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Water Management @ Our New Old Farmhouse

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About a month ago, I showed the last pictures of our #NewOldFarmhouse where we were having our driveway poured out front.  More recently, the crew moved on to the landscaping and that includes the underground routing of drain pipes.  We're putting the downspouts and the sump pump drain into pipes underground.  You can see one of the big runs in the image above. 
They're taking some of the pipes and running them towards a dry well and others...they're running into the yard and installing some 'pop ups' and then letting the grading of the property take over.  
I took some photos of the drywells (yes...there's more than one) that we put in underground and I'll post the details of those over time.  It seemed that we had a few choices:  put in the drywells or include a water garden - like the one that the City of Elmhurst recently installed as a demonstration.  
From a landscaping perspective, I had a really unique experience.  The subcontractor selected by our…

Giant Brass Deer - The King Critter That Got Away

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I've posted quite a few times about the various brass 'critters' that I've bought at garage sales, antique malls, estate sales, etc over the years.  The most recent was this little Fox letter holder from an Estate Sale in Downers Grove.  This weekend I stopped at a few Estate Sales including one in a giant house in Oak Brook.  Amongst that massive amounts of stuff (and the biggest crowd I've ever seen at an Estate Sale), was this giant brass deer.  Laying down, it was at least 3 feet tall including the antlers.

I snapped a photo and sent it to Nat.  But, the timing is the thing for us.  We're this/close to having a new place to live where we'll be reunited with our stuff from storage.  We don't quite know where things can go/live and that's a big part of buying something like this, right?  Picturing where it could go in your house?

Alas, this one is being filed away in the [one that got away] category.  Hopefully another buyer fell in love and has g…

Missed: Lebowski Night @ Patio Theater

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Recently, we were headed into the City to visit with Nat's sister and Google Maps took us on a route that I don't think I've ever been on before this trip.  Along the way, we drove past the Patio Theater and what did the marquee say?  "A B I D E".  Then, as we creeped forward, the side of the marquee listed an event taking place on Friday:  Lebowski Fest.

What the what?

Sure enough, according to DNA Info, there was, indeed, a Lebowski night there.
"The Big Lebowski" is returning to the big screen at the Patio Theater on Friday.
The theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road, is hosting "Lebowski Night" with a 7 p.m. screening of the 1998 Coen brothers cult classic.  The showing will be followed by a 10 p.m. live performance by The Fortunate Sons, a tribute band to Credence Clearwater Revival, whose music runs throughout the movie's soundtrack.  The theater use the event to show off its newly-rehabilitated bar, so spectators can sip White Russians …

Join, or Die - At The Logan in Philly

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Earlier this Summer, I found myself in Philadelphia for a few days.  I posted about the beer I drank while waiting for my delayed flight home and the not-so-great steak I had at the airport, too.   I stayed at a placed called The Logan that had quite a collection of art around the place.  In the areas by the elevators on my floor, down the hallways and in various places around the lobby were mixed media, paintings, sculptures and more.  They're pretty proud of the art and it seems to be a big part of the hotel's personality.  Here's the page showing off a bunch of it on the hotel's site.

The piece that I took a photo of above is called - of course - "Join, or Die".  Here's a look at the little plaque to the left of the piece.  It is right across from the main elevators and one of the more prominent pieces.


The description from the Logan's site:
“Join, or Die” is a well-known political cartoon, created by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his P…

Converted Kegerator - Curbside Treasure

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There I was, minding my own business, driving home when I came across this thing: a converted fridge into a kegerator just sitting on the curb.  Tank, hose, tap.  Everything right there.  Including the - undoubtedly - energy sucking 80's fridge.  There's some ingenuity at work here with the tap coming out the side of the box and the plywood shelf in the bottom to hold up the keg.  I got out, looked the thing over, snapped this photo and thought about trying to figure out how to get it into the van for like 10 seconds.  Texted it to Nat's Dad who said:  "move along".  Good advice in this case, I think.  
I drove by a few hours later and someone had stripped the hose, fittings and tap off the fridge, took the tank and left the box.  That was probably the right call.  

Lizzie on Lake Elizabeth - A Water Dog?

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We've been able to spend a little bit of time this summer up in Twin Lakes on Lake Elizabeth with the kids and little Lizzie.  I've posted a few times about Lizzie.  First, when we got her.  Then, earlier this spring when we marked her 7 month mark.    She was born on July 21st of last year, so we're coming up on her 11 month mark and there are still some new experiences - including her first trip into the lake.  Our dear Maisy - who Lizzie isn't a pimple on - spent some time up in Paw Paw Lake in Michigan.  We bought her a dog life jacket and that's the one that Lizzie is wearing in the photo above.  Maisy was a good swimmer, but one of the funniest things was seeing her swim in the lake only to haul her out by the handle on her back, on top of the jacket, only to see her little legs keep swimming even though she was out of the water.  Turns out, that's a Cavalier thing!  Lizzie does the same thing.

The girls love this big 'yoga mat' as they call it,…

We're Legal: Wisconsin Fishing License

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We're now all set up with fishing rod and a little tackle box up.  We went off to Walmart and came home with a few little poles (for the two younger kids) and an intermediate one for the Babe and I even bought my own rod.  When we were picking out the equipment the lady at Walmart was very helpful and encouraged me to get a license.  After answering a handful of questions, she printed out this barcode license that says that we are supposed to carry this with us when we fish.  We didn't buy any stamps because, well, we're just beginners and we're catching a lot of little things and tossing them back.

The Babe has had the most luck of the bunch.  She throws her line in - usually with a wax worm on the hook - and most sessions, she pulls out a fish.  A lot of panfish (bluegills) and a few bass (not sure if they're large-mouth or small-mouth...again....we're beginners!) so far.  The King of the Ball Tossers is currently using a casting practice weight.  One of th…