I am busy it seems!

I am maintaining my other blog since it is for healthy reasons but somehow slacked off on this.

I may be suffering from panic attacks – but hey I am a hypochondriac so who the hell knows what I am suffering from – I say everything! LOL


I celebrated my birthday in style! I travelled 77 miles (yes I clocked it) to Don Bosco’s Marian Shrine in West Haberstraw, NY.  I like to visit Mary on my birthday – why not – she is 48 feet tall! Plus I need her help to get me through the days! I say this in a joking way, but prayer never hurt me, my friends!

Seriously, it was our (as in my father’s side of the family and his pisonas – anyone want to help me with the spelling on this!) annual picnic. It occurs on my birthday weekend and this year it landed dead on.  So I went with my daughter because we play a mean game of bocce!

My husband stayed home to take my son on his second camping trip of the summer. He just returned from his first one the night before!

{NOTE: I don’t want to be around when he comes home from this trip – think about it – 2 weeks out in the wilderness, staying up late and working his tail off to earn badges – no thank you! He is going to be one cranky 14 year old!}

Saturday we went to my mother-in-law’s to celebrate my birthday and my niece’s birthday – hers is 4 days after mine. My two nieces were visiting the whole month of July. They live in Florida and their mother came up halfway into their stay to help my mother-in-law with her post-operation care.  They left on July 24th. So we needed to celebrate with the entire family on Saturday – that was the only day that was left available.

I got nice presents!

  • My sister-in-law got me a metal stand for a hanging basket – I wanted one so it was a good gift!
  • My nieces gave me a butterfly garden stone – it is very nice
  • My brother-in-law and his girlfriend (even though he forgot to put her name on the card) gave me a pair of lounge pajamas (another gift I wanted.)
  • My mother-in-law bought me another pair of pajamas, a beautiful purple print scarf that she thought would look perfect with a black cocktail gown and a beautiful bracelet made with Murano glass. This gift came in a gorgeous Victorian style hat box (a gift in itself!) 

My sister-in-law also made a nice Boston Cream Cake for my birthday! I love love love Boston Cream!  She also out did herself and prepared a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream pie for her daughter and a Chocolate Pudding Pie for anyone who may not enjoy the other two!

But back to St. Anne’s!

I had to take the GWB! :-O !

Good news, seems like gas is too high that no one wants to go anywhere anymore because I breezed across it! Amazing! The drive on the Palisades is always a nice one as well.  I am there in record time – although I got a late start. So I missed the mass. Now here comes the fun part and I will insult some people….

I am driving on the entrance road – I pass the parking lot to the chapel because I know I missed Mass so I may as well go straight to the picnic sight – so I keep driving.  I see the 48 foot statue of our Blessed Mother. I go to this site every year, yet I don’t remember it. I am amazed by it.  I drive around and realize – I am lost! Not really, but I had forgotten that our picnic site is right across from the Chapel, so I drive around just for fun and head back to the chapel. Naturally, I drive slow in the parking lot.  I notice a lady leaving the bathroom and walking back to the chapel. Well all I say to my daughter is “Look, it’s Aunt Jemima!” and she looks at me, smiles and says, “Mo-hmmm” in the “that’s not funny” way.  I turn the corner to find a parking spot, and explain, “Oh crap, it’s a convention!” My daughter can’t help but burst out laughing while giving me a look like “mom, you know you are going to burn in hell!”  These ladies were beautiful, they were dressed in yellow and white garb and I later found out they were Baptist.  But I am sorry, they reminded me of the lady on the syrup bottle.  I wonder out loud if we are going to get free samples of syrup!

I pull into my spot and almost run Gene over! OK – he thinks the same way I do!  Nicholas is excited to see me and says hello (if you can’t tell I abandoned the damn numbers – I don’t think anyone can figure out who we are – never mind really care to either!)

We greet everyone at our anti-social spot we claim every year. Remind me to ask Aunt L. why we do that again!  I spot a huge tent, thanks to Aunt F! It did after all call for some thunder showers. Luckily, we didn’t need it.

I toss out my snacks on the table and look at all our stuff. We are 3 families with sub-families! A total of (hmm pause here while I count on my fingers…) 23 people if I added right! 🙂 So many were missing – like my brother and his family (went to Providence – there phew I can spill the beans now!) and my sister and her family were at a Baptism. T and V were too tired to make it (come on guys!) and don’t know where R and J were – perhaps planning a wedding or something!

So for 23 people we had enough food to feed 100! Just like it always is! We had fried chicken – not provided by the convention people, but by Aunt F.! We had pickled eggplant, fried zucchini flowers, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, pasta salads and green salad.  We nixed the idea of BBQ because it always takes too much time to wait for the grill to cool down (is this the real reason?) Well anyway, we always seem to bring more food than we need and the idea to eliminate the BBQ was a good one.

Now onto the fun! We make up our bocce teams – now here is where I need some help, because I have no idea what men played, what teams they were on or how they did. But who cares – because my team took second place! Unfortunately we couldn’t beat the smug team. I will leave any further description of them as I gave out enough information that if they ever read this they would know in a heartbeat who I am and that wouldn’t be nice! There were a total of 5 teams that played. My mom, daughter and Aunt L and I were on one team. Aunt F., Emma, Theresa and Tracy were on another. Their team was eliminated from the smug team.  We won our first round and had a coin toss with s.t. to see who will get the buy. They did (they got to rest up their arms). We played and won our second round.  Now the finals.  We tried, but they were better (due to their rest – and the fact that we played with a different set of balls – no comments please – than what we had during our first two rounds – these were heavier!)

It cost us $5 to participate but we won $10 for coming in second! Not bad. My daughter was very proud! Kat stayed back with the young kids to play with this year’s guest – the Cat in the Hat. She can add her own comments here about that experience!

Kat, mom and I decide to head over to the Gift Shop after our game. I will leave out any bit of detail here, except that I was heaving! What a work-out. Kat just laughed at me!  While I was in the shop, my mom’s cell phone went off.  I hear her say “she is here, do you want to talk to her?” I automatically assume it is my sister and I wonder what she wants to talk to me about?  I find out it is my brother! And he and his wife are wishing me a happy birthday! HA – I forgot it was my birthday, even though everyone wished me one when I got there!

We get back to our area and eat.  Raffles are drawn, my mother exclaims that we can share the winners when I mention that I didn’t buy any. They are pulling the winner for the 14 inch TV/DVD player and she says she could really use that. With that being said, they call her name! Looks like we are not sharing!

Everyone ups and leaves, that is except our family. They are all party poopers!

My mother brings out a cake (whiskey!) that she made for my birthday – everyone sings. I try to blow out a trick candle Ha Ha.  I get my present – pair of pants and 3 fall tops! I love them!  My aunt tells me my feet are black and Kat explains “yeah we need to cut them off!” Now I think she is talking about my feet but she means the black rubber on the base of the chairs that I was sitting on – seems it rubbed off on my sole!

By 6:00 we decide it is time to clean up. It takes us about an hour – does this surprise you? We did have over a dozen picnic tables! 

By 7:00 we are on the road and I pull into my driveway at 8:30 – there was a bit of congestion on the GWB – does that surprise you? It doesn’t me!

And that was my experience with the Annual St. Anne’s picnic.

Tidbits of info I forgot to mention – my father helped roll the statue away which by the way makes more money that who knows! On his way back he says he has seen it all, “they are so afraid of people lifting things here that they tied down a tree!” Sure enough there is a metal chain and lock on the trunk of a tree!  Go figure!




  1. ~Kat #8 Says:

    I love reading about our family. I may be biased, but I think we’re a fun bunch and that picnic would totally suck without us!!! There would be no women’s bocce if it wasn’t for us!
    The reason we don’t sit under the pavillion is because we don’t like the other paisons(sp?)! JK…Actually, it echoes under there and I can’t imagine all of us fitting under there, with all our food that is!!! Besides, it’s a picnic….you’re suppose to be OUTSIDE…under the trees and the sun! I do wonder what the others say about us though…They must think we’re so stuck up! And as for the BBQ, I think the fact that James not being there had a little to do with it. It wasn’t missed either! Can’t believe all the leftovers!!! My son is still eating ham sandwiches!! He loves them!
    As for Cat in the Hat….I’ll pass next year on watching the kiddies! It’s cute, but my 2 year old lost interest just as fast as my 7 year old. I think it’s time for some new entertainment!
    Anyway, it was a lovely day as always. We should rename it “Masella Family Reunion”!!! And the Baptist ladies were a nice addition! They’re a mother’s guild from Brooklyn. Did you know Alex knew one of them? They were neighbors when he lived in BKLYN. How funny is that!

    PS- Where was I when you sang Happy BDay? Must have been lost in the bathroom!!!!

  2. ~Kat #8 Says:

    PPS- Get ready to explain “Tomato Sauce Weekend”. Nobody ever knows what I’m talking about, nor do they get it when I try and explain it to them. Unfortunately, I have a wedding that same weekend so I don’t think I will be in attendance this year! 😦 Good Luck with the Bears!!!!

  3. Elaine Says:

    CRAP –
    ~ I keep forgetting about the Bears!
    ~ they sang happy birthday too early, even Ericka was no where to be found. Not sure what the rush was!
    ~ I can’t wait to describe tomato sauce weekend! You will be missed, you can’t make one day? I want Erick to come! Not sure how it is at Aunt F.’s house with or without the bears, but I am looking forward to it! Why can’t we do it at your house? Pool? That would be awesome – smash tomato – jump in pool – can sauce – jump in pool! No?
    ~ small world that Alex knew one of them – and he couldn’t hook us up with any samples?? come on now!

  4. Big A #1 Says:

    In case your wondering, those folk from Bklyn are Trinidadians. I’m still eating leftovers but what wonderful leftovers they were! Paisan would be the correct spelling I believe. R and J were busy with the house and wedding stuff. T&V were tired but if Elaine can make it….Anyway, your brother and sister were both missed as well. Not having the BBQ was a good idea or we would have ended up with more leftovers. My Dad came in second with Uncle J in bocce. Congrats to Aunt J on the raffle!

  5. Anthony Says:

    I am pissed I missed another fun Masella outing, although I must say that New Port is absolutely beautiful. A secret is safe with you Elaine — You can’t even remember where I was going. I am sure Providence is beautiful too. Nice to know I did not have to drive 210 miles to get to have pancakes soaked in syrup at the bed and breakfast, I could have had them in Haverstraw with the Trinidadians. Well hopefully I will me able to drive up to Aunt Fs for a couple of hours with my wife and the kids to see part of tomato sauce weekend. Everyone will get to meet Sophia well except for Kat a wedding please — what is more important a wedding or me. LOL JK. Love ya Ant

  6. #6 Says:

    Boy, what a racist crowd. Anyway, did you see the one with the big yellow towel wrap, head dress looking thing and who was the syrup spillin bastard with the drums.
    This picnic needs an ennema! Where the hell is everyone to make fun of! Can’t just keep ranking on that Perry guy every year, but than again. I thought the food was excellent. Fried flowers, sausge and peppers, fried chicken which I monitored by the way because of our unexpected friends. Loved the homemade wine. Loved the store bought one to. So did the priest who was lookin for hand outs. Poor Big Uncle J got stuck entertaining him. I tried to come in for the save. Very nice to see the Aunts and Uncles. Bocce was a blow out for some of us. Where the hell was T & V? Sounds like something you catch. Who The “F” ordered Cat in the Hat? Who cares if anyone thinks were snobby. We think they are, too. I think that about summed up the picnic from my point of view.

  7. Shirley Says:

    Love reading your posts.

    What in the world is tomato sauce weekend?


    shirley Buxton

  8. Elaine Says:

    You crack me up – that is just too good. You nailed it on the head – I am so snobby that I don’t even know everyone’s names! But I like Theresa – Anna’s sister – she cracks me up!

  9. Elaine Says:

    Thank you Shirley,
    I love yours as well, I did some catching up last night – I need to comment over there!
    But I will let all my readers know – a very Happy 50th to you and your husband! I hope he is 100% now.

    As for tomato sauce weekend – it is hard to put in words – because I am longwinded! My father and his family came to America when they were teens. Every year since then they prepare and jar their own tomato sauce. We set aside one weekend usually at the end of August, this time it will be Labor Day weekend and we order over 30 bushels of tomatos and get to work. It isn’t all work – there is a lot of eating and playing around! I will post about it next month! It’s a lot of fun. Thanks for asking!

  10. Aunt L Says:

    When Kat sent me this link, I briefly logged on and found it extremely entertaining but I had very little time that day so I promised myself I would get back to it when I had more time. I promptly proceeded to forget all about it so whenever I had time, I didn’t think of reading your blog. Last night, Kat mentioned your terrific entry re the picnic. I knew I wasn’t going to be busy at work today so I was looking forward to doing just that. I get here, fire up my pc, check my email and voicemail, get myself a cup of coffee and am ready to go online….. Now, what the heck was it that I was going to look into today?? I immediately call Kat who say’s “Elaine’s blog.” Oh yeah! That was at 10:40 this morning. I took an hour for lunch and got right back on. Now, I’m a little bleary-eyed but, boy, my day flew by! It is amazing! I am extremely proud and happy to be your Aunt L!

  11. ~Kat #8 Says:


  12. Elaine Says:

    Aunt L,
    I am so glad you stopped by and it made your day easier! I am so proud and happy to be your niece as well. Everyone needs aunts like you and Aunt F. I find myself very blessed to have grown up in this family! So much moosh!! I love it!
    And I love your description of your day – looks like I found who I take after! 🙂

  13. Big A #1 Says:

    Tomato sauce weekend is a tradition carried over from Italy to America by my late Grandmother who is my mom (Aunt F) and my Aunt L and Big Uncle J;s mom. She used to make the sauce in her home town of Castelpetroso, Italy when she was a girl. When she came over to America in 1957, she simply picked up where she left off in Italy. It became an annual event either before or on Labor day weekend. The brother and two sisters would come over to her house in Brooklyn, (and later Staten Island) to make about 400 bottles (old Coke, 7-up, Hires then later 1 quart mason jars) of sauce which would feed 4 families every Sunday for the year. It became quite a process as I remember my Grandfather using an old cap machine to cap the bottles before they were boiled.

    The process starts out with about 35 to 40 bushels of plump jersey tomatos which are then washed and inspected before boiled. They are them passed through a tomato machine which separates the skins from the pulp. The pulp (sauce) is then poured into a large 5 gallon vat, salted, then using ladles and funnels, poured into the quart mason jars that already have two pieces of basil in them. the jars are then boiled to seal them, then the cool off and are placed in the mason jar cases. Afterwards, they are divvied up amongst the family.

    It is a ton of fun and a great way to get together instead of the usual wedding or funeral. That’s why I love the picnic as that’s another way to get together.

    Elaine, I think we may need a tomato sauce blog as I am sure we all have some great memories from the tomato sauce years. What do you think?

  14. Big A #1 Says:

    I love the way your kitchen came out! If I were Erick, I’d be proud too!

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