Idyll # 421 Virtual Thumbs Party!

denisez10(SoCal)January 19, 2009

Cake to be served in Eden's FF new kitchen...

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I'm thumbing my nose at winter right now. Geesh, you go to bed and wake up to 6 more inches. 6 inches that the weatherman failed to mention the last time I saw....

This is one of those winters where we run out of places to put the snow and it's still hanging around in "burgs" come June.

Rants over. I'm going to the gym!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:22PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I've been a slaggard (new word...) -- not caught in traffic but caught in slugdom, LOL -- was a tense workweek and I kind of took the veil for a few days - just checking in quickly to say howdie -- I have to go back and recheck what's been happ'ning here -- I did see that Cynthia is keeping you informed of the party progress in DC - Im sitting out on the warm sidelines -- neat to hear how Idyll relatives and friends are in the area!

Denise, I chuckled re the 21st century mapping/gps directions for NYC - had to do that for one silly atty last year when he was caught in Santa Monica (having turned the wrong way out of his hotel) and attempting to get directions from me via mapquest as to where he was & how to get where he needed to be -- I never understood why he didnt pull over and ask for some "native" there to set him straight.... I hope Mitch lands some big opportunity!

O neat, another thumbs party in the offing!

Had dinner with DD and spouse last nite and am off to drop off a late "New Years" present to a friend & go see Last Chance, Harvey -- looks enjoyable.

I'll try to be better and drop back in tonite to catch up -- I do recall seeing some gorgeous beaded cards -- Mary, you continue to amaze us in the clever dept!


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Hello Idylls

Today was a fun morning - what a treat to have Monday off!! David and I spent it with some new friends playing music - David playing guitar and violin duets with their daughter while the mother and I tried some Telemann canonic duets for flute and violin. I was somewhat out of my league musically (I'm a decent but not professional musician) as opposed to the couple who are both excellent professional musicians. However, I held my own and was happy to get advice from my duet partner. Her bossiness was matched by my easy going approach and we had a grand time together. David and friend had a good time too and he had the treat after of trying out some double basses in the father's workshop. I think it is an experience that will be often repeated:0)

Annie is on a study date with BFF and as the girls are both very serious students I think they will get a lot done. Mid-terms are approaching and I'm amazed at how much work they have the 9th graders doing. David is having his Sunday night hairwash (he somehow got out of that one last night) and is then heading to a friend's house to play. I shall have a quiet afternoon to myself! The kitchen is finally clean, floor washed and I have another card to bead. I"m just about to put the kettle on for a cup of tea - anyone care to join me?


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:50PM
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When I was in high school calligraphy was part of one of my art classes. I still use it occasionally.
Good Monday morning! The temps here have improved some but with all the snow, the minute the wind blows, theres drifting and slick roads.

Mary, the cards are awesome! I imagine that the recipients might like to frame them. I would!

Eden, the Legoland inauguration is pretty cool. IÂll have to share it with Jeremy, he was the Lego King growing up.

Chelone, my mom always sewed for others when we were growing up. She hated alterations, where my grandma (her mom) only did alterations.

The garden room isnÂt going to be anything extra exciting. The quilt and curtains are actually the ones we had in our room before we got a king sized bed. Since my mom made the quilt I really wanted to keep it in use. The quilt has a trellis look to it.
I must get back to work.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 1:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Why oh why cannot Chelone be my neighbor! How terribly I need her altering abilities. Why do the makers of petite blouses, coats, and sweaters, think petite gal's arms hang down to their knees! I have several such items that I avoid wearing because of the loooong sleeves.
I am not apt at shortening them. I 'can' hem pants, but am not fond of doing so any more.
LOL, Denise, and Cynthia. I kind of like my 'table setting' too. I have moved the back bedroom plants back to their room, but the african violets will remain on that table either until spring, or intil we need it for company ( which is not likely).
Your pic of your book prompted me to take pics of mine that I mentioned. I took some of some of the illustrations also. Maybe I start a thread for others can add their pics?
I don't remember my sister's corgi behaving that way, but it was a very long time ago, and maybe I have forgotten. All I remember is that she was a nice dog.

Marie, I am like you about seeing a varmint attacked and killed by a dog or cat. But I do appreciate the vermin that our cats keep thinned out.

Speaking of 'varmints", there is apparently a skunk that has taken up residence under our livingroom! It's fragrance keeps seeping up through the floor! I have smelled it strongly the last 2-3 days. Nolon has not detected it at all.I just toured the area, sniffing, and did not smell anything bad. Thank goodness it is not a permenant occurance.

Marie, do you boil the sweet potatoes before frying them?
I baked one the other day, and have eaten most of it myself. Nolon doesn't care for baked ones. Your dish of food looks good, but I prefer my meat a lot less pink. :-)
The comments about lamb is making me think I would like to try it. I haven't even tasted lamb for many many years, and Nolon says he does not like it. I have not even noticed it in our local stores, but surely it is offered. We have sheep raisers in the area.

Kathy, Lovely flower pics,but I still like our winter's rest. :-) Doobie is pretty 'lovely' also.

Michelle, I would like to see a pic of your 365 Bedtime Stories ( and Chelone's). I would love to identify what I had, and find a replacement.
LOL, Kenzie, and the sand burial! What a great smile, and perfect pic.

V, I would like to see your " Save the Date " cards. I will pass on the 'free husband' offer. Mine doesn't even stay up past 8 P.M. to watch any movie I put on. ( Actually, he did stay up a little after 8 the other evening when I had an old Gene Autry video on. :-)

Norma, good hearing from you. I thought you would be snowed in. You call it a 'skiff' of snow. We always called it a 'skift' of snow. Neither word is listed in referance to snow, and 'skift' isn't listed at all !??

Chelone, some of my pants/slacks cling to my stockings, and ride up my legs. I hate that, espacially when I am in public. LOL, on the 'chicken look', that sounds like some of Nolon's expressions.

Mary, I absolutely love your artwork. The cards are truely keepsakes, and need to be framed and hung on the wall.

LOL, Saucy, " For a moment I think he thought he was 6" .

Julie, I hope the 'dragging on the ground' jeans are out of fashion. I thought that was another dumb fashion, along with baggy pants, low hanging pants, low fronted blouses, etc., etc.
I stopped ironing years ago. I need to remove the dingy cover from the board, and put the board in the storage shed. It has been propped behind the spare bedroom door 'forever'. Tim used to use it, but hasn't for a long time.
Interesting on the Map Quest directions. :-)

Deanne, Shoot! Yoor "Thumbs" party is too far also. :-(

Eden, we know a family that started into business making lazy susans, and other 'turn table' equipment. After 30 years or more, they have branched into other items, and are a good-sized manufacturing company, in Harrison, AR.
I am sure they can be googled : Johnson's Manufacturing Co.
I 'knew' that was a TV not a computer !!! ( Smacks self on head.)

I typed this up on the #420 thread, and copied and pasted it into this threads's box!
Since this has become so long, I will do the #421 comments on another post. :-)


    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:14PM
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This is the most snow we've had the entire bitter cold winter and the girls were excited!:

Hope (in red) hasn't porked out, that's wind blowing her fleece out.

Hope was moving too quickly, so I just got empty pics of 'where she was when I pointed'. The pink sweater is Dannie, and yes that's poor Monty in camo trying not to get hit.

Poor dogs, they want just a few inches to play in! It's still snowing though so they may get their wish.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 2:20PM
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Have only read a few posts (you guys have been busy!), and want to tell you I took a couple of pictures for you this afternoon JUST before the battery went dead.

I have an added surprise... IF the glue sticks...

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 4:42PM
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Eden was correct in her guess. Let's have a polite round of appluase for her, 'K? :)

The glue appears to be holding, but the sunlight is long gone, so the suprise will have to wait until I get home from work tomorrow.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 7:02PM
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Very festive Chelone. ! Cant wait to see the surprise ..

I am taking the day off tomorrow to view the festivities , and perhaps to perform more garden clean-up between speeches
It is so very nice that it is light out when I get home from work. Today I decided to put new batteries in my remote weather stations because they are no longer transmitting to the mother ship. I have three, one in the back, one in front and one in the garage. They display current temps and min/max temps as well. So I gathered them up and unscrewed the battery compartments, and came in the house to get my 12 pak of triple AAAs I bought a few weeks ago. As many Moms are forced to do , I hid them from DS-he tends to use batts and neglect to tell me when the stock is depleted . Apparently I hid them too well, because I cant find them and really have no clue where my hiding place was, lol. The jokes on me ! Guess Ill buy some more this week and then be surprised when the others turn up.

Slaggard is a very serviceable word Cindy, sort of an amalgamation between slug and slacker , lol !

Mary, Im too late to join you in a cup of tea, so how about a glass of wine ? I love Telemann , and would have enjoyed being an audience of one for the performance.

Marian, I must say that I was thinking about needing a winters rest this weekend when I was out schlepping the yard debris ! My garden is usually a mudhole in January .

Cynthia, loved the pics of the girls romping in the snow, and Monty in his manly camo outfit looking on ..

Dinner time heresee yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:14PM
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I have your AAA batteries. They're in the drawer where my AAs are supposed to be. I finally located a 'new' flashlight in a package that came with AAs and used those for my humidity/temp refresh. Other alternative was to pilage a smoke detector.

Chelone the buntings are buntiful!! And what my dogs wouldn't do to have that amount of snow to lope around in. No wait. They would need paths shoveled.

I think that movie got mixed reviews Cindy, but I thought it sounded like a fun. I enjoy any movie that doesn't have Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise in it. (Not sure if it's an age or an attitude thing.)

Good night, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:40PM
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And Emma Thompson never fails to raise the bar. Thanks for finding the batts. Might have a couple of AA's in the car to trade-

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 10:39PM
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I am working a short day today. I've decided that the festivities in Washington DC are too much to miss. For the first time in my life I actually want to hear my President's inaugural speech and I don't want to be interrupted by some pesky customer wandering in with a tattered piece of canvas. The buntings are fun and a way to celebrate, since in the helpmeet's words, going to a place with lots of men with guns on rooves seems to be pushing the bounds of good sense. ;)

That movie interested me, too. So does "Milk" and so does "Slum Dog Millionaire", actually so does "Valkyrie" (fascinating story). Super action thrillers, slashers, and remakes don't incite me to race to the theatre. I actually think Tom Cruise is a talented actor, but I think too many scripts are anemic.

Much to comment on, but I really do have to skeedaddle.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 5:30AM
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Well, I just put Lars and the Real Girl on my Netflix queue. Someone said it was really good, and that's all it takes folks!

I was a Bradd Pitt fan way back when he was in Thelma and Louise and of course Legends of the Fall, but I don't care for his personality anymore - I think Angelina might have something to do with it. Never have liked Tom Cruise, but I can see the appeal....well, if you can forget about the couch incident....

I had planned on having the speech on, too. Very patriotic Chelone! And now you'll have them everytime you feel patriotic, lol, which will hopefully be often over the next 4 years :)

Kathy, I lost a good chunk of money while trying to put it in a good "spot" that I wouldn't be attempted to spend it! I found it almost a year later....and decided to keep saving it, lol! I eventually spent it while on vacation.

Nick needs my computer so I'm going to go and get ready for my weekly beating. They remodeled my gym and I have a feeling that my "beating" will be extra special today while we try out all the new equipment, lol!

Saucy (who meant "berg" when she was complaining about the snow...but now it's there for me to see each time I open Idyll!)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick note from me - this course is a LOT of work and I'm slow at it because of some of my disabilities. It is fun though. At some point I'll post something - but not until I can produce something that looks decent!

Eden - yep! That's how we're supposed to write... I even have one of those doo-hickeys that the person in the video was using! That video was helpful - thanks for posting that.

Nice bunting Chelone

Marian - I have the same problem with sleeves....

Cythia - the dog coats look just like scaled-down horse blankets!

Gotta run to do some homework.... (I'm literally working on this stuff 8 hours a day! I wanted something to keep me busy this winter and I got it!)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:30AM
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GOod morning

Chelone - your buntings are fabulously festive! What a neat project.

I'm hoping the middle and high schools will allow the students the opportunity to see some of the inauguration. To me such a historic moment should be part of their education.

We love going to the movies and it is one of our treats when DH is home, though our taste always tend towards independent arts films rather than block busters. As Annie and David get older we are enjoying including them when subject matter is appropriate. We however did see Valkyrie over the holidays and enjoyed it. It was highly entertaining if not great. I've never been particularly enamoured with Tom Cruise but I must say he was excellent in that role. (Emma Thompson I love). We also saw Slumdog Millionaire which has to be one of the best films I've seen in a long, long time. Be warned - the first 5 minutes are gruelling to watch (I had my eyes closed) but from there on it is amazing. Annie wants to see Milk but not knowing the adult content I think I'll preview it first on DVD.

Batteries seem to disappear at the same rate as socks in our house. I too secrete a few in a hidden spot for my own use. One of my essentials is a hand crank flashlight that is kept in my desk drawer and is one of the very few things I insist no one touches. That way I always have light during power cuts and can read all night without worrying about batteries going.

Hope everyone has a great day. I'm still a little concerned Martie has been absent so long. Fingers crossed all is OK.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night's Book Club was a great success on all fronts. First the dinner was delicious, and because the hostess has many food restrictions (celiac etc...) I was able to eat most everything that is on my diet. Next, the book was appreciated by everyone, which does not usually happen with our group. I learned that the book was published by a different title in the US where "The Book of Negroes" was not allowed, even though historically accurate. Then too there was plenty of local gossip which sends us all into fits of giggles....

Today many people plan on calling in "sick" to do as Chelone does, watch the political events. A shame that it must be handled this way. I remember in grade 5 being assigned topics on the Coronation because it was felt it would be something memorable for our entire lives. Little did we know...they were right! We were also allowed to have the radio going as we did our arithmetic to hear the Yankees and the Dodgers playing. This was odd to me who had never seen a single game of any sport in my young life, things my eccentric parents considered boorish.

Today DH is off in Toronto trying to save the planet. Not likely he'll succeed today, but the fact that he is heard and never goes away, means that they keep asking his opinions and even gets the occasional minor success. Today he gives suggestions for the Provincial Policy Statement.

It is sunny for once and it was funny to see the moon and stars as I brought wood in for the fire at 7:30 this morning. I've enjoyed the fact that it stays lighter out, almost to 6PM. At the moment it is 5F outdoors. Phoebe is fine with that.

We are not movie watchers because DH hates them. I manage to watch a few with friends, but Tom Cruise gives me the willies. I saw him in one film only (baseball theme?) and felt sorry for the leading lady, Reese Witherspoon. Now Emma Thompson, that's a whole different story! I love her work both before and after Kenneth Branagh. While in Edmonton, we watched a series of short films that were very special. I'll have to ask DD where those came from. And just to show how crazy I am, Gerard Depardieu was one of my favorites. DD adored his Cyrano de Bergerac, and I just loved him in The Return of Martin Guerre! Even the costumes were good.

Time to get moving here!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:25AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning all! Very bright and cold and frosty here today. Lots to do as it snowed for the whole day yeasterday.

Happy Inaugauration day all you USofA folks! Should be lots of stuff to see on the tube today - for us too!

I must say that DD and DS were never into the baggy-pants-hanging-off-the-hips-showing-the-underwear thing. I think they realized that that would be too much for "the parents". That is what TCS refers to us as, crooking his little fingers to make visual quotation marks. It is a hoot!

I laughted about the petite clothes with sleeves to the knees. That, of course is my problem too. What I do though is move the cuff buttons so that the cuffs fit snugly around my scrawny little wrists. This keeps the extra sleeve fabric out of my way as it just blouses around my scrawny little arms....

Oh Marian, I sure hope you don't have a resident skunk. Or skunks (plural). If they start to fight, they will spray, and that stink gets into the insulation, the floor boards, the drywall, everything. Our down-the-street-neighbour in our old place had to have a huge reno done for that very reason. Not at all pleasant.

Cynthia, the dogs are so cute in their fleeces out playing in the snow! Jaxie has a quilted waterproof coat and he also gets Invisible Boots rubbed onto his feet before he goes out. We have considerably more snow than you and when he dashes through the park, you just see a big white cloud with a little tiny black face. This morning it was so cold that even the Invisible Boots didn't work and he just lay down and whined on the way to the school bus. I had to carry him a bit. When we have fresh snow and it gets very cold, the snow crystals freeze into little sharp blades of ice. Hurtful to the dog (like walking on slivers of glass), and surprisingly enough, it slows you down when you're skiing - all those little sharp things sticking up and grabbing your wax....

I have some old fleece in my sewing chest, so maybe I will try to figure out how to make some extra coats for Ajax. He is very short haired, like the greys, and maybe should be dressing in layers!

This brings to mind Marie's friends who hadn't been able to feed their dogs for three days. That haunts me. I could never work for the SPCA....

Today TCS starts his swimming lessons with the school as part of the Phys. Ed Program. They have a 40 minute lesson every day for two weeks. His school used to be attached to the town pool, so the kids didn't even have to go outside; now, however, the a new school has been built, but just across the parking lot from the pool. He loves the water and can swim a little, earning his first merit badge last year, but knows that almost all of the kids swim better than he does and he is a little worried that he won't pass level 2. I have explained to him that he just needs to try his best, listen to the teacher, allow himself to have a little fun, and not to worry about the badge. If he doesn't get it, we will put him in a few private lessons and he will get it then. He is much more attentive when the teaching is one-on-one. The real problem, of course, is that his "friends" will tease him to tears about not getting the level. *sigh* kids can be tough. We've discussed this aspect too, and had some chats about "real" friends.

Michelle, I loved the photo of Kenzie in the sand. (Have I mentioned before what a cool name that is?). She looks just delighted! What happiness radiates from her little face.

Chelone, The bunting looks great! I love your house! One thing that I have noticed on my few trips across the border is the evidence of patiotism shown in the US. The smaller the place, the more flage etc. I see. Even more displays for special holidays such as St. Patrick's day or Valentine's Day. We Canadians are a little too buttoned up in some way. I always have a big flag out for Canada day but that's about it. Hmmmm, I have a photo somewhere....I'll Go look.

Have an enjoyable day, folks, and keep warm or cool, whatever the case may be!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:37AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, much as I'd like to be part of the momentous event, I feel it was a wise decision to watch in the warmth of my home -- it's freaking cold out there today - must be the wind; but it is very chilly out here and feels harsh -- hypothermia trivia, I saw on tv they suggested you bring the bubblewrap to stand on (and sit on, and hold onto) so the cold ground doesnt creep up your legs... who knew? From the masses I see I suspect there will be amazing metro and commuting stories... I hope hope that the crowds stay orderly and enthusiastic.

Chelone, your bunting is lovely and festive -- what a great way to celebrate.

Cynthia -- we got even less snow than what you got - I have nothing on the ground; it all blew away; Im sure the plants will tell the story in the spring of no winter cover... but then I imagine for the inauguration it's best DC didnt get any....

Last Chance Harvey was what I'd unlikely call "sweet" -- you could definitely take your mother to it, no profanity except maybe one s**t, for a single adult, I could say it was painful to watch -- the single dating scene in all its inelegantness, and ineptness of the main characters -- but improbable as it was, it was a delight and charming. My friend and I looked at each other after 15 mins and said "this is painful -- all too familiar, LOL" as we've both endured some sad dating stories over the years. I too have always loved Emma Thompson and she doesnt disappoint; Dustin Hoffman was charming in his willingness to be a "loser"... worth the price of admission but it's not a brilliant movie -- but I usually go to the movies simply to be entertained and this does that.

Kathy -- hope you find some more batteries that Cynthia hasnt stashed.... I find I definitely have less grasp on the locations of things in my house any more, which I find disturbing for some reason (perhaps as it's likely a sign of a deteriorating mind, LOL), and if I re-organize to another location, that makes it even more challenging.

Well, the caffeine is percolating in my veins but I need another injection, so i'll check back later.

This is a very good day to use the excuse of watching television!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:38AM
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I'm doing the happy dance today because Brad goes back to work :) and I get my life back :)

I have to admit I like lookin' at Brad Pitt. Tom Cruise, not so much. I did like him in earlier stuff like Risky Business or Top Gun. Marie, I liked Green Card with Gerard Depardieu. There's a greenhouse/conservatory in that movie that's to die for. I'm a light weight when it comes to the movies I like. I don't like anything dark or too sad. Enough of that seen in real life. Romance and happy endings only for me. Brad says it's my Cinderella mentality.

Chelone, the buntings add such a special touch for the day! I'm anxious to see the surprise.

David used to go through lots of batteries when he lived here and Bella picked up where he left off. I just routinely pick up one size or another whenever I'm at the store.

Cynthia, the dogs are just like children playing in the snow aren't they? Cute pictures. We have to shovel paths for Bud this year too. The snow is deep and he's getting pretty rickety in his old age. I keep meaning to ask if the bathroom redo is finished?

Marian, I hope that skunk's gone. I liked the look of all of your plants in the house and on the table. About this far into winter I start bringing more of mine upstairs because I need to see the green.

Brad's got racquetball at 11 and then straight to work from there so I have the whooooooooooole day all to myself. Best go find something good to do with it. See ya later!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Good morning Idylls, a frosty morn here with CNN on in one room and NPR on in another, the Os having coffee with the Ws at Casa Alba, and Im having mine with the Idylls. Cindy has the right idea- I see from my temp listing its 23 in DC right now- we are 10 degrees warmer here at a balmy 33 !

Saucy, thats for reminding me about Lars, a movie I had made a mental note to see but never wrote down. I would say finding stashed money has more excitement thasn stashed AAAs. A year or so after my DH passed away I found 4k hidden away amongst some of his stuff.

Hi there Woody, and looking forward to your no doubt excellent term paper.

Mary, I remember we had a TV in my classroom when JFK was inaugurated, no doubt due to the fact that he was a Catholic .

Tom Cruise- I enjoyed in Magnolia , Rain Man the Color of Moneybut with the exception of Magnolia he seems to be the same guy most of the time. Not always a bad thing, you can say that about plenty of actors I think.

More latertime to settle down with some shredded wheat..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:41AM
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From Williamsburg to Washington DC!

What a country! :)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 11:41AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:24PM
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Great work, Chelone!

I was in excellent company - Jake joined me for the speech, as he's home from school having finished up day one of midterms. It was a nice thing for us to witness together.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Even I turned on the radio for the first time in well over a YEAR!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 12:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

That is great, Chelone! Thumbs up to you!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:03PM
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I think Chelone's first photo needs to be on the Readers' Gallery of inauguration photos of the NYT (which I started to do but figured I should probably ask permission first)

Excellent company here too, Saucy, and Mitch called from the mall but the crowd was so deafening I could barely hear him. What an amazing day!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Wow! We have a new president! It's a bit brighter outside. ;) Chelone, love the buntings.
I'm not working today. I've picked up the latest stomach bug.
Hi all!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:33PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Doug and I were home together and watched the inauguration and speech. An amazing day indeed.

The arrangement and presentation of 'Simple Gifts' was beautiful. I thought of Mary.

Chelone! Wonderful!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 1:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Simple Gifts and Aretha too...
Pretty daring start! He puts the burden of change on every single one, and makes them feel enthusiastic and proud about it too, without denying the troubles that abound.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 2:27PM
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I hereby nominate Aretha winner of the "Hat of The Day " award.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 2:41PM
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I thought of Mary, too, and hope that her school system did find a way to broadcast the event!

Yes, GB, he's very inspiring. I liked how unrehearsed he seemed as he tripped over his oath....having tripped over some vows, myself. Perhaps it's a good sign that he is not a mimic :)

Back to work now. Chelone, I have a vision in my head of you standing inside the house with a remote control, and when you push the giant red button, the buntings unfurl. I know it was much harder work than should enter the picture! Great suggestion, Denise!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 2:49PM
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I like this one best and meant to post it above. Go for it, Denise. It was a really FUN thing to do. I definitely get a charge out of stuff like that (note to self: do more of it).

Saucy, I can't believe there are interview questions for a book club. Probably makes sense on one hand, but on the other... probably not the sort of place for me. ;) There was nary a dry eye under this roof earlier today. We stood up for the "Star Bangled Banner", too (boy and girl scouts and both kids of WWII vets.). Good speech for Jake to hear, a good reminder for all of us, actually. None of the bounty we share is a foregone conclusion. It requires time, patience, and personal effort. You get out of it precisely that which you contribute. Personal responsibility is good, but it's hard work, too.

'bug, your DH and the helpmeet must be cast from the same mould when it comes to "follow through" on obedience work. I have much less trouble with Wrecks than he does. I'm not sure if it's because I just keep a closer eye on him or because I spend more time fitting obedience work into our "quality time" routine. If I let too much time lapse I frequently find Rex quite difficult. So, 5-10 minutes a day is a no-brainer for me. :) (a good beating requires 5 minutes, tops)

I've not missed the book thread and will take some shots of a few books. There is something so grounding about looking at something that's seen so many years and eager eyes.

I like Georg Telemann, too. I recall reading that he was JS Bach's good buddy. I have a cheapie "greatest hits" CD of his work, but I often hear his name on our local NPR's classical show. Will investigate further... suggestions, Mary?

Was impressed that President Obama pronounced "Concord" properly. Was UNimpressed by the attire of the women with respect to the weather. Very few wore a coat that made "sense" on such a cold day, fewer still wore hats! We were of the opinion that a good, government issue, 100% Navy pea cap would have really made our President's "look". ;)

Eden must be partyin' down now. Life is good, huh? Oh, you will know this! what's the easiest way to cut foam core neatly? I had a helluva time with an exacto knife and an utility knife, even with a fresh blade. Is there a trick or a special tool?

Shouldn't you be practicing your architect-scrip, Woody?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Chelone spoke of her concern with improper garb today I was surprised to see the 2nd ladys exposed knees, but at least she was wearing boots. Perhaps since the Os are Chicagoans they are hardened off and toughened up . But they are clearly joining the Idylls in thumbing their noses ! Still I would have worn pants to camouflage my long johns. Ive been watching this thing all day . I dont think the boob tube has been on for so many hours in this house for years. And how exciting for Denise to have had a phone connection with the event, even though it was inaudible !

Maybe you should use a coping saw for the foam (I assume its rigid) with a finish blade (fine toothed).

Going to continue viewing the Inaug-a-thon , attending the balls vicariously and hoisting a couple of glasses of wine. Glad I took the day off.

Later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:05PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm not done reading but I want to post a couple of comments before I forget.

Julie, please tell TCS that as a child, I flunked "Minnow" (The first level swim lessons at the Y) three times, but as an adult I became a certified SCUBA diver and generally turned out OK!

Chelone, awesome, awesome, awesome! You rock, woman!!!

No one took the day off at my office - we all just turned on our radios and got streaming video on our computers! I don't think the phone rang once during the most important parts. One young coworker did not "get" the poem, which I really enjoyed. And "Simple Gifts" is always one of my favorites; so nice to hear all that talent play it so well. My money is on Aretha's hat as the top joke on the late night shows tonight. I heard several comments about the general very pleasant atmosphere on the Mall, and smiled each time thinking about how much fun the election night rally had been. (When we were setting up our trade show display, I took one of our props which was a tie-dyed peace sign flag, wrapped it around myself and started chanting "O-BAM-A!" Yes, I am a clown...)

And DD called me at lunchtime and said her Conducting prof asked if it was okay if they just watched the festivities instead of having class. No one objected.

Julie, we have a family cabin near Kenora, Ontario, and a couple of years ago we had an addition built by one of our cabin neighbors who is from Winnipeg. When we "christened" the new addition, they brought over a little hybrid American/Canadian flag, and we proudly display that whenever we are "in residence". Most of the Canadian cabin owners around the lake fly the Maple Leaf when they are there.

On the topic of calligraphy, I had to address 50 envelopes. Chelone would appreciate that I spent fifteen minutes just making my little guideline cheat sheet that I slide into each envelope to use for guidelines. Upfront planning leads to a better end product. I learned calligraphy in 7th grade; the nun I had that year taught the entire class of 50. I really enjoyed it then, and realized in looking back that there had to be some 7th grade boys that just dreaded those lessons, but I was so wrapped up in doing it I never noticed.

Marian, I thought about posting a photo of the cards, but I don't have Photo Shop and couldn't obscure enough of the personal info on the cards. Sorry!

I have to go to a meeting tonight, but I really don't want to go out in the cold again. Too much cold and snow this winter for my tastes! I'll have to work on thumbing my nose...


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:38PM
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I missed Aretha's hat but immediately thought of Mary during the Simple Gifts quartet. I've been watching off and on all day. I also got everything organized on my new pantry shelves and finished all the laundry.

Chelone, the stars look wonderful with the stripes. I just love that last shot you posted of your home. Pure Americana.

I haven't found anything that cuts foamboard better than an exacto knife with a metal rule guide (for straight cuts). The trick is that the blade must be super sharp. Which means you have to change it often.

Julie, no baggie, falling down pants for my kids either. There were dress codes and uniforms at their school which I was very grateful for. I think you handled the swimming issue with TCS very wisely. I enjoyed reading how you explained it all to him.

My new project is organizing pictures. I have a plastic tote full of photos. I bought some photo boxes and am going to work on filing all of them chronologically. That's going to take some time. I'm going to rustle up some dinner first. It can be whatever I want cuz I'm here all by myself :)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 7:40PM
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Here you go Eden--might be a nice look for IU6

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:00PM
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Kathy, I missed Aretha too so thanks for the photo. I was also completely zoned into the festivities but got called in to cover a job emergently - everyone ready to start but no reporter, so I went from jammies to work clothes in 10 mins and set up and ready to write in 30, including travel time, setting up equipment, and time wasted first going to the incorrect address provided. Whew! Good thing it was a local job. I did get Chelone's photo to the NYT and received acknowledgment but it's still not up on the website. The photos are posted in order received, and the last one up before I sent in Chelone's had a timestamp around 3:30 p.m. EST., so hers if posted will follow after 3:30. I might have blown it by not including a town, just Maine, U.S.A., but gotta preserve Chelone's and the helpmeet's privacy! Mitch just IM'd to say he may be stuck in D.C. due to a bomb threat on the Jersey turnpike, all roads out of D.C. closed!?!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 9:10PM
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I'll bet I'd love calligraphy. I think it's terrific that it was included in Michelle's art class and at V.'s school, too. There are so many ways to creative and clearly it's proven a useful skill for at least two Idyllettes. (Did anyone else read that Quincy Jones wants more emphasis on the Arts at the gov't. level?). Yes indeed, sometimes a little bit of what seems like tedious work at the front end of a project actually makes the whole thing easier. My boss has trouble wrapping her head around the fact that I'm willing to open seams much further back than she would but it makes flattening out an area a whole lot easier and virtually eliminates the chance to stitch tucks into the final seam. I learned that doing alterations, where tucks and sloppy seams ruin the effect of a properly altered garment.

I loved Aretha's lid. Let's face it, that's a lot of body to dress and making her look terrific is no small feat. But I think she looked wonderful and we both agreed it was a great piece for her to sing. We loved the way her song evoked the rich tradition of "church music". I, too, thought of Mary and we idley wondered how long it took the "band" to decide to "do the gig". ;) But we fear "It's a Wonderful Life" will never be the same... not after watching them roll poor old Mr. Potter out yesterday.

I have to pay the piper today, I'll be staying late to make up for my early parole yesterday. ;) It's OK, it was very much worth it (we toasted our refusal to live in fear with Champagne). I think there's a sail cover on the docket for the morning.

The helpmeet has begun casing the windows in the Salon. I arrived home the other day to see one "mocked up". The only modification to it has been a decision to cut the depth of the windowsill from nearly 6" deep to 4 1/2". The trim is basically the same style as what's in the house. He has a couple of weeks off and if he puts his hindquarters to the coals it shouldn't take too long.

Thanks for the tip on the foam core, Eden. I was surprised at how tricky a good cut was to obtain. I did not change the blade during the process and that's likely the source of my frustration. I did use a metal straight edge and I did cut it on top of glass, so clearly it's a "technique thing".

I'm IN for the TYNAW party, though I feel deep in my bones that February 28th. is a wee bit too hopeful. ;) OK, I have to prepare my egg and think about the day to come.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 5:24AM
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Which picture did you select, Denise?

I love that we have an elegant couple in Casa Alba (lol), but he needs to hit the Arthur Murray studio, big time... I expect more than "hang and sway" from my President. ;)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 5:34AM
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I find it very hard to believe that Dick Cheney moves boxes....that just sounds fishy :)

I haven't even had my coffee yet, and already Jake's missed the bus and while I was gone, Zeus went dumpster diving! I am going to tiptoe through this day.

Chelone, surely there will be daffodils at February's end?

I liked Aretha's outfit, too. I really really really liked Michelle's dress and coat and her green gloves....even if she wasn't dressed warmly enough :)

Okay, I need coffee so I can turn my focus on what needs doing around here! TTYL


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 7:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

g'morning after -- guess we will all pay the piper today! I concur that all the festivities were wonderful, the music divine, and did love the day outfits of both new national "ladies" -- I confess I was not impressed with the evening couture for the First Lady, in fact I was disappointed - but I guess it suited whatever mood she was in, LOL -- now, the 2nd lady knew how to dress as a "hot" one -- I think she's a terrific example of someone almost 60 but still a "babe" (if we want to be sexist...); but Mrs. O can pretty much carry whatever she decides to wear.... now onto the reality series...

I sometimes wonder if it wouldnt help if we could make it federal holidays for national voting day and inaugurations -- perhaps we'd take more pride in the democratic process? But, I doubt in this day and age of biz that it would ever happen.

Eden -- glad to hear Brad's back to work - I know that's a relief monetarily and emotionally - I hope it stays that way.

The streets this morning were amazingly clean of debris, altho the barricades and things like that are still up in a lot of places -- but all in all it looks like there were a lot of new Responsibile people who travelled here -- that could be another first...

Well, Im thinking and feeling like this is a Monday (tired and draggy) but the great news is it's secretly Wednesday already -- how great is that!

Wow, Denise -- that's an amazing leap into action -- 30 minutes and zipped into high gear -- hope it didnt leave you too tired....

Hope everyone warms up -- Jerri, I do hope you're feeling better real soon .....


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 9:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A cold blah day here. Yes, rather like a Monday Cindy. DH is off to a meeting, DD has a job interview, DS is working day to day until it all ends, then tomorrow DGS has his dental surgery. So nothing there to get too excited about.

I can't find my "get-up-and-goer". These are the days when I should be emulating Chelone and Julie in getting things DONE around here. Every horizontal surface is cluttered and requires decisions to organize. The refrigerator is a health hazard and our basement needs daily sweeping out of water into a drain. It is more fun to deal with Phoebe and the forums though... This morning Phoebe was racing through deep snow and it was fun to watch her. She looked like she had no legs!

Need to visit that treadmill now!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I crashed at 8:30 last night. I hadn't had my afternoon nap. I was up at 10:30 to let Tommy out, and at 11:30 to let him back in. It was 17 degrees...much lower than predicted. Then I slept til 6. I was hurting, so got up to check the stove. Good thing that I did, the fire was almost out! I restocked it, and stayed up ( quietly) until about 6:30, when I got dressed and started breakfast. The inside temp was 56,when I got up, and the outside had risen to 22.

I am afraid neither of us were at all impressed with Aretha's singing. We like songs sang as they were written, both the words and the tune. Her hat was something else, but I think I have seen it, or one like it, before. Not my 'cup of tea' either, but typical for those of African descent.

I watched the ceremonies from the beginning, until the local NBC station went to something else,I then went to ABC and found the parade, after Obama's had moved into the Viewing stand. I was rather amazed at the one 'band' that should have been dressed in clown suits! I never saw a 'dancing' band before! Maybe it was because I was tiring, but that left a rather bad 'taste' in my mouth. :-(

I started to watch the balls, but the music was not to my liking off to bed I went. Sorry, I guess I sound like an old fuddy duddy!

I was truely amazed at how well Obama presented his speach. I never once saw him look at a note. Very well done!

Actually, Saucy, the oath was messed up by the one administering it. Obama very graciously waited for him to correct it, and helped him get it right. :-)

Chelone, that is a beautiful picture. I haven't checked, but I hope it is in that gallery of pics, in the NYT.

Kathy, who had 'long johns' that were exposed? I missed that. :-) I too, noticed Mrs. Biden's knees. :-)

I need to look up "Simple Gifts". I missed listening to that, and am not familiar with it. Did anyone hear what the gift was in the box that Michelle Obama gave Laura Bush, on the steps to the White House...(I think I have that right).

Denise, sorry you were called out and missed some of the ceremony. I have not heard a report on a bomb scare on the Jersey turnpike. Did you DH know any more about it?


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 11:55AM
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Sun is shining today :o)Only time for a few quick comments.

One advantage in working for a cable co. is that we have a TV that we can watch during the day, so I was able to see most of the festivities.

I actually had a nun teach me calligraphy too, it must have been a Catholic school thing. When I was on the year book the first year, she insisted that we use it in the year book, which I think was a little odd.

Eden, I'm glad to hear that Brad is back to work.

I'm hoping that Jerri is feeling better.

Chelone, the buntings are so wonderfully patriotic.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 11:58AM
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Hello Idylls

I did get to watch a little snatch of the Inauguration at lunchtime yesterday and was surprised to find myself moved to tears. As my fellow viewers were 100 dining 2nd graders I composed myself very quickly.

The rest of the day left no time for TV. Annie has had a persistent cough but with mid-terms looming was reluctant to take any time off school. I persuaded her to go to the Dr after school yesterday where we found she has Walking Pneumonia poor thing. As I went to make the co-payment I discovered my money wallet was not in my handbag - major panic:0( It has left me in a bind as everything was in there and DH is gone till Sunday. Fortunately I still have our checkbook so I could write a check for the antibiotics and have been searching high and low since.

I have food in the fridge and hopefully enough gas in the cars to last till the weekend. I'm reluctant to cancel our credit card (we only use one) until I know for sure the wallet is nowhere to be found. I'm retracing my steps since the weekend and checking our account online reguarly to make sure no unusual charges are coming up. The last time I had the wallet out to spend money was Saturday but I've been a zillion places since then. What a pain.

I would have loved to learn calligraphy and have always found decorative alphabets interesting, especially illuminated manuscripts.

Eden - great to hear Brad is back at work. I'm sure you are both glad to return to your regular routines.

Julie - hope swim lessons go well. It's too bad boys are so competitive when it comes to sports, especially at such a young age. David dropped out of several organized teams, not because he wasn't enjoying playing but because his team mates were so competitive and making comparisons and winning became everything. He's found karate much more enjoyable as its something he can do it at his own pace.

Norma - thank you so much for asking about Ruth and family. They are very well settled in the DC area - BIL really enjoys his job, schools are great and they have an ever growing circle of friends. But property is another matter. Even with the current fall in prices a modest family home is at least 4 times what we pay here. They are renting a very nice home but I know Ruth feels sadly resigned that they will never get to own their home again having they lost so much in Katrina. Their New Orleans house is still standing but will never be habitable again. Even so they have to pay someone to take care of the yard and offers they have had so far for the land have been little more than a joke. If I ever won the lottery the first thing I would do is buy them a nice little house on the street they are renting.

Michelle - we had a little sun today too. It sure makes everything look pretty.

Marian - you will probably recognise Simple Gifts when you hear it.

Time for my second shift - the after school activities. Tonight David has a guitar ensemble downtown. I rather look forward to it as there is a fun coffee shop next door that attracts a very artsy crowd where I enjoy sipping a cup of Joe and people watching.

First, I need to whip up a batch of soup for an easy supper when we return. Potato and bacon I think...


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 4:06PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I just googled "Simple Gifts". It sounds very familiar. There are a lot of great renditions on You Tube.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 4:57PM
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Here's the Obama performance of Simple Gifts. Arranged by John Williams, who was conductor of the Boston Pops -post Fiedler- in the 80s, but more well known now I 'spose for his movie soundtracks.

Love the stars added to the bunting Chelone!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 7:28PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Cynthia, thanks for that link. Getting the playing of it at the inauguration makes it a lot more meaningful. Also I now remember it well, since YoYo Ma was one of the musicians.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 7:47PM
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At last the rain has come-not much mind you, but some is better than none, and it could well continue for the next few days. Im down with that even if it means I will be forced into indoor chores this weekend-many of which are needed.

Did you guys see the satellite pics of the crowd on the mall yesterday? Its supposedly up on CNNs website. Think I would have preferred the grandstand ! I just cant imagine why Cindy wasnt invited to the reviewing stand for the parade .. Apparently the Os advisors didnt notify the 1st family of the VIP status of Idyllers.

Marian, the world needs fuddy duddys! Its all about balance. Think how boring life would be if everyone liked the same stuff anyway, I dont know a single fuddy duddy who know how to Google You-tube, lol. My reference to long johns was purely a statement of what I would have been wearing had I been there !

Saucy, Perhaps Mr Cheney had a box of documents pertaining to undisclosed locations that he preferred to handle personally! I though it was kinda fishy too, but on the other hand we all know sometimes it takes very little to throw out a back.

Jeesh Mary, what a PIA to loose your wallet. I hope it turns up for you.

Time to read the paperwave to all..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 8:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm tired and cold and cranky! Aren't you all glad I dropped in tonight?

Mary I hope you locate your wallet. That can be such an inconvenience!

I just was talking with my son and he told me to check out Wow - a rather impressive makeover in just one day! Although it took a long time to load on my reasonably speedy connection.

Well, I thought I had useful things to say, but I think my brain has gone to bed already. Guess I'd better wrap up and meet up with the brain again.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 10:29PM
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I returned home yesterday to discover the helpmeet had milled all the trimwork for the Salon's windows. He's going to begin installing it today and even asked if I wanted him to put newspaper behind them to make the whole pickling and clearcoating processes easier. After all the trimwork inside the house we have the process down to science. :)

Today I will delve once more into the world of foam, with 4 pieces to cut and stuff, then who knows what will be assigned for my continued amusement. Guaranteed it won't be nearly as much fun as something I could be doing here.

Mary, what a drag about the wallet. I managed to misplace my car key not too long ago and fighting the rising sense of panic patiently retraced my footsteps. I found it, precisely where it had fallen... right next to the car's door. May your search end happily and SOON. There has been a story on the local news about ANOTHER security breach with respect to credit and debit cards, though they're assuring everyone that no SS #s or PINS were compromised. We'll see, somehow the full horror of such stories is rarely released on the first go-round.

I loathed team sports, finally flatly refusing to play softball at all. I had an easy fly ball heading my way and made the decision to watch it drop directly in front of me, lol. That was in the days before individual sports were given consideration in school phys. ed. classes and I spent the rest of the time contentedly "riding the pine", reading my book and dutifully schlepping equipment in and out of the locker room. I was obviously athletic and physically fit so the teacher never flunked me, but my grades were less than stellar. Did I care? The most important thing to teach beginning swimmers is how to control their breathing. I always did that with "bobbing". It teaches controlled exhalation, takes their mind off water that may seem chilly, and requires them to focus on themselves, NOT their little buddies. After that, you introduce arm motion and the kicks (with a flutter board). Red Cross was a long time ago, but I passed all the levels. :) I LOVED swimming lessons. Tell TCS to hang in there.

Gotta run.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 5:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm really tired of cold grey skies and gloom...and looking forward to THIS:

Thanks for the Whitehouse link V!

I hope to take the day off and finish my book. ;) Maybe I'll get back here later.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 6:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's quiet for idylls today... Im probably in the same mood -- 'bug, that tiarella is so luscious looking... I guess that's why we have to keep daydreaming of the gardens coming alive in a few more months -- here, I have no snow cover but the temps have been very cold and apparently likely to be so next week -- not good for the garden....I'll be sorry likely that I didnt put down more mulch last autumn.

Mary, I do hope you found your wallet -- that sort of thing is sooo annoying and frustrating to replace all the stuff in it, which I imagine you had like driver's license too? I hope you discover you just mislaid it in the house somehow (or car...?)

I am enjoying an impromptu arrangement on my desk of Sumatra lilies, red tinged hydrangeas and luscious red roses -- all from some languishing huge arrangements the firm had for its inauguration celebrations -- they had 4 humongous arrangements (that included orchids, callas, and numerous other expensive stems) -- and they're all still sitting 3 days later on the floor of the new reception rooms -- I never understand why they dont make arrangements for these things to go somewhere useful or let the staff know in general that they can take some stems -- which at this time of the year, all would appreciate -- so a few of us have snuck in and dis-assembled them for our own combinations so at least there's some enjoyment in general from them. It's perking up our hallway at least. Personally, I disliked the full arrangements that were gold and red (made me think more of the Washington Redskin colors than for the inaugural party - go figure)... I have earned some brownie points from Big Boss too as I made a small arrangement of the orchids for his office -- told him he cant say I never gave him anything, LOL --

I hope there arent more idyllers who are suffering ills or flu!

It's a good day here -- it's the middle of the work-week and tomorrow is Friday - I could get used to working 3 days a week as long as they continued to pay me for 5, LOL... I hope this day finds V feeling more "the thing" ...


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 12:55PM
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It was a small world today as I drove to work it reminded me of the boat ride through "Its a Small World" at Disney. Kenzie was mesmerized by the scenes. Which reminds me of a picture I posted of her in a big yellow chair a few months ago and several asked about it. At the time I didnt know, but I do now its Minnies chair in her Disney house.

Yesterday when I got home DH had a vase with 3 roses in an arrangement on the table, for no reason at all :o)

Cindy, your arrangement sounds lovely you cant let good flowers go to waste especially in January.

Fingers crossed that Marys missing wallet reappears soon.

Heres another shot from the Magic Kingdom. This was definitely the highlight of the day for Kenzie.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 4:21PM
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I think the winters here that have little snow cover are the toughest ones on the plants, too, Cindy. This year we have a lot of snow, probably 14-15" on the ground right now. There hasn't been much melting in the past week either, or through the weekend. But I'm enjoying it. I have the proper clothing and once I'm outdoors it's OK. It's hard to believe there are spring bulbs out there somewhere and they'll flower in a few months.

I love Kenzie's expression looking at the mermaid (Ariel?). It must be quite a gig to be the Little Mermaid at Disney... wondering how you get out of that tail to pee? I am pleased to learn that the cool yellow chair belongs to Minnie. (you never know when an Idyllette will pop into your head, huh?).

Salon casings are nearly finished (I'm shocked and delighted), and they're going to be beautiful. I have my work cut out for me for the next week/two! But I'm looking forward to it.

I've filled the woodbox and have the first load of laundry hung up, the second is rinsing as I type, and there's one load after that. I don't think I did laundry last Saturday and if I didn't do something about it today I was faced with "going commando" or turning underpants inside out. Imagine the scandel if I were involved in an accident... ;)

Nice move on the flowers, Cindy! they sure are too nice to wither away where they won't be enjoyed. I like holidays in the middle of the week, which is one reason I wish they'd return to observing some of them on the day they naturally occur. A day off in the middle of the week is a treat.

Sinatra is swingin' the background and it's time to hang the laundry and start the last round. Later!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 5:20PM
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Good afternoon

Kenzie and the Little Mermaid is precious!!

Darn, darn, darn - wallet still not located. I checked both cars by flashlight and again in daylight so I'm stumped. I cancelled cards today and will have to brace myself for a visit to DMV tomorrow. I was only one haircut away from a free cut and that card is gone too. Granted, it was only for Supercuts but I don't look a free haircut in the mouth (oops a horribly mixed metaphor). Fortunately I keep SS card, passport and greencard separate and I still have my library card and therefore endless entertainment. It could be worse.

Cindy - when I used to walk the children around the village in strollers I would often swing by the local florist and grab blooms from their outdoor garbage. I put together some lovely arrangements that way that lasted a remarkably long time.

Something neat happened yesterday that I've kept quiet about to friends as I don't want to seem boastful, but wanted to share with you guys. Yesterday, as David and I were packing up after his guitar group, a lady walked past us then doubled back asking if David had performed in a concert before Christmas (he had played with 6 students in a guitar ensemble). She told us she was delighted to meet David and find out his name as she had been so impressed by his playing. She went on to say she is an early childhood instructor at the Eastman School of Music and works with literally hundreds of children, but David is one of only two in her life she feels certain will go on to become famous. She wanted to know more about his studies and wished him luck. David was beaming all the way home (and I was probably grinning a little too).


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 5:25PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good evening every one!

First off - Marie - have you heard how Skyler's dental surgery went? I have been thinking of him all day...

Chelone - TCS is doing fine with the swimming - jumped off the diving board today for the first time, but, as he said "but only with a noodle". I told him that was just fine - another first. And there are a group of kids at a lower level than he is so the teasing thing is not on the horizon. He told me that he is being kind to those who don't have a badge yet!

How nice about the trim in the salon! You must feel great about the progress made this winter! I am sure it is and will be beautiful!

The picture of Kenzie and the Mermaid is just priceless! That would be a great poster for Disney - would Kenzie like to be a Poster Child?

Mary - it appears that Fame and Fortune - well, fame at least - are waiting in the wings for David. How pleased you both must have been by the stranger's words! Bummer about the wallet. I am pleased that you have cancelled the cards - even if there does not appear to be any new charges, someone could pick the thing up in the Spring along the road or something and charge a few things then....been there - several times - glad we notified the bank right away, we weren't held responsible for the charges. It could still turn up - mine did, over a year later, left at the counter in a store - someone was just using the wallet, not charging on the cards, and they forgot it in the store. Imagine my surprise to be called from a store that I had never been in, to be told that my wallet was there....

Cindy - Yup, colds and flu here AGAIN!!!! I am sure that DS has bronchitis, but he won't see a doctor because he will be told to quit smoking...that is what a doctor is supoosed to say, right? Just doing his/her job, right? Sheesh.

TCS was home yet another day yesterday, pale and listless, lying on the couch all day, and in bed sound asleep by 7 p.m. He must have needed it, as he seems fine today.

After hearing/seeing all of the patriotism from my neighbours to the south all week, I finally found the much promised photo of a C anadian display on Canada Day in 2006. This belonged to DD's boyfriend at the time. He thought he could put it on the roof of his house, only to find that the roof was not big enough!!!
The little boy is TCS.

I'm off. See y'all tomorrow.



    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 7:07PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm not sure who that grouch was who posted under my name yesterday! So OK, maybe it really was me. But I am in a much better mood today. The temperatures finally climbed into the low thirties today, and when I got home from work, it was still light enough to take the hounds for a walk. It wasn't the longest walk in the world, but it was a good bit of exercise slogging through the snow, which was close to a foot deep in places.

Before we left the house, I did a visual scan of the back field because we've had four deer back there over the last several days. Since they were not to be seen, I figured it was safe to go see what they were up to. It was interesting to see all their tracks, as well as the depressions in the snow where they had bedded down. I found it interesting that the spots where they had been laying were icy, from their body heat melting the snow. Made me appreciate a warm house!

Skip this next section if you're really squeamish. The dogs were very interested in one particular circle, so I went over to check it out, and found two deer legs! No blood to speak of, so I knew the deer had been killed somewhere else. About fifty feet further on, Mystic found most of the rest of the remains. Since it was on top of the snow, not buried, it had to have happened within the last few days. All in all, a rather interesting walk.

Today I finished my term as president of a trade association board. Nice to have that done! So my boss has decided I will have a lot of time on my hands and has cooked up another plan for me. It involves a state-level committee and a hot-button issue. I think I'll be finding out more about this tomorrow.

Also today, I got rid of a boatload of hanging file folders that had been taking up space in the garage by giving them away through Freecycle. I'm encouraged by how quickly I acheived this and I will be Freecycling more of my clutter over the next few weeks.

Mary, sorry you did not find the wallet, but you did the right thing by cancelling everything.

I do believe we have stumbled into our first kerfuffle on the wedding front. There's a slight territorial dispute over a bridal shower at the moment. Family member A has said several times she would like to host a shower, and now the maid of honor has emailed to say she will host the shower. I'm not sure where to go with this one, other than to google wedding shower etiquette, stand back and cross my fingers.

So I'm off to figure out dinner and do some research. Oh yes - and tomorrow we should have solar panels delivered. "Let the sun shine..."


    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 8:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie, it was determined that the dental surgery is NEXT week, not this week. Always scheduling problems between home A and home B unfortunately.

Today Skyler was picked up from school by DD and then returned to work with her. She told him he could have 15 minutes to visit people, but then he had to have quiet time so everyone could work. This week he has his own office next to her cubicle with a sign on it "SKYLER'S OFFICE". Armed with a bag of popcorn and a book, he was silent and busy for 35 minutes! I was told that was a record. This evening he was rushing to complete some school work so that he could run over to a friend's house, but DD asked him to write out some of the words legibly before he could go. He may yet learn to do it well the first go around...

Monday DD & DSIL had babys 25 week appointment. Nothing too exciting other than the MW said that she won the prize for gaining the most over Christmas, 9 pounds in 1 month! This is GOOD as she has gained very little so far. They heard the heartbeat, 140 and Skyler got to try the Doppler to get his own heart beat. She wanted to know if they were planning to use the hot tub again (to know if she should bring shorts or a bathing suit!), and they said that if the weather was nice that that was the plan. If not, they hope to have a birthing pool in the new and improved sunroom.

Skyler has had his second downhill skiing lesson last weekend, and because the weather was perfect, he stayed on the hill for a good long time. He is learning to use his body properly and hasn't started using the poles yet though.

Tonight when DD phoned, DSIL was arriving home and their dog began barking. Because we had DD on speaker phone, Phoebe went nuts and ran to the door looking for Indy. It is amazing how they communicate, yet have never met!

I finished editing a submission for DH and also completed my science fiction book. Not sure what will be next on my list, possibly Chekov's The Three Sisters.

Wishing everyone well with health, weather and script practice!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:03PM
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JJ for today: getting the garage fridge prepared for pick up by PG&E tomorrow. I had unplugged it months ago, and when the re-cycle dudes come it has to be plugged in and running (they only will pick up working units for some reason) so I had to crawl around on the garage floor groping behind the thing to find the cord. I have my 4 hour window from 9 to 1 , so Ill go into the office for a couple hours and then come home to wait-hopefully they will have me on the early side of the route, though that never seems to be the case !

Oooh Julie, all I could think of when I saw that pic was how many plants I could fit in a front yard that big !

Mary, what a lovely compliment for David. How fortunate he will be if he is one of the few who can actually make a living playing music(if that is what he desires of course !)

Chelone, perhaps Ariel has a quick-escape Velcro closure down the back. I would avoid coffee if I had that job, lol. Hooray for the Helpmeet and his speedy work on the Salon window casings. What happens next ? Stencils ? Drapes ?

Cindy, Im with you on the joys of a three day workweek, although I did work Monday . Im trying to figure out how in the heck Im going to be able to take any time off in the foreseeable future. Doesnt look good. Maybe in March.

So V, what is the procedure when finding animal body parts ? Do you bury them , or can you just leave them for the various rag-picker animals to dispose of ? Vultures do have their place dont they ?

Very nice to see the Tiarella pic bug..and glad to hear that DDs doing well. I may have gained 9 lbs over Christmas too !

Michelle, my favorite feature of Kenzies pose with Ariel was her flip-flops. Oh to wear them again !

I feel concerned about Martie and PM. It has certainly been awhile since they have posted. Hoping all is well with them.

Here is a pic I took last weekendI always enjoy the mosses during winter, though they are definitely not as abundant this year because of our lack of rain

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 22, 2009 at 9:38PM
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Good morning's Friday!

Mary, having your ss card will make life a bit easier....losing that one is no fun. Glad you got the cards cancelled, too.

Kathy, I'm really surprised that you have moss there! I would have thought that your climate was to arid. I'm hoping I win the HGTV house in Sonoma so that I can be you neighbor :)

V., I was unclear....did a hunter leave the deer behind, or a predator? Did anyone see the cute little video going around where the family dog got followed into the doggie door by a fawn? The homeowner came home to find them curled up on the couch together, but the dog looked guilty, like he knew he wasn't supposed to have company while his folks weren't home :)

I went to my first dinner with the girls last night. SunnyD and I joked that we could sit and talk about books and no one would know they were enrolled in a secret book club. To be clear, I never got a chance to do the interview questionaire, because the moderator never contacted me back. My Food with Friends is more fun anyway. We're just going to invite interesting people until some people stick, know what I mean? I joked that we might need an eject button sooner or later....

I haven't formed my own club since I was in Kindergarten....back then you had to pay a dime to get in and you weren't allowed to go in the house for anything...not even the bathroom!

Julie, tell your son to go to the doctor - he can start smoking again when he gets home from the doctor. That's not a good enough reason to feel like crap :) When he's ready to quit smoking, tell him the best advice I've ever seen and taken was to begin a rigorous workout routine and just be prepared to feel like crap for a week. I laid them down and never looked back.

Marian, since you say you don't dream, I think I dream for the both of us...I dreamed that the Obamas were coming to Maine to visit my MIL's home. I was the escort. When we got there I found that she had decorated it like an igloo and I was mortified. I don't know why I dreamt this, but thought it was funny....must've been the Thai food :)

Well, that's all from me folks. Martie did send me a note letting me know that she wouldn't make it to Logee's, due to some family things, so I suspect she is just taking care of business. I will email PM.

I'd better get going...I'm taking a road trip to see Chelone this morning :) Wish you all were meeting me there....


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:08AM
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A quick good morning and on to something I meant to post yesterday. Kathy's post and one by Mary a few days ago touched on it. I'm concerned about Martie and PM, too. I know how life can sometimes just take over and there isn't time or energy to post here. I also know how meaningful cheery voices here can be when times are dark and dreary.

I love mosses, too. The soil here is naturally acid and they gain a foothold pretty easily. I don't know very much about them but looking closely reveals an amazing diversity. There is a corner of the south lawn that has been tough to mow for years and over time I've simply permitted the native growth to move in and reclaim it... moss and all. I'm hoping to transplant some of the rescued ferns that've been living in limbo for over 2 yrs. now to that area, too.

My thought on Ariel's tail suit was likely a c'tr. back zipper at the waist, possibly one at the lower c'tr. back that would allow more than Morticia Addams mobility... . :)

What an exciting discovery for the dogs, V.! Over the years we've had a few deer parts turn up in the yard courtesy of roving canids. There is a skull on the mantel over the woodstove and a few molars somewhere around here, too. Stuff like that doesn't bother us very much and we tend to leave it for the "night shift". Put on your flak jacket and keep your head down with respect to the bridal shower, lol.

Good move on cancelling the cards, Mary. I take things like that very seriously, too. And I'm delighted you chose to share the music teacher's comments to and about David with us. I can only imagine how very proud you must be and how deeply gratifying it is to see a much loved child excel at something he obviously loves. What a lovely lift for a mid-winter's day!

Julie, I love the shot of the Canadian flag on the lawn. It's beautiful (I think your flag is great looking, anyway). I love history and have always been deeply patriotic (even when our role in world events has made me cringe with embarrassment and made my skin crawl). I suppose it's only natural that my sewing would lead me to buntings and the like, huh?

What a nice report on Skyler, 'bug. He has come a long way with patient enforcement of clearly stated rules, hasn't he? I can only imagine how challenging it must be to try to establish fair, workable rules for him when there is a continual force to undermine them elsewhere. And that's great news on the weight gain, too. It's been a tough, tough year for S&W and not conducive to an "easy" pregnancy I imagine. Here's to looking forward and the arrival of healthy, bouncing baby. Funny about Phoebe and Indy, I like that.

I have a lot of pickling ahead of me, window casings and mopboard. After that, I'll probably paint the floor, and then it will be on to getting some draperies made so nocturnal privacy will at least be a possibility. Much as I'd like to plunge right in with stencils, I fear it may be some time before I'm able to indulge that level of creativity. But progress is being made. Here're not very good shots of a tentative color study. The field of the floor is the paler color, accents will be the of the darker color chip. You can see the woodwork sample and the moire I have been thinking about. I'm not nuts about the overall color combination (it's been "done to death" in the past year) but I think it will work well in the space, providing a nice, quiet feel to a space that has the potential to be quite "busy":

Time to finish folding the laundry and get things under control in the kitchen. I believe we'll be hosting a guest on the Compound today... ;) (can't wait).

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Sorry Ive not been the best Idyller lately but the proverbial stuff has hit the fan here. Dougs company had an unexpected lay off and Doug was a casualty. They let go 33% of their work force with no notice or severance pay, just a kick in the pants and by the way turn in your lap-top. So this week has been a scramble and coming up with a plan as to how to weather this. Dougs a very smart fellow and will hopefully find something soon. Another real kick in the pants is that I finally forced myself outside to do some bird photography on Wednesday (mental therapy) and my new Canon 40D camera broke! It has to get shipped to NJ to be fixed. Then yesterday morning we got up and the furnace was not running. Arrrrggggghhh!!!! What is this? I dont see a black cloud over my head but there must be one and Id very much like to see it move on. LOL

Mary, what a fantastic compliment for David, you must the beaming! Thats wonderful. Thanks for sharing that. ~~ Sorry about losing your wallet. Thats such a bother. I had my purse stolen out of the security area at LAX years ago and that was an enormous pain in the neck. They also got our plane tickets and passports so it was double and triple the pain.

V. sounds great that you were able to get outside for a walk. That can be so good for your mental health this time of the year. ~~ Whoops, about the shower. People can really get in a twist about stuff like that. Hope it gets resolved without boodshed.

Julie, very cool pic of the flag! Thats a monster.

Michelle, love the pic of Kenzie with the mermaid! Fun.

Cindy glad you used those discarded flowers. What a waste not to.

Bug the tiarella is beautiful!

Chelone, looks like you are making some impressive headway on the salon! Wonderful colors.

Saucy, have a great day!!! Wish I was going too!!!!

OK Im completely out of things to say and need to force myself to go and do something productive. Waving hello to one and all

Have a great day

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We have a misty morning here. I am concerned about the thawing process out there once the process actually begins. I suspect we'll have major ice breakup, tree damage and threats to our bridge unless it warms gradually and sticks to cold nights.

You said it Chelone! "there is a continual force to undermine them elsewhere"... I so agree with Sarah that consistency within a household is most important. Kids can understand differences from household to household quite well. But to be told outright that the other household is wrong and that they don't care or are unqualified, OYYY. At Christmas Skyler came into the kitchen one day to report that "My Mom says she and BF know what is best for me." He expanded on this at great length. First of all I have my doubts about this, but secondly there was that tension about what she meant and what he thought she was saying. Also about whether the rascal was manipulating me. Eventually I worked it so that we agreed that she and BF knew what was best for him AT THEIR HOUSE, not that they knew better than his Dad. It is necessary to clarify these things constantly. Grrrr, don't get me going! I'll just say that it takes work to boost DSIL's standards, confidence, and responses after many years of abuse and bare survival. Let me add that it has been three weeks since DSIL's last cigarette. (I'm not counting the one cigar!)

DH is still swamped with work, we have had zero time together and Saturday is French Club, Sunday a brunch with friends. Phoebe is the centre of our household these days. What a character, jumping up on us to give hugs and kisses. DH is unable to say "OFF!"

I hope someone has the camera at the ready on the compound!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just caught up with Deanne's post! I'm so glad you two are working intelligently on a plan. That's just AWFUL! These are such hard times and there's nothing fair about it. As for the camera, well that stinks too! Let there be good news SOON.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:46AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls!

I just realized that January is almost over, and I haven't popped in here to say hi since before the holidays! I tend to hibernate in winter. I saw some lovely summertime pics on this thread - keep 'em coming, 'bug & Deanne - we need the color around here! I noticed yesterday that it wasn't completely dark when I left work yesterday, the days really are getting longer.

Deanne, that is so awful about Doug. I'm sure he'll find something soon - any company would be lucky to have him. Bummer about the furnace & camera too! You've had your 3, so your luck should turn around now. Sending good vibes your way!

Chelone, I am enjoying your updates on your progress on the Salon. I can't wait to see it in person - it will be a lovely destination for IU6!

Mary, sorry about the wallet. You were wise to cancel your card. In Mass you can also notify the DMV if you feel you are at risk for identity theft and they can put some sort of hold on your driver's license. What lovely things that woman said about David! You must be so proud of him.

Well, duty calls, already...hope to pop back in more often...I miss you guys! Waving hello to all!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:05AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, this sucks for news on Friday -- Deanne -- no wonder you were looking for some therapy -- what a terrible shocker -- Im sooo sorry; Doug is a terribly bright guy though and I am crossing my fingers he'll find a new opportunity very very soon. I really hate those times when the big black cloud hovers -- I hope it blows out to sea soonest!! Hugs to all....

Mary -- that's wonderful about David; altho it's something you'd already suspected, right, from his special music camp, etc.? You have every right to be properly boastful and proud... glad the lost wallet wont be too much of a downer.

Dont h ave much time to chat right now -- but Chelone, I love the colors you've picked - they are indeed restful - I particularly like the stencil, and I think the color combos are timeless; I might like a slightly darker mocha moire, but I know cameras and shots of that sort of stuff are hard to really reflect the colors properly.... I bet you could find another accent color for some little pop to add in if you decide to later for pillows, jeejaws, etc.

V-- I hope you think hard on the new job volunteer and dont get forced into it if you really want to say "no" and set limits.... I think my wedding etiquette on the shower subject is that the wedding party more properly gives a shower; I seem to recall family members are not supposed to; but I imagine there's not to stop 2 showers being held, and now adays almost anything goes... maybe one could do a kitchen /theme shower and the maid of honor do a personal bride stuff shower...?

Well, Im so bummed for you Deanne, Im going to slink off to my work and suck it up for the day, altho Im tired from being up since 3 a.m. - something to do w/ a hip that seems to be aching and feeling ancient... but I'll grump along for the day....


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick fly by post.... So much going on with everyone - will try to stop by later to comment...

((Deanne and Doug)) what a bummer! Especially the no severance - is that legal?!

This is as close as I'll get for a while to posting a picture of what is keeping me fully occupied these days: My workspace in the pantry:

(The drawing taped to the board on the left is the base plan of the 'client's property'. The page on the right is a photocopy with scribbles that are the start of the plan for the space.) Gotta run - going to pick up this year's plant catalog from Sheridan Nurseries and some patio furniture catalogs....

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:51AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


So very sorry but zero time to read or comment this morning. Work and other activities have just been all consuming. This afternoon I'm finally blowing town to get some use out of the ski house I rented in VT. The plan is to ski tomorrow and come back either tomorrow night or Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:35AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Drive by post here too. I just wanted to say Hi and TGIF to all.
OMG Deanne!!!! What an aweful week for you guys. Hugs to you both.



    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 11:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, any chance your furnace woes are like ours were and it was just a fuse that needed replacing? I sure hope so!

It is +2 (35F) here! Amazing.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 12:34PM
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Home for a bit this morning , waiting for the fridge removal dudes, so thought Id check in

(((Deanne and Doug))), what a crappy deal.. My company only offered severance to managers during the last years rash of lay-offs. Lets hope that things start to look at least stable for this year. Best wishes to Doug , and betting hes very employable..

Jealous that Saucy gets to visit the Compound today and know she will have some observations on the Salon ! Saucy, it is usually very wet here all winter and I have a number of spots that get quite mossy every year. It shrinks and dries up once rainy season ends , around May or so. This year I have much less of it, we are basically at less than half of our normal rainfall so far. :-(

Woody, your plan looks quite professional from what I can make out in the pic

Lovely colors Chelone, and I concur with Cindy, some unexpected color accents can add a nice edge to things. Indeed the blue-brown tones are certainly out there, but it seems like such a classic combo for the coast water , sand, grasses etc. Its been fun watch the process unfold

Hi to Wendy ..hope you make good that threat to visit more often !

Best go start sorting through the paperwork I drug home with me..want to feel at keast somewhat productive while I Hurry Up and Wait

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 12:43PM
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Hello everyone

Deanne and Doug - I am SO sorry to hear about Doug's layoff. That sort of treatment is absolutely rotten. Hugs to you both and I'm sure he will find something very soon. Fingers crossed the camera is easily fixed though how disappointing. Having to endure all this without heat is the pits. Bad things come in threes don't they - perhaps your luck is about to change.

Good news on the wallet front - I knew cancelling cards would bring it out of hiding. I just recieved a phone call saying an employee had handed it in at Michaels Crafts store. I had called myself to see if it was there and was told nothing had been handed in. I'm just off to pick it up - fingers crossed the license is still there. I'm a little doubtful as the shop located me by my Wegmans grocery store shoppers card rather than my address.

Chelone - I love serenity of the colors and will look forward to enjoying them at close quarters at camp this summer.

Waving back to Wendy and everyone else


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:32PM
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Its Friday!

Deanne, Im so sorry to hear about all your woes, especially Dougs job loss. I hope he finds something soon.

Chelone, I love the colors you have picked. When selecting so much fabric you really have to go with a neutral or something you really love. Id probably lean toward a neutral like you selected. I believe a saw a room done in similar colors but they added a few accessories in lime green. It really was a nice combo.

Im wondering when Brenda will return with wedding pictures?

Saucy, I wish I were meeting up with an Idyll today lucky you.

Kathy, I questioned DD about Kenzie wearing flip flops all day at Disney. She assured me that those are the only foot wear she likes. Shes real bummed out that her preschool requires shoes and socks.

My DD was Ariel "The Little Mermaid" one year for Halloween. Of course her costume had to be one you could walk in. My mom came up with one with elastic around the waist and the tail swooped to one side at the knees with a slit for the legs.

Mary, what a wonderful comment to hear about David. Here we are just like family so I feel so proud of him as Im sure you do.

Julie, cool picture of the flag.

Have a wonderful day


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Where to start?! So much going on with you all, both good and not so good. Deanne's update is the stomach punch for me. My two biggest fears - unemployment and a dead furnace in this weather! Yikes Deanne. Hugs and hope you both can handle the stress. No doubt you will land on your feet and turn this into something good. Is it time to retire yet? Oh that's right, our age bracket is not going to have time for the markets to rebound.

Well, I do have good news, there will be tenants in the money pit (dad's old house) on March 1. Talk about cash drain. Keeping that place up with taxes, repairs and heat has been budget boggling. My annual spring project budget for my own house has been funneled into dad's. The realtor was there with potential renters on Monday and found the water in the basement. Broken pipe caused by hole in greenhouse and some critter stripped out the insulation. It's been unusually cold for that area this year too. She recommended a plumber and I had him go through that house looking for everything that could cause another problem. Ever. I guess that's the good part of the 'down' economy. I got a plumber the same day (!!!!) and carpet cleaners and mildew/mold prevention for the concrete the very next day. Must look on bright side.

Mary, I had a shiver when you shared David's compliment. You must be so very proud of him. I'm so glad you shared that with us. We're also sort of virtual aunts for the kids here right?

And look at Kenzie! Yes, I like those flip flops too.

Well, if you can't tell, I took the afternoon off. Next week will be brutal at work and back to the same with the temperatures. So with it hitting 50F today I logged out at 11:30 and took the girls for a walk nekked. The girls not me. But I did forgo my gloves!

Love that color combo Chelone, very soothing indeed and I have lots of greens and browns here. But don't worry your combo with not be boring like mine.

Can't remember what else I read and wanted to comment on, but gotta get moving again. I want to do a little cleaning this afternoon and hit Trader Joe's so that I won't have to deal with on Saturday.

And maybe I'll start the Melianthus major seeds today! Reminds me I should do my monthly checking and watering in the little gh too. I don't have to worry about a hole and water issues there because I have heat pipes going right through it.

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am feeling rather draggy, but it is too early for my afternoon I shall try to post instead. :-)

Mary, that is awful about your lost wallet. I sure hope it turns up. I would really be at a loss if mine came up missing. It is full of cards that I need. Thank goodness , at least no credit cards.
What a marvelous thing for David and for you...having that Music Instructor tell you that! I hope I am still around when he becomes famous. :-) Be sure and tell him, we are all very proud of him.

Marie, my Tiarella never has looked that good. Insects riddle the leaves every summer.
That is great how Skyler is improving in many ways. Hang in there. He will overcome all the 'stuff' that is coming at him, with the help of loving family...namely yours. Pateince is the word. It is wonderful that your DD has so much patience. He is blessed to have her caring for him.

Kathy, that is strange about the recycling 'dudes' and the refrigerator. Something does not sound right with that. Maybe one of them was wanting a usable frig?
I am with you all on the MIA's...Pm2 and Martie, and Da ( and others). I sure hope all is well with them. Maybe they have the winter doldrums.
I love your moss. We have gobs of mosses on our place. I have never attempted to id what all we have,and now I am too decrepit to go around and do that! :-(

Michelle, I love the pic of Kenzie and the mermaid.Her expression is priceless. I wonder what she is saying ?

Chelone, I was thinking of you this morning as I went around snipping yellowed leaves, and faded flowers from houseplants. I probably do that piddling around with them more than I realize. It is just a habit.
I am wondering what part of the salon is getting the colors that you are picking out?

I brought some more plants in from the utilityroom. A Christmas Cactus that has several new blooms, and a Bromeliad ( Queens-tears, Billbergia nutans)that is blooming. I brought a pot, with a Kalanchoe and a coleus in it, in the other day because the Kalanchoe is blooming earlier than usual. I have something in bloom indoors all through the cold season.

My goodness, Julie. I hate that your household is battling another virus!
I love the picture of the Canadian flag on the lawn. Funny that is is too big for the roof!

V, I am glad you got rid of that grouch ! LOL ! All of you gals and guys battling job layoffs, and winter weather, have good cause to be grouchy!
We see deer body's along the highway frequently. Most of them have probably been hit by vehicles. Any that have been shot, in our neighborhood, are generally too far from our land for us to come upon. The neighbor's say their dogs bring in legs every now and then.

Speaking of of our near neighbors found my large cast iron skillet that came up missing. I think the grown son, who feeds their cattle, found it. His mother called right after I left for town yesterday, to tell us that the son, James, was leaving it in the large package box below our mailbox. Nolon went up and brought it home. I haven't removed it from the papper sack stuffed with newspapers that it is in. I suspect it needs a major clean-up, and re-seasoning. I am glad to have it back.

Hmmm, "kerfuffle"! That is a new one for me. lol
V, sorry about the disagreements on the bridal shower. I hope it is worked out okay for all.Why can't there be two, with differant guests at each?

Saucy, you must be thinking of someone else. I dream one dream after the other all night. Most of them I do not remember, and some I wish I did not remember! I frequently wake up during a bad dream, and have to get up to get it out of my mind so I do not continue with it when I go back to sleep! This morning was a weird one. I have no idea were some of them come from! I sometimes get up in a bad mood because of a bad dream, and other times I am in a good mood because of good dreams.
I sure do envy you spending the day at Chelones.

Deanne! What a terrible thing for Doug's boss to do! Unconscionable! I would think it would be illegal, also. What a horrid shock! I do not remember what his job was ....

Good to see Wendy.

I am probably too late to catch Sue. I hope we see some pics of her ski get-a-way. I hope it will be very pleasant.

Well.. if the weather forecasters are anywhere near right, we are in for freezing precip the beginning of next week. It may even arrive late tomorrow. I sure do fear for our trees.:-(
At least I have my larder all restocked, and plenty of firewood.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 2:44PM
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It's been downhill all the way this week, careening into Friday, packed with the usual plus upkeep stuff (hair, teeth, the timepits!) but want to quickly console Deanne, such awful news, with some pics of the gomphrena she asked about. Mitch returned with the dig camera from NYC so I could get some photos:

Gomphrena decumbens 'Grape' - iron trellis is about 5 feet, so it's up and over and tumbling down:

Detail of the bobbles:

will check in later after errands.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:13PM
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Fridge is gone, and its still raining , albeit very lightly, so I am a happy camper. Amazing how easily mollified I am. I had forgotten to remove some of the stuff that I had piled on top the fridge (mostly old blankets and rugs that are used for the comfort of various past and current pets) and lo and behold, secreted under the very bottom of the pile was a little wooden pipe if you know what I mean. Gave me a giggle as I knew it had belonged to and was hidden there by DH who persisted in sneaking out to the garage for a toke once in a while (or what he used to refer to as a dry cocktail.) in spite of his other rather conservative bean-counter ways.

So, Julie Job for tomorrow will involve a bit or rearrangement after sweeping out the 25 pounds of dust and other unrecognizable detritus was under the fridge, the creation of a Goodwill pile, and listing of the power tools I will post for sale cheap on the bulletin board next to the time clock at work.

Cynthia, its always a good thing to correct a negative cash flow , or at least to shrink it. Are others in your family involved in the landlord gig or are you the sole proprietress ? If I was ever going to enter into that world I know I would have to hire a prop manager as I have no patience for the sort of problems one might encounter.

So Deanne, what in the world does one do when the furnace goes kaput? Space heaters ? Looks like its mighty nippy in NH right about now. Hope your camera repair is speedy-no doubt its warranty issue right ? Still, I would hate to be without mine, so I can imagine the frustration. Hopefully you have a back-up.

Marian, I am not able to ID my mosses either. Out at the coast there are lots of interesting types that dont grow here. Some years I pull a piece up and lay it on a saucer or shallow pot of soil and put it on my front porch as an entry garden plant. I have much less of it around this winter. How in the world did your skillet end up with the neighbors cattle ??? I am trying hard to think of a scenario that would move a frying pan from a kitchen to a pasture do tell

Denise , love the Gomprhena . It looks just right in your garden world.

Wave to all, hellos to allIm thinking its The Misfits tonight, Clark and Marilyns last film. La Cage aux Folles is also an option..must ponder.

Kathy in Napa

Anyone need more J Anemones ?? From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 9:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, I so love the pipe story! It belongs in a book...

And speaking of books, I'm reading such a perfect book for me! It is called Remembering the Bones by Frances Itani. Oh my, so many connections to me and my life and my way of thinking and events... I've read over half of it today and sadly, will finish it tomorrow. The main character is an 80 year old woman. I'll have to find other books of hers, but none will "fit" so well I'm sure. This will be one for our book club at the end of the year.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Well, yesterday was indeed a breath of fresh air, I recommend a few hours with Saucy if you need some laughs. :) There is photographic evidence, though it went home with her, perhaps she'll select a few shots for your enjoyment today. I ran some ideas of Idyll Camp by her, several of which I'd like to keep as "surprises", and she had some good ones, too. The subject of lobsters came up and the helpmeet even deigned to participate in cooking them. (that's huge!).

Deanne, you and Doug must be reeling right now. Like Cynthia, the spectre of unemployment makes me nervous, esp. in combination with some system failure that could be expensive. Here's hoping the furnace issue is easily solved, esp. with another cold wave seeping into the area. How did the camera get injured? no header on the way to the blind, I hope? and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the required repairs are indeed under warranty. Maybe in view of the gloomy news we should plan a quickie get-together for some laughs some weekend in the near future?

Denise, the Gomphrema decumbens is a very cool plant. I love the little "fuzzies", they remind me of a very old-fashioned upholstery accent that was frequently used in place of buttons at the centre of tufting. It's not used much any more because it's time consuming (and time=money). No doubt you're now more exotic than ever having invested your time in personal maintenance... . How's Marty doing? is mobility improved and probably more importantly, how's the spirit holding up?

Kathy, what a funny thing to find cleverly concealed atop the 'frig., hope you've save it for posterity. How long have you been a "widow lady"? It's a nice reminder of someone now departed, huh? I always smile when I find something "so Mum" in my efforts to clean and organize. We have lots of those pet "beds" around the Compound, too, some with an appalling coating of "cat felt" on them. :)

I am envious of your new status as "landlord", Cynthia. I'd like to be in that position, too, but my brother and I have a full slate of home repair ahead of us. Replacing windows, cleaning out the remaining contents of THTTF, and getting the place ready for rental. He prefers a seasonal rental, though I'd rather have someone in there year round for a few years. Not sure where it will all end for us, but we've definitely got our work cut out for us. How warm does it have to be to walk the girls "nekked"? I loved the action shots in the snow, and poor ol' Monty-man trying to remain upright. I think he needs something in a tartan (maybe Blackwatch), more classic than camo., I think.

Nice to see Jerri pop in for a visit, too. I've been wondering how the recovery is going. How about an update? I think of you every time there is local news story about displaced pets. Last night there was one about all the cats surrendered to a particular shelter because owners have lost homes/jobs/can no longer afford to feed them. Breaks my heart and makes me want to take in one or two.

I predict an "A" for Woody! Dollars against doughnuts, you're spending more time on the class than most of the other students. I'll bet the amount of work required to make it the way you want it is staggering. That's usually the case as we grow older and look at our projects with a more critical eye! Bet you're glad you're only on the stick for one course, huh? ;)I want to know what you've got up your sleeve that involves patio furniture catalogues...

Mary, great news on the recovery of your wallet... can't wait for the update on what remained inside it. Did you luck out and recover the free haircut chit? I smiled at that one because that's precisely the sort of thing that would most bum me out, too.

Wendy? Wendy who? ;) Amazing how time slips by when you're busy hibernating, huh?

I want to know about the AWOL frying pan, too, Marian. Saucy commented on our sole Amaryllis. And I'm still thinking about some sort of succulent to sit on the windowsill and taunt the woodstove.

Thanks for the reassurance about the Salon color scheme, you guys. Dunno quite why I'm not stoked about it, exactly. Maybe it's just that it's still pretty much just a color study. The wall color is a little strange, Saucy nailed it yesterday, too. It can be wonderfully cheerful, but it can take on a "chilly" feel when it's overcast. My gut feeling is there needs to be a "warming" influence provided by another substantial block color. That's the rationale behind the warmer tones of sand and taupe, but I'm having a hard time getting a feel for the combination because sand/taupe/beige have never "lit my board up". I think getting the floor painted will make a big difference in the room, and I like the color combination for the floor, though I'm still playing around with the pattern for it.

Today I will advance on the newly cased windows with putty knife and filler, and painter's caulk! Yippee.

OH, quickie! I heard from PM yesterday and pass along her regrets about not posting. Severe eye strain and repeated bouts with headaches have precluded reading and posting here lately. Seems she gets too caught up and has trouble tearing herself away once she gets reading... she'll be back when things settle down. And she says hello to all.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:29AM
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"Bobbles" wasn't precise botanical nomenclature, by the way ;)

Between pipes stowed away for a clandestine smoke and a cast iron skillet that behaves like a lost puppy, you guys have me hooked at 4 a.m. 'bug how nice to find a book that resonates so deeply with you.

It is misting lightly here too, The much promised rain never amounted to more than a heavy drizzle. Lovely and all -- but I'm looking for flash-flood quality rain at this point...

The last time I sat at this computer I was downloading updates from Microsoft -- or, rather, I turned back ON the updates function and let the updates flow. Hope the dreaded new worm, Conficker or Downadup, has been avoided. Dune and I were chuckling over the coinage of new computer terms, like bot-herders, and possibly Ukrainian bot-herders at that! Anyway, beware -- this is a nasty one. And my computer speed is flying now. Duh!

Great progress being made at the salon. Way to go, helpmeet, with the window casings! As we know all too well, motivation for projects can be fickle. And where there's motivation, the body can sometimes fail! Or a promising window of opportunity slams shut under workload constraints. The bathhouse tub has been sitting in the driveway in a huge crate, like the lost ark of the covenant, since before Christmas. All in good time...Marty seems to have the garden-variety back issues/sciatica from a ruptured disc, nothing more sinister, so hopefully phys. therapy will start next week.

I missed out on the movie discussion (Cruise/Pitt) but was thinking that I don't see movies based on actors. Then last night Marty wanted to seen Benjamin Buttons, but I talked him into The Wrestler instead. Because I wanted to "see" Mickey Rourke. Brutal movie, hard to watch in several places, but Rourke was stunning.

Love the little mermaid in training photo, Michelle!

Eden, I imagine you sitting in your newly painted kitchen, in your new-found quiet with Brad back to work. Sweet!

V, new solar panels sounds very exciting. How many and where are they going?

Cynthia, I've been meaning to thank you for clarifying Hope's status in the household. What a good little ambassador! Maybe not up to Katie's high standards quite yet but Hope springs eternal!

There's talk at the harbor of early retirement since ship traffic is painfully slow with the recession, which is upheaval enough for us, but nothing like the treatment Doug has been given. So sorry you're dealt such a series of blows this winter, Deanne.

Woody, those drawings are hard core! What a lot you're taking on and doing a fabulous job of it.

Sitting at a red light the other day, I was amazed to see in the rear view the driver whip out some duster wand to give the dashboard a going over while waiting. A Julie job on the go!

I hope Saucy shares the "filtering" process for her new club, with her finger poised lightly above the eject button. thank goodness no such questinnaire for idylls either...(And thanks for the Martie report)

Just refreshed and will read Chelone's new missive at leisure over coffee. Thanks for asking about Marty -- you're spot on, that it's the spirit that takes such a toll over extended disabilities. And thanks too for the PM report! Now will have to read back to trace the history of Mary's lost-and-found wallet.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:01AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We have a frosty one below zero this morning, so I'm extra glad that I enjoyed a walk on Thursday. I amused myself yesterday evening by paging through the High Country Gardens catalog and deciding where I would place a hardy agave in my yard.

The deer that the dogs discovered probably was killed by coyotes, and the leftovers will be left for nature's disposal system. It's quite a ways back from the house, so it won't bother us any.

Deanne, so sorry to hear about Doug's job! As others have said, he's smart and he has a great personality; I'm sure there will be a door opening somewhere for him. In the meantime, I will be thinking of you both.

Woody, you had a question about the severance pay - US employers are not required by law to pay any severance.

Chelone, I liked the salon colors also. I'm not good at choosing colors and have to put things together as you did to figure it out. Wish I could have been with the two of you yesterday - what fun!

I hope that Sue is having a great time on the slopes!

It's time to get on with the agenda of the day. I've been told I must assist with the garage cleaning today (there's a portable heater warming it up right now) and I will also make a Julie-like effort to attack piles of clutter throughout this abode. I don't think I will find any stray pipes, though!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:45AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! what an early post from Denise! And thank you to Denise for reminding me to install the updates on my laptop. I will confess that I am so concerned with those issues at work and sometimes forget to follow through at home.

The dishwasher has been emptied and reloaded, the laundry is about to fold (or be folded) and I've just gotten the word that I can go out for dinner with DIL2B tonight!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:19AM
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Good morning

Wallet is recovered complete with everything inside, even the paltry $3 which was the only cash I had on me. Apparently Michaels did not find me listed in the phonebook so contacted Wegmans grocery store to see if I was on record and could be tracked down. It is a huge relief and I celebreated by buying more beads for cards. On a whim I sent all the ones I'd completed off to Mum and an now on round two. It is still highly addictive.

Chelone - yep! I can look forward to my freebie haircut again.

Denise - I love bobbly flowers and will ahve to learn more about your gomphrena. I wonder if it would do well as an annual here.

Lots to do here today so will make tracks. Have a good one everybody.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Kathy, don't tell how long that pipe has been hidden there. I want to pretend that you leave piles around at least as long as I do.

As far as the tale of Marian's pan, I think we should all make up stories about that. Mine is that she threw it at Nolan in a dream and then forgot to retrieve it. A passing dog enjoyed the seasoned smell of it and trotted off with it for a good lickin'.

What I can't make up a story for, is where my favorite doggie shampoo has gone. I've been through all of the bathroom cabinets, the linen closet and even checked the basement - thinking it might have ended up in my wallpapering bucket of supplies when I was papering over the holidays. I have lots of doggie shampoo around, but can't find the Sebolyte - an anti-dandruff shampoo- which is what Hope needed yesterday. I used another bottle instead which had so many herbs in it I could make a cup of tea from it when done. Maybe I used it on my own hair and threw it out as 'bad shampoo.' Hope liked it and had a major case of the playful zoomies when done. The herbal scent had the same effect on her as catnip to a kitty.

Gomphrena decumbens 'grape' is gorgeous! I remember admiring it the first time Denise posted a photo. I like it's lightness and brightness.

Hoping Saucy will be along soon with photos of yesterday's winter retreat at the salon.

It was so warm here this morning that I took my coffee outside to wander with the dogs at 6AM. Low 30s, but such an improvement from the single digits of a week ago. Yesterday was 50F here Chelone. I dress the pups when it's in the 30s or below. They have no fat/no fur to warm them.

I did get to Trader Joe's yesterday, and for once they had oodles of cranberry scones. 8 bags were out, and I'm usually challenged to find 1. I bought them all and had no remorse about the next shopper being disappointed. So there. Yes, they freeze well.

I listed some big stuff on Freecycle last week and hoping the takers will pick up today. So off to find some drop clothes to protect the floors. (It seems I always clean out my house in January.) Chelone, the biggest problem in getting my dad's house cleaned out was that we don't have many people in the family to give things too. My sister and her kids took the brunt of that effort with a dumpster and a bunch of their young friends. My father had no less than 7 old mattresses in his attic. And he was not a collector of things, so it made no sense. Mattress disposal is charged by the piece by the way.... My own attic is just labeled boxes of seasonal things (proud aren't I??) But I need to get serious about my basement.

We do still have ugly furniture stored in the garage at dad's and the deal I offered is that the new tenants can have what they want and be responsible to take the rest to the dump. They're young and had expressed interest in some of the furniture to the realtor so this is good solution for all.

I need to get my day in gear. Hi to all!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good, Cold Morning all...

Ah...the saga of the lost skillet. I thought sure I had posted about it coming up missing, but maybe not. I had set it out with the leftover bones and skin from the last turkey that I roasted. We saw Sam, the neighbor's Great Pyrenees, cleaning it out. I did not bring it back in that day, and when I went out to get it, it was gone. We both hunted all around the yard and into the woods, but could not find it. Some time later I finally called the neighbors to let them know if they found a large cast iron skillet, it was mine. Nolon's cousin's wife thought a bear dragged it off. She was apparently wrong, because it was Sam's 'people' that found it. We are still wondering how Sam carryed such a large heavy skillet so far. In the future I will dump the leftovers, etc. out on the ground!
Several years ago the same neighbor's dog carried several bowls off. I eventually got them all back, too.
Of course, maybe I could put a chain on the slillet, and fasten it to a tree??? LOL

I feel bad that Pm2 is having such bad eye problems. I can understand how reading the stuff on line can be very hard on the eyes. My eyes are hurting just thinking about hers.....

Again, I am envious of the fun day at Chelones. I wish you could have recorded some of it for us, like on You Tube. :-)

Deanne, I sure hope you have heat again! What a bad time for the furnace to go adding insult to injury! Do be careful going out in the snow and ice. Neither of you need broken bones to go along with all your other woes!

Mary, how happy we all are that your wallet was found. We are waiting with bated breath on the contents.

Oh yes....add Brenda and Norma to our MIAs ...and Ei of course. I am thinking of posting a list of all that I have on my 'chart' of former members. So many that have come and gone in the years that I have been here. I wonder if most of them still'lurk'. It would be hard for me to quit 'cold turkey' and not even lurk.

Denise, I like that Gomphrena. It really needs a fence to drape over, doesn't it. I forgot whether it is hardy here. I would look good on our wood fence out front.
Hmmm, the dusting of the dashboard gives me a idea! I may add a duster to my car's interior! ;-)
My computer is programmed to do most of the updates automatically. Only rarely do I think to check to see if there are any I need to add.

Kathy, so exactly what is that lovely white fluff in your pic?

The Amaryllis pic from a while back prompted me to bring my dish pan full of bulbs into the 'upper' house, from the utilityroom. All of the bulbs have put up leaves, and one has a bloom stalk emerging. Out of 7 good-sized bulbs, I certainly hope it will not be the only one blooming. I fertilized them last summer, with hopes of encouraging more blooms.

BTW, the puzzle on the table is finished. Nolon never got back to it. I finished it yesterday. Guess I will break out another. I saw a large box of 10 puzzles, in WalMart last trip, and was certainly tempted. Although I have well over 100, I always like new ones that I have never put together.

I got a couple more DVDs. One is "The Journey to the Center of the Earth". My friend attempted to tape it for me a few years ago, but didn't get it all. This one has a bonus movie with it, Jules Vernes "Mysterious Island". The other is "Follow the River". It has a music CD included, called " Rainy River Romance". I haven't opened either.
Last night, after Nolon went to bed, I watched the first of the 20 Alfred Hitchcock classics that I bought awhile back. Nolon doesn't care for those type movies, and he always goes to bed when I start them in the evening. In the day time he usually leaves the house.:-(
I think a lot of his problems with both the movies and the music is his hearing loss. It makes it hard for me to know what to do around him.

I got up to restock the stove about 5 AM and found a pile of barf in front of the stove. Thank goodness I did not step in it. I 'did' have my slippers on. :-)
I don't know which one deposited it. They both seem fine.I shoveled it up with the ashes shovel, and disposed of it this morning.

The temp was 19 this morning, but has finally moved up to 21. Not supposed to get much higher today, with teens again in the morning.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 10:36AM
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Good morning all...if you still consider this morning :)

Yesterday was a lot of fun, but I came home having the energy of a snail, and then more of the same this morning. I have a full day on tap and am trying to conserve my energy :)

I don't know who concocted the beautiful lunch, but it was perfect for yesterday's weather: We had a hot bowl of chicken and rice soup served with tuna on rye! Wrecks was a perfect gentleman, and all the kits made an appearance and said a proper hello! We trekked around the compound in the snow and then checked out the helpmeet's handywork in the Salon! I have to say that pictures just don't do it justice. Feel free to click on the picture and poke around in my pictures. I just wish I had the proper energy this morning to tell the story right :)

I am not going to get the cold that Nick had....I am not going to get the cold that Nick had....I am not going to get the cold that Nick had...... From IdyllMeetupattheCompound2009

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:22AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

V, Deanne - The US is a scary place at times - in particular re medical costs, and now labour issues! Randy lost his job about 12 years ago when the lab he was working for closed down and let everyone go. I forget excactly how much he got but his employer was generous and paid more than the minimum required. Most of it could be rolled, tax-free, into his retirement savings account. Here in Ontario, there are legal minimums for both termination pay and severance pay. (Other provinces have slightly differnt rules but they are all somewhat similar.) Termination pay is due when the termination happens without notice and severance pay is after notice. So, in Randy's case, he got termination pay in lieu of notice and then severance pay on top of that. Everyone is entitled to termination pay if they are let go without notice but the amount of notice required varies by the number of years worked - except in the case of a 'mass termination' when the amount varies by the number of people terminated. One has to have worked for 5 years with the employer before being entitled to severance pay. The pay is basically equal to one week's pay per year of service, to a maximum of 26 weeks pay. I really don't understand American objections to greater 'socialization' in some of these areas because benefits like these add an important layer of protection in tough times - both for individuals and the ecomomy (since it keeps individuals participating in the economy - i.e. spending - longer than they otherwise would.) End of rant... Best of luck to Doug - Randy did 'consulting'/contract work for a bit for Cadbury and then ended up being taken on as full-time staff. He's been there ever since.

Eden - you mentioned Brad has gone back to work. Is he in the auto industry? Is the return to work a good sign for whatever sector of the economy he's in?

Chelone - the 'salon' is going to be fabulous - nice and light and airy with those colors and all the windows! (I'm doubtful of achieving an "A" - I will surely fail on the printing/neatness aspects :-) The course is interesting - did I mention that the teacher lives on Vancouver Island? The only problem with that is the time difference - she doesn't sign in/answer questions until afternoon and evening our time. And she's been out of commission with a cold/flu most of this week so we haven't heard from her in a few days. I needed the patio furniture catalogs to figure out how much patio space I need to allow for the table for 10 that my 'client' (Barb - I wasn't allowed to use Randy...) wants to have.

Michelle - that picture of Kenzie with the mermaid was so cute!

Waiting for pictures of the Saucy/Chelone visit....

Cynthia - I always enjoy your grey tales - and pictures.

Mary - how nice that everything there when you picked up your wallet.

I've missed commenting on many things I know - but my homework calls....

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:25AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - nice pictures - life on/visit to the 'compound' look great - more pictures would have been better :-)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:34AM
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I regret to inform the idylls that National Handwriting Day passed yesterday without mention, with special nods due to both Woody and V.

Saucy, thanks for the photos. What an elegant table for tuna on rye! And nice to see that hambone Rex playing in the snow.

Woody, I agree that the U.S.'s zero-sum social Darwinism is scary indeed.

Cynthia, I'm adding cranberry scones to my copy of your Trader Joe shopping list, along with the caramels which I've yet to buy.

Marian, Mysterious Island is a classic in this house. Fun movies for winter viewing. So Sam is at the bottom of the Great Skillet Caper!

I'm going to try starting cuttings of the gomphrena to see if I can share for spring. I've treated the garden this morning to some rich stuff, bagged compost for roses that includes chicken manure, bat guano, kelp, oystershells, etc., the good stuff. The nursery had gallons of Heuchera 'Frosted Violet,' so I nabbed one. Heucheras are iffy melters here and I usually resist their charms but have been on the lookout for this one. Monique had some nice photos of hers. Plopped it into a cache pot for up-close viewing. Ditto for a Spanish lavendar 'Otto Quasti.' I much prefer splurging like this than on cut flowers. (chatting about lavendar is a naked attempt to draw the lav-lady out)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 11:58AM
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The Idylls are in rare form this am , such nice lengthy posts with the usual brilliant observations. The pipe is safely stowed in an undisclosed location, lol. I am wondering what else I might find during my cleaning and rearranging out there this weekend.

Thanks to Chelone for the update on PM, maybe this makes her the first to actually OD on Idylling ? Headaches and eyestrain are no fun, and I hope her sabbatical does the trick.

Chelone, I hear you re: the cold features of your color scheme , my bedroom has a very similar palette mostly just the blue and white. I purposely bought a comforter and shams that would have some warmer colors to offset, there are some reds and foliage-y greens along with colors that match the walls. Here is a pic, the pillow propped up there is the same fabric as comforter etc. I think the orangey tones of the red is what creates the warmth

Ok, I would love to comment more , but I really need to get started on my garage project, Ill be back later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 12:32PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

The slaggard checking in to lovely photos of garden, pets, and houses... what a nice way to greet my weekend.... I might linger too long, as you can see, I did not make Denise's early rise or late to bed time frame! Egads, you were full of energy today - cognizant at 4 a.m. and out prepping the gardens after a haul to the nursery.... I have always wanted to purchase some bat you think it's more "hi-test" than chicken pellets? (those I've used..)

Glad to hear some good news -- a meet up at the Compound -- and Cynthia having some money drain stop-up unplugged hopefully - I bet your Dad refused to spend money to have the mattresses hauled away -- and as we know, NO one or charity will take them, free or otherwise; so he just heaved them in the attic and thought of them as extra insulation up there... Now, MY mom would have kept them with the thought she might use them again some day....such a hoarder she was. She'd buy bargains of food and pantry stuff to stock for years when it was "a deal" -- I think Dad ate cereal daily for 2 years without having to buy a new box; and he's still working on the lifetime supply of 1-ply imitation toilet paper (really sandpaper for bottoms) I bring my own or actually bought some to leave there)...

Woody, much as we see it from the individual side, severance pay is and would be a hot political button in the wonderful birthplace of capitalism -- it is up to individual states re most of those types of labor laws, and few have them; in Virginia it's called "work at will" - and generally is a basic stone of the whole free enterprise concept -- socializing anything in this country produces huge outcries and threats of revolt, and political turmoil, hence stalemates re banks and health care.

Chelone -- seeing Saucy's lovely photos, I love the color on the walls and predict it will not seem chilly when you have the warm mocha moire(are there 2 colors on your sample photo?) up on the windows (& I think the full length would help in that regard) and like Kathy's lovely bedroom, a punch of another color would also cozy it (like the orange, or apple green Michelle suggested), or even a little watermelon, even some darker teal tones, and it is going to be gorgeous and still federal looking. Cant wait to see it!!

Saucy - those photos are fantabulous.

Well, I guess need to think of planning a grocery order and schelp off there, hitting trader joe's too (end of the day though; never mid-weekend day, ugh); I've had those cranberry scones; yummy! Ricotta cake is good fav are their selections of plain greek and european style yogurts that I get on almost a weekly basis. Im thinking I need to think of making some soup too; but the larder is so empty I dont think there's anything to just throw in a pot; I'll have to plan and buy for...

Glad I dont have a garage -- at least one place I do not have to worry about decluttering, much as I like to join in Idyll projects...

Im hoping Deanne and Doug are toasty with a furnace working again that hopefully had a repair contract on it; Sue's having fun being athletic in VT, and other idyllers are enjoying winter nests.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 1:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wonder what Skyler did for National Handwriting Day! Perhaps Canada celebrates on a different day...

Glad to hear about the recovery of your wallet Mary. That is such a frightening business.

And yes, Saucy, your photos of the compound were much appreciated. Phoebe would LOVE to be playing in the snow with Wrecks right now. This past week she learned a new word: SQUIRREL. I fear she will soon learn RABBIT.
Do not catch Nick's cold!!!

I made it in time to the Post Office this morning for the mailing of one of DD's Christmas gifts. Her Christmas PJs needed to be a larger size. (Wonder why....)In my rush I forgot my shopping list. I didn't miss too many things and came home with more healthy stuff: peppers, 7%fat cheese, broccoli slaw, salted soy bean munchies, almond butter etc...but also splurged on cherries, raspberries, well as warm olive bread fresh out of the oven.

Chelone, I am enjoying the salon's colours and fleurs de lys, and wondering if fresh flowers might not be all the added colour necessary for that warm look. Maybe a set of 3 bright amaryllis standing in a row. I like orange...but maybe you have a better idea. A florist I know in Scandinavia takes amaryllis stems, fills them with water and hangs them upside down from the tops of his windows. Very effective!

99 days remain before baby is scheduled to arrive! So many conflicting emotions for the "adults" but frankly, Skyler has the best approach...pure joy and excitement

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 2:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I think I've had the best Saturday lunch ever. I went with DS and his fiance to a tasting meeting with the caterer. Now, when they said "tasting" I pictured passing a plate around the table and taking bites of different dishes. Instead, the caterer served us the full meal, plated just as it would be for wedding. The food will be yummy! Salad was baby greens, grape tomatoes, strawberries, fresh mozzarella and cinnamon-toasted pecans, dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. The main course had chicken stuffed with roasted red peppers and an asiago cheese sauce, flank steak served over toasted brioche with a mushroom sauce, blue cheese stuffed potatoes, and fresh asparagus spears "lightly dusted" with a homemade hollandaise sauce. Wow! It all tasted great, and what I liked was that there is enough food, if someone doesn't like one thing there is still plenty there.

Mary, how nice to get everything back in your wallet!

I had a phone call this morning from Wal-Mart Security in Bentonville. Seems that someone tried to use DD's credit card on the Wal-Mart website. I'm not sure how they knew to question it, but they did. So she's had to cancel her card. She had just ordered sheet music on line, so she's contacting those places to see if there was a security problem. Someday I'll have to tell her of my regular visits to the Lyon & Healy store in Chicago, where we could dig through bins and bins and bins of sheet music.

OMG! DH's credit card company just called with a security hold on his card! Don't you just hate it when Friday the 13th comes on Saturday the 24th? Well, he just called and there was no problem. It looks like the hotel we stayed at in Mexico in early December just put through two room charges that were missed on the original bill and that's what triggered the alert. But everything is fine. I'd rather have them be safe than sorry!

Off to be a clutter-buster.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 3:42PM
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Wow, V., that chow sounds wonderful! How nice that you actually get fed as a trial run. :) I'm becoming increasingly wary of credit card companies and the whole "instant verification" thing, but I love using a credit card because it's fast and easy. Tell us more about DD's music, willya? I think she plays a horn (?) but I don't know what her preference in music is, even though you've probably shared it before. I've been really enjoying some very tight arrangements on a Frank Sinatra CD lately ("Luck Be A Lady" and "All Or Nothing At All").

I have to go back and thoroughly soak up the penmanship link. I believe good penmanship is within everyone's grasp and that it's important to master it. I have very nice penmanship, because it was encouraged and also expected. I am a "Palmer Method" girl. So does the helpmeet, and he learned a different way to form a cursive "J" while at school in Wales. It's really cool with an additional little loop at the top of the letter.

OK, Cynthia... I'm having trouble understanding why you have a favorite dog shampoo when none of your dogs have much in the way of fur. ;) Wouldn't a massage with some oil be more beneficial to "peachskin" clad dogs? I've been meaning to ask how your sister is doing; is she at home now or in the in a rehab. place for a longer period of time? I've got the same problem with stuff (but not mattresses)... my brother and I are the last of the Mohicans.

My JulieJob for the day was cleaning the refrigerator. I can't remember the last time I did it. While the helpmeet will scrub out the crispers from time to time there's no way he would empty the contents and scrub the entirety of it. I did the entire thing in 2+ hrs. and I have the "laboratory fresh prune fingers" to prove it. :) There was a good deal of oohing and ahhing from the helpmeet, who volunteered to do the same to the freezer on Monday.

99 days and counting... wow, 'bug. Phoebe and Wrecks would have a BLAST together. She would definitely run him ragged and it would be fun to see another dog "outplay" him. How are you feeling after being on your new program for a little bit of time now? Are you detecting small changes/improvements?

I've always been fond of "Chinese red" and actually wouldn't hesitate to use that color on the upholstery in the room; it would be a "correct" color for the Federal period, too. They were amazingly bold in their use of color as bright color was expensive and a way to display wealth. My reaction to the color scheme will probably be different when the woodwork is finished and the floor is painted. The mopboards are nearly finished and I may advance on the Salon with putty knife in hand tomorrow...

I'm taking the helpmeet out for some Mexican vittles tonight. I wonder how the place we're going would rate with Kathy and Exotica...


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 4:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick comment on credit cards... I do a lot of on-line shopping and have always been a bit worried about security. I was reluctant to use my 'regular' credit card because it has a quite high limit. So I had the bank issue me a second one with a $1000 limit. I use that one for on-line shopping or at a retailer that I consider risky. (As a former banker who audited Visa operations I know, for instance, that gas stations have historically had a high rate of credit card fraud - and the restraurant industry too. Essentially anywhere where you give someone your card and they take it somewhere out of your sight is a risk, as are places with high staff turnover and low wages...) Banks will almost invariably cover the cost of the fraud so having a low-limit credit card just for high-risk shopping reduces their risk/cost and reduces the hassle you'd have to go through if your card was the subject/victim of a fraud. If you do a lot of on-line shopping or shopping at 'risky' businesses, a low-limit card to use in those locations is well worth considering.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 6:25PM
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A well deserved 2pm beer today, but an hour or so late. Substantial progress was made in the garage today, and I was covered with filth and dust from head to toe when I suspended operations to make a quick run to the store . Had to change the garb ,wash face, wash hands, clean glasses. I completely changed the configuration of storage areas cleaning supplies have been moved to the area DH and I used to call "Ruby Ridge" , think survivalists and canned goods, lol. I have no need anymore for garage food overflow space , dont do Costco, and the only thing I buy by the case these days is wine and sparkling water. Tommorow the garden workbench area will be addressed, and Im hoping my final task will be setting up the seed starting equipment and sowing my Amaranth , and others.

Nothing of interest was found in the garage today, but this morning I found the missing AAA batteries in a drawer in my bedroom.

Enjoyed the virtual visit to the compound . I noted that it even included a feline bum shot nice touch Saucy ! It was also a pleasure to visit the snowy seaside, something not seen on this part of the coast.

Marian, the seed head is a Japanese Anemone , Queen Charlotte I think(the double pink) .

Well Chelone, you said lobster and my crustacean loving ears perked right up. Ive been bragging relentlessly at the awfice about a trip to Maine, and have mentioned lobster more than once ! DH has been gone since 03 . One does encounter things in the course of the day that provoke memories, Im in a place now that they are enjoyable and sometimes bittersweet, but rarely sad. Today I emptied the dust collection bag under his table saw ( I always used to throw it in the compost pile) and that was kind of an odd experience- after all these years I was cleaning up after one of his projects.

V, I wonder how your garage duties went ? The wedding lunch sounds just FF !

Woody, thats a great idea about having a low limit CC for online shopping.

Im off to the kitchen now, I cut a recipe out of the Chronicle that looked very yummy for a winter evening, a casserole involving ground beef, mushrooms, Gruyere , parmesan, It. Sausage, penne, sherry, and various herbs. It should give me 3 to 4 meals depending on how much of it DS consumes

Waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 7:27PM
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Cold here today, starting out with a minus 15. We worked in our heated garage painting the cabinets that will be part of the new home office. We did the priming earlier in the week.

We are also doing some decluttering here. Last week the piano was moved out. We dont play and it was an old ugly one and it was taking up the space where the office will go. Much of our stuff gets donated to a charity run thrift store. It really is the easiest. Both our garage and basement need attention.

Kathy, I love your bedding and the collection of white pottery.

Woody, does Randy work for Cadbury as in the eggs? If so lucky him ;o)

It looks like an enjoyable time at the salon today.

Chelone, thanks for the update on PM. You always start to wonder when you dont hear from one who posts fairly regularly.

Cindy, LOL on the "imitation toilet paper" and a lifetime supply no less!

Denise, I got a kick out of the car cleaning at the red light. Obviously a person who doesnt like to waste a minute. I keep one of those swiffer dusters in my garage on a hook to run over the dash. The bobbles look great with the agave backdrop.

Marian, the mermaid conversation was about if Kenzie liked to sing and what songs she liked. She told her that she like the music in the video "Barbie of Swan Lake" which is from Tchaikovsky ballet "Swan Lake"

My parents are leaving soon for Texas for a couple of months. They still havent sold their house so I will have 2 to look after while they are gone. They have changed agents to someone who is more aggressive so hopefully that will help. The house is great but location, location, location is what appears to be the problem.

Thats all for now


    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 8:48PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - yep - the eggs, Dairy Milk, Caramilk - all that stuff... He frequently comes home reeking of chocolate! I have to restrain myself not to take a bite out of him at times :-)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2009 at 10:38PM
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I think, Woody, there is a growing cry in my country for more "socialization" in some areas. Healthcare being primary. Costs are absolutely crushing those who have to purchase it without being part of a "group" (no surprise that there are pushing 50 million without any coverage at all), and premiums rise quarterly. Our own policy started out at about $1K/quarter, it's now up to over $2K; that's for a high deductible, for two people who've never made a claim and are not obese. They always include some paper to tell me how wonderful the maternity coverage is, too... like I care? I've called 3 local hospitals asking for the price of a few recommended tests (mammogram and colonoscopy) and NONE of them can give me a price! there is all sorts of hemming and hawing and I can never get a firm price, what's up with that? Personally, I think every hospital ought to have prices for test posted on "menus", so you at least know how much you have to have to pay for them. My disgust for the status quo with respect to healthcare is beyond words. I, for one, would happily pay more in taxes to have the worries about healthcare removed from my life. We will have to do something about it as it is proving to be a drag on every business in this country... look at the looming crisis in terms of the automotive industry alone. If GM goes teats up what will happen to all the retirees who have full healthcare coverage? Scarey. A health crisis could destroy us financially, but we're certainly not alone in that. Health savings accounts are a wonderful idea, but for us funding them is a stretch after we fund retirement accounts. And we're in lots better shape than many. Fear mongering by elected officials who spend too much time looking over their shoulders to "the good old days" needs to stop if we're going to rationally address this looming crisis. And we need to grow up and accept that we can't afford to cure everyone, no matter how much we love them. In that respect healthcare is ALWAYS going to be "rationed". It always was!

As for severance and termination pay... I've never had either, so don't waste my energy thinking about them. I've always worked for the vaunted "small businesses" that seem to power the economy in their own small way (so has the helpmeet and so have most of our friends). NO way could our employers afford to offer those things and remain competitive. I've always had to live by my wits, and well BELOW my means to add to my nest egg. A job loss is a frightening prospect to us (but not a crippling worry), and for that reason we've never lived so large that the loss of one would destroy us. I am more concerned about inequity in taxes; Social Security is only paid on the first 90something thousand, but over that it's no longer taken out of earnings. Not fair! and it needs to change because Social Security is going broke and Medicare is in even worse shape, though most of the citizenry remains blissfully ignorant of the abyssmal state of our gov't.'s finances. Esp. after this latest round of financial scandal more and more us are increasingly concerned that our tax structure is creating a permanant underclass. We, and the majority of our friends believe passionately that paying taxes is patriotic... how come the Bernie Madoffs, large corporations, and super rich don't believe the same thing? ;) Cheery talk first thing this AM, huh?

Kathy, I'm impressed at your efforts in the garage. The helpmeet cracked up when I told him about the "dry martini", and I also very much like "Ruby Ridge"... think our pantry may just have a new name. :) We had our own battery crisis the other night. The smoke detector started beeping and refused to stop even with a brand new battery... until I realized he was putting a fresh battery in the wrong one, lol. I've added D batteries to our grocery list.

Cadbury used to make the BEST cocoanut cream filled candy bars. Mum would stock right up on them for me when I was in HS, but I haven't seem them since.

I cracked up at the image of a skillet chained to the porch or a tree, Marian, that's a good one. :)

I also laughed at the notion that PM is the first casualty of Idylling to excess... and now she's committed herself to "rehab.". LOL Certainly no shortage of funnies to be had reading this Idyll.

I hear scratching in the litter pan, so methinks it's time to begin the mining operation...

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 7:36AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I know this post will put this thread over the 'limit' but I wanted to keep these comments together with the related comments...

Chelone - termination pay can be totally avoided by an employer - small or otherwise - by giving the employee proper notice rather than just showing them the door one day. The 'mass termination' rules' also only require termination pay if the business wants to terminate employees without notice. The smallest business the mass termination rules appy to is one laying off 50 -199 employees and the rules require 8 weeks notice to avoid paying termination pay. In other words, if a business plans ahead, they can avoid the need to pay termination pay and the employees, by receiving notice, have time to look for alternative work and otherwise plan for what is coming. Many employers choose to pay the termination pay because of concerns about morale etc. once notice has been given. Similarly, severance pay only applies to employees that have been with an employer for at least 5 years so those are people who have presumably provided good and valuable service to the employer and to whom the employer should feel some obligation towards. By adding some costs to laying off people, there is an incentive to find ways to avoid it or minimize the number of people laid off - and that is probably a good thing because it gives an incentive to better manage and plan your business! And fewer people laid off is better for the economy. So, like many of these contentious 'socialist' ideas, whether it is good or bad depends on which way you look at it....

And this is getting too political, so I'll shut up now.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 9:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

First I want to thank each and every one of you for the kind comments and support. It really means a lot to me! You are all so kind. The good news is that the furnace is fixed the bad news is that it cost $410.00 that Id rather have not spent at the moment. The camera has been shipped off to NJ to Canon to be fixed, hopefully on warranty. We had another blow to the gut yesterday. Doug had to have some crowns done the first of the year and we got a letter from the dental insurance company that they arent going to cover it. Arrrrrrggggghhh!!!!! So the dentist is just going to have to content himself with small monthly payments for the time being.

The other fun thing that has happened this week is that Ive developed shingles!!!!!! Double Arrrrgggghhhhh!!!!!! Hmmm they say stress can bring them on. LOL. The good news is that I dont have any on my face, the bad news is that they seem to be on my bum. So I have a real and actual pain in the a - - ! ROTFL. At this point I just have to laugh about everything as its gotten to the stage of being ridiculous.

Yesterday we had breakfast with a couple we know who both used to work for Protégé and they were both laid off on Monday as well. They know more of the people there than we do and the general opinion is that the company is going to fold altogether before summer rolls around and that the owners are only keeping things going long enough to pay off some debt so the principals can walk out of it financially intact. The company had a meeting with the remaining employees after the lay off and announced a pay cut for all employees left and doubled their health insurance payments. In a way Im glad we arent going to have the worry of watching the company in its death throes and are taking positive action to find work now.

Doug has gotten at least one day of work next week as an independent consultant that might turn into four or five days and that will be a big help. Hes also gone through the dance for filing for unemployment insurance so that will be another small cushion. (Neither of us has ever collected unemployment ever but one has to do what one has to do!) He has gotten an interview for another software consulting firm for Friday so things are moving in a more positive direction.

Woody, thanks for all the information. Very interesting. It wouldnt have done Doug any good as his company only laid off 15 workers and hed only been at the company 3 and a half years.

Chelone, as always your observations and insights are very interesting.

OK so Im going to go and get some exercise and do some work in the studio. Have a great day all.


PS Denise LOVE that gomphrenia!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 10:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A short note from DH's office. You guessed it, the satellite is not working once again, so who knows when I'll be taking part next. But, I shall return!!!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:05PM
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