Monday, December 20, 2010

Even though this video picks up in the middle of the song, this is really a nice rendition of the "Halleluiah Chorus" by Silent Monks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Glow

Yesterday and today, I have really enjoyed watching the LDS Worldwide General Conference. Conference always seems to come at the times my spirit needs feeding the most and I am never disappointed!

There were so many speakers and so many topics that I can’t make just a brief list. But I have written down the times the Spirit spoke to me about my life and where it needs adjusting. I do love to hear about the things I am doing and feel the encouragement to keep going. No one who listens with an open mind and heart can fail to find a feast. With that feast in mind, I am now stuffed! It will take me the next 6 months to really digest the things that were said and to adjust my life to be more Christ-like and more humble.

I hope you listened and have also been fed. I hope that you will find something for your life in what you heard during these 2 days of wonderful speakers and beautiful music.

I have found a new website for General Conference. http://new.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng
It has all the sessions and you can watch one session or one speaker.

Next Saturday and Sunday, General Conference will be broadcast again in ASL (American Sign Language).  The times will be the same as this week (see previous post) and you can both hear and see the talks given, again.

By next week, all the talks will be on the web to be printed or read. http://lds.org/conference/display/0,5234,49-1,00.html  This will give just one more way to study what was said and try to implement it in our lives.

I was so excited to hear about 5 new temples that Pres. Monson announced for Portugal, Philippines, Connecticut, Indiana, and Mexico.  The work just moves faster and faster.  If you stand still, you might get run over!

Such a feast and it never has empty platters.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Beacon In The Storm


Feeling lost and overwhelmed by all that’s going on in your life and in the world?

Life can be hard at times. And lately, things seem to be harder than usual. When life gets tough, where do you turn? What do you do? For me, its God I turn to.

In the Bible, they had Prophets that lived among them to give counsel and advice. With all the problems and difficulties we face, our day could certainly benefit from having a Prophet.

There is a Prophet of God on the earth today! His name is Thomas S. Monson and he will be speaking to the world on Saturday and Sunday, October 2 & 3. I promise that you will find peace as you watch any of the broadcasts. Prophets bring peace to troubled minds and hearts.

 
Although, he will be speaking from Salt Lake City, Utah; you can watch him from wherever you live. The talks will be broadcast on BYUTV and on the Internet (http://lds.org/broadcast/gc/1,5161,9199,00.html) . The times of the broadcasts are 10 am and 2 pm both days, MDT (Noon and 4pm Eastern time/ 9 am and 1 pm Pacific time). You can also watch it on the Internet at any time after each broadcast.

There is help for all of us who carry burdens and are suffering.  If all you need to do is watch TV for awhile, why not see if it can help you in whatever you are suffering through right now?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Retreat & Heal

I just got back from an amazing healing “retreat”. My sister went with me so she could learn; I went for the actual healing. We got to stay at my aunt’s home, each of us in different suites. I had the Emerald Isle Suite, and she had the Suite of Dreams. Each had its own bathroom and sitting area. Each suite had so much to look at that you could literally spend hours just looking at things. The emerald Isle Suite had two full walls of books. Books make me happy, even if they are just on the shelves!


I got to meet a wonderful woman, Debra Hale of Debra’s Healing Hands. It’s hard to describe what she does. I suppose the best way to say it is that she facilitates emotionally healing and physical wellness through many different disciplines. One that is hard to describe is “PPR, Purge, Purify and Restore”. It will literally heal you and your ancestors of emotions you are stuck in. That is simplifying the process and trying to explain a wonderful process with inadequate words. In 21 days, I should see even more difference. But I have seen subtle changes ever since the session with Debra.

One of the fun things that happened on this trip happened the second time I was in Debra’s office. As I was leaving, there was a woman in the waiting area who was with the next person for Debra. She & I looked at each other and had this instant recognition. I asked her if she was my friend from long ago Tammy, and she was. JOY! JOY! JOY! I have been actively looking for her in the last few months, but haven’t been able to find her. I found her on the couch.

We hugged and hugged. I think both of us were happy to see each other for the first time in almost 17 years. She was such a wonderful person to sit and talk with and I have missed that. Now the talks will have to be over the phone, but at least, we can talk. At first I think we will probably talk over each other because there is so much to say after 17 years. We have to catch up with each other and the children & grandchildren. I can hardly wait for the many calls to come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A dress a day blog

"Marisa Lynch set herself a challenge:
Transform 365 unattractive frocks in 365 days, for $365." 

I went to look at her blog and found it hard to look away.  She has taken some dresses that I have to admit owning at one time or another, and others that I found myself wondering what she found wrong with them.  But she has done a great job in remaking clothes to fit her style.  It's worth looking at if you are at all interested in sewing.


Here are 2 of the dresses she has worked on.

Pretty handy, I'd say!  She shows lots of the work she does, or at least the process she uses to recreate something.  One day she took a fish from a dress she already remodeled and made it into a necklace.  Very creative site.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I tried a new craft



Look what I did! 

It's called Needle Felting

You start with Roving (unspun wool) and really fine SHARP felting needles. You use something for a pattern or outline and start punching the needle in-out-in-out until the roving begins to "felt".    When you are done, you have made unspun wool into a pattern or shape. 

First I tried to make a coaster.  I used too much roving so it came out pretty thick.  But it worked!

The red heart was a last minute idea. 

I made a heart stencil and worked it directly onto a jacket that I only wear around the house to keep me warm in our frosty Arizona winters.  Today, I tossed it in with the clothes I was washing and it was just fine.

They say you can use wool felt and wool yarn, also.  My mind is just going wild with the possibilities.  Now I want to get some felting molds and do a few pins and hair clips and figure out something to do on Dear Daughter's clothes.

Let's see. . . what would a 16 year old girl like me to put on her clothes.?.?.?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keep Going

Sometimes, you wonder if you can keep going.  Dispite any plans you made, things just seem to be against you.  I understand that situation completely!!  I hope this will give you a bit of insipration to keep going for today.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crocheted Items

I try to take a picture of each of the items I crochet.

But I often forget until I have given somethng away.

I had a helper for this shot.
Most of these are for children or babies.
Hope the children who receive these will love them to death!


That box of pens and pencils. . .


Okay, I admit it. 
I love pens and pencils and paper! 
I love to walk around a stationary store and just look at everything.  I am a sucker for papers, in any form.  I love to have cute little pads of paper around me to draw on and write on.  In fact, I'd rather have new papers & pens than a bouquet of flowers!  Odd, I know, but more affordable.

When they remodeled the apartment (a few years ago), they came out with a full bankers box of pens, pencils & markers. I will say that I was a little surprised at how many there were and I have worked at NOT buying any more (mostly). 

Finally it was time to go through the box.   So one night before bed, I dragged out the box and started to test the pens and sort everything into pencils, mechanical pencils, pens, colored pencils and markers.  I didn't test the markers then, or it would have taken me double the time.

What I ended up with was :
  • a lot of pencils that need to be sharpened
  • mechanical pencils that I have to try & put lead in
  • markers to test sometime this week
  • colored pencils to sharpen
  • one box of drug company pens that I will only use at home
  • a stack regular pens that work
  • about 150 pens and a few pencils I threw away
  • even had some paints in there



If anyone wants a few drug company pens to use at home, I can give you a few.

Now I just need to test the markers &sharpen the pencils & test the mechancial pencils.

What I want to know is this: How can I still have a full box when I threw so much away?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Light in my tunnel

Just when I get to a really low point, there is a blessing waiting for me. This time, it was a blessing of some personal revelation.


I was reading my scriptures on Sunday morning and when I read Alma 13:12 (Book of Mormon), I had a talk come into my mind. It was full blown and almost complete. So I wrote it down with the references. This way I can go back and finish it the next time I need to give a talk.

Wonder when & where that will be.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just venting

This is not as happy posting, so I am warning you ahead of time.


There are times when I get down on myself about not being as organized as I have been in the past. Or get upset with myself for not doing all the projects I want to do. I see my siblings or friends homes and I want to cringe when I walk into mine. Then I have to remember that I am not playing with the same team that others play with. My team is really on the “injured reserve” roster.

Just this year, there have been so many “SNAFU”** situations with my meds, that I almost burst into tears at the very thought of any more changes. Dear Hubby has been in bed for most of the last 3 months. Dear Daughter is 16 and, where most girls at that age would be able to help with things around the house, she doesn’t/can’t. The reasons for that are many and complicated, so I won’t even go there right now.

You may not realize how tough it is to live with someone who has depression. It’s BAD and I know that. But you can walk away from them, go to another room, leave the house, and get away from it. The person who has the depression doesn’t get that option. I get to live with myself 24/7, no break, no pause, no let-up! Even sleep isn't a break.

It is really hard to hate living with yourself. How do you “not be with yourself”? Taking a break from the problems of someone else, I can work out. But how do you take a break from yourself and the weirdness that is depression? It ain’t easy!!!! In fact, it’s downright hard!!!

The best way for me to get away from me for a while is to listen to a book (on my MP3) or get involved in a movie. I can let myself fall into what I am listening to or seeing and, for that time, I can be in another place. But the movies and books always end and I’m back to myself again.

Sometimes, I can actually act “normal” for a while- maybe 20 minutes or so. I love those little glimpses into my real self. Now, I just need to get these meds evened out so that 20 minutes can stretch to an hour, then to 3 hours, then to most of a day.

It is not easy for a “normal” person to understand why someone would hurt themselves or wish for death. But after you have been in depression for a while and can’t get away from it, you have a very good understanding of the way that weird depressed mind works.

I really am in a better place than most people with depression. I do know that it can get better, so I just tell myself to exist until then. I take my medication, I don’t take on much of anything outside of helping myself “exist” and I wait. And wait. And, this year, I keep waiting.

Isn’t 7 months long enough?

Apparently it isn’t, so the surviving goes on. . .


**SNAFU = Situation Normal, All F##### Up. It is a term that came from the mid 1940’s, made most popular by the troops in WWII when they expected one thing to happen and something entirely different would happen.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sisters Pedi

My birthday & the next sister’s birthday are exactly one week apart. This is usually the excuse that we use to get together and do something. Most often that is going to lunch together. This year we went to get pedicures.  We did miss the conversation over lunch though!
Since the birthday girls had never had pedicures, it was a great opportunity to try one. As you can see, we filled the chairs, there was one woman already there, and she was treated to being right in the middle of the group and all the comments and “pass this on” things we had. But she didn’t’ want to be in the pictures. If we had all the sisters together, we would have had to kick her out, since there are 5 of us.
See my pretty toes. The 3 oldest girls picked the same color. They had to pass it back and forth for all of us to use.

My only complaint is that they didn’t “rub my feet” hard enough or long enough. I guess that comes under “foot massage” instead of “pedicure”.

Breakfast Muffins

I wanted to have something quick and easy in the mornings. My family needs to know that I am trying to have something for them for breakfast other than cold cereal. This is the solution.

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

2 c. boiling water
2 c. 100% Bran Flakes (or similar)
1 c. oil
3 c. sugar (I used some brown sugar)
4 eggs
1 qt. buttermilk (or equivalent)
5 c. flour
5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 c. Cracklin’ Oat Bran (or similar)
Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg (optional)
2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
2c. raisins (optional)



Pour boiling water over bran flakes. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs and buttermilk. Mix together.

Add flour, baking soda and salt (and spices). Mix together. Now add the cooled bran mixture. Then mix in the Cracklin’ Oat Bran (and nuts and raisins). Mixture will be very lumpy because of the Cracklin’ Oat Bran. Store in glass or plastic covered containers in the refrigerator. (It takes about 8-12 hours for the Cracklin Oat Bran to dissolve.) Will keep 5-7 weeks.

When ready to bake, spoon into greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes. Do not under bake or middle will be gooey.

These muffins will keep in a plastic bag or container for up to 3 days.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

He loves me

Today the mailperson rang the doorbell because there was a package too big to fit in the mail box. It was quite heavy. Books, I thought. It was addressed to Dear Hubby, so I gave it to him. When the easy-open pull tabs on the end of the package didn’t work, he handed it back. So I took out my trusty box cutter/hobby knife and opened it quickly. Thinking to hand DH the books he ordered, I reached into the box and what did I find . . .?
My birthday present!

If you know what these are,
you will understand my glee!
I am happy! DH knows me and knows just how to surprise me. I HAD to open a bag and taste them.
AAHHHH, memories of childhood . . .

The box contained more than just one bag; it had FIVE BAGS!!!!!

I do plan to share --with my sister who has a birthday right next to mine.

If you don't know what these are--they are PINION nuts, or pinenuts.  YUMMY!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who has my seat?

This was written by a Mexican who is now a naturalized US Citizen, and I think it's a great perspective on the illegal immigration issue.


Here is the quote:

"If you had tickets to a sports event, concert, Disneyland, or for an airline flight, and when you got to your assigned seat you found someone else was in that seat, what would you do? You would call for a person in charge of ticket checking and have the person in your seat removed. You would properly be asked to show your ticket, and you would gladly and proudly do so, for you have bought and paid for that seat. The person in your seat would also be asked for a ticket, which they would not be able to produce. They would be called "gate crashers" and they would properly be removed.

Now in this huge stadium called the USA we have had millions of gate crashers. We have been asking security to check for tickets and remove the gate crashers. We have been asking security to have better controls in checking at the door. We have asked security to lock the back doors. Security has failed us. They are still looking the other way. They are afraid to ask to see the tickets. Many people say there is unlimited seating, and whether there is or not, no one should be allowed in for free while the rest of us pay full price!

In "section AZ", of "Stadium USA", we have had enough of the failures of Security. We have decided to do our own ticket checking, and properly remove those who do not have tickets. Now it seems very strange to me that so many people in the other 49 "sections", and even many in our own "section" do not want tickets checked, or even to be asked to show their ticket! Even the head of Security is chastising us, while not doing his own job which he has sworn to do.

My own ticket has been bought and paid for, so I am proudly going to show it when asked to do so. I have a right to my seat, and I want the gate crashers to be asked to show their tickets too. The only reason that I can imagine anyone objecting to being asked for their ticket is that they are in favor of gate crashing, and all of the illegal activities that go with it, such as drug smuggling, gang wars, murder, human smuggling for profit, and many more illegal and inhumane acts that we are trying to prevent with our new legislation. Is that what I am hearing from all of the protestors such as Phoenix Mayor Gordon, US Rep. Grijalva, even President Obama? If you are not in favor of showing tickets, (proof of citizenship, passport, green card, or other legal document) when asked, as I would do proudly, then you must be condoning those illegal activities."
Written by a U.S. Citizen -- Globe, Arizona.

I wish I knew the name of this citizen.  They hit the nail on the head in the way they explain the situation!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crochet page

I just figures out that you can have individual pages (up to 10) on blogspot. So I have created a CROCHET LINKS page. This has all the links that were on the left side.  Look at the top of the page to navigate from this HOM page to the CROCHET LINKS page and back again.

I threw in a couple of pictures to make it not quite so dry as a list. Hope you can find something that will help you as you learn/re-learn to crochet.

Happy Hooking!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Street Art

If I were walking down the street and saw this, it would hold my attention for at least an hour.  Just looking at it and figuring out how it was all put together and how many pieces it was.  I wonder how many skeins of pink camo yarn it took?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

SB 1070

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last 9th Grade Concert

Last night was one of those poignant moments. It was the last band concert of the year. But it was also the last band concert for the 9th graders AND for the 8th graders. This is the last year that 9th grade will be at the Junior High’s. Next year, the 9th grade will be at the High Schools, and Junior High will only have 7th and 8th grade.

At the Concert & at the Awards assembly on Tuesday, it was especially poignant to me and Hubby. We have seen so much growth during the last 3 years. The teachers have commented on it, too.

The last 2 Band Concerts have been really fun. Mr. Murphy had them doing some “regular” pieces, but he also had them do some jazz pieces, and they did them well! In the March concert, My Murphy played his Sousaphone (made in the 1930’s) and they really rocked!

Last night, the last piece the band played was Santana’s “Evil Ways” and you should have seen Hubby (a drummer) smile & rock to it! It was so toe-tappin’ that you had to smile and join in. Espeacially at the drum riff at the end of the piece!!!  The piece rated a standing ovation, too.
We came home and had to listen to "Evil Ways" on the internet again.  It just made the band sound better because of how great they nailed it!
Of course, we got our usual ice cream from MacDonalds on the way home. It's become a tradition now and I think we have to continue it. One chocolate shake, one strawberry shake, one vanilla shake. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Awards Night

Last night was the 9th grade Awards Assembly. We got a letter that Dear Daughter would be getting an award at the assembly.

With Dad, before the assembly.

Last year, she got one for being the 8th Band Band Student of the Year so we weren’t sure what award she would be getting this year. So we did a lot of speculation. I am happy to say that my guess was right.

It was a really pleasant surprise. It was an award in MATHEMATICS!
"OUTSTANDING MATH STUDENT"

Background: She has been in special ed math for years, but this year she was ready for Algebra, because of some really hard work by the Mrs. Wightman, the math teacher. I began the year with trepidation, but no so for DD! The class only had about 6 or 7 students who were really ready for Algebra and DD was the only girl. I was proud of that fact! But still wondered what the year would bring. Imagine my pleased surprise at the fact that she has maintained an A in Algebra all year!

So it’s understandable that I might think that the award would be in Math. But the fact that she is in a special ed math, made me wonder.

I should have guessed that she was doing really well, after the teacher told me, in December, she would be ready for Geometry next year.

So, onward! Geometry, here she comes!

On stage, waiting for 2 other students to get their plaques.
Dad, Mom, DD, Grandpa

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Booties

I have tried to make slippers before, but the result was not what I wanted.  I gave up that aspect of crocheting.  But it seems that something always happens to bring us full circle.

And so it did.  A cousin of mine had a little baby girl at the end of last year.  This little girl is full of special needs, which means she is also full of blessings.  They don't live near me, so I have only been able to see pictures of her.  She is so small and dainty.

I can't begin to explain the problems this little girl has, mostly because this particular problem is unique to ONE FAMILY in the world!  My cousin happened to marry into that family.  What are the odds?  Really--what are the odds?

So I gave in!
I made my first pair of Premie Baby Booties.


That's a quarter, by the way -- just for reference.  They are about 75 cents long!

I think they turned out pretty cute.  But I had to guess at the length of her feet, so I hope they fit.
They fit Dear Hubby's largest finger and 2 of mine.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lapghan for Fisher House

Here is a picture of some blocks I made after they were put together in a lapghan for Fisher House.  Makes me feel good to help anyone, but especially wounded soldiers.

Frogging

I DON'T LIKE FROGS!

ANY KIND!



CUTE

RELAXED

DOESN'T MATTER











I JUST DON'T LIKE THEM



BUT THE WORST KIND  IS......

CROCHET FROGGING!!!!
At one time; ALL THIS YARN was part of an almost finished project.

Gabby's New Home


My brother's family got a hamster for Christmas.  Around that same time, I found a "Hamster Cave" pattern.  Of course I had to make it.  So I did it and finished it in January. 

I finally took it to them this week!   Everyone had to play with little Gabby. They told me she was soft & furry, but I let them have all the fun.


Gabby started exploring her new cave right away, which made me feel good! 
She even had to make sure that the roof was okay.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Lorenz Manifold

Math and I just did not get along when I was in school. I can no longer help Dear Daughter with her math because she is now in Algebra. So it’s really funny that I love to crochet mathematical pieces! I guess all knitting & crochet is mathematical, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the Hyperbolic crochet and the Lorenz Manifold.




Yeah, me too! I had no idea what it was, but it looked really cool. The original couple who crocheted it said it took them 85 hours of work. Well, so far, I estimate that I have put in about 20 hours. I skimmed the paper they wrote about it and stopped when I got to something that looked like a pattern. I began and failed, began again and failed again. Then I decided to do some internet searching about it. I found that the pattern actually began on page 22 and I had stopped at about page 10.

Needless to say that has been lots of “frogging” with this project (rip it, rip it).

I have found that I need to count the increases before beginning each round and use some kind of stitch marker to indicate where they will be for each individual round.

Remember that the first stitch for each round is 0, not 1, when creating the Lorenz.

Liquid Laundry Soap--My Own Brand

After making and using my own DRY laundry soap for about 6 months, it was finally time to try the LIQUID.   So about a week ago, after gathering a 5 gallon bucket and an empty liquid laundry soap container, I did it.

I actually thought that it would take a long time to melt the Fels-Naptha in water, but it went surprisingly fast. I had some kitchen jobs lined up to do while I stirred and melted the soap, but only got a couple of them done. My one mistake came when I didn’t plan how to get the 5 gallon bucket full of hot water. I filled it part way in the kitchen but not all the way—I wanted to be able to carry it outside to the laundry room. Then I used the backyard hose to finish filling the bucket. During an Arizona summer, this would probably be fine, but not in a nice cool April. Next time I’ll know to just carry a pot of boiling water out to the bucket.

This liquid has been wonderful as a spot remover as things are checked before washing and so far! It doesn’t leave any soap marks or residue on the clothes, which I got with the dry soap if I didn’t dissolve it completely before adding the clothes.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that it turned out white. Nothing that went into it had any color.

I also added a few drops of Lavender Oil. Next time, I’ll add a lot more! I didn’t take into account that the 5 gallons would actually make 10 gallons! So the lavender smell is all but gone for this batch, but I still know it’s there somewhere.

The cost for this was so minimal, that it is really easy to share with neighbors when they run out!


This is the recipe I used and it can be found at http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes.html



Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4 Cups - hot tap water

1 Fels-Naptha soap bar

1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*

½ Cup Borax

- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" - in some stores laundry section. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent - It must be sodium carbonate!!

Baby's First Teddy Bear

I love little projects that work up quickly AND have a real use. This little “Baby’s First Teddy” is one of those quickies. The pattern is found at the Velvet Pumpkin. (http://www.angelfire.com/va/thevelvetpumpkin/Bear.html )