Star Sighting. Almost.

comments: 131


I bought a few handled baskets at Marshall's (my very favorite store) this summer, and they had pretty cotton liners in them. It reminded me that I'd been wanting to line this big basket shoulder bag that I got from Land's End last summer. So I made this calico liner a few weeks ago. The dog's leash is hanging up there for a sort of scale, but still, the basket is about eighteen inches tall and however many inches wide, and I now take it with me everywhere, for groceries, or any kind of shopping where I can use it instead of taking a plastic bag. The liner splits into these separate little flaps to go around the handles, but otherwise it's just a solid liner inside. Good. Cool. Keep reading, this gets better.

So. Though I usually use a big plastic box, I stuffed all my orders into the bag the other day and took it to the post office for the first time. The post office was, for only the second time (and the first time at this particular location), empty. Empty. EMPTY.

You know how my head starts spinning around on my neck when that happens. And no, I have no idea why this phenomenon sends me into such a state. I cannot explain it.

I raced to the front of the non-existent line, looking around wildly, and exclaimed to the three post office clerks, "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!! There is no one here! I am the only one here! Wow wow wow!" I hefted my bag, bulging with dozens of Precious-Bundle padded envelopes, onto the counter and managed to say, between exclaimations, that everything was already labeled and ready to go, as usual (I do this almost every week, so they are used to me). The post office clerk, my favorite guy — early 60s, loves jazz, very nice hair — took the bag and promptly and dramatically turned it upside down and dumped the contents into one of those big, wheeled, canvas P.O. bins. Out flew all of my packages — as well as the fabric liner, several pens and pencils, my Taco del Mar punch card, the mail I'd just picked up from my P.O. box, a dog bone, my sunglasses, and three Super Plus tampons. I apologized. Other customers had since arrived. My clerk was diving repeatedly into the big canvas bin to fetch my tampons and punch card out of it. It should have been embarrassing, but I was still jabbering away excitedly about being first in line. Suddenly I heard a familiar voice say to another P.O. clerk:

"Thank ya very kindly, ma'am."

And out of the corner of my eye I saw a tall, thin guy in jeans and a jean jacket walking away.

Then my P.O. clerk said, "That was Sam Elliott!!!"

"Yeah, he comes in here all the time! His mom lives in Parkrose!"
"Oh man, I love Sam Elliott! He's in one of my favorite movies!"
"Which movie?"
" . . . "
"Wow, Sam Elliott. . . . Cool."

Okay, it didn't get that much better. But you have to admit, Sam Elliott is pretty cool. It was almost awesome.


Ooooh Sam Elliot! I fell in Looooove with him when I was quite young. He played in a movie called Lifeguard. My dad was a lifeguard and we went on a "date" to see it. Good memories.
Congrats on being first in line by the way. I do a lot of mailing and it IS all it's cracked up to be.
xo Barrie

I think he's in Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze. Wow!

I got my picture taken with Marie Osmond back in the 80's. Impressive, I know.

I have no idea who Sam Elliot is, but I love this story anyway. I'm so like that if I get to be first in line, and I just love the image of the tampax falling out everywhere. Do you think Sam Elliot went home and told a story about this woman at the post office throwing her tampax around! Thanks for such a great tale.

I love handled baskets and I could really use one of those basket handbags you have pictured. It's cute and functional...the liner makes it even better.

The closest I've ever been to a star was apparently being in the same hotel in Hanoi at the same time to Bill Clinton (if he counts) and in Hanoi (again) at the same time as Angelina Jolie. Of course, I live in the middle of no-where unlike most of the people in America!

THAT was exactly the same favorite movie I was thinking of. !!! I love Prancer and I love your bag. I love blogs and all the silly, embarrassing, talented, insightful, helpful, useless and useful exchanges. Life is much sweeter shared.

Wow! Sam Elliot is one of my favorite actors! Reminds me of my dad, in his (my dads) better days, and his voice is to melt for. He was in Golden Compass recently and he's been doing voice overs for some beer on the radio. Wow!

Alicia, (I hope you won't be offended by this comment), as they say here in nyc...You're the s***! Love the basket bag, love Sam Elliot!

To think.
You were that close to
The Stranger.

Such a funny story. It is always such a rush to find yourself the only person there. I loved the movie Prancer.

Love the basket dump story. Sounds like something that would happen to me except I would be the one that would dump the bag. And toss the tampons across the floor.

Sam Eliot's mother is in a club with my Grandmother and, the wonderful doting son that he is, he attended one of their little functions once with his mother.

My Grandmother wasn't sure who he was but asked him if she has seen him in a cowboy hat before. She remembered that much (should would have probably seen almost none of his movies). He was very sweet and polite and told her yes, she had likely seen him in a cowboy hat.

I've loved him ever since. My grandmother can be a little spacey.

Big Lebowski baby!!!! Sam and his 'sasparilly'....ohhhh yeah. Forget about being first in line, Sam is definitely something to get excited about.

You make me smile!

Ok. That tears it. Sam Eliot lives HERE in Central Oregon and I have NEVER seen him in all these years.I am sooo jealous!! Alicia, you are not my favorite person right now.(hmmm...just joshin' ya :-)

some people have all the luck.... :)

You poor thing..... you've lived every girls nightmare with the tampons! I'm TOTALLY making one of those fancy tampon hider holder thingy's for my purse!

You know, they look like a crayon holder thingy that ties? Maybe it'll be patchwork or embroidered with pretty flowers. HMmmmm...... I better get to work!

I so understand. My post office was built for a town of 18,000. Ten years later the town is now a city of 88,000. Post Office is still the same size. You wait, and wait, and wait for about 45 minutes and THEN have a place to park (within 3 blocks). Then it's at least another 45 minutes in line inside. FIRST IN LINE would be wunnerful! (to park or inside :/ ) But to hear that deep, sexy, beefy voice would whip my head around so fast I would fall outta line! I would cut into his line just hear him say "excuse me, ma'am". And then I would blush and say, "no, excuse me". (heavy sigh) What a day you had!

Yay for Sam Elliott and your joyful basket emptying. :) Sam Elliott lives in the same town my grandma does, Brownsville down south near Corvallis. She's seen him at her post office and store a couple times. :)

I understand completely. I got to ride in the elevator at the Federal Highways building in Denver once with..... Robert Redford. :) Congratulations!!! Sam Elloitt, very cool. "Beef it's what's for dinner." Love all his movies, too.

I always feel fortunate when there is no line at the post office as I'm usually on my lunch hour. I love your blog (and the quilt)Check out my daughter's knitting graffiti blog at
She has a book due out Nov 08 from Arsenal Press

What would have made this story perfect is if you had dumped your bag on the ground and Sam Elliot had picked up your Super Plus tampons for you.

Oh how funny! Sam Elliot, how cool is that? I love Prancer too. Things like your 'purse dump' always seem to happen to me. Once I was in the Post Office mailing a bunch of paintings. It was NOT empty and it was snowing (which equals big hair for Cathy) People were staring at me (no seriously, I wasn't imagining it) When I returned home, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror and saw that not only had my long hair frizzed out to uber-big, but I was wearing a tartan scarf and had blue paint on my face. I looked like Braveheart. -CS ^..^

Wow! I am mad about Sam Elliot. Great actor and sooo goodlooking.
You rock girlfriend!

I don't know what's more amusing, the story, or the comments. Thanks for the laugh. Seeing Sam Elliot would wipe away all embarrassment of purse droppings... would definitely be making a zippered or snap pouch for those unmentionables. Thanks for sharing.

I loved him in the elephant man with Cher...he has the sexiest voice..and you gotta love that mustache...still sexier then ever...

Katherine says: August 06, 2008 at 09:15 PM

I have always thought Sam Elliot was s-e-x-y!!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.