Idyll # 468 For those who like to read and write

saucydog(z5MA)January 7, 2010

Let's try this again....thanks for the inspiration, Denise!

Carry on, friends.

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This morning I was consumed by the topic of need vs want. This was on another forum but produced loads of interesting responses. Here is one:

"I remember getting the old "need vs want" talk from my parents.
Last year, I had a class sort everything in their pencil case into these two categories. It was part of an Earth Day (why isnt that everyday) activity. They were flabbergasted by all the stuff they had that they didnÂt need. I hope it got some of them thinking about it on a daily basis."

Time to clean out my purse and start Julie's EAT program!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 12:30PM
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I didnt go in to work today its nasty out there. So the wallpaper removal continues. Im sure Ill have it done today. There will be some repair to do as well. We havent decided what to do about the vanity. Originally we thought a new top and refinish the vanity. Now we are thinking about 2 sinks and other options. Last night we finished up the tub/stool area and removed a rather ugly chair rail. Im also not putting anything in the bathroom that is a dust collector. Years ago I collected antique or just unique perfume bottles. I had a small shelf that was divided into boxes that displayed them nicely. Ive had them for years but frankly Im sick of dusting it all. Thats part of why the chair rail is going as well it collects dust. I dont want a boring house but I dont want to be a slave to it either. I hope to do more decluttering this winter.

Rick is over at the neighbors feeding his calves. He just had surgery and his DSIL has been doing the chores, but he cant see to get there. He lives 4 miles away and we are only about ½.

Is anyone else seeing black boxes where the pictures should be? Its only some of the pictures and I can right click on them and view them. Weird!

bug, maybe the knife has to stay at Dads house and only used when hes with his dad. That type of gift should have parental approval before giving. It reminds me of the time my MIL gave my then 3 year old son a parakeet, much to my surprise. It wasnt something a 3 year old could be responsible for.

I supposed I should find a little lunch and then return to my job.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Nice collaboration on the Idyll Tydall..Now if we could just conjure up a few posters ! It really is a brief but to the point sentiment about our forum here.

We are having the yukky Tulle fog and cold grey days that can be a feature of winter in Norcal. At least no rain is predicted so I should be able t spend a day of the weekend continuing my rose pruning activities. I came home with Julia Child today and she will replace the Amber Queen I dug up over the New Year holiday. Im a sucker for yellow roses.

Cyn, I am an expert in the field of expensive dental work. I am on hiatus right now , with a gaping area that is awaiting implants- this has been a 2 year process so far., involving gum surgery, bone grafts, etc. We could have had a nice car , right ?

All from me tonight, looking forward to the weekend !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Read and write, yes! In fact I intend to go in and choose a book to get lost in after I finish this post. No literature though, Im in the mood for a mystery and fast pace. Always try to keep a couple of new paperbacks around for such occasions.

Way too much snow today and temps have dropped as the wind picked up. DH used the snow blower before work; within 90 minutes I shoveled another 2 inches off before going over to my mothers and doing her driveway, front and back steps. I came home with the worst case of hat head you can imagine; I looked like a chimpanzee. Shower, shampoo and two Advil gave me a short lived boost but Im more than ready to curl up now and read.

Yesterday I had a great visit with an old friend who turned up while traveling to a conference. We went out for lunch and spent the afternoon catching up. I needed that because I spent the day before flouncing around in a mood when I discovered the rabbits have already eaten large portions of my two Vanhouttei Renaissance Spireas. My own fault; forgot to cage them in November when my brother was here for a week. Then Id think about it, off and on, while busy with Thanksgiving plansthe December birthdays, then Christmas. Im sure theyll grow back, lopsided as they are but this is along our property line where Im on a mission to create some privacy. Caged them the last two years since planting so I was hoping for a good leap in size this third season.

Im with you on the dusting, Michelle and have eliminated a couple of similar areas. Hope youll post some photos of your bathroom redo! And the seasonal shots of your butterfly garden are wonderful. That must cover quite an expanse of ground with a lot of planting space. Did you create it all at one time and then interplant over the last couple of years?

Marian, Im not quite through with your albums yet. The region where you live is very scenic; the bluffs and woodlands almost transport the mind back to an earlier time. You have so many trees and name them right offdid you Nolon actually plant many of those yourselves?

Waving to alland yes Ei, get thee back to Idylland.

Misc. Pic of the day: Impatiens took over my garden chair last year.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 11:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For those who enjoy addition to reading and writing.

Good night!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 11:25PM
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Good morning, Idylls!

I am so excited about today. Today is the first Friday I've really had off in a while...lately Fridays have been consumed with party planning and cleaning. Today is all mine. I think I'm going to have my toes twinkled (that's what Sue says when she's getting a pedicure) and wash my sheets...maybe even at the same time. Also on the docket is the movie, "Food, Inc." as I am always in process of changing the family's diet :) I think I could have all three of these things done by 10 a.m.

V., so far Dogtown is pretty good! Thanks for steering me in the right direction.

Good point, GB - you must like to read, write, and enjoy colorful photos!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 7:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DSIL was most affected by "Food,Inc" and has changed his shopping practices as a result. Also his parenting of Skyler in terms of food habits. I hope they sticks with it!

Good to see Sue's name popping up occasionally here! Somehow I neglect twinkle toes in winter. Something to think about.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:11AM
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Hopelessly behind, but will catch up during the weekend. Loving the color I'm seeing, as well as Idyllkids and smiles and obviously lots of love.

Tydall caught my eye, as one niece as well as DSGF are both working on Master's in American Literature. Funny coincidence but made for great "first meeting" conversations that were way above everyone else's heads (except my Mom who is smart about everything :-)) but bonded them. Ky just sat back with the best smile ever on his face. Very, very cool.

Thinking of all in the mid-part of the continent who have been/are getting hammered by that white stuff out of the sky.

Sue!!!!! Good to see you!!!!!!

Also, anyone up for a Logee's get together??? PM2??????? Where are you???????


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:56AM
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Well, Food, Inc. was very moving, GB, but I think I was sufficiently prepared and have already made great changes! I actually feel okay after watching! I can see a few spots for improvement. I am sure I'll have lots of thoughts on the subjects for the weeks to come.

Hi, Martie! I'm always up for a trip to Logee's.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 9:45AM
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For those who like reading, writing, color, detail and

Sue? in the mysterious Sue? I don't see her; will have to backtrack. More shoveling today so I'm off and running.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 9:56AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning all!

I have been doing lots of reading but not much writing...sorry!

I have been snowed in for a week. Today it is -17C (1 F), and blowing, grey skies and lots of the white stuff. DH has used the snowblower every day this week. No snow days for school however; last year we had eleven of those!

Still having lots of medication issues with TCS. Last night it was 2 a.m. before he got to sleep, and he was up and off to school by 8:30 as usual. This is really wearing thin, I tell you!

I have pretty much EATen my way through my kitchen this week. All mismatched dishes, glassware, plastic bins with no lids and lids with no bins, have been disposed of. All "soft" wear (towels, dishcloths etc.) have been replaced. All cupboards have been cleaned, sorted and organized, including both the small and large pantries. DH has agreed to have the local handy man replace both ceiling fans, and relocate the working one to TCS's bedroom. I am now looking for Lazy Susans or whatever to install in the two awkward corner cupboards to make access easier, or even possible. Why do kitchen manufactureres do this to us? Some pull-outs or something would make these things so much more useful. The planners must all be men....

The cracked switch plate cover is still there.

I still have a large sideboard to clean out. I hate it but it came from DH's mother's house and he loves it. It would have been better had we gotten the rest of the dining set, but a sister really wanted the table and chairs and not the sideboard. Oh well, such is life. I can at least make it more functional. If I had my way totally with the EAT program the sideboard would be GONE GONE GONE...

The addition of the beautiful French door between the living room and kitchen has really inspired me to involve myself in this house. It has been a long time coming - letting go of my beautiful old Victorian and becoming more attached to this new-ish bungalow...finally decided to start making it "mine". A very positive feeling....

I have really enjoyed the summer photos and have great longing to see Spring - to repair the havoc that the beasts have undoubtably caused in their outdoor play. DH snowblowed (snowblew?) a figure eight racetrack for them all around the yard and gardens, so the snowcover has been drastically reduced in these areas, and the dogs have left, well, for lack of a better word, "presents" around, so the grass etc. may need some repair in the Spring. The snow is higher than the dogs so it is quite funny to see them racing around in the track - often you just see the occasional ear or puff of snow, or dogs wrestling on their hind legs in pure joy. I am also trying to think of a way to keep them out of the perennial garden this year - they race right through everything to let the squirrels in the park know that they are not welcome over here....and the wily little tree rats taunt them by coming right up to the fence and flicking their bushy tails right in the faces of the Boston Brats. Cute and Funny if the garden wasn't right there!

In an effort to get TCS off the computer and into some exercise, and make positive use of the white stuff, we have signed him up for a series of 8 ski sessions at a close by ski hill, every Thursday evening. One of his good friends is going also, and we hope they end up together in the same group. There will be four kids and an instructor for each group so it should really be fun for them. And we can sit in the lodge for an hour with a coffee and a book and hopefull enjoy the time. The drive is only about 1/2 hour so it should work out well.

Well, just rambling here, trying to figure out if I have enough energy and gumption to get going this morning. The idea of curling up with a book is a good one, but I would have to ventture out to the library....well, maybe.

Till next time.

Cheers all, and thanks for all of the entertainment over the last week!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:04AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Candy, I planted many trees in our yard. Nolon never did any of the planting. The native trees pretty well were already here....oaks, ash, black cherry, serviceberies, and dogwoods. Also the sweet gum was planted by nature. I planted some dogwoods, but our woods are full of them.
I actually never really 'belonged' to the perennial group. I have been more into shrubs, trees, and bulbs. Now I am only maintaining them, what the deer leave for me, and focusing on potted plants.

Your are right. This is a very pretty area. Spring and fall are espacially pretty. It is a very popular tourist area.

It is spitting snow, but not supposed to be any added accumulation. We have about an inch on the ground. The temp this morning was 0 and expected to be colder tonight.It has got up to 10F now. We are staying quite comfortable, with our wood stove, and small electric heaters here and there. I baked some blueberry muffins this morning. That helps add heat to the kitchen. I have more baking in the plans.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 11:53AM
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No black boxes where the pictures should be, Michelle, but just a very black monitor. Apparently my computer has decided that something internal is not up to snuff and it's at our computer guru friend's house or a thorough evaluation. I was unable to get any sort of life on the monitor, nor was I able to get it to shut down. Bad thing is I can't get to my e-mail since I've long since forgotten the password for the account. ;/

I agree the progression of your garden is just lovely, Michelle! and your husband is a good egg to help out a neighbor like that. Never know when the favor may be repaid in kind. Generosity of deed and spirit are fine attributes that make everyone's lives easier.

Denise, I love the stencilled fence. Beautiful! I particularly like the color combination. How are you doing it, with a stencil brush or spray paint? Time is limited on the helpmeet's computer so I've not explored any of the links to the Larsens. the camera sure takes a nice shot, and you have a great eye.

The back deck of your home is just super, Saucy. What room were you in to take that shot? I laughed at the stickers on the windows... funny how those little things get overlooked, huh? But do remove them, they can leave discoloration on the glass.

Fabulous news about the reorganization, V.! Are they going to put you in charge of it? I can only image how much that must brighten your outlook. Wish I could say as much for my own position. ;) The more things stay the same, the more they remain the same...

But not here. The workbench is completed. The garden tool rack and the sheetrock storage have been flipflopped in the bahn. A pegboard storage rack has been sited (per my instructions) next to the bench. The window hardware is now in place, nearly 2 1/2 yrs. after the windows were installed (wouldn't "go do anything half cocked now", would we?). A large lidded, galvinized barrel has been put into service to receive the ashes we clean out of the stoves weekly (has to be metal and sited on a non-flammable surface since ashes can remain hot for some time). There were some attempts at "suggestions" during the work this morning, but they were largely over-ridden and in the final analysis there was an appreciative and admiring nod to the time I'd put into the reorganization and how smoothly it all went (-3hrs.). JulieJobs rule!

Left to solve (my contributions to the EAT program):
-raised mat for the walk from the side entry door to the Salon door (about 12'). Something raised that will allow snow melt will trickle to the concrete slab below it.
-mat for the slab just inside the entryway to the Salon staircase.
-runner for the stairs to the Salon. Must be polypropylene and look OK. And must cover only the risers and treads, not the landing.
-floorcloth for the landing of the Salon stairs.
-decent looking polypropylene rug for the head of the Salon staircase.
-lidded, galvinized barrel for birdseed.

Also beginning the process of a website, which several friends insist is a necessity. Thoughts on this? I am humbled by how very little I know about any of this stuff. But necessity being the mother of invention, it will be surmounted. :) And it needn't be hurried, which puts a nice spin the creative aspect such a project offers.

All is white outdoors now (maybe 6"). And overnight the really cold weather is supposed to set in. Highs not out of the low 20sF, with high pressure firmly in control. Static electricity will be the word of the day; kitties beware! But there is plenty of wood and I have plenty to do inside. Wrecks will make "out" good for a few laughs, too.

Need and want. Knowing the difference is really the key to making your life a whole lot easier. An easier life is one that offers more posssibility for laughter and fun.

Have forgotten much, but nodded and laughed a good deal reading about it all. And the helpmeet has just informed that it's dinnertime. Later!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 6:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Julie will want to know that her post inspired me to stop at Ace Hardware while out on another errand and purchase an un-cracked switch plate. Installation is half-cocked at best, because the log post that is partially in front of this switch was not cut properly to allow the switch plate to fit in. (Which is why the original was cracked.) But I think my half-cocked solution is better looking than the fully cracked problem, so there.

Chelone, I won't be in charge of the reorganization, but I would get some different job duties. Two of the difficult people in the office would be shifted to other duties that may be better suited to them, one in a different part of the business and the other in the unemployment office. (Trying to be subtle ;)) And unlike the last several months, we would hire a couple of people to cover the other duties. Cross your fingers.

I'm another fan of the idyll title. I love reading and writing and sometimes wonder why I didn't choose a more literary track through college. I suspect that being born right smack in the middle of the baby boom meant that the schools were doing all they could just to get us all educated, and finer skills such as critical thinking and creativity were not encouraged at the time. As a result, I think I felt that some paths were totally out of my league.

But I have made a resolution (a January 8th resolution, not a New Year's resolution) to do more writing this year. I will be making time each day to do a little bit, and we shall see where it goes from there.

I have a meeting to run on Sunday morning and my Powerpoint is not complete, so I'd better say adios for now!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:02PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Weekend all -- I havent posted here as immersed back in the land of awf-ice and it's hard not to want to collaps and whine or worse.... Im sure this too shall pass. Others have similar or worse woes -- Michelle - did the DQ quit or is she one of those who just threatens all the time to see if others "value" her? ugh.

V - that's wonderful that there may be light at the end of the tunnel for you. I'll cross my fingers and toes and other appendages for you.

Impressed with all the JJobs accomplished here; I've failed miserably on that account other than while off last week, when I did get a lot done.

O Cyn, what a terrible thing re the teeth -- good luck on Monday -- I hope maybe you can take it in smaller increments like Kathi did; geez, one could redo the kitchen, add an extension onto the house, or buy a very nice car w/ that couldnt one? It's great you've got a reputable "jorge" tho - having a handy dandy is a very valuable commodity!

We had a little under 2 inches of snow to greet the a.m. here and very frigid temps now on tap -- I'd hibernate like a bear if I could - but have the stock club and work to do for that - the Sunday mtg is one I have a bunch of responsibilities for, and then hostess the following month. If we're lucky we might get to see 40 on Monday for temps for a brief period.

I love to read, not sure how I love to write... but I sure LOVE the flowers and the pics! Michelle, that is such a gorgeous gorgeous border -- glad you are making headway on your winter indoor projects. I need to simplify too, for dusting, but have trouble letting go of things - not a total hoarder, but definitely a hard-to-break habit keeper.

Denise -- I did see that lovely fence graphic - aside from your inventor talents, you're so artistic. If I were a wee bit talented, I'd attempt a painted garden door on my fence instead of still grappling with what to use/find - hmm, maybe I could twist a friend's arm who paints?

Julie - so sorry to hear about the med issues for TCS -- hang in there; I actually do recall sleep issues for my DD at one point re meds - it was worth it in the end, but a tough part to get thru.

Kathy -- Im going to keep your hellebores in mind; I can dream my own will be budded up in a month - I like to pretend Im only a month behind your area, LOL but this year, I think the frigid temps are going to make it more delayed....

Hope to get going on my spring planning this weekend too at some point since that's what I really want to do - took some doing to locate my notes from last year - I seem to be more disorganized than ever...

Enjoy some peace and quiet for the weekend all!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Catching up on things.
With DH home and unable to talk, there is much cooking, cleaning up of tissues, reminding about medicines, laundry, gesticulating to get messages across, etc. Big helpless baby with a PhD.

Today I have kept the wood stove burning. Phoebe and I begin the day with a short walk. I also managed to complete the crochet edging on the blanket I knit before Christmas. As well I completed a tiny red hat with owls on it. I have some lovely new dark green wool waiting in the wings. Food has been good but portion control is in effect for me. (Stir fried scallops this evening) The treadmill has been in use for the past three me. I am still in knitting mode, which means that reading (as in literature) is in the background. There are several books I plan on studying in regards to home schooling, things that could be fun to do with Skyler when I visit in March. I have completed the book club assignment for Tuesday (not so good ghost story) and don't yet have the book for the next session, one on art I believe.

My heart goes out to Julie and TCS. I look at things so differently as a Nana than I did as a young mother. I think Julie must too, and I think that is a good thing! Because of Skyler's issues, I see every problem as just another parenting challenge rather than as a crisis. Of course nothing prepared me for step parenting and dealing with a birth mother. My January 8th plan is to try to be more generous with her. After all, I know what it is to be a "mother bear".

Saucy, DD felt much as you do about "Food, Inc" but she is delighted by her DH's response to it. She has decided that he learns things through film, and so is going to be more selective of movies to watch together. (She can only tolerate about 2 each month whereas he could watch 2 each day I think!)

A friend has a blog in which she posted questions that relate to our threads. I'll list her questions from yesterday:

What was the best new (to you) author you discovered this year?
What was your favorite new (to you) series?
Book that made you cry?
Book that made you laugh out loud?
Book that totally changed your perspective on something?
Best homeschooling book?
Worst book that you managed to finish?
Most disappointing Book?
Best book-that-was-better-than-the-movie?
Most over-hyped book of the year?
Best feel-good book of the year?
Best young adult book of the year?
Book youve been meaning to read for years and finally got to?
Read aloud that the family enjoyed the most?
Best non-fiction?
Best religion/theology/doctrine/philosophy?
All-around best story of the year?
Book that you feel is so integral to your library, youd even pay full price for it?

I enjoyed her responses, even though they are very different from mine. This woman is at a different stage of life than I am though.

Yesterday it was want vs need. Today I have been pondering the question I was asked: "What was the happiest moment of your life?" I find it odd to think of happiness in terms of "moments". Rather I look back on periods of time that affected me. Anyway, it is fun to ponder such things each day as I go about my tasks.

Time for colour of the day:
Clematis Omoshiro (2006)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I went in late today since the road was plugged and DH needed to blow the snow again. The snow plow hadnt been by. It is very cold here yet. I believe 20 for tonight. Although, they are mentioning highs in the 20s or even 30 for next week. Our family Christmas as been postponed until my parents return from their winter vacation. My siblings were supposed to come from out of state and they decided it was just too bitterly cold to be on the road.

I completed the wallpaper removal yesterday and am now working on glue residual and patching.

I sure am enjoying the clematis color on this thread.

Candy, fun chair with a cheery combination in it. I started the butterfly garden in 2002 and it was about ½ the size it is now.

Cyn, sorry to hear that you are dealing with dental woes.

Cindy, you have the DQ pegged. She needs lots of stroking.

Denise, I meant to mention how much I like your fence stencil.

Speaking of hellebores, I dont think I have any that arent under at least 3 foot of snow this is going to be a lonnnnng winter.

Chelone, you sound very productive these days.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Greetings everyone, Friday night has been a cleaning and chore evening , punctuated by wasting time on the computer. I have a French film to watch (La Ceremonie) but will save for tomorrow night when I am more wound down. Lots of manual labor on tap for the weekend-we never know here when we might get days of rain and getting another group of the roses pruned during a dry spell is a priority. Im going to cook two new recipes this weekend ( a resolution, pre- Jan 8th is to cook one new dish every week ) and spend some time on IU7 itineraries..

What productivity continues on the Compound ! I expect I might knock on your door in October to view the result. And if the e-mail is kaput, you have missed a flurry of activity relative to IU7, which as you know is taking place in a non-existent location, west of the Mississippi.

V, I can relate to the career path thing , and know that I will continue to write for my own pleasure . While I was active in Napa County MGs I participated in the committee that submitted a weekly gardening column to our local newspaper ..I wrote several columns a year and like to continually remind my family that I am published ,lol. None of us were paid, it was all volunteer. It was a great exercise to write for the paper, and our editor was a real writer, one of the food columnists for the SF Chronicle. I think your resolution is a worthy goal, and there arent many activities that I find as gratifying as writing something, and enjoying reading it.

Cindy, I think a month between us is reasonable unless we have an early spring. Feb and March are so unpredictable. It can rain almost daily , or it can freeze, or it can do neither and spike up to the 70s during the day.

Thinking of Michelle and her cold temps, calling out to Ei, and hoping Deanne isnt snowed in in the blind.

Roses, Delphiniums, and Rosemary, last summer. From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 11:19PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Love the roses, delphs and rosemary combination, Kathy. Sorry to hear you have to deal with dental issues, too. I have dealt with lousy teeth most of my life. I also have a couple of implants. All I have asked is that they do whatever to avoid dentures. I just hope the teeth I have hold on long enough to do this in stages. Otherwise, it's the Moms Mabley route for me-lol...anyone remember her? Yes, at night I do dream of a new kitchen, new deck, trips to Paris and Napa...

Chelone, I recently bought several of L.L. Bean's Waterhog mats-three for inside and one for outside. They look pretty good and seem to keep things a little cleaner when the fools are coming in and out. I use a galvanized trash can with lid for our dog food and birdseed. If I put the handle up, it seems to hold the lid in place, so no mice or squirrels can avail themselves of the gourmet morsels-at least not until the seed is actually in the feeders-then it is a free-for-all. I am incredibly irked at the moment by the starlings that have descended in our yard lately. Greedy little invaders.

Sorry to hear of your computer woes. It always amazes me how difficult it is now to live without being connected to this machine. However, after a day or so, I feel liberated and I tend to accomplish so much more. Of course, you accomplish so much anyway, that isn't a worry. I am afraid I am just lazy these days. Not that I experience the loss very often-usually only if I don't bring the computer home with me from school. We haven't had one of our own at home for years. I keep intending to get one and am intriqued by the MAC notebooks. Won't be spending the $ now though. Any surplus will go toward the IU7 trip! What could be better-fun with imaginary friends in a non-existant location? LOL,Kathy.

'bug, Aquilegia are some of my favorite flowers. I have several, but they seem to decline a little every year. So, I just plant more and enjoy while they're there. Sorry the nursing career is not going better. My DH is a lousy patient, too.

Candy, your impatiens on the chair look marvelous. Storing the idea for my garden in the spring!

Julie, the ski lessons for TCS sound like just the thing. It will be something he'll use the rest of his life-well, at least until the knees give out, alas.

I am also plotting a way to keep the pups out of the gardes. I did buy some chicken wire and stakes to put in one spot adjacent to the deck and steps-hoping to train them to stay on the steps and not head through the garden in order to leap down from the wall onto the patio. I feel a little guilty depriving them of that joy, but I really want more than just dirt in that garden! I just found a picture I had of it newly planted last June. It looked so nice. Didn't take long for it to be completely transformed by the Galloping Gardeners.

Michelle, congrats on dispatching the wall paper. That is a miserable job.

Marian, what a cozy picture I have of you baking. Nothing says hearth and home like the aroma of fresh baked treats.

Cindy, I am afraid you will be right about our weather this year. February and March are so hard to predict, but I am not hopeful of an early Spring this year however much we may need it.

DH is now on a ladder cleaning gutters. I really do need to get that $1 million dollar policy in place.

Hi to Saucy, Martie, Ei, V, Denise, Deanne, and anyone else I missed. Time to get started on my Julie Jobs and maybe some of the EAT list. I also still have my cracked switchplate. Fixing it would entail a trip to HD and it is just so darn cold out-I know I am a whiner and to most of you this would seem balmy compared to what you are experiencing. I would never leave the house in winter if we had cold like some of you have mentioned. I am SO pathetic.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 1:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am awaiting the birth of my friends second grandchild. The clock ticks....Maybe today, maybe in 2 weeks. Who knows?

This morning was busy with errands: the dump, groceries at two different places, pet food from the vet's, the yarn shop, clothes to the second-time-around shop, etc. Last night I cleaned out my yarn supplies (Think Julie Job plus EAT here) and have 3 bags to donate, probably to the retirement home. I also collected three pairs of shoes that I cannot wear and delivered them to a friend who wears a similar size. This is a small dent in the cleanup project, but a beginning.

It is beautiful and sunny outdoors and Phoebe's walks have been lengthened a bit. Well, not enough to please her, but some! She goes to the beauty parlor on the 18th and will be brutally shaved. I hate to do it but she's a mass of knots.

OK Cyn, for you.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 3:08PM
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They don't usually make movies based on the books I read, 'bug. I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. "The Other Bolyen Girl" was an appalling read (I abandonned it by the 3rd chapter). I'm reasonably well read on the subject of the Tudor dynasty and was shocked by the inaccuracies and liberties taken by the author (Philippa Gregory). The movie magnified them even more and turned fascinating history into little more than tabloid cinema. The real story and the factual evidence is infinitely more interesting and I was saddened to see it so cheapened. I will likely never pick up any book she's written, as a result. I also thought "The Da Vinci Code" was dreadful. But I loved "Sophie's Choice".

Yeah, the whole computer thing is interesting. I am more freaked out about the e-mail thing than anything else. I have plenty of ways to amuse myself without a computer, but it's interesting how it's managed to infiltrate our lives to such an extent. The next question that comes to mind is why, if it's become such an ubiquitious presence in our lives, there is no control over the PRICING (from "for profit" companies) that now threatens access to the "information highway". It's becoming clear that access is by "toll" and if you can't afford the toll you can't access the information. Time for controls, methinks. I foresee that as the next great wave of legislation. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Time to make some dessert or the residents of the Compound. Probably tapioca since canned pumpkin was nowhere to be found on the grocery store shelves. Bummer.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 5:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, here's one response by my friend to those questions:
Worst book that you managed to finish?

Wideacre by Philippa Gregory. Not a single bit of redeeming value in this book. I actually threw it away after I finished it because I couldnt stand the thought of donating it. Thank goodness I only paid 50 cents for it at a garage sale.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 5:54PM
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Lol, worst book I actually finished, The Celestine Prophecy , thank god I bought it used. I just could not get through the Da Vinci Code neither one of those are within a million miles of Sophies Choice IMHO.

More rose pruning today, a task that always segues into general spring cleanup chores..lots of dead foliage still standing in the Kathy garden. I spent time on the ladder hacking away at Lady Bankssome urgency here since she will bloom in Feb .Four more bush roses were pruned and I started to work on Reine des Violettes; an absolute monster who requires major surgery every winter . Poor Clem Ramona lives within her grasp and has been barely seen in the last couple of years. This year I will prune her majesty to free Ramona , not to mention Golden Celebration, another that is in her clutches. It is uniformly grey and dreary here , we are in our fog-and-rain season. Fungus Corners.

Another Aquilegia fan-I had fully intended to strew some seeds around in fall, but I missed the boat.

Waves to all, hoping to see more of us check in this weekend !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 8:51PM
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I love the Columbine, GB! Very cheery.

I am not sure I could finish a book I didn't like...I haven't yet :)

I agree that it is hard to come up with the happiest moments in my life. That's a good question to ponder, though. Lately my pondering have been of the "what do you want?" variety, which are also very hard for me.

I just joined a Raw Milk CSA (consumer supported agriculture) to compliment my meat CSA. I am excited about this, and feel like I've already noticed a difference in my health. I was found to have low vitamin D, too, folks, so get tested at your next check up (see for specific test and more info). I have been feeling good since I've been lightly supplementing. It explains why I felt so good in So. Cal.

Speaking of CA, Nick read that there was an earthquake in northern CA - how are you Kathy? Denise?

I guess I'm going to go figure out what to do with this day! I have a jam packed week coming up, so relaxing sounds good :)


    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 9:26AM
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The quake was good sized, but a couple hundred miles north , and epicenter was actually in the pacific , off the Humboldt county coast--it was said so have been felt by some this far south, but not by me !

Back later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 10:44AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Thanks 'bug. Beautiful shot. Isn't the anticipation of a new baby one of the greatest joys in life?

Saucy, I love raw milk, but don't know where to get it around here. We do get milk delivered by a dairy in Maryland. I'll have to ask them if they can sell it raw. I think it is illegal around here unless you own the cow and this farm isn't a co-op. I am not sure we have any CSAs, but I'll look into it. I'm afraid around here they might think I am talking about the Conferate States of America-lol.

I have read recently that vitamin D is really important, so I have been supplementing as well. It is amazing how much our emotional well-being depends on all the physical and chemical interactions rather than the situations we are in at the time. When I am eating well and getting out for walks more, I seem to be more resiliant and have a much better attitude. Needless to say, my attitude at the moments sort of stinks.

I agree about history, Chelone. Just last week, I caught the last five minutes or so of "The Other Boleyn Girl" on tv and that was more than enough. Schools miss out on such great opportunities when it comes to teaching history and turning kids into lovers of history. The true stories really are so much more exciting and interesting than fiction. When I can tell my kids that George Washington was a real action hero who had horses shot out from under him, who loved to dance, who was considered the finest horseman in the colonies, who loved ice cream, who adored and was adored by his wife, who was the only President elected unanimously-it really makes him come alive and then they will remember the "need to know" information. I constantly find myself jumping in during lessons to share fascinating facts. Unfortunately, the teachers are so under the gun to teach the facts that will be tested, they don't seem to realize that they will learn those if they are intrigued/hooked by the "other stuff." Oh well. Rant over.

Glad the quake wasn't felt, Kathy.

Time for jobs...

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:59AM
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If you're interested in meat CSAs, Cyn, you can check your state at the link below...that's how I got started.

It is quiet here today. SunnyD and I took the mutts for a walk in the woods and Small (her corgi) fell in the creek...he's quite comical. She's got a new pup, Kya. I need to remember that my phone has a camera and snap more pictures while I'm out and about.

Speaking of photos...I'm taking a photo class in March! V. has inspired me :)


    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 2:11PM
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I recall an earthquake in our region way back in '81. I felt it but didn't realize what it was until I heard it on the news the next morning. :)

I'm with you, Saucy, if the book blows I put that sucker down and move on. There is too much in our lives that we "have" to do, finishing crummy books isn't one of them unless you're on the credit hunt.

I have reached the conclusion that I need to have 3 things in good balance to be happy and content.
1.) Exercise
2.) Intellectual stimulation
3.) Creative outlet
I can function with only 2 but when I allow myself put off 2 on the list (for whatever reasons) I can quickly find myself circling the bowl in a decided downward spiral. Funny how that happens and often without even realizing it.

Vitamin D; I'm tellin' ya it's one of the reasons I make it a point to go outdoors everyday. In the colder months I try to go out when the sun is high and I don't wear my sunglasses the whole time. It's another reason I make it a point to have the proper outdoor clothing. Being cold is a total drag and completely unnecessary.

I made chocolate almond tapioca this morning and spied an elderly jar of applesauce in the back of the 'frig.. After looking through one of Mum's cookbooks I settled on Applesauce drop cookies. I've just finished the resultant clean up. And the helpmeet is about to prepare our "half time" buffet. While I played Betty Crocker he put up some brackets for speakers in the garage bay and some shelving for me over the workbench. I figure I'll head on out there and arrange the space after our "feed". (I loathe football).

Cyn., both the 'rents were huge history buffs. So I come by the passion naturally. And both of them were big on "looking it up", too. I can't remember a time in my life when we didn't have an encyclopaedia or good, informative books on a variety of subjects. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to want to teach that way and be hobbled by insufficiently prepared kids who come from "homes" where no one really gives a damn and considers you nothing more than a glorified babysitter. I tip my hat to you for availing yourself of every opportunity to insert the "fun" into lessons. Learning is such a gas! I have been picking my way through a biography of George Washington for over a year now; I get into a groove with it and then set it aside for long spells, but he was a fascinating man and understood the necessity of polished manners and being a good conversationalist if he wanted to advance his career. Lessons that still hold in our time. ;)

And speaking of learning (or not) I really don't want to go to work tomorrow. I realize that there is virtually no professional curiosity there and I find "going through the motions" increasingly tiresome. I've never been a "clock watcher" but I am now.

Time to go out and check the stove in the Salon and formulate a plan or eliminating more clutter. Julie, you'd be proud of me!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 2:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Clutter-busting is on the agenda here as well. Somehow our cheapo flatware set with 12 place settings was down to only 5 spoons and 7 forks. I'm not sure where they went, but it was getting to be a problem, so DH and I gifted each other a new set of flatware. It arrived this week, so the silverware drawer needs to be cleaned out and rearranged. And I need to take advantage of a sunny day to get to a couple of other corners that can't be adequately cleaned in the dark.

I've been meaning to tell a tale on DH. A couple of weeks ago we got the Prairie Moon catalog. Prairie Moon is a native plant nursery that includes a wealth of growing information in their catalog. That's one that never, ever hits the recycling bin until I have the new edition safely in hand.

Anyway, the 2010 edition arrived and DH says, "Look! this year they are calling it the "Catalog and Cultural Guide!" My response was something along the lines of "yeah?" and the subject was dropped. A couple of nights later, DH decided to peruse the catalog, and realized that "Cultural Guide" did not mean art, music or literature!

My budget presentation at church this morning went well. Even had a professor who teaches church administration at a seminary sit in, and she told me afterward that I did a nice job. That's the kind of feedback that is nice to have.

OK, I need to get the Julie Jobs rolling here!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 3:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Reading along and enjoying the activities of my friends.

I spent the morning at our Gravel Watch meeting. It was most interesting, in part because DH still is unable to speak due to his cold, so I was there to transmit responses when necessary. Rather fun to see him squirm and not be able two interject his 2 cent's worth. (I'm evil) Our very qualified VP was able to see that things moved along in a timely fashion. There were several new guests, always a good thing.

For today? Pasque Flower.

I think I'd like to knit a while and reflect on things before dealing with dinner.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 4:13PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Saucy, thanks for the great link. I am going to see if some friends want to go in on a half or quarter cow with us.

'bug, hope your reflections are happy ones. At least you know they won't be interrupted by chatter from DH-lol. I do hope he gets over his cold quickly, though. No fun being sick. All your flowers are marvelous. The colors are my favorites and what I try to grow in the few spots I can.

Chelone, I try to get out, too, but I am so covered up in winter that I sure am not making any vitamin D! The chocolate tapioca sounds fabulous. Have you ever considered catering?

DH made soup today. He used to make wonderful chowders and creamy seafood concoctions. Today, he decided on potato, onion, and celery soup. We'll see. The aroma is not calling to me, I'm afraid.

Looks like I may be a grandma soon! DS and my SBBIDIL (should-be-but-isn't-daughter-in-law) have applied to adopt a puppy. From Drop Box

Look at the size of those paws-perfect for digging with the Galloping Gardeners! I hope they get approved because they are both so excited. Hey, I'll take what I can get-LOL.

V, what does happen to spoons? We still have all the forks, but are down to six spoons. Maybe they have run away with the socks...

Oops, just noticed the time. I'll be back tomorrow and let you know how the dentist went. Not looking forward, but I'm always numb, so I don't know why I dread it so much.

Sweet dreams all.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 6:07PM
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Hi Everyone. Someone asked me to post a couple of pictures of the potager and the dogs. I hope there aren't too many repeats here.

This sign was a Christmas present from Mary, Brandon, and Charlie. Charlie's little handprints on there. He comes over every day in the summer and eats from the veggies. Mary and Brandon said he thinks every veg comes from our garden. He made up Skip's grandpa name, just started calling him Sheesh.

Fall, we changed to the rain barrel from the original big crockery pot.

I am going to put the dogs on a separate post, so I don't bog down this thread. Cyn, that puppy is adorable! Good luck tommorrow with your teeth.

Bug, I really like your Pasque Flower pic. That is a nice one, mine doesn't perform that well.

Candy, beautiful clematis. Which one is it?

I have been trying to de-clutter here too. Yesterday I painted the bathroom, even though the ceiling is falling in and the whole thing needs to be gutted. I couldn't look at the ugly walls anymore, they look better with pain at least.

Stay warm!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:01PM
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6 more roses pruned, compost pile started , Mdme Issac Perrier is re-tied to her support , and 3 pots of tulip bulbs planted. I must address the weeds that are sprouting like gangbusters in the front. I may need to take a gardening PTO day off this month..there is so much to do and one rainy weekend will put me way behind. I still have lots of dead perennial foliage to clean up , and things will start to grow in Feb so the clock is ticking.

Lol V, what a rude awakening for DH to find himself reading about plants !

Drema, I love seeing the pics of your potager again..

Need to cook up some dinner , Fettucine Alfredo tonight, though a low-fat version..i.e less cheese , no cream . Last nights new recipe as an apple cider roasted winter squash (acorn and butternut) which was tasty, but next time I will increase the herbs and halve the olive oil.

Nite allstay warm !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:35PM
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Hello everyone

Hopelessly behind here on the Idylls but many Julie Jobs have been accomplished which included some major post holiday cleanup and sorting out of kitchen drawers and closets.

In terms of reading I just finished a novely by Amy Tan and am immersing myself in a home study on wines. For someone who drinks a fair amount of the stuff, and a trip to Napa in the offing, I thought I should educate myself about grapes, regions, and winemaking. So far it has been fun, I have a few books from the library and visited on of our better wine shop. I'm on a quest for my favorite wine under $10 (actually I'm starting off with $5 bottles) and this weekend tried a pleasant Spanish red which also made an excellent Boeuf Bourguignon. Next weekend I'm on to Chile (the country, not the dish) or perhaps both. Any recommendations anyone?

Today Annie had stage crew all day so David and I headed to the park for some x-country skiing. Although he cannot down-hill this year, his Dr has give approval for x-country and we had a fantastic time in the sunny cold. It was like skiing through Narnia.

kathy - I cooked a buttercup squash yesterday, baking it on high with garlic, olive oil and a few herbs. It was the smoothest, creamiest squash I've ever eaten. I can't wait to try it again and will stock up on a few new week at the market.

Drema - your potager is beautiful. I've been bitten by the vegetable bug this winter and am planning out a veggie garden for spring. This time I'm going to make a poly tunnel for an earlier start, which should also keep out the marauding wildlife that has discouraged me in the past. It won;'t be nearly as pretty as yours though!

A big wave to all

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 9:01PM
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Keeping this brief as Ive lost two posts over the weekend. Computer problemsso frustrating with the freezing and other issues! Taking the wretched thing in for diagnostics and possible repair or the hassle of buying a new one. Gave DD my laptop last year so well be cold turkey. It is ridiculous how this technology can disrupt a household and alarming to think on a global scale.

Ill be so far behind around heregaaaah :-((

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:37AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Monday all!

Nice week-end here. I am so pleased with the results of my ruthless approach to EATing in the kitchen. We will do the lazy susan thing in a couple of weeks and are looking for the ceiling fans. The window crank cannot be fixed without replacing the window so we will live with it.

DH actually went out and bought the switchplate cover. Showed it to me, said he would install it. I looked a few hours later - still not done. Asked him about it, and very surprised, he said he HAD done it. We checked it out - he had put the new one on the counter and the old one there when he took it off. Went to answer the phone, came back, and reinstalled the old one, tossing the new one out. Had to rummage through the trash and then do the exchange. Yes, I know the crack was small, but it bugged me.

Prepared a huge roast pork for dinner last night. Followed the directions in the Joy of Cooking, and it was excellent. DS is here for a few days to "help" with the basement EATing. I don't know how much help he'll be but he sure does know how to eat!!

May have finally found the combination for TCS - he has had two whole nights of good solid rest. Need to consult with the pharmacist and doctor to double check that what we are doing is o.k.

Mary I am so glad David is able to get out Nordic skiing! I was thinking of him as I assembled TCS's equipment this week and am pleased to hear that he is progressing so very well! Good for you for all the effort and encouragement.

Drema, the pups are so cute! And the potager garden looks great. Isn't it wonderful when kids eat the healthy stuff, and enjoy it? TCS eats the peas right off the vines all the time. I still find it amazing that many kids don't realize that carrots are a root vegetable!

I really like the Pasque flower. I planted one here and then assiduously rooted it out thinking it was a weed...I am hoping for volunteers...

I love your story about DH reading the garden catalogue V! We had exactly the same problem with kitchen flatware, I have no idea how this occurs. We also had fourteen plates and three matching mugs....threw up my hands and replaced it all.

Gee Kathy, things are going to start growing in FEBRUARY???!!! Hmmm, maybe the only plus I can think of with respect to the climate here is that it is impossible to work outside for 5 months, so often indoor things actually get done. Not always though!

Chelone, yes I am proud of you, but I am also in awe! You get so much done, and done well. I was thinking fondly of you yesterday as I set up my sewing machine and mended 4 pairs of jeans for DH, sewed on a few buttons, and attached cub badges for TCS. TCS watched for a while and then asked "Is sewing hard?" I told him that like anything else, it isn't when you know how, and you learn how by watching, practicing, following instructions, and that it takes a long time. He was impressed.

DH was not too thrilled when I told him we needed to EAT our way through the basement storage this week. Then (LOL) he caused a minor flood in there while servicing his acquariums, and now we HAVE to clean it out. Hahahaha!!! The Fickle Finger of Fate strikes again.

Well, it appears that members of the family are taking a number as they wait for the computer, so I'm off!

Cheers to all,


    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:12AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, Drema, I would so love to have a potager like that! I felt the lack of such a source of veggies last night when we had DH's celery/potato/onion soup. We both decided it was seriously lacking. We planned to add more vegetables and turn it into a regular veg. soup. I was really looking forward to doctoring it up. Alas, I am now on a "soft foods only" diet for a week since the gum surgery and only liquids for 24 hours. No chips, cookies, nuts, juices with pulp, or anything that for two weeks. I considered asking what I would do for breakfast at school now that I couldn't have cookies...I have stocked up on cream soups, yogurt, and pudding! Do you think pasta counts as soft food? That would make the week easier. I had planned a big pot of chili for the weekend and told my DH that he may as well forget it-if I can't eat it, I'm not cooking it (I know-not nice) and he suggested that I could just have some of the broth. Thanks SO much. I've decided to count Sunday as a week, so we can have it after all. The dentist did give me a prescription for Vicodin and everyone at school said it is so strong-I was expecting to be in lala land, but so far feel nothing.

Julie, funny that you weeded out the Pasque flower-I did that one year with a lot of my echinacea. Felt really stupid. Now, I tend to end up with two-foot tall weeds that I was afraid to pull when they were little-lol.

I am so enjoying reading about all the culinary exploits of everyone and your wine quest, Mary. Maybe we should start a thread with best winter dinner recipes/wine combinations.

Hmmm, think maybe the meds are kicking in. Time to take a break. Oh, my dentist just called to check on me-how nice!

Hope you are all warm and well-fed (yes, I am obsessing at this point) tonight.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 5:55PM
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I tend to finish my 2nd. cup of coffee on my way to work and as a result I brush my teeth when I get there. I was dutifully flossing them and remembered that today was D-day for Cyn. and the gum surgery. I'm sure you were nicely, "shot up" the procedure itself was painless but the recovery is going to be a a bit of drag. I recall reading that mouths and eyes tend to heal quickly, so hang in there, kiddo! I recall being horrified to learn that a child in Washington DC actually died from septicemia, the result of completely out of control dental decay and abcesses. The dentist is my Achilles heel; it takes every ounce of willpower I have to get myself there twice yearly. All the angst is the result of sporadic visits as a child, most of which were extremely (and predictably) unpleasant. I really do sympathize!

Drema, your potager is beautiful and the sign is perfect. There really is nothing like having fresh vegetables all season long. We finished the last of the gaHden's Brussel Sprouts on New Year's Day. I find that absolutely amazing! The helpmeet has determined that he's going to plant paHsnips next year, and has been poring over Johnny's Selected Seeds regularly since the catalogue arrived some weeks ago.

Eden will be pleased to note that we've added a whopping 17 minutes of daylight since 12/21/09. The sun is now rising officially at 7:13, one minute earlier. I don't pay much attention to the time it sets, frankly. ;)

The workbench is complete, and the shelves are in place. I spent a relaxing evening out there organizing all my painting stuff and decluttering the Salon. The next project is the addition of a couple of electrical outlets on the wall behind the workbench and a nice flourescent light fixture to the ceiling and possibly one on the wall between the outlets, too. Not sure and more practical study will be required. I will have to begin running speaker wire, too. But that will wait until my computer is returned and can be integrated with the stereo components to allow me to stream music and radio through the speakers.

Clearly, no e-mail for the time being. I don't know if a trip to Fantasyland is in the offing for me, you guys. At least not one that involves purchasing a plane ticket. ;) It's the busiest time of the year for both of us and my present dissatisfacation with work may dictate a decided reining in of discretionary spending. But maybe I'll find a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk...

V., how nice to have your hard work and attention to detail noticed. I'm happy for you. I think, oftentimes, bosses fail to recognize the ability that they have at their beck and call. And sometimes some recognition is all that's required to smooth ruffled feathers. I meant to tell you that I loved DD's caption for the dog picture.

Kathy, I have two LPs by Jean Luc Ponty. One is "A Taste For Passion" the other is (I think) "Cosmic Messenger". The former is actually quite nice, as I recall, but it's been ages since I listened to it and if I heard it now I might think it was crap! The latter was basically crap.

I'm relying on JulieJobs to keep my spirits up these days and so far, so good. Hoist a glass of the finest $5 swill you can find, Mary. I'll be there in spirit. :)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 7:45PM
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I remember life with our Galloping Gardeners, Toby and Pamela, mama newf and son newf mix. Livestock exclusion fences were hastily put up, seemingly overnight, to keep those rascals out once it became apparent what they were capable of. I must have whined unusually loudly ;>) There's been so many gates put up at various times, we joke it's like the opening of that old Get Smart show around here with all the doors slamming. Going through photos last night I found tons of pix of Toby. His framed photo also sits on a book shelf, what a grand guy he was.

Not reading but skimming pictures. Fabulous potager, Drema! And skimming, it seems David is up on skis. Hurray!

Much decluttering going on here too. Must be a post-holiday phenomenon. Work is picking up, thankfully, so this will be quick. I remember Jean Luc Ponty, the amazing violinist, from Frank Zappa days. I remember first hearing the risque humor of Flo and Eddie as barely a teenager, mercy me...

Mitch is in NYC and rhapsodizing over the snow. Duncan starts new semester of classes today. Marty thinks the next round of retirement will be Feb 13, and he hopes he makes the cut!

Sorry to hear of all the computer troubles. What a PIA.

Here's the Orange Chiffon poppy, a somniferum, opened this morning (in case color starved is as dangerous as lacking vitamin D):

Stay warm and vitamin D rich! Hoping to tuck into a good idyll read in the next couple of days. G'night all.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:03PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Beautiful poppy, Denise! I ran across some of Mitch's photos on Flora Grubb's blog today; it made me smile to think that I "know" him!

A decided funk has settled over this corner of the prairie this evening. Maybe it's more than a funk because I kind of feel like I've been kicked in the gut. A little issue with extended family tonight that really has just left me feeling discouraged. In my next life, I am going to be a cloistered monk.

Mary, I don't recall if it's under $10 but I am becoming fond of a chardonnay from Chile called 120. I think it was $7.99, but we bought several wines that day and I could be confused. Or I could have had too much wine. ;) Anyway, nice, crisp chardonnay.

DD got an email from her school today that they accidentally emailed a file with all of her personal info to all of the resident assistants at the school. Yep, social security number, address, grade point average. They recommended she check her credit report every four months. I recommended she demand that the school pay for that. If they balk, I think throwing around the phrase "violation of privacy laws" should get a little cooperation. For Pete's sake, how could they make a mistake like that?

The new flatware has been put away, the drawer cleaned and rearranged, and the old flatware counted and put away. Apparently one of my brand-new toasty warm gloves went off in search of the missing spoons and forks.

Methinks I am a tad grouchy tonight and I'd better shut up before I scare off my idyll friends. Here's to an awesome Tuesday!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:53PM
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A pleasure to find my Select Seeds order nestled in the mailbox upon arriving home from the awfice today.I have yet to get my germination station in the garage set up yet, but I think I will start seeds in mid-Feb . I also have my Michelle seeds which I will direct sow, likely in April when soil temps have warmed a bit. Spring seems distant, unless one is a buyer for a garden centerthe clock is ticking and I am feverishly placing orders so that we can hit the ground running when spring arrives. The beginning of spring from a merchant standpoint is quite dynamic, and happens whenever the nursery shopping public designates-which they do by showing up in droves with the wallet open, and one better be ready.

Chelone, you will be allowed to change your mind at the last minute -accommodation will be made. Meanwhile I am having a pleasant time planning my trip to NE in October, maps and guidebooks are spread out on the dining room table, and I came very close to booking transportation last week ; the fares are even lower that what I paid last year for IU6. I begin to think more and more about the retirement job phase of my life, and would love to be in a position right now to work 4 eight hour days (as opposed to five 9 or 10 hour days) and have the time to spend on activities that please me. There is nothing more miserable than clock watching ..and the attendant frustration with spending precious time wishing one were somewhere else. I like my job, and the above is not a frequent occurrence, but I can feel the wheel turn, and the shift in attitude.

Mary , I had pondered whether David would be inclined to get up on skis again-and of course the young are resilient and will do what it takes to resume any activity they love, even after a horrific injury such as his. I recommend you pay attention to the Oakville and Rutherford appellations in the Napa Valley, both of which look to be destinations for IU ..I have lists and notes all over the place and finally put everything in a folder this weekend-I am picking out the winerys that have the best gardens , and of course I will be forced to do a test visit to ensure that they live up to Idyll standards. Lol.

Cyn, I was unable to hang with the made me queasy . I got Darvoset (sp ?)the last time , and only took it the evening of the surgery and once the following day. Advil was quite ok for the rest of my recovery period. I do fine with the post op stuff, but I wimp out for the actual procedure and opt for the lights-out treatment. Enjoy your soup ! I went for applesauce, cottage cheese and green tea. And red wine.

Ahh Denise, garden renovation has finally put an end to my long run of P. somniferum , I had the mauvey one. I want Laurens Grape and tried to order seeds but Calif was excluded as a ridiculous. I can buy plants of same from Annies , so I will do so this year and collect the seed.

Going to visit Flora Grubb to hang with Mitch.

Am worried about Marian, she has not posted on FB in a few days, which is unusual, as she is very active there. I hope she is only experiencing computer woes.

All for me tonight, sweet dreams to all.

And for some zone 9/10 summer action, Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Kathy in Napa From Ruth Bancroft Garden Slideshow

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Life moves on here at the farm with DH being speechless, feeling miserable, tired of no voice lessons, no teaching, yet getting plenty of sleep. The "intellectual stimulation" element is seriously lacking for him.

I have been walking the dog, using the treadmill, making meals, knitting, etc. Pretty boring stuff, but at least it includes two out Chelone's 3 vital categories for happiness and contentment, exercise and a creative outlet.

I have been enjoying thinking about DD's observations on her toddlers: She has recently noticed Ivy beginning to wave and watch her hands. Ivy is curious that her fingers can move separately from the rest of her hand these days. Reed, on the other hand, used quite a few hand signs, something Ivy has not begun even though her parents use them with her. He would sign "please" and "more", and a little later combine them. My favorite memory is of him shouting "YA YA YA YA YA!" when he'd see a raspberry, whether in a bowl or on a plant. (He's the only person I've ever shared my raspberries with.) On this happy note I'm pleased to announce that DD and DSIL are welcoming another baby in late summer. So Eden, here we go again, though not quite neck and neck this time. :) And for you others, yes, there is optimism left in the world!

Nana 'bug

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 8:49AM
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Oh what wonderful news, GB! Congratulations to the family :)

Those are my favorte color of violas.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 1:43PM
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I see the population of the world will be increased again. At least the 2 mentioned here have a better chance of success that the other one I know of; the illegitimate spawn of a high school drop out and his naive "girl friend". I was asked if I'd take in their two cats and declined saying the commitment to a pet was for its life span, not until you tired of it... . Planning is everything. I want to throw up when I consider the fate to which that kid will be consigned and the burden that will be assigned to all good taxpayers. No surprise there, like watching a train wreck in slow motion...

V.,you're entitled to be grumpy and trust me, I won't be frightened away. Consider the source. ;) If you return as a cloistered nun or monk make sure you shave your head to keep the myth alive. I know that in this age of click and immediate gratification oversights will inevitably occur. But for Pete's sake,how many careless errors had to occur for the technical oversight to reach so many people? It wasn't simply the iceberg that consigned the Titanic to the ocean floor, afterall! What a drag for your DD. I'd be hopping mad about it, too.

Tough it out with the discomfort, Cyn. and save the Vicodin for recreational use, lol. (Every group has to have its token wise-ass and I'm fine with the label). I hope you're well within the comfort level and this phase of recovery passes quickly and uneventfully. How about a "Slushee blog"?

Work was OK today (needed that). After hitting the door at the precised moment the minute hand hit 12 I set out on a few errands. Rescheduled my hair cut for Thursday and then purchased a flow-through mat for the garage. I now have an operable telephone in the Salon. Still no word on my computer, but since it's not life-threatening I'll give it a full week before calling with a "tickle".

Interesting observations on the differences between toddlers, but not surprising since we're none of us stamped out in production line fashion. Poignant though they are, the memories of Reed are charming and I'm delighted that you share them, 'bug, because they give dimension and depth to a life that was too short. :) Not that I'm particularly interested, mind you, but none of you motherhood professionals ever answered my question about how long it takes to get past the miserable part of "teething". Get with it, you guys! (I teethed on Milk Bone dog biscuits, no wonder I had dogs).

I hope Marian is OK, too. I haven't paid any attention to the weather in her neck of the woods, but certainly hope nothing has gone terribly wrong with any part of her world.

That's all...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Emerging from the pages of too many books in the last week. Good reads but time to get on the move again. We have emergerd from the single digit weather temps too. Yay! for that.

Bug,congrats to the family. I love it. Love to hear memories of Reed too.

Denise, love the bright orange of that poppy. Good to know something is blooming somewhere.

V, how awful your DD has to deal with that.
I know that kicked in the gut feeling. Not fun.
I hope the job reorganizing can overide some of these isuues and cheer you up.

I'm not feeling very chatty, but wanted to say hi. I am finding my thoughts turning to the garden occasionly. There are changes made last year to look forward too seeing.
I did have to pull the pump in the big pond. Though I think it was more a problem with the pump and not the freezing up of the water. The smaller pond froze over but the water continued to run under the ice. The dogs and birds managed to keep a small opening to drink from. It was so cold I even brought Rocky (the old stinky dog that adopted us) into the utily room at night.

DH is making noises about supper so need to go make that happen.

Later. Norma

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 5:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just returned from a brief outing to show DH the outer world. We went to the drugstore. He stayed in the car. I got various remedies for his nose and throat, including peanut M&Ms.

I went to the post office as well where I mailed some rubber soled boots(with frogs on them) to Ivy along with this tiny red owl hat:

It was hard to leave the place because everyone is so small village friendly!

I love the poppies...but would not bother with Patty's Plum. I have had it over the years, but really, it has a very good press agent shall we say? The blooms last less than 24 hours for one thing...and there's lots of what I call spinach. (green foliage) Maybe Lauren's Grape is superior?

Today we were out of power for several hours. No reason given, but at least it wasn't a 3 day event! Johnnie's Seed catalog was in my mailbox this afternoon. Something to study by the fire tonight.

V, that email that your daughter received would make me livid. In fact it does! Guess they've been using too much student or volunteer help or don't give a...hoot. I wonder how you could "catch their attention" about the severity of the situation?

Eden, we need your countdown again...even though it is a bit lighter out now at 5:20pm.
Teething: Like all stages, this one varies with the child. It comes whenever, lasts a while, and is replaced by some other phase. Reed never went through the phase with much discomfort. Ivy has had a hard time of things and still has only one tooth. It affects sleep and diaper issues. Skyler has TERRIBLE teeth problems and has only begun to lose teeth, some with the dentist's help. He is 10 and charges high rates from the tooth fairy. Sigh.

Hi to all, including Marian?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 5:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Did anyone see where this evening went?

Under accomplishments for the day, I can say that I gave away two chairs from the clutter of the loft, took a (difficult) walk in the snow with the dog and camera, and found a partner to help me raise chickens this year. My DDIL wants to have chickens but can't in town, so we will do them together out here. I'm saving the goats for 2011.

I played around a little tonight with photo editing and black and white effects. Here are some touched up snow photos from my walk.

But I can't leave without adding some dazzling color.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 10:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Funny thing, DD is sharing raising chickens with a friends cousin next season too! She says she wants to learn to can them as well. Not for me. I well remember the sounds as Pius, my cook in Nigeria, 'prepared' chicken for my dinners years ago. DH remembers his mother doing the dastardly deed in his youth too. We certainly have removed ourselves from the work required in preparing our food over time, yet we often criticize our grocery stores. Bunch of whiners and complainers...Hey, that's me!

Finally got around to washing dishes and laundry late in the day. With our power outage there was no heat or water. YEAH for the wood stove though!

Lovely snow shots V. Has your course ended? Cute Daddy long legs too. Did anyone else torment them in their youth? I can't believe the things we did at camp years ago. Was that really me?


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Did I hear someone mention chickens? LOL! I can't think of a better additon to any garden, large or small. And as the children tell me, they are the best pet ever. Well, after Clousseau, that is who would be totally the best pet ever if he layed eggs.

I've been worried the chooks would be feeling the cold (we were down to -1F this weekend) but with the 60W light bulb I run in the henhouse combined with their own heat output (about 60 BTU per bird) they've been fine and are still laying beautiful eggs. They are quite used to the snow now though I built them a covered shelter with open sides so they have somewhere to enjoy the outdoors without being buried up to their chests. I will be adding some meaties next spring - I plan on raising a half dozen to see how it goes, but have an Armish butcher who will take care of the butchering for $2 a bird. Well worth it for me!

GB - I LOVE the little owl hat!

Kathy - you mentioned about David and skiing. He has been adamant he will never touch downhill skis again, but after having so much fun X-country told me he might try some gentle slopes next year. I guess time will tell.

I did however gain a few more grey hairs at the weekend after David returned from a friend's house, full of hairraising stories about their sledding adventures. These involved going down an incredibly steep slope, having to dodge a swing-set, and one time ploughing into and through the neighbors wooden fence. David told me he couldn't remember the last time he had so much fun, or ever feeling such an adreneline rush. Fun it might have been, but downright dangerous in my books and NEVER to be repeated. Do you think I'm being over protective? Advice appreciated from anyone who has raised teenage boys:0)

(the boys will be paying a return visit in the spring to fix the fence)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 7:42AM
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I guess you had to pull the legs from the Daddy long legs to find that you didn't care for that particular activity, huh? I called them granddaddy long legs because my grandpa was long joke.

V., will you be a bee keeping chicken farmer?

I've tried to sit and write a couple of times this morning, but I keep abandoning ship :) I've got to get to work and then on with the rest of the day...meetings and a lunch with my MIL await me.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 7:43AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all. I have just skimmed through, and noticed some concern about my absence . I lost my internet connection friday night. After trying everything I could think of, I finally contacted their tech service. After waiting for days with no repairman coming or calling, I remembered to try what the tech lady had mentioned over the phone. So...this morning, I unplugged the power to the DSL box, and replugged. Lo and behold! I was back on line! I would think I will not forget trying that the next time I lose connection.

Since I just skimmed, I have no comments to make , except to Mary.....who I think is the one who mentioned her yummy Butternut Squash. I am sure you all remember my efforts to grow veggies on my old Toyota's top. One of my successes was one butternut squash. I cooked it a few days ago, and it was the best one I have ever eaten!I merely baked it, and salted and buttered it.It was delish!

Our weather has really moderated, and is now above normal after having zero temps last week. Our inch or so of snow is all gone except in shaded areas. The ground is getting muddy. The wood stove has been almost without heat today. I just keep it going enough to not have to restart it. It feels like spring out....but that is normal for this area. It is constantly teeter tottering.

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my very tacky hair cut. I also called the Bone Doctor to make an appointment for my miserable right shoulder and arm. It is set for the 25th. I sure do dread getting a shot, but I cannot continue to live with this pain.

Trubby has adjusted to being the only cat, and has become almost exclusively an indoor cat. He is eating like a horse. :-) He plays with the cat toys, that he very seldom even looked at before. He likes the hide them (mice and feathered objects) under the runners in the livingroom. He is even pretty good at retrieving them when Nolon tells him to. :-)


    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 4:36PM
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Cute hat Bug.
I hope Your DH is feeling better.
I guess your power is back on?

V, you did a good job editing the snow photos. That top one especially is nice and crisp. No blue.

Mary, I bet you shuddered when David told you of the sled ride. I am so happy to hear he is having fun again though.

Saucy, I don't think I ever did more than flick the daddy longlegs away, and I was a tomboy.

Marian, good to hear it was only a tech problem keeping you away. I hope you get some relief from the shoulder pain soon.
Niki plays fetch too. She brings her paperwads and mouse back and drops them at our feet. Her favorite game.

We had quite a bit of snow melt today. But the wind made it a little to chilly to stay out.

I don't know if this link will work for everyone but I'll try it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 9:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yesterday I forgot to congratulate 'bug and her family on the expected addition. How exciting for them! I bet Ms. Ivy will be thrilled to have a playmate.

I am making slow but steady progress on my determination to de-clutter the loft. I've decided that if I just attack it a little bit each day, it won't seem quite so overwhelming. After my time up there today, I stood back and could tell a definite difference, which was very encouraging.

DD was excited to hear of the chicken plans and asked if we could name one Marsala. This is a complete change of opinion since the last time I brought it up, when she went into a tirade about chickens being the most disgusting creatures on the face of the earth. I think I have Julia Child to thank for the change of attitude.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 9:33PM
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Im having an extraordinarily unproductive evening. If it was summer , it would be sunny out and Id be outside. Just an observation. I have a bunch of piddly little projects that I should have addressed tonight , but failed to do so . Maybe tomorrow ?

Marian, very glad to see you backwhen I saw all the dead stuff on your FB farms I really started to worry ! Unplugging and plugging back in is a typical solution at the awfice..

Well Mary, Im not sure how to advise you, but when I ponder stuff like this I always try to think back on my own youth and the incredibly stupid things done by me and my friends. Damaging other peoples property does require a serious responsebut every generation has dealt with this ..broken windows from baseballs and golf balls, bikes or go-carts crashing into parked cars, basketballs squishing the flowers..nothing intentional
, all accidents. There is just no way to contain the exuberance of can only try to channel it.

Norma, I loved your photos of Niki , how long did he spend viewing ?

bug, the new pending mystery child (assuming gender and name are unknown at this point) could not ask for a better family to be born in. Well, except for the winter weather. If I was going to be re-incarnated I would prefer Santa Barbara , lol.

Speaking of which, Ive decided to visit Lotusland this year, probably in April or very early May. Its about a 6 hour drive, and I would include a visit to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. I could do the whole gig in a 5 day weekend. Im going to think about dates this weekend- you have to make an appointment to visit and it can be difficult to get a slot. Definitely will go after the photo class !

V, I think your snow pics turned out great ! I did a Zazzle calendar. I liked some of the features there better tan Walgreens, and some less. I bet there are others. I may end up with numerous 2010 cals as I continue to experiment.

All for me, time to open a book.

Where did Martie and Ei go ? And Eden and Deanne ?? etc.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 10:43PM
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Well, the computer appears to be working much better. DH talked to a friend who suggested running some program and so far so good. Im happy to hear you solved your computer problem too, Marian! Its been such a treat looking at the variety of plants, trees and shrubs you grow. I can see how bulbs would be a favorite in that woodland setting but dont the deer eat your hosta to the ground? And is that a coyote I saw on your property?! With so many acres in that wildly beautiful and (sometimes) harsh weather region, I wonder if you hear critter noises in the night, yikes! Oh, and I have to ask about that baby cribwhat a treasure. Its so unique with those wheels and rather narrow size but I cant tell if it was metal or wooden. Do you still have it? If so and its not being saved for the next generation of babies, it would be great repurposed for a plant stand!

Julie, you are an inspiration in getting things done despite dealing with school and medication issues for TCS. Not easy when you cant be getting enough sleep either. Hope you take some time to just relax during the day.

Cyn, Im amazed you sound so cheerful after the gum surgery as it sounds excruciating even with the pain meds! Did you have this done before school resumes? Even so, it doesnt sound like much time for recovery. Dental procedures seem to make everybody shudder, cost included.

Congratulations bug! Youre going to have even more photo ops with a new grandbaby arriving. The owl hat is cute and I like that you chose red. Hope DH is improved, you didnt specifically mention laryngitis so Im wondering if his speechless condition was one of those self imposed male dramas, as inyou cannot imagine how miserably sick I am so Ill find ways to demonstrate my discomfort.

Hi Saucy, you sound in good spirits! Must be uplifting to find some dietary changes are making a difference.

Hows the bathroom project going, Michelle? Did you reach a decision on the vanity? Dont think you mentioned paint color. Are you going with something entirely different than what you had on the color spectrum? Supposed to make it into the 40s next week, hope that means youll finally get Christmas with your siblings!

Mary, I would have said the same thing to my sonyes, I was over protective. But you just have to do what your instinct and personal nature demands. The gray hairs are a given but with any luck the kids take what you say and modify it slightly to stay cool with their friends and still avoid injury or trouble. Isnt that what we did, lol? Can you get some photos of the covered area you made for the chickens? I recall the problem of a hawk and concern for their safety so Im very curious what you came up with. Ive improvised on other matters and appreciate the satisfaction you get from putting something together yourself.

Denise, love the orange Poppy! Funny, how I used to avoid orange all about pink, blue and white, lol. Then a couple of years ago, I suddenly craved some orange touches in the garden.

Drema, the potager looks like a favorite place to be for your family. Cant wait to see summer photos and maybe Charlie munching some veggies. The sign is perfectSheesh! And so is that fence, wow. Just the right weathered effect, love it! My clematis?dont know what it is maybe bug can identify it. Never planted this one; it just appeared 3 years ago (in a terrible location) and didnt grow fast enough to be a weed. That is the only flower Ive had on it!

Norma! I cant see Niki, can you post another link?

Misc. Pic of the day: sedum tricolor

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 12:09AM
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OK Candy I think you may be able to see Niki now.

I have tried to grow tri color sedum several times. I may have a few straggly bits left, but it never does well for me.

V, I'm not sure how long it was that Niki watched but much longer than I thought she would. Maybe the big cats were making some kind of noise that she could identify with.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Today is Ricks birthday and we will be making a trip to the Dr. to celebrate the day. Hes been dizzy for a few days, so Im taking him in. Of course the only available appointment is late morning. So Im spending the morning working on the bathroom walls. A fair amount of time has been spent on paste and bits of paper removal and patching and sanding. We have had a busy week and lots of stressful situations from down south, so we havent made any decisions on the vanity. One issue is that we have built in medicine cabinets with a large mirror in between. If we add the second sink the mirror wont be centered and I would loose my medicine cabinet. I keep all my hair products, lotions etc in there and Im struggling with where I would store these things that would be as convenient. Its not like the medicine cabinet is so stylish but so very functional. Im working at problem solving it. Any ideas? One that Ive had is to keep the built in cabinets and loose the mirrors, buy new mirrors that maybe could be hinged over the old built in part.

The weather has shaped up quite a bit this week with temps in the mid-20s to mid-30s. Although, I hear rumors of another big snow next week.

Candy, your tri-color sedum picture is so pretty. Ive planted it several times and it usually reverts to plain green for me. I believe I do have one plant that didnt.

Our family Christmas is on hold until my parents return from their winter vacation to Las Vegas, Arizona and Texas.

Drema, thanks for posting the potager pictures its fabulous! I really like the diagonal paths great design.

Congratulations to bug and family. Im so happy for you all.

Kathy, Laurens Grape poppy is a pretty color but for me the flowers are short and fairly small in comparison with some of the other annual poppies that seed happily around my garden shed. If you dont get plants I sure can save you some seeds this year. How fun to think that part of me will be in CA this year.

V, the chicken project sounds like a fun project that appears to be drawing all the family members in. I love the blue of your hydrangeas it really brightens up a winter day.

Marian, interesting how Trubbys personality has changed being an only cat.

Cyn, hopefully the pain stays under control. Feel better!

Thats all for now time to head out.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:54AM
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Michelle, would mirrored doors on the medicine cabinets work?

Hope Ricks dizziness is nothing serious. I get inner ear things that make me dizzy.

Sorry about your other stress.

Speaking of stress. Woody are you out there? Thinking of you.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Hi everyone. the sun has been shining all day today, I can't remember the last time I saw that, but it makes a huge difference in the day! I am watching Charlie boy today for a little bit, and he fell asleep watching one of his favorite dinosaur DVDs. He knows the name of these animals, and has quite a herd of them in his toy area. He has been interested in them for months now. I thought a two year old would lose interest after awhile.

Michelle, good to see you. Hope Rick is feeling okay after the visit to the doc. I just painted my bathroom. It is tropical blue. I am sure I would win an ugly bathroom contest, the ceiling is still falling down, and I leaned on the wall in the tub the other day to pick up a cleaning product, it caved in:) We have to gut it, and will put up tile, but I couldn't look at the ugliness one more day. It will probably be months before we can get anything done, because it is going to be expensive. But the walls look cheerful while I am waiting.

Cindy, hope you are feeling better! I read you had stomach flu. I think that was on Facebook though. Sometimes I get confused what I read where.

Candy, I really like the tricolor sedum. It reminds me of a jade plant. I am going to try to find some this year.

Kathy you have so many interesting places to visit out there. I am really looking forward to Annie's Annuals. I am not sure, but think my puppy might have eaten my only lotus. I will find out in the spring, if it doesn't show up. She was digging around in the pond, and I think she might have gotten it, but I am hoping it was a water lily, of which I have plenty.

V, I am so jealous of your chicken plans. Our town requires 3.5 acres for chickens. Skip and I looked some property last month, but the market is really bad here, and our house needs a lot of work before anyone would buy it. I told Skip we will just have to focus on getting our house fixed up to a point that someone would be willing to buy it first, then if we come across another property after things get better, we would be ready to go. We'll see if that works on him:) He has the skills, but he is gone so much, it is hard to tackle my projects in his limited time home. Can't do much about that.

Bug, I almost missed the line about your new grandbaby! How exciting for you guys! Mary Kate has a countdown in her kitchen. 15 weeks to go. She is not finding out if it is boy or girl. Jenny took a test a couple of months ago to find out what hers was, the test said boy. She went for sonogram last week, they said girl, definitely. She is due late May.

Mary, I am glad David didn't get hurt with his friends. I know with everything you have been through with his leg, that was your first thought. These kids really put us through the wringer don't they? Boys especially. They don't think things through very well sometimes. I don't think they can help it at that age. It is at the cellular level. Hang in there. You are such a model parent, I am sure you came up with the perfect way to handle it.

Marian, glad all is well with you, and it was just computer woes. I have been having frustration after frustration with this Mac. My bank doesn't support Mac for online banking, and other issues related to programs that I can't get to work right, and it is hard to find someone to help with it.

Chelone, didn't you have a question about a web site? I might be able to give you a couple of pointers. I am not an expert, but do know a number of people who have set one up. When I worked at the university, one of my projects was to research website designers. My department rebuilt its website, and it took months for us to figure out what we wanted. They are not all created equal. There are a wide range of services and standards provided, from basic to bells and whistles. And the platform they use can make a difference, as far as ease of making adjustments as time goes on. But you have your head on straight, this is something you can tackle. It isn't that complicated, but sometimes they want you to think it is.

Charlie just woke up, so I have to run, hi to those I may have missed. Hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 1:16PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - yes, I'm still here; still waiting... We called my main neurosurgeon's office the other day to see if they can push the new one a bit to speed things up. The problem with choosing a 'top of the heap' sugeon is that everyone else has too, so there's a long wait. Maybe we should have gone with someone who could do it sooner. It's impossible to say which would have been the better choice. Needless to say, we're a bit stressed these days... We've been keeping busy as much as possible. I may try to put together a picture thread sometime soon. I'm too unfocussed these days to post here - it's too hard to keep track of multiple conversations so I've only been posting from time to time on other forums where the conversation is pretty much limited to one thing at a time. :-) But I lurk here, mainly skimming and looking at pictures.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Woody thanks for checking in. I understand that things keep you from posting. I just couldn't help but wonder how you were doing. I pray they will find a slot for you very soon. Warmest thoughts coming your way. Norma

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 2:36PM
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The waiting is always the hardest part, Woody, wish somehow it could be sped up.

And poor Rick with the spins. Cindy's advice to me was have the sinuses checked and try decongestants. Hope it's an easy fix.

The more chooks the better, I say!

'bug, you must be over the moon. How much more knitting can one possibly do? The owl hat is adorable. There's something so animated about knitted garments, as if they could tell the stories of who made them and why.

Sounds like Trubby is doing his level best to cheer you & Nolon up, Marian. He seems to be taking the mantle of responsibility as the sole cat seriously!

I'm in that phase of reading plant catalogues on the computer then rushing out to check for available space -- as if I actually expect big gaps to have opened up overnight.

I noted yesterday on the train that chivalry appears to be quite dead. A small elderly woman got on, standing room only. I surveyed the assortment of males around me, and not one budged from their seat. I tapped her hand and pointed to my seat, and she nodded in relief, so I get up, spilling the contents of my purse over the floor, dropping reading material, lugging my big equipment case out of the way, etc. But she got her seat and I quickly sorted out my stuff. I'm guessing people are more oblivious than lacking in manners, plugged in and tuned out to music and cell phones. Call me paranoid, but I always scan the environment, who's entering and exiting.

V, glad you liked Mitch's photos. The garden photog is new this year. He accompanied me on some local garden tours last spring. I told him he could go if he kept a low profile. He stated his intention of introducing himself to the garden owners and asking them to sit for portraits. I said absolutely not, and we argued the point. He finally followed his own instincts and was absolutely right -- everyone wanted their photos taken. He met lots of people, garden editors, made fast friends, and has been sailing along very well since. He has chutzpah and is fearless in that regard, and I'm the opposite, very timid, so I've stopped giving any advice along these lines! His instincts are definitely better than mine. He met and became friends with designers at the Sonoma garden show last fall, which is how he ended up with photos on Ms. Grubbs' site. He's taking musician portraits at a music globalfest in NYC, and I'm trying to think of glasshouses and other stuff he can photograph in winter. Any suggestions welcome.

This agave was literally steaming this morning, which I unsuccessfully tried to capture, the wisps barely visible on the right:

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 3:09PM
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Kathy, I keep forgetting to ask if you could post the link to the agaves decorated for the holidays? Denise's agave reminded me. If it isn't too much trouble. I can't find the thread it was on, and want to show them to Skip.

Woody, good to see you. You are in my thoughts every day.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 3:53PM
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Great to see you surface Woody. I understand completely and I, too, think of you nearly every day (as I do most of my virtual friends).

V. the snow shots are fine indeed. As for the decluttering... keep at it. I have about 10 lists scratched on a variety of pcs. of paper and all lists pertain to a different part of decluttering/reorganizing. I take particular glee in crossing off listed items.
1.) mat for the walk from the side door to the Salon door is ordered should be here in a week/thereabouts.
2.) the plugs that cover the screws on the Salon door are here
3.) the missing pc. of awning window trim is here.

I'm not seeing the owl, 'bug. But the lid is a fine example of the your knitting expertise nonetheless. Thanks for the teething primer. Woodstoves are the rockin' best, aren't they?! I am lovin' the stove in the Salon; I keep the place comfortably warm with two feedings a day!

I love the tri-color Sedum. If I ever get around to building a stone wall to contain the garden around Sanitary Ridge I'll have to give that one a whirl. Lover of variEation that I am...

Bathrooms are expensive. Ask me how I know. It was a ton of work, but it needed to be done, so Drema hang in there. It's worth it in the end. Our's was pretty bad, too.

Word on my computer is that all is well once more. I have to go pick it up sometime this weekend or early next week. I may bite the bullet and simply set it up on a temporary "desk" in the Salon. My next JulieJob is to disassemble two olive green filing cabinets (removing the roller mechanisms for the drawers) so they can be powder coated. I figure some elbow grease will make it worthwhile as quality ones are rather expensive. Good "think and do" work...

We're going to see an old friend of the helpmeet's tomorrow. He used to be a rep. for a private label clothing company and has a stockpile of sample fabric cuts (5-7 yds.) all in wool, rayon, and some mostly natural fibre blends. Free for the taking and enough that the back of the full size wagon will be mostly full for the return trip. How could I say no?

Mary, the grim reality is that no matter what you say you ultimately have no control over what course of action your kid will take. This is where you hope the foundation of good, involved parenting and a healthy dose of how REALITY can affect a young life takes hold. The "training wheels" are definitely off and your son is pedalling on his own. I've watched my co-worker let her kids "self-parent" for years now and the results are predictably grim (train wreck in slow motion). Your children are nowhere close to what her's have become because you've made the effort to interact and require them to do so, too. When Mum caught sight of me clearing a 3' jump on my pony without my helmet she pulled no punches over dinner, telling me the helmet had cost X$ but that was a pittance compared to a head injury and the incalculable cost of grief in the face of a needless injury. I never rode without it again. I can still see the anger and worry on her face. Pull no punches and go for the nose. Great call on requiring the offenders to mend the fence, too. I really like that.

I've been trying to think about what sort of information should be on a website; seems like a resume but with pictures. Thanks Drema.

To all with ailing spouses, my sympathies. The helpmeet is a bit of hypochondriac and is a wicked whiner. I cater to a certain extent but Nurse Nancy, I ain't. :)

Good to see you back, too, Marian.

Dinner's up and I have to skeedaddle. Hi to all not noted and I'm appreciative of all photos. Grand entertainment.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 4:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As Gloria Gobbler says, I shall survive! Things are really OK, but I am tired of DH's illness (as if he isn't!) and his lolling about and taking naps on the couch and snoring. Making meals all the time, including lunch is a drag for me, as is being sole dog walker.

Chelone, if you look at the red hat, consider the buttons to be the eyes and the knit cables the body of the owl. There are in fact six owls around the base of the hat but I only put eyes on one of them. I used buttons from an old shirt of DH's, but found that these days they use 4 hole buttons instead of just the two hole variety, which just won't do for this project. By the way, DH heard two owls calling back and forth last night.

I don't know if anyone has come across this book, but I found the title amusing: Free Range Kids. This reminded me greatly of Mary and David. I just may have to give this book a try if I find it cheap in a nearby store. :)

VERY good to see Woody pop in!!!!I'm sure Mysty is good company these days.

Denise, yes I am very excited, a mix of happy and concerned. I understand that DSIL is 42 and anxious for a big family before he is 50, but I wonder how good this is for DD's health. I don't know, there's no convincing her of anything! She is off playing hockey still and has begun Kung Fu as well! Sigh... Oh well, her midwife says not to stop anything she wouldn't do anyway. Hmmmm. As you may remember, this is the woman who played baseball just before Ivy's birth.

Tomorrow is my appointment with my naturopath. A good time to get back on track for me...but I'm not proud of my present condition.

Monday is Phoebe's appoinment with her coiffeur. Poor dear will be bald for a while. Those knots in her coat are horrendous.

Time for color! (It was 35F here today!!!)
The blue and yellow garden on June 17-09.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I have gone back and am doing more extensive reading. When I encounter something that promps me to respond, I will...
The first thing I noticed is Julie talking about getting TCS off the computer, and out for some exercise. How differant from when I was a child. It was hard getting us back into the house! Almost all of our entertainment was our outside playing. And we had more months of snow than we had warm weather.

Marie, I imagine it has been guite an ordeal with your DH at home ailing.I home he is well into recovery.
I am overjoyed at the news about another addition to your family.

RE: all your musings on doing without a computer. It really all depends on our circumstances. It has almost beem a sanity saver for me. Before I got mine I spent hours at the diningroom table putting together jig saw puzzles. Not very educational. LOL. And not at all like having a connection with the outside world.

RE: raw milk. Since I was raised on a farm I was raised on raw milk. I am wondering how I would like it now that I have drank pasturized for so long. In lots of places it is illegal to sell it.
I have been on a D supplement for a long time. I was quite deficient in it.

Kathy, I have always shut the power off from all my computer parts, via the surge bar. I equated that with 'rebooting'. Apparently I was mistaken. When I pulled the plug from the wall, I was too impatient to wait a while, and immediately plugged it back in. It worked. Seems like a strange fix, but lady's at the beauty shop today said that is what they do, but they wait a while to replug.

Yes, Candy. The deer do eat my hostas. I have been putting up fences to deter them. I took all the protection down too early last fall, and they were cropped to the ground. I decided to look at is as: " Oh, well, I won't have to cut off the dead leaves this year" ! I am becoming quite blase' about all the outside stuff. If you can't beat them, join them. LOL
And yes, that is a coyote. We hear them frequently, and they are quite a concern if the cats are outside. That will be less of a concern from now on. We hear lots of other critter noises at night, including various types of owls. Rarely the sounds are of creatures that we can't quite identify. I would take that type of critter over the human prowler anytime! The things I read about on the local town's police reports are much more hair-raising.
The baby crib was mine when I was a baby. Then it was our son's. Now it is stored out in our storage building. It is wooden, and I am sure it is painted with paint that is not accepable anymore. Our son's Alaska lady friend was very interested in it also. If all works out well between them, it may eventually become hers. I do not see our granddaughters being interested in it.
WOW! I love that sedum tricolor.

Michelle. I hope your DH's dizziness is not from something serious. My meds do that to me.

Woody, I can identfy with your being "unfocused'. Mine is from a totally differant reason than yours, but 'fibro-fog' sure does work on my ability to focus. You never mention headaches. Do you have one most of the time? I certainly hope the docs get to you very soon, and it is successful.

Denise, your experience with the lack of chivalry seems a lot differance than how it is around here. It seems the older I get the more attentive people are....except many of the younger ones. And it is not because I am a little grey-haired old lady. My hair isn't even grey! :-)
I asked my hairdresser again today, and she said she doesn't think I will ever be grey.

You all have posted some very lovely pics.

Hi to all that I did not address. I am reading all your posts, and all the activities you are involved in. Sorry I do not have much to contribute.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Thanks for the good thoughts for Rick. The poor guy was sick as a dog on the way home from town. They are treating it as inner ear inflammation. Kenzie had an ear infection over Christmas. When she was with us I asked how her ear felt. She told us that she had an ear "confection" and that she had glitter in her ear and thats why she got a "confection" She thought she must have eaten something with glitter in it and thats how it got in her ear. I get such a kick out of her. So Im teasing Rick that he has an ear confection and he really should stay away from the glitter.

I got to thinking about the song Dizzy by Tommy Roe. Remember "dizzy, Im so dizzy, my head is spinning"? I found it online and played it for him. Im not sure he appreciated the humor. It was on one of those internet radio station sites, so Im enjoying other similar songs. Right now its "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

bug, I have a blue/yellow/white garden but Im really undisciplined and havent stuck to the color scheme the way you have.

Chelone, great score on the fabric. I dont believe weve seen a picture of the finished bathroom.

Denise, I laughed about you reading and then checking for room. Believe it or not I have the same problem. Not because I dont have room to expand but because Ive told myself I really shouldnt. It almost takes more self-control when you have the room.

Here's a shot of the vanity area in the bathroom. As you can see the mirror is in 3 sections. The 2 sides open with inset medicine cabinets and the middle section is on the wall surface. Its on the end with the sink. The wallpaper is gone, the chair rail as well. The Hollywood lights will go too. I think the vanity will stay and just be refinished as its of good quality and not a bad style. I plan on new hardware and hidden hinges. The sink is in bad shape so the top will be replaced. The tub/shower and stool will stay, so its mostly a cosmetic deal.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 9:43PM
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The word rain appears the forecast for the next several days- looks like a stall in the rose pruning activities for the weekend. It will be a good time to clean the inside of the abode and set up the seed area in the garage. And, I need to do some serious work on my picture files ..deletion of duplicates, crappy pics, etc.

Michelle, we sow poppy seeds in fall here, and they are among the first to germinate . I will buy a 4" plant from Annies this spring and let it go to seedthat should do the trick! If it goes awry Ill hit you up in fall ..I need to think about what I might have to offer you in return for all the cool seeds youve shared with me. You need a bit of California in Iowa ! Sorry to hear of stressful times down yonder . I hope for solutions .

Woody, waves to you and I enjoy seeing you on some other forums, places where I commonly lurk while eating my lunch at the awfice. All good vibes to you from the left coast.

Drema, the link is below..enjoy !

bug I just swoon over your blue and yellow garden.

All for me, I am cooking a complicated dinner tonight and consequently it has taken me hour to compose this tiny post ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, I was SOOO pleased to get rid of those Hollywood lights last year!!! I'd like to get rid of all our mirror space too, but I guess that won't be for ages, if ever.

Marian, we too listen to coyotes. Only a few of them, but they give the impression of hundreds. I actually enjoy the sound! The only sound I dislike is that of pigeons. They go on and on and never quit.

I remember the time well when I was visiting old friends in Toronto, maybe 2 years ago. I was in the subway, standing at the door waiting for my stop. Someone kept trying to get me to sit down and I couldn't figure it out. Eventually I realized that I am that old lady you are supposed to give your seat to. Gee, don't feel decrepit most of the time! Age is a funny thing. That woman in the mirror is quite disconcerting too. She is not "the fairest of them all" either.

I've been enjoying my knitting for sure. I guess I won't run out of recipients either. ;) I won't want to knit in summer though, that is reserved for gardening.

This weekend Skyler will have his first guitar lesson and everyone is excited. Ivy has her music class in the morning, then they go for lunch near the market, then he'll have his class. Then next Thursday they all (except Ivy) go see Fiddler on the Roof. Sarah just loves this play and knows every word of it from her high school production. Skyler doesn't know he's going yet, a surprise.

Good night all! You know what tomorrow is, right? Ask Sue!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:31PM
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With a nod to Sue..


Kathy in Napa-where it is still Thursday !

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 12:36AM
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Good morning

Woody - as with many others, my thoughts go to you every day.

Marian - what have you been reading about lately?

Michelle - I hope Rick's dizziness can be effectively treated. DH had a couple of years of it and had to go through a MRI, an overnight stay in hospital and a slew of other tests. For him there was never a definite diagnosis but ear medication keeps things in check with only occasional flare ups. Good luck to Rick.

Denise - I've often thought offering a line of garden portraits taken from the same vantage point over 4 seasons, matted in the same frame would be something that appeals to gardeners. It might not be so dramatic in CA but DH did one for me and it was neat.

GB - hope Skyler enjoys his lesson! Fiddler on teh Roof is a family favorite here and we know many of the songs by heart and sing them often. David does a great "shimmy" for If I were a Rich Man.

Last night was a fun evening with my book group meeting at the George Eastman House for a private viewing of photos relating to the book we read. I had to run after to get Annie to stage crew on time then David to his Chorous performance. I loved everything but was done to a turn by the end of the night and still feel tired this morning.

Thank goodness this is a three day weekend!!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:34AM
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Yippee! It's Friday!

Hello Woody! It is nice to see your post.

Marian, it is nice to see a long post from you, as well. I think the internet is wonderful for bringing people together. Remember how the cost of long distance kept us from talking to friends and family not so very long ago? I wrote a lot of letters to friends when I was a kid. I played outside a lot, too, as do my kids when it is warm. They've lost their best friends in the neighborhood so the dynamic may change now, but Sarah is old enough to use the crosswalk now and go to another neighborhood to visit her friend, Sarah...I don't know how they tell each other apart :)

There is a beautiful sunrise this morning.

Sarah and Jake have a half day today. Those kids are always on vacation (I'm just teasing).

I lost a filling a couple of days ago, so I have to go to the dentist this afternoon. My least favorite of the preventative maintenance team :) She is good, though, and puts headphones on me with soothing music and takes special care.

I need to order all my castor bean seeds. I am also starting to think of starting some projects out in the garage. I can think of two things I'd really like done before the real garden season begins.

I would like more bee hives this year. I started a new book about beekeeping and she's got me convinced that I need more hives.

I need to get off the computer because I'm just full of ideas this morning and I could chatter on forever.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:40AM
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Kathy thanks for the link to the agaves, I wanted to make sure to say thanks before my day got away from me. They make me smile, and I put them on my bookmark.

Denise, I just love Mitch's photography. I can't tell you how many times I say to myself, I wish I could get him to take a family portrait for me. Does he have photography training, or self taught?

Devin has a 4 day weekend, so he came over last night, and Skip took the day off, so we are going to try to get some things done around here, and have some fun, too.I would like to try to see Avatar before it leaves the big screen. It doesn't sound like the plot is great, but the visuals are supposed to be stunning. (Especially the plants, lol,) I have to scoot and do a few errands before the fun begins. Hope you all have a great day!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 8:34AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary, I ran out of steam last night, and failed to comment on the theme of this thread. I quit writing letters a long time ago, and most of my reading is on the internet and the local newspapers. While my computer was offline I read a bunch of my Reader's Digests that had never been removed from their wrappers. They are dated from 2006 on to when I stopped subscribing to them. A while back I read a story in a Reader's Digest Special Edition book. It was "The Wailing Wind" by Tony Hillerman. I like his stories.
The odd thing eyes bothered me really bad, from the reading of the books. They do not bother me that way when reading on the computer. Maybe it is the lighting? Or the position that I am looking? I can't hold books up to the same position, because of my arms.
I do need to get to an eye doctor. The vision in my left eye is not good, and my expensive glasses do not help.

Michelle, I am thinking of Rick also. I cannot imagine how miserable that must be. I do hope it is all cleared up.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 9:13AM
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A very grey overcast morning here but temps are in the 30s and I do believe the January thaw is underway. Not to be confused with the end of winter, just a break in the weather to give us in the Midwest a glimmer of light in the tunnel. Tis the season of dirty black snow and salty white cars. My first stop today will be the car wash and then Im going to a garden center. Marian, Ive got the itch to try an Amaryllis thanks to all your houseplant photos.

I hope the tricolor sedum comes back, didnt realize it could be so iffy or show a tendency to revert. The foliage was my primary interest and when those little rosette blooms appeared I was pleasantly surprised. Remember taking the pic so I could enjoy the visual again in this winter. Planted in a stone trough, actually a broken piece of an old fountain, that was so heavy I didnt know how to dispose of it. Wish I had a stone wall, Chelone. After your comment, I cant shake the vision how cool that would look.

Norma, I still couldnt see Nike but thanks for whatever you tried. Guess you have to belong to FB in order to sign in. I dont think FB is for me from what Ive heard but it would be fun to just pop in and see what that little feline of yours was doing, lol.

Drema, I understand the need to paint and it does help. Unfortunate about the wall but I bet you come up with a quick fix camouflage for that, too. Last spring I painted our exterior window frames even though we plan on replacing them this year. They look so much better DH is tempted to hold off spending the money now for another year.

Hi Woody, glad to see an update from you. Truthfully, I was under the wrong impressionI thought you had a date set for mid January. Warm thoughts and fingers crossed that things get sped up and youre not dealing with headaches too often.

Denise, Ive probably missed some of Mitchs photography before I arrived or in the first weeks of sorting out the Idylls. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more now that Ive got my bearings. Love the Agave photothey have such beautiful shades of blue. It will be months before anything steams around here, thats for sure.

Michelle, good to read Ricks dizziness was a simple ear confectionsuch a cute explanation by Kenzie. Im sure youre both relieved though since its one of those scary symptoms that need immediate attention. I was just going to ask you to post a bathroom photo and here it is! I agree, the vanity is fine and I would never give up functional without serious consideration. Giving up functional can create other problems for me. Cant wait to see the after viewyep, I had a collection of similar perfume bottles. Still have our Hollywood lights. Hey, I didnt know any better!slacking off on décor, it seems.

Saucy, nice to hear youre bubbling over with plans. I believe that to be happy and content a person needs one short term goal and a long term goal to look forward to achieving. Works for me! Could you post a bit about your castor beans (varieties?) and how you grow them? I did it once, however, cutting it down in the fall was so labor intensive I swore never again. Oh, but the foliage was spectacular!and Im getting that January itch for planning and possibilitiesdaring myself to plant one or two seedsmaybe.

Kathy, lolwhat were you cooking last night? I cant grasp you pruning roses and working in the garden, its beyond my realm this time of year. I need more photos, proof that your garden exists! Thanks for the holiday agave link. I got a kick out of her bracing herself on a cactus and twisting to get one of the shots. Love it when theres a story behind a photograph.. Ill have one about my next misc. pic of the daywhich I cant find right now. Will need to locate it and post later today as Im running way behind.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Candy, I am glad you mentioned Amaryllis. It prompted me to dig my pan full out from under the utilityroom stairs. Now I will have to add more rocks in the open spaces to prevent Trubby from using it for a literbox! I discovered that is one of the places he was utilizing, as well as the Canna tub! I bought fresh liter in town yesterday, and cleaned out his box, so hopefully he will go back to using it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 12:55PM
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Hi Marian!Trubby must be enticed by the earthy smell of a plant tub, lol. Nice and private too, under the stairsI didnt realize your home had a basement. I got waylaid at the car wash with a phone call and didnt make the garden center. Had to come home and wait for a delivery, darn it. Wish I could watch what youre doing to set up for growing the Amaryllismaybe post some pictures?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 1:45PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Candy, It isn't a basement. The utilityroom is at ground level. The rest of the house is on a raised foundation, and lots higher at one end due to the slope of our land. That room is about in the center of the back of the house.It is four steps down from the breakfast room to the utility floor, so there is a landing that we go out onto, with a door that opens onto the deck, and steps down to the utilityroom's cement floor. All of our firewood is carried into that room, and up the steps into the house.
The front porch is only 3 steps up, but all the way around the house from the woodshed.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 2:48PM
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The utilityroom sounds great, Marian, was it an add-on? I love those kinds of little rooms; they always seem to have a customized charm of their own no matter what they contain.
OK, I found and hopefully resized the missing photo. Before I post it Ill tell you the story behind its simple appearance.

It was very hot and humid that day and I had watered, worked up a new area, dead headed, etc. I was glowing something fierce (sweating like a horse) my shorts and top bagged out, hair sticking out of my self designed apache headband.. Time got away from me; I hadnt photographed some container plants that I had planned. I was afraid these little petals would deteriorate on the Dwarf Impatiens. So I bring out the camera and begin taking shots, thinking to get lower for the angle I want. No big deal, Im used to contorting into whatever position gives me a good photo. Im heading directly for the shower after this and just decide to lay on my side in the mulch, only raising my head. Click, click, click. and then there was a small rustleslight movement that startled me into a convulsive jerk. My legs did a fast scissor kick before I jack knifed up off the path. There stood a wide eyed utility man, frozen to the spot where hed cut through the side yard from around the privet hedge.

After a few heartbeats I managed to take a step forward (and he literally took one step BACK from the filthy, disheveled creature with mulch sticking to the sweat along her right arm and leg) and croak out, "sorry ..just taking a picture." He swallowed without a blink and said, "yes maam" and I fled to the house.

What irked me was that scissor kick, probably looked like a spasm dogs do when theyre asleep and dreaming. Later that evening I told DH about it while we were relaxing on the patio and he made me tell it twice, laughing his head off. He couldnt get over the scissor kick was causing me the most embarrassment in light of the whole scenario.

Misc Pic of the day:

Off to accomplish something around here before dinner out toinght, yippee!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOLROF...Candy! I read that to my husband and he even chuckled! What a hoot!
Yes, the utility room was an add on. My husband did all the building, from the foundations to the roofing; to the wiring and plumbing. He was very handy at that, and it was his occupation.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 5:52PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's the weekend - at long last, yippee!

Love those plant shots -- I think I've got the tricolor sedum; I'll have to see if it survived; I brought in a couple tender sedums to overwinter and they've been languishing and drying up on the plant shelf; not so pretty.... I finally cut some of them back and that seems to have improved them. They're behaving like some of the agaves and definitely sulking.

Michelle - glad to hear Rick may be feeling better - I think I told this before as Denise mentioned, but I've suffered w/ vertigo/labyrinthitis for over 20 years on and off, just depending on allergies and colds filling up my ear with fluid (been thru all the tests too, including the Chinese water torture test)-- I can empathize with Rick about not finding much to be amused of when the world is spinning and you're trying not to hurl, LOL....It is one of my very least favorite feelings. I do love the glitter/confection story! Kids say the most wonderful things.....

Michelle - I have never understood some of the recent decorating trends in bathrooms -- it seems to delete all storage and utilitarian organization -- even pedestal sinks while pretty, dont have that all important storage -- unless one designs huge linen closets to house all the stuff and the meds and other things that would also be in the non-existent medicine cabinets. I've seen some attractive cabinets -- maybe that would be one option to check out. I've got a huge mirror setup like that in my bathroom too...

Congrats, 'bug on the next addition -- it's amazing how some folks just take to parenting and pregnancy without missing a step.... Gee seems like there are lots of idyllkins hatching this year!

Im starting to get a bit excited for garden plans too -- I too laughed at the idea of Denise checking plant size in catalogs and popping outside to see where it could live - now be sure to make a note of it. That's what I do - forget where I thought I find a home for it; I write it down and then think I was crazy when it was time to jam all the combo together (obviously this required me to think in combos rather than single plants...)

Been checking out airfare prices to CA too - they've gone down; might be the right time to buy....

Mary, so glad to hear David's skiing; it's amazing how kids' memories are so short-term too tho - that invincibility fault of the young I guess.

I'll try to check in again this weekend -- last one was filled w/ stock club stuff and somehow I caught an intestinal bug that has challenged me -- made for a very harrowing metro commute one nite so I had to stay home til the meds set in but this bug has been very determined to stay -- Im so tired of rice, LOL -- I imagine Cyn's tired of clear fluids and soft foods too by now?

We're supposed to get at least an inch of rain on Sunday - Im happy to have the rain and no snow! and the big blobs of black iced sludge will melt away too....


    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Good evening IdyllsFriday night at last , and strategy for the weekend is being formulated. Looks like it will be primarily indoors.

Candy, the winter gardening thing can be a double edged sword , and I confess that I dont use it to its fullest. We can grow cool season veggies like peas, lettuce cauliflower etc over the winter ..I always declare that I am going to do lettuce but I just dont have agood setup for it right now. Wouldnt I love a small slice of Chelones vegetable world. Chicken Marsala last night..not a difficult dish but it always seems to use numerous pots and pans due to separately prepared ingredients that are then all thrown together at the end. My kitchen looked liked a bomb went off after I was done. I made enough for 3 nights though, so Im set for tonight and Monday. Lol your utility man story-what a visual ! .. I am reminded of the now legendary tale of Mary , the lime green undies and the UPS guy. Beautiful pic by the waydo you have a separate macro lens or was this the basic macro setting on your camera ?

Denise, the winter catalog WALAT is a grand tradition here , and usually ends up with me purchasing stuff whether I have room or not ..not being the more common status.

Cindy, I expanded my Sedum collection appreciably last summer. Think I got at least 8 cultivars I can think of, but am still missing that variegated number we saw at Sues-I took about 6 pics of it so I wouldn't forget.

Mary, I have plans to take a seasonal series this year-this part of Calif does get 4 distinct (to us) seasons , though the winter is mostly mud, and not as pretty as snow ! Im glad you reminded me, as I has forgotten about it. I always remember the great series Deanne did of her driveway garden. It would be fun if we all picked a spot to do this and then posted the photos in fall.

Need to eat some dinner and am sitting on the fence book vs movie. Nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:19PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I guess Im the only slug this morning.... hmmm, bad commentary on my lifestyle!

Candy -- that is a good story -- it reminds me of too many times I've stepped outside in front of my house to "catch" a shot of something in odd attire and trying not to be seen by folks - I often go out barefoot at odd times - and Im sure folks think it's weird for a woman to be photographing her front yard....passionate people in search of perfection, eh? That is indeed a lovely shot tho.

Kathy, that's a great idea of us to try to do a thread of 4 seasons in one area...... I'll try to remember to do it.

When I was home the other day I got a chance to surf some garden blogs and sites that I dont get to do much, and I came upon one woman's blog where she called herself "location scout for BHG" -- she scouts for gardens for them... how cool would that be and get paid? I suspect they dont pay much; but still what terrific fun - and to make a career of it.....

Congrats on the entree achievement, Kathy -- I love marsala and piccata dishes -- like you Im a terrible messy cook and turn my kitchen into disaster zones when I cook. It was a bit embarrassing at Christmas when I was doing the last minute things for the dinner and my guests were all lounging in my breakfast area that adjoins the open kitchen area. My DD even remarked what a mess I'd made and how she was glad to see she must have inherited the talent since she suffers the same woe. Sadly, however, the guests are almost OCD in their military neatness - I can't imagine there's ever a pot out of place in their kitchen.....But Im sure we're much more creative in our flinging and throwing dont you think?

Speaking of DD, she's in London for a little vacation w/ her DH -- a little self-gift for her graduation of grad school -- got her masters in library sciences and now she has to find a job in that area....they're staying in the area tho for the time being and Im very very happy about that.

It's warmish but cloudy here -- a neighboring house seems to be undergoing demolition today -- there are huge clangs going on as things are being flung from the upper story back into an empty trash truck -- I might have to flee the house for some quiet -- maybe I'll be forced to go shopping....I was really hoping to just rest, but the horrible noise is very annoying...There doesnt seem to be a spot in the house where one cannot hear it. Aaargh.

well, back to doing what I do well - slugging....


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:18AM
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Joining Cindy here as the lone voices this morning. The French Roast is on , and I have the cookbooks out to continue my one-new-recipe-a -week project for the winter. Undecided between Trim Tamale Pie, Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash and Red Potatoes, and Ham and Potato Lasagna. Might make some minestrone too, as we expect rain starting tomorrow and clear through next week.

LOL Cindy, Im sure there are numerous head ponderings by the neighbors when I am out in the front garden madly clicking the camera-though I have yet to contort myself in quite the way Candy described-getting up from those positions is not as easy as it used to be ! I am determined to improve my strength this year, I have one of those Gazelle gizmos in the garage-its actually a knock-off but I got it for 50 bucks. Its good to improve all over muscle tone. I will take my pic today of my four seasons spot. I think Ill do it once a month. Hoping Norma will select her pond as a series !

Ok, work to do, see yall later..plans are 2pm Saturday afternoon beer with the Idylls.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:01AM
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Greetings and salutations from Cornfield Park. Slug mode here, too. Almost have to LOL looking at this list of recent events:

- 2am Saturday call from DSis -- Mom in ambulance on way to hospital with rapid heartbeat and severe, piercing chest pains. Cardiac history, yes. Cancer history, yes. She waited to call anyone until she thought DSil wasn't on ambulance duty, as my youngest DB can't be within a mile of him for various familial reasons. Turns out she has double pneumonia and had a CT scan this last Thursday to rule out anything more. Whew!!!

- Last hearing, this time legal rather than administrative, about DB's hospital closure. Decision has obviously been made and expert testimony was omitted on a technicality that would've proven the numbers very, very wrong. Scary prospects on that path.

- All work operations moved from Boston to MI. While I'm thrilled that lots of displaced auto workers now have jobs, they need to be reskilled and hits to my commission via mistakes made by new, learning folks has been frustrating.

You know I've had it when I use run on sentences :-)

Have really, truly enjoyed going through this Tydll, and had a few delightful mental moments coming up with botanically related names for 'Bugs new GC (grand child).

Glad to know that most DH's are on the upward swing.

Crying a lot for Haiti, a country who adopted me during my high school years. To see the mission where I lived burning on TV was a lot to bear. Constructive action being taken, though, and I encourage those who can to do the same.

So, there's nothing like reading "The Other Boleyn Girl", a gift from Ky, whose note read: "Sometimes there's nothing like the smut behind the history to get people excited about the past...." A different view, and I must say at some points I had tingles ;-)

To balance it out, read "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill (in the discount section of Barnes and Noble), a MUST for all to put things in perspective sometimes. 3 hour read.

Boo doesn't think chickens in the backyard would be fair since he's an indoor cat, and we defer...but am I jealous of your basket, Mary!!

I'm right there with all of you re: catalogs. The pile gets taller every few days and when I have a few quiet (!?!?!?) hours that will be my indulgence. Economic recovery is happening in our little place, and I have a budget this year!!! WAAAAAAAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

How about the first weekend of February for Logee's? Spread the word on FB, please. Meet at the McDonald's and caravan down? Saturday or Sunday? I'll be in touch with them so we can get some of the back room stuff available that day if anyone wants anything special.

Looking forward to a good storm enroute. We need the moisture desparately and I'm glad I didn't take all the dead stuff out of the gardens. Mulch will be critical to success. Plans are underway for "Plants On Wheels" week and it's really exciting to see the five-year dream become a reality.

Off to make mocha. Join Me and enjoy this from May 24 '09 to continue the pink theme arising here!! Who'da thunk?


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Pink theme it is Martie. From Roses 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Hi everyone

Some totally awseome news I've been dying to share with someone but don't want to sound boastful to friends here. David has been asked to play the Vivaldi Guitar Conerto with a local orchestra, and he is even getting paid to do so. He is thrilled to bits and I must admit to being just a little proud myself. The concert will be mid to late March and I will no doubt be all puffed up like one of my chickens! Wish you could come.

Tonight DH and I are venturing into new territory with a Euchre tournament at a friend's house. Neither of us have played before but we've just about figured all the rules and will have a fun if not victorious evening. winter eveings are great for playing games.

Last night we went to see the musical "Sweet Charity" where Annie was one of the stage crew. The High School kids did a great job but I really felt the choice was inappropriate for that age group. Seeing so many young girls dressed in revealing clothes, their characters drinking and smoking and gyrating suggestively somehow did not sit well. The main character is a taxi dancer in a dance hall but the story line was sadly lacking. In the interval DH asked me what they would be doing next - perhaps "Hair"? Fiddler on the Roof would have been a much more enjoyable choice!

Martie - great to hear from you - the peonies are the most beautiful I've seen. Keep the pink coming - its a real lift!

Kathy - we just received a late Christmas present from your neck of the woods - a Coup de Foudre 37.2 Cuvee Red Wine 2006. I think it is a definite step up from my $5-$10 reds!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 5:16PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Mary - that's so exciting -- you have a perfect right to "boast" -- David is obviously very gifted, and it's such a pleasure to hear that others want to foster his talent. Congrats! Never played euchre - I dont think; altho it sounds familiar (i'll have to google it, LOL).

I was driven out of the house by the neighbor demolition -- Home Goods called -- they're just getting some spring garden stuff in - they had at least 3 amazing arbor/bench combinations - dont know where they get these things -- I wished I had an FB mobile camera to show them off. Not interested in for my own yard, but they'd be amazing somewhere... I keep wondering where I'm going to find surplus Smith & Hawken things surface - I miss them even if they were pricey; they had some unusual things... Im looking for some obelisks/tuteurs for some of the clems and it's a challenge (without spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on them)....

After HG browsing (no purchases, surprisingly) and other errands, Chloe and I went for a nice longish walk before it got cloudy again.....

Okay, there is never a shortage of pink in my gardens so here's at least one offering to the challenge:


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 6:05PM
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The pink theme is grand. But, since my computer is still in the guru's lab. nothing from me. I will call tomorrow; since I know there was a looming death on his plate when he called me with the update. Poor guy, I know how that feels and how unimportant all forms of work become at such a time. :(

I shall have to snoop out Vivaldi's Guitar Concerto now that I know an up and coming musician of note will be performing it! I would love to be there, Mary. I truly believe that music is tantamount to magic. And I'm esp. pleased that you've opted to "brag" to us. I tend to be rather devil-may-care about many things but I feel a level of age-appropriate decorum is important for teenagers. It's that whole Neo-Victorian thing, I'm afraid. Isn't it funny how when you're young you want nothing more than to be "grown up" but when you are you remember most fondly the innocence of your youth?

Marian, I laughed and laughed about the "tuberous begonias" in your amaryllis pan. Too funny. Sounds like something that would happen here. And Candy, your anecdote elicited audible guffaws, as well. I am well reminded how much I love our language and the wonderfully evocative images careful choice of words can provide.

One of the games I play whenever I undertake a baking project is to see how economic I can be with the utensils required... probably due in part to the fact that I'm the scullery maid, but also because I tend to think in terms of "time and motion" and economy thereof. I love marsala, too. Well... I basically love food. I'd have been a totala failure at either bulimia or anorexia.

I've wondered about the soft/clear food blog from recuperating Cyn. ...

We returned from the fabric collection caper this afternoon. Mary, mother of Jesus, what have I done?? You have NO idea how much fabric I unloaded this afternoon. I have NO idea what I'm going to do with it all, but my addictive personality just took over and I had to have it... ALL of it. I will try to snap a shot of the stageing area in the bahn. Yes, the very bahn that I'd pretty nearly cleaned out.

Martie, hang in there and I'm glad to learn you Mom is OK. One crisis at a time is plenty, is it not?

Michelle, I meant to tell you that the helpmeet had an awful bout of vertigo a few years ago following an extended session with the snowblower. He was nauseaus on and off for about 5 days (inconvenient) but he did recover fully. I feel bad for Rick and his inner ear "confection" (too funny!); I know how unpleasant it has to be for both of you. How are things at work these days? have you been completely abandonned in your hour of need? I think of you whenever the cable bill arrives ( ;) ) and have little doubt that you must be incredibly busy.

'bug, I kinda see the owl, but think the eyes need to be dark and a little bit farther apart for maximum effect. I should look through my button stash for dark "two-holers" for you.

Gotta go.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 6:55PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A successful day here! The reclamation of the loft is nearly complete. The worst task was tackling the computer area. There was a rat's nest of cables and cords underneath and around the desk that was almost overwhelming. But I dove in this afternoon while DH was out of the house (so no one was grousing that the internet was down) and got the area re-organized. It looks much better, useless stuff has been eliminated and everything still works!

I have two things left to do up there. There's an entertainment center to finish re-puposing and then I would like to get a small writing desk to put in front of the window. In the meantime, there is a small shelf with plants in front of the windows. If we have a little sunshine tomorrow, I'll try to get a photo.

Yesterday was a zoo of a day at work, but DH rescued the day by taking me out for a lovely dinner. Guess I'll keep him for a few more days. :)

Mary, what lovely news about David!

I'm gonna break the rules and not post pink, but boy do these say "spring" to me.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! I have a chicken summit tomorrow, then a wine tasting to enjoy.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 7:32PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I forgot to mention that DD had a follow-up message from her school on the disclosure of personal information. The second message had a sincere apology, recognized that the first message had been inadequate, and told the students that the school was going to get some sort of credit monitoring service in place for them. They also went into more specifics about what had happened and what they are doing to prevent it from happening again.

Nice to know they are dong the right thing now, but I do wonder how many folks raised a ruckus before they changed course? It was a full week from the first email to the second.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 7:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well V, I wonder how many parents of affected students are lawyers. Anyway in the past we discovered that one has to threaten to get people to do the right thing. If only they would correct situations voluntarily.

I'm very happy to hear about David's concert Mary! I hope Annie is proud of her brother, but perhaps she is a bit jealous of his ease with music? Today Skyler had his first guitar lesson. They will focus on picking for him. His Daddy sat in on lessons and expects to continue this way with the secret objective of learning to play his banjo by osmosis. I think it may be a struggle for both, but as long as they enjoy it, great! We'll see.

Martie, I'm always saddened by decisions regarding your DB. I'm glad you keep us updated...I guess. :( Best wishes to your Mom! You've left me curious about botanically related names for LO (little One). Feel free to expand on this theme. Tonight DH announced that he hopes for a boy. When DD phoned she said she's like a boy, but a girl would work very well on their hockey team too. ;) I was very glad to hear that they feel somewhat ready for a boy even if this one is a girl.

Chelone, concerning the owl, the eyes are placed according to the spacing of the knit cable. I should have somewhat smaller buttons I think. I can fix it when I visit in March, perhaps putting eyes on three of the owls, if not all six. Oh! When I was in high school, my best friend had drawers and drawers of wool fabric that I was allowed to pick through. It seems they had a relative in the NYC garment district. I made many things in those days, among them gored skirts.

I'm visualizing V's new writing area. I'd love a photo!

OK, I'm on a search for PINK.

Here goes! Clematis Constance.

'bug (dreading Phoebe's upcoming hair butcher job)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 8:45PM
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Roasted Chicken with Butternut Squash and Potatoes won the recipe derby, and it is cooking as we speak..I missed my 2pm beer appt with the Idylls this afternoon, but I did get more roses pruned and wanted to pull weeds in a bad way, but with a week of rain coming I may as well wait a bit. I like to mulch after winter weeding, but we are told there is a possibility of 6 to 7 inches in this storm and would prefer not to see my mulch floating away.

Mary, what fabu news ! I know how happy it makes me that my DS enjoys playing music , and David seems to be in a place where a career may be possible for him. Kudos to you for providing the environment to nourish his talent. I would surely be cool if this concert were recorded for our viewing or listening pleasure ! I have pretty liberal views, but I agree with your assessment of the high school production. When DS was in HS there was a stink about one of the girls performing Out Tonight at their annual variety show;in the end she was allowed to do so..she had some serious talent too.

Chelone, I am envisioning those yards of fabric on any one of your outstanding collection of chairs..the discovery of which was such an unexpected pleasure for me when visiting the Compound.

Cindy, I read in one of the trade publication I get at the awfice that Target has acquired the Smith & Hawken brand ,..the brand is basically all that is left of the company , and we are probably going to see a bunch of stuff from China with the logo on it in spring. I doubt that Target will be carrying stainless steel English made border forks . I sure remember fondly my visit to the S&H store in Mill Valley back in the mid-80s and my DHs mystification with my level of excitement. I bought a vase there , which I cherish to this day. Love those you know the name ? I planted some pink Asiatics last year and dug them all up this fall, the color was so anemic. I like yours much better.

Where is our bug today ?

Well, heck V, I can do yellow too..

Kathy in Napa From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:27PM
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Hi folks, We are back in after dinner out with our two sons and their wives at a newly reopened resturant in town. The old one had burned down last year. It has been renamed "Bugsy's" and has a Bonnie and Clyde era decor. Nice to have a nice place to eat locally.

Our snow has all melted and the ground is really thawing. I walked with the dogs and had to be really careful of my footing in muddy areas. There was still ice on the creek crossing. I saw 12 deer cross the field as we came up out of the creek. The dogs didn't even offer to chase them.

Mary that is fabulous news for David. Before I even read what you wrote. I thought how neat it would be if we could all go hear him play.

So Cindy, Home Goods calls you when garden things come in? Sounds like you may be a regular there. LOL
To bad about the noise disturbing your day off. Our grandaughter and DH moved into a house with neighbors that have been on their case about every little thing. So today when the neighbor dropped a tree on his house they had a gleeful moment.

Martie, so happy things are better economicaly for you. And really happy your moms ambulance ride wasn't more serious than it was.

V, I have that same rats nest of wires. I did get some of them eliminated. I'll be happy to see the day when all things become wireless.

Loving the pictures. I hope to remedy the problem soon that keeps me from posting pictures here.

Chelone, looking forward to seeing that stash of fabric. What a deal. I'm sure you will come up with good use for it. I'm seeing fabric covered chairs. New shorts or pants. Shirts for the helpmeet.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend or at least getting time in on projects . Norma

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Rick was feeling much better so we went out for dinner last night. The place we ate at had such an interesting wall, I wish I had had my camera. It was a 2-story wall and on it they had hung a bunch of old bicycles and a couple of tricycles with a quote from Albert Einstein. "Life is like riding a bicycle to keep your balance you have to keep moving"

Tomorrow is a big football game for the Minnesota Vikings. Since Iowa doesnt have their own team and we are so close to Minnesota, the Vikings are the team of choice for many. So we are having a combination birthday dinner and game watching party. I honestly really dont get into it.

V, the loft sounds like a great place to get away and write.

Chelone, I havent been abandoned but almost wish I was. Ive never worked with anyone so odd, unprofessional, rude and I could go on but you get the idea. Time will tell. The fabric haul sounds so interesting, be sure to post a picture of the loot.

Cindy, I love the look of obelisks and tuteurs. Nice sized ones are either hard to find or spendy thats why I made the copper one. It wasnt exactly cheap but I could make it a nice size. I hope you are feeling better. I know probably a dumb question, but do they have bathrooms on the metro? Hey, Im a country gal. Congratulations to your DD and Im glad for you that they are staying in the area.

Kathy, what was the variegated sedum that Sue had? I love sedums. They are so easy to grow, drought tolerant and hardy (at least most) I am wintering 2 tender sedums under lights. I probably have close to 20 different varieties.

Mary, what a fabulous accomplishment for David. You all must be thrilled.

Martie, Ive been wanting a pink tree peony yours is lovely.

Candy, I have a branch loppers that works well for cutting down castor beans.

bug, Constance is so pretty!

A little pink from me.

Good night all

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Michelle, here is pic of Sues sedum..does have a pink blush here and there so we are in keeping ! I don't remember the name , but I can post it on FB if none of you know and ask Sue to identify. The plant has Purple Emperor sized leaves.. From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 10:16PM
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In my search for a pink picture, I found this one...a mystery. I really want this plant for it's leaves! I have a couple of other mysteries if you get this one :)

Mary, I am so happy for David, as well as you! Being a parent is tough a lot of the times, so it's good to be proud when good stuff happens :) How wonderful for him to be so focused. It goes to show that the money follows what you're good at...sure you can make money doing lots of things, but when you really love something, people will compensate you for it!

I wonder about Annie all the time now, because Jake is beginning the early stages of driving and I wonder if she is, too. Jake is learning on my standard. I am turning out to be a good teacher, if I do say so myself. I just try not to look :)

Michelle, maybe your co worker will soften up/lighten up eventually? I never get the people with the prickly exteriors. Sedums are great! I need more :)

Norma, it sounds nice to have dinner with both sons and significant that doens't happen very least it doesn't here :)

We will need a picture of the haul, Chelone. I liked the movie "The Other Boelyn Girl" but then I watched it quickly and moved on, much like a paperback. I really like movies as a medium right now...quick easy story and it's over...maybe its the time in my life.

Nick and I are planning a last minute scuba getaway. Funny, we've never gotten our passports. I was going to do it last year and never got around to it. We went yesterday and it was a no go. Wrong birth certs...even though they have the raised seal. I had to order new copies. What a pain.

When I get my passport, you'd better watch out....I've got a lot of traveling pent up inside me :) It's been too long and I really want to go somewhere good.

There is an informational gathering about peace corps next month. I think I will go :)

Candy, it's usually the mailman who catches me doing the oddest thing! You've gotta get the shot, though, right?

Have a great Sunday morning, friends!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:49AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Saucy, I think your plant is Rodgersia.
I don't have time to post to you all later.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Not Rodgersia. They look like chestnut leaves.
A form of gunnera? Petasites?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I agree you should go to the PC information gathering. I am not aware of how the PC operates very well since 1966! But I would like to add that there was great caution about health with removal of all molars whether they needed removal or not, experimental inoculations with explanations only afterwards, etc. I somewhat understand this, and expect you do too from your navy experiences, BUT...!!!!Also they were big on psychological evaluations and causing grief by trying to remove quite competent people from the program. (DH was one of those!)

Also there was much treating us like children, surprise checkups, holiday and travel restrictions, etc. Personally I would rather do the work I dream of independently of an organization. I'd prefer to teach abroad, or work on bridge development, or whatever without the mothering.

Certainly there are advantages too: quick evacuation, housing, sometimes doctors and vehicles. Money is NOT one of the advantages, though at the time (age 23) there was little to spend on. As an older person with children (they don't accept these kind of folks I believe unless the children are beyond school age) I'd be more concerned about income and so on.

Just some of my morning thoughts.
Saucy, this should remind you of photos you posted earlier. These are decorative tombstones in the Efik area of Eastern Nigeria. The faces and hands are painted pink or white oddly enough.

Here are photos of the children of DH's school principal, Mr Nsofor. This is sports Day, 1965.

DH played guitar with the Tex Dandies in town on a number of occasions. The child, Okereke, skillfully danced along in front. The tall man to the left was a PC man as well, and he was well loved by PC volunteers as well as locals.

And here is yours truly with (now) DH November 7th, 1966 at our send-off party. (We were married in '68)The man to the right is DH's friend from Cornell University who taught at the same school. The Nigerian lady is Cecelia Ahaonu, also a teacher at the school.

Ndeewo (Greetings/Thank you/Goodbye in Igbo)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 11:21AM
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It was in a plant collector's garden, so it might be tough.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 11:22AM
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Good morning

What a wonderful glimpse into life in the PC in Nigeria. I'd love to see more sometime.

GB - I think you summed it up perfectly with Annie feeling a combination of pride tinged with jealosy. However, she never lets any resentment show to David for which I admire her greatly. There have been times when Annie has asked why things are so easy for David yet so hard for her. But it never stops her trying and through dogged hard work she has achieved profiency on the violin, good grades at school and placement in advanced classes. All from a beginning with huge develpmental delays and so much extra help and support in the early years of school we had no idea what we could expect.

Fortunately Annie has areas that are hers alone to shine. She is a talented artist, an imaginative writer and has a quirky creativity I hope she can find an outlet for in whatever she chooses to do.

Saucy - Annie's driving has come to a halt with weeks of icey road conditions that none of us felt comfortable having her drive in. She has decided (quite prudently) to wait till her 17th birthday to take her road test as she can then get a full license. She is a competant, careful driver but still a little nervous. Parallel parking has yet to be mastered but she is comfortable with the stick shift and hardly ever stalls (those first outings were tough) So far I have been the one to take her out (DH is gone so much, and truth be told, is less relaxed with a learner), and we usually enjoy ourselves.

Chelone - What a fantastic haul! I've been eying a pattern for a wool cape and thought I might make myself something for the first time in years.

Time to see what the family is up to. we all slept in this morning and are having a lzay start to the day.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I still think maybe petasites, perhaps Petasites frigidus or Petasites palmatus?

Oh, but then I have another idea! Mukdenia! Take a look below. The leaves are much smaller than a petasites, but gorgeous.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Trying again. *%#@!*~ computer!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:20PM
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Well, I was going to say good morning, but it looks like it's gotten to be afternoon. I have a free day today and plan on spending some time catching up here on Idylls. I love to read and write but sometimes life gets in the way of that. Just wanted to jump in for the moment and say I agree with Marie, mukdenia popped into my mind. I have one called 'Karasuba'. It starts out green and turns pinker/redder as the season progresses. Reminds me of a heuchera somewhat.

I have to go help Brad assemble some shelves. He's calling. I'll be back...


    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:40PM
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