Saturday, October 18, 2014

Worthwhile reads and lovely things

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Welcome to my new readers and to those of you returning to this space. Thanks for joining me! I can't believe I haven't done one of these round ups of lovely things since August. Long overdue! So, lets get to the good stuff!

Here are this week's worthwhile reads and lovely things ...

It has been a hot apple cider and popcorn kind of Autumn so far.

Find of the week: So, it turns out I actually DO like turnips. Just fancy, high maintenance turnips.
(I can just imagine what my grandpa John, whom I have heard used to eat raw turnips like apples, would think about this.)

Books: I've finished quite a few books lately, in part thanks to our trip. These aren't heavy literary tomes, but I've enjoyed this vacation reading.
  • Letters to My Wife Very sweet, touching weekend read.
  • Me Before You I had heard so much about this book but I think I ended up liking the *idea* of the book more than I liked the actual book. Parts touched me deeply, parts fell flat and there were a few places I skimmed.
  • The Housewife Assassin series Sort of Burn Notice meets Hints From Heloise meets Desperate Housewives. Sex, language, and violence so it might not be for everyone, but I'm finding them a fun series to read so far. Potato chip reading.

Blogs: I really laughed at Sexy Halloween Costumes for Moms (it's not what you're thinking). It's heavy with innuendo, so don't read this one with your preschooler in your lap and your tween looking over your shoulder, okay?

Podcasts: I missed a few episodes of the Knitmore Girls, so I have been catching up both on the podcast and on my big basket of knitting. Jasmin and Gigi have such friendly voices, know a good deal about knitting and spinning and quilting and sewing, and it is with good reason this has been one of my favorite podcasts for many years now.

Pinterest: I love these printable spooky letters that I found on Pinterest from Tator Tots and Jello. I printed some out and then glued them to orange construction paper and we did a little decorating this week.

Also, if you follow me on Pinterest you might have noticed that I've become a little bit obsessed with Bullet Journals. Perfect for a list lover like me! I let you know what I end up thinking of this technique but so far I'm really liking it and feel like it's helping me.

YouTube: I haven't found myself viewing much youTube this week, but I did get a press release that Dreamworks is going to launch Halloween related videos this upcoming week on their channel. From the press release:

"Looking for a little more hocus pocus this Halloween? DreamWorksTV, a family-friendly YouTube channel, will be launching two weeks of special Halloween programming beginning October 19th.  

Kids and families alike can countdown with the following shorts that are bound to spook your socks off:

  • Original DreamWorks characters Shrek and Puss in Boots vlog (video blog) about their Halloween fears
  • Eerie retro toons like Casper the Friendly Ghost and Fat Albert rise again to show how Halloween is really done
  • Thrilling yet funny original animations like Fifi: Cat Therapist, Gorillaville and How To Do Everything with Garrick and Marvin shock with a Halloween surprise
  • Live-action dream grasping shorts where kids narrate their audience through their chilling nightmares on Draw My Dream"

Music: it's been mostly podcasts and audiobooks for this mama lately. I think I'm in the mood for some new music. Any recommendations, friends?

Ravelry and Knitting: isn't this little fox adorable? The page says the pattern is sold out, but I'm stalking it hoping it will become available again soon. So cute! I need this in my life.

Simon the Sheep, our new friend at Piney Acres Farm.
::: And that's what I found worthwhile and lovely this week.  How about you? :::

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Want to keep up with me?  You can follow me here:
Just joining me? Welcome! You can get to know me a little better here. Over there on my blog's sidebar I've got a sort of playlist of all of the things I write about here.  You're welcome to pull up a chair and stay a while.  The love songs are my favorite. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Frasier Craning: Season 1, Episode 3 "Dinner at Eight"

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Don't know what Frasier Craning is? Well, of course you don't! We dreamed it up. Basically, it is a pop culture homeschool project that Jillian (seventh grade) and I thought of one afternoon this summer when we were looking for a fun long-term project to do together. We made a Frasier Craning page to organize this project here.

We're blogging our notes about the show, any recipes we try, things we learn, and facts that interest us. So, here we go, our third Frasier Craning episode!
Season 1, Episode 3 "Dinner at Eight"
"Frasier and Niles decide to invite their father Martin out for an evening of fine dining at a swanky Seattle restaurant."

"Yes! A food one!" - Kara
"Swanky." - Jillian

We liked how the lights came on in the windows of the building during the intro of this episode.

The scenes ...

Shhh! They're here.
The caller is Pam - having family problems with her in-laws and is calling in to the radio show while hiding from them. "I wonder if this is Debra Barone using a fake name to call in." - Kara

"*gasp* This is the one where he meets her!" - Jillian, on Daphne and Niles meeting for the first time.

Q: Niles says he is an anglophile. What is an anglophile?
A: An admirer of English people and culture. (source)
They mention the 1812 Overture and chuckle about how the young think it's a great piece of classical music. We found a YouTube video of the Moskow Radio Symphony Orchestra performing it here:


Le Cigare Volant - the restaurant Frasier and Niles want to take Martin to.
Q: Is this a real restaurant? What does the name mean?
A: We found a wine and a closed restaurant in our online searching. The name is French and we think it means something along the lines of the flying cigar. (source)

"You're forgetting the cachet my name carries."
Q: What does cachet mean?
A: Frasier is using it here to mean prestige. (source)

"Merci. A bientot!"
Q: This is French. What does it mean?
A: Thank you. See you later. (source)

Honey, Don't.
She makes excuses not to go to dinner, making this the first non-appearance of Maris Crane.

"That's such an interesting writing technique to have a reoccurring character that we never see." - Kara

"From Mrs. Wollowitz on Big Bang Theory to that neighbor guy on the Tim Allen show (Home Improvement). Or Miss Bellum on the Power Puff Girls." - Jillian

 Dinner at Eight.
Niles picks up a treat "for dad" (it's really to impress Daphne) of Devonshire clotted cream.
Q: What is Devonshire clotted cream?
A: The Kitchn has an article on the difference between clotted cream and Devonshire clotted cream, plus some neat facts about the different kinds and a link to a DIY recipe. We chose to purchase some and give it a try on scones in the manner The Kitchn described as being common in Devon - cream first, then jam. 

We made Cranberry Scones from Cafe Nervosa: the Connoisseur's Cookbook and purchased Devonshire Clotted Cream from World Market.  Our verdict? "It was like butter, fancy British butter." - Jillian 
Scones are going to become a regular part of our routine now. Delicious!

"Frasier and Niles are going to drink sherry.  They have an obsession with this and I don't think I've ever had it except for occasionally using cooking sherry." - Kara

On Daphne's psychic ability and her prediction Niles is recovering from an illness:
"Niles, you've never had colitis a day in your life." - Frasier
"I know, but I couldn't bear to disappoint her." - Niles
Q: What is colitis?
A: An inflammation of the lining of the colon causing abdominal pain and diarrhea with or without blood. 
"Oh, wonderful." - Jillian
Martin takes Frasier and Niles to a real working sawmill that has been turned into a restaurant. 

The Timber Mill doesn't allow ties and Niles is upset when the waitress cuts his Hugo Boss tie. 

Niles' drink order: Stoli on the rocks with 2 pearl onions
Frasier's drink order: (the same)
Martin's drink order: a Ballentine

"a petite filet Mignon, very lean" - what Frasier and Niles are hoping to order. Martin orders them steaks off of the meat cart instead.

They have Mud Pie for dessert.
"We should make that. This project doesn't all have to be frou frou food." - Kara

So, of course we had to try Mud Pie. We used a recipe from Kraft, right down to the instant chocolate pudding, which we think is about as far from fancy food as you can get.

It was delicious!

This scene, and Martin's speech about how the boys' mother never made people feel as if their taste was inferior because she had good manners and a kind heart, gives "...some good lessons about manners and snobbishness and picky eating."- Kara 

"This series is a good lesson on not being a jerk." - Jillian


And there you have it. Our third Frasier Craning post. We're learning some interesting things with this project and it is giving us a fun excuse to try out some new food, too. (Always a nice bonus for a homeschool project).

What do you think of this project so far?

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Want to keep up with me?  You can follow me here:
Just joining me? Welcome! You can get to know me a little better here. Over there on my blog's sidebar I've got a sort of playlist of all of the things I write about here.  You're welcome to pull up a chair and stay a while.  The love songs are my favorite.