Sunday, May 31, 2009

Top Ten Values

This morning I am flying to Arizona to go to a retreat with my sisters, brothers, and mother. My sister Carla is a Life Coach, and she does these retreats for money, but this time my mom paid for all of us to go. It was her Christmas present to us. It will be fun!

We will be staying at a deluxe resort, with a Lazy River that you float around on. I haven't been in a swimsuit for years. But I do want to float around so I guess I'll put one on.

Carla sent us a bunch of homework to do. She gave us this long, long list of values, and told us to pick the very top 10 that we valued the most.

Here are my top ten things that I value:
freedom, integrity, joy, order, personal growth, reliability, respect, security, spiritual development, using my talents.

(It was really hard to get down to ten. I had too many, so two of the ones I removed were "marriage" and "family" because I get most of my joy from my marriage and family so joy covered that.)

Here is the original long list. You should try it, see what your top ten are.

Do good
Do the right thing
Do things my way
Emotional health
Esteem (of others)
Family happiness
Feel good
Financial security
Fix broken things or systems
Forward the action
Getting ahead
Give of myself
Hard work
Harmony of talk/action
Helping the less fortunate
Inner harmony
Interesting experiences
Keep things the same
Leisure time
Look good
Make money
Personal appearance
Personal growth
Reach for the stars
Risk taking/daring
Seek truth
Setting an example
Social advancement
Solving problems
Spiritual development
Team spirit
Using my talents

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Law of the Harvest

Here are the shelves where I organize all my lessons for seminary each week. I usually go through the week's lessons on Sundays, and break up all the papers into piles for each day of the week. (The labels say "Mon" "Tues" "Wed" "Thurs" "Fri" and "Next Week".) If I don't get to something one day, I just move it to the next day or skip it.

Yesterday was my last day to teach seminary (17 sophomores, New Testament) for this school year. I came home, and cleaned out all my shelves, to get ready for next year when I teach Book of Mormon. Elizabeth and Thomas like to climb on the shelves and lay on them like they are bunk beds now.

Here are the very first edible things I have ever grown. RADISHES! I really like radishes, and they are easy to grow and get ripe in 30 days from the time you plant the seeds. That is really quick. My other plants are still sitting there doing nothing. I will probably never get a green pepper or a squash, I don't know why the plants aren't growing. Anyway, I am proud of myself for finally starting a garden and I will eat these radishes and feel very smug that I grew them.

Moral of the story: I cannot tell what (if anything) my 17 seminary students learned from me. Who knows if I planted any fertile seeds in their minds or their testimonies.

Will they ever see the fruit from their labors of getting up every morning and coming to class? I wish I could have been a perfect seminary teacher but I wasn't. I hope something got through to them, and that in their lives there will be some results from my efforts.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Larry's baby quilt

This quilt was given to my mother in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1956 when my brother Larry was born. The illustrations were taken from coloring books. Each picture was outlined with stemstitch hand embroidery, and the interiors were colored in with crayons and then ironed to set the colors.

You can tell that this quilt was loved to pieces. I hope the quilts I make for my grandchildren are used up like this one was.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My brother Larry's Birthday

Time for my birthday tribute to Larry. He is the third child in the family. (The order is: Cheryl, Cindy, Larry, Amy, Carla, Jamey) He is three years older than me. His whole life he has absolutely loved dogs, horses, and roping cows. (Click on photos to make them bigger.)

He has won awards at rodeos his whole life, and liked to practice roping. If any of us were in the yard, he would rope us. He was such a pain! (And he can do cool rope tricks like Will Rogers.)

He has a wonderful family, and he is a kind and loving father. Look at this great garden they grow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

YoYo Shoes

I was teaching "yoyos" about five years ago (yoyos are round puffs of gathered fabric) and I made these silly shoes as a visual aid for my class. No, I've never worn them anywhere.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Janette's Blog, and Hobby for Eternity

I had the most fun ever reading Seth's girlfriend's blog. Janette had so many funny stories about Seth, and of course a proud mom like me wants to read exciting stories about her son. And about the girl he is spending all his time with*.

Also, she told many, many amusing anecdotes about her own life, and now I am feeling a bit stodgy and old, because so many of my blog posts are so matter-of-fact and informative and documentary and instructive, rather than amusing and funny. Sorry.

Also, I watched "Rebecca" on Saturday (the old movie from the book by Daphne du Maurier) and really liked it. I'm going to have to reread that book again. But my favorite book by du Maurier is "The House on the Strand". It is about a guy in the 1930's who rents a 1600's house in England, and by taking drugs, he can go back in time and see the people who lived there in the 1600's.

I have always had a fascination with that type of time travel. I have a plan for after I'm dead: When I finally get to talk to Heavenly Father, I am going to ask him to show me some spot on the earth, and watch a video of what happened on that spot from the beginning to the end of time. That will be the most enjoyable thing ever.

Then I'll have to do that same thing again and again, because I'll want to see what happened on every spot in the world. And thats what eternity is for.

*That sentence was not proper English grammar. However, I don't want to write "and about the girl with whom he is spending all his time." As Winston Churchill said, "That is the type of English up with which I will not put."

Monday, May 25, 2009

My Favorite Cooking Quotes

I may not be the world's greatest cook, but I think you'll enjoy my cornflakes.

I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and think, "Well, that's not going to happen.”

If our food, drinks, and service aren't up to your standards, please lower your standards.

There are two choices for supper--Take it or Leave it.

The last time I cooked this, hardly anyone got sick.

I can’t cook. I use a smoke alarm as a timer. --Carol Siskind

My family said its okay that I never cook--they don't like anything I fix anyway.

I prefer Twinkies to PopTarts because they don't require as much cooking. -Carrie Snow

We spend the first twenty years of our life wondering who we are going to marry. We
spend the next twenty years wondering what we're going to have for supper.

I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.

Don't ever admit you know a thing about cooking or it will be used against you in
later life. --Rebecca Wells, in Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood

I understand the concepts of cooking and cleaning, just not how they apply to me.

"Potluck" in this house means you're lucky if the pot is empty.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Current Events

Wayne and his brother Mark have been driving our van home from Washington state, where they were visiting their mom and sister. Wayne will be home tomorrow.
They really enjoyed staying at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone on Friday night, that has been on Wayne's Bucket List for a long time.

He is sad because he missed seeing Tara all dressed up for the Prom last night. (Photos to be posted soon.)

In other news, Zac witnessed a hit-and-run where a woman backed into a parked car and then drove away. He might have to testify in a court case soon.

And there was a 5.7 earthquake in Mexico on Friday, this time in Puebla (north of Oaxaca). On April 27 there was a 6.0 earthquake in Guerrero (west of Oaxaca). I worry about Bryce all the time, he only has 2 months left and I don't want the Big One to hit while he is there.

For me, I am really excited because there are only seven days of seminary left! I am so ready to have the summer off, where I can study the Book of Mormon in preparation for teaching it during next school year.

Next Sunday I am flying to Arizona to go to a retreat with my family. It was going to be a "Mom and Sisters Retreat" but now our brothers are coming too so it will be very fun. (I'll post photos of that soon also.)

Thats all the news for now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Preparing for Pandemic

Have you noticed how the news is downplaying influenza, and how everyone seems to be relieved that it is so mild? The grim news is that so far it is acting exactly like the influenza of 1918-1919. That started off mild, but unusual in that it was affecting mostly young, healthy, adults. (Seasonal flu's usual victims are the elderly and the very young.) This flu, just like 1918-1919, has affected a disproportionate number of teenagers and young adults and pregnant women. And both pandemics started off relatively mild, and we will have to see whether this one becomes more virulent like the 1918 one.

As you know, I read the book "The Great Influenza" by John Barry and reviewed it here on this blog (see blog entries 3-17-2009 through 3-22-2009). I remember the violent symptoms described in that book, and wondered if any of the victims today have had similar symptoms.

It really chilled me yesterday to read of the latest death from influenza, a 21-yr-old man in Salt Lake City who died Wed. May 20, because the news article said that when he was admitted to the hospital he was vomiting blood, and then he had multiple organ failure. I hope this influenza virus has not mutated to the more virulent form already.

Nature, the International Weekly Journal of Science, had an article by Peter M. Sandman, who is frustrated that the government is not giving the public more information. In the article, entitled "Pandemics: Good Hygiene is Not Enough", he says:

"The CDC's biggest failure is in not doing enough to help people visualize what a bad pandemic might be like so they can understand and start preparing for the worst."

Another article in Nature, the International Weekly Journal of Science was very informative: "Between a Virus and a Hard Place".

Carolyn Nicolaysen, in Totally Ready blog, is also frustrated that the government is not saying more about how we can prepare in our own homes. They are not warning us that if millions are sick, the trucking, grocery, gasoline, and electrical systems may all break down from lack of healthy employees to run them. She says:

"If a full blown, deadly pandemic arrives this fall I will still be giving the same advice I am giving now. The difference will be that much of what I am encouraging you to do, food storage, storing medical supplies and cleaning supplies, etc. may not be available."

And of course, if we prepare and nothing happens, we can just be thankful and have the satisfaction of knowing we have our food storage up to date.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blender Wheat Pancakes

Tiffany and Adam came over in the morning on Mother's Day and made these delicious pancakes for me. Yum Yum! The bad news was that I found out I need a new blender. Luckily they brought theirs.

Blender Wheat Pancakes

Makes 4 servings.

1 cup milk
¾ cup wheat kernels
2 whole eggs
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder

Blend the milk and wheat kernels on high speed in blender for 4 minutes. (Wheat should not be pre-ground!) Turn down and add the remaining ingredients. Make small pancakes on a hot griddle.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gotta Have Toilet Paper

I've always been a fan of food storage, but only in the last couple of years have I realized how many non-food items are super important to my happiness and wellbeing. So I have started trying to calculate how much of each thing I need, and to store a year's supply of it.

Carolyn Nicolaysen in Totally Ready blog said to keep track of how much toilet paper your family uses, and then use that figure to calculate a year's supply. I bought a package of Quilted Northern 12 "double rolls" and waited until we were out of toilet paper inside the house, then opened the package. It took us from Apr. 28 to May 19 to use it up, that is 22 days, that is about half a roll per day.

I am going to make sure I have at least 182 double-rolls of toilet paper (365 days X 1/2 roll per day), because I don't want to go without it.

(Of course, if we were stranded at home 100% of the time instead of going to work and school, we would use more, so I should include that in my calculations.)

I store food inside the house where it is airconditioned and heated. But paper goods don't need airconditioning, so here is how I store toilet paper and Kleenex and paper towels in my attic. Seth built these shelves in between the trusses.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

He Helped Wilford Woodruff

A couple of years ago, I was teaching my seminary class about Wilford Woodruff doing the baptisms for the dead at the St. George Temple for all the founding fathers and all the presidents of the United States. The picture in the seminary book (Church in the Fulness of Times, Institute manual) showed the page from the temple recorder's book.

I looked up at the top of the page and noticed the names of the witnesses, and saw that Wayne's ancestor Anson Perry W. was one of the witnesses to those baptisms. It is logical that he would serve as a temple ordinance worker, since he was living near St. George and in charge of the Church's cattle ranch there (Pipe Springs).

It really makes me feel good to know that one of Wayne’s ancestors participated in one of my favorite church history stories.

(Last year, Bryce had a companion on his mission in Oaxaca, Mexico, whose name was Elder Woodruff. Elder Woodruff was a direct descendant of Wilford Woodruff, and he had a copy of Wilford's journal. Bryce and Elder Woodruff had fun telling people this story.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wythe County Genealogy Miracle, 2005

(This miracle happened Nov. 2, 2005, and I wrote the following account of it very shortly afterward.)


On Tuesday Nov. 1st I drove 3 hours to Wytheville, VA to teach quilting. I usually check the website Mapquest to see how many miles and how long it will take to drive to my destination, but this time I just took Wayne's word for it because he had been to Pilot Mountain several times and it looked about an hour farther to him. So on Tuesday I got a little worried about the time estimate so I got ready and left too early, giving myself too much time so I accidently got there 2 and a half hours early.

I wondered what I could do to use the time wisely, and thought I would see if I could find some stores and do some Christmas shopping. It was a little town of 8,000 people, so it had an old downtown like Chatham St. in Cary. I drove all the way through town, and on one side of the street saw a little storefront with what I thought said "Wythe County and Tazewell County Historical and Genealogical Society". All my young life, my mom dragged us around as she went on genealogy vacations, and I had heard her talk many times about Tazewell County and knew we had ancestors there.

Since I didn't find any stores to shop at, as I came back through town I pulled up in front of the Gen. Society and looked at the door and it said it was closed on Tuesday. I thought to myself that I could come back the next day, so I called my mom on my cell phone. She told me later that I told her that I was at the Tazewell County and Wythe County Genealogical Society and if she could find me some names I could look them up the next day.

That evening while I was having dinner with the guild ladies, my mom called me back and I told her I was in Wythe county, and she told me to call her back later and she would give me the names to research. I taught my slide lecture, then went back to Carol Britt's house to sleep. My cell phone was almost dead, and I had forgotten to bring my recharger, so Carol let me use her home phone. I felt bad making her pay for my long distance use, and called Wayne and said I was coming home early the next day. Then I remembered that I had called my mom about the genealogy, and that she was waiting for me to call, and thought "UGH! I don't want to do genealogy tomorrow! I already told Wayne I was coming home early. Maybe she won't have any names for me." So I quickly called her, and she said look up Shupe, Slimp, Happas, Cannoy, Garrison and Ballinger.

Wednesday morning I had to hang around until the place opened at 10 am, so I spent more money at the fabric store, and got to the genealogy place and was a bit surprised to see that the door said "Wythe County Genealogy Society" and didn't say a thing about Tazewell County. An intersection close to the building was Tazewell Street, so I guess the images just mixed themselves together in my brain. I don't think I ever would have stopped in the first place if I thought it was just Wythe County, because I never heard my mom talk about that county.

I went in and asked the volunteers there about my 6 names, and they had me look in an index of all of Mary Kegley's books. Mary Kegley had indexed almost all of the documents in that county, and when I looked in the index of all her work I could go to the separate books and find the names. I got about 25 pages marked with sticky notes, and suddenly the power went out in that whole section of town. I could only stay 1 hour because I thought I had to pick up Tara from play practice, so I paid them $10 to copy everything for me when the power came back on, and to send it to my mom. I had no idea what I had found or if it was important, I just got everything copied that had those surnames mentioned. I assumed that if I did find anything, it would be inconsequential because so much of that side of the family has already been done. I didn't think any of it would be useful to my mom.

Just about the time I was leaving, Mary Kegley herself walked into the building. I told her who I was looking for, and said that my mom might be interested in hiring her to do some research. She asked me where my mom lived, and I said my mom lives in Salt Lake City, and volunteers at the Family History Center. Mrs. Kegley said, "Oh, she doesn't need me! They have purchased all of my books!" But I got her brochure anyway in case my mom needs it.

I came home and didn't really think anything about the genealogy for awhile, and then my mom called me on Sunday very excited, because she had received the package of papers. She said "You found people we couldn't find."

She and her sisters are such good genealogists, and have been doing this for their whole lives. And yet a stupid person like me, who didn't even know what county I was in, walked in and found the very churches they attended, (Zion Church, and Kimberling or Kimbrell Church), with all the records of marriages and christenings of our ancestors. Records that Mary Kegley just indexed-- some of her books were published in 2004 so my mom and aunts didn't even know they existed yet.

My mom said I found two different generations of Johan Shoops that she didn't even know were in Wythe County. (Johan Shoop married to Catherina Anna Slimp, and their son Johannes Shoop married to Louisa Ferguson.) Since these two Johan's were on a pedigree chart I have here at my house (but I didn't have it when I was on my trip) I said, "But you already had their names." She said, "Yes, my Grandpa William Kyle Shupe knew all the names many generations back, but we didn't know the dates or places, and couldn't find the records."

And she said the papers give the names of their children, brothers, inlaws, etc. mentioned in the land records or christening records, and now they know where to look for all the other information that they need. My mom said that she thinks her Grandpa Shupe led me there. He did over 5000 endowments in his life, and really loved his ancestors.

To explain what a miracle this is that I found this, my mom and her sisters are huge genealogists. My aunt Alice has 80,000 names in her genealogy computer database, and the church has asked her to be one of the first ones to input it into the Church's new Unified System, to test the system to see if it can handle that many names at once. But instead of letting my mom and aunts find it, the Lord knew this Shoop information was just sitting there, and led me right to it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Trapper Bill" poem

My Granny, Norma, married Horace Crandell after my Grandad died. Horace was a soft-spoken man, who won awards playing oldtime fiddle music.

Just like Thomas S. Monson, Horace had many, many poems memorized by heart, and could recite them at any time. This was one of the poems he performed for us at a family gathering:

Trapper Bill

I met a friend the other day
My good neighbor, Trapper Bill.
We sat down to chat a while
As good neighbors often will.
Said I to Bill, “What’s that you got
A carryin’ on your back?”
Said Trapper Bill, “It’s a baby skunk
I got in that there gunny sack.”
“What! A baby skunk!
And haven’t you killed it yet?”
Said Trapper Bill, “I’m gonna take it home
And raise it for a pet.”
“But baby skunks are tender, Bill,
At least so I’ve been told.
He’s apt to freeze some winter night,
That howling wind is cold.”
Then Bill bit off another chew
And slowly scratched his head.
“That baby skunk won’t freeze at night
He’s gonna sleep with me in bed.”
Then I said to Trapper Bill
“I think your notion’s swell.
But tell me please, what will you do
About that awful smell?”
Do you think that worried him?
Not a doggone bit.
“That baby skunk,” said Trapper Bill
Will soon get used to it.”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book Review: Inside War Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri

I had been curious about the anti-Mormon mobs in Missouri who had killed and looted and destroyed the property of the Mormons in the late 1830’s. What happened to them later? Did the Lord punish them for the cruelties they had inflicted?

Two years ago when I was teaching the Doctrine and Covenants in seminary, I read this book, Inside War: Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri during the American Civil War written by Michael Fellman, Oxford University Press, (c) 1989.

This book is not written by a Mormon nor is it concerned at all with the treatment of Mormons in Missouri. It is a secular history book about the bad situation in Missouri during and after the Civil War. I typed notes from this book verbatim.

I especially typed the parts which pointed out how much worse Missouri fared than other states, and those quotes which concerned Jackson County, Clay County, and adjoining counties which would have been the places where Mormons were treated badly thirty years before the Civil War.

My goal was to find out, from contemporary sources, the devastation which occurred in this area subsequent to the prophecies and promises given in the Doctrine and Covenants. The following are verses which promise punishments to come upon this area:

Doctrine and Covenants Section 105 was a revelation given to Joseph Smith June 22, 1834. From the section heading: “Mob violence against the saints in Missouri had increased, and organized bodies from several counties had declared their intent to destroy the people.”

D&C 105:14-15 …I will fight your battles. Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.

Doctrine and Covenants Section 121 was a prophecy from God written by Joseph Smith March 20, 1939, while he was a prisoner in the jail at Liberty, Missouri.

D&C 121:13-14, 20 (speaking of the Missourians) …because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon themselves to the very uttermost;
That they may be disappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off…
Their basket shall not be full, their houses, and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them.

D&C 121:23-24 Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive, and murder, and testify against them…I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof, for them all…

I have highlighted in bold certain passages that were especially noteworthy, also the names of counties and cities which were previously the home of Mormons (or in close proximity). Clay Co is just north of Jackson Co, and Lafayette Co is just east of Jackson Co. Independence is now a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.

Some definitions you might not know:
Guerrilla= A member of a band of irregular soldiers that harasses the enemy, as by surprise raids. In the Civil War, they were also called "bushwhackers".
Missouri was a Union state, with a large amount of Confederate sympathizers.
Jayhawking= raiding done by Kansas Union forces

(From Preface) “…guerrillas wandered the countryside striking terror in all those around them. I have chosen to discuss Missouri not because it was unique but because of all regions it produced the most widespread, longest-lived, and most destructive guerrilla war in the Civil War. Missouri provides a horrendous example of the nature of guerrilla war in the American heartland.

(Terror and a Sense of Justice: Civilians in Guerrilla War p. 23-24)
…These regions, of which Missouri was the most extreme example, were also bitterly divided internally. In this context, when regular troops were absent, the improvised war often assumed a deadly guerrilla nature as local citizens took up arms spontaneously against their neighbors. This was a war of stealth and raid, without a front, without formal organization, with almost no division between the civilian and the warrior.
In such a guerrilla war, terror was both a method and a goal. Guerrillas had a variety of ends--food, arms, horses, loot, information, ridding the region of enemy civilians, and above all, revenge. Through stealth and mobility, they sought to create moments when they were in total dominance and could exact what they wanted at the least possible risk to themselves. …it was thousands of brutal moments when small groups of men destroyed homes, food supplies, stray soldiers, and civilian lives and morale.

(Jayhawkers: p. 34-35)
"Jayhawkers" was the term applied to Kansas raiders, and "jayhawking" became a term widely applied to free-form foraging by Union troops in the state and eventually nationwide. On. Nov. 12, 1861, Margaret J. Hayes was jayhawked on her farm near Kansas City. Her home was stripped of all valuable goods, and her team and carriage were driven off with her eleven slaves in it. …Such actions were widespread in Jackson Co and drove men either into the Union army or into guerrilla bands as the only places of proximate safety. Mrs. Hayes wrote her mother in 1862, "Times here are very hard; robbing murdering, burning and every other kind of measure on every side. Every man has to join the Federal army or hide out in the country and have his property taken away from him. And if they are not shot on the spot they are banished from this country."

(p. 36) Kansas troops garrisoned in border towns would make frequent sweeps of the countryside, searching for guerrillas and punishing local residents who might have collaborated with the enemy--for them all Missourians were by nature traitors. This harrowing list of losses calculated by Daniel De Witt of Jackson Co gives a sense of the results of repeated raids. De Witt was raided six times between Jan. 1861 and Aug. 25, 1863, when he was burned out, the visits being paid by Missouri as well as Kansas Union troops. De Witt kept careful account of his losses (see below) which were typical in this region.

Jan. 1861 by Capt. Oliver's men (included household goods and clothing) Total $56.

1stSept 1862 by Union Command to Lieutenant Col Tompson 5th Regiment Missouri State Militia
(included 70 stacks hay, rail fence, calf, steer, 1500 bundles of oats, etc.) Total $224

13 April 1863 Damage by Fedrels under Major Randall
(included horse and mare) Total $90

May 1863 Damage by Col. Penick's command
16 days work on ditch at $2.00 per day Total $32

25 August 1863 Damage by Kansas troops under Lt. Green
(included burning barn, burning house and contents, 400 bushels corn, 5 tons hay, 2 horses, burning 2 fields of wheat, etc.)
Total $4453.

For all raids: $4855

(Note from Amy- For my seminary students' benefit, I tried to figure this out in modern money. His house and contents was worth $1000. If we multiply that by 200, we get a house and contents worth $200,000, which could be today's price. In that case, his total today's losses would be $971,000.
Or, His barn was worth $500. If we say a barn today is worth $50,000, that is 100 times as much. If we multiply all his prices by 100, his total today's losses might be $485,500.)

(p 43)
On the Kansas border, many Missourians believed with good reason that they were the objects not of a random distribution of justice but of a concerted policy of plunder and destruction at the hand of Kansas and Missouri troops and from thieves invited into the state by Union forces. Such is the gist of a letter Austin A. King of Independence wrote to General John M. Schofield in St. Louis in 1863. Whereas the Kansas colonel in charge of Independence had reported to Schofield that he had killed 30 guerrillas during a recent sweep of Lafayette, Co,, King wrote "truthful and loyal" Union men of that county all knew that only unarmed civilians had been killed. 150 horses reported confiscated from secessionists were in fact stolen from peaceful, law abiding citizens.

(p. 55)
Frequently troops were garrisoned in civilian houses or just took them over, often from citizens who had fled. In Dec. 1863, the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry occupied Independence---to them the very center of secessionist sentiment which had spawned the Lawrence massacre a few months earlier. The Kansas troops used most of the good business blocks as horse stables and stayed in local homes, which they proceeded to tear up.

(p. 74)
It was fearsome to flee, especially for those who had no kin to join elsewhere. One could carry little,…If they were without kin or good friends or a great deal of liquid capital, these refugees remained propertyless and homeless. Very large numbers spent weeks and months wandering the countryside with insufficient food, shelter, and clothing. The towns and farms they left behind quickly became wastelands.

(p 76)
John A. Martin, a Kansas officer originally from Pennsylvania, wrote his sister about one town near Kansas City, "Westport was once a thriving town, with large stores, elegant private dwellings and a fine large hotel. Now soldiers are quartered in the dwellings and horses occupy the staterooms. The hotel was burned down three days ago. The houses are torn to pieces, plastering off. the mantles used to build fires, and doors unhinged. I presume the place will be burned as soon as the troops leave." Marching out of town, Martin observed the countryside, "crops ungathered, houses deserted, barns and stables falling to pieces, fences torn down and stock running loose and uncared for, are all around...I have been all over the country about here without meeting with a half dozen habital dwelllings."

(p. 77)
As humans had built, so had they destroyed....J. Freeman wrote in 1864 about Clay County, a long burned-over Kansas-Missouri border region, "this once beautiful and peacable land is forsaken and desolated, ruined, and only fit to bats, owls, and cockralls to inhabit."

(p. 95)
In response to the furious public opinion aroused by Quantrill's raid on Lawrence Kansas Aug. 21, 1863, the Union army tried a more drastic antiguerrilla policy along the western border of Missouri. Issued in Kansas City by Brig. General Thomas E. Ewing on Aug. 25 as General Orders #11, this policy called for the depopulation within 15 days of the northern half of Vernon Co, and all of Bates, Cass, and Jackson Counties, the strong guerrilla areas from which the Lawrence raid had been lauched. Residents had either to leave the area or move to within one mile of the Union military posts in the region. Approximately 20,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, almost all of which then were burned by Kansas troops. In the face of a huge public outcry, execution of this order was suspended by November, and those who could obtain certificates of loyalty were permitted to return home the following March. Most did not come back until the war was over.

This was the most drastic measure taken against civilians during the Civil War prior to General Sherman's march to the sea. But unlike Sherman's action in Georgia, this policy was implemented in a Union state. General Orders #11 did not distinguish between the loyal and the disloyal---all became war refugees.

Vengeance became an everyday matter-of-fact. George Wolz of Newton City in southwestern Missouri wrote his brother in 1863, "The bushwhackers burn a house and then we burn two houses."

p. 190
As sergeant in the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry in 1862 and 1863, (Sergeant Sherman Bodwell) rode with his regiment on punitive expeditions into Jackson Co, that seccessionist stronghold around Independence. From his diary....On July 13, 1863, Bodwell's unit heard that the Widow Holly had warned guerrillas of the coming of the Kansans. "We put fire to her house". ...Down the road, Bodwell's platoon found "strong indications of (guerrillas) sojourning" at the Alderman house. "Alderman ...attempted to escape, and was killed

On Aug. 2, three Union families which had been made homeless by guerrillas appealed to Bodwell's unit for help. The guerrillas had burned them out in the middle of the night, "not giving the women and children time to dress even.

p. 224
(correspondence of Phineas M. Savery and his wife, Amanda. He was a soldier)
Many of her Clay Co neighbors had been banished, some had been killed, some had moved away. All had been looted. ...The Feds did call on her for supper frequently, and if she was not at home, they "would break the doors open and help their selves. Last fall they took my bed clothes. It was nothing to have the house searched and get a cursing from the officers." Furthermore, though officially over, she warned him that the "civil war is still in force" and that southern soldiers were being shot "as fast as they were coming home".

These paragraphs from the book (and many others I did not include here) strengthen my testimony that the Lord does punish wickedness. Even though it took thirty years, the Lord did repay those Missourians, giving back to them the the same hardships, death and destruction that they had so readily inflicted upon the Mormons.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby Food

I'm basically a wicked person, because I thought this picture was funny. (click on the photo so you can see it better.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Holy Ghost

Here are some great quotes about the Holy Ghost:

Brigham Young said:

"There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God's people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him His will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges."
Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. and arr. by John A. Widtsoe, Salt lake City, Deseret Book Co. 1973, p. 32

President Marion G. Romney said:
"You can make every decision in your life correctly if you can learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This you can do if you will discipline yourself to yield your own feelings to the promptings of the Spirit. Study your problems and prayerfully make a decision. Then take that decision and say to him, in a simple, honest supplication, "Father, I want to make the right decision. I want to do the right thing. This is what I think I should do; let me know if it is the right course." Doing this, you can get the burning in your bosom, if your decision is right...When you learn to walk by the Spirit, you never need to make a mistake."

Conference Report, Oct. 1961, p. 60-61. Quoted in Ensign, July 2006, p. 15.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Book Review: The Guns of August

I just finished rereading "The Guns of August", a book written by Barbara Tuchman in 1962. It was about my third time to read it. I am fascinated by what causes wars to begin, and how wars are fought, and how soldiers are able to endure all the suffering and fear. This book is all about how World War I started.

This book starts with the funeral of King Edward VII in May 1910, and explains all the political history of Europe at that time. It sets forth all the military plans of Germany, France, England, Russia, and their treaties, and then goes on to show how World War I started. The book ends with the Battle of the Marne, in Sept. 1914.

I think it is a fascinating book because I like to see how the generals come up with their strategy.

World War I was such a tragic war, with such a high loss of life. Here is a quote from the Afterword, on page 439 of the paperback:

"In the chapel of St. Cyr (before it was destroyed during World War II) the memorial tablet to the dead of the Great War bore only a single entry for "the Class of 1914." The mortality rate is further illustrated by the experience of Andre Varagnac, a nephew of the cabinet minister Marcel Sembat, who came of military age in 1914 but was not mobilized in August owing to illness, and found himself, out of the twenty-seven boys in his ly'cee class, the only one alive by Christmas. According to Armees Francaises, French casualties in the month of August 1914 alone amounted to 206,515, including killed, wounded, and missing out of total effectives for the armies in the field of 1,600,000....When the war was over, the known dead per capita of population were 1 to 28 for France, 1 to 32 for Germany, 1 to 57 for England, and 1 to 107 for Russia."

Imagine, having one out of every 28 people die in France. That is a huge percentage of the population.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pretty Painted Ceiling

Wayne took me to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Durham for my birthday. I took these photos of the ceilings there.

I have always wanted a sky painted inside my tray ceiling in my dining room. The ceiling at the Cheesecake Factory wasn't a sky, but the designs had really pretty colors that I liked. Maybe someday I'll get someone to paint a scene on my ceiling.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


These are my very, very, very, very favorite flower. I love the colors! In fact, these are the same colors I decorate my house with.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lengthening a Skirt

Tara made a skirt in Apparel Design in high school. The teacher would not allow her to alter the pattern in any way, so it turned out too short. Tara wore it one day, but it was uncomfortable, she had to sit just right because it was so short.

For one of Tara's Personal Progress projects, she chose "Learn basic clothing alteration and repair techniques as you adapt your wardrobe to standards of modest dress." She sewed another section of blue around the bottom, and now she can wear the skirt. I was proud of her.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cake Licker

We had a combined birthday party for me and Adam on April 19. Rachel made me a red velvet cake (very delicious!). In the middle of the festivities, Elizabeth, 2 1/2, surprised us all by climbing up on the table and LICKING THE CAKE. You can barely see the shiny spot her tongue made on the frosting. Wayne took special care to keep track of that spot and gave that piece to Elizabeth.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Stake Baby Quilt Project #2

Here are examples of some of the baby quilt or wheelchair lap quilts we made at our stake day of service May 2 (a few of these were finished quilts, most are just quilt tops so far. We created a lot of kits to sew later.)

I really enjoyed preparing for it, I made about 13 simple quilt tops in the 2 1/2 weeks I had to prepare. I enjoyed the day of the project too, I got to dig through all the donated fabric and try to coordinate things and decide what went with what. It was just like a vacation for me, disguised as church work. "I've got to go cut up fabric and sew quilts, its for church."

It reminded Wayne of the time he and Mel Spencer had to go camping at various places to "check them out for future scout trips". They could say, "I've got to go do church work" and then go play.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Stake Baby Quilt Project #1

Our "Stake Day of Service" was on May 2. We had many, many different projects going. I was the chairman of the Baby Quilts and Wheelchair Quilts project, and I think when everything is said and done, we will probably be able to finish about 100 quilts. Here's how we did it:

It was announced to the whole stake that we needed donations of fabric and batting, and that people should come with sewing machines and rotary cutters/mats/rulers, and irons and ironing boards.

When we started in the morning, we handed some premade quilt kits to 2 teenage girls who started sewing them together. About 5 ladies were digging through the donated fabric, matching coordinating fabrics together and deciding how to cut the fabric into kits. Another woman was ironing the fabric before it was cut, she also ironed seams flat after the girls sewed the patchwork seams. About 5 other women were cutting fabric.

We all worked about 4 hours, and think we have about 60 kits ready to give out to the Relief Societies and Young Women leaders in our stake, with enough fabric to make about 40 more kits when we next meet. The wards can finish the quilts in RS enrichments or YW class activities, or individual women or YW can take kits to finish on their own.

(Above) We made some "strippy" quilts, which are just rows and rows of coordinating fabric, very easy. (Below) Liz is sewing patchwork blocks together, you can also see the patchwork top behind her. I will show some more examples of what we made in tomorrow's blog.

These quilts will be given to the hospital neonatal intensive care unit, or to rest homes for lap quilts.

It was a fun project, and used up lots and lots of unwanted fabric that people had sitting around their homes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Ten Virgins

I've been teaching the New Testament in seminary this year, and one of my favorite lessons to teach was on the Ten Virgins.

Here are some great quotes by Spencer W. Kimball on that subject:

"I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world. All of the virgins, wise and foolish...had knowledge of the program and had been warned of the important day to come...(Some) were foolishly unprepared for the vital happenings that were to affect their eternal lives.

They had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives...I ask you: what value is a car without an engine, a cup without water, a table without food, a lamp without oil?...Hundreds of thousands of us today are in this position. Confidence has been dulled and patience worn thin. It is so hard to wait and be prepared always. But we cannot allow ourselves to slumber."

Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 253-254

"Spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant...How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing, a mind at peace from righteous living, an accumulation of knowledge?...How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission? How can one share temple privileges? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself."

Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 255-256

"There are many members of the Church who are lax and careless and who continually procrastinate. They live the gospel casually but not devoutly. They have complied with some requirements but are not valiant. They do no major crime but merely fail to do the things required--things like paying tithing, living the Word of Wisdom, having family prayers, fasting, attending meetings, serving.

Perhaps they do not consider such omissions to be sins, yet these were the kinds of things of which the five foolish virgins...were probably guilty. The ten virgins belonged to the kingdom and had every right to the blessings---except that five were not valiant and were not ready when the great day came. They were unprepared through not living all the commandments. They were bitterly disappointed at being shut out from the marriage---as likewise their modern counterparts will be...

Because men are prone to postpone action and ignore directions, the Lord has repeatedly given strict injunctions and issued solemn warnings. Again and again in different phraseology and throughout the centuries the Lord has reminded man so that he could never have excuse. And the burden of the prophetic warning has been that the time to act is now, in this mortal life. One cannot with impunity delay his compliance with God's commandments."
Spencer W. Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 7-10

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Garden

My Grandma Vinnie would be so proud! Her maiden name was Gardner, and she loved to garden.

I have never touched dirt in my life until now. And now I am finally trying to grow my own vegetables using Mel Bartholomew's book "All New Square Foot Gardening".

Wayne made a 4'x4' box in our front yard, and two 2'x4' boxes in our back yard. I planted marigolds (to keep the bugs away), bell peppers, cilantro, brussel sprouts, carrots, and radishes. Next I have to put up a trellis in the back yard and plant the tomato, cucumber, and squash plants that I bought. I figure even if we only produce a few edible vegetables this year, it will still be a good learning process.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dear Jeremiah

When I was teaching Old Testament in seminary two years ago, I made up the following "mission call" to illustrate the great trials the prophet Jeremiah went through as he preached the gospel in Jerusalem around 626 B.C. I'm glad my sons' mission calls didn't read this way.

Dear Jeremiah,

You are called to serve in the Jerusalem, Judea mission, entering the mission field on April 17, 626 BC, or the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah.

You are called to be a missionary among a people the Lord has scheduled to be destroyed by the Babylonians. Since the Lord is a merciful God, He must warn them through prophets so that they will have an opportunity to repent. Unfortunately, none of them will ever repent, so you will never have any success in converting anyone.

You will suffer much persecution while on your mission. You will be reviled, opposed, and insulted by civic and religious leaders, common people, and by the army. Everyone will hate you.

You will be all alone. You won’t have a missionary companion to help you.

The Lord has commanded you not to ever get married.

Your mission will end at your death.

Welcome to the mission field.

Your mission president.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Best Memories Ever #2

Fall 1987- Looking forward to moving to new house, new baby, Christmas, Wayne returning from six weeks of training in Chicago.

"Mister, your car will never make it" driving up canyon

Pres. Hinckley waving to us inside the Raleigh temple dedication.

Little Zachary with his "bopper".

Being the new girl at Stillwater Middle School, 8th grade.

Wayne accidentally used the junk I cleaned off the chicken and made it into a “Gristle casserole”

Kids slid down ice to play at Jonathan's during ice storm. We had to slide ski poles down to them to use to come back up hill.

Adam's and Seth's twirly hats at their graduations.

Seth and I in doctor's office, he drew a funny face on the form, I couldn't stop giggling.

Tara's 6 yr old birthday party, little girls dressing up and having a fashion show.

Each of my boys leaving for their missions, and coming home from their missions. Such a feeling of satisfaction that they had developed their own testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel and wanted to share it with others.

Isaac's and Rachel's temple wedding, Adam's and Tiffany's temple wedding.

Going on the tower tour of Winchester Cathedral in England, and touring the attic and the bell tower and roof.

(Thats all for now. I'm sure I'll think of more later.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Best Memories Ever #1

Wayne sitting on patio outside Biltmore. Wearing a hawaiian shirt and looking so happy to see me.

Walking across BYU campus at Education Week, the feeling of freedom. I was a young mother, but felt again like a single coed. No kids hanging on me..

Wayne's homecoming from England on Halloween, kids dressed up in Halloween costumes, balloons, noisemakers.

Went on a nature walk with my Grandma when I was little, she brought along a picnic of jello with bananas and marshmallows in a paper cup. We sat near a creek, made a teaset out of acorns.

Tara running barefoot in snow, with just diaper on, to kiss brothers goodbye at bus stop in our front yard.

Bryce, toddler, waving at me in rearview mirror when I was driving.

Adam, 3 yrs old, seeing a black woman in KMart in Layton. He said to her, "You're Black!"

Getting caught in a downpour while walking in morning with Patti. Wringing water out of my pantlegs.

Learning I got my first blue ribbon at MidAtlantic Quilt Festival 1999?

Getting sopping wet at King's Dominion, Adam told us where to stand so we would "not get wet". (to be continued)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thoughts on H1N1 virus

The news media has been calling this flu outbreak "swine flu", but now they are trying to get everyone to call it "H1N1". This virus has elements of swine flu, bird flu, and human flu, so it is inaccurate to call it "swine flu" because it makes people think you can get it from pork.

With that said, at this point it doesn't matter where the virus originally came from, what matters is that it is a new mutation of a virus AND is passable from human-to-human. None of us have immunities to it because it is brand new.

The media and government are making this sound serious, and then that confuses people because they look around and think "only 150+ deaths, whats the big deal?".

Here's the big deal: Pandemics come in waves. In 1918-1919, the spring wave was mild, it was the pandemic wave that came in the fall that was deadly. The virus mutates and can become much more virulent. So if this flu epidemic doesn't go away in some miraculous manner, I am much more worried about what will happen in six months than I am right now. (Please go back and read my posts of March 17-March 22, 2009, where I reviewed the book "The Great Influenza" by John M. Barry. It is truly amazing and scary to see how deadly that second wave in 1919 was.)

I've been reading The Totally Ready Blog for months now. The author Carolyn Nicolaysen does a great job of going through the preparedness you need for any disaster. She has been writing about pandemic preparedness for years. She has been urging everyone to get a 2 months supply so that if you have to self-quarantine you would have what you need. Think of all the foods, liquids, medicines, kleenex, cleaning supplies, etc that your family members would need if they had the flu: jello, juices, diarrhea medicine, pain relievers, etc. (If you want to find out more, read her blog. You can click on the "Pandemic" category in the righthand column to see all the posts on that topic. She has been writing about it since July 2008.)

There have been no cases of H1N1 in North Carolina yet, but I get to worry every day about Bryce, on his mission in Oaxaca, Mexico. Here is what he wrote in his last email, April 27, 2009:

"First off, don't worry, I'm not dying from the swine flu. I am wearing an incredibly uncomfortable surgical face mask thing, and I'm trying to take precautions (washing my hands a lot, not letting people cough on me, etc.) but don't worry, I'm really not worried at all, the Lord's got my back. It's crazy, I just started hearing about it on like Friday, and by today it's giant world-wide news, and last night we got a call from the assistants to the President ordering us to use facemasks and use preventitive measures. Just as long as they don't tell us to stop visiting people I'm fine, because we have way too much going on right now."

So he has faith the Lord's "got his back", so I will try not to worry too much.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Flower Girl doll

A few years ago, my dad was in the hospital with pneumonia. My sister Cindy and I flew to Oklahoma and took turns sitting in his hospital room with him for a week (my brother Larry and sister Cheryl were worn out from doing it for several weeks already). I took a little bag of fabric, yarn, beads, and stuffing with me, thinking I would create something while I was sitting there. With just a handsewing needle and thread, this is what I made.

I think she is pretty cute. I named her "Flower Girl." She is about 5" tall.