Idyll #355 - The Leap Into March?

ctlavluvrFebruary 22, 2008

At the rate we're going, this Idyll may not get to February 29, but carry on .....

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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday all.

I bailed on the ofc today - ice, fun ice, and decided I couldnt stand the stress of the commutes at either end; plus a nagging headache and annoyance at a boss who dumped 9 more boxes plus files in front of my (empty space of 1 week) desk that greeted me on tuesday.... aargh.

Im sure he's more unhappy that I took today off as Im going to be off next tues/weds & part of friday for the commencement of the demo/mold brigades. Chloe & I need to vacate the house sometime tuesday while they "fog" the place - gee, I hope it gets the fungus gnats living in the houseplants! that would be an unexpected lovely bonus pleasure....

I appreciate the decorating suggestions -- gonna check out that Flor, V -- been having problems w/ the laptop here at home and it took about 3 hours to get it up and running. Im so technically challenged. Wish I'd stopped to get some decorating mags before coming home last nite! (yes, Kathy, I used to subscribe to H&G for the pics; guess I'll be helping the bookstores w/ their profit lines some for the next month or so as I wrestle with these things).

I hope all this nasty weather does not impede Deanne's pending Nose Thumbing party!

I love that cottage, Sue -- looks like a great little getaway and something for you to look forward to. It reminds me a bit of one I used to rent on Chincoteague Island for years when my DD was younger.

Wow, another pending arrival? Mr. Baby? I laughed at the tuxedo image thought! If only -- it would certainly make births give a more "finished" finale to 'em!

Denise, sorry you've had the same sorry annoying, frustrating breaking things week -- it really makes for a stressful week doesnt it? That is one very cool installation of lites!

oops, before I forget -- Chelone I just want to tell you that I think you've got one of the most terrific, self-survival talents and skills of sewing -- being able to sew anything in any form and re-upholster/recover -- what a terrific skill. Im sure it's one of those very satisfying ones too because you get to complete something and feel so gratified w/ the product.

ok, off to check out that carpet tile stuff and anything else I can before this things does down again.... I've got to do some more shoveling and boxing of books, etc., too in the family room for the impending demolition derby...


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 1:42PM
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I humbly apologize for posting to the now defunct Idyll...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Shame on you Chelone! ;)
I need an Idyll favor. I'll spare the horrid details (I'm tired of crying) but one of my foster 'kids' Max is in the OKC he!! they call a 'shelter'. He is being put down any minute now for something not his fault and he is more terrified than any animal I've ever seen.
Please send him good thoughts, prayers, peace or any other good vide you will.



    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 3:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Peace to you both. So sad.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 4:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My contribution to the new thread:

These two 2007 youngins came right up to the deck steps while I was standing at the table working the puzzle. I thought they were going to come on up, but were interested in pruning the lower limbs of the white azalea. Their mom wasn't quite as bold.
I was right at the sliding door when I took the last pic.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Jerri, I can tell you're really upset. I'm sorry you you have to endure this. Max may be terrified but it will end soon. I think this is a lot worse for you. Please know how sorry I am to read you are upset.

Cindy, I left you out of the last post to the WRONG place... because I'm dumb sometimes. I did more than my share of driving in crummy weather living where I did as a young adult and driving buses. I'm with you, baby! if I don't need to go anywhere in crummy weather I stay right at home... all cozy. GREAT CHOICE! I think you need the "excuse" of crummy weather for some "down time".

I know what you mean about the "sage" greens. I like them, but they have never "grabbed" me. Ditto beiges, tans, golds. Or white, to me? it's PRIMER! (sorry Cynthia), I saw one too many ski "chalets" with chilly white walls and dark woodwork poorly exectuted to cure me of the notion that white "brightens" or makes a room seem, "larger". I have no fear of deep, rich colors on walls and have no fear that deeper colors will "make a room seem smaller"... talk about an "old wives' tale". :) IF you are interested, I have a great tip on how to choose a wall color. One of my very good friends is a very accomplished DECORATOR (not a designer!) and her common sense approach to selecting colors has never failed me.

With respect to my trade... yeah, it's pretty "useful". And the fact that I've pursued it at all is a nod to my father (himself a tradesman). I was miserable at college and he counselled me to "learn a trade,; if you can work with your hands you will never starve.". He was right. I've never been "down-sized" even when manufacturing with textiles moved off-shore. I've always worked to BUILD my skill level with respect to my trade; I've never allowed myself to be "pigeon holed". Anytime I've been called a "stitcher" I've quickly corrected the term. I am a SEAMSTRESS (haven't done the apprenticeship required of a "tailor"), I know how to make clothing to YOUR measurements, alter clothing to fit YOU, and work on furs. I also know how to sit "in the line" and work production (I love "piece rate" work). I know how to make draperies and slipcovers. Awnings. Marine canvas. I can fix anything you want or need fixed... (even replace zippers, Denise!). But the real "key" to my longetivity and success has been a genuine love of the work and a fascination with learning and ADDING techniques to my "repertoire". I've used my skill with machinery as an entree to more than few positions about which I knew nothing, but I've busted my ass to master the requisite skills for every position I've assumed. It's helped that I love machinery and have filed away a good deal of knowledge about how to properly adjust and repair a variety of the machines I've encountered in the past 30 yrs.. "It's a living". :) Sometimes I question the relative intelligence of pursuing a trade, but I have to say that overall it's been pretty good to me. I am able to pretty much "set my hours" and when I'm done for the day I have a variety of things to look back on and say, "I fixed that." or "I made that.". My work is task oriented and when the task is finished it's DONE. Cross it off the list... I like that!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 5:25PM
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I can almost smell the venison, Marian. Would make a great breakfast for Nolon, huh?

Great shots! I think the little guy in the last shot want to help out with the latest puzzle.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 5:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well winter is thumbing its nose at us!!!! ROTFLOL Snowing again here but we are still planning to party tomorrow. Barbequed chicken and marinated steak tips, potato salad, Saucy's black bean salad, and Wendy's pasta salad, Chelone's special taboule, Shrimp cocktail (Sue's contribution), Doug's famous smoked salmon and Monique is whipping up a confection for dessert that I'll have to spend at least five hours on the stairmaster to 'pay for'.
We are going to have WAY too much food. I surely wish more of you were coming to help us eat it all.

Michelle, your containers are just FABULOUS! I thoroughly enjoyed my tour and will go back for inspiration. It was such fun because I recognized a few of the plants. How fun! Thanks so much for posting that link for me again.

Marian, those deer are so cute but I'd be frantic if they were destroying my azaleas. You seem awfully calm about it!

Waving hello to everyone!!!! I've got to run because I've actually got company coming over for supper tonight also and they will be here in five minutes. Have a great evening all.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 6:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Look what showed up in my yard yesterday!!!! A huge flock of Cedar Waxwings

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 6:27PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Jerri - Im so sorry -- it hurts your big heart a lot I can tell. I hope things turn otherwise than is planned and Max gets returned to you safely.

Chelone - the seamstress - I hope I didnt rub ya the wrong way w/ the wrong terminology "SEW" -- you are a multi-talented, handy dandy and even though you say "trade" (gee, i guess I could put my skill down to a trade of pounding a machine quickly) but we know there's lots and lots more involved -- math, design,puzzle fitting,etc., in both your profession and my profession.

Hey, I love tips and secrets -- and I love bright walls or floors. Ha, I had to laugh re white walls being "primer" -- there are few white walls in my house, altho the family room is one of them and the color there has come from the fabrics and carpet.

I checked out that FLOR, it's really neat - Im not sure how I could bring in the stairs that descend into the family room though w/ that stuff. Hmmm, though I bet I could do a nifty rug in the kitchen under the breakfast table (where I've been pondering a rug for years but havent for fear of pet "accidents") is really cool stuff and such cool patterns -- it would go well w/ your "unfinished" floors, Chelone - ya could pull 'em up when the tax collector comes for inspection, LOL.

Well, it's a rainy dreary nite here and I did naught but laze about - a great snow day. Hope no one is getting pounded w/ the white stuff.

Eden, eden -- burning question -- are you going to get your greenhouse this Spring? I have been meaning to ask - hope that dream is coming true for you.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 6:39PM
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Oh Jerry. Stupid human syndrome no doubt. He bit someone because they did something stupid. I'm incensed right along with you. People like that should get stuffed animals, and not be allowed to have pets at all. Serious hugs and tears for you and him.

Time to feed my child eaters and have some wine to settle me down. Low tolerance for this. Not doubt Chelone's Wreks and 2 out 3 of my dogs would be in same situation if they ended up in different homes.

Back later, Deanne the waxwing's yellow tail tip is distracting :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 6:52PM
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Our Wrecks had been through 3 (count 'em!) shelters and as many "homes" before I stumbled on him while surfing the 'net. I was looking for a dog compatible with CATS (about 30-50 lbs., lol!). Wrecks was the only dog in the age range I was seeking (1-3 yrs.). Aside from his picture, the only other information was that he was, "a large boy". I was appalled by his mass when I went up to "look". His "manners" were non-existant. But he was a beautiful dog and I understood that UNTRAINED was the same regardless the "body mass" in question. The question was redirected... from size to TRAINING, and how much of it we were willing to undertake. That, Jerri, is the at the heart of the your unhappy post!

Rex is, technically, a "biter". He bit a toddler in his last "home". Toddler had a cookie and dropped it. Kid and dog went for the cookie at the same time... dog was marginally "quicker" and kid's hand was in the way. Rex BIT THE KID. His owners returned him to the shelter, freaked right out that he's be euthanized (a possibility for a 3 time loser) and quick to point out that he "bit" the kid because he'd been unsupervised. He was transferred to another shelter... and that's where our paths crossed. But you're DEAD ON, Cynthia! Rex could have become one of the countless number of dogs euthanized daily had I not taken him for that fateful walk on that hot August day. Given his "pedigree" and lack of socialization and training he could have evolved into a vicious animal, of that, I'm certain.

Jerri, I know this is probably meaningless right now, but it's important that you know how hard some of us work to overcome the neglect so many adoptees endure before they're adopted. Rex is still a "handful" and he'd scare the -hit out of Cynthia if she encountered us on a "walkie", but he's under control (pretty much ;) ) and sometimes adoptions have "happy endings". Please, please try to rememeber that at this unhappy time. You won't get a hit every time you get to bat, Jerri. Sometimes you will strike out and sometimes you'll be tagged with an error. Hang tough.


(I hate dogs)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

WARNING!!!!!!! Vent follows. Pass on by if you don't want to hear my rant! :(

Thank you all. I'm not sure if I'm more sad or angry at the STUPIDITY of people. Max was 13 months old. This 'home' signed a contract with our rescue to contact us with any 'issues'. He's been stuck in their back yard (a big no, supposed to be a household memeber), he got bored and started getting out of the fence. He chased the neighbors kids when they were riding their bikes. NEVER bit anyone.
After doing this twice the neighbor calls animal control and complains about him. Animal control comes over and tries to corner him. When he got good and frightened they shot into the air. Big surprise here - Max growled and barred his teeth! That's all he did and that's enough in OKC to qualify as 'vicious'.
Granted the neighbor didn't have to endure a big goofball of a dog getting loose and chasing their kid but Max shouldn't die because IDIOTS adopted him and the rescue was 'too busy' to follow up with the family. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

End of rant.

DH is gone to Florida for 10 days. Not a good day for him to leave! LOL
I found out 2 days ago I have sleep apnea. I have to go in tonight for a 2nd sleep study to get some sort of CPAP machine. I hear they are much improved but I feel like I'll be the next Darth Vader. :(


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 7:55PM
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What sort of mix was Max? I already suspect there was some Pit Bull in there... .

And I have a neighbor with an American Stafforshire Terrier (kissing cousin to Pit Bulls) who is the most darling dog you'd ever want to meet. Rex and Bent. are best friends. You'd be freaked out by the posturing and growling, but there is no visciousness.

Jerri, again, I'm SO sorry it's ended this way. I don't know what more to say.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 8:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ive been mulling this suggestion for the last couple of weeks, and now that we all need to beat Chelone, perhaps IÂll just throw it out here. I know it takes a little work to start a new idyll, but perhaps after a new idyll is started, the creator could go back and post "end of idyll" on the previous thread? ItÂs still not foolproof, because you could open a thread with 97 posts, start composing away, get interrupted and by the time you actually post, six more posts have slipped in and you are none the wiser. But maybe it will help?

Chelone, are we sharing the double bed or should I bring a sleeping bag?

Kathy, the only bad part of the trip was the show at Treasure Island. The crowd was beyond intense, with at least one person having a full-fledged anxiety attack. IÂll spare the details, but it was far too many people with far too little common sense in a very restricted space. Never again.

But no excuse on how I missed the volcano at the Mirage!

I love the light installation, Denise. I really appreciate that government bodies allow such art activities to take place. They sure can inspire creativity.

Sue, it wonÂt be bears next  how about cougars? One was spotted about 45 minutes north of me. The cougar left some blood and they confirmed it was indeed a cougar. Now they are testing the DNA to see if it is truly a wild cougar or if it has South American traits. Apparently most of the ones in captivity come from the South American strain, so they can tell if he escaped from somewhere or truly has wandered this far east.

Marian, you certainly had a couple of inquisitive visitors!

Deanne, IÂm going to miss you all! (and the food too!!!)

Jerri, so sorry about Max. Cynthia and Chelone have said it well. There are no bad dogs, just some really stupid people. And "stupid" is not a word I throw around lightly. So when you get the Darth Vader machine, maybe you can pay a nighttime visit to that family and bare your teeth!

I went after work and had my windshield replaced. Slightly less expensive (after insurance) than getting a zipper repaired but just as annoying. I had to drive through an infamous "speed trap" town on my way to the repair place and was quite nervous that I would get stopped for a cracked windshield on my way there! But I managed to dodge the cops, tee hee!

Chelone, I had a good laugh at the thought of you being fired for showing up too early! Try as I may, I generally get to work at 7:00 am or 7:02. But I am rarely the first one out the door at the end of the day. We have a new "policy setter" who is consistently in the office a little early, but out the door like Marian Jones at 3:28. I am waiting for my evil ways to be chastised!

I seem to be running out of wisdom to share this evening, so I think IÂll try my hand at an evil Sudoku. TTYL and have fun thumbing tomorrow!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 8:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As I open my Lean Cuisine tomorrow, I will definitely be missing you folks tomorrow. Haven't seen Monique (or her desserts)in ages and have yet to meet many others in person. Do give the kitties a toss for me, OK Deanne? I am expecting at least one group photo too. (Ahem, Chelone, your face this time. No crawling about in the snow.) I do love tabouleh..LOTS of lemon.

I can hardly begin to explain my feelings about Max's situation...especially since the pet that attacked my daughter was also named Max. That Max lives on at our kennel, though is not allowed to be handled by women. The case was investigated in great detail and the solution well thought out. I like to think that is not unusual, but I'd be dreaming I guess. But yes, the problem stemmed back to his early training and lack of follow up once his master died.

Marian, oh deer!

V, my friend Lynn just had her windshield replaced too. Seems it is a more common thing than I knew. Can I blame it on gravel trucks? ;)

Gorgeous waxwing...

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

so if I was getting tired, why did I think I could handle the hardest level Sudoku?

'bug, you may certainly blame Lynn's on gravel trucks. I think mine is more snowplow/pothole related. Our freeze/thaw cycles followed by the need for lots of plowing have played havoc on the roads, and I suspect a bit of the road found its way onto my windshield. Despite a plethora of gravel pits in our county, I don't drive by any on my way to work - a true blessing. I had more frequent windshield replacements when I followed lots of gravel trucks every day.

I'm off to bed, hoping that the buzzy feeling in my head will leave with a good night's sleep.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Only a few words tonight, Im going to vegetate and watch a classic Peter Lorre film (M") and turn in early. We are expecting a big storm tomorrow with high winds and lots of rain.
DD called me this afternoon to say that her Dr recommended she be induced this weekend due to blood pressure issues. She is within 2 to 3 days of due date . Told her to get a 2nd opinion which she did , and she will check in Saturday evening for the arrival Mr Baby. She is a lot like me and does not want fuss and relatives showing up cheek by jowl. I told her I would wait a couple of weeks before descending on her. Im not really into children , though I dont mind babies, and she knows and accepts that about me, and I think she likes the calmness of my attitude. I will keep yall posted of further developments-

Jerri, hugs to you. I admire those who can involve themselves in these heartbreaking situations. I would have a very hard time with some of the things you describe.

Chelone, what is up with the boss not wanting you to show up early ?? Does she think youre going in and doing your nails and before the other workers show up ? Ive been going in at 6 for years. I find the 6 to 8 is is my most productive time of the day.

V, Oh yes, that Treasure Island pirate show thing is horrible ! That crush of people is almost scary. I was there in August so it was hotter than h**l and very unpleasant. We were relived to get ourselves off the street and into the doors of the casino. It was worse than seeing the Beatles in at LAX in 1964.

Marian, those deer look so cute, but there is no way I would welcome them to my house !

Deanne and guests, I will chime in here that we expect many photos of both the attendees and the food. I could go for some BBQ chicken right now.

Time for me to go, I hope a lengthier post will be in the cards Saturday.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 10:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today is the day of the teddy bears' picnic! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:12AM
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I think Kathy and Mr. Baby's Mom have a wonderful arrangement in the making.

My in-laws descended on my house from across the country with intent on staying at the local motel. "Knock, knock, knock...." at 10pm, "can we stay in the baby's room since he's sleeping in yours?" I was a quiet little 20-something and stewed in juices of anger for the days that they stayed. I watched as they took my newborn to Balboa Park, Seaport Village, the Zoo.....

By the time my daughter arrived 4.5 years later, I banned them from the hospital, LOL!

Anyway....back to reality.

Jerri, so sorry. Others here have said it better than I.

Ditto the potholes due to weather and clean up of's bad here this year.

Nick and the kids are going skiing today. Looks like a good day for it with all the new snow :)

Think it's time to pepper the Idyll with a little more Carribean sunshine :)

Here's Cinnamon Bay:

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The fog has lifted and left it's evidence on all the vegetation. The porches are icy again where they didn't dry off yesterday. I will remain indoors until they thaw...again.

Marie, explain "the day of the teddy bear' picnic".

Kathy, I am afraid 'welcoming' was not an option with the deer. They do not scare off easily. I certainly tried, and tried, and tried! When it became obvious that it was a losing battle...I gave up and accepted them. The nibbling on the azalea was just at the bottom, and will have little effect on it's blooming. I DO need to fence the little red one at the bedroom end of the house. I don't think they have nibbled it yet this year. I often wonder how much more vegetation we would have around our yard if it wasn't for them. I know an awful lot is lost every year. They have been browsing the flowerbeds all winter, as well as the shrubs. At least they cannot ( or rather ...have not ) got to the indoor plants! ) ( I guess they could come crashing through a window! )

Deanne, that is a gorgeous pic of the Cedar Waxwing. I haven't seen them for awhile. Probably nothing for them to eat due to our last April's freeze'. I love their flocking habit. RE: the deer what I said to Kathy.

Jerry, I am very sorry that you are grieving so because of the fate of your rescue. If I dwelt on all such goings on...espacially with the meanness of mankind on others both young and old..I would be a basket case. I am afraid all this has been ongoing since the beginning of time, and will continue to be so. It IS very sad....

LOL, V ! I think Chelone may put you in the dog's house ( if he has a house). Very funny...

Chelone, the little deer in the second pic was watching ME. They soon moved on after that pic.
That is a great explanation of your trade. I am thinking that going to a Trade School can be a better choice than high falooting colleges. So many College graduates are only 'smart' in book learning. Common sense has gone down the drain!

RE: biting dogs....I have always heard that human fear of dogs is one cause of their getting bitten. Another cause would be because of mistreatment by humans. The only time I remember ever being bitten was when I reached out to pet a strange dog. I found my hand in it's mouth! I wasn't seriously injured. I do not fear dogs, but ( like poisonous snakes) I have a healthy respect for them. I also believe there are just plain mean dogs, just as there are mean people, and I do not think it is anyone's fault except their own. I believe that both amimal and human can turn on you for no 'logical' reason.
I also believe there are stupid animals just as there are stupid humans! I have observed totally differant personalities in our cats, that have all been raised in the very same way from infancy.
Okay, that is my bandbox for the day....


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

That should be 'soapbox' not 'bandbox'.....wrong 'box! LOL

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 9:16AM
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Chelone would be surprised to know that I have Cayman Bay walls (deep sea green) in the hall :) Not as aqua as the lovely Cinnamon Bay from Saucy. Beiges and whites are soothing, most colors and prints agitate me, though I always admire color in other people's homes, I like the peace of low color in my own. It's another form of quiet.

Cindy, I've read that a good way to pick wall colors is to look in your own closet. (Still, I don't have black walls, but there's lots of white and beige in my closets.)

I tried to add a countdown to Mr Baby, but this site is afraid of Java. The spring countdown banners are linked so no issues. Kathy, I threw the nurse out of the room when I was in labor, so I can see where your daughter is coming from.

I so envy Denise's commutes. To see something like that light installation and the Watts Towers while going about your business is too cool. In this area, I get to see traffic plugs. There was a street art display of sculptured fish one year at the airport...

Darn, those deer are cute Marian.

Deanne, lots and lots of pictures of TYNAW pahty please. Food, people and beverages. Still love that waxwing photo. Wow. It's been icey rain here all week, and I worked my butt off clearing baths to backyard for dogs. They made it in and out three times yesterday with no tumbles (no walks in this weather), then Monty fell down the full flight of interior hardwood stairs when we were going down for supper. Much noise, a few scrapes but no pulls or breaks thank goodness. Still carrying Katie up and down those stairs, can't imagine transporting Monty too. Saucy wondered if anyone else lifts weight? Ha.

It's Saturday!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 9:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Only 26 days left 'til spring? I can't wait! Of course then I'll have to deal with mud tracked in by Ms Phoebe...

Marian, I was just comparing the Idyll gathering & feast with the Teddy Bear's Picnic. You know that song? Somehow I manage to sing that a lot as I get out of bed in the morning. See below.

I was part of the "please wait" brigade when my kids were born. I was fine with a family visit 3 months later. I organized a birthday party for my son 10 days after Sarah's birth. It was fine and fun, moms and kids. But I remember being annoyed that I had to ASK to hold my own baby... In retrospect, I am sorry that my parents couldn't be more involved with my two. They enjoyed post cards and phone calls and later checks were sent toward the "high falutin" college tuition. All nice, but not warm & cozy... But we are all different!

I think that Marian might be surprised by universities these days. Not all, but many of them have "coop" programs which combine work in their area of interest with the academic. I am really impressed by many of them, and feel it is important all around to make industry and universities work hand in hand so that as working adults people do not scorn each other for being "blue collar" or "ivory tower". Each learns from the other. I know that my husband has had to work very hard over the years to make his university see the importance of combining his practical experiences "in the field" with his research and teaching work. His students do many fascinating things...with medicine, filming, telecommunication, teaching, music, tabulation of voting results, etc.

So here are a few morning make Saucy's pictures even more enticing to everyone! Brrrr, -18C (around zeroF).

Phoebe battles with a stick

Phoebe explores...


Hopping about...

Mystified by her shadow...

The cats were soaking up sun in the living room. I'd enjoy that too, but other tasks await me...

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yes, Marie. I am very familiar with the song of "Teddy Bear's Picnic". I sang it to Tim when he was small.
I certainly hope the young folk in universities ARE being taught common sense. I sure do not see much of it on the TV shows. :-( Maybe the present generations will be differant. I don't mean to be offensive to your DH and others in the business. In many cases they are only allowed to teach what is allowed by the 'higher ups'. I haven't looked at the modern college text books. But I am sure they have been greatly revised from 'my' day.( I didn't see them then, either, since I never made it to college [ except for a computer class after I was well past college age! ].) I know the high school books are totally differant. Even 'history' has been revised!

I am sorry but I have forgotten who ctlavluvr is...:-( , but I want to assure you these threads will be slowing down once all can get out and work in their yards. We are all getting 'cabin fever', and this is our escape.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:07AM
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((Jerry)) that is so sad. Our Jaden is a rescue and has been a wonderful pet. My DH has a c-pap and loves the way he sleeps with it. He hasnt felt better in years. Cleaning it and dragging it to motels is somewhat of a nuisance though.

Marian, the deer are adorable. I have had so much rabbit damage this winter that I wont have to prune any of my shrubs this winter. Maybe some of it is from the deer as well. Deer crashing thru windows has been known to happen.

Dont get me started on gravel trucks and windshields. Ive been traveling a road under construction for the last couple of years. I swore that I wouldnt get a new car until they finish.

Showing up early at work isnt a problem, we just had too many showing up only when they felt like it. We now have a brand new time clock that reads your palm to punch you in.

I sure wish I could thumb my nose at winter at Deannes house have a glass of wine for me.

Deanne, what a lovely shot of the Cedar WaxWing. Im glad you enjoyed my containers, Im sure you recognized some of the plants as their ancestors are in NH.

Cindy, you might want to check out HGTVs website and the Rate My Space. There are hundreds of rooms posted by common folk. Lots of ideas there.

When Kenzie was here a couple of weeks ago she spotted some popcorn seeds that I had bought for her garden. So I let her plant and water some in a pot. I now have 3 popcorn plants that are 3" high on my counter. I should have chosen the type of seed more wisely I think ;o) Shes coming next weekend while mom and dad check out the FL school so Im sure she will get a kick out of her corn plants.

I predict that Kathy will be a gushing grandma before she knows it, what do you think bug?

I was wondering about Denises lights everyone was mentioning. It was one of those times where we posted nearly at the same moment and I missed it. That is really cool! The Rick/Kenzie picture was a couple of weeks ago when she stayed here. I actually got her to sit still for a change. Rick thought it was a bad picture of himself.

I must get something done around this house today. Id like to wrap up some of my projects this week, hopefully :o)


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:31AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yikes, Cynthia - Monty fell? I was thinking of you yesterday w/ all the ice and wondering how the 3 greys managed to get walks in this horrible stuff. I confess selfishly it's one reason I've always had small dogs -- so I can manage 'em myself if I have to - altho the question begs whether I manage Chloe or she manages me, LOL (as evidenced by her antics of not wanting to be contained in the kitchen, for her own good).

Re colors -- I totally agree with you that color is such a personal thing -- and probably functions of a room, as to whether one responds to energy or wanting peace, serenity, and what colors soothe. I think my wardrobe unfortunately echoes my need to be a peacock, if you will -- there's lots and lots of bright colors, and probably a lot of them similar to those colors I respond to in a room. My personal preference for my "family room" is for it to be bright, cheery and light all year round; I suspect it's where I get my energy, when looking out to the backyard too. I so love that people are so different in their tastes, if we can figure them out.

I hope the greys are only feeling sore today, and you too, Cynthia.

'bug - wow, what fun puppy photos. I wish I had documented more of Chloe as a pup. You are rightly so a very proud momma.

Kathy, it warms my heart to hear you be a patient, soothing g'ma to be -- much more sensible. You'll get to see him in your own good time. Yikes, Saucy, that's a terrible experience you had as a first-time mom; Im glad you figured out how to put your foot down w/ the g-parents on the 2nd child.

Jerri -- I think everyone here is pretty sympathetic to animals (even Chelone who hates dawgs, we know) and V said it best re stupidity of humans versus canines. Not to start a political discussion, but the 3 strikes out laws bother me and disturb me -- too much generalization and doesnt let the individual case (be it human or canine) be reviewed compassionately if need be. I guess this is the toughest part of being a foster, I can't imagine being strong enuf to do it.

V - what a bummer you're gonna miss the party; I did see the dreadful weather and airport delays all over yesterday and wondered if it would mess up the plans. We'll have to wait for the photos I guess.

It's hard to believe that spring might be less than 1 month away! Yeeha.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:43AM
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Airborne Phoebe Snowsnout! And checking in to see how that buzz in V's head is doing. And now Monty has fallen. And Jerri, gosh, I'm truly sorry for such bitter disappointment and pain, but then again I'm not sorry for the good stuff you do. Thank you for that. Though it's not a strict interpretation of the term, we call those that face problems and unpleasantness head on, such as animal rescue work, rather than looking away, the "sin-eaters," and thank goodness for your kind-hearted works and those of so many other idyllers.

Cynthia, I've got a very "greedy" eye and a strong stomach for life in general, lol, but I've never visited the Watts Towers up close. Various LA gangs have "controlled" that territory off and on -- which is possibly why many in LA haven't. but I plan to visit this spring.

Kathy, like others have written, I felt much like your daughter about the crush of relatives descending when a new baby arrives. I understand the enthusiasm, but what I wanted was lots of quiet alone time with the baby, not fielding 20 questions with a procession of relatives, who invariably stay too long, exhausting everyone with tales of their early motherhood, labor&delivery, etc. But, alas, needs of the tribe must be an extent, and like Saucy I also got a bit of a "reputation" for not sharing grandbabies enough (read: MIL issues. My mom's a dream). And objecting to some of the foods offered to my babies...Peeps may make interesting dioramas, but my MIL thought they were a food group...a real hard a** I was! Think what a great time you'll have watching your favorite movies with Mr. B. Yesterday I made a newspaper "house" for one of the cats to hide in and ambush other unsuspecting house creatures, and it occurred to me this sort of silliness is just waiting to be channeled for grandbabies.

Cindy, you don't want my input re decorating since I don't do much...nothing terribly coordinated. I like strong colors in the garden and cool, calm ones for the house walls. I could really go nuts with fabrics, though, and often drape various throws over furniture, just to enjoy the patterns and color then remove when tired of them.

Michelle, tell Rick that's a great photo. Here's some of Marty as payback. (Marty will never know I posted these, right?!). Can you tell I've got a thing for waterworks? The only potable water is the last photo, where he's filling the water bottle. All others were staged for my photography pleasure. All taken in Rome, March 2006 (carciofi/artichoke time!)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 2:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We had a sunny day here, so a little of the driveway ice did melt. I did go to bed early last night and slept like a rock, so I think I am dodging the sore throat/cold bullet that was threatening last night.

Thinking of the partygoers in NH right now...


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 7:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks) should have said " Those darn deer are cute", and that is right...they are cute. I DO like seeing them, but I do not like what they do to my plantings.

Marie, those are such great pics of Phoebe. I espacially like the one where all 4 feet are off the 'ground'. Excellent shot! And the one where only one foot is in the snow.
I don't know how we would survive if it gets down to 0 F or below. I am having a hard time taking the cold this winter, and it hasn't got below 10F, I am also having a hard time getting the house warmed up, espacially on cloudy days, and if there is a breeze. I manage to keep it from getting much lower than 60F, but still feel awfully chilly sometimes.

Denise, I like your pics of your DH and the watering places in Rome. Nice of him to pose for you.

Re: grandmothers and the birth of grandbabys....I was at the hospital (but not in the birthing room) when all 3 of mine were born. I am sure my former DIL approved, in fact she doted on the attention. Only Nolon was with me when Tim was born. It would have been nice if my mom had been there too.
If I had been as young as Kathy I may not have been so eager to have been there.

Re: wall colors....every room in our house has white or off-white walls and ceilings except my bedroom and the spare bedroom. I painted the spare pale blue and mine pale pink. I chose such colors because I like to hang stuff on my walls and they show up better on white or pastel colors. Also I really think it makes the interior much brighter. If I remember right, I did all the painting and enameling. They all need repainted now. All the ceilings (except the kitchen/breakfast nook and bathrooms) have the spray on stuff that I call cottage cheese. I hate it! Oh, and the utility room. It has acoustic tiles, part of which fell off when the roof was leaking so bad!! Plop! Plop! LOL


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Cindy, if you hear a knock at your door, let me in so I may cry on your shoulder.

Apparently when it rained last Sunday (while we were gone) we got water in under the walk-out basement door. The carpet is now moldy...

Yes, this is the carpet that was slated for replacement, but we weren't quite planning on doing so hot on the heels of the water heater project. le sigh - le long, deep sigh!


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 8:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh V...and still Oh Cindy...! Our basement is still dry since the repairs a year ago. This is encouraging. It was long and expensive, starting with re-leveling the outside patio and walkway and digging a drainage trench. Then it was dealing with mold, then plastering and painting and then the new flooring put down by DSIL. I would like to say we finally bought a couch for that room...but I felt a puppy was needed more. ;) I think that may happen this year...after puppy conquers her chewing habits. That means a good 6 months from now 'til I am convinced. If you omit the puppy from your agenda, you should have a quicker job of it!!!

Marian, that photo of Phoebe in mid air was actually of her attacking her shadow. This was the first day she had ever seen the sun! It is amazing all the new things she notices. Every day she gets more courage to trot a bit farther afield. She has not accepted a leash yet, but will wear it and drag it about, biting it as well. Today she suddenly learned to climb the 14 stairs to our upstairs! Amazing! Charlotte took weeks to have the courage for that. The cats are now in serious trouble! Of course Phoebe can't get down the stairs on her own yet. This evening she learned come, sit, down and stand all in one command. I'll need to repeat the exercise often. 'Stand' is the hardest.

DH reports "Reed is a self-delighted show off, with his assisted walking from here to there, shrieking with more delight when he spots the dog." Tomorrow DH will be allowed a visit with Skyler whose mother has permitted them some of "her" time. I'm happy she sees that this is a nice thing for everyone.

Michelle, it is easy to be a gushing Grandma, even if you do not live nearby. I would be very unhappy if I didn't have phone calls and emails! I too said that I wasn't "into children"...yet look what happened. I think part of it is the closer mother/daughter bond for me. Perhaps even writing out our feelings in emails makes it stronger than if she lived across the street. In fact, across the street would be too close for us. Put a mile or two between us! ;)

Time for Phoebe and me to get to bed... I bet the ladies (and a few gents) are still yakking and giggling!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:18PM
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Denise, what great pictures of Marty. Did you just stay in Rome or travel around Europe a bit?

'bug, I remember that you weren't "into children" LOL

I too am much closer to DD since Kenzie came. She gave us a lot of heartaches as a teen. They live 1/2 hour from us which really is nice, close but not too close.

When Kenzie was born I asked DD when she wanted me to come. She wanted me to come to the hospital after the delivery. She is impatient though. She called and said she was at the hospital. Pretty soon DSIL is calling saying DD wanted her mom there. We were in the hallway when the little squirt was born, so we heard the first crys.

V, sorry to hear about the leak. This all brings back memories of the sewer backup we had in our old house. The city broke my sewer line and it all came back in. Luckily their insurance picked up the tab. Our basement isn't finished in the house and we have no plans to. We have more than enough room on the upper 2 floors. We do have some water problems at times. DH just added a 2nd sump pump that hopefully will take care of it.

Chelone, my laundry room is now white(primer).

We also added crown molding and some rope molding to the laundry room cabinets which are as old as the hills. They really look good now.

Since it was in the 30's here today Jaden and I took an extra long walk.

So now I'm pooped. I hope everyone was able to make it to the party.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:39PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Looks like I missed a whole Idyll. Sorry, I am not able to catch up this morning, but thought I would at least say hello. DH is home with an upper respiratory infection, DD had a ski accident and injured her shoulder. Will have her arm in a sling for 10 days before PT. Never a dull moment.

I did at least manage to scan all the photos...the garden photos that Ei posted were great, I am a Piet Oudolf fan too. Hidcote Manor was mesmerizing. Norma's photos of Florida reminded me of trips I used to make to see my Mom when she was on the Gulf Coast. I still have an unopened puzzle from Christmas, I am reminded by Marian and Norma. Never heard of an edgeless puzzle, must be much more difficult. Saucy's Carribean photos..well, what a great photo of you Saucy! The water is such an amazing color there, I love it. V. that Chihuly ceiling is my new favorite. Denise, that photo of Wilshire Blvd was so surprising. I love the way the palms are highlighted. Marian's deers and Deanne's cedar waxwings, were especially welcome since I haven't seen a creature in my yard all winter for some reason. Denise, I enjoy fountains too and love your DH's beret. And of course, I see lots of very sweet puppy photos. That Phoebe is just angelic!! Seems to me she is growing very fast.

Well, you can see it is still winter here. Another 8" of snow on Friday. I saw this tree along the road and asked DH to stop so I could get a photo. Still very gray with some flurries at the time. It is on the lawn of a church.

Looking forward to seeing photos of the fun at Deanne's. Very disappointed not to have been able to attend.

Have a nice Sunday... :-) pm2

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 6:25AM
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The illusive CtLavLuvr Returns, Marian!! It's me, Martie :-)

When Ky was born my mom was 700 miles away and that was GREAT! She came about 2 weeks after he was born and was, at that point, a huge help.

My in-laws, on the other hand, descended as soon as Ky's dad let them know Ky was Ky. Because I delivered at around noon, by 2pm there were way too many people around and the nursery staff, where Ky was in a hot box, had to corral everyone and send them on their way. Certainly one of the best acts of kindness ever sent my way:-) One very good girlfriend greeted me at home with dinner ready and many loads of laundry done. She's still the best.

Pics of yesterday would be most welcome!!

Spent some greenhouse time yesterday and came home with a few things to grow on for containers. Why does an hour in a greenhouse equate to ultimate luxury in February?? LOL

I'm so sorry to hear the dog stories and the humans who derive their drama from these poor creatures. Our dog when Ky was in elementary school was named Max, rescued from the fourth shelter he had landed in, and was the sweetest animal I have ever met. He did like to steal things at first, undoubtedly a habit that kept him alive on the streets, but once he learned that his toys were his to keep, he was great.

That said, the 14 Pit Bulls that lived across the street were a tad nerve-wracking. Very loud, very undisciplined, and very scary when one pen's worth broke loose and galloped straight toward a bunch of kids on our lawn. The only reason there wasn't a calamity, I believe, was the fact that a truck came down the road at the same time and stopped their progress. That prompted a call to Animal Control, who fined the owner, disassembled the pens, and brought all the dogs to a rescue house that specializes in Pit Bulls. My big thing was -- It Wasn't Their Fault and fortunately, the town's dog keeper felt the same way.

On a happier note, today everything is frigid sparkling outside and the gardens are undoubtedly breathing a sigh of relief to have a good snow cover.

Happy Sunday, Everyone!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:04AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Martie.....later I looked up your posting name on an older thread and discovered 'it' was you! I figuratively smacked myself on the forehead for my lapse of memory. Did you start out as "Martie" ?

Oh ....Good morning all....
Another overcast morning, but no frozen stuff. Had lots of rain earlier in the night. It sure looks as though we will go into spring very wet! Abnormally so.

V, I am so sorry about your moldy carpet. The closest I ever came to having a basement was a dug out space under our second house....and I don't recall it ever having water in it. It was so inconvienient I realized I never wanted a basement inless it was a walkin.

Hi Prairiemoon, good to see you ! Sorry about your DH's infection. I sure hope it doesn't get any worse. And sorry about your DD's shoulder. I hope it heals well. That is a beautiful tree!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:38AM
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Suffice it to say, I have a laugh hang-over this morning. I confided to Deanne that I really have "deficient friendship skills"; it's just so EASY to stay at home, safe 'n' snug on the compound. Even yesterday morning as I diced vegetables for the tabouli I was thinking what a l o n g drive it was going to be, etc.. (I know, I know). But that melted away with nanoseconds of entering Party Central. Such good fun with such nice people. My warmest and sincere thanks to our host and hostess, Doug and Deanne.

Wow, so much to read and so many pictures to soak up. Our little "Phoebes" is certainly conquering her world with speed and ease. Very exciting. While I know you're weary of the winter white monotony, 'bug, the landscape shots are lovely. A similar nod to PM2, who's shot of the snow covered evergreen is striking, indeed.

Michelle, your laundry room comment made me smile; you've certainly been a "busy bee". If you think of it, I'd love to see the "rope moulding"... I can't picture it, but am certain it has dressed up the dated cabinetry nicely. And I love that you are encouraging Kenzie's curiosity in the natural world by growing things. What a special connection to make; not just with your grand-daughter, but also introducing her to the natural world. If we are going to ensure the safety of our beautiful planet, that's how it will be done! Deanne had a lovely geranium on the dining table that I commented on immediately. IT WAS YOUR'S, and I was "taken" with the soft, clear pink of the blossoms. Nice that you were able to join us. ;)

I have not looked at ANY of the container links, you guys. Not because I don't care about your efforts, but because "my head" isn't there, right now. So much going on here, "on the compound", that needs to be behind us when the "nice weather" arrives that I not thinking about plants and gaHdens right now. Turue to form, I will one more be a "reactionary gardener". ;)

Sue, Monique&Les. we're DOOMED by the current "baby boom"; about to overwhelmed by the wave of fecundity breaking on Idyll shores... . Years ago, I worked with a lovely woman, Nancy, who had 5 kids. The first four had been C-sections, but with a "new" doctor she had her last child the "old fashioned" way. She had been "told" that she "needed" to be induced and have C-sections. Anyway, we were having a coffee and all the other women were shareing their stories of labor/delivery with a pregnant co-worker. Naturally, the stories revolved around PAIN, the rush to the hospital, etc.. Nancy, quietly sipped her coffee and listened. And then she added this: "Shame on all of you for focussing on pain and fear when there are women here who have never had a baby. Having a baby is real special feeling and you shouldn't say things that will frighten them. I'm so glad I was able to have at least one the way we are supposed to have them.". I've never forgotten that! And I'm surprised that families so often overwhelm a new mother at a time that should be private... how else are you ever going to "get to know" this new person? What do I know, anyway?

Cynthia, I was horrified to read of Monty's fall; understanding that often the desperate, twisting attempts to right one's self can frequently do more damage. Ice frightened me now... has ever since I fell and broke my wrist. Before that, I never really gave it a thought. Do you have carpet on your stairs (I think not)? We do and it seems to provide more traction for multiple animal feet (though can be dangerous for stocking footed humanoids, but we have the option of slippers/shoes). Funny that you equate white with quiet... I equate it with static, lol. As with anything, it's simply a question of perspective. I've tucked winter Aconite away in the memory vaults... maybe some will be necessary when we are once more permitted to work outdoors to "smudge" the strict pencil lines of the baHn.

Thinking of Woody and wishing her well.

I'm going to hang laundry load #1 and see if any pictures surface... lol. Hi to everyone else.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well it is about 5F here today and sunny. Supposed to reach 30F though and that makes walking Phoebe far easier on me. Tomorrow they say it will be 32F but by Wednesday we will be seeing 12F once again for the rest of the week. 24 days until spring? I doubt it, but I'll accept it enthusiastically!

PM, what a beautiful snow covered spruce. I can't wait though until our photos change from the black & white look...Your family has been going through a rough spell! I managed to go to a presentation by Oudolf with a friend a while back. Lots of fun! His accent and charm... I mean ladies, he's really APPEALING as well as talented. He does wonderful things. A garden where kids, the users of the space, were included in rejuvenating the neglected area of the Highline, an abandoned elevated rail line in Manhatten, really impressed me. Do look at the site below!

Enjoyed the Marty series! Lots of memories there of village squares in Alsace when I was a kid. We used to go on hikes in the Vosges mountains to see castle ruins and we'd take along a backpack with "eau potable", sausage and a large baguette. We'd pick berries for dessert. My father always wore a beret and rode his bike to work, and this was a huge source of embarrassment to me back in Buffalo until I grew out of that stuff.

For me wall colour depends on the house a good deal. Our farmhouse has subtle but pigment heavy paint downstairs in yellows and greens, but upstairs it is an off white (P&L Snowflake) throughout and I feel makes the country house more unified and authentic...because it is full of small rooms up there. It was so nice to get rid of the dueling wallpapers we found when we bought the place. When we lived in Toronto, our first apartment was a study in blue/green vs red/orange and that certainly was a cool/warm lesson! In our first home I painted the livingroom/diningroom a wonderful chocolate brown. I've never had pictures look better than against that background.

Off to deal with Phoebe!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 9:10AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A good morning to everyone in Idylland!

I surely wish everyone had been able to come to the gathering yesterday! What a warm, funny, fabulous group of friends, and we all met here on the Idylls ! How marvelous. Id decorated the kitchen and family/dining room with lots and lots of plants from under the lights and it seemed quite festive. We started our afternoon nibbles with smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, a platter of gourmet olives, crudite and Wendys parmesan shortbreads, incredible!!! (Wendy recipe please?) A fabulous dinner followed of several salads (Saucy, Id love to have the recipe for that black bean salad please. Yum!!!!) Chelones fresh taboule was marvelous and I saved some for lunch today. We all had a good laugh at her tale of trying to find Bulger Wheat to make the salad. Doug grilled lemon garlic marinated chicken and marinated steak tips that were perfect. Everything tasted like summer! I have to apologize that I forgot to get the camera out until dessert but oh what a dessert it was. Monique and Les created the most delicious confection on the planet and you can tell from this photo that we were all drooling before we finally cut into the masterpiece and enjoyed it. (I almost swooned when I tasted the marscapone cheese, pistachio, cherry filling).

Anyway, a wonderful time was had by all and I count my blessings to have so many great friends. I surely wish everyone could have attended and joined in the laughter. Not to worry though, there will be more gatherings of this merry group and all Idyllers and families are welcome to come.

V. Im so sorry about your carpet. How dreadful. ~~~ We REALLY missed you yesterday.

Cynthia, how is Monty today?

Bug, Im loving all the puppy pics. What a sweetie!

PM2, lovely snow scene! I sure wish you had been able to join us!

Martie, we all had a look at your lavender yesterday and enjoyed that beautiful scent when we did a plant tour before dinner. Maybe sometime you can come too??? Youd really have enjoyed yourself.

Cindy, sorry about all the aggravation, expense and mess of the mold problems.

Michelle, everyone here was quite taken with your lovely geraniums yesterday.

Love the pics Denise! Marvelous!

OK Ive got to get the lead out and accomplish something with this day! Hello to all Idyllers!!!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:17AM
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I clearly need to get out more.

I hit "refresh" and that photo is what popped up. Here I am, alone "on the compound" and still laughing...

Do I need "a life", or what?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:27AM
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You guys have much more restraint than I do, I would have had my finger in the frosting. Sounds like a great get together. Thanks for thinking of the rest of us, even if it was late in the festivities :)

Here's my contribution to ushering out winter:

Yellow. (And too bright morning sun!)

Green walls. Almost Chelone's salon color? Had to prove there are some colors I like :)

I have to get going, really busy day here. Will check in later and catch up on more than just the thumb party.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:50AM
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You guys are too much LOL. I can only imagine the fun and laughing. Glad everyone enjoyed the Lav, though at Deanne's I seriously doubt it's the most intriguing plant :-)

If this question causes anyone angst I sincerly apologize up front, but my guess is there will be encouragement:

At the food store this morning I ran into a long ago acquaintance who is very active with "town stuff." There is a movement to create a dog park -- somewhere that canines and their people can go and let the dogs loose in a fenced area -- in a little used area of a larger town property.

They need someone to put together the fundraising/marketing stuff. Why do people always remember me for That????? Anyway, they asked for my help but before I consider it, is this something that is a good thing? Rules would be in place, some kind of screening would take place by the Animal Officer to ensure disciplined animals before a pass would be issued, and various dog-friendly structures would be in place.

Is this a go?


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Can't comment on the color (though looks very close to the Salon), Cynthia, but have to say the aesthetic of the white trim and table definitely pushes my pleasure buttons. :) Love the curvaceous aspect of the table, too. My "vision" for "pickled" pine trim in the Salon is a way of "countrifying" my fondness for crisp, contrast woodwork.

My best deocrating tip from a dear friend who is in her '70s now:

Pick paint colors based on the GEOGRAPHIC ORIENTATION of the room in question. North/south/east/west? Pick "warm colors" for North/East rooms. Cool colors for South/West. You can "smudge" the warm/cool thing if your rooms blur the distinctions.

You have to understand the basic color wheel to take full advantage of this simple solution; but honestly, this simple tid-bit of expertise has make the selection of color for those "hard to pick" rooms SO easy. I use this formula EVERY single time I have to pick paint colors... that AND fabric selection, lol.

Cindy: I object to being called a "stitcher". "Sewer" would be preferable... ;) . "Stitchers" are those who punch the clock, perform the operation for 8 hrs., punch out, and go home; rarely showing any interest in building their skills. When you work in the field you know exactly what the "stitcher" connotation carries with it. Just because I "sew" for a living doesn't mean I have to be a "stitcher"... I've put a lot of effort into mastering the many facets of my trade than most "stitchers" ever has. And THAT'S why I'm not just a "stitcher". I took no offense at anything you wrote!

One of the toughest things I've found about the trades is the presumption of many that I work, "in trade" because I'm not "smart enough" to do any thing else. I find that perseption has diminished over the years, but still encounter it periodically. Particularly with younger people (esp. mid-30s). Frankly, it chaps my ass and I take full advantage of every opportunity to put such smug arrogance in its place when I'm particularly offended by it. Usually, though, I politely "overlook" it and figure the dink will be gone after the few minutes required to write the work order. Conversely, there are more than enough well-heeled "professional" with whom I've established great friendships and who regard my skills on par with their own. "We pay different bills, that's all".

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Martie, It can be a good thing if the rules are in place, the park is monitored, and the dogs are well socialized to begin with. Here are the rules for my dog park, a good guideline. If the dog park is to have no rules or minimal rules and people bring 3 or 4 unsocialized dogs and their kids, I guarantee there will be problems and it will not be 'a good thing.' But it's a wonderful thing for dogs who are well socialized, have responsible attentive owners, and need an area to run.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm in a bind with your question Martie. My pup is too young to be exposed to the diseases of the masses of dogs in our area. She has not yet completed her inoculations. On the other hand, this is the crucial time for her to socialize with both dogs and their owners. Being on the farm does not allow for dog friends very often.
When DD made use of such an area in the past, the people became sloppy about clean up and watching their pets. That was when her dog Indy broke her leg, crashing into a tree when being pursued. Also, there was lots of digging by the dogs in the area and they unearthed dangerous sharp metal. No one was supposed to remove anything, as it was up to the university crews to handle it, however it was dealt with by her boyfriend in the dark of night since the university was frustratingly slow to act.
In a city I think these places can be necessary for dogs, but there are always people who surface and create misery for others.

I'm sure others will have good points of view.

Cynthia, you always make it sound as though your house is in constant need of repair, yet every shot you have shared makes me want to move right in.

Many laughs about the "sweetie" comments on Phoebe. All innocence in the photos, but really, she can be a monster. It is lots of work. Her play never ends and she is, as she should be at this stage, a nipping/biting machine! If it isn't the couch it is my jeans or my hands. There is so much to teach and I can't do it all at once. There's OFF, GENNNTLE, SIT, SETTLE, COME, DOWN, STAND, THANK YOU, ROLL, LEAVE IT, SHAKE...well you get the picture.

Lovely shot of the dessert Deanne...and the surrounding tongues! YUM........

OH! I thought I heard a gunshot just now, but I think it was ice cracking on the creek. The orb is doing its work!

Happy Sunday!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:31AM
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Yep, I'm right in line with Cynthia with respect to dog parks. I'd like nothing more than a dog park for Rex, but the reality IS he's not the sort of dog for a dog park. Too much "on the edge" and turning his hugeness loose in such a place would do nothing for any party involved! HOWEVER, such a place would the perfect place for someone in MY postion to meet other dog owners with a commitment to obedience and socialization. Maybe I'd be able to connect with someone willing to just get together and walk ON LEASH to build social skills and control...

I wish Cynthia lived down the road... we could prove good partners! Les. and Monique or V. and Michelle could be great buddies, too.

See why I hate dogs? so much work!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:46AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls!

What a great time we had yesterday - I really wish ALL of the Idylls from near and far could have been there.

The cake was phenomenal, DH and I finished the piece I brought home a little while ago. Yummy!

Here is the recipe for the Parmesan Shortbread, courtesy of

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 small garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix flour, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, garlic, and cayenne pepper in processor. Add butter and, using on/off turns, process until dough begins to come together. Gather dough into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 12-inch log, and cut each log into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece into ball. Arrange dough balls on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Press each ball into 2-inch-diameter round. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese over.

Bake shortbread rounds until tops are dry and bottoms are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer shortbread rounds to rack and cool completely.

I've really only skimmed above, so I don't feel fit to make comments, just know that I'm thinking of all of you fondly.

I do have to say, 'bug, your Phoebe is adorable. I especially love the "hopping" picture - a true action shot!

I have to get motivated to do the laundry etc that I didn't do yesterday because I was too busy partying! Also, I'm going to move my dormant fuchsias out of their dark corner and into the light (thanks for the reminder Deanne!).

Catch all of you later!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:52AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So nice to see that very cheerful photo of the 'gathering'! Love that bank of windows looking over the garden, Deanne. My, don't you all look so healthy and relaxed! Glad you all had a great time and really would love to make it to one of the Idyll gatherings to meet everyone, one of these days. Great photo! :-)

Thank you Cynthia for the shot of the forsythia in bloom! I agree with G'bug that your photos of your home are very warm and inviting! Love that hall table with those delicious curves and the flowers on the table are so country! You must browse antique shops, you seem to have a number of interesting pieces.

Thanks to all for the well wishes. My DH has asthma so it always goes into his chest and the doctor started him on antibiotics today, so hope that will kick in quickly. Haven't seen DD yet. She is on her way home with a group of friends. Should be an interesting week.

Ok...keeping it short...hello again to all...


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Well that takes the cake, my geranium was at the party and I wasn't! LOL I must say Deanne, yours looks much better than mine. It sounds like it was fun and there was lots of good food. Cynthias comment about restraint reminded me of Kenzies birthday. She was put on the table by the cake to have pictures. She grabbed on of the plastic Care Bears off the cake and licked it. Before we realized it she had put it back on the cake. We decided that would be her piece.

Saucy, why are you smiling so sweetly???

Cynthia, the wall color in your foyer looks wonderful with the white trim. I too like the little table. Our farmhouse doesnt have such fanciful things as a foyer. One door comes right into the kitchen and the other into the mudroom.

Here she is caught in the act.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, Chelone will hate this, she'll have to avert her eyes.

A refined meal with DGS...Well he does eat with gusto if not with a spoon!

Once I had a friend who fed her son in the bathtub...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:26PM
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I can only hope the world will benefit...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

What a mess!!!!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:43PM
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How come the little rodent isn't feeding himself?

I thought he was capable of that basic function.

TWMPB, indeed.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:51PM
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What a hoot that Kenzie and Cynthia are kindred cake spirits :=P that icing!!!!

Thanks for the thoughts about dog parks. The "work" didn't take long, and via email they let it be known that "Obedience training certificates must be presented, along with proof of vaccination or a vet's waiver for same to be awarded a Park Pass. If training has not been done, the owner must bring their dog(s) [rules say not more than two at a time ever and no kids under 13 or puppies under 5 months] to the Park where they will need to follow basic commands to the satisfaction of the Monitor on duty prior to being receiving a pass." Sounds reasonable to me.

Was thinking of Drema today and am hopeful she'll post some Charlie pics, soon. Since we haven't heard from Kathy, do you think???????

Ummmmmmm, this is why there are highchairs, Reed ....... LOL Love the bathtub idea; we used one of those plastic "rugs" for under rolling office chairs beneath Ky's. One of the best baby gifts (from someone else's experienced grandma) that he got.

Thought of you, Denise, while I was sitting inside today looking at all that snow and wishing like I could weed. Too soon to start most seeds, so will need to be content with repotting houseplants that probably are just fine, but what the heck ;-)

How sad that you can't get to the Towers, Denise. Not quite what the riots wanted to accomplish, yes???

Thanks for that recipe, Wendy! Rich recognized you in the pic, and sends hi's to everyone.

Nice big bone-in pork roast with onion and potato and carrot is in the oven. My butcher "knows" and leaves a good amount of hardfat on the outside in which to rub rosemary. Simple New England food is just the thing for today.

Hoping everyone can feel Marie's part of the orb!! (I love the sound of ice cracking!! One of nature's things that can't be duplicated..) Teen-aged neighbor girl came over today to be sure we would be celebrating the Equinox together.

It's catching!! Pass it on!!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 5:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

See V.
See V walk. Walk, V, walk.
See the frozen water.
See V jump.
Jump, V, jump.
See V fly.
Fly, V, fly.

It was a quite ungraceful landing on my knees, then slo-mo onto my belly. The right knee discovered that there was a lot of water under all that snow. Fortunately, it was above freezing so my jeans did not freeze as we finished our walk. Only a slight bruise on my dignity...

We saw lots of tracks (deer, rabbit, coyote and racoon) and found Mr. Coon curled up in his den at the base of a large oak tree. He was doing his best imitation of a piece of furry bark and the dogs did not spot him there.

Monique's dessert looks fabu-fabu, and the group looks wacko-wacko! I know you all had a wonderful time and I really wish I had been there. When I get thrown out of town, I will move out to the northeast, ok?

Martie, there are several dog parks around the Chicago area. I've never been to one (we sort of have our own dog park right here with lots of land and two labs!) but there have been several articles in the paper and they have all been positive. As Cynthia mentioned, good rules are key.

Time to shovel out the house a little. It's amazing what will accumulate over time.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 6:03PM
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Marty is a good sport! I like the idea of a fountain theme for the photos.

Kenzie is a girl after my own heart.

I am having second thoughts about the joys of grandchildren though after seeing baby bugs dining habits :)

Darn close match:

Waiting to see if Vincent greyhound is actually returned at 7:30 tonight. We've been giving this woman 'permission' since November. Yesterday, she said she'd bring him to me at 7:30 tonight. Finger's crossed. Jerri knows this feeling.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Mr Baby has arrived with the requisite number of fingers and toes, a little after midnight this morning. As it happened, DD did not have to be induced after all, she started having contractions on her own very early Saturday morning. Her labor was pretty long, but she feels really good about the whole experience-sounds like the staff at the hospital were all very friendly and supportive . So her journey though pregnancy is over and a much longer journey has begun.

Many nice photo-ops this weekend-the nose-thumbing drooler pic is priceless. Sounds like a great time and great food in NH this weekend. And thanks to Wendy for posting the Parmesan Shortbread recipe.

In lieu of Mr Baby pics (which I have none of at this point) I was going to join the blueish green wall group with my own entry. I am having issues with Photobucket-the resize does not seem to work this evening .Jeesh. Maybe tomorrow.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nana Kathy! Welcome to the club. In 8 months, perhaps your daughter will use the highchair with the little one. I hope you get a photo of Mommy and baby soon.

Reed does use the highchair. I have witnessed it! I'm not sure why DSIL preferred the "goose stuffing" method of feeding him. Perhaps because he fed his first son through a belly tube for the first two years? I'm certain there will be other eccentricities along the path to "adulthood". (Would someone please tell me when that is?)

V, I hope no bruises appear overnight...Do be careful young lady! Sometimes seeing tracks is fun, but here it is mostly rabbit tracks leading up to devoured roses, berberis, clematis, and other expensive plants.

Cynthia, so clever you are!! That photo is wonderful! Certainly enlarges your foyer.

Kenzie's 3rd birthday photos are perfect for the album Michelle!

Tomorrow DH returns. He had a big day today playing hockey and swimming with the family of 4. I'm glad! I hope to get in a shower-without Phoebe- before his return.

Here is DD's front yard...Spring has not arrived there either it seems.

Good night!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Welcome to the world Mr. Baby!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:07PM
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I'm still trying to figure out what Reed is eating. Scrambled eggs maybe?
Wyatt told me this morning that I make the best scrambled eggs. Better than moms or dads. LOL

Kenzie was doing a taste test Michelle. LOL I guess you could just keep restarting her corn seed LOL.

I've enjoyed a relaxing hour reading and looking. I needed that after a noisesy weekend with the boys visiting. We did get outside for a walk ( I managed to stay on my feet V) to the creek and around the fields. Didn't see many wild animal tracks though. The dogs were wild that we were out with them. Jake jumped into a brush pile and hid but Rebel found him easily.
Anyway I'm tired as usual. I should post in the morning so I could do better.
Here's hoping Frosty doesn't hang around to long. Norma

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Welcome Mr Baby. Good to hear that his arival went well Kathy. Congratulations! Norma

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Welcome to the world, Mr. Baby!! Glad DD is doing well, and must say I admire your perceived calmness, Kathy. Plant something in his honor :-)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 6:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

It's going to be a lovely 40 degree sunny day here. I'll be relegated to the basement as I've got a ton of work to do. I didn't get anything done last week because I was polishing up party central in preparation for our party. Im still laughing too Chelone!

Kathy, congratulations on the arrival of Mr. B! Glad to hear mom and baby are fine.

Cynthia, love that image! It looks like that corner with the table and flowers belongs in the salon.

V. hope you arent bruised today! Ive started wearing those Yak-tracks out in the back lately after I fell on the ice a couple times.

OK lots to do today, waving hello to everyone! Have a terrific day all!!!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 7:53AM
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Woo Hoo! Put the kids on the bus back to school! I have a Dr.'s appointment and I expect when I return back to the "office" Nick will be gone, too. Ahhh, peace....

Welcome to the world Mr. Baby!

Norma, those boys look so proud :) Of course your scrambled eggs are better....

Cynthia, we'll have to morph my kitchen in there somewhere :)

I don't know why I smiled and didn't make a face, Michelle....I make enough goofy faces without posing, I guess :)

Martie, I kept meaning to snap a picture of the water in my backyard to compare to has now receded, but we could have had a duck pond :) The ORB is spreading sunshine throughout my house and plant and animal life are all basking in its rays. I have been too busy to plan Logees....if you plan a trip let us know.

Deanne, thank you for a wonderful bean salad will be posted this afternoon!

Time to get this show on the road :)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:05AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Congratulations Kathy! Wonderful news that all went well and DD and Mr Baby are healthy and happy! Another grandbaby on the Idylls. Weight? Hair Color? Looking forward to photos. Lots of excitement at your house!! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:22AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

So good to hear that the new GB has arrived safe and sound without being induced. Congrats Kathy.
The sad news is.... that the neighbor's wife passed from this world before midnight saturday night. So the cycle of life continues.......

Sunday morning, while Nolon was getting ready to go to our AM meeting, the neighbor man drove in to tell us that she was gone. So sad, but I am glad he chose to share it with us.

Norma, I love the pics of the boys and their snowman. They are handsome fellows!

V, I hope you are not black and blue this morning.

LOL Chelone, " little rodent" !!!!
It's funny but I was thinking 'corn' but scrambled eggs make more sense.

Marie, I like the igloo. We used to build them when I was a child.

The closest I have came to the blue/green scheme is the outfit I wore the other day...:-)

I don't think we are going to have much sunshine again today. This is beginning to 'taste of the keg'!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yikes V Im so sorry; do we think its contagious hey, misery loves company, you can use either shoulder were in it together! Its amazing how these things never plan themselves in an orderly fashion; Ive become superstitious about spending money (even on things you plan for) because somehow it seems to instigate the unexpected to heap on top of your bills!

Denise love those DH photos; I bet yo had a fantastic trip full of memories.

Cynthia I do love that color and boy, it does seem similar to both Eden & Chelones choices Ive been contemplating one along those lines too in the F.R.

I can see why one would h ave a party-hangover, LOL, from a convergance of idyllers. Yum as usual.

Michelle, Wow Kenzie is looking so grown up! Thanks for the tip re the rate my space Id never heard of it and I believe I saw a marvelous potting shed that looked familiar youd been doing a lot of decorating in there and not shared with us! It looks truly marvelous, shabby chic just as it should.

Congrats, Kathy, on adding to the Idyll photo ops w/ a new baby addiion.

Okay, gotta face the day and (more!!!) files/boxes that have overtaken my work space thats what happens I guess in revenge for me being out Friday.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Good Morning, Not doing a very good job keeping up but I do love all of the pictures. Looks like a really fun time was had at Deanne's Thumb Your Nose party. And lots of Idyll little ones pictures too.

Kenzie couldn't be any sweeter, Michelle.

Norma, Jake and Wyatt are such handsome boys and what a great snowman that is! They look to be such nice boys too!

And oh that Reed, lol. Quite the mess maker he is, but such a doll!

We had our big Isabella's Third Birthday Bash weekend here. Saturday Brad and I took her to Build A Bear and yesterday was her party. It was all such fun and she loved every minute.

She picked a dog to stuff, not a bear. Here she's putting in his heart.

At the fluffing station, fluffing his fur

She's got him all packed up and ready to go

Birthday party

Kathy, congrats on the arrival of Mr. Baby. I guarantee you'll be crazy about him. None of the rest of us were big on kids either, until we got our own grandbabies. You'll see. What's his name???

Brad's getting ready to leave for work so I have to run. TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Wow! I was behind 5 days so now everything is a jumble in my mind from playing catch up reading.

V, hope you aren't sporting bruises nor residual pain from your fall.

Welcome to Mr. Baby! I was present for 2 of my grandsons' births (DD and DSIL weren't sure that DSIL could stay upright and coach during the deliveries so my presence was requested--I found it fascinating to be one of the first to 'meet' my grandsons).

Cynthia, add my name to those who absolutely love to see the glimpses of your home that you share. Loved the photo of the gathering and hope (greedy woman that I am) that there will be more photos shared.

The timber company that owns the land behind our property is logging. They began about 3 weeks ago and have harvested quite a large area so far. As of today, there is still a buffer of forested land between our property line and their machinery. I have taken photos and will see about uploading some pics (if any are 'good').

Okay, 'nuff written for now---I 'need' more coffee!

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:05AM
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I made it to work, but it remains questionable if I will make it home. It was raining and is supposed to turn to snow with 30 mph winds. This is just such a fun winter.

Congratulations to the new grandma! We really do need more details though.

Bellas birthday looks like it was lots of fun. Is that a Scooby Doo dress? Did great-grandma make it? Kenzie ended up with a Build a Monkey with a cheerleader outfit.

I have a bluish green upstairs bathroom, but it is a much more intense color.

Norma, those boys sure look alike! Do you get much snow in your part of MO? Im not sure what part of the state you live.

Marian, my sympathies on the loss of your neighbor. As I recall she wasnt all that old.

A former neighbor of ours recently won $1,000,000 in the Iowa lottery on a scratch ticket. I didnt realize you could win that much on a scratch ticket but I understand the tickets are $20. Im not a gambler so I dont know much about it.

bug, Reed looks like he enjoys eating and Daddy enjoys feeding him. I like the picture where hes looking at the camera with the expression "why are you taking my picture now?" We have lots of evidence of rabbits as well. At least they are leaving some fertilizer for the shrubs that they are eating. Our snow is just so deep Im sure theres nothing else for them.

The following is an email from my sister in Madison WI last week: Have you ever felt like you live in a snow globe and someone will not stop shaking it? Well, that was my thought on the way into work today. We may live in one of the best cities but this winter it is 'officially' one of the snowiest as well. We broke the all time record for snow fall in WI history. We have over 85 inches of snow and it is not stopping. A quick calculation for you - that is over 7 feet! The old record was only 76 inches and they are predicting that we may hit 100 inches before spring.
It has been crazy:
* two weeks ago over 2,000 cars were stranded on the interstate for over 18 hours, they had to have black hawk helicopters bring them food and water
* we ran out of salt for the roads because the barge was frozen on the Mississippi river
* the schools have ran out of snow days and we will now be making up the time in June.
On the brighter side, I guess it was good that I let my husband buy a four wheeler with a plow on the front this last fall. We have definitely gotten good use out of it. Plus, only 32 days until spring! (This was last Monday so you can deduct 7 more days)

So I guess it isnt so bad here after all, have a great Monday!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Eden, not only are you a fabulous involved Nana but you record it all so well! I thought you might like the way this Mom records her gang. I believe she home schools them too. See below. I would have loved to Build a Bear! Maybe I'll get my chance with Reed in a few years?

Phoebe is keeping me mighty busy, but at least I got a shower and shampoo in this morning. Oy, the nipping though. She's much slower than Charlotte was at adjusting to her leash. It will happen. I've been working on come, sit, down, and stand and mixing up the commands. Probably mixing up the puppy too, but we'll get there. OFF is the biggest and most urgent deal for me though! The next big deal will be to get DH to be consistent with what I have achieved so far. He can be so stubborn about doing stuff HIS way!!! I'd really like a few hours this afternoon to go shop...without my furry appendage. Yesterday I took her for a very short drive, just so she'd adjust to the car some more. She was fine, but hated the airplane overhead.

How is Monty?
How is V?

DH returns shortly, so there will be laundry and lunch to prepare.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:25AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, thanks for that report from your sister. It is certainly interesting. I read it to Nolon and he commented on it too. I cannot imagine having 7 feet of snow! How would I find my way to the woodshed! I hope there are not lots of lives being lost because of it.
The neighbor was 67. She was the breadwinner for the couple. He has a very bad heart and had several stints and a pacemaker installed. He is 2 years younger. She was also a hairdresser, and had cut our hair a few times. I had been thinking of enlisting her services this winter....
He will be moving back to his former town of Springdale,AR.
A daughter has a condominium there and is planning on getting him into one.
The only good thing about it is that 2 differant locals are interested in buying the land and they are both very good neighbors. I will probably be less fearful of a runaway fire getting us, if that happens. The land was ours originally, but we have no need for it, and I don't imagine our son is interested in it. The 'zipper house' will go back to the company that made it.)

Eden, your pics are special...I espacially like the second one. Bella's expression is so sweet. She is a doll! I don't think my DGs ever had a bear making birthday party. They were usually booked at Chuckie (sp) Cheese, and I was never there with them.

The wind is horrendous today, and out of the east but predicted to shift to from the west. Anything lose will be down or moved! More rain in the forecast and the possibility of snow in the higher elevations...( that means us). Will March be any better???

Good to hear from T, but sorry about the timber cutting. I hope it does not get too close to your property.

Marie, I sure do not envy you and your puppy! Not my 'cup of tea'! Not even 10 years ago!

I am wondering what has spooked our cats. Neither of them went out all night. Tommy went out briefly this forenoon but never left the porch. Trubby has still not gone out. I am wondering if some large varmint was sighted near our house. Maybe a bear or a couger ??? Such behavior is totally unlike them. Calliecat has showed, and seems uneffected, but at her age she is getting oblivious to what is going on around her. ( She will be 17 in April.)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 12:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

V. is okay this morning. No bruises and only teeny little aches. But I think I've broken my grumpy bone. Or perhaps it's the latest winter storm warning that's got me in a bad mood. I'm not looking forward to the freezing rain and 6-8 inches of new snow that Michelle is sending my way!

Eden, I agree with Marian that the look on Bella's face in the second photo is just wonderful.

Congrats, Kathy, on the safe and successful arrival of Mr. B!

The more I look at Chelone and Cynthia's photos, the more I think the large basement wall could become that color. I ordered samples of the Flor tiles that I liked, and think that this Saturday will involve a field trip to a local flooring store.

While we were out for our walk yesterday, we looked at the area outside the door where the water came in. We had regraded, added drainage, et cetera, et cetera several years ago and thought we had the problem solved. Well, (long deep breath) I think the overall drainage got changed last summer when we added the pond, and we created a "cereal bowl" in this area that holds the water in. Drat.

Double drat - there are snowflakes outside my window. Bright side - they are snowflakes and NOT freezing rain.

Two signs this weekend that kids do mature eventually. #1 - DD called to say that, after making fun of her mother for years, she has now found herself choosing to listen to NPR. #2 - DS actually went to visit DD!

Strange but true...


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 2:06PM
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V., now you're doing the "Jimmy likes Elaine" third-person thing, which has crept into this household too, as in "Duncan brought home an A on his biology test this week," which somehow strikes him as an appropriate rejoinder when asked to vacuum the rugs.

'bug, I've also been following the Highline, which Mitch visited at my instigation while in NYC, but had no idea Piet O. was involved!

Don't quite know how to put this...but I'm wondering if that spring forecast isn't just a wee bit overly optimistic for some of you...Winter this year just seems to be taking itself so seriously, it seems unlikely the handoff to spring won't go without a fight. Heard something on NPR about using a mixture of beet juice as a road treatment in lieu of salts...

Nice to see Miss Bella again. And...good morning, Mr. B!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 2:36PM
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Cynthia, everytime I scroll past your forsythia it makes me want to go out and bring some in. Then I forget again. Hope to see more spring things happening in your yard soon. I had to go out and work on the front pond this morning. So many leaves had blown in and ice frozen on the edges that I was losing water somehow. I was afraid to shut the pump off with such low water volume so some clean up was necessary. The snow is melting today, and when it is gone I am going to have to get a bunch more leaves cleaned up. The storms and wind we have had thrown in our weather mix this year just keep bringing the leaves up over the hill from the woods.

PM2, I wanted to comment on the snowny tree picture you shared. I like the way the snow has formed on the branches. Very pretty. I hope your DH and DD are feeling better by now.

Marian, you are right, it seems as we though when there are new arrivals on earth a few more pass on. And so it goes. I feel for your nieghbors loss.
I hope whatever is spooking the cats moves on quickly.

Michelle, we get quite a few snows each winter but not so many deep ones as we used to. We are about 60 miles west of St Louis. Our weather is pretty crazy because the jet streams can fluctuate so easily one way or another over us.
I hope you make it home safely. Wow on the winning scratcher. Thats pretty neat. Your sister has had quite the winter.

Martie, I imagine people remember that you are someone who can get things done. If my dogs didn't have the freedom they do I think I would like a dog park to take them to. Then again I could never get Rebel in the car. LOL

Chelone, I'm happy you made the decision to go to the Thumbs party. Looks like a good time was had by all.

Saucy, is it quite yet? LOL I told my DDIL yesterday that I didn't know how she puts up with them all the time. They really are good boys. They are just being kids. And they should be, they grow up so fast.

Jerri, how are you feeling today?

Bug, I imagine you are feeling much like a new mom, even though you love the little ones (pups or kids) you could use a little rest and alone time.

Cynthia, did Vincent show up?

Wendy the shortbread sounds yummy. I am not doing any more baking for awhile though. If its here I eat it. :(

Deanne,That was a nice photo of the cedar waxwing. Its amazing to watch them descend on a tree full of berries.
I hope work won't keep you away to long.

Cindy, is that you behind those stacks of boxes? How long will you an Chloe have to remain out of the house while it is being treated?

Happy third birthday to Bella! Thats a winning smile in the fluffing station picture. I bet she will treasure her new dog. Has she named him?

Hi T, I hope the loggers leave enough of a buffer to keep your hillside from washing out. I would be bumming out about it. I wonder if the elk will move out now or if they will have more to graze on.

I need to get some more paperwork done, so I'm outta here for now. Norma

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:03PM
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Hello everyone

My goodness what a lot I've missed.

We arrived back last night after a fabulous week in DC. It was great to see Ruth, BIL and Ivan and Iris. We spent our time at museums, on the capital mall, a day of skiing, walks and just hanging out. At night we cooked big meals together, drank lots of wine and talked and played games. Our time flew by as fast as these Idylls.

A big surprise was a phone call from our brother who was in town and had an afternoon free on route to Malaysia. He lives in new Orleans with his family (unlike Ruth, his house suffered no damage during Katrina). We don't see nearly enough of him so it was a very special treat. We all went to the new Air and Space museum at Dulles airport which is amazing and my DH's and David's favorite museum.
Here are the three of us:

At Ruth's house with Ivan and Iris

David and his cousins

It was rather hard to shift gears and be ready for school and work this morning but we made it and are easing back into our routines. Tonight is David's ski club, Annie's violin lesson and tomorrow my book group.

Wish I could comment to everyone but instead I'll send you all good thoughts.

Kathy - many congratulations on the arrival of Mr Baby and your new grandmotherhood oops! aunthood (are either of those words?)

Deanne - it looks as though you had a wonderful time together (love the pic). So sorry I couldn't make it.

Time to put together a hasty supper before our evening activities.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I'm not a baby person but contratulations to the Idyll grandmas out there. I don't see the fuss over Reed's egg breakfast. My furkids would make that all disappear in a flash! Isabella is obviously an extraordinary child to be picking a puppy out so soon. ;)

I got word that Max was given a sedative before his death. They did that because 'someone cared about him'.
He's out of harms way now at least. He was actually a shepherd/lab Heinz 57 mix. If he had the slightest bit of a Pit look he would have been shot on sight. I won't get started on that! LOL
I'm feeling better now. Just got back from the shrink who reminded me (again) of my irrational guilt issues. :-\


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello, hello...catching up while I can. Waiting for an appointment with an orthopedic with DD in the morning, and having a very strange start to the week. But at least the week will go by fast.

Eden.....My begonias are also struggling along. The only two that I have left. [g] I had a third, a Rex, which developed some sort of powdery mildew over the winter and is dead now. I just love the Rexes but I just can't seem to keep them going. LOVE the photos of Bella's BD party! She is so adorable. So Bella and Kenzie are the same age?

Cindy....good luck next weekend with the 'fogging'. So, it sounds like the insurance adjuster has worked something out with the estimates you got for the work.? You must be pretty happy to at least be starting to get things back to normal.

Chelone.......also have real respect for anyone who sticks with it to actually learn a trade and become proficient enough to actually earn a living with their hands. Your Dad had a lot of wisdom.

Sue.....just saw a news segment on the surprising increase in the bear population in Massachusetts. Video of cute little bear cubs included in the linked story about it below. sorry about your neighbor. Very sad for her husband too. Nice he has you for neighbors.

Cynthia....I almost tried to make a joke about you carrying the two dogs up and down the stairs, but, I am not good at it and I am sure it would have come across wrong. [g] Those are not small dogs either! Seriously though, hope Monty is doing okay.

G'bug.....also found the photo of Phoebe hopping about so funny. I still say she is angelic, even with the nipping. [g] Our last dog went through obedience training and I spent a good year training him and he was such a joy. Much better trained than any other dog we ever had and it makes such a difference. Wish I had learned that a lot sooner. :-) Sounds like you are very experienced at this. I'm with you in admiration of the Highline. I just love to see any city spaces transformed into something growing. So, Oudolf is charming? Handsome too? [g] Enjoyed the link to the 'trenches' blog. Very well done.

Michelle....I tried that Cpap machine and I don't know how anyone can sleep with one one, but at any rate, it actually would wake me up more and I had headaches using it. Very disappointing, since I had heard so many people get relief with them, like your husband. Your Kenzie looks to have had a great party. I loved age three! the 85 inches of snow! We are also beating records for snowfall this year, but our record is about half that! I can see why spring would be a real celebration this!

Rate My Space...never heard of that, sounds very helpful.

Newborns and relatives....we grew up with the concept that the baby shouldn't be exposed to germs the first month, which worked out great in getting that first thirty days to yourself and your new little one. Plenty of time for introductions later. :-) I was horrified to see a contestant on American Idol bring a week old baby to the auditions with all those people there.

Norma....Your grandsons really are very handsome and I bet they keep you busy! No snowmen at our house and I miss them. :-) Looks like fun at your house! Yes, I loved the way the snow formed on the branches of that tree, too.

T....that can't be fun to have logging going on behind you. Is that something that has happened before?

V.....don't you just love that when your kids decide to adopt something that they have been resisting for a long time? Such a 'YES!' has been years since we were in DC, but the Air and Space Museum is also my husband's favorite museum. Haven't been to the new one though. What a very happy and good looking crew you have there! The shifting gears after time off, is something we call 'Re-Entry' [g]

Jerri....So sorry to hear about Max. I am sure if there was irrational guilt there, it was mixed in with a lot of compassion. :-)

Running out of steam here and no energy to edit, so excuses ahead of time....thinking of Woody....and hoping everything will go well this week. Where is Ei this thread? Hello to everyone.. :-)


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oops! Forgot the bear link....

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:47PM
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I made it home, but it wasn't the best conditions. I've seen worse though.

There is certainly a family likeness between the 3 of you, Mary. Do you have siblings in England?

PM2, Kenzie was 3 in Nov, so she's a little older. I forgot to bring my camera to the party. These are pictures that the other Grandma gave to me.

T, I hope the loggers leave you a little privacy.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

OK, it's the big one. I'm redoing our bathroom and using Idyll green with white. It will be wonderful! If only DH would stay gone a little longer I could really get into trouble.
The bad news is that I have to take down wallpaper. :(


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 8:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I,too, am thinking of Woody. I pray that she is holding up okay.

PM2, now THAT is a post!! I believe you 'covered us all.
:-) ( Norma did good also...)

Jerri, I am glad that you are feeling better . I sure could use a 'shrink' for my quilt feelings! And I 'know' I should not feel that way.

Mary, you have a good looking family. What a blessing to have had such a nice visit with them.

LOL, V, I think my 'grumpy bone' is permenantly damaged!

Michelle, I hope you made it home from work okay.

Norma, the cats finally ventured out...starting around 1:30, and then coming and going. I have wondered how they managed to not have to 'go' in such a long time, but found no evidence of any mishaps indoors. They seem in good health, thank goodness. Tommy walked up to the mailbox with Nolon and they met up with Sam the Great Pyrenees. Nolon said Tommy got quite irate and even acted as though he was going to attack Sam. LOL. Nolon said Sam just grinned.

The wind continues....


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 9:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

My roads weren't too bad but the snow continues to fall. We'll see what morning brings... (or should I write that V will see what morning brings?)

I've been a total slug this evening - seems like work totally wore me out today. Not sure why I am so tired, but there were things to be done here and they are still waiting to be done.

I got home to a couple of very excited dogs, and I realized my iPod was playing in the docking station. I asked the dogs how they had managed to turn it on, but they would not 'fess up. I finally realized all the digital clocks were flashing, so I've now discovered that a power outage will turn on the iPod when it's docked! I hope the dogs enjoyed my music.

Nice family photos, Mary. So good to have some family time. I'm starting to look forward to the kids being home for spring break in a few weeks.

Looks like this idyll will be history sometime early tomorrow morning.

Ei needs to sneak in quick! She's a late poster - come out, come out whereever you are!


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:00PM
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Im afraid I dont have much more info on Mr Baby . He weighed in at about 7lbs and I dont remember how tall (long?) he was/is. The name is yet to be determined. DD told me what they think its going to be, but they havent filled out any paperwork yet so its still subject to change. DD is hoping to send some pics our way tomorrow. In any case, thank you all for your kind wishes and birthday greetings. It made me smile !

The rain has stopped at last, and I hope things will dry out enough to get the exterior painting done on this housethe final increment! I took a walk about the garden this evening and lo and behold I have tiny buds on several of my tulips. I suspect a closer inspection would reveal popping buds on trees and shrubs, but I spent an hour in the RV parking space sorting trash into the correct receptacles . Im afraid yet another dumpster is in my future.

Martie, I like your idea of planting something in Mr Bs honor, but it will have to be in a container ! One would not like to leave something like that behind in the move . Ill have to ponder this. We have a dog park here in Napa Ive only been once with a friend, and it was pretty nice. There is a fenced area and trails for leashed walking.

Norma, my scrambled eggs are also famous ! I find the pan used to be very critical, and the correct heat level . I try to create large fluffy blobs with very little moisture. Like to add chives or green onions too.

Marian, so sorry to hear of your neighbors passing. Its encouraging that her spouse has family to help him get relocated so that he wont feel isolated , particularly if his health is not the best.
Cats are so intuitive arent they ? I guess that is a defense technique to be able to sense when there is a possible predator nearby. We dont have too many of those issues around here where I live, but the cats get very spooky when neighbors walk their dogs along the sidewalk in front of my house.and by the way, count your blessings that you have never been to Chuck E Cheese ! There is nothing that could compel me to step foot in one of those places again. Absolutely insufferable. (Apologies to Chuck E fans)

Michelle , V and all the snow bound storm victims Weve had quite a cold winter here (for us) but what a different way of life yall have in the low number zones.
I noticed in bugs scrambled egg orgy Reed pics that Reed was in a shirtless ensemble and DSIL was in a t-shirt. This indicated to me that houses are kept warm ! Better insulated perhaps ? I have on a sweat shirt or fleece all day here ; only run the heat in the morning or evening-thermostat is 64 at the very highest .

Eden, its so nice to have you posting. Dont know what Build A Bear is , but I hope its more pleasant than Chuck E Cheese. Isabella is a very pretty little girl , even though she is under 25 and therefore suspect , lol !

Hello T ! I remember when DH and I took a driving trip on the Olympic peninsula , through Olympic Natl Park. It was interesting to see the clear cut areas juxtaposed with older growth. Here in NorCal ,logging is incredibly politicized, especially in the redwood forest areas, Humboldt and Mendocino counties in particular. Right now though, the mills are closing or downsizing because of the housing situation- there is no demand for lumber especially dimensional Doug Fir , and prices are very depressed.

Mary, what a lovely family !

Hi to PM, Deanne, Jerri, Deniseet all. I need to hang it up for tonight and have some dinner.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 10:14PM
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How nice to see the happy family time from Eden and Mary :)

Bella, you are too cute. My favorite picture in that series is 'all packed up.' She's got that 'I am so proud and happy' look on her face.

Maybe Mary can use Annie's shirt as a guide and create a little miniature tux for Mr. Baby. (I love Saucy's imagination.)

I planned to scan, not write tonight, but had to say something about the photos. Thanks for a lovely ending to my day. Until I remembered T's nearby tree carnage :(

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:38PM
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A quick good morning to everyone as I "cool my heels" waiting for the "witching hour" so I may leave for work. I don't understand why it's so hard to have the work load organized/prioritized so I could simply take a work order and get going on without the necessity of long, drawn out verbal instructions? Too complicated, I suppose.

Welcome to Mr. Baby.

We saw, "Atonement" yesterday afternoon. It's a beautifully shot movie with a slightly creepy, tragic story line. Very entertaining. We enjoyed the soundtrak, too.

More inclemency on the way for us, too. It will likely end as all rain for us, but the mountains and areas further inland are going to get walloped again. On Friday, we had a visit from an old friend who used to help out with installations. He is now working toward his Captain's license and he works the tow boats on the upper Mississippi. He is now working the New Orleans area for precisely the reasons Michelle's sister mentioned.

I can't quite believe how grown up Kenzie and Bella are getting. I like the sense of unbridled joy you get from their pictures.

OK, gotta think about moving on to things more productive. Later.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 6:08AM
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Happy storm-in-the-forecast morning. Snow then ice then rain = one big driving mess, but away we go! Such happy faces on this Idyll to greet me is just wonderful.

Mary -- You've got a look of delight at being "all together" that is palpable. I good the seeds and thank you profusely for them.

Kathy -- Maybe when you get to Oregon you can plant the Mr. B.'s arrival remembrance? Or you can borrow my Euc :-)

Denise - Beet juice instead of salt. In a picture this moment I saw tankers with red liquid happily squirting everything along the way. "Food for thought."

V: Well I'll be d&*med!! Good for your kids!! Good for You! I've been having a lot of sloggy evenings lately; think the combo of so many in the office being sick and the de-Orbed weather and NEED to get out into the gardens is stacking up. Back to Saucy's pics LOL

Chelone: Perhaps the instructions are a power thing to your boss; as in, "it's my business and so I have to treat everyone like kindergarteners and tell them exactly what to do????" You'd think by now that your true value to that every same business would be shining, and that she'd want you to use your skills in the way you think it'll work best. Sometimes little local businesses and megacorporations aren't all that different ....


WAVE with water can in hand :-)


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 7:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Been out there in the snow with Phoebe. She discovered SOCKS this morning!

I too had a visual with the beet juice scenario. As a pedestrian, I was wondering about cleaning bills...and the stains. Yet the IDEA is appealing.

Kathy, house temperatures seem to be an eternal issue with families, at least wherever I have been. I am referring to your observations on Reed's "ensemble" and his Dad's. DD favors cool in her surroundings, DSIL warm. Since he is now the stay-at-home parent, the house is set at about 70F. DD suffers in that heat and does not understand why a sweater couldn't solve the problem. Well, she saves her annoyance for real issues...if that. She did manage to get DSIL to insulate their hot tub heavily, but having it at all is not her idea. She does see that it is heavily used and enjoyed, so lives with that.

Super to meet your family Mary!

Marian I wish your neighbor well. A tough situation, but it appears it will work out fairly well. Yes, a puppy is work and you need to be committed to training it so you both can be happy together. That's why everyone should NOT have a dog. I'm glad your cats bring you delight!

We had a pizza outing last night. Not an ordinary thing for us, but it was fun to get out to town and chat about our week's events and even pick up odds and ends at the L&M. (which is known by the in crowd as the Limp & Moldy.) Phoebe is trying to figure out how to be the center of attention with TWO people around. Not hard so far, since DH is still in bed!

Another day of answering important emails and making appointments. Phoebe is schedule for her second set of inoculations on March 10th. Then I'll be more comfortable about her socializing with other 4 footed beings.

Someone asked about the catalogue that caught my attention. It is Fraser's Thimble Farms which is on Salt Spring island in BC. They carry things that I certainly don't find locally but that do grow here. It is fun for me to read about erythroniums, corydalis, dodecatheons, hepaticas, epimediums etc. Mind you, I would never order any of the ones below. Look at the prices! I don't want to feed these to rabbits and groundhogs. I have bought simpler things from this outfit in the past and been pleased, but I know others have had bad experiences...losing huge amounts of money for very small plants. I would never spend the amounts they lose there. I read about one man who claims he lost $800 worth of orchids. There is an art to ordering plants by mail I think.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 8:42AM
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We're in the middle of another 'snow event'. It started around 11pm last night and isn't supposed to end until around midnight. I think we're supposed to end up with around 6 inches. That will bring us up to over 80 inches for this winter. A record I think.

Marie, I'm with your sil. I like the house warm and I don't like having to wear layers of clothing indoors. I enjoyed reading the blog that you linked. That mom has her hands full.

Michelle, no my mom didn't make Bella's Scooby Do dress, my sister did. That was the only Scooby material we could find at the fabric store. Bella loved it though.

I saw a news report on using beet juice earlier this winter. I think it works at lower temperatures than salt will. They've pretty much run out of salt here this year and what they're bringing in now is double in price. Our roads are in terrible condition here between the salt and the freezing and thawing. We have potholes almost big enough to swallow your car and the road crews are having a hard time keeping up with the patching.

Mary, great pictures of your family and nice to see Annie and David. I noticed how much Ivan and Iris have grown since they stayed with you too. Such cuties they are! Good to hear that you all had such a wonderful time together.

Cindy, you asked if I was going to get up a greenhouse this summer. Our main project will be putting a pergola over the patio. Maybe a greenhouse though if I run across a good deal:) My advice to you on your renovation is to relax and enjoy making the choices. Have fun with it.

Marian I wanted to mention to you that I always enjoy hearing you talk about your cats. Also how pretty that last puzzle you showed us was. It almost reminded me of a quilt. I'm sorry to hear about your neighbor.

Jerri, stories like Max just break my heart. I try to help out by clicking on the animal rescue site every day and donating to the humane society but I really admire you and Cynthia for getting out there and helping so many poor animals. It too hard to deal with the stupidity of people and resulting suffering of the animals for me.

Kathy, not a big fan of Chuckie here either. We did used to go alot when our kids were small though. Build A Bear is just as chaotic. Best not to go on the weekends I think. Kids love it though. I figure they have to suffer through all the boring places we drag them that we want to go so we should return the favor once in a while:)

After almost losing Megan from complications after Bella's birth I find it pretty trivial who visits, when or for how long. These days I'm just thankful when a child's birth can be a joyous occasion with no scary parts. I think we all take the miracle of birth for granted sometimes. I do try on a day to day basis not to give advice on child rearing to Meg unless she asks. I wouldn't have missed getting to spend the time I have with Bella for anything though. She's been such a gift to our family.

Norma, Bella named her stuffed dog Shaggy. She calls it a 'he' but chose all pink girly clothes for it and a purse too, lol.

Jenni, Meg and David are taking Bella to a place called Jeepers at the mall today to celebrate her real birthday which is today. It's a sort of indoor amusement park place. She'll love it. I'm glad I don't have to go though.

I just went back and read my post and there's sure a lot of mention of Bella. I think I need to get out more? I have to go see Brad off to work now so have a good day everyone and stay safe driving out there.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 9:59AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Before I left for work this morning I did a quick shovel of the sidewalk. The end of the sidewalk was drifted at least a foot deep. I think I have shoveled this same foot of snow about fifty times this winter. I think it is the unrelenting winter weather that is wearing me down this year. Tonight I really need to get my behind in gear!

The beet juice has been used here for a couple of winters. We are dependent on ground water here and have some shallow aquifers, so they try to limit road salt as much as they can (although it's been tough this year!). When the beet juice is applied, you see a series of parallel dark lines on the road. They usually will apply it to areas such as bridges and intersections. I've heard from the public works guys that they are pleased with how it works.

Having had a couple of kids go through the Chuck E phase, I have to say that the only redeeming quality is that when the pizza or cake goes splat! on the floor, it's someone else's floor. Marian, if you would like to try there pizza, take a piece of cardboard, wave a piece of mozzarella cheese in its general direction and enjoy! Trust me, it's only a slight exaggeration!

I think tonight I will spoil myself with a pizza. That will be my reward for getting something done!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 10:17AM
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Has anyone else tried this new bread recipe? I've made a couple of batches now. Great to have a nice fresh loaf of bread at dinner and it makes a good pizza crust too! (Much better than Chuck E Cheese :)

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance.

1-1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (about 1-1/2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6-1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus extra for dusting dough

In a large plastic resealable container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm (about 100 degrees) water. Using a large spoon, stir in flour, mixing until mixture is uniformly moist with no dry patches. Do not knead. Dough will be wet and loose enough to conform to shape of plastic container. Cover, but not with an airtight lid.

Let dough rise at room temperature, until dough begins to flatten on top or collapse, at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours. (At this point, dough can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks; refrigerated dough is easier to work with than room-temperature dough, so the authors recommend that first-time bakers refrigerate dough overnight or at least 3 hours.)

When ready to bake, sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Place a broiler pan on bottom rack of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees, preheating baking stone for at least 20 minutes.

Sprinkle a little flour on dough and on your hands. Pull dough up and, using a serrated knife, cut off a grapefruit-size piece (about 1 pound). Working for 30 to 60 seconds (and adding flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to hands; most dusting flour will fall off, it's not intended to be incorporated into dough), turn dough in hands, gently stretching surface of dough, rotating ball a quarter-turn as you go, creating a rounded top and a bunched bottom.

Place shaped dough on prepared pizza peel and let rest, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it in lidded container. (Even one day's storage improves flavor and texture of bread. Dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in refrigerator prior to baking day.) Dust dough with flour.

Using a serrated knife, slash top of dough in three parallel, ¼-inch deep cuts (or in a tic-tac-toe pattern). Slide dough onto preheated baking stone. Pour 1 cup hot tap water into broiler pan and quickly close oven door to trap steam. Bake until crust is well-browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and cool completely.

Here's a link to some video demos of how easy it is. You can modify it too with whole wheat flour etc. The book has all kinds of recipes and variations.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 10:48AM
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That's a nice, warm topic, summer projects, Eden's pergola. I'm still stuck on the design of the blasted side gate, since what I really want is a gatehouse hideaway with a built-in porch feel. Can never have too many hideaways, is my motto. And no, you can never say too much about Bella :-)

The phone land line is out again, since we had a mighty drizzle over the weekend. Seriously, our phone goes out everytime the sky goes slightly damp. I'm thinking of chucking land lines entirely and using the cells. Just have to keep better track of the blasted chargers, that's all.

Well, that's two days in a row, 'bug, you've got me thinking of my oldest brother, another Marty. First with Reed's breakfast photo, which brought me back to a visit in San Francisco with my bro at a Moroccan restaurant where, just back from years of traveling, he ate the couscous like a "native." Result looked a lot like Reed's photo except there was also a beard involved, lol. And Salt Spring Islands is where he lived for quite a while. Very nice plant list. And...I spent some time with the Notes From the Trenches link. Very well done blog, lovely photos. This blogging is so puzzling/fascinating to me. I told Mitch yesterday if Betty Friedan had a blog, the Feminine Mystique may have never been written! Doing research for the spring trip, I stumbled on a blog of a family that moved to Rome for a couple years, linked below. I was just reading of the Knights of Malta "floor of floors" recently, and this family made the trip and lots others. The boy took a mosaic class and produced some stunning results.

Dinner was planned with my second oldest brother tonight, flying in from Alabama on business, but he had to cancel. He took 50 business trips last year and seems resigned to them but still...frequent flier miles go to lots of visits with his kids from first marriage.

Great photos of a happy bunch, Mary.

Our house is also on the coldish side, which is why I grab my woolly robe the minute I cross the doorsill. Out in the office it's a must.

Thinking of Woody too, and everyone.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 10:58AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Quick update...Back from the orthopedic appt with DD. It's official, she has a separated shoulder and will be in a sling for the next 3-4weeks. We are grateful that it wasn't worse for sure. Didn't enjoy looking at the xray of the angle of the collar bone and the news that it probably will always be that way from this point on. A little different than a bone break that can be set and cast to heal. So, no driving, computer use pretty limited. Than PT for about 10 weeks? DH started antibiotics on Sunday which seem to be kicking in, so that is progress.

Four more days and it will be March and I can't wait until it is warm enough to go sit in the sun!

Hope the day is going everyone's way...


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 1:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM, does "no driving, computer use, pretty limited" mean forever, or until the month is over? You need spring badly, I can see!

Well I lied. I broke down and ordered some plants today. Even a clematis and some roses. Nothing from Fraser's though, maybe spread out the pleasure.

The floor of floors is fascinating, but as an 8 year old, I was disturbed by the gloom as I was dragged from gloomy grey place to gloomy grey place. It is different now, and I miss the fact that Mom is no longer around to share her wealth of information. First thing that comes to mind is Siena. I LOVED THAT SPOT!!! Later, I loved Barcelona. Then Budapest....

Those places all seem so gorgeous and warm on this miserable day.
But there are ladybugs in the house! Is that a sign od spring?

(and laundry to finish)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Mary, How nice to see the family. Iris is a beauty and the rest are no slackers either. You really know how to give your children a variety of experiences.
How nice that you were able to visit with your brother also.

I'm picturing a time lapse video of V shoveling that same foot of snow fifty times. LOL.
Not funny huh V?

I am ready for winter to die down too. It is really windy here today and now I'm thinking about March winds. I don't do windy well either.
I had better get going on a big project to keep me occupied.

Vent;We are waiting on one of those people who insist on coming to your home to explain something of importance to you. I have a real problem with people who call in the evening and set appointments for evening hours. That is what business hours are for! Besides that if it is so important I will make a trip to their office to take care of it. I always try to discourage such. Arrgggh Vent over.

I think my grumpy bone is broken also. I'll be back whem it has healed. Norma

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 3:59PM
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More snow drifing down from the sky. I suspect it will change to rain, the question remaining is how much will accumulate before the changeover and how long the driveway will remain rutted and frozen. :) Funnily enough, though, I'm still OK with it. Go figure. I've somehow managed to miss the whole beet juice thing; it does conjur some interesting visuals.

I think there's a Chuck E. Cheese down near the mauls. There's another place called Joker's (I think) that is
likely similarly themed. The helpmeet and I refer to it as the "e. coli proving ground".

Work was OK, as predicted there was nothing set out for me to do, nor could I glean anything meaningful from the hastily scrawled work orders. So I cleaned. I cleaned up a pile that has been threatening to bar the door for at least 6 months now. I reorganized the vinyl scraps, throwing out several rolls, rerolling those that had been opened and tossed aside because they weren't the right size, and managed to get them back in the basket. I swept the floor and was appalled at the dust and grime (believe me, I'm not "neatnik"). Upside is, the place looks better, I kept myself busy, and am now working a project.

Count me in as one who likes it warm. I did that whole, freezeyerassoff thing in the last "energy crisis". I came home today and the house was cozy... woodstove providing a cheery glow and welcome warmth on the sort of raw, chilly day you get in a maritime environment. I do like a cool/chilly bedroom, though... makes you appreciate a warm bed (thank you, Herman Melville).

We now have functional heat in the Salon and I may now apply the smooth mortar to the face of the concrete block chimney. And think about painting the floor.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 4:54PM
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We cleaned at work today too. Our server decided to take a sick day today and crashed. Internet is spotty and company software is a no go, but the phones still ring. I'll be lucky if I get this posted. We cleaned through all the old computer software and books. Its been a long day.

Michelle (who finally gets to go home)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Hi everyone

You might have noticed my brother looking rather dapper in a beige jacket. He bought it that morning for his trip. At Ruth's he discovered a church program in one of the pockets - I guess someone had worn it to a wedding or funeral then returned it.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 5:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hmm, does that fall under "The Audacity of Mourning"? Just when you think you've heard it all...

The end of the driveway was drifted up to two feet deep when I got home. I didn't stop to get the mail, out of fear that if I stopped I would never restart. The snowplow angel is on his way out.

I went out at lunchtime and the sun was shining and the sky was a gorgeous shade of blue. There were some great "photo ops" but no safe place to stop and take the picture. By the time I left work for the day, the skies had clouded over again.

Norma, you know this is the home of "Groundhog Day", so perhaps we have a talent for repeating things over and over and over and over...

DD found out last night that she passed her "Basic Skills" test required by our state for a teaching license. She wasn't particularly worried about this, but it's nice to have one more thing crossed off the list.

We keep the house on the cooler side. 65 in the main part of the house and 60 in the bedroom. I usually throw an old denim shirt over whatever else I'm wearing (quite the fashion statement, eh?) and that keeps me plenty cozy.

Now that you all are using CFL bulbs and reusable shopping bags, would you like to know what I see as the next green trend? Moving away from cheap (and disposable) clothing to better made, longer-lasting clothes. Chelone's talents could be quite in demand in the future!

I've made myself a list for this evening and am determined to do more than doze on the love seat. Onward!


    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 6:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I will add the 100th post...just to do it!!

We braved the wind and cold today to go to town. Nolon went also, to get his hair cut, so he will not be so shaggy at the funeral tomorrow.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 8:17PM
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