Idyll #418: Idyll time is winding down

cheloneJanuary 2, 2009

Many of us are now facing the end of a holiday break. So let's make the best of it, OK?

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So what will be on the docket for this chilly day? I have a luncheon date (would prefer to stay home, lol) and should be able to fill the hours "in between" with some meaningful work in the Salon. Some spot priming, a few touch-ups on some thin areas on the ceiling, mostly the pull down stairway to the attic, maybe some caulking on the floor. Sounds like a blast, huh?

PM, I was very interested in the story of DH's back issues. It's always refreshing to learn about people who've decided to actually participate in improving their overall health. I tip my hat to him and will try to emulate his resolve when it comes to my own health!

I believe we have "an issue" cropping up with respect to that miserable cur that lives in our home. Woody, Jerri, Cynthia, I hope you're reading. Wrecks arrived here with the usual "issues" surrounding older adoptees: virtually no training, nervousness surrounding being physically handled, and the firm knowledge that HE was "large and in charge" and that HE would be running the show the way he had in his previous homes (at least 2). Mummy took charge, instituting a regimen of obedience work and regular beatings. He is a dream at the veterinary clinic, will allow any and all handling with virtually no resistance, and I have no trouble trimming his claws, inspecting his feet/mouth/ears, etc.. Lately, he has returned to the nasty habit of bolting and taking off at top speed, ignoring commands to stop, let alone come back. He will do this only rarely with me but it's becoming a nasty habit with Daddy and it has disaster written all over it. I insist that he sit and "Wait" by the door until I say it's OK to exit (same thing in the car). If there is someone in the dooryard and he goes mental I make him sit and "Wait" until he settles down. Nothing happens until he cools his jets and is willing to "watch me" and do what I command him to do. This requires a good deal of patience on my part (and a visitor's) but it works. I give a command one time and allow 3 seconds for compliance before enforcing it, but I ENFORCE it and he "listens" to me more than he does his Daddy. I feel my efforts are being sabotaged by someone who wants to just "hang out" with the dog and expects he will just grow out of what I consider to be extremely annoying (and dangerous) habits. It's come to a head several times lately when the dog has bolted/failed to obey and I've offered my suggestions on how to avoid it in the future. Yesterday was bitterly cold and windy, but I bundled up and took him out and threw the ball for him so he could play and we could work on basic obedience commands (come, sit, down, give, leave it, stay, wait). Then we circumnavigated the entire Compound so he could mark his territory, stick his nose in the snow and dig all the cool smells left by the night shift. Was it fun for me? not as much as it is when it's warmer, but seeing a happy dog frisking around and actually listening to me made it OK. I took him out last night, too. It was even colder. I put some little training treats in my pocket, made him follow my commands, rewarded him roundly for obedience and off we went. We patrolled the entire Compound and there was no "running off". I am very frustrated by what I see as a failure of discipline on the helpmeet's part. I don't know if he doesn't care or if he just "doesn't get it", but this out of control behavior has to stop for my sanity and the dog's safety. Before I lose my temper and explode enirely I'd like to hear what you guys think about how to approach the "failure of communication". Sigh. (thanks for listening)

I was thinking about the importance of "kitchen table talk", 'bug. I think some of the very best affirmations of familial affection and respect occur over that table. I'm sure DSIL benefitted greatly from your insight and sympathetic ear. A good way to ring in the New Year, m'dear.

OK, off to the kitchen I go and we'll see what evolves from there. After I hit refresh, lol.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 7:51AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

O.K. so I'm posting the promised photos while some one still has the time to look at them! Ignore the date: I took the memory card out of my camera and I don't know how to reset the date. These were all taken Jan. 1, 2009.

First: the calendar: theme: Wine labels

Next: the stencils on TCS's room.

and last but not least, the orchids. Not a good photo, but you get the idea!



    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Happy New Year! We didnt even try to stay up.

While you all go back to work, my vacation is just beginning ;o)

RickÂs son is going to lay new flooring in our mudroom/laundry and basement steps while we are gone. So we spent the day scraping off the old stuff which wasnÂt all that well attached in many places and very well attached in others. We need to take the washer and dryer out yet.

We did spend some time watching the parade. ItÂs certainly a parade for gardeners.

I was able to get the second coat of paint on the walls of the upstairs bedroom. ThatÂs a good feeling.
IÂve yet to pack my bag either, hopefully tonight. I guess the Christmas decorations will stay up until after we return. Fingers crossed here that the weather doesnÂt deter our departure. There is a 50% chance of snow for Saturday. We have a direct flight but need to make the 70 miles to the airport.

Chelone, thanks so much for the stove pics. Wow, you did a fabulous job on the tile work. I really like the diagonal set.

Cindy, I believe there are going to be tax credits for certain energy saving improvements this year. We got in on it last year with our new storm door. We are thinking of replacing 4 windows upstairs that DH cheaped out on when he added that story 24 years ago.

Eden, donÂt those little grandkids say the cutest things? Kenzie just started daycare and preschool now that DD got a job. She loves going to "school" She told me that she had a "rough day" and she preceded to tell my why. A couple of the things were "I went to school and I fell two times and got an ouwie. (sp?)

Kathy, IÂve been perusing the Select Seeds catalog during my lunch hours lately and have quite a long list IÂd like to order from them. I love your awards list, how incredibly creative of you. IÂd like to thank my husband who helped me get where I am, yadda yadda yadda. LOL IÂll bet Deanne gets the award for the most plants under lights as well.

Oh, Denise you are such a hoot! Sorry to hear that MartyÂs back is acting up. It sounds awful.

Julie, cute stencil and what a nice window for plants.

Got to get ready for the last day of work for a bit.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:23AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


And a happy new year to everyone as well! A friend and I braved the residual snow storm and minus 10 F wind chills to check out First Night Hartford on New Year's Eve. We listened to a couple of local bands and decided we've seen it and done it and probably won't do it At least we had dinner in a nice restaurant before heading out (Costa del Sol, Deanne). There were fireworks scheduled for midnight but the parking garage we chose closed at midnight (didn't make sense to me but...). No way would we have lasted that long anyway. Turnout at the event was reportedly light. I'm sure if the weather had been a bit more civilized, more people would have attended. It's too bad because this is one of the major events of the year in Hartford.

As usual, unlike most of you, I am slaving in the work trenches today. Year end waits for no one. January and February are usually a blur for me. I spent a few hours yesterday wiping out all traces of Christmas from my house. I love the lights and decorations and can't wait to turn everything on every night and sit and enjoy the glow up until Christmas Day. But for some reason I lose interest on December 26th. Time to look forward and start fresh I guess.

Serious back problems here as well. Some of you may remember my Banff vacation a few years ago when I landed in the emergency room and spent the rest of the week on crutches due to an extruded disc. The problems pretty much went away when about three years ago when I started practicing Pilates on a fairly regular schedule of three times a week. For the past few months I've slacked off a bit. Add all the heavy outside work of leaf and snow removal and I'm starting to get some pain again. Time to get back on track.

Oooh, a wine label calendar theme...that sounds good. I was the fortunate recipient of two different special edition Deanne calendars this year. It doesn't get better than that.

Kathy, loved the idyll awards. Gives us all something to work towards next year although I think I'll shoot for a different

Chelone, the new fireplace doors, granite facing and gas logs are scheduled to be installed January 13th. Yours looks great! You have much more patience than me to be doing all that painting and tile work. And at 11. I had a similiar issue with dogs and husband. You know how that one played

OK, gotta get some work done. I know there was more I wanted to comment on but don't have time to go back to the previous idyll.



    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:35AM
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Thanks for the support re: dogs and men, Sue. You are too funny.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:40AM
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Good morning!

Julie, I love seeing the interior shots of your home! I especially like the way your plants take up all the available window space :) My orchid's leaves are shriveling up and have lost their shine. I've tried everything, so I'm sure I'm killing it with kindness. Any ideas? Maybe I should take it out of the window and stick it back under the lights? I think my window is treated so that the sun's ultraviolet rays don't ruin the interior of my home...but that means that the plants don't receive the important part of the light, right?

Select Seeds is the catalogue I've been perusing, too :)

Michelle, have fun on your trip. Fingers will be crossed here for the snow to wait for your departure.

Chelone, I hear your frustration. I don't have any advice to offer, but you have my sympathies. I've given up on some subjects in our home....and sometimes that makes me sad, like I compromised on something that I really felt was important. Harmony is hard work.

There are lots of goldfinches and juncos at my feeder this morning. Nick exclaimed, "look, there's a green bird!" The man is color blind, so I couldn't figure out what he was talking was a gold finch in mid color change :) He gets confused about kelly green and khaki. It makes for interesting clothes, sometimes.

Well, I'm going to get the ball rolling. I have a terrible case of cabin fever. I'm going to go to the gym - it was closed yesterday, which I thought was laughable, since it should be the busiest day of the year :)

Oh, and before I forget: Cynthia, I remembered after I looked up Edgar Sawtelle, that I had seen it on Oprah, not at the book store. I think I will read it myself and then see if he'd like it. He loved Life of Pi, mostly because he liked talking about the book with me, I think :) He's my child who has the tough time reading, and if I can get books into him before reports are due, I think our life is less stressful, hence the eternal hunt for the perfect book...

On that, I'm off.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....

What a treat to have a nice long post from Sue and the first TGIF of the New Year! I am sorry to hear you have also had back issues and find it fascinating that you had such improvement by increasing the Pilates schedule too. Great news for you....I wonder if that is part of the reason you walk as much as you do? Very funny dog/men

Michelle...everything seems to work like clockwork in your family! You go out of town and someone does your flooring. Wow. Leaving tomorrow for Florida...fingers crossed the timing of the snowstorm will allow you a quick exit. Have a won-der-ful time and come home with lots of photos and a great tan! :-)

Julie...what a cute idea for a calendar. Now I understand another comment you made on the other I haven't time now but will take a photo of ours later. I have a similar calendar frame. Great window of plants! Everything looks so clean and organized with orchids blooming their heads off. Are you growing them in clay pots? What is the growing medium? there anyway you can negotiate this point about training the dog with DH? Since he seems to want 'free' time with the dog, can you compromise and find some activities where he doesn't have to think about it as much, like indoors, if he will agree to some sort of schedule of working with the dog that you find acceptable? Perhaps there is something that he would love you to do that you would rather not, that you could offer as a I would have a tendency to think that if repeated attempts to help him 'get it' have not produced a level of understanding that works, maybe just motivating him to do something he doesn't quite get would work? In other words, whether he gets it or not, just because it is important to you and you are willing to offer something in return? That's my best shot, not much I know. [g] to finish the insurance on the car this morning. They all went home half a day on Wednesday so that is the first order of business this morning.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Chelone, you need to figure out how to use positive reinforcement with your husband. It's not a dog issue. I do training for my volunteer group. Adopters have an issue with their new dog and I work with them to resolve. It's never a dog training issue, it's always always always a 'people' issue. And until the people get with the program, nothing changes. There's training and there's management. If training won't work, use management. In your case, your husband needs to put Rex on a leash until he's willing to work with him and keep him safe. Get him a copy of 'Leader of the Pack' by Patricia McConnell. It's a booklet, but has all the basic principles he needs to understand. And if that doesn't work, there's always Sue's method :)

Sue, If you could move your company off of the calendar year you'd all have more holiday time! Federal Government fiscal year end is November, and my company's FY ends in October. Makes for a tough fall, but the holiday's are wide open.

Julie, nice to see pictures from you, I like the blue sky and stars. And your window looks cozy. (Have you tried pushing the button on back of camera which says 'menu' or something similar? Then scroll through for a date/time option. )

I had the first fire of the year (fiscal not calendar), last night and guess who's afraid of fires!? Little fearless one - Hope - was horrified and broke open the doors to run to the kitchen. I left the living room doors open so she could come back in when ready, and she did a few foray's down the hall to see if it was gone, then watched from the entry way before scrambling upstairs to safety. After 20 minutes, I brought her back downstairs, and she ventured in a few times, seemed more relaxed, but still thought it was totally wrong to have open flames in the house. And I was afraid she'd be tossing stuffies in the fire.

Chelone, you can go to the Waverly or any other mfr site to pick out fabric, then google the exact fabric name to find suppliers. I would think most suppliers would send samples so you can get the color and feel of the material. Here's a fabric I love, (see link) but haven't figured out what to do with it. I wish you lived down here, I'd be your first upholstery customer.

Congrats to all who have their seasonal decor boxed up for next year. I'm thinking about painting the upstairs hallway today. We'll see.

Just three more days of vacation.....


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:21AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I think maybe you need to be more modest (not sure if that's the right word...) in what you can expect re helpmeet and Rex. Obviously the priority is to stop the dangerous running off issue. I suspect the best thing to do is send Rex and helpmeet off to a refresher obedience class together or some individual sessions with a trainer. It's probably a bit like the troubles that arise when a spouse tries to teach their partner how to drive - criticism is not seen as objective; it's more acceptable coming from a third party that you are not emotionally involved with! With some regular training sessions to attend, helpmeet is likely to put more effort into things because people generally don't like embarrassing themselves in front of a group (or a personal trainer) and therefore will work harder so that doesn't happen. If Rex does things right for you, then he should be able to do them for your helpmeet - but I suspect that Rex's relationship with your helpmeet is always going to be more casual/relaxed/playful (not sure how to capture in words what I mean...) than it is with you. And that is fine and normal - the important thing is that Rex (and helpmeet) learn that, while their relationship is more equal, Rex still has to do what helpmeet says, especially with respect to high priority commands like 'come'. I think you're wasting your breath to try to convince your helpmeet to follow your training rules - you need to get him into an obedience class or private training.

Beautiful job on the stove by the way!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:31AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I was posting at the same time as Cynthia... I see we basically agree that it's a people management issue as much as a dog one (Chelone - you're clearly the Alpha of the pack; Rex has accepted that but helpmeet is resisting I think :-) The booklet that Cynthia recommends is good but I still think that the psychology will work better if there's a third party trainer involved which will force helpmeet to go through the required paces and keep the process more emotionally neutral.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:37AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Winding down is my theme for the day, as I have to go in for a few hours to process a payroll. We also have to juggle a couple of vehicles that need repair, including DD's that has to go back with her next week. Later today, I'll start processing some of the prairie and wetland seed that we collected this fall so that it can be spread sometime this month.

Sue, I laughed at your advice to Chelone.

Those paychecks are calling for my John Hancock, so I'd better run!


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:49AM
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So that's what husbands need! Obedience class or private training, lol. Sign mine up. He's been home with me for two weeks and is layed off from work until Jan 20th which seems sooooooooo far away right now. I need my space. Wherever I go, he's there. You'd think after 30 years I'd be used to having him around but no. Good advice from everyone Chelone and most of it has me smiling too!

Cynthia, beautiful fabric pattern!

Julie, I love that calendar frame. I need one of those.

Deanne must be feeling better by now:)

Michelle, can't wait to hear more Kenzie stories when you get back.

I need to find myself a project. I think I've caught Saucy's cabin fever.

Be back later...


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:08AM
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Another awfice goer here , a quiet day no doubt since the half of the company that isn't laid off is still on vacation ! I felt the need to provide worker solidarity for Sue and V.
Actually did place a Select Seed order last night ; a cactus flowered zinnia and amaranthus, and a third one, but jeesh, I already forgot what it was !

See y'all after work

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:35AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning!

Pm2, I forgot to mention...Nolon gets out almost every day, and takes walks up to the mailbox ( 600 feet, and slightly uphill). His walking is very slow, and he stops frequently,and even sits on a log-seat up the drive, both going and returning, if the weather permits.

Norma, What I can see of your home looks so much better than what ours looks like. I see lovely finished floors, baseboards, and windowsills. Baseboards are non existant in this house. The parquet in the dinningroom is long past needing refinished. The window sills and door casings need either varnished or painted. All walls and ceilings need refinished...some way or another. It has been at least 15 years since any new painting was done ( except for the front door...Tim did it a couple of years ago). Our livingroom carpet is worn down to the threads in many spots. The vinyl in the kitchen and breakfastroom is in bad need of replacement. It is torn in places where the seams were not sealed adequately. I keep those places covered with throw rugs as best as I can. The only people that I am comfortable with coming into our house, are those who I know are not interested on how lovely everything is, or how well kept. I dream of having help cleaning and repairing it. Either that, or moving into a home that is in good shape already. :-)
As I said, on my last post, on the last thread....It makes me tired to even think of digging holes to plant things, and even more so, to think of getting this house in shape. I am so aware of our inabilities, both physical and financial.
As long as I do not have to be concerned about what others may think about the condition of the interior of our home, I am not sweating I said, it keeps out the weather(and the varmints), and serves all our needs. If I were up to being a frequent entertainer, I would not be comfortable with it. The couple that were here last fall are folks that I am comfortable with. I would not be comfortable with anyone who I felt were observing all the dust and webs on everything....and cat hairs on the furniture, and debris on the floors. ( I 'did' get the vaccuuming done before they came.)

Chelone, your discipline problems, and lack thereof with the helpmeet, sound so much like my experience...only mine was with children (our own and foster daughters), and now it is with cats. Nolon was never into disciplining.(With him, cats rule.) I am afraid it is a loosing battle. I long ago learned to work around it.
As for pooches, and cats, thay are 'very' quick to go back to the 'wild'. I can only hope your strength holds out with the 'Wrecks' training, and the conflict with your DH does not get too heated. I don't dare to rebuke Nolon. He does not tolerate that, neither from me, or from anyone else!
I agree with the "kitchen table talk". Something that we never have at our house.
I espacially like Woody's suggestion. Great words of wisdom. :-)

Julie, there are a few 'someones' who have lots of time to observe your pics. Of course a lot of 'someones' is more fun. :-)
I love the stencils pic, and the orchids.

( I hope a few 'someones' go back and see the post I tacked on to the end of the last thread. )

Michelle, we watched the parade too. I alway love all the beautiful organic floats. I missed where you said you are going. I hope you have a wonderful trip, and stay..where ever...(Oh, I see on Pm2's post that it is Florida.):-)
How wonderful. I have never been there. And yes...lots of pics ....

Sue, great to see your nice and colorful...:-)
The only fireworks that I saw were on TV. First Australia, then on to the USofA.
I remember your Banff woes. I do hope you do not have a repeat of that back pain. So far, my wood carrying has not caused me any serious problem. The key is ...being very careful!
I would love having Deanne calendars. They would be so much more meaningful than my WalMart ones...;-)

Saucy, How well I understand about 'giving up' on things, and 'compromising on' things. Been doing that, over, and over, and over.. Sometimes I feel as I really do not have a life of my own. :-(
But I guess that is what marriage is all about...commitment and compromise.
LOL on the "green bird". A dear elderly friend was colorblind. She would come up with some of the oddest clothing combinations.

Cynthia, poor Hope, and the fire! I hope she gets comfortable with it, and does not throw 'stuffies' in it!!!

It is a lovely sunny morning here, again, and so far I have not sucumbed to the drowsies...:-)

I hope Marie gets regrouped and re-does her lost post...


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 11:03AM
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Julie, I like the star stencil with the blue ceiling. Neat
Nice plant window too.

Michelle, I was waiting for you to finish painting that bedroom to see how the navy paint covered up. I have a simalar scenario to address.
Give Kenzie extra hugs from all her Idlyl admirers.
Have fun.

Cynthia, funny, but not really, that Hope was afraid of the fire. I bet she will covet it when she finds out it keeps her warm.

I am leaving decorations one more day since the boys are coming to spend the night. And on that note I need to get a few things done.

Have a good day all.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 12:12PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good afternoon all. Today's cast is a lovely robin's egg blue. It's a nice change from the bright Christmas red.

Ebony is so much worse that we took her back to the Vet. They are swamped but let us drop her off so they can fit her in ASAP. I'm worried, this change for the worse came too quickly for it to just be Heartworms. They are very serious but not something that would cause a marked decline in a couple of days. I'm agrivated since we had her checked when we got her and she was negative. Sometimes there is a little window before they show postive after infestation... or they screwed up the test??? Sorry to babble on but I'm really worried about her. She is the sweetest dog we've had in a long time.
DH is supposed to be working today. After hauling me to the doctor then coming home to drop me off and take Ebony to the Vet , he might get there by 1:30. I'm glad he's a trooper about things like this!

I'm going back to read this mornings posts. :)


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 1:59PM
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Im here at the awffice today and these days it really does feel awful. Good thing its vacation time in a mere 3.5 hours.

All this talk about calendars has me wondering if you all get the "free" calendars that are so abundant around here. I have a choice of several to hang, tractors (from the implements dealers) inspirational (from several charities I support) and a few other odd ones. Last year my sister did give me a nice bird one for Christmas.

As for back issues, mine is precarious. I do find that consistent exercise seems to keep it feeling good. My worst episode was a sciatic issue that had me in pain for about 5 months so I really sympathize with others that deal with back issues.

Marian, Ive never been to Florida and I havent flown for 12 years. It will be a new experience again. It must be hard to see so many things that need to be done around your home and not have the ability or finances to do it. It really is a good thing to only have those in your home that accept you the way you are. In the book we are studying in our small group, the author talks about how he was to give a speech and the person who picked him up at the airport and a van that was very dirty and he was somewhat annoyed that he might get dirty from riding in it. He was humbled to learn from the woman that she was a single mom with 3 children and going through chemo for cancer. I try to remember the old saying about walking a mile in anothers shoes.

Norma, I used Zinsser primer on the navy and where the border was and 2 coats of paint and it covered nicely.

Chelone, check out Denver Fabrics on line. Thats where I ordered mine. I believe nice sized samples were like a penny each and I thought the prices were reasonable.



    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 2:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Chelone, I agree with Woody and Cynthia. I would add that however well trained our furkids are they are still animals and sometimes the prey drive takes over. I think dogs should be on a leash or in a fenced area. The risk is just too great. Even though we are in the country on a dirt road, I watched a neighbor's dog have his head crushed under a school bus a few years back. The dog was almost like our own and it was heartbreaking.

On a lighter note, I see a rush of Idyll DHs being signed up for obedience training. LOL


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 2:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Michelle. I haven't always lived in these conditions. Our previous homes were well constructed, and I had the strength and health to keep them neat and clean.
Having a house that is not well constructed, and is falling apart, makes it all the harder to keep it looking good. But...this is the cards that I have been dealt, and I am playing them the best I can. :-)

So, you are like me, and not a frequent flyer. It has been 12 or 13 years since I last flew.

I hope the vacation in Florida will be a wonderful experience. I hope the weather will cooperate.

Kathy, was it you who asked about when we expect spring....due to my dafs sprouting??? We frequently have false springs here that fool things into sprouting. The dafs will not be hurt, but sometimes other things are. Our average last killing frost is around the middle of April!
Some brave ? souls start planting hardy things in February, and they often have to replant...maybe more than once. Many winters the forsythia bloom off and on during the winter. So far thay have not done so at our place, but I saw at least one in town awile back that was in bloom.
I am not sure which I prefer, a winter that comes and stays for a certain period of time, or off and on weather.

It is 58F right now, and expected to be warmer tomorrow, but wintry weather is to return next week.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 3:03PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I have a lot of back issues. Most I can't spell when I'm not on meds so I won't even try. About 4 months ago I started doing some yoga stretches and taking qigong classes. I haven't had any pain since!
I want to try Pilates when the foot is healed. I hve a good friends who swears by it.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 3:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Taking a tiny break from my insurance triggered haze to post a photo...

This is the only paper calendar we have in the house really, which is more for decoration than anything else. I use my calendar on the computer more. This was January 2007.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 3:36PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ebony has pneumonia and has to stay at the Vet's.
Any doggie prayers and good thoughts are welcome. :(


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 5:57PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Not sure if you guys got this, it's pretty funny.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 6:37PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Interesting to read about all these "back" problems! My DH has multiple health issues, including terrible back problems when he was a young man. We suspect that he was first injured playing high school tackle football, but he admits that a summer loading steel beams and several years racing motocross didn't help the situation. However, he refused to seek medical help because he is diabetic and has been for almost his whole life. A doctor told him that he would die young from the diabetes and he should just have agood time and not bother with his health (imagine a doctor telling that to a young patient!). Anyway, after doing a lot of reading he had balanced his blood sugar nicely and didn't want any orthopods messing it up, so he suffered for years. Finally the pain got to be too much. He applied for a trial of insulin pumps so that he would have an advocate for him in terms of the dabetes. He was turned down for the study because he was too healthy!! He told the people at the study of his reason for applying, so they set him up with a specialist who simply recorded everything he was doing for the diabetes, and supported him as he sought treatment for his back. Imagine his surprise when the back surgeon told him that his back was fusing by itself and he would be fine in about 6 more months! And that is what happened. He has to be careful, but really has only minor back issues now, many years later. As young marrieds, we planned to have a wheelchair accessable home in anticipation of him becoming disabled by the age of 35. He is now 61, plays golf, skiied for ten years with our kids, whatever. And he now wears an insulin pump!

Sorry for the long post - my intent was to provide hope for those who are suffering so badly.



p.s. good luck with the doggie, jerri.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 7:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I didn't tell our story about the V.A. and Nolon's bad back. He thought it was one of the injuries that he suffered while in the military, but the V.A. insinuated it was something that he had before going into the military!! Now why would they take someone with a bad back?? None of his ailments were considered sufficient for them to reinstate the meager benefit that he was getting. :-(
So, for at least a year, he was only getting $6, yes Six dollars, every other month!
We finally got a report from them last month that Nolon would be getting $58 a month!!! Whoopee!!! We will be on easy street!!!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 7:52PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Jerri - Im so sorry to hear about Ebony; but you hpefully caught the pneumonia in time as well as the heartworms and she's in good hands at your vet - Im thinking of ya; it's hard though when our beloveds are sick...

I got caught in an "organizing mode" and splurged on some baskets for closets and things -- hopefully all this organizing and decluttering will inspire me to do the heavy cleaning (bathrooms - eek) I'm still avoidng... and geez, the countdown is happening. I confess I am NOT tired or bored of staying home yet; but I guess I should think of reporting back to get that paycheck and ensure the boss didnt get used to doing without me.... so here's hoping tomorrow will bring the heavy lifting, and a few hours of deep cleaning. I do look at my lists I made and realize there are so many things I didnt get done (even tho small jobs) - that's what I hate about lists!!! But the other bedrooms are looking less like storage rooms, and a big pile has accumulated for Value Village....

Luckily I can only blame Chloe's faults and misbehavior on me myself alone; I certainly failed in spousal training, LOL.

I confess my back has been hurting a lot this week whenever any lifting has occurred and it would be better if I did all these exercises and pilates folks swear by....

Michelle - have a terrific time in Fla and I guess we'll be saying that to Cynthia very soon as well -- warm and toasty sounds pretty good right now.

Sounds like Hope has had some experience with smoke/fire, Cynthia -- that may be a tough one to overcome; I know Chloe is totally psycho re the "beep" of fire alarms, carbon monoxide detectors (and now meat thermometers) -- she freaks even if she hears it on t.v.....poor Hope - having so much fun til someone brought in her nitemare!

Love your orchids, Julie -- so many blooms, amazing!

Well, gotta grab some dinner and sort some more piles of paper; but they have gone down to the dregs to deal with, yeeha.....

Eden - I hope you find a honey-do project for Brad to take care of for you to save your sanity!

(P.S. - Chelone, I LOVE moire; my fav formal fabric, and not just 'cause it's more reasonable -- that's what all my living rooms have been draped in over the decades)....


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Ah yes, after checking my e-mail confirmation I see that my 3rd selection was Tithonia- I resolved to grow this after seeing it at Stonecrest. So the triangle garden this year will sport Tithonia, Zinnias, the May Night Salvias, the green flowered version of Amaranthus caudatus and I feel certain the nastursiums will re-seed. It promises to be quite gaudy !

Saucy, I have yet to see and orchid leaf return to its previous splendor once it get that shrivelly action going on. The cure may be to fertilize it religiously to pump out new foliageit appears that Julie does not have this problem,lol.

Cynthia, that fabric would do quite nicely for the salon ---boy did I skee-daddle from that website quickly it was starting to suck me in.

Marian, I dont hang calendars in every room but I have them all over the place at the office- we often get them from our suppliers (though few and far between this year) and the nice photos add a little zip to the otherwise boring office décor. I think it was PM who asked about your daffs, but I will comment that we have very simlar weather patterns here. My dutch Iris are up, as are the freesias- and I expect to see daffs very soon. I think I kind of like the out of season weather/temp breaks we get , though I do worry about things breaking dormancy too soon and being ruined. I have temps from all over the nation on my homepage;I dont know how close you are to Bentonville, but that is my AR city choice and I looks like your day temps will be much warmer than ours over the weekend, and nite temps about the sameuntil Sunday anyway !
I think its positive that Nolon takes his mailbox walk each day. We have some elders in our family who will not take any exercise what so ever to the detriment of their health. Even though it seems like a small thing , the fact that it is difficult for him-needing to rest etc. and he still does it anyway shows some will to keep as active as possible.

Julie I cant quite make out what the plants in the flat are. Pelargoniums ? What exposure is the window ? Your orchids look fabu Im jealous. I fertilized all of mine yesterday , hoping they will actually bloom for a change.

Jerri, (((Ebony)))..I dont think I knew that there was a doggie pneumonia. I know several people who do Yoga and they swear by it. My DS took it as one of his PE classes when he was in high school and it was very beneficial for him both mentally and physically.

Cindy, you need to focus on the stuff you DID cross off the list, not the stuff you didnt ! Un-storage unit tasks on spare bedrooms are big for me- what a load of crapola ends up in those places . Im very proud of how Ive avoided junking up the guest room this year.

Plant ID help: I took this at Wave Hill, it was over the fence at the rear of the big perennial border next to the conservatory. Taller than me. Im thinking it is some sort of Amaranthus ? Any suggestions ? From Idyllunion 5 July 2008

Later folks, BLT for dinner ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 9:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back home! It was MINUS 22F this morning, but now we are back to balmy PLUS 21F in Ontario !

Tomorrow we expect to pick up Ms Phoebe. She always pees when she sees us after a long time I hope Woody is prepared!

I hope to share pictures when life returns to "normal" here. In the meantime, perhaps some of you remember DH attending puppy classes with me for Phoebe? Wellllll, that was useless. He will only do as he wishes and the trainer gave me great sympathy...

Eden, best wishes for retirement years. This is your training program, from now until January 20th!

One of my calender gifts is of Bouviers.
OK friends, unpacking to do.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:05PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, if you have an Arkansas map (or you can google) we are closer to Harrison than Bentonville. Our little 'town' is Compton. Since we are about 1000 feet higer in elevation than Harrison, our temps are more like Springfield, Missouri.

Your mystery plant is awfully tall for the green version of Love-lies-bleeding, and the leaves do not look right, maybe it is a Polygonum??? A green version of Kiss-me- over-the-garden-gate??? Or a relative of the species?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 10:08PM
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I ran across this the other day, ah for summer and my peanut in the garden.

Later all


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Spent yesterday off and on investigating all the insurance options and reviewing our policies. They didn't have our car ready, so we are waiting on Monday for delivery. Putting away the Christmas decorations today and hopefully making the remainder of any returns.

Saucy my largest window also has that E coating and I never feel plants have done as well in front of it. Now you can't even buy windows without it, I don't think....DH is also slightly color blind, but he does ok for the most part. I have had a few of those 'green bird' moments. [g]

Another Select Seeds fan here.

Cynthia....great advice on the dog issue. Positive reinforcement for the DH...hmmm. Well, maybe not for DH but for the kids. I wonder why I don't adopt that approach more often? I wish someone would give me positive reinforcement for my positive reinforcement. [g] .... I like that fabric too ...I used a few Waverly fabrics for slipcovers. I see that one is an indoor outdoor fabric. Do the online fabric suppliers have sales and remnant tables as often as brick and mortar?

Woody...another great piece of advice.

Gee...starting off the Idyll New Year with such insightful advice! Very encouraging.

Eden....maybe you could give DH a list of things that need doing while he is home. If that doesn't keep him busy, it might get him out of the house more. ;-) Here's your chance while he is home! You could have a romantic evening every night, too. [g]

Kathy...I see you are still following through on your aim of being indispensable at work. [g]

Marian....poor Nolon. I feel bad for him, and you. It's great that he keeps moving every day, but it does sound very hard for him. How old is Nolon, again? .....It is not easy to live with disabilities and still be self sufficient. Have you ever considered moving into an assisted living arrangement? many casts have you had already? So sorry about Ebony, hopefully, some antibiotics IV will take care of it. Seems unusual for a dog to get pneumonia, isn't it?

Imagine Michelle has never been to Florida. I remember what fun it was the first time I went to Florida. Just love the Palm trees and the ocean. Really nice change of scenery. Great photo Michelle! I remember that miniature garden too.

Julie...that is a great story about DH's back. Amazing what the body can do all by itself with enough time and support. I wonder if the insulin pump has helped to keep his blood sugar levels more consistent?

Cindy...It sounds like you got a lot done while you have been home. Great example of PRN [Positive Reinforcement Needed]. When you don't get it from the people around you, often enough, I guess you have to give it to yourself. [g] When do you have to be back at work, Monday?

Kathy....DH's Mom has always been someone who hates to exercise and it has been an ongoing battle to keep her moving even a little bit. She was an intelligent woman in many ways, so I don't understand why she never understood the importance of it. My Mom latched onto that saying 'Use it or Lose it' and it still makes me laugh remembering the many ways she would try to keep moving. lol She would exercise her legs when she was sitting in a chair, she would turn on Lawrence Welk and get up and dance to the music. She was still going to work until she was 83, going up and down three sets of stairs throughout the day. Loved Jeopardy on TV and did crossword puzzles. ....I agree, the fact that Nolon makes the effort even when it is so difficult for him says a lot.

Gardenbug....glad you made it home safely. Looking forward to photos.

Well, I just refreshed and looks like I am about to beat Chelone to the first post of the morning. ...

It's the first Saturday of the year...make the most of it! This is the first thread of the new year too, come to think of it.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 6:36AM
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Wow, busy day yesterday, and LOTS of fun reading. Thanks so much for valuable insight into the "issue", the majority of which falls directly into line with my own thoughts on the subject.

I replaced the weekly planner calendar yesterday afternoon with a 50% off "Soldiers of the Civil War" model. The pickins were pretty lean, but this one is fun because it identifies the soldiers when possible and give a bit of history of the regiment AND the distinguishing details of the uniforms. The variety is really amazing. Boss asked incredulously why I would need a calendar since she doesn't think I do anything after work. I mentioned it was important to know who was coming here and on what day and at what time I should expect them... she evidently forgot about that but the reminder will do her good. ;) When I was a kid and I used to go in to work with Dad on a Saturday morning he was always hesitant to let me use the bathroom unless he went in first. Of course it was a long time before I realized that he went into the john to turn the girlie calendar around, lol.

Michelle must be all packed and sitting on her suitcase. That picture of Kenzie is darling. I thought of you the other day as I was gazing at the bare chimney over the stove and trying to come up with a suitable, non-flammable decoration for it. I toyed with the idea of a mirror and then my mind wandered off to thoughts of mosaic work and the one in the shot above reminded me. I enjoyed the site you recommended and can't wait to see what all your hard renovation work looks like, too. I sure hope you have a perfectly grand time in the Sunshine State. Bon Voyage!

Marian, I'm with Kathy about Nolon keeping as mobile as possible. Mum used to hate it when I'd force her out the door and into the yard. But her health improved markedly (probably her diet helped, too) and until a few months before she died she was perfectly capable of handling a full flight of stairs and walking to and from buildings from a parking lot. 60+ yrs. of heavy smoking left her with a compromised respiratory system, too. It's no fun to watch and it's a real worry, I know. (((Marian))) All of this bad back talk and health maintenance routines reminds me of Mum's young, hip doctor. He was a staunch advocate for a good, varied diet, with an emphasis on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and plenty of water. But what has always stuck with me was his declaration that the human body is meant to be in motion and keeping it in motion keeps it strong and healthy and is good for the mental state, too. There has been much talk about Pilates, and flexibility is very important... Mum danced from about age 4 up into her early '20s... her excellent balance and trim figure kept her active and relatively safe for just over 80 yrs.. Flexibility is key.

It's easy to see only that which you have yet to do, Cindy (trust me, I know), but it's really self-defeating. Keep plugging along on the organization, I'm tellin' ya, the JulieJob concept is a good one. I'm not thrilled about returning to work, either. I'm nervous my unwillingness to continue to "put up and shut up" is going to create... challenges (shall we say) in a workplace that is appallingly disorganized and cluttered and subsequently filthy. The pressure to change my hours began over lunch yesterday and I flatly said, "no, that isn't going to work for me but let's look over the work load and go from there". I meant to tell you I was interested in the no glucosamine for Chloe, as well as the after effects of vaccinations on her. Her little body must feel the effects pretty quickly.

Rebel outweights Rex by a solid 30 lbs., Norma. And every Rottie I've known personally has been a giant goof-ball. But, whenever you combine size and sheer mass with a dog's nature there is the potential for lethal force. No guarantees in this crapshoot we've come to call life.

Is Ebony's Pneumonia viral? at least they know what it is and she's in a safe place right now until they get it under control. So, what's up with the heartworm? There was a dog's heart in formaldehyde in one of the labs when I was in school, the heartworm looked just like fishing wire and was completely snaked through the entire venous and arterial paths. Very cool but pretty creepy, too (nothing compared to the 40' beef tapeworm, though). Our vet. told us he hadn't seen a case of heartworm in the area for well over 30 yrs. and the last victim was a southern dog. Interestingly, he sees it on the rise as southern states ship dogs north for adoption in New England. A changing demographic at work. Swell. Meant to say that I think the piano lessons are an excellent move, Jerri. It's always fun to revisit something you've enjoyed but put aside. And I like the bruise update, too, lol.

I looked briefly at "foliage" while at Orange yesterday. I liked Fittonia and something similar that had pink leaves whose name began with "H" and I've promptly forgotten. I quickly nixed the idea, knowing it would be sentanced to a lingering death in my home. I looked at cacti, too (thinking of Denise) but decided to purchase 2" clamps instead. ;) You'll have to carry my share of the houseplant torch, too, Marian! ;)

Eden, come visit me! we could really have a ball with some of the things I've got planned for the Salon and house. And the only things that would follow you around here would be cats and that fool dog (when he isn't running away). Your post cracked me up yesterday; never fails that when I'm busy with something the helpmeet makes periodic visits to monitor progress. Is this year's lay-off a lot longer than it usually is? Let's hope for a brighter 2009 with respect to the economy and automotive industry.

Johnny's Selected Seeds arrived in the mailbox yesterday. I happened across Amaranthus and saw a picture of what may be the plant in your Idyll 5 shot, Kathy. Amaranthus caudatus "Emerald Tassels", 60" is the top end of its given height, though. (see link below) Too many months to go yet before I begin to think about gahdens, too much to do around the Compound. I'll enjoy vegetation vicariously through your pictures.

Facts surrounding the dog issue:
1.) Helpmeet is exceedingly fond of the Miserable Cur. The reverse is true, as well (only Mummy hates the dog).
2.) Miserable Cur is easily capable of following commands quickly and rather likes being praised for doing so. (Or maybe he just likes watching Mummy make a fool out of herself).
3.) Helpmeet tends to use a variety of commands and tends to repeat them a lot. Miserable Cur has developed a certain "deafness" not fully understanding the importance of obeying Daddy until he hears the raised voice of frustration.
4.) Mummy is tired of seeing the helpmeet's hang dog face and hearing the sighed lament, "the dog's gone... again". She is also tired of hearing Daddy's frustrated voice raised to Miserable Cur and watching the response.
5.) Mummy mustn't think the helpmeet is deliberately sabotaging her efforts because he's too practical for that.
6.) Mummy does not expect the helpmeet to follow her method to the letter because she frankly couldn't care less how the goal is accomplished.
7.) Helpmeet cannot be relied upon to keep Miserable Cur on leash, though that's what Mummy thinks is needed at this point.
8.) Helpmeet would likely resist being signed up for an obedience refresher course (though it would do him a world of good).
9.) Mummy will continue working with Miserable Cur in her own way ( continued beatings) and will silently observe until the helpmeet is willing to make some changes or she reaches the end of her rope and explodes.
10.) This is why Mummy hates dogs. :)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I think a little diplomacy (manipulation?) might be called for to get your helpmeet into a class i.e. emphasize that Rex (not helpmeet!) needs a refresher course in obedience and could he do you a big favor and take him to a class? And that you will do your part to help by making the arrangements - and then I'd suggest you try and find a class that has a male instructor (since it sounds like helpmeet is resisting taking suggestions/direction from a female :-) and then send him off to class with Rex by himself (so, if the instructor is telling him the same thing you are, he doesn't hear an 'I told you so' in his head when he looks at you:-) His ego probably is feeling a bit wounded at the moment....

We'll try to have a camera at the ready when Phoebe reunites with her Mommy and Daddy - and we'll try to keep watch for gb's arrival so the greetings can take place on the driveway in case Phoebe leaks a bit!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Timing is already off for the reunion. DH just woke up. Woody, I'll try to let you know when we leave!

I worked on photos a bit this morning, so perhaps I'll post some later on.

Happy today folks!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:34AM
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The tydll of this idyll is a constant reminder for me :) Which is good as it's making me more organized. I have a list to take with me on errands today and wish I'd done this last bit of shopping and prep earlier. Too busy making fudge last night. 2 pounds of Mexican fudge (just chocolate fudge with cinnamon in it.) And I did have some with coffee this morning. It just seemed like a holiday/vacation thing to do.

Woody, perhaps Randy could empty (and tire) Phoebe with a good long walk and multiple squirts before 'bug picks her up? Didn't you have another guest doggie with the submissive peeing thing going on when his/her owner picked him/her up? :-)

Jerri, hugs to you and hope that Ebony is in good hands and gets through all of this ok. Pneumonia is not that uncommon in sick dogs. She is lucky to be in your home. If I recall correctly, it takes about 6 months before heartworm can be diagnosed. In the larval stages they aren't detectable, so that may be what happened when she was initially tested. More common in southern states but catching up in the North I'm afraid.

The picture of Michelle and her 'peanut' made me happy and sad. We want things to stay the same while fully understanding that they never do.

I have oriental poppies leafing out in the cold, but no daffs yet. The pulmonarias tolerate this cold weather too. I'm sure those will be kicked back though. Was it just last week when we had days in the 40s? It's teens again at night here, which is just NOT normal.

Can't remember what else I wanted to comment on. I need to get cleaned up and hit the road, will feel more productive when I get my errands done. Michelle must be all packed and ready, and I need to get that under control too, as first few days back to work will be intense to get under control for a more days off.

Take care all!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:05AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Phoebe is on her way home now... Reunion pictures on the other thread momentarily...

Phoebe emptied her 'tank' in the backyard just before the reunion event - and we were watching for the car to pull in so the initial excitement happened on the driveway... - and no leaks as far as I could see! I think she may have outgrown that phase now. Cynthia - yes, Copper did the pee thing - especially after her first time here when she flooded the front hall and dining room! Copper doesn't do that anymore either, thank goodness!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 12:36PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well you can't blame me for the economy tanking. This morning I bought a snowblower. They just delivered it. I looked at the offerings on Craig's List but ended up buying new from a reputable family owned local dealer. My neighbor cleared the driveway again New Year's Eve. When I went over to thank him he told me he would cover me until I got one. We've already well exceeded normal snowfall so I'm going to assume the trend will continue. Hopefully I'll remember all the instructions when the next storm hits. It's only money, right? lol

OK, time for my walk. It's reasonably warm today-mid 30s F but very windy.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 3:14PM
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Lunch break, 7 roses pruned thus far. Its sunny , and have purposely chosen roses to prune that are in the warmest location of the garden.

Chelone, thanks for the link. I am indeed thinking it is some sort af Amaranthus, thus the seeds I purchased yesterday., . they are supposed to get 3 to 5ft tall .One wonders where I will put them ! I wish you luck with Helpmeet and and his buddy Wrecks. Sort of like having 2 naughty kids getting into scrapes and sheepishly asking for forgiveness. Perhaps a strategy would be to express concern about the Huge guys safety, since you are on a busy road ? Surely Helpmeet could see the benefit in better control as a protective device?

I expect Michelle is on her way to the tropics by nowis it Orlando shes going to ? The National weather service is showing forecasts of low 80s.

Back outside I go. It aint 80 here .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

We talked to the Vet this morning and Ebony is a little better. She ate well this morning and she has been a wigglebutt the whole time. They are keeping her and will do another xray tomorrow or Monday. I hate to hear that heartworms are more common for you guys. They are just horrible and are rampant here. The tickbourn diseases are very bad here and almost every rescue has one or both. It is very expensive to treat them.
This is my first dog with Pneumonia. I will know what to look for now.
This is my second 'real' cast. They change casts after a week or so since the swelling is so bad right after surgery. By the time we went in yesterday I could move my foot and leg around in the cast. This one will be on for four weeks and then we will do an xray and if all looks well I get into a walking cast.
Gosh, I'm tired. I ventured out today and it's just an ordeal. I can't drive yet so DH drove me to get my hair washed and styled. It's been next to impossible to do it myself. I will be working from home it week. I'm a little concerned with how quickly I tire out.
I know I'm forgetting things but wanted to check in.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Finally!!! I can enjoy some "winding down." Working through these last weeks since Thanksgiving (anyone else remember that day???LOL) has been a matter of not taking any swallows from the 1/2 full glass. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Wahoo, Sue!!!!! Good decision to get a snowblower, and supporting a local biz is never, ever a bad thing. With the wind we've been having, sweeping with brooms in the right direction works, too. Just ask our walkway.

Who else thinks that Michelle's face will hurt from smiling the next time we hear from her?

Can't contribute much to the dog thing except (()). Can say that there have been a few heated discussions about how to care for the lawn. While lawnkeeping can't be compared to raising a pet, it's the same jist :-)

Unadulterated happiness in the Phoebe reunion pics......

Pretty plant, Kathy!! Nothing I'm familiar with....

To all of you with green in the ground starting to show, or with outside seed planting dates firmly in mind, :-P

Chicken quesadillas enroute by delivery (not bad ones by Connecticut standards) so need to pull out a few paper plates and napkins and feast.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 5:07PM
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It was nice to spend the day outside, and temps became quite tolerable in late afternoon. I made a dent in the front garden, all but 3 roses are pruned and lots of the slimy debris is dispatched. Of course when one is in the garden looking at the bare winter ground (ground that is unviewable in summer) one does start to ponder..I think Im going to plant lots of annuals this year-its logical for me to do so with my ambiguous living situation ; annuals are relatively cheap and I can have fun with some more unusual varieties either grown from seed or purchased from the bay area icon Annies Annuals Ill make a trip down there in spring and meanwhile draw up some sort of design (that I will no doubt stray from) and try to force myself into a focused shopping experience ( right). I really want to tart-up the area that surrounds my ex-gazebo . Such fun to heartlessly dig stuff up and start over !

Sue, have you purchased your white jacket with fur trimmed hood for snow-blower gear ala Mary ? I feel fortunate that I do not now, nor will I ever need a snow blower. I do however need sand bags and earthquake preparedness kits. We all have our challenges !

Martie, I lold at your dog training-lawn care analogy. Arent men funny about lawns ? My late DH would have been horrified to see me get rid of the front lawn. Though I suspect he would have been won over eventually by the garden that took its place.

Jerri, glad to hear that Ebony is responding to treatment. Will you have to have physical thereapy after you get the cast off?

Another note from my outdoors day-all Hellebores are budding, two have open blooms, Scilla is emerging, pansies still look horrid.

Wondering about Idylls unheard from Wendy, Ei, Babs, and our long lost Honey.

Welcome home Marie !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So interesting to hear actual garden reports, Kathy. Hellebore buds and open blooms? Mine won't show for months. We should have a photo of that!

Sue, we may all be thanking you for getting that snowblower. Now that you have one, what are the chances we will have enough snow for you to use it? [g]

Welcome home Marie!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:52PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

My thoughts exactly, PM2, however all attempts failed at getting people to ante up towards the snowblower purchase in return for a snowless winter. Kathy, I was driving home from work in the last snowstorm and saw a guy out snowblowing in his driveway wearing a full facemask and goggles. I'm afraid that's where I'm headed.

OK, advice needed here...I just went out to grill myself a salmon steak for dinner and a mouse popped up in my grill. Good grief-does it ever end? I tried shaking, prodding, yelling to no avail-he just keeps burrowing deeper into the corners. I finally gave up and tossed the salmon into a frying pan. How do I get him out? And no, Chelone, I will not fire up the grill and roast him alive.

More wine please.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:18PM
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I recommend a trap on the grate, excecution style if that is your preference, or the 'catch and release' if not.You better get that puppy out of there before it starts reproducing-at which mice are adept. You may have to put the damn thing on the curb with a 'free' sign on it .
Thanks, I will have another if you don't mind. Make it red.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sue...maybe you can get the neighbors to start a pool to see how much snow you will see, with proceeds to be donated to your snowblower bill. [g]

I'd have to second what Kathy said on your mouse. Grills aren't so bad, I heard about them getting into car engines and chewing on the wires to the computer system and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. At least homeowner's did cover it, but a tough call whether to make a claim. They are trying to get warm I guess. Where is a cat when you need it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:41PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Is red wine normally what one serves with roast mice, Kathy? lol

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 8:45PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Throw in a package of mouse bait, Sue. When you see that the package has been devoured, crank the burners all the way up and clean the grate really well.

May I change my New Year's Resolution and resort to the "Glass half empty" school? DD's car wouldn't start last week, so we had it towed in to the dealer's for a look-see. The estimate came back at $1900!!! Far too much to spend on a mid-90's subcompact that has a couple of major accidents in its history. DH talked to them on Friday, asked if the car was drivable (yes) and said he would get back to them. This morning, he had me call another shop in town, and the guy thought he could do it for less than half. So DD and I head to the dealer to pick it up, and the dealer informs me that the car has not been put back together. Um, what about that "drivable" comment? Soooo, a wasted trip to the dealer, a lost opportunity for the second estimate to be finalized today, and no chance that the car will be ready when DD returns to school on Tuesday. And then we'll have the fun of getting the car back to her. Grump, grump, grump...

Kathy, I spread prairie seeds today in one of our restoration areas. Does that count as gardening work?

I was wondering about Honey today, too. We haven't heard from her in quite a while. I'd love to hear a check-in from her.

My back was quite stiff when I woke up this morning and I am TOTALLY blaming it on the idylls.

Jerri, glad to hear that the pup is doing better. Hope her progress continues.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:11PM
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If I have to keep a mouse trap in my dishwasher, no reason Sue can't keep one in her grill. I opened the door one night to put a glass in and it was doing trapeze work on the glass racks. (And yes I tried to boil it in there.)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Is roast mouse considered beef, poultry or seafood? None of the above I expect, so what is the correct varietal to serve with Vermin? A nice crisp Pinot Grigio? A robust Cabernet Franc ? A meritage perhaps ? But if it's boiled (Rodent ala' Cynthia) one needs to serve it with Guiness Stout.

Crikey, when Chelone gets up and reads this in the morning she's going to think we lost our marbles.

PS yes V, it counts !

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I don't think mouse is the 'other white meat'. LOL
I'll have to vote for a nice red.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

ROTFOL!!!! No,Chelone is only going to wonder how many glasses of vino have been imbibed, and why the heck Sue didnt want roast mouse served up..... I think I may have to go make a wardrobe change, Im laughing so hard....

Ha, I was thinking of Honey today too - isnt she the one who suffered the vacuum cleaner assault? Every time I pull out my vacuum (which aint very often obviously) I think of how I might be injured with it... but I challenged it to a duel today and think I won.... but the back is failing - obviously an idyll disease/condition...

Sue, do you think you could convince the mouse to move to the nice new shiny snow blower somehow??? entice him over w/ cheese or something...

maybe he heard about the wonderful fish you like to grill and was hoping for some leftovers, not realizing he might be the appetizer?

V-- holy --- dont you love it when they dont put their work back together? sheesh.. and where's a good house husband to fight these battles when you need one, right?

Kathy, I will defer to your superior knowledge of what beverage to serve w/ roast mouse... I bet Sue's BTUs on her grill on high would char him to ashes dont ya think? I hope he didnt move his family in though....

going to see if I can stop laughing....look for my usual winter mouse now.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:19PM
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Wow, mouse in the snow blower-I'm kind of getting a "Fargo" vibe.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 11:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Two years ago DH sealed all entry into the kitchen with caulking and SOS pads etc... Poor mice have had to play survival outdoors ever since. I especially hated them in the dishwasher. The cats would only play with a few of them every now and again no matter how I encouraged them.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:21AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Up early this morning. Only about four hours sleep, not nearly enough. But yesterday I finally crashed and slept eleven hours. Is it possible to store up sleep?

Mice. Yuck. We had them in our old house, but the bats are worse. DH became very good with a badminton racquet. Paws (our rescue cat) used to catch the mice and store them under the family room couch. They reeked! Here Paws catches critters ouytside and leaves them at the step for us. Or pieces of them. How sweet (not).

V., I hate cars. They are great big open mouths that eat money. We are still trying to connect with the appraiser after our Dec. 20 mishap. Happy $500 deductable to us.

Sue, sorry I cannot contribute to the snowblower fund because I actually WANT some snow here (I must be going nuts. It's the lack of sleep). Actually, with a few skiers in the family, and a small boy with a new sled, there would be joy in seeing the white stuff float down. Also, with our very cold temps, I would like a little protection for the gardens.

Speaking of men and the white stuff floating down, no, not dandruff, our communication blockade here is about money. Now to get to the white stuff: the men here think money is manna from heaven that just floats down whenever you need in an unlimited supply. Well, it kind of is, as we are retired and our pensions get direct-deposited every month so the debit cards work most of the time. However, I pay the bills and I often feel like an old nag (because I am one?) when I give them heck about their spending habits, about wasting electricity, abount not thinking about what we have on hand to do something instead of just running to the Orange (I love that expression, by the way)or stopping at a restaurant for lunch instead of rushing home for the meal that I had already cooked. With a sizeable mortgage and a DH who has just been diagnosed with yet another progressive incurable illness, I am concerned about our future. Again, if it was just me, well, I wouldn't worry as much, but we do have a seven year old. I told DH this week that I would be stomping down on the cash flow this year, as we would be toast if he needs long term care in the future. We do not have long-term care insurance. Should have gotten some when we had the chance. Shoulda woulda coulda. Rant over.

Last night we took TCS to the arena to skate from 8 to 9 p.m. There were few people there and he had a ball. After church today the skating is free so InterPhil will take him again, and then stay to watch the local hockey team play. I might nap!

So my resolve to do more fun things with TCS has so far been upheld. Wow! and four whole days into the New year!!



    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 6:25AM
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Wouldn't mouse fall under the heading of "game"? Couldn't you just reach in and grab him by the base of the tail while he has his head jammed into the corner of the grill? that's how they pick them up in laboratory settings. Once you have him in your clutches just pivot and whip that sucker into the neighbor's yard, or let the dogs have their way with him, bet they'd like that! Or, just turn on the grill... snap, crackle, pop! roast mousie! You people crack me up. We generally see dead mice by the slider all winter long, mostly the foolhardy ones who've decided the woodpile looks like a promising neighborhood... until they realize it's "gang infested", lol.

I've been wondering about the "long lost" Idyllettes, too. I wonder how that silly dog, Missy, is falling into line in Honey's home... is anything in the house left unchewed or the garden left unturned by her eager paws and curious mind? Ei is due to resurface soon, and the original Nurse Ratchett is no doubt up to her cap in something interesting to do with the boys.

Michelle will awaken ready to embark on a day packed full of "peanut time". :) What tales she will return to tell.

Welcome home, 'bug. I'll bet the resident felines were happy to see their "hot water bottles with the opposing thumbs" return in time to open another can. And mine that litter pan, lol. Great to be loved, isn't it?

While the coffee was brewing I ventured out to the Salon to monitor the temperature this morning. The smaller fires have built up the ash bed pretty well and yesterday I lit the stove and then loaded it so it would really burn hot. When I came in back to the house last night (8:30-8:45) the Salon was a cozy 74 degrees. When I went out this morning the Salon was 57 degrees and the soapstone was still very warm to the touch and there are still coals in it to rekindle the next fire. Window treatments will minimize heat loss a bit more, I'm pleased to note the stove is having the desired effect out there. Keeping the space at a minimum temperature is lots less expensive than maintaining it at comfy temperatures! And Cindy, I noted the battery in the smoke detector requires replacing... poor Chloe would be going nuts. So would Rex! it must hurt their ears, huh?

Is Ebony's pneumonia something she contracted as a "stand alone" malady or is it an opportunistic infection that's slipped in as an aside to something else? I know nurse's refer to it as "the old man's friend" in hospitals, since it tends to set up shop in compromised health circumstances.

Cynthia, I like the fabric you linked in the last thread very much. I'm not having much luck Googling the moire taffeta as many mills are just that, mills, and their goods are carried by a cadre of wholesale houses (from whom the retailers buy) who put their own names on what is essentially a generic product. It's not the same thing as, say, the specific fabric you linked that is probably an exclusive for Waverly. I've had a very good time browsing though on-line offerings, but I have to wonder how much time I'm wasting sitting here staring at a screen, trying to save a few bucks. Is it really worth it? I'm not entirely sure. I'll continue to play around with it until I'm ready to "pull the pin", but I suspect I'll wind up just going to the store, placing the order, and having the goods drop-shipped here. I also wanted to tell you I was interested in Hope's reaction to the fire. Rex is equally cautious when we have a bonfire outdoors, lowered head and nervous skirting of the immediate area surrounding the fire. The stove is a different story. All the animals are aware that it's hot and exercise caution but also recognize the comfort and quickly find spots near it to bask in its warmth. Only Polly made the mistake of landing on top of it when it was lit and hot. She was a kitten and as soon as her paddy-paws hit the surface she bounded off it. A nice aspect of soapstone is that while it gets very hot you can bump against it or bounce a finger of it and not get burned. She's never made that mistake again. Your dogs would look impossibly elegant lolling around the stoves here.

Time to hit the shower, locate the replacement battery for the smoke detector and think about crossing one more piddly job off the "to-do" list before it's time to head out for brunch, noonish.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 6:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Sue, Doug says that is probably why the grill wouldn't start because there is a mouse nest in it. Yikes. Can you stand to put on some gloves and clean it out?

Waving hi to all!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:55AM
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Love the idea of wine with mouse in that mouse are so tiny the main course would be wine, yes??

Squirrels, here, that got down the unused chimney through the ash hatch into the basement, up to the foundation sill, slipped off hitting the hot water switch. Twice. Befuddled humans all around. Heard a crash and Rich discovered the perpetrator. Corraled the furball back into the chimney then closed the hatch and sealed it shut with a heavy shovel. No squirrels since.

Spent some wonderful time going through the fabric links. With all the windows we have, you'd think we'd've put up fabric a long time ago, but budget dictated other things first. Some year.... When I thought we would do 'it' went to an interior design shop who was happy to order the raw materials for me with a slight upcharge to her price. She looked at it that she would make a profit for essentially putting in the order. Something to think about, Chelone if you have your heart set on a certain producer and syscode.

Not only thinking about Honey, but Taryn and others who were such welcome voices long ago.

Love that the Idyllkids are utilizing winter as a fun time outside. Julie -- if TCS loves to skate I say flood your backyard :-)

Then there's me, who has an open invite to my ski area client for lessons, rentals, passes, etc. at my whim. No, thanks but I'll take a toddy in the lodge!! :-) In younger days used to go camping in mid-winter and found it to be the best relaxation, ever.

Have you started winter-sowing, yet, PM2?

Select Seeds is a fav, but given the option I order from Pinetree (link below) since you can get just enough seeds for one year at prices that let you get pretty much whatever you want. Owned by a family in Maine and really nice people. You may want to check them out......

Happily charting my day to include nothing more strenuous than making a pie.

Happy 10th day!!


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Taking a break from putting away the ornaments. One of my favorite ornaments has gone missing and it is a mystery what happened to it. Why is putting them away not as much fun as putting them on the tree?

Norma...I am trying to remember if Jake and Wyatt are twins? Wyatt is in first grade this year? My kids also played with legos and particularly my son enjoyed them a lot. When they were growing up, we always tried to give a new set each year for Christmas gifts. I wish they had some for adults of more complicated projects. Maybe in miniature. We didn't have legos when I was growing up. We had Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets.

Chelone...your woodstove sounds like it is working out wonderfully. It was pretty cold last night too.

Julie...glad you are catching up on your sleep. You must have needed it.

Gardenbug...I would be interested to hear where DH found places to caulk and put SOS pads? Do you mean inside the cabinets, where they join the wall? I have yet to find any mice in the cabinets or dishwasher, but one was seen this fall sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. Not sure if it came up from the basement. They seem to find a way in each fall and after three traps, we didn't find any more.

Does anyone have an inkling of which thread the discussion on reducing electrical usage was on?


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Keeping on topic, we often have grill problems due to spider nests in the BBQ. So I imagine Doug is right on target with his diagnosis Sue.

Thanks for the return welcomes friends! I've been wondering how to sum up my trip and holidays and have come up with a blank...mostly because photos can't be posted at the university. They speak better than words usually, at least for me.

In terms of how the perfect family is doing, I also draw a blank. I have no idea what to expect when a series of life altering events land on people. They are a very solid couple and that strength is wonderful. Both are still very fragile but enjoy keeping busy with projects, such as insulating their sunroom these days. Both have permanent government positions which are generous when times are tough. DSIL is aiming for another 6 month paternity leave and DD will have both maternity leave and a medical leave for establishing nursing of tiny one. But emotionally things are a real mix. As the mommy, I have this tremendous need to repair all damage for them...and of course that is impossible. Skyler seems to be doing quite well with his brother's loss. Therapy at school began instantly, and I think that was a huge help. He is a very up front open kid, so that is a bonus too.

I read up on co-parenting while in Edmonton and there are really some good books, forums, and groups out there to help people. I wish X felt a need to improve in that department...but it seems she is perfect and doesn't need guidance. Sigh. Sarah is taking a back seat now on her reading and research because she is over stressed by her involvement.

Last night we attended a party with games as a focus. I avoid games at all cost...and enjoyed chatter with friends. I even amazed myself by not nibbling the night away! Tomorrow will be Book Club and we will be discussing a book on the Dalai Lama, The Open Road by Pico Iyer.

I have been assigned the task of coming up with baby names. I was going to stand clear of this, but DSIL wants me to contribute once again. We'll see how that goes.

DH took a big walk this morning with Phoebe. Dressed in snowpants and boots to wade through the drifts, he encountered 2 fallen trees, one of which destroyed a young apple tree of ours. :( There are many deer tracks as well as dog tracks...which could be coyote tracks.

I am hoping to hear from long lost Idylls and pets one day soon...


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I guess 'refreshing' before posting should have made my resolutions list. [g] Sorry Martie. No, I am in a low energy period after the holidays and still have too many other things to pay attention to, to think about the garden. I have a feeling my seed sowing is going to be spring sowing this year.

We flooded our backyard one year and it was really a lot of fun and exciting, but if your rink is small, only the little kids really enjoy it. DD was into figure skating and some of her friends were on the hockey team and that one year our rink was a fairly good size and they did enjoy it. It would have been better if it was larger though and we didn't have more room. Great if you have a large level place to put it and an assurance of sustained low temps. Sounds like you have the weather for one Julie. We found it a bit more work then it was worth for our circumstances.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH caulked against the mice and voles in the back of kitchen cupboards where water pipes enter from our basement. The cats are free to use the basement and sometimes catch critters there, but likely scare them upstairs too. DH caulked around the pipes, around areas leading to drawers, the sink and the dishwasher. When we needed to replace the DW, DH also sealed that entire area again.

A second area that he also needed to caulk was in our kitchen island where the stove top fan leads to the basement. That fan was redirected to the outdoors at last. I say 'at last' because the fire detectors went off whenever we used the stove fan.

By the way, with the installation of our new wood stove, we also installed new detectors. New Years is the time when we replace batteries as well. Have you replaced YOURS? DO that right now!!! :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:49AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No, mouse was not the cause of grill malfunction. I actually fixed the grill last weekend and used it last week. Went out this morning to check. Mouse was gone and grill starts right up. Great source of amusement though, especially the discussion on wine selection. The other white Now I know why the dogs have been sniffing around the grill lately. I thought it had to do with the grease pan.

So far I've managed to get absolutely nothing done around here today. I'm not even dressed yet. I'll probably take a nice long walk after lunch, hit the grocery store, workout and call it a day.



    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:20PM
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Yikes, it was 25 when I checked the temp at 8am this morning, and 32 now. Think Ill do some indoor tasks for a couple of hours. Im going to set up a orchid re-bloom station in the guest room, which has a west facing window unobstructed by Lady Banks or Celcile Bruner (unlike the downstairs west windows) and this time of year the western sun is pretty low and weak so it should be an ideal site. I just have to remember to go in there and water

Chelone, I believe it may have been warmer in the Salon this morning than in my house- and it took forever to take the chill off in here.

PM, I always find a least one ornament still on the tree after I drag it outside, and wonder how I missed it ? Im sure its somehow related to the washing machine eating socks. You could try doing a search of this forum, maybe type in electricity as the search word, unless you can think of other phrases that were used in the discussion. I use that search function when I want to go back and look at pics of Deannes containers !

Sue, I agree that your mouse misfortune was worth every bit of amusement value-one must get ones jollies wherever they are found in January. Good news that no permanent damage was done. I am a charcoal griller and there are not many issues that can befall a Weber kettle, other than rust .

bug, its nice to hear that DD and DSIL are such a source of comfort and strength to each other. I expect it is good for Skyler to witness this strong relationship-and hopefully is overrides the more negative aspect from his other parent.

Ok, off to the guest room and will reward myself with a visit to Pinetree Seeds later this morning..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Im winding down myself and trying to get into the "mood" re back to the worker bee drudgery; Im just always greedy for more of whatever... good news is I have only to make it thru 2 full work weeks and then we get 4 days off due to the inauguration/MLK Day shows to happen - I plan to be nowhere but at home hunkered down for the insanity of it all.

Glad to hear, Sue, that your vermin visitor took the hint after the face to face and skedaddled - he may have been hiding from your trusty "ratters"... whew.

Im fairly happy with the headway I made in the house -- didnt quite get to all the real clean of the other bathrooms in the house; but at least mine is now decontaminated and the bedroom is looking almost open house worthy. I have made a lot of progress to getting the house back to once-upon okay status; if I keep at it a few more weekends I'll be delighted -- the kitchen floor needs a real cleaning, etc. -- the things on the infamous list seems to be things like "buy 3 new toilet seats; hang tiebacks for curtains, re-cover kitchen chairs" -- all things that are just need to be done at some point. Im not going to talk about the Big list of "new windows", paint living room, upstairs, etc..."

I managed to unearth my garden photo albums and started looking over IU unions -- I always get get ideas and now recall some things I really wanted to try, so the list is growing there too, LOL... I've looked a couple of mail order websites - it's interesting that many of the ones I previously ordered from have discontinued their paper catalogs this year = which is a letdown; I really prefer lounging on the sofa/bed looking and reviewing the catalogs rather than cuddling the laptop.... I havent seen any interesting garden mags that have "great new 2009 plants" yet either -- maybe it's just earlier than I recall about that stuff...

'bug - glad to hear you're home and getting settled back in; knowing there are things beyond our fix-it wishes is a hard thing to accept, but it sounds like you're doing pretty well in that. There are so many emotional landmines involved in most extended families that one just has to learn to ignore the others who are so narcissitic to think they're "perfect" -- how can one relate to a perfect person? not very well.... Im sure the counselors are helping your DD and DSIL to learn not to cater to her and just ignore her as best one can from time to time!

I hope everyone is just relaxing and re-energizing for the week to come -- good to see Deanne check in from her bird yard -- I worry you're gonna get stuck out there and forget there's a world back in your house, LOL -- hopefully we can trust Doug to remind you to come in...

Kathy - will it upset you to know I am comforted to hear you had cold weather today? 80s just doesnt seem right to us easterners.... I like the idea of your exotica annual you are planning for your "triangle" and elsewhere -- wish I lived near Annie's Annuals - they have the coolest stuff - including the gossypium nigrum that was so incredible at Chanticleer; they seem to be almost the only place around that had it....

Okay, back to deciding whether to run to the grocery for a few staples of work lunches; or just chilling out; I have to resist the urge to take a nap - otherwise I'll be up forever tonite...

O, Jerri - meant to say Im glad you're making progress re casts and hopefully with the swelling going down, you'll be more ambulatory and back to feeling like you'll be "normal" walking soon!


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Sunday afternoon. That means tomorrow is back in the old grind. :( Nothing personal Chelone but this is the only Idyll thread that's ever felt depressing. Every day reminders that vacation is almost over. YUK! LOL


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Yeah, well Jerri, I'm in the same boat. I don't really want to go to work tomorrow, either. It's much nicer getting up, having coffee, and toddling off to do whatever you please for the day! It won't kill me, I suppose. And there's always the possibility of a "snow day" in the future. :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 6:10PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Checking in one last time before facing the reality of the work week.... I managed to clear out and organize the linen closet of 25 year old sheets and towels, among other things - almost as good as taking a nap.

I meant to mention to you, Chelone, that I googled "discount moire fabric" and it brought up a few websites I recalled being helpful in my search --,, -- they are some of the sites that had close-outs and sold some in bulk yardage (i.e., they have 54 yards to sell at a closeout price, etc...)... i saw a wide range of prices and yardage... not sure what colors or if you are thinking a moire stripe, or w/ a pattern; or simple yummy color w/ the moire pattern.... when you're talking 70 plus yards like you are, I think it might be worth the time to "shop"... but you may have a license that you can get a wholesale price w/ too...? in any case, there are a lot of places that sell Waverly patterns at discounts too..... but it does take some patience and eye glazing-over.... took me probably 6 weeks to really zero in on what I wanted....

Ha, re the snow days -- they are talking some possibility of flurries/mixed here in the week - I'd love to work 2 days; take a day off, and go back for 2 more.... but I think my "luck" is over on that stuff and I'll have to tough it out.

Julie -- that must be tough to be the purse strings of the whole family -- maybe you need to share the pain and put a couple of those eager family consumers in charge of some portion of the budget.... I confess I am against debit cards because I dont think it impresses on people the cold hard cash aspect they're spending; it's somehow just too like credit cards and people really dont keep count/balance of what they have left for other things somehow....

Hope everyone has a not too stressed return to work or just return to their usual routines....


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 6:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Not looking forward to Monday here either. I'm not going to work but everyone else is. It was fun while it lasted.

Yes the missing socks, the ornament still has not turned up. :-)

But at least the new car is being delivered tomorrow! I think I can drum up some enthusiasm for that.


Oh...I was looking over Select to a very pretty Amaranth that at least looked similar to the one you posted the photo of, Kathy. Very pretty plant.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:05PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm not looking forward to going back to work, but I'm also glad that the job of taking down the tree with DH is now behind me. I think couples who are planning to wed should skip any other pre-marital counseling and simply see if they can take down a live tree without arguing or destroying anything!

But the tree has been defrocked, cut to pieces and laid to rest across my heuchera beds. The dogs were happy to show me the evidence that the bunnies had been inspecting the beds already, so the pine boughs will be put to good use over the next several months.

My sympathy gene is not working well today. When I left the house this morning, I noticed that the drive was covered with ice. I sent a quick text to DH to warn him. After church I swung by the P.O. to get stamps, and when I got home, I told him how icy the parking lot there was. So he went out this afternoon, paid no attention, and fell onto his arm and hurt it. le sigh! He keeps saying it's not bad, but then he makes these little groany noises, then quickly says again it's not bad. Okay ladies, sing with me to the tune of "Drunken Sailor":

What do you do with a stubborn husband?
What do you do with a stubborn husband?
What do you do with a stubborn husband?
Ear-lie in the evening.

I'd better wind down this post and try to finish my book tonight. After tonight, my reading returns to about three pages a night before I nod off.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:38PM
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More roses pruned, but came back inside when the temps started to drop again, resulting in too much nose-blowing-does this happen to everyone? Annoying drippy nasal passages when outside in cold temps? Anyway, front garden roses are all completed - think there are about 15-ish out there, and back garden is started. I felt like Princess Charming wielding her magic machete as I approached Reine des Violettes what a mess ! She and Clematis Ramona are in a death grip , and RDV is winning by a mile, I could hardly find Ramona so engulfed had she become. Entering the equation was a Spirea and a Star Jasmine that I should have cut back to the nubs last winter. The Star Jasmine is devouring Niobe (or was) . Between the Spirea, Jasmine and RDV I ended up with two large piles of debris that will have to wait till next weekend to be put in the yard waste toter, which is already full. However, I can actually see the fence again. I had to just hack away at Ramona, once I uncovered her and hope she will revive .There was no way to tell what direction she was growing in. She looked pretty much like a slightly flat tumbleweed. I am thinking Ive probably got 4 to 5 full days in the garden to finish the pruning and winter clean up.

Cindy, I did my linen closet last spring- a very satisfying task ! I had sheets in there for bed sizes that dont even exist in this house anymore . Anything with pills was converted to cleaning rags.

Im kind of glad that I returned to work last week, it was very quiet and tomorrow wont be quite the rude awakening that some of you will have. At least it will be warmer in my office than its been in my house the last few days. Cindy, I will also be off part of Inaug week, by my own choice . I have boatloads of PTO , and since I always take Inauguration day off anyway Im going to stretch it into 5-day weekend. Crossing my fingers for dry weather for at least part of the time to finish the garden clean up. I had to go onto Annies Annuals website to see the Gossypium, that looks very cool!

Jerri, you will be working from home for awhile , right ? At least you can work in your jammies if you want to !

PM, the Amaranthus you posted is the one I ordered seeds of last Thur. Im going to start them indoors as soon as I get them.

LOL V, my DH and I always said that couples should put up wallpaper together before committing to the nuptials- since he never participated in Christmas Tree deconstruction it was a moot point. I can so envision the little groany noises, probably only done when you are within earshot !

I took these this afternoon, they are pretty crummy but you get the idea..signs of spring !
From Garden Sept 08 From Garden Sept 08

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 7:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Do you really want to know, V? LOLOL

Terriyaki marinated and grilled NY strip tonight sans the mouse garnish. Not only am I not looking forward to the return to the mines tomorrow, I'm dreading it for at least the next six weeks. Year end-yuck!

Time to read here too. Someone got me hooked on this book called 'Outlander' by Diana Gabaldon. Never would I have chosen a story like this on my own. It took over 100 pages for me to get into it but I was told to stick with it and I'm glad I did. Now I'm hooked and there are three or four others in the series. I picked up the second last week and hope to start on it tonight.

No signs of spring here. January is the coldest month. If we get through it without a really bitter cold snap, the potential significantly drops for the rest of the winter. Next weekend I'll be heading up to my ski house again for a day of skiing-probably Saturday but I'll be keeping an eye on the weather.

Night, night.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:29PM
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I checked the hellebores today after Kathy mentioned her buds & blooms, and found the H.Niger starting to bloom, and buds on many of the H.hybridus. H. foetidus (which shoots flower stalks around Thanksgiving) have been pumping flowers for a few weeks now. There's a lot of leaf burn on the niger & hybridus'essss? Not sure how to pluralize that. But new leaf folds coming in the middle.

Count me in as bummed at going back to work tomorrow! I'm usually annoyingly positive about this stuff, (lucky to be employed, blah blah blah) but just not in the mood to start doing the heavy lifting again. As Chelone wrote, 'having coffee and toddling off' to do whatever around the house is a wonderful freedom.

I'm packed for Florida, and decided poop bags would be perfect for shell collecting. Empty, they fit nicely in pockets and are waterproof and sturdy :) I didn't iron a thing, just checked over a collection of summer stuff and folded it all up. Squish. The absolute neutrality of color in my wardrobe makes coordinating a non-issue.

Select Seed catalogue came a few weeks ago, and I've looked at that too. They don't have many 'special' tender plants this year. I've bought some unique plectranthus and salvias there in years past. I like Pinetree Martie, and used to buy basics from them. They don't have a very broad selection, but you're right about quantities, just right.

I've got the dogs packed too :( And food thawing in fridge. Meal planning is hard because I try to not to send stinky stuff, but want to keep it interesting for the dogs. Hate to leave them and wish they could all go to Woody's! (She's thinking, 'thank goodness that woman lives different country.') Audrey is the lucky one, she gets to stay home with room service.

So, I found these tips for shelling at Sanibel:

"When walking in the water looking for seashells make sure to drag your feet. This is for two reasons:
a) Some seashells are partially buried in the sand and you could stumble upon them
b) There are stingrays in the water (especially in the summer). The stingray will harmlessly swim away if he is just nudged. However, if you step down on top of one it can leave you with a nasty wound. Shuffling your feet prevents the stepping down on their back that is necessary for them to sting."

Much more fun research than work.... (And I hope that reading that didn't cause Jerri any discomfort.)


    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 8:39PM
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The last few days have seen a huge flock of Robins completely strip the Blue Princess holly of her pretty red berries. The helpmeet counted over 40 of them and they were gliding down into the holly in 3s and 4s. Poor Polly was going out of her mind watching them, we let her out when her pleas became too pitiful to ignore and laughed when the Robins retreated to the maple tree and she was at the door asking to come in about 15 minutes later. Note to self and helpmeet: Plant more Hollies, and plan to leave the berries on the plants rather than harvesting for holiday decorations.

Julie, I love the stencilling you did for TCS. Did you use a stencil brush or did you use a sponge? I have an exacto knife to cut the old-fashioned oiled stencil board and one of those electric hot thingys that will melt through the plastic stuff, but I've never tried it. Looks to me, though, as if it would be pretty nice for more intricate patterns. It'll be awhile before I get to that stage of things (unless of course, I get fired today, which could happen).

V., several years ago I fell on a frozen puddle on my way to the car. I broke my wrist. A needless expense, a painful experience, and now I put those pull on cleats over my footwear whenever there is a chance of falling. You guys (and everyone else!) should have at least one pair for the house and another for the glove compartment. The local news is warning about the possibility of black ice this morning. I'm in charge of tree removal and that may happen on Wednesday if the weather is crummy enough to warrant a "snow day" or, that failing on Saturday. I know the exact sound emitted by an uncomfortable spouse. Sometimes my innate callousness manifests itself when I simply leave the room or close the door. ;)

I have to return the sample books to the fabric store this afternoon and then return a library book. Then I have to turn my attention to plugging the nail holes and cracks between the Advantec OSB sub-flooring in the Salon. I tried some caulk that I'm not wild about, my brother suggested I try some Liquid Nails since it will adhere to anything and dries very hard. So I'm going to give that a whirl in a small area.

All the talk of organized linen closets and other small organizational tasks makes me want to do more of them, lol. Wish I was allowed to do some of that at work, lol, but that will NEVER happen. Whatever!

OK, so what am I going to do with the remaining 3/4 hr. I have to kill before I'm to go to work? Not enough time to do anything truly meaningful around here and too much time to kill with a leisurely "long way to work" drive. Hrrrmmmff.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:41AM
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It's just not fair to have a two hour delay after a long holiday! I was all ready for some peace and quiet....and the rest of my week is full of appointments! Oh will come....

Chelone, try some leveling compound. It comes in a big bucket....soupy texture....and it levels itself. You use a squeegee type tool to work it into the cracks. You can do this standing upright. I've never painted it, but I'm of the thinking that if you can prime it, paint will stick :) I imagine that you could dip it out by the cupful to work in smaller areas. I've only seen my husband do it, and he only does things one way: the messiest way possible. He wonders how I paint without getting any on me...

This weekend was nice. I got my workbench in the garage. I still need to install my new work light and tropical posters, lol! I am thinking that I would like to work on some "bowls" that you could fill with water for the birds, or reflection. I want to try painting some of the leaf castings, too, so I could combine the two: a vessel with a leaf cast into it, and painted bright colors. Little and Lewis has been stuck in my head.....

The mouse capades were too funny. With all the mouse books and movies around our house, Nick and I don't get much sympathy when we bait the mousetraps.

Norma, Kinex are as fun as Legos....I think boys are hard to shop for in the wintertime months :) There's a new type of skateboard that all the kids are wanting, too, something with "stick" in it's name. And then there is always a cool origami book.

Well, the family has descended upon me with such requests as, "have you seen my belt?" and such classics as, "where is my pink Jonas brothers shirt?" so I guess I must go.

2 hours can't come fast enough :) I hope Eden has made out okay with her case of cabin fever, too, as she has a bit longer to go than I.....


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:39AM
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Try the link below, Chelone. This will fill the larger fastener holes, plus any cracks between the plywood sheets, and it stays flexible.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This from Julie's other posting:
"I was so disorganized this morning getting TCS off to the school bus. Note to self: find stuff for the morning the night before...."

Friend, I think it is time for grandson to prepare his affairs for getting to school. Skyler was delayed in this department for health reasons, but now he is WAY behind at age 9. It came to a big scene this past week when Sarah tried THREE TIMES to leave the house to get him to Tai Kwan Do. Sarah had to suggest he bring his uniform, his jacket(minus 22F) and then go back to shut the door. Then, once they arrived across town, it turned out he brought the wrong uniform and guess who had to drive home to collect the correct one... Sarah made it clear that he owed her big time and she was trying to determine what she should ask for. I think she was going to get him to decide what would be fair. This is a difficult business because stepson's mother retaliates when he does not attend.

It turns out that Skyler's Mom has finally seen the light and today will say NOTHING about what he must do to prepare for school and be on time. He can do it and finally be responsible for his own affairs..INCLUDING LUNCH!

I hope you can begin this with TCS and forgive yourself when YOU are the one who can't get yourself going. ;)

Last night I organized about 50 old photos to share with French Club. Another fellow has 40-50 pictures from an exhibition of his work, and that rather frightens me!!!

I also got pictures together for Skyler's Christmas book and DH will have that spiral bound today.

I'm off to the doctor this afternoon and to Book Club tonight. I think I'll try posting photos on another thread.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:30AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sue -- I Loved the Outlander series -- Im an "original" fan and used to wait with baited breath for the next one to come out; they were always a few years in the making -- I think even Chelone would heartily approve of the historical aspects of Scots history; but Im not sure she could handle the time fantasy/ bodice ripper part, LOL..... if we lived closer, I'd let you borrow my hard-copies; they are not lite-weight tomes...

Cynthia - that's neat re Sanibel -- it's funny -- I've always had a thing about shells and have collections of them strewn all over my house -- I've got shells collected by my parents and their parents from Mexico and various Florida locations, Caribbean, etc. -- I was just dusting 'em off over the weekend in my bathroom and admired them -- some are things I've had since I was a toddler (there's a neat but slightly bedraggled starfish I still cling to) -- so enjoy your shell collecting and I look forward to hearing if you get any cool things... wouldnt it be great to be retired and able to go beachcombing/shelling whenever ya wanted? I wonder how Ei did there...

It's probably really good for your dawgs to go to another place; change their schedules, altho Im sure you're worried re Monty - but he'll likely do just fine.

Well, they're yacking about freezing rain/sleet/ice for tomorrow -- much as I'd love to take the day off, I think I'll have to do my best to get in here to the awfice and work some more on the 200 emails plus I've got things to do w/ .... I must admit, it was 2 weeks of the best time I've had off in recent years -- I probably can only remember going to Spain in 2003 as perhaps better (and it was 3 weeks)....& so far I've managed to retain some relaxed 'tude which is unusual for the first day awfice return... probably that contemplation of 2 weeks, another holiday!

Saucy -- cant wait to see your Little & Lewis interpretations -- I bet they'll be wonderous - what a nice thing to get excited about making during the winter lull!

'bug, your recitations of the Skylar antics reminds me that my DD had issues re going to school and delays in the a.m, just about age 8... maybe it's part of the "age" group.... I've heard of parents running to schools picking up books for kids in their senior year of high school ... now that's a prescription for dependent kids, LOL -- so Skylar and TCS may yet have hope....


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:59PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I did a Julie Job today - finally took down the tree! Randy had decorated it by himself this year and I thought it looked a bit skimpy... When I undecorated it I realized he only put about 1/3 of the usual ornaments on it!

((Julie)) I hope your DH's health issues turn out to be stable and keep any long term care needs a distant prospect! That all sounded worrisome.

Count me in the group of people who has read/liked the Outlander series... There are cerainly parts of them that are 'over the top' in places but, on the whole, they are an interesting/fun read.

Cynthia - We've never dog-sat a greyhound but would cerainly consider it if the opportunity arose - as long as they had met Misty in advance and I was resonably confident she wouldn't end up as dinner! :-)

gb - remember that breed book you read the description of Bouviers in when you picked up Phoebe? We were giving Misty a thorough grooming and deknotting(!) today and I looked at that book, comparing the Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso descriptions... Misty is supposedly a mix of the two. I think she's got more of the Lhasa characteristics than Shih Tzu. Lhasas are rated as 'For Experienced Owners Only' whereas Shih Tzu are rated as 'Fine for Novice Owners' :-) In the History section there are comments that seem relevant to Misty's affection for big buddies : ' [The breed] originates in Tibet, a land of rugged terrain and climate. There he is called 'Bark Lion Sentinel Dog'. In village huts around the sacred city op Lhasa he barked when strangers approached, whereupon the huge Tibetan Mastiff would lumber over to investigate.' I can picture Misty working like that with a monster-big companion:-)

It was a very nice day here - for the time of year! - and Misty and I enjoyed some pleasant walkies together.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 5:00PM
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Hi from sunny, warm Florida.

The weather is great and the company even better. We spent the day at the beach collecting sea shells, playing in the surf and the sand. Kenzie was hilarious when she dug a big hole and then decided she wanted to be buried in the sand. So we buried her up to her neck and then made a mermaid body for her.

Today we visited a garden today and had a picnic there also.



    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 5:19PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Dang, I want to be in Florida! LOL

Have fun Michelle.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Oh this is beyond sad. My sister broke her leg this morning at work. Sensible shoes and a piece of cellophane on the floor. She's been wanting this Sanibel trip (for her special birthday) for the past 5 years. It just breaks my heart, and she's in a ton of pain waiting for her 9AM appt tomorrow with an orthopedic surgeon. (Popping oxycodon left over from brain surgery.) The clinic her work took her to took x-ray and thought it wasn't broken, but she couldn't walk. Fortunately someone else looked at the film after they wheeled her out and said 'oops broken' and called her at home. Her kids are out getting a wheelchair and a commode and moving a bed to the kitchen for tonight.


Cindy, you can have my ticket for free if you bring me some shells :-). 10ish on Thursday morning at BWI. Anyone in New England want the other one? Providence, 8AM.

Soak up that sun Michelle!

I need wine.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I could go for retirement and shell collecting in Florida. I went back to work today and while it was not a bad day, it was not sipping coffee and deciding what household job to tackle. Ah, but there's that December snow plowing bill that arrived today. I shall return to the salt mines again tomorrow.

DH got a call from his mother today. She encountered the ice in her driveway as well, but with even worse results. Two broken ribs and a damaged rotator cuff. :( They will wait for the ribs to heal before they decide what to do about the rotator cuff. I've offered to bring over dinner tomorrow evening. She's not a "patient" patient, so this will be a long week.

Denise, maybe we can get you out here for the deposition, LOL! MIL is not the litigious type, but there is a homeowners association where she lives, and they switch snow removal contractors this year to a lowball contractor. She's had a few complaints about the promptness of their service, and since we got our ice overnight and she fell at 5:00 pm, I would say they were rather extremely late in salting the driveways.

Chelone, I have no false pride when it comes to dealing with ice. I have a pair of ice cleats, and if I am caught without them, I am a firm believer in itty-bitty, teeny-weeny baby steps. And I don't care if anyone laughs.

Julie, I'll echo some of 'bug's comments about TCS. My kids went to Montessori schools up through 5th grade, and even more importantly their parents went to Montessori parent meetings as well. They really stressed developing the child's independence by allowing them to do as much as possible for themselves. For example, a preschooler can help with food prep by cutting softer foods with a dull knife. The parent's task is to avoid criticizing when the pieces are not as uniform as if you had done it yourself. There's much more to the home philosophy than I can put into a short post, but there's a lot of info on the internet or at the library. Here's a quote I liked, "The adult model is always the most important element in the (home) environment. It is from observing what we do, not what we say, that the child will learn."

Time to tackle this evening's to do list.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh, Cynthia! I am so sorry to hear that. What crummy, rotten timing for "da both of you" as we say in Chicago.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening :-)

Long day today, working out the final details on the car and insurance matters, but finally all the decisions are made large and small and now all we need to do is wait for the car to be delivered tomorrow. We had a snafu over the weekend, that we thought was worked out until we discovered this morning it was still up in the air. But it actually worked in our favor and we are not disturbed by the delay. At least the snow has held off and there has been little inconvenience so far.

After much researching and stewing about it, we went with Amica Insurance. I had never heard of Amica before Chelone mentioned it and I have no idea why, since I discovered they have been part of two previous Consumer Reports studies and at the top of the list of reported companies that JDPowers did a study of, for customer satisfaction and I even saw one of their commercials today too.

I looked into Geico, but they are still not offering insurance in Massachusetts. We investigated two local independent agents locally, but in the end, just didn't feel like the companies they were representing were looking as good. State Farm was one that I was considering looking into, but never got that far, after seeing them keep placing lower than Amica in all the reports. Checked out the 'Best' website that rates Insurance companies. Premiums were not that different, no more than $200. difference between any of the companies.

So, I feel great! I have been wanting to review the coverage for a couple of years. Now I feel on top of it, knowing what we should have, and having upgraded our coverage on a few line items. It is not a perfect company but pretty sure there are none out there. I'm sure despite my best efforts there's room for something to fall through the cracks, but overall I think it's as good as I could work it all out and now I can forget about that for another year. I do hope to review it every year now to make sure it stays that way.

So while waiting for people to call me back off and on today, I discovered iGoogle. Has anyone set up a home page with that? I had a fun time playing around with it. They offer some neat Themes that decorate the top of your page, that change through the day. One is a Japanese Tea House Theme, that changes from daylight to night and creatures in the scene move from one place to another. Lots more too. I looked at widgets and they had a lot of garden related ones that I added. But I have had a headache most of the day from too much computer. [g]

So nice to hear how refreshed you sound, Gardenbug, and Michelle so busy having fun in Flor-i-da. I will have to check out the 'Outlander', since I find books set in Scotland very interesting. I had a book out of the library last week and it was such a dud, it is going back after barely a chapter.

Waving on my way to bed...


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Oh Cynthia! Ouch for the leg, and ouch for the sister shell hunting trip! I enjoyed the link you posted, because I remember having similar shell (and sand dollar) luck at Panama City.

Surely the airlines will at least let you use the tickets at a later date? I think you'll have to pay a fee though.

And V! An unpatient patient is no fun! I hope she has a speedy recovery. I lost my husband on the walk this morning and Jake reported that Zeus can ice skate while on all fours.

I'll bet Julie was venting more than anything, and that even if TCS was getting ready all by himself, it would've been a rushed morning after a long winter break. Jake missed the bus after a two hour delay....and after smugly telling me he had plenty of time to get to the bus stop before he left :) I smiled inside...not on the outside. He was mad, but I was in a good place to make the drive. Tomorrow would've been a different story....

I'm going to go plop on the couch with a mountain of laundry and see if there's anything on t.v.

Stay safe idyll friends!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oops...still not refreshing :-( So sorry V about your Mom! How awful! How do they deal with the ribs, wrap her up? I've never seen cleats. Where do you get them? I don't like to use salt on the front walkway or the driveway. If it gets bad, I've been known to throw down sand. I hear in a pinch, Natural Kitty Litter is good for that too. Hope she can get comfortable until she starts healing, V.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:02PM
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My word, what a day on the Idylls. All manner of woes and some bright spots strewn in between
((Cynthia and Sis)) , what a crummy deal. Hope the airlines and lodging involved treat you fairly and you are able to re-schedule . And a speedy recovery to sis.

And weve got Vs MIL in sickbay too.

At least PM has a positive note, the insurance caper wrapping up and on the eve of the new vehicle did you get a 4WD PM , or a sedan ? I know you said it was a Honda but I dont recall the make. CRV is my next car .

Saucy, I think your workbench set-up sounds divine ! Im going to re-vamp mine when I do my New Years Resolution garage purge. I hope you will provide us with pics of your Little and Lewis creations.

Ok, thats all I have in me for tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:41PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, what bummer news, Cynthia --- I imagine your DS is feeling like a big black cloud descended over her head; I concur w/ Saucy's idea -- if non-ref tickets hopefully you can re-schedule for the spring... or you could surprise her w/ a trip to visit her and be nurse ratchett for the days you were scheduled to go so she wont feel so pitiful???

PM -- the cleats are sold as Yax trax, I think; i'll likely be wearing mine tommorrow, ice and freezing rain...assuming I get out the front door - that's usually my pronouncement - if I know Im gonna go flying off the top step of the stairs at the door, it's turn around and go back inside; I've taken the header once too often like that to know I'll end up like V's MIL next time... that's horrible too -- any older person suffering those sorts of broken bones that take so much longer to heal -- geez o flip! I hope that's the end of the ice-mishaps for people we know....

Glad to hear at least Michelle is making mermaids in Florida and can tell us about shells.....


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:50PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

O Cynthia...I'm sorry...I was just scanning a little too fast. Now that is pretty discouraging. A piece of cellophane?! I sure hope you can reschedule. Sometimes the airlines are pretty responsive to cancellations due to accidents and illnesses like that. Even if you have to pay a reasonable penalty.

Well...I hope that everyone trying to mend bones gets enough calcium in their diet...Collard greens are full of calcium. Swiss cheese!

Kathy...we stuck with another van that replaces our old one. Front wheel drive but not all wheel drive. The CRVs are really nice too. We did test drive one. DH has to transport his Mom to Dr appts and it is easier for her in the van.

Yak Traks, Cindy? That is a funny one. I guess they give you the traction of a Yak. [g]

What a day! Sending healing and 'knitting' vibes...


    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:29PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh my gosh, a few hours can really change everything can't it? I'm so sorry to hear of all the slips, falls, and misshaps. I hope the trip can be re-scheduled too.

This reminds me of the evening 12 years ago when I slipped on black ice and broke my foot. I hope all of the new patients have much better outcomes!


P.S. Ebony is feeling better and came home tonight! YEAH!
Her xrays still look bad but hopefully after a couple of weeks of meds she will be better. I'm to call the Vet back on Monday.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yak Tracks were my Christmas gift from DD. It is great...but a bit disconcerting to have them worry so about our decrepitude. There were comments about our staircase safety as well. But I'm only 29!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:01PM
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Cynthia, I am so sorry to learn of your sister's mishap at work. She must be so uncomfortable, but more than that so disappointed that the trip will be delayed. I will dutifully cross my fingers and emit good vibes to the cosmos that airlines and accomodations will work with you so the trip will come to fruition when all is healed.

My wrist was the "dope slap" I needed about falls and a good overview of safety precautions. It served me well when Mum came to live with me. Proper lighting in stairwells, rugs that don't "slip", and good, solid hand rails (the kind you can actually grab securely) are key. And "good, sensible shoes", but as we've just learned there is no guarantee. I am perpetually concerned about falls at work as my co-workers regularly toss scraps, pieces of zipper, and used bobbin spools on the floor. And I am the only one who makes an effort to keep the floor swept. Don't get me started on work, yesterday was predictably discouraging and that's why I'm typing at after 6 AM.

I loved the missive from Michelle. S'pose we'll get a shot of Kenzie buried up to her neck in sand? Maybe Eden could respond with a shot of Bella up to her neck in snow! I smiled when I read your post, Michelle, I could hear the joy in your words. Have a ball!

Saucy, funny you should have mentioned floor leveller as it was a product I looked at for a good while on my last trip to the hardware store. I hesitated because I wasn't sure how well a a think layer of a product meant to go under something would hold up to foot traffic. I wasn't able to find the answer on the label, but I'm going to e-mail that question to the company. I received great help when I did the same thing with respect to skim-coating the masonry. I laughed at Jake missing the bus after a two hr. delay (that's pretty funny), musta been havin' "one of those days", huh? like the pink Jonas Brothers shirt query, too. :)

Julie, the helpmeet does not labor under fiduciary worries, either. ;) He's not disposed to look at a balance in the checkbook and think about what bills are due to land on the sideboard in the coming week, probably because he isn't the one who sets the time aside to pay the bills. That's my job. We don't have debit cards, either, Cindy, just the one joint checking account. I would be driven slowly mad if we had them, I fear, as I'm a "to the penny" kinda gal and he's an "in the ballpark" kinda guy. ;)

I've said this before but Mum and Dad were definitely into "idiot-proofing" their kids as early on as they were able. Age appropriate choices and decisions were part and parcel of my brother's and my own childhood and adolescence. So were CONSEQUENCES for poor ones. They were always willing to help us out of a pickle but they definitely let us marinate in the self-created brine for a bit, so the point was clearly made. Personal responsibility and accountability were just part of the daily wardrobe and were "sized up" to accomodate increased maturity. I missed the school bus exactly one time in my high school years and my father was incensed because the school was long way off and it meant he was put behind schedule for HIS day. Had school been closer I'd have been told to walk, a note in my pocket. Another big feature of our upbringings was learning to read and follow directions properly (and look where it's gotten both my brother and I!). I am regularly astounded at the amount of nose and ass wiping parents happily shoulder for kids who should be way beyond requiring it. Self-sufficiency is a very good thing for the individual and the community as a whole. JMO.

Waving to everyone as I prepare for another day of thumb twiddling in chaos land. ;)

Good to hear you were favorably impressed with Amica, PM!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:06AM
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See, somehow Michelle and PM's posts were not there when I was posting yesterday...I'd swear it! Am I losing my mind? Further investigation is required....

That boy (I call him "that boy" when he's not my sweet little Jake) went and missed that bus again. That boy left this house one minute earlier than usual. That boy got a lecture on bus driver "thinking" last night (bus drivers like to get back on schedule after the first of the year....and since you're first on the bus, you're going to feel the time crunch the most). That boy had to hang his head like a dog to ask me to drive him to school this morning :)

Chelone, I had this whole big thing typed out about the fears of parents brought on by the media - and how I think it's made us a little nuts. But I deleted it. And now it is gone. Maybe we could discuss the highlights in a car going to a garden someday :)

Sarah's got her physical this morning. She's worried about getting a shot. This afternoon she has ceramics class which should make everything okay in her world :)

Have fun in Florida, Michelle! I have a picture of Sarah "dressed up" like a mermaid in the sand....we made Jake into a muscle man :)

PM, you'll be able to go see your son more in your new ride!



    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:04AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! January 6th already. Today is the first Tuesday of 2009. Don't worry, two more days of this, is all you have to put up with. [g] I wonder, has anyone here ever kept a schedule that related to which day of the week it is? You know, Monday is cleaning day, Tuesday is shopping, Saturday you do the errands, laundry is another day. Wednesday, is Prince spaghetti day...Anthony! :-) I always wanted to do that and somehow I never have. Laundry is Saturday and chores are more often Saturday then any other day, but that is about it. I also always want to have a clothesline and hang all the laundry out to dry but it's been a long time since that happened. I think my head is stuck in the 50s, sometimes. lol When there were one income families and most of the Moms were stay at home.

Julie...I think that is so neat that skating and the pool are free for the kids. The Police Association is very clever. .....I think what Cindy might have been trying to say about your money management, is that sometimes there are things that just can't be 'communicated', easily. You can talk until you are blue in the face. Sometimes a person has to experience for themselves the reality and anxiety of how much things cost and how are you going to pay for them, before they will take more responsibility for creating the bills. .... I had a nice orchid growing for two years and it bloomed well, until I tried repotting it. ....I have tried taking Pelargonium cuttings a few times but haven't had any root for me. I wonder if you are doing something different? Is your solarium window facing South? ....and your 'Happy $500. Deductible' remark pushed me to at least ask how much extra it was for a lower deductible on our new insurance policy. It was only $52. more for $300. deductible. I figure it would take 4 years to equal what one claim would cost with the higher deductible, so we got it.

Chelone....I saw that Soldiers of the Civil War calendar, neat idea. ... I have been seeing red smashes all over the driveway and I am wondering if it is the berries from the Princess Holly. But I can't figure out why they are not getting eaten instead of ending up on the driveway?

Kathy...your arms must be getting a good workout with all that rose pruning. ....lucky you to be close enough to Annie's Annuals for an in person visit. Looking forward to your Annuals garden this year and the Amaranths. Oooh...such pretty hellebores! I love the white ones. When do you cut off the old foliage? ...I forget, have you lived in California all your life? Here in New England, the drippy nasal passages when going out in the cold temps is the expected winter experience. I actually feel it is part of the charm of winter weather. Cleans out the passages and better than all that dry heat in the house. [g]

Happy to hear Ebony is better, Jerri. Speaking of haircuts....I've been trying to grow mine out for about 4 months. I was used to getting it cut very short for years. It is not working out. Now it always looks a mess and is way too much trouble.

Cynthia...I hope DS's break is a simple one. You both must be beyond disappointed to say the least. When were you scheduled to leave?

V....So awful about your MIL. How old is she? I hate to say this, but at least it was something that might allow her to stay semi-active and not bed bound. At her age, breaking a hip would be so much worse. You also have my sympathies about DD's car. Our oldest went too long with old cars that were always a source of aggravation and inconvenience. I was never so happy when he was able to buy a new car with a warranty and AAA. [g] Now for the other two to get to that stage.

Saucy...your workbench sounds so inviting! I love the addition of the tropical posters. I am going to link to the iGoogle Tropical Theme in case that appeals to you. I would love some water bowls for the birds. That is a great idea! I have yet to get as many bird baths as I need. I like the idea of something that fits into the landscape more.

Speaking of changing batteries in smoke all of you have carbon monoxide detectors too?

I see the weather forecast for the rest of the week is horrendous, snow, sleet, rain, ice....yuck! Great week to bring home a new I think we will try to get out today and enjoy the lack of precipitation while we can. I was looking up those Yaktraxs this morning and I see a number of comments about them breaking and falling apart very quickly. Anyone have any complaints? last thing. Believe it or not, despite my long posts, there is usually plenty leftover that I miss commenting on. I sincerely enjoy everyone's posts and find you all just fascinating! :-)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy...I swear your post wasn't there when I posted...I did refresh this time! [g] How did you know the wheels have been turning in my head about getting up to see DS more? :-)

I love hearing about your daily ins and outs with the kids. It seems like about a century ago that my kids were that age and my life sounded like yours. It's a great time of life.

One more tropical iGoogle theme...there are so many of them, I am Some of them are like pieces of art.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh...look what I found...One Laptop Per Child theme...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

There is a Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brother's one, Saucy. They also have a Chihuly one. Ok...there are over 300 different themes and you know how I am about images. It's like being in a candy store. So, last one for exquisite one of Greece...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:36AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow, what abusy forum in the last 24 hours!

Oh Cynthia, what a disaster! You and your sister must be so disappointed. I hope she isn't in too much pain as well. Good that her kids are stepping up to the plate in her time of need. And the same applies to you V. Good foy you guys to be taking care of MIL. Rotator cuff injuries don't ever go away by themselves (ask me how I know) - sometimes surgery is required but often a course of physio will do the trick. Irt's a long haul either way.

Interesting comments about kids and independence. Actually TCS wasn't the problem in the morning yesterday - it was all me! He was standing outside, fed, warmly dressed, teeth brushed, back pack packed and on, while I was still in the house trying to dress the dog (harness, coat, Invisible Boots), looking for my hat and mitts. I walk TCS to the bus and then walk/run the dog before I come home again. I am very pleased with TCS's mornings - he gets himself up, finds clothes, packs his stuff, and will often make his own toasted cheese sandwich, glass of milk and Flintstone. I usually try to keep him on track time-wise, by saying things like "It's coat time, Adrian" or "The hand on the clock is at the 3". That means it's 8:15 and time to be brushing teeth and finding winter duds. He's good at bedtime too, with his music practice, snack, reading etc. although he would keep his light on to all hours to continue reading! And he also takes his own bath, washing his hair himself, although I like to rinse it sometimes, as he does leave some shampoo. He also makes his own bed, it's a sloppy little nest to be sure, but he does do it himself. I think he's doing o.k. for seven years old! It's interesting that I brought up my two kids the same way, because both DH and I worked and sinmply couldn't do everything, and my DD has been very self sufficient since the age of about 17. DS on the other hand.....I'm still working on him *G*

I like using the debit cards. We have them only for one bank account, and that is our "disposable" cash. We have another account for bills etc., and a pension goes into each account, with the bigger one into the "bill" account, so the money is always there to pay the monthly bills. My rant is because the "disposable" income always gets disposed of *LOL* This week I saw an ad from the SPCA about a rescued Boston Terrier, and I just love my Boston, so I called to see if maybe we could adopt him. The SPCA wanted an adopti0on fee of $700! Yikes! There isn't that much in the diposable account right now, so I had to send my regrets. Still sad about that one. But that's the way it works. When the dispoable is disposed of, no more spending. Simple. I should just dispose more of it myself *LOL*

I really like the HOnda CRV. When we bought the Subaru Forester, it was toss up between it and the CRV. The only reason that the Forester won out is that DH is a big man and he didn't fit well into the CRV driver position. We now have a big horse of a Ford, but still have the all wheel drive. Once you have it, you always want it! DD just bought a Nissan Extrail (I keep calling it an Entrail *LOL* it does have "guts") with the 4 wheel drive. She commutes about 45 minutes to work, including night sifts when the plows might not yet be out, and also drives to the ski hills every week-end. The 4 wheel drive is almost an essential for her in the winter.

We went for the $500 deductable beacause we have only had one accident in 35 or 40 years. The difference was about $50 bucks, so in the long run we are o.k. with it. Glad that our little mishap had some good consequences for somebody, PM2! My solarium window faces south east. Too hot and bright for orchids directly. When I do my pelargonium cuttings, I cut a good sized stem, remove the lower leaves, stick on some rooting hormone where I removed the leaves, and stick the stem into the dirt, I mean, earth (sorry, gardeners don't have dirt). I water carefully as they don't like to be very wet. I use clear plastic cups so I can see the root development.I usually lose a couple to "black leg", that is, the stem turns black and rots, but not many. I also water with my leftover Lotus water, which has extra oxygen and apparently has sanitizing effects. This seems to help with damping off or whatever.

Glad to hear Ebony is better.

I hate my hair. Doesn't matter if it short, long, or inbetween, it always looks lousy. Hmmm, maybe I'll get it cut today.

I got carried away with JJobs yesterday, and spent an hour cleaning the grout on the kitchen floor. Looks great - but the tree is still standing in the living room. It's getting really old still having Christmas stuff around - TCS started decorating Nov. 29th!!

Our smoke detectors are hardwired into our house, and yes, we do have a carbon monoxide detector too!

Gotta run if I want a drive to the hair salon. No time to proofread, sorry if there are mistakes.



    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 9:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - I just started 18 cells worth of seeds from your rose hips. (Heaven knows what I'd do with them all if they all germinate!) The seeds were a variety of colors so I'm not sure if that reflects their relative ripeness or if it is due to different varieties - are there different colored roses in that group or are they all the same? For future reference for deciding whre to plant any of them - what color(s) are they? Do they get blackspot? Are they once-blooming or repeaters?

I wasn't intending to start many seeds this year but maybe I do need a few things.... I will be perusing seed catalogs tomorrow and making an order. I need some veggie seeds if nothing else...

I have decided that this year's major garden project is to connect the small bed on the northeast corner of the front lawn with the Japanese wisteria I planted in 2007, to the end of the driveway border on the southeast side where the Chinese wisteria is. That will entail removing some of the brick edging on those two beds, removing the lawn between them, adding more metal edge and brick edging to connect the two and then planting the bed that results. The bed will be quite narrow as there isn't much room because of the deep ditch that runs along there. I will end up with the big front bed, an ~3' grass path, the new bed, the ditch and then the road. It will be pretty much the last new bed that can be added to the front lawn because there is no more room to plant there!

Bring on spring!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:06PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

It sure is quiet today. Where is everyone?
I'm working from home today. My foot is starting to hurt. How can it hurt when I'm sitting in bed all day? (sigh)
Chloe is barking her head off and I can't go see why. I wonder if my Amazon package is here. I love online shopping. :)

I am finishing off the winding down thread. YEA!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 4:04PM
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