Idyll #299 Happy Yew Near 2007 !

babs_clareJanuary 5, 2007

No bikini,but go ahead and pass me the whiskey; )

For the first New Year's Eve in 10 yrs I partied till 2:00 at a real party-not at home in my jammies!(There's hope for me somewhere)

There's so much idyll material to peruse that I'm almost late for work but I wanted to wish you a great 2007 so go ahead and carry on! I hope to catch up later....


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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Happy Friday all!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I just wanted to share my good news with you all. My mom just called and they found nothing wrong on the MRIs. So she doesn't have to go back to the Dr. again until March. Thank you all so much for your good thoughts and prayers. They meant so much to me.

I hope you're all having a good day too!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yeah Eden's Mama!

Very best thoughts to all for 2007.

And now it's time to return to knitting and skip food for a LOOOOONG time. No bikini EVER AGAIN!

Got the puzzles put away and that made me think of Marian.

Anyone have a favourite photo from 2006? Should we start a thread of these?


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

EDEN!! That is the BEST news! I am so happy for you all. :-) What a great way to start out the new year. I hope we can get some momentum going.

Come back soon Babs! Glad you had a good New Year's Eve. :-)

Sue...I LOVE Fridays too! Love that enthusiasm. lol

Typing is bothering my arms a bit today...I'll be back and will keep reading. Have a great Friday everyone. :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Eden---what a wonderful answer to prayer!!! Give your mother a huge hug from me. ;o) I'm so thankful and relieved....for her and for all of her family.

Babs, how wonderful to see an Idyll begun by you!! I miss your posts.

Sue...a Friday isn't a Friday until I see the TGIF from you!

I'm glad to read that Deanne is beginning to feel a bit better.

Today I am watching the babies. They came to my house instead of me traveling to them so it is quite a switch. Their poor mother arrived at 7 with LOTS of necessities. She went out and purchased extra supplies to keep at my house and now I'm going to need to find a cupboard to devote to 'baby' stuff. :o) They are napping right now, thus I took the opportunity to come read & post. I hadn't seen them for a week and they appear to have grown taller and filled out more. Still not much hair at all on those round little old man heads though. ;o) DH and I cannot figure out what is up with all these round headed g'kids! We've got a passle of little Charlie Browns! ;o) Our daughter who is expecting actually asked the ultra sound tech...does this baby's head appear 'large'? LOL My children had long thin faces....these little round men showing up are a puzzlement but, of course, we love our little Charlie Browns with all our hearts.

Well, I should go and get some laundry started and other things 'going' while I have the opportunity.

Enjoy your Friday and I hope the weekend is a nice one for all.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:39PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Eden, that is wonderful and joyous news to celebrate the New Year with!!!

Michelle, what a scary experience. I hate when people leave snow on the tops of their cars. I drive a minivan and I'm on the short side, so cleaning off the top is a reach, but I do it. I learned my lesson when I was younger and left some snow on top. I drove into Hartford and came down a small hill and had to stop rather quickly at a light in traffic. My car had warmed up inside and all of the snow on top came crashing forward onto my windshield. I only had a small hole to peer out of. The traffic started moving and I couldn't get out of the car in rush hour traffic surrounded by tons of cars, so I drove for a few feet to pull over as soon as I could. I'll never leave the snow on top again. I'm glad you're ok and that you shut your eyes in time! Pity no one stopped to help you though.

Have a great w/end everyone-hopefully I'll have a chance to write in more tomorrow.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:27PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well Eden!!!!! Fantastico news! That is just out of this world and into the next great. Thanks for letting us know. I was wondering how that came out. Soooo happy to hear your Mom is doing OK. What a huge relief.

Hey Babs, you party animal!

Thanks T for thinking of me. I actually got to the gym today without too much coughing and hacking. Put in a dreadful hour on the stairs but tomorrow should be better.

So Bug, looks like a wonderful time was had by all! The pics were just great. ~~ So are you going to knit me a sweater???? ROTFLOL. I took this pic yesterday and thought of youÂ

Finch in the Clematis vineÂ. Those are seed heads from the Sweet Autumn Vine This has to be my all time favorite photograph compositionally. I just love those curly fluffy seed heads from the clematis that echo the curve of the obelisk and the birdÂs head and neck following the curve of the obelisk as well, not to mention that serendipitous glow of light behind the bird which was NOT photoshopped in there. Anyway, thought youÂd like it.

Chelone, here are a couple of cardinals to cheer up your dayÂ

And I thought youÂd really enjoy the feather detailing on her wing and tail feathers.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 1:51PM
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Tonight the wedding festivities start with rehearsal and the rehearsal supper. The wedding starts at 2:00 with dinner and a dance also.

Eden, what wonderful news!

T, LOL "our little Charlie Browns"

Babs, enough whiskey and you may put on a bikini.

bug, thats a great idea, but it may be hard to choose just one. Hmmm, plants, garden shots or grandkids???

Per request, heres the spiffied up cabinets. The before picture you can see the back plates (sorry its such a poor picture)I plan on doing a little more decorating this winter in the kitchen/dining area as its been 10 years. The curtains definately need replacing. Of course I can't find any I like, so will probably have to sew them. My sewing machine is broke down.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

[mmmmmmmmm, Deanne, it's going to be a while before I start a sweater again. For now, small blankets. I may even try crochet. I'm still not saying no to you though. ;-)]

My dear Chelone. A raspberry for your brother. BBBBLLLAAAAH! Has he no sensitivity at all? Would he not stop for Michelle in distress on the road? Shape up man! I hope today is far better. Perhaps DH will reconsider that space above the garage for your new office this year? When all else fails, there's kitties, Idylls and the garden!

Deanne, I do love the backgrounds in ALL your most recent photos. Also hope that you are feeling better now.

We spent a great deal of time playing counting games to work on DGS's math skills. Also worked on puzzles, gave him a carpenter's measuring tape and a combination lock. This kid is bound to jump ahead quickly. I bet his teachers begin to notice. I also got him to work a bit on his in writing on a line and shaping letters so you can read them. Once he understands what is expected, I think it will improve enough that he'll be accepted into medical school. ;-)

OK, back to laundry.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:17PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I never thought I would be so stunned by photos of birds, Deanne - Wow o wow.....
So this is what a portable duck blind in your backyard produces, uh? Show a few of these to your neighbors; they wont be scoffing any more. Amazing. They look like they're all posed (and poised) just for you -- their personal portrait photographer. You have an incredible eye (and gift).

Good to hear that Blabs (I mean Babs) has not been dulled by age or partying! You've still got it, girl.

Great news, Eden re your Mom -- another case of showing how "alarmist" the drs can be (or blase) -- but better the knowing than the waiting, I say.

Michelle - you really perked up those cabinets. I hate to tell you: there are a bunch of rooms in my house that are older than 10 years in decorating fashion (Im just waiting for all their colors to come back in fashion & then I'll be trendy again)....

Marian - loved those laughs -- hopefully "Chelone, chelone, chelone" managed to get a few from 'em too.

Am glad to hear that our folks here are recovering -- you feeling better, T? Your comment re your little Charlie Browns reminded me of a guy I saw on the metro last nite -- he was very balding on top & had the most square forehead I have Ever seen -- the top of his head also had to be totally flat, flat flat -- so you had this totally perpendicular squared look to his forehead & top -- I imagined putting a ball on top of his head & it being perfectly level -- it was quite amazing to see... (arent I awful - the weird things to notice?) - I did wonder if his head had always been that flat on top or if he'd worn something or done something to make it so tabletop looking....

Gloomy, rainy day in the upper 60s here - tomorrow to be 70s -- I may make it a point to try to weed before it returns to January. Another 2 hour commute last nite home due to metro train problems (now, you can understand why I was pondering a stranger's head shape, LOL) -- I sure am glad it's Friday & I only have to do it one more time this week!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:44PM
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Hello Idylls

This week has been a blur. Ruth and the children left the same morning we all went back to school and it's been non-stop since then. I agree whole heartedly with Sue's TGIF!

In addition to the afterschool activities yesterday was a particularly gruelling day. I arrived home from coaching an Odyssey of the Mind meeting to find Annie in tears - two good friends she had attended an after school ski club meeting with had not arrived at their homes. Worrying, but I thought just a mix-up or miscommunication. By 9 PM last night the police had been called, school and other parents allerted, dogs sent to track. It was established that the two girls had got off the bus with another boy from their year at 4 PM, but that was the last time they were seen. I spent the evening with one of the missing girls' mothers to lend support, but my stomach was churning the whole time. We drank endless cups of tea. At 10.30 PM the phone call came, the threesome calling from a Holiday Inn a couple of miles away, thankfully all safe. I still haven't heard the full story but it involved getting lost trying to walk home. Hmmmmmm.... an exhausting and sressful evening for all and I imagine a lot of explaining to follow.

Tonight I'm taking Annie and a friend (a different friend that is) to the Mall to spend their Christmas money but I'm feeling jittery and won't let them out of eyesite.

Will be back to read and comment later - I think there are some fabulous birds and great news about Eden's Mom to catch up on.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 4:18PM
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Deanne, those photos are really something, your best work yet! Hope you're feeling better. Glad you could make it to the gym at least.

Babs, you go partygirl! Glad to hear you had a good NYEve!

Prairiemoon, hope your feeling better and able to post really soon.

Michelle, you did a great job on the cupboards. They're so shiny and the handles look good. I'm jealous, your kitchen is so neat and tidy! Have fun with all of the wedding festivities!

Marie, I'm so glad you had such a great week. How great that you were able to work with dgs. I can just picture the two of you and know you were really good with and for him. It seems to me that schools just don't put much emphasis on handwriting like they did back in the days when we were in school and I think that's really too bad. My David's is terrible, maybe he should be a DR., but I think it's because he never writes, just uses a keyboard for everything.

T, LOL on the Charlie Brown comparisons. All three of your grandsons are just the cutest! Can't wait to see the new little guy in a few months.

Cindy, I got a cercis covey last spring. I ended up mailordering it from Fairweather I think. All of the ones I could find locally were big $$. The one I got was a 3 footer for around $60.

Hi Monique! I'm looking forward to you writing more over the weekend.

Sue, boy you've been scarce. I miss your posts!

Chelone, how are you doing???

Time to get Bella up from her nap. I don't want her to get too much sleep since she's staying here tonight and I want her sleeping through the night.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 4:25PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Between year end at work and Tom's party planning it's been a busy week here. Nick went in for a dental cleaning on Wednesday and came home less eight teeth. Ouch! Tonight is the first night I've taken off from my workouts after nine straight days. It was time for a rest. We're off to dinner in a few minutes at a new restaurant in Hartford but I wanted to stop by, say hi and pass along this request I had from Steve Silk...

"I'm also looking for any good overall garden tweaking pix I could take, especially if I can get a before shot. Any projects you, or any of your nearby gardening buddies, have that might lend themselves to that? I'm particularly looking for things such as beefing up structure with plants or hardscape, using pots as focal points, or reworking bed lines to create more pleasing forms or to link several small areas into a larger whole. Lemme know."

Anyone who is reasonably local may want to give this some thought. I can put you in contact with Steve directly. We did get the final date set for Open Days tour. Mark your calendars for September 16th. Apparently the directory will be going to press soon.

Deanne, I didn't think your bird shots could get any better but they did.

Michelle that is one neat and clean looking kitchen. Glad everything turned out OK with the car incident.

Mary, glad everyone is safe but it sounds like Annie's friends think their parents were born yesterday. lol Enjoy your shopping trip.

Eden, great news about your mom! You must be so relieved.

Babs, you go girl! I partied til 12:30 on New Years Eve and that was late enough for me. Actually I stayed up later when Deanne was here overnight last month.

Is this weather freaky or what? I'm certainly not complaining but I prefer spring plants to bloom in the spring. Spring fever the first week in January is tough for a naturally restless person like me. Hopefully I won't end up with a tattoo. lol I keep wondering how many plants I'm going to lose when the inevitable cold snap hits.

OK, gotta run. We have 7 PM reservations. The dogs are off at spa night so I have to get home in time to run down to my groomer's house (20 minutes south of here) around 9:30 and pick them up.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 6:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Am I dense or what! It took me all day to realize that the Y and N are on the wrong words in the title! Very funny, Babs. :-) Hadn't you recovered from your New Year's eve?

Freaky weather here too. It got up close to 60 today. Our Flowering Quince is showing color in it's flower buds. I am thinking there will be a lot of damage when frigid temps return.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 6:58PM
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Don't feel bad Marian, I didn't notice the switcheroo until this afternoon either. That Babs is a tricky one, lol!

I just got Bella to bed and I'm thinking of following shortly. I've had her a lot this last week., everyday except Monday. Megan was working as much as possible during the holidays so I had her Sunday and then I had her an extra day Tues and overnight tonight which I don't usually. My house looks like it's been turned upside down and given a good shake. There's stuff strewn about everywhere. She'll be here tomorrow and then I have next week all to myself to get things straightened out again. I need to follow Cynthia's lead and give the basement a good once over and vacuuming too.

Mary, that must have been such a frightening experience for those parents and you too. Thank goodness there was a happy ending but I bet the parents, after hugging their kids, wanted to choke them! Hope you have some time to just chill out and relax this weekend.

Good night...Eden

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Happy 12th Day of Christmas/Epiphany/Three King's Day!!!!!

Okay -- expecially for Chelone -- at exactly 4pm EST let's all go out and burn something botanical in celebration!! Here, it will be a few leftover twigs of Christmas Tree. The rest have been readied for covering garden areas. Because a DN is a volunteer firefighter, he made me promise that it wouldn't be a bonfire in the middle of the cul-de-sac. The kids in the neighborhood, of course, think the whole idea of burning anything legally is pretty cool, so it will be a chance to educate them about yet another "Mrs. Martie" tradition.

Chelone: Hope your few day respite from Idylls means that you're either on the phone making arrangements for some time off, or in jail for beating up your DB. Either way, check in!

Eden: Huge Exhale!!!! That is such good news for your Mom and family.

Had a long talk with a good friend who is a Practice Manager for an oncologist and talked with her about why calls are made from frontdesk people that scare the patoot out of patients and their families. She said that there is starting to be a move to have nurses make those calls, instead, but the (don't anyone go over the top here) problem is cost. Nurses cost a lot and insurance doesn't cover the cost of them making phone calls. BUT -- She also suggested lobbying hard with individual doctors WHEN TREATMENT FIRST BEGINS and insist that a medical professional make all calls. If they don't comply, find another doctor, she said. Her office has just begun this program and the doctor is finding that patients are a ton less stressed when they get to the office because the nurse can say "you can come alone" or "bring someone with you." That is the clue to families since NO medical info can legally be given over the phone unless the office is Sure that the person is the patient or legal designee. Food for thought........

Sue -- September 16th is on the calendar and, I'd very humbly offer my main bed for before/after photos. Since I'm going into year three and have pics of before, during and in progress, perhaps it would help. There's nothing fancy, but it was done "right" and is certainly different from when we started. What the heck am I thinking???????

Marian: I didn't see the title at all. Thanks for being the sharp one in the crowd!! I was thinking of you the other day while deciding if I should or shouldn't kill the orchid I was considering buying. LOL I ended up not getting it because it was just too pretty to put into my care.

Cindy: I notice things like square heads, too. Also notice what people are wearing on their feet since it can certainly effect their mood on a two hour commute in a train. Fortunately, my train time is at a minimum lately. The things we do to stay occupied :-)

Deanne: If you ever, ever want to take your pics to market, let me know and I'll front market. Amazing, amazing work. The Clematis pic just needs lovely copy for the inside of a card.

Marie: Feeling the Joy doesn't describe your pics. Noticed that Spiderman fits right in to the hubbub of life at DGP's. Is his learning delays attributed to his hearing loss or is someone in his school just not having enough time to help him out? Please eat sometime before Valentine's Day.

Michelle: Super kitchen do-over!! It didn't take you any time at all!! If you ever want to work in CT for a few weeks give Rich a call, he says.

T: When my Dad baptized babies he'd remember who was who by notes concerning physical characteristics of parents and babies. During one particularly nasty bout with the flu when he had to take medication to preach at all, he came darn close to baptizing a baby "que ball" from looking at his notes. Fortunately, the parents were very good friends of the church and thought it rather funny, and considered it a double dose of blessing. They all still laugh about it to this day. Just think of your babies as being styling!!! There's lots of Hollywood characters that pay to have heads like theirs.

Monique: You are going to throw your hat into the ring for the Steve Silk garden transformation request, right? Hoping you make it to Logee's on the 21st. Found an incredible blue container shaped like a seashell at Ocean State Job Lot and immediately thought of you. If a guy had been around to lift it I would've gifted it to you in a heartbeat.

Anyone and everyone else: Greetings!! Join me at 4pm (but don't tell your local fire department the suggestion came from this neighborhood LOL).

Best to all and see you later!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Forgot two important things:

Mary: I just don't know what to say. Poor Annie!! Poor parents!! Poor you!! Glad everyone is safe and sound. Fill us in as more info comes your way.

Babs: Thanks for filling in for me, who was in bed by 10pm on NYEve. Sounds like you had a blast and I'm glad :-)

Later, again.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:10AM
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[Note;I wrote this yesterday so it's not up to date]

Lol Marian But *isn't* this the year of the yew? I'm just having 'resolution'!

((Mary))-how awful to go through-waiting for Annie's friends. I would have been going nuts with worry. I hope there wasn't a dangerous situation involved-I don't blame you for not wanting to let the girls outof your sight-especially at a mall: (

Eden that is fantastic news!!! I'm so happy for your mom-it's just terrific.
That cat poem you posted could have been written by Abraham himself-I think that's incredible that you were able to help him trust you and then he became such a treasured pet.
-I was touched that Megan's brother would spend the night to keep her company when Bella was so sick! I trust that Bella is improved? So was this the first fever Bella's had? Usually when temps get up to 103 and higher we call the Dr. Once Ryan had a 104 temp(I think he was two yrs old) and the Dr. said I had to take him in the shower to cool him because the Tylenol wasn't working-very scary when you are new at it.

Jerri how sad to have another bad thing happen-you need a break.

Prairie-I thought that was quite thoughtful of you to want to get a list of name plants going for those who've lost people or pets they love.
-As far as garden genes go-In my mind there's a definite connection. Most garden people I know had a family member that sparked their garden interest and the ability to nurture plants came along with it. It's easy to get hooked once you see what the possibilities are
-Good idea to grow peas! I just read an issue of Hort. Magazine and they mentioned about growing snap peas which would be so fun to sow while it's still winter. You kind of inspired me about planting peas because my dad was an avid veggie gardener and I could honor his life of gardening on St. Pat's day which happens to be the anniv. of his passing away. He wasn't Irish(my mom is)but that was one of his favorite holidays.
-I wish I had read your post about taking pics when I use the mixer-I've already made chocolate chips cookie bars and the mixer came in handy for mashing the cooked beans in my ham/bean soup too: )
-I love your raised garden beds-hey size doesn't matter ; ) Your wooden frames reminded me that the day is getting closer to when I can finally turn the kids sandbox into a bed much like what you have there.

GB-and remember when you where shocked that your DD was going to marry someone different than you expected? Look how things turn out-glad your family had so much fun. I can feel the joy & pride from your pics: )

Woody-LOL about that body/crime scene! A lovely wicked sense of humor.

Norma-MIL is her normal self (hmmm) no she's not ailing besides the chronic stuff. I said 'tend' since every Saturday we spend picking up her meds/supplies & do laundry or cleaning for her. She's grating on my nerves lately because she's either not eating enough of what she needs and her blood sugar levels were way too low (just as dangerous as too high!) or she's eating too much. One morning she wasn't far from going into a diabetic coma-I need to stop-I will rant lol

Kathy-I love your hellebores- my H Argutifolius has such a great presence when the ground is snowy since they keep their leaves. The leaves have such great character too.
OK so let me get this straight-Kathy AND Prarie both have new cameras? Have fun!!I like seeing how people progress when learning to use a camera-when you have macro it seems so magical to be able to get such tight detailed shots-once I posted a plate of spaghetti here-I couldn't get enough photo op material I guess(it was winter): )
And then we have DEANNE! How can you say you are 'beginning' to figure out the camera equipment? Your pics look perfect! I expect to see some improvement when you are positive you know how to work that thing.lolol. : ) I do like your backgrounds too-I totally get what you mean about having the right background set up-it's about as important as the subject itself.
Do you know the four fuchsias from you that were meant to be dormant by now on my enclosed porch are in almost full leaf and starting to bud up?? Whacky winter but I like seeing the fuchsias ALIVE. (It makes me think spring is almost here) Oh and get this-I still have a potted coleus alive and a bunch of coleus cuttings still kicking!

Michelle-your experience with your windshield is frightening and maddening at the same time. WHY are people so uncaring? I hope your nerves are calm now-I would have been a mess-I don't even have a cell phone-wonder what that would have been like if people were ignoring you. I'm so glad your eyes are OK-I keep imagining all the things that could have happened but didn't-thankfully.

Cindy-my hellebores are budding up very nicely too!It really hasn't bloomed as well other years as I expected it might when I bought it-but these warm temps are helping it along so I am crossing my fingers. I need to move it into more sun-except I like the foliage in one of my shadier beds-geeze.

Howdy Taryn! How was your Christmas?

Mary! Dare I ask what an English sausage roll is? Any mushroom in it? : )

It's raining cats, dogs, and horses outside right now-my basement is leaking. I am afraid to check the progress of water: (.

OK EVERYBODY-Nurse Ratchet here to say WASH YOUR HANDS! No joke, actually. 50% of cold, flu, & icky communicable things can be stopped from attacking you if you would wash those hands CORRECTLY. I mean that you must wash hands with a soapy lather outside the stream of faucet water for 20-30 seconds-as long as it takes to sing the alphabet song AND you need to clean under fingernails, between the fingers, scrubbing the palms as well as the backs of hands and do your wrists too! Especially in a public bathroom, use a paper towel to turn off faucets. The faucet handle has the worst organisms growing on it from other people¡¦s soiled hands!(doorknobs are in that same category)!I sound excessive but take note of how long you wash your hands next time lol.

This is the first time ever that I used Word to write a post-not sure if I'm a good candidate for this method since my posts are an extreme blabfest; )

~Blabbering Babs

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:34AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good Spring-ish morning!

Spring fever is right, I feel like taking my Jack Daniels and bikini to the beach! I have opened windows in the house, and I'm going outside to look for sprouting plants in a little while. I guess we broke a record here for high temp yesterday, and will probably break another today.

Mary, your story about Annie's friends is my greatest fear. So glad they are OK, and I hope they realize the seriousness of their actions. My DD has been walking to school since last year, and this year her favorite recreation is going for a walk. She sometimes walks to school alone, but her other walks are always with her best friend who lives a few streets over. Her friend has a cell phone, and we have thought of getting DD one too (DH wants her to have one with the GPS tracking, but that will be our secret). I have her check in about hourly, unless she is at her friend's house, then she has to call if they are going on another walk. They almost always take the same route, and I have threatened to go and find them if the check-in call is not timely (have not had to do that yet). I know that my DD and her friend are sensible girls, I worry about the influence of other friends who may not be.

In other news, DD has formed a band with four of her friends. The first practice session was here yesterday afternoon (I guess the band has to practice at the drummer's house since the drums are the least portable instrument - joy). I missed hearing them since I was at work. DH said they weren't too bad. They have not decided on a name for the band yet, will keep you posted.

Michelle, those pics of your car were very scary. You handled it well, I don't think I could have driven home after that. Your cabinets look great - I like the handles much better without the back plate.

Chelone, thinking of you and your difficult situation. I hope some resolution comes for you soon. Bless that bath lady with the super-sonic hearing - that is amazing!

'bug, your pics of your DD and family's visit are wonderful. What a lovely family.

T, LOL about the babies and their Charlie Brown do's. Some pics are coming soon, I hope? My kids spent a lot of time at my mom's when they were babies, she had a dresser devoted to their gear, along with a portable crib and changing table. Actually, her whole spare room was baby central for a while. I don't know what I would have done without her when they were small, I could never have put them in daycare. T and Eden, your daughters are lucky to have you.

Deanne, I can just picture you hunkered down in your yard waiting for birdie photo ops. I was wondering how you remained still long enough for the birds to come near, the portable blind explains that! The pics are stunning, well worth the effort. Glad you are feeling better too. If you still have those extra plants, I could shoot up there some afternoon - I'm off Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Let me know what works for you.

Sue, I have plenty of before for Steve Silk, the after is still a work in progress. Monique and Deanne, yours are the gardens he definitely should see. Deanne, you are the queen of "using pots as focal points" and Monique you are the princess of garden structure.

Hi Babs, you party animal! I was in bed early on New Years Eve too.

Have a great weekend everyone!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:09AM
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I also wanted to *add*(imagine that)...Chelone I think you need a tropical paradise vacation right about now-I would have said ocean cruise but then I'd be wishing you a nasty case of intestinal torture-just scratch that cruise idea: )
You do sound like you've reached the point of no return-you are SOOOO capable of doing your own business-you'd have tons of clients that's for sure. I do know it would be still difficult while you are a caregiver though. You'd have to limit your work since being a caregiver is a 24 hr thing in itself. Though you'd still have more leeway than working outside the home offers. I do think at the right time you'd be very lucrative. Hang in there-sorry it's so hard. Chris has the same sibling situation with his sister-she's always too busy to lend a finger(she does so little I couldn't say 'hand').

Michelle-I forgot to tell you how nice the cupboards turned out! Thanks for welcoming your new neighbor-I think all neighbors should do that but many don't these days....

Great the weatherbug icon is pulsing again-hope it's not more rain: ( Basement cleanup today...I see foundation work in my future.$$$-'$cary'.

Be good.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:12AM
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Hi everybody. Sure is quiet here today but if you're like me, you've been running around barefoot outside watching pansies bloom and daffs peeking out. Ground is absolute mush. The Pacific Northwest got nothin' on us here in New England!!

I'm close to worried but can't control the weather so why waste the energy. The upside??? NO BUGS!!!!

Please, please, please click on the link and help me out with a major design choice. I'm willing to spend whatever is needed for a plant in this spot. Don't want to post pics in two places. Thanks in advance, pals :-)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 1:43PM
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Here is a more direct route to the question. Sorry :(

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 1:47PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

It is 67 degrees here! Never mind the whiskey, lets have pina coladas! We'll meet on my deck at sunset, after Martie's bonfire.

Here are some pics from my stroll today.

This heuchera 'peach melba' stayed tiny in a container two years ago, but it has enjoyed spreading out in the garden.

This foxglove will be awesome if it survives the winter that is surely coming.

The hellebore 'Sunmarble' is in bud, but the old foliage hasn't even died back yet so the buds are hidden.

I have a pretty good crop of moss and lichen

I'll start dicing the pineapple, see you at 4:30!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 1:50PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wendy, it's 70 F here-83 F in the sun! Earlier this afternoon I stretched out in one of the lounge chairs in my side yard and soaked up a bit of sun. Five mile walk around town here I come. Tom is out golfing. I told him to pick up some fresh swordfish on the way home. We grill all year round but tonight is definitely a grill night.

It's all I can do to keep from picking up the shovel and start moving woodies but I know better. Instead I'm making lists of what needs to be moved come March.

Did someone say Pina colads?


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 2:13PM
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...Ok, it appears to be warmer is Sues garden than it is in Palm Springs right now..(63 there) so maybe a six pack of gold beer, shrimp cocktails, and a bottle of Coppertone ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 3:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Heard from David B who is well and enjoyed a lovely Christmas.

Chelone is packing up Mum for a trip to her brother's house on Monday. Her DH came to the rescue and negotiated the deal. I think Chelone will need Cynthia-style rehab, just like an overworked greyhound.

We expect 24F tonight, so pina colads sound a bit out of place. I'm too tired to take down decorations, but still on a high from having the whole family here.

Family portrait

New basement floor:

Yes Babs, I remember being concerned about the quick wedding...but no more. She chose well. My pain is for her ex though still.

As for Martie's question about learning problems, I'm not sure yet what they are all about. Hearing certainly is a big issue, but he's so quick about some things that I just don't know. I've never taught a kid like him. I think his writing is poor because he just goes way too fast. Reminds me of myself learning to drive: I wanted to do it all in one day and hated the slowness of practicing. With arithmetic he guesses. You just can't do that and be accurate, so we played lots of games with dice and cards and dominoes, so I think that will bring him up to speed. Watching him do puzzles was great: He hated them at first and was frustrated by rotating pieces. I had 3 old simple ones around the house and he managed to do those a few times for me and then DD got him a 100 piece one in town and he mastered it all by himself right away. So in 3 days he went from zero to 100! I think it helped that it wasn't Mom & Dad but new friends playing along with him. He loved playing dice with DS.

OK, I'll try to shut up a bit now.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 3:52PM
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I've skimmed the posts, but concentrating on anything is difficult right now. There is much I want to comment on, but I just can't concentrate on anything except what I HAVE to do, right now.

Monday is going to suck. While there is no guarantee, the liklihood is Mum will never return to our home. I worry about her care, but after nearly 4 yrs., it's time to hand it off to my brother (whether or not he "likes" it).

Two things I very much want to share:

EDEN: nothing has bouyed me more than knowing the MRIs on your Mom are clear. I'm so happy for you and grab every minute you're able to enjoy her company and DOCUMENT all the little, silly, fun family anecdotes. I mean that! It's too late for me...

Marian: I've seen the cat bathing thing before. But the helpmeet and I howled over the redneck grooming... . You crack me up, even if you insist on calling yourself a fuddy-duddy... ;)

I'll be "back" after I've managed to get through the next couple of days. It seems insurmountable now, but I know it isn't... it just hurts.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 4:45PM
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((Chelone)) and ((helpmeet)). Find all the old pillows you can. Take everything off the walls in one room. Close all doors and windows. Throw said pillows against walls whilst screaming. I'm not being, or trying to be funny or sarcastic. Let some of that energy Out!!!!

Marie: When you think it appropriate could you fill me on on DD's marraige? It all must've happened just as or before I was coming on board. Didn't realize there was an "ex" but if there was, seems she knew what she was doing.

It was virgin strawberry dacquiris here. With real whipped cream and Then a tromp through the woods for pine mulch. If a hard freeze comes and stays, I have plants that are undoubtedly doomed.

Village is down, fire burned, steaks ready for the grill, motorcycle again batteryless after a quick spin (hey, it's 73degF in January!! Florida friends are jealous)and caught up with a good gardening girlfriend who I haven't spoken with in two (omygod) months. Her Rugosas are swelling; I don't dare check mine.

Serious housework tomorrow. Rich has been wonderful and now it's my turn.

Sorry, Wendy, signed on too late to join you with raised glass. Have an extra for me :-)

Mary -- What's up with those kids? Was it malicious or did they just really, awfully feel their oats?


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 5:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi folks-

Sorry, it's me again, but I have to tell you the news! DD & DSIL bought a house today! We gave them a half a house for Christmas and this morning they saw one they'd looked at on the web here and put in an offer and got it...all today! YES, it has a south facing backyard, a deck, a hot tub, a dog run, everything and more. The owners have had it for 19 years and have kept things up meticulously. The kids are over the moon and in shock. Well how about that! It will be a pinch for us of course, but living frugally and loving family is a fine combo! I hope we can help them move on April 1st, then be there for the new baby in June/July. Being asked to come for that is my best present. I didn't want my Mom when mine were born, but am now really honoured. Sigh....

Martie, DD lived with Mark for seven years and loved him dearly, but it was a difficult relationship. She met DSIL at one of her short term government jobs, and the rest is history. They decided to get married legally in August and their meaningful celebration was September 3rd. They leave a wake of significant others behind them, but they are very right for each other and ever so upbeat!

I think we'll drink the last bottle of wedding wine tonight. :-)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Mary, you have to trust me on this one... kids are incredibly STUPID and THOUGHTLESS. Trust me, I WAS ONE, once upon a time... ;)

I'm a complete "hard-ass" when t comes to kids. I received "spankings" when I was too much of a jerk and the 'rents ran out of patience. I'm not only alive, kicking, but I'm a good person, "in spite of it"! Find out what the whole story is and move on, based on what you've learned. I'd bet a dollar against doughnuts your daughter already has an accurate "bead" on the whole story.

Kids are SMART. They've watched it all happen... they've taken it all in. Sometimes they do dumb things, but the more you talk to them the more likely they are to make shrewd, calculated choices. Shrewdness and "calculated" come down to participation. I truly believe kids are smart and very, very shrewd. It's up to US to focus their shrewdness in the direction we believe will most benefit them in the LONG RUN. ;)

Nervous about the next few days...


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 6:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone ( and others) I'm so glad you got a good laugh out of the redneck link. And I am soo behind you in your decision about your mum. My situation has not got to that point. Instead it is myself that needs some aide! My back is at an all time 'bad' ! Almost every move I make is misery. The pain grabs me, and almost fells me. It appears I am going to have to see a doctor again the first of next week. Maybe I can get a shot?
I know you have told us, but where does your brother live? What State? Is your DH going with you? If it is to the west of us, you could use our spare bedroom for a rest on your way home.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Greetings to all... and right out of the gate, Eden, such great news re: your Mom. ! Hope the news continues to be good for a long time..

Chelone..I hope things proceed as well as they can for you during this difficult transition.Theres nothing worse than having to choose between two undesireable courses of action.Good vibes out to you.

Well Martie, I would plant one of the follwing: Cotinus, a variegated or red leaved Sambucus, a red leaved Japanese Maple,or other speciman small japanese maple, or a weeping blue atlas cedar. My two cents !

And yes Babs, I have a new camera, not yet mastered, but here are a couple from today

One of my Camellias, just coming into bloom

Corsican Hellebore with his neighbor a variegated sedge.

Got something cooking on the stove so I'll try to stop in later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 6:42PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

(((Chelone))) I wish I could help. Know we are all with you in spirit in the next few days.
The trip down south for Mom's funeral was like going into he11. I mentally had to prepare for anything that could be thrown my way. It won't be easy for you either but you will get through this and you will be at a much better place. Stay strong and remember you are doing the right thing!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 8:24PM
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An uneventful day here spent mostly playing with or reading to Bella. Brad got a laptop of his very own and set it up today so now we can both surf the web over our coffee in the morning separate yet together, the mark of a good marriage IMO.

Martie, my suggestion is corylus avellana red majestic. I got one last spring that I just love. I think Sue has one too.

Marie, what great news. I love hearing the happiness and excitement in your posts these days and am so happy for you and your family!

Chelone, you're doing what you have to so be at peace about your decision. I ran across this quote today and thought of you...

"In any moment of making a decision the best thing you can do is do the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

It was way past time for you to do something. You were losing too much of yourself. Wherever your mum is you'll be watching out for her and making sure she's well cared for.

I wonder if Sue got her tattoo today since the weather was so springlike in the east?

Off to crack open a bottle of wine. It's been a long week. Have a good evening all!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 8:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I enjoyed this and hope some of you do too-



enough money within her control to move out

and rent a place of her own even if she never wants

to or needs to...


something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her

dreams wants to see her in an hour...


a youth she's content to leave behind....


a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to

retelling it in her old age....


a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black

lace bra...


one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who

lets her cry...


a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone

else in her family...


eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a

recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...


a feeling of control over her destiny...


how to fall in love without losing herself..






when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


that she can't change the length of her calves,

the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..


that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's



what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...


how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...


whom she can trust,

whom she can't,

and why she shouldn't

take it personally...


where to go...

be it to her best friend's kitchen table...

or a charming inn in the woods...

when her soul needs soothing...


what she can and can't accomplish in a day...

a month...and a year...

(No black lace here though...)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Hi everyone

Oh dear - I just can't quite seem to catch up enough to comment. Thoughts to you all instead.

Still haven't heard the final word on where the missing kids were - their story doen't add up to me. Annie and I had some important discussions about what she would have done were she in the same situation and how to stand up to peer pressure.

I need to turn in for the night - DH left town for almost 4 weeks so I was feeling a little blue. David is at a sleepover so Annie and I watched Akeala and the Bee (an excellent movie). I just spent the last 3 hours working on a miniature fish tank using liquid Fimo for the water which is hardened in the oven. I made tiny polymer clay gold fish (1/4 inch long), miniscule water plants, and had fun arranging the minute gravel (chick grit) and shells on the base. I'm still working out how to support the "water" while it bakes. The tank itself I've cut from thin plexiglass and will have a 3V light in the top, powered by a battery hidden in the stand. After all the activity over the holidays and returning to work its been fun spending time doing something so frivilous and playing with new materials (even when I should be sleeping)

Nite all


    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:41PM
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Happy Sunday morning! And yes it was lovely and warm here this week-end too. It may have hit 70F yesterday but too busy enjoying it to check thermometer. I've taken advantage of the warmth these last few weeks to do a lot of the cutting back that didn't happen in the fall.

Eden, What a relief for your family. So glad things are looking good for your mom.

Deanne, your bird photos really slow down my reading. They are stunning!

Michelle, the cabinets look great. Isn't it neat when you can improve and save something you like with just a little(lot?) of work!?

Wendy & Kathy, I enjoy looking at your photos. Yeah, not much difference between California and the east coast right now. My yard is now awash in hellebore blooms. I have at least 50, having started many from Tasmanian seed 3 years ago. These are from February of last year, but just what things look like now! (Still haven't picked out a new camera.)

GB, I'm loving all of the family photos and stories. 'Half of a house' is a darn nice gift. But heck, they're giving you grandchildren so you may have to give them half of something else too.

Chelone, Any mother would not want her children to give up their happiness for hers. Assisted living or extended care facilities are good solutions. I haven't decided which facility 'Dannie the therapy dog' will be visiting, but one that is famous for being the place everyone in this area wants to retire to is high on my list. It's a converted college campus and has different levels of support from extended care to apartment living. Charlestown

Foster Fritz has been spoken for and will go home next Friday night with a 6 year old girl, an 11 year old IG and a nice mom who will have her hands full! We don't adopt to folks with children under six, and any placements with young kids make me nervous. But Fritz really likes kids and he's very laid back boy, so I think he's the grey for this job and I still get excited when they find their families! I did the home visit on this family, so have had a chance to meet them twice and think with a little support they'll be fine.

Ok, I'm going to introduce a new topic. Have any of you ever had your eyebrows 'threaded'? I had never even had them waxed until about a year ago when the manicurist (during the second manicure of my life) said 'your eyebrows need work.' lol. One of my neighbors, who is much more fashionable than I am, (ok everyone beats me in that department), took me with her yesterday when she had her's done. It's an Indian thing. They thread string through your brows to remove the strays and it's not painful! Just a little twinge. It was fun to try something new and different and the best part was that she didn't make me look permanently surprised.

There was too much to read this morning, so I know I've missed a lot. But enjoyed every bit and thinking of all! Hi T!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 7:20AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

[Started this yesterday about 3pm... :-)]

How could it be 75 degrees on my back porch by my thermometer? I suppose because it is in the sun, but still..that is what it was. It is just amazing out there. I have my windows open and I can hear the little kids in the next yard playing with their Dad and yelling... 'Touchdown'! LOL We just did catch up on a few chores out there that we didn't get around to in the fall. Brought my last 2 clay pots in that were still out there.

Great to hear all the grandchildren news...T....any photos with your new lens yet?

Glad you are feeling better DEANNE..hope you got out and soaked up some sun out there today for your cold. It was like the tropics come to you! [g] Deanne, I haven't seen photos of your yard yet...but I just love the structures the birds are landing on...that iron chair is gorgeous! I continue to be mesmerized with your bird photos. I agree with what everyone else has said about them. :-)

MICHELLE...I don't think I heard about a wedding? I hope a wonderful time was had by all. Look forward to hearing all about it. Great job on the cabinets..I agree with did you do that so fast? I would barely have the stain picked me that is no exaggeration. [g]

GBUG...Hadn't had a chance yet to say how I enjoyed that last set of photos of your family before they went home. So nice to see them enjoying being together. When your DD and SIL were singing?...all I could think of was Sonny and Cher singing 'I Got You Babe' DGS is the sweetest! :-) I bet you miss them already.

Hope you didn't have another gloomy rainy day today CINDY. :-) Did you finish your bsement?

MARY...what a stressful night you had. So happy it all turned out okay. It is so scary when something like that happens. I haven't heard Odyssey of the Mind since seeing that movie Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster. :-)

Hello SUE...another Idyll with dogs. I am thinking I must be the only one without a pet. :-( I sat out in the sun for awhile felt so good.

Almost time to burn the tree branches MARTIE? :-) Hope you are enjoying your 12th Day of Christmas. :-) As for your design input request...What are some of your favorite plants? Anything special you want to find a place for? Were you thinking evergreen, shrubs only, perennials, grasses? Southwest gets pretty hot and sunny...I would LOVE that location. I don't have enough sun for all the roses and evergreens I want. Any interest in using those? Any kind of style you have to fit it into?

[This morning...]

BABS...Glad to see you posting. That is such a nice story about your Dad. Some Irish here too. So did your Dad's interest in veggie gardens rub off on you? I hope the weather will cooperate and we both can plant peas on Saint Patrick's Day. I think that would be a great way to remember him. Anyone else want to join us?

It's not too late to take photos of using your mixer! [g] And the result. Cookie bar photos sound great. Next time you use it!
I remember the sand box days. Enjoy them as long as you can. :-)
How did your basement do yesterday?
Thank you very much for the reminder and details on washing hands. Lots of warnings on the news due to Meningitis deaths in RI, so this was a second reminder to me and we went over it at supper last night. Not the first time it has come up here.

WENDY! A band! Your DD is starting in a band? Practicing at your house? LOL Wow, that is so far removed from my own experiences. I assume that if your DD is the drummer, then you are old hands at this. Free passes back stage on the horizon? [g]

Nice photos...that foxglove is very healthy looking. Hellebore is really different looking, love that foliage..and you did better with the Peach Melba Heuchera than I did. Hope they all make it through without injury.

WOW! GREAT News about CHELONE! So happy to hear your Mom will soon be visiting DB. So sorry you have to go through this. Once you get a break and a rest from caring for your Mom full time, I am sure you will feel stronger to deal with the whole situation.

GBUG...You are full of good What a surprise. Any chance their new house is close to you?

KATHY...LOVE your camellia photo! Not able to grow those here, so I especially enjoy seeing photos. The foliage looks so healthy and the bloom so buttery soft looking. Imagine you have a real garden this time of year. lol Your camera is taking great photos already! :-)

EDEN...that is a cute picture in my head now..two of you side by side each with his own laptop and a cup of coffee, with the morning sun streaming in the window.

MARY...Four weeks is a long time. So you are making a fish tank with polymer clay..? Would love to see photos you go along or when it is finished or both.

Hi Norma and Jerri.. :-)

Sun is out already and not a cloud in the sky. Hope you all have a sunny Sunday. :-)


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Forgot to refresh..WOW on the Hellebore photos Cindy! I haven't been willing to start from seed, hearing it takes so long before they bloom. I should try it though. I could use about a dozen more plants. :-) I love your dark rose color and are those doubles? I barely got one bloom last year, mine are three years old this year, so I am keeping fingers crossed.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:19AM
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Good morning

Cynthia - what a fablulous way to greet the day with your stunning Hellebores - they are gorgeous!!!

I've never had my eyebrows threaded - I had them waxed once and liked the effect but never maintained the look as well as I should have done. There is an eye brow "Salon" in our area I'm rather intrigued by. Tell us if you go.

Prairiemoon - yes, this will be the longest DH has been travelling for quite a while. We talk twice a day on the phone but I do miss his company. David was in tears when he left which makes me feel even worse. However, the little boy David slept over with last night will soon have his Dad leave for a 1 year overseas deployment with the army so I know things could be worse. I'm lucky to have some good friends for support - solo parenting is very tough;0(

Wendy - you're so right about about kids going missing being your greatest fear. I cannot tell you where my imagination ran during those hours, no thanks to shows like CSI. I must say the incident made me even more glad that we got Annie her cell phone, I hadn't thought before Thursday as to whether it has a tracking chip, I should check. Your flower photos are fab- I lvoe the Sunmarble buds peeking out.

GB - what a great poem! I've so enjoyed sharing the joy of your family visit.

I'll be back to catch up with others later but right now I want to make the most of the morning peace and quiet. We too are having freakishly warm weather but I'm having a harder time enjoying it. Thoughts of the huge chunk of ice that broke off from the Canandian arctic, the fact that we had the warmest December since 1756 and predictions that 2007 will be the hottest year ever leave me longing for seasonal reassurance that we haven't completely destroyed the planet.



    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Good amazing morning!!! I'm convinced that I've Rip Van Winkled through January and February. Have taken to double ordering some seeds to start really early, and some a bit later to see if the early ones will survive this year. Feel like I'll soon need to change my zone to Z6 every year but 07 so Z9 nrthn CT.

Eden: Take some time for yourself this week. Okay?? I saw a Suess village last night and it's so cute!! Good that Brad has his own laptop. We're in the market for a Rich-has-his-own. What did you get?

Hellebores!!!! Seed and plants are on my "buy" list. Plants for bloom in '08, seeds for the rest of my life. LOL

PM2: You gotta try seedstarting. It's so fun to look at a plant several years later and know it is truly "your" baby. I'm also a huge fan of Bluestone shrub starts. I've got 18 that will be permanently placed this year and paid a whopping $97 for them in '05/06. Seedstarts is also how I true new annuals or when I need 40 plants of one thing. This year I'm encouraged to try Coleus and have ordered two different mixes. Look into Pinetree Seeds. You can get small amounts of tons of varieties for less than $1 per pack and they are a New England local business. One florescent light with a hot and cold bulb (total investment approx $22) plus starter mix plus seeds is all you need. Certainly you have a 1' by 4' area in your house to give it a try?

Thanks for corner suggestions, so far. Am considering anything and everything but am leaning to a Conifer. So much to see and learn about first!!

Am thinking of Chelone and Jerri and all others who are hurting and going through not-great moments. We'll be here for you when you need us!!

Cynthia -- So great about Fritz! I, too, have just recently entered the world of eyebrow fashion and must say that your method sounds a lot more pleasant that waxing.

Just looked at the time and need to shoot out for food shopping. Later!!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 9:06AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA this the beginning of the 4 weeks? How old is David? How many children do you have? I was lucky my husband didn't have to travel with his job and he was always around when the kids were growing up. I really depended on him, so I can imagine how a month alone must feel. Hang in there, I bet it is going to go by fast. :-) Oh...and don't forget, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'..just think of the reunion and you could start planning something special. :-)

MARTIE...Conifers are great..are you planning mostly confiers on that corner? Great spot for them. Broken Arrow in CT has a nice selection with good prices.

I'm sorry I was rushing and didn't make it clear, it was starting Hellebores that I have been avoiding. I love starting seeds too! What are you ordering this year Martie? Thanks for the Pinetree recommendation. :-) Bluestone I ordered from once a long time ago. I bought a Syringa 'Miss Kim' from them that was just large enough to really spread the fragrance around last year. I saw a few things in their catalog already. Last year I barely bought a thing so I can buy without guilt this year. [g]

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 10:13AM
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Top o the morning Idylls

Too cold to go outside yet, we had a bit of frost this am but the sun is shining so another nice day will be upon us. Yet another weekend where I get no painting done inside ! However, must get the roses pruned now , as one never knows when more rain will come. Yesterday I got the front yard roses all finished , and actually tried to plant my dayliles that I ordered last summer and have been growing on in 1g containers while the front garden hardscaping was done. Alas, the day may have seemed springlike, but the soil is just too wet to work and I cant get any amendments shoveled in . So, no planting, though I did move a couple little chunks of Silene uniflora around . Today its back yard .

Cynthia, beautiful Hellebore photos ! 50 plus definitely puts you in the collector category. Ive been very lazy about any sort of seed starting the last couple of years , I really need to get back in the groove there. I dont really have a good spot for it right now, even though I have a nice little light set-up in the garage , all the bench space is full of junk basically. The end of Feb I am going to be getting the garbage company to bring me a dumpster so I can clean out the garage and utility area. (again) . Where does all the stuff come from ???

bug, how great of you to have helped DD and DSIL get into their own home. I feel really bad for younger folk who grew up here in Napa County and now cant afford to buy here without a 6-figure salary. Looking in the real estate ads in the Sunday paper this morning I saw nothing under 400k , and most places under 500k were fixer uppers in depressed neighborhoods.

Mary, bummer that you are without your DH for such a long haul. Hope the time goes by quickly for you !

PM , I have just a few camellias, only two in bloom right now I will try to get a pic of the second one. There is a Napa Valley Camellia society which is very active-there are people who are really really into them in a big way. They are good structural plants in the garden, though do best here with some shade. My favorites are the white ones..

Well Id best get going on my indoor chores before its time to hit the back yard

His to all I missed !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 12:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of Chelone this afternoon. There are things we plan on doing once in our going away to school, marrying, buying a house. These are events we anticipate eagerly. But packing up Mom or Dad is something we hope to never face, even though most of us do. It is more than hard and fills us with guilt and pain. Giant hugs to you my friend!

Mary, DH has traveled a great deal in the past 40 years...but the worst was when the children were younger and at home. I did manage to eat earlier, finish projects and so forth, but life was missing a big spark until he returned. The fact that you are in phone contact is a big advantage!

Cynthia, I've so enjoyed your return here and hope it will continue throughout 2007!

In news from Edmonton, DD & SIL are concerned that they won't be entitled to a "deaf child playing" sign at their new home because dgs will be there only half time. They are somewhat comforted by the fact that the road is short, leads nowhere and that they are close to the bend, so that it is not a spot where cars would likely be speeding. This needs further investigation though in my opinion.

Here are photos of their new backyard. Already there are plans to return the hot tub to the deck to make room for DD's veg garden. They laugh about the waterfall thing, so who knows what will happen there.

The weather is deteriorating here, looking grim for the next week. We had some sun today, but, I'm with Mary, "having a harder time enjoying it. Thoughts of the huge chunk of ice that broke off from the Canadian arctic, the fact that we had the warmest December since 1756 and predictions that 2007 will be the hottest year ever leave me longing for seasonal reassurance that we haven't completely destroyed the planet."

My brother comes to visit on Thursday from NJ for a short while, so I must spruce up the guest room for his stay here. Sue, he'll be in "Deanne's room", not yours! Oh! I saw a toy Zack dog yesterday and thought of you. Should I go back and get it for you?

Among life's mysteries now, What's for dinner? Hmmmm...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Marie: Tell DD to make her own sign if no one else will put one up. Many deaf friends be sure their deaf kids have mirrors on their bikes. Congrats to them! You must feel like 100 times 1/2 a house. What a huge, life changing thing to do.

Chelone: Have been thinking about you all day, which normally doesn't happen with Idylls. My hope and vibe was that your mom had/will have some lucid moments to impart family stories, and that she understands what's happening at all. With all the emotion you must be feeling, it would be hard if she didn't feel any.

Best to everyone -- DN's at the door.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 4:29PM
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Hi Everyone!

First I have to say thanks for all of the kind thoughts about my brother. I really appreciate that.

Deanne, your bird photos are amazing! I absolutely love them. How far away from the bird are you typically? The image of you with the duck blind, or whatever sort of blind made me chuckle.

Mary, I hope the time away from hubby goes quickly. Hopefully he will bring home some interesting stories and pics. I keep meaning to ask you how you like your new job.

Gardenbug, what a nice home for you daughter and her new family. It looks like they already have a good start on possiblilities for gardening. Isn't it amazing how much difference a year can make? Your family is growing by leaps and bounds. Congrats!

Speaking of families growing... T- you must be bursting with excitement about another baby. You guys are going to have your own little sports team, or cub scout pack if the next one is a boy...

Cynthia, the thought or visual I get from eyebrow threading isn't working. How do they get the eyebrow out? Is a know involved at some point? I am happy that Danni passed her test! Am I correct in thinking that you have three permanent greys now? What fun for you!

Eden, I am so glad for your mother's all clear test! that is a load off your mind, I am sure. Bella is growing so much! I have two sets of grow lights in the basement, a first this year, and my plants look pretty scraggeley, but I have hopes that they will still have a head start next summer. I am especially happy with my banana plant and my Brugs. I sort of got a late start, and then had to move the lights again, so I have hopes next year will be better.

Chelone, I hope your day goes well. Hang in there, this too shall pass. It just isn't fun while you're doing it. Sometimes I wish we could just fast forward.

Sue, what sort of tattoo are you getting?

Michelle, I missed something... who got married? Can we see pics? I am so sorry about your car accident! Something like that reminds us how life can turn on a dime, and I am so glad that it worked out the way it did for you.

Hi to PM2! Glad to get to know you.

Kathy, thanks for sharing the photos! It is always nice to see pics from the western side. I am envious of your weather... but have to admit that ours has been something this year. Someone said they were going to do a special about the cherry blossoms in Washington blooming early this year.

Hi Babs! I ran into Chris the other day. When things calm down for both of us, we should get together.

Norma, it is nice to see you posting. Hope all is well in your corner.

I have nothing too much going on around my house. This weekend we took down the tree, and scraped more wallpaper from the living room walls. Skip is painting as we go. It has been a long process. We have been working on it since before Christmas. I couldn't believe I had scruffy walls at Christmas. Now we are using a razor knife. It is interesting to see what was up there underneath though. This is one room we didn't tackle when we bought the house 8 years ago. I think it is going to turn out okay. I went for a buttermilk white. Next will be kitchen and should be easier because we put up that wallpaper and it is sized underneath.

Hi to everyone.. I will try to post more soon. I just thought maybe if I could post in little bites I could make it in here more often. Hope you all have a great day.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good to hear Drema's news!
Guess Ei is still busy, so I'll contribute this in her honour today:

The Mamas And The Papas

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ...

I'm not really sobbing here. Life is good, though cool and dreary today. I'm taking the decorations off the tree, drying laundry, knitting, preparing dinner....nothing exciting. Thinking of Chelone.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 1:57PM
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Hi everyone

Drema - lovely to hear from you. I love my new job and have enjoyed the challenge of learning new things and a different environment. Supervising people can be hard at times but is becoming easier. I have my first performance review tomorrow so I guess I'll find out how I'm doing.

I shared this today with a parent and remember how meaningful it was when I first read it. We have visited both Holland and Itlay and in many ways feel lucky to have had both experiences.

Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

I was also thinking about Chelone today and hoping things are going well.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:04PM
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Mary, was that an exerpt from a book of letters exchanged between two women who had children with "Fragile X Syndrome"? I heard a replay of a Diane Rehm show about them a couple of weeks ago.

It was a horrible day. I don't know if I'll be able to look at my reflection any time soon without seeing a monster looking back from the mirror. My brother was cold, disapproving, and there is nothing in his home that will seem remotely familiar except two clocks that belonged to her grandparents and were always in her childhood home... . Not even a comfy chair and side table for her tea. What the hell have I done?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, you have given every morsel of yourself to your mother. You have gone beyond the limits of any one of us! Do not beat yourself! You have every reason to look in the mirror and marvel at the aura above your head. It will take time...but it is so.
I wish your brother patience, courage and kindness. It is now his chance to learn...and care.
Your DH was with you. He would not have allowed you to do a horrid thing. You are both marvelous! Hug the kitties until you feel that this is so.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 7:36PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Amen to what Marie said! Chelone.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Chelone, I can't begin to improve on what GB said.
Just know you're in our thoughts. (((Chelone)))

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:48PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone, please don't feel like a monster. You are far from it. If the helpmeet felt it was time to step in then he must have felt your health and well being were at risk as well. Your mother is as much your brother's mother as she is yours. It's his turn.

Hugs to you,


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 8:59PM
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"....My brother was cold, disapproving...."

Chelone, your brother has no right whatsoever to be disapproving of your decision. He is the one who has not fulfilled his obligation and responsibilities to your mother and to you & your spouse. You've asked repeatedly for assistance, moral and physical...he has chosen to ignore the requests and your need for respite. Do not allow him to add to your feelings of sadness and guilt. You owe him nothing......and you have given your mother all that you are able at this time. Each of us has a limit as to how much we are able to stand and do in certain situations. I'm sure you far exceeded what many could cope with and you need to accept that you did all that you could and that you needed to make changes for your own mental and physical health.

I wish I could think of something to say that would help ease this time for you.

My best,

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

(((Chelone))) I understand what a hard, hard day this is for you and I will be thinking of you and your family. I had what I thought was a disagreeable day, but it was nothing compared to what you had to go through today. I know you did the right thing and remember we are here for you.

I've been thinking of my idyll friends all day. Last night the wind was howling like mad and my sleep was quite restless. I ended having a dream that all of you were coming here to visit again, but everyone was staying at the house and I had made no plans for what to see or where to eat or anything! One of those silly dreams that causes you to wake up more tired than when you went to sleep.

I will be scarce for the next three weeks as I have a lot of business travel coming up. January will be over before I know what happened!

Both of the kids are back at school and started class today. It does feel a but quiet in the house tonight, but Mystic does bark every once in a while to keep it lively!

Before DD left, we had one last adventure - she and I went to the opera for the very first time. We saw Die Fliedermaus at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, and it was totally wonderful. I was surprised at how funny the story was. I'm ready to try another opera sometime.

Eden, I was scanning and caught the good news about your mom. I'm so glad to hear that all was clear!

Babs, I saw your comment about handwashing. Yesterday, there were 2 third graders in my Sunday school class with bad colds. I tried really hard to not touch my face during class, and then almost ran to the bathroom to wash my hands like mad. Hopefully I've dodged this bullet. I vowed in the middle of summer that I was done being sick for 2006, and by golly I was. Now I am resolved to not get sick this winter!

Tine to prep for work tomorrow and begin to pack for the first trip. I may not check in again until the weekend.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:30PM
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Hi Everyone , A Monday hello, and a little more affirmation for Chelone ! What's up with the glaring from Mr. Bro ? How can he possibly justify that considering what you have done these last four years ? Jeesh. You have the high ground Chelone, don't give up the ship !

Drema, sounds like you are in the midst of wallpaper removal and similar projects. I can relate ! I have three painting projects in process, all unfinished because the rain won't come and I want to go outside instead of painting inside ! All in due time.

So I'm off to read the paper ..ta' ta'

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:43PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Chelone, you've been a great daughter and your mother is lucky to have you. Your brother has no right to be angry at you; don't let him get you down.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Chelone, I don't know what I can say that hasn't been said. I do believe that your DB has some guilt feelings and that you have not a thing to be guilty about. Hugs to you and helpmeet.

The wedding was great. Drema, it was Rick's son. His youngest child. His 4 are now all married. Only my son remains. I have a lot on my plate this week, but I will get some pictures resized and posted soon.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:53PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone, I am sure it is impossible to feel good about how the situation has worked out. None of it is something you would have chosen. Not your Mom being ill or how long you have had to take care of her, or how difficult it has become. Your mother wouldn't have chosen it either. So you are both doing the best you can in a horrible situation.

I don't understand your brother's response in this situation, nor do I expect to, knowing so little about the situation. At the very least, he could have been grateful to you for all this time that you have been caring for his mother. Obviously he hasn't been able to understand the situation you have been in and from the sounds of it, he doesn't seem to feel he is in a position to take over your Mom's care. Maybe finding out first hand what taking care of her 24/7 requires might allow him to have a better understanding.

Perhaps his response has made you question whether his home will be a good environment for your Mom. It is too early to say, I would think. As gardenbug pointed out, he now has been given the opportunity, despite it being pushed upon him, to contribute to the care of his Mom and to spend time with her and give of himself. Whether he has something he can give will be the question. There is no doubt that you have given your Mom a lot to care for her for as long as you have. It sounds like you were forced to give so much of yourself that you expected too much of yourself and ignored your own needs until it began to effect your ability to care for your Mom and for yourself. Taking your Mom to your brother's may not have been the solution you would have liked, but it was the only one available to you, right now. Whether you like it or not, it is a fact of life, that we are all human and have needs and we have to take care of ourselves if we are to take care of anyone else. Right now you are in a deficit and need to catch up to get back to a place where you feel you can give again.

Nothing you have decided is written in stone. You haven't dropped your Mom off at a homeless shelter. :-) You can catch up on some well earned and much needed rest, get some stability on the job front, and regroup. You can keep an eye on your Mom's situation and visit and make sure things are working out for her. Send her some flowers if you think she could appreciate it. You haven't abandoned her. If there is any question that she is not getting the care you think she should have then hopefully you can look for other alternatives. Didn't I read that your brother was supposed to be exploring Long Term Care options or filling out paperwork or something? I don't know how far away from you your brother lives, but if things don't work out with him, and there is some financial possibility for her to go into Long Term Care, perhaps you could arrange for her to be in a facility near you, if you would prefer it that way.

But who knows, maybe DB will surprise you. Just give it some time and get some rest.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 6:18AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Chelone, you have done it all over and above the call of duty. I don't know of anyone who whould have done as much in such difficult circumstances. Your brother should be ashamed of himself for the way he has treated you, not just this week but throughout your years of caring for your mother. You have not done anything wrong or anthing to feel badly about. Kudos to you for all you have done, you are a very brave and caring woman. Remember that and take care of that incredible helpmeet of yours. I also don't know of any DH's who would have dealt with your situation with patience and grace as he has done. Now the two of you need to take care of each other.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 8:30AM
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Chelone, I hope today's a better day and the start of happier times for you. I think after a little time and rest it will become clearer to you that after all you've done for your mum you have nothing to feel bad about. You've gone far beyond the call of duty and now it's your brothers turn. Don't let him bully you or make you feel guilty. I hope you'll both soon be able to get together and find a good long term solution that works for you all.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 8:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Chelone -- it's a situation that has no miracle end or perfect solution, that is the problem.... Everyone has already said what needs saying -- I personally think you've been a saint; I know I could not do what you have done as a daughter -- I try to assuage that "guilt" of my own by accepting that each of us has different limits and capabilities -- mine are not the same as yours.... I have always thought & tried to teach my own daughter that in any given situation (Life) we can only do the best we know we can do in a situation so that we know we've at least tried our very hardest - I think that's all that can be expected of anyone -- their personal "hardest efforts" -- you've way out done that I am sure.... Dear "bro" is suffering major guilt pangs -- that's apparent.

Mary -- I love that story (I've never seen it before)-- wish someone had sent that to me when my daughter was about 3 months old (& a few more times after that, LOL) -- what a mystery & wonder she was to me!

V- how horrible we came to haunt you and disturb your sleep -- I hope there was at least a lot of laughing going on in all the surprises of our "visit"!

It's chilly & back to winter here -- my hellebores are out in force as well but everything is soggy, soggy -- managed to weed for a couple hours on Saturday without slip sliding around too much; maybe it will head off a wonderful Spring crop of weeds galore.

Michelle - looking forward to seeing the pics.

Eden -- thanks for the info re the Cercis - I almost emailed you to inquire; Im eyeing there or maybe Forest Farm (they "say" they've got a 4 footer for a few more bucks) - I've gotten most of my small trees from them & been extremely happy; it's only the shipping that bulks the price up. I've gone from "o nothing interests me" to too many lists, not enough $$ or space in the garden -- ha, what's different in that, uh?

Hope everyone has a restful day.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 8:56AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning All! I cant stay, but it hurt my heart to feel Chelones anguish and I wanted to take a moment to let her know how much I have admired her strength and how often I have looked to her strength to keep me going over the rough times with my mom...and I have *not* been bearing the burden alone! Chelone...I cant say it any better than Bug. You have *no* reason to feel guilty! I have often wondered *how* you have managed to do sooo much for sooo long. Its a responsibility that would have crumbled most people...long ago. If your brother is acting upset with you, maybe its his own guilt haunting him and perhaps selfishness on his part too. Can he hire a visiting nurse to help? Does the state offer any assistance; some sort of allowance for in home care? Can you visit your mother on the week-ends or does your brother live far away? I cant think of any constructive advice to give you that I know you havent thought of yourself. You are a very competent, thoughtful human being. You have been a totally unselfish, conscientious, caring daughter and I have to repeat again, you have *no* reason to feel guilty. If your mother were able to express these thoughts herself I know she would. *Any* mother would be proud to let the whole world know what a generous, thoughtful, responsible daughter they have raised. You *and* your helpmeet have put your lives on hold long enough. Its time for your brother to step up to the plate. Hard to see now, but this may be a gift youve given your brother it cant be easy walking around with the guilt of knowing you have allowed someone else to carry a burden that you should share. Im not saying it will be easy for him, but you know, there is a gift we are given back, when we give of ourselves. Once he has had some time to adjust, maybe you can share with him the things that have made life easier for mom all the little thoughtful things you have done that brightened moms day. If you find that your brother is not up to the challenge maybe the two of you will have to find a nursing home that you both feel comfortable with. There *are* good nursing homes out there; honestly. When my DHs grandma had to move to a nursing home, we were all filled with guilt and worry. But, it turned out to be a wonderful place for grandma. She received the level of medical assistance we could never offer her at home...she developed relationships with her caregivers, received daily exercise, was involved in activities. Even if she didnt understand most of what was going on when they would go to concerts or see a play, she would remember bits and pieces and derived a lot of pleasure in relaying the experiences to us. And of course, we made sure to visit her every week. A visit from Scout was the highlight of every visit - for grandma and for all the other elderly there. It even brightened the staffs day. I bet Wrecks would be a hit! :-) Anyway, whatever the future holds Chelone, please try to be at peace. Though it may be hard for you to feel it at the moment, you need to believe what everyone is telling you here. As a daughter struggling with her own aging mother, I *am* truly humbled by your selflessness and dedication....great big hugs to are in my thoughts.

P.S. Hi Guys...Hey V! ;-) I will try to come back later in the week and catch up. Hi Marian! :-) I loved all the pics of Bugs family visit; the gorgeous hellebores; Maya Angelou *and* Teddy Roosevelt; (dang Babs...I was hoping we were going to see *yew* in your bikini)...LOL! And what a treat to see Wendys "spring". Doesnt "green" just turn you on? I am seeing lots of "greening" here too, though we are to get sn*@w over the week-end. Actually, I dont mind, its a little freaky to me to have 50s in January. Does make me worry about global warming, but watched a show the other day in which they said this years unusually warm weather can be related to El Nino affects.... Anyway, am also drooling over Deannes gorgeous birds....just stunning Deanne! I was laughing at myself, because I just noticed the other day that my file folders are just crammed with your pictures...LOL! I hope you dont mind me saving them all? If we *do* move, the next house will just *have* to have a "bird gallery" and then well need to talk Deanne! :-)

Gotta go, mom has a 9:00 Drs appointment and Im not even sort of ready. TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 9:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is Tuesday, and a large red-tailed hawk was parked in our willow tree for over an hour this morning. Handsome, but such a force!

I will be knitting today, completing a blanket. And thinking gentle thoughts of Chelone, who I hope is slowly moving forward, little by little, perhaps with Rex's help at the golf course.

This month we are not only working on purchasing half a house with DD, but also getting papers in order, with the same lawyer friend: wills, health, death details. I will be relieved to have this business finalized at last. DH announced to me this morning that he wants to be bronzed like a pair of baby shoes along with his Fender guitar, then propped up in the family room. Terrific....

I hope Marian's back is slowly improving too. That was definitely a low point in my life! What a pain.

Sorry I was a nuisance V. I'll help with the plans next time I visit!
On with the day....

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 11:02AM
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Birthday Alert! Sorry this is a couple days late Taryn!

Happy Birthday! I hope it was a great one!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 4:56PM
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I am absolutely numb and shell-shocked right now. I awakened this morning after a dreadful night replete with jags of sobbing the likes of which I haven't experienced since a friend killed himself in the early '90s.. My eyes were so swollen and reddened I was unwilling to go out without sunglasses (thank heavens for the bank drive-throughs).

I didn't know what to do with myself this morning. The whole routine was GONE. I mined the catbox as usual, had a cup of coffee, and "melted down". I did laundry, stripping Mum's bed and removing the towels from her bathroom. I removed "her" chair from the dining area and it's now in her room. I couldn't even focus on tidying the house; instead, settling for watching a couple of DVDs and the then taking Wrecks out for a walk. How pathetic is that?

Haven't been able to face calling my boss, either. Even though the loving, supportive letter that included my paycheck arrived last Friday. But I did receive a call from her former business partner (who has Parkinson's) tonight. We talked for a long time and she "gets it" (her father is legally blind and very feeble). I told her I was embarrassed, but she told me to "get over it" because everyone is worried about ME, not the fits of pique/temper. So, that's the next order of business. And a trip to Mum's house to assess the gargantuan task of cleaning out its contents.

Your expressions of support and insight mean more to me than you will (I hope!) ever know. With few exceptions, I would likely not be able to recognize most of you if I brushed by you on the street and yet I feel more kinship here than I do with many familiar faces. Funny, huh? I only hope I rise to the next person's need as gracefully and generously as have all of you... (no short order!)

I smell dinner and this is about the extent of my ability to organize my thoughts today, maybe I'll be more chatty tomorrow.

Still sorrowing mightily... :(

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 6:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I can't bring myself to dwell too deeply on your sorrow because it hits too close to home. Although I have times I come close to wishing my DH was no longer with me...I know if that time comes, I will live with pangs of guilt. The tantrums that he occasionally throws,( at the least little thing), can almost overwhelm me, but after it blows over we seem to be more comfortable with each other. I think a part of my spirit has died over the years, due to his quirks...but maybe he feels the same about me? I know I am a long long ways from being a great person. I think I may have been a better person if I hadn't lived most of my life in pain.( But then again, maybe the pain has made me a better person?) I know that has been hard on Nolon also...seeing and hearing me in my pain, and feeling helpless to make a differance.
I hope you soon can come to the understanding that you have done the very best that you can, and now the ball is in someone else's court. Does your mum have any understanding of what is going on now? Does she recognize her son? Does he have a wife?
I believe you have come very close to a nervous breakdown. I have reached that point occasionally, but it hasn't lasted long. Each of us are differant with what we can endure. I am so happy that you have a supportive DH. That is bound to help.

Marie, thank you for your comment on my back problem. Thank God it is better now. I haven't gone to a doctor again, yet.( I had begun to think no one had seen my last post!)

I went to the Golden Year's class today for the first time since early in December. I didn't stay for the potluck... I am battling a too nagative attitude! Maybe it is due to my meds, or maybe I haven't recovered from the "december madness" yet?

Good to see you Ei .

Are the rest of you being plagued with spam emails? Don't laugh, but most of mine are about Viagra!( I HATE those ads! ) Apparently the blocker on my Outlook Express does not work. I continue to get more and more! My email address has apparently been sold, and I am also getting a lot of financial garbage. All of this has started in the last month or two. I wonder if it could be from the "pass it on" emails?

Today the wind felt like it was off the North Pole. It cut right through my coat and fleece sweatshirt. Tomorrow it is to change from the south, so hopefully it will be warmer.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 9:19PM
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Tuesday greetings, bringing up the rear here as usual !

Chelone, glad you posted , glad we are here for you. How funny to think that 20 years ago a community like this would not have existed. I'm really touched by the kind words that have been posted here..what a very genuinely nice group of people !

We are expecting another cold snap later this week, back to our 20 degree nights. I was bad on Sunday and went to the garden center to get one six-pak of pansies (to replace those that have crown rotted ) and came home with yet another begonia. Just couldn't help it.

I got my brochure this week in the mail for the San Francisco Garden Show in March. So do all of you east coast folk trek to the Philly Flower Show ?? I look forward to this event every year , some years I do two days. Napa County master gardeners always charter a bus. We leave Napa and pass breakfast type snacks, coffee etc in the bus on the way into the city, and coming back we have the wine flowing along with appetizers .The bus gets very loud as we compare our purchases and discuss the display gardens.Sort of like a bus full of high school students returning victorious from the football game...

I'd best go make dinner.
Hellos to everyone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 9:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH is doing his part to bring a smile to the birthday girl's face....and anyone else who needs cheer as well.

Gusting and very cold here Kathy...22F and bitter out there.

Looking forward to Michelle's wedding photos!

Off to catch a few zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Tonight I had to go to the town that Rick works in to pick him up from work. He took my car to be repaired. We picked up a few things for the birthday party on Sunday. On clearance I got one of those beverage fountains. I have had my eye on them but didnt want to pay $50. I got it ½ off. I thought it would be fun for the grandkids and other parties.

Gosh V did we traumatize you that much? LOL

Cynthia, what a lovely selection of hellebores, I dont have a one in my garden. I will definitely have to look for some.

I have been enjoying all the pictures from winter gardens to family.

Mary, that must be really tough to have your DH gone for such a long period of time. The missing girls is really something. How frightening!

Kathy, that camellia is stunning.

Babs, I worry that Im getting too concerned about germs. Hand washing and a bottle of antibacterial gel on my desk these days makes me wonder about becoming obsessive-compulsive. LOL

Pm2, I didnt refinish the cabinets, just the handles and hinges. The cabinets were just washed and polished.

Im sure Ive missed commenting on much, but Im beat. Later!


Here are a few pictures from the wedding. My dress is really navy although the skirt looks royal blue in the picture.

This is Rick's granddaughter and one of his grandsons.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 11:05PM
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    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 11:08PM
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Good peaceful morning. My wish for everyone today is just that. Peace in hearts, minds and souls.

Chelone: Let it roll. Sob. Scream. Don't fight it. You've a lot of pent up emotions that run the gamut. Don't force yourself to do anything you don't absolutely need or want to do. Perhaps some greenhouse time somewhere? Everyone has said it so well so I won't blabber on, but yes, this is an anazing group and unique in my world. Glad we are a part of yours right now.

Happy Birthday Taryn!!! For some reason a pic of your Valentine's Day cards from your boy is stuck in my head as a great example of "True Love." What more does one need?

The pics are amazing, Michelle. What a beautiful and "in love" looking bunch! You and Rick are stunning.

Kathy: Can't help telling you this: I have pansies blooming their little heads off. Also have a Euc that so far is succesfully overwintering in a Z7 microclimate on my deck. I don't go to Philly, but do try to get to Boston every few years. Hartford has a not-bad show that's fun to poke around. More of a long-lost-friends get together amongst plant people but some of the displays are, indeed, encouraging.

V: Be safe traveling. If you're anywhere near CT by all means let us know!!

Drema: How's your brother doing?

Mary: What happened to those kids? Love the "Holland" story.

Marian: I believe you're stronger than you think.

Eden: Have you surfaced from under the wrapping paper and books? Wish you hadn't turned me on to Diane's Seeds .... LOL

Deanne: A duck blind in your backyard just seems "right."

Know I'm forgetting something I wanted to say to someone. We've had a rocky last few days but nothing insurmountable. Just life garbage thrown on top of fresh manure piles sitting in quagmire. All of you know the feeling. We're digging out and keeping in mind that what goes around comes around.

Also remembering to be grateful that we are not of the ilk that isn't happy unless they're miserable. Enough of that :-)

Finally below freezing here with "something weatherwise" in the forecast for next week. The "no snow" is having a major financial impact on Western Massachusetts and many clients are feeling the pinch. Onward and upward, and thinking of what could be happening after watching the Malibu fires last night.

On the "Life Really is Good" front: Am beginning to get seeds and Rich and Ky will be constructing my seed starting area this weekend. Since I use the same tables on which the Village resided, will be a bit of a rush to get really early things in on time, but am also going to try my hand at direct sowing some stuff. Hey, if the weather is going to act like Z9, so am I!!!!

Let it be a "penny face up" day!!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:05AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good chilly morning!

Back to seasonal temps here in the northeast, but I can't really complain about that.

((((Chelone)))), I don't think I can add much more to what was said above, there are some real words of wisdom there. You shouldered a huge responsibility, and I think in time you'll see that you did all that you could and then some. Shame on your brother for being disapproving, I'm sure that was his guilt talking. Thinking of you.

Gardenbug, congrats to DD on the house! Home ownership is so exciting. I remember when we bought our first house, we raced over there as soon as we had the keys in our hands, just to look some more, not believing it was truly ours. Helping your family with that is an awesome thing.

Michelle, love the wedding pics. Everyone looks so good. I like the touches of red on the bride's dress, something a little different than the traditional plain white.

Kathy, I attend the flower show in Boston every year with my mother and my best friend. It is held in mid-March, just the time when we are feeling more than done with winter here. I used to volunteer there too, but the parking is just to expensive to go more than once. I was fortunate enough catch a glimpse of the frantic set-up process one year, and the amount of work that goes into those displays is unbelievable. I could only gape at the heavy equipment carrying pallets of stone, full-sized trees and yards of mulch around inside this huge, empty hall. I remember thinking, "they'll never pull it off by Saturday". Sure enough, they did!

Have to run, duty calls - only a half-day of work today though. Hi to all!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 8:44AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Taryn!

disclaimer: snowdrop pic is from last March, they are only poking out of the ground here at this time.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Michelle -- what a lovely couple (both the newly married ones and the parents!) -- what a nice pick-us-up little group of pics.

'Bug -- Im imagining your DH bronzed as he wishes... hmm, wouldnt look so bad either w/ that guitar in hand.

Kathy -- I meant to comment on your camellia -- it was funny; I've been contemplating trying one in my gardens (here in VA you usually need a fairly protected micro-area, partially shady); I was looking at ones in Fairweather's catalog & lo & behold you pop pics in here -- nothing like throwing catnip at me!! I have gone to the Phila Flower Show a number of times -- it's very "over the top" and always very crowded; but is a great winter pick-up (& last year I saw a lot of bulbs in person that I decided to try this year); there are no decent flower shows in the DC metro area; Im not sure if Im going this year or not (the first week in March); guess I should start thinking about it if I am....for the "average" gardener it's hard to wade thru usually & translate into every day -- kind of like the NYC & Italian Fashion Shows -- not sure what items we could wear every day....but I do usually manage to see one or two trees, shrubs, etc., I discover I add to my want list.

Marian -- sorry you're feeling punk again -- I think the winter & January esp. is tough for all of us -- and we all change as we age -- I think the "youthful spirit" idealism we start with definitely changes; but that's not necessarily a bad thing -- usually w/ that spirit is thoughtlessness and impulsiveness -- 2 things that can get us into trouble more times than not.

Re the spam - I have noticed a huge upturn in that on both my person email and office email -- it's incredible -- and Im getting Viagra and all sorts of things at the office -- we have spam filters but get daily reports of what emails were stopped (in case the occcasional legitimate new email comes thru & you want to receive it). I sure hope the office computer "Nazis" dont think Im spending time on porn sites or stuff -- I cannot figure out how it gets here or what websites they phished from (some Xmas shopping websites I suspect). I noticed here on the GW site a lot of people recommend Firefox as really helping. Wonder if you could try that?

After our taste of Spring (& almost buying more pansies too, Kathy, but resisted) it's now a frosty 19 windchill degrees here in this area today (snow flurries last nite!); crazy crazy.

Trying to keep an upbeat attitude -- spring daydreaming is helping me along.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 9:00AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sorry I missed your Birthday Taryn ! But I am sending hopes that you had a good day, and a BD pic of my Scentimental rose from last year :

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 9:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What a joyful wedding! Red and white suits the season beautifully. The red roses in the gents' lapels remind me of Pierre Trudeau. LOL
Michelle, your outfit is gorgeous..and you too! I'm reminded of Hillary Clinton's Inaugural Ball gown which was similar in colour and sparkles. That too was beautiful, no matter your politics.

The verdict today is that I am FAT. I made the mistake of weighing in this morning. So difficult to exercise with a bad foot. Something will have to be done though, and no one else can do it for me. Sigh. Maybe Charlotte will help me walk.

Amazing roses Marian!

Yes Cindy, I'm trying to imagine the same thing! ;-)

Wendy, DD and DSIL hope to visit the new house this weekend with DGS. He'll be so excited! Yesterday DD bought a much needed new bed. The one they looked at before Christmas was on sale yesterday for $1250 off!

Oh Wendy, "Rocky Road" is good if it is ice cream...not LIFE. Keep up the good attitude!

Martie, not Z9 here at all. Windy and COLD, high of 24 expected today. Perhaps those seed catalogs will entertain me.

On the LOL front, got a Christmas card from an old boyfriend with photos. How come he looks so old????

Later folks,

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 9:25AM
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BRRRRRRR! It's cold out there today. Winter has finally made an appearance here though we still don't have snow. I've been staying inside and just puttering around with my plants. Every year in January I seem to get renewed interest in the houseplants and light gardens. It does seem like this month is flying by though. We're already 1/3 of the way through January.

Kathy, you're not alone. I picked up a couple of new begonias last weekend too.

Martie, have fun with your seed starting. This will be the first year in a long time I didn't place any seed orders though I have a couple of big boxes full of seeds here in reserve, lol. I'm not doing any seed starting this month. I'll have to wait and see if the bug bites me next month or not. One of the local nurserys has a 1/2 off seed sale through the month of February. I do need to get the ornamental pepper seeds out soon to those of you I promised them to though.

Michelle, what a beautiful winter wedding and those little flower girls are all just as cute as can be. I love the one leaning in for the photo.

I wish we had some sort of winter flower show around here but we don't. The big news this week is the Detroit auto show, not something I'm at all interested in attending. We do have a couple of nice greenhouses that I visit often to breath in deeply the scent of plants and soil.

I have nothing planned for today, just a peaceful day at home and maybe a little baking to keep the house warm and cozy. Hope you all have a good day too!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 9:45AM
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    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Belated Birthday, Taryn!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 1:08PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi guys. I started this yesterday but didnt get a chance to finish. Im less than halfway thru this idyll, but thot Id post what I have and then tackle the rest. Here goes:

Ive been in a funk (dont know why but probably an overdose of relatives) so decided not to inflict myself on anyone and have tried to stay busy. I ran around last week with returns and exchanges, hitting clearance sales and searching out paint and fabric for our bedroom redo. I found a couple fabrics I like, but not coordinates. So Im still searching. And Ive buried my head in plant catalogues and books collecting ideas.

We had a wonderful holiday but Im glad its over. I ate everything that wasnt nailed down and gained a couple pounds but took it off last wk. There isnt any junk food left in the house, so were eating healthy again. On NYE, I took down the tree and brought in outside lights but left the inside decor to enjoy another week:

The two prints in the dining room shown in this pic, are the ones I found at Home Goods a few weeks ago:

Sunday the rest of the inside décor was put away except for the new snowflakes on the chandeliers:

Bullet is back to his persnickety self and we do everything to encourage his eating. I havent been grooming him so as not to upset him and his undersides became quite knotted. Last nite, the groomer did a temp clean up and buzzed his delicate belly. He goes for his wash and blow dry on the 31st.

Wow, our party Blabs" checked in!! Teasingit was so great to see you post and hope to hear more from you in 07. And thanks for the reminder, Nurse, on hand washing. Im getting better about it but needed the extra boot in the patootie.OK,

Eden, that your Moms MRIs are clear is the very best new years news ever! You must be so relieved. Im so happy for you and your family.

Michelle, your kitchen is exactly what I think a country home" like yours should have. Cant wait to see the new curtains. Sorry your sewing machine is not working. Wanna borrow mine?! A couple yrs. ago I caught a sale and bot a pretty basic portable Singer for $75. Best money Ive ever spent. I dont need all the do-dads for what I do.

Deanne, you need to submit your photos to wildlife magazines. Seriously, youre such a talent and your compositions are so fresh. Thanks for sharing w/us!

Monique, glad to see you posting, too. Ive been meaning to ask you you have a huge trellis on the side of your gorgeous home that I suspect Les made. Can you tell me what matls he used?

Bug, Im sure your tutoring will give your DGS a leg-up in school. Im sure he really enjoyed the one-on-one attention and it mad him feel special.

Hey Cindy, Ill forward your complaint to my cousin about the metro. I think he has something to do w/that. I used to commute to NY via public transit when I lived out east. I was glad to leave those long rides home behind me. You have my sympathy.

Oh, Mary, what a harrowing nite you, Annie and the respective families had over those lost kids. Im so happy all turned out well.

Hey Sue, Im so glad we werent the only ones to call it a night on NYE at 12:30. Actually, thats the time we started to leave our friends home and finally got on the road about 1 a.m. and made it home in a record 25 min. I guess our partying days are over. Le Sigh, as Da would say.

Martie, ROTFLOLOL over the que ball" story. Thanks for the info on calls from the Drs ofc. I think the direction theyre taking is a good one and less stressful on all concerned.

Marian, I, too, was thinking of you lately. Dh opened the kitchen window when my oven was self-cleaning but neglected to move my xmas cactus. Well, that killed all the flower buds. Any chance Ill get more this yr?

That's it until I catch up more. Can't wait to hear about Michelle's wedding. TTYL,


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 1:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Honey, good to hear from you. I have had xmas cactus rebloom. I think it may come about if you keep it from artificial light, and in a cool location. Sorry about the loss of it's blooms. My oldest and largest one is blooming right now. It is in serious need of repotting! I love those snowflakes. :-)

'Bug, the scent of those roses is amazing also. :-)


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 2:03PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

'bug, your DH's last wishes brought to mind a country song:

Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)
Joe Diffie

Well I ain't afraid of dying it's the thought of being dead
I wanna go on being me once my eulogy's been read
Don't spread my ashes out to sea don't lay me down to rest
You can put my mind at ease if you fill my last request

Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die
Lord I wanna go to heaven but I don't wanna go tonight
Fill my boots up with sand put a stiff drink in my hand
Prop me up beside the jukebox if I die

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 3:25PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I am on the is the dentists! :-( But had to pop in and wish Taryn a belated but very sincere Happy Birthday! I know youve seen this pixie before, but her sweet smiling face just reminded me of you, so I had to use her! I hope you had a wonderful day...I miss your cheery face! I dont know how old you are Taryn or if the number matters to you at all, but if it does, keep this happy matter how old you get, you will always be younger than hoo! LOL! :-) Happy Birthday!

Hi to everyone else....Marian that Scentimental rose is *gorgeous*! Glad to hear your back is better

And before I forget...again...Eden, I was so thrilled to hear your moms good news! Thats wonderful!

And meant to tell Kathy how I swooned at her Camellia...oh if I could only grow one of those here. Torture me...tell me how absolutely heavenly the fragrance is too; right?:-)

Hi Honey! Good to see you pop in...what beautiful Christmas vignettes you created! I especially love the snowflakes hanging from your pretty and clever of you.

Oh, and one other thing, since I wont have time to make another post today. I wanted to tell Martie how much I enjoyed her Christmas brought a big smile to my face. Would love to peek at it in person and see all the little charming details. BTW, your grand dog is about the cutest little guy Ive ever seen! What a face! And very dapper too...what kind of dog is he? I love his strut! :-)

Oh and Michelle...your wedding pictures are gorgeous! And you look sooo pretty in your blue dress. I like the idea of Royal Blue and you've just given me some options for my son's wedding. The bride has chosen merlot as the color and my corsage will be a pinkish colored calla lily. I was wondering what would complement her colors...

Hope the day is looking a little brighter for Chelone...sending positive thoughts to you.
No more stalling now...the dentist awaits! TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 3:31PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well....except for the nose Taryn, you don't have my pixie's nose (you're not Italian like me...LOL)! Your a little Irish girl, so you have a cute little button nose! :-)

Ta-ta Guys!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Happy Birthday Taryn!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 6:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a quickie here.
The Arbor Day Foundation has an interesting animated map that shows the change in plant hardiness zones in the past 16 years.

In that time, Minneapolis has gone from just south of zone 3 to firmly in zone 5.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 6:14PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie,I already have that map bookmarked from another forum. We have been moved into zone 7 from zone 6. I have been growing zone 7 plants for some time now. I still expect a hard winter to wipe them out.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:16PM
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(( Chelone)) Thinking of you. I hope each day gets a little easier for you.

Hi, Marian, I hope things are looking up for you too.
Pain is a real drag. Even when we can tolerate it, it wears us down.

Cynthia, shamed me into cleaning the basement. Two days into it and only half done.
Many plants pitched that weren't doing well.
So much dirt from the firewood and general tracking in.
So many things that need to be gotten rid of to simplify things.

I actually had started on my room and got sidetracked to the basement.
I finally got the old computer off of my desk after almost three years.
I dumped everything but the games off of it and will put it downstairs for
DH and Wyatt to play with. It makes a lot of noise but still works.
I have a ton of paperwork to go through and clean out yet.
And then there is the closet that I don't even want to talk about.

Mary I am so glad Annies friends were located.
There is an Amber alert for a thirteen year old boy who
was abducted not far from here, after he got off the bus on Monday.
I just keep thinking about him. The same age as our Jake.
It is so hard to let them have their independence when there are so many predators.

I don't know where the last week went. I have caught up on reading ,but can't
remember what all I wanted to say to people. Bear with me if I have forgotten things.

The boys were here over the weekend, Wyatts 4th birthday was Monday
but they are not celebrating until Sat.

Happy Belated Birthday Taryn!

Michelle, those are good looking newlyweds. I love that wedding dress, and I am not big on
wedding dresses. You look really nice in yours too. Looks like everyone had a good time.

T, Love that snow picture.

Hi to absolutely everyone. You know who you are. LOL .

I'll be cleaning if anybody misses me. LOL. Norma

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 7:51PM
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    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 8:08PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 8:13PM
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bug, does that mean that now that Im in zone 5 I can push the envelope and try some zone 6 plants? LOL Ill bet that I paid much less than Hillary for my dress ;o) Sorry to hear that you are still having problems with your foot.

Norma, that is an awesome fountain. Happy 4th birthday to Wyatt. Are Wyatt and Jake brothers?

Mary, I love the dragon.

Ei, I dont believe I heard when your sons wedding date is.

Honey, I absolutely love your decorating style. Its so elegant.

Marian, those are some very cool roses.

No flower shows around here. We have gone to Minneapolis but it seemed to be a lot of landscaping type stuff with lots of hyacinths.

I just received my 20th seed or gardening catalog today. I have never gotten this many or heard of some of them. I guess its out Im a gardener. I even got a complimentary issue of Garden Gate today. I have subscribed in the past, I guess they want me back.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 11:27PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 6:44AM
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Good white morning. Everything has a fairy layer of frost and it is just beginning to sparkle in the sunrise.

Running by waving like mad. Am so enjoying Taryn's pics and am hopeful that the birthday girl will sit through dialup to join us, soon :-)

Eden: If you're not gonna use them, can I borrow your lights??? LOL Slipped an additional 4 onto Rich's business Home Depot list this morning. Think he'll notice?

Honey: Good to see you! I love that our house colors are so similar. You, however, have the deco touch (my DS did the village:-). I do the same thing every year when I find something that works.

It's "Get Your Budget Day" at work which will tell me exactly what I have to sell before I start making "real" money. It's frightening and exciting for a salesperson all at the same time.

Lots of great memories of most recent house-buying being conjured up. Just what my soul needs right now ...

Hi, everyone!!! Later!! Martie

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 7:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I wonder why I cannot seem to view any photos that are from picturetrail... anyone else having that problem? (maybe it's some filter that my firm has newly applied...) very weird.... I'll have to try at home....

Very brrrrr here today.
Guess that cleaning is contagious! Dont get lost in the basement though, Norma.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.. :-)

17 degrees on the back porch this morning..quite a change. At least the sun is out.

36 posts since the last one I posted....I tried to skim and hit the highlights, but I am

Marian, I am sorry you are having a hard time. I'm not quite sure what health issues you and your husband are struggling with, but I do understand a little bit, how having to be routinely in pain can take it's toll. If you are still feeling low, I would definitely look into the meds you are on before thinking it is something else. There are so many medications now that have depression as a side effect. You can look up the side effects for any med online. Sometimes it can be a combination of meds too, if you are taking a few. Loved your roses!

Kathy...your bus trip to San Fran sounds like something to really look forward to every year. Your group of master gardeners sure know how to have fun. :-) I have never been to the Philly Flower Show, either. I would love to go and should try to plan it some one of these years. I haven't even been to the Boston Flower Show in quite a few years. I used to go like Wendy, every year. It got to be so crowded and so expensive that I lost interest. I did go to one in Rhode Island a few years ago and was surprised at how small it was in comparison to Boston. We did enjoy it just the same, it had a different flavor and not as crowded. The one I really want to go to, is the Chelsea Flower Show. Link below. Looks like next one is the end of May, 2007. Doubt I will ever get to that one. lol

Loving all the photos..Gbug..your husband is handsome! I can just picture him up on a stage. Maybe they will host a competition for the over 30 American Idol? :-) I did mention how I am so happy for all of you about your daughter's new house. Hope she will be close to you. The photos were great...hope we get to see what they do with the backyard. :-) Have an exciting weekend!

Michelle...what a pretty winter wedding scene. I also thought you looked great in your blue dress. The wedding gown with all the beads down the front and the red trim and the red in the bouquet...the cutie pie grandchildren...beautiful! Hope you all had a wonderful time.

Martie...hope your rocky couple of days have straightened themselves out. What are some seed you will be most excited to start this year? I am hoping to do some winter sowing again this year. I haven't started yet because of the warm weather. Still haven't ordered seed.

Wendy..Sounds like you had a great time watching them put together the exhibits at the Boston Flower Show. LOVE your snowdrops. They look huge!

Cindy...17 here least spring is that much closer and the sun will start getting warmer each day. :-)

Eden...which begonias did you pick up...Kathy too...I love begonias. Gave up on my favorites, the Rexs, so now I am sticking to the cane begonias. Easy as can be. I bought a Good 'n Plenty from Logee's last year and just love it. Did you bake anything yesterday, Eden?

T...that was a gorgeous winter scene. Did you take that photo yourself? Where is it? that your yard in spring? those daffs look familiar..are they the one that has 3 blooms per stem?

Honey...very very pretty mantel. I love the color on the walls. I am partial to it and chose something similar in wallpaper for my DRoom. LOVE your mirror and I don't usually choose silver finishes but I may have to think about switching the next time I am purchasing anything. You have a good eye. :-) What happened to Bullet? I think I missed that.

Ei...such a cute pixie BD card. :-)

Mary..that dragon is the cutest thing. I have recently seen a few photos of similar garden structures but this one is the best one so far! I was wondering if you would mind if I posted it to another forum for someone who was just asking about creating one of these structures with moss? Where does this dragon live? [g]

Norma...I should be cleaning my basement too. [g] Nice fountain..

Sue..pretty pretty tulips! Did I hear you are on the Garden Tour for September?

Deanne, is that BD card photo in your yard? I am growing shasta daisies for the first time. Started them from seed last year but haven't seen them flower yet. Really looking forward to them. :-)

Chelone...thinking of you and hoping you are doing okay. :-)

Hello to anyone I missed.. :-)

Loving all the BD cards...I haven't figured out how to do that yet...but one of my favorite photos from last winter...

Happy Birthday Taryn... :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 10:36AM
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Happy Birthday Taryn!!! This is a picture from Idyllunion at the Botanical Garden

Honey, I love your decorations! So elegant. Do you have a complete picture of your table centerpiece? It looks so pretty from the small part I can see.

Eden, I wanted to mention how happy I was that your mom's scan came out clear.

Martie: You asked about my brother, so I will give a little update. I tend to ramble on about this, so will try to keep it concise. They moved him to a large hospital close to where I work, so I get to go over there every day on my lunch hour. He is making progress. They have isolated whatever bug was causing his fever, so that is stable finally. He can't lift arms or legs, but is starting to be able to wiggle them. But, he is still in there. His personality is starting to show again, and that is wonderful to see. As soon as he can swallow I think his voice will come back. I think his throat is so dry that I can't hear him when he talks. Progress is being made though and that makes me so happy. It has definitely made me appreciate things that I took for granted like swallowing. Who knew it was such a gift? And so hard to get back after it is gone? I thought it was a reflex. I am getting an education.

Chelone, Hope you are coming to grips with your challenges. You are a very strong person and have done a great job with your mother. You may be doing your brother and your mother a favor. I can't add to the wise advice everyone posted, but I am thinking of you, and hope you are feeling better.

Michelle, thanks for posting the wedding pics. What a festive wedding! You and Rick look very happy. I love the fur cape. I think children add a lot to the feeling of celebration.

Norma, love the Chilhuly glass fountain pic. You have motivated me to do some research, and I found a place a couple of hours away that features a collection of his glass. It is the Franklin Park Conservatory, and my daughter and I are making plans to visit this spring.

Cindy, this cold wind blows right through today doesn't it? My Picturetrail is working.

Hi Marian! I have a Scentimental Rose. It is growing in a shady area... okay in my yard, what isn't?:) Anyway, I really like it.

Someone at work gave me three Jade plants, and they are getting new leaves. I am so excited. This is the first time I have had luck with indoor plants. I put Miracle Grow soil, because the original was hard as a rock. It is so fun to see the baby leaves coming out. And someone gave me an Amarylis to babysit. It hasn't started sending up leaves because I just got it. My one at home is sending up leaves. Can't wait to see these. Last year was my first time to have one, and it was gorgeous. I also got new light fixture for the basement Sunday. I am going to play with my indoor plants this weekend, prune them down and try to get some more under the lights.

Mary, I didn't catch the post about missing kids, but gathered a little from other's comments. Glad they were found. What do you and the kids have planned for this weekend? You do so many creative things. They are lucky to have you for a mom.

That's about it from me. Have to run, but wanted to say hi!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 10:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I am too far behind to comment on all the things that have been happening to all of you! But I do want to say:

and ((Chelone)) Im sure you will feel bad for a while but you have gone above and beyond the call of duty for a long time. You have nothing to berate yourself about now. Is the application for long-term care moving forward now i.e. is your mothers stay with your brother temporary until she gets a place in long-term care?

January is a tough month to get through here I always feel like hibernating and get fairly anti-social. That fact that January brings my annual MRI with it is a good part of what makes January dark for me. The MRI was on the 7th and Ill get the results on the 17th. Its always a nerve-wracking time here

I finally finished the sweater for DH yesterday the one that had sat in the unfinished projects basket for 6 years or so until GBs yarn dyeing thread and her sweater for her DD inspired me to dig it out - with the intent to finish it for Christmas. Missed that target completely! And I think I should have left it in the unfinished basket because the finished product is too big and too LOUD! I was aiming for a red sky at night effect but ended up with something closer to emergency flashing lights! All it needs is a blaring siren to go with it

DHs only real comment on it is that the red part in the center makes him feel like hes wearing a target so here he is clowning again:

I interviewed one person for my helper job last week and hope to talk to two more next week. Barb is translator for the interviews and she is on a dance cruise this week so things are on hold for the moment. Hopefully, Ill have hired someone new by the end of next week. And then teaching the new person ASL is the first priority.

One of the things that is keeping me busy this month is painting the trim for the shed. Its all in the basement and each batch takes four days to paint (2 coats of primer and two of stain.) Im getting thoroughly sick of painting and the pile to be painted never seems to shrink! But its easier doing it this way than waiting until it is up on the shed. I should have most of it done by the end of next week I hope. The shed siding is supposed to come sometime in February. Im afraid itll arrive early and the trim wont be ready, so Im trying not to let myself procrastinate about the painting. Im very good at procrastinating (see sweater history!)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Blow,blow,blow! Are we having March winds already? It was so noisy last night that I got very little sleep. Tommy went out before I went to bed, and I kept listening for his attempts to get my attention to let him back in. It was 2 AM before the noise I heard was him. The hover on our chimney came lose on one end, a few days ago, and was the big part of the racket. Naturally Nolon is no longer able to tend to such things, so no telling when it can be fixed.

Prairiemoon, My DH's health problems are mostly from old age. He is 80! He has had heart problems, but that seems to be okay now. He has a very bad back, and emphysema. He also has frequent memory lapses, and mood swings.
I am 74, and have battled the Fibromyalgia Syndrome and osteoarthritis for many years. I am the 'queen of Googling', ( smile) for answers to my health and for the meds that I take. I am only taking 2 prescriptions blood pressure med, and a rather strong pain med. I have got it pretty well regulated, along with the OTC meds and supplements that I take. The OTCs are for high cholestral, low potassium, allergies, acid reflux...etc. ( I keep telling my friends that I am a factory reject and need to be recalled! ) LOL
I really do not think I am depressed. I don't have those type symptoms. Discouraged often, but not depressed.
Beautiful swan pic...:-)

Marie, I enjoy all your pics of the new family, and I enjoy your DH's humor...:-) The idea of him bronzed is a hoot! Weird...but
I saw a red tailed hawk on my way to town recently, then on a later trip, there is a dead one in the highway! I can't think it was hit by a vehicle, and hate to think someone shot it!
What a wonderful thing for you and your DH to do... purchase 'half a house' for the new family. I am thinking you are as thrilled with all the 'newness' as your dear grandson is! How wonderful for all of you. We never know what tomorrow will bring. LOL about the old boyfriend's picture.

Mary, I liked your "Holland" story. A lot to think about .
I love the 'dragon'. Wish I were ambitious enough to make one! I am glad the missing girls showed up and were okay. And I am espacially glad Annie wasn't with them!

LOL, V. I have had dreams of unseen friends also ( but then, you have seen many of 'us', and had the pleasure of having a bunch at your home). I can identify with the tiredness from some dreams, also anger or sadness.
I have never been to an Opera. A theatrical group puts on shows in Harrison, but I have never gone. Once several of my aquaintences were acting in one. I almost went...:-)

Eden, I never did tell you how happy I am that your mom's tests came out good. I hope she is feeling okay.

Michelle...such a handsome family!(Both yours and Ricks.) The newlyweds are 'beautiful'. The groom reminds me so much of a dear friend that is a bank manager in Harrison. His nickname is Cub , and he is like a cuddly bear...(smile).

Martie, I guess I am pretty strong, else I wouldn't have made it this far. But then, you know from whence comes my strength.

Deanne, I haven't been commenting on all your ezcellent bird pics, but you know I consider you a master at all you do!

Cindy, I really do not mind winter, but it has become increasingly a challenge with the wood heat! I do admit long dark days can get to me, but I have pretty much learned to 'tune' them out. Stormy weather, regardless of the type, invigorates me. I agree on your analysis of the 'youthful spirit'( Been there, done that!) ;-)
That is strange about the PictureTrail pics. That is what most of us use.

T, I love your wintry scene.

Honey, I hope your funk is lifting. I hope you saw my answer to your xmas cactus question.

Ei, I am still enjoying 'your' orchid's blooms. They are hanging right in there.

Norma, has the artic express reached you? You are fortunate that the firewood debris is in your basement. Mine is through the breakfast room and into the livingroom. Our aging stove has taken to down-puffing, and blowing ashes out of the draft door! ( Actually, it is probably not the age of the stove, it is the shortness of the chimney. It needs another joint on top! ) I love the BD pic you posted for Taryn. Where is that?

Drema, that is great that your DB is improving. I can hardly imagine the heartaches. It's so good that he is close so you can visit regularly.
My old Jade plant surprised me with a few blooms this winter. It had never done that before.

Woody, I think I am due for more MRIs . It's been several years, and various new problems have came up that xrays don't cover. I will be thinking of you and yours, and praying that you get a good report.
I like the sweater. I hope your DH will at least wear it around home. It doesn't look like a target to me. :-)
I hope you find the perfect helper.

I made another trip to town today. With the incoming bad weather I needed more stuff than I got yesterday. I think we are pretty well set, regardless of what comes! The wind is still strong, but warmer than yesterday. I wore one of my new flannel-lined jeans. It felt good!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:41PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

1-2 inches of ice and then 3 degrees?!?!?!

Woah!!! Marian, bring in that firewood and hang onto your hat! Thinking of EP's family. (I still miss her too)
I pray the massive power outages warned of do not come to pass. Us 'southerners' aren't used to this stuff. :-O

Jerri -> Hunkering down for the weekend

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:11PM
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Marian, the fountain was another Chihuly glass artist display at the St.Louis Botanical Garden. I saw on the news just last night that they were dismantleing most of the displays to ship them back. They did keep a few of the exhibits as permanent fixtures.
It has been windy here the last two days and we are to get some freezing rain this weekend.

Michelle , yes Wyatt and Jake are brothers.

Woody, I like the colors in your jokesters sweater. I have a feeling he and my DH would get along just fine. LOL
I can see why Jan. is a bummer for you. Sending good vibes your way. Looking forward to seeing your finished shed project.

Drema, thanks for the update on your brother. I hope he continues to improve. Have fun with the plants this weekend.

pm2, love the swans.

Deanne I love shasta daisies with daylillies. I have only found one kind that has done well for me. Don't know which one it is. But definitely need to propagate it. The others I have bought never live long.

Cindy, strange you can't see all the pictures.

I am two thirds done with the basement, but now the really messy part comes . The back corner storage area where everything gets dumped :( Bet that will be a two day job. It may have to wait till next week. I need to shop for Wyatts Birthday tomorrow. I hate to put it off because I know myself to well about getting back to things.

Waving to all again. I'm going to take a half hour for guitar practice. Have been to busy and am missing it.
Later Norma

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:46PM
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Yikes Jerri that covers me too. I better get to town early in the morning. Norma

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 8:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Norma, yes,leave early. Stores here are out of several items already! Maybe it won't be as bad as they are predicting. :)


    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Happy Friday-eve
Man, you miss one day posting around these parts and there is a boatload to catch up on !
So last night when I got home from work, I sat down at the computer and finished my newspaper column, sent it off and then went upstairs to change into my grungy evening clothes ( crummy sweatshirt, holy jeans etc) and the frames on my glasses break when I take them off to put on the sweatshirt. Out pops the lens and falls on the carpet. Frames broke in a location that made home-repair impossible. Went to the car to get my back-up pair of glasses (always kept in the glove compartment because when you are blind as a bat and something happens to your glasses when you are on the road you are basically sc***ed) and they are not there. Called my boss and left a message for him to say that I would be late to work because there was no way I was going to drive with one eye, and so I was going to walk , and would have to wait till it was starting to get light out(I usually go in at six) . Of course we are having record low temps ! I felt like a hardy New-Englander walking briskly through the frosty morn ! I also had a piece of paper taped over the missing lens to keep that eye from trying to focus. One of my office mates asked me if it was take a Pirate to Lunch Day .. . anyway, I walked to my eye Dr and got the glasses fixed and now I am complete again

Michelle, loved the wedding photos ! It all looks very festive.

Martie, it sounds like your pansies look better than mine !

Wendy , how fun to see the set up at the garden show . The display gardens are totally out of touch with reality, but there are always ideas there.

Cindy, Camellias are extremely common here, most homes have them. I think we take them for granted bit.

Honey, I love your red wall ! I have always wanted to paint my dining room red, but I have issues with conflicting tones of red in adjoining rooms. And about that funkI think we all get a let-down after the holidays. I find a good book and maybe a weekend of watching uplifting films might help !

Ei, no fragrance on the Camellia . The sasanquas are fragrant sometimes, but the japonicas are not.

Norma, dont give up the ship on cleaning your basement.. We dont have basements here (not very good earthquake-wise) but the garage is where all the "stuff" accumulates. My garage is very bad right now. I am hoping to do a purge in late February.

PM , we are expecting 18 degrees overnight tomorrow. Feverishly moving plants in..
And Drema , funny you mentioned the jade plant, I told DD last night she needed to move hers in . Most years they are ok if kept under an overhang , not when temps dip below 20 though.

Woody, I loved that sweater! No way is it too loud for me. I love the colors. I would wear it in a heartbeat. Best wishes on the helper thing..

Marian, I just really dislike the wind ! When I was growing up in So. California we had the Santa Anas which blew in off the desert and were hot, dry and created the optimum environment for the horrible brush fires that occurred every few years. Up here in Nor Calif, the wind comes in off the sea and is cold and gusty. Hope you can stay warm !

Time to sign off,, stay warm everyone !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 11:00PM
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