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