Arts & Entertainment: "Code is Beautiful" by Gaynell Parker
My hubby has been studying computer stuff regarding HTML and XML. I thought he was learning Greek... I took a website design class when I was working in Salt Lake, and it was fascinating, but still not very clear. I got how to use the software, but wasn't entirely sure what to do with it.
Now I've been trying to update my blog, I like a fresh face once in a while. Especially since I started a new one relating to food -- I wanted a template that pictured food. All I could find was pizza and chocolate. Now, while I like pizza -- if that template had been around 5 years ago I would have been thrilled -- and love chocolate in moderation (can you tell I'm not young anymore?), I didn't like the look of either of them. I also wanted to get a different look for this blog, thinking it was time for something less "in your face"...grin. That hasn't been working either. -- Read More
Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "True Stories" by Linda Scanlan
Watching a movie based on a true account gives the viewer a sense of wonder. Maybe things aren't as bad as the viewer thought. Maybe, just maybe, the viewers dreams can come true also. Life can turn around and give them a second chance.
Will Smith stars in "The Pursuit of Happyness". After his girlfriend leaves him to raise their son (Will's own son Jaden Smith), Chris Gardner must find a way to successfully succeed. Chris happens across a man who is driving a nice car and asks what his profession is. The man replies "A stockbroker". -- Read More
Books: "The Journey by J. Adams" by Alison Palmer
Wow. That is the only word I can use to describe my initial impression of J. Adams' (Jewel Adams) latest title The Journey. Never before have I read a more beautiful and poetic description of something so, well, disturbing.
I had just a few moments to read before boarding an airplane. I quickly glanced at the prologue, noting that is was a short two pages: just right for sneaking in before having to begin the rush and bustle of reality once more. That's when I noted the words on the page and my jaw drop in amazement. I could tell I was in for an exciting journey of my own. -- Read More
Clothing & More: "Family Heirlooms" by Nichole Giles
The other night—while flipping through TV channels at 2:00 am—I happened to catch a few minutes of the “Antiques Road Show.” I stopped on the segment because as I flipped through, they showed a picture of this enormous antique ring and I wanted to know how old it was and if it was a real diamond. My first thought was, “Whoa, that’s the biggest diamond I’ve ever seen outside a jewelry store window.”
Actually, that’s not true. I’ve seen them on the fingers of the rich and famous via TV and gossip magazines, but this one belonged to a lady who’d inherited it from her grandmother, who’d also inherited it from her grandmother, and it was gorgeous. It had a large, clear center stone, surrounded by smaller round stones, all of which were set in silver. -- Read More
Health & Food: "Recipe: Mama Micki's Chili" by Candace E. Salima
One of my favorite dinners when I was little was Mom's homemade chili beans and flapjacks (or frybread as others like to call it.)
I swear, the very best way to eat this chili is up in the mountains, a cool fall evening and the scent of pine trees in the air.
This is the most delicious chili in the world. I kid you not!
So if you live in the city, get a pine scented candle, mix up some killer chili beans and treat your family to a little bit of my childhood memories.
Each of my mother's children has taken this recipe and carried the tradition onward, as my mother did with the recipe from her mother.
Soak 4½ pounds of Pinto Beans in water, overnight.
Rinse beans and fill pan with water again.
Put in on the stove on low to medium and let it cook until beans are tender. (This will take two or three hours, depending.) Once the beans are tender, add ingredients and seasonings as follows: -- Read More
Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "A Contradiction" by Keith Fisher
Have you ever seen someone turn down good food because they were afraid to eat it? Their fears are grounded in the belief that anything that tastes good must be bad for their figure. In their minds Dutch oven cooking has a bad rap.
In the early nineteen nineties I fell in line with the low-fat, no sugar, no salt craze. It felt good to eat healthy food, but it didn’t do me any good unless I followed a stringent course of exercise—something to get my pulse up.
It worked. The pounds dropped off, and I was able to buy clothes off the rack at Walmart for the first time in my life. Then I injured my shoulder and found I couldn’t use my bicycle. It hurt to use my stationary bike as well. Rather than resort to walking, I got lazy. Soon my eating habits returned to what they were before the program, and I started to gain weight. -- Read More
Home & Family: "Depraved or Deprived?" by Muriel Sluyter
Do humans become deprived because they are depraved, or do they succumb to depravity because they are deprived? This dichotomy has plagued mankind for thousands of years! This is no philosophical argument posed for the entertainment of debating teams. It is, rather, the basis for the opposing philosophies of the two primary political parties of this nation.
The one party, convinced that poverty is the basis for depravity, gears up to provide housing, food stamps, medical care and most other human needs in an attempt to stop crime, illegitimacy, drug use, alcoholism and every other form of depravity. It is unfortunate that, in the attempt to deal with social problems in this manner, the individual is absolved of all responsibility for his or her actions, and society and the predominant culture are instead declared to be the cause of all anti-social behavior. Many a court case is being won on that premise alone. Common sense and experience argue that the outcome of such thinking can be predicted with pinpoint accuracy. -- Read More
Home & Family/Preparedness: "Summer Checklist" by Barbara Salsbury
Here we go again. Barbara is about to burst another bubble. I don’t know how to break this gently for you, but summer is NOT just for fun and games, or vacations, or full of lazy-hazy days. Sorry.
Summer is a time for:
Putting Security in a Box
Getting Ready for the Rainy Day
Being Brainwashed by Barbara.
OK, I’ll give you part of summer. The other part of summer needs a Summer Checklist. Now is the time to start developing the “Squirrel Syndrome.” Now is the time to prepare for cold, winter, storms, miserable cold wet rain, and different kinds of storms. (You choose.) Knowing that winter and all of the above are coming, now is the time to put the verb “prepare” into high gear. I’m not the rocket scientist telling you the theory is that preparation usually happens prior to the event! I’m sure it is now more than a theory. -- Read More
LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Brightening Things Up for Less" by Heather Justesen
Summer heat has been pounding down on us for months now and the school season is drawing near. Garden centers are starting to feel the heat as well. As the summer hurries by, most places that sell plants have begun slashing prices.
Now is the time to pick up a few begonias to brighten a spot in your kitchen, or an additional rose bush to fill that hole in the yard. Every year I have some annuals that fail to thrive, though they may be inches away from another plant that just won't stop. The deals are growing daily, but there are a few things to watch out for while shopping for a great price. -- Read More
LDS Outlets/Humor: "Not the Colonel's Chicken, Part II" by C.L. Beck
Not long ago, I related an anecdote from my exceptionally short career as a chicken farmer. If you missed it, visit "Not the Colonel's Chicken" in the archives for this site.
For those who’ve already read it, you’ll remember I had the brilliant idea to feed our flock of chickens left-over, cooked oatmeal. Waste not; want not—that’s my motto. The hens pecked at the glop, which collected into sticky wads that enlarged as the birds tried to clean their beaks in the dirt. From that experience, I learned poultry have the IQ of a grasshopper—which coincidentally, is how the next event occurred. -- Read More
New Neighbors: "The Tradition of Girls Camp or Why the YW Leaders Turn Gray" by Cheri Crane
Ah, the bliss of girls' camp. I suppose I'm pondering this subject because next week our ward will be participating in the annual stake girls' camp adventure. I've lost count of how many years I've attended girls' camp. It began when I was the ripe age of 12. I was a naive Beehive who sponged for things like the ever popular snipe hunt. I won't reveal how long I sat under a tree waiting for the infamous snipes to make an appearance that night, but long enough to gain an appreciation for this fine endeavor.
Girls' camp was a magical time. Leaders let their hair down---literally. Some of them looked quite interesting by the time camp was over. Actually we all did. It was part of the fun. Along the way, we girls learned the importance of tying knots, not getting lost during hikes, cooking over a fire, how to live without makeup or curling irons, and how to light a fire without matches. Always there were fun crafts, hilarious skits, and spiritual boosts like testimony meetings around a campfire. -- Read More
Religious: "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" by Rebecca Talley
The 4th Article of Faith states, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The most basic, fundamental belief we have is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is what motivates us to do what we do. Faith is what changes us and transforms us.
When I was a young girl, I did not have religion in my life, Yet, I had this simple faith that God was real and he heard my prayers. After my mother died, I used to plead in my prayers that my grandparents would live for a long time so I wouldn’t be left again. Both of my grandparents lived to their mid-late eighties and died long after I was married with my own family. I remember just feeling that if I prayed about something Heavenly Father would hear me. -- Read More
Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Album Size Type" by Kim Thompson
Scrapbooking albums come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one specific album size that is "best" to use, but here are some tips on the various sizes and types available:
Paper is readily available in the 12x12 size. It's a good size to fit pictures and other memorabilia on the pages without too much crowding. You can also buy ready-to-make pages kits in the 12x12 size.
If you want a smaller size book, there are many available such as 8x8 and 6x6 albums. These sizes are great for children to start with because the pages are small and easy to fill. The 8 1/2 x 11 size is becoming almost obsolete. The industry is steering away from it and going to the square sizes instead. -- Read More
Services: "My Most Successful Service Project" by Liz Adair
I read in the newspaper this morning about a scout who, for his Eagle Project, did some maintenance and restoration work at a little-used cemetery out in the county where the hamlet it used to serve has disappeared. Reading the article, I was reminded of the most successful youth service project of my tenure as YW President.
During that tenure, while presiding over several monumental failures, I discovered that a successful youth service project needs three key elements addressed:
1. Every youth needs a clear assignment
2. Every youth needs the tool that will make him effective in that assignment.
3. Every youth needs a supervisor who can guide, cheerlead, and, if necessary, give additional tasks to keep youth meaningfully occupied. -- Read More
Sports & Recreation: "2008 Summer Olympics" by Steve Christensen
The World Summer Olympics will be starting on August 8th this year which is next week. I can’t believe another 4 years have gone by. As you grow older the years start to really go by quickly. When the next Summer Olympics take place, it will be 2012. I will be approaching the “hill” as I will be turning 38 years old. All of my kids will be in grade school, and hopefully our country has pulled itself out of the economic “rut” we are currently in.
Anyway, back to the Olympics…
This year’s Olympics will be in Beijing, China. It should be a great event to watch. I have always enjoyed watching the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics. It signifies the opening of 16 days of the world’s top athletes competing to gain the title of the best in the world at that particular sport. It is fun to watch the athletes from the United States and other countries walk into the stadium of the opening ceremonies and see the excitement on their faces. -- Read More
Return to the Neighborhood.