Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deedee Hosts Sam at Elawa Farm.

Back four or five generations Mr. + Mrs. A. W. Armour built a fabulous weekend retreat about 30 miles north of Chicago's Loop. The family escaped to their Elawa Farm and its exquisite gardens -- to plant, tend, reap the best of northeastern Illinois indigenous plants and flowers.

Over time the farm was neglected and began to show its age. The family stopped going, and the garden beds became clogged with weeds.

Enter environmental activist and world-class gardener, Deedee Borland of Lake Forest. She's led a revival effort for Elawa, attracted fellow gardeners, educators and citizens concerned, and put this place back into the shape it was 90 years ago.

Nancy and I were guests of Deedee and hubby Bruce two weeks ago. The visit included a personal tour of Elawa. Lucky us. Go check the place out for yourself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great Chow, Great Times, Great ....!!

Pina and I hang at Kurtz's restaurant in Bardstown, KY during Bourbon Festival last weekend. Great friends are, from left: Rich Evans, Nancy Samuels, Bill Samuels, Mark and Alora McAlister, Lee Evans, Nancy Samuels Hoyt (seeing any kind of a family thing going on here?), and yours truly. It sure was fun being back in the land of My Old Kentucky Home, and not too far from Loretto, KY, where Bill S. oversees the production of Maker's Mark, the very finest bourbon ever to please the world's palette.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dunn Bros. Cafe Coffee Wall Art.

Let's say you're having an iced skinny latte down at Dunn Bros. on Loring Park. You stop at the sugar station, grab a straw, add some sweetener, and take your drink around the corner to check out the decorative wall art. This is not Toulouse but it's pretty damned good, and it's local and contemporary. I'll leave it to you to figure out who's-who, and who's drinking what.
Skol, and cheers, and salut, and salud, and saude, and .... well, you get the picture.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Russ Atha and the "Russettes."

Meet high mileage road guy Russ Atha of Steamboat Springs, CO. Russ poses with his hand-built, titanium frame, Erickson, ordered up just a couple of blocks away from Russ's store. Russ likes being bookended by his wife Shine, and Sam/Pina/Nancy, my wife. Call them the "Russettes" if you'd like. They'd enjoy that a bunch.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Butler Table Wedding Gift.

Nancy and I pose with the antique Butler's Table that we gave to Luc and Lindsay for their wedding on 8/28 in Alta, WY at the resort in Grand Targhee National Forest.

The soiree we've written about, but the table? A family heirloom from Star Hill Farm in Bardstown, KY.

The newlyweds were thrilled with the table -- but no more so than Poppina, who was excited to give her dear young friend Lindsay a special gift with special meaning on this special day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sure hope the Locusts aren't next!

On one of my walks straight up Elk Lane in Steamboat Pines, I kept seeing grasshoppers. By the hundreds. It is that time of year out in rural northwestern Colorado, and there's abundant grass and hay for these babies to hop on, but I was still awed by the size and quantity of the insects. Plus, I couldn't help thinking of the Plague of the Locusts, and wondered if they might be next here in this gorgeous Yampa River Valley?