Idyll #422 - The Dove Idyll

veronicastrum(z5 IL)January 25, 2009

As I contemplated starting a new thread, I opened a Dove chocolate with this message:

"Discover how much your heart can hold"

I know we all have large hearts.

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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Deanne, sorry to hear about your shingles! You're right, that can be a real pain in the, ahem, maybe we should get this idyll off on a better note?

Someone asked about our solar panels. We have 25 panels that should be able to supply about 25% of our electric needs overall. Our house faces south, and we are only putting the panels on the garage roof so it won't look quite as intrusive as if we covered the main roof with them. Installation should begin this week. The contractor already has cleared the snow from the roof.

And Chelone asked about my DD. She plays trumpet, and has been playing in school jazz ensembles for almost ten years now, so she enjoys a lot of different types of jazz and big band music. She also likes her fair share of classical. The music she was purchasing was some scores for her conducting class. She's now contemplating going on to ultimately get a PhD in music history.

Garage duty was survived. Most of my garden stuff is now fully corralled in one corner, and we are getting closer to being able to move in the second potting bench, which will help the organization of it all greatly. I never did attack any indoor clutter yesterday; instead I potted up the plants that had followed me home from the trade show. You know you have a problem when you keep talking about having brought home a couple of plants and the final count is five. Anyway, that did reduce some clutter on the kitchen counter, right?

We're off to the annual meeting of a local conservation group. Carry on!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Deanne, Doug being laid off really stinks! I was so sorry to read know, I'm thinking, I used to work for a couple of technical recruiters....if you start thinking you'd like to cast out a wider net, let me know and I'll do my best to put Doug in touch with my old work buds.

Shingles is the pits, too! I hope you can get comfortable.

V., if the Idylls crash the wedding, you'll let us have a taste, right? The menu sounds delish!

Well, I just wanted to poke my head in this morning. I'm going to try to catch up on some laundry and maybe organize a closet if I have the gumption.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:54AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning, chilly but sunny here.

I've been inspired by the domestic modes going on here and have 2 pots of soups cooking as I write -- dont know if that's "excess" or not but I do propose to freeze some of it and eat for lunches, trying to stop the cash flow at that point for work lunches - which as one may suspect in a big city, is pricey, even if just a cup of soup....

Deanne -- holy moly, woman -- Im sooo sorry for you re the shingles -- they have that stupid vaccine now to help prevent that but generally wait for folks over 60 to give -- I've thought myself well, what about us under that age but "flirting" with the number.... I so hope it's a mild case and you're over -- it's depressing what stress can do to the body, isnt it? But hopefully a positive attitude and trying to think of other things will limit your bout of them.. There outta be a law limiting insurance denial time and coming after one with bills... it goes along with Chelone's question of how medical tests and procedures and their actual costs vary depending on one's insurance, their coverage, and what is a real set cost -- something all hospitals seem to avoid...

V - had to laugh, didnt think of the bar Dove when I saw the new thread title - Im thinking, why do we need a bird of peace going on? 'course someone else might have thought of soap....I much prefer your thought process, Yum! Sounds like that wedding menu is going to be yummy, and things are all going fairly smoothly. Im sure the couple of show plants blur together; since we deal in quantities, plantaholics that we are, 5 little ones blur immediately together -- I totally get the couple they really are..

Chloe's out of sorts today for some reason -- I dont think she was dumpster diving, but not eating and definitely a grumbling tummy -- even she can get into trouble in a small yard; they're highly inventive in taste testing....

Michelle, I guess I forgot your parents were moving to TX; I hope their house sells quickly so you dont have to do the double house duty; forgot to mention what a cute photo that was of Kenzie & Ariel; I imagine for a child Florida is a wonderful place to live...

back to some more decluttering and slugging; Monday is looming already...


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 1:58PM
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In for a break. It's a long way around the Salon on your hands and knees; I've filled all the nailholes in the mopboard and all the window casings and sanded it, too. Next move is to haul that Kirby over there (I hate that machine) and vacuum. Then I can begin pickling.

Deanne, your, "Whoa, we need to come up with plan" is precisely what I'd do, too. Unemployment compensation is there for occasions just like this. Bright, enterprising, willing people are always desireable, too. Like Doug, I'm employed "at will", either mine or their's! ;)

Chloe is a little dog, make perfect sense to me that she'd find all sorts of mischief in a little yard. Given the size of her it couldn't take much to make her go "off kilter". I'd love to see her next to Rex.

Isn't Shingles related to the virus that causes Chicken Pox? I don't know anything about it except that it can be very uncomfortable. I did not know it could be triggered by stress but it makes good sense. Stress seems to be a contributing factor in a lot of things.

Hey 'bug, you could always do a "deep cleaning" project while the internet is down! ;) Think of it as good therapy; I get some of my best thinking done when I'm doing something so seemingly mindless. I always feel better afterwards, no idea why.

I'd like to be spooning up some of Cindy's soup later on. It's the sort of thing I'd like to bring for lunch, too. Well, I can't put off moving the Kirby any longer. Seeya.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 2:38PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Chelone, Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus which is the same virus that causes chicken-pox. Apparently once you get chicken-pox you always have that zoster virus dormant in your system in some nerve cells. The medical profession still does not know what reactivates the virus that then causes shingles, usually in adults over 50 but anyone who's had chicken pox can get it. Shingles isn't contagious to anyone who's had chicken pox and you can't give shingles to anyone but if the rash in the blister stage and you come into contact with someone who's not had chicken pox you can transmit chicken pox. What a drama.....

Sounds like great progress is being made in the Salon. Looking forward to seeing it in person. What a fantastic workshop you are going to have.

Saucy, thanks for the offer. I'll have Doug email you.

Cindy, bummer that Chloe is not feeling up to par. Poor baby! ~~ Very neat that you are in the soup making mode. Me too!!!! I made a turkey soup with leftovers in the freezer from a Thanksgiving turkey and was able to make about ten servings of soup from stuff I had on hand. Then yesterday I made a chili with dried kidney beans and ground lean turkey total cost for the ingredients about $8.00 and again about ten to twelve servings. Got to love it.

V. how fantastic you are going to get those solar panels installed. That's terrific.

OK I'm off to clean the fish tank.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 3:30PM
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I did nothing today.

But when I go to the basement there's the glow of fluorescents for the melianthus major seeds started today.

And Hope has become absolutely olympiac (I say that's a word) at catching tossed cookies in her mouth while maintaining an ears erect square sit.

I took the garbage out.

I got all worked up and donated to the greyhounds in Guam.

Guam Greyhounds Abandoned

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 7:49PM
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A glass of wine at my side , Im feeling good about the state of the garage- not perfect but oh so much better . I have one area that needs some attention-all the painting supplies , but will hit that on the next weekend day that is unsuitable for outdoor activities. Back of the car is loaded with items that will be dropped off at Goodwill on my lunch hour tomorrow. Seed starting didnÂt happen, but the area and supplies are prepared and I have seeds selected  the only thing IÂm missing is Celosia spicata, and will order a pack of those this week.

There is no rain in the forecast for the upcoming week, bad news in general , but I should be able to finish up the rose pruning and garden cleanup next weekend. I noticed this morning that tulips have sprouted in my front yard. I donÂt expect them to bloom, I cut off the foliage right after the flowers faded last spring thinking I would be living elsewhere this spring . Oh well !

Well Deanne, shingles-jeesh. One of my employees had them last year Âon her scalp if I recall. I wasnÂt aware of the chicken pox connection. I did have the pox in 3rd grade, and enjoyed the fact that I had to stay home from school for 2 or three weeks, but didnÂt really feel sick. I was a pariah however so had to socialize only with myself.

V,back in the 90's DH and I had briefly considered moving to a home that was Âoff the grid . Most of the people in this area actually are able to Âsell back power to the local utility provider (Pacific Gas and Electric) and although the up-front costs are considerable the future savings are even more so. I think itÂs great that you are taking this step .

Cynthia, one really and truly occasionally needs to do nothing. And IÂm certain that you did in fact feed the kids, and read the Idylls. Surely this is something ?

5:30 and itÂs still light out, though dusk.

Primrose from last weekend-

Kathy in Napa

From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quiet Sunday here on the idylls. Kathy, we cracked open a bottle of Darioush Shiraz this evening. No special reason; sometimes you just have to have those nice wines just because.

The conservation group's annual meeting that we went to today was quite nice. There was a silent auction, and a local organic farm had a few large boxes of their onions. These onions had been my favorites at the farmers market last season, so I was pleased that we were able to get a box. Also, I purchased a lovely handwoven shawl. I'll have to try and get a photo tomorrow. I've not had a shawl since my HS prom days (remember the crocheted shawls of the 70's?) and I'm quite pleased with it.

And then I came home and fell asleep! C'est la vie.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 9:34PM
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Deanne, bummer about the shingles. Did you get the medication right away? I had them about a year and a half ago. I believe if you start the medication within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms your case will be much less severe. Mine were on my leg and did amount to much at all.

Kathy, nice to see that at least someone has something colorful in their garden. My garden has only one color - white.

Good grief I made the trek to the compost pile and found myself going through knee deep drifts.

Cindy, my parents are moving permanently to Texas, just for the rest of the winter. They did move to a ranch style house from their 2 story and that's why they are trying to sell.

Anyone want to buy a house in small town Iowa? Check out the link below. Check out the price.

I'm not big into cooking but for some reason like making soup. We just finished chili just like you made Deanne with ground turkey.

I didn't do much today either. Lunch was Iowa chops stuffed some extra wild rice/walnut stuffing that I froze at Christmas and homemade applesauce. I figure for Sunday that was enough work. I did give a coat of paint to the dresser for the "garden room" but that was about it.

Nite all

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Soup here too, cheddar corn chowder and 5 min bread. It was a lazy day, just the kind I like. Brad had the day off, Bella was here and we did pretty much nothing too. I did make a trip out to Borders and one of the books I picked up was Marie's recommendation.

Deanne, I was sorry to hear the news about Doug's job. Believe me I know the worry you're going through. We had to do the unemployment filing nightmare for the 2 weeks Brad was layed off. I think everyone in MI must be out of work because it was so hard to get through on the phone lines. I had a mild outbreak of shingles about 15 years ago. What I remember was it feeling alot like a bad burn. Mine was on my hip. I have no doubt that you guys will land on your feet. Hang in there.

Woody, yes Brad does work in the auto industry. He's a skilled tradesman, a millwright. Your desk shot of your work is impressive. Are you enjoying the class?

Michelle, what a cute picture of Kenzie and Ariel! Bella likes the Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses dvd. One day while Brad was off she was watching it and he got so involved that he finished watching even after Megan had picked up Bella. Said he had to see how it ended. I ran across a neat website about fairy houses that made me think right away that it was something you and Kenzie would enjoy doing. I'll link it below. Check out the pictures of all of the different ones children have created.

Chelone, I like the colors you've chosen for the salon. Very peaceful, soothing and Scandinavian, which is what you're going for right?

Marie, wow if Sarah only has 99 days, then Jen's in the 80s. I'll be glad when those babies are here safe and sound.

Denise, whenever I see a picture of your garden I want to explore all of your nooks and crannies. Just beautiful! So Mitch is home safe and sound? Meg's friend had a purple ticket for the inaugural. That was the area that they had a mix up with and weren't letting people in. So he ended up watching on TV from the hotel but did get to go to a ball at the Smithsonian which I thought sounded pretty neat.

Kathy, I don't have a garage but I think I feel the same satisfaction when my basement in clean and organized. It's a good feeling.

Marian, I do remember you telling us about the skillet disappearing. Good that you have it back. I just bought my first cast iron skillet a couple of months ago, a preseasoned Lodge.

V, the wedding menu sounds yummy! So you got to do some indoor gardening. I love inhaling the smell of the moist potting soil when I open a bag. Especially in winter!

Cynthia, I think it's good you got a day to just relax. Sounds like Hope's a smart and athletic girl!

It's much later than I usually post and I don't know what I'm doing still up. Time to hit the hay as my dad would say. Good night!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 11:29PM
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I wonder about susceptibility to Shingles for those of us who've been vaccinated for Chicken Pox, probably depends on the type of vaccine used. I was one of those kids who never, in spite of bearing gifts and visiting with infected friends, contracted any of the "childhood diseases". No Mumps, no German Measles, no Chicken Pox, zilch. I was first in line to receive the vaccines though. Superior immune system?

Wow, Michelle, the price tag on your childhood home is unbelievable. You wouldn't be able to touch anything in my community (or the larger area for that matter) for twice that price. How long did your parents live there? I still remember the shot of you and your sisters on Christmas morning... complete with those fat, yarn "ribbons" in your hair. ;)

Yes, Cynthia, doing nothing is often very worthwhile. Seems to me you alluded to a couple of very busy weeks on your horizon, so recharging your battery pack seems most prudent. As for the abandonned Greys... nothing humans do to animals surprises me much anymore. Look at what we do to our own kind, for heaven's sake.

I do not wish to go to work this morning, but am mindful that I still have a job to go to. I would much rather be crawling along the seemingly endless mopboard, patiently painting the pickling stain on and then wiping it off. My hip is sore this morning, no doubt from infinite ups and downs from the floor and the little step stool.

I had one of those awful moments yesterday that happen to us all. I was trying to open the jar to add paint and mix another round of pickling stain. Evidently, I'd not adequately cleaned the mouth or cover of the jar and it was stuck. It finally came loose and I juggled it about 3 times before watching it fall. The remaining contents spattered the floor AND trickled down the fronts of 2 of the dining chairs waiting for their seats to be reupholstered. I dashed into the house and returned with a bucket of warm water and sponge. I hastily sloshed down the chairs removing the paint and then dried them carefully. Crisis was largely avoided though there was some open grain on the back of one of the legs that now sports a faint white shadow... what a knucklehead.

OK, I've got to get moving.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 5:33AM
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I have a little experiment brewing at my house, Chelone: Jake had pox, Sarah had the vaccine!

There is a shingles vaccine available now....the CDC website recommends it for those over 60.

Woody, I keep forgetting to comment on your drawings everytime I post! They're most professional! Will Barb really be able to use them, or is she conjuring up her dream spaces? I think it'd be fun to have an architectural drawing to work from....

I did a whole lot of nothing this weekend, too. Now there is a whole lot of something waiting for me! Sarah just scooted out the door and the clothes dryer just played a little chime to let me know it is time to fold!



    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:40AM
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Good morning

Don't come anywhere near me folks - I have the worst cold:0( I'm just waiting till I can call in to colleagues at work before heading back to bed. I can usually soldier on, preferring to save my sick days for taking the kids to the Dr or dentist, but I'm so constantly sneezing, blowing and wheezing I'm giving in to this one.

Deanne - Shingles can be miserable. Hope yours is not too painful. Soup sounds just the ticket.

Michelle - I had to do a double take when I saw your old house, thinking they left off a figure in the price. Such a charming looking house too.

Eden - seeing that link to fairy house made me want to build one. I've been asked if I'd like to give a class with kids making hyper-tufa pots but the caustic nature of the materials has been a little concerned with the younger kids. Perhaps I'll try the suggestions on the site and have a fairy house class instead.

Saucy - how do you feel about little kids and tufa?

Marian - one of our family memories growing up is from a year we spent in Madison Wisconsin. That summer we drove out west, camping and staying in cabins as we made our way to Yellowstone. My Mum's treasured cast iron skillet came along on the trip but at one stop was left on top of the car. At kids we remember seeing it bouncing behind us on the road. It survived, and is still in use on another continent.

V - I had a black, lacy shawl I wore in the seventies with my heavy black kohl eyeliner and bell bottoms. It was a look I loved. While the heavy kohl and bell bottoms can rest in peace I would love a handmade shawl again. Looking forward to seeing yours.

Chelone - glad you were able to rescue your spill. I managed to dump a whole gallon of white paint when I redid our bedroom. Amazingly our little carpet steamer got it out of the carpet and I painted the floors and walls in the closet with the rest.

Thinking of the joy there will be when the Idyll grandbabies are safely delivered.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:55AM
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Mary, I would have to agree about the hazards of working with cement for too little kids, but I had good success by bringing my dry materials and then mixing them with water just before work and having a good discussion about wearing gloves and eye protection....having said that, I'd prefer an 8 and up crowd.

Hope you feel went around here. It seems to be a head cold and then a lot of people end up with the secondary sinus infection. Try irrigating the sinuses and sleeping a lot :)


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:11AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

ok, why do fairies want their houses close to the ground? I read their rules.... somehow I would have thought they'd prefer to be higher up (altho low down is charming) but doesnt seem as safe to me in my "fairy" mind...

I am truly glad to hear that you did absolutely nothing, Cynthia... I was getting a complex w/ you folks who seem to always go 24/7 (altho when I recently read you took naps, I started to feel some relief, LOL).... I have always been mindful of relaxing and getting enuf sleep -- but Im someone who has a low energy level - it seems to be genetic -- my mom had it, and my poor DD seems to have it too -- I just figure one has to learn to accept it and deal with it... but I am envious of others who have the super-bee gene (as in buzzing buzzing with projects).

Chelone -- I hate to tell you but you could in fact contract chicken pox at this late date in life; the vaccine apparently wears off after a couple decades; but it means you are spared the possibility of shingles, unlike those of us who did contract the chicken pos as children. And shingles can be limited or severe and debillitating (kind of like mono in their extremes); as Michelle says, hopefully you caught it early, Deanne, and were able to get the shot? Crossing my fingers.

Mary, I do hope you feel better soon -- I keep thinking all the folks who endured the outdoor inaugural festivities are now likely suffering terrible colds or flu -- but we know that's not where you contracted -- I can see you doing a wonderful class on the concept of fairy houses with natural materials.... even a mini garden would be terrific taught by your lively, clever imagination.

So, V - you've never been caught up in the pashmina craze? Somehow I was gifted with one a few years ago and I confess I look at them when at Marshalls or Maxx's & have expanded my collection -- I even have one at the ofc now to throw over my shoulders & one in my tote bag as one never knows how cold it's going to be on the metro -- like this morning when the metro car I was in had apparently no heat, which makes for a brisk ride... They're quite handy.

Eden -- you just identified Chelone's style of her Salon --- the Swedish/Gustavian look with the wonderful white pickling she's doing... my memory fails me these days on stuff like that. Im glad to hear that you were able to clean all the spilled stain up, Chelone -- dont you just hate when you do things like that?

Well, Im trying to postpone thinking of awfice work here but cant avoid any longer.... it's going to be a long week I fear... having just tried to re-read this post I have decided I need more caffeine; Im not awake and corrected way too many mistakes, so forgive the rest of them!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 9:12AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OMG. Why is there no peace for us wicked. Not meant to be funny.....have been dealing with a major meltdown of DS....temporary relief just now, but really - I am too old for this today. Oh... this too shall pass...

On a brighter note - and I do mean bright - TCS had a reading assessment this week and topped out at about Grade 6 level for reading and comprehension. Not bad for a little guy only 7 years old...

Where to begin to catch up??? Well. Deanne, your news was a;t imagine, furnace with a big repair bill..... surely it's past now and only sundhine will be there for you - I hope so anyway!

Marie has no internet signal - that would just do me in right now!

Chelone - you are on a roll for sure! That salon is a work of art and is moving along at a great speed. Might seem long to you but when it is done! You will be so pleased with all of your efforts. It is worth it - what satisfaction! I am truly impressed!

Cynthia, I long to do nothing. Just depression I think. I never do nothing. Mmmmm home-made soup! That is the best. I do that frequently too!

Michelle, that house looks great! At that low price, surely it will go fast. Although someone told me that a price too low makes people think there is something wrong with it and are wary. Someone will get a great deal I am sure. I hope it is someone who needs a break - that makes everybody win!!

Oh Mary, I was thinking we should have bought shares in the Kleenex company - we are all sneezing and coughing and carrying around boxes of tissues. This goes away in two weeks if you leave it alone and in 14 days if you treat it *LOL*

Man, I have had it! Too much winter already! I will go an have a glass of wine and trty to improve my mood for next time! Keep up the good work, Idylls! Remember those JulieJobs! Get them done, they will get you through!!!


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 5:36PM
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Yeah, Eden, I was trying for that Scandinavian/northern European look. It is sort of Gustavian (gotta be the pickling!) but not fully because I want lush window treatments and warm upholstery. I'm actually very interested in how different periods used color and fabrics in their interiors. I have a book on castles and palaces and was quite taken with some of the interiors in German and Austrian palaces. Recently, I've been going through it again looking for interesting ideas for the painted floor. I'm excited about the trimwork; it'll be a lot of work, but it'll look sharp when it's finished. I calculate it will take me a solid 5 days to do the mopboard and window trim, another day/two on the stairwell trim

It was really cold here today. There has been no melting in at least 3 days and I've heard mention of snow for Wednesday; the amount we receive will depend on how much of it falls. :) We started the stove at about 3:30 today, and I filled it right up, too! At present all cats are indoors and two are with 8' of the stove.

Funny thing about vaccinations, you have to renew them. I'm due for a tetanus shot. I think we can safely assume I will be one sick puppy if I contract Chicken Pox (life's a crapshoot). My sympathies to Miss Mary, who must be pretty miserable about now. Ever notice how when you're sick you can't remember how it felt to feel "good"? I recommend plenty of oranges (liquids in general), and plenty of rest. Time to be still and let the body do it's work without being taken to work. I hope you perk up quickly.

There is a nice set of iron skillets in various sizes at THTTF, they are great things and I'm reminded to claim 'em next time I'm there. I like the image of a skillet bouncing off the pavement while on a family camping trip very much, too.

Cynthia, you should try a piece of spaghetti on Hope. The helpmeet sort of flips it toward Rex, gets a decent spin on it, and the dog nails it every time. It's a scream to watch him vacuum up the length of the pasta. Definitely give that one a whirl, it's real cheap laughs. Right along with canned whipped cream... :) (stupid human trick). Meant to tell you that a woman I know just bought a Thoroughred straight off the track. He vetted well and she paid $350 for a 4 yr. old. 250 yrs. of selective breeding and once his usefulness on the track was up he was worth just $350... lotsa bargains out there.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 5:50PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I could hardly cook breakfast with out an iron skillet. :-)
I still have not braved the scouring and reseasoning of the skillet. I will get to it one of these days, when the spirit moves me. I have another one that is almost as large that I use daily.

The ice has begun. My car is already encased in a thin coating. We are in the area expected to get at least 3/4th inches, and most likely more. This area is expected to be without power for several days. :-(
This forenoon I made another trip to town, for more supplies, after hearing that report. Hopefully I have enough of all the necessities to last it out.
Several customers commented to me about the incoming ice. I included a large pack of toilet tissue amongst my purchases. I told the lady in front of me at the register that it was important to have plenty of toilet paper.(g) She laughed and said I might should get some more.

The main problem will be the safety factor. Nolon said the front steps were already slick at 3 PM, when he went out to go get the mail. He will not have to do that again as long as the road is iced. Our mailman will not come down to our box at such times.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 6:46PM
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I was just watching the nightly news (NBC) and saw the map with the area of ice highlighted. I remarked to the helpmeet that you were going to get clobbered, Marian. I would add catfood to the list of "must haves", too. Which reminds me, I need to restock the lamp oil we used back in December! Do you have a pair of those pull on cleats? I have a pair that I'm able to pull on over my Merrills and they are a real godsend with it's slippery. You need to have at least one pair of them, they're important equipment for little old fuddy-duddies. :) Keep yourselves safe.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Chelone, I'll plan spaghetti for next week-end :-) All greyhounds (except for the few AKC greys) are from the track and are purebred with at least 6 generations of pedigree. They are bred to race. Katie and Hope have a lot of relatives in common. You can't buy NGA greyhound puppies. They're only bred for racing. Petdom is their second career. $350 is in the normal range for an adoption. I hope your friend read a book or two and understands the difference between a dog and a greyhound and the safety and physiological differences. If not, I'm sure the Maine GPA (local adoption support) will help her out or even rehome the dog if it doesn't work out. We see dogs adopted from tracks that have no where to go when their owners relinquish them. And there's that Guam thing.... Those dogs are going to groups in California.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:34PM
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Hi all.
Deanne, I just read about Doug's job. So sorry, but luckily he is in an excellent field, so I am crossing my fingers for you guys. And your shingles! I had them a few years ago, but they were on my right hand. Someone said that once they pick a spot they always come back to the same place, and they follow the path of your nerve endings. So they are on one side of your body or the other. Mine never did come back, thank goodness. My girlfriend's husband gets them on his face every year, and so does my niece, poor thing.

Cynthia, I didn't know you could grow Melianthus major from seed. I love that plant, but it is very hard to find here, and expensive. Can you tell me where you found your seeds? I would love to give it a try.

Mary what a wonderful compliment for David! and V, I am another one who loves to wear shawls. My son Sean got me one made from Alpaca fur/hair Christmas before last, and I also found another knitted one at the hospital gift shop. they are very snuggly and cozy. I also got a cape made from fleece at Dillards. It was originally $60, and I paid $10 after the take 75% off current price sale. I just love them. My 11 year old grandson asked me if there used to be a lot of hippies around when I was a kid.

Michelle, I LOVED the pic of Kenzie with Ariel. It is enough to make you want to go "under the sea."

I had to get a new computer. It is a laptop. My son who works at Best Buy geek squad told me my old one was worthless, and that I needed to get an Apple because they don't get virus's and since I wasn't very savvy on the antivirus thing that would be best for me. So, here I am trying to learn something new. I had it for two months, every time he came over he asked me where it was and why I was still using my old computer.....This is my first go at trying to type on it. Everything seems backwards, and I don't like the way it deletes. Can't figure out how to open a new window, oh wait there are no windows. Okay, how do toggle back and forth? Very confusing. Still don't like it...but he unhooked my PC, brought me a wireless keyboard and mouse, and somehow hooked up my big monitor to the laptop. He said he wanted me to become more techno knowledgable. I reminded him that he had one of the first computers on our block, and that I could work a computer with DOS commands:) I forgot most of them, but didn't mention that.

Cindy, I made soup yesterday, too. It was cheddar potatoe with chicken breasts added. I also made some Cheddar biscuits and brussel sprouts for veggie. Yum. The biscuits taste just like the ones at Red Lobster. Can't be good for me...

Mary Kate started back to school last week, so I am watching Charlie on Wednesdays, and Jen is doing it Monday and Thursday. After this she will graduate. She is excited to have it finished. She was too sick while preg with Charlie to finish, she had to stop going to classes, which was too bad, because she had free tuition and books with her scholarship. Eventhough she had to pay for this semester, she still had a great savings for her education.

Chelone, what is THTTF? I really like the tassels on your awnings. they give such a spiffy look! I have an iron skillet that was my great grandmothers. That is all my mom ever cooked in when I was little. I didn't know there was any other kind of skillet till I got older. She used to make the best pineapple upside down cake in it. My mom wasn't very much on having sweets in the house, but she did make that occasionally, and it was delicious.

I am making progress on the wallpaper removal. I highly recommend a steamer. I only have parts over the sink where I can't reach. And around the tippy top of cabinets. Sean is going to come over and do that for me tommorrow, I hope. He is tall and skinny, very limber, and unafraid of heights.

Hope you all have a nice cozy night!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 7:59PM
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No, Cynthia, a Thoroughbred racehorse, not a thoroughbred Greyhound. ;) I often forget that many people do not know that a Thoroughbred is an actual breed of horse. They make wonderful pleasure mounts, but like track dogs come with their very own set of insecurities. Not all can make the transition but those that do can provide years of good service. As I said, there are lots bargains out there.

THTTF is "the house that time forgot", Drema, it's my description of Mum's home. Funny that I still don't call it "my" home, huh? Anyway, I'm thinking one of those nice skillets would be just pan to make my favored morning "toad in a hole" (a fried egg inside a hole cut out of a piece of bread). Interesting to read your assessment of an Apple. Everyone I know who uses one loves it.

I have to get to bed. G'night.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Wen to to the Natl weather service to peruse Marians weather forecast-sounds mighty unpleasant to me, but good to know that supplies are laid in, heat is not dependent on power,and I seem to recall that there is an abundance of oil lamps at the homestead. Hunker down Marian , and have Nolan take a stroll around the house instead of to the mailbox.

I guess Im out of the fashion loop-I had to Google pashmina as I had never heard the term before. I think they look quite nice, especially if they are cashmere- I inferred that the term is actually a type of cashmere, but that the shawls are made of numerous fabrics. I can think of a few times this winter when that would have been just the ticket. Sort of like having a security blanket !

V mentioned Darioush, this winery is only a couple of miles from my house, on the Silverado trail. Its very distinct architecturally , since most wineries sport an old California or a European French/Italian vibe , but Darioush is ancient Persia to the max.

Michelle, its nice to know that there are still places where houses are affordable . At todays interest rates and with a very modest down payment one would have a house payment that would be unthinkable out here ! The lot is over twice the size of mine. Do you mind divulging what the prop taxes are ?

Ah, but Cindy, its ok that Fairy Houses are on the ground, because Fairies are invisible to predators.

Julie, a DS meltdown abatement is the worst kind of JJob. At least cleaning out the fridge does not take an emotional toll. Kudos to TCS for his reading skill..I hope it continues to serve him well all his life.

And furthermore Chelone, in winter its hard to imagine summer and vice-versa. Can you look back right now at IU5 and feel the heat ? Neither can I , lol !
This reminds me, when waking on a winter morning I recommend staying in bed till a female power surge occurs. Its lots easier to get up when you need a blast of cold really bad.

Marian, I would be interested to hear your procedure for seasoning the skillet. I dont use the cast iron anymore because its heavy and hard to clean. I know that my pans are not properly seasoned. I have two that are way in the back of the cupboard.

Drema, I think that Apple users are very passionate about the operating system. Maybe youll like it after you get used to it !

All for me tonight..stay warm everyone.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 8:55PM
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Kathy's going to move her extended family to Iowa after she checks out the property taxes. Yep, that price is amazing, less than I spent for my first little starter condo in 1983. Cute house Michelle, there must be a lot of memories for you there.

Drema, I got the seeds from T&M. Haven't seen them anywhere else. Start early. I bought seedlings last year and they were just hitting their stride in late fall. So I'm hoping for germination in about 30 days, and they'll be really good sized by July this year. Maybe.

I have a new yummy recommendation from Trader Joes. Tomato Pesto Flatbread - frozen. It's a new offering and it looked good. Was just rummaging for supper and cooked half of it (I always break stuff like that in half while frozen so that both halfs can be fresh cooked. Not much is as good when reheated.) It's very garlicy and the flatbread crust is perfect. Then again, I was starving, so this review may change next time.

Chelone was talking about a hoss! Who knew?

What am I doing up so late.....


    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Alas, 'tis one of those nights. I got an email today that there was a church project that no one had told me about that is due tomorrow. So just as I logged on to the church PC this evening, the house around me plunged into darkness. It's always sort of funny to have the laptop continue to glow when everything else is black. Anyway, the power was only out for about three minutes. When it came back, I quickly reset the home internet and tried to log on again. But of course - the church is just three miles straight down the road, and their power shut off also. And no one is there to reset the computer. (break to answer phone call) Well, I guess resetting the computer is not an option. I just heard that the whole town's power has been down since mine "blinked" and it won't be restored for at least another 90 minutes. So now I feel lucky!

Chelone, there is a house about a mile from me that raises Thoroughbreds on a pasture right by the road, so I get to see them quite often. They bought a home that was on two 5 acre lots, and fenced in all the vacant land for the horses. The previous owners had rather haphazardly planted arbs as a windbreak, but the poor trees always suffered terrible wind scorch. One of the neighbors made a comment to me about the awful things the horses were doing to the arbs, and I had to silently laugh, since they really only looked bad in a different way!

Nice to hear from you, Drema! My son loves his Apple and may try to convert me when this laptop gets a little older.

Michelle, I had a similar reaction to the house price. OK, I am such a dolt - I was just going to look at a local realtor's website to see what that amount would buy here, but guess what? Their website is down. Power's out!

I had a little fun on iGoogle today and created my own theme. It's quite groovy, and I will try to link it when it gets published. The site says it takes a few days for new themes to be approved and published.

I think my Plan B will involve begging some time from my boss tomorrow morning to work on the church project, and making it up a little later in the day. Off to reset the clocks and get to bed!


ps - we have two cast iron skillets - medium and large, and DH just said last night that he'd like to get a small one also. Lodge fans here - but keeping them seasoned is the key. Never use soap - we clean ours with salt to maintain the seasoned finish.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2009 at 10:35PM
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V., I can't tell you how many times the helpmeet and I flipped electrical wall switches over the few days we were without power. It's automatic... . I think of you everytime there is another story on the impending switch to digital broadcasting for TVs. You mentioned awhile ago that it made no sense that you've had to fork over money to "upgrade" to receive something that used to cost you nothing. Well, the other night the helpmeet and I heard our condition described thusly, "vulnerable and at risk". At risk for what? giving more money to the schisters running the giant sponge called Time Warner Cable? You'll love this, too. We were informed by TWC that since we are "stand alone" customers (internet connection only) they were raising our monthly fee $5. I don't know how they fit all the executivess in one room, the size of their balls must make it a real tight fit. :)

Speaking of power outtages, I sure hope Marian and Nolon are faring OK in their love nest. The weather in their area looks ominous.

I can't remember the times when it was actually hot outside this house, Kathy. It happens every year and it'll be awhile before the house's windows are opened and remain so. Hard to believe there will again come a time when the shade of awnings will be welcomed.

Drema, every time we planned to get that awning down it either rained or iced the pergola, so it remains up and I remain hopeful it will not collapse under the snow load. I will certainly have to take it down, inspect it carefully and attend to any breaches in stitching before the coming season! I'm a sucker for tassels and fringe... just like Martie.

I hope Martie is OK, funny how we all sort of sound the alarm when someone goes missing. We really are a bunch of old biddies, aren't we? Would be nice to hear from Brenda, Ei, Norma, and the other cast of characters, too.

We're under a dome of high pressure right now, the air is wicked dry (lots of static electricity and squinty cats looking for pats), the big briney is flat calm, and it's wicked cold. Clayton Lake recorded a record last night, -50F, where I grew up it's a balmy -20. The forecast for tomorrow is messy... potential for lots of snow, always with the chance of "mixing" at the coast. Can you say, "snow day"? Sounds like a good day to remain secure on the Compound, firing up the Salon stove and pickling to my heart's content.

Hi Julie, I may just knock off cleaning the freezer tomorrow morning if the helpmeet doesn't do it today (I hold faint hope for that, actually). After that, my next JulieJob is going to be cleaning out the boiler room and improving the hanging space in "my dryer". The helpmeet will question the efficacy of it, but I'll continue to "blow him off" because his idea of change is none at all (if it barely works now why make any changes to the system?) ;). Sorry, darling, it's no longer "workin' for me". Step aside.

OK, well I need to hustle and wrap up the latest staple on upholstery job. I don't really like that sort of work, always feeling that I'm painfully slow at them, but the stapling is the "home stretch" and I have 3 pcs. left to go.

Hi 'bug, even though you can't read this.

Ta ta!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:35AM
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Good morning

My new favorite item - tissues with lotion. Yesterday I had soup for all three meals of the day. Spent lots of time listlessly lazing around and am feeling a little better today so will head back the salt mines (to borrow from Chelone).

Julie - that is wonderful that you hace such a talented little reader! I'm sure he will have a lifetime of pleasure from reading and do very well in school. I must not have been here when you first started posting because I always struggle to remember what TCS stands for - is it third child's son? I do hope your day has less emotional turmoil and love your reminders to keep up with our Julie jobs LOL!

Cynthia - I'm just putting in a T&M order (unable to resist the Cherry Brandy rudbeckia) and might add some Melianthus seeds. Do you think it is too late? They also have a double hellebore in their bargain section I might try for 99c.

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 7:34AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Haha, cleaning the feezers is a JJob Supreme - of course there's an emotional overtone - it's the stress of not saying "yech" every time some rock hard piece of undetermined matter emerges...and I will be doing that very thing tomorrow - freezer cleaning I mean, not "yetching" - I hope - as we are going to do a major Costco shop on Thursday.

"Third Child's Son" - good try. But after number 2 we were very determined to avoid number 3. But the Fickle Finger of Fate got us anyway, as we are now rasing number three: TCS stands for Three Carrot Sticks, his favourite meal! His eating habits - or non-eating habits drive me to distraction. But in spite of it all we are muddling through. I feel like Kate and Jon plus 8: it's not an easy life, but it's OUR life and we will get through it together". Gee, I wonder if HGTV would give us an audition??

Today we are going back to the village for a doctors appointment for TCS. We are unable to find a doctor for our family here in town. It might be kind of nice to visit a couple of old haunts, have lunch out, get TCS back in time for swimming. Hoping to check out a nutritionist for him at the same time.

So....I better hustle - need to find the kid's Health Card before we set out!

Back later - love all the chat about seed planting and Spring coming....there IS hope!



    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 8:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I hope all are OK who are in the path of the storm thats on its way here. I think Marian probably is iced over. Hope you dont lose your power. The weather people are saying we are in the 12" range for snowfall here. This winter is just not letting up with the cold and snow.

Shingles are pretty uncomfortable but tolerable. I spoke with my Dr.s office yesterday and they said that the Valtrex makes no significant difference unless its taken within the first 24 to 48 hours of the onset of the rash, which I didnt know so it was too late to take the meds. (they are $8 to $10 per pill so its pretty stupid to take them incase they might do any good when they really wont) Im just dealing with it for the time being as I didnt want to spend the money on an office visit to the Dr. that would accomplish nothing except to tell me what I already know, I have shingles. LOL

Michelle, thats great that you were able to get the meds when they would do some good. ~~ LOL about the snow drifts getting to the compost bin. The same thing happened to me the other day. I could hardly get to my compost bin. I dont ever remember the snow being that deep back there. ~~ Those stuffed chops sound delicious. I might try something like that for dinner tonight as Ive a couple chops in the fridge at the moment.

Eden, the unemployment numbers arent as bad here as in your neck of the woods but still bad. Doug went to the office before they opened and was the 27th person in line. It took him all morning to get to the person he needed to see to file. Thank heavens he can do the rest over the internet or by calling in. Glad things are better for you and Brad now.

Chelone, BTW, I wont be contagious by the end of Feb. so will not be able to give you chicken pox. If you havent ever had chicken pox you cannot get shingles. ~~ Cant wait to see you! Will helpmeet be joining you this year or will he stay on the compound?

Cynthia, doing nothing days are so refreshing arent they. Good for you!

Woody, love your drawings and your work space. Wonderful.

Mary, so sorry about your nasty cold! Thats dreadful. I surely hope you are feeling better soon.

Julie, I agree with you 100% Ive had too much of this winter already and we still have another couple months of this. But, at least the days are getting longer.

Chelone, Im taking your advice to Mary, just resting, getting lots of fluids and letting my immune system deal with this thing. ~~ I surely hope your friend who just bought the Thoroughbred off the track is a very experienced horsewoman. They can be such zipper heads. I had a friend who had a beautiful black fellow that was the love of her life but that horse was never trustworthy in 20 years. Then again I had another friend who had an off the track Thoroughbred, and he was terrific, full of that fiery temperament but most of the time was into his work.

Hi Drema, Id be gnashing my teeth now if I tried to switch to an Apple! Good for you for learning something new. Every time Ive tried to use one I feel like Im in foreign territory.

Kathy, I lol when you mentioned the heat at IU5! Thats right and I cant even imagine the outdoors even being that hot right now. Remember that afternoon at NYBotanical Gardens? Yikes that Rose Garden was an inferno. I look at the pics and remember the beauty and not how hot it was.

V. hope your power stayed on!

Denise, I totally agree with Eden, every time I see pics of your garden I wish I could visit and explore all the nooks and crannies.

Mary and Wendy, are either of you going to start datura seeds this year? Id love to trade for some plants if you are.

OK Im going to check out my email and get my day started. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 8:35AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I think I need to hurry and post while we still have power. The lights have been blinking off and on...
We are totally encased in ice. Trees and shrubs are bowing down, but so far, unbroken. Nothing is endangering the house.
Nolon has successfully used his nebulizer, so is good to go until 1:30.
I will be taking pictures to post, but will put this on right now!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 8:51AM
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Holy crow, Marian! But it seems you and Nolon really know how to hunker down and ride it out. Listening to the sounds of such an ice storm from indoors must be quite the experience. Yesterday I worked with two attorneys who flew in from Montana, and both agreed this has been a most exceptional winter!

Michelle, I think I've probably mentioned before that my Long Beach is also called "Iowa by the Sea" due to all the Iowan emigres. Funny how those micro migration patterns happen. Friend of a friend's recommendation? who can say...I bet I'd get my fill of growing peonies at your old home ;)

Drema and the Mac. I am constantly harangued to get one, esp when spyware issues crop up on my PC, but still I'm the only holdout user in this house with a PC. The MAC keyboard issues take getting used to but, overall, they are very smart machines, and I'd get one in a heartbeat but my court reporting software requires a PC. I carry a laptop to work that NEVER sets foot on the internet then transfer all my work via thumb drive to the desktop at home for editing, research, etc.

Kathy, a cliche but heartfelt "sorry for your loss," which is more recent than I thought. The private language that is created, like "Ruby Ridge," is one of the joys of life.

My melianthus always flowered those browny-maroon spikes, which kinda destroys its clumpy beauty, but I never did find any seedlings.

The spring grandbabies have me musing over names a bit. One of my favorites is the LA Phil director Essa Pekka Salonen. Really rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? What syllabic grandeur!

On the topic of never having had stuff like chicken pox, I never got a set of wisdom teeth, which the dentist last week informed me is very unusual. Dune's already had his four out.

Deanne, I bet getting that standing-in-line stuff out of the way is a huge relief for Doug. Part of the proposed stimulus package is computerizing all medical records, so there's bound to be tons of work very soon. That's great to hear the shingles are at least tolerable, and your camera should be back in no time.

Eden & Deanne, not many nooks and crannies to explore, but this Teucrium azureum is a welcome sight. I love these subshrubs, and there's lots that bloom winter/early spring here. Can't have too many tho or there'd be no room for summer flwrs too:

Julie, along with the usual "undetermined matter" in the freezer there's an occasional peanut butter jar containing frozen grasshoppers in mine...preferred method of extermination. They are loathsome creatures, the stuff of nightmares for me.

Looking forward to hearing V's creative solution to the late church project and that Mary is off all Kleenex soon, lotion or otherwise. Solar panel info much appreciated. That stint of 80-deg weather a few weeks back has the potted Salvia 'Limelight' pushing out blooms at half its usual height here, about 3 feet. Why there's not solar panels on every roof in sight here is a the burning question...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Denise, I was watching a show on the TVA the other day, and it mentioned that a lot of displaced people from TN packed up and moved to CA, just like part of my family, and it had me thinking along the same lines, about how a group of people up and decide to move and everyone comes along looking for the better life....I guess it has always happened that way when you really think about it. Why else did we cross over the Bering Strait?...that is, if you think we did :)

I had my weekly beating this morning and then went right in for a 'do. I really like it - she gave me a "modern bob" as she put it.

I've been lax in getting my passport over the years and now I have reallly put it on my "must do" list. I actually almost wet my pants laughing/crying over the passport picture. I have pale hair, a big round white face, and they put me against a white background. It got me to thinking: if I go to Mexico and get some color in my cheeks and with my new haircut, they might not let me back in the country. I'm thinking with the rotten weather that we're having, that'd be okay with me. You'd visit me, right?

I'm just rambling on here instead of doing the work that needs to be done. Marian, this is one messy storm you've sent our way - hope your icicles melt soon :)



    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 2:55PM
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I lit the stove about an hour ago and it's really cooking along right now. Wrecks has staked his place in front of it. Helpmeet is napping and I'm to start the rice.

Exciting about the haircut, Saucy! how far above your shoulders is it? I'll bet it looks sharp. If you had to stay in Mexico, I'd visit you too. :)

It was wicked hot that day at NYBG.. I remember trooping down the hill and going through the rose garden. And how nice the breeze felt when the trolley got going. Lovely place and good company, too.

Snow is supposed to start pre-dawn and increase throughout the morning. Maybe a foot? anyway, enough to make removing it a pretty good workout. It'll be pretty and I'm going to work in the Salon. I'm actually looking forward to it.

OK, I'm off to the kitchen (did I say that?).

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 5:45PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post to laugh along with Saucy - years ago I had a passport photo taken when I had a short haircut, perm, and was was wearing contacts. A few years later, on the way back from England, I had shoulder length straight hair and glasses! The cutoms/immigration officer looked at the passport; looked at me; said are you sure this is you?! I pulled my hair up, took off my glasses and said yes!; see...? Maybe you'd better carry a wig with you when you travel Saucy so you can do an instant make-over to look more like your photo! :-)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 6:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I remember that it was so hot in the cactus house at NYBG that I had to leave. I can't imagine that kind of heat right now.

We're missing the storm - it's going south of us. The in-laws are slowly heading to Florida and felt compelled to drive from Indianapolis to Louisville today, despite many cars in the ditch. And about the time they got to Louisville, DH left there to drive to Cincinnati. Life is strange sometimes.

Our power stayed on but I couldn't get on the church computer until the office opened this morning. Job is done and reports are emailed to where they need to be. And I had monster cramps today and I'm going to bed NOW.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Grasshoppers in the freezer. A glimpse into Denises dark side, lol. I feel the same way about snails but prefer the fastball method and the resulting crunch-splat as the victim hits the middle of the street (front garden) or the fence (back garden) . In fact it occured to me today that snail season will be here soon providing we get anymore rain.
I uncovered my Teucrium last weekend when removing the debris of the frost vanquished S. leucantha. Mine is the plain ole green version T. chamaedrys I think..Its scheduled for a move this spring, as it was barely seen this summer due to inept placement.

Do you suppose that Julie is the fountainhead of all of the cleaning/purging projects we have in process at the moment ?

Chelone, I must say that I find upholstering anything to be about as daunting and mystifying a task as brain surgery. I had a friend in San Diego many years ago who could whip up upholstery at the drop of a hat and it always looked great . Her Dad was an antique dealer in Michigan and she often had old furniture around in need of a re-do. It always upsets me that local charities such as the Salvation Army etc. dont accept donations of furniture that has bad upholstery. Seems to me that they could train and employ people to re-do the stuff and probably sell it at a tidy profit.

Deanne I hope your malady progresses quickly I figured out a spot for my thistle feeder thats been in the garage for years , and Im going to hang it this weekend and see what happens. I love the goldfinches.

I hope Marian and Nolon are doing ok in their ice encrusted envelope.

And another hello to those in absentia, Ei. Brenda, Babs, Martie et al.

Later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 9:23PM
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Snow has yet to start but it "smells like snow" and it's very still outdoors right now. It's going to be a good day to remain at home. I saw some really amazing footage of heavy ice accumulations down Marian's way and it's probably safe to assume that she and Nolon are incommunicado right now. Wonder if she'll decide to reseason her newly recovered skillet today?

Frozen grasshoppers, Denise? How big are they? We get them here, too, but they're never more than about 2" long and they come in a nice "Army" green and another, brighter and more vibrant green. Along the same lines, I think Crickets are probably one of the coolest looking insects we have here; a study in jet! They don't bother me at all, but I would probably feel differently about them if they were the size of Rex. I used to be really squeamish about Ticks, but I'm well over than now and really big, fat slugs always give me pause, too. They frequently are hurled into the middle of the road, too. I can't bring myself to go after them with a salt shaker but have no problem giving them a "bubble bath". Generally speaking, I work hard to overcome initial loathing when it comes to my fellow planetary inhabitants. Except for dogs... I hate dogs.

Teucrium azureum is a lovely thing. I particularly like glaucus foliage and the overall character of it reminds me of Perovskia and more vaguely, Caryopteris. The thought of spring and emerging plantlife seems very distant today.

I thought vaguely about cleaning the freezer last night but quickly aborted the mission. I should probably do it right now (shouldn't take long) but putting my hands inside a dirty, cold space is not very inviting. But it must be done.

Julie, you must be very proud of TCS's reading ability. My parents used to say, "if you can read you can learn to do anything". As said before, it was a skill that we were required to master and hours were lavished on us in the process. In a rural community, far from the greater world, it was a door to places I knew were well beyond my ability to travel and explore. Still is! Those family issues are definitely a drag on the spirit; I used to suffer the tortures of the damned when Mum was nearing the end of her independent life in her home. My brother was more able to simply shrug his shoulders and let her blunder on, but the constant worry for her safety and the amount of "clean up" that was to come our way used to grind me down to a nub. I used to dread the sound of the 'phone because it was often someone she knew calling to express their concern for her. Much as I loved her and as much as I sometimes miss her I don't miss feeling that way, at all. Hang tough!

Deanne, good for Doug for doing the unpleasant work required to file for unemployment compensation. It's out of the way now, you guys have a plan, and two practical people such as yourselves will land on your feet. All of it can't be helping your case of Shingles, though. Do you have any idea when your camera will be returned? I'm assuming you probably have a back-up to keep you amused until that time? Isn't it funny how two representatives of a particualar breed of horse can be so different from each other? one is pretty much "bomb-proof" but another is constantly on alert for the trolls under the bridge.

I was thinking about the "code" that develops in families, too, Kathy. We have several expressions that would make no sense to many and we regularly haul out lines from movies. A mouth is "that hole under your nose", for instance. It is very common to look at each other when the car is parked and say (in our best Arnold voices), "Get out". "Code" was a big part of family life for my brother and me and we've continued it; Dad was always big on shortening expressions to initials, too. As little kids we'd have to work pretty hard to come up with a phrase he'd just abbreviated.

Woody, I meant to ask you if you are doing your own yard on your plans and using Barb. as your customer or are you doing a "fantasy" yard? I was out with the Rex yesterday and spent some time looking at the trees and shrubs we've planted. Achieving a pleasant, living screen that provides a succession of interesting bloom over the course of a season is truly an art. And the amount of space required to encourage the full potential of shrubs is not inconsequential. I'll bet you're really "in the zone" right now.

Sewing and upholstery work is precise in one respect, but also rather a loose set of principles that allows great latitude and creativity. I'm very new to the world of upholstery, at least the "classic" variety, involving webbing, springs, tying, etc.. Much of what I do is simply stapling a new cover over foam glued to a base; pretty much "from the neck down" and not very creative. Again, my own interest is in the more complex work... knowing how to tuft easily and accurately, for example. Or how to ease fabric over a rolled edge to avoid the necessity for pleating to ease in excess fullness. I like studying things, using acquired skills to arrive at solutions that are aesthetically pleasing, and then stepping back and saying, "I did that by myself". It is my opinion that skilled trades have often been given short shrift by many; but then I look at many CEOs with the same degree of disdain sometimes, lol, esp. lately!

Any chance we'll get to see the newly stripped kitchen, Drema (and your face which must look like a 12 yr. old's now)? Good for Mary Kate! I'm sure going back to school is not easy with all she has on her plate, but it will be a good move in the long term. How old is Charlie now? I love Brussel Sprouts (family code is, "little baby cababbages", BTW). I like mine with a little bit of vinegar on them (like French Fries that way, too).

OK, time to advance on the freezer... can postpone it no longer. Yech!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 6:48AM
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Well, Chelone, it's snowing here :) It's Wednesday, and with the exception of last Wednesday, it always snows on Wednesday.....

My new 'do is just above my shoulders, but it wouldn't pass Navy muster. I used to stretch my neck to try to get my hair to pass inspection :)

Wouldn't it be funny if defrosted grasshoppers came back to life the way some fish do?

I thought caryopteris when I saw the teucrium....count me among the Idylls who'd like to poke around Denise's garden. I'd volunteer to house sit for her next cruise and soak in her new tub :)

I'm feeling a lot better this morning, can you tell? I was feeling pretty silly last night, too. Silly is a good sign that the cold that I did not get has gone away.

The kids are home for the day. Nick says that means he'll have free labor and will have Jake help him put in some of our new radiators (yes, we started this project last winter). I might get air conditioning in another decade :)



    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 7:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Strange, I posted from our library yesterday...but no sign of it here today. Nothing urgent mentioned, but a few comments about Julie and her travails, the role of a shawl (for V) in the book Remembering the Bones (by Frances Itani)and some other observations that escape me this morning...but were important to me at the time.

The satellite has bounced back to its functioning state for no apparent reason. We are expecting 15cm of white glop today, so perhaps the satellite will decide to quit again later on.

Friends in England are full of talk about planting roses and clematis, about cleaning their ponds and birds bathing in the stream. My my, so hard to imagine!

Later all. I think I'm caught up here!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 8:13AM
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The snow moved onto New England in the late evening hours and was replaced with freezing mist and freezing rain. The yard was a dull sparkle this morning and the dogs floundered. Guess I'm lucky they weigh enough to dent, if not break, the ice coated snow. They hobbled around like old 'wimin' and didn't get far. Hope recovered a stuffie from somewhere deep in the yard and then tried to ascend the stairs to patio without tottering over. She was so earnest about it, but had to give up as her mouth is used for balance and needed to be free. No walks this morning :(

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 8:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good snowy morning all,

Well Doug had a day of paying work yesterday and the company asked him to come back on Thursday so thats two days pay we didnt have last week. Woohoo! He thinks they might want him for another four days or so in the next few weeks. Every bit helps the budget.

Im here to tell you that Shingles are the PITS. I wont go so far as to say Im miserable but Im pretty darned uncomfortable. As Chelone said the stress of the last week and a half didnt help this situation any. I feel like I sat on the stove and burned my bum! ROTFL. Have to laugh as it really is funny in a strange kind of way.

The snow has started accumulating here also and all my little birdies are feeding at light speed. The big flock of Pine Siskins is back and Im enjoying their antics from the comfort of my favorite chair. Ive been staying in and resting the last couple days trying to help my immune system get rid of this thing.

V and Cindy, I have always loved shawls and scarves and wear them all the time in winter.

Cynthia, glad to hear you didnt have damage from the icing. I can just see your puppies trying to deal with the footing. Do they like to run in the snow when its fluffy?

Bug, cant imaging talk of planting roses and clematis right now! Its almost monochromatic outside with the evergreens being the only faded color out there. Glad your satellite is working again.

So Saucy, do we get to see a photo of your new do? I lol about the passport thing. ~~~~ Glad you cold went away.

RE loathing things, I have to admit to having an irrational fear of spiders in all shapes and sizes. I absolutely hate them. I tolerate them in the gardens but finding one in the house has me calling for Doug to remove it. LOL No problems with slugs, grasshoppers, snails, slugs, snakes, any kind of reptile or amphibian but show me an arachnid and Im out of there.

Chelone, thanks for asking, I finally heard from Canon yesterday and my camera will be fixed under warranty and should be back here within ten days. And, yes I do have a backup to use in the meantime.

Kathy, Im looking forward to hearing about all the lovely feathered ones you attract with your thistle feeder. ~~ I dont think Ive thanked you for the lovely photos but they are so wonderful to see this time of the year. More please??? Are you about ready to plant your pansies???

Denise that Teucrium azureum is just gorgeous!!!! Thanks for the photo and please post more, more, more garden photos?! ~~~~ I thought youd be interested to know that it looks like the Sansevieria cylindrical you sent me a while back is throwing a flower spike? Cool! I really love that plant even if most of my friends dont get it. My friend Deb has asked several times But what does it do? LOL I said it just is there to look interesting like a sculpture. She still didnt get it.

Hope Mary and V. feel better soon and that Marian has power and is OK with the ice down there.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:29AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I decided not to risk my life for the awfice this a.m. -- as Cynthia has reported, we have a nice thick coat of ice in our area -- I was soldier enuf yesterday staying all day while it snowed and folks bailed out for home; there was good reason as it had already started the sleet/freezing rain. We're supposed to go to upper 30s and it melt sometime today but I've decided it's not worth the fuss to try to commute. That's why I save vacation days after all at this time of the year - so I can stay home in bad weather. But Big Boss is one of those who expect loyalty to the point of twisting the "faithful" arm to attempt commutes when treacherous... but he has known me long enuf now to know my oft repeated motto "I dont do ice." Debating whether to let Chloe out or not; it was in something like this that she injured her back last year -- Im attempting to repeat no events of 2008....

Denise - teucrium in bloom and grasshoppers smothered in peanutbutter frozen... wow what a study in contrasts..... I think teucrium is a terrific subshrub and I wish I could grow more of them here; cant get the common one to grow more than a couple seasons (probably too much clay/wet winters)....

Julie -- I feel for you re the DS meltdown -- sometimes it feels just too much doesnt it? and one would wish for time and support to have your own meltdown? Hugs and hope it's the bottom and now there will be some lite on an upward path for all.... Im thinking of JJ job -- I noticed in my zeal to rid the houseplants of the various issues, I've totally sprayed some of the nearby windows w/ insecticidal soap -- they now sport a lovely scum all over.....needs to be on the to do list if it doesnt happen today -- but maybe I'll get motivated.

Saucy - congrats on the new haircut! Bet it looks great -- passport photos are historically the WORST recorded photo i.d.; they couldnt be worse if you did it on purpose - which is a shame since they last for so long.

Time for some more caffeine.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's snowing here and looks like it will continue for awhile. I'm very glad it's not the ice some of you have got. I hope Marian is hunkered down nicely; that Cynthia and pooches tread carefully and have no accidents; ditto Chloe and Cindy - 'I don't do ice' is a smart policy!

Chelone (and Saucy asked too I think) - the landscape we design for the course is a 'fanatasy' one, with the house and property dimensions and some background info on neighbouring properties, given to us by the teacher. Barb had to pretend it was hers and, as my 'client', tell me how she would want to use it (i.e. what activities she would want to do outdoors/what amenities she would want) and any particular plant likes/dislikes and style preferences and such things like that. Then we have to design to satisfy those needs. The 'client interview' notes get submitted, and the teacher uses those as a basis for evaluating whether we've designed what the 'client' wants. I think the property is probably a real one since, when we ask questions about it or the neigbourhood it's in, the answers she gives are very specific and descriptive. Come spring - or close enough to it that I can go out to measure things - I think I'll do a proper scale plan of the front garden here. Since I'm planning to add that new bed, which will involve reworking/adding to the brick edge, I might as well consider what other things I might want to reshape out there! There are a few bits I'm not really happy with and this might be a good time/way to step back and rethink a few things.

((Julie)) I hope the meltdown crisis passes quickly! TCS reading result is impressive - especially as boys seem to be generally laggards in that field. If he continues as a 'reader', it's something that will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. A big pat on the back to him....!

Deanne - ouch! That shingle attack sounds very uncomfortable! I had chicken pox as a kid but have fortunately never had shingles (knock-on-wood that I haven't jinxed my self by saying that! :-) Maybe Doug's freelance/consulting time with this company will turn into something longer term - is it a company he'd be interested in working for...? (Incidentally, if he was let go with no notice in Ontario, the termination pay rules would entitle him to 3 weeks termination pay, but no severance pay, if he has worked there for between 3 and 4 years. Unless he's on temporary layoff - i.e. they expect to recall him to work at some point in a period not to exceed 13 weeks.) Given the economic situation these days, refreshing my memory on what such rules are is a good thing...:-) I think if there was another round of terminations that caught Randy, he'd probably just retire - but it's good to know what $ he could expect to come along with a termination....)

Depressing topic - time to go design a garden instead!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 11:41AM
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Well, this snowstorm seems to be a whole lotta nuthin' so far. Only a few inches on the ground and while the roads look greasy they're definitely driveable. Oh well.

In the spirit of being home today I've scrubbed the interior of the freezer, cleaned up the kitchen, and I've gotten the first coat of pickling on the entire run of mopboard. I'm going to start in on the windows after I finish my lunch. My goal is to get all the windows except the 3 windows on the east side in one coat of the stain. Though it may prove a bit too lofty since I may be out of the blue painter's tape and I've decided to make some tapioca before returning to the Salon.

I always worry that Rex will wrench something when it's icy, Cindy. How is Monty doing?

Back to work.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 12:19PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Same thing here Chelone, this storm turned into mostly sleet so there are only four inches or so on the ground instead of the foot they predicted last night.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Greetings from the freezing Northeast. Too much going on to get into but yes, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Did bop out to Detroit for work on Inaguration Day, landing at 4p, dinner in Southfield 6p, back to hotel for news viewing 10p, on plane 7:15a. Why didn't I let Eden know I was coming!!!! LOL

Camellia 'April Tryst' is unfurling and I'm proud to say that I have successfully overwintered and rebloomed one of these foreign-to-CT plants. Cuttings of various varieties doing well but am forgoing lights until seeds start to conserve. Our grandmothers grew stuff on windowsills and so can I!!!! LOL

Rich in the middle of double pneumonia and flu (doublewhammy) but should be okay to start small two week job in a few weeks.

Keeping you all in good thoughts -

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Yeah! Martie's back!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 5:41PM
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Well, one more has returned to the flock, wagging her tail behind her... nice to see you resurface, Martie!

I probably have the sharpest hindquarters in the community as I've had them to the grindstone all afternoon. :) I finished the tapioca, found a cache of painter's tape and set to work:




I have 3 more windows on the east wall to do, and then everything will have one coat on it. I have to do another, sand, and then 2 coats of clear finish.

I worked today with only the stove providing heat for the area. It averaged 72-74 degrees all day long on 2 medium loads of wood (3-4 splits). It was very comfortable and the stove was a good choice for the space to be heated.

I hope everything is OK with Marian and Nolon.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 6:33PM
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Wine and cheese pahty at Chelone's tonight! Dress lightly, I'm sure there aren't many of us used to 74F in January.

(I get the striped chair which she refuses to take a full picture of).

Truly - this is a den for the Idylls in progress :) It's wonderful Chelone, you are doing an outstanding job there!

Cindy, is Monty doing ok at your house? I wasn't sure you caught him when he slid down 95 this AM.

Glad Martie's ok, and hope Marian is curled up with an oil lamp, a cat, and a puzzle.

Deanne, I have heard shingles are awful, you are a trooper to be dealing with this as well as you are.

This is a quick run through - just to prove I haven't broken my neck on ice. But next time we are threatened, I will close the gate to the back-back yard before it's frozen to the patio. The hounds are restricted to the patio for further toilet needs today. It's a mess out there and going to freeze over again soon.

I wanted a nice cup of coffee with Baileys tonight, but only had an inch or so of coffee left - so you know how I solved that one.

Later folks!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 6:52PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Thanks, guys, for the hugs and kind words - there are times when one needs exactly that.

Well, all the snow that missed you guys came over here. Yet another "snow day" for the schools, cancelled swim lesson, cancelled Hort Society Exec for the third month in a row due to weather....DD dropped in for supper to aid and abet DS in meltdown city (why did I have kids? Remind me again???) and left to go to the ski hill as she is paid patroller for tomorrow - she will likely be back - I doubt that she will be able to get through tonight. Tomorrow is a Prof. Development day for TCS's school anyway, so I won't check on bus status TCS had some tests done at the hospital - his flu won't leave and he has lost weight; he is so tiny to begin with - the doctor took one look and said "Hmmmm, I don't like his weight". So it's test time. He was good for the bloodwork - I was surprised. We then drove him to school and discovered that hardly anyone was there due to the bus situation, and we picked him up for his music anyway. So he (and we) had a full day.

I hope all you ice victims are o.k. - it is so easy to slip and fall when you don't have those ice cleats. Also it is scary to be without power for a long time, once the excitment and fun thing wears off. And supplies for the interim must be gotten. (What rotten sentence construction).

Deanne - I don't know what happened to my post a few back, I had written an "Oh dear, I feel badly for you" type of thing which does not appear in the post. Glad to hear that Doug is getting a few days here and there - surely something a little more steady will come his way. Bummer (haha, pun intended) about the shingles!

Chelone: wow! you are a real dynamo these days! Thanks to whoever remotely suggested that I had an inspirational hand in all this beehive of activity! The salon looks amazing. And nice and warm too - not like good ol'Ontario tonight!

Good luck with the satelite, 'bug. You sure have had a time with that this year!

Well, TCS is at my shoulder gazing longingly at the computer, so I think I'll check out the wine cupboard.


Cheers, Julie

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 7:34PM
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Radio on way to work said New Hampshire's speed limit is 40 mph due to weather, which really brings home those icy weather coonditions.


The Huge One gazes wistfully out the window while she with the opposable thumb slaves over the salon. (Not to take away from the usefulness of dogs, whose virtues are countless.)

I can't grow Russian sage/perovskia, just doesn't return in spring.

Julie, I don't think I made any mention of the blowup with your DS but suffice to say you have my bottomless sympathy. It's always some parent's turn "in the barrel" on that score, and we've certainly had ours. Nice to hear your DD came over to offer support.

Had to work, then shop for baptism dress (will black do?), put out innumerable fires at home, print boarding passes, proof a job tonight, then make the plane tomorrow with my folks in tow in tandem wheelchairs since LAX has vast distances between gates. Next stop Mobile, Alabama. Just checked online, and there is a botanical garden and the Bellingrath gardens in case an opportunity presents itself to make off with the rental car a few hrs. My brother has booked me my own hotel room, just like V! What was that chocolate?

I may not be able to check in, so stay safe and warm. Here's what's been running through my head all day...Saucy's too young to know this one.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 8:24PM
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A warm welcome back to our Martie ! We clucked and dithered when you ran away from home friend, but as always its a treat see you back and hear your cheery voice.

Next on the agenda, PM needs to hire an administrative assistant who will read the Idylls to her and then take dictation to compose the response.

And Chelone, fabu, fabu, fabu , and IU worthy to the max ! Throw a tablecloth over that sawhorse work table affair and the cocktail and snack bar will be open for business-with all the windows wide open , and helpmeet tending bar. Im there ! I hope that plastic soda bottle next to Cynthias chair isnt the bathroom.

Julie, you really ought to come to consider IU6, you need a few days vaca from the tumult of the home front- I feel certain Chelone has a wine deck , or a suitable substitute! Let the Phils fend for themselves for a bit !

Deanne, nothing could compel me to take a photo of my pansies unless we start a Plants That Look Like H*ll thread. I actually planted them in September and they are uniformly horrid at this point. I think the relentless frost has taken its toll. Theyll bounce back eventually, but I expect not till March. Im excited about my thistle feeder , and hoping the Goldfinches will find it. I see one occasionally at my regular feeder. Im going to hang it this weekend.

Wow, Moblie huh? Is this a family seat I wonder ?

Time to cook the artichoke for dinner. Went out to lunch today, so light dinner will suffice.

Best to all, and good wishes to Marian .

Kathy in Napa

And per Deannes request, a couple of pics.

Hellebore foetida From Garden 2009

Love this Euphorbia..I have three now after planting more this fall. 'Helenas Blush' From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 9:12PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Kathy, I laughed right out loud about the plastic pop bottle next to Cynthia's chair! You are too funny!

Nice plants - does the hellebore smell awful - that is usually what "foetida" means....I once planted a lovely hedge of cleome by our previous home's wine deck - didn;t really add to the ambience in quite the way I had hoped...

We are food-free so today will likely be a big Costco day - I love going to Costco as for us it really is a whole for dry goods in the morning, nice lunch, perishables in the afternoon, hour long drive home, one of those precooked chickens and a veggie dip plate for dinner....not a bad way to spend a day. I hope the foot or so of snow has been cleared though.

Giving serious thought to IU6 - at least following in Saucy's steps to get birth certificate and passport. Lots of discussion here about train/plain/Maine. I'm sure you get the reference! It better not rain!

Rich has pneumonia? What a crummy time of year to be so sick! Hope he is feeling better, Martie!

Wrexcks is so cute gazing wistfully out the window! - Hey I like that typo in his name....would that work in Scrabble?

Denise, sounds like a busy time for you. You are a brave soul trucking the tandem wheelchairs! I thought taking my Mom shopping using an accessable taxi and a wheelchair was a big deal - but LAX and planes and stuff? Oh boy!

It would be nice if Sue got some of this snow...

Glad Doug is managing a few paid days and the camera is on it's way...You sound relatively chipper, Deanne - good for you!

'Bug, I sometimes wonder about public computer use - lots of my stuff from the library never sees the light of day either. I love thinking about clematis right now, although I am not that big on roses. Already planning the veggie gardens. I think I will start my seeds as soon as we get back from the lodge...

This keyboard is gross! That's gonna be my JJob today - a q-tip and Lotus water will do the trick I hope. I bet that's what happened to my "Oh Dear Deanne" post - the delete button stuck.

Reminds me of one of my work-boo-boos. I had a small office so I placed my keyboard on the windowsill when I wasn't using it. One day it wouldn't work: The diagonosis: it had melted in the sun. The techies thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen - they hung it up on their office wall as a warning to others. HoHoHo.

Cheers all!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 6:58AM
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Julie, I was in charge of sending the open jobs list to everyone in the company. I sent them all a lovely virus, and I got thanked repeatedly by tech. It was back when we were still using some dos-looking programs. I didn't even know what a virus was. Needless to say, I was infamous, too.

Denise, I think it's funny that I feel so old and yet I come here and feel like a young'n. Just another good reason to keep my Idyll friends forever....I think I visited a Navy friend in Mobile, AL. All I remember is lots of laughter.

Chelone, I like Wrecks looking longingly out the window. Do you suppose he's got a line on Mr. Squirrel?

Okay friends. I've gotta get this show on the road. Nick is headed to Texas for all of next week (we're starting a residential side to the business....he's decided to make it a flat rate "menu" system - customer calls, "this is how much it costs") for a seminar. I've gotta hold the fort down, so I'm trying to get as much done as possible before he leaves.

So, with that, I'm headed to the salt mines :)


    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 7:38AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well the sun will be shining for part of this day and Im going to go outside for some mental health time. Hopefully Ill have some nice bird photos to show for it later but today its about being outside and not about getting the photos. Ill have to put on my Yak-tracks because the path to the blind is now four inches of solid, frozen slush.

Yesterday I had the most unusual thing happen. I saw a hawk zip through the yard clutching a bird. It perched just on the other side of the shed. It was probably a Sharp-shinned Hawk as best as I can tell as I couldnt get a really clear look at it through the trees and the sleet falling. About ten minutes later it flew off and when I looked up there was another HUGE hawk perched in the same tree and that was a Red-tailed. It must have stayed there for twenty minutes or so. I dont believe Ive ever had two species of hawks in the yard on the same day let alone within minutes of each other.

Doug is of working at a clients today, woohoo! Cross your fingers that they decide that they need more work done next week too.

Julie, I LOL over your melting your keyboard! That is exactly the kind of thing Id do. Thanks for the chuckles. And yes you seriously should come to IU6. We really have a fantastic time. ~~ BTW, I ROTFLOL over the Bummer remark.

Kathy, thanks for the pics of green and growing things. Marvelous!!! Sorry the pansies arent what they should be right now.

Denise the roads are pretty greasy this morning too. We got a lot of freezing stuff along with the four inches of snow that the storm started out with. Im noticing a lot of shining branches indicating ice this morning as the sun is coming up.

Marian, hope you have power and that you aren't iced in.

Cynthia, how was the Baileys without coffee??? I imagine you were able to choke it down, LOL

Chelone, the salon is looking gorgeous!!!! Wonderful colors. I can visualize the IU gang having an impromptu wine and cheese party there. I cant imagine an interior at 74 degrees at the moment. Wood stoves are great arent they?

Martie, so sorry about Riches pneumonia. Glad to hear your camellia is blooming. Thats fantastic.

Woody, thanks for the info Ill tell you three weeks of termination pay would come in really handy. The kind of work he is doing for the client hes with today wont turn into a full time job unfortunately but it is still work and any work is good right now. There is a possibility hell be able to pick up some work from another client also and that would be ten to twelve months work so were crossing our fingers for that one.

Cindy, I totally agree with your, "I dont do ice." I avoid going out when its like that.

Saucy, so do you have plans for next week when Nick is gone?

Hope Mary is feeling better.

All righty, time to get dressed and do something productive.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Argh! I switched to fiber optics a couple of weeks ago, remember? Well, the cable company came and "unplugged" me from the street - I have my BUSINESS PHONE wired through the cable. They just cut my business off from my customers. The guy was a jerk and said he had an order to cut it off and wouldn't listen to my reasoning.

So I'm sitting on hold, who knows how long without a phone (and business lost) while he has moved on to his next victim.

Ain't life grand? At least the phone will be quiet for a while, right?

Deanne, wanna get together next week? I could find time during school hours! I could pass along my recruiter sources to Doug....


    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Things are very busy at work and somehow at home as well. Tonight Im making a large pot of vegetable soup for the gkids schools fundraiser tomorrow night. The home office project is slow and we are running into interesting problems. This is the only room of the house that has the old plaster walls and they are far from straight and smooth. So it seems theres always something to keep me occupied. Im staying pretty faithful to my swimming schedule as well.
I knew you all would be surprised at the price you can buy a house in the Midwest. Of course not everywhere, the town they live in has a population of 300, only one church, no swimming pool, industry or grocery store. Although, all these amenities can be reached within a 10-15 minute drive to nearby towns. Truly a bedroom community. Thats what I meant by location. They do have a couple of people interested again, so fingers are crossed. It seems like around here that young families dont want a 2 story home with character, they want to build a home with an open floor plan. My parents lived there a little over 40 years. Kathy, I would guess that the taxes are a little under $1000 per year. You have to remember though that incomes around here do reflect this also.

Eden, thanks for the fairy houses link. Im hoping that they can come this summer and Kenzie can spend a little time in the garden with me. I have some cute pictures of her "playing" with her fairy garden last summer.

Deanne, its good to hear that Doug is finding some work. How interesting about the hawks especially in town. Weve had a large owl hanging around our place these days. I can hear him from quite a distance and have seen him a few times in flight.

Denise, Im assuming the black baptism dress isnt for the baby ;o) Have a great trip.
Probably of interest to Chelone, my mom just made a baptism dress for one of my friends first grandchild out of my friends wedding dress. Hows that for repurposing?

Chelone, the chairs gathered around the stove looks so cozy. The family code is a fun thing. One of our favorites was "chicken tenders" for chicken gizzards in gravy. It took DD quite some time to figure it out and by them she realized she liked them. I used to spell things out so the kids wouldnt know what I was saying, when they figured it out I would spell it backwards. If nothing else it helped with spelling. The first use of this was n-a-p when they were very little.

Martie, good to have you back. Sorry to hear that Rich is sick no fun.

Julie, great to hear that TCS is doing so well in reading.

My DD suprised me by mentioned that she was going to get some books to read while on her 11 to 7 shift. I worked hard to instill the love of reading in my kids but felt like I may have failed, but now there is a ray of hope ;o)

Great to hear from Drema.

One of these days I need to get together the pictures of the garden we went to in Florida I imagine we all can use a little color in our life these days.

Back to work

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 4:30PM
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Hi everyone

Deanne - I am planning on starting the double purple datura soon and would love to share with you if I'm successful. I have had no luck germinating my own seed - I think they never ripened fully so am trying anew from T&M. Hope work continues to roll in for Doug and your Shingles become less painful.

Hi Drema!!

Marian - hope you are safe and keeping warm.

GB - we miss you.

Everyone seems to be in the soup mode - perhaps we should have another soup photo thread like last year to warm us all up. I made a tasty one yesterday with little French lentils and chorizo.

I just returned from an orthodontist appointment with Annie (a monthly and sometimes bimonthly committment). She finished mid-terms this morning and is looking forward to a lazy day tomorrow before starting stage crew rehearsals for the school's production of Annie. I think tonight calls for a warm fire and reruns of Top Chef (one of the children's favorite shows)

David is in practice mode as he has Solofest exams on Saturday for both bass and guitar. He is currnetly outside with BF having fun with a soft foam pellet BB gun. I think it's good to balance his muscial endeavors with something boyish though I did draw the line at shooting squirrels.

Brr - my fingers are having a hard time typing as the thermostat is still at its daytime setting of 58F for when we are out of the house. Perhpas I'll bake something too to help raise the temps.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 5:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Look who dropped in for lunch today.....

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 8:48PM
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It was light enough out when I came home today to do a couple outdoor chores and to have a bit of a WALAT as well. I hung my thistle feeder, think it might be a bit to low but I will adjust over the weekend. Well see if I get any visitors . There is no rain on the horizon for the next several days, so Ill concentrate my efforts on getting all the brush piles dealt with this weekend, along with the JJ of hauling the electronics recycling to the landfill in the south end of the county. I have 2 defunct CD players, two ancient giant speakers, my old Pioneer receiver (so old in fact it has tubes) and an old portable stereo that used to live on top of the fridge. All are taking up a sizeable chunk of space in my newly pristeen garage. Also found a taker for the table saw. De-cluttering continues.

Julie, the Hellebore f. actually has a rather sweet , pleasant fragrance that is very slight. At least to my senses ! Im glad that you are considering IU ! Not only is it fun, but meeting Idylls in person really enriches the experience of being here.
LOL the windowsill caper with the keyboard.

Michelle, you musnt tease about the Fla garden visit photos ! I weaseled out of a business trip to Florida next month, I just cant justify the time away right now, so you are our virtual tourist ..

Mary, it sounds like you are feeling much better My DS was always involved in his school productions, but on the performance side (the family ham gene) and he has been talking about auditioning for a play at out local community college this spring. He enjoys acting.

What a beautiful photo of the hawk Deanne !

OK, time to read the newspaper , and figure out a dinner plan.

Hi to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 9:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

8AM: Another snowy good morning to all! 14F here so far.

I just love reading Julie's posting because it catches me up on all the fun things I wanted to comment on...such as the plastic pop bottle next to the striped chair. I too love the photographic progress report from the salon.

I am so sorry about Deanne's ailments and because of my continued hemorrhoid issues feel great empathy. My opinion of my various doctors (all men)lessens each day. This has been a problem since well before December. Sigh, they still don't listen to what I tell them.

Chelone asked about the new regime. I have been faithfully adhering to the plan. (not easy either) This means preparing lots for DH in addition to my own food, all of which annoys me. I hate paying so much attention to meals and prefer spending my time on other stuff. But I plug away at it and my treadmill too. (No obvious changes, but we measure these things in months I'm told.) I have a few other exercises I do, but the muscle building ones are near impossible for me these days, though I keep at it. Once gardening season begins, I'll get more exercise for sure. As for meditation, something I'm supposed to work on in the morning, I am hopeless at it, with my mind buzzing with other things, my breathing erratic. Anyone else incorporate it into their de-stressing program? Any hints?

Yesterday was Skyler's oral surgery (only 2 teeth removed!) and then his heart doctor appointment. All seems well. His audiology appointment needed rescheduling. His Mom has been acting up again. While I was talking to Sarah, she phoned three times yesterday. I'll spare you that story except to say she still complains that since her X remarried he's hard to talk to. He feels quite the opposite, that they talk too much and get nowhere because there are no listening skills.

Last weekend The North Country Fair held another meeting and determined that over $5000 has been collected toward The Reed. They have plans for rebuilding the family stage as well as a large pirate ship themed play area and feel confident all this will be possible.

I have been toying with spending a weekend with friends in Toronto soon. I also found a pattern for knitting animal hand puppets and am considering that project for the grandkid(s). I'd go buy yarn today if the snow weren't so scary. The naming of baby #2 is still in progress! Yesterday was an active day for baby with lots of punching and kicking.

DH has a lecture to give at 10 today, so that means dog walking, starting up the wood stove, breakfast, etc... NOW!

Hmmm. Problems posting this. Not AGAIN!!!
10PM: Maybe I'm back in business now? Well, I'm off to Toronto tomorrow, so hold down the fort dear friends!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all, I hate to drop in since I've been lurking recently. I've been focusing a lot on therapy and meditation and I don't have the energy to post much afterward.
GB pulled me out of Lurkdom though!!! I've attached a link to a meditation article that I hope will help. It really does work, it just takes a little practice.

Deanne, I love the hawk photo that is so cool that you had 2 in your yard. I need to take up the blind idea since we have a couple of owls around. I would love to get photos of them. :) I'm sorry about the shingles. I worked with a guy who used to get them all over his behind. Not a good thing when you have to sit all day every day. I hope yours have a shorter duration than his. He had a really rough time of it.



    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Wow, Deanne, what a treat to see that hawk when I fired up the computer this morning. Their eyes never seem to be quite real to me, and I love the delicate tracery on the breast feathers. They are beautiful things, aren't they?

OK, Jerri, now it's your turn. I want to see a few shots of owls. How is your foot doing? I've been thinking of you lately and looky at that! you popped right up with a post. :) Is Ebony all back to normal now?

As (most of) you know I am a skilled urine wrangler. Now, Kathy... about collection systems... "wide mouth" is definitely the way to go. Perhaps I'll stage a shot for your entertainment using "Cynthia's" chair as the backdrop. ;) My brother would be all over that old Pioneer receiver, Kathy! He has quite a collection of vintage electronics, all in perfect working order and several with the backs removed so he can enjoy the light given off by the tubes, lol. "Tubular, man!".

Wednesday's storm was a bit of a bust for us; about 5" of snow and then the rush of warm air from the south rose over the cold air in place and we received rain, rather a lot of it. It's the worst kind of thing to clean up, rather like moving wet cement. The deck is still covered, the driveway is pretty much a rink, and cleats are the order of the day for safety's sake. I went in to work late yesterday and am going to put in a short day today to make up for it. It's all very inconvenient, but I've made the most of it.

I put the second coat of pickling on 3 windows yesterday, and the first on 2 of the east windows (the 3rd. requires stageing). I will finish the triple mullions this afternoon as well as the 2 I started yesterday. And then it will back to the mopboard. If I really hustle I'll be able to get everything clearcoated this weekend. The helpmeet has been working on casing the downstairs windows. The time he's taken off has done his frame of mind a world of good, too. I'm happy to see that.

Michelle, kudos to you on your swimming routine. It takes awhile to "build wind" but it's a great form of exercise. I have longed for a pool nearby for years now, but the remaining hope is faint. My brother's home was built at the turn of the last century and the plaster walls were in such crummy shape he ended up ripping them out and drywalling the interior, in the process blocking the "balloon" construction between floors (fire safety!) and adding top grade insulation. He would agree with you that you never know what you'll find when you begin renovating an older home. Are you going to give us some "eye candy" anytime soon?

There's more I wanted to comment on but if I get to work straight away I'll be home even quicker! And I'm definitely a "clock watcher" these days. Tedious as the pickling can be there IS something very rewarding about seeing it all take shape and knowing I'm responsible for it. Yes, Julie, you may take credit for the boom in productivity. All it took was getting started... like jump-starting a car.

Later, guys!

OH, and sending warm, safe thoughts to Maid Marian and her consort, Nolon. Hope you're hangin' on and are back to the flock soon (wagging your tail behind you!).

Best wishes to ailing Rich, Martie. What a crummy run he's had lately. You guys are due for some good news.

And let's hope 'bug is soon able to get back to us after a relaxing weekend with friends. While X travails persist, at least Skyler's surgery is behind him and the more she fusses and acts like an idiot the clearer the whole picture becomes at the same time becoming less flattering. May Sarah continue to bulk up for the upcoming "blessed event" and the course they're steering be free of navigational hazards!

Now I'm gone. :)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:35AM
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Still an ice kingdom here. I did some ice breaking yesterday where the sun had softened things a bit, but the dogs and I have not had a walk in two days. Which is why 3/4 of us were up at 4AM. Monty sleeps the sleep of the old. Or maybe he's meditating!

I read the first two pages of the article Jerri, but I'm either calm or not calm, and find mental activity and exercise is a better solution for me to put things in perspective. And time of course. How's your foot doing?! Are you back in the office or still WAH.

H.Foetidus is stinky just when you crush the leaves Julie. They are great cold weather plant and start blooming in early winter here. H.Hybridus have all been set back by the single digit cold this year. I know I saw buds when Kathy first showed hers budding up, but everythings flattened by too much cold since then!

Mary, The triple purple and the plain white Datura seeds always germinated better for me with a few weeks cold treatment. I don't grow them anymore, but remember a few years putting them outdoors after a month of no action and that would solve it.

I check my single pot of seeds - the Melianthus Major - daily for germination. I like the waiting and checking. I do have a small seed order coming from Swallowtail and bought more Chiastophyllum 'solar yellow.' Last year's batch are still snuggled in a pot growing up. Very pretty succulent foliage. May browse through JL Hudson too just for fun.

GB, what would happen if you fed your husband the same way you feed yourself? :)

Mary, will Annie be playing Annie?

Beautiful hawk photo Deanne. Good thing you have a backup camera. Glad Doug is finding some interim work. I find listening to the news these days downright scary with all of the closures and layoffs. With Circuit City gone, I need to order a backup modem for the next time mine dies. There is no place close now to get one in an emergency. On the plus side, the free newspaper that used to toss litter in my driveway three times a week has gone out of business.

I just checked the weather for Mobile Alabama. No snow and 30F to 60F, so hope Denise is having a good trip and visit with family. Black is fine for a baptism as it gives folks something to talk about.

And checking my own weather, I see 40F for today, so should see some more ice melt - until it freezes back up tonight.

Have a good Friday! I'm going to start work while it's quiet and do something brilliant today :-)


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 6:02AM
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I see I am in good company this early morning. I sat straight up in bed upon waking and was ready to go. I had the paychecks and W-2's in Nick's hand before 5:30. Ahh, the perks of working in your jammies!

The hawk is very intense! He seems very focused, which is important in his line of work, I suppose. How'd you like to have those eyes fixed on you as a meal?

Yes, Michelle, we could all use a little garden color these days :)

Good to hear that Skylar's day of doctoring went well. I agree with Cynthia, would DH know that he was eating your special food? Sarah always says, "is it YOUR rice, or MY rice?" because she has never liked brown rice. She says it makes her throat itchy, which always prompts me to wonder if she has a budding food allergy....anyway, back on topic, I hope your dietary changes bring you some relief.

Babs just popped into my head....wonder what she's up to these days?

Julie, may your passport photo be recognizable! LOL!

That's all from me, folks. TTYL.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 6:50AM
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Good golden morning! 1" of ice on top of snow reflecting the sunrise is my meditation thought for today...

To catch up seems imposing so I'll clamber back in with hopes of goodness for all -- especially those who will produce grandoffspring and those whose bodies and spirits aren't on the plus side right now.

Rich is now coherent, his fever has broken, but no activity (especially demolition of plaster walls) for at least four weeks. Fingers crossed that his client will wait. If not..... well, there's a reason for everything.

Did catch a bit about Datura starting and I've learned to go with the flow on that one. Stratification appears to be a must with moisture. Found out that Belamcanda is the same way so little plastic bags of "organic matter" and seeds have taken up residence in the crisper. No new alpine strawberries this year -- seems weird.

Still hopeful to get to Logee's before snow melts and provided that brother, parents, husband, son, daughter-in-law and workmates don't get themselves into any dilemmas it should be doable. I should KNOW better than to plan anything weeks ahead. LOL

Very, very glad it's Friday with a wide open weekend. Will keep going back to Deanne's hawk and gawk!! (couldn't resist)


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The regime is a brutal one, not to be shared: lots of straight flax seed, specific to me meal replacements and short term (we hope) pills with very small amounts of what I'd call food. DH would die....He is naturally thin. DD's thoughts on this topic are that he should learn to make himself his own food....(What a concept!)

I'm off to the big city. Be back in a couple of days.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:11AM
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Good morning

Lots of early birds here plus Deanne's magnificent hawk. What a great way to start the day.

For some reason my cold seems to have returned with avengeance. I woke with another sore throat, runny eyes and nose, combined with congestion. I didn't think you could get the same cold twice (you build up immunity to a particular virus) so I'm wondering allergies. Being upright, a steamy shower and 4 cups of hot honey and lemon have left me able to contemplate the day even though I still feel cra@@y. Darn.

GB - so glad to hear Skylar's surgery was successful. Sorry your Dr's are falling short, especially on listening skills whisch are so vital. Is the new one who offered much more hope the same? I too end up cooking multiple meals at times so I empathize. In my case it is because gluten free staples like pasta and bread are a whopping 5 - 9 times the cost of their regular counterparts.

Saucy - I often wonder how Babs is doing and miss her occasional pop-ins.

Well, David just called to say he had forgotten his chorus shirt and pants. I'll have an extra stop on my way in as they have a concert at the elementary school today. Darn again.

Annie is not starring as Annie LOL! She has a nice voice, but prefers being backstage. She also actually detests the music in Annie but is a good sport as she will be putting in hours over the weekend and next week.

Big decision to make - DH is out of town so a girlfriend and I are planning to go to the movies tomorrow night. We've narrowed it down to either The Reader or Defiance. The only thing is they are both movies DH would like to see so it almost seems a shame not to catch a chickflick he wouldn't watch. But I think quality of film will win out. Has anyone seen either of the above.

Sue - how has skiing been? We're planning on a day at Gore mountain during the February break - have you ever skiied there? I'll be on my x-country skis while Annie and David hit the slopes. You'd be welcome to join us if you fancy doing a few of the back diamonds with David.

Martie - our fridge becomes full of little plastic bags during seed starting time. I use damp coffee filters to provide the moisture.

Cynthia - thanks for the datura info. Perhaps I'll get seeds for the double yellow as well. Seeing seedlings finally pop up is like a little birthday present and I never lose the anticipation and sense of wonder.

Well, tine to pack up my tissues (I'm out of the lotion ones), David's gear and head off to work.

have a good one everybody!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:45AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good icy morning! I feel bad that I don't have time to read or chat around here lately but there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. Monday night I worked late, Tuesday night is my adult ed "easy gourmet" class, Wednesday night I shoveled ice and heavy slush well into the evening, last night the dogs got groomed...sheesh! On top of everything I've reconnected with some long lost college friends and relatives through that facebook site and have been having some fun but have been killing some time with that.

Mary, I did ski last weekend at Killington. It was so cold I bailed after Saturday. January can just be so tough. I've never skied at Gore. If I can work it out I'd love to spend some time with you and ski the black diamonds with David. Hope you feel better soon.

Deanne, that is one great shot of the hawk. Did I read that Doug has a new gig? And what's this with the shingles?

OK, must run,



    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:02AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Friday Morning to you all!

Deanne, what a great shot of Mr. Hawk! Do you think the Redtail put the run on the Sharp-shinned? Have the other birds stayed around? Once we were sitting outside in the Spring and suddenly we noticed complete silence - every bird had shut it's beak. Then a silent shadow skimmed the yard - a Northern Harrier landed gently on the clothesline pole and sat silently, waiting. Then, just as quietly spread his wings and slipped away. The silence was deafening. Then, about two minutes later, the air was filled with little birds, all tweeting their heads off. Sounding the "all clear" I guess. I never will forget that - an amazing experience. Here we have a family of Merlins - a mated pair with four offspring - so we have nothing mice, voles, rabbits, little songbirds, zip. Merlins are also the noisiest things! They may not come back to the orchard this Spring - I'm of two minds about that. I wish you were here - the photos, I imagine, would be phenomenal!

Thank you Kathy (bowing to applause). I also keep up with the JJobs so you guys won't beat me at my own game!

Bug, I'm pleased that Skyler's health issues seem to be under control...but I'm sorry that you are still having such problems. I hate the individual meal thing too, and try hard to serve a healthy meal and let everybody eat or fend. DH will just eat - being diabetic for 45 years means that food is not necessarily a pleasure thing for him - eating a certain amount and a certain balance of food is simply a necessity and he gets it out of the way without complaint. It also means, however, that eating out is also just another meal for him and he does not view it as particularly entertaining. It's just Eat and Let's Go.

On the topic of Grandkids and Eating - TCS has been referred to a nutritionist next week to try to deal with his eating issues. He is dreading it, and so is eating everything in sight hoping to make a good impression. His comments like "Oh dear, I hope there's something HEALTHY in the fridge because I am so HUNGRY" are causing lots of averted smiles around here. He is feeling better, although still pale, and hopefully will listen to a professional telling him what he needs to do, instead of "Just Nana"!

Mary, I have had the same thing happen with my cold this week. Got it, lived with it, thought it was gone and Bingo! Back again. I hope yours goes away soon, and mine too. I don't have time for this!!!

We had about 15 cm. of snow on Tuesday, with the same amount forecasted for this week-end, and Monday and again on Tuesday. Every time a snowflake appears the school buses are cancelled. We take TCS to school anyway most of the time, but it means that activities like Swimming and Play practice are cancelled. By the time the swimming session is over, TCS will have missed fully half of the classes. Kind of a tough call for all concerned. It would only take one school bus incident in snowy weather to cause a terrible outcry, maybe justified. The parents who rely completely on the bus service have a fit if their kids miss part of a program due to weather. The parents who get their kids to school some other way have a fit if their kids activities are cancelled on snow days. The school wants to offer the swimming etc. because the pool is right there on the same property, and we live in a town with a river running through it. The pool folks have to rely on the fees to keep the facility operable and to maintain staff, so won't refund or reschedule missed classes. What a zoo - and offering swimming to kids up to grade 6 seems like such an easy and good thing to do! I will not say anything to anybody about it - life is too short to fuss over a few swimming lessons - I will just pay a bit more and get TCS the lessons he missed. But here in Lanark county (quite an economically depressed area) not everyone has this luxury....

I am in a reflective mood today I think!

And I had better get on with the day if I am going to accomplish anything!

Thanks for being here guys!



    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 11:15AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Meant to relay this incident to you...Facebook conversation of DD....Ski Patrol is hosting an event next week-end and PIC (Person In Charge) sent out a message to outline the agenda of festivities, and ended with "$5.00 will buy you lunch consisting of a hamburger or hotdog, fries and a dink". Of couse he sent this to everybody in the world (with the exception of the Idylls, maybe). DD could not let that one pass her by (made me think of Sue's hottub) and replied that "For $5.00, the Dink would be enough". Several other comments in kind, last one, which brought down the house, was "This is a small Dink. I believe that I ordered a large...."

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 12:01PM
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That's priceless, Julie! I had a good laugh over that one.

I'm really here report this, gleaned from an upholstery site I enjoy: parts of northern Arkansas are still in the dark and may remain that way for over 2wks.. I hope it looks better than that for Marian, Nolon, Tommy and Trubby. It can't be much fun for our Marian right now. :(

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 12:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well Ive finished cleaning out the fishies and watering the three billion plants in this house and Id like to start with the vacuuming but Im waiting for the FedEx guy to deliver my repaired camera which I have to sign for. I cant go upstairs and do the laundry or run the vacuum or I wont hear the doorbell. Im beyond amazed that they have repaired the camera and shipped it back to me already! Very cool. Doug has gotten another two days work for next week so that is a very good thing. Im hoping that they find a bunch of other issues that need his expertise to fix so he gets another few weeks out of this. He interviewed for another consulting firm this morning and said that one went well so there are a lot of irons in the fire at the moment and we are just waiting for something else to come through.

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments about the Hawk photo. I was so excited to get such wonderful looks at that magnificent bird. Id forgotten to tell you all that it is a juvenile Coopers Hawk.

Julie and Mary what a bummer about that cold. The same thing happened with Doug with the one he had over Christmas. He thought he was over it then it came back with a vengeance. Almost like it was a different virus. I surely hope you both are well soon.

Mary, I lol over all the little baggies of dirt in your refrigerator! What fun! ~~ Ill be so happy to trade some of my stock of plants for a couple datura seedlings. I really love them but dont have the space for starting seed with all the other stuff I have under lights. If you get any of those yellow ones that would be fantastic! I came across a couple photographs of the yellow one from a couple years ago. What a beauty!

Sue, Doug is doing some temp work for a company in Exeter. It was supposed to be only a day or two but now its turned into four to five days and were hoping he can get a few more days out of it. ~~~ Yes, shingles. Nasty business that.

Bug you are more patient than I, there is almost no way Id prepare different meals for Doug and I. Too much work and money. I agree with your DD, DH should be fixing his own food.

Martie, lol gawk at the hawk Hope Rich is well soon.

Saucy, Id love to see you next week but will wait on committing to going out until I know how Im feeling. Right now Im not much use for anything.

Cynthia, I totally agree with you that the news is downright frightening. ~~Also, yes so glad I have a backup camera. Im pretty lost without my DSLR these days. ~~~ Our router is not working right now and Doug is having a tough time finding a replacement.

Chelone, I couldnt agree with you more, they definitely are most beautiful! And there is nothing quite like the stare of a raptor. Amazing birds. ~~~ Cant wait to see the finished pickling project. You are going like the energizer bunny.

Jerri nice to hear from you and Id love to see photos of your owls! So how is your foot healing up? Hopefully you are mending well.

Kathy, sounds like you are making great progress with your de-cluttering project. I wish I could get the motivation to do the same. We have WAY too much stuff. Whats that old saying about spending the first half of your life getting stuff and the second half getting rid of it?! LOL

Michelle, thats great that you are staying faithful to your swimming. Ive not been able to exercise (no energy and dont feel well enough) since the onset of the shingles. Cant wait until this passes.

Julie, LOL over the typo, I cracked up over that one.

OK Ive got to go and find something productive to do, have a great afternoon all

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 2:18PM
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If I don't keep "going like the Energizer Bunny" it would be awfully easy to abandon the project. I set goals for myself and that keeps me interested and working. I've been daydreaming about window treatments and thinking more and more about the floor. Once the woodwork is done there will be some really fun things to do. I'm looking forward to it. Besides, it makes more sense to stay home (saves money) and working on the house makes being here all the nicer!

How did you know the Cooper's Hawk in your picture was immature? was it the breast feathers? When you look at raptors there is no doubt in your mind that they're predatory. Just the way a cat looks predatory. I think it's the eyes, that steady, fixed gaze. I hope the camera is better than brand new. How long is the drive to Exeter for Doug?

OK, I've cleaned the brush after finishing the second coat on all the windows and hearth wall mopboard. I could go back out and probably knock off the rest of the mopboard if I put it to the coals...

...or I could continue to listen to Asleep At the Wheel and sack out on the couch.

Now Mary, you are once more beseiged because you went back to work too soon! When you are sick, you are sick and it's important to stay home and rest. You can't function smoothly when you don't feel well. You subject others to whatever contagion has invaded your body. So stay home, willya?

Yeah, 'bug... your old man needs to fix his own damn vittles. Tough love, baby. Hang in there with the chow and regimen, you'll know how long.

I've gotta make up my mind about whether I'm working some more or gonna just "be" for the time being... have a great Friday, everyone.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 4:48PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Chelone, this one's for you!

You can tell this is a juvie because the mature Cooper's have a very rusty colored sreaked breast, slate gray backs with a darker gray cap and a red eye, not yellow.

They are so amazing and it was just awesome to have one this close and get such good looks at it. Magnificent!

Exeter is about an hour from here. Not bad, work is a good thing!

Have a great Friday evening all

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:16PM
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This is turning into The Hawk Idyll :)

Wow, Deanne, he's fabulous. Sorry to hear you're so unconfortable - your posts make me smile and I forget about your itchy bum - hope you feel better really soon.

I like it when I get on a kick and can get a job done, Chelone, but that hasn't happened in a long time. Sounds like you're in a spirit to get some work done!

Mary, everyone here is complaining about the two part cold, too.

I hope Marian has lots of puzzles.

And GB has lots of patience with the food situation :)

And TCS can find something in the 'fridge that will make Nana cancel that looming appointment :) (I feel your pain....I've been cooking broccoli every night for as long as I can remember because my daughter will eat it....she'd die if I refered to her as TBS - three broccoli stalks!)

Happy weekend all!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 5:53PM
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I'm just going to pop in for a quick hello from the central states since Marian probaly can't. I have a friend who is down in that area to help get things restored.
We had mostly snow here. Dh did some plowing. A bolt on the plow broke and when he got out of the truck to fix it he accidently hit the powerlock and locked himself out of the truck. So I had to drive ten miles to town in the worst of it to take the other keys. Sure got my heart rate up driving in the dark with hard blowing snow. Thank goodness no one else was on the road.
A lot of you are having some serious issues to work through. You have my symapthy, and I hope things smooth out soon.
Some have reason to celebrate too. Congratulations to David and TCS for their accomplisments.
I have enjoyed reading, and looking at the pictures. I have been browsing through garden pictures. I love digital photos so I can run a slideshow and enjoy it all again, especially at this time of year.
Things are pretty quite around here and I'm not complaning. I need to get some of those winter cleaning projects out of the way soon.

My new laptop has brownish keys with grayish lettering and it is a bear to see them to type. I'm not happy with that part.

Hey to all. Norma

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:59PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all. I got a new cast today. It's a lovely deep purple - a nice change from the light blue! The x-rays looked good, things are healing well. I got a 'cast shoe' so I can walk on it although they told me to walk as little as possible. Of course I tried walking and found out quickly it was NOT a good idea! I go back to the doc. in 4 more weeks.
Ebony is doing so much better. The pheumonia seems to be gone. We still have to get her heartworm treatment but I want to wait a few weeks. It's a very difficult procedure and we have to limit her movement for 6 weeks afterward. That will not be an easy task. lol
I will try going back to the awfice next week. I'm going crazy with cabin fever! Even my questionable co-workers will be an improvement. I typed 'crappy' co-workers first but that didn't sound very nice!

It's been a long long day. Have a good weekend Idylls!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 8:54PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Woah, Deanne that photo is amazing!

Nighty Night...


    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:18PM
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Hot Da*m Deanne, those hawk photos are tres magnifique ! I wish I had a pic of my cute little black headed juncos to share but as soon as I go outdoors they all fly away- no blind at the Kathy house ! So without seeming indelicate, how the heck do you sit down with a shingled bum ? Bet you are just sick of it by now- - Thats great that Doug is continuing to get days of work here and there.

Now Chelone, perhaps that soda bottle is the mens room and therefore the wide mouth is not needed. Im just enjoying every moment of reading your progress in the salon. I can almost envision you sliding along the floor with brush in hand addressing the mopboards- I expect there would be bum shots galore if Wrecks knew how to operate a camera.
I have noticed that when I check my Natl Weather Service website for conditions in Ark, there are disclaimers that the reports are not current, and I assume that is due to the power situation. It seems like the daytime temps are warm enough to melt the ice, but one worries about the refrigerator, hot water heater etc. Im sending good vibes to Ozarks ..

On our weather front here we are starting to hear talk of drought more and more. Sonoma county is considering some pretty draconian water restrictions, and in our central valley the agricultural interests are very concerned. Reservoirs are at extremely low levels. I am making plans to mulch even more heavily than usual and add couple more soaker hoses I can get away with weekly watering in most areas.

Jerri, I bet you look stunning in your purple cast !

Hi Norma, that snowy drive to rescue DH sounds pretty scary to this weather lightweight !

Ive enjoyed the various dialogs about seed starting, Cynthias watchfulness, Marys Daturas.. Its pretty clear that we are going to have an early spring here (I have flowers on Clematis amandii) so I am going to start my seeds this weekend.

And thats about it for me tonight-see yall tommorow

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 9:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Gosh, a girl goes out to drink wine and comes back all kinds of behind on her reading!

It's been an interesting week. On the un-interesting side, I've been really, really tired. I was late for the wine tasting last night because I sat down for 10 minutes and dozed off. I think the continued cold weather is just wearing me down.

On the brighter side, I did go to a lovely wine tasting benefit last night with friends old and new AND we got rid of our embarrassment of a governor here. Plus, we completely missed the storms this week.

I'm glad that it appears that most of the idyllers have not suffered from the storm. I hope that Marian and Nolon are faring well. I suspect it may be a while before we hear from her.

Deanne, I will be adding your hawk to my desktop at work - he should do a good job of fending off a few coworkers!

Well, if I am to stand half a chance of getting my list done tomorrow, I'd better get some rest.



    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 10:56PM
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I went back out the Salon yesterday and finished pickling the mopboard yesterday afternoon. I've been using an old pillow to cushion my ageing knees and the helpmeet suggested I invest in a good pair of knee pads. He's right(but then again, he is brilliant) they will come in very handy for the upcoming floor project, and since I often use the floor as a work table they will see much use in years to come. Today I'm going to start the sanding (with the window casings) and then do the mopboards. I hate sanding and the requisite clean up but it's that step that ensures a nice finished product. I could conceivably finish the woodwork this weekend. I'm really looking forward to removing the newspaper and the blue painter's tape to reveal the finished product.

Maybe you ought to start calling Sarah, TBS, Saucy! I was notoriously picky about food for years, but I snapped out of it and she will, too. All kids do (or they'll starve to death, lol). Mum always figured it was just a kid wielding some "control" and never wasted effort on fights over it. Hang in there, Julie, even TCS is unlikely to succumb to his refusal to eat what "grown ups" think is appropriate. ;)

I've had my coffee, I didn't leave the trail of baking dishes in the kitchen and I'm not going to clean it up! Instead, I'm going to venture on out to the Salon and size up the day's work before heading to the hardware store for my knee pads AND a new sanding sponge. May even invest in a larger sash brush to make the mopboard task go faster...

Norma, I lol at the having to bring auxiliary keys to DH. I have a friend who refuses to have automatic door locks on her car... her dog has locked himself inside it more than once. (never understood why she doesn't leave a window cracked anyway, but that's a different story!).

Jerri, tell me about heartworm treatment, what's involved in it?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 7:21AM
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Chelone,come over to my house I have a pile of samples of paint brushes and sanding pads and sponges ! The perks of being a buyer..I'm stopping in here for coffee before I venture off to the E-waste facility but where is everyone ? I guess I'll join you for lunch later on.

Hope everyone is enjoying thier Saturday..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Now you tell me, Kathy. Thanks a pantload.

Yeah, where is everyone, indeed? We know:
'bug is with friends in Toronto.
Marian and Nolon are "roughing it" in the wilds of AK.
Denise is wearing black in Mobile (think her teeth are chattering?).
Norma is sizing up the cleaning.
Mary is (we hope!) lying low and recuperating.

I have finished sanding and now have to deal with that infernal Kirby vacuum before slopping on the "polycrylic".

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 11:20AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi Gang, and Happy Saturday to you!

Tip of the week from DS: You cannot open a can of soup with a steak knife. Follow ups to note: There are a lot of nerves and blood vessels in that thick part of your hand between the thumb and index finger. Stitches hurt. Shock is not fun. Ride to Emerg in a police cruiser is pretty quick (he was walking to the hospital and the passing police saw him and stopped). Lessons learned: friends who move should unpack their boxes of kitchen stuff in case they need a can opener. Wear boots in the winter in case you have to walk somewhere. There is no need to wake up your parents at 2 a.m. to explain all this, 9 a.m. would have been fine. Sheesh!

TCS is getting along swimmingly at the pool (ha ha, couldn't resist) and was thrilled to jump off the diving board and swing on a big rope out over the water and drop in yesterday. His confidence level has risen enormously this winter in a few areas: reading, skating, skiing, music, and swimming are now some of his favourite activites. Works for me!

Thought of all you musicians yesterday as I tuned up TCS's quarter-size guitar and strummed a few has been a long time and it felt so good....I went upstairs and got my own instrument out and fiddled around (sorry couldn't resist again!) for about 15 minutes and then my fingertips started to hurt....maybe I'll manage 15 minutes a day for a while and some of my knowledge will come bck!

Chelone, you are doing great with the salon! I too am anxiously waiting to see the results when the painter's tape comes off. Is mopboard the same thing as baseboards? I've been meaning to ask.

Yesterday's JJob was the fridge, a job I hate. New resolution: no more putting little bits of leftover food in plastic wrap and keeping it for eons in case what? That somebody would maybe eat it? Heaven forbid!!!

Today - no JJob. Relax time. Going out to friend's for dinner and then to a house concert. DS and TCS are having a Subway dinner as DS can't lift anything (like a finger, oh I am really on the ball today!).

I hope Marie is enjoying her break in Toronto. I hope Marian and Nolon are o.k. I hope Deanne's camera made it back home yesterday. I hope Kathy got her seeds started - I know it is too early here, the things would be monsters by the time they can go outside at the end of May.

Thought about DD when reading about the dog locking the car doors - DD's dog has to be restrained in the car because she keeps putting her paws on the power window buttons and opening all the windows - also would like to take advantage of this and jump out. No thanks.

TCS and buddy-what-his name want to use the computer now - you won;t see me until tomorrow!



    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 12:35PM
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I know better than to wish away time, but I looked up sunrise/sunset schedule hoping for sun in the morning and longer days soon. By February 28th, the sun will be rising at 6:41AM here and setting at 5:59PM. That only lasts for a week though as Daylight Saving Time kicks in on March 8th... we'll be back to darkness until 7AM again for a while. But! There will be sun until 7:30PM - which is huge those of us who still work for a living and can be outside only when it's dark or darker.

Sunshine and a metal shovel helped to break up a path so that we could walk out of the driveway yesterday. Streets were dry and Dannie and Hope were smilin' for 2 miles. It was a repetitive walk cause I didn't dare go out on the main roads with any traffic. Just no place to get out of the way. As it was, the school bus came through using the entire road and we had trouble getting out its way. The UPS guy is much more polite with his wideload. I say kids should be dropped off at end of road and walk home!

Holy Moly Deanne, that hawk photo with blue sky and direct eye contact is fantastic!

I have happily done most of my week-end chores here - my sister's inability to do the simplest things has me grateful for my own mobility. No complaining from me.

And with that, I think I'll hop down two flights and move the laundry around. I have a home visit at three and can't decide whether to take Hope or Dannie. Hope is a better demo dog as she's still on the wild side, but Dannie loves these outings too. Hmm.

Have a great day, and hope the sun will melt more ice everywhere!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 1:01PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What magnificent photos, Deanne -- wow..

Nuthing exciting here -- ofc is terribly busy as a new emergency case has raised its ugly head, with threats of a trial at end of Feb., ugh... hoping it will somehow settle...

Still lots of ice in the neighborhood and yards; I will have to attempt booties on Chloe's feet today to give her a walk on the sidewalks and get some exercise for both of us. Looking forward to 40 tomorrow in hopes it will melt some more.

You always have excitement in your house, dont you, Julie? altho that DS trick w/ the knife and soup can sounds somewhat gender based, LOL... Hope it heals quickly and how nice to have police who help out! Sounds like you should work on that music some more -- good therapy I bet.

Chelone is moving at lite speed on all her projects -- such energy! Whew.

Norma, eeks, I can just imagine that drive w/ the keys -- it's that sort of drive that takes years off one's life, isnt it?

What with dinks, and multi-purpose soda bottles, and dogs and power windows I've had many a chuckle today... good thing I wasnt drinking coffee or would have decorated the monitor a few times.

I plan to slug some more today - cold cold and take advantage tomorrow w/ the idea of Superbowl emptying out stores and roads -- perfect time to get out and do the errands, etc.

Hope all enjoy their Saturday and those suffering w/ illnesses rest and recoup quickly.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 1:35PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I tried to post the comments below a few hours ago. I had to log in and then the page just sat there blank, churning away... It eventually came back with an error message - something about 'get' not implemented - whatever that meant....

Take 'em both Cynthia!

Julie - lots of good chuckles in your post this morning - and some winces re the soup can opening!

Deanne - the second hawk picture was particularly amazing. I met the new malamute (Roma's 'replacement') this morning. She's an odd brownish color mixed with white and I thought of the hawk's breast when I was patting Dawn :-)

Chelone - The Salon is getting more beautiful with each picture! What I use for any on-my-knees indoor work of any kind is my Lee Valley Tools gardener's pants with the buil-in (removable) knee pads. Their older knee pads are better than the ones that come with the pants now but you could put any high-density foam cut to fit. I'm sure you have access to lots of that stuff... I find the pants with the knee pad pockets much better than strap-on knee pads which always seem to end up shifting around too much. There are lots of other work pants that come with knee pad pockets but they don't usually come in small enough sizes for me! Since you seem to do a lot of stuff where such pants would come in handy, it might be worth getting a pair....?

I hope Marian resurfaces soon - that's worrying to be cut off for so long....

Time to do more coursework today - it's definitely keeping me occupied!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 3:04PM
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I've been thinking the very same thing about Marian, Woody. I really like the sound of those pants, too! I've been thinking about really comfortable work pants since my jeans are moving into the last phase of their lives. I might just give your suggestion some thought. (also due for a new pair of shoes and some new "foundations").

I have the north wall "polycrylic-ed" and am low on the stuff. I thought I had more in the can that I did and didn't get any while out this morning... dummy. The wood stove performed flawlessly again, today.

We've decided to go out for an early dinner and more satin finish acrylic. "Will she paint some more tonight, ladies and gentlemen?".

Nice move with the steak knife. I know how much that area can hurt having cut it myself while notching the collar on a melton overcoat... doing something very stupid with the wrong pair of scissors.

The car is waiting...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 3:23PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I've been busy today implementing my own economic stimulus plan. First up was updating the PowerPoint presentation for the church budget meeting. Second, the friend who designed and built our dining table met with us to begin the process of designing an outdoor table for the deck. Then we had a meeting at a local jewelry store to begin the process of rebuilding my ring. I brought in the old ring as well as my dad and grandfather's wedding bands and several rings that had been my mother's. My mom's taste in jewelry was very different from mine, but we will be able to cash in the gold and several of the stones will be used in the new ring.

Next stop was at the local carpet store to get a sample for the basement family room - after thirteen years, two teenagers and one appliance malfunction, it is ready to be replaced. Thinking very hard about "Fleeting Fawn" right now; I'm waiting fir it to get dark outside to be sure the color isn't too dark. Last stop, the afternoon wine tasting at the local shop and the purchase of a few recommended bottles.

Tonight's plan is the school district fundraiser. It's a Las Vegas night and I'm not a big gambler (even with play money) but there will be a good crowd there so it should be fun.

Julie, glad to hear your DS is okay after his soup adventure. At least he was smart enough not to try and drive to the hospital, eh? (Don't ruin the moment and say there was no car available!)

Chelone, I continued to be impressed at the progress of the salon. It's looking quite lovely, and you are encouraging me to move forward with the basement project.

Good to hear from Martie, and I don't recall if I said the same to Drema earlier this week.

Time to print out my presentation, hose down the kitchen and fold laundry before we head out for the evening fun. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:30PM
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It felt great to get all the defunct electronics out of my garage today- I hereby heartily recommend garage cleaning/purging. After I finished up in there I did some garden debris clean up , pulled some weeds , went to Whole Foods (out of beer and granola) and started seeds- Amaranth, Zinnias , Nicotiana.
Here is my seedling nursery-not very impressive compared to some others Ive seen around here !
From Garden 2009

And, blooming today in the garden-its Camellia season here in zone 9 From Garden 2009

From Garden 2009

V, it seems as though you mention wine tasteing almost every day-is this just my imagination ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 31, 2009 at 6:43PM
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I would like to assure Cynthia that there are plenty of us who "still work for a living" who have no trouble at all with EST and have little difficulty squeezing the limited sunlight into our physical activity routine. Sounds more like a scheduling problem to this girl scout. ;) Hope your sister's recovery is moving along in the proper direction and doing so predictably. Is she home now?

Good to hear that warmer temperatures are assisting in ice removal. Our driveway is pretty slick and I worry about Rex slipping, sliding, and wrenching something in the process (only to protect our investment, mind you). "Dog bowling" helps and directing him over the snow covered lawns after a day-glo tennis ball limits the risk. In his "frail elderly" phase I'd be worried about Monty, IF I didn't hate dogs, that is. Did Cynthia take both Dannie and Hope "on the road" yesterday (excellent suggestion, Woody)?

Why does Chloe have wear booties, Cindy? is it protection against the nasty stuff they lay on accumulated ice to get it to melt? I imagine that at her size ingesting even a little of it by licking off her paws could do some damage. I understand today is the Superbowl... like I care? I suppose the pre-game show will start by 10 AM and the post game wrap-up will linger into the predawn hours of tomorrow... . Sounds like a PERFECT day to get out and tackle errands, if you ask me! Do trials greatly increase your work load at the awfice, or is it just that the work load changes character?

The Camellias are beautiful! I have to admire them from afar, I'm afraid, even many of the beautiful Hydrangeas don't perform well here, too often nipped by late frosts if not securely bundled up. Interestingly, the winter lows are not what zaps 'em, it's those late (May) frosts that do 'em in. It will be some months yet before any thought of getting out and working in and around the yard begins to invade the space between my ears. But is sure is fun to read about the exploits of others. Any chance you'd take a closer shot of the foliage for me? we had an arrangement at work that I THINK may have used Camellia leaves... very pretty. Power to you on the decluttering, Kathy. It's sometimes hard to get started but once you're rollin' the feeling of accomplishment is great.

V., I heartily recommend tackling the basement! I haven't enjoyed a project as much in a very long time. Sure, it's a ton of work, but it's the sort of thing that's right up my alley; requires good planning, mastery of some new skills, and methodical execution. Best of all, I've refused to be daunted by a helpmeet whose partipation can range from downright sullen to wonderfully inspired, and THAT'S made a big impression. It's gratifying to see a new, useful space emerge in "glorious living color", too. I'd say you guys are due for a bit of a "spruce up" and a wedding seems like a perfect reason to do it. VERY exciting about your new ring, any chance we can get some more information on that? I have all the "family jools" from Mum's side of the family, nothing terribly valuable, but some interesting pieces. I'm absolutely amazed at how tiny they are... several won't make it over the second knuckle on my left (smallest) ring finger! Did "Luck Be A Lady" last night? (listening to lots of Billy May arrangements lately and it reminds me of your DD and her trumpet).

Julie, you were clearly on fire yesterday with respect to one-liners, I'm not sure you overlooked one opportunity in your inspired post. :) Yes, the mopboards will be pickled to match the window trim and the stairwell railing. The "new" rule in this house is that nothing is put in the 'frig. without a cover and all vegetative matter is to go into the crispers. I found one too many cans with contents identifiable only because they had labels on them. Dessicated tomato paste with mold on it is so "yesterday". ;) Mercifully, we have the ultimate recycling opportunity; fully mobile, and sporting a snug-fitting fur suit.

I've been thinking of you Woody. Every time I look out the windows and survey the winter landscape I wonder how you arrive at the spacing for shrubs/trees in your fantasy landscape plan. Do you plant with mature size in mind or for immediate effect, relying on future thinning/pruning/limbing to keep things in order? And I have to do some "scale" drawing pretty soon, too. Only this time it will be for the upcoming floor project and will be pretty easy... just simple geometry. How's your printing progressing?

Hi to Eden (has she been outdoors in 2 weeks?), Michelle (who we know will slog through drifts to get to the compost pile), Jerri (the purple footed one), Sue (who's either working or lying about it to cover her Facebook tracks), and so many others... and also, beleaguered Marian, holding down the fort in an ice-coated world.

Camera back yet, Deanne? While shingles may be itchy and uncomfortable I won't start worrying about your unhappy condition until you begin dragging your backside over the carpet... hang in there!

OK, time to think about what could be the final assault on woodwork, you guys...

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 7:25AM
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Id be happy to get you a shot of the leaves Chelone, once the sun is high enough for photo taking. Privet leaves look very similar . Are you and I the only ones up this morning ?

A female goldfinch was breakfasting at my newly hung thistle feeder this morning, while I was making coffee- I hope she tells her pals . I dont think my bottom heat seed mat is working. I havent used it for a couple of years so I suppose it could have just given up the ghost, though there surely arent very many parts to the thing. Im going to try a couple of different plug in options today.

Off to read the Sunday paper

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:08AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

a quick post to answer Chelone.....

My 'fantasy' garden plan is not yet at the stage of drawing real plants on it - at this point they're just blobs of various heights and widths, marking spaces. But the 'rule' for spacing is that plants of the same species can/should be planted so that they begin to merge as they near mature size so they become a mass rather than retaining individual identity. Plants of different species should not merge and specimen plants are planted, of course, to retain their individuality even after maturity. On the plan you draw things at or near mature size. When you plant the garden, you aim to get plants of sufficient size that the initial garden, while using plants that may be much smaller than mature size, still has a similar relationship between the plant sizes that it will have as things mature. Overplanting is considered a dreadful thing and inexcusable :-) (...guilty as charged.... :-)

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 11:43AM
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These are the leaves of Nuccios gem , fat with buds but no flowers yet. From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Happy Sunday!

I slept in. I went to the gym. I'm relaxing by the computer. It's a nice Sunday. Thankfully there are no Superbowl festivities anywhere near me. Just a little Sunday drive planned, so that we can drop my MIL's dogs off at their house.

I found a great new magazine called Garden & Gun (no kidding) and enjoyed a wonderful Camelia rescue story...they rescue the oldies, much the way people rescue old Roses. I was considering subscribing to this magazine, but forgot about it until Kathy's camelia's jogged my memory. I can't believe you can grow Camelia's there, too....California is just not real :)

I saw your area on the weather channel while at the gym...they were discussing the drought and how they expect it to go on....

Chelone, what are you planning for the floor? I see harlequin diamonds in black and taupe! What do you see? I also still like the spatter idea....

Cindy, I've had to put "Nose'n'Toes" on the shitzus feet all week - invisible shoes, I guess. They try to walk with two feet if you skip this step :) Between the sweaters, foot balm, and assorted harness/leash paraphenalia, I'm thinking the bigger the dog, the less work.

Of course there is always the more shedding perhaps it equals out.

Well, I'm going to go find some lunch and see what's up for the rest of my leisurely Sunday! Maybe I can sneak out to get my toenails painted blue :)


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 1:59PM
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72 degrees predicted as the high today. The ground is dry enough to allow plant moving activities. Have moved an established Dahlia which was similar to hoisting a 20 pound sack of potatoes . The soil is still a bit muddy in spots so its heavy. Im also trying to dig u[p a Lysmachia Alexander" that I foolishly planted some years ago after trying to copy a design I saw in a garden magazine -Im certain there would be drool spots on the pages If I unearthed that article now . I remember looking at it again and again. After replicating the scheme to the best of my ability I found that lo and behold things do not bloom at the same time in Northern California as they do in Connecticut (or wherever this garden was) and the combos that I was so taken with simply did not happen here. Live and learn ! Ive been trying to eradicate the Lysmachia for years.

Saucy, Camellia rescue sounds like a worthy pursuitI have never been able to move one with any success . They are downright ubiquitous here, I think there is at least one in every yard ! I only have 4 now, three of which are white which is the color I like best-

Ok , breaks over

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 2:40PM
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52F !!!!! But it's like putting hamburger in the sink to thaw 2 hours before dinner. Thawing is a long term process and the ice is too thick.

Saucy, are you sitting a shih tzu or did you add one to the family when I wasn't paying attention? Your 'bigger the dog' theory doesn't apply to greys. My theory is 'the furrier the dog' - I'm sort of surpised the shih tzu would need sweater.

Back outside, way too nice to be indoors. Have tried hacking ice to help it thaw faster, but it's not giving in. The back yard is now open, but no racing permitted.

Later - Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 3:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm back in town and way behind on my reading I see. I hope to work on that soon. In the meantime, I picked up many clothes after "super shopping" with my friend. Fortunately I got her to get some things as well to make me feel less guilty. I only shop about once every year or so, so that's OK I figure...

I see Saucy is concerned about her Sarah's picky-picky food habits. With Skyler, that is the only thing he felt he was able to control in his life...until the evil stepmother (DD)arrived! ;) Anyway, now he loves most foods and eats things many adults would refuse.

OK, time to unpack etc... Later!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

cue the twilight zone music - I did a nice little post and it's not here!

rats! other obligations call right now - I'll try to repost later.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 4:51PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello all, on a (finally!) sunny Sunday in Ontario.

A very nice day here. High of 0C (32F) and sunny. Went out last night and saw a terrific pair of musicians, and friends had DH and I over for dinner too. Came home just in time to sip a wine and watch 'the best superbowl commercials' show. Nice relaxing and pleasant evening with the moon sparkling on the snow, the fireplace doing its thing, and pleasant conversation with the menfolk. Golf was not mentioned once. This morning we all felt lazy and gave church a miss. I did a bunch of laundry and made some spareribs for dinner (yum!) and then TCS and I went out and built an igloo and tunnel in our snowbank. It was great to not freeze ourselves to bits while doing this. Men had naps, I read a book, TCS played with friends...very relaxing. This does not happen often here, and was a very welcome respite from our usually busy lives.

But my thoughts are turning to gardening. When we have this bright February sun, I miss my greenhouse terribly - this is the time of year that I used to open it up again as the sun would warm it like magic during the day....we often shared a cocktail at 3 p.m. out there on February days....I am filled with longing...

Saucy, I bet the 'Nose and Toes' is just like the 'Invisible Boots' that Ajax and his cousing Raia wear in the winter. It's a soy-based waxy cream that they love to lick off when the walkies are over. Has made a huge dent in the wimp factor for Ajax this winter.

Oh Kathy, I can't stand it! 72F, camelias blooming...arghhh why do we live in the Frozen North anyway? But I am thankful not to live in Australia where a buddy of mine is experiencing 115F this week. How could one live with that?

Glad you had a good time 'Bug. So who buys clothes anyway? I buy men's jeans because they fit me there is not a lot of good stuff in my wardrobe. And your comments about Skyler and eating give me hope for TCS. He has been stuffing himself in anticipation of a lecture from the nutritionist on Tuesday.

Woody, the project sounds very demanding. And you seem to be rising to the occasion just fine...good tips coming from you in terms of 'overplanting'. I'm guilty too of this.

Well, off to put together the rest of dinner and get started on a relaxing Sunday evening. Hoping against hope that there will be something not sports-related on t.v. tonight. But there's always Scrabble...




    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 5:02PM
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