Favorite Author

One of my all-time favorite authors passed away last week. I have to mention how much the writings of Truman Madsen influenced me over the years. We received his book Four Essays on Love for a wedding gift - many years ago. Often, I pulled the book out and re-read my favorite passages. Then I discovered that Truman Madsen had articles on Meredian magazine, and I printed them whenever I saw them. I have a binder full of his writings. Hard to believe that there will be no more. Here is a sample of his writing - it's advice anyone can use, any day.

How to Overcome Fear by Truman G. Madsen

One theory of emotion states that "you are afraid because you run," (Not that you run because you are afraid.)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."—Paul to Timothy (II Tim. 1:7)

Act and You Will Be Unafraid
The fact is that when you take the part of courage, courage flows in to you.

It is Satan who seeks that all men might be miserable like himself and you may see how actively he is about that in your daily labors. You are undoubtedly aware of the facets of your makeup where opposition and your own inner temptations can leave you trembling.

To quake in fear is not of God. Doubt and fear can be absolutely purged. Here are two counsels on becoming rid of fear.

Think through your Fears
Our usual pattern is to think to our fears. We let them stir around like uninvited gremlins and never really look them in the eye. Stare them down!

To illustrate, here is a page from my own missionary days on Prince Edward Island when we were working without purse or scrip. I remember vividly the absolute ache that came every morning when we awoke to a day that was another suspenseful unknown. (Most fear grows out of suspense in the presence of imagined ills). We had a crude map and a suitcase. Three questions always weighed us down: What if we fail to eat? What if we cannot find a place to sleep? What if no one will let us teach them? These anxieties compounded with the clock. Every day it seemed we were walking slowly toward our dom. I cannot describe the oppression and depression of the experience.

Many weeks passed before I began to see through all this. We sat down and talked it over. What could really happen? Suppose we didn't eat for five days. We could live. Suppose we didn't have a bed for the whole summer. We could live. Suppose we were mobbed (we later were). So what? Something to write home about. Suppose we found no one to teach. We were going to keep searching anyway.

Then we prayed. Then we stood up and faced a new world.

I was never troubled again. And the Lord's "Take no thought what ye shall eat..." became a matter of personal testimony. And He blessed us. We did not have all we wanted. But we had all we needed.

Pray for the Protective Armor
I defy you to be full of fear when you are full of the Spirit. "Without me ye can do nothing," (John 15:5), the Lord told his apostles in Jerusalem. "Take no thought," (Matt. 6:31) he said to them. The Lord's surrounding power is all that is needed to make you effective, here and now.

The "armor" does not tell you that every story will have a happy ending. It does not promise you perfection, expansive success without opposition, freedom from ills and stress and sweat. But I testify with all my soul that it does literally insulate you from all disquieting bugaboos. It gives you such reassurance that you take each day as it comes. It brings inspired concentration. You know that all that really matters is perfectly administered in His hands. You do not fear.

Quilt JoY !

It doesn't take many clicks to find wonderful quilts on the web. I've been browsing because I'm off on another little trip with Scott - this time to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He is taking a Landscape Painting workshop from Jim Wilcox - a premiere painter of the Teton Mountains and surrounding area. While Scott paints I'm going to sew something really cute like these quilts here. (Well, maybe not this cute because I can't seem to find this kind of funky fabric here in Logan, but cute enough.) The first quilt (above) is a vibrant quilt I found on the fun blog parkcitygirl. I'm excited about taking my new sewing machine and trying a new challenge of sewing in a hotel room.

The three quilts above are by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms. Her blog is called Simplify. She is a fabric designer, a pattern designer and a quilter. She's high energy like the girls I work with. I just ordered her Cotton Blossom line because it's starting to disappear and I don't want to miss getting it.

The next three are made by the quilter who posts on the blog lovelylittlehandmades.blogspot.com. I love love love her use of aqua and red. And she stipple- quilts her pieces herself on her machine. I can do that with my new machine if I fork out the cash for a walking foot. I'm going to try it without the special foot and probably make a real mess :)
The quilts above and below are made by the owner of Old Red Barn Co. blog. I think the fabric above is the Ginger Blossom line by Sandi Henderson. It's a gorgeous line of fabric...but you must be brave to use it I think. The quilt below is also by Old Red Barn Co. All but one of the fabrics are Amy Butler fabrics.

I'm inspired!


Friday Philosophy :)

I was listening to a parenting expert named Lynn Scoresby on TV as I cleaned my kitchen the other day. His philosophy was so good that I grabbed a pen and paper and started writing. I am posting his suggestions for successful parenting here today, not because I'm trying to send a secret message to anyone, but because this is GOOD STUFF that anyone can use. As summer approaches and kids are out of school, these ideas can help young moms and dads. Additionally, many grandmas & grandpas (including Scott and me) will be enjoying visits from grandchildren and even we can use some of these principles. Here we go:


1. Prepare more than you punish.

2. Communicate more than you control.

3. Encourage more than you criticize.

4. Involve all of your children and family together AND individualize each child.
This is based on the idea that we belong in groups and we also have individual lives.

5. Love more than you isolate. Don't withdraw your love even when punishing.

6. Love your child enough to set and maintain limits.


Memorial Day 2009

Scott and I went to the Logan Cemetery on Sunday evening to visit the graves of his parents and family. It had rained that afternoon and everything was sparkling. The sun was low on the horizon as we drove down cemetery road, and the way the light shone through the canopy of wet-leafed trees was just breathtaking. Of course the flowers through the cemetery were abundunt and beautiful - I especially loved the arrangement on Scott's mother and father's grave. It's lovely to see the old-fashioned floral shop arrangements with the classic 'funeral' shape and beautiful flowers.

On Memorial Day, for the first time in years, we went to the little town of Portage where my mother grew up and to the Portage cemetery where her grandparents, parents, brother and many other family members are buried. Below is a photo of my mom and her three sisters - Aunt Irene, Aunt Nadine, my mom Jean, and Aunt Norma. Aren't they cute? And they are each as outstanding and faithful as they are beautiful. They also have two brothers; Uncle Roland, who died a few years ago, and Uncle Byron who lives in Washington D.C. Below is my dad - oh how he loves Portage, though it's not his hometown. He took me on many adventures up into the mountains behind the cemetery - I still remember our hikes to Lemon Peak and Big Rock.
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- a bird's eye view -

In the photo below, Scott is painting one of three pictures that he painted on the beach in Florida. He is so resouceful - he cobbled together his little painting set-up from things he brought and found. His paintings turned out as good as picture postcards!

It seems like everywhere we went we were surrounded by birds. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are bird refuges, and we saw more birds close-up in the past four days than probably in the past ten years. I mean it was just ridiculous how birds became such a focus. Once when I had made a run for drinks and was slow getting back. I was rushing down the path back to the beach where Scott was painting. I also had the camera in my hand. A man hurried past me and said, "If you're going to get the osprey, follow me down this path." I took me a minute - get the osprey, oh yeah, take a picture. Of course - since the man had a giant camera around his neck with an even bigger telephoto lens hanging off it. Because I was in a hurry, I didn't follow him down the jungle path. But the next day, Scott got the photo (above) that would have made that birdwatcher envious. And the photo below is a flock of seagulls that camped out right next to us as we sat on the beach at Captiva Island. There were NO seagulls anywhere on the beach except this little group - there were ten of them and they insisted on standing right there, 20 feet from our beach towels for a solid hour. Highly entertaining.
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[ bike path scenery ]

Sanibel Island is bike-friendly with bike paths that criss-cross the island. Bikes are necessary because parking is limited at places like the beach and even restaurants. We rode bikes for about 2 1/2 hours and it though I loved every minute, I can tell I need to do a little more bike riding to get in better shape - Scott's used to it because of his weekly workouts. In spite of the heat and humidity, we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery - the shops, homes, and neighorhoods around here are fun to look at - especially the close-up views we got on the bikes.

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- shelling on Sanibel -

Sanibel Island - southwest Florida - on the Gulf of Mexico. We're here by an interesting twist of events. We had reservations to go to Cabo San Lucas but had to change our plans three weeks ago because of the swine flu scare in Mexico. At the time we didn't know if the epidemic would get better or worse. Our Hilton Vacations Club 'time share' had only one place to offer as an alternative for the exact same dates, and it was this little island in Florida. So here we are - and honestly I'm glad for the switch. This place is wonderful.

Sanibel Island seems to be known for three things - it has a well-preserved natural habitat, it has an old-time lighthouse - built in 1885, and it is famous for being THE place for the hobby of 'shelling.' (Shelling is collecting seashells.) This is why: much of Florida’s southwestern coast is surrounded by a string of barrier islands. While most of these slender islands run in a general north-south direction, the crescent-shaped Sanibel Island is positioned in more of an east-west direction. The Gulf current here sweeps up the coast from the south, and Sanibel Island, positioned sideways to the flow, scoops up an abundant supply of seashells. Collectors flock to the island and comb the beaches, hunched over in what is called the "Sanibel Stoop," looking for the perfect shell. Yeah, I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently shelling is a big deal here. The island shores are literally made of shells and sand.

The people above are all looking for shells. They walk along at water's edge with sieves and strainers and bags for placing the shells. I talked to one lady and asked her why she pursues the hobby. "Are you searching for valuable shells?" I asked. "No," she said, "the shells aren't valuable; they're treasures." Then she enthusiastically sorted through her bucket of shells showing us what was special about each one. It was the color, or the perfectness or the unusualness. Kind of like birdwatchers, shellers have a master list of shells, and they work at finding all the shells on the list. The woman showed me her favorite that day - a miniature conch shell that was perfectly shaped and pure white. She told me that she fills decorative glass with her shells.

There are birds everywhere on Sanibel Island. abundant fish, I think that fish are abundant because there are fisherman on every pier and shoreline. And from the looks of the sign above, there are also alligators. Scott asked the desk clerk at our hotel if we really need to be worried about alligators. "I don't really know," said the young man, "I've only lived here five weeks. But I heard that if one comes after you, you should run in a zig-zag." So Scott and I have been practicing our zig-zag run.


{ cute aprons and handmade things at Jillie Willie }

Tonight I had three delicious hours to relax in a hotel room and surf the net. Somehow I stumbled onto this website - which I most amazingly had never seen before. What a fun collection of aprons and other hand-sewn items. Turns out, the owner of this company is a woman from 'northern Utah' (which could be anywhere from Bountiful to Lewiston). The website is called Jillie Willie. Click to check out her creations. Her fabric selections are unique and interesting. Tomorrow I'll post some photos from this amazing little island we're visiting called Sanibel Island on the Gulf coast of Florida. When we arrived today it was pouring rain and getting dark, so we just took a drive to explore the area. Hopefully (fingers crossed) we'll have some sunshine tomorrow - otherwise I'll have to stay in our room and try to accomplish one of my goals for this trip which is to learn how to use a website called Scrapblog. It's a digital scrapbooking site - I'll tell you what I know about it later!