Tag Archives: bedroom
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Doomsday Preppers National Geographic Channel
I’m not a fan of most reality television shows; usually there is too much petty interpersonal drama, too much focus on people who seem to be terrible human beings. There are a couple exceptions to this rule, however. One of which has been survival shows like Dual Survival which offers a look at survival skills put to the test in a variety of environments. This is sort of the flip side of that coin.
Doomsday Preppers looks into the lives of people who are very serious in their attempts to prepare for the end of days. It’s a fascinating show. There seem to be two kinds of preppers: those who want to have the skills and resources to survive off the grid for extended periods of times and those who are mostly arming themselves for the inevitable marauders coming for their supplies (or, as I see it, people in need of help). I think some of these people have been watching too much Walking Dead. On the other hand, it’s pretty reasonable to want to be prepared for a major natural disaster. I’m going to stop short of creating homemade explosives to keep out unwanted people.
Each featured individual or family has a different predicted end of times, from massive climate change to global pandemics, to governmental collapse, which inspires them to prepare. Each also has a unique focus to their skill set, from raising massive amounts of rabbits to sophisticated communication systems. Very interesting watching.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Pictures by Oliver Jeffers.
One of the best things about the new school year is that means new surprise books on library day. Last year I learned just how many different Lego and Star Wars-themed easy readers were being cranked out by unscrupulous children’s publishers. Goodness knows what this new year will bring, though I must say it’s off to an auspicious start. My boy was very excited to show off his new library book, and will good reason. The Day the Crayons Quit is a highly entertaining and original story.
When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he finds instead a series of letters to him, each penned—er, crayoned—by a different color. Yellow and orange write contradictory letters arguing over which is the REAL color of the sun. Pink feels snubbed because Duncan thinks it’s a “girl” color. Peach is mortified because Duncan peeled all his paper off and now Peach is naked! You can bet that gets a lot of laughs in our home!
I am not familiar with Drew Daywalt but Oliver Jeffers is well-known and well-loved in our home. Great book for kids 4-6.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Hooray for 80’s classic film! Last weekend the city of Portland celebrated its annual Rose City Comic Con. Packed with second-string celebrity guests (and a couple big names) booths of artists and toy vendors, and hundreds of local comic and sci-fi geeks rocking some amazing outfits, Comic Con has become an annual tradition in my family. Only my son dresses up, sometimes as The Doctor, other times as a Jedi. This year one of the special guests was Sean Astin, known mostly for his role as Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But this is Oregon, a stone’s throw from Astoria, whose greatest attraction is the famous Goonies house. Before everything was all about Portland, those rare appearances in film gave us great civic pride. And though Kindergarten Cop was also shot in Astoria, the Goonies house has won the hearts of Oregonians for years. So, in celebration of Sean Astin’s visit to the Rose City, Comic Con featured a screening of The Goonies with Sean Astin as the guest of honor.
I’m not going to bore you with the whole plot of the movie. If you haven’t seen it before, you probably ought to. After a day filled with comic and fantasy fun, we thought we’d top off the evening with a private screening at home. It was my son’s first time watching it. And once he realized that Sloth was a nice guy, he really enjoyed it. How could you not? It’s got bad guys, adventurous kids, treasure maps, pirates, gold, a Feldman, and the SPOILER ALERT kids save the day and the Goonies house!
Seriously. I love that movie. I hadn’t seen it in years and it stands the test of time so much better than Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Now that fall has officially arrived, your bed might need some sprucing up for the change of season. Perhaps you’re considering an alternate coverlet or shams, a fresh set of sheets, or even a brand new mattress. Well, even if you’re on a budget, you can give your bed a fresh look without breaking the bank. You might try making your bed in a different way, and dressing it up in another fashion. Here are four different ways to dress a bed.
Bedding at the foot
A relaxed fold at the foot of the bed is one way to dress a coverlet or comforter. This one happens to be fairly unstructured, but you could certainly tight it up a bit depending on the thickness of your covering. Doesn’t this bed make you want to climb in for a nap?
A tucked band
Use a contrasting piece of fabric for a tucked band like this white Matelassé. Although neutral, 12 inches or so of white coordinates well with the throw pillows. Use a solid, or if you’re daring, a pattern. A floral, paisley, or abstract would be a great way to introduce color and interest on an otherwise solid, pattern-free bed. The key is to tuck smoothly and tightly. And you can experiment with different materials for the band; perhaps keep one for each season.
Tucked all around
You’ll need crisply pressed sheets for this bed dressing. Fold your flat sheet down over top of the covering, which could be a coverlet or blanket. Tuck all edges in and make a nifty fold in the corners. This clean style works best with an upholstered headboard and bed frame.
Covered in full
Not exactly feeling adventurous in the bed-making department? That’s okay! You can still have a stylish bed and keep it simple. With a fluffy comforter like this, the best way is to pull the covering to the top of the bed and under the pillows. This design is quick and painless for those of you with a tight schedule and little time to make the bed each day. And, the matching sham, pillows, and bright orange throw complete the look. See. It’s not that tough making a bed, after all.
Remember, there are no rules when it comes to making your bed, except to do it each day. And if none of the above suggestions suit, get creative and design one of your own.
What’s your favorite way to dress a bed?
Post by Alison Hein.
Scotland’s recent historic vote for independence has got me thinking a lot about this lovely place, its people and its traditions.
The Scots are an ingenious people. Did you know that marmalade, raincoats, tarmac, pneumatic tires, adhesive stamps, penicillin, the bicycle, and the telephone were all invented by Scottish people? I learned this from one of my well-worn and well-loved linen dishcloths gifted to me by my dear friend Anne after a visit to her native homeland many years ago. Anne brought me a second linen at that time, too – this one emblazoned with traditional Scottish recipes: haggis and clootie; cock-a-leekie soup, scones and bridies; and of course, shortbread.
Also ingenious in their simplicity, Scottish recipes require little in the way of provisions, and offer much in the way of flavor. My dishcloth shortbread recipe calls for only three ingredients – flour, sugar, and butter. I’ve modified this approach over the years, using a light brown sugar for depth and a smooth, subtle splash of vanilla for mellowing. Remember, shortbread is all about the butter, so be sure to use a high quality variety when you try this recipe. You must cut the cookies immediately after removing them from the oven, while the dough is still soft. Then, allow them to cool in the pan for a bit so they won’t crumble.
Scotland’s history is also rich with music and verse, like this lovely little snippet from the song Bonnie Scotland, I Adore Thee:
Bonnie Scotland, land of grandeur,
Where the sparkling streams meander,
Here will I delight to wander,
Bonnie, Bonnie Scotland.
So, make a quick batch of shortbread, brew some thick, dark tea the way the Scots do, hum along, and surrender – to a bonnie, Scottish breakfast in bed.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and mix well. Add flour gradually until a thick, crumbly dough has formed. Knead lightly until dough sticks together in a ball, then press evenly into a 9×9-inch pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned, but not crisp. Immediately cut dough into 3×1-inch strips and prick tops with a fork or toothpick. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack until firm. Store in waxed paper-lined tin.
Makes 27 cookies.