Sunday, October 04, 2015

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Christmas Pumpkin Ornament

One of the better party-specific souvenirs that are available at the Disney World Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is this Christmas ornament.  Like a lot of folks, Nat and I use Christmas ornaments as a way to document our travel and Disney delivers for folks like us.

The pumpkin has two Mickey ears sprouting out the top and includes the year on one side.  Perfect way to commemorate a trip to the Park during the #NotSoScary party, right?

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Pow Wow At Naper Settlement

Last weekend, we went out to Naper Settlement to attend the Midwest Soaring Foundation's
21st Annual Harvest Pow Wow with the kids and Nat's folks.  We arrived just in time for the Pow Wow and watched as they honored various veterans and then did a series of dances.  Pretty neat costumes and pretty interesting to watch.  Everyone sat in chairs around this big circle where the Native Americans presented various parts of the event.  

With the three kids getting restless, we set out to discover the rest of the Pow Wow which included a kids craft table (we made bead necklaces!) and a little pen where they had some birds set up.  

They had owls - which were really neat to see - but they also had this:  a bald eagle on an ankle chain.

He was AWESOME to admire, but you have to *kinda* feel a bit for this guy.   He's stuck at this place with people preening over him, tethered to an anchor.  Not exactly 'soaring', eh?  

Makes me wonder...who's better off?  This guy, who is super well fed and tended too I'm sure, or his brethren out there.  Even when they get hit by trucks like this poor fellow recently did on I-55?  

Friday, October 02, 2015

Fall Has Arrived It Seems

This morning, it *feels* like Fall has arrived.  And when I got up to my office and took a look at the lake it *looked* like Fall, too.   Lots of wind and crashing waves on the lake.  They've turned Buckingham Fountain off for the year, which is really quite depressing.

There's also those weird sand-filled spots by the bandshell in Grant Park and nobody stirring in the parks almost anywhere.

This marks the third season - as viewed through my office window - and chronicled this year on the blog:  Spring with NFL Draft Town, Lollapalooza in the Summer and now this post for Autumn.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Scarecrows Return. At The New Place...

Look who has turned up at our new place?!? is kind of *our* place.  You'll notice that the house looks a bit different.  We've still living on the same block thanks to my sister and Equation Boy/Man moving overseas for work. They were nice enough to allow us to 'squat' at their place while we figure our housing situation out.  That situation is a long, sad, and open-ended story, so that might be for another post. you can see, we're making ourselves at home in the form of some Halloween decorations.

Being the first day of October, I thought it was appropriate to show the new home of two of these guys.  I put them up but didn't have time to put up the two little girl scarecrows.  I'll get them up this weekend and then we can try to figure out building a new one for the boy.

This is the sixth year of putting these guys out and with a little bit of spiff'ing up, they're still looking good.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Uncommon Coffee Roasters Cold Brew Coffee in Bottles

Nat picked up this bottle of Cold Brew Coffee from Uncommon Coffee Roasters when we were at Crane's Pie Pantry in Fennville, Michigan a week or so back.  Uncommon is based in Saugatuck and has a little store right in their downtown.   She said it was tasty, so we'll probably buy more when we come across it.  They don't ship, so we'll just have to find it around Southwest Michigan on our trips up there.

Whenever we head up to Saugatuck (which isn't super often...we're more of a St. Joe's-kinda-family!), we always make a stop there so Nat can get her fix.

On the Uncommon site, they're now selling not this bottled stuff, but grounds to brew your own.  They also have an 8 step process listed for brewing your own cold brew here on their site.

Nat has been making her own cold brew for a while now at home, but she doesn't have any of the equipment that they're specifying.  Wonder if we need to upgrade?  I'm not one to take on more uni-taskers (especially when we don't have a house to live in right now!?!) and it seems like this is a bit of a rabbit hole.  Like home brewing beer...once you go down a little bit and get a decanter.  Seems like a grinder and a filter and the what-have-you's of home coffee brewing are sure to follow.

Maybe we should just stick to the bottled stuff as a treat?  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CocoMera Closing in Elmhurst City Centre - Moving to Downers Grove

This notice was posted on the front windows of Cocomera - the yogurt shop on the east side of York right across for the York Theatre.

I covered the opening of Cocomera back in August of 2012 here on the blog.

Sad to see them go, but the space is huge (always seemed way to big for a yogurt shop!), so I'm hopeful that we'll get something interesting in that location soon.

Here's a post that showed the space BEFORE Cocomera (it was a salon that failed) and talked about how Inland was marketing the place.  

This is the second yogurt place to open and close in the City Centre.  The first was YogenFruz up the street.  This leaves TCBY (which I think is Nat's favorite of the three anyway!) as the last remaining location of the great early/mid-20-teens yogurt craze in Elmhurst.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Help Wanted: Improve The Elmhurst Vietnam Memorial At Wilder Park

Looks like the community in Elmhurst needs to step up and lend a hand to the American Legion Post #187 who wants to improve the Vietnam Memorial that currently sits in Wilder Park.

I spotted this flyer on a local business in the Elmhurst City Centre on my walk to the train.  Here's (below) a closer look at details located at the bottom of the flyer:

After 27 years of being weathered and worn, scratched and nicked, it's time for a granite base that would raise the memorial 30" above ground.  2015 marks the 50th Anniversary of ground forces arrival in Vietnam.  Funds are needed to preserve the memory of the 14 sons of Elmhurst who gave their lives for America in the Vietnam War.  Please send a contribution to: 
The American Legion Post #187Vietnam Memorial310 W. Butterfield RdElmhurst, IL  60126-5017
I tell you what...this just seems like something we here in Elmhurst *have* to do, right?  I can we NOT do this as a community.

No matter how you feel about war and conflict, you can't help but feel that the marker that is honoring these 14 young men who lived here in Elmhurst is being overlooked and that needs to be righted.

We'll break out the checkbook and send a check to these guys this week.  Will you join Nat and me?  It doesn't take much, I'm sure.  Just a few bucks from a large number of people will do the trick.  Let's do this, Elmhurst!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vacation Greetings From Crane's Pie Pantry

We were up at Crane's Orchard and Crane's Pie Pantry in Fennville Michigan recently to do some Honeycrisp picking and hard cider drinking and pie buying and the other fall-season what-have-yous.

On our table at the Pie Pantry were a series of laminated vintage post cards that had been filled out and mailed with canceled one cent stamps.  This image above was on the back of one of them and I thought it was spot-on for our trip(s) to Coloma in the offseason (i.e. not during the summer!)
Vacation Greetings:
Everything is mighty fine,
Water's sweet as any wine,
There is no roar and bustle,
Don't have to up and hustle,
It's the rural life for mine!  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Boo To You (And You, And You) #NotSoScary

'Tis the season for these three spot-on Disney pins it seems.  I clipped the pumpkin Mickey one and the Sally one on to the Jack card to keep them together.  I *think* one of the girls traded for the pumpkin one and maybe the Sally one(?), but the Jack one came from a friend.

As they say:  Boo to you and you and you and you.  It's Halloween time.  ( least at Disney World it is!)

Even the Sanderson Sisters are in on the action this year.  And things are #NotSoScary it seems.

Friday, September 25, 2015

'The Saint' - Artisnal Reserve Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider

We picked up this bomber of Crispin Hard Apple Cider at Costco recently and Nat broke it out for our block party this past weekend.  It was mighty tasty and I wasn't ashamed to be drinking it out amongst the other folks drinking craft beer from all over the place.  (By the way...Costco has really stepped up their game of craft beer with dozens of bomber sizes of various types.  Kinda neat way to spend a few minutes while Nat looks through the book section.)

It is interesting to me that ciders have moved from kind of fringe - almost feminine - beverages (I remember back in the 90's some folks drinking Mike's Hard Cider back in college and me looking down at them while I was shotgunning my Miller High Life Light!) to totally mainstream.

For me, Nat has been leading the way for a few years as she's sought out ciders at bars and restaurants while I was sticking to the draft beer menu.  The first time I had a Crispin was a sip of one of Nat's at dinner one night probably back three or four years.  It was pretty tasty.

Now?  You might find me ordering a cider at dinner all by myself.  I don't love all the super-hop-y IPAs that are all the rage these days and my tastes lean towards lighter/golden session beers.  So, having ciders have their moment is a nice way for me to ride this craft beverage wave.  And..leave it to my wife (who is usually ahead of the curve on most things!) to take me down an interesting path beverage-wise.

This bottle - which contained an naturally fermented cider made with Belgian Trappist beer yeast -  came with a pretty lengthy description and some special instructions on what to do when you're down near the bottom:  "Give a full bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse unfiltered apple-wine sediment evenly."


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