Sunday, July 30, 2006

baby Flarissa

I took baby pictures of Flarissa when she was a week old but I was disappointed in them so I did a re-take today at six weeks. She's a doll. Here are a few of my favorites. That picture of the dress could very well be a photocard.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Red is my favorite color

I went antiquing with my friend Jennifer today out Route 2 (to Templeton and Princeton, Mass.). I found these red rain boots and couldn't pass them up. Now I have toys, a tricycle, booster seat, and red rain boots for kids to use when they visit me!

We went to three antique stores, one quilt shop, and had a late lunch at Dairy Joy in Weston. They have the best creamsicle soft serve ice cream and hot dogs!

Jennifer moved to Boston recently from Oklahoma and she loves it here. It was fun to spend the day with someone who has embraced New England!

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's 12:30am and I'm done painting

Here is a picture of my new room! I'm happy with how it turned out and it was $32 for a can of paint and only about 2 hours of work plus the prep time--well worth it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A small bucket of paint can make a big difference

I was in my last apartment for 8 1/2 years. About 7 years after I moved in I was upstairs in my neighbor's apartment. She was showing me a room she had painted. I said, "What did Sandy (our landlady) say about painting?" She replied, "I didn't ask her." And it was at that very moment that I decided to do some painting! Within a few months I painted my bedroom, the living room, my office, the hallway (NEON RED) and the kitchen!! I realized I had lived in squalor for years and it had never occured to me to paint. Now I have my own condo so I can paint whenever and whatever I want. So, I bought a gallon of Valley Forge Tan paint today after work and later tonight (my most productive hours are 9:00pm-1:00am) I'm going to paint one wall in my room. I guess that would be an accent wall. I'm only painting one wall because one of the walls has closets and another wall is part of a wall that is 18 feet high and well the other wall is only about 3 feet high because my bedroom is a loft. I'll post a picture later tonight when it's done.

He ain't heavy, he's my brother

I took lots of photos tonight of my friends' little boys Tyler (3 years) and Talan (3 weeks). This is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Street photography

A few years ago I took a street photography class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. We learned about the "masters", had assignments each week, and brought pictures to share with each other. I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I took it with my friend Valerie which made it even more fun. One of the assignments was to photograph an event with authority. I went to Utah during the time I was taking the class and while there stumbled around Temple Square taking pictures of brides and grooms like I knew them! If you are interested in street photography you should always carry your camera. If mine wasn't so heavy, I would take it with me everywhere I went. I feel like I've missed lots of opportunities because I haven't had my camera around my neck. Two come to mind. A few years ago I was walking up Park Street to the State House and saw a black cadillac hearst that had been customized so it was like an eldorado (remember those cars?). The back was filled with beautiful flower arrangements for a funeral. And, the other time was when I was walking through the Boston Common last summer meeting some relatives for dinner and happened upon the filming of "The Departed". I saw Matt Damon and Martin Scorsese. Up close. If I had had my camera, I would have sold my pictures to People Magazine.

At the subway station this morning I noticed a nun walking ahead of me carrying the New York Times under her arm. I thought that was pretty cool and was kicking myself that I didn't have my camera. I followed her to the last car and sat kitty-corner from her. Then I remembered my cell phone was a camera cell phone and I snapped this picture.

Call me a subway photographer!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Today is Pioneer Day

Pioneer Day commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon Pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847.

This picture was taken last summer when the Florida Pattons went on a "trek" with friends in Liberty, Utah. They pulled handcarts, wore long skirts, and were real pioneers for three days.

When I was 8 or 9 I visited my grandparents in Utah. I must have been there for Pioneer Day (which is a BIG holiday in Utah) which probably prompted the writing of this poem. I remember writing it in my head and then getting out of bed and finding pen and paper to write it down.

I wish I was a pioneer so I could wear long dresses
But still they didn’t have the stores like Skaggs or even Kresses
They didn’t have a laundromat
They washed their clothes in streams
And when they made new dresses they would sew up all the seams
I wish I was a pioneer clomping through the rains [that was me last Friday!]
I wish I was a pioneer crossing many plains.

I have a soft spot in my heart today for my relatives that crossed the plains and heard Brigham Young say, "This is the place!"

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bake 3 cakes as fast as you can

I had another Dessert Party tonight with 16 friends. I baked 3 cakes this afternoon: angel food cake, Texas sheet cake, and cinnamon blueberry cake. All 3 were a big hit. It was fun to get to know people better and eat cake!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Merry Go Round

I got my hair cut today which brought back a funny memory.

When we were kids we got our hair cut by Donna at the Merry Go Round. One time when I was in the chair getting my pixie haircut the girl next to me told her mom that she wanted her hair like mine. When the woman was done cutting her hair, she turned the chair around and the girl looked in the mirror and started to cry.

The little girl wanted my hair COLOR not the CUT.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Me and my monsoon

I parked my car at a friend's house today which was a 15-minute walk from Alewife (the subway station). When I got out of the station tonight it was raining. Not a problem. I like rain. I started walking and the rain got heavier and heavier. There was one person walking near me. A man with an umbrella. I don't like umbrellas and I never carry one. By the time I approached an overpass, about 4 minutes into my walk, I noticed 5-6 people standing under the overpass waiting for the rain to stop. I decided to keep walking because (a) I had dinner plans with a friend, (b) I needed to buy some tablecloths for the Pioneer Day pancake breakfast tomorrow morning, and (c) I wasn't sure how long the storm was going to last and didn't want to hang out under an overpass for an undetermined length of time. So I kept walking. Into a monsoon. In all my years (now I sound like a grandma) I have never been in a storm like that! It was way worse than just "severe thunderstorms". It was heavy rain, loud thunder, scary lightning, and crazy wind! Within seconds I looked like I had jumped into a swimming pool with my clothes on. Twenty times. I was totally drenched. The wind was whipping the trees and rain and I held my hand up on my forehead so I could see and keep the rain from hurting my eyes. I worried about a tree falling on me but I kept walking. The roads were flooded. I could barely see. It was loud. The wind was blowing so hard it nearly took my breath away. It was completely crazy. When I got to my car I tossed my soaked work bag onto the passenger seat and plopped down in the driver's seat, locked the door and caught my breath. I turned the windshield wipers on high but I couldn't see out the window. It was another ten minutes before things calmed down enough that I could drive.

An umbrella wouldn't have helped me one bit today.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Not Your Average Joe's

A bunch of friends went to dinner tonight to celebrate the birth of Jen's third baby (she has two girls and is having a BOY!). I organized the party; we met at my place and then walked into Lexington Center to eat at Not Your Average Joe's. I called two days ago and made a reservation for 12 at 8:15pm. There were only 8 of us and we got there around 8:10pm and they didn't have a table. They asked me if we minded sitting in two adjacent booths. I told them it was a "party" so no, we didn't want to do that. They then offered a bigger booth and said they'd put two chairs on the end of the table. It seemed to be our only option so I said we'd take that (who knows how long we'd have to wait for a big table). In a nutshell, the food was fine but the service was poor. We had to ask for utensils. One friend ordered a "well done" hamburger and it was pink. The waitress said, "Do you want me to put that back on the grill?" How gross! My friend said no, she'd prefer a new burger. By then we had almost finished eating so she got it to go. The guest of honor ordered a BBQ chicken pizza w/out cheese and when it came -- with cheese -- the waitress said she wouldn't have to pay for it. We had to ask for refills for our drinks. And, we were crammed like sardines in the booth which was uncomfortable. When she gave us the bill I took a quick look at it and she had charged us for the pizza and the raw hamburger. We reminded her about the pizza and said we thought the burger should be free too. She agreed and said she'd take care of it. A few minutes later the manager came over with the bill in hand. She asked how our dinner was. We told her the food was good but the service was poor. She sincerely felt bad and said she wanted to do something so we'd come back again.


Guess what the manager did? She gave us each a $5.00 gift certificate to use on anything, anytime, anyday at Not Your Average Joe's!

Despite being crammed in a booth, it was a fun celebration and we look forward to going back!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Triple A saved the day

I got in my car last night heading to book club (we read/discussed Freakonomics) and my car didn't start. ARGH!!! I called Neighborly Neighbor and she offered me her car so I drove her nice Pilot to book club. I didn't want to deal with AAA at night in a dark parking lot so called them this morning and my battery was dead so they jumped my car. Bluebell is at the shop and should be in fine working order by COB today.

Monday, July 17, 2006

dining at IKEA

One of my friends has never been to IKEA so we went tonight to have dinner and stroll through the store. She loved the salmon and was in awe of the vastness of the store. I had meatballs for dinner and bought 2 packages of napkins for 50 cents each and a RED cutting board for $1.79. It was very hot tonight so it was refreshing to be inside. All-in-all a good ending to a good day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

down the Cape

My boss had his summer party today at his home on Lake Mashpee. I don't go to the Cape often but I must say this was the prettiest part of the Cape I think I've ever seen. I got to go on a boat ride while my boss pulled some kids on a innertube around the lake. That was fun. It was another beautiful New England day!

When people talk about visiting the Cape they often show where they were on their arm. Hence today's photo.

P.S. Any suggestions on how to photo shop out that arm flab?!

Sailing...takes me away...

My friends the Truscotts are living in Bristol, Rhode Island for part of the summer. Tadd is working on the naval base doing some ocean engineering-ish work. I drove down last night to visit them and we went sailing today in Newport. Tadd can rent a sailboat for $10/hour. It was really fun. I didn't really sail the boat, per se, but enjoyed the sailing experience and taking lots of pictures. We went to a few fabric stores (I'm gathering red reproduction fabric for my next quilt) and I tried Del's frozen lemonade for the first time It was a great Rhode Island day.

Truscotts L to R: Zoe (nice big sister), Gus (video game addict), Tadd (MIT Ph.D. candidate), Julie (the RSP), and Screamin' Sam.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I collect old typewriters

I am happy to announce that I added a sixth typewriter to my collection today. My neighbor said he didn't have room for it and asked if I wanted it.

You can never have too many typewriters!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A few more Campout photos

Camping w/kids

One of my favorite things about the Ward Campout is watching the kids run wild at Camp Joseph. Here are some of my favorite photos: Emma, Mikayla, and Beckah running. Megan having a bath in the sink. Ruby after eating pudding in an ice cream cone (a favorite dessert from my Girl Scout days). Guy catching a frog. Caleb and Aaron kayaking in the Waters of Mormon.

Monday, July 10, 2006

a BIG slice of heaven

This is the view from Camp Joseph in Sharon, Vermont. It doesn't get much better than this!


The annual Arlington Ward Campout was this weekend. It was GREAT! Probably one of my most favorite campouts ever. Perfect weather (no rain--imagine that?!), fun people (134 in total), and just a great time at a wonderful place (Camp Joseph in Sharon, Vermont). I bought a new tent this year. I had a small 3-person tent but wanted something taller and wider. I bought a Swiss Gear tent and I was nicely situated. I'm glad I bought instead of borrowed.

When I was a teenager I was in charge of gathering camping equipment for a youth camping trip to the beach. I called a man in our congregation, who had three children in the youth program, and asked if we could borrow their tent. His reply was, "Asking to borrow my tent is like asking to borrow my toothbrush."

Not really.

I will post some Campout pictures later...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 4th in Boston

I will continue to spout off that Boston is the best place in America to be on the 4th of July...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

I'm always spouting off that Boston is the best place in America to be on the 4th of July but I must admit, it was pretty exciting back in Van Nuys, California. We always flew our flag with pride on Rubio Avenue (1966).

That's John, me, and Robert wearing red, white, and blue in the school parade (1965). We made hats and decorated our bikes with streamers. Robert was riding MY big tricycle. He probably got first choice from the family fleet since he was the oldest so I got stuck riding the scooter (in my fancy dress). I still remember that day.

I'm going downtown early today to save space along the Charles River for friends that will join me for the Boston Pops concert and fireworks! It's always an amazing show!! Wherever you are, make it the best place to spend the 4th of July!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

His bags are packed...

My nephew Ian leaves home tomorrow to attend college at BYU-Hawaii (with a six week stop on the west coast). Forget that it doesn't seem possible it's time for him to leave home; am I really old enough to have a nephew in college? Believe it or not, I am.

I'm very excited for Ian. I think he's going to thoroughly enjoy college (uh...who wouldn't love studying in Hawaii?!?) and I'm sure he will make friends that will last a lifetime. I wish him the best as he starts a new chapter of his life.

This picture of Ian was taken in July of 1988. He crawled. He walked. He went to college!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Welcome home, Elder LaPierre

Jamie LaPierre is home from his two year mission in the Canary Islands! I saw him today at church and then had dinner with their family tonight (hot dogs and beans). He shared his wonderful testimony today. Jamie looks great and it's good to have him home.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pool Party!

I've been invited to a Pool Party today at my friend's home in Princeton! It's going to be a beautiful, warm summer day--perfect weather for splashing around in a pool. That's what I do at a pool party since I can't swim. I'm very open and honest about this. I don't pretend to swim. I don't tell people I can swim. And, I know that I'd never be able to graduate from MIT because you have to pass a swimming test to do that. [ When I was president of the Young Women and we had water-related activities, I made it very clear that if there was need for a dramatic sea rescue of a teenager, I wouldn't be the gal to do it.

The summer I moved to Boston I went to a Young Single Adult BBQ/Pool Party in Rhode Island with my friend. I sat in a chair until everyone cleared the pool to eat and by then my friend convinced me to get in the pool. Then she convinced me to swim across the width (the shorter part) of the pool. I kept insisting that I couldn't swim. She didn't believe me. Finally I caved and told her I'd do it (nobody was watching; they were too busy eating). About halfway across the pool I started to wig out and hyperventilate and dog paddle and splash and try to reach the other end of the pool--which I finally did. My friend stood there on the edge of the pool, dumbfounded, and said, "That is the most pathetic thing I've ever seen." I yelled back, "I TOLD YOU I CAN'T SWIM!!!"

My mom always tells people I had more swimming lessons that Mark Spitz. (For those of you too young to know who he is...he won 7 gold medals for swimming in the 1972 Olympics). When I was in college she told me she'd pay me $100 if I took a swimming class. I wouldn't do it (the regulation suits were unflattering but that wasn't the only wasn't worth it to make a fool of myself in an adult swimming class).

So, I'm sure I will have a great time today. I just dug my swimming suit out of the drawer (it's in great condition; it gets used twice a year), found my sunscreen and I'll grab my camera and the blueberry cake I made and I'll have fun splashing around at the Pool Party!!

Here is a picture from a Pool Party in July of 1964 at the Jensen's house in La Crescenta, CA. L to R: Robert, me, Chris, Cary, Bonnie, Julie, and that's fearless John outside the pool.

The Devil Wears Prada

I just got home from seeing The Devil Wears Prada. I really, really liked it. It had a different twist than the book. I thought it was very well done.

The Boston Globe gave it three stars and I give it three thumbs up!