#351- Thinking SOUP!

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)January 30, 2008

I've been dealing with a roast chicken carcass. No recipe, just chicken/noodle soup. Photo tomorrow.

The temperature is 12F and the winds are 60mph...yet the sun is trying to peek through at times. I sure hope the groundhog chooses wisely on Feb 1st and turns right back into his den!

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The poor birds are being blown about.

I've been invited to bring my camera when we go visit puppies. Neat! The weather is supposed to be above 32F then, but I don't really trust the forecasters so far in advance.

V, good for you on the environmental aspect of your workplace. Just the stuff that makes a difference when others notice. But what's with that bunch of emotionally unsupportive people at your office? How can they be so dull with you around? It's even irritating moi!

Another editing job awaits...

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Oops, sorry! I was so busy reading a "plum fergot all about" the number of posts.

Bad, very, VERY bad!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 5:09PM
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I was getting the mail this afternoon when I got home from the office and noticed that the tulips are breaking ground in the front yard-an exciting development ! I will take Thur and Fri off , among my duties, coat #2 where needed in bathroom, DSs room painted, info gathered for my tax lady, haircut, etc etc etc. Never ending.

Âbug, you Canadian folk are made of strong stuff . DonÂt think I could manage to get from the warmth of indoors into the hot tub wearing scanty attire in the sort of temps you describe. I feel wimpier than ever !

Chelone, Welcome to the world of the labor-free garage door ! Does your local paint merchant have a line that allows you to buy a sample of any color for a few bucks? Usuallly you can paint about a two sq. ft spot with it to see what it looks like in your setting. Could you do that with the wall color to get a comparison with your ceiling paint?

I bought a square in my bosses Super Bowl pool , so Sunday IÂll have the game on (no sound) for score tracking. I hope to make up 2007 sports betting losses. Yeah-right.

Well, thatÂs all for today, hope everyone is warm, cozy and pondering soup !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 8:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Soup - it would have been nice to have a warm bowl of soup to dunk my toesies into this morning. DH took my car on a snowmobiling trip, and little zippy car does not hold up as well to the bitter cold. When I got to the office, the toes needed a little massaging to return to normal!

Over the weekend, Mystic spotted a mouse zipping behind our fireplace. DH immediately shoved some bait into the small opening behind the fireplace, but Mystic has spent the last four days doing this:

He will stand there for several minutes, just watching and waiting. So far, Mr. Mouse had not made a reappearance. By the way, the two plants on the side of the photo are my bay laurel and my split leaf philodendron. The bay laurel was about four inches tall when I first bought it.

Just spent 15 minutes trying to add another photo, but things are not cooperating. I suspect the main thing causing problems is my brain.



    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 11:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

I am still up to my eyeballs in computer chores but didn't want to forget to post the soup photo and recipe. I've been reading Superfoods Rx and beans are high on their list of superfoods. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy beans.

Low Fat Chili Recipe

Soak 2c your favorite beans overnight, drain, rinse
I used 1c black and 1 cup of kidney
Cook beans 1.5 hrs, drain
1 Tb olive oil, saute 3 cloves garlic pressed and 1 onion chopped
Add cooked beans, a large can of crushed tomatoes, 3/4 can of water added
Chili Powder and/ or Chopped hot chili peppers chopped
Simmer for 1 hr
Add 3 peppers cut up
Cook for 30 mins more
Add leftover cooked chicken cut into chunks
Bring to a simmer then serve
Serve w low shredded fat mozarella, or low fat sour cream

I typed up the recipe quickly so I hope I covered everything. Looking forward to finding a new soup recipe.

Have a great day... :-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 7:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Cold Morning! Clear sunny skies here so far, yet the weather folks are flashing 'storm watch' on my screen. Maybe they meant 'soup watch'?

OK, here's mine, chicken noodle soup. No recipe really, just the meat from the leftover roast chicken, the broth, carrots, noodles, pepper, onions. It was good on a winter's day!

And here's another recent photo I like...taken by DSIL.

Time to begin my day now, but I'll return to check out your SOUPS!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:04AM
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Oooohhhhh, this is going to be fun....I love chili and am copying recipes :)

I don't have much time to comment....I've been up to my eyeballs in taxes. Time to check with the accountant and make sure I covered all the bases....he sure does make a lot of money just to "check and see" but I like the reassurance this first year....

I made Tortilla Soup....but I forgot to buy tortillas :) I came up with the recipe out of the air....it's sort of my base for every broth soup, just edit/add veggies.

-Cook 3-4 chicken breasts in stock (or water with an onion and bay leaf) the way you do for chicken salad....shred/chop for soup when it's done.
-Dice an onion, some celery, and carrots and sweat (in olive oil) in large pot.
-Add cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and a bay leaf and allow it to sweat with the veggies for a minute or two to bring out the flavors.
-Add one can of Rotel tomaotes (in with canned tomatoes at the grocer - it has green chiles and tomatoes all in one can).
-Add 2 cans of rinsed black beans.
-Cover with low sodium, fat free chicken broth (I used one box and then filled the box with water for enough liquid - you can also use the water/stock from cooking the chicken).
-Add shredded chicken.
-Simmer until everything is HOT!
-I like to serve over corn tortillas that I cut into strips and bake in the oven until crisp but I used Fritos (easy to pick up at the convenience store!). Cheese and sour cream are good, too! I cut out the fat in the soup because I like full fat dairy :)
It takes a total of about 30 minutes if you sweat the veggies while the chicken is cooking. I add salt to taste as I cook.

Is that clear as mud?


hope to check in later today!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'd better post my contribution to this thread while I can. We are getting snow,(which followed sleet and ice), and are predicted to have up to 10+ inches !

My soup is made from the left-over pinto beans which were cooked with ham hocks. I removed all the bones, skin and fat before making the soup. I brown a lb of hamburger in a skillet along with a large chopped onion, about a cup of chopped celery, about a cup of chopped green bell peppers ( from my freezer). When browned and the vegs softened, I add a large can of tomatoes ( I prefer the small cubed ones), a can of tomatoes with green chilies, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, chili power to taste,( sometimes I add a dash of garlic powder,and maybe a drop of hot pepper sauce), and black pepper. I add all this to the pot of left-over beans and cook on low heat until all is well blended.

I add some milk to my bowl before eating (but no crackers)...Nolon adds crackers.

I am hoping I have not goofed in not taking Nolon to the doctor before this winter storm hit! He has been wheezing a lot more than ususal, and coughing more often. I certainly hope it is 'only' the emphysema, and not something that may need additional attention. We will NOT be able to get out of here for several days !

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh YUM! A fun thread on this cold day. I'm glad you have hot soup for the days ahead Marian!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Machine Shed Potato Soup, potato soup is just unphotogenic! Not nearly as colorful as Saucys! 'bug I love the bowl you have yours in. Is it Sorrento? I have several of the serving pieces.

The Machine Shed's Baked Potato Soup

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 1/2 Pounds baby red potatoes -- quartered
1/2 Pound raw bacon -- diced
1 jumbo yellow onion -- diced
1/4 Bunch celery -- diced
1 Quart milk
1 Quart water
2 Tablespoons chicken base
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon black pepper
3/4 Cup margarine (about) -- (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 Cup flour (about)
1/4 Bunch parsley -- chopped
1 Cup whipping cream
Shredded Colby cheese -- fried bacon bits
and/or chopped green onions for garnish
Boil potatoes in water to cover 1 minute. Drain; set aside.
In large, heavy pot, saute bacon, onions and celery over medium-high heat
until celery is tender. Drain grease and return bacon, onions and celery to
Add milk, water, chicken base, salt and pepper. Heat over medium-high heat
until very hot but do not let soup boil.
In heavy, large saucepan over low heat, melt margarine. Stir in flour to make
a roux. Mix well and let bubble, stirring 1 minute. If desired, a larger
amount of roux can be made to produce a thicker soup.
Gradually add roux to soup, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, stirring,
until thick and creamy.
Stir in potatoes, parsley and cream. Serve hot, garnished with cheese, bacon
bits and/or onions. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Since I was in the middle of making it and discovered that I hadn't bought the little red potatos, I used shredded. The Machine Shed has several resturants in the midwest.

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 11:34AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

OK, here's my fav soup recipe:

Drive to the Red Coat Inn. Order a quart of New England Clam Chowder. Take it home, reheat and serve! Sorry no pix, Dh forgot to take the phone with him so I can't call him and tell him to stop for it!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 1:29PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Brrrrrrr. Im sure tired of this cold weather. And yee gads, were supposed to get upwards of 10" of snow tonite, too. Marian, stay in and stay warm. Hope Nolan is OK. I know its a worry for you.

Well, mini crisis of the day is DH opened the door to the garage and the lockset broke! Its a Baldwin, too, and only a couple yrs. old. So the minor replacement chore has turned into a whole day project. DH just got back from a 50 mi round trip to locate replacement parts in town. He didnt have one of the original keys with him so is now trying to get our local store to clone the lockset to match the rest.

We went to the Home Show this past weekend and yesterday a window replacement company came out to give us an estimate. We had no idea how much it would cost and we needed info for the future. Holy, Moly, I almost needed to be resuscitated. With all the discounte and "deals of the century", it would cost over $40,000! Guess what? I think we can do a whole lot of repairing and caulking instead.

Ive been working with DH on cover letters and resumes and helping with his job search. It turns out that one of his former colleagues might know someone in mgmt at that job we like so close to here. It turns out there are only 3 companies that make the item, so chances are good DHs friend has a contact at the right company. Fingers and toes are crossed.

Yee Gads, Deanne. I wouldve been terrified if that happened to Tom! Its funny how you just jump in and do whats needed in an emergency w/o thinking. So sorry to hear you both have that awful bug. Your pix are fabulous, of course, of course. The birds always look like theyre posing just for you. Stay warm, friend, so you can kick that bug!

Everyone -- thanks so much for your comments/compliments on Missy. As a Mom, I think Missy is really pretty. People stop us all the time to ask what kind of dog she is. Some have even commented on how well behaved she is (NOT yet). Shes actually not all that big. Aussies are stocky, compact dogs, so shes a relatively short 48 lbs. But what a character! When youre walking her and she wants to go somewhere youre not going, she herds you there by bumping you with that big fluffy Aussie butt. And when you get to a crossroad, she looks at you for you to decide which direction shes to go. She is really so very sweet and affectionate.

Bug, I have to keep Missy busy or she finds trouble. On the day before Thanksgiving, we had a big snow melt plus copious rain. I left her to do her business out front to answer the phone. When I returned, all I saw was mud flying 5 in the air. She was like a windmill and I couldnt see the dog, just flying mud and water. When I saw her, I shrieked, "Missy!" She stopped and looked over at me like, "What?!" There wasnt a dry, clean spot on that dog. So I spent the rest of the day cleaning her and dragging shredded leaves from the back to fill in the low spot in the front lawn temporarily. Im such a spoil sport.

Thanks, too, everyone about our new buffet. Chelone, I feel the same about Victorian. Some pieces are just gorgeous but I couldnt stand a whole houseful.

Kathy, I wish I had some of your get up and go. We need to paint here, too, but I feel a little overwhelmed with other stuff going on with DD, Mom, DS, DH, etc. Hope your fence is repaired easily and is not too costly.

Oh, thank you, thank you, Wendy, Saucy and Monique, for pix of Tower Hill. I needed to see something green and growing! Are all those plants in containers? What a sight to brighten up a cold, dull winter day.

Mary, undie bands? Not here. Trust me: when my undies are worn out, theres NOTHING left to salvage, lol. Wish I couldve attended your talk. Im sure everyone loved your slide presentation and tales from the front from such an experienced gardener.

Boo-hoo. First an east coast Idyll meeting, now a west cost one. Speaking of west coast, wheres T?

Pm2, did you take that photo of Canon Beach? We visited there. So beautiful. Kathy, will your new home be nearby the coast? You know, T is up in that area.

V, Im so sorry to hear about your friends house being destroyed by fire. How awful. They must be devastated over the loss of irreplaceable photos and momentos. Im glad to hear no one was hurt in that or the frat house fire. I know what you mean about howling wind. I couldnt sleep night before last g/c I was afraid the tree outside our bedroom window would come down in the 60 mph winds..

Martie, your description of lunch had me drooling. Wow.

Oh, 'Bug, what precious photos! I second an earlier comment -- they're sure a hearty bunch up there! It's not my cuppa tea, tho.

Well, DH has to go back across town to get the new lockset to match our others. Soooo, Ill have him pick up some of that Clam Chowder!

OK. I think Im caught up for now. Stay warm, safe and dry, everyone.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 2:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH loves clam chowder too Honey! I certainly don't make it myself...nor does he for that matter.

Michelle, I think your photo looks just yummy. Any soup can look good in a photo...especially with a lovely bowl, a tablecloth and something sprinkled on top. The bowl you asked about came from Pier 1. I buy up sale things that appeal to me. No complete china sets here...so far that is.

Still sunny here. Hope it is at your house too.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 2:12PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Popping my head in for a minute just to say....wow, lots of gorgeous bowls of soup!! :-) Lots of hardy stick to your ribs soups too!

Your bowl of chicken noodle looks very elegant in that bowl GB. My daughter is very much a chicken noodle soup fan. She goes in spurts where she will eat it for breakfast and lunch too for weeks at a time..lol. Why, I have no idea. She doesn't normally use the wide noodles, so I will have to suggest it.

Michelle...I see a scrumptious ingredient in your potato soup...bacon! lol I used to make a potato/corn/broccoli chowder and the best part about it was the home made bacon bits on the top. Bacon and potato soup go really well together!

Saucy....we have a new friend of the family who likes southwestern cooking and they were thrilled to find Rotel tomatoes in their Christmas stocking. [g] This sounds like a recipe they will enjoy. It is very colorful looking too.

Marian....this would interest the men in our family who are always looking for their beef! A real treat and I am interested to hear more about how you cook the pinto beans w ham hocks. Not a New England tradition. [g]

Honey....everyone in our house loves New England Clam Chowder. I don't remember making it myself more than once or twice. We usually order ours to go from Legal Seafoods when we get it. They make it so well, why go to the trouble. :-)

I should have mentioned that is shredded mozarella floating on my soup that hasn't started to melt yet. This chicken chili recipe also freezes well. As I am sure most soups do.

Still sunny here surprisingly. My houseplants will appreciate it since it has been dreary for a few days. Who can believe it is February already tomorrow!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 3:57PM
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Yum - everyone of the soups looks delicious - I can't wait to try the other recipes. Here is my offering - I was feeling a little Indian tonight and made a lentil, coconut and spinach soup with black mustard seeds. Bread sticks are in the oven adn the weather outside is perfect for a warming bowl.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well...we only got about 1 and 1/2 inch of snow so far. It is the heavy wet type. More is supposedly approaching from the west. We'll see....

Pm2, I cook the ham hocks in a large pot of water until they are getting well done, then add the picked over and washed dry beans and cook until all is done. Here, on our 'mountain', it takes 2 and1/2 to 3 hours. Lately I have been putting the dry beans in a separate pot, in water, and heating them up to boiling. Then letting them set in the hot water until the meat is getting tender. I drain them and add them to the ham hock's pot. That generally cuts about an hour off the bean cooking time. Pinto beans were a staple in Idaho. I don't recall what my mother seasoned hers with, but most likely it was cured ham since my dad butchered and cured his own. It took longer for the beans to cook there, due to the higher altitude.

Thanks Honey, but I can't "Stay in"....I am the one who carries in our daily firewood! I am very very careful, but I know an accident could happen. Nolon managed to walk the 600 feet through the snow to the mailbox. It takes him a long time, but I suspect it is good for him to continue to do so as long as possible. He doesn't seem to wheeze much more afterwards than he does just walking around the house.

BTW, Pm2, I used to make chili out of the last of the pot of pintos, but the soup is better for us both. ( I do love good chili, though. )

We like New England clam chowder too, but I usually get the Campbell's soup kind that you add milk too. I like it better than the thick stuff. I have never made my own.
When I worked at The Gibson's Discount store in Twin Falls, Idaho (as bookkeeper), my boss and I would frequently eat lunch together at a restaurant that featured New England clam chowder and lemon meringue pie on one day of each week. That is what we both ordered.:-)
We ( Nolon and I )like homemade potato soup.I vary the making of it.
I used to make tomato soup, but had trouble keeping the milk from curdling. Now I buy the canned creamed tomato soup. I love oyster soup, and buy it for myself. Nolon does not like it.
I like other chowders too, and make turkey chowder from left-over turkey, and tuna chowder from canned tuna. ( Hmmmm, I am giving myslf all kinds of ideas for more soup! ) LOL

Marie, that pot of bean soup was finished off yesterday. I cooked a whole chicken today, and will make dumplings with it tomorrow. There is always too much liquid and chicken left over after the dumplings are gone, so I'll add noodles to the pot ... I may add some veggies also.

The second round of snow is here. So far it is very fine flakes.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary, I make a lentil soup too, but it is totally differant than yours.

1 1/2 c lentils
1 gt.water
1 tsp salt
3/4 c chopped onion
2/3 c chopped green pepper
1/3 c butter or margarine
1/2 c chopped pimientos
1 large can tomatoes
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine lentils, water and salt in large saucepan. Cook, covered, over medium heat 30 minutes.

Cook onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Combine all ingredients; simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Makes 6 large servings.

This recipe is in my old America's Best Vegetable Ricipes book.1970 edition. By the food editors of Farm Journal.

We like this recipe, and lentils are very good for you!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 6:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I couldn't resist, so I made this for you too. It is a baked groundhog for Groundhog Day. It looks very flat, but I promise I didn't run over it! (This time)

Over on the South Bruce Peninsula they have a live webcam of Wiarton Willy the prognosticator of Spring. Here's the link:

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:16PM
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While yall were posting soup photos I was yet again painting. The bathroom needed the second coat, so on it went today . Done with that room at last ! Once I have it put back in order Ill post a pic. Started my soup at 3:00. And a day for soup it is too, its been raining steadily all day. I took a break to go down to the UPS store to mail off a digital camera to DD , since she and SO will want to take numerous pics of Mr. Baby . DS and I went in on it, and got her a nice HP 7.0 mp model from Target that was on sale for 99 bucks. She already had a little HP photo printer , which was still here since she had no camera to go with. All was sent off with a box of photo paper and a framed black and white 5x7 of their doggie from Christmas. I love B/W pics and DS helped me to use Picasa to manipulate a color image to B/W. I put it on a memory card took it down to Kinkos to print up on a 5x7.

The soup pics have been F-F, not to mention the recipes to go with them ! Marian, your soup reminds me a of a Chili recipe that I have , and Michelle, I will definitely try your spud soup !

Honey , was your Baldwin a mortise lock ? They are so complicated ! I know salesmen who are afraid to sell them and contractors who are afraid to install them . I will be about 50 miles inland from the coast in Corvallis. I love the Oregon coast, but the weather can be quite grey. In fact all of the PNW can be grey , but the coast is worse. I grew up 4 miles from the ocean in Southern Cal, and a zone 10 climate is the only one in which I would consider a coastal abode. It was hard for me to come to this conclusion, I love the ocean, I love the beach, and I miss being close to it- my choices all revolve around what I can grow, and 50 miles in from the coast of Oregon you can grow just about anything.

V, that photo of Mystic peering into the fireplace is just priceless.

Marian, have you ever used pinquitos , the Santa Maria beans ? Theyre really nice because they dont get as mushy as others. They can be hard to find though, I think they are somewhat regional.

Ok here is my Potato Leek soup. This is my version of the recipe in Joy of Cooking, and involves 3 large spuds (russets) and the recipe calls for 8 leeks, white part only, but I usually do 5 and use some of the green. Also 5 cups of chicken broth-I use the box of free range organic stuff if I dont have any of my own frozen. At the end I add cream ,after the puree function, but today I just used 1% organic milk.
Notice I have the only glass of wine thus far

kathy in napa

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! :-)

Have not had a chance to catch up, so I'll have to come back later to chat. *But* a peek in here made me want to jump in and share. The timing couldn't be better because when I heard we were to have a snow storm today, I decided to make my dad's favorite soup. So far we've had about 3 inches (of snow, *not* soup...LOL) but they are predicting between 6 & 12 inches of snow before mother nature is through with us. Yikes!

Anyway, all the soups look yummy and I will definitey be trying them *all*. Mary's & Marian's recipes for lentil soup are first on my list of "must trys" as I've been wrangling with my conscience about becoming a vegetarian...well, we'll see, we'll see. I must admit I enjoy a good piece of meat and beef is my favorite, but I've just been reading too many things about factory farming and then on the news yesterday they showed the most distressing abuse of cows in California. It's all just getting to me, though Paul might be a little harder to convince. Does anybody know of a way to buy meat from a *true* farm, where the animals are allowed to graze and live a healthful life until their time is up; and then are killed in a humane way? Am I just wishful thinking? I do buy Phil's farm fresh eggs (organic, no steroids, no antibiotics and cage free, nesting chickens). That was my first step. :-) I've been going with 2 meatless meals a week (not including fish)with the goal of someday getting to all meatless meals. Unless someone can tell me where that farm I'm looking for is...LOL!

Okay, here's my soup, which ironically has beef in it. Well, it is yummy and was my dad's favorite, and that makes me extra proud of the recipe:

Mamamia Minestrone (LOL! Just kidding, I just made up that name, actually I've never called it anything but my minestrone soup):

1 lb. boneless beef chuck (steak meat is great when its on sale too)cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 8 oz. can stewed tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 32 oz. beef broth (in carton - organic is great)
1 32 oz. chicken broth (in carton - organic is great)
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. oregano or to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package (10 oz.) frozen corn
1 can (8 oz.) red kidney beans, drained
1 package (10 oz.) frozen cut green beans
1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and add beef. Cook until meat is browned. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add the onions to the pan(adding more olive oil if necessary). Cover pan and heat the onions for a few minutes (until they are translucent). Remove cover; stir onions(scraping the browned bits from the beef off the sides and bottom of pan and incorporating into onions). Continue cooking the onions until carmalized. Add garlic to mixture and continue cooking for just a few minutes. Do not overcook the garlic, which burns easily. If you can smell the fragrance of the garlic in the air, its done.

Next, transfer the beef, onion, garlic, and browned bits from pan into a large crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients into the crock pot. Turn crock pot onto high and simmer for 6 hours or until meat is very tender.

The P.S.'s: Serve with a nice crusty loaf of bread and sprinkle romano cheese ontop of the soup. Also, I add a little garlic powder to the soup while it's simmering, as well as using the minced garlic...well yes, I *am* Italian! :-) But for those of you who don't have garlic in your blood...skip the garlic powder.

I was dining alone tonight! :-( Paul's away for a skiing/superbowl week-end. So I decided to cheer things up and set a nice place for myself at the table. Note the crockpot in the background. :-)

I'll be freezing some of this soup (by the way it *does* freeze wonderfully)and delivering a big container of it to my sis and my mom tomorrow...if I'm not snowed in.

P.S. Michelle you're soup sounds & looks fabulous and glad to get the recipe...I was worrying about what "Machine Shed" soup could possibly be...LOL...I had never heard of that restaurant.

Well, if I'm snowed in tomorrow, I guess that will give me a chance to catch up with all of you....Enjoy all your soups girls and have a wonderful night!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh...Hi Kathy! I was just checking to see if my post came through and there you were...with potato leek soup, no less....yummm Another to add to my vegetarian repertoire!


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ei, perhaps I can help you with your quest to remain a "beefeater". We bought 1/2 a cow from someone we know this past summer, and the meat has been great. He only raises a limited number of cattle and they are grass fed on his farm. His brother is one of the top large animal vets in the area and very finicky about how animals should be treated. No factory farm! The meat has been wonderful. You would need to head out this way to pick up the meat, but 1/2 cow is a lot of meat and it would last you a long time. If you are interested, shoot me an email and I will get you the contact info. You should have my email from the idyllunion; I don't have an email link on gardenweb anymore.

Snowing here tonight. DH is home from his snowmobiling trip. He took my car and I gave him explicit instructions not to hurt my car. He did not follow instructions. He broke a piece that sits under the front bumper of the car. He seemed nonplussed when I told him he had to fix it.

I got a significant chunk of my office cleaned up today. Nice to feel like you're going into the fray with things under control.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Hi Eileen ! Don't eat meat more than 2 or three times a month here, and when I do I spend the $$'s to buy the good stuff, usually free range from Sonoma County.
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 9:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy I am familiar with pinquitos.I grew some at least once in one of my gardens. But actually, I prefer beans that get soft when cooked. I don't care for garbanzo beans, and don't remember ever trying to grow them, but there is hardly a pea/bean species that I have not grown!

Ei, your beef/veggie minestrone sounds very good, but I don't usually make anything anymore that calls for so many ingredients. :-(
I frequently buy canned minestrone, but I know homemade would be lots better.
I'm sorry you are so upset about the 'suffering' that some animals experience at some processing companies. I don't think that goes on in this area. I don't know where WalMart gets it's beef and pork, but most of the chickens are Tyson's and are raised in houses. The other grocery stores around here get their beef from local ranchers and the animals are pastured. I don't know about the pork. It is probably raised by local farmers, too.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 10:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In February it will be
My snowman's anniversary
With cake for him
and soup for me!
Happy once
Happy twice
Happy chicken soup with rice.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:19AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wow, all these soups look yummy. Wish I had the time...


Let's see, what happened this week...the Tower Hill trip you already heard about. It was well worth the drive on sometimes icy roads to get out of the house and hob nob with idyll friends over a great lunch. Zoe turned 10 on Wednesday. Much to her dismay she was treated to spa night with her groomer. It's hard to believe my little baby girl is that old! Here she is at 6 weeks when we visited her litter for the first time. Love this picture because Zak looks absolutely horrified...lol.

Work is still nuts but the end is in sight. I've been researching quick (and cheap) Caribbean getaways for perhaps the end of February but have not been very successful. I can't decide on an island and everything I find at a deal gets less than stellar ratings from TripAdvisor.com or the cost of airfare sinks the deal. Oh well. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Other than that I'm doing the end of January dance. Yahoo! Hate that month!


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm dancing with you Sue.
We do the six week puppy visit this weekend. I'm taking my camera! You're right about Zack's expression too. ROTFL!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

LOL Sue...that picture is priceless...I bet you Zack never imagined how much he would come to enjoy Zoe! :-) Ditto on January...it's my least favorite month.

Maybe I should call the soup Everything but the Kitchen Sink, Marian! :-) And, maybe I shouldn't tell you that when I have it in the house, I also add potatoes and cook a little macaroni on the side...LOL! I add a little macaroni into each bowl as I'm serving the soup, rather than putting the pasta directly into the soup....they swell too much that way. Yes Marian, my visions are too vivid and I just can't stand to think of any living thing in pain. I just can't imagine what kind of person would abuse/torture an animal...it tears me up.

V...an email will be forthcoming...sounds perfect...Thanks so much!

We had about 9 inches of snow (according to the weather bureau) but with the drifting, I bet you it's at least a foot. I just spent the last 2 hours shoveling and snowblowing myself out of the house...off to Mom's now and lunch.

BTW, speaking of soup and recipes...have any of you tried those personal cookbooks you can make online? They're great. I've got a long way before mine would be ready for printing, but keep plugging along when I have the extra time. I'd like to get it done so I can make a copy for each of my siblings and the cousins who lived with us - so that my mom's recipes don't get lost to us.

Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 1:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ei, you're a troublemaker!

I've already got two recipes entered and have decided that the kids will each get one for Christmas! (I think I can have it done by then!)


    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Wow Ei, that Taste Book link is extremely cool. Like V, I got sucked in quickly. Jeesh.

Loved Sues pic of the indignant Zak ..Im afraid we west coast folk are pretty uninformed on Caribbean destinations. If you were doing Hawaii or Mexico I could be far more useful !

The sun made an appearance today but its cold (by my standards) and everything is wet and soggy. Chores today were all of the interior variety.

Marian , I have never grown any beans (except limas and green beans) but it would surely be fun to do. Maybe I will have the room in my new abode. Im going to try your lentil soup recipe..I love lentil soup !

Ok , thats all I have for today See yall on the morrow

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 8:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

February morning
with a thick blanket of snow
Bring on the coffee!

Another 5" of snow here. We are certainly in a "wet" cycle and the wetlands are very full right now. It should be a good spring for migrating water birds.

Our agenda today includes a conference on farmland preservation and the school district benefit auction tonight. Tomorrow, our church has their Dixieland jazz service, Chili Fest and the youth benefit auction. Monday has been declared "rest your checkbook" day. It will be one of those weekends were little else gets accomplished besides going from one thing to another.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"rest your checkbook" day! Love it. Actually, most days are RYCB days for me...

We are waiting for the plow so we can get errands done. Still some 'prepare for puppy' things that need doing...


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

EI, so nice to have you back!!!!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:39AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Predicted high around 50 F here today and sunny. High in the 40s for as far out as the extended forecast goes. Probably close to two inches of torrential rain yesterday...lol. Did I somehow fall asleep and miss winter?

Not much going on this weekend. If I were smart I'd seize the opportunity to do a bit of cleaning.

I'm avoiding Ei's cookbook link as I'm easily distracted these days. The only recipe I have that seems to be in demand is whoopie pies anyway. When I want interesting and elaborately prepared food I go to Monique and Les's...lol.

Here's another trip down memory lane on the puppy front for Marie...Nick at two weeks old. His breeder broke her usual rule of waiting til after the first puppy shots at six weeks and let me hold him briefly. He's wrapped in a washcloth.

Enjoy Saturday!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:46AM
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Morning all!

Count me in as one who is scheming on how best to use that link! My husband's grandmother cooks feverishly around the holidays. I'm trying to think of a way to get her recipes entered without it being a burden on her. I'm not sure I can take on that responsibility right now, but maybe this summer? I think her grandchildren would like to have it and it'd be a surprise that she could give them.....

Sarah is searching for Phil on the television. GB, I laughed out loud at the groundhog! I'll show it to Sarah after I'm done typing (can you guess what she'll want to make today?).

Marian, I love beans, too, and I always use a hamhock :) I don't really have a favorite, I like them all, but I do wish I could find crowder peas up here....I like those. Beans and cornbread were always leftover favorites.

My family does not share my love of beans....I have to sneak them into soups and burritoes and such....

Ei, I am with you on the macaroni that swells up - I make mine on the side, too. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, your kitchen table! I had to show Nick.....beautiful kitchen.

I still have so much to do in the office that I am contemplating working in here for half a day. Nick is out on the job anyway. The kids are busy with friends this morning. Besides, next weekend we leave for St. John.

I've been meaning to update you all on Popcorn because you were all so nice in your worry for him....he's doing great! The "Nature" on PBS this week features the parrots of Austrailia (and cockatiels) and he had fun "talking" to all his distant relatives....the kids liked to see his habitat, too. Anyway, he's been really bonding to Jake and I and doing alot of special clicks and sweet bird noises to us.

Time for me to get started around here....have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! :-)

Looking like a beautiful day out there this morning, so we are heading out to the Pond for a walk in a few minutes. The sun is out, the sky is beautiful...it poured in the night along with thunder and lightening. No snow left on the ground, lots of puddles in the yard last night with the ground still frozen. I was just wishing I had left the covers off the compost bins, but who expects torrential rains in January? [g]

I finally received a new ac/adapter cord for my computer, so I am at least back on my own keyboard for awhile. The old one was shorting out on me and with a five year old laptop there is no battery back up. I have been using my daughter's macbook and not enjoying the change in keyboard at all. My hands and forearms are killing me. :-( I am still shopping and getting up to speed again on all things computer. I think it is going to take me awhile, but I am making headway.

Ei.....Nice to see you! Loved your soup photo! I thought I was the only one that put parmesan cheese on my minestrone soup..lol. We have made minestrone soup a few times and I should really make it again while it is still winter. It is a great way to get your veggies. I also like to cut up greens and add them because I only enjoy them either in soup or juiced and they are so nutritious. We also separate out the macaroni for the same reason. When we don't have the time to make it, we buy Progresso Minestrone. It is pretty good for a canned soup. Ei. Also loved your counter/table?, it is so beautiful! And what a cozy place to eat in front of the window.

Sue...What an adorable puppy photo!! The first one you posted...lol...yes, the expression on Zak's face is decidedly 'green' in that photo! [g] I bet they are best friends now, right? I am always happy when January is past too. It does seem like the longest month, but this year it seemed to fly by. We had the rains last night too and no snow left in the yard.

Bug....does Chicken Soup with Rice have a rhyme for every month? I didn't remember that. I will have to get the book out of the library and read it again. [g] So this weekend is your visit with the puppy, how exciting is that?! Looking forward to lots of photos. I haven't forgotten some questions you asked on the old thread and will get back to it this weekend, I am sure. Love that photo of Reed and Mikhail! lol

Red meat....we have cut back a lot at our house. It has probably been 3 months since I had beef. I finally managed to convince even DH to cut back on beef, though he really loves it. He seems to be adjusting fine.

Mary....what an interesting soup. I usually eat spinach raw in a salad because I don't enjoy it cooked unless it is disguised in a soup. [g] Spinach is also one of the superfoods from the book I am reading, so I am happy to see a soup recipe using it! Coconut in it! We love coconut at our house. Your kids sound lovely. Great to have happy news and for both of them to have them at the same time is even better.

Marian....thanks for the ham hock with beans instructions. Wow, I didn't realize it took so much longer to cook beans in higher elevations. I should though because the Top Chef finale was done in Colorado, I think, as a challenge to how well they could cook in high elevations. Well you seem to have adapted well. Your soup looked delicious! I wish I could get my kids to eat more beans. They are so good for you. I was curious why the soup is better for you than the chili? You use the spices in your soup, right?

Honey....Nice to see you posting again...if I hadn't said so yet. :-) No, I didn't take that photo of Canon Beach. Sadly, I have never been to Oregon. :-) My photo taking skills are nowhere near that level, either..lol. I really don't get a chance to travel at all, so I find myself collecting photos of places I would like to see. Your Missy sounds like a love. We have never had a herding dog but we see them on our walks to the pond. We couldn't keep one busy enough I'm afraid. I love to watch dogs herd sheep. I understand they will herd young children too. [g] Hope you will hear good news on DH's job soon. :-) Oh...and we also had an estimate for windows in the fall and had the same experience. We have heard there are companies out there that are much more reasonable so we are going to do more looking. I think Kathy told me that.

Kathy....hope all your home renovations are almost over. I bet you are really tired. Have you had any interest in the house yet? Do your tulips break ground the end of January usually? Thanks for your mouse tip! I did check out that link. I actually did buy a wireless mouse to go with my daughter's macbook this week to try it out and it is going back. I hated it. lol

V....those online cookbooks did look really easy to make and a great idea for gifts. Congratulations for getting your books closed ahead of deadline!! Even if it wasn't acknowledged at work, I am sure someone noticed. People who accomplish work given to them on time are just not that common. :-) Good for you for speaking up at work about looking at your company's impact on the environment! I wish more people in corporations would take that interest.

Hot tubs in the icy north....LOVE them! I was very skeptical in the beginning but an amazing experience that I would love to repeat often! It has been too long and a nice dip in a hot tub sounds great about now! lol

Chelone....LOL you American you! Thanks for the Apple thoughts. I am leaning in that direction but have hit a couple of snags that I am trying to work out. Nice to know they have satisfied customers.

Cindy...Thanks as well for the Apple thoughts. Yes, their software is really very nice. My daughter just got a Macbook in December so I have been able to play around with hers. We are wireless at our house too and it is so convenient! I was able to locate a Dell and an IBM that still have the trackball in the keyboard, but it is their business machine which comes with very little software. So I am going back and forth, but will get there eventually. How is work in the basement coming along?

Well, the sun is playing peekaboo and I am definitely waiting for it before we take a walk today! Maybe I will take some photos and post. Taking a break from the computer this morning, as soon as I finish this post!

Have a nice Saturday!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:14AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy...I just refreshed and see you. There were 30 posts when I sat down to write and now there are 36. That's what happens when you write novellas.

:-) Got a chuckle out of Popcorn talking to her relatives..lol. No one except me enjoys beans at our house too. We grew up on hot dogs and beans with New England brown bread every Saturday night. Yum!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:18AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well Doug and I are still coughing a bit and this bug has taken way too long to go away. We really missed being able to go to join the gang at Tower Hill. A big thanks to Chelone and the group for the lovely get well card. Much appreciated.

Ive loved all the soup pics and wish you all had been able to ship it to Mew Hampshire! LOL

Sue, so you are going to really thumb your nose at winter and go to the tropics! Neat. Will you still be able to make the party on the 23rd? Love those 'baby' pics.

Ive done a bit of painting and a lot of bird photography and thought youd like to see a couple pics.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, they are named Carl and Carlotta Cardinal here..... :)

Sue, thanks for the build-up photos...Anticipation is great, but I doubt I'll even sleep tonight!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:34AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...
It is a lovely sunny morning. The rest of our snow will most likely go off today. A lot melted yesterday. We ended up with about 3 inches.

Kathy, I don't know how well dry beans grow in the area where you are moving. They were an excellent crop in Southern Idaho, and do quite well here also. There may be a problem with the excess rainfall there?
I hope you like the lentil soup. There is a recipe for Idaho lentil soup in the same recipe book. It has both bacon drippings and ham hocks in it. I can't remember if I ever tried it, but it sounds very good.
If anyone wants the recipe I will post it.

Saucy, I used to grow crowder peas too....all varieties, but prefered the Purple Hull. I seldom find the dry peas in the grocery stores here. Maybe the health food stores would have them. I have bought canned ones here.
Nolon used to love cornbread, but I seem to have either lost the knack of making it to suit him, or else he has lost the desire to eat it? The last that I made has been thrown out to the birds !

Pm2, I have cut down on red meat because of Nolon's prostrate problems...besides I think it doesn't agree with me too well either. It may be the stuff that is now fed to the beef herds? I stopped cooking steaks years ago because of Nolon having no teeth! I do use hamburger and stew meats( mostly roast meat,i.e. chuck roasts).
Yes, beans took at least half a day to soften up in Idaho. It is generally recommended to soak them over night before cooking them. I haven't done that in many a year. Anyway, I think the new varieties cook up faster. It wasn't hard at all to adjust to the quicker time here. :-)
The reason chili is hard on us is because we both suffer from Gerds, and the chili powder aggravates that. Nolon has his under control now, with Prilosec OTC, but it didn't help me. ( I may try it again, and be more diligent on how I take it.)I don't use nearly as much peppery flavorings in the soup, but I like lots of chili in chili ! LOL

I imagine many of you will be wrapped up in the 'Super Bowl' tomorrow. We will be watching an afternoon video instead. :-)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 10:37AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

No super bowl plans here - unless it were to go to the empty shopping malls - great time to shop I've found.

Great to see some missed faces pop in again -- Ei & Honey -- love that shot of your kitchen, Ei. You're so creative. But then it seems everyone here offers that in their own personal way.

Im glad to see the end of a long, hard week. Gotta do some errands and then tomorrow probably hunker down to do some cleaning and taking pics of that furniture I want to unload. Yes, Chelone, Craigslist is terribly popular here in this area; I've never actually sold anything over it - frankly Im a little embarrassed to offer any of the stuff for sale; but think I may give it a try; then I can always give away if no offers.

Sue -- re a tropical getaway - I guess w/ the dollar so low, it's hard to find good deals - maybe following Saucy's idea and go to some U.S. island getaway would be good? My brother did go to some fancy Dominican Republic resort w/ his girls after Xmas and liked it a lot - they pretty much just stayed at the resort. But I think he liked their Costa Rican venture better from the year before. His kids are definitely "not" sheltered are they, LOL.

I was wondering if you were back in your shelter, Deanne or still abed feeling poorly. Glad to see you're back to taking your incredible pics. It is one lovely thing to look forward to for me in winter; otherwise Im not much a fan of winter - I would love to come to your TYNAW party but fear Im going to have to use too much leave resuscitating my family room w/ this adjuster and that repair guy... it's inching way too slowly for me and sucking my accrued leave. Blech. Should we bet that we all have a big snow storm right after your party?

It's going to be in the 50s here - yeeha. But too squishy and wet from our 2 inches of rain to do any winter pruning.

I was going to offer a pic of my favorite Progresso soup, but never got to the store! But there are some wonderful inviting recipes here! Yum. The terrific cookbook site is a major suck-in though - I could find another project like that to do easily but have too many of those already in chaos.

Sue -- those cutie pup photos ... Chloe is Zoe's same year birth - it's hard to believe it's been that long isnt it? Those pup pics are so adawgable!

I guess I better get to those errands -- glad Im not shoveling out from under like so many of you had. Wow - well, at least we're not in China - imagine getting significant snow for the first time in 50 years.... altho I guess parts of the U.S. are feeling that too. I shake my head in wonder at only having one weekend to go home to visit family or getting a "vacation weekend" though.....


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 11:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gorgeous out today! A little windy but still sunny and warmer. The pond is very high. Maybe you can see in the first photo, the edge of the boat ramp, under the water? The water level usually is on the other side of that curb. Which is great, since it was so low by the end of last summer. The garden is going to have plenty of moisture to start off the spring.

I have lived in this area all my life and when I was in high school you could drive through on the road, which is now closed to traffic. I can remember once when the road was impassable because it was under a couple of feet of water. It's just right for a daily walk, about two miles around it. I don't go around the whole pond, but DH does sometimes. We see many many dogs when we go. Saw a Redbone Coonhound today. A first. Gorgeous coloring. An American Bulldog puppy, A Golden, Two Huskies, A Beagle and quite a few that got past us as I was taking photos. Just think, last Wednesday the kids were ice skating. Not here, but nearby.

Deanne, as usual, gorgeous photos. The first one with the sun hitting the cardinal is wonderful. Glad you are starting to feel better at your house. :-)

Cindy....do you have Freecycle in your area? I use that for giving away things sometimes.

Marian...sorry to hear the chili spices don't agree anymore. Giving up foods you enjoy is no fun. I have had to give up a lot of foods at one time or another but it amazes me how fast I get used to the new menu. Sounds like you have too.

The yard is very spongy and muddy. No pruning here today either. We need to, since three branches on a small Amelanchier split under the weight of the ice storm last week. Tomorrow we will definitely be waiting to see the superbowl game.

Enjoy the weekend! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Snowy Afternoon Idylls!

Well, at least it is a little warmer today and so some of the snow is melting. Before they all melted I wanted to show you guys the icicles on my back roof...I've never seen icicles so big! But when I went to get the camera I realized Paul took it on his trip! :-( Anyway, some are as much as 3" thick and are over 2 feet long...it's amazing! I had to knock down the ones by the doorway for fear someone might get speared by them. Well, maybe they'll still be there by the time Paul gets back and then I can post you a picture! Sad what brings excitement to my life these days; huh? LOL!

Thanks Saucy & PM2. Well, you know, if you want a table like that, it's easy enough to do and you can co-ordinate it to your own room colors. All I did was paint on the reverse side of the glass in blocks of color. After that dries you roll a coat of black on top of the colors and then seal it. It really *is* that easy! :-) I already had the glass table with its base, so I just painted my base copper. If you're starting fresh you can make any kind of base you want. It was fun to paint the glass and the great part is there is no "wrong way" to do it, just do whatever appeals to you. :-)

PM2...are the greens you put in your minestrone, escarole? I *love* escarole. I bet you have a recipe for Beans & Escarole?! My mom use to make that and it was one of my favorites. BTW, those pictures are so beautiful! I love the color of the sky and the shadow of the trees reflected on the ground. Is that a lake?

Deanne...those cardinals are breathtaking! The chickadee (?) and nuthatch (?) too. Sorry, I'm terrible at identifying birds. BTW, maybe you can help me? I know you have hawks, cause I've seen your stunning pics of them. Do you have any suggestions for keeping them from turning your birdfeeders into "hawk" feeders? We have a lot of hawks here now and I know they have to eat, but I get so distressed when I see them attacking the little guys. I feel like my feeder is turning into a killing field. :-( But I don't want to stop feeding the little guys; especially in winter! BTW, Sorry, to hear you've been under the weather. Glad you & DH are feeling better. I know what you mean about these lingering bugs. I had a sinus infection and even with antibiotics it's taken a full week to get better and I'm still not 100%. My BFF:-) Anita has had a horrible cough for 3 weeks now and her doctor keeps telling her it's a virus. But she has to be careful cause she is prone to pneumonia. Stay well!

V...what a great idea. I would love to make one for my son too. Do you think if I gave one to the newlyweds, my DDIL would think I was suggesting something? She's a very nice girl and I like her very much, but I am very uncertain in my MIL role and don't want to insult the new DDIL.

Aww all these little puppy pics are adorable, Sue! Can't wait to see Bug's new baby. I'd love to get a puppy, but poor old Scout, I don't think he could deal with that now....wish I would have done it when he was younger!

I think you're right Cindy. Give it a try...it can't hurt and it's free to place the ad; right?

Hey Sue, you, Monique, and I think, Cynthia are the ones who use the raw food diet? You might be proud to know you've converted me. I've switched Scout over to a raw food diet. I'm hoping it will help him to lose a little weight, which will help with his arthritis. I'm using the ground chicken and vegetable patties and so far he seems to love them!

Marian, I'm not really into the superbowl either (unless it was my team) but I will be going to a superbowl party tomorrow....Dotty invited me. I think she took pity on me cause she knows Paul is not home. I'm sure it will be lots of fun...there will be a lot of woman there, so I won't feel out of place. :-) I'm bringing my mom's potato salad, which Dotty loves.

Well, I better be going...got laundry (oooh...how exciting...LOL) and some house cleaning to do and then a short walk for Scouty.

Have a great day all.... Ei

P.S. I'm adding a link to the pet store I get Scout's food from...just because I think it's a very thoughtful website, with the sweetest puppy pics and they play *music*...right up my alley! Don't "skip" the intro! :-)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 5:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ei, do you know this site? I click on it daily to help out with feeding rescue animals. I checked it out on Snopes.

Woody tells me she's been pet sitting some more. This week it was doggie Liam. Maybe she took some photos? She's almost as eager to hear about our new pup as I am! I bet Mysty can wait though...

Off to French Club again tonight. We'll be watching the Red-Bull Crashed Ice Event replay. No doubt Quebecois nibbles there. Take a look!

Is Chelone up on a ladder?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Its a gloomy rainy Saturday and Im not getting much done today. I decided to take a day off from painting and do a little packing and clutter abatement. I keep finding more stuff to throw away as I work on closets, cupboards and drawers. I need to get busy in the garage even with all Ive done thus far its still a mess.

Got my 2 oclock Saturday afternoon beer and have been slacking here at the computer looking at the pics that were posted today, Deannes fabu-fabu birds, PMs lovely winter pond scene , another eeni-weeni puppy and a visit to the pet store courtesy of Ei. . Much more fun than cleaning closets.

My Superbowl activites will consist of turning the game on with no volume so I can keeps tabs on the score in the event I should actually win something in the pool Im in.

Cindy, I always have a can of Progresso Minestrone on hand for those days when I dont feel the urge to cook anything, and nothing is in the freezer. Weve used an internet freecycle here a couple of times.Ive got a stash of stuff in the garage that is in decent shape and will be off to the salvation army in due course.

PM, we are only doing pre-marketing on my house so far . Im not going into the multiple listing service until all the painting is done. I think we may have an open house on the weekend of the 16th. My realtor tells me that we are going to have some competition as there are a couple other houses that will be listed in my neighborhood. All the more reason to make sure everything is as spiffed up as it can be.

Marian, I bet dry beans will grow just fine in the Willamette Valley. There isnt a whole lot you cant grow in that area. I googled crowder peas because Id never heard of them before. Many of the results I got seemed to be for black-eye peas. Are they the same ?

OK, thats all for now, I promised myself that Id clean the fly-specks off the plantation shutters upstairs. Woo-ha fun , huh?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:03PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Groundhog Day again
Brave souls pay homage to the film
Groundhog Day again

Had to get that one out of my head. There's been a sudden frenzy of haiku news which has me "hearing" haiku in my head.

It's a gray, unremarkable day but people are out walking about town with their maps in hand, finding the sites where the movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed. Now it's time to get ready for the Groundhog Gala this evening (school foundation fundraiser). Before I sign off, I'll leave you with the official local prediction. We can only hope it's right!

"Hundreds huddled in the Woodstock Square on Saturday morning to learn the fate of an already cruel winter.

And despite the latest dump of 7 more inches of snow, McHenry County's most famous rodent, Woodstock Willie, whispered in Groundhogese to Mayor Brian Sager, "I definitely did not see my shadow."

The news of an early spring was greeted by hopeful cheers and applause muffled by hats and mittens and the Groundhog Day activities resumed in Woodstock. where the Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed."

V. (who doesn't see her shadow either)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Hello Idylls

The yukkiest of winter weather here - slush, sleet and a little freezing rain thrown in for good measure. I'll take V's dumping of fresh snow anytime. The day was cheered with a read of the Idylls, enjoying some magnificent birds, the cutest pic of Sue and Nick and some lovely shots from pm2. Ei - its always a treat to ahve you post and I know I'll enjoy the cookbook creations.

Little housework has been done here the last week or so. After enjoying making the beaded dragonflies I decided to try my hand at a crystal necklace and a herringbone beaded bracelet. My photography does not show them off at their best but I've been pleased with the outcome. With the exception of my wedding and engagement rings and some pearls DH brought back from China I have very little bling and I really enjoyed making and wearing soemthing sparkly.

My other project was more whimsical. There is a tradition from Germany of tiny wooden miniatures in matchboxes and I created one of my own of an old fashioned butcher using fimo clay and scraps of wood. Including a pigs head, cleaver and row of giant salami made me wonder where else my creative urges would take me LOL!

No doubt my bookcases will stay dusty a few more days as I purchased a really, really, cool book on how to needle felt miniature animals from wool. I've never done it before, and as the instructions are in Japanese it could be a process of trail and error. However, after a lot of phoning around I was able to find the supplies I needed and can't wait to get started. Annie and I are the only ones home tonight and we're planning on a warm fire, Dr Who on the TV and both working on our projects (she is knitting herself a black lacey scarf). I love winter evenings.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 6:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb- no pictures of Liam from Thursday's visit, although I missed a good opportunity for some cute ones. Misty has taken to ambushing visiting dogs whenever they pass by her favorite napping spot on the loveseat in the office. She pounced on Liam in the afternoon and they proceeded to enjoy a good wrestle together. The camera needed the batteries changed and I didn't get it done fast enough :-( Liam was just here for day-care. Whenever I feel the need of more doggie company, I ask to 'borrow' him; whenever he's getting bored with too many days home alone, his 'parents' ask if he can drop by. Liz drops him off on her way to work and picks him up on the way home. He thinks we're part of his pack - and we think he's part of ours! Jasper and Blue are like that too. They're stopping by for a visit tomorrow afternoon. Jasper will be having surgery Friday to remove the tumor on his side - for the third time! Enjoy you visit with the puppies - and make sure your camera has fully charged batteries so you have no excuse for not posting LOTS of pictures! Misty loves meeting puppies (it's not often that she gets to be the big dog...:-) so we'll all be waiting eagerly to meet your new arrival sometime soon...

No soup here this week. All the pictures looked good - Randy is a soup fan, but I'm not. Soup is a difficult thing to eat with a partly paralyzed face I'm afraid.

Mary- you must have a lot of patience - and very good fine motor control! - to make all those interesting small creations.

Groundhog Day on the agenda here tonight too.

There was lots more I intended to comment on but I'm in scatter-wit mode again/still. I will likely be staying in lurk mode for the next while. Things are very unsettled here at the moment as serious medical issues have raised their ugly heads again unfortunately. We're not waiting for Gamma Knife radiation to be scheduled and probably further testing on other issues too. All of it is likely to play major havoc with our plans for some unknown length of time.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh my Mary...your jewelry is stunning and just the kind of thing I love. I go ga-ga when I go to the bead store...especially the swarski (wrong spelling, I know) crystals. I do so love sparkly things! :-) I love both of your chokers. The selection of colors in the band one are so pretty, but not something I could wear, as I'm short necked and don't like to call attention to the fact. But the other solid purple choker is something I might be able to wear, if it were a little longer. That solid purple one especially reminds me of Victorian jewelry, which I love. Are you familiar with lavaliers? I have a few I've collected over the years and just love them. I was thinking with your skill, *you* could dream up a way to make something like that Simple Simon! Is your jewelry all done with wire? I'm so impressed with the elaborate work. I've made a few *very* simple things...beads on wire that I turned into charms, but nothing so fine as you have done! How did you learn to do it? Was it very hard?

Thanks Bug...I did visit and will try to remember to visit every day, as well, I'm still visiting the "rice" website too. Good to hear Woody is doing well. I bet the dog sitting is a lot of fun for her. I know she enjoys the companionship of dogs. Does Misty love all the visitors?

Whoo hoo V! Tell Willie thanks from me! :-) LOL on the shadow...don't see mine either....where is the sunshine?!?

Oops in my ga-ga over your jewelry Mary, I failed to mention how neat your minature is too! I smiled at your comment about loving winter nights...me too! :-)

Okay girls, gotta go and start the potato salad for tomorrow. Have a wonderful night all!

P.S....I have to find another word besides "love"...LOL!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh dear...I'm sorry Woody...I didn't see your post until I posted mine....I'll be keeping good thoughts for you!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 7:56PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, I am back again. We are watching War of the Worlds...sci fi fans around here....and the movie is so intense I have to do something else while I am watching it, even though I know the ending already. [g]

Woody, so sorry to hear medical issues are becoming a focus for you. We have been there a lot in the past five years and I am sure will be there again. I sincerely hope for solutions and the help you need as you try to get through it all. :-)

Since I had my camera out this morning, I took some photos of a few houseplants. I have a Grape Ivy, that was actually not doing well. I have had it for awhile and I don't think I have enough light, as it just seemed to be languishing for the past 6 months. It was down to one single stem with 3 pathetic leaves. I was about to throw it out and was I excited to see a new stem and leaf growing! Also a few more photos...oh, btw, I realized I might have been posting too large a photo for these threads, so I have reduced the file size. Hope that helps.

Goodbye January...I got a bird calendar this year instead of my usual Cow Calendar. Deanne is to blame. [g]

Another hibiscus blossom and a few more buds coming too. More blooms this year and the only thing different is Coast of Maine compost at repotting time. Not 'The Path'

Someone suggested Hoya to Chelone who was looking for houseplants that are easy...I rarely do anything to this plant...

Here is the beautiful new stem and leaf on the Grape Ivy, which is also one of the houseplants Chelone said she likes..sorry there is not more to it. [g]

OK...that's it for me.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Good morning

Woody - I'm so sorry to hear of your health issues. Please know that even if you are only here seldom you will be thought of often. There will be collective good wishes going your way for all you have to face.

pm - have you ever watched the British sci-fi show Dr Who? I watched it as a child was terrified by it (I watched from behind our sofa) but couldn't bear to miss it. Its now become something of a cult and very hip and one of Annie and David's favorite shows. In fact they sometimes record it and have Dr Who parties with friends they've got hookeed.

Ei - I'll have to google lavalier. The top necklace was a combination of wire and lacework with thread, the bracelet below is all thread. I picked up a beading magazine last year and pretty much just followed their instructions for the materials and techniques. I'd love to see your "simple" pieces as I know they would be lovely.

I had a lot of fun last night with my needle felting. I love creating something 3-dimensional out of just the wool roving and a single needle. I'm making a series of little creatures for my niece Iris, though I might need to make a few extras for me. Annie and David have requested some too so my felting needle will be busy.

The book I purchased has some great patterns and while the text is all Japanese, each photo has a title with some wonderfully quirky translations. They include "Dog's dinner" for a puppy, "Mother and child of penguin" (self explanatory) and my favorite, "Postal Donkey" (did the donkey go postal!?)

Here is the result of last nights efforts - a ladybug.

Happy Sunday


    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 10:31AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, Idylls. News from the job front. DH got a call from the headhunter about that great job nearby telling him that hes still in the running and asked for more info. What we like about this company is that its somewhat recession-proof. Fingers are crossed. She also told him about another job at a major company in town about 20 mi. away. It turns out that an executive director that just retired and is still working as a consultant, is a really good friend of ours. Kids went to school together and we still get together a couple times a yr. DH phoned him and hes going to walk DHs resume around. Further, he offered to give him a letter of recommendation for any opportunities that arise.

Next, DH responded to an ad in last wks paper for another company thats a couple miles away. Another good friend (DH worked for his Dad, he worked for and with DH, and weve boated and traveled with them) is a hi-level mgr with them, now in San Antonio. He returned DHs call Thurs nite. It turns out hell be transferring back up here and working at the location nearby in coordinating jobs with Alabama and Germany. He said hed walk DHs resume thru the system and help as much as possible. Were encouraged. Keep your fingers crossed. Today well be responding to more ads in the paper.

Yesterday at the pet store, I met a gal that lives nearby that has 3 Aussies. She was socializing a 1 yr old male. It was interesting. Missy is much calmer, doesnt bark at people and other dogs and isnt shy as this dog was. In fact yesterday at daycare, she played the whole time with a Bull Mastif. The other dogs were intimidated by his size. Not Missy. She went up to him, introduced herself and they became best buds.

Tonite well be going to a neighbors SB party. Since Missy will be crated for quite a while, well be taking her for a run at the dog park this afternoon so shell be tired and wont mind being crated.

Well, the snow prediction was way off. We only got about 4-5". Sorry you guys got so much. Its predicted to be up into the 40s this week. Cant wait, except Id prefer to keep the snow cover on the plants.

Sue, I love Zaks expression! And they say animals cant communicate! When we brot Patches home and she jumped on Bullets chair, he looked at us with and outraged expression like, "Youre going to let HER do THAT?!

For Bug, so youll get even more excited about your new addition. Hes Missy at 10 wks:

Mother Nature makes babies so cute so you dont mind all the trouble!

PM2, Id love to find Missy a job herding. I hear golf courses use Border Collies and Aussies to keep the pesky geese off the course. Cant wait until Missy sees the geese in the spring by the pond. Also, Im wondering what shell do when DDs cats move in. A friend told us that a neighbor had a heck of a time when they brot home an Aussie. The Aussie wouldnt let their 3 cats out of the bedroom! Twill be interesting here, Im sure.

Deanne, you really ought to look into selling your photos. Theyre phenomenal.

Yeah! Woody posted. Great to hear from you but so sorry youre dealing with medical/health issues. ((((Woody))). Youll be in my thots and prayers.

Mary, fabulous creations and what fun projects. I need some whimsical. Unfortunately, my creativity lately is limited to cover letters for DHs resumes.

Saucy, Eis kitchen is gorgeous. Id love to clone it. I need a new kitchen so I definitely have kitchen envy. I saw that PBS special on Parrots of Australia, too. It was so interesting and the scenery was spectacular, wasnt it? I thot all parrots came from South America. I was amazed at the varieties and how theyve adapted to climate change and how theyve become pests in some areas.

Great recipes, you guys. DH did pick up some of that Clam Chowder and it was a disappointment. It was OK, a little salty, not great. I think they changed chefs. Hmmm, guess Ill have to hunt down my old recipe.

Well, I have to get this show on the road, here. Thinking of all. TTYL.

Oh, lastly, Cindy, in todays paper there was an article on mold that had good info you might want to check out:

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 10:53AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

For those of you not interested in the Superbowl...there is a Puppy Bowl on the Animal Channel that just started here in New England @ 3pm! Very cute puppies! :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 3:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The plans for today got rewritten late last night. Yesterday afternoon as the musicians were rehearsing for today's services, they heard a loud cracking noise and thought that the windows were being blown out. It turned out to be much worse - one of the large, arching beams over the center of the sanctuary was splitting in two along its length.

Everyone is stumped as to why this has happened, but in the meantime the main portion of the church has been closed off. The chili fest and youth auction were canceled, and the services were held in the very crowded gym, which is in a separate section of the building.

Out there on the edges of my brain is that fact that my son's wedding is booked in the church 16 months from now. It sounds like a long time away, but if the permanent repairs should get bogged down in issues such as whether this was a construction flaw (the building is only 23 years old) it could take years to resolve. We had a problem with bad stain on our house which took two and a half years to resolve, and that was a repair that only cost a few thousand. This issue I'm sure will be much more expensive to repair.

Send good thoughts our way.

Woody, I'm so sorry to hear that your health issues are resurfacing. You'll be in my thoughts also.

Honey, best to Tom. It sounds like a few pieces may be falling into place. Missy is doll!

Mary, I'm concerned about the direction your miniature making is taking. You know what I mean...

Ei, my DS has asked me several times for some of my stand-by recipes, so I figured the cookbook would be a welcome gift. I would say you might want to play it by ear - see if your DDIL seems to really appreciate your cooking or if she seems to feel nervous that she can't compare. I don't think I'm saying that quite right, but I think you get the idea.

There's a flicker on the outside wall of the house behind me. I keep trying to get a photo when he's hear the windows, but he moves too darned fast. Mystic the Mouse Hunter is convinced that there is a very large rodent hiding behind something in the house.

Off to improvise some baking in the kitchen. Yeah, I know that "improv" and baking don;t really go together. Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 4:17PM
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This is one very pooped gramma. Kenzie spent the night and just went home. She is a very busy girl.

I just wanted to pop in and tell Woody that my thoughts are with you. I'm sorry to hear that you are faced with more health issues.

Mary, I'm not sure how you created the ladybug, but its adorable. Your beading is fabulous as well.

Deanne, your pictures are a delight. When Kenzie was here I was trying to teach her the different kinds of birds. She picked them up easily.

The picture of little Reed and mamma exudes love.

Ei, your set table looks wonderful. I like the candles in the dish.

I need to clean up the house a bit. Many things from the kitchen are scattered about from the floor install and Kenzie does seem to create a bit of havoc herself.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 5:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from puppy visitation. What a fun time we had too. We now know that a female puppy will be ours in two weeks, but which one we won't be told until that very day. The tension is driving me crazy. We do have a favorite, but will be delighted with whichever.
DH was a hoot on the way home, saying that the woman in charge was like a wicked MIL! I have to agree. She bossed her poor husband mercilessly and more...
Anyway, here are a few photos from today. It was hard taking them because there were about 4 different cameras going all the time!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 7:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Another photo that makes my heart go pitter patter: minus 4F.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Quick flyby to comment before I entirely lose the knack. First, to Woody, positive thoughts to you as you sort out the medical issues. I love the idea of dogs having "play dates," just like the kids these days. I fear we've missed the socialization window with our Ein, feisty tyrant that he is.

Honey, sounds like some good leads employmentwise. What a nuisance to go through, but that can-do attitude has got to get some results soon.

Didn't know Groundhog Day had achieved such celebrity, with tours and such. Bill Murray is a treasure, pure genius in The Life Aquatic as a Jacques Cousteau doppelganger. Terrible about the church. It would seem that such an essential part of people's lives would not be prey to lengthy lawsuits and bickering, so let's hope all will be well for the wedding.

The beadwork and crafts are delightful, if the miniature a tad Sweeny-Toddish, lol. Iris will adore the ladybug. I love that name, Iris, and don't hear it much anymore. I've added Dr. Who to the Netflix queue -- had no idea it's the longest tv show in the world. In fact, had never heard of it at all, but a sleepover guest had and gave it a thumb's up this morning. Wikipedia lists Douglas Adams of Hitchiker's Guide as an early writer, and Paul McGann was the "Doctor" in '96. Nuff said for me.

No soup here either but had a dinner party last night, seafood linguini with scallops, shrimp and lobster from our local lobbie connection, swordfish, bruschetta and olives. Seasonal denial, or West Coast version of Deanne's "thumb" party coming up. Had some lovely white wines, a Honig sauvignon blanc from Kathy's Napa Valley and a Spanish one whose name I forget.

Kathy, so the 16th is the multiple listing date. How exciting!

Ei, I took notes on your table's creation. What cleverness.

Deanne, that first bird photo is a standout even among your always first-rate photography.

Michelle, if you can ever get Kenzie to stand still for a moment, I think we're overdue for a photo. There's no kind of fatigue that matches that of caring for the under-five crowd. You grandmoms that do it all day are giving your families an inestimable gift, IMO.
PM2 your pond is lovely, and you say you've lived near it your whole life. How wonderful to become thoroughly acquainted with a landscape such as that, like your own Walden Pond.

Has the name been chosen, 'bug? So the final choice will not be up to you but to the wicked MIL? That last photo does get the heart thumpin'. That's gotta be the coziest place for Reed to be, literally next to his dad's heart.

My dad's health seems to be in free fall, and my mom is betting on him rallying for the Medit. cruise this spring, which I'm pretty sure she views as the last time we will all travel together. Here's a picture of health, my Aunt Rose on her 80th birthday, which I wrote about a few threads ago. The photos were not on the card but saved to the camera's hard drive, so it took some digging. I didn't know digital cameras could be set to NOT store to the card, but my dad managed to do it. Imagine her standing in that red dress, all 6 feet of her. And believe it or don't, but she and her sisters' hair does not gray!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Happy Sunday everyoneI have put away the painting supplies for the time being at least for a few more days. My painting clothes are becoming more and more Jackson Pollock like . Our weather remains unsettled. Rain may be here the middle of the week,and as is the pattern this winter it will be cold(insert wimpy Calif girl disclaimer) when it isnt raining. Im hoping it will be dry next weekend so I can finish my garden clean-up, though as the days get longer I may have an hour here or there after work to do some of those tasks.

Woody, I wish you strength and victory on the health front. Hope you can drop in to say hi from time to time.

Well Mary, I can see Im going to have to do some research on needle felting as I have no concept of how its done. You obviously have some good hand-eye coordination going on..

Honey, your DH seems to have quite a few irons in the fire ! I hope one pans out for him.
Geese: one thing I will miss is the frequent fly-over of geese that I have here because of my proximity to the Napa River. I love seeing the formation and hearing the wings and calls.

Wow V, that cracking timber in the church sounds scary. I imagine there will be some finger pointing while everyone tries to figure out who has the ultimate liability. Sounds like an engineering issue.

Aw shucks Marie, those puppies are just so cute ! So do we have a name now that the gender has been determined ?

I saw Rosalind Russell sitting in the red dress , Denise. Infused with the Auntie Mame vibe. Your dinner party menu sounds pretty good to me, saddled as I am with frozen leftovers as I continue to be a slave to home improvements I could eat shrimp and swordfish all day. Dungeness crab has been disappointingly expensive this winter.

So, as I had my evening glass of wine I did a little Idyll research. The link to the first Idyll didnt work, but below is the link to Idyll # 2 . Saucy posted the first Idyll in 2003 , and Chelone morphed Idle into Idyll a few threads after. I was interested to see the lengthy posts from jain who seems to live in my immediate area. I dont think she has posted since Ive been here.

Enjoy Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 9:07PM
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Our weather has warmed quite a bit and we now have fog and lots of hoar frost. Our drive to town goes down a 3 mile stretch of highway known as deer alley. They were thick tonight. It is very common to see herds of 25 - 50 along that stretch.

'bug, do I understand that you don't pick your puppy, but are assigned one? How does that work?

Kathy, the Idyll link was interesting. I wasn't around in the beginning. I joined in 2004 after seeing pictures of the Idyllunion and seeing what fun they all looked to be having. In 2006 DH and I went to IU3 and met many of those that hang out here these days.

I hope I look as good as Aunt Rose when I'm 80 :o)

Reed looks adorable peeking.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 10:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Not a drop of snow in the yard. I don't see any in the forecast either. Wishing for enough to cover the garden up again.

Ei....Thanks for the directions for that table. I never would have guessed you had hand painted it yourself. You did a great job and it is very unique! As for the minestrone soup, gee, no, I haven't used escarole before, but it is a great idea. I usually add kale. How is Scouty btw? I remember photos you posted of him before and what a beautiful dog he is.

Mary....your handwork is so pretty! Love the colors you put together. It looks like it must be very soothing to do. The minatures on the other hand, look so small, I think I would find that my dexterity is not what it used to be. [g] I got a good chuckle from your lady bug...lol. You did that in one night? Very cute. I also love your primrose! Very cheerful this time of year.

Honey, I never did hear the story of why your husband was out of work, but I am very happy for you that he has some possible opportunities opening up. I hope he can choose the one he prefers. :-) Love Missy's puppy pic! She was such a bundle of fur! I have also read stories about golf courses hiring to keep the geese off the course. I imagine you would have to find someone to train her for the herding? It will certainly not be dull at your house. [g]

I missed that special on parrots. We enjoy that type of show, I will have to see if it is coming on again.

V. ...sorry to hear about your church. I wouldn't be surprised if the insurance will try to speed things up since it isn't safe to use the building until it is fixed.

Gardenbug...well...puppy pics at last! It always amazes me how quickly puppies grow. They look twice as big as last pics. I love the one that is third from the bottom. Very surprising that they don't allow you to choose your own puppy. I've never heard it done that way. I hope you get the one you want. That is the sweetest pic of Reed with Mikhail. :-)

The pond pics....glad you all liked them. :-) Michelle, we moved a lot when I was young and my DH never moved once, so when we got married, we just never moved again, [g]...and yes, it is very comforting to live with the same landscaping for so long. I visited there with friends when I was in high school, then we took our kids and dogs there when they were small and now that the kids are grown, the two of us are still walking there. It is not the most amazing scenery, but it is a little slice of nature five minutes from the house. Someone asked, if it was a lake...it is a medium size pond.

MIchelle....glad you dug out that photo of your Aunt Rose. That is one really amazing looking lady at 80! All the more so, because everyone in our family grays early. Cousins who were turning gray in their late 20s. I agree with Kathy, a definite Auntie Mame vibe. lol Thanks for digging out the photo. I am sorry to hear that your Dad is not feeling well. I hope you all will make your trip in the spring.

Two weeks and Gardenbug will have her new puppy, Kathy will have her house officially listed and our daughter who is away on vacation will be home. She just left yesterday and I am missing her already.

Have a good Monday...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 8:41AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary...I forgot to mention that no, have never watched Dr Who. I had heard the name, but I didn't realize it was around so long. I am going to have to look for it. My DH was the sci-fi fan when we met and I had never watched sci-fi before that. We had just started dating when the Star Wars Trilogy and '2001' came out, so that was my introduction. I do enjoy it. :-)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all....

Kathy, I so enjoyed that link. I spent about an hour reading , and recognized all the names except Audrey in Kansas. What became of her? I became a member of GW in May of 2003, but it was several months later before I posted on the Idylls. It may have not been until 2004...I can't remember. Where did you find that one? I tried to do that but didn't come up with much.
I was posting on a lot of the other off topic forums, but soon lost interest in them.

We have returned to much above average temps again. It was in the 50s when I went to bed, and around 60 (!) when I got up this morning. Rain is predicted for later today, and tomorrow, with increasingly stormy weather and dropping temps by Wednesday. It sounds as though winter will return with a vengeance. Is is not unusual for us to have our coldest weather in Feb., including below zeros.

In reading the early Idyll thread I noticed the reports on emerging bulb foliage. Ours is already pecking out...crocus, daffodils, grape hyacinth,and some perennials.I hope the more tender ones will be snow covered when/if we get 0 or below! I usually do a lot of cleaning up of beds in February. I expect I will feel as sore as Sue did in March of 2003! I wish I knew a young willing able-bodied soul who could help me. There are 4 teenage cousins in the neighborhood, but I doubt if they would be interested....they have their 'own snakes to kill' LOL.

Hey, Denise...if the good Lord lets me stay here until I am 80, and if I am mentally and physically able, I think I will have my pic taken in a red dress and heels! :-)
I won't be nearly as striking as your aunt. I am only about 5' tall ! But, so far, I still have all my own hair color,

Pm2, there is nothing wrong with the size of your pond pics. You didn't need to downsize. The pond is lovely,( and those are great pics). How fortunate you are to have access to it.

Kathy, crowder peas are of the same species as black-eyes, but as the name suggests, the peas are crowded in the pod making them shaped differantly. Some call all of those species of peas 'cow peas', or 'field peas', or even 'southern peas'. I tend to call them all 'field peas'. When I first moved back here, most of the people I knew just called them 'peas'. To me, that means green peas. Another species is 'yard-long' or 'asparagus' pea. It has very long slender pods, and small peas. I have grown them, too.

Re: Progresso Soups. I buy them. I usually get the lower sodium ones.

Saucy, I was confusing Purple Hull peas with Crowders, which thay are not. They are Black-eyes. I find plenty of black-eyed peas in our local stores, both dry and canned.

Mary, I have a red beaded nacklace that slightly resembles your black one. I cannot remember where I got it, but I don't think it was given to me....probably from a yard sale? or auction. I love your ladybug. You have to be very adept with your hands to make such things. I am much too clumsy...:-(
Do you have a china closet that you keep your miniatures in?

Honey, that is wonderful news about the job prospects for your DH. It must be helping your moral considerably. I am glad we are well past that worry!

V, What a scare that must have been with the cracking beam in the church building. Sure good that it didn't fall and injure anyone. Could it have been cause by a tremor?

All the puppies are cute...too bad they grow up to be dogs! LOL
I love the pic of Marie's SIL and peeking baby. :-)

Nolon sighted 'our' turkeys again yesterday. I wish they were as bold as jain's ( in the old Idyll thread). I was amused with the thought of them flying over her. I had that happen here. A whole flock went over me, and our house, while I was out in the front yard, a few years ago. Quite a sight! I wish her picture was still available.
We are more apt to hear them than see them.

In about two more weeks the red maples and elm trees should start blooming in the Harrison area. Then ours...a week or so later. But who knows what this year will bring?


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Woody -- Im so sorry you've had to start the year off w/ re-emerging major health issues -- know we are thinking of you - I hope you or 'bug can keep us up to date from time to time -- I love seeing you pop in -- I will hope that this latest bout gets solved quickly and smoothly for you -- you are one durned brave, determined, positive person. Keep it that way.

Mary -- incredible talent -- you are definitely becoming a mini mini mini *meee..... I love bling but am not talented enough to make -- only buy! You definitely could make a living at either of those most recently acquired skills. Love 'em all.

Denise - thanks for sharing that wonder at 80 -- yep, I would love to look like that any day of the week at any age - wow - amazing, really 80??? I hope your Dad's health plateaus so you are all able to make the vacation together - it is painful to watch though isnt it?

O, count me in as a diehard SciFi fan - yes, I've watched all the Dr. Who's and watch the most currentt one pretty faithfully - even the spinoff "Torchwood" which is on BBC America.... Im so weird I guess I like weird things....

V -- boy, that is one scary thing re the church -- engineering structural problem? eeek -- can only imagine the fall-out over all this -- the least of which, not being your own personal dilemma... unless you like the gym as a possible alternate site for the son's wedding, you may have to start thinking of other possible's....

'bug - love those pup photos - I too am amazed that you dont get to pick the pup you want.... having gone thru the breeder route w/ my latest pick, I was astonished how controlling some of the breeders make it -- man, it's like applying for some ivy league college or fancy private club -- amazing what lengths they make you go thru. I hope you get your favorite!

Thanks, Honey, for the info; still gathering intelligence -- and trying not to strangle the insurance adjuster or panic. We're still "inspecting" w/ a bunch of different folks involved. Sounds like DH has some great prospects -- I will cross my fingers that something pops really quickly for him.

I actually got a lot accomplished yesterday w/ some real cleaning and more sorting; even managed a run to the grocery store. Now, it's back to it being Monday and rushing here....

Hope the week goes quickly and painlessly for all of us!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I just want you all to know, I am not ignoring Susan's ( Woody) report on her medical condition. She and I have covered that in e-mails. My prayers are definitely for her.
I agree with what Cindy said, "you are one durned brave, determined, positive person".
Susan,do keep us updated.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Afternoon Idylls!

I've been nodding my head in an animated "yes", as I've been reading along...

I agree; Woody is an amazing, strong, & determined spirit and my positive thoughts are with her too!

I agree Cindy, in fact I was thinking *exactly* the same thing...Mary is an amazingly talented woman. I admire all her skills & talents...and she is blessed with many.

Denisez...your mother is stunning and what a lucky girl you are to have such wonderful genes passed down to you. I *wish* my hair didn't have any gray. :-) But, I guess I should be grateful... Other than the graying hair, I was given wonderfully healthy peasant genes :-) Went today for my 5 point check and lube job. My adorable (unfortunately) "30 something" physician performed an ekg and tells me I have the heart of a champion racehorse...is that good? LOL! Got my blood work done, a tetanus shot, antibiotics for my sinuses and go back on Friday for a bone density test....I wonder if I should be studying up for that one? :-) He tells me I'm due for my first colonoscopy. When he announced that I yelled out "WHOO HOO"...I guess he wasn't expecting that...well at least I got him to laugh. :-) I don't know how I'll get through it. I'm not worried about the colonoscopy itself, it's the fluids you have to drink. I'm a sipper, not a gulper...I *cannot* drink a lot or quickly and I hear you have to drink *A* *LOT* and it tastes awful. I really am worried how I'll be able to do that.

Loved hearing about the anticipated nature changes Marian...very soothing and comforting to think of life progressing as it should...don't think we'll see any blooming maples here for several months. BTW, what video did you end up watching? I went to my friends superbowl, but left at halftime as my sinuses were just killing me. I'm so glad I left when I did because we had more snow and it was a true white out. I was scared stiff driving home and couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of me. I nearly cried with relief when I got home. But this morning, I'm feeling kind of good about it...I'm proud of myself that I made it home safely and didn't have a melt down! :-) I'm a chicken driver. LOL about the puppies turning into dogs Marian! :-) Well, I love puppies *and* dogs...heck I love any and all furry creatures. :-) Except for trantulas! :-)

Honey...that Missy is about the most "cuddle me" bundle of fur I've ever seen and she's a beauty as an adult too!:-)
If I were there when she was lying there like in the pic, there would be no way I could resist picking her up and shoving her little head in the crook of my neck and burying my face in her fur.

I see GB's just full of cute pictures too! :-) I'd even love snuggling Reed, although I'm certain he has no fur...LOL!

V - how neat that your DS *asked* for recipes...I'm afraid no one has asked me from the newly wed front. Guess that is why I'm uncertain if DDIL would even want a family cookbook. But maybe I'll order an extra one anyway and if she ever asks for a recipe then I can hand her the book! :-) Scary story about church...so glad no one was injured.

Thanks for asking about Scout PM2. He is doing *okay*, but has lots of health issues, the poor sweety. He *is* the joy of my life (well, at least in the top three...I suppose I can't forget hubby and of course I wouldn't forgot DS)! I've been reminiscing and reminding myself of *all* the reasons why I love Scout so much and there are many. Hope you guys don't mind me rambling a bit, but I've been wanting to put some of it down in words. Some of the things I love about Scout: Ever since he was a wee puppy...he has always been very polite and thoughtful. For instance, in the morning, if I'm slow to rise and he is hungry he'll come to my side of the bed and in a very low whisper he'll clear his throat "eeeh, eehh"; he'll say..."eeh, ehhh", but *never* would he bark...that would be rude...LOL! When he clears his throat like that I imagine he is saying...."Pssst...pardon me, I don't mean to disturb, but I do believe it is past my 6:00 am feeding time". If he doesn't get a rise out of me, he'll clear his throat again. I tell you it's the cutest thing and always makes me smile (which is a great way to wake up in the morning)!
He has the most endearing personality (at least to me, anyway). The other day my DS & DDIL were over with their new puppy. Scout was less than entranced. In his old age he has no desire to be with puppies. She kept on trying to get to him and he was standing next to me...looking up at me like "Please mom, can't you get rid of her?" I looked at Scout and said, "Well Scout...you *have* to admit, she *is* awfully cute!" I am not lying...Scout curled his lip up to the side and went "grrrrrr" and gave me the most perturbed look! Everybody cracked up! Now you might believe the timing was merely coincidental, but I like to think that Scout knew *exactly* what I was saying and let me know exactly what he thought...LOL!

Poor Paul...he just called me and apparently his flight was canceled (snow and fog) and so now he is to be flown to Colorado, where he'll make a connecting flight to Chicago (if all goes as it should), but now he won't be home until after midnight. Poor guy...I hate waiting in the airports.

Well, I guess I best be going. I think I'll throw something in the crockpot that I can keep warm and maybe Paul will want to eat some of it when he gets home.

Mary I *love* your little lady bug and would love to make something like that. What exactly is felting and needling? Do you think someone who has never sewn (except hems) and who doesn't remember how to knit, could do something like that? I'd love to learn how! Anyway, as far as victorian jewelry is concerned, lavaliere can be spelled two ways, that I know of; lavalier and lavaliere. I added a link to a neat antique jewelry website that I think you would enjoy perusing. Lots of things that may give you some ideas (not that you need any) and I'm sure you could come up with all kinds of wonderful things to make for yourself. BTW, sorry, I didn't realize that your one piece was a bracelet, not a choker. It's *very* lovely. I have to read more carefully! I just have a few lavalieres and mine are mostly the very tiny & delicate kind, and not truly the kind I was thinking of when I saw your necklace:

This necklace is only about 1&1/2 inches long from bail to pearl end and the diamond is really not much more than a chip...but I love the dainty look and intricate design of this kind of jewelry.

Your necklace reminds me more of this kind of lavaliere...which I *also* love. I have one sterling one similiar to this one. But this one is not mine, though I wish it were! :-)

Okay...I better be off. My arm is *aching*! I had to hurry and snowblow and shovel out my neighbor's across the street this afternoon, as they are elderly and he needed to get to his doc and was afraid he wouldn't be able to get out. After I did his, I did mine. I didn't remember until just now when my arm started aching me that the doc told me not to do anything strenous with the arm, cause it would cause it to ache, due to the tetanus shot. What a dope I am. Oh well, I'm sure it will go away....

Hope you all have a wonderful evening and "Hi to any and all I missed!"


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 4:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I think I could fill an idyll of my own with tales of our winter weather. Yesterday, our Super Bowl surprise was over 3 inches of snow (on top of the 5 or 6 we had from Thursday/ Friday). Today, we had rain with a little thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. The first lightning flash was one of those "was that just me or did you see a flash" events. Once the rain ended, the serious fog settled in. And now we have heavy snow predicted for tomorrow night. I just can't imagine what the roads will be like! I've already had an event canceled for Tuesday.

I'm not sure if it's a sign of age or if I'm just getting worn down by this winter, but the weather-related cancellations are such a relief!

I loved Aunt Rose's photo. Are you sure there's no gray, or you just can't see the top of her 6' tall head? ;)

Enjoying all the posts, but DH has now sent me on a quest to buy some red twig dogwoods. Later!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 8:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks for the supportive thoughts. I'm not feeling particularly brave or positive at the moment; just very nervous! I was feeling in need of a pick-me-up activity today so we trotted off this afternoon to the Royal Botanical Gardens to meet Hercules!

Hercules is a rare bit of botanical wonder. Perhaps youve heard of him and his relatives theyve been popular in the press the past few years.

Hercules is a 7 year old from study stock:

Hes a handsome thing:

A closer view:

Apparently they are easy to propagate by either seeds or cuttings so they should soon be more readily available for commercial sale. I doubt that they will turn out to be hardy in this sort of climate though. I assume part of the purpose of distributing them to botanical gardens around the world is to test how they do in various climates and growing conditions.

There must have been a stained glass workshop at RBG recently because there was lots of glass things in various places. I liked this one in the bulb room:

The big jades were blooming nicely too. Heres Barb with one of them so you can see how big and impressive the jade plant was:

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 8:46PM
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Salutations..we had a dry Monday , but did see the sun for a change. Rain was forecast for the rest of this week off and on, but it looks like that wont be happening. Maybe Ill be able to get out next weekend and pour some mulch on top of the weeds. The smothering tactic is about all that works when the ground is as soggy as it is right now.

Marian, glad you enjoyed Idyll 2, I came across it in a very convoluted manner ;I was trying to find some info from one of the rose forums from the olden days . Im not even quite sure how I got there ! Anyway, the 1st Idyll was there too, but the link did not work and it wouldnt open. If I find it again Ill try it again. Thanks for the explanation on the crowder peas. I have heard the terms cow peas and field peas before. It would be fun to invent a crowder pea chili... Maybe you already have. You are having warmer temps that we are right now ! Have not seen 60 around here for a while, but may do so late this week.

Ei, I really enjoyed your tribute to Scout and his winning ways. He must have had excellent human-parental influence in his youth ! Good for you with those hardy peasant genes ! We should all be so lucky . No doubt this is the strength of character that got you home at halftime in the white-out. Though we dont have those types of events here, we do have fog , which can be quite thick in the late fall and winter, and no fun to drive in.

Michelle , what exactly is hoar frost ?

Cindy, sorting and cleaning is step one on the road to pack-rat freedom. I continue to be astonished at the crapola I have been lugging around for multiple moves. I went to Staples and bought the cheapest pak of bankers boxes they had and I have them labeled with each kid and one for my late DH -old school photos, diplomas, etc. Already gave DD her box when she was here for Thanksgiving. I decided they each get one box, so I have edited and tossed plenty of stuff, trying to keep things that will be interesting for them to look at in the future.

V, thinking that Midwest-Chicagoland type weather must be really character building, and that is its reason for being.

So where is Chelone ? Trapped with a bucket of primer in the Salon ?

Thats all for me..

Oooh, refreshed and there were Woodys photos ! The foliage on the Wollemi pine is very similar to that of the coast redwood. Ive seen an article on that pine somewhere recently FG maybe ? Jade Trees will grow here outdoors in a protected area-where I grew up in Los Angeles they were often used as foundation shrubs . I hope activities like this will help you along your path , wherever it leads.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh my, Susan! I wish my jade plants looked like that. How I wish I had a greenhouse. That pine is a beauty. I wonder how hardy they think it is. A you know, I love to grow the unusual...espacially any tree that was once considered extinct. I would sure like to visit a Botanical garden. There is none close to here.
(((( Susan)))) ...those are for you ...to help give you strength.

Ei, we didn't end up watching any video.Nolon has lost interest in watching any lengthy movie. I have taken to reading, and am working on another old book that I've had for some time and never read. It is "The Story of the Irish Race" by Seumas MacManus. It has over 700 pages, and I have only gotten to page 99 after several days of reading off and on. It is very tedious, and I am hoping it gets more interesting as it goes along. The names of the ancient Irish are very hard to read and try to pronounce. I have came to the age after St. Patrick arrived there and changed the entire history of the Irish.
I think I have some Irish blood, and Nolon is half Irish, so I thought a history of the race would be interesting.
Wow, I'm so glad you got home safe from the friends house. I know what you mean about being "scared stiff" because of the white out. I would have been petrified! ( LOL, I guess that would be the same as " stiff"! ) I also know what you mean about feeling proud of your accomplishment. I feel the same way when I do something really challenging.
LOL, about Scout's wisdom. We think the same about our Tommy, even more so than Trubby. He seems to understand what we say. It's too bad our pets have so much shorter lifespan than we have.
LOL about your response to the Doctor saying you need a colonoscopy. I like a doctor that I can feel comfortable expressing myself to. The one I have now is that kind. She seems quite amused at me. ( Probably thinks I am a strange old lady...lol.) You are right, drinking the 'stuff' is the hardest part. Will this be your first bone density test too? I have had 2 of them. It is a 'piece of cake'.

I am concerned about the predicted incoming weather. I need to go to town tomorrow, but the prediction is for 100% chance of severe weather, starting tonight and getting worse as the day comes on. Heavy rains, hail, and even small tornados are possible.I'd rather be at home, but do need things from town....for myself, for Nolon, and for the cats!

Is it my imagination, or was this a slow day for posting? So many haven't been heard from, espacially those who usually post early.

I am hoping I get an answer about Audrey ??


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

You were posting the same time as I. Thanks for the ans to my question. No, I haven't tried crowder chili, or any other field peas in chili. Out temp today got up to 68. I haven't needed heat since day before yesterday. The high Wednesday is to be in the 30s !

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've never been able to get a jade plant to bloom. They all have lush blooms at the nursery though. Hmmm. Woody, I'm glad you picked a decent day for your excursion with Barb! Right now it is raining heavily here though. Never know what the day will bring.

Today I went out and bought puppy chew toys and soft toys. Also a water bowl that attaches to the wire framed pen. Then I went and bought Nana type gift toys for DH to take with him when he visits DD toward the end of February.

Tomorrow evening we have a very big Gravel Watch gathering. The head of the Green Party is speaking to us in a fairly nearby town.

DD has been sharing the difficulties involved with constant interference from an angry ex-wife in pain. It is tedious predictable stuff which is harmful to Skyler's development I feel. They do an amazing job though of providing the kind of atmosphere that will help him thrive. I'm glad she shares with me. I'm certain I wouldn't have as my relationship with my Mom was quite different.

I miss Chelone's input also and hope all is well on the pet/work/salon/reading front.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:14PM
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Ei, Rick had pills that he took before his colonoscopy, but I believe a fair amount of water went with them.

V, I think our weather tracks right over to you. We had snow this morning. An accident that closed the south lanes of the expressway caused a detour this a.m. We only got about 2" of the promised 4.

Woody, thanks for taking us along to the RBG. I like the iris stained glass and the frame they have for it. I have done several iris'. One is a stained glass stepping stone. I'm not sure what the blue birds are but I've always thought that I should make a couple of pink flamingos for my tropical area. I just never seem to find the time.

Kathy, hoar frost is white ice crystals that form on everything. It seems to especially happen when you have fog. Great scientific explaination huh? Here's a photo of early in January. Notice how the trees are all white, its not snow but frost that clings to each branch. You can see that the shrubs in the foregound have it mostly on one side. It tends to do that if there is a breeze. I enjoy driving to work when it looks this way. All the fencelines, grasses in the ditch and electric lines are coated.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Shrove Tuesday. What do pancakes have to do with this? Seems every church has pancake breakfasts in our area.... OK, Google to the rescue. Milk, eggs and butter are fatty foods and therefore gobbled down just prior to Lent. I see!

Misty day today. I am searching for a smallish crate for bringing home puppy. Ours is a giant one, too big for her now and besides, I want one for upstairs near the computer while she is small. I'm too cheap to buy one for only a short time though. I've got requests out with various doggie friends. Today her name is Phoebe. Will it stick?

DH wants pancakes now...

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:58AM
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Phoebe. Well, that brought me back, Holden's sister in Catcher in the Rye.

The hoar frost photo is exquisite.

The only bling I wear is a thumb drive/flash drive, on a halyard around my neck, to back up work off the laptop before I leave the conf. room. Just got a new one from Apple, 2 GB, that Mitch keeps reminding me looks like a suppository of some sort, insolent youth. He's been back from NYC for about a week, now building up the color side of his "book" to show photo agencies. Black & white is not happening at the moment, apparently.

I hope you make it to town okay, Marian, to "lay in some supplies." That phrase sounds so Old West, doesn't it? I'm enjoying your bean dissertation. Beans are the best. Have your read "How the Irish Saved Civilization" by Cahill? It is much shorter and might keep you from abandoning the subject entirely, then you could get back to that longish one refreshed.

V, jeez, do you have to hog the infinite variety of weather to yourself? We did get more rain Sunday, and this year's quota puts us definitely out of the drought, thankfully. We do rain and wind, then blue sky and clouds. The stars have been so clear with the air purged by the rain that I nearly dragged out the telescope at 4:30 a.m. rather than head to the computer. Almost but duty calls.

Thanks for sharing the outing with Hercules, Woody. I love the idyll field trips. Whenever I get nervous over impending stuff, I hit books hard. A book I really liked was The Professor and the Madman, about early contributors to the Oxford dictionary, really absorbing. The audiobook is very good.

Finally Super Tuesday here in Calif. Just might do a news blackout today.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phoebe is in astronomy too, 14th moon of Saturn. That makes her shiny and brilliant. Also a version of Diana, the huntress. And much more. A fond friend of my Mom's who was Chinese and taught art history with her, etc etc...

Bling? Very very seldom here. Though some may recall a gingko necklace I purchased at an early Idyllunion. Also green toenail polish (a one time thing) that would have matched Mary's lime green attire. But I don't even wear a wedding ring.

DS & the lovely Yvonne (and Sunny) are no longer speaking. They have both written me one liners to this affect. So sorry, but better now than later I guess.

Hoping the ice melts in the drive so I can get out and accomplish a few things.

Pancakes were good, with fresh blueberries. I'm stuffed.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:58AM
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I suppose Ganymede won't do, lol.

That's too bad about the couple. I really liked them in the photos! Mitch had an enormous fight, permanent rupture, with the ex-girlfriend he briefly reunited with in NYC. Instinctively, I go neutral but notice that I have an underlying sympathy for the girl. When Mitch tells the story, I play devil's advocate, e.g., "Maybe what you call irrational behavior is due to insecurity about the relationship. Ever think of that?" You just can't know from the outside the synergy between a couple, IMO. And just might be TMI from kids sometimes, lol. Except between a daughter and a mom, of course!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Too funny! I tend to sympathize with the girl too. DS is 36, and there have been many lovely ladies along the way.(and one pill). He's a tough number for longer than 10 minutes. I love him dearly though!

Ten year old Phoebe had red hair. Puppy will NOT!

Ganymede is not a good call name. Phoebe is excellent.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 10:57AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian....on my posted pics...I just happened to notice the amount of KBs on the larger size and remembered that a smaller size was recommended for threads, because the larger size files [not the dimensions] slow down opening the thread for people who don't have high speed access. That was the reason I downsized the pics. Wow, that your trees will be budding up soon and bulbs are emerging. We are at least a month away from any bulb foliage emerging, I think. You certainly have a short winter!

Ei....Hope DH got home on time last night and that the streets are more passable for you today. White out conditions are very difficult to drive in. Legitimate worry to be on the roads with dangerous conditions. So many things can happen whether you are a good driver or not. We try to stay off the streets in bad weather, but sometimes you get stuck. When my Mom was alive, in the winter, when she would visit, she would keep checking the time and the weather to leave before she would get into a problem driving home. [g] Sorry to hear that Scout has health issues. How old is he? I loved your stories of him. I was always touched by that aspect of pets too, that they seem to be able to communicate with humans so well. :-)

Woody! What a surprise to see your post with pics of the RBGardens no less! Didn't know the Jade Plant would get that huge and blossom! Such a wonderful approach to dealing with stress, to distract yourself and have a chance to be with friends/family and around growing plants. I find all things green very calming. :-)

For gardenbug too....who was asking the question, what am I doing to try to stay calm inside and out, which is my new year's resolution. Taking things one step at a time and not getting too far ahead always helps me. I can stay focused if I concentrate on what I can do about something. I also find trying to stick to my usual schedule as much as possible also has the effect of making me feel more centered. Right now, I am observing what helps and trying to learn something new. [g] Just making the goal of staying calm has been very effective in helping me to remember it when under stress. I have been surprised that I have already had a few stressful situations and almost every time, I have thought in the middle of it, to try to see how I can stay calm and focused. So far it is a very interesting experiment. I am not expecting myself to be any calmer at this point, although I think I have been a little, but I am trying to be more aware of what triggers my stress and what escalates it and see what I can do to reduce it. It should be an interesting year. [g] I am sure you all have some favorite approaches you could share?

Gardenbug...it must make you feel like you have overcome something to now have a 'sharing' relationship with your daughter. The things that seem to have become the most important to me and that I work the hardest at, are the things I missed out on at some point in my life. So that seems to be the silver lining in some of the hard things we have to deal with. Don't you think?

Michelle...love that winter wonderland shot!!

Denise...no bling here either. [g] Did you already tell me about your Apple?

Blueberries, another superfood. :-)

Grown children and significant others. *sigh* LOL. So calm inspiring when things are going well, so painful when they are not. I often think it is a curse to see one step ahead of them. Or at least think you do. [g] Especially when for the most part they seem to have to learn it all for themselves. I think having someone, like a parent, to feel comfortable to talk to and feeling free to listen to the input a parent gives and free to take advice or not, is as much as you can expect, I guess.

Raining here and gray....back to computer research, making progress.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 11:12AM
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Woody, good thoughts and well wishes from me, too. I know I don't "know" you, but you come across strong to me and I always admire that in you.

Hello to everyone else, too. Missing Chelone and Deanne as my routine seems off if they're not posting in the morning :)

Bummed about the breakups....I too almost always sympathize with the woman's point of view. I really thought the canine addition to the family would be fabulous :)

Sue, remember that tripadvisor can't be all that true as people are more likely to complain than to compliment. I recently called a place I wanted to stay and told them about their poor status and I had a great stay - best room waiting with a bottle of wine chilling....might want to try it.

I'm trying to pull things together here and be prepared for next week's departure. Easier said than done. I do feel that it is a step that Nick and I must take and not let being business owners keep us from finding solutions to "getting away"....luckily we have another company that we cover when they're out and vice versa.

Good find on the first idylls as Spike switched us to a different server at one point and that made them hidden from a google search. I always thought it'd make a fun read bound together as a book....we could fund our 10th anniversary trip to England :)

I'm enjoying all the talk about beans, too. I always thought they were field peas because they didn't climb....am I just silly?

Lots of stuff going on with me that I can't share on the internet and it makes me feel like I'm not a good idyller if I can't share. That's tough for me. I'll probably be in the background for a little bit.

I'll be back before I leave on Sunday, though. Hopefully the sunshine will make my outlook brighter.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, don't be silly. Share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.
Eden? Deanne? YOO-HOO!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 2:10PM
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Hello everyone

Ei - thank you for the neat info on the jewelry and cool link. I really enjoyed browsing the link and the micro mosaics in particular and have often thought it would be fun to own one. In another phase of my life when I worked at the New York Historical Society I was fascinated by some of the oddities of Victorian jewelry including the mourning pieces and hair jewelry.

Woody - I loved seeing Barb's smiling face:0) and your photos from your trip.

Michelle - somehow a hoar forst sound poetic to me. here's an example of one from a Chinese poet I enjoy:

A Tranquil Night
Before my bed a frost of light

Is it hoarfrost upon the ground Eyes raised,

I see the moon so bright

Head bent, in homesickness I'm drowned

Marian - I love getting stuck into a long book if the subject interest me. Hope you enjoy yours.

Hi Saucy - I agree with GB - share as much here as time and your comfort level allows, but just don't feel bad about it. We'll enjoy hearing from you anytime.

Tonight I'm driving Annie and two friends to their group violin lesson. I always enjoy hearing them chat as they are so fun and spontaneous and interested in things. Before that I need to throw something together for dinner.

The soup challenge was so much fun - how about doing another this month for perhaps our favortie chicken dish, side or pasta.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls!

I'm getting very perturbed with myself....I *think* I'm reading carefully and then I keep on making goof ups...Sorry Denisez...I just realized that was your aunt... *not* your mom. In any case she *is* stunning and oh to be 6 ft....I am vertically challenged! :-( So is your aunt, your mom's sister or your dad's sister. Or, did you say that already and I missed that too? I hope not!

Mary - nearly all of the jewelry I own was purchased by me, back in the days when I worked in the city and you couldn't turn a corner without running into an antique store. Plus, in the town I grew up in there were many neat antique stores. I have always been fascinated with antiques and could spend hours in those stores. I always found the owners of these mom & pop antique stores to be very interesting people and really appreciated the fact that they loved sharing their knowledge. I could spend hours just admiring the antiques and learning about their history. I don't antique shop much anymore, as I don't have room for knick knacks and most of the things that I would like to have, have gone way up in price since "back in the day" (I am really feeling old these days)....I hate that! Maybe it's the announcement of my colonoscopy...LOL! Anyway, I too admire the mourning jewelry, but more just "black colored" jewelry than true morning pieces. To be honest, I get a little freaked out and don't think I could own a piece of jewelry that had someone else's hair or photo's of their deceased loved ones in it. It's just me, but it kind of makes me feel like I would be disrespecting the person. It's silly I know, and if someone didn't collect that jewelry, than there would be no history to share in the future. So, don't mind me, I'm wierd. But, I do love the micromosaics too and the petra dura stuff! :-)

Michelle...I love your photo and I was immediately reminded of a print that I have always loved. Though the subject may not be *exactly* the same...I think your photo captures the same mood and beauty:

Thanks too Michelle about the pills...I didn't even know that was a possibility. How did Rick end up with pills instead of the liquid? I wonder if my doctor would be okay with that instead.

I know V...I've just about had it too! And they say we will have 6 inches tonight!?! Oh well, this too shall pass?; right? I mean it *can't* be snowing here in May...can it?!?...LOL! Oops...maybe I shouldn't have said that...Mother Nature may be snickering at me right now! :-)

Woody how you are feeling is certainly understandable and you have every right to feel the way you do right now, but I have always admired (and still do) your active role in your health and health issues and that *does* take a strong and determined spirit. Thanks too Woody, for sharing your tour of the RGB...what a lovely place! I can't get over the size of those houseplants...my goodness...I can't even keep one alive at my house! I've never heard of a Hercules tree. I'll have to look that one up.

Saucy...I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I hope the trip you are planning is for fun? If so, just try the next few days to focus on that. I guess I'm a bit of an ostrich sometimes. But sometimes it works for me to just put the "bad" thing off to the side for a little while and focus on something that's going to bring me joy and by the time I have to focus on the "bad" thing again, sometimes I find they've just "righted" themselves. Don't mean to diminish or over simplify whatever is upsetting you (and I don't have any idea what it is) just trying to help...but if I didn't (help, that is)...just ignore me; okay? :-)

PM2..thanks for asking. Actually, Paul lucked out and once flown to Colorado, actually got a flight into Chicago even earlier than anticipated. He is *very* lucky as so many flights were canceled. In fact all of the flights at Midway were canceled, as well as the majority of flights into O'Hare. Dear Scout is 8&1/2, but he has had health issues nearly all is life, the poor guy. I thought I was very careful about selecting a breeder, but apparently I didn't do as good a job as I should have. Oh well, it doesn't matter...I wouldn't trade Scout for the world! :-)

GB...I *do* love that name; Pheobe! Laughing about the names because one of the young garden gals just had her first baby...a little boy, which she ended up naming Luke. She was really having a time of deciding on a name and so I'd call her every few days to suggest a new one...LOL! She did *say* she was looking for suggestions. My last suggestion was Max (Maxwell); she loved it, but hubby did not. Oh well, I think Luke is a very nice name too. :-)

Hi Marian! I love to read too, but for some reason reading always seems to put me to sleep these days. I thought it was my vision, but I picked up a cheap pair of reading glasses and it didn't really help, I *still* fall asleep while reading. Maybe I should sit in an uncomfortable chair....LOL! But I really enjoy reading snuggled up in a comfortable chair with a fire going, or up in my bed....I'm probably too comfortable. But...700 pages? That would probably take me months to read. :-) I *keep* on saying I'm going to read War & Peace...just because. But I've owned the book for many years and think I *might* be on chapter three...LOL! Yes, I like my new doctor...even if he *is* just a kid! :-) BTW, yes, this is my first bone density test. So could you fill me in? What exactly do they do?

I'd love to hear from Chelone too. What were you guys talking about "on a ladder"? I assume she is painting? Hope she can get off the ladder and come say "hi" when she gets a chance.

And I hope that Deanne's just busy and that the "bug" isn't getting her down...

Well, I better go. Need to rustle up some grub for myself, as Paul is not going to be home. There are two buttercream frosted chocolate cupcakes here...wonder if that could qualify for dinner?


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 7:26PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ei, you naughty idyll! How dare you mention snow in May!

Denise, you're right that I am hogging all of the interesting weather. I really didn't mean to be greedy, so I am sending the 14" of snow that we are to get over to you instead.

Yes, I said 14"! I'm a little further north than Ei, so we'll get hit harder. They also upped the latest prediction, but don't tell Ei, it will ruin her evening. Even worse when she realizes I have eaten her cupcakes...

I had one of those "Oh do I feel old" moments this evening. I went to vote, and the election judge was one of my former Sunday school students! Well, at least he recognized me.

'bug, too bad about DS and his (ex)girl. Oh well, those are choices only they can make. I like Phoebe as a name. Ever see the old joke about the guy who named his dog sex? It's been around a long time, but if you've never seen it I'm sure Google will share it with you.

Yes, I'm wondering what's happened to Deanne and Chelone, among others.

I think I need to call the snow plower and make some arrangements. TTYL,


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 8:32PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Happy Paczki Day! DH got up early and got some for us. I wish he didnt, but geez, theyre good. This place nearby makes them from the original Polish recipe. I think I can feel my arteries clogging as I write.

The news from the front is that DH got a call back this am from the company our friend was exec. director, and has an interview scheduled for next Tuesday! This company is about 20 miles away. Yeah! We just finished up responding to ads from this weekends paper this am. Perhaps that will yield something, too. It only takes one. So were encouraged.

I just finished repairing the new foam cushion for Missys crate we bot 2 days ago. Missy Mischief chewed an 8" round hole in the side of it. Were hoping she didnt swallow any of the pieces. Were taking it away from her for now. She went to the groomer today and came home exhausted.

DH went over to help DD today. One car has a flat tire and the other one is leaking brake fluid. She cant unload them yet and get a decent car. Shes got a call in to the lawyer to see whether in this kind of emergency situation, she can sell these two cars to get one good one w/o going against the injunction or have the new car tied up in the divorce.

Update: when taking DD to the dealer to get her car repaired, DD and DH looked at used cars and found one with 15,000 miles that just came back from lease. Its like a brand new car and the price was unbelievable. And what a fabulous car. Ennyhoo, we spent the afternoon there comparing it to other cars, test driving, etc., etc., and have a deposit on it. Theyll hold it for us for 2 wks. Hopefully, by that time DD will have her settlement finalized and she can complete the purchase. If not, well buy the car and work something out.

V, how awful about that beam! Thank goodness the building didnt come down. Im hoping theyve hired a structural engineer to decide if it needs shoring up or not. Your son and fiancé might have to have a "Plan B" for their wedding. Has Mystic found that critter in the fireplace yet? Do you think a raccoon couldve made a nest up in the chimney? I hear thats quite common. Were on the same wavelength -- Im finding myself much less tolerant of this winter crapola, too. Thanks for your kind thots about Tom.

Michelle, my hat is off to you. You were still able to post after a day with a 3 yr old! Id probably need an ambulance. 25-50 deer along the road yee gads. I didnt know what a hoar frost was either. Thanks for the info. Were in-line to get the snow after V. I can hear the sleet hitting the windows now.

Oh "Bug! Theyre all so very cute! And I love, love, love the peek-a-boo pic. Sure wish we had digital cameras back when our kids were young. You have some real keepsakes.

Pm2, what a lovely pond. I never tire of looking at the water and I find it has a calming effect on me. As for DH, he took an early retirement pkg. 5 yrs. ago when the getting was good, knowing that hed have to get another job. So hes spent most of the time since at a parts supplier as a contract person. He was let go due to a staff reduction in December and cant be rehired until the judge approves and company emerges from bankruptcy -- if they elect to rehire him. So thats why hes unemployed at the moment.

About Missy and herding, from what I understand certain traits are hard-wired in the breed but shed need some coaching and guidance, Im sure. I dont think shed hurt another animal/bird, but its hard to tell. One of DDs kitties is an Alpha male and quite full of himself. It sure will be interesting around here.

Denise, so sorry to hear your Dads health is failing. Hugs to you and your family. Your aunt is truly amazing I would have never thot she was 80. What great genes you inherited.

Kathy, I think Taryn in Ontario started the Idylls. I joined late in 2003 and it had been going for quite awhile before that. At least thats what I thot. When I joined, Marian, Bug, Jain, Deanne, Sue, Monique, V, Babs, Taryn, Drema, Cynthia, Saucy and Mary were all regulars. David also popped in often.

Im so glad youre taking a breather from all that painting. Will you be able to dig and take any plants with you when you move? Good for you for editing your stuff. Ive tried to keep on top of ours but found I need to dig in and pitch every year. You commented on Vs weather. I always note V and Eis weather b/c whatever theyre having today, well most likely have tomorrow.

Marian, we use the low fat/sodium Progresso Soups, too. I have a stash in the pantry for when Im a sickie and cant or dont want to make lunch or dinner.

I havent been able to get the link to the old Idyll to work. Ill try again later.

Ei, I had to laugh at your comment about Missys puppy photo. That was exactly what I wanted to do with her but she was such a wiggle worm she wouldnt stay still for a snuggle. AND we had to keep our noses and faces out of the way of those sharp puppy needle-teeth. When she was awake, she was on fast-forward mischief like a mini tornado so we enjoyed letting her power-nap. Plants in her path were particularly vulnerable. She shredded all of them she could reach. I love that now I can lay down and cuddle with her. Heres another photo of her I just love:

I hate to tell you Ei, but Scout definitely knew exactly what you were saying. Poor guy, he just wanted some peace with his people and he had to share you with an exhuberant puppy, no less, lol. I swear Missy knows exactly what were saying.

Woody, great to hear from you. I sure hope that means youre doing better and feeling perky. Great that you could get out and have fun. Interesting info on Hercules. I, too, remember seeing an article on Wollemi pine trees somewhere.

Saucy, tell us is it a fun trip? Does DH help you get the kids stuff together? Hope things settle down soon for you.

Hope I didnt miss anyone. Ok, enough of this epistle! Stay warm and safe yall!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:43PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

All this talk of Victorian jewelry reminds me of the oddest (I think) I ever saw while working for Sotheby's -- it was a pair of authentic Victorian era real hummingbirds dangling from gold wires as earrings... they had ruby eyes inset as well - the birds had been stuffed and preserved.... I frankly found them way more creepy than any mourning hair jewelry! It was one of those "boy the things people think of" moments.... they actually brought a good price at auction - about $2,000 as I recall.... aand that was back in the 1980s --wonder where they are now?

All this talk of puppies and their antics brings back memories of Chloe's puppy days -- she was a mischief too, much like these Misty tales. Honey, sounds like you better keep that foam out of her crate -- she will be bound to eat it eventually if not already! I had another dog who love to scratch the cushions to pieces & dig the foam out....

Ok, I have to be glad (again) I dont live in the Midwest -- I guess I'd be much happier as a California girl - no big snows for me. Dont know how you guys keep positive facing more to dig out every day.

Woody - I loved the RBG photos -- those stained glass birds are wonderful. And I confess ignorance that jade plants actually bloomed -- I've got an old one but it's never done that.....

Ei -- I think your idea to focus on positive is the only way for us to get thru gloom -- I find myself trying to concentrate and remind myself of that too -- probably why I spend so much time daydreaming of the garden and future garden plans/fantasies! The one day at a time philosophy is a good one too --

Would you believe it may hit the 70s here today? but to be gone w/ t-storms by the end of the day!

Ok - thinking good thoughts for good health, good weather and good new cars, futures and jobs for all!!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:07AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi yall. Just wanted to contribute to this soup thread before we move on. Theres actually 2 recipes involved. The first is an easy, hearty dinner for winter or great for a spring or fall gardening day. I save and freeze the leftover au jus and onions for later use with a Standing Rib Roast or for French Onion Soup.


1 large 3-4 lb. Boneless chuck roast
1 pkg. Fresh pre-cleaned baby carrots
12-15 pre-scrubbed baby redskin potatoes
1 large sweet yellow onion (like Vidalia) sliced
2 pkgs. McCormick Au Jus Mix
2 Tblsp. Worchestershire Sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Line a roasting pan with foil leaving enough overhang to seal and cover for roasting. Place the chuck roast in the pan, season with pepper (no salt) and cover with sliced onions. Place the potatoes and carrots around the roast.

In a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, empty contents of 2 pkgs. Au Jus Mix. Whisk cold water into the mix until absorbed and fill to top of measuring cup. Add 2 tblsp. Worchestershire Sauce. Heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes until hot. Poor over roast and vegetables. Add 2 more cups of water until roast and veggies are covered. Close and seal foil tightly. Roast in 350 oven for 3 hrs. or until meat is tender. Serve roast and veggies with au jus. Makes 4-6 servings. Reserve extra au jus and onions in the refrigerator. (WARNING: the aroma while roasting will fill your home and drive your hubby and animals crazy!)

The next day, skim off fat from au jus, package, label and freeze for later use.

(good enough for company)

Au jus with onions
French Bread cubed and toasted
Shredded Guyiere cheese

Heat reserved au jus with onions thoroughly, add toasted French Bread cubes, top with shredded Guyiere cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with remaining French Bread. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

SNOW DAY! This never happens - we closed the office at noon because the roads were so bad.

I've shoveled the sidewalk 3 times - 9:30 last night, 6:30 this morning and just now. Each time it gets worse. This last time, there were spots that were a foot deep.

Off to fix my lunch - you work up an appetite shoveling!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:05PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

I'm not going over DD's today to help her sort thru her stuff. It's sleeting and the roads are icy and slushy. We're just staying put. I'm hoping to get into a project DD asked me to tackle -- organizing all her photos from her wedding 5 yrs. ago. There are at least 500 from different sources and many friends and family are no longer with us. It's painful for her to do it and I said I would. It's going to take me FOREVER.

Cindy, I sent you an email. Im worried about you.

As much as I hate to, weve taken everything away from Missy but her rubber toys. She has to sleep on the floor of her crate without benefit of something soft. We cant trust her not to destroy and eat pieces of it when shes bored. The last thing we need is a blockage. I hope she grows out of this stage.

I agree with you on the Hummingbird earrings. Really creepy. I have a Victorian mourning hair ring made with my great, great grandmothers hair that looks exactly like the one in the link below. I was always fascinated by it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I remember visiting cemeteries in France when I was 8 years old. Many of the stone decorations were made with beads and human hair...and it was fascinating to me in a creepy way.

Honey, our puppy seems to have way more toys already than did Charlotte. There seem to be a lot made by Kong, but even those tend to have a warning on them that puppy must be supervised. One good trick I think is to get one that you can stuff in several places. Ours is yellow, looks a bit like Saturn in shape, but with three holes to stuff. You then can put peanut butter and a treat in each hole, freeze it, then give it to Missy to chew. This should keep her busy for 20 minutes or so while it defrosts. In summer she might like these as "popsical" treats too.

And Honey, you really are a Honey! Doing that photo organization for DD is a real kindness!

My friend down the road thinks she can lend us a crate! This will be such a help if it works out. I'm to call her tonight about it. The weather stinks though, so I'll not be collecting it today. The name Phoebe has stuck for two days in a row...

This morning we saw the mallards playing in the creek. Now the snow has covered everything. Ugh...

Deanne, wherever you are, I'm thinking of you!

And just for fun, I found these this morning, all six china plates for $12. Thought Kathy's potato/Leek soup would be good in these!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:34PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thanks, Marie. Missy has a couple of Kongs and one she's knawing on now that's stuffed. Good idea to stuff and freeze them. She loves ice cubes and they do keep her busy. And peanut butter is a fav, too.

I got distracted by a long phone call from Fla. friends so I won't start that photo project today. But I think I'll be sorting and organizing on the ping-pong table in the basement. Thanks Marie, but you know how it is: we'll all do anything for our kids.

Great soup plates! We now have some great recipes to try.

Hmmm, I'm a little worried about Marian with all the high-winds, tornadoes etc., they're having. Marian, if you're lurking, let us know you're OK.

Time to think about dinner. Later, friends,


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy...sorry you have a lot going on and I hope things smooth out for you soon. It must be pretty stressful trying to get away when you own a business, but I think you are right to make the effort to try to make it a habit. You need time away or you wear out.

Mary....I would be willing to do another recipe swap for February. Sounds like fun. What about a Valentine's Day Meal Swap or a Chocolate Dessert Recipe Swap since it is February?

Ei.....What a striking print that is! Thanks for sharing. :-) I also agreed with your approach of putting 'the bad thing' off to the side for a little while and focus on something that is encouraging and relaxing. If it is stressing you out to the point you can't be effective, then you need a break from it for awhile anyway. Then when you come back to it, sometimes it might have resolved on it's own, or at least you are more refreshed and better ready to deal with it again. About Scout, I understand completely. Our last dog..10 years ago...was the best dog we have ever had, but he had a seizure disorder for the last three years of his life. It was a nightmare and one of the reasons we just couldn't bring ourselves to get another pet since. I wouldn't have missed having him for anything though.

Honey....great news about DH's job interview! Fingers crossed! :-) Another sweet sweet photo of Missy..lol. I just love her coat. What a bundle of energy she sounds like!

Cindy...I find that an excellent stress buster too. I know when I have mulled something over too long and it is time to think of something more pleasant and planning the garden in my head is my favorite. I have a rule for myself, that at night, after 9pm until bedtime, I never think about the problems of the day or the' to do list' for the next day. Thinking of the garden is usually what I will distract myself with and the same rule applies if I wake up in the night.

Lovely pics, gardenbug! How nice to have your own little pond there! The orchid is such a colorful one and so are the plates. I do love color. :-)


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:24PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good afternoon all...

I did make it to town yesterday. It turned out to be much nicer than predicted. I did all that I went to do, and was home with the purchases unloaded when the rain arrived. It wasn't bad, but plenty windy, and accompanied with thunder and lightning. We were under a tornado watch all day and well into the night. One was sighted to the south of us, in our county, but there has been no report of damage. That cannot be said of the one that hit Gassville to the east of us. It was 40% destroyed, with one death...(a 91 year old woman), and lots of injuries. It is said that several others were killed in Arkansas, but I haven't heard where.

No, Denise. I haven't read that book. The only reason I ended up working on the one that I mentioned is because I happened to notice it on the shelf, and decided to give it a stab! I have reached some more interesting chapters, but am still not past page # 143.

Bling? I call what I have just plain old fashioned jewelry ! I do not think any of it is very valuable, although some of the older stuff may be. I mostly wear necklaces and pins/broaches. My wedding ring is just a plain gold band.

Pm2, our winter isn't all that short, but we keep having false springs that trick things into growing.I never dare put my tender plants out until the last of April.

Saucy, I hope you have someone that you feel comfortable talking to. That is a real help when one is having problems. I know a lot of 'us' are good listeners. I have enough experience with troubles that I can commiserate with those of others. I agree with you about 'sharing'. I really need to do that. I am sending good wishes, hugs, and prayers to/for you.

Ei, the best way I have found to prevent making 'goofs' is to open the page twice, and go back and forth as I 'talk' to each person. even then I am capable of goofing! :-(
I have a problem getting sleepy when reading too, unless it is a very engrossing read, but I never lay down, or recline while reading. I get to hurting even while setting in a comfortable chair. I can't possibly lay down and read!
I have never read War and Peace. I may have it in my 'library'...but not sure. I have 2 or 3 of Michener's long books, and have read them.
With the bone density test, you lay on a table and the scanner moves over you. You aren't enclosed like with an MRI, and you don't drink anything.

Marie, your orchid is gorgeous! I neglected to keep a close enough eye on the plants in the bay window, and ended up with a terrible outbreak of scale! They were on the 2 primroses, the yellow moth orchid from Ei, an Angel Wing Begonia and a pot of crotons.! I am diligently removing them with cotton soaked with rubbing alcohol. I sure hope I win! I bought a new Primrose in town yesterday. It will stay well away from the affected plants.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

There's at least a foot of snow down, and still more coming. Driving conditions are getting quite bad on the rural roads because of white-out conditions. I had a scary moment on my trip home when I got to a spot where the road jogs slightly. I couldn't see any sign of the road at all, and had to look for telephone poles down the road to give myself something to aim for.

I just went out to shovel again, and took a short walk down the driveway. The driveway still looks passable, so I'll cross my fingers and hope I can get out in the morning! I was intending to go to services tonight but all the news reports are saying to stay off the roads.

I talked to my DD earlier (who was bemoaning the fact that she had sidewalk shoveling as her house duty this week!) and was surprised to hear her say that she had been listening to all of the primary results, and was keeping her own tally of delegates. She's never struck me as that political, but she is very interested in this race. Maybe it's a sign that young people overall are getting more interested in politics?

Marian, your flower is beautiful - I love the shading on the petals.

I think I'll put my free time to good use and bake a cake for the office tomorrow. And maybe I'll pack up my snowmen for the winter. And maybe I'll make a fire and throw in the snowmen (insert evil laugh here!)


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:54PM
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69 degrees here :) I went outside a few times to warm up and opened windows at 6AM as it was 64 then and the house was....55F.

Just absurdly busy time of year at work. I can see the end in sight but when I get there I'll look like Dannie and the lure. The lure is the white thing on string in front of her foot.

"It stopped, now what do I chase?!?"

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 7:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh shoot! That is not a Primrose! It is a Cyclamen! And it is the 2 cyclamens in the bay window that have scale! Sorry....more senior moments!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Hi Idyllswe are having very uneventful weather conditions here while storms rage elsewhere. I too was concerned about Marian when I got up this morning and heard of the tornadoes. Glad all is well with you Marian , glad you checked in. Lol, I knew you must know a cycleman from a primrose !

Cindy- I may have to google Victorian hummingbird earrings to see if I hit on a pic. Definitely a bit creepy I must say. My little doggie was very fond of scratching her bed to a fare-thee-well before she settled in. I would have to buy her a new bed every few months because she scratched the things threadbare.
Bees love jade plant blooms by the way..

Boy Honey, that French Onion soup sounds very delish right now. A girl just cant have too many onions in my opinion. I havent cooked a roast beef in years-I may just have to do so to get some of that soup !

bug , I have observed a very broad selection of bowl designs in your photos over time. Do you have a secret dinnerware addiction ? I hope you have plenty of cupboard space !

Im pondering the weather reports of Cynthia and V. I wonder what the temperature swing might have been.

Ok, gotta go

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

psst, Marian - did you notice that I was studiously avoiding naming the plant while praising it? I knew it was not a primrose, but I can NEVER remember the name cyclamen. Even though there's one sitting on my counter right now.

Ha! and as I was typing this, I got an email from Logee's for their "Indestructible House Plants" sale.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:03PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL V! I thought you were going to say you avoided naming the plant so you wouldn't embarass me! Your losing the road experience reminds me of when we were coming home from evening worship a couple of weeks ago. It was VERY foggy and I was a few feet past our turn off (just creeping) when Nolon said " The corner was back there! " Thank goodness no one was behind me, and I cautiously backed up to the road. Nolon was rather nervous about it, but we made it. That is the first time in the over 23 years that I did that. What makes it so bad is that the turn was on the right side of the road!

Kathy, would you have corrected me on the cyclamen? ;-)

The Missouri news (that is the only TV news that we get) finally told where the other tornadoes were in Arkansas. They were around Clinton and Atkins. Both are well to the east of us. All together at least 13 were killed. Our area is very seldom hit by that sort of weather. ( I hope I haven't brought it on us by saying that ! )
I had googled for the info and found it a few minutes before I heard the TV news.

I am wondering where so many of our members are??? I am missing all the early postings.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:37PM
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Marian, I would have diplomatically asked if you had perhaps posted the wrong photo :)

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 11:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im guessing all the other usual posters have escaped for a mini union in the Carribean somewhere -- I expect to see pics posted from ya'll relaxing on that sunny beach!!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:03AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Argh...I think I must have chased everyone away!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:13AM
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A walk in the park
A few pictures from my local park this morning.
floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
NEWBIES: dealing with heavy clay soil
i praise the Lord.. i have never had to deal with it...
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
Does Anyone Do Mixed Perennial Containers For The Deck/Patio?
As opposed to annuals? I've been seeing some pretty...
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