Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gathering.. more ideas.. Adventures with Anne at Cantigny Park

We are adventurers …
in fact.. our old blog had a title along those lines…
and one of our FAVORITE things to do
is go on adventures looking for NEW ideas

a few weeks back we decided to head all the way to 
Wheaton Illinois
to visit Robert McCormicks old place
now referred to as Cantigny park..
We grabbed Miss Anne 
and took her along with us!

sometimes we do that..
just pick people up and take them with on our 
But we DID let her know we were coming..
just..NOT what we were doing..
she was SO thrilled!

Flowers abounded

it was hard not to stop EVERY few feet and take photos!
after the winter we've had
seeing such VIBRANT colors
was a thrill
to the cabin fevered!

these woodland flowers gave me ideas for 
some woodsy area's at Blesssings Farm..
aren't they darling?

and look at the bridge!
that wee creek is darling..
I couldn't help but imagine how much my 
puddle ducks
Daisy Poppy & Lily would adore it!

Anne liked it too,
she stopped to get photo's of the Blessings !
and good children they are
they stopped for her to get a very nice shot! 

Robert McCormick has dedicated a portion of this nearly 200 acre park
to the Veterans 
With Tanks scattered here and there
for children to climb on and explore
and a War Museum as well.
C.S. has been coming here once a year since he was about  Little Man's age..
it's a WONDERFUL place to come
worth the drive
every time!

There are gloriously large fields where visitors can stop
and have picnics
and toss a ball or frisbie
which is just what we did.. we really just kicked back
and had a lovely break

then off to the idea garden..
would you believe Miss Anne
had NEVER heard of 
and IDEA garden..
well she was IN for a treat!

creative right?

so cool

C.S. loved how it was steeped..
Buddy wanted to go IN

creative right?
a nice path..
i was thinking morning glory to climb on it ...
what about you?

simple ties..

wonderfully creative and cheerful!

makes my heart happy!

totally funny!

love it!

great idea!

super creative
way to save space and increase production

love the clean lines

oh the bursts of color!



how the chain draws the water down
attractively to the basin

and the filter to prevent

the spout to attach a hose
or place a bucket beneath…
so creative!

YAY! for compost

really I like the screening between the three bins!
nice for air flow!


can I dream or what?

now for the how?



uh huh

yep she's diggin it

how FUN!!!

finally in air conditioning

I come back from the bath room to find these three on the floor trying to find
the parking space
C.S. helped Anne On to the floor…
because she HAD to help Buddy find it..
too funny

I think our 
IDEA Adventure Day 
was a HIT!
I think Miss Anne is HOOKED
I hope YOU my dear reader
check out the wonders of Cantigny Park next time 
you are ANYWHERE near 
Wheaton Illinois
it's worth taking the time
delaying your flight

go have an adventure!
and tell me about it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gathering Ideas…. a visit to Walkup Heritage Farms

For years..
and years..
and years…
Machine Man, the Blessings & I have been gathering Ideas
each spring we would go to various "heritage gardens"
or "idea gardens'
"dream gardens"
and so on…
this year is no different..
It it GOOD to be inspired,
and to gather more "ideas" as one walks this crazy road…
it's in the actual walking it
that one starts finding 
MORE questions to ask
one of our favorite "heritage farms"or "idea gardens"
is Michael Walkup's 

we all SO enjoy seeing what Michael is up to each year.
His farm is about 5 acres, but he only farms approximately 2 of those.
Yet still, he is productive, sustainable, and dare we say?
a bit magical?

There is something OLD WORLD about this hidden gem.
Tucked away amongst the hustle and bustle of the 
traffic of Crystal Lake Illinois.
Somehow it's shocking when you notice
the VERY large homes lining Michaels property,
you just feel as though you are in Europe,
NOT in one of Chicagoland's MANY suburbs.

I feel encouraged when I am here,
because it's so beautiful,
and it isn't in anyway

it's edges aren't "JUST" right
but they somehow ARE :)

The bird bath,
covered with years of thankful birds affections
makes me smile.

crazy right.. but so so nice

the kids love this spot,
where the bunnies are
and the geese
and the ducks 
it's just a hoot.

here in the green house is where the seeds are sprouting..

all sorts of wonderful things to be grown

outdoors they've up cycled a variety of materials to make
cold framed gardens


love the upcyced railroad tie raised gardens…
so smart considering Michael and his wife aren't in their 20's anymore!
something Machine Man & myself to consider!
My Mother in law who was with me, liked this idea for her OWN garden..
I also appreciated the fact that Michael may have gotten these 
pieces locally
because Crystal Lake is a Train town.

here are some old pieces of wood 
that had been drilled into
and spores of these wonderful edible mushrooms were placed inside..
these are harvested and sold at market..
GREAT idea!

that would be so delicious sautéed with some butter and garlic!

Michael has lots of chickens..
which make me smile 

and here is Michael and Machine Man 
discussing a variety of things
especially cattle panels..
and how effective these panels are
for adjusting your rotating farm in the quick
how great they are even for goats and sheep,
which is JUST what we'd want them for…
So fun making friends with like minded ideas.

One thine that I have hoped to do EVENTUALLY 
Michael has already fully embraced here at his farm,
and that is raising Heritage and Pilgrim Turkeys..
FUN right?
oh.. I have a dream…
and I love
gathering ideas
Thank you so much To Mr. & Mrs. Walkup
for their kind tours, 
for faithfully answering our barrage of questions
and for just DOING it…
going for their dreams
LIVING it out
in the midst of the chaos
and encouraging others
to do they same.
Truly you are a blessing to your community.