a NEW photo and short Sunday sermon


Happy Sunday!

I heard this contemplation-provoking question a few weeks ago.  I makes one think, does it not? How about those little daffodils???  I’m happy to finally have some color in my yard! (Although I need to remember this fall to plant even MORE bulbs!)

And for today’s short sermon, I want to share this excellent sermon:  Turn On Your Light by Sharon Eubank.  I hope you’ll go read the entire talk, but here is a summary of how women can turn their lights on:

The first is to be righteous. Being righteous doesn’t mean being perfect or never making mistakes. It means developing an inner connection with God, repenting of our sins and mistakes, and freely helping others.

The second is to be articulate. Being articulate means to clearly express how you feel about something and why. Earlier this year, there was a post on my Facebook news feed that disparaged Christianity. I read it and I was a little annoyed, but I shrugged it off. But an acquaintance who is not a member of our faith responded with a comment of her own. She wrote: “[This is] the exact opposite of what Jesus stood for—he was … radical [in] his time because he … equalized the world. … He [spoke to] prostitute[s], [he ate] with … tax collector[s] … , befriended powerless women and children … , [and] gave us the story of the Good Samaritan. … It follows that … true Christians would be striving to be the MOST loving people in the world.” When I read that, I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I write that?”

The third is to be different. Let me tell you a story that happened this July on Panama City Beach in Florida. Late in the afternoon, Roberta Ursrey saw her two young sons screaming for help from 100 yards (90 m) out into the ocean. They had become caught in a strong current and were being carried out to sea. A nearby couple tried to rescue the boys, but they also got caught in the current. So members of the Ursrey family dove in to rescue the struggling swimmers, and quickly nine people were caught in the rip current.

There were no ropes. There was no lifeguard. The police sent for a rescue boat, but the people had been out in the ocean struggling for 20 minutes, and they were exhausted and their heads were slipping under the water. Among the onlookers on the beach was Jessica Mae Simmons. Her husband had the idea to form a human chain. They shouted at people on the beach to help them, and dozens of people linked arms and marched into the ocean. Jessica wrote, “To see people from different races and genders come into action to help TOTAL strangers [was] absolutely amazing to see!!” An 80-person chain stretched toward the swimmers. Look at this picture of that incredible moment.

Swimmers creating a human chain

Everyone on the beach could think only of traditional solutions, and they were paralyzed. But one couple, in a split second, thought of a different solution. Innovation and creation are spiritual gifts. When we keep our covenants, it may make us different from others in our culture and society, but it gives us access to inspiration so we can think of different solutions, different approaches, different applications. We aren’t always going to fit in with the world, but being different in positive ways can be a lifeline to others who are struggling.

The fourth is to be distinct. Distinct means to be recognizably well defined. Let me go back to the story about Jessica Mae Simmons on the beach. Once that human chain was stretching toward the swimmers, she knew she could help. Jessica Mae said, “I can hold my breath … and go around an Olympic pool with ease! [I knew how to get out of a rip current.] I knew I could get [each swimmer] to the human chain.” She and her husband grabbed boogie boards and swam down the chain until they and another rescuer reached the swimmers, and then they ferried them one by one back to the chain, who passed them to the safety of the beach. Jessica had a distinct skill: she knew how to swim against a rip current.

And finally, the fifth is to do one through four in happy ways. Being happy doesn’t mean to slap a plastic smile on your face no matter what is going on. But it does mean keeping the laws of God and building and lifting others. When we build, when we lift the burden of others, it blesses our lives in ways our trials cannot take away. I have a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley placed where I see it every day. He said: “You don’t … build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.

Have a great day! Do or learn something NEW!



Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share


Happy Monday!

Well, this last weekend I got to cross one more waterfall off my 100-WaterFalls-Bucket-List.

Shoshone Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho {DONE}!  It was a great time of year to go.  SO much water rushing over those cliffs!  I understand that sometimes there’s only a drizzle, depending on how much water the farmers are using for their crops up-stream, the amount of run-off that year etc.  The time of day we went to visit the falls was obviously great too — that rainbow was there the entire time.  Cool huh?  Shoshone Falls is sometimes referred to as “The Niagara Falls of the West”. Although I love the falls, the surrounding scenery is quite a bit greener at Niagara, NY/Canada!

Next miscellany: How do you text ‘Thank You’?  I usually just text Thx, but I understand 10Q is also an option. :o)  So, when we had Student Employee Appreciation Week at the University where I work, I stayed up late one night and made this batch of ’10Q’ cookies.  HA! The students thought I was so clever, ha ha ha!


And lastly, this miscellaneous humor (I texted this to my police officer son) :o)

A blonde was driving down the road and she looks up and sees a tree so she swerves to the left. The tree is still in front of her so she swerves to the right, this time her car rolls into the ditch. When the police officer came, the blonde told him about the tree that was in front of her. The officer kindly explained that the tree was the green air freshener hanging off her rear view mirror.

{Sorry, corny eh? But it made me smile.}

Have a great week!  Do or learn something NEW!






another NEW challenge



So far, I’m enjoying my “Classics Reading Challenge“.  3 out of 12 are done…in the books, as they say. This challenge gives me the boost to read things I normally wouldn’t pick up.  It’s exactly why I love belonging to my book club group.  Having others pick a book, and having the opportunity to read it, digest it, discuss it, is just one of those things I really enjoy.


BUT…on to the announcement of my next NEW challenge! I recently read a blog that had a series called “30 days of…”  and I figured I could try a NEW challenge for the next 30 days.  So, I’ve decided to de-junk or organize something different for the next 30 days.  There’s something about writing my challenges here on this blog.  It somehow puts it out in the universe and then I’M COMMITTED!!! I HAVE to do it!!!! My only problem is what to do if I’m out of town?????  I’ve decided I just have to make it up by catching up.  As long as I’ve de-junked 30 spaces, I will have succeeded at the challenge. I’m planning on traveling next week, so I got a jump on my first two items.  Since I’m starting this mid-month, I’m calling this my “40 days of…”

Here’s my list:

  1. De-junk/Organize the middle drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

2. De-junk/Organize the bottom drawer in the computer room bathroom {done}

3. De-junk/Organize the “manuals” accordion file {done}

4. De-junk/Organize the spice envelope container {done}

5. De-junk/Organize one shelf of linen closet {done}

6. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in pantry {done}

7. De-junk/Organize the lazy susan in kitchen

8. De-junk/Organize the bread drawer {done}

9. De-junk/Organize the dish cloths drawer {done}

10. De-junk/Organize your nail polish

11. De-junk/Organize top shelf above microwave

12. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf above microwave

13. De-junk/Organize top drawer of small file cabinet

14. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of small file cabinet

15. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bathroom

16. De-junk/Organize top shelf of master bedroom

17. De-junk/Organize middle shelf of master bedroom

18. De-junk/Organize bottom shelf of master bedroom

19. De-junk/Organize top drawer of night stand

20. De-junk/Organize bottom drawer of night stand

21. De-junk/Organize under hall bathroom sink

22. De-junk/Organize under computer room bathroom sink

23. De-junk/Organize mudroom hooks

24. De-junk/Organize mudroom cubbies

25. De-junk/Organize one shelf in south storage room

26. De-junk/Organize one shelf in north storage room

27. De-junk/Organize scripture basket{done}

28. De-junk/Organize left drawer in black side table {done}

29. De-junk/Organize middle drawer in black side table {done}

30. De-junk/Organize right drawer in black side table

31. De-junk/Organize recipe binder

32. De-junk/Organize shelf under printer

33. De-junk/Organize middle console of car

34. De-junk/Organize gift bag/wrapping paper stash {done}

35. De-junk/Organize floral craft stash {done}

36. De-junk/Organize top shelf of paper closet

37. De-junk/Organize FHE packets

38. De-junk/Organize canned goods

39. De-junk/Organize bottom of top section of pull-out kitchen shelfs

40. De-junk/Organize veggie bins {done}


Happy Friday!  Have a great day and do or challenge yourself with something NEW!






Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share

Happy Monday! So what’s NEW with all of you? I wish the NEW thing with me would be something exciting like traveling to somewhere I’ve never been, or learning something fabulous. However, the NEW thing at our house is lighting fixtures – now that’s exciting eh? :o)  Don’t get me wrong…they were a long time coming and I’m thrilled we finally got them in! Although once you get one light fixture, you have to update the fixtures in the adjacent rooms too, and before you know it, you’ve shelled out $900!  That could’ve been an airline ticket somewhere exciting! Oh well!


Another miscellaneous item:  I really, REALLY, would like to start a photo-a-day challenge like Connie at Basildonkitchens. BUT could I keep it up?  That’s quite the commitment! Would I?  Should I?  Could I?  I’m still debating.  I’ll let you know.

Oh!  And another NEW thing.  My hubby finished up the picket fence and arbor that is supposed to keep my son’s great dane dog out of my garden area:


I should have got a pic of the picket fence too, because it’s cute, but I can’t wait until I have greenery growing around it.  Hopefully, eventually, it’ll look more like this:


There’s many, many, many NEW things I want to try, learn, do…so many!  I need more hours in a day!  I’ll try to get to a few and update you all next week.

Have a great day!



a NEW book finished and a short Sunday sermon


Happy Sunday! I recently wrote about the Classics Book Challenge that I’ve started.  Well 2 books down–10 to go!  Today’s short Sunday sermon comes from this book – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This scene has Cassandra (the main seventeen-year-old character and narrator) talking to her sewing mannequin (who surprisingly often gives back profound and unexpected advice).  Cassandra has named the mannequin Miss Blossom.  I thought it was quite a good section with good advice  — especially for a  Sunday sermon!

I sat on the bedroom window-seat, staring woodenly at Miss Blossom. Suddenly her voice, in my head: “You go to that picnic, dearie.”

I heard myself ask her why.

“Because little Miss Blinkeyes is right – it would take you out of yourself. And doing things for others gives you a lovely glow.”

“So does port,” I said cynically.

“That’s no way to talk, not at your age,” said Miss Blossom. “Though I must say you’d have made a cat laugh, walking about in your drawers with that cherry brandy. Fancy you having a taste for drink!”

“Well, I can’t drown my sorrows in it often,” I told her, “it’s too expensive. Good works are cheaper.”

“So’s religion,” said Miss Blossom. “And some say that’s best of all. You could get it all right if you went on trying, you know — you being so fond of poetry.”

Now it is very odd, but I have often told myself things through Miss Blossom that I didn’t know I knew. When she said that about my “getting” religion, I instantly realized that she was right — and it came as such a surprise to me that I thought “Heavens, have I been converted?” I soon decided that it wasn’t quite so drastic as that; all that had come to me, really, was — well, the feasibility of conversion. I suddenly knew that religion, God — something beyond everyday life — was there to be found, provided one is really willing. And I saw that though what I felt in the church was only imagination, it was a step on the way; because imagination itself can be a kind of willingness — a pretence that things are real, due to one’s longing for them. It struck me that this was somehow tied up with what the Vicar said about religion being an extension of art — and then I had a glimpse of how religion really can cure  you of sorrow; somehow make use of it, turn it to beauty, just as art can make sad things beautiful.

I found myself saying: “Sacrifice is the secret — you have to sacrifice things for art and it’s the same with religion; and then the sacrifice turns out to be a gain.” Then I got confused and I couldn’t hold on to what I meant — until Miss Blossom remarked: “”Nonsense, duckie — it’s perfectly simple. You lose yourself in something beyond yourself and it’s a lovely rest.”

I saw that, all right. Then I thought: “But that’s how Miss Marcy cured her sorrow, too — only she lost herself in other people instead of in religion.”  Which way of life was best — hers or the Vicar’s? I decided that he loves God and merely like the villagers, whereas she loves the villagers and merely likes God — and then I suddenly wondered if I could combine both ways, love God and my neighbour equally. Was I really willing to?

…Would I be sincere or just pretending? Even if it began as pretence, surely it would grow real before very long? Perhaps it was real already — for the very thought of it rolled the weight of misery of my heart, drove it so far away that, though I saw it still, I no longer felt it.


Have a great day! Do or read something NEW!

Just for future reference, here’s a couple of other quotes from the book (just so I have them all in one place, ya know?)

p. 38 “Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression”

P. 39 “…it really makes one feel rather Godlike to turn things a different colour.”

p. 296 “Oh, it’s hopeless to make friends with people who never talk about themselves.”


a NEW photo of my week


I don’t personally have a macro lens, so I was excited to learn that I could check one out from the library where I work (at a university).  It wasn’t a very fancy one – totally manual focus etc., but  I can’t wait to try it out again when spring and summer actually arrives!  I’ll probably get hooked and have to splurge on one!

Have a great day! Go out and shoot with something NEW!


a NEW photo manipulation and a short Sunday sermon


So, what photography projects do you do in the middle of winter (besides photograph snow and ice), since everything is pretty much dead?  You go to your old photo files and digitally play with random sunset pics from earlier years!

I’ll pair this photo manipulation with a video someone recently recommended.  When I went to watch it, I realized I had seen it before – but I watched again, because it is so good! It talks about Justice and Mercy, so that’s what I decided to dedicate my photo manipulation practice to. Here’s a link to the ten-minute video: It’s about a young man who fails to pay a debt and is saved from the grasp of justice through the mediation of a friend. I hope you like it!

Here are the individual pics I played with. I remember taking this sunset pic with my phone through the window of a moving car :o)


Have a great Sunday.  Do or learn something NEW!