Posts

Showing posts from July, 2018

Cokscomb European Beech - Fagus sylvatica 'Cristata' @ Morton Arboretum

Image
I was out at the Morton Arboretum recently (more on that in a different post) and one of the trees that struck me the most was this pair of European Beeches that you see above.  It is hard to tell, but the leaves of these trees are really quite interesting and are closely clustered to the branch stems.

According to the Chicago Botanic Garden:
The Cristata European beech is also known as the cock's comb beech due to the way its curled leaves are clustered on very short stems at the end of branches. Here's the tag on the tree.  One note:  Check out how the team at the Morton Arboretum attach their identification tags to the trees.  A sturdy, printed metal tag attached with a long nail.  A spring is added in between the label and the nail head which allows the tree to continue to grow and expand and kind of 'push' the label outwards to the head of the nail.  Very clever.


Here's a look at the leaves.


I haven't seen these at any of the garden centers or even The Gro…

Cutting the Cord: On My Circular Saw (Womp, Womp)

Image
As I was doing some work to cut plywood for a garage project, I made a mistake and there was a pretty big spark.  Somehow, my circular saw cord got caught up on itself and I sliced it right open.  Amateur hour, right? 

I texted this photo over to my father-in-law and asked him if it was repairable and he said:  yep!  Easy fix.  So, I stuck this saw in my car and the next time I head over there, I'll drop it off for him to repair. 

The good news is that I wasn't electrocuted.  Between the GFI and the plastic handle, I didn't learn this lesson the hard way.

Firewood Storage Shed Dreaming - July 2018

Image
Just like the various versions of my shop workbench that I've posted about (and dreamed about and finally settled on), I've done the same with a firewood storage shed.  Above is the latest 'dream' firewood storage shed that I've come across.  The photo above comes from a Canadian Lumber Company's site.  You can find the original source image here.  
Last year, you might recall the pile of wood that I chopped myself and stuck on a rack that I had outside our backdoor.  Here's the 'before/after' photo collage. And in early January, I posted a photo of the face cord that we ordered and had stacked.  You'll note that the face cord was stacked in our screened porch and it was too big for the metal rack that I had on hand.  We blew through the face cord of wood before the season ended and I did one check-in (February) trying to document the usage.  
This season there are some new dynamics to factor:
1.  Nat doesn't want the wood stored/stacked in…

Night Queen Dahlias - In Bloom July 2018

Image
Back in March, I shared a photo of a set of Night Queen Dahlia tubers that I picked up and planned to put in a container this Spring.  This year, I planted two different varieties of Dahlias including these Firebird Semi Cactus Dahlias that I've shared an update on in early June.  Above you see a photo of the blooms from the Night Queen variety that I took this week.  There are about a dozen or so blooms that have sprung up - some on strong stems - others on thin stems that can't quite handle the weight of these colorful blooms.

I posted this same photo earlier this week on my backyard/garden Instagram handle @HornbeamHill.

Night queen Dahlia's in bloom. #containergardening A post shared by Hornbeam Hill (@hornbeamhill) on Jul 23, 2018 at 6:36am PDT
Nat thinks that we need to have these dahlias in the ground, not in pots next year and that might be right, but I do like having them grace our patio with their beauty, not to mention that our patio gets the most sun of anywhe…

Marshall Field's Walnut Room Christmas Mugs - Comprehensive Historical List

Image
Just last week, I posted the most recent Marshall Field's Walnut Room Christmas mug that I came across at an antique mall up in Wisconsin.  That made it five in the collection here on the blog.

Here's the list of posts on the topic here on "Why I Oughta...":

1980 - Tree with Bear tall glass.
1981 - Contortionist Santas glass mug.
1983 - Uncle Mistletoe tall glass.
1986 - Greetings from Mistletoe Bear Red outline
2000 - Mr. and Mrs. Santabear Marriage glass mug with multiple colors.

But, you'll note that sometime between 1983 and 1986, Marshall Field's moved from using Uncle Mistletoe to someone called Mistletoe Bear.  And then by 2000, the bear had gotten married and his name changed to Santabear.

That set me down on an eBay rabbit hole to see if I could piece together the full list of mugs.  Here's the fruits of that effort:  The Definitive Guide to Marshall Field's Christmas Mugs.  I have been able to document every year starting in 1980 to today wi…

The Roosevelt Hotel Lobby and Clock - New Orleans

Image
Back at the end of June, I added a coaster (and glass cover) to the #CoasterCollection here on the blog and kind of just glossed over the actual hotel.  Being a fan of old-school hotels, the lobby at the Roosevelt deserves a post of it's own here in my online/travel diary.  Check out the photo above to see the mosiacs, the fixtures and the all around glamour of the place.  They don't build hotels like this any more - in terms of the materials but also the space.  There is so much 'useless' space that isn't in rooms.  The areas around the elevators on the upper floors is generous.  Today? They'd build that space into the rooms.  There are these little weird half-floors that are totally NOT ADA-compliant.  
And in keeping with the Waldorf-Atoria tradition of featuring significant clocks in their lobby, the Roosevelt has a beautiful piece called "The Paris Exhibition Clock.  Turns out, despite the clock being made in 1867, it has only called the Roosevelt ho…