Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On the Newsstands July 28, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "Sometimes My Visions Gets Distorted" by Gaynell Parker

I feel sometimes when I try to paint something that it's like that old commercial; Is it real or is it Memorex? What I see is so real, but what comes out of the ol' pencil or paint brush doesn't necessarily look the same. Things get distorted somehow between the eye and the fingers -- somewhere in the brain.

One of my favorite things to paint is flowers. A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to take an Alaskan cruise with my in-laws. It was amazing! I had no idea that Alaska was so green, or that it had so many flowers. I decided at that point I was going to take pictures of every flower I could, perhaps I'd paint them and create a book of flowers and I tried to take pictures of the names (if they had them) as well – but then I realized that's not the way I paint.

The flowers up at the top were the ones I painted the year after we came back and submitted to the State Fair. This is how it turned out:

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Wicker Man" by Linda Scanlan

The original "Wicker Man" was written and produced in England and is considered "The most original and haunting British horror movie EVER. Fascinating, chilling, and utterly unique." (17 August 2003 Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia)

First released in the US in 1975, it starred Edward Woodward, best known as the voice of the Sultan in the Disney Movie "Aladdin" and (for us older folks) for his role in "The Equalizer".

"While recovering from a tragic accident on the road, the patrolman Edward Malus receives a letter from his former fiancée Willow, who left him years ago without any explanation, telling that her daughter Rowan is missing. Edward travels to the private island of Summerisle, where Willow lives in an odd community that plant fruits, and she reveals that Rowan is actually their daughter. -- Read More

Books: "Food Me Twice by Stephanie Black" by Alison Palmer

When I read Stephanie Black’s first novel, The Believer, I really didn't want to like it. Really. But it didn’t work. Instead of not liking it, I ended up loving it. I found myself placing The Believer among my favorites after reading it in a day and a half. So when Fool Me Twice came out I was thrilled, plus I absolutely love that cover, don’t you? I grabbed it up as soon as I could and read it with delicious anticipation of a great story told by a great author. That's exactly what I got.

Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black represents some of the genres I'm most excited to see expanding in LDS literature. Suspense, thrillers, and mystery just add a fun element to the ways you can throw an LDS character into a whole world full of trouble. That trouble is what makes them real to us. Go figure, we like to know other people are having a hard time getting through life, too. If it’s done right (as Stephanie shows us) the characters don’t come across as perfect and you don’t feel like the gospel is being shoved down your throat. -- Read More

Clothes & More/Jewelry: "Which Watch" by Nichole Giles

I have a thing for watches. Though watches often fall into the not-really-jewelry category of people’s minds, ask yourself this: When was the last time I noticed someone’s watch because it was unique or stylish?

For me, the answer is all the time. I notice things that stand out, that are dainty or unique, or bold and bulky. Anything with color or unusual lines or an abundance of sparkles. And consequently, I have a collection of watches.

It all started with imitation turquoise embedded in fake silver.

About the time when I was rediscovering my love for jewelry, I happened upon a gem. A watch made from silver circles embedded with imitation colored stones that were supposed to look like turquoise. A circular watch face sat between four of these circles, which would be worn around a woman’s wrist and clasped like a bracelet. It was loose on me, but I loved it so much I bought it anyway, for the bargain price of $20. I hadn’t worn a watch in years. -- Read More

Health & Food: Health Tip, Cinnamon by Candace E. Salima

When my father died, I was privileged to be there. And over the course of the following weeks I stayed with my mother, helping her through that exceedingly difficult time. During that time, I did a lot of sorting for my mom and stumbled across this incredible information about the healing power of cinnamon.

According to HealthDiaries.com:
  • Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
  • In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
  • In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  • It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
-- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "High Praise" by Keith Fisher

I once heard someone say, “there are three times in your life when someone says good things about you. When you go on a mission, when you return from your mission and when you die.” I want to tell you about another one.

We often get asked to cook for one group or another, but as you might imagine, we have to pick and choose. Usually we get reimbursed for the food, but for the most part, we serve our fellowman.

As you can guess, some people take advantage of us. I remember a Demo we were asked to do for Utah State at Jordanelle Reservoir. We were promised food and gas reimbursement. We submitted the receipts, then re-submitted, never heard back, and gave everyone in the campground a free meal and leftovers. -- Read More

Home & Family: Seasons of Life by Muriel Sluyter

A trip down memory lane took me back to a time when my mother lived with us. I wrote this article when the importance of having a father or husband in the home was really spotlighted in our own home:

Greetings, Gentle Reader,

My mother, at 91 years young, is now residing with us, and what an education we are getting! I am learning many things, but one especially has caught my attention: Women and children think very differently from men. More to the point, women and children need that differing viewpoint to balance their world.

Now, I know this is not an earthshaking discovery, but in today’s world, it is most reassuring and, yes, refreshing. How did I arrive at this conclusion? It was this way: As I knelt to replenish the wood in the fireplace, with my back to the door, I heard my husband coming into the front porch. To my utter surprise, the words, "The man of the house is home. All is well.", came into my mind. In astonishment I asked myself, "Where did that come from?" As I pondered this amazing experience, I realized that I was verbalizing an eternal truth, not just where I was concerned, but for every member of the family. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "When it's hot!" by Barbara Saslbury

When it’s hot, it’s HOT. Without power it can be beyond miserable!

Okay, so what does being hot have to do with preparedness? Nothing if you live north of Alaska. But just in case there are a few problems accompanying the “hot,” let’s talk for a minute or two.

Heat can be as dangerous as cold when it comes to extremes. If you have an infant, someone who is confined to bed or a wheel chair or someone who is elderly and not able to get around or care for themselves, extreme heat can be deadly. Or if you are like me and become dysfunctional and wilt when it gets above 75°, heat can be a problem!

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can turn an uncomfortable situation into a disaster. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Farmers Market, Keeping it Fresh" by Heather Justesen

It’s that time of year again, the heat has been sizzling most of the northern hemisphere for a good long time, and farmer’s markets are springing up all over. This summertime event happens in cities across the country, as well as many other areas around the world. You don’t have to own thousands of acres to have a booth—just something you have more of than you can use.

A couple of years ago I attended one in Spanish Fork where I bought peaches, pears and grapes. I’ve seen strawberries, tomatoes, and various other veggies at this open-air market. It can be a great way to cash in on some of your extra crops and the sign-up fees are often very affordable.

Even if you have nothing to sell, a local farmer’s market can have lots of benefits: -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Book Review/Interview with Shirley Bahlmann" by C.L. Beck

All right, I heard those groans. You were looking for a little humor and when you read this is a book review and an author interview, you considered clicking elsewhere.

Just wait. Take your finger off that mouse and give this a chance. Shirley Bahlmann is a bubbly, vivacious, LDS author and you'll find an interview with her below the book review.

Talk about a sense of humor ... as Shirley tells her writing class, "I've always got a party going on in my head!" And she ain't just a kidding! -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Loved New Orleans" by Cheri Crane

I've heard New Orleans called a few other names through the years: The Big Easy; The Crescent City; Hurricane Katrina's Hangout; etc. I never really possessed a burning desire to travel there. In fact, to be honest, after what I saw Hurricane Katrina do to New Orleans via televised news clips, I wondered why anyone would ever want to live in this location. Then behold, as my youngest son is fond of saying, I had a chance to find out for myself, and I fell in love with New Orleans. It just goes to show that what my mother said years ago is true: "Never judge a book by its cover."

My husband embarked on a business trip to New Orleans in October of 2006. He was going to be gone for about 2 weeks to help with a special project for his company, and he asked me to tag along with him. I was delighted. I love to travel and this would an area I had never seen in person. I was a bit uneasy about seeing the Big Easy, fearful of crime statistics and such, but I was excited at the same time. -- Read More

Religious: "Three Degrees of Glory" by Rebecca Talley

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (3rd Article of Faith).

When the Savior was crucified, he made it possible for all of us to be resurrected. He gave his life freely and as such all those who have ever lived on the earth will be resurrected, just as he was. As everyone will die, so will everyone be raised from the dead, reunited with their physical tabernacles, and become immortal. This is a free gift to all. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Vintage Scrapbooking" by Kim Thompson

With all of the 24th of July celebrations going on this week, it's caused me to reflect on my own pioneer ancestry. This naturally leads me to think about how I can capture that history to share it with my children.

Vintage scrapbooking is one of my favorite things to do. There are lots of vintage scrapbooking products available in the market which make it easy to add a unique vintage look to your layouts.

So what does 'vintage' mean, anyway? In the scrapbooking world, vintage refers to a specific artistic style. There are three main elements which will help you create a vintage look: -- Read More

Services: "Serving the Autistic Community" by Liz Adair

This photo came from the web site of the Daily Sparks Tribune.

Yesterday, I got an email from my son with a link to the Daily Sparks Tribune. When I shared it with my writer’s group, one of the ladies said that my son had done a service for all the people who deal daily with Autism. I had been wondering what to write about in today’s service blog, and bingo, there it was.

This is what happened: Mike Savage, a radio personality, dubbed a ‘shock jock’ by the local newspaper, in a piece he was doing about autism, apparently said that doctors were overdiagnosing autism and that it was becoming a ‘racket’. According to the Daily Sparks Tribune, “In his broadcast, Savage called autistic children “brats” and that the condition is the “illness du jour.” He said autism is the result of bad parenting.” Click here to read the whole article. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "It's Time for S'mores" by Rachelle Christensen

I have always enjoyed going camping. Of course, now that I’m older I realize that it does take a bit of effort to get everything packed up to make the camping experience just right. I appreciate my parents for taking four of us hoodlums camping in a little pickup camper. I’m sure they were probably exhausted afterwards but we sure had fun.

Camping back then was slightly different than today. The biggest difference is that I don’t think my family ever reserved a spot anywhere—we just drove around the mountains until my dad found “the place” to camp. Most areas in the national forests have specific camping areas now and you can’t just pull off the side of the road somewhere. But that’s okay, I’m one of those that likes to know where I’m going, so I’m fine with change. Even though we have to pay for most campgrounds now, camping is still an inexpensive and yet priceless family sport. -- Read More

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Friday, July 25, 2008

On the Newsstands July 24, 2008

Arts & Entertainment/Art: "A Day of Triumph and Beauty" by Gaynell Parker

This is the time of year that we get to remember some of the past that was more than just the beginning of Life for this valley. It was the start of the Desert blooming as a rose. I realize that some of that quote was for the middle east, but I think a great deal of it was for Utah.

Back in 1847, when the pioneers first entered the valley it was nothing like what we see now. There were some trees, mainly around what steams and rivers existed, but most of it was arid land. A desert.

Only the industry and work of those early saints turned this valley into what it is now -- a glorious area to see. One that I wouldn't trade for anywhere else. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "A Review of Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Candace E. Salima

The Jules Verne classic, Journey to the Center of the Earth, has been made into a movie more than once. But Walden Media's recent rendition of the same is my absolute favorite. Brenden Fraser is one of my favorite actors, and Walden Media is one of my favorite production companies, so I was willing to take a chance and go see this their version of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

-- Read More

Books: "Season of Sacrifice by Tristi Pinkston" by Alison Palmer

In honor of Pioneer Day, I bring you a book review on a story about… pioneers!

When I first picked up Season of Sacrifice by Tristi Pinkston, I have to admit feeling a little intimidated by it. It’s a thick book (320+ pages), and the cast of characters looked longer than the cast of a Shakespeare play. But, I’m happy to share that each character was introduced on its own timetable and not all at once. I didn’t have a bit of trouble keeping them straight as I became involved in the story, and I did become involved enough to forget how long the book was.

My friend Tristi has felt a passion for this story for many years and I’m proud of her for seeing it through to completion. It’s definitely a star in her crown. Season of Sacrifice tells the story of her great-great-
grandparents and their part in settling Utah, particularly the famous “Hole in the Rock” (which I’m now dying to see, by the way). -- Read More

Clothes & More/Jewelry: "Artistic Possibilities" by Nichole Giles

I think I mentioned before that the modern jewelry movement started around the end of World War II, with artists like Georg Jensen, Pablo Picasso, and the firms of Faberge, Cartier, and Tiffany continuing to advance the concept of wearable art.

Style varieties progressed with the creation of plastics, precious metal clay, simulated gemstones, and new coloring techniques. The creation of artificial gemstones and the development of pearl harvesting have made nicer jewelry more affordable than ever. You can even get a simulated diamond for about half the price of the real thing, and according to the jewelers who sell them, the fake ones sparkle more brilliantly. - Read More

Health & Food: "Dinner Tightens Family Bonds" by Candace E. Salima

Gathering around the table for family dinner is something that, for too many homes, has gone the way of the past. I find this very sad. Looking back over the years I grew up I recall many a conversation, many a problem being solved, much family history being learned, all around the dinner table.

No matter what our schedules were, we had to be home and up to the dinner table by 6:00 p.m. Oh, concerts or games were the exception, then dinner was at 5:00 p.m. My mother was firm on that.

There's a lot of cementing of family bonds around the dinner table. Whomever cooked, whether it be mother, father or teenager, there is care and love which goes into the preparation of that meal. Much thought is poured into the nutrition, taste and edible nature of the meal. And from the one who benefited from all that great food, I can say it taste good! For my family, I even go as far as to make certain there are a plethora of colors on the dinner plate when it is filled. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Shake or Bake" by Keith Fisher

It started out as a great family, fishing trip. The full moon prevented us from catching any fish but we had fun playing with crawdads and chatting. I made waffles and eggs with the maple syrup we got from a friend who went to Alberta. This syrup isn’t the thin, runny stuff we get in the supermarket, this stuff is so thick you have to wait for it to come out of the bottle. I discovered if you leave it in the sun for awhile, it will pour easier.

Now, as I was saying, the trip started out great, but like all good things, there was a lesson in it for me, maybe two or three.

Back in 2003 after a frustrating experience with my camp trailer, I came home and bought a new camp trailer. More out of pride and anger than deliberation. I had a better job then—I figured we had the money. Don’t get me wrong, however, I’ve never regretted buying the new trailer. It has brought us much joy and family togetherness. -- Read More

Home & Family: "Grandsons as Miracles" by Muriel Sluyter

For some reason I am taken back to the birth of my daughter, Heather's, first son. Connor is now 10-years-old and a strapping young man. But I remember when he was born. This was what I wrote eleven years ago.

A tiny, exciting, sweet-smelling creature has come into our lives, a brand-new, precious little grandson; to say we are ecstatic is to understate the case. One of our daughters, Heather, has had her first child; a large, very healthy boy. This little one tried to be born the traditional way, but a childhood injury his mother had sustained during a tubing party left an unexpected barrier, and he was forced to be born by caesarean section. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "Is the Food in Your Pantry an Inheritance for Your Grandchildren?" by Barbara Saslbury

Food storage or home storage was never meant to be an inheritance for your grandchildren. Now that may come as a shock to some of you. You might be getting a glimmer of thought that I’m going to tell you that you should be planning on eating it – someday. Yes, after all of your scheming and planning of how and where to store it you need to plan to eat it. Now you know you are in trouble.

One of the key words or phrases that one always hears or uses upon entering any store that sells “food storage products” is, “what is the shelf life?” Herein is the magic formula. If you can buy a food that you can hide under the stairs and bed forever you have kept the commandment. Right? Right! Haven’t you heard, “You must have your food-storage? Therefore it only makes sense to want to know what the shelf life is of the magic elixir or wonder grain or deluxe freeze-dried phenomenon. Then you can store it! -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Oregano, Not Just for Pizza" by Heather Justesen

Some years ago one of my family members was told to take oregano for a health problem. I remember thinking what a strange idea that was—Oregano? You mean that Italian seasoning? When I had planted this versatile herb in my garden I had no intentions of using it medicinally, I just wanted something to spice up my pizza and spaghetti sauce.

Oregano was not commonly used in the USA until after World War II when the soldiers came back and began talking about pizza. The use of Oregano grew by 5200 percent from 1948 to 1956. The herb is widely used in Mediterranean and Mexican dishes and is commonly mistaken for Majoram—which can be used in it’s place for culinary purposes if you run out. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Not the Colonel's Chicken" by C.L. Beck

Several years ago, my husband, Russ, and I had an interesting experience. It was so interesting that it sticks out in my mind like it was just … well … several years ago.


“You should have been at the post office today,” I said to Russ.

“Why’s that?”

“One of the boxes of mail-order chicks broke open and yellow babies were peeping and running all over the place.”

I paused. “What would you think about raising poultry?”

Russ looked dubious. Who can say why? It’s not like my schemes ever backfired or anything. -- Read More

Music: "Six Most Common Mistakes Made by Independent Musicians and How to Fix Them" by Greg Hansen

You’re a singer or songwriter. You have talent, but what do you do with it? Let’s assume you have managed to get funding for an independent recording-what pitfalls do you want to avoid?

Here are 6 tips to help you as you embark on your journey as an artist.

Mistake #1: Not listening to your audience when writing your material.

Solution: Think of THEM, not YOU. Know why you are writing, and to whom. Write to uplift people, and not for selfish-expression. If your work requires substantial explanation, you have missed the boat. Know your audience and take them where they (or you) want them to go with your talents. You are already unique, use that for other’s good. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "One More Salute to Pioneers" by Cheri Crane

Since this post will be featured on Thursday, July 24th at www.yourldsneighborhood.com, I decided to do one more tribute to the courageous pioneers. =) I figure it's a timely thing. One could call this pioneer culture week. ;)

During the trip to Nauvoo that our family made in 1997, I wrote the following poem. It's a comparison between their time and ours:

Along the Mormon Trail

Air conditioning
Padded seats
Snacks for pleasure
Riding in comfort
Along the Mormon Trail . . .

“Are we there yet?”
“How much further?”
“When’s lunch?”
“Is there a rest stop soon?”
Along the Mormon Trail . . .

-- Read More

Religious: "Youth Conference Testimonies" by Rebecca Talley

I’m going to detour today from writing about our basic beliefs in the LDS Church because I wanted to share an experience I had over the weekend.

I am currently serving in the Young Women’s organization in my ward and decided I wanted to attend the 4 Stake youth conference this last Friday and Saturday. Though I could only attend a portion because of babysitter issues, I am very thankful I was able to participate.

The conference was held on the old campus of a local college, nestled in the trees and surrounded by the mountains. It’s a beautiful place that’s used for these kinds of events. When I arrived, the youth were involved in different games, including a few water fights. After the games, they all participated in a square dance. It was fun to watch them dance in groups and try to keep up with the steps. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Scrapbooking Bargains Online" by Kim Thompson

Let's face it. Scrapbooking can be expensive. If you consider the paper at $1.00 per sheet, stickers approximately $2.00 per sheet, and embellishments at $3.00-$5.00 per package, you can easily spend $10.00 to complete one scrapbook page. And that's not even considering the tools required.

Luckily, we have the internet. There are tons of scrapbooking bargains to be found online. The first place to look is eBay. Okay, so I may be a little prejudiced since I have a scrapbooking store on eBay (Kim's ScrapShack). But there are a lot of other vendors besides myself who sell products at great prices. Just do a search for scrapbooking and thousands of items will come up. Your best bet is to skip the auctions and just scroll down to the bottom of the page and buy directly from Ebay stores. You can buy items now at bargain prices, without having to wait for an auction to end. -- Read More

Services: "Serving Your Neighbor in a Small But Significant Way" by Liz Adair

My husband wears size twelve shoes. This became important as I was ruminating about what the subject of today’s blog would be. I don’t know about you, but I do some of my best (mental) writing while my hands are busy, and this particular ruminating moment I was on my hands and knees scrubbing doggy doo out of the carpet of our travel trailer. We were at a family reunion where there were several dogs, and as my husband was setting up, he stepped in a generous pile and, unknowingly, tracked a size-twelve-ful of it through every area of the trailer.

That’s not the first time we’ve had this kind of trouble, lately. We live in a small town, but it’s a well-run little town and has a well-enforced leash law. You never see a dog running loose in town. However, we live on the very edge, and the people across the street live in the county, where the leash law doesn’t apply. They have a black and white spotted dog who must think our front lawn is malnourished, because he fertilizes it regularly. These are very nice neighbors, and I don’t think they know about their dog’s personal service project, but it’s been impressed upon our notice (and our living room carpet) on several occasions. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Fishing With Family" by Steve Christensen

This is a fun blog written by my husband which would normally be posted to his blog, but since his internet manager (yes, that's me) is having technical difficulties, I'm posting it here. This is another article for yourLDSNeighborhood which I highly recommend you visit. Click here to get their free newsletter.

Written by Steve Christensen

Fishing is a sport that many men and women enjoy. Not many things in life are as exciting as feeling a big fish on your fishing pole and reeling it in with it fighting the whole way. Who doesn’t enjoy being outdoors enjoying the quiet lakes and forests that surround them? I have many fond memories of fishing with my dad and my family.

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The clock is ticking. Subscribe now to become eligible for a Trip for Two to China" by clicking here. Drawing to be conducted on July 24, 2008.

Friday, July 18, 2008

On the Newsstands July 17, 2008

Art: "Art is Not Necessarily Entertainment" by Gaynell Parker

I remember the first time I heard of performing arts. It was in the movie Legal Eagles starring Robert Redford. I thought hmm...people really pay to see stuff like this?

My version of performing arts is plays or theater, concerts, and movies.

I especially love movies. I think movies are amazing with what they can do with computer generation and cinematography -- this in itself is an art form. We are big on collecting movies to watch as a family. We don't watch television and don't have cable -- we watch DVDs.

Last week, though, we decided we'd had enough. It was either ferret out the movies that were iffy, or choose another option. Not that we had that many PG13 or even R movies -- (the Patriot, Saving Private Ryan) but we decided it was time to be more selective in what we allowed in our home. -- Read More

Books: "Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips" by Alison Palmer

Remember my comment about not liking to read self-help/improvement books because they depress me? Shockingly, I have just finished another one. I was tricked into it, I tell you! I got this seemingly innocent email asking if I want to review a book called Caught in the Headlights by Barry K. Phillips. Taking one look at the title, I laughed out loud and didn’t read any further to find out what type of book it was. Hey, give me a break the title totally described my life that day.

When it arrived, I narrowed my eyes suspiciously at the cover— Caught in the Headlights: 10 Lessons Learned the Hard Way. “Huh” says I, “It’s another one of those.” I consoled myself with the fact that at least it was short (105 pages) and flipped it open. I was immediately hooked. Not only was it short, it had cartoons! Okay, okay, it’s the little things in life, ya know? Before I knew it I’d read another “how to make your life better” books and had a blast doing it. Sneaky author. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Nadir of the Facilitator" by Muriel Sluyter

Rabbi Boteach, who teaches at Oxford University in Cambridge, England, asked his students if any of them would like to be President of the U.S.A. They ALL wanted to be President. Then, he told them that he had no desire to become President, rather, he would like to be the man to whom the President turns when he needs advice. They were surprised, because today's students are taught that cream rises, and, if you don't rise to the top, you are not the cream. (I'm not sure what that makes you, skim milk, I guess.) The Rabbi's message is that facilitators, those who forward the fortunes of others, at the apparent expense of their own, are accorded little value in today's world, because they have no ambition to be top dog.

This "rising to the top" can have disturbing ramifications. For one thing, we have discarded our supposedly outmoded value system and become a society that measures human worth in fortune and/or fame. The most depraved of humans now enjoys extreme adulation, if he is a famous star. His followers require neither integrity nor human decency; their only demand is that they be allowed to worship him; worse, in the minds of many of his devotees, his status is sufficient to acquit him of the most reprehensible wrongdoing. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Casual Summer Days" by Nichole Giles

I have a confession. For as much as I love jewelry, I don’t wear a lot during the summer. When I say a lot, I mean my normal amount. What I consider regular might be a lot for someone else, but I guess it’s all subjective.

My favorite bracelet—a tattooed steel cuff—gives me an odd tan line in the middle of my forearm, just from driving around in my car. And even though I have several watches, I find that during the summer I feel the need to watch the time less and less.

I can’t decide if it’s vanity or practicality that drives me to leave so many of my favorite pieces sitting in my jewelry box. On the one hand, tan lines on your wrists are obnoxious to look at, and hard to get rid of. On the other hand, I try to wear sunscreen—which has a lot of metal-harming oils—that can be really hard on jewelry. And lets face it, only supermodels in catalogues actually wear jewelry with a swimsuit. It may look cute, but even so, I highly doubt even those models wear jewels to the beach or pool. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Lasagna Gardening, Part 2" by Heather Justesen

A few days ago, I talked about creating lasagna beds. Click here to read that post first if you missed it.

In my area, we have a mushroom plant, I can pick up a truck load (or trailer load) of spent mushroom compost for $15 or $20—a great deal. I put down the layers of newspaper, laid out three or four inches of mushroom compost, then added shredded paper or leaves (I scoured several people’s yards to pick up leaves that hadn’t been raked in the fall), and manure I picked up at the race track (spread thinly since I wasn’t sure how well composted it was—fresh manure can burn you plants’ roots), I threw in egg shells, banana peels, and anything else from my kitchen that would work (again, nothing from an animal). Finally, I laid on another several inches of mushroom compost. Ideally, you should end up with twelve to fourteen inches of bedding when you are finished, though that will compact over time. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Seeds, Seeds and More Seeds" by Barbara Salsbury

In the parts of the world where it is now summer a lot of people are into gardening, whether it be in pots or plots. Recently quite a few people have been asking me about the possibility of saving seeds and whether or not saved seeds will they grow.

Every time someone asks, it is a déjà vu moment. Saving seeds and waxed paper is one of the fondest memories I have of my grandfather back on the little farm in Ohio.

Yes, you can save seeds and yes, they will grow. Whether or not your reasons for doing so now is the nasty economy or the fact that it has sort of developed into a fun fad, or you just want to know if it will work for you or not. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Another Solution" by Keith Fisher

While having lunch in the park one day, a pickup truck pulled up. Two men jumped out and unloaded a backyard, propane barbecue. They rolled it over to a table, then rolled it across the park to another. They cooked food for a family on it and lay on the grass to nap away their full stomachs.

I turned to look at the permanently installed charcoal barbecue next to our table. I glanced at the ones next to the other tables in the park and I wondered. I turned to my companions, and mentioned the trouble the group across the way went to in order to barbecue in the park. "But nobody uses those gross barbecues," they responded.

I considered that for awhile. The barbecue by our table was full of ash and litter. The grill was caked with remnants of meat, grilled long ago. Then I thought of other parks I’ve been to. Some of those barbecues had never been used. I wondered why. What is wrong with using a public facility? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Rebel With a Cause" by C.L. Beck

The Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) guard at airport security looked at us sternly, opened our carry-on suitcase and rummaged around. “You’ve got something in here that could be a problem,” she said.

There we stood in our stocking feet, feeling vulnerable and wondering what we’d done wrong. We were on vacation, and I’d given myself a two-inch streak of gray hair trying to make sure I’d packed correctly. I knew there weren’t any pipe bombs in there, because I’d used my last one the week before. I’d left my dynamite at home, along with our machete. And all my really dangerous chemicals—hair gel, hair spray and toothpaste—were in a Ziploc baggie that had already been cleared by security.

“Ah-ha,” the guard declared. She pulled out two, one ounce, sealed jars of honey—mementos from a restaurant in Hawaii. -- Read More

Missionary: "Free to Choose" by Rebecca Talley

“We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” 2nd Article of Faith

A basic belief of the LDS church is that we are all responsible and accountable for our own individual actions and choices, not for anyone else’s. The Savior’s plan that was presented to us in the pre-existence hinged on allowing us to make our own choices. While Satan wanted to compel us to keep the commandments, Jesus wanted us to choose to follow the commandments of our own free will. We are free to determine our own destinies. David O. McKay said, “Next to the bestowal of life, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.” Of course, with that free agency also comes consequences.

One of my favorite lines in Gone with the Wind is when Rhett and Scarlett are visiting shortly after Frank Kennedy’s death and Scarlett says she’s so sorry for what she’s done, that Frank was Sue Ellen’s beau and that she should never have married him. Rhett replies that she’s just like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he’s done something wrong, only that he’s been caught. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Shots of the Mormon Trail" by Cheri Crane

This week I decided to stick with the pioneer theme of things and share a poem I wrote after seeing a portion of the Mormon Trail for the first time in 1994, shortly before my first book, "Kate's Turn," was published. Eager to explore the Mormon Trail for myself, we made a family trip out of the occasion and drove up to an area in Wyoming known as Martin's Cove. This is the site where so many pioneers lost their lives after a handcart company became stranded during a severe storm.

In that same area, you can see Independence Rock, a rock formation where the pioneers carved their names in the granite face. Nearby you can also see Devil's Gate, a perpendicular cleft between two mountainous cliffs. It was there that I received the inspiration to write the following poem. After I share it, I'll include a few pictures that were taken during our 1997 trip to Nauvoo---we followed the Mormon Trail as closely as we could upon our return. During that trip, we traveled with 2 other families---close friends and relatives. It was a wonderful experience. I'll place captions under these pictures to make it easier for you to understand what you're seeing. First, the poem (Incidentally, the picture above is of Devil's Gate.): -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Titles and Journaling" by Kim Thompson

Scrapbookers often find journaling the hardest thing to do, whether it’s coming up with a catchy title for the page or writing a description of the events pictured. But, in my opinion, it is the most important part of the scrapbook.

I have a four year old who loves to look through her scrapbook. She often brings it to me and asks me to read ‘her story’. Without the journaling, the book would just be photos. Yes, photos can tell a story. But there are many benefits to adding journaling to your pages.

The simple fact is, you will not always be around to tell your children about the pictures in their scrapbook. And frankly, it’s hard to remember detailed facts about every event, vacation, and holiday for which your family has pictures. -- Read More

Services: "Cut Up That Chicken and Save" by Liz Adair

During one of the many times in my married life when means were very slender, I found a chicken farm that was selling molters for fifty cents apiece. Chickens shed their feathers once a year, and during the process, they stop laying for a period of several months. This farm was replacing its molters rather than feed them through the eggless period when they were growing new feathers. I had a beat-up VW bug, and I found that I could transport twenty-five live chickens (feet tied together, laid out atop newspapers on seats and floorboard). They were all strangely quiet during the ride home, and one in particular, occupying the front passenger seat, unnerved me with her steely stare.

Those chickens were candidates for the stew pot rather than the frying pan. Fryers have to be young chickens, and no telling how old these were. But, they boiled up great, and I used the stock for soup and the meat for everything from sandwiches to tacos to cannelloni. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "College Road Trip" by Linda Scanlan

Martin Lawrence (Are We There Yet?) plays the overprotective father James Porter. Raven-Symone (That's So Raven) plays the daughter Melanie Porter, who has chosen to go to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Kym Whitley (Grey's Anatomy) plays the role of Michelle Porter, the supportive mother.

Melanie wants to get as far away from her father as she can. She feels stifled under the protective shield of her police chief father. Melanie is smart and plans a career in Law. She plans a road trip with her best friends after she is informed she has an interview in three days with Georgetown. -- Read More

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the Newsstands July 14, 2008

Art: "Water is Beauty in Motion" by Gaynell Parker

This is my most loved falls of all time -- Multnomah Falls in Oregon.

My favorite thing about summer is water. When I was a kid, we'd go swimming at the local high school for 50 cents. I always came home starving -- but that's another issue.

This is my dream pool...my hubby and I talk about it all the time, it would be right outside our bedroom...sigh. Hey -- there's nothing wrong with dreaming...grin.

Anyway -- we had some neighbors that did the above ground pools, and they were okay, but there's nothing like a big in ground swimming pool. I don't even think the ocean compares, unless it's in the Caribbean...snorkeling has got to be the best thing ever. Otherwise, too much sand...salt, ugh! Oceans are great for walking along the shore with my hubby, but it's not what I think of when I'm thinking of water. -- Read More

Books: "All's Fair by Julie Bellon" by Alison Palmer

Ok, first my gripe. My puny little mind has a problem switching from one plot focus to another. Oh, it happens all the time—I do it myself. It’s a great way to weave two stories together as you move along. My complaint about using this technique in Julie Bellon’s new book All’s Fair, is that every time she made the shift I found myself cursing her, “Awe, man! It was just getting good! What’d she have to go and do that for?”

I loved All’s Fair. I hated being left on the cliff while she shifted the story between Kristen in the United States and her brother, Brandon, serving in Iraq; it’s just too cruel of a trick to play on someone who’s engrossed in the story. All I wanted to do was skip ahead to the next section of the same plot. My poor impatient self had a hard time waiting to find out what happened next. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Human Value, Variable or Constant" by Muriel Sluyter

In all societies, there is an implication, even an acceptance, that some people are of greater value than others. My question is simple; is it true? Are some people, intrinsically, more valuable than others? Is a constructive, hard-working, sober, responsible citizen of greater intrinsic value than a destructive, lazy, drunken or stoned, irresponsible one? No. Let's see why:

The answer is no, because when dealing with intrinsic value, as opposed to extrinsic value, we can't count one's worth to the community; much as we might want to, we cannot even count one's tendency toward virtue or vice. In fact, we can neither add to nor subtract from intrinsic value, because, being a constant, it is unaffected by behavior. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Whimsical to Sober, With Little Inbetween" by Nichole Giles

n case you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for fantastic and/or magical characters such as fairies. I also love butterflies, dragonflies, and other things of nature. Which is why the Art Nouveau movement in the early nineteenth century—with its focus on themes of nature, fantasy, and the female form—is so attractive to me.

Imagine pieces created from enamel, precious metals, or glass, with floral motifs involving animals, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and peacock feathers. Graceful, feminine lines and images of fairies, mermaids or nymphs were completed with long, twisting manes of hair. This is what was happening in the 1890s.

The new style was as much about art as it was about jewelry, with some German and Danish influence pushing the trend, thanks to contributions by fabulous designers like Rene Lalique, Wiener Werkstaette, and Georg Jensen. Other abstract ideas such as Cubism—art in the form of cubes—were brought about from contributions of well-known artists like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, who were known to make some jewelry. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Lasagna, Gardening Made Easy" by Heather Justesen

I’ve mentioned before that my ground is rather more rocks than dirt, and what part is dirt, is mostly clay, so when I began looking into plans for landscaping, I realized digging down to plant was not going to work for me. For many reasons, people may have land that can’t be easily dug, whether it’s because of hardpan, rocks, other things that have grown in the space before (ie a pine tree that had been dropping its needles for a century) or even because all they have is a large slab of cement (yes, you can garden on that unused basketball court your children abandoned as they moved out).

There is a solution to all of these problems—it’s called lasagna gardening. This is a method developed by Patricia Lanza in response to her inability to keep up with weeding, tilling and the hundred other problems that traditional gardening includes. This method does away with tilling, much of the weeding and other work. Here’s how it works: -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Sugars in Your Pantry or Not" by Barbara Salsbury

There may be two drastically different ways of viewing sugars today. One could be caused by the economy and the skyrocketing prices, where you must decide if bread or sugar goes onto the shopping list. The other one could be influenced by your view of nutrition.

First, a view of sugar from the pantry, sugar stores well. The rule of thumb is granulated sugars needs to be kept dry and brown sugars need to be kept moist. This means an airtight container with a tight fitting lid. One word of caution, I have discovered that brown sugar kept in metal cans sometimes causes rust to form because of the moisture and can taint the taste of the sugar. Should you choose metal, make sure it has a food grade finish inside of the container, (such as commercially made canisters) with no chips, cracks or dents. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Picking and Choosing, Part 2" by Keith Fisher

You will remember last time, when we started our discussion about choosing the right Dutch oven for you. I started writing the second half today, and discovered I had 1100 words. I decided you'd probably fall asleep reading it, so I think I'll change my plans. Will it be okay if we split the subject up into brief reviews of each manufacturer, and talk about materials in another blog? We learned how to choose quality last time, but remember you get what you pay for.

Did you get a chance to go to the store and look at Dutch ovens? Did you check out the ringing sound cast iron makes? Interesting isn’t it? Keep in mind that with some types of Dutch ovens you won’t be able to perform that test. It works on what we call a camp oven, because a camp oven has a bail. What is a camp oven? -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Send Someone Up With a Shoe" by C.L. Beck

It was six inches long, with wiggly antennae. We were on vacation, in a hotel. My husband, Russ, was asleep with a cold, and I was in a stand-off with Mother Nature.

“Russ, get up. There’s a giant bug.” You’d think an entomologist would say something more precise than, “a giant bug.” I should have mentioned the order and species. But when you’re faced with a bug that’s big enough to consider you dinner, you don’t think rationally.

“Just squash it,” Russ mumbled. -- Read More

Missionary: "The Father and the Son, Separate and Distinct" by Rebecca Talley

“We ought to be real students—students like no one else. … If we, in this lay Church, don’t become proficient in learning the gospel of Jesus Christ, who on earth will? If the elders of Israel do not become profound theologians, who on earth will? If you mothers and mothers-to-be don’t learn the gospel sufficiently to teach your children, who on earth will? And, you missionaries, if you don’t learn the message the Lord would have you teach, who on earth will? Many painfully discover the obvious—you can’t teach well that which you do not know!” (Joe J. Christensen, “Learning Is Everybody’s Business,” Ensign, Feb. 1979, pp. 64–65).

I’m going to focus on this quote as I blog about missionary work over the next several weeks. I will be writing about the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in hopes that those who are not of our faith can learn more about us, and those of us who are LDS can strengthen our knowledge and be more effective as we teach the gospel to others. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Pioneer Heritage" by Cheri Crane

Since it's July and at some point during the month, (usually around the 24th) our thoughts center on our pioneer heritage, I felt it would be fitting to touch on this item today and share a bit of pioneer culture.

I really like what President Uchtdorf said recently about the pioneers: "I have no ancestors among the 19th century pioneers. However, since the first days of my Church membership, I have felt a close kinship to those early pioneers who crossed the plains. They are my spiritual ancestry, as they are for each and every member of the Church, regardless of nationality, language, or culture. They established not only a safe place in the West but also a spiritual foundation for the building of the kingdom of God in all the nations of the world." (July 2008 Ensign, pg. 5) -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "Scrapbooking Playground" by Kim Thompson

Would you like to have your own scrapbooking website? A place to upload layouts for family members and friends to see online? I recently learned about a fun website that allows you to do just that. ScrapWow offers a fun, innovative way to create your own website.

After creating a website for his newborn daughter, Nick Romer, founder of ScrapWow, shared it with family and friends. Many thought it was remarkable and asked how they could create their own website for posting photos. Nick combined what he knew from his experience in the craft industry and launched ScrapWow.com, the ground-breaking result of sharing photos online with a scrapbook look and feel. -- Read More

Services: "The Demise of the Full-Service Station" by Liz Adair

I remember the first time I ever pumped my own gas at a service station. It was back in the early 1970’s, not too long after the Arab oil embargo. The cost of gas had risen to somewhere around forty cents a gallon, and using the self-serve pump was a way to save the cost of one gallon on each thankful.

Even back then, I was an an old dog, reluctant to learn new tricks. However, after riding with my super-frugal neighbor, and watching how she confidently got out of her car, took off her gas cap, lifted the nozzle, turned the lever, and squeezed the trigger, I thought, “I can do that.” -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "High School Hero" by Steve Christensen

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the Hoyt family- a story of a father with a son who was disabled from birth who made his son’s life joyful and happy by taking him along on his marathons and triathlons. Today I am writing about another disabled young man who had his own dreams come true. His name is Jason McElway.

Jason lives in Rochester, New York and was the team manager for the local high school basketball team. Jason suffers from autism. On the final game of the basketball season the coach asked Jason to suit up for the game. The coach didn’t know if Jason would be able to play or not but wanted to at least have him be part of the team for the last game. Jason ended up playing in the final few minutes of that game and had his dreams come true. I have posted the video of this amazing story below. Scroll down to see it. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation/Movies: "Cloverfield" by Linda Scanlan

Everyone in the household was worked up to see Cloverfield. An American Godzilla story set in Manhattan Island (Why is it always the New York City area that gets destroyed?). After watching it last night I was grateful I hadn't spent money at the theater to watch it.

The story is about Rob who is moving to Japan after receiving a promotion. Rob and his long time girlfriend Beth are going through a rough time. A surprise going away party is hosted for Rob in which Beth attends with a date.

Jason is Rob's brother who is in love with Lily. Lily and Jason are the brains behind the surprise party. Jason is trying to console Rob about Beth while encouraging Rob to do something about it. -- Read More

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Friday, July 11, 2008

On the Newsstands July 10, 2008

Art: "Beauty of the Night" by Gaynell Parker

For the weekend of the 4th, my family went camping with a couple of my hubbies siblings and their families. We went to Stillwater, UT, which is a part of the Wasatch - Cache National Forest. It was gorgeous. I haven't been camping in a long time (it's not one of my favorite pastimes -- I like a real bed and running water, thank you) and so it was a good outing for us. We had to leave one daughter behind, as she works fast food, and no one gets the 4th off...grin.

The camp site was nice and roomy, there were lots of tables, and even a fire pit so we could have a fire. It was also at least 10 degrees cooler than home, so I was very happy. Nighttime was even better, it was cold enough to snuggle under the sleeping bag, and once we got past the first night and figured out which way to put the stupid sleeping bag so we were both covered, the second night was bliss. (As long as you ignored the dang bird that woke us up every morning at 5:30 shrieking at the top of it's lungs, the loud river going by less than a mile from us, and the early birds of our own campsite -- and did I mention the mosquitoes? UGH This photo is from Yellowstone and Old Faithful.) -- Read More

Books: "Enjoying the Journey by Jamie Theler" by Alison Palmer

I have a confession to make. I read a lot of “how-to” books (which frightens my husband a bit, trying to figure out which “how-tos” I might actually try). The “how-to” books that I don’t read are probably the ones that could help me the most. I don’t read “Life is great, this is how to be happy” books. Why? They depress me. Their “simple” steps to happiness are far from simple for me and I come away feeling even worse about how I’m living my life. If what they say is true then obviously it should be easier and I’m getting something major wrong that I can’t seem to fix. Make sense?

I know it’s counterintuitive to everything the gospel teaches but that’s the power of Satan. He knows me well and makes sure I notice how inadequate I am in the face of such “simple” solutions that seem to work for “everyone else”. So that’s the big confession, I don’t read books that might actually be of use to me because I’m too afraid they won’t work and I’m too far gone already. -- Read More

Home and Family: "Do I Really Want My Child to Become This?" by Muriel Sluyter

A Doctor who specializes in helping infertile parents have a child has said that the various procedures involved can cost many tens of thousands of dollars. Parents who have the money needed and who spend that money to have their very own baby do not ever think of the chance that this much-wanted child could turn out to be a Jack The Ripper or, perhaps, a Ted Bundy or even a Charles Manson. No parent would ever have a child if he or she thought that the longed-for little one could turn out in such a way.

Since Americans are more concerned about crime, and especially violent crime, than anything else perhaps an analysis of the causes of crime would be in order. After all, people who only succeed in having one baby would give anything to keep that child from becoming a violent criminal. -- Read More

Jewelry: "Isn't It Romantic" by Nichole Giles

In case you were wondering, I bought glow bracelets for Independence day last week. Along with red, white, and blue plastic necklaces. And I wore my dangle silver star earrings. I’m of the opinion that if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it all the way. I did stop at putting a flag in my hair. Because, well, I don’t have enough hair to hold one up. But if I did…who knows.

I sat in a stadium full of people, watching the sky fill with jewels and my breath caught in my throat. Not just from smoke inhalation, either. The colors and sparkles, and creativity with which those fireworks erupted was purely genius in its art. But, that’s what entertainment is about, right? Plus, it gave me a killer great idea for a new scene in the book I’m writing. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Gardening & Landscaping: "Controlling Garden Pests" by Heather Justesen

The grasshoppers are coming out at my house, and though my birds are chasing them like mad, they haven’t been able to keep them under control in the unlandscaped portions of my property—so we’re seeing some damage on my flowers and vegetables as well. At the same time, I’m reluctant to use pesticides because I don’t want my poultry to ingest any and my cats like to wander through the garden when they sneak out.

As LDS people, we have been taught that we have a stewardship over the world, and that we need to take care of it. However, growing organically can be very expensive, and a whole lot of hassle. There are many simple and inexpensive bug control methods available, however—some even less expensive than that bottle of bug spray. -- Read More

LDS Department Store/Preparedness: "Preparedness Supplies vs. Debt" by Barbara Salsbury

The panic and hype is on. Many people are feeling the crunch that is taking place with the checkbook, the price of gas, the economy in general and in all sorts of miscellaneous places of their lives. Suddenly many people are jumping on the preparedness bandwagon that have never ventured near it before.

In fact, one of the most disconcerting questions that I have recently been asked is, “Is having preparedness supplies important enough that I go into debt to acquire them now?

My answer? Absolutely not! Going into debt to be prepared is only exchanging one worrisome problem for another. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is debt-free living. Debt is so very easy to acquire. Not a week goes by that you won’t find half a dozen or more pre-approved credit card applications in the mailbox. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Dutch Oven: "Picking and Choosing, Which One Should You Buy?" by Keith Fisher

The holiday is behind us, it’s time to start planning for the next one. It’s also time to purchase that Dutch oven you’ve always wanted. One of the most asked questions I get is, "Which Dutch oven should I buy?" It depends on what you want to cook. I know that sounds flippant, but when I finish, you will understand.

In order to discuss the answers to this question, we will talk about five manufacturers and five factors: cost, quality, size, type, and material. With constantly rising prices today, perhaps cost should be the most important factor, but let’s start with size. -- Read More

LDS Outlet/Humor: "Then There Was Lunch" by C.L. Beck

When people ask where I get my inspiration for writing, I laugh and look pointedly at my husband, Russ.

Considering that his escapades always show up in my musings—a fact he’s most patient about—I’m giving him a break. Today’s article won’t include any mention of him.

While searching the internet for an alternate topic, I discovered a tabloid article about a man who kept snakes, termites, and poisonous arachnids as pets. It turns out one of his black widow spiders thought he would make a tasty treat and tried him for lunch. Then the other creatures finished him for dessert. -- Read More

Missionary: "The Power of the Book of Mormon" by Rebecca Talley

My daughter met a young man while she was at college who had stopped attending the LDS Church when he was a youth. He even joined a different church. When a friend of his returned from his mission, this young man set out to prove why the LDS Church was false. He wanted to make sure his points were valid so he decided to study the Book of Mormon in an effort to find the holes in the gospel. A funny thing happened. As this young man studied the Book of Mormon, instead of finding holes, he found his own testimony. Though he is older than the other young men, he is now serving his mission and hoping to share with others what he learned himself in an unconventional way.

My own grandfather, a baptized member of the Church, spent a great deal of time reading and studying anti-Mormon literature. Based on these different books and articles, he drew false conclusions about the Church and was quite bitter towards it. I begged him to read the Book of Mormon, but he refused. Why? I suspect it’s because he didn’t want to know the truth. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "Idaho's Version of the Caribbean" by Cheri Crane

This past holiday weekend, I had the chance to hang out at a favorite local attraction, Bear Lake. It has often been referred to as the Caribbean of the Rockies. Once you see this beautiful lake, you'll understand why it has earned that nickname. The water is often an aquamarine color, not typically seen in a mountain valley. There are a variety of stories, legends, and some scientific data that explain why it's this vivid color of blue. I especially like the tales that include the famed Bear Lake Monster, a distant cousin to the Loch Ness character that Scotland brags about on occasion.

When my family first moved to Bear Lake Valley in 1979 (don't make fun, I'm not senior citizen material just yet) this lake was a huge attraction. We played in the water whenever possible. At that time, we stayed primarily on the north beach, which is open to the general public. There is a slight fee for this privilege, but it's worth it. On a hot summer day, the cool water is inviting. We usually brought along a picnic lunch of some kind, taking advantage of the numerous picnic tables that line this beach. -- Read More

Scrapbooking: "The Stackable Crew" by Kim Thompson

Today, I’m happy to be able to highlight one of the newest vendors on the scrapbooking block at the Neighborhood, The Stackable Crew.

Three years ago, J.S. Broo was doing crafts with her kids at the kitchen table. She created several three-dimensional animal figures for her children to play with. Her neighbors and friends saw them, were impressed, and wanted copies. Soon, she used her amazing talent to create figures upon request, for anyone who needed them. One day, someone told her she should market them; that people would pay for her artwork. So, she decided to give it a try. -- Read More

Services: "Infrared Barbeques" by Liz Adair

This is an odd subject for a blog on service, but stay with me as I blog about barbeques. If you have one that’s long in the tooth and are thinking about replacing it, you may want to know about the new infrared barbeques.

Because my husband has great shopping genes, and because I’d rather serve as a Cub Scout den mother again than be forced to spend hours in a store shopping for anything, I simply announced that his Father’s Day gift was a new barbeque, and he was in charge of finding it, making the purchase, and hauling it home. Easiest Father’s Day I’ve ever done. -- Read More

Sports and Recreation: "Summertime is for Celebration Days" by Rachelle Christensen

I’ve noticed something about Utah’s cities. Nearly every one has some kind of “Celebration Days” during the summertime. I live in Utah County and there are tons of cities around. The celebrations usually start in May, for example “Salem Days” and extend clear into September when you can hit “Payson Onion Days” on Labor Day.

I grew up in a rural community in Idaho and didn’t remember going to a lot of different celebrations. But then I figured maybe that was because everything was too far away.

So I started researching cities and found several within 50 miles of where I grew up who do hold annual celebrations for all kinds of things like, “Pioneer Days,” “River Festival,” “Scandivanian Festival,” and more. -- Read More

Sports and Recreation/Movies: "Stargate Continuum" by Linda Scanlan

And so the fans of SG-1 get another taste of the series they have come to love. With the release of the DVD this month, I thought I would recap on the original movie "Stargate" with Kurt Russell.

The trailer for the original "Stargate" is really good! It truly encompasses the action, adventure, and excitement of the first mission of the Stargate. This movie sets the stage for earth's defense against the bad influences of the universe. Stargate used originally as a way to identify threats from unknown assailants, becomes earths gateway to knowledge. -- Read More

Join the Neighborhood Newsletter . . . Subscriptions are free and joining is easy. Just by signing up and maintaining your subscription to receive the yourLDSneighborhood.com newsletter, you become eligible for our "Thank You" prize, a Trip for Two to China.

The clock is ticking. Subscribe now to become eligible for a Trip for Two to China" by clicking here. Drawing to be conducted on July 24, 2008.