Lionel Weyerhaeuser Operating Log Dump Car #82054

Late in August, I went in and did my annual pre-Christmas shopping of the pre-orders for Lionel O Gauge trains at TrainWorld.  They have a section set up for Lionel that includes in-stock items and a bunch of pre-orders from the 2017 catalog.  The pre-orders usually show up late in the fall - sometime around Halloween - so I typically try to get my order in by September to ensure that they get the pieces on hand in time for the holidays.

Last year, my pre-orders came in on varying dates and included a bunch of Disney-related cars like the Winnie the Pooh boxcar, a Dumbo 75th anniversary boxcar, a Pluto walking brakeman car, and a Buddy the Elf car that arrived in February.   In 2015, I pre-ordered this "Where the Wild Things Are" boxcar for one of the boys.

Each year, I buy the boys in the family a new Lionel item and this year is no different.  However, there are a few new folks added to the Lionel list (one because of birth and one just because) and since I've been gi…

ProTip: Tie Up Your Mums

Are you like Nat and I and get your mums from Costco?  You know the massive ones in the big plastic pot that is good enough to display on your front porch as-is?  Then, my friend, I have a tip for you:  Get ahead of things by tying up a piece of string or twine about 1/2 up the plant.  That way, they won't splay on you when the buds flower out and get top heavy.

Fountain Grasses Planted In #NewOldBackyard

Just a few days ago, I posted a photo of the three fountain grasses that Nat picked up in an early fall sale.  After a week or so of them sitting on our driveway, I finally found the time to dig up the holes and plant them in the #newoldbackyard.  I toyed around with planting them in different configurations, but after laying them out in various places, Nat encouraged me to put them in a line because the bed where these are located now, isn't quite defined yet.  And instead of putting them out further from the fence, I lined them up along the fence in a row.  That way, the kids would be a lot less likely to trample them when they come/go in the yard/neighbor's yard. 

To give you a sense of the context of their location, I put them to the south of this Japanese Flowering Cherry tree that I planted at the very beginning of July of this yearIf you look at this photo, these are between the daylilies and the hostas.    I am going to try to baby these and give them a lot of wate…

Hello Old Friend: Anemone In Our New Neighborhood

On the way to and from the bus stop with the girls, we walk past one of our new neighbor's house in the Randall Park neighborhood who have replaced their entire front yard with a perennial garden.  Not an inch of green grass to be found.  Not even in the parkway.  In one of the prime spots adjacent to the sidewalk is this big, sprawling Anemone plant.  If you click on the photo, you'll see that it is still blooming a bit this late in the season and gives me a little bit of joy every time I walk by it.

If you've been following along since we were in our old house (before Equation Boy/Man's house), you might remember that we had an anemone there, too.  It was in the front/side yard, just outside of our front porch and was awfully happy with the location.  The first time I posted about the plant was back six years ago here on the blog.  Our history with anemone goes back to Nat's wedding bouquet - as her friend/florist stuck a few blooms amongst other of Nat's f…

Geneva Lake Excursion Corporation Vintage Sign

A few days ago, I posted a photo of the Playboy Club and Resort in Lake Geneva that is on display at Pier 290 in Williams Bay that is part of a pretty great memorabilia and photograph collection inside the restaurant.   They also have some artifacts from the golden age of Lake Geneva including this massive sign that they have in what appears to be the stage/band area.  There wasn't a band playing on the day we went to Pier 290 for lunch, so I went over and took a look at this hand-painted wooden sign.  It features "26 miles of shore line" and proclaims that "The best way to view beautiful Lake Geneva is by boats of Geneva Lake Excursion Corp". 

Looking at the map, it appears that the Geneva Lake Excursion Corporation had two locations - one of which is in the very location of Gage Marine in Williams Bay where the Pier 290 restaurant is located. 

Wonder if they just *found* this piece on location?  Or if they rescued it and brought it back to it's rightful …

Does My Magnolia Tree Have Sooty Mold?

A few days ago, I posted an updated photo of our Saucer Magnolia tree in the front yard and mentioned this blight/mold/black stuff that is on quite a bit of the leaves.  You can see it in the photo above.  After digging around on the Web, I think that it might - or might not be Sooty Mold.  The University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension has a post up that is titled:  Non harmful tree conditions that catch your eye but require no management.  In the section on Sooty Mold, they provide the description and a photo that looks an awful lot like the one above.   Here's a screenshot:

But if you look elsewhere on the topic of Sooty Mold, the photos look totally different.  Most of the articles reference insects and/or aphids, which our Magnolia doesn't appear to have inhabiting it right now.  I also found this photo of something called Fungal Leaf Spot in the Science Photo Library, which isn't exactly what I am seeing on our leaves.   I'll keep poking around and see what …

Lake Geneva Playboy Club and Steve Martin

We went out to a kind of fancy lunch recently to a place called Pier 290 in Williams Bay up on Lake Geneva that is run from the folks who run Gage Marine.  It is a waterfront dining destination (for some) and we wanted to give it a try.  We drove by a place called Harpoon Willies that seemed more our speed, but we ended up staying the course and heading to Pier 290.  I went with the Wedge, which I have to say:  they got a bit too cute with and wasn't awesome.  Wedge's are best when they are dead simple with super high quality ingredients, right?  The one at Pier 290 is a balsamic-based dressed wedge, which was their first mistake.  
But, that's not the point of this post.  Nope.  While the food was just fine at the restaurant, their wall of honor/memorabilia/photograph collection in the hallway on the way to the restrooms is, by itself, worth the visit.  And one of the displays there is all about the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva that you can see above.  (Side note...the Gr…