Turkish Delight: How Tulips Came to Holland

Sometimes, the things that shape history come in small packages. Take the tulip for example. The Dutch went crazy over them  causing a  tulip mania in the 1600’s. People bought and sold bulbs at prices beyond  all reason. It was a national obsession–until the market suddenly crashed faster than a blind tightrope walker during an earthquake. Forever after, however, the tulip has been synonymous with Holland. But…  Tulips Aren&#8217…

An Open Letter From Your Refrigerator

Hello. It’s me, your refrigerator. We need to talk. Every day I’m working hard to keep things cold, while simultaneously trying to look attractive in your kitchen. (Which if I might add, is not always neat and often smells like bacon grease.)  Well, I’m here to tell you I’m really not feeling the love. I have needs too you know. I mean, would it be so hard…

Corsets Smorsets: Take Your Tradition And Shove It!

Are you the guardian of any traditions? Perhaps you have a recipe or two handed down from a grandmother or great-grandmother. Things like that make us feel connected to our past, don’t they? We can imagine grandma’s weathered hands as she stood by the counter in her apron, happily mixing away. Then there was the fun of sharing the meal that came out of her labor. I think we&#8217…

You just won a trip to France!

AND… not only do you get to go to France, but you get to go back in time, how cool is that! How am I going to accomplish this amazing feat? What remarkable talent do I have that allows me to slide you down the rainbow of the centuries? No, it’s not my stunning intellect or my cuddly nature, although those would be good guesses. We’re traveling through paintings. Now…

Washing Gold Mountain: Chinese Hand Laundries in the mid 1800’s

  Imagine a mountain made of gold: would you go there despite having to leave your country, your wife, your children? Would you be willing to undertake the trials and hardships that you knew awaited you? If you said yes, you’re not alone, because that’s exactly what many people did in the mid 1800’s. It was the beginning of the California gold rush, and many Chinese men went to…