Friday, September 12, 2008

On the Newsstands September 11, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "The Art of Giftwrap"

by Gaynell Parker on Musings from an LDS Writing Mom

I attended a wedding shower over the weekend, and it was full of women, friendly chatter, yummy food and opening presents. I guess the whole games thing has gone by the way, which is okay by me -- we had enough fun just chatting. But what was fun were the presents! One of them, made up by my sister, was a large wok full of fun kitchen utensils. Only, instead of wrapping the whole thing up in paper, she took two different colors of tissue and stuck them in between the different things so it looked like a crazy pot of color. It was great.

Many people I know feel that gifts are a waste of time. Or at least gift wrapping is -- but I love the look of a wrapped present. There's nothing more delightful to me than to see a stack of gorgeous wrapping and the creativity that people come up with. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Glenn Close"

by Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart on I Knew I Could Fly

My last entry spoke of good-hearted, wholesome dramas including "Sarah Plain and Tall" starring Glenn Close. Today I would like to look at the actress a little closer and share some of her diverse talents.

Though born in the states, most of Glenn's education was received overseas. "As a high school student at Greenwich's Rosemary Hall, the actress organized a touring rep-theater group and performed a number of folk-singing gigs." (Source)

Her career was jump-started when George Roy Hill spotted her performing on stage and asked her to audition for Garp's mother in the movie "The World According to Garp", which premiered in 1982. -- Read More

Books: "Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom"
by Alison Palmer on Tangled Words and Dreams

I just made a new friend. Well, okay, I’ve never really met him, nor will I be able to anytime soon. I value his friendship just the same. Morrie is the kind of best friend everyone should have. Yep. I finally got around to spending my Tuesdays with Morrie.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom was a national best-seller several years ago, but like most things popular in the national market, I eyed it with suspicion and stuck to my already lengthy list of books to read. I’m sure if I would have paid closer attention to what the “critics” were saying about Tuesdays with Morrie, I might have actually read it then; but, I’ve tried a few of those so called inspiring titles and found many of their messages significantly lacking in inspiration or even good writing in some cases. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "Necessary Accessories"

by Nichole Giles on Nichole's Fairy Squeaks

Whether or not you are a jewelry wearer, you probably wear accessories daily—without more than a split-second thought. If you’ve been reading my blogs from the beginning, you already know that the jewelry umbrella covers a lot more than rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

For instance, the wallet or purse you carry is an accessory. As is your cell phone. Yes, I did say cell phone. Haven’t you noticed they come in a countless array of colors and styles—and can be accessorized according to personal taste? Hats—even when doing yard work—qualify, as do nail polish and glasses.

Whether you choose these things for their color or style, or simply for the practical functions they offer, owning one or several of these types of things is a regular part of living in modern society. Face it, we become dependent on…stuff. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Blogger in Arizona Needs Help"

by Candace E. Salima on Dream a little dream...

In lieu of my usual Health & Food column this week, I am posting this about the Nielson family of Arizona instead. Please, read through and find it in your hearts to keep them in your prayers and, if possible, help them with their medical bills.

I first learned of Stephanie Nielson's plight when I read a New York Times article, which I have included in its entirety here:

After Blogger's Plane Crash, Virtual Becomes Personal
Published: September 6, 2008

WHEN a small private plane carrying Stephanie Nielson, a young mother who lives in Mesa, Ariz., crashed in eastern Arizona three weeks ago, Katja Muggli, a graphic designer in Munich, said she felt as if there had been a tragedy in her own family — and in a virtual way, there had been.

Her husband, Christian, was also injured.

Ms. Muggli, 34, has never met Ms. Nielson. But as a blogger and single mother, she was an avid follower of Ms. Nielson’s blog, the NieNie Dialogues. The site, a diary of home life that she started in 2005 for close friends and family, had attracted a small but ardent following, thanks to its upbeat dispatches about marriage, home d├ęcor, entertaining and the art of raising four children ages 6 and younger. To her admirers, she was Supermom. -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Make it from Scratch"
by Keith Fisher on The Camp Cook in the Backyard

Everywhere I go, people ask me where I get my recipes. I always give them a blank stare and tell them, "In my head." Judging by the looks I get, some of them think I’m being curt and don’t wish to give out my secrets.

It’s true, I’m planning to publish a cookbook, but it’s also true that I cook by feel, it does come from my head. I once had a person watching me, writing down what I do and what I add to a recipe, and when I finished, I couldn’t believe I’d done what the instructions said I did.

I call it, by the seat of your pants cooking, and everyone does it. Many cooks tweak a recipe, they add something they think will make the recipe better. It usually works, because as eaters we know what we like, and we trust our taste buds. -- Read More

Home & Family:

Home & Family/Preparedness: "What Will Your Stash Be?"
by Barbara Salsbury on Three P's in a Pod

In today’s blog I want to present a practical part of preparedness. Having been through many different kinds of disasters, including being without employment or a paycheck for over eighteen months,I have a different perspective than many on what is needed to really be prepared. But prepared for what?

For hard times and down times it is extremely important that you are able to have comforting things, and that includes comforting things to eat. (This is above and beyond – or perhaps before - the requisite “preparedness supplies.”) -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscape: "Drawing Butterflies to your Yard"
by Heather Justesen on Heather Justesen

I have several more blogs to write on the ins and outs of pond building, but decided to take a break today to discuss another favorite plant from my yard. The butterfly bush puts out a great show of blooms with some blooming from early spring to mid summer and others from mid summer to mid fall. The blooms are anywhere from white, to pink, blue to purple and there is even a variety that produces white, pink and purple all on the same bush. The flower spikes draw butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your yard as well. Also known as summer lilac, this plant is a native of China, but was first brought to England in the 1700s.

Hardy from zones 5 to 10, this plant is suitable for xeriscape, and does well in full sun to part shade. No parts of the plant are known to be poisonous. The flowers are fragrant and add great color to a corner or back of a border. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Humor: "Metafores and Asimiles"
by C.L. Beck on Write Up My Alley

I’m sure I’ve never met a fore or a simile that I didn’t like. That is, if I could remember what a metaphor or a simile is. There’s a composition and grammar book sitting on my desk that I refer to constantly, but when I went to look those terms up, my glasses had gone into hiding and the words looked like little ants. However, my less than 20-20 vision did tell me I could learn about meta-sores and similax in the book. (This might also explain why my biscuits are as heavy as bricks and just as tasty when I follow a recipe without wearing my glasses,)

Eventually the glasses turned up in the laundry basket and after putting them on, I immediately started on matters of high priority. I opened my email and found the joke of the day from the "Good, Clean Funnies List." That's when I discovered I'm not the only one who can't tell a metaphor from a semaphore from Connect Four. -- Read More

Music: "Jennifer Griffiths, Inspiring Others with a Song and a Prayer"
by Julie Keyser on yourMusicNotes

Just the other day I received this invitation from my good friend Jen Griffiths via e-mail:
"I share my music with people online again, but with a little different approach than I did last time. So, Jen Griffiths Music is officially online! My site has a free weekly 5-10 minute podcast called "A Song and A Prayer." Each podcast has an inspirational message followed by an original song. Let me know what you think!"
So...I checked it out, like any good friend would, not realizing what a difference it would make in my life by just listening for a few minutes. But before I go into what a difference it made for me that day let me get you caught up on Jen Griffiths the person, the singer/songwriter extraordinaire...the friend. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "September Morn"
by Cheri Crane on Crane-ium

My husband is a huge Neil Diamond fan. One year for his birthday, I managed to procure tickets to a Neil Diamond concert in Salt Lake City. He loved it and it was a lot of fun. That said, for some reason, the music to September Morn is going around in my head this morning. Here is my version of the lyrics:

September morn what is it that you truly do intend?
Pretending to be nice you are no friend
You arrive and summer's at an end,
September morn, you came and froze my garden yet again.

Don't get me wrong, I do look forward to fall, it's just that this summer has sped by so fast, I'm not ready for cooler temps, and I'm a bit miffed about the sorry state of my garden affairs. We work hard to grow gardens here in the heart of Bear Lake County. Spring usually arrives about the middle of June. We can expect a frost or two just about the time our gardens come up. -- Read More

Religious: "Free to Worship"
by Rebecca Talley on Rebecca Talley Writes

“We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may” (11th Article of Faith).

We believe that the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as instituted by the Savior himself during his mortal lifetime, has been restored to the world. We believe that Joseph Smith did, in fact, see God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ in answer to his sincere prayer to find God’s Church on earth. We further believe that Joseph Smith translated gold plates into the Book of Mormon. We believe that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, and that a man will become closer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book, including the Bible. We do believe in and support the Bible, but also believe some portions have been mistranslated. The Book of Mormon serves as another testament of Jesus Christ. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Back-to-Basics"
by Kim Thompson on Scribbled Scraps

I thought occasionally I'd blog about some scrapbooking basics. Lots of you are experienced scrappers, but I know there are a few beginners out there as well. Hopefully even the experienced scrappers can glean something from the information I share. And as always, I'm open to any suggestions, tips, or techniques you've picked up and would like to share.

Trimming your photographs is one of the first things that most scrapbookers are taught. At first, it seems difficult to do. Cut my pictures? You've got to be kidding. But, we do this for several reasons. The first of which is that allows you to fit more pictures on the page. It can also create a focal point for your page and removes distracting or unnecessary background images. -- Read More

Services: "Hospitality at the Olympics, Part 2"
by Liz Adair on Liz Sez

This is the second of three articles written by Whitney, who worked in the hospitality sector at the Beijing Olympics. Click here to read her first report.

The photo is of one of the amenities at the Ritz Carlton: little tartlets with chocolate coins on top with the symbols for some of the Olympic sports

Whitney writes about her job:

A typical day for me started out around 7a.m. when I would walk around the hospitality suites at The Ritz-Carlton Financial Street and check to make sure that the food was hot, the staff prepared, and there weren’t any fires to put out from the night before. I would then meet with the Front Desk to go over arrivals for the following day to ensure that their system matched my company’s system, so each guest arriving had a room prepared and ready for them. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "My Favorite Form of Recreation"
by Rachelle Christensen on Rachelle's Writing Spot

I love reading! I know that reading might not be the first thought to pop in your head when you think about recreation, but it truly is one of my favorite things to do. I love to curl up with a book and devour it from cover to cover.

I have always loved reading and I think it’ because my mom read to me so much growing up. She also paid for a library card since we weren’t in the city limits and drove us into town to check out books. We filled an old blue milk crate with hundreds of books over the years and I never grew tired of reading. She let us participate in the summer reading program at the library and was always involved in the reading programs at school too. -- Read More

Return to the Neighborhood.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

On the Newsstands September 4, 2008

Arts & Entertainment: "The Art of Minerva Teichert"

by Gaynell Parker on Musings from an LDS Writing Mom

In going through my Ensign for last month, I came across a section with paintings about the Book of Mormon done by Minerva Teichert. I have seen her artwork before, but for some reason it stood out to me and I thought it worth mentioning today.

Her work has a certain look that makes it stand out from others. It makes me think of a more ancient design...almost as if this is a work that has been uncovered in an archeological site in the moods that she brings across.'s rich and unique in it's own way. -- Read More

Arts & Entertainment/Movies: "Osmonds"

Linda Scanlan a.k.a. L.S. Keilbart on I Knew I Could Fly

Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie, and Jimmy Osmond make up the group known as "The Osmonds". They have performed for over 50 years. They recently finished a 50 year, sold out, world wide tour. Many people know of their accomplishments as musicians, but other than die hard Osmond fans, many people may not know of their many screen appearances, whether on their own show or on talk shows. They Osmonds have movie credits under their belts too.

Donny Osmond is currently known for his role in "College Road Trip". The Osmonds however are versatile in their talents. They have appeared not only on screen but on Broadway. Recently, Merrill starred in the "Civil War" musical production in Salt Lake (Spring of 2008). I was lucky enough to get tickets. The production was fabulous. It was made more special because Merrill was in a lead role. -- Read More

Books: "Teen Books That I Love"

by Alison Palmer on Tangled Words and Dreams

I am an avid children and YA reader when it comes to the national market. I will very rarely venture into the adult fiction section because I know that I can’t trust 95% of what’s over there not to cause my eyeballs to burn right out of their sockets. In contrast, I can trust about 50% of the stuff I pull from the kid and teen sections of the library. It used to be a lot higher than that but the teen stuff has really gone downhill in recent years.

For me, walking into the childrens and teen sections of a library or bookstore is a truly drool worthy exercise in euphoria. Some day I’m going to devise the ultimate scheme which will let me park myself in front of those shelves and never move again.

Ok, I could figure out a way to buy them or check them out, but then I’d have to lug them home. I’m running out of room for books as it is. -- Read More

Clothing & More: "Sapphires for September"

by Nichole Giles on Fairy Squeaks

Besides being the September birthstone, the sapphire is also the gem designated for the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversary, and a star sapphire is typically given on the 65th wedding anniversary.

In July, I mentioned that rubies and sapphires are both made from the mineral corundum. Red stones created from corundum are considered rubies. All other colors of stone created from this mineral—including pink, orange, white, black, golden, and especially blue—is considered a sapphire. You lucky September babies have lots of color choices, though the traditional September stone is a deep, ocean blue.

The name sapphire comes from either the ancient Persian word “safir”, meaning “beloved of Saturn,” or from the Greek word “sapphirus,” meaning blue. (No one can ever agree where the names for these things come from apparently.) An interesting sidenote: these stones are especially popular in England. Lots of sapphires can be found among the British Crown Jewels, including in the engagement ring given to the late Princess Dianna when she agreed to marry Prince Charles. -- Read More

Health & Food: "Millie's Yellow Cake"

by Candace E. Salima on Dream a little dream...

One of the greatest things about growing up in my childhood home was my mother's Millie's Yellow Cake.

From my earliest memory, Mom used to mix together the ingredients for Millie's Yellow Cake and cook 90% of it. The rest, she'd put on the table, give each of us a spoon and we'd dig in. I picked up some valuable, as far as cooking, from that lifetime of digging into that amazing batter. If the batter tastes good the cake will taste good. It's always worked for me. Millie's Yellow Cake IS THE BEST!

So I'm so happy to share with you today the recipe for my mother's (who is not Millie, and I have no idea who Millie actually is) yellow cake. Best served and eaten sans frosting. Frosting can be put on it, but the taste alone, eaten just as shown above, is the most wonderful thing! -- Read More

Health & Food/Dutch Oven: "Update"

by Keith Fisher on The Camp Cook in Your Backyard

Well, its time for the big announcement, how many Jelly beans were there anyway? You will remember two weeks ago when I started a guess how many, contest? I am pleased by the number of responses it received, so pleased, in fact, that I think I’m sold on the idea. Check back often to see the new contests and send me an email if you have any ideas.

I discovered to my shame, however, that I had my comments feature limited to Blogger members only, so some of you weren’t able to participate. For this oversight I am sorry. I have reset my settings and it won’t happen again. You can always reach me at bloghole57(at)yahoo(dot)com please feel free to send me an email but please don’t send spam.

Now, I know you are waiting with baited breath, so to speak, but I want to talk about something else and drag out your apprehension. -- Read More

Home & Family: What Price Freedom?

by Muriel Sluyter on Rocky Mountain Straight Talk

When our ancestors came to this continent from the old world, whether from one country or another, most of them came seeking freedom. There were those who came for riches, but most of the hard-working, laboring class came for freedom of one sort or another.

In all the countries of the old world, the class system was firmly entrenched. You didn’t move from class to class. Even if you were a lazy slug, your countrymen treated you according to your class, meaning men of honor and good character bowed down to the most worthless of the upperclass.

When our ancestors came here, they brought that system with them. But in this land there was a difference: the continent was huge, and a courageous, hard-worker could go elsewhere if he wanted. He didn’t have to submit to servitude. Even if he had come as a bond servant, meaning he would serve the man who paid his passage to this country, that was for a finite period of time. When he had paid for his passage with a period of servitude, he became a free man. -- Read More

Home & Family/Preparedness: "Have You Ever Seen a Spiritual Zuchinni

by Barbara Salsbury on Three P's in a Pod

It’s that time of year when people start to realize that some might consider zucchini a weed. Or else reality sinks in and you have forgotten that last year you made a solemn oath that you would not plant a row of six squash plants this year. But you did it again because they are so cute when they are small. I’ve mentioned before that some of you may have heard that there are people who put zucchini on porches in the middle of the night and run. But of course that is only rumor.

Today I would like to change your thinking about abundant zucchini and its willingness to provide so much for so little.

And of course you know by now that this blog will eventually get around to discussing preparedness. Today’s firm, solid rule for hard times, tight budget times, economically correct times – in other words being prepared times – says that you eat what you have on hand, whether you happen to like it or not. It is a rule to live by. -- Read More

LDS Outlets/Gardening & Landscaping: "Adding Oxygen to Your Pond"

by Heather Justesen on Heather Justesen

So now you've decided how big and how deep you want your pond, you've decided if you want fish or not, and what kind--you need to decide how you want to add oxygen to your water. If you are raising fish--or even just plants, you definitely need to make sure they have access to oxygen in the water, which will be used up or eventually escape if it isn't added regularly. Another reason to make sure you are adding air to the water is because decaying debri in your pond can steal all of the air from the water, and add toxic gases that can kill plants and fish. The type of aeration needed depends on the size of your pond, but for something small like the one I have, not much is needed. For a larger pond, especially one deep enough for koi, you may need to take more drastic measures.

A pond bubbler is a small device that shoots a stream of water into the air. When the water falls back down, it brings oxygen with it, and mixes into the water below. This can be something as simple as the one pictured to the right, which is made by Pondmaster and run around $30, or something more incognito, like the rock bubbler pictured. These run upwards of $100 and come in various types of rock to fit your landscaping. A bubbler is also an option for keeping a portion of the water ice free in winter to allow an air exchange for any plants or fish you may overwinter there and will work in all but the coldest weather. -- Read More

LDS Outlets: "Technically Impaired"

by C.L. Beck on Write Up My Alley

Technology befuddles me. I think that's a gal thing—meaning women are genetically predisposed to never understand technological instructions. Case in point, how long did it take before we had a woman astronaut? It took centuries. And when we finally did get one, she went off her rocker, drove across the country and tried to kill someone. Was she really crazy, or just befuddled by technology?

Most gals instinctively grasp the important things in life—like how to shave their underarms with a dull, albeit pink-colored razor and not end up wearing Band-Aids on their armpits for the next month. We understand how much fuzz we can let build up in the dryer’s lint trap before it sets the house on fire. We even know how to lick chocolate frosting off a sharp steak knife. -- Read More

New Neighbors: "New Orleans' French Quarter"

by Cheri Crane on Crane-ium

A couple of weeks ago I promised to post more tidbits from New Orleans. As you may recall, I fell in love with this area during a trip my husband and I embarked upon in October of 2006. It was a business trip for Kennon---I got invited to tag along and we spent two weeks in New Orleans.

I've cringed the past few days, praying for the brave souls in the New Orleans area. Hurricane season brings back sharpened remembrances of the havoc Hurricane Katrina wreaked in this beautiful Gulf state. New Orleans is surrounded by water. The Mississippi River cuts along the southern and western boundaries. To the north lies Lake Pontchartrain, the second largest salt water lake in the United States. (Salt Lake in Utah is the largest.) Two bridges known as the Causeway lie across this huge lake (the longest bridge stretches across the middle---approximately 23 miles). To the east of New Orleans lies Lake Borgne & the Mississippi Sound, entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. -- Read More

Religious: "Revelation"

by Rebecca Talley on Rebecca Talley Writes

Revelation is a vital part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (9th Article of Faith).

What sets the LDS Church apart from other churches is our belief in latter-day revelation. We believe that our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, communicates with God and then reveals God’s will to us.

In 1978, our prophet at the time, Spencer W. Kimball, received revelation that all worthy male members of the LDS Church were entitled to receive the priesthood. Up until that time, not all male members could receive the priesthood. The matter weighed heavily on the mind of President Kimball so he prayed to receive an answer. The Lord revealed to President Kimball that the time had come for all male members to receive the priesthood and be able to perform the ordinances of the gospel. -- Read More

Scrapbooking & Crafts: "Circle Journal"

by Kim Thompson on Scribble Scraps

Have you heard of a Circle Journal?

My daughter and I have a notebook we write in and pass back and forth. It all started because I did something to make her mad and she didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted her to know how I felt and that I was sorry, so I purchased a cute notebook (it happened to say Angel on the front, which is what I call her). I wrote my feelings, then put the notebook under her pillow. She found it when she went to bed. She wrote back and put the notebook under my pillow.

Since then, we’ve passed the book back and forth. It contains some serious conversations, as well as lots of fun silly ones. It’s a place we can be ourselves, and we’ve gotten to know each other better throughout the experience. -- Read More

Services: "Another Letter From Iraq"
by Liz Adair on Liz Sez

We just returned from our annual Adair Family & Friends Labor Day Campout, and Lt. Colonel Patty Kubeja was sorely missed. Her husband, children, and step children were there, though, and Mark caught us up on what Patty has been doing.

When I got home, I had an email from Patty--a newsy email she sends out to family and friends. I know she won't mind my sharing it with you. She writes:

It has been two months since I last wrote. I have been meaning to write but just kept procrastinating. At first it seemed I didn't have much to say except it is still hot and I am still deployed, but after two months I do have a little more to share.

Soldiers are known for the sacrifice they give for their country. I have heard that for the past 19 years I have been in the military, but the word sacrifice has taken on a new meaning during this deployment. Missing so many important family events and missing out on a year of my children’s life, I can say I have truly felt the sacrifice. I have to say a Big Thank You to my loving husband and kids for supporting me and sacrificing along with me. -- Read More

Sports & Recreation: "Last of the Summer Holidays"
by Rachelle Christensen on Rachelle's Writing Spot

I hope you all have a Happy Labor Day! I have to admit this holiday was never high on my list of fun ones because it really was a day of labor for my family. It was a day off with time to harvest more vegetables from the garden, bottle tomatoes or salsa, and do yard work. Sometimes we would go on a little picnic but that’s about all I remember.

Now fast forward quite a few years. I live in Utah County and Labor Day is definitely a fun day here because of Payson Onion Days. My husband grew up in Payson and so he always got to celebrate the holiday.

The preparation starts early with my in-laws setting up chairs by the Payson park on Saturday night so they can get their coveted spot! Then a great parade starts at 10:00am with all kinds of floats, bands, people throwing candy, even a bagpipe band. My kids especially like the people throwing candy and the “princesses” which are the royalty from different cities waving from their floats. My three-year old even has the wave down. -- 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.