Last month we attended Ani-Me Con in Fresno and it was a blast. The person responsible for putting that Con on was Rick Thor Phoeung, who is also the CEO of TVN Sports & Collectibles, which opened in 1996. Recently we chatted with Rick about the store and Ani-Me Con.
In the last couple of years, Mother’s Day brings dolls to my mind. It’s not like I was a little girl with lots of dolls. In fact, I remember only a couple of occasions where dolls were part of my life. But as the years passed, and I transitioned from daughter to mother and now to grandmother, dolls have sweetly slipped into my life. Perhaps it’s the fictionalizing of my past as situations sometimes get fuzzy, and I suppose this is when the mind mixes and matches reality with invention. But for whatever reason, lately dolls have become one of my preoccupations.
Ask all the avid comic book readers, film buffs, toy collectors, video game players, and costume-wearing aficionados who love to play dress-up year-round, what’s the most popular gathering for this unique crew of individuals to congregate, only one place comes to mind: San Diego Comic-Con International.
Salt. It is one thing that all of us have in common ? we need it to survive. In pretty close to every kitchen in America, there is a salt shaker sitting on the table or next to the stove. And, I am willing to bet, that many of those shakers have been filled by a blue box with a little girl carrying an umbrella on the label.
Halloween is the night before All Hallow’s Day or Hallowmas which occurs on November 1. Today, those of us in the modern church call this All Saints Day. This is a time we remember and celebrate the lives of the faithful men and women who have recently passed away. The feast day was established by Pope Gregory III around the 8th century. Halloween, or to be more correct, Hallowe’en is short for Hallows Eve.
One of the most curious items to be found on a Victorian lady’s dressing table was a hair receiver. This was a small bowl with a hole in the lid. It was often part of a dressing table set, with a matching powder box. And why you ask, would anyone need a hair receiver? Well, some kind of receptacle was needed to collect and save the hair that accumulated in a lady’s brush or comb after the required daily 100 strokes.
Christmas is over. The wrapping paper and ribbons have been cleaned up and the presents have been put into use. Maybe you were the recipient of one of the newest juicers or coffee makers–hopefully not the one that was recalled–or some other kind of clever kitchen device that has been advertised on late night television. My husband, who loves French fries, received a potato cutter from the cats. (Yes, in our family the cats shop for Christmas.)
Last month, I confessed my obsession with buttons. This month I have to confess that I am equally obsessed with stoneware crockery. It doesn't matter to me if it is a bottle, jug or jar, I love them for their various shapes, colors and decorations. Before refrigeration, crocks were used in American kitchens to hold foodstuffs such as butter, salted meats and pickled vegetables. They were America's major house ware from 1780-1890. I use them to hold kitchen utensils, flowers, magazines or kindling. I don't care if they aren’t in perfect condition.
Tea time and Mother's Day seem to go together, so I immediately thought about the simple tea infuser. Once nearly extinct, but now making a comeback, this lowly little item was a necessity for brewing the perfect cup of tea. Infusers were around for a long time before the invention of tea bags. Sometimes called a tea ball or tea egg, by the time of Queen Victoria, no respectable British household would be without one of these, but before we get in to the nitty-gritty of tea infusing, we need a little history lesson on tea itself.
Most of us pay little or no attention to salt & pepper. They don't cost much and are easily obtainable at any grocery store. Every household has a container of salt & pepper on the table or in the cupboard, but it wasn't always this way. At one time, both salt and pepper were literally worth their weight in gold! Modern salt mining techniques and expanded pepper growing regions have made them an everyday item rather than a luxury.