Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello, Cupcake!

My smart, beautiful and talented daughter, Debi, has started a petition for California residents that support home bakers being able to sell their baked goods. Sounds like a good idea to me.  If you are registered voter in California, please consider signing.

Visit the group CA Cottage Food Law - Home Bakers Law on Facebook. Also, on Facebook, visit Cupcakes on Capitol Hill.  I would love to see you at the Capitol on May 7th.

If you are from a state that already has similar laws, I would like to know what you think.

Friday, January 29, 2010

talk and teaser notes

Stake Conference last week - some good talks and a teaser

Saturday night -
The first speaker talked about the Mormon pioneers and told us that the youth are going on a 3 day trek with handcarts in the Sierra Nevadas this summer. They will be well fed - part of the time. Part of the time they will go hungry. I don't think they are taking tents. It is going to be an experience. Benjamin is looking forward to it.

Sister Little said imagine a king is moving to your city, a palace is built, and you are invited to visit. The King of Kings has his palace on a hill outside of town and we are invited to visit. Light is poured out on us through the blessings of the temple. - We are a Light-powered people.

Perri Ann Allen - It is estimated that 90 billion people have lived. There are a lot of people needing and waiting for their work to be done. Three years ago she didn't know how nor was much interested in family history. However, she wanted to be obedient when the stake president asked us to bring 2 people to the temple - a nonmember friend to the Open House and an ancestor to the temple. She asked for help. She quickly found a family on her husband's side. Now she loves, loves, LOVES family history.
Kae Fisher - the Lord is not asking us to die a martyr's death, he is asking us to live a disciple's life.

Pres. Fisher - improve our peripheral vision. When he was a youth, he and a friend or two (?) had ridden their motorcycles over to the Dover building and were out in the parking lot thinking they were pretty cool and tough. Well, some bigger, ‘cooler’, tougher guys came over from the park and asked to ride his motorcycle. He said no. The request was repeated. The atmosphere was threatening. Alan saw men coming out of the church building and going to their cars. He hoped, fervently, that one of them might notice the young men and realize that he was in trouble and needed help. Intent upon their own business, they did not notice. I don’t think he told us what happened, but apparently he survived. The message is that we need to be more aware of those around us.

Don't leave your meetings without reaching out to someone new.

Sunday, January 24
Our Stake Presidency was changed around - the first counselor, William Bair, was released and the 2nd Counselor, Brother Norman made First Counselor. Doug Diamond was called as Second Counselor. Patriarch Fisher is designated non- functioning as Stake Patriarch after 32 years. Patriarch is an ordination, they are not released. He can still give blessings like for his family. New Stake Patriarch William Bair. Bishop Young's name and Bishop Dyke's name was included with list of High Councilmen!! Ward Conference next week will be well attended!

Pres Jardin - Take the message into all the world and where you cannot go, send. When you communicate with your friends, include Mormon messages.

Pres. Fisher – told the story of a little boy at a concert by a great pianist. Unfortunately, it is not true – according to

There are various versions of this story.

In some of them, the boy plays "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

In this version, it is said the boy played Chopsticks, a simple little tune that every child who has had access to a piano seems to have learned how to play.

There is no evidence this ever happened, however.

Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) was a Polish pianist who gained world wide fame and was very popular in the United States.

Paderewski experts say the story may have been inspired by a poster during World War II that promoted a meeting in support of the Polish Relief Fund.

Paderewski is said to have organized the meeting.

The poster included a sketch of Paderewski next to a boy at the piano.

The boy was carrying his belongings wrapped at the end of a stick and was called "Johnny the Wanderer."

It is however, a great story, so here it is. Believe the message even though the event is fiction:

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted an old friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.
Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage.
In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle,Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."
Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child, and he added a running obbligato.
Together, the old master and the young novice transformed what could have been a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.
The audience was so mesmerized that they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic, " Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
Perhaps that's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't always graceful, flowing music. However, with the hand of the Master, our life's work can truly be beautiful.
The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You may hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." May you feel His arms around you and know that His hands are there, helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.
God doesn't seem to call the equipped, rather He seems to equip the called.

Pres Fisher has some big redwood trees on his property. Some of the branches died and became a hazard. They love their trees and spent a lot of money having them trimmed, although they didn’t like chopping up their trees. During a break from the storms, a neighbor called Liz over across the street to look at the light streaming through the new openings in the trees. It was lovely. - The light can shine through us if we trim the dead branches. Trim a dead branch: it is not enough to not be doing something wrong - or not too bad - we need more that is good.
Be faithful. Try a little harder to be a little better. We are approaching the latter end of the latter-days. Keep the commandments of the Lord more fully.


Did you catch the teaser?  My Bishop has been called to the High Counsel.  He cannot serve in both callings.  Sunday at Ward Conference, we will be presented  with a new Bishopric. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

swish swosh

The storms last week tore the patio tarp across the middle.

The guys showed no enthusiasm for taking down the old one and replacing it. As the bikes are now in the shed, maybe we don't really need it anymore. But what to do with the other stuff out there? I took down the half of the tarp towards the fence. The half on the house side is drooping, but still up. I threw a tarp over the BBQ and the mister. We found a compressor and put it in the garage. Found a box with some wood. And underneath that -  a dishwasher.

In the back of my mind somewhere,  I knew the dishwasher was out there. It's been there since the Larsons left. Somehow I thought it required special set up/installation. And of course, we have our decades old clutter problem that we have been working on the last couple of years.

Anyway, we had to decide whether to keep it or not. We figured we might give it a try. Benjamin worked some of his organizing magic to make room for it. We got it in the house and kitchen without much trouble. I had to go to the hardware store to get an adapter for the faucet. (Twice- I got the wrong one first.)

It works fine!  In fact, it seems to be a very nice dishwasher. although a bit of an energy hog.  Great for when the family comes over like they did for Family Day Monday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Family Day

Our Family Day, January 25,  began with the sealing ordinances of the temple when my now ex-husband and I were sealed.  There have been years when I have quietly let it slide, especially when I was unhappily married, but now I want to celebrate it, at least in a small way. I have been asked why do I still want to celebrate Family Day when the marriage failed?

I still believe in the principal of eternal marriage and earnestly hope and pray that my children's apparently happy marriages really are and will continue and grow even better forever. From what I see, they look very promising. Perhaps, someday, I will find a true companion as well.

I celebrate the sealing power.  Ordinances performed and blessings promised are conditional on obedience to certain laws.  A couple sealed in the temple is not guaranteed a happily ever after, they have to mutually live for it. But the Lord has promised us that families CAN be forever.

I celebrate the temple - the sacred house of God.

I celebrate the family.  The family is ordained of God.  It is the cornerstone of civilization.  It is our support, our playmates, our foundation.

I celebrate MY family, especially my children and their families.  I am oh, so very grateful for each of my children, their spouses (I am always tempted to say 'spice') and their children. 

We have celebrated Family Day in many ways over the years.  We have visited the temple grounds.  One year we randomly rode public transit around the City of Sacramento.  The most notorious was a few years ago when we went to the beach.  A rogue wave nearly knocked Debi and Tom off their feet, and overswept our blankets and things at the spot I had insisted on - leaving dry and safe a spot one of the children had chosen - washing some of our things up the beach and destroying Debi's camera.  This is a Family Day I am not allowed to forget.  The kids won't go to the beach on Family Day with me any more.

Yesterday everyone came over for dinner.  Benjamin, the great organizer, helped set up and set double tables in the family room.  We had fried chicken, mashed potatoes that Debi brought, rolls Miriam brought, salad, corn, and dessert by Ruth.  Everything was delicious.   Oh, and cookies by Benjamin.  Some cookies for us and some for Miriam to take home as her cookie of the month Christmas present.  They played Mario Brothers on the Wii.  Not a big fancy to-do, but a very pleasant evening. 

I do love and am abundantly grateful for my kids!

Friday, January 15, 2010

last Sunday this and that

    Bishop met with Joseph after Sacrament Meeting- Joseph and about 5 other young adult people. Their happy days of staying in Sister S's class are being brought to an end. She told Bishop that she is not kicking them out, she likes having them there.   So he told them himself.

    Sister S teaches the 16-17 year old Sunday School class.  As her students have grown and moved on to the adult class, she has even invited them to come back to her class.  Everyone involved was happy with the arrangement.

   I don't know why the powers that be had a problem with it.  Maybe it is just a house of order thing. However, if one believes a Bishop is called of God to lead the ward, it follows that one should try to heed his counsel.

   Joseph came to the adult class, but some of the young adults went to Sister S's class in spite of the Bishop's admonition. A small thing, but.....well, I am glad that Joseph followed counsel.

   Relief Society -  How do you know there is a God? Debbie G answered best, I think: the Holy Ghost. But she didn't answer out loud, just quietly to me.  All the other witnesses help, but ultimately it is the Holy Ghost.

    Discussion of the wonders of nature et cetera led to talking about evolution. I realize that I don't know what Darwin actually said vs what people say he said. Might be interesting to learn.


Monday, January 11, 2010


Nothing.  I just think today's date is fun to write.
a palindrome


We had PLENTY of food at the Graduation Celebration and plenty of leftovers.  Here are some of the best things we have done with them.

Taquitos - layer with tomato sauce and cheese - be sure to give the sauce plenty of time to soak in -bake > Taquito Enchiladas. 

Baquettes - slice thin and use as quiche crust

Carrots and Celery along with leftover mashed potatoes (from something else, of course) went into Chicken Pot Pie.

The cake we simply ATE and took some to Debi's Saturday when the family got together.  Gone now.

I brought several 'graduates' (the truffles topped with Giradelli squares that Teresa came up with) to work where they were very well recieved.

Some green and yellow M&Ms are in cold storage, hoping that we might have another party in the spring.  I smile whenever I open the fridge and see them.

It's been fun.

Still some taquitos, carrots and celery in the fridge and, I think, another baquette. Suggestions??

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We take what compliments we can get.

    As she passed my desk on the way out recently, L said,  "Barbara,  you are a comfortable person."
    On her way back in she said, "If I were a lost child and I saw you, I would go to you for help."
    She said I have a motherly, nuturing look.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I feel a little guilty

So many people have said what a horrible year 2009 was for them.  My life has been pretty good. The last week was quite lovely.

David worked pretty much all week on my Christmas present. Now our TV signals come in clearly and No More rabbit ears! He replaced the cable from the antenna And set it up so I can watch movies in the kitchen! The only thing we cannot do is watch movies in the kitchen and oh-oh I forget! But I think it is we cannot play Wii and have a movie in the kitchen at the same time. It is so great to turn on the TV and be able actually see and hear. No more box in the middle of the screen telling me the signal is not good enough!

Monday Teresa met up with some girlfriends for lunch and shopping. I worked Monday (had headaches with manual checks) but took off an hour early to get gas, start dinner, and prepare to meet up with the family at our house to go see Christmas lights. the girls wanted to go to Dovewood Court where we could drive to one place, walk around together and see lots of decorated houses. Good idea except Dovewood Court's last display night was last Sunday. Instead, people ate burritos, played on the Wii and generally hung out.

Tuesday I worked only half day. Teresa and spent the afternoon working on pretty in and out magnets for my office. I plan to take them in tommorrow and I am pretty excited.

That evening David, Teresa, and Joseph went with Ton to one of his MonaVie meetings. Do you know about that? Tom sells MonaVie some line of super health drink made from berries from South America. You are supposed to drink 2 ounces each morning and evening. $5/day David says. (I will never know if it really can change my life!) Teresa asked about the product and Tom got pretty excited about telling her about being a distributor. So he invited them to his meeting to learn more.

Wednesday was another full working day. (more checks - I do revolving fund checks Mondays and Wednesdays). Teresa visited her sister(s? And some friends?) Evening time we took the Wii to Ruth's and stayed up too late.

Thursday, New Year's Eve, again I worked a half day. It took us a very long time to go over to Ruth's, in fact, they got a bit put out with us. We all seemed to have things we felt like we needed to get done and some of us were moving a little slowly. We missed Debi who was getting together with friends. We took the Wii and a stack of movies. We played Disney Yatzee and It Came To Pass, and watched Up. Esther and Jared both stayed up for the new year. Just as surprising, so did I.

Friday and Saturday for me was mostly about getting ready for and worrying about the Graduation Celebration. As it turns out I did not do something I should have done which is send out reminders! We put on a great party - green and gold/yellow decorations everywhere. Teresa had made scrapbook pages for guests to write on. David hung their caps and gowns on a bulletin board behind the guest table. We had lots and lots of yummy food. And of course. Tom had great music. Everyone who came appeared to enjoy it, but very few came. Hamakers, Bennions, Sis Pasquera. It was almost 9- time for it to be over (according to DT's invitations, which was fine by me) when a couple of young couples came, so the party went on a little bit longer. Which is what Tom had intended all along. Clean up took a long time. We didn't get out until after midnight.

Lots of leftovers, but already they are diappearing quickly. D&T took some with them when they left today. Miriam and Debi came over Sunday evening to play on the Wii -  when I went to sleep at 10:30 they were still hard at it, and of course they ate some. Leftovers not a big problem. I am thinking of putting tomato sauce and cheese over a layer of taquitos and baking them up sort of enchilada style Monday.

For me 2009 was fine.  I am so thankful for the blessings the Lord has showered on me, most especially my wonderful family and friends.

I expect 2010 will be good, too.