November 25, 2013

Kitchen Remodel Progress

Kitchen remodel week eight.

The bottom edge of cabinet before the light rail was installed.

The light rail, used to hide under counter lighting, and gives the cabinets a decorative finish.

The toe kick was put into place.

The new trim was installed around the window so the back splash could be installed.

I decided to run the moulding from cabinet to cabinet on the wall above the window and have the tile surround the entire area. A hanging light was installed above the sink, not sure I like it, might go with a can light.

I had new light switches and outlets installed in the kitchen, living room and hallway. I decided to install a wall outlet with USB ports in the kitchen for those quick charges for my iPad or iPhone.

The back splash needs grouting, cabinet shelves, and handles, water line for the ice maker, stove hooked up, and the rest of the trim work needs to get done.

Work in the kitchen will stop this week, and start in my hallway. All of the woodwork, including the doors will be removed and replaced with two panel doors and trim.

This is the construction grade doors, door knobs, and wood work from the 1970's, when the house was built. It was time for them to go!!

The painter will paint the kitchen, living room and hallway, new carpet will be installed while I am on my Christmas Market Riverboat cruise. When I return on December 16, my kitchen and living room will be complete, just in time for Christmas.

November 23, 2013

The City Tree

This year, the Kenosha official Christmas tree, that  was provided to the city, by an unknown source was put in position on the grounds of the Kenosha Public Museum on Friday. The official tree lighting will take place on Friday the 29th, but here is the big question . . . 


Photo Source: Visit Kenosha Facebook Page

It takes six men from the Public Works Tree Division, and about one hour. I'm looking forward to participating in all the events, tree lighting, visit with Santa, free Trolley rides, downtown merchants are providing fun experiences like making ornaments, free hot chocolate, caroling, making pine cone bird feeders, and visiting with neighbors.

Does your town have a celebration to kick off the holiday season? If so, what fun events does your town have planned?

November 22, 2013

The Great Tree Lunch in The Walnut Room and Mrs. Hering's Famous Recipe

"Among the "firsts" by Marshall Field's was the concept of the department store tea room. In the 19th century, ladies shopping downtown returned home for lunch; having lunch at a downtown restaurant unescorted by a gentleman was not considered ladylike. But after a Marshall Field's clerk shared her lunch with a tired shopper (a chicken pot pie), Field's hit on the idea of opening a department store tea room, so that women shoppers would not feel the need to make two trips to complete their shopping. To this day, the Walnut Room serves the traditional Mrs. Herring's chicken pot pie." Source:Wikipedia

During the holiday season, the wait time to be seated in the Walnut Room for breakfast or lunch can often times be over three hours. No reservations accepted at this restaurant.  That is one reason that we decided to have lunch the week before the official start of the Christmas season. At eleven o'clock we got in a very short queue and we were seated within minutes.

While my friends waited in line, I scooted up to the seventh floor where they have created a viewing area for the Walnut Room below.

You can see that decorative wrought iron bars surround the area for an unobstructive view of the restaurant below, and it's great for taking pictures.

A 17 foot marble fountain is usually the focal point of this restaurant, but during the holiday season a 45 foot tree sits on top of the fountain. This tree has been dubbed "the Great Tree."

Everyone wants to be seated next to or near the Great Tree and enjoy its beauty while dining. We were seated near the tree.

While I was on the seventh floor, where they sell home furnishings, I found a photo opportunity using this very large mirror. That is me with the Great Tree in the reflection of the mirror.

The Great Tree is adorned with42 LED star ornaments ranging for 18 inches to 30 inches across.

Traditional holiday ornaments and twinkle lights are nestled and hung all around the tree.

Here is my sweet friend Pat who was celebrating her birthday.

A toast to the birthday girl. See the soda in the lower left corner? That's mine, the other two are enjoying a little Christmas cheer, and it was only 11:30 AM! :)) I love my friends!

We didn't really have to look at a menu because all of us enjoy Mrs. Hering's 1890 original chicken pot pie and have ordered it every year.

The pot pie is presented on an oval platter along with a mixed green salad.

A golden, flaky crust tops the pot pie and inside is a rich creamy filling. No bottom crust.

We all enjoyed it down to the last bite.

The Christmas fairy was circling the room and granting Christmas wishes.

She stopped by our table, to sprinkle a little fairy dust over our heads as we closed our eyes and made our wishes.

What would a birthday celebration be like if there was no dessert with a candle to blow out?

We celebrated with a wonderful slice of Frango Mint Chocolate ice cream pie, yummy!

We all loved it.

Total cost of the lunch celebration. Downtown Chicago has one of the highest tax rates at 9.75. A costly lunch but very enjoyable.

Standing in front of the Great Tree. Pat (left) was my children's art teacher, and I later worked with her at two different schools. Pat and I met Janet (center) when she transferred to our school, and I'm at the end (right). Even after retirement we have remained friends, and I feel very blessed to have them in my life.

It was a wonderful day of celebration, Happy Birthday, Pat.

Mrs. Hering's Orginal Chicken Pot Pie recipe from Marshall Field's cookbook by Stephen Siegelman can be found here, and for a more modern version of this famous pot pie click here.


November 20, 2013

The Historic Marshall Fields Building and Its Tiffany Ceiling

The Marshall Fields building which now houses Macy's on State Street in downtown Chicago, is the second largest department store in the world, or at least it was, the twelve floor building is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

When we entered the store, Christmas greenery and red ornaments floated above our heads, and down the red carpeted main isle to the opposite side of the store.

Giant red ornaments are suspended in the center of the building on the main floor, looking up toward the fifth floor you see the magnificent Tiffany ceiling.

The ceiling was installed in 1907.

It contains 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass
called Favrile glass made by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Favrile glass was patented in 1894 and produced in 1896.

Favrile glass has a very distinctive coloring.

The color is ingrained in the Favrile glass. 

This ceiling is the first and largest ceiling ever built in Farvile glass.

Above this stunning ceiling on the seventh floor is the Walnut Room where we dined on Mrs. Hering's famous Chicken Pot Pie.

On tomorrows post, I will show you the Great Tree inside the Walnut Room and what we ate.

Did anyone watch the program Mr. Selfridge which appeared on PBS Masterpiece Theater?  In 1887, Harry Gordon Selfridge was appointed to lead Marshall Fields Department store. Under the leadership of Mr. Selfridge the retail store, Marshall Fields evolved into a modern department store.

While watching the PBS show Mr. Selfridge, I could recognize the similarities of the floor plan from the Chicago Marshall Fields store.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

November 19, 2013

Christmas Window Display at Macy's on State Street in Chicago

The train station in Kenosha, Wisconsin is the end for the line for the Metra tracks that run to and from Chicago, and that is where you would have found me yesterday morning. I boarded the 7:51 AM train headed to Ogilive train station in the heart of Chicago. The train ride took us an hour and eighteen minutes. Just enough time for all three of us to chat and catch up about things happening in our lives. The purpose of today's visit to the Windy City was to eat lunch at the famous Walnut Room located in Macy's, which was originally Marshall Field's and Company.

As we approached State and Randolph Street, I could see one of the Great Clocks that adorn each corner of the historic Marshal Fields building that now houses Macy's department store. On the opposite corner of the building on State and Washington street is an identical clock.

This iconic clock has kept people in Chicago on time for over one hundred years.

The clock weighs over seven tons and has ornamental ironworks that are just gorgeous.

This years window theme is The Magic of Christmas, this was the same theme as the Christmas windows from 2012, with a few windows being refreshed. I did a post about the Macy's windows last year, you can read the post here.

Here, are few photos of the windows that have been refreshed for the Christmas windows for 2013.

This window features the Frango Mint factory.

This window shows children looking up at the Tiffany ceiling.

The Magic of Christmas at State Street Through the Years
show four different trees that have adorned the Walnut Room.

I have been going to  Chicago and viewing Marshal Fields now Macy's windows since I was a child. My father would take me on the North Shore train, no longer in existence, and we would look at the window display, visit Santa and have my picture taken.

Stop by tomorrow to see the Great Tree, the Tiffany ceiling, and what we ate at the Walnut Room.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, it is appreciated.