Thursday, October 30, 2014

Funny, Clean Halloween Jokes

Dog with knife

  • What would you get if you crossed a vampire and a teacher? 
    Lots of blood tests!
  • Why did Dracula's mother give him cough medicine? 
    Because he was having a coffin fit.
  • What did Dr. Frankenstein get when he put a goldfish brain in the body of his dog? 
    I don't know, but it is great at chasing submarines.
  • Why wasn't there any food left after the monster party?' 
    Cos everyone was a goblin.
  • Why did the vampire's lunch give him heartburn? 
    It was a stake sandwich.
  • Dracula decided he need a dog, which breed did he choose?
    A bloodhound.
  • What would you call the ghost of a door-to-door salesman?
    A dead ringer.
  • What do skeletons always order at a restaurant? 
    Spare ribs!
  • Who was the most famous French skeleton?
    Napoleon bone-apart.
  • Who won the skeleton beauty contest? 
    No body.
Don't drink and drive - Funny Hallowen Picture

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Meeting held 8th, 1878
Opened with singing "Oh My Father, Thou Do Dwellest".

Prayer by Sister Peel

Sister Morrison addressed the Sisters feeling so much pleased to see so many of the Sisters coming to meeting and hoped and prayed that they have come here to be benefited and having their good desire in their heart to come again and unite with the Sisters and celebrate the spirit of God.

The minutes from the former meeting were read and accepted; also the minutes of the 22nd of June.  Then Sister Morrison thought it best to put business up to the next meeting and have this meeting for a Testimony meeting; hoped  that the Sisters will be free and bear their testimony; urged the Sisters to be grateful and thankful to the Lord that He has brought us out of (?).....and home to Zion.  She only wished that we could live (?) before the Lord day after day; exhorted Sisters  to be Prayerful and try to overcome that spirit and influence  that advise try to overcome us and try to lead us astray. (???)

She talked about the great responsibility that rests upon us as mothers in Israel to raise up our children in truth and righteousness and make them useful for this reat work roll on.  She also felt much pleased to hear of the young Sisters, that she had a good meeting where everyone felt the Spirit of God richly manifested.
Sister Peel also bore her Testimony; felt so much benifited in the good meetings she attended when our visiting Sisters were here; especially spoke a good deal about the gospel instruction was given in Fairview; and said that she only wished the spirit would move upon her with that much power as he did when she heard the speaker, but  many things slipped from her mind but was sure that it had done much good.

Sister Simpson felt very glad to see so many Sisters together for a good purpose and prayed to God that all may feel to continue and bore her Testimony.

Sister Seely bore her Testimony; felt glad to meet and spoke upon our children.  If we do our duty and teach them good principles, we let the .......consequence(?) follow; if we do that in combination with prayer, their actions will not be for us to answer, it will fall to their own condemnation.

Mother Watkins bore her Testimony; felt so glad to be here, thought it was the best meeting she had attended since she came from the old country and said she would come again and wished that her name would be enrolled as a member of the Society.

Many of the Sisters spoke in their own language and a good spirit prevailed.oci

Meeting closed with singing and benediction.

Louise Hasler, Secretary
MFC Morrison, President

The following names were given in as member of the Society:
Maren Christensen
Christina Watkin
Maria Eglund
Ema Pay
Rozil Andersen
Chesta Olsen

The acceptance of these Sisters as members of our Society was moved and seconded  and unanimously carried.

Hanah Petersen
Retina Day
Sophia Miller

were set apart to the Visiting Committee.

Manti Temple Staircases

The Manti Utah Temple  has some of the most unique spiral staircases in the world. In the two west corner towers there are freestanding spiral staircases without central supports. If you attend this temple, ask a worker to see the staircases and they will take you to see them. They have incredible craftsmanship. When they restored the temple for the centennial they found something like 2 creaks in the one staircase and none in the other, despite being heavily used by temple workers and used by patrons to access several sealing rooms in the towers. The seams between pieces of wood on the railings are also extremely difficult to find.

I said that these were some of the most unique staircases in the world. That is because there are only a few free standing spiral staircases that lack central supports in the world. I believe there are only eight in the U.S. with two being in the Supreme Court Building (those are elliptical). So the Manti Temple spiral staircases are really special.

One of the staircases goes up clockwise and the other counterclockwise. They really are an impressive sight and a great asset of the Manti Temple.

More on Temple Staircases by Scott: THE TRUMPET STONE
 Spiral Staircase

More photos of the Manti Temple:  Manti Temple
L.D.S. Temples

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Outstanding Early Home of Mt. Pleasant (from History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf)

The homes outstanding among the first built in the community were those belonging to Jim Hansen, Christian Jensen, N. Peter Madsen, William Morrison, and Peter M. Peel.
Those who were fortunate enough in those days to have a cel­lar, an upstairs, a stove, candles, a wash-stand and basin possessed about all of the conveniences available.
Not all of the rooms had board floors, but in every room was found a fireplace.
There were no carpets or floor coverings of any kind, but the board floors were kept white and clean with scrubbing brushes made of twisted straw and hay, tied securely together. Sand was used for scouring them, as soap was a very scarce article.
      There were no covers on the table, but these, too, were kept white and clean.
The dishes used were made of real heavy china and pottery. The spoons and cups were pewter, and the knives and forks were of steel with black handles.

Practically every home had its wooden tub and washboard. its wooden churn with a dash and its wooden stool for a wash stand.
History of Mt. Pleasant by Hilda Madsen Longsdorf  pp 275-276


 There was but one house in town which had built upon one side of the fireplace a sink to which was attached a pipe which carried the water out of doors. This was in the home of William Morrison. On the other side of the fireplace was the bread box and beneath the sink and the bread box were cupboards where the cooking utensils were kept.

These Homes have been researched and compiled by Tudy Barentsen Standlee.

To see more homes researched by Tudy see: 

Apple Picking Round Up In Yakima

Lee R. Christensen's  Photos and Stories From Mt. Pleasant

Attachments area

I'm just back from 15 days of "round up" time in Yakima.  This year is was
mostly apple round up.  Many, many of them and they were still picking when
I left.  If you are not eating an apple a day you should and if you are you
might consider adding a second or third apple.  A glass of hard apple cider
instead of orange juice for breakfast could brighten your day.
    And for those of you who have not been out in the sagebrush in October
it is blooming then and goes with the round up .  Bing gets it right.    lee

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mormon Pioneer Myths Debunked

The traditional depiction of life on the Mormon Pioneer Trail is a dismal one of tragedy and suffering — almost like one long funeral procession.
But Melvin L. Bashore, a senior librarian in the history library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also promotes "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Utah: Laughable Incidences on the Mormon Trail."
He says even if some of these happenings weren't funny to the pioneers, they seem to be today.
For example, one his favorite stories concerns a very old Danish man who had completely lost his sense of smell and was part of an 1857 pioneer group headed for Utah. After some men killed buffalo and other major game for the group's food, he thought he should make a contribution, too.
He came back to camp with a skunk to cook for soup.
"This made the rest of us leave," C.C.A. Christensen, a member of that Danish company, wrote in a diary. "He had killed it with his cane and knew nothing about its peculiar means of defense."
Some other stories involve mosquitoes, which seemed to particularly like attending Mormon meetings on the Plains.
An 1861 diary records: "In the evening a meeting was held in camp, but the mosquitoes were there first and stay there they would. They sang at the opening song during service, at the closing and finally sung all night. Tried to sleep, but they pulled me out of bed."
An 1853 diary reported: "I saw Indians by the hundreds, buffalo by the thousands and mosquitoes by the billions."
In still another tale, a young pioneer man had to separate from his fiancee and travel with a separate wagon group because he didn't have enough money so they could travel together. His diary on the first night of separation states:
"My mind was rambling over many things, especially as to when I should meet my dear girl again. After a while we began to turn in. I had occasion to go to my bag for some clothes and in taking out what I expected to be white duck sailor overalls and holding them up an examining them they turned out to be some sort of ladies' unmentionables trimmed and adorned with lace. The eyes of the crowd caught onto it. I had made a mistake and got my sweetheart's bag instead of my own."
In his research, Bashore found the vast majority of the pioneers didn't die along the way but safely made the journey to the Salt Lake Valley.
Bashore said that although hardships did occur on the trail, Utahns today falsely often skew our perception and understanding of the entire history of what happened on the Mormon Trail by dwelling on the sufferings of a few.
• Bashore's overview of the Mormon trail experience is available online at:
(Adapted from a July 24, 2004 story in the Deseret News by Lynn Arave.)
--- The Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Despite the fact this is one of the most epic events in regional history, there are a lot of myths and fallacies circulating regarding the pioneers and their trek and arrival in the valley.
For example, the travel of the pioneers to Utah — excepting the handcart companies — was likely not as difficult as many perceive it to have been.
"Contrary to myth and popular belief, this 1847 trek of approximately 1,032 miles and 111 days was not one long and unending trail of tears or a trial by fire," The National Park Service's "Mormon Pioneer: Historic Resource Study"( states.
"It was actually a great adventure," the NPS report continued. "Over the decades, Mormons have emphasized the tragedies of the trail, and tragedies there were, but generally after 1847. Between 1847 and the building of the railroad in 1869, at least 6,000 died along the trail from exhaustion, exposure, disease and lack of food. Few were killed by Indians. To the vast majority, however, the experience was positive — a difficult and rewarding struggle. Nobody knows how many Mormons migrated west during those years, but 70,000 people in 10,000 vehicles is a close estimate.
"To the 143 men, three women and two children who left Winter Quarters, the 111-day pioneer trek of 1847 was mostly a great adventure, with a dramatic ending."
Also, a second myth is that handcart travel was both common and typical for numerous pioneers. Given all the attention LDS stakes have given their own personal mock handcart adventures in Wyoming, this exaggerated belief is logical, but incorrect.
Using the most commonly accepted estimate of 70,000 total pioneers coming to Utah between 1847 and the coming of the railroad in 1869, plus the handcart estimate total of 2,962 people, the total percentage of pioneers who were in handcart companies is only 4.23 percent.
Bashore said handcart companies have evolved to be the "iconic symbol of pioneer Mormonism."
"We're focused on what a lesser number of people did," he said.
Following are some other pioneer myths:
• Death was a common occurrence on all pioneer treks. Not true, as most who started for Utah arrived. For example, no one died in the original 1847 pioneer company to Salt Lake.
The average death rate in all Mormon companies was less than 3 percent; a third of the companies (more than 80) did not have any deaths at all; only 18 of the more than 250 companies experienced more than 20 deaths en route (so only 7 percent of the total companies accounted for 43 percent of the total deaths); and at least seven people were bitten by rattlesnakes, none of whom died.
• Pioneers all traveled basically the same route. False. For example, variants in trails were established in southern Iowa, or via Mitchell Pass in Nebraska or in not crossing the Platte River at Fort Laramie in Wyoming.
Also, many pioneers from 1850 on used the "Golden Pass Road" (Parleys Canyon) to enter the Salt Lake Valley instead of Emigration Canyon, making some 42 miles of trail different at the end of the trek.
The John G. Smith pioneer company of 1851 was counseled by Elder Orson Hyde to head for the Elk Horn River in Nebraska before reaching the usually traveled road. That meant several hundred miles of different route.
There were many other variations too, especially on the later treks. Some came from California, others from Texas.
"We tend to think all trail travel started in the Midwest," Bashore said.
• The pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Not quite accurate. The lead company and the main company of pioneers actually entered the valley on July 22 and camped there that night. Meanwhile, Brigham Young and the rear company had not yet climbed Big Mountain, and it didn't enter the valley until July 24 — the celebrated day.
In addition, two advance scouts, Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow, had even entered the Salt Lake Valley a day earlier on July 21.
• Brigham Young declared "This is the place." Not a complete statement. "It is enough. This is the right place, drive on" is the full declaration President Young may have made. However, there is still doubt.
Jeffrey Carlstrom and Cynthia Furse, in their book "A History of Emigration Canyon," note there is "considerable room for doubt that Young ever made this famous pronouncement." That's because no firsthand accounts of it exist.
Wilford Woodruff is credited with recounting what President Young said, but that was in 1880, 33 years after it happened and about three years after President Young had died.
• This Is the Place Monument is located exactly where Brigham Young made his famous statement. Unfortunately, history didn't leave us with an exact location. However, when the original monument on the site was dedicated on July 25, 1921, Elder B.H. Roberts, a member of the Seventy and a church historian, cited a journal of President Woodruff that "proved conclusively that there can be doubt that the spot now marked by this concrete monument is very near to the actual place."
• There was a "lone tree" in the barren Salt Lake Valley when the Pioneers arrived in 1847. It is simply pioneer legend that paints such a grim picture of the Salt Lake Valley — barren, harsh and a desert, save a lone cedar tree. In reality, say historians, the valley was well-watered, with tall grasses and trees along the many stream banks.
"One of the greatest myths of the church is that the valley was total desolation," said the late Dr. Stanley Kimball, a Utah historian. No pioneer diary accounts he ever found supported the desolate valley idea.
Most of the paintings depicting the valley when the Mormon pioneers arrived look more like the west desert area than the Wasatch Front.
Richard Jackson, professor of geography at Brigham Young University, did extensive research in the 1970s on what the Salt Lake Valley was really like when the pioneers arrived.
"Briefly, there was not a lot of timber in the valley according to pioneer diarists, but there was clearly some, especially along the creeks," he said.
But regardless, the pioneers did not have an easy time in Utah, and some people still feel the desert of Salt Lake did "blossom like a rose."
"Settling the Utah area in the 1840s and '50s was a challenge," Glen Leonard, director of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art, states on the church Web site,
"They had left a lush farm area and came to an arid region. The soil was good, but the water was scarce. The seasons were short. So, Brigham Young wisely scattered the people out into small communities so that they had the natural resources — the water and the soil — and the community resources, the well-organized communities with different skills and talents, and then he just challenged them to make the desert blossom like a rose. And they did."
• Other handcart myths. Chad M. Orton, an archivist with the LDS Church's family history department, has researched various handcart pioneer legends. A recent newspaper obituary that made reference to one of the deceased's ancestors as deceased ancestor's as having been a handcart pioneer in 1847 best illustrates the wide misconceptions about of handcart pioneers. There were none in 1847.
• Missionaries at Martin's Cove in Wyoming occasionally mention to visitors that several tree stumps in the C cove offer evidence to prove the handcart pioneers were situated there. Neither Both Orton nor and Bashore has found have found no historical evidence to support that belief.
• Sometimes it is said that none of the survivors of the Willie and Martin handcart companies ever left the church. Orton said that's false because there were some who apostatized.
• There's also no evidence that handcart wheels were made out of green wood.
• Handcarts didn't carry everything these pioneers had. All handcart companies traveled with supply wagons that carried tents, extra food and other provisions too, according to Orton. One wagon was allocated for about every 100 members of a handcart company.
•The Mormon Pioneers universally were unique in one other way — no pioneer parties hired guides to take them west. Mormon Pioneers did all the advance research they could and then relied in the church leaders with them for guidance.

(Adapted from a July 24, 2008 story in the Deseret News, by Lynn Arave.)
Mormon Pioneer Myths

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Our Archives ~ Leoan Madsen Gunderson and her son, David

Introduction to Our Trees

One fall, when my Mom got her copy of a little magazine called "Saga of the Sanpitch", She decided to write her memories of the trees that had grown along the south side of their yard or lot, as they used to say, during her childhood. “Saga” contained stories of life in Sanpete Co. Utah from pioneer days forward and Mom had plans to submit her little article to "Saga" for publication but just didn't get around to it. I recently found a copy of it and I decided to get it into electronic format so that all could have a copy.

I made a few editorial changes, added some explanatory notes, found the words of the two childhood songs she referred to on the internet, and added them in an appendix. I also found the music for the song “Come Little Leaves” on the internet and I added a hyperlink to the website which contains the music so that you can hear it. I hope that you enjoy “Out Trees”.

Some have asked if I have submitted “Our Trees” to “Saga”. I would have done so, but Saga is no longer being published. I think that the demise of Saga is a great loss.

~David Gunderson~

Cottonwood Trees
Our Trees

By Leoan Gunderson

1910 - 1998

Fall Circa 1986

It’s October again, when the fall season comes upon us, with its beautiful trees all dressed up in their finest clothing of gold, red, green, and brown and sometimes even a bit of purple shows up as a background for the beautiful fall scene, When I see it again each fall, I always think of the trees we had at our home when I was a child.

I guess the real thing that is spurring me along to write my feelings today is the little song that I learned as a young student at the Hamilton School in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. The words to the song went something like this …..

Come little leaves said the wind one day.     

Come o’er the meadows with me to play.

Put on your bonnets of red and gold,

For the summer is gone and the days grow cold.

Or perhaps it was the song that goes…

October gave a party.

The leaves by the thousands came.

Oh I do wish I could remember the rest of these beautiful little songs . But today, my memories of them have inspired me to write of the trees that grew along our sidewalk in Mt. Pleasant.

Our trees stretched for the full length of the sidewalk      
 on the south side or our lot, which was one half of
a city block long,
on 3rd North going west from State Street.

I do believe that our trees were pretty during each of their phases of live most all year long. In the spring they were adorned in that striking and welcome color of spring green. It was a delicate green and so easy to enjoy.

Of course, most everything does have one or two little distasteful things about them which we all have to endure. Our trees were cottonwood trees and each spring after the pretty new green leaves appeared they had a habit of bearing cotton. The cotton would catch a little breeze that was passing by and soon would be flying everywhere. Here I must add that at this point in the life of our Cottonwood trees, they became a real problem to my Mother and to my sister Evelyn. They both suffered from hay fever. I remember how they both wore silk masks over their noses to strain out the cotton. But this would pass – until the next cotton season arrived.

[1] See the Appendix for the word to both of these songs

Then came the summer, and our cottonwoods would stretch their strong leaf covered arms out to form an arch over our sidewalk so that we might walk up and down our sidewalk in comfort, protected from the strong glare of a very penetrating sun. Oh yes, I did enjoy this phase in the life of our trees.

But, as one season follows another, soon it would be fall again and our cottonwoods would supply me with another thrill in my young life. Our trees would begin to turn that beautiful golden color that only cottonwood trees do and I would imagine how rich I was with all of that “Gold that did grow on our trees”. One could not believe all of the wonderful imaginary things that I purchased with that easy to acquire gold from our trees.

Of course this beauty came and then gave way to the next phase in the life of our trees. This is when the wind came and sang the little song to the leaves –

Come little leaves said the wind one day        

And the leaves fell but they didn’t all go with the wind. Those that stayed on our sidewalk and in our yard became a shear delight to me, my sister Evelyn, and her friend Helen Jones. Oh we made the most beautiful houses one could ever imagine from those mounds of leaves. I doubt that any contractor could ever build or create for us a more beautiful house than the ones we fashioned for our selves with our imaginations from these leaves.

We had many rooms – they were really mansions, believe me. We had bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and of course, what else but a lovely parlor. And people that were allowed to go into the parlor had to be pretty special. We had furniture also, and it had more beauty than anyone else’s. It’s too bad that we were the only ones that could see all of this beauty.

I am so truly glad that I had a childhood full of fantasy and imagination. I am so glad that I was allowed to create, arrange, and imagine rather than to have everything created for me. As you can see, we were never bored, and no one had to do our planning for us.

But, our trees were not through yet. One day, depending on the weather and usually a short time before Halloween, Mother would tell us, “Tonight after school you can begin to gather the leaves together and soon we will have our big bonfire.”

After we had gathered all of the leavers, which would take us two or three days, we would have a big mound of leaves that would be about like of a small haystack. Then we would go over to the Orchard of my Aunt Hilda (on the south east corner of 3rd East and State Street)

and each of us would get the prettiest big red potato apple that we could find. (I think they are now called Baldwin apples.) Each of us would also get a potato from the garden and put them both into the leaves to be roasted. Kids from all over the neighborhood would join in this fantastic event and bring their own apples and potatoes to go into the big bonfire.

Of course when the fire was out or nearly out, the apples and potatoes would be blackened or burned from the fire and smoke but would only be half done. But how could an apple or potato ever taste so good. Each boy or girl would bring their own salt shaker to shake salt on their potato each time they took another bite. The apples usually didn’t need salt.

That was truly a wonderful day for all of us. We would go to bed that night with visions and memories of the joys that had come this year and the anticipation of the joys that would come next year from our beautiful cottonwood trees.

For the rest of the fall and winter our trees would stand there like sleeping gray sentinels, sometimes beautifully festooned with ice and snow, as if gaining strength to produce more beautiful leaves and useless cotton for the next great cycle of their life. We looked forward to the coming of the leaves in the spring, to enjoying the shade they would produce in the summer, to seeing the leaves turn to that special gold in the fall, to building our dream houses when the leaves dropped, and to having another beautiful bonfire on a late October evening when the moon was there to see it all take place.

This was truly the beautiful life of our cottonwood trees.


The Children’s Autumn Songs

That Leoan Remembered

Come, Little Leaves

by George Cooper,

Come, little leaves, Said the wind one day;

Come down to the meadows With me and play.

Put on your dresses Of red and gold;

For summer is past, And the days grow cold.

Soon as the leaves, Heard the wind's loud call,

Down they came fluttering, One and all.

Over the meadows, They danced and flew,

All singing the soft, Little songs they knew.

Dancing and flying, The leaves went along,

Till Winter called them, To end their sweet song.

Soon, fast asleep, In their earthy beds,

The snow lay a coverlet, O'er their heads.

October’s Party

by George Cooper

October gave a party; The leaves by hundreds came.

The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples, And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet, And everything was grand,

Miss Weather led the dancing, Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow, The Oaks in crimson dressed;

The lovely Misses Maple In scarlet looked their best.

All balanced to their partners, And gaily fluttered by;

The sight was like a rainbow, New fallen from the sky.

To hear the music to Come, Little Leaves, do a CTRL+CLICK on:

Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

L.D.S. Temple

L.D.S. Temple
Manti Temple