A Response to a Popular E-mail

I’m sure you have received e-mails like the following:

 Dear Friend,

 How are you and the members of your family? I hope all are in good health. I’m Miss Tonia Edward the only child/daughter of my parent,

 I am 19 years old girl. I lost my parent, and I have an inheritance fund from my late mother, My parents were very wealthy farmers and cocoa merchant when they were alive, After the death of my father, long ago, my mother was controlling his business until she was poisoned by her business associates which she suffered and died. Before the death of my mother, she secretly called me on her bed side and disclosed to me about the sum of Nine million Five hundred thousand U.S dollars she left in suspense account in one of the bank.

 It was the money she intended to transfer overseas for investment before her sudden death She also instructed me that I should seek for a foreign partner in any country of my choice who will assist me transfer this money in overseas account where the money will be save and invested wisely, Because of the current problem I decided to transfer the money to abroad where it will be save and invested, therefore, I am crying and seeking for your kind assistance in the following ways:

 (1) To provide a safe bank account into where the money will be transferred for investment.

(2) To serve as a guardian of this fund since I am only 19 years old.

(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education and to secure a resident permit for me in your country.

 I will offer you 10% of the total amount for your willingness to help me, please kindly response to my mail immediately with your full personal information,

 Get back to me.

 Miss Tonia Edward.

My response:

I’m not sure how I’m your “Friend”, but I am concerned about your plight. 

Because things in the U.S. aren’t going to well with the current administration.  I’d rather keep things on a cash basis.  You say you’ll give me 10%.  That sounds fair.  I could use $950,000. 

So, here is how it will work.  E-mail me back with your bank account information.  Then, simply have them place the $9.5 million in a plastic trash bag and leave it in the park by the green bench near the playground.  Make sure they are all U.S. bills.  Tell them to come alone.  After I remove my 10%, I will deposit the rest of the cash in your bank account.  

Oh, and don’t bother coming over here.  Spend your money over there.  You’ll just end up having the IRS take it from you here.  Once they take it from you, our president will then loan it to his friend George Soros who will probably spend the money drilling for oil in your country anyway.  So, just save yourself the trouble.  (Oh, and you don’t need a guardian for your money since you are of a majority age. )

One final word… 

Use your money to invest in an education.  You need it.


You Know Who (after all, you contacted me)


Temple Presidency & Temple Missionaries

Today was a busy day.  The morning was full of administrative type work (backing up my server, copying files, etc.)  It is the type of stuff for which you wish you had an assistant who was on-the-ball and able to keep that stuff organized.

Tim Nickel started on the foundation of the 212 E Main Street building.  I met with him to get him started on that.

After lunch I photographed the temple presidency and all of the full-time temple missionaries.  We took a pictures of the group and each couple on the steps of the temple. 

Twenty-one Happy Couples
Twenty-one Happy Couples

Now, I would gather to guess that the average time-married for the above couples is 50 years (plus or minus).   I know for a fact that Elder and Sister Wallace just celebrated their 50th Anniversary.  Isn’t that cool!  In a day and age where people are lucky if their marriage last more than 2 years, here are a handful of couples who work at making their marriages last.  (A good reason for this is that Latter-day Saints are married for eternity in the temple — not “until death do you part”.)

I posted this picture because President Siebach (Palmyra Temple President) suggested all of the couples kiss.   At first, I think they were all too shy.  I said, “Ah, come on.  ALL of you!!!”  I had one chance for the shot and I got it.  :^)

Like any shoot, I went home and immediately started copying my memory cards. 

From there, it was off to Lowe’s to get more supplies for my remodel of the dry house.  Paint, stain, staples, screen, rafter trays, and another $125 plopped down for the job.  My plan was to come home and start painting the rafters.  However, I couldn’t find my roller tray and paint roller.  Uhg!  I should have bought new ones.  Two hours of hunting around. 

I did manage to get the spice rack on the wall.  So, the afternoon wasn’t an entire waste.  I promised my daughter Jennifer that I would post a photo.  Here’s the completed spice rack:

The BIG Spice Rack
The BIG Spice Rack


Today I was sustained as the Primary Pianist.  For those who are not familiar with how things are done in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, let me explain.  We have a lay ministry.  People don’t volunteer for positions, they are “called.”  In a congregation (called ward) the bishopric meets together and prayerfully considers what people would best be suited for each calling.  If the bishopric is united in their decision, they then interview the person and ask if they would accept that calling.

The funny thing is, recently I told a few friends that I thought Primary Pianist was the best calling in the church.  The Primary is Sunday School for kids ages 3-12.  They meet for an hour and 45 minutes each Sunday.  Part of that time is singing time.

So, I’m happy  to play piano while these children sing.  It is fun to watch and listen to them.  Being called as Primary Pianist is also an indication to me of our Heavenly Father’s love for all his children – both young and old. 

Primary Children at the Pioneer Day Picnic
Primary Children at the Pioneer Day Picnic

They sprang a couple of songs on me that I did not expect, but fortunately, they were ones I knew.  (I just hadn’t practiced them in a while.)  But, you know what? Those kids don’t care!  They are just glad to be singing songs they enjoy.

Michelle March and her mom, Sister Nausin, came up to me after Sacrament Meeting.  They were surprised to see me there.  I explained I now LIVE in Palmyra.  It is kind of fun to see people visiting our area from 3000 miles away.  Michelle used to work for IECO (Morrison-Knudsen Engineers) when I did… some 27 years ago.    Her brother and I have worked together in church capacities throughout the years too.  Michelle and her family were just passing through visiting the various church historic sites.

One Wall Done

I managed to sleep in as long as I could today knowing I have a lot of work ahead of me.  So, about 8am it was up-and-at ’em as I prepared to dive in to the dry-house with all my might.

East-end of the Dry-house (aka office, right)
East-end of the Dry-house (aka office, right)
The Office - looking east
The Office – looking east
This is the wall I am going to tackle today.
This is the wall I am going to tackle today.


Elizabethe Cleans the Planks
Elizabethe Cleans the Planks

Elizabethe came out and washed down the planks with Pinesol.  It is amazing how planks in an attic can get so dirty in 60 years.  Yuck.  Some of the planks were nearly black in color.

In the meantime, I pulled down the remaining planks, removed nails from the rafters, and dug out pieces of particle board that were stuck between the walls and the rafters.  I also filled the holes in the rafters with calking.  (The rafters are going to be painted white.

About 1pm I started piecing together the tongue-and-groove boards on the south wall.   Some planks were just a few inches too short.  Others were way off.  Of course, you want the seams to come together where there’s a stud.  So, it was measure, cut, measure, cut, and so on until about 3pm.

We got the wall DONE! 

I was physically exhausted.  Elizabethe suggested Chill-n-Grill, but honestly, ice cream did not sound good right then.  But, a nice sandwich with lots of trimmings did.

My completed wall.
My completed wall.

Here is what I still have left to do:

  • install plastic roof trays
  • drill soffit holes
  • insulate roof
  • install sheetrock (ceiling and east wall)
  • install tongue-and-groove on north wall
  • paint rafters white
  • tape sheetrock
  • paint ceiling
  • clean concrete floor
  • epoxy concrete floor
  • install ceiling fan, lights, outlets and switches
  • install air conditioner
  • move furniture into office
  • celebrate its completion

I’ll get there.  Rome wasn’t built in a single day, as they say.

Whoa on the Ice Cream

Friday nights are now date nights.  In California, Friday night was temple night.  Here that has moved to Tuesday night, so that  frees up  Friday night for Elizabethe and I to go on a date.  It so happens, tonight was also Ward Temple Night.  So, our  date was going to the temple.  (Funny how that worked out.)

Our appointment was for 8pm, so about 7:20 pm I put on my white shirt.  It was so tight the buttons were pulling at the button holes.  And, I could hardly button my pants.  Keep in mind, it was only Tuesday night that I went to the temple last.  Plus, when I got to the temple, I couldn’t hook the snap on my pants.

I know I’ve been enjoying ice cream a little too much lately.  So, I have to go back to my no-eating-after-7pm policy — especially ice cream.  I really don’t want to buy new pants because these are getting too tight.

Green Door & Vines
Green Door & Vines

Tomorrow I dive in on the walls in the dry-house.  Above is a picture of th side door that goes into the studio part of the dry-house.  What do you think?  Color?  Or B&W?

Door and Vines in Grays
Door and Vines in Grays

Fiberglass and Wire

Jay Harding (Harding Electric) came and wired the office today.  The man is fast and nice to do business with.  He wired 6 outlets, the ceiling fan box and another ceiling light box.  Now, it is up to me to do the walls and sheetrock.

I took my walk today down to the Garlock House and back.  On the way I met Don.  Don owns a small  construction company and bought the building on the corner opposite Mark’s pizza.

My stop at the park was fun.  Randy was teaching a young man how to paint.

Randy's Understudy
Randy’s Understudy

The six, or should I say, six-and-a-half year old boy was painting a picture of Spider-man.  Randy was patiently showing him how to lay down the colors and explaining the details would come later.   For a six year old, he was sure doing well.

Steady Hand
Steady Hand
Young Artist at Work
Young Artist at Work

I got to finally meet Dave.  Dave rides his 3-wheeler around keeping an eye on things and making sure people are safe.  Dave posed for this shot:


Living in a small village is a wonderful thing that, to be appreciated, must be experienced.  I grew up in Pocatello, Idaho back in the late 50s/early 60s.  I loved the fact that you knew everyone.  You could  walk everywhere.  That’s why I moved here.

Mom & Daughter and their Pug
Mom & Daughter and their Pug

And, if you don’t know everyone,  just go on regular walks  and eventually you will.   Like  this mom & daughter who asked if I’d take their picture together… with the dog.  Sure.  Why not.  Carrying a camera when I walk is a great way to meet people and find out a little about them.

I got home right about the time Elizabethe got home.  She picked up some bacon and lettuce.  We made BLTs with the tomatoes from our garden.  Mmmm… they were great.  (Tip – lightly salt & pepper the mayo when making a BLT.  It adds a little zip to the flavor.)

After dinner it was off to Lowe’s to pick up some fiberglass insulation and wires.  The 93 x 22 inch batts, 10 to a bag, barely fit in my Grand Prix.  And it is awkward to handle such a large bag.

I changed into a long-sleeve shirt, grabbed some rubber gloves, and began insulating the office walls.  Because the electrical wasn’t done, I ran out of light before I could get the entire bag of fiberglass used up.  But, I got close.  I think there are two more batts left.  And 148 sq ft to a bag was about what I needed for the side walls.  Because I had to cut the batts in half, they were much easier to put in to place, and more likely to stay in place.  In some ways, I think I could  have got away without putting retaining wires across the batts.  But then, I haven’t tried putting up the wall material yet.

Saturday, the tongue and groove goes up on the side walls. Wahoo!

Piano Practice

When I was a kid, my parents used to tell me I couldn’t play after school until I practice the piano.  It was a chore.  I hated it.

Now, 46 years later, I rather like practicing the piano.  I can entertain myself with Saturday in the Park (Chicago), Make Me Smile (Chicago), classical, blues, Drive My Car (The Beatles), or whatever I want to play.  It is relaxing and soothing.

So, tonight I practiced for Sunday.  Mostly children’s songs.  (I’ll tell you more in my Sunday blog.)  I also practiced a couple of hymns. 

After that, I started the process of creating photo albums on my iPhone.  Yeah, my iPhone is really a portable electronic portfolio for showing the woman-on-the-street my work.   (That sounds bad, I know…. but the man-on-the-street can give a flip about your portfolio.  Most photographic services are purchased by moms.)


Of course, you have to be careful how you approach the woman-on-the-street when carrying a camera or … well, the picture tells it all. (No photoshop.  The two pictures were taken individually.  A 13×19 was printed and pinned to the backdrop.  The model was then introduced to the photo of the male model… well… the rest is obvious.)

The Peace of the Temple

There is something about entering the temple, no matter which one it is, that brings peace to the soul.  You can have a hectic day at work, a bad drive home, have received a bad letter, or any number of things, but when you walk through those doors, there is a hush that comes over you.

I enjoyed going to the temple to night.  Of course, I always enjoy the time I spend at the temple.  I was proxy for one of my 19th century ancestors, Benjamin Scott.

When I got out of the temple, the sun was just starting to sink beyond the horizon.  From the temple, the sun sets over the Sacred Grove.  It is always quite a sight.  Then, to see Moroni atop the temple with the red sun behind him, it serves are a reminder that these are the latter days.

Palmyra Temple at Sunset
Palmyra Temple at Sunset


Stained Glass Windows of the Palmyra Temple
Stained Glass Windows of the Palmyra Temple

As I was leaving, after taking a few shots, I saw our elder’s quorum president.  I said, “Hello”, to him and we chatted for a while about Friday night.  (Friday night will be Ward Temple Night.) 

Upon coming home I decided I better practice the piano.  Boy, is  that piano out of tune since the move.  I do not think that piano has ever been that out of tune.  Never.  I wish Des Wilson were here.  Looks like I have to find another piano tuner.

Mondays Should be Cancelled

Mondays should be cancelled from the week.  I started the day off locking myself out of a switch.  I had to find someone in San Antonio who was willing to help me get back  in to it.  I felt like a real klutz.  After that, I was so nervous about touching anything else that it really made it hard to concentrate.  Think of it like this… imagine setting mice traps, and one smacks your knuckles.  The rest of the job you are going to be really nervous and jittery.

When I went to pick up Elizabethe, it was 93 outside.  That is the hottest day I’ve felt here in Palmyra.  I tried to do a little sheet rock work upstairs, but the heat was making me sweat too much.  Too much of that and the old ‘K’ (potassium) levels start to drop and then you feel miserable the rest of the day while you try to get them back and rehydrate.  You know the old saying, “if you feel thirsty, it is too late.”  That’s a good rule of thumb to follow when you are on high blood pressure medication.

I stopped by the autobody shop to pick up a check.  He couldn’t find the paperwork.  I told him I had it at home.  So, get this, he wrote me a blank check and said, “Here just fill in the amount when you get home.”

I love living in a place where people trust each other.  They are patriotic.  They understand and stand behind our Constitution.  (Many of these people are descendants of the people who fought the British so we could become the United States.)  They are down-to-earth great people.

I got a call from Rob Baldwin.  He chided me about not having told him we moved.  It was nice hearing from Rob.  (If you’re in the Bay Area – Rob’s a great Realtor!)  Rob’s been a friend for a long time.

Srini and Me
Srini and Me

I know the above photo is from a few weeks back.  (I just got around to copying the pictures to my computer.)  But, that’s Srini and me and some of the actors from the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

Blue Laws

Dusk at the Estate
Dusk at the Estate

Although I am a firm believer that government should not regulate or force people to participate in certain religious practices, I do think that government should not stand in the way and thus allow people the right to worship how, when and where they may.  At one time, many communities had “blue laws” that prohibited doing business on Sunday.  I disagree with the law, but fully agree with the practice.

I believe if people everywhere would start keeping one day a week sacred (Sunday for the Christians, Saturday for the Seventh-day Adventists and Jews, etc.), the world would be a much better place.  There is a blessing attached to each commandment we keep.  And, for those of us who are Christians, God says, “Six days shalt thou labor and do all they work…”  In return, God promises us that we will be kept, “unspotted from the world.”

I take that to mean that if we go to church on Sunday that God will bless us by helping us avoid temptations and pitfalls.  Hence, the world would be a better place.

There are those who say they can be closer to God by going camping on the weekend and being in the wilderness.  However, I think there is a good reason God wants us in church.  If you are alone in the wilderness, the only person who benefits is you.  If you are at church, you are strengthening others and visa-versa.

I enjoy the 3 hours I spend on Sunday fellowshipping with the saints.  It is uplifting.  It is encouraging.  

So, comes next Sunday, if you’re tempted to go out to dinner, to the store, or mowing the lawn, put that stuff off another day, hop in the car, and go to church.  The walls won’t come tumbling down, lightning won’t strike, and the minister won’t ask, “What are YOU doing here.”

Along another line, recently a man who took exception to my political views resorted in name-calling and false accusations against my character.  I have no idea why this man is so angry at the world (I say world, because it could have been any number of the hundreds of millions of people who think the same as I do,) but there seems to be a tendency among a few people, that when someone disagrees with them they (1) call the person a foul name, (2) the accuse the person of being uneducated, mean, bigoted (which, ironically, when you call someone a name automatically makes the name caller bigoted), or some other untrue label, (3) desire to get the last word in by saying there is no use talking to someone as stupid/uneducated/blah-blah-blah as you and demand you never talk to them again.  (You will notice this pattern quite often – especially if someone fears being exposed as a fraud or if they have no other way of defending their position.)

Well, first off, if someone calls me a name, I let them get the last word in because at that point, I don’t want to continue being verbally abused.  If I pull in front of someone accidentally, and they yell, “A——!”  I’m not going to stop my car and have conversation with them.  I’m going to just keep driving and try to brush it off and not let it affect my day.

So, the next time someone calls you a name, just walk away.  Remember, those who call names have a tendency to also engage in other unhealthy habits.  Just smile, wish them well, and walk away.