Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas music

These are my two favorite videos this year:

I love the joy on David's face. It's really sweet.

And The Piano Guys. Wow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A New Member of Our Family

So on Friday morning, I dropped Morgan off at his ride to work and was driving back home when I noticed a garage sale sign. Now, those are everywhere and I rarely pay much attention, but this one caught my eye.

I felt strongly I should stop, but remembered I didn't have any money on me, so I thought about returning later. But then I got another impression to stop, so following the Prophet's counsel "I have learned... never to postpone a prompting" (find the talk here), I turned and followed signs to the garage sale.

Lo and behold, at the very front of the sale stood a vacuum. (Just as background, since we have mostly tile in our house, we haven't bought a vacuum yet. They're expensive! But we have been wanting one so we don't have to borrow my parents' every time we want to vacuum our room.) I asked the lady running the sale if it picked up well and she said it did and then offered me a discount. :) She put the vacuum aside while I ran home to get some cash. And now we are now proud owners of a vacuum. And she was right. It really does pick up well.

Blessings for paying tithing? Probably. Blessings for following a prompting? Probably. But I know for sure that the Lord is aware of me and my needs. Like President Monson, I marvel:

I never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual.... The fact that He can, that He does, is a testimony to me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Salt water

I believe I was a teenager when someone talked me into putting salt on a slice of watermelon. "It will taste sweeter!" they said.

No. It tastes like salty watermelon.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Internet quotes

So we just saw a quote attributed to Shakespeare that does not sound very much like the Shakespeare we know. (It is beautiful, though.)

Time is very slow for those who wait
Very fast for those who are scared
very long for those who lament
Very short for those who celebrate
But for those who love time is eternal.

There is a similar quote by Henry Van Dyke:

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.

Does anyone KNOW if that first quote is really by Shakespeare? I want a source for the quote. I actually like Van Dyke's better anyway, but that's beside the point. We just don't think that the first one sounds very Shakespearean.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The happy ending

So seeing how disappointed I was at missing my favorite (maybe - I've only seen it once and that was awhile ago now) musical, Morgan decided to spend the evening making me laugh. We watched a funny movie and then a series of YouTube videos by these guys:

If you just skipped watching it, shame on you. :) Less than three minutes and you'll laugh your head off. And never think of the dentist the same way again.

Then we looked at memes on Pinterest until way too late in the night and laughed a lot more.

Boy, I am grateful for Morgan.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Too late


Okay, not actual tragedy, but something sad.

To me.

I saw "She Loves Me" my freshman or sophomore year at college. And I loved it. And I have always wanted to see it again.

Tonight, we passed a sign on the way to a meeting that said a local high school is putting it on. I got SO excited! On our way back from our meeting, we checked when it would be playing. Tonight. (We passed it too late.) Tomorrow night. (Stake Conference.) And Sunday.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Schumann and Zabriskie

Isn't this meme beautiful? In preparation for her book release, Ramona Zabriskie has created a special Facebook page and blog. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Two things

I've been reading a lot of Christian marriage blogs lately. One of my favorites is The Generous Wife because she has great things to say and also great links. :) One of the links hit me today as I was trying to prioritize the many things on my to-do list. It's called "Do Two Things Well." It's really short. Check it out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Schubert and Bell

Are there any words to describe this?

If you think of any, let me know.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Looking back at books I've read recently and what I've thought of them, I was tempted earlier to post  that I am just a shallow reader. That thought depressed me because while I've never thought of myself as a deep, literary reader, I did think of myself as having some taste in books. Of course I like a lot of books that I would label "fluff" or "candy for the mind," but I still think of "Les Miserables" as one of my favorite books. So I can't be TOO shallow, right? Still, tonight I was ready to give up reviewing books altogether since I obviously have no taste.

And then I thought of a movie we saw a few years ago: "Music and Lyrics." It's not my favorite movie, but I really, really liked one part. Check it out from minute 2:10 to 2:52.

A: Oh, no, of course not. Pop is just for morons. Forgot that.

S: I didn't mean anything by it.

A: Brain-dead, or taken too many drugs. You know what I'd say to you and Sloan Cates? You can take all the novels in the world and not one of them will make you feel as good as fast as:

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May.

That is real poetry. Those are real poets. Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, the Beatles.


So then I thought just because I don't agree with a literary body doesn't mean that what I like isn't as effective and powerful in its own way. I can list lots of books that are not "literary" that I learned so much from even if I got nothing out of Hemingway or Woolf.

And who decided who were the "great authors" anyway? Well, that's another discussion; one I have many strong feelings about. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Having just read Dallin H. Oaks' talk from April 2012 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entitled "Sacrifice," I've been thinking a lot about, well, sacrifice over the last few days. Some people have been baffled at why we "Mormons" do what we do. I thought Elder Oaks summarized it nicely:

I believe that Latter-day Saints who give unselfish service and sacrifice in worshipful imitation of our Savior adhere to eternal values to a greater extent than any other group of people. Latter-day Saints look on their sacrifices of time and means as a part of their schooling and qualifying for eternity. This is a truth revealed in the Lectures on Faith, which teach that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It [is] through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.”

(Emphasis my own.) What do we sacrifice? I think what is "sacrificed" is personal; basically we sacrifice our "worldly" desires or our "natural man" cravings for what we want more - becoming more like the Savior. I think this is so often misunderstood as us being blindly obedient. But when we focus on WHY we do these things, it is a beautiful gift from us and to us. The WHY makes all the difference.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some Milton

Milton wrote a sonnet after he went blind entitled "On His Blindness."

WHEN I consider how my light is spent
  E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
  And that one Talent which is death to hide,
  Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
  My true account, least he returning chide,
  Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
  I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
  Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
  Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State 
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
  And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:          
  They also serve who only stand and waite.

Philistine that I am, despite the moving content, I STILL am annoyed that the end of the line is not necessarily where a natural pause occurs. I hate reading poetry aloud. In fact, if one were to describe me with a phrase, it would definitely not be something to the effect of "the soul of a poet."

With all my complaining, this does stir my soul. Maybe the cry of patience. Maybe the reference to the easy yoke of the Lord. Maybe the hope.


May I present one of my favorite poems?

I've got an itch, a wretched itch,
No other itch could match it.
It itches in the one spot which
I cannot reach to scratch it.

Brilliant rhythm. Succinct. Poignant. I love Jack Prelutsky.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Education is the power to think clearly, the power to act well in the world's work, and the power to appreciate life.

Brigham Young

Found in an article by Henry B. Eyring

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity."

W. H. Auden

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Les Mis

I was complaining to my brother recently that I'm not excited for any of the movies coming out this year with two exceptions: Brave and The Hobbit. He looked up movies coming out and really didn't find much else to be excited about until the December releases. There, he found "Les Miserables"! Thinking of the last production, I was a little wary. (I loved some parts of the Liam Neeson version and hated others.) He started to read the cast list and I started to get excited. Hugh Jackman as Valjean. (Loved him in Oklahoma!) And Colm Wilkinson as the bishop!!

Of course, we know Colm Wilkinson best playing the role of Valjean on Broadway. This is quartet from the 25th anniversary concert where he and three others were invited to sing "Bring Him Home."


Anyway, as I was watching this great video, I was reflecting on Wilkinson playing the role of the Bishop of Digne. I have read "Les Miserables" through twice, unabridged of course! I think I only made it through the first time because I wanted to impress a boy I was impressed with. :) But having actually read the book, I love it. The first time I read it, I was only about 14 and I was bored beyond belief by the first part of the book. Ironic because that became my favorite part of the book. That and the last few pages of course.

I ask your pardon as this is rather a wandering essay here.

Anyway! As I watched Colm Wilkinson sing in that quartet, I was struck with how benevolent he looked. That is the characteristic I would use to describe the Bishop of Digne in the book. (On another tangent, it's always annoyed me a little bit that the bishop has been portrayed so many times as a young man. The first paragraph in the book identifies him as 75 years old!) Let me quote a little:

"Sometimes in the midst of his reading, no matter what book he might have in his hands, he would suddenly fall into deep meditation, and when it was over, write a few lines on the open page. These lines often have no connection with the book in which they are written. We have before us a note he penned on the margin of a quarto volume entitle The Correspondence of the Lord Germain with Generals Clinton, Cornwallis, and Admirals of the American Station...
"And this is the note: 'Oh Thou who art! Ecclesiastes names thee the Almighty; Maccabees names thee Creator; the Epistle to the Ephesians names thee Liberty; Baruch names thee Immensity; the Psalms name thee Wisdom and Truth; John names thee Light; the Book of Kings names thee Lord; Exodus calls thee Providence; Leviticus, Holiness; Esdras, Justice; Creation calls thee God; man names thee Father; but Solomon names thee Compassion, and that is the most beautiful of all thy names."

"As we have seen, prayer, celebration of the religious offices, alms, consoling the afflicted, the cultivation of a little piece of ground, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, self-sacrifice, confidence, study, and work filled up each day of his life. Filled up is exactly the phrase; and in fact, the bishop's day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words, and good actions. Yet it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented him from passing an hour or two in the evening, when the two women had retired [his sister and their housekeeper], in his garden before going to sleep. It seemed as though it were a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for sleep by meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sometimes late at night, if the two women were awake, they would hear him slowly walking the paths. He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night emit their perfume, lit like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding in ecstasy in the midst of creation's universal radiance, perhaps he could not have told what was happening in his own mind; he felt something floating away from him, and something descending upon him; mysterious exchanges of the soul with the universe.
"He contemplated the grandeur, and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the hidden deep in every direction; and, without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by Him...
"What more do you need? A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on."

I'm thinking maybe it's time to read this again.

P.S. Isn't minute 2:57 chills-inspiring?
P.P.S. If you look in the background, up on the screen at minute 3:44, you notice another Valjean acknowledging Colm Wilkinson. Classy.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Despite the reaction I get when people hear about my eating restrictions, it's mostly no big deal. I mean, sure there are things that I miss, but we eat a large variety of yummy foods. A veritable plethora of delectable fare as Morgan says.

However, there is one food group I sorely miss: dairy.Not milk, so much. I've never been a huge milk person (sorry Carrie!). But sour cream and cheese - particularly cream cheese.

I've tried non-dairy sour cream made out of soy. Ew. Gave me a bad headache - seems soy is not so much my thing either. (Surprise.) In desperation, I was willing to try anything. Even cashews. What's that you say? Cashews? That's what I thought, too. On, I found a recipe for a sour cream alternative made out of cashews. I modified it a bit based on what I had on hand and how adventurous I was feeling (mildly - look. I was already trying cashews.) So here is what I did:

I soaked about 3/4 cup of cashews in water for three hours or so. Then I drained off the water and put the soaked cashews into my tiny blender. I added a drip of apple cider vinegar, a splash of lemon juice, and a dash of sea salt. Then I willed my blender to have enough power. It performed! I blended the mixture for a couple of minutes and put the whole thing in the fridge while I made a really delicious Stroganoff. With trepidation, I poured the "sour cream" in.


I'm so in love.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

On my mind

From the Bible Dictionary of the LDS version of the King James Bible:

Grace. A word that occurs frequently in the New Testament, especially in the writings of Paul. The main idea of the word is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.
It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.
Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible. This principle is expressed in Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches (John 15:1–11). See also John 1:12–17; Eph. 2:8–9; Philip. 4:13; D&C 93:11–14.

I am grateful for grace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tony Curtis being oh so funny!

This provided a needed chuckle this morning. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Ramona Zabriskie (Mona from Mona's Musings) is working on generating a larger following online to help get her book "Wife-4-Life" published. (More details on this later.)

She's written a fantastic post about dating on Mormon Mommy Blogs. Please go read (it will only take a couple of minutes) and comment if you feel so inspired! It's a great article.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Classical music - at first

On a morning that looked daunting, this was a great pick me up!

There's a slightly different version (same group, different venue) on wimp that I actually liked slightly better. (Possibly because I saw it first.) But they're both delightful!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A funny story (to me, anyway)

As a note before I let you read this story, I wrote this a number of years ago, so I won't change anything except for taking out some names. Grammar mistakes that old will just have to remain.

When I was a freshman in college, I didn’t start working until near the end of my first semester. I was scared to look for a job in the middle of a semester, but luckily a girl I visit taught was a member of an event staff and told me they might be hiring. I turned my resume in and within a week, I got a call for an interview.

Never having gone through a formal interview for a job before, I was really nervous that I wouldn’t impress my potential new boss. The supervisor for the event staff turned out to be one of the least intimidating people I have ever met.

Despite my freshman anxiety, I was chatting comfortably with her by the end of the interview. After informing me that our main jobs were crowd control and checking standards, she asked me all sorts of easy questions like, “What would you do if a girl who wore a shirt that showed her stomach wanted to go into a dance?” Being a polite but blunt person this job seemed perfect for me.

I forgot one small detail. I’m a terribly shy person around people I don’t know very well. As a new college student, I was intimidated by just about everyone. I assumed everyone I met was older—and therefore wiser—than me. This was not good for having to tell people to follow the rules. The first few events I worked, I cried when I got home because people had yelled at me. I was afraid to tell anybody anything for fear of being yelled at again. However, I am very good at pretending, so I pretended that I didn’t care what they said to me and that I felt comfortable “yelling” at people. When I wasn’t timid, people would listen to me. I fooled a lot of people into thinking I was a very confident person.

The first dance I worked started out very boring. We expected it to be small, so there were only two of us working—me and a senior who’d been working on the event staff for several years. She gave me the basic run down of what we were doing. Happily, we didn’t have to take tickets and, as it was winter, checking standards wasn’t really a problem. Our two biggest responsibilities were making sure people weren’t too wild and making sure they kept their shoes on.

At first, we didn’t think that either responsibility would be a problem because no one showed up! We thought that maybe were in the wrong place until the DJ showed up—late. That gave us small comfort; however, for the next hour, it was us and the DJ. Finally, two people showed up. They danced their hearts out for a half an hour before anyone else showed up. I thought, “Wow. Dances aren’t so bad. This will be cake.”

Two hours after the dance “began,” people began to show up in groups of 8 to 12 people. Soon, the dance was in full swing and our work finally began. The dancing never got very wild, so we didn’t have to tell anyone to cool it—which I found out later, is very hard!

Shoes became the biggest challenge. I’ve found that most people have an innate desire to dance in the bare feet (or socks for some people). I had to tell many, many people to put their shoes back on. They invariably would fight my polite request at first, but quickly would comply, thus making my life easier. It even became kind of fun. It was a very small power trip, I guess.

One of the last people I talked to about shoes was quite a character. Our dialogue was very interesting. I started out with my usual polite request. “Excuse me, will you please put your shoes back on.”

“Why?” he asked immediately.

“The rules of the dance require that you leave your shoes on,” I said, as I had said many times before that night.

His response was new. “But I can dance better without shoes!” And he began to pirouette.

“That’s nice,” I said when he finished. “But you still have to wear your shoes.”

He protested vigorously. Finally he pleaded, “How about we pretend you didn’t see it?”

I thought for a moment. “Fine,” I said. His face lit up with joy at having gotten away with something.

I turned away from him, then turned back to face him. “Oh, my goodness,” I said calmly. “You don’t have your shoes on.” He didn’t laugh at my joke, but he did put his shoes back on. I walked away, hoping that I wouldn’t have to talk to him again.

That ended up being my most eventful conversation of the night, which I was grateful for. I told my co-worker about it as we walked home and she laughed. “One for the journal,” I thought.

The next day, I went to pick up my soon-to-be sister-in-law from work. It wasn’t quite time for her to leave, but no one else was in the store, so we talked while she restocked shelves. Not long before it was time to go, the bells rung at the front of the store and she walked to the front so whoever it was would know that someone was in the store.

I stayed near the back of the store, waiting for the people to leave. As I carefully pondered what was on the shelf in front of me, they walked into the aisle where I was standing. I looked up, and to my surprise, it was the boy who I had spoken to the night before!

“Look! It’s the lightstick lady!” he exclaimed to his companion—a very cute freshman girl. [to explain the light-stick, event staff had to carry them at dances so we could find one another easily]

“Hello, shoe-boy,” I responded, trying to remain unflustered. I heard him beginning to tell the story of the previous night to his friend. I was relieved when they left the store.

“Who was that?!” asked my sister-in-law. “And how do you know him? Is he a ‘friend’ of yours?” (As a happily engaged couple, she and my brother were always trying to bring romance into my life.)

I sighed and then explained how we had met the night before. She laughed and life moved on. . . or so I thought. . .

‘Shoe-boy’ (as I had branded him) remarkably showed up to every dance I worked at or attended our freshman year. Every time I saw him, I saw recognition dawn in his eyes, and occasionally he would pirouette in acknowledgement. We had a couple other "encounters," but those are stories for another day...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Great Thou Art

God is good. So good.

Sometimes I stand (or sit) in awe at the perfection of the Lord and how He so beautifully directs our lives. Today, I ran an errand earlier in the day than I had planned, which made me a little late to an appointment. But the last minute decision to run that errand early ended up letting me be available to help someone in great need and still have my errand (which needed to be done today) accomplished. I had stressed about the "dumb" decision to do that errand early when I realized I would be a couple minutes late, but now I am grateful I followed what I now recognize as a prompting. It's a small thing, but sometimes that's what makes Him so great.

(Morgan, I picked this version for you.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

This is one of my favorite talks and perfect for this Easter.

I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I'm grateful for His resurrection. I know He lives!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy together

Normally I don't share ThePianoGuys videos because I assume most of you have seen them already. (I hope you have anyway.) But just in case any of you out there has not seen them or even just this one, I thought I'd share.

Not only did I laugh my head off, the arrangement is phenomenal!! My favorite part of the music is the art museum, but my favorite gag is probably the yoga. I don't know. It's all delightful. Do y'all have a favorite bit?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welsh singers

I've heard many times that the best singers are from Wales, especially when it comes to men's choirs. Occasionally, we check out what's happening in Britain's Got Talent. I've seen a lot of hype around Charlotte and Jonathan, but I'd rather listen to these guys.

I'm really impressed by the director and his vision for those boys. What a great man! (And aren't those boys adorable?) :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Language geekiness

So, here's a fun video.

I break probably half of these rules frequently because I think it's funny. And most of these don't bother me at all. But it's good to know the rule you're going to break.

I wanted to add some other words we mispronounce:

victuals (vittles)
breeches (britches)
mischievous (mis-chi-vis)
grievous (gree-vis)

Also, by the way, pronouncing an "ei" combination as "eye" is Germanic and since we're a Germanic language, it's cool. :)

There. If you didn't know some of that before, don't you feel smarter now? :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Some more of the King's Singers

I don't know if any of you explore more about some of the groups I've featured on here. So if you don't, I'll help you out. Check out the King's Singers singing the Overture to the Barber of Seville! [By the way, the song is less than three and a half minutes. The rest of clapping.]


Monday, March 26, 2012


In my head, this is how I play the piano. I think that until I hear something like this and then I remember, oh. You probably have to practice to play like this! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I am soooooo grateful... live where I do. And not here:

Looks like snow doesn't it? Snow is beautiful. (From a distance and a warm house.) Well, get a load of this next picture (although be ready to be grossed out). This is a close up: (I've purposefully left space so you can be prepared. I'll even take the surprise out. LOTS of spiders.)



Instead, I live in this beautiful place:

All I can think of is how grateful I am. :)

If you want the full story, check it out here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I went to Time Out for Women this weekend. It was fantastic! We had the privilege on Friday night of listening to Virginia Pearce, Sheri Dew, and Hilary Weeks - three of my favorite people to learn from! (Little tangent here. To not end that sentence in a preposition, I would have to say something like "Of all my favorite people to learn from, those are three" or "Three of my favorite people from whom to learn." Kind of ridiculous rule for English. Oh, yeah! It's not really true that you shouldn't end a sentence in a preposition! Oh, did I just start talking about grammar again? Sorry)


Hilary Weeks introduced us to Check out their story! (It really will only take you a minute to read their story, so at least do that.)

The purpose of "clicking" is to focus on positive thoughts rather than negative ones and therefore improve our positive thinking, which improves our moods, which gives the Spirit a more fertile ground to work in, etc...

Friday, March 9, 2012

A little advice - again

Is this the second or third time I've posted this? It doesn't matter. Probably some of you have never seen it. And you really should. This is what I listen when I get down or need strength or just want to listen to something beautiful.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Some books

I've read an embarrassing number of books this year so far, but there it is. I've been meaning to write about some of them for a while, but I've been too busy reading. (Among other things.) So I guess I'll just list some of my favorites that I've read so far.

My favorite "book" so far this year was actually a series of lectures by Hugh Nibley from 1954. The title of the series is "Time Vindicates the Prophets." The series affected my thinking so much and really opened up a new level of the gospel to me. Rating: EXCELLENT.

My favorite picture book so far this year was "Stuck" by Oliver Jeffers. I laughed so hard reading that book! I highly recommend it, especially to adults!

I liked "In the Sea There Are Crocodiles" by Fabio Geda a lot. Based on a true story, it's about a boy who makes his way from Afghanistan to Italy over a few years.

"Tryst" by Elswyth Thane was a fun read for me. The writing style was very cozy. Possibly my favorite style. The story had a twist that drove me crazy at first and then made me chuckle. I'd love to read more of Thane's books.

I read Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" to see if I could appreciate his writing better as an adult. Nope. I can't. Only pure stubbornness got me through that book and then I regretted finishing it. What can I say? I think he's a terrible writer who occasionally had flashes of not bad writing. I should give him his due though. The man did know how to avoid adjectives. And that is impressive.

I started and put down several classics. I'm making my way through "Crime and Punishment." I'm about half-way through and I've finally started to get interested in the past few pages. :)

I've also read a number of "fluffier" books, some of which I really enjoyed. And despite me calling them fluffy, I actually find some great things in such books (not just relaxation):

The Guy I'm Not Dating - Trish Perry (laughed my head off!)
Funeral Potatoes - Joni Hilton (laughed my head off again)
My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke
My Angelica - Carol Lynch Williams (I love to laugh) (and now I feel a song coming on)

And various and sundry others which I will not write about right now. Maybe later. We'll see. I'm in the middle of about five different books, each vying for my attention. Maybe with the next report, I'll have more to recommend.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some Geeky Humor

Oh, this is too fun!

If you can understand everything, good for you! But what I could understand, I got the biggest kick out of. (Cage!) :) Beethoven is one of my favorite parts. Never mind. Practically the whole thing is my favorite part.

It's a bit long, but if you've skipped it and just read what I wrote, go back and listen. It's delightful!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why Can't I Be Two People? :)

I have ideas coming out my ears right now. I feel like I'm being pulled in many different directions and the thought came in my head that it would be nice to be able to split myself in two sometimes. Thus, this song popped into my head.

But I suppose this is where this talk comes in handy:

Friday, February 17, 2012

A brilliant piece of music

This is a favorite at our house. We gawk over the orchestration and brilliantness again and again and again and... Well, you get the idea.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What are you marinating in?

Time Out for Women will be in Orlando next month. I've been asked to help get the word out, and I've been watching a lot of TOFW videos. This is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I realize...

I realize that I've already showcased Kurt Browning here.

I realize that the more videos I put up, the less you're likely to watch.

I realize a couple of these have Christmas music.

I realize that I don't really know much about figure skating.

However, I've been on a bit of a kick the last little bit and these are some of my favorite Kurt Browning videos. He is such a delightful skater who just looks so beautiful (sorry, Kurt!) and at home on the ice. And I'm constantly amazed at the nuances he picks up in the music. So for your enjoyment (or mine, at least):

First, a very beautiful one.

This one is hilarious!

And... Well, I just love this one, too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How does he do that?

You may have seen this, but if you haven't...


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Music news

A couple of years ago, Morgan entered some music into the LDS Church Music Submission. (Or whatever it is called.) A few months later, we found out he received special recognition. They asked if he wanted to sign over rights to the song (kind of) so they could post it on He agreed. We checked the site over and over and never saw it. However, look what we found this week! (He's about ten down.)

So if you are in a ward choir, print off his music and give it a try! And it's free for you! :)

Morgan arranged this for a stake conference choir piece. It was supposed to be one of the prelude numbers, but because of circumstances beyond our control, we didn't get to sing it for prelude. Morgan was a little disappointed, but was rather pragmatic about it. However, some whispering went on (by other people) and it was announced that it would be the piece would be sung by the choir right before the general authority who was visiting spoke.

We sang our little hearts out and it was very beautiful, if I do say so myself. So beautiful that when the general authority stood to speak, he looked back at Morgan and told him how much he enjoyed the piece. That was quite the thrill!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Increase in Learning

I've been reading David Bednar's new book "Increase in Learning." It is excellent. I've been taking it quite slowly, as he encourages, trying to really pick up the patterns of what he is saying. I've been tempted to share lots of quotes from the book, but one I read today hit me particularly for sharing.

President Hinckley said "We must go on growing. We must continuously learn. It is a divinely given mandate that we go on adding to our knowledge."

Fun, isn't it? And there are so many, many things to learn about. I started thinking of all the things I've been learning in the last year and the plans I've made for this year, not to mention the unknown lessons that will be rather thrust upon me. While there are times I get frustrated with how slowly I learn a lot of life's lessons, I do feel excited for the wonderful variety of things to learn about. I just wish I could master it all!

Things I realize I've been learning about this week alone: scriptures, the family, politics, quilting, juicing, exercise, relationships, patience, house hunting, crocheting, mailing things, insurance, Afghanistan refugees, creativity, cooking, time management... (Oh, and Hobbits.) :)

Okay, I think I've only started. Anybody learning anything particularly fun/interesting/insightful these days?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I learned to make a new hat. Beezie graciously agreed to model.

This is slouch mode. Cuz it's a slouch hat. Get it? Get it?

I modified the pattern to make a different look.

Original pattern found here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Darcy and... Jane?

In a letter to Sir William Elford (December 20, 1814), Mary Russell Mitford wrote: is impossible not to feel in every line of Pride and Prejudice, in every word of Elizabeth, the entire want of taste which could produce so pert, so worldly a heroine as the beloved of such a man as Darcy. Wickham is equally bad. Oh! they were just fit for each other, and I cannot forgive that delightful Darcy for parting them. Darcy should have married Jane. He is of all the admirable characters the best designed and the best sustained.

I find this hilarious! I've never heard anyone express a similar wish, so it rather startled me. But it very much amused me to rewrite the story quickly in my head with Darcy and Jane getting married after Elizabeth eloped with Wickham.

Then again, maybe not. I think I prefer Austen's storyline. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Something funny

After reading Carol Burnett's "This Time Together" a couple of months ago, I decided to look up one of the sketches she mentioned. Tim Conway played a brand-new dentist serving his first patient. Harvey Korman was his patient. Conway decided to improvise.

Even funnier than Conway, to me, is Korman cracking up. I love watching people try to maintain a character and not succeed at all! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If Shakespeare had written The Three Little Pigs

A friend passed this on to me and I was so grateful because it combines two of my great loves - great language and retold fairy tales.

[warning: he smokes in part of this]

I've always been curious as to how large my vocabulary is, so if anyone knows where to find a test... I suppose I could count all the words I've written in the past ten years, but that seems a little time consuming. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge

For our 2012 Challenge, Austen Knows Best and I decided on a less creative, more straightforward approach. :) It's a 10x10 challenge meaning ten categories of ten books each. The categories are (drum roll, please):

1. 10 Children's books
2. 10 Juvenile Fiction books
3. 10 Young Adult books
4. 10 Nonfiction books
5. 10 Classics
6. 10 Church books
7. 10 Adult Fiction published no earlier than 2000
8. 10 Books from your to-read list on Goodreads (if you are a member) that were added prior to 2012
9. 10 "Choose Your Own Category" books
10. 10 Other

So to explain, for the "choose your own category," it's a category of your choice that isn't up here. :) So you could pick something general like "Science Fiction" or "Mystery" or something specific like "Books on Gardening" or whatever. The "Other" category is for books that don't fit into any of the other categories. Or if you've filled the other categories, I suppose you could dump surplus there. Basically anything could go into "Other."

For my own category, I'm going to read books on writing. :) I think that's kind of funny, but there it is.

Report for December Reading

To wrap up the 2011 Reading Challenge, here's my December report, but first of all, understand that I tend to read less on vacations. So despite the fact that I was excited for the December challenge, I really didn't read all that much past the first week.

The 7: Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life - Glenn Beck and Keith Ablow (****)
The Heroine's Bookshelf - Erin Blakemore (**)
A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things that Really Matter - William Deresiewicz (*****)
Started several biographies on Walt Disney
Read some critical essays on Jane Austen and her work

Challenge (Jane Austen and Walt Disney):
Jane Austen Ruined My Life - Beth Patillo (***)
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart - Beth Patillo (****)
Pride and Popularity - Jenni James (****)

Love Finds You in Pendleton, Oregon - Melody Carlson (***)
Buttercream Bump Off - Jenn McKinlay (**)

As you can see, a lot of my nonfiction reading dealt with the challenge. It was a fun reading month. I still have a stack to go, so it might show up in this year's reading. :)