Showing posts from August, 2013

Another Vintage Santa Garage Sale Find

The ceramic Santa bank wasn't the only Christmas item we picked up at the garage sale this weekend.  We also got this guy.  Look at that hand-painted mustache!  He's about 4 inches tall and has this made in Japan sticker on his hat, so we can *kinda* date him.    The sticker is in an odd spot, though.  Not on the base of his feet, but up on the back of his hat. seems to almost be stitched in there.

He'll look great in the mix with the rest of our stuff.  

Talk about Chrismas Creep?!?  Guess I'm just as guilty as Costco, eh?

Vintage Ceramic Santa Bank

Speaking of Christmas Creep...we got into a bit of it ourselves with a few purchases at a garage sale in our neighborhood last week.

I couldn't pass this guy up and I think he'll go great amongst our collection of other vintage Santas in our holiday decor.  The most recent example of one of these guys here.  And, here's another one with Spaghetti Trim.

This one is old, but I'm not certain the exact date of manufacture.  As you can see below, it is a bank, but it also has a "Made in Japan" sticker on it, so that gives it some historical markers and places it amongst the rest of our collection.

Pay no attention to the price tag on this one.  Every year we go to the Vintage Christmas show, we always pay quite a bit more for these ceramic guys, so I was thrilled to find a deal like this.

I'll post about the rest of the stuff we bought, but after putting together a 'package deal', I think we paid less than even what they were asking here ($0.50).

Christmas Creep - 2013

We were at Costco over the weekend and what did we find?  Christmas stuff was already out!

Last year, I documented Christmas Creep all the way to August 30th and in 2012, it wasn't until the first week of September that I spotted the Christmas decor making an appearance.

This year it was August 19th - almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

Like I've said in the past...I'm not a Scrooge, so I don't mind these things.  But....I *do* feel bad for Thanksgiving.  Halloween has hired the right PR firm the past few years and has started to keep up with Christmas in terms of 'stuff'.  Thanksgiving on the other hand?  Not so much.

Early Carrot Harvest - 2013

This was the second year we grew carrots in our garden.  Last year, we had a bunch of those short stubby ones that I planted way too close together.  So this year, I decided to try to use carrot seed tape to make sure the seeds were evenly spaced and I wouldn't have to yank a bunch of seedlings out.

Something happened.  Either I planted them too deep or the seeds in the tape had turned or something because I only ended up with about 20 or so carrot seedlings.  Instead of the 300 or so I was expecting.

This is the first one that I pulled out to see where they were in their growth process.  They're much longer than last year and have a nice orange color up near the leafy greens.  I'm going to leave the rest of them in the ground a bit longer, so hopefully we'll have some carrot stick 'mixers' for a bloody mary bar during one of the Bears' games this season.

Pear Harvest - 2013

Just two months after I noticed that the pear tree in our backyard had gone through a growth spurt, we're dealing with our first *real* pear harvest.  With a little bit of reading, turns out you're not supposed to allow pears to ripen on the tree.  I pulled down as many as I could, but I need to get on a ladder this weekend to remove the rest.

From the fine folks at Oregon State University:

Pears picked when slightly immature will ripen with better quality than pears that are over mature when picked. To tell if a pear is mature, a general rule of thumb is that, while still on the tree, most mature, ready to ripen pears will usually detach when "tilted" to a horizontal position from their usual vertical hanging position. Bosc pears always are difficult to separate from the spur.  "Unlike apples, which are ready to eat from the day they are picked, pears must go through a series of changes before they can deliver their full splendor," explained Sugar. "…

Parking Patrons Use Only? Huh?

This sign is posted in a garage in Elmhurst just south of the tracks.  We went and had a meal at the Snuggery.  Is that an "other" activity?!?!

The Battle of the Arborvitae in Elmhurst

This is the view of a backyard of a home down the block from us (as viewed from the alley).  They recently did a pretty amazing upgrade of their backyard and in lieu of a fence, they put up this really tall stand of arborvitae.  It looks really great.

The reason I call it a "battle" is that someone else on the block recently installed a row of taller arborvitae as a privacy hedge adjacent to a new tear-down home.

We have a few of these things in our yard that I planted.  We bought them from Costco and are a bit less than half the height.   And they weren't cheap, so I know these folks made a sizable investment with these! I'm jealous of them and the privacy they've given the homeowners almost instantly.

Sweet P Doll Studio Elmhurst

Looks like a new storefront is opening up on 3rd Street just West of York.  Sweet P Doll Studio is said to be 'coming soon' based on the sign in the window.  According to their Facebook page, they're set to open in October and you'll be able to 'make' dolls.
Coming Soon! A place for girls to create for their 18" Doll! Like our page and stay tuned as we count down the days till we open in October 2013!
Sounds like a really nice addition to Elmhurst's downtown that will provide a reason to be "downtown".  Guessing they'll have the full birthday party routine, right?   I could see my daughters loving the whole doll-making process.  We've been to American Girl (Well...we walked thru it when I was there, but I think Nat has actually taken them to the whole lunch thing) and The Babe was in heaven.  

I wish them a lot of luck!  I'm sure we'll be in there shortly after they open.

Found: Lake Louise Sigal Brothers Canadian Blue Plate

At a yard sale this weekend, we came across this blue Lake Louise plate that we couldn't pass up.  My in-laws have been to Lake Louise and have come back with lots of photos and stories from Banff.

The plate was made by the Sigal Brothers in Windsor Canada and has at $5.95 price sticker on the back.  It is "made in Japan", so it likely has *some* age to it, but I can't figure out how old.  I did find a companion plate on Ebay (here), but the one we bought has a larger/longer description on the back and appears to be a bit older than the one being listed for sale.  They're asking $10.99, so my $0.50 (I haggled!) deal is looking pretty good.

Westmoreland Milkglass Candlesticks: Found at Garage Sale

While up in Michigan, we stopped in a bunch of yard sales.  At one of them, we came home with these two Westmoreland Milkglass candlesticks and the little bowl in the middle.  All for $2.00.  

They're currently up on our mantle, but I know that while Nat adores milkglass, she isn't that into clutter.  I think these guys might have to get packed up saved for when/if we ever have a bigger house...

Sunflowers in Front Yard - 2013

For the past two years, I've put sunflower seeds in the backyard along our far west fence line.  The've done fine there, but this year I decided to try something different.  I put them in our front yard and instead of just one variety, I used three different ones that all have different colors and sizes.

I dropped the seeds in earlier this summer and mostly forgot about them.  They're on the south side of our yard and the walkway is on the northside, so I have to be purposeful to walk over there to check these out.  I also (recently) put the pumpkin seeds down right by these sunflowers so now I have two reasons to spend time here!

As you an see from the photo, at least one of the plants is pretty far along, but the others are starting to catch up.  They grow in big spurts and move fast upwards.  Here's a photo from two years ago in late August that shows where they were then.  I'm thinking we'll be right on track this year again with flowers opening up in a f…

2013 Glad Peach Festival

Over the weekend, we went up to Michigan and were able to attend the annual Glad Peach Festival in town.  They had all the necessary elements to have a great fest:  a good theme (Peaches and Gladiolas!), a small town atmosphere, some fun events, and great weather.

We even saw the crowning of Miss Coloma 2013!  The Babe loved that.

I know A LOT of hard work goes into the production of the festival, but what is a fun time, could be an amazing festival, I think.  Start with upping the number and variety of peaches.  Where's the peaches?  And the gladiolas?  That's a start, I'd think.

German Queen Tomatoes - 2013

Look at those beauties.  They're getting big but not getting anywhere close to being red.

This is a variety that I have not grown int he past, so I don't know how fast they'll turn, but the plant is throwing off quite a lot of fruit.  There might be eight or ten of these things on the vine right now.

Core Power Yoga Elmhurst - Opening in October

Walking by this building on York this am, I saw this big banner announcing the (soon to be) arrival of a new Yoga studio called "Core Power Yoga".  Their site lists the Elmhurst location as opening in October of this year.

This isn't some mom-and-pop Yoga place.  They're a big outfit.  In multiple states and have more than 15 locations here in Illinois including Hinsdale, Naperville, Oak Park and more.

The building is on the East side of York, just north of Palmer and is really big.  During the last Mayoral race, one of the campaigns operated out of the first floor and if I read the signs correctly, I believe there is an art gallery on the second floor.  That leaves me with the assumption that Core Power Yoga will be taking up the first floor/street level.

This is a really nice addition to downtown and should be a boost to the area north of Palmer.  There is a parking lot right next to the building, so guessing that the patrons will be able to drive right there an…

You Make My Dreams Come True...

No one brings out a bigger smile in me than my wife of (almost!) five years.  One of our friends just shared this photo from her wedding earlier this summer.  I may not be the best dancer, but I sure do have a lot of fun dancing with this amazing woman!

If I had to guess, this was to Hall and Oates "You Make My Dreams Come True" which the DJ happily played for all of us.  (If you are reading this in your email and can't see the video below, do yourself a favor and click here to watch the video here back on the site. )

Pulte Homes Expanding in Elmhurst?

The folks over at Illinois Homeowners Unite have posted a warning to a few communities about the coming of Pulte Homes to their towns.

Elmhurst tops their list.  A quick look on Google shows that Pulte is *already* here in Elmhurst with a development that is south of Butterfield, north of I-88 that contains a choice of just three models.  They're calling it their "Premier Collection".

The reason I bring this up is because we've started to hear some rumors about the redevelopment of the old Elmhurst Hospital property and one of the names of builders that keeps coming up is Pulte Homes.

Why does it matter?  Well...some info out there points to some negatives with Pulte.
As the economy has modestly improved we have seen an incremental rise in home values, yet nothing compared to the skyrocketing revenues of PulteGroup, which continues to produce homes using cheap labor to enhance its bottom line while showing little consideration for current homeowners, future homeown…