Idyll # 420 - Looking Ahead

saucydog(z5MA)January 12, 2009

I like the idea of looking ahead past winter as a diversion....

So carry on idylls!

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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all... I am setting here breakfastless since I am going in for a checkup and don't know if I will be having blood drawn. :-(
The office gal that called Sat. morning didn't know either, so suggested I come in earlier than the 10:30 appointment,just in case, and eat breakfast in town afterwards, before going back in for the appointment. So..that is what I am going to do.

It warmed up during the night and is now 35 so there will no frost on the car windows, like there was yesterday morning.

Chelone, I wish I were there now so I could go thru the clothes you are disposing of. I like clothes that are not the 'modern' styles. :-)
I am with your DH on the books too. Thank goodness our son told me not to throw anything away. :-)
I don't think he meant all the 'paper' that I have stached around. :-)
I am afraid I don't 'putter' around my plants very much. I neglect them terribly. Only occasionally do I get in the mood to pluck off dead leaves and to water them. A lot of the times it is when I need an 'escape' from the livingroom, and Nolon's numerous bodily function noises that he makes !!! As you said earlier about your Dh's groanings, I leave the romm when his noises get to me. If the TV is on, I can pretty well ignore them.....

I am hating these dark mornings. I have a hard time coping with them being darker later in January than they were before the equinox! Overcast or foggy mornings do not help either. I haven't figured which we have this morning.The fog is frequently not down around our house, but is heavy up on the hill as we go out.
Thank goodness I can see the differance in the later sunset, and it was clear when the moon arose last night. It was gorgeous!

LOL, Kathy. Doobie and Ted look very contented by the remains of the Nepeta.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 8:57AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good Monday morning all. I'm trying to sound positive, is it working? It was a rather boring weekend. I'm tired of being 'laid up'. Hugs to Idyllers and family who are under the weather or have broken bones.

Since I'm working from home I usually have the morning news on. On the Today show they mentioned a recent poll of women. The question was which would you rather give up for TWO weeks: Sex or the Internet? I didn't even have to think about it, I have internet withdrawal. LOL HMMMM.....
The results were about 50-50 I believe. I wonder how many people were just ashamed to admit the truth?

DH just arrived with lunch. Yea! :)

Later friends,


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 12:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here's something to keep Jerri and others busy for a minute. I thought it was funny, but I don't live my life that way. First of all I like gifts, sure, but not always on holidays. "Just because" gifts are the best, and compost or a treadmill make for a fabu-fabu gift IMO.

Here is a link that might be useful: the doghouse

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mission accomplished! After the blood was drawn, I went to the usual downtown cafe' and had coffee and a biscuit and sausage for breakfast. Back at the dr's I told her about how bad my chest hurts when I carry in the wood. She decided another EKG needed ran on me. It showed no I figured.
At the first store I went to, I discovered I had only one blank check! I used it, then after the doc I went to the bank and got some cash. At WalMart I was picking up things right and left, until it finally dawned on me....I didn't have enough cash to cover it. So, I back-tracked and put a bunch of it back. :-(
I told the checker to stop when she got to $50 because that was all I had. My purchases came to $47.49 !

Anyhooo, I will return tomorrow, with my checks, and finish shopping. LOL

Chelone, I remembered, (on my way to town), your question about how I carried my wood in. I carry it on my arm. I will look for a log carrier when in town tomorrow. I think that may not hurt me so bad.

Saucy, don't worry about the roman numeral on your thread. I had to look them up to see which was 4 and which was 6 !
All who are involved are not going to worry about which one it is, just as long as it 'is'. :-)
I would so love to go, but I have to take one day at a time, and not make any long range plans. If it should be possible, I 'will' be there. :-)

Nap time ....

Talk to you all later.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 3:33PM
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I just noticed the beautiful moon shining through the window over my right shoulder. I think it's full and a round, full moon always make me think of my Idyll friends all across this country and beautiful Canada to the north.

The stove is fully loaded, the house is cozy, and it's time for me to brush my teeth and toddle off to bed.

But I wanted you to know that the moon makes me think of each of you. N-night.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 7:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Your Mom must have read Good Night Moon to you when you were little. We read it to Reed just before the service, which in fact was a good thing for us.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 8:22PM
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Ok, 5:30pm right now, January, Northern California, 73 degrees. Its really almost creepy ! I had to water some containers when I got home from work. Slider is wide open. No rain in the forecast this week, not good. IÂm having Denise weather. My Select Seed order came today ! Yay . Seed starting this weekend. Hopefully I will be allowed to water plants this summer-if this keeps up weÂll be on rationing.

Marian, you had quite the day with your funds! Glad the EKG result was ok, did they have any suggestions as to what might be causing your pain?

Yes indeed, are there many childrens books better than Goodnight Moon ? The was one of the few that I didnÂt mind reading to them over and over again. Right now Venus is particularly bright right now too-I can see it out my door in the western sky.

Not much else too add, though I am enjoying the excitement of IU planning elsewhere !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 8:48PM
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And by the way Julie, I expect only the hardiest souls will camp out ! I will tell you that IU was worth every dime of the transcontinental airfare, lodging , car rental and any other expense. I seriously had not had such a fun trip in years. I urge anyone who has the finances to make it work to give it all due consideration. Fair warning that we are irreverent, somewhat potty-mouthed, like a few cocktails, but we know our plants !
What could be better than spending a few days with a bunch of witty, charming , and plant-crazed Idylls?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 9:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hmm, Kathy, if you're really getting creeped out by your weather, I'd be happy to swap places with you. We're under a blizzard warning until noon tomorrow. Of course, I have to head in to the city tomorrow for our big trade show. It will be a character-builder of a day, for sure! I am taking the train, but I do recall spending about four or five hours on the train in a blizzard exactly thirty years ago tomorrow. I hate omens! The winter of 78-79 is considered to be the worst on record in the Chicago area, and it definitely is in my personal record book. The highlight was coming home one night in March to find the ceiling on the floor as a result of melting snow. It was my first winter as a homeowner and it was a trial by fire, I mean snow.

And they're starting to compare this winter to '78-79.

I had a mixed bag of a weekend. Saturday was the women's retreat from our church. This always has been an overnight event, but the facility that we used suddenly closed this year, to be converted into senior housing. Since we settled for a day format at a local meeting place, I offered to host all who were interested back at my house for pizza and socializing. Sixteen women showed up, and eight of us were still singing disco near midnight. (don't ask!) It was a great day, but then on Sunday we had to drive DD's car down to her. We pretty much drove down there, dropped the car and drove back. A long gray day with a rather boring drive, but at least the weather was merely dull.

I think a couple of people asked about our communion bread. Church members take turns baking it at home. It's a whole wheat, honey and molasses recipe that looks sort of like a thick pita bread when it's done. Not too hard to do, saves money for the church and a little more flavor than those cardboard wafers. I've only had one bad experience when the baker was a very heavy smoker, and taking communion was like taking a drag on an unfiltered Camel. As soon as the Pastor realized how bad that batch was, he disposed of it and called his wife to bake more.

I'm also excited about the IU planning, although I may be a bit quiet for the rest of the week. I'm taking the laptop with me, but my internet time will be very limited.

Good Night Moon was a big favorite in our house also. I can recite some of it from memory, it was read so often. No moon peeking through our clouds tonight, though.

My MIL is flirting with pneumonia due to the broken ribs. They've given her a breathing tube to encourage deeper breathing, but good thoughts and prayers are always welcome. She's 76 and pretty spunky, but pneumonia is a real danger with broken ribs, because your tendency is to avoid deep breaths and coughing.

I think that's all the news from this corner of the world. Remember, all of you Easterners, I'm sending this blizzard to you as soon as I'm done with it!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 9:52PM
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Yeah V, you can have the blizzard crapola for sure ! Hope the weather doesnt have too bad an impact on attendance at your show, and that the train drops you off no more than 3 ft from the Hotel door !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Good evening

Somtime I want to make a miniature room setting of the great green room with the telephone and the red balloon, and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon....

I am more excited than ever thinking about IU6, especially now I'm hopeful the weekend chosen is one I can attend. I actually love to camp. When we were in Devon on our last trip to England we stayed at my aunt's farm. The cousins all camped in tents as we were a big crowd. Although there was room for me in the house I borrowed a little pup tent and secretly set it up in one of the back fields with a view east for the sunrise. Secret that is from the boys' tent as I didn't want to be plagued all night with requests to blow up the airbeds etc. It was fantastic, a full moon, gorgeous scenary and only a few rather gaseous cows to disturb my slumbers. A dip in the pond first thing in the morning completed the experience.

V - we've had nothing like your blizzards but have had decent enough snow for some good skiing. I took Annie and David on Sunday and they had a blast on the slopes. David is a die hard skiier - he goes for hours without even coming in to warm up. I heard him telling a friend how he doesn't drink to save time on bathroom breaks. NOT a good practice when the body is sweating and fluids need replenishing. We were guests on Sunday at a private ski club which had the benefit of a very nice lodge for me to hang out in and catch up on book club reading. There was also a big grill outside to throw hot dogs on so food was easy to prepare and well recieved.

I might be busy this week as I'm giving a training on Wednesday I need to prepare for. I'm also planning to put in my Select Seed order and have started some Black Magic geranium seedds in ziplock baggies which have germinaited already. Yay!!

I have a huge bowl of paperwhites coming into bloom I've just moved to beside my bed. The timing is perfect as DH left Friday on a trip and he finds their scent acrid and unpleasant. Funny how aromas can be experienced so differently.

Marian - hope your test results come back OK!

Nite all


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 10:26PM
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Goodnight Moon was one of the books I read Kenzie the last night we were there. We made time every night for reading. Funny how her favorite books at my house are Pickle Things and Chick a Chicka Boom Boom which were favorites of her mommy. I regret not thinking to slip them into my suitcase. Although, since they are nearly memorized, I tried to recite them to her.

Chelone, I thought of you when I dipped my toes into the Atlantic. I thought Chelone and I could both have our toes in the same waters, but I doubt that you did ;o)

V, the winter of 78-79 was my first year in college and it was a very memorable one here as well. I had a hard time making it home that winter. Highways around here were down to one lane in spots with walls of snow 8-10 foot high.

bug, thanks for sharing the Celebration article. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family and that the Celebration helped with the healing process. I see you have some photo threads but Ive not had time to get to them yet.

Its actually blizzard conditions here right now. I worked until 2:00 and had a slow ride home. Truckers were only going 30-40 and visibility was poor.

The washer and dryer are finally hooked back up and are both humming away. When taking off the old water valves one broke so the project got a little bigger.

Goodnight Idylls


    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 11:03PM
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I am not familiar with "Goodnight Moon". Bedtime stories were generally short ones selected from The Green Books (which should be on display for IUVI) or Aesop's Fables. Perhaps I'll look for it the next time I'm at the li-berry, as it would clearly round out my education. :) I like that you read it to Reed, 'bug.

I over slept this morning. We received the sad news that the family member with pancreatic cancer died last night. I can still see his smiling face, hear his laugh, and I'm glad his trial is at last over. I think sometimes people focus too long and too hard on the inevitable sadness that shadows a death. Sometimes being dead really IS the best possible outcome, though it takes a fair piece of time to reach that conclusion. He had a great life because he was a nice person.

V., I laughed right out loud (shattering the pre-dawn quiet) at the idea of taking a Communion drag off a Camel (which isn't the same thing as a communal drag is it?). 1978 was the year of the blizzard for coastal New England, too. Boston was paralyzed and there were some amazing shots taken from my late FIL's home of huge waves and truly mountainous drifts and snowbanks. A friend of mine was trapped in her dorm at Boston University for just about a week while the city struggled to get the snow removed from city streets. Bet Wendy, Sue, and PM could tell some stories about that. Good luck with the commute and may the trade show be productive for you. Bundle up and thanks for the warning that it is coming our way.

Michelle, there are a few hale and hardy souls that take a dip in the Atlantic on New Year's Day to raise funds for charity. They invariably make the local news for their bravery. Suffice it to say, I haven't been over my ankles in the Atlantic in over 15 yrs.. Even mid-summer it's cold enough to numb your ankles within minutes, as 70 degrees is about as warm as it gets and that's in late August-Sep't.. I have never had the opportunity to sample swimming in brine that's warm, so I have a decidedly jaded view of salt water in general. But I have great faith that Kenzie will develope into a real "beach bum" if she remains in the Sunshine state. Very exciting about the appliance hook up, are we going to get a shot of the spiffy new floor? And I like that you took a shot at reciting the bedtime stories, too.

Mary, I think your Idyll friends definitely have your best interests at heart. :) I like sleeping outdoors, too. It's pleasant to listen to the night sounds, feel the evening humidity, and awaken with the sun. Wow, surrounded by bovine fart machines... best watch where you step when you wriggle out of your fart sack for a late night wee-wee, huh? ;) I love the scent of Paper Whites, too.

OK, I've gotta "motivate". I finished packing the culled books into a carton yesterday and folded the laundry, putting my grandmother's drying rack away and clearing the floor in front of the stove for the Huge One yesterday evening. The helpmeet is going to tend to a few outdoor chores today before we are plunged into the deep freeze for the remainder of the week (thanks, V.). Work is less than inspirational these days, but the possibility of more JulieJobs for the weekend is rather exciting! Gotta go, hope everyone's week is as stress free as can be.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 5:58AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The good news: the blizzard missed us! There will be no drama going to the city today.

The bad news: I overslept!!! Gotta run...


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Some details to help Mary along with her future project:

Goodnight Moon is classic children's literature in the United States. The text is a poem, written in simple feminine rhyme, describing a bunny's bedtime ritual of saying "goodnight" to various objects in the bunny's bedroom: the telephone, the bunny's dollhouse, etc.

One aspect of the book is the wealth of detail in the illustrations. Although the entire story takes place in a single room, the careful reader or child will notice numerous details from page to page, including:

* the hands on the two clocks progress from 7 PM to 8:10 PM.
* the young mouse and kittens wander around the room.
* the red balloon hanging over the bed disappears in several of the color plates, then reappears at the end.
* the room lighting grows progressively darker.
* the moon rises in the left-hand window.
* the socks disappear from the drying rack.
* the open book in the bookshelf is The Runaway Bunny.
* the book on the nightstand is Goodnight Moon.
* in the painting of the cow jumping over the moon, the mailbox in the right-hand side of the painting occasionally disappears.
* in the painting of the three bears, the painting hanging in the bears' room is a painting of a cow jumping over the moon.
* the painting of the fly-fishing bunny, which appears only in two color plates, appears to be black and white (or otherwise devoid of color). It is very similar to a picture in the book "The Runaway Bunny".
* the number of books in the bookshelf changes.

And now it is morning, a snowy gloomy one at that!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hmmmm.... bedtime stories. I have absolutely no recollection of ever having a story read to me at any time in my childhood. How strange.

V. glad the blizzard missed you.

Marian, can't imagine how your house plants look so good with the neglect you claim! LOL

Looks like we are going to get some below zero temps in the next couple days. Ewwwuuuu....

The birds here are eating me out of house and home and have devoured more than 100 pounds (yes that is 100!) of sunflower hearts since October. Amazing. Not to mention about twenty pounds of Niger seed, ten blocks of suet and various bags of nut blends.

I'll have to take some pics of the indoor plants soon. The coleus are just beautiful and that lavender is amazing right now.

OK out of time.... I've to to actually do some work on the business today. Have a good one everybody!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 8:35AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Do we need to put Deanne's birds on a diet, or at least rations? Sounds like it to me, whew -- maybe we should be contributing to your bird budget since we reap the rewards of vicariously viewing them!

We're expecting the arctic weather too later today thru the weekend altho it sounds like it will break in time for the next week events here; still standing outside for hours in 25 or 30 degree temps doesnt sound any fun to me; I'll be glad to be hunkered down at my home next.

So glad to hear no more character-building for you today, V -- I truly think you've got plenty -- dont you always wonder just how much a person really needs? I think of those weather commute days as one's that add more gray hairs to my head and a few more months off my life expectancy.

It's truly busy busy here too at the awfic as big boss has decided to skip town by friday to escape the fun in this area and taking his wife to Puerto Rico for 5 days -- most unusual occurrence (the taking an impromptu vacation, not the wife bit) we're jamming it all in to the 4 days to accommodate him....

I too laughed at the thought of a communal Camel bread - blech.... intersting to hear about the bread being supplied so locally -- in this area, often I hear that folks have trouble even getting people to volunteer to do the flowers or sunday school regularly; so that's true church spirit to bake its bread.

Well, I suspect I need to get realistic here and not day dream or idyll, much as I'd like.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:16AM
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Maybe the moon is is the reason for everyone sleeping in this morning? I overslept, and Sarah woke with a start, "I forgot to do my Elements Homework!" I ran around shouting household items while she shouted the elements contained. We met for breakfast and she wrote 15 of them down.

That, my friends, is how you get your homework pulled out of the dog's mouth and turned in to the teacher :) Secretly I wish that Jake had this skill, but I must remember that he has wonderful skills all his own - they just don't include an interest in school work :)

Nick heard about our IU plans and has volunteered any camping items we made need. He is well stocked with two 4 men tents and lots of other goodies. I'll be able to supply comfy camp chairs for sure :)

Mary, I had a similar camping experience, waking to the sound of a waterfall and realizing that it was a cow relieving herself. My friend used to gross us out because she'd throw cow chips at us :) She's definitely a little more country than I :)

I'm having a really great day so far...hope this trend continues. I'm switching over from cable to fiber optics, so if you don't see me, you'll no what happened: technical difficulties.

Jake's favorite was always nursery rhymes, and in particular he liked that I new all the verses to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star....."for when the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark.....he would not know which way to go, if you did not twinkle so..." He thought I was something special because no one else ever sang the other verses.

Nick says 420 is a call to "smoke out" appropriate for the Camel Communion bread :)



    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:12AM
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-15 F here this a.m. and supposed to stay that way for a few days. This has to be the winter with the most below 0 temps we've had for a long time. The snow fall events are way above normal as well. It sounds like we might be in for round 2 today.

I have to say I don't really have real memories of being read books, but I have no doubt that it happened as I knew all the nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I do remember lots of trips to the library and a used book store.

I have to report that my cuttings and other indoor plants survived my trip. I just watered them all well and left a little in the trays.

Chelone, my sympathies to you, dying is usually hardest on those left behind. You need to take a swim in the Carribean, I remember swimming off Aruba on our honeymoon, the water was so warm. Kenzie and her mom are already beach bums as they lived by a lake here and spent a fair amount of time on the beach. Now they can be year round beach bums.

We are still in quite a mess in the laundry as the trim needs to be replaced and a few other things but it is getting there. The flooring is nothing special, just in stock stuff, but it will be extremely functional in a farmhouse laundry and mudroom.

Well, back to work.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:37AM
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Welcome back Michelle. I knew you'd have a wonderful visit with Kenzie. Good Night Moon's read here alot too. We've got some other Margaret Wise Brown books too: Runaway Bunny, The Fur Family, it even has a "fur" book cover, and a few Golden Books by her, The Color Kittens, Wait Till The Moon Is Full, The Golden Egg, and our favorite, Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged To Himself.

"Once upon a time there was a funny dog named Crispin's Crispian. He was named Crispin's Crispian because he belonged to himself."

It's been snowing here for days it seems. And more to come. Bitter cold temps for us until the weekend too. Brad starts out everyday shoveling lately.

Megan had her first school conference with Bella's teacher this morning. A couple of teacher comments Megan shared with me were that Bella's always smiling and happy at school, she's very caring of the other students, and she's the first to the craft table and the last to leave. The teacher also said Bella likes to stand back and look at her work to make sure she's doing her best. Megan also told me Bella's ballet teacher told her that a little girl ran out of class crying last week and Bella followed her out, put her arms around her and told her everything was ok. I'm glad to hear from both of her teachers that she's kind to others. I hope that never changes.

Chelone, First, my condolences on your relative's passing. He sounds like a person who'll be greatly missed.
I like to organize too. I think the following quote says alot of how I feel about clutter.

a quote from a designer that redid a sewing room (Creative Home, Spring 2008)...

"If there's one lesson to take from this and most of the rooms I design, it's this - keep only what is essential and what you love, and get rid of the rest. Everything you own steals energy from you in multiple forms. You use it, clean it, store it, fix it, or simply think about it. Let bidding it good-bye be the last bit of energy it takes from you..."

My only problem is that sometimes I think I love too many things.

The kitchen is now as finished as it's going to get. We finished painting the stools red and that was the last of it. So I'll take a couple of pictures and post them today or tomorrow. Don't expect too much, just fresh paint mostly:)

I had fun going out to the baby shower planning lunch last week. My sister's are giving the shower, they just wanted my input. They've set a date of March 1. Menu will be assorted soups, salads, and breads and cupcakes. We are getting together to work on decorations in a couple of weeks. My sister is a scrapbooker and has all of the materials to make the invitations, which she's now working on. So everything's falling into place. Jen had a Drs. appt last week and baby Kate is doing well. I have to confess I'm a little freaked out about delivery the closer it gets. Most of you remember how scary it was after Megan had Bella, and recently Jen's sister-in-law had a baby and they had to do an emergency hysterectomy to save her life moments after the baby was born. It was very scary too. I know most births go smoothly but it still frightens me how quickly something can go wrong.

Saucy, hope your day's still going great.

Nurse Denise, hope Marty's back is feeling better:)

Bella and I are going to start working on her valentines this week a bit at a time. I'm hoping to do a version of the link below, but with some embellishing. The project uses broken crayons, so we'll start with peeling and breaking all of the old ones we have around. She'll like doing that I think.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

"Hmmmm.... bedtime stories. I have absolutely no recollection of ever having a story read to me at any time in my childhood. How strange. "
Deanne, you are my long lost sister. LOL

I'm so impressed with the kindness of Idyll kids and grandkids. You guys have reason to be very proud.

I'm feeling even less chatty than usual, but I wanted to check in and say 'Hi' to all. :)


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 1:57PM
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Like all of us, Goodnight Moon grows up and gets complicated (apologies for the rotten video.) The cover for Chelone:

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 3:56PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O me, what a difference a generation or two makes to saying goodnite, -- what a riot, Denise... o, by the way, forgot to say, you didnt offend; I do suffer from ingrained prim? childhood with a mother and grandmother who drilled the attire should match thing, and I've never outgrown it, long as I dont look too theatrical ('course I do love hats, so that will help lead me astray too) -- you have my permission to yell if I start wearing matching gloves, ok?

what a yucky awfice day... but I have now gotten several chuckles by forcing myself to check in here... there's one female atty I "support" who needs to go to Eden's school and get some manners and re-education on tone and treatment of people... what a wonderful accolade that all goes to you, Eden and your family about what great youngster Bella is -- there should be more kindness taught as a mandatory education course...

Chelone, also, I must say how sorry I am to hear of your family's loss -- much as it's a peaceful thing to end suffering, one still has a hard time learning to deal with their absences - especially the ones who were good and kind!

'enuf.... gotta get some relax and q.t. w/ Chloe... maybe I'll read her Goodnight Moon....she'd probably rather sit on the open book though.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 7:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Cindy, I dare you to show up to IU VI wearing pearls.

Greetings from downtown Chicago - I popped for the wireless internet access at the hotel. We set up our display today, and tonight is my hermit night. I'm enjoying a little wine, a little room service, my iPod and a little Pink Himalayan Sea Salt chocolate (really good!) while holed up in my room. I'll spend the next three days being social for hours on end, so I take this time to chill on my own. It works!

It's bitter cold tonight and more snow is supposed to be on its way - looks to be over Michelle right now. But I'll have limited outdoor time over the next few days so I don't mind too much.

Chelone, condolences on the loss of your relative.

Hmm, I count three of us who overslept. Can that be contagious?

Eden, I love that quote about everything you own stealing energy from you. I think there's an awful lot of truth there, and I for one could stand to take it to heart.

I will be thinking of you and your daughter as her date draws closer.

I'm seeing at least three broken nails from today, so I'd better go tend to them. Good night!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:02PM
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I was playing around with igoogle the other day and set up all of your weather forecasts that I had locations for. Tonight the place I most don't want to be is Michelle's at -3 currently, with V a close second at -1F. It's 8F at my house and Denise is at 74F which sounds like heaven to me right now.

V, what can be better that wine and chocolate?

Cindy, lol on the matching gloves. Ingrained prim huh?

Hi back at ya Jerri!

Marie, I was so touched by Wayne's remarks in the link you shared. Hope things are going well with Sarah's pregnancy too!

Michelle, I worked on my indoor plants this morning. I have to say they're doing ok so far this year for me too.

Deanne, I'd love to see some pictures of your plants. They're always over the top beautiful. I'd really like to see that lavender. Even though you don't have memories of being read to, I bet you have memories of reading to your daughter?

Denise, loved your version of Good Night Moon. I always like your way of looking at things.

Wonder what Chelone's cleaning tonight?

Brad and I just finished playing 3 games of Yahtzee. He beat me 2 out of 3. Hopefully he returns to work a week from today. Time for me to fold some laundry and then bed.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:38PM
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Still have my head (barely) above water at the awfice, it sure would help if we had about a week of rain. excluding the weekend of course. Glad that V dodged the blizzard bullet. Looks like Denise is having a heat wave, and we are still above normal temps.

Chelone, my sympathies for the loss of your family member. I hope his memories live on in your family I can tell you that there is nothing as nice to me as swimming, or floating in warm salt water. It seems almost womblike (not that I remember that far back , lol) and I find it calming and soothing. Its the number one thing I like about the tropics, although the plants are right up there. Maybe we should have IU7 in Maui ! Though it would take you eastern folk a couple of days to get there.

I dont remember being read too either, but I do remember learning to read . Im thinking maybe I liked reading on my own better ?

Deanne, I am really glad I have an employee discount for bird seed. I usually buy the black oil sunflower seeds and they are sure expensive this year. Do you bake your seed to inhibit germination ?

So Eden, your description of Bella standing back and perusing her work is nothing less that a SALAT ! She is clearly and Idyll in training.So glad that we may have your participation this summer .Maybe you could bring Angela along ? I could just envision her perched on top of the stove in the Salon ! Excellent photo-op.

V, its funny how some hotels now have free internet access and some charge . When I stayed in the Hilton in Chicago last summer I had to swipe my credit card and pay for the internet,(didnt have my laptop so I had to take my cocktail down to the basement where the business center was) and when I stayed at a very small Best Western in Oregon in the fall I had free internet in my room.

Okay, I think thats all for me tonight. Gonna go see how the IU6 poll progresses and then read the papes

Nighty night !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 9:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

About reading: I remember being read to while waiting to go to the hospital to have my broken arm set. I was four years old and Mom read Little Black Sambo to me!
I also remember loving Little Golden Books at the grocery store and not being allowed to have such "trash". My best friend Kathy had loads of them. Sigh. We went to the library a good deal, but I never knew how to choose books then. Mom chose her own reading and my sister always chose very advanced things with no pictures. She read Latin too, FOR PLEASURE! (so not me!)
I remember learning to read quite clearly. I learned speed, not comprehension though, so had remedial reading in high school. Later I taught reading and thought I was good at it because I had gone through my share of problems too. One thing I found is that people who are illiterate or having problems reading absolutely LOVE being read to. They know there is a world out there that they are missing and they crave the stories I'd read to them.
Reading for pleasure came late for me. Seems strange now!

Today DH had snow problems. He tried to park at work and ended up perched on top of a curb that had been buried by snow. Cost $80 to be towed off of it. Poor guy had a class and had to leave a note on the car. What a day! White outs and wind. The plow cleared the lane around 5 o'clock so DH could get back to the garage. It's about 10F now but will be about -7 tomorrow morning. :(

Cindy, Mom wore a veil on her hats and usually an artificial flower too, white gloves, seemed stockings. She had purses too...and of course matching shoes. Her lipstick was always color coordinated. Yes, she wore pearls...and screw on pearl earrings too. Her suits were neat and attractive as I recall. She loved "good" clothes. By the time she was in a retirement home she was forced into jogging outfits. She acquiesced, but she was no longer Mom by then...

Yes Eden, Wayne is quite the guy. Sarah is doing well, in her 24th week now. Fatigue is the big thing. She has recently found some new friends and this is good. Wayne shopped with her last weekend for new pants. He's her fashion consultant. He loves to shop and she hates it. She could care less how she looks unfortunately and wears his clothes. So I think he wanted to reclaim his gear! But she's a healthy outdoors girl and looks great anyway. When she does dress up, she goes for the dramatic look, as seen both at her wedding and Reed's funeral.

Time to hit the sack here...

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 10:31PM
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remember this ?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 11:12PM
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Ahh Denise, thanks for setting the way back machine for me. That song reminds me of my first year working in the shop and summer days spent wondering how I was ever going to tolerate the dreadful music there, lol. :) I was "compliantly employable" then, back before I mutinied and began the 6AM routine, NPR, and at least one jazz CD in the changer. 10 yrs. later, I am an unabashed rogue, refusing to be "managed" but still cheerfully showing up every day and cranking out the goods. Question authority and refuse to live in fear, baby! Ain't no one the boss of me. ;)

No cleaning last night, Eden (didn't feel it was fair to further spook the helpmeet). Does making a list for the weekend projects count? Children showered with unconditional love and acceptance tend to mirror that to their friends, I think. As the only kid at home I recall feeling uncomfortable when my friends would pound on their siblings or deliberately torment them to tears. Love that she's already mastered the fine art of SALATing, it will definitely stand her in goos stead in the years that lie before her. And I think the recycled crayon Valentines are a sensational idea. I'll bet you'd have liked Mum very much. ;)

Pearls are my favorite. I have quite a collection of handbags and I like to be able to match them to shoes. I love gloves (have several pair, some inherited from my grandmother), and I have rather a lot of hats, too, though the wool felt ones (at least one with a veil) haven't seen much use since I quit my "straight" job many moons ago. You can count on my unfettered support in that dep't., Cindy!

In my family of 4 I am the youngest. Everyone read to me, even my brother (who would even go into a blanket fort for the occasion). And later, when I was reading on my own, they patiently listened to my halting reading aloud. I used to sit on the stool in the kitchen and read aloud to Mum while she prepared dinner. I recall reading a book on Seabiscuit and another on Man O' War that way. Very good memories of reading for me and my willingness to read made me a very popular baby-sitter, too. "Little Black Sambo" was a favorite of Mum's, 'bug. She was wholly in favor of preserving the classic children's stories in her time as librarian. :)

I have to skeedaddle and I'm counting the hours already. The wind has picked up (unusual) ushering in the deep freeze. The weatherman announced we've already hit our daily high for the day! Do you think the double yolk in the egg I cracked this morning is augers well for the day?

Cozy up!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 5:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I woke up at 4:30 and couldnt go back to sleep so here I am with most of my morning routine finished at 6. Amazing for this time of the year for me. Its going to be mighty cold in the blind the next few days and I dont know how long Ill last outside but I will for sure keep the feeders filled.

Kathy, I buy the hulled sunflower seeds and they dont germinate. ~~~ Yes is I do remember that letter thing. Cool!

The temperature has dropped five degrees since I got up this morning but Im not complaining since Michelle and V. are having worse cold than we will get here.

Michelle, do you keep an emergency keep warm kit in your car? I certainly hope so and V. too If you get stuck anywhere with those kind of serious minus zero temps you could be in real trouble. ~~ I agree with this being a bad winter. I dont remember the last time weve had this much precip in Dec and Jan.

Eden, yes indeed I have many, many memories of reading Heather to sleep. Her favorite book from her childhood was the Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak. Ill make a point to get a few plant pics soon. I wish you could smell that lavender. Its divine.~~ Based on your weather survey of the Idylls maybe we should have a winter party at Denises house? LOL

Cindy, LOL the birds dont need to be on a diet, they are eating more because there are more of them! Ive never had so many in the yard before.

Saucy so is the fiber optics really faster? Hope the switch went flawlessly.

Chelone, love your memories of reading in the blanket fort!

V. I so know about wanting to chill out and have alone time in your hotel room when you are having to be social for hours and hours at a time. When I teach Im ON for the entire time and then they want to take me out to dinner and I basically get no down time except when sleeping. When I get home I just want to hibernate. Wine and chocolate are always good!

So hats and gloves and matching shoes! I love them and miss that kind of dressing up. I remember getting gussied up for Easter Sunday with our patent leather shoes. My mother used to make us matching dresses when there were only the three of us sisters.

OK time to get off the computer. Have a great day everyone and stay warm.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 6:38AM
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Hi Everyone- In keeping with my hopes to stay on top of things here at the idylls, I am going to jump in. Cindy I think the reason some smaller hotels may have free internet is because they have transient workers who contract to stay there weeks at a time while on a job. Their companies sign agreements with certain hotel chains, and the guys take their laptops with them. Maybe executive types who stay at the Hilton have a different kind of job that requires them to be on the computer while on the road, and they have air cards, so don't need the hotel connection so much. This is my analysis of the mystery:)

It is a balmy 6 degrees here, and I ran out of smaller pieces of wood for the woodburner. Skip is coming back tonight and will cut some more.

Speaking of reading books, I learned to read early and often. I have a Fairy Tale book called the Blue Fairy Book that I have had since I was in third grade. I told the kids where it was in case something happened to me, and they put everything I have spent 30 odd years collecting at the curb. It occurred to me I only had one copy to give to someone. Went online at Amazon and was amazed to find a copy. Gave it to Nina for Christmas. It is an oversized book, and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. The detail is amazing. I think my copy was printed in 1959. It has since been republished by Golden Books of all places. I think they bought the rights to it. Take a look. I always liked poems too. The Child's Garden of Verses was one of my favorites. A few years ago the hospital had a book sale and I picked up the Fun With Dick and Jane series. See Spot run....

My goal for today is to crank up my industrial strength wallpaper steamer and see if I can get some of the paper off my wall. So far I have completely wrecked my iron, and used 10 bottles of Diff. Nothing works. I have a friend who sold me this wallpaper steamer because he doesn't use it anymore.

Stay Warm!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:18AM
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Good morning all!

I'm going to have to bundle Sarah up tight for the bus stop....other Idylls have all ready reported, but I'll say it too: it's COLD!

V., what you're doing sounds exciting to me. Glad you get to have some down time. I always need that time to just be "off" and get things clear in my head. Deanne, you are a true social lite :) You throw a party like no other, you know, and I imagine that carries over into your classes.

I can't wait to see Eden's red stools! I looked at my iGoogle yesterday and changed it to a beach scene because of you and's been my homepage for as long as I remember, but I've always kept it on Classic Theme. I only have 3 widgets: Flicker photo of the day, time and date, and horoscope (which is eerily accurate!) I'm boring.

BTW, Deanne, the switch was to save money, but the benefit of speed is noticeable. I had cable before. The picture on the t.v. is "amazing" - to quote Nick and Jake.

I wonder how Woody is making out with her class?

I think I read at an early age, because I remember reading everything I could. GB, your asessment of your own reading made me smile - I think Jake finally has all the reading skills and is just beginning to realize that books are not all bad. I do try to push him to find his reading materials early so that he has plenty of time.

Kathy, in Calif. it's either wet or dry....never enough or too much! I don't envy those conditions. I'll cross my fingers for your rain....but not too much of it :) Hope things get better at work soon.

Cindy, pearls would be appropriate for coastal Maine :)

I am not having good luck with the plants under the lights. The bananas are great, but I keep forgetting to water the smaller cuttings and they look like they're ready for their summer vacation outdoors! The neglect that Marian describes is not working in my case. I hope I have better luck seed sowing. I'm really excited about the prospect of having a Michelle's Tropical Garden East :)

Hope everyone makes it over the hump....


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:48AM
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Hey Drema - GREAT to hear from you. Good luck with the wllpaper. Do you ever hear from Babs?

My siblings and I had a very old 45 rpm record of Little Black Sambo we played till it wore out. How we loved listening to it.

I finished rereading Brideshead Revisted in the wee hours last night. I can't remember the last time I was as totally drawn in by a book. I remember what a deep impression it left on me when I fist read it at 14 or 15. I was totally swept up with words and literature at that time. "Et in Arcadia Ego", the title of the first half of the book, was etched in my memory. I was later transfixed by the BBC television series with a young and very handsome Jeremy Irons and the beautiful Castle Howard as Brideshead. So I was curious to discover what a second reading would reveal.

If possible, I enjoy the book even more second time around. The biting satire of the British aristocracy, a nostalgia for a bygone era, the flawed and cursed family members and the pull of Catholicism made it impossible to put down. We're meeting tonight for book group to discuss it but so far the other members I've talked to have hated it. It should be an interesting discussion.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 7:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Minus 13F here. I'm not walking Phoebe today! She can walk herself. She'll be fine!

Just spoke to a gardening friend on the phone who has been looking for winter work since November. Her dogs have not been fed for 3 days. Her heat and gas have been worked out as "deals" and all her spring work will go to paying for this. All I could offer her was a day of house cleaning for us here so she can buy food for herself and the pets. Things are tough!

Deanne, I remember Easter dress-up time. My sister and I spent hours with the Sears catalog choosing dresses. We had matching straw hats and Mom always put black grosgrain ribbons on them with streamers hanging in back. I loved them! Of course in Buffalo, some Easters were too cold for wearing them.

Off to start the day...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 9:12AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - Woody is afraid she will be snowed under soon in the course :-) The first exercise took 6+ hours over two days to do! Fortunately it was just a practise exercise and didn't need to be handed in - the quality was poor :-( I'm very spooked about the architect's printing issue - I need to pretend I'm back in grade 1 and do some serious printing practice! (I think the people who can do that neat printing must be awfully anal :-) My Internet connection has been not working properly today - not good when you need it to be there to go to 'school'!

gb - oh dear re your friend - and her dogs...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 9:43AM
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Woody, this winter must be the perfect time to tackle something so challenging. It's bound to be a grind at first, but those first six hours are always the toughest!

Drema, very nice to read you. I'm definitely going to google the Blue Fairy Book, sounds charming.

I wonder if Phoebe would walk herself in cold weather, really walk herself as opposed to quick bathroom business then bolting back to the warm house. Is she really an all-weather dog? Such sad news about your friend. There is always a huge needy population here in LA, and it seems to grow younger by the day...

Easter dressup was those awful hats with the elastic under the chin making deep grooves in the neck...I early on frustrated my mom's attempts at dress up.

Mary, there's a new Brideshead Revisited movie out recently. The library has the old J. Irons series which I intend to rent some day. Loved him also in The French Lieutenant's Woman. I visited the cobb in Lyme Regis due to that book! I've got a couple pots of paperwhites just about to bloom, but the hyacinths are disappointing dwarves, not enough chill.

Chelone, sounds like we're at the same frame of mind employment wise. I'm as amiable and hard-working as ever but just guard my time much more zealously and don't squander it to "help out" like ten years ago. People will cheerfully work you to death, I discovered. It's still hard sometimes to fight the impulse to be a "team player," but saying no comes easier and easier ;) Like you, I'm paid by the piece, or per page, but am not an employee but an independent contractor.

I'd love to see a children's book on Deanne and her birds. Drawings of the blind in all sorts of weather, Deanne in her battle-rattle. But what artwork could compete with Deanne's photos? When we visited the aquarium, we rolled Marty in his wheelchair into the aviary. He was eagerly holding a little cup of sugar water, $3 a cup. The lorakeets descended on him, landing on head and shoulders, and two staged a deafening battle on his hat (good thing he was wearing one!) I took the little cup away and placed it on a ledge. Nice to see him laugh so hard. He is an amazing good sport and getting better by the day. Slow but steady progress.

The star of the pergola sitting area now has a name, discovered on the Digging blog yesterday. The wacky gomphrena that's growing like a vine up the trellis placed for Betty Corning, tumbling over it in great purple clouds is Gomphrena decumbens 'Grape,' a Texas native. Mitch took the little digital to NYC or I'd have a picture of it. I cut a huge vase of it for the Christmas mantle.

Yes, Saucy, it's true, we're having a heat wave. It's very dry and dusty again, and watering pots is in order every morning. It was 87 on my car's temp gauge on Monday. I didn't want to be a bore mentioning how warm it was ;)

Eden, I know it's impossible not to worry, but every pregnancy is different. Repeat...every pregnancy is different.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Hello everyone! I've just spent hours trying to catch up. Reading about mice in barbeques, recuperations, pain, happy days with granddaughters and other family members, car woes, beautiful bird photos......there was a lot to catch up on. I hate that I allow myself to fall so far behind.

It is a lovely sunny day here. Temps in the 40s, which is a heat wave for some of you right now, but a bit cold so I'll enjoy it from within the house.

Last week I spent some time weeding in my flower beds. Made me think of, and miss, the Idylls all the more. The blasted elk had been walking through the front (curvy, LOL) beds and made so many huge holes that I wanted to clobber them with my hoe! They broke quite a few branches on a rolleodendron ;o) which made me sad. The rhododendron was a gift from my parents a year before dad died. The elk also decimated another shrub, but that one didn't bother me as I was hoping to have DH use the excavator to dig it out. I don't like it and the elk can chew it to the ground for all I care.....but leave my other plants ALONE!!!

Whew! Yep, I was furred up over the damage they do when they saunter through my yard. UGH!

I still haven't done anything towards uploading photos on Picturetrail to share here. I keep putting it off until 'tomorrow', thinking that 'tomorrow I'll get those pics on picturetrail and then I'll post to Idylls...' Well, tomorrow just never seems to happen. I should have made it into a New Years resolution. ;o) Not that it would have helped.....but at least I could have dumped a bit more guilt on my shoulders. I do guilt well. :)

Tonight is a birthday party for a son-in-law. After the party we're bringing the twins home with us and they'll stay until Friday night. They are a hoot. They're talking up a storm--full sentences and the things they come up with are hysterical -- well, at least they are hysterical to their grandmother. James is already 5--so hard to believe the years have gone by that fast and little Thomas is 20 months. James whoops me while playing games on our Wii (I'm working on teaching him to win and lose gracefully--so challenging for young ones), and Thomas is a happy little tank who doesn't talk much but almost always is wearing a smile.

Mom has improved quite a bit in the last 3 weeks. She even drove herself to a doctor's appointment and then did some grocery shopping---all by herself! The past year has been incredibly stressful and I didn't think she'd ever walk any distance on her own, let alone drive herself some where and buy groceries.... miracles.

Well, DH just pulled into the garage so I'd better go greet him, make dinner and get ready to leave for the party.

My best to all!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 6:22PM
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Fun to see some of our quiet Idylls surfacing ,had no chance for sneaky Idyll viewing at work today, so after chores tonight I fired up the Idylls to behold Drema and T . Howdy to you both !

Saucy, I put a moon phase gadget on my iGoogle . Im still having issues getting the weather reports I want though. How cool that Sunny D checked in over yonder ! Even though I am but an IU sophomore this year, I figure any non-Idyll who can hang with the group gets some sort of honorary status ! Maybe you should mess with her and tell her weve put her garden on the tour, lol.

Mary , you prompted me to wander over to one of my bookcases and find my copy of Brideshead. It would be fun to read again, Im sure its been at least 20 years since I did. Next to it on the shelf was my beaten up copy of In Pursuit of Love/Love in a Cold Climate. How I love those ! Im thinking of making February a heavy reading month. The pile of to-be-read is staring to teeter under its own weight, Im so behind.

Minus 13 bug ? eek. The Easter hat was always anticipated every year, and frequently worn since we had to sport the headgear at Mass every Sunday. I also loved the streamered numbers.

Denise, think it was about November that I Netflixed The French Lieutenants Woman", dont think Id seen it since its release year. What a clever film that was.

Off to the kitchen to find some dinnerwave to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 8:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH drove to Toronto after dinner because he has an 8:30 meeting there tomorrow. He saw at least a dozen cars (on the dreaded 401) aiming in the wrong direction. It took him 2 1/2 hours to drive what usually takes 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile here at the farm there is no hot water. DH replaced a fuse, but that seems not to have worked. Tomorrow I'll see if both fuses needed replacing or if they are not the proper type. Any excuse not to do laundry or dishes! Supposed to be minus 26C (-14F) tonight with 2cm of white stuff, then flurries for when DH is driving back!

Saucy is right about V "throwing a party like no other". I remember so well the surprise picnic in the prairie....But solo quiet time is needed for both young and...ummm, wiser.

I'm mighty eager for Eden's new baby grand daughter's arrival. But photos of Bella can't be beat. Still, those pics of the kitchen and stools are eagerly anticipated. Mine are boring. I always wanted to stencil them, but never got 'aroundtwit'.

Drema, I so don't envy you your wallpaper removal event. Hope the steamer is successful. I have really bad memories of vinegar and water right up to my armpits, along with a chisel and gauges in the plaster. I must have been about 12. And yes, Dick, Jane and Spot were my first and second grade companions. So boring though, and not a bit like my house and family.

I gave DD & DSIL 2 of the "Porn for Women" books for Christmas. On Monday night DSIL was laughing over them. Yesterday morning he came in the front door, struck a pose with his wool jacket and fancy hat on and said in a sultry tone, "Honey, the driveway is shoveled, I cleaned the snow off your car, and it's already warming up. I just don't want you to get cold before you get to work!" What a goof he is! :)

Woody, DH used to print only. All the way through university and beyond he had this amazing engineer's lettering. I was amazed he could take notes fast enough. Then toward the end of grad school he began to scribble, never to print again. I hope you are not up this late practicing your script!
OK, time for B-E-D.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2009 at 10:57PM
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Nothing brings 'em outta the woodwork like talk of Idyll Camp, eh? And it's good to read some too long absent voices. Once you get out of the routine of the Idyll it can be hard to get back in the swing, but none of us really care if you aren't "up" on the latest and greatest (?) non-news. You'll figure most of it out with some time. Welcome home.

Steaming wallpaper sounds like a very profitable activity for a very cold stretch of weather, Drema. Good for the skin, too! I had no idea one used vinegar and water on the walls, too, 'bug. ;)

T., the marauding elk can really wreak havoc on the curvy beds and the "important" shrubs, can't they? I'd be discouraged by that, too.

I have to get rolling, today is "Friday" for me and I want to get some errands accomplished on my way home so I won't have to leave the Compound once I start cleaning tomorrow. ;)

Eden, did you and Brad use brushes to paint the stools or did you spray them? Can't comment on the risks of pregancy and delivery except to say, if there was a better way to do it, we'd have evolved differently. The odds of survival are lots better than they were a couple of hundred years ago, keep that in mind when you are in the throes of "the scareds". Mother and baby will be fine. :)

Very cold outside this morning and due to get colder, but it's winter and this "girl scout" is nothing if not prepared. "Modern Pioneer Woman"!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 5:31AM
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Good morning! Late again! Nick is terribly sick with a head cold and he keeps funny hours in the night, switching from the couch to the bedroom in a search for comfort. All that disturbance has thrown off my clock!

Sarah and I rushed to the kitchen, and as I was making my coffee, I caught a line of cats wandering through the woods. LOL. It was 4 deer. I don't know why my brain said "cats" but it did. Anyway, I wasn't too happy about it, especially after T.s descriptions, but they moved along when the mill next door began making noises. I hope they remember that this land is not deer friendly. That is a battle I do not want to fight.

It is a joy to me to experience nature on this land. I do love "my" little slice....I wish I'd see my hawk....and my weasel has been missing, too :) Wonder if the hawk had something to do with that?

Drema, they make a wallpaper blade - a long handled tool with a razor blade tip that you can change to keep sharp. I ended up with that on really stubborn wallpaper on plaster - though it might gouge drywall or other soft surfaces. Yes, this is the time of year to steam wallpaper off the walls!

Jake's getting braces this morning. He is upset and a little excited. Mixed. I keep reminding him that this is for a cross bite and not cosmetics, so there is no other options besides lots of dentistry later in life! He doesn't seem swayed by this argument, lol!

Thats all from me. I'm going to make myself presentable and chauffeur Jake to the Ortho. Have a good day, all!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 7:56AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - your e-mail address still results in my e-mails to you getting rejected - I just sent one saying thanks for including me on the list but, while I'd love to go, it's just not possible - so everyone can remove me from the list again.

T - I remember SIL's garden in Banff being fenced off to keep the pesky elk out. It sounds like you need to do some serious fencing :-)

gb - no, I wasn't up late practising my printing - although I seriously need to do more of that! Randy took forever to get home last night. He said the drive was fine until he got to our town, when the traffic abruptly slowed to a crawl. I had been watching the weather radar and there was a snow squall parked on the lake, virtually on our doorstep! It stayed there all afternoon and evening and into the early part of the night. We got about 6" but he said this morning that Toronto got nothing.

It's -14C here this morning and not a lot warmer to look forward to in the forecast. Where's the January thaw when you need it?!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 7:57AM
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Woody, I keep forgetting to mention: We had to do the block lettering, too, though he said we could be lax and create our own style since garden drawings are often more individual than uniform.

Anyway, he said there were several fonts you could get, if you preferred typing and it would be allowed for use in the class. Just a thought that I keep forgetting....


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 8:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good chilly morning all,

What a birdy day I had outside yesterday. It was a balmy 14F compared to todays 7F. The birds are little eating machines at present and I cannot believe how much food they are chowing down on. I still have a flock of 80 Siskins and Am. Goldfinches that come in to the feeders every day as well as lots of White-throated, Song and Am. Tree Sparrows with a large flock of Juncos, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Nuthatches Cardinals, Blue Jays and all our Woodpeckers. What a crowd! I love it!

The indoor plants are putting on a growth spurt at the moment that I cant quite figure out. Do they know the days are getting longer even under lights? I think my favorites under the lights this year have to be the abutilons. They are so free blooming and theyre all setting flowers right now. Its such a treat to watch a bud form and open this time of the year.

I ran across this photo yesterday that almost made me weep with longing I thought youd enjoy this too.

Bug, I cant imagine not having hot water in this cold weather. What a drag! Hope you are able to fix it.

Denise, Would love to see a photo of this Gomphrena that ate Los Angeles! Sounds neat. ~~ I LOL over the thought of making a chuldrens book out of my birdie escapades, although I have lots of stories. ~~~ Whats battle rattle?

Drema and T!!! How absolutely terrific to hear from you. T, Im so glad I dont have to deal with damage from the hoofed rodents! And Drema, I loathe and detest steaming wallpaper. My condolences.

Kathy, we also had the ribbons trailing off the hats and I loved it.

Saucy glad to hear your switch over to fiber-optic is working at light speed!

Eden, pics of the kitchen please?

Okie dokie here is a little fluffed up Junco. They are so cute when they roost in this extreme cold as they fluff up all their feathers until they look like they need to go on a diet.

Have a great day.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 8:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

-16.6F here, (-27C). Should warm up 6.8F (-14).

I've started the fire in the back room and have some treadmill left to do before I walk Phoebe. Later I plan on getting to the post office to mail Skyler's photo booklet that I made for him and also collect some groceries for our weekend company.

Talked to Sarah about names last night. DSIL is into Phoenix (argh! It was Aurora last time around) and Sarah likes a bunch of different things: Spencer, Rayne, Pepper. There's lots of time still!

We need color here!

Later gators,

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Thank you all for the warm welcome back in this frigid weather:) You are the best!

Well, the wallpaper steamer worked better than anything else I have tried so far. I think I might be able to get this thing done, then no more wallpaper again. My daughter went into the basement the other day for something and said hey Mom, I didn't know you had a botanical garden down here:) This is the non gardening daughter, so any plants would impress her:), but it definitely is a bright little spot for me. I am actually trying to keep them alive this year. I usually sputter out sometime around January with the watering, etc, but Skip set me up with a little hose system that works pretty well, and some more lights. I will clean up the area and take a pic.

Bug, I remember the year we all got new Easter clothes from Alden's catalogue. It was when the Kennedy's were in office, and I picked out a lovely pillbox hat with a veil, and white French Heeled shoes. Plus gloves... everyone got new clothes that year, and it was quite a treat.

Denisez, I took a look at that book I so highly recommended:). Well, I always called it the Blue Fairy Book because the cover is blue.. sound like a third grader? Anyway, it is actually The Fairy Tale Book translated by Marie Ponsot and Illustrated by Adrienne Segur. It has 28 fairy tales that are French, German, Danish, Russian and Japanese, among others. The way I found it was to type in the illustrator's name, hoping to find another book that she had done. I was totally surprised to find that this book in the original oversize was still available.

Kathy I may be joining you in the tooth woes. I have to call my dentist today. I have been ignoring a tooth for a while, but I think it is going to have to be taken care of soon. I am pretty sure it will have to be a root canal. Not my favorite thing.

T- Weeding in January? Well I think I have thought of one reason I am glad I can't garden year round:)

Deanne, your birdie pics are awesome! And your lovely photo of the container garden. What a nice burst of color on this crisp day. The sun is out though. I think I am going to try to go out and soak up some vitamin D:)

Chelone, I look much younger today:) A spa in the kitchen- no need to go to Arizona to the fancy places. I can get two things accomplished at the same time right in my own home.

Saucy, I have never seen a weasel in my backyard, but I have plenty of groundhogs....

Mary, I haven't heard from Babs. I am sure she is really busy with the boys. Maybe she and I will be able to connect up when the weather gets nicer. Last year was a really busy day for me.

Skip is calling me for something so must run.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 9:54AM
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Drema, I think your book will be perfect for my two nieces. Got amazing reviews from readers, the best ever, etc.

I have a hunch Saucy will appreciate the work of metal artist Cal Lane:

(Deanne, "battle rattle" would be all the tools, binocs, lenses, widgets and whatnots you wear and/or stuff in your pockets to deal with the myriad tasks you undertake when you step foot outdoors and head for the blind. I always imagine you thus, musically tinkling like Cynthia's windchimes, but I know in truth you must be all stealth not to alarm the birdies)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 11:51AM
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-25 at home but by the time I got to work I saw -30. Yesterday I received a phone call that we have been "chosen" to be audited for the FCC. Rumors in the industry are that these are painful. I will be the main player in this audit and they plan to stay for up to 5 days :o( Things are so behind at home that I just took the Christmas decorations down last night.

On the positive side, we have at least a foot of snow on the gardens for insulation. We are going to have personnel change at work that should improve the working conditions 100%.

Thanks Deanne and 'bug for the lovely pictures - just what I needed this morning. I really need to get some of those poppies.

Great to hear from you Drema.

Gotta go

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 12:06PM
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The woodpecker next door is certainly industrious :) He's been there everyday this week, hammering away! I don't mind if it gets me good neighbors....

I loved the Cal Lane "Industrial Doilies"! I'd have to have a wheelbarrow to go with my shovels. I'll include a link to his/her gallery in case anyone else is interested. I thought the Olive Oil tins were pretty, too.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 12:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I was looking ahead this morning - potted up 20 elephant ears for the 2 big pots of them that I put out in the spring. I start the EE now indoors so they will be big enough by planting time to put on a show immediately.

Saucy - what kind of tree is the woodpecker hammering on? Is it an ash? Is Emerald Ash Borer in your area? I gather that one of the signs of a tree being eaten by the EAB larvae is woodpeckers feasting...

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 1:31PM
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No, Woody, he's not really a woodpecker...that was Cynthia's speculation when I mentioned the constant hammering. It is the man who purchased the house next door - I suspect he is replacing all the woodwork in the house, since the previous owner used drywall mud to spackle right over the molding (this was her approach to covering the lead paint).

The house next door has always been poorly rehab'd and then flipped to the next owner.

Chelone, you know I did not miss the chance to tromp right over in the snow and introduce myself. The new guy seems nice, but a little in over his head. He's good neighbor material as well as one can tell in the front yard :)


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 1:46PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No weasels in my backyard but plenty of them in the

Cold here (about 16F off a low of 11F this morning) but not nearly as bad as what some of you are dealing with or what was originally predicted. The worst of it is supposed to be tomorrow then we're on the upswing. I didn't protect my Musa basjoo this winter but if some of it dies back I won't be heartbroken. It was becoming a monster last season.

Last night the dogs and I fell asleep in front of the new gas fireplace. It was installed on Tuesday and has already exceeded my expectations.

Nice to see Drema and T resurface. T, how are you weeding under all that snow? Oh wait, the snow turned to floods, right?

OK, back to work. I've made good progress this week but am not out of the woods yet-another couple of weeks.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 2:21PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I'm with many of you in suffering the weather woes! Today the sun is insanely bright and the temperatures insanely low at -32C (-25F). And it is supposed to be even colder overnight.

The cat refuses to even stick her nose outdoors and Ajax scoots out to do his business and runs back in, on three legs as he tries to keep his paw pads from freezing.

The stomach flu has rampaged through our house in the last five days, with all four of us being laid low for two days each. I was grateful to have DS here this week as he was over the flu by Tuesday and could get TCS off to school, do laundry, run the diswasher and generally tidy up while DH and I were indisposed. Even in the throes of my misery I got a chuckle out of Marie's description of "not being able to turn around fast enough in the bathroom". Not funny, but yes, funny!

The Cal Lane art is great, but, being me, right away I thought of the difficulties of cleaning up the icing sugar from the tire art. Those floors looked pretty good, so I know I would be right in there with my dust buster or something. I love the shovels and wheelbarrow - those things would sure hold a place of honour in my gardens!

Tuesday evening I went to a meeting of the Perth Horticultural Society. Someone I know from my old village of Merrickville was the guest speaker. Her name is Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her focus is on the uses of various plants, primarily trees, in terms of natural memdcines. She is a very knowlegeable and entertaining speaker and I really enjoyed touching base with her again. If you Google her name, you will see that she has written many books on the subjects of trees, forsts and gardens, and has a very impressive background. She will be releasing two new books this coming year. Might be interesting for a book club, unless the fare is supposed to be novels and fiction.

Sue it sounds like the gas fireplace was a good investment for you!

Marie, you had sent me some seeds for those lovely pink poppies. They are great performers!

Deanne, your gardens make me drool.

20 Elephant Ears?? Wow! Maybe I should think about starting my two.

Well, out of steam already. Next time.



    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:02PM
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Just a quick drop in with the promised kitchen redo pics. I"ll try to get back here again later for a bit of chitchat. Bella's here today so that's questionable. Hope you're all having a good day and above all staying warm!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:24PM
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Hi friends, and a happy Friday eve to all. My internet connection is very slow this evening, and Im trying to rule out them-us -this computer-that computer. Faster on the laptop than the desktop, but still very slow.

Marie your photo is my new desktop-I love the layered look with the misty background . Sounds like the naming follies are continuing ! Lets see, if I was having a girl baby right now (and thank god that is not the case) I would name her Lily or Gabrielle. The boy would be named Charlie or Dennis. Pretty mundane!

Drema, root canals are not so bad -they just take a long time. The pain free end result is worth it. I have fully embraced the drugged up approach to dental work, lol. My DS has driven me to the dentist and picked me up on numerous occasions due to reduced capacity ! I wish I had gone the steamer route with my wallpaper removal project last winter. I am now wallpaper free so I have no worries about that anymore.

Deanne, thanks for the tip on the hulled seed. I remember reading about that somewhere now that you mention it. I see that it is more expensive but I can order it wholesale through work and and get it a little cheaper-well worth it to reduce the piles of shells ! Bird activity is surely one of the fun benefits of winter. I am finally seeing the black-headed juncos here. I will try to get a pic this weekend -they are one of my favorites.

Sue, what a coincidence-I have weasels in my awfice too ! Have you ever met a fastener salesman? Right up there with the toner guys.

Eden, love your kitchen re-do, so bright and cheery ! A kitchen book case has always been on my wish list, but my current kitchen hasnt any available wall space.

All for me tonighta hello to all !
Kathy in Napa

Isn't the Logees visit on the horizon ? There will be cameras right Saucy ? And where is Martie ???

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 9:36PM
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Eden, your kitchen looks wonderful. I am very partial to chequered floors. It's that wonderfully classic touch and the diagonal pattern draws the eye on. The shelving idea is very clever; how are they fastened together or are they mounted against a wall? I'm in favor of "eating cake", too. But one more thing, would you please elaborate on the 'frig.'s door? (looks like fun).

It was VERY slow last night. I finally gave up and went to bed, quickly lulled to sleep by the self-congratulatory dronings of our President. When all else fails, go to sleep; one of the many things I've learned from the resident felines and the helpmeet who is an expert napper, too.

It's about as cold as we ever see this morning, probably below zero here, though I can't be certain. We don't have a functional thermometer (still haven't installed the one Santa left) nor do we own a bathroom scale. We don't call it "Frontierland" for nothin'. Poor Rex has not had the amount of exercise he really needs for the past few days and predictably he bolted on the helpmeet last night. He wasn't gone long, emitting a few yips outside the front door about 10 minutes later. His tags were really, really cold! I see plainly that I will have to suit up appropriately and circumnavigate the Compound with him a few times today. It promises to be a bracing experience. I have to say, though, what's with CT closing schools because it't "too cold"?! umm, it's winter and it rolls around every 12 months... and umm... sometimes it gets cold. Don't they heat schools in CT? ;)

Deanne, I loved seeing the fluffed up Junco. They are just the sweetest little things, though I think my favorites are the Chickadees and Nuthatches (I love the way they march up and down the trunks of trees, so "business-like"). The helpmeet serves "Meaties" here, too. And the little gluttons polish them off with great relish. It's definitely hard work being a bird in cold weather. Even harder work bein' Deanne freezin' her hindquarters in the blind, and for that sacrifice we thank you. :)

I need to find something to eat right now, probably some of the custard pie that was made last night (it's my favorite). :) While I'm eating I will probably recall the other things I wanted to say and can't recall right now.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:27AM
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How fun to see shots of long lost summer! I can't wait for those first exciting warm days. I see more snow in our weekend forecast. As we drove through town last night, I was taking note of the mountains of snow in the parking lot and wondering how many parking spaces are displaced because of it....has to be in the hundreds. Maybe this phenomenon explains why everyone seems to be at the grocery these days :)

It made me remember why I liked to have my groceries delivered, and I think I might just put in my order today. I have some coupons somewhere.....

Martie, PM, Jake and I postponed our little outing, so no pictures this weekend, but we'll get there eventually, no doubt.

I cracked right up over your CT school comments, Chelone. Sarah wore everything she owned to the bus stop!

I loved the kitchen redo, Eden! I especially loved the Strawberry Red on the stools. I am thinking that I could stand a mini-makeover with new curtains and such. I like peeking into your homes :) When I am with Nick and he is driving, I like to look into people's open windows and see how their house is decorated.

Well, Nick is stirring behind me....actually over my shoulder. It's tough working with someone who likes to wake and work, and I like to wake and salat, lol.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 8:06AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

Well it was a balmy -7F today when I got up. The birdies are here in droves and I cant wait for the sun to warm the blind up a bit so I can get out there with my camera. I still cant get over the numbers of Pine Siskins we have this year. From never having one here to hundreds of them is pretty amazing. The little Carolina Wren was parked on the suet feeder for a couple hours yesterday and I was glad that food was available to it. They dont do well with extreme cold and Im hoping it survives this cold snap.

Kathy, wouldnt I just love to be able to order my sunflower seed wholesale, you lucky person you! The hulled seed really eliminates the mess. What the birds dont eat the squirrels do. I still have to pick up piles of Niger seed hulls though but the finches really love that so I keep those feeders filled as well.

Chelone, yes indeed do bundle up today when you take Wrecks for his walkies. Its wicked out there. ~~~ So happy you like the fluffy Junco. Thanks. I really love the Nuthatches as well. Last year I had both Red-breasted and White-breasted here but only have the latter this winter.

Saucy, Im with you, I like to get up and chill in the mornings. Takes a bit for the coffee to kick in and do its work

Eden the kitchen is wonderful!!!!

Julie, bummer about the flu bug. I hope all are recovered now.

Woody, where do you keep those two gigantic pots of EEs?

Michelle, I cant get over how many really horribly cold days youve had this winter. Makes our weather seem warm by comparison. ~~ Bummer about that audit. Hope all goes well.

Denise . Love that Cal Lane Art! Wouldnt I just love to have one of those wheel barrows in my garden!

Drema, glad the wallpaper steamer did its job. Im with you no wallpaper here. ~~ How neat youve got a great light set up going. Its therapeutic this time of the year isnt it?

Bug, just love the pic of your summer garden. Gorgeous!

OK must run,
Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:23AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Only minus 1 F here this morning and up to a balmy 5 F now. It's been years since I've had temps below zero at my house. Chelone, just this morning I thought to myself that we are raising a society of wimps. As far as I know, no schools were closed in CT today but the news had quite a few 90 minute and two hour delays-mostly in some of the outlying suburbs. I shouldn't admit this but sometimes it's because they can't get the buses started because of the cold.

Eden, I love the kitchen. Are you available to decorate my livingroom? I stink at decorating.

So I finally broke down and called the gas company this morning about the occasional whiff of gas I've been getting outside my house around the meter. Some days I could smell it and some days not but this morning it was pretty strong. Well apparently they don't take this stuff lightly and made me come home from work instantly after I called to meet the technician. As it turns out one of the fittings on the meter was loose. It took the guy 10 seconds to diagnose the problem and another 60 seconds to fix it. One more problem solved and one less thing to worry about.

I thought this was Martie's Logees weekend too. Logees doesn't interest me all that much but I was thinking about joining the group for lunch if they were going to the Vanilla Bean. Does anyone know if this trip is still on?

Allrighty then, back to work. Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Wow, quiet today, guess I'm the only one at home looking for an excuse to take a break. I took a "before" shot of the Lab. and the plunged right in. I've been sorting ever since, a sampling of the diverse items follows:
1.) lamps and parts of lamps. I have a lot of the flexible work lamps; cheapo "drafting" lamps.
2.) drapery hardware and fittings.
3.) stencil supplies, all manner of paper from carbon to dressmakers pattern paper.
4.) fabric... you name it I probably have some of it.
5.) notions; buttons, elastic, cording.
6.) foam
The Lab. is a pretty scarey place these days. I have 6 industrial sewing machines in there, 4 "home" machines (3 of them with all the attachments and the owner's manuals, they're "mint"). It doesn't take long for clutter to really clog up the room.

How is Jake doing this morning, Saucy? What is a cross bite and what does it do to a mouth over a lifetime? I suspect orthodontics has come a long way in the years since I was a kid. I recall how uncomfortable my best friend would be for a day when they used to tighten her braces.

I took Rex out for some "dog bowlin'" when I went out to collect the mail. Dog bowlin' is what you do to exercise a dog when the driveway is getting slippery. You call the dog to heel, make him wait while you "bowl" with the tennis ball, and then release him. He loves it, he takes off, overtakes the ball, grabbing it as he cruises by. He slows down gradually and then gallops back at a controlled pace.Works well because I am able to run him nicely going out to the mailbox or on any routine run out to the bahn and practice some basic commands at the same time. He's stoked because "it's all about him" for a little while. And it's fun. Rex is all about havin' fun. Ain't we all?

Good thing you called about the gas leak, Sue. Feels great to have one more annoying thing off the list, I know! I wish you'd take a shot of your gas fireplace. I'd love to see how it looks. Does is provide warmth to the room? My BIL has one and he says it can really take the chill off his room. I'll wager you don't "stick at decorating", either.

Woodie is probably practicing her printing. V. is busy chatting up the the convention centre and then retreating to her den to decompress. Wonder if Marty has been wheeled out on another field trip? (factoid: birds cannot control evacuation) In my mind's eye I can see the picture of T's "charges" inside the little tent... and now they're conversant, time sure flies. Wondering about Norma and Rebel and figure Marian must be "neglecting" her plants while Deanne toils in her version of Drema's botanical garden.

OK, it's back to work for me, I guess.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 3:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all....I typed up a post yesterday forenoon, and thought I had posted it, but was distracted and when I returned to the 'puter I accidently erased it. :-(
I had only reviewed it!
Sooo, I shall try again.
We had a low of 10F yesterday morning, and a light snow...less than 1/4 inch. The high was 16F. This morning was 6F, and it has reached 28 at 3PM. We are on an upward trend again, thank goodness. This cold weather has raised hobb with my fibro.
I feel a little ashamed complaining about our weather, considering what all you gals are enduring!

All the talk about being read to brings to mind my dear little mother gathering her 5 chicks together in the evening and reading to us by lamplight. One of the favorite stories was Little Black Sambo, from one of the monthly farm magazines that we got . My granddmother gave me a large hardback, 365 Bedtime Stories book for one of my birthdays. It was stolen when we (Nolon and I) left a bunch of our stuff with one of Nolon's 'friends' when we were between homes. I also had a hardback Fairy Tale book. It was stolen also. :-)
I have no idea how much of my keepsakes were lost at that time. I know my diary was amongst the stuff. I hope they enjoyed reading my private information! Some of it was extremely personal. :-(

Great to see more MIAs showing up. It's nice thet the IU discussions are bringing them back.

I have been giving considerable thought to the IU, both day and night,( when I cannot sleep), and I have come to the decision that I really must not even contemplate going. If it were at all possible for me to go anywhere this year, it would need to be the other direction, to my see my siblings. So, the room that dear Chelone had set aside for me, needs to be assigned to some one else who may need such accomodations. Chelone, I want you to know how very much I would like to accept, and how much I would like to be at your home, espacially. But I must be realistic. Maybe I can take a rian check?
I want you all to know that you are welcome at our home, but be forewarned, it is in extreme need of TLC.

Yey! The sun is out! That will help my condition, both mentally and physically.

T, I am sorry about the elk damage. I suspect they can be lots more damaging than our deer.

Saucy, I can identify with your DH switching from bed to couch and back when sick. I do that a lot.I hope he is better today.
LOL, about the 'line of cats' in the woods. I hope they will not become permenant fixtures, like here.
Sorry about your missing weasel. I miss the foxes that used to be here.
I saw 'my' Towhee again yesterday, and either a large hawk or an owl flew from one of our driveway trees when I was driving back in last Monday.

Chelone, I brought all of the tenderest plants from the back bedroom to the dinningroom before the artic blast hit here. I shut off that room. I also moved all the african violets from my bedroom, to the dinningroom, with the intent of shutting off my room also, and sleeping on the couch. I didn't need to do that afterall. The house stayed plenty warm enough without shutting that room off.

Deanne, I love your garden pic, and the Junco is adorable.

Marie, I love your garden pic also.

Drema, Good to see you surface. Your mention of Alden's catalog brings back memories.

Denise, those art work tools are beautiful, but I think I am too practical to have them. :-)

Yarrgh! Michelle! Your temps are horrible!

Woody, I didn't dig up my EEs . It is easier to start with new bulbs, and mine are the common ones, so not expensive.

Sue, good to see your bright greeting this morning.

Oh my, Julie. Your temps are even worse than Michelle's!
But don't you love the bright sunlight on such cold days!
I do hope all of you are better from the stomach flu. Did I tell you all that Nolon calls that condition "puzzle gut" ?

Eden, your kitchen redo is great. I espacially like the lettering on the frig door, but at our house it needs to say "an hour ago" , instead of "yesterday"! I am wondering, is the computer 'table' on a lazy susan? The legless chair is a neat idea...but then, you are full of 'neat ideas'. :-)

Hi Kathy...I hope you are done with your dental visits.

My word, functional thermometer! I have one in almost every room! I also have a bathroom scale. It is as old as the hills, but still works okay.

Okay, I skimmed, and I know I missed a bunch. Hi to all that I didn't address!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 4:53PM
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Norma and Rebel are hibernating. LOL It's cold here so we are not venturing out any more than necessary.
Chelone I need to get in your Julie job mode. You are accomplishing a lot around the compound. I have a couple of areas that desperatly need attention. Actually I made a good start and then had to leave it a couple of days and now don't relish the idea of starting again.
I've been playing a bit to much with my mandolin and new laptop. I also have a book I'm reading.
I'm trying a wireless internet connection which works ok, but I'm not sure I like the plan. I have thirty days to opt out. I'll give it a try.

It's been good to hear from some Idylls that haven't checked in for awhile.

I am thankful for each one of you that post. I enjoy reading everyone. I have just become lazy about posting.
Well maybe I have just become lazy period. I need to get some regular exercise and stir up the metabolism a bit.

I hope everyone is managing to stay warm. Waving to all.
Back to my book for awhile. Norma

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 8:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi there Norma! I too am reading a book. It is like nothing I've read before because it is science fiction, something I shy away from. It is written by a local person and was recommended by a friend for our book club.
Our group is meeting once again on Monday to discuss The Book of Negroes. I expect this will be a lively meeting because everyone has already reported loving it!

Tomorrow we have company coming and they'll be spending the night here. The beds are made and the vacuum has made a quick trip around too. I'll be baking lamb, oven french fried yams, baby bok choy and I think some home made cranberry sauce as well. I have a lemon tart ready to eat too and some fresh berries to put on top. There's a bottle of wine as well.

Dear son is trying to do the right thing to help wind down the company by contacting people about their orders all over the globe. It is a tough thing and he wants things to end morally and gracefully, a hard thing when much of the work is on a volunteer basis and the hard core money makers don't even recognize the enormous work they have been doing. So I guess DS is finishing up on a week by week basis. It was a job he was totally committed to.

DD is enjoying their sunroom project still and marvels that the bitter cold temperatures are being kept at bay even though the job is not yet completed. It was -11C outdoors but +5 indoors. Today she was shoveling the front walk when DSIL came home and scolded her. She is not supposed to shovel according to him....

I hope each of you has a fabu-fabu weekend.

Here's another photo to remind you of other seasons. This one was taken in 2006, on DD's birthday, the day DSIL proposed.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Hello friends, and welcome Friday. I had briefly considered a couple of hours at the awfice tomorrow, but I think I tabled that idea as we are looking at another sunny and unseasonably warm weekend here, so must continue yard cleanup and rose pruning. There is a slim possibility of some rain next week, but in the meantime Im going to have to haul out my hose and do some watering this weekend. Not good.

Wonder how long Chelone will sustain her frenetic pace in the Compound cleaning project . Im becoming more awestruck with every passing day-could it be that Julie will be beaten at her own game ? Hope Rex was fully appreciative of his outdoor play on the tundra today- Perhaps he needs a stylish outfit ala the Cynthia kids- something in lime green or hot pink perhaps so that he can be picked out streaking through the woods when he escapes from Helpmeet?

Went back tonight to peruse Edens kitchen redo at a slower pace than my last view- I think the red cabinetry looks smashing ! And I love the drawer pulls too, those are a style I have always liked. Concurring with Chelone re:the checkerboard floor. Well done Eden !

Marian I have been determined to buy one or two African Violets this winter, but have yet to find any decent specimens anywhere. I expect as the stores gear up for Valentines day there might be some fresh stock available. Regrettably, my tooth ordeal is not over yet, but I have no more procedures (other than cleaning) till May. The bone graft I had in December needs 4 months at least to heal before the next step in the process.

Hi Norma, glad you poked your head up ! I think its ok to have a lazy patch one in a while. I always feel guilty though. Lol. I find it almost impossible to read a book during the day unless Im on vacation. Daytime reading is always magazines or newspapers (or seed catalogs, lol)

Splendid shot bug, so refreshing to see when the garden is just sticks and dirt.

All for now, hope all our Idyll friends in the chill-zones are keeping warm ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I've been having trouble staying connected to the Internet the past couple of days. Today it was pretty much non-functioning most of the day. We think maybe the router has died/is dying. At the moment, my computer is connected directly to the cable modem which is helping but doesn't fix the problem completely. It's frustrating to have Internet problems when you're taking a course via the Internet!

Saucy - I was skimming and missed the details where the woodpecker comment came up - because I'm paranoid about losing our ash to EAB, the word woodpecker sets off alarm bells for me!

Re EE - because they seem to want so much water, it's easier for me to grow them in pots instead of in the ground like you do Marian. It's a bit of a wrestle but it's not too hard a job to get them out of the pots at the end of the summer. So I let them dry out in the basement and then restart them about now. I started with only a couple of big bulbs - or roots - or whatever they are properly called. The original 'mother' bulbs rotted and the 20 or so I have now are various smaller sizes as they are offsets from various years. Some of them are getting to be quite big. I like the pots to have a nice full look so I make two big pots - one for the driveway and one for the patio. I start the bulbs in 12" pots indoors and then transplant them in late May into the big pots. I'll be putting 10 bulbs in each big pot!

gb - which science fiction book are you reading? We both like sci-fi. Have you read and of Robert Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series (Hominids, Humans, Hybrids)? Fascinating books - an alternative history/alternative universe sort of thing. He's a Canadian author so there are familiar locations for settings.

Chelone why do you have so many sewing machines? What do you intend to do with them?

I desperately need to do some printing practice this weekend :-) Doing the scale drawings for the practice exercises has taken up so much time that I've not had time to practice the printing - but I'm at the point where I need to start using it so I'd better do some practice!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Gee 'bug, that picture is just lovely. The only peonies I have here are doubles and that perky, crepe paper, confection is handsome. Definitely out of your gahden as it's accessorized with the clematis. What're the varieties?

Marian, I am of course disappointed by your announcement. But you know and are able to judge your circumstances better than anyone else. Should you pick up a dropped lottery ticket on the sidewalk in town and it proves to be a winner, know that there will always be room for you under this roof. We specialize in dispensing rainchecks here on the Compound, Marian. ;) We share the common trait of "circling the wagons" and "hunkering down", too. I smiled at your willingness to relocate the tenderest plants in the event you decided to shut down rooms as a conservation measure against the cold. Reminds me of something I'd do here (and be teased about after the fact).

I was thinking about how difficult it is when deeply personal things "go missing", esp. books that carry such tender memories. But perhaps the treasured book of fairy tales and 365 Bedtime Stories has brought the same untold delight to several children in the ensuing years, encouraging a love of reading. I have a lovely volume of Andersen's Fairy Tales I purchased for a quarter when I was about 9. It has lovely, full color illustrations and probably dates from the first decade/two of the 20th. century judging by the plates and the language used in the text. I've not been able to locate a date in it. It was a favorite at the time and has continued to travel with me from residence to residence over the years.

The industrial machines all perform specific functions, Woody. One overlocks raw edges and will join pieces if the safety stitch function is threaded, the blindstitch performs the single thread invisible hem stitch, one is a button sewing machine, the others are "regular" machines (lockstitch), but are designed to handle different weights of work (one for lingeries and very light work, another for upholstery/awning work, etc.) and perform at different speed capacities. My fleet of "home" machines are either inherited from deceased family members or have been given to me by friends (?!) who continue to indulge "my habit". I just love machinery, and am esp. delighted by the completeness of the early home machines which were far more than a "hobby" at the time of their manufacture. To the woman of the house, the purchase of one represented an ease and creative freedom that made the important (but often mundane) function of sewing for the family considerably easier. They are, for me, a little window into a world that once was. Not unlike an Aladdin oil lamp, or a good set of mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups! or a woodstove. Sadly, because they lack reverse and "the fancy stitches" (the ones no one ever really uses) they hold no cache for beginning sewers, even though they are of vastly superior construction than machines available for lots of "cabbage" nowadays.

Rex went ballistic yesterday afternoon, barking to beat the band and racing up the stairs in a frenzy, Mohawk standing fully erect from the top of his heat to the base of his tail. I let him out on the deck and watched carefully out the back window. Lo and behold! Foxy Loxy was mincing over the snow heading off into the vast hinterland behind our home; several hundred acres that encompasses a rather large swamp. The helpmeet reported deer tracks in the BIL's yard and no doubt that's an attractant for an under exercised canid. I think any sweater I might create would be quickly shredded, we don't call him Wrecks for nothin' (he don't need no stinkin' coat). I have, however, contemplated making him a collar trimmed with some of the reflective tape I discovered in my cleaning frenzy yesterday. Anyone need reflective wrist or ankle bands for dim light "walkies"?

I would like to be eating supper at 'bug's today. Lamb is my favorite. Mmmm :)! I'd pass on the yams, though, not big on sweet unless it's for dessert; I'm only just acquiring a taste for winter squashes.

What're you readin', Norma? And I think serenading Rebel with the Mandolin is a great way to while away the hours until the cold lifts out and the great outdoors once more beckons. When you feel like it the cleaning will still be there, too. Trust me, I know. It will be interesting to see how you like the wireless internet hook-up; you don't have an option for cable internet, do you? did you also try DSL (I can't remember)?

So Woody, how well do professsors accept the "my internet connection went out" excuse? ;). I understand the necessity of printing clearly on blueprints, but I have to say, sometimes it can be hard to read after they've been handled several times.

Rose pruning sounds infinitely more fun than working, Kathy. And all the talk of indoor gardening pursuits reminds me to share the exciting news that we now have one (count it!) potted Amaryllis bulb residing on the southwest windowsill. Our very own botanical gahden, watch out Deanne! ;)

Still wondering about Martie and now beginning to wonder as to the whereabouts of PM, as well. Oh well, they'll come home, wagging their tails behind 'em, no doubt.

Time to rustle up some grub now.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 6:51AM
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I think the sky might be described as Cerulean this morning, and the moon in it is sparkly like a gem. What a wonder to wake up with that in my window :) Zeus paid it no attention while he hurried to do his business! It's cold out there.

Norma, what an idyllic picture of you playing Mandolin to Rebel. Now there is a bed time story in the making.....

Chelone, a crossbite (remember, I'm not a dentist) is when your upper set of choppers rest INSIDE the lower set, instead of outside of the lower set. Each time Jake would close his mouth, his teeth would not meet, and when he would force them closed, it wracked his jaw. This would set him up for tooth and jaw problems. They put in a palette expander and actually widened his upper jaw. His braces look perfect on him. He's in the perfect stage of life so that they fit right in with everything else :)

GB, that's a beautiful combo! I am yearning for green right now! Sarah and I were just remarking how fun it will be to wake and throw on our shorts and go outside for the day!

Well, everything I wanted to say has seeped out of my head. I'm sure when I hit submit, it will mysteriously all return. I'm off for some coffee and figure out what this day holds.



    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 7:23AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...

My morning weather report: I went to bed at 19F outside, and got up to 31 ! Not bad... But windy. Clear.Lovely sunrise:

Saucy, I wish this view greeted me as I awake, but it is on the opposite side of our house.

Norma, good to see your post.I suspect you are among those who have had sub-zero temps.

Marie, science fiction was once my favorite reading. I liked those type of movies also, and still do to a certain extent. I guess it is still the child in me?? Very out of character for the rest of my reality mindset ( other than my faith, that many do not consider reality).:-)
Your menu for your company is so differant than anything I am acquainted with. I would like sampling it. I like trying new foods.
I hope all works out well for your DS and his project. It is very admiral what he is doing.
One of the perks to our son and his choice of lady friends...she has got him into doing benevolent work. He very much enjoys it, and has 'grown' because of it.
I agree with your DSIL, DD does not need to be shoveling snow!
Beautiful pic. Great combo.

Kathy, I am not envious of your warm weather and needed yardwork. I love the rest from such outdoor responsibilities. At least my wood and ashes carrying does not include biting bugs!
I hope you get your much needed rain.
Sorry that you continue to have dental woes. For me, the cleaning of my teeth is bad enough! Espacially after my last experience.
I hope you find some pretty African violets. I have some duplicates, and would gladly share with you if you were close by.

Woody, so sorry about your internet woes. I hate when that happens. Like some others here, I was having problems evening before last. Espacially with GW. It was very slow opening, and I was getting all sorts of extra stuff at the top of the page. My Phishing scan was working over time. I thought it was the problem, but it wasn't.
Yes, I plant my EEs in huge pots. Years ago I planted them in the ground. I think I will try the upside down thing with this year's bulbs. I liked the result from the one that I boo booed on last year. :-) It put up so many more shoots than the 'correctly' planted one.

Chelone, I will surely keep the rain check...who knows...I just my use it some day, before I get too decrepit.LOL
That would be such a wonderful experience for me.

Re: the ancient books..Tim so very kindly attempted to find a copy of the lost 365 Bedtime Stories for me, on line. Not knowing the author of mine, the one he came up with was not the same one. He purchased it, and gave it to me. He got it from It is a standard sized book. Mine was like the 'coffee table' books, wide and flat. The one he got me was well used, and shows it. It was originally a library book, from Columbia, Ohio Public Library.

I have several keepsake books. Most were my Grandmother's. They are, of course, originals. One is Robinson Crusoe,1882 printing, by Mary Godolphin, with colored illustrations.In words of one syllable.
Another is Belford's Annual, copyright 1889. It is " Profusely Illustrated". It is full of short stories and poetry.
A third is : Masterpieces of Art Literature and Song. Inside it says: "Masterpieces of Poetry, Art and Music....of....Choice Literature, Masterpieces of Art and Superb Songs
The Best Productions of the World's most Brilliant Men and Women, immortalized through their works of genius.
....Beautifully Illustrated by the Best American and European Artists....."
It has no date in it, and I am not sure if it was my granddmothers. Mama gave it to be after Grandma's death.
All of these books show their age, but are still intact.
I have other very old books also, but not with the nostalgia connected with these.
I am almost certain the Fairy Tale book that I 'lost' was Andersons. Can you post a pic of yours? I think it may be the same as mine. I could probably have Tim locate one of them for me also. He has no qualms about ordering over the internet...I do have, and have never done it.

Here is a pic of many of the relocated plants:

I left room for the puzzle ..LOL. ( I have been working on it off and on....)
I am envious of your Foxy Your discription of Wreck's Mohawk reminds me of Tommy! He has a ridge of hair that stands up on his back! I enjoy your accounts of his antics.
BTW, I think we are quite alike in out frugality, but I still am incapable of throwing things away.

My last pic is the scene out of the,now defunct, dinningroom slider, wednesday morning:


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Good chilly morning

It is 3F with mighty winds this morning and frost patterns all over the window panes. I'm glad we have a leasurely start to the day. A good morning to linger over coffee.

Yesterday after I finished up work a friend and I braved almost as cold temperatures to X-country ski around one of the larger ponds in our favourite park. Although windy we were so well wrapped and working hard we didn't feel the cold. The blue sky, shining sun and glittering snow made it magical. It was like skiing through Narnia and I half expected to encounter Mr Tumnus or the White Witch.

Today while David is playing in his orchestra I am off to purchase tickets for the LA Guitar Quartet who are coming this February. I am really looking forward to hearing them play adn will splurge for good tickets. We then need to take David's bass into the shop to see if they can fix a very annoying rattle. He has an important music exam coming up and I'm hopeful this can be remedied without weeks of work. Cold weather and dryness from heating wreak havoc on wooden instruments.

Norma - how wonderful you are enjoying the mandolin. I've always fancied one being a violin player but at the moment my musical energies are turned towards helping the children. Good to hear from you.

Marian - I'm sorry a trip to IU6 is not going to work out. Perhaps you could plan ahead for next year instead. I know from my own experience how disappointing it is when circumstances prevent you from doing something so fun.

Saucy - welcome to Jake's braces. Annie is at the other end of the procedure and it has been a long, long road. She found out on her last visit that instead of February they are not coming off till May. I wondered if a couple more months could make much of a difference but her tears told me otherwise. The plus side is her smile looks fantastic.

GB - your lamb dinner sounds delicious. Perfect for a cold night. I had such a laugh with the Porn for Women and enjoyed sharing them with Annie. Great photo!

Eden - your kitchen make-over is fabulous. Paint can make such a difference and your whimsical details add such warmth and charm. It looks like a place where people are happy.

Deanne - I've been looking back at your amazing shot of teh Junco. The way every feather is distinct and clear is incredible. What skill you have!

I was feeling in need of something reminiscent of summer and had a few fresh apricots and made this for dinner last night. Needless to say we didn't eat it on the patio.

Hoping Martie is OK and will check in soon.

have a great day


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Peonies are as exotic to me as agaves are to some of you. I'd guess C. durandii are the bass notes. Norma, reading and playing music doesn't sound "lazy" to me at all. I loaned my acoustic guitar to some of Mitch's friends who visited over the holidays, retrieved from waaay back in the closet (I never play it). When Mitch returned it, he said the musicians were in raptures over it. The female musicians loved the way it fit. Of course, it made me want to try it again, even going to some chord sites on the Internet, but I have no musical foundation on which to build and always just "fool around" with it and frustrate easily. It's an old Martin I've had since forever and had no idea it was so prized. Like Chelone's sewing machines, stuff was just made so much better a couple decades back.

Marian, what a nice table you set! I'd like a cup of tea to go with the puzzle and violets, then I'd sit at that window all afternoon watching the snow fall. I have a gorgeous old book called "Women of the Bible," a violet cover with orange art nouveau design with the printing gold embossed. Found at a thrift shop along with a beautiful collection of old books that must have been donated when a relative passed on. The owner must have been a dyed-in-the-wool anglophile. Lots of Hardy, the Bloomsbury writers, and a leather-bound first edition Oscar Wilde. There was also a Frank Baum (Wizard of Oz fame) children's book.

Running on here, but I went to check the name of Baum's book (Queen Zixi of Ix!) and decided to grab the Women of the Bible book and google the publishers. Found this site Here's their photo showing an olive background, whereas I swear mine is a violet background, the gold-embossed letters outlined in violet too: Great stenciling ideas on sites like these.

Well, I've fooled around too long with that and must run but will check back later. Like Saucy I had other stuff to comment on but got completely derailed! But Eden, the kitchen looks fabulous, full of interesting ideas and personal touches. I remember reading a comment you made about the desire of having things to look at versus a pull in the opposite direction to "declutter," something I'm familiar with too. I think the kitchen hits a lovely balance in that regard.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 11:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday a few juncos appeared. It was such a surprise to at last see some birds! They must have enjoyed temperatures above 10F, although that didn't last long. Today I have seen about a dozen out there, all juncos, nothing else.
A strange thing happened near the feeders too. I let Phoebe out for a run and suddenly she found a grey squirrel! The squirrel was pretty much buried in deep snow and Phoebe, terribly excited, actually reached it and began licking it like she does the cats. I imagine it was hungry and near freezing. She probably wanted to do more damage but I told her to "leave it" and the squirrel finally made it up a tree. I really don't want any squirrels here and that's why I don't plant nut trees. But watching her kill one...I'm not up to that.

As to the flower combination, I'm not sure which peony this is. It could be Krinkled White, Lotus Queen or Cheddar Charm or even something else. The clematis is Durandii.

Chelone, I make these yam chips because they are healthy, not because they are sweet. I certainly add no brown sugar or other sweet to them. If anything, perhaps a bit of olive oil and rosemary, but usually nothing.

Woody, the book I'm reading may be out of print, but perhaps it can still be located. It is called Commitment Hour, by James Alan Gardner. The title refers to the fact that the people in this 25th century world must decide at the age of 20 whether to live their lives as male or female. (Up to then they alternate years.) Most of Earth's population has long since departed with the technology that made such a journey possible. Life is simple, especially for the main character, Fullin, who is a gifted violinist. But Fullin appears to be in for trouble already on page 55 where I am stuck for the moment.

Well DH is off to the recycling centre and then a haircut. I must begin to organize for our guests and set the table etc. When I began that task earlier, I got distracted when I found a mouse in the pantry. :(

Marian, your African violets look far nicer than the ones I saw at the store the other day. I loved some of the colors they had, but the plants themselves looked mighty tired.

We have wind chill warnings here. I can't wait for this weather to break!!!!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 11:50AM
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I was slow out of the gate this morning, and my coffee with the Idylls is behind schedule. I hate oversleeping but I was exhausted last night so I will forgive myself this time and move on with my day.

Norma, I love my wireless internet-not only is it fast but DS and I dont have to share an internet connected computer anymore, and its also nice to be able to move around the house with my laptop , including outdoors if I wish.

Denise you reminded me of my excitement when I moved to Nor Cal at the prospect of being able to grow Peonies-egged on by the plant-porn photos in the WWF catalog . I promptly bought 3 our first year up here, and soon discovered that bloom time is all of about 2 weeks (1 for tree peonies) and this zone is clearly borderline. They are all long gone, except for the tree peony, whose blooms are so exquisite that I dont mind only being able to look at it for a week, but is one scrawny plant, and in 15 years it's never had more than 5 flowers on it at a time.

Lovely sunrise Marian-like you , my boudoir is on the west side , although the door to my awfice looks east and I am often already at work when the sun rises, so I can view from there !

Ok, I need to get the show on the road , back later ! Wish I had a slice of Marys pie for breakfast

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 1:07PM
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Variable internet today so need to type fast! I think it was 3F everywhere. Very rare to get single digits here, but truly if it gets below 20F it's all just too COLD. It hovered in the teens in the afternoon but I could tell no difference.

I pulled out my humidifier last week and it came on at high speed, controls wouldn't work to change the fan level, and when I unplugged it to reboot, it croaked completely. Haven't found one I liked to order, so the humidifier I have running now is a lobster pot full of water on the stove. It puts 8 gallons of water into the air in about 6 hours and fogs up the kitchen windows nicely.

Eden your kitchen is perfect! Love the floor, the different colored cabinets, the potholder valance and chandeliers. You do have such a good sense of the fun and the functional, and not overdone. Really really nice.

What can I say about Deanne's bird photos that hasn't been said before? The detail always stops me in my tracks. Where were you when those Canada geese were flying into the plane engines? They would have stopped everything and detoured to pose for you. (I was pleased that none of the newspeople called them 'Canadian' geese.)

I think Marian has found the perfect use for a dining room table. Plants and puzzles.

Great to catch up with Drema and T. I wish I had some wallpaper to remove, that steamer would pump more humidity in the air too I'll bet.

Mary, that pie looks yummy! I might drizzle dark chocolate on my piece.

I had a home visit above Baltimore today so had to do 95 North and was a little worried about overflow traffic from the Obama train. On my way up at 2PM all the overhead signs were flashing 'Obama inaugural event at capacity use Inner Harbor' but fortunately no apparent traffic impact on the highway. Police cars were sitting on top of most exits like 9/11. Hope did the visit (her first!) and did a good job getting the cat to hiss, and scaring the sweet boy Corgi. (Tell me about Corgi's Denise!) He was trembling, and showed teeth once or twice when she got too close too him. I'm fine with teeth and growling, it's doggy talk and better than going right to a bite. And frankly Hope-Liz (pronounce Hope-less) was not respecting his space. She's got that huge height advantage and it was intimidating him a bit. She also knocked down photos on the coffee table with her nose. All and all an excellent demo of a wild dog recently off the track. Much better than taking perfectly mannered Dannie along and getting their expectations set too high. And Hope is fine in my house, but I don't have Corgi's and coffee tables to tempt her limits. She was nicely distracted by the gorgeous greyhound in the fireplace and spent a whole lot of time checking her out. (Glass doors, yep it was her. Hope-Liz-Narcissus)

I'd better send this before my Comcast tanks again.

Have a good evening! Hi to all -


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Not much action around these parts today..Ive come in from the outdoors having dispatched another chunk of Lady Banks , and spent some quality time with the weeds in the hell strip too.

So is the humidifier thing to compensate for dry heated indoor air in winter ? Not a common appliance out here, even during our dry summers.

I keep scrolling back up to look at Marys pie and Marians violets

Took some photos this afternoon in the garden !

Creeping Phlox is always early to bloom

Scilla coming up


Doobie takes a snooze

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 7:31PM
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We are having Ricks family over tomorrow afternoon for his birthday. I still havent gotten this house back in shape. The laundry is starting to look pretty good. The sink and some touch up painting is all that is left to do. DH is off to pickup some cabinets that he plans on using to make a home office. He has a desk as part of the kitchen cabinets, but that is just too small. So another project starts. Hopefully, it wont involve me too much and will give him something to do this winter.

The temps have improved here into the mid-20s but its windy. It feels good just to stay indoors.

bug, I tried a different recipe for cranberry sauce that we really liked. It had pears, cinnamon and allspice in it.

Im not seeing many birds this winter, I believe they are all in Deannes yard.

Deanne, thanks for the concern. I do have a winter survival assortment in the trunk including ski pants, boots, shovel, sleeping bag, warm gloves etc.

Eden, Im assuming that you saw the comments I made on your kitchen on the last pictures comment space. I really adore it.

I have a copy of the 365 Bedtime Stories around here from my youth. Denise, the Women of the Bible book is quite lovely. I really like the colors.

DH still isnt home and Marys lovely pie is making me awful hungry. Theres chili in the crock-pot that is smelling pretty good.

Marians pretty blooms remind me of the pelargoniums that are blooming in my basement. Oh, I have a fuchsia Dollar Princess that has a few blooms on it as well.

I told Kenzie when I was there that I was making a bedroom for her for when she visits. I told her it was the "Garden Room" Not only is it going to have a cottagey feel with the trellis quilt, but it has a whole card table full of succulents. Im still going to paint the dresser in that room white and hang an antique oval mirror above it. The closet needs cleaning too, but thats no fun ;o)

Not much happening here Kathy says. Hard to believe when you actually have things blooming outdoors!

In case the weather is cold where you are, Ill leave you with a beach picture. As you can see she loved being buried.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 7:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Caught up again! Good thing it was a slow day here. Yesterday we packed up the trade show booth, which is always a fussy project, and this year we were a couple of hands short so it took some time. I caught the 7:30 train, and ended up sitting with a customer that has a reputation for being quite unpleasant. But he'd had a glass of wine, the rest of the train had had several glasses of something, he shared a chocolate chip cookie with me and the ride passed quickly. I was quite worn out when I got home.

Denise, I was thinking of you and Marty when a man in a motorized scooter approached our booth. Instead of looking past him, I looked him right in the eye, smiled and said hello. And he responded by saying that I and the other two women in the booth looked like we might be swingers and he'd like to get to know us better. LECH!

I had a pleasant surprise when I set out for breakfast on my own Friday morning, and ran into a friend from town that I had not seen for months. We had a great visit, and then ran into each other at lunchtime.

Friday morning the temp at the house was -24F. Good thing I was in the Loop where it was "only" -10. Despite the cold, I snagged two abandoned coleus at the end of the show, stuffed them in a plastic bag and then into a nylon briefcase, and they made it home alive!

Remember last month when I linked to Ketzel Levine's NPR interview with Christy Webber, the Chicago landscaper? I saw Christy on Thursday. She said she's been amazed to learn how many people listen to NPR. The interview also included one of her foremen, Harry Jenkins, an ex-con no one would hire, who is a volunteer boxing coach at a local youth center. After the interview, Harry received a Red Lobster gift card large enough to take ALL the kids out to eat, as well as many cash donations. There was NO pitch for money in the interview - it's just nice people trying to lend a hand. How cool is that?

I've been working on addressing the "Save the Date" cards for the kids. This is my warm-up calligraphy job before the main event. So far, it's going well. I am using a marker to do these addresses since it is less formal. I hope to use my fountain pen for the real deal.

That's about all I remember now. I am pleased to see plans for IU6 moving along!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 9:38PM
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GB, the book I was reading was The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond. I really felt like I had read it before, but if I had it must of been a condensed version because I didnt remember all of it.
The one you are reading sounds interesting.
I'm surprised to hear some of you like si-fi. That is DH's favorite. He reads a lot.

It's nice to see a few warm weather pictures with pretty blooms. Our weather moderated a little today.
I went out and chopped some ice on the little pond to keep the falls running. We had to pull the pump on the big pond because the skimmer was plugged up with leaves and starting to freeze up.
Rebel stayed out most of the day. I suspect he was getting cabin fever too.

Woody, I hope you get the computer problem straightened out. I know you need it for the course.

Chelone ,dsl or cable is not available our here. I really wish it were.
The wireless works great but I will have to be careful about to much usage. So whats worse waiting forever for things to download or not being able to view all the pictures and video I would like. Those really eat up usage.

Lol Saucy, Rebel doesn't really like my playing the insruments. On the otherhand Jasmine(cat) seems to enjoy it.

Yep Marian it was really cold here. Your violets look great. I haven't had any for a couple of years.
Looks like you had a skiff of snow about like ours. We have not had enough for DH to even do any plowing this year.

Mary, cross country sking does warm one up in a hurry. I hope they can get Davids bass fixed up. I try to keep my guitar and mandolin in the cases when not in use. Especially since we have the wood heat. We keep water on the stove most of the time too.

Denise, my guitar is a Martin too. But a new one. I imagine yours sounds really good. I had a Taylor picked out to buy but, when I picked up this particular Martin the sound was just what I wanted. They develope their sound the more they are played too. I had no music knowledge either. Just determination. I still have a lot to learn. I hope you keep trying.

Kathy, I bet you are exhausted with all that garden clean up and the extra responsibilites at work.
I'm liking the signs of spring at your house.

Michelle I can't help but smile back at Kenzie in that picture. Her smile is infectious.

Eden I hope you saw my comments on the kitchen in your album. It is really neat.

Cynthia, hows your sister doing? I like the nicknames you give your dogs. I hope that Hope didn't discourage the people you visited.

V, do you have to do a lot of trade shows? I imagine you are glad to be back home.

I'm yawning so I'm heading off to bed. Hey to all. Norma

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:37AM
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The air inside our home is very dry, too. I have a pair of red velour pull on pants (sleazy "loungewear" from the thrift) and the static electricity has them clinging to my legs (helpmeet maintains they give me a "chicken leg" look). The cats protectively close their eyes and sort of flatten their ears when we reach out to give them a pat. No amount of water on the stove is going to hydrate the atmosphere for very long... but maybe a few loads of hanging laundry will help!

Kenzie looks so cute up to her neck in sand. How long did it take to get the sand out of her suit, lol. I love the idea for the garden room, too. Will you share progress with her or will you opt to keep it a secret until she arrives, Michelle? This is the time of year I always regret not rescuing a few geraniums from the windowboxes (but I'll manage to get over it). Interesting about the cardtable with the succulents as I've been eyeing cacti with more than just idyll curiosity on several visits to Orange. This is definitely the time of year for home improvements and renovations, isn't it?

I know that very dry conditions can be tough on older furniture, too, really fatiguing the hide glue and varnishes on them. Humidity conditions fluctuate widely here from summer through winter and I can only imagine the difficulties similar conditions can pose to expensive musical instruments. I love all the interesting things shared here. I suspect I would be fascinated by the trade of musical instrument repair. There was a neat story abou the Martin Co. on NPR not too long ago; it was fascinating.

I was sidetracked in my cleaning frenzy yesterday. The sight of an accessible sewing machine and clear cutting table made me want to undertake a project. I did some quick yardage calculations, tucked the list in my pocket and went to the worst fabric store in the world (the only one left that had a hope of stocking what I needed) where I stood in lines for nearly 3/4 hr. waiting for cutting and checking out. I delved right in upon my return, spending 4+ glorious hours doing something FUN. It's my hope to finish it up today; a profitable way to spend a snowy day. Somewhere in there I will stuff the roasting chicken we'll be having for a mid-afternoon dinner.

I laughed at Hope's antics on her inaugural ambassadorial mission. I think a healthy dose of reality is good for anyone contemplating removing a mature dog from the welfare rolls. Like you, Cynthia, I am not particularly bothered by growls and curled lips. It definitely gets my attention, but that's the point. People too often forget that dogs are fluent in the language and we're just first year students of it. Several years ago we had a Corgi in the shop daily for some months. I quickly surmised he was a dog meant to perform work and quite capable of doing it with minimal human intervention. My boss found him frequently frustrating but I had no trouble with him. I was firm with him about what was OK and what wasn't and we got along just fine. Never underestimate the value of a beating. It will be interesting to hear Densise's "field trial" experience with her very own canine dwarf. ;)

Fun to see shots of emerging spring chez Kathy. I don't think there's a humidifier large enough to deep CA adequately hydrated, is there? Somewhere out under the frozen white expanse that covers the Compound there are bulbs waiting to delight ... I think!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:40AM
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Chelone - you are rather mysterious about your project - will we get to see the finished result? I have been up early working on something fun too. Just came to put another program from the BBC Radio 4 internet site on while I stitch. I'm wearing some super unflattering fleece "lounge wear" too right now.

What a wonderful picture of Kenzie - a little warmth on a cold morning.

V - heart warming story about the Red Lobster card donation. NPR brings out the best in people:0)

Back to "work"


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 7:51AM
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Finished! - a beaded birthday card for my sister. The background colors are off as using the flash burned out details so I took it without to show the sparkle of the beads.

Right - I should now be very housewifey and start tidying and cleaning as we have company for dinner tonight. The request was for Shepherds Pie which is good comfort pie for cold weather. But perhaps I'll do just one more card first.....


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:03AM
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Mary, that's delightful! A friend (now deceased) made me some of those cards some years ago. I've horded them jealously, using them only for very special occasions. And I've always thought it would be fun to make them, too!

And yes, I hope to be able to share the fruits of my labor with you later today, or maybe tomorrow...


It's something I've had a hankerin' to do for many, many years now. It ties in nicely with my Neo-Victorian mind-set, and it is very timely... any guesses from the peanut gallery?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:16AM
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Just a quick read this morning but I want to give it a guess Chelone. My thought is some sort of patriotic bunting for the Inaguration celebration?

Mary, love the card!

Back later, promise!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:20AM
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I thought maybe a flag, but think Eden's bunting guess is better.

Mary that card is a beautiful art piece. There is no end to your creativity, and time is better spent on that than housework. Are the leaves stiched?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:27AM
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I like that Mary! I can't quite figure out how it's done, it stitched to the paper, and then paper to card? Beautiful gift!

V., I used to dabble in caligraphy! What a nice gift to give to the young couple. You'll be well practised by the time you switch over to the quill!

Kathy, it sounds like fun to get out in the garden and look for signs of new life and clean up for the upcoming season....only 6 more months and I'll be joining you, lol. Ok, not that long, but it feels like it.

We got fresh snow this morning and my husband opened his eyes from sleep and looked over my shoulder out the window, and he got a glimmer in his eyes and mouthed the word, "snow" and smiled. For a moment I think he thought he was 6. Then you could see the meaning dawn on him, "I have to move that snow...."

It's a pretty snow - it's sticking to the trees, which gives them a highlighted look.

I wonder how GB's dinner went? It's sounded delish :) Chelone, I have the same sweet veggie aversion, but I like sweet potatoes the way that GB describes. I think I've been a victim of one too many sweet potato casseroles covered in burnt marshmallow!

Mary, I'll bet Annie has a million dollar smile :) That reminds me that I need to take a "before" shot of him just starting out.

Nick and I stayed up last night and watched "Things We Lost in the Fire" with Benicio Del Toro and Halle Berry. What a heart wrenching story. Really it was the actors who made the film so raw....the story itself was a little outlandish. Is there anything Benicio is not good in? I think I'm a sucker for a big head of unruly hair, lol!

Well, after that little musing, I think I'd better go freshen up my coffee. Oh, before I go, though, I never heard back from the book club. I've decided to go another route: Food with Friends. I have 5 people interested, we'll go from there. Premise is that we meet monthly to just have a good time, no husbands, no kids. Wish I'd done this earlier in life :)


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:33AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Free to a good home - one husband, slightly used. Does like to watch "Dances With Wolves" until 3:00 am.

Mary, the card is lovely! I can't wait to see what Chelone has up her sleeve. No guesses from my sleep-deprived brain this morning.

Addressing the cards was much harder under artificial light, so I need to get on that this morning. Then I need to get my head back in gear and figure out what else is up this week. And maybe pot up a couple of coleus.

Enjoy the day! It's sunny here, but only 4 F.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Mary the card is wonderful. Suitable for framing too. I imagine your sister has a nice collection of handcrafted things from you. Have they gotten reasonably restablished after losing everything in New Orleans? I bet Ivan and Iris are really growing up.

Chelone, I'm guessing curtains for your lower base cabinets?


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:12AM
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Chelone - a muff to keep hands warm perhaps? I think they were popular in Victorian times.

Thanks for the nice comments on the card. It is fiddley but really fun to do.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am guessing that Chelone's fun project is related to the Inaguration. Eden's guess is mine too.

Saucy, this is the only evidence left from last night's dinner. I was hungry, so it is out of focus... There was lemon tart and all sorts of pastries that our friends brought, but I sent the leftovers home with them because I can't have that around without nibbling. For breakfast I watched everyone eating chocolate croissants and cinnamon buns...while I ate cantaloupe and strawberries. :(


Although it snowed last night and our lane needed plowing, it is a pleasant 26 F this morning. A heat wave!

Mary, what a lovely card! Much more fun than preparing for guests...

Michelle, that's a dear picture of Kenzie! Yes, it is awful being a long distance grandparent. I hate goodbyes... I also hate goodbyes at Idyllunions.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Visiting with the Idylls before I head out to TJ's this morning. Put African Violet on my list, as they have them sometimes.
I was guessing that Chelone was recovering one of the chair collection, but liked the guess of bunting !

Mary that card is wonderful-before I read the post I thought it was an art piece for the wall, lol !

Welcome home V was attendance at the show ?

Back later...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:24AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I guess I missed the Idylls yesterday - TCS had a friend over; they are both members of 'Club Penguin' and I couldn't get near the computer all day. Actually got out my sewing machine, did some trouble shooting, got everything straightened out and sewed the hems on several pairs of jeans. This was prompted by DS who received some 'special' brand name jeans for Christmas and wanted them hemmed. He wouldn't wear them until they were hemmed as he didn't want to get the bottoms all raggy. When he explained that he didn't want to ruin them by dragging the bottoms on the ground, I had to retreive my teeth from the floor and check to see if my hair was curly. I just couldn't let this moment of sanity on his part pass, thus the sewing machine caper. While I had it out, I decided to go through my closet and do any mending necessary - this also resulted in stain removal and ironing. Felt good today to have something decent to wear! Also came across a pattern for a flannel jacket, plus all of the saved pieces of flannel to make it with. And a quilt top that could be machine quilted if I knew how to machine quilt. A new adventure, I'm thinking. And twenty quilt blocks already quilted, ready to be assembled, to match the living room of the house we sold 4 years ago. But it would still be nice....

Yes, now I remember, this is what retirement is for.....I'll be thinking.

Meanwhile, I am determined to clean up the storage room this week so I can at least plan what I am going to start in terms of seeds. I can't really start anything until the middle of February as we go away to a ski resort for the second week of February and I know that whoever is left behind for the dog(s: We usually keep DD's dog at this time too) would never tend seedlings; but once I am back, it is on the road to Spring, and I can start seeds.

Haven't read the last posts so can't comment. But I will. Later!



    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 12:55PM
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I just returned from David's guitar lesson when my good friend called. She suggested that as they had entertained yesterday their house was still spotless and would we like to come over instead of having to spend the day cleaning here. What a great offer (she knows me well!) So I just need to cook (which I enjoy) and spent the afternoon talking around the kitchen table with Annie and David, listening to a new classical gutiar CD and making more cards. Here are the results:

My Mum loves hedgehogs

and flowers

Saucy - the cards are made my pricking holes onto cardstock, then sewing the design with a single ply embroidery thread using bugle and seed beads. Parts are somewhat reminiscent of Spirograph - one of my favourite childhood toys. I mounted the stiched card onto a folded card in a coordinating color, cut to fit some envelopes I had on hand.

Off to the kitchen to start on the pie.

Tomorrow I will clean.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Well, weve hit the big 7-0 today, and I found myself doing un-winterlike chores such as watering and mowing the lawn. I feel as though Ive been transported back in time to San Diego. Doors and windows are open , and the succulents that I brought in for the winter are enjoying day-camp outside. 2 oclock beer (1 hour late) is poured and next to the mouse. My raincoat hangs hopefully next to the back door.

Michelle, my friends and I all loved to be buried in the sand when we went to the beach as kids, the pic of Kenzie brings back memories ! We always wiggled our toes as a pre-cursor to removal.

Julie kudos to you for accomplishing my most hated chore-hemming stuff. Perhaps DSs request is a sign that the saggy-baggy era is drawing to a close . I have a quilt top that I made when I was preggers with my DS (shes 26) that is not finished. Dont feel too bad !

Going to read the paper and make a veggie salad for work lunches next week

Where are PM and Martie ? And hoping that Cindy isnt caught in traffic !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 6:31PM
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Mary, the cards are terrific.

About the snarling corgi, yes, I'm afraid Ein's greeting to Hope would be similar. He ceased being friendly with other dogs as he matured. Being a small dog, or possibly because of the herding hard-wiring, he has a spatial awareness that's almost cat-like. Can't speak for all corgis, but he's definitely a one-dog show. We are his herd, and he works hard at greeting each of us when we come home at the driveway gate, tearing off down the driveway to announce our arrival to those at home, seeing off all departures. I remember our newfs wagging their plumy tails at the gate when we'd return home but nothing like Ein's energetic performances. Hope may not appreciate living with such a little general. (but I thought Hope was part of the permanent menagerie?)

V, sorry your eye-contact kindness backfired on you. That louse! Lots of penmanship issues lately between you and Woody. I'd be hard-pressed to do more than a scrawl. My mom still has the most amazing penmanship that never changes over decades, while mine becomes increasingly illegible.

Saucy, absolutely, Benicio can do no wrong ;) I'm seriously miffed at your book club. Did you return the questionnaire? What'd they want, a dissertation on The Great Gatsby? good riddance...

I've been meaning to try sweet potato fries, they look delish in the photo. Lamb we try about once every 2 weeks ;)

Just had one of those odd, 21st century experiences, where Mitch calls from New York to have me Mapquest him via my computer as he tries to find his way on foot to Bowery and Delancey Street. I tell him you should be crossing Suffolk, now Norfolk, then Essex, there should be a nice park on your right, etc. He's had lots of input from magazine editors, one woman saying he's completely on the wrong track, another saying he's finally hit his stride, so he was knocked off his perch a bit trying to reconcile completely divergent criticism but seems to have found his equilibrium again judging by his mood today. I doubt I'd be able to earn a living being constantly open to criticism like that. He'll be renting a car to D.C. but foregoing any inaug parties -- too expensive to rent a tux. I guess U2 is playing on the mall? Cindy might know more of the details.

Julie, Isn't it amazing how something as mundane as preferring non-frayed jeans can represent a life change ;)

Norma, I've left the guitar out in the office as a visual reminder to practice. This office is now filled to the gills with visual reminders! Maybe I'll try Post-it notes instead...

Michelle, that photo really shows off how Kenzie's heart-shaped face is maturing. The garden room sounds perfect for her.

Deanne, your savitzii is enormous!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 6:44PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The save the date cards are all addressed and ready to go! Phew...


    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I love hemming things. Frayed hems on jeans were de rigueur when I was in Jr. High. Then (probably because we grew quickly) came the era of adding 2" wide decorative trims to the hems of jeans. And then your's truly mutinied and began rolling her jeans up to expose her collection of argyle socks while proudly sporting her blue and white saddle shoes (which I kept polished). What a tool!

My favorite alterations to perform are:
1.) shortening sleeves (love tailoring!)
2.) replacing zippers (esp. in trousers)
3.) hemming (coats! that tailoring thing again)
4.) pocket replacements
As for the criticism thing, when you work in a trade that requires it you get used to it or you find another line of work. Criticism works best when it's delivered concisely and is restricted to the WORK. When it becomes nit-picky or personal it ceases to be effective. I have a mental switch that I flip "off" when the criticism over how I trim threads or fold the corners on things is brought up. Mostly because after 30+ yrs. I'm confident in my ability to perform those things efficiently and neatly. Some of my earlier employers were rightly withering in their criticism of my work... sloppy doesn't cut it in my trade. Attention to detail is the name of the game.

No 70s here yesterday, Kathy. Another 6-8" of snow with a brief interlude of rain and then back to snow. Everything is looking clean and fresh now. And the Huge One had lots of fun snuffling through the powder. Litter pan use is on high and I've been mining at least 3 times/day, no sooner do I finish than another cat comes running to make a deposit in the fresh litter. :)

We had a roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable medley for "comfort food" yesterday afternoon. I emerged from the Lab. only a few times, once to make the stuffing, and a few others to brush the top of the bird, and lastly to eat. The helpmeet was problem solving: a critical seatbelt buckle malfunction in his car, a careful scrutiny of a bookshelf that had developed the sags over time (now lives in his work area as it's beyond easy and attractive repair), and his first long look at the looming window casing project.

I fear my keyboard is giving up the ghost slowly but surely. It will be time to go next door and see if the BIL has one he can spare. The shift keys are increasingly stubborn and the enter key is now on strike.

V., I love calligraphy. I've never tried it before but it really looks as though it could be exhasperatingly fun. ;) How many envelopes did you have to address?

I have to get rolling, busy day ahead for me full of not-so-meaningful work, including a dreadful seat recover for a customer who has been a complete PIA for nearly a year now. We can't finish the work if he doesn't call back with the final word on the how he plans to reattach the completely rebuilt seat frame for his stupid boat, since attaching the foam and stapling the cover in place means we have to know which set of bolts he plans to use...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 5:30AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I'm pressed for time today (so what's new) but wanted to let you all know that the annual 'Thumbs' (Thumb Your Nose at Winter Party) Party will be held on Saturday,February 28. All Idyllers are invited. If you think you'd like to come please email me. Oh yes, spouses and partners are invited of course.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 6:53AM
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The concert on the mall was yesterday, and yes Denise, U2 was one of the acts along with about a dozen other acts (Springsteen, Gospel Choirs, Garth Brooks, Beyonce, and I swear I heard Aretha Franklin singing Nessun Dorma, but that may have been a preview). It was an HBO event but local NPR was allowed to broadcast it so I was able to listen to most of it. Estimates are that 400,000 people attended, and they cut off access while there were still lines for miles. The Metro held up! It was in the 20s yesterday so much more tolerable than the past week, but I heard that the California tourists were singing 'We will survive' and jumping around to stay warm.

GB, your meal is in line with the inaugural lunch planned. Mixed game birds instead of lamb though, and lots and lots of wine!

Mary, so glad you posted more examples of your cards. The designs are striking!

Michelle, loved seeing Kenzie's happy face in the sand. It warmed my day yesterday. Wonderful memories for you.

Kathy, my hellebores have had enough of the cold and looking quite stricken. The buds are still there, but don't want to open and and some of the leaves are limp - very unusual, but it's not usual to get extended single digits here.

Denise, my dogs get to do home visits and open houses as their 'job' but also for their own entertainment and continued socialization. Hopesy Dopsey isn't going anywhere! She has healed my heart and Dannie's . Katie did more than 50 HVs, her last was in April and when she tripped on the front threshold, I knew that was her last. She was such a sluthound, she loved people more than any grey I've known. Dannie took over after that. Hope and Dannie will alternate visits now. The purpose of the visit is to educate about safety, training and behavior, and to help folks dog proof their homes. Basically show potential adopters first hand what it's like to have a grey in their home. When they're first off the track these dogs have had no home experience so they walk into windows, counter surf, eat anything in their path. They're full grown dogs with the house skills of puppies. Other volunteers screen and educate by phone for an hour or more, the adopters have to read two specific books about greys, and another if they have children, we check references too. Bascially screen out the folks who are thinking about adopting on impulse and for whom greys might not be the right breed. It works.

So where are the photos of Chelone's mystery project!? Day off here so I'll be checking Idylls often for the big reveal.

Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cynthia, Phoebe sounds very similar to your girls. She is a huge one, but still a puppy. It is hard to remember this at times.... I would not have decided on another puppy had I known that DH would counter my every effort at training. I did not have as much trouble with him last time. These days he travels less and so I have the conflict daily. Her adores her and plays wildly. She peed on the rug yesterday in all her excitement. Honestly, instead of commands he says "Please?" For me she sits at stairs and waits for permission to "Join Me!" If I say "No", she understands. Not so with DH....He even encourages her to jump up on him, indoors too. That is just a real NO for me, especially when company arrives, some of them frail. Who needs 70 pounds of enthusiasm hugging them without warning? Just plain irresponsible. GRRRR. I sent him to training and he also fought the trainer's attempts. Sigh.

Book Club DH and Phoebe will no doubt eat dinner together. Maybe I'll leave them both kibble... ;)


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:21AM
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Good Morning, sunny and nothing falling from the sky for a change. Thank you all for your kind comments on my kitchen. Marian, you were correct that the chair is a lazy susan and that's a little tv sitting on it. Chelone, Brad used a brush to paint the stools with left over paint from the cupboard. There's a gray primer that has to go under red paint too. As for the frig message, that was just me messing with Brad. He's been trying to lose a few pounds but always seems to be checking out the contents as if something will magically appear.

Michelle, it made my day yesterday to see Kenzie's smiling face. I'm hoping you'll share more pictures from your visit. I think the garden room for her is such a great idea. Can't wait to hear more about that.

Saucy, that book club is losing out by not following up with you. Your plan B sounds better anyway. I've found that clubs that are so selective seldom turn out to be as great as they think they are.

Woody, when I was in architecture school many moons ago I remember our printing getting a bit flamboyant. I think the name of the computer font used these days is graphite? I hope you share what you're doing with us here. I'm very interested.

Cynthia, I'm so happy that you and Hope have found each other. She seems to be the perfect addition to your family!

Mary, thanks for sharing more of your cards. I loved the hedgehogs. I've still got my mind set on trying some of your little felt animals one day.

Sounds like Chelone spent the day yesterday working on her project. I wonder if today will be the unveiling?

Marie, Sarah's dh was right to worry. She really shouldn't be shoveling snow at this point I don't think. I'm excited about you and I having our new grandbabies so close in age. They'll likely only be a couple weeks apart you know.

V, calligraphy is on my list of things to learn someday.

Megan's boyfriend is in DC for the inaguration. His family is quite involved in politics here in MI. He called her a couple of nights ago from the home of a congressman that they were staying with down there.

Whoever said that it's good to have a project I totally agree with. Our latest is redoing the pantry we've created in our stairway from the kitchen to the basement. In a small house you use every available space for storage. Brad's finishing that up today and he goes back to work tomorrow. I'm happy about that. My sister's on her way over for some shopping and lunch so I'd best get going. Have a great day.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:49AM
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Just read Marie's post and it reminded me of something I wanted to share. Jenni and Randy have started Magglio's second phase of training school. This time he'll be learning to jump through a hoola hoop. I think she said that has something to do with learning trust. The dogs also have to each learn a trick that's to be demonstrated on the last night of class. Jen says they're thinking about either having him bring them a diaper and baby wipes or the car keys and her bag for the hospital.

I also forgot to include this link on my other post. I thought this was really cool!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:57AM
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Me again...

Woody, the writing style shown in the linked video is how I remember printing.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 10:11AM
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