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
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.
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