Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lifting weights

I carry a lot of stuff (crap?) to work and back. My calendar. Photocards. A bottle of water. An umbrella. My green and brown folder filled with articles to read, things to do, things to mail, etc. Tonight as I was walking from the subway station to my car I decided I would weigh my bag and purse when I got home.

They weighed 18 pounds!

Tonight I sat on the couch and sorted through all of my stuff (crap!) and lightened my load.

Movie night

I took my friend Laree to see "Mamma Mia" tonight. I wasn't that impressed with the movie (I dozed through a tiny bit of it...) but loved the music.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

My friend is taking the BAR exam... I dropped this off tonight. Good luck, Sister!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Surprise visitors!

I turned around in church today and saw my friends John, Katie and Sweet Sarah Barrus! They live in California so it was a big surprise to see them in Boston!! They dropped by tonight to visit (and John fixed my iPod--hooray!) and I'll see them in a few days. It's always a treat to see good friends.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bridal shower

Tonight I went to an outdoor bridal shower for R'el, one of "my young women" (I was the president when she was a Beehive). She's getting married one month from today in New York City. It was fun to hear how she and Manuel met. My gift was a set of 8 purple paisley cloth napkins which I'm sure will look nice on their table in Brooklyn.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sewing class

Two of my friends were interested in learning how to make a dress and put in a zipper. We met one night last week and cut out out the pattern pieces. We met tonight to do some serious sewing. We'll have one more class to finish up the dresses (all they need is bias tape around the arms and neck. Pretty cute dresses; I can't wait to see their little girls in them! They both have been excellent students and I'm excited to see what they'll sew next!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's for lunch?

Me: I'd like a roast beef sub with pickles and mayonnaise.
Deli man: Lettuce and provolone?

Now that's short term memory loss.

Happy Pioneer Day!

The Connection Gap

From the inside book flap: Shopping online. Chatting on the cell phone. Computer games. Instant travel to wherever you want to go. Yet all these conveniences and entertainment come at a high price. By surrounding ourselves with gadgets and material comfort, we are cutting ourselves off from what matters most. Our fellow human beings.The Connection Gap explores the new loneliness of people who are overcommitting and underconnecting. Laura Pappano takes a passionate look at the pressures and desires of modern culture by drawing on personal experience, academic studies, and perceptive observations of our culture as reflected in advertising, literature, and popular magazines.Pappano turns an unflinching eye on the benefits -- and drawbacks -- of life in our frenzied, technological society. When we choose to order groceries online, what happens? We miss out on the smells and sights of the food that is an integral part of life, and we no longer experience the easy-going chatting with fellow shoppers and grocery-store workers. Our children, now participating in their "leisure-time activities" through regimented classes after school, no longer play with each other in their own neighborhoods. We hire pet sitters rather than asking neighbors to help out. Chances are we barely know our own neighbors, anyway.Yet with all these armchair conveniences, we are no happier nor more relaxed than we were decades ago. We need to engage and reconnect, Pappano states, by infusing our lives with some of the activities we have worked so hard to banish. She concludes with concrete suggestions for filling our lives once more with what's really important -- spending time with each other, and less time with the gadgets around us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One of my favorite things...

...walking and talking with friends (which doubles as exercise).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Camp care package

My sister-in-law and niece go to Girls Camp today. I sent a package to my niece recently for a special occasion so I decided my sister-in-law should get a care package while she's at camp. Friday night I looked through lots of albums of old photos and found this one of Kim and Robes taken in Scottsboro, Alabama when they were newly married. It was exactly what I was looking for and I think it's a great picture. I made her the polka dot headband (click here for the free pattern) and will toss some non-meltable candy in the package for her enjoyment.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mat's dream

My friend Mat approached me last Sunday and asked if I'd help him with one of his dreams. He wanted my help getting some family pictures (that I took a month ago) framed for their home. That night we spent a few hours going through the photos on his computer and choosing some to frame. Tuesday I left work early to order the reprints (my favorite film store closes before I can get there after work) and Wednesday I left work early to pick up the reprints (thanks to Cameras Inc. for the speedy service) and choose some frames. My friend at the store helped me put the pictures in some ready-made frames and I delivered them Wednesday night. I will never forget Mat's smile when he saw their family pictures framed. Tonight I went over to help Mat hang some of the pictures. They look great and he's so happy with how they turned out! The project will be finished in a few days when I deliver the 16x20 picture that is being custom framed that will go above their fireplace in their living room. Dreams do come true.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hang quilt on wall -- done!

3 MIT engineers and a quilt

My friends and their families came over tonight to help me hang my red and white quilt (72x99) and enjoy homemade vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. My dream came true! My beautiful quilt is finally on the wall in my living room! Thank you Tadd, Eric and Jamie!

Undercover cops

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Maybe I'm shallow for reading TV Guide magazine (I thumbed through it yesterday while at an appointment)...but I'm definitely not as shallow as Miley Cyrus who said "I feel empowered when I see my face on a t-shirt."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is my nephew--really!

Until I can figure out a better way to show this video clip, click here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer haircut

I asked for "short and sassy".

Monday, July 14, 2008

I hoped I'd see him again...

When my nephew went on his mission last year I decided that if I ever saw missionaries I needed to introduce myself and talk to them. Last Monday I saw two missionaries in the subway station. I followed them onto the train and introduced myself to one of them. I asked where he was from. "Southern California" was his answer (about an hour from where I'm from). I looked down to see his name and was pleasantly surprised to see:

The missionaries were on their way to do some service and I was on my way to work. We had a nice visit (where have you served, how long have you been in Boston, etc.) until I hopped off the train and headed to work. I didn't get far before I realized that I should have taken a picture of his missionary tag. Darn!

Fast forward to tonight. I was walking to my car which was parked on my friend's street near the subway station. I looked ahead of me and there were two missionaries walking towards me. I was hoping it was Elder PattEn (he lives in that neighborhood) and it was! I got my camera out, greeted him and asked if I could take a picture of his tag ---for my blog!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've lived in Boston twenty years and have never been to Nantucket until today! I went with four very fun friends and we had a great day! I love Nantucket!! It was everything I thought it would be!

We left at 6:45am this morning, drove to Hyannis, hopped on the boat at 9:20am and was there by 11:10am. We strolled through the town and decided to eat lunch first. We asked a local (we named him "Lenny") if he could suggest a good seafood restaurant. He was carving lobster buoys on a bench and put his tools in a truck and told us to follow him instead of giving us directions. We were a bit worried about where we'd end up but he led us to Sayle's Seafood and the food was delicious! I got a lobster roll (in a hamburger bun!) and some of the best coleslaw I've ever had. And a Nantucket Nectar. Thank you, Lenny!

After lunch we walked back into town, looked in more shops and then took a cab to Sankaty Head Light. [I've been wanting to see a striped lighthouse for years!] The light house was moved recently and we were not able to get too close. After taking lots of photos we walked 1/3 of a mile to the bus stop. The bus took us back into town. My friend struck up a conversation with one of the bus employees who said he sold his house on an 11,000 square foot lot for $4 million. Wow! We did some more shopping (I bought postcards, of course, and found a great Nantucket t-shirt for $8), got ice cream ("lobstah trap") and then boarded the boat bound for Hyannis. We had dinner at Taco Bell and drove home!

Today was one of my favorite summer days ever! I'm looking forward to exploring more of Nantucket!

I saw my first striped lighthouse today!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Laree is the youngest of ten and the only one still at home. And, she's delightful! Tonight was her birthday party. A bunch of us who have watched the LaPierre kids grow up and are crazy about them shared in the celebration (cookies and yummy homemade ice cream). Happy 17th Birthday, Laree!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

They're good!!

Comments: The chilled dough isn't as easy to scoop. They take longer to bake. I like the sea salt on the top. They are bigger than my usual chocolate chip cookies. I don't like waiting 24-36 hours for the dough to chill. But, they are good! I've got two tins worth to take to work tomorrow.

The recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies (from the New York Times, July 9, 2008)

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The chocolate chip cookie

A coworker brought this New York Times article to my attention today. Tonight I made the dough. I was a bit stumped with this ingredient: 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content, so I used regular old (well, not literally old) semi-sweet chocolate chips. And, do people really sprinkle lightly with sea salt?

The recipe says to chill the dough for 24-36 hours so I won't bake the cookies until tomorrow night. Stay tuned for a full assessment (and a photo). I have a feeling these cookies are going to taste just like the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies that I make.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer(time to grow your hair)

I've been wanting to put this photo on my blog and finally dug it out tonight. It was taken at a family reunion in northern California back in 1981. I remember that was the summer Robes and Chuck decided to grow their hair (it's the perfect time, especially if you were a BYU student like Robes was). John was on his mission in Sweden or he might have been the winner.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Don't feed the animals

Some friends went on vacation for two weeks and I offered to water plants, bring in their mail and make sure everything was OK at their house. The night before they got home I left them some milk, bread and fruit so they wouldn't have to rush to the store. They brought me a bag of these cookies from the wild west (you can't get them here).

My friend sent me this email: You're so nice. Thanks for the milk, berries!! and bread. Thanks for watering stuff and feeding the sea monkeys! : ] We're rested now, and eating toast.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

Farm stand fruit

Strawberry picking

My friend goes strawberry picking every 4th of July and invited me to go with her today. It was rainy and the berries were tiny (so I didn't pick any but took lots of photos). I still had a fun time!

The winner is...

Swoopref said...

Just Jimmies. (Did you hear Brighams was bought out?)

Since you live close by, your prize will be ice cream! BYOJ (bring your own jimmies)!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Postcards from the Scouts

One summer the girls in my ward and boys in my ward had girls camp and scout camp the same week. We had "mail call" every day at lunchtime and Sister Swan, the Camp Director, would stand on a chair and call your name if you got a letter. One day six girls in my ward received postcards...from six boys in my ward. I remember that Sister Swan read all of them OUTLOUD! They were all really funny and embarrassing, and I can only remember what one of them said: You are the Queen of Hearts in my deck of cards. Here is a picture of the six culprits holding pieces of paper with the girl's names that they sent their postcard to. That's Stephen Duford, bottom right, who sent me mine, though I wished Brad Royal, top center, had sent it to me. That's my brother, bottom center, with the big grin (he really liked Mindy). My mom was behind this clever prank. She provided the scouts with our camp address and probably gave each of them a postcard stamp!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

We all scream for ice cream

A dear friend sent me this gift that arrived today! I love the color (duh) and that it came with two bowls. One is in the freezer right now. July cream...I can't wait!

Leave a comment with your favorite flavor of ice cream by Thursday night at midnight (EST) and I'll post the random winner on the 4th of July and they will get an ice cream-related prize.

One of my favorites is peppermint (don't worry---I won't win my own contest).