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
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
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.
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
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.