Sunday, September 28, 2008

Singing my heart out

So, my choir experience is over. What a fabulous time we had! Friendships made, jokes told, but mostly the most incredible spiritual experience. A lot of it was all the fabulous people we heard speak over the weeks of rehearsal. A lot of it was the wonderful director, who has such a bright, light spirit and shares it with all. Most of it was the introspection that we all went through in our attempt to be ready to sing our testimonies out to the world. We grew to love the women all over the world. We thought long and hard about what we believe and why. We spent much of the day at the conference center, rehearsing, doing lighting and camera checks, and visiting. The actual conference seemed to fly by in no more than 5 minutes and then, it was all over. Rather sad to break us up as we had such a great time. I just want to say that now, more than ever, I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ and his Atonement. I am finally beginning to understand the Atonement. How gracious, kind and good to us Jesus is! I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel so privileged to belong to this church, and to this most active, serving, loving and spiritual group of women, the Relief Society! We are the largest group of women on earth, and the ones who do the most. (We aren't the loudest, but we do the most to serve others and change lives.) Thanks for listening to us all, we had fun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Incredible Honor!

A few weeks ago a member of the bishopric approached me to ask if I would be interested in singing in the choir for the upcoming General Women's Conference. I wondered why they would ask me; I sing tenor normally and my voice has been very hoarse over the last couple of years. (Though it is better with a change in medication.) I know I cannot really sing well enough to do this but what an honor to be asked! And the opportunity to be near the prophet and other general authorities, too cool to pass up. Of course I said I would love to!
The rehearsals have been an incredible experience. We have met and heard a short encouraging "speech" by all three members of the General Relief Society Presidency, a number of members of the general music committee, our local musical representative, other members of the Relief Society General Board and the stake president for some of the other stake's involved in this. Our stake is the contact stake. At the first rehearsal our Stake President gave the entire choir a wonderful speech and a communal blessing, a rare and very lovely occurrence. we have essentially been told that this is more about showing our testimony than about singing. We have actually spent more time hearing encouraging words than singing. We are expected to practice singing at home on our own.
So, considering my voice and core tendency towards self-doubt, would I be asking too much to ask all of you to pray for me? Thank you! I hope not to be caught by the camera, I can just imagine me scratching my cheek just as the camera scanned my face, but as far as testimony goes, I believe in God, and this church, I love Jesus Christ, and hope that my testimony does show when people see me. Please, encourage everyone you know, member and non-member alike, to watch this conference. That is the point of this meeting.

Refilling the space

So, we are filling the empty bottles with whole grains and legumes, which play a much larger part in our diets nowadays. I know the parlor seems a funny place to stage such a thing, especially since I have always had a rule about 'no stuff' in the parlor, but it seemed the only place to gather that many filled bottles. We need 100 jars in order to use the oxegen packets, which come in packages of 100 and begin to work as soon as you open the packet. In case you cannot tell, there is no wheat or rice in the mix there. That is because when we did our inventory we found that we had plenty of white rice and wheat. We are getting there.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Would you believe it took me the better part of two days to wash all the bottles I emptied? Of course, when my back got to hurting too much I sat to knit a row, but what I am knitting is a baby sweater and I am on the sleeve, so short sit. Now we will fill them all with grains, beans and a few bottled fruits and veggies.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bringing joy into life

I Thought it was time to put something of my garden here to bring joy into others lives, as they bring joy into mine.

Here is my very tiny Hydrangea. If you know my daughter and have seen the giant blue hydrangeas on her blog you will know how alkaline my soil is in comparison to Wales.

This is the largest of my dahlias.
This little flower is one you see all the time, unfortunately I cannot at the moment remember the name though it is one of my favorite. It comes in a orange and yellow version, and a pink and yellow version. The sun was too bright, this is the pink and yellow.

The Matter of Thought

This is the poem by Henry Van Dyke that I mentioned earlier:

I hold it true that thoughts are things;
They're endowed with bodies, breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results, or ill.

That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth's remotest spot,
Leaving its blessing or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.

We build our future, thought by thought,
For good or ill, yet know it not.
Yet so the universe was wrought.

Someone I have seen much of lately, Merilee Webb, talks a lot about the fruit that we produce. How often, when we think bad thoughts, or negative thoughts, or even just less than nice thoughts, we send those thoughts forth to sicken others with our 'bad fruit'. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to any and everyone I have sickened with my 'bad fruit' and to promise that I am trying very hard not to do that anymore.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Sweet C has, for some time, been concerned with our food storage. He has wanted to inventory, throw out old things and replace with things we are eating now. More whole grains for one thing.
This past weekend was our regional conference. The Saturday night meeting was all about preparation. Not emergency preparation but simply being prepared for what ever may come in our lives. They spoke about the economy, and getting out of debt. They spoke about not turning our wants into needs. They spoke a lot about food storage, and challenged us to get a three month supply as soon as possible, even if it is by buying 3 extra cans of food per week. They also spoke about getting together a store of money. Start with making sure we have a one month supply of savings, then build it up to three, then six, until we all have a years financial needs set aside (Huge goal!!!)
Sunday meeting were more on the theme of spiritual preparation. We had two general authorities so it was really, really good, but many people were more impressed by the Saturday night meeting.
I had been cleaning out our storage room three or four bottles at a time. This week C began to help me. Yeah! He can carry much more than I can. He carried out a couple of hundred bottles. So I have been emptying the bottles into trenches in the largest garden bed. (Hard on the back.) I know it looks really silly, but it does feed the soil and gets all the old fruit out of the storage room so I can put in new and fresh. I'm a little torn. All those bottles represent a lot of work. In the old days when the kids were little we would put up 4 or 5 batches of everything, every year. My kids, little or big, were very good hard workers, and helped a ton. We never ate it all, so I had bottles that were very old and discolored. I won't be bottling so much in the way of fruit and vegetables now - with only two of us we will never eat as much as we used to bottle. I emptied a huge variety of stuff, but I think I feel the worst about the salsa and the black raspberry syrup. Those two were the most work, and taste the best. I doubt I will get much more bottled this year though. Still to much cleaning and sorting to do. Wish me luck.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

State Fair

The state fair is going on in Utah and we went the very first day. (It's cheaper that way.) I wanted to share a few pictures with you. I took waaaaayyyyy too many, but you can get an idea, and if you are in Utah you should go, it's a good fair. You see here some displays from the home arts building, the agricultural building, a tiger show, the art building, the floral display, photography, creative arts and the 4-H building. I forgot to take pictures in the fruit and vegetable display area.

HighWind Utah

There was a big wind storm at the beginning of the week and it took down my corn. I didn't think to take a picture until I had removed most of the stalks but here is a shot of the last few rows. I still got nearly an ear of corn per kernal planted as I got both ears from some stalks so I can't complain too much, but there were quite a few that would have matured later, if the wind hadn't taken them down. I also lost a lot of green plums. Don't know why, since they are so green you wouldn't think they would blow down. Sigh. The saddest part is that I think I may have lost some hummingbirds. I had quite a little flock coming before the storm. I didn't see any during or after the storm, for days after the storm. Two days ago one showed up, and that is all I have seen since.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The non-chef

Monday was Labor day, so I was at my husbands place of work, feeding the troops. I do this often, since on a big sale day the employees can't leave to go buy lunch. Usually I set out a make-your-own sandwich bar, I have been known to do chili, or bring in food from Appleby's or Boston Market. I have done salads and desserts. This week I made two types of soup and put them in crock pots to keep them warm. Two problems: One of the crock pots was missing the knob and couldn't be turned down to warm, and I made chicken noodle as one of the soups but there are fewer employees at this store and they were very busy so didn't all come up to eat near noon. When you leave noodles cooking for a long time they become rather mushy. (still tasted good but the texture was soft)
This is the part I find hilarious. I often feed 60 to 250 people at a time, and I don't cook!!!