#496 ...A New Idyll for a New Year

dodgerdudetteJanuary 1, 2011

Carry on my friends !

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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Sorry about the book. Now you see why I write books. I confess to reading every line that people write. I still miss stuff though.

I'm supposed to be off to dim sum, but we're running on New Year's Savings time. We are an hour behind.

Have a good, restful day.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 1:16PM
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Ahhh, but we all like to read books Yeona ! New Years Savings time, lol.

I made bacon and eggs for breakfast ( a rare treat) watched some of the rose parade, and have been working on a calendar of some of my photos for my awfice. I have used both Zazzle and Walgreens for calendars, but this time I am using My Publisher--way more powerful and flexible than the others. The calendar is going to be all pics from the Ruth Bancroft Garden..

Off to clean out the fridge

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 2:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Skyler meltdown time here. "I didn't get anything I wanted at Mom's house or here either..." yadda yadda. He's now in his room. The meaning of gifts has totally escaped him all of a sudden. It's all about ME.
I'm sad. He has a long way to go...and it won't be easy.
I know, the joy will return.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 3:34PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Happy new year everyone!

Yeona, I read every word! Not too long at all. My favorite device for alleviating colds is my neti pot. Also, I take lots of Vitamin C and Airborne. I think the neti pot is the thing that really does the trick, though.

Liked the link on solar heating. I wish we had a geothermal set-up along with solar panels. Just way too expensive to install. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

Kathy, I will need to check out My Publisher. I usually put together collages of the year's pictures for our calendar which I have made at Kinkos. So far, only the January page is finished. So pathetic.

'bug, sorry Skyler had a tough day. Holidays can be as stressful at times as they are fun.

My new year started the way the old one ended-waking up to doggie diarrhea on the wall-to-wall carpet in the basement (throughout the library, guest room amd passage to laundry area. Poor pup (although I do wish he'd quit walking around everywhere when he has this issue!). I am thinking of pulling all the carpeting up and having some sort of tile or stone down there, but that won't be nearly so cozy. Any ideas are welcome. I have even thought of hardwood since they can now put it down on concrete and we have it on the main floor. No matter what, it would also involve taking all the books off the shelves and emptying the cabinets, then disassembling the bookshelves. Not something I think DH would want to do. Getting tired of spraying with nature's miracle, then sopping up as much as possible, then scrubbing with soap and water. Even with professional cleaning, the spots don't come up completely. Yuck. Putting Clouseau on a chicken and rice diet for a bit.

So, off to buy the chicken and rice-just realized how late it is! Will be back to comment on everything else! Again, happy new year!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 4:31PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Careful about giving me permission to write a book each time. And as well letting my health nut mind go wild. It's dangerous waters we tread now. I'll try to rein it in occasionally and just say hi in between books.

GB sorry about Skyler. Have you found it helpful to change his diet. I know my nephews who have ADHD are helped by diet, especially extra omega 3, vision therapy and extra help at school, etc. Of course that's probably different from your Skyler's challenges. I hope the joy comes again quickly.

Kathy I read once that you're not supposed to clean on New Year's Day, as it's bad luck. That's my story anyway and I'm sticking with it. Richea, (DH) said he'd make biscuits, so I'll have biscuits and instant health nut soup for dinner, yum. I'm sure that no cleaning has a no cooking clause in it, too. ;)

Cyn, DD agrees with you, it's the neti that does the trick. Well the homeopathics don't hurt either, but flushing the germs out of wherever they are is the right thing to do. I use everything, but sage and garlic work best for me. I get my colds in my throat and sage and garlic kill and flush out the germs simultaneously.


If you don't mind hearing more health junk then here goes. I use a health food store bought gelsemium sempervirons Homeopathic remedy for doggy tummy upsets. Up to 5 pilules depending on the upset, and the dog is better right away. It always worked for me, no matter what they eat. I love it because then I can give Leah a bite at turkey time. She loves gobble gobble too much.

I'm off to exercise and walk the dog. Still trying for 21 days straight, but missed a day after 17 days straight on some of my daily plan. Oh well back to the beginning. Some day I'll do 21 days in a row for all of my goals.

Happy New Years Day,


    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Happy New Year everyone! One of the few benefits of Skip being gone most of the time for work is the points he gets for hotel rooms. So, we got a room at the local Holiday INn last night and the kids came out with to swim in the pool and have pizza. They all went home and I took a nap. I woke up about 15 minutes till midnight, watched the ball drop and went back to sleep. Today has been a quiet day, and I am looking forward to getting back to normal next week. We had pork roast and sauerkraut for dinner today and tommorrow is the last birthday of the group. We have 7 between Thanksgiving and New Years in the immediate family.

Bug glad you're having fun on your visit.

Saucy, you guys are hitting all of the highlights out there. What a great trip!

Ei and Yeona, so nice to hear from you again.

I will try to post some pics next week from the holidays. Right now I am going to head to bed. I am reading a book Brandon loaned me that he got for Christmas. Oh, I forgot to tell you the most exciting news!!!! Skip went out yesterday and bought the roof for the greenhouse. I can't wait!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:47PM
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I've been quite lazy today. I guess it is a holiday after all. After making it until midnight last night and having kids for 2 days I was tired. We ended up with 6 kids last night. Actually it was fun and they entertained themselves most of the time. We played a few games and spent some time outside. They pulled each other around on sleds with the 4 wheeler. They left by noon today. I took a nice nap and watched a few movies. It took quite a bit of cooking to keep everyone fed. Rick was the short order cook for breakfast making eggs and toast for everyone.
Yeona, I think we are all here because we like to garden, read, write and share - write away.

'bug, I think holidays can be awfully hard for kids, there are so many expectations that can't be met. Sorry to hear Skylar is having a tough day. The quilt fabrics sound like fun ones. I'm sure it will be quite special.

Ei, we didn't exactly get a blizzard here but the weather is cold, windy with blowing snow. A good day to stay home. Most went north of us. It must be hard to prepare your garden for selling your house, but it is probably a good idea.

Cyn, the doggie mess sounds awful.

I've included a slideshow of my Butterfly Garden through 2010. I confess that I didn't get out and take a picture on the last day of the year. It pretty much looks like the beginning picture. Did anyone else do this? I'm thinking at least a couple of others were going to. Butterfly Garden Through the Seasons

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 10:06PM
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I'm watching a movie and it's so bad that I decided to post at the same time..lol. I can look over at the boob tube occasionally to see if the pace has picked -up in the film.

Yeona, you had asked about my antiquing the other day and I forgot to respond- I bought 2 old Christmas Ornaments - 3 dollars each. I want to replace my dining room table and chairs in the next year or two, they are early 20th century oak, cane back chairs , 2 leaves in the table- I've had the set since the late 70's. I want a sturdier table -mine is a tad wobbly, and would like more comfortable chairs too. I think I'm going to have to do quite a bit of looking to find what I want. I have an on-going fantasy of turning my dining room into a dining-library combo.

Oooh Drema, can't wait to see pics of the greenhouse in all it's glory !

Cyn, my little dog (now deceased) always got the trots when she was stressed out, so I put her permanently on a bland diet. She got chicken, rice and peas. I cooked it up once a week , and she got her helpings twice a day.

Yes Michelle -I took pics of the same spot in my garden several times, I forgot all about it ! I'm going to find all the pics tomorrow and post them. And now I'm going to look at your slide show !

Waving to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 12:35AM
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Michelle I had been thinking it would be a good time to do the through the season pictures.
I will work on mine soon.

I love your butterfly garden. It definitely has an all season interest.

We are back to winter cold here. I'm sorry for the people who were hit with the tornados spawned by the unusal warm weather. Some of them hit fairly close to our area. Kind of just jumped and skipped over us.

I have been doing to much sitting and reading. Time to get moving around and accomplish something. I did enjoy having the boys over for the weekend.

Ei your plans for the backyard sound interesting. I love courtyards. If I had to live in a more populated area I would love a house built around a courtyard.

Cyn, I hear you about carpet and animals. I am getting rid of mine as soon as posible. Carpet not pets that is. We will have it only in DH's bedroom soon. That room is on the north end of the house and he hates a cold floor. But after seventeen years it needs replace for sure. Why is it that cats prefer to upchuck on rugs or carpet over bare floors? Speaking of which Bob had a I told you so on Jake yesterday after telling Jake he was going to make Niki throw up from throwing her up in the air to much. I heard a Mimi! from the other room and came to see that Jake had stepped in in pile of unndigested cat food. Although she likes to be tossed around It served him right. LOL

Sun is shining and looks good to me so I'm off to be busy. Waving. Norma

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 9:12AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - great slide-show; great garden! I started taking pictures last year with the intention of doing something like that - but petered out somewhere along the way so I don't have a complete series.

Cyn - poor you/poor beastie re 'the runs'! Getting rid of carpet is a good idea. When we first got Chelsea years ago at our previous house, she was three years old and needed to be housebroken! Since we were way at work during the day, we kept her confined to the dining room, which was on the patio level of our split-level house. Since there were lots of windows/light there, we figured she'd feel less confined. By the time she was house-broken (took 3-4 wks...), the carpet was a write-off; we replaced it with tile floor. This house has no carpets (although it does have some rugs); everything is tile or hardwood. Much of the basement is unfinished; I'd use laminate hardwood stuff on the floors there if I finished them. Misty is currently having some sort of digestive problems - started with throwing up a very large furball Christmas Eve! She's been throwing up on and off since then. We've had her to the vet twice but he can't find anything obvious wrong. She's not a 'happy camper' but hasn't thrown up in two days, so we're hopping that whatever it is has passed.

Drema - ooh lucky you re greenhouse progress!

gb - I hope Skyler gets over the hissy-fit quickly. How old is he now? I'll bet he'll be a fun teenager when the time comes :-)

Some snow flurries out there now but nothing serious. Yesterday was incredibly mild, and wet (10mm. rain) Here's Randy and Misty's New Year's Day picture:

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 10:55AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Thanks all for commiserating with me and my complaints!

We had a surprise this past week. John got an email from his half-sister in NC. I remember her from when she was about nine years old. I wanted to bring her to live with us (first husband). It was a terrible situation because my ex's family completely shut her out all her life-long story, but no excuse for that as far as I am concerned. Anyway, we are all in touch now and it has been wonderful. I think there has always been a hole in John's soul since he was shut out once we left and in hers, too, so maybe this will close those a little. What a grand way to start the new year.

Michelle, love the pictures of the butterfly garden. I love seeing the changes throughout the year. It really is a pretty spot.

Woody, do you take a new year's day picture every year? I love that idea and the picture of Misty and Randy is priceless. He looks as if he might be about to either break into a grin or ask you how much longer the photo session will take! Hope Misty is truly over her upset.

Kathy, I may keep up with the bland diet, too. Easy and the dogs seem to be quite enthusiastic about it. I think they think they are lucky to be getting "real" food.Of course, Chuck just bought a whole new bag of food last week.

Drema, how exciting about the greenhouse roof! Sounds like a wild birthday season. Seven-wow. Guess people were celebrating the coming of spring in your family...lol. Must make the holidays extra festive and fun!

Norma, glad you are having sunshine. Rainy and gray here, but not too cold, so it could be worse. Not that I would mind it if this were snow instead of rain. Would dearly love to not have to go back to school tomorrow! :( Shouldn't be greedy, though, a week was great! Funny about Jake, but poor Niki!

Ei, I thought I read everything, but must have missed your courtyard discussion. I will go back to look for it. I think courtyards are marvelous and would love one.

Yeona, I need to start walking again. Since Chuck retired in July and I went back to school in September, I have been way too lazy. Used to walk the dogs every morning unless it was pouring outside. Now that I know they will get a morning walk with him, I stay in bed an extra half hour. Need to change that!

'bug, hope Skyler has come out of his mood and all is well.

Off to work some more in the basement.. Have moved on to trying to organize. I fear the situation is hopeless.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Christmas decor is all stowed away, potato soup cooking and it hasn't rained for at least 10 minutes. I ventured out to view the garden beds..achh! The weeds ! I need to put down some newspaper and mulch poste haste-the soil is so saturated it would be weeks before I could put any of them, even if it did stop raining.

Michelle, loved your slideshow. Any photos of your beautiful gardens are always welcome ! So interesting to see the transitions .

Your garden sure still looks green Woody , soulnd like you are having Northern California weather this winter-Poor Misty, maybe she ate something she shouldn't have .

Wonderful story you shared with us Cyn-a great way to start the New Year.

I'd best go attend to my soup..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 6:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The house is quiet as I wait to collect Phoebe in a little while. The cats are happy that we have returned although they will be fed less now that I am in charge!

A few photos from Nana Marie.
Oh boy! Books!

Reading aloud

Breakfast for the chief

Music with Skyler!

POP goes the weasel! Remember this toy?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 2:29PM
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Dropping in to wish everyone a Most Happy New Year! We had a just about perfect Christmas. I did lots of cooking and baking, lots of toy shopping and had such fun decorating for the grandkids and doing crafts, both grown up and with Kate and Bella. Even so I have to say I'm glad to get back to life at a slower pace. I can only go at full speed like that for so long, lol. Now it's time for some organizing and decluttering around here.

Carpet....none in my house. I find that pets and wall to wall don't mix very well. There's not much around here that can't be wiped clean or thrown in the washing machine. No drapes/curtains, and mostly wood or leather in the furniture department.

Michelle, five kids staying over! (I can't remember if I read that here or on FB) You're brave. I've only had Bella and Kate together and only a couple times at that.

Woody, that photo of Randy could have been taken in our garden over the weekend. It was very warm and rainy here. It's gotten colder again but all the snow melted away and we haven't gotten any more so far.

Ei, I'm wanting to work on having a lower maintenance garden this year too. We're not really planning on moving, though you never know, but I'd rather spend time enjoying time in the garden with my family than always feel like I'm behind with garden chores. Your plans sound like it's going to be just lovely. I hope you share photos!

Marie, it always surprises me how similar our pictures of Kate and Ivy can be...

Kate loves books too

And dressing up (Dr.Kate)

And music

This one is a photo of her enjoying her new table and chairs, one of her gifts from Brad and I. A place for doing crafts and having tea parties. If Kate follows in Bella's footsteps it will be well used!

They seem to be little girls with very similar interests! I think that's pretty neat! :)

I've been looking through some seed catalogs tonight. I'm limiting myself to a dozen varieties. I always sow so many things and then don't know where to put them. Not this year. Did you all know that 2011 is the "Year of the Zinnia"? I think that's been the case here on Idylls before!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 8:42PM
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I meant to comment on the Jack in the Box, Marie. Brad, who rarely buys toys, brought that same one home one day when Bella was small. All of the kids love it. You can't beat the old fashioned toys can you?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 9:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, I also bought her the old fashioned doggie she can pull with the string leash. Then of course, there were the bunny slippers!

Does Kate enjoy puzzles too?

I love her hands..

Reading with Mamma. (She often calls her Sarah because Skyler does. She calls me Mamma most of the time so far.)

Here's the gang.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Whats going on aound here?? These durn little whippersnappers are taking over the planet !

Hmph. From Christmas 2010 From Christmas 2010

Most of our Christmas pics were stinko this year...

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 11:28PM
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Wow, both little girls with all their hair have sure lost the baby look.

Eden, I really like the table set. I need to look for a table. Rick scored a couple of the oak school chairs at a garage sale. They are so sturdy and in pristine shape. Now I just need a table to go with them. I love the Dr. Kate picture. I have the same problem with buying seeds. I have no control. There are just so many interesting things to try.

Drema, how exciting to be moving forward with your greenhouse.

Kathy, I like the idea of a dining room/library. Dining rooms are nice but usually under used.

'bug, from the pictures it looks like you had a wonderful trip despite not feeling well.

Cyn, how nice that your son reconnected with his 1/2 sister. Those situations can really be tough. My kids have 2 half brothers who are quite a bit younger than they are but rarely see (their dad's fault totally)

Glad you all enjoyed the garden through the seasons pictures. I found the lighting quite interesting. I have to say that this is probably my best planned garden for multi-season interest. I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures. Woody, post what you have. I'm desparate these days for green. Unfortunately our New Years scene was pretty white.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 11:40PM
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How great to check in and see all the little people. I never tire of looking at kids,pets, and flowers/landscapes.

I see Leo (is that the right name bug?) is giving a thumbs up to something. LOL

The comparison pictures of the Kate and Ivy are fun.

I had a nice day for walking yesterday. I didn't need the earmuffs and gloves at all and unzipped the coat too. Beautiful blue sky and fresh air. I can live with that!

Kathy, I imagine you are getting tired of all the rain. Looking forward to the beginning of your garden season. I agree with Michelle. Color is needed.

Going to get some breakfast. Hope to be back later. Norma

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 8:28AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I can tell the holidays are over by just how tired I am right now! I told myself I would put away three pieces of holiday decor tonight, and it's going to be a struggle to keep my word.

DH, DD and I went to Denver to visit friends for the New Year's weekend. We had a very nice visit and easy flights out there and back. I love traveling with DH. On the trip home, we were just heading to the gate when we heard our names being paged. The gate attendant smiled, handed us new boarding passes and told us to throw away the others. We had been upgraded to first class at no charge! Apparently first class was not full and they had a standby list for coach, so DH's frequent flier status earned us all a free upgrade. Nice way to end the trip!

Our joint resolution for 2011 is to buy no new "things". We can replace things that break or wear out (such as the toilet seat that decided to crack last night) but we will not add any new stuff this year. And we will spend the year cleaning out lots of stuff that has accumulated over time. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. And yes, new plants are included in the definition of new stuff. I know the gardens will benefit from a year of subtraction instead of addition.

DD is headed back to school tonight. She decided this afternoon that she can complete her masters by the end of the calendar year and is now focused on that goal. I have confidence that she will be able to do this.

I really should do something around the house quickly, so I'd better sign off for tonight.

And careful with all those adorable baby pics - we'll never get Chelone back here!


    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V's new year's resolution strikes a chord for me. I'll be interested in your progress V. I'm in the mood for fewer things around here. Today I would have sold the farm if a buyer had knocked on the door!

Several of my friends have come up with different (for them) ideas for gift giving next year. I am interested in all of these and thought I'd share them. If you have other ideas, I'd love to hear about them, especially after this year's meltdown which caused me great anguish. I loved the fact that Ivy opened a gift and spent hours playing with it before being convinced that another one could be opened. THAT's the right idea!

So first is a man (a grandfather) who only gives physical gifts to those under 5 years of age. It makes sense to me! He takes older children to the museum or science center etc at other times throughout the year. His Hanukkah gifts are also very small.

Another family only gives handmade presents. No money can be spent on those gifts. Many of the presents were beautiful and touching. One mother has a serger and has been making sensational and stylish children's garments using old clothing.

Others follow the 3 Wise Men tradition of "only" 3 gifts per person.

In France, we received one present only. No big materialistic exchanges. Perhaps, but not necessarily, a special meal.

I think Skyler would DIE! BUT, tonight he mailed me a story he wrote...the one he forgot to give me at Christmas. I'm sure DD has something to do with it, but making him send thank-you notes is a very fine lesson for him, even if by email! I'm trying not to be disappointed in him, but it will take time for my attitude transplant to take effect...

I have resumed my knitting, with Phoebe at my side. :)


    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 11:21PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy 2011 everyone - a new start. What a gift - a sense of a fresh start every 365 days!

Good idea V. We have cut down considerably on unneccesary purchases and have decluttered a great deal in the last year; the main floor of this house is pretty much cleared out and is so easy to keep clean and tidy now! I am working on the lower level now, a much more difficult task because much of our "stuff" ended up there - old toys boxes of paper to be shredded, just "stuff". But hey! a fresh start evey year.

Kathy I hope all is well with you. Last week California had more snow than I did! Couldn't believe it!

Weather seems to be wacky all around the world. We are expecting another warm dry summer, longer than usual. Last year I was able to plant my veggies almost a month early, giving me a much better yield. But my gardens are small, not so great for large scale operations if water is short.

Bug, I totally understand the reaction to the melt down. TCS had one the week before Christmas at DD's house, not sure what about. But he had been up late, had eaten little, and was celebrating Christmas with DD, her BF, his little boy, and his parents, so excitement was also high. He was shocked at the consequence though: last week-end he was invited there again to go skiing with DD, BF, and little boy, and I would not allow him to go. I explained that the other little boy only gets to spend every second week end with his Daddy and I would not allow that time to be unpleasant for them. I stuck to my guns over DD's protests, and he did not get to go. We have had excellent behaviour ever since. This is not easy. I have also insisted that TCS, who loves the computer, earn every second of his time on it by exhibiting good behaviour, eating properly, tooth brushing for one and a half minutes twice a day, etc. with absolutely no fussing. It is awful to have to be after a kid like that all the time, but it has to be done to establish peace in the long run.

Anyway, I am off to sort Lego with TCS for fifteen minutes so that he can have the computer for an equal amount of time!

Cheers all


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:22AM
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A new grandson was born last night. Charles Keith weighed in at 6 lbs. 11 oz. This is the first child of Rick's youngest son. It sounds like he will be called Charlie. They live in Minneapolis so we aren't sure exactly when we will get there. Rick is emptying a bin of corn tomorrow and the trucks are already lined up. Jeremy and Erica will arrive here on Friday for a couple of days along with my parents and Kenzie. Maybe a quick trip up and back on Sunday.

We requested donations to charity instead of gifts this year and Rick and I haven't exchanged gifts for a number of years. My gifts to my parents are things that don't take space these days as they don't need any more "stuff" either. My mom loves Dunkin Donuts coffee so she is getting a large bag, Dad is getting some mixed nuts and some chocolates for both along with a gift card to the grocery store. The little grandkids get 3 gifts each and at least one is clothing. The older kids are into gift cards or cash. Kenzie will get a few more but mostly because they are books, which we will keep at our house so we can read together.

After this weekend when we celebrate our final Christmas. I plan to tear the upstairs apart and give lots away. First of all will be Christmas decorations. I have been gifted many decorations over the years that aren't my taste and I don't take out year after year.

Spicy pretzels are in the oven and need stirring every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Then I'm out to the treadmill.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:34PM
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I'm here twice in one week! A record for me of late. I see we have a few more munchkins represented. Kathy, Aiden has become a little boy. No more Mr. Baby! He's sure a handsome fellow and it's a rare treat to see him!

Wow V, that's some resolution. It'll be interesting to hear how hard that ends up being. I think I'd start "needing" more, lol. Instead of a New Year's resolution this year I'm chosing a word for the year. After much thought the word I've come up with is "slow". For the first time in 31 years I don't have a child/children here with me on a daily basis and no need to rush around caring for others. So my mantra this year is "Be in the moment. Just be. Don't hurry on to the next thing. Be in the now." It's going to take some practice but I think I'm beginning to get the hang of it (SLOW-ly, lol).

Julie,I love your idea of getting a fresh start every 365 days. Even more I'm trying to think of each morning as a fresh start. I'm doing alot of organizing this month, not too much to get rid of but lots of shuffling around of things. I actually enjoy the process of putting everything in order.

Marie, my sister gives the little ones what she calls "experiences" for birthdays and Christmas. A season pass to the zoo, tickets to a special event, things like that.

And Marie, you asked if Kate likes puzzles. She has some but I haven't noticed her really loving them. Now Isabella, she loved her puzzles, still does! I love the picture of Ivy's sweet little hands too. And I liked seeing the picture of your gang too!

With the risk of munchkin overload I'm going to post a few more pictures. Heck, it's winter and there's no gardens to photograph here in the frozen north.

First for Marie, the dollhouse

More dressup, Chef Kate

My gang on Christmas

And big girl Julia looking around (Megan's photo and I can't enlarge it but I wanted to show her to you guys)

No more kid photos from me for a while. I promise!

I'm really trying to get over here more often. Maybe I should make that a New Year's resolution!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:50PM
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Congratulations on the new grandson, Michelle! Not finished with Christmas yet? I think I may have gone crazy if I'd had to prolong it this long. Just kidding! Have fun and enjoy your family! Maybe a few new pictures of Kenzie for us here???

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Eden, what a beautiful bunch of grandbabies! I said "Oh!" out loud when I got to the photo of the the four of them.

Michelle, congratulations on the new grandson!

We've really cut back on Christmas gifts the last several years and I have to say that I like it that way. Quite a while ago, we decided that instead of buying for each of the nieces and nephews that they would each buy a gift for one of the other cousins, and we set up a schedule of names so everyone had a chance to buy for all of the others over time. As our kids got older, the kids became more and more responsible for selecting and wrapping the gifts. Last year, when the cousins ranged in age from 24 to 17, they decided that as an alternative to buying gifts they would pool the money and get together for an evening of cooking and dining. They love this idea and will continue it for the foreseeable future.

And I think I mentioned that DH and I decided on an overnight in Chicago as our "gift" to each other. We also have been leaning towards giving his parents "experiences" rather than stuff. It's pretty hard to find something that they haven't already bought for themselves. Those retired folks have too much time to shop! ;)

Of course, there are no young children to buy for at the present time!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 10:23PM
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I think my family enjoys our 'gift wrap contest' more than anything. I only bought one present per person this year, (except Aiden got 2) and none of them were over 25 $. We stretch out the gift opening - sometimes a half hour will go by between gifts.

Eden, just keep up the 2 posts per week and we'll be good with that , lol. And since you don't have daily basis children, time for you to high tail it to IU8 right ? Bet it�s less than a 7 hour drive for you. Please come !

Julie, our snow was in the High Sierra, a 7 to 8k elevation or more. Down her it was rain and more rain ! I'm really enjoying our week of sun right now, though it's cold (by my standards) and I've had the heat mat on for 3 nights in the greenhouse.

V, do you have the dates for IGCS ? I think we will be going this year.

Congrats to you and DH Michelle. Lol, Sue would be over the moon with that DD gift !

OK, sorry for the brief post, waves to all

Chelone ??

Mary ??


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:10PM
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I have really enjoyed reading the discussion on gift giving, how to celebrate holidays and all the rest! I got some good ideas for next year. It seems as if a lot of people are heading in the same direction. This year we bought the older kids and their mates something like socks or maybe a candle. Then Skip made them an Adirondack loveseat for their yard. Everyone loved it. They always say they like mine so we thought we would do something different. Plus no wrapping for me:))))). Mary and Brandon said Charlie and baby Jack could only have two gifts each, because they have to find a place to put everything, and taking home 16 new items, plus the other grandparents gifts, and the things they got for the boys was too much. It puts everyone on overload. Simple is our new motto.

Congrats on your new little Charlie Michelle!

Love the baby pics. All adorable.

I have to go to bed because I am watching Jen's baby in the morning early while she goes to her spinning class. Forgot to mention I am working on becoming a substitute teacher for the winter months. The home improvement business is typically slow till March, so it will keep me occupied when it is so cold and gloomy, if it works out. I'm just waiting for a transcript from one of the colleges I attended, should be here tommorrow, and then I have to get fingerprinted and background checked. Don't know how long that will take. My former supervisor's husband is the principal of a local school and he told me he would put me on his list after I'm legal. Just happens to be Devin's school, LOL.

Take care!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 11:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Drema I'm impressed with your energy! Subbing can be a mix of experiences, from wonderful to less so, but I have good memories of the kids mostly. (Not so much of administration...)You GO girl!

I have to run...


    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 8:30AM
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Congratulations Michelle and Rick on the new grandson. The farm is going to be a busy place with all those grandkids.
The birth of boy babies seems to be evening out with the girls.

Eden, I like your thoughts on the word slow, and living in the moment. The world is just to fast paced these days, and darn it the older I get the faster time seems to fly by. Love the picture of the grandkids. Do they all have brown eyes?

Kathy, I'm glad you are seeing some sun. I am starting to notice the daylight lengthening.

Drema, I bet the kids were thrilled with the loveseats. Subbing sounds like a good idea for you,

More I wanted to say but need to get moving here.

Hope everyone has a good day.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:24AM
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It's much easier to keep up with Idylls these days. Where is everyone? I spent my day, actually my week, organizing. I've only gotten through two rooms so far, our bedroom and the living room, but I have to say I'm having fun with it. Next up, the kitchen, then Bella's room. I'm saving the basement for last since that's where the stray things end up. It's been snowing here all day off and on with the same forecast for tonight and tomorrow. We've gotten only about an inch so far and I think we may end up with another inch or two by tomorrow night. Better than one big storm I guess.

The adults in our family don't buy for each other anymore, just for the little ones. We've tried name drawings or swapping games but have even gotten away from that the last couple of years. Brad and I sometimes buy for each other or get something together but we didn't even do that this year. There wasn't really anything either of us could come up with. I have to admit I do go all out for the grandchildren though. I really enjoy spoiling them and don't apologize one bit for that. The fun and magic that Christmas is at their ages won't last for long. My other enjoyment is in the preparations leading up to Christmas, the decorating, the crafts, the baking, and the special holiday events and gatherings.

Drema, I really like your idea of building something for the kids. I bet the your kids really loved that! I bet you'll have some good stories to tell from your subbing experiences. What does Dev think about grandma being a teacher at his school?

Kathy, I haven't really thought about IU much but you're right. I could probably make it happen this year. We'll see.

I got a couple more catalogs today. Richter's Herbs and John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden Seeds. I've also been pulling out and leafing through my garden magazines. Anything to see some green now. I usually start dragging up plants from the basement about this time for my green fix.

That's about it from me tonight. Hope you're all having a nice evening.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 8:30PM
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An idea we have used in my family to stretch out gift opening was to play Trivial Pursuit. My mom would pick out some of the questions that weren't overly hard and read one. Whoever got the answer could open a gift or pick someone to open a gift. Most of the adults picked kids the first round, but then if you answered the question and you had already opened a gift you had to pick someone who hadn't.

Eden, your grandkids are just adorable and they are sure multiplying fast! Wow, Julia is holding her head up very well. It seems like she was just born.

Mr. Baby certainly has grown into a little boy. I'm sure you have to admit that he adds a bit of fun to the holiday season.

Norma, this is boy #8 for us with just 3 girls.

Drema, what a special gift the loveseats are. How nice that you have such a handy hubby.

Really should run - I've got things to do around here before everyone arrives tomorrow.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Michelle, I bet you're really excited to see your son especially. Have a wonderful Christmas celebration!Julia's eight weeks old today. Being born at such a busy time of year it seems like the time since she was born has flown by.

Norma, Bella's eyes are almost black and Wally's look like they're turning brown. Kate's are hazel and Julia's still blue. It also looks like she's going to be a little red haired girl.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 10:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

When DD was small we let her go to bed with books after reading to her. She read in bed most every night...often missing a good deal of sleep. Now that she's a Mom, she falls asleep before reading most of the time.

Well last night she found Ivy in bed this way!Her comment: "So it starts already?"

I'm spending time with my treadmill, knitting and books. Not much interest in cooking these days. When we were away DSIL made such elaborate breakfasts that we can't look at eggs again for a while!

I should be organizing like Julie and Eden though...

Thank you everyone for the gift giving and unwrapping ideas! Very helpful! Last night Skyler was taken out to a restaurant to celebrate a full month of decent table behavior. He chose the Ethiopian restaurant. (I'm so happy it wasn't a financial reward!)


    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 4:31AM
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Marie, I think that's just about what I look like most nights when Brad gets home, lol. I always read at bedtime but rarely make it through more than a few pages. I usually have two books going. One for daytime reading and another at my bedside. Right now the nighttime book is Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. My other choice is a book on World War I, A World Undone by G.J. Meyer. It recently occurred to me that I don't know alot about that war, probably there was a cute boy sitting next to me in History that year or something.:) Anyway, this is my attempt to remedy that. What are all of you reading?

Not much in the organizing department went on here today. Instead some intensive vaccuuming of the rooms I'd finished that even involved moving furniture. Then I set out a few of the snowmen I've collected to get me through January. Brad did take me out to lunch too! That was fun. So far January is going by pretty quickly for me.

I am having Isabella withdrawals. I haven't seen her since last Thursday, though I've talked to her on the phone. She lost a tooth today during gym class and called to tell me about it this afternoon. She's excited about a visit from the tooth fairy tonight. I'm hoping she spends next weekend here, she has a birthday party to attend on Saturday afternoon that we'll have to try to work around. I've been writing down ideas that have come to me for projects for us to do this winter. The list has gotten quite long. Some of the ideas without going into details are making snowmen and tea sets using airdry clay, making snowflakes from craftsticks, creating a mural around one of the Jan Brett books (she has some good winter themed books), creating a miniature circus, and making an animal, she'll probably choose a dog,with paper mache. Many of the ideas involve glue, paint and glitter, three of her favorite things! I also want to have a special movie theater night complete with tickets and a concession stand (I even saw an old fashioned popcorn machine that I'm considering getting. We have frequent movie nights and she'd love using the popper. I'm sure it would get lots of use with the upcoming grandkids too.) Much more on the list but I'll shut up now and spare you.

Marie, Brad could eat eggs for every meal I think. I'm more of a pancakes and waffles sort of girl. As for cooking, I have quite a few new recipes I want to try but finding the time is my issue. What do you have on you needles now that you're working on?

The dinner out treat for Skyler sounds like a great idea since it will continue to reinforce the idea of decent table behavior.

Not much to comment on since I last was here so I'll say good night for now. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Brad's working all weekend so I'm planning to continue on with my organizing and cleaning.


Here is a link that might be useful: Popcorn Machine

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's been a day. Sarah was rear ended this morning with all the kids in the car along with the dog, taking Skyler to school. It's a long awful tale, but things seem OK now (I just heard from her now)I'll spare you the many details. The upshot of it all is that everyone has been checked out and they may ache for a few days. Skyler needed reminding not to panic, but he DID get control of himself and I am proud of him for that.

I'm finishing up a small baby blanket Eden, for one of Sarah's friends.

I'm worn out from worry. See you another time.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:34PM
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Poor Sarah and kids! Not a good way to start the year. How awful for them but so glad to hear everyone's going to be OK. Thank goodness for child seats and seat belts. I know it had to be hard for you sitting by the phone/computer waiting for word all day. Hope you're able to get some rest now. Take care.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 7:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks Eden. Leo's car seat failed. He was upside down between the two front seats. Ivy's feet were wedged into the driver's seat. Skyler was screaming and crying, but shaped up. He comforted the dog. Oh man. You can just imagine what went through Sarah's head.... I'm too old for drama.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 8:17PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marie - how nerve-wracking for Sarah, and all of you! I'm glad everyone checked out OK.

My CAD course starts on Monday and the course website was available starting today. I printed off all the lectures and assignments. I'm going to be very busy! I can't imagine doing a full course-load of courses like these.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 9:05PM
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Woody, I'm doing preschool projects and you're taking a CAD class! What a contrast:) I'll be interested to hear about it as you progress. How interesting! I'm assuming you'll use what you learn for garden design?

Marie, the car seat failed! It always seems like such a production to me getting the kids strapped in. It seems almost impossible that could happen! Did the infant seat come out of the base or was he thrown from the whole thing? You probably don't know. I'm sure you're just so relieved they're all safe. And Ivy's feet are fine? It must have really thrown Indy since she wouldn't have been strapped in at all. She's OK too? This sounds so scary! Again so glad everyone is sore but OK. Yes, most definitely too much drama.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Ach, this is one of those evenings when I can't seem to get warm. It was overcast all day , and the house was in high 50's when I got home from the awfice. DS and I are bundled up, though he is hanging out upstairs , where it is likely 10 degrees warmer. No rain this weekend! Might be able to get this rose pruning gig off the ground.

'bug, thank goodness all is well with the family after the rear-ending event. Jeesh. Just what they don't need. I remember when DD and I were very gently rear-ended when she was a student driver ..she cried and made me drive the rest of the way home-no damage to either car, only to her psyche.

I have 2 books in process Eden, and 3 if you count my Kindle book. I am really into reading history this winter, medieval history in fact. The novel I have going is 'On Blue Dolphin Street' by Sebastian Faulkes, but the pace has really slowed down in the last 25% of the book and I need to just sit down for an hour and get through it . The 2 non-fictions I am reading are 'Holy Feast and Holy Fast : the Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women' and another more controversial book dealing with atheism that I won't bring up here. I have a book on the life of Francis of Assisi to read, and then I think it may be time for a murder mystery or maybe some Alice Hoffman.

All for now. Maybe we'll get a visit from Chelone this weekend ?

We need a photo that has no children in it, lol . Here's a couple from the IU7 archives. Look at that sunshine !

Idylls at Keeyla Meadows garden-Keeyla, Drema , Brenda and V. From Idyllunion 7

Everyone seems interested in this plant ! Digging Dog-Deborah Wigham(our hostess)Les, Brenda , V, and a sliver of Monique..
From Idyllunion 7

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 11:05PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks for the encouraging words everyone. I do love kids pets and gardens. So I am in the right place even if I do go off on a tangent every so often.

GB, I'm so glad everyone's okay. And it's so lucky that the carseat failure didn't end worse. I hated the set up of our carseats. Always felt they weren't good enough.

Drema nice score on the final piece of the greenhouse. Can't wait for the pics.

Wow, 7 is a lot of birthday cakes to eat. Lucky you.

Your New Years sounds relaxing. DD's DH's brother works in management in hotels and got DD and her DH a suite for free for their honeymoon. They loved having everything there, including the pool, even though they chose to cook for themselves.

Michelle, I'm glad the kids were able to play nice. And now a new grandson! Congrats to you and Rick. Next time it might be 8 kids, with Kenzie and maybe Charlie.

Sorry for your kids' not having contact with their other 1/2 siblings. Hopefully they will grow beyond your x, and will want to know them. At least they know of one another.

I enjoyed the garden pics. I get more bees and other bugs in my garden than others in my neighborhood, but still not many butterflies. I don't know what else to grow to attract them. I guess there aren't as many around here as there were when I was a kid.

What's your recipe for pretzels. I love spicy anything. I made a mistake and bought pretzels with sugar in them. The ones I usually buy have none. I decided to try making them myself next time. I do like the crispy ones best, though.

Kathy maybe you could trade your table and chairs for a newer model. Do they do that? Or did you want a more antique set? I always thought the library diningroom combo looked nice. I especially like it when the wood matches or contrasts. I've also seen room divider book cases that worked great in an open concept home. Of course I love books, so I'd be right there perusing the selection. Did you see the new electric tablet for reading electronic books, that actually has ink like print and is easy on the eyes, because it's not backlit. I guess not everyone has a fondness for real books.

Nice to see the Idyllers together again in your pics. I can't go but I can live vicariously through you all at the Idyllunions.

Norma I thought you were going to say the cat was sick while in the air. Luckily that wasn't the case. We have carpet only in our bedrooms. The rest is hardwood. Much easier to clean and so durable too. I love hardwood, though I do like bamboo and cork as well. Cork is supposed to be easier on the feet, and I stand and write and bead and workout. I stand more than sit nowadays.

Woody sorry to read that Misty's been sick. I'm glad that the vet didn't find anything, and hope it'll soon be a distant memory. Leah's sensitive system had us worried at first, but now we avoid extra treats and just feed her dog food and she's fine. I have to watch her like a hawk on our walks though, or she trolls for and finds food. Yuck.

Nice pick of Randy and Misty. I thinks it's a great idea to have an annual picture. I think I'll borrow the idea. I don't have enough pics of my kids as adults.

Cyn maybe you could mix your 'people food with dog food until the bag is gone. I think that's what I'll do. The only thing is I have to find info on how much to feed the dog at a time. I also want to make sure she gets all her vitamins and minerals, so I really have to look at the right combos of meat and grains and veggies. I wonder if the same rules apply for dogs with the intake of 5 to 10 servings of veggies a day and so on. I have some research to do. Goodie.

It's great that John has had contact from his half-sister. I feel for you, seeing her being rejected. Nobody deserves to be treated that way. I'm glad they get to meet now, though.

Eden Kate is such a cutey. I love the dress up pics. My DD played dressup all the time. My son was the book reader. Now he reads all of his books on computer.

GB love the Pop goes the weasel face. My kids loved that toy. I miss my piano. My son was very good, then he got sick, and lost interest.:(

Such a cute gang. I used to love to read in bed too. I often still do. It helps me fall asleep.

Sorry Skyler's reaction put you in such a tailspin. I hope his getting a reward for good manners helps him see the benefit of positive behaviour.

V. glad your flight and visit to Denver went smoothly, and you got to fly back first class! Bonus. I love your resolution. Did that years ago when the kids finished high school. Need to do it again, since the nephews got their own places. How do we end up with so much junk?

Congrats on your DD completing her masters. Both my older sisters have their masters in their chosen fields and and that's opened so many doors for them.

Julie I agree, you have to balance love with discipline. Hard to do all of the time, but necessary for the child to learn how to behave, with others etc. Hopefully TCS will get it and the behaviour won't repeat.

I too had a half sibling, a brother, my mother's son. I'm so glad I got to know him. He's gone now. He was much older than me, but still died too young. I found out about him when I was 15, because I was going to Denmark, and would meet him. After xmother told me, I ran right downstairs to the main floor and told my 2 younger sisters, the minute I found out. I always did have a big mouth, and couldn't keep a secret if I were paid to. I was pretty clueless in those days too and didn't recognize that this was a big, bad secret. I had a brother and that was cool to me. At least I, and my younger sisters, didn't have to find out the way my 2nd old sister found out. She was told that she was going to meet her brother, just before she did, and she didn't have a clue that he even existed. It was bad. She was only sixteen. I don't think she's ever recovered. She was and is bipolar and was suicidal and got much worse after that, and attempted suicide when she got home. Did I say families can really mess you up?

Maybe next time I should just say I have a complicated family and childhood. Ah well, big mouth and all that. I would like to blame my current and life struggles on family, but I fear I'm ruled mostly by my fears. I'm trying to believe I can be accepted for who I am, with all of my faults. Which I know is unfair to ask, so I know I'll fumble a bit and think the worst, but then I'll come back.

Hi to those who haven't checked in. Hope you have time to soon.

Take care all,

PS I'm sure Chelone is NOT scared by a few kid pics. She's probably just enjoying the Salon.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Make a Sedum Wreath

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 3:04AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello all. A cold and snowy day here, as was yesterday.

The beasts are getting playtime in the yard this weather as they are not snow dogs, get cold real fast, and are small wimps in big fierce disguise! I kind of like it better too - throwing toys and frisbies a couple of times a day is easier for me than dragging them around the block while they whine and look back toward home!

The senior Phils have gone to an indoor golf thing for the afternoon. DD has gone to work until 11 p.m. tonight; TCS has gone to visit a friend who has gotten a new video game. I think he will be glad when schoool starts again on Monday. I will be glad too, the holidays are starting to wear thin and the kids are bored.

Our New Year project is to redo the baseboards in the main floor bedrooms and ensuite bathroom, hence I have lengths of lumber and cans of paint cluttering up my living room.

I am trying to hold myself back from seed starting as the plants will be monsters by May if I start them too soon. The catalogues are arriving daily; what torture!

Thank heavens all are o.k. after the car crash Marie! So terrifying with the kids in the car, and I sure hope the car seat manufacturer will be getting a call. It is my guess that the other driver was at fault, as is usually the case when a rear-ender takes place. I suppose it will be blamed on icy roads or something? In our case, the truck that hit us was driven by a lady who could not produce her licence, was not insured, did not have her own child in a seat belt and so that child received some facial injuries, and didn't "notice" us stopped at the red light. She faced a lot of charges.

The IU7 pictures are driving me crazy! I loved attending IU6, it was so much fun! Wish I'd made it to IU7.

The kiddie photos are very cute also. I love to see a child reading. I too have books on the go. My current favourite author is Jodi Picoult. I have just finished her novel "Mercy". It was a real slow starter for me but after about half way through I couldn't put it down. I have just atarted another called "Second Glance" and again am having a hard time getting into it. Hopefully it will pick up. I also like murder mysteries by Michael Connelly; have just finished City of Bones and am waiting for DH to finish A Darkness More Than Night, so I can read it next. I discovered this writer when I was in the hospital with my neck injury last Spring; another patient had left a couple of books behind.

As I always do when bored, I will spend the afternoon in the kitchen, trying out some kind of a new recipe. I think it might be a Risotto this time. I might then have to sit down with my book and the rest of the white wine to while away the afternoon. See - I too am focussing on "slow" this year - this time of year anyway.

Then there's Woody - delving into higher education while I am lazing around. You put me to shame Woody *LOL*

Waving to all in case there are readers who don't have the time to post. Later.



    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 1:22PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I finally managed to get back on here. It was quite a hassle, but while I am here I will update you on the happenings at our place.
Last week, Wednesday Dec. 29th, I took Nolon to the Cardiology Hospital in Springdale,AR. He was scheduled for a heart cath. It ended up being a lot more than we expected. He was diagnosed with 2 arteries that were 90+ percent blocked, and one that was totally blocked. The doctor called it a "widow maker". Nolon's sister, who lives in Springdale, was there with me. We did not expect him to survive the next day's procedure of putting in stints. There was a problem, after the cath, and he was in MICCU overnight. Thurs morning the town and neighboring areas were under a tornado warning, but we got to the hospital okay ( I was staying at the SIL's house. Nolon looked so much better, but he was restless, and picking at the tubes attached to him. We decided we need to leave and maybe he would settle down. A nurse had just given him a strong shot for pain, and we hoped he would go to sleep. The procedure was supposed to be after 1. We got back there at one, but he had already been taken into surgery. I had wanted to talk some more with the surgeon....Anyway, I did not notice how long we waited, but the doctor came out, and told me he had put in two stints. I asked about the widow maker. he sad " I took care of it...it is gone". SIL and I both gave him a hug! He still needs a third stint, but was unable to have it then, so we are to return in a month from then. I brought him home that following friday. I was sick , but managed to make the drive, and continued being sick for several days. I am just now getting back to my normal self. I think I either had had an TIA, or was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
I suspect you all saw on TV about the people killed in the tornado in Cincinatti, Arkansas. That was about 50 miles from where we were. Our home area was under a tornado watch as we left Springdale to come home, but it is a 66 mile drive, and it was clear when we got home.
All in all, it is not an experience that I do not care to repeat.
I have scanned over this thread, and see that there are a lot of beautiful younguns pictured . :-)


    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 5:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OH Marian! What an ordeal for everyone. How wonderful that your doctor was there for you and Nolon when he was needed so urgently! I am glad you had your SIL there as well!

My, life sure tests us!

My very best to you both!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:04PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Marian I'm so glad for you! I'm glad it was just a close call. It pays to go to the doctor for those procedures and checkups. You never know what they'll find.

I did hear about the tornados and wondered about you. Another too close for comfort call. I'm so sorry for those who lost family and friends.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Marian, You have been through a trying time. Good to hear Nolan is being fixed up. I hope he will feel better now. Sorry to hear you were sick too. Take care.

Bug thank goodness Sarah and the kids are ok. Such a scary thing.

We have just returned from Wyatt's 8th birthday party. I remember started to chat on Idyll's when he was just a baby.

I tried to finish the book I was reading this morning but my eyes were bothering me and I had a headache most of the morning. Now my eyes are just plain tired, so I'm not staying on the computer.

Just waving. Norma

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 7:03PM
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What a wimp I am ! Pretty excited about the rainless weekend, but could not bring myself to go outside til after 2pm-cold and leaden gray out ! I managed to 'man-up' and get 4 roses pruned, but the constant runny rose drove me back inside- I always have that issue when I'm out in the cold. It almost looked like the sun was going to put in an appearance late this afternoon, but no such luck. Sun is predicted for tomorrow afternoon, but then back to the 20's overnight. Next week the rain will be back.

So , nice spicy Mexican food for dinner -chicken tacos- and then a movie .

Marian , glad you got back on GW, did you have to re-register ? Hoping that Nolon continues to improve and you both stay warm and safe.

Julie, your energy always impresses me ! New baseboards ..how nice that would be. I yearn to get rid of the damnable popcorn ceiling, but have no intention of doing it myself. I have 4 or 5 major 'infrastructure' projects that need doing so my goal this winter is to prioritize them , and figure out the budget issues. I need to come up with a 5 year plan -stuff that I need to get done before I retire ( if I can afford to retire, lol) while I still have the income to support semi-big ticket items.

Yeona, I'm thinking of putting my current dining set on consignment at a local antique/consignment shop, but not until I find a replacement.
You know you can always share your 'messed-up family stuff' here, we don't mind big mouths - this is a supportive place . Thanks for that sedum wreath link ! I would love to do that , and it's also great idea for teaching a class at my company.

Off to manipulate the tacos !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 9:26PM
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It's cold today here too, Kathy. We're at 17F now and going down to 12. I don't mind the cold so much as long as it doesn't snow. Your dinner sounds good. Mexican is my favorite!

We're getting ready to do a bit of remodelling here too. We're having a wall taken out between the livingroom and kitchen. That will then require us to have the wood floors in the lr extended a few more feet and putting down a new floor in the kitchen. We'll also have to have the lr floor refinished to make the new wood match the old. Brad will then extend the wall of bookshelves. We're hoping to have it finished before spring. Just waiting for the workmen to be coorinated and scheduled by our sil who's got the kitchen design business. Oh and we'll have to rent a POD to store everything in while the reno's happening.

Norma, I remember the first pictures I ever saw from you were from Wyatt's birthday party. He was just a toddler. Sorry about your headache. I don't get them often but I hate having one. Hope tomorrow's a better day for you.

Julie, all the kids here went back to school last Monday right after the New Year's holiday. TCS had a long break. I know Bella was happy to go back and see her friends. You could always wintersow some seeds in milk jugs and throw them outside if you really need to play in the dirt this early you know. I've never made or had risotto though I see chefs stirring it on the food channel all the time. Something I'll have to try sometime. I think wine is a nice way to relax and slow down. So far I'm doing pretty good at taking things slow. It's not easy for me though, doesn't come naturally.

Marian, I'm glad both you and Nolon are getting back to normal and feeling better. Is the new heat system helping you out alot this year? Hope so! Glad you were finally able to get back here too!

Yeona, I liked the sedum wreath too. Thanks for sharing that.

I was thinking maybe we should keep a separate thread going where we can put our kiddie pictures. I certainly understand people who aren't kid oriented not being too interested in seeing and hearing about them all the time but for some of us they've become very important parts of our lives. I have some really cute pictures of Kate from today. Jenni painted her finger and toenails for the first time and she absolutely loved them and thought she was very beautiful! I'll spare you though.:) Even I agree there are enough kid pictures on this thread and we're not even half way through it yet. What does everyone else think about the idea?

I was hoping there might be an update from Marie on how Sarah and her family are doing today. They've been on my mind throughout the day. Hope everything's OK.

Bet Michelle's having a wonderful weekend celebrating with her family. Hope we do get some new Kenzie pictures!

I spent most of the day puttering around the house after running a few errands this morning and going out for pecan waffles with Brad. It was a nice, slow moving day. Maybe some reading to finish out the day after I'm finished here. G'nite.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:36PM
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Last night we had a fun time with a 1983 Montgomery Wards catalog. I had saved catalogs from the years my kids were born. Jeremy and Erica got such a kick out of the styles and also how much you could order from it. They don't remember the days before internet of course. We were commenting on how unsafe the car seats that were available back then looked.

The weather wasn't exactly great when they arrived yesterday morning. My parents came up and they stayed over also. After school Kenzie arrived as well. It was a brief but fun visit. We stayed up until nearly 1:30 a.m. Although, Kenzie was asleep much before that and my parents weren't up quite as late either. We spent a little time in the store room consulting on what Jeremy wants to keep and what can go. He is returning to Texas with some things that he wanted now. It will help me immensely to decide what needs to happen in that room. It is his former bedroom with lots of other junk thrown in. Now that all the overnight guests of the last 2 weekends are gone I can begin the big cleanup.

After everyone left, Rick, Kenzie and I did some sledding. Theres a fairly decent hill going down to the pond area. I got a workout and figure I can skip the treadmill tonight.

We took a little look around the garden and see the rabbits have been busy. I'm going to try to spray the shrubs and see it if helps.

Good to see that Ivy is loving books already. One of Kenzie's favorite gifts was a book. It was craft book and she looked through it several times and decided that she wanted to do everything in it. Like Eden's projects they mostly involve glitter, glue and paint. I hope I have the patience.

Eden, I enjoy hearing what your projects are - you inspire me.
'bug, how upsetting about the accident. I'm glad to hear that they all are ok.

Yeona, I planted a butterfly garden a number of years ago and it really seems to have many butterflies flitting about. Phlox, coneflower, sedums, zinnias and veronicas seem to be some of the favorites. I also grow parsley, fennel and asclepias incarnata for host plants.

The pretzel recipe is: 1 bag pretzels, 1 envelope Ranch Dressing mix, 1 cup of oil, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayanne pepper (depending how spicey you want them) 1/2 granulated garlic. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes.

Marian, what an ordeal you all went through. I'm glad you had your SIL beside you during it. I hope all goes well for the third one.

Norma, happiest birthday wishes to Wyatt.

We have popcorn ceilings in some of the rooms. Rick is refinishing the oak woodwork in the bedrooms upstairs since he replaced the windows and had to take it off anyway. He did the bathroom's last winter when we remodeled in there.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I grew up with the Sears Catalog. The girdle section fascinated me as did the huge sized bras. There were ringer washing machines too. Later they came up with the Speigels Catalog, and that somehow wasn't as thrilling. Nina Ballerina doll came from Sears. She is now in pieces and a bit moldy in a back cupboard. I can't quite dispose of her.

We have a lumpy ceiling I'd love to eliminate! It just won't happen though. I think I've almost lost interest in home improvements. It always seems to be a roof or furnace or something dumb and never something beautiful.

So this from Sarah:(yesterday)
Well, this morning after running around and getting DSS ready for school, finally getting everyone and the dog ready, DH and I switched vehicles so that I had the van and he had the car (the car seats for the LOs are in the van currently). Then I got completely rear-ended to the point of probably totaling our van on the way to DSS's school. Oy!

I should get some photos but it wouldn't do it justice because we've had so much snow... Anyway, it was a grand caravan, but the back left got completely punched in, the back window vanished, the side panel is scrunched almost up to the rear wheel, and the rear side window isn't attached any more... DSS (11yo) was in the front passenger seat and was fine but a little scared. Indy dog seems to be just fine. Everyone has now been to the doctor's office and checked out OK, though we are keeping an eye on everyone. I'm a little sore in the neck and back and head, but I don't think it's anything too bad. Hey, insurance covers 21 chiropractic appointments after a car accident! That should help!

The worrisome things:
1) The driver's seat did a really weird thing and went back and elevated so I could hardly reach the gas and brake pedals. Ivy (20mo) was in her forward facing car seat behind the driver's seat and started screaming. I realized later that her feet were jammed because the driver's seat went back so far, and she couldn't move them (and she was scared from the impact of course). She calmed down once I moved the seat forward again, and her feet are fine. If she'd been in a rear facing seat she would have been completely compressed against the seat. This just seems wrong...

Halfway to the police station (since the vehicles were drivable we were to drive to the police station and fill out forms there), Ivy started throwing up all over the place, poor girl...

2) Leo (4mo) was in a car seat that attaches to a base in the seat behind the front passenger (we have captain's seating in the van - I think the car seat is a Safety 1st model). After the impact, his car seat was upside-down just behind and between the driver's and passenger seat. I have no idea how this happened because I always try to rattle his car seat when I attach it to make sure it is firmly attached. It's become habit. I remember doing it this morning. The car seat shouldn't release - that shouldn't happen. Although Leo was screaming, once I righted his car seat he quieted down and seems to be just fine. He's such a calm and relaxed little guy! WHY DID IT RELEASE? It makes me wonder about the safety of these car seats with the separate bases.

DH was checking out the van when he got home and noticed that the roof crumpled a little bit too.

The good things were that the guy who hit us was a really nice guy who was actually very helpful. He apologized, was totally calm, was making sure that everyone was OK (I couldn't get to Leo right away), and even stopped and gave me a bunch of paper towels when Ivy threw up and I had to stop on the way to the police station.

Also, Ivy's day home provider (Ivy goes Tues-Thurs so wasn't going to go today) came and picked her up while we were at the police station and took her to the day home and gave her a bath and some clean clothes. I was so glad since Ivy was able to get some attention from someone she knows while I couldn't pay attention to her. DH picked her up about an hour later, but it was so much help knowing that Ivy was being taken good care of.

Also, DH didn't have anything hugely important so he came and helped deal with stuff at the police station, at the doctor's office, and then we went out and ate lunch and DH dropped us off at home.

I should get a photo of the van for posterity...
So, that was this morning...


Tonight the furnace stopped working! We had to pay $200 to have a guy come out and fix a wire that disconnected! Why? Because the shop that sold us our furnace 1.5 years ago went out of business! OY! Why do furnaces only stop working outside of business hours?


So Nana is recovering, although today I have still been jittery. Fearing for Ivy all day long yesterday was the pits.
The best news is that Sarah, Ivy and Leo will spend a week here in February at the time of DH's 70th birthday. It's a surprise.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 11:19PM
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Hugs Nana !

And Michelle remindede me, Yeona--butterflies like umbel flowers , or flowers with flat tops like Yarrows, Monarda,etc. And Buddlia !

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 12:53AM
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I got kicked out of bed at 6:30 by Kenzie. I just couldn't get back to sleep trying to share a pillow with her. She's so wiggly and her hair seem to tickle my face with every move.

Kathy, I have had buddlia but usually loose them after a few years as they seem marginally hardy here.

Eden, I'll have to check the pictures I took. My camera takes good pictures outdoors but indoors never seem to turn out all that great. As for kid pictures, I love to see them. I don't mind having them here but I'm flexible. Kenzie had purple toes and fingers when she came. She had been to a birthday party where they went to the cosmatology school. They had their hair, nails and makeup done.

I really need to have some of those "slow" days. After 3 weekends of overnight guests, cooking, entertaining and all the cleanup I'm ready for some down time.I think that with a big family that it is probably harder to have "slow" days. There just seems to always be something going on with someone.

Last year my motto was "simplify" as someone had given me some metal letters that spelled it. I think I need to find them and place them front and center.

'bug, the accident details really emphasize how scary it was for all involved - Nana too.

Tuesday my dad is having his knee replaced. I will be at the hospital that morning for my first colonoscopy. Sounds like a fun day for all. Although, I wouldn't trade places with him. We didn't even plan it that way.

I'd best get going. Today won't be a "slow" day. We have church, teach Sunday school, then we will take Kenzie home and drive 3 hours to see the new baby. Rick's DD will go with us. I will need to have all Kenzie's things packed and also extra clothes to change into since we are leaving right from church.

Have a "slow" day if you can.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 8:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ms Chelone has surfaced! The dreadful ads are a large portion of why she has been absent. She wishes she could see Norma's pond pictures and other photos as well - why even a few of the kiddos too.

Work on the salon continues and her planning is paying off. She'll get there - I just hope I see the dream come true!

Health care coverage has become a serious concern for her as it has for others in the US. It is a terrible thing that someone who has been diligent in every way should be fearful at this stage!

The sun is shining here and I am on my way to help DH recover from a particularly ugly morning meeting.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:41AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Oy! My head hurts...! I've just been working on the first practice exercise for my CAD course! It's not as easy as one might expect. Things don't work as intiuitively as I hoped - i.e. while it a Windows sort of program, the tools don't quite work the way I expect them to. I'm not sure how much easier it would be if I could hear the training videos instead of just watching them.

Here is a link that might be useful: CAD software

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Yahoo everyone!!

A very happy new year to you all.

Our holiday vistors only left this afternoon (Mum, sister Ruth and Ivan and Iris. Although we were all back at school last week our evenings were full of family activities and we are all missing everyone already. Tons to do as usual to get back into our routines but I wanted to pop in and say Hi. It's wonderful to see the Idyll grandkids growing up and everyone's plans for the upcomign year.

Another year of the Zinnia sounds great to me and I've already chosen a couple of new ones for this summer.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 4:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OY Woody! I would expect to be incomprehensible....at least for me. Nothing computer related is intuitive for me. Making the Haiti blog was incredibly tough for me and maintaining it...very very difficult. DH is sick of my requests for help. (He doesn't always know the answers either.)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Sun today ! More roses were pruned and general clean-up started. I confess that 'fall' clean-up has pretty much gone by the wayside here-other than pulling up frozen slimy blobs of basil, zinnias and cutting down the Dahlias. I enjoy seeing the rest of the stuff for winter interest. At this point though it looks way less interesting than it did in November. I have a lengthy shovel-prune list too, but the continued rains and saturation of the soil/mud means I will just have to be patient , and wait for several days in a row with no rain.

I definitely need another 'Year of the Zinnia' Mary, 2010 was just abysmal for them here-never had them look so crummy ! We had late rains in spring and frost too, and a cool summer. I planted Benarys Giants , and giant they were not. I'm considering a big , loud Dahlia display in last years Zinnia spot.

'bug thanks for rattling the bushes at the compound and reporting back-hopefully Chelone can negotiate the mysteries of ad-blocking soon. It sure is nice not to have those da*n expanding and contracting banners on the top of GW anymore.

Michelle, Buddleias get huge here, so I've not had any for awhile. I love 'Dark Knight' and wish I had the space for it. Great cut flowers too. I am keeping my eye out for a dwarf cultivar that is really dwarf..

Time for a glass of wine, and at 5:30 I call the county to see if I have to report for jury duty tomorrow. Last time I was summoned I went and hung out in the jury room for a couple hours and was finally excused.

Pleasant dreams of spring to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 7:39PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, It was the same heart doctor that did the "rotor rooter" procedures on Nolon in 97. I had great confidence in him, and even more so now. Nolon had been suffering angina attacks for awhile and his primary doctor set up the appointment for us with the doctor of our choice. He was taking nitro pills most every morning. He hasn't needed them since the stints were put in.
Kathy, I finally found the link where I was to send in my e-mail address, than I got the link for sending a new password. It wasn't long that I was back on.
Eden, we are really enjoying the propane wall heaters. I still use the wood stove daily, but no longer have to get up in the night to stoke it.
The predicted winter weater is getting here, there is a very light snow falling, and the deck is turning white. I have a pretty good supply of firewood toted into the utilityroom, and behind the stove. The forecast is for it to get down to 0 by Thurs. morning.
Good to see all the old familiar names here, but there are some absent ones. Has all the baby pics scared Chelone off? LOL
I sure wish more of you were on Facebook. I like being able to comment on each post as it comes on, instead of having to scroll down to the bottom.
I cannot get my sister Evelyn to even get a computer, let alone get on Facebook ! But I have made contact with a lot of relatives that I would not have even 'met' if it wasn't for Facebook.
I will try to get back a little more 'in the grove' here. I am so out of touch with so many of you. Of course, my gardening is not all that much anymore. And diminishes more each year. I do have the utilityroom full of wintering over plants, and lots around the house. Most of them may survive until spring, dispite my neglect. :-(


    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Good Monday evening,

How nice to see a check in from Mary. Sounds like you had a nice family holiday. I'm trying to figure out how old Ivan and Iris must be now. I remember him as a toddler and her as a little baby. Maybe 4 and 6 or so now?

Marie, Sarah's recap on the accident sounds pretty scary. I'm so glad no one was hurt and am hoping that you've recovered by now too.

Has anyone tried the Zahara series of zinnias. I hear they're supposed to much more disease resistant. I think I've grown just about every zinnia but not these. The Benary's Giants really get too big for my garden. Kathy, I wish I had better success with dahlias. They just don't perform well in my garden. I'm thinking not enough sun. There's a man not far from here that grows fields of them and shows them. I went with some friends to see them last fall and they were beautiful.

I spent a couple of hours today on my basement plants. Things are doing pretty well this year. I had a small aphid outbreak right before Christmas but they singled out a variegated brug and my oleander, two bug magnents. I defoliated those two plants and gave them a good bath and that seems to have taken care of them. How are everyone elses indoor plants doing? I did bring up a few things from the basement to enjoy now that it's the dead of winter.

Michelle, I've never been able to sleep with any of the kids. They move around too much, just like you said. I finally gave up my office/computer room all together. That's where Bella sleeps or I put up the pack n play for the babies. All the toys that will fit are in there too. There is some overflow on that front though. Bella calls it her room, which I suppose it is.

I bet that was pretty neat looking through the old catalog. I saved the Toys R Us catalog from this year that Bella spent quite a bit of time going through. She circled everything she liked and then went back and wrote "really" by the things she really wanted, lol.

Marian, that's great that the heaters are helping you out. Hope you and Nolon are continuing to rest and are both feeling stronger. I know you have many interesting plants that you're overwintering. I think you do pretty good on the gardening front. I hope I can do as well at your age.

I get lots of butterflies in my garden. I do grow lots of the plants that they like. Buddleia is one that doesn't usually overwinter well here though. Like Michelle, they might make it through a winter or two but mine never get really large. I love them and wish they would!

I think Chelone needs to get her bil, (isn't he her computer guy?) to set her up with a good popup blocker so she can get back here. As for healthcare, that's the reason Jenni works part time, just enough hours to keep hers since Randy has his own business. It would be expensive otherwise. Megan does pay for hers and David's still covered under ours. We've always been lucky. Auto worker insurance is good.

Woody, I can imagine that your course will be a little intense. Bet you do great getting through it though and that you learn alot.

Jen came over for the afternoon with Kate and Wally . They brought lunch and we ate that together and then played for awhile. We had a really good time.

Michelle, thinking good thoughts for you and your dad tomorrow. My dinner smells like it's done (frozen lasagna) so I'm outa here for now.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 7:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oy! It seems to be the "interjection of the Idyll." I'm behind in reading again! So I've done some skimming and have some scattered comments. I haven't read everything so please don't feel bad if I skip something important.

Most of all, I'm glad that Sarah and family are okay after their accident. How frightening that had to be for Sarah. 'bug, I share her concern about those seats. It seems like plenty of good, attentive parents have issues with those seats. I wonder if there is a design flaw, or if there is a part that they cheapened in the manufacturing process, much like the drop-side cribs? (If you haven't followed the story, drop-side cribs started out just fine, but over the years the locking mechanism for the drop-side was cheapened to either a plastic part or a thinner metal part, and now those mechanisms are failing. The US recently recalled most of those cribs.)

Anyhow, just an awful fright for her but at least all is well.

And if I've skimmed correctly, it sounds like Nolon is doing better. Also glad to hear that!
Oy! It's 8:00 pm and I still have several things to cross off the list. Later,


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 9:08PM
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Quick drive by-I have another day of reprieve from jury duty, have to call in again Tues pm , but it means I won't miss an important meeting at the awfice tomorrow.

Eden , most of the plants I brought in are succulents that are frost tender- I found one that had ants in the soil yesterday so I put it out on the patio and drenched it and then forgot to bring it in . We had temps in the high 20's last night and it looks pretty sad. It�s a Kalanchoe bracteata , one of my faves. I think it will be ok if I cut it back and make sure it isn�t exposed to anymore frost.

Gotta go !


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Hello from white, white Iowa.

I rescheduled my proceedure for later this week as it snowed all day today. The snow is very light and fluffy. The wind is supposed to pick up tonight. I didn't really want to do the prep tonight and then not get to the hospital. My dad's may get postponed depending if the Dr. can get there as he comes from a bigger hospital 50 miles away and if my parents can make it. This weather is getting annoying. We drove up to the cities to meet little Charlie. It wasn't snowing there but we ran into it on the way home. This morning I was nearly involved in an accident on the way to work. There was a car coming very fast down the on ramp. The van ahead of me wasn't moving over for him because the passing lane had very deep snow as the plow hadn't done that lane. I guess the merging guy was assuming that the van automatically had to move over. I knew that something was going to happen. I backed off as much as I could without slamming on the brakes and I wasn't following that close. The merging guy lost control and everything got white. I got past and saw that he had ended up in the ditch. I always fear that someone who's not driving for the conditions will take me out.

I love zinnias but haven't grown the Zahara series. Zinnias do well in my sunny gardens. The seed catalogs have been rolling in but I've not really had time to look them over.

Kathy, its just so hard to believe with our piles of snow that you are pruning roses. I do believe my "gardeners" are pruning mine right now too. (rabbits) Oh, they fertilize them at the same time.

Eden, my indoor plants never look good, but there is comfort in the fact that most of them usually hang in there and really take off once they go outside in the spring. Some do much better than others.

Zinnias from last summer.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 12:07AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wonderful color Michelle! Your near accident sounds all too familiar. UGH! When we were on our way to the Edmonton airport to return home, there were 13 vehicles in the ditches. You might think they would know how to drive safely for the conditions out there, but Sarah tells me it is always the same.

Today may be Debbie Day. Even if she is too nervous about the conditions for getting here, I will be forced to do cleanup...WHICH IS A GOOD THING.

Lots going on here so I haven't looked at any flower/seed catalogs yet. I may try to hold back and join V in the zero purchase program...(ZPP?)

Enjoy your day!

Remembering last June...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 7:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

May I ask that you take an anniversary look at Haiti today? There are fascinating geo views, an amazing story of hope, tonight's 9PM TV program and more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buildingaschool and more....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:10AM
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Would someone (I think it was V.) post another link to the Ad block thing-y, PLEASE? I can't seem to get rid of them and it's driving me nuts.

Also, would someone please link to a filter that will deal with all the damn baby pictures?

Cyn., the worst evacuatory disaster I've been dealt was when Sally consumed the better part of 3lbs. of blood meal left unattended by the helpmeet. I returned home, opened the door, and nearly fell over from the smell. Sally nearly knocked me over in her attempt to get outdoors in time. Poor girl managed to leave most of it in the bathroom (no kidding). I used a squeegee to clean it up. My sympathies!

Best to all, esp. Marian who I've heard has had rather rough go of it with Nolon. I'm sorry to hear that but am glad to learn that it's OK now. How're you liking the gas heat, girlfriend?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 3:29PM
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Well Michelle, at least the right guy ended up in the ditch. Glad it wasn't you. I can never figure out why people want to drive so fast when the roads are slippery. I'm not one to hurry when driving ever. Brad says I drive too slow. He has this thing about keeping up with the other traffic, which I don't do if they're going too fast. I stay in the slow lane though so they can pass me if they want. I guess I drive like an old lady, lol. I've gotten so I really don't like driving at night anymore either. I have a hard time seeing, especially on roads I'm not familiar with.

Oh and Michelle, what a great picture! Love those zinnias and that sedum!

Marie, another beautiful garden photo! It's always hard to remember in January how pretty the gardens were in June. Is the chartreuse plant a Japanese Maple? ZPP sounds really good to me right now but I'm sure that will change once I get into a nursery this spring. I'm seriously rethinking starting any seeds. Since I'm hoping to have more time for intensive gardening than I have in years, I'd like to do quite a bit of redesigning and plant shuffling. Don't need seedlings in that case. The only problem is Bella loves helping with the seeds. Maybe just a few for her.

We've gotten a couple of inches of snow this afternoon. I think we're supposed to end up with around 4" by midnight. This morning was grocery shopping and a trip to the pet store for cat food and bird seed. I'm glad to be home with no reason to go out for the next couple of days.

Hi Chelone! Good to hear from you!

And just to show you I can take photos of subjects other than children...

Houseplants . That's Bella's garden loom you see through the window.

Begonias (That's Art Hodes in the middle, Drema)

And just because I was snapping pictures, a photo of the wreath I made from old sheet music. It was decorated for Christmas but I changed it out to the little ice skate for a January theme.

Have a great evening and stay warm and safe!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 5:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, I love your recycled sheet music!
Indoor plants: I could never photograph mine. They are so near death's door all winter! Too much or too little water or fertilizer I suppose.

Well Debbie Day DID take place and things look much better, in places. Boosts my spirits. In only 2 hours she cleaned up the kitchen, the fireplace room, the guest room and dining room. We shared some Nana talk, driving talk and so on as well. She really should up her prices and I told her so! Gave her the Ravelry web site. Such a wonderful site!

Off to sit by the fire.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ravelry

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 7:55PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I heard a cry for helping coming from the coast of Maine!

Here you go, Chelone. Sorry, but I don't know nuthin' 'bout blockin' babies...

Gone With the V.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adblock Plus

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:49PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Chelone. I tried answering your guestion last night, but lost the post, and wasn't 'up to' trying it again.
We are really enjoying the propane wall panels. Although it has got down in the lower single digits our house has stayed warmer that any other cold winter. I am still rather leary of them, but am hoping to get more comfortable with them. Naturally I am still doing the wood stove. But usually do not add any wood to it during the night.
Nolon is lots better, but still needs another stint. I have recovered from the weird spell that I had. In researching what is commonly called "a nervous breakdown", I think that was what my problem was. One of the causes is stress following a traumatic situation. And I certainly had a traumatic situation!
Hopfully this winter weather will have let up before we have to return to the Heart Doctor.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:33AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had snow overnight - the most we've had so far this winter - only 4-5" though, so not a big deal.

Marian - I forgot to say... It's good to hear that Nolon's procedure went well (it must have been a bit worrisome though!) and that you two are enjoying the heating system.

Eden - the music wreath is interesting - are there instructions for making it somewhere?

I dumped the draft of the maintenance manual I've been working on for the garden into a blog site last week. It needs editing and I'll need to add some more to it later but I won't be able to work on it again until after the course finishes. If you want to take a look at it, check the link below. To read it in the order it is meant to be read, you have to start from the bottom of the list and read up.

Time to work on the next course exercise....

Here is a link that might be useful: Maintenance Manual

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 11:37AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

AARRGGHHHH!!!! I am annoyed. Rant follows.

We have this storage room in the basement that is full of junk. I mean junk. No one here will part with anything. I go down there about once every two or three months and tidy it up as best I can. It stays that way for a coujple of weeks and then people need stuf and pull it all apart.

Now I live in a house full of makles (do you see where this is going?). They are all golf nuts and are going stir crazy in the house this winter. They have decided that they need a golf practice room, with a simulator etc. The only available space is guess where. So they have decided to clean it out. But here's the kicker: they can't part with anything so they rented a storage unit and are schlepping all this C**P over there so they can golf in the storage room. Are they nuts? Am I the only one so blessed????

Have I mentionned how much I hate golf????

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 2:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie: Far better to go to an indoor practice range me thinks! Pay the bucks. NOT IN THE HOUSE! On the way to the place, drop of the C**P at the recycle centre. Pick up flowers for Julie on the way home.(What are makels? blush)

I am impressed by Woody's Maintenance manual. I could never produce this for my place because there are too many areas and not enough time. But I can see where if we ever sell this place, the next folks could study such a site and learn what they need to know. You see Idylls? Woody just "dumped" her efforts on a blog site. HER WORD! It took me ages to make sense of the very same blog site and what it could do and how to go about it. I still don't know much about what it is capable of.

I've started a sweater today for Leo the chunk.:)

DH is off speaking to the town planner about gravel business. Oh joy.... In the meantime, one of our 2 bridges has reopened but the other is still closed, making the trip to town a bit more difficult.

I even miss these on a day like today!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Still not experiencing much success with ad blocker but will fiddle with the filters and see what happens.

Lots of snow today. I was out with Rex at 5AM and there was barely an inch but it was very windy and quite cold. The helpmeet headed out for a couple of important errands about 7:30 and we were up to about 5-6" and lots of blowing. Seems to have pretty much ceased right now but the wind is still strong. I'd say 12+".

I spent a lovely day in the Salon. The stove kept me cozy and I finished up a drapery panel, finished the pickling on the rings that will hang it, and moved on to a slipcover. I cut the deck and back cushions out, made the welting, and adjusted the machine for the fabric I'm using. It was very peaceful watching the snow swirl around the building listening to the classical music program on our local NPR affiliate.

The only thing I don't like about snowy/stormy days in the Salon is that none of the cats come out. I think I may put one of them in the veterinary suitcase and carry them out. They really like hanging out there with me so I figure being put into a suitcase and carried out would be forgiven pretty quickly. (note to self: add a litter box to the lower portion of the bahn and keep some cat chow out there).

Love the music wreath and am glad that Maid Marian is enjoying a less stressful cold snap thanks to propane. That's super! I think of you every time I fill the woodbox or load the stove, you know. Yesterday afternoon I filled the big wheelbarrow with firewood and rolled it into the bahn, knowing that schlepping firewood wouldn't be a much fun in a snowstorm.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Look at the pretty colors on that dandy-lion! And green grass too! We got about 4 inches of snow when all was said and done. Not too bad considering some of the Northeast Idyllers are reporting 2 ft. of it over on FB. I'm happy just to be able to stay in. I'm really noticing results from my organizing efforts of the last couple weeks. Still plenty to do but things are starting to come together and I'm feeling good about what I've accomplished so far.

Julie, I'd be glad just to have the junk out of the house and my sight and off to storage. Setting up the golf simulator sounds like something Brad and David would think up. My guys switch over from golf to racquetball for the winter.

Woody, I really enjoyed reading your blog. A wealth of information there. I'm going to go back and read more later. So interesting! Thanks for sharing it!

I'm linking a tutorial for the wreath. I didn't use the foam base they show for mine. Just a ring of sturdy cardboard that I cut from a shipping box I found in the basement. It was a zero money craft. I had fun making quite a few different Christmas decorations from things I already had around the house this year.

Bella and Julia will be here Friday evening and Bella will come back Saturday after attending a birthday party and spend the rest of the weekend My organizing has me behind on the every day chores around here that I need to get done before then. Laundry and vacuuming are scheduled for this evening and tomorrow. What fun!


Here is a link that might be useful: Sheet Music Wreath

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 4:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - thanks for the link to the wreath instructions. I've save that link - the wreath would be a neat thing to do with some of Randy's old music.

GB - Remember when GW changed things a few years ago and we scattered to various other sites? The one I went to gave everybody a Wordpress account to try out. I played around with it then and realized I didn't have a blog personality, so dropped it. When I was thinking of putting the manual on a blog, I went back to Wordpress on the assumption that it would be easier because I had some familiarity with it. I remember it as easier than it was when I tried to put in the manual...! I never figured out how to do some basic things and just gave up because the finer details of formatting really didn't concern me. I do wonder if the Microsoft/Windows blog might be easier because presumably it might accept material from Word without as many issues. I should have tried that, but I went with what I had at least played with before. I probably wouldn't have been able to help you much - the blind leading the blind...!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 6:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, the rest of the world seems to love Wordpress, so I figured there's be plenty of people to help me out, Woody.

Dinner is done. Good pork chops and a Moroccan rice with spinach salad. We've had so much chicken lately I can't look at it for a while. No meat at all would be fine with me!

Ad blocker was a not doing much for me at first, but now it seems better. But I didn't have the same issues you seem to have had Chelone.

Today we had the snow plow visit. The snow wasn't very deep, but it is good to have the lane way cleared. Phoebe just loves to romp in the white stuff. She rolls in it too.

DD & DSIL may be buying a new (used) car this evening. They called for a carry over loan in case they snap it up before the insurance money comes through on the former vehicle. The one they located sounds too good to be true. We'll see what they discover when they see it. Next week is Skyler's week with them, so a second vehicle will be needed.

Off to knit.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 7:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm overwhelmed today.
There's just too much on my mind: Brisbaine flooding, alcohol addiction of a friend, local politics, a friend's job insecurities, my children and their difficulties and much more.

There is always hope though I guess. One story from Haiti helps me and that is of the Marche en Fer. You see, this story brings together several things for me.
First my Mom who passed away in 2005. She taught art history at the University of Buffalo. She loved art through the ages and architecture of churches and other structures inspired her. So to see the rebuilding of Europe with her after the War was exciting. She loved seeing cranes at work everywhere, buildings being sandblasted, rebuilt or begun from scratch. And so this amazing structure being restored to standards even better than before would delight her.

OK, if that doesn't bring tears to my eyes, then there's the Nigeria connection. I lived near Umuahia before the Biafran War. Now people world wide often ask the meaning of town names. (Like Buffalo New York. Is it French? Is it Native American?) Well Umuahia means "It's the market" in the Igbo language. Imagine some colonialist asking the name of the town with hand gestures and getting "Umuahia" as the reply. Makes me smile. And also worldwide, the answer is repeated, because communities are so frequently established around the marketplace.

And so some peace settles on me in reading about the Marche en Fer, connecting Mom and my 1960s experiences...and hope. Yet, my Nigerian friend still has nightmares, my son tries to overcome pettiness in working for his Haitian School, my neighbors continue to deal with politicians who disregard their health and homes, my family marches on trying to find happiness in the face of things. And that is life.

My father's last words to me were a translation from a beautiful dark poem, Ballad of an outer life, which is much like today's pensive mood.


Here is a link that might be useful: Marche en Fer

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 1:58PM
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Good evening my friends.. almost Friday ! It has rained off and on all day today, but it�s not a very cold storm so at least it feels warm in the house. I've spent the last couple of days at the garden center (the awfice garden center ) working on setting up some of our spring buys. We now have a really nice seed starting section (we carry Renee's, Seeds of Change , and another whose name escapes me at the moment. ) and I'm really pleased with the product selection and how the merchandising turned out. I'm pooped though !

�bug, I live in a flood prone area (you can't get a mortgage here without food insurance) but the Brisbane floods are just way beyond what we experience here. I feel so badly for those folks. I have also been listening to NPR�s radio reports from Haiti , and am disturbed by the pending deportation issue here in the US.

Chelone, you will prevail over the ad-blocker.

Ok, I have to eat some dinner and then put my feet up for awhile. Waves !

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 10:27PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Hi all. In typical Vancouver in winter fashion it snowed here yesterday, and was -3 celsius. Then rained it all away last night, and was +5 today. Leah liked the snow day lots. We walk-slid all over the place. At least I did. It pays to have 4 legs in snow.

I'm over the half way mark on my book. I wish it only took me 4 months to write one, like it does other writers. Oh well, at least I've been writing every day.

Julie I've never made risotto. I read that you can make a quick one that works well, with a pressure cooker. I use my pressure cooker for all sorts of things, so I think I'll try that first.

I hope the lumber doesn't live in your livingroom for long. My DH's projects sometimes takes years longer than anticipated.

Marian I'm glad you didn't have a TIA. My 2nd youngest sister had a TIA and that scared the heck out of us. If it were a nervous breakdown, I'm not at all surprised. You had quite a shock and no real warning that it would be this bad, for Nolon. I'm glad you had your SIL there with you.

Most of my family knows how to use the Facebook, except me. They have more friends they talk to. I think it's for family and friends, where as the GW format is more for strangers with a common interest who become friends. Is that a fair description? A lot of the younger set instant message or live chat in a large group. I wonder if that would work for a group like ours. But then what about pictures? I enjoy seeing all the kids' pics and reading back a few days, etc. I really don't know enough about this stuff, though I'm willing to learn.

So far this format works well for me, as I open the GW page, and then open a second GW page, or a word or excel page, side by side and compose my response right beside the person I'm responding to. That means I can do it and don't have to rely on memory. Plus I don't have to scroll down to the bottom until I've finished talking to everyone. I save that post to either word or excel if it's late, which it often is, so I can finish writing the next day. Plus I don't lose posts that way. I hate losing posts!

Norma, I too remember Wyatt when he was tot. The years just move so quickly. I recommend writing down about good moments, and lots of pictures, and lots of home movies. Capture those memories any way you can. A belated Happy Birthday to him.

Kathy, have you ever sold anything on craigslist? Maybe you could sell your dining set that way. We got a lot of response for some furniture pieces we sold.

We all need down time. Sometimes it's evening before I get to my list. I guess I just need to ruminate sometimes. Or read...

I get the runny nose when it gets cold out, but I live with it, as I need to walk Leah lots. I need to keep up the walking so when I walk a bunch of dogs I can go for a long time.

Sometimes when I grumble about my family and realize I still think about my stuff, I feel like a whiny wimp. I know that other people live in the moment and find life fulfilling enough so they have left the past back there, but I get caught up in bad feelings that started back then. I think it will take my whole life to not feel badly about things, as often. Or to learn to live with what I am as a result of my past. I go for weeks without feeling down about my life, then something reminds me of my difficulties and I'm right back in it again. If I could feel that I'm making progress in at least moving forward in some of my goals, then maybe I'd feel okay for longer. I am trying with my exercise, and writing and beading regimen.

I am trying to add business and money goals too, as a lot of the reason I feel trapped is that our finances are so on the whim of the economy. I want to build businesses that overlap so that they are less prone to being shut down by a capricious nature of the economy. I figure having several small grass roots businesses coupled with our ongoing construction business, will see us through tough times.

With that in mind, today my business goal is to put up posters for my pet services business. I hope to sell necklaces too and still am keeping in mind the suggestions from here. I am determined to get our finances on a more even keel, no matter what!

Eden I though Kate looked so cute with her painted nails. Of course you know what's going to happen, don't you. Now she'll want to get a manicure and pedicure for every special occasion. ;) I'm sort of kidding. My DD loves to get the hair and nails treatment when she can. I don't do stuff like that, so I don't know where she got it from, but she always looks very nice, and I do love the french manicure that she favours.

I once called the head of horticulture here in Vancouver BC, about buddleia, and was told it is a 'medium' invasive. Even though he said if I contained it that would help with the spreading, I decided at that time not to grow them. They are everywhere here, now so I'm back to wanting one for its good flowering and attracting of butterflies.

I hope your reno is going well. I wish I could do the kitchen. We are still waiting to put a new counter on. We have a temporary counter top for now. Our countertop tiles were completely broken. It was a retro style, well really it was so old it was new again, in yellow and black tiles.

Mmmm pecan waffles. I don't have pecans, but I do have walnuts and real maple syrup. Now I have a craving. We can't afford to go out, but my DH is a great breakfast chef.

Pretty indoor plant setup there. Not many plants indoors here at all. I've even been neglecting my lucky bamboo, which I've had for 10 years. I guess I'd better water everything. I do need to winter sow, as I know it will save money, but this year there's no money for extras, like seeds.

Love the music wreath. It's cool that it can change with the seasons. I looked up how to make a wreath of old christmas cards and found a few ideas that I liked. One was where the card fronts were cut up to look like holly leaves. I thought that one was cool.

Michelle I've got most of the plants on your list, except zinnias. After seeing the pics here, and on the net, I'm definitely going to take a look at those. Oh and fennel. I love fennel, and I'll definitely try to grow that!

Thanks for the recipe. I found sugar free pretzels so I'll give it a try.

Our kids hardly ever slept in our bed. I don't know why. It was not a strict rule. I think it's mostly because they slept so well at night. That's not the case now. Everyone in the family has trouble sleeping except DH.

No popcorn ceilings here. All the ceilings on the main floor are plaster and lathe, another retro item. This house is old and needs a new coat of everything including new insulation and stucco. Except the roof. A new roof was put on 2 years ago.

GB the 70th birthday surprise sounds great. I really enjoyed seeing last June. My garden doesn't ever look that nice. I seem to lose too many plants due to stingy watering, and unexpected cold and snow. I keep trying to have a layered effect, but my layers never come to fruition. Not that I don't keep trying. I love gardening too much to give up, even if it's difficult.

I try to remain positive about the never dying Dandy Lion. I remind myself that it is a good salad vegetable and a good tea. In other words I can kill the thing by eating and drinking it.

I'm sorry you see too much trouble right now. It is so difficult, especially when it comes at you from all sides. I'm glad you have a way to take the pressure off.

Different things work for different people, I guess. I try to count the good things when that happens. I don't know why some of us take it all upon ourselves to worry and others seem to slough it off so easily. I really have to work at it to feel happy, as I can't change everything, much as I'd like to. I like to say, in my head to myself, so the men in the white coats don't come;) that I forgive myself for not being able to help so and so, but I'm sending them love if I can't just hug them and say I love them at the time. Happy Debbie Day btw.

Woody congrats on learning about CAD. I haven't tested myself lately on learning new stuff, but if I did, I think I'd learn accounting. I'd love to master numbers and make them my friends.

DH who uses CAD for computer programming for his software design and for architectural, for the construction co, says that there is a learning curve, but there are also lots of add ons for any kind of software so you can do what you want. He says that there are limits to what it does, but that it is still very useful and then he has to fill in parts by hand.

Not a blogger here either, though I do wonder if I should be blogging about beading. Maybe I shoud check into it.

Mary glad to see you had a nice time even on school nights with the family.

What zinnias are you trying? I have to get ideas for what to buy. I want lots of colour in my garden this year, as last year a bunch of stuff didn't give a good show.

Julie rant away. I hope you rant at them too. And refuse to help them in their madness. My DH, Richea, likes to ride motorcycles. I hate motorcycles. Oh I know they're supposed to be fun, but I know too many people who ended up close to being a skid mark. That kind of fun is not fun to me. I support him in his love of dirt biking, which is what he does on his motorcycle, but I refuse to scrape him off the trail or road, and take him to the hospital, and he knows it! He'll just have to hitch hike. I'll go home and have a nice cupa. Do I sound like I hate dirt biking. Nah, not at all. ;)

I hope the lumber doesn't live in your livingroom for long. My DH is Mister Procrastimannnn, even though he's also a master carpenter ;). He's very good in all forms of carpentry. Of course we're the carpenter's family, with no repairs done, just like the cobbler's family with no shoes.

Chelone sorry about your blowy snow day, but I'll share some of your fire. That's what I miss about the childhood home, the fire on cold winter days. Maybe you could build a covered greenhouse walk way for the cats. That's one of my garden fantasies. Every time I'd go out to the car, I have to walk through the greenhouse all winter. I'd have to go toward the car an hour early, so I'd get where ever I'm going on time. How far is the Salon from the main house on the compound?

Do we use the 'D'(og) word for Rex, or is he a "Human Being" as the Cheyenne or Tse-tsehese-staestse call themselves. I just wondered as you hate dogs. ;) (P.S. just kidding around.)

The sedum wreath was supposed to be for GB's gift ideas. I meant to say that I like the idea of home made or home grown gifts. I love giving stuff that I've made and I love the idea of sedum wreath. I wish I could figure out a way to make it easier for those who forget to water, though. Maybe gift a spray bottle or my time once a week to water the thing during the season.

I also love making and gifting away my necklaces. I'm working on belt buckles for men, too so I have something for the men. Most won't wear a man's style necklace even. For kids I'll write them a story and give them a kid friendly necklace or beaded slippers or something like that. I'd better get going on that for next xmas. I was tempted to try my hand at knitting, and mixing in my beads, but I'd have to relearn how to knit again.


Here is a link that might be useful: Holiday Card Wreath

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 3:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yeona, I post a lot more pictures on Facebook than I ever posted on here, and it it so much easier. All I have to do is click on "Photo" , and it takes me to a link that opens my documents. I can pick anything I want to from there, and it is free ! As for who all I have on there as 'friends', I do have a lot of my relatives, and people that I already knew, but I have lots more that I met only on Facebook. I have become very close to a lot of them. Most of them are members of the same faith as I am.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 7:19PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ah...a three day weekend. Lovely.

Have enjoyed all the posts. Glad everyone is okay, 'bug. Very scary accident and especially the seat and carseat issues. Wow.

Chelone, too funny that poor Sally managed to make clean-up easy for you. I will discuss that with Clouseau and let him know that expect him to follow suit should he experience another episode like the last.

Eden, I love that wreath. Very cool-our neighbor is a professor of Music at Georgetown. Maybe I will try one as a gift for him next year.

So nice to see pictures of flowers-gives one hope. At this point, since we have been skipped over by the snow gods, I am ready for Spring to arrive. Can't see any point in all this cold weather if we don't have snow!

Love the story of Kenzie sharing the pillow. So sweet.

I did read all the posts. Feeling a tad jealous of Kathy. :)

We had a fun surprise between Christmas and New Year's. My son's half sister found him and emailed. I haven't seen her since she was about nine years old. First husband had her when he was 16 and I wanted her to live with us when we were married. Long story, but his family completely rejected her. Pretty much the same happened to John when we divorced. She is now 42 and she and John are emailing and talking on the phone. She is coming to visit near the end of February. I can't wait. I'm a little nervous because I think she has been looking all her life for acceptance and a place to fit in. Her grandparents raised her, so she grew up knowing neither parent really cared about her as a parent should. I'm afraid she has built me up a little too much-she remembers that I "was so kind" to her when she was little. Really hoping I don't disappoint her! Also, I hope she and John can both fill those little holes now, but not feel pressured or overwhelmed by it all. What a gift for all of us. Despite the nerves, I'm feeling so happy to have her back in our lives (actually, she and John never met-he's 11 years younger and we left when he was only one).

Waving to all my friends. I'll be back later in the weekend. Looking forward to football playoffs and chili with some school work and cleaning/organizing thrown in here and there (yes, I KNOW I should be done with the organizing by now-oh well). Virtual hugs...

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 9:32PM
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Sun again to day, and a mild weekend on the agenda. Fingers crossed that more rose pruning will be accomplished. We have entered into the fog season, with overnight dense fog and hazy days with temps in 40's as lows and the 60's as highs. 60's sounds pretty good, but I know if they materialize it will be for maybe 2 hours tops in the late afternoon. Not bad though, I will look forward to even an hour outside in the 60's.

I'm posting a link for Yeona too look at; it's French and loads really slow for me , but the jewelry ! I don't wear jewelry anymore , but I thought this stuff was so unique and beautiful. Yeona, Marian's right, it's easy to post photos on FB. I have very stringent privacy settings there, but I really enjoy being able to interact with Idylls that don't post much here anymore, and yet are on FB daily. I still love this format though, more in-depth.

All for tonight !

Kathy in Napa

Here is a link that might be useful: Jewelry

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:36PM
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I love jewelry and wish I had more creativity to make it. I've dabbled a little bit but I'm not original. Kathy's link is beautiful jewelry for gardeners.

Yeona, Fine Gardening's latest issue shows succelent topiarys in a cone shape that look really cool too.

Woody, your maintenance manual is quite the undertaking and very interesting.

Eden, very neat wreath and wow your indoor plants are looking good.

'bug, great spring picture. I've never had luck with primulas but they do make a nice spring display.

I'm really liking my new laptop, especially the slot to insert the memory card from my camera. No more searching for the camera cord. I haven't figured out yet how it just upload only new pictures. I have been uploading my pictures to Facebook and then linking them over here. Enabling me to share at both sites.

I'm really struggling with rabbit damage this year. So I went out with some Liquid Fence the other day to see if that will help. I have way too many shrubs to begin caging.

Since it was Rick's birthday yesterday, his family will be coming over tomorrow for a get together. I guess I need to get this place cleaned up and some food made. One of the things I'm making made me think of Kathy. Its Napa Valley Chicken Salad. It has grapes in it along with walnuts or pecans. I'm sure the kids won't go for it, but i will have ham sandwiches as well.

Have a great Saturday - I love Saturdays!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:25AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Big curry dinner on the agenda here tonight. Blues' 'parents' are coming. (Blue will be here again for all of February and the first week of March... He's sort of the second dog in our family :-))

Yesterday Barb and Naznin were here. We made two curries, partly to add to our supply for dinner tonight and partly so Naznin could take some to her mother. Her mother is in a LTC (long term care) home in Mississauga and misses home-cooked curry. I was a bit nervous cooking for her because Naznin says she was a very good cook. Naznin e-mailed last night to say her mother liked the curries, and 'was surprised how well she (me) cooks Indian food'! I think that's a complement....:-)

Dinner menu for tonight includes popadums, samosas and onion bahjis to start, 4 curries (two chicken ones, a beef one and a mushroom one), Basmati rice, unleavened naan (quick and easy to make so can be timed to be hot out of the oven just before serving) and lemon pudding cake for dessert. The biggest failing of Indian cuisine in my books is that I have yet to find an Indian dessert that I like...!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 10:56AM
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Still no luck with the filters and I'm discouraged but in the big picture... pretty small potatoes!

I want to be at Woody's for dinner tonight. :) Sounds fabulous.

Crystal clear and cold here. But it's supposed to cloud up later today and remain cold for the next few days. We ended up with 16+" of snow from the last storm and that's really put the kibosh on pre-sunrise Compound Cruises with that fool dog. I trudge the predetermined circuit graciously provided by the helpmeet and the snowblower and Rex either stays on track or forges boldly ahead blazing his own trail through the snow. The cats are justifiably cautious outdoors but Daddy has cleared the way to their elevated walkways so they are not completely devoid of escape routes. They spend a lot of time on the deck, broadside to the sun, fully "puffed" and perfectly content to "be out".

Cat box activity remains high. I'm on the thrice daily scoop routine and have been for some weeks now. ;)

I've addressed the immediate need for privacy in the Salon. Finally! I have completed a two panel treatment for the triple mullion that faces due south ("full screen" for anyone driving north on our road) and a single panel treatment for the westerly oriented window that is visible from the inside the house. I decided to use what I had "on hand" to accomplish the feat, turning a "raw canvas" sow's ear into something that isn't too homely with the addition of appliqued tourquoise accent banding on both vertical edges and the lower horizontal edge, and appliqued accents below the ringed heading. I used rings I already had on hand (and yes, I pickled them to match the woodwork!) and while it's not my "vision", it's gets the job done and I no longer feel as though I'm in an aquarium when the sun sets.

Presently, I'm working on slipcovers. I'm focused on getting the 3 mismatched chairs that presently surround the Salon's stove slipcovered to bring a sense of unity and cohesiveness to the seating area. Again, I'm determined to use fabric "on hand" as much as possible. I have always liked the fabric I'm presently using (been toting it around for nigh on 30 yrs. now!!) and am determined to work within its palette for the remaining two chairs, which shouldn't be too hard. If nothing, I'm "good with color" and much of my "stash" is classic in palette or neutral enough to provide gracious segues to other avenues.

I have so many pictures in my camera I cringe at attempting to get them organized, but at least I have them, right?

Yeona, I have to go out and shovel what remains of the oldest stack of firewood. I don't "feel like it" but it won't be that bad and the fool dog will have a good time outdoors while I toil away. I hate dogs... they have all the fun and we do all the work. ... better kick him at least once to vent my frustration, right?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:06PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - you need to get some salon pictures out of the camera and up on this thread!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:33PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I agree with Woody, Chelone! Would love to see pictures. I am terribly envious of your talents. I might (not really) be able to sew curtain panels, but they would be panels of plain material with a hem and a pocket at the top and the seams would no doubt be crooked. Can't imagine the skill needed for slipcovers.

Kathy, that jewelry link has some cool pieces-more like sculpture than jewelry! Still envying your mild weather!

Michelle, I'll be interested to hear how the Liquid Fence works. I have read good things on GW about that and I have a bad feeling about the deer and my gardens out front this spring.

Wishing I had been at Woody's for her curry dinner last night and at Michelle's for chicken salad today-yum!

SO happy that the Packers won last night.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 10:27AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

SO happy that the Bears won today. And they will put the Packers in their place next weekend. Okay, 'nuff talking smack.

I loved that in the French blog, she describes herself as "passionated by all gardens". I like the word passionated and want to make it a real word.

Not a whole lot new here in this part of the world. We've been measuring our snow here in fractions of inches, not feet, and that's just fine with me. But we are as lacking in sunshine as we are in snow, and I sure wish that would change.

Work has been very lackluster. We're really down to a skeleton staff. And the general morale is pretty lacking. There's a couple of really key actions that need to be completed by others that keep being delayed. Yes, I'm trying to be a bit oblique here. But I'm starting to wonder if they will happen. No warm, fuzzy feelings on the work front right now.

I'll admit also that I don't like to keep harping on this, but it's also a big part of life right now. So I've been somewhat slow to post.

What I have been enjoying is my chickens and my photo project. I'm trying to do a photo a day for the year. I started late on the 5th of the month, but so far am keeping up and enjoying it. It's forcing me to work on my skills in that area. And the chickens are doing just fine with the cold weather. Egg production has continued strong, and the eggs all but sell themselves. At the moment, my eggs through Tuesday or Wednesday are committed. Hmm, wonder how many dozen I have to sell to replace my salary? OK, the fast answer is about 24 times what I'm selling now. Not enough chickens...

Time to scrounge up a light dinner. We had lunch out as we watched the Bears game, so we don't need a big dinner. I will promise a brighter post next time!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 9:11PM
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I retired to the boudoir very early last night, unable to face the prospect of yet more football. I loathe the game, it's tediously slow and the the deaf ol' helpmeet always has the volume too high. I don't give a -hit who wins any of the games and I wish the damn Superbowl was last night. :)

My slipcover is coming along nicely. If I didn't have to tear myself away and go to Dirtyland I could finish it this morning. I've encountered a few technical glitches here and there with my new machine... mostly adjustments to things like the feed mechanism when moving from one set of feet to another, but have managed to address them with a minimum of head scratching and a few favorite swears.

Very cold this morning when the huge one and I were outside this morning and it's supposed to be that way for the rest of the day. Dirtyland will also be very cold. I hear you on how depressing work can be, V.. T minus 7 hrs. and counting and it will all be over for another 24 hrs.!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 5:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Minus 7.6F here Chelone, but sun. Supposed to have freezing rain tomorrow....

Today? Finish my knitting, then Book Club this evening, I suppose interspersed with housework.

Some June color:

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 8:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Perhaps you would enjoy some photos (13) and an article from today's news about my neighbors.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Mennonite way

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:41AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

V, sorry about your work situation. I say, give those hens a pep talk! I suspect you are right about the Bears next week. That is okay by me. I would be happy to see them go to the Superbowl! I will, however, be wearing my Cheesehead hat (old original) during at least part of the playoff game. :)

Nice article 'bug. Also meant to tell you that in the last picture of Ivy in the snow series witth dad, she looks like a big girl, not the wee babe she is! I love that picture. Thanks also for the lilies-we all need that about now, don't we?

Chelone, your DH is welcome to travel down here for the Super Bowl. I am slightly more rabid than my DH (he prefers college games), but he would fit right in, I suspect and you could have some peace and quiet~;)

All that organizing I planned? Haven't done it, so today is my last chance to salvage my honor. Later all.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Today was a warm one in the midst of several very cold ones. Of course the form of precip today was freezing rain. Fortunately we didn't get much and the roads remained decent. The sun failed to make an appearance. We have had a decent amount of sun lately and my amaryllis took it all in and started blooming today. I picked it up on clearance shortly before Christmas.

I enjoyed the b&w pictures of the boys 'bug. Thanks for the lovely lilies.

I'm not a football fan either, actually not much in the sports world interests me. I stay semi-knowlegable because of those around me. My daughter was a huge Packers fan when she was younger. She loves sports. My son on the other hand is just like me.

Sorry work is so crappy for you gals lately. I really enjoy my job, get adequate appreciation and have great surroundings. I guess its about as good as work can get. I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying I love it, but I get satisfaction out of the fact that I'm good at it. It's a rapidly changing industry and my company is quite progressive so there's always something new happening.

Well almost 9:00 which is my time to go on the treadmill and watch PBS which shows some kind of gardening show each night at 9. Not that I haven't seen them all but it's still nice to see the color.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 9:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For Wrecks: see below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Eat your heart out Rex

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:31PM
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Evenin Idylls�

We had a beautiful weekend and I got several more of the roses pruned. If next weekend is dry I may be able to start on the climbers which always takes forever. I SP�d 2 declining roses and have plans for the demise of 3 more. I have another I want to move, but it�s a big one so it remains to be seen if it survives . I�ve always had pretty good luck moving roses around. I also placed my Swan Island Dahlia order � I won�t be able to do my concrete removal project til fall (budget :-) so I decided to plant an extremely garish front yard Dahlia display in last years pathetic Zinnia area. I ordered every color of the rainbow.

Lol Chelone, I don�t think I�ve watched a single football game in five years , but I religiously place a bet (a modest 25 $ ) on the SuperBowl. I turn the game on with no volume while I pursue other activities, and keep track of my gambling progress (or lack thereof) in the pool. So is one of your slip covered chairs that fabulous number you had by your computer desk in the house ? What a great chair. Wish I�d had the presence of mind to take a pic of it .

Cyn, don�t feel bad about your organizational failure..if you saw my garage !!! I have given myself a drop-dead date of May 1st to have it purged. However I �m not sure what punishment I�m going to inflict upon myself if it isn�t done. I think self flagellation is out of vogue.

How about some pics from IU 6 ?

Idylls in Maine From Idyllunion 6 July 2009 From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

The majestic Rex From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

White Flower Farm From Idyllunion 6 July 2009 From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Dreams of summer !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 10:32PM
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Today was a warm one in the midst of several very cold ones. Of course the form of precip today was freezing rain. Fortunately we didn't get much and the roads remained decent. The sun failed to make an appearance. We have had a decent amount of sun lately and my amaryllis took it all in and started blooming today. I picked it up on clearance shortly before Christmas.

I enjoyed the b&w pictures of the boys 'bug. Thanks for the lovely lilies.

I'm not a football fan either, actually not much in the sports world interests me. I stay semi-knowlegable because of those around me. My daughter was a huge Packers fan when she was younger. She loves sports. My son on the other hand is just like me.

Sorry work is so crappy for you gals lately. I really enjoy my job, get adequate appreciation and have great surroundings. I guess its about as good as work can get. I'm not sure I'd go as far as saying I love it, but I get satisfaction out of the fact that I'm good at it. It's a rapidly changing industry and my company is quite progressive so there's always something new happening.

Well almost 9:00 which is my time to go on the treadmill and watch PBS which shows some kind of gardening show each night at 9. Not that I haven't seen them all but it's still nice to see the color.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:16PM
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Dreams of summer - indeed! Lovely!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 11:32PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks for the link to France. Beautiful. If a flower can't bloom and grow on a stem, let it bloom and grow on a necklace. Hi to everyone. I'm enjoying the pics and drooling over Dreams of summer. Thanks again.

It's the witching hour here, and I must try to sleep. Yesterday it was 3:30 a.m. before I drifted off, and 8:30 a.m. when I awoke. I hope to have great success falling asleep quickly and staying asleep for 7 to 8 hours.

Thinking of everyone,
Gooooodnight Idylls


Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Whole-New-Wardrobe-by-Recycling-Your-Clothes

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 3:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

March 15, 2010

You see? Not too far off!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:01AM
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