Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For Unto Us a Child is Born

I saw this at Greg and Heather's house. So cute! Made from their baby's footprint!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Midnight Shoppers

I feel extreme sadness that there is this degree of financial instability in our nation.  I am so thankful for Wayne's job, and for our food storage!
From the Wall Street Journal

HOUSTON—At midnight on the first of the month, a scene unfolds at many Wal-Mart StoresInc. sites that underscores the deep financial strains that many low-income American consumers still face.
Parking lots come to life after 11 p.m. as customers start to stream into the stores, cramming their shopping carts full of milk, infant formula and other necessities.
Then at midnight, when the government replenishes their electronic-benefit accounts with their monthly allotments of food stamps, nutritional grants for mothers with babies or other aid for needy families, they head for the registers.

The midnight scenes, which also play out at Kroger Co., the nation's largest supermarket chain, and other 24-hour stores, indicate that many Americans are still living from pay period to pay period, unemployed or underemployed two years after the recession took hold.

    "If you really think about it, the only reason someone gets out there in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they have been waiting for it," Bill Simon, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. store business, said at a Goldman Sachsconference last month.
    Wal-Mart executives have cited the midnight rush for the past year as evidence that stressed consumers are stretching the limits of the "paycheck cycle." The company hasn't disclosed exact figures, but it says purchases made with electronic-benefits cards have surged in the past two years.
    Participation in the federal food-stamp program swelled from 26 million Americans in 2007 to more than 33 million last year, and it continues to surge. As of June, the latest figures available, more than 41.2 million people were receiving monthly assistance, which averaged $133.36 a person.
    Similarly, the U.S. Agriculture Department's supplemental nutrition grant program for women, infants and children, known as WIC, saw participation grow beyond 9.3 million last year, up from 8.7 million two years ago, government figures show....

      "We know our customers are living paycheck to paycheck as they continue to struggle as a result of the economy," said Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez.

      Sunday, November 28, 2010

      Baby gifts

      I have started buying cloth diapers at Walmart, and decorating them for baby burp cloths.  There are a BUNCH of pregnant women in my ward, and I have a huge drawer of trims, so this is an easy thing for me to do.

      Saturday, November 27, 2010

      I AM A WINNER!!!!!!

      I DID IT!  I wrote 51,669 words!   Boo Yah to me!   

      Friday, November 26, 2010

      Larry's new business venture

      Here is my brother's newest business venture.  He invented this dump trailer and patented the back-up activated dump action.


      Thursday, November 25, 2010

      Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo

      We had 16 people here for Thanksgiving, and everything went well.  Afterward, while all the food settled, we played "Guess Who" with the little kids in one room,  while people in the other room played "Sequence".  Then we played "Bananagrams", now the guys are watching "Punkin Chunkin".

      I tallied up my word count, I am up to 47,007 words.  One more writing session and I will be a winner of NaNoWriMo!

      Wednesday, November 24, 2010


      Characters: We write what they do, they don't do what we write.

      I read this quote before I started NaNoWriMo, but didn't really understand it until I started writing. It is so amazing, when you have a fictional character in your head, and you write as fast as you can, he just starts doing things that you really didn't plan. I am quite enjoying seeing what my characters are doing.

      My word count for Nov. 22 was 45,058.  That was five days ahead on my word count.

      Tuesday, November 23, 2010

      Writing Truth

      I just got an email saying that Plain and Simple Quilt Shop will be going out of business soon.  It is a very nice quilt shop, it has lovely fabrics, trims, thread, wool, and quilt patterns.  The sales will begin on Friday, Nov. 26.    30% off on all goods.  It is the old farmhouse on the corner of Salem Street just before it goes under Highway 64 and becomes Davis Drive.

      Plain and Simple Quilt Shop
      1510 North Salem Street
      Apex NC  27502

      Normal business hours Tues-Sat 10 am- 6 pm 

      "If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered." Stephen King, from his autobiography/how-to-write book, entitled, "On Writing".

      Oh, and something else I learned from reading that book. King says he writes 2000 words every single day, that equals 10 typewritten pages a day.

      I have been typing 6 pages a day.

      I haven't done the word-count thing since Saturday, but as of Nov. 20th I was up to 41,828 words.  That was four days ahead of where I was supposed to be.

      Another random thought: Do what you love, and the money will follow, unless what you love is Facebook.

      Monday, November 22, 2010

      Sunday, November 21, 2010

      Virtue Banner

      I saw this "Virtue" banner hanging in the Young Women's room at our stake center. I don't know who made it, but it has a lot of beautiful detail. She must be a fantastic card and scrapbook maker too.

      Saturday, November 20, 2010

      Visited Seth and Janette

      Wayne, Zac, and I went to Seth's and Janette's apartment for dinner the other night, and I just loved the decor. They have all their memorabilia displayed in such a cute way.

      It just so happens that each of them made a self-portrait in clay sculpture when they were in grade school.

      And they have a "To Do List" on the wall. This is what Seth wrote on it before we got there:

      Friday, November 19, 2010

      A recipe blog

      I just discovered that a woman in my ward writes a recipe blog. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but they look fabulous.

      Thursday, November 18, 2010

      Check out the stake Nativity website

      Our stake has been having a Nativity display for more than 7 years now, and I have loaned my nativity sets every time. The website this year is just fabulous! It contains a slide show of about 100 nativities and other scenes of the choirs and children's play room. Go look at it:


      There weren't any photos of the ones I loaned, but I did see a picture of Wayne singing (on the far right side of one of the choirs).

      I loan about 25 nativity sets every year. Here is a new one that I bought in Mexico when we were on our cruise in March.

      Wednesday, November 17, 2010

      North of London somewhere

      I about choked when I saw this news article about the Beatles.


      The headline was: Apple iTunes, at Long Last, Gets Rights to Beatles Tunes

      The first sentence: What's up Apple's sleeve? Apparently, Manchester's favorite mopheads.

      EXCUSE ME????? The Beatles are from LIVERPOOL. Apparently the Wall Street Journal must have them mixed up with Davy Jones.

      NANOWRIMO UPDATE: I have written 35,593 words as of Tuesday evening, the required quota for Tuesday is 26,672. So I am 8,921 words ahead.

      My latest plot twist: The main character, Becky, is worried about her fictional daughter, who is a cruise ship performer. The entire ship has been quarantined because of an ebola outbreak.

      Tuesday, November 16, 2010

      Hearing Voices

      Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.
      -Meg Chittenden

      Monday, November 15, 2010

      There's nothing to it

      There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Smith

      I thought this was a funny quote about writing. But, don't worry. I'm still having an easy time coming up with things to type. I have invented a fictional daughter in law named Twink. She has pink hair, and is fun to write about.

      Sunday, November 14, 2010

      Words to Live By, part 2

      "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 90 in August, so here goes: " -Barbara St.George, aged 89.

      PART TWO

      23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

      24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

      25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

      26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

      27. Always choose life.

      28. Forgive everyone everything.

      29. What other people think of you is none of your business.


30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

      31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

      32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

      33. Believe in miracles.

      34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.


35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

      36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.


37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

      38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

      39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

      40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

      41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

      42. The best is yet to come.

      43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

      44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

      Barbara St.George, aged 89

      Saturday, November 13, 2010

      I've Been Writing, Not Counting

      I know you haven't heard my word count for a few days.

      I have written 31,732 words.

      The recommended total for today was 21,671. I have actually written enough words that I could take a break until Friday the 19th.

      Theres a little chart on my personal account on NaNoWriMo where it charts my progress. The chart showed that if I continue writing as much as I'm writing, I will get done on Novemeber 21 instead of Nov. 30. I am quite proud of myself.

      Words to Live By, part 1

      "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 90 in August, so here goes: " -Barbara St.George, aged 89.


1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

      2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.


3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

      4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

      5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

      6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

      7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

      8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

      9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

      10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

      11 . Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

      12. It's OK to let your children see you cry

      13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.


14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

      15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

      16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

      17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

      18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

      19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

      20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

      21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.


22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

      More tomorrow.

      Barbara St.George, aged 89

      Friday, November 12, 2010

      The Coming Test and Trials and Glory- McConkie

      In case you are wondering why I keep putting all these General Conference talks on my blog, its because I don't like the lds.org search engine. (Maybe the new lds.org search engine is better, but I haven't tried it yet.) When I find a conference talk I want to find again, I put it on this blog so I can find it again.

      Elder McConkie's talk is full of prophecies. In the last 30 years, many of them have been fulfilled or are being fulfilled right now.


      The Coming Test and Trials and Glory
      Elder Bruce R. McConkie

      Conference Report April 1980, Ensign May 1980

      Nor are the days of our greatest sorrows and our deepest sufferings all behind us. They too lie ahead. We shall yet face greater perils, we shall yet be tested with more severe trials, and we shall yet weep more tears of sorrow than we have ever known before....

      Looking ahead, we see the gospel preached in all nations and to every people with success attending.

      We see the Lord break down the barriers so that the world of Islam and the world of Communism can hear the message of the restoration; and we glory in the fact that Ishmael—as well as Isaac—and Esau—as well as Jacob—shall have an inheritance in the eternal kingdom.

      We see congregations of the covenant people worshipping the Lord in Moscow and Peking and Saigon. We see Saints of the Most High raising their voices in Egypt and India and Africa.

      We see stakes of Zion in all parts of the earth; and Israel, the chosen people, gathering into these cities of holiness, as it were, to await the coming of their King.

      We see temples in great numbers dotting the earth, so that those of every nation and kindred and tongue and people can receive the fulness of the ordinances of the house of the Lord and can qualify to live and reign as kings and priests on earth a thousand years.

      We see the seed of Cain—long denied that priestly power which makes men rulers over many kingdoms—rise up and bless Abraham as their father....

      We see evil forces everywhere uniting to destroy the family, to ridicule morality and decency, to glorify all that is lewd and base.

      We see wars and plagues and pestilence. Nations rise and fall. Blood and carnage and death are everywhere. Gadianton robbers fill the judgment seats in many nations. An evil power seeks to overthrow the freedom of all nations and countries. Satan reigns in the hearts of men; it is the great day of his power.

      But amid it all, the work of the Lord rolls on. .....

      The way ahead is dark and dreary and dreadful. There will yet be martyrs; the doors in Carthage shall again enclose the innocent. We have not been promised that the trials and evils of the world will entirely pass us by.

      If we, as a people, keep the commandments of God; if we take the side of the Church on all issues, both religious and political; if we take the Holy Spirit for our guide; if we give heed to the words of the apostles and prophets who minister among us—then, from an eternal standpoint, all things will work together for our good.

      Our view of the future shall be undimmed, and, whether in life or in death, we shall see our blessed Lord return to reign on earth. We shall see the New Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven to join with the Holy City we have built. We shall mingle with those of Enoch’s city while together we worship and serve the Lord forever.

      Thursday, November 11, 2010

      Smashing Pumpkins

      Seth and Janette brought their old moldy jack-o-lantern over, and decided to entertain the little kids by throwing it sky high and letting it splatter all over our back yard.

      The response from the kiddles was underwhelming. When the pumpkin hit, they just looked at it with straight faces.

      I guess they didn't know we were expecting them to cheer or applaud, etc.

      So after that, Seth and Isaac had to rake it all up. Maybe it wasn't really worth it.

      Wednesday, November 10, 2010

      Its Now, not When, by Kellene Bishop

      I read Kellene Bishop's PreparednessPro blog, and she had an excellent article on there yesterday.

      "Its Now, Not When"


      What we’re seeing paraded through the news headlines are simply the consequences of an unprepared people and a people who as a whole placed no value in being independent and self-reliant. As such, when fallible men make foolish or conniving decisions, it’s not a matter of IF we will be affected, but how intensely we will be.

      She talks about the $600 billion dollars being printed:

      But since we are soooo far behind in the amount of debt that our government needs to sell in order to simply stay afloat, we’re asking the Federal Reserve to print more money to purchase this debt. Just to give you a picture that can help you understand the significance of this, the Federal Reserve purchasing U.S. debt to help the U.S. government stay afloat is significant—it’s like borrowing money from the Mafia in order to pay the Mafia what you owe them in interest this week. Even more important is that the whole world knows that the U.S. government is cornered into going to the Federal Reserve.

      Who knows what that is going to do to the dollar, but we know it won't be good.

      With the quickly rising food prices (Note from Amy: I saw that even the church cannery raised the price of its 25 lb. bag of sugar from $6 something to $14 just in the past couple of weeks) she is begging people to get it through their heads that the time is now to prepare.

      Tuesday, November 9, 2010

      The Book That Hasn't Been Written Yet

      If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

      I'm still plugging along with my NaNoWriMo novel. It has been easier than I thought, so far.

      I have already completely changed a bunch of it. I've changed from telling it in Third Person, to First Person, I've changed where the main character (Becky) is living, and numerous other things.

      I'm not letting anyone read it, even when it is done. But for your reading pleasure, here is one section that I am deleting, so you can go ahead and read it. It won't be in the finished book.

      Dr. Suess had it right, you shouldn’t have too many Daves. Oliver Boliver Butt, Marvin O’Gravel Balloon Face, Stinky, Harris Tweed, what were those other names he came up with in that book? I had memorized it at one time, back when the boys were little.

      Nathan was most enamored with that book, even when his older brothers wanted me to read something else, Nathan would throw a fit and scream “Weed Owiver Bowiver Butt, Mommy!!”

      “Okay, okay,” I would say, trying to calm him down. “I’ll read it after this one” at the same time trying to keep Blake from poking me in the eye with “Are You My Mother”.

      How did we come up with all those names? I had always wanted seven children, but six was all Karl could put up with. Six names were hard enough to agree on. From eighth grade onward, I had pictured naming a child after someone in Gone with the Wind, Rhett, or Scarlett maybe, but Karl wouldn’t have it.

      I didn’t want any names to start with the same letter either. I could make a job chart faster using just the first letters of the kids- DCNBJM. Just like that, I could recite that list of letters in my sleep.

      It annoyed me to make Family Home Evening charts, though, because with parents and kids together there was an overlap of B. B for Becky and B for Blake. For me and Blake, I had to use two letters instead of just one. It didn’t have the same rhythm to see K, Be, D,C,N,Bl,J,M. Why didn’t I think of that before I named our fourth son Blake?

      I had liked the name Devin, too, and could have given that name to our second son, but I caught myself before I made that mistake. Our first son Drew started with a D, so after Drew I had to name the next boy Cody. In this family, one alphabet letter for one person, that was the rule.

      In this section, Becky sounds a bit critical of Karl. Karl isn't Wayne, in case you are wondering.

      Monday, November 8, 2010

      Word War


      When writing NaNoWriMo, you can use this program to have writing contests with other writers. You set the word count and the time, and both of you type as fast as you can, and see who can type the fastest.

      Sunday, November 7, 2010

      Family Time

      We had all three of our married sons and their families over here for dinner tonight. Delicious food, and Tiffany and Adam made homemade donuts for dessert. It was great fun.

      Also, I am keeping up with the novel writing. I am consistently writing more than the required 1667 words per day, I have been averaging 2613 per day. Today, I am supposed to be up to 11,669, and instead, I am up to 18,291. Hurray for me! Only 31,709 words left to go!

      Friday, November 5, 2010

      Weimar R Us

      Temple announcement:

      The Raleigh temple will be closed for fall maintenance the last half of November (Monday, Nov 15th through Monday, Nov 29th) so please try to attend over the next ten days, before it closes.

      Stock Market surges

      And why shouldn't the stock market surge? Everyone is SO HAPPY that easy money will soon be pushed into the system.

      Read this article about the possibility of the dollar crashing:

      Yes, I'm a gloom-and-doomer, but this guy on CNBC says the same thing I am thinking. He starts out by talking about "quantitative easing" (aka printing money out of thin air.)

      "It's with the best of intentions but I think it's a very, very wrong policy," Merk said in an interview.

      Consumers should prepare for another turn of events like the spring of 2008, when oil prices soared to $147 a barrel and gas at the pump was more than $4 a gallon, he said.....We're going to get inflation but not where Bernanke wants to have it. We're not going to get wages to go up. We'll get the price at the gas pump to go up instead."

      And here is some good advice:

      "There's no such thing anymore as a safe asset. Cash is no longer safe," he said. "Do what central banks do, they diversify to baskets of currencies.

      He says cash is no longer safe. I definitely feel that way. I feel like my husband's 401-K will end up being completely worthless by the time he finally retires. I hardly want money in the bank.

      But I am not going to diversify into other baskets of currencies. What I see down the road is money going the way it went in Weimar Germany, when wheelbarrows of money were needed to buy a loaf of bread. Right now I just want to "diversify" by spending my money on food storage, while the money is still worth something.

      Thursday, November 4, 2010

      Good Progress for Novel, but not for Fed

      I am supposed to have 5,001 words written. As of last evening Nov. 3, I have written 10,438 words in my novel. I have already written 1/5th of the novel, in only 3 days! You only need 50,000 words to win NaNoWriMo. I might win it in two weeks, at this rate.

      I forgot to report on how bummed I was last Thursday when icky Gretchen won Project Runway. I didn't like her. And I never once loved any of her clothing. Thats all I can say about that.

      And here is the song I was singing about most parts of the election results: "Oh frabjous day, callooh callay, he chortled in his joy"- Lewis Carroll.

      I wasn't frabjous about B.J. Lawson's election, of course, since he lost to David Price. I even volunteered at B.J.'s election office, and he still lost. Sad.

      But I am most sad, very very sad, about the Fed's decision to print 600 Billion Dollars out of thin air. They are going to print 75 billion dollars a month. I am more depressed about this than I have been in a long time. Our money's buying power will be decreased by 20 percent right off the bat. To anyone who is reading this, Please Please get your food storage. Soon prices may be so high you won't be able to get it.

      Wednesday, November 3, 2010

      Book Sale postponed to February

      NaNoWriMo report: Quota for Tues, Nov. 2nd, 2 days in:


      The number of words I have typed:

      6,830 !!!

      They said the first week is the easiest, so you should write as much as you can, they say the 2nd and 3rd weeks are the hardest and it will be a hard slog to get through them. So as fast as the ideas come, I type them.

      Book Sale
      I was looking forward to going to the Wake County Library Book Sale this month, but I went to their site and found out it is postponed.


      No Book Sale in November 2010

      Wake County Public Library's Annual Book Sale will be in the Exposition Center at the NC State Fairgrounds in February 2011.
      Plans are under way to make the book sale hosted by Wake County Public Libraries an even larger event than in past years. After many years of talking about moving the sale to the NC State Fairgrounds (1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607), we finally have a contract to use the Exposition Center on that site from February 17–20, 2011. In addition, the site has ample parking, easy access and is easily identifiable for the public.

      The sale usually occurs in November just prior to the Thanksgiving holidays, but the new location was not available this calendar year, and thus, the move to a new timeframe was necessary. Plans include making the book sale a family experience to share with children, including such potential ideas as face painting, story telling and our Bookmobile. The pricing structure, program additions and volunteer recruitment information will be forthcoming after the Christmas holiday season.

      Tuesday, November 2, 2010

      She Got Up Off the Couch- Book Review

      It was funny! It was sad! It made me remember my childhood in the 1960's and 1970's! What a great book!

      She Got Up Off the Couch and Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana, by Haven Kimmel.

      She also wrote "A Girl Named Zippy". I will be reading that one as soon as possible, I can't wait!

      Here are some of my favorite sentences and paragraphs from She Got Up Off the Couch.

      "On the day of (Melinda's) wedding...I went limp as a rag doll and allowed myself to be manipulated. I was bathed,...I did as I was told. I moved and felt like a zombie, only without the flesh-eating joy that seems to drive zombies around neighborhoods like Jehovah's Witnesses." p. 55

      (When mice fell out of the original high ceiling onto the new dropped ceiling.)

      It was mice, and from the sound of it, about fifty of them....It sounded as if they were all getting off a big mouse bus, happy and friendly and looking forward to their vacation. p. 96

      "Howard was old, too, but he was craggled and shambling and his nose looked as if it had melted and been reattached at the School for the Blind." p. 200

      (Commenting on photos in the newspaper showing a couple's wedding photo alongside their 25th or 50th anniversary photo.)

      This was a tradition I was highly against, because it was very disturbing....Oh, here we are when we were young and still had our own hair and both of our arms! And here we are now---the only thing keeping up upright for this picture is the fear we will land on our colostomy bags! p. 211

      "She looked in general as if her husband had run off with both her best friend and her coonhound." p. 232.

      Monday, November 1, 2010

      Can I really do it?

      Starting today, I'm going to try to write 1,660 words per day for 30 days, as I compete in National Novel Writing Month, or "NaNoWriMo". That will equal 50,000 words. I will try to report on my wordcount every day, or as often as I can. Wish me luck.

      TODAY, I TYPED 3216 WORDS.

      If I really want to give myself some rewards or punishments (to make me write faster) I am thinking of using Dr. Wicked's "Write-or-Die" program. Watch the YouTube to see how it works:

      If you use this program, you can choose to have 3 different levels of consequences for when you stop typing. You set a word goal and a time goal, then start typing.

      Gentle- If you stop, a window will pop up and say, "You stopped writing."

      Normal- If you stop, a very annoying song will start playing.

      Kamikaze- If you stop, the most recently typed words of your document start deleting, one word at a time.