Monday, June 30, 2008


Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.
Hanging out with my family is something I dig.
I had a great time, I had so much fun.
Now back to Utah, my first trip is done.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Going to church.

You might think that going to church is not all that exciting. Oh, but you'd be wrong. Think how exciting it is to attend a singles' ward: who's hot, who's not, and all that fun stuff (again). It was definitely prettification time!

This is what happened to me when I attempted to get prettified: a big ol' curling iron burn on my cheek. Not unlike the one already decorating my forehead...nice!

This is what happened when Merrit attempted to prettify:

Any boy's dreamboat!

I couldn't let Merrit humiliate the other girls with her absolute loveliness, so I had her change out of her princess attire and into something a little more drab. Eventually we ended up with this:

Meanwhile, Dana was working hard on her own beautification...

and did a mighty fine job of it!

After church we continued our loveliness program by eating lots of french toast with melted cinnamon chips...YUM!...watching the love-experts in "Pride and Prejudice"...YAY!...and getting some beauty rest by taking naps. Then we gathered up the nicest dog on the face of the earth--even I will admit that Pepper is a great dog--and headed to Dana and Rob's house for the evening.

The kids were as ecstatic to see the dog as Dana and Rob weren't.

After walks, talks, and lots of yummy cookies straight from the oven, we said our fond farewells and vacation, sadly, was over...

Good-bye, my sweet sister-friends. I will miss you.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Today we three lovelies visited the Adams' family home sites.

Lovely, indeed. Let's look at the houses instead, shall we?

John Adams' birthplace.

And, right next door, John Quincy Adams' birthplace.

Down the street and around 52 corners (at least that's the route our tour took), is Peacefield, or Old House, which was the Adams' family later residence.

We also visited the place where the famous Adams are entombed, the United First Parish Church,

but left before seeing the actual tombs. I'm totally okay with that.

Highlights of the day include:
riding on the trolley.

The seats were made of wooden slats, all polished till they shone--and slid--like glass. The three of us would laugh and laugh as we slid on top of each other, and into other patrons, every time we turned, or slowed, or stopped, or started again on the trolley. We held on to anything possible, but continued to slip and slide all through every ride. No one else seemed to be having the same troubles we were, but then again, no one else seemed to be having nearly as much fun!

Another highlight was:
the library

Built of stone and separate from the house, this library holds over 14,000 books and is a reader's paradise. This library is what Dave should build for Lindsay. This is where Lindsay would spend all her time if Dave ever did build it for her. I would, too!

our tour guide

He was not very happy with us. Now, remember, we were already a little bit giggly from our trolley ride over. But then I was hardly able to keep my giggles under control when he welcomed us to meet the Adams family. I was all right until Dana snapped her fingers.

Next he told us how most museums and houses are just places full of the dead stuff of dead people. Peacefield, he said, is different because it is full of the living stuff of dead people.
I don't think he meant that to be funny. It probably isn't funny, but I just lost it.

I barely had my giggles contained when our guide began leading us into the house with specific instructions to "keep our handbags under control, like this woman (pointing me out) is doing." Good handbag. Very good handbag. It was very well behaved throughout the tour.

Dana, however, was not well behaved, and was scolded by the guide for violating the Patriot Act when she pulled her cell phone out to silence a call. She could have been transmitting important information to the terrorists, so I'm glad he stopped her!

Some of the living stuff of dead people. Don't laugh.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Just call me Susie-Secretary. That's what I pretended to be today at Merrit's work. I got the empty desk next door to her office, where I worked on my blog and she worked on her work. It was another rainy afternoon with a downpour that seemed to come out of no where. I was happy to be inside for most of it. We were a little dampened when we went to buy sandwich stuff for lunch, but nothing could dampen the thrill of a lazy, hazy, do-nothing (for me) day. Especially not when, after visiting 4--count them: 4--grocery stores so that Sister M could find just the right toffee bits, I scored with finding (drum roll, please...) CINNAMON CHIPS!!!

You must understand. I became addicted to these things after my sister-in-law, Monica, baked them into some scrumptious scones a while back. I could only find them at one store in the home state, which sadly stopped stocking them about a year ago. I have since placed special requests with grocery stores and even searched for them on-line, but to no avail. Happily, the fourth grocery store we visited for toffee bits availed my availing; 7 bags worth. Merrit found what she needed, too. Thank you, dear Shaw's. French toast with melted cinnamon chips coming right up!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


After such an adventurous day previous, we calmed it down a little by visiting the Harvard Museum of Natural History, specifically intent on seeing an exhibit of glass flowers. That's right--all the flowers were made of blown glass in the late 1800's/early 1900's and used by botany students to study plants which were either not native to the area, or not seasonally blooming.

It was exquisite, and incredibly hard to believe. The informational video was very interesting to me, and I quite enjoyed learning about the people and the processes which brought this all about.

It started with a problem: one man's problem was that the specimens preserved within alcohol in glass jars at his museum all eventually lost their shape and color. Another man's problem was that his botany students at Harvard couldn't observe and study plants which weren't available to them. Both men solved their problems through the skill and artistry of two glass artisans, father and son Blatschka. Both situations were resolved rather serendipitously, through a long chain of events I'll probably get wrong. It was so interesting to me, though, to think how one thing eventually led to another. For example, father Blatschka was on a ship that became stuck at sea with no wind to blow it hither or thither. To while away his time, he became fascinated by and studied the invertebrate creatures of the sea. When he eventually returned home to Germany he recreated his sights in glass.

These turned out so nicely that they were displayed, the museum curator saw them, and knew he had the answer to his problems.

Later, for fun, the Blatschka fellows began to make floral arrangements in glass, purely for their own pleasure. Meanwhile, Harvard professor George Goodale visited the museum which had the glass sea creatures displayed, and knew that he had the answer to his problems. Hence, the glass flowers were commissioned and paid for by some very rich ladies who already had enough shoes, Harvard botany students rejoiced and were better educated, and Merrit and I had something beautiful to see on a rainy afternoon in Boston.

After perusing all the exhibits in the museum we visited this beautiful house, located on what was historically known as "Torie Road."

During the Revolutionary War the loyal British subjects in this area were kicked out of their homes, typically returning to England for good. This particular house was used by General Washington as a command post, and later bought and lived in by Harvard professor and famous American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. We sat in the garden for quite some time, recognizing the truth of Longfellow's famous statement that "Into each life some rain must fall."

We escaped the falling rain by entering "Borders" restaurant and eating one of the most superb chicken dishes I have ever had the pleasure of putting into my mouth. And to again quote Longfellow, let me end by saying I judge this day well. I lived it brilliantly.

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The sun broke through the clouds, the rain dried up and went away, and Merrit made the fabulous decision to have us go sea kayaking on the Atlantic Ocean!

We left from the darling little town of Rockport, which is most famous for its fisherman's shack in Motif Number 1.

After paying our money and going through some extensive training (NOT.), we were on our way to Thatcher Island, some 2.5 miles away from the Rockport Harbor.

Thatcher Island is home to two lighthouses and a whole lot of sea gulls. It is now kept as a rookery for the birds and as a travel destination for sea kayakers like us.

It was totally and completely, thoroughly and exhaustively A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!

As if that weren't enough fun for one day, we then headed to Wingaersheek Beach. This is a lovely place, with lots of fine white sand, rounded rocks, and beautiful views. It was getting a little chilly by the time we arrived, so I camped out on a great big rock which still had a little bit of warmth in it, and enjoyed the early evening listening to my "tunes," and contemplating the vast amount of money evident in all the homes surrounding the beach.

As if that weren't enough fun for one day, we then went and got take out from Friday's (one order of chicken fingers, one order of salmon. I wonder whose was whose?). We even got mildly hit on by some guys outside the restaurant--whoo-ee! And, as if that weren't enough fun for one day, Merrit convinced me that my mp3 player was worthless and should be replaced by an iPod Nano. Ever obedient to a woman of such brains and beauty...and feeling slightly reckless, I must admit...I made the purchase.

As if that weren't enough fun for one day, we then got to watch the best of all shows in the world: So You Think You Can Dance. Once again hunkered down in Dana's basement, we made great use of her big screen TV, warm blankets, and quiet home to obsess over our favorite show, and later, our favorite dances. We are fans, as I am a fan of this very favorite day.