Halloween 2013

Last year we had quite a run on the house with trick-or-treaters.  This year, I think we had a maximum of 10 kids.

One of them was so cute, he said, “This house is scary”.  The funny thing is, we don’t have any decorations up, but our front door is massive with a huge bronze lion knocker that looks like it belongs on a haunted house.

So, I am glad I only bought candy that I don’t mind eating.

Speaking of candy…

Watching the Food Network’s show Chopped has paid off.  I was given some fudge that wasn’t very good.  As I was watching Chopped, I thought… I should repurpose the fudge!

I took the fudge (which was already cut in to 1″ cubes), placed it in a sauce pan with a little butter, heated it on low until the butter and fudge were melting, and slowly added heavy cream.  I then brought it to a low simmer, and ran it through a strainer.  (It had peanuts in it that were raw.  The raw peanut texture and taste did not go well with the deep cocoa flavor.)

Ta-da!  Hot fudge sauce!

I spent the first 17 years of my life eating my dad’s homemade fudge.  It was horrible.  It was grainy, crystalized sugar and cocoa.  And, if you didn’t eat it while it was warm, the tooth-feel was like having foil touch your silver fillings.  Ewwwww!

In a cooking class, we made the exact same recipe my dad used.  It was the one on the back of the can of cocoa.  I was dreading the results.  But, at the end, the teacher walked up and said, “Brent, you need to really beat until it is creamy.”

Wow, that was the step my dad missed.  I was so excited I went home and announced to the family, “I know why dad’s fudge turns out crystalized.”

I’m sure now, if I was given crystalized fudge, I could repurpose it in to something delightfully tasty with a pleasing texture.

Some other candy making tips I learned in my two years of cooking classes are…  1) don’t scrape the sides of the pan – the crystals will cause the candy to crystalize, 2) cover with a lid momentarily between stirring and let the steam rinse the sides of the pan – this helps prevent crystalizing, 3) be patient and don’t try to rush the process, 4) don’t add water-based liquids to chocolate, add fats.

And now for something completely different…

I watched a news broadcast where they interviewed a young man who had just gone through the process of signing up for health insurance.  The young man, a student holding a part-time job, barely makes enough to put him over the edge so he doesn’t qualify for Medicare.  He was angry and upset.  He said, “I thought it was going to be free.”

I’m not sure why anyone thought it was going to be free.  Basically, those who get free coverage now, still get free coverage.

Right now I’m counting my blessings that my rates stayed very close to the same, and I get to keep my existing insurance coverage (others haven’t been so lucky) because my plan qualifies.  (It’s already a high-deductible plan as outlined in the “bronze” plans.)  And, my wife gets to stay on my policy.  Of course, that could change comes 2015.

The Heritage Foundation has presented an alternative to the Affordable Health Care Act.  The Affordable Health Care Act is over 2000 pages long.  The Heritage Foundation plan is only 10 pages.  (see http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2013/pdf/BG2847.pdf )  It is sad Congress had to kill so many trees to create their plan.

Step One – The County

Tonight I attended the county planning meeting for the special use permit for the house.  My application was proceeded by Tops application to build a store in Walworth.  What an asset that store will be to the area.  It will be about the same distance as Walmart.  (I would rather shop at Tops than Walmart any day of the week.)

When my application came up, I didn’t expect any questions, but some concerns were voiced around the issues of housing indigent people paying with welfare funds.  I assured them that isn’t going to be the case.  Other questions were about off-street parking, had the village/town code enforcement seen the property, etc.  In the end, the application was approved unanimously with the ledger that the town would inspect on a regular basis.  (I think that’s an automatic every 24 months like they do our apartments.)

Next, the town meeting.


Mark’s is Open

Mark’s Pizzeria is open and I was excited to see 3 of my prints hanging in the dining room.

I went by after my missionary meeting and bought a slice of meat-lovers pizza.  It was delicious.

While I was there I saw several other Palmyra folks enjoying lunch on this opening day.

The dining room looks like it will seat about 80 people, or so.  Outside, there’s a little patio to the west that looks like it will seat about 30 people.

This is really going to be nice during Hill Cumorah Pageant!

I had a nice time at the temple tonight.  A young man whom I have been training officiated.  His parents were there and it was really nice to see how proud his parents were of him.  He leaves on his mission to Buenos Aires next week.

You Should See Mark’s

You should see Mark’s Pizzeria!  They have done such a nice job.  Now, here’s a picture from last May…

May 4th, 2013
May 4th, 2013


The fire was a real blow to the community, but thanks to Mark Crane, owner of Mark’s Pizzeria, a new building has been built and it opens tomorrow.

copyright 2013 db walton
The New Mark’s Pizzeria, Palmyra, New York

It’s not exactly the same as the old building, but it is definitely a nice looking building.  He has seating inside and outside.

While out taking my walk, I also ran in to a couple of missionaries who dropped their car off for its annual inspection.

copyright 2013 db walton
Missionaries Walking Down Main Street Palmyra

I thought it was a bit funny that one had a jacket, and the other was in shirt sleeves.  It’s that time of year when people are either cold or comfortable.


Coconut Green Curry

I got a little heavy-handed with the green curry paste when I made some coconut green curry sauce for dinner tonight.  It was a bit spicy, but it wasn’t one of those spicy dishes where the more you ate, the more you regretted it.

Elder and Sister Haskell joined me and the three elders.  (We have three serving here currently.)  I also served some squash, glazed/braised carrots, rice, and for dessert, I made kheer.

Today at church was the Primary program.  The children did a wonderful job and when it came time for the meeting to end I found myself thinking, “Already?”

I returned home and felt an odd headache coming on.  So, I checked the side effects of melatonin, and headache is one of them.  I’ll give it a try again tonight, and if I have a headache again tomorrow it will be time to rethink the melatonin.  Or, I might try 1/2 a tablet.

I spent the afternoon walking in the grove.

copyright 2013 db walton
Smith Farm Apple Orchard
copyright 2013 db walton
A Self-Portrait: Sitting in the Grove

Bruce R. Didn’t Mince Words

The late Bruce R. McConkie was one of my favorite people to listen to.   This is a man whom I met on a few occasions.   His talks were direct, to the point, and he didn’t mince words.  I recently re-read a talk given at BYU in 1980.  Then, after reading it, I listened to it just so I could hear his voice and inflection.  (You can find the talk I’m referencing here: http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=658 )

I pondered the phrase, “There is no salvation in believing a false doctrine.”  As his talk goes on, he talks about the “The Seven Deadly Heresies.”  (You can go to the link and read the talk as to what they are.)

He also said, “What we believe determines what we do.”  Wow!  Is that a powerful statement.  I found myself asking, “Do I believe tenants that are contrary to the doctrine of Christ?  Do I believe that God will save me in my sins or do I believe that he will save me from my sins?”  (See Alma 11:37)

So, I listened to the talk again.  And, although he doesn’t go in to a lot of specifics, I would compare the talk to Alma Chapter 5 in the Book of Mormon.  I also thought of the often repeated phrase by the Savior, “He that hath ears to hear, let him.”

It’s a good talk.  I highly recommend it to all members of the church.


I visited the Palmyra Pharmacy today to ask if there is something better (safer) than Benadryl for getting a good sleep.  I ended up getting some melatonin.  Using it makes sense.  I suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and I have low Vit. D levels (which can go along with S.A.D.), and since the body uses sunlight to produce melatonin, I thought I’d give it a try.

From there, I went looking for a good pair of shoes.  Seriously?  Doesn’t anyone make a decent pair of shoes any more?  I found shoes costing in the $130 range that were made like junk, and most of the cheaper ones were the same way.  Frankly, the only difference between those $130 shoes and the $40 shoes is a price tag.

I guess I’m overly picky when it comes to shoes.  My feet don’t take well to synthetic uppers.  They don’t breath enough and leave my feet feeling swollen, sweaty and itchy.  A lot of the shoes said, “uppers:  leather (synthetic).”  How can something synthetic be called leather?

One of my earliest recollections was sitting in the shoe section of a store, and being measured for a pair of Buster Brown shoes.  The salesman measured my feet – both width and length.  Shoes came in A, B, C, D, E, EE, etc., widths.  A show was meant to fit both in length and width.

Now, you go shoe shopping and they say might say “wide”, but for a person with a narrow foot, normal is wide and wide is too wide.

I ended up leaving the store empty handed and discouraged.

Forgotten Coat

First thing I did this morning was rendezvous with a fellow networker to pickup my coat that I left behind yesterday morning.  I was so focused on getting Elizabethe to the airport on time I left the networking meeting without my jacket… and without my presidential box of stuff.  (I’m serving as president of Tri County Networkers for the next 6 months.)

From there, I decided to save a book customer the Amazon shipping, so I personally delivered the book along with a refund of her shipping.  Since the customer is on Route 31, just a mile away from where I had to pickup my jacket, I figured, why not?

Next, while I was out that way, I decided to check out an old cemetery.

copyright 2013 db walton
St. Patrick’s

I spent a good portion of the day installing exit lights in the basement.  I was told I need to install them over the exit doors for when I have classes down there.  Now I have two hard-wired exit lights, with battery backup (in case of a power outage) and flood lights (which come on during a power outage).

First Frosty Morning

Fortunately, we still have leaves on the trees.  We had our first frost this morning which might bring out more of the autumn colors, which so far this year, have been a bit on the yellow side.

I took Elizabethe to the airport for her trip to California.  I’ll be bach’ing it for 10 days.  I’m already thinking about what I’ll cook for myself.  (I normally cook, but there are foods Elizabethe won’t eat that I am craving right now.)

On the way to an outdoor photo session today, it started to rain.  It went all day without raining, and now it starts?  But, after a little prayer, and upon arriving at the client’s home, the rain stopped.  And, it didn’t rain for the entire session.  God hears even the simplest prayers.

Pearly Whites

Today was my semi-annual teeth cleaning.  It’s kind of cool that they use digital x-rays now.  They can tell if they got a good shot immediately.  Now, the only thing I noticed missing was the display software doesn’t merge all the images together so you get a nice full view of the teeth.  Instead, you look at it and say, “Oh, that’s the same tooth as that last shot.”

Dental science has come a long way.

I decided to do some painting today.  The weather was threatening rain, so I didn’t think it a good idea to take a walk with my camera.

My first painting was one of the cooper’s shop at the Smith Farm.  The second one was one of the Wildey Family.  I’m still working on the 2nd one, but I decided to stop painting the cooper shop.  (That’s how you know a painting is done.  You stop working on it.)

Sample of How It Looks Framed
Sample of How It Looks Framed
copyright 2013 db walton
The Cooper Shop Late Summer

Being a CSM and Weekly Meetings

Being a Church Service Missionary (CSM) and having weekly meetings with other CSMs called to the same position is fun.  It is fun to hear what the other photographers serving as CSMs are doing, and what the church wants.

Did you know there is a, for lack of a better term, trade show for the church and technology?

I didn’t until our last couple of Tuesday meetings.  Today, the showed us a poster prepared by one of the departments for the technology show recently held in SLC.  This really brought to light how big the church has grown.  The church has really been brought out of obscurity.

copyright 2013 db walton
1830 Edition Book of Mormon Reproduction