While I valiantly battle the demons of the internet in the courageous attempt to upgrade www.pammcmurtry.com, the site is a mess. Please excuse this and stay tuned for more creative and compelling content.
Prairie Princesses and Pioneers
Happy birthday to my beautiful mama! My Mom who is a member of the DAR and descendant of pilgrims, kings, queens, knights and all kinds of interesting people from history; her great…great-grandfather William Tracy was the governor of the Berkeley Colony in Virginia the year before the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts. To me she’s the mom who loved me and taught me manners, style and hospitality. Here’s to you Nikki!
With the celebration of the 4th now a pleasant memory, I’m starting to work on Pioneer Day for my daughter Heather and her littles. She will be staying with us while her brave and faithful husband finishes up his training at the Highway Patrol Academy.
On July 24th, we will celebrate Pioneer Day here in Utah. It’s hot and crowded in Salt Lake City, so we will plan a pioneer picnic and games in our grassy yard.
And this Native American Symbol guide to make a message on skins – faux that is…
Here are a few photos of favorite Pioneer Day activities with a link to a collection of great photos on my Pinterest Pioneer board:
A biography of the highly-talented artist L. Aerin Collett:
And a invitation to enjoy Kaysville’s Downtown Stroll on Thursday July 20th:
Pilgrims, Patriots and Pioneers
A story of patriotism and heroism from the archives. This transcript is from The Kim Power Stilson BYU SiriusXM 143 Radio show celebrating “Pilgrims, Pioneers and Patriots: The Builders of our Nation” (25 June 2014.)
Splish splash, its A Mermade’s Tale!
Shell and Pearl are waiting for you to come play and share their summer adventures! Whether riding sea horses, swimming in the Finnler’s tide pool or visiting with friends Coral and Foam, they have all sorts of lovely activities ready to do with you. You can find Shell and Pearl at BN.com; the nice lady that sells their books just reduced the price to $2.99, so you can enjoy their fun summer adventures too!
Art for children in the Salt Lake City area
Summer is the perfect time to engage children in the visual arts. The pace of life changes and there is often time for creativity and reflection. I wrote this article that features 13 creative opportunities for children in the Salt Lake City area, it was published on KSL.com.
Here is a Pioneer Day scavenger hunt for your littles on Etsy. Learn the authentic activities
and duties of pioneer children while having fun!
The Truths of Life Gleaned from Art Lessons
For the past 7 months I have been working as an art teacher for the 600+ students at Kay’s Creek Elementary. While I was teaching these 5 – 12 year-olds the elements of art and practices of artists, I was in reality teaching
Respect for others and their work
Observation and recording skills
Problem-solving using discernment and creativity
Following directions while simultaneously incorporating creative thought
Giving and receiving constructive criticism
Believing in oneself
Cleaning up one’s mess
Helping a neighbor clean their mess
Using one’s resources and asking for additional resources when needed
The validity of one’s thought process and creative practice
Finding something beautiful and worthwhile in every piece
Learning from mistakes
Being humble in success while enjoying it simultaneously
Respecting one’s environment including people and materials
Memorial Day Thoughts
With extreme gratitude, I’d like to direct your attention to the memory of great patriots who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and safety. Although the poppies are a reminder of the soldiers we lost at Flanders Field, I am re-blogging this story from the annals of history about 1 courageous man and his vision for the preservation of Western Civilization and Christianity.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A Memorial to Early Defenders of Western Europe and Christianity
What’s for dinner? Chicken tortilla soup to boost your veggie intake
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a delicious way to serve your family lots of vegetables. Save and freeze the juices from baked chicken to make broth or use convenient cubes, such as Knorr brand. A vegetarian version may be made by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth. This recipe makes about 4 quarts.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
8 cups chicken broth or 8 cups water and 4 Knorr chicken broth cubes
1 bunch green onions with tops, sliced
10 baby carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 potato, cubed (leave the skin on)
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
6 ounces tomato paste
2 garlic cloves or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 can black beans, drained
12 ounces frozen corn
1 zucchini, coarsely diced
1 yellow crookneck squash, coarsely diced
2 chicken breast halves, grilled and cubed, or half of a rotisserie chicken, meat removed and cubed
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup salsa (I like Pace Picante Medium)
3 ounces sliced black olives, drained
1 bunch cilantro, washed, stems removed and coarsely chopped, reserve the leaves from about 6 stems for garnish.
In a large pot, bring to boil the broth or water and broth cubes, then add onions, carrots, celery, potato, bell pepper, tomato paste, squashes and garlic. Simmer for 25 minutes and add the chicken, tomatoes, salsa, olives and cilantro. Heat through.
Garnish with tortilla chips, avocado slices and shredded cheese. Top with reserved cilantro leaves. Serve with tortilla chips or corn bread.
1 bag tortilla chips
1-2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, reduced-fat cheddar, Jack or Mexican blend)
A Poem for Mother
A Tribute to Mother
“I love you more than I know.”
She laid her head on her mother’s arm
And the love between them kept them warm.”
Margaret Florence Smith
and give joy.
and hid Easter eggs,
and wrapped gifts
and dyed Halloween costumes.
and grew pumpkins,
and taught me to play chess
and feed my babies.
And have good manners
and remember birthdays
(and love them).
and fishnet nylons
and a radio to take to the beach.
and on road trips
and had a barbecue.
and find joy
and set a beautiful table.
and spell correctly,
and feed stray kittens,
and read books.
and try again.
and great grandmothers were queens.
Who took pictures,
and listened as I learned to read,
and filled a piñata.
and go on bike rides,
and read Luke on Christmas Eve,
and sing carols,
and find treats in my stocking.
and love art and beauty,
and wear bows in my hair
and shoes that fit,
and remember God and go to church.
and prayed for soldiers,
and arranged flowers,
and made 20,000 meals,
and made me brush my teeth.
and made drawings,
and Beef Stroganoff.
and took us to movies,
and to the woods,
and the sea.
and gave time and love and life
Need more vegetables in your diet? Try this hearty corn chowder
Staying home with a steaming mug of corn chowder may be just the thing you need on cold nights. This hearty chowder is chock-full of veggies, comes together quickly and can be made with low-fat ingredients, although true connoisseurs love the bacon version. This recipe serves 12.
1 pound bacon or turkey bacon
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped coarsely
1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
10 russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ¾-inch pieces, diced
14 baby carrots, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 ½ cups spinach or power greens, chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can cream-style corn
2 cans mushroom soup
3 cans milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove, drain on paper towels and crumble when cool. Reserve 1 cup for garnish. Pour out the bacon grease, reserving about ¼ cup in the pot.
In the grease, saute the bell peppers, onion and celery until just tender. Remove vegetables, drain and set aside. Place the potatoes in the pot, add water until barely covered, bring to boil and cook about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender but not mushy.
During the last 3 minutes add the carrots and zucchini. Drain the water, add the sauteed vegetables, greens, corn, mushroom soup, milk, salt and pepper. Simmer covered 5 minutes or until hot. Add crumbled bacon and additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Thank you to the following media sources for sharing this recipe:
The Deseret News – Utah
Deseret News Service (syndicated)
Bloomington Herald – Indiana
Bedford Times-Mail – Indiana
Daily American – Pennsylvania
Central Kentucky News – Kentucky
Aberdeen News – South Dakota
DNS (English channel 2)