Friday, February 27, 2015

Whipped Cream

Did you know that you can squirt whipped cream on your wrist, hit the inside of your elbow with your other hand and send the whipped cream flying?  No worry--just catch it in your mouth.  This demonstration was brought to you by the Canterbury Sister Missionaries!

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Today when I was working on prepping the documents I saw a couple of interesting things that got me thinking.  Thought I would share my ideas.

1) On a request to change his name the person explained that his name was Little and he had wanted to change it because he had overhead people say..."he is Little by name and Little by nature."  Ouch!  Now I do understand the need to change your name some times but I was thinking that if he changed his name has he changed the perception that people had of him.  Sometimes we want a quick fix to our character flaws but the reality is when we have problems the only way around the problem is to go through it.  First he may have needed to develop a sense of humor and then he needed to work on changing others perception of his character.  When I was in elementary school a boy named Duane used to say to me "LAMBERT" like a bleating sheep.  That annoyed the heck out of me but now I always smile when I think about it.  Actually I am glad he knew my name!

2) I noticed on a Will this morning that a man put in one of his bequeaths that after he died he wanted $10.00 paid to someone who would shoot his horse and then bury him.  I just wondered how the horse might have felt about that!  How about paying for someone to put him out to pasture to enjoy his last nibbles of grass until he died by natural causes.  I guess we all have different ideas about love.

Just observing!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Heart of Everything That Is

Where to begin?  This book was written by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin and was a history of the Indian Wars in the mid 1800s.  Red Cloud played a huge role in trying to preserve the land for the Indians and much of the story tells about his life, his challenges, successes, and hopes for his family.  It is a book worth reading and gives us glimpses into the good, the bad, and the ugly that existed on both sides of the battles. Although we have much to be proud of in America we also have much that doesn't involve our finest moments.  Red Cloud said "The white man made me a lot of promises, and they only kept one.  They promised to take my land, and they took it."  The interesting part of the story to me was in the end Red Cloud knew that no matter what they did it would not stop the migration to the west from coming and when he moved onto the reservation in South Dakota his concern turned to his children and grandchildren.  He declared, "God made this earth for us and everybody; there is good streams, good lands; and I wish you to take me to a good place to raise my children....I also want schools to enable my children to read and write so they will be as wise as the white man's children.  I have the same feelings as all the white men have for their families; they love their children, as I do mine, and I would like to raise my children well."  His son, grandson, and then great grandson would succeed him as the tribes's Head Man after he died in 1909.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ice Castles

I had heard several people talk about the Ice Castles in northern New Hampshire up around the skiing resorts and when the weather looked promising on Saturday we decided to see if we could find it.  I tried to find some information on how this started but had no luck.  I guess someone just had an idea and it worked. At night the ice sculptures are lit up with colored lights.  Apparently this area is also the place to go if you want to see moose and they even offer tours that take you where you can see them. We will go back and see if we can spot a moose!  They come out in early morning and at dusk.  The sign on the road warned drivers that there are about 100 collisions a year with a moose and we will try hard to make sure that doesn't happen!

Ice Shacks

I had heard of ice fishing and assumed that you take a chair, a fishing pole, a saw, and lots of warm clothes and went out onto the ice and did your thing.  That may be the way some people did it but here in New Hampshire they do ICE FISHING!  After seeing the ice skaters we saw the little shacks out on the water so we got pictures to show you how serious they are about getting fish out of the water in the winter.  Hope you enjoy this little slice of life in New Hampshire.


We made a trip on Saturday to see the Ice Castles in Lincoln, New Hampshire and then from there we headed east to North Conway where I had read they have a huge outdoor skating rink.  What a beautiful little town (which is so typical of every town in New Hampshire) and of course we have to go back in the summer.  When we found the rink we discovered that there were no skaters which was disappointing but we decided we would choose another route home which brought us back by the top of Lake Winnipesaukee. When we got to the lake we noticed people skating out on the lake so we pulled off the road and sure enough the town had made a rink on one of the fingers of the lake and anyone could come and ice skate for free.  They also had a huge bon fire going for people to come and warm up with a crew from the fire department to make sure everyone was safe.  Scott was able to get some cute pictures for us to share.

Missionary Moments #25, February 22, 2015

This has been an interesting week for a number of reasons.  On Monday the Archives were closed for Presidents Day and we had been invited to dinner by a couple in our ward.  They had us come at 3 p.m. and we had an absolute feast with them and another couple.  We played a card game and then visited.  We actually left at 8 p.m. that evening and I was shocked to realize that we had been there so long.  What a blessing to be invited into someones home and be made to feel so welcome.  On Tuesday we had no folders and so there was no work for us to do at the Archives.  We spent the day working around the apartment and running errands.  We got a call that afternoon that the folders had finally come in and so Wednesday morning we got busy and started the prep work and picture taking.  Thursday we were up to full speed and took over 2,000 pictures that day.  The Sister missionaries from the Concord ward came in to do service and helped us get ahead on our prep work so now we will be able to consistently take pictures.  On Friday we took the day off and went to the Boston temple.  We drove one set of Sisters to the temple that day and then another set home that afternoon.  It was so fun to hear the excitement of Sister Burton and Sister Cannell when they saw the temple.  It was the first time for both of them.  It made me realize how lucky we are to be able to go to the temple whenever we want.  Sister Burton will be going home in a few weeks so we were especially glad that we were able to provide this ride for her.  On Saturday another storm was suppose to start but when we got up the skies were blue and so we decided we would go exploring.  We drove to Lincoln, New Hampshire where some man-made ice castles were and then over to North Conway where we had heard they had a big outdoor ice skating rink.  When we got to N. Conway we found the rink but no ice skaters.  We decided to go home another way which put us at the top of Lake Winnipesaukee.  I just can't explain how beautiful everything in this state is. When we got to the lake we saw a group of people ice skating on the lake so we pulled off and got pictures and also got pictures of people who had their huts on the ice so they could do some ice fishing.  Check the blog for the pictures.  It was a great day!  When we got back to town we stopped and picked up our prescriptions and then did some grocery shopping.  When we walked out of the grocery store the snow started coming down and snowed the rest of the evening.  Perfect timing!  

Happy Birthday Eden!

It is hard to believe you are one.  What a blessing you are to our family.  From the day you were born you have had a sweetness that is pure joy.  Although we are on the other side of the country we love hearing about the cute things that you do--like throwing things from the second floor to the first!  I don't think you will ever want for love or attention with four older siblings.  You have been welcomed from the moment they all met you and now they are able to spoil you on a daily basis.  I suspect in the next few weeks we will hear that you are walking and then your mom and dad will really see some serious mischief making!  Grandpa and I hope your birthday is special Eden and although we won't be there to share the happy moments remember that we love you and can't wait to see you next year.  Happy Birthday sweet girl!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter Wonderland!

This is our apartment complex.  You
can see the snow level goes almost to
the bottom of the window.
Snow on the trees is just so pretty and the most recent
snow did a perfect job of painting these branches!

This is outside our window at
work.  Again you can see the level of
snow because it is sitting on top of a
picnic table.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We've Arrived in 1890!

The first part of December 2014 we started the 1880 probate files and today we finally opened our first 1890 probate file.  I did a Google search for the decade and one thing I did notice was that lots of famous people died but many of the events probably wouldn't be recognized by many of us.

     *1890 -Congress designated Yosemite a National Park
_   *1891 -Carnegie Hall opened in New York City
     *1892 -Walt Whitman died
     *1893 -Lizzie Borden was acquitted
     *1894 -Congress established the first Monday of September as Labor Day
     *1895 -Alfred Nobel arranged in his will for his estate to fund the Nobel Prize
     *1896 -First Olympic Games were held in Greece
     *1897 -The Klondike Gold Rush began in Alaska
     *1898 -United States declared war on Spain
     *1899 -Newsboys in NYC went on strike for several weeks

Bill and Cathy

Happy Anniversary!  Can't believe it has been 20 years since we attended your sealing in the Salt Lake Temple.  Thank you for your example of love and devotion to one another.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Embracing the Moments

These are our sister missionaries outside of the entrance of the Church.  I would have enjoyed joining them as they fell in the snow but I knew that I wouldn't have been able to get back up!

Valentine Surprise!

I mentioned in our missionary moments post that the sisters surprised us by decorating our door for Valentines Day.  If you notice the hands they put five reasons they love the Duncan's and on each hand they wrote something.  Along with that they wrote little notes and scriptures on the other one.  These two sister missionaries are truly impressive in all they do for the ward and in their assignment to work with the other sisters in the area.  They inspire us daily.

Missionary Moments #24, February 15, 2015

Another week has sped by and we were able to work all week.  We did run out of files on Wednesday but we spent the next two days finishing off the captures of the prepped documents.  The good news is the head of the archives ordered more folders but the bad news is they are on back order so we won't be able to do any preservation until they come in.  Once they come in we will be busy for months before we face this dilemma again.  We were told that the last time he had to order files they were $30,000 so you can see this isn't a little thing.  The archives are closed tomorrow because of Presidents Day but on Tuesday we are going to go into work and clean and organize our space.  We have worn out the frame we made to take pictures on so we will replace that and then do some sweeping and dusting.  It is definitely a dusty job.  We had a fun Valentine's Day.  I had made cupcakes to take to work and Thursday night I filled them with a cream center and then decorated them.  I made a stand up card that thanked everyone for making us feel welcome and wished them a Happy Valentines Day.  When I made the Valentine boxes to send to the grandkids I got two gift bags and made treats for our two sets of missionaries as well and planned to take them over to them on Saturday morning.  About 9:30 there was a knock on the door and when I opened it no one was there but our door was decorated with crepe paper and all kinds of things taped to it.  While I was admiring it the Sister missionaries jumped out and scared me to death!  Fun morning.  Sister Burton will be going home at the end of the month and we will really miss her.  It has been interesting to see the ambivalent emotions in her.  She is so excited to see her family but has loved her mission and is sad to leave it behind.  What a credit she has been to her parents and the Church as she has served so faithfully.  We are into our second day of snow which is beautiful and so far no loss of electricity!  Right now we are trying to figure out how to safely get to church.  Scott is talking so we definitely need to be there!  Last week there were only about 40 people and they sent us home after sacrament meeting.  We suspect it may be the same today.  Thanks for the cute Valentines and letters we received this week.  That was a special treat!  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Creativity at its Best!

I just got pictures from Andy and Angela.  This was what Andy made for Caleb for Christmas.  Because Caleb is fascinated with pulleys and things like that Angela asked Andy if he could make something like a crane for him. This is it!   I know Christmas is far behind us but I just had to share.

Monday, February 9, 2015


Just finished reading Moloka'i written by Alan Brennert.  The story was based on the Leper Colony on the Kalaupapa Peninsula.  The story is historical fiction but the writer used many of the real experiences of people who lived there.  I enjoyed the book although it was sometimes hard to read because of the reality of what had happened to these people who had Hanson's disease.  The first patients were sent to the island in 1873 and the facilities didn't close until 1969.  In the information I read there were 14 people who remained on the island after it closed.  During the peak there were 1200 men, women and children living there.  Apparently health officials in Oahu visited schools on a regular basis looking for children who had the disease and if they did they were removed immediately to a hospital and then on to the colony.  It was a great shame for a family if someone had to be sent to the island.  One of the true stories I read told of a man who was cured of the disease and wrote to his mother telling her he wanted to come and see her.  She told him no.  She still didn't want anyone to know that someone in her family had been at the Kalaupapa Leper colony.  If a couple had a child while they were there, the baby was taken away immediately and sent to an orphanage or a family member back home.  Many of the women didn't go to the hospital and had their baby at home making sure that no one heard them so that they could hold and love their child before it was taken away.  A very interesting book to read but be prepared for some painful information.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Missionary Moments #23, February 8, 2015

We woke up this morning to a snowstorm that is supposed to last for two days. The interesting thing is that I am speaking in Sacrament meeting today and realized that we may be one of the few who show up.  Our ward boundaries are far reaching and many people drive up to 45 minutes to come to church so when there is a storm like this many stay home.  It is all good because my talk is ready and since church doesn't start until 1 p.m. we figure the snow plows will have been busy and we will get safely there.  Last week my brother-in-law Phil called and asked if I went to BYU.  I told him that I had.  I think he is surprised by my fascination with snow since I have been in snow before.  I smiled.  I enjoyed an occasional snow storm in Provo, and about once a year we get snow in Victorville but believe me I have never seen snow like this!  It is beautiful, it is manageable, it is cold, it is dry, and there is a lot of it! 

We got more folders in this week which was greatly appreciated and they brought out 12 more boxes of probate files for us. We felt so excited because being busy is so much nicer than looking busy.  The head of the Archives mentioned that his problem right now was finding the funding for the folders.  We hope he is able to!  

I have been working on some family history this week.  The spirit of Elijah has engulfed me as we are around so much history every day.  Lincoln asked me where our ancestors came from and I could talk about states but had no idea where most of them originally came from (except the Hickey line) so I decided it was time to go past our four generations and look a little deeper. Cathy has already been doing that for us but I decided I would try to find out more about Telulah Viola Wards family.  I did find some great information on her grandparents Wiley and Rebecca Ward.  They had seven children and all of those children lived to adulthood.  I think that is quite unique for that period of time.  I also found on the 1880 census that they had a husband and wife (in their 60's) with a child living with them.  At first I thought it was her parents  but they had a different last name. Another mystery to solve!  

Happy Birthday Cathy!

One of the great blessings of having sons is that you eventually have more daughters!  Cathy was the first to join our family and she is exceptional.  I have been touched by the love she has for the gospel, for her husband, her children, and her family.  I am amazed at what she accomplishes each day.  She teaches her children at school, make sure they get to lessons and activities, serves as a ward missionary, supports Bill as he serves in his calling, and works on our family history on a regular basis.  She does all of this with a smile on her face.  I don't think there is anything she couldn't accomplish if she set her mind to it.  Thank you for being a part of a firm foundation for the many generations that will follow.  They will have much to be proud of.  Happy Birthday Cathy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fire Alarm

Just as we were finishing up dinner last night the fire alarm began blaring.  I kept thinking that if there was a real fire we are going to have to find a hotel.  I know that wasn't rational but I wasn't worried about clothes or computers.  I just wanted to know where to sleep!  Kind of fortunately, some little ruffian had pulled the fire alarm so we were only outside in the snow for about 40 minutes while the firemen checked everything out.
An interesting side note to this story was that while we were outside the Elders came back from the library. They had walked down there because they weren't allowed to drive anywhere because of the snow storm. They decided they would hike over to the library and check their emails.  I saw them leave about 11:30 and both of them were carrying snow shovels.  I thought that was funny but figured they had a reason.  While we were outside at 6:00 they came walking up.  I asked how the library was and what took so long.  Elder Jensen got a big grin on his face and said, "It was great--we were able to help over 19 people get their cars out of the snow as we walked to the library."  These young missionary are so amazing!

These Is My Words

This book was written by Nancy E. Turner.  I was interested in it because it was written about the Arizona Territories at about the same time my widowed great-grandmother came to Arizona.  Although it is fiction I loved the way she introduced so much of the history happening at that time in southern Arizona.  This book was well written and I had a hard time putting it down.  I was actually so glad we had the big snow storm so I could finish it off.  If you like historical fiction you will enjoy the story of Sarah Prine and her family. I was fascinated as I read this because I kept thinking about my great grandmother who came from Missouri in 1892.  I so admire her for her courage.  She and my great grandfather were moving to Arizona because he had Tuberculosis.  Before they left he went up to tell his family they were moving and to say goodbye.  The problem was--he didn't come back.  Finally her brother (who was also going to Arizona) went up to see what had happened.  He found that James Hickey had died from his TB but apparently his parents didn't bother to tell their daughter-in-law.  At that time my great grandmother was pregnant with my grandfather.  When her brother came back and told her what had happened she decided that she would still come to Arizona with him and his family.  The rest is history!                                                       Another interesting thing to me was the rattlesnakes, tarantulas and scorpions scattered throughout the story.  I lived in Arizona until my late 20's and I can honestly say I never once saw a rattlesnake, scorpions, or tarantula.  I'm sure they were out there somewhere.  I did see lots of horned toad lizards!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Snow Business

This is a week ago--notice the antenna on top
Besides the fact that the Patriots won, which is really good news around here, you have probably heard that we have been having some interesting weather.  Last week I was so worried and we ended up with just six inches of snow.  Last night a storm came in and I wasn't worried at all and we had 12 inches of snow.  Actually we didn't go to work because we are big chickens!  I did do something good today.  Our Elders and Sisters couldn't go to the church today to email their families so I offered to email their parents and let them know that they were all fine but were house bound (per mission office) until the storm passed.   It was nice to give them a quick report on their wonderful children.  It was also nice to hear back from them.  All in all it was a very nice day.
This is today--notice no antenna on top!

Weeping Wall

We had noticed as we have driven around the state that where there were granite rocks there was water coming out of them.  What has been even more fascinating is that in the winter they look like this....

College Bound

Scott was excited to see a sign for Dartmouth College the first time we went to Vermont.  He wanted to go see the campus and so on Saturday when we realized we weren't going to have a snow storm we decided to make a quick trip up north. Dartmouth College is in a small town called Hanover.  It was started in 1769 and is considered an Ivy League university ranking among the greatest academic institutions. They say only 11% of the people who applied last year were accepted.  Some of the famous alumni of Dartmouth were Dr. Seuss and Daniel Webster. They listed other names but I didn't know who they were!  After driving around the campus and getting some pictures we had a wonderful lunch in a little restaurant on Main Street in Hanover.  It turned out to be a very nice day.

Missionary Moments #22, February 1, 2015

We have been busy looking busy!  We are in an awkward place right now because of the work being done in the warehouse of the archives.  We have used up all of our folders that the files end up in and they are unable to bring more out until they get the aisles cleared.  We ended up not going in on Wednesday morning because we had taken all of the pictures of the probate files we had and weren't able to get more ready without the folders.  We got a call about 10:30 saying they had found more folders and so we went in.  The folders gave us three boxes of pictures to take and so we began taking pictures again on Friday morning.  We will have captured all the documents by Monday afternoon and then will need to wait again for more folders.  In the meantime we fill the our time with little projects that we have from home.  Both of us are doing a lot of reading and that is especially nice.  Next Sunday I have been asked to speak in sacrament meeting and the Sunday after Scott is speaking.  Apparently they don't have couples speak on the same Sunday.  At least we know we will have one person in the pews who likes our talk!  The weather is brisk but we are pretty comfy right now.  We still haven't turned on the heat in our apartment and being outside isn't bad because of our winter gear.  Yesterday Scott and I drove up north to find Dartmouth College which is just before the Vermont border by Sharon, Vermont.  We had passed the sign a number of times and decided we wanted to see it, so off we went.  It is in a beautiful little New England town and the campus is impressive.  It is next to the main street downtown area.  The buildings are beautiful and I got some good pictures.  We also ate lunch in a really cute restaurant with amazing hot bread and honey butter.  It ended up being a very nice little trip.  Next weekend, weather permitting, we are going to see the Franklin D. Roosevelt presidential library. Can't wait.  We also had some other great news but I will wait to tell you about that once everything is confirmed.  Let's just say--we are so excited!  It is so nice being here in New Hampshire and we are grateful that it has worked out this way.