Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the Newsstands August 30, 2008

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

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

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

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

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

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

I Knew I Could Fly

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

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

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

Tangled Words and Dreams

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

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

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

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

Fairy Squeaks

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

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

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

Dream a little dream...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Return to the Neighborhood.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

On the Newsstands August 28, 2008

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

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

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

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

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

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

Focus on One

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

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

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

Tangled Words and Dreams

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

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

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

Fairy Squeaks

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

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

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

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

Dream a little dream...

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

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


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

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

The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

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

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

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

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

Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

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

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

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

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

Three P's in a Pod

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

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

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

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

Heather Justesen

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

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

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

Write Up My Alley

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

Naw. It’s because the symposium was free.

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

New Neighbors: "Mount Rushmore" by Cheri Crane


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

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

Religious: "Gifts from God" by Rebecca Talley

Rebecca Talley Writes

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

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

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

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

Scribbled Scraps

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

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

Services: "Baking in Bolivia" by Liz Adair

Liz Sez

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

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

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

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

Rachelle's Writing Spot

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

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

Return to the Neighborhood.

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

LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Newsstands August 25, 2008

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

Musings of an LDS Writing Mom

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

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

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

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

Focus on One

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

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

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

Tangled Words and Dreams

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

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

Lael: A soft pea-green.

Carroll: Celery green or a cheery yellow.

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

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

Fairy Squeaks

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

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

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

Dream a little dream...

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

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

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

The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

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

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

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

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

Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

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

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

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

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

Three P's in a Pod

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

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

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

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

Heather Justesen

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

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

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

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

Write Up My Alley

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

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

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

New Neighbors: "Huckleberry Season" by Cheri Crane


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

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

Religious: "The Same Organization" by Rebecca Talley

Rebecca Talley Writes

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

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

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

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

Scribbled Scraps

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

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

Step by Step Instructions:

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

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

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

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

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

Sports Break

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

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

Return to the Neighborhood.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the Newsstands August 18, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: I've Made the Semis by Gaynell Parker

Musings of a LDS Writing Mom

Well...since my theme this month is the Olympics, I've got a few items of my own. Remember how I mentioned going to county and state fairs for viewing art and enjoying it for low cost? Well, this week was our county fair, and I entered a painting. It was kind of a last resort -- I felt I'd committed to doing it and the painting was the only one handy. It framed up nice, and everyone commented on it when I turned it in.

My hubby insisted on taking this now you know what I look like with extremely short hair. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: Nim's Island by Linda Scanlan
Focus on One

Nim's Island is a cross between Romancing the Stone and Swiss Family Robinson.

Nim's mother was lost at sea. Nim's story is that the ship Buccaneer caused a whale to swallow her mother. Her father is a marine biologist. They live on their own island (Nim's of course) under the shadow of an inactive volcano.

Dad goes out to sea for what he believes is a couple of days. Where would the story be if nothing happened? Jack gets caught up in a monsoon and his boat is severely damaged and takes on water. His whole goal is to get back to Nim. -- Read More

Books: The Mist of Quarry Harbor by Liz Adair by Alison Palmer
Tangled Words and Dreams

Shame on me. I finally got my curriculum outline and should be hard at work on my next project, but what did I do yesterday? I read a book.

I'd picked up The Mist of Quarry Harbor by Liz Adair a while ago and never had a chance to read it. It turns out I just needed a good procrastination excuse. All it took was a very tight book deadline to mull over and suddenly I wanted nothing more than to read a good book.

I chose The Mist of Quarry Harbor for its mysterious cover. I have to admit, a boat in the middle of nowhere was a very appealing idea at the moment. Plus, I liked the back cover blurb because I could completely relate. -- Read More

Clothing & More: That’s My Girl by Nichole Giles
Fairy Squeak

My daughter started school again today. I have four kids, and she is the only one who started today because the seventh graders start a day earlier than the rest of the junior high. Part of me is glad to see school starting again, and another part of me is so bummed that summer is over.

After all, summer is my favorite season. That’s not to say that the warm weather won’t continue for a bit, but all the great activities associated with summer will slow down or stop completely now that school is in session. For instance, the pool in our city closes on Labor Day. Camping becomes more difficult with bedtimes and school days to worry about, and all the stores are clearing out the sundresses, shorts, swimsuits, and sandals. -- Read More

Health & Food: Texas Sheet Cake by Candace E. Salima
Dream a little dream ...

One of my all time favorite desserts is Texas Sheet Cake. Love 'em! I used to make them all the time, having a killer recipe and all, but then the weight started packing on and I had to stop. That's when I started making 'em for other people, or inviting people over for dinner so Alvin and I could have one or two pieces before it was devoured by our guests. Hey, when you love Texas Sheet Cake as much as I do you've got figure out a way.

So this great to service with Vanilla Ice Cream with Hot Fudge topping (yum!) or all by itself. It's a wonderful dessert for almost any American dish.

So get ready and start baking. It's easy to do and delicious to devour! -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: Party Tomorrow by Keith Fisher
Camp Cook in your Backyard

I am lost trying to get ready for a dinner party tomorrow. Perhaps I'll tell you about next time. until then, I've posted one of my favorite easy recipes for you to enjoy.

Spiced Pork Chops with Red Sauce
12-inch Dutch Oven
  • 1-2 lbs. Top loin pork chops
  • Red sauce (recipe follows)
  • Spice mix rub (recipe follows)
Spice mix rub: -- Read More

Home & Family: Why Do Children Join Gangs? by Muriel Sluyter
Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

Since I have had the fun of being stuck at our daughter and son-in-law's house, I have taken advantage of the opportunity to question him concerning kids and gangs. Here are some of the things I learned:

If a child is to resist joining a gang, he must have a nurturing mother IN THE HOME, who is emotionally available to him. He must know that she loves and respects him and is concerned for his needs. He must have a strong father IN THE HOME, who is more intimidating than the gang members. He must know that his father is strong enough, not only to keep him in line, but to protect him, and he must have a fear of incurring his father's displeasure. Not a very fashionable reality, to be sure, but then, truth and fashion rarely have more than a nodding acquaintance. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: Should I? or Can I? It's Not a Grammar Lesson by Barbara Salsbury
Three P's in a Pod

For many of us this time of year brings memories of gardens and canning. Some good memories, as in assembly lines and family projects, others bring back thoughts of how tired we were.

Since this time of year does bring thoughts of bushels, peeling, jam and bottles I want to eliminate one word from your vocabulary … guilt. Following are a few pointers to help you decide – Should I? Can I? Do I want to? Is it practical? And I am really not a “Molly Mormon” – Do I have to?

Home canning is one of those skills that should be part of our training. Training? What training? Let me rephrase that – canning is a very good, very valuable skill to have. If the need arises and things are so tough that the only way you can have jam or jelly is to make it yourself, it’s nice to be able to make it yourself and have it be edible. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: Lily to Surprise Neighbors by Heather Justesen
Heather Justesen

In my previous home, I noticed these funny stalks growing up in a neighbor's yard, but with no green foliage. The next thing I knew, they were covered in pink flowers. I actually wondered at first if they were fake because there were still no leaves anywhere on the plants. Later I learned what the plants were--and heard a humorous story about them.

This flower is called many things, Lycoris, Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, Blushing Lady, but most commonly it is called 'Naked Lady' because the leaves come out in early spring, hang around until early summer, then disappear for weeks before the blooms appear. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: The Game's Afoot by C.L. Beck
Write Up My Alley

The game of internet tag is going around and I’m delighted to say that my husband, Russ, has declared that I’m “it." Back when I was a kid—in the age of the Velociraptor and the Tyrannosaurus Rex—tag was one of my favorite pastimes. I remember a number of variations including “food tag”. In that version, if the person who was “it” reached out to touch you, you’d squat down, name a food and you were safe.

It was such an easy game back then, but I sure couldn’t do it now. No, it’s not the food that’s the problem—my memory for food is even better than when I was younger. Face it; once you’re over fifty, you’re too old to do anything but eat. I am sure I could hold a bag of Cheetos in one hand, a Snickers in the other, and still name some kind of food. -- Read More

New Neighbors: School Days by Cheri Crane

Earlier today as I was returning home from a jaunt to Utah, I swung by a couple of stores in Logan. Since my husband and I are now considered an empty-nesters (our youngest son is currently serving a mission in Canada) I'm obviously out of the groove for the yearly tradition known as "Back-to-School Shopping." Both of the stores I happened to visit today were filled with harried parents and their offspring. It was rather fascinating to watch.

"Here's a pair of pants on sale," a hopeful mother offered.

Her daughter, who looked to be between the ages of 12-14 replied: "Puh-leeze. The zipper is like gi-nor-mous!"

"What's wrong with the zipper?"

"It's like 5 miles long!" -- Read More

Religious: He's Home by Rebecca Talley
Rebecca Talley Writes

I’ve been somewhat absent from the blog world for the past week or so as I’ve been preparing for my son to return home from his mission. We’ve been cleaning and getting the boys’ room ready, which is no small feat. How two boys can be so messy is beyond me. Any why I agreed to letting them have toads, and lizards, and a turtle in their room is even more beyond me.

Wednesday we were all working hard so we could leave for the airport to pick up my son. We’d been counting `down the days (I admit, I was counting down the hours) and were all so excited for his arrival. The phone rang. We figured it was probably my son. As soon as I heard his voice, I knew something was wrong. He explained that his plane in Rome had been delayed and by the time it arrived in New York, he’d missed his connecting flight. He couldn’t make it home Wednesday night. He could make it as far as Salt Lake, but no farther. -- Read More

Scrapbooks & Crafts: Back to School Crafts by Kim Thompson
Scribbled Scraps

My oldest daughter started high school today. I refuse to believe I have a child that old. At our house, getting ready for school is a huge undertaking. With six children, attending four different schools, there are lots of schedules to arrange, clothes to buy, teachers to meet--you get the picture!

Some of my children are more excited for the new school year than others. There are lots of ways to help your kids get excited for school. Making their own back-to-school crafts is one of them. I've been researching kids crafts online and I found a bunch of fun things you can make with your kids to get them excited about school and get their creative juices flowing. -- Read More

Services: Serving in the Campground by Liz Adairf
Liz Sez

Our family has two major campouts each year: Memorial Day and Labor Day. We camp close to home, always at the same places.

Memorial day, we camp at recreational property owned by our stake that sits on the Stillaguamish River. It’s a beautiful site and over the years has been developed to the point that two sets of missionaries have been called to staff it. They preside over the work parties that come from nearby wards and stakes to cut wood, beat back the blackberry bushes, and build all the amenities that make camping more enjoyable. (In western Washington, that generally means a roof of some kind, and the 30- by 50-foot cabana is the thing that draws us there during the perennially iffy May weather.) -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: Michael Phelps, Worlds Best Swimmer by Steven Christensen
Steve's Sports Break

The Olympics are about half way over now and it has been exciting to watch the best athletes in the world compete with one another. My wife and I have been watching the swimming events every evening all week long having a particular interest in Michael Phelps. Michael has been amazing in every race that we have seen him swim in. He has blown away the competition in every race and received a gold medal for the 5 times that he has raced up to the point I am writing this article. He has 3 races left and if he gets the gold in each of those races he will be the first athlete in Olympics history to get 8 or more Gold medals in a single Olympics. He already has 11 career Gold medals which is an Olympic record for the most gold medals in an athlete’s Olympics career. I didn’t know Phelps very well and thought that maybe I should, where he is the greatest Olympic athlete in history and is from the United States. I did some quick research to find out who he was and share my findings on my blog.

According to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia: -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On the Newsstands August 14, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: Pageantry, Custom and Art by Gaynell Parker

The whole world is focused on one location, right now. The Olympic games in Bejing, China. Normally, any attention focused on China would not necessarily be a good thing. Many of us have issues with their communist rule.

However, the Olympics have given them an opportunity to show the world they aren’t so bad, and give them a glimpse of the proud past they have known.

The opening ceremonies were a mixture of modern technology with ancient culture and arts. It was amazing watching a painting being created from people doing modern dance. Many of the costumes being worn by the participants were gorgeous and an art form in and of themselves. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: Good Boy by Linda Scanlan

It's My Dog Skip meets E.T., 19 October 2003
Author: mack3175 from Metairie, Louisiana

"This is a very entertaining lighthearted film, it's for anybody who has a pet. 12 year old Owen Baker(Liam Aiken) is a very lonely boy, who's best friends so far seem to be the neighbors dogs he walks everyday. Owen really wants one of his own. One day his parents take him to the pound to get one. He finds a cute dog and names him Hubble. But Owen slowly discovers, this is no ordinary dog. Who just happens to be a very intelligent dog from outer space. A pure delight for the whole family. Matthew Broderick is also good as the voice of Hubble. It's funny and delightful. Please don't quit making movies like this." -- Read More

Books: Booklover's Cookbook by Alison Palmer

I was excited to see this fun cookbook become available in a paperback version. Though hardbound is more durable, I could only wistfully check it out of the library from time to time rather than afford the hardbound price. When I discovered the release of the less expensive version it was in my hand very quickly.

Have you ever wanted to curl up in a comfortable chair and read a cookbook from beginning to end? Well, this is one time you definitely will want to. Really, I’m not that weird. The Book Lover’s Cookbook by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen is a little different than reading that red and white checked cookbook you got at your bridal shower and think you can’t get rid of. Take a plate of your favorite reading munchies, get comfortable and get ready to be inspired. -- Read More

Clothing & More: Expert Advice by Nichole Giles

Earlier this week, I received an email from one of my favorite cousins who was begging for expert advice. Just to clarify, she wasn’t declaring me an expert. The following email went out to her entire email list:

Hey everyone, I need some expert advice!! Its [my husband’s] 20th high school reunion this Friday, and we're going with [some friends]. Here's the question: what would you wear to this shindig?

Interestingly enough, this past month I’ve given a lot of thought to wardrobe choices and what is appropriate for different situations. Okay, fine, I’ll admit it. I think this way regularly. Here was my response to her: -- Read More

Health & Food: Hair, Skin & Nails - Part 2 by Candace E. Salima

From our last health post we closed with: While my taste buds may love a big, juicy, well-stacked cheeseburger . . . my body doesn’t. Of course, how can I pass up those delicious chocolate covered cherries that come with the holidays? I’d better pass them up if I want to maintain any kind of health. Pizza, burgers, fried chicken, french fries . . . oh yeah, I crave them, I want them . . . but there are better, tastier alternatives. Foods that are low in saturated fats and completely devoid of trans fats. What are saturated fats? What are trans fats? Why are they bad for you?

And now:

Saturated Fats • For centuries, saturated fats, such as coconut oil, have been a healthy part of the traditional diet. Unfortunately, in the last century, the evolution of the expeller-pressed seed-based vegetables has come to fruition. These saturated fats, which must be heavily refined and then hydrogenated in order to become a solid fat, are a major contributor to the multiple diseases of the heart. In turn, when the heart is affected, there is a chain reaction which manifests itself outwardly. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: This or That? Why not both? by Keith Fisher

I taught about Dutch oven cooking to a group of campers in one of our stake parks once, and the discussion turned to aluminum vs. cast iron. I talked about the problems and virtues of each kind and the subject of Alzheimer’s came up. One of the class members raised her hand, she said she worked at a mid-west university, and according to the studies they’d done, there is a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s

Since this was a class on Dutch oven, I tried to get back to the point. I didn’t get the particulars or her references. Before I could change the subject, she told us of a study they did on cadavers. I don’t want to show my ignorance here, but suffice it say, she believed there is a connection. -- Read More

Home & Family: Why Do Some People Hate Themselves? by Muriel Sluyter

With self esteem being the most aggressively touted attribute in modern society, why do we still have so many people who hate themselves? Remember when Madonna published a book filled with pornographic pictures, in which she was the star? A well known psychologist (whom I respect) looked at that book and said that it showed an extreme depth of self-hatred. What makes a famous performer with great talent hate herself, and why would she expose her troubled personality so blatantly?

Where does it start? Are the parents at fault? If so, why do three children in one family like and respect themselves, and one hate and abuse himself? It happens all the time, and everyone knows it. There is usually one child in a family whose character and behavior patterns are more constructive than the rest, and one whose patterns are more destructive. Why? No one knows all the answers to this tough question, but it helps to realize that each of these four children has a distinct personality and behavior patterns. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: Going Tropical in Northern Climates with Bamboo by Heather Justesen

Do you love the feel of the tropics, but live in a northern climate? I love the my old-fashioned cottage garden, but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about adding some different elements in far corners of my back yard. I’d love a bamboo screen between me and the neighbors—not that there’s anything wrong with the neighbors, they’re great people, but it would be nice to go into the back yard in my pajamas to let the chickens out for the day without wondering who was seeing me.

I never thought I could grow anything but those little lucky bamboo plants before, but learned differently last year. Bamboo comes in many varieties—including some that are cold hardy to -20 degrees F. You say you live in zone 4 and get four feet of snow in the winter? No problem! There’s a variety of bamboo for you. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: yourLDSNeighborhood Wins Distribution Rights by C.L. Beck

TA-DA! (Sound of trumpet blowing.)

Normally I do a humorous blog, but occasionally a "once in a lifetime" opportunity comes along and I just have to tell you about it. Okay, maybe this is a "twice in lifetime" opportunity. I'm not sure. But whichever it is, you won't want to miss it.

Here's the press release: wins distribution rights to 2008 Especially for Youth™ music CD; The disc will be available for sale starting August 23; Popular artists include Jessie Clark Funk, Dan Beck and Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band -- Read More

Music: You're Invited to the LDS Musicians Festival by Julie Keyser

To all my Musically inclined Friends, family and associates,

Your friends at LDSMusicians would like to invite you to attend the annual LDS Musicians Festival, sponsored in part by yourLDSNeighborhood.

I'm excited to let you know of a three day music festival coming up August 15-17 in Springville, Utah. I've been helping with the committee for the LDS Musicians festival over the last several months and we're so excited with the entire weekend's programs . . . and it's this next weekend.

Friday night will be a youth dance for ages 18 with DJ Shawn Phillips of FM 100.7 and a fashion show put on by Modest by Design as well as live entertainment. -- Read More

Religious: 54 Hours and Counting by Rebecca Talley

My son will be home from his mission in approximately 54 hours. Wahoo! I am so excited to see him. I’ve tried to not think about it too much so I wouldn’t get too distracted. I can’t believe his two years are up and he’ll soon be a return missionary.

It seems as though it was only a moment ago the doctor first placed him in my arms. I remember looking into his eyes and imagining all sorts of things for him. His life was full of possibilities. One of the things I hoped for him was that he’d serve a mission.

Throughout his childhood we talked about his mission. I tried to teach him the gospel through reading scriptures, saying prayers, attending church, and having Family Home Evenings about the gospel and more specifically about sharing the gospel. -- Read More

Scrapbooks & Crafts: First Day of School Photo Tips by Kim Thompson

I can hardly believe it's the last week before the kids go back to school. I'm always happy when they get out for the summer, but by this time of the year, I'm happy for them to return to school.

Don't forget the fun photo opportunity that the first day back to school creates. I'm going to share some easy tips with you to make your photos the best they can be.

There's only one "first day of school" each year for every child, so taking a photo that accurately captures this historic event is important. For years to come, both parent and child will look back on that "first day of school photo" with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Without a doubt, parents will want to do a great job of recording this important event on film. -- Read More

Services: My Favorite Service by Liz Adair

My guest blogger today is my brother, Ron Shook. He teaches at Utah State University, and it was he who thought up this clever way of covering 'Service' for yourLDSneighborhood. Much as I would have liked to have written it, I let him do the honors.

Dr. Ron Shook writes: Once in a while, everyone should read poetry that’s fun, that’s easy to read and understand, and that kind of rolls off the tongue as you say it (You really need to read poetry out loud). The “great” poetry of the world tends to be heavy, full of meaning that’s hard to extract, and often, depressing as all get out. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: Is a Silver Medal Really Something to Cry About? by Rachelle Christensen

The Olympics are in full swing and I'm enjoying the chance to watch this lively competition!

Swimming has been getting a ton of attention right now and boy, does the U.S. have some winners!

I watched the women’s 4 X 100m freestyle relay swim the other night and it was fantastic. There were so many amazing athletes involved with this swim and they were fast and fabulous. What caught my attention was that the American women’s relay team were not favored to win this competition, but on the last leg the amazing 41 year old, Dara Torres swam like a shark and swam past many to grab the silver medal in this race. But instead of celebrating for winning silver in a race they weren’t expected to win, the women looked disappointed. -- Read More

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