Earlier in August, we spent a few hours at Antiques on the Bluff in St. Joe's Michigan digging through the tables and piles of stuff that the vendors have hauled to the bluff.  We bought a few things for ourselves, something that is likely a gift, and this yellow Care Bears suitcase that you can see above.  It was picked out by The Babe herself and was a deal at $10.   It has a tag that says 1983 and is super clean and in just about new condition.

Nat has a soft spot in her heart for Care Bears, so we've picked up a few vintage items (glasses, books, and now this suitcase) that the girls have glommed onto.  But, I don't think they've ever watched a single episode?

The Babe is proud of her 'treasure' as she calls it and has taken to it already and is using it for her American Girl dolly clothes and gear.  So much so, in fact, that I went hunting on eBay for another one for her and another one for her younger sister.

With my parents cleaning out their place in Michigan, I have recently come across a few photos.  One of them was the Dan Hampton picture I posted back at the beginning of August.  And above, is another one featuring my long-time soccer teammates and coach Mike Mural.  From the looks of it, we won a trophy of sorts? And, I was wearing two pairs of shorts?  Was *that* a thing?

Some of these guys I still see and stay in touch with, while others have faded away.  Oddly, I lived with two of these guys in college?!?  But, I still can name every one of them in the photo.

There were a few others (Russ, Ted, Tom) that are missing, but...this is the core of the crew that I spent likely thousands of hours with practicing, traveling and playing.   And having the time of my life.  I can only hope that my kids find a group or tribe that they, too, can grow up with and learn the joys of playing team sports together.

 Just like in year's past, I took the girls to check out the recently put-up Halloween section at Menards.  Here's the post showing the Babe in the 2015 Halloween section and here's a post from 2012 showing both girls.  They've both grown up a lot, eh?

Here's The Bird doing her best 'scary' face and I'm not sure what the Babe is doing on the right.  With Back-to-School out of the way, we are now entering my favorite time of year at Menards: seasonal.  They quickly moved out the backpacks and highlighters in favor of ghosts and witches and it won't be long now for Christmas stuff to creep in.  Last year, we spotted snowmen and Santas as early as October 6th, so brace yourself, folks.  Christmas Creep is coming.

Back in May, we planted two varieties of fingerling potatoes:  Magic Molly (the purple ones) and French.  I showed some of the very pretty flowers that the tubers threw off this year here.  Each of the girls took one of the varieties and we worked together to get them planted.  We cut the seed potatoes into segments and because we're not in our own house, we decided to plant them in containers on the driveway.  

Well...mostly in containers.

The Babe also planted some of hers in my sister's raised beds.  We didn't harvest those, but we did, indeed, harvest the ones in the containers/bags on the driveway.  That's what you see in the photo above:  our partial harvest.  There's a bit more than 50 total spuds of different sizes now sitting in this bucket in our cellar basement awaiting their time in the oven this coming week.    The harvest is A LOT smaller than the one I last had in 2013.  Next year, we'll hopefully be in a position to install some of our own raised beds and maybe we'll give it a try again?  The timing might not be right, but by the Spring of 2018, I'm thinking that I'll be looking for a project and raised beds will be at the top of my list.
Last week, I was, once again, at the Chicago Athletic Association building for an event called the Carrier Summit from one of my #clients at Edelman called Businessolver.  The folks at Businessolver are doing some incredible things for benefits administration and I'm honored to be able to partner with them to build their business and deliver solutions for HR pros.  Again...making sure I put this here:  #client.  

But, while there was some good stuff during the sessions, one of the stars of the show, was again the building at the CAA.  I've posted about the building and my visits before on the blog (here's the full set of posts) and I have a super soft spot in my heart for the place.  My oldest sister was married at the CAA back in the early 1990's and I spent more than a few afternoons eating sandwiches with the great Tom Roeser back in the aughts where we talked about his blog and he told some pretty incredible stories.  

And the building keeps delighting me every time I go there.  Take a look at the mosiac floor that is in the hallway on the first floor where the elevators are located:  

Kudos to the folks who renovated the building as they kept as MUCH as they could of the cool, old stuff that the building contained including these floors.  You can see the little blemish in the first/closets circle in the photo above, but they just patched it with some concrete and didn't try to bastard-ize it with newish tiles stuck in there.  Nice work, contractors and builders.  

I don't know about you, but this just blew my mind.  Up in Canada, Smarties are called Rockets.  And something that is like a cheap M&M are called a Smarties.

Weird, right?
This Miller Lite pint glass came home with us one night recently and joins it's brethren in the cupboard.  We weren't drinking Lite, but I have to admit that I kinda love the retro logo that they've brought back and this glass has some neat tapers in the front/back (or sides, I suppose??) and sits well in my hand.  

We're without much of our kitchen gear as we're living in Equation Boy/Man's place (and quite grateful for it, btw!!!), so we've (well...Nat would tell you that it is the royal 'we' in that it is 'I' doing the 'pinching') been supplementing our setup with interesting glasses.  I figure it is less pinching and more 'evangelizing'.  Or something like that.

I've dug through the archives here and can't find any other pinched glasses featured here, so consider this the first in the series.  More to come in the catalog.  I know you guys just can't wait, right??
The next film up in the Art @ the York Theatre series in the Elmhurst City Centre is Jimmy's Hall.  You can see the official listing here on the Classic Cinemas' site here.

There's also this Eventbrite listing that allows you to 'register' for the screenings?  Which is weird, but maybe you can buy tickets through Eventbrite, now?

Anyway, about the film:
In 1921, Jimmy Gralton's sin was to build a dance hall on a rural crossroads in Ireland where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream, but above all to dance and have fun. Jimmy's Hall celebrates the spirit of these free thinkers. The film is set in 1932 and follows events when Jimmy returned from a decade in New York and re-opened the hall. The film is freely inspired by Jimmy's life and turbulent times. (109 minutes)
The screenings are on September 14th at 1 pm and 7 pm. And...don't forget to get there early for the preshow entertainment at 12:30 PM on their Barton Theatre organ with Dave Rhodes, Tivoli Theatre house organist. That's a wonderful part of seeing movies at the York.

It doesn't appear that I covered the July showing in the Art @ York series, but here's the one from June, May, April, and March of this year.  The full archive of the series is here at the Art @ York tag page.  
Over the weekend, the kids and I went out and changed the oil in Nat's car, hit up Delta Sonic for a detail job on the rolling dumpster that is the backseats of our van, a quick stop at Menards for some mouse traps and candy for the girls and then we wandered around and found a few garage sales and an Estate Sale.

At the Estate Sale - which was in Elmhurst just north of St. Charles -  they had a whole table of milk glass.  See all of the stuff they had below:
Plenty of it was hobnail as you can see.  I took that photo and texted it to Nat and the only thing that jumped out to her - and me - was the pitcher in the back row.  So, I grabbed it, and a few other things and went up to the table to haggle with the hosts.  I'll post the other things later, but as everyone says: I got a great deal!  This time, it is true, though....
This slide was presented at the meetings that I referenced yesterday up in Toronto and really struck a chord with me during the week.  It is the typically bawdy, brash talk that happens at these type of internal rah-rah's, but in thinking about it:  if I was a #client, I'd want my partners to embrace this philosophy.  To me, it means bring scrutiny to every engagement and making sure that we're doing the BEST every time - even it if means a tougher road to go in terms of team structure, time needed, outputs, etc.

Our job isn't to give clients exactly what they want.  It's to give them exactly what they need.
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