Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Veggie Basket...

This can make a fun centerpiece for a table. I think that it was one of Martha's idea from long ago, but anyway it has been a popular idea in my family. This yellow basket is the largest that I have, it is almost 30 inches in diameter. I fill the bottom with heavy brown packing paper and then I use a few plactic groceries sacks from the grocery store to cover the paper. I then gather up a few different greens to make the vegetable bed. When I can get it, I love to use purple kale, but a variety makes it really pretty, sadly I could only get green this time. I think of it like a flower arrangement. Then I used whatever veggies will serve the crowd I'm making it for. My mom's family would like sweet pickles, baby corn, beets and other things like that. C's family likes their food without so much embellishment so these are veggies from the produce section, nothing from a jar. If you want it to look really amazing steam all the green things like the broccoli for just 5-10 seconds and they will be sooooo beautiful. I like to use the hollowed out purple cabbage for the dip, but you could use a green one if you like. I think this basket can easily handle a crowd of about 50-60 people as long as they aren't all health nuts, then you might need a second one. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pumpkin Box...

These will appear in

Les Miserables... The Dream Cast...

This musical is still and may ever remain my favorite. If you missed this particular production when it appeared on PBS... get this in your Netflix que or find some way to enjoy it. It's better every time I see it. Beautiful.


I saw this book on several of the blogs and thought I would look into it for my nephew's birthday. Well, this book is just fabulous and one for the family library. C and little c both want me to get one so they can both read it. Who isn't interested in "The Ages of Piracy" ? This is the perfect gift for any male person on your gift list and most girls would like it quite a bit too. It's tons of fun to look through.

Sweet Tour...

Little c and I had the best time yesterday. We visited the Sweet Candy Company's factory. I loved the smell inside... AAAaahhh Sugar! The bags of sugar they use weigh 2,000 pounds. They use 800 pounds of chocolate everyday. Everyday they ship out 7-12 semi-truck loads of candy to points all over the country. When the government has room on transports over-seas, they ship Sweet's sweets to our troops. Hooray!
It was a little Roald Dahl in the factory with large pipes piping chocolate all over the place and pipes taking sugar everywhere. The tour guide told us that when we had finished the tour, we had walked 1/2 mile. It seems like a kind of large rectangle in there. (Above is a picture of the old factory) They also told us that last year 10 million pounds of salt water taffy was shipped out of that factory. That's some serious taffy!
I love it when they pack it up like this. Don't you love these boxes?!?! We had too much fun in the Sweet Candy Company's Sweet Shop...
If you get a chance... don't miss this tour on a trip to Salt Lake City... I believe that they only run the tours during the summer when the factory is not running at full capacity... The address is on the door. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cape Cods...

This is another something that I have been loving. We started buying these last summer and they are the best tasting chips ever even if they do say reduced fat on the front. Lots of crunch and lots of sea salt is just delish! Sadly we have only been able to purchase them during the summer time at Costco and I have not seen them at other stores in this area.

Pasta with out shock...

Every now and then it's fun to share a product that is an improvement on the norm. This is one of my favorites...

The ingredients list of Barilla Plus products are very intersting and include things like legume flour and oat fiber, but whatever they are putting in there... it sure tastes yummy and is more filling in smaller portions for fewer calories. I just love this product and plan on buying a case of this stuff for my pantry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Parade Day...

I have never been to The Days of '47 Parade even though I have lived here in Utah almost all of my life. When we were offered front row seats due to the generosity of my sister-in-law and her two younger brothers, who slept out all night to save the perfect spot (getting little sleep thanks to the less pleasant aspects of urban life). We had a perfect time at the parade and then we were treated to a delicious lunch of Extreme Vegetarian Pizza from the famous Pie Pizzaria and other yummy treats in my brother & sister-in-law's beautifully decorated and happily well air-conditioned apartment.
These pictures are a few highlights from the parade...
The crowd was fairly subdued. Likely their sluggishness came from having had a party all night while sleeping out.. I can only surmise.. However when the Army Reserve marched down the street everyone stood and cheered. Those kind of things give me a lump in my throat. I think this was THE highlight of the parade.

These riders from Rexburg were stunning in all their patriotic glory...

The Davis High School Marching Band!

I loved this float. Beautiful.

I hoped that this guy was well paid for running around in a plastic plane suit in near 100 degree temps...

The choir of The Pentacostal Church... who sang very well...

What a great day!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Love Halloween...

Halloween Witches will be making a debut in
very soon..
be watching...
(click on the pictures to see better detail... copyrighted material)

These is my Words...

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of fiction I have read in a long while. And this book captured me at about page 10 and I couldn't put it down for long after that. Sadly, I don't have much time to tell you about it... and there is much to say, but I couldn't wait and so I will leave you with two favorite quotes from the book and then you will see how wonderful it is and read it yourself. Right?

"Children are a burden to a mother, but not the way a heavy box is to a mule. Our children weigh hard on my heart, and thinking about them growing up honest and healthy, or just living to grow up at all, makes a load in my chest that is bigger than the safe at the bank, and more valuable than all the gold inside."

"... I remembered something that Blue Horse said to me back before Gilbert was born. He said that wisdom is not a path, it is a tree. At the time I was too busy to give it much thought, so I nodded politely but didn't pay much attention. Now I see that he was surely right. I have been sad almost a whole year, thinking that taking that test was somehow the end of my learning and that not having that as a possibility in my future left a big empty spot in my life that the children and the ranch didn't fill. But my life is not like that, it is a tree, and I can stay in one place and spread out in all directions, and I can do more learning shading this brood of mine than if I was all alone. I declare, it is like some other part of me made up some rules about happiness and I just went along with them without thinking."

Don't miss this one... It is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bee Happy... GIVEAWAY!!!

Utaaaaahhhhns (that's how you say it for non-locals) will be celebrating the Days of '47 ... 1847 that is and Pioneer Day on July 24th. Brigham Young, second president of the Mormon Church and first territorial governor, wanted the people of Utah to always be "axiously engaged in a good cause" and busy bees. He built The Beehive House and Utah became The Beehive State. I think that for the most part we are busy bees, trying to just like this little bumble bee to make pretty gardens and all things lovely. I love Utah.
In order to celebrate Pioneer Day, I am giving away a Bee Happy Beehive Love Box... and a few other really fun Bee things... Please sign up (just once please) on this post. I will draw a name Monday Morning! Good Luck!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Lilies...

These boxes are back by popular demand.. I have put a fun Jane Austen quote inside that reads, "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart..."

There will be atleast one of these in


Liberty Quotes I love For July...

Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. John Adams
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. John F. Kennedy
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. Thomas Jefferson

Team of Rivals Part 2...

I can't praise this book enough, but there is a line in it that I cannot pass over without negative comment. (Remember, I told you there was one line that really bothered me...) Goodwin writes, "Before his marriage Lincoln enjoyed close relations with young women and almost certainly found outlets for his sexual urges among the prostitutes who were readily available on the frontier."
Why does this bother me so much? And, why must I say something about it when I liked most of the rest of the 760 pages so much?
This is one of the greatest men that ever lived. He is not here to defend himself against such an unbridled and uncertain charge. Something so ugly should not be said about a great man without the provision of implacable proof.
In light of the moral failings of many of our political heros, both liberal and conservative, I believe it is a temptation to bring great men down to their level, to say that every great man has these moral failings. But, I don't believe that is true. And, I do believe that when we let this pass, and begin to believe what recent films and some books have said without substantive proof about some of those who have built our nation, it is another way of tearing it down.
This same book, Team of Rivals, tells about Lincoln as a man of unusual habits. He did not smoke, he did not drink. There are few if any real instances recorded where he lost control of his temper. He forgave those who publicly humiliated and were in other ways disloyal to him. He was kind to the point of exhausting himself. He was a servant of the people and a great leader at the same time. He was a most unusual man of near perfect moral character, not according to me, but according to those who knew him best. When traveling one day, he was approached by a group of former slaves who knelt before him sayinging, "... there is the great Messiah! Glory Hallelujah!" With his voice full of emotion, Lincoln said, "that is not right. You must kneel before God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy."
I am so thankful to God for the liberty that I enjoy and for the men and women through the ages that he has provided to preserve that liberty... may it go on forever.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Nancy Drew...

Little c and I went to see this film on Friday. It was so darling. I loved how the film stayed true to the feeling of the books. The granny chic wardrobe is really part of the film and the clothes are delightful.
Unlike many recent films that get a thumbs down from me as they down-grade our social interaction, each film trying to be more crude and rude than the one before, this film takes the high road praising social grace as an attribute of the well-educated girl, which it is.
While this film is made for the the pre-teen girl, the script is smarter than almost any films I have seen targeted to that demographic.
This is a film, I will buy it for my collection. Oh that respect and good manners would make a comeback in the movies...

STrictly Ballroom...

This silly film is one that I missed. It came out the year I was planning my wedding.. so anyway I saw it yesterday. It predates it, but I would still say that it is the Napoleon Dynamite of Ballroom Dance films... worth renting... it's avail. through Netflix.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This little Beehive is going in
Inside it reads, "Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers... Robert Green Ingersoll"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Quotes I Love Today...

The entire object of true education, is to make people not merely do the right thing, but to enjoy right things; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge. John Ruskin

The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit. Mark Twain

What distinguishes a great artist from a weak one is first their sensibility and tenderness; second, their imagination, and third, their industry. Salman Rushdie

Team of Rivals...

You may have noticed the lack of a book review of late. That is not because I've given up reading. It is because this book, Team of Rivals, requires ones alert attention for over seven hundred pages. Minus one very unfortunate line, I found this book to be one of those rare and brilliant gifts that seems to part a curtain in history so that remarkable events and even thoughts unfold before the imagination. This book has been the center of conversation at our table for several weeks. We have been obsessed with this book and so it will not be possible for me to report on it in only one post. I don't think that I should even try.
The book gives a short history and background of five men, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edwin M. Stanton, Edward Bates and Abraham Lincoln. The lives of these men converge as they become bitter rivals in the contest for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Lincoln was a dark horse in a race where no one expected him to win. When he did win, and then win the Presidency, he had robbed, as they saw it, four very influential, brilliant men of their life long ambition.
This quote encapsulates the book to its essense, "This, then, is the story of Lincoln's political genius revealed through his extraordinary array of personal qualities that enabled him to form friendships with men who had previously opposed him; to repair injured feelings that, left untended, might have escalated into premanent hostility; to assume responsibility for the failures of subordinates; to share credit with ease; and to learn from mistakes. He possessed an acute understanding of the sources of power inherent in the presidency, an unparalleled ability to keep his governing coalition intact, a tough-minded appreciation of the need to protect his presidentioal prerogatives, and a masterful sense of timing. His success in dealing with the strong egos of the men in his cabinet suggests that in the hand of a truly great politician the qualities we generally associate with decency and morality -- kindness, sensitivity, compassion, honesty, and empaty -- can also be impressive political resources."
If this book has a thesis statement... I think that was it.
When we spend the investment of our time in something, especially in learning, we want that learning to be relevent. I find that a good history is always relevant. We repeat our history every generation, what we do not learn by the example left by others, we are destined to learn by personal experience. In that way, history can be timely indeed.

A list of some histories that I love because I learned so much reading them...

Angel in the Whirlwind by Benson Bobrick
Dearest Friend by Lynne Withey
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Our Sacred Honor by William Bennett
Benjam Franklin by Walter Isaacson
When the Cheering Stopped: The Last Years of Woodrow Wilson by Gene Smith
John Adams by David McCullough
Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener
Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie
Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

... there are so many more, but these are all great if you haven't had a chance to read any of them yet and they are all worth your time.

What are some of your favorite histories or biographies that I might have missed?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Good Read...

Father Jonathan tells it like it is...

July 4th...

Look! I got one sort of decent picture of the fireworks! I love the fireworks and the picnic and the whole thing. My mom thought the above flower arrangment that she made for the party was dumb, but I loved it! I thought it was perfectly festive as is everything that she does! Fun party Mom! In a whiny aside... my blogging time has recently been almost wiped out. I don't want to quit because I love doing this, but it will take me awhile now to get around to see everyone, I'm so sorry.. it just can't be helped.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Little Culture...

We've had a funny week at the theater this week. I almost feel like a jinx. When we went to see the city production, which was amazing by the way, of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat-- the fire alam went off during the Grand Finale and we had to evacuate the building. We waited about 15 minutes in the intensely uncomfortable sound and then had to leave. I was sorry to hear that just a few minutes later the Fire Dept. was there and had everything corrected very quickly. People were able to re-take their seats and to see the Grand Finale in full. I wish that I had been one of those people because I really think that any town in Utah can stage a production full of talent, but I was very proud of my own little town because the show was just unbelievable from the sets to the costumes... but the talent was truly amazing.
This experience prepared me for the PMT production of Les Miserables. During the Lovely Ladies number, the electricity went out for over 40 min. A few people left, but most by far did not. The cast was at the end of contract and the show was sold out until then, so if we did not stay, we would miss it. And, it was not to be missed.
Here are some intersting facts about the show from an article that appeared in the Deseret Morning News on April 22, "First of all, this is not a touring production. PTC is the first regional company in the United States to be officially licensed by London-based producer Cameron Mackintosh to stage its own production... This all-new local production has been setting records for the Salt Lake City-based company. Even before this week's opening night, the production was already extended by six additional weeks. "It's not as if we're just extending on hope," said Morey. "We don't extend the show until the previous week is 90 percent sold out." I think people everywhere love this particular show, people in Utah certainly do.
Anyway, it was great, really great! Eponine was my favorite voice, but they were all amazing.
It has been so delightful to introduce little c to the theater this summer. She is loving it!
To love another person is to see the face of God.
Les Miserables.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Little House Box...

Maybe you don't know that when a love box arrives in your mail box, it comes all wrapped up pretty like this... perfect to give...
This large size house box, which I have not done before, will be available in
July 5th..

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful 4th with family and friends...

I'm off to celebrate...

God Bless America... From Sea to Shining SEA!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Little Baby Gift...

I finally made the trek down to IKEA with my mom yesterday. I had to see it atleast once. It was a bit overwhelming, but pretty fun. I liked these little tike dishes quite a bit. Each rainbow set of cups, plates or bowls cost $1.50 each and the little stuffie lion was .50. Tied up together I thought they made a cute baby gift for some new mothers in my neighborhood. (The dishes are microwave and dishwasher safe.)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sparkling Stars...

There will be a few more Star Boxes available in the Etsy Shop today..
I made a medium size one as well that says, "God Bless America!"