Saturday, June 30, 2007

Why is the Walk from 8:30-2:00?

You might wonder why the time for the Walk Around the Park is from 8:30-2:00. Isn't that a long time to be hanging out? Well, we wanted to accomodate some different types of people:
  • The early birds who want to walk in the cool of the morning, then help out at the gazebo or man the water tables (maybe take a side trip for shopping on nearby historic Market Street)
  • Those who don't want to be seen, and who you really don't want to see, at 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday. Getting up early on the weekends is not on the list of things they do. They'll get there after they've had their coffee, re-charged their cell phones, checked their MySpace, walked the dog, given the baby an early nap, made 5 phone calls ... they'll get there when they get there and we'll be VERY Happy to see them then!
  • Those coming from a distance who plan to stick around Frederick for the concert in the evening. The gazebo is right next to the bandshell, so we're right in the path of people coming early for that and the carillon recitals.

See you at the walk!

~ Elizabeth

Thursday, June 28, 2007

BNA Turns Out for the RMH Wish List Drive!

My living room is full! I've made two pickups from the Ronald McDonald House Wish List Donation boxes that I placed in 4 locations at BNA - my husband and my most generous employer - and the response has been overwhelming. To our co-workers who read this - THANK YOU! Here's what was donated so far, with one more pickup to go. All I can say is WOW!

Paper Goods!

Kitchen and Cleaning!

Food and Drink!

Toys and Craft Supplies!

Stuffed Animals!

Clothes, Books and Movies!

Putting together the wish list drive has been a unique experience. It's going to be so much fun bringing this all to the RMH next week.
Thanks for reading my blog!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Silent Auction Donations

Here are the gift certificates that have been donated to the silent auction so far with more to come.

Fine French dining!

Accupuncture for you and your friends!

Get evaluated and treated!

Reiki anyone?

To donate an item or service for the silent auction, contact me at
Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Updated Walk in the Park Information

Double-click the image to enlarge it. I'm pleased to welcome to the team acccupuncturists Janice Campbell and Tom Ingegno, who will offer free ear treatments to those who cross the finish line!

Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth!

My First 6 Project Linus Blankets

Here they are! 2 were made with fleece front and back and 4 were made with fleece on one side and cotton flannel on the other, 2 yards of each for a twin/teen size blanket. Since the fleece is wider than flannel, for 2 of them, I let the extra flannel wrap around and create a border along the flannel side. Most of the fabrics were on sale for $5-8 per yard and I could have done better if I weren't such a sucker for cute combinations (but not toooo cute, I had to remind myself, we want it ON the 15-year olds' beds, not UNDER them!) The 2 sides of the blankets are attached one of three ways 1) tied with embroidery thread - when fleece is on both sides, this is easiest. 2) Small patches of zig-zag stitching spaced about 10" apart 3) Machine-quilted, with simple boxes inside one another. Some of the pockets are doubled, so that there are 2 pouches inside the pockets.

Paws on Red

Paws on Blue

Now You See Them, Now You Don't (both sides fleece)

Dragons and the Sea (both sides fleece)

Little Lizards with fleece wrapped to form border.

Froggies with fleece wrapped to form border.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Send in your Luminary Bag for Team Sarcoma Luminary Service

Reposted from the ACOR Ewings Sarcoma Mailing List

As the sun sets on the participants in the 5th Team Sarcoma on Thursday evening July 19th, they will hold a luminary on the shore of North Hero Island in Lake Champlain . The luminary service will be held to pay tribute to those lost to sarcoma and to honor those still fighting and the caregivers, doctors, and nurses who helped them along the way. Candles will be placed in bags bearing their names. The light shining from these bags provides the hope and inspiration to all of us promoting awareness to sarcoma. We will carry this light in our hearts until we meet again.

To have a luminary bag become part of this ceremony, you can:

Make your own bag and send it to us. Purchase a #6 white bag from a craft store (e.g., A. C. Moore), decorate it and send it to me at address shown below. The bag should be no larger than 6”(wide) by 3 5/8” (deep) by 11” (high). We encourage you to use bright colors and include a picture if you would like.
Make a design on a piece of while paper that we can attach to a bag for you. The size should be no larger that 5 ½” by 8 ½”. Again, we encourage you to use bright colors and include a picture if you would like.

To pay for the candles and to make a donation for sarcoma research, we suggest a minimum donation of $5 for each bag. Make checks payable to “FJC” and the memo line must contain “Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative/Luminary”.

The bags or information must be in my hands or mailed to me by July 6th.

MiMi Olsson
3 Amber Lane
Attleboro, MA 02703

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Meet the Beast

Meet the beast. This is the machine that I learned to sew on as a child and which my mother recently handed down to me. I did not take the machine for all the warm fuzzy memories it embodies. To the contrary, I remember only long tormented hours spent threading, breaking threads and re-threading this monster. My mother insisted I do this myself. Every Time. The top threading was a complete mystery, the path markings having worn away long before my time. My mother's instructions were delivered with New York City abruptness that I found terribly intimidating. And I heard them every time I broke a top thread, gummed up the bobbin or stalled the machine and turning the wheel didn't help. Let's say, every 5 minutes. No, I never got any better at it. After a couple of hours, I would manage to hide away and surreptitiously hand-sew the rest of the job. ANYWAY, I took the thing because I like the case that it folds into. Good wood, perfect height for dumping out the contents of one's pockets and sorting the mail.

Here is the machine I'll be using for Project Linus blankets. There are nice people at the store where I bought it who are happy - or at least do a good job of pretending to be happy - to show me tips and tricks for blanket sewing and how to recover from mistakes without tearing out 3 yards of thread in the process. It comes with a cover and stores easily under its ancestor, The Beast.

And here are some of the fabrics I'm using. I'm not doing the no-sew fleece thing, I'm actually sewing the edges myself. I like the patterns available on the bolts more than I do the prepared no-sew kits, and by the time you've cut the fabric to size it's easier to sew on the NEW machine than it is to do all the cutting the no-sew requires. The teen blankets are about 45" x 72" which is bigger than most of the no-sew kits also.

Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth

Thursday, June 7, 2007

What's Up With ClustrMaps?

Warning! Warning! Those of you whose eyes slam shut at the hint of computer talk or statistics feel free to skip this post!

In the past year, I've noticed that the ClustrMap seemed to be taking the place of the good ole hit counter on many homemade websites. So, I added the ClustrMap to both and this blog. ClustrMap is an easy, free tool that let's you "see at a glance where your site's visitors are located" (visits are different than hits - I won't bore you with the details). Clustrmap tells me that has received a total 127 visits, all from the US. The low number, and the cluster dot patterns, didn't make sense based on feedback I've received. I started wondering....what's up with these web stats?

Soooo, my next stop was my handy-dandy Verizon web hosting tools to see how many visits it recorded: 532! 532 vs 127. That can't be right!

Soooo, my next visit was back to ClustrMaps FAQ page to see if their clustering methodology could cause 405 visits to go unreported and found this:

Map updates seem 'stalled' or 'stuck' since early June 2007. Why?
During late May / early June 2007, we have been processing an exceptionally large number of map updates and re-clusterings and additionally we are commissioning new servers and upgrading some systems software, which will greatly alleviate the bottleneck. So, if it feels to you like 'a problem I have had before', please be assured that the new servers and software upgrades are designed to solve the earlier problems, but unfortunately involve a temporary delay in the updating cycle! We expect all this to be resolved during the first two weeks of June. All 'old hits' that are accumulated during this delay will still be counted correctly and added to your eventual total.

Ahhh, so, we shall see what happens to our number of visits as June goes by.

Delving further into the Verizon web stats - for which there are a zillion ways to view and analyze more data than you can shake a stick at - the Hourly Statistics reveal the shocking truth - most people visit the website before work, during lunch and after work! Wow! With this knowledge, I see that we have yet to attract the Midnight to 6 AM crowd. How to do that and stay remotely on track, I wonder? My current outreach to that population consists of a myspace page It doesn't have much on it that you can't find here, but there is a lovely picture of my garden.

A final note....according to ClustrMap, this blog has received 462 visits, originating from all over the world. Knowing how many times I myself have clicked the "Next Blog" button, I am not letting this go to my head. Really. Hmmm, wonder what it takes to get noticed by The Huffington Post? Off to my daydreams...ladeedadeeda!

Thanks for reading my Blog!
~ Elizabeth!

58 Events, 13 Countries for Team Sarcoma 2007

2007 Team Sarcoma Initiative Events

There are currently 58 teams in 13 different countries planning events as part of the 2007 Team Sarcoma Initiative. We encourage you to participate in one or more of them that are close to you.

~ Elizabeth!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Kudos to Volunteers at RMH!

An e-mail recently sent to the volunteers at the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. We're doing good! ~ Elizabeth

I wanted to take the time to thank all of you; once again, for the amazing work you do for this House. I thought I would share this story with you so you can see the impact you have here with us. Recently two of our families left to go to other Ronald McDonald Houses in other cities. Neither of the families knew each other, yet both wrote an extensive letter to the House. Both of the letters praised the volunteer program, and how much easier you made it on them while they were staying here. These families are at other facilities that they obviously do not feel the same about. They called us the nicest and most caring place they have ever been, and if that is what we are known for, then we are all doing what we set out to do!

With the weather being nice the groups always have the option to cook on our grill, so just let me know! The kitchens are completely done as most of you know. We will be rotating months between kitchens in order to ensure thatthey get an equal amount of use. I am also working on an E-newsletter thatwill go out to the volunteers monthly, so stay tuned. The families are still raving about all of the dinners, breakfasts, lunches, and activities that take place here! Thank you all for all that you do! If any of you need anything please let me know.

Joshua Harden
Manager of Volunteer Services/Community Relations
410.528.1010 x106

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Project Linus Easy Quilt Blanket Pattern

Here is one of the recommended patterns for Project Linus blankets. I'm planning to make blankets in the teen size, 45" x 72" which the local coordinator says are in short supply, so I'll need to do more top-stitching than what is shown, but it still looks easy enough.

~ Elizabeth!

Project Linus

Having found a little extra time due to scheduling issues, I visited, the website of the Volunteer Center for Howard County, MD to see what looked interesting. I scanned the listings for activities that could fit into a couple of hours at a time and that would in some way benefit cancer patients.

I found Project Linus:

Project Linus is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization with a two-fold mission:

First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."
Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.

I contacted the reps for the local chapter of Project Linus who responded with a description of their work:

Anytime there is a child in trauma we try to distribute a blanket. Below are some of the places to which we have delivered:
* Howard County Pediatric Emergency and NICU
* Johns Hopkins Pediatric Cardiology and Kidney Units
* Baltimore Abuse Crisis Center
* Kennedy Kreiger
* St. Agnes Hospital
* Grassroots
* Sarah’s House
* House of Ruth

Project Linus also delivers to hospitals that serve pediatric cancer patients. So I will be making blankets!

To find a Project Linus near you, visit
Thanks for reading my blog!
~ Elizabeth!