Idyll #353 - The Glowing Orb Idyll

ctlavluvrFebruary 11, 2008

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.

William C. Bryant

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I know exactly how Mr. Bryant felt when he wrote that, much like I felt yesterday after spending a whole 45 minutes outside and got my first dirty fingernails of the year.

New boss day for me, today, and the first 3 hours feel positive :-0) I actually know him through the industry and feel very lucky for the third time in a row.

Wanted to get this Idyll up and running, and will check in later.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:55AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

No glowing orbs here that I can tell. (Altho I did recently find at a local nursery some of those colorful fishing floats I loved from the last IU Im starting to think of a small water feature in a large pot  thatÂs as big as any orbs I can think of for my gardening exploits).

I just wanted to comment on a bunch of things I know I overlooked  and it was not because of any lack of importance. . . . especially upon reading all the details here Â

Woody  I wish you the best of luck and goodness in the upcoming surgery. I am sure it makes you fearful but hopeful that they are working so quickly to move things along for you. Hopefully, that means you donÂt have too much time to worry  just get it over with and we hope to see you back here soon.

Ei  Im sorry about your Mom  that was very scary Im sure  Im glad it appears theyÂre monitoring things okay for her; still something to worry and worry about  maybe this is the "impetus crisis" that will help you make some better arrangements for her so you donÂt have to worry daily about her being alone? IÂll cross my fingers that something good works out in that way.

Honey  Im sorry youÂre down in the dumps  youÂve had lots going on too  sheesh  I think a bunch of us would just all love a peaceful, Boring, simple year to live, right? But it sounds like you always know just what to do to pick yourself up and dust yourself off  a great role model for your DD too  I hope you enjoy the time together while sheÂs there with you. And weÂll be thinking of job interviews tomorrow re DH!

Martie  thatÂs great that you found a good solution for your DB and the conservatorship  what a great husband to be willing to put that on his shoulders  I hope it works out so well for you.

Babs  yikes re the back but I love your inspired healing process  the ice to go w/ those margaritas...

Anyone wanna slip off to a quick island jaunt to indulge in some of those? Boy, I sure would love to do that for even a weekend! Thinking of Saucy and her fun filled family adventure theyÂre bound to be having by now. . . .

Cynthia  thank you for bringing back the Spring notice  itÂs the only thing moving me along these days  I did find some hellebore buds on Saturday and see some other foliage up but so far no real signs of Spring, Arctic Chill or no.

Hey, Sue  I keep thinking IÂd like to replace the windows instead of paint, but I was told you might have to paint Âem anyhow  whatÂs the point of replacing then says I?.... I Really hate to paint  I did a lot of the house too myself more than 15 years ago, but I think those days are over  listening to Kathy and Cynthia and Eden and other projects, I realize Im just a slacker in too many ways  sheesh who wants to look like a crab at the ofc because they canÂt raise their arms after the weekend?

Wow, Martie  I just noticed that email moniker you got  I guess that beats the Jazzylicious babe. . . . o my... what are people sniffing these days?

Kathy, your listing of the house is coming up this week, isnt it? Is everything all ready or are you freaking out?

Ât  sharing goat hooves sounds like something Im happy to not partner with, LOL... the things we do for love?

Okay, I guess I better finish lunch and Im sure IÂve missed comments to others  hopefully no one takes offense  I am lovin the cards and the scenery  PM2 you break up our day w/ those wonderful shots of your winter wonderland Back to contemplating more paper recycling...


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 1:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We had a brief ice storm here this morning, that went off almost as fast as it came. Now it is raining off and on. I went for a walk up our drive, and started down the hill towards the neighbors, but met Sam the Great Pyrenees coming up. He chose to bark at me, with his tail wagging. :-) I chided him, and waited for him to come on up to me, which he did. Big rain drops started falling on my head. I told Sam we had better go home, but he went on up the hill...:-) It was just a few drops, now and then.

I am getting SO weak! I can hardly lift even one smaller stick of wood. I am hoping if I start walking more I will regain my strength.

While outside I checked and found buds on the earliest dafodils!!!! Thank goodness they are extremely hardy, and I haven't known of them getting frozen.

Martie, I am glad you started this thread. The other was taking 'forever' to load! Nice quote, too.

I can't remember who said what on the end of the last thread, so can't comment, or answer. I'll do that later. It is my nap time now...:-)


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 2:38PM
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The sun has been out for a whole 10 hours in a row so the tydll stands :-)

What a great day yesterday. When was the last time you took a sunbath? My mom used to plunk us down and have us think it was the most luxurious thing in the world to sit a a sunbeam. Yesterday, I did so in a more grownup way for a few hours and got warm enough to go outside. Finished my divide/conquer/move list, FINALLY decided that an iron arbor is what we'll do, came close to getting frostbite in one little finger but didn't really care. FREEDOM at its finest.

Also wintersowed some spinach near the still-green trailing Rosemary. If it stays alive it's only because Denise, Kathy, T, Cynthia and others in warmer climes have sent such good vibes :-)

Denise, I'm not clear on what Marty does. Does he drive a boat or is he like a boat traffic controller or both? Sounds like a very cool career.

Has there been an Idyllunion destination decision? I'd be willing to host an afternoon but much more than that would be tough at this point.

Really, I wish everyone could plan to come around Junish to see progress. I can't wait to actually see what I've "seen" for the last three years!!

I'm thinking it was Eden who got me going on a small water feature combined with the Fairy Garden, and now Cindy is talking about a small water feature, and there's standing water in just the right place. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

New boss beckons. Later!!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 3:58PM
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Almost forgot to send congrats to the two newest members of the female squatter club!! Good Girls!! (Hooray for Grandmas' support, too :-)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Edward Weston Loves Produce and vice-versa

Happy Birthday Chelone


(This appealed to me as we own a copy of Weston's Pepper #30 (printed posthumously so not worth the big bucks but a way cool photo. Perhaps I'll make some pepper people to stand in front admiring it).

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 4:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mary, the idea of you making pepper people has me very concerned!

Cold continues here, and they have forecast more snow (3-6 inches) for tomorrow. YUK. I'm going to Vegas on Friday, and at this rate I may not come back.

Ei, the flower is Nemesia Sunsatia Mango. I saw it on my trip to Butchart Gardens last year and fell in love with it. I'm hoping to be able to track some down this spring.

pm2, this is the story of the idylls. At times they plod along slowly, and then without warning ~ZIP~ an idyll flies by in nothing flat. Usually, this tends to happen when you are distracted by other aspects of life, so you find yourself quite behind.

Yes, we are quite out in the country. The garden is good-sized, but we also enjoy the prairie and woods that surround us. Here's a pic of my two labs enjoying a summer day on the prairie:

And here's a shot of the woods in all their glory in early May:

Not much else new here, and I'm being called to assist in the kitchen. DH is pushing his agenda tonight...


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:57PM
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My compliments and thank you to Marty for getting that soothing word 'Idyll' into the title twice! After a long day I sometimes come over just to look at pictures and just seeing the word idyll is calming.

Mary, I figured those little peppers were your invention. Especially the tiny purse. Yes, make pepper people! I expect yours will have exaggerated butts and be modeling green skivvies.

V, all that green! Must check many more days until spring?

I need to brag. On the grey walk yesterday, I had told every one we would probably only do a mile and not to worry if we didn't keep up. Well, 10 weeks post back surgery, Katie-kins led the pack! And she kept looking over her shoulder to see where everyone was :) I tried to lag so I could chat, but she wasn't having it. She was cruising liker there were cookies at the end of the trail (there were.) Just 3 miles, and her loose bionic butt wiggled all the way, but she was only up to a mile last week and I was impressed. She had no discomfort afterwards and has been fine today. She'll be getting her figure back in no time :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 7:28PM
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YAY, Katie-kins! (happy for Mummy, too).

Mary, you "totally 'get' me". LOL.

I'm still pretty behind (missing an important half week about an week and half ago... make sense? BUT,

Want to let Honey know that I sympathize with the incessant waves of misfortune breaking on your shores. Nothing wears you down faster than long-term, low-grade worry. You've had more than your share of late and while it seems you're coping admirably, that's likely small consolation. I'm impressed you're posting at all... and loving them, BTW.

Ei., I have yet to uncover the "maternal catastrophe" (give me time), your link to "The Rabbit of Seville" cracked me up. I was a complete failure at music but I love it, nonetheless. I grew up in home with music and those silly Warner Bros. cartoons were perfectly suited to my sense of humor. Thank you for a true link to my childhood. Harnessed with the Three Stooges and reruns of Charlie Chaplin, how could Saturday morning have been a "waste"?! LOL

I am thrilled to have painted 2 1/2 walls of the Salon with the first of the "finish" coats. I was nervous about the selection, but I'm loving it, so far. Helpmeet has 6-7 light fixtures installed (one switch's worth), but since there are no bulbs there is no way to test his ability... . The furnace was wired today, and once the ductwork is finished we should have heat in the Salon. I'm trying to be patient...

COLD here, but made more unpleasant by the relentless wind. You mid-westerners are more stoic about wind that are we in New England, methinks! Our smaller landscape, replete with mountains, hills, etc. tends to make "wind" a more localized and sporadic event. The drifting of snow you guys face routinely is not the norm, here. But it can get pretty unpleasant here, too!

I'm so glad to see Eden pop back in... I figured I about ran you out of town bustin' your chops about the "end" of winter... ! ;) I am glad you've offered you 2 cents about "pickling". I KNEW you'd tried it, lol. Never heard of Varathane (thanks for the link), but the caveat for a water-based sealer is duly noted!!

LOL, Martie, about the Female Squatter Club. That has to make your lives A LOT eaier, huh, Eden and Michelle?! Count me in as another curious person with respect to TWMPB's potty training. (I think it's brilliant).

Thinking of everyone (I nod and "answer" too) and am still wondering where our latest additions have gotten off to...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Golden Orb indeed ! We are expecting it here for the duration of the week. Im making an official declaration of Spring for the Napa Valley.Hellebores in full bloom, tulips coming up, growth buds on the Clematis-and flowers about ready to pop on Clematis Armandii. We will still have rain, and maybe some light frosts but the evidence is everywhere. Yesterday I was out in my front garden (pulling weeds of course) and to my surprise I noticed that one of my daylilies is putting out scapes. Not what I expected to see ! If we get a bad freeze I fear they wont fare too well.

Martie , those look suspiciously like plant catalogs on the table in front of your paperwhite.

Babs, you bring the margaritas and I can come up with at least three more chairs ! Too bad all there is to look at it mud and about a zillion love-in-a-mist seedlings , lol . So were you referencing the well-diggers a** , or the witches t** ??? Or both .

Deanne, Glad to hear you and Doug arent still in the infirmary ..Clever of you to set the lights to reduce water usage. Exactly what happens in nature with evapo-transpiration rates. What a hopeless case you are with those coleus cuttings. Didnt I recommend a roadside stand last year ???

Cindy , do you remember Denises pic last summer of her fishing float water feature ? At least I think it was Denise. It was really cool..maybe she can dig it up to re-post ? Attencion Denise !
Painting is a chore, but its better than repairing plumbing or cleaning the garage . My most horrible painting chore (the kitchen) is being hired out . You only see wood windows out here anymore on either extremely high end houses (i.e. folks who pay to have stuff painted fixed etc ) or historical homes. It would cost you way less to have the windows painted than to replace them . House listing agreement is signed but we will not show it till all the painting is done-next week I expect. We had to push things out a couple of weeks because the painter was quite busy.

Marian, many daffodils are in full bloom here (I dont have any at the present) and our late frosts never seem to bother them in the least. You are so right about the walking or whatever exercise you choose. I always feel less strength this time of year too because I dont perform as much strenuous manual labor in winter, and I walk way less because of the darkness and rain.

Chelone, as one of your painting brethren I give you a virtual high-five on the ceiling completion and the progress on walls. Walls do seem a cakewalk after the damn ceiling , no ?

Thumbs-up for Katie the model doggie-patient ! Does she negotiate the stairs or is that still off-limits?

I seem to recall bug mentioning an excursion to Toronto, Saucy has retired to the tropics and what a long time its been since weve heard from Brenda..

Im about out of steam for tonight so catch yall later..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 9:29PM
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V - don't worry, rather than pepper people I've found a different creative outlet. I'm coming up with ideas for an entry in this year's Peeps Diorama competition. You create a diorama with marshmallow peeps as the central characters. To me it's the perfect blending of my work with miniatures and enjoyment of the whacky. Here is an entry from last year I just love.

I'm thinking along the lines of making something British and historical - perhaps "The Peepsicution of Anne Boelyn" set in the Tower of London. What do you think Chelone?

Darn - this idea has kept me up way too late on a work night. I'll share my plans with the non-squeamish another day.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:44PM
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Mary, you are so creative and find the neatest pictures to show us. I love that pepper. It sort of looks like a mother hugging her child.

Sue, my thoughts are with you, and I'm hoping the next few months will bring you a gentle peace.

bug...only a few more days until the new member of your household joins you. How exciting for you.

I hope everyone here who has been feeling under the weather finds relief soon. This has been a long winter, and with spring just around the corner, I hope that brings good health for everyone, too.

I have to admit I've been skimming here lately, but I do try to check in often. Be sure, though, that I'm sad for those who are hurting, but happy for all the good things going on, too. Life is always about finding that balance.

V. thanks for the shots of spring. Are those taken on your property? Are you tired yet of all the snow we've been getting lately? I'm secretly loving it. It's been so long since we've had a real winter around these parts.

chelone, looks like you've been progressing quite nicely on your salon. I'm glad for you.

Mary, funny you should mention Anne Boelyn. My sister just mentioned a movie will be coming out soon on her. I need to read the book first, which the movie will be based on, I believe.

There's more I wanted to comment on, but I can't remember it all now. I should take notes as I read. How do you all do it?

Have a great day.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 3:17AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL) are too much fun! :-) *And* so creative...what an imagination. Thanks for all the smiles! You know that pepper in the picture? When I first looked at it to me it looked like embraced lovers...maybe Valentine's day is on my mind...LOL! But to be *still* looks like two lovers to me.

Thanks V for the I.D. Both of your pics are so beautiful, but I really did catch my breath on the woodland pic! That's a field of trillium; no? Wonderful!

Hey, that's great about Katie; Cynthia! I'm so happy for you *and* for Katie!

I haven't had a chance to catch up with all the posts from the previous Idyll, but remember lots of beautiful pictures...I'll try to catch up later.

Well, I have to go pick up mom (who's doing fine, BTW) have a great day all!

P.S. Hi Anita! I see that you see a mom & child. Funny how that is...kind of an optical illusion. :-)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 8:33AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well Im pretty much unpacked from my trip, the laundry is done and Im taking a minute to pop in here to say hello this morning. Ive got some lovely sunshine today so Im going to fire up my little heater and go outside for a bit to work with some bird photography. WE are supposed to get another six inches of snow/sleet starting this afternoon so I want to take advantage of the sun while it lasts.

Im loving all the pics and Mary!!!! You are sooooo. Fun and creative. I just love the peeps dioramas! And the Anne Bolyn one would be fantastic.

Cynthia, congratulations to Katie! How wonderful she is on the mend and getting back to her twirly self.

Chelone, great news about the progression on the salon.

Hi Anita!

Kathy, I swear I need an intervention with the whole cuttings thing. I just got another new light that will give me another eight sq. feet of growing space.

Honey, thinking of you!

Martie, Goodwin Creek continues to amaze here. Ill have to grab a pic.

So Im starting planning on our Thumbs party and need to get a feel for how many will attend. If you think you can come please email me and let me know. Also, am thinking of menu items. Any great ideas out there??

Hello to Cindy, Marian, Ei, V and everyone!!!

OK time to get out of my PJ"s and get outside.

Have a great day all,

PS I put together some photo galleries yesterday and thought youd have fun running through the container garden pics.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I forgot yesterday that Denise inquired of the Phila Garden Show -- I think it's the largest on the East Coast (altho I might not swear to that) -- definitely one of the oldest - I've been a sporadic attender over the years -- some years, it's way tooo tooo - over the top - if you know what I mean - other years, you can be terribly inspired. It always suffers from horrible crowds (like 10 deep or more at a time around an exhibit) -- you need to approach it like going to Disneyworld - figure out what days/times are the least crowded. Also, always go towards the beginning of the week - it runs I think almost 10 days (opens and closes on 2 weekends) and the years I've gone like on Thurs or Friday, things are looking pretty "wilty" -- the vendor marketplace is of course one of my favorite places and I spend hours in it - always come home w/ a reward or two or three... I have always just gone for the day but I could see having the luxury of going for two days. So, final word - yes, worth going - but choose your time wisely if possible.

And Kathy, yes, -- now I remember it was that shot of Denise's w/ the floats & the container that made me realize even I who abhors finding more things that require "maintenance" (like water features/fountains) could do a pot pond w/ the floats and some papyrus & rush or something and have it be as cool as Denise's - I'd love to see that photo again!!

Mary, Mary -- I have seen the Peeps entries before -- it definitely is a match made in heaven for you to think of an entry -- what a perfect combo.... You could do "peep show" and add any assortment of ideas from your butcher shop! Or how about "Sweeney Todd Peeps".... Im gonna look for the green skivvies though -they should be your trademark!

Cynthia -- good to hear proud words from Mamma re Kati-kins. She's really doing great, isnt she? Keep those days til Spring coming -- I will come back to look.

I wish we could see pics of Kathy's spring as it's happening, but I imagine she's got other things like selling a house and final painting touch ups on her mind.

Hi, Anita - nice of you to drop by.

I cant see V's pics (picturetrail?) -- the workplace censors are in play - I'll have to look tonite at home if I get a chance.

No shining orb here today, again... sleet and rain are in the p.m. - good thing I ran to vote early this a.m. as it may be an interesting commute home.

Deanne -- I wonder if we could get a conference video hookup going to broadcast your party to us wanna-be-theres? Drat, drat - one of these years...


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

No "glowing orb" here! Clouds and fog!
We are iced over again this morning. This time it will not go off today....soooo no trip to town today! I sure hope I can go tomorrow. The cats will have the last of their canned food today. I may have to improvise tomorrow. There is some other things we need also. I am afraid I am not doing too good of a job stocking up when I go to town. :-(

All vegetation is ice covered, with icicles up to an inch or two long. The vehicles and porches are iced over. I don't think the dirt roads are icy, but I would be leary of the pavement. Better to be safe, than sorry. The temps will probably not get out of the is still dropping, too.

Calliecat's bucket of water on the front porch has no ice on it, but that may change as the temps continue dropping.

As before, Missouri is much harder hit. A lot of power outages there, and most schools are closed in the southwest corner.

I am wondering about Norma and Brenda. It has been ages since we have heard from Brenda.

Good to hear from Anita. I am missing so many more who used to post, including Taryn, Yeona, Lisa and Jerry in Oklahoma, Janie in Ontario, Barb in BC, Vagangirl in Virginia, Julie, and more.....
I wish we had members in the deeper south across the country. It would be interesting to get their perspective.

Ei, I am so glad your mom is okay.

Eden, how is your mom?

Deanne, good to see you back.

V, I love your pics. Isn't it Marie who posts a trillium in woods pic too?


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:50AM
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Cindy, you are too sweet to remember about the Philly show, being up to your ears in insurance adjusters and mold inspectors. And that's just the kind of info I'm looking for. My impression is, if I'm ever in the area...but a special trip to see it? Not so much.

Question re Marty's job: boat captain of port pilot boat in LA harbor (no ship movements yesterday so spent day sorting tax info -- it is a way cool job)

V, I don't remember seeing such expansive views surrounding your home before. Surely, that's dog heaven. The only way you'd know our Ein was running in that field would be the movement of the grass, not a jot of him would show.

It has been warm and langorous the past two days, sorry to report to those still in the weather trenches. My Holyoke Mass. relatives called my mom yesterday to wish happy birthday and said they've never seen a winter such as this. Or do you guys say that every year? ;-)

Seems there's been a spate of new idyll bosses lately, and I hope the transitions go smoothly.

Kathy, your methodical approach suggests a second career as a political campaign manager. Very impressive what you've accomplished. I've been checking real estate online regarding Portland, Marty's first choice to retire. Of course, turns out Portland is one of three cities (Seattle being another, second one in NC) where real estate value hasn't dropped, so scooping up a deal is probably not going to happen.

Kudos to Katie, grey extraordinaire! Who doesn't jiggle a bit in full gallop?

Eden, we just finished season 6 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. All your fault.

I'm hoping for good news on the job front at Honey's house and also the medical front for Woody.

The salon sounds dazzlingly near to completion.

Marian, it's a bit alarming to hear you're feeling so weak. Let's hope spring comes early so you can get out and stretch more.

Ei, I've got this splinter in my brain that you asked me something that I haven't answered so re-ask or know that I mean no offense not having answered ;o) (that's one way to keep up, Anita!)

Deanne, viewing the container photos this time, the abutilons really wowed. Even that wimpy grower savitzii was strapping and lush for you.

The Weston photo has the gravitas of a Henry Moore sculpture. Now with the peeps -- good to see Mary is still in her oral phase!

Here's the floating "orb" for Cindy, taken yesterday. Finally found that grassy maroon cordyline local in a gallon and wanted to check it against the golds and oranges. The solanum pyracanthum directly behind surprised me by continuing to grow through winter. Corals, golds and oranges, maroon -- I especially liked those colors in Deanne's photos too. Did I mention I enjoyed PM2's town tour?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 11:00AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Ouch Denisez...I hate splinters! :-) Anyway, don't feel bad, because if I did ask you a question, I don't remember what it was myself...LOL! Sorry! I sure do enjoy seeing growing plants in a garden these days...Thanks for sharing that.

It sure was wonderful to look through your container gallery Deanne. Thanks for sharing your beautiful plantings...very cheery. I love your sense of color and it is particularly a treat to see right now....since the only color Ive seen for some time is gray and/or white!

Today we are snowing again...what a surprise! And guess what else, it's really cold too! LOL! A check of the themom. says it's a balmy 15 degrees here...yippee! V, I'm about ready to run about you? :-) BTW, did your poor little snowmen get a reprieve?

Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear the news. Well, maybe they will change their mind...I'll keep my fingers crossed. Well, if they do decide to move to Florida, I think you should go visit them every year...for about a month...right about this time! :-) sorry hubby's in the market right now, it's no fun, for sure. But I know the right (smart) person will come along and see how much DH has to offer. I'm sending my good thoughts about the job he is interviewing for today. Hope it's good news. Also meant to thank you for all your kind words and to also tell you thanks for posting that pic of the hair ring. I actually think it is very neat that you have your great grandmother's (?) hair ring, especially since it's the hair from a family member! :-)

Also thinking of Woody too and sending my good thoughts for tomorrow. I hope it will be the news you were hoping for Woody! Hugs to you...

I've been meaning to tell you PM2 how much I loved your poem...your's too Marian. The poems were both so lyrical and have a very similar mood to them, I think. I enjoyed them both and will go back to write down the authors, so I can read more by them.

I also loved your pics PM2...the one with the balloons was so cheery! :-)

Marian, I hope the weather warms enough for the ice to melt and you can get safely to the store careful!

Cindy, I've been meaning to ask for the longest time...I would love to hear about your job with Christies. What did you do? How did you get the job? And, why did you quit, if you don't mind me asking? I would have loved to have a job like that. I have to admit the hummingbird story creeped me out too. Kind of reminds me of taxidermy...which also creeps me out.

Lots of other things I wanted to comment on, but will save that for another time....

I *did* want to ask this though... have any of you heard about or purchased lectures from "The Great Courses"? They are very pricey, even on sale (which they are right now) but they really do have a lot of interesting lectures.

They are strictly for pleasure (it's not a true credit course)but the list of lectures and the professors who created them seems pretty impressive to me. The one I would like to get is "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition" (I would probably get the audio download as thats the cheapest way to go). The sale is only on until March 3rd, so I have to make up my mind soon, if I am going to get the music one. Anyway, just was wondering if anybody knows anything about them.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 4:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon.. :-)

Going out for our walk in a minute so not a lot of time. Did want to say what a good laugh I got from the pepper people and the peeps! lol That was really fun! Also loved that photo of the trilliums carpeting the woods. My how gorgeous is that! Something you don't see very often.

Lots more I would like to comment on, but...maybe later. Ei, I just wanted to tell you that I was looking at those Great Courses, and I wondered if by chance our library system might offer them and was I surprised to see that they have a ton of them, including that one about music. You might want to check out your library.

Running...[walking (g)]


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 5:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from the big smog: Toronto. The snow there is dirty, high and traffic is nuts.

First a BIG HUG TO CHELONE! Happy Birthday. Maybe a card will follow if I find a moment? I brought back paint samples (in tiny tins) from the big city. Thinking about my dining room...but months in the distant future.

Mary, always a delight to read about your family and projects!!!

Great Courses, if the same outfit I think it is, had fairly expensive topics covered well. Mom used to order them for a group who discussed them every week at her retirement home. They were enjoyed by many, and so the price was well worth it.

V, my trillium photo was taken on a walk near Woody's home. Another near my friend Lynn's country place. I stayed at Lynn's house this weekend and got to visit with her daughter, SIL and baby Wyn. :) We of course went off and bought Nana type gifts.

One life-time experience of the weekend was my first encounter with a pawn broker. It was out of a film...a weird experience indeed. I'm glad I did it. I unloaded a bunch of junk jewelry from Mom's estate, got minimal money, and that was fine. But it was great: locked doors, hidden cashiers, dim lights, monocles checking for gold quality, photo identification, etc. Quite neat!

OK, I must go for now. Be it known that I came home with MORE bowls & glasses.

Impatient for Phoebe....

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 6:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

'bug's obsession with Phoebe sent me on my own search, which turned up Phoebe Killdeer and the Short Straws. Check the link below - she's not bad! Be forewarned that music plays on this page (i.e. don't open the link at the office with your speakers cranked).

Mary, the Chicago Tribune started a Peeps diorama contest this year. Their sample diorama was called, "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and it featured a Valentine Peep in a tree stand holding a toy shotgun. I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Yes, both of the photos are from my property, and boy do I miss spring right now. First they canceled the snow warning, then it snowed like crazy. Anita, I am among those who have had it with winter!

I've procrastinated an awful lot this evening. I must do a smidgen of work before I call it a night.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Hints about photos of springlike weather here have been noted for future reference. I will get some pics this weekend as I continue to toil amongst the weeds. The painter will be here Friday and all weekend. Still need to paint DSs room, but its such a b**ch to try to align our schedules. He works nights and weekends, I work days, weekdays. I know we can knock it out in a day if we can just find the right day. Now my main concerns are the mess in the garage and the RV parking space. Also thinking about hiring a house cleaning service to clean the place once all the work is done. Just a one shot deal, but it would probably save me at least a day and they would no doubt do a better job than I can in way less time.

Anita, glad to see you post again ! I wondered when I first started Idylling if I would be able to keep up the mad pace of posts, but I have found it a really nice way to decompress after the workday. I think there are several of us who use the copy /paste from MS Word to post. Thats how I refer to the posts-right now I am typing in Word and I have the Idyll thread open in another window , so I can scroll along and view each persons post. When Im done I copy/paste into the forum dialog I expect youve been having some of that nasty Midwest weather that V has been dealing with ?

Mary, that Peeps diorama is just classic. Cant wait to see the photo of your entry. I went to the Washington Post and viewed the gallery. My faves were "Peeping Peeps" and Mommie Peepest" . What a hoot.

Deanne, I took a brief view of the container gallery and decided to save it for Saturday morning coffee time, so I can peruse it at a leisurely pace . It will be way FF !

Denise, Portland is really a very cool city once you work through the weather issues. One thing I really enjoy, beside the natural beauty of the area, is the architectural interest of many of the homes , particularly in the area around Washington Park and the SW, NW hills. Beware of the property taxes though ! They are truly horrid and seem to have no rhyme or reason. A state with no sales tax has to raise revenue somewhere. Portland has a wonderful infrastructure and public transportation system that is funded through property taxes. Hey, was that YOUR birthday Denise ?? If so, we have to rally the troops..please advise !

Eis posting of the Great Courses surely sound like a good fit for long road trips. Bet if you went on Ebay you could find used ? Im going to look.

I watched the Westminister Dog Show last night , part 1. I have some dog-show stuff in my family background. Although I enjoy watching the show , I always ponder the over-breeding and especially the extreme heavy coats on some of the dogs that I would think would impede their participation in doglike behavior.

Time to be offBuenos Noches to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Kathy, thanks for that tip on how to better keep up with the Idylls. I'll have to try that...makes more sense, too.
Yes, I've been getting almost the same weather as V...but she's tired of it already, and I'm not. :) (yet.)

Deanne, I forgot to say thanks for sharing your container garden with us. It's beautiful, to say the least. One of these days, I'm going to have to ask you for tips on taking cuttings. Did you get some bird photos today before the snow arrived?

Happy Birthday Chelone!!!! Hope it was a wonderful one.

'Nite everyone.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:40PM
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Good evening

Kathy - the Peeping Peeps was one of my very faves as well!

V - it is the Chicago Trib's contest I was going to enter, they accept entries from anywhere. They select from photos and finalists' dioramas are brought in or shipped for voting. Of course the cost of shipping would substantially reduce the grand prize money of $101.

So far I'm still playing with the idea of a beheaded Anne Boelyn peep (head recently severed by masked axeman (peepman) on tower green. I would have a Henry the VIII peep looking on and a couple of beefpeepers (beefeaters - the royal guards). But I must admit I'm also drawn to the idea of a Peeps of the Carribean. Cindy - I thought of a Sweeney Peeps too - I wonder which peep would make the best Johnny Depp?

Deanne - I would so love to join you guys to thumb your nose. However, we are spending the week of the 17th in DC with Ruth (Feb break) and will be driving back that Saturday. If for any reason our plans change I'll let you know but as we haven't seen Ruth and Ivan and Iris since the summer the children are all counting the days till we get together. Please have lots of cocktails for me - and maybe a few peeps too! Your Container Gallery was stunning. It's wonderful to have so many fabulous photos together for inspiration.

Ei - I know nothing about the courses but think the Music one would be super. If I wasn't so busy playing with peeps I'd join you!!

I feel bad I'm missing commenting to everyone else so here's a big wave to you all!! Anita - hope you can stick around - it's fun to ehar from you again.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:50PM
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ehar - I sound like a donkey! (I need a built in spell checker.)


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 10:53PM
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There is steady snow outside my window right now. But warm air aloft is going to precipitate (bad pun) a nasty changeover to sleet, freezing rain, and finally torrential afternoon rain. Personally, I'd prefer it to remain as snow, but my vote doesn't count. So, it'll be a good day to work in the Salon (beats the helloutta work).

I'm liking the execution of Anne Boleyn, Mary. Henry VIII should not be looking on, however. He was notoriously fastidious and particularly squeamish about anything having to do with disease/death. Perhaps you could have him partying down with Peep in waiting, Jane Peepmour, the 3rd. wife he married with days of Anne's demise. I'm liking the Peepeaters, too... and make sure the headsman (he was improted from France for the occasion) is using a sword. Anne died kneeling, not prostrate on the block! I can't wait to see what you finally present as your entry. (I love Peeps. Fresh or stale, they make a perfect condiment for any meal...)

There is more than one Portland, Denise. Our east coast version is a very hip city, too. And you can't really beat Casco Bay and the Gulf of Maine for good boating (winters can be longer, though). ;) There is a song from the '50s (I believe) about Santa Catalina. It's a good dance tune, maybe Ei. can work some magic for us.

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance...

Good thoughts for Woody. You've been in my thoughts often, of late.

Like you, Kathy, I contemplate what man's interference has done to dogs. Did you see the PBS program on them that aired a week/2/3 ago? I saw about 30 minutes of it before lapsing into slumber. There have been a couple of notable "puppy mill" busts in my area in the past year... gives me the willies to think about the consequences of greed. Yes indeed! walls are a walk in the paHk compared to ceilings. As I was nimbly mounting the 3 step ladder with a newly loaded roller I repeatedly asked myself why anyone would want 9-12' ceilings... ??

The furnace is officially "wired and fired"... ductwork remains to be finished, but I have the little propane heater, so there is no halt in progress. Something less than half the 27 flourescent lights are in place, but the bulbs were not purchased the other day. The lumber for the woodwork has been purchased and should be delivered either today or tomorrow. We settled on #2 grade pine. It's reasonably "clear" but with a few knots interspersed along the boards. I think it will look pretty when it's pickled; a little "rustic" even though we will probably mill the boards with some detail. We're a ways from that just yet, though. Next big move will be the hearth and finished surface for the chimney.

I like Phoebe. What about Io (Io, Io... it's out to pee we go... )? You must be about ready to expire from the excitement of it all.

I need more coffee and I need to head on out and fire up the propane heater. Later!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 6:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....I think.

I haven't looked out the window yet. We are due for some strange weather today. Snowed overnight, then turning to pouring rain at some point. With icy rain in between. All day today. Cancellations already started on the news last night. I think I am going to be wishing for a glowing orb throughout the day. [g]

Kathy....great tip on keeping up with the Idyll posts. I have been using Wordpad as it loads quickly for me. I never compose on a website any more, because I lost too many posts due to technical difficulties of one kind or another. I have another tip to add..I have a Firefox browser, so I am not sure if everyone has a 'Find' function in their browser, but I find it very helpful to scan the Idyll thread for my name, so if anyone has asked me a question or responded to one of mine, that I don't miss it. A real timesaver on days when I can't read every word on the thread, I can at least respond when spoken Also have been watching the Dog Show. Have it recorded to see the second half tonight, so I don't know who won yet. Who was your favorite?

Martie....I am jealous that you are in full garden planning mode. I am still stuck in the mire of computer mumbo jumbo. We still haven't had a day fit for a sunbath yet, but I'm sure it will be here soon.

V.......Thanks for sharing the photos of your gorgeous scenery! I can honestly say that I have never seen more than a few trillium together in person, so you are so very fortunate to have that whole expanse of trillium to walk out your door and go and look at. Wow! I think after having lived in the city you must really enjoy it.

Cynthia......So happy for Katie to be back to moving so comfortably. Back surgery and recovery I am sure have not been fun for either of you. Just in time for spring soon. :-)

Anita....I seem to remember an old movie about Anne Boelyn so I googled it. Definitely remember now, having seen it a couple of times. Richard Burton and Genevieve Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days. Not my favorite royal story. Are they doing a remake? I do love movies about all things English. Some of my favorites were two movies that Betty Davis played Queen Elizabeth...The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex and The Virgin Queen, and Mrs Brown with Judi Dench.

Ei......Glad your Mom is doing so well! You mentioned the photo with the balloons...what is funny is that they were actually hand made fabric hearts in all kinds of colors and patterns. I was quite surprised by them and have never seen a town decorate trees for Valentines Day. I saw at least three homes with these hearts on a tree in the front yard. I wondered if it had been a school project. I had a chance to go back to the library website and look closely at the entries for great courses, and sure enough, it looks like they have just about every one of them. I hope you can find them in your library system.

Deanne.....I am also waiting for the weekend to look over your Container thread so I can enjoy it when I have more time.

denise....your husband does have a way cool I have loved our winter in Massachusetts very much this year. Just the right amount of snow, not a lot of cold cold weather. More sunny days than usual. Very nice. What a lovely garden photo, and not only do I like the floating orb, but I spot a spikey orb just to the right of it that I it a sanseveria? And I see brick...nice colors...the gold grass...very pretty!

Hoping to hear good news from Woody and Honey's house soon.

Marian...I am also concerned to hear that you are feeling weaker. How long since you have had a visit to your doctor for a check up? I bet you can not wait for spring!

Gardenbug....welcome back and looking forward to more bowl and glasses photos. When is Phoebe due...isn't it soon?

Mary, I see a spell checker in the GW post window. Could it be my Firefox browser?

Well...cannot delay any longer, getting back to the computer chronicles.....

Waving to everyone I missed....


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:48AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Chelone! And Good Morning to all the other Idylls too and "Welcome Back, Bug!"

Mary, I love all your ideas, but I think I'm partial to the Anne Boleyn one and it ties in nicely to "The Other Boleyn Girl" which I think starts showing this week? I loved the book and hope the movie is equally as good.

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions on how to get the Great Courses in a less expensive way. PM2 I did check our library. They don't carry them, but can borrow them from another library. However there are several cd's for each course and they split them up, so that it would be hard to get the whole course at one time. But I may go that route if I don't find them on Ebay. Thanks for that suggestion Kathy!

Okay, I was reading my comment to V that I posted the other day. It actually bothered me when I wrote it. So, I'm asking all you horticulturally astute Idylls to give me the right word. It's not really a "field of Trillium" since Trilliums grow in woodland areas, not fields. It's not really a patch of Trillium, since V's trillium are much larger than a patch. So what would you call it? Is there a term? LOL! I know it's not a heavy thing to ponder, but my little mind is pondering it and it hurts, so any relief would be greatly appreciated! :-)

Visited Deanne's lovely container gallery again. What a bright spot it is. I am so sick of this winter. I don't know why this winter has been so hard on me, I've seen worse, but it really *is* getting to me.

Anyway Deanne, I made a few notes! :-) I love the colors and harmony of the 8/3/07 pot with the Acalpha. What is the plant below the Acalpha? Is that a coleus? They combine wonderfully together. I think the single begonia planting in the large gray pot is breathtaking. I *really* liked that. How did you get that begonia to grow so lush and beautiful? Do you know what variety it is? I love how you use the fiber optic plant. I remembered the dahlia/fiber optic planting you did when I saw it and *still* love it, but now I'm also in love with your Fuchsia/Fiber Optic combination too.

Well, I best be going...another day with doctors. I am tired of doctors! Thankfully, I see no more scheduled appointments for mom or myself after this week...Hooray! made me laugh! :-)

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:55AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops! Hi PM2! You weren't here when I posted. I'll go back now and read.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ei, how about a "carpet" of trillium?

Chelone, 'Ivy' is the other name we were considering, Ives being a family name. DH has warmed to Phoebe though. He now remembers an Aunt Phoebe. Saturday is the day we collect our little girl.

So much to do to catch up around the homestead...Be back later.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Keep in mind that I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a previous life, and you will understand why this mail from my son is so special to us. I wanted to share. You can see that his new job with OLPC, although very stressful, is rewarding!

"We just posted a new video of the kids in our first pilot getting their XOs:

This group is into their fourth week, and they're loving Etoys.

We're going to Haiti next week and will be starting another pilot there.

Stay tuned."

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Maybe the third time will be the charm! I keep hitting thee Alt key and wiping out my post!

Ennyhoo...this is what it is like at our house this morning...

It is 15 degrees....but at least the "Glowing Orb" has topped the hill, and there is not a cloud in the sky.

That is ice on the trees/shrubs, and sleet on top of it on the ground.

Maybe...maybe...I can get the car doors open after the sun shines on the car awhile, and I will be able to get to town. The indoor cats are out of their afternoon snack, and Nolon is out of cough drops, bread, apple juice, snack crackers and Ibuprofen, (all every day requirements for him) ! I am much more flexible, and can 'get by' on substitutes.

Kathy and Denise, thank you for your concern about my bouts of weakness. I am wondering if 'loss of strength' would be a more appropriate discription. It does come and go. I am due for a complete checkup the 12th of March. I do think if I get out and walk, and do more exercising of all my muscles, I will improve.

Ei, thanks for your concern. Don't worry, I always try to "be careful"...:-)

Marie, It was I who wondered if it was you who posted the other Trillium pic. I sort of thought it might of been I was close in both respects.

Woody, I pray that all is going well with you. Check in when you are up to it.

Chelone, it sounds as though all is going well with your 'salon'. How wonderfull to be able to do all that. LOL on the Io Io thing ....

I don't know about you guys, but it seems like this February is very abnormal...and not on the good side! Our weeks forecast is for continuing cold, and more wintery weather this weekend.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:46AM
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It's raining here (and thoroughoy miseable). I "bagged" work today. The driveway will become a skating rink by the time the cold air forecasted arrives here. Oh well... nothin' I can do about it, and griping won't help.

I'm about ready to venture forthe with the wall paint. I've hung a load of laundry (bedding) so the house will be nicely "humidfied" until it dries. GOOD!

Marian, I have every confidence in your resourceful nature that if anything was greatly "amiss" you'd be on the blower to your doctor. I also understand that sometimes inactivity causes loss in strength... astronauts are perfect examples. Do you have those pull on Yaktrax or similar cleats for the bottom of your footwear? Beautiful pictures; I think the winter landscape is one of the prettiest we see, frankly. There is a subtlety and delicacy to them...

I'm procrastinating, you guys...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:59AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I meant to add...We are feeling so blessed that we are not suffering all that is befalling places to the north of us. Springfield, Missouri, and surrounding areas, are having more than their share of disasters weather wise. Now they are under thick ice, and buildings are collapsing from the weight. A beam in a bowling alley, where a group of young people were having a get-together, suddenly started to break. Fortunately a man heard and saw what was happening and got everyone out. Within a half hour or so, the building was a pile of concrete rubble! How much worse that could have been ! When the ice storm was in progress the local TV station there lost its lead to the main network. I don't remember that happening before. It was while the Today show was on, so instead of it, they continued for an hour or two with their local weather report.

Thanks Chelone, for your vote of confidence. I do my best....( I hope).

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:26AM
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...still procrastinating...

Marian, Mum always HATED that both the helpmeet and I insisted she go out for a "walk" regardless of the weather. My brother did the same thing, LOL. She probably thought she'd entered whatever ring of Dante's "Inferno"! But her doctor (young and very hip) was "behind" us every step of the way and he told Mum to get OUTDOORS and keep MOVING. "Go out and play" came back to bite her in the ass, huh?! ;)

I think of her every single day. Today is poignant because I'd be worried about how to clear a safe path for her around the house... . Also because the stove is warm, laundry is drying and I can still see her in the wing chair, reading, and soaking up the warmth. Une larme.

Keep yourself warm, cozy, and SAFE, my friend.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:48AM
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Ok Ei, I weigh in here with a 'glade' of Trillium..

K in N

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:55AM
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And the lyrics for "Santa Catalina"!

What are you doing here so early, Kathy?!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 11:00AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

How about a 'drift' of Trilliums? Or should that apply to daffodils?

Of course you are right, Chelone. My doctors have told me to walk, too...
I can seem to find lots of excuses not to! :-(

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 11:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Marian, I love the ice...from indoors too. But Chelone is 100% right. Getting out, even if only for 10 minutes boosts the morale as well!

Some pink cheeks from my teething Valentine to share....

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Ewww! everyone else will tell you how cute he is... Not I!
I suspect he's busily filling a diaper or readily passing some virus to a surface that will readily infect an unsuspecting family member... ;)

I struck out lwith the link above... very interrupted, disturbingly so, and I gave up. :( But I'll take your word for it with respect to its importance. Maybe I'll try later on when things may not be quite so busy.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Yes, what are you doing here so early Kathy? [g] Such a nice surprise and I do like 'a glade of trillium'.

Use it or lose it Marian! :-)

My Mom was 87 when she died and she was still working going up and down three flights of stairs constantly all day up until she was 82. I would visit her at work and couldn't keep up with her. I can still remember she would laugh and tell us how she would turn on Lawrence Welk and get up and dance with the show when she was by herself. [g] She would do leg lifts in a chair when she was sitting. She would even use cans and milk from the kitchen to keep her upper body strong. She was very aware of needing to keep moving. It does make a big difference and I think the older you get, the more you need it. But if you are out of practice, you might want to ask your doctor if he could send you to PT for a month of visits, so they can safely get you on the right track.

Chelone, I remember that song Santa Catalina and looked it up the other day too when denise mentioned it. Very catchy tune too, performed by a group in harmony. I wonder if they play that song on the island a lot. :-)
Sorry you are missing your Mom today. :-)

Ei....We have Library Consortiums here in Massachusetts. All the local libraries are combined into one large database, which I access online. I can reserve any book or item in the system basically, and they will deliver it to my chosen library. Then they email me when it arrives and I just have to go pick it up. I can also renew online too. Very, very convenient. So, when I said my library had it, I meant the 'consortium' had them. They would list them as having 6 CDs or 12 CDs etc. So, if you check it out, you are checking out the whole course with all the CDs at one time. There were 67 pages of titles available in the whole consortium of those Great Course packs of CDs. Maybe you could ask if they have any consortiums in your area? I know there are two in my area that I can use. So, in other words, in one town if I looked for a book, they would look in their group of libraries, but there might be one town over that was part of another consortium that I could check there too. Here I am able to be a member of the town I live in and also a town where I or my husband works. I hope you can find something like that there. I thought everyone had library consortiums now, no?

What a happy baby, Gardenbug!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone, were you trying to get the lyrics to Santa Catalina? I wasn't quite sure what you meant so I am posting them...

Sung by The Four Preps

(Glen Larson and Bruce Belland)

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance
Romance, romance, romance

Water all around it everywhere
Tropical trees and the salty air
But for me the thing that's a-waitin' there, romance

It seems so distant, twenty-six miles away
Restin' in the water serene
I'd work for anyone, even the Navy
Who would float me to my island dream

Twenty-six miles, so near yet far
I'd swim with just some water-wings and my guitar
I could leave the wings
But I'll need the guitar for romance
Romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina, the island of romance

A tropical heaven out in the ocean
Covered with trees and girls
If I have to swim, I'll do it forever
'Til I'm gazin' on those island pearls

Forty kilometers in a leaky old boat
Any old thing that'll stay afloat
When we arrive we'll all promote romance
Romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me
Santa Catalina
The island of romance
Romance, romance, romance

Twenty-six miles across the sea
Santa Catalina is a-waitin' for me


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:29PM
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My vote was for "expanse" until I read "glade."

Why Kathy, you had coffee with us this morning!

Got the High Country catalog for the first time yesterday. Xeriscaping is about the farthest thing away from the kind of gardening I'm used to, but that Agave on the cover .... May just need to try a few things in containers.

Denise - Thanks for the Marty/job update. Now I get it. It is a way cool job, and I give credit to anyone who can maneuver a big boat around. My only experience is with the ferry from Bridgeport, CT to Long Island, and the way those pilots swing those boats around and land'em with inches to spare on each side of the drive-off is beyond me. Since we "share" a name and he's married to you, I liked him before. Now I need to meet him when you come to visit your family in Holyoke!

I'm liking this winter, and so are the gardens. Just the right amount of cold then snow then a bit of warmth then cold then snow. As I've said before, snow is the best mulch ever.

You go Chelone!! I can't paint for the life of me and give kudos to anyone who can. No, I really can't, just ask Rich. Sounds like the Salon is taking shape. Are your final inspections done now that the boiler is hooked up and running?

I like Phoebe, too, 'bug. Ivy reminds me of little lambs and.... Obviously, "little" isn't going to be appropriate for long. I'm feeling for Sarah right now because as cute as Reed-man is, he's gotta be pretty uncomfortable, too.

Woody -- You know all my good thoughts are headed your way.

Marian -- Great orb shot! If it's too tricky to go outside and walk, march in place. Why not?? LOL

Mary - You continually crack me up which is a great thing. Have a great time with Ruth!! Do you think any of the cherry blossoms will be starting, yet, in DC?

Just watched a rabbit lose traction on the ice covered snow and sail headlong into a rather deep puddle. The bit 'o demon in me had a good laugh and am now remembering Thumper in Bambi.

Yes, I'm home as driving is hellish. The prediction for up to 3" of rain is believable.

Spent some leisure time with your containers, Deanne. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Waving to everyone near and far...


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:45PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gardenbug.....lots of good things going on at your house. :-) Can't ask for much more than that, if your kids can go out into the world and have an opportunity to make a difference. I've never seen small computers like that. So, he is off to Haiti to do the same. Is he in the computer field?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:45PM
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YES! that's it, PM2. The helpmeet always twits me about things like that, but he generally nods in agreement that what I've "remembered" is indeed worthy of remembrance. I don't "get" music, at all. But I have a discerning "ear" and that's worth SOMETHING, I hope...

I'm astounded by the times memories of Mum overcome me. It would be a great deal easier if I could PREDICT them. Sadly, though... I have no control over any of it (that's how it's SUPPOSED to be. That's why we derive the most benefit from the tears, I guess. ;/ Funny how each of us is preordanained to follow the same trail but we're required to do it blindfolded. Comforting to know that when I stumble one of the most recent pilgrims reaches back and offers a helping hand.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:48PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone, actually, you are doing just what you should do...allowing yourself to remember and feel the pain. The very best and healthiest way to deal with it. I have never dealt with loss in a good way and will turn away from memories that hurt for too long a time. Keep talking about her and remembering her. :-)


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 12:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We're in it alone Chelone, in many ways...but holding a hand along that same trail, sharing a tear, these are a huge help.

Reed is doing well, teeth and toilet issues are fine. In terms of toilet questions, here is what Sarah believes:
"I think we've reached a communication boundary for the last little while. We aren't reading his signals, or perhaps since I'm not home anymore, DH gets busy and doesn't notice. I think that once we get a good signal down that he will have no trouble.
In other things, on Sunday he held on to Skye's hands and walked halfway across the room (about 5') - left in front of right, in a straight line. Monday evening, he walked all the way across a friend's basement (15' - holding my hands) in a straight line. He was standing up holding our round table by the fireplace last night for a good while. He has yet to figure out crawling."

I think the growing pains of the 8-9 year old are far more difficult. Present issues involve lying, using food as a tool again, etc. And of course, he's adorable too.

Sun is shining and it is freezing indoors. Maybe I'll turn up the thermostat a bit...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Walking! a totally "humanoid" activity... SO exciting. One tentative step beyond the "blob" stage... :) Man, they "grow up" so fast, huh?

The "apartment" is full of sleeping felines and a slumbering canine. No one is in the least little bit intererested in the "great outdoors", LOL.

I've attended to paperwork today (much of it relating to Mum), and have to make a decision with respect to painting today... to paint or not to paint, THAT is the question.

(sad today)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 1:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

And a wet, nasty, rainy, sleety, snowy blechy day it is!

Anita, yes I did spend some time outside but could only tolerate a couple hours of it. My Carolina Wrens are just a delight this year and the pair show up daily. I love their antics. He was singing his heart out for her yesterday and I caught a couple pics. Ill post them when I get them uploaded.

Eileen, thanks! So happy you like the container garden gallery. That is a coleus under the acalpha but unfortunately I dont know the varietal name of it. It was one of those that I snagged from an overgrown planting at a hotel three years ago. Its a real beauty and I dont ever want to be without it. The large begonia was an el cheapo, from H. Depot last summer. It was in a hanger for $8.00 and I plunked it in that container with some asparagus fern and it was the star of that shade garden last year. I have no idea what that variety was as there was no tag in the original plant. I tried to take cuttings but they didnt make it. I also saved the root ball from it in hopes it comes back like a tuberous begonia. I wish I knew what it was as Id like to do that again this coming year.

Bug, Ill bet you cant wait until Sat!

Mary, so sad you wont be able to make the Thumbs party. I know you are going to have a great visit with your sister and family though.

Chelone, are you swimming over there on the coast yet??? WE now have about six inches of wet sleet/snow/slush. Just nasty! Im thinking I might take a drive out your way next week when Doug is in Rochester. Is there any day that is better for you if I manage to pry myself out of my duck blind in the back yard??

Kathy, so have you planted pansies this year?

Hello to all! Ive got to run and start some dinner. Im thinking some pasta thing for a raw, cold day.

Later gators,

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 4:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, DS is definitely a computer guy (like DH) with a Masters from MIT. He is into the nitty gritty of it as well as the interpersonal work involved in getting people working together effectively toward a deadline and a common goal. This new job is an enormous challenge, something that is all consuming for him. It has lots of problems and lots of dreams. They called him in to help sort this out. He devised a scheme where he located 60 some volunteers across the country to help with distribution and other problems. So not only does he coordinate those people, but he must handle responses to every project world wide on why some aspect is not working. No one knows the outcome, but if hard work, a generous heart and insane hours are the answer, lots will be achieved. He is not personally traveling to Haiti. So far travel has not been his role in this job, but lots of phoning has!

I returned from Toronto with some treasures for myself. Here, the French glasses that I love: (dishwasher proof too!)

And then some things for the boys...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mission accomplished. Been to town and got the needed items, plus a jar of Nutrella, LOL !!!!

The 6 or 7 loads of firewood have been carried in ( does that qualify as " using it" ??? Pm2 )

The next cold spell has been moved foreward. Tomorrow is to be quite comfy.

I meant to mention...when we were on our way out last sunday morning I saw a flock of meadow larks in a pasture up the road. They are one of my favorite birds, but never come to our yard 'cause we are too closed in. They like meadows...surprise, surprise. Then in a few more feet I saw a flock of cardinals in a brush pile. Our resident red bird is very territorial, and runs off any 'visitors'.

Reed gets cuter every day. I have a cheek that is almost as red as his! Don't know why.

BTW, Thanks for all the advice on my lack of strength. I am hoping none of you have similar problems in 25-30 years, when you reach my age....:-) It wasn't all that long ago that I would spend the entire day wrestling the tiller around the garden. :-( 40+ years of coping with the Fibromyalgia Syndrome has taken it's toll!

We have recieved the sad news that the wife of the neighbor man (who came close to burning us out) has terminal lung cancer. They are our closest neighbors, distance wise. She is 67. Nolon went up to see him after I got home from town. He told Nolon they are going to try to move closer to town. He is on total disability.
I feel very bad for them.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 5:50PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well, done with doctors for today. Glad to report my blood work was fine. My good cholesterol was 68 (a little higher than average) but the doc seemed happy about it and said they are always glad to see anything over 40. Well if he is happy; Im happy! I told him it must be my peasant genes and he laughed...I think he thought I was joking...LOL! No report on the bone scan yet. Still have to schedule the colonoscopy...ugh!

Anyway, I was just going to post the lyrics for you Chelone, but see that PM2 has already complied with your request. Actually, I figured you all must be bored with my singing by now, so I've resisted posting the songs in my head...but Ill always be happy to take a request...LOL!

Oh, wanted to share this with you guys. Have any of you read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich? I think Ive read them all by now...she always makes me laugh. Anyway, the other day I was talking to the ladies who work at my moms daycare and they were talking about Stephanie Plum and who would play the characters in her books, if the books were made into a movie. We were having lots of laughs and is some of what we came up with:

The hardest one for me was Stephanie herself. I see a girl with light brown hair and blue eyes, but cant think of a single actress to fill the role.

The girls at the daycare suggested Sandra Bullock:

I think she can pull of the personality, but Im not sure about the looks.

For Joe Morelli I chose George Clooney:

Mainly because I never get tired of looking at him...LOL! In fact I'm thrilled I'll be seeing him here until this Idyll is over! :-)

Some of the other girls suggested Mark Ruffalo:

I am torn between Joe Pesci & Steve Buscemi as the sleazy bail bond owner:

Actually I think Steven Buscemi looks just like I imagine Vincent Plum to look...but Joe Pesci always cracks me up.

For Grandma Mazur we all agree Ann Guilburt (Yetta) from the Nanny is perfect:

My vote for Ranger was "The Rock":

Another suggestion was Vin Diesel:

For Lulu, I like Queen Latifa:

or Sherri Shepherd:

For Connie (the gum chewing wise cracking secretary at the bond office) I like Marissa Tomei:

Debbie Mazur:

Finally, for Stephanies arch-enemy, the red-headed Joyce Barnhardt, the only one I could come up with was Debra Messing...but shes probably too sweet for the role:

So any suggestions or votes? Were having a lot of laughs and fun at the daycare with this.

Hey thanks everyone! My head has stopped throbbing...LOL! I like all of your suggestions better than my "field". :-)

Marian your pictures are beautiful! I especially love the one with the glowing orb. Reminds of that misty style of painting, similar to impressionist, but I think came later. It has an unusual name. I think they call it Tonalism? I've added a link. I really love the one called "Summer" by Thomas Dewing! So sorry to hear about your neighbor, Marian, thats so sad! Sorry to hear too about the people in Missouri....what horrific stories! I had heard a few things on the news, but didnt know it was *that* bad and had not heard the story about the bowling alley. It is indeed a weird February!

Chelone...I was touched while reading your memories of mom today. I know it is with both sadness and joy that we think of those we love that have passed and I know it is hard sometimes to think of her, but you were a good daughter and I know you made her very happy and very proud. Thats a good thought to hold onto. Its been two years since dad passed and the memories are still so touching and real. One memory that always makes me smile is when he told me that he could talk to the crows. When I gave him the doubtful look...he said, *Really* Eileen...I want to see! Then he would walk out onto his property, bend is knees, and flap his arms up and down like a bird and yell out... "AL", "AL" "AL" in a *loud* crow like voice. Funny, the crows *really* would come then looking for their food. I dont think they were really saying "Al, Al, Al" (my fathers name), it sounded more like "Caw", "Caw", "Caw" to me, but who am I to question my fathers wisdom. My dad was a hoot! :-) Thank goodness he lived out in the country, for if he had neighbors they would have surely thought he was off his rocker. :-) Years later I would still ask him "So, how do you talk to the crows, Dad?" And he would *always* show me the whole routine again with a big smile on his face! :-) Wish I could give him a big hug right now.

Loved hearing the story about your mom too PM2. I remember Lawrence Welk. My childhood friends mom would always make me and Judy watch it with her. We really didnt appreciate it at the time, but now looking back, I can see why her mom enjoyed it so. I think I would enjoy seeing those shows again now.

Okay, one more cute, funny story to tell you guys, this time about my mom. Last week was her first appointment with a new doctor. I wont say his name, just in case someone who knows him should read here. Anyway, as it turned out my girlfriend Sue works at the clinic mom was going to and I told Sue that we had an appointment with this new doctor. Sue then told me that all the workers at the clinic call this doctor, Dr. McDreamy. Well, anyway, the day comes for our visit and sure enough, the doctor comes in and he *is* very cute! He examines mom and asks her all these questions all the while smiling at her and touching her hand. He was a very nice man and I could see that mom took to him right away. Anyway in the middle of writing down some info. he says "Excuse me for a minute, I have to go get some paperwork". Im not kidding you, no sooner does he walk out the door when my mom turns to me, with a big smile on her face and says "Well, I could take *him* home with me." I must have been staring at my mom with this deer in the headlights look cause she follows that comment up with, "What, Eileen, dont *you* think he is cute?" LOL! I would have never expected that to come out of my 85-year-old mother! Too Funny! Today she asks me in a sly voice "Is it Dr. So and So we are to see today?" Luckily for me, it was not! I don't know how I'll ever be able to be in the same room with him and mom... LOL! Sometimes she surprises me with her humor like that and then I wonder if her dementia is really as bad as we believe! :-)

Bug...Reed is adorable with his very rosy cheeks. Funny, now that I see him, I remember my son having red cheeks while he was teething and have seen lots of other babies with red cheeks who were teething too. I wonder what causes that? Or, is it just a coincidence?

Just checked *before* posting this time and see you really scored, Bug! I love Sock Monkeys. Scout has one too, although the colors on yours is much more fetching. :-) I also love those French glasses with the bees. I saw them at the Maxx one time and just loved them! I was going to buy them but they didnt have six, only four so I passed. I wish I would have bought them anyway. Youre smart to buy what you like, whether it is a full set or not. I like mix and match table settings....why dont I remember that when I see things I love? LOL!

Oh and have been meaning to say how much I loved Cynthias forsythia pic too. I have always secretly longed to see Cynthias house in person. It always looks so warm, inviting, relaxing, and comforting in her pics. I still remember the kitty in the window pic and all the great pics of her greys snuggled up on the couch, on the rugs, etc. I imagine her home as a retreat.

Deanne, can you tell me then how you cared for your begonia? What was the light exposure outdoors; full shade, part shade, sun; facing east, north, etc? How often did you feed it and with what and how often did you water? I would really like to grow a begonia as amazing as that!

Well, Ive spent way too much time writing this and loading up the "Plum" pictures and have to go get dinner ready.

P.S. I apologize cause I realize that you will have to do a lot of scrolling to get past this post all the time, because of the pics. I tried to make the pics smaller so I could fit two on a line, but it didn't work...


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks for the nice comments about my 'orb' pic. There really is a hill that the sun has just topped. If you look closely you can see it. That hill merges with a higher one on to the north, so our morning sun always tops a hill ! We are on the twilight side of the hill.... Do you know that song, Ei ?

LOL , Ei, on your picks for that movie. As usual, I am not familiar with it. I don't 'know' most of those stars either.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:41PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

what got into this idyll today? I can't believe how many posts I am behind...


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

For those who were wondering about my day� This was just the getting-everything-arranged day, not the actual treatment. As usual for medical appointments, things were running late... Our appointment was for 12:30 and we finally saw the doctor at 2:30! We are now scheduled for the actual radiation treatment for Feb. 27th. I had to have a blood test before we left - to check to make sure I'm not pregnant!! The fact that I'm 50 and have had my tubes tied does not compensate for the fact that I'm not completely through menopause so, in theory, I could be pregnant...! We saw the doctor, were introduced to the radiation oncologist and then spend time with the nurse who goes through the details of the treatment day. We have to be there on the 27th at 5:45 a.m. Barb will stay overnight here the night before so we can all go in together. Barb will help Randy doing translation for me etc. If you want to see what the Gamma Knife process is like, play the video in the link on the right side of the page linked below. That�s the video they showed us today.

Re trilliums � it�s definitely a carpet of trilliums!

Ei � you should be in Casting :-) We love the Stephanie Plum books. They never fail to produce a lot of laughs. I worked with a woman from NJ who reminds we a lot of the Stephanie character. When I read those books, I �hear� Ellie�s voice when Stephanie is speaking. Grandma Mozur is my favorite character � remember when she shot the turkey�? :-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Ai Yi-Yi, there are mucho posts today ! Our golden Orb continues to shine , but it was windy as h**l and would not have been an enjoyable day outdoors. How fortunate that I was stuck staring at Excel spreadsheets all day , lol ! I did indeed pay an early visit this morning, but had no coffee at the time , much to my chagrin-I had to present myself to the phlebotomist so I went in late and decided to read Idylls before heading off to the lab. I was on a water only diet till after Ms. Dracula filled her 4 vials. I decided to get everything checked out before I move- It would not do to discover some sort of health issue two days before the moving van pulls up.
On the home improvement front, we have to push the painting back a few days since my painter is stuck in a job in St Helena that has not finished on time. Not a problem for me since I still have various other issues to address before the domicile is ready for its close-up. Ive really lucked out with contractors that have been involved with this move. They are all very communicative and up-front about their schedules, delays etc.

So, do you know that as I write this there have been THIRTY posts today ? I hereby absolve myself of responsibility to reply to all !

Comment on pics: Marians icy winter scenes are quite lovely, and that darn baby with the rosy cheeks ? Hmmph, I bet Mr Baby will be every bit as attractive . Hope he has some hair. And a very pretty shot of yet another dinnerware item from Marie.I can see it filled with some nice Pinot Noir.

Catalina- I wish every one of you could visit , it is a very unique slice of Southern California. And, there are flying fish ! I have not been in ever so long and hope to go again one day.

Chelone, I cant advise you to get your butt up and start painting due to the fact that you are probably in the sack by now-6:30ish my time, 9:30ish yours. I can totally relate to the "Oh man, must I paint ???" feelings. But on the other hand once its over for the day I feel good that I actually got something done and of course guilty if I did not (the Catholic thing you know fear and guilt) and stressed out that the project it not finished.
Re: memories of Mum.. even though its been 4 years since my DH has been gone, things still pop into my mind without warning. Sometimes its a happy memory , others a memory of his sickness and even the events of the day he died. I have come to realize that these will never go away and they are part and parcel of the experience of life. We do with them what we will. They can build our strength , or they they can expose our weaknesses. You my friend, are an individual who I fully expect will build strength.

bug, I bet we will have one boatload of pics this weekend as Ms Phoebe makes her appearance at Chez Marie !

Martie, I got the High Country catalog yesterday as well. Have yet to crack it open since I wont be in the market for plants for awhile. I hate that !

No pansies this year Deanne . I put in couple 6-paks of snapdragons but they wont do much probably till April. I think I will have to bite the bullet and buy some 4 inch pot stuff just so I have some color . It would probably be worth the investment. Need to do it soon though !

So now Marian, what precisely will you do with your newly acquired jar of Nutella ?

Wow Ei, I have to admit that I dont recognize many of your casting choices ! However, a few years back I did a recast of Gone With The Wind that I am rather proud of. I have no pics, but here it is , and mind you all these people were quite a bit younger when I came up with this:

Scarlett OHara..Catherine Zita Jones
Rhett Butler ..George Clooney
Ashley Wilkes..Hugh Grant
Melanie Wilkes..Holly Hunter
Mammy..Patti LaBelle
Aunt Pitty Pat Cloris Leachman
Dr Meade Donald Sutherland
Belle Watling Kathleen Turner
Prissy-Micheal Jackson

Ok this is as far as I can go in Idyllville, I must eat some dinner, do the dishes etc

Hello to everyone hope you all get to view the Golden Orb in short order .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy..thanks for sending me to bed laughing!!! RE: Prissy-Micheal Jackson....ROTFLOL

I haven't 'cracked' the jar of Nutella yet...:-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Wow - over 30 posts!! I too cannot possibly reply to all but wanted to say I enjoyed reading everyones news, updates, photos, casting lists and more. Woody - I'll be thinking of you on the 27th.

Once you become interested in something it's amazing how much you can learn from the internet. Below is another fascinating link.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:37PM
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Just a quickie read here.

Mary, you crack me up! The peppers and now the peep surgery LOL

My first jar of Nutella has one spoonful missing.

Ei, I've probably read all the Stephanie Plum books and I loved your picks for the charactors, right on. I get a kick out of Gramma Mazor too, especially when she goes to the funeral home or when she is in a band with Lulu and Lulu picks out their outfits.

Glad to have Deanne back, I haven't had a chance to check over the container thread, but I will with pen in hand for inspiration.

The little rosy cheek Valentine is sure one happy guy.

My little sweetheart called to tell me last night that she is taking swimming lessons. She loves the water. She also told me that she has earrings.

I must go, I have some stripper ready to remove on a window sill.

Night all

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 11:22PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, that certainly woke me up with a good laugh!
Kathy, you are a riot! Gone with the Wind was one of my favorite movies and I can't stop laughing picturing Patti Labelle as Michael Jackson as Prissy is just downright creepy! Blech...! But you stepped over the line with Holly Hunter as Melanie! Sacrilegious! And a leering Hugh Ashley Wilkes. Another Blech!

I'm sorry Ei, but I have not read any of the books you referred to so I am of no help at all.

Mary...I skipped over your link, thinking it really was surgery, and went back after Michelle's post. Oh my gosh...that was too funny! lol

Well...Happy Valentine's Day to one and all! I found these two valentines online and just thought they were so cute....

Love is like a Cabbage

My love is like a cabbage

 Divided into two,

The leaves I give to others,

The heart I give to you.

Author Unknown

Veggie Valentine

You may not "carrot" all for me

The way I care for you.

You may "turnip" your nose

When I plead with you

But if your "heart" should "beet" with mine

Forever "lettuce" hope

There is no reason in the world

Why we two "Cantaloupe"!
Author Unknown

I'll be back....


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 6:33AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Just popped in to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! Today's another busy day, so I don't think I'll be able to peek in again.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a little mini-vacation and will be back on Sunday and Sunday I'm taking mom to a play, so I don't think I'll be back to visit until Monday. I decided to take the pics off today, so you wouldn't have to scroll all week-end....well, except for George...LOL!

Hope everyone has a good day!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops! That's what I get for not reading before I posted. I was thinking of you Woody, but didn't want to say anything until we heard from you. I didn't realize you posted...I'm so glad you did! Keeping my good thoughts that things will go well for you and I'm so glad you have such a good friend in Barb. Yea, Grandma Mazur is my favorite too! :-)

Want to stay and chat, but really have to get ready.

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 7:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chocolate is love for many.....

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 8:12AM
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Paging Dr. McDreamy. Dr. McDreamy, report to ____________.
Ei, what a lovely memory to have.

That is so funny about the "dream" casting. I actually submitted a recasting to some pitch-an-idea site on line for a Mary Poppins remake with Cate Blanchett as MP and Johnny Depp in the Bert role. Never heard back...maybe cuz I didn't recast the supporting players.

Now I can imagine the little mermaid Kenzie, water wings on her arms, earrings dangling. And what a rosy-cheeked rascal Reed is. I do remember the red cheeks when teething.

Woody, so glad to hear you're not pregnant! Best wishes and positive thoughts for the 28th.

That's how I remember Catalina is 26 mi. across the sea, from that song. I actually had some depositions a few times on the island, which was fun taking the ferry boat over. Even took the boys once and found them when my work was done on the boardwalk eating ice cream, exhausted from hiking and lugging Mitch's 4x5 Ansel Adamsesque camera over the hills. The gum family, Wrigley, owned or owns most of it and has a botanical garden on the island. Marty actually got a lot of his "sea time" to and fro the isthmus, which is the non-touristy part of the island, where USC kept a marine research facility. He used to operate a boat on the Friday "bun runs" to the isthmus, bringing in supplies, with Mitch often accompanying him as a toddler. I'll have to search for a photo of me with baby Mitch in arms, staring down a Catalina buffalo.

'bug, I glanced at the video link on your son's work and mean to check it out thoroughly. Fascinating stuff. I kind of see the hybrid influence there, your Peace Corps with your DH's computer sciences.

Lovely slight drizzle this morning. Those balmy days were giving me spring fever a little too early in the year, possibly causing me, ahem, to get a little behind in my work, which now calls.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:40AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gardenbug.....congratulations on Reed starting to walk! How old is he now? Things will get busier at their house with him moving about. :-) Love those 'bee' glasses. How sweet! I enjoy bees. The monkey sock is really special too. Looks like a craft in the bag? Who is going to do that? What is the lizard on?

How lucky you are to have computer wizards in the house! I am the most computer literate in the house and it is not nearly enough. I wish the computer industry would follow the example of the auto industry. You buy the car, drive it, put gas/oil/water in at the right times, take it in for scheduled maintenance and sign up with AAA and that is the end of it. You drive it. [g] I would be quite happy to leave the computers to the wizards!

Your son's job ...he must have had some background for them to give him that responsibilitiy. It is great experience for him too. He must have found it very rewarding to see the video of the kids getting the computers, if he has been working it all out over the Congratulations to him!

Deanne...Had a chance to look over your container photos. That's a LOT of plants! My favorites....

June 20,2004..Love the colors of the pansies with that container. July 2, 2005 the red begonia with the dahlia and helichrysum? Very pretty. I'm with Ei on the July 9th begonia being a stunner! August 31st all yellow container is nice. The Sept 27th cabbage and aster together is one of my favorites. Have you decided what you will grow this year?

Martie...I love the High Country catalog and wish I could grow more of that type of plant. Yes, trying them in containers is a great idea.

Chelone, hope you have an easier day today. Tell me what you meant by you don't 'get' music? I keep finding myself wondering about it. [g]

Marian..Hope you are not sore today from all that activity yesterday! :-) You are so lucky to see meadowlarks, I have only seen them on TV. So sorry to hear of your neighbor. Very sad. My Mom was the baby in her family and so she was the last of her family for quite awhile, but she had a determination to be happy and I think she focused more on her children and grandchildren and that kept her from being overcome with sadness with the many losses as she got older. I only hope I can do as well.

Stephanie Plum books...Janet she the one who did the series of mysteries that were alphabetical?

Ei, that was a very touching story of your Dad. Two years, is that all it has been? Both your parents sound wonderful. Did you have a very happy childhood? Yes, we used to watch Lawrence Welk with my Mom on occasion. I think it is still on. We actually did a lot together. Jeopardy was another of her favorites.

Woody...Thanks for that link to the Gamma Knife explanation. It is amazing that they expect you to be able to go back to work in a few days after having it. It is different than what I was expecting. Glad you have Barb and family there for support.

Kathy...You have just put the Catalina Island on my list of places to visit. Flying fish you say. :-) Kathy, for some reason I thought it had been a long time ago that your husband passed. Four years is not that long. your granddaughter is already in Florida? Is it a vacation at this point?

Denise...Looking forward to seeing your Catalina photo. It sounds like your husband grew up on the water, did you as well?

Well...I think I did through the whole Yes, I am avoiding the computer decisions this morning. [g] My daughter is due back from her vacation on Saturday and I will have to give up her nice MacBook. :-( My computer has a broken hinge so I can use it, but not on my lap anymore. So it is a real pain. Investigation into fixing it yesterday determined that it will be too expensive. We were thinking of keeping the old one for my DH to connect to work and buying an Apple, but now that won't work out. My DH suggests we buy two and my frugal nature is balking at that. Plus it doesn't make much sense to have two computers to take care of when the whole point is to have fewer computer issues. So, my only other alternative at this point is to go look over the laptops at the Lenovo site once again. So I am dragging my feet, having gotten too comfortable with the idea of getting the Apple.

Valentine's Day chocolate recipes. I am not going to have a contribution. Having some digestive problems so no celebration tonight. Maybe on the weekend?

Wishing everyone bowls of chocolate and fragrant bouquets of flowers....


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Drive by! :)

"... have any of you heard about or purchased lectures from "The Great Courses"?"

Someone put this catalog on my desk last week and recommended the courses very highly. I have several picked out to order!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Jerri! Stay tuned for new puppy photos next week! ;)

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh boy! I need a 'puppy fix'. Haven't had any for a little while. I can't wait!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Whew! finally got all of those posts read. I'm afraid to think what you all will do while I am gone for four days. :)

I was planning a nice response to all but my mood is not good right now. The latest college shooting has struck just a little too close to home. My son attended NIU for a semester, my daughter went to theater camp there for several summers, the NPR station that I listen to is based on campus and lots of kids from our community attend there. My son has checked in with his friends and all are well. I haven't heard from my daughter yet but I'm hoping that no news is good news.

Well, life goes on and we are off tomorrow morning to Vegas for a long weekend. we found out this afternoon that a friend's son is getting married in Vegas Sunday afternoon, so we have an invite to a Vegas wedding! That will be a first for me.

Stay warm, stay well and don't go through three idylls while I'm gone.

And Michelle - get that stripper off the windowsill before she slips and hurts herself.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 8:17PM
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I spent the day buried in Excel again and dont know if I can spend too much time looking at this computer screen ! The weekend approaches and I have it booked up with chores-mostly exterior to take advantage of rain free days while they last.

Re-castingPM2, I have had numerous objections on the part of some friends to my selection of Holly Hunter as Melanie.I stand by it though! Im willing to substitute William Hurt (20 years ago) as Ashley, but only if he can come up with the right accent. And how about Charles C Reilly as Charles Wilkes ???
Denise , Johnny Depp as Bert ! Love it ! I wonder if Cate Blanchett can sing ? Might have to get Marni Nixon out of mothballs (If shes even still with us) .

Ei, enjoy your getaway . What a sweet story about your Mom and Dr McDreamy ! I want to go to Cynthias house too ! If Im ever in the neighborhood Ill let you know ! She wont turn us away if we bring cocktails and chocolate, and presents for the fur kids ,

Nice to see you Jerri !

I wonder if a faux Elvis will attend Vs Las Vegas wedding event this weekend ?

Ok, my eyes have had it with the computer screen for awhile..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Chelone! Happy Birthday!!! I know this is a simple sage and bay leaf, but I just love the colors, and buy that sage every year. It makes me feel happy just to look at it. I hope you like it. The bay is in my basement right now under lights, and it is about 3 feet tall. Hope you are feeling better. It was sunny here today, and it made a huge difference to me.

Sue, I am thinking of you often. I am hoping everything comes up roses for you this year:) You know if I can ever be of help, I'm here for you. Cracked me up with jazzylicious. Did you interview her? Or him?

Mary, the peeps surgery was hilarious. I sent the link to my kids. You are too funny! I am so impressed with all you do.

Ei- it is so nice to *see* you again!

Woody, you are in my thoughts. Your strength is amazing.

Michelle, I read about Kenzie possibly moving. Your typing almost made me cry too.

V. You had the same thought I did a bout Michelle's stripper. Glad to know someone else had the same image I did:)

Denize- I don't know if I have ever mentioned it, but I think your son's photos are gorgeous.

Okay, now that I checked Chelone's BD pic, I can't go back and forth to see what everyone wrote, to comment. Anyway, I am determined to post here, and am going to send this anyway. Things are coming along here, the job market isn't very good, I have decided I am going to go with the flow and not panic about it yet. Things happen for a reason, so I just have to be patient and see if I can figure out what that might be. I do have a sort of funny story. Last week on garbage pick up day, I looked out the window and told Skip that BFI must have been impressed with our recycling efforts, we must be one of their best recyclers, because they left a big blue trash can on wheels in our front yard. Then I went to the grocery store and saw that they left one in every yard in town.:) Apparently this is our new trash can system, and we are only allowed the one can. If we can't fit our trash in that, we have to pay extra. I have to say that everything fit in there tonight, but I am glad they didn't send us that when the kids were home. We always had more than anyone else around:)
That's about it from me. I babysat Charlie tonight so the kids could go around the corner to the pizza house for Valentine's Day. First time they have gone on a date since he was born. He is so sweet!

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 9:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was just about to post on the Charlie thread, so am happy for the update Drema!

Kathy and V, my vet married her husband in Vegas...with Elvis... after attending a conference there. She's a hoot as you can imagine. Unfortunately, her husband died of cancer very suddenly. She kept the practice going, remodeled the building, then married the contractor. Turns out she was pregnant, though no one could tell. [Just like Woody ;)]

Marian, so sorry to hear about your neighbor's woes. I hope things are easier for them in town.

DH bought a huge rich chocolate cake today while we were shopping at the grocery store. He said it was for me. Later I figured out that it was me paying for it, LOL. UGH, it is so rich....

Remembering Deanne's great yellow flowered container. Maybe I can try to make a similar one this summer?

For those of you with any fondness for kids, the following brought us lots of smiles. Fun to see real belly laughs!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 9:56PM
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V, I just saw the headlines on the NYT then checked in here. What a horrifying situation in general, even more so for you with your family's personal connections to the univ. Hope you break the bank in Vegas, a place I haven't been to in many a year.

Drema, thanks, I'll tell Mitch you like his photos. I love that sage which does well in a pot here but always succumbs to some soil issue planted in the ground. We're on the one-size-fits-all trash can program too but occasionally "piece" off our trash guys to handle occasional excess. Hope that job mkt sorts out soon for you.

Well, I met Dr. McDreamy today, the witness in today's depo. One of the female attys, in a low-cut sweater, kept leaning over the table to point out stuff on exhibits, and the poor man finally lost his composure, knocked over his water bottle on the exhibits and nearly on my laptop too. PM2, I'm using a Lenovo T60p for work, which has fan issues and the battery expired last week after only a year. I guess the batteries have to be purged every month, something I don't do since I rarely use the battery but there have been battery recalls for some Lenovos recently. I'm obsessed enough to stop total strangers in Starbucks to ask how they like their Lenovos -- last guy, an engineer, gave big thumb's down, mainly it seemed over the keyboard configuration (tho I did notice he had gorilla hands). Other than the fan/battery, my Lenovo has been a workhorse. My last Toshiba had that problem with the monitor lid hinge you describe. I completely sympathize, it's no fun laptop shopping, and now with Vista...ugh. I think the plant you asked about is probably Echevaria agavoides.

Nice to see you check in, Kathy, and thanks for the head's up re Portland's property taxes, definitely something to keep in mind. That 35-40 inches of rain apparently is not to everyone's liking but sounds like heaven to me. Nite all.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:08PM
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Happy Valentines Idylls

As you can see I've become completely addicted to needle felting and have made a whole menagerie for little Iris. The one problem being I start these after the children go to bed and become so absorbed I'm up to the wee hours. The way the wool felts together by simply poking with a needle is so very satisfying. Here are a couple of my favorites (postal donkey and rabbit with doughnut.) The book I have is brilliant - who else would have thoguht of making a basket full of donuts for a rabbit.

Annie and David had a great time at school with chocolate a plenty so I'm saving making my favorite cheesecake marbled brownies for the weekend. Photo and recipe will follow.

Hi and a big wave to everyone - nice to see Jerri pop in. I agree, we can never have too many puppy pictures.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:38PM
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PS Thank you for leaving the picture of George yum yum Clooney up Ei!!

Hi Drema - its always a treat to hear from you too:0)


    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 10:43PM
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(I'd take postal donkey over Clooney any day. Lucky Iris!)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 12:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, my eyes focussed on the little brown dog right away! He's so alert and bright eyed. Love the ears.

Tomorrow at this time we'll be on the road to collect Phoebe.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 7:38AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Thanks all for your support and well wishes on the personal front. Things seem to be progressing smoothly.

Work craziness is starting to wind down just a bit. I'm really looking forward to the CT Flower Show and Deanne's party next weekend. To get my mind off winter I've been researching little weekly cottage rentals on the CT shore. I found a couple of great prospects and will be taking a drive this weekend to check them out. For years I've been wanting to do a summer beach rental. Looks like this will be the year.

Hi to all!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 9:33AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good to see you Sue. Thanks for mentioning the cottage at the shore for the summer, it reminded me I wanted to make a try to look for something this summer too. I think this winter is going by so fast. I can't believe the flower shows are coming up so soon. I received tickets to the Boston Show for a Christmas gift which I am looking forward to. I haven't gone in a very long time. Glad that things are going smoothly for you.

Gardenbug....good luck today!

Mary....I just love that Postal Donkey!

Hello to Drema and Jerri...Jerri did you see the earlier posts about the Great Courses in this thread?

denise....Thanks for telling me about your Lenovo T60. I just got a quote yesterday on the T61. Sounds like you have been your own little research I watched some of the promotional videos on their site yesterday and if anything they do seem to be amazingly sturdy. I normally would be quite happy to be shopping for a new computer, but this time around it is not fun. Vista is one of the reasons. Once I make up my mind and order I am sure I will be happy to get a new machine.

An Echevaria...just love it! I have a small patch of Sempervivum that are hardy here along the top of a short wall which we enjoy and wouldn't one of those look good with them! I am sure they are far from hardy though.

Kathy....William soon as you said his name, I could really picture him in it. Maybe because he has done so many period pieces....accent sometimes a problem for him though. I thought of two more to consider...Jude Law/Clive Owen as Ashley. I didn't really like Scarlett, I loved Melanie, making it harder to think of anyone else in that role. I racked my brain and although inadequate still, all I could come up with was Jaclyn Smith as Melanie. Nowhere near a good enough actress for it but something about her makes me think of her. I had a good laugh thinking of Whoopi Goldberg as Prissy. And sorry, I just can't get on board for George Clooney as a replacement for Clark Gable. Or Catherine Zita Jones as Scarlett. They are a good try, don't get me wrong. I can see where you are coming from. Clooney definitely has the charm but I don't think he has the strength that Gable brought to the role. Zita Jones has the fiery spitfire and the looks but something missing that I can't put my finger on. Really, who could fill those roles? I really hope they never make a remake. But in fun, for some reason I keep finding myself thinking of...

Matthew McConaughey as Rhett
Nicole Kidman as Scarlett


    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 12:13PM
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This Idyll is zipping by so fast and the week has been such that I've not been able to keep up.

V, I hope all your daughter's acquaintances and friends are alright. Devastating that people are doing all of these shootings. Words fail me at the depth of anguish the shooters are causing so many innocent lives and families.

Mary, more wonderful creations from you! I bought a book about 6 months ago about how to needlefelt animals. I looked for the book for a long time after seeing it mentioned somewhere. There is a gray & white dog (Miniature Schnauzer?) on the front cover. I've not bought the supplies yet to try my hand at it. You do an excellent job at making everything you do look perfect.

I hope things are going well for Honey & her DH.

Babies are down for a nap but I hear lots of giggling and movement in the bedroom (jumping up and down it sounds like). Oh great, I just heard "uh-oh" wonder what they are doing? LOL They cannot get out of their beds (yet?) I know all is okay. I bet socks, covers, snuggle toy have all be tossed to the ground.....sigh. Hopefully they will fall asleep soon. I thought they were ready when I put them to bed....rubbing eyes and yawning. Somehow they found a reserve of energy......

Weekend weather is suppose to be lovely. High near or at 60. I've done some weeding in the front curvy bed in prep for plant purchasing....wonder how busy the nurseries will be this weekend? LOL I did not finish doing the bed edging/trenching last spring so will maybe work on that. I did not do it right, it just doesn't look like what it should. I did buy the half moon spade thingy that Sue suggested, but I'm doing something wrong.

Well, there is too much noise going on......guess I'll go try saying 'nitey-night' to them again and laying them down.......yeah right that will work...maybe I'd better just wait it out.

Hope all are doing well even though the weather has been so awful for most of you.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 1:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I must be the only one without a date tonight. Dr. McDreamy didn't show up....He must be visiting one of you instead. It is supposed to be -2F too. Cottage life on the shore loses its appeal for me at those temperatures Sue...but I'd be happy to visit in June.

Poor kitties don't realize this is their last night minus a dog. Poor puppy doesn't know what a cat is yet either. ;) Should be a fun evening tomorrow night! I guess we'll be back to yellow snow around the farm.

Bet Deanne is in full preparation mode for the big nose thumbing event! Get your cameras ready ladies. I'd love to be there!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2008 at 9:17PM
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I think the best economic stimulation package would be to send a GPS out to every US citizen. I know, how parochial of me, but GPS makes me happy and I don't get lost anymore. Click the little yellow triangle and route around the traffic jams, click 'home' and there I go. 'Tis wonderful mood enhancer and everyone would go shopping and stimulate the economy! Of course there's that fuel thing. Well. My ideas aren't any worse than the politicians'.

Mary, your little wild felt kingdom is intriquing and fun. May I request a quarter next to future pics so that I am sure to enjoy the scale :) I need to google 'felting' as I'm not sure what you start with and how it evolves. I particularly like the seal - maybe because it's all white!?

Did I miss Chelone's disclosure of the color of the salon?

'Bug where are the pup pictures. It's today right?

I have three tiny yellow blooms on the forysthia on the mantel. My bonus time is now spent checking for forsythia blooms in the three vases. (I check the mouse traps in attic after that.) A new bloom and a dead mouse in the same day would be a high. How many days until spring?

I did get an order in to Select Seeds this week, and probably will order some more basics this week-end from Hudson's and Parks and Swallowtail. I decided to order some Tuberose bulbs from SS. Does anyone grow them? I've heard about them for years, and they're tender so will have to dig in fall, or maybe grow in pot. (These are probably the weeds Kathy is so busy pulling.)

A long week-end again! I have plans for every day, so should be tidying and cleaning this morning.

Hope all are well! Best, Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:31AM
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I'm back! Started my shopping at Swallowtail Seeds (sans GPS) where I generally buy annual seeds. Have to look around a bit and found something new to me in the perennials section: Chiastophyllum oppositifolium 'Solar Yellow.' I'm attaching a link to another site which has a good description and photos. I think this is quite a find, with evergreen/succulent leaves and very gracful petite fronds of yellow flowers. On the short side and takes shade. Ok, Hudson's is expecting me next.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Coffee with the Idylls this morning, but where is everyone? Can Cynthia and I be the only persons with Idyll time today ? Cynthia, that is a very cool web site that you linked to above-I can see I need to spend some time there to continue to obtain information of interest to the PNW gardener.

And as far as tuberoses go, that is one plant that I have never had success with. All Ive ever gotten is foliage, no flowers .

Awaiting tales of puppies , Salons, and other weekend activities.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:41AM
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I have to finish my painting before I indulge in any Idyll chatter. (Priming the stairwell wall and have to set up and inch out on stageing... gulp).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Any puppy pictures yet? Awaiting the new fur baby. :)

Our 'winter storm' was a real letdown since it's above freezing today. I'm going to the store to buy healthy food so I can get moving on my new way of eating. DH has requested pizza and chocolate chip cookies. I'm about ready to chew off my arm as it is...


    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 3:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Meet Phoebe, also known as Phoebe Snow.

She's very playful and affectionate already, but lonesome for her family. She has never been outside before, but seems to like the snow, even eating some! She has been in her crate, eaten food, drunk water. A good girl. She's expected to lighten to a more grey colour. Did you see her small white beard? She wiggles her little tail whenever she sees us.

I expect trouble soon! ;)

I'm quite busy (!) so who knows what's for dinner...besides dog food.

Do you know about the fictional Phoebe Snow? I used to take the train from Buffalo to NJ to visit my Nana. Check out the post cards on the URL below.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 4:51PM
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Several comments had found me laughing out loud; but V.'s advice to Michelle about getting the stripper off the windowsill before she slips takes the cake. Still laughing over that one... hahaha.

I listened to NPR this morning at noted the end of Polaroid's "instant" film... I instantly thought of Mitch., Denise! How big is the pilot boat Martie captains? They take one of the tugs out to deliver the pilot to the freighters. We keep a marine radio in the shop to entertain us. Fisherman's chatter, foreign captain's voices calling for the pilots, and then the pilot's directions to the captains of the tugs... interesting stuff. A few years ago we took a field trip and went out on one of the tugs to take a freighter "out to see"... I am truly amazed at the ballet that is handling such behemoths... and what we see is NOTHIN' like the size of the vessels in LA.

I don't know about GPS as an economic stimulus package, Cynthia. I rather like maps, getting "off the trail", and meeting nice people who help you out and sharing a chuckle over you silliness. But your idea ISN'T any more foolish that politians' ideas! Snap us a shot of the Forsythia, 'K?

I have smiled at remembrances of deceased parents and those who are ageing. It's definitely a reminder of how fleeting and precious life is/can be. I like we've shared those stories here. Every death of someone we love increases our reflection and I think you're right, Kathy, about how death can shape you for the future. When I feel the lowest and most overcome with regret for silly little things I am able to understand that those feelings are temporary and normal. Nothing tempers the spirit and soul like adversity and pain. And, in a similar vein...

When I heard of the dreadful shootings in Illinois I immediately thought of V.. I find the violence shocking, but I have to say I was even more appalled by what I saw on NBC news. The footage of the reporter and camera crew knocking on the door of the gunman's father sickened and embarrassed me so that I fired off an angry e-mail to NBC. Yes, by all means cover the story... THAT'S news. But to accost a bereaved parent, reeling from the shock not only a child's death but also the horror his last act has wrought for so many, is beyond the pale. It is the height of cruelty, disrepect, and demonstrates a lack of compassion that turns my stomach. And it's NOT news. Anyone who has experienced the suicide of a loved friend or family member winces when such callousness is presented on network TV.

'bug, I fear you are going to be completely out of control now. :) An increasingly mobile grandchild AND a puppy? we're doomed forever to perpetual cuteness here in la petite ville d'Idyll. LOL. I love the Empire motif glasses; p'raps I ought to send you shopping for me?

Mary, your attention to and love of minutiae is breathtaking. Mum would have loved every bit of it... ditto her long deceased aunts! There were not many moments of idleness in that home, either. Tatting, quilting, knitting/crocheting, painting, tole work, carving dolls... . I so appreciate your droll sense of humor. :)

PM2, I know nothing about music. Except that I really, really like it! And I have a confession to make: I always LOVED Lawrence Welk as a kid! I loved The Jackie Gleason Show, too. I was the youngest kid in my extended family... by 7 years. I basically grew up with adults and "siblings" that were considerably older than I. I loved the costumes, dance numbers, and the songs on LW. They were familiar to me. And, our local PBS station reruns LW on Saturday night... some of the shows are very "dated" and are humorous for that reason. But, MUSICALLY, the Lawrence Welk Orchestra is FLAWLESS and when you factor in the VARIETY of musical styles they feature... . Clearly, this non-musician grew up listening and appreciating really good quality music. The helpmeet and I just finished watching it, as a matter of fact! :)

I also love Phoebe Snow's voice! (is there an "e" on Snow?). Lovely, soulful vocals...

I put the second coat on 2 1/2 of the Salon's walls today. I also braved the stageing and primed the stairwell, so I may apply the first coat of the color to it tomorrow. Have you ever started something and thought to yourself, "maybe I shouldn't be doing this; it's dangerous and I'm alone here if something bad happens...". That's how I felt today as I set up the stageing and nervously inched my way out onto it. I finished the job just as the helpmeet pulled his bigrig into the garage and quickly confessed my somewhat rash course of action. He'll be home tomorrow for my next "high wire" act.
Your's truly on the stageing:

The view from the stageing to bottom of the stairwell:

Basic wall color study relative to ceiling:

Not a great shot of the wall color:

First bank of lights in the "NASA clean room":

Woody, your link to Gamma Ray makes it sound so easy. A veritable "breeze". Yeah, LIKE HELL! I'd be scared to death and I think you are one of the very bravest people I've yet to encounter in the "virtual world". Is "lift off" the 27th. or the 28th.? Now you are in my thoughts and I'll be pulling for you in whatever small way I'm able.

Martie, no final inspection yet. The furnace has been wired and fired, but the trunk of the ductwork has yet to be installed. Helpmeet wants to finish installing the lights first. He has not had much fun doing it... I'm an equal amount of fun locating CRI 98 flourescent tubes...

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Weeding today was a smashing success-once I went out and started I realized that the soil was in that perfect state between wet and dry that enhances the process. Front garden is done and mulched, tomorrow is the back.
Sue mentioned the beach vacation rental- my family and I are going to rent a house on the Oregon coast (Yachats) for the 4th of July this year. My BIL found an oceanfront 4 bedroom that takes pets. If Im still in Napa, DS and I will drive up.

bug Ms Phoebe is way too cute ! I wish you a good nights sleep how do the kitty folk feel about the invasion ?

Chelone, I salute your brave straddling of the scaffolds over the yawning stairwell hole. My painting has all been done on ladders resting on solid ground. I heard the blurb on Polaroid this AM on weekend edition too.. such magic that was in the day, even though the pics were pretty awful quality wise. Can you imagine Deannes bird pics taken with an Instant Camera ? And your observation on the network reporting of the shootings in Ill is precisely why I no longer watch TV news.

Time for dinner

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 8:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love the colours Chelone! I have a friend who has a third tone added to a similar scheme...but I can't remember, maybe a yellow? The lighting is fantastic. I no longer am able to even think about the scaffolding. At 65 it is now time to hire someone.

We too like maps....but also toys. So GPS is used in the field, but not yet on the road. I remember lots of fun though with David B and Jim at V's Idyllunion. "Silicon Sally" was very annoyed with us for stopping for breakfast along the way...tried to get us back on the "correct path".

And this too Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 9:09PM
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Phoebe is home! Like V.'s expansive digs, I can't imagine a better place to be a dog. Lil' Phoebe hit the jackpot.

Love the chiastopyllum, which is one of those diminutive edgers like Saxifraga fortunei, probably capable of weed-like growth in the PNW. I'd even settle for the plain old London's pride saxifrage but no go here. At a nursery today I saw a massive, sclary-sagish plant in a large pot, but with very unsalvia-like flwr buds with blue just peeking thru. Turned out to be plain old Borago officinalis, which I only know thru books that always scornfully add "coarse" in the description. Maybe Martie's grown it. I brought one home and can't wait til it gets massive.

Chelone, fabulous "cool" colors, green and steely blue, ones I use often, great foundational colors that set off just about every other color. I heard the same NPR report today running errands and offhandedly mentioned it to Mitch -- and immediately wished I hadn't. You'd think I punched him in the stomach. Devastated. Have I backed the wrong horse? he says, and tells me of the founder of Polaroid, Mr. Land, taking a photo of his 8-yr-old daughter at the Grand Canyon. Daughter says, Daddy can I see the picture now? Papa Land says, No, of course you can't, you have to wait for it to be developed first...then the lightbulb goes off and he gets the brainchild for the instant, tear-off film.

Marty's boat is just 50 feet, a newer and faster pilot boat. I enjoy the harbor radio talk too. One of the more memorable exchanges was a Norwegian boat captain coming into port, frantic, declaring there was a "veil on my bow." Much confusion until the Norwegian accent was deciphered to reveal the sad news that he'd arrived in port with a limp whale astride the bulbous bow of the ship. Yes, such collisions do happen.

Kathy, that peel-apart film is what lots of photographers use to see if their "set-up" is going to fly before they take the final photo. Annie Leibovitz still tests with the Polaroid peel-apart, or maybe she's gone digital too by now. It also has a negative that can be developed, unlike the instant film marketed to consumers. Mitch hasn't used the tear-off in about 6 mos since it's prohibitively expense, about $5 a sheet, but now will be nonexistent after 2009 ;( And I wonder if your BIL could recommend a nice Portland neighborhood that's not terribly overpriced yet? We don't mind working class, just not outright dangerous ;-)

Here's a photo Mitch took yesterday, kinda the Joey Ramone look.

I'm this close to getting GPS. I Mapquest all my jobs but neglected to check directions for a job at LAX last week because I "knew" where it was. One of those crazy north/south streets where the numbers make no sense. I ended up having to call home for a navigator to talk me through.

No, I won't bring up what it's like to see Phoebe Snow sing in her prime, knowing how she left her career to care for her sick child...I bet her baby heard some sweet lullabies.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:06PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

How nice to meet you Miss Phoebe! You are beautiful and smart too. You are so lucky. You will have a good life. :)
Kiss your new Mom and Dad and be nice to the kitties...


    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 10:19PM
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I wonder if there was a lot of lonesome whining at 'bug's house last night. Why didn't you get two, so they could keep each other company? ;) It will be fun to get the full report this morning. Those little shoe button eyes and the disorganized wiggle and wobble will entertain you for hours. I do, however, counsel you to administer her first beating s quickly as possible... so she "knows who's boss". (nice to see Jerri materialize at the mention of a puppy, too).

I marvel at the concept of weeding in February. We're some months away from that here in our NE coHnah of the country. I slept late this morning and can see a bright horizon at 6 AM. The "glowing orb" is gilding the horizon as I look over my shoulder, though it won't surmount the pine trees for the better part of half an hour. We have a gang of Robins that have been hanging around for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday, the helpmeet directed my attention to the big maple in the front yard and there must have close to 20 of them hanging out in it. Evidently, they've discovered the manifest delights of Holly berries; taking turns flying down to it and feeding while the rest keep watch for danger. Like you, Marian, we don't generally see the birds that like the wide open spaces. I've also noted the springtime "glow" on several of the trees and shrubs, notably the red maples and the highbush blueberries. It's very subtle, but it's there and coupled with increased sunshine I can see that things are moving toward spring. Only a New Englander can look out on mid-February's frozen landscape and think that way, lol (and they label us "tacituHn"). Go figure.

I very much enjoyed the link to Phoebe and Linda's duet. And I recalled that Phoebe nearly gave up her career to care for her very disabled child (a daughter, I think). I also recall hearing her distinctive voice on several commercial "jingles" over the years; a convenient way to continue singing for someone who cannot tour. I always loved her cover of "Let The Good Times Roll", too. Such a talented woman!

How do you know your helpmeet loves you? This is how. Last night I discovered a rather large pile/pool of cat vomit next to the bed. A cursory glance revealed an ammalgamation of jack mackerel and roughly 1/2 of some sort of rodent. I'm not particularly squeamish about such things and went to the kitchen to find the small squeegee and the dustpan we keep on hand for such eventualities. No could find... I asked the helpmeet where they were... no could remember or find. He lovingly mopped it up with the "icky sponge" and even spritzed the area with disinfectant to neutralize the fishy smell... now THAT'S love and commitment, my friends. ;) ("my baby don't have to step in puke!").

I think it's nearly time to go out and fire up the space heater. I'm actually excited about seeing the space all the same color! I'm really liking the wall color, too. It's a real departure for me, actually. I like color, but generally go for those shades that are more muddied and not quite so clear, I also tend to go for deeper shades on the color card (usually mid-bottom of the range). When I selected the color I actually chose one step lighter knowing it could be deepened a step if I wanted. I have chosen "pearl" finish so there is some lustre to it after it dries. The preliminary color study shot is more representative of it than the darker picture of it.

Well, no one is awake yet, so I'm going to fire up the space heater, tackle the dishes, and formulate my plan of attack for the day. I'll be looking for a cute overdose in a bit, 'bug... :)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:12AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh my, Chelone! Your scafolding over the stairwell makes chills run down my spine!!!! I hope you NEVER try that again! Next time, run the planks even with the floor and put a sheet of plywood over it to cover up the 'hole'. Put a step ladder on the plywood. I hate to disillusion you about the early dawning. In exactly 3 weeks it will be pitch black out at 7 AM by the clock! The cursed time change begins March 9th.

I don't have time to post more right now, but just had to tell Chelone that....

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I too marvel at weeding in February.

Morning report:
Phoebe went to bed in her crate at 11PM. She fussed for 30 seconds and was heard no more...until 4:30AM. I took her outside then, but she simply wanted companionship it seems. At 6:45 we repeated the venture. She heard the owl, we saw half a rabbit and heard other birds as well. She did her business in the designated spot. Hugs lavishly given. Back inside we went to my study where she had TWO accidents. She had warned me, but I don't yet speak her language. My fault, so no beating Chelone.

A nap sounds like a great idea already at 8:30am!

Watch this!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Marian, the scaffolding is very safe. It's comprised of 2 2x12s supported by good step ladders (there is virtually no "bounce"). But it's kind of creepy to be out on a "catwalk" anyway. The staircase has a landing and turns a corner so there is no way to span the opening without scaffolding. And even though the ceilings are "only" 8' high, I can't reach ceiling height to cut in the paint without raising the scaffolding. Damned if I do, damned if I don't; I really like EXTENSION poles for paint rollers, though. And I won't be alone today or tomorrow when I venture out on it.

I'm with you on the time change, Marian. I think because I am "a Lark" morning light is more important to me than light later in the evening. People are shocked/amazed that I automatically wake up at 4:30 AM (I don't need an alarm clock and do it all year long), and have no trouble at all "functioning" so "early" and in the dark! I find the "spring ahead" thing a harder adjustment than the "fall back". By the time we "save daylight" my own rhythm is already set to the natural advance of springtime. And then some knucklehead "goes and fouls it up". I am reminded of a dairy farmer in NH who refused to change his clocks... doing so screwed the cows up... milking schedules must be adhered to, lol.

OK, the scaffolding awaits and I have a lot to do today.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:48AM
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The sooner you administer the PREVENTIVE beating, the better, 'bug.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:50AM
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The glowing orb is veiled in clouds at the moment, and we are in for a repeat rain performance. Anyone care to name the newly created, as of Feb 14, lake at the park?

The day was truly balanced by this arriving at work -- four plants for the four missed years (Valentine's Day was a former wedding anniversary for Rich) and the rose for this year. Instant container garden!!

I'm in love with Phoebe, already. I'd bet she and Reed would understand each other's signals :-)

Yes, Denise, I've grown Borage for years and years and particularly like the fact that it gives a great blue punch right after Baptisia ends. Mixed with light pink roses, it is stunning. A friend uses it with lime green and it has a very cosmic affect if that's what you like.

Well, Mary, you have been deemed Queen of the Small in my mind :-)

V: I thought of you immediately when I heard about NIU. There's just not much to be said ... yet another blowup in the face of a very failed US mental health system. I so feel for ALL the victims, here, and abhor the way the media is handling this. But, love Las Vegas and the time there and be grateful for that ability.

Chelone: I'm with Marian on the scaffolding!!!! Jeeez! Knowing what pics to computer does to my colors, I'm imagining the real color of the Salon. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh is my first response. I think our DH's would like each other :-)

Sue - Good to see you check in. A weekend at the beach sounds like a perfect respite.

Michelle: It's all been said. LOL Must admit I read it twice and then realized that Kenzie was right there and, well, could just imagine the mindset while typing along :-)

T: I'm still glad they giggle, despite the interruption of Idyll time. Remembering that horrible thump sound the first time Ky escaped the crib .... bed was in place the next day :-)

'bug: Meant to mention that your mention of DS's affiliation with Haiti is one of the most incredibly honorable things I've heard about in a long time. Since I spent several weeks at Ecole St. Vincent in Port-au-Prince, and at a now-defunct school in Cap Haitian, please send him all well wishes from me on behalf of every child in the country.

Kathy: And the beat goes on .... You've gotta be getting all kinds of excited! When is your last day of work?

Cynthia: Thanks for that link! Select Seeds is 20 minutes from me -- want to come up for the June clear off the benches sale? Met a gorgeous Greyhound yesterday who saw a rabbit in our backyard (he was on a leash being walked but is a very big dog) and took off. Leash flew out of hand [with explanation that owner practically broke a wrist with the same situation and now just lets go if that happens.] Voooooooom. 0 - 20 in no time flat, I'm sure. But -- he came right back with a stern "Prone!!!!! [drop to ground] Come!!!!! [butt wagging saunter back to owner]. They are, indeed, amazing animals.

Thanking of everyone's goods, bads and indifferents, and hopeful that the Orb hits everyone in some way or another.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:12AM
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You pushed my button Marty. A healthy hound goes from zero to 45 in 3 paces and will be well out of earshot by the time the owner opens his mouth. Tackless as I am, I would tell the owner to get a lab, and ask why he doesn't positively reinforce NOT lurching on a leash, since he has trained other behaviors - which will work 99 out of 100 times. When that dog does get lost or hit by a car the irresponsible owners name will go on the 'do not adopt' list that is shared across the US. He can check the Greyhound Amber alert to learn how other people killed their greyhounds this way. Greyhound Adoption groups don't do all the work they do to SAVE these dogs so that idiot owners can kill them in painful creative ways. My dogs all have beyond excellent recall, all have prey drive, and they can run their little hearts out in fenced safe areas. I weight 125 pounds and have had 25+ fosters and none have broken my wrist. If he has osteo, he needs to return the dog to the agency!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Came back to Wow over Drema's sage and 3' Bay (quite an accomplishment in my mind!!) but now really want to apologize?? realize that sometimes I'm brain dead when it comes to feelings??? to Cynthia for sharing the story. I've not seen this dog nor guy before, but if I do I'll direct him to the Greyhound Amber site.

The dog really did stop on "prone", and since I'd never seen that as a command before, thought it kind of a smart thing to teach. There are MANY reasons I don't own a dog :-)

Was thinking about weeding in February .... may be a good idea to get rid of early wayward grass clumps. But, does anyone think it'd kill the surrounding soil?

All the more reason to hightail it outta here to Z8ish :-)


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nasty Nasty weather here. Not good for dog walking & training. Blargh! Ice and rain. I would love a Glowing Orb!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 2:10PM
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We are now veiled in Martie's clouds after a downright cerulean morning. "Weather" is definitely movin' in for tonight/tomorrow. I haven't listened to a forecast closely, but I the worst I expect is MAYBE some heavy snow early on quickly changeing to sleet and then to rain. The makins of a pretty gross day, in all liklihood! But I'll be inside painting so I don't really care that much. Good excuse to play with, cuddle (theraputically beat) a little dog, 'bug. (Do they dock the tails of Bouviers, 'bug?).

The stageing held! I put the first coat of ceiling blue on the little part of ceiling over the 1st. floor door to the stairwell. I put the first coat of wall color on the remaining half of the north wall, the entire stairwell, and the remaining part of the east wall. As well as a third coat on the outlet, switch, cable, telephone covers. I've cleaned all the rollers, pans, and brushes. And I'm rewarding myself with a "wicked treat"... Hot Pastrami, with onions, ans swiss cheese. MMM-mmm! Helpmeet is a bit downcast, not having accomplished all he'd hoped; he's showered and headed down to the local eatery for a cold beer, some vittles, and some sports on HDTV. :)

Martie, you story reminds me of a guy we used to see on the beach some years ago. He had a Saluki; beautiful dog! The acceleration "off the line" was simply amazing and it reminded me of a Cheetah... you know, how the spine really flexes with each leap. Anyway, that dog went nuts over a frisbee. Guy would throw it, dog would look at him, and run it down once released. Other dogs didn't stand a chance, UNLESS it landed in the water. Truly something to behold doing what he'd been bred to do.

Your floral assortment is beautiful and thoughtful. I have a grocery store bouquet that arrived with my box of chocolates... all in pinks, reds. whites. I found some very nice chocolate (dark with a candied, edible flower on it, and milk chocolate cupid from an antique mould) and a humorous card for the helpmeet. Every single Valentine's Day he brings me something. Valentine's Day was Mum's favorite holiday (right up there with Easter; her baskets were a joy to behold).

I wonder if Jerri will share some sentimental anecdote about her parents? I found those particularly fun and meaningful (in case you hadn't guessed).

Just as I was leaving the garage to clean up the equipment I saw a guy with a dog waving to me. I waved right back and called out to him. His dog is a Labradoodle and he lives a few doors south of our home. He said he sees me all the time with Rex, and would love to stop by when I didn't have my hands full. We have several "new" neighbors and it will be fun to meet one more of them. It's important to know who to call when you need a cup of dog chow or when a dog goes AWOL (absent with out leash). ;)

Drema, it's so nice to hear from you. I know you've had a lot on your plate, too. I like the way you've decided to "roll with it". Sometimes the simplest plants offer the most interesting colors... I'm a sucker for foliage, anyway, so anytime it offers up multiple colors I'm impressed. How sweet of you to "take Charlie" and give them a night out... . (another Mum anecdote: she used to take 5-6 yr. olds for an afternoon so a young mother could have some time to herself. She said it was easy to just sit and read stories and chatter for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday.).

More I want to say, but I've forgotten it by now. !

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 3:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my yes, they do dock both ears and tails still in North America. It is outlawed in Europe. In shows here you are permitted to have both tail and ears, so why this nonsense persists I do not know. One breeder who would not allow me to have a dog because I wanted natural, said it was for health reasons. Yeah, right! Anyway, our breeder would not allow me a tail, but would allow me the ears! So to her surprise, all but 2 buyers of the 7 pups wanted natural ears. I hope the mood is changing!

Weather still stinks here...and Phoebe agrees ! She says her toys are OK but she really would prefer jumping into my face with all four paws extended...

DH is away so I don't need to prepare meals. Hurray! The snow from the barn roof slithered down in one huge dump. It was impressive! I wish we could have walked beyond the bridge together...but that must wait for decent weather. Why do they say lousy weather is for the dogs?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Sorry, I was away on a doogie transport. Drove a little Corgie from OKC to the Texas border. He's going to his new foster home in New Mexico.
Bug, I have never had a dog that went in a spot I designated. I'm just glad to get them to go outside! I guess I need to work on the training thing a little. ;)
Chelone, I'll confess what you all must know by now. I'm a
total Geek and can't carry on a decent conversation unless it' about animals or computers! There, I said it!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 6:14PM
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