. We believe that our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, communicates with God and then reveals God’s will to us.

In 1978, our prophet at the time, Spencer W. Kimball, received revelation that all worthy male members of the LDS Church were entitled to receive the priesthood. Up until that time, not all male members could receive the priesthood. The matter weighed heavily on the mind of President Kimball so he prayed to receive an answer. The Lord revealed to President Kimball that the time had come for all male members to receive the priesthood and be able to perform the ordinances of the gospel. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Circle Journal"

by Kim Thompson on Scribble Scraps

Have you heard of a Circle Journal?

My daughter and I have a notebook we write in and pass back and forth. It all started because I did something to make her mad and she didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted her to know how I felt and that I was sorry, so I purchased a cute notebook (it happened to say Angel on the front, which is what I call her). I wrote my feelings, then put the notebook under her pillow. She found it when she went to bed. She wrote back and put the notebook under my pillow.

Since then, we’ve passed the book back and forth. It contains some serious conversations, as well as lots of fun silly ones. It’s a place we can be ourselves, and we’ve gotten to know each other better throughout the experience. -- Read More

Services: "Another Letter From Iraq"
by Liz Adair on Liz Sez

We just returned from our annual Adair Family & Friends Labor Day Campout, and Lt. Colonel Patty Kubeja was sorely missed. Her husband, children, and step children were there, though, and Mark caught us up on what Patty has been doing.

When I got home, I had an email from Patty--a newsy email she sends out to family and friends. I know she won't mind my sharing it with you. She writes:

It has been two months since I last wrote. I have been meaning to write but just kept procrastinating. At first it seemed I didn't have much to say except it is still hot and I am still deployed, but after two months I do have a little more to share.

Soldiers are known for the sacrifice they give for their country. I have heard that for the past 19 years I have been in the military, but the word sacrifice has taken on a new meaning during this deployment. Missing so many important family events and missing out on a year of my children’s life, I can say I have truly felt the sacrifice. I have to say a Big Thank You to my loving husband and kids for supporting me and sacrificing along with me. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Last of the Summer Holidays"
by Rachelle Christensen on Rachelle's Writing Spot

I hope you all have a Happy Labor Day! I have to admit this holiday was never high on my list of fun ones because it really was a day of labor for my family. It was a day off with time to harvest more vegetables from the garden, bottle tomatoes or salsa, and do yard work. Sometimes we would go on a little picnic but that’s about all I remember.

Now fast forward quite a few years. I live in Utah County and Labor Day is definitely a fun day here because of Payson Onion Days. My husband grew up in Payson and so he always got to celebrate the holiday.

The preparation starts early with my in-laws setting up chairs by the Payson park on Saturday night so they can get their coveted spot! Then a great parade starts at 10:00am with all kinds of floats, bands, people throwing candy, even a bagpipe band. My kids especially like the people throwing candy and the “princesses” which are the royalty from different cities waving from their floats. My three-year old even has the wave down. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the Newsstands August 30, 2008

Arts & Recreation: "Another View on Coding" by Gaynell Parker

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

This was a strange article that I came across reading another blog the other day. It made a point that I thought was totally amazing -- an eye opening thought so to speak. "Quantity always trumps quality."

I don't agree with that mentality, of course, as a painter it doesn't work with my abilities. But, I think it touches anything we deal with in life.

As a writer, the more we write, generally the more we improve. As an artist, the more I paint and experiment with different things, the better my skills get. As parents, the more we try and listen and work with our children, the better we become. It seems to be a principle of fact, doesn't it? -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Mary Higgins Clark" by Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart

I Knew I Could Fly

One of my favorite authors of all time is Mary Higgins Clark. Her novels are are easy to read, yet thought provoking as to "who-dun-it". She is relatively clean (PG mostly) in her stories. "I don't use explicit sex or violence so I wind up on the reading list for the seventh grade." I've always just preferred the idea of implied violence. The Hitchcock way. How many ways can you shoot people up? I think footsteps... that can be scarier. And I think the sexiest line written this century is, "You'll not shut me out of your bedroom tonight." I swear that's sexier than all this rolling in the hay." (Source)

She has written well over thirty books, twenty-four of which have been on the best seller list. A widow with five children Mary had to make a living some how. With a colorful history to draw from for her novels Mary has never had a regret about any of them. In her words she says "I'd been a flying hostess with Pan Am...It was very glamorous, but I did it for a year and got married. When I got married, I said, "Now I have to learn how to be a professional writer." In the meantime I'd seen Europe, Africa, and Asia, at a time when I would have been a senior in college. I saw a revolution in Syria. In India they had independence, but it still felt like the colonial empire. I was in Africa when it was still the Belgian Congo and the British Gold Coast and French West Africa. Marvelous experiences. But then when I got married, well, in those days you had to quit. But I was ready. I'd seen the world, and I wanted to become a professional writer. I had to learn how. And I started taking writing courses at NYU." (Source) -- Read More

Books: "The Birthright and The Kings Heir by Loralee Evans" by Alison Palmer

Tangled Words and Dreams

Last time we looked at one way historical fiction can be used to help us understand the Book of Mormon better by discussing the Out of Jerusalem series by H.B. Moore.

Is this the only way to express an understanding of the Book of Mormon? Absolutely not. Remember, Heavenly Father inspires His children to write and provide the avenues most needed by His children, and inspires His children to find those most appropriate for them. For me, what works best is a slightly different approach. Today, we’ll look at an example of this method by discussing The King’s Heir and The Birthright by Loralee Evans.

These two books employ a different method of helping us understand the material in the Book of Mormon. It takes the events and times and uses them as a background for an interwoven fictional tale. The main characters do not necessarily appear anywhere in the scriptures, or perhaps only hold a small mention. It’s an attempt to show the lives of everyday people, who would have been involved in the events, not necessarily center stage to them. These tales have a little more freedom than those that are trying to adhere to only those things recorded in the scriptures, such as the Out of Jerusalem series. This option is employed to give a different viewpoint altogether. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "So Many Shapes and Facets" by Nichole Giles

Fairy Squeaks

Last night I had my critique group over to my house. We finished reading one member’s romance genre’ work-in-progress. And, well, being that it’s a romance, obviously, there was an engagement ring involved.

Our group is mostly women—but we are blessed with one man, who gives us a completely different perspective, and for whose questions and opinions we are grateful. Anyway, back to the manuscript, and the ring. In the story, the man pulled out an emerald cut diamond solitaire as he proposed—and our male member asked, “Is there really such a cut for diamonds?” -- Read More

Health & Food: "Hair, Skin & Nails, Part 5" by Candace E. Salima

Dream a little dream...

From last week's column: So, what does this all boil down to? Eat well, avoid smoking and alcohol. Eat your fruits and veggies, raw is the most beneficial. Keep your diet balanced. This will be a good starting point to achieving optimum health, which we all know is a good building block for health hair, skin and nails.

Now on to the next step which will enable you have to the kind of hair, skin and nails you desire.

Exercise: Oh yeah, exercise is a critical part of every human beings life. Centuries ago when people had to farm their land to eat, scrub their clothing on a washboard, build their own homes . . . well, they really didn’t have weight problems. It’s the sedentary lives we live now, along with the fast foot diet, which has caused unprecedented weight gains for human beings across all first world nations. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Happy Labor Day" by Keith Fisher
The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country. Labor Day: How it Came About—what it Means

While serving a mission in Canada years ago, I enjoyed the Boxing Day Holiday. Celebrated on December 26, I was told it’s the day set aside for the servants: mail carriers, waiters, gas station attendants, and etc. It’s the day you prepare a Christmas box for the people who serve you.

In America, where business is the national religion and successful businesspersons our heroes. Please take time to remember that without the American worker, business would’ve foundered hundreds of years ago. Capitalism would be a byword. Providing employment and a living wage for Americans must be the purpose of those heroes. Be careful that the profit margin doesn’t get in the way of your duty, and remember who really blessed you with your success. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "How to Make Grab and Go Food" by Barbara Salsbury
Three P's in a Pod

Everyone knows that making all of your own food from scratch is a great way to save money. Anytime you pay another person to prepare your food, though, you’ll pay more than if you do it yourself. But what if there just isn’t time to cook from scratch? Often there isn’t time to cook, period. How do you balance saving time with saving money? The answer, unsatisfying as it may be, is doing the best you can. You save time when you can, and you save money where you can and with enough effort, hopefully you’ll achieve that balance.

One food group that can really put a dent in your budget is grab-and-go foods. Yet, if you need grab-and-go food, your time is obviously at a premium also. To give you an example, I have two grandsons who are involved in everything from sports to music to jobs to you-name-it. Being teenagers, they are always starved and always on the run. They don’t have time to sit down to a meal until late in the evening, and they don’t have money to grab a burger from a fast-food place if they are hungry in the meantime. There is a shelf in the pantry that their mother keeps stocked with single serving foods that they can just grab a handful of as they run out of the door to keep them going until they have a chance to eat a real meal. But if you have to buy grab-and-go snacks at the store, they will break the bank in no time at all. What do you do? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Making Room for Fish in the Pond" by Heather Justesen
Heather Justesen

So you have a spot picked out and you know you want to have some fish in your pond. Do you know what kind you are looking for? Most fish will grow until they fill the space available for them. If you have a couple of gold fish in a gallon bowl, they will stay pretty much the same size for as long as you have them. If you put the same two gold fish in a smallish pond, they'll grow quickly. Koi will grow even larger given half a chance and plenty of food.

My fish started out as scrawny little feeders from Wal-Mart last spring. I didn't think they had grown much, but when I added new fish to the pond a couple of weeks ago, there was a huge size difference. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Parable of the Watermelon" by C.L. Beck
Write Up My Alley

Russ meandered into the garage, looking for something constructive to do.

Meanwhile, in the garden, Cindy stepped over to the dark green vine, gently moving the big leaves this way and that. “Ah-ha! I actually have a watermelon growing.” Leaning down, she brushed the dust off the green-striped, four-inch melon. A far-away look entered her eyes. “It’s been a lot of work; I’ve tried for years to grow melons. I’ve digged and pruned and dunged my vine. I’ve trimmed out the wild branches and grafted in the tame. And now, one has finally made it.”

The mistress of the vineyard was pleased. She reached down and patted the melon as if it were a well-loved toddler. “Keep on growing.” Then she walked to the car, got in, and drove away to run errands. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Life by the Inch" by Cheri Crane

In today's hustle and bustle, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To wonder if we're ever going to cross off every item on our expanding lists of things to do. I've been feeling that way a lot lately. Hence today's blog. ;) We'll call this a therapeutic moment on our busy journey through life.

In college, I came across a wise tiny poem. It is as follows:

Life by the yard is hard.
Life by the inch is a cinch.

These are words to live by, especially in today's crazy world. Don't get me wrong, it's good to set goals for the future, to lay out plans, and to ponder how to achieve all that we desire. But it is also extremely easy to get so caught up in what we're not accomplishing, to stress over events we anticipate in the future, that sometimes we overwhelm ourselves. -- Read More

Religious: "The Bible and the Book of Mormon" by Rebecca Talley
Rebecca Talley Writes

The 8th Article of Faith states, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”

Many people erroneously believe that we, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do not believe in the Bible. We do believe in the Bible. We read from it, teach from it, and use it to guide our lives.

In fact, our high school-aged youth are encouraged to enroll in Seminary. Though in some areas Seminary is offered at various times throughout the school day, in many areas it is offered only in the early morning, before school begins. Youth study the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and Church History in Seminary. Our youth spend two years studying the Bible. In fact, my daughters are studying the New Testament this year. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Terrific Titles" by Kim Thompson
Scribbled Scraps

A title defines the mood of your scrapbook layout. Because of its prominent placement on the page, it should be given serious consideration.

Before you start putting pictures onto the pages of your scrapbook take some time and decide which titles you will be using. You can also add in captions, poems and sayings to add even more personality to your scrapbook. The titles and other words you add create the theme of the scrapbook.

The title can be as simple as a date or word for an event. However you can convey the mood of your page and tell part of the story by using creative titles. To get an idea, here are some examples: -- Read More

Services: "Let Me Thank You For Your Time" by Liz Adair
Liz Sez

I wish I’d written the lyrics to Alabama’s song “Forty-Hour Week”. My eyes tear up every time I hear it. I’ve got blue-collar DNA, and the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of working in close proximity to men and women who work with their hands building and retrofitting the infrastructure of this nation. It has been an amazing experience.

I don’t know why these last years were such an eye-opener. I grew up around people in the trades. My dad was a mechanic and a heavy equipment operator. His formal education stopped after the eighth grade, but informally, he never stopped learning. He read Popular Mechanics, automotive manuals, the dictionary, and the grocery-store-premium set of encyclopedias my mother collected when I was in middle school. He could fix anything, and since we always lived in remote areas, far from places big enough to have repair shops, people would come by to have him look at their car or washing machine or lawn mower and see if he could fix it. He always could. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Football is Finally Here" by Steve Christensen
Sports Break

The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler, and it is sad to see that summer is starting to fade away, but the month of September is my favorite time of year. This is the time when the football teams take to the fields to play in the best sport in the world. On September 4th the Redskins and Giants will play in the NFL season opener. This is the day that I have been waiting on since the Giants won the Super Bowl back in February. I am not a fan of baseball and basketball is pretty good, but football is hands down my most favorite sport for many reasons.

Football starts during the most beautiful time of the year. The leaves on the trees are starting to change colors, the weather gets cooler and not so hot, and the kids all go back to school (my wife likes that part). I remember going to Payson High School football games and BYU football games with my Dad as a child. The air was chilly but we would bundle up and get hot cocoa and hot nachos at the concession stands. My wife and I are expecting a little boy (we currently have 2 girls) to be born in September and I plan on taking him to many football games over the years and will watch them on TV with him as well. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

On the Newsstands August 28, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "Beauty of the Sences" by Gaynell Parker

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

During the past week I was host to a perfume party. While there are many of you who are probably going, Huh? It is pretty fun. I never thought about making my own perfume before, and it's fun to smell all the different scents.

As were were smelling and chatting, it occurred to me that it would make a great blog. Unfortunately, it was just my daughters, me and the rep -- Sandra. No one else showed up. Have you had that happen to you? happens to me a lot. I'm just not a party magnet, and people are always too busy to come to my house. Sigh.

But I figured it was okay, I still get to chat with Sandra, who is a military mom, like me, and see what's new in her life. I talk with her online sometimes, but it's better in person. I also got to spend a little time with my daughters, doing the feminine thing -- perfume. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Camp Rock" by Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart

Focus on One

Camp Rock was released in stores last week. I picked it up today and the kids eagerly grabbed it from my hands and immediately inserted the disc into the player. They sat riveted to their seats during the 98 minute showing.

I had never really listened to the Jonas Brothers before today. I think their tone and music are definitely catchy for this generation. My ear however likens them unto the many Disney artists that are being cranked out yearly like the Cheetah Girls, Hannah Montana and others. Joe Jonas, the lead singer, has a squeezing, pushing quality about his singing. It's almost as if he doesn't have natural volume and has to make up for it in a forced attempt. The group sound is good and I am sure that the pre-teen and early teen females don't know the difference. When googling the Jonas Brothers I found page upon page of links for them, so their music works...just not with me. -- Read More

Books: "Out of Jerusalem Series by H.B. Moore" by Alison Palmer

Tangled Words and Dreams

What are the things that help you understand the Book of Mormon best? Of course, the best way is to immerse yourself in the words of the scriptures, then spend time in prayer, letting the words and the feelings flow over you until they become a part of your very being. Gradually, the language and messages become clearer, more personal, closer to hearing your Heavenly Father’s voice as if He were talking just to you. The wonderful part comes from knowing this is true.

There are other ways, as well. I think it is a huge blessing to realize how intimately Heavenly Father understands each of His children. He realizes that the methods that are easy for one are not necessarily the talents of others. He provides for every condition, talent and temperament of those who are truly trying to seek Him. Think for a moment about all the different experiences He provides, opening the door for the Spirit to touch our hearts in the most appropriate ways. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "An Overnight Field Trip" by Nichole Giles

Fairy Squeaks

This week I’m going camping with my daughter’s fifth grade class. It’s a district tradition that all the fifth graders take an overnight fieldtrip to a school owned camping area and participate in two days worth of super fun activities—like tie-dying T-shirts and night games. I’m sure there will be hiking, and roasting marshmallows, as well as other educational things to pass the time.

She is not my first child to go on this trip, but for one reason or another, I wasn’t able to go with my older two. Luckily, the girls and boys go separately, so only about half of the fifth grade in the school is there at once, which makes it easier for the chaperones—including me.

I’ve found her excitement nearly tangible as she has spent the last week going over her packing list—the one in her head—each day after school. It’s funny, school only started last Monday, and already we’re going on this trip. What timing! The kids haven’t even had time to figure out their routine. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Hair, Skin & Nails, Part 4" by Candace E. Salima

Dream a little dream...

From last week's post on Health, we left off with:

Diet and exercise work in concert to keep our bodies healthy at every level, including the hair, skin and nails we are discussing in this booklet. If you eat a healthy diet but don’t exercise at all – you’re losing out on the maximum benefits of both. I’m afraid we were not meant to sit in office chairs and then come home and crash on the couch for the evening. So, it’s time to get busy and find a way of eating that will work for you and a method of exercise you enjoy.


Supplementation, in and of itself, has been medically proven and approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) to improve the health of the average human being. There are a myriad of vitamin supplements on the market, the trick to finding the best one to use is to ask a few questions. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Anybody Know Any Campfire Songs?" by Keith Fisher

The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

Dinner was delicious, the dishes are done, and the Dutch ovens are put away. The sun has set and twilight is coming on. The kids settle down to sit in front of . . . what? Burning charcoal briquettes on a raised metal table is one thing, but you can’t light a fire here, in the middle of this parking lot.

A few years ago, when I began to see ads for portable fireplaces, I laughed. I couldn’t imagine anyone finding a campsite in the wilderness, pitching a tent, and lighting a fire in a fold out fireplace. It reminded me of something I’d seen Goofy do in an old Disney cartoon.

I forgot about the idea until about seven years ago when I parked my camp trailer in the parking lot at the Davis County Fairgrounds. We’d come for the Dutch Oven Convention. The potluck dinner had just ended. We gathered in our lawn chairs to swap stories and enjoy the company. My friend pulled out his homemade portable fire pit. -- Read More

Home & Family: "Of Flat Tires and Super Young People" by Muriel Sluyter

Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

I'd like to take you back to a moment in time where character defined itself rather clearly in my life:

The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments ... by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation ... the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity — or dishonor and shame." (Ronald Reagan)

A couple weeks ago, I was on my way to an appointment and to take perishables from our place to a friend, when a huge nail flattened my rear tire. I stopped; a young man, Walt, stopped behind me and asked if he could help, confessing that he had never changed a tire. My husband had changed the only flat we had experienced in my car, and I didn’t know how to get at the equipment. We looked at each other and grinned, knowing this was going to be a learning experience. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "Frugal Feature, Dry Milk" by Barbara Salsbury

Three P's in a Pod

Most of you who have even a small amount of preparedness items in your pantry usually have at least one can or package of dry milk. Many times it is there because someone or some list has specified that you must have at least some dry milk on hand. But for some unknown reason we hesitate to use it on a consistent basis. It remains in our mind as a storage item. Then too for many years dry milk has had a bad rap regarding its taste. Some of you (or your family) would almost gag – or croak - rather than drink straight dry milk. (* See below for the usual reason.) The dry milk of today is definitely a much tastier product than that of years past.

Today let’s eliminate some of those negatives and focus on the positive points of dry milk.

First let’s do away with one of the rumors; neither regular non-fat nor instant dry milk is more nutritional than the other. Instant dry milk is made from regular non-fat milk. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Planning the Spot for Your Pond" by Heather Justesen

Heather Justesen

Last week I talked about pond-less water features, one of the many options available out there. There are dozens of possible looks available, so if this option appeals to you, look around and find something that fits your needs.

If you prefer to have a pond and/or stream in your yard, there are a number of considerations. First is size—how big do you want the pond to be? Most experts agree that people generally wish they could have made their ponds slightly larger than they turned out, so consider making it a bit larger than you had originally planned. Are you planning on growing plants and fish, do you want to attract frogs? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "A Twisted Fairy Tale" by C.L. Beck

Write Up My Alley

Several months ago, I attended a science fiction symposium called “Life, the Universe, and Everything.” I can almost hear you asking yourself why a woman whose life already resembles a sci-fi movie would consider going to a symposium on the subject. I don’t know, maybe because it presented a learning opportunity. Writers need continual growth to improve their craft. Or maybe because big name authors, like Orson Scott Card (“Ender’s Game”) and Gail Carson Levine (“Ella Enchanted”), were teaching.

Naw. It’s because the symposium was free.

Let me state for the record, I am not a big sci-fi fan. Okay, wait. Under threat of being forced to watch re-runs of the “X-Files,” I’ll secretly admit that as a kid I had a crush on Captain James T. Kirk, of the starship, Enterprise. But, “Star Trek” doesn’t count as science fiction. Everyone knows it rates up there with the works of Hemingway. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Mount Rushmore" by Cheri Crane


This week, as presidential campaigns rev up for the general election, I find myself thinking of a handful of past United States presidents. I'm sure we all have favorites---mine would include: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I admire George Washington because of his integrity, courage, and leadership during the formation of our country. Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite because of his wisdom, compassion, and courage during a time that tore our country apart at the seams. I've enjoyed reading the exploits of Teddy Roosevelt and I admire his spunk and his push (the Square Deal) to provide a fair shake for average citizens and businessmen alike. Franklin D. Roosevelt overcame great personal trials to lead our country through the challenging depression era. -- Read More

Religious: "Gifts from God" by Rebecca Talley

Rebecca Talley Writes

“We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” (7th Article of Faith)

Those called to serve missions experience the gift of tongues as well as the interpretation of tongues. Missionaries spend only a few months in the MTC learning a foreign language before they are sent out to use their newly learned skills. Generally, language study takes years and yet, these missionaries learn languages in a relatively short time and are communicating in a foreign country. The Lord blesses those who seek to obtain the gift and interpretation of tongues and helps them to teach the gospel in an unfamiliar language.

Prophecy and revelation are closely connected. We believe that we have a living prophet who receives revelation and then prophesies to the world the will of the Lord. The Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, also serves as the President of The LDS Church and can receive revelation for the world. A Stake President is entitled to receive revelation and prophesy for those who live within the stake boundaries. A Bishop can receive revelation for those living in the ward boundaries. Husbands and fathers receive revelation for their families. We are all entitled to receive revelation for ourselves. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Oodles of Artwork" by Kim Thompson

Scribbled Scraps

Now that school has started does the front of your refrigerator look like mine? I already have six or seven pieces of artwork my two younger children made during the first week of school. They rush home, excited to show it to me and then we give it a place of honor on the front of the refrigerator. Unfortunately, the pieces start to pile up and soon there isn't any room left and everytime my ten year old slams the refrigerator door, half of them go flying. I've been researching some solutions and I'd like to share some ideas with you.

TAKE PICTURES: One of my favorite ways to keep the memory of every piece of wonderful artwork is to use a camera. Take a picture of your child with his or her art whether it is a painting, a drawing, or a 3-D project. Now, not only do you have a great visual of the art, but you also have a great memory of what your child looked like when they made that special project. -- Read More

Services: "Baking in Bolivia" by Liz Adair

Liz Sez

In my last posting I blogged about how flipping burgers is the major source of funding for SWAN's microcredit capital. Today's posting is about one lady who has received a loan through SWAN.

When Terry traveled to Bolivia in January to begin the first round of microcredit assistance, she and her Bolivian operative, Sonia, felt that the speediest way of finding an initial pool of elegible women would be to approach LDS bishops in the area and ask them to contact the most needy in their wards, tell them about the opportunity, and let them know about the informational meeting SWAN was holding to explain the microcredit program and requirements.

Elizabeth was one of the women who attended that first meeting. She and her seven children live in a one-room shack in a very poor area of town. (The picture is of Sonia in front of Elizabeth's house.) Elizabeth's husband abandoned her for another woman and offers no support to his children. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Back to School, But Still Time for Fun" by Rachelle Christensen

Rachelle's Writing Spot

Summer sports are coming to a rapid close as the beginning weeks of school rearrange our schedules. I love this time of year, especially in a few weeks when the weather gets considerably cooler and the leaves begin to change.

I also love this time of year because it’s easy to revel in the nostalgia of the season. I remember the excitement of getting ready for the first day of school—all the delicious new school supplies, new school clothes, maybe even a new backpack. Then school starts and after the first few days, you realize you’ve got about nine more months of homework to go. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Newsstands August 25, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "When Did That Happen?" by Gaynell Parker

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

Clothing is something that has come in and out of style in varying stages throughout the centuries. Clothing design is considered somewhat of an art form, though I think that can be highly disputed. I have seen many outfits that were breathtaking, and some that made me want to run screaming to the hills.

Take the Olympics for example. I talked about the opening ceremonies and the amazing and beautiful costumes worn for the show. THOSE were gorgeous, and definitely art.

Some of the contestants, however, leave much to be desired. Obviously, I'm a gymnastics fan. Recently, I've been even more impressed, sort of. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "I Downloaded a Ghost" by Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart

Focus on One

Created by PorchLight Entertainment, which distributes and produces some awesome movies for families, "I Downloaded a Ghost" is no exception to the rule. This non-scary ghost movie tells the tale of Stella, the new girl in town and Winston, the cabby comedian who meets death early. Stella wants to have the best haunted house for Halloween, but she is competing against Terry Tomlinson, the rich girl in town.

Winston can't go into the after-life because he has been unjustly accused of robbing a golden cat. Stella can help, but in return Winston must help her with the haunted house. The two use each other to accomplish their goals. -- Read More

Books: "A Chat with Lael, Caroll and Nancy" by Alison Palmer

Tangled Words and Dreams

Well, the Surprise Packages blog tour is winding down, so I brought in the three authors, Lael Littke, Carroll Hofeling Morris and Nancy Anderson, for another engagement. Yeah, I reviewed the book already, but this time you get a peek into the kinds of things that go through my tiny brain as I’m reading a new book and a peek at what kinds of answers these three awesome ladies gave my random notions. Happy Reading!

If you were to have a “theme” color of ink that represented your own creativity and writing style what would it be?

Lael: A soft pea-green.

Carroll: Celery green or a cheery yellow.

Nancy: Any color you can find in a garden. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "The Old New Trend in Fall Fashion" by Nichole Giles

Fairy Squeaks

I was running through Maceys the other day…well, okay, they don’t actually let you run in Maceys. Let me rephrase that. How about, breezing quickly through on my way to meet some people…yes, that sounds much better. Anyway, I happened to pass a rack of clothing that looked very familiar. I stopped, picked up one hanger, and then another, turning my head this way and that wondering where I’d seen the outfit before.

The thigh-length, T-shirt style top had wing sleeves, and wide horizontal black and white stripes. The pants were—actually they were calf-length, black leggings. It only took me about thirty seconds to realize why that particular outfit looked so darned familiar. I owned one just like it in the eighties. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Bostom Cream Cake . . . To Bake or Not to Bake" by Candace E. Salima

Dream a little dream...

I have a nephew, Vic, who's birthday was earlier this week. We promised him a turkey dinner with all the trimmings tomorrow, in celebration. Then I asked Sete to check with Vic on what his favorite kind of cake was. I was thinking: chocolate, brownie chocolate cream, banana, apple spice, yellow, German chocolate . . . you know, all the ones I can make. Yeah, you guessed it, that's a big fat no. He wants Boston Cream Cake, which I have recently learned can also called Boston Cream Pie, but is not necessarily the same thing. That would have been helpful to know a few days ago when I was hunting ALL over the internet for a good recipe. But I think found one . . . but, mine will be better looking. (There goes that competitive nature again!)

I don't know how good it is, but it sounds good and it is what I'm making Vic for his birthday tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, here's the recipe that all these young men will be guinea pigs for. Bronco, I swear . . . I won't give them food poisoning! -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Dutch Oven Legends" by Keith Fisher

The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

Where has summer gone? Last spring, I planned to spend my summer catching up on social commitments, and cooking for my family. I planned to hold the block party. I’ve postponed it for a few years. Like all of you, I’m running out of weeks, and school has started again.

Enough of my whining, how are you doing with your list? When trying to think of something to write about, I remembered a story you might enjoy. My dad told it to me once, while we were fishing.

After talking about his youth, and a treasure hunt Dad participated in, he told about a bank robbery that took place in the early 1900’s in Spanish Fork. The robbers, Chuck and Jed, had heard about a large payroll so they made plans to steal it. They were outfitted for a trip into the mountains on horseback leading two packhorses. The daylight holdup left the two men running from the law. They stuffed the loot into Jed’s saddlebags and lit out, up the canyon and over the mountains to the east. -- Read More

Home & Family: "Sabotaging the Coach" by Muriel Sluyter

Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

This is for all who remember when courts didn't turn violent criminals out on the streets to kill our little girls. It's also for those who insist that American life always has been this brutal. They're wrong. Though I can't speak for other parts of the country, that's not how it was out here. We have shed our tears, and we desperately need a break, so let's look backward for relief:

Several years ago, my husband came from the barn, announced that he had wet socks and guessed it was time to get his 5-buckle boots out of storage. He put them on the hearth to warm - last year's dried manure firmly attached - spreading that familiar barny odor throughout the house.

As we laughed over the vicissitudes of life with livestock - including the recycled hay on his boots - I remembered a story from past years. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "Grains, Beans and Has Beans or is it Have Beans" by Barbara Salsbury

Three P's in a Pod

If you are thinking preparedness you should be thinking grains and beans, and winter and soups. Or else you should be thinking what a tremendous bonus grains and beans can be to your budget. With the economy playing games that might be a good way to be thinking.

However, are you thinking, what in the world can Barbara be thinking? Its still summer. It’s still time to play. It’s still time to shop and vacation. Why is Barbara thinking about grains and beans? With all of this thinking going on there must be an answer somewhere.

And of course there is. Once again there is a different slant to your preparedness program that perhaps you haven’t thought of - yet. Now is the time to be planning ahead, even for a short term of cold weather and winter, let alone a long-term pantry program. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Add the Trickling of Water to Your Lawn" by Heather Justesen

Heather Justesen

There's something so soothing about the sound of running water. I've always had a thing for a bubbling creek, or the sound of waves lapping up on the lake or ocean shore, so when I started looking at putting together my landscape, I knew I had to put in some kind of water feature. There's a huge variety of water features you can put into a yard, from above-ground ponds to pool-less waterfalls, to a short brook running along a shady area to large ponds where owners can actually go fishing.

I'll be covering many different kinds of water features, how to build and maintain them over the next couple of weeks including plants and animal life you might want to include in your yard.

Many people have worries about a pool of water in their yard. The possibility of a child drowning is the stuff nightmares are made of whiI know a lot of families are concerned about having leaves three options: first, you can fence the water feature in; second, you can build a pool-less water fall; or third, build it above grade. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Farworld Review and Interview with J. Scott Savage" by C.L. Beck

Write Up My Alley

Thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas dreams of a world far away. It’s a place where magic is as common as sunshine and where animals and trees talk. His name for the place? Farworld.

Quite unexpectedly, Marcus magically travels from Earth to Farworld. There he meets Kyja, who would love to cast spells and work magic, but alas, is unable. Marcus also meets Master Therapass, a master wizard whose knowledge can change not only Marcus and Kyja’s fate, but the fate of Farworld and Earth, as well.

Enter members of the Dark Circle, whose goal is to exert evil influence, gain power, and eventually destroy all that is good, including Farworld. Marcus and Kyja must travel to Water Keep, their first leg in a journey where they hope to convince the Elementals—beings of water, land, air and fire—to join forces with them. While at Water Keep, Marcus and Kyja face the Summoners—members of the Dark Circle, who can command the living and the dead—and other dreaded creatures. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Huckleberry Season" by Cheri Crane


Huckleberry season is upon us. I've been scouting known patches for quite some time, in the hopes of harvesting these luscious berries. Last year most of the blossoms froze, and the berries that did survive didn't flourish because of drought conditions. It was quite possibly the worst year ever for huckleberries in the history of Bear Lake Valley. Instead of my usual 15-20 pints in the freezer, I only found enough berries to fill one pint. Yes, I was extremely sad. So was my husband and our offspring, who love the huckleberry desserts I usually create for the holidays.

I was introduced to the great huckleberry tradition by my mother years ago. Sometime during the first two weeks of August, we would usually journey to her homeland of Wyoming to pick enough of these purple berries for tasty treats like pie, homemade ice cream, and oft times, pancakes. My maternal grandmother could create huckleberry delights that amazed us all, and her recipes are closely guarded secrets. Sometimes. Usually, I give them out to anyone who wants a copy, but don't tell my family. -- Read More

Religious: "The Same Organization" by Rebecca Talley

Rebecca Talley Writes

The 6th Article of Faith reads, “We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.”

In our family, we recite an Article of Faith each night after we read scriptures. It helps the kids to remember our basic beliefs and helps them to explain to their friends exactly what we believe. I have a daughter named Angela so when my older kids were younger they would mistakenly say, “ . . . namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelas.” I would try to correct them, but they’d get mixed up and, somehow, say evangelas instead of evangelists. Since then, every time I see this Article of Faith, I think about how my kids used to say it.

This Article of Faith explains our belief in establishing the same church as was instituted by the Savior himself. While Jesus walked the earth, he set up his church. The LDS Church seeks to follow the same pattern as set forth by the Savior. We believe that we have the same organization as the Lord’s church during biblical times.-- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Paper Bag Albums" by Kim Thompson

Scribbled Scraps

Paper bag albums are fun and easy to make. They make great gifts and are a fun way to use your duplicate pictures. One fun thing about them is that the bag opening creates a pocket where you can place journaling cards, and memorabilia such as tickets stubs, notes, etc. The pocket is also the perfect size for a photo CD.

You can use any size paper bag, but my favorite are just standard size lunch bags. When folded, they create an album that is approximately 6x6 inches.

Step by Step Instructions:

1) Take 3-5 paper bags and lay them on top of each other alternating ends. -- Read More

Services: "Burgers for Bolivia" by Liz Adair
Liz Sez

It’s the end of the summer and that means that the Pattie Wagon shuts down. Every Wednesday, from May through August, my daughter Terry parks her concession wagon in the parking lot of the hardware store and opens for business from eleven a.m. until seven p.m.

The owner of the hardware store lets Terry borrow electricity and use his dumpster, and the townspeople stop to buy burgers and meatball sandwiches because they know the proceeds go to fund microcredits for poor women in Bolivia through SWAN (Serving Women Across Nations). Terry also funnels Pattie Wagon money to OFDC(Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries) which supplies mosquito nets, malaria medicine and school supplies to children in Kenya and Nepal. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "The 2008 Olympic Finish Up" by Steve Christensen

Sports Break

This year’s Olympics has been filled with exciting finishes, record setting performances, painful disappointments, and even accusations of poor judging and possible cheating allegations. It has been an Olympics that will be unforgettable. The Opening Ceremonies were incredible, Michael Phelps lived up to the hype, the gymnastics were tense and exciting, and many other sports events showed why the Olympics is one of the most watched events in the World.

It began with the Opening Ceremonies which was an awesome sight and feast for the eyes and ears. Beijing put on an incredible show to get the Olympics underway. The dancers and the costumes they were wearing was a treat to watch. The fireworks and awesome displays were amazing to behold. It was fun to watch the athletes enter the stadium each representing their respective countries and each full of hope and excitement at the thoughts of competing with one another for the right to be awarded the gold medal of their particular sport. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.