Idyll #255: The TGIF Idyll

michelle_zone4February 24, 2006

I am almost afraid to start this Idyll. LOL

Marian, we have many meadowlarks hear. When I work in the garden I can hear their sweet song.

Eden, thanks about the BR. Kenzie has become a climber, much to her mothers exasperation. I do believe that it is payback time, since DD was a monkey climbing on everything. Your new plants are all very striking and will look great in your containers. Wish little Bella a very happy 1st birthday. IÂll bet the whole family is pumped up for the event ;o)

Marie, your kitchen is looking very good. The paint makes the cabinets look brand new.

Norma, arenÂt you lucky to have a few crocus blooming. It will be awhile before that happens here.

Martie, take care.

Deanne, bummer that Doug has to have surgery. Will he have to be off work long? The coleus are under a fluorescent light in my kitchen. I think it is warm and getting plenty of light. Now on the other hand the pelargonium cuttings are doing great.

Honey, what a wonderful picture. Your delphiniums are stunning.

Sue, that is a very cool plant. Hardy to zone 4 too. You guys are such enablers.

Have a great day


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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, everyone. Busy week here. DH brot colleagues home after work one nite for cocktails, I spent a couple days helping DD with a home project; I took GD to University hospital for her pre-op appt. for removing the pin in her arm; I babysat my 1 yr. old grandniece what an exhausting experience (!); and most of all spent endless hours on our insurance claim gathering info, annotating photos, etc.

At first, we were going to process the claim thru the other drivers insurance co so our rates didnt go up. However, DHs boss thot that was a real bad idea. DH is under the radar so far in his companys reorg and now is not the time to be visible. If you remember, the gal that hit DH is Sr. Managing Director of reorg. for his co. And shes marrying the head lawyer, who we hear is a piranha. Per DHs boss, the only thing that wouldve been worse than tangling with this gal, is if DH was hit by the CEO. Rather than win the battle and lose the war, we decided he had a good point. So I had to start over with our insurance co.

This am, they declared our car totaled. We dont expect to hear from them until next week on the settlement. I did a Blue Book estimate, so at least we have a guess of $ to shop for a replacement car. Not only was the car totaled, but my home décor and plant budget, went out the window as well. Grrrrrrr.

Thanks, Michelle! And thanks to all to commented on the drapery project. Marie, I'll have to make a point of looking at your kitchen cabinets later. Please leave up the photo.

Now Im on the hunt for a car. Ill catch up soon with ya'all. TTYL,


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Aloha Idylls

We're back! We flew in this morning after the most fantastic week. It really was paradise! The beaches, the flowers, the sun, snorkelling, the fish........I could go on forever:0) I'll be back later with news and pictures. All was well here with the exception of the 75 mph winds last week blowing David's basketball hoop onto the Honda (back window and trunk door rather smashed up). Our neighbors helped clean up the glass and insurance was contacted. The great thing about a vacation is feeling very relaxed when it comes to dealing with such frustrations.

Clousseau was delighted to see us and he looked content and rather plump! I think he was spoilt in our absence. I'd like to say I'll be unpacking but our luggage is still in Chicago. Normally I wouldn't care a bit as it will be delivered later tonight, but as I have two orchid plants in my case I'm keeping fingers crossed they won't be left in the cold. You would think you'd gone to heaven if you were in the orchid farm we visited Wednesday - 20 acres of shade houses with every imaginable orchid growing. And most cost less than $10!

Its lovely to see everyone posting again, even though I had time for only the briefest skim. I'll save my reading for later, for right now I need to buy groceries and feed the hungry troups.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 12:36PM
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Wow V! I am soooo impressed! I'm glad someone out there could get my brainwaves, because I couldn't for the life of me. I have been pondering this for weeks. I can obsess until I figure something out. And to know Sue's garden so well! It was such a cool plant. I know there was a P in there.

Sue, if you are offering to send me one, or bring one to the idyllunion whichever is easier, I would be thrilled!

Honey, sorry about the car. What a bummer. Amazing how some people have so much power, isn't it? They say the that you can measure someone by how they act when they have authority.

Mary, welcome back! I can't wait to see the pics. Too bad about the hoop, but it sounds like you have great neighbors.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 1:05PM
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Hi Honey! So sorry about your car/insurance woes. Good luck with the car search.The worst has to be losing your plant money: ( BTW that pic you posted is like a fairy land-I don't think I've seen that pic before?
Are you making drapes for DD?

Da I'm pleased you decided to use patterns this time-it makes the job much easier lol. Fun fabrics there.

EDEN!!: ) I'm happy you are back but I'm happier that you are posting your usual goodies. You must not stray away anymore,okay? lol I still can't believe that baby Bella is so big now-what a fun time when it's a first bday. Hey I just realized that Ryan's bday is in a couple weeks-gulp,we signed him up for kgarten yesterday-my 'baby'.
I love your begonia choices-did I miss where you bought those?

Sue are you able to collect seeds from your P.'painter's palette'? If the opportunity presents itself I would love that one-I tend to need vigorous growers in my shade and I have a great spot for that one. I liked those comics-thanks for the laughs!

Michelle I'm laughing along as you enjoy DD's payback time with climbing Kenzie. Has she added any new songs to her repetoire?

Good to see you there Drema-hey I keep wanting to call you but I always worry that it's a bad time if I call you in the evening-let me know what's good.

Whoa Ei so what's that you said a while back about your garden being overgrown?...those pics look well tended to me!

Poor Martie-you sound sicker than a dog! Take one thing at a time so you regain your energy. I miss your posts.

Thinking of long were they supposed to be away?I'm anticipating great pics.

Finally got my tooth bleached-WOW is all I can say. They stuff cotton saturated with special concentrated bleach into the canal of the tooth and plug it with a temp filling and over time it clears out the discoloration. It's 24 hours later and my tooth is almost completely WHITE. The area along the gumline is just faintly discolored. This process was going to involve three treatments but I'm betting it will only be one more if even that. I told the dentist to just do all my teeth...he said they'd all need root canals then-lol he loves my humor I'm sure.

Hmm I just talked to Chris from work. One of his colleagues is trying to lure him to Richmond,VA for a better paying job where she's relocating. It's interesting with his PhD coming to fruition,all the people who are seeking him out. A good position to be in! I really can't see us leaving here with all the family stuff needing our attention. Maybe we're odd but I don't see money as more important than being here for/with the rest of our family. Am I odd?

Didn't Taryn have someone coming to see her house? I wonder how that went.

Good to see Barb here-don't like the sound of what pics you will show us-hope things are OK there.

Well I can't recall who else I needed to talk to from the last thread-bleach must've gone to my brain? Why do I keep thinking about if someone's whispering in my ear...isn't that strange?


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 2:42PM
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I see my mental telepathy is on target~Hi Mary: ) Did you have any trouble with the flight to Hawaii? I wondered with the weather-your poor car! Your typing even sounds relaxed lol-I can't wait to see and hear it all! Was it like paradise? Good luck with your orchids,that would be a worry with this cold.

Everybody have a good rest of the day


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 2:49PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

More orchid I bought another one from Wal Mart today ! And a croton, and a pot of mixed Hypostes! Am I an addict or what? I NEED A GREENHOUSE ! HELP !

Honey, what a drag about your DH's vehicle. What are the odds that such a thing would happen! The only bright side is that he wasn't hurt.

RE: Meadowlarks......we saw and heard them a lot when we lived below this mountain, and I see them on the way to town. The Eastern meadowlark doesn't have as nice of a song as the Western. I can still hear them in my mind. Such a cheerful sound.

Ooooo Deanne, it makes me hurt just hearing about your Doug's toe! I can commiserate with him, since I have a big toe that keeps trying to have an ingrown nail, and the toe next to it has a corn that rubs on it ! I have to be very careful what kind of shoes I wear.

Yea! Mary is home safe and sound! Mary, I'm sorry about the basketball thingy falling on the Honda. How nice that the neighbors were so helpful...( but good people tend to have good neighbors ). :-) I can hardly wait for those pics of Hawaii. How marvelous that it was such a wonderful time.

Michelle, that's cute that Kenzie is a climber, but it can sure be a worry.

Marie, your kitchen is looking great! Mine could sure use a makeover. I just wince at the thought of even trying to paint walls, and ( worse yet) ceilings. It hurts my arm just to use it when I eat !

Martie , I'm so sorry that you are so sick. I hope you have help at home.

How good to see all the returning members....Eileen, Cindy, Barb, Drema, Da, Babs, Martie, Eden, Norma,. Now if only others would check in. We haven't heard from Brenda for awhile, have we? and Yeona, Jerry , Janie, Lisa, Sylvia, Chelone, both Laurens,Wendy, and Julie? And where are the men ..... Bruce , David, And Blackie?
I wish Woody would change her mind about not trying to post here because of the log on problems. And I sure miss EP.

Waving at Babs... HI! You are a busy ,busy little bee...LOL.
So funny about your teeth bleaching. Did your dentist act amused ? Mine sure need whitened . I think the coffee is yellowing them, or is it just age ? :-( The last cleaning I got left my teeth feeling like everything I eat is sticking to them. I think she may have damaged the enamel?

Do you all remember the 'fence in the road' episode? There are now at least 2 dozen goats behind that fence. At least 8 of them are new kids. Very cute. I need to get pics of them. I drive very slow when I go along there, trying to count them, but they think I am going to feed them and all come running. Several have rather dangerous looking horns, and one is a very large Billy! They are quite a mixture of colors. Pretty interesting.

I think my brain is fizzling to you all later.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 4:57PM
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From the Big Island of Hawaii

Belated Happy Birthday Barb!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 5:54PM
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Taking a break, really I'm not very motivated today. We lost our sunshine this morning and now it's just a gray day.

Sue, I need those pictures!

Honey, major bummer on the car. Nothing I hate more than car shopping. Good luck with it.

Deanne, sorry about Doug's toe. At least if he gets it taken care of now he'll be good to go for summer.

Babs, I can't believe Ryan's going to be in school in a few months. They do grow up so fast. Too fast. I hope Chris gets some of those better paying job offers closer to home. I got the plants at my local nursery, Goldner Walsh (Honey's favorite nursery).

Drema, I've had persicaria painters palette for a couple of years now and it does reseed, but looks good with just about anything it comes up next to IMO. And it's easy to yank out.

V, way to go, plant detective.

Welcome back Mary! I'm so glad you had a nice relaxing vacation. Can't wait to see pictures.

Marian, that was such a nice chatty post from you. I really enjoyed reading it. I'm with you, I NEED a greenhouse. I bet the goats are cute, especially the babies.

Michelle, so Kenzie is climbing. Poor Laura. Bella's just now walking so not too bad to chase after yet. And she's good about "no". She will even tell herself no. I'll walk into a room and she'll be looking at something she knows she's not supposed to touch and shaking her head no. Has Kenzie cut those molars yet? They're being nasty things for Bella. She had a cold with the top ones and now she's working on the bottoms and yesterday and today she's had a slight fever and runny nose again and is CRANKY. I hope she feels better for her birthday.

Speaking of her I hear her complaining. She probably needs her nose wiped. So off I go.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 6:06PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Taryn...thanks for the comments on the Lushs Garden...LOL! And *especially* thanks for the link. Ive printed out Juliettes detox plan...this *does* seem much easier for someone like me to give a try. Neat website too! Ive been doing a little research on juicers. I would really like to get one, not just for health, but because I think it would be fun to concoct all kinds of fruit combinations. So what Ive been reading is that its probably good to get one that can handle large pieces of fruit? And one that has an easy "clean up" system w/ a basket to catch the waste? Ive been surfing the web and the prices are all over the place. Do you have any recommendations? I dont want to get the cheapest one, cause I want it to last, but I dont want to get the most expensive one either (some of them go over $200.00!) just in case it falls to the wayside, like some of my other cooking tools have like the pasta maker. So, what one do you use? Anyway, I think the hardest part of trying this detox plan, believe it or not, will be to go without my coffee! I know Babs understands! :-)

Theres a crazy little shack beyond the tracks
And evrybody calls it the sugar shack
Well, its just a coffeehouse and its made out of wood
*Expresso coffee* tastes mighty good
Thats not the reason why Ive got to get back
To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack.
Theres this cute little girlie, shes a workin there
A black leotard and her names BABS CLARE
Im gonna drink a lotta *coffee*, spend a little cash
Make that girl love me when I put on some trash
You can understand why Ive got to get back
Oh yea, To that sugar shack, whoa baby
To that sugar shack, yeah honey
To that sugar shack, whoa yes
To that sugar shack.
Now that sugar shack queen is amarried to me, yeah yeah
We just sit around and dream of those old memories
Ah, but one of these days Im gonna lay down tracks
In the direction of that sugar shack
Just me and her yes were gonna go back
To that sugar shack,, whoa uh oh
To that sugar shack, yeah honey
To our sugar shack
(Fade) yeh, yeh, yeh, our sugar shack
Yea, okay so its not my best segue, but that song always makes me "happy"..LOL!

Hey Babs! :-) ...Uh, dont forget thats *April 15th*! Of course it looked neat...nothings growing yet...LOL! Actually, I think thats why I love my garden best in spring...everything looks so fresh and well-tended then! :-) Speaking of cooking tools Babs, Ive been meaning to ask you have any suggestions for other uses for a cooking torch? I finally bought one at Tuesday Mornings...only $22.00 (they usually go for $50.00 and up). So of course Im going to try my hand at crème brulee, but looking for other excuses to play with the torch too...LOL! BTW, for anyone looking for an *easy*, but elegant looking have to try Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries. I got it out of the book "Everyday Italian" by Giada de Laurentis. It was fabulous and *so* easy. I made it for my FIL while he was in visiting. I imagine I will be making it a lot in summer when there is better fresh fruit to pick from. I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but am thinking fresh peaches would be delicious with this too!

Hey Da so great to see you! Glad to find another fan of Dancing with the Stars! So funny, I admire Anna Trebunskaya too she *is* a fabulous dancer and very dramatic and exotic...I love her style! I especially loved that one costume she was black and had all these gorgeous pink flowers attached to the costume (cant think how to describe it) and I remember she danced wonderfully that night, but cant remember which dance it was now...LOL! Youre fabrics are *gorgeous*! BTW...are they antique fabrics? They look like it and they will look *wonderful* on you! I love them all. The red ones make me think of (even though yours arent really oriental looking fabrics) of those sweet Chinese dresses with the mandarin collars. When I was younger and much more petite, I always wanted to wear one of those dresses and go the full boat, you know, add some delicate little dangling jade or carnelian earrings, a sexy pair of silk heels and one of those cute little silk purses! How wonderful to have such artistic talents Da. I admire your ability to create whatever your mind dreams up! Ill just have to be happy dreaming, as I have no talents in that area! :-)

Speaking of Dancing with the Stars...would you believe *I* missed it last night! I was so bummed when I realized I was going to miss it, but it was one of the gardening girls birthdays and I couldnt back out of that. Unfortunately we dont have a VCR or Tivo so I couldnt record it. Does anybody know if they will replay last nights show? Oh well, we did have a lot of fun last night. We went to an Irish restaurant and pub and I had Shepherds Pie...yumm! Cute story...we had ordered our drinks and our waiter Patrick was getting ready to place them on our table when two drinks slid off the tray and fell onto the table, spilling everywhere (but luckily we all jumped up in time only Dotty and I got a little wet). Anyway, the poor guy, he looked absolutely mortified! But we were all laughing and joking and teasing, that pretty soon he was laughing and joking too. By the end of the night Patrick said to us "you guys are too much fun...that settles it, from now on anytime you guys come here you have to ask for me to be your server"...LOL! So, anyway, Karins birthday is coming up soon and we decided we are going back there and have a little fun with Patrick. We are all bringing those tiny little rain slickers that fold up into the size of a wallet and while Patrick goes to get our order, were all going to take our little slickers out of our purses and put them on to greet him...LOL! Very fun night and one of the girls, Donce, said shes working on making me an auntie! :-) Actually, I could probably be her childs grandmother since Donce is *so* much younger than me, but I dont care...Id *love* to have a baby around! :-) Specially one I can give back when I get tired...LOL! We have all agreed to be her babysitters! :-)

Speaking of babies...Yes, Michelle, Id love to see some pics of little Kenzie when you can. Laughing with Babs about "payback". My mothers favorite "curse" to me was "I hope you have 10 kids and they are all *exactly* like you". No, I dont know what she was insinuating either...LOL! Anyway, the curse didnt work on me, I only had one and hate to say it, but he was the *easiest* kid a parent could ask for...I was really blessed!

Hi Eden! So great to see you *and* your refreshing pics! Those plants are all so beautiful! Cant wait to see how you will use them in your containers (yes, thats a hint for future pics)! :-) Funny, Im not *sure* if its the same one, but I was *so* excited about your Little Brother Montgomery because I *think* it might be the one someone gave me a cutting from last fall! She didnt know the name of it (I always like to have the names, if I can), but I fell in love with it and so she shared a piece with me. I now have about 4 cuttings of it growing on down in the basement...hope they all take! I really love it and the way the leaves kind of "weep"... a very elegant looking plant. Looking forward to some Bella pics to, if you get the chance! :-)

Deanne so sorry to hear about Doug having to have surgery, I imagine any kind of foot surgery would be painful and a real nuisance too since you *have* to be able to stand and get around after wishing him smooth sailing its good that he has such a good attitude about it too. Ive been learning lately how much mental attitude affects health and recovery. Cant believe you have *brugs*...not *a* brug...but *brugs*. All the things I have no luck at, like Brugs, and Fuchsia and Orchids you make look so easy...I wish I had your skills! Speaking of the orchids hope you will still share some pics of them when you have the time.

Speaking of orchid skills...Marian, glad to hear the orchid I gave you is doing well and that you have sprouts on Molly! :-) My Molly is of course, outside in the garden and I havent seen those little spears pushing their way out of the soil yet, but it cant be much longer! :-) Ohhh! *Goats* Marian! Oh, I *love* goats...*especially* the kids...*especially* when they have those little nubs peeking out of the top of their heads! I *really* *want* one! Think you can sneak a few shots of them? How is the whole fence situation going, anyway? BTW, loved your bd pic for Barb...what a *gorgeous* that honeysuckle with the butterfly? Cool to hear about the meadowlarks too. You have so many neat creatures around you and you are so observant to catch so many beautiful pics of all the creatures that you share with us (thinking of all your little peepers). I think you are going to have to be the resident Naturalist! :-) - besides being a fabulous orchid grower like Deanne and a wealth of knowledge on all the trees, shrubs, and plants that grow in your area.

Honey I agree with everyone, your BD card to Barb is so beautiful and charming...reminds me of an English Garden....lovely colors. Sorry to hear about the car and poor hubby, but am relieved to hear that DH wasnt hurt!

T thinking of you today...I just received my Charlies Greenhouse catalog. Cracking up about Vs hypnotism. Well, if you want an orchid, you should give it a try...maybe you wont turn out to be a black thumb like me. I did place an order with Charlies, not for orchid paraphernalia, but some more Super Thrive. I dont know if its all in my head, but I use it *every time* I do transplanting and I *think* it really least I cant recall the last time I lost a transplant...then again, I have a tendency to forget the bad stuff! :-)

Sue well, being the cornball that I am...I really liked your comics...I thought the first one was particularly cute (well, I *do* love any jokes with dogs in them and love Far Side comics)...I think that one was a Far Side? Anyway, laughing at myself, cause I was looking at the 3rd comic and I kept on saying to myself..."I dont get it...whats so funny about the Sesame Street characters having Thanksgiving Dinner?" *Finally*, after about my 3rd time of staring at it...the light turned on..."Oh, its Big Bird"...LOL! Oh...dont forget the pictures from the flower show. Boy, I really am a picture beggar, arent I?

Drema thanks for the encouragement with Curves...I *am* looking forward to it. My husbands cousin talked me into trying it...she has gone down 2 dress sizes in 1 year and said the only other thing she has done is just to control her portions when eating. Ill be happy if I get 1 dress size smaller.

GB the cabinets look fabulous! You really did a *beautiful* job...I can imagine how much work it was though!

So great to hear from Mary and what a gorgeous picture too! Cant wait to hear all about your trip!

Oh before I forget, Grace, you had asked what the tree was in my one pic? Its a dissected Japanese Maple, called Garnet. In that pic it looks a little strange because it was *very* early in the season and the leaves were just beginning to unfurl.

Okay, well this is very long, even though I told myself I would try to curb myself a little bit, so I will go for now. Probably wont be able to peek in again until Sunday. We are still working at the sons townhome. This week-end we need to put in more air ducts and venting. He has a hot water heating system and I like it cause its very economical and low on fuel resources, but for some reason it stays colder downstairs then upstairs. Pauls hoping it's just that he needs some more duct work. "Hi!" to anyone I missed! TTYL! Signing off....

Have a great week-end all! Ei

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 8:22PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hey, welcome back Mary! No luggage huh? Ours got left in Chicago on the way out to Banff last year. We actually saw it come up to the plane and watched the loaders wave it off-they must have been pressed for time or over the weight limit. Alot of good it does to complain though-no one cares. Sounds like you had a good time-like there was any doubt you wouldn' Sorry about the car. The wind was wicked here today too. I really had to suit up for my walk.

Babs, seeds? lol You all know plants are easier for me. The Persicaria doesn't flower until late summer. I can bring plants to the idyllunion but can probably send them much earlier like May.

OK, not feeling particularly chatty tonight. I finally got all the flower show pictures resized and uploaded to Picturetrail. The show was OK. I didn't see anything new or unusual in either the displays or the vendors. Well maybe one thing-someone was selling beautiful pictures of flowers that had been arranged on the glass of a scanner. I almost bought one but couldn't find one with just the right combo of color and plants. When I got there it was mobbed and I had to park in an overflow lot. It's never crowded like that on Friday afternoon but apparently Ken Druse was speaking at 1 so that must have been the reason. Too bad I didn't pay more attention to the speaker schedule or I would have made a point to get there earlier.

Anyway here are a few shots-the link to the album is below.

We were supposed to ski tomorrow but it's supposed to be cold and snowing so best to stay home. I can't say I'm disappointed. On Sunday I have to leave the house at 7 AM to work at our annual rescue group Heartworm clinic being held in MA. Getting up before the crack of dawn on both weekend days is not my idea of a good time.

Time for yogurt and then bed.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 9:08PM
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Believe it or not,Ei,I tried to give up coffee a couple weeks ago and I did get through one day but COULDN'T keep going. I am addicted to it. There, I said it I know you all were thinking it....; ) Do they have meetings for people like us? I hope not. No really, anytime I wanted to I could stop.[yes,I have a wry grin on my face]
Fun song! You've made me feel so important to have a song dedicated to me...I'm not worthy.
I would be a lethal weapon with one of those torches! I love creme brulee and the closest I came to torching the tops was with the broiler and it wasn't highly effective. Hmm I'm trying to think of other foods to torch and nothing comes to mind except birthday candle lighting. I am hopeless: ) Oh! If you want to blacken the skin for peeling & roasting peppers that would work. Also those torches do come in handy if you've add shredded plastic to hypertufa and you want to burn off the residual plastic on the tufa surface....helpful? And WEEDS you can torch weeds in your sidewalk! Not all *foods* to torch but still fun worthy lol.

Marian-yeah my denstist is a good guy(he gets my humor). I like that he doesn't jump straight to the most expensive procedure. He's saving me a lot of money by doing this bleaching rather than a veneer. Being Babs as I am,I of course researched tooth whitening and teeth do lose their whiteness from aging. Teeth are naturally brownish in color but the blood supply inside the tooth helps produce the whiteness of our teeth(it's more technical than that)-plus the enamel thins as we age. Since my tooth is dead they are able to do the bleaching from inside the tooth-it's supposed to last a few years and they can redo it as needed. It's also a fraction of the cost of a veneer.

Deanne-How did I miss that Doug was going to have surgery?? Well at least now he's getting it taken care of. Good luck to him...uh,oh good luck to *you* I remember when you had to tend to him last time when he hurt his leg from the bee sting. Will he have to stay off it for a long time?

Beautiful orchid Mary! MORE please: )(my birthday is in April-hint hint)

Had a fun dinner tonight-seared Ahi tuna steaks topped with carmelized garlic,sauted spinach,tomato and artichoke hearts....yum!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 9:48PM
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Yeah right Sue, WHAT was I thinking?! lol. Momentary brain lapse.

What a large selection of displays from the flower show! I appreciate the time you took to share those. I agree that miniature display is pretty neat. That native planting display is nice to see-I don't recall ever seeing anything along those lines at our shows. I stopped going to ours because it seems so scaled down anymore and not that creative.

Am I talking too much today? Yeah I know: )


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Mary, welcome back. Sorry about the car, but good to hear that you had a good time in Paradise. Your picture for Barb is so tropical. I love it!

Eden, Kenize is working on 3 molars. Laura is getting her wisdom teeth, so they are both teething. LOL I can just picture Bella shaking her head and saying "no". What a good little babe.

Ei, dont ever think you need to curb yourself. I love your long posts.

Honey, sorry about the car and the plant budget.

Babs, just wait until that baby leaves for college, big gulp. Its a good thing we ease into it. Im not sure about any new songs from Kenzie, but she is really starting to talk. No I dont think you are odd. You have your priorities straight.
Your dinner sounds scrumptious. Much better than our chicken fajitas.

Sue, the flower show looks like an enjoyable afternoon. The bronze of the kids is just adorable. If you have any spare Persicaria seedlings, I would love one.

I spent the evening working on income tax and cleaning the 2005 paperwork out of the file cabinet. Yuck. I think I'll try to make a spread sheet of the seeds that I have ordered and picked up. I would like to try to keep track of what I want to do with each kind and when.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, Well the sun is out now but we are supposed to get eight inches of snow later on today. Doug and I are going to get ourselves outside and begin cleaning out the debris from the wind storm a week ago. When I went out to the compost heaps yesterday I couldnt believe the pine tree limbs that had come down behind the shed. What a mess!!! I dont have a lot of time here because we want to get all that stuff picked up and off to the dump before the snow starts.

Wendy, have the tree people come yet and how is it looking now??? Ive been thinking of you all week with that mess and expense to deal with.

Michelle, you are so noble, youve been working on your income tax already??? Doug keeps saying he is going to get to that and he hasnt started yet. I used to work as the manager for the government billing department for a research firm in Cambridge, MA. Billing the government was 1,000 times worse than computing income tax and since those days I developed an allergy to working on taxes LOL

Mary, great to have you back! So sorry about the car fiasco. What a bummer. We toasted you at the party last Saturday and thought of you having a great time in that tropical paradise.

Babs, apparently this surgery isnt all that bad and should only have to be in a cast for two weeks and he can start PT after the second week and basically be back to normal after four weeks. They have to shorten one of the toe bones and put in a titanium insert in the joint so it works smoothly again. He also has to have custom orthotics for his shoes. Hopefully between the two things well be dancing again in the spring. ~~ BTW I am addicted to coffee and PROUD of it! LOL

Sue, thanks for the pics. Wish I could have gone with you. Im desperate for a breath of spring right now. I LOVE those bronzes. Id just adore having a statue like that tucked somewhere in the back.

Eileen, never curb your posts. I love the story about Patrick. Please bring a camera so we can see you all with your rain slickers. ~~~ Ill make a point to get a few of those orchid pics up here for you later on today. No time now because we have to get outside before the snow hits. ~~ Hmmm I dont have any idea why my brugs/fuchsia do so well except that Im OCD about watering and feeding container plants. Also, I really think fuchsias need more sunlight than we were accustomed to give them. Some of mine are in full sun and as long as they get enough water they do well. Id think theyd fry in the heat down south but not here. I really have done a bit of experimenting with them re the wintering over and the only thing they simply wont tolerate is having wet feet. I killed a couple last year because Id got them root pruned and potted up and then over watered them.

Marian, LOL about picking up more plants. Im the same way so if you find a way to curb your plant acquisitions let me know. I did not need three new orchids but they leapt into my hands when I was there, just ask VLOL It was all her fault. Ill have to get a couple piccies of the newbies. One is the prettiest yellow phal and the other couple are tiny, tiny pahls. One has hot magenta flowers and the other very dark purple. So pretty.

Eden, I just had such a good laugh over the image of Bella shaking her head no when looking at something she knows she isnt supposed to touch. Too funny! ~~ Ouch about your losing all your coleus! What a bummer. RE those begonias you just bought. How much sun are they going to get? are they pretty much full shade?

OH Honey, so sorry about the plant budget for the year. That really is a huge bummer. I know I can send you a bunch of coleus, dahlias etc. I've got a couple extra abutilon and iresine also (not to mention all those fuchsia cuttings I've been taking.)

OK I really need to get off this computer and get outside. Everyone have a great day! Ill try to check in later.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 8:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Morning all!

I too felt that Da's fabrics had an oriental touch to them. Red is a wedding colour and so a happy connection, but the pink and black was my favourite for some reason. Anyway, my days of hording fabric are over. No more sewing for me.

Last night we went to our French Club gathering at the old Mill in town. One member has a son who is the keyboard person of the live music group "Jellyfish Jazz" and they played after our first hour of chatter. It was so nice to see such talented teens! They all dressed in black, even black leather shoes!

Got a lovely letter from Chelone who is hoping to paint her Mom's bathroom during her visit away with Chelone's brother. She has been enjoying amaryllis indoors and a witchhazel outdoors. Also working hard and then dog walking and training on a daily basis.

I painted a bit already this morning- figure I'm at about the half way mark with the kitchen. Time for breakfast, I'm starved. (I'm at the 22 pound mark so far.)

Good to hear everyone's news, whether meadowlarks, teething or auto insurance.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 9:08AM
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Good morning

Just wanted to check in while uploading pictures. Its lovely to see so many people posting again. Ei - your posts are as cheery and lively as ever. Please don't curb them, or ever feel bad about taking the time you need for yourself. I hope those clouds are passing for you! It was also so nice to hear from Vegangirl and that she is doing well. Thanks for keeping us updated Marian.

I really enjoyed the pictures, reports and food descriptions from Deanne's party. Having experienced Deanne and Doug's hospitality and knowing how much fun the Idyllers are, I knew it would be a wonderful get-together. I did toast you that evening - we were in our little cottage near Volcano National Park that night and I thought how much you all would have enjoyed the gardens we'd visited earlier in the day.

As a new member of the orchid addiction club (V's hypnotism reached me in Hawaii) I was delighted when our bags arrived last night to unpack my two treasures. They had survived the journey remarkably with their buds intact. I'll be waiting breathlessly for them to open.

Right now I'm enjoying my first coffee of the day - we're all still jet-lagged and the children asleep giving me a quiet start to the morning. Our hotel in Hawaii was near Kona where the most fantastic coffee is grown. We toured one of the farms - acres of bushes on the slopes going down to coast. The coffee was out of this world - even Annie and David couldn't get enough of it. After the tour you were able to enjoy a cup on their beautiful lanai (veranda) overlooking the farm and coastline. At $40 a pound for beans we didn't bring any back with us, but it was heavenly enjoying it there.

Hope to be back later with pics.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 9:26AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning! Pretty chilly here, 14 degrees when go up around 7am. Snow is on the way, and it looks like it will be a cold week too. It was still light out when I got home from work last night, progress towards spring is definitely being made.

The tree crew came yesterday, and they did a good job. They didn't bring the trucks as far into the yard as the last time, so not too many tire ruts in the garden. The destruction was much worse when we had a tree fall in July. Once the debris was gone, I could see that my hellebores are smashed; and they had stayed evergreen this year too! The buds had not come up yet, so they'll probably still bloom. I'm just glad the mess is gone, almost worth the fortune they charge! The stump looks like scar right now, but I'm sure it will weather.

Ei, thanks for the April garden pictures. I love the spring garden best, everything looks so fresh and neat.

Bug, your kitchen looks great. We painted out kitchen walls and cabinets a few years ago, it does make such a difference.

Mary, glad you are back and had a great time! Can't wait to see your pics and hear some stories. The acres of orchids sound heavenly. I keep thinking about orchids for some reason too...very strange...

Honey, so sorry about the car. Car shopping is not fun. Hopefully you'll get a great deal and be able to salvage some of your plant budget.

Babs, it is nice that Chris is getting some offers now. You are not odd at all, I don't think I would move away from where we live now simply for more money. You know what is really important.

Martie, good to hear from you! Hope you are feeling better soon. When you are, tell us about Woodland Gardens, inquiring minds want to know.

Eden, glad to see you as well - pretty begonias. I admired the one called Marmaduke in the Logees catalog, but I decided it wouldn't be happy in my dry winter house.

Deanne, so sorry about Doug's toe. I can certainly sympathize with foot troubles! I hope he can get the surgery out of the way soon, and be recovered for the nice weather.

Sue, nice flower show pics above, I'll check your link later. I love the Japanese maple, they are so pretty. Do you know if there are any varieties that stay small enough to be planted at the corner of the house? I'll have to research that one.

Well, have to go do my Saturday chores. Enjoy the day everyone!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Hi again

Picture help needed!

Does anyone know how to rotate images that have been uploaded into a Picturetrail album? This time I skipped the step of going to the Inbox, uploading staight to an album, but my verticals are all horizontal and I can't figure out how to get them upright. None of the edit options provide that step, only the move from Inbox.



    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 10:09AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Mary, I'm guessing you may have to delete the pics that need to be rotated and upload them again :(. I went into Picturetrail and didn't see any other way to do it either.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 10:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary , are there a bunch of them ? You could start over with the uploading of each pic that needs rotated. There is an option on the uploading page. It would be a lengthy job, depending on how many need rotated. Then delete each one that is already in the PT album. ( Or delete them before the rotating. ) Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:03AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary, That is a gorgeous orchid in the BD pic for Barb.
Here is my newest one:

Two or three ladies, in Wal Mart, commented on my plants in my cart. I told them I was rescuing the orchid.... because they would die if left in the store! lol
As soon as I got the ones home that I bought there, I had to pull out all the soggy packing that was in the pots. The first 2 had gobs of soggy sphagnum moss over the roots, the last one had soggy paper that was taped over the sphagnum moss! I wonder how many unsuspecting purchasers think the moss and the paper is part of the required potting material ? Yaaargh !

I am eagerly awaiting for everyone else's pics. Deanne , where are your new ones? I remembered when you wrote about Doug accidentally breaking off a bloom stalk on one of your orchids. I did that with my white Phal the other day while 'fixing' it's potting soil ! I didn't know they are so brittle. I am hoping the stalk will put up new buds.

Oops, I failed to take notes, and now I can't remember who said what. I am drawing a blank!

I do remember that some are interested in the kid goats. I hope I can get some pics, but both my camera, and my computer's disk drive are having we'll see.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 2:46PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon everyone,

Well, Doug and I got out and picked up all the large debris and got it to the dump before the snow started. Then we went to the mall to HD and bought a new kitchen faucet and garbage disposal. (Well see when Doug gets around to installing this or I might have to hire my friend who is a plumber to expedite things.) Anyway while there I of course had to check out the orchids and Whoops! Another two landed in my shopping cart. V please turn off the x ray vision now?

Marian, pretty orchid. The phal you broke the spike off will probably send up a new spike from the node below the broken end. Mine usually will do that this time of the year.

Wendy, glad to hear that the destruction isnt as bad as when you lost a tree in the summer but what a bummer about your hellebores. I noticed that mine were starting to bud up and Im not holding up any hope for what they will be looking like after this extreme cold weather after the warm January.

Mary, so happy to hear that your new orchid babies survived being stranded in your luggage. Do you know what types you bought?

OK Eileen & Marian, per your request, here are a few pics from the NHOS show last weekend.

Here is one of the displays so you can get an idea of how many plants they had in a small space.

Enjoy the day all,

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 3:13PM
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Michelle: LOL at being afraid to start the Idyll. I would've been, too.

Marie: I love your kitchen. So bright and clean lines. Plenty of space. Good for you to go for it.

Sue: Missed the Hartford Show but you're not the first from whom I've heard that it was "nothing new." I stopped going when they stopped having it on Thursday night. That was the best -- even the fragrant plants had fragrance so early in the schedule. Must admit, though, that it would've been worth the price of admission to see the miniature garden in person. Here's to the Fairy Gardeners Among Us!! When you run out of room on your lot this could be the way to go!

Deanne: I am d*$# mad I missed your party. Rich tried a few times to nudge me out the door but knew I was really rotten sick when I said I'd rather go back to bed and stay there for eternity. Sometime during March I plan to keep going north east and meet you for an early dinner at Surf. I've needed to renig on two times of meeting you, so it'll be on me :-)

Eden: Glad you're back! How on earth did you teach a one-year-old self-discipline???? I'm still having trouble with my nineteen year old. LOL So wish you could get to Logee's with us at some point. Their collection of begonias is world class and you would gobble them up, for sure.

Wendy: When I said to Rich "come see the lei's Wendy brought to Deanne's" he asked when he could sit next to you at lunch again before he saw the picture. We'll leave it at that but know your sense of humor could handle this.

Da: Love the fabric and the flairy hem. It *is* elegant!

Ei: Your music has cheered me throughout this nasal nightmare. Actually pulled out a few albums (yes, we have a turntable that still works) and sniffed along.

Sue, again: Should we tell Wendy about the gem of a greenhouse Woodland Gardens has? Nothing close to Logee's, but for the good old standards there's none better that I know of. Worth the trip down if you need a bunch of stuff for containers. 4" pots run in the $3.99 range.

Mary: Well!!! You calm and collected thing, you!!! So glad you had a wondrous time, and can't wait to hear all about your adventures. Also (being vicarious again) would love to know what the kids' favorite thing was while there.

Babs: We could start a 12-step coffee program but it'd never get past the first meeting :-) At one rather panicy moment when ex-in-laws were at dinner and the gas gril ran out of fuel, I finished the steaks using a torch. No one ever caught on.

Marian: I, too, looked up meadowlarks. Very cool birds! We're just finishing our first full year of feeding birds and it is my new addiction. My fav so far are goldfinches. They have certainly got a party attitude and love it when their thistle sack gets blown around in the wind. Wheeeee!

Honey: Good Thought to lay low. Don't know what the laws are up there but here you have two years to file a claim. May be a good idea given the environment at present. Nothing worse than car shopping when you have to. I truly believe car salespeople see accident victims a mile away.

Barb: Very happy birthday.

To everyone else I've missed and those who haven't been around for awhile -- Thinking of you all and celebrating the longer days with you, as well.

More Sprouting Seeds!!!!!!!!! Even though everything is very simple stuff this year, there's always a magic to that first green.

Martie, almost 90%

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 3:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! How do I follow these orchd pics?

Marian, I can see why you had to rescue that orchid. The markings are breathtaking. I had to laugh at your rescue; I have a very large split leaf pholodendron that my DD made me "rescue" from Walmart a year and a half ago. It was about the only healthy thing in the garden center.

I've only skimmed the latest posts but wanted to post before I head out this afternoon. I've had the most pleasant day. Despite strong winds, I took the "work gang" out and we got all of the young oaks trimmed up. Many folks see the large, glorious full-grown oaks and admire their strength, but I've found that it's the young ones that really deserve the admiration. It's amazing how driven they are to continue growing, despite injury from storms or deer or what have you.

After that job was done I had tamales for lunch (did I tell you we had homemade tamales delivered to the office yesterday?) and then I baked bread for church. It was such a pleasure to be at the kitchen counter, kneading dough in the bright sunshine, with some mellow music in the background. Then I made taco dip for a coworker's party this afternoon.

Although I'm looking forward to the party, I almost hate to leave the house since it's been such a nice day.

I saw four snow geese yesterday, got to watch a red-tail hawk soaring today and saw a blue heron fly over. Soon, very soon...

Maybe tomorrow I'll go down to the basement and get some seeds going!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 3:29PM
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No No No No No No No No. No orchids. Walkway first .... walkway first ..... walkway first.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 4:55PM
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Thanks Sue and Marian - I think reloading into the inbox is the only way to go - what a pain.

V - sounds like a great day. Have fun at the party.

Hi GB - your kitchen is looking smashing. I think we have the same cabinets (only ours are covered with the kids fingerprints!). Good to hear Chelone is doing so well. Did she have a chance to stop by to see her Birthday cards? I miss her.

Martie - glad you're feeling better and enjoying seed sprouting. I did ask the children which was their favorite thing in Hawaii. David told me it was snorkelling. We all rented snorkel sets at a small beach near the hotel where you could swim out to the coral reef. We were absolutely stunned at the numbers of gorgeous fish swimming right up to us. There were shoals of Trigger fish, parrot fish, Yellow Tang, and many others I couldn't possibly name. The water was crystal clear adn the coral formations beautiful. The sheer number and size of the fish was amazing. Annie's favorite was Volcano National Park where we explored a lava tube, hiked across a crater, and walked 1 1/2 miles over old lava to view molten lava creating a huge steam plume as it entered the ocean. We sat on the rocks till dark to watch the red glow of the lava flow - it was unbelievably cool but almost impossible to photograph.

Marian - your orchid is lovely and will be a wonderful addition to your home! Glad you were able to do some rescue work! Deanne - fab pictures. Here is a very poor one of mine, for to my delight I discovered a couple of flowers hidden amogst the foliage. It is called Mtssa CHarles M Fitch "Izumi" and is similar to an oncidium. The other is an Epidendrum (a good beginners orchid).

I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love.....

We had a quiet day here recouperating. Annie and David made Lasagne together (I was the coach) and it must be almost done. We're planning on eating in front of the fire and watching the Olympics.

Should have pics tomorrow


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 6:48PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

We're on our way out to dinner with a bunch of friends (J.Gilberts in Glastonbury for all the CT people who want to know) but I wanted to post a joke for your honor of Mary's return.

Two priests decided to go to Hawaii on vacation. They were determined to make this a real vacation by not wearing anything that would identify them as clergy.

As soon as the plane landed, they headed for a store and bought some really outrageous shorts, shirts, sandals, sunglasses, etc...

The next morning, they went to the beach, dressed in their "tourist" garb. They were sitting on beach chairs, enjoying a drink, the sunshine and the scenery when a "drop dead gorgeous" topless blonde in a thong bikini came walking straight towards them. They couldn't help but stare.

As the blonde passed them, she smiled and said, "Good morning, Father, good morning, Father," nodding and addressing each of them, then moved on.
They were both stunned. How in the world did she know they were priests?

The next day, they went back to the store and bought even more outrageous outfits. These were so loud you could HEAR them before you even saw them.

Once again, the two priests (incognito) settled on the beach, in their chairs to enjoy the sunshine. After a while, the same gorgeous topless blonde, wearing a string bikini, taking her sweet time, came walking toward them. Again, she nodded , said "Good morning, Father," at each of them and started to walk away.

One of the priests couldn't stand it any longer an said, "Just a minute, young lady..."

"Yes?" she replied..

"We ARE priests, and proud of it, but I have to know..How in the world did you KNOW we are priests, dressed as we are?"

"Father," she replied, "it's me, Sister Mary Frances."

Martie, glad you're feeling better. I like Woodland Gardens but don't do houseplants so I only visit when it's time to plant the containers. The absolute best greenhouse for annuals and tender container plants that I've found around here is Country Flower Farms in Middlefield. Another good one for a day out and about is Wilbur & King in Guilford. Both of these places are seasonal and have their best selection in May and June.

Great orchid shots-best they stay in your houses though where they are safe from moi.

Boy the weather geeks really blew it today. We got about 1/100th of an inch of snow then the sun came out and it got up to 40 F. So much for snow all day then high winds, cold and negative windchills-maybe tomorrow?


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Wow,wow,wow, Deanne ! What gorgeous orchids, But where are the ones that you brought home?

Mary, yours is certainly interesting. What kind is it?

I have the awfulist sinus pain. It has spread into my entire face. :-(
If it isn't one thing, it is a dozen others!

Marie, it's good to know that Chelone is doing okay. Thanks for updating us.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 8:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow pretty quiet here today. It is very sunny but cold, cold, cold! We are getting January weather at the end of Feb it seems. We only got about three inches of snow yesterday but it was slick as glass driving. There was a 50 car pile up on Rt. 93 in Londonderry yesterday afternoon! Fortunately apparently no one was seriously injured but the massive damage to the cars was unbelievable. What a mess.

V nice to hear about your lovely day. How was the party? ~~ I'm so jealous you are seeing Snow Geese!

Martie, glad to hear you are on the mend. Doug woke up with a sinus headache this morning and DD had a sinus infection last week so must be something going around.

Mary, that is a fantastic orchid and has been on my I want list for a while. Miltassia "Charles Fitch" is a true windowsill orchid and should do really well for you. It is a cross between Miltonia spectabilis X Brassia verrucosa. Also is supposed to be very free flowering with nice shingling of the flowers on the spike. ~~ Your trip sounds so wonderful. We never got around to snorkeling when we were in Hawaii but went on a lovely wale watching trip to see the Humpbacks out of Lahaina. It was memorable and something I'd like to do again sometime.

Sue, love the joke! I read it to Doug and we had a good laugh.

So Marian, here are the orchids that I brought home. The ones from the orchid show and the couple I picked up at Home Depot yesterday. They are all Phalaenopsis and Doritenopsis crosses. (BTW these are all very small files and have been super compressed so they shouldnt slow down the uploading of the thread. If they do let me know and Ill pull them.)

I just loved this yellow guy

The flower on this one are very small about the size of quarters

You cant tell from this photograph but these flowers are the darkest purple you can imagine

One of the HD finds

And the second HD plant

What can I say except that Im an addict! LOL OK nothing else of note to report from here except one of my abutilons is blooming like crazy right now under the lights and it is so cheerful I brought it out to set on my painting table to help me sit down and work there.

Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:34AM
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Good Bella's Birthday Morning,

Wow, what a feast for the eyes on the Idylls this morning. I love all of the orchid pics. Deanne how many do you have now, lol? And Sue, I think you need one of those bronze children statues for your garden. I always love them when I see them in the gardening mags. Loved the fairy garden too. I'd like to do one with/for Bella. Mary, I so envy your vacation, sounds like it was perfect and really love that orchid, so exotic. V, glad you had such a pleasant day yesterday. And Martie, good news that you're feeling better. Now take it easy and don't do too much and have a relapse. Marian, hope the sinus pain clears up for you today. Ok I'm off to do a little shopping for Bella's party and then have to make a potato salad and a broccoli salad. Party's at 4 and I'll try to get a couple pics for you all to see. Have a great Sunday everyone.

TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:53AM
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Good morning

We should have called this the Orchid Idyll!

Deanne - thanks for the info on Mtssa "Charles Fitch". You truely are a font of knowledge! I can't tell you how excited I am to have the plants home safely. Charles Fitch is more subtle than some, but it fascinated me when I saw it and I'm thrilled it might do well here. Your new additons are beatiful, as are the photos.

Sue - thanks for the chuckle. Its cold and grey here - we need all the smiles we can get.

Marian - miserable about the sinus infection. Have you ever tried salt water? My Dr swears by it. You have to actually trickle it down your nose so that it flows into the sinus tubes. It is extremely unpleasant but can bring relief - a good natural treatment. Feel better!

OK - back to pictures


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:57AM
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oooooh Eden

Please give Bella a very big hug and kiss for her birthday! Enjoy the party and her special day.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:59AM
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We ate out last night with Rick's son and his GF. It was a nice meal and a good time. The sun is shining and it is 41 here so I need to go out for a walk.

Martie, great to hear that you are almost better.

Deanne, what you dont realize about the income tax matter is that farmers need to file by March 1. So Im not on the ball at all. Ooo, those orchids are fabulous.

Marian, your new orchid is very pretty. Nice coloring good thing you "saved" it.

Mary, did you have to leave any clothes, etc. behind so you could bring home those beautiful orchids? LOL

Sue, being a catholic school kid I can really see the humor in the joke. Our weatherman was off for this weekend too. I has turned out quite nice.

I hope that Bella has a super fun birthday. Heres a picture from the Childrens Garden at the Iowa State Fair. A fairy garden might be a cute addition to the Childrens Garden that I have in mind to start for Kenzie.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 3:21PM
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Happy 365th day, Bella! Bet you'll get that many kisses :-)

Made the very hard decision today to Not coach anything this season for the first time in 28 years. It's heart wrenching because I absolutely love being around the kids. Long ago chose to get out of the highly-competitive arena and be with the kids (and parents!!!!) who just wanted to work hard and have fun. Last year I coached the daughter of one of my very first team members. There are still kids who see me in the grocery store and remind me about the time we ditched practice to have a mud war in the middle of a deluge and the girls "beat" the boys. I'll miss it so much, but want to have my time and energy a bit more available than it has been during the last four or five seasons.

This week has been cathartic in a lot of ways. I don't remember ever being so sick and needing to rely on "someone else" for everything. Getting up for a glass of water resulted in a two hour nap. Bummer was that I lay their staring at my Marie Antoinette biography but couldn't focus enough to read. TV held no charm. Maybe too much time to think, but maybe just what I needed.

Okay, so this is philosophical for a Sunday afternoon, but forgive the "all about me" and know this is meant as a Thank You to all who have reminded me that slowing down to a Reasonably Paced Life is nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes, Sue, I've got to get to Middlefield this year. You are about the 20th person that's told me about this nursery but I never seem to go by. This year I'll make it a point in my "freer than normal" time without practices.

Off to make roast chicken with potatoes, onions and carrots in the pan. Simple sounds wonderful at this point :-)


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 4:38PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Happy Birthday Bella! I still have all the cards from my first birthday in my scrapbook as I'm sure you will too, right Grandma?

Martie, what did you coach? We had baked chicken tonight-lightly floured and sprinkled with rosemary. It's a good night for oven foods.

I got up at 5:30 this morning, left the house at 7 and didn't get home til 5. The dogs and I and another rescue volunteer spent the day in Walpole, MA working at our annual heartworm and vaccination clinic-our big fundraiser of the year. My job is to dispense and keep track of the heartworm medication and Frontline that we sell as part of the clinic. So far I haven't been reassigned so I must be doing a decent The dogs are both sacked out for the night. It's a tough life when you have to sit in an ex-pen and get fawned over all day by people you don't know.

It's cold here today(mid 20s F)...and windy. Supposed to be more of the same tomorrow. Of course they couldn't have been wrong about this particular weather forecast. The cold weather has the birds eating me out of house and home. A few grackles have started to show up at the feeders-it's early for them. They are truly pigs-hogs with feathers.

OK, I'm fading fast. Time to start working my way upstairs. Where did this weekend go?


    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 8:15PM
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Deanne , LOL, LOL When I first saw your picture of the NHOS, I hadn't finished reading your words and thought, oh my gosh Deanne needs to take lessons from Bella and shake her head no to picking up more orchids. But I bet you have lots of blooming ones too. To funny. Gorgeous group of flowers. You guys are tempting me, but I have no patiences for house plants and wouldn't do it justice. I am now looking at your new orchids and I really like the yellow one too. They are all so pretty and I like your backdrop color. I was wondering if you would mind if I printed some of your bird photos that I saved to hang in my laundry room? I just love them. Its ok to say no.

Marian , I love your new orchid. The pattern of the flower is so neat. Bummer that you have sinus pain:( . I probably screwed mine up today as I was staining the new cabinets for the laundry room in the basement, and even though I had windows open for ventilation the inside of my nose feels yucky from the fumes. I didn't think to wear a mask. Duh!

V, I enjoyed the description of your pleasant day. Sometimes things just seem right and you have to say thank you for being where you are. I know I feel that way about being able to live here. I too admire the strength and determination of the smaller oaks. Some of the small ones I made the guys avoid destroying when we built are now nice size trees in only 12 years.

Mary, I'm happy to hear your orchids survived the delay of your luggage. Your trip sounds wonderful. So glad you could all go and enjoy it. How did you see to walk back from viewing the volcano after dark? I'm guessing that was what you needed flashlights for huh?
The snorkeling sounds beautiful and fun. I Want to go look at your pics next.

Sue, LOL, cute joke. I enjoyed the garden show pics. I want to check out your link.

Wendy, I know you are glad to have the mess from the fallen tree cleaned up. To bad about the helebores. sp? I don't have any of those yet, but need to add some to the new shade beds.

Eden, I like that bronze statue too. I've seen many I would like to have, but they are beyond my budget.
Happy birthday to Bella. Hope she had a fun one. Looking forward to a picture.

Martie, I know you will miss coaching, you are so great with kids. The mud war sounds very messy. LOL, I bet that was a sight. Our kids and friends used to make mud slides on the river banks when we went on canoe floats, that was pretty messy too, but plenty of water for clean up.
Its good that you are feeling better. It is hard to be that sick for someone who is used to being on the move.
I just hate being down and out. If I'm going to sit or lie about, I want to enjoy it . LOL

Hi Babs and Drema, Ei too, and anyone else I may have missed without going back to read.

Both DH and I were tired today, so we didn't go visit the kids like we had planned. I did stain the cabinets and make some dinner, but that was about it. It was sunny but cold. The dogs had an encounter with a skunk so things were a bit stinky outside. I need to get out there and cut all my grasses down soon. Among other things. Thats it from here today. Later, Norma

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 8:31PM
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GB, I forgot to mention, how proud I am of you for sticking to your weight loss goal. 22 lbs is great.
Your French club gathering with music sounded nice. "Jellyfish Jazz" is a cool name for the teen group.
I appreciate your updates on Chelone. I really miss her posts.
Does the paint you are using have a strong odor? I'm guessing its to cold to open the windows for long?
Sue your day sounded tiring. No wonder Nick and Zoe crashed. I was telling DH about your rescue work this morning. And Cynthias. We were watching Animal Planet, about Boston Terriers and a family had adopted one from a rescue group.

Again , Later . Norma

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 8:51PM
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Oh! It's Bella's bday and I missed it! Hope it was fun and full of smeared frosting and gooey suprises; )
Happy 1st Birthday,Bella!

Can it be possible that I am speechless? lol

Hope everyone had a good weekend(good to see you Norma and Martie I'm glad you seem to be getting back on your feet)


I forgot to tell you Deanne and Marian those orchid pics are beautiful!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 9:07PM
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The walk was great. Really a nice day for Feb. I got quite crafty when I got home. I hauled out the copper pipe and fittings that I bought for an obelisk about 3 years ago. For some reason the project intimidated me, I don't know why. The cutting was so easy. I need more though , so I didn't put it together yet. Cynthia inspired me with the tomato cages that she made out of copper last summer. I also started working on a mosiac birdhouse that I bought 2 years ago. I am using some old china plates and scraps of stained glass.

Eagerly awaiting pictures of the birthday girl ;o)

Nite all

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 11:01PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Dear Bella....Happy Birthday Birthday Baby! :-) Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Youre such a good girl, knowing when to say "no"! :-) I hope you will always know when to say "yes" too! :-)

My wish for all the little girls out there....(okay, all the little boys too)! :-)

I Hope You Dance
Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

Dear Bella....Happy Birthday Birthday Baby! :-) Hope you had a wonderful birthday! Youre such a good girl, knowing when to say "no"! :-) I hope you will always know when to say "yes" too! :-)

My wish for all the little girls out there....(okay, all the little boys too)! :-)

I Hope You Dance
Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
GOD forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Daaaaannnnnccceee...I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

Im very tired tonight, so this will be a short one. Thanks everyone for sharing your beautiful pictures!

Sue thanks for taking the time to post all those wonderful pics, but sorry you werent able to sleep in this week-end! Anyway, the pictures were fantastic...I loved the witchhazel with what I *think* was Creme Brulee Heuchera. Loved the weeping cherry pic too...Im a sucker for weeping cherries, wish I had a place for one. I especially loved the one exhibit with the "forest scene" behind it. The pics reminded me how I need to learn how to do lighting for my gardens. I have none, but would like try a little spot lighting, etc. I think Im going to try and make those cement balls I saw in the one pic with the Japanese maple too.

Marian your new orchid is gorgeous!

Uh T, did you point that mirror at me?!?? Guess what I bought yesterday while shopping at Home Depot for my son?...yea, an orchid. I have no illusions, Im sure it will be dead as a doornail in a few months, but all those beauties you guys posted...I just couldnt resist. Besides, I had this design scheme in mind. I wanted to place one simple orchid in a striking pot on the top of my dining room table. I always have a vase of silk flowers (different arrangements for different seasons) on the table, but was getting tired of the fussiness of it and thought one live orchid instead of a vase of silk flowers might be really striking. Got a trick up my sleeve too! :-) Thought if the orchid never blooms for me again (but still lives) I may go out and just buy a few orchid sprays to add to the plant when it stops blooming...LOL...Im so bad!

Deanne all your pictures were so beautiful. When you were showing all the ones from the show I kept on thinking these are so gorgeous, but remembering all your beautiful orchids from last year its hard for anything to compete! :-) Have you ever considered entering your orchids in an orchid show? Anyway all the pics were wonderful...I especially liked the bicolor purple and pink one (dont you have one like that?) and the last pic from the show. Thanks again for sharing these with us and thanks for all the tips on how to take care of fuchsias. I dont know what Ive done wrong for so long or even why this year I succeeded with Gartenmeister. Sometimes, I really do think that some plants like some people and some plants dont! Im afraid fuchsias, brugs, and orchids dont like me much. On the bright side. I have 4 Salvia guaraniticas which have sprung back to life from their dormancy! :-) So excited to hear you and Doug are taking dancing lessons...I think thats neat! I wish I could talk Paul into it, but Im afraid its a lost cause...although tonight I actually did talk him into watching Dancing with the Stars with me! :-)

Da did you see it? As much as I adored Stacey Keebler (sp.?), I have to admit Drew really is fantastic and I thought that Jerry Rice really *was* the most improved. Sorry I missed Thursdays show....the dance with Jerry & Anna where they did the disco thing looked like it was a lot of fun. And seeing reviews today, I forgot how much I enjoyed George Hamilton...he was a lot of fun. I was reminded of the time, a few shows back when he told Master P that he was going to get *his* homeboys from the hood to vote for him and then they show George at a Senior Center trying to woo all the elderly ladies into voting for him...LOL! Very cute! BTW, I dont know how I missed your link. Actually, I do know how I missed it. I always check the links *after* reading the posts, but somehow forgot to the other night. Wanted to tell you how absolutely *beautiful* you look in that one dress! I love the lace tie up back... although you have such a sweet little figure you could wear anything and make it look stunning! I love your creativity and sense of drama! :-)

Mary, Im so glad you all had a wonderful time in Hawaii and congratulations on the orchid score! :-) Its a beautiful orchid. Mmmmm I know what you mean about Kona coffee - *the* best! Hard to find a good variety of it here though...the best I ever had was in Hawaii.

Speaking of coffee...Well Babs, I guess we arent the *only* addicts! :-) BTW, you are not weird at all! I think you have a pretty good sense of whats important. *And* you *are* important too! :-) Laughing at some of your suggestions for the torch...LOL! I like the way you think! I think the two of us could be very dangerous together...but wed have a lot of fun! ;-)

Michelle thats the sweetest BD card for Bella. McKenzie is such a lucky little girl! I think its neat that you want to make some gardens with her. Wouldnt you have loved a fairy garden when you were a little girl? I made a fairy garden once, but I dont have it if I had a granddaughter I could play make believe all over again! :-)

Martie glad to hear your feeling a little better. This has been a horrible winter for me, health wise, but hopefully things seem to be a little better for me too.

Well, Im very excited about will be my first day at Curves. Im excited because mostly, its been a long time since Ive tried to improve anything about myself. Im kind of getting excited to think that maybe I could have a figure again...feel strong again...I think its time for me to start anew in many ways. BTW Taryn, I tried the detox for one day, but had to stop because I was having horrible headaches. I think I need to wean myself off the coffee first before I try again....just gotta wrap my mind around "no coffee"! Anyway, in my rush to post this and get to bed, I *know* Ive missed some people I wanted to talk to and some things I meant to comment on, but that will have to wait for another day. So, "Hi" to everyone and Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:24AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

LOL! Well, I don't know why the first part of my post posted twice! Yikes! Oh well, I'm too tired to try to fix it...Have a wonderful night all! Ei

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:28AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A chilly good morning to all,

It is 5 degrees out here today. Brrrrrrrr..Whats with this? Its almost March. Jeesh! The kitties were too funny. They begged for the door this AM like they always do but only stayed outside five minutes then came flying in the house the second I opened the door. BTW the sky is light at 6 now. This is a very good thing.

I scored a fantastic, HUGE, stonecast urn at Sams club yesterday. It is about 24" in diameter and more shallow than most. Very nice for $36. Also, did you know that they carry cut flowers? I bought some lovely bunches of alstromerias and carnations that were very fresh and nice. I used them to freshen up the flower arrangements from last weekend.

Has anyone here ever grown lisianthus? The new Parks catalog has some and Im tempted to try them in containers this year. They make such great cut flowers that Id love to have them in the gardens.

Dinner last night here was home made turkey soup and salad with whole grain bread. Yum. Weve been making very yummy tossed salads with red and yellow sweet peppers, baby spinach, arrugula (sp?), shredded carrot, shredded broccoli, tomato, European cucumber, dried cherries and pecans. Yum again. Then I shred some fresh parmesan reggiano to sprinkle on the top. Sounds strange but it really is delicious. Id gotten a couple salads when I was in CA last year that the cook had added fresh blueberries and blue cheese to spinach salad so it gave me the idea to add the dried cherries.

Eden, yes I do have a bit of a collection of orchids but I dont count them. If I were to guess though its probably around 30 or 40 or so.~~~ So how was Bellas birthday? Ill bet you and family all had a great time. I cant believe a year has gone by!

Michelle, why are your income taxes due six weeks before everyone else? That doesnt seem fair at all. It is a challenge enough to stay in farming. I dont understand why your taxes are due earlier. ~~ Love Bellas BDay card. Did you make the little terra cotta girl in the nasturtiums? Soooo cute.

Martie, I can empathize with how difficult your decision was to give up coaching. I owned and rode a horse (studied dressage) for fifteen years and when I sold him I knew Id be giving up a huge part of my life forever. I couldnt keep up with it anymore as I just didnt have the time to get to the barn every day. It was an agonizing decision for me and I still miss it. ~~ I sure hope you are back up to 100% soon.

Norma, your first thoughts were correct! I do need to take lessons from Bella about saying NO! LOL ~~ No worries about the bird pics. Enjoy, When I post something I want for people to enjoy them just not sell them.

Hi Babs, thank you!

Eileen, too funny you posted that song. We were watching a show last night and that song was playing at the end of the program. I just love that song! Thanks. Bellas BDay card is so cute. ~~ RE weeping cherries, we are going to have to cut ours down this year! : ( It has split badly in several places at the graft on the top and is dying. The splits are almost all the way down the trunk now and it has some kind of fungus growing on it. After it blooms this spring well take it out. Im still trying to figure out what Im going to put in to replace it. Im thinking Id like a Cousa Wolf Eyes there. If anyone has any suggestions for dwarf trees or evergreens that would be good for an anchor for foundation plantings Im still open for suggestions.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that Ive got a ton of fuchsia cuttings this year again so Im thinking I need to send you a piece of Beacon Rosa. It is an upright and has been very easy to get to winter over for me.

Eileen, I almost forgot to tell you how glad I am that you are starting an exercise program. You will never regret the time spend exercising.

OK, speaking of exercise, Im going to get myself off to the gym. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:02AM
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Deanne, I think it has something to do with farmers and fisherman not being required to pay quarterly estimates. The pot girl was in the Childrens garden at the state fair last summer. They actually had a very nice garden there. This picture of lisianthus was taken there. I thought it was very pretty. I have read that it over winters indoors well. Do you have room on your light table? LOL I think they would fit well in your garden. I have looked at those short urns that they have this year at Sams. DH actually tried to encourage me to get one or two. They are a great price. I had in mind that I wanted a couple more taller ones, so I thought Id wait and see.

Ei, your song is especially poignant for me. This was a song that my good friend that died of cancer 2 ½ years asked to have sung at her memorial service. It was her wish for her children. Have you seen the commercial where they play the song and show people living life. I think it is a non-profit type of commercial. I hope you enjoy Curves.

We go to the accountant after work tonight. I guess we will have to eat in town as well. I'm sure I won't feel up to making supper after the tax appointment, but then again maybe I won't feel like eating ;O) Deanne we eat alot of salads. Yesterdays was romaine mix with a little baby spinach, fresh strawberries, yellow pepper, mushrooms and sugared almonds. I usually throw in whatever I have. Grapes, orange slices, olives (green or black) red onion, grilled chicken are some of the other things I like to add. Rick eats his without dressing and I try not to use much.

Have a fantastic day

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 10:46AM
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Deanne-the bday card I posted for Barb was Lisianthus 'Forever White'. I LOVE them. They bloom slowly but last quite a while. I planted mine late in the season and noticed they bloomed well into the cool weather which made me wonder how well bloom in hot mid summer. I love the elegant blooms and the blue green foliage. Get some.

Michelle had I known lisianthus over winters well I would have saved mine. Oh well. You gave me chills when you said that song was sung at your friend's funeral service-how sad that must have been. It's a great song!
Beautiful purple lizzy's there!

Ei oh yeah we would be very dangerous, lolol!

Time to go-Ryan wants to play his PC phonics game: )


I'm finding that reading garden books right now is making me nuts-I WANT IT TO BE SPRING. It's snowing. Aj gets to X-country ski finally. OK it can melt tomorrow then.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:12AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Im trying to catch up on my weekend reading and on some comments. Well see how I do!

Sue, I looked at your garden show pictures. I found it interesting that most of the displays were a bit more realistic and didnt feature 8 million annuals in bloom. More foliage, more shrubs, more texture. The Chicago show has pushed color so hard I feel its making itself irrelevant.

Income tax ugh! Anyone remember my rant a while back about the tax guy for my former business? He did the first calculation and came up with us owing a huge chunk of money, but he missed a large deduction. We got the business return from him Saturday, and somehow he now shows a huge loss. I know that this isnt the right answer, either. Now my DH is getting growly with me because he wanted this done long ago.

Why, Deanne, Im surprised that youre addicted to coffee. I could quit anytime I want. Anytime I want to kill myself, that is. (Deanne was apologizing for her too-strong coffee until I drank it without even blinking.)

Sorry about the undue orchid influence! I stole one of your show photos for my desktop background.

Martie, glad to hear youre feeling better but Im sorry that you were so miserable. Dont you hate it when you think at least you can catch up on your reading, and then youre too stinking sick to even do that?

Norma, you said it well: "Sometimes things just seem right and you have to say thank you for being where you are."

Ei, at my sons HS graduation, one of the teachers and a group of seniors sang "I Hope You Dance." The teacher who organized it retired last year (he had been one of DHs teachers) and I will miss that part of the ceremony! Both of my kids and DH really enjoyed him.

Babs, I was out in the garden yesterday on my hands and knees and the crocuses are starting to sprout! Spring is coming, so hold on! And no, you are not weird for making family a priority over money. How exciting that Chris is almost done!

Eden, I hope Bella had a wonderful first birthday.

Marian, I hope your sinuses are a little better today.

We had a nice time at the party Saturday night, but didnt stay too late because DHs cat allergy kicked in. I almost forgot my platter with the last of the taco dip, and when I went to retrieve it my boss told me I couldnt take it the dip was too good. Whos gonna argue with the boss? I got the platter back today.

Yesterday, we took the dogs for an early walk then went to church for our annual Dixieland jazz service. The music was great, and the lead trumpet player was excellent. Even DD thought so, and shes a harsh critic. We stayed for a youth group fundraiser, then ran some errands. As we were headed home about 3:00, I thought I would spend about an hour on garden clean up since it was a nice day. Well, by the time I got my clothes changed and headed outside, the sky had clouded up. I only did a half-hour, but at least it was something! And I did find those crocus sprouts. Also found that the rabbits have been munching my Zizia aptera, which usually maintain some basal foliage through the winter. Since I protected all of the heucheras, they moved on to the Zizia. Argh! Call out the hawks and coyotes!!! At least the Zizia are deep rooted and should stand a better chance of recovering.

DDs college audition is on Thursday. Im already getting nervous for her! All of the idylls need to think positive thoughts for her on Thursday about 11:30 central time, okay? That includes all of you lurkers too!

Mary, I looked at your pictures yesterday and the trip looked wonderful. Sorry for the mess with the car when you returned.

Hello to everyone else I didnt mention! Enjoy the rest of the day.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 12:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Whew - so much to comment on.... Im sure I'll miss lots -- Im thinking good thoughts for you V & your DD for Thursday - I bet she'll do just fine but her Mom will be a basketcase, right?

I love Lisianthus also but here they're not hardy & hate the humidity and I havent yet decided to just keep replanting every year.

Deanne, on the dwarf tree question - not sure of the "max" size you want but there are several new cultivars of Cercis and malus out that are spring flowering and seem to be hardier and less pest prone than some earlier ones. I like the look of Cercis Silver Cloud (variegated) (but it gets to 20-25' ultimately which may be too large for you - it was for my planning). But there are some great looking newer malus (weepers too) that I really thought long & hard before buying the Cornus Wolf Eyes.

I adore all these orchid photos but know that for me it would be throwing $$ out the window -- no way I could keep up with them -- so I can vicariously enjoy these photo ops instead!

Yes, it was too darned cold here yesterday to do any yard work - I was hoping to do a little pruning but no way. Today it feels like about 17 degrees (altho I think it is getting into low 30s). 'Course now they're saying it's gonna be close to 70 degrees by Friday -- weird, weird.

These Bella photos are lovely, arent they? Makes me wish I had more room to make my own "fairy garden" - even w/o grandchildren! I've always thought it's such a lovely concept - letting fantasy loose in a garden -- who knows what wee ones we might capture?

Sue, thanks for posting the CT flower show photos -- ho hum as they may seem, they're still lovely to look at -- I cannot promise to get any for the Phila show (still no digital; just print -- & it always seems to take me months to get the dang things printed!). I prefer when they are more realistic & not plotting tulips w/ agastache -- (talk about fantasies! maybe garden shows are grown up fantasies & that's why the exhibitors do things like that?)

Marie - it was nice to hear from you -- and I think that's terrific re the 22 lbs -- Im a ways behind you but still value the inspiration to hear you're "slogging" there w/ the rest of us -- I seemed to plateau for a week or so there (sheesh at 9 lbs no less) -- but it's starting to come off again now. Why do our older bodies have to resist so? It's not fair.

Michelle - that's neat that you're able to pull out some projects and finally get going on them - I did manage to "wash/stain" a couple of garden ornaments yesterday that were not "aged" enuff looking for me -- but I've got all too many projects that sit around waiting for my energy or enthusiasm to attempt them. Would love to see some of your mosaics -- boy, at the Home Goods store last week they had a lot of fountains, chairs, all sorts of garden pots and furniture that were mosaics -- they are "IN."

I had a nice time at the winery on Saturday for the "chef's lunch" -- they do these free wine tastings and serve lasagna lunches in the winter at Naked Mountain -- did you know their wine corks read "Get Naked" ?? One of the servers mentioned that they in fact have had problems a time or two w/ nudist groups showing up expecting it to be a nudist colony winery where they could disrobe and sip wines!! I bet that was an "interesting" encounter to insist they were NOT that kind of vineyard.... They really have some decent wines there in fact and are respected in the Virginia winery biz.

-- O.k. back to the booooring but necessary job that pays for the garden obsessions...


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:48PM
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Hi Everybody, My mom and dad are in town so I don't have alot of time but wanted to post these pictures of Bella's birthday for you all to see. I think she had a fun day!

Here's Bella with great grandpa(my dad) in her party dress...

Here's one of her with grandpa Brad...

Princess Bella...

Opening presents with Meg and trying on a hat that matches one of her new outfits...


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 4:20PM
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Eden - those pictures are adorable! I just love the one with Brad - Bella is so tiny and delicate snuggled next to him. Hope we get to see more of her birthday outfits!

V - I'll be thinking of your DD. I know how nerve wracking auditions can be. Is she going for a music major?

Cindy - a chef's lunch at a winery sounds lovely. A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Deanne, Lisianthus take a rather long time to bloom from seed - 4-5 months, so if you were going to start some now would probably be the time. They are the most beautiful blooms. Babs - did yours germinate easily? They've been on my wish list too for a while.

Marian - how are your sinuses? Mine started up in sympathy, so I tried my second remedy, a dose of hot pepper. I made a sauce last night for poached salmon with mayo and a thai hot chile paste with garlic. It was major spicy but went well with the fish and really helped with my headache.

Chicken is in the oven for an early supper before David's Cub Scout Den meeting tonight. The boys are making their banner for the Memorial Day parade so I imagine there will be a lot of clean up afterwards.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 5:08PM
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Hello all!

A happy belated birthday to Bella! I hope she enjoyed her day and understood that the day was hers alone. (Very cute pictures, Eden!).

I'm behind in reading and skimmed too quickly to have things sink in......I noticed the gorgeous photos by Sue, the very cute little pot girl by Michelle, the lush and beautiful orchids by those who got hit with V's hypnotic rays, and the very fabu-fabu fuchsia photo by Deanne...the Hawaii photos are gorgeous (thank you Mary!)....Da's patterns & fabrics are beautiful & she will look lovely in the skirt & blouse patterns she picked out (it is very nice to have you back Da!). I know there is much more, but I'm having a blank moment. No slight intended.

Babs, how are you going to make a ball of concrete?

Give up coffee? Say it isn't so!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 6:10PM
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PHEW! I'm so glad I'm not losing it. T, I scanned this whole thread to find out when I said I was making cement ends up,I didn't: ) That was Ei.

Hey Ei,how are you going to make cement balls? If you use shredded plastic as a binder you'll have to get a torch to burn off the ends sticking out....I know,I am evil: )

I've only had water to drink

Mary I have to admit I cheated and bought lisianthus plants! I guess that was a good move if they are hard to grow from seed.

I had planned to make chicken fingers for dinner tonight-everything was lined up to make them until I noticed I had NO breadcrumbs. Turns out finely smooshed Ritz crackers are an excellent breading! My kids gobbled them up and naturally they request I use that recipe forever....or until I run out of Ritz crackers; )

Mary I love poached salmon! I've been making mine with a florentine sauce since I've been on a spinach kick. Sorry your nose is stuffy(and Marian's). There's something with the weather I think because I'm all sinus headachey too and allergy meds aren't cutting it.

How perfect is that-Bella complete with tiara!She looks pretty serious about this bday stuff...I bet her teeth are giving her more trouble? She looks so pretty in her pink dress.

gotta go!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all. My sinus are much better. I dowsed them thoroughly with a saline spray. I had got to the point that I didn't care if I drowned myself with the spray !!! :-(
And I almost did. lol
I feel so much I changed both of our beds, washed my mountain of dishes/pots and pans, and worked out in the yard for awhile! It was so good seeing all the crocus that are blooming, and the Anemone blandas are opening.

While I was resting, I spent a long time traveling by satellite across southern Idaho ( on Google). It was rather like flying slowly over the country. Very interesting. I viewed 2 of the areas where we once lived, and found one of our last homes. It appears as though most of the trees that I planted there have been retained, and have grown very big!
I just wish I could find a site where I could get a clearer closer view.

Eden, I love, love , the pics of Bella. She is such a doll.

Deanne, your orchids are so pretty. I really am partial to the yellow one, and the last one sort of resembles my last purchase. ( Your pics are no problem, at least not for me. I hope you won't pull them. )


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just had to pop in and say I saw the first 2 sandhill cranes of the season tonight!

And she sure was the Bell-a de Ball! She looks so much older than 1!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 7:25PM
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Looks like Princess Bellas birthday ball was well attended by her loyal subjects. Such a pretty pink ball gown. I really like the hat. Does it go with the little denim skirt? Thanks for sharing her day Eden.

I spent the day picking up and putting away a bunch of painting and staining tools and junk I had drug out. I'm not quite finished but I can't stand the mess anymore. DH is working tomorrow so I am going to really clean. I could plant garden in the dust around here. And my windows really need washed. The low sun really makes them look bad.
DH worked on the storage bench seat today. I will have to make a cushion for the top when he is finished. I did the laundy too, because we will have to move the washer and dryer again to hang the cabinets. I am ready to be done with this project so I can start spending more time outdoors.

Marian I always wanted to grow those Anemone blandas , I think I even planted some a couple of times, but never saw anything out of them.

Babs did you really only drink water today?


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 8:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Brenda, your area is probably too cold. My anemones are spreading and I am so tickled. I would love to have A. coronaria , but am sure they would not be hardy here.

Deanne, I keep forgetting to tell you, my fuchsia expired shortly after I brought it in last fall. I don't think I will ever try one again!

Babs, sinus meds weren't cutting mine either. I recommend the saline solution. I really doused my nasal passages with it. I'm having a twinge of pain again this eve. , so need to do it again. I'm sure the wind that I worked out in today wasn't any help!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:29PM
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Ahh, Princess Bella's birthday party looks like loads of fun. How adorable the little peanut is with her tiara. I believe that she was the center of attention ;o)


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:09PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Eden Bella is *adorable*...I *love* her little bangs and her little button nose and those big brown eyes. Its a good thing she has self control because I bet its near impossible to say "no" to that little face! :-) She looks like a real sweetie! I hope someday I get to be a grandma. BTW Did I tell you guys my son has been dating a girl pretty steady now (about 6 months)? And he told me the other day when we were over there helping him that they are talking about getting married in another year, but dont plan to have children until they both turn 30 (their birthdays are only 1 day apart). So much change going on in my life....

Marian Im so glad you are feeling better. Its so weird how many people have sinus problems now. I have been suffering with that all winter too. Im going to try your saline suggestion cause the other day I tried Claritin and had a bad reaction...I felt like I was having a heart attack...*never* again! My sinuses were just getting cleared up finally, but working at my sons house, putting in duct work and cutting drywall with the hubby, my sinuses are a mess again today from all the dust. BTW, Im sorry to hear your camera is on the fritz. Hope you will be able to fix it. I always enjoy your pics! :-)

Deanne glad you liked the song, its always been a favorite for me too. I think the words are so beautiful and meaningful. Its the song I would have given to my little girl if I ever had one. When my son was going off to college I wrote him this heart to heart *long* (what a surprise...LOL) letter and included my song to him:

Forever Young Rod Stewart

May the good lord be with you down every road you're on
And may sunshine and happiness, surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud, dignified and true
And do unto others as you'd have done to you

Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young, forever young, forever young

May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven whether your a prince or your a vagabond

And may you never love in vain
And in my heart you will remain
Forever young, forever young, forever young

Forever Young
Forever Young

And when you finally fly away, I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime, no one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I'm right behind you
Win or lose
Forever Young, Forever young, For Ever Young

Anyway, Im feeling a little Bella...Im staring at your gorgeous fuchsia and Im shaking my head "no", "no", "I shouldnt touch that!" LOL! But, if you really wouldnt mind sharing a piece, Id love to try! :-) Thanks for the encouragement Deanne, I really need to hear that right now. Well, I did go to Curves today, but didnt work out, as the instructor had too many appointments already. Instead I had my measurements and weight done. I will go back tomorrow to learn how to use the equipment. I dont know if I ever told you guys, but we dont own a scale here at home and havent for over 10 years, so I was prepared to hear the worst. The news wasnt good, but wasnt really as bad as I thought it would be (weight wise). I need to lose about 21 lbs. to get back to the weight I liked myself at best. I have also gained 4 inches in my waist (that hurt) and 3 inches in my hips and an inch in my boobs from the time when I liked my shape best. But you know the weirdest thing? She measured my fat ratio and said my fat ratio is ideal?!? How could that be possible when Im 21 lbs. and 7 inches overweight? Oh well, I dont know what that means, but Ill take whatever little positive light there is...LOL! Your salad sounded delicious Deanne and not weird at all. I make one salad that I really like a lot, its a spinach salad with toasted walnuts, dried cherries, blue cheese with a honey, oil and vinegar dressing. I like it cause I toast a bunch of walnuts at one time and then store them and I always have dried cherries and blue cheese in the house so the salad is quick and easy to make whenever I get the munchies.

Michelle, your salad sounds yummy too! Mental note I should copy all these salad recipes...I see a lot of salad in my future...LOL! BTW, Im sorry if the song brought back some sad memories for you and Im so sorry to hear about your friend. The song must have been heartbreaking to hear for her children too, but also so touching. She sounds like a wonderful, loving woman! Ive had you on my mind all day because I was thinking that when I got home from work I was going to dig up all my gardening books for children and send them to you...but when I couldn't find them I realized that I had already given them all to my girlfriend Katie. :-( Oh well, Im sure you have lots of your own ideas anyway, but its fun to look at books to help spur the imagination on. I remember my favorite book that I gave her was "Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots" by Sharon Lovejoy. Barbara Damrosch has a neat book called Theme Gardens, which isnt specifically about Childrens Gardens, but has a "Secret Garden" design in it and a Childrens Garden Design in it too. I was going to post a copy of the Children's Design, but then thought thats probably not a good thing to do. Its a lovely book though and you should see if your library has a copy or can borrow it from another library for you. I really admire Barbara Damrosch and think that book is very inspirational and thought provoking, even if some of the designs may be a little out of reach. One of the cutest gardens I saw many years ago was at Catigny Gardens out here. They made the most adorable "garden bed" and the cutest teepees, etc. Was trying to find my pictures of it but couldnt. They have a picture at their website, but it isnt the same garden bed I saw before, although this one is cute too and so is their lawn garden....Heres a link to that site:

I havent been to their gardens in awhile, but have always enjoyed the Idea Gardens. The butterfly garden at the Willowbrook Wildlife Haven is very nice too and a fun place to take the kids. Of course, I may be a little prejudice since I helped with installing the gardens (through the master gardeners many years ago) and I also did talks there on butterfly gardening. Its a neat place because they take in wild, injured animals and nurse them back to health, returning as many as they can to the wild. While the animls are healing the children can observe them and those that can not be released (due to permanent injury) are also "on view". Can you tell Im getting all pumped up about your childrens gardens? I would love to do some of those again! :-)

Heres a few pics from my old fairy garden.

The garden always tickled me, but had it for many years and all my fairies started fading *and* I finally got tired of replacing all the little garden accoutrements. Would you believe a *squirrel* was stealing them all? I wouldnt have believed it myself, except I caught him running across the yard with my tiny fairy arbor in his mouth!:-O I have *no* idea why he would want those things. I won't be keeping these pics up...they were just for fun.

Babs I meant to tell you your dinner the other night sounded *scrumptious*! Did you just whip it up from your head or did you have a recipe? Now see, if you had one of these here handy dandy torches you could have seared your tuna in no time! :-) Hey, so your beautiful pic *was* a lisianthus. I thought so, but I didnt want to guess.

So how am I going to make cement balls (that doesnt sound nice, does it?)...LOL! Anyway, T I havent quiet figured that out yet. I actually was thinking something on the line of making a mold, maybe out of paper mache, although Im kinda liking Babs suggestion. In fact, Im thinking about getting a holster for my little torch and wearing it around my waist, you just never know when something like that could come in handy! ;-) So, back to the balls...what I would like to do is have the cement on the outside of a form, so I could make leaf impressions on it. I dont know, I will have to think on it some more. I do have a book "Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden" and Im going to see if there are any ideas in there that might help me. I *did* find one article on line and the link is below. Its not exactly what I want to do though, cause like I said I want the cement exposed so I can make leaf impressions on it.,2029,DIY_14139_2270612,00.html

Speaking of wild animals careful what you wish for! I had quite an exciting afternoon yesterday. I was looking out my back door when I noticed some activity going on near my pond, all I could see was a flurry of feathers. Then I realized it was my resident hawk (there are two in particular that hang around this neighborhood). Anyway, he was trying to make dinner out of a mourning dove. Okay, so it was just a mourning dove, but if you could have seen the fear in her eyes. I *had* to do something! I started slapping my hands together and yelling and the hawk took off into a tree a few yards away. I went back to see if the dove was still alive. To my surprise, she had somehow managed to make her way through the cage that covers my pond in winter and there she was floating at the top. No, she wasnt dead, she was floating just like a duck! :-) I dont know how she managed to get in there, but I could see that she couldnt figure out how to get out. I lifted the cage and she immediately flew out. Now I know you guys arent going to believe me, but I swear she smiled at me as she went! :-) And, I *know* the hawk was only doing what comes natural to him and as long as I dont see it, Im okay with it, but I just prefer that he do his dining outside of my view.
:-) BTW, *Yes* I do think hawks are beautiful and I'm glad that they have made a resurgence and I dont hold anything against him, but I just cant stand by and watch another animal suffer.

Norma sounds like youve been working hard on your cabinets too! What color are you staining them and what made you decide to tackle the job? Hope there will be pictures later...LOL! I *know* I am a picture hog!

Well I've rambled on enough for tonight. Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 12:28AM
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gggggoooodddddd ffffrriiidddggggeeddddd mmmmmmorrnnnnnning

We are in deep freeze, here. Hoping the predicted snow on Thursday materializes or the rose canes will be buried with mulch. They are confused :-(

Bella's B-day pics are so warming! The tiara is Divine!!!

Cement Balls: Get an exercise ball in the size you want the cement ball to be. Cut an opening about 8" round AWAY from a seam. Brace the ball mold so it won't roll around and make sure the opening is as close to the exact top as possible. Spray cooking spray inside the ball. Mixed the cement a little wetter than usual. Fill the ball with the mixed cement (a 16" ball takes about 60 dry pounds). Be sure to Lightly smooth out the cement as you go to get rid of air pockets. Don't worry about water buildup until the ball is full. Fill to the point where the cement reaches the edges of the round cut. Water will start to pool at this point and should be scraped off repeatedly. Dry completely (will take about 3 days -- water won't pool at the top when it's totally dry). Carefully slit the exercise ball (OH, SWEET REVENGE!!!) and peel it off the cement. You end up with a perfect ball with an 8" flat part to go on the ground and keep it steady. You don't see the flat part if you creatively plant and/or mulch around it.

Did this several years ago. Very cool to dye the cement if you want. Use the good stuff to prevent cracking. Because it's cement, you can leave it outside during the winter with some protection.

Good luck to V.'s DD! Have marked my calendar to send extra good thoughts.

I coached soccer and softball. Every few years I'd do indoor soccer as well but it can get as viscious as rugby. Started with soccer because as a little girl was told I "couldn't" play soccer because I was a girl. Hated field hockey or cheerleading so started an unofficial girl's soccer team and got some other high schools to do the same. Vowed that No Girl I Ever Layed Eyes On Would Be Told "No" if they wanted to play, so started coaching in college and haven't stopped until now. Kyle has a little baseball team of his own this Spring so I'll be vicarious through him!!!

Thinking of EVERYONE and must add that Ei's "Dance" song brought tears to my eyes for about the 1000th time.

Off to the even more frozen north but will get to stop at a teeny but awesome greenhouse at a potential new client nursery.

Martie, bundling up

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 7:22AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it is another chilly morning here, only 12 degrees out when we got up. It is supposed to snow later on this week again. What a hoot that we are getting this mid-winter weather at the end of the winter instead of January. The plants arent going to know what to do with themselves.

Eileen, I just love those pics of your fairy garden. There was a tiny fairy garden featured in the latest Better Homes and Gardens Garden Ideas magazine. It was made in an old bird bath that was just the cutest thing you ever saw. They also had this little old wrought iron table covered with Scotch moss that was lovely that Im thinking of giving a try. I could just see that little moss covered table in Edens garden. ~~ OK dokie, Ive got some fuchsia cuttings with your name on them. I just know you will do well with these. They really are no more work or any more difficult than coleus. Just dont overwater them. ~~ Good for you with going to Curves. I think that you are going to really notice a difference in your fitness level and how you feel in short order. Sorry about the measurements thing. That really is a bummer but you really CAN do this. If I can lose 15 inches off my waist surely you can lose four. LOL

Marian, how sad about your fuchsia. It is too bad you didnt get cuttings of it. They do root really easily. I got hooked on them after having success with cuttings. After that the only time Ive ever lost one was from giving it too much water.

V Sandhill Cranes!!!! Im so jealous. Spring is a-coming! ~~ Crossing all available appendages for your DD and her audition. Will send positive thoughts your way. I know she is going to nail it.

Babs, the Ritz cracker for breading sounds great. Ill bet that was really tasty. ~~ No coffee??? Horrors! V really impressed me when she drank my coffee black and didnt flinch, in fact came back looking for more. Now V is a real coffee person like me. She actually is only the second person who actually liked my coffee instead of tolerating it because it is the only cup in town. LOL ~~ nice lizzy pic!

HI T, what you up to these days. Did you get that bad storm that was coming into the west coast?

Mary, thanks for the heads up on Lisianthus. I think Ill just do a Babs and buy some plants. ~~ How did the Cub Scouts do with their banner?

Eden, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the pictures of Bella-the-Ball. What a cutie patootie! She looks so serious in her fancy tiara. The photo with Brad is just precious. The look like they are having a serious conversation.

Cindy, love the story about the Naked Mountain winery. Too funny that they have had to deal with nudists. Ill bet they didnt think it was funny at the time. ~~ I think most Ceris and Malus would get too wide for the place I want to plant although that new Ceris Ace of Hearts would probably stay small enough. Have you seen that new cultivar Hearts of Gold? Im frothing at the mouth to find a place in the garden for that one.

Michelle, looking forward to seeing photos of your copper obelisk and birdhouse. ~~ BTW I didnt forget about that Golden Tiara hosta. I just lost my window for digging it up last fall. You are on the list of people to send things to this spring. ~~ Interesting that you dont have to file quarterlies. ~~ Thanks for the Lisianthus pic.

OK a busy day is ahead of me. I'm designing a fruit medley for the top of a box and need to get it done and written up pronto. Off to the gym with me then down to the basement.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:03AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi all. I hope to catch up soon. Oh PLEASE leave the pix up! I just skimmed and they're wonderful! Ive got more running to do today & tomorrow, looking at cars, etc, but hope to get back in the swing of things after that.

When we went to retrieve our belongings from our car Friday, we saw why it was not repairable. The impact (that spun DH 180 degrees) knocked the engine off its mounts, twisted the uni-body in an "S", destroyed the steering, transmission, radiator, etc. The poor car is a mess. The research, annotated photos of the intersection that I put together plus the witness statements from DHs colleagues, really helped us with our insurance co. We wont get a payoff determination until sometime this week, but we have an idea of what itll be.

Over the weekend, we found a tank DH wants to drive and we think it may be the car we buy. Its a fully-loaded 2005 Grand Marquis, with 20,000 miles on it for $15,300. While its not stylish, not "arrest me" red or a yellow hummer, it has amenities and comfort for his many miles on the road, a full-frame for survivability in a major crash and a great value for the $. And judging by the one my Mom drives, I think that model has rubber body panels. She regularly bounces off most everything -- light poles in shopping center parking lots, other cars, deer, etc. LOL. These days, were more into safety, function and value than style.

We had a busy weekend. DH was elected to the subdivision board of directors and took over the Treasurer duties. We spent Sat. straightening out the books. Yee gads, what a mess. Sunday was "talk to a friend" day. I heard from my BF since grade school (!) in Fla.; our good friends in Tampa; and another in Phoenix. It was great catching up. Im going to visit our friends in Phoenix in a couple weeks to help her with a puter program for their small business. Itll be great to sit in the sun and yak and see the sites in the area. Ive never been to Phoenix before.

The good news is, Ive lost another couple lbs. Not enough to get into my outfits as Id hoped but a step in the right direction. I do feel better w/o all the carbs and fat in my diet. Today is Paczki day (Fat Tuesday). Paczkis are jelly donuts made with 3 times the usual eggs, then are deep fried, filled with jelly or cream and then glazed with sugar. I told DH, DO NOT bring any home. Hes the designated buyer for his office. Even the shooters reserved some.

Yesterday, I sent my carb-addicted DH to work with the case of Girl Scout cookies he bot that were delivered Sunday. I had to get them out of the house! He bot some of my favs, too: Shortbread and Mint.

Have to shower and get to my haircut appt. and then to check out another car. TTYL.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:14AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Fat Tuesday! Our office of 10 people has taken this to a new high (low?). We have two dozen donuts, a half-dozen bismarks, and a dozen big-as-your-face paczkis (Polish donuts pronounced punch-key) sitting in the kitchen right now. And the girl scout cookies are being delivered...

If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I'll be busy getting my arteries roto-rootered.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:16AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Too funny - Honey is dodging paczkis and GS cookies!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:23AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I'll be chuckling all day as I picture squirrels dashing around Ei's yard dragging fairy garden Despite their annoying ways they are very smart little critters. I had to have Tom devise some sort of wire lock on one of my caged tube bird feeders this winter because the squirrels were yanking the top off and going down into the tube. Rats. My dogs love to chase them. They know the dogs are around and are very wary when they come into the fenced part of the yard, always keeping one eye on the door from the patio.

So Bella enjoyed her first BD I see. Pictures with all the key family members...except Grandma, where was she? How cute in the little dress and tiara.

The flu is sweeping through the office. All the VPs are out at a strategic planning meeting for two days. Yesterday the executive secretary sent an e-mail that said they were all sick and cough drops were being passed around the conference table like candy. I hate to say it but my nose feels a little itchy and my eyes a little hot. Usually I get sick after vacation and I'm not overjoyed at the prospect of being sick before or during.

Martie, those cement balls sound like a great idea. I see that stuff for sale in garden centers but the price usually keeps me away. I've always wanted to make hypertufa troughs too but just never seem to find the time.

Yes, it's been very cold here now for 3 days but who cares because tomorrow is March 1st. Goodbye winter. Any snow we get from now on won't last and average temps are rising fast. Within 3 weeks I'll probably have Iris reticulata blooming. Time to start planning the woody plant moves. Yahoo!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:28AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

LOL on the paczkis. I'm from the Boston area where everyone is Irish or Italian so had never heard of these before moving to CT. Here in the city where I work there is a very active Polish community. Yesterday one of the ladies in our department who is from Poland came around taking orders. I have to admit they are just like jelly donuts to me and I don't care for jelly donuts at all. I think I hurt her feelings when I said I'd Now the cream puffs that come in for St Joseph's day...ooh-la-la.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:35AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Martie!

Thanks for the great instructions on how to make cement balls! I like the idea of painting them too...very cool! Do you have any ideas how I could make leaf imprints and/or other designs on the *outside* of the ball?

I wish every little girl could have you as her coach...I *like* that you want to make sure every girl gets a chance to play. Have to admit I was never much for sports as a kid and I think a lot of it had to do with exactly what you described. I wasn't a natural athlete and never had the chance to actually learn *how*. So, of course by the time I was in highschool, I was just terrified to play. I mean the ones who were really into it would just nail you to the floor if you made a mistake. Hmm...funny how I block bad things out of my mind...I had forgotten all about those experiences.

Good Morning Deanne! :-) It must just blow you away when you think how far you've come! That's amazing and a real inspiration too! You should be so proud...and what I admire most, is that you keep on doing it! I don't know if I will reach my goal, but I will give it the old college try. I've promised myself that I will stick out the year that I've committed to and really try my best. Thanks about the fairy garden...well it was very fun. I agree about Eden. She really has the most magical gardens *and* home. Thinking of what a wonderland it must be for Bella when coming to visit grandma! :-) I would think it's like when I was a kid and got to visit the Marshall Field's window displays at Christmas time. For Bella, that kind of magic happens every time she visits grandma! :-)

Oh one more thing....does anybody have any ideas how I could get a hold of a huge, real leaf right now? I want to make a large bird bath and paint it with red colors to place in one area of my garden, but I don't want to wait until the gardening season to do it...I want to *see* it *in* the garden by spring...LOL! I'm so impatient.

Well, I've gotta go, need to be at Curves in 15 minutes. Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:36AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I believe this should be called the "cruel thread" -- dieting, Curves and girl scout cookies and packzis - all in the same "mouthfull".... never heard of these "punchkeys" either - but for a dieter they sound wonderful!!!

Love the Bella Birthday pics - I thought she looked older than one too - altho she appeared to have that same bemused look on her face that I recall on my DD... they're not sure what's happening but it seems to be a good thing...LOL.

Yep, I am chuckling about the visions of fairy infrastructures and a fairy village being rebuilt to squirrel specifications. It reminded me of a local newstory I heard about a woman who had reported her garden ornaments (I believe they were gnome statues) all disappearing week after week - finally called the cops who staked out the place - they saw a golden retreiver one day walk up to the front door area & cart off the standing gnome! they followed him to his "stash" -- for some reason he'd taken them all off & was burying them in his own backyard!!! (dont know if he didnt like them or he liked them too much?) The lady said she was just relieved to have her ornaments back.....

Deanne - you enabler - Im going to have to check those cercis you mention out - not sure I've seen them. There are a couple of malus that are a bit more upright and dwarf (Louisa or Tina? come to mind) but I too had the issue of most of them being too wide.... which is why I never found a good prunus to plant either.

Martie - you sound like yourself again - that was a wicked flu you had, wasnt it? Sue, I hope you dont "catch" it - I had a wicked one last year -- so far this year, crossing my fingers.....

Marian - you should try the anemone coronaria - I too did not think they'd be hardy in my area but bought some on a whim & they surprised me by coming up last year! I planted some of the blue ones this past fall and have seen their foliage already (not the blandas, yet, though) - very strange.... I am hoping I really get to see the blue ones bloom.... We get temps of 0 degrees here sporadically -- but this winter not for long periods - maybe that's the difference -- but if so, the coronaria should make it (& I hope to see the ones from last year - assuming squirrels & varmints didnt get).

Better get to work & try not to think of those yummy carbs to be tempted by.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 9:17AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ei, you either need to sneak into a conservatory or find someone with great houseplants. Seriously, how big a leaf do you need? I've got some good sized ones on my split leaf philodendron, and if that would work for your bird bath it would never miss a leaf. Or you could go to a garden center with large tropicals and see if they might give you a large leaf from something, perhaps one that's spotted or browning - it wouldn't affect your project and it would help their plant!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 9:40AM
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We are supposed to have another beautiful day with a high of 57¢ª. It is supposed to get a little colder with some rain or snow by the weekend. Go figure.

Martie, the cement balls sound very interesting to make. Just what I need is to add another project to my list of the many that I would like to try.

We started to put the copper obelisk together last night. I accidentally put one of the remnant pieces in with the leg pieces. So now one leg is 11¡± and one is 10¡±. I quit for the night. LOL

Ei, you are such a softie ;o) I¡¯m sure the morning dove did smile. I know what you mean, when our dog gets a rabbit, I¡¯d just as soon not witness it. I realize she is just trying to protect my garden;o) I don¡¯t know what your torch is like, but I have a propane torch that I use a lot. Last night I was using it to melt the solder on the copper that I am working on. Your fairy garden was so sweet. The little arbor is just precious. I¡¯ll bet it was fun. Obviously, the squirrel liked it too. I am compiling ideas for Kenzie¡¯s own little garden. Thanks for the link and the book suggestions, I¡¯ll have to check them out.

Cindy, what a cute story about the golden retriever and the gnomes. I guess he was retrieving. One time my DH was working on a tractor by our machine shed and had a bunch of tools scattered around. Pretty soon he realized that several were missing. Our dog had taken one at a time when DH was preoccupied and stashed them around the corner of the shed. I thought that was so amusing.


Why is my punctuation showing so weird???

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Good Morning Everyone!

We got 2 1/2 inches of rain last night! Possibly more later this week. If we can get a couple more rains like that through March we'll be doing OK. Not great, but OK. Last year we missed breaking the 100 year record for the most rainfall by 1 or 2 inches. Last year was what they call an "El Nino." This year is what they call a "La Nina." All the storms are staying from Nor Cal up to the PNW. Anyway we are just glad to be getting some rain.

Ei, I completely agree with you about the Hawk. DH and I were sitting outside enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon, watching the birds at the feeder. There are a row of Arborvitae along our back wall that have been limbed up. The birds use this for shelter while feeding. Suddenly they all flew for cover and from, seemingly out of nowhere, a Hawk dove straight down and then up into the Arborvitae. I was just about to beg DH to "do something" when the Hawk reappeared "empty handed." DH told me that was the second time he had seen that happen. Once last summer I saw a Hawk snatch a baby bird right off the ground. It was so disturbing, I felt as if I had just witnessed a murder. DH reminds me that it is all a part of nature and we have done our part by providing shelter and a source of water. Like you, I just wish they would do their hunting somewhere else.

On to more pleasant things...

Mary, I am so glad you and your family had such a nice time in Hawaii. I can "hear" the relaxation in your voice. It makes me want to go back. So sorry about your car.

Marian, Glad you're feeling better. Love the pic of your Orchids.

Deanne, Love your pics of the Orchids too. Your salad sounds wonderful. I like to add snow peas, walnuts and a touch of cranberry vinaigrette.

I am not much on houseplants either. I have a Pothos, Ficus (benjamina or microcarpa, not sure) and a Sansevieria. I have killed three Orchids.

Eden, Bellas birthday pics are so cute. I bet those sweet cheeks get lots of kisses. Like Martie, I look forward to being a grandmother, but until then I will live vicariously through others.

Cindy, Loved your winery story. It sounds like to you havd a fun time.

Honey, so sorry about your car and insurance woes. Too bad the wrong person had to hit him. Sure puts you between a rock and a hard place.

Well, I have spent too long here and have a million things to do. Check back with you all later.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 2:31PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Is everyone sleeping off their paczkis? LOL!

CinderBella was beautiful at her 1st annual birthday ball! LOL, Norma, "well-attended by her loyal subjects".

Been reading along, enjoying the conversation and pics, orchids & flower show were lovely. Ei, your faeries are precious too, remind me of EP though--miss her...

Re juicers, before I forget to respond, I'm no expert, but what I bought is this Hamilton-Beach for about $25.00. You can read reviews here:

My personal opinion on it? It makes great juice, but it's a beach to clean! :)

That's all I can manage now, very tired. Waving hello to all!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 9:06PM
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Hi everyone, interesting reading today. Seems everyone is perking up a bit with spring looming just around the corner. I took a break this afternoon from my cleaning to take a walk. It not only seemed like spring it was almost like summer. Crazy weather. I was wearing a short sleeve tshirt and was really to warm. I opened several windows to get fresh air into the house and had them open for several hours. There is a moth fluttering at the window now, and there was a bee buzzing the crocus today. Plus I went to put a little food in the pond because the fish have been active and the frogs are out an about too. I was walking around the yard checking out all the crocus and realized my iris reticula are blooming too. No daffs yet but soon I think.
We may get some rain by tomorrow evening. DH was saying he didn't need any rain because of the job he is working on, but it is very dry around here for this time of year. We have had very little rain or snowfall this winter. I don't think there are as many buds on the dogwoods this year as usual.
I'm off to bed now , want to get back at it early tomorrow. I still need to clean the basement and I have paperwork to do first. Probably by the time I whip the house into shape so I can work outside it will turn wintery again. Normally I would ditch the house and go out anyway,but it needed cleaned bad.
G nite all. Norma

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 10:34PM
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HAPPY MARCH 1!!!! (Double checked the calender LOL)

Thanks for the pepper seeds, Eden! DS's GF (the keeper) was here when I got home last night so we shared and she sends her thanks as well.

Also heard from Woody about the Angel Rose seeds (nothing sprouting, yet but started them late on purpose) and she sounds good.

I do feel back to "myself" but an improved version. Feel kind of like I'm going through a weight losing process but it's not physical poundage. Wean myself a little at a time ..... The Paczki in our office yesterday were from Sue's work's Massachusetts sister city and I wish Fat Tuesday happened more than once a year. Admit I ate a whole one for lunch (these things are about 9" around) and think my sugar quota for the month is done. OOPS!!! It's a new month :-)

LOL about missing garden articles and the critters who horde them. Having never dealt with a squirrel population before this house, will certainly keep it in mind. Our fairy garden is in the planning stages and Kelly will be here in a few weeks to start bones construction. Have a bunch of plants ready to go and Can't Wait after too many years of Fairy Garden absence.

Glad you found a car, Honey!! Does sound like a tank AND a very good deal.

Marian: Keep up the salt water! It was the ONLY thing that enabled breathing last week. The commercial nasal sprays don't do a thing for me and make me feel like my face is on fire. But Please Don't "Drown!!" That is NOT better than a clear nose :-)

Ei: I've seen the project you're going to do and it is a Lust-After!! Being in frozen solid Connecticut, can't do much to help you with a leaf but second (or third) the idea of asking a nursery for a brown out.

Don't know how one would add leaf impressions to the outside of the cement ball short of gluing a thick plastic form to the inside but would be leary ...

Norma: Thanks for the crocus pic!! There is hope!!

Taryn: Wave back at you! Was thinking of your three boys the other day when one of the neighborhood kids came to ask DS if he wanted to play something because they were "desparate and need two more people." He felt fortunate that he had to go to work but wish I could've morphed your boys over. They sound like my kind of kids! With Annie and David and assorted others it would be quite a crew. Just found myself smiling at the thought of all Idyll kids in one place .....

Sunny but cold here. Will be inside most of the day and am actually glad. But hey!!! It's March 1!!!!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 7:20AM
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Good Morning and Happy March! I'm eating marshmallow peeps in celebration as I type this. I also had a lemon paczki yesterday (and a Cadbury Egg). Thanks for all of the birthday wishes for Bella and the cute, cute cards. You guys are the best. I had more fun getting ready for and celebrating her birthday than I do at Christmas. You guys have me looking at childrens gardening books and fairy websites too. There are lots of cute ideas out there for making children feel a part of the garden.

Norma, thanks for the crocus picture. It was the perfect picture for starting the day. I'm going to be working on my basement today too.

Deanne, I looked up the cersis Hearts of Gold and I sure wish I had a place for one.

Ei, they made hypertufa garden spheres on Victory Garden last weekend and I'd like to try some too. The just made balls from the leftovers from their trough project but I found a website that has some instructions. I'll post the link at the bottom. I loved your fairy garden pictures. I used to have a little tea set on a rock in my garden and the squirrels were forever stealing the pieces. I'd find them all over the garden. Thanks for the nice things you said about my house and garden too. You're so sweet and it's so great to have you back posting.

Babs, good call on Bella and her teeth. She wasn't feeling the greatest on her birthday. Her bottom molars are almost through and she's been fighting a cold because of the teeth I think. So she was in kind of a Dimatapp induced haze.

Oh, I meant to tell you all that yesterday Brad set up my weather station that I got for Christmas. So now I'll be able to tell if it's raining or not, lol. There's lots more I wanted to comment on but I've run out of time for this morning. Hope you all have a great day.

TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 7:54AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh! Cadbury eggs... Eden, you had to go and remind me!

I had a real treat yesterday. DD called me in late afternoon to ask if her choral ensemble could rehearse at the house. Contest is on Saturday and all available space at the school was taken. Wow, did these kids sound great! In the middle of the rehearsal the phone rang, and it was the high school principal. All of a sudden, I was worried that I had done something wrong by having the kids come to the house! Isn't it funny how some authority figures can still inspire fear in you, no matter how old you are (or how young they are)? No worries, he was just calling to recruit help in canvassing for the school referendum. Unfortunately, he needed the help the same day as the contest, but my excuse had a very audible backup!

Musical question for the idylls: Does anyone know Darden Smith? I have a chance to see him perform in a very small venue, but I'm not familiar with him. Looking for any recommendations anyone has. (I know, if it was Clematis 'Darden Smith' you guys would be all over it...)

Welcome to March! The start of meteorlogical spring, the beginning of Cadbury egg season, the month my son turns 21 (how did he get so old?) and the vernal equinox. The growing season is almost here (Exception for Grace in Southern Cal!) And the last month of short hours at work. : (

Speaking of work - TTYL!


ps to Eden - if you haven't seen the children's garden at MSU, I highly recommned it. It would be a great day trip with Bella this summer!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 9:07AM
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V, I was just looking at the MSU children's garden website and telling Brad we'll have to take Bella and then I check in here and you mention it. I see the Chicago Botanical Gardens have a children's garden too. Maybe Michelle and I can check it out if we go there during Idyllunion.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 9:20AM
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oh poop so much to comment on but I'll have to come by later. Just HAD to say WAAAAaaaaah I didn't get to see your pics Ei: (


Yaaaay! now I know what to do with my exercise ball when I get mad at it: ) thanks Martie lolol.



    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 9:53AM
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March came in like a lamb for NW Iowa.

I love Cadbury eggs.

I took at quick peek at the MSU site and it is cute. I'm sure it would be fun to see in person. Eden, that sounds like fun to check out the childrens garden in Chicago. I think I will have to start a separate folder in My Pictures to put all the Children's garden ideas.

V, LOL that you are still afraid of the principal.

Quiet here today.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 4:18PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Where are my March lambs? Today it stuggled to get above freezing for the 4th day in a row. Our average high right now should be in the low 40s. Tomorrow...4-6 inches of the white stuff in the form of a "wintry mix". Yuck.

People are dropping like flies around here with the flu. My boss left early to go beg some antibiotics from the doctor. He leaves Saturday for a week in Disney and is not a happy camper about being sick. We also have two others out sick in the department and lots of coughing and sneezing all around. Tomorrow I may come in wearing a surgical mask.

Norma, you dog coming up already. Hopefully when I get back from Utah something will be in bloom.

BTW, you Cercis afficionados, I have 'Silver Cloud'. It's a great little tree for significant shade. I planted it in a fairly tight spot and plan to keep the canopy pruned up. I also have 'Forest Pansy' which is growing much faster. The foliage is great but mine has never bloomed. Neither of my Cercis have ever bloomed. Maybe this year.

OK, I'm heading home for a date with the treadmill and a Pilates DVD. My goal is to either sweat out the germs or keep moving so they don't catch me.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 4:40PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V-- I confess I'd probably feel the same way about the Principal if he were to call.... we were programmed too well!

Sue -- that makes me feel better about the 2 cercis you have, both of which I really wanted - but no room and too much sun -- cant believe you havent gotten any bloom from! good thing they've got great foliage, uh? I sure hope you fend off the bugs from your ofc - you're too close to your vacation to succumb, Sue.

There's no March lamb here either -- that "60s" day got cancelled.... cold to hang in and on....

I started to get lost on that garden site you posted, Eden - how clever - it answered a lot of paint questions I had about resin,fiberglass, etc. -- garden things I hate the color of but love the shape of... I started feeling that "craft-ie itch" and twitch after I read some of the ideas -- too bad we couldn't have a little "lunch bunch" get-together for us all to do these garden crafts on our lunch hours! LOL....

I have a couple of questions for you seed sowers - but have to get my q's put to paper so I can inquire of you experts... Im going to attempt a few inside for the little room I've got to plop in sunny window -- but not sure it's not a bit too early. I'll check back in when I get my questions assembled.

I hope no one else falls ill -- it's too close to official winter being over -- Get those Germs Gone!!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 5:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sorry about the frigid temps in the Northeast. Our high yesterday was 77 and today's was 79. It is dropping back to more seasonal temps now. Tomorrow may be only around 50. I worked out in the yard a bunch yesterday and today. I almost got too hot ! Many of my beds sure look a lot better. I have early dafs blooming, and the cornelian cherry is opening it's blooms.

Cindy, thanks for the heads-up on the anemone coronaria. I will watch for bulbs this fall. My anemone blanda is slow this year. I hope the drought didn't damage them. I won't be surprised to find that quite a few plants have been damaged or killed.
It has been several years since we have had 0 or below, but it is certainly possible. One January, before we moved up on this hill, we had a minus 22F !

I am not having a successful time keeping up with everyone's posts. I am reading everything, and enjoying the pics and hearing of the events in everyone's lives, but just not up to commenting. Hopefully I will perk up now that I am getting back into the outside jobs.

I went to town yesterday...first to the class, then I went to the school of cosmotology and got my hair cut. I noticed that the name of the girl doing the cutting is Jordan. I mentioned that I have a friend named London, that just had her first baby. I was surprised to find that they are friends... Jordan and London.
That poor gal worked and worked to get some shape into my straight hair. It was a hopeless case !

Oh, I remember the pics of Eileen's fairy gardens. Very cute, and pretty. ( All of your gardens are lovely, Ei ).


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 6:54PM
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Hello Everyone,

Just a few quick comments.

V- Funny story about the principal. Wishing your daughter good luck tomorrow. I will be thinking about her. My daughter turns 21 next month. I can't quite figure out how she got to be this old so fast.

Re: Darden Smith, I thought he was on a Starbucks compilation CD that I have, but no such luck. After thinking about it I think I remember he was on Austin City Limits several years ago. Unfortunately, my memory is not what it used to be and I can't recall his music. I think it might have something to do with parenting a srongwilled child to 21. Anyway, if it was me, I would go see him.

Martie, so glad you are back and feeling better!

Sue, Hope you are able to stay well at least until after your vacation. Hope the weather warms up for the NE.

That's all I have time for right now.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well, what a bummer with the cold temps. Jan was so far above the average normal temps and now it is looking as if March is going to be well below the normal average temps. I was so ready and more than ready to have some days in the 40s, not 20s. Oh well, just need to deal. Spring WILL come at some point. Im trying to paint and am having limited success with getting myself to sit down at the painting table. In the last couple days Ive only been able to get about three or four hours in but at least that is better than nothing.

I sure wish you could guys could see the fuchsias right now. They are so darned cheerful I can hardly deal with it. I took the standard Beacon Rosa out of cold storage a few weeks ago and it is so cute. Just a few leaves starting at the top with about ten flowers hanging down. I think the trunk on this is going to really beef up this year. Id really like to make a couple more fuchsia standards but how many can one garden use? LOL

I checked all the tubers in cold storage today also and most of them are looking really good but the peat was dusty, dusty, bone dry so I spritzed all the peat.

Honey, have you checked you dahlias lately? My Ottos Thrill, Le Baron and Rosella are all looking great so Im a happy camper. Oh yes, all the Fascination and Bellini are in good shape too. Some of them are actually making some nice looking roots too. Im going to have to get busy in another month or so and start potting some of these up. Help! Im totally out of light space and I havent even started taking the extra coleus cuttings I want to pot up. ~~~ Congratulations on the additional weight loss! Im so jealous.

Eileen, I wish you could see the Kiwi Fern and Tilt-a-Whirl. They are so beautiful! Im so in trouble because I saw about five to eight more coleus that I dont think I can live without and there just is no more room here. Im totally outta control! LOL

Sue, where is your C. Silver Cloud. For some reason I cant place that in your garden. ~~~ Stay well!

Eden, great link! I spent some time checking it out and really would love to make some of those cement garden ornaments especially the leaves. Did you see the huge gunnera one? Gorgeous!

V. too funny about the principal. I know if I ever ran into Sister Superior Mary Rose Id run like h e - -! LOL How neat you were able to have a preview of the choral group. -- I thought of you this morning as I was sipping my coffee. Sure wish we had a transporter beam so we could have coffee together in the mornings! ~~ BTW Cadbury eggs are evil!

Norma, cant believe you have crocus in bloom! What a treat to see your pic!

Grace thanks for the additional input for creative ingredients for my salads. I dont know why Ive not thought of snow peas but that would be great.

Eileen, so how did Curves go today? ~~ RE the keeping on doing it. Ive just resigned myself to the fact that this is the way I HAVE to live for the rest of my life. After I accepted that fact it has just become habit.

OK all, have a great evening, Ive got to finish this up check my email then get ready for bed.

Nite all

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 8:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi guys, bright and going to be sunny for a while I guess. It is 21 degrees out at the moment so it didn't get as cold as the forecasters were saying. I woke up at 5:00AM and decided to haul myself up by 5:30AM. Woohoo!!!! Love this light in the morning. Cold or not, the days are significantly longer and spring can't be too far off.

Rahjii says Good Morning to you too! Have a great day.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 6:38AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What a beautiful good morning! Rhajii, that is, and not our weather. It's a tad gray this morning, but that's okay. We're off in about 45 minutes. Everyone have a good day!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Good Morning to you too Rahjii!

I woke up with a sore throat this morning and outside everything is under a glaze of ice. I hope things start to improve. I got alot of work done in the basement yesterday. I still have more to do but it will have to wait until Sunday or Monday when Bella's not here. Today I will be vacuuming and maybe putting out a few Spring/Easter decorations.

Deanne, your light garden sounds so pretty. I've made a list of coleus to order from Rosy Dawn and I must pare it down. That's hard to do though isn't it? I got my Brent and Becky's catalog a few days ago too and see a few things from there that I want. And so it goes.

So Sue, are you still dodging the bug? When do you leave for vacation?

V, I'll be thinking good thoughts for your dd today.

Wow Marian, wish we were having those temps here. That's great that you were able to get out and do some gardening. Lucky you! I'm very jealous.

Marie, is that kitchen finished yet?

Time for coffee. Have a good day everyone.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 8:17AM
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We had a lamb day yesterday until evening when the temps dropped and the wind picked up. This a.m. there is a terrific wind again. We hit 57 yesterday ~ I believe the high today will be 37 and the next 7 days are supposed to at or above our average high of 37.

I feel like I could reach out and pet Rahjii. Now that is an eye to eye picture :o)

My copper project is coming along fairly well. I am used to soldering on my stained glass projects, but this pipe soldering is way different. It is going together quicker than I thought it would. I also took more pelargonium cuttings last night.

Deanne, how cold is your "cold storage"? Your Kiwi fern is looking good huh? Mine is very sick looking. Several of the cuttings have rooted though, so there is hope. My 2 light isnt nearly big enough anymore. I told Rick that we need to get something going in the basement.
We add snow peas to salads in the summer since I always grow them. In the winter I dont see them much at the store.

Marian, it sounds like spring has arrived at your house. Lucky you.

Norma, thanks for sharing the lovely springy picture of your crocuses and lambs ear.

Sue, LOL a surgical mask. I actually have a pump bottle of antibacterial gel on my desk. I figure it cant hurt to keep the germs at bay. I hope you dont get sick for your vacation. You deserve a more enjoyable one this year.

Eden, I did a little spring decorating a couple of weeks ago. It does bring some hope. I hope that your sore throat doesnt develop into anything more.

Have a great day

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 10:25AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Quickie in between seed counting.

Everyone take a moment and send group good vibes to DD of V!

Hi Rahjii! You gorgeouse hunk of feline you!

Okay, back to it...


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 12:30PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning/afternoon Rahjii!

Good luck V and DD!

Accolades, greetings and good wishes to anyone else who needs them.

The snow has moved in. So far it's coming down lightly and hasn't even amounted to an inch but is apparently sticking and freezing on the road and making driving a chore. My plan was to go out to Panera and grab some soup for lunch but maybe I'll wait a bit longer.

Deanne, here is the garden with the Cercis 'Silver Cloud'. It's the whitish, airy little plant to the right of the weeping maple. This part of the garden gets afternoon sun for a couple of hours. The first year the leaves burnt a bit but I didn't notice that last year-probably because it was more established.

No mask for me today and I feel better. I've been washing my hands frequently. Every morning I take a variety of vitamins with OJ and for weeks now I've been eating an fresh orange as part of my lunch. Usually flying makes me sick so even if I dodge the germs around here for the next week I still have that hurdle to clear. Speaking of flying I guess it won't be long til we'll be making reservations for the idyllunion.

OK, best I get productive before the day is over.



    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 12:45PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wish I could look that good in the morning! Hi Rahjii and all the other Idylls!

Okay, day 4 and Ive gone to Curves every day! :-) Well, if quivering thighs every time you go to sit down and having a stomach that feels like it was used for a punching bag means youre doing well...then Im doing great! LOL! Seriously, I do ache all over and actually contemplated not going today, but then I thought of you Deanne! :-) Now Deanne, you can never give up or who will I look to to keep me movtivated? Seriously, I really do admire your stick-to-it-ness, its a real inspiration to me. Found out from the instructor that part of the problem with my "aching" is that Im not doing enough stretching afterwards. Today I took my time with that and really dont feel too bad. Actually, I feel pretty good right now, I just have to keep with it. I imagine in the beginning there will be a lot of days when Ill have to just "talk myself into it"? Re the Coleus, mine seem to be doing pretty good too. I have this one coleus plant from last year, Christmas Candy that I need 11 cuttings from! The poor thing...Ive been propagating the heck out of it; using even the tiniest little bits to make new cuttings. And believe it or not its actually doing it! What a trooper! I mean look at these tiny little *baby* cuttings:

And theyre making roots!

Heres the poor mama, shes nearly naked...poor thing!

I have about 6 cuttings in that glass of water and I will be potting them up on the week-end and growing them on in the basement. Then Im going to have to take about 4 more cuttings off mom (Shhh...dont tell her...LOL)!

Eden thanks for the great link. What a neat site! I really love the idea of using a deflatable ball that you can use over and over again. I didnt even know they made such a thing. Thats a wonderful did you find it? Its now added to my "favorites".

Taryn thanks for the link! How long have you had your juicer and do you use it a lot?

Honey glad you were able to find a car you like. My car is about 9 years old now and I really should start looking for a new one, but hate the thought of car payments. I had a Marquis for many years and you are right...they are *very* comfortable...great for road trips. Congrats on the weight loss! Hopefully in a few weeks Ill have something good to report. I wont get weighed again at Curves until next month, so well see...

Michelle, I dont know why your punctuation went weird, but that has happened to me before too. I think it has something to do with typing in word and then copying to the website? Anyway, thats what use to happen to me, but I dont seem to have that problem anymore.

V you are so kind! Thanks for the offer! :-) But, I think I need something kind of rhubarb would have been perfect or my giant Sum & Substance. Think Ill take a little cruise over to the Home Depot and see what houseplants they are growing...LOL! Ive heard of Paczkis, but never had one! :-O They sound delicious. Italians have St. Josephs Pastries, but to be honest, I really dont like them...hope Dads not listening. What I do love though is my moms homemade Eclairs and *thats* living! know what Im dying to try, after I lose 21 lbs.? :-) I want to try to make my own Bignets. They were talking about them on the news yesterday (cause of Mardi Gras) and thats *all* I can think about...LOL!

Sue sure hope you stay clear of that flu...this has been a nasty winter, illness wise.

Speaking of which, Marian, thanks again for the saline idea. I used an old nasal spray bottle that I have. It has a twist off cap, so I put water and salt in it and have been spraying once in the a.m. and once at night and it is working *wonderfully*. Ive also been taking Motrin for the headaches and trying to stay clear of the sinus meds. I think I was becoming too dependent on them. I cant believe you are having 70s! Wasnt it just last week you were snow bound? :-) Today it is gloomy here and of course, I dont have to work. It was beautiful here yesterday, wish I could have spent some time outdoors.

LOL Cindy...our minds were working the same, especially after Eden said a squirrel stole her miniature tea set. I kept on having these visions of squirrels up in their nest, all dressed in proper attire and having high tea...LOL! I bet Sues "Florida Squirrel" was there too! :-)

Marian and Norma...Ive always lusted over the spring anemone varieties, but they arent hardy here. One time I did have a small patch of the blandas return, but eventually they disappeared. Another spring bulb that makes my heart go pitter patter is the Tecelote (? sp.?) Ranunculus. Heres a link to a pic of them:

I saw them first at the "Monets Garden" display at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show many years ago and fell instantly in love...oh the colors and the flower form...they make me swoon! I would *love* to have them, but dont see myself digging them up, storing them and then restarting them every year since they arent hardy here. Are they hardy by you Marian?

BTW Norma...thanks for that taste of spring! It was very cheery to see that this a.m. The only thing that has sprung here so far has been my snowdrops, but I keep checking every day! :-) Sounds like you had a pleasant, relaxing walk about the garden I love days like that!

Sending good vibes to Vs DD...

Well, Im off to start some perennial seeds, some of Marys Pink Petticoats (thanks again Mary!) and some lupines and purple I best be off. TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 12:57PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

OMIGOSH Sue...your garden is gorgeous! I just saw it when I was checking my post. What a fabulous honestly looks like something out of a garden design book or a public garden..Fantastic!

Okay, now I really have to go! Bye...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 1:00PM
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I just heard about this gentleman and watched the video. It is amazing and I'm going to go back to watch it again. In order to watch it, I had to click on the word 'Watch' below his picture and also had to tell my anti-virus to allow pop-ups on the site. I hope you can watch the is fun and amazing. Turn your sound up also as it is set to music.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 2:12PM
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Good afternoon

Still thinking of V's DD - what time was the audition?

Beautiful pics Sue and Deanne. Rhadji is the most beautiful of felines and Sue's garden as lovely as I remember it.

Ei - congratulations on your 4 days at Curves! Good for you for sticking with the program. Your little cuttings look great.

Sue - my hands were raw washing them the week before we left for Hawaii, but it seemed to work! I also bought some Zicam just in case. I must have missed where you are going to on your vacation.

I can't stay long as DH and I are taking the Honda in to the body shop for repairs after its encounter with David's basketball hoop. Insurance will cover the damage, but writing a check for the deductable is a drag. It would ahve made a very healthy plant budget :0(

Good news is that my Hawaiian Orchid has 3 new blooms. Less pleasurable is a double whammy tomorrow with Mammogram and Bone Density scan. The bone density is the easiest procedure, you don't even have to take your clothes off. I just dread the results as years of undiagnosed Celiac disease have left me with rather weak bones. Oh well, better to understand your body than bury your head in the sand. With that I'm off to chug-a-lug a glass of milk.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 3:26PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all, Rahjii said to thank you for the admiration then he said, "But what else could they have done after seeing my magnificent self?" Jeesh, I told him that message was a bit over the top but he insisted after the FedEx guy made quite the fuss over him yesterday. He thinks hes a movie star or something.

So first order of business is to send Vs DD the best of luck and lots and lots of good vibes.

Eden, bummer about the sore throat. I hope it doesnt turn into a nasty cold and is just a fleeting thing. Now I need to ask you what coleus varieties you are getting so I can look them up and see if I need to get them too. LOL Also, what do they have at Brent and Beckys that you cant live without? Inquiring minds would like to know. ~~ I also wanted to ask you how soon do you start your caladium corms? I just bought a box of mixed corms from Sams (box of 60 was $14.00!) I know they are a bit on the small side but considering the amount of $$ I spent on them last year I thought Id give this a try. Now I definitely NEED another light cart. Poor Doug. He was complaining about the electric bill the other night and I just cringed.

Michelle, Im looking forward to seeing the finished copper piece. ~~ My cold storage basement area usually is around 52 degrees or so but would be better if it were around 45 which would be ideal for the fuchsia. The 52 degree temps dont quite keep them dormant. ~~ So you now need to upgrade the 2 light to a four footer? Then it will be a shelf with four, four footers. And so it goes! LOL

Taryn, seed counting? Id be crazed.

Sue, thanks muchly for the pic. Man oh man your garden is so beautiful! Is that Iris pallida variegata that I can see peeking behind the acer? That Ceris is simply lovely. I need to find room for a couple. Id actually like to plant them on the backside of the hill. You know that slope to the right of the shed? I think theyd do well there if I can ever get a hole dug out in that horribly rocky slope. ~~ So glad to hear you are feeling better. Ive found that dosing myself with vitamin C and E and never, ever touching my face when traveling has kept me from coming down with anything. I also think that being more aerobically fit helps your immune system fight these things off too.

Eileen, what a neat coleus! And look at all those lovely roots on those babies. Mama plant has been pretty generous. ~~ It is perfectly normal to be sore when starting any sort of new strength training routine. You really do need to take time off from specific exercises until the soreness goes away. I normally rotate upper body strength training and lower body strength training and do my abs ever other day. Then I also do 45 minutes of cardio work every day but switch out the machines I use so I alternate the Stairmaster and the Cybex and sometimes throw in the elliptical machine too. No worries about my giving up. I like being fit too much.

T, Hi there, Ill have to check out your link later as Im now out of time on my coffee break.

Mary, Ugh! Mammogram. Ive been bad and havent been for a couple years and really need to go and have one done. I hope your bone density comes out OK. One of the very few advantages of having been hugely obese most of my life is that I have extremely strong, dense bones. I began serious strength training at the time I began losing the weight so Ive not lost any density so far.

OK time to get back to work here.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 3:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eileen, I can't seem to find the hardiness of those Ranunculus. :-( I have never seen them except in pictures.
Yes, teeter totter weather is normal here. It will be mid April before it settles down. Extreme temperature changes happen frequently. I think it is because of our location between the north and the south.
I'm so happy that the salt solution has been so helpful to you. I am still having constant stuffiness and pain. I suppose the chronic rhinitis that I was diagnosed with years ago is part of it.
Your coleus propagation is sure looking successful. I am pretty sure I will not have much new growth om my poor pitiful remains of the Kong Mosaic. Hopefully there will be more on the market.
I scattered the forget me not seeds in my front flower bed some time ago. Should I be expecting germination yet? I will be afraid to do any weeding for fear that I will pull them all up ! I keep forgetting to sow the lupines. I hope it is not too late. I have a row of freshly dug earth where I planted a bunch of daffodil bulbs. I will sow the lupines there, and hope for the best. I'll sign off right now...and go do that.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 3:59PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Deanne, I am most definitely crazed (or crazy!):

See those packets of little envelopes in the last photo? 100 for a buck. I've spent $20.00 so far on envelopes, so do the math...

Hope to be done over the weekend and get them all on Ebay. This year I'm trying something different and selling 'collections' of rare seeds but will list singles too. They are doing well so far.

Hi to all, back to it, I'm stalling here...


ps will remove the pics later

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 5:50PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just peeking in, but should be doing dishes. LOL...I thought I was looking at a drug bust there for a minute! WOW Taryn! You *have* been a busy girl. I'm so impressed! You go girl! :-) I saw a lady on TV the other day who said her only source of income was selling on Ebay and that she makes enough money to support herself and her two children. So, tell me what's your favorite/most unusual seed that you will be selling? Gotta go do those dishes...TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 8:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all! We're home from our trip. The audition seemed to go well; now we wait and see if those who really matter think the same!

We got to the school about an hour early and were shown to a practice room to warm up. About 15 minutes before the audition, my neice joined us (she's a freshman there) and I think that helped keep my daughter calm. She stayed with us through the audition; it was nice to have a friendly face to chat with while DD played behind a closed door! Then it was off to lunch with two other trumpet players. After lunch, DD sat in on two classes. I sat in the reception room and read my book for the first class, but joined her in observing the jazz ensemble as they ran through their concert program It was like having a private concert!

Finally, the drive home, which was better than the morning drive. We had a little freezing rain/sleet/snow/younameit for a while. It never amounted to much of anything but it didn't do much for the nerves as I kept wondering if the roads were going to ice up.

T, the juggler was amazing to watch! What a great piece of music to use, with some wonderful tempo changes.

I'm going to keep it short and go to bed early. Just a tad of a sniffle and an achy feeling, but I WILL NOT get sick. I will sleep this out of me!


ps - thanks for all the ggod thoughts!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 9:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Morning Idylland,

A sunny day here and not as cold as predicted. I think it is around 23 or so outside and the weather gurus were saying it was supposed to be in the teens this week so I'm happy with the temps in the 20's. I made a bit of progress on the painting yesterday and hopefully I'll get a good chunk of the work done today.

Monique, I have question for you. Do you know if that fuchsia you had in your container with the caladium is called 'Billy Green'? I saw that variety in the WWF catalog and it looks very much like your fuchsia. Anyway, I ordered it so no worries about getting me some. I'm so in trouble! I found this fuchsia site and they have hundreds of varieties. I'm afraid I'm going to have to spring for a few more varieties.

Eden, I checked out that coleus site last night and I'm going to have to order a few more coleus as well. Some of those plants are phenomenal! I'd like to try a few of those trailing varieties this year in my containers.

V. glad to hear DD's audition went well. I'm looking forward to hearing positive news.

Taryn, you are a crazy woman! You have a ton more patience than I do.

OK time to get myself to the gym. Today is 45 minutes on the Cybex machine then lower body strength training. I'm pretty pleased because I'm able to do 120 pounds on the abductor/adductor machine and I was also able to go up to 210 pounds on the leg press. Progress is being made. I hesitate to mention this for fear I'll jinx myself but I've finally, finally, finally, lost a few pounds. I'm having to eat between 1,400 to 1,500 calories per day to budge the scale. As a result I've had to cut back the intensity of my workouts because I'm just not eating enough to support the level I was working out at. I think I've finally found a balance between the exercise and calorie consumption that I can live with until I ditch the last 10 to 15 pounds. The other good news is that I'm within a hair of getting into a pair of size 12 pants my DS gave me a few years ago that have been my goal. I think ten pounds will do it. Woohoo! I'll be able to zip them with another five but probably won't be able to sit in them for ten. te he...

OK so where is Sue with the TGIF???

Have a great Friday evryone!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:02AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Can't stay, cause I need to get ready to take mom to pick up her new hearing aids...yea!

Good Morning Deanne! Great News about the size 12's! I think I'm going to peek in here every a.m., cause your posts get my head on straight about going to Curves! :-)

Anyway, the reason I wanted to post this a.m. was to tell Marian that I found out the Ranunculus are only a zone 8 hardy and even in their hardiness zone they're tricky to get to return the next year (in the ground). They say they are *easy* to store though and will store well from year to year. You are suppose to store them after they are done blooming and then replant the following year. From what I read here in Illinois, that would mean I would be potting them up in March in order to get them to bloom when temps. are correct for their growth. They are cool temp. lovers. Anyway, here's a link and you can read all about it. Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:18AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I'd better get cracking before this idyll goes bye-bye.


Winter wonderland here this morning. May it be shortlived.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 8:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Well! Today I am able to log in to GW!

I've just returned with 2 very annoyed cats. They have rude things to share with Rahjii about their experiences at the vet's: shaved stomachs and stitches and pain medication etc. I hope all goes well. We return for a checkup in 10 days.

It is cold and sunny here: 15F this morning and expected to be 10F tonight. They predict sun all weekend though. The problem with cold snowy weather is that it hurts my wallet! I've been ordering plants this week.

I've enjoyed Bella's birthday party, Sue's magnificent garden, also crocus and coleus and orchids....anything that grows frankly!

I'm still painting away daily...and it will be going on for a while longer too. Tonight my brother arrives for a few days and that will keep me pretty busy as he's vegetarian...almost vegan. He usually takes us out for at least one meal though.

Hope March is a good month for one and all!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 11:39AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Deanne, I got that fuchsia from WFF, so it probably was 'Billy Green'. We got it when WFF had their sale at the end of last June. They had small pots of all their annuals for $1 each!!!!! I wonder if they will do that again this year. They probably figured everyone was done with planting annuals by then, but I found places to tuck them in. They had some unusual ones also.

Happy belated bdays to Bella and Barb!!!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 12:43PM
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I was going to say good morning but somehow it's already after 1pm so Good Afternoon,

I've been on a cleaning frenzy. It started in the basement and will probably continue through the weekend. I have a cold, but strangely it's more annoying than anything. I really don't feel bad, just a sore throat when I wake up in the morning, and periodic coughing jags. I've been working on my coleus order and finally sent it out this morning. Skip this next section of my post if you're not a coleus fanatic...

Deanne, you asked what coleus I'm getting so here's the list. Disclaimer: Remember I had to toss all of mine so this is starting from scratch to get back to where I was after collecting them for the last 4 years.

First my absolute favorites:
Alabama Sunset
Back Lace
Chocolate Drop
Flirtin Skirts
Gold Brocade
Lavender Lace
Raspberry Ruffles
Strawberry Drop

Then a few other favorites I'd picked up because of Idyll recommendations:
Blackberry Waffles

Then I had to replace my originals:
Butter Kutter
Darth Vader
Kiwi Fern
Mr. Wonderful
Rustic Orange
The Line
Trailing Garnet Robe

Then I added others I'd gotten last year that I liked too much to give up:
Candy Store
Christmas Candy
Coloring Book
Doctor Wu
El Brighto
Peter Wonder, though I have my doubts about him, he didn't grow much for my last year but I liked him enough to give him another chance
Plum Frost
Stained Glass

Then I had to add a few new ones:
Bipolar By Golly
Lemon Meringue
Mocha Mint
Pineapple Prince
Religious Radish- a Deanne recommendation
Religious Rutabaga
Saturns Rings
Trailing Green Olives

The only one I really wanted that I couldn't find was Dipt in Wine, one of my favorites. Maybe I can find it locally later this spring. Anyway that's the order I ended up with.

Deanne, I don't start my caladiums until mid to late April. They won't really sprout well unless they get temps in the high 70s-80. I start them under lights but they don't really start taking off until it gets pretty warm outside. They are definitely a summer plant only, not good in spring or fall in my experience. Where did you order your fuschias from? Did I tell you I went a little fuschia crazy a few weeks ago and ordered too many from a place called Fuschialand? I'll have tell you about my Brent and Becky's order later. I haven't quite pared it down yet...

Taryn, loved the pictures. You've got quite a seed production going there. Very impressive.

V, I'm glad everything went well and sounds like you had a nice day. Don't get sick now!

Sue, great picture of your garden. I don't remember seeing your cersis when I was there either.

Hi Charlotte, great picture but the next one I want to see is of you standing in GREEN GRASS ok? Marie, so you're still at the painting huh? Enjoy your visit with your brother and spoil those 2 poor kitty babies of yours for the next few days until they're feeling better.

Hi T, I haven't had time to veiw you juggler link yet but it's on my list.

Hi to everyone else. Gotta go get a few more things scratched off my list before Bella gets here around 4. TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 1:49PM
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