#424: The Love Idyll

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)February 9, 2009

So many different faces of love...The lacy valentines are only one of many kinds. Let's try to hear from all of us this week!

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes, there's the love of family...which goes through many phases and stages, the love of children, of pets too! Watching my Charlotte and Phoebe relate to children has been a real joy! Then there's my love of beauty (those glass cups and dishes with bees on them springs to mind) and nature's marvels too. We all have the love of plants here! There's love of kindness and thoughtfulness, gentleness, humor and intelligence, admiration of talents, a well written word and skills of all sorts...and the love of friends who surprise us with just what we need even though we didn't know we needed it! When the world sometimes causes us to despair, these are the things that pull us up by the bootstraps!

For me, I think that learning from my children has been the greatest surprise of the past few years. Another surprise is the close connection between friends from far and wide that I've never even met. Happy Valentine's Day Idyll friends!

And speaking of connections...I'll share this favorite photo.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:02AM
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Good morning Idylls.

Mary, all that I can offer is that we all heal in our own time. The hospitals always seem to rush us out the door, and I understand why, but it doesn't take into consideration our individual needs! I hope after some rest and further healing, things progress as they should. I sincerely think you and David will heal better in your own familiar environment.

Jake is home sick today: fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose...the whole kit'n'kaboodle. I'm off to Sarah's class to make Valentine's holders - maybe the last for my brood :)

My heart goes out to you, Mary!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:04AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Is that something like the 'Love Boat'? [g]

Mary...I agree, can't take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first. Sleep...Fresh air...a good meal. A trip to the cafeteria with a book to read to take your mind off it for even a few minutes throughout the day. I emailed you some information. Hoping for a better day today.

Deanne....what a winter you've been having. Thinking good thoughts about something new and exciting coming from all this.

Nothing more exciting here to report, than getting outside for 10 minutes and getting a shower. [g] Just more of the same. The sun is out and the snow melted some yesterday. I can see bare ground in places.

Very nice Idyll Tytle, gardenbug. :-)


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:07AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ooops....I didn't refresh again...LOVE that photo of Reed and Skyler g'bug, wow, such a treat and really makes the eyes well up. Happy that you can enjoy posting photos of Reed again. :-) :-)

Saucy...what a winter for colds! I hope he feels well enough to enjoy a day home from school. :-)

Oops...have to run, something is leaking!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:16AM
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(((((Mary))))) ((((((David)))))) Utilize the staff, Mary. Let a volunteer sit with David for 15 minutes so you can get some air. Write down questions as they come up so you can ask when the opportunity presents itself. Remember that healing happens from the oustide in -- a lot of trauma to his hip and the numbness might just be his body's way of helping him not hurt at this point. Know that every word you write is devoured into the hearts of good friends.

A perfect Tydll, Marie! One that is certainly needed in this crazy world. Had to remind a coworker that it is OKAY to be happy and caring despite the tumult that's surrounding us on a daily basis as we watch friends, families and business associates land in horrid places they'd never thought they'd be.

Really feel a sense of responsibility, being employed with a solvent budget at this point, to Spread Whatever Love is Appropriate and Needed at any given moment.

What leads to answering Kathy's question about DB: This is touchy so please don't read if VERY blatent manifestations of mental illness can be troublesome. Since DB has taken up much of my time though, want to share.

One of the "social difficulties" that kept my parents tied to my brother 24/7, and has made placement beyond the treating hospital so difficult, is his propensity to young boys. During the last three weeks I have been working with an internationally acclaimed Psychosexual Psychologist who was instrumental in bringing forth the Priest abuse scandals by working with many of the victims. He is also affiliated with a wonderful research group who looks at "complicated" cases, of which DB's is one. There is so much involved with all of my DB's behaviors that the State has absolutely no idea what to do, particularly with CT's budget being in such deficit.

The Psychologist and I are hopeful that DB's illness is just severe enough, and the manifestations are just curious enough, that he can become part of a research group with other people who have Kleinfelter's with traditional mental illnesses. He would be in a safe, secure place with the best possible talent to care for him. He would love the idea of being a guinea pig (total attention 24/7) and I like the idea that though I can't help a lot of people, having my DB in such a program could certainly help a ton of folks down the road.

So we're at the point where he understands right from wrong, but his disease won't let him control the "wrong" and I don't want there to be a first physical case of abuse coming out of DB.

Sometimes I wonder if loving someone unconditionally isn't a disease in itself :-)

Thinking of all those whose grandkids continue to bring such pleasure, whose seeds are poking up, who have traveled to exotic environments, who have weathered one too many storms, and who are struggling to just keep moving.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:22AM
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I am looking for a reason to procrastinate and you, Mary, have provided it!

First of all, it's clear that you've been ground down to a nub over the course of the past week. How could you not feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and terribly afraid?! While it wasn't my child in those dire straits it was my mother and I have an excellent memory of how I felt in a couple of similarly stressful situations. It absolutely sucked. If you can possibly bring yourself to do it, you really ought to get out of the hospital for more than an hour or two. The hospital staff is fully capable of tending to David and they don't have all the attendant "family stuff" that makes a time like this so tough. Leave David with the pros, they know how to deal with cases like his. Martie gives good advice. Following it is the hard part.

The drugs and the pain are certainly having an effect on Davids's normally cheerful and cooperative nature. In spite of their effect any bright young kid knows the score, all the fears that haunt you are haunting him, too. I'm certain every dark thought you've had in a beleaguered moment has crossed his mind, too. And he can't DO anything for himself... that would bring out the demon in anyone; esp. the bright and very capable.

I remember watching Mum struggle to walk after her stroke. They had a belt thingy around her waist and were holding her up and really gettin' on her case to walk. I watched from a distance, tears streaming down my cheeks because it was clearly so very hard for her. Her PT advised me not to watch the sessions for awhile. He said the presence of family members often brought out fits of temper, a refusal to work, and lack of focus. More simply put, it put more pressure on HER than was necessary. I took his advice and with time she recovered her natural gait.

Also, she too had to attain a certain level of competancy in movement before she was released. It was a safety issue and so it is with David. If he cannot safely move himself he won't be SAFE at home and you may not be able to help him move safely. A fall could do more damage and gain him another visit to the hosital. I agree with Saucy that once home he will improve more rapidly, but until he has enough control to move on his own being there would only increase the present stresses.

You need some time away from the fire, my friend. As PM pointed out, worn out as you are right now it's unfair to expect yourself to be easy-going, level-headed, and in control. I wish there was something I could do to help you right now. All I can offer is this: (((Mary)))


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:20PM
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Hi everyone

Perhaps the darkest hour really is before dawn - David made some big steps forwards (well, tiny ones actually with a walker but they were independent) and here we are back home. The relief at being in our own home is enormous though I must admit to being the tiniest bit scared not to have the support of the medical team if things get tough in the night. All your kind and wise words have made such a difference and a real comfort.

David is comfy on the futon in our gound level living room. He might try the 6 stairs up or down tomorrow to other rooms in the house but for the rest of today is going to rest where he is. I could see him visibly relaxing as he petted Clousseau. He has had neighbors drop in with gifts (cookies and a handmade blanket) and best of all I've seen him smile.

I'll update more tomorrow but need to be with him now. We will both rest well tonight.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Well, I'm just so happy, I started to cry! LOL! Yeah for the GardeningMary family!!!

You'll have to excuse me...I'm a bit on the weepy side tonight....pass the tissues..... :)

I'm off to "do" Valentines with Sarah....this is difficult, because in the 4th grade, none of the Valentines can say, "love you" or "be mine" or anything else that might suggest liking anyone of the male persuasion!

Marie, that picture is perfect for the Tydll of the Idyll. Reed's face is pure joy.

Well, that's all from me...I'm no good at night. It's time to let the left coasters take it over :) BTW, Denise, "yes" it is all about the food in the south....nothing important happens without it! And there'll be plenty left over for when you come over tomorrow!!!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:36PM
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Mary, that's WONDERFUL news! bet the whole world seems a little brighter right now. There's nothing like the comfort a pet can offer, either. I'll bet Clousseau is relieved to have everyone safe and secure, where he can keep an eye on them, too. That's what dogs do best, after all.

YAY! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:44PM
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bug, the picture of Reed and Skylar is so precious and a perfect fit for the Love theme. I love the connections thought. Tonight as I drove home I saw the moon big, low and hazy and thought of all my Idyll friends.

It rained today and was warm so much of our snow has melted. The pool finally reopened so I spent some time there. DH went to one of his grandsonÂs BB games. Sitting on bleachers doesnÂt go well for me these days, swimming was a much better choice.

Mary, I just want to add to what others have said about patients without much patience. I nursed DH through 2 major surgeries and he wasnÂt his usual sweet self either. IÂm glad to hear that you all made it home and wish the best to David and the whole family. I was touched by your comment about the therapy that petting Clousseau provided.

Eden, Bella takes Valentine creations very seriously doesnÂt she? I wish I could make Valentines again.

Saucy, LOL on the 4th grade Valentine etiquette.

Kathy, the desk isnÂt where IÂll be posting. ThatÂs DHÂs new mega computer. The former "our" desk is now solely mine. DH kept complaining that IÂm always by the computer and he had no storage for farm stuff. IÂm invited to move my computer over to the open spot on the right side, but for now IÂll stay where I am on the other side of the room. I am claiming some of the cabinet space though.



    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thank God David is home!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Randy was out on Sunday taking photos with a friend from the local camera club. I like this 'tree creature' best:

Mary - It 's good to hear that David is home. Hopefully all of you will get some rest now and that will make a big difference for everyone. Those first steps (literally!) are so important in starting the healing process. Everything else seems possible once you can - however shakily - take those first steps.... There will be lots of work to come I'm sure but getting home gives a big boost to spirit and attitude.

Martie - you're a brave soul! That's a fearsome responsibility you have there...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:52PM
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Mary, I'm so relieved and happy to hear David got to come home. I'm hoping you both have a peaceful and restful night. Sleep well my friend!

Marie, what a special picture. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Michelle, Bella did take it seriously. After each valentine was finished she'd declare it "pu-fect".

I was with my sisters all day helping out with decorations for the upcoming shower. We're supposed to get up to 60F tomorrow and break the old record high set back in 1965. That should melt the last of the snow. I'm off to bed.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Seem to have gotten distracted over at the F-place this evening (no relation to F-bomb) but now the wine is poured and the leftovers are warming, and time to visit with the Idylls. Ive become very attached to my seedlings in the garage, rushing home at lunch to check them as though they were new kittens. Everything is still at the cotyledon stage , but the Zinnias I expect will have their first true leaves in a couple of days.

Mary, awesome news that you and David are home. I smiled at your description of his relaxation as he petted Clousseau . Pets can be so soothing in stressful times. I imagine he sensed the anxiety in the family and felt reassured that everyone was at home. You know that we will be here to listen and offer support while you and your family move through this hardship.

Bug, what a lovely photo, and what gracious sentiments in your post. The friends I have made here have really enriched my life in so many ways. You said it all very well

Martie, a lovely post from you too. Thank you for sharing the challenges you face with DB. I wish you the best in the possibilities of placement for him- this would no doubt help him, and others as well. ..I also appreciate your comments on solvency. I feel very grateful to be secure in my position and to be able to help individuals in my family who may fall on hard times.

Michelle, I hope your posting area is every bit as opulent as DHs! I guess its a step forward to not have to share . I admire your adherence to your swimming regimen. I love to swim more than anything- the most pleasant form of exercise I can think of. If I won the lottery I would buy a house with a pool in about 5 seconds (providing it had proper garden space of course) .

Ok , all for me and time for dinner

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I've dawdled too long in other areas to make a proper post, but I want to say I'm glad to hear that David is home. Mary, David, you and all of your family will be in my prayers over the next several days. Pain and worry have to be far more exhausting than any physical work that I can think of. Remember to take care of yourself as well.

Yesterday was a very trying day for me, and today at work was rather stressful due to our shortened work weeks. I don't want to raise alarms with some of the outside contacts that I work with, so for the moment I'm letting people think I'm just really lousy at returning phone calls. And of course, there is the issue of doing 5 days work in 3, and without the part time person who was helping out. Thank goodness that February is a short month.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:02PM
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V, buyers and sales reps are notorious gossips,and my company has had some really ugly incidents this past several months as a result. We also have a garden center here in our county that is rumored to not be paying thier bills and ergo will get no plant material in spring.This would benefit my company, however we all feel that the demise of a locally owned business is never a good thing.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 10:16PM
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My thoughts are once more with Mary, David, and her family. It is my sincere hope that everyone slept well last night snug in their own beds.

I awakened in the night and was dazzled by the moonlight streaming over the snow in the yard. It was so bright! and of course I wondered if any of you had been equally dazzled by it. A full moon in February is called a "Snow Moon", but we know better, don't we? :)

Martie, I know how difficult your brother's struggles have been for you and it really is a testimony to the the unconditional love a family can offer that you've been lobbying for his best interests. It was you, actually, who gave me some of the very best advice I've received when things with Mum were so bad. It meant so much at the time because I knew that you'd learned some of those lessons the hard way. I sure hope a good resolution is reached for his safety and welfare and your peace of mind.

I laughed at the protocol surrounding 4th. grade Valentines, too. "Ewww, boys! I'll get cooties!", lol. Remember how exciting it was to know there was going to be a party at school?

I'm sure you can't do it right now, Eden, but please try to remember to post a shot of the baby tub with the claw feet. I've not been able to get that image out of my brain since you mentioned it, lol. Also, once it's outgrown what are you going to plant in it? Baby's Breath? ;)

I thought of Kathy yesterday as I deigned to shop at Orange for a vat of primer, a 12" roller, and the appropriate size pan. The place was eerily quiet, so quiet in fact that I was spoken to by no less than 5 worker bees. Historically that's not been the case because the place was crawlin' with eager home improvers. I then stopped by the tool rental place to inquire about floor sanders and was counselled to use a floor buffer with a 100 grit pad; it will cost a whopping $25, and I think I'll go for it having been assured it'll be unlikely to chew through the floor and land on top of the cars below the Salon. ;) I am not planning to use rugs in the Salon, unless it's too create a small sitting area near the stove or catch shoe grit near the staircase. Rugs are great but they're hard to keep clean of thread, it's easier to push a large broom around or mop the floor without having to move them. And truthfully, I'm not sure exactly how I will want to configure the room, so much will depend on how I will use it. At present, I'm still wondering how I'm going to get the remaining furniture out of there so I can easily paint the floor. I assure you, moving it all from one side of the room to the other is not only a waste of time, it's hard work.

Deanne, the Bluebirds are still hanging around chowin' down on the Meaties in the feeder. They are the most amazing shade of blue when the sun hits their backs and I'm increasingly appreciative of the rosey breast coloration. Hey, show us a shot of your classroom, willya? It's great that your class went well and that you can ratchet up your teaching to get you through the "time of lean". I'm looking forward to the TYNAW get-together, we need something to look forward, too. How're the Shingles these days? how long does a bout last generally? or is it dependent on a variety of other variables?

Hi to all, and it's time for me to get on my pony and get to work.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 5:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Isn't it amazing what a difference a day makes. What a great report about David. Very relieved to hear of progress. It is always such a reassurance when you get home to your familiar surroundings that life goes on. I hope all are sleeping late this morning. Applause for David walking with the walker! We could start a wave for him...and Idyll wave...Idyll tydll wave...lol.

Martie...such a difficult road you have to travel with your DB. Can not even imagine what a struggle it is to stay positive. Very sad situation. I hope he will be able to find a safe place to try to get some help. You must be really ready for spring.

Nice to read about zinnia seedlings [I have used a heating pad in a pinch], swimming schedule resuming, bluebirds that I would love to see, wedding shower preparations and valentine creations. Sorry V, to hear about work stress. Weekends become much more important I'd say. Randy's photo reminds me of an eagle's head, Woody.

Anyone dreaming of warmer days? [g] Ahhh! Maybe we could plan an Idyll Reunion in Tahiti one day? Bet they have some gardens to check out. :-)

Dock and Palm Trees, Tahiti

Photograph by Jodi Cobb

A dock juts out to a small palm island, surrounded by the jewel-blue waters of Tahiti. Tahiti is just one of 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia, a semi-autonomous territory of France. With its claim here and on other Pacific territories, France is the second largest presence (after the United States) in the Pacific.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Charting a New CourseFrench Polynesia," June 1997, National Geographic magazine)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:57AM
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Good afternoon

We did sleep well last night - not quite in our own beds yet but close. David slept on the futon on the first floor and I made up a bed on the sofa next to him. It was paradise compared to the hospital bedside chair though I must say I'm fortunate in being able to sleep just about anywhere. David only woke once in the night for pain medication and slept till 9 AM. This morning his spirits seem better. After the home visit from physical therapy he enjoyed zipping about on his wheelchair all by himself and even played his guitar for a few minutes. He's just gone back to bed having eaten a good lunch sitting up to the table with DH and myself. He looks restful.

At the moment David is telling me his lack of energy is more debilatating than the pain and I'm sure some of that is drug induced and anxiety related. He is taking Vicodin and has been given a 15 day supply (yikes) but I hope will be off it long before then. We're trying to stetch out the interval between tablets. bit by bit I think we're making progress.

Thinking of all of you guys even though this is an "all about me" post and wishing we lived closer.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:28PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Mary - so glad to hear you both home and getting comfy at home -- "there's no place like home"..... David will much improve I am certain, and hopefully you can get a few friends to take a little slack for you and you get some rest too in order to continue the mom nursing....

Martie -- you are a great sister, and parents can definitely be hard to understand in the "unconditional" love thing..... I think its impossible to fight it; just learn how to "go around it" if you can...

Right now I am definitely wishin I here on that beach in Tahiti....

Thoughts of painting -- chronic hgtver that I am, Chelone, have you seen the new paint roller that sucks up paint into its shaft so one can keep rolling without a pan? I wonder if it's a good "does it really do that?" or have issues.... I might almost be inclined to pick up a roller if it really does!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 1:52PM
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Mary, so glad to hear that things are improving. A good nights sleep can do wonders.

Cindy, I'd bet the new roller has issues. That sort of thing usually does in my experience. Let us know how it works if you decide to try it out.

It was a quiet day today. Mostly just housework and laundry. This will be a busy next couple of weeks with Valentines Day, Bella's birthday and then the baby shower on Mar 1. I'm glad to have the quiet days to catch up on things when I can. It was warm today but messy. Everything outside just looks gray and dirty. Can't wait to see some green but that's a couple of months off still.

A quote from my Susan Branch calendar today...

"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats." Alice Murdoch

Todays treats were cinnamon rolls this morning and a new soup cookbook that came in the mail. Got to make it through the rest of winter somehow :)

Have a good evening, Eden

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:04PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Fly-by alert! My cell phone went off today to remind me I took a pic especially for Chelone's birthday. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHELONE! (of course, now I'm not sure it IS your birthday, cuz if I'm the first one to catch it, we're ALL in trouble ;) )

BIG hugs to Mary and family, glad things are looking up. Hope to get some time tomorrow to come in and catch up properly.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:26PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, My I do believe Brenda is correct... well, Im not sure I have some equally as appropriate for wishes, but here's thinking we all have an early Spring and

Happy Birthday, Chelone! I hope you laid down your brush for the day to enjoy...


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 7:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

BUT we can't miss Chelone's birthday!

Hope it was a great day!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Happy Birthday Chelone !!!

From Garden Sept 08

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:29PM
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Hi Idylls, Checking in from my little corner of the world. We have had a couple of warm days and most of the ice on the big pond has melted. I'm happy about that. Dipped the leaves out and hooked the pump back up. I burned off a couple of grasses today. Its a good time to do it because every thing is so wet yet. Took a couple of short walks. I'm trying to rev up my metabolism. I have been terribly lazy this winter. There is plenty of clean up to do out there without doing any harm to plants, so I will chip away at it on fit days.

Gbug, I'm glad you posted the picture of Reed and Skylar. It made me smile. I'm happy that you have so many great photos of him. I know you miss him terribly.
I enjoyed your telling of the young couple recently too. How nice that they can use their talents to make a living.

Eden, Bella must get her creative gene from you. LOL It will be fun to see her interact with the new baby. She will have someone to read to besides Bud. Although he is a great listener ,besides making a good pillow. Good to hear your snow has melted.

Mary, It's good to see that David was able to come home. I hope the pain will be tolerable and he progresses as he should. I'm sending good vibes your way.

PM, I hope you DH is feeling better. How are your eyes doing? Nice to see a tropical view.

Martie, I admire your ability to keep on going with some of the things you have to contend with.
Hope Rich is on the mend.

Deanne, I think of you and Doug often too. Sounds like you two are buckleing down to stay afloat.

Marian, you really had a long time without power. I knew you could handle it though. You are pioneer material.

Kathy and Deniese, keep us inspired with little bits of spring will ya.

Chelone, the salon is progressing nicely. Will all the stuff from the board room migrate to the bahn?

Now Brenda why did that picture make you think of Chelone? LOL

Woody , Interesting tree shot your DH took. It makes me think of one I see on the way to town that reminds me of a dragon. I need to try and get a picture of it.

Hey to the restayas, my brain has shut down . I know theres more I wanted to say.

Happy Heart Day! Norma

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:32PM
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Hi ho everyone- good new from Chateau Mary today,,the patient is home and making progress ! Vicodin really makes me feel crappy, so I can appreciate poor Davids issues with it. I stopped using it for my various post-op dental treatments- though an injury like Davids cleary requires strong pain meds.

I could go for a couple of days in that photo PM.. How are things going at your place ?

Cindy, I think those auto-rollers are more trouble than they are worth, and a b**tch to clean as well. Pro-painters never use them . I also never clean the roller covers- I wastefully discard them after using. The employee discount helps justify this !

Hey Brenda, and all this time I thought you were a nice girl. Little worried about Chelones B-day card. You did mention something about things looking up ???

OK, time to start on some dinner

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

This time of year is not good for coming up with fresh photos for birthday cards! So I just got my little alter ego to send along birthday greetings to Chelone:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 8:47PM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:11PM
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Happy Birthday Chelone

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:12PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

LOL, Brenda, you bad girl!

Happy Birthday Chelone! Sorry, no card-I can't figure out how to use the windows photo editing software on my computer and still haven't loaded the Paint Shop Pro back from when I had the virus crash last month. I do have a picture you might enjoy though...

Nothing like a trip down memory lane while you can still remember...lol.

Glad to hear that David is finally getting to enjoy the comforts of home again-Mary too.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I do believe those may be the same shorts!

(and nothing wrong with that, 'cause I've been wearing the same couple of pairs for several summers!)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Chelone, nothing sufficiently indecent for your card...so this will have to do!

Your such a thoughtful buddy, open and honest and caring. But you have FUN doing the sharing, and that sure helps us along. And so today, a BIG THANK YOU!

It looks as though DSIL will be able to make it here for Thursday dinner! This is such a treat for us. I hope it works out! I wonder what I'll make for dinner!?

I almost finished one complicated baby bootie this afternoon, but it seems there's a small problem I need to fix. Then another one to knit to match. I guess I won't finish it in time for DSIL to take back with him, but there are other goodies for them anyway.

Eden is right, the weather was warmer today, but what a gloomy mess out there! There's still loads of snow but the laneway is all muddy soup. Near the patio is a melted spot where there is green moss. The green is absolutely shocking compared to everything else!

Tomorrow is yet another doctor's appointment, but after that, cleanup time. Wouldn't want DSIL to know what a slob I can be...

Later dear friends,

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hate it when people write "your" when they mean
"you're"!!! But even worse is when I do it. BLUSH!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:43PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Crocus are coming!

Happy Birthday Chelone! Hoping you took a rest from renovating and had some fun.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 9:45PM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Mary, I just wanted to say that it is wonderful that David is home at last.

This goes along with the theme of showing Chelone doing interesting things. Here she was demonstrating her party chair of goodies after cleaning up after the festivities in my room last IU. I just noticed, same shorts. She obviously packs light LOL. Happy birthday Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 12:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...all I can say is, turn around is fair play. You must have some IU photos to share, right? [g]

Norma .... my eyes are better but I am trying not to repeat the behavior that started it all up in the first place, using the computer too much. So the idea is to pace myself, which I am more successful with on some days then others. DH is getting there. Thanks for asking. :-) ...... I was surprised to read you were burning grasses and have a large pond. I guess I have never heard a lot about your garden. Is the pond a natural one and do you have a meadow?

Kathy.....DH is improving but nothing happening at lightening speed. He is really wanting to get back to work and finds it difficult to sit around and do nothing. We would have thought he would have been ready to by now, but nope. DD had a really bad head cold and had the weekend and took Monday off and was back to work yesterday. She sounded horrible on Saturday but yesterday I could just barely tell that she had a cold. Amazing how quickly the young recover. ..... I saw a photo online of a large arbor covered with a Lady Banks rose in full bloom yesterday and thought of you. Such a sight! How are you enjoying spring? More spring photos would be wonderful.

Gee, it doesn't seem like anyone is doing much ordering of plants and seeds. Isn't it prime catalog season?

How are your landscape plans coming Woody?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 3:42AM
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Yes, Brenda pegged it. I chuckled about that rather strange photo, too. More importantly, how are YOU? you know, of course, that you can't just drop in and disappear without giving us an update on things in your world. I sure hope all is well. ;)

I should add that I learned yesterday I share a birthday with Carmen Miranda, too. P'raps I'll position some fruit on my head at IUIVFORME for laughs (I'll wear the same shorts). I wish the stock market had celebrated more than it did! Thanks for the good wishes you guys. I'd forgotten that shot of KP duty, lol, looks as though I should be wheeling it up and down the aisle of an airliner (just before it lands on the Hudson). ;)

The best news,though, is that David is home and catching up on much needed rest, as is Mary, no doubt she's been abley assisted by Clousseau (in his pyschological capacity). I look forward to hearing more about David's recovery, and think of you often. :)

I've never tried any of those painting "innovations". We have a Wagoner Power Painters (sp., Kathy?) that so frustrated the helpmeet it went back into the box where it has remained ever since. Caveat: the helpmeet paints everything within a 6' radius. My brother (from long auto body experience) assured me they suck and if I want a sprayer I should get a really good one and the compressor to go along with it. My hands and wrists are nearly back to normal and it looks as though it'll be "all systems go" for the weekend. Yee-Ha. (I clean the roller covers, it's that paHsimonious yankee thing).

We're supposed to get the warm weather (and lots of rain) today. I'm OK with it, though. Sure it's dreary, but maybe it'll make a bigger dent in the rink that leads the way to my front door. Ya think?

Norma, Saucy burns off grasses, too. I had never heard of doing it, but like the sounds of that A LOT better than cutting them down by hand (a total drag and tiring). I'm going to try it when the snow recedes enough; I have two monsters to relocate when the ground is tillable. Right now, though, everything is white outside my windows.

'bug, I'll forgive you "your" and raise you a "variEgated". Sensational news on the completion of bootie #1 (in spite of the glitch)... even better that you'll be able to visit with DSIL on Thursday. I'm sure that will lift your winter weary spirits. One foot in front of the other, repeat same... spring will creep over your windowsill one of these days. Promise!

I arrived home to find the helpmeet in bed... complaining of a chill... unh-oh! We have dodged the sickness bullet thusfar (due to squalid living conditions and superior immune systems?) and I'm hoping if I continually wash the skin off my hands I'll avoid contamination this time, too. Yeah... maybe. So, my best to all who're ailing or on the road to recovery. And with that, my good friends I'll bid you...


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 5:29AM
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Happy Belated Birthday Chelone!

Hooray for David and Mary! Bet those 15 days of Vicodin are as much to keep David "calm" as they are to prevent pain. You're lucky to have PT come to you!

LOL about checking your seedlings, Kathy. I'm watching my last-Valentine's Day florist Azalea throw out teeny little greens on dead-looking branches and though I've seen the process 1000 times, it's still fascinating. Give it up about what variety of Zinnias. I'll plant them, too and we'll have bicoastal representation.

V: I feel for you at work. Rumors and naysayers and angry layoffees are horrible to deal with in the best of times and in these, while, it's downright excrutiating. My Mantra some days is the old, wise adage: "What Goes Around Comes Around." Wish folks could use all that energy in a productive way!

I'm looking at plants, PM2, but not ready to order quite yet. First I have to remember what I moved where. The everlasting gardeners lament..... Do want to choose a few Hydrangea and think I'll go local for those since in this case, size matters and Bluestone babies won't cut it.

'bug -- My guess is whatever you make for DB's dinner, it will be enjoyed with gusto! Trying to remember if he's met Phoebe? Very roundabout way of asking a pertinent question: Does individual baby have any sway on colors of yarn?

On the one note that can be truly ecstatic, Ky's grad party is set for the 22nd and includes the 15 folks he considers part of his maternal "immediate family". Keeping it simple: Chicken Divan, Lasagne, fresh-from-Boston-North-End bread, tossed salad, homemade brownies, cake, fruit skewers and Newcastle Ale to toast since champagne just doesn't seem "right for Ky" and NA in a 1/4keg is a luxury to a new grad 22yo.

And, in the spirit of supply and demand economics (Master's apps are in) which has become Ky's professional obsession, we'll be playing Love Thy Neighbor!!!!

In keeping with the theme, a smile to someone you don't know is an act that no one minds being regifted :-)


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:05AM
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Happy Birthday, Chelone! You and Jake shared the day - how did I not remember that? He's 15 - watch your heels, he's catching up to you - and now at 5'10" (and 1/4, mind you) he looms right over you, too :)

He'll be taller than me, soon. I'm going to have to start wearing stilettos around the house.

I like to burn the grasses, Norma, because it makes them look so neat and tidy when the new blades of grass come up!

Nice to see Brenda....we'll have to have Chelone have her birthday more often if it'll get you to pop in :)

Time for me to get moving....have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:30AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Loving my catalogs but haven't ordered yet. I do see clematis and roses that appeal, but none are NEEDED. That's another way of saying I'd rather spend what little I have on other things. So far that is on supplements for my health (very expensive) and on help with DD & DSIL's sunroom renovations. Yes, they do use a paint sraying machine, but no, I haven't watched them usung it. They sing praises of this item. I like a brush! Although I do clean my rollers, I am almost at the point where I'd rather save the water.

Somewhat related, is the matter of our garbage and landfill sites. At Book Club the other night one lady was astonished to learn that after all the separation of garbage we do, that the whole lot is shipped off to Asia where it is all dealt with with no standards at all. Somehow the idea that the globe can not get rid of waste by sending it elsewhere has escaped our brains. Garbage seeps into air and water and is the world's problem. We can't just dump it on someone else's doorstep. Anyway, I was surprised that this woman felt cheated by the news and hadn't known this already.

On a happier note, Martie, the 22nd is SOON! A good day for a 22 year old to celebrate too. April/May baby is referred to as "surprise baby" because they choose not to know the gender until the magic moment. And so the tiny knitted garments are beige and white! An acquaintance whose son is getting married soon has been told to "shut up and wear beige" which I found hysterically funny...perhaps because I know her. She is so disorganized that even if she were the bride's mother I'd give her the same advice. She is planning on making the sculptures for the event, a category that I had never considered for such an event, but fine!

The mist is heavy outdoors but that is expected to lift and the rain to start before noon. We can actually see spots without snow! Flooding should begin by tomorrow I'm sure.

Happy Wednesday!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 7:55AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)


Hope you enjoy your day, my friend.

Love seeing all the IU pics - some laughs in the AM are a good thing!

Mary, so great to hear that David is home. I'm sure his recovery will move forward even faster now that he is in comfortable surroundings. Sending hugs to all of you.

Ei, great to see you! How's things? What have you been up to? Love that, um, flower - very interesting.

Michelle, love those dazzling letters on Chelone's card!

A whole day off today, nobody home sick - what to do with myself? One thing is to trek to the shed and find my pruners - a few of the plants in the basement are getting tall! Yes, they are actually growing instead of screaming - not sure what I'm doing right, but its working for the most part.

We have planned a family trip to Nova Scotia this summer, so this afternoon we troop down to the post office to apply for passports. I guess both parents have to be there to ID the kids. We had planned to do this last month, but DD's birth certificate was nowhere to be found, so another one had to be obtained. I had the pictures for the applications out last night; DD and I tried to smile and look cute for our pictures, but DH and DS were unsmiling. DD made the comment that DH's picture "looked like he had committed a crime!" Nice.

Well, I should go get this day started. Waving to all!

Hey, just a side note - I always use the google spellcheck in the toolbar to check spelling before I post. When I used it just now I got a weird message - something like "too many suspicious words" - and every word was highlighted as being mispelled! Another google glitch, maybe? In any case, please pardon any spelling errors - I tried!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I am ashamed of myself! Monday I knew that Tuesday was your birthday, but I did not want to 'jump the gun', so waited to post a BD wish....then I forgot!!! You are a year and about a month younger than our Tim. :-) The BIG 50 ! Right?

Since I have not got my brain functioning well enough to post my ice pics..here is at least one of the 2 furbees looking out at it...

The mess to the left is part of the top of the Serviceberry on the ground. That particular branch broke off, and has since been removed by the 2 of us.

Anyway...I hope you had a great day. I guess, since your DH was under the weather, you were not taken out to dinner.

I echo the sentiments of those who appreciate all your great advice and support, including the 'tough love'. :-)

I did not take Nolon to the Dr Monday as planned. He had forgotten that I was going to, and asked me to call for a Wed morn appointment. He got a Wed afternoon one instead. So, I will be taking him in for a 1:30 appointment...if the horrendous winds that are predicted for today allow it.

I went to the Golden Year's class yesterday. I arrived in a bad mood, and feeling like I'd been hit by a truck, but improved after pain pills and good company.

The storms last night only ended up being rain with a little T and L, and 'normal' winds.

Our temps have returned to more seasonal temps.

Marie, I, too love the pic you posted of Reed and Skylar. It is sooo touching. I can't imagine how hard it was for you to post it.

As for the ice storm report...if you all are losing interest, just say so, and I will cancel the post on it. But then, I suspect it would be of interest to those who have never experienced such an event. I am trying to format an interesting report, like some of you come up with, but sort of drawing a blank.....


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Marian - a post with ice storm pictures definitely is required....

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 9:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Yes, I've been waiting for one. :-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 9:33AM
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pm2, My ponds are manmade or in this case woman made.LOL. I did most of the work on them.
Yes we have meadows here although we call most of them fields, except for one that is referred to as Long Meadow.

gbug, I almost see a babygirl name in April/May . Boy or girl I'm looking forward to seeing the baby in that sweater they brought back from their trip.
I hope the ice breakup on the creek won't be to devastaing.

Saucy, I hope Jake was feeling enough better to enjoy his birthday. I hadn't thought about the neater look to burning the grasses ,but you are right. They look much better without all the stubble from cutting them.

V do you do controled burns on some of your restored areas?

It rained hard here last night with thunder and lightening. Today we are to return to colder blustery weather. It figures as I am supposed to go out this evening and I don't like going out in the evening in inclimate weather.

I am not looking at plants to buy but I have been browsing my garden photos and making some plans to rearrange a couple of older areas. I do have a couple of coupons to use at the garden center by March, so will need to start thinking about that.

I better get going here. I need to get to town today.

I have been chuckling at Chelones antics captured on film.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all. I'm so disappointed I don't have access to any of my photos. I had to jump in and say Happy Birthday to Chelone!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 12:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What do you think? Are the engaged couple trying to satisfy the groom's mother, the plant and garden obsessed one?

I got a good amount done in prepping the basement for the painting. Mostly drudge work of moving things and wiping down walls. Unexciting but necessary and time consuming. And I also sent a bag of books to the library for their ongoing book sale, and freecycled a set of encyclopedias.

Purging is good!

Hope Mary and David are doing well.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 3:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a day it was outside today! It had to be high 50s, sunny and I spent an hour outside reading the paper and eating my lunch with an unbuttoned coat that I didn't need.

Marian, what a view those kitty cats have. Hope Nolan's appt went well.

Wow Norma...how large are your ponds and have you posted photos of your garden before? I would love to see what you have done. You must get a lot of pleasure from the pond. Is it deep enough for fish? If you have fields, are they are on your property? I really love Meadows and wish I lived near one to at least drive by once in awhile.

Martie...I am in the same boat more or less. I moved a lot of plants in the past two years and I am waiting to see how that works out and I have plans to move more but I am waiting for areas to be prepared for the moves. I did make a small order from Bluestone when they had 50% off in the fall that will arrive mid April. I ordered Hydrangea Lemon Wave that has pretty variegated foliage but not a real bloomer, and that Lonicera Harlequin that Woody has on her fence among others. I am also looking for another Hydrangea. I have been looking for Madame Emilie Mouillere. I probably will have to buy seedlings this year as not going to be able to start any at home. I just need container plants and tomatoes.

Oh...and I came across an article for our California Idylls that might be of interest, linked below.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 4:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well V, it seems to me that you've caught the wedding bug, the one that latches on to the parent! There's nothing like that connection to our kids! I'm so happy for you- as well as them. What great parents to have for models. When I look at my special forum of parents with ex partners, the thing that stands out to me is that very few have any idea how to communicate what they actually feel and want. They cannot get their wishes across to the people who are most important to them. I've had a huge struggle with that, not having had good models myself, and made BIG effort in that department. But DD & DSIL really have that part down to a science and it is so satisfying to watch.

Today has been so misty that I fear for DH's drive home. He had a big scare this morning on his way to work with a speeding truck riding his bumper, even though he had his lights flashing. I had a rough drive to the doctor's as well. The doctor was as useless as ever...

Moroccan Stew is on the menu for tomorrow. I love it, even though DSIL is not fond of raisins. Perhaps I'll substitute apricots.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 5:22PM
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I love it, V.! You're making it sound so fun, with the talk of the yummy food and the venue, to the calligraphy! Hmm...where is my invitation? I promise not to eat much :)

GB, we're in that swing season - lost somewhere between frozen and mud! A friend told me that she wanted to walk today, but she encountered an icy sidewalk one way, and got splashed with street mud from traffic the other way....tough to enjoy the nice weather, but I'm not wishing it away.

Enjoy your visit with DSIL....I can't imagine life without raisins.....they're like candy to me. Sarah turns her nose up at them, but I catch her eyeing them every once in a while (she can smell the sweetness of them).

Well, it's t.v. time. I'm going to go see what's on while I fold some clothes. I'm thinking of Mary and hoping things have turned around with a couple of good days at home under her belt.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all...
I am working on my 2009 ice storm pics. I have 65 downloaded into a Picture Trail album! Naturally that is much too much to post, so I am thinking I will post a few of the most spectacular, and the link to the rest. They are too good (in my opinion) to not give access to them all.
It is rather overwhelming, and I am still pooped!

I took Nolon to his dr. Thank goodness he does not have pneumonia as I feared. After Xrays, he was prescribed 2 meds for the upper respiratory problem, and given some sample pills for his tummy. He is to return in a week, if not improved, otherwise...three weeks.

All the way to town, and all over town, there is so much devestation from the storm. The only thing that could be worse is a tornado, or a fire like in Australia! The big differance is that there is very little structural damage, and very little human lives lost. It will be many years before it recovers it's original beauty. I should have taken my camera to town. The streetsides are piled with debris for the city crew to pick up. They have to be cut into no longer than 4 foot lengths, and piled in piles.

I am so draggy. I am going to check out early. I didn't get my afternoon rest.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 9:17PM
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Evenin Idylls, 5:30 and still light out sunset here at 5:44. Weve had some nice rain overnight and through the day, but its colder than usual for a rainy day in Feb.

Didnt we have some festive cards for Chelones B-day ? I particularly like the food clean-up rig, and note that the gin bottle appears quite empty. Brenda definitely started things off on an irreverent note !

PM, there is somewhere on the internet a photo of a huge specimen of Lady Banks in Tombstone Az..(maybe this was the one you saw ? ) and we have one here in Napa Cty on an estate north of St. Helena that is quite huge as well. Who knows how big mine would get if I let it go, but I cut it back twice a year, once during pruning season and once after it blooms in spring. Its hard for folks who have been ill to restrain themselves when they start feeling better isnt it ? I can imagine that your DH is chomping at the bit. Does his job involve physical labor ? Good vibes out to him Ive ordered only seeds so far this year, from Select and Park, all annuals.

Chelone, its just Wagner" (perhaps you were thinking of Lyle Wagoner from the old Carol Burnett show ??) and they are strictly weekend warrior tools, and waste of money if you ask me. The sprayers are indeed crapola , and you can rent a professional set up at any rental yard for probably the same $$ youd spend on the cheesy Wagner unit. Give helpmeet some Zinc with a whiskey chaser.

Martie, my Zinnias are "Old Mexico which is an heirloom variety from Select. I also have a pack of cactus flowered mix that Im going to start next weekendI will mention too that one of our RIFd employees has been re-hired today. A good thing.

bug maybe currants would be more palatable to your DH ? At least they are smaller-a more discreet presence. I use them often in recipes calling for raisins. Have printed off the Morrocan Beef recipe-wish I had some right now !

Marian, I love the photos of kitties looking longingly out the window though Im sure the outdoors were not to their liking at that point . lol ! I too am interested in hearing of the ice storm, we do not have them here . I m always curious to hear about these types of weather events that I have never experienced.

Better go get some dinner goingwave to all, and great to see you Norma ! I still wish to nag about seeing some photos of the pond in high summer !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 9:19PM
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Chelone - Belated Happy Birthday!!

I just love your birthday pics. Brenda's was intriguing and Wendy shows her keen eye with the camera. If you were to look carefully I have actually sported the same Capri pants at 3 Idyllunions so I have you beat! Mine cover a lot more of my hefty thighs compared to your snazzy shorts and great legs. Is it really the big 50? I have a couple more years so tell me how it feels so I can anticipate.

Happy Birthday to Jake too.

Yesterday was mixed. David made it downstairs and was able to use the bathroom which is one less thing for me to worry about. He is enjoying some new games his Playstation and watching TV again. The afternoon though he felt rotten and not even up to seeing friends who dropped by with gifts and cards. Two of my book group brought over dinner for us which was a blessing as I hadn't left his side and having a home made dinner was a treat. I guess it could be the way recovery will go - gains, followed by time needed to recuperate before the next step.

Today we have a follow up visit with the surgeon and x-rays will show how he is progressing. It takes us about 20 minutes to get from David's chair into the car so we will leave in plenty of time.

GB - I LOVE Moroccan stew and make one from an authentic recipe using lamb and prunes. I miss being able to serve it with couscous (a favorite from my former wheat eating days) but find quinoa a good substitute. By the way, we also enjoy quinoa salads so if you need a recipe let me know. I've also found quinoa flour to use in bakin with good results.

Hope to be back later. I wonder if I will be the first poster with this early morning entry?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:13AM
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Let's wish Abraham Lincoln a happy birthday, shall we?

Kathy, I was probably thinking of that half-wit CEO at GM, yeah, the one who is some lucky he still has a job because he sure doesn't deserve one! ;)

It's raining steadily this morning, if the warmth sticks a round for a bit we should get rid of still more of the ice on the driveway, just in time for more seasonable temperatures to return for the weekend. It's OK with me, spring will eventually arrive, already I can detect the little changes outdoors like fattening maple buds, more light, and trees that take on that sort of rosey glow when the temperatures rise. Sugarin' season is really just around the corner! And, of course, the frost heaves are really making their presence know to unwary motorists... nature's speed bumps. :)

Marian, I am looking forward to seeing your photographic essay on the ice storm. I though the picture of the kitties in the window was just wonderful. Do your's run from one door to the other in hope that the weather just might be different on the other side of the house? And good to know that Nolon is not suffering from pneumonia, though any sort of compromised health is a concern. It takes a lot of thought to put together pictures and the story behind them. I'll bet you're tuckered out.

Saucy, I had completely forgotten you had a birthday boy in your house! I see I share a birthday with another notable personage. :)

V., things really are moving into gear for the coming nuptials, aren't they? And I look froward to hearing about the newly painted basement. I have furniture to move either this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning so I may get rolling on the floor. I couldn't agree more about purging being good. I am in the unfortunate position of having to purge in secret... so the male of the species doesn't trail behind me bringing the more attractive items back inside... . ;)

I want to go to Martie's for Ky's party... chow sounds delish, I'll bring my own Champagne as beer is not my thing.

And Moroccan beef stew sounds pretty good too. I like raisins... how long before Saucy's Sarah deigns to gobble up a few... oh yeah when they figure out how to raise white ones. Think golden muscats might tempt her?

Time to brave the elements and count the hours 'til quittin' time. Good thoughts to Mary and convalescing David.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quickly here...

The waters are rising! We may lose the phone line because of it. Never seen it so high and it is not even 8am yet. Today will be a challenge as there is terrible gusting of winds as well. I do so hope DSIL can make it tonight!!! He's driving a PT Cruiser much to his chagrin...Light flurries and rain combined to make more slush. YUCK. It isn't even spring. We often get big snow storms in March.

Later I hope!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 7:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all....
I arose about 4:30 this morning and found that the stove had almost gone out and it was 55 inside. Felt pretty cold!

The problem with the storm story...I had it all figured out in my mind, one night a few nights ago, while trying to go to sleep. Now I feel as though I have already told it! :-(

Kathy, the cat's hated what was going on outside. The funniest event with them was while the thaw was going on, and ice was thunderously showering down all around. Tommy needed to go out, badly. He had ventured out once only to be met with a shower of ice. I finally convinced him it was safe to try it again. He tentively inched out to below the abelia, and was contemplating going on, when a gust of wind showered a huge mass down all around him. He charged back to the front door, where I was waiting to let him back in, and came in grumbling. I am sure he said, " You sure did lie to me."!

Chelone, they did go from door to door, hoping the scenario was better at the next one. They kept complaining to us, and I think they thought we should have been able to rectify the situation. After all, I can heat up the interior of the house, and (normally) turn lights on and off, so why can't I do the same outside?

Mary, of course there will be 'those days' with David. I am sure he realizes what you are feeling, also, but his sense of helplessness is bound to be overwhelming. I am happy that he has his music to lean upon, and other interests. I can certainly identify with not feeling like seeing his friends.

Pssst, don't look now, but Chelone is ignoring the 'age' question. ;-)

BTW, I got a kick out of all the pics of her in the shorts, and the other one under the bush....BIG grin!

Ooops, lights are blinking...must post fast..

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 8:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just a quick check-in to see that Jerri made it thru her weather okay, and Mary is hard at work doing the home nursing thing.....

V - love that shot, and of course there is nothing more romantic than flowers for weddings, etc., even if one is not a gardener -- that's the time those folks thank those who do love gardening, LOL.... I do think you get off a bit easier because you are the MOG rather than MOB for the bridezilla dramas, so enjoy it for all it's worth.

Yep, going back to winter today as it whirls back in here; one more day of 50ish, but the winds kicked up fierce, and there's talk of snow on Sat.

Mary, I'd love to find some quinoa recipes that are tasty; I confess Im not enamored of the grain (do love that couscous) but know it should be in the diet and like to eat it so it's palatable, LOL.

well, Im sure I've forgotten a bunch of other stuff; duty calls..... 2 more days til the long weekend, YES!


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 9:05AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Just a quick pop in to say you've got to check out this garden that was featured in this month's RHS The Garden magazine. Simply gorgeous! Make sure you check out all the pictures by clicking the words along the bottom....

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Very important message from Ein:

My mom's birthday was the 11th. I think my dad's gift to her may have been opting to not have open heart surgery, but to lose weight, cut salt, etc, what he's supposed to have been doing lo these 20 yrs...oy!

Marian, O Brave Pioneer Woman! Thanks for the ice storm photos.

That's much better, to hear David is at home and all are catching up on sleep. Hoping for a good report from the surgeon today.

Woody, that gorgeous garden was profiled in Gardens Illustrated recently. Makes you realize why botanical latin is so important when descriptions are in a language other than one's own. Here's a quote from an article from this month's edition I liked:

"As the weeks turn through spring and toward summer, a sea of green seeps through the garden, gradually filling up like a bath, pushing at the fences."

Think spring!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:49AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, dear, o dear -- this is terrible -- we have to leave it to the dogs to announce birthdays.... I guess better get a committee together to run this show, LOL (and Im not nominating Chloe)... Ein, dear, thanx for letting us know.

Denise, I hope you had a pleasant birthday, not much out of body experiences for the day, and Im glad to hear that the spouse has decided to get in earnest with the program. You've trained your dawg well (hope he gets bonus treats for this p.r.)...

Happy Belated Birthday, Denise:

-- Cindy and Chloe

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:32PM
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    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:41PM
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Dear Cindy and Chloe,

Ein obviously muddled that message. Birthday wishes were to my mom, who was 79 yesterday. She had a nice English tea with some of her pals and today heads off on a bus trip to the Huntington Botanical Gardens. For her birthday present, I'm taking her to see Tony Bennett in early March. Like Michelle's pool, there's some technical issue, so temporarily no swimming for her this week.

Sneaking in a photo of my niece Ellie, who seems to have my cowlicks!:

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:47PM
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LOL, Michelle!! I'll take it, though, and save it for April!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Rereading, Cindy, I get it...you thought it was Ein talking the entire message. No, that was me. Marty's heart is fine! Sorry for the confusion...shouldn't post when the head is fuzzy from congestion.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh good! This Love Idyll needed more cat and dog photos and of course sweet baby pictures too! (Although V's black & white shot of The Perfect Couple fit in, well, perfectly!)

Phone & computer still working! Yeah!

Hi David! Hope your afternoon is going well and you are resting a bit too.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:11PM
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She's beautiful and cowlicks are wonderful because she won't need "product" to get her hair to do something :)

I love Ein's sign....if you flip it over, does it say, "will work for kibble!"? He's such a handsome guy...did he just have a bath?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ha - the joke's on me -- nothing like not following the whole program, Denise (if I had a list, I guess I could have double checked that one)... so Happy birthday to Denise's Mom, LOL.... (& not Ein's mom...).

Just in case we needed more pics to get us going... back to work for sure now.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I just love birthdays on the Idylls. Denise, cute little Ein is so smart! Hi Ellie! She is cute except I don't like babies. LOL I hope you feel better soon Denise.

I'm actually in at work this afternoon. It doesn't take long for the cast to turn into a tourniquet so I've been working from home a lot. My work laptop is very small and hard to type on. It's wonderful to be able to actually type on a real keyboard at a desk.

Mary I'm so happy David is home and starting on his road to recovery. Try not to be discouraged by the setbacks. David will no doubt be on an emotional roller coaster. I know to expect those setbacks and still find them very disappointing and get angry with myself. It's a slow process but he is young and strong and that will help.
Hugs to you both.

Marian, I'm glad you survived the ice storm OK. I can't imagine being out of power for that long. The internet withdrawal alone would be crippling!

Hi to everybody. I better get back to work and take advantage of my time with a real keyboard! LOL


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 2:51PM
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'bug, did you notice my sparkly heart letters on Denise's pre-birthday card? I thought they fit well with the love theme.

What a precious little girl, Denise.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise, Ellie is an absolute doll! And Ein is a handsome dog. :-)

Jerri, believe it or not, the lack of internet and TV was not all that hard on me. The only time I really missed such things was in the evening when it got too dark to do anything else. My old eyes cannot read by oil lamps anymore. :-(

I need to correct the lenghth of time that we were without power. It was 11 days and 7 hours, not 12 days. I heard on the TV this morning that all the customers on our electric system are back on. Some of the customers on other systems are still off.

I keep going out and assessing the damage to the trees. It will be at least 20 years before the big trees recover. We will need to get a tree company to take down a lot of hanging limbs in our yard trees. I think we will have to get help to clean up the debris too.

It has warmed up again. 60s for a high! Oh...I have crocus in bloom! One yellow, and several lavender. Seem awfully early, but I guess not.
I also have a Cleome indoors that is getting ready to bloom! That is certainly a first for me. I just could not throw the potted ones away last fall, so one container of 4 plants has spent the winter in the dinningroom sliding door window.
I have two moth orchids with new blooms too.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I enjoyed Denise's mixed-up unbirthday. Ein's cuteness is only outshone by Ellie. I love her hair!

Despite very heavy winds today, the crew finally showed up and installed 11 of the 25 solar panels. They're supposed to be done tomorrow, but I'm not sure if that is still their goal. Well, at least tomorrow I'll be at the office instead of at home, where the pups barked at every thump and bang.

I hope David is having a better day today.

Not much else to say today - a rather uneventful day.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:50PM
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I've now circled the sun 50 times. ;)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 5:56PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ah yes, Chelone. And I am still 26 years, 2 months, and 20 days older than you! May you still be going strong when you are my age. ;-)

Some today's beautys:

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 6:29PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Okay, I'm back for my catch-up post :) Chelone, I took several pictures of those flowers with YOU in mind, lol! I told DH at the time that they were for your birthday card.

I can't begin to comment on all I've missed-feels like forever since I've chatted with you all.
On the farm:
Year end bookwork is done. DH is now sad, lol. It's time to pay the piper, and it's been a good year. I'm at least optomistic that it will be put to good use.

The newlyweds are living in newly wedded bliss, and adorable as they can be. The photographer had a 3 week bout of salmonella so he just got the pictures posted to his site. I can't link to them, but should be getting a disk of them pretty soon. Oh, and the salmonella had nothing to do with the wedding food ;) Musta got some bad Nutter Butters.

DS has been laid off from his job for several months, but is keeping his head above water nicely. The fear of having to move back home probably keeps him in line, lol!

DH has spent as much time as possible out on the ice, filling the freezer with yummy bluegill for fish fries this summer.

DB is through his 4th round of chemo. This time, his white cell count was low, so they had to give him shots for a couple of days before they could do treatments. I understand this happens? The shots made him pretty miserable, and overall he's pretty tired. Some of his friends are flying him to Florida for 10 days. He leaves tomorrow. He's really looking forward to soaking up some sun. He says he just can't get warm. He's come down twice for a mini-vacation on the farm. We have such a good time, he's just a joy to be around. Sense of humor is still intact, I'm glad to say.

I took over DD's old room and turned it into my "yoga fort". No phones or distractions, and all my best "treasures" are in there. I can't believe how nice it is to have my own room..it's been years! I've been spending at least an hour there pretty much every day. I feel ever so much better, and I'm losing weight again. I'm down to a size 12, and I believe at my biggest, I was either a 22 or 24. The yoga has helped me so much in dealing with all the stress of everything. When I'm focusing on that, I can't think of anything else, and it makes a wonderful break.

There is so much to deal with that I never thought about...family politics, etc., with DB's illness. It tests both my patience and my good humor at times. All in all, life is good, though.

I need to go start something for supper. I know it was all about me, but every one of you are in my thoughts. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's so good to come and read the posts, and see that life is going on, not all good, not all bad, just going on the way it does.
I'll be back :)
PS-My skydiving buddy still checks up on me from time to time. I'm gonna have to pinch his little face when I see him again, he's a good egg. A bunch of the people from the drop zone are in Puerto Rico this week...woo hoo! I was pretty jealous, I have to admit. However, if I had learned to jump solo, I'd have gone to Puerto Rico. If I had gone, I'd have missed looking at wedding pics with my excited little girl. I'm thinking I'll pass on a thrilling solo skydiving career for the time being, and be happy just being who I be ;)
Take care, all!
Oh, and happy birthday to Denise! I'm gonna get it together one of these days and get you ALL in my cell phone!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Brenda, Happy to have an update from you. I can identfy with your DH's end of year blues. I wish your DB lots of sunshine and warmth while in FL.
Boy I think I better take up yoga and drop a few sizes. Congratulations on that.

Marian I was wondering if you had crocus yet. I spotted a couple while doing some yard clean up today. I'm sorry you had so much tree damage. I've not had a chance to view your pictures yet.

Denise, Ellie is a doll.

Woody I enjoyed the garden you linked to.

Pm, the pond is deep enough for fish,but I only have one right now, and yes the fields are on our property.

Kathy I will try to find a summer view of the pond soon.

Jerri, how much longer in the cast?

Not much going on here. I think the fresh air today has made me tired.

Here's hoping Wayne made it to Maries this evening.

Cheers, Norma

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 8:12PM
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Hi Idylls, My eyes are tired from uninterrupted computer work today, so I ll make this brief.. Snow level down to 2000 feet tonight so we may see a dusting on top of our hills in the morning. My seedling viewing this evening revealed nothing new, I fear that some of the years old seeds that I tried to start are not viable. Thats okay though, when my Coleus seeds from Parks come Ill replace the duds.

So great to hear from Brenda and Norma ! Brenda, Im really impressed by your discipline with your Yoga regimenIm planning to get back into my daily walking when the daylight savings returns.

Marian I love that yellow Phal !

Hi Jerri, Michelle,et al.. and Im just really becoming attached to Ein. Maybe I need a Corgi.

Later folks

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Happy Birthday Chelone and Denise! I hope you both had great ones. I still can't figure out this Mac. I tried to upload pics for your BD with no luck. I am hoping I can get someone to show me how this weekend, but didn't want to wait any longer to send greetings. Chelone, I did take some pics of the kitchen project as you requested. I am changing the color I picked. It looks like mud on the wall:)
Denise, I love Ein! My son is Corgi crazy, and determined to get one as soon as the lease is up on his apt and he can move into a house.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Brenda, we've yet to have our tax appointment in fact that was tonights project. We aren't sure how sad we will be yet - it was a good year here as well. I was just about to start bugging you about wedding pictures. It's warmed up in Florida again after some really cold weather, so hopefully your DB gets warmed. I've been listening to the Orlando weather on my satellite car radio since DD moved there.

It appears that spring is arriving in the south.

50 times huh Chelone? You're 1 1/2 times ahead of me.

Not much going on here other than we had another really nice day.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:03PM
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Wow, it sure was nice to get an update from Brenda. You crack me up, when we hadn't heard from you I was beginning to fear the worst about your brother. Good to know he's holding his own and the sense of humor remains intact in sprite of adversity. It's my own opinion that a sense of humor is the most important thing in the world, nothing rivals the restorative powers of quit wit, a practical joke, or a good belly laugh. Unless it's having your very own clubhouse to retreat to when things get tough. I don't know why it made me chuckle that you have birthdays stored on your 'phone.... can't do that with the rotary kind! ;)

Ellie is a baby. Everyone says babies smell good, I wonder what part of them people who say that are smelling? I hate babies. And dogs. Just wanted to remind everyone, so you won't think I've gone soft in my latter years. :) (Jerri, Sue we gotta stick together since we're outnumbered).

Today is the day I'm going to prime the Salon floor... I THINK. The helpmeet is going to help me schlep Cynthia's love seat and the remaining furniture in there to the ground floor this morning. And I'm debating adding yet another dollop of pheonoseal to the nail holes. It will require at least 2 hrs. to "set" before painting so I'm going to sashay on out there and do a test area to see if it gives the desired effect before plungeing in and doing the entire floor for the 3rd. time... . (I have definitely gone soft on this part of the job).

I won't intrude on Sue's "territory" but I'm some glad I don't have to work "there" today. Yesterday was an unadulterated drag; under the weather boss (read: irritable), a silent shop (no NPR, no music, no conversation), inadequate work order coupled with irritated looks/comments when clarification was required (which lead to mistakes on something that needed to be installed). Bad cess all the way around. I couldn't get far enough away fast enough and while I'm "barely employable" that's not my style, at all. It's just easier to do something properly the first time around and I can't do that when work orders lack information or I'm made to feel inadequate for asking for clarification. VERY frustrating for me.

I came home to find the helpmeet scurrying around trying to get the antennae rigged to pick up the digital TV signal. I delegated that task to him several months ago and he's been dragging his feet (and other anatomy) about getting it accomplished. Naturally, we are in a "dead zone" and will lose 2 of the 4 channels we presently receive FREE next Tuesday UNLESS we add an antennae to the roof ($800), buy a dedicated computer and use the internet cable, mouse and keyboard to connect to web streaming ($?), give TWC more money for another crummy service that costs too much already, or just shrug and remove network TV from our list of entertainment options. I'm very disappointed that PBS is one of the stations we'll no longer receive (will miss the News Hour greatly). I felt cornered and badgered into making a decision last night and was unable to convey my irritation that this was not discovered some months ago so I simply went to bed.

I did get a reprieve when I had my hair cut, though. :) One look in the mirror this morning and I'm reminded of that picture of Ellie, lol. I've got the same look happenin' here, only the hair is grey and there are more crow's feet on the face.

Drema, you're scarin' me about the Mac. The concensus among those I know who use them is that they are the terrific. Clearly I remain skeptical (as well as inept). I laughed at your comment about mud on the wall, I know the feeling, except mine is going to be mud on the floor. Can't wait to see the pictures of your kitchen.

OK, time to refill the coffee cup, mosey on out to the Salon and crank up the caulking gun. While I'm doing that I'll send good vibes to Mary, David, and all my "virtual" friends. And I'll hope 'bug's SIL arrived safely and was able to cull the raisins from his dinner with success.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 6:20AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! Can you believe it is almost the middle of February? I can feel my excitement building that spring is almost here!

Finally, DH is starting to feel a little better. He has the day off on Monday and it would appear he will be ready to get back to work by Tuesday. I am still waiting for a little more energy and keeping my fingers crossed it arrives before spring. Or it could be that it arrives with spring. Not another thing new here.

Wondering if gardenbug and company have floated away?

Drema...I meant to tell you that I have a Mac too. I just love it to death. There was a period of time when I first got it that I had to make the adjustment from using a Windows based machine. I remember complaining about all the differences. What made a huge difference, was that technical support can be in person. I live within 10 minutes of an Apple store and in the beginning I would set up an appointment to go in and see them, which was often within hours of my call and take myself and my machine down there and they were amazing the way they straightened out every problem I had. Then once I learned a little more about using their software, I found that I preferred everything about it over the old machine. My DH still has a windows based machine because he needs it for work and I feel sorry for him because he has had repeated problems. I would highly recommend that you take advantage of their generous and capable tech support in person if possible.

Denise....Isn't Ellie just the sweetest! Such a pink little bundle and that hair, such a lot of it! How old is she? Our DD had hair that stuck up straight all over her head like a crew cut when she was a baby...lol. Now she has nice thick straight beautiful hair. I love your Ein's sweet little face. I wish you lived closer and I would offer to doggy sit for you. [g] How did Ein come by his name? Is it Irish? ....Tony Bennett was a favorite of my Mom's too. Her very favorite song was 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco'. He is still in such great voice for his age.

Norma...I am impressed that you dug out that pond yourself. Now there is a garden project that I would find very intimidating. Setting up a pond so that it worked well and fit into the landscape can't be very easy. I wonder if it attracts lots of wildlife? You must get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Brenda...what a nice post from you. I wonder if your DB is getting any nutritional support while he is going through the chemo? A visit to a naturopath could make a difference in his ability to tolerate it and hopefully help him to feel a little better through the process. .... You are sounding pretty good, considering. Your comment about the newlyweds had me remembering what it was like to be one and wondering if we were adorable too...lol. I am happy to hear you have started back to Yoga. Sounds like it is making a real difference.

Marian...crocus coming up after such an ice storm? We are weeks away from any crocus here.

Great garden Woody, thanks for the link. How is your work coming along? When is your class finished and will your garden plans be the whole of your grade?

Cindy...not sure if they have quinoa recipes, but Food Network's website has been a great source of recipes for my DD. She likes that they are reviewed by people who use the site.

Also loved the sound of the food at Ky's party!

Hope to hear how David's appointment went yesterday.

Kathy...I googled some LadyBank photos yesterday and didn't realize that the one in Arizona takes up 8,000 square feet. The trunk is massive! .... I am starting to feel the urge to plant seeds. Would love to see seedling photos. :-)

Saucy...what did Jake get for his BD?

Well, looks like the novella post is back. Hellos all around... :-) pm2

Just refreshed...Chelone...not fair to have aggravation in the middle of your BD week! Correct me if I am wrong, but the purpose of the Salon is to start working for yourself? I imagine after a day like that, you cannot wait. I can get aggravated just thinking about how much our cable bill is, so I hear ya. I wanted to point out, that our public library network carries a huge selection of DVDs including PBS specials if that helps any. That added to NPR on the radio might at least offer another option.

OK...good bye again.. :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 6:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Waters are down, it is cold once more. Wayne is asleep still after we laughed and cried together until 2am. Off to start breakfast and the wood stove.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 8:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sounds like it's going to be a special Friday the 13th at 'bug's house -- neato.

Great to see Brenda pop in -- I love the concept of a yoga fort - I need one desperately....

Michelle -- impressed you're going on the taxes; Im still waiting for some info; I just hate that there's one company that totally waits until the last legal deadline to send their stuff out; usually this is the weekend I get mine filed... o well; not something in my control so I guess I better ohm and let it go....

It's back to winter; my VT SIL and her 90 yr old mom have breezed into town (my former MIL I guess I should say; but we all disregard the former biz..) and I expect to catch up w/ them somehow; I also need the SIL to come critique the family room -- of course if her critique is bad, I'll just live with it anyway, LOL; but as she was an interior designer in a prior life, I always enjoy her opinions and she's great at hanging things on the wall - the last thing I've avoided, since Im so bad at it...

I hope all have a safe, cosy 13th day -- glad you get freedome Chelone to relax from the crapola of that cess place!

Im hoping to WALAT somehow this weekend to search for signs of life and spring.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Happy Friday 13th. Sarah used it as the excuse for why her alarm clock didn't wake her :)

Time for me to get dressed and head over to the school for some Valentine's fun. Yes, Chelone, there will be a party, with rice crispie treats and cards to swap.

Happy 5-0, friend. I didn't realize you were having a milestone birthday. We'll have to find a way to mark this occassion at Idyllunion :)

I'm glad to hear that Wayne made it safely over the rising waters!

Have a great day all! I don't know what I'm doing this weekend, but I hope it involves some extra sleep, as there is no WALATING with snow still on the ground.

Later gators.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:16AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls!

Back to cold weather today, after 2 days in the 50's. Oh well, it is only February, we know winter is not over yet. I'm looking forward to thumbing my nose at Deanne's in a few weeks.

Brenda, good to hear from you. Florida sounds great about now, your DB will enjoy it. How great that his friends are able to do that for him.

Chelone, I hope this doesn't irritate you further, but I believe the switch to digital TV has been postponed until June since so many people weren't ready. There was some snafu with the gov't coupons for the converter boxes I guess.

Marian, nice to see some crocus! We've had a lot of melting here, but it is still too early for crocus. Maybe the snowdrops have been uncovered though - I'll check tomorrow.

Duty calls - waving to all!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:32AM
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Good Morning,

Didn't realize it was Fri the 13th until I read it here. I attended Bella's school Valentines party yesterday. Yep, rice krispies treats, also strawberries and jello jigglers. We went to Sesame Street Live last night. Fun for Bella and fun for us because she was having fun. Does that make sense?

Chelone, Happy Birthday! 50s aren't so bad. I've been there for a year and a half now. Hoping the salon floor painting goes smoothly for you.

Denise, what a darling baby Ellie is. I can almost smell her pink baby-ness through the screen. Makes me even more excited for Kate's arrival in April! And Ei is quite the handsome fellow holding his sign, lol.

Got to run, time for some backgammon.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Friday the 13th...and DH's birthday. But he's off to work, Wayne is off to the airport, Phoebe is sad to have them gone, and I am presently taking a holiday from dishes and other obligations.

No Chelone, the 50s are just fine from my perspective. I wouldn't mind being that age once again...but the good news is that I wouldn't change my late 60s for anything either. I've been quite lucky!

The waters are down about 4 feet, the sun is shining on and off, and the cold has returned.(21F) Yesterday I saw a blue heron flying overhead.

It seems that because February is an even four weeks long that we'll have another Friday the 13th next month too.

Nice to see Brenda's update, PM2's news...and now waiting for Sue's posting. What will the colors be??? My bet is RED!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:39AM
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Gee, I didn't realize it was Friday the 13th., either!

Phenosealing is accomplished and we're into the "cure" time now. I'm procrastinating, have alterations to do in the Lab. and some curtain panels to split in two and shorten, as well. I don't feel like doing any of it, but it's work.

I know the switch over has been postponed but individual stations have the option of delaying full conversion or sticking with the February 17 cut off date. NHPTV is opting for the latter (we can't get MPBN here with regularity) which is understandable as operating both is an expensive proposition. What really chaps my ass about the whole thing is that there is no competition for us, it's TWC or nothing. You can't even use a satellite dish without paying them to unscramble the signal. It's a rip-off, it's not fair, and more importantly it turns over control of airwaves to corporate entities, further consolidating control of broadcast media. This alarms me as it has the potential to further isolate and marginalize people without the means to pay when what was once free becomes inaccessible; in particular the elderly, those who struggle with English, or live in remote areas. For us it is a relatively minor irritation, but for many I fear it will present unnecessary hardship and only increase isolation.

Cindy, I'm with you about hanging things on the walls. I have the toughest time deciding what should go where although I'm pretty good at determining the appropriate height. There is just something so final about putting hooks on the wall... what if you get it wrong?

Marian, I meant to tell you how lovely your indoor plants are! just beautiful. I suspect you do more fussing over them than you let on. ;) And it's a real treat to see crocus in an outdoor setting (you, too, Norma), it's gonna be awhile before that happens here.

I love Tony Bennett (big surprise). We have a CD he did with KD Lang some years ago and there are some nice numbers on it. I really admire the "old" performers, the ones who know how to work with a band, put on a show, and are polished, professional, SMOOTH. I like hearing nice melodies and witty, intelligent lyrics that are delivered clearly with no mumbling. You and your mother are going to have a great time, Denise. I'm envious.

OK, I've prattled too much and need to get some hemming done before I squander too much more time.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Must not scan the Idylls at work...

I was wondering why anyone would want a Yoga Fart???


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 11:58AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


With so many over at FB now I forgot I still need to do this here as well. No red-will pink do?

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:42PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sue, What is FP?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:48PM
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That's great news your DH is feeling better, PM. Hope you find that energy burst just when you need it. We had a giddy moment ourselves yesterday after Marty got back from the doc, saying he was released to go back to work today. He's been off since the 26th of December!

Not being a HGTVer, like Cindy, seeing Eden's and Chelone's links has finally focused for me what is being aimed at with the salon floor, which is exactly something I've been contemplating doing to an old wood table for outdoor dining, so now I'm all attention for more details on how many coats and what kind of polyurethane/varnish etc protects the design. Much smaller area than Chelone has to deal with so maybe I'll even attempt some stenciling. The trestle legs of the table are in good condition but the top is trashed (a curbside rescue).

Brenda, so nice to hear from you and big congrats on the weight loss. Your DH ice-fishes! That's something Duncan has been fascinated by. Keeping the laughs and ditching the family politics during illness is definitely the tricky part, so best wishes on that score.

Since there were so many nice comments about Ellie, I'll write a bit more. (Chelone, Sue & Jerri can briefly do the cyber equivalent of sticking fingers in ears, chanting lalalalala) She definitely "takes" more after her mom, who is half Chinese, so she'll have those beautiful, fine-boned genes. She's just three months. Her sister Katie is 4 and seems to take more after our side of the family. Ellie's godmother is a former model, native to Mobile, and is also half-Chinese, so my SIL and her friend together really turn heads. I call such women the "bird women," incredibly fine-boned. I'd guess at least Sue, Martie & Michelle may also be of the tribe of bird women.

Sounds like it was a nice visit. 'bug. Your tantalizing Moroccan stew morphed into wondering about Moroccan blue, so googling I find this: "Chefchaouen is a small Berber town located in the Rif Mountains of Northern Morocco. The entire center of the old city is painted an irridescent blue." And now I know my fence is Moroccan blue thanks to your stew!

Drema, Ein was named by Duncan after this character from the Japanese cartoon Cowboy Bebop. Dune was 13 when we got Ein. That cartoon uncannily captures a corgie's antics (anyone remember the scene in Broadcast News when Albert Brooks sarcastically comments on clumsy alliteration: "Pretty peppy party"? a movie for the Netflix queue, Kathy)

(Jerri, I thought the two were inseparable ;)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 12:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just a quick post here. As soon as I get home tonight, DH and I are taking off for a couples cooking class in Chicago. We may have to compete with the Obamas for expressway access, so our exit will be hasty. The cooking class is on Indian cuisine and was DH's Christmas present to me.

If Michelle, Sue, Martie and Ellie are of the bird woman tribe, then I am of the elephant woman tribe!

Glad to hear that GB is safe, and would like to see an update from Mary.

Too much freeze and thaw here to WALAT - the result would be more like a WALLOW!

The work schedule is very stressful. Too much to do in too little time, and communication is very disjointed. I am speculating that some are too resentful of the temporary cuts to take the time to leave detailed messages or send emails to resolve the comunication issues.

Speaking of work, I should be beack at it.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 1:50PM
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I have the prime coat finished. My wrists, forearms, and pectorals are really tired. It'a a big area, just under 900 sq.ft., and the Advantec sub-flooring has a uneven surface (think Oriented Strand Board) that is very thirsty. End result was that I had to really work the roller to get the primer to coat the surface throughly. It took the best part of 5-6 hrs.. I just finished cleaning the brush, roller, roller cover, and the pan. You'll be thrilled to learn that I took pictures, no doubt.

V., a member of the elephant tribe, indeed! I sympathize with the upheaval at work completely. It's hard when you have to go through a cycle like that. Since you likely pay attention to detail and find that doing a good, thorough job is easier than not it must be very disruptive for you. I hope you're able to use your extra day at home to do fun wedding stuff.

Denise, any chance you could put up a shot of the trestle table? sounds like a fun project, what are your ideas thusfar or is this a nascent project?

I'm pooped, I'm outta here and on my way to bed. Have a nice evening, everyone.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 8:11PM
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I had a tradition for a few years of going to the Mendocino County coast over the p-day weekend. My employer does not recognize this as an official holiday , but I have worked there so long and have such a backlog of PTO days I would take it off an go hang out with my BILS. Winter is often nice on the Nor Cal coast nice meaning not foggy .BILs being now in Oregon , Ill go to work Monday as usual. We are expecting rain all weekend along with high winds. Im not complaining, we need the moisture badly. Im thinking Ill give the house a spring cleaning so that Ill feel less guilty about blowing off housework and going outside when the weather gets nice again.

Ive been continuing to accumulate photos of buildings around the city for my promised architecture thread. Since it will be overcast here (good photo weather) I will take some photos this weekend during rain breaks.

Chelone, I concur that the analog-digital thing has been postponed. Im on satellite so am unaffected (and all I care about is baseball anyway) , and have not been paying close attention , but there has been much letter to the editor activity in the SF Chronicle on the topic-I hope you got the furniture schlepped down the stairs and the floor project is proceeding I was extremely fond of Tony Bennett as a child and have pirated (:-( bad Kathy) some of my favorites, notably Tender is the Night , "Who Can I Turn To among others. I used to listen to his albums over and over.

Yay for Marty , returning to his aqua-awfice ..I saw a book on the close-out table at our local indie book store called Gardens of Morocco(always regretted not buying it) and blue was featured prominently. I have a couple of old redwood chairs that have seen better days that I am seriously thinking of sanding and painting; one Moroccan blue and one either a light green shade of some sort or a primrose yellow. Now that the garage is cleaned I need a project to do in it !

A wave to all, I m making some pasta salad for dinner and then its off to read the paper.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:38PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Our cooking class got canceled, so we had a quiet night at home instead. The instructor was coming down with a cold, and I only can appreciate the fact that he did not want to share.

Cooler this evening so we had a nice fire. Not too much else new. Tomorrow, I shall banish myself to the basement with naught but the sanding blocks, the vacuum, the spackle and the putty knife. Oh, do I know how to have fun! Next thing you know, I'll be begging Chelone to send me some of that pheonoseal.

Maybe when the basement is all done, I'll redecorate the loft into my own fort. That area just needs serious "shovel pruning", not painting. Hmm, the wheels are turning...


    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 10:27PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a delicious photo I found. Love the simplicity of it. Looking forward to a nice Valentine's Day dinner this afternoon with some kind of chocolate confection.

Wow, I slept all the way through the night last night and so did DH! Things are looking up. :-)

Denise...How exciting that Marty is feeling well enough to return to work. I was worried that he was going to have a hard time getting back to pain free. He is pain free at this point? Six weeks out of work, so are you going to miss having him around more? So how is Kate enjoying her new sister? Four is a really nice age, when they really start talking and saying the cutest things.

Gardenbug....I must have missed why Wayne was visiting, but wow, how nice for you both to get a chance to catch up like that. Sounded like a very rejuvenating time for you both. Glad the waters are receding. Are we going to get photos of booties soon?

Cindy....Count me among those who hate to hang things on the wall.

Eden...April is really coming fast, all of you must be getting so excited. What does Bella have to say about the anticipated arrival?

V...I don't envy you the paint prep in the basement. I actually enjoy painting but I hate the prep work.

Tony Bennett favorite songs...'Yesterday I Heard the Rain' and 'This is All I Ask', among others.

Enjoy the day!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 5:31AM
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I lived with bare walls for 2 or more years! I leaned the pictures up against the wall (but carefully!) all because I did not want to put a hole in the beautiful smooth plaster!

Now there is a pig diving into a pond on the wall!

It's a beautiful sunny morning here, and I joined the PM family in a good sound full night's sleep. When I woke, a realization came over me: we have no big plans for the day! Yippee!

SunnyD and I are going to go to Tower Hill tomorrow and stroll the orangerie. I need to use my membership. They have the best membership idea - it's a friend membership, and I have passes for up to 4 others! So I can invite my husband if I want, or any of you!

I'm going to go start my day of leisure. I might fold some clothes, but only if I think I will enjoy doing it :)


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 7:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is a cold and odd morning...and that beautiful chocolate valentine is staring at me! ;)

I think I will ask DH to sit with me and help solve 8-10 computer problems as my valentine gift. I'll help him select a wedding gift for his voice teacher in return, maybe take him out to lunch. I wonder if any of this will transpire or if it is all a dream.

PM, Wayne was in a town about an hour or so away doing his annual job training. As an officer, he must practice using pepper spray, his firearm, his batton, etc. When he arrived here he was exhausted from wrestling huge hulks to the ground and other heavy physical stuff. But Phoebe was thrilled to have a true friend who wrestles! She actually cried for a while after he left. Oddly enough, he returned about 20 minutes later to collect his forgotten watch and she was ecstatic! We all had good conversation and sharing. As to booties, I am disappointed with the one I completed. Too big at the base, too small a foot opening. Think I'll try a different pattern later on...I sent a box of goodies home with Wayne and included the little hat I made along with Valentines, baby garments, sunflower seeds, sparklers for birthday cakes and more...

As to pictures, I have decided to hang 5 photos above a couch in my study. I need to select which 5 and order them today. That is one of the jobs I'd like DH to help me with.

DH is still snoring so I think I'll go take a leisurely bath.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 8:28AM
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I have already completed the "fly over" of the newly painted floor and found a few places in need of auxiliary filling and a few nails that needed to be put in their places. No matter how careful I am there are always a few "holidays". Next step is to go to the rental place and come back with the floor buffer and more sandpaper for the palm sander. Also 2 (?) gallons of the base color. It promises to be a long day, but I'm looking forward to it.

Hang in there, V., the prep. work is the pits to do but you'll be glad you spent time on it in the end. The helpmeet teases me that I spend more time on prepping things than I do on the final steps. Ummm... YEAH. That's precisely the point, darling! :)

Denise, I think I notice the beginnings of a "poor attitude" in the picture of little Miss Ellie... I direct your attention to her little, tiny finger on her right hand. Perhaps I was a tad too hastey in my estimation of the little squirmer. ;) I'll bet Marty can't wait to get back to work; being at home is all well, fine, and good IF you're able to do things you'd like to. But it can be torture when you're unable to capitalize on the leisure time. He crosses my mind regularly, you know. I have frequent contact with the guys who operate the tugs on the river and I have to say that to a one they are all the nicest guys you'd ever hope to meet. There is a quiet confidence about them and they take their work and the safety required of them very seriously. Interestingly, many of them are members of the volunteer fire dep'ts. in their towns. I have the same feeling about most of the fishermen, too.

I'm looking forward to an update on David. You're right, Mary, the recovery involves lots of ebb and flow with progress, set-backs, and plateaux aplenty to test everyone's patience and resolve. It helps to remind yourself of that, but boy! it's hard sometimes. Hang tough.

Woody, I absolutely love that shot of Misty's face. Those bright eyes in that furry face are just wonderful. I have looked at the linked garden pictures a few times only to be called away. They're beautiful. I was very taken with the starkness of the winter shot on the opening page... those who believe the winter landscape is dull are woefully uninformed or just not very observant. Fun link. How's the course going?

Marian, ditto above for your ice storm pictorial.

Gotta get laundry load number one hung up and number two under way, and then it's off to accomplish the shopping and rental. Talk atcha all later.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 8:42AM
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Good morning

A big step forward yesterday which was great as the night before had been the worse yet with David unable to get comfortable in any position. Despite lack of sleep he worked with the physical therapist and got onto the side of the tub then to a shower seat to have his first shower in 11 days - yay!! In the afternoon he played games with me, we then negotiated the doostep to get the wheelchair into the garage and pushed him though the neighborhood. It felt wonderful to be outside. Friends came over in the evening to watch a movie together. Best of all, David's sense of humor had returned and he was even teasing his sister. That has to be an important landmark in recovery LOL!

Last night was great - everyone slept restfully but I feel down this morning. Ruth was unable to drive up last night as road conditions were poor and icey and she would have been driving in the dark on her own. We decided it was safer for her to come another time when she doesn't have to rush back or worry about weather. Safety above all else must come first. DH leaves this afternoon for 2 weeks and then I will be totally on my own. The nagging question of when the nerves in David's leg will start working is weighing so heavily on my mind and the worse case scenarios are presenting themselves far too often.

As a practical measure I rented a wheelchair ramp (for a ridiculous amount of money) so I can push David out of the house by myself. If things go well today I might even try to take him to hear the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet play tonight with the Rochester Philharmonic. I need to call first to make sure I can negotitate with a wheelchair but I have a handicapped sticker to make parking easier. Getting into and out of the car is the hardest part. I don't want to look forward to it too much incase it doesn't work out but I'm quietly optimistic.

V - I too know how to have fun. Two days ago I took advantage of the thaw and decided to do the mid-winter poop pickup. The fact that picking up buckets of half-frozen poop in driving sleet and near gale force wind was a great release I guess speaks to the stress of the last 2 weeks.

Denise - wonderful to hear Marty is heading back to work!!

Sue - I guess I'm ignorant as to FB too though I imagine it's another forum. I doubt I'll be anywhere other than here for a long while and really appreciate all the support you guys have given.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:30AM
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Happy Valentines Day!

Cindy, I hope the new houseguests are a more positive experience than the last.

Mary, it really is best to get the poop patrol done when its frozen though LOL Its good to hear that Davids sense of humor is back, but I can understand your worries about the nerve and the long term effects. Hopefully, the concert will be able to happen, it sounds like you both need a fun outing.

Denise, good to hear that Martie is back to work. The table sounds like a neat idea.

Woody, I really enjoyed the link to the beautiful garden. The potager gave me some ideas.

Chelone, it sounds like you are undertaking a huge project. I agree on all the prep work though. I think Ill spend the day finishing up loose ends on some of our projects.

DH, is on to his next project which is taping the garage walls which were insulated and sheetrocked several years ago. It will be nice to get that project done. Im sure that painting will be my part.

I too am contemplating what to hang in the newly painted office. The fireplace needs something new above it, but what? I lost 2 walls where I had family photos displayed, so what to do with those. When you have 6 kids, 10 grandkids and numerous other relatives, the pictures that demand to be displayed becomes daunting.

bug, it sounds like your visit with Wayne was short but enjoyable.

PM, isnt a good nights sleep just the best? The cake looks yummy and I just love the white roses with it.

DD was telling me that Kenzie had her first Valentines Party. She was assigned to bring carrots and dip. She was pretty excited about the whole thing.

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 11:50AM
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I like reading of everyones plans for today. I particularly like Maries small kindnesses for Valentines day, she and DH showing support for each other by helping with quiet tasks. I woke this morning wondering if I should take a live-for-today approach and paint my dining room red, even though I dont know how long my tenure here will be at this point. I would only have three walls to paint and the room is small and would not take long, and with the employee discount the paint wouldnt cost me much. .

And also thanks to Chelone for reminding my to thank Woody for posting that beautiful garden photo link. I have bookmarked it for multiple viewings !

Close inspection of my seedling tray reveals no sign of some of the seeds I planted from years-old packets. Ill give them a few more days before I give up on them .

Mary, happy to hear that David is making some progress, and smiled at your description of the joys of poop-scooping. How nice it would be if he were able to go on an outing to hear some music, even if you were not able to stay for the entire concert.

Hoping Saucy takes her camera to Tower Hill !

OK, going to start some cleaning---great day to all !

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 11:59AM
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