September 2008

by Erica Mann Jong


Relaxing Cubist

Relaxing Cubist

Cement up to the neck

& my head packed

with unsaid words.

A gullet full of pebbles,

a mouth of cast concrete–

I am stuck

in a lovelessness so thick,

it seems my natural element.

My mouth closes

on stones.




Hand frozen to my chin,

my back a question mark,

my heart soldered

to its arteries,

my feet planted

in grass that cannot grow,

The Thinker ponders

ten more years of this:

a woman

living the life

of a statue.


Break free!

Melt the metal



in love’s cauldron,

open doors, eyes, heart,

those frozen ventricles,

those stuck tongues,

those stuttering dependencies.


When the statue walks,

will the world dissolve?

When she shakes her shoulder,

will the sky shrug

& skitter off in space?


Or will the clouds cluster

to cover her,

& the blue wind gather

at her shoulders

& the men streak by

like jet trails in the air,

utterly ephemeral?

In 1909, when land the Bohm building was to be built on sold to Mr. William H. Bohm,  the Edwardsville Republican newspaper stated: “The lot sold yesterday….and was considered by judges of real estate about the best and most desireable lot in the business district.”  We are happy at to hold court in this fine old building.

Bohm building~ downtown Edwardsville, IL

Bohm building~ downtown Edwardsville, IL

It’s been shaking and rumbling for the last month though!  Glad to say this is not due to earthquake activity but to trucks and cranes hauling and moving land and materials in the creation of a fine new restaurant that will be opening downstairs next month.

I had to laugh today when I saw Amy Zupanci the chef and owner of the upcoming “FOND” restaurant, set up outside of’s Shipping and Receiving area.  She was meeting a wine distributor with some nice cheeses, and her pink hard hat by her side! Looked like the perfect alfresco office to spend a bit of a mellow, sunny afternoon in.

Amy Z's alfresco office

Amy Z

The presence of FOND will be a great addition to the downtown Edwardsville culinary scene.  Amy was telling me that it will be a “Slow Food” establishment, something I’m not familar with.  The Slow Food concept she explained, is a direct response away from the fast food lifestyle, and foods will be purchased locally, fresh, and in season.  What a wonderful idea~ a return to eating as a true experience, with emphasis on quality (not rushing) and emotional nurturance.

Check out FOND, coming soon to the Bohm building. We’re excited to have it here.

Well, it’s late in the afternoon.  I see from my office window that all but two workers have gone home for the day. Here in the back parking lot, (which will soon also be the back entrance of a restaurant), I can already imagine the outdoor seating, landscaping, and some fountains.  I know a really great place to purchase fabulous Fountains!  They have the best selection. and you can often chose the finish color.

Back of Bohm

Back of Bohm

The tall vent on the left side of the building was just installed for Amy’s ovens.  Has me hoping. Will I  be lucky enough to catch wiffs of homemade apple pie  coming in my office window?   Just like in the cartoons 🙂



Tears of Joy insert

Tears of Joy Box insert


Some days are box days.  Today was one.  I saw a fabulous pile outside of my local Truevalue hardware store, and I just had to stop!  Here’s what my van looked like before I headed off to work.       


box car

box car


We sell so many different products at, that they ship out of many different warehouses all across the US to you.  When your item is shipping to you from our main headquarters here in Edwardsville, IL it may come  double-boxed in one of these recycled boxes.

Every since began, we’ve been recycling where ever we can. Even the woodwork in our offices, and much of the flooring in the Bohm building is made of reclaimed lumber, which our boss Andrew has salvaged for many years.  These are small things, but small earth-wise choices make our lives just a little better, we are all learning.
We hope you feel good about your purchase with  Will you keep the boxes moving?







As I look ahead to the new school year for my children, one a college student turning 21 in two weeks (heaven help me, not a child any longer), and the other entering 10th grade, I’m thinking   too about their teachers.

I wondered, what products do we offer here at that express appreciation for this difficult, absolutely critical job?  When it comes time to remember a special teacher that has become important  to your child, 12 or 21, here are a couple of great gift ideas that caught my fancy. 

Stepping stones say a lot both visually and metaphorically. As we step into a new school year,  in essence we  are telling our children: “Take this next path”.  “Try on these new ideas and experiences”, encourages the teacher.  The visual designs of the stepping stones we offer is very broad.  Perhaps you feel the intended recipient would prefer a modern, clean-lined look, then I encourage you to consider the interesting stones in the Frank Lloyd Wright collection below.

Larkin Stepstone or Plaque

Larkin Stepstone or Plaque

Millard Stepstone

Millard Stepstone


Nathan Moore Stepstone

Nathan Moore Stepstone


 In a completely different mood, are whimsical fairytale designs that I’m imagining a literature teacher would absolutely fall in love with.  I’m pretty good at using my own imagination! 

Rose Fairy Stepping Stone

Rose Fairy Stepping Stone

Silverbirch Fairy Stepping Stone

Silverbirch Fairy Stepping Stone

Possum Stepping Stone

Possum Stepping Stone






 Our website is so full of fun ideas that I hate to leave it at that!  So much information!  So little time.  Got to go ~ there's something else I'm dying to study up on!