#347 Happy Idylling 2008!

babs_clareJanuary 3, 2008

I hope I'm not stepping over bounds since I have been a very absent idyll but I'm starting a new thread so I can say hello: ) and Happy New Year!


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...So anyway,How's it going around here?
I see that Deanne's brother has an injured hip-it sounds pretty bad I hope he's starting to improve. Is this something that involves a fracture? I do hope everything will be OK.
I probably sound like a broken record but I enjoyed seeing more of your bird pics and always note how gorgeous even the backdrops are: ). Best of luck with your diet plans for the year-it really is such a tough time when tempting holiday food is everywhere...I am a weakling when it comes to soft cheeses and crackers and then you gotta have some wine to complete the ensemble-vicious cycle~lol

Eden-I miss you! I thought all was Ok with your mom then read that she's having more treatments? I'm sorry that I must have missed learning about the situation.I hope she is Ok and you too.
Jen's fiance is a handsome giant! Bella looks so tiny next to him: )

'Bug-it's no fun for anyone when a mom is sick with strep-hope Reed and mom are back on track quickly. I do believe that Reed is too young to develop strep-luckily. I remember discussing that with our pediatrician when Ryan was under two and AJ had the 'plague'. Hope you enjoyed your holiday otherwise. That's great that you are getting a new puppy!

V lol you wise woman~yes that was a naughty gingerbread boy but it started out innocently. Aj made that years ago. It had no hanger for the tree so I stuck him on a branch-viola! It was such a crack up,especially with his facial expression,that he returns each Christmas: ) Hope I didn't offend.

Kathy-I'm excited for you with the move~may it all happen smoothly for you. You do sound organized...I wish I was. We are hoping to move in the next couple years but I feel like the oraganizing/sprucing up is moving in major slow-mo. I think I'm dragging my feet also becasue here the housing market is horrific.

Denise-this is so long overdue but I had to tell you how great a photographer your DS is! I liked checking out his photo site. I was curious to know what kind of training he's had.(as always I worry that you've already told us and I'm just missing the boat: )

Saucy What color hair is your son growing out?: ) Aren't kids so much fun!?
You learned that saurkraut brings wealth-and I've heard that pork is supposed to do it too but if you eat chicken you're supposed to be sratching for money all year. My MIL worries terribly about this and EVERY year reminds us not to eat chicken on New Year's...

Norma-I absolutely thought that pond pic was so interesting-when AJ did a crystal growing science experiment he did get crystals that looked like your pond but on a completely smaller scale in a mason jar-I'm glad you got a pic of it! I have never seen such large crystals on water! AJ was intrigued by it too when I showed him. Hope you're doing well!

Sue I was wondering if your work atmosphere is still as fun since your previous boss retired? The guy in charge does make a difference-I've learned that with the new principal I work for. He's ten years younger than me which seems weird since I've always had much older bosses. In fact he's the first male boss I've had too so the topic of conversation doesn't involve the usual 'girl' talk. It's an adjustment.

Well my plan was to greet each idyll but I can see I'm not getting very far!...I will make a conscious effort to finish.Dinner calls but I hope I get a moment to let you know what I've been up to(assuming you want to know lol)


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:27PM
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Hi Babs

Fabulous to hear from you!! You might have been absent, but certainly not forgotten and very much missed. I'm still smiling at your gingerbread boy LOL! How was the holiday, your boys (big and little) and all your family? If you were anything like us it was hard to get into the school mode after the break but now we've done it its not bad being back in our routine again.

I need to make supper and coordinate music practice (we take turns in front of the fire on cold nights like this) but hope to be back later.


PS Deanne - is Doug free next Tuesday for dinner?

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:38PM
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How great to check in and see a Babs thread! You are missed here ALOT! How was your Christmas? What's been going on with you?

It's cold here. Zero F this morning. We're supposed to be up to 50F by Monday though. Brad's back to work as of yesterday (out of my hair). It feels good to be back in our regular routines (have some time to myself). Today I started trying to get the house back in order. Finding places for Bella's new toys, rearranging shelve and closets, etc. I've begun moving some of the plants that have been under lights in the basement back upstairs too. In January I always start feeling the need to see green living things around me. We didn't get to the livingroom painting like I'd hoped but soon. I can't seem to choose a shade of green for the walls but I'm narrowing it down.

Deanne, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's fall. I hope his recovery is quick!

Cynthia, What a great New Years greeting. I just got 4 more stemmed glasses at Homegoods for $1 each, garden themed, so I couldn't pass them up and am now out of space in the glass cupboard. I think the Pier 1 racks will be a good solution.

Bella's here today so I have to keep this short. Stay warm everyone!


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's 17 F with a wind chill of -6. I'm trying to focus on Eden's sign off. I can last 77 days, right?

When I let Mystic out after his dinner, there was a minor accident out on the highway. He was very unsettled by the police sirens (we don't hear them very often) so now he is pacing to the door every five minutes with grumpy little growls. Lots of blowing snow in the wind, so I'm sure that's what contributed to the accident.

I should be un-decorating the tree right now.

See V.

See V. procrastinate.

Run, V., run!

Deanne, sorry to hear about your brother. I just ordered Yaktrax the other day and am awaiting their delivery. We've had so much ice in our driveway, and the parking lot at work has been awful. That just reminded me - I have yet to see a bill for my early December driveway plowing at home or the later December roadway salting at work. I think the snow removal guys have been busier than usual and have not had a chance to do their billing!

Speaking of billing, I had a very curt message from the phone company about an unpaid bill at work. I called them back and told them we had never received the bill. Turned out they did not have the right mailing address, so she corrected the records, and then told me that their new security policy prohibited them from sending out a duplicate bill for the first 30 days after an address change. DOH! So wait another month for your money, because I won't pay a bill without the bill!

Deanne, I've been meaning to answer your question about the TYNAW party date. I have a family trip (adult family going to Vegas) the weekend of 2/15 - 2/18, and spring break starts the weekend of 3/15 so I'll have kids coming home. Other than that, I should be good.

The snow plow just went down the road again, very slowly with the plow down. Since we haven't had snowfall since the 1st, it must really be blowing tonight. Do you think I can remember by morning to leave a few minutes early? Most of my route is on those infamous "secondary roads" that don't get plowed as often.

Babs, good to see you pop in! So what have you been up to?

Mary, our schools don't start until Monday the 7th. Of course, they didn't break until the 21st, but it does seem nice to have time to unwind after the madness, I mean the holidays, wind down.

Oops! battery running low so I'd better post. I'm over at the radio listening to more than I wanted to know about Iowa (no offense, Michelle - it's just that they are rehashing every detail umpteen times!)


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 8:52PM
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Never fear, Babs is here ! And admitting culpability in the gingerbread man caper no less.

Our big storm of the season has arrived- we are expecting 5ish inches of rain between now and Sat pm and extremely high winds. No doubt the rain fall predictions are exaggerated (as they are about 95% of the time) but we are dying for the moisture here so we just hunker down and wait it out. I ve heard nothing in the way of a cancellation from my window guys tomorrow so I should have some big holes in the wall periodically. Hope they bring plenty of visqueen.

Today I agreed to teach a taxonomy class to the new Master Gardener class of 2008. I enjoy teaching and much of the lesson plan is canned so the prep will mostly be my own personal spin on the topic. It had to be very entry level and useful for an MG when trying to diagnose issues with the home gardener here.

V, why is it I always seem to go to Vegas in August when itÂs 100 plus ? Luckily one spends very little time outdoors. Where will you stay ?

PM2 , great owl photo, thanks for sharing it. The Willamette Valley is a big agricultural area, wine grapes and lots of ornamental growers of every type. Swan Island Dahlias , Heirloom Roses, Edmunds Roses, and boatloads of others. Yes there are grey days in the winter , but living in Northern Calif has prepped me a bit for that. Annual rainfall is about 10 inches higher on average in Corvallis.It is zone 8 so the winters are not too severe.

Saucy, IÂve done the Âgazelle in my garage three days in a row so far , IÂm trying to work up to two miles a day. I put a radio out there and listen to NPR or the sports talk station . Your regimen is far more impressive ! IÂve found that walking really fast works well for me.

OK , time to do some dinner and reading- later everyone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 9:52PM
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V, the phone companies new policy isn't really their policy but new FCC rules. We are living now with those same "rules" and they are a royal pia. That has been my latest project, implementing these very complex rules, training employees etc. If these rules are disregarded, I am required to notify the FBI. Seems like overkill to me. All part of the fun dealing with the FCC.

Rick was on the road today and said he experienced ground blizzard conditions at times. I didn't on my commute.

Babs, great to hear from you.

Talk to you later


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 11:22PM
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Lol Mary-I did like your ginger bread bathing beauties! Do you remember a couple yrs ago I made iced sugar cookies almost like your ginger people...no voluptuous curves on mine though; )...I can only imagine what else you came up with and I can certainly imagine your laughter!
So you are back in school? We don't start til Monday...I definitely need time to recover from the last few months. This was the first year I haven't even made a single cookie for the holidays...bad mom.
Eden I LOVE your hopeful spring banner: ) We had such a bright sunny day today-as long as I stayed inside I could have believed it was spring...OK and had I not looked out the window: ) My plants that are limping along were happy. I started looking through my seeds today to plan this year's garden(nice to say 'this' year).
Lol that Brad is out of your hair...there's something to be said for the normal routine,right?; )

Hi Kathy! Am I in big trouble over that ginger guy? I guess I'm just glad I didn't put him on a longer branch,er limb,er,branch!!!
Why are you running like a gazelle in your garage? I'm guessing you are either on a treadmill or you're playing a game? lol just kidding. I swear by walking-I was quite amazed during AJ's CC season how even walking the course three miles each Sat. before the race really toned me up. I did this for six weeks but it was noticeable-my waistbands got more roomy: )

Do you know how happy I am to be idylling?

Kathy reminds me that I too wanted to thank PM2 for the Morning Glory photo and that snowy owl-I'll have to look that photographer up. I need to show AJ that owl-his favorite bird. He recieved a beautiful illustrated book about birds of prey by Robert Bateman for Christmas. He wants to go to an area airport by Lake Erie to hopefully see some snowy owls one of these weekends.

Mary & others have asked what I've been up to-it's all a blur: ) Since we all know I don't know when to stifle my babblings I thought I'd do a separate thread with pics. I started uploading pics so hopefully I'll have stuff to share by the weekend. From Thanksgiving on I've been very busy with artistic things for PTU at the kids' school. Then just before Christmas my sister/family came into town and only left today(sniff).I always wonder if I appreciate them more because I see them so seldom but I get very sad each time they go back home.

Tonight I am idylling for the first time on a laptop(Chris' work 'puter) and its got wireless....I'm on somebody else's signal since we aren't equipped for wireless! Did I just admit my culpability once again?(I just like that word Kath: ) Since I am on an unfamiliar laptop please forgive any misspellings: )

Did Chelone go and cross the big river or something? Where is she? I was also wondering if you made it through the holidays fairly intact. It amazes me that even five years past my dad dying,I can't get through a major holiday without missing him to some extent. I always get craqbby then realize why I'm snapping at people. Hope you are well.

Hi Cynthia!

Time to go eat soft cheese,crackers and wine; )


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 12:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello Babs :-) I wish I could say hello to everyone, too. You did a good job of trying to catch up with everyone. I am working my way into that slowly. [g] I can identify with how you were feeling after your family went home after Christmas. Our son is away at college and was home for Christmas and it was so great to spend time with him. Also had a few tough days there after he went back to school. While uploading the Christmas photos, I found myself daydreaming about how great it would be if he were closer to home and we could see him a couple of times a month. Oh well...maybe next year. :-)

Oh, owls are one of my favorite birds too, like AJ. Hope he spots a few.

Loved your 'Days Until Spring' Eden. I found myself reminding myself of that a few times yesterday after seeing it in the morning.

Kathy, are you updating your windows? We have to get on that this winter and my first attempt to find a quality window at an affordable price was not very encouraging. We had Anderson come and price it and almost fell off the chair when they gave us the price.

Well...it sounds like the Willamette Valley will be right up your alley. How exciting to be in such a densely packed grower area..and wine too! What could be better. Oh, right, near your family too! lol

Time to get rolling. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I have a few more by Raymond J Barlow...he takes a lot of nature photos...

Have a great day...


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 8:05AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Happy New Year everyone!

Hi Babs! Good to see you!

High of 17 F yesterday (brrrr), supposedly close to 60 F by Tuesday. Welcome to winter in New England. This morning I decided I need a new winter jacket-something down sounds good.

January is crunch month for me at work...budgets still not done (no fault of mine), month end, year end...to add insult to injury, the accounting manager gave her notice last Friday. Her last day is January 15th and now we're scrambling to cover and decide what type of person we need to hire. Looks like a bit of restructuring may be coming down the pike. On the upside, the new boss is great.

As usual, I've got to dash. Hopefully I'll have time to pop back in over the weekend.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 8:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It is still a chilly 5 degrees out here this morning and the kitties are doing their in again/out again dance. They want to be out and of course it really is just too cold out there so they keep asking for the door. When I open it to show them how cold it is (yes I know Im well trained) they back away from the door at light speed. Then, in about ten minutes we go through the whole procedure again. The weather gurus are saying that it is supposed to warm up to 47 over the weekend so that is a good thing. Ive got a plant that I must take outside and hose off then give a good spray with a miticide. Its really a mess of spider mites and Ive got to treat it. Other than that the plant still looks great so Id hate to toss it. Ive got some really pretty plants under the lights lately and a few of the fuchsia cuttings are putting out some flowers so thats a lot of fun.

Thanks all for your good thoughts for my brother. I talked to him yesterday and he said that the worst of the pain was from the surgery. They had to cut through muscle to get to the hip to put the screws in. He did say hes been up and is able to get around with a walker. I was supposed to get out to Keene yesterday but my Mom had said she wanted to go with me. I called to find out when she wanted to go but she wasnt home. Then I waited most of the day for her to call back. Well she didnt call until 5:30PM and its an hour and a quarter to Keen, one way so it was too late to go. She said that my other sister is going to come down on Saturday and take her. Thats fine with me but I wish shed called me to let me know earlier in the day so I wasnt waiting to hear from her. And so it goes.

Mary, Doug was over the moon when I told him youd invited him for dinner next Tuesday. Thanks so much for the invite. Ill email you his cell phone number again so you can contact him should there be a problem.

Babs, how great to hear from you! Ive really missed your input here. I sure hope you can stick around for a while.

Eden, I know what you mean about having the need to have green growing things around in the winter. I really do love puttering around with the plants this time of the year. I even like checking on the dormant fuchsias as they are all like old friends now. It feels like they are on vacation and I cant wait for their return. Im trying to figure out how Im going to get them back in the green this year as I have way too many for the lights. Im thinking Im going to have to bring them all up in the garage beginning of April or so and use the heater if it threatens to get too cold out there.

V. Im thinking I need some of those Yaktrax myself. Doug got some for Christmas from our friends so hes all set. Thanks for the input re the dates. Ill make sure not to schedule on those weekends. Its looking like the last weekend in Feb. as Monique has something the first weekend in March this year.

Kathy, I saw the weather report for your neck of the woods last night and that storm looks like its going to be a doozie. Dont get washed away. ~~ When will you be teaching your MG class. That sounds like fun.

OK Ive got to get in gear and get to the gym for my hour on the Stairmaster. Im hoping to be able to get my steps per minute back up to 60. Not light speed but it makes for a great workout. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 8:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Got home at 3AM due to delays...in bed at 4AM and phone rang before 9AM...of course.

So today will be an unpack the laundry day and do the wash etc. Like Sue, I heard that next week will be warmer. The three cats are keeping us warm in the meantime!

More later,

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Kathy, the Gazelle is the machine of choice for my mother, too! Never tried one, though I've watched the info-mercial quite alot trying to decide whether to do it or not! Your discipline is to be admired - working on moving and working out!

I was at the gym when CNN posted their weather person in front of a map of CA and it looked very animated....too far to read....glad to know what all the fuss was about. I don't miss rainy winters in So. Cal. Stay safe west coasters :)

V., you can see Saucy run, too :) I'm actually considering letting the kids handle putting away the tree this year. They will think the responsibility is new and fun and I'm just SO over them breaking anything :) It's a good place to be :)

I'll be in charge of Christmas decor going away.

Deanne, it wasn't very nice for your mother to make you wait all day! People just don't think sometimes. Nick had bone removed from his hip years ago, and the surgery itself was described to be pretty painful. Hope the worst is behind your brother.

Hi Babs! Can't wait to see your display of creativity! You and Mary always make me feel like I need to step it up a bit :) We started school Wednesday and I can't tell you how happy I was to get everyone out of the house - I had them all packed up the night before :)

The Freedom of Information Act finally worked IN my favor! Turns out that you can request copies of a deceased's Social Security application. Another hobby I have been working on is my family tree. My maternal grandmother has been a mystery and I hope this information will help! I received her death certificate which had her SS# on it so I can now request! I'm excited about the findings - wish me luck.

Hi to all I missed! GB, can't wait to see the photos of TWMPB :)


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 10:39AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

V. needs to run, not just watch Saucy (lumpy-bumpy girl?) run! The scale tells me I had too much fun over the holidays.

Saucy, I did have a chuckle at your lumpy-bumpy comment. I hate to compare you to my dog, but that's exactly what he had! Never bothered him a bit, though.

Kathy, if you really want to spin the heads during your MG taxonomy session, try passing out copies of the link below from an old Plant Delights catalog.

In the next chapter of the saga of trying to pay the vendors against all odds, in today's mail I received the top inch of a check that I had mailed to a small business in mid-December. Only the top inch, mind you. I call the business to tell them why their payment was delayed and told them I would be replacing the check. Later in the afternoon, the owner called back to say that he had received the bottom of the check today! He suggested we meet with a roll of scotch tape...

Kathy, we are staying at a timeshare arranged by the in-laws. I'm not sure where it's at - I'll just be showing up on schedule and saying thank you!

Rolling on,

V. the tubby

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Rain has tapered off here and we are at the drizzle stage. I left work early because the power went out in most of the building and the computers went down. My window install had to be cancelled because of the high winds. The storms are lined up out in the pacific but none are supposed to be as intense as this one. All in all not much production out of me today ! I did do some work on my taxonomy presentation and cleaned a bathroom (always a triumph to get a bathroom cleaned ! ) when I came home today I had an ant invasion in the kitchen-guess it was too wet for them outside. My backyard looks like a swamp after just this one storm. Ants were duly vacuumed up and a little blob of diotamaceus earth placed at their point of entry. It looks like the storm that moved through here is on its way to dump on Denise nextShip Ahoy there Denise !

OK , so how did Edens spring banner change from 77 to 76 days. Am I seeing things ???

Babs, I had my walking regimen up to 25 miles a week at one point. I was walking to work and also doing our two mile river trail every day after work. Of course I now go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark so can only do the trail on weekends, and thats why I am trying to do the gazelle every day Its actually a gazelle knock off but I bought it used for 50 bucks a bargain !

PM , Anderson windows are very high end- there are lots of other manufacturers out there that are way less-although if you are trying to do wood instead of vinyl it will get pretty pricy no matter what. I replaced about half of the windows in my house about 3 years ago , and these 3 that I am doing now are in really poor condition and I did not want them to be a detriment to selling the house one is the patio sliding glass door which is very hard to open and looks pretty bad too.

Deanne , my BILS in Portand have a little kitty door installed in a utility room in their basement of course it would probably be out of the question for you to have something like that in your climate . They have the kitty box in there , and beds and just prop the door open slightly so they are not trapped in the room. Of course one does burn more calories jumping up and down letting them in and out ! I am doing the same thing at the present-especially with these rain storms. The taxonomy class will be on Jan 18th.

Welcome home bug ! Ive been viewing your photos on the other threads doesnt that baby ever get grumpy?? Sounds like you need to sleep for a couple of days !

Saucy, if you think you want to try out the gazelle , look for a used one . I figure theres no reason to buy new exercise equipment- so many people abandon them after a time..

V, lol that Plant Delights link. !

Chelone must be diligently continuing her labors in the Salonyoo-hoo Chelone !

See yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 8:04PM
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The eyes do not decieve! There are now only 75 days until Spring! Alas, Spring here is almost always referred to as the mud season, and I have to wait 'til nearly Summer for real garden fun :)

Nick slipped on the ice last night, but caught himself, but in the process yanked on an already sore shoulder. Those Yaktrax are looking pretty good to me.

Sue says it's crunch time, and I wonder as a new business owner what it is I'm supposed to be crunching. LOL, time to make an appointment with the accountant to find out :) We're working on a new budget.....just bought another van to put on the road. My husband is not sleeping well, so I know things must be going good :) I'm good at plugging along and keeping the day to day going, and he seems to think alot about the "BIG PICTURE" when he should be sleeping :) Guess we make a yin/yang sort of pair. I appreciate his vision.

Just thinking this morning about what things I could add to my plate and remembered that Bee School is coming up! Will I be the only one with a hive here? We're almost finished with the large jar of honey that my neighbor harvested this past summer.

Too much coffee makes Saucy a chatter box.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:03AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

It looks like we are going to get some warmer weather for a bit here. It will feel nice to be able to go outside without 90 layers of clothes on. Id like to take the opportunity to scrub out the bird bath too. I dont know if I mentioned that I left the small pump for the fish fountain in the bird bath and also put in the heater. Well, even when the temp was down to 4 degrees the other morning there wasnt a pick of ice on the bird bath. It seems that the small pump circulating the water keeps the whole thing ice free. Im hoping to be able to get outside with my camera today and get some birds today. Ive had a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers in the feeders fairly regularly that Id like to get photos of.

Speaking of photographs, I liked the 7" digital photo frame I got for Christmas so much I went on line and found a reconditioned 14" frame for half price and ordered it and it is the best thing since sliced bread!!! Ive got it mounted on the kitchen wall and it is such a treat to have a running slide show of the summer gardens. Its like a constant reminder that spring is coming. What fun!

Doug and I drove over to Keene last evening to visit with my brother and he is looking really good. In fact, they are releasing him from the hospital today which is really soon for a hip fracture. The drive was a huge pain (took an hour and a half to get over there) but Im so glad we went. He was really happy to have the company. Ill have to try to get over to Marlborough and see him next week when Doug is out of town.

Kathy and all those dealing with that monster storm, I hope all are well and safe. It looks like Northern CA is getting pounded. ~~ RE kitty doors, Indeed it is too cold here to have a door and even if we were in a warmer climate Id be worried about other cats and or skunks taking advantage of the access to free food. LOL One time, years ago, we had a cat that was able to open the screen on the sliding door and one morning I woke up to a cat fight under my bed. It seem one of the neighbors cats had taken advantage of the open door and my Alfred kitty took exception to it.

V. LOL about meeting your vendor with a roll of tape.

Bug, I just love all the pics and especially love that mural. Lovely.

Saucy bummer about Nick hurting his shoulder. Be careful on the ice!!! The fellow in the bed next to my DB had fallen on the ice and broken his ankle. Jeesh!

OK time to get to the gym and do my daily climb.

Later all

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Woo HOoo! 60F coming next week, and the week-end may hit 50F by Sunday. Of course yesterday when Salvation Army arrived (on time - since the gutter people decided to show up then to0) they had my front door propped open for 50 minutes, the temps were in the 20s. Bye Bye heat. Little real work done by me that afternoon as I had to make sure SA didn't take the furniture I intended to keep and that the gutter people found all 7 gutters. Now that I have breathing room in attic and cellar I guess I could be doing real cleaning on the living levels. Nah, more fun to idyll :)

Yes, phone companies! I had switched to Verizon at end of November, and no bill by New Year's day, so went on line to try and find it. The system would not give me a temporary pin. When I called one day this week to find a human I was treated to the most wearying and classic example of voicemail jail. Without an account number, the auto system won't let you in. Account numbers are on bills, I don't have a bill. Without an account number, no bill, without a bill, no account number. When I did get a human, she had to listen to my frustration, but told me a bill had been mailed and no she could not give me a temporary pin. A bill came the next day. Alas, it was my father's, which my niece set up for me AFTER I had switched myself. He's in assisted living, and no I'm not managing his life like some of you heros, just helping financially, which I'm positive is less emotionally draining than what most of you go through.

This two day week-end is seeming quite skimpy after all the holiday time off.

Deanne, those digital photo things are cool.

I bought myself a GPS for Xmas, and am going to use it on a few known destinations today to get used to it. Just what I need, as even with mapquest I can get lost in the driveway.

Love Eden's banner! Poked at it and think we need to keep it in each thread until that wonderful day in March...

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 10:23AM
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A nice, soft rain all night, nothing like the pummeling the northern half of the state received. Work on Fri was on the 27th floor, with a panoramic view of the harbor which most attendees watched fretfully for signs of a rainy commute home. Being five minutes away from home and having a garden-specific take on the weather, I anxiously scanned the view for signs of the promised rain to fill the two rain barrels I rigged. Staying up late drinking chianti and watching the Piaf movie didn't help getting back to work Fri morning (big surprise!). After a long day, the attys informed me they wanted the 200 pages Monday. I always wonder what expression my face arranges in such instances. I told them Wed was humanly possible, that'd there be no one in the production office to physically bind and prepare the transcript over the weekend. The week "end." Get it? Then they argued over the extra charges for taking away my weekend getting it ready for printing Monday, charges that I don't control, and they stomped off. Swell way to end the day. My son in NYC has been doing some editing of these transcripts for me so was anxiously awaiting pages as he tries to maintain a toehold in the city. Through Sendthisfile.com, I sent the job to him around 7:30 p.m., and when I got up at 3:30 a.m. half was sent back complete. The audio portion/wav file takes a while to send on the "free" speed, taking about an hour. Still pretty cool.

Saucy, we've got that yin/yang, big picture/small picture thing going here too, tho who's losing sleeping at any one time switches around ;) That's exciting to hear the biz is doing so well.

Deanne, that's great news about your bro, and you deserve a pat on the back for mustering to his side in your weather/road conditions.

Nice to see 'bug back with loads of photos. Sounds like some interesting changes afoot with Reed's main squeeze going back to work!

Babs, great to hear from you. The brief version regarding Mitch's photog education was getting a waiver so he could attend city college classes while he was in high school, and he ran with it. Really seemed to "click" with him (groan...) So he had the dark room/wet lab stuff early on. We've had ongoing differing opinions on attending an art school/photog school. He believes the current state of these schools is expensive and worthless, judging by recent grads he knows who attended them. He has taken private lessons from a former director of the Pasadena Art Institute who's been a wonderful influence. He says the schools don't teach composition, aesthetics, that film is no longer taught and is being replaced solely by digital in the schools. I keep saying that the piece of paper, the degree is the intro, the key that opens doors. He says the world is different. I say...etc., etc.

Kathy, so sorry to hear that window installation was botched by the weather and hope a quick rescheduling is in the works.

At last, some warmer temps for the East Coast. Maybe the cats will venture out further than the doorsill now.

DH just got home from night shift, and when I told him what a nice gentle rain we had, he said, Are you kidding? That was the perfect storm, 10-foot seas, my back's killing me from the boat pounding on the waves...We chuckled over a ship currently in the harbor called the Sagacious Id. What an Internet moniker that'd make. He worked with one of the two female deck hands last night, who he angered a couple days ago, so I have to check up on the status of the tiff. He's clueless as to what started it, and she "doesn't want to talk about it." Sheesh, I don't even do that to him, lol.

I wonder how many minutes Katie is up to today. A wave to all.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Hands are thawed enough to type again so here I am. Double digits this morning and saw a bird. Since removing feeders the birds are better forecasters than humans.

Great pics, 'bug!! Everyone looks so happy and content with each other, and it was easy to see Skyler's progress on skates. A number of hearing impaired friends of mine have explained that skating with that particular impairment is sometimes really difficult given a decreased ability to balance. Reed's character is shining through, as well. Good boys, both!! Good parents, for sure.

LOL on the taxonomy link, V. I remember heated debates about 20 years ago -- pre-internet -- that were actually sent to one another by overnight FedEx because it was just that important to get one's opinion in. Also remember when companies started common naming plants to their liking, causing great upheavals at nurseries (the one I worked for included) who stuck by the botanical names of things but suddenly couldn't without losing a lot of business. The daisy/Crysanthemum debacle in particular. I'm quite certain that no one could get a "correct" list at this point. Can you imagine the fun the original scientists are having in the plant afterlife place watching us all act like idiots????? Just trying to keep up with herbs is bad enough. I refuse to venture into the realm of perennial ornamentals :-0)

Cat and dog doors: Friends had one installed, Deanne, and haven't noticed significant heat loss. It gets locked at night so wayward critters can't get in, and during the day their zoo keeps everything else away.

Well, Babs. What have you been doing with your extra time??? LOL I'm thoroughly impressed with your activities, like the boys' ties and expressions, and am thrilled for you that you are in a position to be so involved. The boys will remember .... and it will mean something. Did you save the snowflakes for next year?

Lots of numbers crunching here, too. I don't mind doing it because I can and it beats the heck out of hiring an accountant. This year might actually be fun since it was a down year for Rich's business and low taxes just might mean a better than anticipated arbor for the walk.

Paid my last direct to college bill ever this morning. How can it be four years, already? Though Ky will be "doing" an "extra" semester, I still feel his time in Europe was well spent. He's beginning to apply for real summer internship positions and it'll be interesting to see where that leads. He's trying to stay away from any campaigns, but that seems to be where a lot of the jobs are at this point. Long discussion about if one needs to believe in a candidate's philosopy to work for said candidate. He decided "No." Good for him to see beyond the potential dollars.

All decorations are coming down as we speak, with the exception of outside lights that will be turned on one more time tonight.

Happy 11th Day!!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 11:36AM
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I have been spending WAY TOO MUCH time in the Great Hall of Henry VIII's Hampton Court lately. History junkie that I am, I've been zipping back to other books to refresh on specific aspects of court controvery over the course of his reign. I can't wait to start the book on Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France in the mid-sixteenth century. I know, I know... Kathy, please remind me to read the book you mentioned about smallpox, willya?

The Salon is awaiting MUD. The "torpedo" is running day and night (and we're in charge of it) and the guy(s) are supposed to arrive on Monday. Helpmeet suggested we burn brush today... I (taken aback), faltered uncharacteristically. When he returned from the diesel fuel run I had recovered sufficiently to say diplomatically that I'd RATHER see the staircase enclosed with sheetrock so we may make most efficient use of the contractors due to arrive on Monday... . It's tough being the "piece rate", "goal oriented" half of the team and NOT allowing oneself to be dismissive/condescending when faced with such foolishness. :/

Feline units have ventured over the threshold repeatedly today. I have the slider cracked and they've been zipping in and out with reckless abandon. The stove has been allowed to cool and the increase in humidity (aided by hanging laundry) has minimized shocks to the tips of hopeful ears. Have the fleet of Greys shed their sweaters or is it stil too chilly for their "peachskin"?

10' seas are brutal. And they DO pound a body. I love talking to the landlord, a fisherman with a 42' boat. He and his son (with another 42'er) frequently go offshore for a week/so. He shares stories that would curl your hair. His boats are made in Nova Scotia and designed to withstand the rigors of the North Atlantic in the winter. They look very different from the in-shore lobster boats. The maritime world is fascinating and sobering! I think the watermen have nuts the size of canteloupes, personally. In my own small way (a novice sailor), I have experienced the difference in naval "architecture". Our sailboat is a "full keel" boat (Cape Dory Typhoon, 19'). After sailing on fin keels (J 24s) I was amazed at the difference felt through the tiller when we went out on our boat after sailing the Js; much more "settled" in the water, but "slower" to respond, and yet I felt more secure on open water than I'd felt in a protected bay in the J boat. It has been noted that Carl Alberg wanted to design a boat that could be used to take your grandmother sailing without "white knuckles". Perfect for this lil' grammy, lol.

I've also been poring over a recent book acquisition: "Royal Palaces", edited by Marcello Morelli (c.2004 White Star s.p.a). I snagged it on a final pre-Christmas run on a cheapie rack for under $10. I figured it would help me in my pursuit of European history, but the extra benefit has been the abundance of good shots of classic FLOORS and interesting wall and ceiling treatments... . I'm not sure how quickly, but I'm forming some interesting thoughts on the Salon...

I see Babs. has resurfaced and will have to backtrack to catch up on all I've missed while I was "at court".

Did see "Charlie Wilson's War" the other day, though! Very entertaining and one more reason to question the ability of any administration to see beyond 4 or 8 years... sigh. And I'm certain Michelle is relieved that the hysteria has moved on to NH! Because our states are so close we are inundated with political ads now, too. It will be interesting to see how the differences in the electorate manifest themselves, if at all.

With respect to a clock that displays the temperature ON THE CEILING? not sure I'd be thinkin' that was so great, personally. I can glean enough information by stepping outdoors and inhaling deeply... if my nostrils tend to freeze I know more than the usual layers will be called for. ;)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm enjoying the countdown to SPRING, especially because it is so colourful! Today we are above zero (centigrade) for the first time in ages. It is gloomy and lots of rain is predicted for this week, but having the laneway less icy may mean I will dare drive a little while my brother is here visiting.

We are back in busy mode with most of the laundry done and a Gravelwatch meeting scheduled for tomorrow. UGH. The days of family and holidays seems like history already. I really enjoy their creativity though. Here are some of their joys:

DSIL loves to paint so we bought new canvases for him:

They decided to make their own wine, raspberry this time:

Skyler enjoys reading and being read too as well.

Skyler and friend Amanda on the computer. Skyler found some nasty stuff while I was there by simply exploring "Santa" and "Funny". Fortunately it flies right over his head so far, but measures are planned for controlling his activity there.

And of course our annual Christmas puzzle (with DD sewing in the background):

As to cat doors, we too had uninvited felines joining us in our former home and stopped using them. I was concerned raccoons would come inside as well!

DS is working on his new job 24 hr/day. He needs something he believes in (not money) to survive, and this new job is with OLPC which some of you may know about. (One Laptop per Child) I suspect his lady friend misses him these days...but last time we phoned, she answered as receptionist, though she works elsewhere. :)

Time to move forward though. Fortunately the new puppy is a big excitement in our future. Every day we come up with new names....

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A balmy 37 F today. With all the snow cover, it's just starting to become hazy. The fog will be thick by evening, I'm sure. DD left a little bit ago to return to school, so I'm hopeful that she will get back before the fog really takes hold.

We spent some of our Christmas money expanding our Reidel wine glass collection, so this morning I unpacked, washed and found a new home for 24 glasses. Now I have to find homes for all those things the glasses displaced!

Today will be a putter around the house day. If I can get enough clutter cleared, this evening I may make some headway on the last Harry Potter book. It just dawned on me that I should get it finished by mid-month, because it's too darned heavy to carry with me when I travel!

Deanne, my boss has a cat door at his house, and they have a couple of neighborhood cats that regularly show up in their house to dine.

Time to get back to work.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 2:16PM
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Sorry, you guys! the whole "countdown" thing is utter folly, if you ask me (and even if you didn't!). One of the benefits of being a "lark" is that you get to witness the sunrise daily. You are privy to its incremental addition to daylight. And, you witness the SETBACK when "daylight savings" is again instituted. And you understand the foolishness of attempts to manipulate nature's clock!

Spring "arrives" when the snowpack begins to "smoke" on a regular basis. Her arrival is foretold by freakishly warm days full of promise; days that vanish like a faHt in the wind! I know Spring is here when the cats seek the outside and align themselves BROADSIDE to the sun. If it make you feel better, by all means "count down". But for us, it's not reality... we will know when spring arrives and the Vernal Equinox is meaningless for us. Count down to it, if you'd like. But how about getting up before daylight and watching the change for yourselves? :)

I have NO plantlife in our "apartment" now. There are a few tortured Amaryllis bulbs, but I don't have much faith in their ability to "produce" under such abusive conditions.

I need a few "houseplants", I think. I am fond of "Grape" ivy, but of greater importance is the light/exposure I can offer a "captive". South windows. Warm room. Dry heat (woodstove!), but caretakers who are tuned into plants. Need: fool-proof, forgiving, hardy plants. Please advise.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 2:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wake up early too, much of the time...but can't find light to see by. There's no COLOUR here even when there is light. I look forward to those spring blooms that grow in the snow! Remind me to buy more winter aconites this year!!! Yellow, not white bulbs.

Houseplants? I kill those. Spider plants are great toys for cats. Jade plants are easy enough when they don't get spider mites. African violets are easy for some, but mine rotted when overwatered by caregivers while I was away. I'm hoping that my indoor rosemary and lavender plants survive until spring...a long time still to wait.

I'm going to look for some new bowls soon. (Not wine glasses V.) I love soups and stews and am inspired by DSIL to think more about presentation. I should do presentation rather than quantity these days.

I received this photo a little while ago, taken this morning. Eyes are opening these days!

I'm really avoiding work, as you can well see.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Philodendron - mid light and indestructible
Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) - mid light to bloom, forgiving beyond belief
Hedera (Ivy, even grape) - perfect for where you're describing but keep out of immediately direct sun
Pelargonium (scented geranium) - you thought you'd get away without an herbie recommendation???? No!! The master of SG's link is below. Will love the driest, sunniest spot you have.

One of each will give you form, some different "greens" and all can be left for up to a week without major disaster -- experience talking, here. This from one who has killed cacti repeatedly and doesn't even try anymore :-)

Of course, if you'd like to check out Logee's .....


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:11PM
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I refreshed to see Marie's possible new addition!! Are the blue eyes true?? Even as a grown up dog??

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:15PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I am enjoying reading everyone's posts this afternoon. Lots of interesting activities going on with everyone.

Gardenbug......We have a puzzle in the box waiting for all the Christmas decorations to be put away and the Dining Room table to be clear to get it started. Yours looks like a nature puzzle? I always enjoy your family pics. I see Goodnight Moon sticking out of a Christmas bag ...a favorite of my kids when they were small. We read a lot together. Everyone is so busy with their hands at your house! It is nice to see. :-) Looking forward to seeing the new puppy pics. When is the puppy coming?

Chelone....I agree with you about the respect due fishermen. Anyone who can routinely go out on the ocean in all kinds of weather is amazing to me. I think if I had more opportunity to be around boats, I would have loved it. But growing up I had very few opportunities. One summer, I spent a month on Oars Island Maine at camp and I had sailing lessons on a lake in a very small two seater. Then in my late teens my Dad had a boat for a few years and took us on a vacation to Nantucket on the boat. I loved it and found it pretty exciting and so different to stay in the harbor on a boat for a week. That is about it. Aside from ferry boats now and then, the only time I was on a boat again, was about 10 years ago, when visiting Ogunquit, we went out for a couple of hours on a very small sailboat. What a shock it was. The long absence from boats left me feeling a whole lot less than excited and white knuckles would definitely be an apt description..lol. I do really love the ocean and wish I lived close enough to be able to see it more often. I am still up for more boat experiences and if I had the opportunity, I would love to take a vacation on a large Sailboat. Maybe go often enough to feel more comfortable on them again.

Houseplant suggestions...Southern exposure, low humidity, warm room ...sounds like perfect conditions for cacti and succulents. Also with the cats in the house, cacti might keep them from chewing on them. I have been wintering over a tropical Hibiscus in similar conditions. I have found it to be very forgiving and mine is still blooming this year. I don't have a Southern exposure which I think it would prefer, so I don't always get a lot of bloom in the house, but mine blooms once in awhile in a Western exposure this year. They are also great additions to the patio during the growing season. Here is a photo of a new Hibiscus ...The Path..this photo was early December...

Deanne....I saw photos of your container plants last summer and some of the fuchsias. They were beautiful! You do such a great job with them. When you took cuttings, are you wintering over the cuttings in water, or have you planted them all? I was just curious if the fuchsias that are blooming are doing so in water, or potted up?

Saucy....we seem to be missing a box of Christmas ornaments at our house for the first time. Of course, one of my favorite ornaments was in it. We had some work done in the attic and things were moved around, but still, I thought they were all in red plastic boxes, so it is a mystery. Before next year, I am planning on getting into the attic to assign the Christmas decorations a permanent position.

I will be very interested to hear how you like Bee School!

Kathy....that is amazing that you worked up to walking 25 miles a week!! Were you athletic growing up? Ever run a marathon?

cynthia...Went through a similar experience trying to call our dental insurance company yesterday...perfect phrase to describe it...Voicemail Jail..lol.

denise...I would love to hear about your rain barrels sometime. I keep wondering if I want to go to the trouble in the spring.

martie...did you take down all your bird feeders?

V....I have run out of room for glasses and dishes, not having much room to start with. Time for us to go through all our kitchen cabinets and weed out and make more room. Some things may have to be boxed and put in the attic I am afraid.

As for me, I am still in New Year's resolution mode. We managed to walk twice this week and this morning, DH and I went over the menus for the week and are attempting to make some changes. We had an appointment with a naturopath in the fall and he had some very specific recommendations that we are just now attempting to follow. Found a dentist finally and have an appointment for tomorrow. Sooo... want to get it over with, but I am thinking maybe by the time garden season starts, I will have the bulk of the appointments behind me. I hope. [g] Off to a good start, but starting is usually not the problem. [g]


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Refreshed...oooohhhh...such a beautiful puppy!! :-)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:20PM
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I hate dogs. Puppies pee whenever you tough them.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 4:32PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hey Chelone, is that a wet spot in your lap?

The tree is out of the house, and many things have been shifted or rearranged, but there is still the world's most motley collection of water bottles sitting on the kitchen island, looking for a new home.

DD made it back to school, but Martie's post reminds me that I didn't see her philodendron leave the house. I'll have to check and see if it's still upstairs.

Enjoyed all the photo threads. Helped me avoid facing the issues here!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 5:48PM
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Bathroom is painted. On the basis of my experience there I have decided to hire out the master bathroom ! Im just not thrilled with the way it turned out , though it will pass muster for the five seconds a home viewer will peek in there . But I think that the master has to be a bit more competently done. Its also much bigger and will be getting new flooring, new mirrors, new faucets and t/s valve. DS and I will paint his room and the guest room .
The big storm went away and it rained on and off today. We got about four inches in the storm yesterday. We are going to have rain through most of the upcoming week.

Cynthia, hooray for you and your Salvation Army purge. I just keep assembling more piles of stuff in the garage in preparation for the next Cerebral Palsey foundation pick-up day. Im pretty close to having all the excess out of the house the garage is a different story. Hope to work on that in February. I need to clear out places to stash packed boxes. How is Ms Katie ?

Denise, nice that your son can assist from across the miles . He obviously types faster than I do ( which is not saying much believe me. ) My rain barrels consist of several 5 gal buckets placed in strategic locations throughout the garden. I wont have to actually water anything again until sometime in May I usually pull the plants that Ive stashed under the eaves out into the open during rain .

Chelone, the book is about The Plague , not smallpox, and Ill remind you ! So was it the brush burn or the sheetrock ?

PM, what a wonderful hibiscus. The house I grew up in had hibiscus as foundation shrubs, but they were pretty mundane colors compared with some of the newer cultivars that have been developed recently. I was not athletic at all growing up-although I spent lots of time swimming both in pools and the ocean. Im a klutz ! Thats why walking is the perfect sport for me .

Time for dinner and maybe a movie.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 8:21PM
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Cynthia, I like the GPS and I'm one to get lost in my (40 ft) driveway, too :) She's gotten me into Boston and all through Worcester and so far only one time has she seemed agitated and told me to turn around :) If you get lost, she reroutes you, so you're always taking the scenic route :)

Chelone, it seemed like my big ship ran right through the waves, but it would make me sick to go out to the flight deck and see sky then sea, sky then sea....even sicker to look at the Destroyers and Frigates in our battle group leaning over so far to take water onto the decks. I never understood how they could get anything done during rough seas.

I would like to try a sailboat sometime. I should plan that for Nick and I, see if we like it.

V., I could use some motley water bottles :) I just decided that I need a Brita water filter on the faucet....feeling guilty about water bottles on the earth, but not guilty enough to drink what passes for drinking water in town :)

I believe that puppy has milky eyes, Chelone....the puppy I'm trying not to look too hard at.....

PM, I love your hibiscus! It's like a tropical sunset!

Martie, is that Papa Geno's anything like Papa Gino's? I love scented geraniums! I might have to investigate.

I had the neatest thing happen to me yesterday. I was feeling kind of out of sorts as I had 3 13yo boys to shuffle around to the movies and such and it just wasn't what I wanted to be doing....so while they went to see a movie, I went to my favorite sport shoe store with my Amex gift card....got fitted for new gym shoes (feet and knees have been complaining :) and when I got to the counter I said, "I love this place...everytime I come here, I get something that makes me feel "cool" and it fits my size 11 foot!"....the guy said that was what they aimed for and through in an expensive pair of socks (that I would never buy myself) into the box for free!

Little things sure can turn a day around :)

Now I can't wait to lace them up and go see how many people eyeball my feet at the gym....they'll be tripping over themselves wondering where a girl with hobbit feet got "those" shoes, LOL!

Have a good day everyone!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 7:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

The sun came out for a short time here but its now overcast again and looking pretty gloomy. The kitties are loving these warmer temps though. It was 31 when we got up and is now up to 35. I did a bit of bird photography yesterday and did get a couple photos of the Red-breasted Nuthatch. They are such cute birds and you can hear them making their little chipping and churring noises when theyre coming in to the feeders. Id put a new suet feeder on the tree next to the bird blind and it only took them a few minutes to find it. So did the squirrels though and Ive got to find a way to keep them out of the suet.

Saucy, how neat about the new gym shoes and even neater about the free socks! That reminds me that I need to get myself a new pair of gym shoes too. The ones Im currently using are over a year old and worn out.

Kathy, Im so impressed with your house purge. I need to do that here and especially in my basement. We used to use that space for a family room and now I want to extend my studio space so Ive got to get rid of the couch, chair and entertainment center. I wonder if the SA would take that furniture?

PM2 I have some fuchsia cuttings in water and some of them that have gotten nice root systems are potted up. Some of both the potted up cuttings and the still in water cuttings have buds and blossoms. They look pretty cute being just little sticks with flowers on the ends. I probably shouldnt let them bloom but I get a kick out of the flowers and it doesnt seem to hurt them any. The latest group of cuttings I took are from the soft growth on the dormant plants.

Marie, that puppy pic is too cute for words.

Chelone, you feeling cranky these days???? LOL ~~~ RE houseplants, Ive found hoyas the absolute most neglect proof, indestructible house plants on the planet. Ive got one plant that I got as a cutting from Dougs grandmother more than thirty years ago. I can pot up some cuttings for you if youd like?

Martie, congratulations on the last college payment! Getting our offspring educated is a major accomplishment.

Cynthia, LOL about the phone bill and trying to find a human. Things are OK these days as long as there arent any problems but once things are messed up, good luck trying to speak with someone who can actually help, let alone speak English. ~~ Yes, the digi photo frames are way cool. ~~ So where are you off to with your new GPS??? I love Edens and your banners too!

Denise, so did you get your rain barrels full???? ~~ What a bummer about your customers wanting their material on Monday and not wanting to pay the fees for you working over the weekend. Cant you ever just say no? or is that not done in your business? I know that when my customers want me to jump through hoops and I do it they tend to say I didnt jump high enough. Some people are just like that. Ive cut way back on my travel seminars because I just dont want to deal with it anymore.

OK Ive about talked myself out. Ive got some potting up to do and I think Im going to get on it. I should get a couple pics of the flowers Ive got under the lights right now. I get such a kick out of them. Oh yes,

Michelle, I wanted to tell you the two geraniums you sent me two years ago are doing beautifully! One has the prettiest soft pink flowers on it right now. It didnt do the best during the summer because it got crowded out in the pot I had it in but its come back beautifully. The other plant isnt blooming presently but is looking gorgeous. Im thinking next year Im going to get cuttings and try to keep the mother plants dormant over the winter.

OK now Im really out of here, have a great day!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:30AM
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High of 46F today, 56F tomorrow and 59F Tuesday. Goodbye snow and ice! (at least for a few days)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:33AM
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Deanne, we have an ongoing thing here lately. The squirrels steal the suet block from the feeder and Bud retrieves it and brings it to Brad just about every morning. I'd love to see some pictures of your light garden plants. We got my mom and dad one of the larger size digital frames for Christmas this year. I think they're very cool too!

Chelone, you've burst my bubble. You mean to tell me Springtime weather won't magically appear in 74 days, lol? I NEED a little folly this time of year so try to indulge me:)

Out to breakfast and then a walk in the fog. Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Hello Idylls

Great to hear from so many - unfortunately I'm behind again but have loved the news and photos.

Friday was a crummy day for me - I woke up feeling hot and cold with stomach cramps. I limped through the morning at work, hoping without avail to feel better as I immersed myself in things, but instead came home and slept the rest of the day and evening. DH is gone but Annie made dinner for David and they both checked in on me frequently. Somehow I managed to get 8 phone calls that evening. Yesterday the chills had gone, but still no appetite. One way to loose those extra Christmas pounds I guess. Much the same today, but my energy is coming back. I love to eat, so having no interest in food is disconcerting and novel at the same time.

Although the skiing will be disappointing for the next few days I'm thrilled we're getting a warm up as I'm hoping to be able to plant bulbs. I ordered from Van Englens' 40% off sale at Thanksgiving and had several hundred bulbs arrive the day after our snow started - darn:0( They've been insulated but kept cool in the garage - do you think they will make it?

David and I just completed a grocery run and we're having quiet time for homework. This afternoon I promised Clousseau a walk, Annie and David a trip to Borders books, and then I'm meeting my book group for a matinee of Atonement. I've been making more tiny bread and pastries and have become hooked on beading. At the moment I'm working on an Indian style bracelet in tiny seed beads to match a necklace I've recently made.

Christmas has been put away here and I'm enjoying some grocery store primrose and hyacinth.

have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Busy, busy week here. I have a few minutes while I wait for the appropriate time to serve lunch. Rick has a farm marketing show thats on PBS from 12 to 12:30 on Sunday that he loves to watch.

We are having our January thaw this weekend. Its nice to see some of the snow go, but it tends to get pretty ugly.

'bug, the puppy is absolutely adorable. I've enjoyed your picture threads of Reed and Skylar. It appears that a lot of fun was had and many wonderful memories made. As for the internet, they should try a subscription to Cyberpatrol. There are others too.

PM2, I've seen that hibiscus before and think it is just yummy. I've resisted bring it home.

Deanne, I have some of the mama pelargoniums in dormancy and cuttings under lights. Last year some varieties took the dormancy much better than others. I actually lost one plant that I had for about 5 years and for some reason didn't have any cuttings of it. I'm proud to say that I do have one fuchsia that is thriving under lights.

Saucy, sometimes its the little things in life that give the most pleasure.

Cynthia, you need to live here where my company always answers calls from our customers and resolves most issues within a few minutes. We actually have cable/internet customers in a town that we don't provide phone service begging us to be their phone company. Their only choice is Qwest and they are none too happy.

I will surely take a walk to get out and enjoy the warm temps today.



    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 1:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Martie...Pelargonium favorites?

Kathy....love the idea of the 5 gallon buckets as rain barrels. [g] I have a ton of those and may try that next year too.

My Mom lived in Florida in the winter and she also had the usual Hibiscus around the patio. I think that is how I became interested in them. So since you grew up with Hibiscus, do you grow any now? I just tried some hardy hibiscus in the garden the past few years and enjoy those too.

Swimming in pools was my main physical activity as a kid too. I don't get to do that much any more, but I really miss it. I manage to get to swim in the ocean in Maine, once every few years. If there was something that could lure me away from gardening, going to the beach and swimming in the ocean would do it. Well..maybe do both? A garden by the ocean...heavenly!!

Saucy....we have had a water filter under the sink for a few years. It is not a Brita, but is from Amway. Once a year we have to change the filter and they always call to remind us and then send us one. Pretty painless and the water is great and better filtering then the faucet kind, I am pretty sure.

We need a photo of your new sneakers. [g]

Deanne....you make keeping the fuchsia over the winter sound easy. I barely manage to keep the few houseplants I have alive until spring. I cut back to a bare minimum this winter, because I realized that I really need that break from gardening during the winter. I still feel tempted to try it again. I have to laugh at myself. :-)

Your suggestion for a Hoya was a great one! I forgot I have one of those too and I barely have to do anything to it and it always looks good. I will have to post a photo when I have a minute. It is a variegated one.

I had about 4 scented geraniums, two that I started from seed and I don't know what happened, I just didn't want to bring them in the house this fall. They did fine for me last year, but were quite leggy because of my western exposure and my refusal to do light setups any more. I was hoping one of them that was supposed to, would bloom the past two summers, but nothing. I also would have tried to keep them if I could have propagated some cuttings from them and kept smaller plants instead of the huge ones they had become.

Mary....Hope you feel back to normal soon and stay healthy the rest of the winter. :-)

Michelle...I bought the Hibiscus at Logee's and actually my DH liked it so I had to bring it home. [g]

Have you successfully propagated the scented geraniums? What is your secret?

The sun is just now coming in my window after gray skies all day...I am going to try to get out there before it disappears again.

Hello to all... :-)


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I've been sweating blood trying to upload (download?) a picture for you. I think I've done it although I'm not sure what I did differently than the 100's of times before.

This is my granddaughter, Mica Elisabeth, wearing her cupcake hat. I love hats on children or anyone for that matter. Those hats on Reed were so cute! It almost makes me wish I could knit (crochet?).

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 4:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What a special cupcake you have there Anise!!!

I'm off to make some soup. It's a misty hazy lazy day here.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 4:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

All of our snow has sublimnated into fog, the fog blew away in the strong winds and now the skies are gray with the threat of rain. So you know what that means? Flood warnings!

I went to the mall right after church and got new shoes for the upcoming shows. I always like to have two pairs so I can switch off each day. Seems to lessen the foot fatigue a little. No free socks, though!

Saucy, how nice to get a little gift like that! Too few retailers remember how much customer loyalty an occasional gesture like that will generate.

Chelone, if you are looking for a foolproof houseplant, I can send you a spider plant baby to root. Last year in late November, I took a baby off the office plant, but then it fell out of my purse and ended up between the seats in my car. It was in the car in the cold for at least two weeks before it was found again, and then stuck in water (and occasionally allowed to dry out) for several weeks. Despite a less than stellar start, it is a flourishing plant today that has three or four babies available. Email me your address if you are interested.

pm2, I had a nutmeg-scented pelargonium for several years. It's not a heavy bloomer but I enjoyed the small gray-green leaves and the nutmeg scent. I finally let it go this year as it really needed a total rejuvenation and my overwintering space was getting crowded.

Which is why a new phalaenopsis followed me home from TJ's today. sigh

The water bottle collection ended up in a shopping bag for the night. I decided I really need to organize the rest of the cabinet space under the island, so that's my goal for the evening. Sounds like a wild night here!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 4:58PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

"When a task needed the chainsaw, she started it, ran it, and sharpened its chain when that turned out to be necessary, too; she was a downeast Maine girl born and bred and took no backchat from machinery."
'Trap Door'
Sarah Graves 2006

Doesn't that remind you of someone....?

gb - ooh I want to meet that puppy! I've also enjoyed your picture threads.

...going back into hibernation again....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 7:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yoga wisdom for the day: One cannot properly execute the downward facing dog position when a large yellow dog curls up between your feet and your hands.

I am trying to do a workout!


ps - Deanne, check your guest room and see how many reporters are holed up in there. Nashua is currently the center of the universe!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Good evening

Just returned from Atonement followed by a glass of wine with my book group at a nearby wine bar. The movie was excellent - I'm embarrased that I remembered so little of the book even though I loved reading back in 2001. Even so I think the movie was fairly true to the novel. In its own right the film was beautiful and moving - one of the best I've seen in a long while.

Anise - what a gorgeous granddaughter - and wonderful hat!!

PM2 - I loved swimming as a child too. Visits to a pool or open water were the highlight of any holiday. We have a small, rather decrepid in-ground pool that has given us more enjoyment than anything I could ever imagine. Annie, David and friends live in there in the summer.

V - I've been tempted by some phals lately but so far have resisted. My rebloom record is not that good. Perhaps we're due for a picture of some of Deanne's as a mid-winter fix.

GB - I'm so looking forward to getting to know a new Idyll puppy!! A very close friend has 6 week lab pups at the moment and we've been making regular visits to hold and play. Fortunately they are owned by her breeder so we have not been tempted. I'm not sure if I commented on your photo threads but I enjoyed each and every one of them. Those glimpses of family life and creativity are what make the Idylls so special.

Hi to those I've missed - I still ahve laundry to fold, a never ending task it seems. I think an early night too to gear up for the week ahead.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Woody, that does sound familiar. Does she wear a lot of protective gear too ;>)

Mary, glad you had a nice outing. Would that movie be OK to take my prudish mother to? That stomach stuff sounds awful, tho loss of appetite vaguely appealing at this point. My SIL does beadwork which makes it great for buying her presents, shopping at the bead shops. How nice that the kids picked up some slack. Now that Annie cooks she can be your sous chef ;)

Shoes. Wish I had a shoe shopping success story. And would it kill me to polish my work shoes occasionally? And why do I keep buying such deadly earnest shoes anyway? Looking down at shoes in elevators, I'm amazed at what women sashay around in these days, the pointiness, the spiky heels. My wearing those would be asking for trouble, like taking up skiing at my age. Still, I admit the dullness of my sensible shoe choices.

I love the way idyll biographical info dribbles out over time and small puzzle pieces fall into place. Now I know Saucy used to command an aircraft carrier, Michelle works in the IT industry, that 'bug approaches with dread these gravel meetings, but I'm wondering what shows V. will be off attending. Just silly musings. Seriously, Saucy, what did you do on your ship anyway?

Deanne, it's true, I'm not the one in charge of deadlines, which is probably true for most everyone but nice that you could ditch some of your uncomfortable deadlines. I checked your website -- what gorgeous painting and can't wait to see your new stuff. Intrigued by and will google this side-loaded brush technique.

Chelone, what a great reading jag you're on, mining that English Tudor monarchs vein. Nothing better than delving deep into one subject, is there?

If my wretched memory serves me right, I believe I'm growing a "dwarf" nutmeg geranium in the front garden, but I should do a sniff test. Might be something else. The nutmeg does tend to get overgrown, which is what I must have been thinking. In the last month, my memory has taken a serious dive (hello, 50 and hormonal). Some nametag-less little species pelargoniums are about to bloom and have been moved out from under the eaves for a drink of rain. P. ionidiflorum at the bottom of the page has light bloom in the front garden.

Hello, Mica! Let the games begin, dueling grandbaby photos!

The rain barrels are merely two 30-gal plastic trash cans at this point, filled to overflowing immediately under the downspouts, but I've got big plans. Ditto for greywater. The greywater regulations are mystifying, kind of a don't-ask/don't tell policy for residential and practically impossible to do in Calif. on a commercial scale. Lots more research is needed. Any idylls using grey water? Probably no need for most of you.

Christmas holiday decor still in full swing here, which I think surprised my mom a bit when she dropped by earlier. Hope everyone has a great week.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 8:44PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick post here tonight for Eden and all who love growing things indoors

The two geraniums on the left were presents from Michelle a couple years ago and the lavender was from Martie.

Fuchsia 'El Duce'. This is a cutting I took in October.

The small fuchsia in the front right is a cutting of 'Autumnale' I got from Mary at Idyllunion this summer.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:03PM
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    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sweet little grandaughter Alise. :-) I love her hat too!

V. sounds like we let our geraniums go for the same reasons. I am sure I will try them again at some point. Orchids are fun. My son gave me one for Christmas two years ago and it bloomed a long time and then after a brief rest, bloomed again. Most of a year it was in bloom, but an attempt to repot it, and it was history. Another plant I will try again. Very enjoyable with very little attention.

Mary...swimming is such good exercise, too. We had one growing up and wow did it keep us busy. My Mom was so smart, it tired us out and we slept good at night, too. Sounds like you were smart to provide that for your kids.

Denise, are those all your geraniums in your link?

Deanne...! Well, I am just wondering what you do to keep your indoor plants growing so well and looking so healthy. Are they all growing under lights? The begonias in that last photo...so shiny and healthy looking, and is that a variegated abutilon in the back of the second from the last photo? If so, what color are the blooms? I have not seen one with so much white variegation..really gorgeous! All of your coleus and blooming fuschia in the house! lol You are a wiz!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Oh My Gosh Deanne! What beauties! Your plants look better in the dead of winter than most peoples do during peak gardening season. I know my fuchsias never look that good. I see you've mastered overwintering begonias too. Thanks for posting these. You're the best!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:05PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A link for Denise because she needs to know!

And Denise, skip the pointy toes and ski-hi heels and check out some of the jazzed-up mary janes out now. Privo, Merrill, Naturalizer, Earth Bound, Clarkes all have some nice ones with the key to foot happiness for over-50 women - arch support! You can be sensible and have fun at the same time.

End of shoe commercial!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Congratulations Deanne! Every plant is healthy and beautiful! I did a quick review of mine and will be pitching many. Leaving for a couple of weeks just doesn't work. They get over watered or forgotten...or insects! The new puppy would probably eat them even if they did last til mid February.

Well I enjoyed hearing from DD today. It seems they went out Saturday to buy DSIL new skates. Success! They found a pair of used skates in the very smallest size made for Reed for next year. What a hoot! They enjoyed skating at a park, Reed asleep on DD's back. Then they returned home and DSIL began his first day as SAHD (Stay at Home Dad). He cleaned out the fridge!!! Something tells me he will "one up" DD! Competitive housework, can you believe?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 10:25PM
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Just had a chance to skim but caught a few things aside from Deanne's amazing plants and a new Idyllkid to enjoy!!!

Saucy: Papa Geno is not at all related to Papa Gino's (thank whomever one believes in) but is Gene Gage. I "met" him years and years ago on-line via an herbs forum -- one of the first really active garden forums on the web. When I "knew" him he was one of the first internet plant providers around. Did some trialing for him, with his patient help tried to seed out white lavender (didn't work) and generally learned a lot. All his stuff is awesome. The WFF SG's are his, Better Homes and Gardens SG's are his, his real passion though he won't admit it is Hosta (or was) and it's one of the finest herb suppliers in the country, IMHO.

Fav pelargoniums: Fringed Apple, Lemon-Rose, Variegated Mint, Lemon Crispum (DEANNE and other containerers -- amazing foliage unlike most anything else), and Nutmeg. Some are easy to propogate, some are downright now worth the trouble :-)

Running but will catch up later. Gotta love Spider plants, V. :-)

Martie, who feels Denise's 50yo pains but wears heels anyway

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:22AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I just ran across this advice that I had to share with Deanne: "When each batch of growing medium arrives for a new crop, check it for fungus gnats by filling a 1-gallon baggie half-full with moist medium. If fungus gnat adults emerge within 2 weeks, consider applying a fungus gnat treatment at planting time." It sounds like fungus gnats are arriving in soil mixes, so you may want to check your potting soil before using it indoors.

And a word to Chelone - I drove to work this morning just before 7:00 am in complete, utter blackness. Where's that sun you were talking about? those mornings that come earlier each day? I feel like we've just taken a huge step backwards. I even checked my clock three times to be sure I hadn't left an hour early.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning - been loving the photos - but dont have much to offer.

Thanks so much though, Deanne, for those fantastic photos - I still can't believe how healthy they look.

V- interesting re the fungus nats - but who can wait 2 weeks when they buy the soil? Usually, LOL, I buy it because I need to pot something up right away! I have found it an increasing problem, however; got the buggers flying around the house this winter and I have only brought in 2 new plants (an agave & the aloe)....

I guess Im back in hibernation too -- altho it's to be in the 60s here today and tomorrow so that should perk me up.

Lots on the plate today, so back to work.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well were in store for a January thaw this week and Im hoping we dont completely lose our blanket of snow over the gardens. Im soooo. happy you are enjoying the pics of the indoor plants. I REALLY love to putter about with the plants and find it to be therapeutic.

Thanks V. for that info re fungus gnats. Id pretty much figured out last year that my problems were with the Miracle Grow Potting soil Id gotten from HD. Id get the darned things cleaned out and as soon as I did any potting up I had a ton of the dratted insects again. This year Ive started using the ProMix that I get in a three cubic foot bag from Blue Seal and havent had any problems with the fungus gnats. I really like the idea of checking out a new potting medium before using it though and will put that in my culture regimen.

Martie and Denise, I still wear pointy toe, high heels even though Im mid 50s. Just love the darned things.

Bug, looks like you had a great time with your family over the holidays but I agree that two weeks of not being around to take care of the plants isnt the best thing for them. No matter how hard I try to show Doug what needs doing he really doesnt get it. I think part of it is a feel for how they are doing also. Sorry you are going to have to pitch some of your plants. Oh well, soon youll have a new puppy and then you wouldnt have time for the indoor plants anyway and Im sure youll have a lot more fun with the new puppy.

Eden, thanks! Glad you enjoyed the pics. The begonias are an angel wing type called Fannie Moser. I also have a variety called Sinbad that isnt doing as well indoors as the Fannie Moser. They all receive the same care so I have no idea why one variety does better than another.

Pm2, yes all the plants in those photographs are grown under lights. I use full spectrum daylight bulbs in my fixtures and leave the lights on from 6:00AM until 10:00PM. And yes, that variegated plant is Abutilon Savitzii. Ive never had any flowers on this one but it was very small when I got it last spring. Its also slow growing but I think it will be worth the effort to have a four foot mature specimen of that variety.

Denise, thanks! How neat you checked out my web site. Side-loading is a technique that can be used with water based paint, mostly acrylics. You have a flat (bright) brush that has a bit of water in it then corner load the brush with paint so that the paint covers about 1/3rd of the bristles. Then, press and pull the brush in short stroking motions of the brush on a waxed palette. This causes the paint to blend in a smooth value change from the corner/paint loaded side of the brush to the clean water side of the brush. Any and all value changes can be glazed onto an acrylic painting in thin applications of color using this technique.

Mary, my phalaenopsis are only just budding up now and are really late to get going this year for some reason. Ill grab a few pics when I have a few more plants in bloom. ~~ Doug will contact you about dinner. Hes looking forward to the visit.

V. ROTFLOL Nashua is the center of the universe. You crack me up. The political stuff is making me crazy. WE get about ten phone calls a day and the doorbell is also ringing several times a day. Makes me want to take my name of the registered voter list. They really go after you if youre registered as an independent.

Michelle, Im so happy to hear youve got a fuchsia thriving under the lights. They really do well with light culture. The only foolproof way to kill them is by overwatering and Ive done my share of that over the years.

OK Ive got to get some exercise in and get some work done here. Have a great day all.


PS I finally got a couple of my 2007 garden galleries uploaded. I had troubles because of our Firewall and Doug figured out the problem yesterday. Anyway, Im going to post the links on a separate thread. They have a lot of photos but are worth the wait.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Good mid morning to you.

Mary, the movie sounds wonderful! I look forward to seeing it myself. It sounds as though your stomach ailments have passed - I cringed at the description.

I just picked up The Alchemist....anyone read it? It looks short but satisfying :) Nothing compared to Atonement or Chelone's selections, I'm sure :)

I'm in the school of thinking that shoes that look good, but hurt, should only be worn when one needs to only walk 20 steps to the table, sit, eat, and 20 steps back out to a vehicle where she will be carted home....I love my Clark's!

What a cupcake, Anise! I agree....let the cute baby wars begin! I love that hat!

I see Deanne is already playing with plants....probably concocting grand schemes for the next season! I am in awe of what you do with plants INSIDE the house! I was the first day I saw your houseplants. I, too, would like to see your orchids! Is it worth sticking my phaleo under the lights? Can I save it?

V., I am highly interested in the Logging part of this show! I can't imagine. Chelone, wanna take a road trip with me? You can get a bunch of states under your belt....do we get to cross the Mighty Miss?

Martie, I am seriously considering some scented geraniums, thank you....I had a rose scented one once that I really liked. I do like textures and scents in the garden almost more than color. I taste alot, too, especially since my neighbor sells a large part of herbs.

Denise, my ship was a Submarine Tender....large, but no Air Craft Carrier. My shop was right on the flight deck (think helo pad) and we used to sit out there alot....especially at night in the middle of the ocean during darken ship....just you and the stars :) A tender does all the repairs for a battle group - which is what we were when we travelled to the first Gulf war. The repairs I did were for all pumps and valves. I later moved to a base where I worked in a shop taking care of A/C for all ships - including some air craft carriers.

Being in the middle of the ocean was all at once boring and exciting....I don't think I'd do it again (not even a cruise ship) now, but I wouldn't trade the experience.

V., I think your dog is very smart if he's able to do yoga :) He was doing the downward facing dog himself....do you get Oxygen? I love the guy who does yoga at 6am....I feel like I'm doing yoga with James Taylor, LOL!

Well, I've taken two calls that need tending to, so I'm out of here...



    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So grey and foggy here still with thunderstorms predicted for this evening. Perhaps by tomorrow we can find the hoses and store them in the barn at last.

So I've been cleaning up some of the dead and dying cuttings. Here are a few survivors:

The trouble is that the coleus are at the stage where they no longer fit under lights. I probably need to start the process over by now. :(

These cuttings of streptocarpus were blooming before I even stuck them in soil.

And a single begonia leaf produced this plant:

It all keeps me in colour for the winter months, even if I throw away more than I gain.

By the way, have you tried Free Rice lately? I tend to forget about it, but I'm sure hungry people need it just as much now, whether I'm busy or not. I noticed how seriously down all the numbers are since Christmas.

Back to business...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 3:41PM
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No Deanne, not cranky. Just a realist who sees little point in counting down to spring at the expense of all the beauty that winter can bestow, IF you opt to look for it. I think it was John Lennon who made some remark about missing today because you're too busy looking for tomorrow. ;) Remember V., Eastport, Me. is the eastern most point in the USA... and I can walk across the road and view the N. Atlantic; I see what will be well before some of my Idyll friends even stir in their slumber... . But being up and active before it's light is DEFINITELY the way to bust the winter blues, you guys. Really, if daylight is limited, it really does behoove you to get up and make a point of watching it overtake your area. It's magical.

And you all know that I hate kids and dogs, for Pete's sake. Wet spot, what wet spot?! I kick 'em outta the way before they get that close.

Mr. Drywall rolled in at the crack of 11 AM today (the day was half gone, for chrissakes). I have not gone out to inspect the work, but will since the "ROBO installers" broke a lot of corners and several of the cuts were about what I'd expect of MYSELF on a bad day, lol. Helpmeet has set the studs around the stairwell and framed for the door at the base of it. I believe the sheetrock and insulation are ready to be installed, so Mr. Drywall can do his thing before going away.

I'm thinkin' one of V.'s spider babies might be just what I need, though I've drooled over 'bug's Streptocarpus... yummy!

Rex and I went for a "forced march" today. Poor beast, he's taken to going on unchaparoned "walkabouts" lately. NOT good. So I asked him if he wanted me to clip on his "string"? He was silent until I asked him to "tell me", at which point he erupted into frightful barking until the "string" was in my hand. We did the "road walkie" (wow!). He was SO excited about being on his "string" it made me feel really BAD. I would truly love to know the maximum capacity of male dog's bladder... . He took an extended piss before we set out, and damned if he didn't hit virtually everything that had any sort of scent on it all the way out and all the way home. Amazing!

The tree is down, the decorations packed lovingly away for Christmas '08 and most of the needles have been collected and disposed of. Funny how the room looks barren now that our little tribute to the Solstice has been hauled out to the burn pile...

Very warm today and supposed to continue for the next few days... good thing for our renewed skating rink. Yikes. Dog and kitties are still able to travel on the snowpack, though the latter don't venture too far from the security of the woodpile and the deck.

I go back to work tomorrow and will be reindoctrinated by mopping the floor (can't wait!) and then attacking a quickie restaple on a seat that has a new plywood base.

Roger that, 10-4. Over and out.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 5:33PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

How warm was it today? Well, it's 59 F right now and a tornado touched down 10 miles north of the house.

I think I can count the drive home as some sort of cardio workout. It normally takes me 20 minutes to drive home, and just after I left the forecaster from the Weather Channel projected that the very real tornado would hit the general area of my house in 20 minutes.

I made in home in just over 10, and the tornado passed north.

But now I'm typing from the basement bathroom (who knew the wireless worked here?) as the sirens have started going nuts. Nothing on the radar, but I think I'll chill here a bit.

I usually think of winter as my respite from tornado season!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Cloudy and warm here (40s?). Much of the driveway rink melted today... no tornado watch here, V..

Yikes! does wireless in the your bathroom make you feel less alone? (hope so).

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:12PM
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Well, I have been such a slacker, in both the tending of plants and Idylling.
I have just about decided to stop trying to overwinter plants. I think I need the break and used to only keep houseplants that could thrive with neglect. I think it was just the great new varities of coleus that got me going on saving them in case I couldn't replace them. Oh yes and then their are my angel wing begonias and yadda, yadda ,yadda. Anyway I have been seriously neglecting them.

V, interesting tidbit about the fungus knats. What do they treat with at planting time? I use yellow sticky traps near the lights, and get a lot of them that way. I would much perfer to get knat free potting soil.
Deanne are you able to buy the pro mix locally, or do you have to order it?
I see you are plotting out new container designs. Nice backdrop too. Your plants reflect your loving touch.

GB, the dreary snow picture is quite haunting. All the family photos you have shared are priceless. I'll be waiting to hear how DSIL progresses as stay at home Dad. By the way I thought the mural was great. The puppy seems to be developing some of the furry coat. I'm anxious to see it progress. What are the front runners in the name department?

Anise, what a cutie your grandaughter is. I'm intriqued by her name.

Shoes.... Since I am not a dress up kinda gal, mine tend to the more sensible comfy ones. That said however, I noticed how dumpy they looked in the wedding photos. I will have to try to remedy that for the next one in April.

Mary, I have a note jotted down that you asked about my new guitar. I bought a Martin Accoustic Electric one. It wasn't the one I had picked out for a long time, but I think I like it better than the other one. It has a great sound and is easy to fret. It is one of the reasons I haven't been Idylling as much.
Are you doing violin lessons now?

Also Kathy had asked if I had my pond built. I built it myself, but I did have use of a skidloader to dig and move rocks. Also a supply of rocks from the creek. DH lent a hand when absolutely necessary.
It was so cold here for a few days that the small waterfall in the little pond out front almost froze up. Since then we have been have spring like weather and the leaves are blowing about , so we have to keep dipping them out. Love the warmth but not the wind.

By the way V is your swiming pond froze over? Do you have a view of it from the house?

Saucy, I agree, the yoga guy on Oxygen does look like James Taylor.
Your description of sitting on deck at night on the ocean was interesting. I can picture you looking at the stars. Thanks for sharing about you service job. We don't often think about the things it takes to keep everything in running order. I can see why you are such an asset to the business you and Nick have.

Denise, I enjoy hearing about your job and where it leads you as well as your DHs. In fact this whole group is interesting.

Woody, the picture of you sitting on the floor with the dogs was so homey feeling. The companionship of animals is hard to beat. They don't ask for much in return.

Babs, so good to be updated on your goings on. The boys are growing and your fireplace was just great. Waiting for the christmas vacation sequel.

When I think about your area I also think about Drema. So Drema, we need an update on your activities please?

I know I'm going to miss a lot of commenting here but wanted to say hi at least. Not much going on here right now. Wyatt turns five tomorrow, which is about how long I've been posting here I think. His party is not until the weekend. Two more big grandkid birthdays to remember this month too. I'm not very good at remembering things on time. LOL
I liked the quote someone posted earlier. " sometimes its just too much stuff in your head , and some of it needs to go."

By the way. DH and I were down on the waterfront at Lacleades Landing in St. Louis yesterday. Old cobble streets and outdoor cafes etc. Horse drawn carriages. Brought to mind tales I've read of the earliest fur traders and such that started the city.
Just thought I'd throw that in. I wish my eyes would allow me to read more. I would do like Chelone and read more history. I do enjoy the history channel on tv though.

I've rambled enough for now. Say goodnight Norma.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:32PM
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Yikes V. I hope it has blown over by now.

Chelone, I often sit with no lights on in the house early mornings just to watch the day break.

Oh and returning from St. Louis the other eve, we saw a beautiful sunset. Something I don't get to see here in the woods.
LOL about Rexs bladder.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 7:43PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A calmer V. has left the bathroom. It was a mildly frightening experience. According to the radio, the storm was out of our area, but then I saw fire trucks headed north and heard all sorts of sirens, including something that sounded like a tornado siren. Now, we're about dab smack between two towns and I don't think I've ever heard a tornado siren, so I'm not sure what it was, but it had that lower pitch that sets it apart from emergency vehicles. And seeing fire trucks headed north is always a bad sign, since we are just north of our town's fire district. Fire trucks going north means they've called on adjoining towns.

So thinking safety first, ask questions later, I grabbed the laptop, the phone and the dogs and headed to the basement bathroom. Really, I was surprised to find out that the wireless worked so well down there. Anyway, several minutes of watching the radar convinced me that there was no storm about to bear down on me.

When the tornado hit north of me, it derailed several cars of a freight train. Now it looks like there is a haz-mat situation going on with one of the railcars. Two more police cars just went by, so it looks like it may be serious.

It is times like this that I don't enjoy being home alone! Yes, the dogs keep me company but I also worry about how I would handle "da both o' dem" if things got more serious.

So in between all of this fun, I took Mystic to the vet again. His allergies flared up again, so the vet ruled out outside causes. Now I think it may be the all-natural peanut butter & molasses dog treats that I switched to about three months ago! I'll keep him off the treats for the next several weeks and see if that helps.

There was an Irish wolfhound in the waiting room who was just stunning. Funny thing was, he and Mystic decided that they were long-lost friends! Quite interesting to see how these two just immediately took to each other. The wolfhound made Msytic look like a toy poodle, though. His owner said he had had a similar reaction to another black lab they had encountered in a store not too long ago. Can't say that Mystic has ever seen another Irish Wolfhound, though.

Chelone, I'm going to go take a baby off my spider plant right now and start rooting it. Then we'll both have to go to Deanne's TYNAW party so I can give you your new plant!

'bug, I thought you hate coleus, like Chelone hates dogs and kids? Don't tell Deanne, but when my overwintered coleus get too tall, I just prune them back and throw away the prunings!

Hi Norma! My pond was all frozen until today, now there's open water around the edges. We didn't have any interesting patterns like your pond, though - just milky white ice. We don't have a good view of the pond from inside the house, but you can easily see it from the deck or the screened porch. I've only been to downtown StL a couple of times, but I have thought about all the history that took place there. I would have liked to see the Mighty Miss before it was so civilized.

Speaking of the Mississippi, Saucy, it's still a couple of hours west of me (and Chicago). But if you and Chelone came out here, I would gladly drive you over to Rock Island and we could view the river and do a little bald eagle watching.

In the "what next?" catgory, I now have helicopters going over. I suspect it's news crews out of Chicago. I'll have to try to stay awake for the 10:00pm news!

I think it's time to clean up the kitchen, pack tomorrow's lunch and then settle down with the yoga tape again. It was filmed in Maui, with no tornados in sight!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:48PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well thats a scare and a half V!!!!! Holy moly, I turned on the Weather Channel after I read your post and it looks like there is an enormous squall line wreaking havoc. So glad you and home are OK.

Bug, lovely plants. That Peter Wonder is a beautiful coleus and I killed my cuttings of that one!!! Grrrr. I havent seen any more aphids upstairs though so it was worth the loss of plants to get rid of the dam ed bugs.

Chelone, Ohhhh .got it, in truth, I dont pine away my days waiting for spring and I do enjoy the winter for many reasons including my quiet time with the birds and camera, but, I also like dreaming about the coming spring. But as much as you enjoy the emerging daylight this time of the year I really love a good, screaming Noreaster. Speaking of weather, we broke the record for the warmest its ever been here in January. The temp got up to 49 and the previous record was 48. We are apparently going to hit another high temp tomorrow and Wednesday. Go figure?

Saucy, is that photo the vessel you were stationed on? Very neat shot. ~~ Id definitely try the Phalaenopsis under the lights. They do very well in light culture.

Hi Norma, re shoes, Ive see some really nice looking dress flats lately with open toes, bows, metallic or patent leather. Anyway, there are some nice dressy shoes out there with low heels. ~~ That quote about too much stuff. And some of it needs to go." Applies to my house big time. Sometimes Id like to gut the place and start over again. How on earth do we collect so much stuff?

OK I finished my 2007 Autumn Garden gallery today also and Im going to add that link to the other thread. Take a peek when you have the time please.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I didn't want to use the "e" word but the radio just did - 500 residents evacuated about 9 miles away due to the railcar leak. Fortunately, the wind is blowing from me towards the site of the leak, so we shouldn't be in any danger here.

But you do start wondering who would take in me AND my dogs?


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:11PM
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I wonder can the photos get any better around Idyll land ? The dead of winter and so much to view including cute baby pics. I decided to sit down and pay bills before I go look at Deannes gallery; who knows how long I may lollygag over that .

Anise do I see a plant in the background of Baby Micas pic ? Always on the lookout yknow.

Scented geraniums-I have some that have lost their tags many moons ago, but my fave is the basic peppermint. Most of mine will die to the ground in winter , but roar back just fine in spring I usually move them close up to the house under the eaves and that will suffice. But I always take a cutting of the peppermint just in case. Nutmeg always weathers the winter best unless we get low 20s.

Deanne your winter garden looks very perky indeed ! Im kind of looking forward to having an overwintering set-up of some sort. I will have a greenhouse , but the size is yet to be determined and Im certain that there will be items coming indoors. I also have Abutilon Savitzii. It stays out all winter, and has never bloomed for me. Ive had it about 3 years.

Saucy may be the first to post a bum shot of a ship.

V ..thinkin maybe the Midwest has the most hateful weather in the US. Maybe our windstorm last Friday just kept moving your way. Our weather emergencies here are usually flood related and a basement is no place to be (if you can even find a house that has one-a basement is not a great place to be during an earthquake either) but it surely is scary when the sirens start going. Hey I got an invite to the Mid-Am . Not a happening thing for me. Got Florida in Feb, possibly again in March, Vegas in May, and that may be all she wrote for me after 20 years of schlepping around to these things . Most of the hort trade shows we go to are in fall .

Nice to see you Norma ! Ive been to Lacleades Landing in St Louis too it was a few years ago though. We listened to a great jazz group but I dont remember the name of the club/restaurant we were in. Been to St Louis several times but never got much further afield than the several blocks around the convention center. I do however have a great memory of a Willie Nelson concert at the old restored Fox theater what a tight band that guy had.

OK, time to go look at Deannes gallery, and hi to everyonebut where is Marian? She hasnt checked in for several days I dont think Yoo hoo Marian !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bathroom, helicopters, dogs, sirens, haz-mat, evacuation... V, would you please settle down!!! It's not going to happen, but anyone would take you in! Eden, Honey, Dremma...ME! Woody would probably at least take the dogs! ;-) Just don't start running off in pointed 5" stiletto heels. (I'd wear ugly black running shoes with orthotics...Oh yeah, I aready do.)

LOL about Saucy's "first to post a bum shot of a ship". Also enjoy the concept of "dueling" grandchildren! Hehehehe.

Well things have melted enough that we FOUND the hoses. Maybe tomorrow we can do something about storing them.

I'm enjoying creating light soups for dinners these days. Tonight it was Udon noodles, spicy broth, cabbage, mushroons, a bit of chicken and water chestnuts. Mmmmmm. (No chocolate though) Having the lighter meal at night seems a good idea to me, just like Marian does. Are you making that owl puzzle O quiet one?

Last year at this time winter had not even begun and the family was here for their visit! I remember driving Skyler about on the mower and Chalotte running about with us through the grass. Hard to believe! We are having a sort of heat wave now, at least a break from bitter cold. But there will be more winter in our future I am certain. That's why I have those coleus (which I hate!) still struggling in the back room. I also have a lavender plant which each week seems to lose more stems, yet I want to save it badly!!! Same with my rosemary.

Came home with daffodils and hyacinths today. I NEEDED them! Mary gave me the idea.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 10:34PM
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More thawing with mild temps today.

Little Mica is a doll!

Deanne, you certainly have the Midas touch with indoor gardening. Mine are surviving, but yours are thriving! Fun to see my babies looking so good at your house. I havent had a chance to check out your picture thread, but I certainly will. I tried to de-Christmas my house tonight. I dont believe Ive ever been so late.

bug, your indoor plants are looking great too. I did the Free Rice thing today for a bit.

Norma, Im very impressed that you built your own pond.

V, that is unreal, tornado in January. If you get Chelone over the Miss, whats a few hundred more miles to my place? Im impressed that you pack your lunch the night before, I usually scramble in the a.m.

As for houseplants, cactus, aloe vera and umbrella tree.

Night all, I think I should go check my plants under lights. Deanne, no worry about over watering, under watering is usually the problem


    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 11:33PM
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Oh pooh!I'm behind again-and *already*!lol

Deanne I am chuckling because I look at my pitiful coleus.etc. cuttings on my windowsill that look like crap but I figure they are stuck with no sun and in just water and here are your potted cuttings looking wonderful/spectacular-it just struck me funny: )

Saucy I have been thinking of you alot because I don't want you to ever feel like you are a slacker when it comes to creative pursuits-it's just not true and I do believe Mary, and I know for myself, that we did have a bit of formal training for the artistic stuff....hey,you are the tufa artist-didn't you try that? Honestly I think anyone who gardens has that creative streak: )
BTW I had the kids lunches packed and clothes lined up as well the night before-they were great getting up so early these last two days-so that was a relief. As for myself...all I can think of is when will I get back into my cozy bed again?...lol.

~drive by cuz I hafta go to work : (

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Rain here. 57F expected today. The snow is mostly gone and the creek is flooding. Would you believe MOLE HILLS?! Snow expected again by Friday. So glad I have the daffodils and some good news! We get to socialize with the puppies on Feb 3rd and bring ours home on the 16th. Wheeeeee!
PS: The hoses are in the barn at last! We never did get the storm windows up after the painters left....

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:17PM
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Hello from an Idyll slacker! Life has been a bit chaotic around here (again or still?) and I've been unable to have the computer time that I use to have. Hopefully soon (very, very soon?) I will only have the twins 2 days a week and then with that, have more 'me' time and be back to visiting with all of you more often. I miss you!! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love taking care of these little men.....but I am selfish enough to cherish my free time, too.

Babies are here and just waking from their nap (I hear giggles from the bedroom so not long before the yelling for Grammie to come get them out of their cribs begins). I am so very behind on reading so forgive me for not commenting on anyone or anything this time. I hope to catch up with reading soon.

My best to all!!!

Oh! I'm typing this on my new wireless laptop!! Don't I think I'm hot stuff to be sitting in an easy chair in the living room instead of stuck to my chair at the PC desk. :o) It is the little pleasures in life that add up to big smiles. ;o)

Okay, being 'paged' now so need to go..

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 2:26PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

How nice to see an idyller slacker checking in! We miss you and your elk stories, T. Hope the twins and the other grandkids are doing well. Enjoy the wireless laptop!

Things are much calmer here today. Sadly, I found out today that an apple orchard that our family really has enjoyed was heavily damaged by the tornado. Fortunately, none of the apple trees were damaged, but all of their buildings, including the owners' home, were heavily damaged. At least buildings can be rebuilt or improvised by fall, but there's no way you would reproduce an apple crop in one season.

Deanne, did I tell you that your cuttings are amazing?

Chelone, I'm rooting a baby for you.

I have been amazingly productive since I got home this afternoon. Lots of little odds and ends cleared up. In between I've been burning my favorite CD's to my iPod. Now I'm going to clear some odds and ends out of the fridge and create fried rice with it.

Michelle, if I don't organize my lunch the night before, I end up spending my lunch half-hour cruising to the taco bell in the next town. While I don't mind TB too much, I figure my homemade food is probably a little better for me!

No more great words of wisdom from me, so I guess I'll get back to work.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 7:19PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Warning I need to rant and rave a bit. Im writing this to try and distract myself because Im really, really hungry and Im out of calories for the day.. Trying to get serious and lose the weigh I accumulated last year. Grrrrrr.. I paid more attention to something else (like being distressed for DDs mess of a life) and pouff the weight just attaches itself back to my ample butt. It seems if Im not super diligent every single day of my life I gain weight at light speed. Makes me crazy because I REALLY love good wine and good food. Grrrrr OK end of rant.

V. Im so glad you are OK but sad to hear about the apple orchard. Farmers have a difficult enough time eking out a living that things like that can put them out of business. Thank goodness the tress are all right. ~~ So glad you like the pic of the plants. You can see them in person end of next month???

Hi T. how great to hear from you. You are going to be completely spoiled with the wireless set up. I know I am. And yes, being wireless is one of the big pleasures in life. LOL

Bug, Ill bet you cant wait to get that puppy home. How fun. Will you be able to take pictures when you visit on te 3rd? ~~ It actually got up to 62 degrees here today and I had my sliding door open. Incredible. ~~ I had to do a double take when I read your post because it thought you said you finally got the horses into the barn. LOL

Babs, if I had to accomplish in a day what you do I probably wouldnt even have cuttings on the window sill.

Michelle, I got all our Christmas stuff put away last weekend and as much as I love the decorations it feels good to have my house back to normal. I guess everything is fun in its season. ~~ RE your babies Im tickled pink that they are doing so well this winter. I almost lost them over last winter and they are special because they came from you.

Martie, you arent going to believe this but my Goodwin Creek is going to bloom under the lights!!! Cool!

Kathy, Im so jealous that you are going to have a greenhouse. Id dearly love a cold greenhouse for my fuchsias. Theyd do so much better in that situation than in my basement because it really is a bit to warm for them down there. RE your A. Savitzii, how large has it gotten for you in three years. Ive heard that they arent very vigorous but I saw a couple gorgeous specimens at Chanticlear this summer and just love the foliage on that plant.

OK well Im still hungry but the urge to stuff a cow down my throat has passed so I guess I can brush my teeth and get ready for bed. LOL Have a great evening all.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 8:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So sorry Deanne. Fretting about our kids is the pits. I used to drink a BIG glass of water and then walk the treadmill when I got hungry. It worked much of the time to distract me. I need to return to that mode FAST! LOL about those horses in the barn!

I expect to take photos of the pups when we visit them. I don't think it will disturb them too much. We'll see how it goes.

It really was dramatic here today with huge ice flows crashing into our bridge. As long as the bridge holds (it will!), we are OK. May lose some plants though. Then it all starts again with snow on Friday. Darn....

I'm really behind in my book club reading. Sigh. Having DH home all the time means less gets done. How is that???

Hi T! Hope you have a bit more time soon, though time with grandkids can't be beat [most of the time ;-)].

Ciao for now,

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Hi T, good to hear from you. I'm looking forward to your being around more.

V, good to hear it didn't hit your place. Scary stuff.
I called to wish Wyatt Happy Bithday tonite, and DS said they were all really tired. Jake is really frightened of storms so they were up most of the night. While I heard some of it, I guess I slept through the worst. DH said it got pretty wicked here too. At least we should be getting built up on some of the rain we missed all year. It would be nice to see water in the creeks again.

We had a nice visit and lunch out today with friends. DH has been antsy the last couple of days so It was a nice break.

I hope everyone is well. Norma

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:35PM
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A rainy Tuesday in NorCal and a quick check in---

I especially loved the fuchsia pics on Deannes Autumn gallery. So many of the named varieties that I have known all the way back to my childhood-Southgate, Swingtime, Dark eyes.. etc. I noticed that you had no name on the all white- I had one that succumbed to the dreaded mite that was very like that and was Feather Duster. Thanks for taking the time to take these photos, name them and post them .I m sure it was a labor of love . A visit to your garden is on my to-do list! Re: the Abutilon, it has never gotten over 2 ft for me. I dont thing the location is the best though. This is one of the plants that will be moving with me.

T, Hi and nice to see another PST dweller checking in. ! Who is your wireless internet provider up there ? My BILs have Qwest in Portland but I have not heard much to impress me about them thus far, and I find their computer to be way slower than what I am used to.

Ok gotta go, see yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 9:40PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well Im in a much better mood with breakfast under my belt and feeling proud that I didnt succumb to the hungries last night. I just went to bed and read a book. ~~ I did my civic duty and voted yesterday. I went to the polls around 2:30PM and I was able to just breeze in and out. Worked out well. Im SO glad this is over. My telephone must have rung about fifteen times yesterday. I dont know why these people think an annoying phone call to my residence will gain my vote.

Kathy, sooo glad you liked the fuchsia pics. I had a really great time recording their flush of fall blooms. I dont believe Ive ever had so very many flowers on them as I did last fall. The weather must have been perfect for them. RE the white one, it is a variety I picked up at HD and didnt have a tag. I wish I knew what its name was as its a lovely variety. Slow to get going in the spring like Constance but a real trooper late summer and fall. ~~ You are welcome to come and visit here anytime, but late July and August are the best months for our gardens here.

Bug, pretty scary with ice flows hitting your bridge. I dont know that Id want to drive over it when that was going on! LOL

Norma, glad you didnt get any damage from those storms. Id hear that There were tornados in Arkansas too. Hope Marian is OK.

All right, time to get to the gym and do my hour on the stairs. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 8:03AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning -- I just wanted to pop in a wee bit and offer some shoulder for you, Deanne -- I know all too well how those lbs creep (or in my case, wham! in a month) back on -- I gained almost 15 from the excuse of the houseguest and family issues in the last couple of months and am trying to get back to losing those and more - it's soo tough - especially when we love food to begin with, right? You really do have such willpower though, Deanne -- just think of all you've accomplished weight and health wise generally in the last # of years!

I just got a chance to start looking at all the breathtaking photos that you took the time to post, Deanne -- you've unfortunately re-invigorated my desire (and searching, LOL) for mail order perennials (when I thought I would swear off). As we know, I DO NOT have any willpower -- whether it's food or plants - eeeks. I only got to look at the first string so far - it's been wacky crazy here at ofc again. And I havent yet looked at all of 'bug's photos either -

You guys are such fantastic photographers - I guess it goes along w/ being such creative gardeners - you capture it all so incredibly.

We hit a record high of 73 yesterday - but winter is descending again -- there's even talk of some of that s*** stuff Sunday nite -- Im having trouble w/ these extremes - it makes for a tough adjustment for clothes in offices and sleeping at nite! I forget that a lot of you folks have been experiencing a real "winter" w/ lots of that stuff and ice, etc.

I had to chuckle outloud w/ the wonders of wireless -- and V, you taking it into shelter in the bathroom with you! Must be your new "security blanket"? I find Chloe is not so fond of wireless - that thing on my lap interferes w/ her relaxation.

Is it Friday yet? Having to work a full 5 days in a row is tough, tough.

Maybe we should all start cuttings of houseplants for Chelone to send to her to try out? Altho I think w/ the south facing exposure she was talking about, that's supposed to be ideal for houseplants isnt it(at least for those that like sun?)... I squish all of mine in the eastern exposure ones I've got and they limp along.

Hey, Denise -- the geminiflora agave seems to be the only succulent really suffering from my care so far -- it's limp, limp & a few tendrils(?) are turning yellow/brown & dying -- I was watering lightly once a week -- I can't decide if Im overwatering, underwatering, or it's suffering from being too close to a window or not enough sun.... Any other agave nuts got some ideas? I keep meaning to email Yucca-do to get their advice but only remember when I get home and see it....

And o, yes, Saucy -- I think I recall you asking about St. John's? My DD & her husband went there last summer and adored it - they said it was one of the most beautiful beaches they've seen (& they both donned scuba gear to explore - a first for her).

I know I've forgotten most everyone else here -- but wanted to just say congrats to Deanne for making it thru the hungries battle for the nite -- keep up the good work.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning! Good to see others awake and busy already. I'm slowed down...sore throat. I hope it doesn't escalate into strep throat and have been gargling salt water...which I hate. With my brother arriving tomorrow, I hate to think I could be contagious then.

Well it has been a VERY noisy night and morning with high winds and flooding. I'll post another thread soon as I took some photos. I saw a poor blue heron trying to go fishing...but no way would a fish be nearby at this time of year with such a current.

Feeling badly about my indoor gardening abilities, I went out and bought 2 tiny variegated ivy plants at the grocery store. Hey, they're alive!

Cross your fingers that the water isn't still rising....

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 9:34AM
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'bug, your comment re the waters still rising gave me a start. I wrote a rather flip comment to your picture thread, which looks like a novelty to me being so unfamiliar with such conditions, that the danger never occurred to me. Thinking of your farm today with receding waters.

Tornadoes, floods, what's next?

Mitch in NYC had a good job interview yesterday, got along well with the office German Shepherd and thinks he may have nailed the position, kind of an office assistant/photo assistant hybrid.

I pirated that geranium site, it's not mine. Not sure of ethics but just grabbed the first picture I found.

Cindy, re the geminiflora, I'd say keep it on the dry side. I've seen those in four inch pots local and will grab one if still available for your spring backup.

Gotta run, hello to all. Deanne, you are one strong-minded person. Shall we do an idyll post-holiday group diet? No numbers, just encouragement.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 11:14AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Wow ! You all have been busy since I was last here. Espacially Marie with all her links and pics....:-)

My computer bit the dust last wednesday. I finally broke down and took it to a repair man. It was first thought that the modem had died...but that turned out to not be the case. Now he is sure it is a virus. He is diligently working on correcting the problem. He had hoped to have it ready for me to bring home yesterday, but couldn't...:-(
So he did the next best, and set up a loaner for me. I miss my email but will not bother trying to set it up on this machine.
I have skimmed over the recent posts, and want to thank V for the info on Netflix. I keep buying more DVDs but need to cut down on doing that!
I am thankful to hear that the Monday's storms did no harm to anyone who we have heard from. I hope this is true of our Oklahoma members also.( I haven't checked the Ozark Gardening forum yet. ) I was glued to the TV all evening, and very impressed by the weathermen on Springfield's stations, espacially KY3.
We had some driving winds and electrical storms with hail,and heavy rains, but no damage. Although we were under a tornado watch until 5AM I went to bed around 10 and slept through most of what was going on outside. Nolon apparently heard more of it than I did.

Marie, I finished the owl puzzle a couple of days ago. It is a pretty picture. I felt it was tougher than the Hummingbird one, because of much less color. I haven't taken it up yet, but have been rather at a loss with no computer and no puzzle to work on !

My appologies to all that I offended with the link I put on my member page....the ensuing silence is palpable!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cindy, you are warmer than we are here. Yesterday we did beat a record I believe at 62 degrees. Warm and windy right now and looks like by Friday it will be in the high 30s again and rain predicted. Forecasts have a way of changing around here though, the closer you get to the day predicted. Snow is almost melted in the garden.

Hello Denise...Will keep my fingers crossed that Mitch gets the job!

Sorry to hear about your computer problems Marian. Nice that they offered you a loaner though. They don't always.

GBug....you sound so calm describing your flooded landscape. Does that mean this isn't the first time it has happened? I hope it will recede quickly enough to limit the damage. Really sorry to hear you are getting a sore throat just as your brother is due for a visit. We keep a supply of face masks in the house the past few winters. Seems to be making a difference in how many people in the house come down with something. Not fun to visit in a mask though. [g]

I think I would rather deal with the Nor'easters in the winter, than flooding and tornados. My sincere sympathies to those of you dealing with extreme weather.

No crisis here today to report. My DH injured his back 4 months ago and had his follow up this morning and is doing very well and doesn't have to go back any more. He is continuing an independent program to stay on track at the PT though. We are very happy that PT worked and no surgery was needed. We have managed to walk three times since the new year and heading out again tonight.

That's about it from here...I'll be back when I have something interesting to report. Right now it is just boring. [g] Nothing boring about all of your posts though. I am sure some of you are wishing for less interesting about now. :-)

Enjoy your day...!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 12:44PM
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Not much going on here. We're working on our flooring project. Since it is a floating floor, we will be adding quarter round trim, so that needs to be painted for the beadboard and stained for the cabinets. Tonight is our office holiday party. Kind of weird, but its here at the office and right after work.

T, grandkids are lots of fun, but its ok to want your own life too. Enjoy the laptop.

Deanne, that is just the pits that you have to work so hard and then the weight still comes on the minute you let your guard down. I did some work with my cuttings after being so inspired by yours. At least they are now pinched and watered. Several of the coleus and pelargoniums look fabulous. Others not so much. One of the fabulous ones is from you. I don't recall the name. Its kind of cream, green and pink.

Denise, good luck to Mitch on the job.

PM2, what good news that you DH was able to avoid surgery. Im definitely for that.

Norma, glad to hear that you were unaffected by the storms. Happy birthday to Wyatt. Is he 5?

Stay warm and dry!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 1:58PM
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Wow, every time I hear a news/weather report it seems like another Idyller is in a stormy path! Hope everything calms down soon.

PM2: So glad DH is doing well. LOL about Hibiscus 'The Path' and your DH twisting your arm. I was there and know it took about a 2deg turn to get you to say "yes"

Deanne: That you recognize the need to make some changes is 90% of the battle. We're with you!!! Ah 1, and ah 2, and ah 3.....

Chelone: I silently (okay, not so silently) cursed you for not taking Rich up on his offer since I ended up doing sanding, anyway, and no tree gift was offered for my solo performance. LOL Love the idea that your Rex enjoys his string. Any dog that likes to be on a leash is hard to hate.

So good to hear from T.! Just woken giggling toddlers are a true blessing.

Marian: Computers are great until they aren't, period. I did look at your link but am choosing not to get into a discussion on beliefs here, only to say that I'm glad this group's similarities outweigh differences, or there would be no group :-)

Denise: HOOOORAY for Mitch!! We've been deficient in trying to reach him again, but hope he sticks around on the East coast! Did you ever get your word on your house in lights?

Cindy - Good to hear you sounding more like yourself :-)

Kathy and All -- remember this is coming from Martie the toss-the-plant-when-appropriate Gal. I say we all head to California and yank plants for Kathy so that things like 2'tall Var. Abutilons will not perish. Do you have any idea how BIG that seems to this New Englander?? Even in the "wrong place"??

Mary: May I rent Annie for a few weeks? I could use kitchen backup! LOL Your beading sounds mind-bending. Looking forward to pics.

V: There are just no words for that kind of fear ..... Hope you did something especially nice for yourself when you surfaced.

Wishing I could hang out a bit longer but a conference call with $$$$ attached is due any second.

Stay Safe Everyone!!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, I had no wish to create a discussion...just wanted to clear up a few things so there would be no misunderstandings. When I get my computer back, I will delete that link. I desire peace, not controversy!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 5:02PM
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I hope there are no storm's brewing anywhere.

I'm just here to share that Katie's GPS (it's hers really so that I can take her places) got me to the recycle center which accepts used computer equipment today.

I feel like a free woman! 7 monitors, 2 printers, 2 hard drives, 1 fax machine fit in my car and I was so happy to nestle them into the the big red trucks at the dump. There was an attendant there who told me quick firmly 'no toaster ovens.' I don't have a toaster oven so to keep the conversation going said: 'What about microwaves?' He pointed off in the distance and then watched me carefully to make sure a microwave didn't end up in the hard drive and printer truck.

So. I think next week, I'll take the dead microwave from the cellar, along with 3 laptops and 3 more hard drives that need be cleaned first- data not dust:) I may have to take pictures of my attic when I'm done, but it is so much better already! Audrey was curled up on an old bench up there all day. Looking for mice I hope, as most of the orientals stored up there had been....de-fringed. They also knawed on some fake gourds and pumpkins.

Deanne, I don't know anyone who works harder at managing their body than you do. I'm sorry you're suffering, just not fair. But you're beautiful, so don't be too hard on yourself.

Loved all the pics, no time to comment, but wanted to say hi, especially to that sweet new entrant 'Mica'. What a cutie! And Saucy, that ship is serious! Wow.


(PS: Chelone, spring is here! 70s all week, 60 something today. I get up between 4 and 5 and the sun doesn't come up here until 3PM or so :-)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 6:17PM
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The var. Abutilon is also moving to Oregon. Sorry Martie ! But Im leaving behind about 60 roses that you are welcome to come dig up ! Abutilons often survive the winter quite nicely here .

Marian, glad to see you back .. I hope your computer recovers ok ! Do you think you will loose any data?

Denise, good vibes out to the youngun trying to make a stand in the Big City. Hope he gets the position if he wishes it. A foot in the door is often all it takes.

Cindy, I will second Denises advise to keep that agave on the dry side. Remember that these plants live in our landscapes here with no/very little summer water at all. To me , once a week sounds like a lot. The few succulents I move inside for the winter (mostly Kalanchoes which are frost tender) get water maybe once a month.

Cynthia, I did an electronics recycle last June ..what a great feeling that was to get rid of that stuff ! I had one of those giant pre-flat screen monitors, old defunct stereo equipment and speakers, and about 4 dead keyboards. I now have another pile collected in the garage, awaiting the next free recycle event at our community college.
A Katie update ??? Please advise !

Deanne, Ill keep the peak garden times in mind ! How fun it would be to do a NE Idyll tour ..and what Cindy said- your discipline is admirable.

Ok time to go for tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 8:46PM
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Marian, bad that you had computer trouble, good that you didn't get hit by a tornado.

Yes Michelle, Wyatt did turn five. I'mm looking forward to his party Sat. Haven't seen him since christmas.

Our weather is turning colder again but the sun was shining today. I made a stab a taking care of the plants under the lights downstairs. Was able to take a few out on the patio and hose them off. I hope to get back down there tomorrow and do some repoting.
The whole basement needs a cleanup/makeover. Cynthia when you are finished with the attic come on over. Does it take special hardware to clean an old hardrive? I need look up a place to take some old equipment too.

Where is Wendy? Norma

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 8:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, I still had all my documents and pictures when I took it in, so I don't think they will be lost. I sure hope not! I am sure missing having all of my stuff, including my great long list of bookmarked sites, and my email. Thanks...I am glad to be able to let all know that I am okay....both mentally and physically..:-)

Norma, I am glad our weather is turning back to more seasonal temps. I was afraid there would be a lot of premature growth and get frozen back like last year. Did your temps get up to 70? Ours did. I didn't even need a fire in our stove for 2 days ! I noticed the insects were coming out. I wouldn't have been surprised to have seen a snake...it was so warm.

Pm2, I doubt if the repairman sends loaners home with all his costumers. That is just one of the perks of being an old lady....LOL. Besides, he and I have a mutual friendship with the ISP tech of my internet service. ( I have never met her in person, but have consulted her frequently over the phone.) She is the one who recommended him to me.
When I got the loaned computer home, and hooked up all the components, I couldn't get it to connect with my ISP. It was so frustrating, because all else was working. I finally called for help, and she walked me through the problem. It turned out that the phone number that he had put on the computer for the connection was for Boone County, and I live in Newton County !Duh! Now why didn't I notice that !!?? Funny how simple some of our problems turn out to be.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 9:41PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening everyone,

Well Im in a much better mood tonight and am slowly getting to the resigned to my fate stage. Yes, it doesnt seem fair that I can exercise this much and still gain weight at the whiff of a whoopee pieLOL. I guess I ate too many of them. Te he The deal is that its just too darned easy to put too much into my mouth when there is lots of good eating around if Im not counting every single calorie that goes into my mouth. Ive got to keep my consumption under 1,500 per day and do an hour of cardio and burn off 500 on the stairs if I want to lose any weight and that will only get me about a one pound a week loss. The good news is that I can still do an hour on the Stairmaster and my knees dont hurt so that is a very, very good thing. Im sure there are a lot of women my age who couldnt do the workouts I put in and I have to feel pretty good about my fitness level.

I have to thank all of you for being so supportive and letting me vent my frustration. I wont make a habit of it. Promise. Youre all pretty marvelous and I needed that positive reinforcement. Im remembering that the year I took off the initial 100 pounds I went to bed hungry every night. It is just time to get used to that again.

Norma, I LOL when I read that you took some plants out on the patio to hose them off, I did exactly the same thing today. I had a couple plants that had mites that needed a good hosing and treatment with miticide. Ive got them draining off in the garage overnight and will bring them in tomorrow all sparkling clean.

Kathy, wed all LOVE it if you came to visit and did the tour of our NE gardens. Lots to see in our neck of the woods.

Cynthia, I sincerely wish I could get Doug to clean out our old computers, keyboards, monitors, lap tops, etc., etc. His shop is filled with stuff that we will never, ever use again. He is a total packrat and it takes quite a bit of persuasion, coercion, and sometimes outright threats to get him to part with his stuff. I can imagine you feel like a free woman getting rid of all that old computer stuff. In my dreams.

Martie, Ummmm, right now I have four, two-foot abutilons under the lights downstairs, along with your blooming Goodwin Creek lavender. Dont you have a light set-up for your seed starting? Its quite a bit of fun in the winter to tend the babies. Abutilons are really easy to winter over and a couple of my A. pictums are four years old now.

Michelle, isnt it fun to pinch and groom those indoor coleus and pelargoniums???? I think its therapeutic. Pics of the fabulous looking plants please. I dont recall the name of that coleus but might if I saw a photo.

PM2 I agree that Id rather deal with a rip snorting blizzard than tornados. WE do get flooding here but not where our house is located. ~~ Glad to hear your DH is doing well after his injury.

Denise, a group diet is a great idea. I think we did something similar about four years ago and a lot of us took off some weight. ~~ Congrats to Mitch. Hope he gets that job.

Bug, hope the water is receding tonight.

Cindy, thanks so much, you are really sweet. I completely understand the gain weight when you are under stress thing. Some people lose weight and unfortunately, like you, I gain. I know you can take it off too. Im planning on having this all off my back by June. No ifs ands or buts about it. When my back begins to hurt again and my knees begin to get painful it gives me a wake up call. I have no choice but to get it off if I want to continue to stay active.

So the last couple days Ive had zip birds in the feeders here. I know the warmer temps and loss of snow pack will reduce the numbers but I had NO birds at all. Well I figured it out, guess who came for lunch today????

Yep it was my local Sharp-shinned Hawk. No wonder the song birds have been scarce. I took the pic through the closed slider and was surprised that it turned out marginally OK. Believe me, my windows really arent clean so this was a surprise.

OK, time to hit the sack. Im beat and need to get to the gym early tomorrow.

Nite all

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 9:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

OK, I wrote a long rant about something that happened to me, and then it got deleted by mistake. So I'll take that as a sign that I should just say good evening to my idyll friends, and I'll be back tomorrow!


    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Good morning

We had a lovely visit here with Doug Tuesday night (he is here on one of his frequent business trips). Deanne - thank you for the loan of your hubbie!! That hawk is fantastic, not one I'm familiar with. Your workouts sound incredible and it is completely rotten that with all your calorie restriction weight still has a way of creeping back.

We were awoken around 5 the yesterday morning as 75 mph winds blew through the area sounding like a freight train. We lost power and then internet for the rest of the day but fortunately no tree of property damage. Annie and David had an unexpected day off school which they thoroughly enjoyed with neighbors playing Pictionary and watching DVD's of I Love Lucy and Fawlty Towers when power returned. No such luck for me - my school district stayed open and I had a few anxious moments driving in.

Denise - that is very exciting for DS - I have my fingers croseed for him.

Norma - how fun you are enjoying your new guitar so much.

Marian - glad you are safe.

Cynthia - how is Katie doing?

I need to get ready for work so will catch everyone else later.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:49AM
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How wierd - I had to give my name and email to get this to post. Anyone else had to do so? I thought they removed emails from our posts a long time ago for security reasons.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:52AM
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LOL, Mary, I hope they fix this soon!

I'm just checking in and will catch up when I return from the gym.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 7:28AM
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Hi...I had the same problem on this forum but it didn't require the email address on another forum. Well..hope this will post now...

Good morning..

Thanks to all for your good wishes for my DH. :-) We got out and walked again last night and it is starting to feel more comfortable. Holding my breath that I can continue along and make it a routine. I have tried this a number of times before and have had trouble with it.

Martie, you are right, it was no hardship to bring home 'The Path'. There is very little that my DH would like that I wouldn't like just as much...lol.

V..... So tell me, what are your favorite CDs that you recently uploaded to your IPOD? I have not been making the time to listen to music for way too long. I haven't had anything new that interests me in a long time, so maybe that's it. My daughter surprised me when just before Christmas she asked me to listen to a singer she is listening to a lot. Michael Buble. When I heard a few of his songs, I got a good chuckle, since he sounds so much like a lot of the old singers that I have tried on many occasions to interest the kids in. Frank Sinatra...being one. So evidently my efforts were not without effect. [g]

Your last post gave me a good chuckle this morning. Have had that happen to me so often, that now I am in the habit of composing my posts in WordPad before copy/pasting to the forum. Hope you have a better day today. :-)

Deanne...I just really loved that photo you posted of Chanticlear. Is that a large gardenia behind the bench? Whoever composed that little sitting area had a lot of talent. Understated and elegant. Those two abutilons are so exciting! So full, so healthy and something about the shape of the leaf and just a perfect balance of variegation for me. Thanks for posting that!

Saucy.....I just noticed the photo of the Dixon that you posted. So fascinating that you served on a ship! Was that the navy or the coast guard? It has me wondering about when you became interested in gardening. Oh, I meant to ask you about this new ability to request copies of a deceased Social Security application. I tried starting to do some research for a family tree, but I had so little info to go on, I just had to let it go. So, you can request the copy but only if you have the Social Security number?

Norma....Nice to see a post from you. :-) I pretty much decided not to overwinter plants too. This year I am keeping a few easy houseplants that will move out to the garden in the good weather. For a few years, I was trying to keep coleus going all winter and experimenting with overwintering annuals, but I found I was just too distracted with other things to give them the time. Maybe at some point I will try it again. For some reason I haven't seen any fungus knats this year.

So you never did say how you are doing with your new guitar. You must be getting pretty good at it. Do you record any of your music?

I also rarely get to see a sunrise or sunset, just because of the way our house is situated and how close neighboring trees are to the house. Really miss that too and appreciate it when I get to finally see the sky more.

Really sorry to hear that Jake is frightened of storms. I had an aunt that was deathly afraid of storms and would hide in a closet. The only thing I ever heard about it was that her mother had been afraid of storms and would take out the rosary beads when there was a storm. So strange though that my mother, her sister was two years younger and never developed a fear of storms, but instead really enjoyed them. I hope he will be able to find a way to recover from his fear.

Cynthia...I am so jealous that you have gotten rid of old computer equipment! I am planning a whole house purge this winter. I still have my first computer from 1995 that I just haven't had the time to figure out how to get some of the files transferred to my current computer and wipe the hard drive clean or figure out where you can dispose of them. Our town is pretty good about having ways to get rid of things and probably a call to town hall would answer that. I think I am going to be starting on all that very soon. Congratulations!

Kathy...thanks for the advice re: Kalanchoes. Mine hasn't been looking as good as I thought it should and I think I have been watering it too much.

Marian...I agree, sometimes it is a very small, simple thing that is at the root of our problems, but it is like searching for a needle in a haystack sometimes. [g]

Looks like it's going to be a sunny day here..


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 7:33AM
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Oh good, I'm not the only one who had/has an embarrassing stash of old hardware. What's the R factor on a monitor anyway? I called the solid waste department and they gave me the name of the facility which accepts used equipment year round. Norma, use WipeDrive or Drivescrubber. I recommend getting it on disc so you can do the deed in the attic or whereever your secret stash is collecting dust:)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 8:05AM
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Good morning all!

Just a quick drive-by this AM. I'm trying to burn a new Rolling Stones CD for the car, I need some new music for driving and the radio drives me crazy in the AM - too much yackety-yack.

I was surprised to see all the "mystery guests" here, then I figured it out. I had to enter my stuff too in order to post. Go figure.

I'll try to come back later to chat, waving to all for now!

Have to run, but I thought you guys would get a kick out of the email I received this AM. The Christmas cookies and fudge are gone from this house, now to get rid of the bad habits having that stuff around led me to. DH most helpfully got my hand weights and workout mat out for me this AM - is it kindness or a hint??

author unknown

Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I would taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store it was less a walk than a lumber.
I remembered the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare.

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "None for me, please."
As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt.

I said to myself, as only I can
"You can't spend another winter disguised as a man!"
So -- away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won't have a cookie -- not even a lick.
I'll chew only on long celery sticks.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, life's no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!


PS I hate the word diet, can we come up with a better one?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 8:56AM
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Good Morning all !!! It is great to be able to say this again. It seems like I was off line a lot longer than a week!
The weather threw me a curve last night..but it was a good curve. I expected it to be rather cold, and had a big night stick for the stove... but couldn't put it in since it was too full of the previous 'feeding'. I thought 'Oh well'. and shut it down and went to bed. I figured I could get up in the middle of the night and put in the night stick ( although it is hard for me to do after my joints and muscles tighten up):-(. Well, it turned out that it remained 'warm' all night, and was still about 63 indoors when I got up. Nice !

As you all know...I do too much 'thinking', but every now and then an extra good thought comes to my mind...lol. The one that dawned on me this morning is = I am not trying to 'make' anyone think like I do...I just want everyone to understand where I am coming from! Does that make sense? I have always been rather outspoken, but I do not mean to hurt anyone, and I would like to have the same respect shown to me. I certainly hope I would never be guilty of deliberatly 'pushing someone's button' to get a rise out of them. I rather envy those who can overlook all the ugliness around them ( Nolon is that way). I analyze and dissect evrything!!!

All this talk of recycling appliances has me wondering if I can find a place for the old old computer I toted in from the storage building yesterday, before I got the loaner connected with the ISP. I attempted to set it up, but couldn't get the key board and mouse to work. I even hooked up the old ones and still got no response. At least I was keeping busy, and it was better than setting around stewing until I could get help. :-) BUT...now the old old 'puter is setting beside me, and I don't want to return it to the shed!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Have you noticed the red 'notice' at the top of the opening page? I suspect that is the problem. Let's hope it is corrected soon !


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Well, this is starting to get entertaining - i wonder when they'll fix this email/post biz!

Thanks you West Coasters - I figured you'd have good advice re the agave -- I have not consistently been watering every week but will try to just cut to the 1 a month. Denise - how sweet of you to offer - boy, the temptation to send you $100 & have you go agave shopping for me there, LOL.... no - I better see if I can keep these first babes alive! I actually did see the a.geminiflora at the local nursery where I got the blooming spooted aloe -- but I resisted the 2' pot at $20 -- it was a spritely dark green & more 'exhuberant' looking than mine which reinforced the feeling that mine is suffering.

Well, Cynthia - I confess I was startled by the electronics debris you'd accumulated - wow - very impressive! But Im sure I've got hoards of other things like books, magazines, etc., that lurk in my house - it is one novelty of having a townhouse, the storage is not great and I am often forced to cull.

Well, Im late on work here and it's back to winter - brrrrr.....


    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Good morning. I did such a fast skim that I retained little to nothing about what I read. :o\ I'm also posting after 100, which I just remembered seeing when I logged in. Oh well, I will just say 'hello' and check in again another time. Today is my day to play with the twins as is tomorrow.

One problem I'm having with using the laptop and would LOVE any input if anyone knows why it happens.....as I'm typing along all of a sudden the cursor will jump to an area in the middle of where I've already typed and my typing goes there. I am careful to not be hitting any other keys (so far as I know) and I'm also not resting my palms on the touchpad.....any ideas? It is frustrating and I cannot think of a way to word the problem so I can look for a solution on the web.....Thanks for any input on what I could be doing wrong!

My best to all---it is raining hard here and suppose to continue throughout the day.

P.S. Kathy, you asked about wireless providers...I have satellite internet which is my only option other than dial-up where I live, the wireless I spoke of is just using the in house wireless router.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 10:52AM
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