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Showing posts from November, 2018

#LightTheWorld

Ten Things of Thankful: Light in the Dark Edition

Ever since Daylight Savings Time ended for the year, darkness comes so early. The black sky provides a stark contrast to the Christmas lights that are appearing, though. In the daytime hours, the lights are hardly noticeable; the darkness is required to fully appreciate the beauty.

1. I'm thankful for the darkness, so I can see the lights. John and I went to see Luminaria, a light display, on Monday night. It was magical. (You can click the link to read my post and see photos and video.)

2. I'm thankful for the cold, so I can appreciate the warmth. The temperatures have dropped. Sweaters, coats, gloves, hats, and scarves keep me warm.

3. I'm thankful for drought, so I can appreciate precipitation. The earth sighs as the rain soaks into her ground. The blanket of snow on the mountains promises water in the spring and summer.

4. I'm thankful for injury, so I can appreciate health. (This one is a bit of a stretch--no pun intended, though you can go ahead and laugh--but there&…

Giveaway Time for #LightTheWorld

Last night, John purchased a bottle of water from a giving machine. Just what is a giving machine, you ask? It looks like a vending machine, but there's a twist: you put in your money and then select an item that will be donated through a charitable organization. While he did actually receive a bottle of water, 100% of the money he gave will go to charity. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is covering the administrative costs of this campaign, as well as the costs to the charities.)



The giving machines are operating in five different locations: Salt Lake City, Utah; New York City, New York; Gilbert, AZ; London, England; and Manila, Philippines. The international charities that benefit are care.org, unicef.org, WaterAid, and Water for People. Giving machines in each location also partner with local charities. Here in Utah, those charities are the Utah Food Bank, Utah Refugee Connection, and Eye Care 4 Kids. 

The unveiling of the machines last night was in preparation f…

Tuesday Travels: Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point

As the #LightTheWorld initiative begins on December 1st, I thought it appropriate to review a Christmas lights display for today's Tuesday Travels post.
Lights and Christmas go hand-in-hand. Every year when the kids were young, we would pile them in the car and drive to see the lights. It must have made an impression on them, because last year, our youngest son recommended we visit Luminaria at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah: "You'll really enjoy it, Mom." 
Not only did I enjoy it; I knew I would return this year early in the season, so I could share the experience with you. If you find yourself in Utah at Christmastime, put Luminaria on your must-see list!
Luminaria is not a drive-through event; you will park your car, walk through the ticketing building (I recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time online), then stroll along a mile of trails through Ashton Gardens. Remember, you will be walking outside at night in Utah, so dress warmly.

The path takes you to various …

Ten Things of Thankful: Thanksgiving is Over, but Gratitude Remains

Thanksgiving 2018 has come and gone, but the reasons to be thankful remain. I hope each of you has had a nice week, and the chance to reflect upon the things that bring you a feeling of gratitude. 

1. I'm thankful for John's sister, who again hosted Thanksgiving at her house. I spent Thanksgiving morning making a couple of side dishes, watching the Macy's Day Parade, then catching some of the Westminster Dog Show. In the afternoon, John and I, along with our youngest daughter and two of my sister's boys, went to John's sister's house and had a wonderful time visiting with family (thankful #2) and enjoying delicious food (thankful #3). 

4. I'm thankful for willing blogger friends who have each agreed to write a guest post for me in December. Many of my posts in December will be regarding the #LightTheWorld initiative, and the guest posts will go along with the weekly themes. I hope you will check in frequently, learn about various service organizations and how…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you ever thought about the fact that Thanksgiving was established as a holiday in the United States during the middle of the Civil War? Abraham Lincoln delivered this proclamation:

. . . I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be co…

Tuesday Travels: Log Haven Restaurant

Nestled among the trees up Mill Creek Canyon, Log Haven Restaurant has received national attention, and for good reason. Atmosphere, service, and food equally shine. Entrees range in price from $22-$45; the restaurant is not a budget diner, but the quality of the experience far outshines other restaurants of the same price point. 


We sit at a corner window table. The historic building--a mansion made of logs from Oregon--was built as an anniversary present in 1920, and now provides a spectacular home for the restaurant.  Outside, a waterfall tumbles down the mountain. The evergreen trees turn dark, as the sun sets. 

The waiter is attentive, but not overbearing. Just reading the menu makes the mouth water, but the food far exceeds expectations. 

We have found our restaurant. We will return. 


Monday Mention: Lemi Shine

A month or so ago, I noticed that my dishwasher wasn't doing its job. Glasses were coming out dull, and white powder coated plastic items. Since the dishwasher was new, I was a bit perplexed. I checked to make sure the drain was clear of food. I checked to see if I needed to refill the rinse aid. I tried a different detergent. Nothing seemed to help, so I turned to Google. 

I found a product recommendation: Lemi Shine. I had never heard of it. I bought some and hoped for the best. I'm happy to report that it works! My glasses now are crystal clear, and everything comes out clean. 
I'm thankful that I could find a solution to the problem! 

(This post, though it reads a bit like an advertisement, was written with no compensation of any kind to me. I just wanted to share what I had found, in case it would be helpful to you.) 

Ten Things of Thankful: Pre-Thanksgiving Thanks

I love the fact that Thanksgiving falls as early as possible this year, because that gives us more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the Christmas season, but I also love to give Thanksgiving its due. The two holidays go together so well; first, we express gratitude, and then we celebrate the birth of Him who has given us everything. And, as the hymn states, "Because I have been given much, I too must give." Our focus turns outward, and we seem more inclined to help others. 

I'm looking forward this year to another #LightTheWorld season. Instead of "25 Days, 25 Ways," this year the focus will be on weekly themes, rather than daily challenges. It should be much more do-able. I'll have more information in future posts, but wanted to give you a heads-up. Also, if any of you are interested in writing a guest post about how you serve your faith, family, community, or world, please let me know! 

This week, I'm thankful:

1. I met a woman who founded…

Ten Things of Thankful: Life in Mayberry Edition

Mayberry isn't literally the name of my town, but it might as well be. People smile and wave, chat with each other in line, and just are generally nice. When I run errands, I almost never hear swearing, and I don't think I've seen anyone shopping in their pajamas and slippers since I moved to Utah. I could get used to this, but I hope I never get used to it, because I want to maintain a sense of gratitude for the little things. (Also, I think it is important to recognize that even Mayberry had a sherriff, and we should always be aware of our surroundings.)

Nevertheless, this week I am thankful for small-town living:
1. I'm thankful that my town is listed among the top cities in the nation for its low crime rate. 
2. I'm thankful I wasn't arrested for shoplifting. This one obviously needs some explanation. First of all, I was not shoplifting. I had no intent to steal, and no merchandise left the store. I was trying on clothes in a dressing room at a department stor…

Before and After: Doggy Door

We've been wanting to put in a doggy door in this house, but the only place that made sense to put it was in a French door. In past homes, John installed doggy doors in sliding glass doors, or even in low windows. French door installation is trickier, and though John has the capability to figure it out, when we found a company whose prices were not terribly more than the do-it-yourself cost, we decided to hire out the work. 

We are so pleased with the outcome. The door looks great, and we have the replaced pane, so if we ever want to revert the door back, we can easily do it. Drexel now has access to the yard whenever he wants, and we have a locking cover we can use at night. (Our neighbor told us she saw a raccoon recently, and I really don't want to have wildlife wandering in while we are sleeping.) Now if we can just get Drexel to make up his mind about in or out! This photo below is not an action shot, just a picture of Drexel poking his head out the doggy door to look outs…

Tuesday Travels: Red Butte Garden

Last Saturday, John and I spent the afternoon at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah.  When we first arrived, we entered the visitor's center to pay the admission fee, then we walked upstairs to see the special events of the day: a glass exhibit, and an orchid show. I was expecting that maybe there would be a glass-blowing demonstration, but the exhibit was simply a display of glass items for sale. However, it was still interesting to see. 

The orchid show was beautiful. I haven't had good luck in keeping orchids alive, so I'm impressed when I see orchids not only alive, but thriving. 



When I couldn't take the warm humid orchid room any longer, we ventured outside. We had never been to Red Butte Garden before, and I wasn't sure what to expect, especially in November, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only were trees, shrubs, and grasses interesting, but some flowers were still blooming, too. 



Trails meander all over the place, leading from one theme…

Ten Things of Thankful: Welcome, November!

Though I prefer "falling back" to "springing forward," my body still doesn't seem to know what time it is, so I guess it's OK if I'm posting this on a later day than I normally do. There is no limit to when we can be thankful. 

1. John and I went to the temple. The temple closest to us is currently closed for deep cleaning, so we took the opportunity to go to the Draper Temple for the first time. I have often admired it from a distance; it's so beautiful up against the mountains. I'm thankful for the peace found in temples. 




2. On the evening before Halloween, my yard was filled with teenagers. They were happily, voluntarily, raking leaves. They filled several bags, then moved on to another house on my street. (They even took the bags away when they were done!) I'm thankful for their help. 

3. On Halloween night, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the trick-or-treaters we received. The holiday was as I remembered it from decades ago:…

Six Sentence Story: Up

Joining in with Girlie on the Edge again for this week's Six Sentence Story. The prompt: Up. 



The sky, gloomy or cloudless (it doesn't matter), 
Couldn't stop the ascension.
Gratitude elevated,
Heart full.
A prayer of thanks
Reached the heavens.

***************
(I recognize that either my count or definition of a sentence is off this week, but hope that can be overlooked.) :-)