Friday, February 29, 2008

This is not funny...

Elder P's P-Day

Mormon missionaries get one day off a week to run errands/do laundry/play soccer/see sites/etc.  It's referred to as "P-Day" (Preparation Day).  I'm guessing this photo was taken on one of Elder Patton's recent P-Days.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

LOST (and I don't mean the TV show)

Tonight started out to be a normal evening. I stopped by to see some friends on my way home and then planned to do a little grocery shopping and go home and accomplish 47 of the 65 things on my list. Well, I neglected to factor in some nasty highway 95 traffic (L.A. style). I should have cut through a few towns but stayed on the highway which was a big mistake. I never really got out of second gear which would have aggravated even the most even tempered unruffle-able person. I finally couldn't take it any more and got off the highway and started meandering through my town toward Market Basket (the grocery store with the best prices). By this time I am so hungry (what do they say about grocery shopping when you're hungry?) I am ready to eat my arm. I wasn't recognizing streets, I ended up on the other side of the highway (how did that happen?) and then I was at a dead end and LOST. And very very aggravated. I wound back around, went a different direction, and finally started to recognize street names (Hancock, Adams, Revere...) and I got to Market Basket. I quickly gathered my groceries without buying too many un-necessary items. I'm home and I just wolfed down a chicken sandwich and some strawberries so am feeling ready to tackle my list and make these and I bet I'll feel better.

Apologies to my friend Debbie who got lost once trying to go from Lexington to IKEA (in Stoughton) and ended up in Londonderry, New Hampshire---and I never let her forget it---when I'm the one that got lost in my own town.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One year anniversary

One year ago today my friend Judianne's niece and two nephews and their two neighbors died on the way to school when their car slid off an icy road in Idaho and into a frigid retaining pond. Earlier today I found this article that talked about the community celebrating their short lives by attaching balloons their favorite colors to mailboxes. I was so touched when I drove up to Judianne's house and saw these 5 balloons attached to her mailbox. I wanted Judianne to know I had been thinking about their family on this sad anniversary day. God bless the Walkers and Probsts today and every day as they miss their children, grandchildren, siblings, and cousins.

When I got ready to leave Judianne's youngest child was busily preparing something in the kitchen. She was going to serve us some food on a plate while we were visiting but I had to leave. Instead she put the things on a paper plate and gave them to me to bring home. That's so sweet!

I'm thankful for all my friends, young and old!

Book Club

I haven't been finishing books at my usual pace but today at lunch I finished my latest library book, The Glass Castle.  Here is a summary from the book jacket:

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation.  Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children.  In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains.  Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly.  Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict."  Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town--and the family--Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape.  He drank.  He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days.  As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity.  Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots.  Now she tells her own story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Anxiously engaged

One of my new work friends, Sister D., got engaged last night. Her ring is one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL rings I've ever seen (sorry the photo isn't so great...I'll try to get a better one).

I reminded Sister D. that I was an experienced bridesmaid.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Icy icicles

A friend approached me at church yesterday and asked if I had seen the icicles hanging off the roof. And that's why I always have a camera with me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I stopped by today to meet my friends' brand new five day old baby: Baby A. She's beautiful! I can't wait to photograph her again and again and again!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland

It's been snowing all day...I got to leave work (a bit) early...had dinner with friends (thanks!)...the roads were very icy...drove really really slow...and now I'm home and hunkerin' down...I've got movies and hot chocolate and bread and milk...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Beauty Shop

My friend was over tonight cutting hair at the "EP Salon". I told a few funny stories including this one while she was cutting and coloring hair(s).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby C

I finally got a photo of her last night; those cheeks!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Party Central

Tonight I hosted a baby shower at my place with my friend Jenn! [I'm caught up with parties for a while...] There were yummy treats, fun games, good company and lots of adorable clothes for Jodi's baby girl that is due in 3 weeks! I gave her Motherhood Magnetic Poetry which I'm sure was her most favorite gift.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A grand tablecloth

My friends the LaPierres have the coolest tablecloth ever. I'm not sure how many years ago they started (how many, Dottie?!) but when they have guests over (and they have a lot of guests over) they ask them to sign the tablecloth and then within hours/days Dottie embroiders the name on the tablecloth. It's one of the coolest traditions ever. Why didn't I start one?

Dottie came up to me on Sunday and whispered that they had their one thousandth name on their tablecloth! They have it all blocked off into quadrants on a spreadsheet so they can keep track!

Here is a picture I took of the tablecloth in May of last year. Do you see your name?!?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

She makes fifty seem nifty!

My friend Amy turns 50 on Thursday and I had a party for her tonight. I made 5 cakes (and some friends brought a few) and blew up 50 helium balloons that were on the ceiling! I’m not sure how many guests were here but I think close to 50 (including her oldest and youngest kids). It was loud, crowded and very fun! Happy Birthday, Amy!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ring the dinner bell

I often stop and visit people on my way home from work. It's just what I do. Sometimes I am there right as they are about to eat and they invite me to stay for dinner (which is a treat). [Truth: Cooking for one is not very fun.]

Tonight I stopped at a friends' house to borrow their 50mm 1.8 lens (I keep telling them that I'm going to buy my own lens...soon...maybe tomorrow...but in the meantime can I borrow yours again?). The homemade pizza had just finished baking and they offered me some and I couldn't say no and I ended up bringing two slices home and I had myself a delicious dinner.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I love red shoes!

My brother sent me these COOL shiny red Chuck Taylor ALL*STAR shoes last week! They have red plaid material on the inside! I love them!! They are a size 1 so they are hanging on a wall in my living room.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Community living

Last night I did some late-night-laundry.  At 1:00am I opened the dryer door to the white load and noticed something that didn't look familiar (well, it looked familiar, but it clearly didn't belong to me).  It was a large pair of men's underwear!  [I've found other peoples unmentionables in my laundry before.]   I don't need to know who the rightful owner of the briefs is.

Monday, February 11, 2008

T is for Tacky

One of my friends is moving this weekend so I offered to help her pack tonight. During the day today I realized that I'd be driving by a Christmas Tree Shop on the way to her house and A-HA! They might have the Valentine's Day decoration that I've been wanting for my window. They had it! And for only $3.99! It's wicked tacky but it looks festive in my big window!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


...where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...that's where this little darlin' is from. I'm not sure if she's played in snow before but she sure liked it!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

That's what friends are for...

This is my friend Leah. I saw her last night at a birthday party where she was teaching how to make some cute Valentine's Day cards and scrapbooking pages. Today she and I went to the Temple (it was good to be with a friend) and then she and I went to Costco and she let me use her card and I bought a few things. She's a great friend. BFF.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Learning a lesson

If we said bad words (or "nassy words" as my youngest brother called them) we got our mouth "washed out with soap". And, I admit, I did get soap in my mouth a few times (definitely less than ten times...most likely around five). A few years ago my mom said (while she chuckled), "I remember scraping soap on your braces." I immediately corrected her that it wasn't me; that was someone else. I learned a lesson (before the orthodontia era): I didn't like getting soap in my mouth so I stopped using bad words. When I tell this story to friends I always add that even though my parents scraped the soap on our back teeth (YUCK!) they did us the courtesy of using a brand new bar (from our Mormon year supply of Ivory soap).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shaq is a Sun

I took this picture of Shaq a few years ago when I was visiting the Florida Pattons. We got tickets to the game (compliments of the Heat) and parked where the players parked so got to see a few up them up close after the game which was cool. Soon after I took this picture a security guard escorted me to an office where I could check my camera (they said it was a "professional" camera I guess because I had a telephoto lens and you can't use them in the arena unless you are press). I guess someone sitting around me ratted me out (they said if they couldn't bring their camera in then I shouldn't have been able to bring mine in). Sounds like Jr. High to me. Anyway, Shaq has been traded to the Phoenix Suns and I'm showing off my photo.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Library books

I just finished reading a good book and have been searching for my next good book. There is a library where I work (well, many libraries) so I decided to make my maiden visit today during my lunch hour. I found the section for recent fiction and non-fiction, looked through a few of the books, and checked two books out. The one I started is called The New Yorkers and so far I like it (OK----I've read one chapter).

Library story: When we were kids, as soon as we could write our name my mom would take us to the library because it meant we could get our own library card and we could check out ten books. [That's huge when you're a little kid.] When we got home, Nan would sit at the dining room table and type (on a typewriter) a list of the titles of all our books we checked out so when it came time to return them we knew which books to look for!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tuesday night pouch fever

I can't stop making pouches (is that an addiction?)! I'm meeting up with my friend Megan tonight and I just whipped this up for her in about 25 minutes. The material is oilcloth and it's easy to sew on. I got the idea here. Seriously SEW easy, I promise! And SEW, SEW cute!

Monday, February 04, 2008

New Prophet

That's Elder John Patton with the Monsons at the MTC (that's the Missionary Training Center for you non-Mormon readers) in 1981. John loves a good brush with fame (Hollywood stars or religious leaders).  

I stand corrected (I guess my brother does read my blog!). The picture was taken at a Stake Conference in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982.  

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Festive Black Bean Chili

In true Pioneer Woman form, I photographed the ingredients before making the chili tonight though I didn't take any pictures of me making it because it's SO easy. It's delicious too! And, heats up fine as leftovers. We'll call it "Festive" because the Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl tonight! GO PATS!!!

Festive Black Bean Chili

(I can't remember where I got the recipe from--apologies to whoever this recipe belongs to)
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup water
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground coriander
1 cup prepared Mexican-style red salsa
2 red and/or green bell peppers, chopped
3 cups black beans (two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
3 cups canned whole tomatoes, with juice (28-ounce can)
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (11-ounce package)
salt to taste
Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste (optional)

In a covered soup pot, cook the onions and garlic in the water on high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and stir on high heat for a minute. Stir in the salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the black beans and tomatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and Tabasco to taste. Stir in the cilantro, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6
Total time: 35 minutes

Saturday, February 02, 2008

President Hinckley's funeral

I am appreciating modern technology today. I could have watched President Hinckley's funeral on my home computer but decided to get dressed up and go to the church to watch it via satellite. I am thankful that our technology makes it possible that saints around the world could all have that experience today. It was a wonderful funeral for a wonderful man, leader, friend, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and prophet. During the last song they showed photos of him throughout his life and while he was our beloved prophet and many tears were flowing. It was a very touching tribute. I will miss him but will never forget his life of service and Christlike example. God be with you till we meet again.

Photo courtesy of LDS Church

Friday, February 01, 2008