OT ~ Birthday Day Wishes for Josh~ Greenman28 :-)

jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)January 15, 2011


Had to take a moment to wish an Awesome friend A very

Happy Birthday!!!

I hope it's a great day full of great things!

Thanks for putting up with my endless questions, your patient teaching, and sharing laughs.

A true friend you are!

Have a wonderful day!


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Best Wishes, Josh! Have a great day! So, how old are ya now? Just kidding... you don't have to tell! Many hugs to ya, and many more great Birthdays! :-)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:56PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, man! Why'd you keep it a secret - or why am I the last to know? ;o)

I was going to send you a picture of a beautiful maiden with vines, leaves and flowers woven into her hair. She looked like she might just have walked out of Sherwood, or some other ancient forest. I know you'd've seen the symbolism right away, but she was maybe a little TOO alluring for the forum, so you'll have to settle for some idiot who appears to have set his fingers afire.

All the best to you, Sir Greenman. I'm proud to call you friend. Have a super day filled with great fellowship!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

You are too kind, my friends!

JoJo, I can't slip under the radar, can I? Haha!

I have now attained 32 years of age, which have been fair and wonderous in this Garden we call Life.

Al, I sure appreciate the kind sentiment...I can see the radiant maiden in my mind's eye....!
And, yes, I have a soft-spot for pagan and folk imagery, particularly from the Northlands.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Hey Josh! This was me in my birthday suit last year. I hit the 40 year mark almost a year ago!!!
I am still as strong as ever, just like you of course!

I was not going to post today since I had a long day and I was going to just shower and hit the sac, but since "I" was the "last to know", beat you Al, I had to be the last to post, I think..lol

Hope you had a merry one today and got to have some nice food and drink with a bit of cake with your friends and family today!

I must say that everyone here that has posted today are my very special friends.
Nice looking maiden by the way Josh. Is she a friends of yours?


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Hey, I'm the last to know, in fact!

Happy Birthday, my friend Josh. Wishing you many many happy returns of the day.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 7:42AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Josh!
No , my dear friend, no slipping under my radar. LOL!

I hope you had a wonderful birthday! Sounds like you did. ;-)
Family, friends, and a feast. ;-)

Take care!
Off to bowl, talk to you all later.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 12:51PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a


It was a wonderful day, and will continue through the long weekend (I have Monday off)!
I went for a warm walk up the hill, I pruned my old apple tree, visited friends and had a
hearty laugh or two, then finished with home-cooked clam chowder, and an old, surrealist
Gothic film by Ingmar Bergman, called Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen).

Tonight will be the social Feast.
My brother and sister and my parents will join me at the local Smokehouse grill. Should be grand.

Mike, thanks for the pic! Who is that scarred warrior? Hah!
So you've passed the big 40, eh? I'll have to remember to send you the black balloons! ;)
As for the birch Maiden....well, I wish that I had a barley-haired honey to sweeten the road
to Valhalla! My friends say that I'm Normantic...instead of Romantic...!

I have vowed not to consider marriage until I am at least 35 - I have a youthful spirit,
and I won't be of any use to a woman until I've put some of my youthful selfishness behind me.
No judgment to those young lovers who marry early...I've always known it wasn't for me.

Xuan, it's great to see you. My thanks for your words! I hope you'll be around more often.

Thanks again, JoJo. Enjoy the lanes!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Well I assume a definate plus for a nice gal would be one that can put up with our plants and tend for them while we are having a good ole time, no?

I almost had a winner until she took sick...Now it's just me and my plants, with mother slowly acclimating to falling in love with a few of my babies..

I happen to see that little jab you put in there pal.." Warm walk"...Nice...lol

Sounds like you know how to have a good ole time on what to me is one of the most depressing days other than the summer soltice..
I use to take off to Disney World every birthdate, that is until I aquired my own house and hundreds of plants.

So you like a bit of Gothic? I sure do..Don't get me wrong. No I do not walk around with black leather,black nails, eyeliner, and spiked doos, but I have to admit I use too..lol..I even love the "Middle Ages Era",lol..
I am in love with the band" Within Temptation"..Have you heard of them? You have to see one of their video's and hear Sharon den Adels voice..
Have you seen the "Underworld" and "Wolfen"? Good movies for the sacrey buff movie fans..Try watching them in 1080p with Blue Ray on a 65 inch flat screen LCD tv with surround sound..
Far fetch from my nuturing plant side I suppose..lol

A couple of videos for your entertaiment..



Listen to angels and mother earth..

Continue to enjoy this special weekend buddy..


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 3:08PM
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stropharia(8b louisiana)

Wow, looks like I was actually the last to know. Happy belated birthday, Josh! Sounds like it was a good one, here's to many more.

Your mention of Valhalla reminded me of a conversation with coworkers a while back. We were discussing different cultures' mythologies (a slow day at work), and got around eventually to Valhalla:
"Just drinking all the time, interspersed with fighting?" asked one of the guys. "That sounds like hell!"
To which another guy replied, "Are you kidding?! That sounds like heaven to me!"

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Howdy, Mike!
Thanks for the links, I'll check 'em right away.

I do have a gothic fascination...mostly the lugubrious moods evoked by writers such as Poe,
Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, August Derleth, HP Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, et cetera.
I'm a great fan of horror movies and film Noir. If you haven't seen Deadman with Jonny Depp,
you must rent it immediately. I also enjoy some pretty extreme metal music - stuff focusing
on pagan, folkish, funereal, and gothic themes.

Every once in a while, my friends and I pass swords on the weekend. Medieval weaponry and Western
martial arts have been a hobby for more than half my life now. I'm a fair hand with a cleaver ;)

Thank you, Stropharia!
From my earliest memories, the myths of Odin and the dwarves and the Fenris Wolf
always captured my interest more than Egyptian or Greek mythology. I was brought up
on Tolkien, and I think that northern mythos flavored and set my aesthetic sensibility.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 6:08PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I am the last to know...LOL!!!!


In my world....you celebrate your "birthday week!!!"

Hope you B-day was a wonderful day for you....

Hello Everyone!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 3:21AM
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Gee, what do you do for people turning 50, Josh? Next month, I will have been on this planet for 50 years... imagine that!

I've been kind of lucky, genetically speaking... I can still pass for well under 30! :-)

Anyhoo... hope your weekend went well... and the old man doesn't mind a bit if I share hugs with my special friends!

Time to get ready for the long quarterly trip into the city... see you guys and gals later! :-)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 7:52AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

At 50? I start digging a hole in the backyard... ;)
Sorry, Jodi, I couldn't resist! I do hope your quarterly goes well...to your health!

Hey, Laura! Thanks! I've been known to celebrate a birthday week, as well.
Since I have today off, I'm definitely calling it a birthday weekend. Last night,
I enjoyed a feast of smoked pulled pork, beer battered fries, smoked brisket,
cornbread, and key lime pie.

I received several cards, but the card from my dad was the absolute best.
He started with a traditional blessing, and tailored it from there. This is what he wrote:

"May the wind be to your back,
May you have mild seasons,
May your succulents be plump,
And may your moss grow
like a full beard in winter.
May all your rocks be light
and large,
and last of all may you have
no more flat tires."


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:42AM
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I think if Jodik could dig a hole at this time in the frozen tundra, she couldn't do it..lol
Jodik, I had a feeling you were very young looking for your age since you do work that most 30 year olds could nevr do like you.

Josh; Great poem and what a thoughtful dad. I love it!

Hi Jojo, Laura, Stropharia, Xuan, and AL!! What a great bunch of friends you, and yes I have here Josh!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 3:53PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone...

Josh...your weekend dinner sounds delicious!!! I also enjoy those Venison Steak Bites....we cut up the tenderloin, wrap in bacon then marinate in red wine vinegar and olive oil...then braise with a "secret" BBQ sauce and put on the grill...ummmmm makes me hungry thinking about those tasty little critters!!!!

I wanted to share a poem that was given to me by my mother...I thought you would like it..especially for your Birthday...

Count your garden by the flowers...

Never by the leaves that fall.

Count your days by golden hours...

Don't remember clouds at all.

Count your nights by stars... not shadows...

Count your life with smiles, not tears...

And with joy throughout all your journeys

Count your age by friends, not years...

Take care everyone....

Hello..JoJo, Mike :) Al...Xuan Jodik ( I understand)
I guess I'd better get out my shovel... We will be the same years of age!!! LOL...But i feel more like 35...wish that I was 30...LOL... :)

Take care everyone!!!

Laura in VB

Here is the cover to your Birthday card Josh...I took this while I was in Maui several years ago...One of my favorites!!! Hope you all enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 4:44PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Laura!
Lovely poem and lovely card!
I am indebted ;)


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 5:51PM
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I plan on cremation, Josh, but I'm not quite ready to build that pyre! ;-)

Lovely poem from your Dad... very cool.

Well, Mike... beauty is only skin deep. I often feel much older than my years, even if I don't look it. My body betrays me more every year... 5 years ago, I double dug the huge front beds, hauled amendments, and did everything myself... last year, I required help. I am slowly succumbing to my disease and past injuries.

On a brighter note, blood pressure and cholesterol look good, and I'm otherwise ok. On an even brighter note, we think we may have found a way to shave about $400 off our monthly pharmacy needs! Yay! Fortunately, the new medication has a generic!

Lovely sunset, Laura, and even lovelier poem... I clearly recall the poems my Mother kept taped to the inside of her kitchen cabinet that housed coffee cups. She read them every morning while reaching for a cup.

My favorite was about being a good parent... it went a little something like this...

Oh, Lord, give me patience when wee hands
tug at me with their small demands.
Give me gentle and smiling eyes; keep my lips from hasty replies.
So, in time when my house is still, no bitter memories its rooms may fill.

I may be missing a few lines... I don't know for certain... I just have very fond memories of my Mom pausing every morning as she reached for a cup to fill with coffee... and as I got older, I realized why. I miss her very much.

I don't know why... but your poem reminded me of Mom.

In other news... like an idiot, I forgot to bring my camera with on our trek to Chicago. It was kind of misty/foggy, but I could have gotten some nice shots of frozen Lake Michigan, the city skyline, etc... it's much prettier in spring and summer, though.

The animals and chores beckon... have a nice day, ya'll! :-)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:34AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Jodik,

I just wanted to say to you that I am glad that your trip went well..Sounds like great news!!! Congratulations!!!

After reading what you posted about your mother and missing her...I decided to call my mother and tell her that I "loved Her" I am glad that she is still with me...

I am sorry that your mom is gone...but she has left you a lot of great memories...thank you for the poem from her!!

I hope everyone who has moms that are still here to remember to say "hello" or give them a hug!!! Thanks Jodik...for your inspiration on giving me the idea to call my mom today!!!

Thanks to you all...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:54AM
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Thank you, and how wonderful, Laura! I'm glad I could be your inspiration. :-)

Life today is so busy and so fast, we often forget that time doesn't stand still. We need to seize the moment, tell our loved ones how we feel, spend time with them... because in a flash, it's all gone.

It seems like yesterday I was a kid growing up in rural America, my parents both young and vital... and today, they're both gone, and I'm a grandmother, myself.

Priorities. Think hard about what or who is most important in your life... because life passes us by so incredibly fast. We need to stop and smell those proverbial roses. :-)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:57AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia


(Roses and/or Plumeria!!! LOL...)

: )

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 10:44PM
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I might have said Plumeria, Laura... except... mine hasn't blossomed yet! It's still too young, I think. I'm forced to grow it in a container, and it began life here as a small cutting.

Now, Roses... those are a different story! I'm surrounded by a huge... and growing... Rose garden! I bet I put in a hundred Roses last season... and at least a hundred the season before that! We're attempting to start a small Rose business, focusing on own-root, hardy and old fashioned Rose varieties.

I have yet to smell the delicious fragrance of a Plumeria... I hear they're wonderfully scented! I can't wait! :-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

OT...Jodik, I can't wait to see your beautiful Rose Garden!

I wish that I could smell them now... ummmmmmm!!! LOL

How beautiful they must be...

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:14AM
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For you, Laura.. these were taken late last season... of unknown name, only because I can't remember them all! Just a small taste of what we hope will be a heavenly garden of sights and scents this coming growing season... enjoy!

These are just random photos taken last summer and fall... they only represent a small portion of what we have growing! We grow mainly own-root varieties, hardy to northern zone 5, all types... including miniatures, English, Bucks, Canadian, German, French, old garden, ramblers, climbers, shrubs, polyanthas, species types... you name it!

About the only type we can't grow are the beautiful Tea varieties. Very few are truly hardy this far north. Our winter losses have actually been few... we've been very lucky with good snow cover. Ease in growing is important to us... we mulch, but do very little else for winter protection. They either survive, or we won't carry them.

I can't wait until spring arrives so I can begin sharing pictures of everything we grow, from spring blooming bulbs to the numerous roses and garden ornamentation! We just put in several huge beds and pergolas... this coming year should be extremely colorful and exciting!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Hey, I have to comment anyways...


You are a miracle worker with these beauties!!!!!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Why, thank you, Mike! Your compliments are always appreciated! Just you wait... I'm planning a surprise for you right around the end of spring or beginning of summer... so get ready... and no, I'm not telling just yet! ;-)

When spring rolls around, everything from the tiniest crocus to the largest clematis bloom will be photographed for documentation... and I plan to share what I can!

It's been almost 6 years in the making... and a lot of hard work... but it's all so worth it! These gardens bring me so much joy!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Much joy to us as well Jodick...how beautiful!!!

Thank you so much for sharing these gorgious roses and other beautilful blooms...what a special treat...thanks for that!!!

You have put alot of work into your beautiful gardens...I can't wait to see the newly planted varities as well as the whole garden with great anticipation....

Makes me feel that spring is just around the corner...may be a "large corner" but we are making progress!!!

Thanks Jodik for letting me see your roses.... :)

Laura in VB

Jodik...because you are so kind to share your beauties...I will share a couple of mine with you...enjoy!!!

Thornton Lemon Drop Plumeria

Black Tiger Plumeria

Picture of one of my "babies"

My favorite Plumeria...Daisy Wilcox

Take care everyone!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 10:05PM
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Ooh! Ooh! Aww! And, Ooh! :-)

Gorgeous Plumerias, Laura! Lovely color choices!

I have two cuttings... one from Florida, and one from southern Texas. I believe the first one is called Aztec Gold... the other is a noid. They're both fairly young and small yet, but I'm planning on giving them greenhouse time this coming season.

How do I get them to branch off? Mine are both straight sticks with mops of leaves! Would airlayering be an option?

And, the little dog is too cute! Lovely coat color! Very close in color to my own girl's reddish coat, inherited from her father. Her mother was a dark, dark brindle. Fascinating thing, genetics.

This is Maia, the Olde Bulldogge... she's about 32 pounds of rambunctious, nonstop activity stuffed in a dog suit!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2011 at 9:35AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Jodik,

I am sorry for the late response...i have been working way to hard lately!!! Uggg....LOL

Your roses are beauitful...I mean gorgious!!!

The plumeria that you have will branch once the produce an inflo...How old are they? Most all of my plants have branched out after the inflo stalk had emerged...produced blooms... They will flower..usually takes a couple of years on a new cutting...but you could get lucky and have an inflo right after rooting...sometimes you have to cut this off to allow the energy to focus on the rooting instead of the flower...A friend of mine has airlayerd one of his Plumeria...he just told me about this yesterday...so it is possible...I have never tried t though...I have about 30 different varities...four are NOIDS and one of these noids is the prettiest plumeria of all...at this time i still have a seed pod growing while they are dormant in my backroom...they are amazing trees...

Mike you will have blooms probably this summer...I have a good feeling!!! It's funny that i did spot that little cutie...you know how exciting when you have an inflo...I would come home from work and the first thing that i would do is to check on the new inflo...thats when i spotted this little guy...you can even see in the picture the little ants that he/she was watching...i only wish that i could have focused on him/her better!!!

I am a tried pup...so good night to all...hopefully i can catch uup on these postings tomorrow...great stuff ...

Take care everyone!!!

If you ever want to try another cutting...let me know!!! : ) I could help you with a multi tipped one!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Get some rest, Laura... there's no rush for a response! I can definitely sympathize regarding too much work! My own workload recently doubled as one of the estate owners was admitted to the hospital with cardiac issues, plus we have a frozen water pump and have to haul water every day. I help to operate a working farm/estate, and the roses are part of that. There's also a working kennel, livestock, a hunting lodge, and the beginning of a hardy and old garden rose business. Lots of irons in this fire!

Anyway... thanks for the compliments! Growing all these roses has been a bit labor intensive, but incredibly rewarding! This year, we begin taking cuttings and building our stock. I may even try a little pollinating, now that I have experience working with other plant types in this capacity.

The two Plumeria plants I have are two years and about a year old, respectively. They've been growing indoors, so growth is certainly not to full potential. This year, I'll finally have the protected space to bring everything outside for better growing. We gained a small greenhouse with a fenced area surrounding it. I plan to make full use of the area, including my own personal plant collection!

The Aztec Gold Plumie is a little tall and lanky, and could probably use air layering to create two normal plants. The other, a white noid I believe, is growing fine, though it could definitely benefit from a season of outdoor growth.

Having never grown Plumies in the past, I'm not sure what to expect as far as branching and flowering are concerned. I haven't really done my homework on them yet. Unfortunately, I've neglected some of my own plants in favor of working on the landscaping and rose business. I think the greenhouse and enclosed area will help to rectify that.

The hard part is waiting for winter to turn that long corner into spring! I am so beyond ready for some warmer weather with sunshine! The lacking sun and frigid temperatures of winter are so depressing. Luckily, catalogs keep rolling in... and this is the time of year I look for different perennials to add to the rose beds as companion plantings. I begin to make my list of wanted vegetable seeds and starts for the raised beds, decide which perennials to buy as plants and which to grow from seed, and I have to look up shade cloth and place an order for a piece to cover the greenhouse. I've got to line up a couple of fans to use for air circulation, make sure we have enough hose and needed hardware, soaker hoses, pots and soil for for transplanting incoming rose bands, etc...

It's the kind of work I enjoy, though... I keep pinching myself to make sure it's not all just a dream... how lucky am I to be part of a working rose estate that includes the animals I love most?!

I'm probably rambling... insomnia has me in its grasp once again, so I'm having a little coffee and computer time. It's 3:25 am... sweet dreams, everyone!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 4:29AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Jodik...

You sound like you have your hands full of wonderful rewarding irons!!!! Roses...Kennels...Hunting lodge? Yes you are very lucky...I would pinch myself to if I were you!!! Like you said it's "fun work" Sounds like you are quite knowledgable in all of these areas...(quite impressive I might add!!!)

I wanted to also tell you that "Maia" is a beautiful girl..32 lbs of pure muscle too! What a cute face..she probably rules the farm too!!

Those Plumeria willl love the greenhouse this spring...they love to be in the direct sun..the hotter the better!! I keep all of my trees in the black containers to absorb the heat...when we (here in VB) get into the high 90's to 100* is when I start to watch the high temps... If you ever need any advice on these beauties..just give me a shout...Your Aztec gold is a heavy bloomer...you will probably have great results this summer with this variety!!

I can only imagine how beautiful the estate is...please post a pic this spring for those of us who have not had the pleasure of seeing your gorgious place!!!

I thought that I worked hard!!! LOL...You are a trooper for all that you do...It keeps us young!! LOL...I will turn the same age as you this summer...so we are not alone!!! : ) P.S. don't tell anyone how old I am!!! LOL...Age is only how you feel not in the numbers!!!

Hope all is well...

Take care everyone!!!

Stay warm..and keep those snowshoes handy!! (for those of us in the snowbelt) I am stuck in the northeast...still!!!

I am so ready for spring....


    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 11:12PM
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To say that I have my hands full is an understatement! There's so much to do, I hardly know where to begin half the time! It's both fun and frustrating... it's hard work and pleasure rolled into one! :-)

It's more of a farm than an estate... estate is a fancy word! There are horses, a small herd of goats, barn cats... an aviary of peacocks, turkeys, Muscovy ducks, and other peafowl. There's a kennel full of Rhodesian Ridgebacks, which are not my breed of choice... I much prefer my Bulldogges!

The whole thing is a semi-working farm, and the landscaping is nowhere near finished! It's really a beautiful piece of property... pasture and hay fields, hills and valleys, mature woods, wetlands, a grotto, a large creek runs through it all... there's a small lodge for guests, barns and outbuildings, a kennel and two dog yards, a training ring for horses, and the usual farm equipment.

My husband and I caretake it... he's the handyman/engineer, and I caretake the kennel, and am building the landscaping. I began 6 years ago... there was nothing, no ornamental planting or gardens, at all. Today, we have extensive perennial and rose beds, raised vegetable beds, and we just put in arches and pergolas last fall.

It still looks more like a farm than an estate, but we're working on that! As soon as the gardens begin to awaken, I'll be documenting it all with pictures, so I'll share.

My knowledge is more in the areas of gardening and canines... I don't know that much about horses, goats, or the fowl. The owner's wife is a horsewoman, and he's retired. It's a good position for us... we're both semi-disabled, and we make our own schedules. It's a nice life, actually... busy, yet enjoyable... who could ask for more?

Half a century... gosh, it's hard to believe I'll be 50! You, too, huh?! :-)

Well, if we're only as old as we feel, then I fluctuate greatly! Some days I feel 100, and others I feel quite young... today is an older day! I did too much yesterday, and I think I may have added damage to my back and hips. I'll take it easy for a few days, though, and be back to my old self. I need an on-staff chiropractor! ;-)

Spring will definitely bring photographs... I always try to share our newest projects and what the blooming looks like. It's really spectacular once the bulbs start! At least, I think so!

Well... I hope everyone is having a nice morning... I'm actually thinking of going back to bed for a bit, to see if I can stretch out these old bones.

Stay tuned, Laura... I'll definitely be asking you about Plumeria as spring approaches! I think the Aztec Gold needs a little help!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 10:43AM
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Laura thank you for the encouragement on my plumies...I ahve so many of them, even a few from Bill, and not a one have I been able to flower. Ihope this is the year for them. I am going to wake them up early and give them the very hot pop up house very early this year.
I hope it works. I LOVE these plants.
The year before, I did get two plants to inflo, but I waited to late before they went out in the spring, and the inflo's did not get to flower until October.
I hear what you mean about the excitement when coming home.
I prayed every day that they would not drop off from black tip.lol

Jodik: These plants are just awesome! I have yet to read your latest post and respond, but I wanted to tell you one again that your pics of the mantis were astonishing, let alone the roses and dogs..

Thank you for posting those. The Blue Mantis on the sunflowers was breath taking! I never saw those before. I saved that pic for a backround pic..:-)

Have fun everyone!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 3:54PM
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I wish I could have shown the copper and bronze colored mantises we saw... I thought I got pictures of all colors, but apparently not. Some actually looked florescent... like Day Glo green! The colors of highlighter markers! They were awesome!

And talk about size... the females get really huge! Their abdomens really puff up in later summer, right before they create their egg cases! And watching them hunt is really a trip! They're cold, calculating, stalking their prey... it's amazing, considering they're bugs!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 11:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good morning (from the West Coast)!

On Thursday, I was taken out for some sushi...and I think that finishes off the last of the Birthday Dinners!
Really stretched this one out, but all my friends wanted to get in some special time with the Greenman ;-)
As they tell me, I am a river unto my people.

The first flowers are blooming...narcissus paperwhites.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 12:07PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Hi Josh!
Sounds like you have some wonderful friends who know a good one when they have one, and had a GREAT Birthday! :-)


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 8:45PM
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I'm glad you're happy, Josh... but, ew, sushi.

I'm not certain what sushi entails... but I do know that raw fish can carry parasite eggs within the flesh. Gross. This is precisely why we never feed raw fish or pork to our dogs... or eat it, ourselves. Cooked thoroughly is fine.

You have spring bulbs blooming already? I'm so jealous! We're still under snow!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 10:00AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Sushi rocks! ;o) I'd choose sushi any day, over chicken wings. Now chicken wings are gross!. ;o) My brother brought a big bucket of them over last night (we had a bunch of friends over for charades & other games), and I couldn't even consider eating one. Everyone brings a dish to pass & we snack all night & laugh 'til we hurt. It's always so much fun. We usually try to get together about once each month, but it ends up averaging about every 6 weeks.

I hope you are all enjoying a good morning. The 5-6" of fresh snow is reflecting bright sunlight through the windows this AM. It's only 20*, but I'm sure it will warm up. I think I'll go out later & play with the birds. I still have one shot I want to get that I think will be really cool!



    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 10:53AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

I think i'd rather have the Chicken! LOL! Don't think I could eat Sushi . LOL!

Sounds like last night was a good time! I've never played charades.

Cloudy here and rain said to be here by wed.

I would love to see more pics of birds! Now with mine, I can play with them and stay warm . ;-)


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 11:00AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I'll see what I can do. ;-)

Some of the players are really good, and some are just funny. It's almost a given that if my brother and I are on the same team, we're going to win. Being brothers, and business partners since '78, we pretty much know how the other thinks - so we usually end up being captains. The rest of the people choose playing cards divided evenly between red & black, so there is a red team & a black team. Last night, I was lucky enough to have both my sister, son, and wife on my team, so we handed them their butts on every round. ;o) Ohhhhhh - the food was good! (except for the wings, IMO) Lol

We use the catagories books, movies, tv shows, songs, and have 'meetings' to decide what to make the other team act out. Some of the things we had to act out were. Oh Bla De Oh Bla Da, Yentyl, Leave it to Beaver, Brideplasty (or somethging like that), Rumplestiltskin (thanks, Jodi), El Condor Pasa (Simon/Garfunkle tune), The Silver Hammer (Beatles), Norweigan Wood, Wuthering Heights, A conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's court, Everything I needed to know About Life I learned in Kindergarten ..... Some of that stuff is really difficult to act out! ... but it's soo much fun ...... and we laugh so hard all night long.

I wish a good part of the forum lived near enough to be included as part of the fun!!!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 12:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, JoJo!
Hey, we had a nice rainstorm last night....are you guys enjoying any in Arizona?

Jodi, sushi is usually cooked in some fashion. Sashimi is the raw fish.
That said, I did have a couple rolls with spicy smoked salmon and some raw tuna.
I started with a seaweed salad - wakame - and salted soybeans - edamame. Then we
moved on to some rolls with cooked crab, cooked shrimp, asparagus, cucumber, et cetera.
One of my favorite rolls of the night was a tempura (fried) roll with barbecued eel - unagi -
slivers of asparagus, and some cooked crab.

For the record, I don't eat chicken wings ever. Messy and nasty little things.
I like bone-less chicken thighs, barbecue grilled, with mesquite marinade.

I haven't had breakfast yet...can you tell I'm hungry? ;-)

Time for a cup of decaf coffee.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 12:24PM
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I am having my glass of wine, just about to eat sushi, and crab ragoons!

Looking outside at the more than 3 feet of snow on my front lawn, next to a fire place, and thinking about what the heck I am going to do with the snow on the next snow storm to, well 2 in a row to hit Tues and Wed..

I just acquired 3 more FIG trees and I am in love with them. They have the beginnings of fruit although in dormant stage for the next 2 months. Oh how I long to be able to put them out in warm sun and open the doors to my greenhouse!
h Al, I wish we could all have a fun game like that. We would all laugh for hours! They say laughter is the best medicine. I have a pic coming for you soon. Her name is "Rose"..:-)

Yes, bird pics as Jojo says are always a pleasure. I miss mine I use to have. I think I am going to start trying what you do, and if I should ever get them to eat out of my hand tame, I will let you know.
You should see how nice my olive tree is doing..
Thanks to everybody's advice here.

Josh: Happy continual birthday buddy since everyday can be one if you live long enough to live another day..I love this day and tomorrows if I should wake up. You certainly know how to pick out good friends and care for them just as your beautiful plants. You are a wonderful human being buddy as all my other friends are here.

Jodik: I wish you could find the glow in the dark mantis pics. They sound just amazing. I only wish I could keep them in my yard if I should ever hatch eggs again like I did a few years ago..

Nite everyone...

I hope my friend here are all safe and happy!

Jodik: P.s I am growing a bunch of paper whites in my house, and everyone thinks they smell like pee...Oh well..llol


    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hello Everyone!!!

I just wanted to say "hey" to everyone!!

Josh..this has been a great thread...great month for you!!!
Sushi sound pretty good right now...I love all of it too!!!
Especially when you catch the Tuna fresh in the ocean. WE like to go deep sea fishing...Once on board (ok back to the house) we filet them, then bring out the "soy" Makes my mouth water just thinking of those tasty cut up treats!!! The first time (15+years ago) I would say "no thanks"..but once I tasted how delicious and how it melts in your mouth...I was hooked..

Mike...I hope all is well up in MA...I have emailed you ..hopefully they didnt get sent to the "spam" side like before!! LOL...

Al...sound like a great party!!! I love to laugh like that..Wouldn't it be great if we all lived closer...I would try those wings!!! LOL...I even like escargot!!!
Ok..I know alot of people don't like them...but with a little garlic!!! Ummmm...

Good night everyone!!!

Laura in VB

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Dacaf coffee? Really, Josh? ;-)

I don't know... I guess I just always go for the gusto, or something... I couldn't drink decaf coffee, drink a light beer, eat an item because it was low fat, or smoke a light cigarette! If I'm going to go, I'm going to go all out!! :-)

I want to really taste my food and/or beverage... and not necessarily consume it just because it's better for me! And before you say anything... ya, I know... smoking isn't good for me, either! It's the last bad habit I have, and I don't do it THAT much! I'm working on it... ;-)

Chicken wings are for people who really like to work at eating... they must be, because I can't for the life of me think why else anyone would want to eat the one part of a chicken that hardly contains any meat!

I like skin on, bone in chicken drumsticks and thighs, and I like them either marinated and grilled, or breaded and fried, or baked as a whole bird surrounded with vegetables!

Seafood and fish are awesome... as long as they're fully cooked! I can't abide the thought that parasite eggs might lie dormant within the flesh... but that's where they might be. Fish and pigs are notorious for carrying parasites. I'd go for the cooked Japanese fish and seafood, but not the raw. Dealing with dogs so much has made me very aware of parasites. I once wrote an article for a breed specific magazine on parasites... the research I did was very eye-opening. And, yes... there are some kinds of worms that humans can get, only one of which is the tapeworm.

Fish also contains a little more than trace amounts of mercury and other chemicals, thanks to industrial dumping. It seems to accumulate more in the belly fat of large fish, so be sure to trim all that off when preparing it.

In other news... we got some crazy weather last night! We got hit with an ice storm, sort of. It rained or snowed a couple of inches of tiny balls of ice. It was like walking on sand. It was the strangest weather I think I've ever seen! The roads are sheets of ice with a covering of ice balls! It's very slick out there... anyone traveling in it should be very careful!

Charades sounds like fun, Al! I haven't played cards or any games in a long time... not since the kids were younger. We're kind of isolated down here... all of our friends live up north. And you guys are scattered all over the country!

Funny thing, though... last night, we were talking about a bulb type I want to get, and Old Guy says, "you should get a bunch and send some to your friends... they're always sending you stuff", and I said, "I should... I've got really generous friends, don't I?" And he said, "yes, they certainly are good friends!" So, there you have it... I, too, wish we all lived closer to each other. Can you imagine the fun we'd have together?! Can you imagine all we'd learn together, and what we could accomplish?!! :-)

And speaking of bulbs and sending things, I will have care packages for some of you when the weather breaks.

Anyway... not much on the agenda today... except hauling more water and chipping ice out of water buckets and horse troughs and poultry pans! I wish the ducks didn't have to bathe so often in winter, but it's what keeps their feathers in good condition, I think. They're incredibly messy!

If I can't locate the Day Glo mantis pictures, Mike, I'll be sure to take a new batch next autumn. I noticed several new areas of the gardens that contain egg cases, so we should have quite a nice population this year!

Well... it's about that time again... time to make the donuts. Chores call. Happy Continual Birthday, Josh... and a great day to everyone! :-)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:15AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hi, guys. Been a great thread, yes. Might as will bring the party here til it ends.

L - yes, it would be great if we were all closer and could get together regularly. That's one of the things that bugs me - you make such good friends here - then ever get to see them! Stinks! (pouting)

I hope everyone has a good day. I'm snowed in. Road impassible - 5' plus drifts at my doors & the storm is supposed to STILL intensify between 8 this AM (which it is now) and noon. ;-(


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:03AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Winter Travel Warning!!

With all of the severe weather we have been having this winter, the Department of Transportation issued a travel warning. They suggested that anyone traveling in the current icy & snowy conditions should have the following:

Blankets or sleeping bag
Extra clothing including coats, hats and gloves
24 hours worth of food
Rock salt
Flashlight and spare batteries
Road flares or reflective triangles
Empty gas can
Booster cables

I could hardly make it up the steps - looked like an idiot on the bus this morning.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:21AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good morning, everyone!
Let's stoke the fire and share a hot cup of morning beverage!

Al, JoJo, Jodi, Mike, Laura...and those of you in lands nearer and further still...get warm!

The clear cold has touched California, too, with the thermometer standing at 26 degrees F.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy these last vestiges of winter, which are, for me, a short-
lived thing - I've no doubt my opinion would be different if I were unable to move about freely due
to drifts nigh as tall as I am (6 feet).

Jodi, unfortunately I must drink decaf now....I've developed a sensitivity over the past months
that causes my heart to thunder, along with a host of other uncomfortable symptoms. I didn't have
anything like coffee for a couple months...but eventually I caved to the craving for that bitter brew!
I've been trying my way through multiple brands of decaf in order to find the best flavor profile.
It's not just coffee I've avoided, by the way...it's all caffeine. I had a persistent headache that
lasted about a month and a half, although it finally abated.

In other news, I've been having a glass of red wine from time to time.
My cardiologist says that my heart is healthy, but that I need to relax more than anything.

The sun's about to crest the oakclad ridges to the east...
Hail the Sun,


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:08AM
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I just came inside after taking Huck out for his "walk"... more like "climb" or "wade" today! He made it as far as the first tree, did his business faster than I've ever seen, and made a beeline for the door! He's currently snuggled in a pile of blankets, snoring away in his crate! Maia is camped out on my pillows, keeping Old Guy warm!

I'm finishing up my coffee... gotta get out there and see if I can make a dent in the drifts. I'm gonna have to traverse the yard on a huge angle to make it to the garage, I can see! The snow is tall on the sidewalk, but it looks like I might be able to sneak behind the pair of propane tanks and make it to the side door of the kennel. Talk about drifting! Geez!

I honestly don't know how we'll get water to the barn today... probably have to hand carry all the buckets. I am not looking forward to this.

Luckily, we just got a load of dogfood and bedding in before the storm hit.

Dress warm, people... layer that clothing! Good list for emergencies, Al... thanks for that! We're not planning on going anywhere, but we always keep certain items in the car... blankets, shovel, extra fluids, tools, flashlight, etc... you never know what might happen.

Another good idea... take breaks if you have to go out and shovel snow. Don't overdo it. Most of us are getting to that age... where we need to be careful.

I wish everyone the best... stay warm, be patient, and keep thinking. This is the kind of weather that gets people in trouble with silly mistakes... so... take it easy.

With any luck, we'll maintain power and be ok... spring is still around the corner somewhere, right? ;-)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:26AM
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Hey, speak for yourself Jodi..lol" Most of us are getting to that age"..lol

I still have a good 20 years before I reach 40..lol

I don't know how you do it and all? You must be one skinny thing burning off all those calories. Your back must be built like a tank now too.:-)
All those animals at the mercy of your hands! Look at the dedication you have to doing the best for all those around you, just the same for your plants too.
Thank God everyone and the living things around you have you in their lives. Now to be careful and not find yourself lost in a drift, least anything should ever happen to you, like FREEZE to death!

Great news everyone! The groundhog did NOT, I repeat, did NOT see his shadow today. Could this mean that OLd Man Winter is going to take a vacation early this year and let the warm breezes of spring replace his stay?
Please, tell me it's so.
At least the dogs have no worries. They get to cuddle up all day and stay warm while we grind ourselves to death for their comforts in this weather..lol

Speaking of comforts. One thing many of my friends could never give up is the comfort feeling of caffeine...Josh, you poor thing. Now you can suffer along side of me who hasn't touched caffeine since I can not last remember
...Now its all natural energy that will have to replace the caffeine induced one.
If you should ever need a shoulder to lean on, to cry upon, I am here for you buddy.lol

Do you think we can all still have our morning chats over another type of hot morning beverage guys and gals?

Josh, it's so good to hear everything is ok. I am proud of you for taking care of your health and watching what you eat. I bet you feel a lot better minus the caffeine, or maybe not yet..:-)

I thought you would keep your warm weather. Well I guess we were all fooled.

Al: Please help here. Do you think my figs will be ok since I accidentally let 3 of them freeze in their one gallon pot? I discovered it this am. I am so upset. I just spent 100 dollars for them! I took them out of the shed, the pots being a bit hard, and let cold water run through them until it flowed freely telling me that the mix was thawed. I stuck them in my basement for now where it is very dry, and the temps in the 50's.

What do you think?

What a great check list too. I shall have to abide by that as soon as the weather allows me to even get half the supplies. This weather is just to much for my body and mind. I think I am vitamin D deficient with all the lack of sun lately. Now if I could just pick myself up some birds to sing for my ears in here, I might feel just a bit better.

Lucky Jojo with those beauties!

Hi Laura! I have been a stinker with e-mail lately. Been to tired to catch up but there are a few certain people I want to right back to and I will as soon as I can muster enough energy to write in the pm, when everyone is in bed.
Thank you for your thoughts.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and I hope just as much that you all are doing ok.
I hope that Jojo has a pool party as soon as her weather gets hot, since it will be way before ours and invites us to a pool party...I saw that pool..lol:-)
Her son looked very comfortable..

Have a nice day all, since once again my time has run out and I am off to work.
I will see you all at the forums since that is the only thing I can do there.
Thanks for encouraging me and many others to use the best mix in the my world, and for your support , if you know what I mean.:-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:56AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Jodi, don't get buried in a drift!

I had an idea. If you have to hand haul water, perhaps half fill the buckets with warm water.
Then, once you're nearer your destination, fill them the rest of the way with snow.
Should melt pretty quickly.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:24AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Mike, good morning!
Well, the cold was fun while it lasted....the temp is now 57 degrees F where the sun's shining!
Yeah, I cranked and cried and whined over the loss of caffeine...the constant pinching
headache was really the worst of it. Thought I was having an aneurism or stroke. Like an addict,
I knew that a sip of coffee or Diet Coke would have helped, but I resisted in order to
purify this Temple I call home ;-)

Exercising every day has brought greater effects than the dietary changes, but the two in concert
are best. Now I just need to get more sleep...that would bring blood pressure down, and weight loss
to boot! As it is, I burn the candle at both ends...up early, and out late.

I hope your figs will be okay.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:37AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mike - If they were in leaf, you have problems; but if they were still quiescent (the period after true dormancy when it's only (low) temperature that keeps them from growing), you should be fine.

I'd stay longer, but the storm is just starting to abate - right on schedule, so I'll go man the snow blower & start moving it to a place better than the drive, sidewalks, decks. ;o)



    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 11:54AM
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red_chucks(5 (Chicago))

I thought Al's post was another one of his misdirection jokes. The list from DOT was for everyone traveling (they didn't say driving), so Al took the gas can, jumper cables, etc., with him on the bus and felt foolish. At least that's how I parsed it.

About 20 inches of snow here at the Chicago lakefront, with four-foot drifts. I am unfazed, though, because this is still a Zone 7 winter in a Zone 5.5 town. Funny how one's perspective changes when one is a container gardener. I may not be able to drive anywhere for two weeks--when they get around to plowing my street, they will bury my car--but I won't complain as long as the roots on my potted plants have it easy.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 7:27PM
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