Author Archives: charlesprogers
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Hehehe. That’s me tittering at a new, “spooky” show on Fox, just in time for Halloween. It’s called Sleepy Hollow, so that gives you a pretty good idea what it’s about. It has nothing to do with the movie, so no Johnny Depp, no Christina Ricci. It also has precious little to do with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. In this rather inventive spin on the story, Ichabod Crane beheaded a Hessian warrior in the Revolutionary war. But he was no normal human; he was Death, as in the Grim Reaper, one of the Four Riders of the Apocalypse. For some reason, their bloodlines become mixed and both are resurrected in 21st-century Sleepy Hollow, New York. Ichabod is surprisingly cool about the whole thing, though there are the usual required laughable moment as he discovers light bulbs, automatic windows…you get the gist. This show, after two episodes is overwhelmingly “meh”. That being said, it’s not unenjoyable for lovers of witches, magic, supernatural stuff. I’ll give it a couple more episodes and see if I start getting annoyed! Happy watching!
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
Beds are big business at hotels, so much so that many hotel chains have branded their own line of mattresses and bedding. Starwood’s Westin Hotels started the trend back in 1999, and a half a dozen other have followed suit, including: The Four Seasons, The W, Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, and Hilton. After all, the goal of any luxury hotel should be to sell you the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had — even if it’s back at your home.
If you’re looking to recreate a hotel sleeping experience at home, I’ve put together some of the essential components to help you create your own five-star bed at home.
- First, you need a Firm Mattress. The mattress is your first big decision that will affect your quality of sleep. I generally err on the side of more firm than soft when choosing a mattress, since you can always add additional elements to soften it up. You can’t, on the other hand, make a soft mattress feel firmer.
- Next, you’ll want to protect your mattress with a Felt Mattress Protector. This will protect the mattress from stains and spills, and add an additional layer of support.
- The biggest secret to making a five-star bed at home is the Featherbed. Think of this as a sort of a half-mattress that goes over the mattress protector but under the sheets. There are all sorts of options to choose from when selecting a featherbed, but you should generally go with something that is baffled and has a relatively high feather count.
- The Fitted Sheet is the first layer that your body will actually come into contact with, and it goes over the mattress, protector, and featherbed. You can usually buy the fitted sheets in a set with the flat sheet and pillowcases. When choosing sheets, go for something with a relatively high threat count made out of natural materials.
- The Flat Sheet is what you will sleep directly under, and will usually match the fitted sheet underneath.
- The final element of a luxury bed is the comforter. The type of comforter you choose depends mostly on your climate and personal preferences. Some people like to have both a lighter summer comforter and a heavier winter comforter to accommodate the change in temperature. You may also want to put another flat sheet or throw over the top of your comforter to complete the look — maybe even with a chocolate on top. Turn down service anyone?
So, next time you wake up at a hotel feeling like you just had the best night’s sleep of your life, take a minute to see exactly what elements went into making the bed. And with so many hotels selling their own brands of bedding collections, you can even recreate every detail in your own home down to the mattress itself.
Before we go, here’s an interesting fact of the day: Did you know that Charles P Rogers sold more beds to luxury hotels in its first 100 years of business than any other company? Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
It’s time for a new chapter book around the Locker house. Now my kid is five, and I couldn’t have been much older when The Chronicles of Narnia were read aloud to me, I figured it was time to carry on the tradition. So far, he seems to be really enjoying it. As a child with a (sometimes overwhelmingly) powerful imagination, the idea of magical worlds through a normal-seeming door is very appealing to him. We just got through the chapter which I remember best from reading this as a kid: Turkish Delight. I have has this treat once, years after reading the story and I must say that my imaginary Turkish Delight was much better than the real stuff. Naturally, I thought there would be some kind of turkey involved. But there is not. It’s like nougat.
So, we are only just beginning to unfold the mysteries of Narnia. We have yet to discover talking beavers, creatures turned to stone. We’ve seen a witch and a wardrobe but the lion has yet to be seen! I’m excited to share this with another generation. I’m delighted that he is old enough to watch a whole marvelous fantasy world unfurl before his wondering eyes. For me, fall is all about wonder and magic and fantasy. What a wonderful introduction.
Post by Kyle St. Romain.
William Lawrence Murphy is the man credited with the first Murphy bed design. After all, it is called a Murphy bed. As the story goes, he developed the fold away bed as a way to skirt social standards in the early 1900s. Back then, women were forbidden from entering a man’s bedroom. With a Murphy bed, however, the same space that would otherwise be used as a bedroom was easily transformed into something more socially appropriate, like a sitting parlor. The rest is history.
Today, Murphy beds are epitome of multitasking, something valued highly in today’s ever-changing world. Don’t have enough space to dedicate to a bedroom, but often host out of town guests? A Murphy bed is a great way to maintain the functionality of your home office or living space, while giving you the flexibility to comfortably accommodate the occasional sleepover guests. Murphy beds help you make the most out of your living space without sacrificing comfort or style.
I’ve always had a negative feeling associated with Murphy beds, like: “Why can’t you just get a regular bed?” However, Murphy bed design has come a long way, and there is a plethora of options to chose from. Today’s innovative Murphy bed designs are able to accommodate almost any style home décor or floor plan. Did you know they make horizontal Murphy beds? What about Murphy beds for pets? Yes, they make those too.
A lot of neat details I see in some of the higher end looking rooms that feature a Murphy bed is attention to detail as to where everything goes both when the Murphy bed is stowed up, and when it’s folded down. Instead of having to push furniture out of the way when you fold out your Murphy bed, the more cleverly designed living spaces have an almost hidden built in space waiting to accept whatever piece of furniture needs to be moved. Everything has a place.
As always, the best way to see just how cool some of these Murphy bed rooms are you should check out the Murphy Bed gallery on Houzz. Some of them are really quite impressive.
Post by Alison Hein.
Sometimes I feel like Mother Hubbard. It’s not that my cupboards are bare, exactly. Just that I find myself with an odd assortment of ingredients. Take the other day, for example. I was looking for the makings of a nice breakfast. We had no bread, milk, or bacon, and were down to one egg. The best looking thing I could find in my fridge was a handful of bright green scallions, left over from my last post, Succotash Hash.
That got me thinking about the delicious roasted scallions I enjoyed recently at my favorite Japanese restaurant,Yamagata. Yama-san, the proprietor, kindly shared the recipe with me: “Broil the scallions. Put them in 1-1-1 sauce, and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.” What, you might ask, is 1-1-1 sauce? It’s equal parts of what some might call the Japanese trinity – sake, soy sauce, and the sweet rice vinegar, mirin.
Now, I’m thinking about scallions, thinking about 1-1-1 sauce, and thinking about my one egg. As it happens, I always have a store of organic red miso in my freezer, so now I’m thinking about how to make Asian-style scallion pancakes.
Perhaps not traditional, but scrumptious nonetheless. The scallions lose their sharp edge in a quick sauté, and the 1-1-1 sauce adds a sweet mellow note to a breakfast in bed that even Mother Hubbard would enjoy.
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon miso
1 – 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Wash and trim scallions. Cut into 2-inch lengths and set aside.
Mix together flour and salt in large bowl. Whisk in water, egg and miso mixing until batter is thick and smooth. Let batter rest a few minutes before cooking.
For each pancake, heat about 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a heavy 6-inch pan over medium heat. Add one quarter of the scallions, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened but not cooked through. Add one quarter of batter to the pan, swirling to cover bottom. Cook pancake 1 to 2 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned, flipping once. Keep warm while cooking remaining pancakes, monitoring heat and adding oil as necessary.
Serve warm with 1-1-1 Sauce.
Makes 4 pancakes.
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sake
Mix soy sauce, mirin and sake together. Serve at room temperature.