Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tidying up for the new year

Last night my friend Katy and I and took the ornaments and eight strands of lights off my Christmas tree. Then we dismantled it (no small task since it was about eight feet high), labeled the bags and put it in the crawl space. We cleaned and tidied up the crawl space too. I have the coolest crawl space ever (even though I can't really stand up in it and I'm only 5'2")! Ask my niece Adrienne. She loves wearing her pioneer dress while playing in it. I think I mentioned before that I live in a converted high school. My unit was part of the auditorium. The floor of my crawl space was the floor of the auditorium. See those marks on the floor? That is where the auditorium seats used to be! Pretty cool. Last night Katy helped me shop-vac all the dust (from a broken dryer vent) and organize the space. I tossed lots of junk and boxes and it looks really cool now! I want to hang out in there more often!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm dreaming of a white December 30th

It's not Denver but it's snow!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bring your camera to work day

I wandered around campus a bit during lunchtime today and took some shots.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Look what I got for Christmas!

My friends sent me this for Christmas (thanks Becks!): TWO pounds of See's milk chocolates. Heavenly. I love the smell and I love the taste!

When we were teenagers our youth group sold See's candy one Christmas. My dad was in charge so all 800 pounds were delivered to our living room. Ahhhhh...I'll never forget the sweet smell of 6610 Rubio Avenue!

When we were kids someone gave our parents a five pound box of See's candy for Christmas. It was a BIG box! I remember my dad asking if anyone wanted a piece. Of course we did!! We each got a piece and then another piece. And then the box disappeared into my parent's bedroom never to be seen again. They consumed the remainder of the five pound box of candy! That will be me in the next few days/weeks. One benefit of being single: you don't have to share your favorite candy with anyone.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Boxing Day!

I have a new job which means I have zero vacation time. But, that's OK. It was quiet today and I had a few projects to do. And since there isn't much traffic this week I'm taking advantage of my "occasional parking" sticker ($3.50/day--a rare find in Cambridge/Boston).

After work I took a deep breath, braced myself and went into Target. The Christmas aisles were very picked over but the store wasn't too crowded at 5:45pm. I really only needed socks and pens so I wasn't caught up in the day-after-Christmas frenzy for too long. I got my socks, pens, and a few other items and bolted.

Now the question is, when do I take down my Christmas tree?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

One of my favorite Christmas stories...

A Holiday Stop for Train Number Seven
by Lavetus Mahan Wimmer, Medford, Oregon
Published in Family Circle December 11, 1984

My most joyful Christmas remembrance goes back 60 years, when a simple message in a letter brought together three nations. The great flu epidemic of 1918-19 had claimed my father several years before, leaving Mom to care for us seven children. An enterprising woman, she did the best she could providing for us. We were poor, but happy.

Many of our friends lived, as we did, close to the railroad tracks. There were the Hopi Indian boys we often played with and our Mexican friends, who lived in a section house. These houses were provided by the railroad company, which allowed only two rooms per family, no matter how big the family was.

As I think back now, we were a super bunch of kids. We all got along well and learned to respect each other's backgrounds. We visited each other's houses and enjoyed our families' ethnic foods as often as we could, though our parents never mingled.

The area between our house and the train tracks was our private playground. From there, we watched the trains go by each day. We waved to the crewmen daily. Although the passenger trains went by very fast, the crew­as well as the passengers­never failed to wave back. Our favorite train was the Number Seven, Chicago Limited; it was long, shiny and black, with its Pullman windows red-curtained.

The afternoon of Christmas Eve, with faces aglow, noses runny and hands blue and trembling from the cold, we 17 children lined up to wave and shout holiday greetings to our favorite train. We all watched in awe as the Number Seven, whistle blowing, topped the grade. And then, wonder of wonders, that long, magnificent train pulled to a halt right in front of us. We couldn't believe it.

The big engineer swung down from his cab. Close behind him came the crew, carrying boxes and crates filled with treats for us. As the trainmen approached us, the passengers leaned out of the windows, waving and calling greetings to join in the celebration. The conductor stood near the train, observing the festivities and holding a single package under his arm.

Mother had heard the commotion and came out to join us. The conductor handed her a letter along with the package. Then, before we realized what was happening, the train pulled away.

Mother began to read the letter, and soon she was shedding tears of joy. She sent the other children to get their parents, telling them to come back with baskets for the goodies.

When everything was divided among our families, Mother asked us to be quiet. She opened the package the conductor had given her, and there, under all the layers of white tissue paper, were 17 pairs of red woolen mittens in various sizes. With the help of our parents, we each found our size and eagerly put them on our cold hands.

Mother then took the letter from her pocket, and we listened very carefully as she read it aloud: Merry Christmas to our Junior League of Nations. You are the future of our country. We stand proud of you. It is our fondest hope that someday all races and nations, like their children, shall come together and live in peace.

From the Engineer and Crew of Number Seven, Chicago Limited

Friday, December 22, 2006

Treats are great...

...but look what my friend Jodi brought me the other day!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A co-worker gave me a Christmas present today: enrobed cherries (?!?). I opened them as I was leaving the subway station and they were delicious! I kept the package on my lap and ate them one by one as I drove. I made a left turn and one of them landed on the floor of my car. Forget the 3 second rule (or however many seconds it is in your family), I dug around and found it. I want to find more of these! They are Belgian chocolates but I'm guessing (hoping) they were bought locally. I've enjoyed all the holiday treats (even though it is better to give than to receive). There is a big platter of fresh fruit in my fridge from my visiting teachers. I should conquer that before I dig into the two pound box of See's candy that I got in the mail today!

Tis the season!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

There's no place like home

This time of year I always get asked if I'm going "home for Christmas". My reply is always: "I'm staying here; this is home." My family lives in the other three corners of the country. I like staying home and enjoy my traditions.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Get rich quick!

Seriously, if I got a dollar for every address request I received this time of year (for Christmas cards) I'd be getting close to retirement! They don't call me "EP info bank" for nuthin'.

Long live my palm pilot!

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Friend Bus

It's late so the cliff notes version of The Friend Bus theory is that some people have a set amount of "friend slots". But I've been told that I have unlimited slots for friends--on my fleet of friend buses. Last year I sent 375 Christmas cards. My palm pilot of packed full of names and addresses. I call and email and write a lot of people. I LOVE MY FRIENDS!

Tonight I visited the Cox family to say goodbye before they move to Utah. They've got some of the front seats on one of my friend buses. I'm very sad to see them go. We've shared lots of fun times and made lots of great memories. They are wonderful friends that I miss already. These pictures were taken tonight. That's me with Caleb, Isaac, Aaron, and Ruby. And, that's me with Janae (Adam was the photographer).

To the Cox family: I treasure your friendship, I love you, and I hope our paths cross again soon!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yes Virginia, Ellen decorated her Christmas Tree!

This is the view from my loft.'s Christmastime!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ward Christmas Party

Yesterday was our Ward Christmas Party. We have a thousand kids in our ward under the age of 18 so a few years ago I thought a breakfast party might be better so that is what we do now. We serve bagels, cream cheese, danish, muffins, clementines, milk and orange juice. We had over 200 people there yesterday morning! After a short musical program (and a reading of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Santa Claus visited with goodie bags for each of the kids. I took lots of pictures but these of Nora are my favorites.

O there is a Christmas Tree!

There is a Christmas tree in my big window! It looks really cool!! My friends Kristen and Lein helped me (it was a 3-person job!). I'll decorate it later tonight and post pictures.

Friday, December 15, 2006

dotted Santa

I want to make a hundred of these Santas! I think they are sooooooo cute!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New stocking

My aunt Shirley made our stockings for us when we were little kids. Mine was green and I LOVED it. I remember having it when I moved to Boston but it's now gone. I was telling my cousin Julie (aunt Shirley's youngest daughter) that two weeks ago when she was visiting and within a week I received this stocking from her. It's beautiful! It's quilted and my name is embroidered on the top (with "ep" embroidered on the back side). I love it!! My cousin is amazing. She loves making things and she loves embroidering on the things she makes!

This picture is of my new stocking hanging on our Grandmother Pitchforth's high chair (she was born in 1898 in Nephi, Utah and died in 1992). I think Julie and I inherited our love of baking/sewing from Athelia Booth Pitchforth!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa's workshop

I saw these here (11/20/06 entry). I've been busily sewing Santas tonight. I think they are wicked cute as we say here in Boston.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

holiday haircut

The title says it all. I've been tired of my hair so got a new do tonight! Thanks, Jana!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Choosing Christmas tree evokes battle memories

By Robes Patton
Sports Editor
The Daily Sentinel, Scottsboro, Alabama, Thursday, December 19, 1985

The holiday season is supposed to bring out the best in people, but it doesn’t always work that way. Family tradition, as a matter of fact, can draw the worst from even the mildest-mannered group. I know I’m not alone in surviving battles over Christmas tree decorations, festive meals or holiday entertainment. Our family had a unique tradition of staging a mild riot as we decided on a Christmas tree. My parents provided a learning experience by going to the source -- well, as close as we could get -- for our tree. So we’d pile in the car and Sluggo (our affectionate moniker for Dad) would drive us down to the Los Angeles railroad yards -- which won’t ever be confused with a Montana mountain or Connecticut forest. What wildlife existed along the way won’t ever be mistaken as inhabitants of a national forest either. We’d zip off the freeway near City Hall and pass the downtown bus depot, which, speaking of tradition is traditionally tucked in the finest corner of our nation’s cities. We’d continue past the Midnight Mission, countless winos and the garment district before we’d find the temporary forest. Entering the packed railroad yards we’d watch the workers unload trees, listen to salesmen shilling, and wonder why the flocked trees didn’t melt and how it snowed pink and blue. Each of us would inevitably pick a different tree: one taller than the house could withstand, one fatter than the space between. My mother would always choose some funky fir that looked like something you’d clean anti-aircraft weapons with, and Sluggo would always worry about price. We’d wander around to the different lots and try to find a tree that had just been handed down from the boxcar. That way, we could be assured it was fresh from the ground, not exposed too long to the trappings (and air) of Southern California. We never considered the trees had been grown on a farm a good sleigh ride from L.A. It was strictly our version of scrambling through the woods in search of the properly nurtured sapling. As the night wore on and tempers grew short, we’d argue and complain in favor of our chosen pine, then barter with each other and offer our finely-tuned points of debate. Sluggo would end the squabble the way Dads usually do (as traditional as the holiday season itself): he chose what he wanted and said “No more arguing...and I don’t mean perhaps.” It’s been a few years since I’ve passed through the L.A. rail yards, but I’m sure the trees still arrive and the smell of Christmas trees wafts across the asphalt. And I’m sure, of course, that one or two arguments rage over which tree to buy, keeping alive another venerable holiday tradition.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Still no O Christmas Tree in my window but I thought I'd share this picture I took in NYC last weekend.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

So much for sleeping in...

That's all I wanted to do today...I was so tired last night I think I dozed during the movie a few times (I'm surprised I could do that with the 4 girls next to me talking through the entire show). Unfortunately I forgot to turn OFF my alarm so it went OFF at 7:00am. UGH!!! I turned it OFF and went back to sleep and I'm not telling for how long...happy Saturday!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Blog, blog, and more blog

I'm going to try to blog everyday until my friend takes the bar exam next July! So...stay tuned...

I'm off to see "The Holiday" at 10:10pm.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Call me "The Lifeline"

My friend sent me this email the other day:

Sister! Your blogs are my lifeline and now I'm bummed that you'll be slacking off in December. I'll bet you 1 lb. of chocolate chips, per month, if you can keep going (one a day) until I take the bar exam (July 24-25).

I like a good challenge...stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I called 4-1-1 yesterday afternoon and asked for the number for MIT. I got patched through to an operator and when she asked what number I requested I said "MIT". She said, "What is MIT?" What is MIT? It's the Massachusetts Institute of amazing university and my new employer as of today!

The operator must have been in Fresno, California or Dubuque, Iowa.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The card factory is CLOSED

These pictures are of the 523 photocards that I made between 9:30pm-2:00am last night and 10:30am-2:00pm today. Now I have to package them and deliver them.

I feel like an elf.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Paper Problems

I have about 400 cards to make this week from my card party sales. I order my cardstock from Pebbles in My Pocket in Utah because you can't find very many colors in Boston. My order took longer to get here because of Thanksgiving and then I was in New York City. I took the paper to Kinko's to have it cut in half and the guy wanted me to leave it and they were closing in a half hour and he wouldn't do it then. Since I'm hesitant to leave the paper, I left Kinko's and called Staples and they also have a big cutting machine. So, I went there and the woman also wanted me to leave the paper. I explained that it was expensive and didn't want to leave it (plus, I wasn't near my house). She said it would take a half an hour (I figured I'd walk around Staples and the paper store next door while I waited) but then she started getting it ready to cut. She turned around and I looked and the paper had not been cut in half which means half of it was ruined. I was SO mad! I explained that (A) I bought the paper out-of-state and (B) it was expensive ($118 total). I told her that it was probably $20 worth of paper that was ruined. What part of "cut it in half" is hard to understand? The woman called a co-worker over and the two of them were measuring and trying to figure out how to cut the paper in half and mumbling about the settings being off on the machine. I grabbed all the paper and put it back in the box and said that I was going to take it elsewhere to get it cut. The guy said they would give me $20 and he went over to the cash register and gave me a $20 bill. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I went back to Kinko's and asked if they could cut the paper. "Mike" wanted me to leave the paper but I explained A and B (from above) and that the last place had screwed up and so he said he'd cut the paper then. He even fixed the one side of the paper that was cut wrong. I guess I can make book marks out of the other side. When Mike handed me my reciept and change I wanted to climb over the counter and give him a big hug.

I'll be working away in my card factory tonight.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I'm back. My cousin Jules and I had a grand time in The Big Apple...riding the Fung Wah bus from Boston for $ on Canal Street (I now have a nice supply of cheap headbands)...darting around the city on the subway (thanks Janette for the metro cards!)...seeing the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center...riding the carousel in Central Park...visiting the Carters...cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery...riding home with neighborly neighbors (THANK YOU!!) for quilting fabric at Purl...discovering Mood (fabric store) in the garment district(WOW--overwhelming!) rides...meeting my cousin Jim's delightful daughter from Denver for the first time (she was in NYC for a school trip)...a pastrami sandwich for for dinner...the snowflake light show on the Saks Fifth Avenue at the NYU bookstore (I bought a book with excerpts from NYT articles)...getting bumped from our hotel and into one that was still "under construction" (I guess that's what you get for $119 a night)...creme brulee at Cafe Lalo...walking around SoHo and Greenwich Village...showing Jules the Manhattan Temple and Stake Center and resting in the foyer for a few minutes...a craft/art show...and walking what seemed like 35 miles in two days. We made lots of memories and enjoyed the holiday spirit that's all around New York City this time of year!!!

[I can't seem to upload photos tonight so will try tomorrow.]