Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confessions about Halloween Candy

My kids will tell you that I wasn't that thrilled to let them go trick or treating. Just a little trick or treating was okay. But I hated for them to go for hours and come back with pillowcases full. They used to weigh their candy to see how many pounds they got. I thought it was horrible.

Our bishop, Bishop Stephens, used to have a tradition of greeting the children after church near his office. They loved to go shake his hand because he would give them a piece of candy.

So Wayne and I told our kids they had to tithe their Halloween candy to Bishop Stephens. He happily took a tenth of their load and shared it with the ward.

The main reason I didn't like all that candy in the house was that every day while they were gone to school I would get the munchies and I would go steal some.

After awhile I felt guilty, so I usually ended up paying each one of them some money for what I stole.

I still can't help myself if there is candy laying around. I make Wayne hide it from me, then he gives me one piece at a time, as a surprise. (I find a piece on my desk, or on my sewing machine, at random times.) It is a really nice thing for him to do.

(Candy corn is one of my favorite types of candy. I know, somehow I really love low class food. Also, just in case you are interested, Golden Corral is my favorite restaurant.)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

To while away an hour or two

Here is a link to an AWESOME online novel, called "The Day the Dollar Died". It is just as scary as "One Second After". I enjoyed it thoroughly.
(Hey, other people enjoy reading murder mysteries or science fiction. I enjoy reading disaster novels. So shoot me.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Insiders Aren't Buying It

Insider Selling Volume at Highest Level Ever Tracked

Here are excerpts from an article published on the CNBC website on Tues. Oct. 26, 2010, written by John Melloy.

The overwhelming volume of sell transactions relative to buy transactions by company insiders over the last six months in key leading sectors of the market is the worst Alan Newman, editor of the Crosscurrents newsletter, has ever seen since he began tracking the data....

The largest companies in three of the most important leading sectors of the market have seen their executives classified as insiders sell more than 120 million shares of stock over the last six months. Top executives at these very same companies bought just 38,000 shares over that same time period, making for an eye-popping sell to buy ratio of 3,177 to one.

The grand total for the three sectors are “as awful as we have ever seen since we began doing this exercise years ago,” said Newman, who was ahead on such trends as the dangers of high-frequency trading and ETFs before the ‘Flash Crash’. “Clearly, insiders are seeing great value only in cash. Their actions speak volumes for the veracity for the current rally.”....

But the overall market doesn't seem to care. I keep seeing the market going up, and wondering, why are people investing in it? And if Joe Main Street knew how fast the insiders are getting out of the market, would he still be putting his money there?

The insider data “is good reason for considerable caution once the price action fades,” said Simon Baker, CEO of Baker Asset Management. Still “insiders normally buy early and sell early too. Longer term -- 12 months out -- it is more of a red flag.”

Newman isn’t alone in warning about insider selling. The latest report from Vickers Weekly Insider, a publication that makes investments based upon these transactions, shows that total insider sell transactions relative to purchases on the New York Stock Exchange are running at a ratio of more than four to one over the last eight weeks. The normal reading, because of options selling and other factors, is about 2 sales for every buy, according to Vickers.

Can you say "rats jumping off a sinking ship?"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More on the Constitution, by Benson

Ensign » 1987 » November

Our Divine Constitution
by President Ezra Taft Benson

After he became President of the Church, President Wilford Woodruff declared that “those men who laid the foundation of this American government were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits … [and] were inspired of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, p. 89).

Unfortunately, we as a nation have apostatized in various degrees from different Constitutional principles as proclaimed by the inspired founders. We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (19 July 1840, as recorded by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; ms. in Church Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City).

For centuries our forefathers suffered and sacrificed that we might be the recipients of the blessings of freedom. If they were willing to sacrifice so much to establish us as a free people, should we not be willing to do the same to maintain that freedom for ourselves and for future generations?

Only in this foreordained land, under its God-inspired Constitution and the resulting environment of freedom, was it possible to have established the restored church. It is our responsibility to see that this freedom is perpetuated so that the Church may more easily flourish in the future.

The Lord said, “Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land” (D&C 98:6).

How then can we best befriend the Constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty and ensure the protection and guidance of our Father in Heaven?

First and foremost, we must be righteous.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31). If the Constitution is to have continuance, this American nation, and especially the Latter-day Saints, must be virtuous....

Two great American Christian civilizations—the Jaredites and the Nephites—were swept off this land because they did not “serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12). What will become of our civilization?

Next, here is some counsel from an apostle that I have never heard before. Now I've got to read the Federalist papers!

Second, we must learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers.

Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?

As Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be” (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).

Third, we must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented.

The Lord said that “he holds men accountable for their acts in relation” to governments “both in making laws and administering them” (D&C 134:1). We must follow this counsel from the Lord: “Honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil” (D&C 98:10).

Note the qualities that the Lord demands of those who are to represent us. They must be good, wise, and honest.

Fourth, we must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, our teaching, and our advice.

We must become accurately informed and then let others know how we feel. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. ‘Tis right, politically, for a man who has influence to use it. … From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get” (History of the Church, 5:286).

I have faith that the Constitution will be saved as prophesied by Joseph Smith. It will be saved by the righteous citizens of this nation who love and cherish freedom. It will be saved by enlightened members of this Church—among others—men and women who understand and abide the principles of the Constitution.

I reverence the Constitution of the United States as a sacred document. To me its words are akin to the revelations of God, for God has placed His stamp of approval upon it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Civic Standard of Scriptures, by Benson

Ensign » 1972 » July

Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints
Elder Ezra Taft Benson
Of the Council of the Twelve

In this Conference talk, Elder Ezra Taft Benson spoke about the four great civic standards for the faithful Saints.

This leads me to the second great civic standard for the Saints. For in addition to our inspired Constitution, we have the scriptures.

Joseph Smith said that the Book of Mormon was the “keystone of our religion” and the “most correct” book on earth. (DHC, vol. 6, p. 56.) This most correct book on earth states that the downfall of two great American civilizations came as a result of secret conspiracies whose desire was to overthrow the freedom of the people. “And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking,” says Moroni, “and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.” (Ether 8:21.)

Now undoubtedly Moroni could have pointed out many factors that led to the destruction of the people, but notice how he singled out the secret combinations, just as the Church today could point out many threats to peace, prosperity, and the spread of God’s work, but it has singled out the greatest threat as the godless conspiracy. There is no conspiracy theory in the Book of Mormon —it is a conspiracy fact.

Then Moroni speaks to us in this day and says, “Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you” (Ether 8:14.)

The Book of Mormon further warns that “whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold they shall be destroyed. …” (Ether 8:22.)....

President Clark warned us that “we stand in danger of losing our liberties, and that once lost, only blood will bring them back; and once lost, we of this church will, in order to keep the Church going forward, have more sacrifices to make and more persecutions to endure than we have yet known. …” (CR, April 1944, p. 116.) And he stated that if the conspiracy “comes here it will probably come in its full vigor and there will be a lot of vacant places among those who guide and direct, not only this government, but also this Church of ours.” (CR, April 1952.)

I have skipped the last two sections of his talk, but you can go to the website and read them yourselves. Here are the last paragraphs:

And so four great civic standards for the faithful Saints are, first, the Constitution ordained by God through wise men; second, the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon; third, the inspired counsel of the prophets, especially the living president, and fourth, the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

God bless us all that we may use these standards and by so doing bless ourselves, our families, our community, our nation, and the world, I humbly pray, as I bear my witness to the truth of this great latter-day work, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Supporting the Constitution, by Benson

Ensign » 1972 » July

Civic Standards for the Faithful Saints
Elder Ezra Taft Benson
Of the Council of the Twelve

In this Conference talk, Elder Ezra Taft Benson spoke about the four great civic standards for the faithful Saints.

First, the Constitution, ordained by God through wise men.

The First Presidency acknowledged that wisdom when they gave us the guideline a few years ago of supporting political candidates “who are truly dedicated to the Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers.” (Deseret News, November 2, 1964.) ....

...Our wise founders seemed to understand, better than most of us, our own scripture, which states that “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority … they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” (D&C 121:39.)

To help prevent this, the founders knew that our elected leaders should be bound by certain fixed principles. Said Thomas Jefferson: “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”....

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., put it well when he said:

“God provided that in this land of liberty, our political allegiance shall run not to individuals, that is, to government officials, no matter how great or how small they may be. Under His plan our allegiance and the only allegiance we owe as citizens or denizens of the United States, runs to our inspired Constitution which God himself set up. ....This principle of allegiance to the Constitution is basic to our freedom. It is one of the great principles that distinguishes this ‘land of liberty’ from other countries.” (Improvement Era, July 1940, p. 444.)

The warning of President Joseph Fielding Smith is most timely: “Now I tell you it is time the people of the United States were waking up with the understanding that if they don’t save the Constitution from the dangers that threaten it, we will have a change of government.” (Conference Report, April 1950, p. 159.)

Another guideline given by the First Presidency was “to support good and conscientious candidates, of either party, who are aware of the great dangers” facing the free world. (Deseret News, November 2, 1964.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

"The Love of God" by Uchtdorf

Ensign » 2009 » November

The Love of God
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Second Counselor in the First Presidency

I just reread this talk by Pres. Uchtdorf from the October 2009 General Conference. These paragraphs really touched me.

Our Father in Heaven has given us, His children, much more than any mortal mind can comprehend. Under His direction the Great Jehovah created this wondrous world we live in. God the Father watches over us, fills our hearts with breathtaking joy, brightens our darkest hours with blessed peace, distills upon our minds precious truths, shepherds us through times of distress, rejoices when we rejoice, and answers our righteous petitions.

He offers to His children the promise of a glorious and infinite existence and has provided a way for us to progress in knowledge and glory until we receive a fulness of joy. He has promised us all that He has.

What a wonderful message. And the following paragraphs are even better:

Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you.7

God does not look on the outward appearance.8 I believe that He doesn’t care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.

He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.

What a loving Father we have.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sunny South

I live in North Carolina, and our growing season is really long. Here are the vegetables I picked out of my garden yesterday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Three awards at DOQ quilt show

I entered 3 quilts in the Durham-Orange Quilt show, and won three awards. To be able to give more awards, their guild requires the amateurs and professionals to enter in separate categories. Since I teach quilting, I enter under the "professional" category.

"My Blue Heaven" got 3rd place in the "Art-Professional" category. It is one of my Frazzled Fancies quilts, made with little squares of fancy fabrics piled on top of one another, with lots of hand embroidery over them.

"How to Get a Husband" got 2nd place in "Wall, Pieced, Professional". I
made this crooked log cabin wallhanging using some cute cartoony fabric which shows things you should do to attract a man. My favorite is "Never Argue. He is always right."

"Wild Thing" got 2nd place in the "Bed, Pieced, Professional" category. The sun was shining on the bottom half of this quilt, and there was also a table there, so the picture isn't that great. I started this quilt about 1992 and finished it about 2009, it was a real pain to finish that binding around the hexagonal shapes.

Early Voting

Early voting started yesterday at several Wake County community locations. The ones closest to my house are:

Herbert C. Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave. Cary, NC (near Cary Town Hall.)

Apex Community Center, 53 Hunter Street, Apex, NC

Sat. Oct. 23 11:00 am-5:00 pm

Sun. Oct. 24 1:00pm-5:00 pm

Mon. through Fri. Oct. 25-29 11:00 am-7:00 pm

Sat. Oct. 30 10:00 am-1:00 pm

Friday, October 22, 2010

Be careful what you say

Freedom of speech might as well be eliminated from the constitution, because apparently freedom of speech doesn't exist anymore. I admit, people don't usually get arrested for things they say, but they can certainly lose their jobs at the drop of a hat (or more specifically, a non-politically correct sentence.)

Juan Williams got fired from NPR for saying he was nervous on airplanes when he saw people in Muslim garb. He didn't advocate violence to Muslims, he didn't say he hated Muslims, he merely said he was fearful of them on airplanes.

But NPR did not fire Nina Tottenburg when she stated that she wished God would give Jesse Helms or one of his grandchildren AIDS. Why didn't they fire her? Oh, yeah, NPR never liked Jesse Helms. That must be the difference.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Future of the Book

Here is a link to a video, showing how digital books can use all sorts of outside links and websites to make them even more than just a reading experience. I thought it was fascinating.

(I have corrected the link, thanks to Adam.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Durham-Orange Quilt Show

The Durham-Orange Quilt Show will be held this weekend at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. I have 3 quilts in the show. And I will be giving two free demos at the show on Saturday: 11:00 on Yoyos, 11:30 on Crooked Log Cabins.

Fri. Oct 22- open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Sat. Oct. 23- open 10:00 am-6:00 pm.

Sun. Oct. 24- open 10:00 am-5:00 pm.

Sorry I couldn't find the right address, but the show will be located at Bay 7 of the American Tobacco Campus in Durham. The parking lot is located at the corner of Carr and Pettigrew streets. The office of the complex is located at 318 Blackwell Street, Suite 150, Durham, NC 27701. Here are the driving directions.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clockwork Angel

Adam has had a website called "Clockwork Angel" for several years. It is where he advertises all of his digital animation, mostly of environments (towns, buildings all made out of digital art).

Now there is a bestselling book named Clockwork Angel, so when you google it, his website comes up second. I wonder if that will help Adam get discovered? I hope so.

But actually its a bummer, because his stuff has nothing to do with that book, yet now it will look like they are somehow related.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Did he see the signs?

I saw a blog with photos of the signs people were holding up along the roadside when Obama went to Chicago on October 7. Here are what some of the signs said:

(Picture of Obama with an eyepatch) Pirate-in-Chief

The Change Sucks

From little A.C.O.R.N.S. mighty Marxists grow.

(Obama pointing like Uncle Sam, but wearing a Marxist hat) Spread Your Wealth Around

I Listed the Federal Government as a Dependent on My Taxes This Year.

Read My Teleprompter- No New Bailouts.

No Taxation With Foolish Distribution.

Why Pay Taxes When They Can Just Print Money?

Socialism- Dollars At Work For Those Who Don't.

Right Wing Extremists- Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Me

Obama Declares War on Prosperity

I was Anti-Obama Before It Was Cool

Welcome to Obamunism.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Revealed to our Spirits

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught,

"All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality...are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies."

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 355

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The 2nd Oldest Profession

"I used to say that politics was the second oldest profession, and I have come to know that it bears a gross similarity to the first. "

Ronald Reagan, 1979

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bernanke said more than he said

I was interested to read Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech from October 4. I wonder who else besides me was reading between the lines. Here are some interesting excerpts.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
At the Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, Providence, Rhode Island
October 4, 2010

The recent deep recession and the subsequent slow recovery have created severe budgetary pressures not only for many households and businesses, but for governments as well. Indeed, in the United States, governments at all levels are grappling not only with the near-term effects of economic weakness, but also with the longer-run pressures that will be generated by the need to provide health care and retirement security to an aging population. There is no way around it--meeting these challenges will require policymakers and the public to make some very difficult decisions and to accept some sacrifices. But history makes clear that countries that continually spend beyond their means suffer slower growth in incomes and living standards and are prone to greater economic and financial instability. Conversely, good fiscal management is a cornerstone of sustainable growth and prosperity.

I got two major messages from this:

1- that I, the public, will have to accept some sacrifices. Even though I am not the one who made the policies!


2-I should be on the look out for financial instability. And I am assuming I better be prepared for hard times in the long term.

Let me return to the issue of longer-term fiscal sustainability. As I have discussed, projections by the CBO and others show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely, and at increasing rates. To be sure, projections are to some degree only hypothetical exercises. Almost by definition, unsustainable trajectories of deficits and debts will never actually transpire, because creditors would never be willing to lend to a country in which the fiscal debt relative to the national income is rising without limit. Herbert Stein, a wise economist, once said, "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."9 One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point. The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people plenty of time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis....

Deficits and debts rising indefinitely? Is this really a good plan?

Did you catch it that he is politely letting us know that eventually creditors will not be willing to lend to our country? (And why would they want to, in the circumstances we are in.)

Then there's a quiet little announcement: "fiscal adjustments...will certainly occur at some point." Oh really? And what would those adjustments look like?

He gives us two scenarios: one which gives people plenty of time to adjust, or a rapid and painful response. Would the latter scenario be a huge crash?

Remember, this is the guy who is in charge of our money, who usually tries to put a positive spin on things to make us feel better.

So what I got from his speech is that:

the government has spent too much money and therefore my standard of living is going to go down,

the debt and deficit are going to keep rising indefinitely until the rest of the world won't lend to us anymore,

fiscal adjustments WILL happen in an unpleasant way,

and, by the way, our economy is unsustainable.

Oh, and if you're aren't depressed enough already, here is another thing to think about:

Finally, a large federal debt decreases the flexibility of policymakers to temporarily increase spending as needed to address future emergencies, such as recessions, wars, or natural disasters.

So, as the wars, plagues, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and famines happen, our nation will have no resources to deal with them. Oh joy.

Thanks a lot, Ben, for making my day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just another domino: ug99 wheat rust

I believe in the prophecies about the last days culminating in the Second Coming of Christ. These are recorded in the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and also written by the living prophets. These prophecies include wars, famine, plagues, pollutions, violence, and many other unsavory events.

I have long paid attention to the specific prophecies, and wondered how they are all going to happen. What order will they happen? Will they start slow and then build up slowly? Or will they start slow and then go kaboom all at once at the end like the fireworks shows on the Fourth of July, culminating in a huge finale? (in my opinion, it will be the latter.)

In my mind's eye, I see a whole scene of dominoes set up, every event will be just waiting its turn, until the day God decides to hit the first domino and the world as we know it will start falling down in a series of terrible events.

Every time I see another sign of the times, happening or getting prepped to happen, I picture it as another domino, just waiting to fall.

So today I found out about a new crop disease that is occurring in Africa, a wheat rust called ug99. Its name comes from being discovered in Uganda in 1999. The disease is spread by spores blowing in the wind.

It is already killing 20-80% of any wheat crop it infects. I do not want to think what will happen if it actually reaches the United States. This would be just one more way for these prophecies of famine to come true.

I'm not posting this to my ward blog, because it makes me sound too alarmist and wild-eyed. But since I am always looking for dominoes, I might as well record this one here.

Here is one of several articles about ug99 that I found on the internet:

Farmers in Afghanistan already struggle with the effects of drought and years of conflict. Now there is worry about a new threat headed in their direction in the wind — a fungus that destroys wheat crops. The disease is a form of stem rust named for its discovery in Uganda ten years ago. Ug99 is now in one of Afghanistan’s neighbors, Iran. The disease kills wheat plants by robbing them of water and nutrients. Stem rust produces reddish-brown spots on the stems of infected plants. The weakened stems break easily. The world’s last major outbreak of stem rust took place in the nineteen fifties. Agriculture — excluding opium production — represents about one-third of the Afghan economy. But agriculture employs eighty percent of the country’s workers. And almost all Afghan farmers grow wheat to feed their families or to sell. Afghanistan has a population estimated at almost thirty-four million people. Mahmoud Solh directs the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, or ICARDA, in Aleppo, Syria. He says it took a few years for Ug99 to show its destructive power. Then, in Kenya, it destroyed from twenty to eighty percent of wheat crops. And before long, he says, winds carried the disease from Kenya to Ethiopia. Ug99 has also affected Sudan and more recently has moved into Asia, spreading to Yemen and Iran. Mahmoud Solh says the disease now threatens Afghanistan.....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two Announcements

Etcetera Crafts Going out of Business Sale
226 E. Chatham Street
Cary, N.C. 27511

Beginning Monday, October 11th the going out of business sale will progress to the final level. Fabric, thread, patterns, books, and notions will be 50% off - excluding: kits, quilts, wallhangings, Buck-a-Block, and pottery.

Wallhangings, quilts, kits, and tablerunners are all individually priced with newly reduced prices marked in red.

Pottery pieces are also individually marked with newly reduced prices marked in red.

The shop will close permanently on Saturday, October 23rd at 5:00 P.M.

Fixture pickup will be from 10:00 A.M Monday, October 25th through 5:00 P.M. Friday October 29th.

Family History Conference

We invite everyone to attend the Family History Conference which will be held Saturday, October 23, at the Apex Stake Center from 9-1.

Just getting started with family history research? Perhaps you?re an experienced genealogist but have hit a dead end. Great news! The annual Apex Family History Research Conference, ?Be a Family History Detective,? will take place on October 23, 2010 at the Apex Stake Center from 9am to 1pm. You can come for a single class or for all sessions. Nearly 20 different hour-long classes will be offered, all aimed at helping you expand your knowledge of family history research. Classes will start at 10 minutes past the hour. Admission to the conference is free and it is open to anyone ages 12 and up.

See to preregister and check out the list of classes for beginner through expert. Come and bring a friend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Building up steam to write a novel

In only 3 weeks from yesterday, I am going to start a writing marathon and write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November. I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which you can read about HERE.

Or you can read about it on my blog, posts written 3-2-2010 through 3-5-2010.

I am making a big long chart on the wall in Tara's room with all my characters, and plot, and story arc and everything else I don't want to forget. I have been gathering plot and character material for almost a year, so there is too much to just keep in my head, I have to organize it visually.

This could be the biggest waste of time i have ever scheduled. Or it might make me crazy. But I think it will teach me a lot, and I hope that I will feel like I really accomplished something worthwhile.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Carnival Birthday party- WOW!

While looking for sewing ideas, I came across this lady's blog ("Don't Look Now"), I showed a tutorial from her yesterday. Today the link is to her photos of the items she sewed for her son's birthday party. I am feeling tired just looking at it. I can't believe someone has this much energy. And the the polka dot birthday cake is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Why can't I do stuff like this?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In the mood to sew pillows

I am in the mood to sew stuff for Christmas gifts. I have been looking at all sorts of things, small items that are easy to make.

Here is a tutorial for a pillow with a puffy flower in the middle:

And here are some other pillows that I could figure out how to make with all the wool felt I have:

And here is the Don't Look Now blog Flower Garden pillow tutorial:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Urban Exploring (a.k.a. "trespassing") photos

A certain person I know well has one of his great photos on this site:

This man, and you know who I am talking about, is known as Avius Quovis, which means "in places forgotten, tread where you will."

He, and many many others like him, is obsessed with going into abandoned buildings and drainage systems (its not exactly legal, mind you) and taking great photos. So enjoy these pictures, and look for the one about halfway down (it is about 27th out of 62 total) which has the credit "Avius Quovis". Thats his.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Parade of Homes time again

This is one of my favorite times of year---I get to go snooping through elegant new homes at the Wake County Parade of Homes. I adore looking at house plans, room arrangements, how they decorate the rooms, and finding out what are the newest kitchen and bath ideas. I am especially eager to go to the $1,575,000 house in Durham.

One of my favorite things is looking at the window treatments and the new colors. Someday I'm going to get enough energy and determination to actually decorate a house (probably not this one). I like to look at lovely home decor, I just don't actually ever get around to doing it to my own house.

The Parade of Homes goes on for 2 more weekends: Oct. 8-10, Oct 15-17. Noon to 5 pm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Look at my other blog

In case you haven't looked at my other blog in awhile, I wanted to list a bunch of things that I have posted there recently.

Sept. 21- I was without water and electricity for a day

Sept. 22- How I changed a flat tire

Sept. 23- I made some car emergency kits

Sept. 24- How much water I used in one day

Sept. 25- Self-reliance quote

Sept. 26- Flashlights which use alternative power

Sept. 27-28 How I Waxed Cheese, so it will keep for 25 yrs without refrigeration

Sept. 29 and 30- “Food Storage” Conference talk by Featherstone, May 1976

Oct. 1- Rain Barrels available from Town of Cary

Oct. 2- Rotate your 72 kits every Conference

Oct. 3- “The Flood After the Storm” article from Ensign Feb. 1997

Oct. 4- An interview with Wendy Dewitt about Solar ovens, from BYU Living Essentials

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Birthday Banner

My daughter-in-law, Rachel, made this cute birthday banner. She sewed triangles and turned them inside out. The top of the triangle was open. She enclosed all the tops of the triangles inside the edge of black bias tape and sewed it shut.

Then she cut out letters out of fabric which had fusible web on it. Then ironed the letters onto the triangles.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Photos from Elizabeth's Birthday

We arrived at Rachel's and Isaac's house on Sunday night to see Elizabeth in this beautiful new ballerina costume. Rachel had tied strips of bridal tulle onto an elastic waistband. Elizabeth looked like she was walking in a puffy cloud.

Rachel had made a Barbie cake, with a real Barbie sticking out of it. Seth asked, "Is it Barbie flavored?". After Elizabeth blew out the candles, Bob pulled the Barbie out, and said, "Wow, a girl popped out of the cake! We should do this for Thomas in about 17 years."

After she had opened her presents, Elizabeth was very fancy indeed.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Bryce and Tara and some of their friends drove to Salt Lake City from Provo on Saturday, stood in the line, and got in to see Conference at the Conference Center! Wow, am I jealous! And then my wonderful mother, who lives right across the street from the temple, fed them all dinner. What a wonderful grandmother she is. I am so glad that my kids had that great opportunity.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Elizabeth's 4th birthday

H-Here's to our favorite 4-yr-old. She is
A-About the cutest thing we've ever seen.
P-Pappy and Grammy are
P-pretty proud of her.
Y-Yes, we are.

B-Because she lives right here
I-In town, we get to see her on a
R-regular basis.
T-Therefore, we know her and love her and get to spend time with her.
H-Here are lots of
D-Descriptions and
A-Attributes of our dear granddaughter.
Y-You would recognize her, if you saw a little girl who:

E-Exhibits great curiosity
L-Loves her parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and brother
I-Is our only granddaughter
Z-zips her mouth shut only rarely
A-Always dresses fancy
B-Battles with her mother as only a 4 yr old can do
E-Eats strawberries and oranges and cereal and popsicles
T-Tells Thomas Things
H-Helps her mother cook

Happy birthday, Elizabeth!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Worksheet for General Conference

I was re-reading the March 2006 New Era and was impressed with this article:

"General Conference Worksheet: Listening for Answers" is a worksheet of questions to ask yourself during General Conference. I think the first item on the checklist is a very good one: to think ahead of time about questions you want answered during Conference. I have never done that before.

Pre-conference Checklist

• I have thought and prayed about questions I have, and I will listen for answers during conference.

• I have prayed for the general conference speakers.

• I will get a good night’s sleep so I can stay awake and attentive during conference.

• I have a notebook and pen ready so I can take notes during conference.

What I Learned during General Conference

The talk(s) that meant the most to me during the Saturday sessions of conference was/were by ____________________________________________________. I enjoyed the talk(s) because _____________________________________________________.

The talk(s) that meant the most to me during the Sunday sessions of conference was/were by ____________________________________________________. I enjoyed the talk(s) because _____________________________________________________.

The prophet counseled Church members to: _________________________________.

This specific counsel was given to the youth of the Church: ___________________ __________________________________________________________________________.

The answers I received from listening and pondering during general conference are: _____________________________________________________________________.

The main themes of general conference were: _______________________________ __________________________________________________________________________.

After listening to general conference, I want to become better in the following ways, or I was prompted to do the following: ________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________.

And here is a post I wrote on 4-7-2010, just as a reminder of something else we can do:

I just read a letter from a young man, a missionary that we know. He was talking about General Conference, which was just this past weekend. He wrote:

"I did a little experiment. So yesterday for both sessions of conference I tallied every time I felt the Spirit testify to me that what was being said was true. So by the end of the two conferences I was quite surprised on what the number was. It added up to 42 confirmations through the Spirit that what was being said was true. It was about the coolest thing I could have ever done! It helped me stay focused and it made me recognize how true this church is."

What a great idea. I know that tears came to my eyes several times, just from the wonderful feelings I was having as I listened to the talks myself. I want to do a tally when conference comes around again in October, but I don't plan on telling you the total number, thats too personal.