Church and the Grove

Our guests joined us in church. The sacrament talk themes were the 12th Article of Faith. Brothers Johnson and Baker talked.

After church, we had a picnic lunch at the Smith Farm. While there, President and Sister Christianson pulled in with the sisters from the mission office. It was nice to see President Christianson again before he leaves. They were here for their last visit to the grove before going home.

Judy, Brian and Girls in the Sacred Grove
Judy, Brian and Girls in the Sacred Grove

We had a nice walk through the grove, and then one of the sisters gave us a short tour of the log home.

Brian and Judy and Girls in the Barn at the Smith Farm
Brian and Judy and Girls in the Barn at the Smith Farm


Elizabethe and I came home after that and I started getting dinner ready – pulled pork, salt potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and a yummy dessert consisting of a caramel pecan cookie topped with milk chocolate.

Elders Brown and Rasmussen joined us for dinner.

Say, “Cheese”

Today I took our guests to the Heluva Good Cheese store. It’s a small country store that sells cheese (of course), jams, bread mixes and stuff like that.

We came back to the house and picked up Elizabethe and headed to Wegman’s (Pittsford Plaza) to have dinner. My eyes are always too big for my stomach when I get dinner there. When I got to the register, the girl says, “That will be seventy-one dollars and…”, I stopped listening at seventy-one.

I leaned over and looked at the summary of the items on the screen. I noticed the charge for the soda was around $35. I then looked at the quantity, and it read, “22”. She had double-punched the 2 key.

Whew. I’m glad I didn’t buy that much food.

Earlier in the store, I had commented that good cheese is wasted on children as we were sampling some brie cheese. Sure enough, the youngest one didn’t take well to the strong flavors of the cheeses. Perhaps that’s why kids like mild cheese like American and string cheese.

I’m glad tomorrow is Sunday. I could use a bit of a break from all of the running around to see things.

A Break from the Rain

Our day started off with a trip to drop off the mission group portrait at the mission office, followed by a trip to Everson’s Maple Syrup. Les was there and gave our guests a very nice tour of the sugar house and explained the full process. They picked up a bunch of goodies, and I bought two gallons to replace the two gallons we used this last year.

Les also showed the girls the chicken coup and gave them three eggs: A regular hen egg, a bandy egg, and a duck egg.

Les Everson Showing Eggs
Les Everson Showing Eggs


I took our guests to Sauder’s and it was wet and raining the entire way there. They enjoyed Sauder’s, and we picked up some of their sandwiches, and headed to Watkins Glen.

Part way there, my phone rang. The caller ID said it was Judy. I said, “Judy, did you butt dial me?”

She started looking for her phone, and she then realized, she didn’t have her phone. The last she recalled having her phone was when she took the girls to use the bathroom.

I gave her my phone to call Sauder’s, and sure enough, someone had turned it in and they were holding it. My guess was the dialed the last number Judy called (my phone), and that was the call I got from Judy’s phone.

We got back there, Judy got her phone and purse back, and we were back on the road. The girls we hungry, so we stopped at the Peter Whitmer Farm and ate our sandwiches. The rain stopped while we ate our lunch, and we enjoyed a dry lunch. While we were there, they wanted to check out the cabin.

By the time we got to Watkins Glen, it was about 5pm. We hiked the canyon, and then headed home. We no sooner left Watkins Glen and it started pouring again. We lucked out. We did not have to eat or hike in the rain.

Our Guests at Watkins Glen
Our Guests at Watkins Glen


By the time we got home it was about 10pm, so we skipped dinner and just had some snacks. (Stuff we bought as Sauder’s.)

California Friends

Friends from California arrived yesterday. A lady I worked with at Pacific Bell (now AT&T), came with her two daughters and boyfriend to spend a week with us.

A couple of their suitcases became lost in transit, so they headed to Eastview Mall to pickup some items they would need. By the time they returned it was late, so we walked down to Chill-n-Grill. I think most of us ordered kiddie or 1/2 kiddie cones. (Smalls are too large. “That’s a SMALL?”)

Judy’s two girls have been very well behaved and good mannered. Both look like her, but the smallest looks like a miniature version of her.

Touring Palmyra
Touring Palmyra


This morning, we headed to Corning, New York, so they could tour the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG for short).  The drive seemed to be longer than normal, but a stop for lunch allowed the little girls to have a break from the boredom of the drive.  Before we got to Corning, it started to pour.  It was coming down in buckets.

We made our way through the museum for the first few hours, and then they decided to sign up for some of the workshops.  Judy made a flower, while one of the girls made a picture frame, and the other a clock.  Brian and I stood by and watched.

Fused Glass Projects
Fused Glass Projects
Reading About an Exhibit
Reading About an Exhibit
Girls Look at Stained Glass Exhibit
Girls Look at Stained Glass Exhibit
Heat Maping
Heat Mapping

It was a fun day and we ended it with some Chinese food from Happiness Garden.

Pandora’s Box

When it comes to the chastity, my defense is simple, “Because God says so.” And, when it comes to marriage between a man and a woman, it is the same, “Because God says so.”

The myth of Pandora deals with the first human woman created by the gods. The story has it that she opens a jar (aka Pandora’s Box) that releases all evil in to the world.

I’ve stated this before, and I will state it again…. Marriage was ordained of God, created in the beginning with Adam and Eve. It was a sacred rite that bore with it a couple of charges: 1) For Adam and Eve to love each other and cleave unto no one else, and 2) to multiply and replenish the earth.

Various governments through out the ages have sought to control marriage. It is my understanding that modern “civil” (non-church marriages) were granted when a minister refused to marry a couple… for whatever reason. Then, over the decades, marriage became a form of tax relief, and then a form of taxation, work benefits, and so forth. Thus, the instruction of marriage became politicized.

Basically, I believe the government should get completely out of the marriage business and leave it up to churches. If you want to go to a church that performs marriages between a man and a man, that’s your religious right. And, if you don’t like that a church won’t marry you, don’t go to that church.

I believe 5 justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have opened Pandora’s Box. (Please do not read in to this that people with same-sex attraction are evil. That’s jumping to a wrong conclusion. I do believe that sex between a man and a man, between a woman and a woman, and between an unmarried man and woman is wrong according to God’s commandments.) The evil perpetrated on the people of this country is this…

At some point, someone is going to sue a church, pastor, minister, etc., because they are denied marriage in that religion due to the fact that marriage is not between a man and a woman. If a church believes homosexual relationships are sinful, then they should be able to believe that way. And, if a church believes differently, they too have the right to their belief. The problem comes when someone is forced to act against their belief system.

You don’t have to agree with me; that is your agency. I won’t force you to see things my way. Please don’t force me to act against my belief system.

Business Collateral

When I first went to work for Pacific Bell in 1990, my group was part of the marketing department and I heard the word collateral used in a way I had never heard before. I always thought of it as something you make available in case a loan defaults. Then, with the Gulf Wars, you heard a lot about collateral damage in reference to unintentional damage. So, what were they talking about in our department meetings?

They were talking about flyers and promotional material – business collateral, marketing collateral, etc.

Well, today I spent most of the day working on marketing collateral for the studio. This is time consuming stuff you have no idea if it is going to pay off, but you do it because if you don’t do it, people won’t know about your business.

That said, I managed to also order some products for the Art in the Yard Sale that will take place on July 20th.

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the temple. Our shift was down a few people so there were some last minute changes, but in the end, everything turned out fine.

4th Anniversary

Four years ago on June 22nd, I left California and moved to Palmyra, New York. It has been a good decision. Shortly after moving here, I started this blog –

Today mark’s the 4th Anniversary of my blog. Well over 1400 posts means I’ve been consistent about blogging for 4 years.

I’ve also gained a good following of readers, and I am very grateful to you for reading and keeping up on my writings.

Today I took a walk down to the village and took a couple of pictures to submit to the church. Here’s one…


The type says, “Palmyra”, only it’s mirror image because that’s how it would be set for printing.

Pageant 2013 Sign-Up Sheet

Today marked the start of the sign-ups for Pageant 2013. They are looking for people to help with security, parking, and more. I signed up for the Monday Morning slot. I may sign up for more, but I have to check all the schedules for the studio and house.

We had 7 guests last night. It was a busy weekend.

Sisters Sumpsion and Anderson came to dinner tonight. It was Sister Sumpsion’s first dinner appointment. She’s been out less than a week.

I fixed some roasted chicken thighs, garlic mashed potatoes, Elizabethe made a salad, and we had some pickled beets she put up last summer. The chicken turned out great. Now I just need to figure out where I got the great rub that I used on the chicken. (It may have been something at the dollar store.)

After dinner, Elizabethe wasn’t feeling well, so she went to bed, and I went to the broadcast from the Seminar for New Mission Presidents. What a great broadcast.

I was especially touched by President Packer’s comments. It was a bit of a farewell address. He commented that he doesn’t think he’ll be around much longer, so it was a bit emotional. He closed his remarks with one of the strongest testimonies of the Savior. One sentence spoken very powerfully.

Speaking of President Packer…

The one time I attended General Priesthood in the Tabernacle, I got there very early, and as soon as the doors opened, I grabbed a seat as close as I could to the front and in the center. While I stood near my seat, waiting for the session to start, President Packer came in the Tabernacle. There were only a few of us in the general seating area. He came down the aisle, walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m Elder Packer,” as if I didn’t know who he was. It was said humbly and with a warm smile.

I said, “I know. It is a pleasure to meet you in person.”

Elder Packer proceeded to ask where I was from. When he found out I was a student at B.Y.U., he asked what I was studying. I told him I was a chemistry major. He was very impressed as he eyed my thick physics and chemistry text books. We stood there and talked for some time, and he didn’t act as though he had anywhere else to be. As our conversation wound down, he commented that he should probably go get ready for conference.

He is also a very accomplished artist. (See his work here.) His bird carvings are just amazing.

After the broadcast, I felt uplifted and excited about the 70,000+ missionaries currently serving.

The Amazing English Language

I recognize words change meaning, and in the world of photography (as much as it irritates me) the use of “edit” often means to retouch a photograph. So, pardon me if you don’t hear me use the term in reference to retouching. To me, it is an indication of a lack of knowledge of both words and their definitions and the history of photographic techniques.

English is the only language I command, and even at that, sometimes words don’t come easy. I can understand a bit of Spanish, and speak even fewer words, but my brain just doesn’t handle a language where sentence structure is so different.

Recently, I posted on a photography magazine web site that it bugs me that people use the phrase, “edit a photo”. I’ve been exposed (no pun intended) to photography since I was 11 years old. I developed film in the family bathroom back in 1967. I never heard anyone say, “You should edit this to make the sky darker.” No, instead they would say, “You should burn-in the sky to make it darker.”

When it came to other changes, you would hear people say, “You should retouch that blemish.” Nobody ever said, “Can you edit out that zit.”

The word edit, when used with photographs, was used to denote the process of culling pictures. An editor of a magazine would “edit out” the photographs they didn’t want to use. When putting together a slide show, you would “edit” which images you wanted, and the order they would appear. The word “edit” was used in reference to pictures included (or not) and the order they would appear. It was never used as a substitute for retouching.

So, one guy responds to my posting with vulgarity. It isn’t worth responding back to him in that forum, it would only stir up contention, but my reply to his response would be this…

Yes, I am a bit compulsive when it comes to the use of certain words and their context.  I also find it offensive that one would result to the use of vulgarity in a discussion of the use of words.  Using vulgarity demonstrates a lack of skill in expressing one’s point.

In addition, in his case, the use of a noun as an adjective demonstrates his further misunderstanding of the word he used.

I think people who swear think they are being more powerful.  I disagree.  They come across as being controlling, manipulative, and bullies.  Life has taught me that controlling, manipulative, bullying people are cowards deep down inside and try to use strong language out of frustration of not getting their way, or wanting to feel more powerful than the person they are attacking.

I recognize words change meaning, and in the world of photography (as much as it irritates me) the use of “edit” often means to retouch a photograph.  So, pardon me if you don’t hear me use the term in reference to retouching.  To me, it is an indication of a lack of knowledge of both words and their definitions and the history of photographic techniques.

Warp Speed

Today Elizabethe worked in the garden with help from a local high school student and Sisters Sumpsion and Anderson. One of the yard projects was getting the walk way to the studio laid out. I took a break from the studio and put mortar between the stones. It looks nice.

Time seems to be in warp speed. I swear, the day is over as quickly as it starts. I wonder how in the world I got things done when I was younger. It is as though the clock moved slower then, days, weeks and months were longer… even the years seemed longer.

Today Elizabethe worked in the garden with help from a local high school student and Sisters Sumpsion and Anderson. One of the yard projects was getting the walk way to the studio laid out. I took a break from the studio and put mortar between the stones. It looks nice.

Walkway to Studio
Walkway to Studio
Walkway to Studio
Walkway to Studio

Parts of the garden are doing real well.  Our onions, garlic, horseradish, dill and rhubarb are growing like weeds.

Garlic and Horseradish
Garlic and Horseradish
Flower Bed Near Rear Door
Flower Bed Near Rear Door

I substituted for a friend at the temple tonight.  I saw President and Sister Tanner there.  I haven’t seen them for some time, and it was nice to see them briefly.

Oh, we had someone leave a message stating they were not going to be in pageant this year, and so we have an open room for some of the days.  Let us know soon if you want to reserve the room.  (Payment is due upon reservation.)  During pageant, we have a n0-refund policy… unless someone else books the room.  (We do that because rooms are hard to find, and last minute cancellations are hard to fill because it is difficult to get the word out.  So, booking this room will mean this couple will get a refund based on your payment.)