Showing posts from June, 2016

Vintage Coors Beer Chalice

Found a set of four of these Coors chalice glasses at a garage sale.  They wanted $1 for the pair.  But...since we have neither a bar in our basement nor...a house...I had to pass.  Seems like they'd be a welcome addition to Uncle Peter's collection?  Maybe we should have sprung for them after all?

They read: Brewed With Pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water.

Art At The Polynesian

This interesting piece is hung up in the little nook by the elevators in the Grand Ceremonial House at the Polynesian.  Standing there, waiting for the elevator (so we can take the stroller up to the Monorail entrance), I saw this for the first time. After walking by it dozens of times, I'm sure.

View From My Office - Cloudgate-ish

Low, sporadic clouds like these make for an interesting view from my office.  Some of my favorite days are ones like this that give me the whole 'up in the clouds' feels.

Shiplap In The Master Bathroom

We were looking at a house a few weeks ago that had this shiplap stuff everywhere.  And...I mean everywhere.  And it wasn't put up in planks.  It was put up in sheets of the stuff, which was kinda weird.

Me thinks they watched a bit too many episodes of Fixer Upper?

Tinker Bell And Pixie Dust Jar Disney Pin

The Babe picked this pin out on our last trip down to Walt Disney World that features little Tinker Bell and a cute jar with cork in the top of Pixie Dust.  She wore it on her lanyard the entire trip and now it adorns the pin board that has somehow survived staying in the dining room of our place for like the past two months.  Nat must have bigger fish to fry or else this thing would have been booted upstairs faster than you can say 'post haste'.

3 Vintage Sweaters @ Estate Sale

I found these sweaters at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst and thought really hard about buying them.  No real reason, other than I was drawn to them.  Kinda strange, right?  Just look at that one above.  The 1966 across the chest?  That's just rad, isn't it?  And look how trim/slim it is??!?

And these below?  The orange one is awesome because of the orange.  Then add the chevrons on the arm, the pins on the letter in the middle?  The v-neck??

And this cardigan?  From the Glee Club?  Pretty awesome.
Alas, they didn't come home with me but I'm hoping that they went home with somebody.  And that they didn't end up in the garbage dump.

Brass Critters: Elephant

I've posted about all the various brass critters that we've come across and (most of the time) picked up at garage sales, estate sales and antique malls/stores.  This one, an elephant that is rearing it's trunk up was at the Naperville antique place on Ogden.  Earlier this year, I posted a couple of candle holder brass deer critters here on the blog.  These have always been gifts for my sister-in-law, but at some point, she said that she had *enough* critters, but now that she's moved into her big, beautiful house, I think we're back on in terms of getting her more critters.

Terreux Fruct Passion Fruit Berliner Weissbier

Dr. Jeff brought over this Terreux Fruct Passion Fruit Berliner Weissbier from The Bruery for one of his beer tastings recently.  There aren't enough ratings over on Beer Advocate, so it isn't rated, but based on the other things he brought, I'm guessing it will rank pretty highly.  I tend to like these fruity-wheat beers (that's what this is, right??? I'm *so* not a beer sommelier!), and this one was interesting.  Can't drink tons of it, but enjoyed my half-a-glass.

Spotted: Vintage Schlitz Beer Pitcher

As you can see, they were asking $12.50 for this beauty of a beer pitcher from Schlitz.  The slogan at the bottom reads - as you know - "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous".  We don't have a house, let alone a place to put big glass pitchers like this, but if it is still around when we go back, I think I might grab this to start our barware collection that could reside in a potential butler's pantry.

Madeline By Ludwig Bemelmans - Garage Sale Find

Another weekend, another garage sale find.  This one is a book that I picked up for the girls.  And with our trip planned for Paris, this Madeline booked seemed super appropriate.  And look at the adorable drawings inside:

And this little intro blurb - that isn't an intro blurb:

But...*this* is what sealed the deal!  Look at this adorable little note that one young lady wrote to her 'new friend Susanne' when she gifted her this book.  Get together and talk about it at the Medina Pool?!?!  How awesome and perfectly entitled is that?!

Added this one to the "vintage books" tag page here.  Check it out to see other posts featuring some garage sale/estate sale finds we've had in the book category.

Another Snapple Bears "Real Fact"

Consider this the second in the series of Snapple Chicago Bears "Real Facts".  Here's the first one on the blog that features a little nugget about their 2002 season that was spent down in Champaign at Memorial Stadium.

Seems like a totally random campaign, doesn't it?  Are these 'facts' localized to the NFL markets?  Don't get me wrong...I love me some Diet Snapple Half/Half and Peach Tea, but this weird campaign?  Not so sure.

But, back to the fact.  They moved into Soldier Field just back in 1971?  Hard to believe, right?  The Chicago Cardinals used it before the Bears it seems, while the Bears played at Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970.  

A Trip to Grimaldi's In California

Recently, I found myself in Southern California for some meetings and as one is wont to do, we ended up at a pizza place.  This place wasn't a local outlet, however.  It was one of the outposts of the Grimaldi's Coal-Fired Oven 'chain'.  I say 'chain', because I didn't know it was a chain.

I've read and heard all about Grimaldi's and Patsy's (and presumed they were one and the same!) and have recently dug around to understand the current dynamics and who *exactly* is behind this current Grimaldi's.  Turns out Patsy Grimaldi founded Grimaldi's, but then sold that place to a dude back in 1998.  Patsy is still in the pizza biz, but under another name.  From GrubStreet:
Christening a restaurant is never simple. But the question of what Patsy Grimaldi would call his new pizzeria was further complicated by the fact that he was legally barred from following the long-standing tradition of just naming it after himself. He couldn’t call it Patsy’…

Vintage Christmas Motherlode - June 2016

That above is a cabinet of little vintage Christmas items that is located in a booth in the Great Lakes Antique Mall in Coloma, Michigan.  I've documented this very cabinet for the past few years.  I don't appear to have taken a photo of the cabinet in January of this year, so this one is about six months later than normal.

Here's a post showing what the cabinet looked like in January of 2015.
Here's the photo from our 2014 trip.'s a photo of the case from 2013 trip.
I've looked back and forth between today's image and the one from January of 2015 and I see VERY little difference.  Wonder if the stuff isn't moving?  The shelf in the middle looks a bit more crowded, but I can't confirm that there are indeed, more or less.  Can you?

Potato Tuber Flowers

We've grown potatoes over the years, but I don't recall any of them blooming like the ones we are growing this year where they have big, white flowers.  I believe that these flowers are coming off just one of the two varieties - the purple ones called Magic Mollies - that we planted this year.  See this post to see them both.

The girls are excited to see the tubers throw up their shoots and now flower and The Babe learned all about the structure of flowers in Kindergarten, so she was happily pointing out the stamen and such to me all last night.

My Husqvarna Automower Arrives #Automowerfirst

Yesterday morning, some wonderful people from Husqvarna pulled up to our home in Elmhurst in this massive and awesome truck and trailer.  Inside, was a delivery I've been anticipating for weeks:  our new Husqvarna Automower.
I wrote about the #Automowerfirst program here on the blog a few weeks back where I mentioned that I was getting this robot lawn mower to use over the summer.  Disclosure here again:  Husqvarna has given me this Automower for free and if I post about my experience on the blog here and on social media, I am able to keep it.  Now...will I want to?  I'm not sure yet!  But, I'm sure hoping so.  
Anyway, back to the installation.  These dudes arrived yesterday and got to work.  First thing they did was to cut my grass short which was awfully nice of them.  Then, they went ahead and began to lay down the boundary wire in the yard.  It is this green heavy gauge wire you see in the photo below.  They laid it all the way around the perimiter of the lawn about …

Garage Sale Find: The Wonder Horse

I came across this wood rocking horse that was too cute to pass by at a garage sale recently in Elmhurst.  I took a photo of it and texted it to both Nat and her Mom - who is kinda *into* horse stuff.  Either way, I was going to buy this thing.

Nat's mom raised her hand and this awfully cute red Wonder Horse has found a new home in Naperville for a whole generation of grandkids to ride on.  The price was too good to not put this into our van.

In poking around on the web about what exactly this thing is, I came across this story about The Wonder Horse and the history of the company who made/make it:
Children of the 1950s remember the most popular horse from their childhood: the Wonder Horse. The all-wood painted horse was supported on a wooden frame by metal springs. The child rider could bounce up and down.The Wonder Horse was made by Wonder Products, now located in Bossier City, La. The company made its first horses in 1949. It continued making the same type until 1959, when it…

Aloha Poke Co @ Ogilvie

For the past threeish years, whenever I missed my train in the city and had to wait around for a bit until the next UP-West Metra train, I usually 'poked' around in the French Market at Olgivie in the lower level.  I've bought and brought home various foodstuffs from the stands there, but recently I came across this place that was new to me:  Aloha Poke Co.

Based on the line waiting for their Poke, it must be pretty great stuff.  I sent Nat this photo and she's already put her order in for takeout one night.  Have to time it *just right* to hit this place after the lunch crowd and before the rush hour crowd so there isn't a huge line.

Succulents in California

I found myself in California recently and even though I've been there numerous times, I am always in awe when I look at the landscaping and see succulents just about everywhere.  These were in a corporate office park in Southern California.  Hens and Chicks or Chicks and Hens?

An Update On Our Foster Hosta and Fern

Earlier this Spring, I posted about our 'fostered' Ostrich Fern and giant Hosta that are currently being housed at my in-law's side/front/back yard (I don't know what to call it.  It is kinda all of those things:  the front, the side and the back.   Weird, I know, but if I showed you the area, it *might* make sense.)  Here's the post on the ferns.  And here's the post on the hostas.

The good news is in that photo above.  I took that over recently when I checked in on them and gave them a little bit of water.  They look to be THRIVING, which has me excited.  We transplanted them late last year in late July/early August and they looked terrible.  The fern, in particular looked awfully wilted and I wasn't thinking it was going to come back.  But, these are hardy plants it seems.  And that means that I'm thinking if we're in a spot to transplant them as early as next Spring, they'll be ready to go.  And after they arrive, it won't take long fo…

Wall Calendars Turned to June

June in my wall calendar world means The Incredibles on the Pixar calendar on the left and the Stock Pavillon at the University of Illinois on the right.  Unfortunately, last year, I posted about the June calendars on the first day of the month.  Gasp!  That's bad for the tally.  I flipped the calendars and took this photo above at my office earlier this week on the 6th, so that's a +5 day increase.

For those keeping track like I am:
January took 8 days to put up the calendar. I don't think I was tracking January last year. So let's call it a wash. (+0 Days)February took 16 days to put up the calendar. In 2015, I turned it over on the 17th. (-1 Days better)March took 8 days this year. In 2015, I turned them on the 10th. Posted on the 11th. So...that makes it -2 days better.April took just 7 days. I didn't post last April. new net days.May took 12 days. Net + 5 days over last year. Wowsa. June took 6 days.  Net +5 days over last year.  Another Wowsa.   What w…

Vintage Christmas Choir Boys - Made in Japan

I mentioned in the post from earlier this week featuring a vintage angel Christmas ornament that we were out garage sale'ing this weekend and that there were other treasures that came home with us on Saturday.  Above is one said treasure.  This pair of carolers were on the table amongst other Christmas stuff, but they were the only things that jumped out to me.  They, too, have the same eyelashes as the angel and reindeer, but they also have this on the bottom:
Made in Japan?  Priced right at under a buck?  Sold!

I brought them home and snuck them into one of the tubs that are remaining in our garage that are still full of Christmas stuff.  We've hauled off most of the stuff to our storage unit, but there are still a few that are on a rack awaiting for me to rent ANOTHER storage unit because the other three are jammed full.

Pink Lemonade Blueberry Bush

Umm...yes please?!?  While out at Menards over the weekend, I came across this variety in the garden center.  If only, we had a place to plant it, right?  Maybe they'll have them again next year and we'll actually have a place to put something like this into the ground.  A guy can hope, right?

Vintage (Kinda Cute, Kinda Creepy?) Big Santa - Garage Sale Find

Another day, another post about a garage sale find that happens to be a vintage Christmas item.  We picked this Santa Claus up a few weeks back at a garage sale around the corner from our house.  He's the biggest vintage Christmas thing we've ever bought, but was still just a dollar.  He's maybe 12 inches or so tall and he *kinda* stands up on his own.  I forgot to take a photo of his shoes, but he's marked "Made in Japan" and while he's a little bit dirty, he is in great shape for being fifty or sixty years old.

The lady we bought him from said, "Oh...I remember that Santa!  He was out every year for Christmas for our family.  He was so great."

Which...makes me wonder why, she's parting with it?  I guess, at some point, when you are cleaning out your parents' house, you have to divorce yourself from the sentimentality of items.  If you don't, you'll end up being a hoarder, right?  Can't hold on to everything?

At least she&…

Peak Squad @ Menards

Not a better crew to be rolling with on the shopping cart escalator ramp at Menards than these three.

I mean....What more could a guy ask for?  And with Momma gone for the weekend, there's no place we'd rather be than Menards early on a Saturday morning.

Angel Ornament From Lee Wards in Elgin (Garage Sale Find)

Over the weekend, the kids and I piled into the minivan and ran some errands around town that included a bunch of stops at various garage sales in and around Elmhurst.  On one of those stops, I came across this little angel ornament.   She has those *big* eyelashes.  They totally remind me of these 'lashes on this reindeer ornament that I found a few years back.

Sure, she's cute, but when I turned her over, I was sold.  After all, this thing was, indeed, made in Japan, but exclusively for Lee Wards in Elgin, Illinois.  
The asking price?  A mere $0.25.  She's gone to a good home and will (hopefully??) make an appearance on our tree this year (or...if we're still not in our house, then maybe next year!

New Pool Pass For 2016

Best pool pass photo ever?  Probably not.

But, the best one *I've* ever taken?  Certainly.

Museum of Atomic Energy Neutron Irradiated Dime

I picked up this "Neutron Irradiated Dime" from the Museum of Atomic Energy at an Estate Sale here in Elmhurst earlier this Spring.  My dad collected some coins over the years - and gave away proof sets for special occasions.  I found this story about these irradiated dimes and there were more than million of them, so they're not terribly rare.

But, that doesn't matter much to me.  I liked the looks of it and it just screams 'atomic age' from the looks of it, doesn't it?  I've stuck it into my stashbox for now and figure that's a fine place to keep it for the next few decades.

Turns out, this is from Oak Ridge, Tennessee.   At least, I *think* it is, even though the name of the museum is different on the coin I have.  More about the place:
The American Museum of Science & Energy is today’s No. 1 Oak Ridge, TN tourist destination. But from 1941 to 1949 Oak Ridge was a town that did not exist. It was one of the top secret facilities for creati…

No AutoMower For You! (Not Yet, At Least!) #Automowerfirst

So, guys!  I have some fun news.  As part of an outreach campaign, the fine folks from Husqvarna have selected *this guy* to test out one of their Automowers.  They're having one delivered and if I comply with some asks (posting photos on social media, etc), I'll get to keep the mower.   So, that's pretty awesome, right?

The plan was for the Automower to be delivered in May and then use it all summer and have me document my experience here on the blog and on social (Twitter, Instagram).  I'm all for it!  But...I've had a little bit of an issue with *actually* getting the Automower.  Between some delays and then some scheduling confusion with the dealer in Roselle, my poor lawn (and kids!), who I have been bragging to about our soon-to-arrive lawn robot overlord, are starting to wonder if we'll ever get to see this thing in action.  I'm hoping we can get it figured out and the Automower will be in service next week!

In the meantime, the fine folks at Husqv…

#TBT To The Time That Governor Jim Thompson Fundraised For Me

Today's "Throwback Thursday" post is the latest in the series here on the blog featuring some photos that I recovered from Flickr and transferred to Google Photos recently.  You can see the details here, including a photo of Da Mare and myself at the Joan!

These photos in this post are from October of 2005 and are from a fundraiser that was for my campaign for re-election to the Frankfort Village Board held at Die Bier Stube in Frankfort.  As you can see, the 'guest of honor' that night was former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson.  Yeah...pretty cool, right?

How this came about is an interesting story about my time in politics - both at the local level as a Village Trustee, and in State politics as the driver and digital hack for Tom Cross, the then House Minority Leader in Illinois.

Over the course of a few years and during dinners, time at the GOP convention, and assorted other what-have-yous, I was able to get to know The Governor and his right-hand-man along …

Milkweed Seeds Acquired

At the Memorial Day Parade in Elmhurst over the weekend, I grabbed two packets of these Milkweed seeds.  Those of you who have been paying attention to the plight of the Monarch Butterfly know that they're in trouble and gardeners in Illinois can help by planting Milkweed.  (BTW, this isn't the first time I've covered butterflies on the blog.  Here's a post about our Butterfly project from back in 2013.)

Over the past few decades, Monarch populations have decreased by over 90%.  Yeah!  90%?!!?  And it is happening for two reasons:  weather and habitat.  We can't control the weather, but we CAN control the availability of the right habitat for these guys.  And the right habitat is all about Milkweed.

That means that backyard gardeners need to start thinking about dedicating a space for cultivating Milkweed and thanks to the First Congressional United Church in Elmhurst ( who was giving out these seeds at the parade), I'm going to do just that! to de…