Idyll 249 Just In Thyme

martieinctJanuary 7, 2006

My first Idyll start and couldn't help the title .....

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Today got the first of way-too-many seed orders and will be trialing a new variety of Thyme from seed to see if it comes true. Get it????? UHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGg Sorry!!! LOL

Anyway -- With Firefox I haven't had any ads or popups although I have had to log in each time. Yes, it is an annoyance but harkening back to the old AOL Herb Board days when 56K dialup was lightening puts things in perspective for me :-)

A NE Idyllunion sounds like just what I'll need in February. Any weekend is good excepting the first.

We've started doing preliminary sketches of our arbors. Rich really likes the idea and given my propensity for all things "3" wants to incorporate a pyramid type shape on the top. Glad he's the one to figure it out. Kyle's been helping with the geometry and if the thing ever actually gets built it will be a miracle.

Hurray for finding Monty's former family!

Hurray for seeing Marian back!

Hurray for those who are back to using their 'real' screen names since I still get things mixed up once in a while.

Hurray for Eden for loving ornamental peppers as much as I do!

Hurray for a gorgeous sunny day even though it's frigid cold and feeding the birds this morning was an arctic expedition!

Hurray for Chelone being okay!

Have been summoned to look at stain colors. This may take awhile so bye for now!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 1:23PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

well, this is freaky - I see Martie that you and Michelle were writing/posting new threads at 13:13.....oooo - luckily it was not Jan. 13 !
Well, I've now be infected w/ the new identity crisis - it seems to be a function if you go to even "check" your profile to see what it opens the registration/change profile blocks and insists you fill it out -- then you lose your old identify -- w/ the new info they want, if you dont fill it out, it now locks you out! [sounds like a programmer's "oops" to me]
so now Im male, sharing that birthday date of Jan. 1 1903,Da (or notta dumb?) State of Virginia is allowed to be in Afghanistan though - interesting? do you think they know something about the future?
Sheesh -- talk about alienating their base! or perhaps it's trying to falsify their numbers -- forcing us all to re-register now means they can lie about the user numbers, uh?
Im feeling more like a freak show, than a costume party, though! I barely had gotten the "players" identified here and how we're all onto other names!
I hope, Michelle, you go see that dr. in case you do have the "pigeon-numonia" (as my DD used to say) -- I feel for ya.
Martie, here's hurray for being to be so cheerful!

Im feeling very sad about the death of the Heronswood catalog -- boo hoo... I guess I have to buy a laptop to take to bed with me now to look to buy future orders? Their "new" one - is in fact a repeat of a lot of photos mostly sent out last year as "special/collectors" brochure - well, I guess it will make it easier for me to buy fewer plants this year.

Finally got the Xmas "dried" tree down - and a friend took me shopping to pick out fabric for a pillow she plans to quilt for me - a lovely, personalized Xmas present.

Well, dont know if Im gonna show up as chloehoover or chloehooverjr here....
-but in truth, still.......cindy

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 7:56PM
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Do you like my nail color? It's the closest I could find that would give a decent representation. It's a gray pink, sort of mauvey. All of my nails are the same length and shape (whoa!) and the cuticles have been 'moisturized.' Yes, that's right I've had a manicure! The second one ever.

My hairdresser changed shops for the fourth time in 5 years. And she was offering free manicures to customers who followed her. It's too much work to find a new hair dresser so of course I followed. I was embarrassed to show anyone the state of my hands, but the manicurist was very nice about it. Then when almost done she looked at me and said 'you need your eyebrows waxed.' Funny, because that's something else I never do, but had been thinking about it, since as you age things fall. Being a skinny thing, the only noticeable movement so far has been on my face. So I said 'yes of course!' and what a difference! It was actually fun. My eyebrows have always looked like Brooke Sheilds or King Kong. That look was fine when they were on my forehead.

I stopped at Trader Joes on the way home so that I could admire my nails under the light of the refrigeration units and reach in front of people with my beautiful new fingers. Then I came home and picked poop up out of the yard under the floodlights. My princess moment has passed...I'm waiting for the first chip.

I had a lot going on today so enjoyed my two hours of pampering (yes, my hair was cut and fluffed), and got through the new Select Seeds catalogue, but barely started on Plant Delights. Put a TJ vegetarian pizza in the oven but ate too many appetizers (dark chocolate covered soy beans), so not room for that now and will eat it tomorrow.

The shameful thing is that I had my choice of three parties to go to tonight and declined all ahead of time, because I had too much on my plate today. When will I look this polished and cared or again, eh?

Michelle, drink lots of orange juice and sleep as long as you can. That's how I fight colds. But agree it might be time for you to go to the vet. Sleep well. (I think we should do 50 posts on this idyll, and then the next 50 on the other idyll and then go to next number. How's that sound?)

My agave has germinated! Took 3 days for the first 3 to pop. I was afraid to transplant them for fear of two much wet or too little wet. Used mix of vermiculite, chicken grit and potting soil and hoping they survive the transplant.

Hi all! Gnight, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Thanks for all your concern. I am still coughing quite badly and will see the Dr. on Monday if things havent improved. Deanne, I am using Zicam on your recommendation, but I have been battling this for 3 weeks and only started with the Zicam a week ago. I plan to have some in the house to use for the next time at the first sign of symptoms. I had several others recommend it as well. I am a little afraid that this has developed into mycoplasma pneumonia, which is something that I have had several times.
Deanne, so sorry to hear that Doug is in a cast. Why do they think his toe isnÂt healing?

I havenÂt had to change my identity or do anything other than log in. I clicked the box that says "save this info on my computer" it says that then you donÂt have to log in each time, but that didnÂt work. No ads or pop ups though.

The sun is shining here today. Whoo, hoo! Rick had to work last night and again today, which is unusual, so I am home alone. I am hoping that I can do a little painting in the bathroom. I do plan to really take it easy this weekend and get better, but I am not a person who sits well.

Cynthia, those dogs sure keep you hopping.


P.S. Lets just all post on this thread.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:31PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

It's been a while since we've had concurrent Idylls. Let's save Michelle's for #250.

Too much change for me lately. Today we had to go out and buy two new toilets. Don't even ask me how much we spent today on freakin' toilets or how much more I know about toilets today that I didn't know or even care about yesterday. In the past two weeks both of our toilets (original to this 1941 house) bit the dust beyond being repaired by kits from Home Depot. Our plumber said he could take them apart and try to repair what he thought were the problems but there was no guarantee. So off we went this morning to our local plumbing fixture supply store to find Toto toilets (a brand highly recommended by the plumber). The plumbing store was also high on these toilets and in fact sold them almost exclusively. So we found a style we liked that looked like it might be vintage to the house and bought two. One little detail that yanked my chain was seats were extra. Who buys a toilet without a seat? Naturally there were options and I opted for the most expensive (it's a curse and one of the reasons I could never build a house from scratch). At this point you're no doubt asking yourself if there's an end to this story and I can assure you there is. Much to my surprise, Tom installed the toilets himself this afternoon surely saving us hundreds of dollars in plumbing bills. Although we are members of the "if it's yellow let it mellow" club here (I hate wasting water) we do occasionally flush the toilet and these are low flow and guaranteed to work with one flush. So perhaps I'll see a savings in the water bill.

A tip for you shoppers...Ann Taylor is having a heck of a sale right now-take an additional 40% off the already marked down price. Since they sell pants in long lengths (on line only) I had already perused the offerings but decided to visit one of the stores today to see what else was available. Well, talk about a zoo. The place was a mob scene, lines no less than 10 people deep at all times. People rooting through tables and racks of stuff. I scored a nice 100% cashmere v-neck cable sweater for 68% off. Talbots is closing everything out now too. It's a good time to update your winter wardrobe if you need anything.

The weather has been very temperate for January. It didn't get above freezing today but with no wind and plenty of sun I was able to walk comfortable for almost and hour and a half. Tomorrow it's supposed to hit 40 F. Since January is the coldest month here, every decent day now is one less potentially bitter cold day. Around the middle of January the average mean temperature starts to rise again-another positive statistic for you winter watchers. Martie's Logee get together is two weeks from tomorrow. Before you know it we'll be taking pictures of our early spring bulbs.

OK, enough rambling from me. Enjoy what's left of your wine night. As you may have guessed, I've been enjoying mine.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Morning all,

Snowing here today, It was supposed to only be flurries but is building up and looking like well get several inches out of this. Thanks to everyone for commiserating with me over Dougs cast. It was a disappointment for us to have to stop dancing lessons after wed finally gotten somewhere with it. Oh well, he should be out of it in another week and a half. He isnt anywhere near as cranky this time as he was when he broke his leg a couple years ago.

Attention NE Idyllers, (and any Idyllers who care to join us) February get together for cookout, hot-tub, and a mid-winter thumb our noses at winter party, will be February 18th. Please email me and let me know if you can come. A terrific time will be had by all.

Marie, you REALLY should consider flying in for this. You need a break from the frozen north.

Sue, that is pretty weird that both of your toilets bit the dust at the same time. I had to laugh about the Toto toilets because they really are the best! You should see the options they have for those things in Japan. They have heated seats, bidets built right into the things.

Monique I hope that weekend is OK with you guys as we really must have Les guacamole for our party.

Michelle, Im glad to hear that you are going to see a doctor tomorrow. Pneumonia is nothing to mess around with as Im sure you know. Bummer you didnt get to start on the Zicam right away. Ive found that if you start it the instant you think you are going to get sick it works much better. ~~ RE Dougs foot, (thanks for asking) Doug has poor circulation in his feet now and between that and the fact that he had some major callus on the toe that kept splitting every time he walked too much it kept re opening the wound. It originally started out as a blister. It is looking pretty good now and should probably be all healed up in another week or so.

Cynthia, your salon time sounds like it was fun yesterday. I need to find a new place to have my hair done and to get a manicure. The salon I used to go to has expanded and now calls itself a spa and you cant get a color and trim (that is just cut the ends off my very long hair) for less than $120.00. Way too much money. Im desperate for a hair cut right now as my hair is now below my waist again and a pain in the neck. Anyway, I also want to start getting manicures until the end of the month. Dougs new company is having a very shi-shi party on the waterfront in Boston the end of this month and Id like not to be embarrassed by my hang nails and rough cuticles. I love bling and my hands are such a mess. It looks stupid to wear diamonds and call attention to my rough, dry, cracked hands. Tomorrow Im going to do something about this. ~~ What a bummer that you didnt got to any of those social events you were invited to last night. So do you have any photos of the glamorous you??? Inquiring minds want to see the nails anyway You can at least do that for us?

So Cindy, you are now living in Afghanistan? And are 103 years old?? Wow! Im wildly impressed with the longevity of this group. ~~ Weve had an artificial tree for a long time now. The last time we put up a real tree it took me a couple months to vacuum up all the needles.

Martie, I cant wait to see your arbors. Sounds like they will be impressive. Youll have to show us the plans and progress as they are being built. Where are you going to put them? I dont remember. Also what are you planning to grow on them?

Eileen, I saw your post over on Taryns bday thread and it was lovely to see you. I miss your posts muchly. How is your Mom doing?

Babs love your BDay card for Taryn, You are a card yourself. Whats up with you this weekend?

Mary, miss you too!

Taryn, your birthday dinner looks like it was a blast! You look terrific! Especially with whipped cream on your face. LOL

OK I need to get to the gym. Id really, really like to get another five pounds off before Dougs work party at the end of the month. They specified semi-formal with suits and ties for the gents. In this day and age that is pretty dressy. OH dear, another dress choice to fuss over!

Take care all,

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Good Morning, We've made it through a whole week of January. And it hasn't been too bad so far. It's the same old, same old around here. I have nothing exciting to report. Today will be a day of running errands and then a date with the vacuum cleaner. I have been chipping away at the organizing and tossing of junk and will continue with that too. I'm trying to convince myself to go shopping for a new mattress too. All the stores are running half off sales this month but dealing with furniture sales people is alot like dealing with auto sales people in my book. Not an enjoyable experience.

Taryn, what a great birthday dinner you had. I enjoyed all the cards too.

Babs, your card was very creative. I loved it!

Sue, Wow! Tom replace 2 toilets in one day. For some reason Toto toilets made me laugh when I read it. Must have been that Saturday nite wine.

Michelle, that cough doesn't sound good. Glad you're going to see the Dr. on Monday if you don't feel better. Until then try to rest!

Cynthia, love that nail color. My sister's a hairdresser and does waxing too. She convince David to let her wax his brows once. It had to be one of the funniest things I've seen when she ripped off the wax. A good example of the fact that men don't take well to pain, lol. Big congrats on the agave! I have yet to start any seeds but am working up to it. I haven't gotten the Plant Delights catalog yet. Maybe they're hoping I forget about them since they owe me a Podophyllum 'Kaleidoscope' still from last year. I did get White Flower Farm yesterday and they have some beautiful container gardens in there.

My gardening New Years resolution is that I'm not buying much this year but am planning on playing around with what I've already got (and I really mean it). And I'm limiting the containers to 50, which is about a 2/3 cut (and I really mean it). My other big garden plans are a new path through the east side of the garden, replacing the asphalt with pavers beyond the back garden gate, and tearing down the old garden shed. Not sure what we're going to do for a replacement, but getting rid of it will open up the view of the garden from the deck. All of that should keep Brad out of trouble for at least a little while, lol.

Don't know how I got on the subject of redesigning the garden but I'm sure you're all saying "enough" so off I go. Gotta get started on something!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Deanne, I keep forgetting to ask you...have you watched "Dancing with the Stars". I'm hooked on that show. The other night they had all the professional dancers partnered up and the dances were just beautiful. Oh to be able to dance like that!

Great to hear Doug's toe is healing.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi guys!

DH is off to his hockey game and I just did some jumping in place and floor exercises. I really miss my stepper. It has been 4 days without now...and I am pushing to get something this afternoon. Wish me luck! Yesterday I phoned a couple of places about treadmills and they started at $3,000. Now I know my health is important, but I just can't swing that. So I went to Zellers (cheap!) and saw various things. I saw two cycling machines for very low prices, one in a reclining position, but frankly, I hate them because of my back, and besides they only really exercise your lower body. More sitting I do not need! The lowest priced treadmill is $800 which is an improvement, but more than a trip to Deanne's in February.... Besides, we just bought that new riding mower. We shall see.

I have to laugh about the toilet talk. We just bought one recently as you may recall. We had to replace the new one because it took 3 flushes to empty it and the condensation dripping on the floor was serious. Honestly! I really like the idea of low water use, but that was ridiculous. The sink in that bathroom has been cracked since we moved in almost 9 years ago. That should be next on the list along with a new light fixture. When money grows on trees.

I am old enough without changing my statistics. I have a hard time with the contract...and am just leaving things as is while the ads are not a concern for me. Don't really enjoy the sign-in each time I post, NOT user-friendly.

Yesterday I bought Horticulture magazine and drooled over the Polygonatum article by C. Colston Burrell. Also enjoyed the book reviews and would like to look at Nancy Goodwin's Montrose: Life in a Garden.

We saw 2 deer on the road yesterday on our way to do shopping, a young one with its mother. So healthy looking! Wonder whose gardens they have been enjoying.

A little bit of sun is emerging on fresh white snow! TaTa!
Stay healthy,

PS: Missing my orange boy!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:22AM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

Hey, I am able to post!! woohoo...between computer issues and GW issues, I haven't been able to get in.

Hugs to all - especially Mary and family.

Been outrageously busy! My SIL is on her way for the day so I can't stay! But I had to get here to post for a special lady's birthday!

Oh Marie! A big hug to you toooooooo...your baby was so special...

I have a secret...shhhhhhh...don't DearH is having a big birthday soon so I have a romantic weekend for two booked in a fabu hotel in Niagara kids...jacuzzi suite with a tremendous view of the Falls....remember, don't tell.....hehehe

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 12:18PM
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Hi everyone

I'm back!! (do you recognize me?) Wow, what a pain in the you know what this has been. I was not recieving the activation email when I re-registered so I've been shut out for days. I tried different names and new emails to no avail, finally dug up an old yahoo address they accepted. I had emailed iVillage for help but nothing came through. As I'd also complained about the intrusive adds they might have decided to block me instead of helping me get back in lol. Anyway, its good to be back.

One important question, as many of us changed our birthdays during do we have a keeper of the original list? If so, could the IEBS send it out to our old emails as I'd love to have a copy. Birthdays here are such a highlight, I hate to think of missing them.

I've spent so much time messing about with registering I don't have time for very much news. DH, the chidren and I all went out last night to a lovely old inn where we had an excellent dinner and the happiest time. I had a beet and citrus salad followed by rack of lamb - soooo delicious. Today we have friends coming over for a walk - if we're lucky we might even get a glimpse of sunshine.

Good wishes to everyone - weekend chores call but I'll try and sneak back later.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 1:25PM
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Michelle, For once I am speechless. It's too weird to think that we both posted at 13:13 so I'll just believe it's Too Cool.

NE Idylling: The date's in my book. Won't know for sure for a few weeks but so far, so good.

Agave: Haven't "done that" in many years but do remember transplanting into pebbly soil helped. Am I remembering correctly?

Toilets: The one in my bathroom died about six weeks back. Rich wanted to get "the biggest baddest toilet" (as with everything) and I now multitask doing leg swing exercises while sitting there since I can't reach the floor.

Dancing: In my dreams second only to figure skating ability.

Jaaaaaaaaaniiiiiiiiiieeeeeeee: The secret's safe, here. Isn't the best part the planning without him knowing??? LOL

Marie: If it's the most recent Horticulture, included is a writeup on Logee's. Heck, come out to New England and stay the month!! As Sue said, we're having a very warm winter. Between the at least five of us you'll always have a place to stay, but don't be surprised if you end up with potting soil and seed starter on your hands. And, Your orange will always be regal.

Spa Pampering: Cynthia's color is just Divine! Was the Chard acceptable, too? Did they make you put on one of those Repulsive black smocks or did they give you the Good stuff we so all deserve??? Have been looking for a new Style Arena and it's just a short limo ride to Maryland. . OOOOOOLAAAAAALAAAAAA. LOL Hope your hairdresser moves again, soon!!!! We'll have a girls day out but dahling, they must do massages.

Taryn: You're my kind of woman. What Fun! (No, I'm not a 13 year old boy :-)

Catalogs: Rich and Ky were assigned to keep all garden catalogs hidden until after the holidays. January 2 at 12:01am they were out and scoured. Orders in my 9am. I'm done (but only according to Rich :-)

Catalogs continued: If anyone wants anything from White Flower Farm -- TELL ME!!!! It'll be less expensive, larger, and hand selected by me (or Sue or Monique or Deanne or Wendy 'cause we KNOW we'll be meeting up there at some point this summer). The catalog prices are outrageous. Just please don't ask any of us to send terra cotta.

Gardening in General: Went for my first official 2006 garden walk yesterday. It was sunny but not enough to feel "the heat." Everything is in surprisingly good health. We've either totally lucked out with microclimates or, I'm speaking way too soon. Probably the latter.

Later, buddies and pals.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 1:44PM
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Just back from shopping and there are some good deals out there. 3 decorative pillows at Pier 1, 50% off, 2 small round tables to use as nightstands at Target, 50% off, The Gardeners Guide to Growng Cannas by Ian Cooke, had a 30% off coupon at Borders, and at the pet store, had a $5 off coupon. All in all I saved a grand total of $108 on things I would have bought even if they weren't on sale. Well, everything but the tables but I've been looking for round ones forever. And these have nice decorative legs too. I just couldn't psych myself up to go into the furniture store though to look at mattresses. Maybe tomorrow. I didn't score anything at Home Goods either though they are starting to put out the garden decor. Lots of urns there now.

Ohhhhh Janie, that sounds like a fun birthday surprise!

Hi Mary, your dinner out sounds wonderful. Glad you finally got back in here.

Marie, what I sweet picture. I can imagine how much you miss him...'05 was a tough year for you. I'm wishing you a better '06 for sure! How 'bout just using the stairs instead of a stepper? Free!!!

Martie, lol on the large toilet!

Off to vacuuming for me. Yuck! Later, Eden

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 4:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Quickie post! Need to take DH to the airport, pick up DS and drive him back to school tonight. Just woke up from my nap. A little Starbucks when I hit the road along with tales of Guatemala and it will be a short trip.

I'll catch up on reading tomorrow. I was going to post yesterday but it was right after 13:13 and I couldn't decide what to do! :-O

Deanne, if one was tired of the Midwest and had most of one's family leaving for nicer places the weekend of the 18th, but one had priced out flights to Manchester and found it to be $1000, where else would one fly into? Especially if one is used to city driving and wouldn't freak about Boston or other alternatives? And one's DH had free car rental coupons? Someone just may want to know!! (That is, if someone could come solo since DH is taking DD on a trip...)

Okay, gotta pack up the car. Later!

V., waving from the windshield

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 5:32PM
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I finally hauled myself out of the recliner to see whats up with the Idylls. Ive been sleeping a lot today.

Janie, the surprise sounds like fun. You just gave me an idea for DHs birthday which is next weekend. Maybe a surprise weekend for us too ;o) We also have a gift certificate to Spezias restaurant which would be fun to use.

Sue, the toilets may have been expensive, but if they last 65 years like the last ones, then it probably isnt much per year ;o)

Mild weather here, but I cant walk outside because our yard is a sheet of ice. Even the snow is covered with so much ice that I can walk on top of it, if I could stay upright. I have fallen 4 times on the ice so far. Only one time did I go down hard. We had sunshine yesterday and I could hear this bang, bang all day. It was the thick covering of ice dropping off the tree onto our kitchen roof.

Cynthia, your pampering sounds like it was lovely. Which reminds me that I have a massage gift certificate that I must use yet.

Taryn, it looks like your family had a blast on your birthday. I hope that things are getting better between you and Glenn???

Mary, glad that you are back in. I wonder who else cant get in yet. Funny how some of us didnt have any problems at all.

Eden, it sounds like you really scored. I wish we had Home Goods here, I would like another urn. I looked at Sams and they only have one low squat one. Maybe they will get different ones later.

I havent been interested in the garden and seed catalogs at all yet. (I must be sick)


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 6:10PM
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V - Check Southwest Airlines NOW. They have one way from Chicago Midway to MHT for $59 to $89 dollars. I just checked as Southwest is usually the cheapest. If you're using the other airlines it's going to be just as expensive to fly into Boston so forget that. Book it on Southwest and stay overnight at Deannes :)

I don't have time to type! Hi all!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 6:31PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

V, fly into Hartford-both Monique and I and possibly Martie will be attending Deanne's thumb your nose at winter party. You wouldn't have to waste the rental car voucher. Between the bunch of us we could probably show you a good time.

Spring appears to have sprung here. Temps in the low 40s today and supposed to get warmer as the week progresses. This afternoon I went to an outdoor mall to poke around. I didn't buy much but the spring clothes were looking much more appealing than they usually do in January. It's been perfect walking weather and I've been taking full advantage. My boss is in St. Thomas all week but I've got to get the year end wrapped up and schedule the auditors so no spring fever screwing off for me.

Martie is right-the new toilets are higher-I think they told us 2 inches. So far ours are working fine and with only minimal swearing and one additional trip to Home Depot by Tom during installation.

Michelle, the garden catalogs don't interest me right now either. Like Eden, I expect to buy very little in the way of perennials this year. I have plenty to divide and play with as it is. I need to add structure and make some of my front gardens lower maintenance. Since we added the patio I've been concentrating more on my back and side gardens and using containers and tropicals and there just aren't enough hours in the day to do it all-especially with me working out again.

Time to rustle up some dinner. Enjoy your night!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 6:45PM
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Hi again

Deanne - your February party is sounding very tempting if our other plans fall through. We're hoping to be in Hawaii that week, and call us crazy, we've decided to take Annie and David with us. As nice as a week on our own would be, its been a hard few months for us all. With DH gone as much as he is being together is the thing we most enjoy. We're trying to book frequent flyer tickets for the children and but its touch and go as to whether we can pull it off over the Frebruary break. If Hawaii is postphoned (we have a year to use the tickets and hotel) I'd love to try and join the bash.

This afternoon's walk was very pleasant - it felt good to be outside. We still have some snow though enough mud for Clousseau to become absolutely filthy. There has been too little snow to X-country and I've missed getting out on the trails. I'm with Sue in counting down the days in January.

After last nights rich meal I made a healthy tofu stir fry with brown rice for supper. I also tried a new recipe for home made granola, using apple sauce instead of added oil, and cashews. It came out rather well. Annie has her first down-hill ski club tomorrow and she thought a bag of it would be a good snack for the slopes.

David has a morning of Standardized Tests tomorrow and has already put in his order for a cooked breakfast. As I'll be short order cook in the morning, I'd better have an early night. Still one load of laundry to fold, then we're ready for the week.

have a good evening,


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 8:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
- Rachel Carson

And so I am also counting the end of January. Both January and February look pretty busy here with DH traveling, his birthday, meetings etc. Looks like China is one of his destinations.

The treadmill purchase is still not settled but it is looking more optimistic after DH spoke to his friend about theirs. Perhaps this week it will come to be?

Deanne must be drying her fingernails now and afraid to use her computer. I just want her to know all is well and the first 5 pounds are gone. Since she only loses when I do, that should cheer her up. The big incentive is my annual check-up on Friday (the 13th!)

Boy would I like to join the crew at Deanne's. I'm not certain, but I just don't think it will work this time.

Here's to above freezing weather forecast for this week!


    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:02PM
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Evening all,

Woohoo! Im very, very excited about how our February party is shaping up. What fun, what fun You guys are so going to crack up laughing. Doug and I went to Sams today and they had very loud Hawaii shirts on sale for cheap so we bought matching shirts for the party. Tehe! Doug said we should get some blow up palm trees. I told him we dont need them as I have Sues banana doing very well in the breezeway window this winter. So far Sue, Monique and Les are in, V, Marie, Martie. Mary and Wendy are maybes. It is going to be a great time. Anyone else??? Hmmmm????

So V. I was going to give you exactly the same advice as Cynthia. You cant beat the price of a Southwest ticket from Midway to Manchester. And yes, we are only 50 miles from Bostons Logan airport. Can you come in Friday?

Martie I sure hope nothing changes so you can come.

Mary, I surely hope you can arrange for your family to go to Hawaii but I also would LOVE to see you in Feb. Just let me know.

Eden, ROTFLOL! You arent going to buy anything new this year! Ar, ar, ar, ar. And limiting the containers to 50??? Amazing. ~~ What are you going to do to replace the storage when you take the shed down?~~ Yes, we watched the Dancing with the Stars show last year but havent seen the new one this year. ~~ Wow it sounds like you really scored on your shopping trip. Sams has some great deals on urns and large stonecast containers now also and Im itching to pick up a couple.

Jane your secret birthday trip for your DH sounds fantastic. How are you going to get him there?

Mary your dinner with rack of lamb sounds wonderful! It really is great to see you posting.

Bug, good news about the treadmill. Ill have to get on the scale tomorrow. I havent been on it since the first of the year. Im sure hoping Ive lost our five pounds. Please try to join us in Feb if you can manage it.

OK I need to shut down this computer for the evening. Have a great night all.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh dear, a Hawaiian theme. Hey! I think DH has an old Hawaiian shirt I could use! I won't be in sarong shape by Feb.

Still hoping,

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 10:54PM
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I'll bring the pineapples. And while blow up palm trees are fun, they'll also collapse if it's less than 30 deg outside so spend That $$ at Logees and get something real :-)

Ditto Sue's Hartford fly-in suggestion. You can actually get out of Bradley in less than 10 minutes if you don't check luggage.

While others are Not going to "get much" this year you are all invited to vicariously spend and grow with me as I establish a perennial nursery from scratch, seed, cuttings and whatever else I find along the way. I'm getting tired of spending double digits on plants that are large enough to use. While I'll always have an affair with Bluestone, their three-pack prices keep increasing (understandably) and a lot of what I'd get I can start from seed. Need to really, really watch ROI (return on investment) this year.

That said, I have a spot that needs a tree. We've hooked up with a nursery that'll order anything I want if it's within 500 miles, so we're going for the gusto and getting a 4"er. Full sun, 3' of good stuff baked under plastic over the winter to amend dense clay. Focal point as you drive in the driveway and view the house. Shouldn't be more than 15' at maturity or it'll shade what needs to stay full sun. What I already love but don't know a lot about: Flowering crabapple, plum. Non-green foliage would be a plus.

Very busy week this week. I'm getting traction and meeting a slew of very smart and savvy and Ethical!!! business people so if I don't check in, know I'm thinking about all of you and sending wishes for less weight, more plants, more laughs and plenty of ((())).


    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 5:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

MARTIE: Just a quick note here. Go for the flowering crab. Plums are frequently affected by black knot...which you don't want!!! (My tree guys just sawed off ther limbs affected by black knot on my trees last week. It must be burned to be destroyed.)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 8:11AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie do not buy a thing this year until you talk to me. I have a ton of perennials (including some landscape sized hostas) that will need dividing. Every spring I take a truckload to the CT plant swap. Last spring Deanne came down, pointed and I divided on the spot.

My favorite tree is Sourwood but it will eventually get to more than 15'. Not too many trees stay below that range, even small ones. Others to consider, Stewartia, Amelanchier, Cornus kousa varieties, Redbud, I have a tree form Heptacodium but I think Monique has had trouble with them breaking in heavy winds. Have you ever been to Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden? They usually have lots of unusual stuff-best to go early in the season though.

Wow, it sounds like we may end up with a mini idyllunion at Deanne's next month. Tom has been giving me the evil eye because I'm making all kinds of winter weekend plans that don't involve skiing but truth be told I'm not hot on it this year. Every time my back has seriously gone out of whack it's been during ski season. I'm in the best shape I've been in in years right now and I don't want to screw it up. So bring on the winter garden get togethers! The Hartford flower show is February 23-26 this year. Maybe we can get together for that too.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 8:20AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Heeeellllllllllo, Idylls. Dont know if youve had this problem or not, but last nite I lost a post. I usually write in Word and then cut and paste. Except last nite. While typing, the site just shut me down and sent me to log on! Then I had trouble getting back in. Sheesh.

As Im writing this, Bullet is at the vet getting his teeth cleaned. The vet said he doesnt have a urinary infection, but the tests revealed he has diminished kidney function as well as a heart murmur, which are common in older cats. We decided to risk the anesthetic for dental procedure. Hopefully, hell come thru fine. Im somewhat concerned. When they gave me the cost estimate, I almost had a heart attack. Worse case scenario -- $737! That was a shocker.

Ive been catching sales to replenish staples, poking at the basement/pantry/closet reorg, and pitching junk. I still have to tackle the files and junk I brot home when I retired. Im ready to purge most of it but not looking forward to that tedious chore.

Yesterday, I returned 2 prs. of jeans and a lamp I got for xmas. RANT am I the only one that doesnt want hip-hugger jeans or wear them 3" longer to accommodate high heels? I bot 3 pairs, same style and same mfgr, and each was a different size. I tried on several casual tops in my size and all were too short and/or too small (and Ive lost 12 lbs. since the Fall). The countries where most are made must have very little people. Im not into the bare-midriff, not crazy about the styles or quality. Guess Im just an old fuddy-duddy.

Deanne, I hope Dougs leg heals fast and you both are back on that dance floor pronto. Ive always wanted to learn ballroom dancing but for us thats not an option. DH has wonderful attributes, but rhythm isnt one of them. Im afraid hed send an instructor over the edge. Also, an injury left him with a knee that can give out at any time. Another minor thing youd appreciate, he sings and hums off-key. While dating, he thot it was romantic to hum in my ear while we danced. I had to ask him not to b/c I have perfect pitch and its like running fingernails over a chalkboard. Its a joke between us now. In the whole scheme of things, neither are important.

Eden, which Home Goods do you go to? The one near me? Ill have to check them out. Sounds like you made a great score.

Martie, thanks for offering to get stuff from White Flower Farm for us. I love their catalogs but not their prices. Too bad we didnt have time to go there last year. Then again, Im sure Marlene and Ei will have some treats in store for us.

Saying Hi to all. I havent read the updates from yesterday. Im going to try to post this. Hope I can log in and they dont kick me out. TTYL,


    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 1:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I came, I saw, I booked!

Cynthia. thanks for the steer to Southwest!

Sue, thanks for the invite but the fares to Nashua were much cheaper.

Deanne, clean the guest room. I have been known to wear one of my son's old Hawaiian shirts. Should I pack it? Will we get orchid leis? ;)

Marie & Mary, give it some thought?

Am I psyched?



Martie, hope you can make it because I'd love to meet you in person!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 4:29PM
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WOO-HOO! Fantastic V!
Can you tell I'm incredibly excited? The guest room is being dusted off and polished up. You are terrific! I can't promise orchid leis but definitely pack the Hawaiian shirt. Also, we have a hot tub so if you want to take a dip bring your swim suit. Doug and I are looking into one of those patio heaters so folks won't have to brave the February chill. We'll see. WE are still trying to figure out where to store it in the summer time.

OK must get back to work but couldn't contain my elation when I saw you were coming so I had to post right away.

OH yes, email me your itinerary and we'll pick you up in Manchester. I simply can't wait.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 5:03PM
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I don't know how the rest of you are doing, but it's 60F here. Yeah. I was up really early today too, so no guilt in leaving at 4:30 to take a really enjoyable walk with the 3 musketeers. We dawdled and I poked around the beds when we got home (it was still light out!). Eden, I collected the seeds of eupatorium colestium (sp) finally!

I'm excited that V is flying in for the mid-winter Idyll Festival. I've already promised my sister a one day visit (Logees) in Jan/Feb, so can't do another one or I'd be there too! It's the dogs, I just can't kennel them it would kill me, and with 3 right now, it's work to line up simultaneous play dates. Plus I have to do little work travel in February. Ugh. Now my weather induced elevated mood has been crushed just thinking about it! PS to V, maybe at the Feb idyllunion you can finalize the date for the summer one? Then I can start my planning! And I will plan not to have a foster that week. Much easier.

Honey, glad that Bullet is in good hands. I wonder if you could try Science Diet dental food if he's allowed to eat dry. Keeps my kittie's teeth all spiffy clean. George is 16 and has never needed a dental. The Dental diet is also high fiber which is good for avoiding poop problems with the older guys.

Now now. Long jeans can be hemmed. At least they give you an option. (Jealous of your 'problem.')

Martie, just 1 show stopper tree? How about three :) They're common in New England, but I agree with GB - I adore flowering crabs. I put two in here, even though it's a better place for flowering cherries. And the berries on those crabs in winter will be stunning. Sue gave you a great list too. I have everything except the heptacodium. I had that in NH, it's 'New England's crape myrtle!'

Yummy. I bought one of the those egg & toasters in December, and if you're allowed to eat eggs it's so nice! Tonight I had a sandwich of poached egg and vegetarian 'sausage' patty from Trader Joe's on an English Muffin. I made the whole things in the toaster. Just put the egg in the egg extension, added the grid/shelf and put the veggie patty on that. Push two buttons to tell it what you're doing and that's it. Everything done at once. No grease.

See ya! Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 6:30PM
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Hi again,

Well, I've just read the previous posts and realized that I didn't comment to Honey and that most brilliant person lost 12 pounds since fall!!!! Holy moly! Honey that is fabulous! I sure wish I'd lost 12 pounds too... Good for you! ~~ So sorry about Bullet. I don't know if you remember but I had Luke in for a dental last summer and it set us back $570.00!!!!! Yikes. I thought I'd have a heart attack because the month before was when I needed that very expensive crown and the month after that Doug needed a very expensive crown. Too much tooth work in this house in 05. Anyway, we now have our kitties on the Science Diet Oral care that Cynthia recommended and they both have perfect teeth now. I'm glad they like it.

So Cynthia, you are going on the Logees trip? Cool!

OK time to check out a few pics I just took of the plants under the lights. I'll post if I got anything interesting. I wanted Eden to see the Black Magic babies. They are growing at an alarming rate.

Bye, have a good night all,

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Hi, I have nothing to write about but I'll give it a shot anyway, lol. Big news of the day is that I bought a new wastebasket for the bedroom. That tells ya how exciting my day's been. It is warm here though, 40s starting tomorrow, and supposed to continue that trend for the next 10 days. Sounds wonderful to me. I don't mind winter so much when it's like this. We're even supposed to see a few glimpses of sun tomorrow.

Honey, 12 pounds! Spectacular! Wish I could say that.

Marie, your 5 pounds is a great start to the New Year. Hope you get your tread mill. Be careful of your back when you use it. I've put mine out using one.

Cynthia, I've never heard of an egg and toaster. I'm going to have to check that out. Brad would love it. Yea on the eupatorium coelestium seeds. I've been wanting that plant for a long time.

I'm wondering if Michelle saw the Dr. today and how she's doing? Much better I hope.

Deanne, I would love to see pictures of the Plant Mama's light garden. I know all your babies are beautiful and healthy. Maybe it would serve as inspiration for this neglectful gardener. Black Magic babies? How cool!

Speaking of babies...when can we pot up the brug cuttings that are rooting in water? I remember someone here saying they would grow too fast and big if we did it too early but mine are getting to the point where they are just a mass of roots.

Martie, It's going to be so much fun for you getting to plan brand new gardens. To start your garden as an experienced gardener will be a whole different experience than learning as you go which is what I did. I can't wait to hear more as you get going on it this spring. And don't forget to take pictures to share. As for ornamental trees, I have my heart set on planting a stewartia pseudocamellia this year.

Mary, I finally read the next Elm Creek Quilt book and will send it out to you shortly. I think it's so neat that you and dh want to take the kids with you to Hawaii. What great parents you are. And what wonderful children you're raising.

V, I'm jealous that you're going to the mid-winter mini Idyllunion. If only I liked flying... You are all going to have such a good time!

Well that's about it from me tonight. See you all tomorrow. Eden

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 8:37PM
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I stayed home from work today, which I rarely do. I went to the Dr. and he says bronchitis. He prescribed some stronger cough medicine, which seems to help. Rick seems to have about the same thing, but I havent gotten him to the Dr. yet.

Our bathroom project came to a standstill since we are both under the weather. Good thing that its not our main bathroom.

It was a sunny day around 30 degrees. Poor Jaden hasnt been walked lately with all the ice. She pulled me down twice earlier. I got the 4 wheeler out and took around with that. She loved it.

I dont keep my plants under lights. I have two rooms upstairs with south windows and I have them on card tables. They do pretty well there. I see theres a nice pink rosebud geranium blooming today.

The only perennial that I really would like to try this summer is the clematis Arabella that Deanne recommended. Im sure Ill pick up more as spring arrives. I have no will power. I told myself that I need to use the copper that I bought 2 years ago and build a support or I cant order the clematis.

That is so cool that V gets to go east. Just make sure that you all take lots of pictures.

I had a beautiful flowering crab at my old house. I see the new owners have cut it down :o(

As for the longer jeans, I love them. They fit me just right.

Have a good night

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 9:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sorry I couldn't drop in earlier, but DH brought me home a new treadmill tonight and I had to try it! Spent ages with him assembling it, then tested it for about a half hour...150 calories worth. That sure puts calories in perspective! Anyway, it is a pretty nice machine and will take some getting used to. I sure hope my back doesn't act up like Eden's did. How to avoid that? Any ideas?

Haven't done the dishes or fed pets yet, so off I go. More tomorrow no doubt. Enjoy a pleasant evening everyone! You too Bullet! (Sweet William lived on something similar to the Science Diet dry food and it cured him of terrible teeth problems. They told me he'd need tooth treatments twice a year until I started using it. Can you imagine $1500 a year? I can't. Perhaps that was why he was dumped at the shelter long ago. Lucky us...while he lasted. What a great guy he was.)

Nighty Nite!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 10:00PM
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Evening all,

Michelle, glad to hear you don't have pneumonia. I hope the bronchitis gets better soon. So sorry Rick is sick also.

Eden, here are a couple pics of the 'babies'. So cute! Yes I know I'm cracked but just love all this color inthe winter time.

Babs, yes, those are your 'Pineapple Wizard' coleus on teh lower left. They are doing really well.

Eden, here are the 'Black Magic' They were so tiny six weeks ago. I'm hoping they don't get a whole lot larger than this.

I love this coleus I got from Sue with the chartreuse plectranthus.

And last but not least, I'm so thrilled my cymbidium decided to bloom this year. I bought this lovely painting from a friend of mine a couple months ago and really loved the blooming orchid next to the painting. Such a pretty combo.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Aw poor Michelle: ( I had hoped you'd be better by now-but now that you saw the doc I bet you'll get better quicker. Good that you are taking care of uh the Vicks doesn't work then ; ) Maybe it does for the common cough-not bronchitis. Aj has a sore throat so if it goes into a cough you know what he'll have on the bottoms of his feet: )

Deanne I'm so glad you are great at keeping my plants alive lol. I am insanely jealous that you guys get to hang out in Feb. Will ya have a little fun for me? All I can think about these days is the countdown to root canal on Thurs. Your story about you and doug both with dental work and the expense had me nodding like a bobble head. My root canal is AS expensive as the veneer...I hate that our coverage only handles 40% since the D.D.S. isn't in our network...grr. You gotta have teeth though.

This warm weather is so freaky. I'm glad it's warm but I always wonder what the effects of a warm winter has on the growing season to come. Even the pine boughs over plants aren't doing much good to keep the ground cool-the ground is thawed as if it's spring hmmm.

Ugh I saw the projected *budget* pay't for our natural gas-$155.00 more than we normally pay starting next month-it just irks me that they can get away with it. Maybe we need to include parkas in our indoor attire-I would do that just to get back at the gas company. That's it, let's all boycott natural gas!...!
Eden congrats on your new waste basket-hey it's a fun thing. My new thing today is an Ultra Charmin multipack lol.
Hey by the way,if anyone buys the new Dawn foam pump dishsoap, you don't *have* to buy only the refills made for that specific type of soap(the bottle has a terse warning--it's bull). We bought a regular bottle of Dawn and just a few oz. of soap with a topping off of all WATER will create the same foaming action for much less money. DH figured that one out. Yes the proposed PhD in Sociology was once a mall floor scrubber....he knows his foaming action...and a bit more lol. Ask him if he washes my floors....

HOney you've lost so much weight I almost didn't see you; ) You are NO fuddy duddy-I think you are actually pretty hip! Lol about you telling Tom to stop crooning in your ear!

Hi everybody else!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 11:31PM
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Very Quick: Thanks for the tree refs. I like the idea of Stewartia, too.

CYNTHIA: Are you coming to the Logees thing on the 22nd??? YIPPEE!!!

EVERYONE ELSE: The NE Gardening Forum has all the Logees trip info freshly posted. There's plenty of Room and V. has proven that getting to interior New England isn't a hassle :-)


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 7:52AM
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Deanne, what a treat to look in this morning and see all that beautiful color! Thank you! They all look so healthy and lush. Do they even know it's the dead of winter. I don't think so. I love that you do plant combos even with your overwintering cuttings too. LOL! And the orchid goes so perfectly with the painting. Very nice! With your care I think the colocasias just might keep getting larger. I just keep scrolling back for one more look.

Michelle, good that you went to the Dr. and now have some medicine. Keep getting lots of rest! I've had Arabella for a couple of years now and love it too. You do have to help it if you want it to climb. It's a non-clinger but blooms all summer and into fall. I have mine growing on an old wooden bed footboard.

Babs, I think you and I need to get out more. Wastebaskets and tp, lol. I hear ya on the gas bills. This winter's utility bills make me glad I live in a small house.

Marie, what a sweet dh you have to bring you a new treadmill. I think Sue mentioned what she does to keep the it from bothering her back? I don't remember exactly what she said. Maybe something about the incline?

Bella will be here all day today which isn't usual for a Tuesday. I need to go get ready for her arrival. Baby and housework on the agenda for me today with maybe a little indoor gardening thrown in if I can find some free time. Have a great day all! Eden

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:11AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Is anybody else getting sick of signing in every time they come to this site? It's way past getting old for me.

Positive winter statistic of the day...the sun came up one minute earlier today than it did yesterday. We are now gaining daylight in both the morning and the evening. The spring weather continues here. Yesterday it hit 52 F. Today the 40s. Supposedly 50s again for the end of the week and no bitter cold in sight. Pinch me.

I'd better not send any pictures of my winter plants or the plant police will be here putting them into protective custidy. Maybe I'll bring them all to Deanne next month for safe

Is Cynthia really coming to Logees with us?

Woo hoo, V at Deanne's. C'mon Eden, hop on a plane. It's not even 2 hours from Detroit to Hartford-probably the same to Manchester, NH if that's cheaper.

Marie the only time the treadmill bothers my back is when I use it above a 4% grade.

OK, fixed assets await.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 2:46PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Hi all - enjoying the "January thaw" here, nice and bright out today, I even cracked open the windows in the car on the was to pick up the kids at school! Sue, keep updating us on the increasing day length - any positive signs are welcome.

Taryn, looks like you had a great time on your birthday. We have a place similar to that around here, but no pies. You get to kiss the moose on your birthday. My DS actually requested that he be taken there when he turned four!

Mary, LOL on the cooked breakfast. My kids love pancakes, but the house rule is that they are only served on weekends - too much prep and clean-up time for the weekday AM rush. DS does get an egg over-easy during the week sometimes, that is a quick one. Maybe even quicker with Cynthia's egg toaster - sounds like a neat gadget.

Michelle, glad you got some meds from the Dr for that bronchitis - I've had that before, not fun. Drink lots of fluids and sleep all you can. Hope you're better soon!

Eden, you are limiting your containers to 50?! I'm no math genius, but that means you had over 100 containers last year? Wow, how did you find time to water them all!? I love containers though, such fun to think up different combinations.

Martie, the idea of starting completely from scratch in the garden would be intimidating to me. I am a little short on design skills: I know what I like, but I'm not always sure how to achieve it. DH ripped out all of our foundation shrubs last fall (they were way overgrown) and the prospect of designing a new foundation planting is fun but a little scary. BTW, I have lots of extras in my garden too, let me know what you are looking for before you go shopping.

Deanne: you've got mail! I'll be able to make it to the party on the 18th, hopefully DH too. Looking forward to it! The pictures of your indoor babies are wonderful. My coleus are not quite ready to be seized by the plant police yet, but they are looking about as pale as I am, and not nearly so robust as yours. Do you fertilize them? How long are you keeping the lights on? You are not cracked, you are skilled! One year I bought a bunch of bare root hosta and bleeding hearts and grew them in the basement. My family and friends thought I'd lost it for sure, but I was in heaven with blooms in the basement in February.

Well, have to go spruce up the house a bit - I'm having a Cub Scout meeting here tomorrow, teaching some 8-year-old boys cooking! Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 3:46PM
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Hello everyone!

Deanne your coleus look so healthy and lush! I've managed to turn 4 of the 5 starts you sent me into black stubs of slimy sludge. So disappointing when they arrived lush and beautiful. One is doing exceptionally well (was that 'smack' I just heard the 'kiss of death' since I said that?) but the others seemed to go from 'very nice' to 'very black and dead looking' in short order. I've been looking online and will buy some, but wish I knew the 'why' of them dying.

'bug, that photo is beautiful. I am impressed with your photography skills---your photos are stunning. Congratulations on that 5# loss and on a new tractor/mower (thought the treadmill was neat....but the tractor is swoon material in my mind!).

Michelle, I hope you are feeling better, Rick too.

Taryn, it looks like you had a fun time with your birthday celebration. I do hope you'll have good news with your home sale soon. It has to be wearing on you & your family.

Honey, congratulations on that 12#. It really, truly wasn't lost as I found it laying about and placed it on my hips. I'm hoping to pass it on to someone else in the near future. ;o)

It has been rainy & windy here. A great day for staying indoors. I've been doing some sewing and trying to stay away from the computer chair so that I'll get more accomplished during my days. I never intended to cut back on my computer time and fill those minutes (okay---hours) with eating but that appears to be what has happened. I'm like a bear preparing for hibernation by putting on stores of fat........but I've continued on with the prep long after the time to have started sleeping. Oh well.....this too shall pass and something else shall take its place. :oD

It sounds like there will be a fun & nice sized group at Deanne's next month! It will be a great time---always seems to be when the Idylls gather together!

V, sounds like your son made it home safely. I hope he had a enjoyable & memorable time.

Eden.....cutting back to 50? Aw......go for 75. ;oD You don't want to cut too far back and go into withdrawal, do you?

I guess I'd better get away from this chair. I have a roast & some veggies in the slow-cooker so dinner is taken care of, laundry is all done, folded and put the rest of the afternoon--at least until the boss gets home--is mine.

Take care,

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 5:26PM
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It's 39.00 at Amazon, and shipping is instant! I received it two days after I ordered even though they projected a week in shipping.

You guys are reading too fast! I'm going up one day in Jan/Feb and my sister and I are going to Logee's. (I use Providence airport, that's another one SW flys into and it's close to CT and Mass.) I'm sorry I won't be going up on the same day that Marie & pals will be there. I know that would be fun!

Beautiful photos Deanne and GB! Just wonderful to open up the thread and find such nice surprises.

Gotta run, but thinking of you all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 6:23PM
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Hi everyone

Cynthia - the egg poacher looks very cool - I could have done with that these last two mornings. David reported to me that the standardized tests were "easy peasy" and that NOBODY says "lemon squeezy" anymore. Its good to be in the know!

Wendy - you're a brave woman to have Cub Scouts cooking in your kitchen. The last den meeting I had here was so exhausting for me I joined the other parents in voting the school cafeteria the meeting place of choice. Its a lot easier on the furniture!

GB - you're Amarrylis is stunning. For a moment I thought it was one of Deanne's lovely paintings.

Deanne - your plants look as healthy and gorgeous inside as they do outside. What ARE you painting right now?

Babs - good luck on the root canal! Think peaceful thoughts of your garden and family.

Eden - I love the idea of "cutting down" to 50 containers!! HOpe you have fun rearranging things.

Michelle - feel better!!

I have a chicken roasting in the oven with tons of lemon, rosemary and olive oil, potato wedges alongside. It's smelling very good! I need to go toss a salad and stir fry some cabbage then dinner is ready. Homework is done, instruments practised and I'm looking forward to flopping on the sofa once I'm finished. I've been struggling the last few days with a bad back which I've rarely had before - the pain has moved down to the back of my thigh and calf so I'm thinking its something to do with nerves. I'm hoping it will keep on moving down and out. Perhaps a mid week wine would help - ( a glass of, rather than the verbal kind!)

have a good evening


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Sue - the logging in is a pain here too! I wonder if they're going to fix it or just keep forcing everyone to sign in....

You can add me to the list of people having trouble with coleus cuttings. they were all doing well until I realized today that I forgot to water them for the last 10 days os so! One of the prettiest ones was severely flopped over but some of it has revived after a good soak so, hopefully, it was not fatally injured. I planted the first seeds of the year today so I'd better not forget to water them!

GB - fabulous photo - I thought, for a minute, it was a Deanne painting....

Barb was here yesterday so we made some progress on the planter bench - the 3' bench is done (except for stain) so we're ready to start the 6' one next week. That one will take longer than the 3' one because we're going to have to put some legs under the center to keep it from bending in the middle. The original pattern called for two 3' benches but I want a long one to go down the longer side of the patio and serve as seating for the long side of the patio table. So we have to adapt the pattern - additional supports under the seat and adding legs. It'll likely be mid-February before we finish because Barb is only here one day a week. Here's how it looks now:

I need to finalize my plan for the air conditioner/ugly pipe ends screen so Teresa and I can start on that one soon. I've had to rethink what I want to do because I couldn't find the wood I wanted (and I didn't get my requested table saw for Christmas - I don't think DH thought I was serious...) I think we're going to have to just prepare/finish all the wood for the screen and leave the assembly to spring though because I think it will be too big/awkward to easily remove from the basement if we make it down there!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 7:10PM
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Evening all,

Im trying to distract myself from the kitchen until Doug gets home for dinner. Tonight we are having a roast of lean generation pork, steamed asparagus and this new orange cauliflower that was on sale at the store with a tossed salad. Lately Ive been sprinkling some fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano on my salad. It turns out that this gorgeous Italian imported cheese is only 81 calories for a cubic inch and low in fat to boot. Yum!

T, how great to hear from you! What great things are you sewing lately? Are you making some wonderful quilts? I found the book with the placemats that Id love to have and will have to scan the page and show you. I think that style is called watercolor quilts. Very pretty! ~~ Bummer about the coleus but I should have plenty more where those came from. They might just have been too stressed from traveling. I do know that sometimes if there are bacteria in the water I have to make new cuts in the stems and keep changing out the water. Let me know if you would like some fresh cuttings in the spring.

WooHoo!!!! Wendy is coming to the party too. This is just so terrific. What a great party this is going to be. I sure hope your DH can come and meet everyone also. If this warm weather keeps up it could be a welcome to an early spring party. (In my dreams)~~ Thanks! So happy you like the winter color under the lights. I actually havent fertilized them this year as Im trying to keep them to a reasonable size. I made that mistake last year and had behemoth coleus and perilla that were a bit out of control so this year Im being conservative with the fertilizer. I keep the lights on 16 hours a day and there are four lamps on each shelf so they do get plenty of light. My geranium actually started blooming today also. I thought that was pretty neat. I love it that you had hosta and bleeding heart in the basement. So the bleeding heart were blooming under the lights? Thats neat.~~ You deserve a purple heart for being a Cub Scout Mom! I did Brownie Scouts for two years and that was enough for me.

Marie, gorgeous photo of your amaryllis! That is one beautifully composed pic. Thanks for sharing. Did you get on your treadmill today???

Sue, yes, yes and yes again, Im sick and tired of having to log in every time I want to post. As you said, it is getting beyond old at this point.~~ LOL about the plant police, bring any you want but Ill have to take cuttings of them for payment!


Ok dinner is now over..

Eden, thanks! So glad you noticed that I play with combinations even under the lights. I cant help myself. It is just too much fun to play with colors and textures. ~~ How was your day with Bella? Has she started helping you with the plants yet?

Babs, I sure wish you could get out here for the party in Feb. That would be soooooo great to see you. ~~ NO kidding about the heating bills this winter. Between the electric bills and the natural gas bills it feels like were bleeding money every time the furnace turns on. Thank heavens its been pretty warm so far this winter.

Mary, Hurmmm, hum, aaaahhh, Hmmmm paint? Whats that?... So far no painting this year. My next project will be a painting of a Monarch butterfly. ~~ Your lemon rosemary chicken sounds wonderful. Im going to have to try that this weekend.~~ Saturday night we get to go to Silks a wonderful restaurant in Tyngsboro for our anniversary dinner. Cant believe another year has gone by. ~~ What the heck did you do to your back? Take it easy. You dont want to make that worse.

Hi Woody! Your planters look fantastic. I cant imagine making that myself. Id probably wind up cutting off a finger or two. Im very unhandy with anything sharp and I cant even imagine what I could do with a saw.

Okie Dokie, time to get ready for sleepy time.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 8:26PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Time for a "normal"post. I actually have some time to sit here and compose my thoughts in a calm, rational manner. But what fun would that be?

I'll go in reverse order. Just got back from the Board of Ed meeting where DD and several other seniors were honored for being Illinois State Scholars (top 10% in state based on ACT & class.) So I brought down the house... DD's friend's mom saw my camera and asked if I would take a photo of her daughter also. So when E. went up, I popped up to take her photo, and the Superintendent said, "Turn around for your mom, E." Well, half the audience knew either me or E. and her family, and knew I wasn't her mom! I told E's mom I wasn't taking E home with me!

Before the meeting, DD and I had a quick bite at Taco Bell. It was a tad surrealistic. On one side of us were about 7 or 8 teenagers intent on demonstrating why teenagers are despised by many adults. Lots of loud belching (and this group averaged about 18, not 11) and liberal use of the f-word as a grammatical multipurpose tool. On the other side, there were two men in their late thirties or early forties, with bibles open on the table and lots of discussion of spiritual quests. And there sat DD and I in the middle. Too weird.

Backing up to Sunday night, my son arrived home safe and sound and we had an uneventfultrip downstate. I got to hear lots about his trip and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He got to harvest coffee among other jobs, rode on a ferris wheel that was operated by rope and manpower, not a motor, and he met a girl. Fortunately, she was with the group he was with, so it's not a long distance romance. He's back in class now.

I'm glad to see that Wendy can make the dinner! I'm still smiling when I think about the trip. I now have something to get me through the next month.

Marie, I had the same thought about your photo - it looks like a painting! Lovely work!

Woody, the benches are shaping up nicely.

Mary, is it wrong to hope that your plans change? You know I'm kidding. It would be great to see you in February, but it also will be wonderful for your family to have some time together in a wonderful place like Hawaii.

Deanne, I can't get over how lovely your coleus look!

Wendy, I started with a blank garden slate with this house. Very blank - it was a cornfield before we built here. We moved in in early November, so it was too late to plant that year, but I took a landscape design course at the local college that fall, and my final project was the master garden design. Trust me when I tell you I can't draw stick people, but I learned how to use a t-square and, of course, a flexible curve (for those curvy beds T loves). The first plan has been expanded and revised as we have lived with things and gotten more plant-obsessed, but the basic idea has held up well.

I should do a couple of more things before I call it a night, so I'll wave hello to everyone else and say good night, Gracie.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 9:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, here's the good news:
Yes, I spent about an hour on the treadmill, in three sessions, today. Didn't push it, but managed OK. I didn't go over 4 incline Sue! Actually, 3 to 3.5mph at about 3 incline is a fine start for me.

And here's the not so good news. My feet are killing me. My extra good walking shoes are very old and new ones are needed immediately. The question is, what do I do about the blisters forming on the soles of my feet? Oy...hurts to walk. I think I'm going to have to wait, then buy shoes, then start again. So frustrating though!!!

Thanks for all the kind words about the amaryllis photo. Sometimes a good photo happens if you take enough of them! I didn't even crop it. I need to figure out how to have prints of photos made. I have photos of a wedding last August and I'm afraid they'll only be ready by the time their first child is baptised!

DH is off at hockey tonight. I'm so glad he still enjoys the sport because his life is mighty tense these days and it is a great outlet for him...along with his voice lessons.

Anyone looking at the stock market these days? I keep checking on my Mom's investments at Charles Schwab and hoping the estate gets settled when things are looking good.

I'm afraid you won't be seeing me in February, but I'm working on the July gathering for sure! Too much on our plates right now.(instead of in our wallets!)

Cynthia, a friend from England went to Ireland last weekend and among other things, watched greyhound races. Her photo was a big blurrrrr. She works with horses for her regular employment.

Time to put more lotion on my tender tootsies and then read a bit.

Sleep tight!
'bug (who really just adores signing in every time I post here...NOT)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 9:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Forgot to ask Cynthia - how happy are you with the function of the toaster? Can you control lightness/darkness? Will it take wider things like bagels? I have the world's most worthless toaster. Can't take much width at all, and it has two settings - not toasted and burnt. No crumb tray, either. And I love egg mcmuffins.... I could justify this!


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Deanne-I had meant to mention earlier that your orchid besides looking perfect, really compliments that painting. It's as if the flowers came to life and grew out of the painting!

I'm so mad about the gas heat price increase that I set up a small electric heater in the livingroom and with the ceiling fan on the room was at 75F-just a bit too warm! It's a good option to have and I plan to use it as much as I can. It just pi**es me off. I have to say it's ironic that Mama Nature is doing a good job playing with our temps-she's thumbing her nose at those mean old gas companies.

Mary I also had to tell you that I happy that you are taking your kids with you to Hawaii-we're like that too-it would feel strange to not bring them on a Hawaiian adventure. In your case I do think it would be so good for all of you anyway-your family certainly needs a break and some extra fun. I hope we get to see pics: )
Lol AJ and I have this plan that someday we will take a trip to Alaska just because it's there and we are curious to see what it's like. Chris is thinking more along the lines of a tropical paradise so he rolls his eyes when we suggest Alaska.
Lol about 'easy peasy''s so hard to keep up with new kid terms...when I'm lunch monitoring I am always wondering if I sound completely out of date-I'm just a nerdy little lunch mom lol.

GB not sure how to help the blisters besides giving them time to heal but definitely get those new shoes.

Woody! I love the planter benches!!!! Will you build me one? : )

Michelle I hope you are feeling better?


    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 11:16PM
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What's going on here? And I gather everywhere on the Garden web. I have been away and found things changed when I got back. I saw some of you changed your user name because you couldn't use it??? Mine was okay except I have to log on every time now. Does it have something to do w/ upper and lower case letters? Maybe that's why I was okay..I quickly read a few posts and saw some of you changed your b-days to make yourselves 103 years old!!lol..Why is that? To keep spammers from getting you?? ..I can't comment because I just skimmed and can't remember stuff I read...I know this weather here is very very freaky..65 yesterday and that's not good. What is going on? Every month last year we were above average for temps and below for precip, and then for three weeks in December it was very cold and it ended up being the only month below normal this year. However since then every day is way above and I haven't even gotten my down coat out yet..just wear a lighter one. I don't think this bodes well for the upcoming season. I have thoughts of drought and horrible heat and walking around w/ the hose attached to me for months!!!..My kids and GS love to ski and H works at a ski resort and it 's not a good thing...Today I spent the day at of my very favorite stores and me- an antique junkie from way back. I spent a ton on mostly little things I can't live without like 11 flower pots! They have the most amazing food. I had poached salmon in a creamy dill sauce, boiled red potaoes, wonderful veggies for $5.99 plus a dollar for a spinach salad and 99 cents for a mousse for dessert and 75 cents for all the wonderful coffee you can drink. If they only had IKEA when I first started out. It must be the shorter hours because I am in a buying mood. Took a big bag of clothes to Salvation Army..a good thing right?. Not. I went into the store then and bought more than I donated. ..Two LL Bean turtles, a Gap coat, a R Lauren coat and 2 Eddie Bauer shirts... All just like new for under 5 dollars each!!!!
Deanne..I DID see your gorgeous houseplants. Put mine to shame altho I have about 14 nice looking ivy topiaries growing on my big kitchen windowsill.
Michelle ..Hope you are feeling better. My good friend who has aggressive breast cancer and I were invited to a party Sunday ,and she called to tell me she wasn't going and I didn't recognize her on the phone. I told her to get to her doctor and tonight when I got home she had called leaving a message she was in Hershey Med w/ viral pneumonia and will be staying there for awhile hooked up to an IV. I feel so bad for her. Many around here are sick....Sylvia

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 3:46AM
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Thanks for all the concern. I am somewhat better and I am back to work. The cough medicine helps a lot. I can tell just when it is wearing off. Rick is finally going to the Dr. today.

Sorry about your friend Sylvia. It must be very difficult to fend off this stuff when you are fighting cancer.

Deanne, your indoor garden looks beautiful. Lovely combinations.

V, congrats to your DD on her honor. It sounds like your DS had a memorable trip.

Woody, your planters are so professional looking. Mine would definitely look homemade.

Mary, it sounds like your sciatic nerve is acting up. That is what I had and Sue too. I recommend getting to the Dr. It took me 5 months to get over.

Can anyone recommend a good place to order clematis Arabella from. None of the nurseries around here carry much in the line of clematis. I see that Bluestone has a great online sale on clematis but not that one.

That's all for now

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 10:22AM
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Hi Everyone.

I was skimming the other thread and couldn't quite figure out what is happening with gardenweb. I must be missing something. We have an alternate site? And they get to sell our photos? I am not too worried about my photos making anyhone a profit, but some of you have lovely offerings.

I'm sort of totally out of the loop here, but Deanne I loved your photo of the orchids, and GB the bulbs are a nice breath of spring here. Woody, I love your planter benches.

It sounds like you guys are going to have fun at Deannes next month. Hope tropical breezes find there way to the patio!

Michelle, I hope you are feeling better. Sometimes coughs take forever. My first week riding the Rapid I got a sinus infection/ear infection from standing in the cold and my jaw/ear is still sensitive to cold or heat. Now I stay inside and bought some ear muffs. Much better.

I have been learning how to load music onto my mp3 player. And figuring out how these music subscription services work. I had a free 30 trial to Napster, which was fun. I loaded up all the music I wanted, then one day it didn't work. I didn't realize I was sort of renting the music just for that month. Dumb I know, but then I deleted all of it and am figuring out how to put my own cds on there.
Over the holiday break I got a lot done in the house, everything except the basement and I hope to do that during the 3 day weekend this week. Fun to have extra holidays in this job. I am pretty close to selling another house, I hope to write the contract this weekend. Licensing fees are due at the end of Jan, so I want to try to wrap this one up.

Mary, how fun to go to Hawaii! I hope it works out and that things are going better for you.

I have run out of time, but hi to all. I am trying to get Taryn's bd card ready. For some reason I can't save it as a 50K file. I think one of the kids made an adjustment to my photoshop, but they won't fess up. I can't get it any smaller than 191K. Hopefully this weekend I can get someone to help me,as they say, the check is in the mail:)

Eden, Bella is so adorable. What a cutie pie she is...

Hi to everyone! I hope you all have a lovely, supposed to be sunny:) day!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 8:00AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

The sun is out and its 40 degrees! Yesterday, it was close to 50 and as Eden mentioned, its supposed to stay unseasonably warm for the next 10 days. Ive allocated a couple hrs a day to plodding thru basement junk. I havent gotten to the craft/project extras yet. My, my, Im a packrat.

I had a couple hr. conversation with my friend last nite. She said she may take me up on my offer to take her to chemo treatments later this month. I hope so. Itll be good to see her and chat in person. I know Ill be shocked by her appearance from what shes told me. Shes so upbeat in the face of such a grave disease.

Hey, Sue, the plant police would take mine into protective custody, too, lol.

Cynthia thanks for the info on the dental diet. Bullet has to eat "Multi-stage Renal" for kidneys/urinary tract. So thats not an option. Persians are known for dental problems. He does get home dental care but accumulates a lot of tartar anyway. Fortunately the bill was "only" $200 b/c he didnt need extractions, thank goodness. I have to watch him closely for kidney problems this week -- so far, so good. The vet said 75% of his kidneys are diseased, common in older cats/dogs. He just turned 14 on 12/28. Thats quite elderly for a Persian. BTW, that egg poacher looks way cool. I love my eggs poached.

Thanks, Deanne, for your encouragement on the weight loss. To be honest, I think it was about more activity hauling mulch in the fall, followed by running up and down the stairs, washing walls, etc. for the holidays. I loved getting in my old jeans, so imagine how great you must feel having lost all that weight. I did gain a couple back over the holidays, but hope to continue losing. Wow, I didnt know Luke had a dental recently, too. Ouch. I had my cleaning the day after Bullet and fortunately, I didnt need any extractions, either, lol.

Oh, Im so jealous of how healthy your coleus looks! A couple of mine are hanging in there, but I killed my fav "Stained Glassworks Copper". I particularly wanted to propagate that one b/c it was redder than most and so very pretty. Perhaps next yr Ill put in some grow lights and will be able to do better.

Martie, re your request for a show stopper tree, what about a Magnolia? Or if its sited where it wont get strong afternoon sun, how about Cornus Kousa Wolf Eyes. The latter is very disease resistant. I bot one at the Variegated Plant Nursery in CT last yr. (Love that place!).

The mini idyllunion sounds so fun! V, great news that you can go. Pics, please, everyone. Deanne, will you and Doug be showing off your "moves"?

Michelle, Im so glad you went to the Dr. and got better meds. I, too, was getting concerned about you. Youve had that cough way too long. Im sure it has worn you down.

Eden, I dont believe for one minute that youre cutting back on plants this yr! Its called "denial".

((((Bug)))) Im so sorry youre sad remembering Sweet William. He sure was a cutie. I know how you feel. I miss my Patches, too, particularly this time of year. Its different going thru a Xmas season w/o having to guess which present is for which person. She loved removing all the bows and gift tags from the presents. To her, bows were the best toys. I could never get mad at her b/c she was just too cute.

Gorgeous Amaryllis! Thats professional grade photography, kiddo. BTW Im thinking of giving our treadmill a whirl, too. If I can keep up the pitching, tossing and reorg, there might actually be room to use it in the basement!

Oh, Babs, thats great you scored an Ultra Charmin multipak! So you remembered DHs TP story, huh? I got to tease mine a little last weekend and showed him how much money wed save by buying the "sandpaper" brand, lol. Hope your trip this am to the dentist goes well. I hate the anticipation of those kind of appts. Its usually worse than going.

Be careful about using an electric heater to supplement your furnace or your electrical bill will skyrocket. Itll make the gas bill look like a piker. Anything with a heating coil uses tons of electricity. Sorry, you and others are really suffering with the high gas bills. We thot wed be, too, but have been pleasantly surprised that ours is way less than in past yrs. Of course, we paid a fortune for the new hi-efficiency furnace and a/c, but getting the top of the line models were definitely worth it. We cant believe the difference in comfort and energy savings. We had to get new ones anyway and the savings has already paid for upgrading to the larger, better models.

T, thanks re the weight loss. I have to try not to go into hibernation either. Im hoping since Ive made such headway on projects, purging and cleaning that I wont get discouraged and fall into a funk only to try to eat my way out of it as usual.

Woody, great progress on that planter bench! Youve done a wonderful job. Itll look so great in your gardens.

Mary, I laughed when you made the comment about cub scouts destroying a house. It made me remember the ones Mom had at our house. Luckily, she had them in the basement workshop. Those boys were rambunctious. How fabu that youre taking the boys to Hawaii. Id love to vacation there! Hope you take lots of pix.

V, congrats on your DD being honored! How proud you must be! She sounds like a lovely girl. Im glad your DS is back safe and sound. His trip sounds very interesting and quite a learning experience (she said tongue in cheek thinking about the new girlfriend).

Sylvia, were getting an Ikea store this year. I cant wait to check it out. I hear they're great. So sorry to hear about your friend. Im sure she was very vulnerable in her weakened state. Hope shes better soon.

Drema, good luck on the house sale! Thats great news.

Wendy, re pancakes, I got a "Pancake Factory" maker last yr. I made some for my guests and they really liked this little gadget. I use the mix that only requires water and add some blueberries. Its easy and little cleanup. I love flipping them over and they come out perfect all the time. My friends say sweet potato pancakes are terrific. After dieting, I plan on trying them. See link below on the pancake maker.

I'm off to the basement. Thinking of all. Hope your day is bright and sunny, too.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 12:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thyme to work on this thread again!

Chelone is OK and busy at work. I am not always able to make contact with her as her mail is sent back to me.

Freezing rain all day today. Yuck.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Well that was weird I just got hit in the head with a clementine...

Darn!I missed Amer.Idol: (

Mary how touching to have an item of Susan's-it sounds beautiful too. Hope you're doing well.
I'm sorry but I LOL at what David said: ) that would deserve a dunking if he were my kid lol.

Where is Ms. Taryn?

Janie-sorry your mom is fighting pneumonia-it surely doesn't help to have your dad being needy. Hope things turn around soon.

I need the other thread to know who to talk to!

Wah-blankness between my ears; )


    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 10:17PM
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Hello, please allow me to introduce myself. I am registered as hollyhock but you may call me Grace, if you like. I first discovered you guys/gals last Fall. I would check in every now and then and the more I did the more I realized that I had so much in common with all of you. I had meant to introduce myself much earlier, but always seemed to be in a hurry and got busy with the holidays and didn't feel right butting in with some of the other goings on. So I've decided I must not put it off any longer.

I won't bore you with a story of my life so I'll just tell you that I live in So Calif. My dh and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2005. We have a dd who is attending college in No Calif. I work part time as a Garden Coach and take a large part of the responsibility of caring for my 90 year old mother. We have a Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel "pound puppy" named Beau and a Gray tabby named Fiona. I have been gardening here on our suburban lot for about 23 years and am still changing/rearranging and learn something new everyday.

Before the Plastic Surgery topic gets too old I have a funny joke to share. Please forgive me if you've already heard it.

A woman visited her Plastic Surgeon and told him she needed a face lift. They discussed her options and settled on the procedure to be performed. After the surgery the Dr explained to her that he had installed a knob on the back of her head to help maintain her face lift. He told her that when she felt her face getting a little saggy all she had to do was give the knob a little turn. Well, she thought that was just the greatest, what could be better? Eventually she started to notice bags under her eyes and no matter how much she turned the knob the bags would not go away. She paid a visit to the Plastic Surgeon and explained her problem. After examining her he informed her that she had been turning the knob way too much because those were not bags under eyes, they were her boobs!

Anyway, I am really looking forward to getting to know and sharing with all of you.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 11:28PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi Grace! And welcome! Glad there is fresh blood happening here...


    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 11:36PM
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Hey!!! I know an awesome surgeon with an awesome staff with an awesome office!!!! Put me in for a eyelid lift and a transfer of boobage from anyone who wants to go smaller to me.

When I read Deanne's posts I get the feeling tht it's not so much about how you look, but how you feel inside. It is frustrating to lose a lot of weight but not the skin that goes with it. There's also a very real clinical reason to get it done -- excess skin (especially around the abdomen) can get seriously irritated under the "flap." Many insurance companies will pay to have it removed for that very reason. Maybe it's a NE thing, but I say if you get all the right information, interview several surgeons, have the money and time, go for it!

A good friend was in a very similar situation, had a tummy tuck and arm lift and feels 1M times better. To me, she doesn't look any different except for the distinct sparkle in her eye. If you'd like, Deanne, I can hook you to up via email.

Taryn: You Live!!!! I'm So Glad!!!! Enough time has gone by that I feel comfortable asking about the house situation. Have you hired a realtor?

Marie: Thanks for the camera info. Rich needs a replacement for his business but I'm learning that my needs are very different so we'll end up getting two cameras. Your suggestions led me on a cyber-trek and a lot of info I'll take to the videographer at work who also offered to help with the selection. Very Cool to have Talented Friends!

Welcome, Grace!

Sue: The clemantine sailed right over my head (I must be shorter than Babs) and into my business bag for a 3pm pickmeup. Thanks!!!

Mary: What a perfect remembrance choice! The comfort it will bring you cannot be underestimated.

Wind and rain woke me up this morning and the 49degF temps are going to melt everything and cause flooding. Since I'm heading to the mountains, today, (supposedly 50mph gusts at 1K') I'll pack a backup outfit.

Deanne: That restaurant sounds wonderful! I'm often in Wellesley, MA and next time, I'll write to see if we can get together for an early dinner.

Eden: Enjoy your time with Bella! My mom was 800 miles away when her grandkids were that small and she often says how much she missed all the "little" things that happen. She balances it out now by knowing that they are all intelligent enough to hold a conversation, none of them have been arrested, they all have great friends and do well in school, but in her mind, "there's nothing like ending up with applesauce all over your shirt."

EEEEEeek. Must run despite the early hour. Long ride this morning on questionable roads. Everyone have an upbeat day and this if for Sue (to the tune of Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime): "Every little debit has a credit ..."


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 6:21AM
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Wet, windy and warm! 57F this morning. Chance of snow later today.

I awoke with a headache. Not caused by sleeping with my glasses on. I think it was the 1 and a half lemon drop martinis that I consumed on a week-night. I went out with a friend that I haven't seen or talked with since before Xmas. She wanted to check Home Goods and have dinner and had found a new restaurant to try. We topped it off by swinging through Trader Joe's. A lovely evening in the middle of the week. I'm glad that I made the time for it.

Oh goodie, Eden is growing Adlumnia fungosa too! My Garden's North order came yesterday and that was included. I have high hopes for this one, even though I don't live in Norway. This one needs 3 months of cold, according to the packet, and think the refrigerator will be most reliable this winter. They were out of the Mirabilis multiflora that I had ordered, but found that on a new site Nice site, pretty good selection and inexpensive.

I can't remember what else was on the other thread. Read last night and now my mind is a blank... Oh, welcome Grace! Zone 10 huh? Do you garden most of the year there? Pictures from you could help those of us in the colder zones through winter!

Have a lovely day all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 6:26AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Martie, if you keep up the bad accounting jokes you'll become a liability instead of an asset. ;)

Welcome Grace, I like your sense of humor. Idyll 2007 will be in Southern California in the winter. Okay, just kidding before we scare you off!

Well, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go... on the train into Chicago overnight. Two long days at the trade show and back home tomorrow night. I don't promise to be coherent when I return.

Yikes! where did that clementine come from?


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 6:34AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Mornin¡¦ all!

Sue, I don't watch American Idol, as I get intensely uncomfortable for people when they make complete fools of themselves-on TV or otherwise. I couldn't carry a tune in a bushel basket, and get SO embarrassed when I get caught singing-no WAY would I go on TV and let Simon have a crack at me, lol! Thanks for the Clementine :) I envy you the veggie place. Was commenting to Jim the other day at the grocery store about the limited selection. Even our "big town" is a small town, so produce is limited to the same old run of the mill stuff all the time. They didn't even have scallions. Would be an hour or more to anyplace that would even know what a clementine IS, let alone have them.

Mary, What a wonderful thing for you to have to remember Susan by. I have to think she would be pleased by your choice.
We've watched Dirtiest Jobs a few times. The sewer stuff is just about more than I can take, lol! And, keep in mind, I'm not above wallowing in pig dung if the situation warrants. Somehow, there's a big difference (in MY mind, anyway) between human waste and animal waste. BLECH! I've also been known to leave the room, or concentrate really hard on my cross stitch during Fear Factor when they're eating something nasty.
Had to laugh at David's comment on your thighs...brutal honesty, eh? Cheer up--as they get older, you get younger. Now that the kids are past 18, I'm no longer an ancient relic-just more of an antique. I understand the kids--it's the DHs that baffle me. Jim's current pastime is giving me diet pointers. And, he's a good twenty pounds past prime himself. I try my best to take it in the spirit it's intended, and not give him a poke in his Pillsbury Doughboy belly :) Poor my husband--born without any tact whatsoever. He is truly proud of my persistence, just can't think of a good way to say it. Too bad there's not an event in the Olympics for the backhanded compliment--he'd bring home the gold for sure! For example-last night we had roast turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and salad for supper. I had a very small helping of potatoes, and BIG piles of veggies. His remark was, "I think you're nuts for not eating more of those potatoes, but I guess it must be working for you. Seems like a waste to be able to cook, then not eat it." What he meant was that I'm a good cook, and he can tell I'm losing weight...right?

Janie-best wishes for your Mom. Sounds like your Dad must be a pill to deal with :(

Hi, Grace..good to meet you, and thanks for the chuckle first thing in the morning!

Martie-I'll share with you-how much more top-heavy do you want to be?? My DD is always complaining about getting short-changed. I point out backaches, heat rash under the bra line, etc. Besides, I can remember when I was a little kid, we lived in the country and Mom let me run around without a shirt. When I was about six or so, she informed me I was getting too old for that, and I threw a FIT. My brother didn't have to wear a shirt, why did I???? Lol, ah, the good old days! Although, I guess it wouldn't be a good idea-what a mess to get tangled up under the mower deck ;)Besides, I'd get weird tan lines on the front of my thighs..he, he! Okay, that was a really LAME saggy booby joke.

Deanne-Ditto what Martie said re the surgery. With all the hard work and diligence you've shown, I wouldn't blame you a bit if you wanted surgery for yourself. I say whatever you're comfortable with is the way to go. I'm sure Doug couldn't love you more, either way, but sometimes it is about loving yourself. Either way you decide to go, I hope you know what an inspiration you've been to this "chunky monkey"! I think of you often when I'm contemplating a "no-no".

Cynthia-I'd much rather have a headache from a weeknight outing than from sleeping with my glasses on ;) Hope it goes away soon!

What, V---you're not "leavin' on a jet plane"??? Good luck at the trade show!

Not much new here. Still eating right, and slowly peeling off the pounds. Night before last, we had burgers and fries. BAD idea, as I had my burger on a bun and the whole nine yards. Woke up yesterday feeling bloated and hung over. Ate all the right things yesterday, and today I was awake at 5:00, feeling great. I've got a sister and a niece doing the same thing, and they're thrilled. We come from a chubby family, and most of us love to cook. Currently, I'm infatuated with Emeril, and tweaking some of his recipes so I can eat them. I've found that since I get the one really good meal, I want it to be REALLY good. Just wish there was a good source locally for fresh produce. My mind is already whirling with what veggies I'm going to plant in the raised beds next year. I'm glad that at least I like salads. Will take me a really long time to get sick of them. We've even got kale in the fridge for the first time ever. That's on the menu for tonight. Jim's got one of my crisper drawers full of BAIT, and I refuse to put anything I'm going to eat in a drawer full of maggots, no matter HOW tight their containers are. Hindsight is 20/20--should have gotten him a mini-fridge to keep his stuff in down in the basement.

Okay, I'm outta here. Another session of Animaniacs and the treadmill awaits me.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well it is pouring rain here today. So the snow we got a couple days ago is going to be gone by the end of the day. What a weird winter. I still havent had time to pick up a paintbrush yet this year and really have to get to it. Ive got a lot of things on the agenda that need to be accomplished.

Thanks everyone for all the good thoughts. I do appreciate it. Ill be saving up my pennies for my tummy tuck. I think it will be a lot more fun since this is going to be group plastic surgery. LOL I wonder if we got tables side by side they could do an instant transplant from the triple Ds to the gals who want a bigger cup size. Te he All kidding aside though, Doug wanted to know how come health insurance will pay for gastric bypass surgery, then because of the rapid weight loss most of those people have to have the skin removed and the insurance pays for that but when you do it without the surgery, lose it slowly, stay healthy so the extra skin doesnt cause infections, health insurance wont pay to have the excess tissue removed. So what is the incentive to lose weight through diet and exercise instead of gastric bypass? Something is wrong with the system.

Babs, I love the story of AJs friend and everyone getting drenched crossing the creek. Sounds like a lot of fun and the things memories are made of. Ill bet Aj remembers that day for the rest of his life.

Sue, you look terrific in whatever you wear. You are my ideal body type. I cant imagine that you hate what you look like in tops. Maybe Ill think about this for a while. I wonder if the Victorias Secret models hate something about their appearance also? ~~ Sorry Toms mom has Parkinsons. That must be difficult for everyone involved but 82 and still living in her own home is no small feat. Glad to hear Aunt Lou lives with her and is still doing well. ~~ Love the virtual fruit throwing thing. Thanks I needed a bit of sunshine yesterday.

Eden, love your seed list and thanks for the info on your success or lack thereof with wintering over caladiums. If you arent successful with them I dont think Im going to try again. You get dust and I get mush. ~~ I love the story about the ladies and their dog. How fun.

Jane I sure hope your mom gets well soon and that they dont send her home too soon. If they do she will probably start catering to your dad and set back her recovery.

V hope your busy week isnt too stressful. ~~ Your sons slide show from Guatemala sounds so interesting. Neat that he wants to go back.

Honey, you hit the nail on the head, I need to give it a rest! LOL~~ How is Bullet doing today? Hope he is eating more and improving. Surgery is pretty tough on the older guys.

Mary, Oh dear! I cant believe David told you that and then said it was OK because you are getting old! Oh dear, oh dear!!!! Id have probably locked myself in my room and cried for an hour. Everything is relative because you look perfect to me. And I dont think you are getting old either. Jeesh, I do remember thinking my parents were old when I was six or so and that would have made my mom 26 LOL ~~ RE the peony painting. What a very special treasure to remember your friend by. ((((Mary)))) ~~~ What a great photo and article about your DH. Fantastic! Kudos to him. Have you gotten all your reservations squared away?

Sue, I cant watch American Idol, the public humiliation horrifies me. ~~ Now, Mary, on the other hand I LOVE that Discovery show Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe is hysterical and it sure has given me something to think about. Some of those things you never even realized were jobs that someone had to do.

Cynthia, sounds like you had a fun time. I always love a trip to Home Goods and then to top it off with Trader Joes and martinis? Well that sounds about perfect to me.

Martie, you are 100% correct about the feeling good inside about yourself. It is a weird and subtle thing. Interestingly factoid, I lost the weight slowly enough so that the excess skin doesnt actually hang there, its just there and makes me look like Ive got a belly when in fact my abs are rock hard which drives me nuts. Ive never had infection problems with it because I lost the weight so slowly some of the excess actually went away. Anyway, my insurance wont pay for it because I dont get infections. It is strictly an appearance issue with me. And yes, Id love to talk to your friend about her surgery. Pretty scary for me as Ive not had surgery since I had my tonsils out when I was 5 years old. ~~ Definitely call if you are in the area and want to hit Surf for dinner. They are only closed on Monday evenings.

WELCOME Grace!!! You are going to fit right in here. ~~ LOL about the plastic surgery joke. Id heard that one too but the punch line was about her beard. Ahem

Brenda, great to hear from you and I totally understand about Dhs making unhelpful diet comments. When Doug would be eating the pasta or whatever, Id be eating a pile of fresh veggies with the tomato sauce instead of pasta and hed say that I probably wasnt losing any weight because I was eating such a large portion of broccoli! LOL Grrrr Also, his most famous, when I asked him if I looked like I was 53 on my Bday last year he asked me, "Whats wrong with looking your age?" Arrrrgggghhh!!!!! I had to explain to him he really should have lied rather than coming out with that remark. ~~ Anyway, I had to nod my head in agreement when you described having a food hangover! That exact thing happens to me if I eat foods that are too high in fat, sugar or have too much salt etc. People look at me strangely if I tell them Ive had a food hangover so I totally understand what you mean.

OK time to run, jeesh I take one day off here and it takes an hour to catch up.

Off to the gym,

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:26AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Welcome Grace! We can always use some new faces here. Glad you decided to come out of lurkdom. Gardening, pets,'ve already got the major bases covered. You don't join this group hoping to stay anonymous though. We will eventually show up at your house, trust

Speaking of showing up at someone's house, did we scare T off with threats of a 2007 PNW idyllunion? OK, T, you can come out now, we're going to CA instead.

It's 57 freakin' degrees F here this morning and very windy. Who stole January? I mean I can see a couple of abnormally warm days in a month but we've only had a few normal cold days and it's the 18th already. Looks like low 40s and sunny for Sunday-great GW winter gathering weather.

Martie, did you remember my auditors were coming in today? I can't believe I forgot the remote control fart machines. Hope they remember theirs. I gather you've figured out by now that V is a finance type also, as is Cynthia.

Babs, you were supposed to catch the clementine.

Mary, your science program just reminded me of some funny memories that happened during a camping trip we took in the mid 70s. My uncle lives in San Diego and every so often we would all go out there for group family vacations. In 1976 we went for a month and took my uncle's motorhome up the coast to San Francisco and back. I think it was my mom, my aunt and about 10 kids. The men knew better. Occasionally the holding tank needed to be dumped and it was always an adventure. Somewhere outside of San Quentin the hose let loose during the process and covered my aunt with raw sewage. Try not to laugh at something like that when you're 16. It was disgusting but you couldn't stop watching. At one other place, the hose clogged and my mom and aunt had to stand and massage it along to get it moving again. I remember them laughing so hard while they were doing that that they were crying. That was one memorable trip.

Brenda I have 3 brothers and used to run around without a shirt too. I probably still could and still blend in since many of the men I see nowadays need manssieres. lolol

OK, I think it's time for me to cut out of here. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi Grace, welcome love the joke!! Im not a regular I seem to just pop in now and then too but its a great bunch of people they dont hold popping or lurking against ya!

I confess Im a bit bemused w/ the 2 different threads and not sure whats happening where how now. . . . got my drift? I think Im idyll-challenged but Im trying "JUST IN THYME. . . ."

Deanne Im sorry youve gotten to the point where youve got to either go surgery route or re-adjust the real-time image of yourself in your head as Im sure many have told you, you look gorgeous but probably not the "gorgeous" you personally had envisioned bones, cells, etc., just are not cooperating but you are probably sooooo fit and sooo healthy and there is a sparkle in Your eyes too so maybe you need to visit that therapist first you thought of before you go the plastic surgery route? Im such a weenie when it comes to cutting on ones self I dont frown on it if thats what a person chooses but ouchie, ouchie it hurts a lot from everything Ive heard and not everything always goes just right I know a woman whos gone for a simple eye lift and had to go back 3 times because the surgeon didnt get it "right". . . .. So, as Martie advises, check it out big time before you leap. Personally, I think youre a tremendous gorgeous looking person and a real role model for the rest of us thin or chubby! And I think youve figured out none of us are happy with our perceptions of our bodies including those Victoria Secret models!

Brenda youre really in the power loser category with all that weight & willpower of cooking for someone else but not indulging!! Gardenbug too I am so encouraged that youve lost 10 lbs already I have started some of the miracle soup and trying to get in the swing of it have not hit the treadmill yet I dont know what my problem is I have one and not taking advantage of it! But I am determined this year so . . . .. (& Brenda p.s. Id have a Really hard time putting any food in the frig where theres bait & maggots! ugh buy that guy a freezer!)

Eden, its such a pleasure hearing you take such wonder in Bella I hope to be that kind of a grandma some day myself my mother never took much interest in my own DD and Ive vowed not to be like her

Hey Cynthia I woke with a terrible headache too I think its this wacky weather that we got the warm front in and in a few hours theres a cool front but its killing my head!!! And I got my January heating bill and was really depressed in spite of having turn the thermostat down more than 8 degrees during the evening & more at nite (where Im doing the pioneer thing w/ piling up the clothes & blankets to suffer) and nothing to show for it the therms were higher than last months(?uh?) and of course the prices was a whopping double higher!!

I had to work a long day on MLK day altho it was a firm holiday but my boss got a new client (high profile kind of thing) and we had to swing into action so I ended up working 9 hours that day so this week is in full swing for me and Im missing my day off!

Janie I hope your Mom pulls thru its tough but Im so glad shes just a short distance away so you can pop in all the time Ive had to go 3 hours away when my moms been in the hospital and thats been really exhausting running back & forth on the weekends. But it's so important to have family members at hospitals -- the patients just do not get the right care otherwise.

And I know Ive missed about another 5 people but Ive got to get back to work hope everyone has a pleasant and uneventful day (I have learned to love "boredom").


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 9:20AM
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It rained all day yesterday and now we've got snow. I greatly dislike winter.

Sue, I have a little clementine tree I started from a seed a couple of years ago. It's a slow grower though, only about 10" tall.

Janie, hope your mom's doing better and your dad wises up.

Cynthia, bad girl, sharing that new seed site, lol. I see a few things that look interesting. May have to place a small order later today.

Hi to everyone else and welcome to Grace. Glad to have you here.

Gotta go, it's Bella time.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Welcome Grace. Its nice to have new faces here. Dont let Sue scare you off, well let you get to know us before we show up at your door. LOL

DD called this a.m. to tell me that Kenzie is sick. 102 temp and a cough. She will take her in today. Poor baby.

The weatherman said this a.m. that this is the 29th day in a row with above normal temps and he expects to hit 40 days with what the future forecast is showing.

Last night I gave the bathroom its 2nd coat of paint. The color is certainly dramatic. I am one of those people that are afraid of color, but I am trying to get over that. After all its just paint. Hopefully, tonight I can convenience Rick to put up the new light fixture and the exhaust fan/light.

Mary, how nice that you will have such a special reminder of Susan. Cool article about your DH.

Sue you are sure in a good mood this a.m. considering you have auditors coming.
Darn, Rick is such a fruit lover that he caught my clementine. My bosses 85 year old father brings us treats to the office, his latest offering is peanut brittle. Hes not worried about our diets.

I havent seen American Idol or Dirtiest Jobs. I watch very little TV anymore. Usually HGTV when I do.

I know I have said it before, but for those who want to turn the thermostat down at night, get yourself a good down comforter. We love ours. We have it down to 60 at night and are thinking maybe we should go lower as we often get hot. The great thing is that you dont need piles of blankets.

Deanne, "Something is wrong with the system" you have that right. Our insurance just quit paying for physicals. Doesnt make sense to me.

Janie, I hope your mom is feeling better soon. Hopefully, they keep her in the hospital long enough for her to get a good rest.

Eden, your little clementine tree reminds me of when I was a child and was always trying to grow oranges, grapefruits and avocados. I guess that was the start of gardening for me.

Have a fabulous day

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 11:02AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Holy moly!!!! I think I'm going to get blown away and wind up at GB's. We are having sustained 40MPH winds with some gusting up to 60 or 70MPH... The Blue Hills Observatory recorded gusts over 85MPH... Hurricane force winds, crazy...

One of my bird feeder stands has blown over.

The coast of Maine is supposed to be getting worse winds. Hope Chelone is OK...
Martie, hope you aren't driving in this today.

OK I guess I'd better see if I can get to the grocery store without blowing away. Stay safe all.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 12:52PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Deanne is right-it is nasty out. In a poor strategic move I didn't bring my lunch today and just had to run out. It's raining and the wind is whipping the rain around. Temps have dropped into the low 50s. Half the traffic lights are out of order. What a mess. My first choice for lunch was Panera but I decided to go with drive through so I wouldn't have to get out of the car and ended up with roast beef sandwich from Roy Rogers and a most delicious navel orange left over from my foray to Veggie World yesterday.

The auditors stood me up. One of the partners sent me an e-mail just before lunch saying something to the effect that he was planning to come tomorrow and Friday and now can only come Friday. It's a good thing I still had his original e-mail that said he was coming on the 18th and 19th so I could use it in my initial response. I told him Friday would be fine-I'd pencil him in but was unfortunately unable to reschedule the welcoming committee. What a schmatz.

The boss went home sick. He was wearing out the carpet from his office to the bathroom. Why someone would come in at all if they felt like that is beyond me-especially when they have a 45 minute ride. Now I have nobody to pick on. To alleviate my boredom I decided to upload 2006 budget numbers into our accounting system. Wahoo!


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 1:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The freezing rain and wind melted overnight but now we have snow. Deanne and Sue, take note because you probably get whatever I've got the next day.

Here is what the wind did to one of our spruce in the windbreak: (This IS a colour photo!)

And this is from the front window today.

And this I thought would amuse Michelle. DS's friend took this photo in Chile not long ago.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 2:13PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good windy evening! The winds have actually died down here, but it was a real "blustery day" here earlier.

The guys in my house like the Dirty Jobs show too. My DS wishes that we had a septic tank so that the Honey Wagon would come to empty it. During the episode about the worm farm they went into great detail about how the worms ummm... propagate... and I was trying to signal my DH to change the channel or at least hit the mute button, but he was lost in fascination too. Luckily it went right over my son's head. The host does have a dry sense of humor, he cracks me up.

Michelle, glad to see you are feeling better. Janie, hope your Mom recovers quickly.

Hi Grace, and welcome! I was new here not long ago, and I still find it hard to keep up sometimes, but this group is a lot of fun. I love California. We took a trip up the Pacific Coast Highway with my grandparents when I was in junior high, it was just breathtaking. By the way, what is a Garden Coach? I have visions of someone urging the gardener to pull just a few more weeds, spread that mulch a bit faster...but I'm sure I'm way off.

Have to run, Town Meeting is on in the other room - they are discussing traffic improvements near me, which is a good thing, but it is in connection with a developer that wants to put in a mall down the street, and that's probably not so good.



PS - Martie - I'll bring my camera too on Sunday, but I'm still learning...I plan to take GB's advice and just take as many pictures as I can.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Good evening

Welcome Grace - its fun to have interesting new people join us. I too would love to know what a garden coach does.

Sue - your camping memories were very funny. Nothing like a little outhouse humor to make a trip memorable!

GB - your pictures made me shiver. You're a few degrees colder than us as we're still having mostly rain - yuk.

Oooooh - was that Deanne who just went flying by?

Cynthia - Lemon drop martinis? They sound delicious. Can you share the recipe?

Brenda - I've been thumbing the seed catalogs too this year for veggies. The pickling cukes, tomatoes and hot peppers we grew last year were such a hit with the children I'm expanding the veggie plot. I actually love growing things to eat, but the abundant and hungry wildlife discouraged me here. However, I'm going heavy on the herbs and onion family, will intermingle eggplants and squash with the perennials, and keep the rest within our pool fence - fingers crossed something will be left for us.

I had a thrill this morning when I checked on the pond. It was one of the few times the ice had comletely melted and I caught a glimpse of 5 of the 6 fish swimming slowly at the bottom. The pond had frozen over before I was able to get the supplemental winter pump going, and although I went out with buckets of water to melt a hole, there were quite a few days over the holidays when I didn't make it. The pond is too deep to freeze completely, but a build up of gasses can kill fish. Luck seems to have been on our side. How are your Koi doing Deanne? and I wonder about Sylvia's.

The good news of today was that we were able to book the requent flyer tickets to take Annie and David with us, and we are all heading to the Big Island of Hawaii on Feb 16th. I can't quite believe it. The first class tickets had to stay in our names, (yippee!) but I think the kids are old enough to manage in coach together. We have a couple of hide-a-beds for the hotel room, and I've just started reading about the island. There are some very cool sights, including Volcano National Park, botanic gardens, whale watching and snorkelling.

But before I get too carried away I need to head to the kitchen to finish dishes. Stay warm everyone.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No snow in the forecast here. The rain and wind have cleared out. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 40s F and sunny-still extremely unusual weather for January.

Wendy I forgot you were coming on Sunday also. This should be fun. Besides the thrill of the Logee's tour and chance to be in a greenhouse environment I think everyone is really going to enjoy the lunch at the Vanilla Bean Cafe. Cool place.

Mary, I have lots of funny stories about the '76 CA motorhome trip. We stayed in all sorts of crazy places and saw all sorts of things. In her younger days, my aunt was one heck of a tour guide. Just before Tom and I got married in 1989, we took a trip out there with my mom and a good friend of the family and went on yet another motorhome excursion through Laughlin, NV and Palm Springs. More funny stories...unfortunately my aunt and uncle have reached the age where they no longer have motor homes or do much traveling.

OK, I need an on-line shopping intervention. Tonight I came home to boxes piled up on the kitchen counter and Tom with this look like I've gone off the deep end. I do see that look quite often but not usually associated with the day's mail. The truth of the matter is places are almost giving stuff away right now and if I see something I like for cheap, I order. Once I started showing him how much I was paying for stuff he relaxed For instance one of the items was a gorgeous cable v-neck sweater from Eddie Bauer, original price $59.50, my price $12.59. See my point?

Mary, we're going to miss you at Deanne's party next month but it sounds like you'll be making your own "thumb your nose at winter" memories. What fun!

Oh geez, Tom is sputtering up a storm downstairs. Apparently Zoe's grazing in the newly exposed lawn just caught up with her and she puked all over his TV room. I think I'll just stay put until he gets it all cleaned up. Last week I got stuck with Nick duty for the same type of thing so it's not my turn.

That's it for tonight. Sweet dreams to you all.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Sue is bad influence, but saving me money. Just went to Eddie Bauer and bought two pair of the TALL button front jeans for $15.99 each!!! They're usually $54 and were on sale for 19.99 before the coupon. Why would they put standard issue stuff on sale? Anyway, if any of you go shopping at Eddie B, use the coupon code 'welcome' to get extra 20% off of the discounted price. Nice sweater Sue, but they were out of the off-white. Bought two pair of leather gloves for $15.99 each too.

GB, I kind of miss the snow and really loved your pictures. (But I don't want any snow.)

Mary, I read the article about your husband at the link, but was disappointed that I couldn't find the pictures! Are they not posted there, or would I have to join to see them? It is so perfect that you have that trip to look forward too.

Ok, it's too late for me, gotta go soak my neck in the tub, and shoulders are hurting from too much work. These short weeks are killers.

'gnight all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 9:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

From a friend:

During a BBQ a friend stumbled and took a little fall - she assured
everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and just
tripped over a brick because of her 'new shoes' They got her cleaned up and
got her a new plate of food - while she appeared a bit shaken up, she went
about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Her husband called later
telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00pm,
she passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ - had they known how
to identify the signs of a stroke perhaps she would be with us today.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he
can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. He said the trick
was getting a stroke recognised, diagnosed and getting to the patient
within 3 hours, which is tough.

Remember the "3" steps.
Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately the
lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain
damage when people nearby fail to recognise the symptoms of a stroke. Now
doctors say a bystander can recognise a stroke by asking three simple

1.Ask the individual to SMILE.
2.Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.
3.Ask the person to coherently REPEAT A SIMPLE SENTENCE like "Is it sunny
out today?"

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-9-9 immediately
and describe the symptoms.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify
facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the
general public to learn the three questions. They presented their
conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last
February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and
treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:32PM
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Wow. Thank you all so much for the warm welcome.

Cynthia, yes I live in zone 10, but that is kind of vague.
We tend to use the Sunset designations since we have so many micro-climates. We do garden year-round, but because of that I like pace myself. I plan what I want to accomplish for the year and then break it down into seasons. I do grow veggies year-round. In the winter I grow mostly lettuce, snow peas and green onions because those don't do well at all here during the summer.

V - While I do admit to being shy, you guys don't scare me one bit. I hope you have a good week and don't have too much to deal with when you get back.

Deanne - I like your punchline better than mine! I also have to tell you how much I admire you for what you've accomplished. I think you look great, but you are the only one who truly knows how you feel and if plastic surgery is something that you want to do for yourself then I think you should.

Michelle and Brenda - I really enjoy hearing about your farms. Both my parents were raised on farms and I have many fond memories of summer vacations there.

For those of you who asked, a Garden Coach is part Landscape Designer, part teacher. Initially I had thought my target client would be first-time homeowners who need to redo or start from scratch and don't know where to begin, but as has been pointed out on recent threads on GW they busy working and raising families. My best clients are empty nesters or retirees who have the time and a little means to accomplish what they want to do.

After interviewing a client and drawing out of them their likes, dislikes, wants, needs, dreams, etc. I design a garden for them and draw up a planting plan with key. I give them complete planting instructions along with a maintence schedule. Sometimes they like to work in phases, other times they do it all at once. I do my best to meet their needs while preventing, sometimes costly, mistakes. After the plans are delivered and everything is gone over I am available on a consultation basis. This is when I teach them about gardening, proper pruning techniques, fertilizing, mulching etc. As you can probably
tell, I am passionate about what I do and I have developed some very rewarding relationships with some of my clients.

Well, I think I have probably told you more than you wanted to know, so that's it for me tonight.

Hello to everyone that I missed.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:54PM
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I'm back to upright after braving the winds yesterday. On the road, watched a truck jackknife and my client lost a '77 Corvette to a tree falling in the middle of our meeting. Rather than go even further uphill and north, went back to the office until I stopped shaking. Today, all is well.

Here's a great septic tank company story: In college I met two guys who had been friends forever. They were business majors (like me) but one of them was set to take over his uncle's business. The business was septic tank pumping. It had some boring name and tag line. One night after exams when we were all "relaxing" we came up with the name "Four Aces Cleaning" and the tag line "A Straight Flush Beats a Full House All The Time." Though it wasn't Cynthia's martinis, the libation of choice that night helped with the creative :-)

There are so many of us with family in not-well situations. It is good to have so much cyber and real support, here. Before I get mushy and the keyboard ends up with tears on it, know that the good thoughts are appreciated, and sent, with affection.

Deanne: I'll call my friend today, get her to your Member Page, and have her email you. She's a hoot, her name begins with L., and you'll have a lot to talk about.

Weight loss is a strange thing. 25 years ago I weighed 40 pounds more than I do now, lost it over time with a change in eating habits, looked and felt 100% better, and now I'm challenged with trying to gain weight. My high cholestrol, fortunately, keeps me honest with veggies and other good stuff that I love, but try to put ON 5 pounds while watching saturated fat. The point, here???? The Victoria Secret models have nothing on us!!!!

Mary: Lots and lots of pictures, please!!! Can plants be brought to the mainland from Hawaii?

Yes, Sue, I knew the auditors were [supposed] to come and gained realization that there are others here who work with $$s and numbers. To graduate, I needed 24 credits of Accounting and got pretty good at it, but I like "what the numbers mean" far more than scheduling fixed assets or capital fund investments. Leave me to the road and kudos to those of you who stay in the office so I don't have to :-)!!!!

Ends up this has been a lot about me, but I so enjoy waking up with all of you. Can't wait for Logees and Deannes and the seed order I just *had* to put in from Cynthia's link. So much for growing only the standard bone plants this year. LOL


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 6:50AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

OK, I can't resist on the bathroom (?) humor ... Martie - I liked your tag line for your friend's business. It reminded me of the slogan on the back of a septic tank pumping truck we were driving behind in Barbados years ago (when I was auditing there...:-) It said 'We're No. 1 in the No. 2 business'.

Nice to 'meet' you, Grace...

Damp and green here - I'm getting worried about winterkill when winter inevitably returns. I'm afraid trees might be hard hit if all this warm weather has caused sap to start rising. A fast freeze could then cause a lot of split bark/trunks.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 7:45AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cynthia, I got the sweater in lime green and it's actually very nice-great with the tall black jeans I got from Ann Taylor Loft-$49 marked down to $19.99. Last week Eddie Bauer had a take 30% off the already marked down price and I also scored a pair of western zip boots. It is time to stop though. The spring stuff is out everywhere and heaven forbid I should be tempted by full price items. BTW, got any secret codes for Eddie Bauer outlet?

Good, I see we didn't scare Grace off.

Well I have a full plate this morning and have to run. If you're in the northeast, enjoy yet another March day in January-45 F and sunny today.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:09AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)


Deanne--what's wrong with looking your age?? Nothing, if you're 19, lol! I'm kidding, I'm comfortable with my age..outside of the moustache I'm suddenly sprouting. I told my beautician last time that I'm going to end up coming in there every couple of weeks, she can dip my whole face in wax, and do a peel off mask. I'm reminded of the moustache my grandma had...and it HURTS when you tweeze those hairs! All in all, a husband needs to learn when to lie! For what it's worth, I would not have guess that you are 53.
Glad you understand about the "food hangover"! I thought some of this stuff had to be my imagination. Weight loss aside, I can't remember when my skin has looked this good, especially in the winter. Gotta be the healthy oils and all the water I'm drinking. I've also had a couple of people mention that my eyes sparkle. Must be the feeling good thing. Whatever, it all adds up to "Life is good!!" :)

Sue-Love the motorhome stories! I was fortunate as a kid to be surrounded by grown-ups with a great sense of humor. I think that makes a big difference in who you turn out to be. I've never been afraid to laugh at myself...and I give myself plenty of material, lol!
Manssieres??? I thought it was the bro ;)
Gosh, ya NEVER tell someone who's losing weight about an online sale, lol! We've had boxes flying in the door right and left, too. The weight loss has given me a new interest in shopping for clothes. I think I'm about to wear out my old stand-by line when Jim asks me what something costs. I respond with, "Less than your fish house....have you used that yet?" Shuts him down pretty quick, but since I've been using that for over a year, I may need to come up with something else.

Cindy-I'm going to have to tell the kids that you called me a power-loser..they'll laugh their fool heads off :) They've been telling me what a loser I am for years, lol! I've had a really nice treadmill for a couple of years now, and for the most part, it's been ignored. I'm enjoying using it now, though.
RE-maggots in the fridge. Well, you want to be prepared when you open a margarine container around here, is all I gotta say. I just remembered that somewhere around the farm is a small fridge that we used to use for pig medicine. Gonna have to find that baby...I need my crisper drawer back!

Michelle-what's the word on Kenzie? Poor little sick cutie-pie!
Did you get your light and fan installed?

Mary, I can only imagine how far Jim's eyes roll back in his head when I decide I need to expand the veggie garden. Just a year ago, I downsized it to two raised I'm wondering if that was wise.....
I'm SO happy for you that you guys get to go to Hawaii! We'll be looking forward to all the details!

BTW, Sue, Sarah ralphed all over the rug in front of the kitchen door. She almost made it out. I need to improve my running time, I guess. Maybe it's that two second delay when I'm thinking, "is that dog gonna puke?" Just assume they are and run like crazy.

Bug-Once again, great pictures! And, thanks for posting the questions. I have a brother who had two strokes at a pretty young age. Even the doctors didn't know at first that's what was going on. He was fortunate and didn't have too many lasting effects. Nothing physical, and his speech is only affected when he's really tired. He has mentioned that his reading comprehension isn't what it used to be. That's really the saddest thing, as we're a family of readers.

Grace-Sounds like you've got a wonderful job, although I'm sure it has it's days.

Martie-great line for the septic folks! Amazing what a little "cranial lubricaton" will do, isn't it??

Glad to hear that the wind died down in the NE last night. They had a couple of clips on the news...what a mess!

Have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:56AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Gardenbug those pics re the tree so scarey! Who in the world do you get to cut fallen trees down for you? Here in the Washington area, its terribly expensive it can run anywhere from $600 upwards (& $600 is cheapo) do you guys do yourselves? And re the stroke questions Id recently seen that info and thought wow, how simple and important and vowed to try to remember those questions. Since I seem to be in line for a possible stroke w/ my genetic makeup etc and feeling like Im a clone of my mother who suffered a severe one 2 years ago, I find Im kind of haunted by the idea of having one myself now hence my vow to try to lose weight and get fit, finally . . . . so I forwarded those questions to family and relatives for them to remember for me!!!!!

Michelle I agree with you re the down quilts I bought one myself a few years ago and its wonderful my loverly dog Chloe cuddles in it too at nite but brrrr. . . . I still hate getting out of it in the morning when the house is under 60 degrees thats when one really hops around quickly!

Grace thats so cool a Garden Coach I meant to ask too thats really neat do you charge by the hour or by the project just curious. . . . I dont believe Ive heard of anything like that in this area most places you have to go to a nursery where theyll consult for a per hour rate (usually w/ a minimum set of $150) and/or a landscape designer, which is of course big bucks.

Sue all I can tell you is Ive had a keychain for decades that says "Born to Shop" and believe me, finding the internet has become a huge problem for my credit cards! The whiff of a bargain - aaah. almost as good as coffee in the morning.

Im envious of you guys going to Logees I get their catalogs and salivate every time really want to try growing some citrus and jasmine but think Im gonna wait to check the plant "budget"... plus Im really challenged to find places in the winter I only have one good south-facing window & everything live ends up in front of it which makes for a pretty crowded area in the winter.

Alrighty gotta hit the reality board here.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 9:20AM
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We did get the light fixture above the vanity put up last night. We also hung the new mirror and robe hooks. We didn't get the light/exhaust fan put up, but then I usually plan more than what can be accomplished.

We were supposed to have freezing rain last night, but it missed us:o)

Cindy, we have a programmable thermostat that raises our heat before we get out of bed. I think I am rather spoiled.

Brenda, thanks for the a.m. laugh. I believe the weight loss is giving your personality extra sparkle ;o)

Sue, I love to wear lime green. I just bought a new sweater this fall and it looks great with black. I also bought a cool bracelet and earrings that have a black finish with lime colored stones.

I am loving the septic humor.

Mary how wonderful that the whole family will enjoy Hawaii together. We always vacationed with our kids because I realized how quickly those years go. Im glad that all is well in your pond.

Grace, your job sounds very rewarding.

Marie, thanks for the info on strokes. LOL do you think old TVs would make interesting garden art. Gardening is one of the things that has lessened my TV time. Bummer about the tree. It looks like a fairly large one.

Deanne, maybe the wind will switch and send GB your way for your party.

Enjoy the day

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:53AM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

Afternoon I am going to be a bad idyller and post all about meLOL..I only have enough time while the oven cleaner is working. I am feveriously cleaning for my MIL to come tomorrow while Brad and I go on our mini-vacation. Anyone want to lend a hand?

Good news is coming in all over today!

I am officially off the nasty straight afternoon shiftwoohooa family life again!

My mom was released from the hospital this morning.ya!! But we are going to have to keep a close watch on her for awhile to see that she doesnt overdo it!!

My little man is going to be a published authorand is he a proud little peacock! He had to do a poem for class and the teacher submitted it to a contest and now it is going to be published in a hard-cover book. It is as followsLOL

My Place Is

Down in the basement
Thats where I hang out.
My computer is there
It is my favorite thing
Next to the computer
The playstation is waiting
Some games to keep me happy.
And out of Moms hair.
I could live in the basement
If someone brought me food.

My favorite place is at home
And my favorite room is the family room.

Brady W
Grade 6

Ok my timer is going off back to the cleaning

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 12:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Im being a bad procrastinator. I really have to get downstairs and get some painting done but it is sunny out and Im enjoying sitting in the sunshine in the dining room. Ill just have to write this post before I go to the basement. We lucked out and only had a few large branches down and one birdfeeder was broken when it went airborne in the wind yesterday. I found one of the feeders 25 feet away from the stand that it blew off of.

Jane, congratulations to your DS. Thats pretty neat! Good news on the shift change and Im glad to hear your Mom is out of the hospital.

Michelle, LOL that would be great if GB could drop in for our party next month. I cant get over how much you and Rick get accomplished. ~~ I love lime green also.

Sue, please send a link to that sweater you bought. I went onto the Eddie Bauer site and couldnt find it. You and Cynthia are enablers. I went to check out your sweater and found a red wool blazer. Ive been looking for a red one all season and it was a terrific price so Ill be getting a package from EB also.

Cynthia, thanks for the discount code. Where did you find that?

Brenda, so neat to hear how upbeat you are sounding. And very neat that your skin is looking great. I can tell that you really are feeling GOOD! LOL about nothing wrong with looking your age if you are 19! Te he. ROTFLOL about the moustache thing. I know it well. Id like to know how come middle age makes your hair leave your head where you want it and transplants it to your face where you dont want it. My DD bought me on of those tiny shavers for Christmas and it takes care of the problem without plucking them. I have a friend who has a most generous moustache and she tells a very funny story about having her lip waxed. Apparently her upper lip swelled up so much after it was waxed she looked like shed had a collagen injection. She said that by the time the swelling went down the moustache was back so she never bothered again.

Cindy, RE internet shopping, Im addicted to finding good stuff cheap. I resemble your keychain.

Martie that is toooooo funny. "Straight Flush" te he ~~ Im not surprised you encountered hazards with the driving yesterday. I was worried you were out in that mess. Glad to hear you made it home safely.

Grace, your job sounds wonderful! That way you can see that the designs you come up with for your clients are actually taken care of.

Bug, good info. ~~ So sorry about your tree. Is that the second or third youve lost from that windbreak?

Mary! Fantastic news that you are going to be able to take the children with you to Hawaii next month. Im so jealous. Doug and I have wanted to go back for ten years now. Maybe next year. ~~ RE fish, I dont have any koi anymore just the Shubunkin goldfish. They are all doing fine in their indoor digs. In another month Ill be more than ready for things to thaw out and get them back outside. If I ever build another pond it will be deep enough to winter the fish over in. This bringing them in for the winter is a lot of extra work.

Wendy, glad to hear you like that Dirty Jobs show too. It really is pretty funny at times.

OK time to get busy here and accomplish a few things and maybe get the bookkeeping caught up so I can start the next magazine article. Heaven forbid it should be done before the deadline.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 2:32PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

GB you struck a chord with me. Two days ago my second to youngest sister, Dorthe, who's 45, 46 on February 2nd, had a TIA, which is a mini stroke, which scared the heck out of all of us. :( When she called me at 2 a.m. her speech was noticeably slurred. She has Atrial Fibulation and Atrial Flutter, which was diagnosed about a month ago, after she collapsed at the gym, which makes a person more prone to stroke. She was on baby aspririn, as well as the heart meds, as a blood thinner to prevent stroke, but it was obviously not enough. Hopefully they'll up the blood thinning meds to Warfarin, or something similar today when she goes to the cardiologist. Also she is having a long list of side effects from the the heart meds, which is further interfering with her life. She has a ways to go before they adjust everything meds wise and she can again have some quality of life. She's my YMCA partner, but I don't know if that can continue. I'm going to miss her going with me, if she can't. Our family has known about stroke symptoms since being children, as my xmother had several mini strokes, after a heart attack, and died of stroke. We were told to get her to hospital quickly and keep a cold towel wrapped around her head. This article says that Brain cooling is supposed to protect the brain cells from damage, so maybe that's why we were told to use the cold towel.

Brenda you and me and your grandmother have the same affliction. I was surprised that I sprouted any hair anywhere, as I'm generally hair challenged. I have little hair on my legs and most everywhere else, except my head, thank goodness, including very lightly dusted eyebrows, which has seen, and is and will see, a bit of pencil for most of my adult life. So why didn't I grow normal eyebrows instead? I hate hormonal control. If I could afford it I'd try for laser hair removal and get some transplanted to my brow, lol. That would be my number one surgery. I'd go for all over lypo and a tummy tuck in the group surgery though. ;)

Deanne I have little hope of regaining a firm figure, and only consider surgery in passing, really. I have a hard enough time going to Drs as it is and to voluntarily go near one with a knife, freaks me right out. Even though Drs are what have saved my life, I can't help being paranoid, about giving them any more power over me. BTW I'm starting yoga again tomorrow at the Y, after many years of not doing it and will think of you as I try to pretzel my way to slimness. I hope I don't make too much of a fool of my big self. I'm always worried that they'll laugh their slim selves heads off at big lumpy me. But I go anyway. I'm very courage challenged as you can see. Between fight or flight response I'm flying every time, babe. lol.

Mary I'm glad you have mementoes and good memories about Susan. The peony painting sounds just perfect. Where would you hang it? I know you'll cherish your memories of your time with her, when looking at the painting and find many things to smile about, in time.

Sue be careful out there. Maybe you should have ordered lunch in. Your auditor sounds like a real charmer. I hope they're not all like that.

I finally got to sign on with my regular user name, and haven't had to sign up again and again, and this time my old hyphenated name didn't show up. I think they've 'fixed' things for now. Hopefully, as I'm reluctant to sign in every day. I wonder if that's why Marian hasn't been around much.

Hi everyone else and welcome, Grace. I'm off to the paper chase races. Stay out of the wind and weather and away from trees.


P.S. The link on strokes and why the damage increases after the stroke is interesting but technical.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 2:53PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

OK. all youse guys catching the sales out there Brenda, Sue, Cynthia, Deanne let me give you a tip. My DH always goes into a state of apoplexy when I march in the door with clothes bags. So heres the trick: Keep dry cleaner bags in the car for shopping emergencies. Then just slide the dry cleaner bags over the new items and bring them in the house. Your DH will never guess they are new. Then when you wear them and he says, "Is that new?" Say, "This old thing? I just havent wanted to wear it lately." Works like a charm!

Im much better. Man, the grey and dreary was getting to me. Even the snow yesterday lifted my spirits. Today, the sun is shining and its 48 yeah! I just came in from spending some time outside. I just putzed cleaned the debris from the storm drain openings in the street, broke up some ice in the drive, etc. Anything to be outside in the LIGHT. I heard on the radio on Tues. that weve only had 14 minutes of sunshine since before New Years! No wonder Ive got cabin fever!

Im a bit concerned about DH. He had to drive to London, Ont. for a 3:30 pm mtg. That means hell be driving back on 401 in the dark. Marie, Taryn, he said hed wave to you. Ill be glad when hes back safe and sound.

My, lots of posts yesterday. I got a call in the am and met some former colleagues for lunch. On the way home, I grocery shopped, then roasted a turkey breast for dinner, finished up a novel and listened while DH decompressed.

Sue, I started to post after reading a bit until I came to the part where you passed out strawberries in the ofc. I couldnt post until I had some that I bot yesterday. Yum. Thanks for reminding me. I didnt get any Clems, but did have the most delish seedless navel orange this am. I just cracked up over your camping story!

Poor Mary! Bless Davids pee-pickin lil heart for that assessment! Funny how kids come up with that stuff. Glad it didnt cut you to the quick! What a lovely thing for Susans Mom to do to offer you something of hers that was special to you. It sounds like you chose the perfect remembrance. Now, every time you look at that painting youll remember the good times and special friendship you had. Wow, great article of Hub on the Web. Your trip sounds like a dream! Pix, please!

Welcome, Grace. Yep, it does sound like you have a lot in common with all of us! Loved your story. Are you in the San Fernando Valley or farther south? Tell us, tell us.
I love what you do! I wish we had Garden Coachs around here. I think with a little advertisement, there would be many folks taking advantage of such a service.

Hey, was that Taryn? And Cindy, it was good to see you post, too. Wheres T?

Martie, I can contribute some extra boobage, too. Like Brenda, it runs in our family, except DD. Poor thing, she didnt get much to balance out the thunder thighs. Oh, Im so glad youre safe. That had to be a harrowing experience on the roads yesterday. ROTFLOLOLOL, re "A Straight Flush" Too funny. Oh, and Woody, that tag line you saw is hilarious, too!

Brenda, it sounded to me that your DH is jealous of your willpower and progress with the diet. Great going, girl, keep up your good work. Im somewhat stalled. Not being totally bad, but not being totally good, either. At least Im using the treadmill. I have some drop dead leather outfits I could wear for my bday in March if I got on the stick here and dropped some lbs. Id feel really great if I could get into them again. Perhaps I should try them on as an incentive.
No bait or maggots would be allowed in my fridge! My, oh my, you are tolerant. UUUUUGGGGGGGG. Get that man a fridge in the garage! Or stir fry some pine nuts and serve it to him. When he asks what it is, say: "I dont know. It was in the fridge! That might cure him.

Deanne, Bullet seems to be doing better. Thanks for asking. Hes back to his ole noisy self and interacting with us. He woke me up this again am "telling" DH to hurry up. They have a morning ritual. Bullet sits on the counter while DH showers. Then while Dh shaves with his left hand, he pets Bullet with his right. Its kind of their time together. As soon as DH turns off the electric shaver, Bullet sticks his head up and blinks his eyes for DH to wash the matter out of the corners with a warm cloth. Evidentially, DH didnt do a good enough job this am on Bullets left eye so he was told about it. It is a stitch to watch.

Cynthia, we just got a Trader Joes here and I have to try it. My friend made up a mix she got from there for cranberry/orange bread. It was wonderful. She also got some fixins for bruchetta that was also great. Sorry you got a headache from lemon drop martinis, but it sounded like a fun time.

Janie, great you checked in and your Mom is doing well. Sorry your Dad isnt much help. I loved Bradys poem. What a keepsake. How proud you must be that its being published! Hope you and DH have a great get-away. And great youre on Days again.

Marie, Im so sorry about your beautiful spruce! Thanks for the stroke info. I havent read that before.

Yeona, so good to hear from you too, and update us on whats going on in your life. Im so sorry about your DS. I hope she doesnt suffer any permanent damage and theyre able to adjust her meds to the perfect level. I agree with you on voluntarily going under the knife. Im going to age as gracefully as possible and not worry about all these wrinkles, etc. I am what I am.

Well, time to catch the news. TTYL,


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 5:27PM
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Hi there, I'm here.....reading. I've got both hands busy shoveling food in and no free hand to type with until this mood passes. :oP

I'll be back........


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 6:21PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, T - the vision -- are u using your nose put to "mouse" to scroll thru as you munch?

Yep, I find these idylls enabling of shopping, food, plants, and lots and lots of laughs and -- empathy when needed.

Yeona - Im so sorry to hear about your sister -- how scary for you and her -- I'll be thinking of you. Sounds like she's got a hard row to hoe, but there are so many more options for treatment these days -- those side effects are hard to bear though -- keep your chin up! How amazing the things one learns though - never heard of wrapping the head to keep it cool - wow -- definitely gonna file that one away. Good for you to be strong and go to the Y yoga classes - I think that's one of the things I like about yoga - it really is not a competitive "sport" and I see all types of body shapes and conditions in those classes; believe me, Im usually one of the lumpiest ones there!! But it's amazing how some stretching, etc. does to those lumps -- and the lump in the brain too - I always feel like I've stretched that one too.

Deanne, sounds like your home got off pretty well considering -- just some tops of bird houses. Poor Gardenbug -- you seem to have gotten the worst of it at your place -- it howled & got over 60/mph here in this area but luckily nothing close to me suffered any really bad damage. But I think all this rain we continue to get is not a good thing -- more supposed to come this weekend... Ihope all the plants don't rot away before spring!

Ok, guys - I have resisted the EB site -- altho I'd gotten a notice of their great sale/coupons the other day - really, really trying to hold back -- but I think some of us are gonna feel left out when you all show up together in the same sweater!!

Honey, I hope your DH arrives safe and sound, hopefully he knows the route well?
-- it's amazing what a difference of some sun or no gloom & doom makes one feel isnt it? Im practically bouncing around today -- it was 60ish, the sun was shining - I wanted to just leave work and not go back for the day - but duty called.

Ok, CSI is on - gotta go catch it - Im a faithful fan.

Everyone have a great nite. (P.S. I think I've got Spring Fever and Spring has got to be 2 months away... that's a long time to suffer a fever - what to do, what to do...)
Maybe we need more photo fixes.....?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Apparently we all are having freaky weather,and I for one don't like it. I can't tell you how many times in the past days that it's been over 60 after midnight and this is normally the coldest time of year..can't be good for the gardens and trees. ..or ponds..Mary..Thanks for asking about the koi. They are maintaining. This is the first year in the 24 years we've had the outside concrete pond that it hasn't frozen. We have the deicer in and it just floats around. Tomorrow is the record -16 degree on that date in 1994..what a year that was. My koi babies in the downstairs pool are just hanging. I never get close to them so as not to stress them and they huddle together.. even little Pinky who I rescued about 6 weeks ago from the floor. I am very fond of them. My Big Blackie has a swim bladder problem and props himself up in the side of the pond and where ever he is, Big Pinkie is beside him holding him upright..
I beat all you EB people w/ my Salvation Army stuff...This store is in a very affluent area and people must wear their clothes 3 or 4 times and donate them because I have found such bargains there. I see a lot of college kids and young yuppies there every time I go there. ..I might 've mentioned I donated a big bag last week and went to the front and bought more than I gave. All were R.Lauren, EB and Gap. Our EB store left our mall last year..
To all you w/ the egg toaster. Do you still like it? Went to Amazon and checked it out and wondered if it was a gimmick.
Mary..I'm happy you have a little closure in your dear friend's' terrible death w/ the peony painting. What a perfect choice for you.
I haven't read a lot recently but Deanne, relax and enjoy the great body you have..none of us likes the way we look. I think it was Sue who doesn't like her chest and I've wished all my life to be flat chested. I remember walking out of a clothing store w/ my first bra on when I was 12 thinking..I'll have to wear this harness for the rest of my life??? and I still feel like that and go w/o when I'm home.. My family has always been weird about weight. My parents were thin and would make unkind comments about "heavy" people we knew..behind their backs. As a result I was normal as a teen but then after DD was born and I was done nursing went on a grapefruit/hard boiled egg diet, and for over 25 years weighed between 100-105 and weighed myself always in the mroning naked before I ate. If it crept close to 105, I'd cut back. I was never anorexic or bulimic but obsessed. I threw away the scale..have none in the house and certainly went over the 105 years ago. I have three pair of similar jeans..Smallest are Gap, next size is Old Navy and the biggest is EB. Unfortunately this has passed on down the line. DD is a marathon runner and eats practically nothing but large salads and weighs about in that range altho at 5 '4"' she's two inches shorter than me. And DGD wears size 0 and extra small in shirts. She looks okay tho at around 100 but I watch when we eat to see any irregularities. There is so much peer pressure on to be skinny w/ the low risers they wear and the little T's...Man, I would love plastic surgery but probably would never do it. I would like a face lift and lipo around the hip area
Yesterday I scored a few choice things at auction. For a buck I got a cute wicker cat bed.. the kind w/ a hole in it. They all looked at it and walked on. I could strangle them .I spend so much in Foster/Smith cat stuff which they tend to ignore, so my limit in this was one dollar. And for three dollars, I got a huge handmade wooden birdfeeder which the squirrels will love. Speaking of. I have a wonderful pair of gardening gloves which were quite expensive but worth it. I used the right one to do something a few weeks ago and laid it on the bee hive. I saw it thru the window and planned to retrieve it the next day. When I went out it was gone and i know the squirrels carried it up to their nest. They've come on my porch and gotten in the pillows and got stuffing out . It's funny to see the fluffy polyester hanging out of the Martin Houses.. Eden,,Do you still have your pet squirrel? And my last purchase I really love.I got two very small concrete flamingos from the 20's. They are exactly like the big lawn ones of which I have two. They were covered w/ a garish pink paint. I scraped them both down to their original finish this afternoon and they look wonderful w/ great whitish patina...One of my big ones in the yard I got at auction for a few bucks years ago before they began being priced at $250 at garden antique shows. And my other one was out to the curb on junk day and I literally jumped out in traffic to retrieve it. It has huge glass blue eyes and was made in York in the 1920's...Probably put you all to sleep w/ my ramblings......Sylvia

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 3:15AM
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Good stunning morning!

Marie's info about strokes is something I didn't know but have committed to memory. Very Important Stuff!

A good thing about being "little" is I can't buy clothes without trying them on, first. Even brands that fit are sometimes just "off" enough to look stupid, so web shopping doesn't happen, here. Love the idea about the dry cleaning bags!!! Will need to remember that one given the blown garden budget ana promise-with-fingers-crossed to avoid the Petite section this Spring.

Love the bargains, Sylvia!

Eden: How are you and Bella hanging?? Whilst deleting some stuff came across the pic of her at Christmas and it was a much-needed smile.

A definite perk of being on the road is the ability to stop whenever greenhouses loom. Yesterday saw a huge one and figured it had to be pro. Being me, politely knocked on the door and it turns out that it is owned by a premier gardener in who grows for herself but also loves to share. She made herbal tea and showed me her 100 (at least) lav cuttings and I actually have some that she doesn't, so when I go back up there we have a date to lav-swap. She was so gracious -- I might not have been so nice to someone showing up asking: "I know you're not open, yet, but can I poke around the greenhouse?" LOL

Love the poem! Printed it out for Kyle who also lives in the basement. Don't know if at 19 it's his fav place, but boys are boys are boys ....

Keep going with the weight loss/shaping up, everyone! Made Marie's soup last night and splurged on bread with Real Butter. It's all about balance :-)

Janie: All good thoughts are continuing toward your mom and the rest of you.

Toward Kenzie, too!

Need to find something to wear to the office Holiday party tomorrow night that I didn't know about until yesterday. Notice came out before I started working there and an email yesterday reminding everyone to "get a room at half-price and stay safe" prompted me to ask ... Seems that everyone thought everyone else has told me about it and wasn't going to go, but the sweeties I work with insisted. Rich isn't happy about a party on Saturday night and Logees on Sunday, but "Oh Well." I'll make really sure he gets a new Lemon Tree plug on Sunday and all should be smoothed out.

Running to the mountains, again. It was absolutely gorgeous on the road yesterday -- sun roof open and the Vit D pouring in!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Morning all,

Well, my attempt at getting up early only netted my getting up at 6:30. I just cant wait until the sun starts coming up at 5:00. Then Ill be up really early and wont lose my mornings stumbling around the house trying to wake up. But, I can definitely tell the days are getting longer, especially in the evenings now because there is still light on the horizon at 5:00PM.

Today Ive got to water all the orchids and the plants under the lights in the basement. I did the plants under the lights upstairs yesterday and it looks like one of my brug cuttings is getting buds on it!!!! Now wouldnt that just be the neatest? The banana plant Sue gave me last summer is looking really good. It was pretty sad for a bit after I brought it in but it has perked up and now has three pups. I didnt realize it would do so well in the house. A few of my fuchsias were looking a bit sad in cold storage so Ive brought them out and put them under the lights and they are growing like mad. Im planning on starting a bunch of cuttings next month. I cant get enough fuchsias it seems. The two standards I started last year are alive and well so far and the big surprise was the nemesia that I planted at the feet of one of the standards is also alive and well. Now that surprised me because I didnt know you could get nemesia to winter over in a dark basement. The big surprise is that one of the Pretoria Cannas has thrown up a lovely new leaf, in the dark! Maybe it knows spring is coming?

Sylvia, Im so happy to hear that all your fish are doing well. One of my oranda goldfish, Spanky, also has a swim bladder disorder and he either winds up floating upside down on the top of the tank or laying on the bottom. Seems awful for him but it really doesnt seem to bother him much.

Cindy, Ive definitely caught spring fever and like you said, this is way too early for it. They weather guy said that it is supposed to be down to 18 degrees tomorrow night again so we are back in the winter weather. Im really worried that the extremes of these warm/cold cycles are going to kill a lot of plants. Fortunately most of my gardens are raised beds so I dont have to worry about losing things to the extreme wet conditions we are dealing with. But who can tell what these freeze thaw cycles are going to do. I do know the rodents are all very active out there and usually they are dormant this time of the year. I found a huge new hole in my mailbox garden yesterday and that means that none of those tulips are going to be there in the spring. Grrrr.r.

HI T. great to hear from you. Hmmm. Have you tried your FitDay software? I find if I force myself to write it all down it puts a lid on the OCD eating thing. Hope the mood passes soon and you participate here more often again.

Honey, I just LOVE the story about Bullet and your DH. It sounds like they are as bonded as Doug and Rahjii. ~~The dry cleaning bags trick would not work for me because I never take things to the cleaners. Doug always does that so if I came in with dry cleaning bags he would know for sure that something was up. LOL

Yeona, sorry about your DS. Youve had a tough time the last several months. How is your other sister doing? ~~ Never worry about what anyone thinks of you in a yoga class because they are all too busy focusing on themselves and their own poses and relaxation. I was surprised at how little time I ever spend looking at anyone else in class. Im too busy trying to keep up with the instructor.

Martie, no web shopping? Id have withdrawal symptoms. ~~~ Im in a quandary as to what to wear to Dougs companys holiday party next weekend too. This is going to be in Boston on the harbor at some shi-shi hotel so needs to be pretty dressy. Decisions, decisions. ~~ Enjoy your driving today I think it is supposed to be sunny for the AM hours anyway. OK time to get myself to the gym. Today I have to do my ab workout, an hour of cardio and then a half hour of lower body strength training and it isnt getting done sitting on this computer.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:34AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning!

Michelle-I'm like you...I line up more than we can hope to get done in one session. Guess I wouldn't want us to be standing around looking at each other wondering what to do next, lol! I do the same thing to myself, though.

Janie-I really meant to help you out cleaning your house yesterday, but........tackled my own filthy mess. I was QUITE impressed with the dust buildup in the living room. Don't know how long it's been since everything was taken off the entertainment center so it could be dusted properly. that process, I found some movies that I forgot we had! I'd never be able to rest on vacation if my MIL was house sitting, lol! I could spend a month cleaning, and the first thing she would do once we were gone would be to clean. We're a very "lived in" kinda people. Enjoy your mini vacation!
Congrats to Brady on getting published!

Deanne, I'm glad to hear you didn't have any major damage. What a weird winter it's been!!! Last night on the 10:00 news, the lowest local temp was 48. Jim is fit to be tied-he just knows there's not going to be any ice the rest of the winter. Personally, I'm betting on a late spring.
Hm, may have to look into a tiny shaver for myself. What a pain! Actually, as the beautician was about to rip the wax off my lip, it occured to me that if I had a bad reaction to getting my lip waxed, I was going to look really odd. I figured I'd come out with a blazing red moustache--and at my age, it would be a little hard to pass off as a kool-aid 'stache ;) When I saw how fast it started sprouting back..well, I just don't see me ripping wax off my face often enough to keep up with that!

'Bug, I got so caught up in the great composition of your photos, I forgot to send my condolences for the tree. How will you ever get it out of the windbreak?

Yeona, I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. My brother went through such an ordeal getting his meds and stuff settled. He's on Cumadin (sp) and I don't know what else. And, they've yanked him around so much about his diet. He not only had two strokes, but also two heart attacks in the span of a couple of years. The crazy thing is that he was more concious of his diet before the strokes and stuff than any of the rest of his sibs. They started him on a low fat diet...10 grams a day. Geez, read any lables, and you'll soon find out there's a whole lot of stuff you can't eat. Then, after the second heart attack, they totally changed their minds about what was okay for him to eat. This time, it was more geared toward keeping his insulin levels down. And, they told him that cooking with olive oil was no good..something about heating it changes the structure of the oil and makes it not so good for you. I don't know for sure that THEY know what they're talking about. A person does have to eat SOMETHING, and a diet with a whole bunch of crazy restrictions is just setting someone up to fail, IMHO. I'm gently trying to persuade him to read the carb addict book. It focuses on keeping your insulin in check, but I eat really well, and don't feel the least deprived. He's not really receptive to it, he's tired of jumping through crazy diet hoops, only to find his cholesterol and tryglicerides not responding.
LOL, we DO have the same affliction re hair. I'm not a hairy person at all. It's all above my shoulders :) I grow just enough on my legs to have to shave them. If I could SEE in the shower, it would take about two seconds to shave what needs it, and skip the rest. My best friend was stunned to find out that for most of my life, I didn't shave my thighs. That poor girl has dark hair everywhere...except on her face. No moustache for her...yet!
BTW, my aunt has always had really sparse eyebrows. She penciled them for years. She finally went a couple of years ago, and had them tattooed on. And, they look really good! You'd never know they weren't real hairs. I'd be terrified to do that...what if your tattoo artist wasn't any good?? Anyway, she's really pleased with them.
Good luck with the yoga, and don't worry about what the skinny people are thinking. As they say, dance like no one is looking--or pretzel like no one is looking, rather ;)

Honey-I didn't buy anything at EB. I'm right on the verge of being out of the plus sizes. Guess there's no sense in buying a bunch of clothes I wish I was fat enough to fit into, lol! Nice idea with the dry cleaning bags! Never work around here--if I came in with dry cleaning bags, Jim would panic, assuming there was a wedding or a funeral to go to. We're mostly jeans and t-shirt people. I have scored a few new T's on Ebay for dirt cheap. My favortie is one that says, "Positive manifestation from groovy meditation" All have been a size smaller, and I've resisted my pack-rat nature. Every new thing means getting rid of an old thing. I have lots of new dust rags now.
DH home all safe and sound??
Hey, did they have turkey breast on sale where you live, too?? The one I roasted the other night was just too yummy. Ya gotta go to the food network website, and check out Emeril's essence. They have a "recipe" for the mix of spices, and it's SO good. Kick it up another notch....BAM! Yeah, I am watching WAY too much Emeril. Gee, do I spend money on clothes or Caphalon cookware?
THANK you for noticeing how tolerant I am...Jim would beg to differ with you. He thinks I'm terrible for making him segregate his bait from the rest of our food. The mini fridge has been located, and now I just have to get him to lug it down in the basement. ROFLMAO..the pine nuts idea is just priceless! Especially since I'm pretty sure he's never seen a pine nut in his life, so he wouldn't have a clue!
Gosh, I can't imagine being coordinated enough to shave with one hand and pet an animal with the other.

Okay, T..if both hands were shoveling food, what WERE you typing with?? Talk about coordinated!

Sylvia-We've got a pretty good Goodwill store not far away. I need to go check them out. I can never get jeans there (none long enough), but there's a lot of stuff that's either new or practically new. Jim likes me to get his jeans there..he hates breaking in new jeans, and tends to wear them until they're just indecent. I have to literally cut his clothes up to keep him from dragging them out of the trash. He takes great pride in dressing like a hobo :(
It's good to keep an eye on the youngsters re their weight/body perception. My 10 year old niece mentioned to me once that she was on a diet. I parked her little fanny on a kitchen chair and gave her a good talking to. She was trying to skip meals. She's a solid girl, but by no means overweight. We had a talk about making good choices, and how important it is to eat. As a young adult, I did the starvation thing to lose weight. Would sometimes go 3 days without eating much of anything. Not at all a healthy thing to do. There's just so much focus on being thin as a rail, and to be worrying about it at 10 years old is just going too far.
Sorry to hear about the gardening glove..that's a bummer. I'm terrible for leaving things laying around outside. Last year I bought a pair of Bionic gloves. They're wonderful! I hate wearing gloves, but these actually feel good, and there isn't much I need to take them off to do. I guarded them with my life, and managed to keep track of both of them the whole season. I even know where they both are right now :)

This morning, I'm slow cooking some chuck roasts for vegetable soup. I'm cooking up meals for my friend Diane. We exchange Christmas presents late, so this year hers is going to be a new suitcase that she desperately needs...filled with frozen meals. I still haven't found the kind of containers I want to put the stuff in, and am thinking about a seal a meal kind of thing. Will make that call when I go shopping for the suitcase this morning.

Tomorrow I've got 5 kids for an overnighter. Three of them being triplets...I think they're around 5 years old. As I get older, I get worse about knowing how old the little ones in the family have gotten to be :) The dogs are going to LOVE it, because everyone will be crashing in sleeping bags on the living room floor. I've already been warned to keep an eye on one of the boy triplets...he's a button pusher. Just can't help himself, I guess. That reminds me, I might ought to unplug the paper shredder, lol!

Okay, gotta get dressed and head to town. The house smells of beef, and Gus is sitting in the kitchen keeping an eye on things. He knows what the roast thing is all about, and leans on my legs while I'm pulling it apart, waiting for scraps. He also dearly loves vegetable soup! What a spoiled dog-my MIL and Jim have all but ruined that dog. He goes with Jim in the mornings to do chores, and they stop in for a cookie at MIL's. She makes him sit, shake with both paws, and then lay down before he gets his cookie. Now, he can't even follow commands. He just automatically sits down, paws you with each paw, then throws himself to the floor. I'm working on un-doing it, mixing up the routine. Of course, you can just tell he thinks I'm an idiot, because I'm not doing it right, lol!

Have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:09AM
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Only 58 days until spring! 2 months. 8 weeks. And feels like spring now, even thought it's 36F. Sun is out, and after reading Deanne's note, I took a trip to the gh because I haven't watered in weeks. I do keep things dry, but it was a little too dry in there with all the warm weather we've been having.

Hope that you all have a spring day in January!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:12AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Before I forget...


And what a beautiful day too. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only January 20th. Even though you know the other shoe is going to drop, it still isn't going to be easy when it does.

Brenda, I had to laugh at the dog story. Before Nick came, both Zak and Zoe thought "sit" meant you sat down then extended your paw.

Honey, good idea about the dry cleaning bags but most of my shopping these days is mail order. What are the chances I can convince the companies to disguise my packages as bills? BTW, I got an e-mail from Coldwater Creek this morning-outlet stuff down to like 85% off.

OK, auditor just showed up-gotta run.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:50AM
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Good morning

Sylvia - so glad to hear your fish are all still with you. Great bargains! I can't tell you how many gloves I've lost putting them down then forgetting too late where they are.

Brenda - a suit case filled with frozen dinners is a fantastic present. Is you friend another farmer? Enjoy the sleep over guests!

Honey - lovely to hear about Bullet. I was wondering how Ruth is - do you get to see much of her in non-garden season. Perhaps you could twist her arm for IU3!

Michelle - as another shortie I agree, there is no way I'd ever buy clothes without trying them on first. Same for shoes as my extra wide, bunioned feet are very hard to fit. My web browsing is limited to books and seeds. I don't even buy plants on-line, somehow I like to see what I'm getting before parting with my money, though I'm rather tempted by Chalk Hill Clematis this year.

Deanne - the early mornings are hard for us too right now - and I'm usually a morning person. Annie's alarm goes off at 6 AM and we're all dead to the world. Even when she leaves the house at 7 AM it's still pitch black out. The evenings are starting to get noticably lighter, but the mornings here seem just as dark. I guess I hsould take comfort in Cynthia's spring countdown

Hi T - come back and visit some more. Are you getting lots of rain?

Cynthia - the photos on the Global Traveler web page are not coming up. They are all in the print magazine but I haven't been able to view them on-line either. I'll let you know if they fix it.

Deanne and Martie - I'm sure finding a party dress will be easier than having to shop for a swim suit which is what I need to do - groan. Somehow stripping off under harsh changing room lights in the winter is misery. My existing swimsuit is in shreds from year round hot tub use and definitely not fit for public. I'm going to steel myself and take my old, fat thighs to Marshalls this afternoon to see what they have to offer. Perhaps something with a built in skirt.......

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:50AM
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I've been a lunchroom monitor for two months now. I just found out I get PAID to do it!! Gee and I thought I was just volunteering lol.

Craziness abounds here. I'm now working on the teacher appreciation luncheon which is during the last week in Feb. I'm making the table centerpieces again. I'm building structures from Duplo blocks that will be decorated with several type faces of words pertaining to "Building blocks of character,compassion, & values". The center of the pieces will have candid photos of the school kids popping out the top. Hopefully they don't look too zany. Today I will be playing photographer at school.

Good to see you Yeona!!

Mary I am so sorry you have to look for a swim suit-I hope you find the perfect suit. If you really think you need the cover for your thighs see if they have those sarongs that tie over the hip. I just can't picture you as large as you describe....then again we won't talk about the weight that I keep gaining-I'm really getting alarmed. I'm trying to stop night time snacks and no wine as well as cut back on my serving sizes-I think I have been increasing those and over time it's paying its price.

Good to see Sylvia! Ramble on! I'm smiling about the garden gloves-though I'm sorry you've got half a pair now. Mine were safely flung onto my screened in porch and I keep thinking I need to put them away. Your story reminds me of when my neighbor used tinsel garland a few yrs ago at xmas and the squirrels swiped the garland and used it for their nests! Every so often I find bits of it in my yard.

Don't mean to blab and run but I need to get a move on. Hi everyone!


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 9:56AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Babs, I would HOPE you would get paid to be a lunchroom monitor-it's gotta be an interesting experience. What grades are eating together?
The teacher appreciation centerpieces sound so cool! You do the neatest stuff!

Mary-No, Diane isn't a farmer. We go WAY back. We met in 5th grade. We started running around together in high school, and have worked together at 3 different places. We both got hooked up with losers, and have been friends through getting RID of said losers, being single moms and the whole bit. We're both tomboys, and her family owns a trash collection business. She goes back and forth between the office and running the recycling route. For her 40th birthday, we went to the nearest decent sized city, and spent the weekend in a nice suite. Drank wine, played backgammon and listened to music from back in the day. It became a tradition, and since the hotel looks a little like a castle, we dubbed it Princess Weekend. One of those ironic names, as we're neither one very princess-like ;) Anyway, we do that in January and July, and have extended it to a three day weekend. Sometimes we go shopping, sometimes we just hang by the pool and hot tub. She's a NUT, and just the most fun to hang around with. She nick named me Boom Boom in high school, and to this day, her entire family calls me Boom. Yeah...whoever it was looking for the "boobage" me out here, lol!

Okay, didn't mean to turn that into such a long story about Diane not being a farmer ;)
The phone isn't currently ringing, so I'd better bolt out the door. Had meant to be to the store and back by now.
Later all!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 10:38AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Well, isnt this just the craziest weather?!! Its 50 out and sunny. Its supposed to rain tonite and then turn to snow with possibly 4-8" by tomorrow am but then go back up into the 40s next week. I got outside this am and weeded my Lamium bed. I cant ever remember the weather being this mild in January. As Sue says, tho, Im sure this is just a temporary reprieve.

Well, the good news is that despite being bad yesterday I found a piece of chocolate in the cupboard and caved I dropped 2 lbs. And this am I tried on one of the leather pants outfits and I was only able to get the pants up as far as my knees. So no hope there. The taupe suit however, might be possible. The pants have an expandable waist. I dare not sit in them now b/c the hips arent expandable, lol. I can snap the jacket, but its tight. The jacket is trimmed in taupe suede and fox. It might be a bit out of date, but if I can fit in it, Ill wear it. I wonder where the taupe sweater is to go with it? Trying on those outfits did inspire me to stick with this diet. I'm glad I did it.

Babs, your centerpieces sound fabulous! How lucky they have you to do it again for them this year. Youre so creative. Bonus that youre getting paid as a monitor!

Deanne, too bad we live so far apart I have an entire wardrobe of really nice stuff you could select from. I only weeded out sizes 4, 6 and 8. I cant believe I ever got down to size 4 yikes! I have a small fortune in "dressy" and "nice casual" clothes from the job. Now I only wear sweats, jeans and t-shirts. In fact, since I retired, Ive only had pantyhose on 5 times! Now thats simply the best!

Sorry about the wind damage. Its maddening, I know. We had some earlier this yr and lost a whole panel of lattice on the side of the deck. The Clematis that was on it is laying on the ground. Dont know if it was damaged.

Mary, I dont see Ruth as often as during gardening season. But we email from time to time. In fact, we exchanged one this am. Shes really been busy running with the boys and working. Ive already tried to convince her to come to IU3. If any of you guys stay the nite before or after, Im sure shell come over to visit and a sip. Oh poor you, having to try on bathing suits. That's the pits. But just keep focused on the reward for doing it!

Ooooooo, Coldwater Creek is having a sale? EB sales, too. Gotta be good, gotta be good, gotta be good.

Brenda, Im so sorry you dont have good fresh produce at your markets. Luckily ,thats one thing we do have here is lots of fresh produce. Ive got to run to the store today for some fish and salad greens. They came in fresh yesterday.

I still have to do my treadmill thingy and then hope to start a project today. Tomorrow or Sunday if the weather is bad Sat., DH wants to go to the local dog show. Were not planning on bringing anything home, but theyre supposed to have an agility show wed like to see.

Well, Im off to get this day underway. Hi to anyone I didnt specifically address! TTYL.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 10:56AM
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Thanks for the good thoughts for Kenzie. She has an ear infection. So no swimming lessons last night. Her mom said that she seemed to be perking up, but then she barfed. Babies, you gotta love them. (Kind of like dogs huh?)

Jane, how neat for your son.

Yeona, sorry to hear about your sister. I hope she can recover completely.

Deanne, it may sound like we get a lot accomplished, but not much has been done in the last 9 years. When Rick and I got married we did a fair amount of redecorating, but with 3 kids in school we kept busy with their activities and just enjoying them. Now that they are out of the house I realize that there is quite a lot that has been neglected. So I am just trying to do a major catch up.
I too am enjoying the extended daylight in the evening. Jaden and I took a long walk on the road today. (The only area that is totally ice free) I have a canna in a pot this winter and it is looking pretty good. It sure sounds like your plants are doing quite well.

My DH doesnt mind a bit if I buy clothes or things for the house. In fact he is sometimes an enabler. Isnt he great?

T, I hope the "mood" is past.

Sylvia, LOL about the harness. I remember being 13 and everyone else had a bra. I wanted one so bad but my mom said I had no need for one yet. How wise she was.

Martie, your recent greenhouse adventures are very interesting.

Brenda, what a unique Christmas present for your friend. Ill bet she loves it.

Mary, I think you were referring to Martie being another shortie. I stand about 58". I dont clothes shop online either. I need to try things on. I was never a catalog shopper either. I feel for you that you have to shop for a swimsuit. I hate that task.

Babs, I think lunchroom monitors definitely need to get paid ;o)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Grace! Sorry I didn't greet you sooner! Welcome to our idyllic group.

Normally I would think the LRmonitors get paid too but for some reason I thought our school dropped that due to money cuts-though it was a few years ago; I thought that cut was still in effect. Anyway it's cool and I'm not going to question it. When I was up at school taking kid pics I was begged to stay to help monitor(I've only been doing it one day/week....I have a feeling I will become a fulltime lunch monitor soon enough). Who asked what grades I watch? Well we don't have a cafeteria so I'm assigned to the fifth grade & second grade classrooms(alternate lunch times)and I monitor 4-8th & 1-3rd alternately on the playground. I've also watched the K-garten here and there. Ryan loves being with the kids and they seem to think he's pretty interesting-even the older ones. He'll know the place like the back of his hand when he's in Kgarten next year(he's also in good with the principal: )

Michelle-poor Kenzie! She's been a sick little baby for so long. This is her first ear infection? Does your DD handle sick cleanup well? I remember the first time Aj spewed I did toughen up through the years but I do remember being weak kneed that first time or two.

BTW since I'm being egocentric today; ) Do you want to hear about my root canal tooth? Everything is done now except instead of doing a veneer which essentially weakens the tooth my D.D.S. is going to bleach the interior of tooth(!) If it doesn't work well he'll do the veneer. I go back in 3 weeks. I know you just needed to know all that: )

I'm waiting to hear if Mary found a suit. Do you know(I know you don't)that I actually sewed a bathing suit for myself in High school? I could never do that now-since there's a whole lotta stuff to hold up and hold in and reshape and well it would take years to perfect a suit that could make me look three sizes smaller and ten years younger...: )
BTW I keep forgetting to say I loved the write up of your DH winning the contest. I like his mindset very much about seeing and learning about the different cultures/land/people through his photography. I did see one pic when I clicked your link of a dramatic sky and a person walking along the horizon-his pic? I thought it was amazing.

Dinner calls...Oh I have to MAKE it.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 4:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm just back from 2 days in Toronto on 'social work' call for a friend whose DD announced she is gay. I've read some of what I missed here, not all though. Have company til Sunday. DH has to talk to me about 'Pensions and Benefits' as well as talk from our income tax lady. And on and on. I'll try to stop in again soon. I have plans for painting the kitchen AND cupboards. I'm nuts.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 4:55PM
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Hi again

Babs - yes I did score a swim suit - two actually. The beach Gods must have been smiling on me. I found a simple, deep blue one-piece for $19.99 and a blue flowered sarong to coordinate for $4.99. Just for grins I also tried on a tankini. I thought my two-piece days were long gone, but the top goes over the shorts bottom, and even bending over there is no mid-riff showing (definitely a plus!). For $12.99 it was a real bargain adn could come in quite handy. Hawaii - here we come!

I too made a myself a swim suit in 4th Grade. It was a bikini made out of towelling with a sixites style daisy print. It was moderately unflattering on, and once wet baggged out down to my knees. Even so, I remember being enormously proud of it.

Babs - glad the root canal is almost done. My sister Ruth had a tooth bleached from the inside and it came out really well. What fun to have some unexpected money - will it go to a plant budget? I know David would love to have you as one of his lunch monitors. He does a very good impression of them at his school - I think officious is the best word to describe them.

Michelle - I thought as I was writing that you didn't look particularly short in photos! Hope McKenzie's ear get better quickly. I can remember some very long nights nursing a bad ear. Fortunatley anitbiotics kick in very quickly.

Honey - what fun to go to a dog show. I love watching agility too.

The photo on the Global traveler web site is one of DH's. The rest are not coming up on that link - I can give you another to see more of his pics if you are interested.

Well, dinner is calling here

See you on the next thread


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 5:38PM
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