Monthly Archives: March 2014

Breakfast for Lunch

Breakfast for Lunch

Our bishop/home teacher (he’s both) invited us to breakfast at lunch time.  (Yes, you can do that sort of stuff when you’re retired… the bishop… not me.)  We had a an enjoyable bacon, eggs and pancake breakfast and then a home teaching lesson.

It’s funny, yesterday morning the place was covered with snow, and today, it is melting as fast as it was falling the day before.   As the temperatures warm, all of that thick wet snow is disappearing.

On our way to the bishop’s house, there were a couple of trucks out front.  I noticed an orange NYSEG truck.  When we came back, one of our maple trees was gone.  All that was left was a stump and sawdust.

You’d think they would contact us.

“Hey, we’re going to cut down one of your trees and haul it off,” is what I would expect to hear.


I’m not sure who to call.

“Hey, did you cut down my tree?” would be a question that I’m sure would result in a day of being transferred all over their phone system.

And, who said they can have all the wood?

Do I have to cut my trees down and split the wood before they get to it?

Is this a race to see who can cut down trees first?

I wonder if they have a lady there named Lucy.  I’d like to contact her and say, “Lucy, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.”

Something tells me if I offer to let them keep the wood in exchange for a lower gas bill this winter the they are just going to laugh at me.

Eastern Cooking

Eastern Cooking

No, I’m not talking about cooking along the east coast of the U.S.  I’m talking about cooking in the eastern countries:  Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, etc.  Mostly, I’m talking about the food I had while in Israel.  That’s the eastern cooking I’m talking about.

I didn’t have a lot of variety while I was there.  In fact, I didn’t see a lot of variety, but I did like some of the flavors.  One of those flavors were the kebobs I had.  They were chunks of ground beef, lightly seasoned, on the end of a cinnamon stick.

Today I decided to make kebobs like that.  I searched the internet for the appropriate spices, and found a recipe for ras el hanout – a mixture of lots of herbs and spices.  I mixed that with the ground beef along with diced onions, parsley and cilantro, formed it on the end of a cinnamon stick, and broiled them in the oven.  Perfect.  They tasted just like the ones I had in Israel.

Because it kind of mild in flavor, I served it with some homemade mustard.  Another first.  I had never made my own mustard before and it is quite easy.  I’ll post the recipe under Cooking with Brent (see sidebar).

It was the elders turn for dinner to night.  I explained what it was we were eating, and I think they enjoyed the novelty of it.  After all, who doesn’t like cinnamon sticks, and who doesn’t like burgers — burger on a stick.

After church today I headed directly to the Smith Farm for some assignment shots.  (Yeah, when you’re working for the church voluntarily I guess it is okay to work on Sunday.)

Eastern Cooking - copyright 2014 db walton

View from the Log Home

copyright 2014 db walton - Eastern Cooking

Smith Farm in the Winter

As you can see, we got snow today.  Here it is March 30th, and we are still getting snow.  This has been an unusually cold winter.

In Sunday School, Matt and I did a presentation on Christ’s last week using photos from Israel.  We only had about 30 minutes, but we made it through a good portion of the presentation.


Women’s Conference

Women’s Conference

I was asked to take a group photo of the sisters at the Woman’s Conference.  This was a very historic event.  Millions of women gathered all over the world, 22,000 alone in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, as well as large gatherings at the Marriott Center at BYU and thousands of stake centers.

I took a photo looking into the congregation as well as one from the side.  I only had a few minutes as it took a while to get everyone seated.

I am amazed that the media makes a big deal about a few (hand full) of women who want to attend the Priesthood Session of Conference.  Yet, this large gathering of women, world wide, gets hardly any attention from the mainstream media.  I often wonder if the mainstream media hates family, American and apple pie.

Locks and Keys

Earlier in the day I took a walk and took photos of locks and keys.  I got an e-mail late Friday night from Salt Lake saying the want pictures of locks and keys by Monday.  So, I took a walk and got some pictures and I also took some pictures here in the Beckwith Mansion (

Snow Again

They are saying we are going to get a lot of snow again.  It looks like the snow has changed to rain, but the temperatures are dropping.  It’s quite late and it is still raining (not snowing) so maybe there is a chance it will just be rain.




There is something delicious about hazelnuts and chocolate.  The popularity of Nutella speaks of that truth.  I recall discovering Nutella before it was so widely known in the USA.  It is the perfect complement to a good shortbread cookie in my opinion.

I have since tried other spreads.  Jif, the peanut butter company, makes one.  It’s good too, but the best can’t be found at the local supermarkets.  A few years ago, I was in a middle eastern grocery store and bought something that was a hazelnut and cocoa spread.  The taste and texture made me not ever want to eat Nutella again.  (Right now, laziness and selfishness keeps me from posting the name of the product.  Laziness because it would mean leaving my studio and walking to the house to get the name.  Selfishness because this is a small store and want to see it there the next time I go to buy some.  Just kidding… but somewhat serious.)

We drove all the way to that store today to buy some of this hazelnut spread.  There were 3 jars left on the shelf and I bought all three.  They had some other brands, but hey, when you’ve had the best you leave the rest.

While at that store, I discovered all sorts of hazelnut and chocolate candies.  I bought a sampling of several different ones.  So far, Elizabethe and I have sampled two of them.  One was not so good, the other was pretty good.  Again, it is hard to go wrong with hazelnut and chocolate.

We also hit Spice Bazaar and I picked up a bag of whole wheat flour, 20 pounds, for $6.99.  The Indian whole wheat is ground finer than the U.S. whole wheat flour you get at the grocery store.  It makes a more airy bread and can be used in other recipes without being heavy.  And, at 35 cents/pound, it’s a pretty decent deal.

After all of the shopping, I was pretty beat.  Oh, I did manage to get a new pillow.  Mine is all compressed and is like sleeping on a 4×12 beam of wood.  No wonder my neck has been hurting.   Can’t wait to try out the new pillow.

Okay, since you read this far, the name of that delicious, better-than-Nutella spread is Armella.  Thanks for reading my blog.




The MPWCC (Macedon Palmyra Walworth Chamber of Commerce – ) had its monthly Business After Hours at Oopsie Daisies in Macedon.  The owner, Chelsea DePoint, is a chamber board member, and she is also involved in two other business organizations with me.  Chelsea has really turned this store space in to quite the boutique – it’s spacious and offers quite a selection of gift items (in addition to being a florist.)

Oopsie Daisies - copyright 2014 db walton

Chelsea DePoint – Owner of Oopsie Daisies

The Business After Hours had quite an attendance.  It is nice to see so many local business people taking interest in our local businesses.  Local businesses build the economy more efficiently than non-locally owned businesses.

Prior to attending the Business After Hours, Elizabethe and I went to Les Thomas’ viewing.  It was so nice to see such a community outpouring of support.  Our former mayor was there, the police chief and sergeant was there, and lots of people came by to express their condolences to Joan and her family.  I’ve only known Les since 2006.  Some of these people have known less for decades.  Les Thomas will be missed.

On our way to the Business After Hours, I remembered that Chill-n-Grill is now open.  So, we went in for a small ice cream cone.  Even the small was too much.  I was stuffed.

I talked to the store owner, Jeff, who said, “We don’t sell ice cream; we sell smiles.”



Coco Puffs

Coco Puffs

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Persons of Interest, and the character Fusco referred to another character as “Coco Puffs”.  It took me a couple of seconds, but anyone growing up in the 60s and 70s can remember, “Kookoo for Coco Puffs” and crazy bird.  I just thought it was a funny way to call someone ‘crazy’.  (

Speaking of Coco Puffs, I was never a big fan.  I was more of a Cap’n Crunch kids.

The cold and the wind here have made it quite unbearable outside.  In spite of the sunshine, the wind chill is just, plain, cold.  I’m ready for some sunny days with no wind.

I’m ready for some long walks with my camera and talking pictures of flowers, and budding plants.  I’m ready for some hikes through the Sacred Grove as spring time emerges.  I’m ready for some warm weather.  I enjoy winter, but this year’s lower than normal temperatures are starting to make me miss warm weather.

Stay indoors too much, and you go Coco Puffs.


Here Before You Know It

Pageant Will Be Here Before You Know It

Yes, it is only March, but Hill Cumorah Pageant will be here before you know it.  July comes after June which is the month after May, and it is almost April, meaning May is only a little over a month away.  Yes, Pageant will be here before you know it.

I’ve been contacted by lots of people who state, “This will be my first time coming to Pageant…”

Let me offer some advice from someone who has only lived in Palmyra a few years:

  1. Don’t think you can do Pageant and Palmyra all in one day.  If you try, you are cheating yourself out of some rich experiences and you are also frustrating the local businesses (especially those who are trying to build a relationship with the Mormons.)

    here before you know it - copyright 2014 db walton

    Hill Cumorah Pageant

  2. Come prepared for rain or heat or cold.  Yes, the weather here changes quickly because we are surrounded by lakes.  It can be 40 and pouring rain one day, and 80 the next.  Bring an umbrella, a coat, and also some warm-weather clothes.
  3. Shop and stay locally if you can.  Rooms during pageant go quickly, so plan well ahead, but while you are here, eat and shop in the Village of Palmyra.  It brings goodwill to the Pageant and the church.

    here before you know it - copyright 2014 db walton

    Niagara Falls (Horseshoe Falls)

  4. Use Palmyra as your base for day trips to Fayette (Peter Whitmer Farm), Harmony (now the township of Oakland, PA), and Kirtland, Ohio.  And, add to that list some non-church sites like Niagara Falls, Watkins Glenn, and some of the museums in Rochester as well as the Erie Canal.  You can spend an entire week here and still not take it all in.
  5. Be friendly and polite.  We are a small village of a little under 4,000 people.  Everyone talks, and the locals are quite friendly.  Tens of thousands of tourist are descending on our little town and it does create a bit of chaos.  By being friendly and polite, even to the hecklers, you help keep Hill Cumorah Pageant a positive experience, even for those who may get stuck in traffic on their way to work.  (That’s because, traffic is unusual around here… except on Route 21 during Pageant.)
here before you know it - copyright 2014 db walton

Watkins Glen – 17 Waterfalls in 2 Miles

Don’t be shy.  Feel free to ask me questions regarding your visit.

Now, the fact that you’re reading this blog doesn’t mean you visited our main page.  Make sure you check us out at  We do rent rooms, but I will inform you right now we are completely booked for pageant.  But, if you want to come before or after pageant, we can accommodate you.

Pageant will be here before you know it.


Today’s been a chilly day.  They say comes Monday things will warm up, but then the temperatures will drop again.  So much for global warming.

Grandin Press Open House 2014

Grandin Press Open House 2014

They had a delightful open house at the Book of Mormon Publication Site (aka Grandin Building) last night.  There were lots of people who came to tour the facilities.  The missionaries dressed as historic figures to explain what went on in the building and the history of the printing of the Book of Mormon.

Grandin Press Open House 2014 copyright db walton

Finance Negotiations

Grandin Press Open House 2014 copyright db walton

The Book Store

Grandin Press Open House 2014 copyright db walton

E.B. Grandin

If you missed this year’s open house, it was a fun family event.  Like and follow their Facebook page:


There are other events like this throughout the year.  They are free and always family oriented.

It was saddened to learn that Les Thomas, owner of Candy Corner Fudge Square died last  Friday.  I had stopped in on the 17th to see how he was doing.  He wasn’t there.  I asked Joan, his wife, and she said he wasn’t doing well.  Les will be missed.

Les was the first friend I made in Palmyra.  My daughter and I visited his candy store on our first trip to Palmyra.  He was friendly and we talked a bit.  Then, on subsequent visits to Palmyra, I would always stop in and say, “Hi”, and we would talk about business and politics.

Then, last night, Dave (everyone in Palmyra knows Dave) came in the Grandin building.  He came up to me and said, “You know the Candyman, Les? He died.”

So, I walked down the street and took this picture.  This is for you Les.

Grandin Press Open House 2014 copyright db walton

R.I.P. Les Thomas
The Candyman of Palmyra

And, here is how I will always remember him…

copyright 2014 db walton

Les and Joan Thomas


Spring and Snow

Here it is, a couple of days in to spring, and it snowed this morning.  We only got about 1/4″ of an inch, but the temperatures are dropping and they say it is going to be bitter cold the next couple of days.  Add to that, we are still without a heater.

Today’s Sunday School lesson was about when Jacob sent some of his sons from Canaan back to Egypt for food.   There was a famine and they had heard that Egypt had grain in storage.  Well, having just visited “Canaan”, it was kind of cool to be able to relate to where that was.

Spring and Snow copyright 2014 db walton

Canaan Today

Having lived in the Sacramento Valley for many years, it is easy to understand the effects of a drought.  I could easily see this fertile valley being turned brown because of a drought.  It makes the entire story come to life when you can relate it to personal experience.

When we went to Triano’s the other day, we bought some ribs in a cook-in bag.  Today we put them to the test.  I followed the instructions on the bag, stuck it in the oven as directed, and an hour later we had very tender BBQ ribs.  Note to self:  Buy more!

I’m really loving my X-E1 (see B&H link below).  This camera is a great all around camera.  The ISO 1600 images are better than most cameras’ images shot at ISO 400 or below.  I’m definitely a Fujifilm fan now.

I used my X-E1 after church today to take some photos for  The instructor in priesthood used his iPad, Mac Book and projector as aids in teaching his lesson.  It worked out great for the assignment.

In all seriousness, if you are looking for a great deal, click on the B&H banner above and check out the X-E1.  Because the X-E2 is now out, the X-E1 has a reduced price.  For the money, you won’t find a better deal on a MILC camera with this type of quality.

Dad Turns 80

Today my dad turns 80 years old.  He’s in great shape for an 80 year old.  I remember years ago him commented that he would probably not see 70.  He pointed out several family members who died quite young.  I retorted saying, “Dad, but they all smoked.”

Well, the fact that he doesn’t smoke or partake of other harmful substances is the reason he’s made it to 80, and today he said he’s looking forward to his 90th.

On my mom’s side, there’s a split.  Her mom’s family is known for heart decease and not making it in to their 80s.  On her dad’s side, they are known to live in to their late 80s and beyond.  One of my grandpa’s sisters lived to be 101.  Grandpa lived to be almost 88.

So, when I average it all together, there’s no telling what longevity I will have.  Personally, if God doesn’t want me hanging around, I’m okay with that, but I’m okay with sticking it out as long has he allows.

Today Elizabethe and I saw a fantastic movie.  We went to the new Muppet Movie.  Talk about funny.  I highly recommend seeing it.

Because we went to a matinée we had time to come home and have dinner.  After dinner, we watched Jack Reacher.  Now, there’s another funny movie.  That movies has Dirty Harry written all over it.  The Jack Reacher character’s lines are so much like Harry Callahan’s.  And, it has a good Steve McQueen style car chase.  Another highly recommended movie.  (Note, there’s a lot of shooting and killing.)