Idyll #304: February is merely as long...

gardeningmaryFebruary 11, 2007

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well! I was finally able to get on... many "page cannot be displayed" screens. :( . And what a nice treat to see all the birthday cards. I am amazed at how readily all of you capture the beauty of your gardens or visits to public venues.

I have a birthday cake hangover. It was delicious: chocolate with raspberry cream in between the layers, and creamcheese frosting. Truly a caloric obscenity. And guess what I received for a birthday gift? yep, my very own Fart Machine 2. :)

It has been nice to see some moderation in temperatures in the past couple of days. The icicles around the ice dam in the gutter have increased hourly, but at least the snow is now gone from the roof. The helpmeet has put some calcium chloride on the ice in the gutter, but it's supposed to get cold again tomorrow, so how effective it will be is debatable. And there is now some squeaking about snow for Valentine's Day. Oh well.

I have not followed the links as fully as I've wanted, will try again... but wanted to tell Mary how great her husband's photography is!

Snoring... my father sounded like a freight train; I could hear him distinctly several doors away. Drove me nuts. The helpmeet snores sometimes, too. I either give him a jiggle or retreat to quieter quarters. ;) I've been told I snore, too... but I've never noticed it.

I'm headed back to my book now.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

38 Days until Spring!size>color>

Deanna, I keep forgetting to mention that I think fungus knats must come in the bags of medium. I just started seeds last Sunday, and I've already spotted a couple. Perhaps you should take pictures of them. I know they would pose for you, and we might discover some new beauty in the devil pests:-) An advantage of photographing fungus knats is that you can do it in the warmth and comfort of your home!

Mary, I noticed your recipe for Yeona includes tapioca flour. An ingredient I have not been able to find in the super markets or the oriental market where they have everything imaginable. I've found things labled 'tapioca starch' and 'rice flour' (tapioca is made from rice, right?), but not the illusive 'tapioca flour'! Can you help me understand where and what I should be looking for? It's an ingredient in a liver treat recipe, and I've been substituting.

Sue, the Pitcairn book is a really good basic. Also "Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats" by Kymythy Schultze, and "Raw Dog Food: Make It Easy for You and Your Dog" by Carina Beth Macdonald are good beginning books. And the start of the raw movement - Ian Billinghurst's "Give your dog a Bone." You'll find conflicts between them, but good basic information. I mention them in case you see them on sale somewhere and wonder if you should buy them :-) The prepackaged raw diets can be great. You might try raw chicken necks too. You can use them as a snack (don't mix kibble and raw in same meal), they're easy for little dogs, and even Monty will eat those and look for more. It just takes him a lonnngggg time. Kathy, I'm not sure if Monty has more than the 8 teeth that your dawgie has :-)

So V makes an appearance, can T be far behind? And where is Michelle?

Eden, yes all of my hellebore seeds came from Tasmania. They used distributors last year, but I just went to their site and they've stopped that. I didn't have a 'bad' experience with the distributor, but easier to deal direct. Martie, it's Elizabethtown Hellebores if you're interested. You will have much more reliable and faster germination with seed that is fresh. I've linked EH below. Since Tasmanian seasons are the opposite of ours, the seeds have already had a warm period, and they just need a chill to germinate.

I'm going to bite the bullet and do the things I don't want to do today. Cleaning mostly. And put up the curtains in the dining room. The last foster dog had Dannie's crate so that he would be close to a radiator in that room. It was also close to the curtains and he entertained himself one night by pulling one panel into his crate and destroying it in the process. That meant that I had to replace 4 panels and two window scarfs. They aren't expensive because I just have white sheers in there, but of course couldn't find a perfect match to the single one destroyed.

Have a good day everyone!
28 Days until Daylight Saving Time!size>color>

Here is a link that might be useful: Elizabethtown Hellebores

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

On my way to the "orfice" unfortunately, so can't tarry -- maybe I can find a wee bit of time there to look at allthe wonderful pics I've miseed (had same problem Chelone has here at home on this p.c.)... in the meantime,

Happy Belated Birthday, Chelone!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 12:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cynthia - Tapioca is different from rice, it is made from ground Manioc or Cassava root. Tapioca starch and Tapioca flour are the same ingredient and can be used interchangeably. With some grains you do have to be careful to differentiate between products labelled "starch" and "flour" eg. potato starch is a fine white powder similiar in texture to tapioca, but potato flour is heavy and dense. They yield completely different results in baking. Similarly corn products can be confusing - corn starch versus corn meal. It's taken much trial and error to unravel the secrets of gluten-free flours and I'm still learning. Your pets are incredibly lucky to have an owner who takes this much care.

Chelone - a Fart Machine - what a fantastic present LOL! We can have an orchestra of them at our next Idyllunion.

Martie - David's Odyssey team's "Long Term Problem" was to create a humerous skit about a self-centered character who tries to take advantage of others. They've come up with some really cool ideas I'll share here after the competition. The "Spontaneous" part is really fun to do - next practice I'm giving the kids various materials (paper, straws, tape etc) and a raw egg. They will have 5 minutes to work together as a team to create a covering that will protect the egg from breaking when it is dropped from 8 feet. I think Clousseau will be in for a treat!

I've been puttering this morning, not wildly productive but enjoyable. I've made a "white" chili for supper and done a little cleaning. We're about to head out together to X-country ski on the trails behind the house, perhaps V would like to come join us. I fall quite frequently;0) Fortunately the trails are flatter than where we were yesterday. The photo seems to have flattened out the hill, behind Annie and David is one of the Blue downhill (medium) runs they enjoy, far beyond my capability.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh, Happy Day ... little wind. Seemed strange walking without leaning one way or the other.

V: Do we dare know what goes into homemade Olive Loaf?

Chelone: Thank you for being born! Aside from a great voice, you were the purpose of some truly great pics.

Cynthia: The link is bookmarked. The seeds I have are grown for 2007 but anything out of a store may have a marginal history.

Eden: Rich empathizes with Brad. Today I picked Benny Moore 'Blue Slate' for the bathroom, a very cool light fixture that will be repeated over two oval mirrors, and a towel bar. We had to take down a 4'x5' wall mirror that had been glued to the wall with tar. I was waiting for Rich to have a heart attack but everything appears AOK so far.

Mary: Perfect Tydall. Did take advantage of the non-major- holiday season and got a Carvel Cake in the shape of a heart. Only available in February and delish!! I want Chelone's cake, too, though.

Sue: 28deg with 10mph wind. Down South Report, please? It fascinates me that we can be 20 miles apart in the same zone and have such fluctuations. Should've hooked up with a large back building of my own. LOL

Marian: My mom scored a great deal on lined jeans yesterday at JC Penney. They may have them on-line. $9/pair!

Deanne: Wish I could make the party but can't. May I have a raincheck? Will miss V. again but there's just no way. Sorry :-( Lots of pics, okay?

Wendy: Thought of you this morning during the weekly supermarket assault:
14ish year old girl to mother: "You want me to eat breakfast so this is what I pick."
Mother: "But they're Spaghetti O's!."
Girl: "It's carbs just like cereal."
Into the basket they went.

Kathy: I like the Michaelangelo enough that I changed the design a bit. Remember the too-tall C. 'Peace'? That will be trellised up the wall almost over our bedroom window. At the base on either side right now is Dianthus and Lavandula. Since the M.a.g.o. gets to 3' (close, at least in Z6?) why couldn't I site it in front of the climber? It'll give it protection in the winter and screen off the bottoms of the canes. Full sun from 7a - 7p.

The New Garden Encyclopedia Fact of the Day:
"FUNGUS (plural 'fungi'): A member of a low order of plants, more complicated in structure and therefore higher up the scale than bacteria and slime molds, but lower than mosses, ferns and flowering plants."

Unfortunately agree with Cynthia, Deanne, that those nasties may be coming from your medium? Was it wet in the bag? Last year I tossed about 10 pots worth of soil to start over for this very reason. Nothing one can do, either, except be sure the medium is dry when used.

Marie: How's the knitting progressing?

Later -

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie 31 F and no wind here right now. We just got back from Bromley, VT. It was blue sky sunny there first thing in the AM but then turned cloudy at the top and partly cloudy at the base-temps in the mid to upper teens. No crowds or lines so we were able to ski many fast runs. Now I'm getting ready for my walk.

So, V is joining us for the thumb your nose at winter party, huh? Good deal! I've got room at my house too if there are any other adventurers out there who want to come in for the festivities.

Chelone, perfect BD present for the person who has everything but the bathroom humor

Cleaning tops the list of things I don't want to do also. With any luck I won't have any time left if I plan all the non essential activities accordingly.



    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


I need to reply to many things....but can't possibly remember them all: Zoe and raw food diets, olive loaf, Chelone's B-day and daring Fiddler on the Roof husband, and much much more.

OK. I just returned from a Wednesday - Sunday break. Instead of the lean get-away planned, I was wined and dined, met interesting people, saw 4 films, one of which was 'Chocolat'.
My 87 year old friend Joan is so frisky with two new hips ! Her attitude to life is astonishing. She is such a giving soul. She has lost a very close male friend suddenly this year. Her daughter who lives away from her has a brain tumor to deal with. She was given 6 months to survive, and that was 2 years ago and she is doing well. The grandchildren visit my friend often and need her and the feeling is mutual. They are both adopted special needs kids and they are much loved by granny. Then her daughter's husband had a sudden heart attack. He too is doing well....
I met with neighbours from my life there 10 years ago. Wonderful catching up. My old home has been torn down (an 1891 house we renovated) and a piece of junk is there now, made of cardboard I suspect. Asking over a million dollars for it! We bought it in 1973 for $30,000. I shed a tear for a lost way of life. How sad that people do not value the solid old homes with charm. My view anyway.
My friend Lynn and I shopped for various things. I came home with new Felco #2 pruners, hooks for garden tools in the garage, a new compost pail, a bedspread, just a few baby clothes (honest!) a mystery, hand lotion, and so forth. Upon my return, Eden's cocoa maker arrived and will be tested tonight.

While gone, DH managed to crash through a snow drift near our bridge, the same one that you may recall gave me trouble a short while ago, and destroyed the serpentine belt under the car. This was awkward as he was meeting with Ministry people on important issues in a half hour's time, so he continued on his way. It was only on his way home at 10pm that the car died and was abandoned on a side road. The next day it was towed and repaired. The man next door managed to drive his plow into the side of the bridge the next day, and so our bridge needs some major work. But today is a sunny day and life is fine.

More later friends,

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This afternoon has been a respite from the rain-between storms so were told. Breezy and cool with banks of dark clouds on the horizon. My good intentions to finish painting evaporated as I got sidetracked by normal house cleaning duties- bathrooms etc. A bit later IÂll make lasagna and maybe have a fire tonight.
I took a stroll around the garden  a few days of rain and warmer temps have encouraged the weeds to pop up-a good thing I pulled weeds last weekend or IÂd have twice as many. Also roses starting to swell the leaf buds- some with leaves open Saw green buds on the clematis , tulips popping up, and here is Clematis armandii.

Martie, sounds like just the ticket putting Michelangelo in front of your Cl Peace..I have many spots where I have done the same, and it hides the bare portions of the climbers too. I have Golden Celebration and William Shakespeare 2000 in front of Reine des Violettes and English Garden in front of Polka. Got The Squire in front of Sombreuil ..The Squire is on probation. He needs to step up to the plate this year or heÂs a goner .

Chelone that cake sounds yummy..I love choclate with raspberry.

Âbug, I saw Choclat a couple of weeks ago. Really liked it.

Âkay , gotta go finish the lasagnaÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good Monday Morning with Winter Storm Watch for Tomorrow Night into Wednesday!!! The plants would love a nice blanket right now. They're looking a little brittle and it's been so dry that there's little freeze/thaw. Not enough ground moisture to pull it off.

Great weekend, 'bug!! Sorry about DH, though ... Couldn't have been easy to hit an important meeting after trashing car and property. Wonderful pic ...

Marian: Good to see you"out!." I have a horrible time with Cyclamen so especially am enjoying yours.

Monique: Looks like you have as much (or little?) snow as us.

Mary: David's Odyssey of the Mind group sounds like so much fun. Had the three 11 yo's over yesterday for final seed selection. We ended up needing to put things in a hat and draw the winners. Explained very carefully that we really didn't need seven varieties of carrots, even though they are apparently a neighborhood fav.

Got into the declutter mode and wiped out the bathroom closets. Also decided I didn't need seven kinds of Conditioner. LOL

The New Garden Encyclopedia Fact of the Day (page 1072): "Rose Enemies. The control of rose enemies is simpler than it sounds in the telling. A few minutes of care once a week, the time being religiously set aside for the purpose, will give luxuriant foliage and (in the case of Hybrid Teas) practically continous bloom from early June until after frost. The real rose lover will ignore the idea that roses are too much trouble. Actually, in their return for the time spent, they are less trouble than most plants. The only thing to remember is to 'care for them regularly,' not spasmodically."

Continuing about black spot: "Black spot can be controlled either by spraying or dusting. The so-called Massey dust, consisting of 9 parts fine dusting sulphur and 1 part of aresenate of lead, is excellent."

From this generation came the beatnik era. Good thing :-)

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Happy Birthday, Chelone! I hope you enjoyed your day!

With all the talk about delphiniums, I thot this pic was appropriate. Its from a couple yrs. ago when that area was in full sun. Hmmm. Ill have to redesign my sun areas so I can include more of these beauties.

Sue, when you mentioned you were going to Emerald Isle, I thot Id heard that location mentioned recently. Turns out I did on a Save the Date" note from my DN. Id never been there or heard about it before and was surprised when you mentioned you were going there. Theyre going to get married on the beach. What do you wear to something like that??? You also mentioned stopping to see the Biltmore in Ashville. Do you realize its about a 7 hr drive from Emerald Isle? Its beautiful, tho. We went a couple yrs. ago and enjoyed it.

About Zoe, I wonder if she might have an ear infection (from getting water in her ears at the groomer?) or something affecting her balance. I hope its something minor like that, Sue. You asked about Bullet. Hes doing amazingly well and has become a real brat. We shove food at him all the time. Yesterday I roasted a turkey breast and he drove us nuts b/c he could smell it cooking. He got the first slices so we could have some peace! We truly are his servants. Great news on Misty getting adopted!

Yeona, Juliette is just gorgeous! Does she have Maine Coon in her? And she looks so sweet, too.

Mary, Wow, Wow, Wow. Thats a terrific article on Dan! And his photos are truly works of art. Thanks for sharing them.

Mary, Sue, add my DH to the snoring group. He sounds like a freight train and often keeps guests up all night.

Chelone, dont worry, I havent decluttered my papers here, either. In fact, I planned on getting into it this weekend, but my avoidance technique was 2 days worth of scrubbing grungy grout on walls and floor in the MB on an off all weekend so I didnt asphyxiate myself with the chemicals; cleaning out under the sink in the MB and pitching 5 various curling irons and other misc. junk; taking apart and cleaning light fixtures and the interior of washing machine, etc. I just hate going thru those piles of paper, can you tell?!

About old books, I donate them to a local churchs resale shop or pass them on to friends. Your library might take donations, too. And I think Goodwill does, too.

Norma, OMG, you were so lucky to catch that fire when you did! Did you get any smoke damage in the rest of the house? What an awful job it is to clean up afterwards. No wonder you havent been idylling.

Kathy, gorgeous rose. Im with Chelone. Ive tried and failed w/roses. Im wondering if yours do so well b/c of low humidity. I think that helps encourage black spot, etc., here and helps me kill them. Other than my Knockouts (which I love), I bot a climber on clearance last yr and am giving it a go. Hope springs eternal, I guess. Thanks for sharing your beautiful collection.

Martie, what a wonderful surprise to get that book in the mail. You must have made quite an impression on that woman. What you did probably meant a whole lot to her.

It's snowing out as predicted. A little more protection for the plants. Perhaps I'll stay in and sort, pitch and organize paperwork. Let's see, what avoidance technique can I use today? Hmmm, perhaps snow shoveling.

Hi Marian, GB, Wendy, Martie, Eden, and anyone else I missed. TTYL,


    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 8:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Monday morning all,

Just got back last night from a weekend teaching gig so must apologize to Chelone for the late BDay card. Hope you had a great day!

Sue, I was really bummed out because I was in Vernon/Manchester CT all weekend and Id wanted to call and see if we could at least hook up for a glass of wine but I didnt have a free second. They took me out to the Chowder Pot for dinner Sat night (ugh - huge portions of fried seafood place) and that must only be a couple miles from you. Anyway, the group wants me to come back down and teach again before the end of the year so Ill have to plan it so we can have dinner and a visit.

Cynthia, you are tooo funny, take pics of fungus gnats indeed! LOL I have to agree with you that I think a lot of them have to be coming from the medium because Ive been scrupulous about culture to avoid the problem and I get them no matter what I do. So, how about a quick flight up to NH on Sat the third????? MHT is only an hour from BWI? That would be dynamite.

Wendy, Im over the moon that your DH can come join us this year too! Woohoo!!!! Ive been down in the dumps for a while and the anticipation of seeing all of you is perking me up considerably.

V!!!! hip, hip horray!!!!! How neat you can make it also Cant wait to visit with you. I really missed seeing you and your beautiful prairie this summer so this will be great to visit.

Mary, love, love, love the skiing pictures. Bummer about the Odyssey keeping you from joining us but your priorities are in the right place.

Marty, bummer you and DH cant join us I was really hoping you could make it this year. ~~ I agree that the gardens could REALLY use a blanket of snow. Im afraid Im going to lose a bunch of stuff because of the extreme cold with no snow cover weve been dealing with for the last couple weeks.

Bug, bummer about the bridge and the car Jeesh Hows the knitting going and is your foot healed up now?

OK Ive got a ton of stuff to get accomplished today so Im off this computer for now.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Today is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln! If I had my way we would celebrate holidays on the day they actually fall... I believe it's the only proper way to honor the memory of so great a man. Had to say that, sorry.

Deanne, that fluffed up sparrow is precious. I want to see some fungus gnats, too. (Good one, Cynthia; cracked me right up).

And Marian's Cyclamen are lovely, too. I have ONE flower bud on one of the Amaryllis, the other one appears stalled out at the 5" foliage level.

The birthday cake hangover is still in full force... there was cake at work today, too. I gave a huge portion of it away, but the top shelf of the 'frig. is devoted to chocolate debauchery.

I LOVED the movie, "Chocolat"; great metaphor. I enjoyed another DVD over the weekend; and oldie but a goodie, "The Full Monty". The helpmeet watched some nights ago, but kept dozing off and was ambivilent about it when I questioned him the next day. I plugged it in anyway, and laughed my way through the whole thing. I even watched it again with him as soon as I finished it the first time. He was laughing just as heartily. Priceless!

Bummer about the curtains, Cynthia. Rex went through a phase of insecurity where he was all about chewing my slippers. Dummy here had to buy 3 pair of Acorns because Biggie managed to chew the right one of two pair. ;) He destroyed a pair of Muck Shoes, too. Mercifully, he is now "out of that phase". ;)

I finished the bolsters and am now into recovering cockpit cushions for a very large sailboat (40+'). They're pretty homely, but I've made uglier ones, lol.

I'm NOT interested in a snowstorm on Wednesday, esp. if the predictions of a changeover to freezing rain come true... just what the gutter needs! Oh well, it won't last forever. I have the option of blowing off work and doing some cleaning in the "lab.".

A la prochaine, mes ami(e)s!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's too warm to snow. What! I said it was warm?color>

A surprise 42F mid-day, though I didn't get to sample it. 39F when I was out in the yard tonight and it was s*n*o*w*i*n*g. Very fluffy and the ground didn't have a chance to warm up, so it's sticking. I'm waving it off to New England where it belongs.

I talk with my manager maybe twice a year. It was review time and he wanted to know what I want to do next. 'Vacation' said I. Last year was bad, the only week I managed to take was when we shut-down at Christmas. This year will be better because I'm shoveling one of my jobs onto my old friend and collegue like compost! He's good too, so when I do have to explain something it doesn't hurt my head.

It is a fine night for Baileys and coffee and a book and bath.

Gosh. The birthday cards have reached a new level of gorgeous!

Hi & Bye all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello Idylls
Its absolutely pouring out this evening., no strolls in the garden for me tonight ! Not only Abe Lincolns B-day but also my DD ! She had to work today and go to school tonite , so we are going out to dinner on Thursday which is DSs next evening off. The most difficult thing about going out to dinner in the Napa Valley is trying to choose from the giant selection of really outstanding restaurants we have here. Since DD works at a winery most establishments in the valley will waive corkage if you bring your own wine. Thatll save us a few bucks anyway, but naturally DD chose a restaurant that is not cheap!! So glad I raised children with good taste

Marian, your cyclamen are just so perky looking ! I know many a soul who cant grow them I think people overwater them and rot the tuber.

Martie, thank you so much for the wonderful recommendation on using lead mixed with sulphur to control Blackspot ! Yikes. What we didnt know ! The story of how you came by this book was very cool. Imagine someone carrying around a memory of a kindness for all those years.

Honey, thanks for posting the Delphs! Im just a sucker for them..that is one very nice display ..Today I had a nursery trade magazine in my in-box at the office and there was an advertisement from a grower who is introducing double flowered Delphiniums this year. The pic was very pretty , but Ill reserve judgment till I see one in person.
Very good news that Bullet is doing well. I can just imagine him with the turkey ! I have one cat who loves chicken and will go to any lengths to get some, including breaking into thawing-out packages on the kitchen counter.

The Full Monty ! That was around the time it seems like there were several really funny Brit comedies- Being Ned Devine, Saving Grace all very amusing to me. Comedy can be so subjective.

Wow Cynthia, If I only talked to my employees twice a year I would be pretty clueless about what was going on their areas..I have most of them in my office at least a couple of times a day ! How can someone do a performance review on you if there is no interaction?? No Baileys and coffee here- a nice glass (or two) of pinot for me

Ta ta everyoneOh and what fantastic photos over there on the thread David posted !

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It's pouring down rain here also.... and has been at it all day! Water is standing, and running, everywhere ! The cats hate it. It is 48F outside right 9PM. I sure hope it stays above freezing all night. Nolon has a doc appointment in the morning.

Re: the Cyclamens, I water them from their saucers. They wilt badly if they become dry.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gutters! This is the first winter in 5 years, Chelone, that I haven't worried about the build up of snow and ice in mine. This is 'The House of the Seven Gutters' and they all fell off in 2001 (?) after we had two feet of snow in February. One hooked a shutter and manage to break a window in a closet. If you have to have a broken window the closet is the best place, 'cause at least there's a door to keep out the cold. My house is a hip roof, so I can go to the attic and toss salt down the slates to the gutters on two sides. Not that it does much good. Please let us get through February without any significant snow accumulation.

GB, how sad about your old home. I think you know I'm not a fan of 'new' houses either. Your friend Joan sounds wonderful and what a great trip for you with good shopping too! I must have missed 'Eden's cocoa maker' ?

Deanne, that bird card is to die for! Love it.

Martie, how special that an act of kindness meant so much to someone that she remembered you in her will. A really heart warming story.

Kathy, Happy Birthday to your daughter! How you must suffer with all those great restaurants :-) Be sure to give us a complete review of the place she chose.

Did someone say 'The Full Monty'? I can't resist inserting a totally nekked picture of Monty!

See? Not even a collar!

Kathy, I work for a very large company and have reported to people I've never met. I've rarely had a 'manager' on the same side of the Mississippi. (I'm a professional :-) and expected to simply take care of things.)

Honey, So good to hear that the handsome Bullet is doing well. George has been on his last 6 months for over two years now. Amazing how they can rebound. I've been feeding him in the foster dog crate to keep the other kitties out of his food. (No worries! The foster crate is temporarily vacant.)

Mary, thanks for explaining Tapioca flour to me! I have some T.starch so I think I'm in business. I enjoy the Odyssey of the Mind challenges you do with David and his team. Let us know what they invent to protect the egg.

How did it get so late?

'gnight all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 11:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy Snow Anxiety Morning! The kids are rubbing off on me and I admit I can't wait for the first flake.

Yes, the book story is astonishing and I really wonder what I did? Her obit online doesn't tell much other than she was 82 and lived in the same town and same house since she was 21 and just married. Her daughter doesn't seem the type to keep in touch or give much more info. So, I need to be content with the fact that at some point I mattered to her. I'm chalking the whole thing up to Fate.

Quietly sang Happy Birthday to ole' Abe yesterday with the hope that the world at some point will follow his lessons. Like Chelone, I'll be quiet now.

Deanne: You were 15 minutes from me in Vernon! There are some much better places to go eat. Next time call Sue or Me and we'll get you there. We, too, wish we could come up but there's "stuff" happening that will keep us in CT for a bit.

How's Zoe, Sue? And, how can one take a power walk after skiing all day? Being the exercise potato I am, seems redundant :-)

Select Seeds called yesterday and my order is ready for pickup. Will head out on Saturday morning with some good pastry thing for the office folks. Really, really nice people who know people I know, etc. etc. etc. Maybe if I'm really, really good I can get a peak into the greenhouses.

Hi to everyone and Stay Warm (and Dry, Kathy :-)!!!!!

In keeping with the bathroom humor subtheme of this thread:

The New Garden Encyclopedia Fact of the Day (page 151) "Bladderwort: Common name for aquatic or terrestrial herbs of the genus Utricularia. Few are of interest horticulturally, except to the collector, but the native species are occasionally collected and used in aquaria. The flowers are not showy but have floating bladder-like leaves equipped with valve-like openings which trap small aquatic creatures when searching for food. The tropical species are terrestrial or epiphytic with beautiful orchid-like flowers; they are frequently grown in greenhouses under the same conditions as orchids." Goes on to discuss U. vulgaris, or "common" water lilies.

Wonder if the authors could ever have envisioned these plants selling for $40/per at specialty water gardening stores? LOL


    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 7:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Although life in our neck of the woods is drab and cold, chocolate is still a theme:

Today is DH's 66th, and I have prepared his dual purpose cake. The whipping cream and berries are yet to be added. Come on by and share!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 1:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
taryn(S Ontario Z6B)


I'm fresh out of garden pics so here are some silly kitty pics instead:

Draquie, hanging with the stuffed kitties in the cat loft:

And guarding the majesty palm:

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi all. The snow here is piling up. Im wondering how Michelle, V, Drema and Babs are doing. We're supposed to get between 5-8", depending on when you listen and who to. I rescheduled my haircut appt. this pm b/c I really need a perm first. So Im tucked away snuggly and warm in the house. One of the best things about retirement is that you don't have to go out if the weather is bad. There's always manana!

I did shovel the driveway and walk yesterday but only as a reward for pending a couple hours sorting, shredding and pitching paperwork, magazines and catalogs. More of that happened today. I think I have enough gardening catalogs now so can safely pitch 2006 issues!

I got an email this am that my flight times to/from W. Palm in March have changed so I phoned my friend to let her know. We spent an hr. or so on the phone. Hmmm, it's 81 degrees in W. Palm vs. 12 here. I think I can do that. Cant wait.

On the subject of reviews and bosses, DH was on a conference call with his mgr today and feels more hopeful about the precariousness of his job. He has a great mgr whos a master at manipulation and maneuvering and stands up for his people. Today, he laid the groundwork for DH to possibly move into a more secure position. There are many variables, but its helpful to know theres someone up top pulling for him.

Cynthia, Im so glad George is still doing well. For awhile there, I wasnt sure Bullet would see another birthday at the end of December. Im just so happy to still have him around. Monty is just a gorgeous dog and looks happy as a clam. So from one handsome dude to another, Bullet says "Hi":

Marian, I forget to tell you how much I enjoyed your cyclamen. Ive often bot them for the house, but havent been successful in getting them to re-bloom. I also tried to grow them in the garden and wasnt successful there either. I think the critters had them for lunch. They are such pretty things. Sounds like you have designed the perfect spot for all your indoor plants.

Kathy, Happy Birthday to your DD! Did you get to celebrate it with her?

Oh and Happy birthday to GBs DH! That cake looks just yummy!

Cute kitty pix, Taryn. I hope you, Woody and Marie arent in the path of this storm. And Geez Louise, Mary doesnt need anymore snow either.

Look out NE Idyllers, the snow is headed your way. Stay warm and be careful.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tuesday and all is wellthough I see the winter storm warning for Conn, Mass and environs. Sounds mighty unpleasant to me . Hope people are are sensibly hunkered down inside with an adult beverage and a good book + several gardening magazines. We had a dry day today here in Napa, so I checked things out in the garden when I came home. Tommorow if the weather holds (and I get home from work while it is still light enough) Ill take my camera and get some pics looks like we are moving into a spring mode !
Hope T and Yeona are getting a rain break too.

Cynthia, Monty looks most attractive is that a sedge of some sort that he is squishing ? I watched a little bit of the Westminister dog show on the boob tube last night . Some of those dogs look so over bred I wonder how they can function. The Pekinese looked like an overstuffed ottoman , the poodles were coiffed within an inch of their lives , pugs were snorting like freight trains. I spent many years in the world of dog shows as a child ,(my parents bred and showed Irish Setters) but looking back now I really wonder about it all, and the quality of life of some of those dogs.
I feel better for you now knowing that you report to people you never met !!! I was envisioning some dude in an office down the hall with his phone on Do Not Disturb , who sticks his head out twice a year to greet the staff ..

Martie-kinda jealous that you get to go to Select Seeds to pick upyour order. They are definitely one of my favorite seed sources. Napa County master gardeners usually have one high profile speaker every year in the fall- we had David Abelman last fall, Ros Creasy the year before and Felder Rushing ( he was hilarious by the way) and in Sept we are having Renee Shepard .

Pretty cake bug, and happy birthday to DH.

Taryn, I had a big grin on my face looking at your kitty pictures. Wouldnt they be indignant to know how funny we think they are ?

Honey , DDs birthday celebration will be Thursday night at Celadon. It will cost me an arm and a leg. Oh well. It will be quality family time so it will be worth it. I will also be surprising both DD and DS with some theater tickets I purchased for the three of us on the sly..we are having a road company of "Cats" coming to our Lincoln Theater in May .My kids love Broadway musicals and they love our kitties so they will be very excited .

Speaking of musicals, Im going to have a bit of dinner and then watch my Netflix selection which is a concert version of Stephen Sondheims "Follies" .

Hi everyone !!! and Bye

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Honey were definitely in the path of the storm. It was snowing here all day and its really coming down now. DH works in Toronto and he said there wasnt a flake there all day! I e-mailed him pictures of the driveway and back porch about 2:30 and told him to get home NOW! He left about 3:30 and got home pretty quickly because, by that point, there still wasnt any snow until he got to about 15 minutes away from here! Parts of Hamilton, west of here, are forecast at 28"! Its going to be interesting to see what it looks like out there tomorrow morning I hope we dont lose power tonight. I have a doctors appointment in Toronto tomorrow but we called and left a message saying that I wouldnt be there if the weather was bad. I very much doubt well be wanting to head to Toronto tomorrow morning Barb lives not too far from the area that might get the monster snowfall so Im not holding my breath that shes going to even make it as far as here. DH might not make it to work in Toronto tomorrow either I just hope he doesnt have a heart attack dealing with the snow! (One worries about such things for guys in their 50s thats snow-shoveling-hear -attack territory)

Sue I was happy to hear Missy/Misty has a new home I hope she has a long, happy seniorhood there :- )

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The briefest of skims, but then I am here with questions, so many questions.

First of all, who else is thumbing their nose at Deanne's fest? As I sit here in "near-blizzard" conditions, I am eager to get away to see friends. Both of my kids' colleges were closed due to the severe snow storm today. I was good and didn't spin my car once.

Second, do any of "youse guys" subscribe to any garden-related podcasts? DH is looking for new material for his ipod and is happy to take recommendations.

And the third one goes out to you dog owners. Have any of you heard/seen of this before - whenever we send something to the printer, Sunrise starts shaking like a leaf. I mean, she quakes so hard you can see it from across the room. She just started doing this about a month ago. It's so bad that I consider emailing things to myself to print at the office so I won't upset her. DH conjectured that perhaps the printer has a high-pitched sound that we are unaware of. At first I thought it was because the printer was in the loft and it would seem to start up all on its own, but with this storm we have had all sorts of unexplained noises that don't faze her. Any thoughts?

Okay, with that blast I am off to bed. I have to be perky for a job fair tomorrow, if the community college is not closed (this one is very much in the middle of nowhere and the drifting on the country roads is pretty bad.)



ps - the olive bread has a touch of wheat flour, lots of rosemary (a good use for all that lush growth it gets indoors) and black olives. It turned out great, although it was an all day project and the bowl had to sit on the hearth of the fireplace to get warm enough to rise. Made me feel very "little house", you know?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well the weather guys are having a field day with this storm. At first they were predicting we were going to get a couple feet of snow out of this but now looks like maybe a foot, if that. This is Feb. in New England, what is the big whoop all about???? Give me a break. Perhaps it is because we've not had any significant snowfall all season and this might be the only real snow storm this year? they have to wring out all the drama they can get. It was pretty strange this morning to wake up to 13 degrees F and sleet. Wierd, usually we get snow at these temps. I think south of here they might be in for the type of icing we got a month ago. Now that is a concern. Hope everyone affected stays warm and safe and doesn't lose power.

V. as far as I know now it is going to be the same crew we had last year for the party. I was hoping Martie and her DH could join us but she has other plans and can't come. I'd LOVE it if we could snag a few more Idyllers and spouses though, I think Marie was thinking about it.

Woody, that's strange that there was such a strong demarcation line between the snow and no snow line up your way.

Kathy, yep, we are hunkered down up here and Doug is working remotely. I'm soooo.... happy he decided to work here this week instead of heading out to Rochester, NY. I can't manage the huge snowblower Doug insisted on buying so I'd have had to shovel the entire driveway myself this week if he'd been out of town. ~~ I agree about the Westminster Dog Show.... So many of those dogs don't resemble dogs anymore. I'd heard somewhere that collies have had their faces narrowed down so much that they are turning into stupid dogs because their brains are smaller.

Awwww.... Honey!!! What a great pic of Bullet. So happy he's still with you. Also happy to hear that Dh's job will probably become a bit less precarious. Hope that works out for you guys.

Taryn, cute cats!

Bug, yummy, yummy looking cake! Happy BDay to your DH.

Mary, so how much snow do you have out that way now???

Martie, can't believe I was that close to you last weekend. I didn't realize you were that close to Sue! Definitely have to meet up somewhere for dinner next time I teach down there.

Sue do you know if your DB and spouse are still thinking of coming to the TYNaW Party??? ~~ How is Zoe doing?

OK I've got to get to the gym before the roads get any worse. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well my friends, the snow is moving into my neighborhood as I type. If predictions are accurate we're in for 8-14" with the added delight of a coating of freezing rain (typical of coastal living); depends on how far out to sea the storm center tracks (farther out means more snow, closer means rain/changeover). There was a good deal of activity on the river yesterday, commercial fishermen getting traps hauled in preparation, etc.. Two or 3 fishing boats have gone down in the past month and the Coasties have really ratcheted up their warnings... 20' seas and winds in excess of 50 knots. I have been wondering how all my friends toward the middle of the country are faring. Good to hear V. has kept the vehicle pointing straight ahead. Beep, beep!

We decided yesterday to "bag" work today. There isn't anything really pressing and one of us is a bus commuter, so it just made sense to stay home and work on Friday, instead. Sadly, days like this are really the only days my boss ever really "takes off"! any other time she is nearly always doing something work related. Personally, I think that speaks to poor organizational skills, and it sometimes irritates me when I'm reminded of how much "free time" I have even though I'm also told I live a very "regimented" life (don't we all?). :)

I'm not sure if I'll spend the day addressing a paperwork log jam, reading, or tidying up the chaos formerly known as my "lab.". It's a perfect day for any of those options (regimentation of free time).

What time is the Mancheddar nose-thumbing soiree? it's a longish ride, not out of the question, but more details are required. Not being much of a "party person", it will require some definite "psychin' up".

I meant to remark on Martie's receipt of the gardening book. I found that story one of the most touching I've read in a long while. Sometimes its the simplest things, done without a thought of gain, that make the deepest impressions on people. How lovely that a simple gesture was returned to you many years after the fact. Really warms the cockles of my heart. :)

And I was thinking of 'bug's visit to her friend with the zest for life. Isn't it wonderful to be around vibrant people, full of wit and creativity? I have been fortunate to know several elderly people with similar outlooks; to a one, they all deal with life's vicissitudes and occasional adversity with good humor and grace. Something to shoot for, huh?

I was wondering about Kathy's meal out... . I love a nice meal out; can't wait to hear the details. We saw "Cats" a couple of years ago and it won't go down as one of the most memorable musicals I've seen. The costumes and sets were great, but the story and music did nothing for me; one of the most interesting aspects of theatre or movies is how personal they are and how differently we react to them. I will be interested to hear your reaction to the show. This is a timely reminder for me to send in our money for this season's tickets!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Valentines Day!

And Happy Snow Day here! My kids insured the snow day by sleeping with their pajamas inside out, and DD also slept with a spoon under her pillow (she scorned my offer of a plastic spoon - "It has to be a metal one"). There are only a few inches on the ground now, but it is supposed to turn into that messy "Winter Mix" later on, I guess that's why school was cancelled. Lucky for me it I would only have worked a 1/2 day, and SIL saw that there was no sense in my coming in.

Honey, good news about DH's job. It will be nice if you can get that worry off your plate. Bullet is looking plush, I just want to reach out and touch that fur!

Kathy, enjoy your celebratory dinner out. We will be eagerly awaiting a detailed menu description! How lucky that you have signs of Spring - ours are still a few weeks away apparently.

Martie, I like Select Seeds too. I've ordered seeds from them, but not plants. They have some good-looking stuff in their catalog though, things like coleus and fuchsia (especially one called F. White Knight - Heronswood had that one when they were still Heronswood) and some tropicals. Let us know if you get a peek into their greenhouse!

V, I'll see you at Deanne's party - looking forward to it! I listen to a Ken Druse podcast. I don't have a pod, I listen to it on the computer.

Have to run, DS is getting a CD ready for us to listen to: "The Charlie Brown Suite" by Vince Guaraldi. Never to old for the Peanuts gang! I like Snoopy the best, which Peanuts character is your favorite?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

We've got some weird weather going on here today. So far just an inch or so of sleety stuff but it's only 15 F so it's staying more or less granular. My drive into work was OK-I've seen worse. Supposedly the snow is yet to come. Maybe we'll get stranded

V, my guess is a high pitched whine on the printer too. Zak used to be very skiddish with odd noises-the chirp of a smoke detector when the battery is low, squeaky door hinges, the ticking of a timer....all sorts of things. My procedure is scheduled for next Wednesday, but I'm expecting to be back on my feet in plenty of time to make Deanne's bash.

On the Zoe front, they drew blood and I brought in a urine sample on Monday night. I expected to get the results yesterday but no one called. If I don't hear something this morning I'll call them. In addition to the loony behavior she also appears to have some depth perception problems. Otherwise she's peppy, happy and appears very healthy. My groomer, who was a show breeder of mini schnauzers for over 20 years thinks it could be a brain tumor. I have to admit that thought has crossed my mind but I'm trying to hold off speculation.

OK, must run...stay warm.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 8:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy Valentines morning

Plenty of snow here - enough to ensure a snow day (Woo Hoo) but so far nothing too unmanageable. Its coming down 1/2 inch an hour so there should be some good skiing in the next few days.

Deanne - I'm also relieved to hear Doug won't be heading out this week through the snowbelt. He's certainly managed to hit some of our worst weather so far - summer floods, extreme cold and now record breaking snowfall.

The town Oswego, an hour and a half from here, also the home of Seneca Hill Perennials, has recieved some of the heaviest snow. They will have had 12 feet of snow these last few days. I was reading online that so far their greenhouses have withstood the weight of the snow - hope that continues.

Sue - still thinking hopeful thoughts for little Zoe. Usually no news is good news when it comes to hearing test results. Good luck for your procedure too.

Taryn - love the kitty photos.

Martie - I'm just about to place an order with Select Seeds which I love - great seeds and wonderful service. I'm looking forward to the new Rudbeckia Triloba Prairie something. My only complaint is that for a seed company they are mixing in more and more plants into their seed offerings. Very often I jump with excitement when I see a photo and picture of something, only to find it cannot be grown from seed. I bet they are nice people and I'd love to see their gardens. In summer that is not now LOL!

Honey - great news on DH's job front and fabulous that Bullet is doing so well.

Cynthia - the full Monty is too funny!!!

Wendy - Annie and David were delighted to have a snwo day too, though disappointed not to be able to give out valentines. Annie and best friend are busy making calls hoping to go and see Music and Lyrics together with two boys. They are all just friends but I'm feeling nervous. It would be the first time she had been dropped off at a movie rather than sitting with a parent - do I say yes?

more later - I know I've missed a few


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 10:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We only got about 8-10" but a lot of drifting particularly on the roof at the back of the house. Mary I had read an article in the Globe and Mail about that town in NY State a week or so ago and was thinking of them the past few days as I watched the snow squalls on the weather radar. There was a snow squall churning on the lake near here all day yesterday, which was why we had snow but Toronto didnt until last night when the main body of the storm hit.

Heres the back porch:

And the living room and office windows:

And now I have a craving for lemon meringue pie! :- )

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just returned from a required foray into the winter wonderland outside the windows... a more extensive mammogram, involving another 8 views to "more completely evaluate". The nurse remarked that I'm not a baby when it comes to having the chesticles smooshed, manipulated, etc.. :) I received an AOK. She cracked up when I remarked that they now had "one hell of a base line".

I set a blazing pace coming home... 20-25 mph, and felt sorry for the poor guy in the plow truck behind me. I stopped at a store and he stopped there, too. I smiled and told him I was sorry I was so pokey. He told me he'd been thinking just the opposite, that I was probably going to get where I wanted to go with no problems. My road was really greasy and the wind off the water is straight out of the northeast. There were drifts across the road at that point and we have between 5-6". It's good to be home with a fire, kitties, and no other reason to leave the house today. Helpmeet is still sporting his jammies and I may just return to my "loungewear", too. Elastic waistlines are a good thing.

Wearing pajamas inside out and putting a spoon under your pillow ensures a snow day? I'll have to remember that one, Wendy. Never a huge Peanuts fan, I'd have to say that Pigpen always cracked me up... with his little cloud of dust. I have a nice book on Woodland gardening by Ken Druse, interesting stuff that I'd like to incorporate here.

Woody, I love the Lemon Meringue comment! Perfect. Lake effect snows are interesting. We have neighbors who lived in Oswego and they have some great tales to tell about the snows there. Shockingly, they don't miss it, at all.

I haven't seen the Westminster show since we cancelled cable TV, but I have similar feelings about the "state of the art" dogs. We inherited a Springer Spaniel who was a really "top drawer" dog. She was gorgeous in her prime, but didn't do the things dogs do for humans any better than our pound cast-offs. There was an interesting Diane Rehm program the other day on "designer breeds", anyone catch it? Puts me in mind of the old horseman's saying, "there never was a good hoss in a bad color".

I hope Zoe's problems are easily solved; sometimes I think the NOT knowing is the hardest of all. We, too, have an elderly kitty in declining health. It's the kidney thing... lots of water, lots of peeing, gradual loss of weight, increasingly arthritic... all the things that 17 years bring with them. But her coat is in fine shape (like Bullet!), she's comfortable, and we cater to her special needs. When the decline accelerates we'll make the decision, for now, though... she's "the matriarch". Snoozing behind the woodstove as I type.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Baby its cold outside! We should have a high of 0 today. Although, they are promising nearly 40 by the weekend.

Ive been busy stripping the kitchen wallpaper and shopping for the things that we will be replacing so havent had much time to Idyll. I have several projects in the house that I would like to complete before gardening season.

Im loving Woodys lemon meringue house and Wendys appropriate garden related Valentines picture.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mary , Annie and David seem to be enjoying the skiing in the picture you posted. I hope you were able to do some cross country with them on the trails. Any new pics of Iris and Ivan? I bet they are growing.

Wendy, I bet the kids were happy to get the snow day. Jake has had a couple this week too. His dad won tickets to the hockey game last night the two of them went. Jake said it was great. The roads were bad last night so I'm kinda of glad I didn't know they were out, or I would have worried.
How is your DD coming along on the drums?

Deanne that little sparrow looks all fluffed up for the cold. Nice picture. The birds here are taking cover under the grasses. They empty the birdfeeder overnight.
I can't come to your party but I will join you in thumbing my nose at winter and I hope this is its last hurrah. DH and I were married 47 years ago Monday and this weather is very much like it was then.

Woody, LOL your craving Lemon pie from looking at your house. I made DH a banana cream pie the other day for our anniversary.
Hopefully when the snow goes away it will warm up enough so they can finish your shed.

Marian your flowers look so cheerful. How are you holding up with keeping the fire going? We had a propane delivery the other day and it was expensive. I would hate to think what it would be costing if we wern't using the woodstove too. All the repair is done from the fire and we fixed it so we will never have that problem again.

Honey Bullet is a gorgeous cat. Lovely delphiniums too.I need some of your cleaning out things to rub off on me. I have been procrastanating on this closet to long.
I would be thinking about a trip to FL too if DD weren't coming up this way for work in March. I am missing our two grandaughters.

Eden have you painted yourself into a corner?

Martie, how neat that you inheirted the garden book.

Sue, hope the procedure is a snap for you. You are probably in such good shape you will breeze right along.

Bug, I like your snowy birdhouse picture. Is DD still having morning sickness? Will they be moving soon?

Monique, I love the winter interest and red color combo in your picture.

Kathy, how nice that spring is about to start for you. will be looking forward to seeing you garden in bloom.

Hi Taryn, did they come up with any answers re your stove insert?
Is Glen still down with his back?

LOL V when you said Olive loaf I thought you were talking about lunch meat not bread. I was wondering why anyone would try to make lunch meat. The bread sounds delish.

Chelone I have to go with Pigpen too. Kinda reminds me of myself. I still get pretty dirty. LOL

As far as Westminster goes, I always pick the dogs with attitude and character,no matter what they look like.

So Michelle , that explains where you have been keeping yourself. Don't blame you for wanting to get it done before spring.

I am here because I didn't want to clean. I did get to the grocery store but haven't done much else today.

Hello everyone! Stay warm and safe. Norma

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Valentine hellos !
Well, my day broke down and I didnt get home from the office till after 5 today, and its a bit overcast so my spring pics did not come to fruition. Better luck tommorow.

V. that olive loaf sounds wonderful- may have made you feel "little house" but I bet Mrs Ingalls was not keeping a whole lot of olives and rosemary in her larder !

Chelone, yes indeed , "Cats " is basically spectacle Its not "Into the Woods", "Chorus Line" "Rent", "Company" , "South Pacific" etc. ! Ill post a review-but its not till May. Dinner at Celadon however , is on the morrow

Wendy, Im partial to Charlie Brown himself.

Sue, fingers and toes crossed here for Zoe.

Woody, such pretty snow ! Glad I dont have any lol !

See yall tommorow, time for dinner and the newspaper

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 9:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Norma, I never even thought of olive loaf the lunchmeat! How funny, as I always thought that it was kind of gross-looking and the olive BREAD was delicious. I shall call it bread from now on.

Woody, I too enjoyed the lemon merengue. We have a drift at the end of our deck that is about three feet high; the dogs have cut off one end so that they can get to the yard. Notice we did not shovel a path for them but instead let them "plow" themselves!

Chelone, what can I do to psych you up for coming to Na-shoe-aah? It was a wonderful party last year and it would be such a pleasure to meet you and the helpmeet. Deanne can tell you more specifics on the time, but I know it's an earlier evening since the CT crew has to drive home. C'mon down girl!

The full Monty, indeed!

Wendy, thanks for the Ken Druse tip. I will get to see him speak at the end of the month, which will be just in time to share all that knowledge with everyone who shows up at Deanne's. See, Chelone, another reason to come!

Yikes! I'm getting like Ei!!!

DS had no school for the second day in a row. DD's school opened at noon. I made the trek to the rural community college and the roads were not too bad. Of course, I took my time in the spots where the roads were visibly icy and did not slide off the road as some folks did.

We ordered the makings of a romantic dinner from Peapod, but they reneged on the delivery because "the driveway was not shoveled." Cripes! It's almost 1/2 mile long - you want to come shovel that? It WAS plowed and very drivable. They will re-deliver tomorrow at $20 off, and DH has sent them a (for him) blistering email.

Hope everyone enjoyed their day and no one got hit too badly by the weather.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone, chesticles? LOLOL That's new one on me but one I'll certainly use.

The snow has ended here. We didn't get as much as originally predicted-maybe 4 or 5 inches of sleety, granular stuff but now the wind has picked up. Cold is the forecast for the rest of the week. So far February has been crapola all around in terms of weather.

Zoe's blood work came back clean as a whistle-all functions normal. Our next step is to set up a consult with a veterinary neurologist to hopefully rule out a brain tumor or lesion. My vet provided a list of centers in MA and CT who have this type of specialist available. Zoe has totally tossed in the towel when it comes to housebreaking so we need to do something fast. This weather isn't helping-she doesn't want to go out. We've been carrying her out and she just runs around the yard then comes in and pees and poops on the floor. Give me strength!

Deanne, I haven't heard from my brother since Tom's party but I'll drop him an e-mail and see if he was serious about coming to your place for the TYNAW bash.

Hi Michelle-where have you been?

OK there was probably more I wanted to say but I can't believe it's after 10. So much for working from home tonight-I'm going to bed.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Don't know why, but they are making it tough on me again and I must sign in.

The day began with chocolates in a heart shaped box. Do I need that? Well no...and yes both! ;-)

Lots of snow and gloom this morning, but then a beautiful cold winter afternoon. DH stayed home to work from his study.

I DO want to join the folks at Deanne's, but haven't been able to work things out so far. It all depends on DH's points. Norma, we'll be going to help DD move at the end of March. She seems to be feeling better now, but it has been rough. Her boss has moved on and she is temporarily taking his place and moving tons of books and files from one office to another in an attempt to organize his mess. She is using a chair on wheels to do this thank goodness, but gee, at 5 months pregnant, wouldn't ya think somebody might assist? Being a government position, they have not yet posted the job opening, so she has not even applied for it so far.

Today she asked her DH to stop by the the house on his way to walk the dog and please start the pizza dough for their meal after dog agility class. He was fine with that. So she put her coat on and was about to run out to grab some lunch...when DH walked in to take her out. She was SOOOOO surprised. He'd been sitting in his van talking on the cell phone and she thought he was at work. ;-) They're so happy!

DGS received his photo puzzles and phoned in his thank you yesterday. His speech was so clear. I hope things are progressing with that well. DD has got him drinking milk now....something he has resisted for 7 years and now decided he likes. This will make a huge difference! I wonder what tricks he pulls with his birth mother! Anyway, I can't wait til our visit in March.

I've got to get a handle on this mess of a house. Tomorrow just might have to be the day. Then there's knitting and painting to finish too.

So best wishes to Bullet and Zoe and all my Idyll friends.
Good night!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very quick good morning.

Really pretty outside. About 4" of sand-like sleet blown around into pretty undulations.

Got a call at 8am yesterday that my brother's hearing was on and we were to get there by 10. Confirmed with the hospital at 9. Picked up my parents in Rich's mega-pickup, were halfway there, and got a call that the hearing was postponed. Sheesh!! Really want to get this over with but also thoroughly (in my brain, anyway) understand.

Where I'm headed today got 15" of snow and the entire area is expecting 40mph wind gusts. Extra blanket and socks in the car, today!

"The book" is amazing and funny but also actually has some really good advice. No quote today -- can't decide.

More later, probably.

Stay Warm!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 7:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's going to be a leisurely morning here. The helpmeet has yet to clear the driveway, so I won't be leaving for work anytime soon.

It's very windy here and that means it will be cold at work (old building with cheap windows). I'll finish up the cushions I've been working on, replace a zipper in snowmobile suit and then toddle right back home to our cozy lair.

We watched a pretty funny movie yesterday, "Almost Famous"... about a teenager who writes for Rolling Stone. The focus was the rock and roll groupie scene, and there were some pretty funny scenes. Frances McDormand's character was a good one. Anyway, good laughs for anyone who survived the '60s or came of age in the '70s. :)

Well, I suppose I ought to tackle the dishes before heading out for the first round of snow removal. Yippee.

Rex was very brave about dropping a load in biting wind and sideways snow. He kept his back to it and accomplished his deed with singular focus. What a good dog! Then he went mental, racing around with a hunched back and generally being silly... (if he tosses in the towel with respect to housebreaking I will "gas him" in pretty short order, lol). Hang in there, Sue!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Morning all,

Well we only wound up with just under a foot of snow for the day but the sleet and wind was unbelievable. I know personally because I spent five hours out in the blind with my birds. I couldnt resist as there were billions of birds out there trying to keep their energy levels up. I took some really neat photos of the birdies with driven snow. They truly are amazing creatures. Weather is back into the deep freeze with 9degrees when I woke up at 6:00AM but I am waking up earlier with the lengthening days. Have you noticed that there is light on the horizon still at 6:00PM???? Just a glimmer but its there. This cold cant stay. Spring is on the way.

Chelone, please do try to make it, we are a very friendly bunch! LOL The Pahty is on Sat. March 3, starting at 1:00PM. This gives the folks who are driving any distance time to get here without getting up too early and time to get home at a reasonable hour. I think you arent any further than Monique and Les and maybe a bit closer. How long does it take you to get to Manchester? WE will be grilling some type of meat on the barbeque (TBD) I normally make potato salad (one of our summer favorites) Les and Monique bring some killer guacamole and basically we try to have everyones favorite summer barbeque edibles on hand. Hmmmm. Maybe some strawberry shortcakes for dessert? Must give that one some thought. - Just think you could meet Luke in person - the famous Cover Cat from that book "Cats 24/7". And of course his side-kick Rahjii would love to say hello also. So get psyched?

Marie, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hope you can figure something out. If I had mileage points Id send them to you. Ill do the airport pick ups so you dont need moola for anything else. We run a cheap Bed and Breakfast here. LOL~~ Glad to hear DD is doing better but I dont get why she is doing all that heavy moving stuff right now. So is she doing her x boss work as well as her own and is she being paid for that?

Wendy, lovely photo of the bleeding hearts. Hoow appropriate! LOL about the inside out PJs. And Ive never heard of the spoon thing.

Sue, I forgot you are having that procedure next week. Is that going to be an out-patient thing? I know youll sail through it as you are in such superb shape. ~~ So sorry about Zoes problems. That must be really hard for you and Tom. I know you arent a "hugs" type but Im sending some to you anyway.

Mary, LOL about Doug hitting the bad weather there Ive been joking with him that he needs to contact you any time he is planning on working out there so you can get prepared for the weather that will surely arrive. ~~ 12 feet of snow in Oswego?!!!!! That boggles the mind. Soooo happy that isnt here.

Count me in as another fan of the Full Monty. That was a great movie Speaking of movies. Weve just gotten this new place called Chunkys and they have tables, the chairs are old Lincoln Town Car leather, reclining seats on wheels and you can order dinner and drinks while watching a movie Well that place is off the charts fun. Lots and lots of room and you dont have to get up when the person next to you needs the rest room. WE went to see "Dream Girls" a couple weeks ago and not only was that a terrific movie that venue is the neatest thing Ive ever seen.

Woody, that snow is incredible! Ive not seen drifting like that here in a very long time.

Hi Michelle, sounds like you are one busy lady. I wish I had the energy to tackle the indoor projects like you do. I need to rent you for a few weeks.

Norma, congratulations on your 47th anniversary!!!! Fantastic!

Kathy, so you really have spring things happening out that way???? Incredible Looking forward to some pics.

Ok must get this day going. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 8:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I didn't have to sign in!!!!

Well gee whiz, you won't believe this, but this morning I put away Christmas decorations and put up a few hearts on the front porch. (They're yellow, not red.)The wreath is still on the barn though. Then I did a load of dishes and now the laundry is cooking.

The pets are fed, but soon I must feed the birds outdoors. It is -4F and the poor things need food for energy!

A colourful Canadian garden catalogue has arrived but the prices are insane. Frankly, I don't need anything except to figure out how to cut back on garden work.

Deanne, yes, DD is doing both her work and her ex boss's stuff but only for her former pay. Ain't that grand? NOT. I hope things get straightened out fast, but not likely given that it is the government. I'd like her to stay there a while so that she gets off contract work and into a pension system, a job that would give her paid leave, etc. We'll just have to wait and see.

DD has found a forum of congenial pregnant women. I think from this experience with you Idylls that computer forums can be such a great thing. I'm happy for her and think (WAY) back to the days of isolation when I was new to marriage, Canada, motherhood, etc.

There are tulips in a vase and tulips in a pot adorning the kitchen and diningroom. This is the time of year when more is spent on cut flowers than groceries!

Woody, perhaps your house looks like a stein of beer? (Lemon pie isn't my favourite.) :-)

Off to tidy up some more I guess.BLARGHHH!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Belated, but heartfelt!

Will try to write more tonight


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Deanne, I'm bringing my chocolate raspberry cake for dessert (the raspberry filling will be made with our homegrown raspberries that we froze soon after picking last fall). It's a recipe I haven't made in years b/c it takes 2 days to make and has issues (I threw an orange at hubby once while trying to get the butter and raspberries to cream together), but it usually tastes scrumptious. Hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Looking forward to seeing everyone. Glad you're visiting again V! Come on Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mighty odd when your son mails you this sort of thing....but a balanced article I think! Relates to the environment, Celiac disease, pet care, pregnancy, the politics around labeling chemicals...and more. Glad I read it AFTER cleaning up the house today, but I will be studying the shelves more carefully now..

By Marcelle S. Fischler

FELICIA BUSTO-FRAIM always kept her Flushing, N.Y., home clean with
traditional brand-name cleaning products like Windex and Fantastik.
But her attitude changed the day her daughters' school switched to
environmentally friendly cleaning products.

You could tell the difference, said Ms. Busto-Fraim, 37, a former
prosecutor who now stays at home to care for her three children. You
didn't have that disgusting disinfectant smell when you walked into the
bathrooms anymore.

Ms. Busto-Fraim embarked on a total house makeover after she saw that
there was no discernible difference in cleanliness at the Waldorf
School of Garden City, a private school on Long Island that her two
older daughters, Isabella, 11, and Alessandra, 6, attend.

Out went the scouring powder, disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner,
glass-cleaning spray and laundry detergent that she had always used,
never before doubting their safety. A lot of the cleaning products
that we used are ones that our moms used, she said. You think, how bad
can they be?

Ms. Busto-Fraim now uses the products used in her daughters school,
from a nonprofit company called Imus Greening the Cleaning. She likes
the ways her home feels. It smells fresh; it smells healthy, she said.
The one chemical-laden product she has been unable to give up is her
stain stick, which she uses to get tough mud and grass stains out of
her childrens' clothing.

Dusting, mopping and scrubbing with natural dirt-busters is going
mainstream. More supermarkets are stocking them and more schools are
switching to them, inspiring anxious parents to do the same. Whether
the so-called green products, made with more plant-based ingredients,
are entirely safe, and capable of creating the perfect haven that some
parents struggle to create for their children, remains to be seen.

Cory McKee, 27, a stay-at-home mom of three in Tridell, Utah, started
ordering Seventh Generation brand cleaning products online two years
ago after learning that her oldest child, now 7, had celiac disease, a
gluten intolerance. Ms. McKee said that although the disease is not
caused by toxins in the home, dealing with it raised her awareness
about other health issues.

That really woke me up, Ms. McKee said. I really need to make sure our
home is safe. She lost confidence in the cleaners she had been using
in part because the labels of some products do not list all of their
ingredients. That made it impossible to know what her family was being
exposed to when she sprayed the windows, she said.

Even when the chemicals are listed, few consumers know what they are.
You are probably not breathing in the best stuff, Ms. McKee said. I
teach my children: If you cant pronounce it, dont use it.

The label on Seventh Generation bathroom cleaner explains its
ingredients: Hydrogen peroxide (the active stain removal agent),
biodegradable surfactants (for soil removal), citrus oil (for grease
removal) food-grade, nontoxic oxygen stabilizers (to help the hydrogen
peroxide last longer), and water. It also lists what is not included:
Free of chlorine, petroleum based solvents, glycol ethers, phosphates,
acids, caustics, dyes and perfumes.

Some schools, hospitals and government agencies are replacing
chemical-based cleaning agents with natural alternatives. Since last
September, a state law has required schools in New York to use
cleaning products that do not contain any carcinogens, reproductive
toxins or scents that could aggravate asthma, following some of the
standards certified by Green Seal, a nonprofit organization in
Washington, D.C.Massachusetts and other states are also encouraging
changes in the way public buildings are cleaned.

It may be triggering parents to think about the products they are
using at home, said Patti Wood, a founder and president of Grassroots
Environmental Education, a nonprofit organization in Port Washington,
N.Y. Cleaning supplies in the home are a concern, she said, because
children crawl on the floor and put their fingers in their mouths,
resulting in greater exposure to chemical residues than adults are
subject to.

So-called green household cleaning products, once found mainly in
health food stores, are increasingly showing up on the shelves of
supermarkets, childrens stores and in chain stores including Target
and Linens n Things. In January, Stop & Shop added Seventh Generation,
Method and Imus Greening the Cleaning brand products to 300
supermarkets from New Hampshire to New Jersey. This is in part a
response to what consumers are looking to purchase, and the fact they
are asking for more and more of these products, said Faith Weiner, a
spokeswoman for the chain.

Jeffrey Hollender, the chief executive of Seventh Generation, said his
companys expansion into more traditional shopping outlets had begun to
accelerate dramatically, much as organic foods began showing up in
mainstream supermarkets several years ago. Revenue at Seventh
Generation, a private company, has grown at least 30 percent a year
for more than five years, he said.

The growth may be fueled in part by reports linking chemicals found in
cleaning supplies to health problems. A report in April 2006 on indoor
air chemistry by the University of California at Berkeley for the
California Air Resources Board found that some household cleaners may
generate risks by giving off unsafe levels of toxic pollutants.

Conventional products and conventional cleaning practices have the
potential to cause health harm, but not all do, said William W.
Nazaroff, an environmental engineering professor who led the Berkeley

That doesnt mean, he said, that switching to new products is a

I havent seen any good evidence supporting the idea that something
that is being sold as green is really good for the people who are
using the products, Professor Nazaroff said. There are good intentions
but something of a disconnect between our hearts and our heads.

He said that products that are being marketed as good for the
environment often are based on terpenes, chemicals that can be
extracted from citrus peels. Combined with ozone, he said, terpenes
can form a toxic chemical byproduct like formaldehyde.

Companies have jumped on the idea that green sells, which it does, and
are using partial definitions of what it means to be green, he said.
There is no regulatory agency that would challenge them.

Companies that make household products said that the substances they
contain are not hazardous, if properly used. Petrell Ozbay, a
spokeswoman for S.C. Johnson & Son, makers of Windex, Fantastik,
Pledge and other brands, said that traditional cleaners are safe and
effective. But she said that to give consumers a choice, it is
producing versions of Windex that do not contain ammonia. Windex
Multi-Surface with Vinegar, which hit the market in 2001, and Windex
Antibacterial Multi-Surface Spray and Windex Crystal Rain, introduced
last year, are ammonia free.

Its a matter of what a consumer prefers to clean with, Ms. Ozbay said.
We run our products through rigorous testing and uphold them to
standards that meet or exceed regulatory standards, Ms. Ozbay said. We
are committed to making safe products for families.

There is no government organization that evaluates both conventional
and green products and rates their safety. Enesta Jones, a spokeswoman
for the Environmental Protection Agency, said it was not possible to
say if green products are safer than traditional cleaners without
knowing the specific product chemistry.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission requires the labels of products
that are potentially life-threatening to include signal words like
danger, poison, warning and caution.

Federal law doesnt require full disclosure of all the chemical
ingredients. Ross Holthouse, external relations manager for fabric and
home care at Procter & Gamble, which makes Tide and Cheer, said that
listing the 300 to 400 raw ingredients in detergent, for example,
could be confusing to consumers and might reveal trade secrets.
Procter & Gamble lists active ingredients as well as substances such
as dyes or fragrances that could be important to consumers with
allergies, Mr. Holthouse said. He said that Procter & Gamble employs
Ph.D. toxicologists both from a human safety standpoint as well an
environmental safety standpoint to make sure our products are safe
before we even think about putting them on the market.

A Kids Safe Chemicals Act, proposed in 2005, would require that all
chemicals used in the home be evaluated for their safety to children,
and require companies to list ingredients containing mutagens, hormone
or endocrine disrupters, neurotoxins or carcinogens. Senator Frank
Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, said he planned to re-introduce the
legislation this year.

We have laws that make sure medicines are safe for the public, but we
dont do the same for chemicals in household products, even toys and
bottles used by children, Mr. Lautenberg said. This must change.

In some places, it is changing, building by building. Deirdre Imus, an
environmental activist who is married to the well-known radio host Don
Imus, started a campaign in 2001 to reduce toxins in cleaning
techniques at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey,
where she had founded the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for
Pediatric Oncology. Since then, she said, she has helped change
cleaning methods in two dozen hospitals as well as other school and
government buildings.

There are a lot of products being manufactured out there today that do
the job and do it cost effectively without any of the health impacts,
said Ms. Imus, who last March started the Greening the Cleaning
product line.

Humans arent the only ones who can be affected by chemicals used in
the home. Kevin and Alison Schwartz, both 30, of Wantagh, N.Y., were
puzzled by the hot spots that their dog, Tucker, kept getting under
his chin. Finally they realized that Tucker was reacting to an
ammonia-based cleaner they were using on a coffee table where he liked
to rest his head.

My dog basically told me I had these toxic chemicals in my house, Mr.
Schwartz said. They started wiping down the table using only water.
Tylers rash disappeared but the table wasnt really clean.

After Ms. Schwartz became pregnant last year, her obstetrician
cautioned the Schwartzes to be careful about chemicals in household
products. Mr. Schwartz, who owns a pet products business, started
researching natural cleaning products.

He hired a chemist and tried 150 different formulations using only
vegetable-based surfactants derived from soy, palm kernel oil and
sugar. Last March, he started BabyGanics, a line of natural household
cleaners now sold in stores like Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us and Giant

As a parent I want to know that what I am using, my baby can touch,
said Mr. Schwartz, whose son is now 5 months old.

Sam Katz, a lawyer in Atlanta who has a 1-year-old son, agreed. He
began to wonder why he was putting baby locks on his cleaning-supply
cabinets to prevent my kid from getting to these chemicals if I am
just going to spray it on the ground or in his tub.

A few months ago he and his wife, Genifer, switched to BabyGanics
products. Now when he crawls on the floor I don't worry about his
hands, Mr. Katz said. I know he is going to get dog hair on him but I
don't have to worry about the chemicals. I feel much more comfortable.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

I just wanted to drop in for a minute to say hello and to let you all know that I am just not able to keep up with the posting right now and looks like it will be an extended time at this point which is disappointing.

I really enjoyed the time I was able to participate and hope I will be able to again. It was fun meeting everyone and seeing photos of everyone's dogs and cats and gardens. I will try to jump back in again at some point, if I am able to.

Thanks very much for including me and hope you all enjoy approaching spring.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, even just a hi every now and then would be wonderful.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I really enjoyed this. Perhaps I'm just nuts about becoming a grandmother though. But this is about seahorses, and the daddies are the ones who carry the babies.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

After my rushed post last night, I thought I had better clarify something. I am very eager to have both 'bug AND Chelone join us at Deanne's. I really tried to encourage Chelone because I knew she would need a prod or two to join us. But I was silent about 'bug because I figured she will come in a heartbeat if she can work out the finances of a flight. So I hope I didn't hurt 'bug's feelings or give anyone else the impression that I wasn't encouraging her. I want BOTH of them to show up in a couple of weeks!

I had a chance to peek at some of David's photos earlier today and I am still trying to get my jaw off the ground. To say that it is stunning seems to be an understatement.

I'm keeping it short tonight because I have a contact lens that is making me crazed tonight. Until manana,


    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Moi aussi. Marie, I hope you can make it to NH also!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V & M...Don't be silly. You'll have to work harder to hurt my feelings. ;-)
Anyway, I'm doing my best and will let Deanne know as soon as I know! I've just got to hook up with everyone...Chelone would be a special treat!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 12:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I made it to work about 10:30. We received a foot of snow and then a nice coating of some sleet/rain. Combined with the ferocious wind there was a nice crust to pound through before snow removal could commence in full force. I have ignored the deck and will address the build up in front of the mailboxes today. I wish my neighbor would tell the knucklehead who plows her driveway that the object of the game is to get the snow AWAY from the mailboxes, not put it in front of it... .

Deanne, I believe the original Chunky's is in beautiful Sanford, ME. and I remember wrestling with the large interior lit awning some 10 years ago now! I have heard it's a blast, but never been as Sanford is not exactly "on the way" to anywhere for the helpmeet and I. I broached the subject of the paHty to the helpmeet yesterday. His reaction was predictably lukewarm... he doesn't participate on any forums and tends to be rather dismissive of what he calls "chat rooms". Somehow, the concept of "penpals" seems to have escaped him. ;) It takes an hour and a little to get to Manchester, send me some directions and I'll work on the "pysching". And some fun summer chow.

I loved Sweet Pea, but didn't have the time to read the article (will later today). I have yet to address the removal of the Christmas decorations from the front of the house. I don't feel so bad about it, though, the greens and fruit don't scream "Christmas" to me (maybe I'm kidding myself). But it's getting on to "time". I'll wait for the cold to abate and some of the snow to melt down. And then begin the staple pulling fest, lol.

I don't want to work today. This is very unlike me, really. I've always been a willing worker, arriving in a reasonably cheerful mood, but the doldrums have really grabbed me lately. I don't know if it's me, or if I'm simply reacting to the vibe in the shop... probably both. Oh well, I have to go and it won't be so bad, but my "clock watching" has me sort of worried.

Hope the court thing for Martie's brother is uneventful and the result is what she needs/wants for him. Thinking of Sue, too; procedures and pet worries... gotta take a toll in a quiet, grinding sort of way.

PM2, the beauty of this forum is that you can drop in whenever you feel like it and no one is offended if you "up and disappear". Take care of the wrists, gardening season will soon be upon us. (I can never keep up with the pace, either).

Thinking of the "missing" today and looking forward to their return and news. Gotta scrape the windshield now!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Yellow for warmth. It looks like we may start getting some normal February weather on Tuesday. I got up early this morning and went to Quest for my pre-procedure bloodwork. No one was there so it was quick. There was a Starbucks next door so I popped over for one of my caramel macchiato treats. This has not been a good week on any front but I remain optimistic.

I've gotta run to a meeting in another building at 8:30 so this will be short. Zoe has an appointment with a veterinary neurologist on February 28th. I looked the guy up on the internet and he's one of 110 board certified vet neurologists in the world. He has a regular practice in NYC but travels to Norwalk, CT once a week for consults. Norwalk is over an hour away but the alternative options were 2 hours to the Boston area. Hopefully I'll feel well enough on the 28th to take her myself but if not Tom will go. My co-workers are starting a pool to guess how much this is going to cost. I told them the person who comes closest

Allrighty then-enjoy the day. Spring is coming.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

A crisp 13 degrees out today. We are having a heat wave! LOL I went out in the blind yesterday for a bit but it was only 18 degrees and the wind was blowing 30 to 40 + and it chased me in after only a couple hours. Surprisingly not too many birds either.

Anyway, Chelone, way cool! I'll have to check and make sure I still have your email address. We are only 20 minutes south from Manchester, only one mile off the highway at exit 5. I'll email you specifics. You can tell the helpmeet that there will be other fellows there including Doug, Les, Tom and Wendy's DH... I'm sure he'll find something to talk about. ~~ Oh yes indeed, Chunky's is a blast!

Pm2 - hope you can check in and say hello from time to time even if you don't have time to post. You aren't far from here either, please consider coming to the cookout on March 3rd???

Sue, so horribly sorry about Zoe. I surely hope the neurologist has an answer for you.

So did anyone hear that Jay Peak VT got five feet of snow out of this storm???? Incredible.

OK must get myself to the gym. I really feel like that today, NOT!

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Just checking in....:-)
I am expecting company tomorrow. My nephew (from Idaho ) is at Tim's. He has come mainly for the purpose of taking some oak lumber back, that he has purchased from Nolon's cousin's mill. He, and Tim, and the girls, plan on being here tomorrow and Sunday.
I am not up to much house I will just hit the visible spots. They won't be here long enough to know the differance anyway.
I am still 'working' on the plants research. It is coming along good. An interesting fact, that I found yesterday, is that there is an Indian Paintbrush species that is only found in a 200 acre area in a location not far from my home place. Naturally it is causing a lot of interest with the groups that protect such things. I am posting a link below. The name is not related to religion. It is named after the man that discovered them. His last name is Christ, pronounced with a short 'i'.

We are still having snow flurries but very little accumulation. Last night was one of our lowest temps for this winter....7F. I haven't figured out why I am so cold in the mornings, when it is around 60degrees in the livingroom? It is either my meds, or my metabolism. I am always tired when I get up, now I am tired AND cold !

Pm2, I hope your last post doesn't mean you are having serious problems. Is it your health? Your hands? Do check in frequently, if you can.

Sue, I hope both you and Zoe will be okay.

Martie, I hope all goes well with your brother.

Chelone, when I read your post about your doldrums...I thought: Post Partum! Or maybe 'anti-climatic' would be more applicable ?

Woody, your poor house! Thank goodness you don't have 100+ feet of that stuff! Do be careful, and take care of yourself.

Marie, I hope you ( and Chelone ) can go to that get-together. I guess Charlotte is having great fun in the snow.

Norma, What a scare! I am so thankful you were at home and found the hot spot! Sorry about your picture, but how very much more could have been lost! I lived in a trailer house with my first husband ( for a brief period). It had a flu fire, but we were home and extinguished it with no outside help. We have been very blessed with our present wood heating system. I used to have qualms at night, but have become more comfortable with it. I am very cautious about it...keeping anything flamable well away from it. One good feature is the stove pipe and the flue are all straight up, with no bends,( except the elbow coming out of the stove). The flue is triple wall stainless steel.

Okay...that's all for now. Hi to everyone else !


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Make that 'flue' fire! LOL

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 9:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning!

Just thought I'd pop in with a belated happy birthday for Chelone and also noted that today is Barb in BC's birthday---she's been MIA longer than I have. ;o) So a very happy birthday (belated and on time) from me to those two special ladies.

2007 has been 'interesting' and 'full' for us so far and I'm learning to appeciate life all the more because of it. Some life lessons we often prefer to do without, but they also are unavoidable, most of the time, so you take them as you get them and pray that you be given the strength needed to handle them graciously. I'm learning 'gracious' and being thankful often. These are good things. :o)

I've been reading along for the majority of my 'quiet time' but just haven't had anything to share nor the energy to try to find something to write. This morning I felt like saying 'hi' so here I am and heaven only knows if you'll ever get me to shaddup hope you enjoyed my absense. ;o)

Sue, you know you have my thoughts and best wishes that whatever has happened/is happening with Zoe that my heart aches along with yours and that my hopes are that there is a 'good' answer to what is happening. I'm sorry that you have to wait until the 28th for an appointment, but your plate (and life) sounds quite full. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers on Wednesday while you have your procedure. I agree with the others, you take care of yourself and are so physically fit that you will hopefully recover quickly. I hope the procedure takes care of your discomfort and problems. You are one of my fitness 'heros'! :o)

Honey, I was very glad to read that Bullet is doing well and that Tom's job seems more secure than previously thought. Tom's job probably comes first in thankfulness.....but then Bullet is such a beautiful guy with such personality-----well......yeah, I've got to put the human above the animal in this......but YES BULLET!!! ;o) Tom's my kind of guy with his humor and story just don't tell him that T. was putting a cat's health above his job. ;o)

'Bug, you've been busy with your knitting and I loved the photos you shared of the things you've made so far. There was one baby hat that you showed that was especially wonderful, in my mind. I did buy some inexpensive yarn and some appropriate sized knitting needles along with a book on how to hand-knit socks, but other things have taken my time so haven't given it a go yet. I love to knit and to crochet, but have never tried making socks with knitting needles. I do have a knitting machine & ribber (bought in the early 1980's) and have made many items with that (sweaters, knit lounging pants, personalized Christmas stockings, tiny Christmas stocking ornaments), but it has been put away for many, many years and I'm not sure I would remember all of the tips and tricks I once knew. I did enjoy being creative with it. I loved crocheting doilies and one Christmas when money was tight (it was always tight in those early marriage years it seemed) I made doilies as Christmas presents for my mother and mother in law. I also crocheted a long scarf to go on the top of my sister-in-laws piano. Now, I look around and laugh because I don't have doilies on my antique end tables and I don't have a doily scarf on my piano. Time to begin doing those hand crafts again, I think. I enjoy seeing your creations and think your new grandbaby is very fortunate to have you making things with love in each stitch.

Chelone, I've been following your time and decision about your mother. You were often in my thoughts and I apologize for not telling you that in a post. Not that you needed my support, but I wanted to give it. I just didn't have the mental energy nor the time when it was actually happening. You are still in my thoughts as I appreciate what an intense personal struggle all of this has been on you and probably continues to niggle at you.

Mary, loved the photos of the kids skiing, and LOVED the photos that your DH has taken. To be able to 'see' those possiblities that we all walk by each day (thinking of the shadows and colors---not the 'rear ends' LOL......although..........). Knowing that someone may be aiming a camera at my bum has made me all the more aware of my need to diet and exercise!! ;o) I think of you often.

Eden, how has the painting gone? Is the room done? I keep looking around here at all of the painting that needs to be redone and wishing for a windfall of money so I could hire someone to do it. I am lousy with a paintbrush (flicking paint all over the place and have a sloppy aim to boot). Painting is a job that I avoid with a passion. In 2004 I painted our entire house, twice (two coats). It amazed my DH and also myself that I did that much painting. I even was atop ladders (me, the klutz, and ladders are not a good mix) and scaffolding to do the job. I wish now we had gone for a soft sage or grayish green instead of our cheery yellow....but the yellow is so clean and nice looking that I just sighed when I'd try to wash the mud off of the siding that would get swiped (Seiko's tail) or splashed on it.

Speaking of cheery yellow........Woody, your beautiful yellow house with the drifting snow atop it, it did look like Lemon Meringue pie and my mouth was ready for pie after reading that (and seeing the photo). I hope you are doing well. I look forward to your posts.

Deanne, your bird shots have been WONDERFUL!!! I am seriously considering asking for a blind for my birthday or next Christmas. Maybe I could get some better photos of the elk if I had a way to 'hide' although how I'd know they were around and how I'd get to the blind when they were here is another little problem to work out. Often I'll be doing something in the house when I look up and they are grazing. By the time I see them, it is impossible to get closer to them. If I had a blind, sitting ready outside, I wonder if I could get in it and pick it up and walk closer to them without them realizing it was a human in there? LOL I can just imagine them coming closer to sniff and stomp on the moving 'greenery'. Maybe I shouldn't consider a blind after all and just think about washing my window really good so I can take better photos from the house? ;o) Your bird photos are outstanding and such a treat to see. Thank you for posting them.

Well, this is becoming far too long and I've not said hi to many others whom I enjoy immensely....for that I'm sorry as I enjoy them so much, too. I was just typing as thoughts came into mind, not meaning to slight anyone or any happening. Too much time going by without posting does bring in a slew of problems on its own...

I'm ready for another cup of coffee to fortify me before the twins arrive for the day. They are 6 months old now, not quite sitting up on their own but are close. I went to their 6 month check up to help their mommy during the appointment (they were getting immunizations so an extra set of arms to help soothe them afterwards was needed). Everyone, the nurse, the doctor, the nurse that did the injections and their mommy (!) were all teasing about their big round heads. I was the best grandmother and didn't utter a word other than to tell the boys I loved their little (well, okay, their big) Charlie Brown heads. One little guy weighs about 8 oz. more than his brother and they were teasing that it was because his head was bigger. I tell that nice?! ;o) is true, maybe not necessarily nice. The doctor asked if big heads ran in the family when the boys were born, unfortunately they do (on their grandfather's side!! LOL). My dear sweet little 3 year old James' head was pretty round and large when he was tiny (yep, another Charlie Brown) but his body caught up a long time ago and he is a normal looking cutie. Anyway, the doctor said the boys are taking a bit longer to sit up because their heads are at the top of the charts size wise and that is a lot of weight to learn to balance. He was laughing as were the rest of us.......but dang, sure isn't fair to the boys. ;o)

I'd better get out of my jammies and get that coffee, I only have about 20 more minutes of quiet and calm before they arrive.

My best to ALL!!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Challenge of the just denied coverage for my procedure. Apparently some clerk feels my fibroids aren't symptomatic enough to require treatment. Now we have to go through some sort of appeal process. In the meantime I'm off the schedule for next Wednesday. Give me strength!

Well, on the bright side flower show and rescue heartworm clinic are back on my schedule for next weekend.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh for Pete's sake! So sorry Sue.
I feel the same way about talking to the jokers about Mom's 2003 taxes. I've called every day this week and get a different response each time. Mom died in 2005.

Here's one from today's email:
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America ?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh Sue! like you need this foolishness on top of the whole Zoe thing?! I find "insurance" extremely frustrating. Premiums increase steadily, even if claims have never been made. I understand the whole "risk pool" concept, but I'm growing increasingly weary of the explanations. When I add up the price of various policies paid out in a year I want to throw up. But I'm too afraid to simply say, "forget it, I'll roll the dice". Good luck with the appeal.

Work wasn't bad; I knew it wouldn't be, but I just have this longing to be somewhere/anywhere else than there these days. (don't we all?). Marian, I think you may be onto something with the "post-partum" analogy; you are very perceptive about things like that. I was adrift for the first week Mum was gone... didn't know what to do with all the time that had formerly been devoted to her daily maintenance. It was strangely frightening; I'd forgotten how to be the independent person I'd been "before" and wasn't able to shift gears... I couldn't find my "clutch".

I was thinking about the regulars on this forum while cutting out the next round of V berth cushions today. To a one, each of you have offered support, advice, and humor to me (and many others) over the years. You have been unswervingly supportive and keenly observant, and I've benefitted greatly from what you've chosen to share and the nudges you've delivered to encourage a change in direction. It has been my very great priviledge to spend time in your company. And never, have I ever felt that someone's "silence" reflected anything more than a lack of time. I hope my own silences have received an equally forgiving reception!

I returned home and let Rex out for a wee-wee. Together, we crossed the road and surveyed the snowbank in front of the mailboxes. I determined that it would require dynamite to break it up. I am unwilling to shovel it by myself. We headed back to the house and were greeted by Polly who had been outdoors and was only too happy to be able to get back inside. Rex raced at her, "giving chase", but Polly was having none of his shenanigans. She turned broadside, presented a total "puff" and advanced toward him with the menacing, sideways movement. Wussy-boy back right down... 13 lbs. of kitty faced down 100 lbs. of dog, lol. As it ought to be... . I was thankful we've provided safe, cozy, out of the wind retreats for kitties caught on the "wrong side of the door". All are happily basking in the heat from the woodstove.

Obviously, nothing too exceptional here... hope things are either delightfully exciting or equally as mundane in YOUR homes.

Later, friends.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Okie doakie, I'll share my recent experience with a critter that I thought needed help. About 4 nights ago I switched on the deck light and saw a strange kittie. It was accompanied with Tommy and Trubby. None seemed upset at one another. I thought it was a young looked rather calico. It didn't stay long, then 2 nights later, here it was again. I took pictures of it on the front porch. It was tame. Day before yesterday it was around most of the day. We were contemplating having a new pet. I called a couple of the closest neighbors to se if it were theirs. It wasn't, and I must admit, I was rather relieved. ( I was already becoming attached to the little varmint! ) Then I called Nolon's cousin. He said one of theirs had been gone that day, but his discription didn't sound like 'my' cat. ( I was rather relieved...again. ) Then his wife called and said she was coming to see if it was theirs. ( Shoot! ) I brought it in so it would still be available when she got here. It suddenly decided it did not like 'in' and was rambunctiously attempting to get out of my arms! I stepped out the door as the cousin's wife drove in, and lost hold on the cat ! It ran in to the crawl space hole. I showed Anna Marie my pics of it. It was hers ! (Drat! ) She hunkered down and called him ( yes, it is a 'him' not a 'her') and he came out to her. They drove off. ( Boo Hoo )
Now , the odd, funny, part. I had already named'her' Molly. When Anna Marie called'him', she called him "Mally"! Neither of us knew what the other had named it!!!!

And yes, He is totally tailess.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'd be bummed, too, Marian. He is beautiful, but at least someone noticed he was missing... (he'd have loving care if he'd not been identified).

Cats without tails have hind legs that're longer than than their tailed counterparts... longer hind legs compensate for the missing tail!

Why do I remember all this silly crap?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good evening

Marian - that really is a beautiful cat!

Nice to hear from T, Michelle and Prairiemoon again:0)

Ruth, BIL, Ivan and Iris arrived last night and it is wonderful as always to have them here. After work we all piled on snow gear and had a great time sledding down our slope in the back yard. It was so, so much fun, I haven't laughed so much in ages! I have a little sled called a Butt Bob you sit on and usually upends the rider long before the end of the slope plus a large inflatable four can pile on. To warm up we plunged into the hot tub. I made chicken pot pie for dinner and we've just finished a leasurely meal. I might not be around too much this weekend but I'll try and get some photos to share.

Norma - I can't beleive how much the little ones ahve grown just since Christmas!

have a great weekend everyone


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hit and run just to introduce Sue to doggie diapers. I've used belly bands for Monty (handsome English tweedy design)before he invented the 'crate potty'. Might be an option until Zoe is all figured out :-)

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I came home from work tonight (5-ish) it was 71 on my outdoor weather station. We expect more of the same tomorrow, and then rain returns on Sunday. Took a little stroll around, and cant believe what had popped out in just a couple of days of warm temps(including weeds) . I will definitely take pics tomorrow to share.This week at the office has been particularly hell-like so it will be nice to spend a day in garden doing mindless things like pulling weeds and mulching. My new boxwoods came in so I will bop up to the garden center in St Helena after the grocery shopping to pick them up .

DDs birthday dinner last night was delish ! DD brought a nice bottle of Select Cab Franc and as is typical here for winery staff, corkage was waived. I had a grilled pork chop with apple /cabbage slaw , fingerling potatoes and a sweet garlic sauce (raisins and currants added the sweet). DS had kobe top sirloin with parmesan polenta and the sweetest little extremely thin and crispy onion rings and baby broccoli. DD had onion crust chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli rabe. All very tasty ! For dessert was a white chocolate martini (DD), pomegranate sorbet (me) and bread pudding (DS)..

PM2, so glad you checked in ! Sorry to hear that your hands are not coming along as briskly as you had hoped. How is your hubby at taking dictation??

Sue, you have a kindred spirit here-I am going through the exact same indoor potty issues with Tasha. She has suddenly decided that she doesnt like it outside. She wont even ask to go out anymore , so I have to constantly anticipate her elimination routine. I now put towels down every morning before I leave for work , and am doing laundry just as though I had an infant in the house ---peed-on towels instead of spit-up towels ! Thank goodness she is a very small dog , so the volume of what comes out of her is low.

bug, loved the Sweetpea film !

Marian-nice to see you. We have an Indian Paintbrush native to our Sierra and other mountain ranges here. Its red as opposed to yellow. I can see how you got attached to your visitor kitty ! Hes very attractive. I also have a visitor, a calico who likes to hang out in my backyard my cats dont like her and run her off if they notice she is here..I cant get very close to her yet.

T, there you are !! I hope some of this West coast balmy weather is extended up your way!

Hi to everyone I missed.. Im off to read the paper..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 10:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Checking in from the mundane side of things tonight. -11 real temp when I got up this morning but we are now up to a pleasant 14 degrees. Oh yes, and more snow on the way! This afternoon the winds kicked up again and the highway started to drift. We had to take Mystic the wonder dog to his favorite place (the vet) and on the way there the road was a little dicey. On our way back, about 20 cars ahead of us (and I'm thinking right now that Marian can't imagine 20 cars right in a row) there was a pretty serious accident. A Jeep spun out in the drifted area and then was hit sideways by the next car. Funny, once we got past the accident (police were there by then) everyone was driving a lot slower.

Yes, Mystic needs a "frequent flyer" program for the vet's office! He developed an unusual bump on his leg that he was licking a lot. It turned out to be a hemi-somethingorother that falls into the category of "it happens sometimes and it should go away". We'll keep an eye on it. But we did manage to find an ear infection, so all was not for naught.

When we were leaving, an animal control officer was picking up a dog that had just been spayed. Then DH told me they were holding an adoption event tomorrow. I really don't think I will do it, but this little sweetie is on my mind. Check her link below.

Time to go to bed and dream of 10,000 reasons I don't need another dog!


ps - Sue, what a shame! I don't want to get too political, but I think our health insurance system here is totally whacked.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning, a balmy 21 degrees out this AM... LOL It is going to be a lovely sunny day here and I'm thinking we are going to head off to the beach and see if I can snag some pics of some Eider Ducks.

Sue, GOOD GRIEF!!!! It's bad enough that you have to have that procedure done but to be dealing with insurance morons on top of that is ridiculous... So sorry...

V. Olive looks like a sweetheart... ~~ RE slippery road accidents... Some people in these UAV's think they don't slid when it is icy out... Drive much too fast in the 4Wd's... Anyway, there was a 50 car pile up on Rt 93 between Concord and Manchester a couple weeks ago... What a mess...

Kathy, 71????!!!! in my dreams... Right now it doesn't seem like it will ever get warm again. Looking forward to those pics.

Mary, great to hear you, Ruth and families are having a great time.

Marian, what a pretty kitty! Bummer you couldn't keep him.

T. great to hear from you! RE the blind, it isn't movable like you are describing. It actually is a tent thing and I can't just move it about. ~~ So happy you like the bird photos, Thanks!

OK time to get this day started... Have a good one everybody!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!! morning. Can you tell it's been a long week in all regard???? LOL

Sue: I'd swear on your behalf but wouldn't do so quietly so know the thoughts are there. This week's major irk has been administrative/legal people who question medical experts decisions about medical things. A doctor I know well both professionally and personally actually hand-delivered an organ to the nurse who decided it should not be removed (after all precautions for safety were taken). The large lump that she felt didn't justify surgery scared the heck out of her and she ended up quitting the job that day so that she wouldn't have to follow "acceptable parameters for surgery" anymore. Hope the appeal goes well. If not, write me as I have become expert in these things. I mean it.

With all the talk of potential new pets, my heart is pounding and it's a good thing Rich isn't around to take me to the Humane Society. To the point where I made a special trip to my parent's house yesterday to see their Murphy. In a way, I hope this feeling passes since I truly don't think it's fair for a new pet to be left alone for 10 or so hours a day. I'm right, Right?????? Help!!!!!

Sooooo good to hear from you, T. If the staff was laughing, that's the best assurance that they're healthy!! Hope that whatever is going on that's kept you away goes away itself, or that it becomes less oppressive in your life. You're always in my good thoughts ....

Okay, Deanne. Sitting in a blind to take pics of birds in this week's weather is a bit over the top of artistic committment to me :-) Talked to Rich about March 3 again and it wasn't an immediate shutdown. He's had a particularly tough winter so Please Don't take it at all personally. I would love to come alone, anyway, and that is still a possibility, but a remote one at best. Did tell him that Tom and Sue would be there ... hope with Sue's change of date she'll be able to get up there.

Marian: Ummmmmmm, jeez, you're wondering why you're a bit chilly in the morning when the house is 60deg? The healthiest of healthy might find that a bit brisk after crawling out of a warm bed. LOL

Eden: Have you drowned in a paint bucket?? If you got your Art Hodes begonia as a baby, did you pinch it back?

Marie: Great info you're providing of late! Looked at the ingredients in my dish soap and tossed the entire bottle. Got almost through the entire Sweet Pea video and the things we don't know!

Kathy: Dinner to this New Englander sounds just like a Napa Valley dinner should. Waiving corkage sounds kinda like the "professional discounts" gardeners give each other at nurseries. Let the trial and error begin! AND, since Eucs are considered more weedy than not where you are, any weeds you want to dig up from your garden and send my way are fine. LOL

Am excited this morning about Select Seeds and will be calling them in a few minutes to be sure they're open. Didn't know they did all their plant growing at Stafford Conservatories -- one of the best florists in the region, IMHO. Will give a full report upon my return.

Also stopping to get some peat pellets and fresh medium to start some seeds. Began an Excel spreadsheet last night to track everything and then abandoned the idea. Too much like work and this year has been so long in coming that I don't have the heart to "track." Good for Me~

Best to everyone and enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 9:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Received some pictures from my daughter last night that I thought I'd share. These were taken the first week of January, before there was any sign of cold or snow.

DD with DGS goofing in the woods here at the farm:(taken by DSIL)

DGS and me going for a ride around the property. (taken by DSIL)

Today we did tons of errands (after finally getting shoveled out of a snowdrift by the bridge) and now I must prepare for company.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post to provide some rather gaudy color on a gray day!

Sue I hope your insurance company gets its act together ASAP Canadas health care system certainly has its flaws but I cant imagine having medical decisions being so at the whim of an insurance company. Back in 1998 I had 18 hours of brain surgery, a week or so in ICU followed by three more weeks in hospital and a month in a rehab hospital. Total cost to me $0! And the only involvement by an insurance company was that my benefit plan covered a private room in the hospital.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 5:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

No new dog at V.'s household this weekend. DH woke up with a nasty stomach bug and has been on the couch (or in the bathroom) all day long. So we didn't go anywhere today - perhaps this was a message that I really don't need a third dog!

So not much else to report on this end of the world. We got a bit more snow overnight but nothing dramatic. I caught up on some reading, did a few chores and baked some cookies to send down to DD via her cousin who's headed down for a visit. And that's about all I know!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope your DH didn't eat the wrong brand of peanut butter V!!!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 9:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Woody the Amaryllis is beautiful! I love the hint of color in the dried leaves outside your window, too. Very, pretty. There are two in our southern window, one has a stalk, the other is just beginning to emerge from the bulb. It will be fun to see what color they are, neither of us can remember.

I summoned the gumption to deal with returnables yesterday (why do I always get stuck with that chore?), and then shovelled off the deck. Apparently, just in time for more snow (1-3" this afternoon). Still, the end is in sight, it will be pretty much all said and done in just under 2 months.

I have to admit that Olive is an aesthetically pleasing dog to me. How big was she? any indication of the cross? I hope the husband is feeling better, V., and maybe it WAS "a sign". ;) Or maybe it was the peanut butter.

Great pictures (as usual), love 'bug's DGS... some little ham, huh?

For now, it's time to hang the laundry, make the bed, sanitize the kitchen, and formulate a plan to address the clutter in the "lab." and on the desk top (have managed to postpone it successfully for a few weeks now; maybe Honey needs to come for an intervention).

I began reading a biogrphy of George Washington the other day (to try out my new reading glasses). It occured to me that I knew very little about him and with his birthday looming (February 22nd.!), I thought it high time to fill in the gaps.

The washing machine is winding down, gotta go.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 8:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

One thing is certain - DH did not eat any "bad" peanut butter. He considers peanut butter to be one of the most noxious substances on the face of the earth. I once made peanut butter cookies for the kids and he thought it was a waste of flour, sugar and butter. He is feeling better this morning and will venture to church with me, but we will take a pass on the annual "Chili Fest" after church.

Before that, I have a load of laundry to fold and a sink full of dishes to deal with (I was bad last night and left them there!)

Chelone, Olive looked like she was about 35 pounds and she's supposed to be a shepherd-bulldog mix.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Woody, love the "lemon meringue pie" house! The snow is pretty, I just hate dealing with it. The day after the storm, the side roads were still pretty bad, I guess the combination of the rain and the sudden temperature drop contributed to the mess. As I was driving DD to school, she commented that she could ride her bike faster than I was driving! So fresh. I told her I'd get her there safely, speed was not a priority.

Mary, sounds like your family is having a great time with the skiing and sledding. The movies, alone?! I guess we have to let go but it is so hard. My DD is 12, your Annie is a bit older than that, right? I still have a hard time letting DD go to a different part of the store when we are shopping; she has strict instructions to stay in one area and not to wander. If you know all of the kids and they are basically trustworthy, they'd probably be OK. Tell them to travel in pairs, to the restroom or for snacks etc. If you are still hesitant, let them sit by themselves, but sit 10 rows or so behind them - that way you are there, but not right there.

Norma, DD is enjoying the drums. They finally switched over from the bells to the snare drum in school, so she'll start to get some lessons after school vacation. She has a pretty good ear, she can imitate a lot of what she hears, but she really wants to learn all the techniques (like the drum roll). The band teacher is making all the drummers use the rubber practice pad over the drum in class for now, until they learn to "stay together". The boys in her lessons class are so rowdy that the teacher made a new rule - they can not even hold the drum sticks while he is talking!

Chelone, I hope you do decide to come to Deanne's party. We are not all strangers, you and I met at a plant swap at idabean's over a year ago. You gave me some of your bearded iris and told me it is the same blue as the sweatshirt I was wearing. Hope 'bug and Martie can make it as well! Monique, that cake sounds yummy. How neat that you'll make it with your own raspberries.

T, good to see you - we missed you here! Glad to hear that the twins are doing well. Never mind about the big heads, I'm sure they are adorable. Pictures??

Sue, shame on your insurance company. Good luck with the appeal. Good thoughts going to you and to Zoe.

Tough day ahead today here, a friend of DH's died suddenly last week and the wake is today. He was in his early 40's and in great health - he played hockey and bicycled. He collapsed in his kitchen and was gone, leaving a 15-year-old son behind. Really makes you think - life is so precious.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good Sunday morning! Another weekend just flying by here. My Pitcairn book came yesterday so if no other plans materialize I guess I'll sit and do some reading.

I decided I'm going to start taking my own advice and not stress over things I can't control. My guess is doctors deal with these denied insurance things all the time and know how to get around them. If not then my symptoms just got a whole lot worse. As it turns out the timing would have been awful anyway. My aunt died yesterday and the funeral is Wednesday in the Boston area. I'll go up Tuesday night for the wake and stay overnight somewhere. My dad and his wife are flying in from FL and I haven't seen them in almost 5 years. Zoe has an appointment with her regular vet Friday morning so I'll be able to take her to that now and I'll also be able to volunteer at our annual rescue fundraiser next Sunday. Sometime in between I'll fit in a quick trip to the Hartford Flower Show. If I'd been laid up I wouldn't have been able to do any of these things.

On the Zoe front, she seems a bit more relaxed this weekend. We've been super diligent about getting her outside and going with her to make sure she does what she needs to do while she's out there. I feel like we have a puppy in the house again...we're constantly asking "Did she pee?" "When was the last time you saw her poop?" lol I've always been a stickler about housebreaking with the dogs and have probably made them all neurotic in that respect. Maybe this is her way of rebelling? Speaking of the little princess, here she is...

And here she is playing tug of war with my slipper yesterday. As you can see, physically she's in tip top shape and still interested in shenanigans even at 9. Notice Nick sitting on the dog bed for Both of them have been in and out 10 or 15 times already this morning chasing squirrels away from the bird feeders.

V, every so often I think about getting another dog. Especially with the ages the way they are. Now would be the perfect time to introduce a puppy. We're going to have two older dogs at one time. But three would be too much. As it is, it's almost impossible to go away from the house overnight.

Martie, I've always worked and had dogs. Mine are alone approximately 9 hours a day during the week and we've never had any problems. The adoption of an older dog may require and adjustment period unless that dog came from a similiar situation but most dogs are pretty much go with the flow.

Allright then, time to scare up something that resembles breakfast then move ahead with the day. Yesterday I actually did some cleaning and should continue with that theme all know how that goes. It looks like we're finally going to get some seasonable weather here by mid week. For here that means daytime temps in the upper 30s F.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 10:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

A bit of a cloudy day here but the birds are feeding like crazy and it's 34 degrees outside, a heat wave! Anyway, might just go and spend some quality time with the birds while Doug goes flying. (Airplane everyone)

Martie, NO WORRIES, a person can only do what they can do and I completely understand about being in a mind set where social situations are difficult or uncomfortable. If it works out that you can come that is terrific and if it doesn't that is OK too. As I said, no worries one way or another.

Woody that Amaryllis photo is gorgeous. What a beauty! I used to grow them but never could get them to come back reliably so I don't often have one anymore.

Wendy, so sorry about your DH's friend. That's just awful.

Bug, love those pics! Looks like you had such a terrific time. That's marvelous....

OK I guess I'd better get the downstairs plants watered and do something productive with this day. Last night I had one of those nights where you think you are going to drop off to sleep at any second and you just never do? Anyway I don't think I got four hours of sleep last night and I'm moving a bit slowly today so any activity is going to be at half speed.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 11:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So as I am looking for "signs" as to whether or not to consider a third dog, I went to church this morning and happened to meet the pastor's dog. She is an interim pastor and I didn't even know she had a dog, but the dog was a very sweet chocolate lab who warmed up to me once she realized I smelled okay! The dog's name?



    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just returned from the movies. We saw "Breach", based on the apprehension of Robert Hansen, the FBI guy who spied for the Russians for nearly 20 years. It was very good; first time we've seen Chris Cooper in a leading role; great perfomance. Then we used some gift certificates and went for some seafood.

I did manage to get the desktop under a semblance of control. "Mum stuff" is in one pile, old correspondence in another, dead batteries in the recyling bin, dust and kitty hair removed. How do you clean the accumulated grime and dust off a keyboard? I've read you can wash them, but that's sounds like a great recipe for disaster; a toothbrush sounds less risky. I may just put books back on the shelves, tie up old magazines, etc. before venturing down to the bowels and... "the lab." (it's pretty bad).

V., I don't know about you. Do the think the sign is just there, or do you think you're LOOKING for one? That's the thing about pets; they arrive with a certain amount serendipity, there's usually a "story" to them.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

V: Quit fighting it and go get the dog. There are some things bigger than us no matter what one's belief :-)

My Valentine's Day Present:

One thing I've "hit" about 20 of the past 30 years is Narcissis blooming on Valentine's Day. Wish I could send you all the fragrance.

Select Seeds was a non-event but did get to meet the Manager and Owner. Got on their mailing list for their June "clean off the benches" weekend. One day invite only -- next day open. Road Trip!!!!

Will you stop having so much fun, Marie????? LOL

Kathy - Can you send warmth this way, please? Imagine fondant on a cake and that's what the snow looks like here. Just a dusting to sparkle on top and underneath, a hard shell that glistens. What beer for this Sunday afternoon???

Deanne: I know no worries but, you know. LOL Showed a few of your pics to my dad who has been an amateur ornothologist for years. "Cool work!!! (You have to use double entendre's when you're eighty to save energy.) Belly laugh. Thanks!!

Sue: Lemme att'm :-) Everything happens for a reason and it sounds like you're almost relieved. Your dogs are stunning, BTW.

The Lemon Merangue house pic belongs in a kid's book!! What a great look!

Hoping everyone is great and has had a good weekend. Wave quick to Wendy!!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After two straight days of spring clean-up chores, its time to sit down and do something that does not involve bending, stooping, sitting on the ground (and getting up from same) digging, and hauling full trash cans to the yard waste bin. The rain we were supposed to get today never showed up , so I made the most of it. I realized as I was working that I had actually removed quite a few plants late summer and fall- and actually have quite a few open spaces for new arrivals .A list has been started..

Woody, loved the Amarylis , and V, Olive looks sweet- think about itOlive loaf, Olive the dog , and Olive the preachers dog ..on the other had I can hardly manage 1 10 pound dog, let alone 3 !

Sue, thanks for posting the glam shot of Ms. Zoe. I am lucky to work only a mile from my home, so my 10 hour days include lunch at home most of the time, so my dog gets visit.

Martie, what a nice set up for your seeds ! We dont have basements out here , so I have a light on a 2x2 frame in my garage. However, my garage is such a mess right now I cant use it. By next winter it will be cleaned out and I hope to revive my seed starting area. I would be happy send you a Euc, but I am currently out of stock ! Havent had one since we left San Diego in 1986 ! I love them , but they dont work for me in my small garden. Oh, and todays beer is Kona Brewing Company Longboard Island Lager. Very refreshing after a day of manual labor.

As promised , here are some pics I took this morning. Not too happy with how they came out. I think I need to spend some quality time with the instructions !

This is my front garden after planting the 20 boxwoods yesterday. You can't really see the other small plants or bare-root roses very well in this photo. I'll post another in a few weeks.

My cool variegated Euphorbia, starting to bloom

This pic shows my pink Camelia in full bloom, Euphorbia "Jade Dragon" in the foreground starting to unfurl , and the Rosemary-again the color is washed out, but it is in bloom,and was even visited by bumble bees this weekend..note the neighbors orange tree in the upper right corner.

Sweet Voilet (Violet Odorata) which is engulfed by sweet woodruff, most of which I dug out this weekend...

That's all for now !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning, 6 degrees F here and winds gusting to 35 Brrrrr.... There will be no sitting in my blind today until these temps moderate a bit.

Martie!!! Woohoo! great light set up.... LOL "Cool pics". Glad your Dad enjoyed them. WE had a juvenile, female Cooper's Hawk here today but she flew off before I got the scope on her.

Kathy, Thanks for the spring photographs. Incredible that you have a camelia blooming where everything here is frozen solid. I think its interesting that before mid January this was the warmest winter on record and with the month of well below normal temps I'll bet this winter comes out average. Go figure? Supposedly we are going to get near normal temps in the next few days and this artic air mass is going to move out. I surely hope so. It got up to 34 degrees on Saturday and it really did feel like a heat wave.

Sue, I missed your post Sunday AM! What a lovely photograph of The Zoestress. She is still Queen for the Day. I surely hope whatever is causing her problems can be resolved. What day are you going to the Flower Show??? Maybe I'll pop down and go with you. I need a pick me up and that might be just the thing.

OK must run and get to the gym. have a great day all,

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well this morning the temperature is at minus 9.4F they say. The snow plow just passed by this minute, but this week looks to be better in some ways, namely temperatures up in the 32F range most days. The tough part is that the sun vanishes this morning for at least a week. Sun is a necessity for me!

I had to tell Deanne that the trip to NH is off. We tried and tried to figure something out but between the schedule times, the prices and nonsensical connections, it just isn't going to work this time. What a pain. :(

Looking at narcissus and camelia blooms here is unreal....It will be a while yet until we see colour.

All the best to you this week my friends!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning!

It is far too easy for me to slide back down into lurkdom with only reading and no responding so I'm making myself write something today to stop that slip sliding. ;o)

Norma, how thoughtless of me to have missd telling you that I was glad that you found the fire before it got out of hand. Thankfully the damage was such that you were able to fix it yourselves. Scary business! I've enjoyed seeing the photos you've shared also. You have beautiful property!

All of a sudden I cannot remember what else I forgot earlier. (Wish there was a little smiley for cross-eyed confusion---I could use it often--unfortunately).

My car died Saturday. Thankfully it died in the garage and it did this same thing 2 years ago (Jan. 2005)--in the garage. How weird is that? Running fine then just won't start. I'm so thankful that it does happen in the garage, but what a hassle and rotten expense to have to phone a tow truck to get it down to the mechanic to be fixed. Oh well, I'm thankful that we have the funds to have the car towed & repaired...and that we have a wonderful mechanic that we trust. Blech on car troubles! Last time it was clogged injectors, we'll see if it is the same thing this time and perhaps there is a longer term 'fix' that can be done.

I watched the twins on Friday and they both sat up for a few minutes. I was sitting on the floor behind/beside them so that I could stop them from tipping over or banging their heads together. I was so surprised and tickled at how long they were able to balance themselves. They are growing up! Soon I'll begin watching them two days a week instead of just once a week.

The elk have been here for the past couple days. No good photo opportunities or at least no new poses to take photos of. The same 'ole, same 'ole.

Well, I really shouldn't have started a post, I truly have nothing going on of interest. :oD Oh well........hasn't stopped me before. ;o)

I'm going to enjoy some more coffee and read my emails before beginning the day.

Hope it is a good one.....hello to all!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, Kathy - love the Spring pics -- it gives us all hope. Here in the frozen southern tundra, we are expecting warm up "tropical" temps of 50s later in the week -- having dealt w/ the horrible icy weighted snows & commutes of last week, hurting my back & knee in the midst, Im just kind of cocooning here - no motivation to do much of anything.

I did manage to make it to Dreamgirls - really great movie -- and the awards are well deserved of that cast - it's been a long time since I saw a musical -- it's hard sometimes to agree w/ friends on what to see - this was a compromise & one that turned out very well. I recommend it to all.

Love the Zoe pics, Sue -- I confess Miss Chloe has been acting more neurotic than "normal" lately too - made me think of Zoe.... but then she seems a bit more "herself" today so Im hoping that it's just winter cabin fever or some such. Small dogs do seem to take some things more to "heart."

Im sorry that Mally turned out to be owned, Marian -- but better you found out fairly quickly than another month when you were really attached.

Woody, - I laughed at the Lemon Meringue house -- it soooo made me think of that too -- yum - what a cheery color for a house no matter what the season. And the amaryllis is just the color hit we need.

Michelle -- I bet you're going full speed w/ the kitchen re-vamping - it will be lovely. I was envisioning you in your garden shed w/ some baseboard heat, all snuggled up planning the spring garden - instead, you're slaving away in the kitchen. I can't even get motivated to do much needed cleaning chores.

Glad to see the other check-ins from missing idyllers -- PM2, I hope you feel up to just lurking and popping in if you can.

How nice to have your Thumb your Nose party to look forward to, Deanne -- I know you all will have a terrific time. BRRRRR - someone wake me when it's Spring!

T -- grr re the car troubles -- do you think it's a battery problem? Im glad it happened in the garage and not the hi-way. I hope Spring brings warmth & happy optimism to you soon.

Did my taxes yesterday too - yeeha, a refund - maybe that home computer will come to pass in another month or so after all - it's a real challenge to even turn this old one on ...

Nice to see the family photos, 'bug -- everyone is having so much fun. Nice memories.

I hope everyone has a warmer, uneventful Presidents' Day -- Im gritting my teeth to go back to work; last week was a lot of more o.t. and struggling to get things done from home when stuck in the ice & stressful commuting -- it's these types of weeks that really makes me hate getting up in the morning! But hopefully there will not be too many more days like this and Spring will come early this year.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

11 degrees.No.Wait. That's the time. It's actually a tropical 22F.

When I was out trying to detach the morning poop from the surface of our ice rink the sun was actually warm on my back.

I enjoyed all of the life glimpses from Saturday and Sunday. Bug and grandson during the warmth of December, Martie's V-Day gift (are you going to start anything tonight?), Kathy's new design in front and blooms in back, the precious Zoe and Nick.

I'm with Cindy, I think the pets have cabin fever now too. The manic depressive one (Dannie) had a panic attack last night while I was reading in bed. She was one big bundle of anxiety when she was returned,(that was the reason for return) but gradually reduced to one episode a day, then 1 a week, one a month. Last was in December, so we made it through January. Maybe she's headed towards one a year now? Please. I went downstairs and turned off the radio, went to my office and turned off the humidifier. Looked at the magazine I was reading and wondered if there was a scent to it that triggered her. Checked the barometric pressure. Turned off the light and went to sleep. She arranged herself next to my head and stopped shaking and panting.

T, Eden and Michelle, is there a moratorium on grandbaby pictures? Something's missing here :-)

V, 3 dogs can work well. It sounds like she really appealed to you when you saw her at the vet's. I fought adopting Dannie for a long time. Two dogs and a rotating foster works perfectly for me. Finally did the pros and cons and capitulated. So what's stopping you? :-) You have two boys now, so a girl should fit in with few issues in terms of pack dynamics. I think you should go visit her at the rescue with your dogs.

Ok, I'm avoiding housework. It's an official holiday here which means I should be catching up on the clutter and fluff.

Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, the tow truck has been here and the car has been taken away to the car hospital. Hopefully it won't be too expensive of a fix. I'm terrible about taking the car in for oil changes, don't trust the drive through oil change places so I told them to 'please change the oil & filter as it hasn't been done since you did it last'. Dang but that is embarrassing to admit. I'm only about 3,000 miles over (so one change behind) when I should have done it. Darn me anyway for my procrastinating ways.

While awaiting the tow truck, I decided to do some work outside. Never mind that it was raining and I wasn't wearing a coat....I thought it would only be for 15 minutes or so. Well, 40 minutes later, I was thankful to see that truck finally coming up the driveway! I could quit working!!! I was edging the front beds with the half moon spade/edger that Sue suggested I buy/use last year when I made the beds. I bought the tool right away but kept putting off doing it until the ground was so stinkin' hard and dry. I then had to wait until the fall/winter rains had soaked in enough to make the job doable. I figured I had put it off long enough and it was time to begin (past time? yep---past time). So I began, in the rain.........wasn't enjoyable. I also bent over the handles to pick up the sod that I was cutting out----handles were muddy from my gloves........not a good thing on the front of my shirt. Dang but some people (me) need a sign and a keeper!

I came in and decided to put my pajamas back on since what I was wearing was wet and muddy. No one is coming, I have no vehicle to go anywhere (yes I do--we have a 3rd set of wheels but I have never driven it and I don't want to drive it). No mail delivery today and I'm not expecting a package (if the big brown truck is delivering on this holiday), I can be in jammies for hours yet. :oD

Cindy, a new computer sounds pretty great. I keep wondering about going to an Apple product when mine dies....I've become cranky and tired of Windows glitches and Microsoft's new tactics to monitor us to make sure we aren't sharing software. For some reason that company has gotten me riled up these past couple years. I don't understand it.....but it turns my 'cranky meter' up. Norton (Symatec) also has been turning my cranky meter up in the past two years......and I use both products---go figure.

So......the day stretches ahead.

Hope it is a good one!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A balmy 27 degrees this morning compared to a 16 that we had one morning last week.

T, my sympathies with the car trouble. Mine wouldnt start at work on Friday. I guess it was a fuse that blew and made the alarm system disable the starter. Luckily the local station sent a couple guys out and they figured it out. The whole thing cost $39.00 Oh, the joy of a small town.

I got a letter from Fine Gardening saying that they are going to purchase a tip that I sent in. Not so much but a little extra gardening money :o)

Still working on the kitchen walls. There is some damage from the wallpaper removal from the time before this.

Mary, it sounds like a fun time with the sledding and all.

Ive enjoyed the pictures on this thread but really havent had much time for reading other than skimming.

Cynthia, no recent Kenzie pictures. When we watched her overnight a week ago, I didnt even think to take the camera out. We were having too much fun playing.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Add my voice to the chorus of sympathy for automotive woes, T. I'm very good about regular service, though! My father was so cheap about that sort of thing... and it was always poor Mum who "paid the price". I firmly believe the relationship a woman forges with the automotive mechanic is the most important one she will ever establish over the course of her life! "My" mechanic is the quintessential, tall, lean, dry New Englander. To many, he is brusque to the point of rudeness (the helpmeet, lol!), but I think he is really a cream-puff with an overbaked crust. My car goes in every 3K. I drop it off Sunday night with a note (lube, oil, filter; tires, fluid levels... take it out when you go for coffee, advise about upcoming maintenance expenses so I won't be slammed). I let him have it for the whole day. I have experienced very few breakdowns, when I have, Mr. Crusty C-P bumps me to the top of the list. Probably doesn't hurt that I routinely drop off a goody when I pick up the car, or that there is a "lunch on me" gift cert. for him and his trusty assistant; but more importantly, I'm not a whiner or a PITA. I am in charge of scheduling ALL our automotive work... he calls me "dear" or "sweetie". And it's just fine with me. :)

I am, however, woefully lax about maintaining AAA memberships. Better "get on" that one, huh?

I cracked up at the vision of the twins toppling over and knocking their BIG heads together. One of the interesting aspects of this forum is charting the "firsts" for the younguns. I've never had a baby, so the milestones are fun for me to note, too.

It's gonna be a long time before I'll be able to penetrate the frost in the ground here... 'bug, you photo of the tree is just lovely. It captures what I find most arresting about the winter landscape. And, like Cynthia, I noted the marked increase in the warm of Old Sol's rays over the weekend. It's been very cold here, but the weekend saw a break... much dripping, much shovelling, and cats IN AND OUT all day long. When they were out, they were parked on the railing, broadside to the sun or were carefully mooching across the crusted snow to visit long ignored corners of their "territories". It's cold today, too... but it's not going to last.

It's fun to see spring time at Kathy's, and read of the excitement of starting seeds. I'm still OK with winter, it's really allowed me some time to "decompress". I share the angst about failure to address clutter, confusion, too! but it's really easy to get caught up the "it has to be done" mentality; I am coming to terms with the notion that not every single moment of my day must be devoted to something productive. For a long time it was how I managed and coped; it's a tough addiction to break. "Screwing off" is good for you sometimes. (the "lab." is still a disaster).

Dogs. You know I hate them. V., multiple dogs is fine and a good thing, IF they're all pretty much on the same page with respect to behavior(s). I know I would be leery about introducing another dog to our home unless we were scheduled for a vacation (we've talked about it). Dogs from the pound often come with "baggage" and require training, socialization, and TIME to get in the swing. I know how much work Rex required and still does (he is not "set it and forget it" dog). If you are ready, then you should GO FOR IT; but if you're worried about a young, untrained dog and whether or not you have the time to do what must be done... well, you know! And ONLY you know.

OK, that's it for now... good to see Michelle. It was a sorta long day at work, so I'll be back later lookin' for some more levity.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just explained to the fence people that unless Brian Boitano is on their crew they do not want to come near my yard tomorrow. My whole rink slopes, and there have been enough sledding deaths in the last week. I don't want any happening under my insurance policy. Oops, I just truly don't want them spending an efficient day here if they can wait until it melts. Two out of three gates on the currently fenced portion are frozen solid in the ice.

T, that grime and grunge job you did on yourself is proof you are a real gardener now! If you need to stay clean you must restrict yourself to the house :-) Hope your car is salvageable and the cost is inline with Michelle's bargain.

Chelone, my New England AAA card (I never switched to Mid Atlantic) says 'member for a million years.' Or 29 years. I have AAA plus and seem to use it every year or two for some dumb thing that's my own fault. Like turning around in a nail bed or leaving an interior light on for 3 days. It saves me angst and money.

V, this summer, foster of the month 'Pearl' was in Katie's way when she wanted to come back in the house. The two of them made letters with their bodies and spelled 'Olive.' At that time I had no idea what it meant and pondered the meaning of dogs over my martini with a twist. Here's the V part of the word:

Sorry for the quality, it was twilight and the camera was on it's last gasp. I do seriously have a lot of other letters they spelled while they were trying to untangle themselves!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 4:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No offense, Cynthia, but I was hopin' for more activity; it isn't a holiday until February 22nd.!

That, my friends, will be the 275th. anniversary of George Washington's birthday (or, as my father used to say, "George Birhtington's washday"). I believe such an august group as this should endeavor to acknowledge "holidays" on the dates they were meant to represent... I know little of Canadian/British holidays, so let's PLEASE, make a pact to commemorate important dates ON THEIR DATES. If nothing else we can chalk it up to the "global economy". Or greater understanding, OK?

I am very much enjoying GW's biography. I did not know that he was a superb horseman (as was his mother!), nor did I know that he was self-conscious of his lack of formal education, or that John Adams derided him for it. He was 6'4", lean and athletic, with the bad teeth that marked his time. He was a superb dancer! (I have much to read, not having passed page 100.).

I want to hear more from Michelle, esp. with regard to the kitchen walls... what was the damage (sheetrock or plaster) and how have you decided to address it? Pictures of Kenzie would be OK, I suppose... ;) . And also Eden (but hey! no pressure)! Ei is probably trying to come to terms with the duties of her new job... ?? Nurse Ratchet will return when she's satisified with the torture of primary schoolers... Taryn is probably engrossed in "job stuff", too.

And Marian... what's goin' on with you? I meant to share that when I was a kid "high summer" was heralded by the appearance of Indian paintbrush. They were the ones with orange outer petals and yellow centres. Their yellow counterparts were not "Indian Paintbrushes". They coincided with the arrival of low bush blueberries. I recall being sent outdoors in the morning to pick blueberries for my cereal. The dew as cold on bare feet, but eating puffed wheat with berries in the morning sun was pretty good!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Chelone, I am recovering from my company. Although the 5 of them were only here from Saturday afternoon til Sunday after lunch, it took a toll on my strength,( physically and mentally), and left me pooped! Maybe more of that "post partum" reckon?
I'm just not used to all that activity and noise!

" Mally " is still returning most every night. I am so afraid a varmint is going to get him, but there is nothing I can do about it.

It has warmed up considerably here. Went from highs in the 20s and 30s to a high of around 60 today. This in it'sself is hard on the body! I hardly even need to keep a fire tonight.

At least, I can go to town tomorrow without worrying about Nolon staying warm. :-)


    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello , hello to everyone. I noticed today that Monday seems less grim when you know you are taking Thursday and Friday off. So Monday this week is really Wednesday. I went out into the larger office where my staff is and asked them if they had had any tragedies today , and they all said "no" ! Yipee a non-eventful Monday, and we needed one.

bug, your tree pic almost made me pine for snow (almost) . Picture postcard beautiful, especially with that faint glow and shadow at the base. Sorry you cant make it to the thumb-fest at Deannes !

T, how I despise car crapola ! Mine is a 2003 with about 37k miles on itI will let it get between 50 and 60 and then get a new one. Should take me about two years Ill start saving $$ for it next year. That rain you had is headed my way ! We are to get a storm coming in tomorrow pm and rain till Thursday evening. Im very impressed that you toughed it out working in the rain. This was definitely a character building activity, and you have a lot more character than I do !!!

Michelle, wow re: the tip in FG .. Youre famous ! And wallpaper damage ? I hear you .Thats why its taken me 6 months to get my bathroom painted.

Chelone, I loved your tale of the trusted auto mechanic. You have totally demonstrated the best attributes of locally owned and operated businesses, and the importance of building relationships. And AAA ? Its worth it for the maps alone ! Ive always loved maps, dont know why. I like to look at them, study them etc. I go down to triple A a couple times a year and get maps; I like to keep one in the house and one in the car. I also buy DD and DS memberships every year.

Cynthia, love your alphabet doggie shotof course that is not only V for oliVe but V for V. ! I can just see those pups jockeying for position .

Chelone, I need to order my priorities because Feb 12 is Abe Ls birthday, but it is also DDs birthday ! Who is the author of the GW bio you are reading ? I really enjoy bios but dont read enough of them .I guess the real problem I have is with leisure time and how to ration it dont think Im alone here .So many things I want to read/do/explore, but only so much time. Anyway, on bios, last one I read was a Mozart last year. Sometimes I think you need to read more than one per individual to get a clear view.

Marian, maybe you will enter into a co-owner relationship with Mallys folks ? If he is returning every night, he must be finding something at your house that he is not getting at his.
And, sometimes the best thing about company is when they leave ! I love my family but it sure is nice to have some peace and quiet after a raucous visit.

OK Idylls, I gotta go have dinner ---peace-out

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning that just feels warmer. Yesterday broke down and wore lined jeans to work. Just couldn't get myself into "business" clothes with minusheavenknowswhat temps. Today, maybe in the 30's! Wahoo!

Good to see you T, and know that the grandbabies are progressing nicely. Sorry about the car. I am a stickler for regular maintenance and paid years in advance AAA membership. It's a professional hazard not to do both. Some of the nicest folks I've met on the road are the guys who know how to unlock cars without benefit of keys :-)

Not a big movie fan, have heard too much good stuff about Dreamgirls to not see it on the bigscreen. Also want to see Breach but will wait 'til I can do so in my own living room.

No seeds started, yet. Next weekend. Am really trying to pace myself and not start things too early. Too many broken plants in the past from light deprived leggieness, even under lights.

Not much to report, thankfully. Am absolutely anxious about getting my brother's hearing over with, though. All good thoughts tomorrow morning will be appreciated.

Zooming off into the fray ....


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Everyone! I hope you all have weather as nice as mine. It was absolutely wonderful out this morning. I have been gathering commuter clothes and my latest purchase was a Squall stadium jacket from Land's End. It has windbreaker properties, but has a hood and a soft thinsulate lining. Perfect for what feels like a spring morning. I highly recommend it for anyone who has to stand on a windy train station platform. Or for tromping around outside. I am looking forward to March, and it is right around the corner. I think that my roses I ordered from Pickering will be arriving at the end of March. I got a Vilchenblau for my mom which I plan to give her for mother's day, a Sweet Bess, and one other one I can't remember. I will have to check my order. I am so excited to see my garden this year, because I moved a lot of plants to new areas and am looking forward to seeing if they like their new home better than the old one. I just wish I had planted some crocus or snowdrops.

Martie, my thoughts are with you today. Hope all goes as well as you wish.

Sue, I hope Zoe is doing better. And that the surgery issue works out. Somehow I can't find your posting with details of what happened with the insurance company, but hope it gets straightened out.

V, did you bring Olive home? A couple of weeks ago my daughter and SIL were at a restaurant and there was a cat hanging around their car, meowing. They went inside, came out, it was still there. SIL asked the workers about it, and they said it had been there all day. My daughter got in the car and it jumped in her lap... They took it home. The vet said it is perfectly healthy, and 8 mos old. My SIL thought it was an old abandoned cat that he was going to offer shelter for the last couple of years of its life. It also explains why he was leaping on their other two cats, and playing so much. It is a very cuddly cat. They were going to name it OH Boy... because that is the name of the restaurant, but settled on Ziggy.

Deanne, I just loved your fluffy birdy card. He was adorable. I have noticed little bugs on my Elephant ears that are determined to sprout in the basement. Must be that time.

T- hope your car is fixed quickly and inexpensively. I am looking at getting new shocks and struts on my car. I have been driving Skip's van to work, and I don't like to drive a big car like that.

Michelle, nice to see you! Good for you on getting projects completed before the warm weather. I thought I might get my kitchen finished before spring. We will see. Roof is leaking in three places, so that will probably be next project. Skip spent a month working on it last fall, but it must not have taken. I think He is going to have a major job on his hands. He took the whole roof off of one area right to the rafters, but it still leaks. I wouldn't have a clue how to fix that.

Kathy, your front garden is really shaping up. And that camellia is huge! Is that a normal size? I don't think I have ever seen one in real life before, just the flowers.

I am out of time, hi to those I missed!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hey...everyone in Idyll-land, Watch your water heaters. Ours went on a rampage last night. The water was boiling hot, and scalded my hand! I shut it off at the breaker, but it remained steaming hot all night...even after we had ran a bunch out! Thank God it didn't do that when our company was here. We could have had a badly burned GD.
That heater has had issues for some time... but before... it would shut it's self off. I bought a new one last summer. It is setting in the utility room waiting to be installed. I will find a contractor to do that today. I just hope Nolon doesn't try to do something while I am in town... He is becoming more and more unstable.
I have a lot of stuff to move out of the way, before anyone can get to the old heater.

Drema, is that 'bugs' or 'buds' on you EE ? I hope not 'bugs' . :-)


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 9:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

'Member me? I'm amazed at how hard it is for me to get here anymore! I don't always have much interesting stuff IMO to tell you so I keep waiting till I have better material to share I guess.
Life has been good-lots of exciting stuff coming up with job changes for Chris. We are also contemplating a house move so we're trying to scale down and organize the junk.

I am so loving the people I work with. It's weird because I'm staff but I'm also a school parent so I don't always know if I fit in in certain situations( I don't want to appear nosy when the school gossip starts flying and I'm sitting there in the teacher's lunchroom-I guess you'd have to be there to understand). Anyway,the funnest thing recently was a murder mystery dinner that one of the teacher's threw at her home for staff/faculty a couple Saturdays ago. Maybe it was a type of initiation but my character ended being a burlesque dancer(!) so I had to come up with a costume....yikes. I went the safe route and picked a burlesque costume from the 1800's-you know,like a can-can girl? That way I was *dressed*!! Naturally that was during the below zero weather-nothing like teetering on heels and slick ice on the way into her house. lol. A very fun time was had. Neither Chris nor I were the murderer but it was really a fun and different way to spend an evening sleuthing and socializing. The hardest part was that you had to remain in character for the whole party.
Have any of you gone to one of those professsionally done murder mystery dinners or weekends? Imagine the idylls at one of them-now that would be interesting!

Eden! If you still have your Clerodentron Ugandense now is an excellent time to take cuttings-they root fairly quickly when you use the new growth and root them in water. I hope the mites didn't do yours in.

See? this happens every time-it's already time to go to work so I need to stop: ( Hi to all.
BTW I think I am behind on bday wishes-Taryn, I owe you one(I think) and Chelone too(thanks for asking about me)! I will try tonight-cross your fingers.

Sue sorry about your aunt and the health issues you are dealing with as well.

aka: Roxy Liquer; )

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 11:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We participated in one of those murder parties way back in the '80s. We LOATHED it, Babs. (lol)... too contrived and afterwards we all agreed it was "too hard"... it would have been way more fun to just hang out and party down. If the Idyllettes opt for that venue I'll graciously bow out, thanks. ;) It's great to know you're liking your work and the environment. Now, Ratchet, what's with the house move??? (it's nice to hear from you!)

Presently reading: "George Washington, A Life" by Willard Sterne Randall, Henry Holt and Co., LLC, c. 1997. My thoughts are as follow: can be a bit "dry", but interesting nonetheless. Wish there were some color plates of artwork or photograps of Mount Vernon. And couldn't agree more with respect to read more biographies to get a good picture of the time and the focus of the biography. One size does not fit all! I've read 2 biographies of Eliz. I and one of Henry VIII and his wives, also a biography of Mary I, Edward VI, and Lady Jane Grey... only now are the characters and their relationships to each other becoming clear without referring to the geneological charts.

Like you, Marian, I worry about "varmits" and our cats. But I always wind up shrugging and putting my faith in "the odds". They're here to do a job... catch and destroy rodents. They have to be outdoors to do it; even when it makes me nervous. Careful with the hot water, kiddo!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I just can't get out of Wal Mart without a plant following me home. Last time it was a pot of pink tulips, today it was an EE bulb and an Anthurium. I saw a lovely big Aechmea that I would love to have, but I'm running short on space!

Hi Babs!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quick fly-by greetings tonight ... rain is on the horizon, and tommorow is my Friday---first pto of 2007. Meetings after meetings tommorow.
Drema, re: Camellias, they really do get huge-larger even than what you see in my pic. People will often train them into standards and they develop into basically a small tree. At Descanso Gardens in So. Cal, there is a grove of very old Camellias that are probably close to 20 ft tall. Youu will see the individual specimans around Napa planted in the gardens of Victorians, obviously very very old plants, and quite large.

Hi Babs...

Marian, there is always room for one more !

Yeah Chelone, I'm not much for anything that requires "audience participation". Hate sing-alongs and the like.

Gotta go--ta' ta' for now

Kathy in NApa

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 10:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
A walk in the park
A few pictures from my local park this morning.
floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
Name this flowering plant please.
This plant did not die this winter, even tho we've...
Its alive!
Our area experienced the coldest average temperature...
Looking for Dianthus 'Mrs. Sinkins'
Is anyone growing this Dianthus or know where I can...
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
What plant are you anxiously awaiting the return of in the spring?
Well, maybe not *anxiously* awaiting but awaiting nevertheless. For...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™