Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pinched Nerve, Purple Hair

I am fearful I am getting a pinched nerve in my hip.  No, I already have a pinched nerve in my hip, I am just afraid it is suddenly going to hurt worse and I won't be able to move.  So I am walking and moving slowly like an old woman.  I have been exercising by doing TaeBo tapes, so I am sure that is the reason.

I don't think I mentioned that Tara got her hair cut last week, and also got some purple streaks put in.  They are underneath, so they don't show unless she puts it up in a bun.   I like it.  She had some red streaks a few years ago, I thought they were cute too.

Here is an American Thinker article, which is quoting the following scary paragraph from the New York Times:

"... Ehud Barak laid out three ... questions
1. Does Israel have the ability to cause severe damage to Iran's nuclear sites and bring about a major delay in the Iranian nuclear project? And can (Israel) withstand the inevitable counterattack?
2. Does Israel have ... support, particularly from America, for carrying out an attack?
3. Have all other possibilities ... been exhausted, bringing Israel to the point of last resort?"
And then the punch line:
For the first time ... some of Israel's most powerful leaders believe that the response to all of these questions is yes." 

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/01/israel_to_iran_its_crunch_time.html#ixzz1l2yM1Qu0

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tara is 20!

And to think, just 15 short years ago, she was in kindergarten!

 Here is a picture of Tara's Primary class.
Cindy D. sent me this photo of Tara and C.J. when they were in kindergarten together.

Happy Birthday, TARA

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I gave my presentation today for 5th Sunday

I have been working for many hours a day on my presentation, and Hurray!  Now its over!

Our bishop asked me to make a whole year of challenges for my ward members to do, and I presented the plan in a joint Relief Society/Priesthood meeting today.

The lesson was called "2012: A Year of Preparedness".  I got a lot of good comments on it, and the class members seemed to have a positive reaction to what we are going to be asking them to do.

The bishop gave a great introduction, about why he was inspired to do this program in our ward.  I am so thankful for him.

I loaded the whole lesson on my other blog http://gottawannaneedagettaprepared.blogspot.com/ .  There are about 6 different posts, just start at the first one so it will be in order.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Military Wives choir "Wherever You Are"

This is a beautiful song, with such great pictures of the military men coming home to their families.  What a huge sacrifice these families are making, to be apart for so long.--Amy


It is taken from a British “series” where a young man called Gareth Malone takes a group of people and turns them into a choir.  This time, he has taken a group of military wives, whose husbands are all away in Afghanistan, and turned them into a choir.  Gareth looks to be about 16 years old, but he is actually in his mid-30s.  He is also a Choirmaster for the London Symphony Orchestra, among other things.  The song is based on excerpts from letters written by the couples while apart, and this is the beautiful result.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Potsticker recipes!

I LOVE CHINESE POTSTICKERS!  And I wish I would learn to make them from following these two people's recipes and step by step photos.

This woman,   http://myfoodstoragecookbook.com/2012/01/25/pot-stickers/ , got the idea to make them from reading this woman's post:

I think after reading both recipes, and seeing all the photos, I should be able to do it.  But when?

Amy went camping in the rain Part 3

That night I tested out sleeping in a 0 degree mummy bag, and woke up saying I want to buy a 0 degree rectangular bag, I hated that mummy bag.
The Kelty tent worked well, it poured rain all night, but we had unfortunately forgotten to stake out the side of the rainfly so there was one place that dripped.  I had been worried about being cold, so I had slept in my sleeping bag with a folded polar fleece blanket on top of it. In the night I felt the polar fleece, and it was sopping wet on top and dry on the underneath layers.  So that totally convinced me of the insulative usefulness of polar fleece, and how it can still be warm when it is wet.
In the morning I learned to build a one-match fire.  We built up the fire inside the Stovetec rocket stove using the tinder and kindling we had made the night before.  Everything else in the vicinity was drenched, so we couldn't have gathered twigs.
My husband made scrambled eggs with chopped up Spam and onions, and fried some of the bread in the skillet with a little oil and some season all.  It was a pretty good breakfast.
We packed up and came home, and I have to say that it was a very positive experience.  Too bad I didn't learn this stuff earlier in my life.
Browning the onions and Spam before adding the eggs.
We're cooking on the Stovetec rocket stove.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Amy went camping in the rain Part 2

We had spent a lot of time that evening, sitting under the shelter and splitting wood.  My husband had found a small fallen tree which was laying sideways against another tree, so it wasn't on the wet ground.  He had used his saw to cut it off from the root ball, then hauled the tree to our campsite and sawed it into firewood lengths.
He has been reading a lot on the internet about how to split firewood.  He learned about a new way to use an axe.  He has always swung it up over his head.  Now he learned to tie the logs together with a chain and bungee cords, then hold the axe straight in front of you. and let it drop at the same time you squat down.  This allows the axe to go straight downwards, instead of coming back toward your legs.

Splitting small logs while they are tied together.  Using the "squat and drop the axe" method.

He also read about "battoning" logs, that is splitting them using a hunting knife as a wedge and hammering the knife down through the log with a sturdy piece of wood (a baton.)  He taught me to do that, and we split a lot of kindling and tinder as well as just splitting the logs.
Sorry, I don't know how to turn this photo.  Here I am, whacking away at the end of this hunting knife, making the knife go down through the log. 

My husband was amazed I was doing all these things, but with what I believe about the future, I've got to become knowledgeable about all this in order to survive and help my family to survive.
(I told him I wanted a hunting knife for my birthday, so I can split wood too.)

My batton, and the kindling and tinder we split using a hunting knife.

I agree with Quin Hillyer in the title of this article:  Newt Gingrich is the Bill Clinton of the right, with half the charm and twice the abrasiveness.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amy went camping in the rain Part 1

I have always hated camping, (I made excuses and never even attended Girls Camp) but since learning of the trials which will come in the latter days, it was time to learn some camping skills.
My husband is a complete camping maniac, has always been in scouting, and owns all the equipment REI and Campmore sells.
He asked if I wanted to go camping on Friday night, and with a huge frown on my face, I said "Yes."  I figured it would be a useful experience, like getting a tooth filled, but I didn't expect to enjoy it.
It was about 40 degrees and rained the ENTIRE time.  We went to a nearby state park, and W. showed me every camping trick he knows.  We put up two shelters, put all the gear under them, then put up the tent, and filled it with the bedding during lulls in the rain.
The fire pit became a huge puddle.  We were thankful we had brought our Stovetec rocket stove so we didn't need to use the fire pit.  We set the Stovetec on the ground under the big shelter.  We used the firestarter I had made (I made a bunch of firestarters last week out of cardboard egg cartons, dryer lint, and melted wax) and the charcoal started really easily.  We ate really easy food for supper, just a can of soup with an added can of green beans, heated in a pot, with some bread.
He taught me how to regulate the fire by opening and closing the air vent door at the bottom of the rocket stove.
We roasted marshmallows and ate mint chocolate Hershey bars with the graham crackers---Yum!
We sat there enjoying the fire, and as we fed it, sparks would fly around.  I had on my wonderful L.L. Bean ski pants that I purchased from Goodwill for $10, and I was fearful that a spark would melt a hole in them.  W. also had on some expensive Boy Scout pants, and I didn't want them melted either. I remembered that I had brought a wool blanket that I bought at a yard sale, so we threw that over both of us, and I didn't worry about the sparks anymore.  (I'm going to try to bring wool blankets every time, for that purpose.  It would be a good idea to make the outer covering of the grandkids' winter pants out of wool, so they would be protected around fires too.)

This is our Stovetac rocket stove, when we used wood for the fire the next morning.

Brace Yourself for the Anti-Mormon Slime Machine

From the American Thinker:

Predictions about what will happen should Mitt Romney run against Obama.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ezra Taft Benson, 1977, on the welfare state

"A Vision and Hope for the Youth of Zion"  EZRA TAFT BENSON
Ezra Taft Benson was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional
address was given at�Brigham Young University on 12 April 1977.

© Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Complete volumes of Speeches are available wherever LDS books are sold.
For further information contact:
Speeches, 218 University Press Building, Provo, Utah 84602.
(801) 422-2299 / E-mail: speeches@byu.edu / Speeches Home Page

Socialism Disguised under Welfare State Measures
As citizens of this noble land, we have marched a long way down the soul-destroying road of socialism. If you question that statement, consider the recent testimonial from the Nobel prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman. He indicated that government spending in the United States at all levels amounts to over forty percent of today's total national income. If we continue to follow the trend in which we are heading today, two things will inevitably result: first, a loss of our personal freedom, and second, financial bankruptcy. This is the price we pay when we turn away from God and the principles which he has taught and turn to government to do everything for us. It is the formula by which nations become enslaved.
This nation was established by the God of heaven as a citadel of liberty. A constitution guaranteeing those liberties was designed under the superintending influence of heaven. I have recounted here before what took place in the St. George Temple when the Founding Fathers of this nation visited President Wilford Woodruff, who was then a member of the Twelve and not president of the Church. The republic which was established was the most nearly perfect system which could have been devised to lead men toward celestial principles. We may liken our system to the law of Moses which leads men to the higher law of Christ.
Today, two hundred years later, we must sadly observe that we have significantly departed from the principles established by the founders of our country. James Madison opposed the proposal to put Congress in the role of promoting the general welfare according to its whims in these words:
If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasure; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor. . . . Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for [and it was an issue then], it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. [quoted in Donald L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles, and National Survival, p. 342]
That statement, given as a warning, has proved prophetic. Today Congress is doing what Madison warned about. Many are now advocating that which has become a general practice since the early 1930s: a redistribution of wealth through the federal tax system. That, by definition, is socialism! 
Americans have always been committed to taking care of the poor, aged, and unemployed. We have done this on the basis of Judaic-Christian beliefs and humanitarian principles. It has been fundamental to our way of life that charity must be voluntary if it is to be charity. Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today's socialists--who call themselves egalitarians--are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right. One HEW official said recently, "In this country, welfare is no longer charity, it is a right. More and more Americans feel that their government owes them something" (U.S. News and World Report, April 21, 1975, p. 49). President Grover Cleveland said--and we believe as a people--that though the people support the government the government should not support the people.
The chief weapon used by the federal government to achieve this "equality" is the system of transfer payments. This means that the federal governments collects from one income group and transfer payments to another by the tax system. These payments are made in the form of social security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid, and food stamps, to name a few. Today the cost of such programs has been going in the hole at the rate of 12 billion dollars a year; and, with increased benefits and greater numbers of recipients, even though the tax base has been increased we will have larger deficits in the future.
Today the party now in power is advocating and has support, apparently in both major parties, for a comprehensive national health insurance program--a euphemism for socialized medicine. Our major danger is that we are currently (and have been for forty years) transferring responsibility from the individual, local, and state governments to the federal government--precisely the same course that led to the economic collapse in Great Britain and New York City. We cannot long pursue the present trend without its bringing us to national insolvency. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Interesting statement by Harold B. Lee

"The Iron Rod" by President Harold B. Lee, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Ensign 1971 June

There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?”

Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church.

There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.”

Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said:

“The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. … He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. …  

“It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.”

And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.)

Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.”

How comforting it would be to those who are the restless in the intellectual world, when such questions arise as to how the earth was formed and how man came to be, if they could answer as did an eminent scientist and devoted Church member. A sister had asked: “Why didn’t the Lord tell us plainly about these things?” The scientist answered: “It is likely we would not understand if he did. It might be like trying to explain the theory of atomic energy to an eight-year-old child.”

Wouldn’t it be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief and apostasy?

I heard one of our own eminent scientists say something to the effect that he believed more professors have taken themselves out of the Church by their trying to philosophize or intellectualize the fall of Adam and the subsequent atonement of the Savior. This was because they would rather accept the philosophies of men than what the Lord has revealed until they, and we, are able to understand the “mysteries of godliness” as explained to the prophets of the Lord and more fully revealed in sacred places.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pumpkin Roll for Wayne's birthday

Every year, Wayne wants me to make Pumpkin Rolls for his birthday cake.  We LOVE them.  You can see the end that we cut off of one, it has a pretty swirl inside.

Thomas and Wayne


Makes 10 servings.

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 t baking pwdr
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 c sugar
2/3 c canned solid pack pumpkin
1 c chopped walnuts (I've never put these in)

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly 
roll pan.  Line it with wax paper ; grease and flour the 
wax paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice,
 and salt onto wax paper. 

Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and fluffy, 
beat in pumpkin.  Stir in dry ingredients. Pour into 
prepared pan. Spread evenly with rubber spatula.  
Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake in preheated moderate oven (375 degrees) for 
15 minutes or until center springs back when lightly 
touched with fingertip.

Loosen cake around edges with a knife.  Invert onto clean 
damp towel dusted with confectioners sugar; peel off 
wax paper.  Roll up cake and towel together.  Place 
seam-side down on wire rack; cool completely.

Unroll cake.  Spread with Cream Cheese Filling.  Reroll 
cake.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Filling:  Beat together 1 cup confectioners 
sugar, 1 8 oz. pkg softened cream cheese, 6 Tablespoons 
butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. (Don't use nonfat 
cream cheese)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thanks, Elizabeth!

My granddaughter, Elizabeth, age 5, picked these glasses out and gave them to me for Christmas.  I look so cute!

Roasting Marshmallows on New Year's Eve

Wayne bought a great firepit to use for camping, and he set it up on our back patio on New Year's Eve.  We had a great time sitting around it on that cold evening.

Like any self-respecting grandmother, I kept trying to convince Thomas that he needed a
blanket over his legs but he wasn't having any of it.

It was really cold when the fire died down, and nice and warm when the fire was burning, and, looking back, I would say gathering around the firepit gave us some really good memories.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Eve

For the past 30 years, we have taken a photo every Christmas morning, showing the family lined up in the hall or on the stairs, waiting to go open presents.

This year we completely forgot to do it.

However, on Christmas Eve, everyone was at our house.  So we took pictures of everyone, and here they are:

Janette, Seth holding Tessa, Tara, Hannah on the floor, Wayne

Adam holding Anson, Tiffany, Bryce, Marianne

Thomas on top of Isaac, Rachel holding Hannah and Elizabeth

Wayne, Amy, Zac

We had a very nice Christmas!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just what I needed to see...

Great.  Just the image I need in my head.  I was worried enough already that the Euro and Dollar are going to crash while we are gone.

This happened today near Italy.

Story from my grandpa Hap Stewart

Marion Everett "Hap" Stewart

My grandpa never joined the church.  His attitude toward Mormons was based on his first impressions, which were formed in Snowflake, Arizona when he was about 20.  He moved there to work on the Hashknife ranch, and met Vinnie Gardner and married her.  (She was LDS, as was all her family and almost everyone in town.)

His whole life, he let it be known what hypocrites the Mormons in Snowflake were.  (No offense to anyone in Snowflake, but that was his opinion.)

I was on the phone with my dad a few days ago, and he told me this story about Grandpa Hap.

He said Hap only attended church with them one time in his life.  That was to go listen to an apostle speak in Snowflake.  Hap came home from that meeting as pleased as could be, because the speaker had told off the people.

 Instead of praising them for their righteousness,the apostle told the congregation, "You're a sorry lot.  But you are all we have to work with so we'll have to use you."

Hearing THAT made my grandpa feel like he wasn't too far from the truth.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sullivan Ballou Letter

Wayne and I both loved the documentary "The Civil War" made by Ken Burns in the 1990's.  We videotaped it off the TV and have watched those tapes over and over.

The most heartwrenching part of the series is when an actor reads this letter from Sullivan Ballou, and we see portraits of men in Civil War uniforms with their wives.  The music "Ashokan Fairwell" plays, and it is impossible for me not to cry.

I found the text to Sullivan Ballou's letter:

Sullivan Ballou Letter
July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
  The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days, perhaps tomorrow.
Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . . 
  I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. 
I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. 
And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . 
  Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. 
  The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me,
and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long.
And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years,
when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. 
  I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me, perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. 
  If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. 
  Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness . . . 
  But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights . . . always, always, 
and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. 
  Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again . . .

I looked up Sullivan and Sarah Ballou at the Family History Center once, and not surprisingly, numerous LDS people have sealed them in the temple over the years.

I have no idea if the rest of this is correct, it is something that Wayne copied off the internet years ago.

  Sullivan Ballou was killed a week later at the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.
  Born March 28, 1829 in Smithfield, R.I., Ballou was educated at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Brown University in Providence, R.I. and the National Law School in Ballston, N.Y. 
He was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1853. 
Ballou devoted his brief life to public service. He was elected in 1854 as clerk of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, later serving as its speaker. 
He married Sarah Hart Shumway on October 15, 1855, and the following year saw the birth of their first child, Edgar. A second son, William, was born in 1859. 
Ballou immediately entered the military in 1861 after the war broke out. He became judge advocate of the Rhode Island militia and was 32 at the time of his death at the first Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. 
When he died, his wife was 24. She later moved to New Jersey to live out her life with her son, William, and never re-married. She died at age 80 in 1917. Sullivan and Sarah Ballou are buried next to each other at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, RI. There are no known living descendants. 
Ironically, Sullivan Ballou's letter was never mailed. Although Sarah would receive other, decidedly more upbeat letters, dated after the now-famous letter from the battlefield, the letter in question would be found among Sullivan Ballou's effects when Gov. William Sprague of Rhode Island traveled to Virginia to retrieve the remains of his state's sons who had fallen in battle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Setting us up for a Bad Prince

Obama's followers seem to be turning a blind eye to his disregard for the Constitution.  But his actions are setting a terrible precedent for future presidents.  Even if Obama is such a benevolent president (as they believe) what will they do if the next president goes even further to circumvent Congress, with outcomes they DON'T like?

The English philosopher John Locke, who so influenced our Founding Fathers, wrote that a "good prince" is more dangerous than a bad one because the people are less vigilant to protect against the aggrandizement of power when they perceive the ruler as beneficent.
I fear many Democrats are falling into this trap. They like President Obama and his policies, and they are willing to look the other way when it comes to constitutional niceties. The problem is that checks and balances are important, precedents created by one administration will be exploited by the next, and not all princes are good.

Wish I knew if this is true. Fascinating, nevertheless

First of all, don't write me any nasty comments about this.  I DO NOT know if it is true.

I never even heard of Ulsterman before I found this link to this article.

I read it with an enquiring mind, and it was so fascinating, it is a good read even if its not true.  (So read it like it is a conversation in a spy novel, some great intrigue going on behind the scenes....)

Setting the scene:  The blogger, Ulsterman, and his informant, Wall Street Insider, are having a conversation.  These are transcripts, not videos.

Part 1: http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/01/07/wall-street-insider-we-are-at-the-abyss-it-is-happening-now/

Part 2: http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/01/08/wall-street-insider-19th-and-g/

(P.S.  That little stroll he talks about, from 19th Street and G Street toward the White House, would pass by the World Bank and the IMF.)

Words of our Prophets: Preparedness video

10 minutes.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Funny Joke on my Sister

I just read this on my sister Carla's Facebook.  Its a story about what happened when they were vacationing in Boston over Christmas break.  Very funny!

Sunday our family attended the latest church we could find, which was the Harvard's single ward in Boston. 
Because many students weren't back from Christmas break, they asked my two daughters to play the piano for the meeting. 
If that isn't crazy enough the Stake President, who had met us at the door, announced the first speaker will be Brother J. and the second will be Sister J. as he gave us our topic!!!! I still haven't gotten over it!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Family Sketch by Susan Gardner, my great grandmother

(written before 1925.  Typed 2005 by Amy.  Susan Ann McCleve Gardner doesn't say many of the full names of people in this story.  I have added the full names in parentheses after she mentions each person. If there are no parentheses, she wrote it.  Her parents were Joseph Smith McCleve and Susan Oler.)

Father's parents John McCleve and Nancy Jane McFerren were both in Ireland and were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by David Wilkins June 1841.

They crossed the plains in the 29th Handcart Co. in 1856.  Father's father (John McCleve) died while crossing the plains within three days travel of Salt Lake City, Utah at Bear River, September 24, 1856.  They dug a hole to the side of the road and wrapped him in a blanket and buried him.

Father's mother (Nancy Jane McFerren)  pulled the handcart the rest of the way into Salt Lake City.  Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) was nine years old and he walked all of the way.  Father's mother had eight children living when her husband died.

Grandmother (Nancy Jane McFerren)  married again.  Her second husband was David Ellsworth.  She had two children by him, a boy and a girl.  They only lived together a few years and then separated.  Their home was in Payson, Utah.  Father Joseph Smith McCleve being the eldest boy living of his mother's had to work very hard to help support his mother, brothers, and sisters.  It was at a time when the Indians were quite bad.  Father would have to stand guard at night part of the time while the rest would sleep for fear that the Indians would come and kill them at night.  Time got better after a few years. 

Joseph Smith McCleve,
Amy's great-great grandfather

Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) was a little over twenty-one years old when he married my mother, Susan Oler, in 1869.  They lived in Leeds, Washington Co., Utah.

Father's mother (Nancy Jane McFerren) made her home with Father and Mother until they moved to this country. (maybe she means "this area").  My parents moved to Taylor, Apache County, Arizona in 1879.  They had three children when they moved to Taylor, Sarah Jane, John, and Joseph Alexander, and on December 25, 1880 a pair of twin girls were born to them.  (Susan Ann McCleve Gardner and Margaret Ann McCleve Kartchner)  On April 7, 1883, Nancy Elizabeth was born.

Mother (Susan Oler) died on March 31, 1886 at Taylor, Arizona, leaving Father with we six children to take care of.

Father (Joseph Smith McCleve) did a good part by us.  He worked hard to support us and kept us all together.  Sarah Jane (the oldest girl in the family) did the housework and sewing and was very good to us.  We loved her as well as a child could its mother.

I and George Franklin Gardner were married in the Salt Lake Temple on April 5, 1905. We have been blessed with five children, four girls and one boy.  Only four children are living.  Our second girl died when only 6 months old.
Top: Susan McCleve Gardner
Vinnie (Amy's grandmother), George Franklin ("Frank") Gardner, Georgia
On dad's lap: Harald

We have been happy during our married life.  We have lived in Snowflake, Navajo County, Arizona all of our married life.  My highest aim is to rear my children to man and womanhood to be good Latter-day Saints to be useful in helping to work on the great work of our Father in Heaven.  And that I and my husband will also prove ourselves  faithful until our life's work is done that we may all be worthy of entering into the Celestial Kingdom of our Father in heaven.

(Note from Amy:  Susan Ann McCleve and George Franklin Gardner's daughter Vinnie Gardner Stewart is my paternal grandmother.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Remembering the Ice Storm of December 2002

It is such beautiful weather outside today, that I am sure that most of you are not thinking about winter weather.  But you should know that one of the banes of our existence here in North Carolina are ICE STORMS.  

I just found an old family letter I had written shortly after the big ice storm that hit North Carolina in December 2002.  One of these could happen to us this winter, and I wanted you to read my first hand account.  Maybe it will help you gather some supplies for the future.

Here are some excerpts:
I spent lots of time the first few days of the week (December 2002) getting ready for the big nativity scene event which was to happen Friday night at the Cary church building. On Monday the news started saying there was a chance of an ice storm coming on Wednesday, so I moved up my preparations.  I hoped the ice storm would be melted off by Friday morning. 
Wednesday afternoon the kids were let out of school one hour early, and the sleet and snow and freezing rain started and went on all evening. It wasn't bad at all, because the streets were warm enough that the snow didn't stick. The streets were wet all night. But the problem was with the air temperature. Trees got coated with ice and were breaking everywhere. All night it sounded like gunshots and big explosions as trees hit the ground. About midnight our power went off. 

(NOTE:  This was a very strange ice storm, in that no one was trapped at home by icy roads.  The roads were fine and we could all drive around.  But there was NO POWER because all the trees had fallen onto the power lines all over the state.)
(2.2 million people were without power.)

Thursday morning we woke up, and the sidewalks and streets were still passable. But we had no phone and no power. All my radios in the house ran on electricity, so I sat in the car a couple of times a day to listen to the radio news, and they said over 1 million people were without power from CP&L in North Carolina, and 1.2 million people were without power with Duke Power. It was worse than Hurricane Fran, because with Fran, it took them 9 days to get all the power back on, but with this ice storm, they knew people could freeze to death if they didn't get the power on quickly. 

The high on Thursday was 34 degrees. We still had no phone or power. We had our fireplace on, and our kerosene heater. We cooked frozen dinners from the freezer on top of the kerosene heater, and then my husband cooked supper in the garage on the campstove (he left the garage door open for ventilation). I drove over to Tiffin’s, and her phone worked, so I called Marta A. (who was the chairman over the whole big nativity event) and she said she had so many trees down she couldn't get out of her long driveway. She was going to have to wait for her husband to get home on a plane, and he would drive home, and park by the road and walk to their house. She planned to walk out and use that car in the morning. She and I didn't know if the church building had power or if it would get power. 

Thursday night we turned off the kerosene heater and let the fire in the fireplace die down, and went to bed with massive amounts of blankets and sleeping bags, and slept just fine. 

Friday morning, I had set the kitchen timer to wake me up at 6 am, and checked to see if the phone worked. It didn't. So I checked it again at 7 am, and the phone was still dead. I had no idea if the church had power, but since I was in charge of the nativities I had to know. My husband drove to church and found that it had no power. When I heard that, I knew we wouldn't have the nativity event, but I couldn't phone anyone, I had to let them figure it out on their own. Later in the day I found out that Marta had driven to the church later, found out there was no power, and had put up signs on the doors saying the nativity was cancelled. 

It is too bad that the weather ruined our event, because we had articles in the Apex News, The Cary News, and the News and Observer, inviting the public to attend. But I'm glad it was cancelled, because if we had gone ahead with it, no one would have come anyway, people were so busy trying to get the trees out of their yards and figuring out how to survive without power. Most people, (me included) forgot all about it after Friday morning, and just went on with survival. 

We spent all day Friday trying to stay warm and cook food in unfamiliar ways. My husband had to go to work and was gone all day. The kids were bored without any TV or computer. Thankfully, our gas water heater worked great and I took a shower in the frigid bathroom. The roads were fine, so I took my kids to a few stores just for a break. The heater in the van decided to break, so we couldn't even get warm in there. 

There were whole sections of town that had power, so lots of people were out shopping, but as it started to get dark I decided to go home because I didn't want to be in that cold van. 

We had lots of different foods to choose from, but just for fun Friday evening I decided to try out a cooking method I had read about in Civil War books, where the soldiers would wrap bread dough around their ramrods and cook the dough over the fire. We tried it with biscuit dough wrapped on a stick we used for marshmallows, but it kept falling off. So I covered the fireplace shovel with foil and put a thin biscuit on it and held it in the fire to bake. That was a very slow way to get some supper, so when my husband came home he cooked a big pot of hamburger helper on the campstove with the hamburger that was thawing in the freezer. 

I went out to the car Friday 9 pm, and heard on the radio that 292,000 in the Triangle were still without power. It was 26 degrees. I came back in the house, and at 10 minutes after 9, the power came back on. We were so happy! 

I learned a few things in those 45 hours. 1) I was thankful to have a fireplace, firewood, a kerosene heater, and two cans of kerosene. 2) I wish I had a working radio inside the house. 3) I will buy a cell phone charger for the car. My electric charger did me no good. 4) I will buy an inverter, which can power your fridge or other electric appliance or gadget from the car battery. 5) And most important, always keep my husband around to help out in a power outage.