The 13th year here on the blog where we mark Thanksgiving day not with the parade or the Turkey Trot (although those are both usually present!), but with the boys from The Band and The Last Waltz. And, this is the 10th post (that I can locate), but the first one was back in 2004. There are 3 years missing (2006, 2008, 2009). We're marking the occasion in Vic + Equation Boy/Man's house and this *should* be the last Thanksgiving we're here and the final one NOT in our own house. "Happy Thanksgiving." And a condensed version of 'Don't do it'. Which they play like it is their own. Here's my post from 2015 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2014 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2013 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2012 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2011 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2010 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from 2007 on The Last Waltz . Here's my post from
Showing posts with the label everygoddamdamnday
On Thursday, I shared some photos of the gifts we received from the Reddit Disney Gift Exchange this year and above shows the gifts we 'gave' as part of the program this year. Here's the post showing what we 'gave' last year in 2015 . The person we matched with lived in Nevada and professed their love of Cinderella and a specific set of Disney pins - which made it easy. We went with a Cinderella Mickey ears Christmas ornament and that set of five princess pins. She seemed happy as the pins helped her complete a set. The girls had fun picking out the right items from the Disney store and I had fun teaching them about random acts of kindness.
A few days ago, I posted a couple of photos from our visit to the Legacy Lounge in the Northwest corner terrace of Memorial Stadium down in Champaign that included finding one of the team photos that I was in from my days on the Fighting Illini squad in the late 90's. But, this was our first trip down that we were able to enjoy the *kinda* new Grange Grove. The Athletic Department christened the Grange Grove for last year's season and it has been a big hit. From FightingIllini.com : Grange Grove has transformed what was previously Lot 36, the parking lot directly west of Memorial Stadium, into a free, high-energy tailgating area, which Fighting Illini fans of all ages can enjoy. When we arrived a few hours before kickoff, the place was jumping! There was a band playing on one side and the beer garden was loaded with alums and students. It was Dad's day, so it appeared that a few Fraternities had their "Football Block" on site in the Grange Grove and
We were down in Champaign recently for an Illini game and as part of the pre-game festivities we spent some time in what they call the "Legacy Lounge" in the Northwest corner of Memorial Stadium. Along with a nice bar and some good tailgate chow (bbq sandwiches this week), they have photos of a bunch of the past Fighting Illini football teams. There, on a few of the team photos, was a picture of *this guy* that I was able to show my nieces and nephews and kids. That was kinda fun. There's a page here on the blog that chronicles a bit more about my time as a punter on the Fighting Illini football team in the 90's. Jake Parrillo - punter on Illinois football team . If you look closely at the photo, you'll see me in #44. They also gave me this sweet "football alumni" lanyard that granted access to the field. Really nice way to embrace former players - even guys like me - beyond the annual "Varsity I" weekend game.
Walking down State Street this week, you'll see that they've gone 'dark' with their windows in preparation for the release of their annual windows featuring Christmas scenes. I covered the same 'coming soon' situation back in 2014 and the day they opened last year here on the blog . We still take our kids down to the Walnut Room every year just as I did when I was a kid with my mom and sister(s). (I actually only remember going with Vic, but I'm guessing that Sharon and Linda were there, too?? I dunno.) Thus, I have a really soft spot in my heart for Marshall Field's at Christmastime and specifically for peering into these windows. Let's hope that the fine folks at Macy's have learned their lesson and won't give us New York City's "hand me downs" like they did last year . Shame on them for that one.
That's the "Alien pig Queen" on the top courtesy of the Bird. A scribbled-on two-eye and a heart (drawn by his sister) guy faithfully sawn based on some of the drawings of the King of the Ball Tossers. And....a masked guy as created by the oldest one - The Babe. Unlike in past years, these have stayed inside our front porch, not on the outside porch. Here's a post from back in 2014 showing the ways I have kept them free of squirrel bites .
Last year, it was the kaleidoscope effects inside the inflatables. This year, there's something new: fuzzy material like on this inflatable Teddy Bear that they're selling at Menards inside of the Enchanted Forest that they've set up for Christmas. This one is retailing for $99.99, but is the only one that has this fuzz on it. I really liked it and the Bird was all over this one. She kept saying "he's so cuuuuute!" Have to wonder how this will stand up to the elements? We seem to be able to get about four to five years out of our inflatables, depending on their size. Between the motors running out (we sometimes use times, but a lot of time, we just keep them up all day and night long!) or the sun's UV rays fading the colors right out, we seem to be able to amortize the cost across four seasons at a minimum. Looking at it that way, this one costs about $25/season. The first year of inflatables like this never seem to last long in stock, so
In the Venn Diagram that includes Lionel O-Gauge train stuff and Disney stuff, the overlap has been small but consistent over the years. You can go to any train show (and...yes those things exist!) and find some vintage Mickey the Mouse cabooses and box cars from over the years. And if we were to map people who would have an interest in that intersection, I'd gladly raise my hand. As we've talked about before, I grew up with a Christmas Train. My Dad would break out his vintage post-war Lionel train some time after Thanksgiving and we'd set it up. Sometimes, around the tree, but at some point, my Mom relegated it to the basement. That tradition - of breaking out the Lionel train set - has been one that I've tried to bring to my own kids. And, my Dad fed the beast by giving the oldest girl - The Babe - her own set when she was 1. So, beside last year - when we were transient during the holidays - we've set up our Holiday Train. And we're not aimin
We were at the Babe's school for new parent orientation recently and as we exited her classroom, we were able to see some of the work that the class had done. And as I looked for the Babe's paper, I saw this above. Sure...she gives really good answers for what she needs to do in 1st grade. But, look at the bottom where the kids were asked to color in their own backpack. She picked the Fighting Illini and the Block I?!? Yep. Not Mickey the Mouse. Not My Little Pony. Nor Shopkins. Or her *actual* backpack - which is cute...but probably hard to draw because of the squiggles and such. Nope. She went with the orange and blue. I-L-L! Proud parenting moment for sure.
The third building from Lemax's Spooky Town this year on the blog is Wanda's Cupcake Shop. You can see the official listing here on the Lemax site . Earlier, we showed the Black Cauldron Bootique and the Scariest Halloween House on the blog as part of the setup at Menard's in Melrose Park. This one isn't animated and Wanda appears to have just some interior lights to show off her wares, but would be a cute addition to the town part of your own Spooky Town. Unfortunately, Mantleburg isn't in the Halloween spirit. And at $39.99, I don't blame the Mayor for not decorating for the fall.
After staring at - or at least referencing often - this clock for close to twenty-five years, it is now a member of the permanent collection of the Elmhurst/Downers Parrillos as it came home with us from Coloma this past week. I'm considering it a kind of 'see you later' kind of token and as we build out my new home office in our new place, I'm sure that I'll figure out how to give this a prime spot somewhere on a shelf or bookcase and I'll always remember where it sat for a long part of it's time in our life. It isn't the prettiest or best looking clock, but it has been in my life for a long time AND it had something that drew my Dad to it two decades ago. It has #147 on it - meaning it was an early member of my Dad's collection - so I'll honor it and keep it in a place of high regard. And yes, that means my Dad was a collector of sorts and he even kept records on all the treasures he came across. Good lesson to learn, I think. Probabl
On the same trip to the Kane County Flea market where we picked up that rad Chipettes glass from Natalie's childhood , we also gave each of the girls ten bucks to buy whatever they want. The Babe bought some dollie cloths that fit her American Girl doll, but the Bird? She went all-in on toys. And specifically, she dug though a few different zip lock bags of vintage fast food toys to find these three Fraggle Rock toys from McDonald's. Turns out, after looking on the web just now, this isn't a complete set. There was a fourth . But we do have Gobo Fraggle in the carrot car, Red Fraggle in the radish car and Wembly Fraggle along with Boober Fraggle in the cucumber car. We're missing Mokey Fraggle who was, apparently, in an eggplant car. Full details of the set and even more about some special Doozer cars can be found at the Muppet Wiki site . But, I have to tell you, that seeing her select these guys - amongst other things like My Little Ponies and Barbies a
We were up in Michigan recently to do our annual apple picking and I came across this sign at Jollay's in Coloma that celebrates the place being a Centennial Farm. From the Historical Society of Michigan site, we find out what it technically means to be a Centennial Farm : The Centennial Farm Program recognizes farms that have remained in the same family for 100 years or more and highlights the farm’s contributions to Michigan’s development. To be designated as a Centennial Farm, a property must be a working farm of 10 or more acres that has been continuously owned by the same family for at least 100 years. From the looks of this sign, they're *well* past the 100 year mark. A neat little program that highlights some of the hardworking family farms that make Southwest Michigan a great place with a bountiful harvest.
The top photo I took this week and the bottom photo is from the very end of May of this year. It shows the DIY water garden that I built using a wine barrel bottom and a pedestal plastic planter (see the black pedestal planter next to the wine barrel? That's what I put in the middle of the barrel to serve as the 'pond' of sorts. I tucked in dirt all around the pedestal and then planted. You can see in the bottom photo that there are various plants like spikes, sweet potato vines, asparagus ferns, geraniums and a few other filler plants. Back in May, you could see a lot of the pond (and the Big Beef was all up in it!), but today? Not only can you not really see the pond, but you can't see the barrel!?! The fountain is still in there and bubbling away. And when the air conditioner unit is off (which, thankfully, with the cooler temperatures recently it has been!), it throws off a nice, gentle noise that a water feature should.
A few weeks back, I picked up this ornament case and these 14 vintage Christmas ornaments at an Estate Sale in Elmhurst. It was the same sale where I picked up this hobnail milkglass pitcher and this vintage White Sox book . Quite the haul... The ornament case was found where most Christmas stuff ends up - buried either on the floor under a table or in the basement. When I opened the case, it was totally full, but I pulled out the ornaments that I didn't want that were newer and the seller at the sale was glad to keep them to try to sell to someone else. We see these type of ornaments all the time at sales and most of the time they want anywhere between $2 and $4 a piece for each of them. Sometimes they're not even really that old, but just look old. And each time, I usually pass. Both, because glass ornaments like these aren't destined to last super long on our tree with the three savages roaming around and shaking the tree, but also because we have a tree ful
If you walk by the storefront just south of TCBY on the west side of York Street in the Elmhurst City Centre these days, you'll notice that there's a 'for lease' sign up in the old Meeder Remodeling location. They were in this spot for about a year or less only - as I posted about them moving out of their location further south here on the blog last December . If you drive down south on York near the Prairie Path, you'll see that they've relocated down there, which is great and means that they didn't close up shop. As for the City Centre, we need a mix of uses - from retail to restaurant to services to offices. And Meeder was a part of that mix. They didn't generate a ton of foot traffic, but I am guessing that they employed a staff that worked in the City Centre everyday that provided needed customers to the other tenants of the City Centre. Because storefronts are so scarce, I'm always going to advocate for office/showroom uses like thi
I came across these big wooden blocks called "Blazin' Buddy" at the Delta Sonic in Melrose and thought it was an interesting idea. With the kids back in school, 'tis the season for snuggle wood, right? You know...the bundles of wood that you pick up from the front display of the Jewel or out on the pallet of your local gas station? Well, they now have a competitor. And it is this thing. It is like a 12" x 12" x 12" (I am guessing) block of wood with a hole drilled in the side and a big one on top under the label. If you look closely, you'll see a little piece of kindling in the hole below. You fish that thing out, light it on fire and stick it in the side hole to get the fire going. They claim you'll get 3 hours of burn time out of one of these and have posted a YouTube video that compares it to three packs of snuggle wood . The fire out of the regular wood is clearly better/brighter/more desirable, but there's no doubt
Thanks to our good friend Dannee down the block, we were not only alerted to this awesome White House cookie kit - she also gifted one to us after one of her trips to Trader Joe's! And guess what? The girls loved putting them together. Of course they did, right? What's more fun than a gingerbread house? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing. This is a pretty fun, seasonal item, that is a great way to do something fun with our kids, but also, kinda, sorta talk to them about the White House and the president and the upcoming election. Did they listen to any of it? Probably not. But, still...frosting! cookies! Candy! And, from a business stand point, the person at the gingerbread factory who came up with this idea is pretty clever. I can hear it now.... "Hey, Bob! Fire up the ovens! I have an idea." "But...it isn't Christmastime yet. We have months to go until the public wants our stuff." "You're right...it isn't Christmas, bu