Different Drummer

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielsen

We met at Sandy's home in October and had a fun discussion about the book, "Heaven is Here," by Stephanie Nielson.  We laughed about different aspects of motherhood that are not always easy to love. We admired Stephanie for so many things: her courage, faith, honesty and openness, her delightful sense of humor.  We all have trials to face, but this wonderful book about Stephanie and her family's journey can help us face those trials with faith, hope and gratitude.

Stephanie's blog is at NieNie Dialogues
For dessert, we had Stephanie's Peach 'n Berry Cobbler - and it is yummy! Her recipe/cooking blog can be found at: Cuisine Nie Blog


1. Melt a cube of butter and pour in cobbler pan.
2. Peel and slice seven fresh peaches and toss with sugar. Let sit.
3. Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking powder. Stir in 1 cup half and half (or milk or heck even full cream).
4. Drain the juice from the sliced peaches and pour the peaches over the butter. Toss on a handful of lightly sugared blackberries over the peaches
5. Pour the batter over the peaches. Bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes or till done.
6. Toss a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the top about half-way through

Our upcoming book in November is "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

“Louie found himself thinking of the moment at which he had woken in the sinking hull of Green Hornet, the wires that had trapped him a moment earlier now, inexplicably, gone. And he remembered the Japanese bomber swooping over the rafts, riddling them with bullets, and yet not a single bullet had struck him, Phil, or Mac. He had fallen into unbearably cruel worlds, and yet he had borne them. When he turned these memories in his mind, the only explanation he could find was one in which the impossible was possible.  What God asks of men, said Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.” ― Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Nine Ladies of Walden Pond met Thursday, May 23 at Carolyn's home to discuss Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. The book is about Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was destined to become the first man to run a four-minute mile, but instead ended up in the Pacific Theater during World War II.  After their plane goes down in the Pacific, Zamperini, Phil and Mac float in life rafts for 47 days, fighting sharks and starvation only to become Prisoners of War in Japan, where a totally different nightmare of brutality and starvation begins. It is powerfully written, compelling and a tribute to the human spirit and the power of redemption and forgiveness.

There was much discussion about the book and the different things that were poignant to those who read it.  Many were touched by the resiliency of the human spirit. 

“Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.” 
― Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Others were impressed by the faith and ongoing hope that his family showed: his mother's  constant prayers and her stubborn insistance that he still lived,  his brother's positive and continual support through the rough times. As well as the importance of our relationships and how important those relationships are as we go through life together.  

Some were touched by all the trials that men and women in the armed forces had to endure and the difficulties that all families face during war time.
“His conviction that everything happened for a reason, and would come to good, gave him laughing equanimity even in hard times.” 
― Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Another important facet of the story is the power of the Savior's atonement, mercy and forgiveness and the enabling grace that He provides to lift and help us change and to forgive those who have done us so much harm. Such beauty…was too perfect to have come by mere chance. That day in the center of the Pacific was…a gift crafted deliberately, compassionately, for him and Phil” .

“His conviction that everything happened for a reason, and would come to good, gave him laughing equanimity even in hard times.” 
― Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Ann gave us some insight into the author, Laura Hillenbrand was born in Virginia in 1967 and she grew up riding horses at her father's farm in Maryland.  Laura went to Kenyon College in Ohio,but was forced to leave her studies due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  She rarely leaves her home, but has done amazing research and writes beautiful, compelling books. This book is highly recommended reading! And I appreciate her dedication below:

“Finally, I wish to remember the millions of Allied servicemen and prisoners of war who lived the story of the Second World War. Many of these men never came home; many others returned bearing emotional and physical scars that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. I come away from this book with the deepest appreciation for what these men endured, and what they scarified, for the good of humanity. It is to them that this book {Unbroken} is dedicated,” 
― Laura HillenbrandUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

This was an amazing, highly recommended read!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Heaven must be a place where the library is open"

“As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week  . . .No ... eight days a week.” 
― Alan BradleyThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie."~ 

Now, what book lover wouldn't love a book with quotes like that in it?  

Thursday, April 25th we met at Ann's new home and got the GRAND tour . . . what a beautiful home and so perfect for their family!  

After the tour we discussed Alan Bradley's, Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  Most everyone liked Flavia de Luce, her intelligence, her sleuthing style and her interesting view of life ~ some wanted to read more of Alan Bradley and others did not.

This book had a quirky humor  . . .
“Whenever I'm out-of-doors and find myself wanting to have a first-rate think, I fling myself down on my back, throw my arms and legs out so that I look like an asterisk, and gaze at the sky. ”  

And  . . .“Anyone who knew the word slattern was worth cultivating as a friend.” 

As well as interesting insights from a young woman coming from a dysfunctional family . . .

“What intrigued me more than anything else was finding out the way in which everything, all of creation - all of it! - was held together by invisible chemical bonds, and I found a strange, inexplicable comfort in knowing that somewhere, even though we couldn't see it in our own world, there was a real stability.” 

“I reached out and touched his hands and they stilled at once. I had observed—although I did not often make use of the fact—that there were times when a touch could say things that words could not.” 

Alan Bradley was born in Canada in 1938.  He worked as a radio and television engineer.  In his early 30s he became more interested in writing and joined a writers group.  He wrote several short stories that were read on CBC radio.  In 2007, his wife encouraged him to enter a British murder mystery writing contest, developing a character that briefly made an appearance in a novel he was writing  at the time.   'The girl on the campstool,' became Flavia de Luce.

In May, we will be reading, "Unbroken," by Laura Hillenbrandt and meeting at Carolyn's home on Thursday, May 23rd at 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Remembering Isaac by Ben Behunin

For March, we read Remembering Isaac, a book by the potter, Ben Behunin who lives in Salt Lake, just an hour north of us. So we took a field trip to his studio and home.  This is the field trip as reported by Paula on her blog 

The exterior of his home was decorated in pottery elements.

Hi fence railing around his porch so inspired me that I am thinking of getting into welding!! 
Neiderbipp is the fictional location of his books about Isaac.
Here he is at work in his studio!  He told us amazing stories of how he came to be a potter, and then how he came to be an author, all while throwing pottery.

Above his studio is his show room, I have shown just a few of the items he has for sale.

The gold hued pitcher is what I took home!!
Then he took us on a tour of his home ... I loved the evidences of his trade found everywhere!

I so loved the fireplace surround shown below that I think I am going to do something similar in my family room, eventually.  Of course I won't be making my own tiles ...

As you can tell, this trip to the potter of Neiderbipp has changed me.  You can read his three book series about Isaac and feel the effect in your life as well.
And if you a lucky enough to live in the neighborhood, go ahead and get in touch with him.  You will be absolutely charmed! ~ by Paula

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Frederica ~ Being Introduced to the Ton

Our book club will be held at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 28th at Paulette's home.  We will be discussing the Regency novel, Frederica,  by  Georgette Heyer.

For a list of Regency "cant"  and "expressions", found prevalently throughout the book this is a great website: Georgette-Heyer.com 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

 Our January book club was held at Suzanne's home, Thursday, January 24th.  We discussed Sarah Addison Allen's book, The Peach Keeper.  Ann told us about the author, Sarah Addison Allen who hails from Asheville, North Carolina and has a BA in Literature.  Her father was a reporter and editor for the local newspaper.  Her first published book was a Harlequin romance called , Tried and True, and she used the pen name Katie Gallagher. She worked for a man who appraised antiques and so her books often feature old homes.  She has a delightfully fun website that tells about her likes and interests, her books, etc . . . check out 100 Things for a delightful insight to Sarah.  She will tell you things like, "I get embarrassed when I see my car windshield wipers are going faster than everyone else's. Like I'm overreacting to rain."  
 Everyone enjoyed reading the book . . . some favorite things mentioned were the bits of mysticism laced throughout the story, the magic, how she uses food and food smells to bring understanding between people, the importance of coming back to your roots to know who you really are, the importance of friendship and the importance of developing new friendships as well.  Someone captured the essence of the story saying, "Everyone should be able to change, to become the person they are meant to be."

Suzanne treated us to a delightful array of Peach inspired desserts ~Peach Slush was served with Fresh Peach Cookies, Spiced Peach Cookies with Cardamon and Anise, Spring Earl Cookies and Shortbread.  

Our next book club will be held at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 28th at Paulette's home.  We will be discussing a Regency Novel, Frederica,  by  Georgette Heyer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Celebrating the Season

"What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christlike friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days."

Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 293
Stephanie with her vegetable platter
Paula hosted us at her lovely historic home on Main Street

 Paula did this wonderful Pork Loin Roast from BYU's Executive Chef, John McDonald and Sandy did the Apple Chutney
A Special Place Setting Awaited Each Guest

 Paula sets a beautiful table ~ with personal favors on each plate.
 Give Thanks!
Patti, Ann, Carolyn and RaeLee

 Paula's homegrown Christmas Tree

Suzanne, Patti, Paulette

Stephanie and Suzanne

Paulette and Sandy
 We had a lovely meal, fun book exchange and lots of camaraderie and laughter.  

Rae Lee and Carolyn

Rae Lee's Artichoke & Spinach Dip

 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh grated)

    1/2 cup grated Romano cheese (fresh grated)

   1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon dried basil

     2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (rinsed)

    1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze excess water out)

    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese + a little extra for the top


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.