Idyll #305 Getting Into the Swing of Pre-Spring

martieinctFebruary 21, 2007

Pitchers and catchers have reported, most catalogs have arrived, visions of best gardens in our heads, it's right around the corner!! Carry on ....

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Happy February 22 morning! Brother's hearing is confirmed and for the first time in a long time have true jitters. Know that when I'm there I'll be "on" but jeeeeeeeez!!

All seeds are sorted by start date and began cleaning containers last night. Must say that even through four moves in the last six years, they are in good shape and won't need to replace anything major. That said, got a call from an inside source at Homegoods that their first major shipment of garden stuff should be in next week. Hide the plastic!

Completely forgot to say Hi Babs!!! Glad that you feel part of the group at school. At least when you get the gossip it's from a prime source rather than coffee-clatch moms LOL.

Marian the Magnet from now on. Kathy's right -- there's always room!! If you love it, can afford to get it, then do it! Same thing happened to me yesterday -- went to visit a nursery client and mentioned that I don't have any plants in my northfacing but big windowed office. He corrected that situation in a hurry :-) Had to sneak them in past the maintenance guy but all are happily ensconced. In the process learned that our sales assistant is an orchid lover. Cool!!

Rambling, here, and thanks for your collective tolerance :-)



    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 7:23AM
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Taryn wherever you are I hope you can forgive me for being so late with my wishes...such a lowly idyll I am!

Chelone yours isn't quite so late(OK yeah it is)but accept my apologies too: ) I've decided we need to add a tasteful bum shot to the,I'm not mooning you lol.

Martie maybe envisioning all those attending the hearing in their undies might settle your nerves? You'll do well because I've never heard of you not handling things well so far. Go get 'em. Good thoughts.

Hi back at ya Kathy: ) I really liked seeing your yard pics-I am really looking forward to seeing future pics of your gardens as the season progresses. I bet you can't wait to plant around your new walkway.

Interesting that a couple of you don't like the themed parties.(I wouldn't worry about the possibility of idyll mystery parties-it would never work because idylls like talking almost as much as they like gardening: ) Initially I thought-yuck this will be hard and a drag but I'm convinced that it depends on who is involved. The majority of these people at this party were teachers and I think having a group of creative problem solvers together like that made the difference. I do agree that it's frustrating to want to mingle and hang out but once we solved the mystery we did do that.

Yeah Chelone we are looking into the possibility of moving in the next couple years. My mom wants to scale down and thinks we should buy her house! Now that Chris got his teaching position we could feasibly do this. The cool thing is that her property is a clean slate from a gardening standpoint. She removed several declining trees and the little landscaping that I've done for her could be so much MORE: ). I've been laying in bed at night deciding what trees I'd plant lol. It would be great for the kids too because there is an excellent elementary & high school nearby. So anyway, we have to pitch out the major clutter here so that when we're ready to jump it's not going to be harder than it has to be getting the house ready to sell. I'm really tired of the loud main road we have in our front yard...I'm ready for the tweeting of birds and the sound of quiet calm. Hmm I do sound ready!

It's all melting! Crazy how we go from mountains of snow to puddles in just a few days. I hope flooding isn't bad. So far we've had three snow days: )

Hi Marian!!!!!!

PM2 I have my peas set for St. Patty's day. We'll be celebrating Ryan's 6th bday on that day. His actual bday is the 15th but the family helps us celebrate since the 17th's a weekend. He's amazing learning how to read and printing too!(he's in k-garten)

Better hit the shower...


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 9:36AM
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Babs... does this mean that you might be moving closer to me?:) Did you take any pics of yourself in your outfit? Did Chris start his new position yet? If so, how does he like it? I haven't seen him lately, but I haven't been over in his direction for awhile.

Marian, I must have had a typo.. I meant that my plants in the basement have little bugs on them. I wish they were buds.. I have been trying/wanting to post more, and in my rush to reach a goal, I didn't type correctly.

Norma, I meant to tell you that I am glad your woodburner didn't do any more damage than happened. We have a woodburner too, and I really like it because of the warmth in the house, and my $75 per month gas budget, but I do worry about the buildup. We burn it all the time, and it mostly heats the whole house.

Eileen, can I go way back and tell you that I love your new kitchen? Your house is so nice.. I would have a hard time leaving it.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is a lovely sunny morning here and about 25F, which is bearable. If I look at my friend's photos from England though, there are hellebores, bumble bees, pulmonaria and more and then I'm green with envy and impatient and moody!

I hope Babs is becoming Blabs again! I love hearing about Ryan, school, house etc. Probably this is related to the fact that I'm looking forward to helping DD move to their new place soon. (end of March)

DD has been emailing many times a day and chatting about everything from new house, DH's ex-wife, DGS's progress, worries about the new baby not seeming real yet, her job, etc. What a year it has been for her. Frankly I am delighted to share so much with her and am happy she goes along with my excitement. We are working together on making this new baby feel very real to her at the moment. I think once they move that she can begin fixing up the new house and baby room and that will help. In the meantime, I suggested that they both make journal entries on their thoughts and feelings and observations, that they talk to the baby (what do you want for dinner tonight?")and so on. DGS is great and every time he returns to their place he checks out DD's belly and kisses it. :-) They aren't really talking names yet, but I'm sure they'll be nothing I'd choose! It's so hard keeping silent.

DS has organized an amazing set of dinner/discussion groups in Boston which people can sign up for. I can't imagine the work of finding 12 experts and planning 12 topics at 12 different restaurants! This is in addition to his work.

DD has begun her taxes and mortgage papers, we are lagging behind. So much to do, so little time!

Enjoying keeping up with the reading and photos here. (Yes, Cynthia's and Sue's doggies!) I'm also a Gramma on a pregnancy forum these days. What a hoot after all these years! A friend of mine, exactly my age, became a great-grandmother last Saturday. Oh my goodness!!! The baby is beautiful.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 11:13AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Drema, you said 'bugs', but I thought you meant 'buds' since you spoke as if your EEs were starting into growth. My mistake.

I am having an all-time bad day.....


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Hi Marian- no biggie.I didn't go back and check my post to see what I wrote, I am ususally trying to do three things at once, and don't always double check what I write.. which is probably obvious:)

Hope your day gets better. It is sunny here.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 2:09PM
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It's warm today, and melting! I am home early, finished what was required at the shop and figured, what the hell? I do have to do a few things down in the "lab.", though. I've cracked the slider to the deck and the kitties have been out there... we've taken to calling it, "Gstaad"; the sun can be amazingly warm out there. You can tell that spring is on the way. New Englanders tend be optimistic about reading nature's "signs", I think! (probably Mid-westerners and Canadians, too).

Babs., it's so nice to hear from you. When are you going to put the "l" back in your name? :) I would give anything to see you in your can-can dancer outfit, mincing your way over the ice field into the party. The image elicited an audible guffaw. I'll bet Toulouse L'Autrec would have dumped Jane Avril in a heartbeat at the sight of you! It must be terribly exciting to watch Ry. "get" reading and printing... I can't imagine how it must feel for you, but it has to be wonderful to watch an eager young mind discover the tools that will unlock the world for him. You know, I remember the day I "got" reading (I was about Ry.'s age). No kidding! I was sitting on Mum's lap in the green wing chair and we were reading. Mum pointed to a word and asked me what it was, and I knew it. She asked me to keep going and I was able to, "sounding out" words that were unfamiliar! I can picture the scene so clearly, it was the day the world opened up for me. From that day forward either she, my father, or my brother read with me every single day. How far away is your mother's home from the one you currently inhabit? I hear you on the busy road! right now the "main drag" past our's is pretty quiet, but at peak season we refer to it as Rte. 95A, lol. Aside from the increased risk to pets and pedestrians, it's amazing how loud traffic can be. How's your MIL? and give us an update on Chris (I don't remember what he teaches!).

Marian, I hope the day has picked up a bit for you. With long experience of "bad days", I sympathize. I think the new plant is probably a good curative. How about a picture of it? The Amaryllis in our southern window is about to flower (the blossoms should open tomorrow) and it's one of the peach colored ones. The other one is moving with all the speed of three toed Sloth, so it could be weeks before I have any idea of color! The Geraniums are flowering nicely, in a shade of pink that will not work nicely with the Amaryllis, but SO WHAT?

My boss was downright chatty today, we had a good time together. My co-worker is out with a nasty toothache and is awaiting its extraction with a mixture of dread and relief. Apparently, it's terribly rotten and an abcess has formed. Saddest of all, is the fact that she was unable to come up with $70 to meet the deductible her dental insurance required... . She was immediately offered a cash advance against her paycheck, arriving in 3/4 hr. to collect it. I can't remember the last time I didn't have a bank account with at least $500 in it. It was a sober reminder to me to renew my efforts to live my life with an attitude of gratitude. It's important to remember things like that when life's road is bumpy and you feel that you'll never find smooth pavement again.

'bug, you make me laugh. It's such fun to read about your DD and the baby. There is a bounce and spriteliness in your words that are infectious. And I like babies even less than dogs. ;)

Speaking of dogs... what's up with Olive? And when do we get the next phonics lesson from Cynthia? Wrecks is lame. This has been an ongoing thing for some months now. X rays have eliminated hip issues, but the focus seems to be the knee... though there is nothing more than suspicion thusfar. He tends to "work out of it", but can be quite gimpy when first getting up. We may have to shoot him.

Wonderin' about Eden, Ei, Michelle, the whole cast of characters... and that weird post at the top of the Conversations list, the one none of us has responded to... lol, what's up with that? Isn't there a spam filter or something? ;)

Carry on, friends. TTYL.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 3:04PM
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Nearly 50 degrees here today and yesterday, but they are predicting a snowstorm for the weekend. Tax appointment is on Saturday.

Chelone, the walls are sheetrock and were damaged when the wallpaper was taken off in the past by using a utility knife to score (I didn't do it!) We have primed and what didn't cover has been given a skim coat and will get a little texture to blend.

You wouldn't believe the number of people who have less than 50 bucks to their name. Being in a service industry, I have heard every story under the sun. Yesterday a lady came in and applied for phone service and paid around $100.00 cash. Later in the day she came back and wanted a refund. Her story was that her boyfriend's daughter had her baby a week earlier than they expected and they needed this money to go to Denver. I'm thinking to myself, maybe it isn't a good idea to go and then the kicker was that she was a smoker and came in with a baby of her own.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Michelle, nice to hear from you. Our home is one we built, so I've never owned a home that revealed past assaults (perhaps a future owner will curse me, too!). I'm routinely teased about my willingness to do the "prep. work", deal with routine car maintenance, etc., so I'd be annoyed by slipshod work, too. My sympathies! I'm still thinking of Kenzie's shot at Christmastime... rapt concentration... even though kids rank below dogs, you ought to post a shot.

How can it be that I'm so removed from the basics of financial responsibility (why is that automatic for me)? It's a genuine question; what is so "wrong" with the system that so many labor daily (and diligently!) and never have anything to show for it? Is it ease of access to "credit" or is it a lack of understanding of how "money" works? and the inevitablity that the the "bill will come due"?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 4:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The pre-spring activity here soon (I hope) will be progress on the shed. The shed guy came by today to say the siding is in and, weather permitting, they should be back some time next week to start installing it. He also dropped off more trim pieces for me to paint  I am sooo sick of painting trim! At least this isnÂt as large a batch as what I had to paint in January.

WeÂve started work on the cedar coffee table this week but have run into a snag. I canÂt find a small enough apron bracket to fit so I have to give some thought to how to securely attach the legs otherwise, or figure out how to jury-rig things so I can use the smallest bracket that I can find. I will think about it while paintingÂ.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 5:17PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Just wanted to say thanks to Babs for the BD card--very pretty! Had to laugh at your costume, must be something in the air. My new neighbor/friend Elaine has adopted DH and I as a "cause" (she doesn't think we're lost, yet). She dragged us to an Indian buffet for Valentine's Day last week, and we're headed to a Henry the 8th Feast with her and her DH and several couples on Friday night. I have to find a wench outfit. :)

Nothing new here. Joining a temp agency to give me something to do while I search for the elusive job. You guys put up with 10 months of selling my house woes, so I'll spare you the job search details. I vacillate between upbeat elation/making calls, firing off emails and days like today, where I dusted the family room and became an emotional mess listening to Jewel. What's with that? I'm not working but the house is sparkly..

Sue good thoughts for wee Zoe. Norma so glad you were home to notice the smell of smoke. It could have been soo much worse. It IS our wood in our case, moisture meter proved it was 25% wet and should be under 14%. Live and learn.

Well must go. Going to feed the clan then look for something to wear Friday. My Mum is coming tomorrow to watch the boys for me. Must call Elaine and see how her MIL is doing. Apparently she got attacked by a cow earlier today and is in hospital with many injuries. Life in the country...

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 5:50PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Mary I forgot to mention I thoroughly enjoyed the article on your hubby, and the photos. He is so lucky to be so passionate about his work--not a lot of people get paid to do what they love...

Loved the lemon merengne house too Woody! (and cracked up at the many spellings) We got 18" last week but it's mostly melted now, was raining yesterday! Spring's coming...

Okay, now I'm REALLY off...


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 5:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Can you guys see me as I dodge left, then right, then left again at the speed of light? I am determined to miss the virus that is wreaking havoc all through my area. I was going to go to church this evening for the Wednesday night dinner, but I decided that a communal dinner might not be a wise idea right now!

I keep wavering about Olive. Part of me would love to adopt her, but the larger, more rational part of me reminds the other part that I have said many times that two dogs are enough.

Michelle, I was thinking of you this evening; there was a report on the news that a man was killed this afternoon when a large chunk of ice flew off the roof of a truck and crashed through the roof of the man's car.

I came out of work this evening and wondered what had possessed me to park in the middle of a lake! We are melting like crazy, but there is snow predicted here for the weekend. I'm spending all day Saturday at a natural landscaping seminar (April - are you lurking? Will you be there?) and then on Sunday we are taking MIL in to Chicago for a family dinner. It's sort of an odd situation; her cousin's daughter passed away very unexpectedly last month, and the cousin's ex-wife is having close family to her home for dinner the night before the memorial service. DH & I didn't really know the daughter, but MIL was reluctant to venture into Chicago with only her DH while she is still recovering from her knee surgery. We offered to help get her to the dinner and pick her up afterwards so that she would be comfortable going, so now we have been added to the guset list. It will be interesting as the ex-wife's home is in a very wealthy section of the city - an area where I have never been inside a private home. This "branch" of MIL's family has always had some interesting dynamics, so I may have some good stories next week! (For starters, a few years back the cousin was introduced to the new neighbor of some old friends of his; the friends could not get over how much the neighbor resembled the cousin. Turned out that the neighbor was the cousin's younger brother who was given up for adoption when both boys were very young!)

Chelone, I too am amazed at folks who have no cash resources, yet they have decent jobs and a reasonable level of comforts. I once worked with a guy who was up to his eyeballs in debt and trying to salvage a failing marriage. For Christmas, his wife gave him a brand new snowmobile and trailer - thousands of $$$ they did not have! And a couple of months later they were headed to divorce court. I wonder which one ended up with the credit card debt? I think we did a reasonable job of not over-indulging our kids (don't anyone tell them we could have given them lots more "stuff" than we did, OK?) and making them aware that the "stuff" did have a cost. So far, they seem to be reasonably frugal and sensible about money. Knock on wood?

Oh! Another sign that the kids are growing up. I passed on to DD the news that our church needed a volunteer to run the music portion of vacation bible school and guess what? She's doing it! No small job, as our VBS gets over 100 kids every year. But as I told her, in the words of Moms everywhere, "it will look good on your resume!" And she didn't even yell at me for saying that...

Have I babbled enough? Oh yeah - Hi, Blabs! And everyone else too!!!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 9:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am feeling much better this evening. I think I forgot to take my pain meds...:-(
I didn't dare take more (if I had taken them ), so had a long day of pain!
I made myself get out and do some yard/flowerbed work. It was beautiful out. I accomplished quite a bit of cleaning up.
I discovered some bright spots:

The lavender ones are scattered all in and around the backyard bed, but only one of the yellows,( in the front yard bed).

Since several days of warm are in the forecast, more things will be bursting forth!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 9:27PM
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For me its Friday night, with a storm blowing in and a four day weekend looming ahead. Tommorow is master gardener day , our monthly seminar and business meeting. The Feb meeting is always fun since people tend to go into hibernation in Dec and Jan and Feb seems to be the first month where people come out and get back in the swing of things. We have a speaker tommorow on geology and hydrology, (including a water-witcher), and then a field trip to a local farm for a fruit tree grafting demo.

Martie so apt of you to have mentioned pitchers and catchers reporting ! I start ramping up my baseball décor in my office when that happens, this year I brought in my shadow box pin collection. The day of the 1st spring training game I hang up my Dodger banner. My office is basically a shrine ,lol ! I have 12 pennants on the wall, three flags, a baseball card collage, and 8 bobbleheads. Oh yeah, and two Dodger clocks .

Babs, there are actually things already planted on the walkway, but not visible in the pics. I have a few 6-paks of snapdragons, daylilies (and by the way , take a visit over to the daylily forum-the photos over there are something to see) Geranium Rozanne, Silene , and I await my Dahlia order. Ive made some plans for next year involving a large over-the-top tulip display.

Hi PM2 if you are lurking out here !!

bug, how I remember the impending baby thingyour DD certainly has a lot of stuff going on in her life ! I remember when DD was "germinating" we also moved from a condo to a house, and there I had my first real garden that was not in pots . These two events are so intertwined- the baby and the garden, and to this day , my adult children define me by my garden. I know that they will be gardeners when they have homes of their own.

Chelone-you know I cant remember when I "got" reading, but I remember my first grade classroom very well, and my trauma at having to explain that I was not called "Mary" (my full name is Mary Kathleen ).Only a Catholic kid can feel guilt at having a first name that is never used .

Marian, what pretty pics of your little spring bright spots! Bet that cheered you up

Michelle, I am also in a service industry, and have become more cynical over the years . There is an under class, and they have no clue how to manage money, because their parents have no clue. Most of them smoke (expensive) ,they are uneducated , they buy junk at Walmart , or expensive handbags etc. because that it the only way they can achieve status. And, the surest road into lifelong poverty is to have children when you have no money and often no partner. Makes me crazy.

Woody, good luck on the shed !

OK time to go
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 10:57PM
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Chelone Unfortunately I think money ruts happen because credit is so easy to get and to use; plus people really aren't trained how to manage or understand their money. My momma always told me never charge what you can't afford. That's why we've never had cable/direct TV,cell phones,or generally top of the line anything. Chris's new job is such a light at the end of the tunnel--funny,despite my new job I still scrimp and save-it's so engrained in me.
Per your question-Chris teaches research statistics presently and he will be teaching gerontology for the nursing school as well when he starts the new job.

Hi Drema!That would be so cool if my mom's house were closer to you, but it's still about an hour away: ( Doesn't the turnpike have a new exit by you?? If I'm right about that I think it might shave five min. off. we probably wouldn't be moving for at least another couple years(I have the past 15 yrs of clutter to deal with: )
Hey I was just wondering how your brother is doing?

Michelle I hear you on past home inhabitants. That had to be such a letdown when you discovered how much patching you'd have to do. The previous owners here thought caulk was the answer for every home maintenance job(!!!!!)
Good to hear from you I've missed you and so many others. So is Kenzie driving a car yet and sending applications to colleges? lol-just kidding!

Chelone I just about keeled over today when our librarian squealed that she had something for me....ugh she had an eight by ten photo of me posing as 'Roxy' from the mystery party. What I want to know is how many people she showed it to before I'd gotten it-it's just horrid because I appear stinking drunk--but I was NOT(that was an emphatic 'NOT'.lol : )

Good to see you 'Bug. It's really kind of neat how all the exciting events your DD is experiencing really have transformed you-I can tell how much you enjoy the relationship you two are sharing. I can't remember how far along she is,but when the baby moves and squirms like a little 'alien' in there I bet it will seem more real??? I do remember having a hard time grasping that concept of a real baby(AJ)entering our life. It's all part of the process I think. She certainly has gone through some major events all at once that's for sure!

Marian I hope you feel better by the time you read this-I hope you've had some of the sunshine we recieved today-I even got to turn the thermostat down for a change! BTW when does spring start to emerge for you? I know we normally get at least one more storm for St. Patrick's day so I'm sure we're not through yet.

Well since dinner isn't going to make itself I'd better get crackin'. I'm afraid I just might have put the 'l' back in my name...
[note:I wrote this earlier today but am just posting it now--way after dinner]; )

Sue-are you watching Idol this time? There are some really great female singers in the group. The guys weren't very exciting.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 11:18PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

It's a balmy 24 degrees out this morning and I think it is supposed to warm up and rain/snow/sleet today (the old 'wintery mix' the weather people talk about) We are starting off with a bit of overcast but there was enough break in the clouds to let in the most delicious pink to tint all the snow at sunrise. It was so lovely. (yes I can tell the days are getting longer because I'm getting up before the sun again.)

Michelle, so great to hear from you. I've missed your posts. That wallpaper job sounds like my worst nightmare. I absolutely hate doing interior painting. Don't know why just do. Looking forward to seeing some Kenzie pics when you get a chance, and speaking of grandbabies...

Where oh where is Eden????

Blabs! How great to hear from you again. Is is school vacation week? If so I must have missed that. Anyway, congratulations on Chris' new job. That is fantastic. I'll tell you the truth is that the best thing to do is to keep scrimping and saving and investing and you guys might just be able to retire someday. LOL Truth be told it scares me how many people I know in our age group (ten years or so from retirement) have zero savings and are in debt on top of it.

RE theme parties, I actually did go to one years ago and we had a ball!!! Doug was a gunslinger and I was a 'saloon girl'. It was a lot of fun getting in costume and character.

Marian, can't believe you have crocus blooming already! That's fantastic. I missed what you bought for a new plant. Was it another orchid?

Kathy, are you getting those rains out that way? Sounds like you've got a full weekend ahead.

Bug, wonderful how your DD has 'connected'. How goes the knitting?

Hi to everyone else, I've got to get this day started and drag myself to the gym.


Oh yes, I did spend a couple hours outside yesterday and this cute little female Downy Woodpecker came in to the suet log I've made up for them, thought you'd enjoy the pic.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 7:00AM
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Hi Idylls, I've been reading and trying to catch up this morning. Just a quick post to check in for now. I've been busy with projects and Bella. Yesterday she was in quite the artsy mode and she made three beautiful collages, lol. Her big birthday bash is this weekend. Saturday is Sesame Street Live and Sunday is her Blue's Clue's party. My camera is still broken, so I don't know if there will be any pictures to share. We're in the midst of an early spring thaw, temps in the 40s. I can't wait for spring to finally get here though I'm rushing to get everything crossed of the "inside list" before then.

Oh I do want to say, Marie, that baby will be very real to dd in a few months. Especially at 2am, lol. Seriously I think what she's feeling is very normal for a first time mom. Prior to the baby being born you can't imagine all the changes that will happen in your life and then you can't imagine life without that special little person once they arrive.

Keep those bird pics coming Deanne. Love the woodpecker.

Oh and HI Blabs!

Gotta go for now. I've run out of time. Have a great day, Eden

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 8:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is still very much February here today!

Thanks for all the baby/DD comments. DD is gradually getting to the 'reality' phase. Because she has experienced miscarriage in the past, I think this makes her extra cautious. It has been an exciting year and the trials of the ex have been serious and continue to be. My concern there is great and I see court cases in the future.(THINKING OF MARTIE!) I hope that "tit-for-tat argument" can be avoided! This week she has had interesting baby dreams and so is feeling better about things. She has also found a crib and drawers/changing table she likes at Ikea. All this is helping I think, not to mention that her DH is totally gaga over this and the new house. His 40th birthday is soon and he never expected so much joy to return to bis life.

So glad to have Michelle and Eden back here! Also good to hear that Taryn has someone close by for support and fun in her life. Great that your sweet Mom is coming too!

Off to try and finish this crazy knitting!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Good morning!

I love seeing so many of the Idylls popping in to say hello. Even though I wasn't in good spot in my life to post, I still was reading and missing many of you.

Babs, congratulations to Chris on the new job!!
V, 2 big dogs is a lot to take care of...we've had 3 dogs at a time and it is expensive (thinking the occasional vet bills, food bills, training, etc). We've decided to keep our count at 2 and once these little guys are old, gray and gone--we will stick to having one dog. You will make the best decision for you & your home in whether to bring Olive into your family or not.

Michelle, good to hear from you! You've been missed.

Deanne, nice shot of the Downey! I've shooed off some of the darn woodpeckers recently and hope that we don't have the same problem that we had last year with them pecking our siding to bits. Dratted birds!

We finally picked up my car last night. I was soundly scolded for how long it had been since my last oil change (oh my heavens but it was VERY much overdue and I deserved a scolding) and the fix was under $120. I'm to drive it for a short while and then take it back in for a tune up. They didn't want to change too much at one time--I guess so they could make sure they did get this fixed. I need a new battery (cranking slower than it should) so will, hopefully, get that taken care of this weekend by DH. When I asked how long to drive it before bringing it back for the tune up...they hesitated a I said "when I bring it in for the next oil change?" and both the owner & his wife hesitated for a moment while they thought about it and then you could see the light bulb moment when they both forcefully said "NO!". LOL I was teasing them (because I was soooooo much overdue) and they 'got' that I was poking fun at myself. I appreciate having these people and their business in my life. It is so nice to know that our needs are 'being taken care of' when we take one of our automobiles to their business. I have over 163,000 miles on my car...DH has over 144,000 miles on his truck. We've never had the funds to pay cash for a 'new' vehicle, but we do drive them well past the point when they are paid off. DH's truck is a 1990 that he bought new (it needs to be replaced)and my car is a 1997 that I bought from one of our children when my \ Explorer's engine was very tired/wore out a few years ago (I drove the Explorer for just months shy of 10 years). Our kids were upgrading to a UAV from this little import and I knew it had been well cared for (our kids take care of their cars with regular maintenance---unlike their parents). I didn't want a little car, didn't want a manual transmission, didn't want my bum dragging on the ground, didn't want a 2 door.....but the little thing was well maintained, zippy, cute and the price was such that I could pay cash. Done deal. I sold my Exploder to a young man, telling him how tired 'she' was.....I heard he blew the engine up within a short period of time. I'm still kind of sad over that one---it was 'my' baby for 9+ years and I liked it. Felt bad selling it and really felt bad when I heard that he hadn't babied it. LOL---what a goose I can be! Anyway, no new cars in our immediate I should be taking care of this one better. ;o)

Well, that was a long story to tell that my car is fixed! LOL

I need to fill my coffee cup and get something to eat, my tummy is empty and rumbling from hunger.

I'm thinking of Sue, her aunt's passing and funeral....hoping, too, that Zoe is having more good days than bad ones.

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 9:50AM
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The fence guys are in the backyard and they are able to drive posts in, yippee! It looks a bit like GB's first picture though with the stream out there, but this property is not supposed to have a water feature. Rapid thaw with 40-50F the last few days. I spent time showing the fence people where they could walk as it's chock a block full of gardens where the new fencing is going. I know there will be destruction, and they will need to walk on some things, but figure if I showed them the paths they might not just wander aimlessly to get from point A to point B. I can't look :-(

Eden's point on costs of a third dog is well taken. Dannie (#3) sliced her right side on Tuesday. Sometime between evening walk and dinner. I noticed the tuft of fur sticking up when she went into crate for dinner. About two inch square flap of skin and fur and just bare blood and tissue. Greyhound skin is like peach fuzz and no fur to protect from sharp objects. I smoothed it down and ran upstairs to call vet while she ate. Took her in at 7:30 and glad that I had fed her or they could have done the surgery that night. They wrapped her all up so it looked like she was wearing a pink jogging bra with one strap. You can imagine what it looked like by morning - down to her hips. Took her back at 6:30AM for the surgery and she came home last night with a 12 inch tube in her side and uncountable stitches. The skin separation was greater than the visible tear so she's quite a picture! I'm trying to convince Katie that the tube in Dannie's side is NOT an edible object.

I'm happy that she's ok and am fortunate to be at a point in life where the cost isn't an issue. Interesting discussion on finances. I've been poor, and still live like I am. I find it fun to keep my money instead of spending it :-) The truth though is that few become wealthy by working, it's the choice of investments that will make the difference. Deanne, I have friends too who will probably never be able to retire comfortably. I angst over it but am probably in better shape than most. The rule used to be $1M needed to retire. It's more now, oh for the good old days? :-)

T, sounds like you had a good time at the repair shop.
'Next oil change' lol. I keep my cars forever too. 10 years minimum, but am impressed by the mileage you have on your vehicles. Think 130K is the most I got out of my last (dearly loved and carefully maintained) Saab. Now I drive Honda because Saab is not a Maryland car, and too hard to get maintenance. I just do jiffy lube for oil changes and fluids/tires. It's so much easier because no appt is needed! Just a thought for those who procrastinate (no one here of course.)

GB, really like the photo with the little birds on the snow. You make winter more tolerable with your beautiful snow and landscape shots. I'm getting excited right along with you about your future grandchild.

Deanne, your photos are TOO good. That woodpecker looks like it's stuffed and in your livingroom, not alive and in your yard!

Mary Kathleen - Ha Ha :-) Ok, "Kathy."

Hello to all, and sounds like Taryn is enjoying her new 'hood.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 12:45PM
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I think that many have the attitude that I should live for the day, not deprive myself of material things and dont worry about health insurance or saving because the government will take care of me (we have social security dont we?) Credit card bombardment and a lack of money management skills also contribute to the problem.

Income tax work tonight, fun huh?

Deanne, I so enjoy seeing your bird photos.

V, we are having a major thaw here too. Our yard and road were horrible last night. How terrible about the guy with the ice chunk. I was very thankful because I realized that it could have been so much worse.

T, just wondering how your DD is feeling? Anymore problems?

Kathy, you should really feel guilty not using your first name when its "Mary" LOL

Marian, it looks like spring is at your garden.

Cynthia, hows this for impressive, my VW diesel car has 270,000 on it? Although, diesel engines are known for outlasting gasoline engines.

I almost lost this post once today. As I was typing, Word told me it encountered a problem and had to close. Whats up with that? When I went into Word again there my post reappeared. So I better post before my luck runs out.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 3:42PM
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I returned home to find the stove radiating heat and the slider cracked open about 4"... excited cats were zipping in and out, thrilled to visit Gstaad and then Acapulco within a few feet.

The Amaryllis is open; it's sort of mottled, a white background with pink/red mottling. I'll try to get a shot of it tomorrow.

It was a boring day at work; I did nothing but rip down stapled on back cushions for the main salon of a sailboat. I find ripping down tedious and today's project was doubly tedious because the staples used weren't stainless steel and had begun to corrode. Many broke in extraction and then I had to go after the broken portions that remained in the wood. Ugh. I then steamed all the foam (to regain the original size and shape). The entirety of it smelled like a dirty bilge... a faint smell of diesel permeates the shop. There are 21 (count 'em!) cushions in the entire job. And the fabric is really boring. It's a living!

My boss and I talked about money management today. Both of us worry about our co-worker a great deal. But we've both come to accept that until a level of personal responsibility and self-discipline are accepted nothing will change and she will continue to struggle and wonder why it's so hard. It's difficult to say, "No" when asked for a "loan". I also agree that a commitment to investing is important (something I wish I'd understood earlier). But since "getting it", I've come to realize that the lifelong habit of living BELOW my means has accorded me the opportunity to direct more to it. Honestly, I don't think I will ever "retire"... but being able to work LESS is certainly a goal. I'm fortunate that I genuinely enjoy what I do and have a variety of options... even when it doesn't always feel that way.

Great photographs, as usual.

Happy 275th. Birthday to George Washington, and I meant to tell Blabs. how much I liked the statuary in the birthday card (I LOVED that stuff).

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 4:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Does T realize that she called her car the "exploder"? An apt typo, if it was one, and if not a good joke.

Sister Mary Veronicastrum

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Just checking in before turning off the 'puter for the night.

V, no, it wasn't a typo.....I always called it the 'Exploder' and it was a wonderful vehicle that held up extremely well so the name was just a fun play on words, not that it ever cost me big bucks or had any troubles.

Michelle, DD is doing well, thank you. She hasn't had any further problems.

I'd better get this machine turned off and tidy up the house in preparation for watching the babies tomorrow.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:51PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Hah retire, what's that. I've been poor and am still struggling with debt, all due to both of us being ill. I know people have kids before they have money, but our situation was ridiculous, and it would be the same, a struggle and deprivation if we were to retire. So now that both of us are better, we'll pretend we're 25 and work for the next 40 years, health willing, and hope we have something for our kids, when we shuffle off this mortal coil. I've always wanted to save and invest, I dream of such things, but we have kids to feed and cloth, and send to a secondary education, all much more important and completely financially absorbing than a silly thing like retiring.

Hi everyone. I'm off to the gym in the morning, so need to go try to sleep, so I'll keep this short. I'm sure you'd wish me luck about the sleeping if you knew how hard it is for me to fall asleep.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:18AM
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Good very white morning! Snow and sky are the same color and wind is just picking up. Not alot on the ground, but enough that I'll need to refill window washer fluid in my car (2003 compact with 87,000 miles and another 100K in it, I'm sure :-)

Hearing ended as I'd hoped. My brother will stay where he is for the next year. Both "outside" doctors recommended discharge to a group home based on the fact that my bro was able to schmooze them for the 30 minutes they met. Then was my turn: "With all due respect to the doctors here, let's get beyond this snapshot of time ...." My Mom told me later that she felt the Judge didn't have a chance! It took every ounce of good energy to get the words out while holding my brothers hand and knowing that what I was suggesting was right for him. So, I've been "flat" for a few days but today feel a bit "fuller". ALL kudos to Rich for being my rock.

More typing than I have time for so will run. This weekend seeds get planted!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 7:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good sunny cold morning from Ontario! High of 21F expected today.

Good to hear from Yeona! So many people I know dealing with sleep issues, both male and female. (Then there are the snoring issues.) I recently have been involved a bit with a pregnancy forum and there the issue of finances is a huge concern. Of course parents want to support their kids and have big dreams for them! But in many many cases it is a big struggle. As one young woman about to have twins said, if we all waited until we could have our finances in order there would be no babies in the world. (Hmmmm, I'm not so sure.) But the scenarios these women paint are horrific in many cases with huge debts and credit card tales....The mind boggles. And there is DH at 66 still working, but as Chelone says, largely, though not entirely, because he loves it! Even with serious planning and investing, finances are always a concern but at least we can sleep at night.

Martie, one step at a time. I guess at least all your efforts are good for one more year. Too bad it isn't like a passport and for a bunch of years at a time. The paper work alone must be far worse though. He's such a lucky brother to have you.

Tonight is French Club followed by live Celtic music. That means I must start getting my day going.

Later folks!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 8:02AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Another whirlwind of these days I'll catch up. Zoe has an appointment with her regular vet at 10 this morning so I have to run home and take her to that. I still haven't figured out when or if I'll get to the flower show. Usually I go Friday afternoon but I've already been out almost a day and a half this week with funeral stuff. Sunday I'll be back up in the Boston area again most of the day working our rescue group heartworm clinic fundraiser.



    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 8:50AM
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I logged on in hopes of seeing Sue's TGIF and a slide back into the 'good ole Idyll days' of awakening to a morning post by Deanne. Neither are here yet, but I'll hold out hope that they'll arrive before my second cup of coffee. :o)

Cynthia, sorry to read about your dear Dannie being injured some how. I love seeing the photos of your beautiful dogs (and the cats, too). Your greys are so regal looking.

Yeona, I too, know many people who have sleep problems. You have my sympathy and I hope you were able to get some 'good' sleep time last night.

Martie, great that the hearing for your brother went the way you hoped and needed it to work out.

I remember many times needing a gallon of milk for the kids and having to count out spare change to buy it. My DH & I married young, paid for our own wedding, saved the money for a down payment on a good sized home and did it all by ourselves....and all before we were 20. We had our first child 18 months after our wedding. Money was scarce but we paid our own way. When we moved into our home, we had so little furniture that the house echo'd. :oD We've done well for ourselves, but it was a struggle in the early years.

One of our goats is dying. He is old and his health has been declining since early December. We have been babying him, trying to build him back up (he was losing weight because he didn't want to eat). He did rally and enjoyed a couple of really good weeks recently, but as of last night he was very weak and struggling. I do not know yet, if he made it through the night. I'm dreading walking down to the shed to check on him. Usually we do not allow one of our animals to suffer through the slow process of dying, but this has been a time of extenuating circumstances and nature is taking it's course. I have a hard time with the idea of helping to end an animals suffering versus allowing nature to take it's course when they are very old and very sick. I can 'see' and understand both ways......but my conscience fights me on aspects of both. This time, circumstances haven't allowed one option....and nature sometimes takes, what seems to be a very long time, when an animal is uncomfortable and appears to be suffering.

I guess I should get the flashlight and go check on him. I wonder if 'critters' can feel the sympathy and caring that humans have for them, especially when they are ill and hurting? One of those silly things that I think about and that perhaps I'll know the answer to someday.

I have the twins today.....hope your day goes well.

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Cars -- hmmm, I think they're the invention of the devil -- a necessary evil.... I hate 'em but need 'em. I think the prize has to go to Michelle for her VW's 270K miles -- that's a record if I ever heard of one.....

T - I have to tell you, years ago, I heard a man who was a car mechanic & worked at a Ford dealership call them "Exploders" -- it did not instill a lot of confidence in the product for me, hehehe... he could have been just being "cute" - but made me wonder. And I hate the freaking repairs on cars - I always feel like I have a huge bullseye on my forehead when I take my cars in that -- there is ALWAYS some "surprise" repair or something no matter what model, make I buy -- and I've gone to dealers, neighbhorhood shops, etc., - w/ little luck. I've become religious about all the "suggested" servicing, but still find that all confusing too -- you can buy a car that initially they tell you no tune up for 100K and oil changes every 7500 miles; you go in once to the dealer & suddenly it becomes, oil changes every 5K and this "service" at 25K, 30K, 50K, 60K, etc....

I personally would love for us to develop the 'Bewitched' mode of transportation -- wiggle my nose & wish myself wherever I need to be!

Happy Friday - Im annoyed because of forecasts about more possible freezing "mix" on Sunday - had planned to venture to PA but Im such a weenie when it comes to possible bad weather; I've had too many events in past that raise the stress level to unbearable. It's been another crazy work week too and so I am not much in the mood for road trips.

Re money -- I suspect the immediate gratification philosophy of consumerism is a tough addiction to break for Americans in particular; my mantra has become "retire rich early" but am not sure I will make such a goal.

Hmmm, am I in a bad mood or what? I need Spring!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:34AM
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Ah! Sue did arrive with her Friday morning greeting! :oD Now, to hope that Deanne will pop in. I remember many, many months of waking to the first morning post being Deanne's start to the day. Funny what sticks in our minds.

Claude did pass away in the night. Two of the goats were laying beside his body so hopefully he wasn't alone. I keep putting human emotions onto these animals---whereas the two didn't take any notice that they were laying up against one that was no longer alive. I'm not going to think about this anymore...(reminders of Gone with the Wind) or at least try not to.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:45AM
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Mornin' Idylls, happy Friday. I having coffee and getting set to read the paper. I am having a dumpster delivered today, and will be picked up Monday, so this is a purge weekend for me !The sun is shining , and we has frosty rooftops this morning so no clouds in sight.

T, sorry to hear of your Claudes passing on-hopefully his friend goats at his side gave him some comfort-as you say, something we'll never know...

Martie , kudos to you at your brothers hearing. We'll need play by play on the seed starting , and perhaps a pic !

Yeona, how awful not to be able to sleep,that is one issue I must say I've never had. When I think how horrible I feel if I stay up too late and don't get at least 6 or 7 hours (rarely do I get 8) I can't imagine how non-funtional I would be if it was a chronic problem.

okey dokey, a quick hello to everyone else, have a great Friday !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Good sunny but cold Friday morning from Michigan. Today is a day of laundry, vacuuming and bathroom scrubbing here. Brad's gone to racquetball, then work and no Bella today so I'm hoping I can get in some uninterrupted cleaning time.

T, I'm so sorry about Claude.

Sue, hope there's some hopeful news as a result of Zoe's vet appointment.

Martie, I'm so glad everything went well at the hearing. Have fun with the seed starting!

Kathy, wow, a whole dumpster to fill???

Cindy, cheer up. It's the weekend and spring's only 26 days away.

Yeona, get yourself a two year old to chase around all day. You'll sleep well. I need my 8 hours, most always from 11 pm to 7am.

Hi to all and back to the housework for me.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:28AM
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T, I'm very sorry about Claude. That must have been hard. And thank you for reading my posts and sending well wishes for Dannie. She's doing much better today.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Cynthia, I'm sorry, somehow I missed your last post. No excuses but I've been hit and miss here. That's good that's Dannie's doing better today. I feel so badly that I didn't see this before.

OK now I'm wondering what else I've missed. I think I need to take some time and go back and read more carefully. I'm obviously not good at rushing through things.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:19PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

See, that's what goes wrong when I whine w/ me posts -- I miss all the important stuff.

Cynthia - I did notice re Dannie and am glad she sounds okay -- as do you (you were able to joke about it & Katie nibbling) -- I commend you for having so many pets & handling the emotional and financial burdens affiliated with numbers! They are our kids -- you seem to have a menage who is always getting into scapes - like Our Gang or something! Miss Chloe is a bit mischevious herself but lately, so far (knock on wood) she's been behaving. Sounds like your fence will be in just in time for Spring Fling for the dogs. Neat.

T - Im sorry about Claude -- it's sad to lose our pet friends no matter what anyone says and I do believe they all have a lot of emotions we should acknowledge.

I do have this terrible habit of reading just the most recent couple of posts first and working backwards if I have time (like reading the end of the book first too) but it gets me in trouble with either missing important info or not seeing something that got posted just before I post...

In that vein -- Kathy -- you really do things in a big way - so when you de-clutter you rent a dumpster for the day? WOW I am very impressed. No 1/2 effort from you.

Thanks, Eden, for the Spring countdown -- it makes it feel more real that it surely is around the corner & my mood will improve.

Martie, you should not feel "down" about the wonderful care you take of your brother -- you & your parents know him best and the unpersonal legal system will never know anything if you dont continue to speak your minds on the subject to sway them in the proper direction. Good for you, hard as it is, to continue to be his Champion.

Yeona - good to "see" ya -- I had that 3 a.m. problem Tuesday nite but managed to "crash" & get more sleep last nite -- so many people seem to have sleep problems in our world - I try to tell myself it's just part of the aging process, but that isnt always true. How did we get so lucky, uh? You seem to be able to go strong at 3 a.m. - Im really impressed.

Okay - I think I managed to comment a wee bit more here but better duck my head out again and finish up the job here at ofc. Anyone have an Spring at Ya shots to lift the day?


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 2:28PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:00PM
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For a "day off" I've managed to accomplish a lot. Hair cut, banking, post office, and then a visit to my friend who's just opened a new awning business. And then home to check some deck measurements to put together a new project.

Bummer about Claude, T.. Everything and everyone has a "shelf life". We all wear out and hope it happens quickly and painlessly. I'm dreading the DECISION about Flo., increasingly arthritic and with signs of kidney shut down, I know the time is drawing near. Sigh. Um, forgive this, but I have to ask... what do you do with a dead goat in the middle of winter? I know dead horses generally go to the knacker.

Good to know that peachskinned Dannie is now sewn back together. Do they use a special suturing technique to accomplish it? More importantly, have you figured out what she did to incur the injury, so IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN?! Our dogs have basically been "Rockem Sockem" pets... a ding/dent here and there... maybe a scar, but nothing requiring much more than drive-through suturing.

It was fun to visit the new awning shop. I've worked with both of them before (and extensively!) and like both very much. I have a personal job that requires expertise in framing that I certainly don't have. My boss quickly told me what I needed/wanted "wasn't available"... I'm savvy enough to know that a response like that means "I don't know" and "I don't want to research it". ;) So, today's visit was about "business", too. I received some great advice, and told him to get back to me with some numbers. I made it very clear that I'm not looking for a "good buddy" price. And repeated that I very much want them to use the framing and canopy over my deck as part of their portfolio, (but only AFTER I repaint the railing). :)

The life of a tradesman means you will rub shoulders with fellow tradesmen. I've never really given that too much thought; but today, driving home, I had a bit of an epiphany. I know A LOT of incredibly talented and generous people, I call them for help, they call me for help. I refer people to them, they refer people to me. In the "business school" case study scenario they're my "competition", but I don't feel that way, at all. They're my colleagues. At what point and at what level of expertise does one make the transition between "competition" and "colleague"? I've never considered it before.

Michelle, I stumbled across a post of your's on HD and read the link. I was taken aback by how MEAN that person was to you. LOL. You were the soul of discetion, my friend, and that name is not one I recognized, nor is it one I've seen in the following weeks. Apparently, roundly chastened, ohlordy has conveniently evaporated. Proof positive that there is an ass for every seat. ;)

Martie, so good to know the hearing went the way you knew it needed to go. Knowing what is "best" doesn't alleviate the feelings that go along with advocacy. Chin up, soldier on, and know that you did the right thing... you have more "hands on" than third party doctors. Outstanding, soldier! (watch "Little Miss Sunshine").

Gotta shut up now and get to the "lab."

Best to all my "virtual" friends! ;)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Sue, that's this year? Sigh.....

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:22PM
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    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:44PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

This year? What are you people crazy? It won't look that that around here til early April-late March if this freakin' deep freeze we seem to be locked in goes away soon.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 7:44PM
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Its the Dumpster Queen checking in here. Time to call it quits for the day- dumpster-ing is not as fun as gardening. I demolished my funky little home-made greenhouse , cleared out a bunch of scrap lumber, and assorted other crapola. Made myself a nice little utility area for potting , seed starting or whatever out of the benches from afore-mentioned greenhouse. Loved my greenhouse but it was falling apart and way too big . I think about an hour or so should wrap it up tomorrow.
I strolled around the garden and was happy to see how much growth has occurred since last weekend; Ive got stuff coming up all over the place, including delphiniums, clematis, phlox etc. This is a tricky time of year though-frost is still a threat , but days are warming up so there is lots of tender new growth that can get nipped.

bug, I always enjoy your snow pics. (from afar !)

Cynthia, have you discovered how Dannie injured herself ? Hope she is being a cooperative patient , and hope the fence guys are coming along well with the job.

Sister Mary Veronicastrum indeed ! I was chatting with one of my office mates about the good old Catholic school days- in high school my art teacher was Sister Mary Basil- she was considered quite radical because she let us listen to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan in art class. We heard that she "de-nunned" herself in the mid-70s. Any way , it brought to mind the fact that the nun is a dying breed. There are very few here in Napa County- when I was growing up the lay teacher was the exception at catholic schools and now its the rule.

Sue, fingers crossed for you here that you get some answers from your vet that are beneficial to Ms Zoe.

Cindy, while it may be impressive that I have rented a dumpster, I must confess that last March I also rented a dumpster. And I filled it . The fact that I once again need a dumpster not good ! I am hoping this go-round will be it for at least 5 years .Dumpster rental is not cheap !

Ok, gonna have some frozen shrimp, cheap wine , and then watch a movie .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Taryn-Yes you definitely are a--wench?; )lol! I know you'll have a great time at the party. You will share pics,yes? You really are lucky to have such friendly neighbors.
Wait-Elaine's MIL got attacked by a COW? It's just not safe in the country anymore: ) I hope she's going to be OK-I don't know what a cow weighs but getting hit by one sounds frightening and damaging.
I'm glad you liked the card-that's one of Deanne's fuchsias I'm trying to keep alive until it can become mammoth once again outdoors.

V I'm quite sure that if your kids are sensible and frugal thus far they are on a good track!
It's interesting how parent spending styles stick with a child even when they are free from the nest and can do as we wish.I scrimp like I do because that's what I saw my mom & dad do. My mom is in an even better financial situation than she ever dreamed of because of their good sense...and a financial advisor doen't hurt. An interesting twist to their story is that they weren't able to invest for retirement until they were in their late 40's since we had such a large family, plus as I said before they never used credit beyond their means so debt wasn't much of a problem to tackle. Many of her friends who seemed to be better off than our family years ago are now in some serious lack of money issues-she was really surprised how things turned around.

Deanne! I can see the Downy's pupil! I like the lichens on the tree-how cool. How far away were you when you took that one? BTW I'm reminded (not sure if I posted what I was thinking when I saw it)that you took a great shot of the tail end of a chickadee that I just loved because it was from an unusual perspective-do you remember which thread that was on? Anyway I thought it was excellent.

T-that's so sad about your goat. I may be weird but I do think animals have compassion for each other in their own way. Maybe thinking that way helps us rationalize/cope with our emotions. I still believe it though; )

Eden you sound busy!

Sue did you lay on your little belly to get that shot? lol. I like seeing them even if it's from a past year. I'm mad that my H.Argutifolius looks like its buds are zapped from this second arctic blast. I hate that.

Martie glad you had success at the hearing-good thing your DB has you there fighting for him-you are a good sister-believe me,not all siblings are so dedicated.

Hey Chelone-about working forever...I am amazed how even though I don't have the most prestigeous job the fact that I do get up and out of the house all week does make me feel good-productive even and I could say it even makes me happier. They do say even just volunteering in the later years adds healthier years to a person's life...OK if I can't afford to travel the entire world when I'm sixty-five I guess I can always work; )

I'm happy so many idyllers appeared almost simultaneously! I've missed so many. Hi there to Yeona,Cindy,and the list goes on. Wondering what Honey's up to.

Movie night! Where's the corkscrew....


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:15PM
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Extremely windy here, I wonder if its the start of the blizzard. Will we make the tax appointment at 4:30 tomorrow? I picked up paint for the kitchen beadboard in town tonight in case we get snowed in.

Chelone, Ive been hanging out there and on Kitchens just trying to get ideas and advice. I need all the help I can get. LOL I did see that same poster had a nasty comment on Kitchens and was chastised for it there too. Im a little intimidated by the Kitchen forum as those people spend mega bucks on their kitchens.

Yeona, did I see you mention kitchen remodeling?

Sue, that shot reminds me of a watercolor beautiful

T, sorry about Claude. Interesting but Rick was just telling me last night that a co-workers goat had died and he was feeling so down about it. It is so easy to become attached to most living creatures.

Martie, good to hear that the hearing went as you had hoped and how wonderful to have such a supportive DH.

Ive been a little depressed since Christmas. Whenever I do the stairs I hear this terrible creaking and popping from both of my knees. Last week I had quite a bit of pain in the left knee. Im thinking good grief, Im only 46 and have always been thin, how can my knees be shot and how will I garden? I went in and was told its probably patellofemoral pain syndrome. Which means the kneecap doesnt track properly. I have some exercises to strengthen the thighs that are supposed to help. It is supposedly something that will go away but may come back. Although, she told me I should us a stool when gardening. How inconvenient will that be? Have you guys ever heard of a milking stool? Its a thought.

Cindy, wouldnt the "Bewitched" mode of travel be fun for the Idylls?

Kathy, the last time we decluttered and brought a bunch to the non-profit thrift store, the man that helped unload it asked if we were moving. LOL

Cynthia, oh my gosh poor Dannie!

Babs, isnt it great to have a job you really like?


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 11:21PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

My MIL's identical twin sister is in hospital dying of cancer and hasn't much time left at all. We've been so good about visiting her, in spite of our schedules, and it is worth the hour's drive to do so. It's wonderful to see the sisters holding hands and talking. MIL and sister are 77 as of February 7. Both have had hard lives, and have always struggled with schizophrenia, but MIL's sister always was able to stay put, so was cared for better. You'd think it would be MIL who fell ill as her paranoia kept her from trusting even family and constantly running from help, refusing meds, and practically living on the streets. I never gave up hope that we could get her to stay put one day. You wouldn't believe how happy I am to see her safe now.

Michelle sorry about the knees. I have one osteoarthritic knee which I generally ignore. I hope the exercises work. So far nothing worked well for me. Yup , can you say, kitchen remodeling on the cheap? Well that's us. Even though things will be nice, a lot of them will be second hand, just refinished. We're getting things verrrry slowly and storing them in our garage. It's a total DIY job. The room is ancient and tired, and it is so difficult to work in. Anyway we should start some time this summer and finish who knows when. We'll cook on the back porch during the summer anyway, and then it will be microwave heaven. Think I can get 3 months worth of casserole dishes made by next fall. I know by anyone else's speed and standards this is a small easy job, but when you're running your own business all home jobs take twenty times as long.

Eden thanks for the idea, but no thanks, lol. I'm sure I'll love being a granny, but want to wait just a bit longer. I love seeing pics of the 2 year olds here, though, hint, hint. It seems a while since we've had a fix of gchild pics. :)

Thanks for the sympathy re the sleeping, Idylls. I can sleep once I get to sleep, but getting to sleep seems to be the trick. I sometimes sleep 8 hours but never longer and usually its 6 to 7 hours. Plus I have to keep up the morning gym classes or I don't get enough exercise in. Aside from my regular routine on the elipticals and rowers, I also take Tai chi, gentle stretch and strength, Cardio belly dancing, lol and Zumba a latin dance based class. I have aching muscles, and still I go, lol.

Love the Woodpecker, snow and the crocuses, each have their own beauty, though one looks colder to me. :)

Marian how's your four footed visitor doing? I hope you're rested from all your guests.

Hi everyone else. I must go do dishes and try to sleep. Tai Chi starts at 8 am.

BTW we're 2 hours behind you in time, so I was only up till 2 am last time I posted. ;) Not bad for me, actually.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 2:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope this works. My son sent this dog story to me. :-) Watch it!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 7:19AM
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Just a quick sneak in to finish what I ranout of time for lastnight!

Kathy did you enjoy your frozen shrimp? kinda crunchy?lol.
My boys are at a Catholic school and they have never had a nun in their school...until just last week AJ reported that he had a nun as a substitute(he said she was crabby lol). During my own elementary school career I only had one nun-I think our class drove her nuts-I wonder where she is now.

Michelle your knee condition sounds like what Chris has been going through. He had faithfully been running and biking then developed knee pain. They said his leg muscles were unevenly developed which either is from incorrect form while exercising or is a congenital deformity(he has terrible flexibility-as in none). Essentially his kneecap is off center. The new exercises he does are supposed to realign his knees. He is so down about not being able to do any decent exercise. His work schedule plus teaching a class only allows him enough time to do daily stretching but no time for biking or running. Hopefully when the weather breaks he can get out there. Good luck-you are in good shape so I bet you'll make progress if you stick to your exercising. I wonder if your renovations contributed-it's hard on a body to be in those unnatural positions while completing home projects. I loathe painting a ceiling when you're looking up and you feel like your neck will snap off!lol. I hope you cheer up-could it also be winter blues? Did you get the blizzard? We didn't get a thing but I think tonight something is supposed to happen.
Yeona-Good for you! Wow I'm tired just reading all the physical stuff you do! I'm quite thankful that for the most part I put my head on the pillow and I'm out for good. If I do get awakened during the night by a kid having a nightmare or bloody nose I will sometimes then toss and turn & sleep fitfully. Luckily I start work in late morning so I have plenty of time to get in gear. I always feel for people who can't sleep then have to function-I would be a mess.

Somehow I missed Dannie's mishap-I wonder how that could have happened! How long does the tube stay in? Hope recovery goes well.

At least the day has started out sunny. I'm off to accomplish stuff before hanging with MIL. Deanne you asked about her, well....she's doing as well as a diabetic who's losing their sight,has prosthetic legs,is forgetful about taking meds,and who I suspect doesn't eat right can do...and is stubborn lol.Sorry for that kind of response-I just get frustrated when I know I would do things differently if that were me. I'm just so thankful that my own mom plans well and takes good care of her health. She always says that's the best gift a parent can give a child: )

Enjoy your weekend!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 11:19AM
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Saturday greetings!

My best to poor Dannie! I never realized how fragile a dog's skin can be.

Reading about Claude's demise, I got this vision of him on an alpine peak bleating his heart out and having a blast.

Yeona: I'm so glad that your MIL got to spend that time with her sister. The peace it will bring both of them will, hopefully, fill their lives for longer than the diseases want :-)

Thanks for all the DB support. Got a call from his Social Worker yesterday saying that there was an advocacy position open and would I be interested? No. Absolutely not. I cannot begin to imagine the emotional toll such a position would take. That said, I was truly honored to be approached.

My boss (the best!!) caught up with me yesterday to tell me that I had reached an annual budget milestone. I've been in such a tunnel re: non-work related things that I didn't realize it. Along with a nice corporate spiff was a ticket to the Hartford Flower Show and a "cash" gift card, along with instructions to "get the heck out of the office and go breath some dirt." Who am I to argue? The show is in a new location and has grown. Probably a few more than 20 full gardens. I didn't buy a thing, but walked and talked and forgot that there was a world outside. Perfect!

Now, I need some Idyll help with pre-Spring planning: I've tried a bunch of different combos in these containers and so far, nothing has really tickled me. They are 12" tall and as round. Logic would dictate that they go on either side of something like a door, but they are too short to put on the ground and too wide/heavy to fit a stand. Suggestions, please for plants and location?!?

Marie: I had the most wonderful talk with my Mom this week about being a grandmother to three college students (all doing well). She told me that her fondest memory of each was the same -- the first time they were able to walk into her arms. Of course, tears were flowing but smiles accompanied. Your DD will realize how real this baby is soon enough. I envy her this time when all is new ... The difficulties will pale in comparison to holding that little body. (Don't you wish you could just "give" her that knowledge at this point??)

I, too, read Injury and Cow several times. Details needed, please :-)

V: How cool that your daughter will be doing VBS music!! I think I could still sing (attempt, at least) about 30 tunes from those weeks. If you want, I'll have my sister email her "Pharoah, Pharoah" that gets sung to the tune of "Louie, Louie, Oh Baby."

To everyone -- Don't want to get too mushy, but can't describe how good it was to "know" the Idylls this week. Instant Escape!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity of spirit and information!

Out into the cold and wind to try and poke the compost pile and take advantage of this white manure :-) Then, into the seeding area to start Petunia hybrid 'Balcony', Companula carpatica 'White Chips', Primula acaulis 'Gold Lace', the too-late-for-summer Pelargonium, and the stratified Hellebores (more seeds on order -- Thanks, Cynthia!!)

Best, best, best -


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I can see spring bulbs emerging from those pots Martie. Maybe all white or all blue muscari? Near the front door....

Yes, the baby excitement is great...but the woes over ex-wife are oh so awful. She thought divorcing him would make her happy, and darn it, now HE'S HAPPY! So let's see, how can I make them all miserable. UGH.

Time to go run errands.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I had about 10 minutes to check in, but I spent that watching Skidboot! Great video, Marie.

Now I have to run. The storm has hit so I should have time to post tomorrow. :)


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 6:43PM
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The storm is here as well, but we did creep to town and get the taxes done. There was so much inc on the garage door that it didn't want to go up by itself.
I'm off to paint more in the kitchen.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 7:49PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Where is everyone?

I just wanted to pop in and say hello before heading up to the Boston area to work at our rescue group fundraiser for the day. They wanted me there at 8:30...yeah, right, it's a two hour drive. Usually I take the dogs but with Zoe acting so odd I'd prefer not to cause her any undue stress. Tom is off for a day of skiing in VT with our friends so I can't just take Nick and leave her home alone. My vet saw her on Friday and is baffled. She appears to be in perfect health-excellent health for her age. We're all waiting to hear what the neurologist has to say. On the bright side, since the weather has warmed up somewhat the housebreaking issues that were escalating last weekend have just about gone away.

Lately there never seems to be a loss of things to do around here. Hopefully within the next few weeks there will be garden chores to do. I guess it's officially OK to start cutting back Clematis (right Marie?) and coppicing shrubs.

Cynthia, did I skim through too fast or did you ever find out how Dannie got cut? How is she healing?

Marie, great Skidboot story. Now that's a dog Chelone could really

Cheer up you old f***ts, my knees have been cracking for years. I had to give up running when I was 26 because I had such hip pain. The stretching and Pilates I've been doing have really helped with that.

Yesterday I did make it to the CT Flower and Garden Show. Although it's nice to smell spring in February, the show was underwhelming IMO. Based on the reviews starting to show up over on the New England forum I'm not alone in my assessment. Martie, you weren't wowed either, were you? The live displays just seemed uninspiring. Some year I'd love to get to Philly. Below is a link to the pictures I took. I put them up at Photobucket because I'm just about out of room in my Picturetrail account.

OK, I'd better run and have a little breakfast before heading out.

Enjoy your Sunday! Hi Babs!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:48AM
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I'm a little creakier now than I used to be, too. But it's OK, I figure if I keep moving I probably won't sieze up for a few more years.

Rex had a play date yesterday. His two young Labrador friends came for a visit. They were so funny. They'd rear up on their hind legs and Rex would emerge victorious (he's 27" at the shoulder and outweighs them by a solid 25 lbs.), but then they'd do the underbelly spin, grab his front leg in their mouths and they'd end up in a writhing pile. Then the running would ensue. Poor Dannie wouldn't have stood a chance. There were 3 very contented pink tongues lolling out the sides of mouths when we came indoors. Great video on Skipboot, 'bug. Every farrier I've ever known has had a dog in the truck with them.

I went to the flower show in Boston either last year or the year before. It was fun, but I agree that many of the exhibits are sort of overwhelming. I found the competition for flower arrangements particularly interesting; some of them were just amazing. And it was nice to smell dirt.

I have to do some sewing today. But I still have to work toward containment down there, the collection of tole trays is all over every horizontal surface. I should know better by now, sewing is very enjoyable, but considerably less so when it follows cleaning. ;) It's supposed to be nice today, warmer with no wind, and it might be a good day to put the string on the huge dog and go for an extended walkie.

Time to start some laundry, and gird my loins for the current project.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 7:53AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Its now 23 but supposed to get up to 40 today. Been busy trying to peel a few layers of debris off this house in preparation for the party next weekend. Hard to believe it is only a week away! Im going to have to do double time at the gym to have enough calories for Moniques wonderful dessert. LOL I just cant wait to see everyone!!! You all just have to promise me not to laugh when you see the blind in the back yard. I thought of taking it down to avoid ridicule but Id like to keep it up for another few weeks. Can you even believe it is going to be March next week?

Michelle, bummer about your knees. I can understand being down about it. Ive got bad knees also, in fact I dont know if you remember that I was told that I needed two knee replacements from the ortho doc five years ago. Anyway with the weight loss and exercise Im free of knee pain 95% of the time. Ive found if I slack off on the exercise my knees begin to hurt. Regular exercise keeps arthritic joints working better. ~~ Thanks so much! So happy you like the birdie photos.

Sue even if the show was underwhelming it still must have felt good to see green and blooming things. I went to the orchid show here yesterday and it was marvelous to see those abundance of gorgeous flowers.

Martie, Those pots a re really lovely. I can see something purple with Sedona coleus??? Do you have a patio where you can group an arrangement of containers? Id do two different but coordinating arrangements of stuff with orange and purple and have one plant that is common to both containers and have a third terra cotta container that was either larger or smaller that those two, probably larger. Congratulations on reaching your budget milestone. Good for you.

Babs, so very sorry about your MIL. Sounds like there is some denial going on there? That must make you and Chris so sad that she isnt taking care of the diabetes. ~~ So happy you like the Downy pic, I was about ten feet from the bird when I took that photograph. That tree is my deadwood perch/feeder that Doug and I made a month or so ago. Doug and found this dropped limb, stuck it in one of my large pots, drilled it full of ½" holes and I fill the holes up with suet. The Downys come into it every day and a few times Ive had Hairy Woodpeckers on it but Ive never been out there with the camera when they came in.

Kathy, ROTFLOL "De-nunned". I hope the cheap wine was tasty wine that didnt cost too much? What do you like to drink, white? Red? Lately Im liking red zins. ~~ Neat that youve made yourself a potting area! Im so jealous. I have a temp set up that I have to keep putting up and taking down and Id love a permanent area like Michelle has made.

Cynthia, so sorry about Dannie but glad to hear she is doing better. ~~ How did the fence turn out? And did the fence guys do any damage??? I know what you mean about you cant look. Im the same way. I was a wreck when we did the addition to this house and spent time in the basement with the blinds drawn. ~~ Thanks re birdie pics! Stuffed! LOL

T, so very sorry about Claude So sad. ~~ You are so sweet to mention that you enjoyed my AM posts. I dont know what my problem has been lately but Ive been in a mood about various kinds of family garbage and a problem with a next door neighbor, then of course Im still sad about my across the street neighbor passing away. Anyway, enough of that, the days are getting longer, Im waking up in the mornings at 5:30AM again so hopefully Ill be able to drop in early again. ~~ Glad you liked the woodpecker pic even though they caused you such problems last year.

Beautiful snowy pics Bug!

Eden, great to hear from you. How are your plants under lights doing??? Mine are finally perking up a bit and I think Ive finally gotten a handle on the aphids and fungus gnats. ~~ Glad you like the woodpecker. Thanks!

Hi Yeona!!! Nice to hear from you. Sounds like you are getting lots of exercise. Thats terrific.

Cindy, love the Bewitched Mode of Transportation. LOL I always thought Id love a transporter ala Star Treck. Just think, then everyone could pop in for the party next Saturday. Wouldnt that be a blast?!

OK I think Ive caught up. I hope! Hello to anyone Ive missed.

Have a great day all,

Here is a funny pic to cheer up your day. It was pretty windy on Friday and this jay turned in the wrong direction and POUFF!!! Bad Hair Day. I ROTFLOL when I opened up the photo file.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 8:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Morning all!

It is so gloomy out this morning, but Deanne's blue jay sure puts a smile on my face! I'm so sorry your trials seem to be building up girl, but you have a lovely gathering planned which I just know will be fabu-fabu! I'm so jealous and wish I could get there somehow!
I am very conscious of the time passing- SLOWLY! Only one week until the "Thumb Noses" party, but I am counting days and weeks and months until baby day. Those mommy/baby forums are so funny. Things have certainly changed in the last 30-35 years! DVDs are given out by doctors showing the baby movements at about 18 weeks. The antics between twins is astonishing. My DD is not having an ultrasound, prefers a big surprise. She is very sweet putting up with my excitement. I got all weepy when she posted this:
"My life has taken a complete 180 in the last year, and I am grateful to everyone in it. My moms patience is a great example of how shes been all my life letting me figure things out on my own, and always being there if we want or need her help, but not stopping us from going through the difficult parts. I know theres times that that must have been very difficult and even heartbreaking, but I hope I can be strong enough to do the same for my kids."

This morning I woke up to a surprise email. They thought it was spam, but no, an email from one of my cousins in France. I have not touched base with her for over 20 years. I know she has an especially difficult life, but my French is so weak that writing is impossible when you want to say important difficult things. Somehow we have managed to connect again! My father was her godfather, her mother the object of my supreme adulation.

Off to accomplish more knitting while DH is at hockey.

[Charlotte is jealous of Skidboot. ;-)]

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 9:42AM
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Good Morning, We've got some sleet and ice here today. I hope it goes away before Bella's birthday bash this afternoon. My mom and dad were planning on driving down this morning but I discouraged that so they'll wait until next weekend and we'll have to have a mini-birthday celebration again then. We had so much fun with Bella at Sesame Street Live yesterday. She loved it and sat wide-eyed watching the whole thing.

Marie, I enjoyed the Skidboot video. I saw him on one of the late night talk shows a while back.

Sue, it's good to hear some positive news on Zoe about the housebreaking problem. Also glad to hear she's in good health. I hope the news stays positive on that front.

Deanne, what a great picture of the blue jay! I love it. My plants are all doing ok, no big problems with them this year. I'm glad to hear yours are now doing better too.

Babs, it's great to hear how much you're enjoying your job. I'm so happy things are going well for you guys. Wish the situation with your mil could improve.

No aches and pains here yet for me. Brad's pretty creaky though from all the years of racquetball.

Cynthia, I was hoping to see an update on Dannie this morning...

Like Sue said, there's never a lack of things to do. I need to get going and make breakfast, we're having french toast, then wrap presents and make potato salad for the party later. Have a good Sunday, Eden

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Its a snowed-in Sunday morning (almost afternoon) here. We got several inches of snow with layers of sleet mixed in, then a little rain on top for good measure. I shoveled the sidewalk, which is not huge, but it was a job and a half because of the weight of the snow. DH Has done some plowing, and we will go out again soon with me on the TV as well for a little (okay a lot) extra weight.

Cindy, Ive used your "backwards" reading method a few times and know just what you mean! I think sometimes it takes me twice as long because then I go back and forth, trying to put things into context. Hope your mood is improving; I know this weather is not helping one bit.

T, Im sorry to hear about Claude.

Martie, what a nice compliment it was to be asked about the advocacy position. I agree, that has to be an emotionally draining position, but it says loads that she thought you would be good at it. Glad to hear that you had a good result at the hearing.

I like GBs suggestion of blue muscari in those pots. And if they need more height, set them on top of overturned blue glazed pots. (Yeah, I know more $!)

My hair is looking sort of like that Blue Jays. What a great shot!

I had a nice day yesterday. We went to a natural landscaping seminar at the local college. The first speaker was Guy Sternberg, who has posted on the trees forum as guy_starhillforests. I dont think he has posted lately because of issues with the junk on GW and dial up internet access. Anyway, he was a wonderful speaker; his posts dont give a hint of a wonderful baritone voice. He had some great native tree suggestions and I may try and find myself a bulimia tree. Okay, its really bumila, but I can remember the name better the wrong way.

The afternoon speaker was Carol Reese, who does some writing for Horticulture magazine. She was an absolute riot, with some good garden ideas to boot. She has 24 (yes, twenty-four) dogs at the moment because she lives in rural Tennessee in an area where people dump animals a lot and her heart is too big to turn away the strays.

Friday night I accompanied DH to a Pheasants Forever banquet. Its not high on my list of great things to do, but I did win the centerpiece to take home. Funny, the centerpieces had been donated by the local florist whose praises I have been singing of late. What goes around

We are not taking MIL to the family dinner this evening. Shes decided once again that the trip is too much for her. Shes a bit on the discouraged side right now. Shes not interested in reading, watching TV, etc., and cant understand why her DH doesnt want to spend the whole day sitting with her. She wont order groceries from Peapod, but is terribly lonely when her DH takes the time to go do the grocery shopping. At the moment, she is close to wallowing in negativity and she shoots down all attempts to pull her out of it! My DH and his sibs are trying their best to help as much as they can.

Its about time to make that second pass at the driveway. Hope that none of the noreasters get hit too hard with this weather. (Just had a coworker phone me she went to Denver for a weekend trip and is now stuck there until Tuesday morning because so many of todays flights into OHare cancelled. I hope this is not a foreshadowing)

ps - how is Danni?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Lots of ice and additional snow. Church services were called off. The internet was down for part of the a.m. but is working for the moment.

Happy happy birthday to Bella. Have a fun day Eden.

Sue, it must have been nice to just see something green and water that isnt frozen at this time of year. The pile of rocks reminds me of IU3. There was a pyramid of rocks at that nursery that was on the farm. The name escapes me. (another sign of aging LOL)

Deanne, the blue jay picture is a hoot. Sorry that you are still dealing with family issues.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:40PM
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It's gorgeous here today. Crystal clear cerulean blue sky, no wind, and temperatures in the high 30s-maybe 40. The driveway is nice and mucky in front of the door and that's where the gutter sag is... We've accessorized the whole "dog patch" look with a gold trash bucket to collect the water that drips incessantly from the gutter when the days warm up.

I have contemplated removing the greens from the windowboxes, but don't feel like it right now. The cats have been in and out of the house at least a hundred times so far today. They've spent a good deal of time up on the roof, too. :) Rex has done a good deal of snow rolling, too.

My sympathy to those of you getting whacked by old man winter. Snow is one thing, but freezing rain is the worst, IMO. It makes everything harder. And I'm reasonably certain we'll get at least one more dose of the stuff before too long. Capitalizing on the pleasant weather, the helpmeet is snowblowing paths to the compost and brush piles. We have some burning in our future.

Depression and the elderly is a very bad combination. And they're disinclined to take any action (let alone a pill!) to alleviate it. Watching it ravage someone is terribly difficult.

The punked out Bue Jay is great! Larry used to put his crest up straight when he was on high alert. And he used to like it when you'd "do scritchies", rolling the feathers gently between thumb and forefinger to removed the cuticle at the base of them. I miss him.

Sleeping difficulties. I've had my share of those, too, but they're more stress related than anything. I know because my mind is going a million miles/hr. when I awaken in the night and I can't get back to sleep. I bump up the exercise level, watch what I eat more closely, and try to deal with whatever I find myself thinking about when I awaken in the wee hours. It's a drag, though; esp. when you begin draggin' part way through the day.

Back to my book. Wonder how the party at Eden's is going? I'd like to have some cake right now...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 1:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Thought I'd share a smile with you all.

DH and I rode down to the end of the driveway on the ATV, then I hopped off while he tried to clean up the end of the driveway. Well, he was going a little too fast, misjudged where the ditch started and buried the front half of the ATV in the ditch. He went to get the car, but my mini SUV didn't have the oomph to pull it out. So then he went to get the tractor, which involved taking the mower off first, etc., etc.

All this time, I am at the end of the slushy driving in sleety rain, trying to bring a little order to the drive with a snow shovel. Well, a pick up truck pulls off the road, and two guys get out. One of the guys was someone I had worked with over 10 years ago! He and his buddy got the ATV out of the ditch with the truck. A happy ending!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 3:32PM
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Here are some pictures to remind you of things to come:

Great snow story from V.. Hope all are safe and those with parties are partyin' down, rockin' out to Sesame Street tunes and too much sugar. Any chance of Eden in a party hat, or is the camera still on the fritz?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 4:11PM
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Promises, promises...

I took a walk but nary a fresh bloom could be found. Here's what I did find. The moss under this ice is slightly green ;o)

These 2 reminded me of Christmas trees as a child with all the icicles dripping from the branches.

I'm liking Chelone's fresh blooms.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Sunday afternoon, the final day of a 4 day weekendIt went by fast ! Todays been is my favorite Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing company in the booming metropolis of Booneville Ca in Mendocino County. So here is a travel tip by the way, If you ever happen to be in my neck of the woods , the Anderson Valley is one beautiful drive provided you arent the car-sick on windy roads type ! The drive from Cloverdale to the coast is one of my top 5 favorites in California.

The dumpster is full to the topI told my next door neighbor that I wouldnt fill it and to feel free to throw some stuff in- and what a blessing in disguise that was, not only did her throw away a bunch of junk that was an eyesore on our mutual property line, but he offered to pay for half of the rental ! We have the two cleanest RV parking spaces in the neighborhood. I got finished yesterday just as the rain started up again. It really poured last night, and though the sun has been out most of the day today its way too wet to do any gardening.

Well, Sue , what a bummer that you have no definitive answers yet on Zoe. We have our San Francisco Garden show coming up in March, The display gardens there are always over the top and totally impractical, but I always take away an idea or two that I can apply in my own garden. I enjoyed looking at your pics on the other forum. Maybe Ill take some in SF to share ..

Deanne, that Blue Jay shot is absolutely classic. I just love blue jays;I get the scrub jays here , and I have them set up with their own feeder with raw in the shell peanuts. My cats are all terrified of them .
I do prefer red wine too. I found a Pinot Noir from France for 4.99 a bottle at Trader Joes; called Wolfhouse. I find that a cheap red wine that is drinkable is a lot harder to come by than drinkable cheap white. I have a pretty decent stockpile of good stuff too.

bug, I was the same with my babies- I didnt want to know their genders. How good it must feel to know that your DD appreciates your desire to be supportive without being meddlesome ! Its so hard to watch them make mistakes, but gratifying when they dig themselves out .

Eden, good times for Bellas birthdayhope all goes well.

Wow V., one does not even want to contemplate what the vet bills would look like with 24 dogs. Perhaps she gets a quantity discount .

Chelone, loved your pics. I think I may have actually lost a couple of my zonal geraniums this winter- that multitude of mid 20 degree nights in January took their toll. Ive never had an issue with them before and it didnt even cross my mind to move them to a more protected area. My scented geraniums die back to the ground almost every year but they always come back.

Michelle ..Brrrr !!

Okay, here are my photo contributions.

Well, maybe its not quite the Biggest Pansy Display on the planet, but it is coming along. This is one little section that actually has flowers..

This one is called Pandora Box. Note the attractive snail bites..

Clematis Armandii, blooming today

And this is my one and only Tree Peony. If I go out of town for more that about 5 days when it blooms I miss the whole thing for the year. Infuriating, but there is nothing more exquisite than those flowers, all 5 of them.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:14PM
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Hi Idylls

Missing you ALL terribly! I haven't even had a chance to read this thread and enjoy all the beautiful photos. We're just coming to the end of a fabulous weeks vacation filled with family, skiing, skating and friends. Tomorrow we'll be back into school/work mode, but I'm dragging my feet right now, mostly because I'm being videoed for a training tape, and being in front of a camera has to be one of my least favorite places in the world.

We loved every second of our visit with Ruth, BIL, Ivan and Iris and had so much fun together. One of these days I'll post some pictures, the little ones are more adorable than ever!

It is less than 2 weeks till the Odyssey of the Mind competition and we are in full gear. Coaching has been such a fun, interesting but time consuming endeavor I'm not sure how I'll feel when its over. By the way, the kids did very well with the egg drop exercise and devised a clever protection using a cone of paper to cushion the fall.

Along with everything else I have been gripped by a desire to play the violin and have spent a couple of hours each day working on a fabulous piece, Vitali's Chaconne (you can listen to below). I can't figure out what is possessing me to play right now, but rather than fight it I'm getting back into scales and studies and am seriously considering finding a teacher for lessons. I probably need my head examined but this is far more satisfying!

DH just left again for another extended trip and spent yesterday at the dress rehearsal for the Oscar's, which I will probably watch a little of tonight.

Waving to you all


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:48PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

T, jeez I was rushing through this morning and totally forgot to send my condolences on Claude. Didn't you just lose another goat in the not so distant past?

It looks like you midwesteners are sending your storm this way. According to the weather people it will arive just in time to screw up the morning commute. Michelle, nice pictures!

Deanne, love the bluejay pic. Occasionally they raid my feeders. A beautiful bird but probably not popular in the avian BTW, Tom will not be able to make your party. He's been waiting over a month for DirectTV to come and upgrade our satellite to HD and the appointment is Saturday between 1 and 5 PM. I knew he had the appointment but it never dawned on me that it would be on a Saturday. Oh well...his loss. He seemed less than thrilled to be missing the party so maybe he'll try to get the date changed. I'll bring shrimp cocktail if that's OK.

Tom apparently took a serious fall on the slopes today. He can't use one of his thumbs and one of his arms. Not good. We're icing and popping ibuprofen but something tells me a trip to the doctor is in his future. He never falls. It must be this over 60 thing going on...hehehe.

Keep teasing us Kathy, it's OK. The San Francisco garden show would probably be worth attending for easterners like me. Seattle has always intrigued me too. Maybe some year. The big shows here are Philly and Boston but the timing never works for me. I'm trying a new Chardonnay tonight called Bohemian Highway. The guy at the liquor store told Tom it's made by a big name vineyard-maybe Beringer-but they don't put their name on it. It's very good.

Anyone hear from Marian? It looks like Arkansas got nailed with tornadoes. Marian, check in please.

OK, I had planned to get some work work done this weekend and it's now almost 9:30 and I'm thinking about bed. Why can't I seem to manage time better? If only there was more of it.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 9:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow - three posts from V in one day!

It's snowing again. We've probably gotten well over an inch since about 5:00 pm. You can't even tell that I had shoveled the sidewalk!

I forgot to mention that I will be out of town for a couple of days, so I may not post for a few. I just checked the hotel website and they have no mention of internet access.

Kathy, what a nice break on the dumpster - you cleared out and eyesore AND saved money to boot. When my packrat uncle passed away many moons ago, we went through three dumpsters in cleaning out the house. We probably would have gone through double that number if it weren't for the fact that every time we returned to the house, the dumpster had about half of what was in it when we had left! Funny, in the country you worry about other folks filling up the dumpster, and in the city folks empty it for you!

Sue, when you find that more time let me know where to look for it.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 9:42PM
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Good wintry morning. Didn't turn on a computer, tv or radio yesterday and was surprised by a quick 5" of greasy snow. Yippee!!!! We really, really need the moisture.

Great plant pics, folks! Frozen or warm, they're all appreciated.

Our bathroom is totally stripped of all hardware and today restoration of sheetrock begins. Picked out a ton of stuff yesterday -- lights, towel bars, switch plates, towels, mirrors, etc. So much for my spiff :-) It was really fun and Rich Came With Me!! Not one decorating-related spat!!

I did find the Hartford Flower Show underwhelming. Yes, it was wonderful to be in what amounted to a 3 acre greenhouse, but the lack of really creative work was disappointing. We have so many wonderful horticultural things going on in this state and the show just doesn't do them justice.

Marian!!! I'm really worried about you and know others are, too.

Thanks for the container ideas. Seems that blue/purple will Have to be involved :-)

Have enjoyed reading everything and wish I had time to quip on each and every one. Really hope Tom is okay, Mary continues to enjoy the glow of family and music, Eden is still smiling, Marie finds a way to communicate to her cousin, V. had an extra six-pack in the fridge for good friends, Michelle's sign comes true soon, Kathy's pansies go wild, and Cynthia lets us know what happened to poor Dannie. Waving and smiling to everyone else!!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 7:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Another gloomy winter's morn but this week we are promised temperatures in the 30-32F range with rain/snow. So it seems a bit like March is on its way. At the moment big flakes are falling and the drifts along the drive need to be plowed before DH can get out to work.

Last night we enjoyed a choral concert as part of the local music festival. It was a real mix of music, some of it original, some spirituals, some religious. The food afterwards was good enough that I didn't need to prepare dinner later! Yeah!

This year's local garden conference looked so dull that I didn't even bother to attend. Pretty sad. I used to select the speakers and trades people, which was one way of assuring that at least I'd enjoy it!

Last night DGS phoned from Alberta. What a joy to hear his voice. I'd sent him a spiral bound collection of photos from his trip here last January and he was full of talk about his favourite pictures. He's still working on the concept of time differences between us.

DD began her first pre-natal yoga class yesterday and was excited about that. I am still finishing up the border of the entrelac knitting. I hope to have it done SOON.

I'm very much enjoying my Christmas book, The Places in Between by Rory Stewart. It is a wise and funny book about the author's WALK from Herat to Kabul right after the fall of the Taliban...It really is a masterpiece that I recommend to all. Imagine a walk beginning in January there!

Mary, I certainly can imagine the excitement in mastering the Chaconne! I was only able to hear a portion of the Sarah Chang version, but beautiful! Come play it for us one day soon!

And Danni? Update please!

Yoo Hoo! Marian! Hope you are safe and warm!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

We are getting a dusting of snow today but I guess this storm has been a real pain in the neck elsewhere. I was watching the news last night and Jet Blue apparently cancelled flights for today last night. I wonder how they think that is going to help their PR after that mess with the Valentine's Day fiasco.

I've decided I must be a frumpy old fart, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant with MJ various friends and her son and about seven of his friends to celebrate his 16th birthday. WEll,I don't believe I've ever seen such a pack of bad mannered teenagers. Is this the norm these days? I have a real problem with boys wearing baseball hats at dinner in a nice restaurant. Then they all started playing with the straws, attaching several together and blowing through them at each other, THEN, one of them decided to make a spit ball... Well I'd kept my mouth shut up until that point but I told MJ that I didn't think it appropriate that these kids were getting into a spit ball fight in a restaurant. That settled them down for a bit but when the birthday cake arrived they continued to play with the straws and one kid had three staws attached and was attempting to suck up the cake from a plate two people away from him at the table. TOO MUCH!!!! I won't even go into the loud, loud, loud carrying on during the entirety of the dinner. I was embarassed to be at this table and I don't quite know what to say to MJ about this. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut? I don't know. These kids weren't five year olds they were 16 and 17 year olds. I surely hope this isn't the new standard for table manners. Jeesh...

V, you chatty person you. Three posts in one day, Love it! ~~ You are turning into quite the traveling woman! So you are out of town this week then coming to NH on the weekend? I sure hope this stretch of nasty weather ends soon. I'm getting a bit worried that winter will be thumbing its nose at us if nobody can get here because of snow storms. LOL

Sue, So sorry to hear Tom's fall. Hope it is only minor bumps and bruises. Also really sorry to hear he won't be making the party. Bummer! He'll be missed. ~~ Shrimp cocktails sound fabu!

Martie, I LOL about picking out bathroom stuff with Rich and no spats!

Wendy, are you lurking out there??? If so I was wondering if you could bring a nice fresh fruit salad? Let me know if that's OK with you.

Doug is going to be smoking some salmon this week so we'll have that for our party too.. Yummy! I'm going to have to put in some overtime at the gym this week before the party.

Mary, that music is exquisite! I can't wait to hear you play that in person. Will you have someone to accompany you? That would be even more fun. Love it that you are getting passionate about your music. ~~ Sounds like you are busy, busy, busy with job, Odyssey and maintaining everything while DH travels. Really glad you had a minute to check in here.

Kathy, that clematis is gorgeous!!! I'm so jealous that you have gorgeous blooming stuff right now and we are in the midst of another blast of winter weather. Oh well, spring will be here really soon. ~~ I'm going to have to look for that Wolfhouse Pinot Noir at Trader Joes. We'd gotten some of that 'Two Buck Chuck' there a while ago and that was quite drinkable. ~~ Don't remember if I told you that my trip to Willits is still on for July this year so I'll have to see if we can find a time we can hook up while I'm in CA.

Michelle, those ice pics are amazing. It reminds me of the storm we had here in Jan.

Chelone, lovely geraniums!!! They are so cheerful and that amaryllis is lovely.

T, another AM post! LOL So have you gotten any pics with your new equipment??? Also, I don't remember if you told me what you got for a lens?

OK hello to everyone, Have a great day

PS I had the most unusual thing happen yesterday. I was photographing a female Cardinal when a male flew in in front of her and landed on an obelisk about two feet in front of her. Well I refocused the camera and shot off a few of him while she was still in the background. I was only using F5.6 so I had no depth of field and in each of the photos one of the pair was out of focus. I thought it would be fun to see if I could morph two pics together so I could get the both birds in focus in the same image and this is the result. This only worked because The photos were taken at the same time from the same location and the camera was on a tripod. Thought you'd like to see the result.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhh shucks! I'm fine Sue and Martie. No severe storms anywhere near our corner of the State...just strong gusty winds, and no damage. We are in the NW corner, the tornados were in the SE corner.
You have prompted me to post, even though I am thinking I am basically going unread.
I have noticed all the comments about creaking joints, and thinking.....are all the posts I've posted about the years of putting up with arthritis and fibromyalgia gone into deaf ears? Are the posts about my carrying armloads of firewood up 4 steps every wintry day going unnoticed? I have had painful creaking joints long before most of you were even adults, and yet no one seems to consider me as an example of what can be done years and years after the pain and creaking begins.
I am thinking you all either think I am 'full of baloney', or just a complaining old woman?
Yes , most of us develop pain and cracking joints over the years, but most of us continue on, only with more caution when it comes to 'fun' things! The condition comes and goes, but generally never completely disappears.
I got out a few days ago, and picked up, and racked up, gobs of the winter's debris...despite my creaking joints!
It will probably have to be done again, once these strong winds cease. Years ago I was raking my yard, in February, in Idaho. The mailman came while I was at it. He told me, " The person who rakes their yard in February has to do it again in March". He was so right!

Although I am not commenting on much that you all are posting, I AM reading it all, and I generally remember the gist of what you all have said.And I hope I have never attributed good traits to one person, and ignored the same in another. I hope I have not bragged about what ----- said, and ignored the fact that------ said the same thing sooner! I 'know' that can be discouraging to the one who said it first.
Most of us are very serious with what we have shared, and have put lots of thought into it. When you live in comparative isolation, with little communication with the one who shares your home, you look for others to communicate with. We need to be 'validated'. ( There is a better word for what I am trying to say...but I can't think of it right now. )
Sooo, I have got this out of my system, whether it is noted or not.
Carry on.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Good Morning Idylls, The birthday party was a smashing success. Balloons, cake and ice cream, lots of presents to unwrap...everything a two year old could want and she had a grand time. We never did end up getting the bad weather that was predicted, mostly just a little sleet and light coating of ice on the cars this morning. It looks like temps are going to stay fairly warm here, 30s to 40 so hopefully that's a sign that spring is on it's way. I for one can't wait!

Chelone, I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful flower pictures. The geraniums are especially pretty! I saved a few of the fancy leaf ones and some scented ones to winterover but nothing with pretty blooms like yours.

Mary, I loved listening to your link. How neat that you've been playing and practicing more. You've almost inspired me to get my violin out. I had it all reconditioned a few years ago with the intention of getting back to it but never have. Maybe starting lessons again is what I need to do? I'd love to hear you play sometime.

Deanne, wonderful picture of the cardinals. I agree with T, it's great to see your posts again in the mornings. I really missed you too!

Marie, Megan did a lot of yoga classes when she was pregnant too. I know it's supposed to be a good thing but I've wondered if somehow that's how Bella got all wedged in upside down and resulted in the c-section. Most likely not, lol. Great that you got to talk to dgs!

Martie, and now another Idyller working on sheetrock. We're working on another bedroom now, repairing the walls and it is slow work.

Michelle, it looks like you all got socked by old man winter. Your pictures look very cold. How much more do you have to go on the kitchen remodel?

Sue, hope Tom's arm is better instead of worse this morning.

Kathy, love the pansies. If I'm lucky I'll be able to plant some here in 4 or 5 weeks.

Hi V, great to see so many posts from you yesterday and catch up with what's been going on with you.

I don't know Marian, but to me it seems that many here go out of their way to be kind and ask about you often. And yet we get another scolding... I'm glad that you weren't in the path of the storms and that you're safe.

Oh well, I am planning on cleaning out kitchen cupboards today. Things on the top shelves are dusty! Hope you all have a happy and productive day.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:21AM
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Deanne-sorry that dinner went so sour...even if those teenagers *had* been 5yr olds that behavior still wouldn't be tolerated in our house or worse,at a restaurant. Believe me you are no old fart: )
You amaze me with your photography-nothing like having to think so fast!

Eden-Happy Birthday to Bella!!

Michelle-I like your frigid pics-that icey moss pic is really cool with the streaks throughout the ice!

Chelone & Kathy-thanks for the flowers! Indoors or out I love them.

Hi to the rest I hafta go to work!Bye


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:36AM
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"Fresh Blooms" is a classic Michelle! Love the icicles too. Chelone, my geraniums in the little gh don't look that good. I found just the right color red geranium this year so popped the window boxes in gh for winter and hope they'll be good for a few more years. I did buy the new window boxes from Gardener's Supply for use in 07 so that will force me to change the soil.

Mary, the Chaccone was awesome to watch and listen too! It's exciting that you want to study again. A friend who is a flautist (flutist?) was diagnosed with rhematoid arthritis last summer. This is much more painful and severe than osteoarthritis. She played as an amateur but was a gifted one and now a part of her life is missing.

Hope Tom is ok Sue.

Eden's camera is dead so no Bella deux pics eh? I love that little face so will just have to imagine the fun she had.

Thank you for the morning bird picture Deanne! Just gorgeous and I particularly like the background. Looks they're in a steamy jungle instead of snowy NH. The bluejay with mohawk is too fun!

We had more snow than expected this week-end and of course it was topped off by more ice. The dogs loved it while the snow was soft. Chelone, Dannie would survive just fine with the 'short' dogs. She would bite them :-) Greys have to wear plastic play muzzles when they run or play hard with others as they are very mouthy dogs.

Believe it was ground cover rose on retaining wall that slashed Dannie up. (No fluffy fur to protect the skin like most dogs.) It attacked me earlier in the week. I chopped it back quite a bit before someone else got hurt. Also had the pile of old fencing removed last week, just in case that was the culprit. I'm calling her 'Britny Spears' since most of her right side is shaved now. She already has her tattoos. Maybe Britny is imitating Dannie?!

Kathy, I appreciate(!) the previews of spring that you provide. It reminds me that in just a month or two spring will come to the east coast. Wish I had been smart enough to order a dumpster. I've already looked up a Maryland 'rent a dumpster' place and believe me I'll remember that for next time. Paid a ridiculous price to a hauler to get rid of the pile of fencing, and still waiting for him to come back for the pile of shrubs and sticks from clearing the fence lines.

Babs I missed a lot, are you teaching now or are you the school nurse? We could use a playground monitor here.

I'm taking a real vacation day today. Tried that last week and nothing lined up, so I'm aiming for a long week-end here.

Marty, how about Agave in those pots? They grow slowly and are nicely upright, so you would always be able to see the pots.

This is an old picture, and they've grown a lot, but you get the idea:

That's actually a spiral aloe on the right and it has really grown, so it actually spirals now :-)

Best to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:59AM
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Good morning!

I have the babies here today and they both have stuffy noses, thus a bit more fussy than is their normal. So, I am limited on the time I have between soothing or entertaining them. Right now they are sitting in their exer-saucers (an activity center they sit in) and they are both 'okay' with that for the moment.

Eden, I'm afraid that I didn't say Happy Birthday to Bella even though I was thinking it. It sounds like she is so surrounded with loving family that her birthday weekend just had to be filled with fun times!

Sue, hope Tom is okay. I'll be watching for word on how he is doing. Thinking of Zoe and that the specialist appointment is just a couple days from now. Hope there is an answer during that appointment.

Deanne, I LOVE the photo and was surprised to read that it is 2 pictures put together. Fabulous!!

Michelle, I cannot not mention your wonderful photos even thought it looks to be a miserable environment if one has to work outside or drive in it. Lovely composition and incredible weather!

V, I love seeing posts from you and enjoyed seeing you check in often over the weekend. :oD

Mary, miss you but glad that you enjoyed a wonderful time with your sister & family. I've not listened to the link yet but hope to get to do so soon.

Gosh, it sounds like many are busy with bathrooms, dumpsters and other such endeavors. I've had some extra energy (wish it happened more often) and I'm getting a lot more done around here. It feels so good to actually see a difference at the end of the day.

Well, I've got a fussy baby so I'd better end this. I gave him his bink (pacifier) so I've got another minute or so before that is spit out and the wailing really begins. ;o) It is coming up on nap time.

I, also, do not do well with scolding, especially when it is, in my estimation, unfounded.

Well, I've dealt with crying babies as I wrote this and they are now both taking a nap. Naps usually last about 10 minutes so I'm going to go and try to get a meatloaf made so that I can just put it in the oven later today.

My best to ALL!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 12:51PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Cute story about Skidboot. I found an article on reducing the onslaught of macular degeneration "Patients in the study reduced their risk of vision loss by about 25 percent when they took a daily supplement containing vitamins C and E, beta carotene, zinc and copper", and "...lutein (LOO-teen), a substance that seems to deter macular degeneration more effectively."

"Although abundant in leafy green vegetables, lutein could not easily be extracted and purified until recently. Now it is widely available in vitamin pills that contain the nutrients administered in the AREDS study."

Guess what I'm going to add to my vitamin arsenal. Although the study doesn't prove the vitamins are a preventative, they are good for other diseases as well, so why not use them. I'll talk to the vet about supplementing the pets' diets with the vitamins mentioned as well. You never know if cats especially can handle certain things.

Cynthia I hope Dannie heals quickly. Wow to have such an extensive tear. It would make me want to put chain mail armor on the dogs, if I were you.

Back to work. Hi everyone else.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Eden for the chastisement. I needed that. I didn't realize that my feelings are verboten here. Anybody else want to kick me while I am down ?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 3:19PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, what should appear to my wondering eyes --. . . . when I opened the thread today what a laugh Deanne that photo of the Punked Bluejay how delightful I had to laugh out loud! Outrageous!! I love it soooo much.

Michelle your knee made mine feel in good company! I had not bothered to attempt the p.c. at home this weekend due to a fall Friday nite I took on black ice in a parking lot stupid knee. . . . the pain almost made me pass out but I managed to drive the car home & iced it most of the weekend... off to see a dr at long last tomorrow like you Michelle Im terrified of "what, cant garden this Spring" or some such pronouncement I hadnt bothered to mention it as I had just aggravated it doing the snow shovel thing on V-Day and then to make it worse w/ the stupid fall on black ice grrrr. . . . . Im feeling decrepit too . . . . . guess Im in good company!! Losing another 30 lbs would probably help me a lot too, but I think Im cursed w/ my mothers bad bones & muscles as well. . . . Im glad Im not have Sues Toms problem though doesnt sound too good. Im hoping Im going to hear "do these exercises" too.

Now I regret I didnt log on to at least lurk and see the wonderful sights and glimpses of Spring, birds, frozen wonders (ugh...) but still gorgeous from afar. Kathy, I am telling myself that with your Spring, ours has GOT to be coming soon. I think it was a wee bit early last year, so Im feeling quite impatient about it.

Deanne I feel just like you -- old and out of fashion when it comes to public mis-behavior these days from teenagers to toddlers... it frustrates me, embarrasses me, and puts me in very ill humor when courtesy and common politeness seem to have fallen totally off the face of the earth.

Marian -- I wrote you a long email response but decided you might take offense, so I deleted it -- a lot of times just because someone doesnt comment on every person's post, doesn't mean we have nothing to say about it - or perhaps the subject is too sensitive to talk about here... because I commented on Michelle's knee but not yours does not mean Im not thinking of you -- this doesnt seem the place to expect a quick response from people - more an ad hoc place to post -- Instant Messenging people would seem to me to be a place you would receive more validation of feelings as they're happening. Im sorry you feel so ignored here - frankly if I had the time I would indeed respond to each & every one here but time and brevity of the post seem to be important here - or just checking in.... I miss deaths, illnesses, and other events that I regret not mentioning - but it's only due to time and space, not feelings or disregard. Im sorry you feel as you do.

Cynthia I want you to know I managed to glom onto a variegated agave on clearance at Lowes about 3 weeks ago Im very excited have wanted one ever since seeing your first photos of one a few years ago. . . . hopefully Ill find a pot worthy of its sophistication. Ive been to a few local HomeGoods lately and noticed a bunch of garden furniture that made me think of chairs, etc., you own they could have ordered them especially just for your garden! I went looking for some pots, and came away with "accents instead. . . .

T some days I wish I had a "bink"!!. . . . maybe we never outgrow them, LOL... Instead, yesterday w/ all our snow, I indulged in reading at one sitting an escape author I love "J.D. Robb" her new "Innocent in Death" totally cheesecake but I devoured it & it made the day whip away..

Okay back to work. I hope that those I did not respond to will forgive me -- Chelone, Martie, V, Mary, and surely others who had equally important things going on in their lives that I did not acknowledge.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 4:50PM
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Well then, moving on, here are a few pictures that my sister took yesterday at Bella's birthday bash. Thanks everyone for all of the birthday wishes for her.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Okay...I've really messed in my own nest now...and I am sorry. I am pretty sure I am losing my sanity, and I am fighting it tooth and nail!
Cindy, you are so right. I do not belong here. I am not sure where I do belong.
I do know, this world is not my home. I cannot hardly tolerate all the stuff that goes on. If I could quit watching the TV it would help, but I am not the only one in this house.
Maybe a lot of it is watching my husband deteriorate physically and mentally, but maybe I would be this way even if that wasn't part of my life.
Ignore what I posted. It probably really is just a crazy old woman babbling.
Nolon just finished installing the new water heater. It took him about 3 and 1/2 hours. I expect to see his condition worsening bcause of it, but he could hardly stand the thought of hiring someone to do it. He was in to that business for years , and he just cannot understand that he is not up to it anymore. He resents my interfering! Actually, I think he resents most everything about me! The only time he is happy with me is when I am working my butt off! He has always admired women that worked like men.
Ok, enough of this rant.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 6:11PM
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Oh Eden, she is a little doll! What a fun age. Did she understand that it was her birthday and did she enjoy blowing out her candles?

Cindy, sorry to read that you fell and injured your knee. :o\ Michelle, I hope that your knees improve. I have trouble with one, it is arthritic along with supporting too much weight. ;o) I have anti-inflammatories when I can't stand the pain and I'm working on reducing the extra weight.

Well, I've got some cranky babies that want my attention so I'd better cut this short. I've taken photos of them and some visiting elk, but I don't have time to see if any of the photos are worth uploading to PT.

Hope the day is going well for all!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 6:25PM
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It was hurting my neck to look at Bella's cake....

Don't want anyone else getting painful knees.

Love the tiger!

Marian, take a hot bath.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 6:28PM
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Cynthia, you make me laugh at least once or twice a week. Thank you for that! I don't want you getting a stiff neck so here's a better picture of the cake...

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 6:52PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O goodie, I didnt have to get down on my knees to figure the cake out. And we dont need to add neck aches to the contagion list too. Thanks, Cynthia -- Hats off to Blue's Clues

Hot baths all around sounds like a genius idea. Off to find one.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:29PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

No hot bath yet. The 'in' connection is leaking, so it had to be shut off. He hopes to get it fixed tomorrow. Hope springs eternal!
Large pans of water are on the wood stove.

Bella is growing so fast! Now where are pics of Michelle's little gal?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 8:57PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Eden, did you make that cake? Happy Birthday to Bella! It's hard to believe she's two already.

Marian, anyone who comes to this group with the expectation that everything they say and every picture they post will be acknowledged by everyone else is setting themselves up for disappointment. I suspect that many of the people who have quietly come and gone from this forum over the years have done so because they felt invisible. If so then this was not the place for them. Only you can decide if it's the place for you.

Tom has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday. I think the thumb is just badly sprained but he needs to have the shoulder xrayed. The sooner the better as far as I'm concerned-there is nothing worse than a man sick or in I'll bet Cindy is a better patient.

Cynthia, how do you winter over those Agaves? Maybe I'm getting overly optimistic but all the plants I brought in and put under lights for the winter are doing great-even the coleus cuttings I kept in water. My spring order from Fairweather gardens includes a sabal palm. Why is it that I only want to grow stuff that isn't supposed to be hardy here? It must be a disease of some sort.

Typical of late winter snowstorms, the roads were pretty much clear right from the get-go this morning. We got about 4 inches with another inch or so expected overnight. Since Tom isn't able to operate the snowblower I opted to let the stuff melt. It's supposed to be sunny and in the low 40s on Wednesday.

No Deanne, you are not an old fart. After spending a day last week with my dad and uncle I thought about how strict they were growing up. Poor behavior and bad table manners were just not tolerated at all-at home or anywhere. A hat at the table, not using your utensils a chance. I can appreciate how much work it is to stay on top of these things as a parent-especially as a single parent but it seems to me like it's all gone to hell too.

Allrighty, another night has gotten away from me. My friend, who I haven't spoken to since her 25th anniversary party in September called a little while ago. It blew some of the night but we've been friends since first grade. Sometimes I wish I was more of a phone person, or that some of my friends were more e-mail people. Oh well...


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 9:52PM
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Wowie, weve had a lot of posting activity in the last couple of days !

My first day back to work after a 4 day weekend was not to my complete satisfaction, but I suppose that is to be expected. And now I have a d*%n toothache , which is my own fault for procrastinating my dental seems like every time I go it spirals into a thousand buck plus extravaganza. I used to tell people that I had my own parking space with my name on it at the dentists. Sheesh. Anyway, I have an appointment at 9 am, and anti-biotics because I have swelling. I see a root canal in my future, and Ive about run out of Advil. And its raining. Think Ill eat some worms-at least theyre easy to chew.

Deanne, you can be jealous of my clematis, but Im jealous of your cardinals ! Ive never seen one "in person"; we dont have them out here. The Wolfhouse pinot is way better than 2 buck chuck, IMHO. I think Im going to buy a case before they dont have it anymore. I will be around in July, except for the week of the 4th- in fact I will be driving right through Willits on my way to my destination in Miranda on the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County. I imagine your trip is after that holiday period-keep me posted. And I dont think you are a frumpy old fart either ! About the only establishment that type of behavior should be tolerated is at one of those horrible Chuck E Cheese places, and even then one would expect kids over about the age of 7 to be able to conduct themselves. I think I would have a previous engagement for next years birthday bash.!

Eden, thanks for posting the cute pics. As a relative newbie here , I did not realize that Bellas full name was Isabella ! Such an excellent name with regal connotations to boot !

Marian, I havent been around here very long, but I always enjoy your posts and your pictures of your wonderful indoor blooms. I love reading about going to breakfast at the One Stop, and going to town for haircuts and walks down your road with Nolan and Tim. In fact I enjoy reading about everyones day in day out lives here things which may seem boring or mundane to one living it, but interesting and almost exotic in a way to one who lives such a different life ,in a different place. I cant imagine coping with the winter weather you folks all have for example and it certainly has reduced my gripes about my own weather ! Whats a few inches of rain to ice storms, blizzards and tornadoes? I hope you will feel better and continue to visit with us.

Cynthia, I love your agave/aloe pic.. I am extremely partial to cactus and succulents. Lost a couple this year though . Shucks, I guess that means I need to buy some more !

T, bet you are getting some wet stuff up your way , Yeona too.we are expecting rain all week .

Okay, Im going to pay a visit to the rose forum, and pop some more Advil. Hello to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Woo-hoo, wireless access at the hotel! And Ken Druse on tap at 8:00 am tomorrow morning. I had an uneventful drive down here, got our little display set up and am in winding-down mode.

Deanne, Im thinking of starting a pool will I thumb my nose at winter or vice versa? We have another storm threatening for the weekend. I am hoping for a black-or-white situation rather than hours of waiting at the airport.

As for table manners, I have to share an experience we had out in California back in December. We were at a very high-end restaurant and at the table next to us, there was a large family group Im guessing it was Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and the two grandsons, who looked to be about 6 and 8. At the end of dinner, a small platter of assorted sweets was brought to the table as a little extra. Since there was a centerpiece in the middle of the table, the platter was set off to one side. Well, the grandparents sat there smiling while the boys all but climbed across the table to get their pick of the sweets. I fault all of the adults more than the kids, because not one of them offered to pass the platter over to the boys. How will they ever learn the right way if they are not taught? By the way, the straw shenanigans sound a bit out of hand for the age group!

Great cardinals!

Hi Marian glad that you missed the bad weather. I wish I had something brilliant to say to make you smile?

Cynthia, you will be pleased to know that my list of plants that I lust for in my heart includes agave. Loved the photo!

Ow, Cindy, take care of that knee! It made me cringe to read your post. But I see that you have succumbed to the agave bug also!

I wonder if Kathy would share her Advil with me? Im a little stiff in the shoulders and upper arms after shoveling the heavy snow yesterday. It snowed all day today until I headed south after 5:00 pm.

I love Bellas cake but I have this thing about blue frosting! I helped cut the cake after a HS band concert a couple of years ago and the school color is bright blue. My hands were blue the rest of the evening.

Time to put on the jammies and climb into bed.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:02PM
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V, I'll probably have some Advil to share with you because I may be upgraded to Vicadin by tommorow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:19PM
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I love my helpmeet. He is willing to do pretty much whatever needs to be done, do it cheerfully, and when things go wrong he's the first to find something funny in it. He took the cats to the vet. yesterday, all by himself. Polly and Spencer went into the carriers. Vera, the most petite and least ruffled by things wore the harness and leash. He loaded the first two into the car and returned for Vera. As he opened the car door he realized Spencer has extricated himself. Vera flipped out and he dropped her. She dashed off as he closed the door just in time to keep Spencer in the car. He had no idea which way Vera had run (trailing the leash), he then slipped and fell on the ice. He came inside, grabbed the can of whipped cream and began calling and dispensing little puffs of it on the snowbank. No Vera. He came back inside, put the can away and there was Vera at the back door. In she came, received some whipped cream, and then out to the car she went. He tossed her in and got in himself, keeping Spencer at bay. The staff at the clinic gave him another carrier for Spencer (who broke the door on it), and everyone was vaccinated and examined. I was rolling on the floor at the retelling, poor dear. Rex has been having a field day tracking down the little puffs of whipped cream on the snowbanks. LOL

Vicadin for pain? I thought that was for recreational use. ;)

Bella is so cute; the rapt attention on their little faces is just precious. So, what was the "big present"? and where are the party hats?!

Add me to the rolls of old farts. Hats indoors? umm... NO. Good natured fooling around that is quiet and will not disturb OTHER PATRONS is OK, but it must be quiet and respectful of the others who are paying for a meal, too. Little kids sometimes have meltdowns at inconvenient times and locations. Remove them and deal with it away from other people. There is one occasion that sticks in my mind, similar to V.'s story. We were at a local restaurant for dinner away from Mum. The children (maybe 5 and 8) were loud, circling the dining room at will, and when they finally stood on their chairs, waving the cutlery I motioned to the host. I asked for another table; when he hesitated, I said we lived in town and would happily come back another night because I had no intention of spending $75-100 to witness that sort of malarky. If they were willing to pay for our meals too, we'd reconsider... We were relocated (as were the other patrons given our first seats) and pretty soon the host spoke to the parents. I can't imagine what those two kids must be like in a classroom.

Gotta run to get started on another uninspiring yacht interior. Royal Blue Sunbrella... the only Sunbrella color less inspiring is Pacific Blue... every single one of you would recognize it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 6:57AM
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Hi guys

Still catching up on my reading but just wanted so say how fabulous it is to have some of our seasoned Idyllers posting again regularly. Cynthia is back with her wit and wisdom, Deanne with her stunning photos, Babs is blabbing again, Taryn and V finding time to nip in, T sharing tales of elk and babies. Plus our regular contributors (YES Marian, that includes you). As Annie might put it "Idylls Rox"

Well, I'm still hopelessly behind on commenting - apologies to all. I'm just amazed to think sweet Bella is two aleady - thank her for sharing her fabulous cake. What joy she seems to bring to the family.

Heres hoping the aching knees, shoulders, heads, and teeth are manageable today. Have a good one!


PS Mary Katherine - you are a dark horse never letting on we shared the same name LOL!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 7:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, only time for a quick post today. THANKS to everyone for the validation about the poor manners exhibited by many children these days. It made me crazy to be part of that 'party'. I definitely will have other plans for any future parties that include that group.

Chelone!!! ROTFLMAO!!! That cat story is priceless and the vision of your helpmeet running about spritzing whipped cream on the snowbanks is one of the funniest things I've heard in recent history. Thanks for the laughs.

Cindy, so sorry about your knee. ~~ Really happy you liked the Blue Jay. It cracked me up too!

Kathy, I'll be in touch about dates for the trip. Doug might be joining me this time also. ~~ Thanks for the heads up about the pinot. I'm going to have to run down there today to see if they have any here.

V!! I'm on pins and needles watching the d - - ned weather. I'll be so disappointed if you can't get here. I wonder if there is such a thing as a reverse 'snow dance'.

Eden, Bella's cake is fantastic and isn't she growing at light speed. Where did the last two years go?

Sue, sure hope Tom didn't injure himself too badly. He must be in a bad mood. I know I've spent way too much time the last three years with Doug in a cast or dealing with other health issues and it isn't any fun.

T hope you had a great day with the babies.

Cynthia, love that grouping of agaves!!! Marvelous. Soooo happy you like my birdies. I'm personally in need of some pics of your kitties which we haven't seen in a long time.

OKie Dokie, here is a 'Bird for the Day' This is the female from the above pic and was taken the same day. I love to watch them preening and stretching their wing and tail feathers. Thought you'd enjoy this.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 8:24AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sue, surely you do not believe that there is ANYBODY here that thinks "everything" we say, and "every" picture we post, will ( or should ) be acknowledged by "EVERYBODY" else!!!!!!!! And I have never said that, nor has anyone else. ( And I have never done that! )
Sorry...but I don't do anything "quietly". :-(
I hope your DH is okay from his fall while skiing. ( I did get that right, didn't I ?) May he never spend years and years sick and in pain, as Nolon has. It is hard to cope with!

Kathy, that is a very kind and thoughtful paragraph. Thank you. I feel the same way. I have been here around 4 years now, and,( dispite my memory probs), I remember most of the ups and downs of most of the posters.
BTW, I enjoy the changing seasons, and can't imagine not having them, but I'll admit that this winter has not been a good one for me, either physically or mentally. If I were more financially able, and could, I would spend the cold months in a warmer clime.
Your pansies are lovely. My few are blooming again now that the really frigid days are past.

V, you DID make me smile. Thanks.

I appreciated Sue, Marty, 'bug, and Ei's concern about the bad storms in Arkansas, and our safety. ( Ei emailed me.)
And thanks to all who are encouraging me. I do believe you sincerely want us all to stay, and be happy here.
I am sorry I am having difficulty explaining to you about my feelings. There are some here who know exactly what I am refering to. My biggest problem is "quietly" waiting for a better day before I post! I have a "mouth" problem!...a need to express myself.
I wish this forum had the feature where we could go back and delete our posts when they need deleted! And edit them, as another forum has.

BTW, Deanne, add me to the "old farts" too.
I love that red bird pic.
You do a great job of commenting to everyone. I get my memory refreshed by reading such posts....not only yours, but any one else's that recaps and comments.

Chelone, how blessed you are to have such an accommodating, and pleasent, DH. I hope he will always remain that way. I love your cats to the vet story. Glad he wasn't hurt in the slip on the ice.

Marian ( The scolding, crabby, old, woman)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:08AM
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Oh duh! I should have read more carefully-I now realize Deanne that you merged two separate pics to make the cardinal couple...I plead turbo-skim: ) Well it's still a cool pic and I forgot to say that punked out Jay was very funny! I admire your patience in getting those pics. I've decided the birds have spread the word about you,why else would they be offering such great poses lol.

Cynthia-I began the school year working as our school health aide. I have First aid & CPR certification but I'm not actually a nurse. It's really a fun job and I have to decide if I will continue next year...I will of course. I suspect if I were a playground monitor for your brood I could use my first aid fairly often although I don't do stitches(hmm but I imagine my sewing skills could be useful should I need them).

Help! Today is our clinic evaluation where my records and procedures are reviewed for accuracy and completeness. While I don't think I'm not in compliance it's the first one for me so I am a little nervous.

Eden That cake!! It's perfect: ) Where did you get that from?? I wish my cake writing were as neat as that...I need better tools lol. Was that a chocolate cake?
I just can't get over how each time we get to see Bella she changes so much-I notice her face lengthening and losing some of that toddler chunkiness. I really enjoy seeing all the idyll 'babies' develop.

Sue I hope Tom OK!

I do love those agaves too and the containers they are in!!
That mossy pot is perfect. Did that happen naturally or did you give it help?
On the flip side of untrained kids-once when I was a nanny I took my two charges(a brother and sister) & my niece out to Ground Round-not the fanciest place but they were SOOO well behaved that a businessman sitting at the next table paid for our meals! All I did was discuss what was OK and what was unacceptable-anytime we went anywhere-library,store,etc. they always knew what was expected.

Alright I need to get shuffling-I haven't meant to leave anyone out but I need to get showered.

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:16AM
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Cynthia, thanks for the pics of your agave. They look great. I will have to take a picture of mine when it warms up so you can see how you have inspired me.

Cindy, knees injuries must be the order of the day here on the idylls.. I hope you didn't tear your menescus (sp?). I did that about four years ago. Suffered with the pain for about a year, then had surgery. I was using a rowing machine at the gym, and it was so much fun. I have to admit I was sort of silently competing with the person next to me, sliding, rowing having a good old time, and the next day I was really sore. I think I tore the other side of my knee out. I went to the doctor about a month ago. He took xrays and said I had arthritis pretty bad, and he wanted to give me a cortizone shot, but I chickened out. I just couldn't do it. I hate needles. I told him that was the reason I had 4 kids with no anesthetic or drugs, one breech:) He gave me a knee brace, but I think I am going to have to have an MRI and find out what it is if it doesn't stop hurting.

Deanne, your birdy pics are amazing! You should make a calendar. I love the one you combined together. You can't see where you pasted in at all.

Sue, I hope that Tom is feeling better.

Honey, meant to tell you that I loved the picture of bullet. Very handsome guy. Are you and Eden going to the lecture David talked about?

Eden, Happy Birthday to Bella! Nice cake. I don't have any little ones at home, so was trying to figure out who the doggie was? I thought maybe he was related to Clifford the Big Red Dog, but then Chelone gave me the answer:) I need some babies around here.

It is snowing here, but not too cold. I am thinking of going out this weekend and pick up a couple of grow lights so I can start seeds inside. Have never done that before. My other plants I brought in and put under lights seem to be doing pretty well. Except the ones that have bugs. I sprayed them with soapy water.. didn't get rid of them, but may have slowed them down... maybe I need to visit the bug forum to find out what to do.

T- sorry about your goat. I should think of you when I feel like I live on a farm every morning at 5am when I have to feed all the animals. All of a sudden I seem to have a bunch of animals to feed. We have aquired since last fall, an iguana (not my idea.. but he is growing on me), two fish tanks.. the fish that we brought in from outside who survived the attack of the Blue Heron, 5 out of about 30.. and my original animals 1 cat and 2 dogs. I just line them up and shovel the food.

Well, I must run, hope you all have a fun day!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Good morning!

I also have no tolerance for rudeness, whether it is a 7, 16, 50 or 70 year old displaying it. I do not shrug it off when it is someone who knows better, I avoid them and see them for exactly what they are......rude, bitter, nasty hearted and unacceptable to converse with. Yep, it ruffles my fur the wrong way big time.

Thankfully, of course, there isn't ANYONE who fits that mold in our sweet little group.

I find that sooner or later, people show what their hearts are really like no matter how hard they try to hide it. It is interesting to see that we are sometimes not what we profess nor wish ourselves to be.

Me? I have a hard time reining in my temper when I see blatant rudeness and poor manners. It is something that I fight and am not proud of. If I'm nearby to a rude child that I have no connection with (thus do not feel comfortable in explaining what is acceptable and not acceptable), then I will remove myself from the area as there is only so long I can bite my tongue. ;o) If it is an adult that is rude......that is a bit more difficult as often they are fully aware of their boorish, rude behavior and are enjoying hurting others. You see it in stores, restrauants, online.....unfortuately those people are everywhere.

Obviously a hot subject for me. ;o)

I have the twins again today. Still haven't had a chance to check the photos I took yesterday and I have quite a bit to do before they arrive in 30 minutes.

I wish everyone a good day!! :o)


P.S. Where is Norma?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 9:41AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I didn't add...I pray that no one else here will find themself in my situation, and be considered an unkind,crabby, human being. I only hope that there is no one who has forgotten my better days.
I know there will be more good days. I pray for the patience to wait for them!
The lack of consideration for other's feelings is one of my pet peeves. I am sorry I have came across as being guilty of that.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 10:02AM
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Deanne, how wonderfully creative of you. I certainly cant tell that the cardinals are separate pictures. I dont know if you send cards or not, but something I have done with nice photos of my garden is get 4 x 6 prints made and then make cards on the computer with a border surrounding the picture and just use double stick tape to stick the photo on. I have had a lot of compliments on them. Iwas going to tell you that we have bluejays that feed outside our laundry room window and the other day I notice the wind ruffling their feathers on the top of their heads, I just had to laugh.

Eden, what an adorable cake. It looks like Bella had a fabulous birthday.

Drema, great to hear from you, but sorry to hear that you are also dealing with knee woes. These types of things are also difficult when you work full time and cant rest properly.

Cynthia, your agave are just so cool and I love the way you have such an architectural plant in beautiful containers.

Good thoughts going out to Tom and his injuries, hopefully they arent anything too serious.

Chelone, I got a kick out your cat story. I reminds me slightly of the time my DD was in 4H and wanted to take her favorite cat to the pet show. Would you believe the morning of the show that cat was no where to be found? So she took another who happened to be black as well. This cat didnt have the temperament of the one that was supposed to go. The show was in a farm type building with wide doors that were open. Sure enough the minute the door to Speckles carrier was opened out she went and thru the fairgrounds DD and I chased this dumb cat. All turned out well and we found her in time and she got a blue ribbon. Too bad we didnt have a can of whipped cream. LOL

V, the only thing worse than you sitting hours at the airport is my DD, her DH and Kenzie sitting in the airport for hours waiting for their flight to Florida. They are supposed to fly out of Mpls. Tomorrow. Imagine sitting at the airport with a very active 2 year old. I hope she doesnt annoy anyone ;o)

T, it sounds like those twins keep you hopping.

Cindy, sorry to hear that you too are dealing with knee pain.

Mary, I still havent had a chance to listen to your link. Doing that at work would probably be frowned upon. LOL Your week off sounds like it was relaxing and enjoyable.

This kitchen business is hogging all my at home time. Still trying to get the walls to satisfaction. We added lighting to the built in hutch and shelves in the dining area. Pretty cool, you run a little wire to one of the hinges and then you can turn the lights on by just touching the hinge.

Yeona, have fun with your remodel. Its messy though.

Kathy, that second pansy picture is such yummy colors.

Something that I heard one time and it has always stuck is that words are like toothpaste, once out they are as impossible to take back as toothpaste is to get back in the tube.

Hi, to everyone that I didnt comment too, Ill catch you next time around ;o)


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 11:26AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Deanne, Tom did reschedule his Direct TV appointment so he will be at your party. Last night I asked him if he was planning to do that and he said no. Maybe he realized how hard fun is to come by this time of year. Your cardinal shots are incredible-nice work.

Drema, you crack me up.

Chelone, so whipped cream is the lure of choice for wayward cats? Add some ice cream and hot fudge and it would work for me too. lol

Yes, Marian I do believe there are people who come to this group with unrealistic expectations. Personally I think if you come here expecting even just one person to comment on something you've shared there are times when you will be disappointed.

I'm starved. Is it time for lunch yet?


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:03PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I think the "Conversations" title of this forum can be misleading. It is difficult to have a true conversation when you can not see the other person's smiles or sympathetic nods, and you do not get immediate feedback. It is impossible to read and comment on everything that is said here, and I think we are all aware of that. I often write a post in haste, then I later think of other comments I meant to make. I think of all of you often.

Here is a picture of the loot from my Home Goods spree of the last few weeks. Now, I am getting spring fever thinking of plants to fill them!

I had a meeting this AM at DS's school with his "team", and it went very well. He is dyslexic, and gets a lot of help at school. It went well; they assured me he has made great improvements. They had a lot of positive things to say about him. The kids have state-mandated standardized testing in a few weeks, including a 5 paragraph essay. My DS can speak very fluently and intelligently, but he has a lot of trouble getting his thoughts down on paper; I was dreading that essay for him. Turns out they will allow him to have a "scribe", a teacher's assistant who will actually "take dictation" and do the writing for him; no editing allowed. What a relief! He has had his struggles at school, but the staff has been so helpful and encouraging to him - he still enjoys school and has a positive attitude about it. I made sure to let each of them know how much we appreciate the work they do.

Deanne, one fruit salad coming up for Saturday. Looking forward to seeing everyone! Also, love the birdie pics, as usual. They actually do seem to pose for you! The blue jay with a mohawk was a riot. The "trick photography" with the pair of cardinals is amazing. Does that mean you can do that tabloid stuff like putting my head on someone else's body?!

Babs, I think you have the key re: kids and manners, they need to know what is expected. My kids are not perfect, but good behavior in all situations is a must. From the time they could speak they were taught to say "please" and "thank you", and it went on from there. We would never think to allow them to get up and wander around at a restaurant, and they don't even know how to make spitballs (I hope!). When my DD turned 10, we actually took her and three of her friends out to lunch, and let them sit at their own table, within sight of ours. There was much giggling at the girl's table, but they managed to order for themselves and eat without incident.

Martie, glad things went well at your brother's hearing. The job offer from the social worker is a real compliment on the way you handled yourself. I agree, a job like that would be way too heartbreaking.

Eden, the cake is a masterpiece. (Cynthia, thanks for flipping the picture!) Bella looks like she had a great time, I'm glad all went well.

Michelle, are you tired of painting yet?!

V, Ken Druse at 8am - can I be you when I grow up? He is an amusing speaker. I am doing a reverse snow dance now, glad this is the internet and nobody can see me!

T, so sorry about your goat. Hope to see pics of the twins soon!

I hope every body's aches and pains are improving today, or at least you are finding ways to deal with them; recreationally or otherwise. Sending good thoughts to all who need them.

I was re-reading the book by Thomas Cooper "Odd Lots - Seasonal Notes of a City Gardener" last night, and wanted to share his comment about spring in the northeast: "Spring appears on the calendar on March 20, but it doesn't show up at our place until a month or more later. I suspect that the earlier date is only the day when spring leaves South Carolina, or wherever it was playing golf, and heads north for the season."


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:20PM
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I'm not sure if it is lunch time.......but I'm thinking it feels like nap time! LOL I've got two sleepy boys, rubbing their eyes and talking about something that only they understand.

It has been snowing lightly here all morning. Nothing sticking, but it looks kind of snow.

If the boys do fall asleep at the same time I'll see what the photos look like that I took yesterday.

Michelle, I love the toothpaste/tube analogy. How true it is.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:23PM
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Afternoon Idylls,

Fun stuff going on around here. I'm finishing cleaning out cupboards and Brad's scraping layers of loose paint off walls. Oh and I did get all of the houseplants watered, but not the light garden plants in the basement...yet.

I didn't make Bella's cake. I thought about it and even found instructions on the web. But they involved cutting up cake into shapes, making cardboard stencils, and dying frosting. Not to mention taking up lots of time that I just didn't have. So I just ordered it from a really great bakery that I use.

Sue, funny, I ordered a sabal minor 'McCurtain' from Plant Delights. I was going for the saccharum arundinaceum, which I ordered too, and saw the palm right above it in the catalog, lol. I also ordered the Parthenocissus tricuspidata 'Fenway Park', hope I won't be sorry about that one, and the clematis addisonii. I think that's the only plant order for me, other than maybe a few coleus from Rosy Dawn.

Chelone, whipped cream huh? I'll have to remember that one. Thanks for the funny story.

Michelle, I can relate to the damaged walls. That's what's taking so much time for us too. Not fun! The lights sound very cool. I hope we get to see pictures of the finished kitchen. I'll show pictures of my rooms someday if I get someone over here with a camera. I'm going to try to get mine in and see if it's worth repairing this weekend. And being stuck at the airport with a two year old would definitely be a challenge I wouldn't want to face.

Cynthia, I love that agave picture. The containers really set off the plants. I'd love to see that spiraling agave now that it's spiraling. My little agaves are still doing well overwintering in the window. Hope Dannie's healing up well. How's the rest of the crew doing?

Kathy, Bella's name is Isabella Rose but she mostly gets called Bella or Bell. My sister calls her Izzy which I hate. Hope the dentist was able to relieve your toothache.

T, I can't wait until you get time to post the new pictures you took.

Drema, so what types of seeds are you planning on starting?

Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear that you've damaged your knee. Be careful with it so it's good to go for gardening season. Remember you've got lots of new plants coming that you'll need to get into the ground!

Deanne, Brad was always strict with out kids about table manners. Another thing I just hate at restaurants is when parents let babies make a total mess with food everywhere, floor included. Maybe those teenage boys needed some girls there to impress so they would have behaved. I've noticed that some teenage boys when in a group always seem to want to outdo each other on how stupid they can act.

Babs, I have total confidence that your clinic will pass with flying colors. I can't imagine your records not being in perfect order.

V, how great that you got to hear Ken Druse this morning. Hope you can fill us in a little on what he had to say. Yes, I agree that blue frosting is a little frightening, lol.

It's time to get back to my chores. Hope you're all having a productive and nice day. One more day down to spring. It's coming!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:48PM
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Thanks Eden; ) Not to sound braggy; )-but the evaluator said our clinic is perfect! For some reason I do that thing where I convince myself that there has to be something I slacked off on or did wrong--overt perfectionism? Ya think?lol. Chris isn't home yet so I had to tell somebody my happy news-glad I could tell my idyll friends.

Drema!You had me lol about you competing with the other rowers...I can actually picture you trying to act nonchalant while peeking out of the corner of your eye & rowing your little arms off. Go Drema, GO!

OOOOoooo Wendy-Beautiful urns/containers!!!
That really made me happy to hear how accomodating your son's school is by providing a scribe for him! I wish him good luck. Five paragraphs seems long-isn't he in 4th grade or close to AJ's grade(5th)? AJ's got testing too coming up.

T I loved that picture you created of your two little grand babies babbling reminds me of how much I miss those sounds around our house...somehow those babies always grow up! Enjoy : )

I wish I could babble but there's laundry to deal with(yeah it's 'only' 10pm!)

Michelle-well said; )


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 10:12PM
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Babs. the Milkmaid...

milked this one out for 102 replies... and then some!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 10:37PM
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