Tag Archives: Latter-day Saints

Leave it Clean

Leave it Clean

In Scouting we used to say, “The world is our campground.  Leave it better than you found it.”  When you borrow something, you do the same.  Likewise, when you use something, do the same.  Leave it CLEAN!

This came up in a conversation about people using the chapel.  As a result, I’m going to rant a little here, but it is worth reading.

My Rant

Palmyra is a destination for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Some are large groups and they desire to use our chapel for activities during their visit.  We happily oblige them if there is room.  (Note:  We WANT you to come visit and spend time here.  We love that you do, so keep reading.)

When some (not all) of these groups finish with their use of the building, it is a mess.  They don’t leave it clean.

Who has to clean it?

The members of the Palmyra Ward.  We’re not a large ward, and most of us are over 60.  When you leave the chapel in a mess, cleaning falls upon us.

You are using a House of the Lord.  Treat it as such.  Respect policies such as no food except in areas where allowed.  Respect the fact we are in the country.  Propping doors open invites critters to enter the building and throws the heating/air-conditioning off.

Please do your share to leave it a better place than you found it.


When scheduling a visit with use of our building, please schedule time to clean!

Don’t be in such a hurry to make your appointment at the temple that you can’t clean.  Plan ahead.  If your temple appointment is at 2 p.m., plan your chapel use to be done at 1 p.m. so you have an hour to clean up after yourselves.

Go through and check all of the rooms.  Empty ALL of the trashes even if you didn’t fill them.  (Remember my comment about leaving the place better than you found it?)


Respect your reservation.  If you reserved the kitchen and cultural hall, please don’t drag your social into the chapel, Relief Society, Primary or other rooms you haven’t reserved.


My Wife

My wife has the responsibility for scheduling the building.  When talking to her I asked about messes left behind.  She said if she knows of a mess, she will contact the bishop or stake president and they will in turn contact the leaders of the visiting group.  (Hurray!)

My Experience

I recall a few years ago my wife and I were assigned to clean the building the week of Pageant.  I have never in my life seen one of our church buildings this dirty inside.  The people who had the building early in the day tracked grass everywhere.  It was even on pews and seats as if someone stood on them.

This scene made me sad and also a bit angry.  It made me sad someone would treat the Lord’s House this way.  It made me angry they left such a mess for us to clean.  I remember thinking, “I hope we never have to clean during pageant week again.”


In conclusion, simple clean up after yourselves.  Yeah, this goes for locals too.  However, most locals know they will have to cleanup their mess or deal with the consequences.

We want you to come visit.  We want you to use our building if it will help provide your group with a better experience.  Our love for you runs deep.  We staff our temple with many local volunteers, and we clean our chapel every week.  Please come, visit, use our building, but be aware we need your help keeping it clean.

Gray Peas

Gray Peas

How do they get frozen peas to look so green?

The peas from my garden are not overcooked, but they are gray peas.  Fresh out of our garden, they look gray.

I made pot roast for the elders tonight.  The peas are a side dish, and in spite of them being fresh and barely cooked, they are gray peas.  Everything else, including my rice pudding, turned out great.

Choir Practice

We stayed after for choir practice.  Pageant is next weekend.  Everyone expects the Palmyra Ward Choir to sing.  We will not disappoint.

The Palmyra Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receives many visitors on the two Sundays surrounding Hill Cumorah Pageant.  It’s usually around 1,500 people.  As a result, the building is packed and seating limited.

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding deserves lots of raisins.  My recipe is simple… 1 cup sugar, 1 can condensed milk, 1 can evaporated milk and 6 eggs.  Beat well.  Add to rice and raisins.  The more raisins, the better.  Then bake in a shallow dish for 60 minutes at 325.

Regarding the amount of rice… I just throw leftover rice in.  3 cups, 4 cups… who knows.

Ride Tomorrow

My goal is to go riding first thing tomorrow morning.  I’m praying my body doesn’t hurt so much it discourages me away from riding.  This is my plan, and I am sticking to it!

I will take the Erie Canal Trail.  My route is undecided, but we’ll shall see how things go.


Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017

It’s Memorial Day 2017 and I have work to do.  My work around this place is never done.  In fact, there’s more work than I have time.

Today’s task, seal up those holes where the squirrels are coming in to the studio attic.  I bought spray foam that says it is “pest proof”.  This will be the test.

I sprayed the foam in the openings where it appears they are entering.  They also made quite a mess in the sill of the attic window.  I swept that out and it covered the stoop with a good 1″ of crap.  If I had the money, I’d rip out every window and get this place (and the house) fitted with good, sealing windows.


We have one room open for Hill Cumorah Pageant.  When it comes to Palmyra NY lodging, there aren’t many options, but we’re one of them.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has their annual Hill Cumorah Pageant about 5 miles from our house.  We keep our rooms affordable, but they go quickly.  Currently, one room has vacancies and not for the entire stretch.

Make your reservations SOON!!!  You can find us also on Facebook.

Face to Face in Palmyra

Face to Face in Palmyra

A monumental event took place in Palmyra today.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a Face to Face Discussion here.  President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor in the church, and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Apostle, answered questions for youth around the world.  I had the amazing honor of photographing the event.

Here is a KSL TV recap of the event…

And, here is the Mormon Newsroom recap, narrated by Buddy Blankenfeld.

If you watch carefully, you might even see a photographer from Palmyra.

No Coughing

In a crowd this size and a room this crowded in the middle of winter, you’d think people would be coughing.  There wasn’t any.  The reverence in the room was amazing.  Consequently, one of the sound engineers even commented.

The room got quite hot with all those people and equipment.  They couldn’t open a door or window because of the noise from the wind.  In spite of all that, it went off very well.


There’s a scripture that says when a servant of the Lord speaks by the Holy Ghost it is as if God himself were saying it.  Such was the case today.  We heard the voice of God through these two men.

copyright 2017 db walton

Sister Reynolds Shakes Hands with Elder Holland

Macro Meetup

Macro Meetup

You can say I held a macro meetup today.  Two other photographers came over and we took macro photographs in the pub room.  I photographed a watch and some other odds and ends I have around the house.

My light table and light box work well for this stuff.  Add my Carl Zeiss macro lens and I’m ready to take on any tiny project.

copyright 2017 db walton

Macro of a Tiara


copyright 2017 db walton

Beadwork Macro

The First Monday Event is something I do on the 1st Monday of each month.  From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. I gather a bunch of photographers and we take pictures.  It’s open to anyone with a camera, and it is usually free (unless there is an additional cost like lunch, paying a model, entrance fee to a museum, etc.)  Visit Palmyra Photographic Workshops for more information – www.palmyra-ny.com

Palmyra – An Impressive Place

Palmyra is an impressive place.  Some people drive through and think we’re just another hole-in-the-wall podunk village on NY State Route 31.  Members of the Church of Jesus Latter-day Saints come here thinking the only thing to see are the church historic sites.

There’s a lot of untapped potential in this town.  A lot of local folks don’t see it.  They see the 2 weeks during pageant as a windfall for some businesses, and after that… nothing.

I moved here hoping to make a difference.  I think I have to a small degree, but I still butt heads with many local folks.  I’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce and I’m now 1st Vice President of the chamber, but it is hard to get people excited about volunteering on the chamber.   We can’t change things for the better unless others get on board with this idea.

What Palmyra Needs

Palmyra Needs a few more anchor businesses.  We’re rapidly becoming a haven for 2nd hand, antique and consignment shops.  That’s okay, but let’s step it up a bit.  Let’s bring in some businesses that will keep people walking Main Street and spending money.

Here’s my wish list for the Village and Town of Palmyra…

  • A mid-scale restaurant like Olive Garden, Chili’s, Longhorn, Denny’s etc., located on the corner of Temple Road and NY SR 21 – next door to the Palmyra Inn.  (The biggest complaint that I hear about the Palmyra Inn is there is no place to eat close by.  And, even though they offer breakfast, some guests want more than they offer… like a hot breakfast.)  It’s close enough to I-90 that with some signage it could draw business a couple of miles north.
  • A fast food restaurant on the east end of the village – Taco Bell, KFC, Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, etc.
  • A local sit-down sidewalk cafe in the 200 block East Main Street.  Someplace with ample seating inside and free WiFi, and during good weather, outdoor seating.  Mark’s Pizza is good, but let’s add some variety and class it up a bit.
  • I’d like to see Lock 29 move, or class it up a bit.  They could start by not allowing smoking on the sidewalk in front of their building.  The group that hangs out in front having their smokes are a deterrent to many who walk down that street.  I’ve even had my tenants complain about the cigarette smoke coming from the Lock 29 loiterers.  Ideally, I’d like to see them move on to one of the side streets.
  • I’d like to see street performers in the 200 block during the summer.  It’s a beautiful village.  Why doesn’t the Village sell permits based on an audition tape or YouTube video and let them come and perform for tips.

That’s enough for starters.

Puzzle Book

Puzzle Book

Elizabethe has created a puzzle book named Book of Mormon Puzzle Pages.  (Click on the link to see it at Amazon.com)  Each page corresponds to a page of the Book of Mormon.  She’s completed and published volume 1, and is now working on volume 2.

copyright 2017 Elizabethe Walton

Book of Mormon Puzzle Pages

Within 24 hours of placing it on Amazon Books she sold 5 copies.  I’m sure once the word gets out, she’ll sell more.

It will take a couple of years to complete all of them.  She figures a puzzle a day until she gets done.  That’s almost 2 years of work.







It’s Tuesday and that means temple.  It’s always nice to go to the temple.  It is a real break from the world.

I listened to a 1979 talk by Bruce R. McConkie today.  He talked about the wickedness of the last days.    He said, “Bands of Gadianton robbers will infest every nation, immorality and murder and crime will increase, and it will seem as though every man’s hand is against his brother.”   This is so true.

Burger King

I hear Burger King has a new burger – the Bacon King.  From what I see it has 2 1/4 pound patties, 2 slices of cheese and a fist full of bacon.

I’m going to check it out tomorrow with Tom.

P.S. Burger King, if you’re listening, please sponsor my Route 66 Tour.  Click here for more information.

2016 Missionary Party

2016 Missionary Party

There are about 60,000 missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving throughout the world.  These young men and women leave their homes for 18 or 24 months.  They serve at their own expense, and volunteer their time and talents.  At the 2016 Missionary Party today I had the privilege of photographing the group serving in the New York Rochester Mission.

Being away from home for Christmas, many for their first time, is a hard thing.  This little Christmas Party eases the pain of being away from friends and family.  I’m glad they do this each year, and I’m happy they ask me to come photograph them.


copyright 2016 db walton

Christmas Party Mission Picture

Elizabethe and I stuck around so I could grab a few candid photos.  Their gift exchange is always funny.  My favorite was a Barry Manilow album.   (It’s funny to me because I think he’s a cheesy performer.  I used to joke I suffer from Manilowphobia.)

Getting Ready

Getting ready for Christmas morning was the next task on the list.  One of our roomers wanted to fix Christmas Eve dinner, and asked if I’d make a dessert.  I made a chocolate mousse.

After dinner the topic of Israel came up, so they asked if I’d show them a slide show.  We spent the next 90 minutes looking at photos of Israel.




Getting up at four takes its toll.  In order to get Marilyn to the airport for her flight we had to get up at 4pm.   It really wasn’t hard, but I woke at 2 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep.  It took its toll around 4 p.m. this afternoon.

We got her to the airport on time, and on the way home looked for a place to grab breakfast.  What is it with Rochester that nothing is open before 6 a.m.?  In California that would never fly.  Here… even fast food places a Californian would find open 24 hours a day are closed here — even Dunkin Donuts was closed!!!

We finally found a McDonald’s open, but by that time it was 6 a.m.  I’m guessing they just opened.


I’m speaking at the Tri County Networkers on Thursday.  I’ve decided to speak about digital painting and how that fits in to my business model.

copyright 2016 db walton - four

Painting of Marilyn Steers

I have a bit more work to do on it, but I was in a rush because we have our temple shift tonight.  (Elizabethe and I do volunteer work at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the New York Palmyra Temple.)  I might do some more work on it tomorrow, but for now, this is where it stands.


I’m thinking the Hill Cumorah Pageant letters haven’t gone out yet.  Normally by this time of year our phone is ringing off the wall.

If you are NOT participating in Pageant (i.e. you are not waiting for a letter), get your reservations in quickly.  Once those letters go out rooms will disappear.  (There are very few places to stay in Palmyra.  Rooms go quickly.)

And, for Pete’s sake, stay here a few days.  There’s plenty to do in the area, and we’d love having you stay in Palmyra.



Another Turns 8

Another Turns 8

Another turns 8.  Today one of our granddaughters turned 8.  Eight is a big deal in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We call it the age of accountability.  We believe baptism isn’t necessary unless you are old enough to discern right from wrong.  Eight is the age of accountability in our church.

She’s excited about being baptized.


We had a little snow during the night.  I took the blower out again and cleaned off the driveway and sidewalks.  Now that I’m done, my back aches and so does my foot.

I’m sure there are snowblowers with steering, but you have to wrestle this thing to steer it.  It probably weighs a couple hundred pounds and it is very difficult to turn.  My ManPlow doesn’t have this problem.

I finished up with the ManPlow.  It seemed it would be easier to push the small amount missed by the blower than to attempt to steer the snowblower.

Now I realize I need to pick up another gas can to keep with the snowblower.


While I fully expected few guests at the temple (because of the weather), I am pleasantly surprised we had a few people brave the weather.

International Sunday

International Sunday

It must be International Sunday.  We had visitors from Hong Kong, South Africa, Philippines, Guatemala, Columbia, Canada, and a few others (which I can’t remember).   It is proof we are a world-wide church.  It is also proof that Palmyra is a destination location for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Greg and I went home teaching to the Bakers.  We had a nice visit.  Sarah was just called to work in the Primary.


Dinner tonight is taco salad.  I had leftover chicken breasts and chopped them up for meat.  We added everything we could think of that belongs in a taco salad — peppers, onions, corn, beans, lettuce, cheese, olives, corn chips, and more.

I also made jalapeno poppers.  For dessert I made flan.  I figure flan goes with Mexican food.

Sister Edmonds and Ingersoll came to dinner.  We also invited Maureen to eat with us.

Last Sunday when the elders were here, they taught the Plan of Salvation.  We were challenged to teach it back to the sister missionaries, which we did.

I started off saying, “There was in the place where we lived…  Oops!  Wrong discussion.”

The sisters had a look of surprise, but then they realized I was joking around.  I got serious and presented the Plan of Salvation.