Sunday, June 29, 2008

Here is something you probably don't know about me............



I am a BRIDGE AND TUNNEL PERSON! Does anyone out there know what that is???? Well I'll tell you right now with this little story.

Yesterday Emily and I decided to go into NYC for a lovely TAPAS luncheon. Tapas are small dishes of food - similar to appetizers. We ordered 3 Tapas dishes which made a meal! Oh we were so Continental!

OK back to the BRIDGE and TUNNEL story. After getting off the train in Manhattan on 34th street (who can afford to drive - tolls, parking, and hmmm MIGHT I SAY THE PRICE OF A GALLON OF GAS?)we headed on down to 19th street where the restaurant was located. On the way, we stopped into FISHES EDDY the NYC table wear store - a favorite haunt of ours! After browsing around but not buying anything - typical - we wandered into a store called FRESH. You ever hear of it? The store sells perfume and make-up -- aaah a Cahn girls' delight! We walk in and start browsing until the saleswoman comes up to us and starts her selling spiel. UGH! We started to listen and before you know it we both took turns in "her" make up chair. First question, "Where are you girls from?" First strike...she knows/thinks we're tourists but we say we're from New Jersey - HENCE THE TERM BRIDGE AND TUNNEL PEOPLE! Get it...we had to take either a bridge or tunnel to get into NYC - WE ARE NOT NATIVE NEW YORKERS (well at least - not any longer since we moved out of the city in 1991). So she proceeds to take off all our make up and describe in minutia all the essential ingredients in her products that she is lathering onto our faces. Now don't get me wrong - I know I'm not 21 any longer - boo hoo - but Emily isn't EVEN 21 years old! I HATE BEING LATHERED DOWN BY GREASY/OILY CREAMS! I liked my make up just the way it was and so did Emily! We must have had to be in that shop for a half hour or more! All we wanted was this really nice smelling bath salt scrub. And I kept saying to her ALL WE WANT IS THE BATH SALT SCRUB! The sales clerk kept saying well at least don't you want the mascara??? She was making me feel like a cheap skate with my now NON made up face with the oily products smeared all over it! Finally we pay and get the heck out of there! Em says to me, "I guess that's the last time we go into a shop that's quiet!" I SECOND THE MOTION ONE THOUSAND PERCENT!

So in honor of me being a SUBURBANITE here are some pictures of how much more my flower boxes have grown! I'M FROM NEW JERSEY AND PROUD OF IT!

Best,

Jane

Friday, June 27, 2008

The best landscaper in our town!




We have a terrible mixed up front lawn. Don't know why, but we just do. Don't even ask about our "lawn" from last summer. It broke my heart daily just going out the front door. After my heart was broken, I would turn red in the face from embarrassment! Lawn, we had no lawn, we had a pile of weeds. After the weeds, we just had dirt. It was not even soil, but plain old icky brown dirt! 3 doors down our neighbors have the BEST lawn in town. So after whining all summer long to my husband, Gary had had enough! He walked down to visit with the landscaper, Sam Boccingelli. Hey, when I see you at the Trade Shows, if you can pronounce his name correctly, I will give you a free tie! So back to my story. Gary brings Sam B. up to our yard - our hideously gross pile of weeds and dirt. Sam agrees last Fall to re-do our lawn. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sam B. is an old Italian gentleman who loves loves loves his work. He takes on NO NEW customers. How did my Gary work his magic on Sam B. I will never know. Just that I'm grateful because we finally have GREEN GRASS! OK I digress. So after we the brand new grass comes up last fall after following all of Sam's instructions to a tee, we decide that Sam must maintain our lawn. My mantra is...come July 15th the weeds will return. Sam B. came back in March and started to work his magic for spring 2008. But.........yup .......those darn weeds started coming! Luckily Sam B. took his landscaping degree at Rutgers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when and he knows how to take care of the various little buggers that keep coming up! I don't know HOW MANY TIMES so far this spring and early summer Sam B. has spread weed killer. Honestly! I can't count the number of times - I'm not kidding! So if it's Friday, Tuesday whatever day of the week, Sam B. is here working his landscaping magic. In return I feed him with my baked goods and a nice bottle of Poland Springs water. The following pictures are of Sam spreading weed killer.

Tomorrow I will post how much my window boxes have grown in the 4 weeks since planting. They are looking fan-damn-tastick!

Oh and on a side note -- ALL OUR FALL 2008 INVENTORY IS IN!!!!!!!!!!! The last of it arrived at 8:00am this morning. DO YOU NEED TIES? CALL ME! I HAVE TIES. AND NOT ONLY DO I HAVE TIES, I HAVE DROP DEAD GORGEOUS TIES! Oh paisleys, stripes, neats, and medallions - and we did a line of solids too! I CAN'T WAIT TO SHOW THE LINE AT ALL THE SHOWS! Wanna make an appt or just come by to see Gary or me! WE'LL BE WAITING!

Best,

Jane

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Our favorite dog!


Today in New Jersey was a beautiful bright summer day. All Gordie wanted to do was to be outside all day long.

Last night we had 2 families over for a BBQ - parents and kids. But for us now, kids are all teenagers and OLDER! I used my Weber kettle grill and BBQ'd chicken and steak. We had a ton of side dishes and the food and company were a lot of fun. I have to say it was real LOUD in our house last night! Gordie had fun too, fetching the tennis ball as long as it stayed light out. He was so tired and groggy last night - it was as if he wasn't himself. He couldn't wait until the guests left and he could finally climb into bed and get some shut eye! On July 29th he will turn 12 years old! WE ALL LOVER OUR GORDIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This morning my family left me - my daughter had camp orientation and I don't think I have to tell you what my boys were doing. I used the time to clean the house, knit and start dinner. Since Emily is home and I have another set of hands...we made our homemade ravioli. Oh it was heavenly! I made a really great dough and we used some leftovers from last night to make a filling that was to die for.

Tomorrow will be a lazy relaxing day because we just checked the weather and rain is on tap for the day.

I guess that's about it for now. I'm blogging now for close to a year! Wow time flies.

Best,

Jane

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cooking and Swatch Cards!







This morning I made my big vat of STONE CUT oatmeal for Gary's breakfast for the week. He likes this Irish oatmeal. Me, I don't eat oatmeal...can't stand the texture as well as the taste. I find it's similar to eating pebbles! Anyway, I must boil the water and then pour the oats into the water and stir stir stir for around 30 minutes. We mash a banana and sprinkle Splenda and cinnamon after it's all made. Me, I made homemade pancakes. I finally found a superb recipe on a food blog last night and couldn't wait to try it out this morning! I only ate 1 pancake since I'm trying to diet - Russ easily ate 8!

So after my BIG breakfast ... I tackled the next batch of swatches to make up the sample lines. Oh the colors and patterns are so Fall like. FALL LIKE -- TOMORROW IS THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to show you all our new styles and designs.

Hope you like my photos.

Best,

Jane

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Summer Solstice is

FILLING
READY FOR THE OVEN
COMING ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And in honor of this momentous occasion, the Cahn's are having a BBQ for their nearest and dearest. Just 2 families, but I just felt like writing that! So to be the HOSTEST with the MOSTEST I am starting my food prep today! On deck, my oh so velvety cheesecake with raspberry coulis on the side. Sounds heavenly -- right? The cream cheese and eggs are coming to room temp as I type. Pictures to follow -- ANYONE WANT THE RECIPE? Leave me a comment and I'll gladly respond.

On another note, just got a High School email saying SCHOOL WILL NEVER END THIS YEAR!!!!!!!!!!! No, that's what I just said. Honestly they are extending the school year 2 days because of the 2 days we were closed LAST week due to the storm and no power. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! Will Russ's Junior Year EVER END???????? Will Russell ever be able to lay on his floor and play video games, Rock Band, and all those other mind numbing things TEEN do? Stay tuned!

All righty then, a whole bunch of swatches came in for me to start taping down onto swatch cards. I've gotta get my head around this task!

More later!

Best,

Jane

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's been a bit stormy in New Jersey






these last few days, although nothing like in Iowa or the other states affected by all the rain. Right now it just got dark and a breeze is picking up so maybe we'll get a few rain drops later on. We'll have to see.

The last of the samples flew in this morning and are off to the sample maker. I'm still awaiting the 2nd group from the sample maker to finish up my end of the task. I really enjoy making the cards and deciding which pattern/style is my favorite and which design will sell out first. Can't wait to show you all our new line.

Today is Russ's last day of regular school and tomorrow start Finals. By the end of this week Junior Year will be completed! School is a marathon -- feels like it just won't end.

Em is still writing for her college newspaper - which is keeping her a bit busy. That and watching her Netflix of old Beverly Hills 90210 episodes. She keeps going on about the 1990's and the funny fashions!

That's all for now!

Just read up on how to make my hydrangea blooms turn blue...and I'm too late for this season. I need to make the soil more acidic and I should start doing it now for next year. Guess I'll be taking a ride to the nursery to have a look around!

Best,

Jane

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Russ is taking the ACT's



right now and we're all here on pins and needles. These standardized tests are killing us! We've tutored Russ -- and well we are waiting to hear how he thinks he did. If I remember correctly, the scores will be posted in about 3 weeks from now.

Then of course Russ must come home, change and drive drive drive for double header! I'm a bit undone as we're invited to friends house for a dinner party tonight and of course I'm going alone waiting for Gary to arrive. Ever since Emily started competitive swimming back in 1999 this is how it has been for me. WHATEVER!

Not in a Wegmans food shop mood this morning, so I'll put off the chore until tomorrow.

Time to head into Montclair to the Spice store and then to pick up Russell.

Best,

Jane

Friday, June 13, 2008

We survived the heat wave




but many of our friends and neighbors in the town next door STILL HAVE NO POWER since the big storm which it Tuesday evening! The storm lasted all of 20 minutes but it did terrible damage to many of the old old trees in our very old and established neighborhoods! Russ's school was closed for 2 days because the school lost power as well. Yup, he's still in school. Next week he has 2 full days and then begins final exams. The long marathon of a school year will be finished for the 2007-2008 school year!

We also went to Russ's baseball team dinner the other night. Russell was honored with a special award as well as being made Co-Captain for next year. He was very happy and we were very proud. Russ's team lost 11 Seniors this year, but it's not all that terrible of a situation. The coach spoke about each kid on all 3 teams, Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity. He kept saying that they were trying very hard to groom another catcher for the team because they know this is Russ's last year coming up and he really was a major part of their wins. Russ calls each and every game, even tells, or I should say signs to the coach when he thinks the pitcher should come out of the game.

On that note, I am posting pretty summer flowers blooming in my garden. I hope it will be a banner year for the hydrangeas because I also enjoy bringing them inside my house and drying them to put in arrangements for the winter.

The line is coming along nicely -- next week I will have more swatches in hand to make up more of the line of cards. The following week, the new 9 FOLD swatches will be here and we will be complete. From there we are awaiting the rest of our inventory and we'll be ready to ship even before all the Trade Shows start! This is very exciting!

Oh no...Russell is just calling and there is NO POWER in the High School! Sheesh, I didn't think they would open without power - but I guess they have no choice.

Best,

Jane

Monday, June 9, 2008

COULD THERE BE ANYTHING WORSE THAN A HEAT WAVE

OK first it was the crazy BAT flying in our house. Then the temps in NJ want SKY HIGH -- with today being by far the Hottest day yet. Russ has a miserable long day of school with not a speck of air conditioning. Yup, in the year 2008 NO AIR in our school district. So they sat in classrooms with the thermometers hovering around 98 degrees all day. I pick him up from school and he says he was so happy to come home to a cool house. He also said tomorrow will be a 1/2 day of school due to excessive heat. So we walk through the door, he's so happy to be in the air...AND WHAT HAPPENS AT 2:45PM? THE POWER GOES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seems there was a fire in a major power grid that knocked out power to over 70,000 homes and businesses. OMG OMG...THE CAHN'S WERE A WRECK. THE TEMPS STARTED GOING UP as well as our TEMPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were all miserable! We went out to diner that quickly became MOBBED with other hot hungry families. We ate and ran out of there -- too crazy. Came home and sulked until an hour later when the power returned! 4.5 hours of no power, but we survived! WE SURVIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have POWER! POWER TO THE PEOPLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I think I just lost it there a bit, but I am so happy to be cool and not ANGRY ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!

Best,

Jane

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Could it get any WORSE




than BATS in my house?! NOW THE DEER CAME BY LAST NIGHT AND ATE UP MY STUFF AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Listen, we do NOT live in a rural town. In fact, we are so close to 2 big cities that it amazes me we have to many VARMINTS running around!

My other spider plant got ravaged as well as my pansies that were at eye level to the darn hungry deer. Who knew deer ate pansies? WHATEVER! Learned my lesson completely. I'm done planting things that don't say DEER RESISTANT on the container. All those pretty "bell" flowers were marked deer resistant and they left those plants alone.

At least I was able to sleep last night and not have fear of the bat! I still can't get over a BAT WAS FLYING LIKE A NUT IN OUR HOUSE! AN ICKY CREEPY BAT!!!!!!!!!!! A HALLOWEEN ITEM!!!!!!!!!!!! A RABIES CARRYING ANIMAL WITH WINGS WAS HANGING UPSIDE DOWN IN MY BASEMENT FOR MR. ANIMAL CONTROL MAN TO FISH OUT! BLAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!

It's too hot in NJ. How does my Russell play baseball in this weather? Sheesh...and he's a catcher with all that equipment!

Happy Sunday to you all!

Jane

Saturday, June 7, 2008

YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS STORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Em was watching TV in 1 room while I was watching in another late this afternoon. You see it's HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT in NJ today...real HOT - HEAT WAVE HOT! It was early afternoon 4:00pm-ish when Emily screams out, "MOM THERE IS A BAT IN THE HOUSE IN IT'S FLYING IN MY ROOM!". I immediately jump up out of my chair and slam my door and start to scream to Emily on the 2nd floor! Oh it was frightening. I opened my door a PINCH and I see the bat fly up here! Then I really FREAKED -- FREEEEEEEEAKED OUT!

I counted to 10 and I sprung free from my room, ran down 3 flights of stairs only managed to get 1 shoe/flip flop on and out the front door I went!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gordie was following close behind.

So I was standing on my front porch watching the bat fly back and forth on my bottom floor. I was literally screaming in terror. With that Em rips opened the bedroom window and shouts out to me. We were laughing and screaming all at the same time. We decided she should call Animal Control in town. No luck, 4:30 on a Saturday aftneroon. So we decide we should call the police. Thankfully Em had her computer (of course) so she was able to look up all these various phone numbers. So the police told Emily that bats are dangerous--DUUUUUUUUUUUUH, to get out of the house and that they would call animal control for us. 2 minutes later the police called back and said animal control was on his way.

In the meantime we called our neighbors down the street...where are Gary and Russell -- playing a double header baseball game 1 hour from home. Oiy and on this SWELTERING HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT day in NJ! So anyway our neighbors/friends Jeff and his son Sam came up the hill each with a tennis racket in hand and an empty box to trap the sucker! The managed to capture the bat in our basement which was a good thing since we were able to close the basement door and leave the house. Jeff and Sam are my new heroes!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh do we have a tale to tell as Jeff said he never saw a bat sooooooooooooooo big before! His wing span was a minimum of 7 inches long AT LEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 minutes after Jeff and Sam trapped the bat in the basement and home they went up pulls Mr. 37 year being animal control with a netting and flashlight. He's toothless and ugly plicks on his nose, but a very nice man indeedy.

5 minutes later out he comes with the bat in this narly netting with holes in it -- and not netting holes mind you! He is an animal lover and asked if we would let him release the bat since he did not harm anyone. So I screamed out not to let the bat go on my front lawn!!!!!!!!!! He said of course not and also told us that we were the 7th household this week that had a bat problem!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE HAD AN UGLY ICKY SCARY BAT IN OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight?! Seems bats follow people into houses by following insects or gosh knows what. Says we don't have an infestation in our house and off he went.

After that episode, Em and I had a wine spritzer each to calm our nerves. I'm ready to plop a FOR SALE SIGN in my front lawn! EWWWWWWWWWWWWW! WE HAD A BAT IN OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh I said that a bazillion times in this blog. Must be due to the fact that I was out til 1:00am with my friends after seeing SEX AND THE CITY and a few drinks afterwards.

NO PICTURES OF THE BAT -- sorry!

Best,

Jane

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I just had to take a BREAK!






The ties are arriving the TIES are arriving! Now all the fun begins! I've begun swatching, I've begun organizing the inventory, and I've begun to ACHE ACHE ACHE! Well mostly my bum elbow is a mess! But that's old news. So let me get back to the ties. WOWOWOWOWOWOW! Can you wait til we break the line in NYC at the Haberdashery Show? Did you get our email regarding the show? Soon you will be receiving an equally wonderful postcard. Come on, call me for an appt. to buy our ties! They are BETTER THAN E-V-E-R!!!!!!!!!!!!! 973*763*3474 - pick up the phone and dial (or push the buttons - whatever floats your boat)

So back to my title of "taking a break". Since my elbow is aching, I went out and took a look at my plants. My hydrangeas are ready to BURST with flowers! As you all know, hydrangeas are my absolute favorite summer bloom -- well I lied, hydrangeas are tied with sunflowers, only the deer found my garden 1 summer and ravaged my plants before they even grew to 12 inches tall! My flowers are in my windows boxes for a full week and I can already see a difference in their size. Yup, SIZE DOES MATTER WITH ME -- AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO FLOWERS!

I have 1/2 the line swatched - and then 1/2 the line is just about ready to get shipped off to the photographer. After that we're on our way for FALL 2008!

So get ready for some great ties, pocket squares and whatever else we have to sell. And of course my double chocolate walnut biscotti!

Best,
Jane PS F.Y.I. you can click on the photo and it will blow it up - that is if you want to see my flowers and Gordie upclose and personal - that is up to you!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My Window Boxes are planted



so my summer can begin!!!! I finally decided over the weekend to get my window boxes planted. I'm always so anxious to see how they will grow! I love love love my window boxes. Over 10 years ago, I read in my Martha Magazine about different boxes and found a neighbor across the street (who has since moved) to make me a pair! I've so enjoyed planting my boxes over the last 10+ years. Here is how they look today...I will try and remember to post pictures throughout the summer of their progress. I have a shady side and a sunny side so I plant differently to accommodate the different conditions. Remember, my plants are starting off small, but you won't believe how fast they will grow grow grow!

Emily is back from Los Angeles. Me, Gary and Russ went to pick her up this afternoon at Newark Airport...the 3 of us bickered the entire drive there and once we had Emily in our car...then the 4 of us bickered all the way home! You see Emily never turned off her cell phone in the plane and when she landed she had no battery!!!!! We live so close to the airport that we wait to hear from whoever we are picking up and then leave the house. Well Emily had to resort to USING A PAY PHONE WHICH SHE COULD NOT FIGURE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine, that generation is clueless on payphones?! AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaah the convenience of cell phones.

OK tomorrow I start on more more swatch cards and we are waiting on the 1st of the inventory to arrive. My elbow is throbbing already just thinking about all the lifting and schlepping!

Best,

Jane
 
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