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.
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.
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
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
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