Saturday, March 31, 2007

sweet Cora

Last night I took photos of Cora. These are 3 of my favorites of 3 week old Cora!


If you've lived in Boston you probably know that the Charles/MGH T station has been under construction for quite some time. When I worked at MGH I heard many times that the subway station was next to one of the most famous hospitals in the country and yet was not handicap accessible. An embarrassment. Well, after several years of extensive renovation that's not the case anymore. The grand opening of the station was this week. I've been wanting to check it out so today during lunch I walked from MIT over the Longfellow Bridge and into the new Charles/MGH T station. It has an elevator! It has an escalator! It's pretty spiffy and impressive. I happily rode the escalator, waited on the platform, took the subway one stop to Kendall Square and walked back to work.

I grew up in L.A., a place with lots of things to see and do. My older brother Robes always said, "We did everything there was to do in L.A. twice." My mom and dad took us to beaches, malls, museums, sporting events, special events, parades, concerts, plays, movies, grand openings, restaurants and more. The Pattons have an adventurous spirit and love for where they live.

The adventurous spirit lives on and I'm trying to do everything there is to do in Boston twice!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quilting 101

My friend Julie is teaching a quilting class to interested women in our ward. Tonight was the first of three classes and everyone was cutting their fabric into squares. I have an idea in mind for a quilt but am not ready to start it so I was a "helper" but really I made the rounds and talked to my friends. It was fun to see the fabric everyone picked. I saw a few that I especially liked. I'm excited to see the finished products.

During our quilting bee, the Pinewood Derby was going on downstairs. I hope the boys, I mean dads, were pleased with the races!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pass the poly-fil

I have sewed and stuffed pumpkins, stars, santas, and tonight I made these three Easter eggs! I found the pattern here. I think they are super cute and plan to make a whole basket of them!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Blushing Blogger

For years I have bought cheap-o Maybelline lipstick and fancy schmancy Estee Lauder blush. The last blush I bought was $25 and was smaller than the one before it which left me a bit disenchanted with expensive make-up. At least I got the free gift when I bought it. Free stuff that I never used.

Last week when I went to apply my blush this is what I found. It was the beginning of the end of expensive blush! Last night I bought Cover Girl blush for $5.99 at CVS and I'm a better blusher because of it.

Spring has sprung

Sunday, March 25, 2007

10 years ago today...

At 8:46pm I called Robes in Boca Raton, Florida.

Robes: Hello.

Me: Did you get the results from your MRI?

Robes: I have a brain tumor.

Me: Are you kidding me?

Robes: How do you think I feel; I had to come home and tell Kim and the kids.

And that was the beginning of our ride on the B.T. Express.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


This is how one of my friends remembers what condo I live in: You go to the dentist when your tooth hurt-y.

ha! ha! ha!

My friends are taking good care of me with lots of food, flowers, and treats and my recovery is going well. I'm off the heavy stuff and taking ibuprofen.

I'm toothless...but on the mend!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Be prepared

My appointment with the oral surgeon is at 11:45am tomorrow. He will extract my half-tooth and start the process for the implant. All that while I'm enjoying I.V. sedation. I don't want to see anything, hear anything, or feel anything. On the way home I'll pick up a prescription for some pain pills and will have the weekend to recover. I have a collection of movies to watch and just made three kinds of jell-O.

If I don't blog for a day or two, blame the v-i-c-o-d-i-n.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Athelia Booth Pitchforth (1898-1992)

Grandmother Pitchforth was born 109 years ago today in Nephi, Utah. I have lots of fun memories of baking and cooking with her and playing card games like "That's It" and "Canasta". We loved when she made us 7-up floats.

She called my mom once and said, "Nancy, I think it would be fun for the kids to see Grandma arrive in a helicopter" and sure enough, we went to the Van Nuys Airport and our Grandma arrived on a helicopter! I flew alone to Salt Lake City when I was 7 and stayed for a few weeks with my grandparents. On the way home from the airport we stopped at the drug store and they bought me a chaise lounge chair that was just for me and fit me perfectly. I remember during one of Grandma's visits to California I was jumping rope in the front yard and asked her if she wanted to jump rope too. She tried it and fell on the sidewalk (thank goodness she didn't get hurt)! I felt terrible and my mom was so mad at me for asking Grandma to do that. But she was a pretty fun and adventurous Grandma!

When I was in college I lived about an hour from the Pitchforth Grandparents and made lots of visits to see them. By then Grandpa was blind and Grandma was deaf. I would take my friends with me and we always enjoyed delicious well balanced meals (a treat for a college student!) and a nice visit.

Grandma Pitchforth was quite a letter writer and I have a great collection of letters she wrote me throughout my life. In fact, she was typing a letter to me when she had a brain anuerism (and then died a few days later). My brother John said it was like her hard drive was worn out and just shut down after 94 1/2 years! I flew to California for her funeral (in fact, that was the last time I was in So. Cal.). John went to the store and to get vanilla ice cream, 7-up and straws and we all enjoyed 7-up floats at the luncheon after her funeral.

I have lots of pictures and memories of Grandma Pitchforth (and her wedding band) and I feel lucky that I inherited some qualities from her.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!
(The last picture is the grandkids at her funeral minus Robes)

Daffodil Days

As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal. To the American Cancer Society, the daffodil symbolizes the hope we all share for a cancer-free future.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wordplay (and a famous Ellen)

I like the part at the end about her boyfriend...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Growing up in California, if you didn't wear green on St. Patrick's Day you got pinched! In Boston, if you don't have a good shovel or scraper on St. Patrick's Day you're in trouble!

I've had a very lazy day (I won't tell you how many hours I slept). I just made some green cookie dough and am going to visit some friends and make shamrock shaped cookies.

We got dumped with snow last night; maybe 8 inches. They spent hours plowing our parking lot last night and I'm pretty sure someone was snow blowing our sidewalks at 3:00am this morning (it was interrupted sleep). All for a St. Patrick's Day nor'easter!

Friday, March 16, 2007

March O'Madness

I love college basketball. Yesterday I submitted my brackets (is that what you call it?!) for the Final Four tournament.

I say UCLA will be the champs!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Book Club

Tonight was our discussion of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I barely got through a third of the book but still enjoyed the conversation though I made zero comments. That's quite unlike me; usually I'm a chatterbox. We are going to try to get together to watch the movie (starring James Dean) and I took The Grapes of Wrath off my shelf when I got home.

For next month we decided to read something shorter and cheerier. Maybe The Cat in the Hat.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day!

It's 3.14...and I work at MIT...

Late night Laundry

While most of my neighbors were in REM sleep I had the laundry room all to myself.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Bleak Boston

Around this time of year a few years ago a friend asked when it was going to look like Spring. I put on my weatherperson hat, went out on a limb, and told her that believe it or not, in 3-4 weeks there would be green leaves on the trees and the grass would be green. And, I was right!

This picture was taken today at lunchtime while I was out walking (aka getting fit @ MIT).

I'll make a mental note to take a picture in a month and post it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What is your favorite hymn?

A few weeks ago I filled out a survey asking what my three favorite hymns were. Today in church instead of names for speakers the program said: Hymns Selected by the Congregation

There was an introduction to the meeting which included some statistics about which hymns were the top favorites. #1 for the men was I Need The Every Hour so all the men stood and sang a few verses of that song. #1 for the women was Because I Have Been Given Much and all the women stood and sang a few verses of that song. Then the meeting was opened up for people to share what their favorite song was and why followed by the congregation singing a few verses of the song. I think about 15 people participated. The closing song was The Spirit of God which got the most votes.

My favorite part of the meeting was when a little boy named Ben (he's probably 7 years old) stood up and said, "My favorite hymn is I Am a Child of God because when I sing it I know that I am."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lemon dessert

I've had a hankerin' for a lemon dessert since reading about Kelli baking some lemon treats. Tonight I made a lemon dessert that Grandmother Pitchforth used to make and that I included in a recipe book I made in her memory one hundred years from her birth (March 21, 1898). Tomorrow I may try making lemon bars.

The dessert is chillin' in the fridge and I can't wait to devour it.

Lemon Dessert
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sugar
juice and rind of 2 lemons

Cook in double boiler after water boils first. It will thicken in 3 minutes. Cool. Mix with 1/2 pint whipped whipping cream. Spread over crushed vanilla wafers. Refrigerate.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Pass the pablum

I'm still having some trouble with my choppers so have switched to a soft diet: Eating soft foods may help if you have problems chewing or swallowing. That's me.

This was dinner.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm ready to burn my coat...

...but I can''s 4 degrees tonight.

Spring is around one of these corners...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

EP airport shuttle

I enjoy picking friends up at the airport. It's always fun to hear about their travels and help them get home. My favorite time to pick people up is late at night. If you are arriving home at 11:30pm and you need a ride home, I'm your gal. I'm up anyway (usually baking!) and there isn't much traffic late at night (because all the normal people are in REM sleep).

I just got home from picking up friends that landed at 10:47pm.

I'm always glad to help a friend. Especially late at night!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The dentist and the dollar

Last night my gums were bothering me. Today I could move something on one of my teeth with my tongue. How serendipitous that I had a dentist appointment at 4:30pm today. The dentist said, "Your tooth is cracked." Then he pulled half of it out. I'll need to have the other half extracted, followed by getting an implant and a crown.

I'm trying to look on the bright side and not focus on how much this is going to cost me. Let's see...I'm glad the part of the tooth he removed was on the inside so I don't look like a hillbilly...

Neighborly Neighbor heard about my plight and sent her daughter over with this. At first I thought she was giving me money back from some groceries I paid her for last night and then I noticed the note on the bottom and it made me smile.

At least it's not a toothless smile like I had when I was 7.

Made at Midnight

If I ever open a bakery, it's going to be called "Made at Midnight" because I love baking at midnight! My boss from a few jobs ago had this cartoon made for me. The artist is named John Bush. I really like his work and was pleasantly surprised when I received this gift! I have it hanging in my kitchen. Tonight I'm baking Black Bottom Cupcakes (see recipe below). I got the recipe from my friend Cristi that lived in Boston when I moved here. They are yummy and very easy to make. Notice the before and after photos.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Mix well and set aside: 1 8oz. cream cheese (softened), 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/8 t. salt, 1 small pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In separate bowl mix together: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt

Combine and add to dry ingredients: 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil, 1 T vinegar, 1 T vanilla

Fill baking cups half full with chocolate batter. Top each with a generous spoonful of cream cheese batter. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 16 cupcakes.

Monday, March 05, 2007

B is for Burp

Tonight I watched my friend's three kids. The two older ones were asleep. The baby was kind of fussy. I rocked her. I swaddled her. I un-swaddled her. Still fussy. I walked her around. I turned the lights out. I turned the lights on. Still fussy. I picked her up. I put her down. I repeatedly gave her the pacifier. Still fussy. I put her in a little swing. I turned on the music and colored lights. I turned off the music and colored lights. Still fussy. You get the picture. Was she teething? I didn't smell anything but did she need her diaper to be changed? Was she mad? Did she have separation anxiety? Did she hate me?!

Mary Poppins was getting frustrated! I took the baby out of the swing and stood her up in front of me and then...she burped...and smiled...and made cute little baby noises...and sucked on her pacifier...and played with a toy...and was totally fine.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Baby gifts

Often I give a digital baby photo shoot as a baby shower gift. Today I redeemed one of my gifts and took photos of "Mr. O." who is 7 months old. I'm actually glad we waited until he was older; he was really fun to photograph. His two older sisters were good at getting him to smile.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


This morning I borrowed Neighborly Neighbor's kids while she had a "boring meeting". I wanted to get some exercise so I buckled them in the double stroller and we walked into Lexington Center making stops at the Post Office, bank, Library, and CVS for a treat--of course! The girls were great! The sun has melted most of the ice on the sidewalk and it is a beautiful sunny almost Spring day. We had lots of fun at the Library playing with books, puzzles and puppets. I let them check out six board books which they were excited about.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Color coordination

This morning I wore a pair of the pants my friend handed down to me. I thought they were black. I have black shoes in my desk drawer at work and I had black socks in my purse. So I get out to the bus stop -- in daylight -- and guess what? The pants are BLUE. ARGH!!! I saw my friend Tadd on the train and was moaning about my bad morning (I was soaking wet from waiting for a bus that never came, my pants were blue and not black, etc.) and he said, "blue and black go together."

Sure they do. If you are trying to color coordinate your clothes with a BRUISE.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

the A list

I make a "to do" list every day. Yep. Every day. Lately, for my daily lists, I've been using colored cards that I buy at Paper Source (too bad for you if you don't live near one of these stores) and for the weekend lists I use some lined paper that I got from drug reps when I worked at MGH. Life is good when I am getting things done.

Tonight I met a friend at Paper Source in Cambridge. They are open until 7:00pm. I worked until about 6:05pm, headed to the store, and one illegal U-turn and a few wrong turns later I parked a few blocks away and ran to the store. I got there 5 minutes before they closed. Whew! I found exactly what I wanted--scalloped cards in Spring colors--chartreuse on the left and butter on the right.

I'm making my list and checkin' it twice...

P.S. I'm still working on getting fit. Tonight I walked/ran on my treadmill for 20 minutes and then danced around for 10 minutes (I hope none of my neighbors saw me!). Thanks blog buddy Africankelli for the great CD of running/walking/dancing tunes!