Wednesday, February 27

67,000 miles per hour

Per the post I posted last night;
Rent, buy, beg to borrow the movie "Martian Child". It was truly wonderful and viewable for the entire family. Imagine that! A movie the whole family can sit together and watch with no squirmy moments.
I'm just going to let this movie play over again and again all day in my brain. And smile dumbly at work when remembering bits of it.
And since my mom is leaving tomorrow for Alaska and just this morning threw out the information of Earth's tilt and it's effect on that portion of the world, I was able to toss back the equally useless morning information that we're spinning around the sun at 67 thousand miles per hour, (which I knew because of this movie, but she can hold tightly to the idea that I know this because of the fabulous education she provided for me:) ) A movie that keeps giving joy to many people on many levels.

Tuesday, February 26

family night

I've been reading the Drudgereport which led me to some article which states that the North of North America has had the largest amount of snowfall since records have been kept. Really? Well, while I'm thrilled to hear this as it may slow down the political bandwagon that is screaming to tax us on carbon-outputs (whatever that means), I'm still standing daily at my window looking for the white flakes to pile up outside my door. Come on. Yes, the schools have been canceled a few times this year, but not for the desired drifts of the white powder in my dreams.....
I am sitting in my rosy wing chair by a snapping fire in my hearth. Jedd and I re-arranged the living room yesterday. It is now much more conducive to coziness. The kids are sprawled out on the red sectional sofa meant to seat at least 12 people at a time, that I bought on an impulse and in my mind never really worked in this room. But now...we have it placed with it's back to the fireplace. A move I formerly rejected as bad since it would put our backs to the flames. But...the flow is actually better this way. For the first time in years, I actually like this room. Annie and Henley have brought home a movie called Martian Child. Should be an interesting evening. But in case it turns out to be as dreadful as its name, I have a pile of books to my left and a laptop on my....lap....Here's the pile:
Fascinating Facts from the World of Discovery
Charlotte Sometime
Tramp for the Lord
Tortured For Christ
All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes
and a King Arthur Baking Catalog
and here comes Thom with a laptop to join the crew.....
Annie is scolding Emma for placing her jug of Iced tea in the middle of the coffee table, thereby presenting an obstacle to Annie's viewing pleasure of American Idol, the preshow to the Martian Movie. Henley's school is on winter vacation so she's spending the night. Annie just got a call that she doesn't have to work tomorrow after all. Now, Emma is lobbying me to let her take the day off of school so she can be with the girls. I'll make her sweat it a bit. I usually try and talk her into staying home because we miss her while she's away. She rarely does though... responsible child:)

Thursday, February 21

chocolate and flours

It's my free day with the boy today. We have big plans to go purchase proper bread flour (king arthur, of course) powdered buttermilk, fresh yeast....oh the day we'll have with our new bread machine.
We couldn't find the paddle to the other bread machine. I was going to order a new paddle and then remembered all the loaves had been burning anyway which was why we stopped baking to begin with. So, since I had a gift card to William-Sonoma (thanks Henley and Cavin!), I decided to order a whole new machine. Here's why..
Jedd has turned into a little chef. Actually, this past week he has been into confectionary creations. I can't give away his secret ingredients, but he's been creating these candy bars that are truly mouthwatering. They're semi-sweet chocolate with caramel and a secret crunch ingredient added. I've packed a few pounds in the spirit of being a chief tester for my boy. I don't have a double boiler so he melts the chocolate in a small saucepan which rests on an english muffin ring sitting in boiling water in a small frying pan. Sounds dangerous doesn't it? I just ordered 10 pounds of milk and semi-sweet wilbur buds for him to continue the experimentation. All in the name of homeschooling of course.
His birthday is coming in a few weeks. I've been thinking about buying him one of those new silicone bowls which fits into any pot and works as both a double boiler and a baking pan. Then when he's not melting chocolate he can bake a cake!
That said, I figure each day the family can have fresh bread which Jedd can bake for us. Let me give an example of his naturalness in the kitchen...
Over New Year's Annie was cooking dinner for the family. It was a chicken recipe she'd learned from Sarah Meadows while visiting her in Colorado last October. She was splitting the boneless breasts and was frustrated at the thickness of them and trying to pound them thinner. She proceeded to attempt it incorrectly. Her 11 year old brother walked up to her and said, " Annie, you're doing it wrong. You need to butterfly those. " And then he proceeded to butterfly the breasts for her.
Is that not the greatest?

Wednesday, February 20

white snow and sour cream

It is spilling whiteness outside! Happy, happy me! Big, fat, fluffy flakes have been falling steadily for hours now. My new bread machine arrived by UPS this afternoon and Jedd and I are awaiting our first loaf with anticipation and a distinct lack of patience. We're making a plain white loaf. But we didn't have any dry powdered milk so I substituted sour cream. SOUR CREAM?! Why? I have no idea....We immediately started pouring necessary ingredients in the bread bowl and when we got to the second to last ingredient...we didn't have it. Jedd was worried so I did a total improvisation with complete assurance to the lad that it would work. Hunh! Well, we have about half an hour till we see how this turns out.
I confess I'm giggling here. Because my plan if it doesn't work? I'm blaming it on the humidity due to the snow. Which could be true....

Monday, February 11


Two weeks ago today, I took Jedd and Emma to the Holocaust Museum in D.C..
I couldn't blog about it then; it was and remains an experience that there simply are no adjectives available in my limited vocabulary to describe our time there. We came out of the building and every once in a while one of the kids would say something to the effect of, "thanks Mom, that was fun." And we'd all kind of go, "uuh, no...wrong word. Not fun. "
Let me put it this way. When we take Jedd to a museum, be it Natural History, Air and Space, whatever, he's good for an hour ,maybe an hour and a half, before the complaints start flying off his tongue. "I'm hungry, my legs hurt, I'm tired, let's go home now....." You get the picture.
We went into the holocaust Museum at 11:30a.m. At 3 p.m., in front one of the last exhibits my stomach gave out a monstrous growl demanding food. Jedd had just started to complain. We'd been there for 3 1/2 hours! We were reading everything on the walls and exhibits. It was so very quiet in there. It was a good day with my children.
We made it into the book store and loaded up on more reading materials. I was just grabbing books and filling my arms. Since the museum is part of the Smithsonian there is no entry fee. I wanted to do my part to support it, so did so by supporting the bookshop. When we got home and Annie and Emma were actually looking through my hurried selections (hurried because we all needed to eat immediately), they laughed because we already owned several of them. The covers had changed so I didn't recognize them.
It did stump me a bit in there (the shop)though, it was actually a small gift shop. Who really wants a key chain or shotglass with the Holocaust Museum on it? Really, who? I'd not want to receive a postcard from there. Or how about a t-shirt? "My grandma went to the Holocaust Museum and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!" No thanks.

Friday, February 8

conundrum? or stupid technological brain glitch

Have you ever lost your credit card and couldn't remember your online code to your account to that card. And when you looked for any type of paperwork from which to claim the account number to enter into the computer to retrieve a new passcode, you realize you have no paperwork with any numbers on it, because you are now only doing online business with that credit card company? It's a real problem....I might go as far as calling it a conundrum. And I like to reserve that word for real puzzles of the mind.

Thursday, February 7

fish paste and CAKE

I'm inspired and brimming with new ideas for the shop which need to be implemented soon, before I lose momentum. NYC was bursting at the seams with vendors and merchandise for me to choose from; and choose I did. I haven't sat down with the numbers yet as I'm sure I went over budget and don't want to burst my balloon of happiness quite yet. We (being Emma, Janna and myself) went to the Metropolitan Pavillion for New York's Newest, which I'd never made it over for previously due to lack of time. It was the most relaxed bit of show I'd ever attended and it made buying sweet. Emma chose 2 lines for the shop. One is a Canadian company called CAKE. They carry high end body care products for young adults. Body butters, hair powders (they sold us!) lip care. The other was a monogramed series from over in handmade ( in the Javitz center). Sterling necklaces with very nice monograms over vintage prints.

We also ordered a monogramming series of stamps and embossers from which we can order addresses, sayings, etc. They'll make wonderful birthday, wedding and housewarming presents. So, we tried to find more consumables that will bring back repeat business.

It was really fun to have Emma with me and get her opinion on products. She has a true sense of purchasing and an eye toward design. She certainly was a valuable asset to the trip, not just a daughter tagging along. She jumped right into the spirit of the time and was endlessly patient. I mean endlessly. These days are exhausting and painful on the body. She never asked for a break or showed any signs of boredom.

Each one of us three chose a line on our own that we felt strongly about, but that for one reason or another the others maybe weren't 100 % sold on. Maybe due to cost or not quite what we've sold in the past so it would be a new direction. It will be fun to watch them...It makes it a bit like a game. Which one will sell best or worst...It's truly impossible to know!

We had dinner at Becco again with my sister in law and niece, who came up from jersey for the night. It was good, but now as exciting as last August. The winner this time was Wan Jo in Korean Way with Thom's brother, Jack. It's a place he frequents often and was gracious to extend an invitation to be his guests there. We arrived at 8:30 and were taken up a flight of stairs to a table set against a wall in a room ful of diners. Most of whom were Korean. That's a good sign! Jack was to meet us there after his last class at NYU where he's a professor of something very technical and way to comprehensive for me to ever figure out how it's taught to others.

We let him order for us and soon many little dishes were scattered around a covered grill in the center of the table and 3 plates of raw marinated beef and chicken were set on the side of the table. There was daikon and seaweed salad, steamed eggs and pressed rice sheets along with marinated cabbage and I think a paste of chickpeas, along with fish and fish paste- covered strips of something mysterious. And more. Someone came and lifted the grill cover and inserted red-hot coals into our table and put some of the meat onto cook and then left. After a few minutes Jack said he'd probably be scolded for doing so, but proceeded to turn the meat. A waitress scurried over and indeed took the tongs from him gently and thanked him like you'd thank a child whose help you really didn't want. We all laughed. It was a good trick as it got their attention to our table. Soon they were back to load our plates with the meat and to add more to the grill. To call it good would be a gross understatement. It was truly a gastronomical treat to the taste buds. We all filled ourselves senseless. Yet still had room for the chilled fruit tray at the end of the meal. I cannot wait to go back for more. It would be worth a day trip just to eat at this resaurant. It's right off Herald square. I think it was 32nd between 5th and 6th. May have been 35th. Just look for the Korean Way sign off the square on Broadway. Thanks again Jack!

Saturday, February 2

off to NYC

Tiredness courses through my body right now. I'm doing laundry and making preparations for my trip tomorrow to NYC. Trying to imagine everything I need to pack so as to prevent any frustration at forgetfulness in the coming days, while keeping it all contained in one small overnight bag. I know I'll need to lug bags from hotel to parking garage and that could be several city blocks.
I get very excited every six months at this pilgrimage to the Gift Show to see up and coming trends for home decor and to try and determine what will sell here in good old Cambridge. It's all a big game really.
Emma is coming with me. I'm so pleased to have her see this whole process of choosing and buying and trying to stay within some kind of budget. It's easy to get carried away and spend money I don't have. I'm a bit concerned about the economy of course. I know people who aren't going to the show because they think they should hold back until they know which way the wind is blowing with respect to above said economy. I'm of the school of thought that says if I want people to part with their dear dollars I had better have some new and exciting things for them to select from. Who's to know what is the right thing to do. That darn hindsight would come in very handy right now!
We have reservations at Becco, that wonderful Italian restaurant I blogged about back in August. I'm salivating at the thought of another meal there! And of course a trip to Anthropologie is in order. Well, we are to be up and out by 5 a.m. Sunday morning, so I'd best be off to bed. We'll be back in a few days. Talk with you then.