Category Archives: Massachusetts

Pattern Jackpot and an Added Kindness

I’m a newbie to sewing. Everytime I sew something, whether it’s a dress for myself or a jumper for my daughter, there’s always something stitched wrong; a little pucker here, an unintentional zig-zag stitch there or a not-quite invisible zipper. But, as I’ve mentioned before, if I’m not embarrassed to wear it in public, all the better.

And as a newbie, I have a fever that just won’t quit. Whenever I visit a flea market or thrift store, I look for a stash of cheap patterns. I don’t know if I’ll ever sew them, but, hey, the pattern was only 25 cents – SCORE!

I scored over the weekend of my toddler birthday hell. While Father-In-Law watched the Wee One, Mother-In-Law (M-I-L) and I escaped to the Dudley Do Right Flea Market. It was a gorgeous Sunday morning (we visited after Mass, BTW) and there were not many wandering the aisles. I had just bought three patterns for 75 cents and was eyeing the booths when I swooped upon a large plastic bin full of Butterick patterns.

While pawing through the patterns, my M-I-L chatted with the young girl manning the booth. As a teacher aid at the local elementary school, M-I-L knows half the school-aged kids in the area. This girl was the sweetest and had some evident learning disabilities but here she was, managing her grandmother’s very large booth. Since I was with M-I-L, the girl offered me a 2-for-1 deal on the patterns and offered a set price for the whole bin. Slick. Real slick.

I didn’t need the whole bin but I picked out a number of Retro Butterick patterns that were actually in my size. As I paid for my “new” patterns, the girl told my M-I-L about middle school and some of the shenanigans going on (not good) and I thought this girl is on the brink of choosing two paths which will determine how her life will go.

Before we left, I shook the girl’s hand and thanked her for a pleasant shopping experience. I don’t think an adult ever asked to shake her hand because her whole face lit up like a Christmas tree.

If you pray, pray for this girl in Dudley, MA.

And let me end with a picture of my Pattern Jackpot:

All this for $4.75

All this for $4.75


Of Toddlers and Antiques

Last week, Mother-In-Law, Wee One and I attended the Brimfield Antique Show in Massachusetts. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it but Brimfield is billed as the


I knew we were in for it when there was backup at the Sturbridge rotary, 6 miles away from the fair grounds. Why the backup? Construction!!! Once past that, it was smooth sailing west on Route 20. About three miles past Sturbridge center, we saw the devastation wrought by the tornado that touched down in August. I never expected to see tornado damage in Massachusetts. It was extensive. Closer to the Show, traffic started piling up but we able to find parking for $5 in a Brimfielder’s backyard.

Yup, Brimfield is MASSIVE. Basically the Show is a series of fields each run by a different promoter and dealers rent out space from the promoter. The Show stretches over a mile along both sides of Route 20. Before going, I got a tip from a frequent attendee on which fields to hit, otherwise, there is no way in HADES anyone can do the whole thing in one day, especially with a toddler.

With tip in hand, we walked down to Quaker Acres and started in. Almost instantly, we were regaled by dealers discussing how lousy the week had been with the weather. Rain. Flooding. As the sun was out and it was promising to be a warm day, I wanted them to stop complaining and start offering me deals.

In the end, after 4 hours, I snagged a small bookcase for the Wee One, a chenille bedspread (with some restoration to do on it), a vintage tablecloth for the kitchen, piano stool clawfoots (to use as coat hangers in the mud room, eventually), and other odds and ends that I can’t recollect right now.

Would I go again? Possibly. As the day wore on, it got crowded and I hate crowds. I can deal with them but I prefer fewer people, not more. In some ways antique fairs are better than museums because you can touch items, pick them up and say out loud to yourself, “That’s cool” without a security guard escorting you off the premises.

How did the Wee One do? She was a trooper. I could tell she was tired but there was too much going on for her to nap. Back in the car she dropped like a rock into dreamland. And I have proof:

One sandal on. One sandal off. Brimfield is hard work.


Thoughts on Being Sold

The condo is sold. In less than one month, the family will no longer call New England home and Charlotte will not remember living in Massachusetts.


I’ll be driving around with a New York license plate. At least the new gold plates are better looking than the old blue and white ones. 

I won’t be able to watch regular season Bruins games on t.v. It will be all Mets/Yankees/Rangers.

The area where we’ll be living has no discernable accent. Small miracle.

No matter what “they” say about Massachusetts as “Taxachusetts,” New York dominates the Bay State on taxes. It happens when you spend more than you confiscate.

99% of our belongings will go into storage and I’ll bet you I’ll won’t miss a thing. Funny how that is.

I want to go to O’Connor’s one last time. I’m sure to find a favorite new watering hole.

I’ll miss Papou’s veggie pizza. There’s time to discover a great pizza pie in Saratoga County.

No more perambulations in St. Cecilia’s cemetery. How many miles of road in Washington County will do the trick?

I’m dealing with losses and, as yet, undiscovered gains. That’s how life is.


I’m slowly getting into an exercise routine, post partum. I’ve returned to St. Cecilia’s walking the perimeter. The first time I did it last week, I went very slowly. (Another thing you don’t hear much about is the hemorrhoid problem, post delivery. Very uncomfortable.) I’m gearing up to start jogging next week. Slowly…

"and I miss her everyday."

Yesterday during my perambulations I saw one of the regulars. Usually I see the same folks walking but this retired regular visits  his wife’s grave. He shovels the show around the headstone in winter and plants flowers in the spring. (I wrote about him in 2008.) I’ve always nodded and said hello to him but this time he wanted to talk.

He held a shovel with a mix of snow and dog poop. As I walked by he started railing against dog walkers (which are verbotten in St. Cecilia’s.)

“It wouldn’t be so bad if they picked up but when they don’t it shows disrespect.”

From that topic, he talked about his wife who passed six years ago, “and I miss her everyday.”

The rest of the conversation was about his wife and family. He just wanted to talk and I was a willing listener.


Hubby and I were up late watching the returns on NECN. When 70% of the precincts reported Scott Brown up at 5%, we broke open the Emmets Irish Cream and toasted to an exciting campaign. Go, Scott, Go!

The mood on MSNBC about a Republican Senator from Mass.


Hubby and I will be voting for Scott Brown tomorrow. My uncle, who I’ve NEVER heard talk politics, called my mother (his sister) asking if she and my step-Dad will vote for Brown, “He needs our support.” I think this will be a blowout and not close at all.



I can’t remember the last time an election in Massachusetts was exciting but we have one. FINALLY! People are really enthusiastic about Scott Brown. The voters are so excited they are making their own homemade signs:

h/t: The Corner