#349 I'd Like To Dedicate This Idyll To.....

saucydog(z5MA)January 16, 2008

all those that I've neglected to mention in my posts :)

Carry on....


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I making a toast to many more sunrises together for Doug and Deanne! What a grand accomplishment! Congratulations!

Did you hear my coffee cup "clink"?

(Chelone, this is what the sky looks like by the time I get up :)


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:24AM
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Very many congratulations to Deanne and Doug! I hope you were celebrating like this:


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

To the Anniversary Couple...hoping year 37 will be smooth sailing...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Good morning.

First off.....a very happy anniversary to Deanne and Doug!
Congratulations to you both.

I knew I missed something really important and then I caught it later, Mary--your creations are wonderful!

Chelone, it sounds like you had a very tough day. I hope today is much better. Boo was 21 in that photo and would have been 23 in March. I thought it ironic that there was a pile of poo next to him in that photo....one of those things that you miss keeping out of the photo at the moment but then later has new meaning. If Boo had been able to make more of those piles, I would not have had to put him down Sunday night.

I was thankful to read that Katie girl is feeling better. I hope her recuperation continues until she is twirling as she use to before all this pain began.

I need more coffee.....I hope the day is a good one for everyone...I ate my way through the past 2 days, my old way of working through pain. Today I am back onto my calorie counting, drinking lots of water and will spend some quality time with my treadmill. :0/


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:04AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Awwww.. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I didnÂt really need or expect cards (but IÂm loving them) but just wanted another human to say, "Hey, 36 years! ThatÂs cool." Saucy, your sunrise photo is just gorgeous! Marie, the Iris is to die for. I think I might have that one here in the Driveway garden but donÂt have the varietal name. Do you know which one it is? PM2, Lovely swans. Mary IÂm still LMAO over the dancing dogs and cats. Where did you find that???? And it looks like Rahjii on the end. Thanks Chelone and t. .

Chelone, neato that you can make the Thumbs party. Yea! Any chance Helpmeet will join us this year?

t. I completely understand how easy it is to revert to old eating habits to numb pain. IÂm finally back to counting calories too. It is the ONLY way I can maintain control. Good for you with getting back to it after only two days. IÂll say it again, you look fabulous!

OK time to get off my duff and get something accomplished.

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, Silverado is the name. I love it!!!!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Congrats to the happy couple!

Here's the coleus that you gave me. Do you remember the name? I love it! It may be doing well under lights, but looks so much better in this picture.

For Kathy, the cemetary gate:

Until later

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:43AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Michelle, thanks! That coleus is 'Moonglow' also called 'Aurora'. Your specimen is gorgeous! So, guess what? I lost mine last year and if you have a cutting to send me that would be terrific! I can trade you some fuchsia or other coleus cuttings if you'd like. Let me know if there is any particular variety you'd like. I've got some good looking cuttings of 'Falklands' and 'Bicentennial' right now as well as some 'Golden Marenka' that should do well for you.

Love that gate!

Thanks for the anniversary greetings.

Marie, thanks for the ID on that Iris.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Hello, instead of cleaning house or doing anything else in the way of chores, I've spent quite a bit of time online doing web searches for the answer to the frustrating problem I was having with my laptop. I would be typing along and all of a sudden the cursor would jump to another area where I had already typed and begin inserting the typing there. It was happening constantly, incredibly frustrating and difficult to word the problem within search engines. I am writing to say I found a solution!!! I'm including the link below to a program called TouchFreeze. It turns off your touchpad while you are typing. As soon as I stop typing then I can use the touchpad again. It has stopped the problem!!! I remembered that at least Michelle mentioned that she was also experiencing the problem so wanted to share what I found.

Yeah, it is the little things that some times lift the spirits just as much as a big thing would....

Deanne, I admire you, Sue and now Drema and Saucy, too, who exercise consistantly. Heck, there are probably more here that mention that they exercise often--I think Marie is a treadmill user ......anyway, everytime I read that someone is exercising regularly, I'm impressed. I also admire Deanne for the hard work she does to keep the weight she has lost off. It isn't at all easy as we see and hear when people lose a lot of weight and then gain it back.

I'm rambling...sugars! I just keep doing that. LOL

Okay.....I've typed all of the above and not once had to go rescue the cursor nor delete errant typing nor fight with anything other than my own poor spelling and typing skills. YES!!!

I hope the link/program/fix works for anyone who has been dealing with this frustrating problem.


T. (why did I get demoted to the small t? Big T shrunk to small t? LOL)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Michelle, sounds like you and Rick had a good time over the weekend. LOL , Kenzies being a leatherback sea turtle. Our grandaughters had tons of dance costumes. I'm wondering what will become of them now that the girls are marrying and moving out of the house. Seriously , if anyone could use a house organizer , that household could.
I applaude you for walking in that cold weather. I was just about to get out for a walk yesterday when friends appeared at the door so we had lunch and played cards instead.

Congratulations Deanne and Doug on another happy year together. What did you have for your dinner?
DH and I are coming up on another one in Feb. I just fixed a delicious meal of steak and baked potato worthy of an occasion, including a cherry pie that we will have for desert later. Is there something we could celebrate today?

T, you look great in the skinny jeans, but I don't think you looked bad in the other pic either.
The skinnest I could ever get , I was still a size 10/12. Bone structure I guess. I would be happy to be there now. I remember though how great it felt to be able to walk across the yard and feel so unencumbered by weight.
I think I will always remember Boo from your posts about him.

GB , I like Sophie too. I know you are looking forward to seeing them again. Once you know which one is yours a name might just happen.
Sorry to hear Reed and Skylar are under the weather. We were all at Wyatt's birthday party last Sat. On monday his other grampa was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The are saying he has a viral flu, and I am apprehensive for the many people that were there. He didn't seem sick that day, only tired.

Saucy, We were watching the travel channel this morning and the very place you are going to vacation was on.
Looks like a great place to be.

And there is Rahji at the end of the conga line. LOL Mary

PM2 , you find the neatest pictures . I liked your snow covered longe chair too.

T, because you shrank to a t. LOL I'm happy you found your typing problem.

Hi to all. Norma

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 5:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just was reminded of this Buffy Saint Marie song from a special occasion...and I thought of Doug and Deanne. Deanne, do you sing this one?

Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world where few hearts survive.
All I know is the way I feel
If it's real I'll keep it alive

The road is long
And there are mountains in our way
But we climb a step everyday

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the worlds we know
Up where the clear winds blow

Some hang on what used to be
They live their lives, looking behind.
When all we have is here and now
All our lives up there to find.

The road is long
And there are mountains in our way
But we climb a step everyday

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the worlds we know
Up where the clear winds blow.

Time goes by
No time to cry
Life's you and I
Alive. Today.

Love lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high
Love lift us up where we belong
Far from the worlds we know
Up where the clear winds blow.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 6:14PM
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I did not know that Buffy Saint Marie wrote that! I still loathe it... ;) what was that dreadful movie about the Air Force guy (Officer and a Doberman)? ICK.

Still, though... 36 years represents a lot of laughs, a lot of tears, and many, many compromises. And the willingness to look honestly at circumstances and make those tough decisions is what really forges love. Marriage is not for the self-important or those lacking a sense of humor.

Not sure if the helpmeet will consent to the "thumb" paHty... probably not. He's concerned about concealed axes, I think! ;)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I like your analysis of a lengthy marriage. I have experienced all of the above, and much more! I went to the funeral of the 89 year old husband of a dear friend today. She had been out for the day, and came home to find him passed away on their livingroom couch. There was no warning.... A good way for him to go, but so shocking to her. I should know how long they had been married, ( I don't know if either had had a previous marriage), but I know it was many years. They have a son who was our Tim's friend in Arkansas State U., and 2 daughters. It will take some time for her to recover from the loss.
I didn't know him. She is a regular at the Golden Year's class.

LOL " concealed axes" !

Ennyhoo...congrats, Deanne and Doug. Yep, there is Rahjii at the end of the conga line! :-)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:01PM
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A brief hello , I must continue with my lesson plan for the class on Friday, but had to say Happy Anniversary to Deanne and Doug, and love the cemetery gate Michelle I had that coleus this year too- what a great plant . It got absolutely huge.

Where has Denise gotten to this week ?

Hello to everyone

And how convenient is this for those nights when the bladder is just too active ???

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 7:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good grief, I'll retract the song if there's military association to accompany it! Never knew about the Officer & Gentleman bit! Very different natural elements come to my mind: mountains, eagles, sky...I find it hopeful. I don't know who wrote it though. Probably not Buffy, but maybe. She an interesting gal, lives near Toronto.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

A little late and a bit fuzzy and out of focus here (just like me at the moment :-) but....

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am not familiar with either the song or the movie, Marie, but you are right about some of it, and Chelone is right about part of it too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Deanne and Doug- Congratulations to two very special people! How lucky you are to have found each other. Nice to find someone who can be a friend and a mate to journey through life. Sometimes it seems like a long time and others, it seems like no time at all.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:19PM
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Wow, Woody has appeared in her fuzzy state... How've you been?

Japanese Iris from Drema, aren't they just the prettiest things?

And Buffy Saint Marie... 'bug, I haven't thought of her for years. She's filed in the grey coils of my brain in the same general area as Melanie. ;) The helpmeet liked "Officer and a Doberman", I thought it was really dumb. And chicks are supposed to like that movie.

I see the inclement weather moving into our area is going to turn the driveway back into a skating rink for the foreseeable future; it's gonna get wicked cold next week.

I like the cemetary gate, Michelle. There are several oceanside estates in town that have high gates to keep the rabble on the sidewalk and they're beautiful. Those crazy Victorians sure knew how to create cool accessories, huh?

Sad abut your friend's husband, Marian, but what could be better than to die quickly in one's own home? That's how the helpmeet's father died, too.

Deanne, how's Deb doing with her father's move to LTC? I've thought of her off and on over the past couple of days. I've also forgotten to ask about your brother (who is home, I think?). How long is he going to be laid up and how's he faring; has he worn out the batteries on the remote control yet?

OK, gotta get to work. Oh, good one Kathy... I like the commode in the boudoir, nice touch. And where are Denise and Eden?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....

Is it Friday, yet? [g] It is amazing to me sometimes how a week can start out going in one direction and end up in an entirely different direction. Long week at our house. Dentist consult on Monday, I was expecting unhappy news, but expecting it and getting it are a little different. Then DH leanred he may have to have surgery on his hand. Yesterday trying to work out issues with grown children. Managed to get some winter sowing started anyway, but not as much fun with everything going on, but it does help destress. I have some more to do today. So far sowed Delphiniums, Lupines, Pansies, Primulas and Snapdragons. Two that are new to me...Ammi Graceland and Penstemon Iron Maiden that I thought might be of interest to hummers. I noticed when sowing the primulas, that one is called Polyanthus and not realizing they were different, I am hoping it won't be more finicky. Today I plan on sowing Tithonia and Salvia Lady in Red for hummers and butterflies, along with my tomatoes, some monkshood and California Poppies.

Chelone...Melanie? Why do I remember that name? I have this vague recollection of an album cover with that name across it but that is all I could dredge up. I didn't enjoy Officer and a Gentlemen either for some reason.

Marian...sorry to hear about your friend's husband. It is wonderful that he lived to be that age and died quickly at home, but I don't even like to think about what your friend must be feeling this week. Sincere sympathies to her and isn't it nice that at her age, she has children and friends, and she gets out to classes...amazing!

gardenbug....I have always loved that song. I seem to remember it as a duet? I can't remember who did it though. I remember Buffy Saint Marie. Such an interesting name. She was a pretty blonde? Was she a singer, or an actress or both?

Norma...glad you enjoyed the photos. :-) The swans were from a pond we sometimes walk around. Your day of having lunch with friends and playing cards sounded like so much fun.

't'....'T'.....WOW!! You solved a mystery at our house! My DH and daughter have complained about the same thing happening when they use my computer. It would happen to me once in awhile but not enough for it to bug me. We suspected it was the touchpad, but we couldn't find a way to turn off the touchpad, which no one uses. So I am very happy to know about that program..lol. Thanks!

't' ...I hadn't realized that 'Boo' was a horse until you posted the photo. Really beautiful horse and a perfect name for him too. :-) I wonder if you had her for 23 years? We had a family member who raised draft horses years ago. Always loved horses. It amazed me how much you could connect with them. Their size and power..I always thought it is something just hard to describe about how they make you feel.

Love both the gates..and now I have gate envy..lol.

Michelle....gorgeous coleus! I have seen a small 3" pot of 'Aurora' but not a large plant like that. Nice to know what it grows up to be. Yes, it was very peaceful here the other day, but that will soon change. [g] Where are you located, Michelle?

'Silverado' Iris, one of my favorites too. I almost ordered it last year, but just as well, those I did order were snatched out of their new pots by squirrels. I had one half chewed one left out of five I ordered...lol.

Wow, those puppies look so big already! I like the name 'Sophie' too.

Cindy.....Hope Chloe is feeling better, and staying behind the gates, like a good girl.

Saucy...loved your story about the dog getting on the couch at night. Animals just amaze me..lol.

Martie...I also love stenciled floors.

Hello to Drema, Deanne, Woody, Kathy, Mary...and the missing in action. :-)


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Concerning the song, yes, there's a duet version with Joe Cocker and somebody female. It is on YouTube with all the military crud. Not A BIT what I'd imagine...
As far as I know, Buffy is a native woman, exactly my age,(65), who lives near Woody. She was adopted as a youngster, has a PhD. She still sings and performed at an Alberta festival last Summer which Sarah and DSIL attended. Here's their photo of her. Wish I looked as good....

No ideas about Melanie or Officer & Gentleman. I was born on a different plant, LOL.

Those Silverado iris last and last. There are MANY blooms per stem. I got them locally and they were a surprise success.

pm2, of all the weekly events you mentioned I find the working out of "issues" the hardest to deal with, but the most important. Stressful for me, but perhaps others have got it down to a routine? Again, when you come from outer space, a different planet, you don't have the necessary skills to deal with stuff. My family tree did not offer me those skills, so I've had to start from scratch. My brother and I hash through all this with every visit.

Seems early to start sowing to me, but how theraputic! Perhaps in March for me! Do you think spring will arrive by June here???

Our thermostat went on the fritz last night and it was 83F in the back room...I'll have to call it our Florida room now!
Later friends,

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I am with you on the time of seed sowing. I never started my tender plants until March. They would get much too tall and spindly if I started them earlier. (I am wondering how pm2 handles hers ? ) My hardy plants were started in February ( back when I started seeds).

I am curious about the negative feelings about the movie " Officer and a Gentleman" The reports on it are very positive.
What is it about " military" ??

We have entered a cold spell. Not expected to get out of the 20s today. We got a very light skift of snow last night, following rain. I haven't ventured out, so do not know how icy it may be.

Marie, the huge puzzle was completed yesterday evening. Nolon did a little, including putting in the last several pieces. It's beautiful. Would be lovely framed and hanging on the wall, but I won't do that.

Pm2, I am sure my friend is a few years younger than her husband. Probably older than I...maybe around Nolon's age (81).

Woody, I hope you are okay.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 9:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gbug...I feel the same way...the most important but the most difficult to deal with. Nothing gives me more stress than whatever is going on with the kids. Always feel inadequate for the job too.

I think I was mixing up Buffy Saint Marie with Eva Marie Saint...lol. Wow, does she look great for her age!! Yes, it is the Joe Cocker version I remember.

Photos from first year winter sowing in 2005. I have been doing it ever since...

marian...I don't sow the tenders until the spring.

Marty, I did put out a whole packet of Glittering Prize Digitalis!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:16AM
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I believe that PM is Winter Sowing - her seeds won't germinate until conditions are just right - am I correct, PM? She'll be right on time with the rest of the light sowers :)

An Officer and a Gentleman was a "date" movie that guys could like because it had a "bootcamp" theme within it. It should be given as instruction on how NOT to catch a man, LOL....I believe I have been witness to a lot of this behavior while in the military :)
I agree with Chelone's assessment.

I have to get going...lots to do and the kids are probably going to be out of school tomorrow (1/2 day and incoming weather) and they're home for Monday, too. Gotta get the office squared away.

I'll leave you with this little celebration of a tiny life. LOL....he didn't know he could fly because he'd never been let out of his cage before he came to live with us. I hope he can fly now :) Sunny passed away quietly Tuesday evening. He was up there in age for a bird (did you know that they go bald under their crest? They do!). He will be missed, especially by Sarah whose shoulder he always rode upon because he was a gentle guy. His favorite "treat" was plain cream cheese.

Popcorn (his cell mate :) is kind of lost....he's sitting on my shoulder now :)

Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Soar away in the great beyond Sunny.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:15AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sunny, so sorry you have left your family....
I remember the day my parakeet died. :(
Long ago, one of Sonny's distant cousins appeared on our front rock garden steps. I brought him indoors and tried to find his owners, in vain. A family who came to check if it was their lost bird was saddened that it was not. Since they were in mourning and had all the food and cages, I gave him to them. They were thrilled.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:27AM
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PM2, I'm located in Iowa. Sadly I'm at least 8 hours from the nearest Idyller, unlike the lucky New Englanders. I have done winter sowing for probably 4 years. I usually do no more than a dozen different kinds though.

Saucy, sorry about Sunny. We had several parakeets over the years. Like 'bugs story, one of ours escaped. The weird thing was that our friends had a blue one too and theirs escaped the same day. My neighbor knew that ours was missing. She worked at the bank. A man came in and mentioned to her that a parakeet landed on his shoulder in his yard. She was so excited that she had found our bird. Well, it wasn't ours but our friends. It was funny how it all worked out.

Kathy, from one who doesn't have a master bath, that looks quite handy ;o)

Deanne, I'll send you the coleus when it warms up. I have several under lights. Don't let me forget. I had that one on my patio and lots of people commented on it.

t, size 6 is very impressive. You have every right to brag!

Back to work


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Hi everyone

Saucy - how sad to loose a pet. That is a lovely picture of Sarah though and she is looking so like you now!!

Kathy - as I get older your bedroomn arangement is starting to have a little more appeal LOL! I know I'm skimming too quickly as I missed the story on the gazebo - was it intentional or accidental?

pm2 - I love to have a few seeds in pots outside to sprout with nature but it's my indoor seed sowing that gets me through the last legs of winter.

Marian - congratulations on finishing the puzzle - how nice it was a joint endeavor.

I must be corny as I rather enjoyed An Officer and a Gentleman when it came out. Back then I had a boyfriend in the RAF who went through Officers training so parts of it perhaps touched a nerve. Not my behaviour though I hasten to add.

Tonight I'm playing Quartets and am looking forward to the piece we selected by Mendelssohn. However, the first violin part is very challenging and we have a new viola player who gets rather snippy if I make mistakes. Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 3:56PM
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Flo-Flo (1991-2008)

The pensioners (Bobby Lee was her brother):

She had begun the final slide before Christmas (kidneys) and I had begun broaching the subject with the helpmeet around Christmas (he doesn't have the "stomach" I do for the tough choices). The subject had come up a few times in the past couple of weeks. This morning I left him a note carefully voicing my concern for her welfare. He made the appointment and I met him at the vet.'s office. He'd found a place between newly planted Arborvitaes that wasn't frozen solid and dug the hole. We brought her home and "planted" her. There is small, cement kitty to mark her grave. She predates our marriage by a full 9 months... she and her orange brother, Bobby Lee, were our first "mutual" pets. Une larme.

Saucy, I'm sorry about your 'tiel, Sunny. They don't go bald behind the crest, though. That bald patch is a genetic thing and it's present on every lutino cockatiel (the pale yellow ones); you never see it on the "normal" greys. You know, I still miss Larry... jeez, we had him for close to 18 yrs., too. So what did you do with Sunny? 'tiels are getting into the dangerous size for flushing, and the insinkerator seems a bit grim... . Several years ago, in late winter, one of our 'keets died (Leona). I felt bad about putting her out with the trash (I know, I know) so I wrapped her tin foil and put her in the chest freezer until the ground thawed and she could be buried. YEP... she got buried all right, but in the bowels of the freezer. She was rediscovered some 2 years after the fact... lol. And she was buried with full family honors under the patch of Chelone. :)

PM2, I hope the dental diagnosis isn't too frightening. I haven't had a cavity in over 10 yrs., but have a mouthful of crowns (a "penny candy mouth") and have never quite lost the angst about going to the dentist. I go twice yearly, but it took me YEARS to come to the realization that avoiding the dentist was the more dangerous path than simply going routinely. We went to the dentist when there was a "problem" when I was a child. It sucked every single time... such a needless fear. I had to chuckle at the row of "empties" line up next to the fence... LOL. ;) Hope the family stuff settles down, too. I've had a bellyful of that to last me the rest of my days, too. My sympathies.

Well, my friends, time to check e-mail, etc..

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 4:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Flo-Flo, needs a TM sign too. Indeed, une larme! Even when you expect it, it stinks. Maybe she's with Mom.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 4:13PM
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And Charlotte... ; there are a lot of Idyll loved ones ready to greet the latest inductee.

That notion makes me smile. :)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Saucy, T and Chelone, sorry to hear about Sunny, Boo, and Flo-Flo. Pets bring a wonderful joy to our lives, and it is very hard to see them go. Hope you are all as okay as you can be.

We are expecting some really cold weather here this weekend. Brr! I think they said to expect single digits. But today was bright and sunny. I got some clothes sorted out, and others put away. I have a small mountain of clothes that need to be gone through. Funny how I thought I would be totally organized by this time. Not there yet:) I think I am still trying to come up with a routine that works. Not as easy as I thought previously.

Kathy, I loved your gazebo. Did you say your daughter is pregnant, and that is why you are moving? I hope to have everyone clear in my mind now that I can read more.

My brother just came over, so I have to run him to the nursing home. He is doing great, rented an apartment, and moving in this weekend. Amazing from a man they said would not be able to move anything other than his little finger a year ago, and has almost died three times this year. I hope he will be okay on his own, but not my decision to make for him. He has had a rough way to go, but is looking forward. My son Mike took him shopping for a computer, TV, stereo.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well...I just spent a pleasant hour looking at the Broken Arrow catalog. :-)

Saucy...adorable photo of Sarah...what a smile! There are two birds on her shoulder, right?
Sorry about Sunny....sympathies to Popcorn. :-)

Winter sowing, yes, you are correct...the seeds are sown into containers and left to fend for themselves all winter and when the weather warms up to the right temperature, the seeds sprout in their own time. I have found it much preferable to starting seeds under lights...because I just couldn't keep up with it. I do understand the fun of taking care of growing plants in the house during the winter though. If you can do it, it helps get through the winter. I enjoy going out in the yard as the weather warms up and checking all the containers for germination. That is a lot of fun and gets me out of the house. The main benefits though, are being able to produce tons of seedlings with less work, and many report they see a difference in the health and vigor of the plants grown this way over greenhouse/light set up grown plants.

Michelle....Never been to Iowa. Don't feel bad, I live right here near everyone and I don't think I will be able to make many of the gatherings either. [g] Very sad.

Mary....I understand how therapuetic the plants under lights can be. I did it for a about six years and found it really exciting.

Chelone...so sorry about Flo Flo. That is a long time to have a pet. We haven't had a pet in over ten years for a number of reasons, although I had one just about every year of my life up until that time. Lots of experience with pet loss. Great that she is in the garden and has her own marker. Nice job. :-)

I've already had a lot of dental work done, but it seems to be a losing battle. I also have great sympathy for anyone having to deal with dental troubles. Both sets of parents had full dentures by the time they were in their 40s, so I guess I have done well not to have had to take that route yet. [g] Sounds like you have figured out the best way to manage it and kept yourself on track with it. Not easy to do, congratulations. :-)

As for the family issues, have remembered the old Serenity Prayer that I had forgotten about for awhile and in the new year, I am trying to get more practiced at putting it to good use. Thanks for commiserating...I'm sorry that you are able to. :-)

Drema...I am still trying to reaquaint myself with everyone here, and now I remember...the last time I was visiting regularly your brother was still in the hospital. I am sure it is difficult dealing with the limitations that have resulted. I remember what a great sister you were to him when he was in the hospital and from the sounds of it, nothing has changed in that regard. Hang in there. :-)

Cold out there tonight! Brrr!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 6:16PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks for the info on the winter sowing. I have never done that. All of my seed sowing was either in window sills or under lights.
Pm2, I have the Serenity Prayer in my kitchen and my bathroom...also on one of my PT albums.

I am under the weather today. I think I may have picked up something tuesday. A lot is going around. One of the men said his wife was absent because she had the crud ! LOL !
I mostly have a headache.

Sorry for the loss of so many dear pets. I don't plan on getting anymore once the kitties that we have are gone, [unless I get an already elderly one....:-)].

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 6:42PM
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Drema, it's good to hear your brother is doing well enough to be on his own.
Getting into a routine at home after working full time takes a while. You tend to think you have all kinds of time to get things done and put them off.

Chelone, I'm hoping Flo Flo's passing is the final "happens in threes" thing. We all know she had a special home with you and the helpmeet. I love the first photo.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Boo and Sunny and Flo-Flo, may you idyll in herd heaven.

The first 'real' snow here today. There was one in early December when Katie was in pain and I had to do the hour long trip to neuro vet up a one lane road. But today I was curled up with too much work and lifted my eyes to look out every once in while, hoping I could break before sunset to let dogs run wild :) Dannie and Monty did. We couldn't find Dannie's balls under the snow, so I threw snowballs and Dannie chased and fluffed up the snow with her arms(?)when she landed.

I still have work to do, but thinking about dinner and wish it were Friday! Then I would have wine and couch time.

Ta Ta, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:15PM
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My sympathies to Saucy and Chelone on the passing of Sunny and Flo-Flo.

Computer time is too short today.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:35PM
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My what a lot of pets have left us . Hugs out to Chelone, Saucy and T.

Today is my Friday, but I decidedly do not have a day of leisure tomorrow. Meeting with the realtor in the am and then off to teach taxonomy in the afternoon. I also need to buy a dishwasher in the next couple of days. Im slowly assembling fixtures in the garage; faucets, tub and shower valve, ss sink, flooring remnant etc. My contractor is making very satisfactory progress (sorry Chelone !) and Im thinking another week and hell be done provided there is no hold up with fabricating the kitchen counter-top. I will be happy to get the le pissior out of my bedroom and into useable condition. The next step will be getting the painter in here . I continue to talk myself out of becoming overwhelmed.

Drema, my move to Oregon was in the thought stages before DDs pregnancy. My closest family is all up there . The challenge will be selling this house without having to take too big a hit . Im one of those motivated sellers, but at the same time I dont want to undersell . Setting the listing price will be a bit tricky.

PM, I am the Queen of dental woes. Every time I go in I ask them when Im getting a parking space with my name on it in their lot. Right now I have various spaces in my mouth (toothless spaces that is) awaiting enough healing for my implants. Im intrigued by your winter sowing set up. I am thinking that it would be similar to the fall direct sowing we do here- things like sweetpeas, larkspurs, nigellia, poppies are commonly sown in fall directly in the ground. I hope to do lots for growing from seed when I get settled in Oregon and am not working 50 hour plus weeks any more !
Melanie was a one-hit-wonder. "I got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates" thinking circa 1967 or 1968 .
Buffy Sainte-Marie on the other hand was more of a folkie-activist type ala Joan Baez.

Saucy, there is no mistaking the maternity of that little Jr Saucy of yours ! Will you get Popcorn another companion?

Marian, I hope you can just vegetate for a few days till you are feeling better. Did I tell you how wonderful your sunset pic was ? Reminded me of sunsets in the big-sky southwest.

Hello Cynthia ! Have you finished purging yet? I now have piles of construction debris all over the place even though I know my contractor will be hauling it away it makes me feel like Ive taken a backward step an emotional and not a logical response. How is the Twirly One doing ? Are Dannie and Monty respecting her personal space or do you have to run interference?

OK time to check out.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Seems we're on the rain side of the rain/snow divide. It doesn't look like it's freezing on contact, but I haven't been outside yet to investigate further. I'm relieved, I need the money because starting next week and running until the end of February I will be losing the equivilent of 1 1/2 days of wages in every pay period. Nice way to treat a skilled and dedicated employee, huh? Methinks it is time to reassess my priorities... I'm not feeling very generous and I don't think my usual offer of a "favor" is going to be what it once was.

There was elderly kitty patiently making her way to the feeding station this morning. :( It was the right choice to make but it's still hard. The helpmeet brought a length of burlap to act as her shroud (he was upset watching the shovelfuls of dirt land on her brother, Bobby Lee). I placed her in the hole and he put the dirt over her. It was nice, though, to be greeted by Spencer, Vera, and Polly.

I THINK the tape guy is done and the next guy is coming today to mask off the windows, etc. in preparation for the prime coat. The helpmeet has some minor clean up to do today (vacumming out the sheetrock dust from the cutout for the flourescents). Last night he asked me if we were going to have the electricians wire the lights? (he had told me he was going to do that and install the exterior lights since he works a reduced schedule this time of year) and what did I want to do about the floor upstairs? (we've been over that a few times, too). I tartly told him he needed to make up his mind and call the damned electrician or did he want me to take care of that? PICK ONE. Clearly, the garage, work, and the cat have managed to push my tolerance to the brink. I'm so glad it's Friday, in just over 9 hours I'll be off for 3.

Gotta go!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 5:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's early for me (5:30) and there's snowplow activity outside too...but this morning DH must swallow a vast quantity of barium sulfate 90 minutes before a test to check why his gut is still acting up after the hernia operation so many months ago. DH thinks it is a pinched nerve...and has researched it to the point where he knows more than our family doctor. So this is the next step...

Chelone, this business of our partners asking about matters we thought were settled is...unsettling! I am noticing this recurring ever so often and am not thrilled. It is even getting worse...Lots of repetition of information needed and it is easy to feel he simply is not interested or not listening. I am trying to be a saint about it though because I know it will not change for the better, in fact quite the opposite as we age together. But I am very impatient...:(

I whisper to three kitties in our tiny "woods" and then there's a pet bunny farther on... Charlotte's presence is still huge even though we dug no hole. Why do I tear up when writing that? "t" must have an answer to that. Tiny lives lost leave a big impression too, whether bird, hamster, or in our Sarah's case, pet rats. Skyler is learning about the loss of goldfish these days too.

Looking at Sarah and her pet cockatiels once more, I also noticed the poppy wallpaper. Beautiful! I love poppies! They bring back memories of a special and wonderful trip to Labrador where missionaries long ago scattered poppy seeds that still return even now. Sarah has amazingly pretty dark eyes.

I've begun keeping my camera in the kitchen. Another forum has begun sharing photos of our dinners. It is an odd thing to do, but I'm getting used to it. I'm not a fabu fabu cook by any means, but this exercise is forcing me to think a bit more about presentation of our meals for two. It only takes a moment or two to choose the better plates, to add a bit of colour with a slice of red pepper or orange...Well anyway, I'm trying. Last night's Asian themed soup:

I've been typing on & off here- and it is time to get moving.
Still dark dark dark out my window...

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 6:45AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

marian....I haven't actually put the Serenity Prayer on the wall, but you have given me a good idea, I think I will find a copy and put it on my computer desktop. :-) Hope you are feeling better today.

Cynthia...we have had so much snow this year, I know it shouldn't amaze me that you haven't, being in MD, but it does anyway...lol.

Kathy...Gee, I would like to know exactly what you tell yourself to talk yourself out of being overwhelmed. [g] Seriously, I don't know how you are doing it all. Is anyone helping you? Chuckled over the vision of them spray painting your name in a parking spot at the dentist. Yes, I have spaces too, but where I could use an implant, it would be too close to my sinus. Although there are lots of options available these days, I have some health issues that would make some of them inadvisable. So at the moment I am avoiding thinking about it, but next week I will get down to business figuring out what I need to do.

Kathy, when you are ready to start growing from seed again, consider trying the winter sowing methods. You can produce an amazing amount of seedlings. Yes, it is similar to direct sowing, but I have not had the results from direct sowing that I do from winter sowing. When you sow into a milk jug, you are really creating a mini greenhouse, keeping the seeds from blowing away, keeping them moist [with monitoring], keeping the birds from eating the seed. Much higher germination rates. But then again...if you are zone 7/8 there in Oregon, do you really need that? I forgot you are so warm there in the winter.

Thank you for that link to Melanie! I did buy her album. I was just out of high school. Ah yes, memories of a kinder, gentler time. I really liked her. Enjoyed listening to her videos this morning. :-)

Chelone...do something nice for yourself this weekend! Take a break...go walk on the beach and breathe in that wonderful salt air! :-)

Gbug...I hope DH's test reveals the problem, so you can straighten it out.

We are also seeming to be heading down the 'repeat' highway here. My DH has a job that requires working with lots of information and keeping track of small details, plus he is also responsible for his Mom who is in her 80s in assisted living and has lost her short term memory, etc, etc. It is a lot to have in one's head.

We also made a place in our garden for our two dogs that we lost. I can tear up thinking about them even now and it has been over ten years, so naturally, all of you just losing your little companions, are still very raw with it. I think the depth of the connection we have with them, is in part because they are so innocent and dependent on us. But the largest part of it to me, is that they love us so unconditionally and without complications. I've been thinking lately that maybe we need a new puppy around here. [g]

Delicious looking bowl of soup, Gbug! Our daughter has become very interested in cooking and asked for a cookbook for Christmas. We haven't tried oriental soups yet.

Just starting to turn light here at 7am.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:27AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK, let's hope we've seen the last of the pets heading off to the rainbow bridge. T, I read an article in the local paper recently about someone who is trying to open a horse crematorium. Apparently, and I guess I just never thought this one through...the need is great in CT. People don't have land and sometimes have to wait days for someone with the proper equipment to come and remove the remains. At any rate, I'm sorry about Boo.

Saucy, my nana once had a parakeet that was one of the smartest pets I've ever encountered. She lived in an apartment at the time and her neighbors used to fight over who would get to take care of him when she went away. When he died she was devastated but in true Chelone fashion, she put him in a box lined in Kleenex and tossed him down the incinerator shoot...lol. Loosing pets is tough. Poor Sarah. How is she holding up?

Chelone, despite the somber circumstances you always manage to get a chuckle out of me when describing the demise of your pets. Flo-Flo was a pretty girl. May she slumber on.

OK, I'm finishing up another hellacious week. Staff is starting to have mini meltdowns. New boss says he'd rather back off the deadlines than push anybody beyond their limits. These are people who set fairly high workload goals and expect to reach them. We lucked out with this guy. Another month or so and it should all be good again. Tonight I have tickets to 'The Producers', a broadway show currently running at the Bushnell theatre in Hartford. A night out will be good.

Marie, that soup looks scrumptious.




    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...
I had a very good night and and feeling pretty okay, so far. Just sinus pain under my left eye. I'll try an allegy tablet... ( Oh..and a painful left foot ! But that's fibro or 'arthur'..LOL ).
Drema, good to see you surface again. That is great news about your brother. I sure hope he continues to improve.

Saucy, how old is Sarah? She looks about the age of my youngest GD in that pic. ( 10 ).( That GD has dark eyes too, but dark hair. She inherited more of the Indian than the other two.) Sarah is a pretty girl. Hugs to her over the loss of her pet. The only bird (parakeet) that I ever had escaped through an opened door, and never returned..:-(
That was many many years ago.
BTW, I am rather envious of your serving on a ship. I think I would have liked to have done that. Back 'then' I thought frequently about joining a branch of the military, but 'back then' it was not a respectable thing for females to do...

Kathy, I don't think I have worn a size 6 since I was 6 !!! LOL
But I think the 'size' thing depends on where you buy your clothes. Although I have never weighed more than 129 lbs. , I wore size 14 petite in dress sizes, but I guess that is because I have 'football' shoulders and a 36C bust ??? I always have to get 12s in pants since I have narrow hips and a smaller waist size than what the average is for my bust size. Probably if I shopped at Neiman Marcus(sp) I could buy a much smaller size??? I googled dress sizes, and find that there is no set standard. Too bad! And the marking of clothes as 'small, medium, and large" is a joke...espacially since so much of our clothes come from foreign countries. If it wasn't such a drag for me to do , it would be best if I always tried on the garment before buying it.:-(

T, I agree, you look pretty great in both pics.

Mary, I hope you had no problems with the viola player. I admire you for the violin playing. I never had the opportunity to learn an instrument ( nor the inclination! ). I like Mendelssohn, and Brahms, and Bach, etc. etc. :-)

Chelone, Nice pics of Flo Flo. She is colored like our Duke, of years past. I espacially like the one of your mum and the cats, but I will pass on kitties by my food! ;-)
We have kitties buried around the perimeter of our yard. The last was our deaf white Muttonhead. The next will probably be Calliecat. She will be 17 in April, but is still going strong.
Stay safe with the new snow and ice! No more falls!

Count me in with those who have gaps in my mouth. Upper and lower, on both sides! They are not visible when I laugh/smile, and I can eat okay, so I have never felt I need to have the gaps filled in. I am also very paranoid about dental work. It would help if my mouth was wider! I have jokingly told my dentist that I need a fliptop mouth!

Cynthia, funny about Dannie and the snow. One of our past cats ( Squeak) loved snow. She would plow right through it.

Thanks,Kathy...on the sunset. We do not get such pretty ones often. I am in agreement with pm2 about what all you have undertaken. Seems overwhelming to me too, but then, maybe you and I are sort of alike when it comes to major challenges. They get my adrenalin flowing!

Marie, My sympathies with your DH! I hope the Doc finds the cause of his discomfort, and that it is fixable.
Nice soup pic. I think the only oriental soup that I ever ate was at a Chinese restaurant. I would probably like yours, but Nolon wouldn't.

Pm2, if you do not find a good source for the Serenity Prayer I can give you a link to mine. I have it on my screen saver, also. Sorry about your DH's Mom. It is a hard time for all involved! I can identify with your DH's responsibilities, but mine is with my DH, and he is still at home. My main goal is to stay alive (and mentally/physically able) as long as he needs me.

Sue..great to see your TGIF! I always look for it.
A horse crematorium sounds like a good idea. There are an awful lot of horses in this area too. Lots of trail riding.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 10:13AM
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The babies are here today, still sick and still crying at the drop of a hat. Wrong look, wrong step and then we have a melt down. Both of them have ear infections, one has been on meds for a few days so his melt downs aren't very often but the other just began his meds yesterday afternoon so it takes next to nothing to trigger the tears.

Thanks again for the kind comments on the weight loss. I'm still in awe and marveling over it myself. Like a silly goose, or a middle aged over weight and unhappy woman who lost weight, I took photos of myself in my size 6 jeans on the day that I first put them on. LOL I'll share the photos but then I'll take them down fast. I was snapping the photos of my reflection in the mirror (in the back view, see the mirror in my hand?), got some great photos of the ceiling, walls, drapes, etc so these photos are the best I could do. Last time I took my measurements, I had taken off 40 some inches.... As some of you have said about yourselves....I don't think or at least remember ever wearing a size 6.....I use to wear 9/10 and weighed less than I do now. The middle aged body is a whole different 'build' than it was when I was younger. Don't understand it....but maybe they are just cutting the clothes larger than they did 15+ years ago.

Anyway, the photos (last ones and last talking about it, I promise!).

I feel awful for those of you who have lost pets recently and in the past. Some do bring tears even years later. Amazing how so many just weave themselves into our hearts.

Shoot! The babies are awake and only slept for a short time. I think it is going to be a very long day, poor little tykes!

I hope the day goes well for all......

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 1:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I dont have time much to comment but to say

't' - that is soooo awesome - you look TERRRRIFIC!!!

(I think V is going to be sad that we havent been gossiping about her.... ;)

Im so sad to hear of more Idyll pets going over that Rainbow Bridge - I hope this is it for the year though.... take care.

Gotta run.


(oops - a very belated Many Congrats, Deanne -- that is such an amazing accomplishment -- 36 years.... It has to give some of us hope for the future!).

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 2:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You must feel so good "t"! You deserve that halo over your head...and the benefits in terms of health are just grand.

This bout of nasties with the young twins must be so difficult! Sarah and DSIL have been dealing with strep throat with both the boys this week. DSIL must be impossible to live with though because he's been so virtuous. He's home schooling Skyler, even taught him fractions the other day. They do science experiments, write books, practice lefty handwriting and more. Then he prepares super exotic lunches and dinners and teaches Reed to swim in the hot tub. He's preparing for a party at their house tonight too. The energy! OY!!!

The roads are really nasty out there today, but the sun is shining. Nevertheless, brrrrrrrrr.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 2:21PM
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t, (little t), keep talking about it! Who wouldn't? I'm still glowing over taking all that excess hardware to the dump. That's my 'weight loss.' The highlight of my day is going up to the attic to see if I caught any mice (2 so far), but I know I'm really going up there to admire the change:) So, is that anything like you looking in the mirror and buying tiny clothes?

Kathy, I've run out of rooms to clean out, though there's still some organizing to happen in the cellar, and my office...will always be a mess. Your old house is going to be spectacular when you're done. It's a reminder to me not to save the upgrades for the new owners. I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge on a renovated upstairs bathroom.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 3:23PM
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T. (t.), I have a great idea! since you never show your face anyway, why don't you take a picture of yourself wearing a thong? :) You look fabu-fabu; and you should be very, very proud of your accomplishment. AND flaunt it every chance you get.

I'm home and safe for the next 3 days. The tape guy evidently finished up some stuff this morning and mask guy has yet to show his face. I had a message from the garage door company asking about when they could finish the job... installing motors... but the painting has to be done first... . There is a call in to the electrician and the helpmeet was struggling to install the outside lights when I got home (there is some difficulty). I was impressed by the old college try, though! I'm beginning to think I'll collect Social Security before the thing is finished.

My relief that we received only rain today is huge. The thought of another 2-3" of frozen slush was really bummin' me out. It's perfectly clear here now and there is a brisk wind that indicates the high pressure front is here and it will get a lot colder.

My sympathies to those with major illness or sick kids. I still sound a little plugged, but feel fine. Strep throat must be way past miserable when the littles have it, too. Everyone: take your vitamins, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest. 'bug, I certainly hope DH's stomach woes are easily diagnosed and solved. He sounds far too active and interested in things to laid low by something so chronic and uncomfortable. (soup looks luscious, almost makes me want to consider cooking... ALMOST).

I wonder how long it would take to cremate a horse? I know it would depend on the water content of the animal in question, but I wonder what the average might be? I have seen a couple of dead horses (one had tetanus, quite rare nowadays) and it's no small feat to dispose of them. One of the two I saw was buried (after necropsy by the Anatomy and Physiology class), the other was butchered for sled dog food.

Time to do some reading, I think.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 3:37PM
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Nice act to follow, Chelone's rumination on the disposal of horses. Unlike the helpmeet, DH/Marty stays dry-eyed when cats leave us since he has no affinity for felines, to say the least. Subdued hostility is about right, but tolerates them for my sake. About the little creatures, I still dearly miss Helga, the box turtle who either escaped the fence or perished from respiratory illness when hibernating in our cold clay soil. Current thinking leans toward a shoebox under the bed but ideas on best method for hibernation still evolving. What a lot of snails Helga crunched, and she added nice scale lumbering down my pathways, which are on the smallish side.

T, that is amazing weight loss because you end up so proportioned, like zapped with a shrink gun.

Kathy, one foot in front of the other. You're doing yeoman's work on moving house. Eyes on the prize, that incredible garden you'll have and being in the bosom of your family.

All this organizing is making me nervous.

A quick wave to all. The week ended with testimony from a Scottish mechanical engineer, and I thought Thurs' job couldn't be matched. I was wrong. Brain-dead and wrong.

What a ravishing horse was Boo. And every day brings us closer to pictures of Charlotte's protege!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Oh GOODY!I'm just in time for idyll thong pics??? LOLOL CHELONE!! : )

I can't believe I've been gone long enough for two threads to come and go sheesh.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Deanne & Doug[I put you first so I wouldn't get in trouble for waiting too long to mention it...you know I am kidding]. You are an inspiration that's for sure- gee,and here I think it's a big thing to be married so long(only 16 for me)that I forget half the time how many years have passed for us! 36 is wonderful,Deanne(you do know you look too young to be married that long-were you twelve when you were wed?)
I'm sorry to focus on food[I'm starving while I wait for Chris to bring home the sushi]but what DID you two have for dinner? : )

'tttttttttttttttttttt'!!!!!! Wowza!you have a nice & cute bum!lol. I am so proud of you and I'm so glad you are proud of you too! I love hearing your excitement in your words.
Sorry for your losses too in the pet world.

Drema I'm glad to hear such wonderful news about baby Charlie! Congratulations! Sorry about the job : (

Kathy you'll love that Mister Baby to bits and probably even hold him...and love doing it as well: ) Just hand him back to his mom when he poops(preferably BEFORE the fact)

Did you hear what I heard about V?

Chelone I may have missed this but I hope you didn't hurt yourself when you fell? Why don't you just own your own shop so you can run things the way you like? I know you'd be a smashing success!

Mary your miniatures astound me! My eyes would be going gaga trying to make all that teeny stuff: )

Michelle that gate is perfect!

Kathy-I loved that gazebo too! since I was skimming I was initially worried that a wind storm blew it to pieces-skimming is dangerous: )

Saucy-Sunny was such a pretty bird. Sorry he had to pass away...Sarah is so pretty!

The only reason I've been away (this time) is because I had two funerals in one week to attend and I had to be in a promotional DVD for our school so I was kind of occupied. One good thing is that a friend who just had uterine cancer surgery yesterday is doing well and the cancer removed was all contained. She's only 35.I've have had that worry on my mind for two weeks now so I feel a weight lifted.

Would you believe I tried to lick the screen when that shrimp soup appeared but it tasted like nothing(darn,but the screen was dusty)-hope the real soup was good,'Bug!

Dinner is here-can't you hear my stomach growling???? Gotta go!

Hi to those I've missed!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 7:48PM
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I had defining moments today-signed the listing agreement on the house ;a sign goes up on Monday , but it will be a Coming Soon" sign . We wont go full tilt till all repairs etc are complete. I go into multiple listing service in a couple of weeks. The work continues, chimney flashing repaired today, bathroom leak repaired and sheetrock installed in hole in kitchen ceiling that was cut-out for above plumbing repair. Some dry-rot exterior fascia was also repaired. My realtor took pics today and I taught my taxonomy class. Whew, time for a cocktail.

T/t , how great you look in the size 6 ! Its funny the things you notice when you loose weight, like how much more comfortable you are in an airliner seat, how much faster you seem to move, and how your feet dont hurt when standing or walking for long periods. Its not just about the way you look, but about the way you feel physically.

Cynthia, take it from me, I wish I had done several of these improvements years ago ! If you have the cash do it now, it wont get any cheaper and some of these building contractors are hungry and dying for work-new homes are just not being built much here except at the very high end.

Hey Denise, there you are at last! Now wouldnt you think that multiple years of feline company would melt your DH into submission? How can he resist that soothing purr ? Perhaps a traumatic experience in his childhood.

bug , your DSIL sounds like the model parent to me. How lucky those little boys are to have such an engaged person in their orbit.

Babs- howdy to you !

Gotta go make dinner..see yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 8:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yeah Kathy, DSIL is something else. He sings and dances in the kitchen while he cooks, has a wild straight faced sense of humor, loves family, the dog (sorry Chelone) and the outdoors, enjoys a tidy house enough that HE repairs, cleans and decorates it, gardens some,....pretty darned great. They're happy. :)

DH is supposed to get results of his medical tests next week. He's not convinced they'll detect anything, but it is a step in the chain of things.

Dinner tonight was NOT worthy of a photo. ;-) I collected Charlotte photos for the breeder's website. He asked!

Here's one:

Bonsoir et Bon Weekend!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 9:12PM
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GB, that picture makes me want to melt....she looks as if she's waiting for someone to come home!

Well, I'm up and I'm a wreck, so why not check into Idyll? There's a fully involved house fire in town and my husband left at 5:14. I feel so terrible for the family, but they are all outside. I wish I could do something.

On a side note....anyone in snowy parts of the country: please keep your hydrants cleared!

Chelone, sounds like you've been having a rough time at work and now with the helpmeet's selective memory....what you need is a trip to Tower Hill....Oh, Wait....it's coming up soon!

Sue, the new boss sounds like a gem. I want to hear about The Producers. Sounds like fun.

Marian, it took me a minute, but I finally got a chuckle out of "Arthur"! Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake....

t, I hope the twins are well soon....that sounds rough. I'm so glad mine are old enough to reason with when they're sick, "you'll feel better if you lay down...." Of course they usually give me a harder time when they're well :)

Denise, LOL, "subdued hostility" is a cat-like trait :) I know my cat would have no use for me if it weren't for my can opening abilities.

Kathy, wow woman! You are motivated! You are really working for exactly what you want and I can see the prize! I like the idea of "coming soon".....building the anticipation, I see :)

After a day of quietly grieving, Popcorn began to "shout". I am tired of carrying him around, but his loud squawks were sending chills up my spine. I have been wrapping him in a dish towel and letting Sarah "cuddle" him and he quiets down (they used to snuggle together and clean each other). I hope he cheers up soon.

How funny that so many Idylls have had birds!

It's already 6:30 and the sky is STILL dark, Chelone....just an observation :)

Cynthia, I have romanticized your attic....I always dream that mine could be my very own studio....it has great views and light.

GB, thank you for noticing my wallpaper! remember my old gold foil stuff? it's all gone! Can I share?

And here's a "before" and "after" that I found:

That was taken/found quite by accident :)

The sky is starting to lighten now....


    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 6:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

HOLY COW Saucy, you've been hiding fantastic things from us! Your house is gorgeous! The exterior color, the deck, OH MY! Indoors, the divider between the rooms is FF(TM). I bet a lot of work went into cleaning that up and painting it too. I love your dining room light fixture as well. You've got to post more photos. Perhaps you don't even notice the improvements and have been living with them for a while, but this is exciting stuff to me. :) I'm so sorry about Popcorn's depression...and hope Dr Sarah can lift his spirits.

In our snowy countryside there are no hydrants. We have a pond and a creek and that would be our source of water if it weren't frozen that is. That is something that frightens me. Also, there is mischief in these parts with barn fires, sometimes set or caused by lightning. Our barn is close to the driving shed (garage) and house too. It takes about 7 minutes from fire station to our place and they usually simply allow barns to just burn down rather than endanger the firemen. Since we have no livestock, that would certainly be the case here.

Chuckled about "Arthur". In our family, "Arthur" stood for "Our thermometer". Dad was French and said Termometer, so we got him to say his th sound that way.

The sky is clear so far. Only pinky/gray clouds on the horizon. Cold though. A busy day with French Club at the end - dinner will be one town over.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 7:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.... :-)

I agree, GB, that photo of Charlotte is so touching and I thought the same thing Saucy did, that she is looking for someone. I bet you have many photos of Charlotte, GB, but that one is particularly poignant.

GB, when you explain how great your DSIL is, I really think how lucky you all are, but I also think, that your DD must really be a peach for someone like DSIL to have fallen for her. He is lucky too. :-)

Saucy...so sorry to hear about Popcorn. Were Sunny and Popcorn mates? I wouldn't have thought you could actually see grieving behavior in a bird. That is amazing. I have to add my story to the rest about bird pets. We had a parakeet when I was young and we used to let him fly around the house and someone opened the door without thinking and he flew out in the middle of winter. We found him in a tree frozen a few days later. Very sad.

It's funny that you mention romanticizing Cynthia's attic, lol. I have always loved attics for some reason. We don't really have one in this house, but have had many in other houses I have lived in. Maybe it is being higher and having a different view, or feeling a little disconnected from the rest of the house. I don't know. Lucky to have one though. :-)

I didn't realize your husband was a fireman. I have always thought it was a calling to be a fireman, but never thought about the fact that it must be a calling to be married to one too. I can only imagine how stressful it can get. Thanks for the reminder about the fire hydrant. I don't even remember where our closest one is. I am going to have to check that out.

Oooohhh nice photos! You have been busy at your house. Lovely architecture in your dining room and I do like the teal with the poppy wallpaper. It also works well with the color of your dining room set and the leather chair. Very cheerful! You did a great job on the exterior of your house. I love the siding color, so much better than the cream? that was on it before. Adding the door and the window does a lot for the exterior and I am sure even more for the interior. That deck is huge! lol Looks like a really lovely place to sit and enjoy the garden. Great place for container plants!

Sue, one of my husband's favorite movies was The Producers with Zero Mostel. Your boss does sound so reasonable. Wow, I bet that makes your life a lot easier.

Kathy, hope you are taking lots of photos!

't'....if I looked that great, I would be taking photos every day..lol. You earned the right to enjoy your accomplishments! LOVE that blouse you have on!

Ooops...have to get off the computer...will finish later...

Enjoy a productive Saturday!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 7:42AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I meant to ask Mary how her Quartets went the other night? In the last few years, I have started to enjoy some classical music. Blow the Wind: Pie Jesu ... by Jocelyn Pook is one of my favorites and was actually written for a string quartet. Others....

Flower Duet from the Opera Lakme

Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki

Suite bergamasque...Clair de lune by Debussy

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini...Rachmaninoff

Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 by Mendelssohn

Les contes d'Hoffmann ...Barcarolle aria

Gianni Schicchi...an opera by Giacomo Puccini the aria O mio babbino caro

These are some that I find very relaxing. Does anyone else listen to classical? It is very new to me. I grew up on rock and roll, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Bing Crosby and the Big Bands. [g]

I am off to the nursery this morning. They are having a 75% off sale on garden stuff..not plants. I will report back if I find anything interesting. I will leave you with another photo taken after the snow storm and not a very good one of my one and only Amaryllis that is blooming.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 9:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Wow, its been really busy here and it seems Im far behind.

First I want to say how sorry I am for those whove lost their beloved pets. Chelone, those photographs of Flo-Flo are so sweet. I love it when they do that stretchy-roll and the photo with your Mom, priceless.

Saucy, so sorry you lost your bird. ~~~ Love what youve done with the house! Its looking beautiful. I really love the deck and that bay window you added.

Kathy, exciting times. So the For Sale is happening. While I read about all your preparations going into getting the house ready for the market I remind myself that I should do all that stuff NOW, and enjoy the upgrades. LOL

HI Babs, you do know of course know that now you are my new best friend for that remark that I look too young to have been married for 36 years!!! Thank you! Thank you! (The truth of the matter is that for some weird reason I look younger in photographs than I do in person) So dinner, I believe Norma asked too, I started off my evening with a Dirty-Dozen Martini that is a gin martini made with Tangueray 10, a light splash of olive juice and blue cheese stuffed olives. Then for appetizer, a Fois Gras Brule. This was served with rounds of toasted French bread and halved green grapes. A Mediterranean salad of Romaine hearts, warmed cous-cous, garbanzo beans, marinated artichoke hearts and calamata olives preceded the entrée of a perfectly broiled, 8oz filet mignon served with wilted spinach drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette, grilled Portobello mushroom, and fresh steamed baby green beans. Dessert was a chocolate sampler with a dark chocolate mousse, a round of home made white chocolate ice cream, a chocolate shot with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh raspberry on top. I also finished off the meal with a sampler of Grand Manier, There were three small brandy glasses with one ounce each of the current cuvee, the second glass was a 100 year old, and the third 150 year old. Guess what one I liked the best, the 150 of course! It was a memorable meal and evening.

Thanks to Woody and Drema for the lovely cards!!!! I really do appreciate all the good wishes.

Chelone, we got the four inches of snow/slush you were spared. Ugh But at least the borders have a layer of snow on them before the deep freeze starts tomorrow.

Cynthia, since youve run out of rooms to clean perhaps you could come and visit me???? Ive got lots of rooms that need purging.

Wow, wow, wow T. Keep those photos coming! Im loving seeing the new svelte you. Ive never gotten below a size 14 and was told by my PCP, Dietician, and Endocrinologist that that was as good as it was going to get unless I had surgery to remove my excess skin, so, Im green with envy over your size 6 jeans!

Bug that soup looks fabu-fabu!!!! I think its a brilliant idea to really pay attention to presentation with meals regardless of whether you are cooking for one or a hundred. I need to pay more attention to that.

Drema, so glad to hear your DB is doing so well.

Mary, how did the Quartet go? Was the viola player snippy?

Michelle, so glad youve got some of that Aurora coleus to spare. Youll have to let me know what youd like me to send you from my collection.

PM2, lovely pics. Where is the garden stuff sale?

OK I must get off this computer and get to the gym. Then Ive got to water all those indoor plants, water the orchids, fill a couple orders and then hopefully still have some sunlight left to do a bit of bird photography.

Have a great Saturday everyone,

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 9:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hot off the press. I month old today!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:08AM
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Allow me to assure you that Saucy has a great house! I've even seen her attic... and it would make a really cool "clubhouse" for her. Her home is full of the nice trimwork that was part and parcel of homes of that era. The deck is a great addition; cool place to hang out that isn't in the "sight lines" of anyone. Very private and she has a lovely set of patio furniture, too. :)

PM2, great photographs, I love the snowy one. About Psitticines ("hookbills" or parrots): they are extremely intelligent and long-lived. African Greys have been tested repeatedly for intelligence and they're in the range of a normal 3 yr. old child! They think, they reason, and they GRIEVE. The latter is extremely important to know, as they can live up to 70 yrs. (and sometimes longer)! They are social creatures, used to living in flocks and frequently bond for life. When you consider that their normal circumstance is altered by captivity and the pet trade it's easy to see why they succumb to depression and a host of "undesireable" behaviors (weaving back and forthe incessantly on perches, systematically plucking out their feathers, screaming, etc.). This is their way of dealing with depression, only too many humans "don't get it" because they don't make the time to actually find out about cage birds. If you are really "into" birds there are groups of other afficionados who will take emotionally disturbed birds and rehabilitate them and will also take birds who survive the death of a devoted owner and place them in a loving home with people who understand and appreciate the depth of intelligence and devotion they offer. Even Budgerigars ("parakeets") are exceptionally intelligent and very devoted to their owners. Birds are delightful companions, but certainly NOT something to be hung in the corner of a room and simply fed. Deprived of a flock, they NEED companionship to cope with captivity.

Mary, I hope Viola wasn't snippy to you. How can being snippy possibly improve someone's performance? I could understand the "snippies" if you were a screw-off (ARE you?), but it doesn't strike me as the quickest way to get the desired effect... . What do I know, anyway? :) Do you play other instruments, as well?

Deanne, that meal sounds positively sinful (I'd pass on the Martini... you could strip furniture with one of those babies! though the stuffed olive appealed to me). And I can assure you there'd be no "action" after a feed like that one, lol. I'd do the Boa thing... crawl off and sleep for a month to recover. ;)

Kathy, I think you passed the point of no return now. BIG step. I hope the sale is quick, the proceeds exceed your expectations, and everything moves along smoothly.

Cynthia, I echo Kathy's advice to DO THE BATHROOM. Every single time we undertake some "project" we wind up asking ourselves why we waited so long to do it. Your home should be the comfiest it can be; its the "corner" to which you retire when the weight of life makes you tired. See if you can come up with an easy access tub for poor Dannie, though... . I laughed at the images of the greys out playing in the snow. Wrecks gets really silly after a snowfall, too. And I remember my horses doing the same thing. Even our cats like to play "hockey" under the newly fallen snow.

'bug, you must have a ton of great Bouvier shots. It's nice that the breeder was interested in them. It won't be too long before you begin a new folder with "whatshis/hername".

Babs., isn't it amazing how quickly the Idylls flit by?! catch us if you can... ;)

OK, what shall I do now?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:12AM
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Welcome home Gardenpup! Ok, so he/she isn't home quite yet at 4.3 weeks old. You had me going there for a moment.

In the bridge and field picture, Charlotte is waiting for the new puppy to come home and help her mama to be happy again.

Saucy, your house looks terrific, when did Bob Villa leave? (Showing my age, no idea who does TOH now.) I remember when you were scraping the hall and when you first built the deck. One of us must have been on idyll hiatus when the house was sided and that gorgeous poppy paper went up.

I'm trying to get in gear here, but can only find reverse; may be influence of listening to car talk while closet diving.

My attic has a bathroom in it. That space was used as a bedroom by the prior owners, but I wouldn't call it 'finished' and I use it for what it is: an attic. I hung all of the articial wreaths in the closets with skirt hangers and sometimes store tender bulbs in the shower up there for the winter. I't usually about 40F. I keep a thermometer in that bathroom so I know how cold it is up there. No heat unless I leave the door open.

Redoing the bath on the second floor is avoided mostly because I don't like the idea of workmen in and out of the house while I'm trying to work. That and having to make DECISIONS on what to do in there. (Yeah, what shade of white :) I know I want little black and white old fashioned tiles, but that's all I can come up with and there are more decisions than that.

PM, how nice that you are discovering new tastes in music :) I listen to popular music in the car sometimes, but my steady diet is NPR and Classical. My foster dogs are all brought up on 24/7 classical local station. It's soothing. What a pretty blue sky for your snow.

Kathy, I do a big project every spring. I know you plan to buy a house that's 'perfect' but they never are, so maybe think about doing one project a year after you move. And when I say 'I do a project' I mean that I hire people to do things :) I do cosmetic things around here, but anything serious gets contracted out.

Oh good. Denise is back.

Hi to everyone! Happy 3 day week-end to all.

Cynthia (Not knowing what I'm going to do now, but it needs to be productive. )

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Decided on a morning Idyll today-its 27 outside this morning, no clouds .Brrr, thats cold for this west coast wimp ! I havent even ventured out to get the paper yet, thus I m at the computer with a nice cup of French roast. I am going to try to spend the day primping the back yard now that the gazebo is gone.

Saucy, I too love your house.The I think we need a pic of the front view too ! The paint on your parlor off the dining room is very close to the color my bedroom is painted. And poor Popcorn !

Attics are not at all common out here. I had a friend in high school who lived in an old bungalow in west Los Angeles that had one and I was so taken with it ! I fear if I had one now it would be full of crapola , much like the fate of my guest room .

All these Idylls various snow pics look so exquisite. I may have some of my own next year, though I understand its often only a once or twice a year event where Im going and doesnt stick around very long.

Prarie, Ive listened to classical music all my life. I usually go see our local symphony perform a couple of times a year and up till last year subscribed to a chamber music series also. One of the things I researched about Corvallis was the availability of performed music there. The University has a symphony and guest performers, and a neighboring city has a symphony and an opera company.

Deanne, that dinner sounds delish ! Maybe you need a part time job writing advertising copy for restaurants. You sold me on that one with your appetizing description.

Refreshed in time to see lil bug pup ..how cute !

Ok, back with more later.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:59AM
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lol-Um,Deanne but I HAVE seen you in person and I still think you look too young to be married that long!: ) And what do you mean 'new' best friend....lol.
Good heavens I'm drooling as I read your cuisine report! Sounds as scrumptious from start to finish as I knew it would be! Fantastic: ) Count me in for one of those martinis-I'll tackle Chelone's for her.

Slap me-I forgot to send condolences to you Chelone over Flo-Flo! Forgive me. Those pics of Flo are beautiful!Sorry for your loss.

Saucy that breaks my heart just to hear how Popcorn is grieving-I hope you & Sarah can help calm him. What Chelone says makes such sense.
I completely love your home interior pic-probably because my livingroom is that same shade of green and our ajoining diningroom is a floral print in similar reddish toned flowers with white background: )-I do like the more flowing organic flower forms of your paper though-mine is more ordered and traditional in style and I wish I had gone more casual.

PM2-That's a nice shot of the vivid blue sky and snowy branches-yesterday our sky was so clear blue just like your pic....and colder than...!

'Bug such a cute puppy!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 1:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Just a quick note to Deanne...the sale was at Mahoney's. They sent an email..75% clearance. I came home without 'one' item. Mostly junky leftover Christmas, Halloween decorations. Rusty tools, ugly pots. They did have quite a bit of water garden equipment in boxes..but basically just the little extras for it. Only in the Winchester or Falmouth store.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 2:25PM
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Kathy, what are you whining about? It was -18° this a.m. :o) Since it was so cold DH was willing to work on some projects with me today. You know those little things around the house that dont get done during gardening/farming season.

Despite the cold, Jaden and I did take a fairly long walk. The sun was shining and there was no wind so it really wasnt bad, as long as you dress appropriately.

Kenzie called to tell me that she had her first airplane ride with her daddy as the pilot. She was pretty excited on the phone. She told me he was a wild driver. Im not sure what to make of that ;o)

Chelone, sorry to hear about Flo Flo.

The only attic that Ive ever had is the type where you go up through the ceiling. Not real conducive to storage.

Speaking of clothing sizes, does anyone shop Chicos? Isnt their sizing the strangest? I surely cant wear a size 0 from any other store.

Chelone, I havent seen a dead horse, but I do have a neat picture of my grandpa as a small boy looking at a team of horses who had been struck by lightening. This would have been in the early 1900s.

Awww, poor Popcorn. By the way what a cute and fitting name. Add me to the list of house admirers. I love old houses with character. I have an old house that has none and probably never did. Farmhouses around here can be like that. It was more important to put your money into the barn.

Deanne, I dont believe I have seen anyone answer your question. In Word go to Insert, Symbol, Special Characters and you will find it there. Then just copy and paste your message from Word. Thats how you get the degree symbol also.

No fire hydrants here, our pond and creeks are frozen as well. The creek was open just a few days ago, but its been awfully cold.

PM2, a friend gave me an amaryllis, a hyacinth and some paperwhites, but they arent as far along as yours are. I am really looking forward to them blooming.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 10:26PM
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'morning all!

Michelle, I was watching the weatherman talk about the Siberian Express that has taken hold of the midwest....I'm not looking forward to its arrival here.

GB, Thank you and everyone else for your kind words. It is still in stages of undoneness: no trim around the new door or bay window, radiators still missing, unfinished wallpaper (I ran out at the end....have new, need to finish!), paint color in the hall has been changed 3 times (weird light) and so on.....

I'll snap some pictures as I finish :) I did promise living room pics though, because I finally hung something on the wall!

I got a house full of roses yesterday! My neighbor's floral cooler died and Nick is fixing it, but the roses got warm and popped! Sarah loved her pink roses.

Popcorn is quite annoying, but he'll be fine. He's already quieter this morning. Just needed reassurance I guess, don't we all?

GB, the puppy picture is too cute! I can't believe that will grow to be such a large dog!

Cynthia, I don't think I even thought I had accomplished anything. I go through rushes of housework followed by long rests. Usually March is the frantic season....hmm....wonder what I'll get done?

I've gotta get moving. Nick has had an erratic work schedule and I've been staying up late/sleeping late and now it's time for breakfast - bagels/cream cheese/and a little bit of smoked salmon :)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 9:32AM
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Saucy, I had cream cheese for breakfast too. It was formed into a marble cheesecake. Excellent quick energy and yummy. Old houses are never 'done'. One of my neighbors had party a few years ago called 'Are you done with that house yet?' The standard question from people who don't have old houses :)

It felt a little 'crisp' when I ventured outside with the pack this morning and darn good thing I hadn't looked at that thermometer first. Without wind though, it was tolerable. 17F, which is downright vernal for Michelle in Iowa, but unusally cold for wimps in Maryland.

I did find my energy yesterday and finished up some trim painting, then did grocery shopping at Sam's and Safeway and the liquor store.

I found a an especially grainy 'before' picture of the attic from a few years ago when Katie ventured up and then couldn't come down, and she was still able to do stairs then:

And here's the (almost) after picture! I still have boxes of files on the right that I have to go through slowly....(but you can see I got rid of that greyhound).

On the other side of the stairs I got rid of all the old furniture but kept the bench from the sunroom. Not quite ready to get rid of that. The list clipped to the stairs is a map to mousetraps, so I won't forget where they are. And bags to dispose of their bodies when I catch then :(

Coral and red color scheme, uh huh. And no I'm not painting it. It's an attic.

Here's the bathroom - you can see my thermometer in cup next to sink, and a slip of the shower on the left:

Ok, off to do whatever it is I need to do....

Hi to all...Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Oooh , how fun to peruse Cythias attic photos this morning ! How exotic it seems to an attic-less one like me. I would hesitate as well to get rid of the bench. Lol the body bags for expired rodents ..

Got my Swan Island Dahlia catalog yesterday. No dahlia purchases for me this year-but my new abode will be an easy hour drive from Swan Island, and I can look forward to visiting there when they have their open days during the summer. BILs and I vsited there about 2 years ago and my , there is not much more dramatic a sight than 40 acres of Dahlias in full bloom. Fun to see so many cultivars in person.

I spent all day outside and plan the same for today, although the weather will probably not be as nice as it was yesterday. We had sun ! I have no space left in my yard waste toter and 4 back up 32 gal trash containers are also full. So now I need to find a spot in the RV parking area (which is full of construction debris ), to start a brush pile. Ive arranged a seating vignette on the concrete pad where the gazebo used to be , and will put up the containers there with some winter color kale, pansies, stocks etc. Still a ton to do .

Yikes Michelle-18 below ? Walking the dog ??? Appropriate clothes indeed ! I dont think I have a single item in my wardrobe that would serve in those kinds of temps.
OK, going to have some shredded wheat and oj before venturing out this morning

Later everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 12:25PM
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You made me smile, Michelle. It has only been below zero on the compoound a handful of times since we've been here. The north Atlantic may be foreboding, but it is actually a very large heat sink for those close to the shoreline. When I was a teen, the area I lived in was a lot colder than this one. Daytime highs in the single digits were not uncommon. And what made me smile was your attitude that proper dress makes it tolerable... I AGREE COMPLETELY. I rode my horses all winter (bareback because it was warmer!) and being active with a list of chores to accomplish didn't leave much time to whine about the cold. The cold is heading this way; it's much colder now than it was when I went out to the garage this morning. I suspect the unprotected Hydrangeas may be rendered toast tonight. C'est la guerre. I was thinking about what a devastating loss a team of draft horses must have been for your great grandparents. What an interesting photograph to have in the archives; did you ever learn the names of the horses?

We had brunch out today. It was completely over the top, downright decadent and absolutely delicious. "Bottomless" Mimosas, all you could eat buffet. Eggs cooked to order, with the complete "side" dishes; roast beef, turkey, salmon in some sort of sauce, chicken piccata, vegetable medley, scallops cooked to order, etc., etc.. Oysters on the halfshell, cocktail shrimp, Caesar salad, fresh fruit, pate, complete cheese tray. And a complete dessert table. It was delicious and very great treat that reminded us both of how very fortunate we are. Helpmeet and Wrecks are watching the Patriots on the "lonely guy" screen next door. ;)

I'm contmeplating heading back out to the garage to do some more vacuuming of sheetrock dust in advance of painters (tomorrow?). Or maybe not... Catherine de' Medici? tough choice.

Wow, Cynthia, I have dim recollection of the exterior of your house (painting question, I think) and wondered how big it was... how big is it? And how old is it? I live in a relatively new house and it's not finished, so I'm definitely not one of those people who asks questions like that! The joke here is that "finishing" it is pointless; if we sell it, the new owners will demolish it to make room for another McMansion. Helpmeet believes we should have constructed it with screws instead of nails... "defab. construction".

40 acres of Dahlias... now there's a visual.

How much bigger do you think that puppy is today than it was when the shutter clicked?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hehehe, you asked Chelone!

This is actually a different pup. You can tell because it doesn't have a star on its chest.

I loved our attic when I was growing up in Buffalo NY. Mom had some amazing clothes in boxes...a salmon coloured silk item if I recall correctly. They later converted the attic into a large master bedroom, bathroom, closets, a study and a small storage room. Not as fun to me... Attics have a nice smell, perhaps because Dad used to hang herbs and onions up there.

I'm not outdoors much today either. It is about 10F high today, so only a grocery shopping trip with DH. But your comment won't go unchallenged:
"I dont think I have a single item in my wardrobe that would serve in those kinds of temps."
Kathy, LAYERS is the answer, so you pile on what you've got: shirts, turtle necks, sweaters, jackets. Long undies help too!

I too reflected on the family photo of the horse team struck by lightning. Sad and memorable.

Your brunch Chelone was also memorable. Was this an anniversary as well? Chez nous I concocted eggs Benedict. It is rather a joke around here. I'm always asking what DH wants for meals and his reply is often "Eggs Benedict". He has no idea what they are even....But now he does!

I like that thought, houses made with screws. ;-) Think how easy the move to Oregon would be!!!

Back to editing letters for DH...:(


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Hello everyone!

I love the photos of your house Saucy and the colors/patterns you've used! I wish I were more imaginative and bold when it comes to colors. I am drawn to the brighter colors in others' homes, but never felt that I could do it here.

Cynthia, your attic organizing looks great! I need to get upstairs to our attic and do ours. I have said that for many years and it bugs me that I've not yet tackled the job in a way that it would stay organized. The plan has always been 'same sized boxes, well labeled' . I just haven't had the energy at the same time that I've had the desire. Maybe your photos will be the push that I've needed to have that area spruced up. I should take some before photos (I cringe just thinking of it) and then *if* I do the job, I'll have documentation of what a monstrous job it was. ;o) Katie is such a sweet looking girl. I hope she feels better each day.

Speaking of sweet looking dogs.....'bug, that photo of your Charlotte is wonderful. The puppies are adorable and I'm eager to 'meet' your new little one in a few weeks. I met an OESD (Old English Sheepdog) once that impressed me (DH & I have had 4 OESDs over the years) and his name was Elliott. Loved the name and just tossing it out there in case it is one you'd not thought of yet.

Michelle, I've never shopped at Chicos but have heard of their sizing...I'd love to find a store and buy something just so I could say I wore a 0 or 1 or whatever. Your temperatures are wicked cold sounding! Good for you on having DH help you with some of the things around the house. DH seldom doesn't have a job planned for himself and I always feel so thrilled when he offers to help me do something on the list of things I'd like done.

Sue....I hope things at work calm down soon. I miss reading how things are going for you. I hope the play was enjoyable.

Well, I should get out of this chair and clean up the kitchen. I didn't do the dishes yesterday while the babies were here and for some reason the darn things didn't do themselves........I don't get what is up with that! ;o)

Norma, how are you doing?

One small snivel......I absolutely hate looking out into the pasture and not seeing Boo. It just doesn't seem possible that he is gone. I figured we had another 10 years at least with him and then *poof* in just a few hours life changed and he was gone. I hear it over and over 'embrace life and loved ones because we don't know how much longer we will have either of them'. I don't think I do enough embracing...and I don't think I'm thankful for my daily blessings enough. So......with that in mind.......you guys are a blessing in my life. I enjoy the camaraderie here and the special friendships that I've forged through this group. Thanks!

Okay, enough of the mushiness..... ;o)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 5:35PM
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Kathy, I have to clarify. It was -18 when we got up, but it was probably 2 or 3 degrees when I walked the dog after work. Its still cold here with -15 this a.m. and a high of 3, but this week is looking somewhat better. I wear ski pants, a Columbia jacket, muffler, hat, hood, gloves and boots and rarely get cold except my face. We do try to walk along or in the trees to stay out of the wind.

Chelone, the horses didn't belong to my grandparents as I didn't come from a farming family, but I'm sure it was news that traveled fast. Just think of the guy that was driving that team and how close the lightning must have been.

Kathy, I was suprised 2 summers ago when my cousins from CA visited and insisted on visiting our basement. They thought it was just the neatest thing to have all that storage.

Saucy, a house full of roses sounds wonderful in January. I am enjoying a vase of pink roses right now too.

We had a house full for several birthday celebrations. Our loose meat sandwiches, chips etc. sound down right boring compared to Deanne's and Chelone's recent meals.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Im reassured that Michelle was out for her walk in 2 or 3 degree temps instead of -18 ! Still a daunting prospect. I am a proponent of layers- I wear long underwear all winter for both outdoor activities and survival in my office which is often quite cold.

Basements are another matter. They seem to be pretty common in Oregon, especially in houses that are not new construction. Many are daylight basements which have normal windows on at least one side of the house . My BILs have a daylight basement , which is a very large family room, a bedroom and a full bathroom. I have noticed when viewing homes on the internet that in the houses built more recently , the basement seems to have been replaced by a bonus room which is usually upstairs , and is in fact a finished attic.

I got a lot done today again outside which is good because the rain is due back tommorow, and pulling weeds will be impossible next weekend in the wet soil. I think I need three full days outside still to really pull it into shape. I think Im going to schedule myself for two more days off this month.

Wonder what a loose meat sandwich is ? Ive never heard that term before.

T, was Boo your only horse ? Though I have not been Idylling as long as you have , it certainly did not take long for me to feel a real attachment to this group , virtual though it may be . Perhaps well lure some of them to the PNW for a visit someday !

Heres one of the official real estate photos of my house. Know anyone who needs a house ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 7:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

psst - didja see V. getting kissed by that famous plant breeder?

I'm back from the trade show and our church's women's retreat. Feels like I've been gone for days, but it was all good! The trade show went very well, we had lots of fun and an incredible dinner out in Chicago. For three days I pushed my younger, single coworker and a young single ex-employee towards each other at every opportunity. It finally stuck on Friday, and the coworker has already emailed me to thank me. I love it when a plan comes together...

The interesting news on the home front is that an upstairs bedroom window was shot out by an errant deer hunter. This weekend was a shotgun season here, and the cop who came out to take the report told us we were the third ones in the county to have been hit. This usually isn't a problem around here, but the cop had less than nice things to say about some of the newer hunters in the area. Since it was below zero when it happened, I'm guessing that the "perp" was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

My condolences on the recent series of pet losses, and belated high congratulations to Deanne and Doug on their milestone!

I'm sad that I missed the photos of t!

Kathy, there's a farmhouse that I pass every morning going to work that has a toilet sitting on the front porch. I'd love to take a photo of it sometime, but the owners seem a little odd (ya think?) and I don't want to get "caught" by them!

We had a chance to transfer to San Diego 23 years ago, and one of the smaller stumbling blocks for me was the complete lack of basements! I couldn't imagine not having one. We had a very scary attic in the house I grew up in, but then my parents had it converted to two bedrooms and a half bath. I got my own room and bathroom and was in heaven!

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Loose meat, aka taverns, sloppy joes, barbeques. I actually call them taverns but I believe that is a local term.

V, that is really scary. After the January tornados, what next.

We have had several incidents with hunters that has made me less than happy.

Kathy, your house is lovely and has great curb appeal.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 10:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

WE had a chilly start to our day at 9 degrees or so but not as cold as theyd predicted and I think this was supposed to be the coldest day. Doug and I went Outlet Shopping in Tilton yesterday and found him a lovely leather jacket at Eddie Bauer for half off the outlet price. That was our objective when setting off so that was a great find. Ive got an Eddie Bauer leather coat Id gotten on sale up there four years ago and it still looks like new.

V. you matchmaker you! ~~ How scary about the shot out window. Good grief! What the heck is wrong with these people. No excuse for that kind of crap.

Kathy, great photo of your house! Its lovely and has great curb appeal. ~~ RE being outside in the cold. I used to drive a team of draft horses for a farm in Candia NH doing sleigh rids in the winter. Wed be outside in 0 degrees or less. I had to wear pack boots and LOTS of layers. I can remember one New Years Eve we had the horses at a ski area and it was ten degrees out all night with a brisk wind. It was fun but not a job Id care to do again. ~~ So you are going to relocate near Swan Island Dahlias???? When can I come for a visit? LOL

Bug, those puppies are soooo cute!

Cynthia, Kudos to you for a great job cleaning out your attic. I couldnt figure out why you had a crib in the middle of the attic space until I realized it was a railing around the stairs. Silly me. ~~ Thats a cute picture of Katie in the before photo. Hows she doing?

Saucy, Im jealous of your roses! How wonderful.

Michelle, thanks for the information!

PM2 thanks for the info about Mahoneys.

Babs, Would love to get together with you sometime and share a couple martinis. Umm,m you havent seen me in person lately. The wrinkles are taking over. Oh well, Im heading toward 56 so I cant complain.

So Chelone, what were you celebrating when you had that Fabu-Fabu brunch? Did you get married in winter as well?

OK must get my day started here. Have a great one everybody.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 8:57AM
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It was just brunch out with friends, which I suppose is a celebration of sorts. I was a "June bride".

Kathy your house looks wonderful! Now, let's hope you have to beat them back from your door. May the sale be swift and profitable. (I always think a kitty adds to kerb appeal).

I'm impressed with V.'s matchmaking abilitites. Just takes persistence, huh? Actually, the helpmeet and I are the result of 2 mutual friends who worked diligently to get us together initially and then invited us along for chaperoned "dates". They got the shock of their lives when they stopped by the helpmeet's apartment early on a Sunday morning to see if he wanted to go out for breakfast with them. He casually mentioned he'd see if I wanted to go, too! and then bellowed up the stairs to me. LOL.

I was a good doobie yesterday and cleaned the garage in preparation for the paint guys. We finished up this morning, carting the debris out to the kerb. The guys are here now and are busily masking off the windows and the masonry in advance of the painting. They said they'll be done today, but I have my doubts... 2 full floors and 28'x36' is a really big area. Naturally, the electrician has not yet returned the helpmeet's call. :) (that's OK, I can take out my work frustrations on him!).

V., I can't say I'd be overly thrilled if some knucklehead shot out one of my windows. What's with them... get half hot and head out into the hinterland with a gun? And I'm enough of yankee to not be the least bit bothered by hunting. But watch where you're aimin' the gun and BURY the guts, please.

Time to load a piece of sheetrock into the car for return to the lumberyard. Later!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:04AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh my gosh, the puppy photos! lol How cute is he/she?! I just think they are so tiny...even their paws are not very big considering how large they will eventually become. Gbug, have you always had a Bouvier? What are the qualities that you appreciate? I assume they shed? My DH has a strong allergy to cats and a mild allergy to dogs. For awhile there I was considering getting a Labradoodle, but they are not easy to come by and very expensive. They are supposed to be great for people with allergies.

Gbug...also loved the sound of the 'attic' you had when you were little. We had an attic I loved because it had a huge window on the end and that side of the house overlooked an intersecting street and we were on the top of a hill, so the view was very different from the rest of the house. We had none of the lovely clothing that you describe though, which must have been a treasure for a little girl. :-)

Chelone....You really did sum up a lot of very interesting information on the birds for me..thanks! It does make me sad to think that they need to live in flocks and that they end up in captivity living in cages.

Renovations....I seem to have picked up the same lesson from Kathy's renovations...if I will have to do them to sell the house, why not do them now and enjoy them. [g] My problem is never being able to find good contractors. It is not easy at all. Home construction with screws....according to wikipedia, modular homes replace nails with screws. Who knew? [g]

Cynthia....you have introduced me to something I didn't even know existed..lol. I kept running NPR through my head and couldn't come up with a connection. DH came up with National Public Radio. So I googled it and how surprising, that I didn't even know they had a Public Radio station!! Not only does it look interesting, but it appears you can have it streaming on your computer too. So I will have to check it out. Thanks! Love that photo of Katie and your attic is really a good size.

Kathy....it would seem that your parents listened to classical and exposed you to it as a child? I don't know that I will ever feel as comfortable with classical as I do with popular music, but you never know. I have been to the Pops, but have never been to a symphony or an opera. The Three Tenors on PBS are as close as I have gotten to actually watching a classical performance and they did more non classical material than classical in that performance. [g] My best exposure has been two albums titled, The Most Relaxing Classical. I discovered quite a bit that I know and recognized. Evidently, by osmosis, lol. I am envisioning you out in the yard all day getting it all 'prettied' up with classical music drifting out your windows and through the neighborhood. :-)

LOVE the new photo of your house! I have a feeling you are going to sell it in no time at all. You are doing a great job in getting it ready for a new buyer and I hope they appreciate it! The new windows look wonderful! Looking forward to after photos of the gazebo area.

Michelle...amazing story of the team of horses struck by lightening! What a shock that must have been to the owners. Gosh.
Thanks for the info on inserting symbols in Word, great tip.
You have nice friends to supply you with plants to grow in the winter. Are they gardening friends? I started watering my Amaryllis the week after Christmas. I thought it bloomed really quickly. My DH loves hyacinth and we will usually start bringing them home from the supermarket as soon as they are available.

Bullets through the window, V??!! Scary to think what might have happened. Possibly the town might want to rethink the boundaries of areas where hunting is allowed?

Spent the afternoon watching football yesterday. DH is sorting through the pile of papers on the desk today. I am delayed in putting more seeds out, waiting for a little warmer weather. Spent some time this morning looking at the Swan Island Dahlia site and Brent & Becky's.

Enjoy your holiday! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my! Today is a holiday? Not here. In fact, DH is at work at the university today reading thesis revisions for the millionth time.

I heard from a French Club friend that Ontario has instituted a new holiday, Family Day, on February 18th. It is catching many people by surprise and many meetings have been scheduled for that day and must now be canceled. Children will be home from school, etc. I guess they envision the old fashioned family of four sharing cozy activities together. That is just not today's reality, but any kind of family time can be a good thing.

I am not a bit keen on hunters. The problem for me is a matter of trust in their skills and their proximity to my home. They tramp across our land to reach the blinds they have constructed. They use walkie-talkies and things mechanical that put the animals at a complete disadvantage. They leave beer bottles in the woods. In the abstract, I am in favour of culling the deer population, but after actually watching the deer, it does break my heart. I do enjoy venison. Hate the road accidents with deer. I wish hunters here didn't have to shoot everything that wiggles. I know Charlotte liked to kill everything that moved too. I'm a mass of contradictions.

Well Bouviers have wonderful temperaments and their personalities fit well with mine. Some info here:
The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog- powerfully built, rugged and formidable in appearance. Its harsh double coat protects him in all types of weather; while his keen sense of smell and watchful gaze make him a most suitable farm dog. The Bouvier is agile, spirited and bold with a calm and steady manner. He thrives on plenty of room to work and exercise, but is not an "outdoor dog"; he must live with his loving people -- his "flock," his "pack".

The Bouviers origin is that of a cattle herder and general farmer's helper. He is an ideal farm dog. He has been used as an ambulance and messenger dog. Modern times find him as a watch and guard dog as well as a family friend, guardian and protector. His intelligence, sense of threat discrimination and keen scent qualifies many Bouviers to excel in police work, tracking and drug detection. His initiative also makes him an ideal guide dog for the blind.
Bouviers are big and big-hearted. They are strong and can think for themselves. This dog is tough, brave, alert, and loyal. It does not like teasing. The Bouvier is an equable dog, steady, resolute and fearless.
Bouviers need reasonable amounts of exercise. Dogs were bred through the centuries for working, herding, and other jobs and they still need an outlet for their energy. A good walk or lively game of fetch will help keep your Bouvier fit to live with.
Bouviers are social animals. The family gives your dog a social structure and a sense of security, which helps him develop into a well-behaved, happy animal. The house becomes his "den," a safe place where he can rest and relax with his family. While he's not overly active in the house, he does need plenty of exercise.
A Bouvier, being a long-haired breed, must be kept clean and well groomed for the comfort of both the owner and the dog. Bouviers have tousled, double coat capable of withstanding the hardest work in the most inclement weather. The outer hairs are rough and harsh, with the undercoat being fine, soft and dense. Weekly grooming with a brush and comb is required. The ears, nails and teeth require ample attention.

So, PM2, in my own words this time, I love Bouviers. I've known quite a few but Charlotte was my very first dog ever. I used to be allergic to all dogs, but dogs with hair (not fur) are easy for me. This means French Poodles & Bouviers mainly. I'd say that our cats shed far more than our dog ever did. The hard part for us was grooming burrs from her coat and cutting her nails. She never wanted anyone to even LOOK at her nails. She had a sense of humor, loved playing tag and ball...and was a real joy.

I was raised on classical music and punished for listening to anything else (including The Lone Ranger). Friends were not allowed to visit often, and when they did, the opera usually quickly chased us out of doors. Yet, I am fond of much classical music, though I resisted learning to identify composers and their musical styles. Foolish waste of opportunity I think now. But DH is mostly a folk and popular music guy, so I've learned a bit about all that too.

Kathy, your house is ever so charming! There are homes in the right price range but that you would simply drive past. Not so yours! All the windows make for cheery brightness indoors and nice garden views. It must bring a tear to your eye to be leaving what used to be "home". But there's excitement ahead! I must say though that cleaning things up for a sale is a depressing tradition with us too. We used to do that with our VW campers and I hated that. Our last home was the same thing. We spent about $5000 on details that made it such a happier place. We should do that here, NOW!

And now the new week has begun and i am gradually preparing for weekend company: guest room tidy up, meal plan, serious vacuuming,etc.

Hope it is warmer at your place!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 12:14PM
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Kathy, that is a sweet house! Let the bidding wars begin :)

So when is this Artic Iowa air supposed to clear out? Michelle I wish you wouldn't say your farmhouse is uninteresting. What about that ranch house sized shed? :) And you have done wonderful creative things with the interior. And even more importantly, your outdoor views take my breath away, so who would look at the house anyway? :)

My kitchen is hovering at the 50F mark and in spite of lots of windows for solar never got past 52 in there yesterday. There was frost on the inside of the attic windows when I did mouse patrol this AM, so I think my 28% humidity escaped up those stairs when I cracked the door last night.

GB it's a very important holiday today in the states. Martin Luther King Day. None of us will live long enough to see discrimination eradicated in the US. It seems to be directed mostly towards the gay/lesbian population at this point. I hope someday that minority will have their own Susan B Anthony or Martin Luther King to lead towards equal rights.

Chelone, house is 1925 and too big for me. Houses in this part of Maryland don't have decent lots. Most are 'reach out and touch the neighbors' type set ups. So I ended up looking by lot size and year built when I moved down here. I only have a half an acre, but other houses in the neighborhood have 1 or 2 acres, so I bought more house than I needed to get that little bit of land and the illusion of more outdoor space from neighbor's land :)

I'm taking a break from shredding. Yes, another feint stab at bringing some order to my office. Hey 't'? January is a great month to clean out and organized. Don't worry about boxed all the same size, just make sure they have covers so you can get in and out of them easily when you want something. Bankers boxes work well, and boxes that printer/photocopy paper comes in. I have very few of the later because George kitty likes to sit in them and bite the edges. They end up to raggedy for use. If you start going through the 'stuff' you'll get hooked on cleaning it out!

Deanne, nice score at Eddie Bauer! There were no outlets in Tilton when I lived in NH. I used to go up to the Kittery outlets which was a nice drive on a week-end.

The hunting story reminds me of the woman in Maine many many years ago who left her infants in the house and went outside to hang clothes on the line. A hunter mistok her white mittens for the underside of deer's tail and shot her through the woods.

I've finished my little lunch and need to make the most of what's left of this day! I do really enjoy puttering :)

PS: I miss summer!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I remember that hunting horror story you referenced, Cynthia. Very tragic. Some local guys were hunting very close to our home several years ago. The helpmeet was out with the dogs (Chris and Sally) and heard the shot, TOO CLOSE. The dogs instantly caught the scent and booked off into the woods with helpmeet hot behind. He found the guys, gutting the deer, and the dogs were dashing in to snag small bits of the innerds. The guys looked up guiltily and apologized; helpmeet shrugged and said he figured they knew where the houses were. He loaned them a shovel to bury the guts... they laughed and remarked the dogs would be out there every day for a month if they didn't. Another guy asked if he could park his truck in the "bat cave entrance" (back driveway) while he hunted. We said, sure, but would you leave the keys on the floor in case we have to move it? He grinned and said, "sure". When I was in high school it was a big deal for the guys to take the NRA Safe Hunter course and go out hunting. Sure, it's got a grim side, but on the whole I know so many people who love the sport and undertake it with care and respect that it doesn't bother me all that much.

The Salon has received its prime coat (you'd be thrilled, Cynthia)! It's still wet and they're working on masking the first floor now. I'm not sure they'll get it finished, but if they have to work tomorrow it won't be the end of the world. The "torpedoes" will have to run one more night to get everything appropriately dried. Next job will be mine; painting the ceiling. (After the electrician finishes and the furnace is brought on line. I dread the initial filling of the oil tank, though!).

We took a cruise down to Home Cheapo to look at stock window and door casings. They were not terribly exciting and not all that cheap. While there we encountered the talented guy who made the china cabinet for us. He suggested we call a guy in a neighboring town who has a lumber business and a moulding cutting machine. You pick the detail you want and he mills what you want from the stock in his yard. Less money than Orange. We're going to fiddle around with some ideas and then go up to see him. We agreed that we'd rather pay a local guy than ship our money of the Orange's "central office".

I believe I was in 3rd.-4th. grade when MLK was murdered. I remember Mum telling me that he was an important man that many hated because he had black skin and replying that that seemed stupid to me. "IT IS stupid, sweetie.", and she talked about the courage required to be non-violent in defense of your beliefs. Many, many years later, having dinner with some gay friends I asked about the Stonewall uprising, of which I knew nothing. I always joked that I was the token woman at their gatherings and all eyes turned toward me as they explained what occured that night in NYC. Sometimes the outrage over inequity boils over. Everyone deserves to be safe in their pursuit of their dreams; and everyone deserves equal protection under the law. We probably won't live to see discrimination in its many forms stamped out in our lifetime, but haven't we come a long way already? and how exciting is it that we have both a woman and a black man as truly viable candidates for the presidency of our country?! I allow myself to believe that this is the beginning of something exciting. Google's home page graphic for today is a fun one, full of hope. What person might emerge as a symbol for gay/lesbian equality? I don't think I have a vague clue!

Funnily enough, I DON'T miss summer. It's been so long since I didn't have the incessant worry about Mum on my mind that I believe I'm actually seeing winter with "new" eyes. I don't want to hurry my rediscovery of the seasons one little bit. They will change in due course.

I would like to hear from Eden, Honey, Ei, Brenda. Da? I know how quickly inundated you can become by "life". And I don't think that lesson will ever be "lost" on me.

I hope you've had a great holiday.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Good Monday eveningand a cold one here. We expect the rare dusting of snow on our higher elevations here tonight- 1000 ft and above. My task for the evening is to clear off the kitchen counter surfaces for the demolition of my existing counter top and fixtures tomorrow. I will not be sorry to see them go, they have seen better days for sure. Needless to say I will be having take-out for dinner , as the prep area will be unavailable.

Well thanks too for all the nice remarks on my house ! I must say that the nice young lady who took the pics did a very skilful job of taking angles that did not expose missing siding, trim and etc while construction is in process.
Met with my tax lady today too, strategizing on how I will *not* pay capital gains on the sale of my house.

Sloppy Joes ! I get it now Michelle. I cant even remember when the last time I had one of those was !

Deanne, I must say you are the first person of my acquaintance who had past career driving draft horses on sleigh rides ! And yes, I will be reasonably close to Swan Island , about 60ish miles Id say. There are so many growers and nurseries in that area, Ill be having to put a chastity belt of sorts on my wallet .

Cynthia, I always love seeing photos of your container patio arrangement. Most appreciated on this cold rainy evening. I noted with interest your comment about having to get a larger house than you need to get more lot- I will very likely have to do the same. My current house is about 2000 sq ft, and most that Ive seen so far with the lot size Im after are a bit larger than that.

Chelone, moldings are a product category that most home-centers/lumberyards actually make a decent profit on (unlike dimensional commodity lumber ) and Home Despot is no exception. Local guys will often have more profiles and competitive pricing as you observed.

Ok, time to get back to the kitchen packing project. At least the commode is re-installed and not in the middle of the bedroom !

Tra and Hi to everyone ..
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:01PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

My Monday morning got off to a very happy start. The very first thing was a phone call from the male half of the couple I "matched". He thanked me about fifteen times for saying nice things about him and encouraging the coworker to go out with him. They spent most of the weekend together and are making more plans.

pm2, there are a few NPR junkies in this group. You mentioned not being raised on classical music but recognizing a lot of it. If you were raised on Mighty Mouse and Looney Tunes cartoons, you may have been raised on more classical than you realize! There was no classical played in my childhood home, but I was amazed when I was older to find out how much of the music I had picked up from Saturday morning cartoons!

I was 12 when MLK was murdered and I was living in a Chicago neighborhood that had more racial prejudice than some parts of the deep South. There were riots that night that were close to where I lived; we could here the National Guard helicopters overhead. I am grateful for teachers and authors who opened my eyes to the hatred that was standard fare when I was growing up.

Michelle, you should have let Kathy wonder a bit longer about the nature of a "loose" meat sandwich.

Cynthia, thanks for the summer photos. It will return, right? At the moment it's snowing fairly heavily. We may have six inches by morning. And I found out today that I will have to drive north early Wednesday morning. But that drive will give me the opportunity to see my friend the orchid peddler. I suspect that there will be new plants in the house on Thursday...

I did bring home a coleus plant and a large tropical plant from the last trade show. The tropical is at work waiting for friendlier weather to come home.

'bug, how widespread are your holidays like Family Day? In other words, will most folks have the day off, or will kids be out of school while their parents are working? We had a crazy situation in our state for several years - most larger companies recognized President's Day as a holiday, but the state (and therefore the schools) recognized Lincoln's birthday. (The state of Illinois knows that Lincoln was the only President worth honoring.) So the parents had to make arrangements for the kids to be off one day, then a week or so later the parents would be off but the kids in school. Amazingly, the state came to its senses and allowed the schools to choose which day to recognize. Most now go with the federal holiday.

I'd heard the story about the woman with the white gloves and I do not wear white outside in hunting season. I've done Hunter Safety myself although I do not hunt at all - I have an astigmatism in one eye and I can't hit a target worth a darn. Usually the hunters around us are very well mannered. DH is trying to track down who it might have been.

OK, I swore I would read the paper before I went to bed. Time's a-wasting.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:02PM
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V, you never divulged the identity of the Mystery Kisser at the show.Typical convention-eer behavior I must say ! Are we never to know ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning... :-)

Quick catch up this morning...I have too many books out of the library and they have to go back later today.

V...'Here I come to save the day!' Yes, I did realize that cartoons had given me a classical base. lol Plus a few commercials. Don't forget the Lone Ranger...GBug, I am surprised that the Lone Ranger was off the list of allowables since it had a classical music theme song. I am so sorry to hear that music was so regimented at your house growing up. Sorta takes all the fun out of it, I imagine. Sounds like you corrected that situation when you became a parent. Among other things I am sure.

That sitting area sure looks inviting Cynthia!

GBug...What a wonderful dog was Charlotte. :-) I had the impression you had a long procession of dogs, what a surprise that she was your first! I did know that poodles were better for people with allergies, but didn't realize that Bouviers had hair like a poodle. Thanks. Are you any closer to choosing a name for the new puppy?

Good Tuesday, that feels like a Monday, to all...

National Geographic Photo of the Year

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 6:18AM
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Cynthia, I've been thinking of Eucomis all winter, determined to have one this summer. 'Sparkling Burgundy' is the cultivar that's offered frequently, I believe (?) Love the pot grouping. Now I've got that Longfellow poem in my head, "stood the wigwam of Eucomis/Nokomis" boom, boom, boom -- which was me beating on the drum in grade school. What a crowded, musty attic a middle-aged brain is. Wish I could get in there and sort things out, make a few piles for rubbish removal, etc.

Kathy, I echo comments above. Get ready to be homeless.

Wonderful to hear the salon is closer and closer to final stages.

'bug, I love reading breed descriptions. Caught the "tail end" of a show on dogs a couple nights ago, how a German Shepherd had been trained to detect the chemical changes in a young diabetic whose diabetes was out of control. The GS was able to alert family members to dangerous levels, thus avoiding seizures. The GS was at the boy's side 24/7.
Dogs = angels.

One of my new year's resolutions was to start reading fiction again, as in my book-addled youth. Started off with a new translation of the Brothers Karamazov, about 2 pages in. Did you know Constance Garnett's translation has been superceded? ;o)

Michelle, your descriptions are so clear, straightforward, but remain with me for such a long time, like the horses and lightening. Didn't know about loose meat either, I must confess.

Worked on MLK day, though the train was lightly occupied. The Dream speech was played on the NewsHour last night, which tears me up every darn time I hear it. I bet Cindy worked too.

Our Thanksgiving, ironically, was overshadowed with the "coming out" of a cousin, who was refused permission to come to my table (unbeknownst to me!!) unless his partner remained home. Found all this out days later, when I kept asking where's my cousin, only to be met by stubborn silence from the olders. Finally dragged it out of them. We contacted the cousin later to set things right, telling him that he and his partner were invited in our home anytime.

feast or famine from me these days. that'll do for now. Wave to all.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Good morning! Twins' mom still battling a 102 fever, feeling weak and miserable so I brought the little ones here yesterday and kept them overnight. They are still asleep (wish I was, LOL). Good heavens but these little ones sound like little piggies as they sleep. Snorting, grunting, moaning and then we also heard a period of laughing by one and had sobbing at 2:44 a.m. by the other. Needless to say their dear Gramps went to work looking a bit bleary-eyed this morning. ;o)

17 degrees this morning. Cannot imagine the cold temps that Michelle, V and the majority of you have been experiencing. 17 is darn cold for us. I think the coldest temp I remember is 3 degrees here in zone 8. It doesn't get that low very often. My rhodies are looking a bit wilted and limp. My mother said her daffodils were starting to poke through the ground but I've not noticed anything sprouting up in my beds. On the freeway yesterday, I followed a nursery truck heading to make a delivery to a little, privately owned nursery along the route I take to the twins' home. I wondered if they were already gearing up for the spring planting season? Can't imagine it. The nursery looked pretty empty of plants and those that were there, looked a bit dismal.

V, scary about the window being shot out!

Well, I need one more cup of coffee before the babies awaken (at least one more).

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:22AM
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No holiday here yesterday, the post office was closed but even the bank was open.

PM2, around here its hard to find good contractors to do the smaller jobs.

T, sorry to hear that your DD is sick, but it is nice that you can step in for her. I remember being sick with little ones and not having that luxury.

Cynthia, sorry to say its still cold here, but your wonderful tropical pictures warmed me right up. Funny, but that fact that our house is so boring is exactly what got me started gardening, thanks for the kind words.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 4:35PM
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Just stopped in to let you know that Eddie Bauer is giving things away again. My favorite jeans marked down to 19.99 and add coupon code 'email8' to get another 20% off, so $15 for their $45 jeans :) I left a few size 6 tall for you 't'!

Denise I saved some Eucomis seeds, I wonder where I put them? I've also read that leaf cuttings are easy. I never seem to have leaves and time at the same moment though.

T/'t', sorry your husband didn't sleep well, but it made me laugh because I slept through 4AM and 4:28AM phone calls this morning. And my office phone 'reads' the caller ID out loud between rings, so it's quite noisy and just down the hall from my bedroom. (One of my folks was in Japan.) I'm often up at that hour, but not today and nothing could wake me - well, maybe if Katie had cooed? That's different.

Later ~

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Officially, I heard that we got just over 4" of snow, but it sure looks like more than that. I made it home through the driveway with no problem, but decided that it was a little deep for DH's Honda Insight, currently residing at the airport. I called the guy who had plowed for me last month and he was here in 5 minutes! Awesome...

Kathy, I was being a tease and waiting for someone to ask! Yes, those shows tend to be very kissy affairs. The mystery kisser was Dan from Terra Nova. I got to know him at the show several years ago and have had the chance to have dinner with him more than once. A great guy with great stories to listen to. I blame him for my heuchera addiction.

Just had a phone call from a guy who hunts in the area, and he was shocked to hear that we had a window shot out. Interestingly, twice now one particular party has been mentioned as a possible culprit. Being a small world around here, I will be seeing his wife Friday afternoon for a haircut. I'll have to ask her what her DH was doing on Saturday. Perhaps I should bring this up when the haircut is almost done?

Deanne, I meant to say that I saw the date for the TYNAW party and I am checking on the possibilities. I need to clear it at work as I will be making the prior weekend a 4 day weekend. I should know by the weekend. Any other long distance idyllers going to jump in?

I need to water plants and pack a suitcase. I swore to the dogs that I would be home for a month, so I'm expecting mega-nasty looks from them as I pack.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Cynthia, do you compost the shredded paper you generate? If you do, how do you go about it? layer it with vegetative material... what? We don't have a shredder. Things of grave importance go into the woodstove, but I'm increasingly wary of "identity theft" and have given fleeting thought to a shredder.

Paint guys are gone, but the torpedo remains... for another 24 hrs.. A family pow-wow has determined that the LOSER electrician is no longer part of the picture. Helpmeet and his estimable brother are going to complete the wiring. The call is in to the furnace guy and we have great confidence in both him and his wife. The place looks AWESOME. Cynthia, you would be in complete "hog heaven", dusting your hands on your jeans and totally, "good to go"... I, however, see nothing more than a primed canvas... :) I am shocked at how little it cost to have them do the job! Suffice it to say that if I'm ever asked about the electrician I will HAPPILY fill in the blanks.

Rather a lot of fur was lost on Friday when I let loose with both barrels. I arrived "late" today, but am not sure that judiciously interspercing late arrivals with my preferred start time may not prove the best course of action until the end of February. This is, Babs., not the best of economic times to raise one's middle finger and stalk out in huff... . I'm far too pragmatic to burn bridges when things are too far from "intolerable". While it may not be "easy", I do have rather a nice, steady business here; I "cherry pick" the things I wish to do, by-passing the "dogs". Better, methinks, to settle back on "me haunches" and carefully scrutinize the pros and cons. The Salon is not ready to go yet and neither is the present economic climate. Is it wise to wait? methinks, yes.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:10PM
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Air-kissing Dan Heims!! (maybe no air?)

Hope the door doesn't hit the electrician on the way out...loser!

Are those Eucomis from seed? I used to start seeds in tofu containers, perfect for slipping on a plastic baggie to cold stratify in the fridge.

Somehow the dryer nearly exploded from build up of corgie fur and is being tackled by father and son as darkness falls. And the kitchen sink mysteriously backed up, the first time in recent memory. Heavy winds a week ago rattled the old sash windows so hard that the lower light in one of Duncan's windows broke and slid out. The to-do list stretches ever longer. Rain tonight. Temps in 50s.

On Sat. evening we attended the surprise 80th birthday party of my dad's first cousin Rose, who was more like an aunt to me than a 2nd cousin. Rose is a very elegant, truly nice lady who maybe looks 60 and can still walk 3 miles, has full-time care of her two beautiful teenage grandchildren. This is one of those rare people who never had a garbage disposal or dishwasher installed in her kitchen, didn't see the need for it, and Kathy can vouch that Torrance real estate values amply support home renovations. Back to the party, Rose walks into the hushed, darkened room, expecting to have dinner with just my parents in kind of a mid-range restaurant like a Marie Callendar's, the lights go up, surprise! and there she is resplendent in a fiery red crepe/sequined number. She swears she didn't know there was a surprise party but just wanted to wear the dress because it was her 80th birthday. I've got to get some pictures off my dad's digital.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Who mentioned air? ;)


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Prudent thinking Chelone, in view of the unsettled economic climate..One should bargain from a position of strength-i.e. you either have something else lined up or you successfully bluff that you do. I however am tossing my fiscal conservative leanings to the dogs and selling a house in one of the worst real estate downturns in memory ! Carpe Diem , by God !

The sign went up an hour ago-Coming Soon . To dark for a decent pic.

And a contractor story: One of my dry rot items was one of the posts holding my front porch roof up. (Very small front porch I might add) . On that post I had my Clematis Armandii. On Saturday when I was feverishly doing yard cleanup I realized I needed to ask my contractor if I would be able to untie the vine and flop it on the ground a bit (also a trellis involved) and still allow him the space to remove and replace the 4x6 post.I was prepared to loose it if I had to, but its budding up and the potential buyers might have a swoon moment as they enter the door with the fragrance wafting about. Later in the morning I was in the RV adding stuff to the debris pile when I noticed a 4 x 6 post that looked quite like my porch post. I went back out front and could see that I was looking at the new post, already installed, and the Clematis totally undisturbed and tied back onto the post . Looked like it had never been moved. 2 thumbs up to Mr Contractor !

PM , thanks for sharing that NG photo- Is it the Grand Tetons ? I am so intrigued by your winter sowing that I went over and lurked awhile last night on that forum. I cant wait to try it next winter when Im in Oregon. Count me in as another NPR listener. Ive been listening since the 70s. We have two or three NPR stations in the Bay Area, but I mostly listen to KQED San Francisco, and KCSM out of San Mateo which is a jazz station. Thank goodness they both have streaming audio, especially KCSM decent jazz stations are very hard to find.

Denise, a few years ago I decided I would read all of Henry James, but somehow got off track and ended up reading all of DH Lawrence instead . I do read fiction and try to rotate light fiction with classics. I usually read a non-fiction concurrently. 50 sounds pretty nippy for coastal Socal I am at 40 right now and have not been much over that all day.
Torrance ? I had no idea it was so avant garde ! Sequins ---my my. I do recall when the South Bay May Company was the height of fashion.

V, so glad you spilled the beans about you and Dan from Terra Nova. The shows I go to have way too many hardlines dudes they can buy me drinks, but I aint kissing any of them !

OK time to go.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 10:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

May I?

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 11:59PM
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Nice lid, 'bug!

I definitely want to see the red sequinned number, Denise. I have no problem growing old as long as I manage to retain (most) of my "button" and still manage to see the fun in things. Your "aunt" Rose sounds like a lovely woman. One of the beauties of no dryer is no accumulated dryer lint or dryer fires... (if the woodstove goes up we'll just lose the entire house!).

I don't think you're going to lose out too much on the price of your home, Kathy. Nicely maintained homes in desireable locations hold value even in the toughest times.

Another NPR junkie, here. We've been proud members of Maine Public Radio for going on 20 years now. I find their morning programming a little dull (has been all classical music for as long as we've been members); I love Diane Rehm and wish they'd pick it up. I can assure you I will master the "streaming" thing when the Salon becomes home base. And as far as being raised with classical music... I was, too. Both the 'rents loved music (Dad was the jazz afficionado) and it was not uncommon for the mornings to begin with the Sousa marches, lol. It was, evidently, a great way to get the kids motivated for another exciting day. And Rossini's "Barber of Seville" will forever be linked to Bugs Bunny giving Elmer Fudd a haircut. :) I would love to have the Warner Bros. cartoons on DVD.

Jeez, the sun is brightening the eastern horizon, the day's damn near half gone... I gotta get going!

Hope everyone has a brilliant day.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:38AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That baby is getting so big, so fast, Gbug! :-)

Michelle....just started looking for contractors through Angie's List which is by paid subscription. Clients review their work and there is a data base you can search in your area. Hoping it will help a little. Can't say if those in the data base are any good or not. You might have one in your area too.

Denise...your house sounds a lot like mine. Too long a list...lol. your Aunt Rose, sounds like she is very spry for her age. Would love photos.

Kathy....Peter Essick was the photographer and the place is Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia Chile. It is part of a series of Pictures of the Year for 2004. I found an interesting article about this photographer. He evidently has a passion for documenting global warming in photographs. Some of his work was in An Inconvenient Truth.

I just looked up about ten minutes ago to see the sky still fairly dark, and the moon right outside my window..at 6:50am. lol I opened my window on this very cold morning to get the picture and now for some odd reason, my camera won't upload it. ...

So I will be back later if I can get it to work.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:09AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Worked after I restarted the computer. Not a very clear photo. I tried zooming, I think that was a waste of time. I tried the landscape setting on my camera, I think I will go back to automatic. [g]


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:25AM
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Happy Wednesday to one and all.

Count me amongst those who has a true distain for dishwashers. I use the one that came with the house to store Pyrex and other breakable cookware. My mom uses hers to store potato chips and other snacks that can get squished. There's just something soothing about warm soapy water.

Yes, I do use a dryer but only because I really don't like staticy clothes.

V -- the dogs will understand if you show them pics of the kissee :-) But will DH???? LOL Anyway, have fun at the next round. Herchera addictions aren't since there's nothing bad about multitudes of easy to care for plants with amazing foliage all about gardens.

Love the hat, 'bug. Reed looks a bit overwhelmed :-)

Saucy: I almost cried when I saw the inside pics of your house, since the one I grew up in must've been an almost duplicate floorplan. What kids wouldn't love growing up in a house like that??

Kathy: Congrats, congrats, congrats!! Good heads up to the contractor -- the good ones will respect plants they know are there. Rich has been TRAINED to ask if there's anything he should be careful with before ripping in. If I'm remembering correctly, there is an arbor that your DH built for you and you had a duplicate built in the front?? Are you taking either with you?? Forgive me if my memory is lapsing.

HOOOOOZAAAAAAH CHELONE!!! The loser electrician should've been outta there long ago. I needed to hire one this week (go figure :-) and I made him put in writing that he would complete the work in one day since it isn't Rich's usual guy. He was beyond awesome. There are good ones out there... Though I'm loving the idea of you using the salon for economic purposes, I thoroughly understand the hesitancy to do it Right Now. But, with V's wicker and some things I have floating around and Kathy moving to a new house, there's probably three jobs already lined up :-)

Michelle: Wow!! I would've guessed that you were a gardener long before living on the farm. Thought of you while watching a History Channel production on technology in farming. How cool is some of this stuff!! The software I saw was for exactly applying fertilizer to reduce waste and runoff. No more mules and scrapers, huh?

PM - I saw the same moon this morning and stopped in my tracks just to look. Thanks for making the vision permanent.

Denise: Can folks who do what you do for a career write books? I'll bet you have some fabulous stories. A very good girlfriend (GardenXCat on forums) is an upper level legal assistant type and has gotten story telling without breaching confidentiality down to a science. A lot of garden forays have been moving laugh fests at what people come up with for excuses... How is DS doing in NY?

Marian: I was trying to describe your red cliffs to someone because they just amaze me so. Would you mind reposting the pic of them?

T: VaVaVaVoom!! You've got to feel 1,000,000 times better than you did a year ago. What do you do to get your little darlings to wake up laughing? Very cool.

Given the "it's not a recession, yet" state of affairs (tell that to several top-shelf contractors who don't have work right now) we have a very strict garden budget this year. Please weigh in on this thought:

For a few years we have been looking at a Newport-style arbor in white. It's something that Rich Could build, but works out to be only 50% actual $$ savings and would take up time when he could be earning money. So ....

I'm thinking wrought iron or something similar. It definitely would be truer to the style of the house, would be far less bulky, but I don't know about upkeep. Thoughts?

HI to everyone..


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Nick and I were just laughing about Bugs doing his Jeckyl and Hyde bit :) Barber of Seville is one of my favorites. The kids like the old Tom and Jerry before they added so much dialogue. Ahhh, the good ole days when violence on t.v. was actually funny.

Now t.v. violence is just shocking. Guess that means I'm old now :)

Frontline was about the internet. Nick and I watched and were horrified when they likened the internet to the largest generation gap since Rock 'n' Roll. GASP....will my kids be that groovy? Will I be the old fart generation who just "didn't get it"? It was a shocking Frontline. I plan to watch it again. Jake is starting to ask if he can instant message......

Martie, I think this house plan must be pretty popular as I've been in several colonials around with similar layouts. The columns were added in the 50/60's we think. When we stripped the wallpaper we were able to see the addition.

Kathy, I want to move into your house! That seems like a lot of square footage to me! I thought houses were much smaller in sq ft on the west coast :) I think it's going to fly off the market!

PM, great moon shot! I love the way it's been lighting up the night sky.

V., yes, inquire about the husband at the END of the haircut :) I have long been afraid of the hunters behind my house....Zeus is awfully deer-like on those spindly legs of his.....

I've gotta run. There is not enough time in the day but I refuse to give up my morning hours of gym and Idyll.....


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:00AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, I have no pic of red cliffs....it must have been someone else. My pics of the Steel Creek Bluffs are silver colored. Did you mean them?


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We also loved cartoons on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. Then later in the day, westerns for me and my brother and if there was a musical with Fred and Ginger, I was glued to the set, but for some reason, my brother would disappear. [g]

Kathy...happy to hear you had a chance to visit the winter sowing forum. Next winter, you will find there is a lot of information in the FAQs, that spell out what and how. Also very responsive group, happy to answer questions.

Chelone...we have had a shredder for awhile and I try to get everyone in the house on board with shredding anything that has any personal information. It is amazing the information that is on papers we throw away. Our library now gives paper receipts when you check out books and I never used to think twice about throwing that little slip of paper away, but it does have my name, address and library account number on it, so even that small receipt goes through the shredder. I do once in awhiile think about using it to compost, but haven't tried that yet.

't' ...hope the twins mom is feeling better. :-)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:40PM
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