#423 - The Groundhog Idyll!

Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)February 1, 2009

I declare that spring is right around the corner.

Carry on my friends! :)


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I declare (as only a native New Englander may) that your pallet is shy just a few bricks, my Oklahoma friend. :)

Well, 'bug is back from her shopping junket and I wonder if there are any chapeaux (with veils?) hidden away in her luggage... gloves to match, p'raps? I hope you had a good time in the big city; time with friends is such fun. What kind of stove did you guys end up with? I can't remember if I asked or you said... either way, I've spaced it right out. Bet Phoebe was pretty stoked to have the drill sargeant back home.

Lucky Cynthia with 52 degrees... no melting here, I'm afraid.

Deanne, I have huge news from the Compound! The helpmeet has spotted a group of 4-5 Bluebirds at the feeder. He couldn't believe his eyes the other morning, checked the bird book and sure enough! that's what they are. We have never seen them here before (not enough open space) and according to the book they don't winter much farther north and New Jersey, so we're appropriately dazzled.

I finished the woodwork this afternoon and removed the tape and newspaper. I just finished wiping off the newsprint grime but have decided washing the windows can wait until the floor is finished. I have a few rather formal ideas in mind for the floor; one is the floor of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court, two others have been shamelessly lifted from public areas of the Titanic, another is simply an accent at the apex of a diagonally laid grid. I have to draw them up to get a good feel for them and feel comfortable laying the pattern out. I am presently leaning toward a quiet palette, using a stock beige and another closely related but deeper shade for the contrast (I'm trying to keep it in the same basic color range as the drapery fabric). I haven't quite come up with the final plan for the prep work on the Advantec sub-floor. I like spattered floors very much, but having done one in the past am very well aware of the amount of protective papering and brush control required to keep the spattering where one wishes it to be... rather a lot of work for such a "carefree" decoration. I think I'm a bit too "buttoned up" for it... Neo-Victorian that I am. :)

Kathy, I think the leaves in that arrangement were indeed Camellia leaves. Thanks for the shots! It was 72 degrees in the Salon today and the acrylic dried really fast, too. The cats have been in seventh heaven, too. Their ramp system is in place and they regularly appear at the window waiting to be let inside. Beats the hell out of going downstairs and opening the door for them, I can tell ya.

Helpmeet is at the Lonely Guy's house and I'm about to head on out the Salon to make sure everything is picked up and all the trash is ready to be put out tomorrow morning.

Woody, thanks for the explanation. I feel slightly vindicated now, thanks to you! A few people have told me things are planted too far apart ("don't you think it looks a little sparse?"). Funnily enough I have some reservations about the relative closeness of the Viburnums next to the road, but I'm willing to risk it since the site is low, wet, and I'm more concerned about how they'll emerge come springtime. Only time will tell.

Here's to relaxing Sundays, feelings of accomplishment, and all that good stuff. (I don't want to work tomorrow).

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:12PM
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Id like to report that if it is in the high 60Âs at 4:30pst on Super Bowl Sunday, and if you are on a WALAT with a nice glass of wine, you can hear various cheering and booing behavior wafting from open windows and sliders in the neighborhood. Judging from the amount of cars parked on my street I may be the only person in the neighborhood who is not having a Super Bowl party, lol !

Many debris piles were raked up today, and the seedlings in the garage were clucked over- my seed heating mat is indeed dead , so I need to acquire another one post haste, itÂs cold in my garage overnight .

Julie, your day sounds just splendid and , I continue to be amused by the antics of TCS as he tries to fatten himself up for the nutritionist. IÂm not sure the words Âhigh" and Â32CÂ belong in the same sentence. 3pm cocktails in the greenhouse ..what fun that would be! I infer from your post that you had to leave a greenhouse behind when you moved to your current digs ? Is there no space available where you are now? I want one in the worst way. My DH and I built a hoop house several years ago but it was not built to last and I demoÂd it last spring (or what was left of it) .

Welcome back Âbug..once a year shopping sounds good to me ! I now buy most of my clothing items on the internet from either LL Bean or Lands End. I may pay a little more up front but the stuff lasts for years and doesnÂt have some of the funky shrinking issues that I get from the stuff from Target, Mervyns etcÂ

Thinking of Martie with her patient, Marian w/o power, Denise in her elegant black Baptism ensemble, Saucys blue toenails, Deanne in the blind (perhaps sitting on a donut?) and Chelone soldiering on with her paintbrush in the SalonÂ

I always smile when I see Jerri post ; she and I being the only 2 in the Freshman Class of IU5 and heading for our Sophomore year !

Waving to all Idylls past and presentÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:18PM
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Perhaps the Bluebirds read of the Spring Declaration!

My toenails are blue....and I did get SunnyD to christen hers with a peachy-pink! She's headed to Cozumel soon, so she needs something for the beach....

Shih tzus are happily home. They wear sweaters for decoration, and because of their haircuts. Zeus came and snorkeled us all extra well tonight, having us back to himself.

'night all.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 8:44PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It was a very late night last night, followed by a too-early morning. DH invited several of the revelers at last night's night fundraiser back to our house; when I did a head count at one point I came up with 22. The last ones left at 1:15 am and at 9:45 am I gave a PowerPoint presentation on our church's financial performance and budget to all interested comers. Am I a renaissance woman or what?

Tonight's wine is a Penfold's shiraz-cabernet blend, which paired nicely with the Chinese beef and onions we made for dinner.

Jerri, tomorrow morning shortly after 7 our mayor will pull a groundhog out of a hat, um, I mean his house, and we will have a prognostication. Right now, any sign of spring that arrives before July 11th will feel like an early spring to me.

Continuing with me ren-woman theme, I signed up for a soap-making workshop today. The class is not until ealry March, but I am excited.

Saucy, I googled Gardens and Guns and you were not kidding! I'm going to pitch an article to them about the joys of gardening when the sheriff's department is at their firing range less than a mile away. I'm often tempted to dive for cover.

Time to clean up and hit the hay.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh yes...the groundhog's shadow. Bit early for that, but I am ready!~

Yes, Phoebe welcomed me home with fantastic slobbery kisses and pawed me a good deal in the car. She got to play outside for a good long time while DH shoveled. It seems that the sun melted the snow enough that all the rooftop white stuff landed on the ground obstructing entry for his car and exiting of mine. We wonder if he will be able to exit our lane tomorrow morning.

DD was off ATV-ing at her in-laws' farm yesterday, a scene I am glad to have missed. Indy dog was thrilled to be able to race around though in wide open spaces. Today they took Skyler for his skiing lesson, but DD has now caught a nasty cold and is sleeping as much as possible.

It was fun to get a call from Skyler tonight who received the first issues of magazines I had sent him as Christmas gifts. I think getting mail is a great thrill, and now he does too.

As I was putting away some new soaps and lotions I bought, I discovered my old pale green toe nail polish from way back at IU?...Mary, you were the one who did my pedicure...and I thought the color quite appropriate! :)

My friend Lynn has a young grandson, Wyn. She bought a cute book for him called Olivia, about a little pig and her activities. Among other things, Olivia developed a mastery of the spattered paint technique on her mother's walls. Hmmm.

As to shopping for clothes, I too over the years have bought from LL Bean and Land's End, but the prices after shipping are quite horrendous. Still, DH gets his favorite old button down collared striped shirts there and i sneak in a few turtle necks every year or two. But on this trip I went for a new mood and got tops and crazy funky pants and even a couple of jackets. Got a funky sweater too that will go either as fancy or with jeans. No hats, no veils, no gloves. Now mittens I could really use. I have started losing left mittens once more. I guess it is time to crochet a string and attach them through my jacket sleeves again? This aging thing is hard on a girl. My older sister laments seeing our grandmother in the mirror these days and asks: "What did I do to deserve this?"

I heard about the 100 yard touchdown, told DH and got him to watch it on YouTube. How to astonish one's husband of 40 years with such information! Got to keep them on their toes!

OK, I did 30 treadmill minutes and now it is time to sleep and then fall back into my old routines once more.

Sleep tight!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Is it really time to go back to work again? I was afraid you'd all say that. I have cushions to do today. But I'd rather apply myself to the task of the Salon floor.

'bug, you may just have inspired me to get into the Lab., rummage through the newly sorted and organized fabrics I've had on hand for years now and pull out some of my favorite patterns. Woody's suggestion about pants with removeable knee pads would tie right in with that concept, too. I have never cared for for low-rise jeans as the pockets are (of necessity) placed too low on the wearer's rear end to be attractive and I loathe going shopping, anyway. So maybe it's time to "figger out" a pair of cookie-cutter custom work pants for myself. Yeah... MAYBE. It probably won't seem like such a hot idea when it's time to leave "real" work and head for home, lol. One thing is a certainty, though... I need to replace my Merrill mocs which are rapidly becoming loose and pretty sloppy looking. They're comfortable but they haven't lasted very well, so it may be back to good, sensible lace up shoes.

Sunrise here is 3 minutes before 7AM. I like to keep track of it by watching the eastern sky as I drive by the mighty Atlantic on my way to my daily toil. We're almost at the point where it is visibly lighter at the horizon, but not quite.

Much as I dislike the thought, it's time to rustle up some lunch, saddle on up, and head out to earn my daily bread. Here's to Rennaissance women and Michael Phelps' "lapse of judgement", wonder what will "turn black and fall off" as a result? LOL

Shine on, you crazy diamonds. ;)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 5:29AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

The PA groundhog saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. Why am I not surprised?

Waving hi to all before I hit the highway~


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Well, I had to scour the local news website to find mention of Michael Phelps. I kind of feel sorry for the guy...it's hard enough growing up without everyone watching you do it.

It is nice to see a drive by from Wendy! Hi Wendy!

GB, you're right on about kids loving mail. Sarah and Jake both love to get mail. Jake got a subscription to a car magazine for Christmas and he reads every page, cover to cover.

Well, that's it from me. It's quiet here this morning, with the kids at school and Nick gone. While there is lots of work to keep me busy, I have movies to watch and I'm going to finish Eat, Pray, Love this week. I'm looking forward to the change of pace.



    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Thought I would poke my head in before my presence on the Idylls was just a dim memory. :-) Wishing I were able to participate right now but can't. One thing after another has been keeping me away. Currently, DH is in the hospital after a case of bronchitis triggered a bad asthma episode. Scary listening to someone when they can't breathe, so I am relieved he is sounding a little better this morning but not sure when he will be home.

Wishing I could read what I am sure are fascinating goings-on with everyone. Hoping all are well. I'm certainly missing my morning visit with the Idylls. :-) Once in awhile I have had fleeting thoughts of spring approaching. No catalog shopping or ordering happening, but I do have a PAllenSmith book out of the library on containers that I hope to pour over sometime soon.

Hellos all around and hope to be back soon....


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 9:41AM
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Ubiquitous camellias. Eucs, too. I give up and bow from the waist to Zone 9. LOL

The patient is on his second week of Avalox (fighter bomber of the pill-form antibiotic) and ventured forth in the truck during the weekend. His color is still funky and his thoughts get discombobulated occasionally, but it's now funny rather than scary. Client will wait and that's more heartening than anyone can imagine for a contractor in CT right now.

So in the midst of economic downturn, I'm way up on my work budget and really think that Cornfield Park is a few years ahead of the financial curve. How cool would That be?

Ahhhhhh, church budget season, V. This was the time of year that we found out if we'd visit grandparents in Florida or not based on the "personnel" line item number. It's more of a responsibility than people realize to do the money for any organization and Thank You from all of us who couldn't handle it.

Jerri -- If you can say so without releasing proprietary info, what constitutes an "emergency" case? It's sounds ominous and especially good thoughts will be sent your way.

Mary, Eden, Denise, Chelone, Saucy, Marie, PM2, Sue, Norma(!!), Kathy and Everyone Else (especially Marian -- wish I could bring her a pot of soup!!) know you're thought about often!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 6:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Had to post this for this idyll, especially since Kathy knows I have a wine problem! ;)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 7:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A very quiet Monday here at the idylls - seems like we all saw our shadows and went back into hibernation. Except Martie and pm2, who both are dealing with ailing hubbies. Best wishes to both of you and your spouses!

Today at the office we were told that we would only work three days per week for February, with a resulting decrease in pay. I've now found the time that I need to paint the basement, eh?

So there's a batch of chocolate chip cookies in the oven. Comfort food is called for!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 8:22PM
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As far as I know groundhog day is one of the few events in Napa Valley that does not have an associated wine-drinking opportunity. Any excuse is usually the motto here but Woodstock may have us beat on this one. Maybe because its the height of pruning season ? I might have to go to Ebay and see if the memorial groundhog day wine glass is up for auction, lol.

PM, so glad that you checked in with us ! Best wishes to you and DH.

Martie, glad to hear that DH is venturing forth out of the yoke of invalid-hood-though one will hope he does not overdue. He is a guy after all. Very glad too that the job will await his recovery. It sure is an ugly world out there for the building contractor.

Big wave to everyone, and I hope Marian is able to check in with us soon.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 9:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Seems all groundhogs were at work this morning watching their shadows. No surprises though. And sure enough, we expect 5cm of snow tomorrow...

But to make me a bit brighter in outlook, the mailperson delivered my seeds for planting in March or April, but fun to see now and think about.

Today I managed to find some gloves to keep me warm for these 6+ more weeks of winter. I bought 2 pairs, $7 each, so now I can lose at least one glove and still keep both hands warm. ;) While away I also bought PJs, for me as well as for baby. Also found baby socks, and a couple of tiny outfits that are the 2 piece style DD & DSIL like. Also found a handsome growth chart for the wall.

Tonight we ate a good stew which included moose meat. Once again I liked it. Lots of veggies included. The talk of chocolate chip cookies has been disturbing me for hours V....

Good Night everyone!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:35PM
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Wakey-wakey, groundhogettes! the day's under way and you're going to miss the sunr... , uh, forgot... not today. Fear not, the sun will return, the mercury will rise, and shadows will once more return.

Nice to see a "quickie" from PM. I'm sorry to learn of your spouse's asthma. It must have been really scarey to listen to him wheeze and struggle for air. I hope he's home and things are settling back into the familiar groove. I miss your cheery morning missives.

And I'm also delighted to hear hopeful chirpings from CoHnfield Park. I can readily appreciate the stress associated with no/underemployment and illness but the news that the client will wait and the bug is on the run is definitely excellent. And spring is coming, too. About time, huh? I've thought of your brother several times recently and wonder how he's doing?

So what sort of wine is recommended to celebrate Ground Hog Day? I am chuckling all by my lonesome here in the frigid New England pre-dawn...

Yes, V.! get thee to the basement, paint roller in hand! Sometimes "time off" happens for the best reasons. How has "Fleeting Fawn" held up to your scrutiny in varying light conditions? Do you have a palette in mind? something new and daring or are you well pleased with the present color scheme and think it only needs "freshening up"? Like Martie, I admire the generosity of spirit you demonstrate to your church community. It's the best part of the human condition. :)

I am concerned about Maid Marian, having read some dire reports of damage in her area on other forums I enjoy. I have great confidence in the "never say die" spirit, but if she is out of water I can't imagine she's having much fun. I certainly hope she's in a warm, safe place and pokes her nose in soon. :/

'bug, the line about crocheted strings to keep mittens around reminded me of a kid from my childhood. He was a year older than me, and little tyrant. He was bossy and could be mean in spite of his diminutive size and delighted in tormenting a few of the more retiring kids at the bus stop. His mittens were fastened to his cuffs with little clip on thingys. One day, when the snow was deep and had an icy crust on it, I retaliated when he picked on my best friend. I seized his mittens, yanked them off his cuffs and whipped them up and over the neighbor's fence. They slid down into the bowl in their backyard... naturally, the bus rounded the corner just as he was hauling himself over the fence to retrieve them, lol. Someone else whipped his lunchbox over the fence after him, its contents spinning over the icy surface. We all sat on the bus and laughed at him slipping and struggling to get back over the fence... . Playground justice was tough. Esp. to rotten little bullys. ;)

I'm outta here.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 5:34AM
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Chelone, you're not laughing alone this morning....

I've been up since 4:30, and woke every hour before that. I don't sleep well when Nick is not home. I don't know what I think he does, but whatever it is, I can't sleep without it. Ugh. Hopefully tonight I will be too tired to care.

I liked two piece outfits, too, GB. But for newborns, you can't beat the little "gowns" with the drawstring bottoms (but now they're elastic, I believe). The gown made for a quiet diaper change that didn't wake the baby completely from slumber. LOL...I had a theory that the baby should either be asleep, or in a sleep state, at all times of the day except for a small window in the afternoon. It worked for me :)

I'm so sorry that your husband has been ill, PM, it sounds terrible. We mused that we needed to get you an assistant to read Idyll to you, and then dictate your morning reports! Hope to have you back here on a regular basis, soon!

Martie, I second that for Rich - pneumonia knocks you down for weeks it seems like. I'm sure you'll make him take it easy. It's good his clients can wait.

I hope Mary and Deanne are feeling better, too.

V., pass the chocolate chip cookies, and I'll pass them on over to GB (one little nibble couldn't hurt). I've got lots on my plate for this week, and without sleep, I can see it's going to be hard to motivate myself.



    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 6:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a gloomy day today. We are supposed to get a couple more inches of snot today(whoops I mean snow, BTW that was a real typo and I just decided to leave it as it seemed appropriate! LOL) It seems the only light is from the snow covering everything. Its even become an expedition to get out to the compost bins. Will this winter never let up? Actually as I recall. We normally get lots of snow in Feb and March! LOL

The Shingles are slowly taking their leave but give me sharp reminders of their presence from time to time. For some reason I cant fathom its always the worst between 3 and 5 in the afternoon. Go figure that one out? No clue. Doug has gotten another few days work at the client in Exeter so that is a very good thing. One day at a time is nerve wracking but better than unemployment. He also has a second interview with a company he spoke with last week so that is another good thing.

V. sorry about work. Thats a worry. It seems no one is untouched by this economic downturn. I know the local nurseries I normally buy from will miss my business this year, almost as much as Ill miss the plant shopping! LOL ~~ BTW weve had that Penfold's shiraz-cabernet and enjoyed it. A nice wine for the price.

Martie, glad to hear that Rich is on the mend and that the client was willing to wait.

PM so sorry about your DH. Thats a really worry. Hope he is well and able to come home soon.

Chelone, Ive not yet resorted to dragging myself across the carpet. ROTFL ~~~ How very neat about the Bluebirds! Are they still coming around? My sister has them at her feeders this year too. Very strange but how wonderful.

Saucy, neat about the blue toenails. Ive never tried that.

Kathy, I chuckled over your description over being the freshman class at IU5

My camera has come home. Woohoo!!! It seems I burned out the shutter mechanism. ROTFL. Doug said Im going to have to budget to have camera repairs each year to replace the shutters as it doesnt look like Im going to take fewer pictures. It seems I took 73,543 photos since April. Hmmmm..

So speaking of pictures, here is a cute little Brown Creeper I got yesterday. They are a difficult bird to get a decent image of as they NEVER seem to be still for even a half a second and Ive only ever seen them when there isnt enough light to get a fast enough shutter speed. Anyway, I did manage a couple decent shots and thought youd enjoy this.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 8:55AM
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I tried to post last night and my computer was acting odd. Rebooting helped, but by that time I was shot. DH has a bad head cold and I came down with a bad sore throat yesterday.

Im struggling here trying to pick out a paint color for the office. The first color just isnt what I thought it would be. I need someone to pick for me.

We have a part time job opening here in our office, 25 hours a week. Im surprised that weve only gotten 2 applicants.

DD called and told me a cute story about Kenzie. They were getting their taxes done and she told the woman that "my grandma says Im a drama queen" the woman chuckled and asked her if her grandma was a drama queen. Kenzie said "no, shes a garden girl"

Deanne, once again a fabulous shot. LOL about the burned out shutter over 70,000 pictures is amazing. How nice that your camera was repaired at least this time under warranty.

PM, Im so glad you checked in. Sorry to hear that your DH is hospitalized. Hopefully, hes on the mend soon.

V, sorry to hear about the decrease in hours. Hopefully, its only for the one month.

Im not sure I mentioned how lovely your camellia picture was Kathy. The garden we toured in FL had the largest camellia collection outside of California and they were in bloom when we were there.

I guess Id better get back to work.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW Deanne, a brown creeper! We see them here, but they are so quick that a photo is better. You can actually see some details that you don't see "in person". They blend in so well with the bark...too well!

Yesterday it was sunny and so I got my car over to the carwash to rid the poor vehicle of salt and other glop. (I go to the one where I wash it myself for $3.) Well today we have snow. It is quite beautiful and all the trees are lacy. We are told to expect heavy rain on the weekend and 45F! That can only result in major flooding here unless it goes below zero at night.

This morning I cleaned out a closet of mine and have a good number of items to send off to "The Second Time Around". I sure hope people can use them. I hate the idea that they must pay for them though.

I feel so awful about those ailing. I've had pneumonia and asthma in my past and sure don't want them visiting me again. I hope those men don't push themselves too soon and risk relapses! I like to think that spring weather will heal all. I'm dreaming if I think it will find jobs for all those talented people who are willing to work hard. But I'll dream on! One man I know of just was given 1 week's warning and let go from John Deere where he has worked for ages. He's a grandfather and truly needs to work. He's a welder among other things. Maybe he should start making garden obelisks! You've got to be creative these days.

Saucy, I too liked the drawstring baby wear. But I even liked snaps and zippers. I guess with DD & DSIL's desire to use EC again, that having pull down pants is easiest. Below is an interesting journal on the topic from a woman studying in China.

Well I'm off to catch up on more household stuff, unless I allow the new Hortico rose catalog to distract me. Another favorite, Fraser's Thimble Farms came too. Hmmmm. Later gators!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 11:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Day after Ground Hog Day....one wonders if groundhog Phil has a hangover the next day, or Woodstock "g'hog" - does he prefer a better vintage that prevents those?... Any excuse to tipple...

Wow, 75,000 photos in 10 months, Deanne -- egad... Im surprised you dont have carpel tunnel or some other chronic anatomical ailment associated w/ all that shuttering... at least a finger or two out of kilter? It must give you a headache to try to weed thru for that "perfect" shot.. They are amazing, but I cant imagine the patience involved in all of it.

Busy and crazy here -- I think Chelone asked - yes, a new case w/ a short fuse (expedited case/hearing) creates both extra work, long hours and stress... I work in 3 different practice groups, but the one Big Boss is a senior partner in, is fairly smallish for the firm, and often he uses me to do paralegal stuff, and other things - it makes it interesting but stressful - especially juggling the others in other groups.... but I try to earn my keep and keep him happy -- esp. these days, right? need the job...

Im sorry to hear so many afflictions happening - esp PM's spouse -- Im sure that was major scary -- I hope everyone tries to conserve their energies and recoup -- Martie and Michelle's husbands as well -- and Michelle, and Jerri....the list is getting longer, egads.

I dont have a lot to offer up -- just wanted to say hi and admire Deanne's bird shots again and admire Kathy's camelllia shots -- I've never been brave enuf to attempt them here -- they're iffy unless you have a good sheltered spot w/ no wind - but they are glorious in flower and I do love their foliage as well. Maybe one of these years.....

Back to my soup and paper and a couple garden catalogs to keep me company for lunch.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 1:26PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I can't believe that I haven't yet posted on this thread and it is already one fifth done!!!

Wow, Chelone, leave you alone for a day or two and Bingo! the woodwork's done! Nothing ever ever gets done so quickly in my house! I can hardly wait to see the floor. Still hoping to see it for real....

TCS saw the nutritionist today. She looked to be about sixteen. She looked at the list of stuff that he eats and told us to "keep trying. You're doing everything right". Thank you very much. One tip - she told us to add 4 tablespoons of skim milk powder to his milkshakes to give him 9 more grams of protein. So I did. He actually ate a chicken finger tonight - big breakthrough for a non meat eater.

He also received his swimming badge today! We were all so pleased - eight days ago he didn't want to get his face wet and he now swims underwater! His instructor told us that he was really a bit weak to go on into the next level, but she didn't want to hold him back either as he can do everything necessary. He will swim twice a day next week at the lodge, and will have his three private lessons next session, instead of the full ten. Then maybe he will start the next level. No rush, he is only 7 and the tiniest little boy!

PM2 - how awful to see your DH whisked off to the hospital! That is one scary scenario for sure. And Martie too! Pneumonia can really take it out of you - I had it once, DH had it once and of course didn't do what he was told and relapsed. The relapse took twice as long to go away - just a word for your DH.

Gee V. Another wine lover? I actually measure ours in a measuring cup - otherwise the three of us would slurp up a few litres without even noticing - would demolish our entertainment budget too! And Oh Dear: three days a week and resulting pay cut? Times are tough for sure. Makes me think of Deanne's Doug also. Lots of folks being hit hard....

Deanne, the creeper is wonderful! How have you managed to do anything else at all if you've taken 70,000 photos in ten months? You must just click away like crazy. I agree with Cindy - how come your shutter finger hasn't fallen off?

Michelle - Garden Girl! Out of the mouths of babes...how cute!

Marie and Chelone, the mitts on strings thing is still alive and well. Now they don't like you to use the strings as a kid could strangle themself, but TCS has the little clip thingys on his sleeves. We went through a week in December when he would routinely lose one mitt or glove a day. As the insulated waterproof ones cost at least $5 a pair, we were out about $30 bucks that week, so I bought him the clips. I thought he'd hate them, but he thought that was a fantastic idea and has happily worn them ever since. Not one lost mitt so far. Loved the story about playground justice - I could just see a little red-faced angry boy scrambling around after his lunch in the snow!!! Very descriptive!

Well, I have now added my two cents, for what it's worth (probably not two cents!) and so I'm off to Scrabble, an almost nightly pursuit here. Why I pay for t.v. satelite is beyond me.

Oh yes, we bundled up in the -15C evening to watch the Space Station go sailing by overhead. Hard to imagine being way up there - we all waved:)

Til tomorrow!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 7:36PM
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A fabu-fabu trip in the Wayback Machine, Cindys wonderful slideshow from day 1, IU4. Don't have aclue waht garden it is, but the pics are great---a needed winter diversion ! (and thanks Cindy !)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2009 at 10:10PM
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I hope Saucy got some shut-eye last night. I, on the other hand, was up quite late (10PM), the result of a cup up coffee at 4 PM. I knew it was dangerous, but hey! I'm a risk taker. I am paying the price this morning. Solution? more coffee, of course.

Excellent news on TCS! he must be terribly excited about his success at the pool. Rightly so. I always found that kids were of 2 distinct minds when it came to putting their faces in the water... some were all over the concept, others were equally steadfast in their hesitation. There never seemed to be much "in between". It's hard for those of us who really enjoy food to relate to the refusal to eat much more that a few stock items, isn't it? Keep shovelling the powdered milk into him, Julie... you will get there eventually. He may be 18 when it happens, but it will happen. ;) While it's not as cold here, we had above freezing temperatures for the first time in well over a month the day before yesterday. It was quite warm when I left for work yesterday morning (36F) but it turned much colder over the course of the day and it snowed in the afternoon. A warm up is predicted for the weekend. I wonder if I'll finally be able to get the 2" of ice of the back deck?

The helpmeet has been casing the first floor window and door casings in the bahn this week. Nothing fancy, but at least they're trimmed out and neatened up. I have dropped several hints that he REALLY needs to address the sewer ejector which has been problematic for nearly 2 years now... . We suspect it's an issue with the float in the tank being stuck (when the float rises to a specified level it should automatically turn on the pump). The issue is that the pump doesn't turn on when the unit is left to its own devices. We can hear the impellor moving, but there is no pump. Yet, when we operated the tank manually (plugging it in periodically to empty it) the pump operates smoothly and empties the tank completely without a problem. Anyway, to check the float one must remove the top of the tank... and you know who doesn't want to uncork that baby, lol. HOWEVER, nor does he wish to call the plumber to do it... . And his wife's patience for this foolishness is running rather low after 2 yrs.. I believe this situation is as Thos. Jefferson described slavery, "it's like having a wolf by the ears".

I am agog at the prospect of 73K shots, Deanne. Jeez, a little trigger happy, aren't we? Is there any way you can "re-up" your warranty to cover the next 73K pictures??

How long has the cable company had the job opening, Michelle? I found it hard to believe that there were only 2 applicants for it, too. One of the local retail institutions has cut their staff's pay in order to keep everyone working. In nearly 20 yrs. in the area this is the first time I've seen this sort of thing. We are getting a good deal of repair work still, but I'm wary nonetheless. And I'm grateful that spring is not too, too far away as that will take the pressure off people with respect to associated heating costs. Kenzie's shrewd observation of her grandmother gave me a smile; no wonder you miss her. I hope your DH's head cold drifts away soon and your sore throat is just a passing thing and doesn't deepen... .

And speaking of being sick, I wonder how Mary is doing? How many cartons of lubed up tissue has she had to go through so far? any guesses?

Time to crank up the tin Lizzie and head to work, so have a productive day you guys.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:37AM
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It's Inta Krumbolz's garden, dubbed "Fox Hollow", I believe. I was flipping through my Fine Gardening one night and recognized it! Funny, I found a PDF of a trip that the CA Hort Society took last year...they saw all the same gardens and stayed at the Comfort Inn. Do you think they read Idyll? LOL...someone should have told them about the bacon at the Marriott, right Mary?

Not much going on this morning. The kids are off to school, and I've got myself all packed up to head out for the day. I have an appointment with a business coach to help us iron out an implementation strategy for moving this operation out of the house! It will be exciting to have a deadline laid out on paper, because my husband goes back and forth....this will be something I can produce - instead of having to replay in my mind every single reason why he's changed his :) Wishy-washy is tough for me. I need a plan....even if it's a loose interpretation of one :)

Deanne, that is one fabulous capture! Your comment about never having your toenails painted made me think you should have them done for IU6! It'd be fun! I'm sure you could talk Sue or I into it. It's a $25 luxury, but it lasts a long time, since you don't do dishes with your toes :)



    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:11AM
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Did anyone see this commercial? This is my kind of funny :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:14AM
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Sneaking in from the Awfice here..perhaps a conspiracy of matching toes at IU6 , and a group 'toe shot' for the gallery..lime green perhaps ?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:44AM
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couldn't resist...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 2:20PM
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HI Guys

A note from the trenches. I'm typng this form David's hospital room. We've ben her since Monday whenhe fel skiing. 5 hours of surgey and 4 pins later his hip is back togethe bu he is in a lot of pain and pobably not going home till Thursday. Dh s in CA but flys in at midnght. I've been camping out in David's room butshould have chance go homeand shower when e gets here. To add to my wory poor Clousseau must have become confused/upset wih no one sleeping in the house (Annie is at a nighbors) and ran off whenhewas letout tis morning. He was gone in the snow and ice for 8 hours but apeared when Annie got back from scool. Perhaps out luck has turned and things will start improving. Send thoughts to david.


(This keboard sticks and ishard to use - ope you can decipher.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 3:50PM
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Oh dear, Mary! Terrible news about David's hip, and you camping out in the hospital room. I hope being home will bring some comfort to David and to you, friend.

Wish I could hug you in person and bring you a hot lunch!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A mother's job is so hard! This Camp David is not the most glorious spot (especially the food!) and I'm sure you are ALL looking forward to HOME. Wishing you all well. (((HUGS))) Clousseau, Hi from Phoebe. Don't escape and visit now, David will need you shortly.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:23PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((David; Mary; Clousseau))

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:32PM
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Oh Mary! you must be beside yourself with worry. I am so sorry and wish I were closer as I'd take poor, confused Clousseau under my wing until you're home and have things sorted out and have a routine established. All I can say is that must've been some fall David took since kids are pretty flexible and can take a powerful hit and still emerge with minimal damage. Until you're able to share more know my thoughts are with all of you (esp. David) and we're here for moral support whenever you need us. (((Mary))) (hope the cold is better, too!)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:42PM
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So glad you are right there with him Mary. When they hurt, it's awful, and I know how horrible my sister's pain was with just one break, so hugs to you both and scritches to Clouseau.

Denise - I love the Hope Obamarama! Thank you :)

Got to do fast dog walkies now before it's dark.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:23PM
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What an awful time your family is having, Mary. Hoping the docs get David's pain under control and Clousseau gets his "pack" back home as quickly as possible.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh no, Mary! I'm hurting just thinking about that! I'm so sorry for David, you, and the family (furfamily included).

Cynthia, how is your sister? Is she in a cast? Hardware installed? Update if you don't mind. Hugs to you all. :(

I'm a gimp doing a colon prep tonight folks. Not a good time. LOL


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:49PM
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I had to take my computer in for repairs and just got it back today. Just in time to see Mary's news. What a hard time for your family. I know having you there next to him is just what David needs and am so glad to hear dh will be there soon. Hoping things are on the upswing for you all from here on out. We're all here for you but I wish it could be in person. Hang in there! My thoughts are with you all.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 6:45PM
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Mary, Like Chelone I think that must have been a really hard fall. How terrible for him and you too. Poor Clouseau too. You must be exhausted. I hope your DH makes it in to give support. Annie must be worried too. (((hugs to all)))


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 8:48PM
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Hello friendswaiting for the rain here and organizing my thoughts after a somewhat chaotic day at the office

Mary ! My children had plenty of issues but certainly nothing like what your David has going on. Young people are pretty resilient and David is fortunate to be a part of a warm loving family attitude is so important in physical rehabilitation, and he will have plenty of support Im sure. Good vibes from the left coast((((Mary))),(((David))).

Denise, very cool Grey/Obama thingy.. now that you have clearly returned from the Great South, we fully expect a report of your observations. I am hatching plans to copy your moss basket succulent displays this summer. Got the baskets out of the back-40 of the garage and have told the plant buyer at the garden center that I will be needing copious succulents. She thinks succulents are going to prove very popular this year and I concur. It would have to rain for about two months straight to dodge the water rationing bullet at this point.

I drove up valley today and saw daffodils in bloom, flowering pears etc. Its spring here. I took my camera but lengthy meeting this afternoon prevented me from a decent photo crawl. Here are two.. The vineyards are sporting their winter display of mustard.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh Mary, I'm so sorry to hear the news about David. All my best to everyone in your family. Too many bad falls this winter all around. Last night I saw a friend who had broken her elbow in an icy fall; she said she was doing better but still can't drive and still can't pick her nose!

I'd been feeling like I had a long day, but it's nothing compared to three days at a child's bedside. Tomorrow is my first "layoff" day, so I will post more in the morning.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 10:23PM
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Thoughts of my far-flung Idyll friends filled my head last night. First, I saw the very sad news about the cathedral in Chicago and the fire that started in the attic area, causing extensive damage, though it was relatively contained. Apparently, its predecessor was a victim of the great fire in 1870-something. Later, I awakened around midnight and wondered if Mary's DH had arrived on the scene to relieve her at her bedside post... . And lastly, I thought about Marian and Nolon, having spoken with a friend who is a pilot on the Mississippi River and reported they lost their internet on the boat, as it was routed through Arkansas and the cables that carry the signal were destroyed and the rerouting was still dicey. Hope all my friends have a better day today!

Brrr! it's cold outside this morning. The helpmeet decided to install the thermometer that arrived in Santa's sleigh and this morning it informed me that it's 0 degrees outside this morning. I'm not sure if that bit of information is really that important to know, frankly!

I have "sticky keyboard syndrome" here, too, Mary. It's really driving me nuts, but clearly not enough that I've made up my mind to do anything about it... YET. The helpmeet is heading north to meet an old friend today. I'm on my own for dinner tonight and Rex and I are going to have a nice "forced march" this afternoon. I still haven't figured out why he likes being dragged around by the neck so much. ;)

I wonder what V. has planned for day one of her lay-off? Will you be surveying the basement project or will you just loll around, revelling in unexpected leisure?

Hey, Eden, nice to see your face pop in, too. I've been wondering where you've been the past week. I was beginning to worry that you've utterly succumbed to the rigors of Old Man Winter. It's good to know it was a computer glitch and nothing more serious.

Nice to see Norma, too.

I smiled at Kathy's mention that succulents are likely going to be "big" this year, though the overarching reason does give reason for concern. It's going to be some time before I have the luxury of seeing a daffodil, I'm afraid.

And with these not very interesting musings I'm ready to head on out to the exciting world of canvas and industrial sewing equipment. Ta ta!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 5:13AM
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Kathy, the mood in your pictures is very cool....very dark sky and mountains as a backdrop for cheery yellow! I wish I were seeing it in person :)

Yes, succulents will be big in your area. Maybe you could make my succulent wreath for me, since I never got around to it, lol!

Denise, how was your trip to the deep south? Are you happy to be home? I always am...

Nice to see Eden pop in....I had just assumed she'd lost herself in husband free days :)

It's very quiet here this morning, so I think I'm going to find a radio station and hit the "IN" box. Have a great day, all. I'll be thinking of Clousseau welcoming home his reunited family today.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Not much time here as I'm getting the home studio ready for its first class here on Saturday and Sunday but wanted to give

((((((Mary)))))) and ((((((David))))I'm so very sorry! How horrible for you and family. Did DH arrive home safely and how is Annie dealig with all of this? I can't even imagine what you are going through. He is young and strong and will heal up at light speed. Know we are all thinking of you and sending our love and support.

Ok back to my cleaning and sprucing up around here.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think I'm glad that there's nothing exciting on my agenda. Preparing for a child or husband back from hospital or for a class load of folks in my home is more than I need right now.

It was -18.4F here this morning and things are slowly climbing up to -12 with the sun shining clearly. Phoebe doesn't seem to mind a bit. I worry about the birds though.

DH is off doing his teaching & meeting thing, and I've finished my treadmill routine for the morning. Now it is time to do some desperately needed household cleanup. Even a little bit will help. :(

DD's terrible cold and cough seem to be better now, but what a struggle when you don't want to use meds. Skyler was home with the same thing too, so i guess they did lots of resting. The two things he likes best, Nintendo and taking a shower, occupied his time well. Normally DD doesn't let him use the Nintendo at their house but thought it was fine this time! After lunch though he was required to occupy himself quietly with non mechanical activities. (No phone, no ipod, no computer, etc...)


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 9:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, the answer to your question is a little of both. I allowed myself to sleep in a bit this morning and am having a leisurely coffee-drinking session. But then I will begin surveying the basement to plan what I will need for the job and to start moving some of the smaller things out of the way. I'll call the carpet people to get them out today or tomorrow for measurements, and in between I will deal with a load of laundry and some wedding stuff.

I was laughing at myself today, because I was thinking of taking the laptop over to Starbucks later today and then thought that perhaps I shouldn't spend my day of "unemployment" enjoying expensive coffee. Now I've just read that a new internet cafe has opened, offering coffee from my favorite independent coffee house from another town and screamin' fast internet at absolutely no charge. I think I shall be verifying their claims today or tomorrow.

Yesterday I rode with my boss down to the state capitol for a meeting of a state commission on invasive plants. I will be taking over his seat on this panel. Although they are moving at glacial speed, it is a very interesting group that's been assembled and I think I will enjoy this panel. On our way home, boss's wife called and invited me to have dinner with them, so that was quite nice.

OK - off to the salt mines!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 9:59AM
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Mary, I'm so sorry to hear about David's accident. Hopefully, the pain is under control by now. I hope that the recover is short. Hugs to you all. I know from experience what a turmoil this type of thing can throw a family into.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:48AM
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Hi everyone

Thank you for your good wishes. I'm typing on DH's laptop now so it should be easier to read. David had a better night and is able to ease up a little on the morphine. Weaning him off the pump and getting him on crutches are what will determine how long before he can go home. The long term complications are not great. The sciatic nerve was damaged which has resulted in loss of feeling and muscle control. The Doc is optimistic this will return but we do not know when - could be days or weeks.

More worrying is the possiblity of the blood supply having been disrupted to the hip joint. This could result in avascular necrosis, a condition that would not show up for a year or two. If that has happened the bone starts to die and there is no treatment. Given where the femur was broken the odds are more favorable than not that this will occur. We were told only a 10-30% possibility (not odds I would choose, but the ones we have been dealt.) No one will tell me exactly what would happen in the worse case situation - perhaps its better not to know.

Having DH here I did get home and had few hours sleep in my own bed last night so things seem more managable today. I managed two nights without sleep but a third was beyond endurance. Clousseau was delighted to have company and curled up next to me in bed. Every time I moved I felt his warm furry back pressing against mine which brought immeasurable comfort. Annie returned from neighbors at 6 AM, woke me for breakfast and made coffee while she filled me in on all her activities. I was able to wash my hair, use my prescription skin cream, choose my comfiest clothes, and started to feel human again as I headed back in.

I'm going to sign off now - DH just ran out for Thai food for the two of us and David is tucking in to a burger. We have visitors coming this afternoon and baby steps are moving David slowly but surely along the road to recovery.

Waving to all


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:33PM
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Mary, nice to have an update on David. It is worrisome indeed. My thoughts are with you. I will pray that Davids recovery will be complete. Norma

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 3:42PM
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Mary, I'm glad to hear things are a bit better. It's good news that David's more comfortable and that you were able to get some rest. I know you're strong but it's good that you have dh there now to lean on too. Thank you for taking the time to give us an update.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 3:59PM
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Yes Mary, it is indeed good to have an update on your David! Gnawing worry on top of very disrupted sleep is a very bad condition to be in, so be gentle with yourself and try to get the rest you require so you will be "at the top of your game" when you meet with the doctors. The doctors have a professional obligation to precisely spell out the worst case scenario for you; whether or not you ought to insist hearing it right now is your difficult choice to make. You will make the right one. Right now, though, I sure hope David has gotten on top of the pain and it's more easily managed. Just doing that will make a world of difference in how things seem right now. Clousseau must have felt much more secure knowing you were there and he could look after your needs. The smoothness with which Annie took care of breakfast bespeaks a family able to deal with anything.

So, did V. hit the new internet cafe today? I think the work on invasive plants is very interesting and very important. I have at least 3 plants here on the Compound that are now considered to be invasive by many. I see several others in regular use in neighboring landscapes. Last night on the news there was a story about Burnese pythons loose in the Everglades and the Keys, so an important issue. Bet it's covered in Woody's course, too! I can't wait to hear about the basement project ("Fleeting Fawn" has stuck in my mind, lol). And how convenient that your social calendar is shaping up so nicely!

What's the treadmill routine, 'bug? How long, how many times/wk. and do you listen to music and walk in rhythm? Sometimes just getting up and putting one foot in front of the other is the most important thing we accomplish in a day. I was thinking the other day that many of us are grieving a loss while others are just emerging from their year of mourning. The days get easier and better and you're doing a very good thing for yourself. Were I in Sarah's shoes right now I'd capitalize on Nintendo, too! :)

Hope all who are ailing are perking up, all who wish to be are still working, and everyone has something "fun" on their list.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 6:01PM
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Mary, I think things will go well for David. I know you can't help worrying though. Take care of yourself during his recovery period.

Chelone, Basic Keyboard Right Here $29 It has the keys in the right places, compared to some of the newer fancy smancy ones.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Checking in for updates on David too. There must be very qualified trauma surgeons up there in snow/ski country who see these types of breaks often, but the irrepressibly meddlesome part of me wants to throw out the possibility of sending his X-rays elsewhere for a second opinion if you have any questions or doubts whatsoever or are unclear about the prognosis. Hoping you all get a good night's sleep tonight and that David rests easier and makes it home soon.

I do mean to get around to informing Kathy about life on the "Eastern Shore" in Mobile, which I found to be a very enchanting, seductive place, hopefully over the weekend. What a blur of a week! But finally a decent bit of rain today, so that's accomplishment enough. Sweet peas had started to bloom in my absence, and this rain should really push growth into high gear. Huzzah!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've been using the treadmill for AT LEAST 30 minutes, both AM and PM, daily. I use a 3 incline and a speed of 3 as well. I began to increase the speed a tiny bit, but my shins warned me not to. I also use some pilates bands, but I'm rather careless about that. I don't listen to music, I think about various plans, finances and problems and wish hard for spring. ;) This is the perfect time for exercise because I have no travel plans, no gardening to deal with, nothing at all on the agenda I can't postpone.

Count me among the grieving still Chelone. It has been almost 5 months, but the fact that Reed will eternally be 14 months and 2 weeks old is heartbreaking. It is very hard to see kids his age now and wonder what this little guy would have become. An obnoxious two year old would be fine with me in place of what we have, namely memories.

Tomorrow is checkup day with my young naturopath. (Probably in her 30s, but that's YOUNG!) I don't expect any surprises, but I wish for improvement on the hemorrhoid issue which disturbs me because the "expert" doctor is eager to cut a muscle and that seems very drastic to me, not to mention irreversible!

I thought you might enjoy hearing about some young friends of mine that I visited this past weekend. Both are in their early thirties and they are married with a 16 month old little boy.

For a while this couple had a rocky road because the young man did not appear to have a PLAN or GOAL. The young lady in question was the daughter of a bank president etcand that kind of life was what she understood. The young man played guitar at gigs everywhere around the city but did not have a 9-5 job, much to the dismay of the beautiful young ladys parents.

Move ahead several years and this is the present day scenario. The husband has a studio where he builds guitars. He has studied with impressive guitar makers and has had wonderful people work for him doing mother-of-pearl inlay work etc. (He still has many gigs, mainly bluegrass.) Recently a dealer in Athens Greece has requested a shipment of his guitars for his store.

The young wife has been working part time for the Canadian Opera Company, teaching classes on creating operas and sets. She works with classes on writing a libretto, on printing to enhance sets, use of color and brush techniques, etc. One of her classes was with a group of difficult teens brought by the police. The print they chose to work with was a graffiti style. She said the performance was really good, the work truly satisfying. I can see why her happy charm would appeal to young people.

I never would have guessed the life style this couple has managed to achievenor the pride of their parents along the way. They are also cooks and he prepared my breakfast last Sunday. :)

Nighty night!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 9:09PM
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Yipee ! Its been raining off and on all day, though I fear that the precip totals will not be impressive. We shall see what tomorrow brings. I got my new seedling heat mat today and it is duly installed . And I triumphantly declare that I have made it almost to Friday without messing up my nice tidy garage. On Saturday Ill deal with the last rat-hole, which is the paint supplies area. This may require a trip to the hazardous waste facility.

My fantasy baseball league is beginning preparations for our annual draft day-Ive offered to host it this year. At least the house need not be spotless for a bunch of guys, lol.

Deanne, we will be very disappointed if we dont get a pic of the classroom setup at the Uof D. If we all lived within a commute distance we could take a class-imagine a group of rowdy Idyllers demanding cocktails and hors devours before we attend to our lesson.

Mary, thanks for updating us on your young man. Your 10 to 30 % possibility of avascular necrosis is also a 70 to 90 % possibility of not. Better sounding odds right ?

Saucy is the bachelorette week nearing an end ? I took those pics out the window of my car and did no adjustments to the exposure-I probably should have lightened it up a bit. It is a bit moody isnt it ? Im going to try and get a couple of pics this weekend of the green hills.

Chelone, one would hope that V would be a dutiful Idyller and post us from the internet café. The keyboard Cynthia posted is the very same keyboard that graces my computer at the awfice. It gives me many hours of service every day, with the only maintenance being a dose of can o air every Friday.

Take your time Denise-after all we are speaking of the South !

Time to sign off for tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 9:21PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, you mean I should do that can o' air more often than every six months? I used it on the laptop today and I swear a small chihuahua came out of the keyboard. True story - I did this task while listening to our ex-gov being interviewed by Letterman, so I was gassing cold air while he was gassing hot air!

Chelone, I fear that I have been daunted. Painting the walls will not be tough, I'm just not sure I will be able to get to the d*** walls. Serious degree of crap that needs to be relocated. :(

The fire at Holy Name Cathedral was quite sad. It was only a couple of days after the beam in our church cracked that a piece of their ceiling fell in their sanctuary. So both churches had no sanctuary for several months, but Holy Name beat us and got back in to theirs in August. Now it looks like they will be out of theirs again for some time. I have a lot of sympathy for them.

I also feel like I have a lot of loose ends around the house right now. Time to go tie some knots in them.

The internet cafe visit will be tomorrow.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:42PM
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What impact do you suppose Can o' Air would have on ex- gov's coiffure ?

K in Napa

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:35PM
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Brrr! cold one here this mornin', too. But there were still coals in the stove, I dutifully raked them forward, twisted up some newspaper, tossed in some tinder, a few pieces of kindling, and few small oak splits. It was hot enough to close the by-pass in 5 minutes and we're on our way to a fire that will bring the house back to "cozy" status. The beauty of our soapstone stone manifests itself in its ability to burn hot and efficiently, store and release heat for longer periods of time, and retain a viable bed of coals for over 12 hrs.. Bug, what did you finally select for your new stove? I can't remember.

Thanks for the keyboard suggestion, Cynthia. My BIL could open a store with the stash of components he has squirrelled away in his garage, so I'm going to snoop around over there to see if I can't score a FREE one before "forking over pork"; a penny saved being two pennies you don't have to earn if you believe Andrew Tobias. ;) And it's actually time to replace the whole damn set up in front of me, anyway. I hate that "planned obsolesence" thing, though.

I have always wanted to visit the Gulf Coast, so look forward to the report from Denise. My experience with the great South is very limited but I could happily settle in the area, I'm sure, if my time in ole Virginny was any indication. Actually, I could probably settle just about anywhere and be reasonably content, as long as my family was with me. :)

Wondering how Jerri fared with her test and how her foot is doing. How much longer must you wear a cast before getting down to the business of serious rehabilitation? I'm also hoping for a heartworm treatment update.

Does anyone remember that hairstylist, Jose Ebert? he used to wear a cowboy hat and his "thing" was always, "shake your head, darling"... bet he'd have a field day with the late, great governor... lol. I'd like to see the gov. toolin' around in a convertible, too. ;)

V., I should take some pictures of the "Board Room" to make you feel better. The Board Room was the "garage" and "cellar" combined in our home. Everything that you'd normally keep in those two places was stashed there and now we're (correction: I'M) faced with hoeing it out, disposing of the culls, etc.. Unbeknownst to the helpmeet I'm already hatching a plan to "repurpose" the area and turn it into useful, attractive living space. Hehehe...

OK, so we clearly need an update from newly reconnected Eden and her adventures while she awaits the spring thaw. And also from Michelle who's refurbishing her digs, too.

That's all for now... time to put together my list of chores for the day, check off some little ones while I kill time waiting for the rest of the world to get up and get to work!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:00AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Mary!!! I just now read about David's serious injury! How terrible this is for you all (especially for David!).

To make you feel a little more optomistic, I had a very serious elbow fracture 30 years ago and avascular necrosis was an almost certain consideration - which never happened. Also the very badly damaged radial nerve recovered completely. I was also told that I would recover only limited elboew movement and NO wrist movement - and I have virtually 100 % of both. I was 28 years old and was told that youth was my biggest ally - and David is much younger than that! So be optomistic. The recovery, treatment, and mental stress of such a serious injury is the pits for sure, but way way down the road there is this little light...

Also, two children in TCS's school are suffering from avascular necrosis resulting from an infection. One is now almost fully recovered, the other is temprarily wheelchair bound outside but is walking (not running yet) inside the school. Both have been told to expect complete recovery - because they are young. So my hopes and prayers are with you, and I m thankful that he will have his wonderful music to sustain him thorugh the long recovery period.

I'm just popping in her to send hugs expecailly to Mary et al. TCS and I are to depart fot a ski lodge (oh dear!) this afternoon, after I prepare the 300 hotdogs for hotdog day. I haven't packed or prepared a thing for the trip so will be very busy the rest of the day. I will have limited access to a computer while away, but will check in a few times if possible.



    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:10AM
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Have fun Julie!

I'm avoiding making antlers for Sarah's play....she and some friends wrote a play back in November, and another mother got us some time on the local stage, so tonight they're going to perform. This has really been 10 y.o. girls all the way, from writing to stage management. It's fun to see it come together.

They decided at the last minute that they needed antlers...so here I am glueing construction paper to headbands :)

Yes, Kathy, Bachelorette Week is coming to an end! Tomorrow around midday to be exact!

They'll surely send David home as soon as he's up on crutches and can perform all the normal bodily functions. He'll feel better once he's on familiar turf with all his creature comforts. That new video game might come in handy at the Mary household like it is at Sarah's!

GB, you're walking at a pretty good little clip there! The silliest little thing helped my shins: I had my shoes laced too tight at the last hole (closest to the ankle)! I forget who told me that, but it worked....if not, then slow down to 2.5 - we need your shins to stay well!

That's all from me, folks.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:46AM
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Good morning

Julie - I DO feel more optimistic hearing about your recovery and the children you know. Before Monday night I'd never heard of avascular necrosis so to hear something positive is just what the doctor ordered!

Kathy - yes, I like your odds much better too.

Saucy - the thought of uninterrupted time on the Playstation is very comforting to David. In the grander scale of things, winning it was something that was meant to be. I'm so glad I didn't turn it away. DH has already bought two new games and David is avidly reading the instructions.

Yesterday 3 friends from school came by and they brough cards from everyone in David's classes - there must be 150 of them!! Some are hilarious, it is interesting what kids that age focus on (they had all made the cards themselves.) About half had guitars or basses, there were lots of pictures of pigs (David's favorite animal), drawings of femur bones and one card that admonished "Be careful next time" and had a stick figure skiier falling down a slope LOL! The writing and poems some of the kids put inside were touching.

This morning David came off the morphine pump and had his dressing changed. The incision looked great but he is uncomfortable again and resting before getting up out of bed. There is talk of going home today or tomorrow.

I should be feeling better but am very weepy instead. Little things are bugging me like the fact my boss has not once called or emailed to see how we are doing. I guess soemtimes its easy to get stuck on small details instead of the bigger picture. Thinking of GB and family, we are really incredibly lucky to have everything we do. I hope it has not been tackless writing as much as I have done about David's troubles.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:00AM
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Not at all, Mary! this sort of situation is precisely what friends are for. Betcha the whole gang wishes they were closer, too. I suspect the weepiness is a reaction to being overtired, a little under the weather, and worried. Tears are a great way to relieve stress.... I say, go for it, turn on the water works, baby. ;)

I can't wait for an update on the stage debut of the latest work, Saucy.

I've dealt with the banking, the bills, and property taxes. It's time to deal with the prep. work on the Salon floor but I'm dawdling.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:17AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Mary, just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and David. Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated. It sounds like he is moving along in the right direction. I'm sure you'll all feel much better when he is home. Great that his classmates took the time to make cards for him!

Nothing much is new here. It is very cold now, single digits this AM. They say we'll be in the 40's tomorrow and Sunday, hard to believe!

Saucy, use cardboard so that the antlers don't droop!

V, the vision of a small dog being lifted out of your keyboard by bursts of canned air cracked me right up! I've never used it on my keyboard, now I'm a little afraid too...

I popped in here for my TGIF - where's Sue??

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:17AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good grief, Mary, I was so sorry to read about David's accident! Skiing can be an incredibly dangerous activity even when done responsibly. I try very hard to stay at a speed and in conditions that are within my comfort zone but it's impossible to always predict conditions or control the actions of others. Easy to catch an edge wrong or miss a turn on some ice as well. Hope he's comfortable and you're all home soon.

It's been very cold here this week with another icy storm on Tuesday that made for treacherous road conditions just in time for the evening commute. I have been spending at least one night a week shoveling and it's gotten beyond old. Better weather supposedly for the weekend-40s F. I'm heading up to VT later this afternoon to ski tomorrow. Unfortunately I have to come into work on Sunday so will be coming back tomorrow night.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mary - I'm happy to hear David is coming along well and hope that healing proceeds smoothly with no fearsome effects! (That whatever-it-is sounded like a scarey possiblitity...)

Chelone - very little about invasive plants in the course - very little/nothing about individual plants at all in fact. This is not a plant based course at all.

gb - what does 3 on the treadmill mean? - a speed setting? what speed? If you're doing 30 min. twice a day, that's a lot more than me! With my treadmill I got after Christmas to replace the exercise bike that was starting to hurt my right hip, I just do 1 mile every other day at a speed of 2 mph. No incline - bad for arthritic hips according to PT... (in fact the cheapo treadmill I got doesn't do inclines...) I find the treadmill even more boring than the exercise bike! At least I could read while biking but can't do that on the treadmill.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:01PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Mary, I'm sorry to hear about David's skiing accident, but glad he is doing better now. What a scare that must have been. You have not written too much-don't even worry about that. Keep us updated.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Just checking in for a David update. Glad to hear things are going better. Video games will be a great way for him to pass the time and he must have loved the cards from classmates. Mary, you're probably just now processing your feelings since you've been totally focused on David up until this point. I really appreciate you taking the time to give us updates.

Nothing of interest going on with me. We've all had colds and it's still winter :) That about says it all.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:12PM
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I decided to take a sick day which I rarely do. The head cold I've been battling spiked a fever with all the accompanying aches last night.

Mary, it sounds like David is heading in the right direction. I'm sure the video games will be a comfort to him, especially since its such a new thing in your home.

Chelone, since you asked, the laundry that we started nearly a year is almost complete. Some of the trim needs to be added around the sink. Do you remember the "befores" from the "Icky" thread over on decorating? This is the room that I filled the panelling cracks with joint compound, sanded and painted. I added the molding to the cabinets of which there is one over the washer as well. I made the bulletin board and DH and I made the coat rack.

I mentioned the fact that my parents house is just sitting on the market. My siblings and I have decided its time to take action and are going to have a painting/repair weekend. Mom and Dad in in Texas and in the past when it was mentioned they didn't think it was necessary. They mentioned maybe when they come back. We are thinking lets just get it done.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 3:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

As promised, I am posting from the new coffee house/internet cafe. The coffee is yummy (their mocha is just a touch better than Starbucks) but the internet is getting mixed reviews. I couldn't connect for a long time, and a couple of other patrons couldn't either. One of the employees was helping someone else change their settings, but I didn't want to tinker so much that it wouldn't work when I went home, so I just worked offline on some things. Then, just a few minutes ago I noticed that I had connected. So it wasn't my computer after all. But since it is a brand new business, I will allow for a few kinks. I will say that the tables and chairs are comfortable, the jazz music is pleasant, and there's just enough background noise to keep you on your toes but not enough to be irritating.

Mary, I'll join the chorus of "no, you're not posting too much". As others have said, that's what we are here for. I am thinking about David quite a bit and understand your concern for his recovery. I hope for all the best, and yes he has youth on his side. The good news is that, while his skiing career may be sidelined, once he recovers this should not affect his guitar playing. Keep us updated, and don't worry about being a pest!

Today's tasks included having the basement measured for new carpet, picking up paint samples, paying the deposit for the rehearsal dinner, picking up the wedding invitation envelopes and buying a new book. Oops, didn't "need" to do that last one, but T.C. Boyle's new book on Frank Lloyd Wright's wives looked too good to pass up.

On the computer front, I have updated my resume (just in case!) and started working on a gardening presentation. I decided I would write this one on my own time so that it is "mine" if need be. By the way, has this group trademarked "WALAT"? Because it's going into my presentation, and I think I shall throw in a wine glass as a prop also.

It's about time to head home. I need to start chipping away at the mess in the basement, as well as evaluating my paint chips. I'm trying to decide if I want to go with DH to a jazz evening tonight. I'll probably see what I feel like come 7:00 pm.

Hope you all have a happy weekend! We are headed to Chicago tomorrow for an all day workshop and then an early dinner before the train home, so I probably won't post tomorrow.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 4:41PM
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V, sounds like you're making the most of your days off. Busy, busy, busy.

Michelle, I love the new touches in your laundry room. The painted black wood, the fabric, especially that window topper, and the details, like the rope trim and tassels are all great. I have that same beadboard wainscoting on the walls in my bathroom. Oh and I smiled when I saw the tractor calendar too! Great job I think!

Saucy, how cool that Sarah and friends are putting on the play. Can't wait to hear how it went.

Marie, you're coming along great with your fitness program. You had mentioned the Olivia books a few days ago. She's a favorite around our house. I think there are about 5 books out on her now and Nickelodeon just started airing a cartoon about her last week that's very cute.

Bella and I have been working on her valentines today. She peeled and broke up all of the crayons and we finished making the crayon hearts last week. Today I traced circles for the cards on cardstock and she cut them out. I wrote on the captions and she signed her name. We have half of the 16 she needs finished. We'll finish the rest tomorrow and then decorate the envelopes on Sunday. That'll be her favorite part. She loves using glitter and glue. I've been surprised how much she's able to do by herself on the project. Guess she's growing up.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Mary, you know we would be tapping our toes and fretting if you were not keeping us up to speed on Davids progress- A word about your boss- (from a boss perspective) it is sometimes hard to know how much an employee wants to share family matters; some people like to keep the home and work life very separate. I never expect my employees to share any info about their personal life that they dont wish to. Your boss may just be wanting to respect your privacy and not intrude at a difficult time for your familyheres hoping that David gets out of the hospital soon, and what arrangements might you have to make for his care when he comes home ?

It rained on and off all day today..a very good thing. When I got home tonight I lifted the lid on my seed starting rig, and after about 24 hours of bottom heat, lo and behold I have Zinnias ! No sign yet of the Amaranth or Nicotiana , but not much germinates faster than Zinnias (maybe Cosmos).

Michelle your laundry room is fabu ! My laundry room is actually the garage , lol. However my garage is nearing showplace status..Dare I ask what is behind the curtain? Not the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz by chance ??

I looked up a couple of newspapers websites last night in Marians area, and there is still quite a bit of discussion about power restoration and internet connectivity. Lots of crews working OT trying to get things up and running .

Chelone, I encourage you to post current pics of the Boardroom , as it may very well result in an Idyll cheerleading group, rooting you on to victory ! Helpmeet may find the momentum impossible to stop ..

How are you Jerri ? Hi to PM if youre reading

See yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:38PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well Mary, have you never heard the expression, "Thats what friends are for." ???? So that is what we are here for. Im so glad you are keeping us informed of what is going on and taking the time to post here. Vent as often and as long as you want. If good wishes could make everything come out perfect David would be back on his feet at 100% in no time. Dont forget to take a bit of time and have a good cry or a good scream or a bubble bath, whatever will help you release the anxiety youre dealing with. If you need to do it to a real human you have my phone number! Im here anytime.

Sue, be careful skiing tomorrow!

Eden, absolutely cracked up when I ready your post that "Weve all had colds and its still winter". You bet that about says it all. Here Dougs had a cold, lost his job and Ive got shingles and ITS STILL WINTER!!!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! This is the first year I ever remember that Im actually fed the (expletive deleted) up with this. The snow banks are five to six feet tall and its boiler plate ice. It is either snowing, sleeting, icing or zero degrees out. Enough already!

So speaking of this nasty winter. The "THUMBS" party is still on for the last weekend of the month and there is room for all Idyllers. Just send me an email and let me know your plans.

V. Sounds like you are making good use of your extra free time. What is your garden presentation going to be on???? ~~~ You wont believe this, when my laptop crashed last August, my color for the garden presentation was lost!!! Yep two weeks of work totally gone. I was so bummed but refuse to obsess about it. Im just going to be better about backing things up from now on.

Michelle the laundry room looks great!

Kathy, glad to hear you are getting some rain. How fun that your seedlings are germinating. Like a Christmas Present!

Wendy, great to hear from you!

OK Im crashing and burning and have to teach tomorrow so am saying nighty nite for now.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:54PM
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Wendy? who is this Wendy person who keeps popping in occasionally and up in conversation? :) It is great to hear from you and you must be pretty busy what with the young 'uns 'n' all. Miss your special brand of understated humor. I certainly hope you'll show up at Deanne's.

Lol about reminding Sue to be careful on the slopes. Timely indeed! But skiing carries risks just the same way crossing the road to retrieve the mail does. Life's a crapshoot when you get right down to it. Even the best precautions can't guarantee safety.

Kathy, thanks for the update on the conditions in Marian's neck of the woods. I know how long it took the crews to get everyone back on the grid after the monster ice storm in 1998. Some areas in northern Maine were without juice for close to 3 weeks, and for several years afterwards you could clearly see evidence of the destruction in every large stand of trees you passed while driving. In the immediate aftermath it looked as though someone had flown a helicopter upsidedown over the forests, trees were snapped off at the tops and the debris was incredible.

Michelle, thanks so much for putting up pictures of your fine new laundry room. What a pleasant space to perform such a mundane task (my own is tucked into a large closet off the short hall that leads to the boudoir). I love the addition of the roped trim to the cabinet... how do you think such a thing would look in a pickled trim or, get this! guilded in fake gold leaf?? And is that a blue ceiling I detect (love it)? I do recall that you'd filled the cracks in the panelling and I'll bet that was rather tedious work, too. It's a great idea, a lot easier than ripping down icky panelling and facing the prospect of drywalling and all the attendant work that goes along with it. I hope you're feeling better and pestilence decides to leave your home shortly.

I have dutifully snapped several shots of the Board Room (the helpmeet groaned, "you're going to show people?") and think you'll get a kick out of how much crap one male packrat can stuff into an enclosed space that no one needs to see. ;)

We went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" yesterday afternoon. It's terrific. We were particularly struck by the graphic portrayal of how masses of humanity live in Mumbai and the contrast between the "haves" and "have nots". And the ruthlessness of daily life for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. I will flash back to the movie the next time I hear the lilting Indian accent on the other end of the telephone. This is not a movie you should miss.

OK, time to go out to the Salon and touch off the stove in preparation for a full day of floor prep.. I have decided to use phenoseal to fill the nail holes and the cracks between the sub-floor. It is fully paintable after a 2 hrs. cure and remains flexible enough to withstand any movement in the floor in response to changing humidity (plenty of that here). While it's tedious to do, it cleans up easily (water based) and I know it will do the job. My new knee pads will get one helluva workout to day. :)


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Had a few minutes sleep last night...UGH. One of the worst ever, so naps are on my agenda! But first, off to get my haircut. First appointment in the morning means I don't have to read about Tom & Katy or Angelina, Brad or Jennifer. Phew.

Last weekend in Toronto we saw "Slumdog Millionaire". Having been in Mumbai, I thought it lacked color compared to the real place. I think the kids were terrific! Many people in the world lead the have/have not lives. Brazil was the first place I experienced where it was so pronounced. Of course Europe in 1950 was similar with all the war victims in black, begging on the streets while others were merrily going about their days. But that improved quite quickly. By 1955 I noticed a huge change.

I must be off...

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:07AM
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Good morning, It's 42F here and climbing. The ugly old snow is melting for the first time in more than a month and I think it's supposed to be warm for the foreseeable future so bye bye snow! (Hello mud, lol).

Deanne, you and Doug surely have had a rough go of it this winter. Spring's around the corner now so if we keep busy it'll be here before we know it. Glad to hear the shingles are subsiding. Hope your first at home class goes smoothly.

Chelone, moving right along on the salon. You've been especially motivated this winter it seems. Good for you and I'd like to know the secret of how you're doing that. I saw some neat Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stencils on a website the other day and thought of you and the stencils you're creating. I'd really like to use the FLW ones somewhere, just can't figure out where they'd fit in around here.

Marie, not being able to sleep is just the worst. I went through a period of that last fall. These days I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and I'm able to sleep 10 hours or so if I'd let myself. Once garden season arrives that will change. Then I'll want to be up at first light.

Kathy, always nice to see those little seedlings pop their heads up. The only seeds I've ever had to use a heat mat with are datura and I think that was at Cynthia's suggestion. Worked like a charm and I had one datura plant that year that was about 10 feet tall. Most of the seeds you mention I just wintersow which amounts to planting them in a milk jug and throwing it outside to fend for itself.

Hopefully David's doing better today and is either tucked in at home or on his way there soon!

Finishing up valentines and housework are on the agenda for today. Probably a game or two of Go Fish and Old Maid will be thrown in too. Hope you all have a relaxing weekend.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:57AM
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Good morning.

The play was a total success, and we were surprised that we filled our chairs with an eager audience! The girls did great, and were total professionals! We had a play bill and everything....

Today we're meeting other families for a quick lunch and then headed to Wauchusett to do some skiing. Nick should be home in time to join in.

I'm off to get ready for the day. I don't envy the job Chelone is doing, crawling about on all fours! Be sure to take lots of breaks, stand and stretch!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 10:56AM
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So Michelle had two projects ongoing, the laundry room and a home office for DH? A strong contender for Kathy's Best of 2009 list! The colors are so rich. I love dark cabinetry against light walls. Doing laundry here today would involve getting one's backside drizzled on, with the laundry shed attached to the back of the house, plein air. Rain is less and less frequent, so it's usually not a problem, more a garden photography issue ;)

Anyone else hear a limerick when reading: "I lifted the lid on my seed starting rig, and, lo and behold, I have Zinnias!"

'bug, those stories about young people who find a way to make a living doing what they love and are fit for...keep 'em coming. Of all the travails of raising young children (not including injuries!), I truly don't think any hold a candle to holding your breath while they're young adults trying to sort out how to make a living and remain reasonably happy doing so.

Sleeplessness hit one night in the hotel room in Daphne, Alabama, very close to Mobile. Got up, ate some satsuma oranges, opened the laptop to read NYT, and Mitch IM's me: "Is it really you up at this hour?" Anyone else got IMing kids? Still amazes me the myriad ways available to stay in touch.

Mobile Bay is gorgeous. Water ripples everywhere, the wetlands stretch for miles. The stands of tall pine trees everywhere surprised me. I expected the camellias, azaleas, sago palms, very similar to SoCal. Crepe myrtles will grow here in SoCal but there's lots more in Bama. Even in winter the bark is so distinctive. Temps are about 10 to 15 deg cooler than home, and one morning there was ice on the windshield. The enormous live oaks are the real stars, festooned with moss, studded with lichens. We flew into New Orleans, where my brother picked us up (easier than Atlanta airport apparently). On the way back we ate at Copeland's (also one on Bourbon Street in NO) blackened redfish, corn macque choux and "hot potatoes" (little red ones cooked in crab boil). That meal set the tone for the rest of the trip. Here's a secret: IT'S ALL ABOUT THE FOOD!! I bet Saucy knows. The gumbo, crabcakes, the chowders, the fried crab claws, spicy crawfish tails. The fish from the bay is so different, the grouper, etc. I brought home a great cookbook "Cookin' Up a Storm" whose inception began with all the people displaced from Katrina, losing everything including cookbooks, beginning to write into the local paper asking for lost recipes.

Get this, on baptism day, my SIL and the godmother were head to toe dressed in....black!

My brother says Mobile is sublime October through May. He was transferred there for a four-month stint....at least four years ago. I know it's felt like living in exile to him, but he's been able to get on his feet financially, has a great job, an enormous, beautiful house (built on an old battlefield). I'd be surprised if he ever leaves voluntarily now, though may be transferred back to Los Angeles eventually. In December he too had the RIF jitters, and there were layoffs, but he ended up being promoted to the head of his dept, general counsel of legal, and moved into his new office last week.

My nieces are the most delightful kids. It is so odd to see these latent behaviors just bubble up in one's self, dormant for so many years, like getting on the floor and taking apart castles, carefully inspecting princess dresses with suitable gravity, even watching a football game but narrating it in terms a child can grasp. You think you've lost the "touch," but there it is, strong as ever. Bet you grandmas know what I'm talking about. I really miss being around such young children.

What really struck me is seeing such horticultural wonder for the first time without a single interested person to share...what a geek I sounded like, calling out plant names. I thought of the idylls many, many times. We are a very rare bunch, you know? ;)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:50AM
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Eden, there is nothing like inviting a bunch of friends for a big summer weekend to provide motivation. ;) It's been a long time since I've been able to easily indulge this side of me, too. Being sad and mourning a loss takes a lot of energy and that means there's less left over for getting certain things done. My year of mourning is definitely over and that feels great. I really like the stencils you linked; my brother would probably be all over something like that.

Saucy, I hope you'll keep the playbill for presentation to Sarah on, say, her 21st. birthday. Did you use construction paper or cardboard for the antlers? :)

When did they stop calling it "Bombay"? You know, I still use "Ceylon" and "Formosa" occasionally!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 11:57AM
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It has been a really busy week for me, and I just checked in and read about David's injury. Mary, I hope it is going better for you, you are all in my thoughts.. My son was hit by a car when he was in 8th grade. Two days later my boss called to ask me when I was coming back to work. He had multiple fractures on leg and arm. She said that had rearranged some sort of meeting based on my availability. (That was before the accident). Sometimes they just don't think.

I have to run, but wanted to say hi!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 5:48PM
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OK, I'm in from the Salon and I didn't quite finish jamming phenoseal caulking into all the nail holes. My knees held up well, but my wrist and trigger finger are really tired. It takes a lot more oomph that you'd expect to force caulking out in controlled amounts!

Let's embrace our inner 12 yr. old, shall we?

I selected brown phenoseal for your enjoyment.

It took most of the day to get this much finished:

I have to move the remaining stash of furniture to get underneath it. I'll do it first thing in the morning, right now I'm "plum tuckered out". I suppose I could always take a break here...

And here are a few shots of the Board Room, to lift V.'s spirits. I understand this is too large to be termed a JulieJob, but perhaps it would constitute a vacation's worth of JulieJobs?

OK, I'd better cut it out right now or poor Norma will never be able to load this thread!

Great to see you, Drema. Some story about your son being hit by a car (I was, too).

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Now there's a good shot of Cynthia's couch. Throw in a couple small rowboats, and the "board room" looks a lot like our garage before the office conversion.

Rereading, I'm wincing over my childhood travails/injury comments, made with David in mind but included in general remarks to 'bug, and in that context they seem completely tactless, so I do apologize. That's what comes from rushing through a post before catching up on errands.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 7:38PM
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Hola from the left coast- a pleasant springlike day, cool sunny and breezy . The rain dusted everything off and the Cymbidiums got to go outside to daycamp. More work done in the garage today with all paint supplies organized and an automotive section created.
I overslept this morning, woke up at 5 and did not want to get up so I let myself fall back to sleep and had a very vivid dream involving a dinner party hosted by George Harrison. Cant recall who any of the guests were but I still see the room it was fabu with dark walls and rich fabrics. Where does one come up with this stuff ? Also spent a couple of hours at the office trying to clear up some paperwork. Monday will be less overwhelming as a result.

LOL Denise .. how did I not hear the cadence as I was typing that phrase ? Were I a better poet I would try to come up with the beginning. Yeah, food in the Southalthough I have always found the coffee to be awful . Ive had some great meals in New Orleans, but the after dinner espresso was nowhere to be found. Had to settle for Bourbon ! My Grandma was native to NO and she was proficient at Gumbos, Jambalaya etc. And the black garb at the baptism- You are either a trendsetter or the mysterious awfice clothing event , where everyone shows up wearing the same color was in effect.

Bravo to the Saucy family and the theatrical triumph.!

Chelone I must say that when I scrolled into your post I though one the the felines had had an accident on the salon floor. Im sure that was your intent ! You are clearly not well. The Board room looks pretty damn bad (sorry helpmeet) but I am here to say that my garage was very close to that level of disarray .. Get yourself some really loud rock and roll piped in and go for it. We expect a tour at IU6 speaking of same , I need to go send some info out on that very topic.

Eden, I am very interested in trying the winter sowing thing some time. Im going to plant up some Wave Petunia seeds tomorrow.

Hi Drema !

A little more spring...

I love this dusky Hellebore

Another Primrose

Heres what the roses are doing.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'M BACK!!!!!
Twelve days and 7 hours we were out of electricity!
We were out of water only a couple of days, but I had plenty on hand.
Many many trees are badly broken, but no yard trees downed.
I took gobs of pics and will post some later.
It will take a long time to do all the clean up around our yard. Thank God we had no structural damage.
It was a very memorable event. One that I hope is never repeated in my lifetime!
I will read all your posts tomorrow.
We will not be having a church meeting at our building. The electic connection was torn from the building and has not been repaired yet.
If Nolon is up to it, we will go on to town to the meeting there. He has not had the use of his nebulizer all the while the power was out. He had to just use a little 'puffer'. He has seemed to fare okay.
I will sign off now, and not chance losing this...talk to you all later.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Hi Marian !! Welcome back , glad to know that you and Nolon have weathered the storm. I look forward to your report from the trenches..
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Very little to report from here. DH made it home from the hospital on Thursday but is still looking and sounding like it is going to be a long haul before he is back up to speed. I haven't been feeling well either so DS and DD are playing tag team trying to help out. Good thing they have different hours at their jobs. Then yesterday, DD showed up with a mask, she caught the office cold. So we had to send her home. Brother. And the beat goes on... *sigh*

I did a quick scan and what a shock to hear your news Mary! What a stressful time for all of you. How great that Julie and others have had some very encouraging healing experiences to share with you. Hoping that David will be home soon and making progress.

Marian! Twelve days without electricity?! How the heck did you and Nolan survive that?

Kathy...it's spring there, wow! I hope you enjoy every minute of it. Love your photos...gorgeous Hellebore. Great shot of the mustard in the vineyard. We still have more than a foot of snow on the ground with very little melting. Today is supposed to be in the high 40s...a heat wave...so maybe a little melting today. At this point, I am hoping spring will delay long enough for our household to feel well enough to enjoy it. [g]

Great job on the laundry room Michelle. Such a cheerful, cozy little space. You have had a busy winter.

Chelone...it's a lot of fun watching all the steps to finishing off the Salon. You really make it look doable. I would have never thought of painting the floor that way. I can't wait to see what you are going to paint. Will you stencil the floor at all? I hope you are going to do a photo journey when it's time to make the curtains. :-)

Sorry...just all that I could catch up on today. Hoping to be up to some novella posts sometime in the near future.

Waving to all... :-)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 5:50AM
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Hey, it's the long awaited return of Maid Marian! It's good to see some news from your neck of the woods. OK, you have to fill me in on how you could be without electricity for 12 days but without water only a couple of days. Do you have a drilled well with a submersible pump, or whats the set up? At any rate, I can imagine 12 days without juice and with nary an Idyll to amuse you must've been a long time. Talk about quittin' "cold turkey", lol. I daresay your experience in "Frontierland" puts my own puny attempt in December to shame. You go, girlfriend! :)

And then some news from PM, though I wish it were better news, at least from the standpoint of health. I'm looking forward to another day of warmer temperatures, too. I hold scant hope that I'll finally be able to remove the last 1 2/2-2" of accumulated ice from the deck. I'm looking forward to the next novella. ;) PM, I'm not going to stencil the floor, but I am planning a low-key, tone on tone pattern for the field of the floor, laid out on a diagonal grid. I'm still playing with ideas, like the floor of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court, but have to burn some brain cells and come up with the scale that most pleases me. I may opt for something less "busy", just spot medallions on an open field, for instance. I'm presently wrestling with the worry that the more ornate patterns may prove too distracting once the room is furnished. It's my hope the tone on tone will be "quieter" than traditional black and white.

The plan for the day is to get out the nail set and hammer and sink the nails that remain at or above the floor surface and then finish the caulking. I will tape off the mopboard and then start priming. I've never worked with this composite Advantec sub-floor before, so there may be some unpleasant surprises along the way. I noticed on my sample board that it really sucks up the primer and the already uneven surface becomes rougher as the "grain" is raised after drying. I'm not quite sure how to address the need to sand it, frankly. The idea of a palm sander and more time on my hands and knees is less than inspiring. Anyone here ever used a floor sander before? Anyway, a painted floor is certainly not going to last forever, but it will allow me to staple into it for projects requiring that, and aside from the time involved (of which I have assumed mastery!) it's a pretty cheap finish and allows for some creativity.

Time to fire up the stove and survey the work that awaits.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:12AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Glad to see that Marian is back and that she and Nolon weathered the power outage. Twelve days is quite the ordeal!

We had a great day in Chicago yesterday. We went to an all-day conference on natural areas and restoration that offered multiple sessions throughout the day. DH and I split up and went to different ones to get the most out of it. DH and I had planned all along to stay in the city for dinner, and yesterday morning there was one of those uncomfortable moments when we discovered we each thought the other was going to make a reservation at the restaurant. Well, there was quite a turnout from our area, and as we were standing around after the conference, a few others mentioned dinner. DH and I decided later that the lack of a reservation was OK because we would have looked a little silly asking them if our table for two could be enlarged to 10! But how fun to get such a large group together at the last minute. And DH and I took advantage of the lovely weather here yesterday to walk from the University of Illinois-Chicago campus to the restaurant just over a mile away. We actually beat the drivers!

DD is spending her weekend at another college where several of her HS friends attend, including the ex-HS boyfriend. Who cut his finger while they were cooking dinner last night and had to get four stitches! I need to hear more details on that one.

Denise, my kids don't IM me but my future DIL does. Go figure?

Time to hit the shower before church. Later, friends!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 8:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian! Great to see you back again - and I'm sure the pictures will be very interesting! You guys are tough folks...:-)

This has been such a dreadful winter for so many of you! M2 - I hope all of you recevery quickly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 8:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...I like the idea of the tone on tone. I actually was remembering a hardwood floor I had seen a photo of in a decorating magazine once. They had also done a diagonal pattern. They had whitewashed the hardwood floor first then outlined the design in taupe, leaving a border around the design, making it appear like a rug. Then stenciled on diagonal outlines of diamonds in a light taupe whitewash within the border. Very subtle effect but added so much that the floor was the focal point of the room. Very simple and did not appear busy at all.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 9:03AM
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Hi Idylls

Good to have Marian back!!

We have had a couple of set-backs and are still here at the hospital. Apart from a few hours Wednesday night I've been camped out on the chair in David's room but it looks as though he might be relased this afternoon. I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed. I'm sure David will be more relaxed in his own home and I know I'll feel a lot better waking up in my own bed rather than with my face stuck to the blue nogahide of the bedside chair. David gets very stressed if I'm not here and adding that to his condition does not help. DH and Annie are taking care of the home front and providing me with moral support and coffee so we're all working together.

The staff have been awesome! There is so much wrong with our Health Care System but this past week I've felt incedibly lucky to have the level of care and expertise we have had. I hope to be back later wtih updates.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning, well, I have missed most of this thread, but see Mary's dreadful news - glad to see tho that David may be released and that will be comforting to you all -- hugs to all -- I know that must have been so scary and worrisome; I'll be cynical and say that I suspect that a lot of the great care David got in your medical establishment might have been due in part to you being there 24/7, Mary - altho I do think most children's parts of hospitals are run differently than others (altho I may be mistaken in where David ended up)... in any case, enjoy some crying,; you know it's just your body letting down after all the trauma it too has been thru... Keeping my fingers crossed that you're all at home today!

It sounds as tho many folks have had a tough winter - PM, your family has had more than its share of medical woes, too. I do hope all make a quick recovery! And Deanne -- you and Doug have such a strong foundation individually and jointly, tough as the times have been for you, you could be role models for us all on how to weather tough times....

Work has been crazed and little time for idylling, enuf on that. I was excited that we got mid-60s for temps yesterday and supposedly today too! After vegging yesterday a.m., I was so excited, I went outside to try to turn a pot back over (that's been a blockade from a neighbor cat's dumping ground in the front bed)... but after the 60s most of the day, the stinking pot is still frozen to the ground... guess I cant weed, uh? Im a little premature on thinking that winter will be waning soon. Im sure winter will be back this week...... Stock club mtg today so I best not tarry here too long.

But it was great to see your laundry room photos, Michelle -- lovely and so efficient looking; Im jealous -- I'll likely never get mine built out; it lives among the house studs... that's a wonderful idea of painting your parents' house - with a group of folks you can knock it out in no time at all. What a lovely surprise it would be.
Hope you feel better soon - I've been hearing that cold has a boomerang to it (I've been trying to avoid one being sprayed about at the awfice by Toaster Woman..)

Chelone - you crack me up with the quips that keep you going on your project - as you say nothing like motivation of a visit to get those vibes going for sprucing things up.

I love your descriptions of your sojourn in New Awlins and 'bama, Denise -- you'd make a great short story writer! And I guess we've learned that black seems to be the all occasion color for any event any more.. times do change....

Well, I better turn my attention to some details needed for the meeting this p.m. Altho I'd much rather go see Slumdog Millionaire after 'bug et al's descriptions of it.... a lazy day at the cinema sounds like a wonderful relaxing idea....


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:26AM
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Good Morning,

Sunny and relatively warm here today, 34F. We've had lots of melting the last day or so. Good riddance to all of that stale snow! Lots of dripping houses and puddles though.

Mary, I'll be keeping everything crossed that you and David both get to sleep in your own beds tonight. And no more setbacks!

Saucy, did you videotape Sarah's play? I think it's so neat that these girls were able to go through the process of putting together a production from beginning to end. What a great experience for them!

Chelone, I really like PM's idea of the tone on tone pattern for the floor. It would really warm up the room. The pattern you linked is great too. Black and white's always good but like you mentioned would be more busy. Whatever you decide sharpen up your math skills to get a pattern all mapped out. I was impressed how much you got done yesterday. You are really moving along quickly. I'm linking a photo of a look that I think is pretty and could be simplified by doing just the diamond pattern minus the stenciling too. I love thinking and talking about this kind of stuff and searching for just the right idea. Whatever you decide will look good I know. You've got a good eye for design and I love watching your project come together.

Marian, glad to hear you survived your power outage. Hopefully that will be the end of the bad weather for you this season. Good to have you back!

Not much time this morning. Brad's off to a racquetball tournament and Bella will be here shortly. We're going out to do some shopping. I'm setting up a writing center for her. More on that later.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:34AM
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More seeds are started. I went through my seed drawers and pulled out old partially used packets to see if any would geminate. Amongst them was a pack of Salpiglossis seeds that I failed miserably with the last time I tried them. That was however, before I had a heat mat. Today I could also see the Amaranth seeds beginning to germinate. Made granola, and almost made V.s meyer lemon cookies, but hadnt enough confectioners sugar-maybe next week.

PM, good to see you posting a bit..what a challenging time at your house ! Caring for and worry about others can surely get one run down . I hope you are feeling better soon and can visit more often.

Chelone, will there be any rugs on the salon floor ? I was also interested in you mention of stapleing work down could you elaborate on this ? I think if I was going to paint the floor I would tend to grey-out the colors in keeping with the cool theme. Its going to look splendid whatever you choose Im sure !

Well Cindy, having a pot frozen to the ground is something I have yet to experience !

Wondering if David got to go home, how Univ. of Deanne progressed and if the after class Martini is allowed during shingles recovery ?

Im off to finish the laundry Waving to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:45PM
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Im glad to see that its spring some where. Although, weve been having warm temps and a lot of our snow has melted.

Kathy, I really love seeing the shots of the vineyards. Although, there are a few around here you really have to look for them.

We wrapped up most of the home office project this weekend. Im about done in, but will continue with painting at the parents house. Then I hope to leave the painting supplies lie dormant for a while. I really need to do some Julie jobs before spring hits here. Thanks for the kind comments on the laundry. Its just 1000% nicer than it was.

There must have been a problem at the pool and it was closed for nearly the last 2 weeks, so my excersice routine needs to get going again.

Chelone, what were you doing in my basement taking pictures? If the floor were a little more smooth in the garden shed, Id love to have a painted floor design. Maybe I could put one in the playhouse.

Denise, you sound like me after seeing the live moss, camellia and such in Florida. The spanish moss was just so foreign looking to me.

Marian, great to have you back! Im sure you have a few stories to tell.

PM, great to have you back as well. Sorry to hear that you arent feeling well either.

Mary, I sure hope David is released, as Dorothy would say "theres no place like home"

Here is the nearly complete office, the paint color above the desk doesnt really show up the correct color on screen. It's a greyish taupe. We started with unfinished cabinets, painted them and added the crown molding. It was challenging in many ways since in this old house the walls werent straight and the floor wasnt either. Luckily DH and his son did the hanging of the cabinets. The fabric between the cabinets and desk is covering a tack board. We made our own for about $15. To buy them for that area would have been over $200 from an office supply place. Chelone, the fabric is upholstery fabric that we found on the clearance table for 50 cents a yard. I dont believe Ive ever gotten fabric that cheap. All the cabinets are for DH's clutter, I'm hoping it will work ;o)


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:15PM
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Nice Michelle, and look at all that storage! You can never have too much though can you?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:24PM
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Very nice Michelle! Will you sit there to post ? Wish I could hire you, Eden, Chelone, and Mary to do a few remodel chores around here. All the the wine you can drink and 1st dibs on the Zinnia seedlings.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 7:58PM
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Quiet day here on Idylls. Warning! This will be a purely "grandma" post from me.

Bella and I hit Borders this afternoon and picked up a couple of valentine themed stories and a few little golden books. Then a quick stop at McDonalds for the special treat of a Happy Meal with a Hello Kitty watch as the prize. She was very happy with that! Stories read and then naps for us both. Later Bella finished up her valentines. Here she is putting the finishing decorative touches on the envelopes.

Brad's home now so time for dinner and then it'll be time for Bella to go home. It was a busy but fun day. Things we're looking forward to this week include her Valentines Party and going to see Sesame Street Live.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 8:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So much going on elsewhere...compared to here!

First Sue must be back from skiing but closeted at work. I hope she is home relaxing with the dogs by now!

Marian, I certainly hope you get to share your story of the last 2 weeks soon! We usually manage OK without power, but I think 5 days has been our maximum so far. Right now ice is our major problem, but the 2 pair of Yaktrax from DD we got for Christmas got a good workout today! No photos from me though. I hope the kitties managed OK too!

I sure hope David gets home to his own bed today or tomorrow. That kind of adventure just is no fun for anyone, although it is good to get messages from friends at school!

PM2, health issues really wear one down I'm discovering. Especially tricky when there are others to care for...and pets too! I hope spring weather will help everyone's attitude and health at your place.

Eden, you're just the most amazing grandma! It's fun though isn't it! I enjoy having Skyler here more than watching him at DD's house because his friends there are such wild competitive, sometimes nasty devils. Here we can do all sorts of healthy projects together. Lately DD & DSIL have been working on perfecting his writing skills. He is always too impatient to do things correctly, but they are making a big effort with it. (Much to his mother's annoyance. She feels she is being "shown up".) The difference with Bella's fine coordination activities and Skyler's wild Indian antics is very pronounced! She far surpasses him and he is almost 10. Well, different skills for different folks!

Today we bought some things at Staples so that I can organize my recipes and declutter the kitchen somewhat. A project for this week. For dinner tonight I tried quinoa for the first time, and it was fine, very like couscous I think.

DH is going to get me more hanging folders for my filing cabinet and that means ano0ther project of tidying up my work space. It will never look like Michelle's new office, but at least it won't look like the Board Room did yesterday.

Today DSIL is spray painting the ceiling of their renovated sunroom. He is re-motivated at last to work on things there after a friend visited him last night and marveled at the changes so far. The heat is being retained there quite well too so it was warm enough for the painting job today. Tomorrow he leaves for Ontario where his qualification tests for work take place. (Firearms etc...)

This afternoon I gathered courage and began some knitting of tiny garments once again. I'm starting with a tiny beret with a pompom on top, later matching booties perhaps. (Chelone insists I think.) I'm using leftover yarn in beige and white. Later maybe I'll make another set in dark brown and blue.

Phoebe got a nice bone today but while I was out of the room briefly, she ate almost all of it. The last bone we got her lasted months! Never will I buy this type again. In fact, I'm convinced she only needs 2-3 a year as she'll destroy her teeth! The kitties got a new scratching post and are shy about this new thing. Not for long I'm sure. At 5AM today Vita found a mouse and the antics from all 3 cats were crazy! DH and I caught the tormented thing and threw it out the kitchen door into the snow. It will no doubt reappear in our basement...but I hope not!

That's about all she wrote friends. Tomorrow is another day!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I think I am suffering from anticlimatic depression. :-(
I cannot seem to come to the realization that things are back to 'normal'.

I have down-loaded all my pics to my computer, but haven't decided which ones I will post. I will start a thread for them, when I get out of the doldrums.

The weather is very unwinterlike the past 3 or 4 days. Highs are in the 60s and lows in the 50s. Since I no longer have to cook on the woodstove, or make coffee on it, I just started the fire this morning to take the chill off the house. I will do the same tomorrow.

We glorified in the taking of our showers this morning, and I have stripped the beds and put on fresh sheets and pillowcases. :-)
We went to worship at the cousin's congregation this morning. A few of the members are still out of power.
It was great being out amongst friends again. We also stopped at the One Stop and had hamburgers.

I want to tell Mary how sorry I am about David's accident. What a bummer! I do hope and pray he heals up nicely, and has no after effects.
I hope Pm2 and her DH are well soon ( I hope I have that right), and everyone else that is ailing or injured.

I guess I will be taking Nolon in to his Dr tomorrow. He seems to have been suffering a pain in his stomach for some time. I tried treating it with an ulcer type diet, but he is still having pain. I am afraid he is not going to enjoy the tests that may be ran on him.

After he has been diagnosed, I need to get myself in for tests to find out why I am having such severe pain in my upper right torso. I can't quite decide if it is my chest, or my back. Maybe even my gallbalder? It is espacially painful when I carry in the wood.
My Fibro has flared up again, and awakes me with pain during the night. It's a great life, if you do not weaken! LOL...:-(

Marie, I have gone back to jigsaw puzzle making, and have completed 6, and working on the 7th now. I am putting together the Hummingbird puzzle the GDs gave me in 2007. It is a difficult one. Nolon no longer helps. His tremors have got too bad, and he can't do them without messing up what he has done. Another bummer!

BTW, I think I have earned the Pioneer Woman award, after our 12 day without power ordeal. Chelone, the reason we were without water for a brief period is because the Community water, that we are on, ran dry. We are one of the last on the line, so had it longer than most others. Then the community got a generator (from the National Guard, I think), and refilled the tank. It is very 'fuzzy' water...full of air...but I'm not complaining. :-) It is even 'fuzzier' now that the power has come back on. It spits at us when we turn on a faucet, or flush. It even did some loud thumping in my toilet!

Oh yes, The varmint under our house, that is so fragrant, is an oposssum, not a skunk. That is good news. It's scent soon dissipates when it moves. Hopefully, when the crawl space is opened up for the spring it will move on.

I will share the most amusing incident connected with the iced down trees. The Heritage Birch had it's canopy bowed clear to the ground. It was failing to return to an upright position, like the other trees were, after the ice went off. I decided the tip was frozen into the ice on the ground. I went out and tugged on it to release it. It came lose and sprang up soo fast, it almost took me with it! I laughed uproariously!

Okay, that is enough from me for tonight.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 8:46PM
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I'll bet you have a lot more free time on your hands now that the electricity is back on, huh Marian? In the brief time our's was out I found there was a lot of thinking and preparation involved to keep some hot water ready to go and to accomplish even the easiest chores. I knew you'd be fine because you're resourceful, but it's easier to have electricity! You're suffering from "Post Hookup Blues". :)

Nice break in the cold weather yesterday. The helpmeet worked on gouging channels through the ice on the driveway so the melt water is directed to the sides of it. I was amazed at how quickly it melted from the area directly in front of the garage bays. And there is no ice left on the back deck for the first time in nearly 3wks.. Nice! cold again today, but another warm up for later in the week.

I spent yesterday adding another dollop of phenoseal to the nail holes. The product is water-based and as it dries it contracts and the depressions left were deeper than I wanted. The key to a successful, strong, longer lasting painted floor is to minimize the places where the paint will be asked to flex as that causes cracking (learned that the hard way). I masked off the mopboard (until I ran out of tape) and have primed the perimeter of the room to about 12" out from the wall. That will make rolling the floor a lot easier and will minimize any roller spatter. The prime coat is always the worst one to apply as the substrate is thirsty and it's important to work the primer in. I used a 3" brush and by the time I was finished my hands and wrists were toast. They're still a trifle sore this morning, so I'll take it easy for a few days.

Michelle, your new office area is terrific. So neat and clean, bet DH can't wait to start stuffing things into all those cabinets. I love the use of the fabric in the area over the desk top; it adds a nice, quiet bit of interest, one that won't be overwhelmed and look messy when things are tacked to the board it covers. Very clever, and for .50/yd. how could you go wrong?!

Bella looks most industrious, Eden. Valentine's Day is serious business, clearly. ;) I love the floor you linked above, too. I have several excellent book on decorative painting techniques and there are a couple of floors pictured in it that have that same "frosty" feeling you get when you used diluted paints or stains. The first thing I thought when I looked at the intricacy of the central motif was, how many coats of protective clear coat did they lay down to ensure its long life??? I used 5 of oil-based polyurethane when I made the floorcloths I have here. I share your (and Michelle's it would seem) enthusiasm for "doing things around the house". I have learned to ignore the helpmeet when he questions my decisions to do things like squirting phenoseal into holes and cracks. I usually look at him, roll my eyes and say, "there's never time to do it right but there's always time to do it again, dear...". (and he goes back to whatever sporting event is on TV).

'bug, I'm thrilled that you've once more hauled out the "knatting noodles". I'm certain the emotions run the gammut these days. I looked out the window last night at the magnificently round moon and thought (as I always do now) of my Idyll friends and Reed. Since that full moon last Sep't. I now think of a full moon as a Reed Moon. I applaud the addition of booties, and can't wait to see them revealed. :)

I'm out of juice right now but wanted to comment on more... have to get moving on this fresh new week, you know.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 5:44AM
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Good morning

Still at the hospital:0( Physical therapy did not go well yesterday and as they will be the people to release David it meant another night here. David is trying with all his might and has worked through anxiety and pain to become mobile but the nerve damage is making it so hard. He got a few steps with the walker yesterday using his hands to bring up the damaged thigh but he needs to be able to do more than that to get out of here. The fact that no feeling has returned to some areas is not a good sign. I am terrified he might not be able to walk again. Last night I was at breaking point. The pain and drugs have changed David's personality to the point I have no idea who this child is who is yelling and snapping at me to do things - all of which I seem to do wrong, yet he cannot bear for me to leave. Perhaps things will seem better in the light of day and after soem coffee.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,
WE had a successful first seminar in the new classroom. All went very well and this group is going to come back in May for another weekend. This is a very good thing!! Im going to have to start painting on a more regular basis but that isnt necessarily a bad thing. There will just be less time for plants and gardening.

Kathy, I dont know if I was allowed a post seminar martini with shingles but I had one anyway! LOL and boy did that go down smoothly. ~~~ Im loving your spring photos. Its always amazing to me to see the flowers and greens when all is still incased in snow and ice here. Speaking of which

Marian. 12 days without power!!!!! Holy cow! Thats awful. We were only four days here and had a generator and I was fed up with it. You did really well and are definitely a Pioneer Woman to have come through in good shape. Glad you are back and all is well. I lol over the birch tree springing back.

Mary I surely hope you were able to sleep in your own bed last night and that David is home and comfortable.

Cindy, thanks, you made me smile. I got really lucky in the husband dept. and somehow married the right one at the tender age of 19. ~~ Hope work eases up soon.

Eden, looks like you and Bella are having some great times together. ~~ WE had a lot of melting here going on the last two days also.

V. sounds like you had a great time at your conference.

PM glad your DH is home from the hospital but sorry you arent feeling well. Hoe you are back to normal soon.

Denise, it sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I know what you mean about visiting gardens and seeing great plants and not having anyone to share the delight with. Doug is a good sport about visiting gardens but doesnt get all excited about individual plantings. Im spoiled having so many Idyllers close by so I can have my fix of plant talk whenever I need it.

Saucy, glad the play was a huge success!!!!!

Chelone, the salon looks like it is moving along at a good clip! ~~ Have you seen the Bluebirds again?

Michelle, I absolutely love your home office!!!! Wonderful job and what a great work space. Im envious of all that storage!

Bug, how lovely you are knitting again.. That made me smile.

OK Ive got to get out of this chair and off this computer and get some exercise and start my day.

Have a great one all

OH Mary! Ive just read your post. Hugs, hugs and more hugs! David cant help the behavior changes, pain and stress do that to people and the people first in the firing line are always the ones they love the most! I so wish there was something I could do to help. Just know we are all thinking of you and sending our love and support!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 7:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, ditto what Deanne said about pain. Lately I have discovered again how much energy pain saps from me, and I'm sure it is even more frustrating to a young person. He is focusing hard on one thing alone, and it is almost impossible to to be your normal civil self. You are all working for his best interest and the very best outcome. And since he is putting his best effort forward, things will improve. Take good care of yourself so that you can help the others in your family. Hugs to all!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:24AM
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Yes Mary, remember it's the drugs and pain talking. And you're exhausted which always makes things seem extra bad. Sending my love and support too and hoping it helps to give you the strength you need.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 8:43AM
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