Showing posts from February, 2015

Lent Photo-a-Day 2/28: Powers


Lent Photo-a-Day 2/26: Place

Over the course of my life I have enjoyed an intimate relationship with special places -- places that have significant meaning and importance for me. As a phenomenologist I have explored the relationship of space, an infinite expanse, and place, a "center of significance or meaning that may be used as a guide" (Thomas & Pollio, 2002). A phenomenological geographer, Yi-Fu Tuan, talks about place as space "made into an object." We attach names to objects, we can describe the characteristics of objects, and often we are able to express our feelings about objects. We do all those things in describing our experience of special places, also.

There are a number of places on this planet that are very special to me. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of those places. I have favorite locations in Cades Cove, along the Little River, and on park trails. In the last couple of years one location has come to hold the most meaning for me -- Clingmans Dome. As the high…

Lent Photo-a-Day 2/24: Path


Lent Photo-a-Day 2/23: Covenant

As a life-long member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have grown up understanding the importance of making and keeping sacred covenants with my Father in Heaven.
"A covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions. When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings, and in some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience. Covenants mark the path back to God."   Many of the covenants I have chosen to enter into happen in the temple, a sacred place of instruction and covenant-making. I love every opportunity I get to travel to Nashville and attend the temple. I am able to feel the peace of God's love there and recommit to keep my covenants with Him. It's a great blessing!


A friend of mine, Jim Bennett, posted a photo of his wife and grandkids on Facebook this afternoon and indicated he was participating in a Photo-a-Day project for Lent. For some time I have  been fascinated by the activities people engage in before and during Lent, the six weeks leading up to Easter. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have never participated in any Lenten traditions since they are not a formal practice in my church. In studying the ideology behind Lenten tradtitions, I can see where engaging in a period of preparation for the holiest day in the Christian year has great merit. Last year I tried to do a few things but I confess, I did not fare very well. This year I believe I'll try this photo-sharing opportunity and see what added meaning I can find in remembering the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Jim tells me there is a word associated with each day of the challenge. Today's word is Joy. Moments of pure joy do not happen all that of…

Dot's Beef Stroganoff

Busy church schedules mean Sunday night suppers are best if I plan ahead and use the crock-pot. This recipe is a long-time family favorite, but it's not MamaJo's. No, this one comes from John Rankin's Mom, Dorothy Rankin. Dot was my Sunday School teacher for most of my teen years and she was a wonderful cook. I've tweaked the original recipe just a little but it's very true to Dot's vision. This is not your typical thick, gooey mushroom sauce stroganoff, rather its a delightful tomato-rich sauce that's just a bit different. I think it's amazing and best of all, it's easy!

Dot's Beef Stroganoff

1 lg yellow onion, thinly sliced
6-8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
2-2.5 lbs lean beef steak (round steak or sirloin), 1/2" thick and thinly sliced into strips

2 T canola oil
2 T butter
1-10.75 oz. can Condensed Cream of Tomato soup
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 c sour cream
salt and pepper

Heat 1 T. canola oil in a …