Tuesday, March 31, 2009

SEW easy

Seriously I made this coin purse in about 12 minutes start to finish using this tutorial and I got the oilcloth here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Six blessings

Today was Little Miss Wright's blessing. Bless her heart; she's got 3 older sisters and 2 older brothers and they are crazy about her. And she's got hair! Lots of black sticking-up hair. She's adorable.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Neighborly Neighbors

A highlight from today was seeing the Jersey Ures. The last time I saw them baby Jane wasn't born so I enjoyed meeting her. She's a doll. Everyone left after the baptism and the Ures and I sat on the grass at the church and talked and talked and talked (while the girls dug in the dirt). I sure miss my neighborly neighbors but am glad they aren't too far away and we get to see each other now and then.

Apron for Anna

I made this apron for Anna. She put it right on and said she loved aprons and loved to cook. It won't be the only apron I make with red pom-poms. Pretty cute.

To Connecticut and back

Today was my friend Anna's baptism in New Canaan. (She is the niece of neighborly neighbor.) I left home at 9:00am and got home at 9:30pm. Anna had invited school friends and neighbors which was so nice and she was all smiles about being baptized. It was nice to be there on Anna's special day.

More Weekly P's

I've been tackling some projects--The Weekly P. This week I cleaned out my red breadbox which took all of 6 minutes. Last week I finished organizing my recipes. FINALLY! I sorted through them, tossed ones I knew I'd never use and organized them in 16 different sections (from breakfast to vegetables). I bought 3 notebooks, a few hundred sheet protectors, labels for dividers and removable tape. It probably took me 5-6 hours to finish the project but I'm thrilled that it's done and I know I'll use more recipes because--at last--they are organized!

A day off

I took today off work and (SLEPT IN) went to the library, picked my camera up from the repair shop (hooray), made 2 pans of mint brownies (for the ward talent show and a baptism tomorrow), did a few other errands and met a good friend for lunch. We met at a restaurant next to an airfield in Stow and enjoyed a nice meal and visiting for a few hours. It was nice to catch up and enjoy a warmer-than-usual day. I took these pictures after lunch.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I saw these flowers today. I really did!! No photoshopping was involved in this photo! Spring really is on its way!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bad things happen to good people

It seems that I can't get through a week without something going wrong. I try to not be a big complainer...however...my digital camera is in the repair shop again, my beloved sewing machine is having tension problems, my front left light on my car was dangling out of its socket on Sunday (I shoved it back in but I bet if I hit a pothole it will be dangling again), one of my living room light bulbs is out (I'm not a total pansy -- my ceiling is 18 feet high and I have a high ceiling bulb changer but I'm not sure I can change the light myself), AND I got stuck in the elevator in the basement of my condo building tonight and couldn't get out.

And to put all this crap in perspective, 12 years ago today my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball and he lived 18 months and 3 days.

Emma's in Tokyo

I stole this from my brother Chuck's blog:

Emma wasted no time in taking charge. She carried her new futon all the way home from the Roppongi Don Quixote store in style.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bluebell is 15

Fifteen years and about one month ago I was in a car accident on the way to work. Wenbin Dang wasn't paying attention and slammed into me and then I hit Sekhar Tatikonda (you can almost tell the story using their names!). I was hit so hard that when I tried to open the door to get out, it wouldn't open. I knew the frame was most likely bent and I was looking at the possibility of the car being totaled (it was a 6 year old Honda Civic). Then everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. It took forever to get an estimate (there was a big snow storm a few days after the accident which delayed the insurance company). When I requested the title from California (where I bought the car) it wasn't a "clear" title even though the car had been paid off for a year and I had to deal with lots of red tape. I was given a rental car for a month and when I asked to extend (because of all these problems that weren't my fault) they hassled me. And, I had to decide if I wanted a new or used car (I didn't want to inherit anyone else's car problems) to replace my 1988 Honda Civic that was now totaled. I test drove the new Civic and loved it so I put a $500 down payment on a brand new Honda Civic LX at Honda Cars of Boston. That model came in only 5 colors and I requested either Harvard Blue or Phantom Gray. Within a few days I received a call from the dealership saying, and I quote, "We cannot find that car anywhere in New England." Are you kidding me? In California there were dealerships with acres and acres of new cars. Not so in quaint New England. I told the man that I wanted my check back. I naively thought that would make him find me the car I wanted. It didn't. He told me to pick up my check. I called a few dealerships myself with no luck and then thought, "What cities are close to here but not in New England?" A few weeks before I had taken some friends to the Berkshires and we had darted a few miles into New York since one of them had never been there. So I called 411 and asked for a Honda dealership in Albany, New York. I called the dealership and asked if they had the car I was looking for in the colors I wanted. The guy said, in his slick car salesman tone, "I can get you that car." I repeated, "Do you have that car?" He put me on hold and a few minutes later told me that he did have that car in dark blue. I gave him a deposit on a credit card over the phone. I faxed back the credit application. And I went to the bank in Harvard Square after work to get a bank check for a few thousand dollars. The next morning I took the subway to South Station and hopped on a Greyhound Bus headed for Albany with a tote bag carrying a book, some snacks, and my license plate. My bishop and my mother both told me not to buy the car if it wasn't what I wanted. No worries. If they didn't have the car I wanted my plan was to buy a return bus ticket to Boston. I got to Albany and took a cab to the dealership. As I stepped out of the cab a guy said, "You must be the woman from Boston." He showed me the car and it was exactly what I wanted except for the white pinstripes. He gave me the keys to a brand new Accord and directions to the mall. While he was removing the pin striping and getting the car ready (including filling the gas tank), I walked around the mall and ate lunch. When I returned to the dealership the guy showed me how to work the radio, air conditioning, and cruise control and then I was heading east on the New York Thruway. And that was 15 years ago yesterday.

I'm not sure Bluebell will last another 15 years but she has been my steady companion on many road trips and adventures. Happy Birthday, Bluebell!

Monday, March 23, 2009


This was the lesson.

And I made these for refreshments (I forgot the brown sugar and they were still delicious!).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Presenting my latest antique

After a bit of research it appears that this is from 1966 (is that considered an antique?!) but I thought it was a pretty nifty find for ten bucks.

Note: I know I'm a grown woman and have no need for a kiddy oven that bakes with two lightbulbs but I love it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mainely Maine

My camera is in the shop so I only have a few photos taken on my little digital camera. I led "The Ellen Patton Tour of Maine" which included dinner at Flatbread Pizza in Portland, a late night stop to L.L. Bean in Freeport (my favorite time to shop there), brunch at the Miss Portland Diner, a stop at Portland Head Light (photoshop was not used on the photo--the sky was really that blue!), some antiquing (wait until you see what I found!), a stop at Nubble Light, some outlet shopping and last-but-not-least, dinner at Bob's Clam Hut in Kittery. We had a really fun time.

Note: We are all bloggers (aka "Women of the Word") but that sign was actually for another group at the hotel!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Every gal needs a pioneer dress

Tonight is our Relief Society b-day celebration and I'm one of the participants in a readers' theater. The instructions were to wear my longest skirt and a white blouse buttoned up. I could sure use a pioneer dress right about now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Boston's brown phase

Same story--different year. I was outside today walking at lunchtime (counting the minutes for GetFit@MIT) and took this picture of a very brown tree. I'm sure in a month (or 5 weeks...OK, maybe 6) it will be green and Spring-Y and warm(er) and beautiful and maybe we all will have forgotten how long the winter was this year.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I love the GREEN keys on this old typewriter. My cousin (Jules -- 4th from the left in yesterday's Disneyland picture) brought this typewriter to me in her suitcase when she visited from California a few years ago. It's one of my faves in my collection.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cake, craft and compliment

Every few months I get together with my friends Natalie and Nicole to bake a treat and make a craft. Today we made chocolate cake pops (they seem to be all the rage right now) and covered canvases with fabric (f-art). We always have a fun time together. I met this family nearly 13 years ago when they moved to Boston (pre-Natalie and Nicole; their oldest brother was one) and we have been good friends ever since.

Natalie and Nicole's dad whispered this story to me: Last night when he was putting Natalie to bed he said, "tomorrow is going to be a nice day" (nice as in 50 degrees) and Natalie replied, "I know, Ellen is coming over."

Note: the cake pop picture is kind of lame. I took these with my smaller camera. My fancy camera is in the shop again getting the flash fixed. :(

Another Night in New Hampshire

Three friends and I (and baby Adler) went to Nashua tonight for our annual excursion to Arby's, Dariy Queen and Walmart. And some of the Best People Watching EVER.

And, you know you're in New Hampshire when you can buy LIVE BAIT at Walmart.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Oceanography 101

While on a family vacation to San Diego (maybe after Nan took the three oldest to Ensenada, Mexico) we drove by a peninsula and I said, "Look! The Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other."

OK. I was way off (and eleven). Do you think my older brother ever let me forget it?!?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Too hip

My mom has had both of her hips replaced (one in 1997 and the other in 2002). She called me tonight to tell me that yesterday one of them popped out -- again -- for the fourth (or fifth) time. They called 9-1-1, went to the hospital, and the doctor was able to get it back in place (OUCH!!!).

I'm hoping it's the last time Nan has to do the hip pop.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Family photos

I promised my friend I'd take some family photos for her in the Berkshires. These are a few of my favorites.

Weekend Update

How can you not have a fantastic weekend with this many movies and this much junk food in the Berkshires?!?

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Berkshires, located in the western parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, is both a specific highland geologic region and a broader associated cultural region. The region is also referred to as the Berkshire Hills, Berkshire Mountains, and, with regard to its physiography, Berkshire Plateau. Sir Francis Bernard, the Royal Governor, named the area "Berkshire," to honor his home county in England.  Tourism is a principal industry, relying heavily on cultural art attractions and recreation.

Wikipedia didn't mention NAPPING, MOVIES, FOOD, TREATS, ANTIQUING, PROJECTS, or RELAXING but those activities will be in abundance.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

To market, to market

Tonight my friend Diana taught a few of us how to sew Market Bags. They are easy! I got the cool blue fabric from IKEA. And, sorry about the bathroom shot but have I mentioned that the only doors in my condo are the bathroom doors?!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's electric

Two months ago I opened my electric bill and saw $210.60. Yikes. I ran some red cardstock through my printer with that amount on it and taped it to my front door as a reminder to turn the heat down when I left.

One month ago I opened my electric bill and saw $249.13. YIKES!!! How did that happen? I turned the heat down, paid the bill and complained to whoever would listen to me.

Tonight I opened my electric bill and saw $158.33 and I'm dancing the Electric Slide!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Next season, please?!?

While waiting on the bus stop this morning (I wasn't about to drive to work in that mess) I saw this van and quickly dug my camera out of my purse and took a quick photo.

Go away, winter(s).

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Bella's blessing day

My friend's baby Bella was blessed in the Arlington Ward today. Bella's great grandmother made her beautiful dress.