Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Magic

There’s nothing like the stillness of a quiet winter day

When nature’s temper tantrum has blown itself away,

And all that’s left of anger is the frosty winter air

With icy white reminders painted everywhere.

Just yesterday my forest friends stood shivering in the cold

Their spindly arms stark naked; their noble trunks stood bold.

Today those same bare twigs are plump with winter’s finest lace

Sparkling in the winter sun, who shyly shows her face.

Each forest lady wears a crown of diamonds and pearls

Each royal beauty nods and winks at other stately girls.

There’s a special kind of quiet when the earth is robed in white.

Peace whispers to us softly as we marvel at the sight.

A thoughtful kind of silence fills our thoughts with gentle things.

We listen for the clarity that mother nature brings..

It’s a time for winter solitude and for sweet memory,

A perfect time for pondering and for simplicity.

A winter bird chirps softly, a cheerful winter song

I feel a kind of winter calm; a winter kind of strong.

The voice of winter magic whispers winter’s softest sounds

When all the the forest ladies put on their royal gowns.
Linds Garner

Sunday, November 25, 2012

English Toffee

Since it's holiday time, I just wanted to share a candy recipe that's a favorite in our family.

Toffee is one of my favorite holiday candies. I like to make it because it’s fast and easy. It’s also fail-proof once you know how to do it. You can make it with or without nuts, depending on your taste and allergies. I love it with sliced almonds, but my favorite is fresh chopped walnuts. We have a walnut tree in our back yard. (The squirrel and I have a contest each fall to see who gets the nuts. When I get there first, he scolds me soundly.)
2 squares butter (must be AA grade. Lesser grades of butter have water in them and the
                        candy will separate.)
1 cup sugar
5 T. water
1 t. vanilla
Chocolate – use good quality, your favorite
Nuts – any kind you wish.

Put the butter, sugar and water in a frying pan and turn the heat up high. Don’t turn it down. Stir the whole time. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes to make. Cook it until the color turns caramel. You can see little puffs of smoke coming from the caramel-colored bubbles. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla.
Pour the candy over the sliced almonds or chopped walnuts. I have a marble slab that I pour the candy on, but you can use a cookie sheet set on a bread board. The candy gets so hot, I wouldn’t put the cookie sheet directly on Formica. It might burn through. If you want the candy covered with chocolate, sprinkle pieces on top while it’s hot and let it melt. Spread it out.
Cool, break it into pieces and enjoy. Plan on making several batches. My kids can eat it faster than I can make it.
Christy Monson

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Mixing Bowl

Mother had a wonderful mixer.  To my delight she made yummy cakes and cookies with the mixer.  I was her shadow, and loved to help.  Licking the beaters was my favorite thing.

Once on a cookie day,  when the batter was done, Mom left the room for a moment.  She promised to come right back and get the beaters for me.

One minute is an eternity for a small child. 

I grew impatient and decided to get the beaters myself.  I dragged a chair to the counter and tried my luck with the beaters.  It was harder than it looked.  A small battle ensued, and the beaters won.  Mother’s lovely white mixing bowl lay on the floor broken in pieces.

I was heartsick.  I ran crying to some corner of the house, feeling terrible.  I knew that I was in serious trouble.  Mom loved that mixing bowl.  It was her favorite.

When my mother found me, I was a soggy mess of tears.  She gathered me in her arms and held me close.  She told me how much she loved me.  She told me that I mattered more to her than any mixing bowl.

I was surprised.  I had no idea how much she loved me.  Turns out, I was her favorite, at least compared to mixing bowls.

Mom told me that she could always get another mixing bowl, but she could never get another me.

Though my mother wasn’t perfect, her love for me was perfect, and that love continues to warm me to this day. 

Linda Garner

Monday, November 19, 2012

Delivering Hope by Jennifer Ann Holt
What an inspiring book this is! I loved reading it.
Olivia and Michael are unable to have children. Through years of waiting, anticipation, hope and prayer, the fertility doctors finally tell them there is no chance of them getting pregnant.  Olivia has a difficult time accepting this path until she reads her Great Aunt Elizabeth’s journal and finds that this grand lady walked the same road with honor and dignity, giving love and service throughout her life.
Allison is a model young woman, active in the Church and a good student with plans to attend college after high school graduation. A night of poor decisions changes her life forever, and she finds herself in the Bishop’s office, telling him that she’s pregnant.
The author has skillfully presented all the obstacles that line the paths for each situation. Her understanding of the issues for both parties is presented with depth and insight.
As a retired Marriage and Family Therapist, I would love to have had this book for my couples who faced infertility as well as the young girls I worked with who found themselves pregnant. My hat is off to you, Jennifer. This is a well-written book. I give it a great recommendation.
Jennifer says:
“I am donating my royalties for books sold during November (excluding e-books) to the National Council For Adoption's The Hope Challenge project (www.thehopechallenge.org). My publisher has agreed to donate $1/book sold of their profits, and with the help of several other charitable foundations who will be matching these donations, $5 will be donated to this terrific cause for every copy of Delivering Hope that sells during November!

Christy Monson, L.M.F.T., Retired.

"Jennifer Holt" <jenniferannholt@yahoo.com>,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Super Dang Good

I attended an interesting funeral last week.  Robin was the 48 year old daughter of my neighbor.  She had been very active physically, playing tennis several times each week, and running every day.  Her family and friends were shocked when she died suddenly of a heart attack which occurred after a tennis match. 

The funeral was packed.  We have a good sized chapel, and it was busting at the seams.  Most of the seats were occupied by Robin’s friends, who each thought that they were her best friend.  As I watched the chapel fill, I wondered how many friends will come to my funeral, not soon, of course, but someday.  As I listened to the speakers talk about the "best friend" thing, I wondered if anyone thinks of me as their best friend.

I love people and I have lots of friends.  I don’t really need anyone to  be my best friend or to say that I’m their best friend, but I can’t help wondering.   What did Robin do that made dozens of people feel that close to her?  It’s an interesting question.

From what I heard she loved to serve, and she loved to have fun.  Sounds like she could have fun anywhere, doing anything.  Sounds like she could have made taking out the garbage into a party.

 One of her friends said that Robin had a standard response when asked “How are you.”

“Super Dang Good,” she always said.  I liked the sound of that.  It has been rolling around in my mind ever since.  Just yesterday the grocery store clerk asked “How are you?”

I responded without really thinking.  “Super Dang Good,” I said.   It just popped out.  It felt good.  The clerk smiled and I giggled. 
I hope Robin doesn’t mind if I copy her.  I should ask.  It would be the polite thing to do.  If only I had her new address or  phone number.  If only I could text her.  Should I try 1-800-HEAVEN?

She may not mind, you know.  Maybe she has thought of something new to say.  Maybe she says “Heavenly,” or “Out of This World.”  Maybe she says “Divine.”

 And by the way, I’ve been meaning to ask.  How are you?

I hope you’re… Super Dang Good.

Linda Garner



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kris Kringle's Magic

Every year Diane Stringham Tolley comes up with another fun Christmas book. This would be a great family gift and something everyone would enjoy reading together.

Kris Kringle’s Magic by Diane Stringham Tolley is a fun family read.
In a world where elves are only slaves, one boy is determined to make things right. With the elves' help, Kris decides to begin with the children. But can a pile of gifts on Christmas Eve really change anything? This enchanting story is sure to captivate kids of all ages. An instant holiday classic you'll want to read again and again.
The author spins a magical tale full of fun, and suspense to explain how Kris Kringle and the elves got to the North Pole. This truly believable tale of love and charity fits right in with the Christmas Season and will fill your holiday with the spirit of good will.
Thanks Diane for sharing your magical creativity with us in this never-to-be-forgotten story. Reading it will make your season of love and joy a time to remember. I give this book a five-star rating.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's a Mixed Bag

I’m working on something new.  It’s called How Did You Get in my Mirror, Mom, and is mostly a collection of my blogs and articles. It’s really not about my mom, but I loved the title. Some of it does talk about things I learned from my mom, but not all.  It’s a mix of humor and quirky wisdom, things I’ve learned, and things I’m still trying to learn.  I’m having a lot of fun with it.

I look like my Mom, and mostly I like it.  I never thought I would act like my mom, but I often do.  Makes perfect sense, since she was my personal role model.  She was also my biggest fan.  I appreciate her for that.  My mom wasn’t perfect, but she was very good.  I learned a lot of good things from her.  I also learned a few things that I wish I hadn’t.  It’s a mixed bag.

I’d like to hear from you.  Are you like your mom, or totally different?  If you are, do you like it?  Why or why not?  If you’re totally different, do you like it?  Why or why not. 

In what ways would you like to be more like your mom?  In what ways would you like to be less like your mom?

I know you’re busy, but if you can, take a moment to respond.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, even if it's a mixed bag.

Linda Garner


Monday, November 5, 2012

Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero
            Epic Tales of a Misfit Hero by Matt Peterson is a fun read for kids. From passing the sacrament with his fly down to failing miserable at capture the flag, Andrew knows he’ll never be able to fulfill his duties as a deacon. But when tragedy strikes on his Boy Scout camping trip, Andrew’s whole troop must become stronger than they ever imagined. This hilarious coming-of-age story is bound to have you rooting for a misfit hero!
            Matt Peterson has hit a home run with this fun adventure. It’s sure to please the entire family—most especially those boys who are about to become deacons. The story rings true right town to the spilled cheerios on the carpet during Sacrament meeting.
            Andrew must reach down deep inside himself, with the help of angels, and find his inner strength. He comes through like a true hero. This is a great five-star read! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A second Texting Through Time book is here, John Taylor And The Mystery Puzzle. It’s a fast-paced quick read—fun for kids and the entire family.
As Micah and Alicia get to know John Taylor, they find he is faithful, courageous, prayerful and loving. They must solve a mystery puzzle about his life before they can return home. While hunting for the puzzle pieces, they land in France with a dead phone battery—and Micah is in a dress! What else can go wrong?
This was such a fun book to write. I enjoy doing the research. It’s a blessing for me to learn about our modern-day prophets.
I am honored that Mary Jane Woodger, BYU Faculty and editor of Champion of Liberty, John Taylor, has written a forward for my book. Maureen Smith, International President of the Daughter’s of the Utah Pioneers has endorsed the book. And Mathew Buckley, author of Chickens in the Headlights, and Bullies in the Headlights has given it a thumbs-up.
If you like contests, be sure to join the book blast on November 13th. Order a book from Amazon and leave me a message on one of the following sites to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Certificate.
My book launch will be at the Ogden Temple Deseret Book Store on Friday, November 23rd from 2 – 3:30 pm. Join the fun. Come for refreshments and a fun signing.
Check the websites for other scheduled signings.