Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Before I get to today's blog I want to remind you about Summer Pasta. It was cold today--I think summer is over--and I finally decided to have Summer Pasta. It is divine. Why haven't I served it ten times already? If you haven't tried it you might want to before the basil is frozen. (I hope our basil won't freeze tonight, but it might.) Recipe here.I love it when my friends take care of me. Take today, for instance.

Several weeks ago Annette posted--on her blog--some info. about a class she was taking. I was interested. Yesterday she brought a handout from the class and put it in my door. I wasn't home so she called me and told me the class was today. It's being taught by Life Coach, Stace Christianson.

I went. The class is being taught at the home of a woman I admire no end. I'll give you an example of why: One day, without her permission, I used her as an example in a church class I was teaching. When I was leaving the church house I ran into Elizabeth and said, "I used you as an example in my class today." You know what I would have done? I would have wanted to know what was being said about me. You know what she said? "Lynne, you can use me as an example any time you want." And that was it. No panic. No wondering. No worrying. Just permission.

The class at Elizabeth's house was exactly what I needed today. I may blog about it on my Starlight blog but every time I say that I run out of time and don't do it. But I might.

Tonight I was reading some of the notes from the class to
Pam. I was telling her that when other people start accusing you, calling you names (such as "you're crazy"), telling you how you are (in a negative way), that we can take all those labels and just hand them back to the people who said them to us, because that is what they think of themselves.

Pam said that because I usually think the best of people that speaks well of me. Wasn't that kind of her? Of course I immediately thought of the one person I can't handle--don't go to see her--even though she is needy and has had surgery after surgery--because I can't handle all the negative talk. So, I don't think the best of everyone and maybe I'll change my mind as I don't want to be what I think of her: which just might be negative and crabby, and I don't want to have surgery, either.

So, today three friends. Annette, Elizabeth who opens up her home for these classes and willingly let me come, and Pam. Thank you, my friends.

And then, as we walked out to, Dianne told me something one of her kids did that made me laugh and made me feel better about my child's choices. She put things into perspective for me. We're all in this together, aren't we, this interesting life?

I'm glad I have wonderful friends to go through it together with.

Here is Stace's blog, which she has neglected, she admits, but I think she is going to blog more often. She is a fantastically insightful woman with so much to teach the world. I hope you will learn wonderful things from her too.

PS Remember that old saying, "What you say is what you are?" I'm going to be more careful with my opinions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I found a bunch of my old clothes in the spare bedroom, which used to be Hillary's room, which "poof," almost overnight turned into a junk room--when she got married and moved away, years and years ago--and now it's time to clean it out. And guess what? Some of those clothes even fit--they used to be too tight. How did that happen, I wonder. So I hung them in my closet and now my closet is stuffed and I need to clean it out and I don't want to but if I don't I won't be able to find the new/old clothes and if--by some miracle--I do find them they will be wrinkled and I'll have to iron them and I hate to iron and so what's the use of finding them in the first place? I think I have a self defeating behavior. Besides run-on sentences with no punctuation.

The closet. Can you see how close the hangers are? Those clothes are positively gasping for air. The hangers on the far right are Phil's. See how nicely they are spaced?

I have 27 black items. How am I ever going to wear 27 black items?
I have 17 white shirts. Who in their right mind has 17 white shirts?

And there, on the far, far left are the darling clothes I bought when I only had a few pounds left to loose--okay, twenty. That was about a million years ago and I still have the clothes. They still have tags on. Will I ever get back to that impossible weight? sigh They are still darling. Still stylish. Still too skinny.

This is level two. The every-day-knock-about clothes. They are stuffed just as tight. Oh my.I don't even dare count the shoes.

And some of the clothes are in the dirty clothes or in the to-go-to-the-dry-cleaners stack. Where will they go when they are clean?

I should have left Hillary's old bedroom/the junk room alone.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today I didn't get started in the kitchen until after 2:00. First I made whole wheat bread. Note to self: Let the bread rise as high as you want it because it 'aint gonna rise any more in the dang oven! My squatty loaves have the same amount of calories as normal loaves but you don't think so as you see your tiny little sandwich. sigh

Yes, the bread is two inches high!

Mrs. Bird came by and I sat on the lawn swings with her until the bread came out of the oven. Note to self: You were so smart to buy that portable timer that lets you know the squatty bread is ready to come out of the oven while you are sitting on the lawn swings with Mrs. Bird.

You should get one of these!

After she left I put the spaghetti sauce on to simmer and made the Magleby's rolls--also called Parmesan Rolls--that I love so much. While they were rising I made the lemon layer dessert that I love even more than the Magleby's rolls. I made a whole cookie sheet full because we were having Family Home Evening on the lawn swings. Note to self: That was such a good idea, having Family Home Evening on the lawn swings. Too bad winter is coming.

Roll recipe
here. Lemon Layer Dessert recipe here.

Then I made salad and salad dressing and boiled spaghetti noodles and had dinner to my neighbor only six minutes late. We came home and snarfed our dinner and then went outside to enjoy our neighbors. The lesson was on The Journey and rescuing others. (One of the stories was about the rescue of the Willie and Martin Handcart Company's when they were coming to the Salt Lake Valley.)

We all have journey's and have all been rescued at one time or another. I hope I can help other's through their hard times--their journeys.

By the time it got dark--and cold--we disbanded and then we took leftover dessert to four houses. Note to self: Do not leave any dessert at home or you will eat it all. You know how you are! (We do have two pieces left. Two for me, none for Phil. Just kidding. Kind of.)

Now, it's quiet and dark and I'm thinking of bed. And the Lemon Layer Dessert in the fridge. Note to self: You should have given it all away.

I hope your afternoon wasn't as frantic as mine. And that your bread rises and that you have self control. And that, if you need rescuing, that someone will be there to rescue you. And if you are able, I hope you will rescue someone else. A kind word. A phone call. Money in an envelope. Unconditional love. I hope you don't have to wade through ice cold water and carry someone on your back to safety, but if you did have to, I hope you would. I hope I would too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today I served in the nursery. Two hours! Two hours with seven charming VERY busy, eighteen month to three year olds. Seven! The other nursery leader is over seventy years old. May God prepare special blessings for her.

Almost my entire two hours were spent being buddies with a new nursery child, Margaret, who wanted her Momma and her Daddy. I went through so many Kleenex, wiping her little tears and her running nose that I lost track.
This is her mom's blog, which she neglects but there are photos of Margaret in her younger years. Well, she isn't even two years old so it would be her "younger year." This is a blog her mom co-authors. This is her dad's blog. They are kind of sassy but definitely fun.

Margaret looks like an angel. Her mother is one of the fashion guru's of the ward and little Margaret was dressed to take over that role. She has great big blue eyes and her hair was in little piggy-tales. But Margaret was heartbroken. Margaret wanted to be on the other side of the door. Every time someone came in the door she remembered and cried.

We played with play dough, Margaret and I. She tried to eat the play dough "ice cream cone" several times and then removed the goo, which I tried to get before she smashed it back into the "ice cream." I mostly failed. She threw the snakes I made for her so many times that the carpet color has changed from blueish to turquoise-snake color. She liked snack-time and after she drank her water she took the empty paper cup to the garbage. Of course she also threw the play dough and a spoon away. Her mother is the tidy guru and Margaret is practicing to take over the role.

My whole two hours was spent with Margaret, leaving the seventy-year-old saint to take care of bathroom duties--one child went commando for the second hour as we didn't have a new "pull-up." The seventy-year-old saint taught the lesson. She sang the songs. She said the prayers. She fixed snack. She did it all. Rewards, I tell you. She deserves rewards.

The crowning moment for me was when I was showing Margaret a story book. "Look at the frog," I said.

"Can you see the little boy's doggie?"

"What is that?" It was a cow.

"Daddy," Margaret said.

"No, not Daddy, look right there, what is that?" I pointed to the huge black and white cow. "

Daddy," she said.

Everything I pointed out she didn't know what it was until I pointed at Jesus. "Who is that?" I asked.

"Jesus," she said as if she has been seeing him every day of her life.

And then I wondered. Maybe she still remembers him. Maybe she still sees him.

Thank you, Margaret for being a fashion guru, for being tidy, for loving your Mom and Dad so much that you cried and cried. But mostly, Margaret, thank you for knowing who is the most important.

And a little child shall lead them.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is my son, Taylor. Now, before you get all sorry for me, take a minute to think. Did you EVER pull out the camera to take a picture of your darling children that there wasn't one who pulled a face? Right. Me neither. And it wasn't usually just him, either. They all did it.
Here he is almost normal, just coming out of a "face pulling stunt" or just going into one.
And here he is with his normal face but of course you get the hand.
The reason you are being treated to this joy-of-my-life is that he invited us over for dinner. Teriyaki Chicken Bowls.

The boys gobbled it right up.
Only one of the girls were home but she did likewise. So did I. Phil wasn't there and neither was Sharee because she was on a hundred mile bike ride! The second one she's done this summer. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Anyway, dinner was great and the recipe is here.

Friday, September 25, 2009


This is the pressure canner.
This is the dial on the pressure canner. See that black zone-- also know as the blow-up-all-over-the-kitchen zone? That is where the pressure got to as I zoned out, watching a "Stargate" episode that I had already seen!

Luckily, I got to the canner before the kitchen was decorated in tomato goo.And look at this. (They really don't show as impressive as they were.) These tomatoes are between 4 1/2 and 5 inches across and are fat too--that part doesn't show. Phil is a marvelous gardener, don't you think?And then, just for your viewing pleasure, this is a spot on the front of the stove that defies cleaning. I think it's hair dye. I hope this photo makes your feel wonderful about your own kitchen cleaning abilities. Okay, hopefully I'm finished with the tomato photos unless I actually do blow things to smithereens on Monday and then I will surely post those photos. And cry a lot.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The nursery's no longer carry petunias, just lots and lots of mum's.
My flowers are winding down. I stood on the driveway and took the following two photos of the mountain we see every day. Two weeks and three days ago there wasn't one red tree on that mountain.

The canning continues. All fourteen jars of tomatoes sealed today because I turned them upside down. Yay!


My daughter, Hillary wanted a book from her childhood. Anastasia Krupnik. I was NOT home. When I got home I found 13 boxes of books that she had her dad bring up from the basement and garage. Thirteen boxes of books. Books, everywhere. Anastasia Krupnik was not in any of the thirteen boxes of books but hundreds and hundreds of books were. They are now in my living room. The Book Searcher left and went home. I'm overwhelmed.

These are going to DI. Do you think if I just burned the living room down the problem would be solved? The one bright spot in the day? Her daughter's funky toenails. Every one a different color.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The Tennessee Teacher has funny things happen in her class but, blogs being what they are--open to whomever in the world wants to read them--she can't tell the stories.

I can:

Ms. Middler--the Tennessee Teacher--was giving the class a little three minute bit about cloning. The next day they had to answer a question about her three minute lesson. Comprehension. Memory. Content. Who knows all the things she gleans from their answers. We join her in the middle of her lesson on cloning.

Ms. Middler: "So, then the egg begins to divide, just like an ordinary egg."

Seventh Grade boy, waving his hand wildly in the air: "This is just like sixth grade..." and then he said the "M" word.

The whole class took a deep breath, including Ms. Middler. What on earth am I going to say to him, she thought.
The boy kept talking--he's one of those talkers. By the time he ran down Ms. Middler had finally gathered her wits. "Did you mean sixth grade maturation?" she said.

The whole class, relieved that someone was going to address his mistake, burst into laughter.
The boy turned bright red. "Oh, yeah," he said. "I get those two words mixed up." And then he paused and said in a small voice, "I guess I shouldn't use those words until I can tell the difference, huh?"

Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm confused.
I watched House tonight. What do you think? What?! You don't watch House? (mutter-mutter) He's the perfect protagonist to make you feel better. He does things for the wrong reason. He is usually successful but only at diagnoses--not at life or relationships, which we all know is the important aspects of this life. He has only one friend and he is a crappy friend back. Who couldn't feel good about themselves comparing?

Questions I need answered. Why did the woman come out of her catatonic state? Why did the Super-flying-man-with-the-eventual-broken-leg-and-ruptured-spleen know to give her the music box. How could red-haired-piano-playing-woman be away from her family to have an intimate moment with House? And yet she never told him she had a family? She probably realized he'd be the world's crappiest step-dad. And why did he get out of the mental institution in one episode? There was a good four to eight weeks worth of opportunity for a change of scene and new characters.

I think I'm bummed. I wanted weeks and weeks of mental institution. I wanted to live it vicariously--so in case I ever have to go, I can be prepared.

Now what am I going to do?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

STAKE CONFERNECE--long, but please read anyway

Note: If you went to Annette's site to see her apron she gives a web site to check out but says she is going to make another apron and will post "how to's" then. I'll let you know when she does that.

The Provo, Utah Tabernacle.

At Stake Conference today our Stake Relief Society Presidency was released and a new one was sustained. I will miss them, even though I no longer have a Relief Society calling.

I remember when we went from having Enrichment every month to having it only four times a year. Instead of Enrichment we were to start mini-classes. (They call them Enrichment Activities but our ward calls them mini classes.) I cried on Staci Peter's shoulder more than once. (Staci was the Stake 2nd counselor) She kept saying, "You can do this," and I learned--under her encouragement--and did. And then it got easy. How I love her. I love all those women.

The outgoing President--Sister Jeannie Welch--gave her testimony and it was a wonderful talk. She is an amazing woman. I tried to take some notes but I was in the dark--they dimmed the lights in the chapel where I was watching the live broadcast (from the historic Tabernacle in downtown Provo) and so I didn't get much and it's hard to read but here are a couple my notes--very disjointed--and probably not totally accurate:

Consecration--dedicate our time to the Lord. We can come to know that our offering is accepted of the Lord. The best way to know is to make and keep sacred covenants. She thanked us for doing that, making and keeping sacred covenants. She related a story about a tractor, pulling a bunch of kids on a flat bed wagon. The wagon was too heavy and started pulling the tractor and many children fell off, some jumped off, and one boy broke his leg. Her children were safe because they held on to each other. She told us to be like that. We will be safe as we stand with and associate with good people. "Hang on" to them.

I am thankful for the good people I have met by blogging. I will probably never meet most of you in person but you have strengthened me with your goodness, your dedication to doing what is right, your common sense. I am grateful for your willingness to continue on when times are tough. You sometimes make me laugh and sometimes I cry with you. I love you, even if I don't know you at all. Some of you never comment but I love you anyway. I love that you come and read my words--inadequate as they are.

I hope one day to be as good as my Stake leaders are. Sister Welch is an amazing woman. Every time she says something from the pulpit or in a class it is profound and, for me, it has been life changing, .

Staci has been my mentor, my comforter, my go-to-girl. Besides that she says she is shy but she hides it well--a good lesson for all of us. We may have problems or weaknesses but we can still willingly serve. Staci has been a delight. I have come to rely on her good advice and her strength and her abundant love.

The other counselor and the secretary are equally wonderful. You wouldn't believe some of the delicious food they have prepared for refreshments after Stake meetings. You know how us Mormon's are, we can hardly have a non-Sunday meeting without some kind of refreshment.

I will miss them but will see them at the weekly evening scripture class, taught by Jeannie's husband. If you are in our Stake this is a great class. We don't always make it and last time I fell asleep but every time I woke up Brother Welch was looking at me kindly. I shall always remember that he looked at me with kindness. A lesser man might have been disappointed but I really felt his love and I am grateful.

He is an amazing teacher, has knowledge that normal people just don't have. He tells us things like what "that" word meant at the time it was written in the scriptures, what the customs were, what life was like--he brings a special depth to the scriptures.

Well, I have rambled long enough. Now I will go read my scriptures and have prayer and maybe even try to decipher today's notes.

I hope you are all happy and if you are not happy I hope you will have comfort. Ask for it. Trials end. I know this. I've been waiting for a long time for some of my trials to be turned into blessings and I know they will. After the trial of our faith come the blessing.

May you know that your Heavenly Father is watching over you this night and always. Have faith. Be courageous. Serve others. And if you can, do as Jeannie asked us to do: Make and keep sacred covenants. Let's hang on to each other and be strong together.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


These hot pads are all supposed to be the same size and are supposed to square. Judy, my hot pad teacher can't figure out why I can't make a square one.

Funny Shan said they are the hot pad family. So here for your viewing pleasure are:

Daddy Marvin. He picks up cookie sheets.

Penelope, the mom. She's supposed to be square but, like her husband, she's not. She holds casseroles.

And this is Jr, who, for obvious reasons, is a boy. He is square. Humm. If Dad was rectangle and Mom is rectangle how do you suppose they got a square junior? The same way we got a blond haired, blue eyed boy, I guess. We were lucky. So, junior, the lucky square baby, is named Jim. He plucks baked potatoes out of the oven and says, "Look at me!"

Okay, is that enough nonsense for one evening? I thought so. More than enough.

Friday, September 18, 2009


When I'm commenting on someone's blog, and I don't know if all the words are spelled right, I copy my comments, paste them on an email and spell check it.

Works for me.


Unless I'm too lazy. And then people should realize that creativity is highly favored in the world and I'm a highly creative speller. I spell as no man has spelled before.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I called the extension for office for advice about canning tomatoes. A steam canner is not recommended. WHAT? That's how I did it last year. Rats.

So we took the pressure cooker to The Mending Shed to be checked and had to buy a new gauge. Rats, again.

Then all afternoon I chopped tomatoes, filled bottles, added lemon juice--and WHY should I have to add lemon juice if I'm pressure canning the tomatoes?! It makes no sense to me. WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME? You don't add lemon juice to beans, for crying out loud! It's enough to hark a dog.

And when I took them out of the canner you know what? It looks like out of my first batch of seven, four aren't going to seal! Rats. I followed the instructions to the letter, putting them on a rack to cool.
The second batch of seven I turned upside down like I always do. We'll see what they do about sealing.
I'm totally bummed. I want to do four dozen quarts of tomatoes. (I did three dozen last year, and we've used almost all of them.) But, if four jars of every seven aren't going to seal then what's the use?

This is me, being totally bummed. Not a pretty sight.
I'm throwing a "Rats" in there for good measure. And he's a lot better looking than my bummer face or the tomatoes. I should have just started with rats to begin with.

Maybe he'd eat the spiders we are finding in the house. The cats certainly aren't any help. What a bummer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Last night at Enrichment there were unsung heroes, so I'm singing their praises right now. That's me as a blond. And skinnier, w-a-y skinnier.

One's name is Heather and she had organized an art project for 50 women. There were huge long tables for us and hundreds of scrapbook papers, patterned tissue paper, pens, glue sticks, etc. for us to choose from. There was a little notebook for all of us and we could decorate it any way we wanted. I chose to just cover mine with tissue paper but most women got creative.
Heather served in the Relief Society Presidency as first counselor (I was second counselor) for almost four years. We worked side by side, having early morning presidency meetings (which Heather loved--she's a lark. I hated the hour of those meetings as I'm an owl. One morning as I was walking to the meeting--just across the street but was pitch dark, there was new snow on the ground and there was a sliver of a moon and one star next to it. I looked around and thought I could be in Siberia!) Heather helped with funerals, helped with Enrichment meetings, worried about the sisters and did service for them, taking food to people who were sick, etc. She was in charge of the music for Relief Society and all the RS teachers.

She has worked tirelessly for her husband and three kids while going back to school to get her Masters degree and she started and runs an art program for the Scera, in Orem--a huge project. I also worked with her in the Primary presidency for several years. Now she has been called to the Young Women's.

Heather is of Russian descent and I have always said she looks like a Russian Princess. What is the matter with me, not taking her photo last night and a photo of all her preparations?


Annette ran the cooking class. She made aprons for EVERYONE who, in any way, helped with her class. She whipped them up that afternoon! Amazing. Plus she made about a dozen treats for everyone to sample. Click here. She baked for days and froze her treats so she could have so many for people to sample. Her theme was "Bee's" ("Bee-gin your Day in a Bee-utiful Way") and everything reflected the theme, even the fabric of the aprons.

One woman said, "I want an apron." and Annette didn't miss a beat. "What kind of an apron would you like?" she said. And the woman told her. I know Annette will go shopping for fabric for an apron for this woman. Annette is generous. She is the Fairy Godmother who brought chocolate to me one late night. Chocolate candies and a chocolate apron, which is the only apron I wear anymore.

When our wards were combined Annette was the Relief Society President. She was soon made the Primary President, which means she is in charge of all the ward children from age 18 months--nursery age, up to the twelve year olds. who go to opening exercises and then class for the last two hours of church.

There is no way I could even begin to tell you how amazing this woman is. She is always taking delightful things to people. I have been on the receiving end more times than I can remember.

She is a do-er. President Kimball had a sign on his desk: "Do it!" Annette took it to heart and she does. it. all. I've never known anyone like her.

These are a couple of my heroes. Neither one of their church jobs is in Relief Society and yet they gave their all. And then some. How I love them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For the first time in seven years--SEVEN YEARS--I had no responsibility for Enrichment. (Excuse me while I dance around the room.)

It was very nice. The theme was Back to School. We had dinner and classes.: a cooking class--an amazing class, I didn't go to it but went in after for samples. Truly amazing. An antiques class--formally called Show and Tell, an art class and a music class.

The tables were set with school supplies, candy corn and candy pumpkins, baskets of apples and a report card sticking out of each one. On our report card it said--in red pencil--runs in the halls!

We had a bulletin board with pictures of women in their school age pictures. It was a guessing game. Can you tell which one is me?

Number 26 and 27.
Number 15. Number 8-I cut a bit of the head off--9, and 10
Number 19.
Number 25 and 26. Number 22. Couldn't you just die for that hat. If I had that hat now I'd wear it. This is the antique I took. Well, I took two--not really antiques but some of my favorite things.

The Ferris Wheel was made in the 1930's. Technically it probably was bought for my sisters but they would have given it to DI (the Mormon Church's equivalent of Goodwill) so I'm glad I'm the one that has it. I played with it so much that I wore it out. The spring needs replacing. Does anyone know how to do that?

The little red chair is one I sat on in Jr. Sunday School. When our church building was torn down mom got five of the chairs. The wire work on the back and underneath the chair is from my Uncle Tom. He could fix anything and he repaired all the chairs during the time they were used in our Jr. Sunday School.

It was a great night and I'm so happy everything went well. The Enrichment committee and the food committee did a great job.

PS I'm number 19.