Friday, August 31, 2007

Cool photo

David L. Ryan of the Boston Globe took this photo. I think it's really cool. Can you tell what it is?


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Flower Power

Last year I wrote about going to Small Farm in Stow
, where you can cut wild flowers and fill a quart sized yogurt container for $5. I read about it in the Boston Globe.

I went back today with 3 friends and their collective 7 kids and then saw another friend there with her 2 kids. We had a great time. The kids loved running through the gardens and cutting flowers and the people that own the farm were so kind. It was a perfect summer day activity.

Who won the hat?

The Raymonds said...

Scott and I used to live two streets from Fenway Park. I always had to leave work early on home games because otherwise I couldn't get any parking. The gas stations around there even sell their tiny lots as parking. They make more money with parking than they do pumping gas! Our friend's car got flipped after one of the World Series games. Ah, fond memories.

The Raymonds live close by so I'll hand deliver the hat. Congratulations!

I really enjoyed reading all your Red Sox stories. What a treat; thanks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School is starting soon -- remember Fedco?

At the end of the summer our parents always took us to Fedco to get school supplies. [I found Fedco in Wikipedia (who knew?).] Fedco pre-dated stores like Target/K-Mart/Costco. We loved going to Fedco! Things were a lot cheaper and it was a fun store. You had to have a Fedco card to get in. And we always saw someone we knew there. Always! So back to my story about buying school parents (both former teachers) would take us to Fedco and we could get whatever school supplies we wanted. Seriously! As many Pee Chee folders, pens, and tablets of paper as we wanted (maybe there was a limit of one pencil case per child). I think it was their way of getting us excited about starting school! I kind of miss those days of getting supplies and clothes ready for school and meeting a new teacher and classmates. I don't recall taking many "first day of school" photos (it's all the rage now with the scrapbooking craze) so here is a class photo from elementary school.

Oh, Boston, you're my home

My brother asked for my shipping address and the next thing you know I've got two of these sweet Red Sox caps.

Since I only need one I'm going to have a drawing for the other one. Leave a comment about Boston or the Red Sox (nothing rude, please) and I'll pick a name Wednesday night at midnight (eastern time) and the winner gets a cap!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

How much for one of them blueberry cakes?

I make a mean blueberry cake (I got the recipe from a friend that I think got it from a farm stand in Michigan). The secret ingredient is sour cream (it makes for a moist cake).

I made one for an activity once and my friend Lee Hurst asked how much it would cost for me to make him "one of them blueberry cakes". I told him twenty bucks. He pulled out a twenty dollar bill---and I made him a blueberry cake. Unfortunately Lee has relocated to Arizona but if anyone else is interested, I'll make you one of them blueberry cakes for twenty bucks too (shipping not available)!

Here is the recipe and a picture of the cake I made tonight. Enjoy!!

Cinnamon Blueberry Cake
1 cup soft butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. soda
¾ cups chopped walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 ¾ cup blueberries

Place butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla in large bowl. Mix 2 minutes at medium speed. Add flour, baking powder and soda. Beat 1 minute at low speed. Spread one half the batter in greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Mix nuts, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half of this mixture over the batter. Drop remaining batter in mounds on top and spread over the whole top. Sprinkle blueberries on top and sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar over blueberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until done (if using frozen berries increase baking time--I freeze blueberries in ziploc bags and toss them in the cake right from the freezer.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday night babysitting

I babysat my friends' 5 kids tonight while they went to the Temple. I offered when he helped me with my computer problems and was glad it worked out tonight. Their kids are great and low maintenance. We watched "The Princess Diaries 2". The oldest dozed and the baby slept until about 10 minutes before they got home so it was really like babysitting 3 kids! The next-to-the-youngest made this cute card for me. Nice!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This caught my eye three years ago when I was driving in upstate New York so I pulled over and took a photo.

End of Summer

My niece and nephew in Florida started school today. I called my niece last night to wish her good luck in 7th grade and she said she was pretending that school wasn't starting today. Sounds like she wasn't ready for Summer to be over.

Good luck with this year of school!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Monday, August 20, 2007


25 years ago today I graduated from Brigham Young University.

25 years ago tonight I was a bridesmaid at the wedding of one of my college roommates (the 2nd of eight times being a bridesmaid and I've got the sweet photos to prove it). That ruffle has 33 feet (that = 11 yards) of fabric in it. No joke.

15 years ago today my youngest brother Chuck married his wife Jennifer! This photo was taken in May 2006.

Congratulations to me, Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, and Mr. & Mrs. Patton!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Little friends

I don't think I will ever get tired of photographing kids. And I think I might need to enter this picture of Baby Neighbor in a contest!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A visit to Neighborly Neighbors

Neighborly Neighbors are still neighborly but they aren't my neighbors any more. This weekend I went to visit them in a beautiful part of New Jersey. Friday night on my way there I stopped in Connecticut and picked up their 3 kids (from their cousins' house) and drove them to New Jersey (the parents were at a party in Manhattan). I was kind of nervous driving their "precious cargo" (my parents used to call us that) but I made all the right turns, skirted around Manhattan, and we arrived safely. We started Saturday with lemon ricotta pancakes and then hit the road. We picked apples and peaches -- I'd never picked peaches before -- at a really cool farm celebrating their 85th birthday! They had free hot dogs and free corn (the corn was delicious) and we each had a yummy donut for dessert. After that we drove all over the area and made a quick stop at a quilt shop (I googled "New Jersey quilt shops" in preparation for the trip). It was fun to see this part of New Jersey. Seriously, it's beautiful. Very green, lovely homes, and charming towns. The Jesus Saves sign on an old building caught my eye. It was a really nice New Jersey day.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer road trip

Bluebell's a/c isn't working (yet) but I'll crank my car radio, I've got two cameras in my bag, directions to a quilt shop, fun things planned with good friends so I'm going to have a fun weekend.

Details and photos to follow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What's for dinner?

I stopped at a friend's house tonight on my way home from work. We chatted for a while and then I was headed out the door when she offered to follow me to the car repair shop and then take me home so I could leave my car tonight (I've got a/c problems). I hadn't even thought of doing that but it will save me from waking up early and taking my car in the morning. Not only did she do that but she also bought me this little BBQ chicken pizza for dinner. I feel very blessed tonight, eighty times over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Are you a sewing hobbyist?

Facts, figures, and reflections (from Martha Stewart Living)

35 million: The number of SEWING HOBBYISTS in the United States, up 17 percent from 2000, per a recent study by the Home Sewing Association.

Here are a few of my favorite sewing blogs:

Because of my mandatory 7th grade sewing class at Mulholland Junior High I'm one of the 35 million sewing hobbyists!

The Visitor

The Palmyra Temple open house was seven years ago and I was interested in going (Palmyra is 400 miles from here). My friends Cary and Suzy Jensen live in Rochester and they offered the guest room in their basement so I stayed with them. They had 5 kids at the time (they now have 6). Four boys and one girl. I think Samantha turned five years old that very weekend. I enjoyed getting to know their kids a bit better and laughing about the good old days (my family and Cary's family grew up about 45 minutes from each other--see photo on this blog entry). The next morning Cary said Samantha had been looking around for me and asked "where is The Visitor?"

Tonight I went to visit two new families in our ward. I love welcoming people to the Arlington Ward/Boston area. It's fun to get to know them better and hear their stories about how they ended up here (everyone has a story). I leave their homes feeling like I have more new friends.

Call me "The Visitor".

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cutting out my quilt

I recently finished sewing 15 of my red/white quilt squares together so it was time to cut out more. My friend Kristin helped me tonight; she did most of the cutting. Thanks, Kristin!! I'm hoping to get the next batch of squares done soon so I can get this quilt finished and on my wall! This is a Denyse Schmidt "Hop, Skip & Jump" quilt.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Farm stand peaches

It doesn't get much better than this! I bought these in Concord while on a drive yesterday (after taking some photos and before getting an ice cream cone). After I bought the peaches the man at the farm stand said, "The home grown tomatoes are delicious." I only had two bucks left or I would have bought some.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby showers

I went to a baby shower/celebration last night. Usually there are lots of labor and delivery stories at those parties. Refreshingly, there weren't many last night.

A few years ago I was at a baby shower and all the women were sharing all these crazy stories about using a nasal aspirator. Seriously. I'd never heard such nonsense and finally announced that I'd rather hear labor and delivery stories than about how they cleaned their baby's noses.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Latter-day Lunch Club

There are a number of Arlington Ward members that work or attend MIT. When I started working here I decided we should get together for lunch every now and then. [One of the guys said he knew it would take a non-engineer to get us all together!] That was the beginning of Latter-day Lunch Club! We meet in Lobby 7, walk over to the Student Center and eat our lunches and talk.

We met today and before I left my coworker said, "You aren't wearing your yellow t-shirt with an M for Mormon on it".

No, I'm not.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Corn for dinner

About 12 years ago my brother Robes visited with his son Jamel and they gave me the New York Times Cook Book as a hostess gift. It's a great recipe book especially for the basics. Like cooking corn-on-the-cob and hard boiling eggs (the two things I've used it for lately). I consulted the book tonight and this was my dinner. I also had a salad but gobbled it up before taking any pictures.

On another note, my friend Rolana loaned me a laptop tonight! She heard from someone that I had computer problems and offered me a laptop. Awesome! I'm back on-line at home and that makes me happy.

Elder Duke #2: Home!

Wesley Duke got home from his Mormon mission tonight. I offered to take late night family pictures because the five of them would only be together about three hours (the youngest was leaving on a scout trip in the middle of the night). I bake at midnight, do laundry at midnight, AND take photos at midnight. Anyway, it was really nice to be there as Wesley talked about what his mission meant to him. He served in the Carlsbad California Mission. I wanted to photograph his worn out shoes but he threw his away before coming home so I photographed his ties instead! Amy seemed over-the-moon to have all her children home.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Summer is for movies

I saw "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "No Reservations" over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed both of them.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


This is what you need when it's hazy, hot and humid. I bought these Saturday night for $1.89. When we were kids we used to ride our bikes to "the dairy" near our house and would buy brown boxes of popsicles. My favorites were banana and root beer.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Sealing #1

I went to my very first sealing today at the Boston Temple. Afterwards I took a few hundred pictures of Geo, Yessica and their kids. Yessica is a scrapbooker and was thrilled when I saw her last night at a party and told her that the CDs were already in her mailbox. I saw her thumbing through them today at church; she had already had some printed. Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, August 03, 2007

New cookies

I found this recipe on a blog and I can't remember which one (AND I'm having more computer problems so I can't access my favorite blogs and recipes right now so I can't give credit where credit is due). I made them last night (yes, at midnight) and they are YUMMY!

Chocolate Swirls

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 pkg (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl combine sugars, butter, cream cheese, egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Fold melted chocolate chips into dough until lightly marbled (do not overmix).

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool completely before storing.

Elder Duke #1: Home!

Taylor Duke arrived home from his Mormon mission tonight! I went by to welcome him home and have cake with his family. They were all happy to have him home after two years serving in Armenia. You can tell two years of selfless service has made a huge impact on his life. Taylor said he would have loved to stay two more years! We all kept asking him questions about the food, weather, people, and the church in Armenia. It was really interesting to hear about his experience and fun to be with his family the night he arrived home. Taylor returns to West Point next week.

Stay tuned. Elder Duke #2 arrives home on Tuesday!