June 2015

One Morning in Maine

One Morning in Maine, another Caldecott Honor book by Robert McClosky

One Morning in Maine, another Caldecott Honor book by Robert McClosky

Blueberries for Sal has been one of our family’s favorite books for years. It’s got berries, time spent outdoors in the sunshine with mom, a cute bear, all sorts of other random animals, and great black and white illustrations including a drawing of an old fashioned kitchen (so one can compare appliances and wistfully wish we lived in a time when life was all about making blueberry jam.)

And yet I knew nothing about One Morning in Maine, another Robert McClosky’s classic, until my friend Kim mentioned it to me when we spoke about my upcoming family vacation to a little island off the Maine coast (9 days and counting!) This story is about the same little girl named Sal, albeit a bit older now, hanging out with her father and little sister, digging for clams, losing a tooth and heading to town on a boat for supplies and ice cream. I bought it immediately and am excited to settle down with my daughter to read it and compare the Maine of Sal and little Jane to the Maine we know and love ourselves.

Because in less than 2 weeks, we’re going to have to get in a boat to head into town for a scoop of ice cream too…

What would Ma do?

cross back linen apron on Food52. Photo by James Ransom, courtesy of Food52.com

cross back linen apron on Food52. Photo by James Ransom, courtesy of Food52.com

For the past week or so, we have been reading By The Shores Of Silver Lake, part 5 of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series. Mary, the oldest daughter, is now blind thanks to scarlet fever but still sews her own quilts and never complains, the family has just given each other beautiful handmade Christmas gifts and baked sour dough biscuits for surprise visitors whilst dancing to Pa’s fiddle and singing songs that can be heard across the desolate prairie.

It all sounds too good to be true. Plus Ma wouldn’t want to burst into tears because she couldn’t manage to extract the burnt out light bulb from her Viking stove hood.

In order to channel the spirit of the indomitable Caroline Ingalls, which I am desperately in need of as I ready our house for it’s annual summer rental, I am thinking perhaps I need to start wearing an apron. And right about now, I am feeling this Japanese inspired cross linen number from Food52. Now mind you, it’s a bit different from the calico aprons Ma tended to sport, but it is 2015, and as I’ve often looked toward Japan for gift inspiration of late (see garden clippers and the hori hori knife from earlier posts), I see no need to change direction now.

Especially when I need every moment to purge, clean, sort and organize so that our place can be in perfect condition… just in time for us to leave it in the hands of others.

And now I guess I’ll call the electrician to help me with these bulbs…

Monday, Monday… or more links about movies to watch with your kids over the summer (part 1)

For the first 3 odd years of her life, my daughter spent exactly no time in front of a screen of any kind. Except for the weekend her older cousins came to visit, and she watched a bit of a Barbie movie which (thank goodness) she wasn’t interested in at all.

But then the flood gates opened, and a true love affair with the silver screen began. Much to her dismay, screen time is still limited to 30 minutes a day on school days, but on the weekends and during vacations, we will often settle down to (gasp!!) an entire movie. And this summer promises to be filled with all sorts of opportunities for more.

Which means I have my homework cut out for me as I attempt to steer the ship away from Cinderella 3 and towards movies with a bit more substance like… The Princess Bride. (As you can see, I am not against fairy tales, I just want the stories to be told with some skill.)

Here are seven I’m hoping to watch this summer– some are old favorites and some we’ve yet to see. I’m sure there will be more lists as the summer progresses…

The horrible Cruella De Ville wants to turn 99 insanely cute dalmatian puppies into fur coats, but (of course) they are rescued by their loving parents and a gang of helpful farm animals. A classic from way back in the day that even the youngest kids can get into. 101 Dalmatians, 1961.

A drunk Carol Burnett, a dancing Albert Finney, a beturbaned Geoffrey Holder and a houseful of singing orphans from the 80′s put the recent version of Annie to shame, IMHO. Annie, 1982.

A beautiful black and white film about a Brooklyn kid who finds himself left to his own devices in 1950′s Coney Island. Home Alone from back in the day. The Little Fugitive, 1953.

Just in case there was any doubt as to Bob Fosse’s choreographic genius, there’s this 60′s tale of a window washer’s rise to the top. Step aside, Mad Men, and let these folks show you how it’s done. How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, 1967.

A beautifully animated film about a kid in Maine who discovers a huge alien robot and tries to protect it from the evil US Government agents who want to destroy it (because they think it’s some kind of Russian spy… sound familiar?) Based on a book by Ted Hughes. The Iron Giant, 1999.

I think all I have to say is The Princess Bride (1987), and you’ll know to drop everything and watch this right away. Kids or no kids.

Costco (or a company just like it) has taken over the world and completely trashed it, so all earthlings have been sent into space to await the clean up that never happens. 700 years later, it’s time to return, but humanity has devolved into blobs that sit in front of screens all day and night. Can two rogue robots save the day? This was my daughter’s first movie and it stays in regular rotation even now… Wall-E, 2008.

Yesterday, at some point…

double rainbow on the solstice

We saw a double rainbow above the parking lot at our favorite burger joint/ice cream spot in Sag Harbor. If that isn’t a good omen, I don’t know what is…

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

Happy National Martini Day!!

I found this lady while searching through the creative commons photos on Flickr.

I found this lady while searching through the creative commons photos on Flickr.

Yes that’s right. Today is National Martini Day. And if I drank Martinis (and wasn’t just recovering from a fairly brutal summer cold) I would be shaking myself up one of these babies right about now. It’s my daughter’s last day of school, and while that means the end of the miles-long series of school related activities/celebrations/performances/etc, it also means that the two of us are about to become 24-hour constant companions. With all the joy and pain that accompanies that particular situation.

So bottoms up!

For those of you who may want to dig a bit deeper into the world of this classic libation, I give you a bit of martini history, a whole bunch of martini recipes (from the classic to the blood orange cabernet you never knew you were craving), a photographic survey of some of this drink’s most iconic fans, and, last but not least, a lovely post about how one might get over a hangover (not that any of you will need that, but just in case…)

Monday, Monday… or more links about clothes, jerk chicken and making honey with wild roses

zero maria cornejo dress on sale

This dress (from Maria Cornejo) can be yours. For real. Because it’s on sale right now.

What is code? I’ve always wanted to know the answer and now, evidently, Paul Ford is going to tell me.

Having spent many a childhood holiday visiting family in Jamaica, I am highly skeptical that some white chick from the New York Times can actually master Jerk Chicken. But as the aforementioned white chick is the inimitable Julia Moskin, I’m going to have to give this recipe a try.

And I quote: “David Achter de Molen, lead singer of Dutch band John Coffey, was in the middle of crowdsurfing (crowdwalking?) when a half-full beer came hurtling in his direction. Displaying some impressive hand-eye coordination, he caught it (and, for good measure, drank it).” And Digg has the video to prove it.

Evidently all I have to do is buy this app and I’ll never lose anything again.

Zero Maria Cornejo is having a sale. (See photo above) Run don’t walk.

Grain de chic is a kids’ clothing line that’s designed in Paris but made in Poland. Strange combination, yet the result is magic and well worth checking out…

Who doesn’t want to learn how to make honey saturated with wild roses?

The great tote bag upgrade


On the one hand, if there is one thing I do not need, it is another tote bag.

But on the other hand, in the spirit of one-really-good-thing-is-better-than-10-mediocre-versions, I have been thinking about a tote upgrade. It was spurred on by an e mail from the good folks at Bird, hipping me to the existence of the above open perforated tote by the venerable Loeffler Randall. Like maybe, if I threw away (or gave away) most of the random totes in the huge wooden box we have for bags in the kitchen, I could reward myself with this one. And it would be my number one tote bag and I would carry it always. Loeffler Randall open perforated leather vachetta tote, $395.

madewell riviera tote

Except maybe when I need a little something more solid. And festive. Then I might grab this little number form Madewell. Perfect for July 4 and Bastille Day, if nothing else… Riviera tote, $78.

electric feathers tote

But then again, there is this Electric Feathers tote that I have been lusting after for years. Maybe this is the proper reward for me getting rid of so much excess in the tote bag department…


Yesterday, at some point…


This was taken last weekend, which is not technically yesterday, but I wanted to make it a part of this series and I have fallen horribly behind in posting these. My apologies. It’s a busy time.

And it’s actually the busy-ness of this time that this image is all about…

Last weekend, I was feeling horribly overwhelmed by the end-of-the-school-year crush, by various work (aka trying-to-get-work) issues, by family commitments, by the piles of paper and other personal debris that still dominate my office, by the onset of high temperatures and what that means for my MS related symptoms… I could go on and on. It was all I could do not to jump back into bed, pull the covers over my head, and wait for some brighter future to make itself known.

And then my wise husband suggested that I take a drive over to a nearby farm and buy some raw milk (which is one of my all-time favorite foods, to be honest.) I claimed not to have the time. He begged to differ. I listened to him, and when I arrived at the farm, was hugged by the farmer who I haven’t seen all winter, and walked to the barn to grab a gallon of fresh milky deliciousness, I realized that everything was going to be ok.

And this was exactly what I was looking at when I had that realization.

Yesterday, at some point is a series of photographs that describe a moment I experienced during the previous day. The posts are meant to be stand alone images, though at times I can’t control myself, and I end up expanding the caption into a more lengthy bit of text. Hopefully the extra information is useful, or at least interesting. If not, feel free to ignore it.

Monday, Monday (on Tuesday)– or more links to help us procrastinate

linerty vans

Might these be my new summer kicks?

I just spent about 10 minutes staring blankly at this screen, with absolutely no idea what to write about. So I figured I’d get inspired by reading what these 13 famous writers have to say about overcoming writer’s block.

I have read those wise and inspirational words, but I still don’t really want to get started. Perhaps I check out a few of the sites on Buzzfeed’s list of 21 Borderline Genius Websites To Productively Procrastinate Everything. This should keep me busy for awhile…

Or maybe all the articles are true and meditation is the answer. But what type to try? Perhaps I can continue to avoid getting this entry up by spending all sorts of time exploring the TM website

Perhaps all of this brain sluggishness is coming from a lack of exercise in my life. Perhaps one of these 7 minute work-out apps is the answer…

But then again, maybe the doctor is actually ordering me to go to the movies (fat chance, but whatever.) Flavorwire has a nice round-up of this Summer 2015 movies that might not totally suck.

Or I could just stay home and listen to NPR’s Note To Self episode about how reading on screens is different from reading book. Duh.

And then there is always shopping– the ultimate procrastination. But how can I resist checking out this round-up of floral kicks on Girls Of Certain Age?

Father’s Day is around the corner (again!) so here are a few ideas to get the wheels turning…

cord storage on OKL

Because there is no reason not to give him the gift of organization along with a lovely object made out of leather? Leather cordito cord wrap, $39.

photo courtesy of Fodd52

photo courtesy Food52.com

Because it’s always good to upgrade to the Japanese version of just about anything. Contemporary Japanese shears, $58.

Photo courtesy of penaddict.com

Same thing goes for this pencil holder. Midori brass bullet pencil holder, $21.

Photo courtesy of handeyesupply.com

Photo courtesy of handeyesupply.com

Because even if he has everything, he probably does not have super stylish and larger-than-life paperclips. Areaware oversized paper clips, $10.

ceramics bible

Photo courtesy of handeyesupply.com

Because for some reason, my husband is suddenly really into ceramics and stops to carefully examine all pots, bowls and mugs he encounters. And as I always say, embrace the obsession before it strangles you. The Ceramics Bible, $40.


Because who doesn’t want a little hot sauce with them at all times? Siracha2go keychain, $5.99.

oak street boots

Photo courtesy oakstreetbootmakers.com.

If you know his size, you should get him a pair of these boots. And if you can’t buy then yourself, you can at least point him in the right direction by telling him about Oak Street Bootmakers. Natural trench boots, $426.