#352 - 'Still lie the sheltering snows....

prairiemoon2 z6 MAFebruary 7, 2008

"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;

And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;

No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,

And willow stems grow daily red and bright.

These are days when ancients held a rite

Of expiation for the old year's ill,

And prayer to purify the new year's will."

- Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February

No early risers this morning to start a new thread?

Following Gardenbug's January lead...



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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Speaking of bad weather....

Was anyone here living in New England during the Blizzard of 1978? Thirty years ago today, we would have still been seeing the snow piling up and the winds howling. It was one amazing storm! I have never seen one like it since. Some areas had as much as 55 inches of snow by the time it was all over and it was falling at a rate of 4 inches an hour at some points. It snowed for a full 33 hrs with winds up to 75 miles an hour. The whole area was shut down and cars were banned from the roads for a whole week. The National Guard had to be deployed. I wish I had a scanner and I could post some of my own photos of the front of our house with only the antenna of the car visible.

These photos are from the Penceland website and are in the book The Blizzard of 1978. I added a link to this webpage below that has some very good links to more photos and videos of the news coverage too. Really, though, photos just don't do it justice. Definitely one of those times, when you had to be there. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: The Blizzard of 1978

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:48AM
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Another heavily frosted morning here. Its amazing how the frost can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. I am pleased to say that although parts of Iowa received up to 18" of snow, we were spared.

MarianÂs cyclamen makes me wonder if any of you grow the hardy cyclamen in your gardens? I tried a couple times without success. I do have viola koreana which has cyclamen like leaves but not the beautiful flowers.

I suppose Cynthia has her bikini on by now.

Honey, you think a 3 year old wears me out, I think Missy is going to keep you young. Its nice to hear what going on in your world.

PM2, a chocolate dessert recipe swap sounds like a great idea. Around here it was the Blizzard of 1975. I was 15 at the time and remember being able to walk a snow drift up to the roof of our sunroom. Although, the winter of 1978/1979 was nasty here, one storm after another. There were highways that were down to one lane in spots. It was the year I went to college and didnÂt have much winter driving experience. I can understand what your blizzard was like, but I donÂt think Kathy and Denise could ;o)

Ei, the print is lovely. As for the pills I think thatÂs just what the Dr. prescribed.

Have a great day

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I thought it was Sue and Saucy heading for island sunshine and Cynthia was up to her ears in work? Perhaps Cynthia's choice of attire when overworked is a bikini? Marty, the zig-zag man when his low back acts up, is now straight and painfree so decided to vault a low retaining wall in celebration, landed wrong on the unseen curb, and heard lots of popping sounds, like stepping on bubble wrap. He was invited to sail around Catalina (island 26 mi off coast) this weekend and had to cancel, since they're serious racers and he'd have been the proverbial albatross with a bum ankle. White elephant upside-down machine arrived this week, where you strap your ankles in and astronaut-like flip backwards, supposedly good for the spine. Everyone tries it and says it gives a severe headache then implore me to try it. I think not. Of course, with the sore ankle he can't use the upside down machine for a while.

Michelle is right, I think I can count on one hand the times I've seen snow, and it wasn't much. I've never experienced snowfall. I imagine it creates an unimaginable quietness. Our extreme weather stories involve water up to the side mirror on the car and people jumping in Dumpsters and paddling them down the streets. Not quite as lyrical as drifts, skifts of snow.

45 deg in the garden is about usual in the mornings, but we've turned a corner and there's signs of basal growth, and the potted dwarf pomegranate is getting reddish new growth. A wave to all and off to catch the train.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 12:07PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Just a drive by today.

Denise, it's actually quite noisy here when it snows.... the sound of shovels, plows and snowblowers, lol.

Wow, the blizzard of 78 was really something. Yesterday, it rained, sleeted and then snowed 4" here. Just messy and tiresome.

Kathy, that roast is really good and the au jus is very rich and tasty. We had a salesman here a couple months ago when I was making one. I thot he was going to drool all over the table. I've also made it in the crock pot.

Hmmm, chocolate dessert recipes sound wonderful.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Hi everyone

Today stank at work - literally. A skunk got into the heating duct and our whole corridor was fragrant with its aroma, my room being one of the most affected - yuk!!! It was enough to bring tears to your eyes. I was worried that by the end of the day that I too would be wreaking. The kids were both fascinated and totally grossed out. Several teachers sprayed with perfume or air freshener but to me it only makes things worse. Fingers crossed things can be sorted out soon - fortunately tomorrow I am at my other school.

Yesterday Annie had ski club after school and I was somewhat surprised they didn't cancell. We had some of the foulest weather possible with driving sleet and freezing rain. When I met her at 9 PM off the bus everything was completely drenched - her down jacket felt as if it weighed 10 lbs with all the extra water it had absorbed. The conditions on the ski slopes had been horrible - fog, ice and then sleety rain but she and her friends skiied the whole time and had an absolute blast. All I can say is rather her than me!!

I'm adding my vote for a chocolate dessert recipe exchange with pics.

(The Carribean is sounding real good right now and I'm someone who enjoys winter!)


Great poem pm2.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:02PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello again....

Michelle...I can imagine in NW Iowa you are used to getting worse weather than we ever see. [g] Snow up to the sunroom roof! So you don't usually get that much?

Really, since 1978, we have had so many national, major weather related catastrophes, that our Blizzard pales in comparison. Actually, I think those of us who remember it fondly, experienced the better side of this kind of weather, not the worst of it. We didn't live near the coast where the damage was in the millions in 1978 dollars, and we didn't have anyone in our acquaintance actually die in that storm. We were actually pretty fortunate that we just suffered the loss of heat, electricity, etc. Everything is relative, and in 1978, we had never seen anything like that or since in the Boston area. It was more than just the snow that was the problem. It was a question of not being prepared for the storm and everyone getting completely caught in it on the highway coming home from work because the forecast had predicted, a little snow tapering off during the day, when people were leaving to go to work that morning. That is why there were thousands of people stranded in their cars on the major Rte..which is now called Rte 95. Not just for the day, but for two to three days waiting for National Guardsmen to come with equipment to dig them all out. No food, trying to keep warm without running out of gas. 54 people died in that storm, some of them in their cars from fumes because the snow blocked the tailpipe. Plus, I guess the fact that there were high winds and very high tides at the same time and the storm became stalled over us for three days. Everything together just created this very unusual result, where no one could continue on with anything. Once the storm passed then it wasn't our normal, dig out and back to work the next day. No school or work for the next week. No one could get anywhere unless it was close enough to walk. For the lucky folks who were not seriously injured or had major damage, it became like one giant block party, with everyone out in the streets, not able to drive, walking to the stores, helping each other shovel. There was a real camaraderie and I think that was what made it different and memorable.

Denise...have you always lived in Southern California? You might not get snow, but you sure get your share of 'weather' there! That is really a shame that Marty, [DH?] hurt his ankle. Has it been determined whether it is a sprain? Such bad timing. My DH had a similar situation two months ago...just recovered with PT from a back injury and slipped going down the stairs and although he caught himself, he just wrenched everything and had to start all over again. He was pretty mad at himself because he was rushing and I was pretty mad because his slippers have no traction on them. It's hard work to get all that PT and change your habits to gain the improvement. Luckily the second time around it wasn't that long and now he is doing great. He is much more careful now and continues to go to work out three times a week. First time he has ever made that commitment. I hope Marty will be great soon too. :-)

Chocolate dessert sounds like a great idea to me too! Is anyone actually planning on cooking/baking for Valentine's Day or going out to dinner?

Well...here is my last link for the Blizzard, I promise! lol This one is a very short video collage to music, that I thought really gives as a good an idea of what it was like as I have seen so far. I thought the NE Idyllers might find it fun. [g]


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Ahhhhh, the Blizzard of '78 ...... sitting in my little apartment (nanny's quarters in an old Victorian on a town green:-) with neighbors also in college ...... we all decided to stay put and ride it out, along with some friends who didn't get out of town in time .... probably 10 of us altogether? .... pooled food, wine, blankets, water and had the best party ever .... ventured forth to shovel out elderly folks living in other houses .... rewarded with incredible mugs of buttered rum at each one to the point that we decided we should shovel in shifts..... Frantic parents who secretly wished they were us.

Not much going on that's fit to print, but tonight will order last of seeds. Wintersowed some Strawberry reugens just for fun since they need stratification, anyway so what the heck.

If it would stop raining for just a minute I might be able to say that the days are getting longer, but for now it's just wet and clammy and cold.

Thinking of everyone who'se in worse shape than me, and feeling for Denise's husband. Catalina seems a fantasy land to me :-)

All best -


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:04PM
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A very quick hello from the wilds of Maine. I'm dreadfully behind in my reading (a week?), have soup shots still in the camera, and will read and post pictures soon (this weekend?).

I've been slavishly tending to work, the Salon, and a host of other not-so-exciting chores. I don't have very much that is very exciting to report. But I WILL catch up with "y'all".

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phew! Good to hear you are there - soon to be here! Start thinking photos of CHOCOLATE for us Chelone! But none for Rex.

Eden??? Bella??? Are you typing yet?
Sunny and freezing here.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:32PM
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PM2, that much snow was extreme for us. We don't usually get massive amounts of snow, but it varies from year to year.

Mary, how awful about the skunk. We had a similar experience here a couple of years ago. A skunk got in the window well at the office. He couldn't get back out and died there. It didn't begin to smell until the sack deteriorated. The funny thing was that the boss was out of town and we didn't know who to call so we called the DNR. Someone came out and poked it with a long stick and pronounced it "dead" and said you will have to get it out of there. Since we have no maintenance man and this is a small town, the guy that works for the city helped us out.

Denise, Honey is right, snow can be noisy especially when it's a blizzard. There are the times though when you get what we refer to as "Christmas Eve snow"


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:17PM
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Remember me?

Some interesting blasts from the past here-first I clicked on the post from 2006 that David started-of course I didn't realize it was from back in the day so I thought I was having dejavu :-/ Then Kathy's link to one of the early idylls was fun-thanks Kath. Those were the days when I had TONS of idyll time-I'm embarrassed to see how often I posted lol.

There's no way I can recap and comment on what I've missed so I'll just mention what sticks in my mind...oops nothing!

let's see...I guess the main reason I checked in was that I was hoping no one had the dangerous weather that came through teh midwest the other day. Marian came to mind-but it sounds like you made it through OK. I wondered if Michelle and V had been blown skyward to Canada. Nothing big happened here-though a bit of flooding not far from here.

Honey-good to hear your DH has a possible job brewing(honestly I read so fast I hope I'm accurate on that).
Your puppy is looking so different! Still adorable-love her coloring!

Wishes of a good health outcome for Woody.

Michelle-that pic of the frosty trees is stunningly beautiful!

Deanne what's up?Are you doing better?

PM2-Those snowy shots from the '78 blizzard are nice shots-great historical accounts of that wild winter.

Saucy-hope you are doing well? Please keep in touch when you can(listen to me,the idyll who's never here lol)

V-how freaky about the church beam!!! Hope they patch it up in time for the wedding.

Is Cynthia still in a bikini?

Enjoyed the soup pics from the last thread...

Things are OK here-I should be in traction for whatever is wrong with my back-I pulled it trying to open our garage door which should have been lubricated ages ago-ouch. AJ is so cute he insists I may not touch the door-he raises it for me each day we arrive home from school...glad he's got that gentlemanly way.

Time's up-need to find dinner.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:18PM
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I want to congratulate everyone who has managed to sequentially number the idylls for the past 6 months or so! I'ts been a long time since we skipped or backed up or duplicated a number.

But! While coming up with lovely titles we're missing the keyword "Idyll". So may I respectfully ask that when the next thread is started we resume including 'Idyll' in the tidyll? >"Idyll 353 - creative title here." Otherwise it's just a blog :( How will Kathy ever find it in 5 years with out the keyword ?

We did break a weather record here yesterday and it was officially 72F. 44F right now and will go down to 20s or low 30s by Sunday.

Chocolate recipes would be a fine thing. I only make soup on holidays, but chocolate - much more regular.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:56PM
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OK, I've managed to get to... Thursday of the Idyll last?

First of all, I am very glad to see Woody resurface... but I am horrified that the menace of medical issues have once more intruded on your world. I have no solace to offer that would be truly meaningful; the best I can hope is that the good wishes of Wrecks and me will bring a smile to your face. Suffice it to say, Woody, that if you lived nearby I'd send Rex to you for "socialization". He's wonderfully good-natured; a cuddley toy in a giant, "scarey" package... I KNOW you'd appreciate him. (To remind you: I hate dogs). We have to have the exterior of the house restained and the trim repainted this coming spring... we need to speak with the painter to decide on the best approach to keep the shingles in good shape for the decades to come. Hang tough, and please don't be a stranger... you're an important part of the group here and your absence is noticed.

I used to be a complete Dr. Who junkie, Mary. I can't remember the actor's name (it was the red-headed guy whose sidekick was Sarah and faithful K-9) that was my favorite. the Tardis cracked me right up... . Your jewellery is lovely... right up the alley of this "neo-Victorian". You have issues with gluten, yes? I noted, with interest, the increased availability of "gluten-free" bakery items at the very hip, very socially aware bakery that is delightfully close to the shop. Your soup contribution looked delicious, BTW!

I delighted to learn that PopcoHn has begun forming attachments to the humans in the household. Larry used to LOVE nature shows, too. He'd cheep, trill, and get really "into" the sounds from the TV. Solitary birds tend to bond more easily and closely to their human counterparts than do those with avian companionship. Good news for your kids! Your soup looked delicious, too. I thought of you yesterday and today when they showed footage of the tornado devastation in Tennessee. :(

ChowdaH... BLECH!!! I can't even abide the thought of it. The thought of drinking a glass of milk ("straight up) makes me want to hurl, though cocoa is OK (not on an empty stomach). Ice cream on an "empty" stomach is a stomach ache in waiting. I can't bring myself to touch any sort of soup with milk in it. I won't use milk in my coffee, either; has to be at least half 'n' half (preferably cream!) or I'll go without.

I found Marian's contribution to the soup log appetizing. I love beans and there is something inherently "Yankee" about using hamhocks or carcasses to provide a good "base". I hope Nolon's wheezing is better. I understand how you keep "an ear" to them... Mum had been a heavy smoker for the better part of 60 yrs. and I could tell by her breathing if she was coming down with a cold... .

I could become a vegetarian relatively easily, Ei.. And yet, I love a nice cut of beef... we had roast beef for Christmas dinner and it was DELICIOUS. We share your concern about how beef is raised. We buy from a local farm that is a member of MOFGA... very strict regulations for certification. It's a lot more money than beef at the supermarket, but that serves as a reminder that it's a LUXURY item, not a "staple". I like knowing that the mobile slaughterhouse rolls into the yard, the animals are lead from the field, killed, bled out, gutted, and butchered within minutes. The huge stockyards/processing plants gross me right out, too!

I cracked right up, Michelle, about the "unphotogenic" aspect of potato soup. Beautiful "stageing", lol.

NOW: should the woodwork in the Salon be painted white or should I "pickle" it, using a whitewash to take the edge off the natural color, but leaving it clearly "naturual"? We'll likely be using pine...

I have to finish reading the last Idyll... but wanted to check in before getting too far behind.

Hi Babs.! good to know you're farther behind than I am (I think).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 6:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, I like your choice of the opening poem. I googled 'February' and found that poem a little ways down the long list of February Poems Quotes...etc.

I've been a dweller on the plains,
have sighed when summer days were gone;
No more I'll sigh; for winter here
Hath gladsome gardens of his own.
- Dorothy Wordsworth, Peaceful Our Valley, Fair and Green

Chelone ,So glad to see you resurface, and glad you like my choice of soup.

Pm2, I love the blizzard pics. Reminds me of some of my childhood winters. There were times when my dad shoveled out the windows so we could get sunlight into the house, and see out. We moved back here in 1977 and had several years of above normal snowfall here too...naturally nothing like that.

Michelle, I planted a hardy cyclamen a few years ago. It finally grew and bloomed in the fall of 2006, but didn't even show again, last year. I hope it will this fall.

Kathy, I need to try your roast soup. It sounds delicious. Maybe I can cook it in MY crock pot.

Whew! Mary.....so sorry about the pepe' le pew ( I know ..that's not the correct spelling). I'll bet there were a lot of smelly kids going home! It was bound to have got in everyone's hair.

Babs...great to see you surface also! I'm empathizing with you and your back pain. I added a pulled muscle in my right side today! My half of a pain pill has eased it this evening. How sweet of AJ.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:29PM
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Naturally, I found myself sidetracked by Kathy's link to the early Idyll. Wow... I am just amazed at how much my life has changed since then!

If any of you are able (and willing!) would you please track the inception of the Idyll and burn it to CD? I would love to have a complete chronicle, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

I miss Taryn, Julie, Andrea, Da... AND, those brave new souls who began posting not too long ago... Anise and... (hey, I wasted too many brain cells in my misspent youth!).

Fun detour, Kathy... and yes, Ei. I AM painting... the ceiling... my biceps, triceps, and trapezius are making their presence known. ;)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 7:50PM
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Well we are having several days of spring-like weather here, and it looks like I will be on weed patrol all weekend..

PM, loved your poem and really enjoyed the trip back to 1978 .I guess we just have to be content out here with floods and earthquakes. I was listening to NPR this morning and it sounds like Vs area got nailed with mucho snow-cancelled flights at OHare etc. Maybe well get a check in from her later ?

Chelone, its about time you showed up ! Milk- I could not even remember when the last time might have been that I had a glass of milk. For me its used only on shredded wheat and granola, and as a cooking ingredient. Our family is about split down the middle-DD likes to drink milk, DS never drinks it . DH always had a glass with his meal.
I vote for painted white woodwork in the salon . Not being a New England resident maybe I am not tuned in to the vernacular there, but to me , white woodwork is classic and will hold up over time as styles come and go ---it will never look dated.

Marian, the roast and soup recipe was posted by Honey; I had commented that I wanted to try it. I had a side muscle issue a few weeks ago that was brought on by painting the ceiling in the bathroom. 3 Advils worked , and also a pledge to never paint another ceiling , lol !

Babs, I most definitely noticed your verbosity in the early Idyll, although Jain cranked out the posts too ! Back problems are just the pits arent they ? Its remarkable how restricted one can become with a back strain.

Denise , its dark out now, but Im going to check out the dwarf pomegranates tommorow for signs of life-stuff is coming up all over the place here, including the weeds, and we are in for an extended period of dry weather. This is prime time for a visit to the desert; Anza Borrego, Joshua Tree , Death Valley etc.

Ok, see yall later,

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Thanks Chelone,Believe me I'm way behind you-just trying
look informed; ) Utterly clueless am I.

Marian-sorry about your back! I've been religiously popping advil for the past week waiting for the pain to settle so I can start stretching exercises. Um I hope your back pull didn't happen from carrying too much firewood? Do you have a sled or wagon to pull it on or is the pile close to your home?
I'm worried about when I have to do yard cleanup-a few yrs ago I thought we had the biggest bumper crop of pinecones ever-nope that would be THIS year's crop...it's not going to be pretty.

Thanks Cynthia for the 'idyll tydll' reminder.

I shoulda mentioned this sooner but Joann Fabrics is having a 50% off sale on those OTT-LITE lamps that reduce glare for crafting/sewing and give off true color light for when you're matching colors. I bought a floorlamp last week and it's pretty cool-great to read a book by. Also Ott makes plant lights!...I need to go back to Joann's to look into what they have.

Only 75 more school days left until summer break!

Mary-you smell different today-new cologne perhaps? I love your beadwork-I always think I should try my hand at jewelry making-how do you find the time??

Guess what I did today? I learned how to play on our Playstation 2. I am no videogame freak by any means so my kids were thrilled and cheering me on as my game character(Spyro the dragon)is sliding off cliffs into the murky abyss,getting clobbered by grunting monsters and dying a thousand deaths over and over and over...way fun.

I have no pics but I did have homemade tai beef soup-it's got peanut butter in it: )

Here's a chocolate recipe...
Open lid of Nutella jar.
Insert spoon into thick nutty chocolatey loveliness and make scooping motion.
Open your mouth.
Deposit nutella into mouth-you know the rest.
Now that you've double dipped the jar is yours forever.
Repeat as many times as you can before the jar is empty.
Um-wipe your mouth,you've got a Nutella moustache: )


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 9:26PM
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No milk? Come on you guys, it's all American. Of course being married to a former dairy farmer leads me to defend the moo juice. I drink a large glass once a day hoping that I don't get the dreaded family tendency for osteoporosis. I'm in the beginning stage already.

Babs, I hope your back feels better quickly. That is just the pits. I cracked up thinking of you learning PS2. I remember trying to learn to play Nintendo and the Mario brothers. I was pathetic.

Chelone, I vote for white woodwork, just because I would like to have it. No one around here has it and DH would kill me if I tried to paint our oak.

I have something to share with you all that has me in tears just to type it. There's a very real possiblity that my sweet little Kenzie may be moving. Florida appears like the destination :o(


    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I cannot allow Nutella in the house!..

Chelone, I vote for WHITE. I hated my 80s kitchen which was all pickled. It was turning a pinky orange... It took me months to sand, prime and paint the zillion cupboards on both sides, but it was worth it. In our previous home the bedroom floor was pickled. It looked fabulous for about 1-2 years, then it too turned a pinky colour.
ZZZZZZZZZZZ time now, sleep tight!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:57PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Boo hoo - Kenzie to Fla? Can we lobby against it for you, Michelle? send us their email addy and we could pelt them with emails? What a bummer, even as we recognize that life goes on and it's great when our kids and grandkids have new opportunities, it still quietly breaks our hearts when they move.

Hi, Babs & Chelone - great to see you guys arent resting on that tropic island somewhere...

My votes are: yes, white painted woodwork; no to nutella....moo juice gets a split vote from me.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 2:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Michelle! I do know the problems of being a distant grandparent. I wish I had the answer for you! Convince Rick to retire to Florida? Idyllunions could move to February in Florida...Hmmm, beginning to sound good!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 6:51AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Martie....Back in the Blizzard days, your neighbors must have been very grateful to have you all for neighbors. :-) Alpine strawberries are fun. I saw them edging a long border once, very cute.

Michelle....when you said your blizzard was in 1975, it reminded me that our Blizzard was more local than I had remembered. I was curious to see what was considered the worst blizzard in the US, but when I googled it, what came up was the recent storms in China. That is weather that isn't in the least fun.

Denise...Are you zone 10? Do you actually have a winter there in SoCal? I wonder how much of a break from gardening you get.

Mary... Do you teach? I hope they have the skunk smell out of the school by now. My kids went to ski club after school, too. Now that they are older, they don't get a chance to go as much as they used to.

Bab's....Nice to see you again. :-) Sorry to hear about your back, does ice help at all? Will you be able to join in the chocolate recipe swap? I seem to remember you enjoy baking, you must have some great recipes. Thanks for the tip on the lamps at Joann's. I have a table lamp like that and could use a floor lamp too. They are great.

Never heard of Nutella and sounds like it is a good thing. [g]

Marian...that was a nice poem too. Sort of along the lines of chelone's approach to winter. :-) Where did you live as a child Marian, that your Dad had to shovel out the windows? I haven't heard the expression 'pepe le pew' in awhile,,,,lol. Link below for you Marian.

Kathy...I also enjoyed the poem. It is the Idyll influence. [g] I really don't usually take the time to explore poetry. It occurs to me that there must be a lot of poetry about nature and gardens. As for the blizzard, I will take that over your floods and earthquakes any day, as I am sure you would too. Why is it prime time for a visit to the desert?

Michelle..SO sorry to hear about a possible move for Kenzie. Is there any chance they won't be moving?

No word from V. yet?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:08AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well I love milk! Since it seems to go best with a pile of homemade cookies, I have to admit I no longer drink it as much as I should. Since I am already showing signs of osteopenia in my hips I do eat whole milk yogurt once or twice a day and take a calcium supplement.

The Blizzard of '78-I remember it well! Of course 30 years ago in the greater Boston area where I grew up it was not uncommon to be able to walk up snow drifts over four foot fences in the backyard or build snow forts in the piles on the corner of driveway and street. No way do we get regular snow like that anymore and quite honestly, I'm not complaining.

Unfortunately no Caribbean vacation plans are in my immediate future. Maybe I'll just go make the rounds of parental visits in Florida. I'm still working 10 plus hour days and considering Saturday this week.

Right now I have an ad running on Monster to try and hire an Accounting Supervisor. So far I've only received a handful of responses but people never cease to amaze me. Here's a question the begs to be answered and something that is getting some mileage around the department this morning. If you were job hunting and your e-mail address was jazzylicious69, would you change it? LOL!

Anyway, I'd love to hang around and chat longer but no can do.



    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Perhaps Jazzylicious69 would at least appreciate the fart machine....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:34AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ha, that got a laugh from me, Sue re the job hunt/email - I tried to convince the former houseguest that hers of "biscuit" for use to submit resumes & correspond just did not send the right signals..... It ranks up there as one of stupid, major no-nos re job hunting re the "too personal" emails -- but people dont seem to understand that -- I guess it goes w/ those who don't know what's appropriate to wear to an in-person interview, assuming they get one these days. Go figure.

I go love whole milk yogurt - esp. the Trader Joe's Greek style plain - yum! very lemony flavored - unfortunately got tons of fat in it too - Im sure that's why it tastes so good. I've gotten where I buy it and take a few tablespoons to mix in w/ non-fat yogurt & pour over fruit. But there's nothing better than it plain.

I seem to recall some biggie snows back in my youth in Phila -- there have been a few "goodies" here in the DC metro -- back in the 90s. I prefer to think of it all as distant memories -- since along w/ cutting the grass, I really despise shovelling snow....

Hoping no one of our friends is buried in that stuff now and V & Ei escaped okay....


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:39AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Maybe...but on second glance I did see that she has "experience working with a demented population". A quality I unfortunately forgot to include in the job description but definitely a major plus.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...

How great to see things picking up here! I was beginning to get worried!
You all have sent me to googling...I must look up au jus and Nutella. I am not familiar with either. I have already googled the 1978 blizzard and have a very good link to it for Pm2. ( below)

Chelone, I too found your life 'back then' very differant than the ensuing years. I am thinking it is getting back now?
I would love to have a CD of all the Idylls also. I wonder how long the ones that are on here now will remain here....the last I looked , they are really accumulating.

Kathy,thanks for the correction on who posted the roast/ soup recipe.
Sorry for the mix-up, Honey.

Babs, I hope the Advil 'cures' your back. Mine is arthritis in the lower spine, and pills only ease the pain temporarily.It's apparently something I will just have to continue living with. The muscle in my side IS better this morning. Guess I just twisted wrong...:-(
I 'have' thought of using my hand truck to bring the wood up the steps into the house, but it would require building a box on it to put the wood in. Seems like too much trouble. I am carrying very small loads each trip, but some of the night sticks are VERY heavy. I may have to use 2 mid-sized sticks instead of one large one. Nolon doesn't understand my lack of strength, and put some very large sticks in the shed. Some weigh at least 30 lbs. ( The woodshed is close behind our house.)
LOL on your chocolate 'recipe' !

Add me to the 'white woodwork' list. I wish all of mine was white. Only the kitchen and breakfast nook have white enameled woodwork. When my ship comes in, I will have the rest of it done. I haven't painted/enameled anything since doing the kitchen ceiling, and that was at least 15 years ago.( Or was it the Master bath??? )

Include me in the milk drinking group. I espacially like it with chili, and with cookies. I don't understand the 'not liking' it, unless a body is lactose intolerant. I was raised on a farm where we milked our own cows.....by hand even. My dad hated milk. When he was diagnosed with stomach ulcers he had to drink it. It was comical to see the expression on his face! Like he was taking very nasty medicine!

Aw , Michelle, I do hope the move to Florida is only a thought!

Pm2, I was raised on a high prairie in Idaho. Like Sue said...those kind of winters are not common anymore, even in that area. ( I suspect that may change. Weather goes in cycles. )
Thanks for the Pepe' le Pew link. I 'was' right with my spelling. It didn't look right. :-) I loved that cartoon. The poor little kitty that Pepe' was smitten with.... much funnier that the current ideas of cartoons.

Sue, osteopenia was found in my right hip at my last bone density test. I am taking calcium and vitamin D. Sorry that yours is starting so early in your life.
LOL, one of my friends e-mail address is " luvyurguts"! How would that look on a resume'? She is retired, so won't have to worry about that.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:32AM
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I doubt if Jazzy could get past the idylls with that email addie, much less to an accts mgr interview. Must be wonderful to be so oblivious to reality. I shared a train yesterday with a good deal of the "demented population" of LA. Seriously, if only social workers/psych folks hung out on trains and passed out meds they'd reach their target population no problem. The suffering endured by these poor people can't be fathomed, they look so angry and sad.
Lots of fluttering of feathers as idyll birds come home to roost for a bit. But the news of Kenzie moving away, out of camera shot! Nooo. Oh, Michelle, that is going to be tough and will require lots of off-season cheaps flights to Florida. Funny about your woodwork. All the molding and built-ins in our bungalow is that 100-year-old mahogany color which darkens the whole room, kind of Adams Familyish, and Marty wants to lighten it but I'm for keeping it original. Vote white for the salon. Clean, uncomplicated, classic, and pickling does go off color as it ages.

Nutella on crepes in the Latin Quarter of Paris (cheap, off-season once again) ooh-la-la.

PM2, yes I'm a native of So. Calif., briefly lived up in San Francisco/Petaluma, near Kathy, after high school to attend college. Southern Calif. is a true Mediterranean climate, along with the area around the Mediterranean, parts of Australia, southwestern South Africa and parts of central Chile. Plants from those areas do fabulous here and I imagine vice-versa. Dry summers/rainy winters, tho there's lots of variation in rainfall, mostly drought lately but good rainfall this year. Deciduous trees drop their leaves, perennials retreat to their crowns. One can have a garden of clipped evergreens and lawn to defy winter, but I grow a variety of plants so you'd definitely know it's winter in my garden!

Off to Kinkos to copy exhibits.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian...I just wanted to suggest for bringing in your firewood, that you could use a bungee cord to hold a plastic milk crate to the hand truck and roll it to the steps/front door and just make a few trips from there into the house with smaller amounts, and not have to get it up the stairs at all.

You probably already told me about living in Idaho on the high prairie, Marian, but I can't imagine not remembering you lived on a praire! lol

Thank you for the link Marian. :-)

Moo juice....the only time I enjoy a glass of milk is with cookies, which I never eat anymore. But I do have nonfat lactaid milk with Hershey's cocoa and honey when I can. Non fat milk on oatmeal. Actually, I think the lactaid non fat milk tastes more like whole milk to me, so I use more of it.

Sue....Jazzylicious.....an accountant that has experience working with a demented population.??!! Is that what comes from working with all those figures all day? [g]

Cindy...can you believe that I actually enjoy shoveling snow? Crazy I know. :-)

Denise...So do you actually have four seasons, since your leaves drop? When does winter start/end and spring begin?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 10:11AM
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PM2, here's a small, blurry glimpse of my garden today. Variegated Carex 'Sparkler' just behind the "sun dial" (recognize the thresher, Michelle?) is evergreen, as is the lemony coprosma shrub. Potted kalanchoe's umbels are blooming. Santolinas need clipping year-round like the one in the foreground. "Four seasons" is probably more in the state of mind in a gardener here than anyone else, but yes, the day shortening and lengthing, winter nighttime temps falling, daytime in mostly in 60s/70s, direction of sunlight. And of course the rain, when it comes, which isn't all that often anymore. The soil when wet like now is best left alone, being heavy clay here. The big cotinus 'Grace' overhead this small vignette is bare. I bet Kathy could fill in more details.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Skim milk here, on cereal most mornings. Also Calcium pills daily. Osteoporosis in the family. Bone density exams are a breeze. The only tests I like.

Errands today included buying puppy food and pet carpet cleaner for future emergencies. I'm sure there'll be some!

Did anyone see the last posting from Ei on the previous thread? "Argh...I think I must have chased everyone away!" I hope we didn't chase her away by not responding! By the way, I've found Jain participating on another forum. There are so many people busy dealing with life that we can't always participate and respond. I certainly understand folks needing a break once in a while too. But we do miss them! It is natural to have the mood here evolve as life throws its curves.

I wonder if Eden is painting her livingroom....

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Count me in the not-a milk-drinker group. I did take calcium supplements for a brief while until I was reading last month about a study of 1,471 healthy postmenopausal women in NZ where, over a five year period, researchers at the University of Auckland found that incidences of heart attack and stroke were higher in the group given calcium supplements. Heart attacks were more common in the calcium group, with 31 women in that group suffering a total of 36 infarctions, while 21 women on placebo suffered 22 such events. More strokes were also seen in the calcium group, with 34 women suffering 37 such events, while 25 women on placebo suffered 26 such events. More studies need to be done to confirm the findings plus the average age was elderly but, since at this point, I have no reason to believe I really need the supplements, I decided to stop them. Im more worried about heart attack or stroke than osteoporosis. Actually, Im more worried about my current medical problems than anything else, but anything that increased heart attack or stroke risk is more likely to cause complications when added to my current problems.

Speaking of which I found out today that we will have the assessment meeting with the Gamma Knife people on Wednesday next week, so things seem to be moving along quickly.

To distract myself today we did some cooking:

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 3:43PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

just a quick note to say that I'm fine but in total sulk mode because Sue won't even consider my resume.

V. (aka jazzylicious69)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 5:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, I found that calcium report that you mentioned. It's statistics were based on calcium citrate. I take calcium carbonate.The reports says that calcium carbonate had no ill effect on the hearts of the elderly people in the tests.
Yum! those rolls look SO good!
I will continue keeping you in my thoughts on the Gamma Knife procedure.

For those who are interested, I added an album of pics of the prairie where I was born and lived for 12 and 1/2 years. I am linking to it:

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 7:11PM
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I wish I was at your house, Woody. Those look delicious, and with a cup of coffee (the color of a Camel hair coat, "whitened" with real, honest-to-goodness cream) I'd be in heaven.

OK, so everyone seems to think white is the choice, huh. Well, my pretties... I'm thinking the opposite, lol. I'm seriously thinking about pickling. I've only begun to do the research on it, mind you. But, I've found that using white primer, appropriately diluted, and topcoating with a LATEX sealer is the way to preserve the ghostly cast I have in my mind's eye. You guys nailed my concern about the treatment... the dreaded "pinkening" with time. I know oil- based sealants have a more amber cast to them and I know from exerience that they tend to "yellow" with time, so I'm going to do some more reading before arriving at my final decision.

I was at UNH during the blizzard of '78. My room-mate had just purchased Eric Clapton's "Slowhand" and it was probably perpetually on the turntable. She was pretty much "baked out of her mind". At that time in my life I had not yet sampled that singular pleasure. My next room-mate was at Boston University and watched it all from her dorm. room several stories above the street. There was an hour on NH public radio about it today. I can't quite believe it was that long ago. ;)

Wow, Sue.! I'm blown away that someone searching for a new position would have such an e-mail address. I don't consider myself particularly prudish, but that e-mail "handle" hardly conveys the sort of image I'd be looking for when hiring an accounting supervisor. The person in question must be young... very, very young. LOL.

I have experienced back pain but once (so far) and a few trips to the chiropractor worked wonders for me. I was terribly uncomfortable before going to the chiropractor. I can't imagine how it must be for those with chronic back pain. I fear osteoporosis greatly. I have all the "warning flags": light bone structure, fair skin, and I dislike dairy products. Mum lost 9" in her post menopausal years! I try to keep active and engage in weight bearing activities, I take calcium supplements, but still I worry. I have thought it may be time to have a bone density scan, too, but I don't know what the out of pocket expense will be (we have a high deductible and no one seems to be able to tell me how much it will cost!) and that keeps me from "booking" it.

I laughed at puppy food and rug cleaner. :)

Michelle, Kenzie may be moving to Florida? Yikes. Well, it's not a "done deal" yet, so don't get your knickers in a twist. :(

If I had lovely, period mouldings in my home, Denise, I probably wouldn't change them, either. And I'm adventuresome, I'll paint anything!

I've never had Nutella. But I'm thinking crepes in the Latin quarter of Paris sounds pretty good... . As long at Nutella isn't akin to Vegamite I'll give it a try... ;)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 7:23PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

But seriously folks...

Sue, I have been aghast also at some of the email addresses I have seen on resumes. It's rather obvious that some people don't think twice about how they are representing themselves. I'd almost bet good money that jazzy has two labs, Jazzy (the black lab) and Delicious (the chocolate lab) and she was born in 1969. But she is lacking the common sense to realize what it all says when it's run together.

I've also heard that you have to beware using an email address with your birth year in it. A friend of mine has been out of work for several months, but had been emailing her resume with an email address that was her three initials and 0649. She found out that it was very detrimental to tell people right off the bat that you're almost 60. It's so easy to set up a new, free email address for a job search. Wouldn't Sue be eager to interview balancedbooks4evah@hotmail.com?

The snow has largely been cleared and life is settling back into a normal mode. I was supposed to have six different meetings this week, one of which conflicted with another, and all but one were canceled. That's one way to de-stress your life! Most have been rescheduled but they have been spread out a bit more.

The snowstorm of all time in this area was The Big Snow of 1967. I lived in Chicago, one block away from a major road (Pulaski) that was four lanes wide. I remember standing in the middle of Pulaski and not seeing a single moving vehicle anywhere. We had a fiberglass awning over a patio in our yard, and my brother and I climbed up a snowdrift and looked down at that awning. Okay, and maybe I broke my nose a little when we sledded down that drift. That was back in the good old days, when your mom gave you a cold washcloth and told you to stop crying, or she'd give you something to cry about. Who needed hospitals?

We also had a very bad winter in 1978-1979. There were a couple of major storms, but we had our first snow on Thanksgiving weekend and never saw bare ground again until sometime in March. When it did all start to melt, I came home one evening to find the ceiling of my townhouse foyer on the floor.

Michelle, how sad to have Kenzie move away. Is it a job situation?

Woody, those rolls look quite yummy. I like your style of distraction!

I'm definitely a milk drinker. I love skim milk and have a couple of large glasses a day. Cookies always make it taste even better.

Nutella was introduced to our family by several European au pairs. Tastes great on a toasted plain bagel! One of the advantages of the au pair program was meeting young women from so many different countries, and having our kids exposed to slices of their culture. We had girls from New Zealand, Ireland, England, Wales, Austria, Germany (the former East Germany), and France. It was an interesting time for us.

I've been terribly lazy the last several nights. I'm getting a lot accomplished at work, but when I get home I plop on the couch and doze off. And yet I sleep like a rock all night also. This weekend is going to be a quiet one, so perhaps I'll rest up a bit more!

Pizza due soon, so perhaps I'll empty the dishwasher and start some laundry. If I get something going, the pizza guy will show up in no time.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 8:32PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Now that the stomach has been fed, perhaps I can get to some of the things I forgot to say in my earlier post?

Chelone, nutella and vegemite are very much on opposite ends of the taste spectrum. At least that's my humble opinion.

As to Ei's comment about chasing people away - I think what chased us away was the prospect of starting a new idyll! I know I peeked in early that morning and decided I didn't have enough creativity (or even basic brain power) at that hour to tackle starting a new thread.

Another thing I've caught myself doing lately - I will bookmark the current thread and keep coming back to it, and then decide that the idylls are not very active, when the reality is that the thread has hit 100 and a new thread is going. Sometimes I've gotten myself quite far behind that way!

So now that we're well into this thread, where are you, Ei? I was enjoying seeing your chatty posts again. You do such a nice job of illustrating a post with photos! (but just plain old text posts are fun to read, also) I still remember your pixie post from a year ago December...

And I neglected to say hello to - uh oh, do you smell something? Is it, um, oh - Hi Mary!

Babs, hope your back is feeling better. Maybe you can borrow that upside down hanging contraption that Denise's hubby can't use right now? In fact, I highly recommend you just run out to visit Denise and use it right there - to heck with winter.

Denise, that woman knocking on your front door is our own Blabs. be nice to her - she's great! She's probably even brought you a cake decorated like a harbor boat.

Marian, I had not seen the term "night stick" used before, but having slept in a couple of winter cabins that only had fireplace heat, I understood immediately what a night stick would be.

Now I'll really get myself into trouble, as I have commented to many but not all! You know who we haven't seen in a long time - Yeona, who would do alphabetical comments to each and every participant. And occasionally in reverse order to spice things up.

Tomorrow we are going to crack out the snow shoes and go for a little hike with the dogs. Sunday we go back into the deep freeze, so it's Saturday or never!

Now, I'll let someone else take a turn at filling the idyll. Yes, Cynthia, good reminder to us to keep idyll in the tydll.

"Twas brillig, and the slithy idylls
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe..."


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 9:55PM
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Oh Michelle! That's so sad because you spend so much time with Kenzie-you'll definitely notice she's not within arms reach. Is this completely a definite thing? : (

Sometimes I like white woodwork depends on the style of house. Our house has some Arts & Craft influence so I wish the former owners had left the oak woodwork natural-it's white in some rooms and natural in others.

I drink 2% milk and for weight bearing exercises I lift unlubricated garage doors ; ) I have milk and a cookie for dessert at dinner and I use milk on my cereal in the morning. My kids are milk drinkers though Ryan prefers water if I give him a choice.

Kathy-jain always posted phenominal pics of her garden estate too-I miss those!

PM2-I do like to bake/cook & naturally I love chocolate-though I will try to be around for the recipe swap I can't promise when life gets crazy here. This weekend I'll be baking a bday cake for my mom-maybe I can get a pic if it turns out presentable.

My mom called to tell me she went back to Joanns to get a second Ott floor lamp because she likes hers so much! She's in a sewing guild and got 10% off plus the original 50% sale price...I told her at that price she should also get extra bulbs too since they are pricey.

Marian-Nutella is a chocolate & hazelnut spread and you can spread it on cookies or crackers....or crepes!-yum Denise! I used to dip stick pretzels in it too. I better stop thinking about it or I will need to take a trip to the store : )
You be careful with that wood young lady!

Ok I must go-have a fun weekend


    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 10:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Come to the Party!
Chocolate Vienna Torte

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup grated unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipping cream and fresh berries

Heat oven to 350 and line two 9" cake pans with greased paper.
Beat egg yolks in small mixer bowl until thick and lemon colored. Beat in 1/2 cup of sugar. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until very stiff and glossy. Gently fold in grated chocolate and vanilla.
Stir the sifted flour mixture into the egg yolk/sugar combination. Add a dollop of the egg white mixture to thin it out a bit. Then carefully fold egg yolk mixture into the egg white/chocolate bowl.
Pour into two 9" layer pans (round or heart shape work) that are lined with greased paper. Bake 25-30 minutes, until when touched lightly with finger no imprint remains.
Turn out of pans and IMMEDIATELY remove paper gently. Cool. Put together and top with whipped cream. Garnish with dark chocolate flakes and raspberries or the fruit of your choice. Serves about 10 people, fewer if male. ;)

We have made this recipe in a rectangular flat pan as well, for a single layer cake. Another idea which was successful was to add 2/3 of a cup of ground filberts to the recipe. This is a very light fluffy cake which the whole family considers THE birthday cake.(or wedding cake) We often adjust the amount, depending on how many people are expected.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 11:06PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Frost on the ground this morning but it looks like moderate weather (30s and 40s, no large snow events) continues into the forseeable future. Usually I take hour and a half walks on both Saturday and Sunday and although I walk in just about any weather, it's nice to not have to wear four or five layers and ski mittens.

V, I should have guessed you were jazzylicious! Interesting theory about the pet names and year of birth but I suspect that is not the case with this jazzy. To clarify, she wasn't even remotely qualified for the job and was looking for work as an intern. Her "experience working with a demented population" came from volunteering at an assisted living center. Good grief! Unfortunately I've only received 7 or 8 resumes so far for the job, none that jump out or seem to have what we need. In my experience, good qualified accounting people are always in short supply despite the condition of the economy.

I've never tried nutella either. By the sound of it, I'd better not.

All the woodwork in my house is painted white. We did it in 1995 when we moved in and it was a royal pain in the a$$! Some rooms have crown molding, all have six panel door and all the windows are divided panes-eight over eight. It's now getting to the point where some of it needs to be done again and I hate painting. Maybe I'll just replace the windows...lol.

All these pictures of yummy looking treats are making me hungry. Time to go scare up some breakfast.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Happy Saturday! Attitudes in this neck of the woods have significantly improved with a few peeps of SUN!!!

Nutella was the one thing confiscated out of Ky's baggage on his return home from the UK as it was a "gel-type" substance. So Nutella in his Christmas stocking was a must. And a return trip to the store the day After Christmas for replenishment was required, too :-) What good stuff it is!

Count me among the milk lovers of the world. Cholestrol intake restrictions have relegated me to the 1% or less type (ugh) but on special days there's nothing like a glass of whole milk with chocolate cake.

Speaking of chocolate: If I make it I'll eat it, LOL, so no pics from here.

The soups looked divine!

Seed orders are done!!!! A lot of pretty mundane stuff, but also some highlights:

A Gourd Mixture (thanks, Chelone for bringing it up!!)
Tidal Wave Silver Petunia
Bacopa Blutonia
Dianthus 'Victoriana'
a Coleus Mix (from-seed will be new to me :-)
Ivy Leaved Summer Geranium Mix (120 days from seed to flower but hey, worth a shot, right?)
Digitalis Excelsior Hybrid (Get a spot ready, PM2 -- I ordered two packs to share)

Also this year changing out Brandywine tomatoes for Pruden's Purple. Anyone love or hate these?

You'll notice: No Perennials, and just a few biennials. A quick garden walk yesterday illicited going straight to the graph paper and realizing that once divided, there may not be a lot of room left. Next year we'll fill in the blanks ... and how nice it is to know "next year" right here at this garden is a reality!

Thanks, Marian, for clearing up the Calcium question. Makes sense.

Marie: Is "Phoebe", "it"? (Sorry if I missed an announcement but have been skimming more than reading).

Denise: No fair that 45 deg is normal. Plan a trip to New England for next year!!! You can visit family and the New England Idyllers and we'll be sure you experience frozen ground before you leave. So many mountains make snow for skiing that it won't be hard for you to experience it falling out of the sky one way or another. Bring Marty!

Chelone: Though I associate pickling with "country", my guess is that your take on it will be pure class. Go for it.

Sue: If V really is jazzy, please hire her so she can be closer to us :-) I can't imagine what people think sometimes, and stopped cold when I got an email from a non-agency client whose moniker was HoNoMo. Guess that made her proud?????

Mary: How DO you make such tiny things? The quarter in your pic brought it home.

(((Michelle))) and (((Kenzie))), too.

Hi, Ei!

Serious for a minute so skip if levity is your thing today: After calling no fewer than 10 attorneys recommended to be conservator of estate and person for my brother, I dissolved. I wouldn't hire any of them to take care of anyone. Without fail, their disabled clients were referred to as "those people" or "our practice's bread and butter." So, after long talks with his social worker, my parents, my own personal attorney and a few of his caretakers, Rich stepped in. He and I will be co-conservators and the only time I will have physical contact with my brother is if Rich is there. It actually will work out well, since he'll have signatory abilility which will take some of the banking pressure off of me. How'd I get so lucky to have this husband? There's a lot more to the story of this decision, but suffice to say that those people who DON'T have family willing to pay attention are at a serious disadvantage.

Now happier again:

Saucy: When are we bringing Jake to Logee's??

Need to get our taxes efiled, so will quickly just say:

Ya know, it's funny. Internet garden groups are traditionally fluid, and change as participation changes. It's what makes it so interesting. I still keep in touch with Herbies from coast to coast though "the group" has long since disbanded. That the Idylls have been in existence for so long, with so many "originals" still participating speaks to the soul of the group. I think it's very cool and can't bring myself to be offended by anyone here :-) Lurkers sometimes????? Yes, but that's a whole different story.

With the hope that all affected by lousy weather get extracated, and those with physical challenges find some relief, see you later!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:35AM
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Chelone can guess what color I would vote for. (Correct!)

Nutella is best served mixed with cream cheese and liquor and served in tiny chilled creme puffs. But then cream cheese mixes well with everything. It's the 'new milk'. I mixed green tomato-raisin-apple chutney with cream cheese (1:2) last night. Served on french bread directly from the oven, it makes for a jazzylicious Friday night supper.

I don't drink milk, but orange juice comes with calcium supplement and I go through a gallon a week. I tried the chocolate calcium chewies, but taking in the morning after brushing my teeth didn't last long.

I see something else this Idyll is missing:

I have a project requiring glue today. Reading the glue bottle while waiting for coffee to drip through and found this warning "Not for structural or load bearing applications." What visions of consumer idiocy that conjures up.

Michelle, file for custody! Yikes. I can't even imagine how you feel.

Dannie's lure coursing canceled on account of wet and wild weather, so I need to get a grip on the day. But glad I was able to find idyll time :)

Hello to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Artic cold front coming in tonight with gusts up to 50mph...

Today's agenda is to buy cake mix for mom's cake...or maybe I should make it from scratch? I guess it'll depend on how my back is doing.
PM2 I did start icing my back;should have done it days ago but I was worried it would make things stiffen up-so far it feels OK with the ice. I made a great invention-two knee socks tied together at the toes with a 3x5 ice pack inserted into one sock and tied around my waist-desperate times call for desperate measures lol.
I also want to hit Joann's-the closest one is just less than two years old and they are closing it already! I'm pretty upset but they are starting liquidation so maybe I'll get some good deals.

Cynthia I love cream cheese too-always have since I was very young. Hmm your cream puff filling gives me an idea for Nutella in a cream cheese cake frosting! thanks!

Hi Eden! Also wondering how Saucy's doing.

Have a great day


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:44AM
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LOL, Cynthia. I see you're sticking to your PRIME-ary instincts. :)

Martie, I'm happy you've reached a reasonably comfortable solution for your brother's conservatorship. I well understand the nagging worry and doubts, and I so hope this is the solution that will grant you relief from both! While my own experience is nothing like your own, I can sympathize with your feelings about comments from lawyers/offices. I was so appalled at how quickly the person most in need of representation was shoved to the wayside, while the "important details" were quickly brought up. Makes me want to wretch at the very thought... and so hope the fat, smug "administrators" find themselves under the "care" of people like themselves when they're too old/mentally infirm to advocate for themselves. I wanted to shower after every meeting! ICK.

40 days 'til spring... where the hell is Eden to remind us?! I'd like HER take on "pickling", too... do you suppose she's been overcome by paint fumes in her home? or has she been trampled by Butterscotch?

8 over 8 windows, Sue? EWW... I am a capable and organized painter, but painting muntins wouldn't make my short list of chores... I'm relieved we don't have muntins on our windows. I like the way you think, though... REPLACE 'EM. LOL. An aside, I'd think accounting people would be even more in demand given a downturn in economic conditions; detail is detail, and organization is organization, and it doesn't matter if the bulls or the bears are "winning". But what do I know? I run a sewing machine for living, I don't carry revolving debt, and I retire long-term debts early. It's a "yankee" thing, I guess.

More snow forecast for tonight... somewhere between 1-20". We've managed to rack up about 5" in the past couple of days with incessant "flurries". Everything looks pretty and the faint sunshine is slated to disappear this afternoon. But it's OK with me. As I've said before, it's been so long since I've been able to really soak up the daily stuff that I'm not in the least bothered by the inconvenience. It's NOTHIN' compared to the past few years. :/

Wish you'd make my birthday cake, 'bug. Know what I'd really like right now? Indian pudding with some heavy cream on top... . Or maybe some bread pudding with the cream. Any sort of delivery system for heavy cream is OK with me...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Vi, If anyone researched the words "night stick" on google, they would find that it refers to a Policeman's Billy club!!!! Only in web sites that are about using wood for heat is it even vaguely mentioned. I was surprised to find that, since I have always heard the large chunk of wood used to hold the fire all night referred to as a 'night stick'. Makes sense to me. It's strange...now-a-days the words that make sense are not used, and words that make no sense at all are. A 'for instance'...calling an electronic item a "blackberry"; or calling jewelery "bling". There are so many more, but I can't think of them right now. :-(

Thanks, Babs, on the Nutella info. I did a google on it, and bookmarked some recipes using it. It sounds so delicious.

Marie, did you post that Tort pic before? It sure looks familiar, and delicious.

When did Ei say her colonoscopy was scheduled? Or did she? I hope all is well with her.

Pm2, the milk carton and bungee cord would work, but bringing the load all the way around the house to the front door would not! Best to bring it into the utility room, that is a few feet( maybe 20) from the woodshed, then up the steps into the house. I pull large potted plants that way to get them into the house ( only without the milk carton). It's fairly large wheels make it easy to walk up (or down) the steps, no matter which route I take.

Another windy day, but sunny so far, and in the 40s.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 11:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone.....I must admit to a love of pickled finishes and was about to say so when I saw the news about the 'pinking' as it aged. If there is a way to create the pickling without getting unattractive aging, that would be my first choice. I love wood but also love light bright interiors so the pickling allows the texture of the wood to come through and still stay bright. I have a bench I have to refinish that I would enjoy with a pickle finish. How will you know though, if you have worked out the 'aging' problem until it 'ages'. [g]

Marian...LOVED your link to the property you grew up on. The field of cammas with the Rocky Mountains in the background was gorgeous! Why did your family move and did you miss it a lot? Have to hand it to you, Marian, you do pretty well for yourself. Glad you can manage a two wheeler up the steps. I love them myself and we use them in the yard all summer.

Denise... A Mediterranean climate sounds delicious, especially this time of year. Are the majority of trees deciduous or are there a lot of palms? I love santolinas but can't grow them. Also love that cotinus 'Grace'. Must be a beauty when in bloom. They have so many to choose from now. I am surprised that you have clay. I am envious that in the west you can grow the western agastaches that attract hummers, but I thought the soil there was more sandy. I must be thinking of a different area. Can you grow grapes and olives too, then? What is in the clay pot with the large strappy leaves in your photo? Looking forward to more photos when your spring comes. :-)

Gardenbug....I used to use white vinegar and it would always remove any trace of odor from puppy accidents. Have you ever tried it?

Calcium....I am also on a quest to settle this question. I am reading up on it at present but have not come to any firm conclusions yet. I have discovered three factors that relate to how the body absorbs and holds onto the calcium are vitamin C ..which helps absorption, vit D from the sun, or food sources, needed, and too much animal protein seems to cause the body to either fail to absorb it or start to excrete it, I forget. So more plant protein, less animal protein is recommended. I am trying to get more calcium from non dairy sources, but I do normally eat non fat yogurt every day and sometimes a lot more frequently too.

Woody.....what scrumptious looking rolls! I bet there is nothing left of that batch this morning. [g]

V.....that is what I always loved about snowstorms when the kids were younger. The too stressful schedule would suddenly get a welcome shift. Did you grow up in the same area you live in now? You don't seem to mind the snow.

Ei....I also enjoy your chatty posts!

Gardenbug...what a very pretty heart shaped pan you have and the berries and cream on the top! Mouthwatering!

Martie....I have a feeling it was more than the sun that has elevated your mood. :-) Must be exhausting to go through all the meetings and the discussions to try to resolve the issues over your brother. I hope your whole family appreciates you and your husband. It takes a lot of commitment in the face of your brother's inability to treat you respectfully, to continue to hold out for what is in his best interests. Especially when no one would blame you for just turning it all over to one of the attorneys. I'm glad that your DH will be teaming up with you. Sounds like the best possible solution.

Haven't tried Pruden's Purple. I get just about 6hrs of sun at most, so the larger tomatoes don't do as well as the cherries for us. 'Sungold' seems to be the favorite tomato here. Thanks so much for remembering digitalis! I would love to have some winter sown seedlings to swap you for them. I will keep my fingers crossed for great germination. :-)

Babs.....I was at an amusement park with two little ones at a pool. We were trying to get through the locker room and the floor was wet and my feet went right out from under me and I landed flat on my back. Luckily, I didn't seriously injure myself, but I was in a lot of pain and could barely move. My first doctor's appointment, the doctor told me to put heat on it and stay off my feet. After a week of that it had gotten much worse and the pain was actually going down my leg. Second trip I got a different doctor in the practice and he said ice for 10 mins on and 20 mins off and walking as much as I could. In three days I had made such a significant improvement, that I never forgot it and as much as I hate to apply ice, I hate not to improve as fast as I can, even more. In the beginning, you just have to keep the inflammation down. The socks were a great invention! lol

Sue....love the 8 over 8 windows even if painting them is a pain.

Chelone....One of my favorite desserts...Indian Pudding with vanilla ice cream! Although these days it is low fat ice cream. And maybe twice a year treat...lol. Actually, the last time I had that was at the Maine Diner. :-)

I think we are needing some pretty pictures, but I am still on my daughter's computer with no access to my files. Someone else have a pretty picture?

Sun is trying to come out....have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 12:21PM
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Babs, I'm ashamed to smile while your back hurts, but with that image of ice-filled socks clacking around your waist, it's impossible not to. Imagine the sounds you make traipsing through the house. And after a few hours, voila, crushed ice for afternoon margaritas! Multitasking at its finest. Happy birthday to your mom. Marty's back is better, his ankle is OK, and he wanted to reschedule the sail last night. Intense hairy eyeball from me brought him to his senses. The upside-down machine has been removed to his workplace. Moses holding back the Red Sea had an easier time than this household keeping the main room clear of cameras, telescopes, rowing machines, etc.

Got through the first disc of Lawrence of Arabia last night, disc two tonight, which I haven't sat thru in yrs. Love those tents. And Omar Sharif. And Peter O'Toole.

Curious too if Phoebe still stands. The torte looks ripped from the pages of Bon Appetit -- great photography! -- sounds incredible, and has been copied.

Martie, that's great news a solution has been reached re your brother. What a champ Rich is. Maybe jazzylicious and honomo should "friend" each other. I do intend a trip to NYC soon but I think I'll experience the winterscapes here on the idylls and visit when the gardens are open ;-)

Something else the idylls forgot: Happy Chinese New Year! (Feb 7). My Vietnamese neighbor wished me one over the fence yesterday, bowing with hands pressed together, which Duncan and I both immediately clumsily imitated in return. The walkway to their house is trellised with the epiphytic dragon fruit.

Jain's idyll technique sounds most impressive. I noticed from the early idyll that Kathy posted that they seem more free form, not meticulously addressing comments to all, which of course is the ideal to aspire to. I know I fail at that and offer a dog's breakfast of info, but I do read and enjoy one and all. Perhaps some idyllers drop off the radar from pressure of reaching the ideal? Perhaps the wrinkle cream ads just seem too much to face before coffee? Who can say.

Marty donates his time maintaining a large fountain/memorial plaza to merchant marines he calls the "brothers." He's pulled, among other trash, 10 pounds of frozen shrimp out of the fountain, dead seagulls, and yesterday rescued a dozen goldfish someone dumped in. The goldfish amazingly acclimated to the fountain's high chlorine but didn't survive the transfer to the bucket of tap water, so they will be moved from the bucket on the front porch to become garden food later today. Too bad he didn't try bottled water instead of tap.

Our local gourmet grocer, Bristol Farms, has created under its own label Nutella ice cream, which has a very short freezer life here when Mitch is around.

Wondering if the Philadelphia garden show is worth a trip some day. Any former attendees? Happy weekend to all.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 12:23PM
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PM, Cut some forsythia! You'll have 'color' by next week-end. Well, I will anyway.... :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:12PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hey, you guys. Where the heck is Ei anyway? When I fall behind, I just love to read her posts b/c she always takes such care to address everyone with loving concern, much like Yeonia. Speaking of Ei, several of you remarked about how nice Ei's kitchen and hand-crafted table is. Those who did't get to IU3 really missed a treat seeing Ei's house. She painted a mural on her family room wall and has the most fabulous front porch to gather on. And her DH makes the BEST Margaritas! Remember?! I'm hoping all is well and the dreaded procedure went well for her.
Ei, pop back in when you can.

Marian, WOW. Those photos are breathtaking! Like picture postcards. How wonderful you got to live there.

Marty, it sounds like you came to the best solution for your DB. How awful you have to address those issues, tho. It is so very sad and has to be so tough to deal with.

OK sorry I can't address each of you, lots going on but know I've read your posts with interest and am following along 'talking to you in my head'.

First, I got my self into a temp, part-time job this week helping at a florist shop and also with deliveries. It'll keep me off the streets, I guess, and perhaps will give me a little plant buying money.

Secondly, I've been pretty down in the dumps lately and been feeling caged. So I kicked myself in the behind and answered an ad for a job with a home improvement firm working exhibits and trade shows. The money is good for part-time work. And perhaps after things settle down for DD, she can join me or get another type job at this firm, too.

After she saves some $, we'll help her house or condo hunt. From what we've seen, alot of the good buys need some rehab work so this job will give us access to info and contacts to get the work done.

We're supposed to hear from DD's lawyer today to meet with him today or tomorrow to go over a final settlement agreement so she doesn't have to go to court Monday. It sounds like all the pieces are falling into place and if the papers are in line with the verbal agreement, she'll sign them.

Then her soon-to-be X, will be buying her out of the house and the closing is Wed or Thurs. We have to attend to sign off on debt he owes us. DD will probably be moving in here on March 1. I'll be helping sort thru her things pack, and bring stuff over for the next couple weeks.

Tues. is DH's interview. Keep your fingers crossed for him and for me on this home improvement-trade show thingy.

Saying hi to all. Will check in when I can. Temps are falling here. Brutal cold weather is moving in with wind chills WAY below zero. Oh fun. Thank goodness we have snow cover.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Denise....hope you won't feel pressured to respond to everything everyone posts. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't have expectations about people responding to my posts. Right now, I am finding it easy to keep up, but, from past experience, I know that won't last. :-)

I have noticed that each Idyll seems to be running about a week. So I could post just twice a week and have a half an Idyll to read each time to stay on top of what is going on. Right now I have found a rhythm reading and posting daily, because I find that easier than reading a half an Idyll. But I have the time now, so that works for me. I know not everyone does.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

And a happy Chinese New Year to you too! Best line, stolen from NPR this morning, "You mean it's the year of the Rat already? And I'm still writing Monkey on my checks..."

pm, yes, I grew up in the general area. Born and raised in the City of Chicago (Sout' Side) but I now live in the far, far 'burbs in a rural area. As a kid, I could stand in our gangway, stretch out my arms and touch my house and the neighbors. Now I measure distance to the neighbors starting at a half-mile. And I dropped the Chicawguh accent.

I love Cynthia's vignette. Cynthia, do you suppose someone didn't read that warning and use that glue on the beam in my church? You never know...

Note to self: Never accept a margarita at Bab's house.

Those exciting Saturday jobs are calling. Off with me!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:33PM
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We're all income tax e-filed and the accountants amongst you will be proud to know that I only made one mistake that the program caught. I would imagine that since we were audited and ended up getting money back, the IRS won't bother with us too much. But now that I've said that ........ LOL

Honey -- It sounds like all good news at this point and doing trade shows is a blast as long as you have good shoes. Keeping everything crossed that you, your DH and your DD will get through the next week intact.

Cynthia -- Of course I had to immediately check the forsythia and up here it's nowhere close. Didn't realize until our Tower Hill trip that quince forces well, too. How's Katie??

Marian - What a beautiful place! African Violets are blooming on my windowsill and I have no idea why, but will take it :-)

Thank you all for the support re: my DB. I can't count the times I looked in the mirror and called myself as nutty as he for keeping the responsibility, but I simply can't hand over flesh and blood to the vultures out there. Methinks Chelone and I could do some serious damage to the Caring Laws in our states if we hooked up ..... Marie can be our Canadian counterpart, I'm sure.

Tonight Rich and Ky are going to a guitar workshop by none other than Jay Geils! "Ain't Nothing But a Party" got worn out on my copy of the LP. I was invited, but am looking More forward to time alone in the house.

Denise - I'd call you a weather chicken but really I think a summertime outing is just smart :-) Showed your pic to Rich and he said "let's go!!!!" Got anymore pics of anything that isn't brown, grey or white??

Kathy -- Hoping all is well. You've gotta be inundated at this point.

Chinese food just arrived and I'm famished.



    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 1:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I'm ready to accept a Margarita at just about anyone's house just to get out! Snow is sticking and temps are dropping close to freezing so that puts my Saturday afternoon walk in jeopardy. My treadmill has been broken for a couple of weeks. The required part is on order. The bad news is it's going to cost over $400 to fix the damn thing but considering a new one would cost about $3000 and it's something I use four or five days a week...well then, such a deal, right? lol During the week I've been substituting the stairmaster but have had enough of that by Friday. No long strides today, that's all.

Cynthia's picture reminds me to go get a close look at the witchhazel. I have 'Arnold's Promise' and it usually blooms around Valentine's Day.

Honey, I hope things calm down for you and your daughter soon. My divorce will be final March 6th. I've been wrestling with when and how to break the news to this group and decided to just do it. Fortunately things are amicable. Tom will continue to live here until he buys a house and I am looking forward to getting it all behind me so I can move ahead. C'est la vie.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 2:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

OK, Sue, I'll be honest - you got me to read that last paragraph about three times to be sure I read it right. I'm so sorry to hear about the divorce, and can understand how you are looking forward to having it all behind you. I would suppose that's why you've been somewhat quiet lately? Sending some good thoughts your way!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 2:42PM
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Count me in, too, Sue. I'm sure you must have days of great sadness and for that I'm genuinely sorry.

Don't be a stranger, OK?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Here's the process. 1) Check who's posting. Check again. Thought it was Sue. It is Sue. 2) Wonder who her first husband was and how long ago and why she wasn't divorced by now 3) Oh. Yow. Huh. 4) Really glad it's amicable. Life is change?

I've been chopping grasses in the backyard, and took Katie for a walk nekked. Katie, not me. She is still balder than bald on back, side and leg.

(New Englanders do not read this: It's 53F. Going to the Safeway for more french bread and lemonade.)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sue, thanks for sharing. I'm so sorry, but glad you are happy to be off to a fresh start. You DO get both dogs, right???? AND THE GARDEN! ((hugs))

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 3:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sue, it must have been a rough year, so sorry that you have had that to deal with. Not easy to keep things amicable, so you both have done well to manage that. I hope things move along as you want them to and that you can both look forward. I hope the spring will be a welcome distraction for you. :-)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 4:25PM
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Sue, I'm so sorry. I'm not exactly shocked. I had actually caught the subtle hints that you dropped a couple of times, but was hoping that it wasn't true.

It's blustery here and cold. I need to get out for at least a short walk, so I'd better get going. I have a treadmill but avoid it if I can.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 4:28PM
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I dutifully finished the first coat of paint on the ceiling of the Salon today. I've done it halves so far, so I'd be able to at least function physically the next day. (It's 28'wX36'l). Tomorrow I begin the second (final) coat. Myu big indulgence was to order a quart of the wall color I have in mind. I have been a deep, rich "kick" for many years now and I willfully ordered the quart in a tone one step PALER than I had in mind!!! I brushed on several "test patches" on all walls and will be interested to see how sunlight affects it (if we ever see the sun again. ;) !). But I'm rather liking it... much brighter, "more clear", and much less "muted/muddied/greyed" than the shades/tones I generally select. Much more "Disney", with a humorous nod to long departed Spike...

Cynthia, does Dannie get to play with the prize once she's done whatever it is "coursing" is supposed to do for her? How do you reward her for a "job well done"? Wrecks will do about anything for a tennis ball, lol. But KEY to the whole thing is that he actually GETS to mess around with the tennis ball after I've finished "messin' with his mind"! We should ALL be so easily amused, huh?

I know nothing about pickling woodwork, you guys. But I know that the "recipe" is white primer, but somewhere between 50/50 and 25/75 using the appropriate base thinner. Water based will raise the grain, oil based not so much. Important to experiment and seal with a sealant that has the same base as the "pickling" wash. Water or oil, obviously... DUH. Clearly, there is no sure-fire recipe and some experimentation is in order. LOL, PM2, about not knowing until it "pinks up". You're so right!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 4:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, I used to know the recipe when we did the bedroom floor many years ago. Now that I'm senile, I'm no help at all. I know it wasn't water based and I know it stank terribly for a few days....

I think Phoebe's name is sticking. We prepared her playpen today. A crate, plenty of toys, bedding, food, etc. Please, no blizzard next Saturday!

Yes Marian, I make that cake every year because of DH's birthday and Valentine's Day. Also DD requested it for her wedding cake. No doubt I posted it before. Chelone, we like our whipped cream STRAIGHT, no vanilla, no sugar. Not sure that would meet your criteria. Maybe I should just send the cow?

We picked up valentines for the bébés today. I tried to get DH to be involved. "Try to be romantic about this, for a whole week!" "What's that? I'm male!" was his response. Anyway, he did well and we found some very sweet cards for them.

Was it PM2 who asked about my other addiction? (Besides plants) Yes I do enjoy china plates, but I've never felt right about spending money on those. So I will often buy just 2 of something I like now that there are only 2 of us at home. But last week I bought 6 plates for a total of $12 just to lift my spirits.

I also like other things, like fabric. Pretty is important to me.

OK, we need COLOUR!!! Remember this?

And then Marian spoke about new usage of words. This is something truly annoying when it comes to dealing with government. For example, the stone and gravel people speak of "protecting" gravel. The media picks up on this and says they are protecting things and acting responsibly. But in fact, "protect" doesn't mean what the public means by that word. It means that they are extracting at rapid speed, guaranteeing that it can actually be exploited. Other words they play with are "complete", "education" "interim land use" and more. I spend lots of time on this stuff, so pardon the harangue.
Dinner prep time!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 5:34PM
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Chelone, a life lesson from Dannie: 'The chase is the thing.' It's the running flat out after something that's the reward. The lure is a stuffed white fluffy thing or a white plastic bag. Doesn't matter, it goes pretty fast. Greys run at 45mph and can get there in 3 strides. Dannie will run without something to run after,(many don't) but give her something to chase and a wide open field (fenced!) and she can't get over herself. Happy happy girl.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 5:43PM
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I'm all about unadulterated whipped cream, 'bug. I like mine, "straight up"... no sugar, no vanilla. Send the cow.

Amazing to me, Cynthia, the difference in the most highly "refined" domesticated species. Rex would be so BORED with a "lure" after the first shot; there wouldn't be nearly the mental stimulation he requires. He simply isn't "wired" to be satisfied with a racing after a lure; he needs a "job" and without one he finds one for himself. It's MY job to prevent the necessity of the former. I fell asleep about 1/4 of the way through the PBS show on dogs... loser.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....maybe you can find someone who has already done pickling some time ago using the recipe you are thinking of using and can tell you how it aged?

Gbug...$2. a plate is a great deal for those plates. I have just the one china hutch with no room for anything any more. I do enjoy plates and that particular shape of soup bowls too. Funny, I never think of you and DH as a twosome, since I am always seeing photos with the family. [g]

Oh, btw, it was Kathy who asked about your other addictions in the last thread.

Love that bee...great detailed close up, did you take it?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OOOPS! Sorry Kathy, and thanks PM! Yes, I took that photo in 2005 when I first got my camera.

I'll go look for stamps now for that cow....err, the lawn mower.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:27PM
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I'm behind, but I wanted to say thanks for the well wishes. I have made a decision about THE PROBLEM and that makes everthing a little better :)

Sue, I wish every happiness for the both of you and am glad that it is amicable. As Nick and I have been working through some stuff, I've reminded myself that if it should end, I would like it to be on good terms for all involved. Nuff said.

I am out straight and just sat down to shut the computer down. We leave tomorrow morning for the airport at 4am....ugh. I haven't even packed, but the kids and animals are all cared for.

All I need is a bikini and a tooth brush, huh? Throw in a speedo for Nick and we're all set. Oh....might need some sunscreen!

I was going to say pickle....really was.....my FIL was a painter by trade in another life....if you're still not done when I return a week from monday then I will consult him for you :)

Have a great time and don't talk so much that I can't catch up. I seriously spewed my water on my keyboard when V announced that she was Jazzy and then Sue didn't want a Margarita at Babs....you guys are the best.

and the cake at GB's does belong in Bon Appetit....how do you get the lighting like that?


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Good Evening Idyllers!

Lot's going on here. I've been a bad Idyller and just periodically lurking. Easier than taking the time to compose a post since I've had my hands full. We have been working on the livingroom painting project. Walls are prepped and ceiling's painted but I ended up deciding to go with a robin's egg blue instead of green and can't seem to find just the right shade that I see in my head. Bella's been sick twice in the last few weeks so that's been fun too. She's just getting over the last bout of crud. Luckily Brad and I have stayed healthy.

Winter's still got a good hold on us here and I hate it. Some of you seem to be romanticizing the snow:) I see it as cold, wet and a royal pain to drive in and I can't wait until it's gone.

First off I especially want to tell Woody that my thoughts are with you and I hope things go well for you. You're a fighter and that counts for a lot!

Sue, like Michelle, I've had a strong suspicion that's what was going on with you. I hope things are working out for the best for you (and Tom) and you're both able to find happiness!

Chelone, I did a pickled finish on my bedroom floor around 10 years ago. It's held up well, no pink:). I used water based, thinned down primer and remember doing alot of sanding. Minwax has a pickling stain out now that's probably what I would use if I were to do it again. I always use Varathane, water based, satin finish on everything I paint. It dries fast and hard and doesn't yellow. I'm in the process of painting all of my interior trim cottage white but for the Scandinavian look you're talking about for the salon I think the pickling might be the way to go.

Almost forgot the big news around here...Bella's now potty trained, which is a HUGE deal! Marie, I've wondered through our potty training journey how the early training you were talking about with Reed panned out?

I like the name Phoebe for the puppy, Marie! My grandma, whose name was Sarah, had a twin sister named Phoebe. And I also think of the Phoebe character from the sitcom Friends who was a real ditz but always funny. I like your new dishes too! I went on a dish shopping spree this afternoon while Brad stayed with Bella. It' becoming an addiction, but seems to be replacing buying plants, so that's ok for a change.

Honey, fingers crossed here for Tom's job, your job and hoping things go smoothly for dd this week too! What great supportive parents you are.

Michelle, oh it will be so hard to adjust to being far from Kenzie. My mom and dad moved 230 miles away 10 years ago and I still hate it. Once my parents moved away my kids would always go spend the month of July with them. The kids did better with their move than I did. I can't imagine not having Bella or my kids close but I would adjust if I had to I suppose, as will you.

Kathy, I'd come across those old Idyll threads recently too. I liked the style of Idyll conversation back then and still when I began posting in early 2004. Everyone would pop in with comments throughout the day. It was more like an ongoing conversation and easier than the way we comment now. I think in the first years of Idylls the posters had more time to Idyll throughout the day and our lives have mostly gotten busier. I know mine has.

Mary, I loved your mini bakery and your beadwork. You do beautiful work! Iris will love the little felted bugs. I know Bella would!

Cynthia, what a wonderful picture of Dannie running like the wind. What freedom she must feel while doing that. So what cha doin' with that lemonade:) a little vodka perhaps??? Wine night here, just waiting for Brad to get back with provisions and then we'll settle in for season 4 of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Time to end this and get Bella to bed. Have a good evening all!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 8:36PM
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What a day weve had here- up in the mid to high 60s , sun, no wind (for a change) and the fence dudes were able to get started on my storm downed fence. I spent most of the day pulling weeds and trimming back stragglers, including plants that were squished in the fence calamity.
Think I like Cynthias Nutella recipe best- the one that involves cream cheese and booze.

Sorry I have no time this evening for anything but this brief wave, suffice it to say all the best to Sue, and Hi Eden !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 8:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So good to see Babs, Saucy, Honey and Eden here today! We need Ei here too! Eden, you talked about how supportive Honey and Tom have been for DD...and I agree. Also, I think you and Brad are champs in that department as well! Deanne, Drema and V too. I guess we parents just are all born needing to help them when life attacks! You are all mighty special.

I'm off to Toronto for a bit, so will be back in a few days.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I have been pondering Sue's announcement. I know that you, Sue, have had lots of health problems and I am hoping that did not contribute to the divorce. I am very fortunate that Nolon is patient with my ailments. Lot's of men wouldn't be. I wish you the best with the decision. No matter how amicable it is, it is hard to go through. My divorce was anything but amicable!

Good to see Eden resurface. Glad that there wasn't any serious problem causing your absence, Eden, but sorry that Bella has been sick. It seems this has been an extra bad winter for colds and flu.
Great to hear that Bella is potty trained. I have always heard that girls are harder to train than boys. I never had a girl...so I don't know about that.

Saucy, I hope you have a great trip.

RE: whipped cream...I like mine adulterated, LOL! ...with both sugar and vanilla. Our preacher's wife brought a tub of homemade whipped cream for the pumpkin pie that she made for our Thanksgiving dinner. I thought is was the blandest whipped cream I ever ate. Now I know why! I never knew anyone made it with no sugar or vanilla! :-)

I guess I need to look up "pickling". I haven't the vaguest idea what it is ( other than making something to eat! LOL )

Pm2, the pictures of Camas Prairie are 'borrowed'. I didn't take any of them. I have some that I took with an old fashioned film camera, but didn't have a digital camera anytime while there. If I ever get to go back there, I will take digital pics that I can post.
The reason my folks moved was most likely due to my dad's aging ( he was in his late 60s), and the need for a smaller place to farm. Also for a milder climate.
Winter in that area used to be so bad that the mail was often delivered by dog team! The snows started in August, and stayed on until late May. There have not been that kind of winter there for many a year. This winter may be coming close. I read on their news that many schools in a wide area, including there, were closed due to deep snow just last week. Even the Boise area is getting snow ( but not deep) almost every day for the past 2 weeks or more. That is very abnormal for there.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 9:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Here's a smile to end the day. As I was waiting for DH to retrieve his dry cleaning, I saw a newspaper box for a Spanish language give-away paper. The top of the box declared in large letter, "GRATIS" and then the English translation, "PRICELESS".

Priceless, indeed!

I'm sure that Saucy is pretending to sleep by now, but I hope she has a wonderful trip!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:27PM
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V-but I used *clean* socks!

Denise-I like your humor ; )-you really crack me up. OK I missed something-Marty had an injury?? What kind of machine was this and it crushed his back & ankle(so how clueless do I sound lol)?? And he still wanted to sail(is he nuts?)-good for your hairy eyeballs: ) Fill me in I must have missed all that.

pm2-you are so right about the icing first since the initial injury is involving inflammation. Oh you are so lucky you didn't whack your head on the cement! When I had my first back blow-out I had that pain down the leg too and it even went to my foot-that was when I finally decided it was time for a doctor : ) I've done great today and I did walk as much as possible since sitting in the same position really aggravates the muscles. The test is how I feel when I slither out of bed in the morning-that's when I'm the worst...maybe I should keep a stocked ice cooler next to the bed lol...for the margaritas,that is.

It is interesting how the idyll chatter has evolved-it's true,we were much more casual back then about what we talked about too.

Cynthia I love that vase for the forsythia-is that old? It just reminds me of a vase of my grandma's that I think was from the late 1800's or early 1900's. That's very pretty.

Sue I'm so sorry this has all happened to you! While you seem relieved and it's amicable it still must have been a tough process to deal with. Like V, I had been noticing you have been quiet quite a bit lately so I was hoping you were OK. Thanks for sharing that with us.
Here,this is for you...sans the ice pack ; )

Saucy have a good trip! You too 'Bug!

Need to restock the sock...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! Sorry, I can't stay, but I wanted to make a post before you guys thought I was a total a** for not responding. My mother fell again on Friday and is in the hospital. No broken bones, but a minor brain bleed and they need to monitor her. Doctor great, but really opened my eyes up to some of my denial.

Anyway, I'll be back as soon as life gets back to normal. If no surprises mom should be able to come home tomorrow.

Anyway, thank you everyone... But can I state, now, just for the record, that if I ever *did* hurt anyone's feelings here or if I have upset someone I would like them to tell me...but in an *email* please...not here, okay? :-)
And by that I mean Idylls; okay? No lurkers. I'm afraid to look at my email now...LOL! :-) Anyway....

Okay I only skimmed, but wanted to say quickly...
#1 Woody, I'm still sending my positive thoughts.... and your buns look scrumptious (I just realized how that sounds...I can hear the comments now...LOL! Well, Woody knows what I mean!)

#2 How good it is to see so many of you that I haven't seen for awhile...Hi Eden...Hi Babs!

#3 And Sue, just giving my support...sorry to hear your news, but glad that you guys will be able to work it out amicably.

#4 Hi V...I may just have to find that pic and post it again...I *do* love those pixies! :-)

Anyway, will be thinking of you all and hope talk to you all soon...Ei

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 10:53PM
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Thanks for commiserating with me, I knew you would all understand my distress. Its not a done deal at this point. I mentioned earlier that SIL got his pilots license. Now he would like to get his commercial license. This would involve 1 2/3 years of schooling. Right now he is working in their family pizza business and can eventually take over since he is the only son. They have around 40 restaurants. I think getting married so young they would like to spread their wings a bit. They do plan to come back to the area afterwards, but who knows. It may be still as far as 4-8 hours away. Some of it depends on when their house sells. They will probably appreciate what they have here more once they are away.

Eden, Kenzie has finally really turned the corner with potty training as well. Thanks for the info on Varathane. I am in the process of painting the dresser in the guestroom and the laundry cabinets. The color is Coffee Clutch for you coffee lovers.

We actually had a good day working on projects around the house. The projects make such a mess though. Im trying to confine it mostly to the laundry room.

I also made bean soup with some ham we had. The recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook was called Stormy Day bean soup, perfect for today.

Denise, its fun to see your winter garden. I actually have quite a few plants in my garden that are evergreen, you just cant see them under the snow ;o)

The amaryllis is just finished, the paperwhites are about to begin and I bought a cyclamen. Just to buy time until spring.

Marian, your Idaho home is lovely.

Cynthia, thanks for another glimpse at your architecturally rich home.

bug, the cake looks yummy, but I prefer a little sugar in my whipped cream.

I hope Deanne and Doug arent still sick.

Goodnight, sleep tight.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 11:02PM
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Michelle, a friend's daughter is a pilot for one of the big commercial airlines, and she spent a few years based in Puerto Rico while she was working her way up. Does Florida feel closer now? lol.

Babs, I ran downstairs to check the price tag on the vase (which I leave on things like that so that Antiques Roadshow will not have to waste vauable time when the heirs take stuf in.) It's from Home Goods circa 2006. But I saw the same one when I was in there a few weeks ago.

Chelone, lure coursing is maybe two minutes a run. And no more than 3 runs, as it's an extreme load on the muscles and organs. It's part of what my dogs do, not all of what they do, and it's for socialization as well as fun and exercise. Hope that makes more sense. We belong to multiple play groups and Katie's going on a group walk at a farm later today if it's not too cold for her. If it's too cold we'll go to an open house instead where she can get her stimulation flirting with people :) What 'jobs' does Rex have that satisfy him? Strong believer in NILIF here, and I'll bet you're into that too.

I finished my painting and gluing yesterday, but it seems like I'm always painting something at this time of year, even if just touch ups. Is that what we do in winter instead of gardening? So nice to have a visit from Eden! Have you tried going through clothing catalogues to find just the right shade of blue? If you find it, just take a 2" piece of the photo into the paint store for computerized matching.

Saucy, I'm glad you worked through 'the problem.' Have a safe and wonderful trip. You too GB, looking forward to more puppy photos when you return. I happily anticipate 'Bringing up Phoebe' threads.

Found Helleborus niger blooming everywhere yesterday, and the H.orientalis are all budded up in most of the warmer sites. Denise, I could use more photos of your garden!

Hi to all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:07AM
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Running like Dannie this morning but had to tell Sue:

Congratulations! I know that sounds bizzare, but when the decision gets made and action taken and a once-couple can still talk to each other enough to make it as calm as it can be, the hurt lessens somewhat. I speak from experience. The only time my former DH of 20 years and I really got along was as we were divorcing. Everyone's situation is different, but I'm glad for you and Tom that you realize what's best and are following that path. Of course, whatever you need........


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:15AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

A very white and pretty snowy morning out my window. Sorry that some of you are getting so much weather that you are sick of it. I know a couple of years back we had a winter like that and although I love winter, I had reached my limit too. This year has been just right for me. Plus, I can't remember a winter that speeded by so fast before. We are heading out for a walk to the Pond this morning. We only go on the weekends at least until it starts to be light later in the day.

Pleasant surprise to see Eden...how are the cats and the begonias this winter, Eden? Congratulations on the potty training success, and how old is Bella now?

Nice to see the long time Idylls all catching up with each other. :-)

Kathy, seems the weather is cooperating with your goals of getting the outside projects done. Good timing.

Cynthia, I had meant to comment on your forsythia branches. Very artfully arranged. Love the curve and the length of the branches. What really caught my eye first though, was that wonderful arch with the molding detail...really exquisite! Lucky girl! Unfortunately, I don't have any forsythia in my yard. I had one shrub that morphed into 10 over a 20 year period that we dug out by hand along with every other shrub in the backyard about four years ago. I say 'we' very loosely, as always..someone else in the family doing the actual work. [g] We have made room for natives and I don't think I have any that would be candidates for forcing. I am planning on adding an Arnold's Promise perhaps even as early as this spring. So I will enjoy your arrangement instead. Take another photo when the flowers open for me! :-)

Gardenbug....would love to know what kind of camera you have...takes a great close up. Of course, it could just be the person taking the photo. [g]

Marian...it sounds like a very inhospitable place to live weather wise...or at least it was. It was really great that you were able to grow up with that wonderful scenery though. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Babs...maybe hot shower in the morning, ice the rest of the day? Glad you are feeling better!

Ei, so sorry about your Mom and hope she is feeling better soon.

The Pond is calling... :-) pm2

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ooops! Meant to add a link to a song that caught my attention this morning. Thanks to all that sent me to NPR. :-) Thought it was an appropriate song for many facing challenges...see if you like it too...


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:26AM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Had to get on my own computer any way, so I uploaded photos from our walk this morning. The path around the Pond was too slippery so we went to a square where we sometimes walk. The sun came out just as we got there and it was nice and warm.

Saw a few of these displays along the way...

Pretty to listen to too...

Isn't this an interesting little area....

Very large glass suncatcher in a shop window...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:30AM
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A quick good morning, birthday greetings to Chelone. Ei, that's awful about your mom. I've gotta check in on my folks today -- first week with the glucometer for my dad and they can't get readings. Safe journeys to Saucy and g'bug. Lots of painting projects going on - but not here. Did nothing remotely productive yesterday except making it to the feed store for 50 lbs of alfalfa pellets for the garden, had crab cakes near the beach, checked the Mac store for widgets (PM2 I'm on a PC but the household is on Macs. Macs are best. My court reporting software is only just getting compatible with Macs. I think plant you asked about in last photo is an agave.) Hello, Eden!

My mom told me I was a dream to potty train, that boys were the worst. Both my boys were well over two before the light dawned. Reed is probably reading the newspaper while taking care of his busines by this time ;-)

Sue, so very sorry to read you've been having these ongoing issues. Hoping that "amicable" means garden and puppies are where you want them.

This group needs some humor. Watching Marx Bros. Horsefeathers:
Woman: Why, Professor! You're full of whimsy!
Groucho: Didn't think you'd notice it over there. I'm always full of whimsy when I eat radishes.

Happy Birthday, Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:44AM
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**Happy Birthday Chelone**

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 1:42PM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Happy Birthday Chelone !

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 3:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday, Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 3:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I didn't have any flowers for your birthday...but I thought you might find this link of interest. When you get to the webpage, click on February Born....it is a very interesting radio show transcript on a show that was done about not only famous people like Washington and Lincoln who were born in February, but many artists and performers etc. You share your birthday month with a lot of interesting people.

Happy Birthday Chelone! :-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Hello everyone!

Just popping in for a fast hello.

Sue, you know you've been on my mind and I'm so glad that all is still well in your home. Best wishes on finding the right applicant to fill the open spot in your company.

Ei, so sorry to read that your mother has fallen and was injured. I do hope she will be okay with no lasting damage.

Woody...absolutely rotten news for you and I hope that all will be okay.

Babs, hope that back improves soon......if it still hurts, have another margarita (and another if you'd like) and call me in the morning. ;o)

Hooray for Dannie and chasing after the lure! Also a huge sigh of relief and smile of happiness that Katie is doing well enough to attend either a walkabout or to go to the open house. Will she wear her pearls and a cute hat? I hope her recovery continues until she twirls happily whenever she wishes to do so.

Michelle, my heart hurts for you over the possiblity of Kenzie and her family moving. I know how sad I'd be if any of the grands were too far away to visit with easily.

V, hello! I'd help shovel that snow if I were there....uh, huh. I would. ;o)

Eden! Hello!!! Bella is a big girl! :oD

Mary! Hello to you! I love the beaded pretties that you made along with that neat dragonfly. Your minatures are wonderful and your talent along with your imagination is limitless.

I hope Deanne is okay.......missing her posts.

Honey!!!! Hugs to you and Tom. I hope and pray all works out for you both.

'bug is getting the puppy soon....FUN times ahead!!

I hope Saucy has a wonderful time!!!

Okay, DH just came in and asked me to go outside and help him trim goat's hooves...I know all of you are jealous and wish you, too, could do something so wonderful and fun. I am a lucky girl..........not. ;o)

A very happy birthday to Chelone!!!

My best to all,

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 5:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

T, right now I think I would be happy trimming goat hooves at your place. It's been below zero all day and the wind has been howling. We have learned that our weather station only calculates wind chills to -39.9 F. After that, it only displays -0F.L, which I claim is computer shorthand for "AWFUL".

Ei, I thought I sent my sympathies on your Mom's fall, but maybe I only thought I did. So excuse me if I'm repeating myself!

And I need to slow down as I read, since I thought T was wishing Sue good luck on filling her vacancy at home!

I enjoyed your walk, pm. Looks like it was warmer there!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 6:34PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 7:49PM
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The fence guys were done by about 1pm today, so that is one more issue laid to rest. It looks pretty bare out there right now, the combination of winter sleeping plants and numerous items that I had to cut back to the nubs to make room for the workers.
Ive put away my tools, yard waste recycle is full to the brim so time for a bit of Idylling before dinnertime.

I was thinking about PMs morning walk and her pic of the shopping area it this a small town PM ? You see very few brick buildings out here because of the earthquake situation. I think if you use brick there are very stringent code requirements that make the construction substantially more costly. And their lack of course always makes them seem very exotic and beautiful to me. We do have several brick buildings in the older areas of Napa, the majority of those being commercial buildings built before The Big One in 1906. It is very rare to see a home built of brick here. By the way, I enjoyed the link to Ben Sollee. I must have missed that segment on NPR or perhaps it was not broadcast in my area-I listen to KQED San Francisco.

Marian, beautiful pics of your native lands in Idaho. Thanks for posting that link. It is certainly hard to describe to people who have never seen it the concept of big sky. My favorite big sky region is New Mexico. If I was a multi-home zillionaire , New Mexico would be one of my domiciles for sure. Might be about time for you to post more pics of your African Violets ..bet Denise and PM dont know you are the resident expert on those !

So where has Deanne got to ?
And Norma ?

You surely have some architectural details going on at Chez Cynthia I can see that part of the responsibility of owning a home like that is to keep up the maintenance on the woodwork. Im still in awe over the sunroom. Happy times to Katie as she finds her way back to the twirl zone.

T, always glad to hear another report from the pacific time zone. Its 5:30 and still light out here, though the sun has set. My BILs in Portland have reported to me much snow this winter . Are you over in snowfall in your region ?

Eileen, good that you checked in, and I hope all goes well for your Mom. I always enjoy your chatty posts , and miss them when you are in absentia.

This is a pic of garden from today.
It shows the new fence on the left.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 8:43PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Hope it was filled with things you enjoy!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:30PM
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What a lazy day, I ended up taking a 2 hour nap. Hopefully, I can sleep tonight. The productive part of the day was another coat of paint on the cabinets. Kenzie called to tell Grandma that she now has earrings. She told me they were yellow. Her favorite color.

Ei, so sorry to hear that your mom fell. I hope she bounces back quickly.

V, we had the wind and subzero yesterday, but theres hope, today was subzero all day but less the wind ;o)

T, it seems that trimming hooves would be right up there with dehorning calves.

PM2, thanks for taking us along on the walk. I too love the use of brick in buildings, walkways and just about everything. I grew up in a brick house and the first house I owned was painted brick, but they arent exactly common around here.

Cynthia, I would love to come sit on your bench.

Not much else is going on here.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hope you had a wonderful day Chelone!

I'm glad I made it in before Chelone has read all her birthday wishes and what beautiful wishes they are...gorgeous cards everyone! V - what are those beautiful flowers in those impossible colors? That's really lovely!

Thank you all for your good wishes. They decided to keep mom for one more day and do a few more tests, but everything seems okay.

Hi T! It's great to see you. I haven't done much but scan the past Idylls, but do remember your picture! You look phenomenal and should be proud of all your hard work. It's really hard to believe you are the grandma of 4! :-) Hope all is going well with you.

I've gotta hit the sheets...I'm pooped! Hope Chelone gets to peek in before she goes to sleep...think of all the lovely pictures that will be playing in her head as she falls asleep tonight if she does....

Good Night All!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Wishing I could send the fragrance, too, Happy Birthday Chelone!!

And to show you that just about anyone can "do" houseplants :-)

Bracing for outside today and wishing a trip to see Denise, Kathy and T were in the offing .....

All best -


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! Thank you all so much for sending your weather this way...lol. Yesterday when we walked, it was comfortable, in the high 40s, but within two hours it was snowing again, then stopped but as the day went on it became windier and colder and this morning I'm looking out the window at the Maple tree canopy just whipping around like it was a bush instead of a tree. Temperature before wind chill is now 6 degrees on the back porch. I hope it is warmer now, where you are. :-)

This Idyll was started on Thursday morning and it is almost full on Monday morning?

Glad you enjoyed our walk yesterday. Yes, it was a small town. Population 20,000 on 6.5 square miles. I also love anything brick and there is a lot of it around here. . Most of the downtown was brick, the sidewalks were brick. The library was a very pretty stone. A few very pretty churches. Something we don't see around here much are Arts & Crafts architecture, so I get excited when I see that, instead. Once in awhile we take a trip to Lexington MA. They just built a very pretty Arts & Crafts library a couple of years ago. Next time I am there, I will take some photos of it.

Painting projects....I have been very surprised to hear how much painting is done at this time of year. We usually wait for the good weather so we can open every window in the house and put on the house fan to dry fast and get the odor out as soon as possible. I really would rather have it done by spring, so we can concentrate on the garden, as usual. [g] Hoping to do some next month. There is a new paint store near us that offers environmentally friendly paint that I am going to check out.

Kathy....Looking very cozy there on the patio and amazing to see 'green'...lol. Getting that fence back up must have given you a lift. So are you just about finished with all your projects and ready to start showing the house? I have never been to New Mexico, must be very beautiful. I have only been out West once, for a wedding. Lake Tahoe area. Loved it there. I have been to Las Vegas though come to think of it and there is a lot of flat land and open sky there too. Does that qualify as 'Big Sky'?

V. ....I was thinking about what a change it must have been to move out to a rural area after being in an urban area for so long. Your neighbors are a half a mile away?? I always wanted to live in the country but never did. You must have a very large garden. Looking forward to seeing more pics come spring.

denise....Agaves...that's right, you have access to a lot of those there in California. And lots of different sansevieria which I love too. Alfalfa pellets for the garden....I haven't found a source for that around here yet. Do you garden organically? I do love those Mac widgets. It is looking like the mac is not going to connect with DH's office without major hassles, so I am looking at Win/PCs again, sadly.

Hello to all...heading out to an appointment shortly, with my ear muffs on!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:30AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all!

A cold and windy one it is here today as well. I was off to CT for a seminar this weekend and had a nice group of people. I taught them how to do stroke work on a pretty little box with smoking on the edges of the lid. It all went well except for getting stuck in a traffic jam on Rt. 495 where it took me fifty minutes to go about five miles. Grrrr Pretty aggravating at the front end of what should normally be two hour drive turned into a three hour drive. Other than that though the weekend was a success and my class down there for April is already filled.

I was worried about the plants for the two day absence but theyre all fine. I shortened the day length under the lights from sixteen hours a day to ten hours a day and that kept them from drying out when I was gone. It was too short a time frame for them to get leggy from the lack of light so it all worked out. A couple of the coleus are getting huge right now and Im going to have to start cuttings sooner than Id like but I cant stand to throw away what I prune off of them right now,. LOL Ill just keep them in water so they dont grow too much.

I dont stand a chance of getting caught up but wanted to drop in to say hi to everyone. Hope Chelone had a nice birthday and that V and Michelle are surviving all that nasty winter weather thats been plaguing that section of the country.

OK time to get started here and get my suitcases unpacked, get some exercise etc.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:04AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We're having problems connecting to the Internet since yesterday afternoon, so no picture but:


Sue - I did a double-take when I read your news. Amicable or not, I'm sure it's a stressful time. Gardens and dogs are good sources of peace in troubled times so hopefully you still have both! Best wishes to you....

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:05AM
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Oh dear! My quick perusal this morning has turned up several lovely birthday wishes, and, sadly, several of the boxes that tell me I should have fired up the 'puter yesterday... :( I was too caught up in birthday revellry, NOT. Thank you for your good wishes.

I did, however, thoroughly enjoy "Rob Roy" and a collection of the finest Warner Bros. cartoons (sadly the Barber of Seville was not included in the offering), as well as few more pages of Catherine de' Medici. Both were rewards for the completion of the Salon's ceiling! This morning I plan to start painting the walls. The door to the stairwell was installed yesterday, as well. And I believe today is "wire and fire" day for the furnace... although helpmeet has to finish the "trunk" of the ductwork. Reliable heat will make it much easier to get the paining finished and deal with the surfacing for the chimney.

I'm still a week behind in reading (birthdays will do that to you) and have to toddle out the Salon as soon as I hang that load of laundry that is spinning right now.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, man am I so behind!!!!
I got caught up in the stupid paperpushing crapola re property that I didnt look this weekend - and sure enuf an entire idyll has gone by -- I did not even get to the bottom

But I wanted to add to Sue, that I had sensed that might be what was going on and Im so sorry -- but I feel good that you felt comfortable enuf to mention the changes in your life -- I know it's tough, tough, no matter how amicable -- but you're a gutsy graceful woman and I just know there are other better things out there in your future.

It was about 13 degrees here this a.m. -- that gets us back for the 70s we had a week ago, eh? I worried all nite as to whether the stupid neighbor (who left yesterday) kept her heat on or not.... so far no more new rushing waters - guess I'll know tonite though.

I can't believe how busy this thread got -- from 0 to 75 miles an hour in no time flat!

But it's great to see those who had "fallen behind" pop back in.

Hey, Chelone -- count me in on the Varathane crew (Im sure you know of it as I think they seal boats w/ it?) -- it's held up on my wooden stairs that were sealed white & stained wood for almost 20 years.

I spent the weekend fantasy shopping for carpet and furniture - luckily I bought nothing as the insurance gig is still undecided as to liability -- then the investement club yesterday which seems to take a lot of time and prep work.... the meetings never end until almost 6 or later Sunday nite (once a month) - interesting group of women, but we dont yet have our acts together!

Okay, a ton on my plate here this a.m. -- no jazzin or delishin from me -- I can't believe that woman actually said that about assisted living - (even if true) -- I doubt she knows what clothes to wear to an interview either!!!!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Chelone - I hope it was great!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Chelone! Here's a birthday present...hope it was what you were looking for...

I really enjoyed watching...forgot how much I enjoyed that waskly wabbit!
Here's an all time favorite of mine:

Tom & Jerry's "Touche, Pussy Cat!"


I just love that little baby mouse's voice! :-)

Okay...I have to be out of here in 5 minutes! Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:58AM
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No school today : )! It's colder than a...a...well its really,really,cold out there. Wind chills made it down into negative teens. It's a balmy 9F now. I'm STILL in my jammies and I need to unload the dishasher-a welcome lazy day here. Winter storm watch for tonight. A good day for a pot of chili for dinner.

Deanne glad to realize you were busy with life and not necessarily ill. We worry about you when you disappear,you know. ; )

Calling pm2,M.D.-I'm feeling great(still cautious though)I was able to get out of bed without any pain! : ). Thanks for your advice-next time I will do icing right away. Loved your walk through town-such a pretty place.

Stay warm,kids! Lets all show up at Kathy's patio to thaw out! First one there gets the Adirondack!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:44PM
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