That may sound a little confusing -- and I'm not above causing confusion if it gets you to think about my subject. But I realized something last night when I was up at 1 in the morning writing a letter to my son.
Letter writing is becoming a lost art.
How many people write letters on an average day? Not many. Now it's mainly email and texting. While some would argue that this in itself is still letter writing, per se, I have to say it is not. -- Read More
Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "True Stories II" by Linda Scanlan
In a world of uncertainty we need to be able to see clearly what we are fighting for and against. We need to know that there are still real heroes for us to believe in. After September 11th, terrorism lives as a constant threat now in the American heart. Two movies, based on American Heroes are my pick for this weeks true stories.
"World Trade Center" is an epic movie about two Port Authority policemen who were trapped in the rubble of the Twin Towers when they fell and their families. America watched in stunned silence as CNN replayed the events of September 11th, 2001 over and over again. I was in a rehab facility after surviving a head on collision three hours away from my family, as I watched the news that morning. Fear gripped my heart as I wondered where the next target would be. My complete inability to care and protect my family was the core of my fear. -- Read More
Books: "Room for Two by Abel Keogh" by Alison Palmer
I have to be honest with you. Room for Two is a book I was almost unable to review. It’s not that the writing was bad, or that the storyline stunk; no, Room for Two is very well written and the story is exceptionally compelling. It is definitely one that needs to be shared. But, this true story can also be very emotionally taxing. Abel Keogh makes no apologies (nor should he have to) for very vividly and very accurately describing the events surrounding his wife’s death by her own hand.
Clothes & More: "Peridot: The Birthstone of Nature" by Nichole Giles
In keeping with Rachelle Christensen’s excellent idea, I figure it’s about time I write about Peridot, the August birthstone. I have to say, all the research I’ve been doing into jewelry, the history behind it, and the sources of stones and metals is so fascinating for me. I wouldn’t have thought writing about it could make me love these things more, but…well, I just can’t help it.
Peridot is formed in and around the Earth’s mantle, and is created from a mineral called Olivine, as a result of volcanic activity. When Hawaiian natives first discovered Peridot crystals in the black sands of the islands, they assumed the beautiful yellow-green stones were tears shed by Pele, the volcano goddess. With it’s earthy color, and the origins of it’s creation, it’s no wonder August’s birthstone has been used as a means to connect with nature. -- Read More
Health & Food:Health: "Hair, Skin & Nails, Part 1" by Candace E. Salima
So you want to have hair like a movie star? Skin, smooth and silky, reminiscent of the first flush of youth or maybe you crave those long beautiful fingernails that seem to adorn the hands of every successful woman. Okay, let’s face facts. Movie star hair is only that on the screen. Even the movie stars go for a ponytail more often than not and call it good. Eyes can be enhanced with makeup. And we all know we suffer the tortures of the damned in nail salons attaining those perfect nails. But all this is merely glossing over a core problem we in this nation face. Poor health.
Your hair, skin and nails are the body’s barometer for your health. Any physician worth his or her salt can instantly tell the overall health of a patient with one look. The specifics take a little longer. But if you’re low in iron, specific B vitamins as well as about every other vitamin in the lot, if you’re on a lot of medications or fighting illness, stress, exhaustion . . . hey, let’s face it . . . if you’re breathing, you’re screaming along the highway of life looking for the nearest exit. This all shows in your hair, skin and nails. -- Read More
Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "The Summer Kitchen" by Keith Fisher
In the nineteenth century, when all cooking was done in a fireplace or on a cast iron stove, many houses were equipped with what was called a summer kitchen. Simply put, it was a place to cook away from the main parts of the house.
During the winter, the family gathered near the kitchen fire for heat and socialization. During the summer that same heat was to be avoided. Hence the need for a cooking place apart from where the family lived.
In our day we have air conditioning, kitchen ranges, and microwaves that cool down almost immediately after being turned off. We use the space in our yard, for storage of our toys and tools. The need of a summer kitchen has passed, or has it? -- Read More
Home & Family: "How Heavy is too Heavy?" by Muriel Sluyter
Some people harbor, within themselves, a crippling sadness, because they are convinced that their mother or father did not love them. They may be correct, at least to some extent. There are many degrees of love, and the love of parent for child should to be of the highest caliber; sometimes it isn't. Some have even known, or at least thought, that their parent loved a sibling more than they.
These are realities, unpleasant, but, nonetheless, realities. Let us assume that you suffer from the conviction, or worse, the knowledge that you were loved less than you should have been. It accomplishes little to hide from it, so if it's real, let's face it and accept it for what it is, a reality. -- Read More
Home & Family/Preparedness: "When it's Hot! It's Hot!" by Barbara Salsbury
When it’s hot, it’s HOT. Without power it can be beyond miserable!
Okay, so what does being hot have to do with preparedness? Nothing if you live north of Alaska. But just in case there are a few problems accompanying the “hot,” let’s talk for a minute or two.
Heat can be as dangerous as cold when it comes to extremes. If you have an infant, someone who is confined to bed or a wheel chair or someone who is elderly and not able to get around or care for themselves, extreme heat can be deadly. Or if you are like me and become dysfunctional and wilt when it gets above 75°, heat can be a problem!
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can turn an uncomfortable situation into a disaster. -- Read More
LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Basil Takes Sting Away" by Heather Justesen
Basil is one of my favorite herbs of all time. Have you ever been to a really good Italian restaurant where they use fresh basil? Magnifico! If you want the name of a fabulous Italian restaurant in
Basil adopts other exotic flavors such as lemon, lime and cinnamon. Some varieties are large leaved, while others have very tiny leaves, some are great for vinaigrettes and others are better for gourmet pizzas.
Basil loves full sun, and some varieties are commonly used in landscaping for their compact shapes, or low-growing habits. This versatile plant can be found all over the world from Europe, to the Middle East, from South American to
LDS Outlets/Humor: "Definitely NOT the Colonel's Chicken" by C.L. Beck
Lately I’ve related two anecdotes from my exceptionally brilliant career as a chicken farmer. If you missed out and would like to read them, you'll find them at Not the Colonel's Chicken and Not the Colonel's Chicken, Part II.
It was during that hen-filled stint that some bright person gave the suggestion we should also raise pigs. The idea was so enticing that I talked my husband, Russ, into trying it.
Russ grinned mischievously. “How about naming them Pork-Chop, Ham-Hock, and Bacon?” -- Read More
Music: "Sam Payne: Father to Son" by Julie Keyser
The 1970’s was probably the best all around era for the singer/songwriter and out of that came some amazing greats. Like Don McLean , Jim Croche, David Gates of Bread, Carly Simon , and the list just goes on and on. The gift each of these amazing artists shared was not just their voices, but their lyrical artistry, some of the best the 20th Century produced.
Out of this same era of music sprang another great, but lesser known singer/songwriter named Marvin Payne and from him was born, what I truly believe to be, the greatest poetic lyricist of the 21st century thus far…Sam Payne! -- Read More
New Neighbors: "San Diego was Stupendous!" by Cheri Crane
A few years ago, we had a chance to travel to San Diego, California. That trip is still a family favorite---even if I suffered a bit of a glitch just before we left. Since that's an interesting story in and of itself, I thought I would share it with you today. =)
We had been planning this trip for several weeks. Our sons were thrilled with the idea of exploring Sea World. As was mentioned in a previous blog, I love the ocean and I was excited to see it for what would be the second time in my life. We also thought since we were that close, it would be great to see Tijuana, Mexico, which is just across the border from San Diego.
As we continued to make plans, we decided to invite my mother. She had never seen the ocean and she had always wanted to fly, so we made additional plans to include her in this adventure. -- Read More
Religious: "Repentance" by Rebecca Talley
The second principle of the gospel, according to the 4th Article of Faith, is repentance.
Why is repentance so important?
We all make mistakes and commit sins. If we do not repent of these, we will not be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father because no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God. We must all repent, each and every day. Spencer W. Kimball said, “There is never a day in any man’s life when repentance is not essential to his well-being and eternal progress.”
We may think that unless we commit a serious sin, we do not need repentance. Not true. Most of us will never murder someone, rob a bank, or perjure ourselves in court. Yet, as President Kimball said, we all need to repent. -- Read More
Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Handwriting Hints" by Kim Thompson
I've mentioned including your own handwriting on your scrapbook pages in a couple of recent blogs, so I thought I'd discuss it in more detail.
Scrapbooking has definitely joined the digital age. You can complete an entire page on the computer. Even those people who don't scrap digitally yet, often use the computer to create page titles and journaling blocks for their layouts. Handwriting on a page may not look as neat as a computer font, but it is more personal and meaningful to your family.
Why do we hesitate to use our own handwriting in our albums? I think there are a few reasons. First of all, lots of us just plain old don't like our handwriting. We might think that it's too messy to be read by others. But stop and think for a moment of a handwritten birthday card you've received, or grandma's recipes, scribbled in her own handwriting. These items leave a legacy for those you love. -- Read More
Services: "StoryCorps Service to America" by Liz Adair
Today I thought I'd blog about the Service that StoryCorps is doing to capture the oral histories of everyday Americans and preserve them for posterity.
I’ve been listening to StoryCorps stories since they began broadcasting in 2003, not because I was a StoryCorps junkie, but because it was on the particular station I was listening to on the way to work.
However, I am a family history nut. (I even have two blogs dedicated family history--one for family and one for a wider audience.) That’s why StoryCorps moves me every time I hear the weekly segment on NPR. -- Read More
Sports & Recreation: " A Good Movie" by Rachelle Christensen
Yep, it’s still summer and this 100 degree heat makes the air conditioned darkness of a movie theater very inviting.
My husband and I enjoy going to movies for a little date night once in a while. Of course, these days you have to be choos-y but I still think there are some great films available. Lots of us love going to the movies for the cool temperature of the theater and of course, the treats.
I enjoy being treated to the hot, buttery heart-attack popcorn you can only get in movie theaters and my husband loves frozen Junior Mints. It’s not really a movie experience without the treats, right? -- Read More
Return to the Neighborhood.