In another of the continuing series of #Throwback Thursday moments that are here courtesy of the migration of my old photos from Flickr to Google Photos, here is this photo of me and Joel Murray and one of his kids.  This is from 2004 or 2005, so it is 12 years ago.  (The date didn't stick with the Flickr download for some reason.)

Joel Murray is a working actor.  And he's a super great dude, too.  We have a relation to him through my sister and her husband.  Won't go into the whole thing, but that's how we ended up here.  Nat and I - before we had kids - stayed in the Murray's pool house for a few nights in Los Angeles.  I have a very vivid memory of this trip with Nat.  It was pretty early in our relationship and this was just.one.of.the.many.things that cemented my feelings about her and made me fall deeper in love with her.  I still remember that trip - this being one of those stops and how it fueled our relationship by building up that shared memory bank of experiences that *just* the two of us were living through.

We swam in their pool, hung with their kids, and had some laughs with Joel.  Here he is dressed up in his White Sox jersey as he was heading off to coach some little league.

You might know him as Freddy Rumsen on Mad Men.  Or from being on Mike and Molly.  Or Dharma and Greg.  Or Two and A Half Men.  Or as the voice of Don in Monsters University.  Or...perhaps as Bill Murray's brother.
That photo above with all the terrible glare that comes from my morning walk to the train shows the movie poster for the Art @ the York Theatre monthly film 'Youth' staring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz - who, Nat can tell you - I have a little thing for.  And Michael Caine?  He's awesome, right?  But, now that the guys on the Stern show are doing phony phone calls with someone who does his voice as "British Actor Michael Caine", I can't keep a straight face whenever I see/hear his name.

The film is being shown a week from today: May 11th.  1 pm and 7 pm central.  I continue to promote these showings because I think they're great for the community.  Good on Classic Cinemas for continuing to push forward on the Art @ York series.

Here's what the movie is about:
YOUTH is about two longtime friends vacationing in the Swiss Alps. Oscar winning actor Michael Caine plays Fred, an acclaimed composer and conductor, who brings along his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and best friend Mick (Harvey Keitel), a renowned filmmaker. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life.

Over the weekend, me and the two girls cut up the seed potatoes that came in these two sacks:  Magic Molly I's and French Fingerling I's.  They were the two most striking varieties that Menards carries and the Magic Molly ones are particularly beautiful.  In cutting up the seed potatoes, the purple almost bled off the knife.  We're going to plant these in these new-fangled 'tubs' that Nat bought me for my birthday from Gardener's Supply earlier in April.  They're driveway-dwelling containers that are easy to move.  I don't want to crowd them out, so we might just put a few seed potatoes in each one and put the rest in my sister's garden raised beds.

The last time I posted about potatoes was back in 2013, so I'm thinking that might have been the last time we had a harvest?  I *think* I planted them last year, but we moved out before they could come in.

These fingerlings won't produce as heavily as the varieties that I've planted in years past, but I'm most excited about seeing these kinda 'exotic' versions and see how well they do.
Last week, I posted about the giant hostas that we transplanted over at Nat's parents' house during our move and mentioned that we also moved a few other items at the same time.  One of them is pictured above peeking out of the mulch:  my ostrich ferns.

I dug up a few of these clumps of ferns and brought them over late last summer and Nat's mom found a nice shady spot for them to hang out.  I've split up these ferns in the past and had given a few to Nat's mom in the past, so having these come back and survive wasn't our top priority because I knew that we could always split up some of hers.

But...when we were over there recently, I spotted the little green parts starting to poke through.  Here's a bunch of the posts about these same ferns over the years here on the blog and you can see how they kind of un-curl as they grow.   These things spread out and multiplied like crazy for me at 274, but how we got them is an interesting story.  Either the old, wicked woman who lived in our house before us (who dug up everything that she could before she moved out) missed a few of these, our our neighbor Greg had enough of these shoot up from our side to his side to eventually repopulate back to our side of the fence.  One way or another, in the first year we were there, we had no ferns.  The next year?  A few.  And every year after that, even more.  They started in the back corner of our lot, but we moved them to a shady area and put our swingset in the back corner.

This Gardening-know-how post that I came across says that the best time to transplant ferns is in the early spring - "The best time to transplant ferns is early spring, while still dormant but just as new growth begins to emerge." - so I'm very likely to just leave these out in Naperville for this entire season and think about digging up the clumps in early Spring next year.  That gives them a full growing season to recover and they'll be less likely (at least in my mind) to get damaged and lost.

If things work out - and that is a HUGE *if* right now - I think we'll end up with both shade and sun gardens, so we'll be sure to have a good spot for the ferns to come back 'home'.

The unofficial/official online Coaster Collection here on the blog continues to grow.  Adding this one from Sea Island to the pile of coasters that have been documented here from our trip down there earlier this Spring.

You can see the entire Coaster Collection here.  It might not seem like much, but it *is* growing, right?  This Sea Island one gets us up to ten coasters.

1.  Illini Coors light one featuring the 'new' I.
2.  Ted's Montana Grill with quote.
3.  Bell & Harbor out in the Hamptons.
4.  A different Ted's one.  
5 & 6.  Two coasters from Saugatuk Brewing Company.
7 & 8.  Disney coasters from both coasts.
9.   Jungle Cruise Cantina from inside the MK.
10.  This one.
Where in the World is this?   If you guessed it was right at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, you'd be wrong.  This is a replica that is set up in One Man's Dream inside of Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.  Don't mind if I do.
The Babe picked out this set of 'Cross Stitch Booster' pins down at the Magic Kingdom earlier this year because she thought they were 'Minecraft' pins.    It is a nice set that she wore on her lanyard for most of the trip.  For those of you who are uninitiated (or just don't care), there's Mickey the Mouse, Dumbo, Pooh Bear and Stitch.  They each have 2 pinbacks on each of them.  The Pooh Bear one is the biggest and the best one, imho.

We've started to put some of the girls pins on a corkboard in their room, but since we're not settled, that is just a stopgap measure.  But, even though it is just temporary, these pins are prominent on that board.
We've had these silhouettes done of the kids over the years and the same woman who did the first ones of just the oldest two, did these three.  If you know the kids in real life (Is this real life?!?), you'll note that these are *really* good.  How 'bout those 'lashes?!?

That's the view from my office this week as the NFL has arrived and Chicago has rolled out the red carpet for them in the form of the second year of Draft Town.  

Here's my post showing the setup from last year in 2015.   They seem to have shifted the bulk of the activities towards the lake with the biggest tent area right along Lake Shore Drive and a few other tents and what look like broadcast booths scattered around Buckingham Fountain.  They also (if you look closely!) added a Ferris Wheel.  Which is weird, right?  

Last year, all the action was confined east of Columbus with the biggest tent right on Michigan Avenue.  That's where the team representatives sat and talked on the phones.  They then 'walked' the picks across the street to the Auditorium Theatre.  Not sure if that's part of the schtick this year?  

I think it is great to have this event here in town.  I'm sure that we - the taxpayers - are footing the bill, but I think that events like this have a place and do make our city vibrant and attractive.  Hopefully, the warm weather will return tomorrow and through the weekend, so fans can get out there and enjoy the festivities.  

I've written about the hostas at our old house a few times here on the blog in the past and being part of our shade gardens, they're one of my favorite things to tend to.  Perhaps it is because I grew up down in Frankfort on a heavily wooded lot that just about only allowed my Mom to have shade gardens?  Or, that they're mostly the domain of perennials that come back each year and there's something magical about those?  I dunno.  But...one way or the other, I like shade gardens.

We had a really nice, maturing set of shade plants on the north side of our old lot.  We had ferns, astibiles, and plenty of hostas.  All sorts of hostas.  Some, like these, I picked up at Menards.  Some, were left overs from when the wicked lady moved out of the house and she *thought* that she plucked every last perennial out of the gardens only for us to discover the next year that SOME came back including some hostas.  And a special plant that came from my sister Sharon's house in Hinsdale.  She was moving out back in 2009ish and had her yard professionally done and maintained by landscapers and had some really great plants.  Including these HUGE, massive hostas.

As she was packing up, I took out a spade and dug up a plant and took it home.  Put it under a Cleveland Pear Tree in our front yard, watered it the rest of the fall, and hoped for the best.  It came back the next year.  And wasn't huge.  But, did ok.  The next year, it was big enough to divide.  So, I divided it and put the new plant in the backyard.  A few years later, I divided it again.  And it was thriving.

Fast forward to last year when we moved out.  I didn't want to leave behind this special plant.  So, I dug up one of them and put it in a pot to transport to Nat's parent's house in Naperville.  Nat's Mom tends to her garden pretty well, so she picked a spot and planted the hosta.  (There were a few more plants that we brought over there, but I'll post about them separately).  It was right in the middle of the summer.  Like mid-July.  Super hot.  Not the best time to transplant things.  But...we had to do it then.  We were moving out.

I crossed my fingers.  Nat's Mom did, too.  And guess what?  Happy ending here.  Look at that photo above.  That's the hosta this weekend.  It broke through the mulch in Naperville and looks happy!

Since we don't quite know where we're ending up yet (hoping, praying that we *finally* have it solved, but we can't quite say for certain yet), I'm thinking this one will spend another year in Naperville.  Maybe later this fall or early next Spring, when things calm down and there isn't heavy equipment that might crush it, it - along with some others - will get their FINAL move back home.

And once it is re-established?  I'd love nothing more than to break it up and give one BACK to my sister.  I know she's not looking back, but it might be nice to have something in her yard from her old place.
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