Posts Installed for Espalier Linden Trees

All the way back in May, I shared a photo of two young Greenspire Linden Trees that I had begun to prune to be two-dimensional with the hopes of - once we moved into our #newoldfarmhouse - that I could try my hand at espalier or pleaching of the trees to train them into a specific habit.  Back in July, in a post on the blog about our new fence, I pointed out the final placement of these Lindens right next to the southern lot line butted up against the 6' portion of our cedar fence.  I got these in right after the fence was installed and then began to plan out the framing/system that I was planning on using to create the espalier.

Over the past week or so, I have made some additional progress on the setup that you can see above:  the three posts have been installed in the ground.  I ended up shopping around and ultimately buying these 10' green 12 gauge steel sign posts from Grainger.  Grainger has a location on Ogden Avenue in Downers Grove and like a lot of places, they hav…

New Walt Disney World Resort Coaster (In Room)

Back in February of 2016, I posted a photo of the in-room coasters from the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Hotel.  The coasters from WDW are found in the resort hotel rooms usually on the little bar/kitchen setup where the glasses/mugs are located near the coffee makers.  The coasters had been the same ones for as long as we have been traveling there until a recent trip when I came across these new ones you see above.  It is a much cleaner look - both in terms of design but also material.  The old one had a soft, brushed texture.  This one is thinner, more flexible and has a more slick - but not glossy finish to it.  Gone is the castle imagery and the clouds.  In is the word 'Resort'.

The thinner material and less printing make me think that this is a simple cost-cutting measure.  Sure, the new design feels a bit more 'fresh', but if they're putting four of these in 10k hotel rooms, a penny here and a penny there can start to add up, right?

I'm n…

Pizza Gear Upgrade: Heavy-Duty Pan Gripper

For the last ten or so years, I've been relying on your typical pan gripper when it comes to trying to extract my pizzas out of their pans.  It looks like this one.  But, at some point, I was turned on to the one you see above:  a heavy-duty version.  And it ended up on my Christmas list to Natalie.  It is $5.75 and can be bought from Northern Pizza Equipment.  Nat's brother was looking for ideas for Christmas gifts this year and she sent him along the link and he ended up gifting it to me.  Because of the move, it ended up in a box with some other pizza gear - awaiting the day when it can be used to help with my pizza making.

A few weekends back, this thing made it's debut.  And I don't know how I lived without it.  It is super strong and has a very wide lip on the mouth of the gripper that allows me to - with one hand - grab a cutter pan from Lloyd Pans directly out of the oven and put it on the stovetop.  No more need for even an oven mitt - which is pretty awesom…

WDW Transportation Card: Friendship Boat from Epcot Resort Area

Thanks to the out-going nature of one of the Friendship boat skippers, we're now the proud owners of a Friendship Boat-specific Transportation card.  This one is #15 of 27 total cards and we got it on the boat going from the Yacht Club to Disney's Hollywood Studios.  
I posted other Transportation cards here on the blog before.  Here's a post showing a few other ones including the Monorail and Motor Launch versions.  
Below is the back of the Friendship Boat card that features Merida.  

This goes in the file with a few other of our Disney World 'free things' that we've amassed over the years.   This Friendship Boat Transportation cardStar Wars Trials of the Temple Training BadgeOfficial Tomorrowland Speedway Drivers LicenseHappy Birthday Mickey pin from Mickey the Mouse's birthdayThe above-mentioned WDW Transportation Cards including the Monorail and Motor LaunchThe Mayor of Mainstreet USA's business card

Walt Disney: "I'm just very curious..."

Back at the end of July, I posted a photo of a Walt Disney quote that they've hung on some construction walls at WDW in Orlando.  Here's another one that caught my eye.  Again, kudos to Stanley for the sponsorship that seems apt for the place/time/space in terms of sponsoring some of the construction work going on and to the imagineers for turning what would normally be an eyesore into something worth taking a minute to take in while walking towards the International Gateway behind Epcot.

As for the quote itself, I'm drawn to it because of that word 'curious'.  Something that when I hear someone say, I always perk up and tune in to what they're talking about.  I've done hundreds of interviews for hiring folks (doing some these days to hire people for our team) and when describing themselves, if I hear 'curious' as part of the description, that always makes me sit up in my chair.

Trying the New Whittier Playground for the First Time

Last week, I posted a photo showing the mulch being dropped off at the new playground in the Randall Park neighborhood of Downers Grove.  Recently, while we were at the school working on riding bikes in the big parking lot, we found the fence down in a big section (it was still up on part of it), so we naturally went in.

The kids had a lot of fun.  I only had the two youngest savages with me, but it seems scaled perfectly for all three kids - some areas for the little ones and with the climbing apparatus, I'm sure kids like The Babe will find themselves at home.

All in all, a nice addition to Whittier Elementary School.  Kudos to the Moms and Dads behind the Whittier PTO for all their work and dedication to raising the money needed.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort Pin

We picked up another Resort-specific pin during a stop at Disney's Yacht Club.  Just like the one from the Contemporary earlier this year.  Or the Port Orleans Riverside one.   This one has Mickey wearing his best beach/old-timey-boardwalk/sailor gear and seems to fit the vibe that the resort puts off.  Now that we're settled in, it seems like we should be doing something in the house with these pins and the various pin boards that are laying around in my office.  The resort-specific section would