Alter Brewing Company: Added to Coaster Collection

Here comes #29 to the [Coaster Collection] here on the blog - and this one is local.  Alter Brewing Company is located in Downers Grove.  And, when we were there...the place was bananas!  We went on a recent Friday night for a party in their upstairs party room1 and the entire taproom was packed.  I had a few beers, but most of what they had in the party room were super-high alcohol beers. 

This is the first local, Downers Grove coaster added to the collection here, but not the first from a local craft brewery.  Back in January of 2017, I posted these photos of a coaster from Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville

1 This time, we were in the upstairs party room, but we've also been to a party in the rear, larger room.  I really liked the upstairs room, but it was H-O-T!

New Backyard Addition: Squirrel Bungee Feeder

I recently added this Songbird Essentials Bungee Cord Squirrel Feeder to our backyard at Hornbeam Hill.  Those of you who have been reading for a while know that we have a set of bird feeders that we've set up close to our kitchen windows including a fly-thru feeder that continues to get raided by various critters.  Also, last year, I put out a Christmas-themed seed bell to only have it absconded with by someone within a few days.

As part of the program to become a "Certified Wildlife Habitat", we have to continue to provide food via feeders, so this also continues to check that box for us.

I put this bungee cord feeder on a shepherd's hook attached to the top of our fence so the corn cob is dangling about three and a half feet from the ground (too high to reach from the ground) and about 15 inches from the fence (almost too far to reach from the fence).    I'm hoping that by putting a squirrel-specific feeder over on this side of the yard, they'll leave my …

Cheese Box Club Cheese - A New Entrant

I've written numerous posts about club cheese.  It (Club Cheese) is my preferred version of cheese.  Better than cubed or sliced.  My personal favorite is the King of Clubs from Mars Cheese Castle, but I also really like the Bucky Badger Club Cheese - which is far easier to buy. 

I've posted about Glas Club Cheese that we bought at the Woodstock Farmer's Market and Brewster House Club Cheese that I didn't love

On a recent trip up to Wisconsin, Nat wandered into a place called The Cheese Box.  She said it reminded her of Bobby Nelson's, but much closer to home.  On their homepage, they show the inside of the shop and their counter.  Looks like a place I'd love, right?

She came home with a few club cheeses including this Mild Cheddar - which was awesome.  This is private labeled for The Cheese Box, but they're not making it, I don't think.  They do, however, make their own curds and Nat scored a container of those (that didn't last very long). 


Driveway Grasses - August 2018 Garden Diary Entry

This gardening season, I planted a number of Karl Foerster Reed Fountain grasses in our backyard along the rear foundation outside both the kitchen and the screened porch.  The weren't the first set of these fountain grasses that we had planted, though.  As part of our 'move-in' landscaping that our builder and landscape team completed before we moved in was the installation of three Karl Foerster Reed Grasses in a small bed that sits between our front walk/stoop and driveway.  The bed is about ten or twelve feet long by about three feet wide. 

You can see all three of them in the photo above with their feather reeds showing off for the world to see.  They really look great and seem to be healthy in this spot. 

I first posted about these grasses a little bit over two months ago - June of this year - when I posted this photo of the grasses just getting started for the season.  Go check out this post to see how much smaller they were (and so green!).  I called them 'fro…

Backyard Garden Walking Path - Inspiration Online (and in our Neighborhood)

A few weeks back, we were at one of our neighbor's house for a get-together and we spent the entire afternoon out in their backyard where they have quite a large perennial garden.  I wanted to get a little closer look, so I wandered out there and discovered not only a native-looking perennial garden, but also a series of walking paths *in* the garden.  The image above is NOT their garden, but rather just some example image that I found online (source here).

The garden I was walking in (with the paths) was in full sun, so it was quite different than the one you see above, but I picked that image because it is a shade garden and more of what we have to deal with on Hornbeam Hill.  Hostas and ferns and hostas and ferns.

The path idea really struck me and made me think about our own landscape plan.  I've showed a bunch of cuts/selects of our landscape plan here on the blog, but none of them had a 'walking path'.  It wasn't even contemplated by our landscaper.  Mostly …

New Project: Holiday Weekend Wedding

If you haven't been able to pick this up by now, I'm not one to hold back my opinion on some things.  Nat insists that I think that the entire world should think just the way I think on some things.  And, I guess that's true.  I do, often, wish that the world thought the way I did on a bunch of topics. 

But, I'm not sitting by and leaving it up to luck that people will come around on some topics.  
If you've followed along at all over the years, you know I have an opinion on when it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music.  And I tried to do something about skunks in Elmhurst.  
Today, I'm excited to release my latest web project. 

The wedding industry is chock'd full of advice sites.  How-to guides.  Tip sheets.  Consultants.  In fact, my wife Natalie was an award-winning member of the industry for a bit. 

My project is aimed at the wedding industry.

It is an advice website called "Holiday Weekend Wedding". 
The goal of the project is to answe…

For that's the way I remember her best

If you're travelin' in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine
If you go when the snowflakes storm
When the rivers freeze and summer ends
Please see if she's wearing a coat so warm
To keep her from the howlin' winds
Please see for me if her hair hangs long
If it rolls and flows all down her breast
Please see for me if her hair hangs long
For that's the way I remember her best
I'm a-wonderin' if she remembers me at all
Many times I've often prayed
In the darkness of my night
In the brightness of my day
So, if you're travelin' in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine