This is something we’ve been wanting to do for years – dyeing Easter eggs using vegetables and spices. After seeing how beautiful my friend Jen Causey’s eggs turned out, we planned our yearly egg dyeing activity over the weekend. Here’s the basic method and recipe that we used for our four colors:
Blue: Simmer 4 cups of water with 1 small red cabbage (roughly chopped) for 15 minutes.
Red: Simmer 4 cups of water with 2 medium red beets (grated) for 15 minutes.
Yellow: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and stir in 1/4 cup turmeric. Boil for 1 more minute.
Brown: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil with 1 cup ground coffee, and simmer for 10 minutes.
When each of the mixtures have cooled down, mix in 1/4 cup white vinegar and strain each of the colors into cups for dyeing. We left the eggs in the color baths overnight as per Jen’s suggestion. Stay tuned tomorrow to see how they turned out…
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Last night I came home from working the table all day at the Brooklyn Flea and collapsed on the couch and pretty much went to sleep right then and there. I hadn’t gone to the bathroom or eaten anything all day, not even a coffee(!) because I didn’t want to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes which is what happens when I drink coffee on an empty stomach. I have no explanation for not eating except that I was sandwiched in between the donut people and the pork belly people all day, so I don’t know, I guess I wasn’t feeling it because I was smelling food all day. I suddenly had the chills when I got home and was convinced that I was getting sick so I slept. I woke up past midnight and dragged myself to bed, but couldn’t fall back asleep till hours later of course. 1:45am, 2:30, 3:15. When I woke up in the morning I felt ok.
So I vacuumed. And cleaned. And dusted. And did laundry. And put things away. And cut snowflakes with the girls. And gave Mia a piano lesson.
Just normal things. It felt good. Almost like I woke up and all that other stuff from the previous weeks never happened. It’s sort of like pregnancy and child birth, you know? I think we’re programmed to forget the pain so that we’ll do it all over again.
My work for the business is pretty much done. I have some gift boxes to assemble this week, but not hundreds. Mark’s still in the trenches but it’s manageable, like a normal workload week, not stressful, crazy time orders pumped up on steroids (so far!). By Saturday night he was cooking dinner again for the girls when I got home, playing that game of cards that Claudine had wanted to play and reading them a bedtime story. He was back.
I read through last year’s December posts this afternoon out of curiosity while I drank my coffee this afternoon after all the cleaning was done. Even though I remembered just how crazy last holiday season was (with the added stress of big work deadlines that I thankfully didn’t have this this year), I was surprised at how lengthy some of the posts were…and I was even funny in some of them! But this holiday…I don’t know…kind of sucked the life out of us. Some sobering realities. I’ll share soon.
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I’m not a particularly crafty person for someone who designs and has to be creative for a living. Who knows…maybe that’s why. I sort of admire those moms who totally get their craft on and embark on huge art projects with their kids, but I’m not that mom. It kind of sucks for my kids since they’re all about the craft, but one thing I do like to do is cut out paper snowflakes every year. This year we made them out of the paper scraps that we use for our deluxe gift boxes. I’ve been saving these strips of paper without knowing what to do with them, but it’s perfect for snowflakes and this year’s batch might be my favorite yet. Mia totally got the hang of it this year and had the best idea to cut hearts into them (can you see them in the second to last snowflake above?). Oh, and yeah, I do realize that snowflakes have 6 points and mine have 8. But whatever.
So you know how you come across a song that you haven’t heard in awhile and it brings you back in time? It’s been happening to me a lot lately. I found an old Old Dinosaur Jr. CD that fell behind the stereo the other day. I hadn’t thought about them in years, but I put Green Mind in the CD player and I was back in 1991. I was staying at the brother of a friend’s house in Amherst Massachusetts and it was on heavy rotation. I think it might have even been a tape (yes kids, tape, as in cassette player). It was Spring, maybe April, and the weather was nice. This is what I associate Green Mind with – blue skies in Amherst. Other than that, I don’t remember why or what I did in Amherst or how I got there. The only thing I really remember is hitchhiking back to New York with that friend, listening to that tape. We caught a ride with a guy who drove a red sports car and he dropped us off in the Bronx on the very last subway stop on the 2 line. We took the subway all the way down to Brooklyn.
A song that I had totally forgotten about came on Pandora the other day and I had to just stop what I was doing and listen. So “Muzzle” by the Smashing Pumpkins doesn’t illicit a specific memory, but something about that song just reminds me of being young in that youth anthem sort of way. The Pumpkins were HUGE in the 90s, do you remember? I was living in Portland when that album came out, but thinking about the band took me back to 1991 again when I wore down their first album, Gish, on my Walkman because I played the tape so much. I was staying in Ohio for a few months before I moved to Washington and it just reminds me of that time and specifically, for whatever reason, the maroon carpet in the University common lounge room in the town I was staying in. Funny how you associate random things to music. The Beastie Boys’ Hello Nasty will always remind me of soldering in the physical computing lab up on the 4th floor of the Tisch Building where I went to grad school at NYU.
And so…this is the music that’s been keeping me going these days. Lately it’s been all about 90s rock. It’s been comforting and familiar.
Speaking of the Smashing Pumpkins, do you know who’s still awesome? James Iha, that’s who. I think he was the first Asian American rock star to come on the mainstream radar. I mean there still aren’t a lot of them – a bunch of hapas out there (Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is half Korean) – but not back in the early 90s, no. And he’s back in A Perfect Circle who reunited, yay! Although I swear every band has reunited and is on tour. Sadly, it seems like the only way to make money as a musician these days. What are you guys listening to?
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I’m all Halloween’d out even before Halloween. This is what happens when Halloween lands on a Sunday. It’s non-stop Halloween and sugar and candy all weekend long. Saturday was back to back parties starting at 10:30 in the morning and going till 4:30 in the afternoon. That’s 6 HOURS of Halloween pumpkin painting, pizza eating, cookie decorating, ghost making, costume parading, and candy hoarding. And will you take a look at this cookie decorating party? My neighbor went all out. There were more kinds of frosting and sprinkles and candy here than I’ve ever seen on a single table. I think this is even out Martha-Stewarting Martha Stewart. Their whole house looked like Halloween. Aside from a few pumpkins here and there, we’ve got nothing at our house. It never really occurred to me to put up bats or pumpkin lights for the kids, duh. I mean look at those popcorn hands. Candy corn for the nails and popcorn stuffed into rubber latex gloves. Genius. Between this party and last week’s Alice’s tea party that the girls were invited to (which I will tell you all about later), the pressure is on for Claudine’s birthday week. I’m not usually one to fall for this kind of pressure, but damn. Suddenly I’m feeling a little bit inadequate.
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You want to know the best thing about living in the city with so many urban parks nearby? You can literally roll out of bed and bounce to events like this annual fall festival that happens every year. No brainer for a way to spend a pretty sunday afternoon. Hit up the farmer’s market at the end of the block and you’ve taken care of groceries for that night’s dinner plus apples for a pie. Who needs a back yard?
Ok, before you all start thinking we’re living the perfect urban life, I should say that the pony ride was a measly 1 lap around the grassy square, that bringing farm animals in for a temporary petting zoo feels a bit depressing for the animals, and we dealt with 1 ridiculously grumpy child for half the activities. Plus the playground is going to be torn up soon and in construction for 12-18 MONTHS as the second phase of the block long park renovation. We’ll be living next to a construction site for awhile. So, um, yeah.
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