Four Hours

Four Hours

I got four hours of sleep last night.  I woke at 2am and I’ve been awake ever since.  So, I tried taking melatonin, twice, but it didn’t phase my insomnia.

Before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for church.  I was a zombie during my church meetings.  It’s funny, I’m sleepy, but not falling asleep.

So, after church I tried to take a nap.  I don’t think I dozed off, but the rest felt good.  Finally, I got up and fixed dinner.

Leftover Casserole

We didn’t have leftover casserole, but I made a casserole out of leftovers.  The bottom layer was stuffing.  Next, I put a layer of mashed potatoes and gravy which was topped with sliced turkey.  The final layer was stringbean casserole topped with french fried onions.

I had no idea how it would turn out, but it turned out quite well.  The sister missionaries liked it, and so did Elizabethe.  I think I’m onto something.

Sunday School

Sunday School was about the Whole Armor of God.  I realized something for the first time.  Perhaps fiery darts doesn’t mean they are on fire, but poisoned.  When the scriptures mention fiery serpents, it is talking about poisonous snakes.  Perhaps they are poisonous darts which makes even more sense when you think about it.


Likes Curry

Likes Curry

She likes curry!  Okay, my wife really doesn’t like curry, but she liked the curry I made for dinner tonight.   It was very mild, mostly turmeric, and she liked it!

In fact, Elizabethe liked everything I made for dinner.  (I should install a “like button” in the placemats.)  The zucchini/eggplant mix was a hit (seasoned with cumin, garlic, and mustard powder).  The green beans (seasoned with ghee and fennel) was liked too.  As a result, I will make these dishes again.

Sister Missionaries

We sent the sister missionaries home with lots of leftovers.  We have so much zucchini and stuff like that we figure we won’t eat them before they rot.

Elizabethe gave them a tour of the house.  Sister Cahoon is new to our ward, and therefore, this is her first time seeing the house.

Stake Priesthood Meeting

A throbbing toe (I stubbed it) is a good reason to stay home.  But, I couldn’t.  As much as I would rather prop my foot and rest, I decided I should go.

I am glad I did.  President Woodworth gave an excellent talk.  I needed to hear it.  He talked about the natural and spiritual man.   He explained it in ways I’ve never thought about.

Perhaps my toe will heal faster because I did the right thing.

Another Angelic Performance

Another Angelic Performance

As I mentioned last Sunday, angels attend the Palmyra Ward.  Today was another angelic performance as the congregation and choir sang The Spirit of God.

Palmyra is a special place, but during Hill Cumorah Pageant, it becomes more special.  Every night at Hill Cumorah Pageant is an angelic performance too.  The rest of the year, we’re special too.

After church we were going to go for a walk in the Sacred Grove, but Becky was feeling tired and we’ll have other opportunities.  We came home and everyone rested.  (We had a very busy day yesterday too.)

Zucchini Lasagna

For dinner I made zucchini lasagna.  Basically, I slice the zucchini very thin and layer it like you would lasagna pasta.  It’s quite good and not as heavy feeling as pasta.

Elders Falter and Astle came to dinner.  They really liked the lasagna.  We also had mango pudding with fruit on top for dessert.  It was a pretty healthy dinner.  Oh, and we had a tossed salad too.


After the missionaries left we watched a movie about a boy who was born on Mars and when he was a teenager, came to earth.  It was cute, but like many movies like that, farfetched.


We have a couple staying who are from San Francisco, California.  They are riding their bikes from Buffalo to Albany.  I think they were surprised when I knew the area around Twin Peaks.  I asked, “Oh, do you live in Pacific Heights?”  Their eyes got big as if to say, “Oh, you do know the area.”

Sam Patch with Becky

Sam Patch with Becky

We went on the Sam Patch with Becky today.  We took the noon cruise.  When we got to Lock 32, we had to wait for a while.  We sat for a long time waiting for the lock doors to open, but once they did, we entered the lock, rose to the next section, exited it, turned around, and went back.

We stopped at Wegman’s on the way home and got some cheese and bread to snack on during pageant tonight.  We took Becky to the cheese counter so she could sample some of the cheeses.

Pageant – Last Night

It is the last night of Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017.  We got there early and bought dinner from the Lion’s and Rotary Clubs.

I wandered around and took photos of missionaries and cast members.  My goal was to photograph every full-time missionary there.  I think I got all of them, but it was like finding a needle in a haystack.

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Sister Missionaries with a Guest

I especially like this next picture.  I managed to catch Elder Bradford’s expression just right…

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Elder Bradford Meets Lehi

I also ran in to Sister Crofts.  She served in our ward last year around Christmas time.  She has been home for a while and returned to see pageant.  (She’s also playing her viola in Sacrament meeting tomorrow!)

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President and Sister Evans and return missionary Sister Crofts
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Sister Missionaries

Cutting Grass

Cutting Grass

I am no stranger to cutting grass.  I’ve been doing it for over half a century now.  50 years and you’d think I’d be an expert.

Today the full time elders and I cut a sister’s lawn, and then returned to the house.  Here we cleaned up downed wood and shrub trimmings.  When I had enough, we built a fire in the fire pit and cooked foil dinners.

The Fire Pit

The fire pit was a gift a few years ago from Elizabethe and many friends and family members.  I swept it and got it looking nice for the summer.  I will start using it more.

She had the pit put in shortly before my accident.  Now that I’m trying to regain my strength and stamina, I plan to use it more.

It was fun sitting and talking to the missionaries while we waited for our dinners to cook.  We talked mostly about Scouting and the church.  (Recently the church announced it was going to drop  Varsity, Venturing and Explorers for the 14+ age young men, and only have Cub and Boy Scout units for the 8 to 13 year old boys.)

Wiped Out

I am wiped out.  From cutting grass to cutting wood, I have hit the wall.  The missionaries were a huge help today.  (And, I should have taken some photos.)

Easter 2017

Easter 2017

It’s Easter 2017, and we had a very nice Sacrament Meeting.  The Primary Children sang and a sextet of sisters from the ward.  They sang the Crusader’s Hymn (Beautiful Savior) arranged by Rivkah Wright.  It was very impressive.

They stationed a lot of sisters in our ward.  We have several sets who are dedicated to working at the sites.

One of the new sisters went to Lone Peak in Highland.  I showed her a picture of Eric.  She recognized all of his friends, but not Eric.  That’s funny because you’d think she’d recognize Eric too.  I graduated from a large high school (about 2,400 students at the time I graduated), and I would have recognized most of the kids I went to school with.

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner consisted of cliches:  ham, asparagus, deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes.  As a result, I couldn’t have been more cliche.

I found several recipes where asparagus was cooked with a 1:1:1 ratio of butter, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.  Consequently, that is how I prepared the asparagus.  Most of all, it was different than hollandaise sauce or simply butter.

Best Ham

The ham we got from Wegmans is the best ham I’ve ever tasted.  I know Elizabethe thought it was too sweet, but it was sure good.  Therefore I’d call it ‘meat candy.’


Turning Cold

Turning Cold

It warmed up for a couple days, and now they say it is turning cold again.  The winds are picking up, thousands of people in the area are without power, and we’re one of the lucky ones.  Our generator kicked in during a 3 hour outage yesterday.  Other than that, we’re okay.

Because of the bad weather, I canceled a shoot tonight.  The client was happy to oblige because they didn’t want to go out in this weather either.

Our networking meeting was sparsely attended.  Again, it is because of the winds.  The news said some areas experienced winds as high as 80 mph.  Trailer trucks have been blown over, trees and utility polls downed, roofs ripped off, and that’s only a start.

Grocery Shopping

During a lull in the winds I went to Wegmans. Being in the mood for cheese, I sampled some great cheeses… and I bought a few.  Dinner is cheese and fruit tonight.

Produce prices keep rising.  I will be happy when summer comes.  $3/pound for tomatoes is simply too much.  Apples are $3 to $4 a pound.  I suspect that is because it was a bad year for apple growers.

Missionary Pictures

I had the temple missionary pictures printed.  They turned out great.  I love my on-location lights.

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Temple Missionaries 2017


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Temple Presidency – Miner’s, Black’s and Schwindimin’s

The Miner’s took off before I got a shot of the presidency together.  So, I had to do my magic and add them in.  I realize now that the horizon between the trees doesn’t match.  Hopefully, nobody else will notice.

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017 will be July 14, 15 and 18-22.  As always, make your reservations early.  Lodging goes quickly and few rooms are available on last minute notice.

First Trip

If this is your first trip to Palmyra, and you are coming during Hill Cumorah Pageant, 2017, here are a few tips…

  • Plan to spend a few days here (and feel free to contact me for suggestions)
  • Hill Cumorah (the trails) close at dinner time, so come during the day to hike the hill.
  • While you are hiking the hill, save your seats.
  • Visit the visitor’s center
  • Buy your dinner at the concessions (they support local youth activities)
  • My recommendation for the above is to get to the hill just after lunch (between 1 and 2 pm), and make it an afternoon and evening.
  • Earlier in the day, visit the Book of Mormon Publication site
  • The day before, or the day after, visit the Smith Farm

We’re also about 45 minutes away from the Peter Whitmer Farm and its visitor’s center.  Nearby is Sauder’s.  You have to visit Sauder’s.  Make a day out of it.  Visit Sauder’s and have lunch there, the Whitmer Farm, and then go down to Watkins Glen to see the waterfalls.

Church and Dinner

Brother Kevin Watkins talked in church.  He told a story very similar to my experience when Paul O’Donnell and I were put together as companions.  After the meeting I told him Paul’s and my story.  He got quite a kick out of it.

Sister’s Barrett and Crofts came to dinner.  I made Teriyaki Chicken, carrots and fried rice.

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Carrots, Teriyaki Chicken and Rice

After dinner I took some photos of Sister Crofts’ viola to submit to the church.

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Viola Head


Christmas Day 2016

Christmas Day 2016

It’s Christmas Day 2016 and I’m up early to fix breakfast for the full-time missionaries.  I’m creating a breakfast sandwich bar with eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, hash browns, 3 types of cheeses, various sauces, and 4 types of bread (including San Francisco Sour Dough).  No surprise, but the Elders were on time. (There’s food involved.)

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Missionaries: Elders Smith and Mills, Sisters Larson, Ingersoll, Crofts and Barrett

After breakfast we retired to the sitting room.  Each missionary was given a stocking full of goodies that missionaries can use (and not a bunch of candy.)  A hair comb, toothbrush, mittens, stocking cap, socks, hand sanitizer, and more filled their stockings.

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Sisters Crofts and Barrett ready to open their stockings


They moved church to 11am today because it is Christmas.  It was soooo noisy before church started I couldn’t hear the organ.  I guess it was all the Christmas excitement.

They choir sang and they had several special musical numbers.  Of course, the hymns all had to do with the birth of the Savior — including the Sacrament Hymn – Jesus Once of Humble Birth (my favorite sacrament hymn).

After Church

After church we came home and took a nap.  When we woke, Elizabethe and I exchanged presents.  I gave her her lap desk I made.  She was very excited about it.

Elizabeth gave me a tiny LED camera on the end of a 16 foot cord.  I plan to use it when doing repairs in hard to see places.  She also gave me a speed light for my Fujifilm cameras, however, it isn’t here yet so she gave me a picture of it.  In addition, she gave me some Cokin filters with wallets to hold them.


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.


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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.