Monday, December 21, 2009
Yes, she has been pretty grumpy for awhile. Sorry about that. I thought maybe you would like a little present to get you through the week. I know you want me to make you food. I can’t. I honestly don’t even know where you all live. I’m not even sure who reads me at all! If I could cook for you I would, but this is the next best thing. It is all of my recipes. I am only going to leave the link active for a week, so download whatever you wish. I print these out in color and put them in sheet protectors. No, it is not all of my favorite recipes, but it is probably about 50 of them... and most of them include a photograph I have taken. Some are already on the blog, some are not... but these have the advantage of all being in one place. Enjoy! Also, if you would like a gift of a different sort (but no less heartfelt), wander on over to the Christmas blog. Merry Christmas!
Friday, December 18, 2009
But I would like to bake a few goodies, maybe put up a Christmas tree, buy a couple of presents, send out the Christmas cards and make the house look nice for my family. I haven’t had time for those things, and I really have no one to blame but myself, so I will not even begin to bore you by listing the things I have done this week or still have to do… in fact, if I get a full night’s sleep tonight, tomorrow I might feel entirely different about this. I can do without a meal now and then, but sleep deprivation makes me, well… full of self-pity. At the moment I feel like I am drowning. Maybe in a tub full of egg nog, with a strand of garland wrapped around my neck a few times, just to be festive about it.
So an hour ago, I started this post and wrote that all down, and then my visiting teachers came over. If you are not conversant with my Mormon talk, there are a couple of women who stop by once a month to check and make sure I haven’t drowned in eggnog or been strangled by tinsel or whatever, and while they are here they give me a short inspirational message. So Teri told me the message was about compassion. She started to cry, and told me that every time she has had a bad time, I seem to just know, and I see her and tell her exactly what she needs to hear, and I don’t try to fix her problems, which usually can’t be fixed anyway, but I just hug her and tell her that things will work out… and apparently other profound things. She told me that I was her personal example of compassion.
That stabbed me in the heart a little bit. I have been drowning in the aforementioned eggnog/pity, as well as ignoring thirty calls a day from someone who we will call Christine the Crazy Lady, a semi-homeless, entirely carless (that’s car-less, not careless) “born-again” Filipino woman who is unusually preoccupied with The Rapture, to whom I have given a few rides. I have not been as compassionate as I should, and that is probably why I feel like I am drowning. It was a message I really needed to hear. I am going to go take a nap, and then get back to work.
Happily ☺. I promise.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Our first stop was Casey’s release. Because he was an ordained minister for our church, and had been called as such, and his service as a full-time missionary was over, he had to be formally released. We all sat in a conference room, where after a short private interview with Casey, the member of our stake presidency told Elder McDaniel that he was officially released from being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. At which point, he began to cry like a baby. We all cried. He removed the nametag that had marked him as a missionary, and put it in his pocket. President Carter asked him what he had learned in two years, and he said through his tears that he couldn’t say, because he couldn’t remember what he knew before.
I know exactly what he means. I’m not sure what I knew before, either. Today is the first day in five years that I haven’t had a missionary. No missionaries out, no missionaries living in my home. It is a happy day, and it is so sad that I can’t stop crying right now. From each missionary, I have learned so much that I am not sure what I really knew before. Please forgive me as I am about to do each of my missionaries a disservice by telling one or two things I learned from them, when in reality I learned enough things from each that it would require a whole post to tell.
From Elder Josh McDaniel, I learned how to send a missionary out. What a great way to start, with a missionary that had spent his whole life preparing to go, and his whole life since holding onto the best of his mission, while adding new graces every single day. Josh is the most consistently cheerful and upbeat person I know, and I learned from him that every single day could be my “best day.”
Elder Breyman taught me hospitality. As I opened my home to missionaries not my own, I found that they were my own after all, and that I could truly love them that much. From Elder Breyman I also learned that everything is not just bigger, but also better in Texas, and that you can make almost anything from duct tape.
From Elder Krenkel, I learned that it was okay to fall down. Blood and bruises are a badge of honor, that show you haven’t been sitting around all day. Elder Krenkel also showed me how much a person can grow and change in a short period of time, and he never failed to amaze me with his humble love of the gospel and beautiful teaching style.
Elder Danielson showed me obedience and how to follow leadership. Coming from a tiny town in North Dakota, he was dropped into the middle of the Real Housewives of Orange County. For days, he simply followed Elder Breyman. By following a good example, the time came when he was a leader in his own right.
Elder Tyler McDaniel taught me that missionary work is about saving souls. Sometimes the soul you have to save is not a stranger’s, but your companion’s. His enemies were anger, frustration and discouragement, and he conquered them so that he could be free to do the work that Heavenly Father had laid out for him. He showed brotherly love to his companions, and kept a very little brother Skippy waiting by the mailbox for the amazing illustrated letters he sent so that Skippy would remember a brother over two long years. It worked.
Elder Gould taught me that life is not a popularity contest. His kind spirit and desire to do the right thing inspired other missionaries, members of the church and all the people that he met on his mission. He taught me the importance of confidence, and that when you are doing the right thing, you can and should be confident. Elder Hopkins taught me to express love for people that are not my immediate family. I had never really considered doing that, and he made me realize how important it really is, and that by extending that love, my family circle just becomes that much larger. From Elder Hopkins I also learned that stalkers aren’t just on TV.
From Elder Pfile I learned courage. He took his weaknesses, like a fear of street contacting, and turned them into strengths by conquering fear. He showed me how important it is to have passion for what you are doing, and never took a sick day in two years. He set the best example I have ever known of what it means to be truly repentant. From him I learned that the only true apology is a humble one. At the same time, he taught me about having fun even when things are difficult. He also taught me about loyalty, as he was fiercely loyal to me and my family.
From Elder Waller I learned that a tough and stern exterior may just be guarding a tender heart. He showed that when you know someone loves you, it makes all the difference. I learned from Elder Waller the power music has to unite people, and he also showed me the importance of gratitude for small acts of kindness, and the importance of doing small acts of kindness every day.
From Elder Hobley I learned compassion, as he showed that compassion to me in difficult times, and as he showed it to others. He helped me realize what a comfort a sense of humor can be, and that it is okay to be big, goofy and childlike because it makes everyone else happy when you are happy. What a great trait to have! He taught me to think before speaking or acting, but not to let people push you around. I also learned from Elder Hobley that one can hunt spiders with swords. Who knew?
Elder Crane taught me about discipline. All my missionaries were hardworking, but Elder Crane was one of the best examples of how to give your best effort at all times. He had the determination to reach goals that others would find too daunting to even attempt. He showed me triumph over adversity, and love for his companions. I learned from Elder Crane how a positive attitude and modesty (combined with the ability to blush) would attract people and make them want to learn from him.
From Elder Murray I learned about possibilities. Elder Murray was excited to try anything. His desire to excel was inspiring, and made me want to learn new things as well. Elder Murray was an example of patience and kindness under all circumstances, and in half a year I never even saw him give in to frustration, much less anger. That is remarkable. Another thing that Elder Murray showed me was how to build up the people around me by showing them their own best traits. I think his own best trait was childlike faith... another thing he taught me.
Elder Felkner was the example of gentleness and kindness. His McDaniel-like sense of humor was tempered by an awareness of others’ feelings at all times. While all of our missionaries have been unfailingly polite and considerate, Elder Felkner was the best example I have seen of being gentleman-like and moderate in his speech and actions. I learned by watching his loving behavior, particularly toward a certain pesky five-year-old boy, that there is no need to call attention to yourself… when you have a kind and gentle, yet confident attitude, people are naturally drawn to you.
And from Elder Casey McDaniel, I have learned that life is short, so you had better be about Heavenly Father’s business. He is an example of seeing to the heart of what is the most important, and pursuing that, without being distracted by unimportant things. I have seen how people are drawn to him and want to be around him and be like him, because of his clean spirit, positive attitude and his refusal to judge others. He has also shown me the joy that comes from being independent. I didn’t always appreciate that independence, but now it is priceless.
My missionary board is covered with probably 80 cards from missionaries we have known and loved (okay, probably 30 of those cards are Elder Hobley’s... but still) and welcomed into our home. Even if they didn’t live here, each and every one still set an amazing example.
Five years, and what have I learned? I remember I didn’t even like to have the missionaries to dinner five years ago… it seemed so awkward. What could we even talk about? I guess I didn’t know much at all back then.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Over the past while, friends have done a lot of things for me. One friend brought flowers and planted my front yard so that it would be beautiful when Casey comes home. One brings Skippy home from school for me several days a week. A couple of my friends bring me frozen yogurt on their way home from work, and sit to talk for awhile. One friend encouraged me all year long on my CD project, even when I told her to shut up because I wasn’t doing it anymore (several times). One listened to the master CD about five times straight the last week of the project (when friends seemed in short supply and no one else seemed to have time for me!) to try to help me find things to fix. One friend talks me down when I get too stressed, and reminds me not to listen to people when they are making me crazy (which happens more often than I care to admit). My sons and daughter-in-law, who are the best friends anyone could ask for, all pitched in to get me ready for my CD party, and it was like having a housekeeper, a decorator and a chef all show up at my door just at the right time. One amazing friend even catered that party for me!
I am definitely not worth so much trouble. What are the best things that friends do for you?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Yesterday I was sitting in my office at about 5:45 a.m., having just dropped Dillon off at his early morning scripture class. Skippy stumbled in, half asleep. He complained that he was thirsty, and so I opened a small water bottle that was on my desk and handed it to him. He took a swig, and then reached into his mouth, and placed a small white object on my desk. “What is that?” I asked him, thinking it was a little paper, maybe from the water bottle label. “It’s my tooth,” he replied, and then he quietly went back up to bed.
I asked him today what he hopes Santa will bring him for Christmas. “I don’t know,” he said. “But maybe the Tooth Fairy could put my tooth back.” Since it is the first tooth he has lost, he doesn’t quite have the hang of the Tooth Fairy gig yet. He will learn.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I spent the evening stuffing padded envelopes and boxes with CDs for mailing, and then sticking labels on. I loaded all the CD orders in a huge box, and at 9:00 a.m. I drove down to the little post office in the canyon. I knew that my fifty parcels were going to take awhile to process, so as a little thank you I took along one of the CDs. It took about thirty minutes to post them all, and about halfway through the postal employee was admiring the artwork on the mailing labels, which is the same as the CD cover. I told her thank you, and that I had brought her a CD.
She was so excited that she opened it up and actually kissed my picture on the inside of the label:). She insisted that she would be playing my CD and showing it to everyone who came in. She called it her “marketing program.” She took me into the back room (I have never been in the back room of a post office before), showed me a bunch of options for free packaging and loaded me up with samples. She instructed me that on my next batch of mailing, I was to call her and make an appointment for a “secret meeting” a half hour before the post office opens. We exchanged phone numbers, and then a hug. I can say with perfect certainty that it was the most warm and friendly postal experience I have ever had. And the hug thing… second time in two days. I think this is going to be an interesting week.
By the way... the photo was taken near the Trabuco Canyon post office in 1969. And it still looks just like that.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
To my happy surprise, I loved the girls. They were beautiful, unselfish and fun, and they have become some of my best friends. That was a nice thing to discover, especially as my own boys were reaching the age where they have begun to marry. My oldest son picked one of the best ones I have ever met, and married her. That is certainly an encouraging start, right? So, back to my boys… all of them, whether my sons or not. If the girls deserve a boy who is willing to climb to the top of the tree, what do my boys deserve? More than they are getting, in a lot of cases, I’m afraid. When they call to tell me their dating experiences, I am constantly dismayed by what girls put them through. It is bad enough that girls play mind games with each other, but as boys usually are more straightforward in their interactions, it is most unfair to play mind games with them. Many of them are not equipped for that sport, and the good ones don’t want to play.
Here is what my boys deserve:
1. A girl who is beautiful. But beautiful in the right way… a girl who is unfailingly modest in dress, speech and actions. One of the standards of my church is to dress modestly… something that most of the world thinks is rather strange. But my boys deserve nothing less. Whether you see her at the beach, at church, shopping, or just on Facebook, she should be modest. Let me be clear here… this is not because I don’t want the boys to think bad thoughts. My boys can master their thoughts. It is something much more important… it marks a commitment to covenants they have made. And no double standards either... my boys are modest themselves. When my daughter Cambria was about two, she was pointing out swimsuits that she thought were “pretty.” I told her they weren’t very modest, and I asked her if she knew what modest meant. She very smugly told me, “Yes. It means ugly.” We laughed about that for days, but I am here to tell you that it does not mean ugly. I am a big fan of beautiful, stylish modesty. It is really easy to say that most of the girls wear their skirts too short and their swimsuits too tiny, so you can’t judge a girl by that standard. But I know girls who are unfailingly modest. They stand out like a bright light from the girls who are not… and my boys deserve nothing less than that.
2. A girl who is honest. No ex-boyfriends that aren’t really ex. No saying things she doesn’t mean. No pretending to feel more or less than she really does. No treating my boys like a plaything. Honest.
3. A girl who is unselfish. She needs to care more about others than herself, because that is how my boys are. I have worried, in the affluent area where I live, that DK and I have spent the last twenty years raising sons who can support a family, while my neighbors have spent the same years raising daughters that my boys can never possibly afford to marry. My boys are not just finding a girl to marry; they are finding a mother for their children, and that is about a hundred times more important.
4. A girl who is kind. She must be kind to her friends, kind to her family, kind to children, and… kind to my boys.
5. A girl who is better than my boys. Or at least they think she is. She needs to be so amazing, that they behave better around her. They try harder, and reach bigger goals, because she makes them want to be better men. She safeguards their virtue along with her own. She reminds them of how great they are, encourages them, sets a good example, and yet still follows wise counsel. Every one of my boys deserves a girl who is better than they are.
So come on, girls. It’s time to step it up a little. Be more to get more. I told you the apple analogy. You can never be that rotten apple sitting on the ground waiting for any lazy boy to scoop you up and take a bite. You are better than that. My boys are better than that. You might wonder how you can compete in a world of girls who use tricks and sexy clothes to get their way. Don’t think for a single minute that my boys can’t tell the difference. Yes, there are boys that are looking for those girls. But I will tell you right now… not my boys.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So I met this cute girl named Lindsay. Friend of a friend. Being the immature person that I am, I find that many of my friends are younger, and in the dating years. Lindsay told me about her conversation with a boy today. He is 20, and will be leaving on a two-year church mission in a few months, and they had the following conversation (to the best of my recollection):
Lindsay: I am happy to go out on dates with you, but I have a feeling you are more into it than I am. (translation: I think of you as a friend)
Cowboy: Well, Lindsay, this is how it is for me: I am leaving on a mission soon (where there will be no more dating of girls), and basically I am just out to get what I can. I am trying to “fill up my canteen,” so to speak.
Wait a sec...did you really just say fill up your canteen???
I am still trying to wrap my brain around his choice of analogy... not to mention the intention behind it. There are a lot of canteens in the world, Lindsay. Fortunately you are smart and good enough to know that you don’t need to provide a watering hole for every random ridiculous cowboy out there.
This is one of my favorite quotes: “Girls are like apples...the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...”
Lindsay is definitely at the top of the tree. When one of those boys cares enough to climb up, then he is worth looking at. All the better if he leaves his canteen on the ground so that he can climb better.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
And I was all proud of my CD... particularly because I made something of a breakthrough in the quality of the mastered CD and was pretty much dying to listen to it. Sort of like when you get new clothes that you love, and you keep wanting to try them on? Well, no CD player in the house. BUT my Suburban has a really nice Bose sound system. Hmm. It also has a battery that has seen better days. So tonight I sneaked out to the car, and listened to the CD in there. I turned on the engine every ten minutes or so to recharge the battery so that I could get through all the songs. At one point DK came out and asked, “Aren’t you afraid you will run the battery down?” and I smugly answered, “No.” Well, not five minutes later I went to turn on the engine and... CLICK. I tried again. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. Dang it. Don’t tell DK but I ran the battery down in the car.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
And I realized that my one-year mark for this blog... it came and went a couple of days ago. Ah, well... I will write something profound another day. I’ve got nothing. Not this week. This week I am wavering between tears (Oh! go listen to the song I just put up on the other blog, right here. Look at the painting, and read the words. I couldn’t even get through it without getting teary-eyed, and I wrote it!) and... anyway, wavering between tears and, well, a little bit of naughtiness... I keep thinking of interesting prank ideas. Today is DK’s birthday, and he is not a fan of pranks. So I will refrain. For today. But if, tomorrow, you find your shoes glued to the floor, or your Facebook hacked with a picture of a gigantic fat guy as your profile pic, or 5,000 plastic forks stuck in your front lawn... you will know it is just me, blowing off a little steam.
P.S. As for the blog, I know it really does need a makeover... the mp3 player doesn’t currently work, and next week when I have a little time, I will make it so you can listen to music on this blog again. For now, enjoy a little navidad over at “All About the Baby.” xo
Monday, October 26, 2009
One last thing... the shameless plug. Please please please go over and check out the Christmas blog. I just added a new song, and I will add another tomorrow. If you haven’t purchased your CDs, hurry hurry! They will be shipping out in just over two weeks to everyone who pre-orders. And when you go over, leave some comment love! I start to think I am the Lone Ranger.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Here is the link to go look:
Oh, and while you are there, listen to the sneak peeks of music for the new CD I have on there. And for goodness sakes, leave me a comment or two! Let me know if you can figure out my problem... (and I am talking about the blog problem... I’m just saying...)
Okay... I give up. As soon as I posted this, the problem FIXED itself. I don’t understand... but I’ll take it. If you know why I am having this issue, you can still let me know! And go enjoy the new song I just put up.... there are three now!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
(Wow this is really hard messing with someone else's blog - I'm sure there are a gazillion mistakes here somewhere . . . )
Today I received the following email in my box -
Check the expiration dates on your mixes with yeast! Read on...
Cake Mixes & Toxins- **PLEASE READ **Poison
This is confirmed on Snopes http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/pancake.asp
A student at HBHS (high school) had pancakes this week and it almost became fatal. His Mom (registered nurse) made him pancakes, dropped him off at school and headed to play tennis. She never takes her cell phone on the court but did this time and her son called to say he was having trouble breathing. She told him to go to the nurse immediately and proceeded to call school and alert the nurse. The nurse called the paramedics and they were there in 3 minutes and worked on the boy all the way to the hospital. He came so close to dying. Evidently this is more common then I ever knew. Check the expiration dates on packages like pancakes and cake mixes that have yeast which over time develop spores. Apparently, the mold that forms in old mixes can be toxic! Throw away ALL OUTDATED pancake mix, brownie mixes, Bisquick, cake & cookie mixes, etc., you have in your home.
P.S. Tell this to your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and anyone else who keeps these types of mixes in the cupboard.
Well, me, ever the sceptic and keeper of almost any pantry item as long as I'm still using it (if you can extend that concept of 'use' to like - yes, I'm pretty sure I did use that at least once this last year, hmmmm. . . better keep it).
I was sceptical, after all I also am an RN, and I've never heard of such a thing. I made my way over to Snopes.com, the ultimate documentary and researcher of all things such as urban legends, common fallacies, misinformation, old wives' tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items. I just wanted to see with my own eyes what Snoopy at Snopes had to say about it . . .
Snopes article "Flapjack Flap" originated back in 2006 with a letter written to "Dear Abby" that contains a story similar to the one shared above. Dear Abby's response that became widely circulated was
"Thank you for the warning, I certainly was not aware that pancake mix could turn moldy and cause an allergic reaction in someone with an allergy to mold - but it's logical. I wonder if the same holds true for cake mix, brownie mix and cookie mix. If so, then a warning should be placed on the box for people like me. We hear so often about discarding prescriptions and over-the-counter medications after their expiration dates, but I don't recall warnings about packaged items in the pantry. Heads up folks!"
It is possible for someone who chows down on pancake mix that has sat around for too long to suffer a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction to the molds that have grown therein, and a resultant death has been documented. It is also true that there is nothing inherently toxic about pancake mix that has past it's freshness date. It's not like Cinderella, transforming immediately from good to poison as the clock strikes midnight. Nor does the growth of mold in a package fell all who consume it, only those who have allergies to mold are at risk, and again, the package must actually contain mold spores, not just be "over the hill".
Also keep in mind, for mold to gain access to a food product, the foodstuff has to actually be exposed to its spores. Mixes sealed in wax paper, foil, or plastic within its outer packaging would not have this contact and still should be safe no matter the age of the product. However, a mix sold in cardboard boxes, or paper sacks would be at risk due to the lack of a moisture barrier surrounding the mix, and mold thrives in a damp environment.
So what exactly IS the bottom line to all this: If you don't have allergies to mold, you're quite safe! You needn't fear the pancake, cake or brownie mix. If you do have allergies to mold, you shouldn't keep your flapjack makings around for a couple years after opening the box or pouch it came in. It's not worth dying over 50 cents worth of pancake mix. So when in doubt - throw it out!
aka - Kristin, "One Day at a Time - Alpine Klein Bunch"
Friday, October 16, 2009
My topic today has nothing to do with that though, it is about becoming a better friend through food, or rather the lack of it!
This has been troubling me for some time.
There's nothing worse than looking in the mirror three quarters of the way through your day and seeing some huge shredded piece of green nastiness lodged between your two front teeth. You think, "For the love of all that is holy, how long has THAT been there?!"
You begin recounting the events of your day - all the people you've had face-to-face conversations with.
Why did they stay silent? Surely they saw it. You think, "Good grief, if I'd sat any closer to them they could have taken a bite of it!"
How could they let me just keep on about my day without telling me that there's an entire crop of romaine lettuce protruding from my face?
Friends don't let friends walk around with food in their teeth.
So the next time you seem some poor, clueless person walking around with a vegetable garden sprouting from their two front teeth, do the right thing and tell them about it.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
....never 'tasted' so good!
We were finishing up dinner dishes and getting ready for Family Night. The phone rings:
Officer Davidson: Is this the Duffy's?
Officer D: I have a Kevin Mc. here at the gate.
Me: (surprised because we weren't expecting anyone). Oh. Okay.
Doorbell dings a few minutes later. It is Kevin and Liam with 2 loaves of hot bread right out of the oven! Victoria is a master with homemade bread. She doesn't buy bread anymore. How did she know? That bread was family night treats with butter and honey and jam. With all my extra family here on Wrightwood fire evacuation it hit the spot and gave lots of comfort.
Loving service is the example of He who is the true Bread of Life!
But tonight I am stopping for a moment to ponder where my bread is. I am going to guess somewhere in the air over the midwest. I did not have time to make a package today, but one of my boys was in need of bread. It happened to be Ethan, in Virginia. He pointed out that I have never (not once) sent him a package, and that furthermore the chow hall at the Naval Base does not even try to approximate home cooking. That is sad, but true. What he really wanted was homemade bread. Homemade bread is less delectable after three or four (or six) days. So I made the bread... all white, as per request. Sliced it, bagged it, and headed over to Fedex with two very soft, fresh loaves. There the Fedex employee who saw me cramming the loaves into one of those three-inch high Fedex boxes was very offended. She yelled across the room: Stop! You’re squishing that bread! She insisted on finding me an larger box and padding the bread so that it would arrive fluffy instead of a compressed ball of dough.
The package... it wasn’t my best work. A quickly typed letter from Mom, a Nightmare Before Christmas CD, the bread, and a well bubble-wrapped jar of homemade jam. But it was the best I could do today. Or this week. Or this month. And I couldn’t help but think: Two loaves of homemade white bread: 50 cents. Fedex standard overnight shipping: $22. A package from home: Priceless.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
DK here as a guest blogger. I’ve got big news! The day has come. Victoria now has a storefront for pre-order of her first, published CD. She has been working long hours to get the ducks in a row. You can check it out (literally) at VixMusic.ecrater.com.
Guest artists have travelled great distances (some, thousands of miles)--thanks Ric and Garry and others. Tandy and Stephanie were in the studio this morning; Ric, until late last night. Cupcake is laying down tracks like crazy. It’s all very exciting. BTW, the CD will have 4 traditional numbers and 10 of Victoria’s new compositions.
So check out the other blog VixChristmasMusic for the ongoing story of the CD and the production of the music.
Several people have expressed a desire to order several CDs for special Christmas gifts e for friends, family, even work associates. The music has a special quality that is just filled with the Spirit. Here’s the thing: the production run will be limited. Once they are gone, they are gone. The first run will be available in plenty of time for holiday gift-giving.
I hope that friends from all over find this to be a delightful addition to their holidays. Check back to this blog to hear occasional postings of new songs as they are completed. Follow the story at VixChristmasMusic. For those who want the actual CDs, order early. They will be shipping just as soon as they are published.
You can’t believe the work it takes to prepare music for publication. But I think you’ll agree with me, it is worth it. And when you’re ready, give the new storefront a try. VixMusic
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The puddle on my kitchen floor kept growing and growing.
The repairman will be coming in a week for his 4th visit. We’re getting quite well acquainted at this point.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Its great to be here at The Welcome Mat! I have known Victoria since she swipped the highly coveted slingshot monkeys from me over on Della's blog. I fell in love with her right away and soon after we found out we have about 8 young, handsome men in common. NOoooo - not what you are thinking we both seem to be the mission moms in our respectable wards and since we are in the same district we share alot of the same Elders. I love The Welcome Mat and have since the moment I have happened upon it. Sometimes, I have to admit, I have come JUST to hear the music! SO to make a long story short - it's great to be on this side of the mat!Thanks for the invite Victoria!
For my first post, I will actually repost one of my favorite posts for your reading enjoyment!
I think bumper stickers can tell alot about a person.
Yes, not just the usual ...do they belong to the national rifle association or do they have AAA , whom they are voting for but soooo much more.
If you have.....
0 bumper stickers - You are boring. Now don't go taking offense here. I am boring also.Remember this is just my theory.
1 bumper stickers - You stand for something. You either believe in a candidates stand on something, want to save a rainforest or have an opinion.
2 bumper stickers - This is where the gray area slowly begins to seep in. You have many opinions ( and sometimes weird ideas on life) and want to share them with everyone on the road.
3 bumper stickers - You , my friend are walking the line of being freaky. A little scary almost. If you added one more you could be considered a suburban redneck. Cmon, really why is it necessary to know that you "flick you boogers" ?
4 bumper stickers- Oh dear. Maybe professional counseling might be a good step in the right direction. Again this is my theory. Please, comment and help me to prove or disprove it. I just think that when you start having 4 or more stickers you might have a lug nut not fastened properly.
When ya got more stickers than bumper - Okay, first, don't go getting all obnoxious when you walk into the school parking lot and find someone using her cell phone to zoom in on your bumper( while her toddler runs around her SUV). And further....when she nicely tries to dance round the question of why she is taking pictures you really shouldn't start haulin off pushing at her. Seriously, you might really have a few things you need to work out and maybe the purely innocent bloggers of the world are not the place to begin.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I realized a couple of things. The first thing is, that I may not get much sleep in October. This is do or die. The other thing I realized is, I need help. Truly, and desperately. I am working on getting help with my CD project, because I know I can’t finish it in time if I have another week like this one. I am also trying to scale back my participation in other activities for the month of October. I also need some help over here in blogville. I feel like I have been settling, by just posting recipes every now and again. While that is fun sometimes, it is not how I think of my blog. So I am wondering if some of my blog friends would like to be guest posters on my blog during the next couple of weeks. I am going to ask some family members to participate... but I thought it would be also be interesting to hear from some others, so...
I am calling you out… Fruit of the Carolyn, Bakow Babble, Cranberry Fries, Duffy Doings, Kristin @ Alpine Klein Bunch, Matt and Corinne Bos, Pike’s Pickles, My Amusements, Obsessions and Things, It’s Miller Time, Italian Signorina, Sad But True… I am begging for your help. The posts don’t have to be long. Will you do a guest post on my blog? These are just a few of the folks I read all the time… I know I’m forgetting people... Jamie... Jan... Linda... Life is Beauty-ful? so if I didn’t mention you and you would like to be my guest, even if you don’t have a blog... just give a holler (or, this being the Halloween season, a screech). So friends, what say you?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I need to watch my monster mouth, and ask myself, before I speak:
Is it timely?
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Maybe I should carry around a stack of post-it notes with those questions printed on them, with check boxes alongside. Maybe with a little reminder at the bottom that says, You. Are. Not. Everyone’s. Mom. Or maybe just some duct tape. For my mouth. Am I really the advice monster?
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I know it is supposed to already be fall and everything. In fact, I have heard wild rumors of snow in Utah county. But I will tell you that Southern California is not cooperating. We had a little cool weather last week, that lured my liquidambar tree in the front yard.. the only indication of changing seasons for miles around... into beginning its autumn metamorphosis. And just as quickly, some Santa Ana winds showed up, along with a nasty dry heatwave, and now the leaves are baking on the tree instead of turning red and orange. I don’t really appreciate that sort of behavior in October.
And today I had a request for this recipe. Taco Soup. It is a great one for the cool weather. Which, as previously stated, I am not having.
But I did make crepes this morning...
Crêpes. They are good food for watching LDS General Conference on TV. They are good for summer. Spring. Fall. Winter. I have tried, but I just can’t think of a down-side for crepes. Make them.
P.S. This new blog background... totally ME, or WHAT???
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So tomorrow is Ethan’s half birthday. What did you do on the day you were 18 and a half? Well, Ethan is being promoted to Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. Wish I had a better photo, but, well… he is in Virginia and I am in Cali. So this will have to do.
Ethan is stationed at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He attends the Navy School of Music, also referred to as the Armed Services School of Music. I wish Ethan could tell you about what he does there, because I am sure to get it wrong. But I am going to try, since his life is definitely more interesting than anything going on around my house.
His music education there consists of three parts: ear training, theory and mastery of his instrument, which is the French horn. He is a McDaniel, and therefore rocks everyone at the ear training part. The theory he has also flown through, since it is an academic venture that he tackles at the computer, and although he has never had theory, it mostly consists of principles he already grasps, but didn’t know the names for. The sticky part is the mastery of the French horn. He trains side-by-side with musicians with greatly varying experience, including many who are college graduates in music. Ethan has never even had private lessons, and although he is extremely musical, just being musical does not give him the technique he needs. He has to practice a minimum of ten hours a week, and sometimes much more in order to improve as rapidly as he wants.
It is Ethan’s plan to graduate from the music school in January. At that time he will be assigned to a Marine Band. There are twelve Marine Bands. I believe that one is in Japan, one in Hawaii, and the rest are in the continental U.S. Ethan will have the opportunity to submit his top three choices of location. In the meantime, he fills his days with P.T., marching practice, and hours and hours of French horn practice.
If anyone would like to drop him a note, he would love it, and so would I. He may be a Lance Corporal, but he is still an 18 and a half-year-old clear across the country from home. Here is his address:
School of Music, Marine Detachment
LCpl Ethan McDaniel
1420 Gator Blvd.
Norfolk, VA 23521