Idyll #300 The Promise of Spring

Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)January 11, 2007

Only with winter comes the promise of Spring!

Carry on Idylls :)

The sky is dark and sullen

The trees look so forlorn

The days are short, a chill sets in

A winter day is born.

I yearn for spring so long ago

A day spent in the park

Among the blooming daffodil

The wren and meadowlark.

I long for gentle days of rain

A warm breeze in the air

The fragrance of a lilac tree

A day so ever fair.

Beneath the dead decaying leaves

A bud does wait anew

To reach its arms up to the sky

When winter days are through.

Beyond the bitter winds that blow

A breeze awaits to greet

To bring in sun kissed golden rod

And tender grass so sweet.

Just as the winter fades away

To this one hope I cling

Our God, who gives the winter wind

Will surely bring the spring.

Author: Marilyn Ferguson

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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Jerri...what a great start to the 300th thread! I'd never heard that poem before, but love it. Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 9:25PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Hi everyone. I've missed so much that I'll just give everyone (((((hugs))))) for lost pets, and wish everyone health and happiness for 2007. A few comments old and new.

Jerri I too love the poem. I miss EP too.

Michelle I'm glad you were all right from your car accident. I was upset to hear that no one stopped for you. I had a fall today, flat onto my back, on black ice, and people came to see if I were all right. I'm not recommending SNOWY, ICEY, WINDSTORMY, Vancouver though, right now. We've had several wind storms, way more than before and two snow storms this winter. Others have gained a zone, I think I've lost one or two zones. I was very careful to wipe the whole of my car of snow. My SIL's friend vision was blocked by snow falling off of her mini van roof, swerved into oncoming traffic, and her aunt was killed. The moral of the story and your encounter with the ice that hit your car from the big truck, is everyone should clean off the buildup of snow, and ice, to me anyway.

I was looking at doing Richea's family's family tree. With his parents both having large families, it will be quite a task. There are 17 on his father's side and 14 on his mother's side. First I have to do the year end taxes, though. That shouldn't take too long, and I like the work, but I need to do a new project.

Eden great news about your mom. I'm so relieved for you and your family.

(((((Drema))))) very sorry about your brother. I hope I understand that his health will improve. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way

pm2 you can have my winter. It's nothing but wind and rain, rain, rain, with the odd day of snow thrown in to confuse us. Vancouverites do not do snow well. The roads are a real hazard when things get slippery.

T glad the family is over the flu. Those wise looking little charlie Brown babies deserve some down time on the whole sickness thing and so do you and their mama and pop.

My thoughts are with Chelone. I hope you're feeling stronger.

Monique Happy Birthday

Sorry about the evil neighbor's Dog attacking your Ollie. Hugs to you, yours and your pups. After the next door neighbor's pit bull's attempted attack on Leah, and attack on the dog across the alley, I'm a zero tolerance type of person about dog attacks. I put the blame solely on the owners of the attacking dog. They should be fined and jailed if warranted!

Babs I'm Happy Yew is Near too. I got a chuckle after Marian showed me exactly how much denser I am than most, lol. ;)

Honey I hope the funks have left, and stay away. I'm having the usual troubles with keeping them at bay some days, though the meds take the edge off, and it's definitely better. Did you decide what to do about the garden tour? I don't remember. I think it will be great. Take lots of pics. People interested in my plants always makes me smile.

Taryn Happy Birthday. I wish your computer could start up and open the Idylls, like an automatic coffee maker. When you got up we'd be there in living Idyll color. I hope all is going well.

I've missed so many, but I wish you the best too, and think of you often. It's one a.m. here again though and I must to sleep.


Here is a link that might be useful: ?? THIRD COUSIN ONCE REMOVED ??

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:10AM
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Good morning from the "real" New England. We're expecting the storm here on Monday. Fortunately, I have the day off for MLK Day so won't have to go to battle with those who drive like they're in Florida when there's ice and snow blowing about.

Drema: We would have a lot to talk about. When I start talking about my brother I could talk for three days. So glad your brother can communicate enough to let you know that he knows you're there. Have you concocted a wiggle language? I'm not kidding, as my DB's brain used to shut down his voice and different body movements meant different things. When he'd start to "come back" we'd have fun at the expense of any mean nurses and they didn't have a clue. Glad you feel he's "in there." I know exactly what you mean.

Marian: Wish we lived closeby so Rich could get up on your roof. You have officially become my houseplant Queen if your Jade is blooming. It being a succulent, it's instant death when one comes into my house.

PM2: Seed I'm most excited about; hmmmmmm. Believe it or not, probably my Lavandula angustifolia, plain old English Lavender. At one point I was a serious collector and had 30 or so varieties in the ground in Z5. Also did trialing of it and it never ceased to amaze me. I have a few L. x intermedia in this park, but no swaths of the plant. So, I'm excited that the park will feel more like "home" with a bunch of lavs planted here and there. Every garden should have it!!

That poem is perfect for today, Jerri. Was it Sue who said some time back that the longer it's not winter, the sooner Spring will come? The weather has been so wacky that a blizzard in June doesn't seem out of the question.

Okay: The huge news of the week (subject to change as it always is when Kyle is involved :-) He has decided to do his international study in England, but at a school right outside of London. Reason? He's decided to minor in Economics and they have a very strong International Finance program.

Other Big Difference: He'll be there for a whole year.

SOOOOOOOOOOO Rich and I decided that by saving all of our AMEX points for the whole year (substantial since we both use cards for business to help keep things straight) we will be in London for Christmas and spend New Year's Eve 2007 in Paris with Ky and whoever else he knows that wants to go!! It's doable financially (save those points, save those points) and with careful client planning we can be gone for 12 days without missing a beat. I've never been to Europe so the prospect is really exciting to me.

The only thing I will forego is the plan to rent a car and drive on the Autoban. On that day I will be shopping :-)

The drudges seem to be lifting and way-too pessimistic people are coming to their senses a bit.

Waving and shouting "HI" to everyone. Everybody Stay Safe!!!!!!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:17AM
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Good morning everyone

Happy 300th Idyll! As one of our founders I hope Taryn will be able to stop by and help celebrate - Saucy too.

I'm running late but wanted to wave to everyone and tell Martie how excited I am that she is going to England - yay!!!

Chelone - I hope your days are getting better.

I too have a long weekend approaching so hope to be more visible.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 7:37AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Neat poem, Jerri.

Where in the world did this week go? My boss has been out all week so I've been able to get lots of work done. It's still yearendsville here though so I've got to get cracking.

I'm still waiting for that winter weather they keep promising here. Keep in mind that I don't consider 35 F and sunny cold but apparently that is "normal" winter weather for January in central CT. Today it's supposed to hit 50 F. Yes, Martie, it's me who says every moderate January day is one less potentially frigid winter day. In another week or so the mean temperature starts to rise again. The chances of us getting sub zero weather after that are slim to none.

Kathy, here people collect stuff in both their basements and garages. Fortunately neither Tom or I are packrats and have something the resembles organization in both places. None of my neighbors is able to fit a car in their garage. Every winter morning I see them all out there scraping ice, in other winters, snow, and running their engines to warm everything up. Seems like it would be easier to clean the garage but apparently not.

Last night I finalized the count and meal choices for Tom's party. Counting Tom and I there will be 41 people. Should be fun.

PM, yes my garden will be open on September 16th through the Garden Conservancy Open Days program. There will be 3 other gardens open in the general area on the same day including Steve Silk's. Hopefully it will give people a reason to make a day out of it.

OK, must run...


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 8:30AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I love that #300 is Promise of Spring -- my most favorite season. Very fitting, Jerri!!

TGIF as well - luckily we're only to get rain here on and off for 3 days -- Im astounded to hear of the West Coast weather -- 18 degrees in Napa area, Kathy? wow -- and Vancouver (zone 8)....yeona -- yikes.... Mother Nature sure is fickle isnt she?

PM2 -- yes, that is a shot of my garden last year in spring; it's Narcissus Thalia w/ Abigail and White Triumphator Trulips. I love those Thalia -- they have the multiple blooms, are white, white, and just so cheerful; I've been very happy with them. The other tulips are not unfortunately very "perennial"; they die off after a few years; I am going to be interested to see how many make them thru to this spring....

Havent got much to offer here; Im looking forward to the 3-day weekend; ordered my Cercis Covey & trying to decide upon a couple of different locations I've got planned; hoping to really kick back & make lists & review this weekend before I send more orders in and consider what I need to move (much as I hate moving....lazy gardener that I am).

I hope you all that are getting that ice hunker down safely!!


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think I'll ask for a trip to Connecticut for an early birthday present. I'd love to see Steve Silk's place and of course Sue's once again with it's changes. ;-)

Cindy, I too love Thalia. She is a late bloomer for me, so not the first joy of Spring, but a beauty nevertheless!

We've had the crazy weather everyone else is flummoxed by and my gardens are alternating between drowning and freezing without protection. Very agitating. I hope to throw my Christmas tree branches on a few spots this weekend, but that won't begin to deal with the many things that need cover. Today is to be 44F and then freezing returns.

My brother has arrived for a few days from New Jersey so we will be catching up and relaxing together over the weekend. He likes to take us out to that will be my first real challenge to the diet.

Wonderful photos Honey!
Drema, sounds like there's lots of well founded hope for your DB! Super!
I agree, fun sweater there for DH Woody! (minus the dagger!)

Maybe next week I'll have to follow along with others and clean up the garage. YUCK. The basement isn't too horrible. My hope of starting seeds there was dashed when the cats destroyed them there last year. This year I still have several out of control coleus thriving. I'm sure they won't last until May/June though....


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:31AM
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Well, here goes. I have not really been reading with great comprehension, though many things have brought a much needed smile to my face. For that, each and every one of you has earned my undying gratitude. :)

I'm settling into the new routine, but the worry about minute details continues. Does my brother know Mum prefers her fruit at room temperature? does he know she likes her socks to match her slacks? will he schedule a haircut/manicure and will he help her trim her toenails? Has he provided her with a comfy armchair and side table in her room? I know he will take good care of her needs, but there's more to it than simply "maintenance". I have resolved myself to the understanding that he will do what I've had to do over the course of the past 3 1/2 yrs. FIGURE IT OUT and make it work.

I am not at all sure my relationship with my brother will ever recover from this episode. It's that that worries me more than anything; even while I understand that if it can be so easily broken there probably wasn't much there in the first place... . So, on second thought, perhaps it's that realization that has been so devastating. I'm now struggling with rising anger, outrage, and embarrassment that I was foolish enough to be allow myself to be so manipulated and used for so long. The bile rises in my throat at the thought, but that's all part of it, too, I guess.

We went to Mum's home during the week. I was overwhelmed by the scope of the task awaiting me. No garage, but a full basement, a packed house, AND an attic! I took pictures of the furniture, tagged the pieces I wish to retain, and removed several pieces of artwork and sentimental family mementos. It is doubtful I will be able to remove the furniture as the window of opportunity of bare ground will be closed on Sunday and will likely not be reopened until April/May. I was again roused to anger at the realization that my repeated requests for Mum to go to my brother's in the fall were ignored. NOW, I have to wait until the spring to empty the house... it will coincide nicely with the onslaught of the "busy season" at the shop and the nursery! The house is in abyssmal condition. Wooden window frames are rotting, so are some rake boards, there is a drainage issue on the north side of the home... there are mice in the house. AND the mess will increase in the coming months. I SO sympathize with Marian's worry about routine maintenance.

I did not know Jades flowered, anyone have a picture? Obviously, I am no afficionado of houseplants. At present I'm watching two aged Amaryllis bulbs plod toward blossoming... IF they have the requisite OOMPH to get there. I've been patiently and strategically cutting the rescued Geraniums back so that there are a few flowers to enjoy through the depths of winter. Aside from those, there is nothing else green here. I've thought about a Grape Ivy, but never do buy one. And we've not had a Christmas cactus for several years now, though I love them. What might you suggest as something easy and foregiving that would tolerate a southly room and the dry heat of a woodstove? (this is your chance, Marian!).

Mary, has the full tale of the AWOL teens come to light? and what is Annie's take on the whole episode? Also, is the "Holland" story an exerpt from the book of correspondence beteen two mothers of Fragile X syndrome children?

Deanne, I meant to ask you if you've ever heard of a magazine called, "Orion"? We receive it and on the January/February '07 cover there is an amazing photograph of a Horned Owl. The detail is astonishing and there is snow on the feathers over its eyes and beak, testimony to the insulating properties of feathers. I loved the shot of Mrs. Cardinal... isn't she a dainty, demure treasure? and it's great to see the "better half" of the scarlet glamor boys. I also thought of you as I packed up the tole work at Mum's home.

The wedding pictures were great. Pretty dresses, loving smiles full of hope for the future... all that weddings ought to be. Good for the soul. :)

For all who struggle with unhappiness, loss, frustration please know I understand and will offer whatever I can to help in my own small way. It's often difficult to regain your stride after being whacked on shins sharply. Please know that while I'm still limping, the "shoulders" offered here have helped immeasurably and given me pause to reflect on circumstances differently.

Taryn, I wish you fond, belated birthday wishes. My photo files are in such disarray that the thought of trying to dig up a suitable one is too much. ;)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:58AM
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It's rainy here today, 41F, but no snow, but maybe this weekend says the weatherman. I read somewhere that the 3rd week in Jan is statistically the worst of winter. So far we've had it good here, I hope our luck holds out!

Martie, Even though I'm not starting seeds all 14 of my 4 ft. lights are in use overwintering various things. I haven't done much indoor seed starting the last couple of years, mostly winter/spring sowing. I'll stick some annual seeds in milk jugs outside in late April.

Drema, I'm so glad to hear your brother is improving. I remember when Meg was on a ventilator for that week after she had Bella. It's very scary not being able to communicate. It's good that he's close so you can visit! Hope he continues to improve quickly!

Norma, this must be the time of year for culling out all of the plants we just had to keep last fall. Funny how perspective on which ones we really need changes as the winter drags on.

Prairiemoon, My newest begonias are Enech, Green Acres and Elizabeth Lahn. I did bake the other day, cyclops cookies, the peanutbutter ones with the chocolate kiss in the middle. Those are David's (ds) favorites.

Chelone, you sound better in your post this morning, like your getting things sorted out. Going through your mums home will be a big job. Take it one step at a time.

Bella's here today but won't be for the next three days and since Brad has Sunday and Monday off we're going to start painting the office/library room. I chose a color (finally), a soft yellow called Corn Silk. The trim will be Cottage White. One wall will be floor to ceiling bookshelves and another will be a floor to ceiling inspiration board done out of cork. This room has just been a catch all space for the last five years so it will be good to make it into a useable space. Rumor has it that Goldner Walsh got in a new shipment of greenhouse plants and will have them out for sale this weekend so I think I'll need to take a quick trip over there tomorrow morning too.

I need to go make Bella some lunch. Have a good afternoon.


Here is a link that might be useful: corn silk

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 1:36PM
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Friday at last, Im glad this week is over . 5:40pm and the temp is already down to 38. 30Âs are middle of the night temps for us . It only got to the high 40Âs today.

Yeona, we have had wind here too-but no snowy icy stuff ! But the oddest feature so far is no rain in weeks ! I think it goes to BC, hits Washington and Oregon, and never makes it down our way. All in good time IÂm sure.

Martie, you better make sure you scope out all the internet cafes and or hotels with data ports so you can wish you Idyll friends a happy new year from across the pond ! How fun, Paris for New Year !

Chelone !! Good to see you, glad you are posting. Jades: where I grew up in Los Ageles, jades were actually used as foundation shrubs around houses. The flowers are a creamy white and umbelliform type .

So here is my new begonia. ItÂs called "Alto Scharff" .Very fuzzy leaves , and IÂm told pinkish white flowers.

And this is Doobie. When he is happy , he drools. You may notice a slight droplet around his mouth !

I started this posting two hours ago- DD came over to bring me tasting room leftovers from the winery, and we chatted about her upcoming promotion....

More tomorow !
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Started this yesterday...couldn't finish I will get back over the weekend and try to finish. Have a great weekend :-)

So glad it is Friday and DH has Monday off. The sun is out! 48 degrees out there. Weather forecast is for some rain tomorrow but a mix of rain/snow on Sunday and Monday. Hmmmm...not so crazy about that forecast! But it looks like it is the same for the midwest too, so we are all getting a taste of winter this weekend.

drema..happy to hear your brother has moved close enough for you to see him every day. What progress he is making! So encouraging for you. I hope you will keep posting how he is doing. Have fun this weekend with your plants.

woody...January does seem to be one of the longest months of the year, doesn't it? 5 more days for your results...hope you stay busy, it goes by fast and hoping to hear good news. You should be proud of yourself for finishing that sweater! DH has quite a sense of ASL...American Sign Language, woody? What color did you finally choose for the trim and the door on your shed?

marian...thanks for catching me up. :-) I'm sorry you and your husband have these health challenges. Sounds like you are doing a great job staying on top of everything and coping. Not easy I am sure. Fibro is no fun. Hope you are all battened down for the bad weather and stay cozy.

You too Jerri and Norma!

Norma...I am wondering if you can record your guitar playing and upload it to the computer. :-)

Kathy...That was awful about your glasses. What a day you had! I wear glasses too and lost count of how many times I pop the lenses out, drop them, lose the screw. I am very tough on glasses. I wear two pair, one for distance and one for close because I just couldn't get used to the progressive lenses. So I am always taking one pair off and putting another on. At least I haven't left them somewhere in a long time. [g] You must live close to work to be able to walk.

Bad garage and basement here, too. It is on the list but the list is too long. I am hoping this spring too! February toward the end might be the right time, before gardening season starts up. Good idea. Isn't 18 degrees unusual for you Kathy? I am sorry you have to drag everything in so unexpectedly. That is a job, I bet you have a lot too. I hope you have help.


What a difference a day makes..24 little hours... :-)
So Gray and gloomy out there! No time to read more, but I did notice Martie's post about next year in Paris. Wow, that will give you something to look forward to all year! So happy for all of you and I agree with Kathy, have to figure out where all the computer cafes are is right! :-)

Chelone, it is really great to see you posting again too!

Have to get busy before the bad weather has us stuck in the house.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 9:19AM
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Happy snappy morning! 50F when I got up at 4AM. Dannie-kins was raring to go and appointed to get me up and at 'em. Pet antics get lost in the description, but let tell ya, sustained laughing out loud at that hour is a great way to start the day :-)

Chelone, you poor kid. It will get easier, and as the magnitude of caring for your mother sets in, I expect your brother to be thanking you for having been born and relieved him of responsibility as long as you did. Now maybe your idea of a 'packed house' is my idea of 'lite,' but let me tell you, as I zip through my 50's careening towards 60,(a lovely age as Dianne Keaton and Goldie Hawn have proven),I find myself giving things up, away, and tossing madly. Don't want my heirs to hate me as they face the purging of my home.

I love the 'corn silk' Eden, I'm color phobic :) but appreciate it in other's homes. I know exactly what Cottage White is, as I have that and Linen, and my favorite whitest of whites - Swiss Coffee.

Katie-kins was sick and in vet hospital Sunday and Monday. She's feeling better now. Let's just say that, as usual, it was self-inflicted and I now leave the foil wrapped cream cheese package in the fridge while preparing little pill balls for the cat. She had a wonderful time at the hospital; my fearless one who sees every opportunity as the chance to make new converts to her fan club.

Fritzoid went home last night. A really and very nice home and I am happy with the placement. If anyone can manage a 6 year old kid with a young punk grey and an old alpha IG, she can :-)

Hi Yeona!

Hi pretty kitty Doobie. I love orange kitties :-)
Idylling interrupted as the fence guy showed up at 8:15.
Going to sacrifice more garden space to the dawgs, but I've designed this strange ramble of a fence so that it will be hidden and not chop my property up along the lot lines (where ever they are). Pray for a cold February as they won't do as much damage to the gardens that way. It's scary as I'm running this fence right through some serious stuff.

Three day week-end, have fun!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 9:48AM
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Good drizzly morning. 9:30am and only on second cuppa. This weekend is being totally dedicated to NOTHING :-) Will have to make a quick trip to the supermarket but other than that, I have three days of whatever .... it's been a long time.

Chelone: So Good to hear from you. Sounds like you've got major issues to deal with re: Mum's house, but at least those issues are tangible: Do I Keep It? Sell It? Toss It? Maybe the waiting 'til April is a good thing in that it'll give you time to really Decide instead of plowing through and making decisions you may regret.

And, I can truly understand your feelings about your brother. I can also understand your concern for your Mum's immediate comfort. She sounds like the type of person who, despite any mental infirmaties, will let him know if the fruit is too cold :-) I had a brief similar situation with my sister, the only sib on whom I can count for "helping" with any family situations since all three brothers have bona fide physical/mental issues. When I decided that I would, indeed, "take care" of my brother for life, I told her that taking care of our parents would be up to her. She agreed until a situation came up and then called with "What To Do???"

Since the "doing it" is oftimes a lot easier than the decision making, I told her that once she decided what to do, to let me know. No anger, just a firm "this is your gig." We were wobbly for awhile, but once she got through the situation and saw that I had done 20 situations already, she understood. And because I always try to look at things 360, could it be that your brother is scared to death that he'll not take care of Mum as well as you did? And that that fear is coming out at you? Just a thought. Hang in there, keep writing, keep talking, keep moving at a pace that's comfortable and you (and helpmeet) will be AOK. You already are AOK in my book.

PM2, Sue, etc.: At this point I'm actually hoping for a good hard freeze then some snow. No Way have we had enough chill time for some of the bulbs and buds to bloom. But, it's awfully nice to see sprouts on Lemon Grass that never got pulled, and see how happy the roses are.

Marie: Come to CT in September!!! I so want to meet you in person and I'm only about 30 minutes away from Sue.

Eden: LOL about 14 lights worth of plants, I should've known :-) Rich placated me and got me the four on his list, and even got the right kind of bulbs!! I think he secretly thinks it's pretty cool since he also picked up a pack of edible pepper mix. Much as you obviously love and adore Bella, I'm glad you have a few days to just "be" with Brad. The colors sound just like my office!!

Yeona: Give the family tree project a shot. Even if you only get back a few generations there will inevitably be some character in the chain that will make it worth it. Hang on to your hat up there in Vancouver ....

Taryn: I've been truly missing you and am wondering what's happening with a new job, your health, your kids, your new house, etc. etc. etc. Check in!

Honey: Just for you: :-)

Kathy: Love that begonia. Which one is the palmate right behind it?

ATTENTION, ALL PLANT SHOPPERS: On January 21 will be the annual New England Garden Forum trek to Logees. We won't be touring this year BUT I did make this arrangement if anyone's interested (am keeping it quiet except for this group):

If Logee's has a plant you can't live without, the NEGFers can pick a plant out for you and Logee's will pack and ship it to you. Now, I know it's hard to get a bad plant from Logee's, but sometimes the material on the retail benches is a bit further along that the material saved for mailorder. Let me know ....

Will be back later, for sure. Nothing but dank, chilly, wet weather for the next three days sounds perfect to me :-)



    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Rain, rain, rain, heavy fog, but no ice...yet! The temp is right at 32, right now. Lows in the single digits early next week. Rain is to continue through Sunday. I have told Nolon he is not to venture out when the ice arrives. I will spread rugs on porches and steps, and ashes on the path to the woodshed. I forgot to get more BP med, so will take one every other day,and hope the 8 remaining pills get me through until the ice goes off our hill!

Kathy, I'm sorry about your glasses, but how great you were able to get them fixed so soon. When mine broke last year, it was on the weekend, and although the Dr was in, I was informed that the warrenty had expired on those frames, and they didn't have any that fit my lens ! I taped the frames together with an assortmaent of tapes...including duct tape! One of the Idyllites suggested I wear them that way, and look like a real commuter nerd! LOL ! As soon as I could, on monday, I went to Wal Mart. I was immediately fixed up! I can see quite well without mine, but I am pictured on my driver's license as wearing them, so..... Besides I have astigmatism, and get a headache without them. ( Mine are tri-focals.)
I understand your dislike for the California wind...espacially due to the fire hazard. Wind causes me more ills than any other type of bad weather, except maybe a falling barometer.
I like your new begonia. Is the other one an eye-lash begonia? It looks like mine ( that isn't an eye-lash), but I can't remember it's name. It is one of my favorite ones.
Pretty kitty! Our Tommy is a dribbler too.

Yeona, great to see you again! Sorry about your fall, but glad people came to see about you. One of the women fell at the Golden Year's class tuesday before the class started. Immediately she was surrounded with concerned people, and they continued to be concerned afterwards.( She was fine.) I hope you are too.
Thanks for that link. I bookmarked it.

Martie, I bet your Richie 'would' get on our roof and repair the hover. :-) I could ask a neighbor, but it seems to have lodged in a good position and is working well now. Your succulent problem is probably due to over watering. They thrive on benign neglect. WOW! how exciting about your upcoming trip to London! I will pray that nothing happens to prevent it.

Marie, how nice that your brother is visiting you. I wish mine were here. Have a good visit. Eating out sounds great.

No garage or basement for me to clean. The utility room is my junk-gathering room. It will have to wait until the plants go out before I can clean it again.

Ahhh, Chelone, I am so hoping all is looking up for you. Your last post sounds so much better, but I understand all the thoughts that are going through your head. I have a real problem shutting off my thoughts sometimes...:-(
I hope your relationship with your DB improves. I and my brother were at odds for years, but all is well now. I think he finally realized we are not going to be here forever. I wish he didn't live so far from us. Taking care of my mother's stuff wasn't much of a job for us. She lived in a rent house, and there were 5 of us siblings to contend with the stuff.
I have a pic of my jade, but wasn't able to get a very good one, and it's blooms were very scarce.

Our humidty remains quite high in our house/livingroom despite the wood heat. I have no problem with most every plant I grow in the bay window, which faces southwest. Right now I have a large croton, 2 types of begonias, a draceana , 2 moth orchids, a cyclamen, a poinsetta, and a kalanchoe in that space. I watered the dishpan full of amaryllis bulbs, and brought them into the livingroom. There are 8 bulbs putting up leaves, but no bloom stalks yet. I am not discouraged, since they did the same thing last year, but ended up with flower stalks.
There are some broad shoulders here ( mine are espacially broad ), and they are here for you.

Yep, PM2, I am battened down...:-) and I have on my fannel lined jeans, and heavy sweat shirt. Nolon has on one of his new thermo shirts.

Cynthia, I can identify with the pet antics. Tommy gets quite wild when the weather is bad out. He plunders all over the house, and occasionally accidently knocks things off of desks..:-( He and Trubby are really going to have cabin fever before good weather returns! Sorry about the sick pet.

I hope all who are in the ice covered areas are being safe! Norma, Jerri, Lisa, and maybe Ei, V, and Brenda. Check in if you can.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 10:41AM
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The bad weather seems to have gone south of us, but it is cold here. Were having a small birthday party tomorrow for Ricks 60th.

Sue, when is Toms birthday, is the party the same day? I know it is around Ricks.

Martie, how exciting about the Europe trip.

Yeona, great to hear from you. I always puzzle over the 2nd or 3rd cousin thing. My mom has really done a lot of our family tree. I think she has really enjoyed it.

Woody, I hope all turns out well with your MRI. I think the sweater is great. Im sure that mine would have sleeves that werent the same size.

Drema, how nice that you can see your DB every day. What a great sis you are. I loved the gate picture, I wish I could have something like that in my garden.

I wonder whats up with Brenda these days?

Kathy, LOL on the drooling cat.

Eden, the corn silk color will be a nice warm color for your room. It looks very similar to the color of my computer room. Im thinking of doing something in the kitchen, but really like the wallpaper, just not the border. Then I think maybe I should take the wallpaper down. Hmmm, decisions.

Chelone, good to hear from you. We are all concerned. I can understand how overwhelming Mums house can be. We cleaned out Ricks parents house 2 ½ years ago, but there were 5 siblings and spouses to help. The hard part was everyone wanted to keep the same things. Rick and DB as executors devised a very fair way of handling it and no one seemed to go away with hurt feelings. They had lived on this farm for 50 years so there was also much outdoors to contend with. FIL was a big packrat and went to many farm auctions and bought much.

Cindy, I too have Thalia.

Cynthia, I hope the fence project goes well. How big of an area will this give the dogs? I read your statement about 60 being a lovely age to DH. Hes a little bummed about the upcoming decade change.

Nice to hear that so many have a 3-day weekend. Unfortunately I dont.

Deanne, Im missing hearing from you.

Marian, very wise of you both to stay put with the ice. DH fell on the ice the other day.

This picture struck me the day of the farm auction. These were sold as groups. Each group had a pick axe, how many pick axes did one man need? LOL

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 11:12AM
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Michelle: Rich will put in a bid :-O For them all. And will drive out to get them. And will then put them into the basement with the (at least) 17 hammers that "can't" be thrown out, ever, never. LOL

Cynthia: So glad Fritz found a good home and that you like the family. Probably a six year old is just what a dog of his personality will love. I don't have the problem of needing to give anything away -- Ky and Jen have dibs, already, on most of the furnishings :-) At one point on T-giving Day Rich suggested that they give us some time to get old :-)

Marian: Good to have a nice, long post from you! I see the flowers, I see them!! LOL about the flannel-lined jeans. They were on the top of my mom's Christmas list, she ended up getting three pairs, and is happy as a clam.

Yes, the prospect of Europe is exciting and scary all at once. Rich and I both discovered that our passports are expired and we've been advised to start the application process now. The only quirk to the plan would be flight and hotel availability, but it's good to have a travel agent client!!

I'm just at the point of needing progressive lenses full time and can't wait for my eyes to settle and get Lasik. Can't believe what glasses cost!! Even at Wally World!!

Marie: Late June, early July. Hmmmmm I will hope for a cool early summer in Alberta.

Later, again!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 11:24AM
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I haven't read the recent posts yet but wanted to share this amazing news.

Not only have they found the boy missing since monday, there was another boy that has been missing for four years found with him. I am just overwhelmed as is the whole area. Many prayers were answered. I'm sure this will make headline news. I have watched news conferences with both families this morning and am so thankful they have been reunited.

on the other hand this is what we woke up to this morning.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 11:31AM
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Well I'm glad others have chosen a similar color for their home offices. That boosts my confidence to use this color. I want something warm but not too bright. I have a brighter yellow in my bathroom that I love but that's in a tiny room. I came home with 4 new plants this morning (BAD Laura!) but I couldn't resist. Here's the list: a silver leaf peperomia, an abutilon called "Temple Bells', a black leafed goldfish plant, and clerodendrum varieagata which is very cool (BABS!) I hope I have better luck getting it to bloom than I'm having with the c.ugandense. I didn't bring home any new begonias though they had a really nice rex with spotted leaves that tempted me. There's always next time, right?

Marian, how cool that your jade is blooming. They had one at the greenhouse this morning that had just arrived from California. It was about 4ft. tall and covered in blooms. I wished I had my camera with me so I could have taken a picture of it for you. I don't have luck with them. I think I water them too much?

Cynthia, great news for Fritz but that's awful about Katie. That girl will eat anything won't she? I'm so glad she's ok and safe at home again.

Norma, I'm sorry you have the ice! That's the weather I fear most. We had a little this morning but it's melted now. They say we could get more tonight and tomorrow night though...

Progressive lens here but I still catch myself looking over the top of my glasses to see things upclose. I'm due for an eye exam.

Kathy, Doobie (love that name) is a very handsome boy! Nice score on the begonia.

Michelle, just how is Miss Kenzie doing? We haven't heard what she's up to lately. Yesterday Bella decided she is a more interesting reader than I. I asked her if she wanted me to read her a book and she said "nnnnno" and sat down with a stack and proceeded to read them all outloud herself in a language known only to her with only a word here and there that I recognized.

Cindy, I'm another who has Thalia and really likes them.

Martie, What light bulbs are you using. I use a cool and a warm in each fixture. Deanne has some really nice ones but I don't know if I want my plants to do THAT WELL, lol.

Speaking of Deanne, where are you? I miss your posts and I'm waiting for those inspirational light garden pictures!

Afternoon plans here include cleaning up the kitchen so I'd best get at it. Wine night tonight!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 2:47PM
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I keep forgetting to tell Jerri how much I like the poem at the beginning of the Idyll. I've saved it.

Here's a link to what the black leaf goldfish plant looks like. Pretty neat huh?


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 2:55PM
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Very neat Eden! And I'm ready for a glass at 3:30 in the afternoon, but still need to be moving. What an incredible day here! 64F at the moment and overcast with sprinkles. I've been out removing hidden split rail fence that is all tangled in chicken wire and tidying gardnes. Nothing is done, but I did a lot of work. I've found more prickly vine weeds climbing trees and my hands and arms look like I have a new cat.

I need to cleaned up and go run errands, but wanted to say that Norma's photos are just stunning! I love an ice storm -well the asethetics of it, not the impact, and you really captured it. Your gardens look beautiful in winter.

Michelle the barn and tool picture was fun. I thought it was pop art - you have a great eye!

Clean up and leave house now. I have a gift card for Home Goods and I think I want to splurge on something for spring. Then stop at Trader Joe's for provisions on the way back.

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 3:37PM
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Hello Idylls,
Decided to quit the chores for today (3pm here) and have my Saturday afternoon beer, do a bit if Idyll-ing and then read a bit and post over on the book thread. Todays beer selection is Great White from Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka. Pretty tasty !
Excited that the mail-lady delivered one of my bare root rose orders today, and I should be able to get two of them in the ground tommorow. The others will have to go in 5gal pots till I get their spots ready.

Got a few more roses pruned today and shovel-pruned one of my lace cap hydrangeas- It was getting way too much sun and basically spent all summer wilted . No place to move it so into the yard waste it went. Still have three lace caps so I'm okay with it.
Norma, I second Cynthias comment, thought your photos were beautiful.

Marian,how nice to have a southwest bay window. I have to put many of my plants in an upstairs bathroom to get an exposure like that. I've posted a pic below of the begonia that was next to the plant I shot yesterday. I don't know it's name, I bought it last year and it had no tag.

Martie, so right about the cost of glasses. I have eye coverage with my health ins from work but seems like that is only a drop in the bucket. At least the exam is cheap !

PM, yes 18 degrees is unusual here, we don't usually get into the teens. Most years the lowest temps are in the 20's . Last winter was so wet we did'nt even get all that much frost as I recall. I left my Brugmansias and my plumerias out all winter, though under the eaves and close to the house, and they came back just fine. I bet my Brugs will be toast this year-the pots are too big to bring in.

Here is the begonia I mentioned to Marian

This begonia is one that I grew from a cutting when I was a little girl in Los Angeles. It was growing in a large pot in our backyard . I have taken it with me over several moves through the years !

Same plant , at the top. The canes get quite tall-this one is about 5ft.
Eden, the room in the backgound has pale yellow walls-the color is called Pale Daffodil...I felt pretty brave when I did it!

Off to read ..enjoy your Saturday evening everyone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Norma, I'm sorry. I didn't even notice how beautiful your pictures were. I just saw the ice and thought OH NO! They really are pretty!

Cynthia, I haven't been to Home Goods in ages. Have fun. I can always find something I NEED there!

Kathy, your unnamed begonia looks a lot like one I have named Cleopatra. I'm enjoying seeing pictures of your begonias. Thanks! Maybe I'll take a few pictures of my favorites tomorrow and post them.

I'm going to my neighbors 3 doors down for wine tonight. It's a little icy so I'll have to be careful walking, especially coming back home after a couple of glasses. I don't want Brad to find me lying in the driveway when he gets home from work at 1am!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 6:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

One nice benefit of DB's visit is a dinner out. Tonight we discovered a restaurant I never knew about from a friend, and we enjoyed a great meal. I can't write it up Deanne-style, but DB and I each ordered appetizers of dumplings with peanut sauce which were amazing. Then DH had mussels with black bean sauce. For the main course I had roast duck, fresh vegetables and yam fries. There were sauces and other things along with and rice paper sheets to wrap it all up in tasty bundles. YUM. DB chose the vegetarian curry, while DH selected the Lamb shank. We were all delighted. For dessert, we all had chocolate cranberry Kahlua tarts with whipped cream and orange on the side. I'll be days working it off but it was so good I don't mind. I resent it if the meal is only so-so, but not this time! Charlotte will have roast duck leftovers tomorrow.

Michelle, I just LOVE your barn picture the day of the farm auction.

Norma, the discovery of the missing boys is astounding. Thank goodness. It will be hard work helping the long lost one re-adjust. The ice photos are beautiful and really show the lovely 'bones' of your garden!

I can't imagine pruning roses in Napa today...but I did put Christmas tree branches on clematis and a few roses. Really have doubts about the survival of some of them this winter without protection.

Eden, on my screen "corn silk" appears as a peachy color, not a pale yellow. I'm wondering if that is right. In any case, our family room and living room are both a pale yellow. It is a tricky color to get right, but I love it. Even our kitchen has a yellowy cream color that I adore! I was so pleased with that paint job!

I only have one begonia. I don't know its name, but I love it. I think it is about to have a single stem of blooms. I'll try to get a photo of it soon. The leaves are glossy, purple on the undersides, green on top.

I've NEVER succeeded in getting a jade plant to flower.

Doobie is a very handsome dude!

Driving on the autobahn? You have to be insane. Those BMW drivers honk at you constantly to get the heck out of their way. They own the road. Sheesh, rude!!!!

Lots of knitting going on here while I chat with DB, but no time for reading my book!


    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Rejoice! No icing at our home! The rains seem to have stopped. If no more comes before the frigid spell, we will not be housebound.
I am certainly concerned about Jerri. The Oklahoma State was really hit hard,
also Missouri...Norma, I hope you are okay.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 8:23AM
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There is a dusting of confectionary sugar over the landscape this morning and it's COLD out there (perfect conditions for little kitty prints on the deck). Weather pronosticator has advised more snow will be here tomorrow, it's unusual for us to have all snow... sleet/freezing rain is par for the course. I'd be content with cold temperatures, frankly. Snow makes it tough to get the huge dog out for enough exercise. I don't miss living in real "snow country" one bit! We dropped the defunct lawnmower off at the transfer station yesterday morning and then went to pick up the snowblower. It ran poorly the last time it was used (week/two ago) and when it went into the shop it was the ONLY one they were working on. I asked the guy when his phone would start ringing... "probably 5-6AM on Monday, after the snow arrives". We had a good chuckle about that.

We watched the "Horse Whisperer" last night. The accident at the beginning of the movie creeped me right out. I had a horse fall on me many, many moons ago... still have a finicky knee because of it. The cats were all jockeying for the "best" places; I had Spencer on his "woolie" at the end of the couch, Polly curled up on my chest kneading away to beat the band, Flo. was purring contentedly on Daddy's lap, and Vera was tucked into the corner of her favorite chair. Rex was on his back, legs in the air. It's been a long, long time since we were able to do that without having to explain the subtleties of the movie to Mum.

My brother called yesterday with some really foolish questions. ;) What is Mum's Medicare #? (it's on her Medicare card, in the fold that contains her credit cards, right with her checkbook that HE has), what is her Dr.'s name and telephone #? (both are listed on the sheet of paper with all her medications listed on it and how often they are to be dispensed), am I still paying AARP for supplementary insurance? (yes; that too is on the sheet with all the prescription information, and the notation that her premium is paid through the month of March, it's also marked in her checkbook). I answered the questions matter of factly, telling him if he needed further assistance to let me know. I have to drop off urostomy supplies and the questionnaire from the doctor next week... I'm SO hoping I don't have to drag Mum all the way up to his office for a "face to face".

I have to speak with my boss, too. I have thought carefully about what I'm going to say about the level of chaos in the shop and how it affects me and the quality of my work. When I'm able to walk away and return to my home to "recharge" myself I can take the chaos with a grain of salt and find something funny in it (however pathetic I may find it). But as impoverished as I am by the past 3+ years, I find it nothing but irritating and frustrating. And I'd really rather ratchet up my own business than deal with that nonsense. So, we'll see what two capable, rational people can't work out to make their lives easier. I have to decided whether or not to return to work this week or the next one. Maybe not at all... :/

Several years ago New England experienced a terrible ice storm. Mum's area was without power for 5-6 days, areas in northern Maine were without it for over 2 weeks. The damage to homes was immense... frozen pipes and the attendant water damage. The aftermath saw forested areas looking as though a giant had taken huge hedgetrimmers to the tops of trees. It took over a year to get the destroyed trees "processed", and even today you can see evidence in new "open" areas that had been formerly heavily forested. Personal injuries were very high, many broken bones from falls and a few tragic deaths from hypothermia. Snow is one thing, but I agree, aside from the fairyland "look" of it, ice is more damaging.

So sorry about Katy's encounter with a cream cheese wrapper... I'm perpetually amazed at what a dog will eat. :) We had one who had a preference for feminine hygiene items (special), another who seemed to enjoy garden amendments (the dried blood caper was the worst), and Rex will not hesitate to mow down a dead rodent in the yard. You learn to thwart their base instincts with time, Cynthia. Good news about Fritzoid, too.

I like "corn silk", too, Eden. I've never been particularly wild about yellows in general, but that could be traced back to one particularly notable paint selection failure, lol, it was shockingly vibrant and I painted over it with a muted "terra cotta" within days. I know exactly what you mean about needing to organize and change chaos to order... (shocking, huh? ;) ). Please take shots before and after, will ya?

OK, this is long, so it's time to "wrap it up" for now and then remember what else I wanted to say.

(Doobie is lovely; I have soft spot for orange kitties, too)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Martie,I've been thinking about your response to your sister. "Let me know what you decide." That's one of those all purpose responses we all need in our toolkit. It indicates concern but doesn't offer a crutch. Well done.

Chelone, sounds like you are recovering :-) Life as the 3-legged stool: work, home, relationships. If one leg is broken you can still manage, if two are's just too hard. Funny that you can enjoy something as simple as a movie differently now.

Glasses - when I was cleaning the cellar I found a few old pair tucked away for emergencies. I tried them on and it was like perching a brick on my nose. Before they developed the ultra thin lenses we had coke bottle lenses. I now have at least 6 good pair scattered about the house all ultra thin lenses and buy a new pair each year. Fortunately insurance pays half and I fund an HCRP so my share is tax free which means the government is effectively paying 1/3 of that portion thank you very much. I've been wearing glasses since I was six, and they feel a part of me. Many nights I fall asleep wearing them :-)

So guess what I found at Home Goods!?!? Bells for trees! Those who went to the 1st Idyllunion in Michigan remember the incredible Hosta garden with bells in trees. This was an epiphany for me and I've been belling my trees ever since. On windy days I can hear them in the house. Not tinkly and annoying like some windchimes can be, these have low 'gong' type sounds and a bitlike church bells in the distance. Here's one of them:

My sister had given me the gift card, so I called and left her a voicemail while I 'played' the bells.

GB, sounds like you are having such a nice time with all of the visits from your family. I've really enjoyed the stories and pictures.

Marian, stay out of the weather!

Kathy, the begonia shots are lovely. I have just two that I bought at the local 'Home and Garden show last year.' I really don't do house plants, so they've survived only because they spent the summer outdoors and are now on the sunporch safe from my kittie's attentions.

Oh! My Clivia has buds! I started it from seed 4 or 5 years ago, so this excitement. It probably would have bloomed earlier if I had given it a little attention.

Happy Sunday! My hands still hurt from yesterday's fence removal and vine and pruning efforts, but I need to get back out there before winter arrives.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 9:57AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Another quiet weekend. Funny that Chelone has snow and cold. Here it's 36 F and misty right now. We're supposed to get another drizzly day in the 40s. Perfect walking weather. Yesterday I pooped around til lunch then went out and pooped around some more. I got my eyebrows waxed, strolled through a local outdoor mall, stopped at Starbucks for a caramel macchiato (speaking of afternoon Starbucks where is Deanne?) then parked and walked 4 or 5 miles. Last night Tom and I went out to dinner under the guise of it being his BD dinner. Nothing as elaborate as Marie's but good. Michelle, the actual BD is Tuesday. My MIL is having a family dinner Tuesday night. The surprise party is next Saturday night. He thinks we're going out to dinner with friends.

Much to the glee of local meteorologists, I guess we're finally going to get a couple of days of January weather this week. I'm trying to decide whether to bring the plants in from the garage. It's probably time although extended forecasts don't indicate any sustained freeze. Depending on which weather forecast you look at they can't even agree on what it's going to do today. If I remember correctly last January was somewhat like this too-good walking weekends.

Ice is beautiful isn't it? Too bad it can do so much damage.

Let's see, what should I do today? There aren't too many times of the year I can loll around on weekends and ask that question. Maybe I shouldn't ask it at all though because the obvious answer right now is clean the



    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 10:08AM
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The weather doesn't know what it wants to do here. Light freezing rain, sleet, and even a little slushy snow. We're supposed to get a few inches of snow later tonight into tomorrow which I will be grateful for. The next couple of weeks forecast is for cold temps and the plants will need the insulation. Brad's scraping walls, which he's not enjoying and I just finished watering the light garden plants and pinching back all of the coleus. It's a good day to stay put in the house and join Sue in housework.

Cynthia, the tree bell is a nice find. Last year at IU3 Trudy Temple's garden had an arch with many bells hanging from it that you would have loved. I think someone got a good picture of it, maybe Sue? I rub neosporin on my hands like it's hand lotion when they get that scratched up and it helps.

Marian, great news that you didn't get the ice and aren't housebound! I hope Jerri fared well also.

Marie, the color isn't really peachy, more of a soft pale golden color. I hope I like it when I get it on the walls.

Chelone, thanks for reminding me to take before photos. I always forget to do that. And seeing the befores after the job's done makes me appreciate the results even more.

I have to get off this computer before Brad catches me playing while he's working, lol. Stay cozy everybody!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 12:27PM
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Feels like morning but Good Afternoon! We are exactly on the ice/rain line for this "storm" and I'm glad home is it for tomorrow. Word has it that my work areas are going to get pelted.

For the Record: I Hate and Am Afraid of Ice. When we lived in Z5 we had an ice storm that broke 50yo trees in half, took out transformers to the point where the sky looked like fireworks, negated electricity for 6 days, and generally gave me a brand new appreciation for frozen water. I remember that Maine storm, too, as Pinetree Seeds got hit hard. Offering to go up to help would've been futile as roads were closed. Ice??? No matter how pretty, no thank you.

Okay, Cynthia. You cracked me up. "I don't do houseplants person but the Clivia I started from seed is blooming." That's an oxymoron, my friend :-) Orange or yellow flowering?

Chelone: Do you think your animals are feeling the "difference," too?? Sounds to me as though you have your head wrapped around your work situation and that no matter what happens, it will be "right." Go for the business venture if you can afford it!!

Eden: I use one hot and one cold lights, mostly for economic reasons. New bulbs every year, though, as I've found that the minor investment is well worth it. Love your new plant! LOL about Bella "reading." Great that she is in the habit so early and Who Cares if anyone but she understands? Thought of she and Kenzie in the grocery store this morning as an obvious two-year-old was proclaiming to her mother that that green ball couldn't possibly be an apple. The produce guy (a good friend to have) cut one up for her and we all had an impromptu tea party near the bananas. Very cool.

Marie: Your dinner sounds wonderful, and I'm glad you're having some time with DB. Showed the guitar pic to Rich and he suggested that if you come out in September, you bring DH and they can jam at our house while we're at Sue's. Ky has guitars and amps ....

Kathy: Love the begonia that you started as a little girl. My "family heirloom" plants were lost in a fire during my college years so I'm vicarously enjoying those through yours. Poor you, 20 degrees :-( What roses are new? And how do you get 5gal ones delivered? I've decided that my new favorite rose is a DA "Shropshire Lad." Had no luck with the early varieties but this one is a keeper.

Marian: Stay upright!! Stay warm!! Any hints for getting Amaryllis bulbs that I forgot were on the patio (protected) to bloom again? All foliage is brown but the bulbs are firm and feel heavy. Help??

Sue: With all due respect for your tenacity, I wouldn't choose to walk outside today. LOL Good for you to keep Tom's party a secret! That surely wouldn't happen in this house. Looking forward to seeing you at Logee's and/or the VB next weekend.

Deanne: Come out, come out wherever you are!! I have a Dahlia question I need to ask.

Norma: The missing boy(s) are all over the news in CT. It is truly amazing and can't begin to imagine the emotions of the boys, their families, law enforcement, and families of other kids not yet found. Acting fast has it's advantages! Your pictures are lovely, BTW, but not something I want to duplicate :-)

PM2: Any chance of joining us at Logee's??

This morning got industrious and did laundry, cleaned both bathrooms, food shopped, chiseled broiling pan (don't use Teryaki sauce without something coating the pan), caught up on a few other forums and am now going to plunk myself down and just sit.

Everyone enjoy your moments!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 12:42PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Hope everyone is okay with the weather this weekend. Nothing special here, just more gray and drizzly in the low 40s. Hope Norma and Jerri are ok.

Marian...I enjoy a good storm too, but you are right, not an ice storm that keeps you stuck in the house. So glad you didn't get iced. Wow, imagine your jade plant blooming. I haven't had mine long, but I doubt it will ever bloom. I don't have a Southern exposure in my house really and none of my houseplants get quite enough light. You are so lucky to have a large Southwest window! I haven't heard of these flannel lined jeans...I am going to have to look for some. Every year I get colder in the winter. [g]

mary...your 'Holland' story was really interesting. I always enjoy something being explained in an analogy like that. I guess it helps me like someone has painted a picture for me and a picture is still worth a thousand words. It really makes you stop and think of it in a different way.

Norma....I did like Deanne's shasta daisies with daylilies too. I was thinking what a nice combination it was. I just started some shastas from seed last year..prob already said that... [g] I am looking forward to them this year. I may try to get a few different varieties.

The swans were on a nearby pond. I looked forward to seeing them when we could go for a walk there. Two springs ago, we got to watch them with little baby swans and watch them grow up over the summer and leave the nest that fall.

LOVED that photo of your tree with all the ice all over it. I remember an ice storm like that when I was first driving and the day afterward when the streets were passable, driving down a hill with trees bending over the road all covered with ice just like that and the sun just coming was memorable! You have some beautiful trees in your yard.

Kathy.... did you get all your plants in? Nice new begonia..I love the fuzzy leaved ones. That is a gorgeous underside color. Your cat is a beautiful caramel. She looks persian. Congratulations on your DD's promotion. She must be very excited.

Very pretty begonias. You have done well to keep a plant so long. I haven't got one that is older than 4 years old. I also left a Brugs outdoors and while I was trying to find a home for it, we had a hard frost and it went kaput. Hope to see more photos of your roses at some point.

Martie...I also enjoy lavender, but it doesn't enjoy me so I have clay soil and a level lot, plus limited amounts of full sun...but I keep trying! I did manage to get Lavender Lady to grow for me and come back every year. We also added a little bit of a raised bed along one side and I added more lavender there last year, so I will be interested to see how it does. This year, I am hoping to grow some in containers. Maybe something exotic that I can't usually grow. If 6 hours is enough sun, I could do it. 30 varieites is really an amazing amount to have in your yard at one time. I would have liked to see that. What is the 'park' you are referring to? I can't imagine you going to France next year and not seeing the fields of lavender they grow. I suppose it would be the wrong time of year anyway.

We've never been to Europe either and I can imagine how excited you must be. Too bad it won't be during gardening season. But then again, you might have to stay a month. lol

Yes...I am also hoping we will get cold enough weather for long enough to keep everything in the garden safe and on schedule. DH took me to Logee's for my BD last year and I brought home a few plants. 'Good 'n Plenty' Begonia was my favorite. I also got a grape ivy..was someone mentioning that here? I am not going to make Logee's again this year. I have no more room for another indoor plant. [g] great that your garden will be on the tour in the fall. I have admired the photos you have posted of your garden and hope I can make it there in person. Sounds like some here have already been. Is this the first time you have been on a tour? Sounds like a great plan for your DH BD party. I bet he will really be surprised.

eden...that is quite a bank of lights and plants you have I tried googling the begonias but Elizabeth Lahn was the only one that came up on Google images. Is it a cane? Your cookies sounded delicious! David is very lucky. Loved the new plants! I love the name Corn Silk...I couldn't get the color chip to come up with my firefox browser I get that sometimes. It sounds very pretty.

Cindy...Sounds like you're in heaven with those dogs at your house! Happy for Fritzoid. :-) Oh...really love the idea of your bells. I have to be careful, my DH does not enjoy the sound of wind chimes and so far I have kept them small and he hasn't minded them. I love Clivias and hope you enjoy the blooms!

Gbug...your dinner out has my mouth watering! :-)

Chelone..I really enjoyed The Horse Whisperer. I had a fall on a horse too when I was young and got dragged witih my foot in the stirrup..luckily I was not injured at all. It happened in a rink and I was saved from any lasting fears by a very smart gentleman that encouraged me to get right back on the horse. Thankfully the horse didn't fall on top of me, that must have been very frightening and can only imagine how that scene must have triggered memories for you. Do you ever ride horses any more?

I usually like anything Robert Redford does. A River Runs Through It was another that I enjoyed, but it was too sad to watch a second time.

You sound good you are thinking clearly and starting to get some rest.

Well, this getting to be a novella. Is there something I am missing about how to keep up without becoming a novelist? 

Got started with our winter sowing here this morning. Have our first 12 containers sown and outside. Digitalis, Delphiniums and Liatris. 

It's football weekend here at our house. One game starting soon and then The New England Patriots will be coming on around 4:30pm and so we will be parked in front of the TV for the rest of the day. Very unusual for that to happen here. We are usually lucky to catch one game every couple of weeks. So this will be fun. :\-) 

Wall colors...I grew up with all white walls much of the time, so I really enjoy strong colors least in small doses. We have a similar color in our Dining yours in your Living Room Honey. I dug out a photo of last year's Cow calendar that had the wallpaper behind it. The Living Room ended up a creamy light gold. 

<img width="500" data-gwi="148546" src="" class="img-external" />

So I guess I will have to add Thalia daffodils to the yard in the fall. I just love yours Cindy and seems like everyone else is happy with them too. 

If someone wants to tell me all about the past Idyll get togethers, I would love to hear it. 

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend! 

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 12:58PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie, I'm suiting up for my walk-sure you don't want to come? LOL!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 3:26PM
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It was a thoroughly dreary day here, for a time the roads were pretty crummy. The helpmeet reported that there was car off the road on its side when he returned home from a catfood run. You guessed it... black ice. I cleaned up some things in the yard while Rex wee-weed, but it was a lazy day with a book for me. (More British history... struggling with the War of the Roses now; a lot to chew!).

I vaguely considered some cleaning, but couldn't quite pull the cork on it... I'm envious of those of you who were able to.

Prairie., I've not put a leg over an equine back in many years now. Time more than anything, but also money... . Were I to return to the sport I would be drawn to Morgans or Saddlebreds; definitely Park Seat and with an emphasis on driving, as well. I originally learned Park Seat before converting to Hunt Seat and Stock Seat. But as I added different equitations I quickly learned that the principles are the same, one to the other; and all are true to the teachings of Xenophon. I've not thought much about horsemanship in recent years, really, but the movie did stir a long buried interest.

I have similar feelings about windchimes, Cynthia. Some I like, others can annoy me with their relentless noise. Bells in trees? I'll have to pay more attention to the use of them. Hope your hands are feeling better after the work-out.

Another favorable review for "Thalia". :)

Wall colors... I'm pretty fearless (have a red bedroom). White, off-white, cream? to me it's "primer", lol, I'm so "over" it; too many cheerless, chilly rentals, I suppose. ;) Our main living area is in two shades of a very greyed lavendar, with a dragged finish (looks quite Nordic). It took a long time to do, but I still love it. It fascinates me to learn about how color affects people and reflects the period of time in which they live.

I was thinking about Michelle and the tools next to the outbuilding... that's a lot of tools! and I cracked right up at the mention of a pick axe in every lot... hahaha. My brother has expressed no interest in any of the contents of Mum's home. I'm considering contacting my cousins and their kids to see if any of them might be interested in some of the remaining family pieces. It would be more meaningful than simply selling them to a jobber.

I'm glad to learn 'bug enjoyed such a nice dinner with her brother. And I smiled at the reference to disappointment over so-so meals "out". I hear ya, sister. (I love to eat good food).

I DO think the animals notice the "disturbance in the force". They were particularly fond of hanging out in Mum's room (under the down comforter) and quickly learned that she was fully capable of opening the sliding door that leads from her room to the terrace. I'm sure Rex will be markedly lonlier when/if I return to work.

I have not yet called my boss... just couldn't face it today; I still have tomorrow. It's not that I'm afraid to call, it's more that I just don't seem to really care. I'm not quite sure exactly what that really means... more time to "decompress" or time to take a different tack... dunno.

Chicken pie is ready, the helpmeet is watching football (which I loathe) next door with BIL (who has HDTV!). So it's the kitties and me and a DVD. Unless one of you shows up!

yum-yum, eat 'em up!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 7:31PM
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OK peeps, let me be clear: Most windchimes drive me nuts. Tinkle, tinkle, annoying. Bells are different. Low tones, very fitting with wind. Like church bells in the distance. More like a 'gong' sound. There are actually some wind chimes that have that low tone too.

Thanks for the tip on the neosporine Eden, I thought I had some but couldn't find. I probably left it out and Katie ate it. So I used Eucerin. I did wear gloves today, but the damage was already done, so fingers still hurt. More proof that problems are all self inflicted!

Eden, are you going to to stencil a quote on your new walls?! :-) I so like that about your house.

PM, interesting that you like color because you grew up with white. I grew up with too much color and pattern, perhaps that's why I like white so much. By the way, there is a 'Cindy' here, she's in VA and has a kitty. I'm 'Cynthia' and in Maryland with kitties and dogs. Lots of people so it can be confusing!

I love Logees. It smells so good in there in winter. Or in any other season, but it's especially nice when it's raining outside. Looks of little greenhouses underground.

Sue walks 5 miles a day and leaves the dogs at home :-) I know, it's too dangerous for dogs out there. Since the bassets moved out of my neighborhood it's safe 90% of the time, but I'm still on constant alert instead of relaxed, and keep one hand on the citronella spray at all times. I'm back to 5 or 6 miles a day now that Fritz is gone. I've lost a dog and gained a cat - taking care of the neighbor's portly boy while they're away this week-end. I make him walk up the stairs so that he gets some exercise.

The patio has a huge pile of fence parts and chicken wire on it. I would say two pick up truck loads. Wonder what the hauler will charge to get rid of that mess, and I'm not done yet. I remember now why I didn't finish taking out the ugly split rail 7 years ago. It's really hard work! The entire north side of backyard is done, and I'm half way through the east side. Then I have to go back and prune everything back so the fence people have room to work. Wanna know how many Acuba I've started rooting? Just 6. So far. I knew I saved those deep shrub pots for something.

Snow drops are blooming. Daffs are up 8" now, and the hellebores are in full swing. For a moment I was very pleased with my 'winter' garden and then remembered it's not really winter. The euphorbias look great. I love E. Robbiae. It's evergreen and handsome green flowers in spring. Sedges are looking very good too.

Chicken pie sounds good Chelone. I don't like football either. Just seems like a waste of time. (Idylling is NOT a waste of time lol.) I'm not hungry, but do need to eat something. Dogs had salmon and eggs and pumpkin and yogurt cause the chicken backs I brought up last night still weren't thawed. Dannie is pretending she's the foster. She snitched the bone from his crate that I meant to send home with him, and is in her crate having a great time with it.

One more day off! Amazing how much you can get done when you don't have to w-o-r-k. Does everyone else have tomorrow off too?

Maybe I'll have dark chocolate caramels for supper and reread Second Nature so that I'll have something to say about it :-)


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Sounds like winter has arrived for most of us-Our nights of freezing and below freezing temps are forecast to continue through next week.
Today feeling bit guilty about a job still undone, I decided that I really had to do some more painting. It was so cold this morning I decided not to go outside till noon, so I spent 2 hours in the home office could have finished if I hadnt run out of paint. Im doing the second coat now, so I have to pick up another gallon this week and hope to finish next weekend. I still have no furniture for the room except for one vaguely dorm décor ish bookcase (not bricks and boards but close !) . I need a desk , a chair and ottoman and lamps, plus many bookcases. I ve been looking at Office Cheap-o so I think that will be the place for desks and bookcases.
Had lunch then went out and opened up my rose shipment. 1 is on backorder ("Happy Child" yellow Austin) and I planted the two Our Lady of Guadalupes , one on each side of my new brick path in front. She is a clear pink floribunda . The other was Souv. De Malmaison (also pink) and I potted that one up since I keep changing my mind about where I want to plant it. Its extremely fragrant so it would be best to put it in a convenient sniffing locale.

Good for you Marian in your ice-free zone ! I just hate being stuck inside the house even though its cold its nice that weve had these sunny afternoons so I can get out for awhile.

Chelone, Im relating to your movie and pet evening-mine was much the same ! Boo-Boo Kitty spent part of the night laying on top of the heater vent, and occasionally got up and glared at Ted who was on my lap, and Doobie on my feet. We watched "Sense and Sensibility" , which I have seen more than once, but felt in the need of a Jane Austen fix.

Martie, roses all came bare-root-the plan was to put those I couldnt plant yet in the 5g cans. As it turned out I only had to pot up one , and I found a 2gal container knocking around so I used that. Shropshire Lad is a pink right ? Many of the DAs get very large here in our mild winter areas , and have to be grown as small climbers. I ordered one of his new introductions this year , Lady Emma Hamilton which is a orange/apricot tone, and I am going on blind faith, having never seen her in person ! I have several DAs and try to find the more demure varieties because of my space limitations

PM, I went to a lecture a few years ago dont remember who the speaker was , but he advocated always planting lavender on mounds . Though the winter temps here dont kill them off, often the wet soggy soil and standing water during winter rots them out.
Are your winter sown seeds in a cold frame ? Or are they all varieties that need chill ? Ive never tried to grow Delphiniums from seed , I always buy in 6-paks and have to be really vigilant with them because of the d**mn snails..

Doobie thanks all those who complimented his good looks.

Michelle--that barn pic was great..

'bug, hope Charlotte enjoyed the leftovers. Excellent re-cycle procedure for the Christmas tree !

Cynthia, I don't have much in the way of houseplants either-My begonias will be out again as soon as the last frost date is passed, usually I put them out mid to late March. I really love that bell. All I have are the typical windchimes(and probably too many of those !) but I like the idea of single bells .

Ok, time to go whip up some dinner, think I'll have a fire tonight, put on some jazz and veg out in the reading room.

nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 8:14PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post The discussion of paint color intrigues me especially since you mentioned that whites/off-whites dont do anything for you Chelone. Ive noticed that we often have similar attitudes to things and I wonder if that reflects an east-coast up-bringing. With respect to color, I think the east coast, whether were talking Maine or neighbouring New Brunswick (where Im from), is a place where stronger color is more commonly used. The traditional shingle siding (probably giving way, sadly, to vinyl siding these days) often was painted in strong colors, especially on older buildings.

I grew up in an old, shingled farmhouse. The house was white but the trim was red and the interior walls were all painted in anything but white. Our kitchen had dark wood paneling on the bottom part of the walls and red flowered wallpaper above. My grandmothers kitchen was gray. The common living room/dining room had olive green walls. The front hall and stairwell was forest green; the stairwell sloping ceiling was royal blue! The bedrooms were all shades of blue. It sounds a bit chaotic but it wasnt. There wasnt a white wall in the place!

DH absorbed a more genteel aesthetic of color from growing up in central Canada. Our first house was largely painted in neutral beige tones in the public rooms. Here, I decided to avoid that although I did stick to a cool but luminous blue-gray for the living room, front entrance and hallways. Im most unhappy with the kitchen which is painted to match the bleached oak cabinets. I want to change the colors there sometime soon. The office/library is pink (a warm, mellow pink) which freaked my BIL! DH just about passed out though when the can of raspberry red was opened when the dining room painting started! Its a fabulous color and he likes it now, but it was quite a shock for him :- )

I think color, and how one uses it, is one of those things where your personal aesthetic is often strongly influenced by how it was used in the environment you grew up in - even if the influence ends up a negative one.

On a different note.. Thalia daffodils are a staple here too multiple blooms per bulb and nice scent too. (Interesting although I like and use stronger color in (and on strong sunny yellow..) the house, white is dominant in the garden!)

Were waiting for our first big storm thats supposed to hit overnight

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 8:28PM
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It started snowing around noon and is still snowing. Everyone made the birthday party. We are supposed to get 6-8". For the gardens sake, I dont mind as it was 0° the other day.

bug, I think all those old tools would look better leaning against your barn. Unfortunately, there was a fire when Rick was growing up that took their big wood barn.
Your meal sounds yummy.

Woody, what a colorful home you grew up in. I remember growing up that the bedrooms were always very colorful, but the main living rooms where mostly white, which my mom still has. I have a variety from neutrals to several bold colors.

Pm2, I havent even thought of wintersowing. In fact I havent even looked over any seed catalogs. Although, Im sure I saved enough seeds last year that I would need to buy any.

Kathy, how cool that you have a plant from when you were a child. Most of my indoor plants only make it a couple of years.

Norma, I heard about the missing boys. What great news. Sorry about the ice. Be careful it can be so treacherous. Those are some lovely shots of your gardens though.

Eden, Kenzie was over along with all Ricks grandchildren. Things were pretty exciting. I have an old wood rocker that she just loves. She rocks like crazy and sings "rock a baby" How cute that Bella likes to "read" Kenzie will talk like that a lot too - Jibberish with a few understandable words. The goldfish plant is pretty cool.

Cynthia, great find on the bells. We saw this bell at the Greenbay Botanical Gardens last summer. We both thought it was really neat. We thought the grandkids would like it. We saw an actual gong at one of the shops, but it was over $200. It had a great sound.

Speaking of indoor plants, I really need to do some watering.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 9:48PM
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Pm2, I meant to answer your question about previous Idyllunions. I've only been to IU3 which was in the Chicago area last summer. DH and I had a blast. Our hostesses were V and Ei and were were lucky enough to tour their gardens, the Chicago Botanical garden and much more in the area. If you check out page 3 of the previous posts here, you will find some picture threads of IU3.

The year before was CT and NH and before that the first one was in Michigan.

Also, there have been other mini get togethers along the way.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 10:24PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Cynthia I'm glad Katie's okay. Leah used to chew/eat everything, but luckily is past that stage. Goldens take a long time to mature, at least 4 years, even though they're eager to please, so the chewing went on for years. After she had her training, though, she stuck to her balls and toys, thank goodness.

That's a very pretty chime. I do like the low sounding ones better than the higher tinkling kind, too. I like the higher sounding ones to collect though. I've collected a few over the years. They hang in the front window, which doesn't open to let in the wind, so I don't have to listen to the durn things, though lol. Richea used to wonder why I had them at all if I can't stand the noise. Now he just accepts, lol. I like the way they look. And once in a blue moon I'll brush against one and it will chime, until I stop it, and I won't mind it for that instant.

Chelone, no matter what you do I think you'll do fine. I love being self employed but it does come with its own share of stresses and responsibilities, and clients. Then there's the book keeping, and profits and losses, to boot. Do what you want to do, and if it doesn't work change it.

Marian too bad your friend fell. I found some cleat type things that you put on your shoes and have been wearing them since my fall. They seem to work well. They are called yaktrax, but I'm sure there are similar types made by other companies. I can't wear them on marble or tile floors or walk on steel plates, though as I slip on those. In other words I take off my shoes or the Yaktrax for indoors.

I'm ready to hit the hay. I always have to wait until absolutely exhausted to sleep and that happens at 1 a.m. Waving hi to everyone. Good night all. Have a good tomorrow.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 4:11AM
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Good Morning so far...We're in the middle of an ice storm, not a good thing. The roads don't seem too bad but everything else is covered with a coating of ice. There are starting to be reports of downed lines and falling tree branches so if you don't hear from me for a while you'll know why. Keep your fingers crossed!

We got most of the office room wall prep work done yesterday and now have to wash everything down and then the painting begins. I've got today and tomorrow Bella free and then all work will come to a halt until next weekend. I can't imagine trying to paint while she's here, though I did it when my children were small.

I'm also trying to ignore the beginnings of a cold that I started to feel coming on yesterday afternoon. So far just a bit of a sore, scratchy throat. I hope that's all it amounts to. I don't have time to be sick.

I guess I must be in the "likes color" group. I don't have any white rooms in my house. Mostly light colors, lavender in the lr, pink kitchen, but with lots of other colors here and there in that room, yellow bath. I hadn't really given it a lot of thought but I can't imagine myself with white walls. I do like it when I see in a decorating magazine a room all done in shades of white, including painted furniture, and I think that's a pretty popular trend now.

As for houseplants I counted yesterday and have 38. It doesn't seem like that many though. Most are on window shelves that Brad has built for me and I have only a few large ones, a couple of ficus trees and a bird of paradise. I have quite a few that are 4 or 5 years old, the oldest is a Christmas cactus that was my grandmas that I've had for a very long time. I have 30 something of the begonias but they stay downstairs under lights.

Oh no, I just heard a big branch snap somewhere outside. Not a good sign. I'm going to shut down the computer now. Looks like we're going to be in for some excitement. Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Periods of freezing rain mixed with ice pellets changing to snow this morning. Snow and ice pellet amount 2 to 4 cm. Temperature steady near minus 3 (26F).

Yes, it is really disagreeable out there. The rain HURTS! My poor plants.

A good day for knitting.

Fond memories of Idyllunion 2004 in Michigan:

Someone must have photos of the bells in the trees....


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Hi everyone

Freezing rain here too this morning - something I always dread. Eden - hope you are safe. A few years ago we had an ice storm which left us without power for 5 days. I hope this won't be a repeat.

Our 3 day weekend is flying by but I wanted to pop my head in here, especially if our electricty goes out. Saturday was spent with music lessons - a new guitar teacher for David. I found him a classical guitar teacher as he seems to a natural talent for classical playing. He enjoyed the lesson a lot and came home and started practicing the new techniques right away. Phew - finding the right match in a music instructor is not always easy but so important to keep kids interested and motivated.

On Saturday evening we had friends over for dinner so the rest of the day was spent in the mad "clean the house for company" dash. I made pulled pork which was a big hit (and also the easier dish in the world as you just stick it in the oven for 10 hours). After we ate the children immersed themselves playing the board game "Life" while we talked till after 11 PM.

Yesterday passed in a flash as well. Annie is leaving on Friday for Quebec City with her French class so we shopped for the winter clothes she is still missing. We've had such a snowless winter so far I was able to get a great pair of snow pants on sale, plus some good wool ski socks, warm PJs and a down jacket. I think the trip will be enormous fun - it includes a beautiful hotel in the old part of Quebec City, a visit to a maple sugar factory, dog sled rides and snow tubing. And of course enjoying this all with a group of friends without parents is priceless!

By the way the where abouts of the missing boy and girls was never fully divulged. They are sticking to their story that they missed their stop on the bus, all got off at the boys house and decided to walk home. The three some got lost, couldn't find a business from which to call from and kept walking into the night till they got to the Holiday Inn. To me there are many gaping holes in their story, not the least why they didn't phone from the boys house before setting of walking. But at least foul play has been ruled out. I'm very relieved none of the kids are going on the French trip.

Today I have David's Odyssey of the Mind team coming over to start building their stage set. I told Annie she could also invite a friend so instead of a quiet morning in my PJ's I 'll have 9 kids here - wish me luck!

Kathy - Second Nature is a reread for me which I'm hoping to do later today. I'm also racing to finish Oliver Sacks "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" by tomorrow for my regular book club. It will be a good evening to curl up in front of the fire.

I'm also looking forward to catching up on the Idylls. Till then, enjoy the day off for those not working, and stay warm and safe anyone in the path of the storms.


PS Chelone - Welcome to Holland was not from the book you mentioned - the authors were different. I heard same discussion on NPR and would like to read those letters too.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:40AM
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Winter weather is arriving here, too. I opened the door for the cats and they became instantly cautious... not too sure about the sound of sleet pellets bouncing off downed leaves! could be a trap! Polly went out and slid on the iced Filon roof before quickly moving to the area under the soffit that is "dry" before disappearing down the hole and onto the woodpile. The others would have NONE of it and the indoor rodeo began shortly thereafter. Polly returned within 10 minutes. It's going to be one of those days... ;)

Snow is forecast, but estimates vary greatly. So, as we say here, "somewhere between 2 and 20"." I hope things are OK for others, and everyone remains snug in their homes WITH "juice".

I watched part of another movie last night while the football fest was going on next door... "Libertine" with Johnny Depp and John Malkovich. The helpmeet selected it, knowing my fondness for "costume dramas" and historical things. Ummm... if you have seen it, you will chuckle at the aforegoing description... suffice it to say, it was a great deal different than I thought it would be, lol. It's one that definitely earned its "R" rating, WOW! (don't rent it, Marian). Anyway, I wasn't able to get through the entirety of it and I'm not sure if I'll bother to finish it, I didn't think it was particularly good. We have "Sense and Sensibility" on DVD, and that's a good deal more "my speed". ;) The chicken pie was pretty good, though.

The village where I spent my HS years was quintessentially "New England"... with few exceptions, EVERY house was painted white and most of those had green shutters or black ones. There were 2 red houses, 2 yellow ones, a brown one and a grey one. Actually CHANGING the color of house raised many an eyebrow... it was pretty much the same in all the surrounding villages. Before we moved there we lived in an historic area of Massachusetts; there were many fine examples of Colonial architecture and several that predated that era. Mum and Dad were both history "buffs", Mum was particularly interested in the preservation of buildings at a time when they were falling like trees in an ice storm. Consequently, we toured many of them, some in dreadful states of (dis)repair, but retaining authentic details which she carefully pointed out to me. I recall handsome wainscotings painted in colors that had been quite vibrant before time and woodsmoke/lampoil "muted" them. I remember intricate stencilled dadoes and "wallpapers", and magnificently marbled mopboards, and in one home an entire mural on the walls of the entry hall and the front parlor. I also remember someone patiently explaining to me (I was 11-12) that color on walls was the sign of affluence because mixing paints was an intricate business and expensive in a time when many supplies arrived on sailing ships. Those explorations and lessons have remained with me, and to this day, I am fascinated by how people use color to soften, brighten their interior, personal worlds... am quite interested in the color schemes seen so often in historic Scandinavian and Russian homes, also the selections for the exteriors (think of the Hermitage... yellow). I harbor a particular fascination for the subtleties of faux work, and "distressed" finishes... particularly, what makes them look elegant and rich, and what makes them sloppy and "cheap". It's the "technician" in me, the person who should probably work somewhere like Colonial Williamsburg, faithfully reproducing period clothing, draperies, and upholstery. ;)

The sleet appears to be giving way to snow outdoors... Daddy and Rex are putting the recyclables and the trash kerbside. We "missed" the recycling pick-up and we're up to our ears in cans and other items; it's quite clear the felines have not missed many meals in the interim. The helpmeet has to go down to the greenhouse this morning to feed the cats there and do a few things. He is going to take my car (FWD), but has to chisel through the accumulated ice on the windshield beforehand. Poor guy. I have not breathed a word about a garage...

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:48AM
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Oliver Sacks "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat"

Mary, I read that book when it was first published more than 20 years ago and found it fascinating. Glad to see there is renewed interest in it. I can't remember if that's the one which includes a chapter on Temple Grandin (sp), and autistic child who recently wrote her own book.

GB, thanks for the memory. Looks like Lillium formosanum(?) seed pods in the front.

Kathy, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a wonderful rose. I need to move mine as it is crowded by other roses and not getting the space it needs.

Michelle, that is an amazing garden bell! Tell your handsome husband that 60 is the new 40. 50 bothered me a bit, but I think I'll be fine when 60 comes around in 4 years. It's so much closer to retirement :-)

Woody, it's interesting that shingles were painted in New Brunswick. In New England, (I grew up on the Cape) the shingles are allowed to weather to a beautiful silvery gray. When I lived in NH, the French Canadians who lived there were known for loving bright colors.

I finally stopped to look through a couple of seed catalogues last night. I am definitely reformed, as they would have been tattered by now if I were at the same addiction level. I'll start some favorite annuals of course, but perennial seeds will be extremely limited. Lespedeza thunbergii at the top of that very short list, and maybe some Agave. I found agave seedlings very rewarding last year as they're slow growers. I still have the babies in pots in gh. I use lights as I just don't get much kick by throwing seeds outdoors and having to wait until spring to have green things growing :-) Every germination is an 'event' for me and I love going down to the light room in cellar and checking ever pot each day to see whats happened.

Overcast here today but 50F. It was still 60F when I went to bed last night. I'll be back working on the remains of the east fence today. The ground is wet so it's relatively easy pulling. I'm also ripping out a ton of forsythia along it and need to cut some of the branches to force. It's all budded up!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:21AM
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Good morning, but is it? It is eerily dark outside and looking to the north I can see the absolute dividing line between rain clouds and ice clouds. Actually called a local TV station to see if they wanted to send a photographer. My camera isn't strong enough to "get" the difference. Very weird watching some clouds go one way and other clouds going the other way. The zone police would have a field day here, today :-)

All house cleaning is as done as it's going to get. I'm off too, Cynthia, but will be working, anyway. I'm Rich's business books person (never admit that your degree is in Accounting to Anyone that owns a small business) so end-of-year will be my focus of today.

Also got my own work budget and am thrilled beyond belief!! I must be doing something that the budget-makers like, as my Q1 allows for substantial "overage" (which translates into more money to me). Being happy with two sets of numbers in one day is just Too Much!! Cynthia, V, Sue -- pinch me!!

I grew up with whatever colors were left over from the church. My mother drew the line at anything white so would go to the hardware store, buy whatever was in the bargain bin, and tint any white. As a result, we had a yellow (sunflower yellow) kitchen (bathrooms in the church), greenish in the dining room (community room), soft rosy creamy in the living room (sanctuary) and the tints were used in the bedrooms. Mine was a deep sky blue, then lavender, then cream with forest green.

When that house was torn down I managed to salvage a hand-done wrought iron door latch. Under the black paint is a slight hue of blue, which could've been done with boat paint.

Chelone: The War of the Roses. If you ever "get it" let me know. Kyle has tried to explain it in laymen's terms to no avail. While he is in England he wants to look further into it. All power to him :-)

Eden: Watch your cold! Sneak back when you can :-)

Woody: Have been meaning and meaning to tell you that so far, all roses are surviving quite well, including the ones that never got out of a large container and into the ground. I really thought I had remembered them all ... but it's warm enough that they seem okay. Nice to have an '07 container started. LOL

I love bells in trees as it brings back really wonderful memories of my maternal grandparents place. My grandad the engineer figured out what wind speed would be needed to make each individual bell ring, and that's how he knew the weather outside. He is also the one that instilled my love of fresh-picked cherries. Trees are on order from Millers .... I had forgotten about bells as windchimes drive me absolutely nutso. Bells truly are a different deal.

Chelone: Anytime you want company, let me know. I figure I can't be more than four hours away. Come to Logee's on the 21st! It'd be good to get outta Dodge for a few days and certainly there are enough extra rooms in CT.

My gumption for getting numbers crunched is fading fast so must run. Hoping the line stays north ....


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:25AM
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Kathy -- Almost forgot. Can't believe I know a rose you don't have!! LOL

Get this one -- if it thrives here it'll be stupendous in your yard.

And Cynthia: Thanks for the Cynthia/Cindy explanation once again. For some reason I keep putting you in DC.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:28AM
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Sadly, I wasn't able to stay to see Trudy Temple's garden, but here is a picture of her bells taken by Sue.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:58AM
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Thanks Michelle, That's the picture I was thinking of!

The ice has passed here but what's on the trees won't be going anywhere soon as temps are dropping. I'm just hoping the winds don't pick up and bring down anymore of the ice ladden branches. The big crack I heard earlier was half a tree in the neighbor's field behind us.

Back to paint prep work.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:15AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Cindy in Va checking in -- small clarification -- she has a small dog named Chloe (Chloe would object to being called a kitty -- mighty 7-lb dog that she is - a Maltese; I know some people would question whether they're really dawgs -- but believe me, she'll re-confirm, maltese can be "furrrrocius" guard dogs, LOL - & are quite aware that their breed has been around for centuries!). I suspect we add to confusion of the names/geography because Cindy here lives in northern Va (near Dulles Airport) but commutes to downtown D.C. -- hence the Cindy/DC ideas...

I believe Cynthia/Maryland lives closer to Baltimore area for those trying to determine closer geography?

Cindy's Miss Chloe has her own paths & stomping route in the small yard; I've been kind & not ripped up the grass(weeds) for her benefit, but Im tempted annually to do stone paths instead. She performs her guard duties along these routes to terrorize strollers on the path of the park behind us. [now that I totally have broken all the rules of grammar & mixed nouns, tenses, spellings, etc....]

It's been way too squishy, squishy to do anything in the yard here but we havent gotten as much rain as they predicted either - I guess it all got used in the Midwest. Ice is pretty, but so treacherous. Went to an antique/flea market big deal yesterday; walked around for 4 hours (managed to make up that calorie loss by eating great Indian dinner, heehee) but managed to spend zero; Was hunting to shutters to put in the garden but couldnt find the right height.

Add me to the color walls list -- as well as for clothes - I often think of myself as a peacock - gotta have color everywhere (when I find Im wearing too much black, I know my mood is bad, lol). I think I do have one room w/ white walls - but it also has bright jade green carpet so there's definitely color even there.

Enjoying the pics; am off today as well - just having so much trouble w/ the durned home computer, but torn about spending more $$ on a new one when I want to buy garden plants & stuff instead -- trying to stay fiscally responsible is a pain! The only plants I picked up this weekend were some primulas to brighten the table; paperwhites are starting to bloom (that alcohol thing really works; the green is not so large!), Meyer lemon has put out several inches of growth & is loaded w/ buds (hope they dont drop); Im so tempted by Eden & Kathy's purchases but have such limited indoor space I better just watch here.

Ok, now the test - hit the submit button & see if p.c. freezes or sends. Good day to all.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:11AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well, the third round of wintry weather 'got' us. We now have a coating of ice and sleet. Not to the point of damaging anything, but hindering outside walking. Just getting to the car would be a challenge, even if the roads are not too effected. It sits across the driveway from our garage. I have spread rugs on the porches and steps, and will sprinkle ashes on the way to the wood shed.

We went to the AM worship services yesterday, and ate at the One Stop. Our evening service was cancelled due to iffy weather and illnesses. We watched one of my favorite movies in the afternoon..."Sarah Plain and Tall". Will probably watch the first sequel today, "Skylark", and the second one tomorrow, "Winter's End". Chelone, thanks for the head's up on the "Libertine" movie...:-)

Kathy, that begonia does look a lot like mine. It does have hairy stems, doesn't it? I have tentively identified mine as "Maphil", aka "Cleopatra". My Jack Kramer, "Begonias-Indoors and Out", says it " frequently appears as a hangingbasket plant, although it is not a trailer.But it makes a round compact ball of lovely color.The foliage is splashed with gold,chocolate brown, and chartreuse.In April,tall spikes dancing with tiny pink flowers make the plant a stunning sight. Flood, then allow to dry before watering again." I used to have an angelwing like your childhood angelwing, but have apparently lost it. I can't find it. I have a large-leafed angelwing, a dwarf angelwing ( from a cutting off of my MIL's plant,before she passed 10 years or more ago), A beefsteak begonia,another similar to the beafsteak but with pointed leaves, a small-leafed cane variety that I bought 3 years ago ( I forget it's name), and 4 pots of bedding wax begonias that I potted up last fall. ( I also have duplicates of some of the others).

Chelone, I am thinking your brother is at a loss as to how to handle the situation. Many men are not good at being caregivers. But I am hoping he catches on, or else other arrangements can be made.

Count me as one who likes windchimes, but indoors where the breeze very seldom reaches them. I have several hanging in the baywindow, and other windows. I have no bells in trees or outside chimes. I prefer the natural sounds of the many birds that visit our yard.

Sue, I like the idea of a surprise bd party for your DH. I had one for Nolon on his 60th. He had no idea, until guests started arriving! It was fun.

Martie, I can understand your fear of ice storms. I have never experienced anything like you have, but we do suffer lots of vegetation damage frequently, and power outages.
The honey locust in front of our house still has a hanging-down limb from a storm 4 winters ago. One finaly fell from the large oak out back this summer, in a wind was hung up on another limb. So far we have missed damage this winter, but the worst can come in March! Before we moved up here such a storm hit and wiped out power poles all around us. We were out of power for days, and telephones.
I agree on the beauty of it all. One winter I sat out on our front porch, on a warm day after a freezing rain, and listened to the tinkling of the icicles in the trees. Lovely! Another time I couldn't get my car up the hill about a mile from home, and walked up to get help. The tinkling was delightful then, too.
I love your story about the little girl in the grocery store. So cute,( and generous of the produce guy).

Sorry, but I am no expert at reblooming Amaryllis. Either they do, or they don't! I will be happy if I get at least 2 stalks from the 8 bulbs in my pan. I put the pan out in a semi-sunny spot in summer. I SHOULD fertilize them...but don't, :-( . In the fall I bring the pan full in, and withhold watering. When the leaves yellow, I remove them. I have no certain time of restarting them. Actually, I think they are supposed to start on their own when ready, but I get impatient!

PM2, I got my original jade's start from our doctor's waiting room when our son was 8! He is 49 today! I have 3 plants that are starts from it. The original got too large and unwieldy. They are extremrly easy to start from cuttings or leaves. A southern exposure is not necessary for them, but they do need light.
I drew the plans for our house, and added the baywindow.I lined up the house so it would get the southwest sun in that window. I have never regretted it. There are windows all around, and I used to have plants in them all, in the winter...BC..Before Cats. LOL. We completed the house and moved in 23 years ago this April 15th. I had never lived in the same house this long!
I love my fannel-lined jeans, but wish they had smaller legs. They are really wide-legged!

Re: Thalia daffodils. I have some.

I haven't riden a horse since my teenage years. I have the opportunity when at my sister's, but decline. I don't relish the idea of returning home on a plane with a leg in a cast, or worse! LOL

Kathy, sorry that your area is experiencing winter weather! I hope your plants survive. I imagine folks there are not as well prepared for such as we are.

Too too much to comment on! I am a 'white wall' person. Most of our rooms are white or off-white. Only the spare bedroom and my bedroom are other colors....pale blue, and pale pink. I hang so much on the walls, the white makes a good background, besides I like the light effect of the white.

Michelle, I love the story of Kensie rocking and singing...:-)

Yeona, I have clunky shoes, with rubber soles, that I wear for traction. I put on boots for my wood-carrying job. The friend tripped on another woman's walker.

As I already said....too much to comment on, and my brain is fizzling out! I know there is lots more that I read and wanted to respond to. Maybe later.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Sue's offer to walk in weather just like today, and me thinking "is she out of her mind?" probably puts me in the wimp category. I did, though, take a short garden walk today and found out something that just blows me away:

Living in a northern zone, I watch microclimates like a hawk. It is exactly 34degF outside on the southside of the house. Everything is dripping wet and the soil is a soggy mess.

Move to the west side: Some icing on branches but none on the ground.

Move to the north side: Clethra have a definite coat of ice.

Move to the east side: Nurseried baby shrubs are holding their own and trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

So: South/southwest corner: Z6b-7 solid. Northern protection and light colored walls help a lot.

West: Perfect part-shade Z6 -- mostly shade under inheirited Kousa that has been left to grow from previously being hacked and is a beauty.

North/northeast main bed (3/4 of area full sun in summer): Z6 solid.

Due north: Zone 5b.

Southeast: Solid Z6b.

This day at my house is one for the weather history books.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 2:16PM
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News from the sunbelt.

65F here.

Fence completely removed.

I have mountains of uprooted forsythia on the lawn that I have to chop and bag. And mountains more to rip out.

After I suffered the pain, strain, and final bloody wound of wrestling the fence, I sat down in the compost pile like an 11 year old and potted up 15 Acuba cuttings...because 13 is an unlucky number. Does a bottomless pile of black friable earth and pots of cuttings make me feel wealthy? Uh huh.

Went back to get my clippers and in the exact spot I had left them was another pair of clippers - rusted - that I must have left there in the fall :-)

Spent a little time in gh watering and checking brug cuttings. I had chopped down the Charles Grimaldi a little late and only 3 cuttings made it. The rest must have been frosted when I took them. I was feeling sorry for myself until I realized the parent plant is sitting there in a pot and throwing new growth. Duh. I put the window boxes in there this year, geranium leaves smell so good in winter!

My variegated agave from VPN in CT had babies last year. If I could figure out how to get everything out of the pot, I could share them. I like the pot too much to break it.

Michelle, thank you (and Sue and Eden) for the bell arch! Now I want a wide one like that. Her gardens look gorgeous.

Eden, Sorry about the weather there. The warm spell will be back to you soon. Hope the neighbor's tree didn't do any damage. When my neighbor's lose trees they generally fall on my trees, or my good fence. I've warded that off in the past couple of years by removing any trees leaning in my direction regardless of who owns them.

Chloe, I'm sorry I thought that you were a cat. Probably because Cindy never posts pictures of you :-)

Chelone, maybe you could do sewing as a main business and faux painting on the side. There have to be good markets for both.

Marty, My west side is the coldest. Must be something about neighbor's structures keeping my northside more sheltered somehow. Congratulations on getting an achievable budget!

I'm back out to continue working my butt off. Hundreds of forsythia still to rip out. These things have been propagating themselves for decades.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 3:19PM
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We were promised 1-3" of snow and were lucky if we got 1/4" so the garden will have to suffer the cold temps we're forecast without a winter coat. No more cracking trees though so I'm starting to relax. I was looking through a Pottery Barn catalog this afternoon and ran across a $399 chandelier that looks a lot a $5 thrift store one I have and an $199 iron grate they have hanging on a wall that's just like one I have that someone had set out on the curb for trash. I had to show Brad so he'd know how much money I save him when decorating, lol.

Martie, nice work figuring out all of those microclimates in your garden. That's quite a range with 3 zones. I have a few z6 areas but am mostly a pretty solid z5, no z7 areas here in my garden unfortunately.

Cynthia, I knew you'd like the bell arch. I so envy you sitting in the compost breathing the scent of the soil and potting up plants. I love to just inhale that smell of good soil. I have a Lespedeza thunbergii growing out in my nursery bed from the seed you sent me last winter. To answer your question, no quotes on the walls in the office. I'm doing a cork wall that I'll use for putting up quotes, pictures or anything else that I like or that inspires me.

Cindy, now that I think about it I don't believe I've ever seen a picture of Chloe. I did know she was of the canine persuasion though.

Chelone, you could add painted floors/floor cloths along with faux painted walls and custom window treatments and have a decorating business which you'd be fabulous at! Now that would be fun I think.

Brad's gone to Home Depot for supplies and will be back soon so I need to think of what I'm doing about dinner. I need to eat something that will fight off this cold I'm still trying to get.

Missing you lots Deanne!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 5:33PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! I have been missing Taryn, Babs, Deanne & T too and even though there were no protests here after my admitting I talk too much, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just write the usual novel...LOL! I don't expect anyone to comment (or even read if you don't feel like it) but I was just in a chatty mood and wanted to share with you what's been going on in my life. :-) Actually I have been reading for the last two days trying to catch up with you. BTW, thanks Babs for the info on your Christmas tree. I don't think I've ever seen it offered here, but will keep my eyes open. *LOVED* your Christmas card and even though I know you just took it, it looks so retro...very cool and so 3 dimensional too! You really have a good eye for your subject.

It's been a busy month between mom and trying to get this house in order. We are hoping to have it ready for sale by spring. We still have to repaint the ceiling in the master bath, paint the unfinished part of the basement, paint the porch rails and power wash the porch floor and the back deck. I'm not doing any gardening this year obviously, except for digging up plants to take with me!
:-) I will be taking my most cherished ones with me...*all* the tree peonies; splits of my favorite herbaceous peonies; all my cherished woodland plants, some of the hellebores and other harder to find plants and all my immature trees in shrubs like the Chionanthus and Lemon Wave Hydrangea, and almost all of my lilies (defintely all the orienpets anyway).

Cindy, I'm a big Thalia fan too! :-) Was looking for my pics, but couldn't find them. I tend to go for the delicate flowers in spring. Spring is my *favorite* season and I dream of the spring garden all winter long...all the delicate woodland plants - like sanguinaria, dutchman's breeches, the tiny fritillarias, the jack in the pulpits, etc. Speaking of daffs, I'm also a big fan of the Poet's daff and all the little mini daffs too. But I must admit, I have a trashy side and just ooh and ahh when the Double Flowered Thaiti and the Delnashaugh Daffs pop up. Can't help it...I *do* admire Tahiti's self confidence and the way she likes to stand out in a crowd... Another first class daff (I think) that you would really enjoy is 'Lemon Glow'...she's a beauty. I like to imagine Tahiti as my Marilyn Monroe and Lemon Glow as my Katherine Hepburn...LOL!

Dremma, I was so sorry to hear about your brother, I can only imagine how frightening the whole experience was for you and your family. Glad that things are looking up now. You *are* a wonderful, loving sister!

Mary I have been meaning to tell you for ages, how much I *loved* the purse you made for Ruth. It really is a piece of art and I love the soft fuzzy look of it. I'm sure Ruth was absolutely thrilled! BTW, so glad that all's well that ends well re the missing teens. What a scare for their families and for you too! I have to say, I really don't miss the teen years...I'm just not equipped to handle them well. My son once pulled something similar. DS "didn't have a cell phone" (but I'm sure *one* of his friends must have). Anyway, by the time he finely showed up here at home, I was a total wreck. My tongue had actually turned black from all the acids in my stomach...*not* good for my ulcer. Luckily, all of the kids arrived home safe and sound and DS *never* pulled something like that on me again. Yes, I'm glad the teen years are over...LOL!

Norma ice storms can be very scary, but your pics sure are beautiful! I especially *loved* the one by your pond, with the wheel (?). That would make a gorgeous Christmas card! I have been thoroughly enjoying all your Chihuly pics too. Wish I could have seen them in person...they are all lovely! I really admire his work. There was a special quite awhile back on T.V., exhibiting Chihuly pieces (both private and public). One lucky woman had a huge Chihuly piece dangling from her 50 foot (okay, maybe it wasn't 50 ceiling like a was *so* beautiful. And from what I remember of the story, it was quite a feat of engineering to get that huge, heavy piece supported. I saw Chihuly's glass flowered ceiling at the Bellagio in Vegas once (one of the few things I enjoyed in Vegas I am *not* a gambler and the lifestyle there just isn't me). Anyway the ceiling was *so* beautiful and I would have happily hung around the Bellagio for my whole trip...LOL! There was a Chihuly exhibit here in Chicago a few years back (at the Garfield Park Conservatory) and I went at least 3 or 4 times to see it. Every time someone would mention they wanted to see it I would chime in..."Ill go!" I also have this year's Chihuly calendar (maybe Im a little obsessed???) LOL!

Here's a few pics from the Garfield conservatory and Vegas:

This one is from the Bellagio:

And here's a close up:

Here's a postcard of Chihuly in Japan:

It didn't come out that great cause I had to scan it into my computer. Boy would I love to see this one in person. Actually, I would love to see all the Chihuly exhibits...he is literally all over the globe!

Here's a couple from the Garfield Park Conservatory. I love the prehistoric look of this:

Eden I love the color you chose. The "inspiration board" sounds neat....what is an inspiration board? I just love the way that sounds! :-) I just finished painting my office a soft yellow called Chestertown Buff (Benny Moore). I love soft yellows - though green seems to be my favorite color, followed by brown, *then* yellow and then blue. Well, I *do* love red too. Actually, I cant think of a color I dont like...LOL...but green is definitely my favorite.

So here is a pic of how the office color turned out:

It looks deeper and brighter in the picture than in reality. I really love the color, it's soft and warm a warm sunny day, but without the glare! :-)

Michelle Paul is getting married in August...lots of planning going on here. I too loved your "barn" pic...very artistically have a good eye! That bell is very cool. Wish I had known about that place. We were in Green Bay last summer. I love bells too and the next time I visit my BF Anita, I plan to go to Cosantis. Here's a link to Cosantis bells for anyone who hasn't seen them. You'll have to copy and paste the address since I already have another link listed at the bottom of this post.

Your pic reminded me of this:

How's that for a big bell...LOL! It's a bronze bell sculpture by Manolo Valdez. There were several different *huge* pieces of his sculpture exhibited at the Desert Botanical Garden the last time I was in visiting Anita (excuse the clown in the picture...LOL!) Here's another one of his sculptures (to get a good perspective on the size of his work):

Gotta kick out of Yeonnas link...funny, that is something I have always wondered about!

Bug, I also get such a kick out of all the excitement going on around your house these days! :-) How wonderful that you & the DH are going to help DD & DSIL with buying a home. Im sure it brings you lots of joy to be able to do that and Im sure the kids are just over the moon about owning a home of their own!

Kathy your kitty is a beauty!

Speaking of DSs wedding, lots of planning going on here. DSs fiancé is working very hard to try to stay within their budget. They are paying for the wedding themselves I had *no* idea how expensive a wedding can be (we got married in Vegas ironic; huh?...LOL). Luckily, my friend Donna who runs a florist shop here has been great at helping them to cut corners and still do what is more important to them. DH and I are going to help out with what we can (which is why I might not be able to afford coming to the next Idyllunion). Still, seeing pics of last years IU and remembering all of you with such fondness...I really want to try to make it if I can. Besides, though I absolutely loved having all of you here, I felt like I really didnt get to just *be* with all of you like I would have liked (especially when you were at my house) and it will be nice to just be able to relax and "hang out" with all of you. Anyway, between the wedding and preparing the house for sale, this looks to be a very busy summer, so we will just have to wait and see how things turn out. I would love to come to Philly, but we would definitely have to fly and rent a car, as it is too long of a drive for us. The plans sound fabulous and I know you will all have a lovely time! I would love to see Chanticlaire, Winterthur and Scott Arboretum...they have been on my list for a long time! Maybe DH and I could make it our vacation for the year? I would love to see New York too. Clermont Gardens (an Arts & Crafts style garden) is on my list and right up my alley since I love everything about that period and Ive never actually seen a true A&C style garden. Would also love to make it to Wave Hill, Brooklyn Botanic, New York Botanic, Innisfree, the Cloisters, the Conservatory Garden too...LOL! I think I will have to narrow the list though. We couldnt be away for more than a week. Deanne, Sue, Monique...have you guys seen any of the New York gardens I listed? I think Moniques been to Wave Hill and the NYBG? From my list, which would you say are "must sees"? Any others to recommend?

Oh, we also finished the's a pic of the counter and my tile job. I did a pretty good job, if I say so myself! ;-)

Look how nice and even those lines are! :-)

Maybe you guys remember my little kitchen table from the IU3? Anyway, they are unsafe to sit on anymore. Paul has welded them back together many times in the past, but says he was finished with that! I think Ill use the old chairs in the next garden and turn them into a planter...I dont like to waste anything. :-) Anyway, I have this vision of turning the seats into planters like in those beautiful pics Honey shared a few years back...we shall see. So back to the table... We needed a little table for the kitchen, but didnt want to invest any money since we are selling and probably wouldnt keep the set. I found a couple of really nice leather parson chairs from Overstock at an unbelievable price, including a coupon *and* free shipping! I was really amazed and pleased with the quality of the leather. I had purchased something from them before that was so cheap looking and arrived damaged that I swore I would never use them again, but I was desperate! After such a pleasant experience, I went back and ordered a couple of rugs for the kitchen and happy to say they were better than I expected too. I decided to "artsy up" (Lol) the kitchen table to go better with the chairs. I painted the glass on the reverse side and then covered the whole thing with brown paint. Im pretty happy with the way it came out, but I see now that I should have overlapped the strokes more and went in two different directions instead of just one. I wasnt really able to see it before it was finished since you dont really see the finished side from the side you are painting (hope you know what I mean). Anyway, I know I could make it better if I did it over, but Paul won't let me...LOL! I think he's afraid I'll ruin it if I try again. :-) It was a lot of fun to do though and I want to do more painting on glass...some day!

Here's what the kitchen set use to look like (this was from the New Year's Party).

By the way, our little New Year's Party was very nice and everyone stayed until about 2:00 a.m.! As much as I enjoyed their company it was all I could do to keep my eyes open at the end. Oh, I can't remember who asked, but I forgot to take pics of the cheese platter...sorry! It was a big hit though and I will definitely do that again. It was delicious (a ton of flavor sensations)and elegant looking and the best cooking required! :-)

Here it is with the new chairs and the paint:

That's the new floor DH & I installed too. The floor is a Pergo and was a snap to put in - that is...after the 3 days it took to remove the old mortar and glue...Yikes! I *never* want to do that again!

Here's a sort of long view of the kitchen (sorry I'm lousy with a camera).

The room turned out a little "sleeker" than is normally my style, but I'm hoping it will appeal to potential buyers. The kitchen appliances really should be replaced (they are all 10 years old or better). I know most of the new homes have the stainless steel and they would actually good I think against these white cabinets, but I really didn't want to spend the money for new appliances since I won't be able to enjoy them. If the realtor says the old ones should be replaced then I guess we'll go with the cheapest stainless we can find.

Marian, I know I've said it before, but I have to say it are the houseplant queen! Glad to hear the weather was not as bad as first anticipated. So glad the orchids are hanging in for you too. If they were here, they would be dead as a doornail by now, I'm sure. :-) Sorry to hear about your friend's fall. Count me in as someone who loves windchimes indoors too! Some of them are like a pieces of art in fact I've seen them called "art chimes". There is an artist (Drifty's Art Chimes) who blows me away. I've attached a link below of her work if anyone is interested. Obviously I could never make anything as fine as her (I especially love the two "Snowbird" and "A Snowy Winter Day") but I definitely want to try to make an art chime for myself sometime in the future.

BTW, I *loved* your poem Jerri.

Woody...your hubbys a hoot! :-)

Well I'm sure you guys are thoroughly bored with me, but at least I got it out of my system...LOL! I'll remove the pics tomorrow, so as not to hold up the dial ups (Hi Taryn!) I know there's a lot of "me" in this post and I apologize for that. Later this week we will be flying to Florida for a long week-end to visit DH's dad, so I won't be able to post again anytime soon... did I hear a sigh of relief???? LOL! I will try to catch up before then, but next month will be a pretty busy month for me too as I start my training to teach adult literacy. It's a volunteer program and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity. I've done "one on one" volunteer work before, but never teaching someone how to read...I think it will be very rewarding...hope I do a good job. P.S. Don't worry, I *won't* be teaching them how to speak or write...LOL! Oh and P.P.S. since Marian asked...We had a little bit of icing, but nothing too bad. Right now it's snowing. Okay, better go...TTYL! The Big Mouth! Ei

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 5:43PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Eden! I just was checking to see if my post came up and saw your most recent post. Now I understand what an "inspiration board" is...what a neat idea. Hope you'll share pics as it develops! Ei

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 5:46PM
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Ahhh - I'm just enjoying the peace and quiet of being the only one in the house and enjoying the photos and chat. The kids were in high spirits this morning and I really missed being able to send them outdoors to run off some energy. After they left both Annie and David were invited out with friends for dinner so I headed out for tea with a friend and now have some much needed solitude. Everywhere is glistening with ice but so far no real damage. The 2-3 ins of snow predicted for tonight might change that.

Cynthia - 65F sounds like bliss right now! I was hopeless with my brugmansia cuttings and lost them all to an early cold snap. It will be the first year in many I'm not growing any on my window sill.

Eden - I've always thought you and Brad make the perfect team - your creativity and his handyman skills. Plus you seem to enjoy working together - what a great combination.

Cindy - do post pictures of little Chloe sometime - I don't think I've seen her either.

Martie- how neat to have figured out your micro climates so carefully. Usefull information to have.

Marian - take care with that sheet of ice. I was leaving my friend's house this afternoon and her steps were so icy with no handrail - I needed an arm all the way down. I was actually thinking of just sliding down on my behind rather than risk a tumble as my shoes had no grip. I have one amaryllis that is just sending up a reblooming bud which is very exciting.

GB - what fond memories your photo brings back. And Trudi Temple's garden too. What are you knitting now?

I'm off to light a fire and start reading. I have a load of laundry I could do but I'm not sure I have the motivation.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:11PM
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Ei - how absolutely fabulous to have such a lovely long post from you. You NEVER talk too much for me. Your home projects are incredible - I just love the table (you are soooo creative!), bathroom tiles and new office color. I'm blown away with how much you've done! Please leave the photos up a little longer if you can - I'd like to look at the sculputres and Chihuly again. By the way, my lucky DH has seen Chihuly at work in his studio, something I would love to witness.

Enjoy Florida and your new literacy training - I think you'll be a natural at it and the students wil be so very lucky to have you!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

When I went out to bring in my day's and evening's firewood I discovered the ground is not icy at all ! Wonderful ! If nothing else arrives, I will be able to go to my Dermatologist appointment Thursday. Tomorrow's Golden Years has been cancelled, so I won't miss anything there.

Martie, your analysis of the zones around your house is amazing. Good job!

Cynthia, I am jealous of your 65 degrees!

Eden, I too was hoping for snow to protect things. It is predicted to get in the single digits tonight and tomorrow night...maybe even 0. I hope you get the snow that is predicted for tonight. LOL on the laundry. I have accumulated dishes that need washed. I too, lack the motivation. :-)

Ei, great post! So, do you have any idea where you may move too? I sure do not envy you. I hope to never move again, unless I just leave everything except the most precius items behind. I don't imagine you will move very far from your mom will you? All that glass stuff is beautiful ! I like little blown glass items, and have a few. I love your office area. How exciting about young Paul's August wedding. Your Arizona pics with your BF are great. Neat tile job. I have never attempted doing that. Your painted glass table is beautiful. I must remember to check out your Art Chimes link. :-) WOW...I am so proud of you, with the adult literacy class. What a great thing to aspire to do!


    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:48PM
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I busied myself by cleaning the bedroom this afternoon. It was a real hole; dust kitties swirling across the floor, driveway grit on the rug, piles of books, and a film of dust over just about everything. NO MORE. I even went through my jewellery box and matched up the jumble of earrings. I threw out a bunch, too, leftover stuff from the days when I had my "straight job". I did not get as far as washing windows. But it looks a lot nicer now.

I've had a nagging wish to make the draperies for the bedroom for several years now, but have struggled to appropriate the time required to get it done. A friend of mine is a designer and I've done a lot of work for her over the years. She had graciously consented to abuse her "to the trade" discount for my benefit. I am not sure if I will use a fabric valence or coerce the helpmeet into making me two wooden ones, similar to those in the living area. Anyway, I'm going to work the measurements again, and also factor in the window in the adjoining bathroom.

It was cold today and it precipitated all day long, though we've only wound up with a whopping 1 1/2". I can't say I'm terribly disappointed. The golf course is a lot more inviting when you don't have to slog through a foot of snow. Rex doesn't care, either way. He loves to do "rollie-polies", running, dropping his shoulder and sliding along. Makes me smile every time.

Cynthia, you certainly have put in your time. I smiled at the abandonned pruners, how many times have we done the same thing here? I hope you have before and after shots to share with us, too! Good luck with the Forsythia; I'll have my turn on that wheel after they bloom in the spring. Can't wait... not.

I'm thinking about Marian and Nolon, too. I just watched the news and the feature on Oklahoma was eerily familiar to what happened in Maine and NH in '98. And then the news that CA has apparently lost half their citrus crop... my heart goes out to those affected. Marian, you really do need to have a pair of those pull on cleats for your boots! My BIL gave me a pair the year I slipped on ice and broke my wrist. I take a lot of ribbing about them by my co-workers, but the broken wrist was not only painful, but inconvenient and expensive, as well. They're inexpensive and really easy to pull on and take off. REALLY.

The helpmeet watched "An Incovenient Truth" today. I will have to make a point to sit and watch it. He also brought home "Mission Impossible" and "All the King's Men". I don't really care a fig about "MI 3", but the others might be fun. But not tonight.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have a new approach...instead of waiting for two days of posts and trying to catch up, I am going to try to read/respond more often and see if that

I doubt there are many football fans in this group, but it's 3 to 2 boys at our house and they are all sports fans. Patriots or Red Sox, they love them. Plus our daughter is also very much a sports fan. It was a wild game yesterday but they did win and we were all so relieved. I enjoy watching key games but I enjoy their enjoyment of it more and I can't remember ever turning on a game to watch myself. Nail biting game though.

15 more winter sown containers outside this morning. Lupine/Primula/Poppy/Petunia. That's it for this weekend.

Room colors again...hearing about all your different colors and room decors reminded me of the first time I ever got to choose the paint in my room. I had to be about 7yrs old or so and I guess I decided I didn't like the color paint in my room. I still remember how happy I was when I was allowed to change the color. I chose a lilac pastel purple and loved it. We moved a lot, and one of the next houses we moved into,when I was about 12, I wanted to redo my bedroom again and of all things I had the idea I wanted to have black and white zebra The walls were all white and the bedroom furniture already was a white enamel finish. So they actually allowed me to put zebra wallpaper on the sliding closet doors and some kind of bedding and curtains that went along with that. LOL I hated it after it was all done. But I so much appreciated my parents allowing me to try it and I learned some valuable lessons about how an idea sounds so great in your head but can turn out entirely different than you hope. :-)

I am starting to think I am the only one without Thalia. [g]

Cynthia I love the bell you found at home goods. I am going to have to check that out. I love wind chimes but since my DH doesn't, maybe I can interest him in some bells. :\-) You might try alternating ice/heat for your hands, they might heal faster. Oh, Cynthia...I definitely missed that there is a Cynthia and a Cindy. I think I have been responding to both your posts as if you were one person. \[g\] I'm really sorry! I think I have you right posted a separate post with your grayhounds, correct? Sorry. 

Taking out a fence is a big job, Cynthia. Glad you are finished with it. One side of our property has post and rail and it is looking a little old. I am hoping it will give us a few more years. I hate to think what it cost to replace it these days. We ripped out a 100ft overgrown shrub border the year before last and did it all by hand. At least my grown children and DH did. We had one forsythia that had colonized into about 12 and was one huge massive collective! It was a bear digging the whole thing out, but the worst one was a flowering quince. 

Martie, I LOVED that photo of the 'Shropshire Lad' rose. I think I have seen that one before. It is such a pretty form. Congratulations on the new budget..nice when your employer appreciates you. You must be doing something right. :\-) I got a kick out of your story about the colors from the church. Your room sounds the blue. I didn't have time to say in the last post...that I am really disappointed that I can't say I will come to Logee's, if for nothing else but to see everyone. It is just always very unpredictable here and I can never plan. It doesn't look promising at this point. 

Chelone....I tried riding again, about 15 years ago and that was the last time. Definitely wasn't in shape to do it again. Sounds like you were very involved in it at one time. We had a family member with horses but not for many years. They had Appaloosas and Draft Horses. The draft horses are amazing animals. I do miss being around horses. About the only time I see one any more is at the Topsfield Fair or the Four H Fairs. Or on the Budweiser 

I have already decided to avoid any movie that has John Malkovich in it. :\-) 

Your description of the historic houses you visited as a child remind me of Sturbridge Village and some of the strong colors in some of their homes. Colonial Williamsburg is one of my favorite places to visit. 

Kathy...your Happy Child Rose...I found a photo and it is really a very pretty yellow with a sweet name. Also liked the Lady of Guadalupe, and the Souv De Malmaison... I love old roses. It looks very delicate. Will they need spraying at all? Roses have to be my favorite flower of all. I have not grown many at all though, since I just don't have the sun or the energy to care for them. Plus I am organic and I just wouldn't spray at all. I am hoping to add a few to a bed in the front of the house where I almost have full sun all day. I just have to find a few that won't need spraying and are very fragrant. Not easy to do. 

Also a Jane Austen fan. For some reason I have a fascination with anything English. Jane Eyre was another favorite old English novel on film. 

The lavender I started from seed last year were lavender angustifolia and went into the raised areas...but mounds are even better and I will try that. No, the winter sown seeds are in milk jugs so maybe you could say they are their own little greenhouse? \[g\] No cold frame. I would assume most varieites are either needing the chilling or they are hardy seeds. I have done tomatoes. The Delphiniums I ordered from New Zealand last year to try to get a cultivar that had some immunity to mildew which is the reason I ripped out my last plants. I winter sowed them and did get a few plants. Not a high germination with that seed anyway. I have a couple of plants that stayed small last year and didn't bloom, so I am waiting to see what happens this year. No snails here yet. 

Woody...royal blue on the stairwell ceiling...sounds exciting. 

Michelle.... I wasn't sure I would get to the winter sowing this year. Then the weather seemed too warm. I am using a lot of seed from trading last year too. I am ordering some new because I really have enough of what I collected from my own yard for the most part. I really enjoy doing it. 

Thanks for the tip on the location of threads from past IUs. I did go back and look at them. Some wonderful photos there. I would ask a million questions, but my posts are long enough. \[g\] Maybe some week when it is really slow here. Is it ever slow here? lol Oh, I just got through marveling at that photo of the bells in Trudy's garden and showing them to my DH. 

Eden...that is a lot of plants. All this talk of plants gave me the urge to give them all a little extra dose of attention today. I might have 15 plants and that is enough for me. I only have two windows that are good candidates for plants and they are both full. You have a bird of DH's favorite. I imagine you need a lot of sun indoors for them? Oops! Hope there wasn't a major problem with the branch snapping. 

Bug...Is that a lily getting ready to open in front of the statue? 

Mary....what a busy household you have! 

Cindy! My apologies to you too! I promise to keep you and Chloe straight from now on. :\-) 

Marian, I also love that series..'Sarah Plain and Tall. I remember reading it to the kids and I was so pleasantly surprised to see it on TV. Gosh, that jade plant is older than all of my kids! lol I do have a jade plant that is only a year old and very small, but I am sure it will never get enough sun to bloom..not in this house anyway. I found it fascinating that you designed your own home and ordered up those Southwest windows for yourself marian. That sounds like so much fun! This is the longest I have lived in a house too. We have been here about that long too. What kind of horses does your sister have? 

I have to stop I just refreshed and I see four new posts and all those photos from Ei! I will have to look them all over tomorrow and post more then. 

It's been fun...goodnight all.   
    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 8:19PM
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My, but everyone is certainly verbose today ! Ive really enjoyed reading all the lengthy posts-it was a slow news day for the newspaper , and no mail so how better to spend an hour or two.

Eden, Im impressed with your inventory of 38 houseplants. But do some of them get a summer vacation outside ? Excellent job, Pottery Barn vs. trash and thrift store finds. A definite boon to your credibility with DH ! Hope the ice dissipates for you . Makes me feel pretty lucky when I read about the ice-storm action. I guess thats why it costs so much to live in California !

Mary, when I lived in San Diego (this was 20 years ago plus) the NPR affiliate there used to broadcast a Canadian Public Broadcasting show on Saturday mornings that I used to listen to on my car radio when I was driving to work (I worked at a garden center so usually worked Sats) I wish I could remember the name of the show-I really enjoyed it. I wonder if it is still around ?

Chelone, have you seen the latest version of "Pride and Prejudice" ? The Joe Wright directed version. It was a little edgy, (though not as edgy as Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth" or "Orlando") I liked it, think I will rent it again next winter for a second viewing. Im also re-viewing "Room With a View" and "Howards End" this month. I do Netflix which I really like because of all the obscure movies I like to watch which cant be found at the local rental place.(I'm very fond of 40's/50's film noir amoung others) I hope your work situation resolves itself to your benefit.You're sounding better every day. Power out to you.
Out here in the West, our historical buildings ("Old" California" ) are mostly white-walled the Missions and the old adobes around Monterey, San Diego, Benecia, Sonoma etc. There probably werent a lot of pigments around in those days, and maybe white seemed cool and crisp in our hot dry summers. Quite a contrast with the richly colored rooms of the east.

Martie, you would not believe the lengths I go to, to find more room for roses ! Shropshire Lad looks very worthy; gonna do some research ! I enjoyed your micro-climate mapping of your garden. I have been involved in teaching seminars on this very topic. It always amazes me what variations there can be in a small area.

Marian, yes the begonia has hairy stems. The nursery where I bought had them in hanging baskets as you describe, white flowers and very rounded form. I used to have a beefsteak which I foolishly lost one winter here. I really need to replace it-one of my faves. You are right , we are not hardened off here in terms of cold. We are expecting some higher temps in couple of days. We are starting to worry about lack of rain, and the run-off from the Sierra is a water source here too.

Jeesh Cynthia, your temps are a good 10 degrees warmer than ours. Enjoy it while you can ! And isnt Chloe that majestic standard poodle ?? And if not , who ??? I know someone posted a very cool pic. Weigh in Cindy. Im confused :-)

Ei , what a great chatty post. I dont type fast enough to respond in kind LOL. I will tell you though that a couple of years ago during out Napa Valley Wine Auction (a big, big deal here) Chihuly did some installations in the vineyards . They were extremely beautiful, if you can imagine one of his pieces on a large scale, sticking up in the middle of full grown , summer verdant grape vines. It was something to see.

Love the office colormine is green , though still incomplete.

PM, I dont have Thalia either ! Ive been seeing her in catalogs I bet for 20 years. LOL the zebra stripe décor. I had bright pink wallpaper , but in the 60s traded it in for walls entirely papered in Beatle pics and posters.
I have been in a football pool for about ten years that culminates in an awards dinner the weekend before super bowl. There are almost 200 people in the pool. So the prize money is pretty good.. Its really fun , lots of my co-workers and business associates are in it. However, I have not watched a football game in probably 10 years. I read the sports pages religiously and that is how I make my picks. I am having a really lousy year this season though and will not be "in the money". Oh Well ! I am also in a fantasy baseball league. Very fun . but lots more work than the football pool.
On my roses, I have 60 plus and do not spray-Im organic too. I have tried to plant disease resistant roses , but there are some that I just need to have, and I tolerate their weaknesses. I fertilize with alfalfa meal early in the season, and Dr Earth organic once in summer. Our biggest challenge here is blackspot. I have found since I stopped spraying that insect problems are negligible because I have so many beneficials.

OK time to read for awhilebut where the heck is Deanne ? Honey ? V ? T ? Wendy? Just about everyone has weighed in the last couple of days. And Jerri is in the middle of that awful ice storm stuff in OK.

Well, hello to all , posting or not. Stay warm, stay safe, pitchers and catchers report in one month and and it is exactly 64 days till spring.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 12:08AM
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Ei, your tile job and the restyled kitchen are great, but it's THAT TABLE that really gets the prize! It looks fabulous... now fess up, what inspired you and how did you go about doing it? What kind of paint did you use? and did you seal the underside of the table with anything so the paint can't be scratched off (or pulled off when some deliquent sticks their wad of gum under there ;) )? I wouldn't replace appliances, either. What's the point really? the reality is whoever buys your house will have their own ideas about what they want in the kitchen... same rule as selling antique upholstered furniture... leave it in tatters and let the buyer decide how they want it covered. Your "eye candy" and "novel" will certainly teach me to refresh BEFORE adding a post. :)

I haven't seen the "latest" "Pride and Prejudice", it's such a great story. I love the little window stories like those give us into a time long since gone. I have seen "Elizabeth", but it was so historically inaccurate it annoyed me. The doe-like portrayal of Eliz. was leagues away from her real persona (she was no innocent!) and the sets were Romanesque and Gothic NOT Tudor. I also loved "A Room With A View", like Helena Bonham Carter very much, very talented actress. The helpmeet has been squeaking about Netflix for sometime now, maybe we ought to give it a try; has anyone here seen "Marie Antoinette" with Kirsten Dunst? And another vote for "Sarah Plain and Tall", loved that one, too. Prairie., a brilliant film with Malkovich in it is "Dangerous Liasons"... LOVED it. He is positively reptilian in his role, perfect for the character, lol.

I'm missing Deanne, too... perhaps she's keeled over from exposure taking bird photographs or inhaling too many paint fumes? I understand her area was hit with ice, too... wondering if she lost power?

I'm thinking of 'bug, too. And the activity at her home, smokin' knitting needles, blistering guitar riffs, and pleasant visits with her brother.

Wow, you guys, all the winter sowing, rose talk, and houseplants... I'M OUT. I had some lovely Henry Kelseys, but a devastingly cold and bare winter laid 'em low and they never recovered. I shovel pruned them and have only a "New Dawn" left in a protected site. I'm a reactionary rosarian, I'm afraid, and I inevitably react too slowly or too late, altogether!

Tasks to accomplish today:
1.) must call Mum's doctor about the questionnaire he must fill out for nursing home assessment. I may have to collect her, and bring her to his office for a visit... that will entail fully 6 hours worth of driving. Sigh.
2.) Must organize some talking points and speak with my boss. Not a discussion I wish to have without some forethought.
3.) More cleaning.

Later 'gators.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Busy, busy, busy... NO time to catch up but wanted to share this... We had one dilly of an ice storm yesterday and like the slightly crazy person I am I sat out in my blind and took some bird photographs. (what else to do, we lost power for 13 hours?)

Anyway, I shot about eight hundred photos yesterday and had a few keepers amongst them. LOL Here is one I quick downsized. Poor little things couldn't ever sit still on the perches, they kept hopping from foot to foot then using their beak to peck between their toes so as not to freeze to the branches, I guess I shouldn't complain about lack of electricity

OK must get some things done so to that end I'm outta here


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mornin' all!

DB left at 6AM, I have just had a bath and washed hair, am considering doing nothing but resting and knitting.

I've knit some simple cotton things: a small blanket, hat and jacket for the summer baby. The buttons will be the thing that make the outfit, so I will probably wait until I know if we are dealing with a boy or girl before adding those. I've been told of a button shop to explore in a nearby village, something I'm looking forward to!

In the meantime I have found a complex pattern for a newborn's blanket done on tiny needles with fine fine cashmere wool. This will keep me busy for a while but I have begun and LOVE working with these materials.

Already I must fix up the guest room once more for this weekend. Since DH will be at a conference in Tennessee, I will enjoy the visitors. What ever happened to the quiet country life?

So glad to see Ei and Deanne's photos!

Literacy is something I taught for a few years in Toronto. It is a real eye opener. Did you know people can take driving exams orally? Think about that when you are annoyed by the antics of those driving around you. Many cannot read signs at all, especially emergency ones. Drivers manuals are the top item in these classes, the carrot in front of the donkey that keeps them motivated. I met amazing people and learned a great deal about the problems illiterates face in their lives. It is truly a job for saints, and so I turned to teaching English as a foreign language afterwards.

For those talking paint and colour, I am about to do one coat only (I hope!)on our family room. It is a pale yellow at the moment, but I will alter the hue a bit and make it match the adjacent kitchen's creamy yellow. DH bought a rug to hang on one wall, so I want to freshen up before that gets mounted. I'm not too sure about the rug, but since he NEVER contributes to the physical ambiance of the home, I feel I must allow him this one!

PM2 and others asked about the plant near the fairy statue from 2004's Idyllyunion. I thought it was the seedheads of Martagon Lilies...but don't know for sure. Mine resemble them.

Outdoors it is crunchy. Charlotte makes crackly noises as she tiptoes about on the crusty surfaces. 12F this morning, 1F later in the week. Poor poor garden. Hard to imagine Kathy's roses....

Chelone, sounds like some serious thinking on your agenda today. Yes, it is time for YOU! Curtains in the bedroom, fabric therapy! :-)

Must be on my way. Do enjoy this day! Who knows tomorrow....

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:46AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

From Chloe:

No way, a pooodle! I am a mighty Maltese, dog of Kings and Queens..... altho I am quite naturally photogenic, my Mommy is not a good photographer; hence she usually takes silly photos of me. However, here is one of me in repose...:

See, she takes this silly photos like this:

But truly I am a very mighty big dog in a little body!

While I was on border patrol yesterday in my yard, hunting for illegal aliens and alien invaders, I did discover this:

He must be confused -- because altho it was a warm 65 degrees, it is going to go back to great brrrr weather today of 26 in the nite. Guess I'll be wearing that silly coat Mommy makes me wear when we go walking & she thinks it's cold. Mommy said to leave the silly Daffodil alone; I prefer lilies myself (they're quite tasty, but the vet makes me take nasty meds if I have a snack of them) I try to listen to Mommy every once in a while.

Okie - Im off to a nap; Mommy had to go to something called "work."


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:47AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Just want to pop in and say Hi before the winds start up and we lose power again. Whew! This weather. Im a bit concerned about the big elm next to the house and my new magnolia out front. So far we havent had any damage, but neighbors have.

Is it a full moon or what? I planned on getting back here sooner but First it was a 2.5 hr. phone call from our good friends in Fla. She needed a sounding board to rant about friends who mooched off them for 8 days! Id have trouble being w/this couple in tight quarters for 8 hrs., let alone 8 days.

Had a mini-reunion w/former colleagues last week. It was great catching up with everyone.

Then a flurry of phone calls and emails:
· Re a family reunion w/siblings and cousins
· Nephews destination wedding in Sept.
· Vacation at DBs condo in Hilton Head in July

Then, I got a real call out of the blue from a HS classmate about a reunion in Atlantic City next Sept. Yee gads. I doubt that will happen but who knows? Why he phoned me of all people is a puzzle. I was a very shy, wallflower type, and maybe said 5 words to him-- ever. Ennyhoo, we kicked around the idea and I gave him some email addresses and phone numbers and shared responses we got last time. Some were really funny:
· "I won't be there. I don't want my current wife to meet my X".
· "There's no one I want to ever see again."
· "Those people made my life miserable then, I won't give them another chance."
· "No thanks, I've moved on to bigger and better things."
Lastly, my other good friend in West Palm Bch wants me to visit soon, so Ive been trying to nail down the dates for that. As I said, is it a full moon?

In between all this, Im scouring the stores for fabric and ready-mades while the 50% off sales are on. I found several that might work, but I havent decided yet. Ill check out some more when I go for my haircut this pm (if I can get out of my subdivision).

Cynthia, Cynthia, so good to have you back posting! Ive really missed you and all the stories about your furbies! Great score at Home Goods! Hmmm, maybe Ill make another trip up there to see if they have any bells here.

Oh, Martie, thats such exciting news about Kyle. And fabu, fabu that youll get to see London and Paris. Youll love Paris. I did. It was so easy to figure out the subway system there and we had no trouble getting around. I know everyone will warn you, but do watch for pickpockets, especially around Notre Dame and favorite tourist places. Wear soft soled, comfortable shoes b/c of uneven pavement. No white tennis shoes it broadcasts that youre a tourist. The Louve is amazing. Luckily, we pre-planned what we wanted to see, mainly a couple artists, the Mona Lisa (its so small!) and the Egyptian exhibit. One could get lost in there for weeks on end. What fun youre going to have.

Bug, check out Benny Moore paint colors in their Interior Inspirations brochure. There were some very interesting colors in there: Acorn Yellow, Nutmeg, Camouflage, etc. Good luck with your projects.

Sue, sounds like quite a party youre brewing for Tom. And Wow! What a garden event youll be having. Hmmm, Id rather come see your garden again than any ole class reunion.

Norma, those pix showing ice covered trees wouldve been taking out my windows! Its very pretty, but.

Laura, go for that yellow. Itll lift your spirits every time you go in there. Kathy, I think the yellow you used in the pic you posted is about the color I used in our basement. Also, the black-framed art on your walls looks like the series I bot! Great minds and all.

Chelone, The "Horse Whisperer" book was better than the movie. I worked on getting my co. in a major part of that movie but the project crashed. Very frustrating.

Oh Michelle, tell me about those bells?! Wow, I could do that! Im shaking my head when hearing about Kenzie and Bella. My GN is the same age and is doing all the same things. When she doesnt want to do something, she uses this really soft, sweet voice and says, "No, thank you." and walks away. She is very much into reading, too. Im amazed that she knows and can name basic colors. My niece has taught her sign language, so she signs as well speaks. Often there will be a perfectly clear sentence, followed by jibberish. We all really enjoy her.

Well, I only got part way thru this thread. So Ill post and catch up some more next time. Tootles, kids and be careful on that ice, everyone.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:08AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA've got me hoping that Chihuly comes our way soon. The glass at the Belagio looks like jelly fish to me. and the one in the garden is quite spectacular. Has me wondering how he puts all those glass pieces together. Thanks for sharing those. Does Chihuly know you are out making converts? [g]

Congratulations on your DS's upcoming wedding. You must be very excited and very busy.

I really really like your color in your office.It is really sunny and cheerful. I see a dog on your computer screen that looks like Scout. :-)

You are really handy, I would have you over to do my tiles in the bathroom any time, and you laid down that floor too. But the project on the table really tops it all. I just love that painted glass effect and I have seen those done in decorative framed forms, but not on a large tapletop like that. I have the same questions Chelone asked, about sealing it etc. Really creative job.

I followed your link to the Drifty's Art Chimes, but evidently they don't have any for sale right now, so no pics, that I could find.

Martie, I missed you figuring out your micro climates....I have not figured out mine at all. I know where the shade/sun is and for how long, but when people say 'plant in a sheltered spot' I can never figure out if I have one in my yard or not. Is there a good book that helps you figure all that out? Looks like you and Kathy both have this figured out. Is there a best time to figure it out, like on a snowy icy day, when you can see where the snow/ice is melting or not?

Mary, I have always wanted to try glass blowing and I would have found Chihuly's studio fascinating! Is your DH interested in glass blowing?

Kathy...we are going to have to both get Thalia. [g] Do you plant spring bulbs in the fall? I have had Thalia on my list for a long time too..I am sure there is a lot of discussion on bulbs here in the fall. I have a vision of your Beatle pics and postered walls. :-) Was it you that started the Beatle song discussion? I got their Rubbersoul album from the library a few weeks ago and put it on my computer and have been enjoying it since. That was my favorite album in high school.

Was your DH in the football/baseball pools too? So how do you figure out who you think is going to win? I suppose it is complicated. I think I do understand what you mean about going by the newspaper information on the stats etc., like handicapping a horse race? But I am thinking of the game this weekend between the Chargers and the Patriots. On paper it really seemed like that Charger team should have won. And I can only imagine what the stats of the game were like when it was over. The Chargers were really the stronger team throughout the game, and then the Patriots suddenly turned the tide and won it in the last 5 minutes. That was quite a surprise. I imagine it is fun way to follow sports with your friends and coworkers.

60 roses is a lot of roses, Kathy! :-) Your garden must be heavenly in the summer. Do you save petals? I did remember you were organic. I don't know why I asked if you sprayed. So do you have a number of roses that are really disease resistant and good for organic care in addition to those you 'have to have'? Any recommendations for me, if I only have room for about 5 in full sun and have to have fragrance and long bloom? [g] Have you ever tried growing any in part sun? I look forward to seeing photos of your garden come the summer. :-)

Well...we are having our garage roof done today and I need to get off...I will finish later..

Enjoy the day.. :-)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What do you call your niece's daughter? Anyway, I have a new one as of January 6th, born in London. Her name is Lily. I call all of them cousins....can't keep track! The baby's brother is Rowan.

The sun is shining a bit as I drink my tea at the computer. I'm using my Christmas mug still....

Honey, I just discovered that Berkshire Hathaway, which I own a tiny bit of, owns Benjamin Moore paints! Too bad I don't get a discount. ;-)

This enlarged family of ours has really changed my style. I haven't even looked at the new clematis offerings out for this year. Nor roses. At least I got my bulbs in last Fall so I have that to look forward to! I sure hope the critters have left my Camassias and Spring Green tulips alone!

'bug, starving but virtuous!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:00AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

OK, heres one for the football fans here:

Football FINALLY makes sense.......... A guy took his blonde girlfriend to
her first football game. They had great seats right behind their team's

After the game, he asked her how she liked the experience. "Oh, I really
liked it," she replied, "especially the tight pants and all the big
muscles, but I just couldn't understand why they were killing each other
over 25 cents."

Dumbfounded, her date asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well, they flipped a coin, one team got it and then for the rest of the
game, all they kept screaming: 'Get the quarterback! Get the quarterback!'
I'm like...Helloooooo? It's only 25 cents!!!!

Chelone, I wanted to comment about your starting up your own business. I found out recently why so many small businesses fail here. Its b/c our state taxes them on gross sales and they usually fail the first yr. If thats not a problem in your state, I say go for it. But whatever you do, advertise to powerboaters, lololol. Im sure youll do well. However, I think youll be more able to ignore the other stuff at your shop, when youve rested and are not still stressed to the nines about your Mum.

OK, count me among the color lovers. Other than myy red GR wall, Ive stuck to pastels b/c theyre more restful to me. But Im getting more into medium shades these days.

Oh, Michelle. Thank you for reminding me about Trudys garden bells. It was such a treat so see her wonderful garden.

Cynthia, I find clippers in my yard the same way!

Marian, BC=Before Cats, lol. Dont know about you, but I cant imagine my life anymore w/o one. And I agree with you! There is too much to comment on.

Ei, gorgeous tile job! But I love, love, love your house anyway. Particularly the front porch. I agree you should use those old kitchen chairs in the garden. Theyd be perfect! OR, how about sitting a big Santa or Snowman on one for the holidays? I do like the change in the kitchen set for staging the house for sale. Good choices. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! How fun. As a friend of mine puts it, all the mother of the groom has to do is: "Shut up, show up and wear beige." LOL.

Eden, I heard that cracking sound outside like you did. It was from one of the 150 willows back by the pond. Half of it is lying on the path. Hope we dont get that wind theyre predicting or well have more damage.

Kathy, I posted the picture of the Standard Poodle. Jacque belongs to a friend/neighbor who stops by when she takes Jacque and Tim (a Golden) for walks. The dogs know that ours is the "House of Treats".

Deanne, glad youre OK and indulging yourself with photography. Great pic, as always. That looks like the tree outside my den window.

Chelone, I hope you can accomplish the business with your Mums Dr. w/o a 6 hr. drive. Unpleasant during good weather, just too scary in this icy mess. I hope youre able to come to a resolution at work that youre comfortable with.

Cindy, Chloe is adorable! When Bullet goes to kitty heaven, DH wants a real dog. By that he means 40+ lbs. and up. Im thinking at our age, a smaller dog might be good, in case we down size to a condo. Also, well be much older when the animal is older and its easier to carry a small dog to the vet when its sick than a larger animal. There is a dog show next weekend and DH wants to go to look at different breads again. Oh dear.

Bug, your nieces daughter would be your grandniece!

Ei, that art glass pic you posted looks like the gorgeous pieces at Atlantis in the Bahamas. They were spectacular.

OK, I'm off to get my haircut. Stay safe, everyone.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


I feel 100 years old now....

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 12:31PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ei you can never write too much! Great to hear from you now I see why youve been away from here what projects! Wow I thought your place looked great at IU; I cant believe your making all these "improvements" just so you can sell the place! Its truly a wonderful craftsman house; it had a ton of charm & design before; youve just added a bunch of "pizzazz" to make it really hot. I hope you get to enjoy some of these improvements before leaving though, lol. I truly cannot believe you painted that table -- amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

60 roses, Kathy boy I missed that somewhere. I usually am guilty of reading the most recent threads & working my way backwards; I know that means I miss a lot. . . . speed reading backwards is definitely NOT a good way towards total reading comprehension. Love your Dooby by the way. You are obviously in a mix of great different type group activities where in the world do you find the time for all of them (but glad you find the time for Idylling here, intensive as it is).

Cynthia count me among the rusted garden tool crowd Ive lost/found countless trowels & other items; even my good pruners (ugh)...wish I had some good compost I could dig in to find some my yard is way too small for any composting of any quality (bummer); I usually import the stuff. Sounds like you worked like a trojan yesterday; I was tired just reading about it!

Honey youve been on a whirlwind of activity as usual you listed the exact reasons why Chloe is my second maltese its great having a lap dog and for a single person sooo much easier to get to the vet when ill, etc.; I hear the "real dog" comment often including from my SIL; but in person theres nothing "toy" about her as feisty and lovable as any 40 lbs could be. There have been many times Ive been so thankful I stuck w/ smaller dogs Ive never been without one.

Deanne 800 shots? Boy, you have been stuck in the duck blind! you must be getting carpel tunnel from repetitive motion surely?

Nothing being held against anyone re Chloe one really does need a written scorecard to keep track of all the details of the various Idyllers; and when we get into similar names & geography, who the heck can keep track?! Im lucky if I read a complete thread thru in the proper original order!

Marian glad to hear the ground isnt iced over; altho I suspect thats coming for all of us.

-bug - can't believe you havent thought about what clems to order! I actually just placed a couple orders & both places were already sold out of a number of varieties -- and it's not even the end of January!

Well, I better eat some lunch today as usually the case is now a "Monday & Tuesday combined" to catch up on all the work they did ... eeeiii.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:39PM
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How about you hoist one in tribute to your "100 yrs.", 'bug?!

I addressed the overflowing returnables this morning. I went to Mum's doctor to collect the questionnaire. He graciously filled out the medical aspect of it and added the note that the administrator should read carefully MY replies to the questions as I have a far more in-depth grasp of Mum's abilities/failings that he did! I will copy the forms and then deliver to my brother along with the replenished urostomy supplies.

I have done 4 loads of laundry today, too. I lit a fire in the woodstove and all the laundry is either on hangers or racks in the living room. I can feel the increase in humidity in our home... I've left the slider open enough for kitties to slip through and they've been in and out about 50 times so far. ;) They circumnavigate the foundation and then hit the feeding station or the catbox. I am gravely at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome from my herculean efforts to keep their catbox clean...

The oil delivery man was here today. We received just under 80 gallons, indicative of the mild December. He was afraid to back into BIL's driveway next door, fearing he might not be able to get out again (it slopes down). He said he'd filled up nearly everyone with "tough" driveways on Friday and was surprised to find BIL's untouched since it's usually clear as can be. I told the driver I'd tell him and convey his assurance that he won't run out of oil.

Chloe is as cute as she can be. But I hate dogs, always have and my loathing extends equally to the shrimpy ones and the super-sized ones. :)

I chuckled over the replies to inquiries about HS class reunions, too; because I understood completely. I couldn't wait to be done with HS and move on. I know where my HS friends are today and correspond with them and a few remaining teachers. That chapter of my life is finished. What I learned in those 4 years was how to sniff out an a--hole from 50 paces. And never let them see how much it really did hurt to be the butt of jokes at school (or on the schoolbus! where there was NO escape) after patiently helping them with their homework on the 'phone the night before... . "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." If kids don't "get it" by 14, the lesson is likely lost on them, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:24PM
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I have to say, if/when I ever have the pleasure of making your acquaitance, I'll probably use your screen name!

Cindy will be "Chloe"
Marie will be "'bug"
---- will be "Saucy"
? will be "Eden"
? will be V. eronicastrum
and I'll be fine bein' Chelone.

Little dogs... my boss has 2 Rat Terriers. They're OBNOXIOUS, but no more obnoxious than any other untrained, out of control dog. Dogs are dogs... they have all the same "moves", regardless of size. It's "standard equipment" and you learn how to operate it...

;) or spend your time with them perpetually pissed off...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:39PM
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bug... that makes you a "GREAT" Aunt. My sister loves emphasizing the Great part... that is the upside:)


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 3:44PM
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    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Laura will be Eden or is it Eden will be Laura? I have a question for you Chelone. How do YOU pronounce your screen name? I know the correct pronounciation is kee-lo-nay but I don't think I've ever actually heard anyone say it that way. I've always heard it said more like shell-own.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:05PM
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Oh. T's still at Santa's house.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:21PM
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I butcher it further, EDEN, Che-lon-e. But Kee-lon-e would be OK, too, since I understand that "ch" can be pronounced either way!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Lol, Cynthia.

Can I use you as a conduit for this coming Christmas list, T.?

still chuckling... ;)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:52PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I think we know where Santa makes very long vacation stops -- T's house! Great photos w/ that new lens, T! Faaantastic! What a great way to end the day (almost)...


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:56PM
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It was a chilly 22 when I left home this a.m. I guess that 7" of snow that we got on Sunday will be good insulation. DD says that Kenzie keeps looking out the window at this strange stuff and says "snowman" Its been too cold for her to get out in it.

Oh T, lucky you, you have snow too! Great pictures though. Tell me you arent in a hunting blind to get such nice close-ups. LOL

Cindy, Chloe is a doll.

Ei, I love your long posts and your table is amazing and the tile job was very impressive. I even called Rick over to see your handiwork.

Honey, Kenzie knows some sign language also. I dont think shes very good with colors but she counts so well. Up to 11 in English and Spanish. It sounds like you have a fair amount of travel in your future. Funny but I dont picture you as the shy type ;o)

Deanne, wonderful picture. 800 shots, wow. Similar to trying to get a good shot of Kenzie. Shot lots and hope for a few.

Mary, Annies trip sounds like lots of fun.

Cynthia, with the temps you have been having and being able to work in the yard, no wonder seed starting doesnt interest you much.

Martie, what a neat story about the paint colors of your home growing up.

Eden, I always like to point those kind of things out to Rick. I figure he wont complain about plant purchases that way.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I walked to the mailbox earlier this afternoon. He hadn't ran yet. The wind was so bitterly cold on my return home I planned on driving later on. NOT ! The entire car is incased in ice ! No way could I open a door. And no way was I going to pursue the matter. I damaged a door on my old car in a attempt to get it open when frozen ! So....I bundled up like an Eskimo, and walked up again. It wasn't half bad that time. If I had a battery-powered hair dryer, I could thaw it, but I don't :-(
Since it is not likely to be thawed by thursday morning, there goes my doctor appointment! Oh well....

Chelone, my bedroom looks like that! And no clean-up in the near future. I haven't even put my jewelry in the new chest that I bought about a month ago!
Re: your 'name'. I was calling it Che lone, until I heard Ei pronounce it correctly over the phone ! I felt like such a I pride myself in calling plants by their correct botanical names, correctly pronounced ! I sure boo booed there !
It sounds like things are looking up for you. I'm glad !

Good to hear so many agree with me about "Sarah Plain and Tall". We watched the 3rd of the series today... "Winter's End". They are all great, and so heart-warming. I'd almost like to go through the series again NOW, but don't think Nolon would enjoy that.

Re: colors in my house. We have red and black carpeting on all the bedrooms and hallway. Our living room furniture( couches and chairs) is either floral patterns, or covered with floral coverings....mostly autumn colors. There is no theme to my decorating, but there is certainly nothing dull and dreary about it....more like being in a museum !LOL ! An awful lot of my decorating is 'early poverty'. ( smile)

How many of you watched the Golden Globes Awards last night? What a bunch of garbage, to my thinking! ( There I go again...being an old fuddy duddy! ) Meryl Streep was my favorite, and the woman who played the Queen ( Helen ? ). How long will it be before the females are totally nude on top ? Yuck !

Re: Lavender, I have tried several times, and it always dies. If I would build a raised bed, I may be able to grow it.

Re: houseplants, I have over 20 potted African Violets. I haven't counted all the others for a while, but they come to at least 50 that remain indoors year around. I am too chicken to throw out any of them, no matter how tacky they are ! I keep thinking they have some redeeming qualities.

PM2, I can't remember the bred of horses my sister has. I think one is/was an Arabian, another a Palomino. It's been 10 years since I was there, and we haven't discussed horses in a long time. They belong to a riding club. Since her DH has so many serious medical problems, I don't know what their horse status is now.

Deanne, I love that icy pic of the junco. Flocks of them are feeding on the bird seed that I am tossing out. They are joined by gold finch, purple finch, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, and occasional woodpeckers. The crows are still eating the left over biscuits I toss out. Wrens are mostly feeding on Calicat's food! lol

Cindy, cute doggie! I enjoyed her post ! lol
My word, a daffodil already!

Honey, great to hear from you! My my, but you HAVE been buzy ! I love that football

Ei, I didn't get any pics on the glass link either. Just red xs !

Marie, the info that I found with a Google search said your niece's daughter is your grand niece, and her daughter is your great grand niece. I had nieces that were older than I, so I suspect that I now have great great grand nieces! ( I lost touch with them before I met Nolon.)

T, Great pics! Thanks.

Michelle, do you mean to say it was 22 below 0 this morning! Yargh ! I have only seen that once here, and it was on a 20th of January. I was born and raised where 40 below was not uncommon. It also got that cold in Nevada once, when Nolon and I lived there. ( Or maybe it was 50 below. The fuel oil froze up in the lines to the house! and in the machinery. )

Tonight is to be our coldest of this season, possibly around 0F. I will be running the wood stove at it's safest heat all night.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Dear Chloe,

I am not a picky eater either and I would eat your daffodil or lilies so that you would not get sick. I am good at being being sick, it is one of my dog given talents.

xxxooo Katie

PS: Monty says you're cute! This is Monty, are you interested? He likes little ones and he's too old for me.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:27PM
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We got about an inch of snow overnight. Not much but at least it's a little something covering the garden. It's supposed to be the coldest night here so far too. Winter has definitely arrived. I've been lying around all day trying to kick this cold. It's not a bad one and I think I should be on the down side of it by tomorrow. Brad started painting the office room ceiling today and I was going to start on the trim but didn't. We did make a quick trip to Home Depot and picked up a new ceiling light fixture.

I watched The Queen last night. Has anyone else seen it. The thing that I'll remember about it most is that I can't believe Tony Blair's home could be that messy in real life, lol.

I watched a little of the Golden Globes too. My take on it is the Hollywood set thinks they're a lot more important than they really are in the grand scheme of things. I did like seeing all of their crazy outfits though. Marian, I liked Helen Mirren too.

Ei, I loved your house when we were there for IU3 but all of the improvements you've done make it even better. And what a cool thing to do to your table. You are so creative! I could see the pictures in the link and think the windchimes would look so nice hanging inside a window with the sunlight shining through on all those pieces of stained glass. I'm not much of a chime fan. I do have one I made out of old silverware that I like. It makes a very soft tinkling sound that doesn't bother me. I do like hanging little pieces of art and mirrors around the garden though. I have an old lamp shade frame that I hung lots of small mirror squares from that hangs from the top of one of my garden arches. The mirrors reflect all over the back of the garden when the sun hits them.

Megan has taught Bella some sign language too. I often miss what she's trying to say with it though. A couple that I have learned that she used to use a lot are 'book' and 'puzzle'. I've been working on her with counting too but not colors yet. We're starting to plan her 2nd birthday party. It's only about 6 weeks away and she seems to be leaning towards a Blue's Clues theme.

T, those pictures do like the North Pole. Did you move and not tell us? They're very pretty though but look very cold!

Cindy, what a cutey Chloe is. Thanks for showing her to us.

Deanne, so that's what you've been up to. I've been feeling sorry for the birds too with all the ice. Your place looks like ours, crystalized. We had so many birds at the feeders today. We have the coolest woodpecker that comes every day this winter. He likes the peanuts we put out. I love the junco picture with the iced branches.

I'm having a sneezing jag here so I'm going to sign off. Stupid cold!

Oh, Marian stay warm and be careful walking around outside!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:38PM
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Cynthia, what a nice picture. I love how sweet old George is snuggled up in the pillows. Everyone looks very comfy. AHAOW is looking very regal. At my house one of the girl cats are always the sentinel at the window too.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cindy..that photo of Chloe..such a face! She is very sweet and I love the expression on her face.

What a cute football joke! I am going to have to tell my DH that one, although I ruin good jokes. Maybe I will let him read it. :-)

I find trowels in the yard, the way some people find clippers. Once I even found an old pair of eyeglasses I couldn't find. [g]

I agree with Cindy...Deanne...800 shots??!! LOL That is what I call dedication. I can't imagine how cold you must have been sitting out there that long.

Chelone..sounds like you didn't have to make the 6hrs of driving today?

Did I miss the part where T was on a trip to Santa land? Wow I love that second photo. Where is that, I want to go too! [g]

Michelle, I don't think I would leave the house if it was that LOL...a hunting blind...chuckling over that one. :-)

Marian...I have been watching the film of the ice problems there and what a mess. Is there any warm up in the forecast? I'm not quite sure I have seen that last episode..'Winter's End'. I will have to check out the guide and see if it is coming on again.

I love African Violets, Marian. I don't think they are tacky at all. I would grow them but I just don't seem to have a place for them and I never give them the right attention to keep them looking good. Photos?

Palaminos are so pretty. Isn't it awful that we all have to get old and not able to ride horses any more? *sigh*

Love that cozy scene at your house Cynthia! :-)

Gotta run...

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 7:57PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Slide by post! :-O
On the plus side, we never lost power. With 11 foster dogs and 7 cats, not many people would welcome us if we had to come calling!


Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah and I know a man, he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said Dolores, I live in fear
My love for you's so overpowering, I'm afraid that I will disappear

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

I know a woman, (who) became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he'd done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away

Simon & Garfunkel

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, it isn't necessarily the african violets that are tacky ( although some of them are), I have many other species of houseplants. You can see most of them in my PT albums. The link to the first houseplant album is below. There are 2 more. :-)
( And many more of other 'themes').

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:52PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh T....your pictures are *stunning*!!!!!! I swear that one with the blue of the background (out your porch??..with the snow falling on the evergreens)...that should be in a movie. In fact it reminds me of the great scenery in White Christmas! I did not get to see that movie this year. I was a little down this afternoon, as I was looking for a pic to share with Cindy and came across a letter from my dad (I think he only wrote me a handful of them in the more than 20 years he was living in Tennessee). Anyway, he wrote the letter after I had just come home from staying there for a few weeks while he was recovering from his heart surgery. It was just such a lovely letter, chatty and sweet and then he mentioned how he wants me to come back as soon as I can, how proud he is of me (he thought I was smart daddy vision) and that "I was a very good person and he loved me very much." Though I was filled with love in reading it again - it hurts a lot too. It hurts cause I miss him still, sooo much and want him back here *so bad* and the hurt comes from knowing that no matter how much I wish it were so, he wont be back. While Ive wrapped my mind around that fact, I dont know if I will ever be able to wrap my heart around it. Anyway, your beautiful pictures really perked me up! Thank you! There is something about you T...did you sense that I needed some cheer? You always seem to know! :-)

Chloe, you are cute as a button! :-) And how clever of you to just primly stick out your tongue to show how well it highlights your lovely bow! :-) What an adorable dog Cindy! Actually, Ive always thought Malteses (Malties???...Multies?...LOL) were sweet, little least everyone that I have ever met has been so. And you and Honey bring up a good point. I can see where a smaller dog would be more practical as we age. Of course I wont ever have to have another dog since Scout has promised me he will live to the age of 30 (in people years). By then I will be 80 and we can go together! :-) Chelone is right about small dogs being "all-dog" too. We had a little dog many years ago and he was something else. Of course Im sure Chloe is a well behaved young lady, but our, my, my...he really *did* have a Napoleon complex. I dont know if thats natural for Pomeranians or what, but this little dog had no problems with self confidence! He would listen to me (when he knew I meant it) but I was the only one he obeyed. Perfect example of his big time Paul & I were walking him around the neighborhood. I should say right from the start that in Spikes favor, he wasnt the one who started it. Anyway, there were two big dogs sitting on their deck. There was a fence, but when the dogs stood on their hinds their top halves showed above the fence. Anyway, Spike was walking along minding his own business, when the two dogs started barking at him. Spike, never one to back away from a challenge, barked back in his fiercest yippy voice. I could hardly blame Spike, I myself heard them casting aspersions. In fact, I distinctly heard one dog call Spike "a little runt". That was it! Spike was barking furiously after the name calling - growling and spitting and showing all his teeth and *would not* be dragged away. Paul finally speaks up "Ei...pick him up...lets get outta here before someone sees!" I guess he was a little embarrassed at the sight of this 7 lb. dog telling two 60 lb. dogs what for. LOL! Heres our little "angel" playing ball in the snow:

See what I mean? A real ruffian with the heart of an Alaskan Malamute! :-) While I could never really call him a "good dog"...he was a little cutie, very loveable (when he was "in the mood") and so entertaining...I *do* miss him! :-) BTW, you made me LOL about enjoying the improvements. I always thought it was silly that people would wait until they sell to make the improvements on their home. I always said you should make the improvements so that *you* can enjoy them, but here I am, eating my words! :-)

Hmm Bug...the starving thing. Seems everyone I know (including myself) is trying to control their diet....must be a "New Year" thing. I feel a bit guilty cause I broke down and got a Cappuccino today. I havent had one of those in a few weeks. Speaking of which, has anyone tried the Cinnamon Dolce Latte? YUMMM!!! Im really more a Cappuccino kinda girl, so I have them put the Cinnamon Dolce flavoring in my Cap. They even offer the Cinnamon Dolce in a sugar free version too! had me cracking up today...LOL! So its beige huh? I was wondering what my color should be! :-) Hmm...I dont think I look good in beige and was more hoping to wear Michelles navy blue or a nice royal blue. :-) cracked me up too with Katie the little matchmaker! :-) Great pic too...I tell you it is the Life of Riley for your pets! Scout will of course, never see your pictures. :-)

PM2...Ive been meaning to ask any chance are you (or DH) Italian? I only ask because I believe it was you who said your husband use to say that thing about "hair on your chest" too; right? Youre the only one who has ever told me they have heard that saying before....LOL! BTW, you are probably right about the Chihuly being jelly fish....guess the gardener in me just saw "flowers"...LOL! Oh and yes...thats my baby as my screensaver! :-) Did you notice the Gumby and Pokey sitting on the top of the screen too? Childhood memories that always make me gotta have some of that stuff around. :-)

Kathy, I can just imagine how awesome the Chihuly pieces would look in a verdant vineyard. I think vineyards are awesome even on their own and then throw a Chihuly in.... wonderful for the DH! It must have been an absolute thrill. I cant imagine watching Chihuly work...Oh...Im *green*! :-) Thanks for all your kind really are a sweetheart...another one of the reasons I would love to make IU4. BTW, Im sorry, I forgot where you lived!!!! Of course you would know about great gardens to see in NY too! Any recommendations?

Deanne...Im really starting to feel guilty now (dont worry I wont ever use them without your permission)...but do you know I now have *18* of your bird pictures saved in my files? You really ought to think about exhibiting your work! Every time I see one of your pics I think "well, it cant get any better than this" and then you blow me away with another! Your ice capped chickadee is awesome! :-) P.S. Well, I see now from Marian that it is a junco, not a chickadee, but Im sticking with my "iced capped chickadee"..."ice capped junco" just sounds silly...LOL!

Okay, well the table....I hate to disillusion anyone...its so nice to be thought of as talented...LOL! But, it really is very easy to do. I seem to do better with things that dont require learned skills and things that have no "right or wrong" way to do them. The idea just popped in my head when I was looking at the table. I was thinking how I would need to hide some of the scratches and how was I going to do it? Then I remembered seeing once on some show where they decoupaged and painted a glass plate and how cool I thought it I though, why not on a table? Got nothing to lose. The paints are a bunch of paints I had left over from when I tried to learn "one stroke" and failed. I kept the paints cause I love color...obsessed with color really. I *think* they are an acrylic? Anyway, I used mostly the metallics and with non-metallic solid colors too so it wouldnt look too "glitzy". Then for good measured I rolled over the whole thing with some white pearlized paint to give it some more depth. After I was finished painting the whole thing I finished it with a layer of regular brown spray paint and that seemed to seal it just fine. I painted the legs of the table with a spray paint called "Hammered Copper". Anyway, it was a lot of fun...give it a go Chelone! I envision my next house to be filled with lots of glass items...LOL! Just kidding! But I do want to try more stuff later.

Marian I agree with PM2...I dont think African Violets are tacky at all! Personally, I would be thrilled to grow *any* flowering houseplant....heck...*any* houseplant at all! :-) Sorry you werent able to see the glass would have loved them. I dont understand why it happened, but I noticed that when I tried the link from here I got a bunch of xs too! When I go to my "favorites" though, the pictures always show...weird! Your talk of the word Chelone...made me smile...thinking of our phone conversation! :-)

Well, time to get busy around "After while Crocodiles!" Chelone you brought back another happy memory with your sign off earlier. When my son was little and would walk out the door to head for school I would always give him a kiss and say "See you later Alligator" and he would chime in with "After while Crocodile". :-) Ei

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 9:41PM
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Keep thinking okay, Im going to make this quick and then I just keep going. So Im going to make this quick with a disclaimer that actual posting length may vary !

Clouds have come in this afternoon, which means some warmer temps at last. Prediction is for some rain but right now it is 40 so if it doesnt warm up some we may get one of our rare snowfalls.

Jerri, good to hear from you ! glad you survived all that nasty weather

What a cute , cute little thing that Chloe is ! Definitely not a poodle !

Thanks to Honey for the clarification and id on Jacque. That black framed art on the wall is part of my collection of orange crate labels. I have been collecting these since the late 70s . I collect originals and only California oranges . They are relatively inexpensive sometimes only 5 or 6 bucks but of course the frames raise the ante considerably ! Some of the labels are rare and into the 100 buck range, and I only buy one of those every few years when I am feeling flush ! In fact everything hanging on the wall in that room are my labels, some just in the "uni-frames" .

PM, hubby was not into pools or fantasy baseball, though a huge baseball fan. In our football pool we have to pick the winners with the point spread , so you may pick the right team to win but if they dont cover the spread you dont get that pick right. I picked San Diego this last weekend ..lost that one !! I also picked New Orleans but the point spread was 6 ½ as I recall and they did not win by that much so it was a loss for me. The baseball fantasy league is much more complicated , and I wont even try to explain how that works!
Roses really need 6 hours of sun, but there are a few that do okay with less . Are there issues in your climate with winter hardiness ??

Cindy, I have no idea where I find the time to do anything . I guess it helps that the kids are adults , I get 5 weeks vaca a year , and I plan my time out to the nth degree. My garden however, is everything !

Okay Chelone , Ive been saying shell-own, but che-lon-e sounds much more poetic .
And your right, "Elizabeth" was very un-tudor. Remember the masterpiece theater mini series with Glenda Jackson.? What ever happened to Glenda Jackson anyway ? She was great . "Women in Love " ," Bloody Sunday" etc. If I ever stop typing tonight I am going to watch my netflix film , the classic noir "Laura" with Gene Tierny, Robert Stack, George Sanders .. Cant go past my bedtime though..

Ahh T, how pretty !

Cynthia that pet napping pic is absolutely classic. If only we humans could relax like that!

Deanne ..nice to see ya! Our Juncos here have black heads. I love them , they are my fave birds after the blue jays.

Marian, kudos to you on your African Violets. Mine always get mealy-bug. I gave up. Maybe you will inspire me !

Okay, Im really going . I need to eat some dinner

Later Idylls !

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 9:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Honey.... my husband liked that football joke. I did mess it up a little, but I got the punchline right at least. [g] Willows are pretty shallow rooted trees. One in the neighborhood came down in a storm awhile back.

Ei....I was so touched by your story of your Dad. It is so great that you have that letter and to have him approve of you and be proud of you....not every person has that from their father. :-) And you shouldn't be so quick to assign his view of you to just 'daddy vision'. Parents, it seems to me, sometimes see their kids clearer than anyone else in their lives will ever see them. Obviously he was correct that you are a good person and very smart. I can tell that and I hardly know you at all. [g] How long since you lost your Dad? Both my parents are gone....I lost my Mom last...almost 10 yrs ago. This year is the first time I have found myself being able to talk about her without so much pain. I still miss her very much. I have started trying to collect sayings that she used to use. She had a lot of sayings and I was starting to forget them, so I am now writing them down as I remember them. She especially was fond of sayings in other languages. And no, I am not Italian at all, but my Mom dated someone who was Italian and his mother would only speak Italian in front of her so she could talk about her without her knowing what she was So she learned a little Italian in defense. I can't remember all the sayings in Italian yet, but I did hear someone say 'Ferme la bush' the other day and remembered she used to say that when we were kids and always in a loving, funny way. Sometimes I think there is more of them still here with us than we think sometimes. The other day I looked down at my hand and I thought...oh my, my hands are starting to look like my Mom's as she got older. :-) Thanks for sharing. :-) Your Spike is adorable, Ei! Love his Disney

I had to go back and look at that Chihuly..and I still see jelly fish. We have been watching the Blue Planet so I have sea creatures on the brain, I guess. lol My favorite so far is that white one in the Japanese Garden. Really holds my attention. No I didn't recognize Gumby and Pokey. They were so cute! I do remember watching them as a kid though. Yes, I know what you mean about having things around for memories. I was watching the end of the year review of who had died this year..and I just found myself tearing up. It feels like the world you grew up in changes and it feels like missing pieces. Like going back to an old neighborhood that doesn't have the same look to it any more. The things you have a history with start slipping away. This year it wasn't even celebrities that were my favorites either. Gerald Ford, Jack Palance who was so funny at the Oscars that year, doing one arm push ups, Ed Bradley from 60 minutes, Jane Wyatt from Father Knows Best..a show I watched and loved as a kid, June Allyson died!...she was one of my favorites. I enjoyed a lot of her movies. The Glenn Miller Story one of my favorites. Wasn't she in White Christmas? Shelly Winters and last year Ann Bancroft died. I enjoyed Anne Bancroft in a few films. 84 Charing Cross Road was on not too long ago. She was in that with Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench. Actually it is sort of funny that story is about a writer and a book store who stumble into a lifelong correspondence. Another story that takes place in England some of the time.

Speaking of England...the discussion of Elizabeth had me trying to remember which movie it was that I liked the most. It seems I have seen a lot of Queen Elizabeth movies. I think my favorite has to be The Virgin Queen with Betty Davis. She also played her again in the Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex earlier than that. I looked it up and found a few more Elizabeth movies that I remembered..Sea Hawk..another one with Errol Flynn. Having trouble remembering the Glenda Jackson version but I am sure I must have seen it. I didn't like the recent one that came out. I guess that is the Cate Blanchett version. I do remember Mary Queen of Scots. Glenda Jackson was Queen Elizabeth and Vanessa Redgrave was Mary Queen of Scots. I was trying to remember if Judi Dench had done Queen Elizabeth, but I was mixing that up with Mrs Brown when she played Queen Victoria. I enjoyed that one very much too. They also had an interesting documentary on Queen Elizabeth on the History channel not too long ago.

Kathy....I have seen Laura a couple of times. Not that long ago either. I love old movies and here in Massachusetts, Turner Classic Movies has the most. I love your collection of orange crate labels. I did notice a collection on your walls, but thought it might be wine labels. I do understand the 'point spread' concept. I am sorry you lost picking the Chargers, Kathy...guess you should have asked me who was going to win that game. [g]

I definitely have 6 hours for the roses if I put them in my front yard. I won't fit more than 3 or 4 there though that is why I asked about the shade. I was hoping to put them somewhere with less sun so I could have more. :-) Yes I am in zone 6 and they do have to be hardy. They probably should be hardy to zone 5. I am partial to anything but red. Yellows, apricots and pinks with some whites, in that order. :-)

I have talked myself out and I am up past my bedtime, so Marian, tomorrow I am going to go see your links.

Hope I didn't miss anyone.

Goodnight all.. :-) pm2

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 12:24AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Up and at em, girls! :-) I'm up early this a.m. to get ready for Florida. Packing to do and readying of the house for the house and Scout sitter.

PM2...I remember that Jack Palance thing from the Oscars too...that was great! He was a hoot! Yes, I was sad to hear about Ed Bradley, he was a wonderful human being. I still remember Helen Keller with Anne Bancroft that was a very moving film and left an indelible impression on me as a child. LOL on the BF's mother. Yes, my mom use to tell me stories about my dad's family sometimes speaking Italian in front of her so she wouldn't know what they were saying. She was a quick learner though! :-) In fact my mom's Italian cooking is better than any I've ever tasted and she is French and German! :-) I'm sorry you lost both of your parents. I know it's the way of life, but it sure isn't easy to accept; is it? My dad died just a little over a year ago. Mom is still with us, but she is 84 now. Thanks for understanding and for your comforting words. cool about the orange crates and perfect for where you live! :-) I just bought some yummy organic California oranges from Whole Foods....delicious! Of course you know you should keep the whole collection together; right? I just heard that on the Antique Roadshow (about collections) they are most often worth the most money when you keep them together (rather then selling them separately, as some people think). Sorry I missed that in the pic before...I had to scroll up and check it out again (guess I was just focused on the begonias). I can't believe how many roses you have! So, if black spot is a problem and you grow some roses that get it and you are do you control it???? I'm always looking for some tips. I mostly grow the sturdy roses cause I have such a problem with black spot, but there are a few like my 'Angel Face' that I just can't give up, even if she does get black spot. I keep thinking *someone* out there knows the secret and they are just not sharing! :-) I too use alfalfa on my roses (the first feeding in late winter...along with a little epsom salt). It's getting harder to find the ground alfalfa here though and last year I had to use the pellets. They work just as well, but take a long time to "disappear". Can't contribute re "queen" movies....I haven't really seen any of them or if I did, I don't remember. I do like foreign movies though and movies with a lot of costume and love English movies...especially the funny ones. I think "Brassed Off" is still one of my favorites. Or the one where the woman was growing pot to raise money....can't remember the name of that one. Don't think I've ever seen Laura, but will have to check my Netflix too.

Just checked Cynthia's picture again, how restful and serene. I especially love the kitty in the window...something very moving about that.

Ooops...meant to tell Marian..."yes"...we are still going to stay close here while mom is still around. We are just looking to downsize. In a reality check we realized we have four bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in this house and only one bedroom and two bathrooms are used regularly. Well, one other bedroom is used when we have guests, but only then...we *never* use the livingroom and instead *always* hang out in the family room...even when we have company. I think I would like to have a less formal diningroom...maybe even just combine the diningroom and kitchen. But a big eat in kitchen is still important to me, since I still enjoy cooking. Anyway,I've come to see that Paul is right, we definitely don't need a house of this size anymore. My Arts & Crafts heart is thinking bungalow. We are even thinking of buying a lot and building a house that would suit our needs, but we will see. Even small lots around here have become pretty pricey.

Well best be going...have a great end of the week and week-end all! Ei


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:06AM
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Well, the icing of the trees in the pictures was only the beginning. It just kept freezing on the trees.
We left home about one Sat to go to Wyatts birthday party. As we left some of the tree branches were brushing the top of the car they were getting so heavy. The roads were clear and no problem. When we returned home around seven our very long driveway was nearly impassable. I had to get out and push some bent over dogwoods out of the way and the cedars were really dragging over the car. We arrived at the house to find no power and only just got it back at five pm last night.. We managed pretty well because of the woodstove. It kept the basement toasty and the upstairs tolerable and it has a top that allows cooking on it. Had to get water for drinking and cooking but used water dipped from the ponds to flush the toliets. Bob had to cut our way out the driveway to get to the store. It looks like a war zone around here with all the split and fallen trees. We could hear them breaking and crashing down all day Sunday. The hardest part was after it got dark until bedtime. Not enough light output from candles and lamps to read by. I tried to buy batteries for my boom box but the stores were sold out of D size.(the power outages were widespread) I finally borrowed a smaller radio from DS that took double a's. I was really happy to see the power back as the temps have dropped to close to zero at night now.

I only did a qick skim and will be back later when time allows. I need to get several things done in case we lose power again. With all the ice on the trees if a wind starts up it could happen. Later Norma

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:12AM
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I want my office to look like Ei's. Mine is knee deep in files and papers and dog beds. Every few weeks I completely clear the surface of my desk and it lasts an hour if I leave the house for that amount of time.

Ei your house has always appealed to me. If you come in and clean the office every day I'll buy it. I would buy it just for the forget me nots you have there in spring actually. I guess it's probably wise for you to downsize, but it must be difficult with all of the work you've done there and all of the memories. You and Deanne both transformed your 1 stories to 2 didn't you??? But change is good :-) I have a pact with my neighbor out back that we are going to grow old right here. We love our old houses. My new fence has a gate going to her neighbor's yard so that she can still cut through the back to come visit me.

I'm glad that Kathy explained what was on the walls. I'd been scrutinizing trying to figure it out. Very artsy!

Deanne, that 'iced bird' photo is as always just beyond beautiful. I love the idea of you sitting out there in a duck blind!

Eden, the girl kitties are always the workers in my experience. Audreyhepburn Alloneword (I like your acronym :-) is allowed to go into the cellar a couple of times a day for mousing duties. She does a good clean up job as fall sets in, and then patrols the rest of the winter just in case. She found one last week and left it on the cellar step for me to discover as I was dashing down to get a can of pumpkin to send home with Fritz.

Darn cold weather finally came my way. It's 30F at the moment. Has been in 20s when I get up. But that is better than all of you with ice and snow! I guess I'll keep what I have. Norma, I remember winters like yours when I lived in colder places. It's beautiful but I don't miss it :-) I can look at your pictures and Deannes! And with temps like that i do hope you haven't lost power again. Smart to have a woodstove.

I was thinking of having a fire tonight, but I think I'll soak in the tub and read seed catalogues instead. Michelle, believe me 'seed starting interests me VERY much.' But I've been working to control myself the last few years as I end up with too MUCH. I have 4 light tables and 16 shelves, plus lights under the workbench. I used to grow for my entire community in NH. It's an addiction! I am more of a 'grower' than a 'gardener' and I'd like (ha, need!) to become better at design. Anyway, my gardens are full here and I need to start removing things and being very careful about what I add. Unlike some lucky people in Iowa I don't have unlimited space :-) And I already have too much to keep up with.

Hi Mary! Hi GB!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 6:57PM
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Sorry to be so boring but every time I get here I get interrupted and end up deleting the posts I start...I just wanted to say hi since this is afterall our 3ooth idyll and having been an idyll since day one("Idle Chatter"!) I'm kind of attached to y'all even when I'm invisible; )

Here's to 300 more!(to be honest I think we actually reached 300 a while ago-with a couple duplicated thread numbers)

Deanne-that icey bird is great! Did you grow an icicle on the end of your nose?: )

Keep having fun-wish I were here!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:44PM
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Cynthia, that's the problem, I have space but not sure I have the energy ;o) I don't know what you are talking about with design, I love your garden. I just think it is so cool that you have such beautiful linens for your pets to lounge on. It looks so comfy.

Yes Marian it was that much below zero. Today is better starting out at 9 and reaching 27.

Norma, I hate to see ice damage to trees. What an experience this has been for you. Luckily you had heat and could cook. We have a propane heater in out kitchen that could keep much of the main floor fairly comfy. We do actually have a generator for the whole farm as well. We have a Coleman lantern that gave enough light to play board games by the last time we were without power.

Ei, have a great time in FL and maybe think about us frozen Idylls while your there ;o)

Maybe Doug could take a picture of Deanne sitting in her duck blind. I'd love to see that!

Babs, boring - never!

Speaking of roses, I've been perusing the David Austin catalog. Such pretty pictures. I may have to add a few more. If Kathy can have 60, so can I ;o)


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 7:58PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Dear Chloe,

It's me you want. Since seeing your picture I can't get you out of my mind.


The Nickster

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The car's doors thawed out I plan on going to town tomorrow. I will do a little more restocking of the larder while there, as there is a possibility of snow this weekend! At least the frigid temps have moderated, but definitely no heat wave. ( We did't get down to zero last night....only 12F ).

Norma! What an experience! I'm glad you are okay, and I hope you remain that way.

Re: african violets...I see that I do not have any pics of mine in my PT albums. Maybe I can add some so I can post them here. Kathy, so far I have never found mealy bugs on mine ( hope I haven't jinxed them! ), but they do get pretty bedraggled looking, with droopy leaves. If I would fertilize them it may help, but I am the world's worse procrastinator at fertilizing! Washing the dust off of the leaves would propably help also...another chore I never do!
So you see, they survive dispite me!

Ei, you are one of the most sensitive gals I have ever 'met'. I mean that in a good way, you know. You are so blessed to have had such a wonderful relationship with your father. I never had that. Mine was a kind man, but not a really 'fatherly' type. But then, he was around 53 when I was born, so was more of a grandfatherly figure. I don't recall any real closeness between us, although he did take us fishing with him. We also were the farm hands.
He liked to talk about a lot of things , but I'm afraid I never paid enough attention to what he was saying...:-(
I was married at 17, and not around too much after that. Nolon and Tim and I lived on their ( my folk's) farm, in the tenet house, from the time Tim was born until after daddy passed away. He would come over and play 3-handed pinochle with us. He always won...and would chuckle and ask: "Who won that game?".
If I let myself remember, I could think of so many things! Sometimes I do that when I can't get to sleep at night. Reading about other people's memories helps jog mine too.
I can't seem to find when you are/were leaving for Florida, so if you are still 'here' I hope you have a great trip and a good time.
I guess you all know that Jack Palance played the grandfather on "Winter's End".
Our last house in Idaho ( that Nolon built for us )was four bedroom and 2 1/2 bath. It had 3000 square feet of living space. We only lived in it 8 months. Our present home is only half that size, but has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. It is enough for us. Our livingroom and diningroom are an L shape, with the diningroom the smaller part of the L. The kitchen area has a breakfast nook area.
A bungalow would be nice, Ei.

My mother passed away in 1976, from cancer. I was 43. I was not one to grieve...but did often think: " I need to tell mama this", then I'd realize she was no longer here. We moved to Arkansas a little over a year later. The combination of her passing and my leaving my home state, were probably harder on me than I realized....along with my chronic ailments. No wonder I have been a basket case! LOL

Speaking of the oldest half-sister was always engrossed with her, and the entire monarchy thing. I was never that interested. I have never been much of a history buff, either....more of a 'here and now' person.

Babs, don't delete your posts! You are never 'boring' !

Michelle, do be careful if you must use that propane heater. They can easily be deadly!
I love the idea of Doug taking a picture of Deanne in her 'duck blind'.

There is a slight possibility of snow flurries tonight.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:21PM
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Wednesday evening and all is well. But its cold (again/still) I dont want to even speculate what my utility bill is going to look like.
Last night I put in the "Laura" dvd and noticed immediately that I was looking as Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb, not Robert Stack and George Sanders . After a little research I discovered I was juxtaposing the cast from a TV movie that was made in the 60s starring Lee Radziwill in the title roll. I looked up some info on it and read that the tape has been lost and is therefore un-viewable for good. Kind of interesting.

PM, my best yellows are Molineaux,(Austin) Sun Flare (floribunda) Michelangelo (hybrid tea/romantica) . Molineaux and Sun flare in particular are extremely disease resistant. Im not very knowledgeable about cold hardiness, but if you go lurk around on the rose forums there are lots of people who post there from colder zones .When I have time this weekend I will try to find some pics.

Ei, I think Florida may be the place to be right now ! Good thing you bought oranges this week because we are hearing citrus and avocado prices will go through the rrof because so much of the crop has been lost. Avocados in particular are pretty unforgiving and expensive cold weather or not. I dont even try to control the blackspot, some years are bad and others not so. The University of Calif has a recipe for a non-toxic spray that consists of horticultural oil and baking soda. I have found over the years that my blackspot problems tend to be during spring only, the roses grow new leaves which are fine through the summer (we have no rain here in summer). Last year was a very wet spring and the blackspot was really bad. I just try to be vigilant about cleaning up and disposing of fallen leaves, and even stripping off foliage in severe cases.
The pot growing movie was "Saving Grace" Werent those two elderly ladies with the eyeball glasses hysterical ? Ill look up "Brassed Off "

Norma hope all goes well for you. Sounds like you had a taste of life on the frontier for awhile.

Yes Michelle ..release your inner rose-a-holic. ! I think you have to be careful about cold temps with some of those Austins though ! I think I have about a dozen Austins right now.

Marian, thanks for posting that link to your photo albums ! I had such fun viewing you have some great begonias !

Okay, I having an artichoke for dinner and its going to be a reading night..stay warm and cozy everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, I had an avocado sandwich for my evening meal...the whole avocado! LOL. I love them, but seldom buy one.
Surely you haven't viewed all 40-some of my albums already?

LOL, Sue...that pic and caption is a hoot!

Are the movies you all are talking about on VHS ? Or DVDs ?
Do you rent them ? ( Oh, I see that Kathy mentioned DVD ).
I guess I need to get a DVD player. I hesitate to rent, espacially in the winter, because I may not be able to return them in time.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 9:46PM
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Marian, I now subcribe to Netflix, and it's extremely convenient. When I first signed up I did the 10 dollar a month deal, you get a movie in the mail and the envelope it comes in converts to the return envelope.As soon as they get the movie you send back they send you a new one. You maintain a list on the website. They have a huge selection in every genre. I've switched to a plan where I get 2 movies at a time for the winter, and I'll switch back when baseball season starts.

LOL, I had an avocado sandwich for lunch today !!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 10:03PM
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Hi everyone

The ice storm knocked out cable for a while so the old 'puter was down but we kept our power.

Norma - glad yours was returned. Your wood stove sounds a life saver.

Eden - I LOVED the Queen. Helen Mirren was amazing - at times I couldn't be sure if it were her or the actual queen. She even had the walk down perfectly. LOL - I too noticed the messy rooms at the Blair's and found them rather comforting!

T - fantastic shots! They would make great CHristmas cards for next year! I have never seen such a herd in one place before. How will you be keeping them out of your new curvy beds?

Deanne - did I read that you spent 13 hours in the blind? The icy Junco is a wonderful photo.

Love all the other pictures, cozy cats, cute Chloe, house plants, bells, a lone daffodil and that handsome fella Nick.

I've read too quickly and missed many so greetings to you all. A busy day is coming to an end and I'm heading for bed.

Nite all


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 10:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm back!
Spent the morning cleaning up this pigpen a bit, then finished knitting a cute baby hat (big though, 6-9 month size.)

Some other things I made while DB was here and before that too.

After lunch I managed to paint one wall of the family room so that DH could mount the rug/wall hanging he got me for Christmas. That of course turned into quite a project. Later I'll paint the rest of the walls in the room, after company returns to Toronto.

After the paint job I started knitting some more- the blanket that matches the hat I already made. It is a tricky kind of knitting I've never done before, called Entrelac. See below for a glimpse. Google has many other sites as well. I am working with ever so small 3mm needles, so it goes slowly, but I love the materials I'm working with.

Well Sue, you really surprised me with your super duper photo of the Nickster! I thought you said you didn't have an ounce of the romantic in you? Well, maybe not, but Nick does! All those sneaky preparations for the party hint at the romantic too though....

Lots to say to Ei and Cynthia and Michelle and Deanne and EVERYBODY! Time is short and I am tired. TO BED!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 11:18PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ei...looks like I missed you before your Florida trip. You are is the way of life and no it is not easy to accept at all. Just over a year was very recent Ei, and I am very sorry for your loss. It does get easier, it just takes time. I am glad you are so busy, I think that helps. It sounds like your Mom and my Mom would have got along fine. ;-)

I had forgotten about that movie The Miracle Worker with Ann Bancroft, another great movie. I haven't seen 'Brassed Off', I will have to look for it.

I am having trouble finding any ground alfalfa in my neck of the woods too. The only thing I have seen is alfalfa cubes for rabbit food in pet supply stores. Which sturdy roses are you using Ei?

Kathy...So, you did get to see the Laura DVD? It just had a different cast then you remembered? I never rent DVDs anymore, but get that DVR box from the cable company. I use that a lot. Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie Shadow of a Doubt, with Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten? It was filmed in Santa Rosa California and I always enjoy looking at the background sceneries. It was filmed in 1943, so it is fun to look at what Santa Rosa looked like then. When you were talking about the old buildings in California it reminded me of that. Although I don't remember seeing the type of historical California buildings that you mentioned. I'll have to watch it I must have seen that film about 4 times. I have no idea why it fascinates me. I had heard that expression film 'noir' and thought I understood what it meant, but thought I would look it up to see if I could find a list of films. Sure enough Wikipedia had a list. I found that I am a big fan of the classic period as well. I have seen a lot of them. I just happen to love that era of movie making in the 40s and 50s.

Kathy, I found the David Austin website and see the Molineux. It is very pretty and sounds like it has all the characteristics I am looking for including a manageable size that I forgot to mention. I haven't yet found the hardiness info and was surprised that the David Austin site doesn't include that. BUT, I did find a few people on Dave's Garden who have it and someone in Massachusetts and someone in Maine grow it, so I think I will be able to grow it here. Don't worry about figuring out the hardiness at all. I was just interested to know which were your favorites and most disease resistant. I found photos on the David Austin site. Now a new website to look over...scrumptious photos! :-) Haven't had a chance to look up the others yet.

That's really awful about the citrus and avocado crops. How horrible for the growers. We use guacamole on chicken casa dias ..the only time we use avocado. Clementines and Red grapefruit fans here.

cynthia...has your clivia opened it's buds yet? Photo?

jerri...I loved Simon and Garfunkel. :-)

marian...I also had that Sedona coleus. You have a large deck with you have to take them all in every year? I thought the fall photo of your hill was very pretty. Great color. Really nice houseplant collection. Your begonias and is that a Norfolk Pine? I have a croton too that my son gave me for Christmas last year. I have had a small hoya for 2 years and hasn't bloomed. I can't give it any more there a trick to getting them to bloom? I love your Viburnums too...especially the fall color of the 'Oneida' and the plicatum tomentosum...I just love that horizontal branch pattern. Some luscious Iris too...Lingering pretty!

I couldn't find the african violets marian, what did I miss? I looked through all the houseplant albums I think.
[Ahhhh, I see you AV]

marian...I agree, reading other people's memories jogs mine too. I am surprised that you grew up working the farm and are still interested in gardening. Did you enjoy working on the farm as a kid? You were married young and you have been married a long time. I'm also sorry that you lost your mother so young. Your chronic illnesses probably have more to do with it than you realize, marian. Life is a lot harder to cope with when you are ill. :-)

Norma....what an awful time of it you are having. I hope there is not too much damage on your property.

T....I just figured out those photos were from around your property! You are a lucky person! Really gorgeous and I think the second photo would make a perfect Christmas card.

Babs...I didn't know you were an original Idyll. Saying hi! :-)
Mary...saying hi to you too. :-)

I second Michelle's request for a photo of Deanne in her duck blind. [g]

Vtskiers....What a pose the Nickster presented! I think dog's are so expressive.

'Bug...I am amazed at how productive some of you are on this already have the wall painted and the rug up? Plus you have finished your knitting projects..I am impressed. I think you do absolutely gorgeous work! Where did you learn to knit so beautifully? I love that white cap. I also loved the hat in that Entrelac link. Your new rug on newly painted wall just fits that space. Great job!

Nothing at all new here...sun was out yesterday and in the yard, it was the first time I found the ground frozen.

Have a good day.. :-)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Yesterday was my "driving day", though not 6 hours, mercifully. I refilled prescriptions, packed up urostomy supplies, a few "goodies" for Mum, and organized bills that had come in, and NH questionnaire/forms. It was really COLD (for us), barely cracking 18 degrees all day long.

My brother was much more pleasant, back to his usual dry homored self. I suspect the past 9 days have given him pause to reflect on the division of duties and responsibilities. He had just returned from visiting a day care facility. I asked if he'd hired a bath lady. NO. I urged him to do so and we ran through a couple of ways he could schedule it, to maximize his work time and minimize Mum's "alone" time. He seemed receptive. He was also receptive about having me deliver a nice chair and small side table for Mum's room. I will do that next week and try to come up with a few "pretty" touches for her, too.

Mum recognized my face instantly, but she didn't remember I am her daughter, asking me how my "parents are?". Strangely, it didn't really bother me. I just smiled, told her my father had been dead for 13 years and that SHE was my mother! She looked surprised, then remarked "that makes sense, dear". I told her it was a good thing I was there to remind her and she laughed, agreeing wholeheartedly. I think "dumping" her on my brother was the way to really drive home the point that she needs LTC, heretofore, he's not really "gotten" it because he didn't HAVE to "get it". Today, I have to drop her note and get to the storage facility to find an appropriate chair and then determine the palette for the "pretties"... (panels for the French doors) and a nice, squishy pillow for the chair.

I stopped by a fabric store not far from my brother's home. It was fun to see pretty fabrics and entertain notions about bedroom window treatments. I bought a nice book on window treatments, too. I have rather a nice library going now. :)

'bug your knitting projects are wonderful! I particularly like the color combination on the "blankie". And the Entrelac technique is very cool. My boss is a devoted and very experienced knitter, I will have to ask her if she's ever tried it.

I love African violets. They remind me of little sugared decorations on pretty cakes. Not tacky, at all! but don't they just fit perfectly with my neo-Victorian sensibility?

We watched "The Devil Wears Prada" last night. It is FABULOUS, we will be recycling some of the lines for a long time to come. Meryl Streep was terrific. Definitely worth a rent. Marian, we rent DVDs at a local place. Too often, though, I find the selection sort of unappealing, there doesn't seem to be a lot that really INTERESTS me. I have the BBC's "Elizabeth R" (Glenda Jackson) and "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (Keith Mitchell) on DVD. And I loved "Mrs. Brown"! Helen Mirren is, like Judy Dench, remarkably versatile... when I watch them act I am convinced by their portrayals. Glenda Jackson became a member of the Labor Party and represented Highgate in Parliament. The special features disc in the "ER" series has a fascinating interview with her.

The animal pictures evince the level of comfort they enjoy in our homes. I think Nick and Chloe would make a handsome couple. And I have to say, I rather like small dogs. We had a Spitz cross all the time I was a kid (she lived to be 20), she was "smart as a whip" and unfailingly gentle. She had the typical GSD coat color and her name was Susie, and she, or part of her curlie tail, is present in virtually all family pictures. To this day I find furry dogs with curlie tails appealing. But that means little, since I hate dogs.

Palominos were the horses of the Spanish queens. Anyone remember Goldrush, the palomino that Rex Trailer used to ride on the Boston area show, "Boomtown"? ;)

Babs. will never be boring.
Ei. will have fun in Florida.
LOL about Chihuly jellyfish!

Norma, we have a few oil lamps here; including a lovely brass Aladdin that was my Christmas present in 1999. It's nice to be able to read comfortably when the power is out! I hope your yard isn't too altered by the weight of the ice and damaging winds. On my ride to my brother's yesterday I drove through the heart of the southern NH ice storm. It was pretty (glass trees), but cold, dark houses are no fun.

I have to get my chores done now.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:17AM
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Good Morning Idylls, The power has stayed on and we are supposed to warm a bit today.
I cleaned and did laundry yesterday just in case. Today I need to do the town thing.
I still have that back corner of the basement to finish and an Amos and Andy closet. LOL. Anyone remember who they were?

Fun pictures posted by everyone. Sue, Nicks expression is priceless.

I need to do some more work with the light plants. Had to move everything to available windows while the power was out.

Bug, your grandbaby is going to be well dressed. Your knitting is very nice. I like your choices because they are not frilly. I am not a frilly person.

Will try to respond to more people later, but since this is an morning post. I really need to get moving. Norma

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:37AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Dear Nick (and Katie) --

if this is I have to confess that Nick is more my size -- those BIG DAWGS frighten me -- I was terrorized as a tiny puppy in training class (we were training class dropouts consequently) by Great Danes, bad boy German Shepherds and even Mastiffs who wanted to step on me or eat me! So now I just try to get in the first bark & grrrr & let my Mommy deal with those big boys. So, Katie, Monty is not a good match for me.

But -- Nick -- after we chat some more, maybe we can hook up in Philadelphia when our parents are at IU if that's where it is -- altho I've heard long distance relationships are hard to keep up!!

Looking forward to seeing more of you, Nickster.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 8:43AM
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veer(SW England)

bluebells, cuckoos, new grass

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 5:14AM
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