Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Chicken Wings

Posted: March 7, 2016 in Uncategorized


By Kham Tran –



This morning I had two leftover chicken wings for breakfast.  As I ate, I thought about how this chicken would be fueling my activities this morning.  It struck me that what I did with my time and energy would be a manifestation of my feelings toward an animal that gave its life to sustain me.  I felt a growing responsibility to make good use of this ultimate gift, and a deep appreciation and respect for that chicken and what it had given me.

Then I thought of a friend of mine who raises chickens and of all that she must do to keep her chickens healthy.  I thought of the time and effort and resources the rancher put into this chicken.  I felt gratitude to this person for what they had done to provide for my needs.

My thoughts expanded from there quite rapidly.  Who and what had, in small ways and large, fed me such that in this very moment I could live and live well and happily?  God, my parents, my husband, children, friends, Mrs. Meyette and Mr. Walls, Julie Andrews, the people that made Babette’s Feast, Nathaniel Hawthorne and C. S. Lewis.  I thought of Socrates and Nephi and my college crush.  I thought of the people that built my house and the people that built my computer and the people that made my clothes.  I thought of oxygen and earth and the birds that are singing outside my window right now.

And I hoped that at least a few moments of this day would provide a good ROI for them, whether they realize they’ve invested or not.  Fulfilling that hope is up to me.  So come on, chicken!  Let’s go do the world some good!


Who Is My Neighbor?

Posted: November 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

Source: Who Is My Neighbor?

One friend’s thoughts on the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  He has some interesting boots-on-the-ground experiences that have enhanced my understanding of the situation.  We agree that “the worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord” (D&C 18:10).

Yesterday morning, I woke up with “O Holy Night” playing in my head.  Later in the afternoon, a friend posted a link to this video on his Facebook.  I had to share it.


Music: David Tolk; Art: Jon McNaughton

The man that put this montage together, Seth Adams Smith, is also a blogger.  You may recognize his name from “Marriage isn’t For You,” or you may have discovered him, as I did, through his efforts to support those dealing with suicide and depression.  At this time of year, it can be extremely difficult to not feel the joy that everyone else seems to be sharing, especially for those who struggle with mood disorders and mental health issues.  I decided to post a couple of links that I hope will be of benefit either to those who are suffering themselves or who may know someone who is.

Suicide and Depression

To the Depressed and Suicidal: I Know How It Feels


The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir

The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour

The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good

The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas Day in the morn.

The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all.

Traditional arrangement, performed by Choir of King’s College, Cambridge

Modern arrangement, performed by University of Utah Singers

Advent Calendar

Advent: Day 1

I have always loved the idea of advent calendars.  When my children were young, we always incorporated daily activities, stories, etc., in the days leading up to December 25.  While they did not follow the pattern of Advent, those daily fun reminders helped us draw closer as a family and kept our focus on the joy of the season.

This year I decided I wanted to use my blog as a place to share daily moments of Christmas joy with you.  I hope this will be a place you will want to visit at some point during your day to share the delight of the season.



Did you know?  In the Hebrew form, Hallelujah is an imperative.  It is not our expression to God, although the word has evolved into this modern usage.  It is actually a command to us: “[You] praise God!”


If you have a little extra time, here’s an interesting documentary on Handel’s Messiah.

A Gift from the “C”

Posted: September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Halloween Lucy

My cat puked in a heart shape this morning.

Please let this not be the high point of my day.

Or let it be something transcendentally illuminating. C’mon, throw me a bone (just not a bone my dog will later vomit onto my carpet).

I got a little relief this week exploring a new (to me) group, Vacationer.  Although I could imagine their name comes from the tripping mood of their music, you don’t have to be high to enjoy their laid back, funky, hip, cool, beachy, Indian/Caribbean/Brazilian (etc.)-influenced style.  The group is aptly named.  Listening to Vacationer with the scent of sea breeze and yin-yang melty wax wafting around me sent me on a mini-getaway.  It gave me the unique mixture of relaxation and invigoration that comes with a great vacation.

I’m still working on the “lay back, turn your mind off, and just let it wash over you” approach to living.  Truthfully, I don’t think I’d ever be satisfied with it full-time.  It’s just not me.  But I definitely need those moments.  And sometimes, I need those days. Or weeks.  Vacationer gives me this escape in the small doses my life allows.

Beyond that, however, listening to “The Wild Life” gave me pause to consider something deeper than surfboards, bikinis, jungles, and beer on the beach.  Anything thought-provoking earns points in my book.  This song got me wondering if “the wild life is human nature,” why do we not still live that way?  My answer ran along these lines: I think it is also in our nature to grow, to develop, to seek and find, to ascend.  Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle channels those desires into perverse streams of lust for power and material gain rather than streams of increasing consciousness.  There is something beyond existing as a collective of impulse-driven, bipedal mammals, something more fundamental than functioning as cogs in a econosociopolitical consumption machine.  Perhaps it is in the space between careless vacation and hyperfocused industry that peace, pleasure, and productivity exist together.  Discovering and maintaining a balance is up to each individual who desires it.  For me, I think Vacationer might play a part in that quest.  If not, they still make awesome listening!


The Wild Life, Vacationer


An Interview with Lead Singer of Vacationer,

Kenny Vasoli


A Little Joao Gilberto & Stan Getz

(You’ll get the inclusion if you listen to the interview)