Idyll # 348 - 'We're Lost in a Masquerade'

Who KnowsJanuary 10, 2008

I feel like I'm at a costume party - carry on!!


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Te He , I think it is rather funny! But then...I have a warped sense of humor....:-)
I am proud of the one who realized that any old email address will work. I checked the Suggestion site, and a couple of others haven't figured that out. Also, we are one of the few that is in this fix! The Ozarks forum is fine, and so is the Suggestions site.

I called my computer man and he is getting rather frustrated too. He had my computer all ready to go, and added the Microsoft updates....ended up back at square 1 !
He has an excellent attitude about it, and if he only charges me the initial estimate ( as he said he would), he is due a tip !


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Well if this is a costume party...then I know what I am wearing.. :-)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 12:15PM
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I just lost a very long post, but I think the forum is fixed. Will check in later.

PM, I start with public searches for relatives....most of the time, someone has already done the homework for you. Important things are DOB and Place of Birth.

Deanne, your last name should be Fortitude :) I admire all that you have done and all that you do to keep yourself healthy. Nice shot of the hawk! The cat's little wet nose spots on the window prevent good shots of my feeder :)

Marian, hope your computer is back online soon!

GB, hope the waters have receded. All I could think was Bridge Over Troubled Water when I saw the pics :)

Speaking of music...I tried to name this Idyll "I Can't Get No Idyll Action" because Wendy has the Stones stuck in my head.

I'm outta here....spent too much time playing online :) Perks of having the business at home - or is this a minus?


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 12:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Couldn't get on earlier from here....

Water is down but there's lots of debris all about. (And I don't mean old computers.)I'm dragging, still fighting a cold.

Unable to giggle, life's no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all peace and quiet!

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a beaut Deanne!
'bug with a bug

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 12:45PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Well, looks like the masks are off...

Hey 'bug - good one! I second the vote for peace & quiet. Hope you feel better soon.

V, I have to say your tornado story is very scary. We've had some storms here, but I've never felt like the weather was threatening my life; must be an awful feeling. DS loves those storm chaser shows, I'd probably have trouble getting him to take shelter - he'd want to watch!

Deanne, the hawk is awesome. We have some type of hawk that circles our area, I just love watching them fly. I've never seen them up close though, they must land elsewhere. I do have to tell you, your commitment to being healthy has been an inspiration to me. Don't despair at the small setbacks, keep the big picture in mind - look how far you've come!

Saucy, my mother has done a lot of research into family history. I can remember going to Waltham with her to look at census records on microfilm. I suppose all of that is on the internet now. Saucy, the song stuck in my head now is "Monkey Man".

Oh well, duty calls - I know there was lots more I wanted to say. Later friends!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Well geez, I missed out on all the fun. I too thought it was kind of funny.

Dh decided he wanted meatloaf today,which I rarely make anymore. It was good but over an hour to prepare and bake and then we are done eating in about ten minutes. Hardly seems worth it. Wish I liked to cook as well as Mary does.

I then potted up quite a few plants,but got tired before I was quite finished. So I will have more to do tomorrow. I was checking some starter plants I had bought a while back that were all sitting in a container that I poured water into and let them soak it up. I had to laugh when I came to a little pot of phormiumns (sp) I bought because it had three plants in it and I wanted to divide them. They had pushed themselves up out of the pot on some big roots. The dirt was not even in the container anymore. They are the ones I didn't get done today but they are getting a good soaking.

Yes Marian, we did get up to 70 too. I also saw flies and mosquitos. I don't know where they were when we had the really cold weather. I would have thought they would have frozen out. Our grass is still pretty green here.

I haven't figured out who the little bumble bee is? Norma

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I checked back to the previous thread and saw that it was Mary that started the made-up email address ( and user name). Good thinking Mary...:-)
I kind of miss the fun I was having reading the funny email addresses!

We are back to the strong winds. I sure hope this doesn't continue all the way through to April !

An update on my computer...The tech called and it is ready to come home. He thinks some of the problem is with my internet server, but like Teresa, I have no other option other than satellite.
I 'have' got my email coming on the loaner( I got it rather by accident), and spent a long time deleting 100s of junk mails!

Yes, who is the bumble bee baby? I am thinking T's grandson, but am probably wrong.

I hope Marie is feeling better, as well as any other who is ailing.
Marie, I have started the second puzzle that you sent. Boy, It is a BIG one! There is hardly room on my diningroom table for all the pieces !


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 7:23PM
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Hey all. Must say I was kind of disappointed when the costume party was over ! I got a good giggle at my office this morning when I was sneakily Idylling.
Well things are starting to develop here. My contractor is coming over tomorrow to discuss the timeline for the work to be done here. New slider and windows go in on Saturday, and my agent will be over next Friday to take some photos to start doing some pre-marketing before we actually put the sign up. The house across the street is in escrow (yay ! something sold !) and IÂve been in contact with 2 agents in the Corvallis area. I will be spending a few days up there the end of Feb-pending weather issues of courseÂ

No longer wishing to hold out on my Idyll pals I will officially divulge that DD has the proverbial Âbun in the oven . I admit to being un-thrilled initially ,DD and s.o. are not in a very favorable financial position , but the family has stepped up to the plate to help out. Hopefully I can overcome my aversion to children so that I wonÂt be the dreaded witchlike- granny that is feared by all . I refer to him (he will be a he )as Mister Baby. Wish me luck- I will never come even close to Âbugs doting nature. However , my BIL is absolutely in heaven (he is my late DHÂs twin brother) and is telling everyone that he is going to be a Grandpa. I told DD that Mister Baby needs to be trained to call me ÂAuntie lol !

So do I have enough going on in my life right now??? Jeesh !

Deanne, that hawk pic is way cool.

Cindy---and others in Agave land., I got my High Country Gardens (Santa Fe, NM) catalog today, and noticed the lists of Agaves that are hardy to zone 4. DonÂt know if any of you have spent much time in the higher altitudes of the Southwest (except Marian of course) but the climate can be pretty brutal there and the growing season quite short. Anyway, they list Agave parryi among others as hardy there.

Thanks T for the info on wireless. IÂve been doing some research  since there is a university in Corvallis (OSU) and also is th home base to Hewlitt-Packard I think I will have some options. Is yours Comcast ?

Ok , time to sign off, I have some reading to do tonight to prep for my taxonomy class..wishing well to all !

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Grandma's come in all sorts :) Congrats to your daughter as she enters this new phase of life. I was silly, young, and broke, but we did okay...Jake might be a little "off" for it, LOL, but hey....

Booked my flight to the USVI. Got an oceanside room that is downright cheap, but got good ratings on trip advisor. The diving is being planned now...I hear over my left shoulder, "what about night diving? It says here that everything comes to life at night...."

I'm getting just a little excited. Nick and I haven't left the country since 1993 :)

I am interested in starting an alpine garden (the first Idyll got me interested) and think I have the perfect spot. Problem in N.E. is that soil is too lean for most succulents, me thinks, but I have a raised area that could be ammended with lots of gravel/grit for good drainage.


Oh to bed to dream of 85 degree days and 65 degree nights.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, I just stopped in before getting off the computer for the night and I am just so surprised by your news, Kathy!
WOW!! That is really exciting! I guess I just wasn't expecting such momentous news, so I can just imagine how you must be feeling if you didn't see it coming. I think I had forgotten that your daughter was all grown up. I am sure with everything that you are in the midst of, it was a shocker too.

Such amazing changes in your life right I think if it were me, my head would have been spinning a little. But that's me. [g] You on the other hand, I have a feeling you will take it all in stride. :-)

Oh, imagine...more grandbaby photos on

Well, with that great news, I am off to bed, with a smile on my face. Congratulations, Kathy!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:52PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, and I can hear how happy you are that your BIL is so happy with the news. That is such a bonus I am sure.

Very happy for your family, Auntie Kathy! :-)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Add me to the list of those who enjoyed the phony email addresses! I came home from work with a blistering headache and it didn't let up until I read the idylls.

I thought I was making great strides in getting caught up at work, and then two minor bombshells went off today. I had been asked to "handhold" someone on a relatively minor project that has to be completed by tomorrow, and today she called in sick and is not expected to be in tomorrow. Then my boss moved up the deadline by which he needs the year end financials by three weeks. YIKES! I worked too many weekends last spring and already have some weekend time scheduled for this spring. I'm not working winter weekends too!

Change of topic. pm2, you asked about the CD's I put on my ipod. Let's see, I did the Allman Bros., Anonymous 4, The Band, Beach Boys, Ben Harper, Bob Seger, Bruce Hornsby, Carol King, Darden Smith, Grateful Dead, Hootie & the Blowfish, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, John Hiatt, Josh Ritter, Little Feat, Lucy Kaplansky, Paul Simon, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Van Morrison. Plus some sound track and compilation albums by the prodigious "Various Artists". So my musical taste is mostly rock and heavily eclectic. But I've got music for ANY mood, from Anonymous 4 singing "Shall We Gather at the River" to Mick Jagger doing "Sympathy for the Devil". And for good measure, I bought the Monkees' "Daydream Believer" from itunes. I'm having too much fun with the ipod! I'm pretty sure the hotel that I'm staying at next week has clock radios with ipod docks, too.

Denise, I will be backing off on watering my agaves. Most are ding well, but one has been getting a little soft and I was just starting to wonder if it was too frequent watering. I've been watering about once a week, so I'll cut that back.

I'm going to buy a song or two from itunes and then call it a night. Tomorrow will be a better day.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Oooo, another Idyll grandbaby! Congratulations Kathy. It will all work out Im sure. I wasnt initially excited about becoming a grandma, but that didnt last all that long. Believe me you will dote. LOL


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 10:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Congratulations Kathy et famille! I second Michelle's comments to you! I certainly was less than enthusiastic about babies in general, but you all know what happened when Skyler and Reed came on the scene. I used to groan when people dragged out photos from their purses. The joke's on me now....The whole experience changes family dynamics too. Our new bond with DD and her hubby is wonderful as a result. Gush Gush Gush. Kathy, I predict a big change in your outlook. ;)

Last evening we picked up my DB from the train station- about an hour's drive from our home. We then went out to eat at a friend's new Boston Pizza Restaurant (and sports bar). Does everyone know this chain? Well DH lucked out with the nachos. The chips are actual potatoes and the whole thing was delightfully spicy! I ordered lime shrimp on skewers...and they were OK, but next time it's the Nachos for moi...DB ordered a chicken wrap. Let me just say the desserts are either cheesecake (not for me) or chocolate, and they are decadent. I wouldn't really order one of those though next time. Just too much.

Off to make oatmeal for the troops and then a quick (I hope) doctor's appointment.

Enjoy the giant puzzle Marian.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 7:55AM
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Hooray - I love babies!! (unlike some LOL!) Congratulations Kathy - you will make a very youthful Grammy or Auntie. I'm putting in a request for lots of pictures too.

Speaking of Grandkids its great to see T resurface again. I imagine you are looking forward to a little more "you" time:0) How old are the twins now and what are they up to?

Saucy - how cool to have such a fun vacation booked. I really enjoyed seeing your old ship and was totally in awe thinking of you working there.

V - Annie is the itunes account holder here and has been discovering many of the bands you listed. She loves her ipod and saves up babysitting money for tunes. While both kids love listening to music, David actually prefers classical. It's so interesting seeing their musical taste develop. Me - I'm just an NPR junkie or listen to the BBC on the internet.

Norma - I feel lucky that I love to cook as it's something I have to do day in, day out whether I like it or not. I find cooking relaxing and creative in the same way gardening is, though without the same workout perhaps. I have the internet wired into the kitchen so I often listen to shows or plays from England on BBC Radio 4 if I'm there on my own. But as we have a table in the kitchen it becomes the hub of our evening activities and where I msot want to be.

Today I'm taking the AM off to chaperone David's class on a field trip to the Strong Museum of Play. It might be my last Elementary field trip:0(

Have a great Friday everone


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 7:58AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

More re-assurances here re Mister Baby's "auntie" - just think you can like/love him and hand him back - I do think that's what so fun about grandkids -- not your responsibility ultimately but you can love from the sidelines..... Im sure it takes some getting used to though. Sounds like you're really steaming along w/ your move plans, though, Kathy and Im sure it will all fall into place. We all adore the pics when you decide to dote too.

Like V, I seem to be headachy and grumpy (it's a winter thing w/ me I think - the big changes in temps drives my poor head crazy) -- sounds like you need one of those garbage shields donned for work, V - what a pain, eh?

I just got the High Country catalog too -- I like your idea of trying out some of the hardier ones in my outside, Kathy -- hehehe -- I bet they might be great deer deterrents, yes? I have to tell you I gave a medio-alba picta to a friend as a present last year and she insisted on planting it outside (despite my murmurs that it wasnt hardy -- she didnt seem to get it) so it will be interesting to hear if it makes it over winter. With all the dry and drought conditions we seem to be getting here each year, it might be worth a trial or two to see what lives. I wonder if Cynthia has tried any in her gardens in ground? [Altho w/ all the rain we have been getting this winter, I would envision any outside agaves to be rotting away right now].

I've never been a meatloaf fan -- and have never believed all the prep and work involved resulted in a meal worthy of the efforts -- maybe just bad recipes... mine used to turn out to be bullets!

Well, w/ my headache (& lack of sleep last nite), I fell off the wagon and bought both a bagel & a latte to enjoy a sneaky idyll morning here. The carbs and fat are feeling good right now - Im sure I'll be remorseful in about 2 hours.... what are rainy Fridays for though?


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 9:28AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Sorry, no way can I keep up right now. I quickly skimmed to see what the alias forum user names were all about. Glad to see it's been fixed.

Congratulations Kathy! I have to admit it's nice to know I'm not the only one who isn't particularly thrilled with kids. Thankfully I didn't have any.

We've just had a week stretch of nice warm January weather-a couple of days in the 60s. Today it's raining and in the 40s and still feels glorious. January here is usually cold, windy and sometimes weeks at a time where the high temp for the day doesn't get out of the 20s. Although I won't delude myself into thinking we're in the clear when it comes to winter weather, every decent day in January is usually one less crappy day of winter.

So, without further adieu...


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:23AM
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Good morning!

Nope, the little bee doesn't belong to me, but what a cute photo it is.

Kathy, comcast is a cable provider, not a satellite provider. If cable were available out where I am, I would love it, but even if it were available down on the main road, trenching a line up to our house would be cost my hopes are that the residential base will some day be such that the phone company will provide DSL to my area. Right now, dial up at 24 kbps (yep, 24 is the fastest blazing speed we ever got in all the years of having dial up) or satellite is my only options. I imagine in Corvallis you will have all choices (lucky you!)

Hi Mary, the twins are getting close to 18 months old now. Yesterday we were learning to shrug our shoulders and to say "I love you" . They are definitely heart melters at this age. Nothing better than having a little one put their arms up for you to lift and then they snuggle up against you, arms around your neck. Oh, how lucky I am when that happens. Now, just keep that image in your mind instead of the moments where I enjoy temper tantrums when the frustration of what they want to do isn't easily accomplished or the days following when they had prunes for lunch. ;o) I would guess that we are looking at another 12 months of diapers? sigh.... ;o)

The littlest g'baby is already 8 months old. Time sure goes by fast.

2007 was a tough year within our family in some ways. When a young family member died and a number of friends were facing serious health issues (cancer, heart problems), I did some evaluating of how I was living my life and the choices that I've been making over the years. I made some changes and started 2008 about 70# less than the weight I was in January 2007. I decided that many people's lives were dictated by things they didn't have control over (cancer, heart problems) yet I was making poor choices about my health (over eating and not making wise/healthy choices in the things I was eating). So.....I finally made some changes. I eat less calories, less sweets (dang! I love sweets), more chicken, less red meat, more salads (lots of veggies), less empty carbs and I can count the number of times I've enjoyed a glass of wine or beer in the past year (yeah, I can count them! ;o\ ). I'm within just a couple pounds of the goal weight I wish to be at and I feel wonderful. 2008 is the year of exercising more so that I can make sure that I can enjoy a bit more calories and still keep the weight off.

Anyway, that was my huge accomplishment for 2007. I'm proud of myself and thrilled with my new body and ability to move (and chase after twins! LOL). Now, the goal to become more physically fit so that I can get some muscle definition and strength.

Marie, you have grandkids? ;oD LOL I enjoy that you've embraced being a grandmother and are enjoying it.

Kathy, congratulations to you.

Well, I need more will close this 'all about me' post.

Hello to all!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

T- what a fantastic accomplishment -- you have every right to feel wonderful starting off 2008 and very very proud. Good for you. (Gee wish I'd read that before I bought that bagel & latte....ok, back on the wagon).

Hope w/ 2008 you get more chance to idle here too as the twins hopefully become a wee bit more independent (altho I guess that's another couple years really down the road) - but you said they'd be there less & you'll have more "me" time....


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good rainy morning all,

Seems I missed the costume party darn it! I laughed myself silly with all those names and addresses. I was trying to think of something clever when they fixed the problem. Bummer! Mary you are seriously a hoot.

So yesterday about 1:00PM I started sneezing like I was going to lose my brains out my nose while I was out visiting a friend and I couldnt figure out what on earth I was allergic too. Well, the bad news is that Ive come down with another cold. When I talked to Doug this morning he said he was afraid he was coming down with a cold and hed started sneezing yesterday afternoon. Hmmm. you think we were both exposed at the same time? The only thing we can think of is we had to have picked it up when we went to visit my DB last Friday. So weird that we both started exhibiting symptoms at exactly the same time and hes in Rochester, NY.

T!!!!!!! Huge congratulations to you! Kudos!!! I KNOW just how hard it is to take a significant amount of weight off. That is absolutely fabulous.

Cindy, and V. Ive been feeling a bit cranky myself lately but I think that has more to do with reining in my food and beverage choices tan anything else. I do like black coffee but an espresso with cream in it. Well thats heaven! But its back to black coffee for me for the time being.

So congratulations Kathy. I LOL over Mister Baby. Thank you Kathy and Sue, I guess I have to come out of the closet and admit that Im not a baby person either. I loved mine to pieces but Ive never had any strong urges to hold someone elses infant. Maybe if I ever have a grandbaby that will change.

V. bummer about the stuff going on at work. It seems that you are always left holding the bag so to speak.

Norma, Doug loves meatloaf and I loathe it so since he doesnt usually cook we never eat it, LOL. Anytime we go out to eat and it is on the menu he orders it though and loves every bite.

Wendy, Saucy, great to hear from you. When do you think well do the Tower Hill gig?

Saucy, great news about your trip. Im looking forward to photos of sugar sand beaches and turquoise waters.

OK I guess I need to get off this computer and do a bit of time on the LifeCycle. Ill do an easy workout today since Im nursing this cold with lots of liquids and Zicam.

Later all

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

I am the mystery poster of the little bee. It was just too cute. :-) Happy that they cleared up the problem fairly quickly yesterday.

T....I am so sorry to hear of all the struggles in your family. Using it to motivate you to make better decisions for yourself was something you should be proud of. Seventy pounds worth of changed eating habits is remarkable.Sounds like you have a great plan for 2008 too. I hope you will share some photos of the babies in your family sometime.

V.....Sorry to hear about your difficulties at work. I hope your job is something you love to do, since it seems to have it's disadvantages. Hope you can get caught up without sacrificing weekends.

Glad you are enjoying your new ipod. I don't have one, but then again, we still don't have a cell phone.[g] We really just don't have a need for either one. It works great for me to play music on my computer most of the time and if I really want to listen to it more fully, I have a stereo system with old Bose speakers whose sound makes me happy.

I see a few artists on your list that I listen to, too. Hootie and the Blow Fish..the only song I remember was..'I Only Wanna Be With You' , The Band...Up On Cripple Creek and a couple of others. Carole King is an old favorite of mine. I bought her original Tapestry album when it first came out and just about wore it out listening to it. I was so pleasantly surprised to see her perform on the televised VH1 Divas concert back in the late 90s. I have to admit though, her songwriting abilities amaze me more than her singing abilities. When she made Tapestry, her voice was so different and raw that she was a breath of fresh air. Hearing Celine Dion sing 'The Reason' with her, really special. Have you ever seen the movie based on Carole's life? Lots of the songs she has written were songs I grew up singing along to.

I had never heard of Anonymous 4, but I looked them up and they look like an interesting group. I do love a capella. I probably have downloaded some of the 'Various Artists' albums. I also like the yearly album that comes out with all the Grammy winners for the year. What would we do without music!

Mary...where did David have exposure to classical music? Are you a fan?

High Country catalog....thanks for all the reminders, I have been meaning to check out their website.

Cindy...not a meatloaf fan here either, but it is one of DH's favorite meals. He rarely gets to eat it though and just as well...we are eating a minimum of saturated fats...more salmon.

Wendy...the After Christmas Poem was so cute...and SO appropriate for January. [g]

Deanne...another Idyll with a cold! So sorry to hear it and both you and DH with it together. So who is left to make the chicken soup?

Raining here with thunder/lightening throughout the morning. Very little snow left out there.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I used to be a baby holder, before we moved back here. I really loved all the babies. I do not know what made me change. I don't remember being interested in holding babies after we came to Arkansas. I was really happy when my grandchildren starting arriving ( I was 61), and held them every chance I got. Now I am back to the 'before' stage. I like them better when they get to the toddler stage, but still do not attempt to hold them. Most newborns look like little old people to me...LOL.
Kathy, I do hope you fall in love with the grandchild, and I really hope you will not be "Auntie Kathy" !

Yikes T ! Your dial up is lots slower than ours ! Mine reads 49.2 kbps.
So sorry about all the health problems in your family.I am so far removed from my siblings and their children that I am pretty much out of touch with their problems. Coping with our own ailing and aging is about all I can deal with, espacially since we have no one to help out ( with out asking ).
I admire those of you who are fighting the weight problem. I have never been more than 20 lbs above my 'healthy' weight, ( according to the charts). I am about 10 lbs more than I would like to be, but hesitate to try to lose that much because then my face would be more haggard...:-(
I heard on the news that a little more then the 'recommended' weight is good for you ???? They just keep changing things, don't they! Tune in next week .....

Eating is becoming a problem with me, because almost everything I eat or drink disagrees with me ! I am thinking I need to have an esophageal scan. I do so dread it. I am not good at having something poked down my throat!

I was hoping someone had claimed the bee baby by now.:-)


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:53AM
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What exciting news, Kathy, and it sounds like this move of yours couldn't be better timed. These doggone kids are something, aren't they? Mitch in NYC casually dropped that he proposed marriage to his s.o!! What the... Thankfully she's a heads-up kid and brought up provider issues, etc. Dodged that one for a time at least.

V., thanks for the link re your work but sorry you're getting hammered with long hours. Re one of your musical choices, on a road trip a few years back, I made the family wheel into a Kmart to buy the Allman Bros. Live at the Fillmore East. Ah, road trip complete, rollin' to Statesboro Blues which I hadn't heard in years. Duane Allman such a lovely guitarist. I never shop at the Kmart or the Walmart stores so it felt like an anthropology assigment. (No offense to those that do, just not much of a shopper.)

Shopping for plants, well, that's different. In the one-up dept, not only did I receive the High Country catalogue but have placed an order already. They have a dwarf selection of the Tagetes lemonii I had my sights on. All the yellows I try, coreopsis, helenium, helianthus, etc., never work out but this Tagetes does brilliantly here if a bit too large. Got their new Salvia pachyphylla and an eriogonum too.

Saucy, what a career you've had and that ship is most impressive. Thanks for including that. Excellent work getting that vaca. sewn up and in the bag! Swimming in warm water sounds fairly tolerable ;) Unrelated sidenote: I've got a BIL, the newly married one, on a research boat near Arruba on a high-tech search for -- I forget her name, is it Holloway? A wealthy donor funded a last-ditch search before the statute of limitations runs out on the suspects in her disappearance. There's an idyll scoop for ya.

T, salute! What an accomplishment to have behind you. I can't imagine giving up a glass of wine after a long day. Sugar is something I do intend to leave off as soon as these choc-covered cashews are gone ;)

The lovely Jaune Desprez climbing rose is no more and what a job to eradicate her. Circle of life in a small urban garden, acuma matata. It's always fun to watch the beasts go nuts in the new land, the undiscovered country, 4 x 5 feet of freshly dug soil, corgie and cat pawprints in all directions. Found a Calamagrostis Avalanche local for this bed and may have to move some hellebores shaded by the rose but now in direct sun. So exciting to have room for new plantings.

Sounds like the water didn't crest 'bug's bridge thankfully, and the weather seems generally kinder for all. Hope you shrug off that head cold soon, Deanne.

Okay, who wants to do the idyll fact list/cheat sheet for PM2? I guess you'll just have to throw those questions out there like I do, PM2, which is part of the fun of the idylls. The game is afoot, lol.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:54AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I see Pm2 has claimed the baby post, but I take it that it isn't 'yours' ?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Been in Deanne's garden for a while :) How fun to see the changes from season's beginnings to end. Amazing what plants do in our short growing season.

I've got laundry going like mad right now. I keep up pretty well and then all of a sudden the kids appear with clothes that have been magically hiding in their rooms that they NEED for this weekend, LOL....we got a funny Christmas present from my MIL - a weekend away at an indoor water park. Not my thing, but the kids are psyched! Luckily she thought of me and rented a cabana so that I can bring a book and have some quiet time :)

I wouldn't know where to begin with an Idyll cheat sheet, my goodness! It'd be pretty funny to see what some would come up with, though....kind of like a large scale version of telephone!

Tower Hill - what days are best for you guys? Am I right in guessing Wednesdays?

Marian, you've got me itching for a puzzle....maybe school vacation week! I'll get the kids on a hunt for a good one. I like collage-style puzzles. Oh, forgot to snap a picture of the cool 3-D puzzle of a globe that Jake and I completed. It was fun!

Wow T! What a great accomplishment. Pat yourself on the back for that one. I find the daily excercise to be enjoyable, even though I've never been very athletic (here and there I'd have "strong" bursts in time, but never been consistent). Don't forget to add weights if you can - I find it empowering to lift weights.

My long term goals (as I've said) are to be in the best shape of my life by 40. I really don't set goals at the first of the new year because I don't want to feel like a failure, I guess :) I kind of mull things over, figure on how to get it done, and do it at a snail's pace....but it works for me.

Anyway, I'm trying to push myself at the gym in every thing that I do. I have hit a major wall in the weight loss department, but I'm okay with that for now. I plan on spending every day on my vacation hiking, and scuba/snorkeling....I'm going to enjoy my strength since I can't appreciate my waist right now :)

Have a happy day all....


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 12:55PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good rainy afternoon! At least it isn't snow... (that is my January-February-March mantra)

Kathy, congratulations! What wonderful news. You'll be proudly sharing pics with us, I'm sure. Looking forward to the next Idyll grandbaby!

T, kudos to you on the weight loss. Good job! It isn't always fun to make healthy choices, good for you for sticking with it. My mother's side of the family has blood pressure and heart issues, so I'm trying to make healthy changes as well - it is really hard!

Saucy, your vacation sounds great. I love the islands; we haven't been since having kids. DH and I were married on the beach in St. Thomas at sunset, probably one of the most romantic moments in my life. Is it just the two of you or are you gonna let the kids come?

As far as getting together at Tower Hill, I get out of work at 12 on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, so a quick lunch is possible, but we might want more time. The weekend would be better for me to travel there, and Sundays are easier than Saturdays since DH works on Saturdays. I'm looking forward to it!

Okay, back to work I guess. TGIF is right!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:21PM
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I'll wait to hear from Deanne, but I'll look at Sundays.

Speaking of Deanne...I have the saddest looking Jay at my feeder - he's soaked! None of the other birds look worse for the wear but this guy looks like a drowned rat! Wonder what his problem is?

It is raining cats and dogs here - I'm gonna watch for rising water now, GB!


Oh, ps, Wendy, no kids...."Nonnie" is coming to stay for the week - it'll be like having Mary Poppins here, LOL! The kids are more excited about that than anything else :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Wow T, thats fabulous. Good for you for making the lifestyle change.

bug, we occasionally eat at Bostons because theres one right across the street from where my son works. I like the pizza. Ill have to check out the nachos.

Deanne, sorry to hear you have another cold.

Saucy, your VI trip sounds lovely.

Wendy, wow a destination wedding it does sound pretty romantic.

Speaking of romance, we are spending the night at the Holiday Inn Express for Ricks birthday. Actually, I had bid on this at an auction because it was going so low and I ended up getting it. So we will enjoy dinner out, maybe a dip in the pool or hot tub. Oh, and a bottle of wine.

On the grandma front, my little sweetheart is coming over on Sunday (along with her parents, my son and my parents). Im looking forward to it.

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good grief, we are having lightning and thunder! In January????!!!! Whats with that? I did get outside when it was only raining a little bit and raked almost the entire back yard. Id gone out to dump the kitchen scraps in the compost and saw that the debris on the lawn was no longer frozen to it so I thought Id spend a bit of time cleaning it up. Im thrilled with what I got done. I had to duck into the shed halfway through because of thunder storms that came through earlier and now we are getting another one.

Zicam rules! Im feeling much better tonight and think I might just shake this one off. Thank heavens!

Sunday for Tower Hill is fine with me. Then Doug could come to and I think hed enjoy it.

Wendy, you continue to surprise me! How lovely you got married in St. Thomas, on a beach, at sunset!!!! Thats fabulous. Tell me more. Let me guess, were you a singer in a rock band in your previous life??? LOL (Just kidding)

Saucy, no idea about your jay. Id have to see a pic to tell if its got some kind of disease or if its just wet. LOL ~~ re your plateau, I really dont think you need to lose any more weight. You looked fabulous when I saw you at lunch the day after Christmas. I totally agree with you about strength training. It feels really good to be strong.

Michelle, when is Ricks birthday? Sounds like you are going to have a great evening.

OK I guess Id better get off this computer and tend to my dinner. Our friends are coming over this evening and Ive got to get things started.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'm back in business with my own computer! But a warning....DO NOT put your email on a loaner! I had about 21 new messages from friends that I put in a new folder ( on the loaner). They are history now! Thank goodness most were the attachment type. I called the tech man but he had already cleared my stuff from it.
Sooo, I have emailed all the friends and explained what happened.
As I mentioned before, He ( the tech) did not charge me near enough for all his he got a bonus ( it was less than I tried to give him, but he objected to the first amount! ).
Since he also sets up dish TV, I may get that from him too.I will give it more thought. But He said I cannot connect my computer to it. Apparently this area is already overloaded!

'Splain to me about the " cheat sheet" thing. Sounds like fun.

I am envious of all these fun trips and lodgings! I have never had anything like that....:-(
There is hardly a romantic thought in Nolon, and hasn't been for most of our married life.

Saucy, I have never put together a 3-D puzzle....sounds hard to do. I bought another 'busy' one from WalMart wednesday. It's of the Hometown collection. 1000 pices. Nolon is interested in the BIG one that Marie sent. He is working on the border. There are too many pieces on the table, so I will have to put most of them back in the box, and keep out selected pieces until there is more room.

A beautiful sunny day here !


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:40PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Well Deanne, I guess the cat's out of the bag...have you ever heard of Wendy O Williams?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 4:43PM
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    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

No, Denise, not LOL, surely were referring to Wendy as "W O W"....
her secret past comes out (no wonder she called herself Lola earlier!).


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:19PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

OMG Wendy!!!! I should have known! So what did you do with all those leather outfits????

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:33PM
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One more with a cold. And very, very tired after this, my first week back at work...

I finished reading about Henry VIII and his court and am now ready to delve into the Valois court in France with a biography of Catherine de' Medici.

I THINK I smell food, but can't be certain since my nose is stuffed up. Later.

(very behind, so was lucky to see reference to colds!).

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:51PM
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Not much going on here today. A few loads of laundry and I did finish the repotting for now. If they do well perhaps it will inspire me to do more.

T, I am so proud of you. I know how much you wanted to accomplish the weight loss. Your story may just be what I need to take some action too.
I agree how special it is to have a little ones hugs and cuddles.

Kathy, I also know how news like your DD's can throw you for a loop at first, but it usually all works out great.
It does sound like you have a lot on your plate but you sound like a take charge kinda gal.

Denise congrats on the removal of the huge rose.LOL

Uh Wendy... Any photos of the wedding on the beach?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:58PM
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Holymoly you guys are chatty today. Well at least one of us was focused on GNP :)

T, 70 pounds is amazing! You must be so proud, and more importantly feeling great. Congrats on such an amazing achievement.

And Kathy, I promise to remind you of your comments when you're totally besotted with Mr. Baby 5 minutes after his birth. Never heard of Corvallis office, so checked and it's mostly ink and printers. HP home is technically Cupertino, but it's all virtual :)

How about FIOS for internet? It's in my neighborhood now and I'm diehard cable user for 15? years, but considering the switch because it's dedicated.

'K. I spent all my time reading and now I have to get going. Almost put a Glade plug-in in the attic last night after washing and rehanging the curtains. I caught myself and do think it's time to stop. I'm going to have a fire tonight and burn the stuff that was too much to shred with my little shredder. I do have another trip to the dump in the planning stages and making a list of more stuff for Salvation Army. Lightening up around here is the closest I can come to the thrill of losing weight...

Happy getaway to all you vacationing idylls!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 6:14PM
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well I'm not dumb but I don't understand how Wendy...nevermind.

Back to my little sliver of the GNP.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 6:22PM
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Just thinking that 'T' should change her name to 't'.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 7:33PM
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A busy day around here for sure ! Thanks to everyone for all the kind words/wishes for the arrival of Mister Baby. I must admit to having purchased him several baseball related items.
Windows go in tomorrow and on Monday the other work will begin . We are expecting a few dry days so I will get out this weekend and try to address the weed issue. They are popping up everywhere !

T, how great that you were able to turn your self around in 07. I had a similar epiphany after my DH passed away I really transformed the way we eat around this house. I have backslid a bit this year though stress related probably, and the hours I worked this year made things a bit askew. Im making an effort now to get back on track. The exercise I think is key.

Mary, you made me think of the internet radio I read about in The Atlantic last month. They are still pretty expensive, but as I understand it they run off your wireless internet connection and you can get radio stations all over the world. Im not sure how this differs from just getting streaming audio on your computer , but I plan to research it .

Saucy, I must say I would love a bit of a tropical vacation right about now. Ill probably have to be content with a business trip to Florida in Feb.

Cindy, I read your opening sentence of a paragraph on your post "Ive never been a meatloaf fan and thought you were talking about the band ! I scrolled back to Vs post to see if she was downloading Meatloaf on her IPOD. Finally figured out that Norma had cooked one, lol.

Cynthia, I got a notice in the mail today that Cerebral Palsy will be in my neighborhood with their truck a week from Monday. Another batch will be set out. I have another load to go to the hazardous waste facility , and I may have to get yet another dumpster .
Yep Cupertino it is for HP. It and OSU are the two biggest employers in Corvallis. How are the kids-especially Katie??

Denise, indeed the womb-units like to spring little surprises on us dont they ? I too avoid Walmart at all costs. My biggest issue there (besides the fact that its a mess) is the smell of the greasy spoon restaurant in the store. It absolutely makes me gag. Dont think Ive been in ours for maybe two years even though its less than a mile from my house. Trying to avert my gaze from the High Country catalog. Im moving for godsakes ! Dont need to be buying any plants. Those salvias just suck me in.

Okay, my DS and I are going to continue our Harry Potter Film Festival tonite so I must be off to prepare

Stamp my foot and pout . I want to go to Tower Hill too. Hmmmph.

Waves to all!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 9:39PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Seventy pounds, T? Wow, that' great! Congratulations to you. I try to make good food choices but it's not always easy and sometimes just not possible. Lunch is the worst for me. If I don't bring something from home the options are mostly pizza, fast food or huge sandwiches.

We had thunder and lightning here too yesterday, and torrential downpours. In Janauary? It snowed in Baghdad. Go figure. Already this morning the sky is blue, the sun is out and the weather folks are saying a high of 50 F. Somebody pinch me.

Keep me in mind for the Tower Hill day. Sunday I can definitely do. Why don't we all plan on joining Saucy on her romantic Caribbean vacation? Wendy can renew her vows and then we can all retire to the local tiki bar for the run swizzler drink d'jour. Yes, I really need a vacation.

Speaking of vacations, a few months ago a friend and I were talking about a potential trip to Bermuda. I started researching places to stay and found the neatest option called 9 Beaches. Check out the that cool or what?

OK, time to run. Enjoy your day, everyone!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 8:51AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wendy, I've always wondered if it hurt to take the duct tape off?

T, I'm very impressed by your weight loss. What a great accomplishment!

Sue, that resort looks wonderful. Wish I was going there next week instead of downtown Chicago.

Saucy, I missed details of your trip. Are you going to St. John or St. Thomas? St. John is one of my favorite places on earth and I can suggest an awesome snorkeling spot if that's where you are headed. Either way, it will be a great treat!

Not much new here. The sick coworker did not come in yesterday, but I got the job done in less time than expected thanks to some great help from another coworker. No new bombs exploded yesterday, so perhaps I will keep my head above water?

Today will be one of those days where you do about 100 small things, and at the end of the day you wonder what you accomplished and why you are so tired. Time to make the list and prioritize. Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Kathy - I just listen using the link below, either live or the archive shows. I particularly enjoy Gardeners Question Time and any of the book shows.


Busy day here - hope to check in later


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A good sunny Saturday morning to everyone,

Wow, its just beautiful out today and the temps are supposed to go up to 50, prior to getting a foot of snow on Monday Incredible. Anway, Doug and I are going to get outside and spend a couple hours doing some yard cleanup so we can get some exercise, fresh air and sunshine. Sounds divine! I really enjoyed my time outdoors yesterday even though it was raining. Just felt so good to be outside and working in the yard.

My friend Deb is going to have to move her Dad to an Alzheimers facility. Shes pretty devastated by the downturn in his mental health in the last six months. I wish I could do more for her than being a shoulder but there really isnt anything I can do. She is at the point where she is wishing for him to just slip away in his sleep some night. Her Dad is really gone and its only the physical package that is left.

Sue, that Bermuda spot looks divine right about now.

Kathy, I sure wish you could zip out here for our Tower Hill jaunt. ~~ ROTFLOL "Womb Unit". Im going to use that one.

Cynthia, I had to re-read your post, I thought you were planning on burning down your attic.

Chelone, Hope you are feeling better soon. The Zicam had sent my cold on its way out and I should be back to 100% in another day or so.

OK Ive been lounging around in my PJs for way too long and need to get my day started. TTYL. Maybe I"ll have winter garden photographs later.


PS where are Eden and Honey?????

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Snowing here....
Croissants for breakfast.
Errands are next, then later, out for dinner with DB.
Still working on Puppy names...


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Okay, Idyllfriends, now I get it :-)

Thursday morning was annual endometrial biopsy time, followed by a Percocet/Ibuprofen cocktail every four hours until yesterday around noon. Checked in with Idylls. Checked my drug list to be sure I hadn't overdosed. Wish I could've been in on the fun! Incredibly clever group .....

With all talking about tropical sojourns past and future, may I suggest Idyllunion in the Bahamas? I'd be different, for sure.

I'm officially inviting myself along for a Tower Hill trip. Deanne and Sue have my email, and I'd love to be kept in the loop. I'm ashamed to say that I've not been there, but it's only about 90 minutes away. Sundays work.

Now, Kathy. If you really weren't excited about this baby you'd be calling me for Red Sox garb rather than that being sold on the West Coast ;-)

Prolific Contrats, T.! Though I wouldn't recommended chasing twins as the first form of exercise for most, the side benefits of those two darlings is just great! Keeping it up will be a lot easier than you think. Been there, done that as explained numerous times before .... Let fruit become your best friend :-)

Denise: Did she actually say "no" or is the flame too hot to extinguish? Keeping everything possible crossed for a positive return on DB's interview.

Saucy: Looked up your ship type and must say I'm thoroughly and completely impressed. I like that your obvious love for large bodies of water is continuing ...

I've sat for long enough. Back to my snuggly couch and seed catalogs. Will take a good stroll around the gardens -- too nice a day to ignore.

Away we go!!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:53AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Who is Wendy O Williams? [g]

And what is a Zicam? No, really.

45 on my back porch at 10am. I am wondering how this week of warm temps is effecting the garden. The past two years I have lost all my foxgloves and I keep adding more and I really hate to think I am going to lose them again. Any ideas on something I could do for the foxglove? After the snow melted, I noticed that the centers of them are all completely green and that surprises me. Wondering why all the foliage hasn't died back after a month of snow cover. I have a bin of chopped leaves, would it do any good at this point to cover them with a heavy pile of chopped leaves or would that only make more of a problem?


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 11:30AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's a glorious sunny morning here too - temps were chilly but it's gotten warmer - maybe 50ish? Chloe's off at the groomer's to lose her 5 lbs of shagginess to bring her back to her normal 7 lbs slim self. I've done a few errands - a lot of "me" things -- picked up a batch of 8 books from the library I'd put on hold earlier in the week - something I havent done since last Spring after my life got too crazy to make library runs... mostly silly crime and mystery items; I've already got enuf garden reading to change the subject. Then off to Trader Joe's and was pleasantly surprised the crowds had not yet descended - got some healthy choices & non-food tulips... this floral bouquet weekly may become a habit...

Sue, that vacation spot looks fantastic; I can feel the sun and blue now.... it's too bad there isnt more vacation time built into the American worklife!

When are you all planning the jaunt to Tower Hill? Looking forward to seeing pics.

Cynthia - I've only had the FIOS for less than a month but so far Im happy w/ it but I suspect my needs are fairly simple & I've got the lowest speed. It was a synch(sp?) for them to install everything but Im in a townhouse dev. & they'd done all the outside digging, prep work in the last year (they tore up a lot of ground and there was some unhappy discussion as to the state they left the grounds in).... In PA, where my Dad is in more rural area, he had a lot of headaches w/ the installation -- they messed up his driveway, and other things. To give them their due, he nagged them continually and they returned continually until he was happy - and gave him his boxes free for a year since they had not told him there'd be a charge. So bottom line, I think is check w/ other local neighbors to see how happy/traumatized they were.. and how much they'd have to invade your personal property - I imagine crews are different. But the change in my phone (already had Verizon) and TV (which I adore and which even offers stereo Radio music stations - I think I could find "Meatloaf" if I really wanted [LOL, Kathy]) & i-net bundle service so far have been great. I often had internet service problems w/ Cox. I imagine, in the end, I didnt save as much $$ as was touted, but I'd already figured on that.

Chelone, sorry you're under the weather - as you Martie -- I hope you both feel perkier soon!!!

O.K. off to more errands and picking up the beautified Chloe.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 11:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I am planning on ordering salvias that attract hummers for the spring. An article from Hort mag gave Sandy Mush Herbs as a resource for a couple of them. $4.50 each. That seems like a very good price, yes? I just wondered if anyone had ever ordered from them?


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 12:09PM
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My rheumy eyes and frequent sneezes pretty much "sum it up". I don't feel crummy, but I like to keep the roll of toilet paper handy... my Kleenex comes on a roll! I have to put Hugeugene on his string pretty soon and institute the forced march. The weather is too nice to miss today.

LOL, Cynthia, about the "R" value of computer equipment. Too funny. I'd be willing to hazard a guess that some of what you threw out was probably newer than what I'm using right now. ;) How's Katie? and Monty, and that wuss, What'shername?

The slider has been cracked for days now. The feline residents have been STOKED, too. In and out, in and out, all day long (no prey items, either). Snowpack has receded from 18" to about 4-6" (?), anyway it's been a lot.

I was hoping the "vibe" at work would be different when I returned... sadly, not appreciably. I'm not sure how to use this to my best advantage, but know that keeping my lip buttoned and attending to the Salon is going to figure largely. I would feel less stressed about things if the "tape guy" hadn't taken 2 days this week to finish a "rush job", with the helpmeet's encouragement. :( I know that none of this is really important in the BIG PICTURE, but when you have a cold and things at work aren't great, minutiae tends to take on gargantuan proportions. But at least I can go "to the market" and be reasonably certian no one is wearing an explosive vest, so I have NO right to complain too much!

My quick skim failed to unearth Saucy's ship. But many other treasures surfaced.

May I come to Tower Hill, too? (missed that, as well, and don't have the steam to go back and hunt it up). I have to get out with Wrecks before I begin to tap the "reserve" tank.

Bye for now.

Good to see Marian "surface", too.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Back, again, after being gifted with a beautiful pot of blue hyacinth from my 18 mo neighbor. Doesn't get much better than that :-) I really like Cindy's take on flowers in the house. Kinda less expensive and harmful than other stress-relieving alternatives :-)

PM2 -- I'd leave the foxgloves alone. If they're green in the middle it means that basal growth has already started. If they are seed bearing (I hope!!! Since a lot of new hybrids don't reseed and that's one of the beauties of this plant, IMHO) that also means that the seeds are probably very happy. We're expecting some snow that'll stop the freeze/thaw cycle one more time. Nature knows best.....

That said, I just today found the Swallowtails webpage and will undoubtedly be starting a bunch from seed. What do you like and I'll grow'em for us both.

Deanne: Ahhhhhhhh, the saga of the lights. It's taken me this long to get Rich into the fact that gardening is more than something that gets in the way of the lawn. Slow progress, to be sure, but I'm looking forward to the day when I again can have 20 or so mature Z8-9 Lavandulas growning downstairs all winter.

Very cool about the 'Goodwin Creek'. I usually didn't bother with mine flowering in the summer, going for the foliage affect instead. But, in the middle of winter, all blooms are so welcome! I'd love to see it -- right on time for the age of the plant. And You Thought You Couldn't Do It. LOL

Have wanted to hear from Monique about any new garden sculpture this year. Heck, anyone have any major plans??

Can you tell I've been immersing myself in garden books and catalogs while under a highly receptive state for the last few days????

Gotta keep laughing ....

Martie, who has a great deal of admiration for Cynthia. PURGE, GIRLFRIED, PURGE!!!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Hi everyone

Here are some updates of the mini Boulangerie with the addition of my fimo pastries and breads. It's so much easier making French bread with clay than the real thing. I've been having way too much fun with it.

Photography not the best but you might notice I put four and twenty balckbirds baked in a pie at the end of the shelf. Each cake is about 1" in diameter.

The chalk board will have the bread and cakes prices in francs written on it. I just need to get a rough idea of how much things cost.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 3:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Martie...thanks for the foxglove tips. Unfortunately, I have had 1st year plants without bloom for the past three years so no chance of reseeding. Some of last year's new seedlings were huge by the fall, so I hope they will make it through. SO sweet of you to offer to start seedlings for me. I am hoping to winter sow some myself. I managed to shop the T&M seed sale when they had it and I have Glitering Prize this year. Last year, I think I started Excelsior, Camelot Mix, and Sutton's Apricot. So, what else are you starting from seed this year?

Anyone else starting seeds this year?

Swallowtails is a nice website with good prices, but I haven't ordered from them before. Have you also tried The Fragrant Path has very low shipping..$1. Most of their seed is $1.50 to $2.00. I did sow some of their Dianthus last year and it germinated well and one plant bloomed by the fall. FEDCO Seeds in Maine offers organic seeds for great prices and I have ordered from them before and was very happy with them.

Thanks again Martie!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 3:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I completely finished raking the back yard today. woohoo. I'm pretty tired but so satisfied to have worked out in the sunshine today. Felt great. I also got some of the roses pruned back and swept the driveway and entrance. SEveral neighbors stopped by to chat so it was a lovely day. (They think I'm nuts and gently reminded me that it is going to snow Monday LOL)

OMG Mary!!!! That mini Boulangerie is fabulous!!!! you are incredible. I love every little bit of it. How did you do the frostings on the cakes? Is that paint?

PM2 - Zicam is a zinc supplement that you can take when coming down with a cold and it actually does shorten the duration of the cold and severity of the symptoms.

Martie, I'll grab a pic of the 'Goodwin Creek' the next time I have the camera out. RE major plans for the garden in '08. Doug and I are planning on putting a fountain in the front yard in the circular area in the container garden. We're going to do a nice circle of pavers and get all the electrics installed also. We're also going to put in a garden gate across the path to the compost bins. Doug is going to build the gate for me and I'm planning on doing a panel with a garden scene painted on it.

Chelone I hope you are back to 100% soon and that you enjoyed your walk with Hugene.... We talked a bit about going to Tower Hill when we met for lunch the day after Christmas. Saucy is going to set it up. Sunday is looking like its going to work out the best for everyone.

Cindy, I love the idea of buying yourself fresh flowers every week. I think Marie does that too. It reall can perk you up when the gardens are sleeping.

OK I guess I'd better get ready for dinner. I was going to make soup but I'm beat so I think we are going to go out for Chinese food.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 5:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've grown Apricot foxgloves for quite a few years and like them. I keep sewing seeds to keep them going. My best lot were started indoors.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Just staying caught up from our trip at the water resort. I will get with everyone about Tower Hill beginning Monday! I'm so excited about all the interest, and I love the cafe there!

V. we will be in St. John staying at Estate Lindholm, which is supposed to have a garden :) Where should we snorkel? We're near honeymoom beach, apparently. We're there for 7 days and hope to see it all!

Wendy can't shock me anymore...

Chelone, hope you feel better soon. Martie, hope you're all healed up :)

PM, did someone answer your foxglove question? You could cover if you'd like, but I find that they're rather fickle, liking some parts of my garden and not others.

GB, can't wait to see more puppy pix.

Womb Unit is hilarious....Mister Baby in the Womb Unit....sounds like an album by Frank Zappa :)

Time to order up room service and a movie....the kids are beat.

'night all,

(who says you're all invited to join me in St. John, but if I act surprised when I see you, it'll be for Nick's sake :)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 7:04PM
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One more item checked off the punch list today. New slider and windows are duly installed and look f-f ! Wish Id done it a few years ago . In the meantime, I packed a box of "infrequently Used " kitchen items asking myself all the while why I was keeping them if I never use them . A question that has puzzled mankind for centuries. Ended up with one small box and two bags of trash . The weather was great today, and tomorrow will be spent on exterior tasks.

I hope we get numerous pics from this Tower Hill visit that Im not going on. I googled it and it looks lovely.

Chelone, I know you will prevail and health will return. How goes the Salon ?

Martie, I m trying not to spend hours planning my new garden before I ve even seen it ! Fie on these catalogs !

Mary, I just love your boulangerie. Id love to see some pics of some of your other creations.

Re fresh flowers every week-been doing this for years-as soon as I have nothing left to pick in the garden I start purchasing whatever is cheapest. I like to do Alstromerias because they are 3.99 a bunch at TJs and last two weeks if I re-cut the stems and change the water.

OK, gotta run , and by the way I am now not only jealous of the Tower Hill trip, but also Saucys vacation and Sues extremely appealing resort in Bermuda. I could just plop myself down on the porch of one of those nifty little cottages and not move for a week!

And this is from my garden this afternoon

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 7:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Saucy, the place I would recommend for snorkeling is Watermelon Cay. One of the most amazing sights I have ever seen was the sandy stretch along one side of Watermelon Cay, which was just covered with starfish - hundreds of them! The cay is a small island that is a very easy swim from shore, and the cove tends to be a little quieter. I'll also say that there are no BAD spots to snorkel on the entire island. Trunk Bay is the most crowded but not awful. DH and I started to pick up any trash that we saw in the water to carry it out, and by the end of the week we were $25 richer - people dropped money along with their garbage.

Chelone, this morning BEFORE I read your post, I was looking at the hand-me-down wicker furniture on my screened porch and wondering if a long-distance commission would be possible for some new cushions. Since this wicker was an unexpected acquisition, I have a rather lengthy time frame for redoing it - I'd like to have it done by June, 2009 when my son gets married. One chair has no cushion whatsoever. What do you think?

Mary, the boulangerie is wonderful! I love all the details.

The Saturday night pizza has arrived, so that's all for now.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Mary! Fabu-Fabu ! The details are terrific. The plates, the blackbirds, the floor, the dusting of flour on the bread. I scrolled back and forth many times, but having trouble seeing the very bottom (3rd)shelf. It there's anything good there please share another picture :)

PM, most digitalis are biennial so when you do get blooms just lay the stalks on the ground after the seeds have ripened. You can perpetuate a nice stand that way. The 'Camelot' series will usually bloom the first year if you start them early enough. If you're limited to cold frames right now, why not set up some fluorescents and start them indoors? It's much more fun than waiting for spring to have seedlings. I only use cold frames for seeds that need cold strat.

Kathy, what a lovely sight! I was looking for buds on hellebores in the south beds yesterday, they're sending out new leaves but no buds yet. They usually bloom starting in February here.

I went into the city for a home visit with Dannie today. Hate city. Hate it. I had asked about parking, and the applicants said 'ample, should be no problem' Cripes, 3 times around two or three blocks to find a spot and then a serious walk to their townhome. And new parking technology to deal with which is actually quite cool. No more meters, you have to find a parking kiosk, pump in money and it spits out a ticket for your dashboard. This action was all surrounding a hospital so chaos and sirens and Dannie doesn't do well with that stuff either. The saving grace was punching 'home james' on the GPS and not having to read street signs to get out of there. Nice people though, they'll just need a nice deaf dog to deal with the havoc of a city.

Pizza night here too. Haven't had it since this summer but couldn't think of anything interesting and wanted to check out the location of a new consignment store on main street. Not quite everything went to SA...

Cindy, good to know you're happy with FIOS. All the wiring in my area is above ground, so no digging. But trees/wires/weather ...we lose power here way too often.

Several day in the 60s and 70s here too this week, I did a bunch of clean up in back and side yards, but no raking. Deanne that must feel good to have your back yard all tidy!

Thanks everyone for asking about Katie. I've been keeping my expectations low, as long as she's happy and no pain, that's good, but wondered out loud to the vet this week about what I could expect over time. He said it can take a year for full recovery. Well, we were out for our 12 minute walk today and she lifted her leg to pee! :) I can't remember the last time she did that. A very good sign of recovering function. She'll be going to her first post surgical social event tomorrow. 20 minutes at an open house. She'll be in full twirl and I'll be trying to keep her calm.

Sorry some of you are fighting colds. OJ and sleep and feel better soon!

Happy week-end to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Love the TM on F-F!!! Cynthia, you're a gem!

Agree about the F-F bulangerie. Sorry I can't help with prices.I really shouldn't look because French Bread...well I could live on it! (We had croissants early this morning)

Dinner out tonight was wonderful...but DB has caught some virus and couldn't eat! Seemed too awful and he even paid! No good to be so sick when on vacation no less.

OMG, hellebores! I covered about 6 roses today, trying to save then from cold & snow.

I wish Ei, Eden, Honey, Drema and others would return soon...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:14PM
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Wow, Deanne, the only bare ground in our yard is the either over the septic tank or where the prevailing wind blows away any snowcover first. Good that you're all cleaned up for the next round. At least the ice is gone from the driveway, I hope the next "event" is all snow... the changeover and slush make things more difficult.

I awakened the other other night to catch a very funny act on some late night show. Even in my groggy state I had to sit up and take notice... Kathy, something tells me it will crack you right up, I've linked it below.

Hueugene and I had a nice "walkie" yesterday. I was really draggin' when we got home, but it was too nice outside to miss the opportunity. I have to commit myself to another forced march today, as I see opportunities for more will have to wait until later in the week. How many days until spring, Eden? ;)

Mary, your boulangerie is AMAZING. I love the 4 and 20 blackbirds, too! seems fitting given my reading material of late. Something stirs in the grey coils of my brain that it was a reference to the Smithfield burnings, but a quick search did not reveal that.

Dannie! that's her name... I couldn't call it up to save my life, although I DID think of her on Friday as we were beset with a very loud thunderstorm and torrential rain. Cities and automobiles are a bad combination, funny about the deaf dog. I make it a point to park and use public transportation whenever I venture to the home of the bean and the cod. Metropolitan living wouldn't be my first choice, either, though it does offer some amenities.

I can't wait to see pictures of Saucy's "becation". Sounds like great, good fun and I'm envious. Don't forget the sunscreen.

The Salon is coming along at a snail's pace, frankly. The guy taping the sheetrock is not what I'd call motivated, though his work seems decent. He arrives at the "crack" of 8:30 and leaves by 3PM punctually. Helpmeet has (predictably) been "the nice guy", I don't understand why it is so hard for him to simply say, "it's not OK that you go to another jobsite tomorrow, THIS job needs to be your priority now because we have other contractors lined up and they're waiting for you to finish.". We've split the duties on dealing with contractors and every one he's hired has pulled this crap. Oh well, it'll get done but I DON'T want to face painting in March and April when the workload at the shop explodes. I'll wager there will be no work accomplished tomorrow...

Catherine de' Medici was a fascinating woman. She was very well educated; possessed of a mind that easily grasped the sciences and mathematics and was pragmatic in her approach to court life. She is often portrayed as "scheming" and "ruthless", but in her age it was often necessary for women to keep their own counsel to advance their cause and protect themselves in a male dominated society. I have seen the same thing written again and again about other important women of that time. She was married at 14 and didn't have her first child until 24; suffering for years because of it. It was an age where a woman was expected to produce heirs to further dynastic goals and alliances. Had her marriage been repudiated she'd have had nowhere to go and virtually no money. Amazingly, she produced 10 children in an age when death in childbirth was very common. I'll bet none of you knew that drinking mule's urine was thought to ward off sterility... she actually DID that out of desperation, and the poltices applied to her "source of life" were pretty wild, too (ground stag horn and cow dung). How's THAT for a nice visual? Her husband has just ascended the throne and she is still living in the shadow of the elegant (and greedy) Diane de Poitiers. See? this is why I love history... if they taught things like that in history classes no kid would ever call it a boring subject. Kathy, everything I've read so far uses "plague" as a synonym for smallpox... as blackening of the flesh was a common occurence. What does the book you just read believe the "Black Plague" was?

I have to hang a load of laundry, do the dishes, and get dressed. I have a good friend coming by for lunch and a visit today before she heads to the airport for a flight home.

V., yeah, sounds like a fun project. How about you post a photo of the set for all of us to enjoy and to give me an idea of the shape/configuration of the seats? It'll get me thinking anyway. And I could use a project that requires some thinkin' and might actually be PRETTY.

Gotta go blow my nose (which is decidedly pink under the nostrils and getting tender).

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Mary - What delightful pics!!! Asked "Mr. Europe" the approximate cost of bread and cakes, and he said about 1 euro ($1.50) for bread and for fancy cakes like yours, about 17 euro. Don't know what that is in francs, but it's a place to start. If you don't have a fairy garden, it's a crying shame because your talent would truly make one magical.

PM2 - I think folks get too picky with Digitalis in terms of where they want it to grow. My first year here, I planted some D. mertonensis is about 6 different spots to see where they would like to be since that variety should be perennial and a bit hardier than the biennials. Found a great place, and that's where the foxglove stand resides. What lives, lives :-) I've no idea what I'll be starting yet, but they'll be plenty to go around.

Kathy -- It is fun to dream, though, right? And you know you'll have some southern and western exposure because you get to pick and who wouldn't want that? Wish I could get those roses, but most would probably poop out and die in these parts.

Saucy -- I'm feeling better but not 100%. Looking forward to Tower Hill plans!

Chelone -- [[[passing the roll]]] When do you anticipate the CO for your salon? Can you seriously start making some plans to start your own business from there? Seems like work is dragging you down way too much for this friend's liking. You're too quick witted and talented to be in a hum-drum environment. Sounds like the helpmeet-hired contractors have got his number ...... Nice is fine until it gets in the way of progress.

V -- Do you have "can the slacker" authority? Alternately, do you have "reward the stepper upper" authority? Both seem in order. Have been thinking about your DS and his jerk into reality, and hope it sticks.

Deanne -- How's your DB? LOL about raking the back yard and the neighbors' astonishment. You'd think they'd know by now. Your plans for '08 sound wonderful, and I'm trying to envision the gate to the compost bins. Are they still behind your shed? Am I remembering right? Love the idea of the fountain in front of the house. More for the neighbors to ogle :-)

Cynthia: Poor Dannie!! Isn't it something that they would consider their parking situation okay? It's all what you're used to, I think. Good for Katie lifting that leg! A shot of society will be just what she needs to help her along. Is healing going to take a year because something was fused or pinned? Or just to get the muscles back on track from the spinal disruption? Tell her I empathize, but that the more she does what Mommy tells her, the better she'll be.

We are under a Winter Storm Warning and it's not a tactic for folks to watch more local news. We can expect 12" of snow here as we seem to be in the main band of the Nor'easter. Great. Working from home tomorrow is becoming more and more a probability.

Ky is taking me food shopping today (yes, I'm bringing extra $$) and he's ready to go so who am I to ask him to wait?? LOL

Everyone stay safe in all ways ...


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Look what I found outside TODAY!!!!

I'm thrilled that the edgings along the path are taking -- Campanula carpatica 'White Chips' and Lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote' from seed:

My Malus 'Louisa' with her little apples waiting for a hungry bird. I'm glad I didn't stake her, as the curvatures in the trunk only add to the interest:

I don't consider myself a good enough arborist to know how to prune this other than taking off the snappy undergrowth. Any suggestions?:

And especially for PM2, the Digitalis as it sits today, looking forward to getting it's blanket of snow back (yes, I have been harvesting fresh mint these last few days):

Good Day!!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:16PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Last night's sunset.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Great shot, Marian! good that your 'puter is cured, too.

Hueugene and I had another lovely "walkie" today. But I have to say, it wasn't what I really felt like doing, esp. after a leisurely lunch with a good friend. The sun was out, it was colder than it was yesterday (I was glad of my Navy pea-cap, Saucy), but the ocean was beautiful and there wasn't a lot of wind. Even I wasn't able to be crabby about following a dog, and that's sayin' something. ;)

OK, just figured out that Kathy is about to assume the exalted mantle of GRANDmother. :) Hey, kids and dogs are a PIA; but there IS life after ambivilence. You have to trust me on this. If the dog barks too much or the kid cries/whines too much give 'em a good, swift kick. That'll learn 'em. What's important is that the mumtobe is STOKED about the coming, "blessed event". We have to stick together, Sue., I'll give you a "pass" for liking dogs...

I'm glad there is going to be snow tomorrow. A perfect reason to remain "on the compound", read, and periodically visit the potential that the Salon may contain. I'm clearly approaching a crossroads and I'm not comfortable, let alone sure what the best tack is going to be. It will be nice to watch the snow fall from within my warm nest and contemplate POSSIBILITIES.

Hey, Eden! where are you with the spring countdown? did I scare you into dormancy by being too "cranky"?!

Oh, and I DEFINITELY have to go back and source out T's 70 lb. loss... YOWZA, you have been a dedicated camper, my friend. Congratulations!

Now that I'm finally feeling chatty no one else is... figures!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Marian - that is just gorgeous!! Wow.

Martie - thanks for the bread prices. I decided my little boulangerier is a nostalgic piece to remind me of trips to France before the Euro replaced the franc so I'll have to look up a conversion.

Deanne - all the cakes are fimo clay, incuding the frosting.

Cynthia - how wonderful that Katie is making progress a baby step at a time. Hope she enjoys her outing.

Chelone - you've put me in the mood for reading something historical.

Today we celebrated DH's return with brunch at a crepe restaurant that has just added a gluten free crepe to their menu so Annie and I could order anything. We were in heaven! This afternoon we went to a quartet recital a good friend was playing in and spent a very pleasant hour or so with Beethoven and Mendehlson(sp?). Supper is cooking and I am dragging my feet about doing laundry but I just wanted to peek in and say Hi.

Hope you all had a pleasant day


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Chelone and Mary! And a thanks to Nolon for calling attention to that sunset. are hoot !!!! LOL ! I am so glad you are speaking to me again. You had me worried... :-)

I think my eyes or my mind is scrambled ! I read Mary's sentence to Chelone as "reading something hysterical", and her restaurant discription as " glutton free" !!!! ( Well...only briefly ) LOL
Maybe I am spending too much time putting puzzle pieces together?

Mary, your miniatures are sooo neat ! You must have the patience of Job!,and very steady hands.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 8:37PM
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As I was trying to make the front garden look a bit less like an abandoned lot I began to comprehend the magnitude of what I am doing with this move to Oregon ! Ive been spending so much time inside doing the purge thing that I have neglected the curb appeal aspect. I need to shift into overdrive-its all about the weeds . Weeds to right of me , weeds to the left of me. I decided to work 8 hour days next week. We have no rain expected for at least the next 4 or 5 days. If I work 6 to 3 I can do an hour of yard cleanup every day after work before it starts to get too dark. Will also do a bit of smother mulching to keep the buggers at bay for the rest of the winter /early spring.

Martie, love your Japanese maple the shape is wonderful. I think limbing it up a bit is the way to go, but in the photo it doesnt look like it needs much at this point. Maybe just branches that are touching the ground ? Shucks, you have more pansies than I do ! Didnt plant any this year . I love your walkway and your front porch . Youll have to post a summer photo when everything fills out.

Marian, that is one drop-dead gorgeous sunset . Thanks for sharing it-I can imagine you rushing out to get the shot before it was over.

Deanne, did you get my e-mail ? It seemed to send off ok.

Chelone , Black Death, aka Bubonic Plague, is Yersinia Pestis.It was carried by rodents,and the book deals with the second pandemic which occurred in the 14th century. Estimates are that major population areas (Florence, Paris, London etc ) lost between 30 and 60 percent of their populations during the pestilence . It moved very quickly from Asia through Europe -1347 to about 1351 I think ? Dont quote me on the dates. Smallpox is Variola Major virus. Unlike smallpox, Bubonic plague has not been eradicated , but is treatable with modern antibiotics. Smallpox has basically disappeared from the planet for the most part, due to worldwide aggressive vaccination programs. I believe the peak of small pox was in the 18th century ?
So I wonder if the Salon will be completed before my pre-sale repairs and quasi kitchen remodel ? I m voting for the Salon. Think Im looking at about two weeks give or take a couple of days for painting tasks.
Babies and puppies really have a lot of similarities-frequent elimination followed by cuteness to offset the elimination woes, and sleeping habits that are erratic and often not in sync with ones ownthat Doyle and Debbie link was hysterical ! Whine Whine Twang Twang indeed.

OK, time to go make some fajitas for dinner . Later everyone !

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 8:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bubonic plague has mostly been eradicated at our house, but it was SERIOUS business between 1-4 am. Poor DB!!!

Reading about dog training by the fire now.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 9:23PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Gorgeous sunset, Marian!

Chelone, I will post some photos of the wicker, but it may be several days before I am home while there is enough sun. I'll warn you though - it is not a set! It is three unrelated pieces that could be wonderfully brought together by coordinated cushions. (Did I lay that on thick enough?)

Our minor redecorating is getting accomplished just as I am about to leave for several days. The loveseat will be delivered tomorrow evening, and the new area rug arrived last week, looking even more gorgeous than its internet photo. When I unrolled the rug in the front hallway, I just sat down on it and smiled for several minutes! Now I'm getting up the nerve to go ahead and order the table lamp I found at Sundance.

Chelone, I will second Kathy's excellent summary of the plague vs. smallpox. I thought they were one and the same until I read "Year of Wonders" recently.

Martie, the person I had to cover for was truly very sick with the flu - just very unfortunate timing of her illness. Another employee caught the same bug, so I'm just happy to have missed that bullet!

I will be gone most of this coming week. Please talk amongst yourselves while I am gone, but don't get too carried away. I hope not to check in on Friday and find that I'm three idylls behind!

Have a great week!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 9:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hehehehe, now we can talk about V all week. :)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 10:52PM
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I see V. has hauled out the spatula to ensure an even depth of hints and discreet flattery. Take your time, think about what you think you might like to see and I'm sure some good "concept" will emerge.

Thanks for the explanation of the different contagions of plague and Plague. ;) I have a dim recollection that Bubonic Plague was spread by fleas and the whole superstitious Medieval mindset made it worse by persecuting witches (usually herbalists and midwives!) and burning cats... . Now THAT worked like a charm. Sounds like a good book for me to read.

I'm glad you got a kick out of Doyle and Debbie, my personal favorite was "Barefoot and Pregnant". LOL

The snow is beginning to overtake the area and they are saying between 6-12", or as the helpmeet and I always say, "yeah, somewhere between 2 and 20"". It's really windy and that reminds me to bring in a few items from the deck... . Having reasonable confidence in the fact that the tape guy isn't going to show today, the helpmeet and I cleaned out the bays and put our cars inside last night. I think today is going to be a good day to sift through the accumulated piles of paper in the immediate vicinity of the desk. I have a pile of Medicare papers (they're still trickling in) and I think it's time to put that sad chapter of my life to bed. :(

Oh, in a weak moment last summer I signed up for a couple of magazine subscriptions, unable to turn away the hopeful salesman; one of them is "Garden Design". It surprised me to find it in the mailbox. There are some interesting shots in it, and perhaps I'll be able to glean some useful ideas for the garage and its environs.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 6:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Vita the cat slept with DB last night. It was a strange feeling only having two cats in our bed! What kind of loyalty was that? ;)

The snow is falling and it is a lacy fairy land outside! Enjoy YOUR day everyone!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Its snowing at a pretty good clip right now and I guess we are supposed to get ten to twelve of inches by the time this is done. Yesterday was lovely and I did a bit of puttering about in the yard and today is a winter wonderland again. Go figure. Oh yes I meant to give you guys a heads up a couple days ago. I was at Home Goods on Thursday and I found a gigantinormous pot that was four inches larger than the big one I had my Charles Grimaldi in last summer. Anyway it was $59. which was a good price for a container that size. Its plastic so Doug and I are planning how we are going to anchor it down so the plant doesnt get blown over at the end of the season again, Right now we are thinking of enlarging the drain holes, putting stakes through them then pouring cement in the bottom. After the cement is starting to set we can remove the stakes so there will still be drain holes. LOL I just have to figure out how to be able to dump out the cement cake so I can move and clean it after the season is done.

V. have a good trip. You and Chelone can discuss the cushions at our TONAWP end of Feb.

Chelone, Ill be thinking of you today. My friend Deb has to move her dad to an Alzheimers facility the end of the month.

Kathy, no pansies! They would certainly add curb appeal. ~~ Love the Hellebores! Last winter mine set buds in January and then they got frozen by the severe winter weather that came after the ice storm so I had no flowers on them in 07.

Mary, Im going to have to come and see how you make those mini pastries. Im intrigued.

Marian, lovely sunset photo.

Martie, when you figure out how to prune your JM please let me know. I have two that are getting a bit out-of- bounds and I dont know the best way to deal with it. I dont want to ruin the shape of the trees. ~~ Thanks for asking about my DB. Hes doing very well and they released him from the hospital a week before they thought they would. Im going to get out there this week sometime to have a visit. ~~ RE the gate to the compost bins. WE have the compost bins behind the shed but also two huge ones for leaves and grass clippings on the top of the hill behind the garden room. There is a path next to the bakers rack where I plan to put the gate in. Im pretty excited about the design of it and cant wait to show you guys.

Cythia, I agree with Bug, I absolutely split a gut laughing when I saw the TM on Fabu-Fabu..Made my day, thanks. ~~ How great that Katie lifted her leg!

Chelone, I got my Garden Design on Saturday and its one of the better issues Ive gotten. I dont know why Im still getting it because I havent ever renewed the subscription after the first year. One of those mysteries.

OK got to get to the gym and do my hour on the stairs. Ive got to earn a few calories because Doug and I want to go to Michael Timothys for dinner to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow. How can it be possible that weve been married for 36 years??? Incredible!

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:28AM
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Hi Everyone!

Well, now that I am freshly unemployed, I hope to have more time to join all of you here, while looking for a position, and finding out what I want to be when I grow up. I knew it had been a long time since I posted anything when the computer prompted me to sign on and I couldn't remember my login password at first. Let's see if I can remember how to do this.

T- Congrats on your weight loss! That is a huge accomplishment. Did you have a special plan you followed? I have been going to the gym pretty much every day last week, but today I have floor duty from 12-3 so if I go, it will have to be later in the day. It seems like I do best if I head out first thing in the morning.

Eden, I was at an open house yesterday where the owners had a pony like Bella's. They left before I saw it and could ask for a demonstration, but it looks like the quality is top notch. If I get to go back there, I am going to ask them to show me how it works. How are you doing?

Deanne, I have to tell you that lots of times I have only been able to barely skim the idylls, and sometimes not even that, but your birdy pics have been a bright spot in an otherwise sometimes challenging day:)

Speaking of bird pics, I loved the owl in the snow, Kathy was that you? I can't seem to find the thread now, but that was beautiful.

Mary, your mini Boulangerie is amazing! I want to go to France now. They look so real.

Sue, count me in for the 9 Beaches. It is snowy and cold outside, I could go for some sun. There is also The Onion House in Hawaii, not that expensive, very cool.

Bug, can't wait to see your puppy. I have been loving seeing your grandson grow, and also Skylar skating. Looks like you had a great visit with them. It must be hard to leave.

Chelone, I picked up some old Garden Design catalogues at the Botanical Gardens library sale last year, and really enjoy it. Hope you don't get too much snow there.

Marian, beautiful sunset picture.

Babs, you did a really nice job on the decorations for the boy's school.

Hi Cindy! Glad you are getting your house back in order.

Well, that is a start. I was going to write more, but since I previewed it, I can't figure out how to go back to the original thread, and don't want to lose what I have so far, or I will never get with the program! Hopefully I will be able to keep up and get caught up.

I am going to try to post some pics of my new little grandson in a separate thread. I can't get them to go 50K. They either go 9K and are fuzzy, or stay at 900K and are big. Maybe his daddy will stop by my house tonight to help me figure out what I am doing wrong. His name is Charlie, and he is 3 weeks old. As sweet as it is possible to be.

Take care!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 2:49PM
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I've fallen behind again and haven't read for a few days. We had to put Boo down yesterday. We just put down our old kitty (renal failure) in November and now Boo. One of my friend's son committed suicide the end of Dec.......What a crappy few months this has been!

I'm sorry to do another 'me' post and not being able to keep up better with the group. The twins have both been sick with a high fever, my mom has been sick since the week before Christmas and I'm wore out.

DH stayed home today so that he could bury Boo (thank heavens for the excavator!) so I cannot stay online to catch up with everyone today. Tomorrow I have the twins, so maybe I can get back online during their nap time.

My best to all.....

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 4:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon :-)

It has been snowing here all day and is still spitting a little. Very pretty sticky snow out there!

Amazing how quickly you can be falling Really enjoying all the posts and the photos..and going to take a stab at a quick catch up....

Loved and thought the Boulangerie was adorable, Mary!

Deanne, thanks for the explanation of the Zicam. I am glad to know it makes a difference for you. Sounds like you have a nice period of garden planning coming up. If you come up with scetches of the scene you want to put on your gate, would love to see them.

GBug..hoping to see those Apricot foxgloves this year for myself. [g] Hope everyone at your house is feeling better.

Saucy...yes, I planted some foxgloves in three different locations last spring, hoping at least one area will come back. I think I will be okay if I can just grow one batch to flower, so I can at least have a chance of reseeding.

Kathy..such a bright color of your Hellebores and so many flower buds!

Cynthia...thanks for that tip on laying the foxglove stalks down. I am determined I WILL get foxglove stalks at some I will remember to do that. :-) I have sworn off light setups, after doing it for a number of years, but I have winter sown foxglove seeds three years in a row and find I get great germination. I really like sowing them, putting them outdoors and just about forgetting about them.

Martie...I will try some more Camelot next year, if all else fails. [g] Yes, I did try the D. mertonensis too at one point. Also three different locations. I am keeping my fingers crossed this is going to be the year they make it through the winter. :-) All this talk of seed, had me getting milk jugs out to finally start some winter sowing. Perfect day for it with all the snow. Loved your walk and porch as well. I saw a photo somewhere recently of little patches of blue and white campanula carpatica and I started wishing for some even though in the past I had no interest in them. How does that happen? [g] So it tickled me to see that long line of 'White Clips' along your walk. I will be very interested to see photos when they bloom. I love campanulas, but we have had visits from groundhogs and I read they love those. When I saw your photo, I thought, I could use them in the front yard! I was going to take a photo of my foxgloves but I didn't make it out there before it snowed again. Looks like you have quite a few. Spent most of the weekend watching football and enjoying it more than usual. Looking forward to each game the Patriots are playing. Are you watching them at your house? We watched the Packers play the Seahawks on Saturday and it was really a fun game to watch. I couldn't believe the score in all that snow.

Gorgeous sunset Marian!

So sorry T to hear about Boo. Never easy to lose a pet. Hope you will have the time and energy to process it all and hope tomorrow will be a better day for you.

Hello Drema...a three week old grandson? Wow, another Idyll grandbaby. Should we all be starting to get concerned that it could possibly be contagious?! [g]

I am sure I missed a lot...hope everyone feels better!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh T! Here's to a fresh start to 2008.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 5:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quick post before I go off to pack.

Drema, sorry to hear you're newly unemployed but what exciting news about Charlie!

T, also sorry to hear that you had some rough times. It does make the fact that you have kept off the weight loss even more impressive. Here's hoping the road ahead is smoother for you.

I'm not sure whether Kathy or Chelone is to blame, but all this talk about plague has brought it to my office. The employee who was sick last week has recovered, but another one called in sick this morning (not someone who directly impacted my work) and my PT employee emailed that she would not be in because her DD was ill. So would you believe that
late this morning, the sick employee came in and the one with the sick daughter showed up with sick child in tow? Has everyone forgotten about keeping their germs at home, especially when they know this is a crucial week for all to be well? Oh well, EOR! (end of rant)

The new loveseat is in place and is quite comfy. The dogs are quite disgruntled to see their favorite piece of furniture moved out of place. Speaking of dogs, they are very determined to eat, so I had better heed their call!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 6:46PM
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(((hugs T))))

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 8:23PM
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Happy Monday everyone. Got an empty concrete pad where the gazebo used to be, a couple of large holes in my kitchen ceiling and no flooring in the master bathroom. They didnt waste much time around here today .

I have been subscribing and unsubscribing to Garden Design for quite a few years. Right now I am a subscriber . I think the magazine has improved - in the beginning it seemed like there was just not much content. It has a different perspective than the other garden mags, tilted toward the designers more than the plants .

Deanne, you need Form Release to get your concrete blob out of the pot. Unfortunately I think it only comes in 5gal containers ,lol. There must be something else you can use. What if you lined the inside of the pot with poly sheeting?

Drema, I think Norma posted the owl . Good to have you check in. So I note that you are unemployed but mentioned open houses and floor duty-do you moonlight for a realtor?

T, what a time youve had. I think V was spot-on how great that you could continue to loose all that weight in spite of so many stressful issues. So tempting to comfort ones self with food isnt it. ? I hope your troubles will start to turn sounds like you are overdue for some good times.

PM2, I grew mertonensis foxgloves for many years, among others. Foxgloves tend to perennialize here in our climate, but they are short lived-three years maybe. I have no foxgloves at all right now and have almost always grown them since the early 80s.

Ok , this is about all the steam I have tonite, must work on my taxonomy presentation for Friday

Gazebo on Sunday

Happy Monday everyone. Got an empty concrete pad where the gazebo used to be, a couple of large holes in my kitchen ceiling and no flooring in the master bathroom. They didnt waste much time around here today .

I have been subscribing and unsubscribing to Garden Design for quite a few years. Right now I am a subscriber . I think the magazine has improved - in the beginning it seemed like there was just not much content. It has a different perspective than the other garden mags, tilted toward the designers more than the plants .

Deanne, you need Form Release to get your concrete blob out of the pot. Unfortunately I think it only comes in 5gal containers ,lol. There must be something else you can use. What if you lined the inside of the pot with poly sheeting?

Drema, I think Norma posted the owl . Good to have you check in. So I note that you are unemployed but mentioned open houses and floor duty-do you moonlight for a realtor?

T, what a time youve had. I think V was spot-on how great that you could continue to loose all that weight in spite of so many stressful issues. So tempting to comfort ones self with food isnt it. ? I hope your troubles will start to turn sounds like you are overdue for some good times.

PM2, I grew mertonensis foxgloves for many years, among others. Foxgloves tend to perennialize here in our climate, but they are short lived-three years maybe. I have no foxgloves at all right now and have almost always grown them since the early 80s.

Ok , this is about all the steam I have tonite, must work on my taxonomy presentation for Friday

Gazebo on Sunday

Gazebo this morning

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone's baby spider plant has some roots starting.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:00AM
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T. (t.?), I am so sorry to hear about your friend's son. The ripple effects continue for years, long after you've made a place for that special loss in your life and found a way to keep on living. Your friend will really need your support for years to come. And Boo... and your kitty... (we have one in the end stages, too). Hang tough, isn't there some old saw about bad things coming in trios?

I'll be interested in Deanne's concept for the gate, too. Speaking of gates, what's the story behind the pretty one in your photo, 'bug?

To keep the level of chaos at work from completely overwhelming me I've taken to daydreaming about the many interesting floors I've seen in the book on European palaces. I've been noting motifs and stencils that appeal to my aesthetic and carefully squirrelling them away. I think it may be time to get out the calculator and do some "figurin'" to come up with repeats and the layouts.

This time of year always gets me focussed on the clutter in my own hovel. I spent yesterday morning/early afternoon carefully sifting through the piles of accumlated stuff in and around the library. I sorted all remaining paperwork regarding Mum (it's still trickling in!), put it in chronological order and set it aside so it will be handy for the accountant (on the off chance he needs it) and can be disposed off as soon practicable. I am looking at the many paperbacks that have been taking up shelf space for years now and am planning to cull those as quickly as possible; I know there is going to be fuss by the helpmeet, but I plan to turn a deaf ear to it. ;) I confess that's Kathy's impending move and Cynthia's efforts in her attic have inspired me.

If you will, Deanne, please express my support and sympathy to Deb.. I learned several things about LTC the hard way. (make sure she has a complete inventory of his property and she goes over it with the admitting person, AND HAVE THEM SIGN OFF ON IT. Require that ANYTHING TO BE DISPOSED OF is held aside until she OKs it and then cross it off the inventory list). She will be appalled at what she will see in an AZ. ward, and it will never get easier to witness. If she doesn't cry regularly, she will suffer more than she ought to. I suspect 'bug will back me up on this.

Drema, it's nice to see you pop back in. I hope you aren't stressin' too much about your new, unemployed status. Free time can be wonderful, but only if there are no attendant money concerns. Sounds as if there have been some big changes in your world, too! Idylling is like riding a bike... you never forget how. :) Good to have you back.

I wanted to take some pictures of the "fairyland" outdoors yesterday, but remembered I'd left my camera at work on Friday. I think we ended up with about 7-8", but it was really blowing around out there. I took some letters out to the mailbox in the morning and it really was pretty; I think the winter palette of grey sky, grey tree trunks, some evergreens, white ground, and falling snow is one of my favorites. I also like the quietness of it; that's another thing I love about the predawn/dawn time. It's still and quiet.

My boss is TERRIBLE about coming to work with really nasty illnesses, too. She'll cough and wheeze and I make it a point to use the cordless phone (she hates it and never touches it, lol). I don't object to people coming to work with a light cold, but it really isn't fair to others to show up when you're really sick. Money worries prompt people to do foolish things, so does an unwillingness/inability to organize the work so employees may continue to be productive in a supervisor's absence... . I would have sent Mommy and child home, V., I think dragging your sick kid into your workplace takes an incredible amount of gall (seriously, the kid's too sick for school/daycare but WORK is OK?!). Wow.

I received the Adult Ed. brochure the other day and was looking forward to signing up for something, but there wasn't anything that really grabbed me. That's gotta be a first! Oh well. Maybe next year. :)

I have to think about getting ready to leave for work (can't wait!), so I have to make sure to pack the "daydream folder"... I should be home by 2:30ish, so it won't last forever. lol.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:08AM
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6" of heart attack snow here, but it's too pretty to complain. Everything is bent over under the weight and it would be a perfect day for Holiday card pic taking.

Deanne, when I put up plastic pots and know that they will topple, I use dowels through the soil, through the drainage holes that have been expanded with large drills, and into the soil. It makes them rather immobile, but beats pouring concrete. Just a thought .... I can "see" where your gate will be and am looking forward to details.

((((T)))) What else can I say??

Drema: Welcome to Charlie!!! Can you keep a "positive" on not working by not having your commute any longer????

I think V's gonna peak .... LOL

'bug: Do you know the gender or your puppy, yet?

Chelone: Didn't the early New England shoreline folks use stencils on their floors because the rugs got moldy too fast? I really like the idea. I, too, am going through piles and am convinced that Medicare could save a small fortune by consolidating mailings.

Kathy: Progress is good!! LOL the before and after. Kaboom!

Running to the rain locker and a busy day. Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:34AM
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t., sorry to hear about Boo. It must be hard to watch your friend grieve, too. What a sad loss.

Mary, I have always thought that I'd like to make beads with Fimo - ever done that? It looks soothing to me. I love your creation!

V., my dog used to be able to get on the couch - then we got a new one and I forbade every night right after my feet hit the sheets, you hear a little hhhrrrmmmmpphhh come out of Zeus when he "sneaks" onto the couch for the night. As soon as feet hit the floor you hear his nails click into the other room to settle into his bed :) It's a fun little game we play :)

It requires that the new couch be de-haired every morning.

I am sad for the gazebo! It looks like it was a fun place to hang out.....I can't wait to see the transformation, though.

Chelone, I still need to get a lesson on floor cloths...hmmm, I'll swap a 'tufa lesson for a floor cloth lesson :)

I'm staying in to do yoga with James Taylor this morning and trying to dig into the PILE of stuff waiting for me....and it's time to get Sarah to the bus stop!



It looks like TH on the 27th if Wendy checks in....anyone else want to meet us there?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

T- Im so sorry to hear about the lump of woes you're having -- it does feel somewhat overwhelming sometimes doesnt it? But as others have pointed out, it's fantastic that you're so much more fit and I think that helps in feeling up to handling things -- but I hope you get some "me" time soon for yourself -- and do some of the things that make you feel better -- whether it's daydreaming of the curvy garden beds you might put in or looking over some twin photos.... We're thinking of you.

Kathy - that is a heck of a transformation - I guess I missed the part somewhere that you were going to demolish that lovely gazebo! Did the realtor tell you it would be more marketable without? bummer...

Drema!! How great to hear from you - we've wondered about you lots -- I hope you enjoy the freedom (without the worry) of finding the right and proper new career/job for you. That's wonderful about another idyll grandbaby -- and I look foward to seeing the photos.

Mary - I meant to comment before about the boulangerie -- I am so astounded by your creativity -- and the hand/eye coordination & steady hand that must accompany doing such "small work." It's really amazing.

Well, we had a trip to the emergency vet on Sunday -- Chloe seems to have done a "Lame" thing on front leg -- it started when she came home from the groomer the day before & I worried -- by Sunday she could not walk at all on it nor put any weight on it & I was concerned it might be fractured -- so off to be examined (3 hours of quality time at the high tech 24-hr vet and we had a Lyme test too (as she'd had a number of ticks in the fall) -- the good news is no lyme, and it appears to be soft tissue injury. So we're going the Katie routine ourselves for a week -- being carried up and down and around and confined to one level area while Im off at work. 'course the munchkin managed to get thru the gate yesterday I'd put up in the kitchen and had gone up & down the stairs -- so I had to get a different gate - I imagine that set her recovery back a few days. But just glad it wasnt more serious.

I enjoy the pics of the snow -- and hope it stays away from me, LOL...

V- I totally agree re the sick worker/children -- I never understand the dis-connect people have in their head about bringing such horrible germs to the workplace - altho I understand about the worry over monetary concerns (for people who dont get paid if they dont show up or dont have leave to cover) but it still seems so shortsighted.

Re paper - it's oozing out of every corner of my house -- I've got a dentist appt tomorrow & will stay home (good excuse anyhow, eh) and hope to tackle a wee bit of it then myself...

Well, actually I have paper oozing out of every place here at the office too -- I have 10 boxes of files needing to be indexed to go offsite & an administrator getting grumpy about it... of course, it sat in the atty's office for more than 6 years - so what's a month or two in front of my desk?


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 9:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well its a winter wonderland out there today. Doug had a great time playing with his new snow blower yesterday. He bought an 11 horsepower machine and the thing can throw the snow across the street. So very nice not to have to shovel. Doug decided to fix the old one and rebuilt the carburetor and bought new belts. We are going to give the old one to the young couple across the street in exchange for him doing my driveway when Doug is in Rochester. Works well for everyone. They wanted to buy one this year but cant get one now as this seasons machines are sold out. The old one will probably work for them for another five years or so.

Thanks for the input re the cement in the pot. Martie, I was actually thinking of doweling it into the ground as well as doing the cement thing. That plant was behemoth last year and hopefully will be as nice this year. Doug suggested I just get a very large cement sewer pipe. LOL. Kathy, I was thinking of lining the pot with saran wrap or something like that before I pour the cement.

Ill get a pic of the sketches of the gate as soon as Ive got them done. I already have the pounded metal inserts and I just need to get Doug on it. I think if I get the painting done hell probably be forced to start building the gate.

Saucy, I did the Stairmaster at the gym yesterday and killed myself getting back up to 50 steps per minute for an hour so today Im going to stay home and do an hour on my life cycle then lift some weights.

Drema, welcome to Charlie! How exciting for your family. Thanks for that link to Onion House. Its beautiful and I could really get into a couple weeks in a spot like that.

Chelone and V. I cant believe people are coming into work spreading germs around. I get pretty ticked off when someone knowingly goes around in public spewing viruses. If they must go to work they really should wear a mask. That is commonly done in Japan and no one looks twice at anyone wearing a mask. Its polite behavior.

Kathy, wow! Its going to look sad without the gazebo. Are you taking that with you?

T. now t. Im so very sorry about all your troubles. As everyone has said, the fact that youve maintained your weight loss is impressive. Hope things look up for you and family.

Cindy, sorry Chloe is hurt but glad its not serious. Im buried in stuff here too and like Kathy, Cynthia and Chelone Im on the verge of a major PURGE.

So the official date for our fourth annual "Thumb Our Noses at Winter" party is Saturday February 23. All Idylls and spouses are welcome. Ive got two guest rooms so speak up if youd like one of them. Lets hope winter doesnt thumb its nose at us again this year. As I recall winter took a bad turn after our party last year and it stayed really cold for a month afterwards.

All right time to get out of this chair and get on the Life Cycle. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 9:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Up at 6 to take DB to his 9AM train to NJ. He really likes train travel and loathes airports, so that's the way it is. So glad he's feeling well now!

This leaves me to finally clean up, put away ornaments from pre Christmas, launder & change sheets, and all the rest. The purge thing is needed here as well.

Of course I am a major supporter of Chelone's thoughts on LTC. And don't forget to include the wedding rings on your list. I forgot and they were lost. I seriously thought there was a melting down of people's gold business going on there....The best facility in the world isn't good enough for anyone IMHO, yet home doesn't work either. Life sucks. By the way, I received a letter from NY State tax folks that I owe nothing to them for her 2004 taxes. I'm waiting for an audit of the 3 months of her 2005 taxes next, but I hope not..

On the very positive front, Charlie is a welcome addition to the dueling babies photo event that occurs here. ;) Poor SIL is faced with a sick baby these days. Not only that, but his ex phoned that Skyler has a sore throat and must stay with them because of it. I do not fathom that woman, but of course DD & DSIL want the boy with them. Adding germs to a household with a 6 month old is strange thinking, but "ex" felt going to work at Sears was more important, even though her partner and father are at home to care for him. Anyway, poor DSIL had to go with 2 kids to 2 doctors yesterday on very little sleep himself. Last week he was commenting on how he couldn't get anything done because the baby took so much time...and DD laughed. Now that he's on paternity leave, his ex is using him as a daycare person, chauffeur and phone therapist. I sure hope Skyler is twigging on to this.

As to the puppy, the litter of seven was born on Dec 19th. We visit the pups on Feb 3rd and collect our baby on the 16th of Feb. We do not know male/female yet. This means no trip to Idyll festivities for me this time either. We need to pick up a dog cage (playpen) and friends are giving us a large crate too. I'm reading up on new training ideas. It is amazing how things change in only 10 years. As to names: Lizzie, Sophie, Charlie, Farley, Milo, Asha, Darwin...who knows????

The gazebo removal elicited a GASP from me. I want a review of what's going on there! As to the photo of my gate, that was a purchase of mine at our former Toronto home. I bought the posts at a separate time. After 15 years there, secured in concrete, I had it removed when we made the move to rural living. Even though it doesn't really suit this place, I wasn't abandoning it. So it was reinstalled here at the entry to our patio.

Excited about the move to Oregon, diving in warm waters, designing the new gate, healing pets too.

I guess I should pull up my socks and go play with the washing machine and dishwasher at least.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 12:05PM
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We're in a cold snap here. 9 this a.m. and I believe this is supposed to be our "warm" day this week.

We had a busy weekend. The night at the motel was enjoyable. We had the pool and hot tub to ourselves. It was nice to relax for a change. My parents, my kids and Kenzie came over for lunch on Sunday. Kenzie is just a hoot these days. She just comes up with the funniest things. She enjoyed watching the birds I feed. I got out a box of my DDs dance costumes from when she was younger. Kenzie thought they were just wonderful. She picked out a teal satin one with fuchsia sequins and satin. She put it on along with the tutu and declared herself a mermaid. She wore it home. Earlier in the day she had informed me that she was a Care Bear, then she changed it to a leatherback sea turtle and finally she was a mermaid. I got a kick out the leatherback sea turtle, she also was talking about macaws and emperor penguins. I think I was getting an education from her.

We enjoyed dinner out last night at Minervas for Ricks birthday. We make a big deal out of each others birthdays. I got flowers for my July birthday last night. I always tell Rick he owes me my birthday and anniversary flowers in the winter. It seems silly to get flowers in July and August when I have a garden full then.

Deanne, I use Vaseline in my molds when I make stepping stones to get the concrete to slip out. Another thing you could use to anchor it is rebar through the drain hole. Thats how I keep my wicker bench from blowing in the breeze. 2 pieces of rebar up 2 of the legs.

Drema, sorry to hear about your job, I hope something better develops for you. Congratulations on the new grandson. Eagerly awaiting pictures of the little guy.

T, sorry to hear about Boo.

RE: germs in the workplace. I have a pump of hand sanitizer sitting my desk. I also make use of the wipes.

Mary, you do such fabulous work. I cant even imagine how you made the beaks on those blackbirds.

I too am sad for the gazebo, Ive always wanted one.

Speaking of gates, I have one that needs a more prominent place. 'bug, I'm not sure it fits here either, as mine is a cementary gate :O)

Its nice to see that at least a few Idyllers have something blooming.

I havent check out Tower Hill, but any Idyll excursion sounds like fun.

Enough from me for now.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 12:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Anyone for a lemonade? :-)

The sun finally came out and the garden is covered again in a cozy blanket. Hope everyone is having a good day.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 3:42PM
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The tape guy was here today... and the head honcho says they'll "do their best" to have it finished by Friday. Helpmeet asked, "If I wanted to schedule the electrician what day should I tell him?". Answer: Tuesday. WE'LL SEE. But this is pretty cool... the price included priming, and they mix gypsum into the primer and spray the area. The gypsum gives the smooth surface with no need for sanding. Having experienced the joys of sanding primed drywall throughout our entire home, I am hopeful this will deliver the sort of smooth, clean surface I covet.

I did a favor for a friend over the weekend, going to a local antiques/flea market to pick up an item he wanted. He "cheaped out" and regretted it and drew me a map to find it! I delivered it today and after he "paid me off" he gave me cookies! Damned if I didn't find a wonderful glass chandelier that would look sensational in the Salon... the $245 price tag turned me right off... so I asked about "dickering". Yes, the dealers will dicker... so I'm thinking of what I'd think a fair offer for something I'll have to rewire; but I won't be looking for a receipt and I'll pay in dead presidents... I'm thinkin' $100-150, (it has 6 arms and looks to be vintage 1950s repro.). What do you think? I have another alternative here, but it's marginally large enough for the space and not nearly as luxe.

The collapsed gazebo made me sad, too.

I fell going into work today. There was ice in front of the front steps. What needed to be done to the frames I've been working on had not been done. Even though what needed to be done was agreed to on Thursday morning. And I left a sketch on Friday afternoon. I arrived 2 1/4 hrs. later than I normally do this morning. I slipped and fell on the ice in front of the steps leading into the building. AND THE WORK WASN'T READY FOR ME. I was steaming. I've now lost nearly 5 hrs. and have been asked to change my hours; a change that directly impacts my ability to see my OWN customers in the afternoons. I have always been honest about the fact that I work from home and am very resentful that disorganization on one end has trickled into my own shop and I am expected to rearrange my own schedule to accomodate an unwillingness/inability(?) to "get it together". I am steaming. And this is part of the "winter season" every year.

I have, however, laughed and laughed at Kenzie's imagination. How great to witness the imagination of a toddler in action. And I love that DH gives you birthday flowers in the dead of winter, Michelle. Brilliant.

Poor Chloe, hobbling around. And I chuckled at the boxes in front of your desk that lived in the attorney's office for 6 yrs.. That's pretty funny. A very dear, attorney friend of mine says her secretary is the most important person in her life! She's no fool.

How many days until Friday?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 5:42PM
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Pm2 at least it looks peaceful there. I just got in from my walk and the wind was so strong and its cold.

Chelone, are you going to have smooth walls or texture of some sort? I think the old saying about adding insult to injury fits your day pretty well.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Thank you for the kind comments. I've quickly skimmed which is foolish of me since I have mental-pause brain at this point in my life and even in careful reading I miss much. Skimming is just asking for trouble.......

I also appreciate the congratulations on the weight loss. My big job now is to keep the weight off for the rest of my life. I know it will be challenging since I use food to soothe myself and overeating was a hobby for far too many years. I've consumed too many cookies in the past 2 days so I need to give my forehead a slap and get myself back to healthy eating.

As I skimmed I did catch some things.....lovely photos, sunsets (or was it a sunrise?), a beautiful gate, lots of cold looking snow, a pretty gazebo in a pile........I remember reading about a new g'son for Drema! Congratulations to you!

I also remember reading a few days ago about babies. Count me as another who enjoyed my own children greatly, but have never wished to cuddle every baby I came across. I love holding and being around my grandchildren, but don't feel the same magnetism towards anyone else's little ones. I cannot stand to be around misbehaving or rude kids. So, I guess being a mother & grandmother doesn't mean you love all children. ;o)

Well, I guess I should go think about making something for DH to eat for dinner. I'm full (of cookies) so don't feel like eating but I'll probably make a salad with some baked chicken on top of it.

I'll leave you with a few of Boo and also one of me during the summer of 2006 and one from a couple weeks ago. Privacy nut that I am, I cropped my face off of both. 2006 I was wearing a size 18W in jeans, now size 6.....okay so that sounds like I'm bragging, but I think it is just that I'm still trying to take it in still--me being this weight and size. Amazing and too good for me to have believed that I could have taken the weight off. It is unfortunate that it took the death of a family member to make me realize how self-destructive my eating habits were. Now to remember not to allow myself to return to eating as I use to....

Thank you again everyone...I appreciate your kindness and understanding.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:47PM
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Michelle, your cold weather is slated to arrive here in a few days, too. There is some sort of nastiness forecast for the Friday, no one is willing to "commit" as yet.

NO TEXTURE! walls and ceiling are to be smooth, smooth, smooth. I have those dreadful "popcoHn" ceilings in the main area of the house and I HATE them. We stripped them off the bedroom ceiling some years ago and as soon as funds permit they'll be gone from the remainder of the house. Apparently, this gypsum thing is the poor man's version of plaster walls. As I said, "we'll see".

My brother has a saying, "I don't have time for stupid" and it pretty much sums up my sour outlook on things right now. I'll get over it, I always do, and I know it isn't the end of the world but "stupid" irritates me, always has.

I need to kick a dog, damnit. :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 7:53PM
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What nice condolences from the Idylls on the demise of my late gazebo! It is however in a better place aka the county landfill . Though it was not visible from the pic the thing had serious rot issues and was listing drunkenly to the north. The whole thing collapsed with very little effort from the demolition squad (one guy with a crowbar) . It took about 10 minutes . Now I see that the removal of this object has completely changed the dynamic of the plantings around the perimeter. I have serious work to do to make sense of it. The shade it cast is also gone of course , so there are a couple of plants that may be unhappy-notably my 15 year old Daphne odorata and my variegated lacecap Hydrangea. Im going to spend this weekend trying to re-arrange and replant. There goes another couple hundred bucks ! Oh well. Good thing for my employee discount.

By the way, I apologize for the duplicate post. I must have right-clicked one too many times !

I have to admit to going to work with a cold. However, I do try to quarantine myself in my office with my box of kleenex and stay away from the copy machine etc that is shared by all. I would also like to point out in an unrelated observation that it is 5pm and still light out. Yeee-hah !

Hey Drema, one of the names on my DD;s short list for Mister Baby is Charlie.

Cindy, Ive started to purge my office too---I have stuff in there going back to ancient times. I want to leave my successor with a clean slate. Poor Chloe just when she gets rid of the guest-dog from hell !

Deanne, see above for the answer to whether I am taking the gazebo with me ! I did however keep the ball top that was at the peak. That is my gazebo memento to be put in a place of honor in the next garden. How very nice that you and Doug were able to help out the young folk across the street. Symbiosis in action !

Sobug , I vote for Sophie for the girland is Milo after Milo Minderbinder ??? See above for explanation of the gazebo removal. What is really odd is how the removal of this huge object makes my back yard look smaller to me. Maybe it served to obscure the boundaries a bit.

Michelle, do we have pic of your cemetery gate ? I think old gates are just F-F.

Chelone, where would you put a chandelier in the Salon with the boatload of lighting you have in there already ? Methinks your offer of 150 may be ok if the seller has had it for awhile-cash flow yknow. No injuries from your spill ? And its hard to imagine that what your hours are have any impact on the ability of the business to get the work done. Just think of the consequences if you were to walk away. Seems to me that you negotiate from a position of strength; you after all are a craftsman and as such have value beyond the basic worker bee. I hope your skills are appreciated.

T, Boo is beautiful, and I must say you look like the mom and not the g-mom in both pics-with or without head ,lol !

Ok time to sign off

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 8:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Naw, not Milo Minderbinder . Just plain old two syllables we like. DH likes Charlie, but being my dad's name and now in the running for Mister Baby, this makes me nervous. I like Sophie too, but DH is thinking that a name beginning with S might be confusing when combined with commands "Sit" and "Stay". I like to give the dog's brain more credit than that.


Chelone, if you LOVE it, buy it. The Salon will benefit from your favorite choice rather than something that will simply "do".

My throat is a bit sore, so off to treat it now.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 9:54PM
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', Charlie-my Dads name too!
K in Napa

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just in: (born Dec 19th)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello.... hello... someome please wish Doug and I a Happy 36th Wedding Anniversary.... I know I'm asking for a pat on the back or something but absolutely no body in either of our families has noticed that we've been married for 36 years (and we are still happy about it) In this day and age I'm pretty proud that we are still together and in love. That is pretty cool. I'm a lucky person.

So Chelone, I fell on my butt twice this weekend. ONce trying to grab a deadfall for a perch for my bird photographs and again when installing it where I thought it would do the most good. Stinks... Sorry about the work stuff... Bummer. Can you make it to Thumbs?

t. you are amazing! I will never, ever see the inside of a size 6 pair of jeans. You look Fabu-fabu! (Cynthia please email me the directions for making the TM symbol after the fabu.)

Bug, the puppies are adorable.

OK I've got to get to bed and get some sleep as I've got to work off a really incredible dinner at Michael Timothy's tonight.

Nighty night

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Still time to wish Deanne and Doug the very best! I don't know what happened today...I meant to do this much earlier! It's so neat that you are strong, TOGETHER. :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:37PM
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I thought I had made congratulatory noises for you and Doug, Deanne... but then remembered it was in an evaporated post. I encountered the dreaded "page cannot be displayed" several times on Monday, figured you were clogging up the fibreoptic highway with all those bird pictures! (which are sensational). Roger that on "thumbs"; it and Tower Hill are both on the calendar.

I want to see if I can master the trademark thing, too... I was another who cracked right up at that one.

I do like that chandelier very much, and it would hang directly over the landing of the staircase, Kathy. It will be activated by a switch inside the door at the base of the staircase and would be the primary source of light until the flourescents are turned on (4 banks on 3 switches). The helpmeet will have a pup, but I'm waiting until the stove is in place to spring the fact that I'd like some sort of spot on it that would be operated with the chandelier, too. I think it was you that reminded me to include different lighting options than just the flourescents... :) There's a lot to be done before we get to that stage, though.

t., you look FF! and Boo was beautiful. How old was he in that shot and how old when he died? Arabian or Arabian cross?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 5:50AM
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