#350-Ode to January

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)January 23, 2008

Came across this quote today-

by January the thought of making merry brings an inward groan: "do I have to have any more fun?"

Well I like Wikipedia, although I still keep several old encyclopedias around. Wiki tells us about January:

January is named for Janus (Ianuarius), the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, where the Latin word for door (ianua) comes from - January is the door to the year.

Tells us lots more too. :) Only a few more days left before February's turn. People on a cooking forum are eagerly anticipating baking with heart shapes...

First though, we need to close the door on Janus.


PS: And for the child in me:

In January it's so nice

While slipping on the sliding ice

To sip hot chicken soup with rice.

Sipping once

Sipping twice

Sipping chicken soup with rice.

Here is a link that might be useful: January

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J ello Freezes
A rctic Air
N ight is long
U nder the blankets is good
A pples are mush
R oads get bumps
Y ear starts.

This from my 9-year-old tutoree for whom English is a second language. Fits the tydll perfectly and forgive my pride with his imagination.

Yes, Marian, please post your photo of the bluffs. That's what I was talking about and confused you with a friend in Phoenix who lives near red rocks -- I asked her for bluff pics. I like the bluffs better :-)


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 3:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oakie doakie, Martie ....
Here are my 3 best pics of the Steel Creek Bluffs.

The last one is going back to the picnic grounds. A great place for gatherings, and swimming. The Buffalo River flows at the base of the bluffs. Hundreds of people float the river.



    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 3:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Maurice Sendak, Chicken Soup with Rice, was one of my son's favorite books and we read it over and over. Where the Wild Things Are and Pierre were two more. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

I can not believe how quickly January is passing this year. Usually, this is the slowest month, but it has just flown by and I expect February to go even faster. I have a lot of moving and reorganizing to do in all my garden beds in the spring and I have barely started figuring out where everything is going. Do any of you actually sit down and put pencil to paper to make planting decisions? I usually enjoy that part of gardening but for some reason, I can't seem to get into it this year. I am just wishing I had a magic wand and voila!

Well, I am not going to get to it today either, so back to working on the items that are in the way of my getting to it. [g]

Thanks for the January thoughts, GBug.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 3:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Martie! No apologies. Children and poetry are a f-f combo. I miss that....Sarah has taken up the banner thank goodness with her boys. :)

My get-up-and-goer isn't working well today...A bit of kitchen cleanup, laundry, reading. Not much else.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 3:47PM
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My all-time favorite teacher used to say that kids are great at poetry until they hit about age 12 and start to think that others will think it's stupid... . I love the little poetry bit on NPR, read by Garrison Keilor. My co-workers know better than to run for the dial at 9 AM, lol.

Martie, I have to tell you it's taken about every bit of restraint I have to suffer the laxity of that damned electrician. I have bitten my tongue more than a few times when the helpmeet's tried to be the "nice guy" and be understanding. I KNOW how it can be to have a bunch of calls to return and how tough it can be to schedule and juggle work. But no matter how daunting it all seems, you MAKE the time to call. I passed that jackass on the road today and thought to myself, "buddy, you have NO idea how many people I know in the area and if you think I won't relate my story whenever your name or your trade comes up, you are really a fool". It's really been a pleasure to deal with the contractors we've used; sadly it was the electrician that threw the wrench into the works. I'm understanding of constraints faced by contractors, all it takes is a call to update me. But no one likes being "blown off" and I have a very long memory.

I've finished 2 interiors at work this week. I was especially pleased with the foam layout for the bigger job. I've cut the V berth (2 cushions, the shape is notorious for "eating foam"), a huge quarter berth, and one more small cushion from 2 sheets of foam (30"x100") with virtually no waste. Foam is now hideously expensive (that oil thing!) and making careful use of it helps both the customer and the company's bottom line.

I shudder to consider my next paycheck. Gulp! I've been dutiful and obedient with respect to my "new" hours. I'll give it a pay period before raising another stink. In the meantime I've been prioritzing what I must get done and in what order. Much of what I must do is dependent upon electricity (!!) and heat.

Marian, your pictures of the bluffs are just beautiful. As one who's never had the luxury of extensive travel I am woefully ignorant of the manifest beauty of the many regions of our country. Thank you for once more sharing your home territory. Just lovely!

I spent another 30 minutes on the 'phone today in an attempt to remove her name from the myriad of ads. for supplemental health insurance policies and hearing aids. Man, this i gettin' really OLD, really fast. Did I tell you about the refund check from AARP for a whopping .50! It cost more to print it and mail it... accounting is indeed an exact field, eh Sue? lol.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:00PM
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Hi, all. Just a quick pop in. I'm supposed to be clearing my desk. Lots of papers to file. Cleaned house this morning, then went into town for lunch.

Not to much going on around here. To cold out to do anything much. We played cards with friends again friday night. Its feels good to take the time to do that again. It helps that DH is more willing to do those things now that he is retired.

Had to stop at the vets to get worm pills for Rebel. Boy am I going to put that dog on a diet. The pills are given by the dogs weight and he weighs 132 lbs. 70 bucks worth of pills. It wouldn't hurt him to lose some of that. I'm sure it would help with his bad hip as well. DH delights in pouring bacon grease on his food and feeding him snacks. I think he will start thinking twice about it now.

We got our first handwritten letter from Wyatt in the mail today. He even addressed the envelope to Mimi and Papa S., Mom added a footnote with the numbers etc. it was fun to recieve. I have one drawer in my desk for just such mementos.

I recieved a plant catalog yesterday. Amazing how that can get the old wheels turning again isn't it?

We are contemplating a road trip to DDs in FL.

I hope everyone is well. Stay warm and safe.

Back to the paperwork. Norma

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 5:33PM
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132 lbs.?! Norma, what kind of dog is Rebel? Wrecks is a big, stout dog and he weighs in at just under 95 lbs. (he was put on a diet following his ACL surgery). He's a big, strapping boy, all muscle. The vet. and surgeon BOTH said that keeping weight off big dogs was the kindest thing you could do for them. We've heeded the word.

When I went through Mum's bureau after her death (we moved it intact from her home) I found several things from my brother and me buried in her underwear drawer. Mother's Day cards, little notes saved in waxed paper bags... baby shoes, rattles, etc.. Very poignant. So I'm sure Wyatt's note to you holds special meaning, NOrma. Rightly so! writing is an important milestone. One day they will carry more meaning than you will ever know...

It was Mum's name that required 30 minutes' 'phone time to remove, lol. Aunt Rose is about Mum's age, Denise. She reminds me a great deal of Mum's elder sister, Betty. She was vibrant, interesting and INTERESTED until her death in late '04. I was not "close" to her, but we were always friendly; when she knew she was going to die she called me and haltingly "beat around the bush" until I asked her plainly if she needed me to be medical POA. YES! She needed a "second"... and she called my brother. I regret not knowing her more intimately than I did, but she was never a "warm and fuzzy" woman and yet, she knew my brother and I would serve her well following her death. We jokingly call the garage, "Aunt Betty's mausoleum". She would laugh at that, too, as she was possessed with the same unsparing sense of humor as the rest of my family.

I actually DO make notes on paper about plantings, PM2. Not that I follow them, but they serve as a way to remember thoughts I've had regarding a planting. I've done NONE of that with respect to the plantings that will help link the garage to the surrounding yard.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:46PM
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I think that I shall never see
A month as cold as Jan-u-ar-eee

Gave the potential painter dude a tour this afternoon of the painting tasks I refuse to do myself (one does have to go to work) and an estimate will be coming forthwith. Unfortunately we are expecting several days of continued rain so the exterior work will not happen before I go on the MLS I fear. The inside is more urgent anyway. I came home from work today and lo and behold I have a black granite countertop in place in the kitchen. No plumbing though !

PM, I do write things down and draw little plot-plans which I invariably change as I do the actual planting. FF moon pic ! That was the same view in your snow shot a few days ago right ?

Marian, very nice photos of your bluffs. I bet they are mighty imposing in person. What have you been up to anyway ?

Norma, what card games do you play ? My fave is pinochle . My DH loved bridge and was actually in an internet bridge club for many years. I never really learned to play it with any skill. I just canÂt imagine having a 132 # dog ! I donÂt think my preg-o DD even weighs that much !

Chelone, I also shred all my Âbusiness type papers. I only put newpaper in the compost pile though, but I use hot composting . Colored ink is usually not recommended for that. I usually tear the newspaper into strips.
IÂm not particularly paranoid but there is certainly lots of personal info on the bills and bank statements. My shredder is however a piece Âo crapola (bottom of the line, el cheap-o etc) and were I to do it over again I would invest in something a bit better ..itÂs slow. When it passes on IÂll definitely upgrade.

Saucy, out here they build huge houses on tiny lots ! Land is just so expensive that developers try to carve it up as much as possible. My neighborhood is tract housing with 4 different floor plans, mine being the largest and the only 2-story. To my benefit there are no other houses of my model for sale in this neighborhood at this moment.

Ok, time to find some food that I can prepare in an unconnected kitchenÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Kathy. I am not "up to" very much... :-). Just doing what has to be done, espacially: keeping the home fires burning. We are having a rather cold spell, with lows around 10 and highs in the 20s and 30s. We had a freezing rain Monday night. Not enough to do any damage, but the roads were treacherous, and the porches to our house were slick. I spread old rugs on them before venturing out to get the firewood. Yesterday remained cloudy and below freezing, so I was unable to make my usual trip to town. The sun shone all day today, and most of the ice is gone from the ground. Icicles are now hanging from the trees and shrubs.
I was amused yesterday, when a flicker was trying to set on the Honey locust's limb in front of the house, and kept sliding down it.
Oh yes...I almost forgot....a flock of Eastern Bluebirds has moved in. How bright and beautiful the males looked against the frost-covered vegetation. :-)

You are right, Kathy. The bluffs are much more impressive in person.

Chelone, I hope some day you can tour the Ozarks, and other beautiful places west of the Mississippi. Until/unless you do, there are a wealth of beautiful sites on line. I have had to confine my 'traveling' to web sites.

Speaking of January...the saying that comes to my mind is : "as the days grow longer, the cold grows stronger".
I am really liking the longer evenings, but am still waiting for morning to come earlier...

Marie, your stocking caps pictures remind me of the last visit of our GDs. The youngest kept complaining that she couldn't find her 'robber's cap'. I couldn't imagine what she was referring to. It turned out that she was referring to a common stocking cap! Not even one with eye holes! Hmmmm....

I am ignoring all the 'cleaning out' activity. :-)
No one needs to do that more than I ! I have boxes of stuff that I haven't even looked in since we moved in here, going on 24 years ago ! Then there are all the old clothes, magazines, papers, letters, books,and on and on....
I told Tim awhile back that I needed to throw a lot of stuff away. He told me to not do that! Sooo, I guess that gets me off the hook!


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 9:58PM
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I plan on paper, PM2, and the plan is usually good for the first four or five plants and then, inevitably, something doesn't "look right."

So, I've reduced the paperwork of gardening to a good list, started in Fall, of things that need to be divided and the general area they will land. It's much less stress, as I am way too organized for my own good so deviating from paper plans is really tough. LOL

Chelone -- There's always also the Consumer Protection Dept in Maine that likes to know about errant contractors .....

Go to Florida, Norma!! Be sure to hit a WalMart and find tropicals in 10" pots for $4. I actually UPS'd stuff home the last time I was there because it was less expensive than buying things here in the frozen north.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 7:27AM
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Hi everyone

Is it Friday yet? Everything going well here but hectic. This week was Annie's chorus concert, karate class, ski club, music lessons, orthodontist and Saturday I'm giving a garden talk - help! Actually the talk is one I gave before so it's as easy as it gets but I should still prepare a little.

Hope to resurface at the weekend.

Waving to everyone!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 7:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Did you ever wonder why someone chose January in the middle of winter for the first month of the year? If they were choosing, why wouldn't they want to choose a month that spring began in? Could it have to do with geography? Maybe where the people who first started the calendar lived, it was spring?

Since my 'moon' shot could have been better...I am making up for it by posting one of my favorite artist's who seems to add moons to his art a lot.

Kathy...yes, the photo of the moon was the same corner of the yard where the trees had snow on them...good catch. :-)

NPR.....Had a chance to try it out this morning. I found the 24 hr stream was not playing music, which was what I was in the mood for. I went looking for the program schedule for the day but I was distracted by the links to music. So I noticed they let you build a playlist. Hmm...liked that. Then I saw a lot of links to 'lists'...best albums of the year, best jazz of the year, listener's favorite classical songs...etc. Before I knew it I had 100 items on the playlist. Mostly, songs and artists that are new to me. So, I've dipped my toe in. Not going to be able to listen to all 100 items this morning, so now I am wondering, if I shut the computer off or shut the playlist, do I lose the list?

Martie...I am already at that point in my garden planning for the most part. I am definitely a list person. I just won't remember much if I don't write it down somewhere. [g] I know which plants have to be moved, divided, etc. I have a general idea of where they need to go. So, instead of more paperwork, maybe in the spring, I need to have someone dig up all the plants that are going into one section and place them and then I can take a look and move things around and in they go. Although I may at least decide where the main plants in each section need to go on paper. I am hoping that this will be the last move at least for my shrubs. lol Well, that sounds easier, not to try to plan every placement.

Card Playing.... was a favorite activity at our house growing up. My mom loved to play and we had a lot of fun, laughing and enjoying being together. My favorite game was and still is bridge. We played for fun and were never expert. We didn't know enough to ruin the fun. Same way I feel about football at the moment. My mother played a lot of solitare when she was older. We played poker with different variations, seven card stud with three wild cards..lol At some point someone taught me cribbage but I forget how to play it. Last year, DH and I found a way to play bridge with just two people and we enjoy that. I have never played pinochle. Wasn't that the game the parents played in the Wonder Years?

Norma and Chelone....I also save momentos. No room in the desk. I started with a file folder but now they are in shoe boxes in the attic. The kids really enjoy looking over all their little notes etc that they made when they were small. Actually, my daughter enjoys it much more so then the boys do, for some reason. Is it a 'girl' thing? For all of you Idyllers with small children..[ours are college age]...one momento that is their favorite, is a voice recording of them when they were about age two and four. The grandparents lived in Florida at the time and we would send cassettes of breakfast time. Very funny conversations. :-)

Chelone...I used to use graph paper all the time, but now I just keep a spreadsheet of notes and lists. I just started last year, keeping a gardening journal spreadsheet on the computer and just do my planning that way in chronological order. What I love best about it, is the search function. Now when I need to remember where I found a source for a plant, or what I ordered from ValueSeeds, I can type it in and there it is. I just love that! It has saved me so much time. No, I would imagine you have other things on your mind with the garage renovation to worry about the planting just yet. You will get there.

Kathy...your ability to juggle everything and keep your home improvements on track is amazing! Wish you lived closer, I would hire you to do mine. [g] So you actually draw up plot plans. I have done that in the past, but I haven't in a long time. I am happy that I do have the entire property on graph paper with dimensions that come in handy once in awhile.

Marian...glad you are enjoying your birds this winter. We have hardly seen a bird all winter for some reason. I am wondering if someone in the neighborhood has started feeding them better food than we were. [g]

Waving to Mary as she speeds by.. :-)

Have a warm day...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:17AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Calamity Jane popping back in..... There is a rant/scream below so ignore if you're not in the mood....

I see January is supposed to be the doorway to the rest of the year -- I can only say I hope this is not (like the stock market) going to be typical of the rest of 2008 for me - in that case, I might even consider a re-wind to 2007....

Last week I had daily dealings/ with the canine Houdini escape artiste at home -- trying to keep a surprisingly feisty, & determined 9 yr. old mini Maltese (aka Chloe) confined has proven beyond my capabilities - each nite arriving home brought a new surprise - Friday culminating w/ her having Eaten her way thru a hard plastic baby gate in the kitchen - a hole ripped large enuf for her to get to the re-cycling bags of cardboard in front of it and then she ate her way thru that.... she could barely walk on the foot that's been injured & has been up and down stairs continually (esp. during the day escapes) - Im about ready to go back to the vet's because Chloe actually yelps sometimes when I pick her up to carry her ... dont know if it's "drama" hyped or if there's more going on than the emergency vet thought... sigh. The first day, she had pulled all the throw rugs up, turned her food bowl over, invaded a basked of garden catalogs & ripped them to shreds, pulled paper bags by their handles out from the side of the frig and ripped them all up -- pulled newspaper all over the kitchen floor....Do you think she was po'd at me? Man o man.....

So, then I manage to get the flu on Sunday (having only gone to the mall to retrieve my new eyeglasses - the old ones having been smashed by pyscho sister in December & me having been forced to use old ones in the meantime).... I stayed home in bed for 2 days -- lucky me -- on MLK day I finally tottered down to my finished family room/basement area to do laundry so I could think of going to work the next day and found water all over the place -- the newly cleaned carpets of the guest room, family room, and laundry rooms all saturated.
Long story short -- it was from the next door neighbor (who no longer lives in the townhouse next door but 2 months a year - he lives in Africa and his adult children come and go a few weeks a year) -- they had Turned OFFFF the freaking heat in the house - got that? Fail homeowner's 101.... they'd left a key to their house at Xmas (the daughter) - something I hadnt wanted but was glad to h ave to find where the water was....
After all this, w/ the water removal people onsite late MLK nite -- they discover mold already growing on the shared party wall! They have to stop work because Mold raises it to a whole new level of fixing/even replacing the baseboards, carpet, etc..... My insurance company (who I finally called when I found out it was going to cost me over $2k to get the water cleaned up, carpet pad replaced) - informs me they aren't going to cover any of the damage - not even the water damages issues (what's the point of insurance???)-- and they dont cover any mold removal.... The neighbors still havent appeared to check the damage -- they have mold growing over 2 feet up the party wall -- I imagine that's where mine is coming from....

What to do, what to do?????? Anyone have any experience w/ these mold removal issues? Im trying to get a mold inspector to come check it out -- they're all busy w/all the broken pipe biz -- the Servpro people are supposed to send one but he's yet to even call me.... I figure if I go to the expense myself of fixing the problem on my side -- it's not going to stop the problems of the neighbor's horrific problem if they dont do remediation too .... Am I just an alarmist or what?

I really did not want to "purge" my house this much.... I dont even have the computer at present at home because they dismantled all the cables in the family room to dry the stuff out....it seems like I just take 2 steps towards getting cleaned up and my place "back" in shape and I get kapowed w/ triple whammies.... to say nothing of using all my hard-earned vacation time to take care of this stupid stuff. I keep telling myself it's not cancer.... but sometimes, ya know... life starts to overwhelm...I think my houseguest's luck has stayed at my house.... and Im living it too now....? is it possible to leave bad luck in place?


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Cindy, at least you don't have your daughter at home and have to make her lunches, figure out why she didn't do her homework and beat up the teacher... But I'd say you have a horrid business on your hands and need hugs and help from someone like Honey who went through the mildew things...and it sure wasn't easy for her either! How truly depressing. I'd hire Chelone to deal with the neighbors, workmen and insurance folk too... UGH UGH UGH!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:47AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning, I cant believe how fast the Idylls have zipped by in the last couple days. Blink your eyes and a new Idyll is started. Ive got a stinking, lousy, rotten cold. Again. Grrrrr Cant believe it. This is the third in six weeks and Im screaming Enough already! Ive been doing the Zicam thing but this is quite a pernicious, pesky bug and REALLY wants to hang out and make me miserable. I know I picked this one up at the gym because that is the only place Ive been in public where I could have caught it. Now Doug is coming down with the dratted thing and hes got to got to Rochester next week. Grrrrr

Ive got to go to the podiatrist today for a foot pain issue that began last summer. (Do you think I put that off long enough?) I kept thinking it would go away but when I noticed that one of my toes has changed position I figured it was time to see a foot person.

So, Cindy, good grief!!!!!! I cant believe the stupid neighbors turned the heat off in the winter time!!!!!! And now you are dealing with mold issuesThats terrible. I know Honey had a heck of a time fixing their basement when they had mold problems after flooding. I cant imagine that they can fix your problem if the neighbors dont fix theirs at the same time. Insurance companies suck. They want all your money but do not ever want to pay a claim. Hugs to you You must be frantic and furious. I know Id be frothing at the mouth.

PM2, I never plan on paper. Pretty silly of me actually considering what I do for a living but I just get out in the gardens and stare at the areas I want to plant and wait for inspiration to hit me over the head.

Marian lovely pics of those bluffs.

Mary, good grief, what does Annie do in her spare time??? LOL

Bug, great idyll tydll cute hat pic

Chelone, woohoo on canning the electrician.

Martie, great poem!

Norma, definitely sounds like that puppy needs to be on a diet. 132 pounds?! Yikes!

OK Im about out of energy here and have to go and make some pattern packets so I can fill a couple orders.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Oh Cindy....I don't know what to say. That sounds horrific. On the Chloe note, I'd consult a vet and get something that'd make her drowsy and let her have the run of the house. She could do more damage to her leg/paw or something else if she's that frantic. Most dogs sleep all day while you're gone anyway - Zeus does and I'm here :)

I hope you get some answers on your home soon. Strange coincidence that you've been sick alot lately? AND NO, bad luck doesn't stick....it just seems that way.

Norma, Nick and I are always trying to find card playing couples....we don't even play anything seriously, but we used to have so much fun in Calif. with a couple we knew. Lots of food, I recall :)

Mary, what's the garden talk on?

PM, when I sold my last house I was asked to provide a "key" for the garden. I had so much fun drawing up my finished garden and naming all the plants....never though of doing it for myself, LOL! Might be fun.

Deanne, I hope you feel better soon. Don't bring the cooties to Tower Hill :) Are you sure you don't have a sinus infection just hanging out (Dr. Saucydog?)?

GB, are you still taking pictures of dinner? Last night I was tempted....we had lettuce wraps and they were quite colorful....Boston lettuce filled with chicken, red/yellow peppers, carrots, broccoli, and cruchy low mein noodles! All topped with a spicy peanut sauce.

I guess I'm hungry :)

Hope everyone has a great day, especially Cindy 'cause she just needs one.....


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 10:55AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cindy...I agree you are right to take Chloe back to the vet. He may want to see if she has injured herself more. Also agree with Saucy, sedating her until she recovers is about the only thing I can think of too, besides keeping her in a dog crate when you are out. Not sure how she would adapt to that or how long you are out. You may even want to do both.

As for your basement, I am so sorry you have that mess to deal with. What a nightmare! If your insurance doesn't cover you, I would think the neighbor's insurance should? They certainly need to be held accountable and they have to fix their mold on their side of your common wall.

I agree with Gbug...hire Chelone! :-) ServPro in our area is pretty good. I think that is a good starting place to find someone to help deal with the mold. You may want to see if the library has any material on it and start educating yourself, so you will know what you need to have done and don't need to have done, so no one is going to be suggesting work you don't need, or that won't help. If you can find a good book on the subject, they may even have some resources in the back of the book.

I would be using a mask when I went down into the basement.

Hope you and DH feel better Deanne.

Saucy...I don't have all my current plants all mapped out either. It would be great to have. I would like to do that after I get all the moving done in the spring. Right now, what I do have, are the layout of the beds and the hardscape, along with the sun patterns with a map of how many hours of sun I get where. I had a 'key' map of my front bed but last year we renovated the whole thing so it is all different now. But it is nice to have a record as well, as what 'used to be' where.

GBug...I was also wondering what happened to the dinner photos? [g] Did you know that January is Soup Month?
That would be fun, if we all cooked our favorite soup one night before the month ended and posted photos and recipes? If anyone had the time.

Hope things start to move forward for you Cindy, hang in there...


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Chelone ,Rebel is a Rotwiler- Lab mix, with all the looks and characteristics of the lab. He really did keep his weight run off until arthritis started slowing us both down.

Kathy , I chuckled at your Jan-u-ar-eee ditty.
We play whatever card game that the mood strikes us. Gin, poker, Uno. We have a board game called Pokers Wild that is pretty fun. Personally I like Gin or Canasta but Dh doesn't like anything to serious.I have played pinochle too. My grandaughters and I used to play canasta a lot when they would spend summer vacations. Those were good fun times.
I have Hoyle on my computer that I play when I just want to chill.

I hope we get to see before and after pics of the kitchen update.

Marian, I chuckled also at the image of the flicker sliding down the limb. The bluebirds are pretty aren't they. We have several nesting houses for them.
I too enjoy those bluff pictures. Lol the robbers hat.
Re: Tim telling you not to clear out. DHs sister and hubby just downsized to a condo. Their daughter was happy to have them do away with all the clutter so she wouldn't have to later. I tell my kids I'm leaveing it for them to do. LOL

Why Martie, what a teriffic idea. One I wouldn't have thought of.

I have tons of notes about the garden , but find I don't use them very much.

Waving hi to a very busy Mary.

Pm2, your photos always give me something to think about. Keep them coming.
The breakfast recordings sound fun. I used to record my kids and grandkids singing at cristmas time. Some of those are pretty hilarious.

Cindy, You deserve to rant. Wish I knew the solutions to your problems. Sounds to me like the person next door should be held responsible for damages. I like Saucys idea for Chloe. Seems like trying to cantain her is just making things worse.

Bummer about another cold getting to you Deanne. LOL , I stand and stare in my garden so much DH jokes about it.

Saucy I'm thinking about lunch too. Your wraps sound yummy.
I hear DH in the kitchen. Think I'll go investigate. N

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 1:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, two more dinner photos.
Fettucini (easy zucchini and shrimp, cream & parmesan recipe)

Perogies (onions, sour cream)

I've slowed down on my photo taking, but this weekend we are supposed to have everyone on the forum contribute a photo of their roast chicken! Since we are expecting company, that works out fine.

The idea of a soup photo event sounds good to me too. How about next week. We could take our photos any time during the week, but post them all on one special day, say Friday.

Sunny and cold here, very pretty out.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 1:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

A more "normal" p[ost from the losing-it Cindy, LOL...

I now had a bit of time to catch up Thanks for the support, guys I forgot that Honey has suffered the mildew woes... maybe Ill try to email her...And definitely taking poor Chloe back to the vet. & I apologize for the mania streaming from me.

These idylls have truly been zipping along havent they? I think I get such a sense of calm and relief reading & seeing all your great photos and ideas, that I do into de-tox signs when I cant get back here even if only at lunch time to see whats happening.

Deanne Im so sorry youre sick again geez, as was pointed out, maybe our ill health lately is directly related to the stress in our lives, uh? Yep, I hate hate hate insurance issues. . . .

bug eeew, yes, I do recall some very stressful daughter days and school issues painful to recall I keep saying, its only a house, its only a house, right? I love the shared anticipation you bring here to us awaiting the Grand Arrival!

And I am truly amazed (& very envious) at the organizational zeal and energy that so many of you exhibit Kathy w/ all the change of life stuff going on & house renovations (surely I could do ¼ as much and survive?) how do you keep strong in the face of it all?

Yes, I believe I do need Chelone ! Are you rentable? wanna vacation in chilly/ DC climes? I could clear out the other guestroom thats now a storage room for all the basemeent stuff?????? Whats your charge an hour? You can whip these contractors into shape pronto.

Saucy I am an echo to much going on here but those pics of your house are fantastic! I (green being my favorite color) love love love your interiors and exteriors.

PM2 I left off reading where you all were winter sowing and discussing seeds you almost got me interested to try some but then events overtook the enthusiasm... It looks so neat and easy. . . .

Hey, Cynthia those attic photos reminded me of my grandmoms attic just like that! She also had a cedar closet built at the end of it to store her fuzzies and good clothes it was such a wonder to us kids and I got to play in it any time I wanted! No bathroom there though. . . . neat.

I cant imagine walking the dog in 18 below, Michelle im surely a wimp and would die no Mid-Westerner blood in me.

Denise I love the 80/sequins story what an original!

Martie I bought several "temporary" iron arbors out about 3 years ago and so far no maintenance on them. Theyre not extremely sturdy but work well.

O yum. . . . those glorious pics of food! Yes, I need soup. Off to find some.

And just to prove that I am capable of thinking of something not psychotic...

Im remembering Spring of last year and counting the days: (sorry, Chelone)

off to find soup!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 1:59PM
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Merciful lord in heaven! what prior sin has wrought such punishment for Deanne and Cindy?

Deanne, you are sternly forbidden to bring your "cooties" to Tower Hill (good one, Saucy!). I hope you and Doug emerge quickly and relatively unscathed. The helpmeet has felt a little "off par" lately, too. Wash those hands and DON'T rub your eyes (or pick your nose). ;)

Cindy... haven't you just been through the tortures of the damned? I hope you're at least feeling a little bit better now. Do you think the guy from Servpro has a brother in Maine who's and electrician? You must be so terribly discouraged right about now. Clearly, your insurance company is not going to pick up the tab fro a problem that originated next door. Maybe Wendy will check in and give her thoughts on the topic. I'd think the onus would be on the next door neighbor to pick up the tab for the mold abatement. I know mold is very, very touchy issue in insurance fields... . I would ask the insurance company what THEY think you should do... you pay for homeowner's insurance, certainly they will have some ideas to help you out. And if they don't, I'd expect an answer about why not. Perhaps you could drop the hint that you work for a law firm. :) And maybe it's time to begin the paper trail, a certified letter to the next door neighbor letting him know what's going on (since he is out of the country you felt it wise to do that to ensure delivery of the letter). As for the dog... I think she really wants you to administer a beating. And I think you ought to oblige her; let's face it, that's why we have dogs in the first place, right? I hate dogs. (spring picture is OK, but don't do it again!).

Rebel is a very big boy. Wrecks is lean and (not so)mean at between 92-95lbs.. He had gobbled his way to 105 (helpmeet aided and abetted it) and was put on a diet prior to the ACL episode. The vet. told us that keeping the weight of him was the kindest thing we would ever do for him over the course of his life. Good luck with Rebel; it's tough when they're not as active as they once were, huh? Do you play strip poker every so often?

I think I could acually handle the soup challenge, you guys. So next Wednesday/Thursday we are to post pictures of our soups? 'bug, I just love the bowls in your picture... so pretty. Just how I would imagine an al fresco meal in Italy. (maybe one day I will actually get there).

We don't have the open space bluebirds seem to require, Marian. One of my friends lives at the top of very open, large field and she had bird houses set up for them. They are so pretty. I am always amazed at how birds manage to survive the rigors of the cold and inclement winter weather. You have keen powers of observation, I'm certain many people would completely miss the sliding Flicker.

I'm another one who wants to see the befores and afters of Kathy's home.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 4:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So now on top of this freaking cold I just found out I need to have surgery on my right foot. Grrrrr,,,,, Apparently I ruptured a ligament in my second toe last summer and it should have been put in a cast at that time (I was too busy tripping about Longwood and Chanticlear to worry about the pain in my foot.) Anyway, one of those things you hope will just go away and it didnt so today I went to the podiatrist. He has this fluoroscope gizmo so he can see the bones in your foot working and even I could see the displacement in the toe joint. Sooo. He put a steroid injection in the joint (Euuuuwwwww) to reduce the inflammation, then taped up the foot for a couple days, Then I have to wear this rig on my foot at night to keep the toe in place and to keep the tendon from shrinking any more than it already has. Then Ill get some orthotics to keep the toe in place until I can schedule the surgery. Im going to have to be off my feet for six weeks when I have the surgery done!!! Yikes! I cant imagine. I asked him if it could wait until after garden season and that apparently isnt a problem.

Chelone, no worries, I have no intention of bringing my cooties to Tower Hill. Unless Im back to 100% by Saturday I wont be joining you. I have no intention of spreading these germs around. Id like to have a word with whoever it was who went to the gym and spewed this virus on the Stairmaster machine.

Hi Cindy, I think your insurance company should be the one to pay up and go after the neighbors insurance company. Why else do you have insurance? Ill tell you there is a loophole for every situation it seems. Sometimes I think Id have been better off self insuring. ~~ I agree with Bug and think Chelone would be the perfect person to go after the neighbors and the insurance companies.

Bug, those meals look delish!

Norma, Im so glad that Im not the only person who stares at the garden for indefinite periods of time.

Saucy, those lettuce wraps sound really great!

OK Im done here. Ive got to get some dinner for the two sickies so we can get to sleep early tonight in hopes of killing off the cold cooties.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 5:20PM
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Hi again

I'm sneaking in some extra time as a meeting downtown was cancelled this afternoon.

Deanne - the activities were Annie and David's combined, but still pretty hectic. Hope you guys are feeling better soon.

Saucy - my talk is titled "Growing an English Cottage Garden from Seed". It's completely recycled (I gave the same presentation a year ago) but was asked to do it again and over 40 people have signed up.

Cindy - how completely and utterly miserable. I was at a friend's house last Saturday and during a pause in our conversastion heard a pipe clang in her basement followed by a faint gushing sound. Sure enough one of their pipes had just burst and had we not heard it their basement would no doubt knee deep in water. My sister has some interesting mold stories from New Orleans but no easy remedies. Can your home owners association provide any help, especially in dealing with the neighbors?

GB - love the soup photo idea though some of mine are very tasty but look less than appetizing.

Annie was working hard this week on a project for health class that involved listing her favorite books. I thought her choices were fascinating:

Metamorphosis and Other stories by Franz Kafka
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Fifth Harry Potter
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Rules by Cynthia LLoyd (about a girl with an autistic brother).

I wonder what I would have listed at that age.

On the book theme I had book club on Monday and we had a lively discussion about "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls. Despite its general acclaim many of us were less than taken by the writing or character development (we're a hard group to please LOL!) However, it is a quick and absorbing read - anyone here tried it?


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 5:21PM
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Still neck deep in "Catherin de' Medici" by Leonie Frieda, Mary. (if you want anything on the Tudors send up a flare because I'm your girl).

Today is the birthday of one of MY favorite authors, Edith Wharton. I think "The House of Mirth" is looming large on my horizon. Kathy may appreciate that, given her propensity for "classics".

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 5:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm starting The Book Thief. It's a Young Adult book...and the beginning is none too cheery. Perhaps Annie has read it?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 6:21PM
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What an active day here on the Idylls, and its only Thursday ! We keep up this pace and Idyll 350 will be history by the weekend . It continues to rain so thats as good an excuse as any to sit at the computer.
House update : Many drywall repairs done today, with texturing etc. All new faucets installed in master bath. Master bath tub and shower re-grouted . All looks great . Why didnt I do this 5 years ago ?? Tomorrow the dishwasher will be delivered and I expect all the plumbing will be hooked back up in the kitchen. Fear not., all phases are being photographed and will be duly posted when complete!

Chelone, you are mighty frisky today- strip poker indeed ! You got my number on Edith Wharton. Ive got most all of them . I also love Rebecca West , Pat Barker, Antonia White etc etc. One must however intersperse these with the occasionial murder mystery or other trashy popular fiction
And Mary-Im reading The Golden Compass right now and will go through the whole His Dark Materials trilogy. My DS asked that I read them. What is Annies age ? I was into Jane Austen, Hemingway and Steinbeck when I was 12ish 13ish . My murder mystery choices then were mostly Agatha Christie.

Im in for the soup fest, provided I have a working kitchen by then ! I think the chances are pretty good. bug I love the plates for the fettucine.

Cindy, wow, just when you got your world back to yourself ! I was interested in the shock professed upon the occasion of the neighbor turning the heat off while gone. There is no way I would ever leave the heat ON while out of town, so I have to assume that bursting water pipes are the issue , a very rare event here.

Aw Deanne, foot surgery ? Will you get a 2nd opinion ? Which toe is it ?

Norma I used to have some Hoyle software on my computer too, but its long gone.. bet I could find a computer pinochle game if I looked around. Is your Pokers Wild game like Tripoli ? We used to love to play that . We often play poker when we get together.

Marian, I never have bluebirds here, though I know they are around. Like Chelone, I have no open space. Im with you on the earlier morning thing. Im at my desk at work for an hour in the morning before the sun comes out

Ok, time to read the paper and review the mail

Later all, and a wave to those unmentioned..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yes, this idyll has been zipping along! I decided to go ahead and post, and I will defer a lengthy read until the weekend.

I am requesting that January be over and done with. NOW. Tomorrow will be February -7, okay? Hey, if I'm lucky it will be as warm as -7 when I wake up. This morning I started at -11.

Some fun weather facts I learned last night. We have had 19 measurable snow events in the Chicago area this winter, and it has been 12 years since we have had that many. It is the 18th snowiest winter on record so far. The 12 year figure is interesting, as we have been in this house 12 years, and this is the first year I have had to have the driveway plowed professionally twice.

Not to sound like Calamity Jane, but it has been another nerve-racking evening at home. For close to an hour I had three helicopters "parked" in the sky behind me. You can click on the link below to see what one of them was filming - a quite spectacular fire. Since there are no hydrants out this away, there have been firetrucks going by about every five minutes. Did I mention that Mystic barks every time he sees flashing lights? Of course, the disruption to my evening is nothing compared to what the homeowners are going through.

So - a tornado and haz mat train derailment, a shot-out window and now a massive fire. As I said before, tomorrow is the first day of February for me! (Sorry Sue, I know that messes up month end.)


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Deanne - foot surgery - ouch!! No wonder it has been so painful.

Kathy - Annie is 14 and reads a wide variety of books and magazines. We both absolutely loved the Dark Materials trilogy. I read the first many years ago, with no idea it was to become such a popular young adult book. Annie enjoyed them so much she has no wish to see the film of the Golden Compass as it will destroy her own vision of the characters. Count me in as a big Edith Wharton fan too.

GB - I don't think Annie has read The Book Thief but as she is currently fascinated by the dark (including Kafka) it might have a lot of appeal. Let me know how it turns out.

DH returned home yesterday from Switzerland with the most amazing chocolates and almond cookies. He included some Marron Glace which I adore but no one else will touch - yum! So far we've polished off a box of little marzipan cookies sandwiched together with buttercream that were divine. I might have to add in some extra exercise this weekend to work off the calories.

Nite everyone


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Managed to get to the library with returns tonight. Lucky me, they were just putting the January issues of Horticulture, Organic Gardening and Fine Gardening out on the shelf! Plus I found a mystery by Lisa Scottoline that I haven't read yet.

26 posts, to a thread that started this morning?!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Dishes in the first photo are Mexican, Italian in the second. El cheapo in this photo from tonight, but bright yellow makes anything look good, especially in the grey of January! ;)

Oh V, are people helping the family with blankets and food etc? Truly frightening. Do they know the cause? As long as they are all safe....As Cindy said earlier, "it's just a house"... Mary's sister knows this too.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 10:25PM
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We had Machine Shed potato soup tonight, was I supposed to take a picture?

Cindy, I know little about these things, but is this something the Homeowners Assn. Could help with?

Deanne, what a bummer about the foot surgery and the 3rd cold. Last fall I had 2 colds and then the flu all back to back. It gets mighty old.

Pm2, funny but I took a picture of the moon the night before you posted yours. My pictures didnt turn very well though.

Norma, I remember playing Canasta with my grandma when I stayed at her house during the summer. A trip to FL sounds pretty good right now. We started the day with 18 again.

Marian, I cant help but wonder how close to your place I was when we hiked along the Buffalo River. Im almost sure we drove through Harrison.

Im wearing down fast, goodnight all!


    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 11:02PM
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It feels downright tropical here at 8degF this morning. More importantly, it's still light at 5pm!!!

Reading at 13-14 was a true mix, everything from "Steal this Book" (Abbie Hoffman) to James Michener's "Hawaii" and "The Source." Literature classes in the early 70's were a lot about "meaning" and "experience," and having a teacher in his early 20's didn't hurt. My freshman year of high school is when I learned to truly READ rather than get the book done. I still use the methods he emphasized ....

Good luck with your talk, Mary! Wish I was closer ....

Kathy, it sounds like you're cruising right along and over the major humps of getting the house ready. "Doing it before Kyle and Jen are ready to inherit it" is our mantra for this house. Greenhouse is being revisited ;-)

Eden -- I'm missing you! For that matter, does anyone ever hear from Taryn??

Winter sowed some sweet peas by flashlight last night now that we have a whole 10 hours of light each day. I used old ceiling fan sconces left over from a Rich job. Little cloches!! I'll bet if they were at a high end garden store they'd cost 5x as much as at HD :-) They've moved way up on the tag sale treasures-to-find list.

Has anyone seen seeds in stores, yet? They seem to be coming out late this year. I'm seeing supplies, but no seeds. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Though I don't like the thought of wishing time away, I'm really glad it's Friday. Loooooooong week for some reason. Tower Hill here I come!!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:14AM
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Almost forgot -- ewwwwwwwwDeanne! Will you need to wear the boot all summer if you don't have the surgery now? AND

V: Your area has had enough. You need a trip to New England to break the cycle ...

All the food looks great!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well I definitely wont be making the Tower Hill trip. Apparently these cooties we have are some brand of flu and not just a common cold. I knew I was really feeling awful Wednesday but I just scraped Doug off the bathroom floor. He passed out! Thank heavens I was right there to help him. His color looked off when he got up from the dining room table and go into the bathroom. When he got up off the john he started weaving back and forth so I grabbed him and got him lowered to a sitting position on the floor. Then he passed out cold sitting there! I couldnt move him as he was wedged between the sink and the tub and he is totally NOT flexible. (Not to mention he is 240 pounds of dead weight) I guess I can figure out how he broke his leg four years ago. If hed fallen over in that position he would have broken something again. Anyway, he got conscious enough to move his legs and lay down on the floor and now Ive finally gotten him back in bed. Not a fun way to start the day.

V. good grief! That fire is horrendous. How frightening and awful. Im so sorry for those people. Do they know how it started?

Martie, the podiatrist said I could wait until next fall for the surgery if we could control the pain with the orthotics. No boot for me in the summer and apparently he wants me on crutches for the six weeks.

Michelle, yes indeed this cold/flu thing is definitely getting old. I guess Im paying for not getting sick last winter.

Bug, another great looking dish. Anything with cheese and pepperoni on it looks terrific to me.

Mary, glad to hear that was Davids and Annies schedule! But do you ever have time to catch your breath? What is your garden talk on?

Kathy, yes I probably should get a second opinion but even I could see the damage on the fluoroscope and its pretty straightforward. The ruptured ligament is on my second toe on the right foot. It apparently does quite a bit of load bearing along with the big toe. The toe will continue to migrate where it wants without the ligament there so the joint will continue to be inflamed without orthotics or surgery. The doctor described it like a torn cruciate ligament in the knee. What a pain!

OK Im off to check my patient

Have a good day all

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Norma....I find I am using my garden notes more since starting to keep them on the spreadsheet and the only difference is that when I want to find something, the find feature makes it so easy. I use one spreadsheet for each year. I use one column for each day, but I don't write every day. I try to be conscious of using a term in whatever I am writing that makes it more searchable. When I order seeds.. I write the full name of the company so I can look up that order. When there is something I want to remember to do next fall, I type Fall Alert in front of it and so then I have a collection of things I can remind myself of, just by typing in Fall Alert, etc. I find myself using this one annual spreadsheet for just about everything garden related, so I only have the one place to look, which helps.

How old are your kids Norma? Do they ever listen to the recordings you have of their Christmas singing?

Glad you are enjoying my photos, Norma. We must have some of the same interests. :-) I am missing my birds this winter, so I am posting a photo from the spring of a chickadee just moving into my one and only birdhouse. I can't believe this photo was taken on April 22, 07...no leaves on the trees, yet?! I don't know why I always think of the middle of March as the beginning of spring despite evidence to the contrary. lol Sorry, another poor photo, taken from a distance with a zoom and no tripod.

I came across this file on my hard drive that I have saved for awhile and thought Chelone might enjoy this one entitled The Garage. Not sure who the artist is, but it is labeled, DT PA? I don't know why I enjoy it so much, but I do.

Michelle...try your moon photo again and post it next time. I would love to see it. Who cares if it is perfect?! :-)

Cindy....sorry you have had your fun gardening time cut into by this mold issue. I hope you can get things straightened out quickly and behind you.

Deanne....So sorry to hear about DH..the both of you having to be sick at the same time and with your foot too! Any possibility either of you have an infection that might benefit from antibiotics?

Mary....the topic of your talk sounds great. You must have made it very interesting last year that so many people have signed up for it. Is it a local organization you are doing it for? Such a book list for a 14 yr old! Do her friends share her interests?

Martie....I was a James Michener fan, but had to stop reading after the third book because I started to expect an overlay of depression in his books. Such detailed descriptions of places just pulled you in though. Chesapeake was my favorite. His description of the beauty of the unspoiled wilderness transported me back in time.

Have an interesting day, but not too interesting! [g]


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 9:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Please click on the purple box at the site below! Animals will thank you...I know, you already are feeding humans with rice each day too. Thank you!

Deanne, I'm so sorry about all the health issues! That flu/virus thing knocked Sarah, her kids and my brother out cold. Really sick! Fortunately they are doing well now, but it was a depressing time. And as you know, I am familiar with foot woes. Ugh! It is amazing how a stupid little toe produces such pain and inconvenience over a long period of time!

pm2, that 'garage' speaks to me big time!!! Stone and slate.. If it were all fixed up I wouldn't feel the same way about it though.

Cindy, keep us posted on any successes with the insurance bozos...You deserve a fabulous boring weekend!

Missing Bella & Kenzie photos...
And Sue...today is your day to post, right? Must be off giggling with the new boss.

Yes, I'll try to participate in the soup show next week. Nothing fancy, so I'll see if I have any nice bowls for the occasion.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 10:01AM
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Woke to very high winds and light rain this morning .I drove to work and the power was out there, so I came back home till the sun comes up . No lights, no phone no computer would not make for a very productive morning . These winds are expected to continue all day. Good thing the gazebo is already down..now I just hope my leaning back fence makes it through the day. I made a pot of coffee in the bathroom so I can take a cup back to work with me. One must have ones coffee.

PM what a neat-o birdhouse Did someone build it for you or is it store bought Your spreadsheet garden journal sounds slick. I just have a spiral notebook that I write things down in (very haphazardly I might add)

Wow Deanne, what a morning for you ! Better put up the quarantine sign at your house.

Okay, Im going to read the paper a bit and then back to the office, the sky is lightening

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 10:05AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Sorry, this is about all I have time for today...



    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Second that TGIF, and add bells and whistles, fireworks, etc. The last two weeks have been filled with some of the fastest witnesses ever, just tendon-burning fast. Fall into bed at 8:30, feeling refreshed around 3 a.m, lol. As I was getting up, Marty mentioned there were tornado warnings off Malibu, so the wind and rain have been intense here too, Kathy. Phone line was out couple days.

What a calamitous month for so many. Poor Deanne, for starters. I had a bout of plantar fasciitis about a year ago, where it feels like your feet have been beat with a baseball bat, so I know foot problems can really cramp your style. But passing out on the bathroom floor has got to be up there with one of life's greatest ignominies. Speedy recovery to you both.

Cindy, I'm dumbfounded by your recent news. It seems you have a condo, right? To be frank, if you've definitely got mold already, you're in for a long haul and you should not have to pay. I missed Honey's account of her bout with mold. When I worked for a law firm in my 20s, the attys were only too happy to offer advice on a casual basis, and one actually took a matter formally on my behalf. We repaid him in booze ;) Any attys you get on well with at your firm you can run this scenario by for some input? Maybe Chloe is going nuts from mold spores, or is she always that high strung?

PM2, your photos are wonderful. I call that garage wall made of clinker, like lots of the arts and crafts fences around here.

Martie, thanks for asking about Mitch, who's having a tumultuous time in NYC. Has a ticket home for Feb 13 and I'm still not sure if it's a visit home or a complete return. Did Kyle head back to England or is he done there? I like your winter sowing vessels. Amazing how thrilling these little acquisitions can be. I found some glass "interrupters" I'd long wanted cheap at an antique shop recently, look like miniature cloches, formerly used on electrical poles.

At Annie's age, that was my Hermann Hesse phase ;) Another Edith Wharton fan. Have any idyllers been up to her estate? Linked below.

Saucy, we Tivo'd that Frontline on kids and computers, just saw it last night. Seemed a bit fear-mongeringish, but that's just going by our basically benign experience with computers. Gaming, that's another thing, but nothing untoward regarding uncomfortable solicitations from strangers. Mitch IMs me constantly from NYC, which works out great actually. My DH/Marty is just getting going on the "Interweb" as he calls it in his charming, malaprop style.

I wonder if the Watts Towers are known of beyond Los Angeles. I pass them on the train, and their spires never fail to enchant and usually bring on musings on the wellsprings of creativity.

Bring on the weekend!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 1:06PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I had a nice long post this a.m. that was struck down as the first of my insurance day at home started. Then the router went down - it seems any time we go near it in the family room it goes out - either extremely sensitive or damaged by the water chaos?

Deanne-- what a terrible way to start the day and so scary - yep, i do sympathize having just felt bug/crud last weekend - the reason i literally wasnt out of bed for 2 days; Ugly bug.

V- you have had an Extreme host of strange events in your locale -- as I recall your location, I'd be scared like Mystic w/ strobe lites and stray bullets and the smell of fire happening -- how do you manage to feel safe there on your own as you sometimes are?????

PM2 - I love the pic of the Garage - i think it's the luminous colors and quaintness.

Kathy and Denise - it seems you are both in the area w/ all the bad weather right now - batten down the hatches! and be safe.

Re your q's re my home - i am not in a condo but a townhouse which means I own the entire home inside and out - there are only common areas belonging to the association and they contract for some upkeep re snow removal, grass cutting and they have certain rules as an owner you're expected to abide by; but all maintenance issues from the ground on up are mine - as an end unit, I only have the 1 (albeit sad) neighbor - but obviously can be an issue when they neglect their home. I was told this a.m. that this problem could creep into the other homes on my row if the neighbor doesnt fix his mold issues so i might have to alert them to the issue if I find out he decides to do nothing to remediate it.

I was a ping pong ball today and had a migraine by 2 -- 2 mold inspectors and my insurance adjuster came. It was truly a bizarre, surreal experience. I am holding my breath and am sure it will change. The mold inspectors said the carpet probably was trashed and the Servpro mold guy says an industrial hygenist needs to be called in to make the recommendations on how to treat the mold, and it being in the firewall of the common party wall. Then my adjuster who came in like this raging bull - he has to be originally from NYC ! didnt seem to understand about the mold until luckily one of the Servpro techs returned to pick up their equip; after conference calls w/ the mold inspector and the adjuster telling me it was too early for him to be here to start estimating the damage, he seemed to get more human and low key, and talked about ripping out all the drywall, treating, etc., and getting the hygenist in. But at no time did he say they dont cover this sort of problem - it was very strange; i asked him if we needed to go after the insurance co of the neighbor and he said the damage was this side, so they'd pay.... cross your fingers - i have a feeling the head honcho who arrogantly had already told me they covered nothing, will be putting his 2 cents in. O and the best part of the day was, my insurance adjuster had my phone # of 25 years ago -- he was 2 hours late and told me he'd called 2 times.... in their system it had printed out w/ the correct address but the phone # of another prior 25 yr old address -- instills one with a lot of confidence in their computer system doesnt it, LOL....aaaeeooo.... I predict I'll be hearing another tune another day, and it will go on and on.

Im missing my new toy of the FIOS DVR (kind of like TIVO) - they dismantled it as it was in the lower room. n So the shows I taped last week are unavailable to me. I guess I may have to figure out how to reinstall it in my bedroom to use as I suspect my family room is gonna be a big mess for months - and of course all the cables were installed along the effected long wall...

On to the weekend -- I look forward to hearing and seeing the fun of Tower Hill Idylls!

I had a long para re my youth reading, but wont bore you all w/ it now - it is great to see someone of Annie's age still reading, Mary -- one hears and sees that that is not a common thing any more.

PM2 - how wonderfully organized re the garden notes - I just write it all in 1 journal I grab and tick off and rip out when Im done; but I do compile (at this time of the year) notes of to dos, things to move (review my photos of the past year), and write down my new combos and plant orders.

Chelone -- I love the Medici and Tudor periods (actually something I developed a love for in my teens and did read many biographies on them at that time -- you bring back such great memories of that stuff.

Onward Idyll weekend.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:37PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, Denise -- I just saw your two cool links - I stand educated on the Watts Towers - never heard of them before - how neat. The wonders of a creative hobbyist!

And the Wharton estate - you're hinting hinting eh? I'd love to visit them - havent they just been redone or something? Such elan!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 6:43PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Idylls! "Bug sent me a note about Cindys dilemma and it was just the kick-start I needed to jump back in here.

Cindy, Im so sorry to hear about your basement/mold problems. Bug suggested I share what we know about mold. Yes, its criminal that insurance companies dont cover mold and/or water damage to basements anymore. All insurance companies eliminated that coverage in 1998. I know b/c it coincided with our moving in here and a co-worker had damage at the time and told me about the changes to all insurance policies. We found out that you can get a rider on your insurance policy to cover water damage in the basement (we do and its not that expensive), but coverage is limited to $10,000. Damage to our finished basement was over $17,000, and we did the work ourselves! Luckily, our furnace, A/C and HW tank werent affected.

Since your water/mold damage is from a shared common wall, I recommend contacting a lawyer about what you can do about getting access to their unit to stop damage to yours; whether the association has any responsibility to assist you; and about recovering for damage to your unit from negligence by users of your neighbors unit. The laws in each state are similar but different. If you have a condo association, notify them, and I'd tell the neighbors on the other side, too. They may have an address for the owners out of town or know someone who knows how to contact them. Wow, what a mess.

The biggest problem I see is that you wont be able to totally remediate your mold situation until the source your neighbors unit -- is taken care of. That is really a problem.

Id suggest that before doing any work in your basement yourself, put on old clothes youll throw out, long plastic gloves and wear a filtered mask (HD has them). Mold spores can be deadly. The environmental company we hired told us that to get rid of the mold you have to demolish and remove drywall thats gotten wet or has mold on it and all flooring materials down to concrete. Water gets under flooring and creates ideal conditions for growing mold. Drywall will wick up moisture up to a foot over and above where any moisture might be. So cut out and pitch any affected drywall. We had to remove 2 layers of linoleum from our floor and 2 ft. of drywall on all the side walls throughout the basement. I get flashbacks just thinking about it.

I recommend calling in a certified environmental company that deals with fire and water damage to powerwash the studs, walls and floor area with special cleaners. Theyll then spray the whole area with a chemical thats designed to encapsulate mold spores so they dont spread further or get upstairs in your living area. Bleach doesnt stop mold, so they told us. Only after it is all cleaned, treated and allowed to dry out for a week can you consider rebuilding it.

You really have a mess on your hands. ((((((Cindy)))))) I feel so badly for you. I truly understand what a disaster this is for you. Hope this info helps.

Back later with tales from this front. Hi to all. Missed you!


    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Checking in from Disaster Gulch West. Raining like hell all day, fence is laying on the ground. I'll try to get a pic tommorow between storms.(If there is a between storms). Kitchen project will be done on Monday, next is the painting.
Oh well! Cindy has more issues than I do - Here I am out here in Fungusland and I never hear much talk of mold here at all. Do you supopose people who live in NorCal, Oregon and Washington are immune to mold ??? Anyway Cindy, I hope things move forward without too much hassle for you.
Nice to see you Honey..hope you can hang around for awhile..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 8:11PM
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My best wishes to Deanne and Doug for a speedy recovery from the "grippe". Poor Doug! there are so many hard surfaces in a bathroom he's lucky he was seated and didn't crack his head on the way down. I recommend Clemtines/oranges and lots of liquids. :(

Bummer about the foot woes, too. Remember that old saying, "no foot no horse"? Bipedal locomotion requires amazing balance and structural support, and toes are incredibly important to it all. I hope orthotics will improve your comfort level until the surgery can be performed.

The last time the helpmeet and I were out in the Berkshires they were in the midst of the big renovation on the Wharton's estate, so we didn't go. (Did catch Naumkeg, though). I understand it was really something, and I was particulary interested in the large canopy they had erected over a patio, I believe. When I was 14 I was heavily into Michener, too (Centennial, The Drifters, Hawaii, The Source), I never had any interest in the "fantasy" thing... I LOATHED The Hobbit (required reading in 7th. grade) and the rest of that dreadful trilogy (no kidding), but I loved Mark Twain, Wahington Irving, and a host of others. Mum was a mystery buff... her favorite author was Josephine Tey. Even then I my fondness for history was evident, Antonia Fraser's "Mary Queen of Scots", and a 2 volume job on Jennie Jerome Churchill, which tied in nicely with my passion for Thoroughbred racing and extensive geneological reading on the subject... . Yeah, I was a geekie kid. :/

Fires seem to be on the uptick around here, many attributed to improperly installed woodstoves or overloaded circuits (space heating running full blast). No hydrants here, either. I had to laught at the "Disaster Gulch" and Calamity Jane, too. It will be fun to see the transformation of Kathy's home.

You aren't gonna believe who called on Thursday night... yep., the electrician. He was informed that "we've taken care it. Thanks for calling us back". The helpmeet and BIL are going to tend to it today, while I write the check for the drywall job and get that in the mail.

Great to see Honey, now about Eden and Ei. ... don't be strangers.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Wow, everyone must have talked themselves out on Thursday, huh?

I'm back from the dreaded returnables run, a spin past the banks to replenish the checking accounts, and then to the post office to mail payment to the drywall guys. There were lines everywhere, but as a gregarious sort I generally find myself chatting amiably with others in line (is that a "small town" habit?). :)

I returned home to find the menfolk in the garage, both sporting toolbelts! I was informed that my ageing ovaries had no place in the land of testicles... lol. So, Rex and I are banished to the house until it's time to go "fetch lunch". It was pretty cold this morning and the air is very dry (if you touch a pet there is a little shock involved). I have hung 3 loads of laundry around the living room, replenished the pot of water on the stove, and the house is actually feeling rather humid right now! a nice change.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:19AM
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I got lost in Watts Towers (love it!) and no time to post. Sending sympathy to Disasters East & Disasters West, both medical and property related. I'm headed out to take Dannie Lure Coursing (it's 28F!), see you all later. Try to stay out of trouble!

PS: Maybe I can create a 'Watt the heck is that' Tower with the 60 blue wine bottles I've saved. Gave up on a bottle tree, as I know branches falling from real trees would destroy it, but keep saving those bottles. Other ideas from the creative ones here????

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

LOL...yes, talked out. :-)

Off to walk and to the library again. Supermarket shopping is done and making chilli for the soup photo next week. GBug..I think you suggested we all post the photos on Friday?

Lucky you Chelone, that they banished you from the garage. I am sure you were happy to go. :-)


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Just refreshed...cynthia...I LOVE bottle trees!! Isn't there anywhere on your property that would not be in the path of falling limbs? All blue ones too? Where did you find blue bottles?


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Fly by here...
Let's post soup photos on Thursday, the door closes on January then! Besides, it seems Thursday is our biggest talking day. Maybe we should post recipes too and make it a separate post? Any thoughts on that?

Company to prepare for now.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 12:41PM
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I'm making tortilla soup for next week :) How cold will my soup be by the time I get a decent picture?

I'm cleaning like it's spring here....my horoscope suggested it, I ran with it. The kids are with their grandparents and Nick worked this morning.

We're getting ready to go to the gym together, now.....nice dinner later.

Oh I don't miss the rainy season in California....I can't wait to see the house, though, Kathy....downed fence and all.

Deanne, hope you and Doug are on the mend.

Cindy, I hope you and Chloe have an uneventful weekend....unless they're good events :)

I'm close to the Wharton house :) and I enjoyed the Watts Towers....smaller scale in the garden.....hhhmmmm, I forgot about the welding class.....

I feel terribly UNread in this group....someone should guess what I'd like and send me a list. I'm open to anything but only read what I find at first glance. I read complete garbage and marvel that someone was able to get it on paper :) Not picky at all......guess I should just follow a book club.

Well, time to get moving. See some of you tomorrow, and talk to the rest online :)


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 2:58PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, everyone. I'm game,Chelone. I'll be chatty.

We woke up to a couple more inches of snow. The roads are slick and messy but DH took Missy to play at daycare anyway. She has such a good time there and runs off tons of energy. Heres a pic they took of her today playing with toys and putting them in and out of the playscape.

And heres our 8-mo old lapdog:

She has the sweetest little personality and is Miss Congeniality with pooches and people. Shes calmed down a lot and is listening much better. We have more obedience work to do tho, when the weather warms up.

Lots going on here. First, as promised, heres a pic of our new hallway buffet/bar and mirror we gave each other for xmas:

Its a bit more ornate than I usually go for and I dislike the rest of the pieces in this line. But as a stand-alone piece, I really like it. Best of all, it was ¼ the price of similar pieces weve seen elsewhere. Heres a close up of the arrangement I just finished to add some color and pizzaz.:

Weve been sending out tons of resumes and DH is networking like crazy. Theres no chance hell get called back until the co. emerges from bankruptcy tho. A couple days ago out of the blue he got a call on a job. They saw his resume on the state unemployment site. No one we know has ever heard of anyone getting a call/job from that site!!! Ennyhoo, the gal that contacted him must be out of state b/c she asked if hed have a problem driving to a town that was 2 miles away! (He drove 40 miles 1-way to his former job!). They were looking for someone with lots of experience, which DH has. It would be perfect for him. So say a prayer he gets to interview.

Meanwhile, DH and I are rattling around this space together and were still talking. Thats amazing. Aside from job hunting, weve been researching foreclosed properties with and for DD. As soon as she gets the OK from the court, she needs a new car so weve been helping her research that, too. Shes been stranded several times and weve had to go get her. Lastly, were getting little inexpensive home projects done and Ive once again reorganized the basement after putting all the xmas stuff away. It seems that DD brings a load of boxes over every day. Added to that, DD is now on temporary layoff, has been having supper here and will probably move in permanently in a month or so with her 2 kitties. So shortly, the 3 of us will be here full time. Over the last month or so SIL has been really giving DD a hard time trying to intimidate her, play mind games, etc. He really is a jerk and she now is glad that things worked out the way they have. She says she didnt realize how very unhappy she was.

Thursday, we were DDs support team for her court date/settlement mtg. After we got up at 5 am, trudged downtown to the court, paid $20 for parking (!), it was postponed b/c the judge was sick. The good thing tho, is that the lawyers were able to talk and it looks like both sides agree on asset distribution. If its OK on paper, DD will sign off and things will progress rapidly from there.

After court, we went to breakfast and then the casino. While walking by a machine, I put in $20 and hit for $150. DD and DH won $100 and $150 respectively so we all came home with money. So it turned out to be a good day.

This am I launched myself at the shower doors in our bath again. I tried a new product I heard about on the radio. It was OK, but I think I got off more residue with other stuff I have on-hand here.

Deanne, Im so sorry to hear about you and Dougs injuries! Good Grief. Im hoping youre able to get relief from your leg pain soon, but sorry to hear youll need surgery.

Well, Im going to post this and come back later when Ive caught up whats going on with youall.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 3:09PM
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All the breakers have been installed in the electrical panel (BIL "did time" as an electrician in a former life), all the switches are wired on the first floor, and the outlets are all installed in the Salon. Tomorrow, the outlets for the first floor will be installed and the remaining exterior fixtures will be put up. One is up now and it's very pretty. (I need some "pretty" about now!).

I treated the BIL and the helpmeet to lunch (the least I could offer!), checked to see if the floor lamp that needed profession help was finished (not yet), and did some research on having a stained glass pendant shade repaired. I know a lot of very talented people and received a great tip for a gal in a neighboring town and will go see her on Monday. I was candid about the condition of the shade (some of the curved glass is broken and it probably needs even more work) but she cheerfully told me to come on over and let her have a look because that won't cost me a dime. ;)

I loved the Watts Towers! isn't it the funniest thing that something that was offensive to neighbors evolves into a bit of an icon? Makes me wonder if I'd be my usual "open minded" if someone next door to me undertook something of that scale... Gives me pause for thought!

I hope Deanne and Doug are doing OK. Bein' sick is a drag. Sleep, fluids, and self-absorbed TLC is all you can do... hang tough, guys.

Honey, it's so nice to hear from you. I can't believe how big that dog has gotten. Looks pretty comfy in Daddy's lap, though. Sounds like it's been sorta tough times at your house, of late. Good to learn that DD's tribulations are approaching an end, at least in one respect. On a brighter note, i LOVE your new "buffet". I know exactly what you mean about ONE piece of it being enough... I love the ornate, Victorian and Empire furniture (esp. marble tops), but unless the room is big or you have the entire suite of it, it can really overpower a space. And I love your arrangement... fake or the real McCoy? I hope the interview comes through! fingers duly crossed. Thanks for indulging me with some chitty chat... ;)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Hi everyone

The garden talk went well this morning - over 40 people showed up and seemed interested in my slides and demo (well, no one fell asleep that is LOL!). Actually I got some very nice comments at the end. A lovely surprise for me was seeing an old friend from several years back who had seen my name in the paper and decided to attend.

Honey - fabulous to hear from you. What a beautiful dog Misty is growing into. It sounds as though you've had a lot of ups and downs these past months. Hope the job search is short lived - my fingers and toes are crossed for your DH's interview.

Gb - count me in for the soup photo extravaganza.

Watts tower is very cool - I'd never heard of it before.

Speaking of cool, this is far too neat to keep all to myself. I came across instructions on the web for how to turn your underwear into a headband. How do you think it would look in lime green?! I think I'll have to get working on this before next Idyllunion.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 4:45PM
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Yet another day spent with the blue tape, drop cloths , brushes and rollers. I finished priming the ever-evolving upstairs master bathroom, and tomorrow I hope to put on the first coat .Next week Im taking Thursday and Friday off to hopefully get DSs bedroom painted and some other rooms cleaned up and in shape for my realtor to be able to take some interior photos. It was suppose to rain all day today but the storm turned South and we had overcast and a bit of wind instead.

Think I ll make potato leek for the photo-op. What a challenge it will be to make a bowl of white soup look interesting !

Missy looks all grown up ! Shes so pretty , bet its pretty easy for her to pull a fast one and then beg for forgiveness. It sounds as though youve been diligent in your training regimen . The marble top buffet is lovely I love the curved front. Very nice vignette with the flowers and mirror. Good vibes out to DH and his job search.

Chelone, I hear the wheels of progress turning on the Salon.. maybe your DH and BIL need to so a little side work in the electrical game-they seem to have left the real electrician in the dust.
Your Mum and I shared a fave mystery writer, Josephine Tey. She wrote so few books , but all excellent. Maybe its time for a re-read of a couple of those. I never could get into James Michener , and I tried numerous times believe me. I cant even count the number of times I started reading The Source , and abandoned it . Maybe I should give it one more try !

Lol Mary ! My undies are way to utilitarian to be made into anything ..

Cynthia, I saw a pic in a garden magazine once of an edging for a bed made from glass bottles turned end up with the neck buried in the soil. They were assorted colors as I recall. It looked pretty cool, but youd need an awful lot of them to do it unless you mixed in another item of some sort.

Saucy, what kind of stories do you like to read ? Im sure we can come up with some suggestions for you.

The late great fence, 1st photo as viewn towards my neighbors house, 2nd photo my yard on the left, neighbors on the right.

Ok, Im going to try to make some dinner and maybe watch a movie.

Catch yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Suffice it to say I'm somewhat less than thrilled with the SNOW falling outside my window right now. :( Never one to "blow a gasket" I'll wait until the local Sunday news team gets up (6 AM) and gives me the official lowdown. I was planning to swing by my brother's home for a quick visit before moseying on down to Tower Hill. I have a couple of "Important Tax Information" things for Mum and also a rebate check from AARP. He will howl when he sees it's for a whopping .50. ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing him, he's funny. I know he'll be able to help me out with my idea for a "modular" cutting table; one with sections on wheels that can be reconfigured in a variety of ways to maximize tabling around multiple machines. He'll know precisely where to locate the sturdy legs and wheels with locks.

Wow, Kathy that musta been some big blow, though once sufficiently weakened I'm sure it didn't take too much to topple the fence. Couldn't have happened at more convenient time, huh? Good luck with the painting today. I'll have my turn at that exercise in the not too distant future.

Mary, I cracked up at the undie headband. I can clearly see that it will be hit of next Idyll-union. :) Nice that you talk went went well and a long-lost friend dropped in to say hi. It's always fun when that happens.

The arrival of dead rodents on the deck yesterday reminded me that there is activity out in the yard and that gardening season will inevitably return to the wilds of the compound. I actually looked at the DMZ next to the garage yesterday and began thinking of how to incorporate it into something attractive. Instead of looking daunting, it actually looked like fun. Nothing like some electrical work to change one's perspective, huh?

Time to change the channel... there's some really dumb show about some huge estate in Santa Barbara, CA that is so far from my reality I have no interest in even looking at it. Like "This Old House" on designer steroids.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 5:53AM
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Happy Sunday everyone! Directions for Tower Hill are printed with the true hope that the nastiest part of an Atlantic storm stays very east. I'm so looking forward to some greenhouse time with the Idylls! I'm also hoping tht the weather will let me poke just a bit in the gardens to look at bones and plant spacing. Rich is suggesting Valium with my coffee. LOL

I'm so glad everyone's house projects are moving forward. Nothing like "making it hot", eh Chelone????

Had you planned to replace the fence, Kathy? I like what you've done with your slab.

The gift is perfect for that spot, Honey. Stone tops are a fav, but I've yet to find a piece with a top and bottom I like all together. I really like yours!

Hoping Deanne and Doug are mending well. I think I would've just called 911 if Rich was wedged in the bathroom. All that container lifting and exercising paid off!.

The seed lists are in the "narrow it down" phase and I'll post a list of final selections if anyone would like anything sent. One that is a definite will be Lisianthus. I've tried growing it for years and haven't gotten the knack, but will try again. Paying $4.99 for one plant of it just seems ridiculous. It can't be that hard, right??

Off to the shower and one last cuppa. Later, everyone!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:15AM
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A surprise to wake to a dusting of snow! A skift as I have learned! I have not looked at the weather recently - guess I'd better check and see what's up :)

Another fire in town last night reminds me to answer PM's question: Nick is a call firefighter.....he goes when there is an alarm called, no one sits at the station. Anyway, the family was fine again, but I can't help but think that this is a harsh time of year in so many ways. I guess winter is also the catalyst to so many fires....

Kathy, I guess what I was eluding to is that I'll read anything. I think I'll just start taking notes on the books mentioned here :) I do know that Oprah and I have very different tastes, but (don't you dare tell - he hasn't noticed her name on all his books yet) Nick enjoys all of her "self help" selections :) Funny, they seem to act as a sleeping potion.....

Honey, as an internet recruiter I used the state database all the time and also found that people were surprised. It's a nice resource because it's free for employers to use. I had a recruiter in CA setting me up for an interview here last winter (until we decided to start up this business)....it was a little tiresome with the time change and all....more fingers crossed in the Saucy household.

Well, I guess I'm gonna get moving. Jake is in Maine with his Poppy riding a snowmobile, but Sarah will be home at 11 for "Daddy and Sarah Day" - I think they're going to go bowling.....my bets on Sarah to win.

Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:25AM
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I dunno you guys... we have nearly 3" of snow and it's still coming down. My road is still snowcovered and I know it's going to be some greasy going. I wouldn't miss work for it, but I'm not really sure I feel like spending an hour and half driving in it. It's lookin' like I'll be sitting this "get-together" out. :(

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:47AM
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Drat, drat, doubledrat, Chelone. I have some cuttings of easy houseplants for you. The good thing for you is they'll be really rooted by the time you get them, now.

Stay warm!!


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Martie, you know Lisianthus needs heat and light to germ right? Surface sow, 75 to 80F (heat pad or heat from fluorescents should get you there) and should germ in a couple of weeks.

Wondering how Deanne & Doug are doing and if all the hot soup should be going to Nausea NH.

Honey, Missy is striking! And your new sideboard is pretty nice looking too :)

Kathy, keep looking forward, eyes on the prize.

I like the idea of a bird house in an arbor PM. And it's a very cute birdhouse, is it handmade?

Mary, your garden talk sounds like it was fun for you, and surely a nice mid winter treat for the attendees. I'd love to go to something like that at this time of year! I may have missed the topic? I haven't started any seeds yet this year, and quite proud, as I really want to focus on removal - not additions- this year. But I know I'll have to start some of the necessary annuals in a month, (necessary for the garden and necessary to get me through February). Maybe I'm spend an hour in the cellar today cleaning up the tables and dusting or changing the bulbs.

Waving to all, and hope the Tower Hill trek is fun for all the new England Idyllers who can make it. Thinking of Cindy & Chloe :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

Still coughing etc. here but I think we might survive. This was one bear of a virus and I dont wish this on anyone else. Doug in particular is feeling better this morning and his color is better. Im so bummed out Im going to miss the Tower Hill jaunt, I was really looking forward to it. Oh well, even if I felt well enough to go I wouldnt risk spreading these germs around. But Im sure there will be lots more Idyll events to go to in 08.

Mary, so glad to hear your talk went so well. Thats terrific, and especially nice that your old friend stopped by. ~~ So now the next time I see you, youll be wearing a lime green headband???!!! And you do realize that Ill probably PIMP laughing so hard.

Honey, LOVE that new bar and mirror! Gorgeous and that arrangement on it is perfect. Wow, Misty is a beautiful dog! What a pretty girl.

Kathy, sorry about your fence! That weather sounds awful. I was watching the weather channel this morning and it looks like there is still more bad weather on its way. Stay safe!

RE soup pics, I made soup for us yesterday but forgot to take the pictures! Whoops.

Chelone, thanks very much for your continued good wishes for our recovery. You cheered me up immensely.

Cindy, sending more hugs your way for the mess you are dealing with.

PM2 that painting is spectacular! I just love the light and atmosphere in it. ~~ Love your birdhouse.

Martie, I was on the verge of dialing 911 for help. If he hadnt regained consciousness as soon as he did Id have run for the phone. I was afraid of letting go of his torso though, as I thought he might fall over and hit his head. It was quite a dilemma.

Cynthia, all is getting better in Nausea, NH Thanks for asking. I LOL when I read your spelling. Only someone from around here would know that nickname for our fair city. And, yes, I had that same thought about all the impending soup making. Id love to have buckets of hot soup descend on us.

Chelone, heres one for you Notice his crest is up

Have a great day all and Im looking forward to hearing details of the Tower Hill trip.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Oh how cute is that little guy?! love the bright eyes, the inquisitive crest, and the delicate coloring. Just precious.

I'm bummin', I really wanted to get to Tower Hill, too, Deanne. I hope they put up some pictures. Maybe we could get together before the TYNAW paHty. Good to know you're turning the corner with respect to illness.

Helpmeet is diligently installing outlets in the garage bays as I type. Tomorrow he will pick up the breakers and the outlets for the two TVSS outlets that will be in the Salon. He had a rather involved discussion with my brother this morning about precisely what he needed to buy to complete the installation.

Well... back to the adventures of Catherine de' Medici. It always amazes how different people gravitate to different authors and types of writing. I LOVED Michener, Kathy, but your inability to "get into" his books exactly echoes my own feelings about JRR Tolkien. I struggled similarly with "A Prayer For Owen Meany"... still haven't gotten more than 60 pages into it, all these years later. Funny how that works, huh? I've been casting an eye about for a something that Saucy might enjoy... wondered about "Seabiscuit" by Laura Hillenbrand or "Jurassic Park" (which I thought one of the creepiest books I've ever read, but I couldn't put it down!).

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:11AM
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For all you bird people, here's today's puzzler from NPR. It's on Sunday mornings here and I try to catch it, just cause it's word fun.

"Rearrange the letters in Egret, Crane, Owl, to form the names of three other birds."

It's an easy one, shouldn't take long, and no you can't reuse any of the letters.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:44AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi again,

Thanks Chelone! So glad to hear you like my little TT pic. Here is another that I thought quite funny. When you get a pic of these guys with their crests up from head on they look like they have a dunce cap on. LOL

Anyway I was thinking of moseying over to the coast sometime in the near future to do some shore bird photography maybe we can meet up then. I'll let you know when I plan to come east.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:46AM
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With a diaphanous veil atop the crest it could also be one of those Medieval lady's caps... ;)

Do gimme a shout when you think you might be over this way.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:50AM
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tern, eagle, crow! I need all the mental gymnastics I can get, lol. Had the all-too-familiar full stop stare at a potted plant today, no name forthcoming, so compulsively named all the surrounding plants then googled the stranger via search string "woody lilies": dasylirion. I'd feel a lot worse if I hadn't attended a lecture by Dan Hinkley years ago, when he had that full stop trying to recover a name. I finally shouted out "loropetalum" to break the tension, he thanked me and moved on.

So sorry to hear the Tower Hill gang will be missing a few. I've been declaring that this year I intend to get to the San Francisco garden show in March, no fooling around. Whatever it takes. A very nice, talented, helpful designer, Michelle Derviss, will have an exhibit and I mean to see it.

Deanne, are you spending time in the bird blind in your condition!? The photos are wondrous and thank goodness you and Doug are on the mend.

Chelone, re the tables on wheels, that's Marty's m.o. but exactly. He built his shed on wheels, a rather large structure that we wheel around the driveway to accommodate projects, extra cars, etc. I had serious doubts but it came off beautifully. Wheels are good.

Honey, Missy is growing up beautifully. The entryway buffet is a great addition. What will you stock it with? Does it keep the vodka ice cold ;>

Kathy, our fence did that trick a few years back, and in one gust the carefully built illusion of privacy is shattered. There's my neighbor in his wifebeater taking out the trash: Top of the morning to you! That fence was rebuilt chop-chop, in short order.

Saucy, it'll be a fun challenge to find something you'd love to read. What books have made a strong impression before?

What I remember of lisianthus was the light and heat requirements, teeny-tiny seeds, and incredibly slow growth. $4.95 well spent IMHO. And my attempts at sowing was 20 years ago, when Thompson-Morgan trumpeted it as the find of the century. Now there's so many more ruffles, colors to try, but I never do. At nurseries it strikes me that its habit of growth has been bred into a bedding plant. Wonder what the Texas native looks like? Anybody buy seeds from Chiltern's? Now there's a dreamy catalogue. And that purveyor of seeds Hudson's...

For the soup challenge, I was thinking of opening a can of pozole. That'll knock out any lurking flu bugs but not very photogenic. Sunday greetings to all.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sunday morning...what happened? I didn't realize we were supposed to get so much SNOW!! Really too bad that it's putting a monkey wrench in the Tower Hill plans. How disappointing, I am sure! The forecast for the week, looks a mess, too. Snow almost every day except two. :-( I wonder if we will really get that much. Martie, Saucy, and all who are making the trip to Tower Hill...hope you have a great day! I can imagine lunch at the Twig Cafe in front of the fireplace with snow falling will be a wonderful experience. :-) Looking forward to story with photos.

Deanne...Well, gee, things were sounding pretty dire there in NH. I would have found the situation with DH passing out so frightening. You did well to keep your head. [and his..lol] SO glad you are starting to feel better. Might take awhile to really get back on your feet, you think? Will UPS take a bucket of soup? [g] I have a great chicken soup recipe that was my Mom's. Chicken soup is supposed to be as good as penicillin. :-)

We are making chili later today and I feel the same way about how that will look in a photo as Kathy feels about the potato leek soup. [g] But it is a good low fat, healthy version of chili, so we will do our best with the presentation.

My Bird House....for those who asked, is unfortunately not home made. I wish. [g] It is made by a company that was called Country Nests. According to the place I bought it, they have changed their name to Le Petite Chalet. I looked up their website to offer a link, but to tell you the truth, they don't seem to offer the variety of boxes that they used to. They seem to have changed their product line and it doesn't appear that they are even made with the same materials. Mine has real cedar shingles on the roof. I will add the link below anyway, but, if you google Country Nests, there appear to be a lot of their old style boxes and styles around. They do have fieldstone houses that were gorgeous but pretty expensive. I bought mine one of the few times I saw them on sale at a local nursery.

Cynthia, during the summer, you could barely see the birdhouse, with the honeysuckle growing around it. Bet the chickadees like it that way.

Saucy...So if DH is a call firefighter, he is not a volunteer, correct? Has it always been that way or is this a cost cutting effort in the community? If they are not at the station, are there firemen that do stay at the station? Yes, I guess when I think about it, with the amount of space heaters people use, that winter could be a busy season. I am glad the family was alright. Which reminds me, I keep meaning to review my insurance policies and get together some important belongings in the house, that I would take out with me in an emergency, but never quite get there. Really need to get on the ball with that.

Two of my grown kids are heading out to ice skate today, which pleases me. A day off from football with the Patriots not playing until next weekend.

I am indoors today, watching the snow fall. I recorded a special on TV last night, honoring Smokey Robinson that I just had a chance to watch. Anita Baker sang one of his songs and was amazing. I am so glad she is singing well again. I wish I would hear more from her. Smokey still sounds and looks amazing!

Kathy...you seem to be such a calm person. I would be pulling my hair out, trying to get the house on the market and dealing with painters and now a fence down...lol. I hope the fence can be repaired without too much extra cost.

Mary...that link was actually very interesting. To my surprise! I almost didn't even click it...lol. It reminded me of how you can make nice rag rugs out of old strips of fabric too. I have been scratching my head trying to figure out how you happen to stumble upon that link though. [g]
Any chance you could share any of the slides from your presentation with us?

Honey...I remember the puppy photo you posted of Missy and I thought she was one of the cutest puppies! Look at what a beautiful girl she is growing up to be!!

Well, no beautiful garage today, but thought you all might find this as interesting as I did. Pretty sure it is an actual photo from out in space.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Something about that photo was bothering me. It is titled..


But I am looking at it and it is the right side of the photo that bothers me the most. I can't see how photos from space would show that ridge along the East Coast in the ocean. I've had it for awhile and I don't remember where I picked it up and I couldn't find any more info about it..so take it with a grain of salt. Not sure what else it could be, though?


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:26PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Tower Hill was worth the snowy trip - nothing like the sights and scents of a greenhouse this time of year.

It was snowy outside, but the plants and the people inside were content

This arrangement was so perfectly color-coorinated, it inspired Saucy to coin a new Idyll phrase - she called it a Deannescape (TM)

We had a nice time, but we did miss you Chelone & Deanne! We'll definetly have to go back to Tower Hill again when we can get outside - Saucy tells us there is lots more to see.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 3:25PM
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PM hit the nail on the head with lunch at the Twigs cafe, but she forgot to mention the piano.....the piano that needed to be played.....and our table that was too close.....so they moved us......and we got a free dessert :)

Nice pictures Wendy. To be sure Chelone and Deanne were missed.

Denise, I think I like American stories....does that make sense? The Whistling Season was the last book I read that I just couldn't put down. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorites.

Chelone, maybe I'll give Seabiscuit a try.

Deanne, the TT is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.

PM, no, no one is ever at the station full time. It's a volunteer or call department....though they do get paid for time worked (but it ain't much :)



    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

We had a nice time today-it was good to get out, see some green, eat delicious food, & talk with friends.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 4:45PM
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I still have a bit of Daphne pollen on my nose ....

What a great day. I'm glad in a way that I went to Tower Hill for the first time in the snow. One could get lost there!

Thanks for the pics, Monique and Wendy.

Waving hi to everyone! Missed you Deanne and Chelone ...


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 5:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh the colour!!!
Glad you buddies got to enjoy the day together over good food.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 5:21PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, I sure am glad Verizon returned to get my FIOS back up -- what I've been missing out on! A lot --

From Disaster Gulch East -- how cool to see the posts from Honey and all her world wisdom -- and how truly sweet of you 'bug to email her. I think I've calmed down a bit on all the disaster and know I'll get thru it - painful and annoying.. and I may have to hire that lawyer (the ones in my firm are not "allowed" to do personal stuff; they're kind of weird in that dept; but they can probably give me some good local recommendations if it comes to that).

Well, I followed the leaders and did a lot of purging - put the new paper shredder to lots of use (Chloe eventually protested w/ barks that it was too much whining) but I thik I went thru the last 8 years worth of paper and it's been reduced to 2 large garbage bags shredded and 5 trash papers of papers unconfidential.... Purple Heart coming Weds so I've pulled together a worthy amount.

I love your bird photos, Deanne, and then the Tower Hill ones -- ooolala... arent the rest of us all jealous?!

Honey -- special thanks to you for your advice; I will hpe more good things happen to your DH and he gets the interview and job; sounds like it's working out okay for DD too -- glad to get that smuck out of her life NOW rather than 5 years from now - that's my philosophy and am glad she feels that way too. W/the asset stuff settled, she can put him behind her. What a frisky beauty Misty is! A snow dawg no less. I LOVE the buffet - we've missed seeing your wonderful creative interior design efforts here.

Ok, Mary -- undie-bands, uh, for the next Idyll union - what will you come up w/ next, LOL! I sure wish I were closer to hear your talk. I've never had much luck w/seeds...

Deanne, Im so glad you guys are feeling better; dont get too cocky yet - you have had more than enuf relapses/new bugs!

Im afraid my mind is shredded at the moment; Im having trouble remembering what all else I was anxious to comment on -- glad all this talk of water and mold didnt blacken everyone's moood, LOL.... sorry, couldnt resist.

O, I know - Denize -- what the heck - a shed on wheels? the powers of human ingenuity... is it a one man or two man push model?Hehehe.

Well, guess I better think about some dinner; Im worked out today and last week seems a blur (thank goodness) now..


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 6:00PM
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I do regret not sucking it up and heading down, It was "a real winter's day" today. It spit snow all day long, the north/northeast wind is strong, definitely a day that uses up winshield washing liquid. We cleaned off the cars, cleaned up the driveway, and worked in the garage.

Great pictures, lol about "Deannescape" TM. That's good one, Saucy. So, what did you have for lunch? I had some nibbles from the 'fridge while seated near the woodstove. The cats and Wrecks aren't nearly the conversationalists you guys are. I listened to The National Swing Band of Texas with Curtis Potter "up front" and remarked to the helpmeet that we need to get dancing again. (Marian, if you don't know Curtis Potter, you'd probably really like him... ditto Kathy).

I managed to lose myself in a British stencil website (among others) for a good long time today. I recognized several of them and then fished out one of my books on classical ornamentation. Sure enough! there they were. Truly, there "is nothing new under the sun". But I have a long way to go before it's time to get busy with stencils!

I also managed to lose myself in French Court and the growing religious division within the country and the Protestant schism with the Papacy. If ever there was a reason for the seperation of church and state the mid 16th. century demonstrates it clearly. So, in all, it was a good way to spend the day.

Cindy, I'm glad the immediate panic over the flood has subsided and you've got a plan sort of underway. A cool, level head is ultimately going to prevail when dealing with insurance companies, owner's associations, and neighbors. I see we serve a useful function as "sounding board". That's a good thing.

I realized today that I have to renew my driver's license very soon... can't believe it's been nearly 6 years!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm caught up with my reading here. :)
I LOVE 8 month old Miss Congeniality!!! Oh I can't wait....
Glad that you are seeing your situation with some perspective now Cindy. I so agree about Honey's DD. Very happy that she can move forward!

I'm off to scrub the huge dog crate we collected from friends today. A yucky job...but for a FINE purpose.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:53PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

OK you guys! Rub it in, rub it in!!! Wahhhhh... .I'm so sad I couldn't go but thanks so much for the pics! Gorgeous, green, tropical looking surroundings. Execpt for the snow outside of course. LOL Deannescape... te he...

So yes I've been out in my blind but it really is very warm out there with my little heater on. One of the few things I can stand to sit still for is my bird photography.

Here are a couple pics from today.

Carolina Wren

Song Sparrow

Nite all

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 7:58PM
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A thought for the day..there is something to be said for paying someone to paint your bathroom. I am anxiously awaiting the definitive moment when the need for a second coat will be confirmed or denied. I fear the worst. I was going to make a run to Trader Joes after painting but to hell with that, its 4pm , its raining and Im going to have a beer and Idyll for awhile. Beer of the day, Great White from Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka.

I did manage to pay my first visit to our newly opened Whole Foods this morning they opened last weekend and I have purposely stayed away. 8am on a Sunday morning is an ideal time-very quiet. What a nice store they are a bit high but there were some nice sales and the produce is beautiful. I bought organic potatoes and leeks for the soup-a-thon. They also play superior music to the other stores in town. So Ive been waiting for years for a Whole Foods to open here and now Im leaving !

Chelone and I would have been simpatico today were I settled in my new town; DD called this morning to say it had been snowing for several hours in Eugene which is about 40 miles south of Corvallis. How regrettable that it kept you from joining fellow Idyllers at Tower Hill. Gonna check out Curtis Potter .

Saucy, good call on the DeanneScape thing- in fact there appeared to be multi-DeanneScapes . A book for you; Private Altars by Katherine Moseby , if you can find it (and if I spelled her lat name correctly. ) "Angle of Repose" , Wallace Stegner-and in fact anything by Wallace Stegner .

Denise, I go to the SF Garden show every year without fail. Napa County MGs always charter a bus for the Thursday date and we come back home with the luggage compartment full of our purchases . Wine is involved on the return trip. Frequent attendee tip: Pack a lunch, the food is not good and too expensive. If your visit date is Thur let me know we can synchronize our watches and have a west coast Idyll meeting !

PM, I have always tried to stay calm, it helps me get through things . Sometimes I am anxious inside though ! Even though I complained about painting the bathroom this weekend, this was a task that was very soothing in a way (not as soothing as gardening) and it made me feel that I was taking a step and moving things along. I listened to the radio , took my time, and tried not to feel the pressure to get it done.

I think your pic of North America has touched-up color in the ocean areas but not on the land. I think thats why the Atlantic looks odd to you.

Deanne, as usual the birdies are wonderful. Good news that you and DH are feeling better. You can save your strength for the annual nose-thumbing event.

Think Ill go read the Sunday paper for a bitbest to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:22PM
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Deane :) :) :) :)

I was regretting that you didn't go to Tower Hill, since you usually give us a good debrief include participant names and mouth watering descriptions of the food. But Wow those pics are amazing, so it's good you stayed home!

Wendy & Monique, thanks for the sharing the photos of TH! Soothing to look at them. I like the photo from Wendy with the little pot perched in a big pot. I do that in my little GH to make sure everyone gets sun. Reminds me that I went in there to water a few weeks ago and Euphorbia Diamond Frost had all branches chopped off and laying on the bench with the leaves stripped of. Wonder what critter visited and how it got in? Dirt floor and I have pots and stuff all over, so it was probably watching me the whole time. Didn't touch the agaves. Yet.

Denise, Hudson's seeds is a favorite read. And Chiltern's too. I order from both. Best selection and both are good airplane reads. Hudson entertaining and eccentric, and seeds are inexpensive and fresh. Now you'll have me ordering.

Cindy, you're fast with the shredding and sorting! It took me weeks to figure out what to ditch and shred. But then I tend to file creatively, so I have to go through things carefully. Glad your outlook is a bit better. How's Chloe doing?

Bug, have been meaning to mention - nail clipping. Get a dremel. Much easier, and smooth finish and less likely to hit the quick. To keep up to date on positive training, vaccination protocols, quality foods (and raw feeding), you might want to subscribe to Whole Dog Journal. Holistic magazine that takes no advertising. There's an article in February issue that made me think of you, I may have to send that along.

Ok, that's it for me. It's almost Monday already?


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 8:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, well...lots to read here and I will have to wait until the morning. I just wanted to say that the photos of Tower Hill were a very welcome sight. I have never been to Tower Hill beyond their website, which was where we discovered the existence of Twigs. :-) I love that last photo! I really hope I can get out to see it soon...maybe in the spring.

I need some ideas...our computer is getting very close to needing to be replaced. Five years old, out of warranty and in the past few weeks a few issues showing up. Our daughter just got an Apple and I have had a chance to try it but the one thing about it that will drive me crazy is that it has no tracking ball and they force you to use the mousepad. I do have issues with my hands and arms and using that requires quite a bit more movement and I'm not sure I will be able to get used to it. It seems to have so much more to offer, I am really torn. I haven't even started looking to see what else is out there yet, but I thought I would see if anyone here could point me in a direction. Favorite computers?

Beautiful, beautiful birds, Deanne! :-)


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I still haven't read the thread, but thought I would update you all on the fire. The address that was in the original news story was down the street from friends of ours. Unfortunately, we found out on Friday that the address was wrong and it was indeed their house. We saw Ed and Luz today, and while they are very shaken, they are grateful that no one was hurt, and they are planning to rebuild.

Ed is a German immigrant whose retirement dream was to buy the farm out in the country and have a large, professional woodworking studio to spend his time in. He creates beautiful works of art and is incredibly generous with his creations, which are donated to many, many fundraising events around here. Shortly after he purchased the farm, his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Ed decided that he needed someone to share his life with, and a couple of years ago proudly introduced his "mail order bride" Luz from the Phillipines. Luz is a wonderful woman.

They both said it was shocking to see how fast you can lose everything. Please say a prayer for them as they face this challenge.

And this evening my DD emailed to say that the fraternity two houses away from their house was hit by fire today. The house is uninhabitable and 15 boys have to find another place to live.


    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 9:55PM
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Okay, Cynthia. This won't be as wonderful as Deanne's description, but here's a best shot:

Arrived in the midst of a good snow squall, just a few minutes after Sue and Monique who had retreated inside. Met Wendy in the parking lot, who had already reached Saucy inside. Saucy came out to meet us -- lots of hugs all around.

And then inside:

Not only was the Orangerie blooming away as shown in the pics, there was a floral arrangement show based on Chinese winter that was outstanding. Several different "takes" on the theme with lots of Peonies, Lisianthus, forced flowering twigs, etc. arranged in very simple yet striking arrangements.

Also many Camellia ready to pop into bloom. They'll be a "special" weekend there soon that I'm going to try and see when they come out. Because my "April Tryst" is surviving without any special care beyond keeping it in a cool darkish window, I'd like to find out how to really take care of it and see what happens :-)

Then to the Orangerie, where one is greeted by a huge (to me) Rosemary and one then gets the sense of "ahhhhhhhhhh." We all had favorites: Monique loved the pink combination, I loved the tall Rambler rose that was tagged "Louise Pierre" but googling isn't helping find it, Saucy found several things that Jake will be growing in a greenhouse someday :-); Sue compared her large tuber/bulb/rhizome plants to those there with the hope of figuring out how they keep the pots intact from expanding roots. Wendy clicked away and when she looked "up" realized another tour around was in order.

Then lunch:

Quiche with either spinach, tomato and provolone cheese, or sausage and cheese. A rich brown spicy soup and composed salad, the soup hosting a bit of white rice in the middle for a pop of white, pork loin wrap with pineapple/orange salsa and a lemon-infused dressing. Salad was mostly the carrot: shredded with chunks of raisin and pineapple bedded on white lettuce. I of course, had to try the garnish and will be learning to blanch lettuce this year.

Desserts: Lemon curd tart with lemon grass infused sauce and whipped cream; pound cake with tropical fruit topping; bread pudding .....

And piano music to boot :-)

What better way to spend a snowy day in January?

Thanks for the Lisianthus info! I've always used an underneath heat source but this year will add light.

You're right, Denise, $4.50 is a small price for a finicky annual, but for The Park I'll need at least 40 of them to have them make the impact I'm looking for :-) Ditto Wave petunias, zinnias (started outside), and a few other annuals to be culled from the list as "special." Other annuals will be downplayed a bit, used mostly in containers.

I miss my "good" containers, and after dividing they will be a focus of attention until done.

Enough about me here in New England.

I'm feeling for everyone's trials with weather, pipes, unsettled neighbors and it just being the end of January. Must say that changing out the regular big light bulb over the sink with a grow light bulb has made a difference.

Off and running.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Suffice it to say, nothing I consumed yesterday rivalled the menu so thoughtfully supplied by Martie. No pictures of the luncheon table?! you guys are slippin'.

V., I watched that video you linked with horror. What an inferno! do they have any idea how it started? I think your story is one of the saddest I've heard in some time. I simply can't imagine the shock and disbelief involved in watching all you own in the world go up in flames; something tells me that the relief of escaping it will be dulled a bit when the reality of it has had more time to "hit home". So, so sad.

I believe I can now safely purchase the ceiling paint, though I believe we will have to rent a torpedo heater until the furnace can be hooked up. Heat is the lynchpin for the work I have to do: can't apply the smooth "Structural Skin" to the face of the chimney without it, can't paint without it, etc.. We have not heard from the furnace guy, but he had to order the oil tank and we know they've been struggling with illness for a month/so. It's also been cold and emergency calls have been more common as many people are running out of oil and that carries a host of issues, as well.

I should get into the kitchen and get the dishes cleaned up, help with the trash consolidation, order up the paint, and get the broken shade to the woman I spoke with on Saturday.

Will chat more later on.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 7:58AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

V....So sorry to hear about your friends who lost their home from the fire. You must have been so shocked to find out whose house had burned down. If no one was hurt and they are able to rebuild, then I guess that is the best they could get out of the situation. Can only imagine how hard it is though.

Canon Beach, Oregon

Kathy....this photo is for you. You sound like you could use a little inspiration about now. :-) You are trying to do a lot and I hope everything will fall into place for you soon. Glad to hear you're still drinking your beer a day. lol I hope by the time baseball season starts, you will be settled in a new home in Oregon! Or at the very least, have some nibbles on your house. At any rate, you are going to have some perfect house to live in by the time you get finished while you are waiting!

Calm on the outside is sometimes the best you can do. :-) It really helps to find better solutions when you are clear headed at least. Which it sounds like you are. I used to always manage to stay calm at least on the outside, but then we went through a period where we were having too many crises constantly, one after the other after the other and I find now that I am more quickly rattled. But, I am trying to regain my old ability to stay calm and even go for the calm on the inside too. I just started making the attempt recently, so it is too soon to say if I am making any progress. [g]

Do they have Whole Foods near where you are moving? We had a local store called Bread & Circus that was one of the first health food supermarkets outside of Cambridge. It was in Newton and we had to drive 30 minutes there. This was about 15 years ago. About 10 years ago, Whole Foods bought them out. We had been shopping ocassionally at small shops in Cambridge. Then shopped weekly at Bread and Circus once we found them. Now we have a new Whole Foods that opened last year that is 10 minutes away. I thought Whole Foods started out there in California, so I am surprised that you didn't have one near you. Yes, they are very high to me..lol. It costs us a fortune but I just couldn't do anything else.

Cynthia...sorry to hear you have a 'critter'...hope you can figure out how it is getting in. What a cool idea for the dog's nails. Is that what you use, a dremel? Does the dog mind the noise? Thanks for the reference to Whole Dog Journal. I wondered if they had a mag like that.

Martie....great job describing yesterday's trip. It really does sound like a nice day out. Glad you all had fun!

Denize...what is a can of pozole? [g]

Saucy....that book looks interesting. I always enjoy stories about homesteading and pioneers..prarie life. Channel 58, the Hallmark Channel has had a few movies on that subject. It was a series of them, whose name escape me at the moment. Looks like that author has a few more, have you read all of his? I am going to have to look for his books at the library. Thanks. :-)

Off to troubleshoot my computer, before it conks out on me all together...have a great day!


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 8:24AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne...I forget to say, I loved that photo of the TT where he is looking directly in the camera. It cracked me up! I had a thought...I am wondering if you take to naming the birds?


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 8:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

One more thing...someone sent me a link to this neat game that I got hooked on. My geography has never been that good and this game has helped me know where all the states are better. Plus it is fun...thought it might go with yesterday's map. My last post today, I promise..lol


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 8:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cynthia, Thanks so much for The Whole Dog Journal info. :) I'm looking forward to meeting the pups next weekend for a socialization day. We pick ours up on the 16th. In the meantime, we collected a crate and playpen from friends yesterday and I spent the evening scrubbing them.

We had guests over the weekend and I cooked up a roast chicken recipe that you all should try! Simple and fabulous. The key ingredient was fresh rosemary. The recipe includes roasted vegetables and I substituted parsnips for turnips because we all enjoy them. YUM. See below. This morning I am making chicken soup and will add noodles later.

I loved this photo so...I just have to share it!

Thinking of lighting in the salon. Certain things like paint, curtains (or lack thereof) and rugs make a huge difference in the ambiance of a room. Lighting is one of the hardest. There sure are some ugly light fixtures out there... Can't wait for photos Chelone!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:43AM
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Things have warmed up here, but tomorrow is predicted to be nasty. Cold, windy and maybe snow. I have an appointment in the city, which is 70 miles away. We will have to see.

PM2, the state game is fun and would be great for kids. We have one of those Leap Frog globes where you have to locate all kinds of countries and cities. DH got it on clearance for something fun and educational for the gkids, but I have learned lots from it. The Garage picture is totally cool.

V, thats awful about the fire.

Tower Hill must have been a little bit of paradise in the midst of winter.

Kathy, I actually dont mind painting. I went to town Sat. and picked up paint for the guestroom walls and furniture. I hope to also paint the laundry room this winter. Gardening would be more fun though ;o)

Honey, both the dog and the buffet are lovely.

Deanne, I hope you both are on the mend. I had a similar experience with DH a couple of years ago. He fainted after showering. Wet and slippery and a small area. He had just had surgery on his neck, but I was concerned he was having a heart attack. I said I was calling 911. That seemed to revive him ;o)

Im sure Ive missed lots but really must get back to work.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 4:30PM
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OMG, the gulf of difference between what I DID 20 yrs. ago and what I'm WILLING to do today is huge. I began painting the ceiling in the Salon today. I COULD have finished the entire first coat today, but I decided... --ck it! it will be there tomorrow and I have nothing to "prove" by killing myself today. :)

I am not quite sure about the color. I selected the palest blue on the sample card but have reservations that it may be too dark. Too soon to "push the panic button", for sure, but the doubt lingers. I thought of Eden often and wonder how things are in her world... miss Bella shots and worry about her Mom. Yoo-hoo-oo?

Great shot 'bug... what sort of food stain is that at the coHnuh of his mouth? ;) I can hardly believe you're going to receive the "blessed bundle" in just over 2 weeks. Wonder what the kitties will think? So, SO exciting.

Very temperate here, actually. Not much melting from yesterday's snow removal efforts, and the ocean was BEAUTIFUL. Heavy surf from the off-shore storm and A LOT of seabird activity, Deanne. I thought of you, knowing you would just love it all.

I'm thinking about WHEELS, Denise. More specifically, adjustable metal legs with good wheels that pivot and have brakes. I need to mount 4'x8' surfaces on them and they have to be sturdy. Wheels ARE good! I'd hazard a bet I'd like your DH (even if he's a knucklehead about kitties).

Another oil bill today. $150-ish, in just under one month. It's been cold and that bill reflects hot water, as well. We've discussed using programmable thermostats to eliminate the "human error". I see oil only increasing in price and the investment as a worthy one. We will see how we like the one slated for installation in the Salon before conceding all human responsibility.

Polly had a big, fat vole today. She was apparently quite merciless in her pursuit of it. The helpmeet observed her acrobatics from the garage, and later confessed he was entranced by her athletic skill and overall zeal; both of which precluded him from intervening... GOOD KITTY, Pollycatgirlkin... kill that volie!

On that cheerful note, my friends, I'm off to follow some other cybertrail. ;)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 6:10PM
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I'm just about done with the Gardens Illustrated that came in the mail today. If anyone wants it, email me at botanizeme@gmail.com with your address and I'll send it along, postage my treat. As a strange coincidence, there's a piece on a sculpture garden in India that immediately brought to mind the Watts Towers, and at the end of the article they mention five sites, including the Watts Towers, that share similarities, including Gaudi's park in Barcelona. Also a longish piece on Sissinghurst. These GI's, which are put out by the BBC, are too beautiful to throw out but there's got to be some thinning and pruning done around here.

Kathy, email me at above address with your cell phone and we can coordinate a flyby at the garden show. That'd be a treat.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 9:42PM
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Well Martie, that lunch sounds mighty fine and you performed your descriptive duties well !

PM, lovely shot of Canon Beach. I dont think Ive been there since the 70s. Its quite close to the Washington border. The nearest coastal community to me will be Newport. The Oregon coast is really beautiful (as is the Norcal coast) and Im excited about spending some time exploring it. The beer is only on the weekends ! Weeknights is a glass (or two)of wine. There is sadly no Whole Foods in Corvallis, but there are other options there, and one is being built in Eugene where DD lives. There are a lot of natural food type grocers in Oregon .

On painting ceilings, I painted the ceiling in my dinky downstairs bathroom a couple weeks ago and still have sore muscles. What a crappy task! I decided to not paint the ceiling in my master bathroom .

Yeah Michelle, gardening is more fun than painting ! My yard is a mud pit about now with all the rain weve had , so it will be a real challenge to continue to spruce it up for public viewing. I think mulch is the answer .

E-mail pending Denise; this Thursday I will have definitive confirmation of the day I will be at the showexpect a post then..

Ok , time for some dinner and a book

Kathy in Napa

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

Gaudi's park in Barcelona. Exactly what I thought!

Made chocolate souffle for dessert tonight. Didn't rise much because my pan was too big for this new recipe, but it tasted fine with whipped cream.

I'm so impatient for the puppy....Time is dragging.

It was minus 46 at DD's place today. (Who cares if that's F or C!) Lots of trouble with phones not working, hospital scheduling, etc. She phoned here though and we had a fine chat! Freezing rain here tonight. DH is supposed to help friends move some furniture to their new house tomorrow. Hmmmmm, could be tricky in ice and rain.

Chelone, I think you know that colour changes depending on light, and many other things. In fact, you really can't tell until it is completed...IF THEN! I'm still not sure about our exterior. It looks so garish with only snow around. It will be different if we ever get flowers again.

Groundhog and his shadow time coming soon! That has to be more accurate than any forecast I've heard in months!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:31PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I had a few minutes to enjoy that map too, PM2 - I confess most of the time I seemed to be off, luckily by a small distance; but a few I never got "exactly right", LOL...

Chelone - I think painting ceilings is the worst paint job in the world; or ranks a close second to wood/plantation shutters that always need at least 3 coats somehow. I suspect I will be sharpening my painting skills this spring when the mandatory "house renovations" get underway one way or another. But I love rich, deep colors on walls -- so maybe you'll like it more after it's dried....

They say it's above cold here, & we've had rain mostly rather than snow/sleet; but it still strikes me as damp and chilly/cold. I must really be a bear by nature - wake me when it's Spring.... January & Feb. always seem so gosh forsaken.

Is Sue booked and looking forward to a warm sunny vacation somewhere or one of those tropic spots she teased us with? who else is escaping the Winter soon? [Sorry, Chelone - I only enjoy the winter when Im safe and snug at home -- with no pipes breaking!].


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 1:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Me again...

It is a grey drizzly day here, but it is 43F which is a treat. Much of the snow on the barn and shed roofs is sliding down to the ground. The laneway is almost cleared of snow. Tonight fierce winds are predicted and then it will be back to snow once more.

DH has been sealing spots around the dishwasher in a (no doubt vain) attempt at keeping the mice outdoors. Pollycatkins does a fair job, but I'd rather my kitties didn't just play with them and maim them. I want them gone and don't find them desirable in my kitchen. So what isn't invited indoors should stay away I think. Glad we aren't preparing the house for sale...

I am hoping that a new puppy will quickly get the message out that we don't want skunks near the house either. They have done a terrible amount of lawn damage in the Fall. I hesitate to reseed things until I'm fairly sure they have departed.

Cynthia, Google has lots of info on the use of the dremel for dog nails. Here's one site below. Thanks for the advice! Charlotte was terribly nervous about manicures and her groomer thinks it is a Bouvier characteristic. Maybe. We certainly worked with her as a puppy on that, to no avail.

Deanne, I love to study the wrens in your photos. We don't have many here, but they are so sweet.

So pm2, what techniques are you using for staying calm inside and outside too? Do you meditate, exercise or what? I think that if I busied myself with my walking program more, that would work best for me. So much to worry about with family, friends and our environmental concerns. I guess it was ever thus.

Missing many here these days. Eden, Brenda, to name a couple. How's it going with the brush Chelone? Or is it a roller you use? Either way, I don't like ceiling work much. Paint in the armpit isn't a favourite...

Oy, the propane guy just came again. Backed down the lane, just as we've told them NOT TO. We now have 927.5 litres at a cost of $860. We keep the heat at around 60F in the house, much to the chagrin of the kitties. I remember the days when folks kept it at 80! We also use electric heat sometimes in a couple of rooms. Not often though since that costs too. YIKES.

Hi Cindy! I see you!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 2:01PM
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Hi everyone

The week started off well with Annie finding out she had made it into the Junior High All County Orchestra and David coming home from ski club having skiied his first black diamond slope (and was still in one piece). What was neat was that they were both excited about the other's achivement.

GB - Clousseau will not let me anywhere near his nails but will stand patient as a lamb while one of the groomers at Petco clip them. (I cut the quick once, about 4 years ago and he has never quite gotten over it - should I send him to doggie therapy?) Unfortunately I think the sound of a dremel would send him into more of a tailspin.

Tonight I have a meeting about course selection for Annie next year. I've spent most of the day trying to figure how how in the world I've become the soon-to-be mother of a High Schooler!?

Off to hunt up a good soup recipe for Thursday's soup-a-rama.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 4:18PM
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I called and cancelled my appointment in the city today. I was disappointed as I was going to have lunch with my son. I really dont get to see him enough. Since it was his day off I called and we had a nice long chat. For Christmas he asked for kitchen items. I bought him a nice flatware set and my parents bought him some dishes, so hes getting into cooking. He told me he made his girlfriend chicken alfredo and artichokes. Interesting to see how your children eventually show some interest in the things you taught them. Yesterday was around 40 degrees and windless. Today the wind chill is somewhere around 30 with a 3 for the actual temp. They had also talked about snow with white out conditions. DH said that I couldnt go. I stayed home and started some painting projects (no ceilings)

Chelone, I will be painting the "Icky" laundry room. The ceiling in there right now is a pale blue, but with the long narrow space and 9 ceiling, you really dont notice it.

It should be a little warmer tomorrow but the wind is to die down.

Not much else going on here.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 5:56PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening :-)

Just taking a break from computer shopping. All of a sudden my computer is acting it's age and I am racing to get a replacement before it conks out on me completely and takes my files down to the grave with it. I don't know if we're going to make it...lol. I have run into a snag because I find that they are no longer offering keyboards with the tracking ball in the middle of the keyboard. Well, very few of them, any way. Everyone has switched to that touchpad and I find it very difficult to use. Our daughter just got an Apple, which I thought I would like to switch over to, but in trying hers out, I am very uncomfortable using the keyboard. So, trying to find something that will work for me and I have been at it all day.

I will definitely be here Thursday to post soup photo. Posting recipes with the photos, right?

Well...break's over. [g]



    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Im voting for behind-the -toilet as an unpleasant painting job . It would help to be a contortionist.

bug, I hope that puppy doesnt loose in the skunk standoff! WE once had to replace our entire front lawn (such as it was) due to skunk damage. It looked like wed had a polo team out there. However, the pets remained unsullied , preferring to view the destruction from a safe distance. I second your hellos to Brenda and Eden . I hope everything is well in their worlds. I think Brendas been away for ages.

Well Michelle, it seems prudent of you to have stayed home with the painting projects. White-outs and -3 do not seem like good conditions for an outing.

PM, Im posting a link about a new mouse technology that might interest youso many choices with the computer world, its hard to make a decision . Im going to get a laptop this year I think (depending on how the house sale goes).

..toodles all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 8:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Waving back - It's V. trying to be non-grumpy tonight. I'll warn you right now that I won't be totally successful. ;)

The wind is howling tonight. I would look at my weather station and tell you just how strong it is, but when the temps plunged 40 degrees this evening, the little wind-strength-measuring thingy must have gotten flash-frozen. So even though it sounds like the house will be coming down around my shoulders, the weather station says there is no wind.

I have one great accomplishment and one non-accomplishment. First, the non-event: I still have not read this idyll! So I will leave this as an all-about-me post and save my commenting for another time.

The accomplishment was getting both companies' books closed for the year today, a week ahead of the original deadline that I was given. I was expecting marching bands and ticker tape to recognize this accomplishment, but I guess I will settle for a dog wagging her tail. Perhaps I will get my reward in other ways? At a meeting today I announced that we need to have a green committee to assess our impact on the environment and how to improve it. No one laughed, I wasn't fired and I think it just might happen.

After two weeks of having the old love seat sitting in an awkward place because we didn't know what to do with it, it is finding a new home with my cleaning lady. I love when something can get reused like that!

Well, Mystic has been mischievous lately, running off for more than an hour at a time in the dark (very hard to find a black dog in the dark), so I need to grit my teeth, zip up my jacket, strap on the yaktrax and head into the teeth of the storm with him on a leash. (hmm, makes one wonder if wiping up dog pee is so bad? no, no, don't GO there!)

Chillingly yours,


    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 9:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In Edmonton it was -22F yesterday. This is how they deal with it!

Everyone is happy-happy, even with frozen hair.(I told Sarah that her DH looks like Gorbachev in that pic...not that she knows who that is.)

Here we are getting V's winds. The snow is blowing too. Not sure I'm up to driving in this stuff.

V, we had a blinking light that attached to Charlotte's collar. She was impossible to find at night. DH would walk her and call for her, only to find her right at his side much of the time...

Breakfast time! Almost 9am!!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

PM2 - I dont own an Apple (bought a cheapo Toshiba laptop w/ Vista on it in June) but everyone I know who has purchased one (Mac that is) in the last year seems to love it and be a real convert. I understand the graphics packages are wonderful. I did get a wireless laptop and am happy w/ it -- it's turned out to be especially handy lately since my computer stuff was in the basement and that's pretty much off limits at present - so I can still have the laptop elsewhere in the house altho my printer is lost to me right now. I too have a hard time w/ the touchpad and smaller keyboard issues - esp. when I spend most of my office hours using a regular keyboard and that's how I make my living so to speak -- but it has gotten easier over time to transition from one to the other for me, slow learner that I am.... You can purchase accessories like wireless keyboards to go w/ laptops if you prefer the wider expansion - might be worth the little extra and or the other "mouse" types as Kathy suggested.

Wow, frozen hair w/ steam and a "mini" iceberg in background -- a particularly interesting capture of opposites!! Not sure le bebe's expression is one of joy though?

Michelle -- glad to hear even you intrepid blizzard-experts take caution re the weather and stay put -- you seem to have a lot of energy to still do things at nite -- Im envious.

V - I was thinking I was the only grouch -- maybe it comes w/ Winter? I would prefer to think so and that it's not us personally! -- that is great you got your year end closed out -- altho not much reinforcement at the ofc.... I am trying to find homes for my old d.r. furniture and old wicker bedroom furniture that was my DD's -- I want to recycle to someone else too - but looks like I'm gonna have to either advertise at the ofc or call local charity places -- more to-do list things.


    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 9:09AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(Cindy, Reed adores the hot tub, no matter the weather. All attention is focussed on him of course... He even likes being head under.)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 9:43AM
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SIL and TWMPB in the "soup" reminds me of the priceless shots of the temple Maquacs in Japan... the "snow monkeys". They have learned that a soak in the hot springs is a great way to relax and warm up. Friends of our's had a hot tub and it was great fun to get out and roll in snow before hopping right back in. Very invigorating... your skin feels like it's on fire. ZING!

Rex has been in "walkabout" mode lately, too! I have a different apporach to taking him out than does the helpmeet. I put some treats in my pocket and make sure he knows I have them... Then I ask him, "where your BALL?", he grabs it and THEN we go out. I toss it a few times (under the lights on the front of the house) and "boss" him a round a bit, rewarding him with a cookie. Then he goes off to take care of business. I listen for the jingling of his tags, calling him when they get faint. He comes right back. Helpmeet tends to just let him go and go he does, lol. Mummy is definitely the drill master (I know that's hard to believe). Like you, V., I definitely "suit up" and am ready to spend some quality time outdoors... 15-20 minutes with some play is all he really needs/wants. He just needs to know that it's "all about him".

Behind the commode IS a toughie, Kathy. I can assure you that the area behind the one in the upstairs bathroom IS NOT painted. I have not returned to the Salon for the remainder of the ceiling. I've stewed about the color and have come to the realization that the very smooth (and lovely!) finish on the ceiling is very porous and really needs to be PRIMED. I have the primer and will do that, and having studied the color in different light I'm contemplating "cutting" the mix with a quart of basic "ceiling white" to take some of the edge off it. In spite of the fact that it's the palest option on the card I can't quite shake the notion that it will be too similar in value to what I have in mind for the walls. I have a pretty good color sense (if I do say so myself!) and am not squeamish about deep, rich, bold colors. And my "gut" is telling me to take a breath and play with the color a bit before "forgeing ahead".

The oil tank for the barn was delivered a few minutes ago.

I went to the mailbox to collect the mail and found plastic thing with a clip on the back on top of the mail... the GARAGE DOOR OPENER. I put the car in gear, hit the button and door went up... MAGIC! I drove in, shut the car off, and hit the button. The door came down. I am now, truly an AMERICAN, methinks the Escalade can't be far behind. ;)

PM2, my brother has an Apple and he LOVES it. In fact, everyone I know who uses and Apple loves them. The helpmeet is interested in music programs, etc. and Apples are the 'puter of choice for that, as well as graphic work. I am on the horns of replacing my machine, too, and am thinking of moving to an Apple.

Such exciting news about Annie and David, Mary. You must be so proud of them. And how delightful that they are excited about each other's accomplishments. Such appreciation speaks volumes about a happy home. My co-worker likes to play around with her computer and she made me some custom wallpaper. It's a graphic of Beethoven, with a violin and music behind. I opened her e-mail, and you actually cross my mind! Did Viola get "snippy" with you?

V., good move with the old love seat! Some of my best "finds" have been plucked kerbside. As a matter of fact, I passed a very tempting sideboard on my way home this afternoon. If it's still there in the morning I may not be able to pass it by... . If it's gone, well... it's simply not meant to be. Cindy, have you considered Craigslist? A lot of the ladies on the Home Dec. forum swear by it and have scored some great items for "short money".

Soup pictures tomorrow, I think? I will check your post, 'bug.

Stay warm, V., Michelle! I noted the 50 degree drop in temperatures out your way this morning. It's really windy here, and the temp. is dropping, but 20s-30s is nothing compared to single digits. It's an "ocean thing".

    Bookmark   January 30, 2008 at 5:08PM
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