I know I’ve said this before, but the baking business is all repetitive tasks. We’re getting ready to engage in some pretty hefty repetitive labor in quantities we haven’t seen before. Our busy holiday season came early this year and I’m prepared to hunker down. Between that and my freelance workload, I might not see the light of day for awhile. I’m lining up my Netflix cue right now. What I need is another gripping television series that I can marathon watch for days while zoning out on these repetitive tasks. Any suggestions?
Hard to believe, but we’re wrapping up the outdoor Flea season next weekend. We have just 2 more Saturdays in Fort Greene and Mark will be bringing hot chocolate both weekends (sold out at 1pm last Saturday, so come early if you’d like a hot cup). We’re going to try and bring a new flavor tomorrow. Looks like good weather too – not too cold like that sudden blast we had earlier in the week where it actually snowed for a bit. The Flea has been really good to us this year and we’ve had consistently great sale days so we’re sorry to see the season end (although Mark’s cold toes aren’t sorry that he won’t be standing outside for 9 hours). We’ll post our holiday market events soon!
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It’s coming, I can feel it…winter. The loss of light at the end of the day is still a shock and the darkness disorients us in time. I caved and turned on the heat for the first time this season over the weekend. We pile the thick throw blankets around us now when we sit on the couch and reach for our slippers when our feet leave the warmth of our beds.
On Sunday we got in the car and drove and drove just watching the leaves and all the colors pass outside the car window, making a note of how the trees thinned the further we drove East into Long Island. The sudden starkness of the bare branches felt jarring, like being thrust forward in time instead of being gently rolled into the next season, but when we turned around and drove back west towards the city, the trees filled out again and I thought, no…winter isn’t here quite yet.
The night before we watched a movie in a theater—Gravity in 3D. Spectacular, but also slightly nauseating, like experiencing second hand vertigo. I still walk away from movies thinking, how did they do this? How did someone imagine this and make it so real? Movie making is magic; I envy those who have the imagination and the creativity to make that magic happen for those of us wanting a sliver of escapism.
On Sunday night, we ate dinner with family to celebrate C’s week long birthday celebration. Our table at the restaurant was filled every inch with small plates like most Korean restaurants do, and we each ordered our own individual bowls of comfort food while sharing small communal dishes. When we parted with my parents, we talked briefly about Thanksgiving which would be the next time we would go home. It’s only 2 and a half weeks away. Isn’t it funny that I refer to my parents’ house as “home” when I have never lived there? But I guess home isn’t a place. It can be, but mostly it’s a feeling.
I spent the day today distracted and annoyed by little disturbances, but ultimately was knocked out of my little bubble every time I read the news. Such sad things happening in the world right now. Some random, some premeditated, some completely beyond our control. Yes, we are the lucky ones. I try not to lose sight of that.
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Are we at that point where we’re evaluating the year now that it’s November? My mind is certainly wandering that way. I think overall 2013 was a good year, though admittedly we have some of the most hectic weeks in the business still to come. I don’t feel like life, however, has necessarily progressed forward these past few years and this year was no different in that regard. It’s hard breaking out of a rut, isn’t it? Especially when there are so many moving parts that need to work together to make a household run smoothly. Sometimes it’s safer to coast on what you know. Sometimes there isn’t really any time to break the cycle, not when you have to constantly run to make life work.
I’m craving change, yet there is also this feeling like things are going relatively well right now so why upset the balance? Certainly, there are little changes that happen all the time, but I’m talking about that kind of change that makes you question if you’re crazy, that makes you feel scared and giddy at the same time, that makes sense one minute, but not the next.
But life keeps moving along, so much so that sometimes you don’t realize how much time has passed. Then suddenly…you are here. Here is not bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. It’s just confusing sometimes when pretty good can feel like not enough.
The biggest change around here are the girls. I find parenting this age tougher than when they were babies and toddlers. Not only are we nurturers and providers, but we are also now therapists, tutors, guidance counselors, mediators and personal assistants. Sometimes I find myself questioning my parenting skills; I think we all do one time or another. I worry that I’m not doing enough and other times I worry that I’m interfering too much. There have been tough times here lately on the family front, and this…this is what I need to keep reminding myself…that when I feel the pressure to do “more” with my life because it seems like everyone around me is on a fast track upwards, I need to remember that the girls need me now, more than ever.
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Where does all the time go?
I love this little girl so very much.
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I’m a bit late on everything this year, but I’m finally happy with the way the NYC calendar turned out and it’s available for sale now. Find it on our website and on Etsy.
Speaking of NYC, it’s election day and we’ll be getting a new mayor today. The democratic candidate who lives in our Brooklyn neighborhood actually, is most likely to win. I don’t know how any other New Yorkers feel, but I think it’s so strange that we’re getting a new mayor today. I’m pretty sure I felt that way when Bloomberg replaced Giuliani in 2002, but it’s not often we get a new mayor here in the city; there’s only been five in the last 40 years.
Say what you will about Bloomberg and some of his more crazy proposals like his big ounce soda ban (which I was amused by and secretly hoped would pass just because I was curious to see if it could), but dude worked for free for the last 12 years. I mean sure, he’s a multi billionaire and doesn’t need the salary, but you gotta have big love for this crazy city if you’re willing to do an often thankless job for basically nothing in return except for a legacy and a part in NYC history. I didn’t always agree with some of his policies but I did appreciate how he tried to raise the quality of life here in NY with smoking bans in public places, bike lanes, car free plazas, and recycling among other things (oh, I know he tried to get composting going here in the city this year, but that is a huge effort considering just how big the city is). Is NYC a better place to live than it was 15 or 20 years ago? There’s always going to be a debate on that one and with a city this big, you’ll always get polarized opinions from its citizens, but personally, despite or aside from the fact that the city has gotten more expensive to live in, I would say generally yes.
I think us old time New Yorkers like to romanticise the old days of New York and see the graffiti covered, gritty and seedy New York of our childhood with rose colored glasses of nostalgia. But that New York, despite how much we “pine” for the old days before gentrification took over and before the last two mayors turned NYC into a Disney-fied version of itself, was not really fun at all. It definitely had more character and flavor and we didn’t know anything else at the time, but hindsight makes us look back and see how far the city has come, for good (and bad).
Mayer Bloomberg, I will miss your calm inducing sweater ensembles during your televised press conferences to the people of NY during times of crises like the hurricane. It’ll be weird, for awhile, to hear someone else’s voice and see another figure up on that podium when we tune in for press conferences. It’s a new era.
PS. The New York Times did this fantastic interactive piece a few months ago on how Bloomberg reshaped the city over 12 years. It focuses only on the topology of the city, but very interesting nonetheless.
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An unusually warm evening on Halloween meant that the neighborhood was extra packed for trick or treating. Stoop parties spilled out on sidewalks and it seemed like there were more adults dressed in costume than I remember (Mark and I are lame; we did not). I think people were especially happy to see the Halloween parade back on after being canceled last year because of the hurricane. You know, I’m always surprised at just how crowded the neighborhood gets, but I didn’t realize until a few people told me recently that people come to our neighborhood specifically to trick or treat and party on Halloween. I don’t blame them—Halloween in our little corner of Brooklyn is especially good. I don’t know if it’s because the girls are older and their little posse of trick or treating friends got a little larger this year, but it was hard to keep track of them when there were a million other kids in costumes walking around on sugar highs. I seriously have NO idea why our kids are so restrained when it comes to candy. I think they had 4 pieces of candy all night, and not before asking if it was ok to have another piece. I swear we’re not like some anti-sugar dictators who lord over every ounce of sugar consumed by the kids. Sometimes I feel like I have less self control than they do when it comes to treats.
Cats were a big costume theme among the 4th grade girls this year, primarily because of the Warrior series of books
that so many them are obsessed with. They organize themselves into clans at recess and pretend that they’re warrior cats. OK. I guess the alternative could be worse, like dressing up as Miley Cyrus.
I’m just waiting for the day I can convince the girls to do a family theme and go as the Royal Tenenbaums. Mark is already on board so it’s the kids that need convincing, but one of the girls would have to go as Margot because I totally just want to wear a red track suit. The girls can’t leave our side though, otherwise Mark and I would just look like a married Korean couple in our matching track suits instead of the Tenebaums.
Now that Halloween is over, the reality of HolidayCookieMadness! is fast approaching. Everyone seems to have the holidays on their brains right now and you know November is just going to fly by. Here we go…our 6th holiday season. It’s going to be another wild ride.
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