Thursday, December 31, 2009

Charles Dickens...

My brother sent me this quote about Dickens, one of my very favorite authors. I wanted to save it and share it.. so I posted it here.

"Dickens stands first as a defiant monument of what happens when a great literary genius has a literary taste akin to that of the community. For this kinship was deep and spiritual. Dickens was not like our ordinary demagogues and journalists. Dickens did not write what the people wanted. Dickens wanted what the people wanted. . . . Hence there was this vital point in his popularism, that there was no condescension in it.

“The belief that the rabble will only read rubbish can be read between the lines of all our contemporary writers, even of those writers whose rubbish the rabble reads. . . . The only difference lies between those writers who will consent to talk down to the people, and those writers who will not consent to talk down to the people. But Dickens never talked down to the people. He talked up to the people. He approached the people like deity and poured out his riches and his blood. This is what makes the immortal bond between him and the masses of men. He had not merely produced something they could understand, but he took it seriously, and toiled and agonized to produce it. They were not only enjoying one of the best writers, they were enjoying the best he could do. . . . His power, then, lay in the fact that he expressed with an energy and brilliancy quite uncommon the things close to the common mind. But with mere phrase, the common mind, we collide with a current error. Commonness and the common mind are now generally spoken of as meaning in some manner inferiority and the inferior mind; the mind of the mere mob. But the common mind means the mind of all the artists and heroes; or else it would not be common. . . . In everybody there is a certain thing that loves babies, that fears death, that likes sunlight: that thing enjoys Dickens.” -- G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beary Merry Christmas...

I know.. . I couldn't resist.. :)


My friend Charise can make anything extraordinary. .. a wonder and delight!
Can you believe these packages. Charise.. you are an artist!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Cake...

C & I like to collaborate on cake. This is our Christmas Cake.. with dense, rich and heavy chocolate cake... C's best recipe and touch-of-mint pink frosting.. sprinkles with bits of crushed candy cane. Yum. I'd give you the recipe.. but I can't.. it's top secret. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Beautiful Mind...

For some reason, I thought this movie would be frightening, but it wasn't. It was incredibly inspiring. It is a reflection of the divine, when a person is able to become his own master. I love this film.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Ten Fundamental Principles for True Freedom...

The pilgrims came to America as immigrants in search of some basic freedoms... The right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. The right to free assembly. The right to free speech. They and others who have come before have provided those rights to us. And, we are very thankful this day to enjoy those rights.

I am working with a group called Homemakers for America... on the Abigail Adams Project. My friend Tammy wrote this belief statement for our Utah Chapter. I think that on this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.. these are some appropriate things to ponder.. in addition to the turkey and cranberry sauce... Happy Thanksgiving!!!

1. All men have been endowed by their Creator with the right to life. All human life is sacred and the worth of every human being is great regardless of race, education, social or economic status. Thus we strive to protect and preserve the dignity of all people including the disabled, the handicap, the elderly, and the woman with her unborn child in each stage of pregnancy.

2. Liberty is a right that is intrinsic to human creation and has been given to all men by their Creator. The proper role of government is to protect and secure this right for the citizens of its country. We recognize that liberty is maintained by adherence to law and thus, strive to write laws that will protect the citizens of the country. We also believe that those who violate law must be held accountable for their actions.

3. All men have been endowed by their Creator with the opportunity to pursue happiness. This pursuit requires freedom for self-determination, opportunities for un-bias education, and the free-exchange of ideas within communities. Thus we hold fast to the policy defined by the 1st Amendment of our Constitution and uphold the freedom of speech and the right to assembly to promote the general welfare of this nation.

4. Governments were instituted to secure the blessings of liberty for the citizens of their countries. A superior form of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” (Abraham Lincoln) should be upheld and defended to protect the liberties of men. The checks and balances provided by the Constitution of this free land define the roles of the 3 branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative). One branch of government will not be allowed to usurp power from either of the other two.

5. Each member of the human race possesses an intrinsic dignity with a right to freedom and self-determination. We uphold the principles of work, education, and industry as crucial elements of self-determination and the preservation of human dignity. Therefore, we encourage welfare services that promote the development of self-reliance. We support humanitarian efforts of compassion to provide for the basic needs of citizens in times of hardship and persuade all social institutions to support individuals in their quest for self-determination and employment opportunities.

6. We honor and hold sacred the religious beliefs of the citizens of this nation. We do not endorse one specific religion but encourage and allow all men to choose personal religious beliefs. We acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being and the inspiration of the Almighty God in framing the Constitution of this land. We recognize that true religion encourages its
members to achieve higher states of dignity, compassion, and character and consequently, will strengthen the citizens of this nation.

7. We recognize the family is the basic unit of society and therefore affirm that the strength of the family is fundamental to the strength of the nation. Thus, we hold sacred the roles of fatherhood and motherhood as it pertains to the protection, leadership, education, and nurturing of children within the family. Thus, we are resolved to maintain the rights of parents to protect family and children from forces that would threaten or inflict harm to their physical, emotional, spiritual and moral well-being.

8. We recognize that governments may become corrupt over time and elected officials may, in fact, seek to undermine the freedom of its citizens. If a government should deny its citizens of the rights and liberties bestowed upon them by their Creator, the leaders of that government should be removed from office, erring officials held accountable for the destruction of liberty, and new guards should be established for the future security of the nation.

9. The rights of a free people are maintained through leadership which invokes the nobility that resides in all men. We recognize that successful civilizations are governed by correct principles and leaders who rule by inspiration, teach by example and stand for self-evident principles. We support government leaders who utilize the powers of persuasion, education, compassion and service to encourage the fulfillment of human potential. We reject policies and politicians that exploit individuals for personal gain and reject the use of coercion, manipulation and indoctrination as a means of controlling citizens of the land.

10. We acknowledge that Communism is NOT a political party or a political plan under the Constitution of the United States. It is a system of government that is the opposite of our Constitutional government. We recognize that Communism would destroy the Constitutional government of America. We therefore insist that our elected officials not only resist communism, but also consider the supporters of Communism as traitors to our free government.

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is here...

wrapping up the Merry Christmas presents!!!
(I couldn't get the colors to turn out right on the camera.. the top one is the only one that is right... you'll have to use your imagination)

Friday, November 13, 2009


Christmas is so fun in many ways... I LOVE to shop for toys.. Unfortunately, this little theater is right for me.. but not for my kiddos... sigh...
It's on sale.. HERE...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Free knocks on the head...

When I was first married, I worked at a local retailer where I became more acquainted with quality items. I learned that it's OK to purchase lesser quality when buying something that will be a short lived trend.. Your leg warmers and parachute pants don't require the attention to detail and grade of excellence that your navy blazer with brass buttons does.
In visiting with a co-worker with many years of retail experience, I was taught about the points of excellence. He showed me the details that made a piece of clothing beautiful and classic. He would rather have worn the same suit every day as long as that suit was a fine piece of tailoring. He often regretted aloud that my generation seemed more interested in what was cheap and free than in what was excellent and lasting. He never purchased any parachute pants.
I started to take more notice of this trend toward getting something for nothing. I remember one morning at 5AM getting ready for work as I listened to talk radio banter.. with over-caffeinated morning enthusiasm DJs repeatedly announced that there would be free mammograms at a gas station far on the west side of town.. the first 50 women there would "win".
Several thoughts went through my mind.. Surely they are not giving mammograms AT the gas station.. right?!? Surely they are giving out some kind of pass to a medical clinic of some kind. The details were never mentioned.
I have kept these things in mind as I paint. It takes time to make something that is both lovely and lasting. I take care in the materials I select; brushes, paints, glitter, finishes, wax and wood all must have certain qualities in order to make something that will last.
On the other hand, my children love to choose a toy from the dollar store. Easily procured, easily broken. I am often concerned about the materials.. Does the paint on this car have lead in it? We don't know. These toys are made so far away. They are made as quickly as possible with as little cost as possible. There is no attention to detail and the product is not made to last. It is often broken and ruined that very day.
I'm afraid that this trend has run into government. The people scream that something must be done and that "change" must happen. Our health care system, which is the envy of the world (when you look beyond fallacious/misleading WHO statistics) is about to be completely tossed out. Not tweaked, not reformed... junked. The word is that the House of Representatives vote is Saturday.
There are so many problems with this bill, I don't know where to begin. But, it has the worst qualities of government programs and managed care on steroids. No one really knows what it will cost but, it's government and so we know it will cost more and net less. It will hurt the very people it claims to help. It will stifle and strangle innovation and advances in medicine. It will discourage the best and the brightest from entering medical practice. It will cause shortages of doctors and hospitals and then procedures and medicines.
In an age when Americans, who love to be different and individual, can make so many different choices in phone and computer plans and in options and applications, clothing, work, transportation and almost everything you can think of.. in this kind of age... we are being shoved and forced into a highly ruled and overly regulated one-size-fits-all model full of "no" and "don't".
My husband has often said there are some people who would stand in line for free knocks on the head. With health care, this is exactly what we are doing.
This bill is now over 2,000 pages. It is doubtful that all those who will be expected to vote on Saturday have even had a chance to read the entire thing let alone study it. It is supposed to provide something "free", but we know that nothing in life worth having is really free. It always costs and this time, the cost is not just money.. it is something more valuable... This bill is going to cost a great deal in liberty.
This is so important. It is 1/6 of our nation's economy and yet it has been boiled down to nightly news sound bites and Daily Show sarcasm. But, this issue is worth doing some digging. This is worth some study from a reputable source. THIS is a good place to begin.
Please contact your congressman and ask them to vote "NO!" on Saturday.

Monday, November 02, 2009


This was an interesting film. Made in 1942, the middle of World War 11.. it was full of war propaganda.. sometimes not well placed as far as plot and dialogue are concerned. Overall an interesting story line and worth seeing as a peek back in history. I could imagine myself in a 1940's theater, with most of the men I knew away at war being quite alarmed by this film, but it does seem very dated now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Who Wants to be a Poodle... I don't

My mom gave c this wonderful book today. I love the writing and the illustrations.. Lauren Child is a favorite around here. Never has a book quite captured the spirit of my c better than this... darling.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Book Thief...

“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.
She was the book thief without the words.
Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I feel a reverence for this beautiful little book that carefully and tenderly helps its reader to glimpse the experience of a child in war time. The world had gone mad for many of the adults in the story, but for the children to whom the world is such a small place; a playground, a school, a grocer, a neighbor, a stream. To a child who does not see Germans and Jews, Nazis and Allies, it's difficult to understand the desperate struggle of war.
What they do know, is that their families are held together with tissue paper. They learn too early and too much about cruelty, separation and death. And, they learn too early what we all need to know... that happiness and peace whenever and wherever they exist are great blessings that should be held up to the light and marveled over and then tucked carefully away in a memory to hold up as a treasure on any day it rains.

The House of Elliott...

The House of Elliott is a television miniseries produced by the BBC in the 1990's. It's not brilliant.. unless you are talking about the glamor and the costumes.. if you're in to pretty costume dramas.. then don't miss this one. I thought it was so much fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Irving Berlin... You'd Be Surprised!

So funny! ;)

Johnny was bashful and shy
Nobody understood why Mary loved him
All the other girls passed him by
Ev'ryone wanted to know
How she could pick such a beau
With a twinkle in her eye
She made this reply

He's not so good in a crowd
but when you get him alone
You'd be surprised
He isn't much at a dance
but then when he takes you home
You'd be surprised
He doesn't look like much of a lover
But don't judge a book by it's cover
He's got the face of an Angel
But there's a Devil in his eye
He's such a delicate thing
but when he starts in to squeeze
You'd be surprised
He doesn't look very strong
but when you sit on his knee
You'd be surprised
At a party or at a ball
I've got to admit that he's nothing at all
But in a morris chair
You'd be surprised

Mary continued to praise
Johnny's remarkable ways
To the ladies
And you know advertising pays
Now Johnny's never alone
He has the busiest phone
Almost ev'ry other day
A new girl will say
He's not so good in the house
but on a bench in the park
You'd be surprised
He isn't much in the light
but when he gets in the dark
You'd be surprised
I know he looks as slow as the Erie
But you don't know the half of it, dearie
He looks as cold as an Eskimo
But there's fire in his eyes
He doesn't say very much
but when he starts in to speak
You'd be surprised
He's not so good at the start
but at the end of the week
You'd be surprised
On a streetcar or in a train
You'd think he was born without any brain
But in a taxicab...........
You'd be surprised!!!

See the fabulous Madeline Kahn sing... HERE..

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Call Northside 777...

I am a huge, HUGE fan of Jimmy Stewart... but I had never seen this gem of a film. I don't want to say much.. because I don't want to give any of it away. It's sort of a mystery. James Stewart plays a reporter who is assigned to write a story on a convicted cop killer. Stewart is a great writer and the public is quickly enthralled in the story. Is the man innocent or guilty? Really well written until the very end.. but that doesn't spoil a fabulous mystery. I really thought it was riveting.
It's the perfect family film for the over 10-12 crowd. It's a G, but the plot is a bit complex for the really young.

New In Town...

Really cute.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Christopher Columbus...

“From my first youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until this day. ... Wherever on the earth a ship has been, I have been. I have spoken and treated with learned men, priests, and laymen, Latins and Greeks, Jews and Moors, and with many men of other faiths. The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and He bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring He gave me in abundance, of astrology as much as was needed, and of geometry and astronomy likewise. Further, He gave me joy and cunning in drawing maps and thereon cities, mountains, rivers, islands, and harbours, each one in its place. I have seen and truly I have studied all books—cosmographies, histories, chronicles, and philosophies, and other arts, for which our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?"
Christopher Columbus

"Here on a gleaming beach of white coral occurred the . . . first
landing . . . [Columbus] went ashore in the flagship’s longboat . . .
accompanied by [his] captains . . . flying the banner of the expedition—
a green crowned cross on a white field. ‘And . . . having rendered thanks
to our Lord, kneeling on the ground, embracing it with tears of joy for the
immeasurable mercy of having reached it, the Admiral rose and gave this
island the name San Salvador—Holy Savior."

Samuel Eliot Morison, “From Palos to San Salvador,” The Southern Voyages, pp. 60-63, italics
in the original; bracketed notations added.

Sunflower Farmers Market...

During a recent visit to the south valley.. I visited this fabulous little market. It was such a fun place.
1375 South State Street, Orem Utah
There are also locations in Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico & Texas...
Read about them HERE...

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Painting from the Reign of Victoria
The Royal Holloway Collection London
runs through Oct. 24, 2009
Don't miss this exibit, or the
American Dreams:
Selected Works from the Museum's Permanent Collection of American Art
exhibit.. which is just wonderful.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ally's Eat My Art Store...

My friend Ally is painting all this lovely food. This pink cupcake is my very favorite! Check out her fun paintings at


One of my favorite places to eat ever.. is in Ketchum ID.. stop by if you happen to be in town.

Really great Mex!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baby l's new shoes...

These are so soft and cute and cheap from Target.. I love Target.

The Great Debaters...

I loved this movie. It was truly inspiring in many ways. My favorite story line in the film is the evolving relationship of trust between the preacher and scholar James L. Farmer (played by Forest Whitaker) and his son James L. Farmer Jr. (played by the adorable Denzel Whitaker).
My criticism of the film is this. They downplayed the violence, the terror and the devastation in the film seemingly to make the film more appropriate for a younger audience. But then, they toss in a love story that is inappropriate for the same audience, is distracting to the film, seems really implausible for the character of Samantha Booke and actually feeds into a racial stereotype that I find particularly offensive.
I still think the film is very worth while and the acting is superb.. by some of America's finest.. but sadly, it's not a film that I would recommend for kids under high school age, which is tragic.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cutsie Cakes...

Hello Cupcake! Welcome to Cutsie Cakes!
The address is 354 North Main Suite #1 in Layton...
I mention the address right up front because when you realize that you can practically purchase the perfect childhood, the cure for the blues and a very happy day for just $2.50.. I know you'll be running right over.
They have candy.. coming ...

... and going... the old fashioned kind that makes you remember when you hauled around a red Radio Flyer and begged nickels from your grandfather to spend at the drug store.. They even have those fabulous candy lipsticks... I purchased 2.
And, then ... what is it about cupcakes that makes them 10 times better than cake? It's the cuteness and it's the swirly, twirly frosting. If you are a frosting lover, these cupcakes are for you. There is no better frosting. Yum!
I love the mint chocolate and the peanut butter and they have wonderful pumpkin spice cookies (WITH FROSTING) that you must try. Heaven!
.. The chocolate with a cherry on top!
There are also so many really fun gifts and other Cutsie cute things to see. Did I mention that the ceiling is pink?!?
This Halloween cupcake is huge. You can share it with your 7 favorite friends (maybe four friends if you like cake as much as I do and 8 if you happen to possess tons of self control around Chocolate CAKE!!!) Anywho, you can order these ginormous cupcakes and they will sport the appropriate design... birthday, Christmas.. I bet they will make you a ginormous cupcake for Groundhog day if you ask nicely.
After visiting so many bakeries and cupcakeries in NYC.. I am very pleased to see that we can do just as well right here in Davis County! Have fun! You can thank me later. :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009