Thursday, August 13, 2009


The supermarket two blocks down the way has the cutest displays!
Utah "Salt and Pepper" corn was stacked high, and on sale: 10 ears for 98 cents!
The store knew this was going to be a door buster sale and were well prepared for additional business.
Look closely: They also displayed everything else you would need for a big corn on the cob feast.
Napkins, big pots for boiling corn, butter, salt and pepper, corn "stickers", aluminum foil so if you wanted to throw the corn on the grill, grills...
What else could you possibly need???

Well, dental floss of course! They really DID think of everything!

They even set up a Shuckin' Station!

Isn't "salt and pepper" corn pretty?
Jeff and Rachel invited us to dinner. We brought the corn and the bread...they grew the tomatoes for the salad.

Oh yum!

Sunny summer yellow goodness.

More yellow: I enjoyed the yellow roses on my dining table, and am experimenting with candles and my Wheeling gold china tea service collection from the 1920's. The china was decorated with 24 K gold. I wonder how much they would be worth if they were sold for their gold instead old tea pots?

Outside we are having the yellow breasted black headed grosbeaks visiting our bird feeders.
The yellow sunshine of summer is glowing everywhere!

Not to brag....well, actually, yeah...I'm bragging big time!

What proud mama wouldn't want to brag when her son and daughter-in-law are featured in one of the biggest bridal magazines west of the Mississippi?

Jeff and Rachel's engagement story and pictures were featured on Utah Bride and Groom's blog buzz on Monday.
Hope you can see the pictures, otherwise head over to the link above!

(And now you can understand why I rarely showed pictures of my kids when they were little. People would look, and then get sad when they realized that I had the most beautiful children ever....and their kids were, well, just kinda cute. Don't hit me! I'm kidding!)

Aug 10, 2009
09:41 AMBridal Buzz
Engagement Photos: Rachel & Jeffrey
By Tessa Woolf
Aug 10, 2009 - 09:41 AM
I love Rachel and Jeffrey's engagement photos shot out and about in downtown Salt Lake City by Pam and Ritchie of Ritrato Photography. (The shot at Blue Iguana is one of my faves—and it's a great restaurant, too!) Enjoy the photos and the couple's sweet proposal story.
The Couple: Jeffrey Spriggs & Rachel Burton
The Proposal: "Earlier in the week Jeff suggested that we get Mexican food at our favorite fish taco joint on Friday night," says Rachel. "We'd gone there on our first dinner date, so I started to suspect that he was going to propose."
"When I called him after work I was planning to hit the gym, but he suggested we go watch the sunset and drink champagne above the Capitol for our 'Monthiversary.' We'd been to the overlook before on one of our first dates and it has the best view of the lake, valley and sunset. I scrapped the gym and hustled home from work to get dressed for our date."
"Once Jeff picked me up, we headed up to an overlook to watch the sunset. After we cheers'd to seven months together he told me he had a present for me and to close my eyes. When I opened them he was on one knee (in the mud) with a gorgeous engagement ring and he asked 'Rachel, will you do me the honor of spending the rest of your life with me?' I said 'Of course! I can't wait to be your wife!' Then we headed down to Lone Star Taqueria for a dinner of the best fish tacos in the valley!"
The Wedding: was held May 2, 2009. The couple were married at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sonoma, California, followed by a reception at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. "I am from Santa Rosa, California (wine country), and I wanted my Utah friends to see where I grew up!" says Rachel. A Utah reception at the groom's parents' home in Olympus Cove in Salt Lake City was also held on June 13, 2009.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two, three months....

Caring Candle for
Mark Spriggs
Cancer Caregiver Help

Last February, around Valentine's Day we learned that my brother-in-law Mark had cancer. He under went surgery, and a large mass was removed from his abdomen, along with the several organs that the cancer had invaded.

The doctor admitted that some cancer was still left behind, in places that could not be breached by the knife. As soon as Mark was considered well enough to endure the next challenge, he began a very heavy chemotherapy regime.

Last Wednesday he had a MRI to determine if the chemo was having a good effect. On Mark's 51st birthday he was in the hospital and was soon to learn that the cancer had returned. A mass had formed again, just as large as before, and it is not in any way operable.

They discharged him to return to his wife of five years and his two young adult aged step-children, with the advice to get his affairs in order; he may only have two or three months to live.

Mark is a believer. He came to faith in the saving grace of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ around eight years ago. He then married a Christian woman and became active in a vibrant church, where he played worship music...he who before had rocked on the drums in clubs and videos. I've heard he has written faith music, and that he plays mostly bass guitar at church. We never got to see him in action in that capacity, but judging from the notes left by church members on his Caring Bridge link, he apparently has been much admired and his music much enjoyed.

The number of friends from his band days, and work places (he himself had worked as a radiology therapist...he worked with so many who had battle with cancer...) have left caring messages for Mark that have been quite comforting to all of us. As typical with siblings with different life paths and interests, there had been little overlap between our lives. It has been good to know his life has been full of friend and lot of fun.

Most of all, it is good to know that while parting is hard for all of us to consider at this time, (he is too young!) the parting will hold his healing. He will be fine, forever, and his only longing will be to find us all with him in heaven one day.

For now, we pray for a miracle, of course. Barring that gift, we pray for ease of pain, sorrow, and all the feelings that go with departing. We pray for that for all of us. For all of us here on earth who know that death is never timely, and dread the inevitable physical outcome for each of us.

The body is weak, and fails...the soul takes flight...and is an eternal creation. Like during the birth of a child, we as a family are labouring in our spirit for the end of Mark's season of life here on earth, and for the release of life, like a birth, into heaven.

Please pray for Mark's mom and dad, his brother and sister, nieces and nephews, wife and step children. Pray that through the dark days ahead they will still have a vision of light, a light of knowing that there IS a good eternal future ahead for Mark.

Houses With Criminal Pasts Sickens Owners: MUST READ ARTICLE!


While this post is not cheery, I think the article below important enough to risk being a bit of a Monday "downer."

When I first saw the article I wondered how you could get sick by buying a home a criminal had lived in.

I had NO idea. This is especially serious when you consider how many young families try to get their first home via a "deal" such as auction or foreclosure.
IMHO, the following hair raising article should be posted everywhere.
Spread the word to everyone you meet who is shopping for a house right now.

July 14, 2009
Illnesses Afflict Homes With a Criminal Past
WINCHESTER, Tenn. — The spacious home where the newly wed Rhonda and Jason Holt began their family in 2005 was plagued by mysterious illnesses. The Holts’ three babies were ghostlike and listless, with breathing problems that called for respirators, repeated trips to the emergency room and, for the middle child, Anna, the heaviest dose of steroids a toddler can take.
Ms. Holt, a nurse, developed migraines. She and her husband, a factory worker, had kidney ailments.
It was not until February, more than five years after they moved in, that the couple discovered the root of their troubles: their house, across the road from a cornfield in this town some 70 miles south of Nashville, was contaminated with high levels of methamphetamine left by the previous occupant, who had been dragged from the attic by the police.
The Holts’ next realization was almost as devastating: it was up to them to spend the $30,000 or more that cleanup would require.
With meth lab seizures on the rise nationally for the first time since 2003, similar cases are playing out in several states, drawing attention to the problem of meth contamination, which can permeate drywall, carpets, insulation and air ducts, causing respiratory ailments and other health problems.
Federal data on meth lab seizures suggest that there are tens of thousands of contaminated residences in the United States. The victims include low-income elderly people whose homes are surreptitiously used by relatives or in-laws to make meth, and landlords whose tenants leave them with a toxic mess.
Some states have tried to fix the problem by requiring cleanup and, at the time of sale, disclosure of the house’s history. But the high cost of cleaning — $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the size of the home, the stringency of the requirements and the degree of contamination — has left hundreds of properties vacant and quarantined, particularly in Western and Southern states afflicted with meth use.
“The meth lab home problem is only going to grow,” said Dawn Turner, who started a Web site,, after her son lost thousands of dollars when he bought a foreclosed home in Sweetwater, Tenn., that turned out to be contaminated. Because less is known about the history of foreclosed houses, Ms. Turner said, “as foreclosures rise, so will the number of new meth lab home owners.”
Meth contamination can bring financial ruin to families like that of Francisca Rodriguez. The family dog began having seizures nine days after the Rodriguezes moved into their home in Grapevine, Tex., near Dallas, and their 6-year-old son developed a breathing problem similar to asthma, said Ms. Rodriguez, 35, a stay-at-home mother of three.
After learning from neighbors that the three-bedroom ranch-style home had been a known “drug house,” the family had it tested. The air ducts had meth levels more than 100 times higher than the most commonly cited limit beyond which cleanup is typically required.
The former owner had marked “no” on a disclosure form asking whether the house had ever been a meth lab, Ms. Rodriguez said. But because he is now in prison for meth possession, among other things, the Rodriguezes decided there was nothing to gain by suing him. They moved out, throwing away most of their possessions because they could not be cleaned, and are letting the house go into foreclosure.
“It makes you crazy,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “Our credit is ruined, we won’t be able to buy another house, somebody exposed my kids to meth, and my dog died.”
Federal statistics show that the number of clandestine meth labs discovered in the United States rose by 14 percent last year, to 6,783, and has continued to increase, in part because of a crackdown on meth manufacturers in Mexico and in part because of the spread of a new, easier meth-making method known as “shake and bake.”
There are no national standards governing meth contamination. Congress ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to publish cleanup guidelines by the end of 2008, but the agency is still reviewing a draft version. Without standards, professional cleaners say, it is easy to bungle a job that often requires gutting and repeated washing.
About 20 states have passed laws requiring meth contamination cleanup, and they use widely varied standards. Virtually all the laws hold the property owner financially responsible; Colorado appears to be the only state that allots federal grant money to help innocent property owners faced with unexpected cleanup jobs.
In other states, like Georgia, landlords and other real estate owners have fought a proposed cleanup law.
After the Holts bought their house here, Tennessee passed such a law. But since 2005, only 81 of 303 homes placed under a resulting quarantine have been cleaned, according to the state, which has one of the few registries tracking meth lab addresses. The law applies only if the police find a working meth lab at the house, and Jerry Hood, a lawyer and cleanup contractor hired by the Holts for the decontamination work, said many houses in the county had escaped the legislation.
The health effects of meth contamination are frequently difficult to prove, and research is scant. But John W. Martyny, a meth expert at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, said living in a former meth lab made children more likely to develop learning disabilities and caused long-term respiratory and skin problems.
Even brief exposure can have severe effects, Dr. Martyny said. A 2007 study by the Denver center found that more than 70 percent of law enforcement officials who had inspected meth labs subsequently reported health problems.
To Ms. Holt’s horror, inspectors found high concentrations of meth on her kitchen countertops, where she sterilized bottles, prepared baby food and doled out snacks.
“We had no idea that we were starting a family in a meth house,” she said. “We bought a house that eventually was going to sentence our family to death.”
When the family left the house, moving in with Mr. Holt’s parents, their health problems largely subsided. The children no longer needed medication to breathe. The migraines and the kidney ailments vanished.
But the heartaches continued. Ms. Holt has been working two jobs to earn money to pay for her house’s remediation, which has proceeded in fits and starts with donations from church fund-raisers and local businesses. And Anna, 2, had a relapse and had to return briefly to the hospital.
“We don’t know what it’s going to be in the future,” Ms. Holt said, standing in the barren, unfinished structure that was once her dream home and reflecting on her children. “This meth contamination is all their immune systems have ever known.”