Saturday, October 31, 2009

Banking on a Cure

We held a charity bake sale at the bank yesterday. It was our 4th annual bake sale in honor of one of our coworkers who passed away from breast cancer in 2006. Since she was the best baker of anyone in our branch of the bank we thought this was the best way to honor her and raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. All the monies raised will be donated to the Susan B Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

I have to say the women at this branch are phenomenal. They work so well together. They care about each other and they all loved their coworker Joanne.

Every year we worry that we won't have enough food, but, come bake sale day there is a steady stream of dropoffs. The bank courier brings pies sent from other branches and then I do a big collection at our corporate center. Sometimes the pies, cookies, and coffee cakes don't make it out of the building as inevitably someone will follow me asking me how much for that pie or saying I'll buy those brownies. I actually sell items from the trunk of my car as word gets around that Elaine has the bake sale items outside!

How could you resist Mary's mini apple pies? Mary made 4 two crust pies, 1 Dutch apple pie and 15 of the mini pies! Her father-in-law received apples from a friend and he gave them to Mary to make a pie for the bake sale. Mary's mother made coffee cakes and breads. Good stories came from the bake sale.

We sold our first pie through the drive up window. One of our senior citizen customers saw the sale through the window and he spied an apple pie he just had to have. We brought it out to him so he didn't have to leave his vehicle. (It wouldn't fit through the driveup drawer). I'm kidding, we didn't even try to make it fit.

And how can you say no to brownies made lovingly by the teller supervisor's daughter? She also made cupcakes with her younger daughters- teaching them early to give back.

Presentation is just so important. Everything must be appealing to the eye. We have creative people who sit and package the items that come in. They'll add ribbons, leaves, all sorts of embellishments. They work tirelessly.

I made cranberry apple crisps and lemon squares. Joanne's daughters bake and Joanne's sister made the most beautiful blueberry and apricot crostadas. I must
admit I had never heard of a crostada before yesterday! The crostadas barely hit
the table before they were scooped up.

A cookie monsters delight! Pumpkin, chocolate chip, cream cheese, and almond cookies.

This sour cream coffee cake found a good home. I loved hearing from the customers as they told me where they were taking the items. I am having coffee with a friend tomorrow so I'll bring this coffee cake with me or I am going to give these Halloween ghost cookies to my grandchildren or my family will love this apple pie.

Our Bank President is a woman. She made a huge container of chocolate chip cookies, attended the sale and bought some items to bring back to the corporate offices. These are her cookies and they sold out.

My boss's wife made espresso brownies and put them in the cutest containers. I bought a box to eat at the bake sale. I couldn't resist, I love chocolate and coffee.

You know an apple pie went home with me too! One of our retired coworkers made a pie and brought it in for us. It was still warm and looked and smelled heavenly.

We also took pre-orders for some blueberry pies. In fact, one of the bank's trustees requests a pie from the same baker every year!

The tally at the end of the day was $953. We will ask for an additional donation from the bank and we usually receive donations after the sale.

We spoke with some breast cancer survivors who attended the sale. They had good care, early detection and now a clean bill of health. Sadly, we also learned that there are women at the bank who are battling the disease as we speak. They will have our prayers and support through their recovery.

Our hope is that our grass roots effort will help fight for the cure. We will have raised over $10,000 in the four years we've held the sale.

We know Joanne is smiling on us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tea, Autumn and Waiting for Obama in Boston

I had a vacation day on Friday, an eagerly awaited vacation day.

I awoke to the colors of Autumn right outside my window. Fabulous! I knew it would be a good day.

I was meeting friends at the Boston Public Library for afternoon tea. Luckily, the night before, I saw the news,so I knew that President Obama was attending a fundraiser at the Weston Copley which is right across the street from the Boston
Public Library.

I knew there would be lots of commotion, roads blocked off, protesters, etc. So I took public transportation versus driving in to the city. I headed in after the morning rush hour so it was an easy commute and the Library was a short walk from the T station (that's what we call public transportation in Boston, the T).

Everyone was waiting for Obama. I have to admit I had the camera ready myself. The wind chill was, well, very cold but everyone waited patiently. The protesters were shouting out their causes, End the war, help the mentally challenged, I'm sure there were a few less vocal groups as well.

I started a conversation with some young men and we all agreed that Mr Obama would not be coming out of the hotel to the crowds and a four way intersection. We were sure the Secret Service would not want to worry about all the buildings surrounding the intersection. So I headed up the Library steps, leaving the commotion behind.

I had to stop to take a photo of the Edward Scissorhands lanterns outside the Library and to shout a warning to the pigeons. Careful, you don't want to get impaled!

A hot cuppa was just the remedy for my windchilled hands. I joined my friends for tea and conversation. We had lovely tea sandwiches, scones and desserts and the service was excellent.

Yes, I did have 4 desserts. They were miniature. Really!

This pretty courtyard reminded me of England. The arches were so beautiful.

It would be nice to sit here but not with Friday's wind chill.

I rounded the corner to see what was there and there was an invasion of... Witches Hats! They were really cool.

Some of them were really elegant with buckles and all.

I was fascinated by these hats. They were in a most unexpected place. I thought the scene looked like something out of a Harry Potter movie.

I know, enough with the Witches Hats!

I forgot to take a picture of the area where we had tea. I remembered when I was outside so here's my feable attempt to take a decent photo of the tea area.

The building is absolutely gorgeous. So grand and so much history. I could have told you about the history if I attended the tour of the Library instead of standing outside waiting for a glimpse of Obama's motorcade.

Guess I'll just have to go back to the Library.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An award and 7 things

A few weeks back I received the Kreativ Blogger award from Yarnigras. I am sorry it took me so long to acknowledge it. She said I am a Kreative blogger because of my "storytelling and gorgeous photography". I am honored to receive the award. Val was my very first swap partner. We did a swap last year, the Artsy Autumn swap, and she sent me some fabulous things. Check out her blog. She is always doing something fun and her stories are hilarious! Especially the one about the dog and the security alarm.

So I have to list 7 things you didn't know about me and then pass the award on to 7 other Kreative Bloggers. First, the 7 things:

I have cashmere sweaters in at least a dozen colors and I suspect the collection will grow.

My cat, Molly, was rescued with her mother and siblings from a trailer park in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Now she's living the good life!

I have a super sensitive sense of smell. I am always the first to smell a skunk or something burning, etc. The other day I walked out of a Dunkin Donuts because it smelled like a public restroom. No one else in line seemed to be bothered but I wouldn't buy my coffee there.

I am not a morning person. I tried exercising in the morning (aerobics) and it was a disaster. Actually, I almost fell through the sliding glass door and onto my balcony. I am just not coordinated or coherent before 10AM. Luckily, my new condo does not have a balcony or a slider.

I think the best coffee ever served is at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston.

My cat Oscar has learned to say the word NO. No, I didn't teach him that!

I have a large collection of Christmas CDs and I listen to them from November to January. Every year I find a few more that I just have to have.

Now for the 7 Kreativ Bloggers. First, here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it in your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate seven 'Kreativ Bloggers' .
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Here are the 7 bloggers I truly admire:

Donna at An Enchanted Cottage- her blog is charming and full of stories of the
various animals in her life, family, crafts, food, places to go. It's always
a good read.

Michelle at Chocolate and Marmalade Tea- she entertains her readers with postings about her cats, her adventures and her baking. Another great blog.

KayEllen at Kayellen. Her tablescapes and decorating ideas keeping me coming back for me. Fabulous photography too!

Sharon at My New England Life. Her photography is gorgeous and I've learned
about some interesting places to go in New England. She has such sweet animals too!

Carol at Paris Breakfasts. Her subtitle is I paint Paris Dreams. That alone would draw you to her blog. Once you're there, enjoy your tour of Paris and savor Carol's
watercolors of Paris, it's buildings and the food.

Kim At Sweet Sage Vintage. Her blog is the sweetest, vintage photos, sweet thoughts
and wonderful cat photography. It's always a joy to read.

Alice at Thoughts from Alice W.Love her phtography, vignettes and adorable dog.

Ladies, do not feel obligated to post the award or pass it along. I just wanted to
let you know I adore your blogs and you all keep me interested, entertained, and often in awe of your writing, photography, and all that you do.

Please visit the aforementioned blogs and enjoy!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Buddy

Nothing much to report today. Just trying to chill out with the Kits after an insane week. Crazy on every level, work, home, you name it. Anyway, it's always nice to come home to the Kits' sweet little faces.

Also, congratulations to Teresa, you won my cookbook and tea giveaway. Plese email me your contact info. Thanks to all who participated.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Blog Giveaway

I know it's a bit late but I am participating in Cindy @ My Romantic Home's second Monday of the month giveaway. I am giving away a Stonewall Kitchen Winter Celebrations cookbook and a tea surprise. Not that I am rushing the Winter season, but, I want you to be prepared with some great recipes.

Look the book is autographed. I picked up this cookbok when I was in Maine in August.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and I will enter you. On Saturday, October 17th I will draw the winner. In the meantime check out Cindy's blog for other participants of the second Monday of the month giveaway.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Day in Boston

I had the day off from work so I decided to take a trip into Boston.

The weather was perfect. Actually it started out a little cool and very windy but otherwise a spectacular Autumn day.

The Public Garden looked beautiful. Everyone was out enjoying the sunshine, eating lunch and lounging on the grass.

I met my friend Kim at the Four Seasons Hotel. While I waited for her, I took a little tour of the hotel. The view of the Public Garden was lovely.

This staircase was so grand. I wonder what celebrities have walked down these stairs? This is where the famous stay when they are in town.

Another view from the staircase.

The floor of the lobby was so shiny. The autumnal arrangement was colorful and tasteful.

We had lunch at Finale's. Soup and a half sandwich and of course the finale was dessert. So many to choose from.

We walked off dessert by touring Marlborough and Newbury Streets. One of the dogs was definitely a charmer and quite the girl watcher!

So many pretty windowboxes.

And iron gates, gorgeous lanterns.

Wonderful plantings.

Fantastic doorways.

Lovely entrances all along the street.

A scene on Newbury St.

I love his beret.

Had we not already eaten, we probably would have had lunch at Tealuxe. I was intrigued by a sign for chaider, a cinnamon chai drink steeped in apple cider.
Perfect for a windy day in Boston.

I loved window shopping on Newbury Street. Newbury Street is known for it's
pricey stores. I only spent money on public transportation and food and I didn't give in to my shopaholic tendencies. That means there's money left over for another vacation day...maybe next week?


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