Is Our Dawn Redwood Going To Make It?

I went out in the #newoldbackyard to check on some of the trees we had planted this year recently and was surprised that MOST of them were doing just fine despite the almost drought-like conditions.  But the Dawn Redwood seems like it might be in trouble.  That's it above where you can see a lot of brown, yellow'd needles that have dropped off.  But, many of the 'tips' of the limbs are still green - see the photo below:

See the green needles on the far edges of the limbs?  So, there is *some* life in this thing, but did the drought get to the rest?  
I've seen another of these (or perhaps it was a Bald Cypress??) in the neighborhood that had all of it's needles drop, so while I'm concerned that the drought affected my dear Dawn Redwood, maybe it will be fine?  I'll be watching this one bud out early in the Spring and will - of course - report back on it here.

Checking In On My Office Succulent - Fall 2017

Back in August of 2016 (14 months ago), I posted a photo of my office succulent.  You should go look at that photo here to get a sense for the growth.  Above, you see a photo of what it looks like today.  It has gone, literally, berzerk.  This started from some cuttings of a co-worker's succulent and now has clearly outgrown it's pot.  Not to mention the soil has likely outlived its useful life, right? 

I'm going to bring in a few little pots and some succulent soil and see if I can again replicate the success I had with cuttings on this original version to grow a few more.  If you look closely, you'll see that there are quite a few little buds on the main stems that I can cleave off and use to start entirely new plants, I think.

Buzz Lightyear Mickey Head Disney Pin

One of the pin-types that I trade for at the parks are these Mickey head-shaped ones that you can see above.  This one, in particular, is of Buzz Lightyear, but they have them in a bunch of designs like cast-member outfits and various characters.  This one is the second of these that I've featured here in this shape, the first of which was this Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas

The King of the Ball Tossers loves him some Buzz Lightyear - in fact - he uses "To Infinity...and Beyond!" as a rallying cry for just about everything he does.  Jump into the pool?  To Infinity and beyond!  Go down the stairs?  To Infinity and beyond! 

But is the pin for him?  Nope.  Don't think so.  Going to go on *my* board, which I'm hoping we'll hang at some point in my home office. 

House Doll'd Up For Halloween

Image least with some ridiculous inflatables on the front porch.  For record-keeping purposes, here's the annual (or some-what-annual) photo of our house decorated for Halloween.  You can see the Big Pumpkin (or "Big Pump" as the kids call him) along with Frankenstein on our front porch.  You'll also note that the mums at the bottom of the steps are the very same ones I 'tied up' with my pro-tip earlier this fall.  There are also a couple of cinderella pumpkins stashed on the stairs near the right railing that you can - if you look closely - see peeking out. 

This is the first holiday in our #newoldfarmhouse, so we're starting from scratch decorations-wise. 

We've come a long way from last year when we were living in Equation Boy/Man and Vic's house (thanks to their generosity!).  Here's a photo from last year that shows the decorations.  Frankenstein is the only survivor from this whole setup!   To be fair, the line of pumpkin inflatables …

Tuff Stuff Red Hydrangea: Planted Fall 2017

This fall is the first fall in our #newoldbackyard, so I've been busy with various fall plantings.  Starting with the tulip and allium bulbs, the harvested hostas, ferns and hydrangea from our neighbor's yard and most recently with a Disneyland Rose plant and a Everlasting Revolution Hydrangea - both from Jackson and Perkins. 
This one above, the Tuff Stuff Red Hydrangea, is the last in the series of plants that we were given by Nat's mom as an anniversary gift.   I put it in a spot adjacent to the Everlasting Revolution variety (the multi-colored one) as outlined in the most recent landscape plan documents.   
If you look closely at the photo above, you can get a sense for the soil we're dealing with in the #newoldbackyard.  It isn't great.  In the Spring, I have plans to amend the soil with some organic material and till it in where the beds are located.  That might require me pulling some of these plants out and replanting them, but they'll be better off fo…

Washington University vs. Notre Dame Football - 1936

A few days back, I mentioned that we had attended a game at Notre Dame Stadium and while there were a lot of 'special touches' at the Stadium/game, one that stood out was that they gave away half dollar coins from the concession stands.  Well...the game turned into a bit of a blowout, so late in the 3rd quarter, I took a walk around the bowels of the stadium.  I wanted to see all the light fixtures, reused sections of bleachers, how the old/new stadium fit together and various other things that adorn the interior of the stadium.

One of the things that they've done to represent some of their strong history is to blow up and and install vintage program covers from games of past around the concourse.  And guess what?  One of those football game programs was from a game between Washington University and the Fighting Irish.  Yeah...Wash U.

That's Nat's alma mater.  And now a Division III football program that I affectionately call the "Teddy Bears".  Nat insi…

Everlasting Revolution Hydrangea: Planted Fall 2017

In addition to the Disneyland Rose, Nat's Mom also gifted us a few other plants that were shipped this fall including this Everlasting Revolution Hydrangea that you see above.  I mentioned in the post a week or so back that the #newoldbackyard landscape design called for hydrangeas on the south property line tucked in front of a few new hemlock trees.   And that's where I ended up placing this one.

This one is three posts down from the tall 6' section of fence on that side.    I planted it fairly close to the fence and if you look at the drawing in this post, it is where one of the Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are placed and I also planted another one (that I'll post about soon) in a similar location.  I've never planted hydrangea in the fall, so I'm not sure how these are going to turn out, but the nursery shipped them knowing our USDA Zone, so I have my fingers crossed that this one survives the winter.

Also, if you are following along closely at home, you know that