eggnog season

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My family has this tradition/rule around christmastime that we’re not allowed to buy eggnog til we see a Christmas tree on top of a car. It’s the hardest when you see the eggnog at the store and you realllllllllyyyy want some, but you know you can’t!  Instead, you press your nose to the window the entire way home, determined to see a tree.

I introduced Brian to this rule last year and it was tons of fun! …til we walked to Home Depot and saw three cars lined up waiting to get their trees loaded.

Not this year! We walked to Home Depot this weekend and I had blinders on the whole time, I was trying not to look anywhere near the Christmas trees! I even admitted later that if I’d seen a tree on a car, I probably wouldn’t have told him. It’s just too soon!!! We decided to make a clause on the rule that it doesn’t count if we’re within eyesight of a store selling trees.

P.S…. that bag in Brian’s hand is full of Home Depot hot dogs. Honorable mention in Red Eye’s “Best Hot Dogs in Chicago” contest. If you’ve never had one, you’re missing out.

Happy Eggnog Season!

project: Bike Gutter

After spending three weeks studying bike planning in Amsterdam, Brian came home with a bunch of great ideas for making our biking lives easier and more fun. One of the ideas he was most excited for was building a “bike gutter” on our stoop so we don’t have to carry our bikes up and down every day. Bike gutters are super popular in cities where multimodal travel including bikes is more popular, but are pretty rare in the U.S.

World's busiest wheel gutter.. Thanks to ProPhotoSupply.com for sponsoring this trip!
World’s busiest wheel gutter in Copenhagen

We picked up some long scrap wood with a groove at Rebuilding Exchange, and some finishing nails at Home Depot this weekend. The planks weren’t quite long enough to span all the steps, so we decided to leave one step open at the bottom and one at the top.

We used two chunks of thicker scrap wood to hold the gutter in place at the top and bottom stairs so it wouldn’t slide up or down when we used it.

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The finished product turned out really well! I could tell Brian was really disappointed in it, but I think it was a great way to figure out what elements of the design were important to us before we dropped a ton of money on supplies that didn’t work. We learned that we need a deeper groove to hold our wheels in place, longer wood to reach the very top and very bottom stair, and a wider base in case our wheels jump out. For only spending $6 on scrap wood, I think this was a great weekend project, especially considering that Brian’s been itching to build this since August!