Friday, April 30, 2010

The Toads are Singing!

Toad on Lily Pad

Every spring, we get American Toads who visit our pond to mate.

Battling Toads

Tonight, in the pouring rain, I hear them singing for the first time this year! It's always a welcoming sound.

Toad Close-up

Every year, we have hundreds of baby toadlets jumping around the yard.

Our Toad Tadpoles

Maybe it's our Frog Spitter that makes the toads feel welcome.

Frog Spitter

One year, I was startled by a full-grown toad who had somehow managed to get into our basement. I can't imagine how he got down there. I'm thinking he got in as a baby and lived his whole life down there, because he was very pale. We managed to scoop him up, and introduced him to the pond outside. He was very grateful.

Toad Side View

Do any of you get toads or frogs? Do you like them as much as I do?

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Eastlake Victorian Inspiration...Cubbyholes!

I've never been consciously aware of it until now, but I just realized I am a Victorian cubbyhole/pigeonhole/compartment addict! Do they have meetings for that?

Desk pigeonholes

What is it about these tiny, secretive places that is so intriguing? Maybe it's the organizational qualities of cubbyholes. I love to organize!

Desk nooks

Maybe it's the repetitiveness and alignment of the many little drawers and cubbies that stirs something deep within me.

Side-by-Side cubbyholes

Often, I've gone to antique stores with vintage display fixtures holding many little treasures. Is it the idea of a treasure hunt that appeals to me? I have to open every little drawer to see what's inside.

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Is is just the collector in me? After all, when you keep buying things, you need places to store it all. I have a lot of sewing patterns. Maybe I could use one of these:

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The idea of Advent calendars always fascinated me. There are some really cute Victorian-inspired wooden ones out there. What's behind all those little windows?

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Papers, papers everywhere. I'm a file cabinet junkie. I have seven. This is my Pièce de Résistance, standing 7-1/2 ft. tall:

Tall file cabinet

I'm, like, SO into file cabinets, especially the wonderful Victorian models. Just look at these beauties!

Oak stacking file-<span class=

Globe 42 stacking-<span class=

Wabash Cabinet-<span class=

Years ago I had to buy this California job case. These were the trays that old-time typesetters used to sort their metal type. Don't know what I thought I could use it for. Never have figured out a purpose for it.

California Job Case

I love the Victorian inspired CD and DVD cabinets!

Leslie Dame library media cabinet

I used to be a library junkie. Now I rarely go. It wasn't the books that have kept me away (I still read a ton of them). I'm thinking it all started when they got rid of the old card catalogs...

Card Catalog at Yale

Jewelry cabinet. Had to have one 20 years ago when they were popular. I think it was because of all the nooks and crannies in all those drawers.

Jewelry Cabinet

A Wooton Patent Desk! The Holy Grail of desks! If only I had a filthy rich relative who had one of these and I was his/her FAVORITE relative, and he/she died and left it to me...

Wooten Patent Desk

Have you ever come across one of these Victorian dental cabinets? Just looking at one makes me drool, rinse and spit.

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OK, what have I learned from this confession? Absolutely nothing. Maybe that I'm just plain nuts.

Anyone out there as cubbyhole-crazy as me?

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Springtime in Downtown Chicago

It was a beautiful Spring day today in Chicago.
Just thought I'd share some of the pictures
I took today at lunchtime.

Millennium Park Spring 2010-1

Millennium Park Spring 2010-2

Millennium Park Spring 2010-3

Millennium Park Spring 2010-4

Millennium Park Spring 2010-5

Millennium Park Spring 2010-6

Millennium Park Spring 2010-8

Millennium Park Spring 2010-9

Millennium Park Spring 2010-10

You know summer is coming when they
finally turn the fountains back on!

Millennium Park Spring 2010-7

Even the fountains are happy! ;-D

Millennium Park Spring 2010-11

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has finally arrived at Eastlake Victorian! This past week has brought warm weather and more blooming plants. Here's a look at what we have blooming this week in the garden.

King Alfred Daffodils

The King Alfred Daffodils are almost done blooming.

Blue Jacket Hyacinths

The Blue Jacket Hyacinths are emitting their beautiful fragrance, perfuming the whole yard!

Royal Star Magnolia

Royal Star Magnolia-Close-up

The Royal Star Magnolia has taken a beating this past week, as heavy rains tried to knock the petals from our little tree.

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Vinca vines, always filling in the empty spots!

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The PJM Rhododendron is right outside our door, making me happy whether I'm coming or going!

Grape Hyacinths

Grape Hyacinths. You have to put your nose right on them, but they do smell like grapes!

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Siberian Bugloss. It does well in shade or sun, and has skipped around the yard on its own, but is never invasive.


Oh no! Dandelions already! Husband Terry has gone out to try and tackle them.

Old Saucer Magnolia

The old Saucer Magnolia has seen better days, yet today the blossoms look as though they will put on a nice show this year!

Bleeding Hearts almost open!

The Bleeding Hearts are almost open!

View from the back of the yard

View from the back of the yard.

Our brush pile and compost heaps

Our brush pile and compost heaps.

Our side parkway-what to plant

A few years ago, I dug up a long stretch of grass in the middle of the side parkway. I've been planting wildflower seeds every year, with hit-and-miss results. I'm thinking of putting in something more permanent, and can't grow anything over about 3 feet tall (as there is an intersection here, and we can't block the view). It gets about a half day of sun. Any suggestions?

View of side yard

The old Forsythia has been very disappointing the last few years. We've tried cutting it back, and not cutting it back. The blooms are pitiful, so it's got to go. But I think I'll try to take some cuttings and grow a new plant before I kill the whole thing.

Forsythia cuttings

At least I've gotten some cuttings full enough to bring indoors. They last so long, and the bright yellow makes me happy!

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