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ANWA Member since Oct. 2003 - Chapter President of "Write to the Point" writing group.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wacky Wednesdays...

Okay so today is wacky wednesday and I'll tell you what,
That new title has put me in a bothersome little rut!
I search the house over for things that have gone awry,
To the point of frustration and my desire to wanna cry!
I've got a pile of things all over the place with a bunch to do,
But I tell you, I can't do much with a two foot Grue!
Now what's a Grue you may ask with wonder?
I'll tell you - yes, I will shout it with a voice of thunder!
A Grue is my own made up word I'll tell you straight,
Yes, the results of a Grue, I'm starting to hate!
I went to the doctor and he put tape on both my feet,
It's hard to walk and get anything done - but bleat!
Okay, okay so two sore feet is what I call a Grue,
For there aren't a whole lot of things that I can do!
Its real name is called Plantar Fasciitis I tell you true,
Walking to loose some weight is now not a thing I can do!
So no walking, no rowdiness or jumping on the bed,
And all of these restrictions because the doctor said!
So now do I need a wacky wednesday to help me along?
Nope, I just need to laze around and sing a song!
Now don't you wish you had a two foot Grue too?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday's Marvelous Quotes...

If you listened to Oct General Conference this week-end you may remember this quote..."Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

I had been talking to one of my daughters Friday night and we were discussing a very similar topic. I sometimes overwhelm myself with all of the things I put on my agenda; all of the things I want to accomplish - to the point of not accomplishing any of them. In President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk he told us that the astronauts and cosmonauts used a pencil when their pen wouldn't work in space. I'm now thinking that simplicity is sometimes the best policy. My daughter is right... for she has an apostle of God to back her up!

I think a lot of us are very much like that - we get so caught up in trying to succeed and various ways to do so, that we neglect the simple solutions right before us! So last night I devised a plan: I would get up this morning and go for my hour walk; come home eat breakfast; then write in my novel until noon; when I would eat lunch; then go in and finish sewing my trek dress.

You may say, "good plan" - yes, it was a very good plan! PLAN BREAKER: waking up with a MIGRAINE!!! So I've spent a quiet day lazing around, just barely able to get up and write this blog...

Here's to great uninterrupted plans for tomorrow...


Monday's Marvelous Quotes...

If you listened to Oct General Conference this week-end you may remember this quote...

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

I had been talking to one of my daughters Friday night and we were discussing a very similar topic. I sometimes overwhelm myself with all of the things I put on my agenda; all of the things I want to accomplish - to the point of not accomplishing any of them. In President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk he told us that the astronauts and cosmonauts used a pencil when their pen wouldn't work in space. I'm now thinking that simplicity is sometimes the best policy. My daughter is right... for she has an apostle of God to back her up!

I think a lot of us are very much like that - we get so caught up in trying to succeed and various ways to do so, that we neglect the simple solutions right before us! So last night I devised a plan: I would get up this morning and go for my hour walk; come home eat breakfast; then write in my novel until noon; when I would eat lunch; then go in and finish sewing my trek dress. You may say, "good plan" - yes, it was a very good plan! PLAN BREAKER: waking up with a MIGRAINE!!! So I've spent a quiet day lazing around, just barely able to get up and write this blog...

Here's to great uninterrupted plans for tomorrow...


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday's Frills and Thrills...

I went to the doctor and the doctor said, "Now you must stop jumping on that bed!"

LOL - not really, what she said was that I do have strep... so this made for a fun thing for me to try and get enough doses of meds into my system so I could take my hubby to the hospital for his scheduled hernia surgery this morning and not cause an epidemic outbreak of strep throughout the city!

All went well with the surgery - he's home again and happily tucked down on the sofa for a long winter's nap ('cept its not winter... far from it at 103!)

Me? No more sore throat - just sneezing and sniveling... "Joyce stop that sniveling!" going through a box of Kleenex and wishing for well days! I HATE BEING SICK!!!

Thanx for listening to my whining... Joyce

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wacky Wednesdays...

Today I Choose Me!
By Joyce Smith
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today has been a wacky Wednesday and I’ll tell you why -
I awoke with a sore throat that made me wanna cry.
Now sore throats are bad – no, badder than bad;
But luckily this one isn’t the worst I’ve ever had!

Shining a light down the farthest recesses of my throat
I tell you, I can see to the deepest parts of that moat.
I see my tonsils and little bumps of white and red
Then wonder what’re you doing here? You should be in bed!

So, I’ve lazed around the whole day through;
Doing nothing but plopping here and there with nary a shoe.
Now I’ve decided this is my motto - don’t you see,
“I can only please one person per day & TODAY I CHOOSE ME!”

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fridays Frills and Thrills...

Hey, today is a special day... today is the 42nd anniversary of the birth of my identical twin daughters in Anchorage, Alaska! Wow it's been 42 years already- woe is me, I'M OLD!

Here are a few pic's of them - then and more recent...

The funny thing is that we their family don't think they look all that much alike anymore - but they are constantly being mistaken for the other when one visits the other at Church... this happened just this past Sunday! They thought they were talking to Cristie when actually they were talking to Cindie and she didn't have a clue as to what they were talking about. She finally said that they needed to talk to Cristie about that... funny.

As babies we had to keep name tags on them so that even we would know which was which... We even got them special gold anklets to wear with an "A" and "B" on them since that's what they were known as in the hospital until we came up with names for two girls we weren't expecting at all! Cristie weighed in at 4 pounds and Cindie weighed 3 pounds 6 & 3/4 ounces.

They are very much alike even though they aren't so identical in looks. One year when we lived in Oregon we were having a family reunion... Cristie lived in Arizona and Cindie lived in Michigan. When we picked them up at the airport we got Cristie then ran to the other terminal to get Cindie and when she stepped through the gates she had on the exact same shoes and similar purse and her twin!

Well, I've got to go get ready... I'm going shopping & movie with them and their other two sisters for their birthday... fun times!


Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday's Frills and Thrills..


Now you may be wondering what happened to my blogging fun... well we got a call that sent us off to Oregon for the funeral of our brother-in-law (my husband's sister's husband). We extended our stay after the funeral and stayed with our eldest son and his family; were gone a whole month and boy is it a thrill to be back home again, giggety gigg!

As I review my life - I realize that asking myself to dedicate three days a week to blogging is pretty adventurous of me - since I couldn't keep up with blogging once a week before. If I take three days to blog - that won't leave me much time for finishing the novel I'm writing. So I've decided that some revisions could and ought to be made. My idea is this: I will still have Monday's marvelous Quotes - but not necessarily EVERY Monday. I will still have Wacky Wednesdays - but again not automatically EVERY Wednesday... And that leaves us Friday's Frills and Thrills which likewise will not routinely be written on EVERY Friday; But I will do my darndest to have at least ONE of the posts each and every week if not two or three. Yup that's the plan! I've gotta finish that darn novel!!!!! And painting? When was the last time I picked up one of my paint brushes??? Hummm...
So - Oregon in August and September is quite a fine place to visit. Along the roadsides almost everywhere you go there are Blackberry bushes growing wildly. During this time of year they are overloaded with berries the size of your thumb! Each morning I went for a walk which consisted of one and a half hours and netted me five to six miles on my ped-o-meter. As I was nearing my son's home at the end of my walk there were Blackberry bushes hanging over close to the sidewalk and I would reach up and grab a few to pop into my mouth. Most of them were melt in your mouth and sweet... but I did have to spit out a couple because they weren't quite ripe and biiiitttter... talk about pucker mouth! Sadly I didn't think to take any pictures of said berry bushes. :O{

I did take some pictures of a Doe and her twin Fawn's that came into my son's yard to feed on the grass and rosebushes. The babies were still in spots so that was very fun watching them. And some of the coast. Here they are:


Lincoln City, Oregon:

Our Son & Family:


Hope you enjoyed the pics. L8er... Joyce

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wacky Wednesday's...

Oh the wackiest thing has happened today,
Wackier than a two-tooth-grin from a pile of hay!
Now you may ask how hay can give a grin,
Okay you got me there – yep you win!

I sat on the floor making beaded bookmarks by the ton
Picking this bead and that until I found the right one,
Putting them on the thread was sometimes a trick,
But with my little wire I whipped them on real quick.

When working - I lost my wire more than once
I crawled all over looking for it and felt like a dunce!
Then I needed to make a business card, oh so neat,
It got deleted time after time; whew t'was a real feat!

I tell you sitting on the floor at my age was not so fun
For I got a kink in my back, and a BIG-SORE-BUN!
Yes, it’s a wacky day through and through
And even on two blouses I dropped some goo!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday's Marvelous Quotes, etc...

"Reality Check; Who am I and where am I going? Let the MASTER be your teacher."

This is a quote I wrote for our grandson on his 21st birthday. We decided that we would do everything 21 so I gave him 21 quotes along with 21 Gold dollars, 21 drawing things (he loves to draw and is amazing at it) and a passel of other stuff; everyone at the party gave him things in 21's. Fun party!

In the writing world that I belong to, I think asking myself "who am I and where am I going" is a good question, one that I should ask myself more often. Actually it also applies to my painting and other walks of life too. Sometimes I forget to stop and think what I want in life and what I want to be known for. Do I really want to be known as a procrastinator? I DON'T THINK SO!

So with renewed enthusiasm (partly gleaned from the ANWA retreat I've mentioned before) I will go forth and try to listen harder to the Master and what HE wants me to become when I grow up; what HE wants me to do with my talents (I don't think He wants them hidden under a bushel). CLEAN MY DANG DESK OFF AND GET TO WORK!

What do you think the Master wants you to do with your talents? I would love to hear your comments on the subject.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Frills and Thrills...

This has been a thrilly day!

My husband's back from the National Boy Scout Jamboree that was held in Virginia; he had an awesome time while he was there... that's a real thrill! I love him and missed him bunches and bunches so having him home again after two weeks is a thrill for sure! We've known each other for 48 years and been married 46 of them, yup we dated for two years before we grew up. It's been an awesome life (to use the word now made famous by the Bachelorette, "awesome" one more time). Dang I like that word... guess I'll have to come up with another! How about amazing? Fantastic? What do you think???

Tonight I'm making the now famous Easy Tortilla Soup made by Krista Darrach that we had at the ANWA retreat! My mouth's a-waterin' - can't wait till it's done! Now that's a frill and a thrill! Only I think the name should be changed to Easy Chicken Bean Soup or Easy Bean Chicken Soup or Krista's Delight...? Whatever - I'm making it the harder way though... I cooked my own beans - now I'm cooking the chicken and will put them all together in a few minutes to make a mouthwatering splendid yummy meal! Thank you very much Krista! You're awesome! Oh yeah - you're tremendous!

Let's see what's another thrill for today?... Yes that's it... I (yes I love those little... too!) the thrill is that I've gotten most of my laundry done so I won't have my whole day tomorrow taken up with laundry - now that's definitely a thrill for both today and tomorrow!

Another thrill is that my toe is nicely healing from my disaster of being not only the first participant at the Retreat but also the first injury when the HEAVY bunk bed we were moving got put down too soon - yes you got it - ON MY BIG TOE! Owe, owie, OUCH! {Yip, I like those cute little awesome {humm - awe-inspiring} exclamation points also! :O)

Okay, I smell my chicken in the crock pot cooking to wonderfulness so I better go finish it before I have black chicken jerky!

See you on Monday's Marvelous Quotes!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wacky Wednesdays...

While at our ANWA writers retreat this past week-end we ate; we wrote; we wandered about getting acquainted; and we learned from each other. We even had one wacky adventure after another when the rain fell and filled the basement bedroom with water. While there one suggestion was to try and improve our blogs, to this endeavor I am writing today.
First I guess I should explain what ANWA is to those of you who may not know. ANWA stands for American Night Writers Association. Formed in Arizona in October 1986, the purpose of the organization is to encourage, assist, and motivate members to write, and if they desire, to publish their work. It is comprised of LDS Women who are mothers or may have other professions that keep them from meeting their goal of being a writer - So they write at night (Not a requirement) also sometimes the words to write come from the Spirit in the middle of the night. This is a national organization and if you would like to know more just check us out on line at: www.anwa-lds.com

Now back to me - Wacky Wednesdays will be a regular post of mine (unless gone or otherwise unavailable). My topics will vary - so if you keep track of me, you may very well be surprised at what ever the heck I may talk about or say. I will not be held accountable for anything! :O) That's right, no account Joyce! (Isn't that what being zany is? Yep, crazy!)

This past couple of weeks I've been wandering about camping. I went with my sister Shirley and of course I took along Albert & Snuffy. They're my camping pals. Here's a picture of them sunning on a rock at the lake - Albert left, Snuffy right:
They always go with me camping. Albert loves to climb in the trees and they both like to keep me warm.
This past week camping and at the ANWA writing retreat (I went camping, then to the retreat, then back camping again) when I went to take pictures of Albert & Snuffy on my bed - alas I had my camera case but no camera inside! When I got home it was on my desk, so luckily it wasn't lost or anything, whew what a relief. Just my luck! My husband is off to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Virginia and he has had the misfortune of loosing his camera with all those priceless pictures on it! So I was lucky that my camera wasn't lost, but unlucky to have not had it with me.
While I was at the ANWA writers retreat I had my first chapter of the novel I'm writing critiqued. I'm anxious to make the changes that Cecily suggested. She made a lot of marks on my manuscript, but I am so glad for her help and for the suggestions! I have many more chapters written but I've revised and gone through many twists and turns in my plot and wanted it critiqued again. Glad I did!!!
So that's been my wacky week thus far... I hope you join me again.
Look for Friday Frills & Thrills... Signing off for now, Joyce

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Book Review of Lemon Tart

This past week I went on a campout with my two sisters for a “sister’s week”. We had a great time and all three of us were able to get in some good reading time; amazingly all three of us love to read. The book I chose was: Lemon Tart by Josi S. Kilpack. One of the reasons I bought this book is because I love yellow, I love Lemon’s and I love a good mystery – it looked good, it sounded good, so I bought!

Let me tell you, I was not disappointed one iota with Lemon Tart. Josi Kilpack has done a fantastic job of making her character, Sadie, a very real and likable person. Sadie is a kick in the pants and I loved her antics and her tenacity to go for what she believed was right, even to the point of putting her own life at peril.

In this volume, a middle aged widow named Sadie sets out in her amateur way to figure out who is responsible for the death of her beautiful neighbor. In so doing she both intrigues and ignites the tempers of the two Police detectives assigned to the case. In her awkward and meddling way Sadie finds that the people she thought she knew and loved were not the people she had believed them to be. She is flabbergasted at all of the neighborhood comings and goings that had been happening right under her nose, without her even noticing; which incensed her because she thought herself to be the watchdog of their cul-de-sac.

When two detectives come to her door to ask questions, Sadie somehow manages to get Detective Cunningham to help her make the apple sauce she was in the middle of canning. While at the same time Detective Madsen rubs her the wrong way. His determination to prove her guilty of the murder causes not only a clash with her but with his partner as well.

Sadie sets out taking baked goodies to certain neighbors to try and wheedle information from them while trying to prove herself innocent, solve the case and find the missing child at the same time. She ends up having to eat her own preverbal mud pie in the process. Nope, no recipe for mud pie included!

Josi Kilpack has done a great job with this mystery in keeping me guessing as to who the actual murderer is. The added bonuses of the recipes in Lemon Tart are a plus as far as I’m concerned and I will be making the Lemon Tart and the other recipes included. How can you go wrong with a book that gives you a good read, a good mystery, and a mouth watering recipe to boot?

This debut novel in a culinary mystery series is a must read for anyone who likes a good mystery with humor interlaced throughout. Rest assured I will be buying book two, English Trifle as soon as I can!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Review of "Agent in Old Lace"

Coming home from the LDStorymakers Writers Conference in Provo, Utah in April, I was pretty tired so I spent most of my time the next few days reading. The novel I read was: Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston. No, it hasn’t taken me this long to read it – I just got a Trojan spy on my computer and couldn’t send anything in before now.

This is Tristi’s forth novel. Agent in Old Lace is the first of her novels that I’ve read. I found myself engrossed in the story and wondering from page to page if I was right in my deduction of who the “bad guy” was going to be. I’m one of those people that can be watching a TV show and tell my husband right away “who done it”. That knack has him sometimes frustrated with me – but I say to him, "don’t ask me if you don’t want me to tell you".

So with that in mind you can see why it’s important for me to read good mysteries that can keep me guessing as to “who done it”. With Agent in Old Lace I found that I was correct in the early conclusion as to who the “bad guy” was, but even though I guessed right, it kept me reading and wondering if my reasoning was accurate or not.

This fictional story of intrigue is set in Salt Lake City and southern Utah. Agent in Old Lace is about Shannon Tanner and her fight for life when she accidentally stumbles on some files her fiancee should not have, containing financial information about herself and her father. She struggles to stay alive after she’s kidnapped and taken into the mountains. With daring nerve, she escapes her captor. The aroma of cooking bacon and a campfire draw her. Going forward she finds an unlikely old man in the woods and thinks she’s found her prince in shining armor.

Shannon is shocked to find the old man isn’t who she thought he was and once again narrowly escapes her captors. Her attempts to flee are frustrated by hunger and as darkness and cold set in; the rain begins to fall. Her main goal in life is to stay alive and return to her dear father who is lying in a hospital bed dying. Her father's doctor is totally baffled by the cause of his illness.

Through twists and turns in the story and the help of an undercover agent who dresses as a woman to help protect Shannon, the story keeps the reader intrigued. Falling for the agent in lace isn’t in the plan. But as Agent Rick Holden goes about staying close to Shannon and trying to protect her from the life threats against her - planning doesn’t seem to fit in the equation.

Tristi Pinkston is adept in painting a picture of human bonds and struggles in this family’s life. Shannon, whose beloved father is dying and the trials of trying to keep her integrity, loyalty, and yet apply forgiveness are great challenges that take courage to face. The decisions she makes are all a fundamental part of this story. Tristi takes us into the characters hearts and homes which are well described in this story. If you’re interested in a good mystery to read, I recommend Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston.

Go get it and enjoy...
And have a good weekend - Joyce

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bugs, Lugs, & Hugs!

Now I swore I wouldn't take so long to post a blog again, but little did I know that I would have to eat my words due to bugs! No, I didn't eat any bugs - my computer came down with a plethora of bugs and I was daily battling Trojans trying to keep them from overtaking my whole PC! I won the battle after many wars! Yippee...

Next came the task of lugging my luggage up and down and all around. I went on a trip to Provo, Utah to the annual LDStorymakers Conference. We drove from Arizona with my sister Tina driving. Along on the ride and trip were three other amazing women, making a total of five of us in the truck. I also got to lug my heavy book-bag from class to class once we enrolled. Whew, I think I got arm muscles on this trip! But I had a blast-well worth the trip! I will post pictures of this trip on a forth-coming post.

Okay, then my back and shoulder went out and I spent many a day hugging my pillow trying to get comfy. Now that was not fun! My chiropractor took care of my problem and I'm once again able to give my hubby hugs without pain attached! Yippee, hooray, zip-pity-do-dah!!!

Okay talk to ya later. I've got a book review coming up later today or in the next few days, so check back soon...



Friday, March 5, 2010



Hi, sorry its again been a while... been sick etc, etc, etc...


Every year my high school girlfriends and I all get together for a "girlfriends week end" -Sometimes not just a weekend though.
Anyway on these fun get together and one of the highlights of our time together is having Erma make us homemade tortillas and each year she tries to teach us how... somehow they're never quite like hers but with practice we finally get them to looking and tasting quite yummy.


This was too good to wait for a picture...

Here are the recipes:


5 or 6 Cups flour

1 & 1/2 tsp Salt

3 tsp Baking Powder


Add 1/2 Cup Shortening and cut up or mix with pastry blender or hands until it is all mixed well.

Add very warm water 1 cup at a time until dough is soft, not sticky (approx 2 cups, but you may need more). If dough is too dry add a little water at at time. If dough is too sticky add a little flour. Kneed about 5-7 minutes. Then cover and let rest for 5-8 minutes.

Roll out a small ball at a time using a little flour on the table. Turn the tortilla around counter-clockwise every time you roll it out bigger. Cook on moderate heated grille or heavy frying pan. Turn almost right away then cook until bubbles appear or is evenly brown; then turn over to other side and finish cooking. Reserve in covered pan to keep warm while cooking filling.


Chipolte Steak Quesadilla Filling:

Loin tip steak - cut in thin strips (Or Chicken strips)

Light Olive Oil

{Salt; Garlic with Parsley; Pepper; Montreal steak seasoning; Tabasco-Chipotle Sauce.

Onion - sliced in thin circles

Yellow or red sweet peppers - sliced in thin strips (I can't eat Green Peppers because they give me heartburn but the yellow and red ones don't do that and still give you nice flavor.)

{For even more flavor you may also use 1 small can diced Green Chilies & abt 1 TBS Pace Picante Sauce.}

Sour Cream

Tomato - diced

Cheddar/Jack Cheese - grated

Flour Tortillas

Cook meat in frying pan with light Olive Oil. Add {listed seasonings - to taste. When almost done add sliced onion & peppers; saute' until soft and meat is done.

Serve on your homemade tortilla with sour cream; cheese; tomato and more Tabasco or Pace if desired. I like to serve with corn. If corn is out of season then I use canned corn on top of the Quesadilla; more cheese & eat it with a fork. YUMMY!


I hope you try these and enjoy!


Friday, February 19, 2010


As some of you know I've been gone for two weeks to Texas and just got home on Wednesday afternoon. I thought I would share with you some of the highlights of said trip.

This is Kevin & Logan just before Logan's baptism. Notice the halo around Logan's head... pretty cool.


The Family: Donelle, Kevin, Logan, Tessa, Kinsey

All dressed in whites ready to go.


Me fixing computer for slide show of Logan.

Day trip we took...


Kinsey & Logan -

"Oh come & try to get us - I have my stick!"


The Alligators won't get us here!

Maybe here though...

Look, here's a place we can get away from the Alligator's...


Won't get Logan here...


Or Tess either...
Not Kinsey...

And they won't even get Mommy...


Oh look, a Turtle, but NO Alligator...

Yikes! There's an Alligator!!!

"Stay back Grandma, I'll protect you!"

Aren't Grandkids great!?!?!?!!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Shoulda Named this Smith's Life & Trials...

As you can see I've given myself a new face lift (well I have enough wrinkles I could actually use a physical face lift) but I'm talking about this blog. I felt like it was time to turn over a new leaf, so to speak, and the first order of business was working on this blog and hopefully posting more often too.
For three & a half years when we lived in Torrejon Spain, I wrote family newsletters back home titled: "The Life and Trials of the Smith's in Spain" detailing the many amazing things that happened to myself, my husband and our seven children while living there and the awesome life the Spaniards lived; how we adjusted to living in "their world" etc. But when I got home all such writings ceased. Now I'm thinking its about time to start recording events in my life a little more regularly. What better place to record it than here! :O)
I thought I shoulda named this blog something like "The Smith's Life & Trials" or "Joyce's Life and Trials" but I just like the sound of Zany G's World much better, so there you have it...