Category Archives: home

You Should Have an Amadi Carpet

Here is the link and here is the story

As refugees from The Soviet War who literally fled on foot out of Afghanistan, the Ahmadi family and their hard-earned success epitomizes the American Dream. But a comfortable life in the safety of West Hollywood isn’t what drives them. They’ve committed to what seems impossible – creating generational change by empowering women in a country where 85% have no formal education and are illiterate.

So what did they do?

In 2003, Amadi Carpets returned to Afghanistan to open its first weaving workshop in Kabul. The employees? Twenty women from the local area. The cultural hurdles to make this happen were monumental. The brothers behind Amadi Carpets went from family to family, attempting to persuade husbands, fathers and brothers to allow their wives, mothers and sisters the opportunity to work… and learn. The process was painfully slow over a three-year period, but has now become a reality for 120 women.

What next?

The women, aged 18 to 70, have been taught weaving skills as well as provided education classes. A bus safely transports them from around the Kabul area to the weaving center. Beyond earning an income and education, the women are helping to impact an entire generation. Because the women now provide for their household, their children who would have normally worked (as is the reality for many Third World countries) are given the opportunity to go to school.

And Amadi Carpets are beautiful!

Image result for Amadi Carpets


Having a Doberman as a Pet

This sign sums it up

And they do tend to bark a bit.

But the fact is that the doberman is an especially loving dog. Only to its family. Those not in the family are suspect. And the doberman will defend the family turf. And not just by barking. While they are not lunatics, they do not tolerate intrusion.

If this sort of defense is needed, the best solution is to have two. Instinctively, they share the protection duty. One barks and keeps the attention of the intruder. The other circles around and attacks from the rear.

Ouch! But they do this only in crisis. Otherwise, they love luxury and peace. Errr … though they do not love cats wandering through their garden. They run faster than cats and unless they are trained, are not sure what to do with their prey. The untrained doberman tends to nudge the cat from behind to try to get it to run faster. After all, ti is all in fun!

Ah, the doberman.

I’ll Have a Kouign-Amann with My Renovation

A Houign-Amann, if you didn’t know is

… a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.

It looks like this

Image result for Kouign Amanns

So, what does it have to do with renovation? It was a staple of the Dave Lebovitz kitchen while he didn’t have a kitchen.

Yes, we are talking renovation. That process of slow torture that many of us have endured. But not so many have endured this in Paris. Dave has written a book about how it went.

Clue: It was not easy.

Connecting to the Agrihood

I readily admit that I am a sucker for this sort of thing –  connecting home and food production. So the idea of building a community around a farm makes sense to me.

And that is apparently a new living concept called the “agriuood”.

Agrihood developers aim to bring the amenities of a rural farming community, like fresh produce and ample outdoor space, to modern, metropolitan neighborhoods. The homes are typically built to high environmental standards, too — think solar panels and composting.

Very cool idea!

Getting the Garden Ready for Winter

This is not something that I do. Most years, I  get overwhelmed by the apples and leaves and hope for snow to cover them over. But this year, my pal Imre has raked the yard and I have to confess it does look a lot more civilized. Which, of course, got me interested. Just what should be done in the garden in November.

Ask and you shall receive! NYT offers some expert guidance. Will I do all these things. No. But it is fun to read about them!