Friday finds: Tiny thermometer (plus dinner)

If you’ve been following Friday Finds for the past few weeks since it’s inception, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that this Friday’s treasure is tiny, metal and old.

What I’ve got for you today is a very small (see my fingers for scale) old mercury thermometer reading accurately at about 73 degrees. It’s got gorgeous detail for something so small, with engraved numbers and a scalloped motif around the edge.  It’s also got an incredibly pleasingly round bulb full of mercury (!) which is somehow extremely satisfying to me.

Meanwhile, Shane made a delicious and very lemony pasta tonight from Cook’s Illustrated. It doesn’t look like much but it was a creamy, lemony, shalloty delight.

A perfect meal perhaps

This is kind of the perfect meal, if you ask me. Pasta with perfectly spicy, olivey, capery puttanesca sauce (no tuna) and tangy, lemony, roasted broccoli.

Truth be told, this picture is from a week ago, but I felt like I owed you something since I’ve been too busy, tired, working and generally pre-Christmas-swamped to post lately.


Friday finds: Bank bank

I missed Friday Finds last week because I was too busy getting ready for Sid’s 4th birthday party. Worry not, this week I’ve got a real gem to share with you.

It’s a bank shaped like a bank. A little bank bank!

It’s made of some kind of really heavy painted metal and has pretty much all the fantastic detail. 4 year old finger on left for scale.

4th Birthday!

I realized as I prepared with increasing excitement for Sid’s 4th birthday party that this would be the first party I’d had in my own home since Rose’s Rainbow Thomas Buzz Lightyear 4th birthday party. That was 6 years ago, way back before this blog even existed but you can see some pics here on Apartment Therapy.

It was such a familiar exercise, decorating with paper streamers and sparkly letters, setting up the bar, digging out the serving dishes and tchotchkes I haven’t used in 3 1/2 years. The party was at 11am so we served bagels from Kupels, with most of the trimmings, some fruit, coffee and juice (also mimosas which nobody was in the mood for).

Sid had to take a break in his bed, about 45 minutes into the party because it was “too noisy and messy”. Gotta love a guy who knows his limitations. After 15 minutes or so under the covers, he said he felt better and we served the cake. His birthday request was that people not sing, he wanted to sing the song himself, which he did very sweetly and quietly before blowing out his candles.

No matter how banany things are in life, I will always be able to find the time to make the cake of my kid’s dreams. In this case, a purple and blue vanilla cake. I used Martha Stewart’s white cake recipe from her Baking Handbook to get a pure purple cake (a yellow cake would have muddied the color), and a classic butter and confectioner’s sugar icing, tinted blue.

We don’t have a baby anymore. I’ll stop there before things get messy.

Love you Sid!


Knee replacement update: this is hard

On Monday I was going to write a post entitled “We’re Doing Fine!” I was feeling optimistic coming out of a 4 day weekend in which I’d spent every free moment preparing for the week ahead. I even bought gas for the car when the yellow light came on!

But by the end of the day on Monday, there wasn’t enough time to post if I also wanted to drink a glass of wine while watching an episode of Insecure. That’s my carrot on a stick these days, if I get everything done by 10pm, that’s how I reward myself. 

By everything done I don’t mean folding all of the laundry, which is clean but hasn’t been put away in 3 weeks. I also don’t mean going out to the recycle bin in the cold or bathing the kids. Just the bare basics, dinner, clean up, breakfasts, lunches, getting the kids to school fully clothed, and to bed with teeth brushed. Showering.

Tuesday was not so great, the kids gave me a hard time in the morning, and the evening. Exhaustion was beginning to set in from going nonstop. And when I woke up this morning I thought: Oh god please help me because it’s only Wednesday

By 7:00am I was in tears. 

I once read this article by a single mom talking about how offensive it is to her when people use the phrase “Single Momming It” when their partner is away for the evening, or sick, or even gone for a few days or a week. I never used that phrase again. 

This is really hard, this knee replacement business. Normally, Shane cooks dinner, cleans up, folds laundry, buys gas and toilet paper, does the grocery shopping, helps with the kids, takes care of the car, lifts the heavy things, changes batteries, and that’s just the start. He was there when I gave birth, he was there for those newborn days. He’s still here, even though he can only sort-of walk.

And it’s exactly because he’s here—in the other room or on the couch or doing PT or whatever—that no matter how hard this feels right now, I’m sure it’s nothing compared to being a single mom. And I appreciate my partner all the more.

I wrote this post on the train.

P.S. My amazing brother-in-law brought us Franke Pepe’s.

Thanksgiving latergram

It’s a sign of a good time when you forget to take pictures. There are so friggin’ many things I have to be thankful for always, but in particular this year:

Family near who welcome us with open arms when we’re not well enough to visit family far. And then send us home with ALL the food.

Family far, whom we miss.


A career finally, and those who got me here.

Knee replacement, which eats turds, frankly, but isn’t cancer.

Gracious husband/patient.

Sister who babysits (and baby whispers)

Brothers-in-law on call, because I am too small.

Daughter, incomparable daughter, exceeding all my expectations.

Son, snuggles, comic relief.

Mom & Dad who gave us half their house because we were too unconventional and/or dense to find career paths in our 20s and 30s like normal people.

Mom & Dad who endured a year of construction hell so that we could have a home.


Thankful doesn’t even begin.

Friday finds: Captain Kangaroo and… tomato?

Today’s Friday Finds features a very old plastic Captain Kangaroo tumbler with googly eyes, and this lovely tomato(?) woman salt shaker with a sweet face and excellent cheeks.

Now that I think of it, she actually doesn’t really resemble a tomato at all, I’m not sure why I’ve always thought of her as one. Maybe she’s a turnip? Oh my god, what IS she?

In case you’ve been wondering where the dinner posts are, things have been the wee-est bit busy since Shane had his knee replaced 10 days ago. But tune in tomorrow for a Thanksgiving-ish post, if I can get my act together.

Friday finds: Elephant & chair

Things have been a wee bit hectic around here what with Shane getting his entire knee removed, and then replaced with a new prosthetic knee. But don’t despair, Friday Finds is here to brighten your evening with a little* old metal elephant on a crooked little metal chair.

*1 1/2 inch long, or so


Second to last supper

I kind of felt guilty about not cooking tonight. It’s the weekend, and I have the time, and I love to cook….  Then again, Shane is having his knee replaced on Monday, so I might as well take advantage of having him in the kitchen since it’s going to be all me for the next few months.

Yeah, I might as well sit by the fire with a glass of wine and enjoy having an able-bodied husband while I can.

Shane made one of his favorites, a recipe he got from my dad, Penne with Anchovies, Tomatoes & Garlic. My mom contributed a gorgeous green salad with corn, gem-shaped mini mozzarella & sunflower seeds.

And all I did was sit on my butt and then combine these two photos into one to make it fancy-like.

Friday Finds: marbles

Welcome to the very first Friday Finds post! Here’s some background on the Friday Finds feature, in which I show you, one week at a time, some of the cool old objects in my home that bring me joy. In other words, stuff that makes me happy besides food, family and friends.

Here’s a small collection of antique, vintage and vintage-ish marbles. You’ve got to love marbles with their cold roundness and ability to mesmerize. As a teenager, marbles got me hooked on collecting old stuff, a glorious habit that has stuck with me for life. Hooray!

I also have a soft spot for old glass jars, especially if they have lids.

Enjoy. Happy Friday!