I’m better but weak. By that I mean I’m over the flu, but I am so weak. This virus really ravished my body.
We went to church today and made it through the entire 3 hour block. I’m exhausted from it, but feel good that we went to church.
We’re also feeding the sister missionaries tonight, however, it’s all crock pot stuff with a few simple additions.
Now that I’m feeling better, it is time to work on my current projects. This winter I will prepare my print competition paintings. I’ve started working on a few.
Don’t Stand So Close to Me – Based on the song by the police. It is a scene of a school teacher being pressed against the wall by a student. On the chalk board is written, “Reading Assignment – Nabokov, Lolita.
The Farmer’s Daughter – an old farm couple on the porch with their young daughter talking to a young man standing on the front lawn.
I Shoot RAW – a parody on the old question, do you shoot RAW or JPEG?
She Does Her Best Work After 5pm – an office scene with a guy being seduced by his secretary.
Are You Coming to Bed? – A young husband wrapped up in a video game while his wife stands in the doorway.
There are some others, but I need to create at least 4 for this year. Anything beyond 4 will be saved for next year’s IPC.
More and more I’m enjoying digital painting as much, or perhaps more, than photography. It seems everyone thinks if they own a digital camera they can be a professional photographer. However, painting is something most people won’t take the time to learn and develop the talent.
It’s New Years Eve 2017 and I’m going to bed early. I’m doing this because tomorrow I leave for Israel first thing in the morning. I want to be well rested.
Being the 5th Sunday, the Priesthood and Relief Society meetings were about the new curriculum for adults. I see this as a step closer to a Zion Society. It’s an inspired and good move.
Matt, Becca, John and Linda are all excited about the trip. While I’d like to say nobody is excited as I am, it wouldn’t be true. We are all excited.
Elizabethe has been bugging me to make her curried chicken recipe. So, I made it… with my own twist. She told me this is what she’ll be living off while I’m in Israel. I told her I will be eating shawarma.
I get travel anxieties. I anguish over things like… what if they make me check my camera bag (I don’t like being without it when I travel). Or, what if the tell me I can’t take my beef jerky on the plane, etc. They are all based off previous experience. The problem is TSA is not consistent. (Personally, I think some of them confiscate stuff to keep it for themselves.)
That said, I have found travel from this area to be less stressful. Most of my bad experiences were at Oakland. Rochester is great… oh, but I’m not leaving from Rochester. I’m leaving from Toronto and I’ve never flown out of Toronto.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.”
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.
I especially like this next picture. I managed to catch Elder Bradford’s expression just right…
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!)
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.)
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.)
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 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.
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.’
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.
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.
I had the temple missionary pictures printed. They turned out great. I love my on-location lights.
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 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.
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.
After dinner I took some photos of Sister Crofts’ viola to submit to the church.