Friday, June 28, 2013

Camping Out

Once upon a time a little girl, the youngest of five, was abandoned by her siblings on a Friday night. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) set in and her Merry God-Grandmother did some magic. Since her brothers were on a camping trip a tent was rustled up, made just for her.

    The tent was wonderful but, alas, it was a one girl tent. No matter how many times she invited the others in, they just didn't fit, nor did they stay very long.

   The next best thing was climbing into bed with her Knitting Queen aunt. The evening past and soon all her siblings were back to tease her and taunt her.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book of Mormon Summer- 2 Nephi

Sketching images in the Book of Mormon forces me to see recurring themes. One of my favorites is the contrast between the awful chains of hell and the encircling arms of righteousness. Both bind, but one binds us to endless misery and the other to our Savior, who sets us free.

Lehi's words
2 Nephi 1:13" O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe."

Jacob's words
2 Nephi 9:45 "O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation."

                                                                       Lehi's words

2 Nephi 1:15 "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

Nephi's words

2 Nephi 4:33 "O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way -- but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy."
   Another recurring theme is light which carries over into all scripture. Isaiah points out that if we obey and respect the Lord we will have his light. But some would create their own light and try to fire up another pathway; their own way.

    2 Nephi 7:10 "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand -- ye shall lie down in sorrow."

       2 Nephi 12:5 "O house of Jacob, come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come, for ye have all gone astray, every one to his wicked ways."
  Here are more of my thoughts on this block of scripture.
  Here are 8X5 versions of my illustrations to copy.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Creating With Food

I purchased my first food processor. What? This late in the game? Hey, hold it, I still don't own a dishwasher and haven't for the last 25 years. My dish washers moved out, mostly, and so I do dishwashing in Zen mode. More on that subject, here.
Since I have fabulous farmers working for me, CSA, and a food storage with waiting staples, I am creating with food.
Here is roasted red pepper hummus and pistachio basil pesto.

   Did I mention the fabulous farmers working for me? The first broccoli was tender and so light in flavor. Picked and on the table the same day!

   This book is revamping my cooking. it has introduced me to FASS. This stands for Fat, Acid, Salt Sweet and this check can so improve any dish. Is your dish missing something? Try adding a drizzle of olive oil, (fat), a suss of lemon juice, (acid), a dash of salt, and lastly, Grade B maple syrup,( the sweet.)

My farmers added flowers to their salad mix this week. I look forward to Thursdays to see what will be in my bag.

                                                           Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Jewel Tones- Red

  My husband and I stopped into a lecture on Impressionist painters and gardening. I especially loved the jewel tones of Monet, Renoir, and Mary Cassat. It made me want to find some ruby and garnet tones on my walk around my neighborhood.

                              Fushia bushes are fascinating when they have red and pink blossoms.

                                      This jolly fire hydrant looks like a little Veggie Tale soldier

                                                             I totally agree with this sentiment.

                                                            A red door beckons entry.

                                  This garden looks like a Monet if I could photoshop out the truck.

                                               The red flag is down. No mail delivery today.

                                                                   And this is all folks.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book of Mormon Summer- 1 Nephi

In Elder Robert D. Hales' Priesthood Session talk these words caught my eye.

     "Being a professional artist, he sat down and drew a picture of a knight—a warrior capable of defending castles and kingdoms.As he drew and read from the scriptures, I learned how to be a faithful.. priesthood holder…"
An image can capture 1000 words and so my project to illustrate the Book of Mormon continues with Nephi sorrowing over his brothers
        The Liahona is such a novel object. Many have compared it to the workings of the Holy Ghost and that comparison has merit but the Liahona could also be compared to the Book of Mormon itself.

   The story of building the boat and crossing the many waters is epic. It has applications to our mortal journey through life. I noted that Nephi was expected to act on his own much of the time. The words, "the Lord did show me from time to time.."indicate that he was not spoon fed all that he should do.

    The prophetic sections where Nephi uses the Brass Plates to teach the history of the House of Israel always reminds me of the gathering at harvest. Calling upon the prophecies of prophets Nephi shows that God has revealed and he does now reveal, and will yet reveal his workings to gather his children together and provide salvation to any who will hear.

                                             Here are more thoughts on this block of scripture.
                                             Here are 8X5 versions of my illustrations to copy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Seventeen Magazine Photo Shoot

     When I was fifteen I bought a little camera and talked someone into doing a photo shoot of me in the best model poses I could think of. It must have been a friend because I would have been too embarrassed to have a family member take them. That might be called vanity.  My husband found these pictures in the attic last week and showed them around to the grandkids to prove that Grandma was a teenager once. It dawned on me that there is history in the background of each of these pictures. This one shows 900 East and 4600 South in SLC and look how barren it is behind me. You can actually see the mountain from the road. Now there are condos in every direction.

Here I am sitting on the little couch my father built into the porch just off the sliding doors from the living room. Behind me is the porch swing where everyone sat watching the cars go by on 900 East.

 Looking at this picture brings back the smell of the Russian Olive Trees. They grew around the ditch. I remember how my father lined the ditch with granite slabs.

   The porch had colorful plastic siding on the roof. We had some colored lights along the edges of the roof which made the front patio a party place. Behind me you can see to Murray. No K-Mart, no condos, just open fields to dream about.

This picture displays my father's stone work so well. He lined the outside walls and patio with rock.

More Russian Olive trees and ironically at this time I had never tried olives. They were not found in our German cuisine.

Here is a great view of my house, from below in the yard. It felt so spacious then, set in a rural pasture land.

 And lastly, another look from the porch. How has almost fifty years passed so fast? The young woman was very innocent but she has lived a good life and has had many dreams come true.

                                                          Did you ever want to be a model?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Notable Events

Alex turned eight and was baptized. What a radiant smile he wore all day!

    This day turned out so warm and fun, thanks to his parents. Grandma and Papa accepted the request to speak and we reminded Alex of the name he carries and the new name he is willingly to carry as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

         Grace invited us to attend her first ballet recital. She was so very excited and felt so beautiful dressed up in her costume.

    Flowers given are rewards for the effort to be part of an ensemble and fulfill her part in the ballet.

    These two sisters are the talk of the town lately because they are moving here with their parents. We are very thrilled to have another family close by us.

  The Mama Daughter celebrated with Emma and all the family by going to Disneyland Paris. Their travels around Europe are such an opportunity for education and insight. These are the perks of being stationed in the Army overseas.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book of Mormon Summer

I just can't let those morning hours get swallowed up by the mundane. I am having a Book of Mormon Summer. 

   As My Early Morning Guests illustrated the Book of Revelations I saw how powerful doodling can be and I can't stop the desire to sketch as I read. My first realization was how smoothly we can go from the New Testament into the Book of Mormon. We leave with the vision of John and his consumption of a book given to him in heaven and we open with the vision of Lehi. An angel bids him to read a book. The message of the book is clear; a messiah will come and redeem the world.

   Amidst the visions of Lehi and Nephi we have the plot of leaving for the wilderness, Laman and Lemuel's dissatisfactions, and obtaining the precious plates. What action and adventure!

The vision of Nephi is so close to the vision of John and I marvel how Nephi, 600 years earlier, can lead us right along the pathway set up by John the Beloved and even mention him as a future writer who will tell the same story.
    1 Nephi 14:19 "And I looked and beheld a man, and he was dressed in a white robe. And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been. And he shall also write concerning the end of the world. Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men."

    I can't help picking up the recurring number 2. The duality theme is a thread winding through the whole Book of Mormon. I, jokingly, want to know if there isn't a third way, my way?

    Here are some more of my thoughts on this scripture block.
    Here are 8X5 versions of my illustrations to copy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

To be Bar Mitzvah- Son of the Commandment

I was honored to attend the Bar Mitzvah of my piano student, Sasha, this weekend. It inspired me and brought added commitment to supporting youth around me to step up and act for themselves to find deeper meaning in their lives. As an added plus I was asked to read at the ceremony. What lovely words they chose for his piano teacher.

Music: God's Universal Language

If we can feel that
It is not our voice,
Not our fingers,
But some reality deep inside our heart
Which is expressing itself,
Then we will know that it is
The soul's music.

The outer music
Comes from the outer instrument.
The inner music
Comes from the heart.
 The name of this inner music
Is oneness.

      I saw the joy this family felt as they celebrated their son reaching the age of accountability. He was deemed accountable to bring the words of Torah to the world and become a loving, compassionate person. In my spiritual language he was brought under covenant to God to be his child and God promised that he would be His son.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What I've Learned From Teaching Seminary

                                  There Are Only Two Ways: To Act Or Be Acted Upon

What I Learned From Teaching Seminary-

   About Teenagers-
 1. They can be fully engaged one day and have no recollection of your lesson the next day.
 2. They feel incredibly vulnerable.
 3. They want to discuss on a deep level.
 4. They need more connection to their Savior, Jesus Christ.
 5. They need motivation to read the scriptures on their own.
 6. Those who come from homes where spiritual matters are openly discussed have a stronger foundation.
   About Teaching-
1. When you are prepared as a teacher you have less to beat yourself up about when things fall apart.
2. Praying is essential.
3. The longer you teach the more there is in your vessel for The Spirit to work with.
4. Plan readiness activities in advance and have them at hand.
5. Don't be afraid to wait when you ask a question.
6. Use journals and make them important by writing in them often during the week, glue-in quotes and pictures, give open journal quizzes to insure they record information correctly, and at the end of the year pass them around to record last testimonies and thoughts from their peers.
7. You can be obsessed with teaching during the year and completely forget how to teach seminary during the summer.
8. Keep yourself focused by reading the whole Book of Mormon every summer.

    About the Holy Ghost
1. He can high- jack your lesson and it is absolutely divine.
2. Sometimes he assists your teaching even when you don't deserve it because your students do.
3. He can connect pieces together when your lesson is dis-jointed.
4. He can teach your students a different lesson that you thought you did.
5. He can flood you with joy and make you feel whole.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back To Work- The Gnome Saga

True to our word the gnomes went home this morning. I overheard chatter amongst them about being at Thriftway to get Jo Jo's, kite flying at Pt. Robinson, and hanging at the Farmer's Market. They seemed to really enjoy their holiday. Upon returning them to their job site we found a surprise waiting for us. 

     Our kindly German neighbor rewarded us for their safe return. It was hilarious that we nabbed some leprechauns along with the gnomes. We missed those pointy ears.

    One of the ducks, the seriously grouchy one, decided to stay on and become a working duck. Who woulda thunk?

        The other two ducks are back home with a lovely German flag hovering over them, made by our kindly German neighbor.
           Alles Gut!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Gnoming We Will Go

For many years I invited My Early Morning Guests to go on a field trip with me. I wanted to visit other seminaries on the main land. "It's too early." "We won't get back for school." Excuses, excuses; they would not budge. However, yesterday, on the last day of May, we set out for a silent walk.

    Only the animals heard us coming. We were on a mission to give some overworked garden gnomes a three day weekend. My beloved German neighbor has such a lovely garden but really, she does expect a lot of from her work force.

                    In the spirit of the French, we wanted a respite for her small bearded characters. The garden was freshly kissed with dew. We scoped out the places we would find the gnomes.

      Knowing my neighbor would suspect the identity of the liberationists we offered a peace token, the useful and dandy, garden ducks.

                     Just for the weekend they could offer some slug control and friendly chatter.

     You just can't imagine the joy we saw on the gnome faces when we gathered them all and made a bee line for home.

     A weekend of leisure to read a good book and have a smoke, hmm…we might have to work on that bad habit.

                           I could not help but marvel how perfect they looked in their natural habitat.

    I could tell that there would be hiking and exploring for the more physical in the group. And there was Herbert, a book tucked under his arm in case the forest got boring.

       Little Friedrich was going to have a problem. He isn't one to relax. That wheelbarrow was still going to be busy, I'm sure.

   On Monday we will take them back and restore order to the garden, but just now, I delight in the glee of what is in the forest, free at last.