23 July 2009

My Pioneers

My pioneers came from Texas. I say they are my pioneers because they we're the first ones in my family to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My Grandma Cassie was originally from East Texas where her family lived as migrant workers, mostly picking cotton.

Her family met the mormon missionaries when she was young and she and her family were baptised. My grandma was always an inspiration to me. Most of her immediate family fell away from the church but she remained faithful. Because of grandma's example, a lot of descendants have joined the church and many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have served missions.

Stapp Family - Mineola Texas
The days of the pioneers are not past.
There are modern pioneers who's achievements
are an inspiration to all of us.
Dallin H. Oaks

21 July 2009

Childhood Memories

Lancaster, California - Good Old Days

I was born in Lancaster, California and lived the first twenty years of my life there. I have lots of good memories going to 4th of July picnics at Jane Reynolds Park, Christmas parades on Lancaster Boulevard, outings in springtime to the beautiful poppy fields. Lots of family fun. My parents taught me good principles even though I didn't always know it at the time. I can remember one time in particular when I was five years old and my mom took all us kids to Safeway Grocery Store for shopping. I wanted one of the penny candies that was in the big basket on the side of the isle. My mom refused. So, I thought, "no one would notice one little candy missing from that gigantic basket." So, when no one was looking, I snuck a piece. As I put the piece of taffy in my mouth, the sickest feeling suddenly came over me. "GUILT" I had never felt so sick inside in my whole entire young life. When we had gotten into the car to leave, my mom could tell something was wrong with me. So she quizzed me and it didn't take long to start bawling and owning up to my transgression. She told me that I wouldn't feel better until I paid for the candy. So she gave me a penny and took me back into the store and I stood in line sheepishly, still feeling terrible for what I had done. I gave the sale's clerk the penny and he asked what it was for. I admitted to him that I had taken candy without paying for it and told him I would never do it again. With a smile he asked, "You promise?" I nodded, trying not to look into his face for fear I might start crying again. My mom was so right. I felt like a big burden had been lifted. I learned very early in life how important it was to own up to my mistakes. I'm grateful for that lesson as well as a lot of the other things my parents taught me over the years.

Come little child, and together will learn,
of His commandments, that we may return
Home to His presence, to live in His sight
Always, always, to walk in the light.
Clara W. McMaster

18 July 2009

I'm Soooooo Jealous!

Angie, 2009 All-Star Game St. Louis
Busch Stadium - Wishing I was there!

Right time - Right place. Angie lives really close to Busch Stadium in St. Louis and a friend from church knew someone who got them free tickets to the Major League All-Star Game. It's not fair. I'm the big sports fan. Oh well. I'm glad someone got to go . . even if it wasn't me.
Thursday we made it to Lancaster. Upon arrival, my mom was put back in the hospital for her continual struggle with congestive heart failure. It's hard to see her with failing health. My sister and her family have been the real troopers, taking care of both my parents and of course all with the help of Sister Teresa Kelly, their health caregiver. She's a true blessing.

14 July 2009

Life is a Highway

Life has truly been a highway for me the last two days. On this trip, I decided to make things easy and travel Interstate 40 the whole way across the country. I can get on it about a half an hour from my house. Its not the way "Mapquest" told me to go but of course: My life is a highway and I want it my way at least for the next four days anyway. I've really always wanted to go through the mountains into Tennesee so, I did and loved it. Nothing too exciting. . . just a lot of driving, pondering and beautiful country. Kids are holding out well. Tennessee is something. I've never been in a state where literally most of the radio stations are either country western or evangelists. I had a tough time just finding a normal talk radio station. But the people seem really down to earth and friendly here just like North Carolina. Second day we made it through Arkansas and on to Oklahoma. Weather was pretty cool until we got to Oklahoma. I don't care what anyone says, dry heat or nothing when its 100 degrees its just plain hot! Oh well, we'll endure. Can't wait to see family in California.

12 July 2009

"California Here I Come"

I grew up the first twenty years of my life in Lancaster, California. My parents, sister and her family still live there. My mom went into the hospital about a month ago and she's been in and out of a nursing care facility and the hospital ever since. I've had an aching feeling to see my folks but didn't think we could wing it but I decided to do a road trip. A few years ago, my two youngest and I drove with my daughter Angie to get her car to Utah at college and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be so the kids and I are going to try it again. I have a lot of childhood memories that I hope to blog while on my trip. I pray we have a safe trip. We'll be starting our adventure tomorrow. So,
"California here I come, right back where I started from."

04 July 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I'm so grateful for the freedoms we have in our country. I'm especially thankful that I can follow the "dictates of my own conscience" and practice a religion of my own choosing. I believe that things in the world aren't always going to be peaceful around us but its at that moment that I realize how important one's own inner peace is.

My latest favorite quote comes from the late prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley:

"I doubt not that we shall have days of trial….But I am certain that if we will emphasize the greater good and turn our time and talents from vituperative criticism, from constantly looking for evil, and lift our sights to what may be done to build strength and goodness in our nation, America will continue to go forward with the blessing of the Almighty and stand as an ensign of strength and peace and generosity to all the world.”


01 July 2009

Key Lime Pie Recipe and Memories

I went on my mission for the church June 15th 1978. I served in the Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Mission. I was called to be a spanish speaking missionary so I spent a majority of my time in the most southern part of Florida. One of the best parts of being a missionary is getting to eat new foods. Since I served with the spanish community, cuban cuisine was what I sampled the most, as well as food from all parts of Central and South America. It was wonderful! I love all spanish food but I wasn't particlularly fond of their desserts (probably why I stayed thin on my mission along with all that tracting) Anyway, I did love something that originated in the Florida Keys and that is "Key Lime Pie." I was first introduced to it on my mission and it is delicious. Enjoy this recipe!
Key Lime Pie

16 Graham Crackers
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Stick of butter
4 Large to Extra Large Yolks
1 - 14 oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice (about 12 key limes)
2 teaspoons Lime Zest

INSTRUCTIONS: Crust: Mix the ingredients and press them into a 9" pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 10 - 12 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a rack to cool. Pie Filling: Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow, don't over mix. Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk. Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and the zest, continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds). Pour the mixture into the pie shell and bake at 350F for 12 minutes. After cooled, top with whipped cream. Yum, this recipe is best if using fresh ingredients.
"I am not a glutton -
I am an explorer of food”
~Erma Bombeck

Me, 1978, Hialeah Florida