Thursday, May 31, 2007

This is the life...

Someone drives you around all day while your head is out the window enjoying the summer breeze! (Excuse the crappy photo...)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grab your white shoes

It's between Memorial Day and Labor Day so grab your white shoes!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Jersey Ures

Neighborly Neighbors are moving to New Jersey this week. I’m very sad. I have enjoyed babysitting the girls, going on walks, taking photos of them, sharing meals and lots of good times. They have made me lots of art projects, taken care of me when I’ve been sick, and been the best neighbors ever. I have also gotten the internet through them which has been very nice. For the record, I will miss them way more than their router but until my DSL kicks in, I may be out of commission for a few days. I’ve got chocolate chips on the line so I’ll try to blog every day.

John, Lisa, Kate, Emma and Sarah (Baby Neighbor) – I will miss you!

Monday, May 28, 2007

red, white and blue

Happy Memorial Day! I organized the ward picnic at Robbins Farm in Arlington and a trip to Kimballs in Carlisle for ice cream. It was a sort-of farewell for the families that are leaving the ward this summer. We have quite a bit of turnover and this is always a sad time of year. But on a happy note, it was fun to spend the day with good friends.

P.S. That is a small ice cream!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Guess who's coming to dinner?

I've been wanting to have the Raymonds over for dinner for months. Emily was one of the elite women runners at the Boston Marathon this year and writes reviews of digital cameras. Scott is a Ph.D. student in biophysics at Harvard and MIT. And, Bruce is a cute and curious two year old. They are amazing! We enjoyed pasta salad, fruit salad and rolls. And I enjoyed their good company. Bruce had fun riding my red tricycle and playing with the toys I have. We plan to get together again sooner than later which will be nice.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Oh cabinet, My cabinet

I went antiqueing today to find something that would store dishes and fit under my new shelves. Years ago I went on a drive out Route 2 and discovered a really fun antique/craft store in Templeton. I went back to Country Mischief today and found this very cool black cabinet that was reasonably priced. The owner and I shoved it in my trunk, secured it with a bungee cord and off I went. Hopefully tomorrow or Monday I can dig out some of my dishes to put in it. I have a lot of glasses and dishes (from my grandparents and my parents) that I haven't been able to display in my condo and that's one reason I wanted to put up shelves and find a cabinet. It was a nice warm sunny day -- perfect for a drive and antiqueing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Congrats, Sister!!!

My friend Kristen ("Sister") graduated from New England School of Law today. This is a picture of Kristen with her husband Lein.

Kristen and I met working at Bay State Skills Corporation in Boston in the 90's. We soon realized we both were raised in So. Cal., graduated from BYU, moved to Boston on our own and loved See's candy! We used to email funny things to each other every day and called it our "daily devo" (as in devotional). We've enjoyed movies, eating out, getting ice cream, going on bike rides, hiking, and meeting for H.C. (hot chocolate) after work in the winter. Kristen ran the Boston Marathon a few years and I was at Mile 19 cheering for her, inspired by her determination. She's always willing to read/edit my writing. She's always willing to listen to me vent about life or share my funny stories. She gives me her hand-me-downs (nice!!). She's been a supportive, caring and loyal friend. She's the friend that said she'd give me a pound of chocolate chips a month if I blog every day until she takes the bar exam in July! And so I blog and blog and blog some more!

You look brilliant in purple velvet! Sister, I'm proud of you!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I'm juggling three library books right now and they are all good. I really enjoyed the part about the woman's time in Italy from "Eat Pray Love". I just started "The Knitting Circle" today and it's very good. "Talking with My Mouth Full" is funny and has some good recipes in it. Here is something from the "Taking Potluck" chapter:

Miss Manners does not approve of the potluck. "How did the charmingly homely phrase 'potluck' come to stand for such an unfortunate situation?" she asks. She says, and I paraphrase, that potluck used to mean come on over for family dinner, nothing fancy, take your chances. Now, she says, it's come to mean: We consider it too much trouble and expense to make any effort for you, so if you want to eat with us at our house bring your own food."

I got a good laugh from that!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I know LIFT OFF 5 is true

A coworker suggested mineral spirits to get the paint out of my jeans. I went to Home Depot straightaway tonight and asked a guy in an orange apron where the mineral spirits were so I could get paint out of jeans. He asked what kind of paint and then said, "follow me" and took me right to LIFT OFF 5. I grabbed a bottle and used the self check out for the first time ever. As soon as I got home I read the directions, tried it, kept at it using a toothbrush to clean off the paint, and then washed the jeans.

Favorite jeans: RESCUED!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Everyone's gone

I made my last trip to the airport this afternoon. All my visitors are gone. I've been trying to tidy up and clean and get things back in order but it's too quiet. The weekend was wonderful and I enjoyed the noise and energy of 8 extra people!
My sister-in-law Kim is amazing when it comes to fixing things. She used to write a monthly newspaper column for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel about home repairs! She was very helpful this weekend. She helped me with some new shelves that I bought. I threw some things on them tonight so I could send her a picture of how they look. Now I'm looking for some sort of cabinet to go under the shelves (red possibly?). I may go antiqueing this weekend.

I've enjoyed my vacation! I'm sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow...and that I got PAINT on my FAVORITE jeans (how did that happen???).

Putting the visitors to work

We've got lots of condo projects going on right now (at midnight, of course). My sister-in-law Kim is working on putting up some shelves in my living room. My brother Chuck is calking my shower. And, I'm painting two walls. Earlier today Kim and I made a mad dash to Home Depot for some supplies. Then Chuck and Kim worked on securing a screen I had made for my big window last year. It's now secure enough that I can use it without worrying that bugs will invade my condo. The fresh air felt great! We also replaced my stove drip pans. We moved a piece of furniture. And Kim repaired my broken closet door. It's been nice having them around to help me with some projects! If I didn't need to finish painting the walls, I'd bake them a midnight treat.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Another great ride!

Today was the Ride for Research for The Brain Tumor Society. Our team, PATTON'S ARMY had a good day! We all rode 25 miles through Lincoln, Concord and Weston in the RAIN in memory of Robes and all the others that are battling brain tumors or have died from brain tumors. It was our biggest team yet--we had 11 riders (me, Chuck, Emma, Tadd, Kim, Jamel, Adrienne, Leah, Stephen, Tyler and Brian). Thank you to everyone that has sponsored us and supported us. We'll be back again next year plus more riders, we hope! Here are a few pictures of the ride, Adrienne's birthday party tonight (her beehive birthday with her beehive cake!), and the kids after a soccer game.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sailing w/out wind

We went sailing on the Charles River today with Tadd. He can sail for free out of the MIT boat house (I probably could too but should learn how to swim first). There was hardly any wind but everyone still had fun and it was nice of him to take us. Here are a few shots.

Tomorrow is the big 25 mile bike ride (I don't feel ready...). I'll have a full report and lots of photos to share!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I Love to See the Temple

Words and Music by Janice Kapp Perry

I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.

For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey.

For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God,
I've learned this truth;
A fam'ly is forever.

The Power of Patton's Army

The three girls have had lots of fun tonight in the crawl space wearing their pioneer outfits. It's like a little village down there! The 25 mile bike ride for the Brain Tumor Society is on Sunday. These girls are the Power of Patton's Army! They've been riding through the streets of Florida, Oregon and Ohio getting ready for the ride. It's going to be a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Logan Airport here I come... first guests arrive at 12:23am. I've got a few more minutes to tidy up the condo. I'm looking forward to hosting 8 visitors!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hokey or not?

Today I walked down the hall to eat my lunch on my favorite bench that overlooks Lobby 7 at MIT. I heard classical cello music and assumed there was a concert in the lobby (there is always something going on at MIT!). When I looked over the balcony I saw a couple eating lunch at a small table in the middle of the lobby and the cellist playing next to them. There were nice dishes, wine glasses, a table cloth, flowers, and what appeared to be a fancy meal. And lovely music. [I took a crappy picture with my camera phone that I may post later...maybe I do want to keep the small digital camera with the magnetized case afterall...] It seemed so clever, romantic, and well, cool. There were lots of people watching them from the balconies and listening to the music.

As I listened to the cello music and ate my lunch (without fancy dishes and table cloth) I reminisced about my days at BYU. Students did the craziest stuff on dates, to invite someone on a date (or "Preference" the girls' choice dance) or to propose marriage. There were meals on a grassy median, homemade messages in fortune cookies, scavenger hunts, clues in food, police pulling people over and pretending to arrest someone which turned into a wedding proposal (only at BYU...), invitations spelled out in candy bars, etc. I can't remember how I asked a guy to Preference my sophomore year but am embarrassed to say that I asked him to toilet paper the tree outside my window and make up a song (or was it a serenade?) if he could go with me (I have it on a cassette tape somewhere around here). Now that's hokey. After all that, he had to cancel and I asked another guy. There was no hokey invite for the second choice; just a simple phone call.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I'm still dealing with my computer problems. I've reloaded some software but nothing seems to be working the way it used to work (it takes 35 seconds for Word to open). Very say the least. I also have major hot synching issues with my Palm Pilot; I can't get it to work.

Then last week I got my Palm Pilot out of my purse and turned it on and it was empty. Totally empty. Addresses were gone (lots of them). My list of blogs and photography sites were gone. My list of books to read was gone. I had been tracking my blood pressure and all that data was gone too (I'm sure my BP is UP now...). I re-set the Palm Pilot a few times -- which has worked in the past -- and it is still empty. I'm hanging onto the hope that there is a version backed up on my external drive or I'll be typing everything in from the last list I printed in December (and I've entered a lot of data since then).

On Sunday I dumped out the contents of my lime green messenger bag and started to put things in my red purse and this is what I found. I didn't think much of it until a few hours later...when I realized that the magnet on my stupid camera case probably came in contact with my Palm Pilot and ZAPPED all my data.

Moral of this story: I hate this new small camera and am returning it on Wednesday.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fancy Nancy

Happy Mother's Day to Nan! She's been a mother for 47 years! This book was her Mother's Day gift from me.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

winter clothes/ice cream social

Today I sorted through my clothes and got all the winter things ready for bins in the crawl space. And, tonight was our church ice cream social.

I am in charge of activities for my ward so found myself shopping today for ice cream, root beer, cones, straws, etc. We almost devoured the 17 half gallons of ice cream! It was a bit chilly but still fun to be outside with friends enjoying root beer floats, frappes, and ice cream cones.

I grew up in Los Angeles where I say, "you just have clothes." You don't sort them and you don't move them. You can basically wear the same things year round. Needless to say, when I moved to Boston (nearly 19 years ago) my wardrobe was pathetic. I had one coat that was basically useless. It was wool but not really warm enough for winter and was not a good rain coat. It took a few years but I've got the right kind of clothes now. I have this theory about coats and someday I'm going to write about it. In the meantime, I've got my sweaters and coats packed away and I enjoyed a nice raspberry oreo frappe (that's a shake for those of you west of Worcester) tonight!
A little winter...a little summer...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where's the tin?

My coworkers are smart. They know when they see the tin on my desk that there are baked goods in it. Twice yesterday coworkers came up to my desk and sheepishly asked, "where's the tin?" I'm a sucker for a baking request so tonight -- in true Made at Midnight form -- I made peanut butter cookies (at midnight). They are stacked up in the tin and will be on my desk at 9:00am.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Square one (of 35)

Tonight my friend Kristin came over and helped me cut out my red/white Denyse Schmit quilt (check out her site; she's amazing). Yeah! I am ready to start sewing. In fact, I just made the first square.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Call me Virginia Perry

When we were kids we would visit a family friend, Virginia Perry, who lived in Ventura, about an hour away from where we lived. If my memory is correct, she lived in a yellow stucco house at the top of her street and she had a big back yard with a big garden. I remember she had a painting of John F. Kennedy in her living room. My favorite thing about visiting Virginia Perry was that she always gave each of us a brown bag, with our name written on it, filled to the top with treasures. I remember getting things like an old wallet, empty perfume bottles, margarine containers, and lots of other great stuff. I remember thinking "Where does Virginia Perry get all this great stuff?" Seriously, it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized all that great stuff was from around her house and from yard sales! When you're a kid, you love getting treasures! So, in memory of Virginia Perry, I'm gathering treasures to give Adrienne, Emma and Tyler who will be visiting next week to do the Brain Tumor Society bike ride. I've saved free things I've gotten and have gone through closets, drawers, and my gift box and found (mostly new) things to give the girls: note cards, toothbrushes, pens, scrapbooking supplies, calendars, purses, art supplies, ribbon, toys, etc. I hope they enjoy the treasures as much as I enjoyed getting treasures from Virginia Perry.

Monday, May 07, 2007

And the winner is...

Jane Maynard said...

happy blogiversary to you, ellen! :) you'll be sick of my comments by the end of the week as a care package from you is irresistible. keep on blogging - love it!!

I'll be getting a package out to you this week, Jane! Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog!!


Sunday, May 06, 2007

When you get out of church at 6:30pm... need some quick and easy dinner recipes! Tonight some good friends came over for dinner and I made Finnish Pancakes. Now I'm sure some of you know them as "German Pancakes", "Swedish Pancakes" or just plain "Pan Pancakes". My Finnish friend Mimmu Hartiala Sloan shared her recipe with me so to me they are "Finnish Pancakes".

Here's the recipe and a picture.

Finnish Pancakes
Put a half a stick of butter in a roasting pan in the oven set at 425. While it is melting, put the following ingredients in a blender: 5 eggs, milk until you reach the 3 cup line, a wee bit of sugar (about 1/4 cup), about a half teaspoon of salt and 1½ cups flour. Blend and pour into the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until brown.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Capturing a moment

This boy was at my friend Claire's baptism today. He is one of her school mates. I don't even know his name but he seemed like a really cool kid and enjoyed running around and playing tag with all the Mormon kids. He seemed like a leader to me.

One of my favorite things is when I capture a moment with my camera and this was one of those times. I love this picture!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gettin' ready

I've got company coming (7 guests!) in two weeks for the Brain Tumor Society bike ride and some other festivities so I've been cleaning/tidying the place up gettin' ready for their arrival. I'm very excited because some of my guests haven't seen my sweet condo. Tonight while waiting for friends to visit I decided to quickly clean out my freezer. Imagine my surprise when I found three (3) pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream that expired in 2005! And surrounding the ice cream were eleven (11) jars of homemade freezer jam!! If I don't watch out I'm going to be labeled a hoarder.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Today the car in front of me had this magnet on the back of it. Sorta a squishing your hand under your armpit to make it sound like a fart sort of way. Sorry about the "click to enlarge". I can't seem to crop it out. That's not funny.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My 1st blogiversary

One year ago today I wrote this; my first ever blog entry. I've been a dedicated blogger ever since. And I've blogged every single day for the last six months (I'll do almost anything for chocolate chips). I've enjoyed writing about life and sharing my photos. celebrate my happy blogiversary, I'm going to print out all the comments (hint, hint) left on this week's entries (4/30 through 5/6). I will pick one and the winner gets an EP care package which will surely include some photocards, treats and who knows what else!

Thank you blog fans!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007